Anime Etc. / The Otaku Institute / The Otaku Institute Same-Sex Archive / Fanfic Recommendations / Suto-ri Denkaku
Author's Chapter Notes:
Choice that won:

"D) Gather a group of people together and take it to a vote.
- Who is in this group?"
The commanders, Rem, the guys here with us (shugesh, trasny) as well as Chi Chi, Hugo, and White (since he might know something about how RRA might react, maybe he knows something of Iceburg...) Discuss possibly telling this to Phoenix to see what he thinks about it. He might be interested to know (if anything he gets back to them, and it starts some internal conflict. That's always nice.) I assume we get to help vote. Personally I'd rather release him back with the info on Iceburg...could cause some good infighting. Trade for our prisoners, possibly hurt the enemy through information.

"1) Visit the prisoner - Phoenix Graham - to speak to him.
- Bonus: Any questions in particular?"
Start by greeting him. We were RRA for a while, so he might feel better talking to Kiryu. Ask with concern if he knew what happened to Red. Also ask about that supposed guy that came in and devastated RRA. Was Phoenix there? Did he hear anything interesting? Other than that, ask why he's so valuable to the RRA considering what they are going through.
He probably won't answer so easily, so bring up Iceburg wanting us to off him. Ask him why that is, or what type of person Iceburg is.
"So Kiryu, what do you think we should do?" Kaiba suggests, dwindling his legs at the bottom of the four wheeled chair he resides on.

The eyes of everybody in the room dart towards you and slowly burn around your body while you analyze the situation carefully. "We can't make this decision on our own." You finally speak up. "The Freeborn Military is an organization and certainly does not revolve around just us. So we should act accordingly."

Kaiba nods his head with a slight sigh. "Obviously you have a plan, so spit it out."

"Gather all of the Commanders currently at Valkyrie together; Rem too. Also, get General's Chi Chi, Hugo, and White. Shugesh and Transny are welcome to come too. Bring everybody to the Meeting Room."

"Huh? W-why?" Kaiba asks, dumbfounded.

"We're going to take this to a vote." You boldly reply, now standing up and exiting the room. You walk down the corridors of Valkyrie until you reach the elevator. With a press of a button, it opens up immediately and you walk in. "Lets see what Phoenix has to say for himself."

The elevator comes to a halt and the door slowly pushes itself open, leaving you just enough room to squeeze through with your gigantic body. You march down a long hall that is shaped like a long tube, eventually reaching a titanium door at the end of the passage.

A loud thud smashes into the door from your fist, until it slowly opens. In front of you, a man with short and flaky brown hair stands tall. He's wearing black jeans that are held up by a belt, and designer shoes that appear to be perfectly fitted for his size. On top, the man has a simple blue T-shirt with a check mark as a logo. He has a toned body and a mean face on.

"Hello, Kiryu."

"Hey yourself, Pike." You quickly reply, pushing Joseph aside and walking into the room. Around you, are multiple computers with surveillance footage on them, and a four legged chair beside them. Small wheels are on each foot of the chair, just like the Communication Center. At the corner of the room, a few stools are stacked on top of each other.

"And what brings you to my Prison?" Joseph asks, walking up beside you.

"I'm looking for the Red Ribbon Prisoner: Phoenix Graham. Where is he?" You ask, looking around the room.

Joseph walks over to the computer on the far left and enters a few codes, which open a door at the far corner of the room. He points towards it plainly. You give him a firm nod and start walking towards the open door, but the new Commander speaks up. "I'd be careful in there, if I were you."

You stop and turn around, right in front of the prisoners room. "Rem mentioned something about mind control. I need you to explain exactly what he meant."

Joseph has a seat on his chair and scratches his right eyebrow, giving in to your demand. "I was far from the first to interrogate him, so I can't speak for everybody. But when that man stares you in the eye...Don't let your guard down. Keep an aura up and be very, very wary of what he says."

"What happened to those who were controlled?"

"The first who spoke to him was Rem, but he couldn't get any answers. But since he 'confirmed' that it was safe, a General was sent in a few weeks later. Apparently, the General exited the room calmly as if nothing were wrong...And than blasted his own head off." You gaze at Joseph in disbelief, but he continues on. "The next incident was another General, who after he left the room tried to kill as many Soldiers as possible before he was finally knocked out by Echo."

"And what happened when he awoke?"

"He killed 37 people before being knocked out and imprisoned in another cell. When he awoke, he tried to break free but once he came to the conclusion that it was impossible...He bit his tongue and killed himself." Still not fully comprehending what exactly is being said, you remain still, staring at Commander Joseph Pike. "So be careful." He says sarcastically.

You nod your head and turn around, slowly walking into the cell that you were directed towards. "Thanks for the info." Pike grimaces at this, annoyed. After entering, the door behind you is sealed shut and you see a man pinned up against the wall with large, silver shackles on his wrists, ankles, neck, and stomach. All of them are emitting some sort of aura.

You pull up a stool from the side and pull it up as close as you can get to the cell he is locked in, but he doesn't even pull his neck up to look at you. "Hello, Chief Executive Phoenix Graham. My name is Kiryu."

He pulls his neck up and stares at you in the eye, which causes you to instinctively put an aura up. He smiles to one side and lets out a small chuckle, sweat bubbling from the tip of his forehead.

Getting a good look at him, he has an average body size with no defining muscles. His hair is dark grey in color, and runs fairly long past his shoulders in length. It isn't straight though; his hair is more puffy and pushed out. Phoenix has grey eyes, a small nose and a piercing in his left ear. It's a small blue hoop earring. You can tell that he has not shaven in a while, as he has a dirty amount of facial hair. Beneath, Graham isn't wearing any shoes, socks or even a shirt for that matter, though he still has a pair of grey track pants with stains of blood all around them.

Despite you opening up to him, he remains silent. "Do you have anything you want to say?"

He rids the attention he had on you and opens his mouth, letting you see his swollen tongue dangle around before he speaks. "No, not really." Phoenix says, his voice being closer to high pitched than deep. "But you obviously have something you want to say to me, so speak up."

"Okay." You put on a sympathetic face and look him straight in the eye, "Do you know what happened to President Red? I was told that he was assassinated."

Phoenix puts on a sadistic smile for a second, taking it immediately after. Now he has a face of regret and turmoil. "So they finally did it..." He quietly says.

Your interest peaked, you push on for more answers. "Did what...?"

He shakes his head with his eyebrows pushed down, one eye open more than the other. "K-Kiryu, you were once a member of the Red Ribbon Army. Were you ever informed about President Red's advisers?"

You gulp tightly and nod your head. "There were four, last I heard. I only met one of them though."

He blinks repetitively with his head pushed to one side, barely able to hold it up. "And who was that?"

"His name was Tao. Tao Pai Pai." Phoenix bobs his head up and down, now squinting at you. "That man is responsible for the death of President Red. He wants to be the ruler of the Red Ribbon Army...the World...and he...Tao...will stop at nothing." You eye Phoenix down with caution, waiting for him to finish his slow moving sentence, but he doesn't continue.

"Another thing I heard was that the Red Ribbon Army was attacked. A vast amount of casualties appeared, but the peculiar part about this story is that...One man did it. Any idea on whom this was?"

Phoenix bites his lip down and shrugs without care. "I've been locked in this cage for a long time now. Whoever attacked the Red Ribbon Army did so after I was imprisoned here."

You nod slowly, but don't let up quite yet. "Any idea who?"

"Tell me, Kiryu, when was the last time you saw that friend of yours. C-C-Conrad, his...his name was." Phoenix continues, talking very slowly, setting a dark atmosphere up. You clench your fists, starting to get annoyed. "You know...Rem killed him."

You relinquish your clutch on your fist and you can't help but freeze, feeling uneasy. Thoughts of all kinds start flooding through your mind dramatically, while you remain still. "I need to kill Rem. No, he's lying. He must be lying! There is no way Rem would - or even COULD - kill Conrad. Phoenix is telling the truth though, I can feel it. Conrad is alive! How could Phoenix know of anything like this anyway? Maybe I should let Phoenix go to spite Rem! Or perhaps..." Your train of thought is cut short by a burst of anger, causing you to slam your fist into the titanium bars that keep Phoenix in his cell.

"Answer the f***ing question!" You roar!

Phoenix closes his eyes for a few seconds, not answering you. He opens them back up and you notice his eyes are blue now, which confuses you. You close your eyes and shake your head, reopening them to see his eyes back to being grey. "And...what question is that now?"

"Do you have any idea on who could have attacked the Red Ribbon Army?" He chuckles to himself, but refuses to speak up, which only continues to irritate you. "I didn't realize I made a joke."

"I have reason to believe that there is a spy here in Forte Valkyrie. If I were you, I would kill him before too much information is leaked to the men who sent him. After all, his plans involve very horrific things. Things that you would NOT - heh heh - want on YOUR conscience."

"What are you talking about?"

"Time is running out, Kiryu. He plans to-"

"He plans to what!?" You interrupt him, "Even if there was a spy, you would be the last person to know what his plans are. You don't even know what your own plans are."

"Don't be so...sure, Executive. I...Always have a plan."

"A plan that involves being killed by one of your own?" Phoenix looks at you puzzled, which makes you smile now that you finally managed to overwhelm him. Now that you finally managed to take the ball out of your own court. "Oh, didn't you know? We were recently contacted by a man named Iceburg who bribed us to kill you. If I do say so myself, that idea is sounding more and more delicious as time goes by."

Phoenix chuckles to himself a bit, as if he doesn't care. "Iceburg...He tries so...so hard to be me, but he just...He just doesn't have what it takes."

"And what is that supposed to mean?"

"He wants my spot. Iceburg has great ambitions and he'd off his own mother in order to get what he wants. Rising in the ranks would do somebody like him no good though. I would not expect you to understand this though."

"Then perhaps you should explain it to dumb old me."

"Kill me. Blow my head off right now and see what happens. Lets just see how things play out if I die."

"It's tempting, i'm not going to lie." You say with a smirk. "But killing you would completely make the meeting I scheduled upstairs void of any meaning. So I'll ask you once more...Any ideas on who was it that attacked the Red Ribbon Army?"

He gulps hard and swings his head up, now staring at you directly. "I like chicken." You nod your head firmly, not expecting any answers but Graham speaks up once again. "If I had to guess, I would say that no such attack took place and Rem is fooling you."

"And what would he gain from that...?" You curiously ask.

"The same thing any leader wants his people to think; that they're in the loop and actually matter. Moreover, it puts you in your place."

"My place?"

"If such a super powerful fighter exists, you won't go chasing after Rem's spot. You're dependant on him. All he needs is for everybody in his army to think that and he will always - always - control you."

You grimace at this and drop your head down, totally overwhelmed by everything Phoenix has come up with. "Tell me, Phoenix. What makes you so valuable that the Red Ribbon Army is going through all this trouble to send a diplomat here, just to retrieve you. I know that this is an extreme case...One that would not take place for any normal person. You're high up, that's for sure...But no, it still doesn't add up. So...Care to explain?"

"Pfft." Phoenix shrugs, "They aren't coming to save me. When I was told by the man that goes by the name of Joseph that a diplomat was coming to negotiate my freedom...I knew it was the end for me."

"Wait, what are you talking about now?"

"Be-be-before I l-left Red Ribbon Headquarters for my attack on the FBM...I did something bad. Something very irrational. Something that the Fleet Executives and President Red would not have liked...One...Bit." You raise your eyebrow in anticipation while Phoenix holds his mouth open with unwavering emotions, "I killed Fleet Executive Bojack."

"You...You killed one of Red's advisers? WHY!?"

Phoenix licks his lips and sighs heavily, "Because he deserved to die." Silence breaks out between you two, until Phoenix finally continues. "They aren't coming to save me. They are coming to assure that I die the most gruesome death possible!"

"And that's why you don't care if I kill you right now..." Phoenix nods his head slowly, breathing heavily. The bead of sweat from earlier finally collapses from his forehead and smashes into the ground, evaporating instantaneously. You stand up and stare him directly in the eye. "It was a pleasure talking to you, Phoenix Graham. I have to get going now."

He stares at you boldly for a second, not wasting the time to reply. You pick up the stool and put it back at the corner of the room with a few other stools and knock on the closed wall, signalling Joseph to open it up.

He does just so and you walk out without turning back, seeing Joseph sitting at his computers with his arms crossed. "How did it go?"

"I...I don't know. Walk with me." Joseph eyes you peculiarly, but stands up anyway. You two exit the room and start walking down the tubular hallway at a fast pace. "I feel overwhelmed with information. I'll need time to properly analyze it."

"Factual information?" Joseph plainly asks.

"It's hard to say. Whether or not it is, he certainly knows how to make people believe him..." Joseph smiles at this, and the two of you are now rising to the above floor in the elevator.

"Where are we going, Kiryu?"

"I told Kaiba to gather a group of people. We're going to have a meeting discussing the future of Phoenix Graham and you have been invited." Joseph Pike nods his head and silence impedes for the rest of the trip.



----



Commander Joseph Pike wraps his hand around Rem's doorknob and pushes the door open, walking in immediately after. You follow suit, and see a group full of people all sitting around the coffee table in the middle of the room. Pike has a seat on the only open chair, which leaves you standing up as everybody watches you intently.

"Thank you all for coming." You promptly speak up, looking for a spare chair. Unfortunately, there isn't a single one around so you squeeze through the audience's chairs and have a seat on Rem's coffee table. "We have a lot to talk about, so give me a second to think of how to get started..."

"I already told 'em the situation," Kaiba says. "Figured it'd make it easier on you. Besides, we were waiting for like twenty minutes. I had to say SOMETHING!"

"No, that actually makes things easier," you swiftly reply, now eyeing Rem.

"The floor is all yours, Kiryu. It's your meeting, after all." Rem says, practically reading your mind.

"Fair enough. All right everybody, I just went down to the prison and spoke to Mr. Phoenix Graham. To say the least, he had some interesting theories about why a Diplomat has been sent to assure his safe return. But that is not important in this meeting. Right now, we are going to discuss our next move without his biased opinion infiltrating our minds."

"You go girl!" Transny squeals from the back.

You shutter in disgust, and the obvious thought of killing it right then and there crosses your mind. But that would be far from civil so you decide to hold in your savage emotions. "What I do find important to say right now, is that Graham said Iceburg would have wanted us to kill him because he wants Graham's spot. In the Red Ribbon Army, it is difficult to higher your rank once you're at the Executive level. Not because the higher ups don't want to give you a promotion, but rather there is a limited amount of seats open for taking."

"Which means that the less people there are above Iceburg's rank, the higher chance he'll have of being promoted. Phoenix Graham is a Chief Executive; ONE rank above Iceburg, so I can only assume that Phoenix dying would benefit that rat." White speaks up.

"Well said." You compliment. "So because of this, I think Iceburg can be trusted. He would benefit a great deal from Graham's death."

"I concur." Chi Chi agrees. "Lord Rem already caught this person when he tried to take over Valkyrie last year. Giving him back just seems wishy washy. Lord Rem, how strong was this man when you defeated him in combat?"

All eyes turn to Rem, and he answers immediately. "A lot stronger than every General in the FBM. Battle Power wise, I would rank Phoenix Graham at the Commander level. His ability to manipulate minds isn't anything to be underestimated either."

"With that said," Chi Chi continues. "If we get rid of him, that's a potential threat gone. And on top of that, this Iceburg promises not only Dr. Fiasco and John Giant back, but even information on the Red Ribbon Army! It would be stupid not to take him up on his offer."

"Eh, it isn't so cut and dry Cheech." General Hugo says while rubbing his hairy chin. "I mean, we don't know this guy. I think a Diplomat for God sakes is more reliable than some random who might not even be ABLE to give us back the prisoners."

"Pfft, shut up you noob." Echo taunts, trying to silence Hugo.

"What'd you just SAY!? How 'bout you just go SHUT THE HELL UP!"

"Huh!? You're just some General; how DARE you talk to ME like that!?"

"Why the Hell did you guys even call me up if you're gonna' try an' silence my opinion like that? Stupid idiot." Echo hops out of his chair and charges towards Hugo, who stands up and puts on a fighting pose without fear.

"ENOUGH!" You scream, freezing the entire room. "Sit down you two. Next person who acts like an idiot has lost the right to vote. Am I clear?" Nobody responds so you take that as a yes.

"I'm with Hugo on this one," Thrigon agrees. "We also have to remember that if anything happens to Phoenix, the Red Ribbon Army will declare an all out war on us. I mean, we can take 'em but...It'll be far from easy and thousands will die."

Echo kisses his lips, "The Red Ribbon ain't waging war on nobody. Soon as they try somethin', we got Dysect ready to tell us what's what and sneak attack their asses. Besides, they just got wrecked by ONE fighter. Ahahahaha! F*** that s***, they ain't ready to try and take us after all that they been goin' through."

"You're wrong," Joseph replies, shaking his head. "Whether or not they think they can win against us is not relevant anymore. President Red is dead so they no longer have his judgement call. So if whoever is currently in charge is some psychopath that wants to go on a suicide mission, they WILL go on that mission."

"What makes you think his advisers are psychopaths?" Kaiba questions.

"Because right now, Kiryu is thinking the exact same thing. I'd take his word over ours, considering he used to work under them." You look at Pike in confusion and he chuckles a bit. "Oh yeah, I can read minds."

"Why don't you go interrogate Graham then?" You ask, still in shock.

"I did. But he has the ability to mask his thoughts, so I wasn't able to get much out of him."

"We're getting off topic," Rem interrupts.

"Wait, wait, wait..." Kaiba begins. "What if Iceburg was ordered to contact us and say what he said. This way, the people who are in charge of the Red Ribbon Army right now would have a reason to go into a full blown war against us, while having all of the people as a backing. I mean, if you're right about how crazy they are Kiryu...It's possible, no?"

Silence impedes around the room while everybody thinks of what Kaiba just suggested. "I uh - uh, like, I don't even think-"

"Shut up!" You scream at Transny, cutting him off mid sentence. "Hoi...But why send a Diplomat if they didn't want him back?"

"I don't know...To trick us?" Kaiba suggests.

"It's not exactly a sound theory." Joseph cuts in. "But hypothetically, if it were true, that would mean they don't plan on giving us back anybody. I mean, we don't even know if Fiasco and John are alive or not."

"They should be alive." Rem interjects. "The Red Ribbon Army always announces their executions, in order to keep that 'just' atmosphere about. So if they were executed, it would have had to happen after President Red was killed. That was not too long ago, so probability would dictate that they are alive. At least for now."

"Fine." Joseph gives in.

"Guys," Shugesh says. "I think we got all the facts on the table by now. Should we cut it to the vote now?"

You give a short nod and look around at everybody, who all appear to agree. A few minutes of silence pass by as you let everybody have time to think of their final decision, before finally speaking up. "Are we all ready?" Everybody agrees so you decide to get your opinion on the table first. "I think we should listen to the Diplomat. Return Phoenix Graham back to Red Ribbon Headquarters, all the while knowing what Iceburg tried to do. We'll get our prisoners returned and if anything, some internal fighting will break out. And yes, if you didn't already figure it out, I told Phoenix about what Iceburg said."

"I'm with Commander Kiryu," Hugo agrees.

"I am too." Rem calmly says.

"Same." Thrigon adds.

"I disagree." Chi Chi says, breaking the chain. "I'm all for listening to Iceburg and having Graham killed."

"Yeeaaahhh, I'm gonna' have to agree with Chi Chi here. Lets kill him." Kaiba agrees.

"Well that's four votes for sending him back and two for killing him. Five votes left." General White, Echo, Shugesh, Joseph, and Transny all think carefully. "White, do you know anything about Iceburg?"

"Unfortunately not, Commander. We didn't exactly run around in the same social circles. That being said, I still agree with his plan of action. He has enough to benefit from this that we can trust him. I agree with Chi Chi and Kaiba." White replies.

"I uh, like, practically, almost like, you know, I think we should send him back. Cuz it's not nice and stuff to like, kill people and stuff for like uh, ya' know, no, like, reason. Heh." Transny says, adding another vote to your side of the debate.

"Five votes to three." You declare, awaiting the last three people to vote.

"As I said earlier, Red Ribbon ain't waging war on nobody. So because of that, it's obvious that i'm with the girl, White, and Kaib's."

"Same." Shugesh speaks up, "I'm with Echo as well."

"Hmph." You scowl now that the vote is tied at five all. "So Joseph, what'll it be?"

"...I do not trust anybody associated with the Red Ribbon Army. But considering that I am forced to trust somebody on that side, I find that the logical conclusion would be for us to trust the one with the most credibility. That being, the Diplomat that will be coming shortly."

You smile in relief and give Joseph a nod of approval. "Well that settles it. We'll release Phoenix Graham back to the RRA in exchange for Dr. Fiasco and General John Giant. Meeting adjourned."

Everybody stands up tall until suddenly a rush of Ki spikes out of nowhere. You look around in confusion, to find nearly everybody with the same face of confusion. Echo runs out of the room - presumably to get to his security position, and Kaiba does the same.

"This Ki...It's familiar. I'm not completely adept at sensing Ki but this one is coming fast!" Seconds later, another burst of Ki explodes from the opposite direction. And after that, another spike erupts. All of them are coming from different directions. "Rem, what's going on?"

He looks at you with a face of pure confusion; something you haven't ever seen on him. "Joseph, what can you tell me about the Ki's that are coming?" You ask.

He puts his hands on his forehead and you see a flaky red aura flow from his body. "The first one that's coming has a dark aura around it, but it's certainly familiar to me. That second one is coming at a much slower rate, but I sense an incredible amount of latent power within it. It's also familiar, and far from dark. But this last one...It's the farthest away, but is certainly coming the fastest of all. What worries me is that...I cannot sense an INCH of purity from this individual...!"

You drop down on one of the open chairs and look at Rem, who seems to be analyzing the situation too, albeit at a much slower rate. "Alright, I think we better check things out...!" You state, and the remaining fighters in the room nod.


A) Go towards the first Ki that you sensed. Familiar, yet dark.
B) Go towards the second Ki that you felt. Familiar and pure.
C) Go towards the final Ki that you felt. Unknown and evil.
D) Stay here and let things play out.

Sub Choice:

1) Kiryu goes with: Choose up to 5 People.
2) Kiryu goes alone.
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