Violet: No. 02189
After hearing the hologram’s exposition and receiving the proposal to become a director directly from Violet’s CEO, many things pass through Ren’s mind. He could just easily ignore all the doubts and the uncanny feeling he got upon hearing about many terms and subjects he had no idea of the meaning of. However, Ren decided to not do that:
The young man politely asked for the CEO to give him some space, which was immediately conceded, and just after that he made a question:
“Do you really need me?”
Before giving Ophir the chance to even answer that, Ren chained another question upon that one:
“Even with that presentation, what good would it do if I didn’t even know about half of what was said!?”
“Why should I even care for the people from this place if you just discarded me like trash?”
“You’re getting the order inverted, Renichi-san”
Despite not wanting to show any emotion, Ren’s eyebrows move on their own once he hears those words coming from the corridor. The voice who said that wasn’t Ophir’s, it was a familiar voice.
Escorted by two guards, and with his arms restrained by handcuffs, the man in lab coat is put to sit in the same chair the CEO was in a few minutes before.
“Long time no see, Renichi Haku, or should I say 02189?”
Ren looks in the CEO's direction as if trying to decipher his reaction to know how he should feel after seeing Hideki again in that place.
As he notices Ren looking at him, Ophir, who is standing next to the chair, gives a wry grim back at the baffled young man, whose only response is a sudden gaze drift.
“I have to say I’m impressed, I didn’t think you’d survive a surprise attack from a Blue mech”
“I wonder if the others had the same luck…”
Ren’s eyes immediately pierced Hideki, the young man who, without any warning jumped off the bed he was sitting in. He jumped with his fist tightly closed and in line with Hideki’s face.
Ren’s knuckles sank in Hideki’s face with only the dull sound of the impact accompanying it. The strength of the punch knocked the man out of the chair while Ren fell to the ground by himself as a result of the impulse he gave to reach the professor.
The guards around were alarmed by the sudden attack and tried to intervene, but Ophir once again made a hand gesture indicating the men to not approach.
With both on the ground, Ren quickly reached out to Hideki and grabbed him by the collar, and began shouting at his face:
“What are you thinking!!?”
“Is this funny to you!?”
“Is it funny to you that your friends may be dead!!?”
A thin strand of blood painted the space between Hideki’s lower lip to his chin as his face began to distort into a malevolent smile.
“That’s exactly right! It’s really funny, ‘cause I don’t have any friends!”
“I don’t even know what’s the meaning of that word”
“But you know what’s even funnier, Renichi-san?”
“Neither you do!!”
Ren lowers his head and rises his right fist again while still holding Hideki by the collar with his other hand.
“Have you forgotten who you are? Were those two little weeks really enough to change the 17 years you lived in Violet!?”
This punch was right in the middle of the professor’s face breaking his glasses and making its pieces pierce Ren’s hand. The blow made Hideki’s head hit the ground while Ren released the grip from his collar.
The guards were looking at each other in confusion as the CEO kept his forearm raised telling them to not get near the two.
“You know nothing about me!!”
“I made a promise to them!! They believe in me!! And I believed in them!”
“Who are you to say that was not real!?”
“Don’t give me this crap!!!!!!”
Each consecutive punch was directed with even more force than the earlier, from top-down right to Hideki’s face. Ren’s hand was getting heavily bruised by the attacks and the professor’s face was, naturally in an even worse state. His nose was broken, cheeks full of bruises, and a lot of blood coming out of the top of his forehead right above his left eyebrow.
Even while being mercilessly punished, Hideki didn’t show any regrets for his words, nor did he seem to try to dodge any of the punches, for some reason, he was adamant in his position and took each blow with a smile on his face, despite the grunts of pain and the choking noises from the blood on his throat.
Seeing Hideki begin to cough up the blood he swallowed from his broken nose, Ren stopped punching him and projected his body back to distance himself from the man.
“What was I supposed to do!?”
“You said you tested me, and after all that…”
“After all that…”
“I don’t even know...”
That’s right… I don’t even know… I don’t know anything.
What is Violet? What is Blue? What’s Neo-Tokyo? What’s society? What’s a CEO? What’s a citizen? What’s a family? What’s a wife? What’s a husband? What’s love? What’s family? What’s friendship? What’s happiness? What have I been living for?
Right now I feel even more hopeless, it’s as if nothing I do has any consequence, it’s as if I’m just dancing like a puppet and everything I do is not even my own decision. I can feel there’s something really big happening, but I can’t understand anything. What should I do?
Who should I believe? What should I believe?
The seemly motionless Hideki slowly begins to crawl towards Ren without him noticing it. In a short time, he gets near enough to grab him by the collar, even handcuffed it was not a difficult action as Ren was distracted by his own thoughts.
By the time Ren noticed it was too late. Hideki pulled up the young man towards himself and whispered something in his ear before headbutting him.
With widened eyes and a pained expression, Ren stared as Hideki approached him yet again, and tried to throw a side-way punch towards him which Ren easily dodged.
Ren quickly put his hand inside the man’s lab coat reaching its internal pocket, as he did this move, he instantly improvised it into a punch to the side of the professor’s chest, knocking the man to the ground once more.
Panting, Ren stares at the now seemly unconscious professor, and after a short moment, he wipes the blood out of his wounded right hand with his shirt and directs his gaze to the CEO who was only watching the whole scene without making a sound or showing any concern.
“About your proposal… I’ll accept it”
“Excellent!” - Ophir grimes as he utters this word.
“But I have two conditions”
The CEO grabs the fallen chair and puts it back in its original position, sitting on it afterward.
“I’m hearing you”
“First: If any of my friends are alive. Nobody will touch then”
“Very well, and the second?”
“Before I am the person you need me to be, I want to see 02174 one last time!”
The CEO gives an approving glance as he says:
"If this is all you need, I'll happily grant it to you"
The scenery was disheartening, hubris and fire covered the formerly vivid shrine, as people cried the loss of lives amidst the chaos still in sight. While not being exactly peaceful, Neo-Tokyo never had suffered an attack of that magnitude, and to worsen things up it was a complete unknown attack from a complete unknown enemy.
Mechs were still fighting one another, violet and blue-colored mechs alike, despite targeting each other, were doing much more damage to the city around them, than to their enemy.
Among the 10 total mechs that invaded Neo-Tokyo, four Violet and three from Blue were still battling while the rest were felled. However, there weren’t only mechs in the conflict, some people were desperately trying to fight those monsters made of metal.
A few miles from the epicenter of the battlefield a few people were gathering.
“Gramps! Please, let me help you!”
“Mayu-chan and Ren are still there!!”
A young woman who was holding her wounded arm was talking to an old man that was charging a rocket launcher.
“Kaede, without yer support wires and hammer, there’s not much ye can do”
“But I still can use normal weapons, if I go with you I can at least distract them-”
“No!! Absolutely not!”
The girl was a little shaken by the harshness of the old man’s words.
“Sorry, I just can’t let you throw yer life away like that! If ye weren’t hurt at least, I could think about letting you help, but-”
Juurou takes a deep breath as he looks at the destruction, before continuing:
“This is my responsibility, and only mine!”
The old man hops into a motorcycle as he puts the rocket launcher on his back.
“Take, are ye ready?”
“Very much, sir!” - Take says while on his bike, loaded with ammunition and weapons.
Before going ahead, the old man looks back one more time and says:
“Try to get in touch with Hideki, he must know what is happening. If you can’t get in contact with him, I'll trust yer judgment in what to do next”
Kaede nods while both, Juurou and Take ride off towards the combat zone.
The girl begins to run off in the opposite direction, all alone, with tears falling off her face.