My greatest achievement has been made out to be my greatest regret.
But I refuse to allow that perspective to overtake my senses.
I am here because I chose to be here.
That is how I choose to see my situation.
Do you object?
I wouldn’t blame you for doing so.
Your silence is deafening.
But still provides meaning.
It echoes my resilience in the lightest way imaginable.
And inspires the possibility…of another crazy story.
Kato slowly opens his eyes to see Royal Guards standing all around him. With both of his arms chained to the ceiling, and his upper body now decorated in more bruises amidst the scars he already had, Kato spits out blood and fixes his jaw. He quickly realizes that even while he was unconscious, his captors had no regard for his well being.
Kato: “...what is all of this…Isaac…”
Isaac emerges from the shadows of the enclosed space, and walks in front of Kato. His men continue to snicker and laugh, clearly amused by seeing the invincible Kato Izana in such a weak state.
Isaac: “It’s exactly as it looks, Kato. What else could it possibly be? Your luck has finally run out.”
“We got yo ass, Izana!”
“It’s time to pay your father’s dues!”
The men continue to jeer themselves on, while Kato keeps quiet, observing the voices and tones of the men surrounding him. It didn’t take longer than five seconds for Kato to realize that these were the same men from that night long ago.
Isaac: “It seems whoever was helping you abandoned you in the end. Who would have thought that the one and only Kato Izana, who never seeks help from others, would end up being betrayed by those who he finally sought help from. Such an ironically fitting end, don't you agree?”
Kato says nothing, causing the men surrounding him to laugh.
Isaac: “I warned you…your time is limited. I hope you listened to me and had a hell of time ever since. Otherwise, that warning was for nothing.”
Kato sighs and lifts his head. Isaac and the men gasp.
Kato’s normally blue eyes…were now completely void of color. His expression was so cold. So lifeless.
It seems that the Kato Izana that they know and fear…has returned.
Kato: “Right. You all expect me to believe that I was brought here to be tortured and killed…but that’s not it at all, is it?”
Kato: “You all brought me here because your leader ordered for it to be so. He wants me as far as possible from the real situation at hand, and wants you and your men to make sure it remains that way. And of course, you all obeyed. The only actions you have taken of your own accord were the bruises you have left and the punches you have thrown while I was unconscious. Congratulations…you have all managed to defeat a sleeping man.”
The men begin to get agitated.
Kato: “Still, I have no resentment towards any of you. Nor do I have any resentment for those who left me behind. All I ask is one question…one that you will answer.”
Kato’s callous eyes fixate towards Isaac.
Isaac stares at Kato’s cold expression. He then begins to laugh.
Isaac: “Wow, Kato, you really don’t get it do you? It’s like you think you can’t be beaten or something! No matter how much of a freak you may be, we’re still the ones in charge here! Not y-”
Isaac turns and sees one of his men suddenly freaking out, and gasps. He then looks at Kato to check for anything he might have done…but sees that Kato remains in the same position…staring deep into Isaac’s eyes…refusing to look anywhere else.
“What’s the problem, dude?”
“It’s my eye! It came out of nowhere!”
The man points to a very small hole located behind Kato in the dark enclosed space they were all in, and they all turn to see a very sharp and direct light coming in from the rising sun. The position the man was in caused his right eye’s retina to be affected directly at pinpoint accuracy.
The rest of the men all turn back to the affected man: “Wait…”
Veins pop out of their foreheads simultaneously: “THAT’S IT??!!!”
Isaac glances back and forth between the small hole and the now frustrated men surrounding the one man. He then looks back at Kato, who still hasn’t removed his sharp gaze even slightly.
Isaac: “I guess it was just a coincidence. But just in case it wasn’t, considering who you are, I guess I feel more inclined to answer your question.”
Isaac bends down on his knees in order to put his line of vision at the same height as Kato’s.
Isaac: “Aurelia, the now disgraced princess, has been captured, and awaits her trial at the Smaix in a few minutes' time. She was found with a child…which has been taken to the hospital to receive proper care for the time being. But when the trial commences, the child will be brought to the Smaix as proof of her dishonorable actions to the prince.”
Kato looks down, as his eyes darken slowly.
Isaac smiles: “Looks like you had fun after all.”
Kato: “...how long to go before the trial commences?”
Isaac: “...about ten minutes, give or take.”
Kato: “...good. It seems I will be able to make it after all.”
Kato looks back up at Isaac.
Kato: “The only one capable of predicting my own predictions is Huncho…and after the last time I failed…you really didn’t think I would have another plan in motion, did you?”
Suddenly, the doors of the room burst open, and the lieutenants of the Foxtrot Squad barge into the room with weapons in tow. Jason quickly uses taser guns to neutralize many of the men surrounding the room. Imeni uses her boomerangs to cut open the enclosed area in order to let the light of the rising sun in. Faeko and Emilia unsheathe their swords and use the hilts to knock down the strongmen trying to fight back against the electric shock.
Isaac gets into his stance ready to fight. He was so immensely shocked that his breathing rapidly increased to the point that he was no longer sure what was going on. As the situation begins to settle down, Quinn finally walks into the room, sinking her teeth deeply into a fruit before throwing it away.
Quinn grins: “...what’s with the face, Perreira?”
Isaac’s hands shake in fear and frustration. His mind races, trying to find a way out of the situation he believed he was in control of.
Isaac: “What just happened? How did they find us? A tracker? But I was careful…I made sure that they searched every part of Kato…even stripped him down…so what just happened?...”
Isaac slowly glances towards the bloody spit that Kato had spit out earlier, and realizes that there was a very small tracker in the midst of it. The one area that they didn’t search…was inside Kato’s mouth.
Without hesitation, Isaac whips out his gun and shoots directly at Kato, to ensure he completes the task he had secretly wished for against Dante’s orders.
His aim is off.
His hand is off.
Put off by something.
Isaac looks up to see Kato standing in front of him, with Kato’s hand directly on Isaac’s wrist to point the gun away from himself. Kato’s eyes remain cold, and his expression remains bored. Isaac’s eyes flutter in confusion. Behind Kato stood Randall Okoda, who had snuck in to unchain Kato and free him from his bonds.
Randall: “You were right…putting the tracker in your mouth was the only way we could find you…even Quinn’s senses were slightly put off by the drapes outside this abandoned building.”
Quinn blushes and pouts: “No they weren’t! I was just having an off day…”
Faeko and Emilia smile in amusement as they look towards each other.
Jason laughs and pokes Quinn’s cheeks: “Sure thing, sure thing. But let’s not forget that Huncho is supposed to be an incredibly smart person, commander, so don’t get frazzled.”
Imeni looks towards Kato: “You’d better get going before it’s too late.”
Kato: “Just a moment…”
Kato continues to stare at Isaac, who now refuses to move. He squeezes Isaac’s wrist in order to get him to drop his weapon.
Kato: “Isaac…I can see that the weight of your father’s pressure affects you just the same as me…all the times you would joke about your father’s hatred for commoners…it takes effect in you as well doesn’t it… ”
Isaac whips his hands out of Kato’s grasp. Kato holds up his hand to warn his friends not to interfere, as they all brace themselves to strike.
Isaac: “Just go…you’ve already won…so just go…”
Kato: “Nobility. Commoner. What is the difference when we stand before our so-called enemies on the battlefield? What is the difference when our bones are subject to the same fate of returning to the earth through which we were formed? You hate me over a misconception…you hate me because of a fixation on power…which is why you only wanted to choose to acknowledge those of great power. Venturas, Jikamas, Jamaerahs…you were grateful and proud to be acquainted with them…and then…there was me…the commoner…a stain on your pride…”
Isaac says nothing. His eyes darken.
“You hate the idea of a commoner like myself using his opportunities to be established on the same level as yourself without proving the right amount of strength to achieve it. You believe that I should never have been given the same rights. The same acknowledgement that your family worked so hard to achieve for so many generations…it felt unfair to you, didn’t it?”
Isaac grits his teeth. Kato’s expression changes from callous to displeased. His expression almost seemed to be completely disgusted by the man standing before him.
Kato: “You once told me I frighten you the most of all…and after hearing you that night…and after everything you have done…the only thing I feel for you…is pity.”
Imeni grabs Isaac and ties the back of his hands with cuffs. Randall approaches Kato.
“It seems they were led by an informant from Aurelia’s party of friends…that’s how they managed to find us.”
Kato: “Right. It’s hard to plan for a betrayal, which Dante surely took advantage of.”
Randall: “So…what will you do now?…”
Kato glances outside of the now sliced open abandoned building, and looks at the sun’s path as it rises above the fading night sky, welcoming in the new morning. He had been unable to sleep properly, so his body felt weak from the hits he endured while he was captured.
Kato: “The plan has failed…I can no longer keep Aurelia by my side…I can no longer see a way out for us to live a peaceful life here…I see…this is what he wanted…to force me to choose between my love or my life….between our old goal…and the new goal I had set within my heart…”
Kato looks over towards his friends, as they point towards the familiar being that they had brought along with them. The foxtrot walks over towards Kato, panting heavily and beginning to rub itself on Kato.
Kato smiles as he pets his foxtrot: “You missed me?”
Kato: “If I really am on the opposite side of the island, it would take me quite a while to travel all the way over there…typically…”
Imeni turns her face away: “Well, you better get going. I’m sure they have already started the trial.”
Kato turns around and looks towards all of his friends, as all of their high spirits start to fade into sadness.
Faeko: “Haha, always the hero, aren’t you....”
Emilia begins to cry: “A part of us wished you would have chosen otherwise….but we’re glad you stayed true to yourself even now…”
Kato mounts his foxtrot and smiles. “Thank you all. Truly.”
Randall nods his head towards Kato. Quinn grins as she walks up and slaps Kato’s leg.
Quinn: “You better make it back in one piece, you hear me?”
Quinn suddenly gasps lightly as Kato leans down and strokes her cheek. No tears were falling, but he stroked it in the motion as if there were anyways.
Kato: “I’ll be sure to do just that.”
Quinn pauses for a brief moment. All of her lieutenants pay attention to the scene in full detail, fully aware of the buried emotions involved. Kato then slaps his foxtrot lightly across its hind legs, pushing him off into the distance. As he does, to no one’s surprise…
Quinn begins to cry. Her heart felt broken, in more ways than one. The same tears that refused to fall in front of Kato now fall in the same motion he had anticipated.
The rest of the division felt their heart stir as well, but accepted the situation before them regardless. Jason’s eyes darken. Imeni begins to tear up. Faeko holds Emilia as she cries in his arms and he grits his teeth to stop himself from doing the same.
Randall turns his face away: “...liar…”