To My Son...



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Scene Title To My Son…
Synopsis A Son confronts the death of a father, and a generation earlier, a father records a message destined to be delivered to his son. In this, a journey to discover the past begins.
Date May 22, 2009

Tokyo, Japan

A child is born to innocence. A child is drawn towards good. Why then do so many among us go so horribly wrong?

The skies of Tokyo seem so much more pristine from hundreds of feet in the air, with the cold wind blowing through toussled hair, the chill breeze of spring stinging bare skin exposed through enormous slashes in rent clothing. But for all of the serenity of Tokyo's neon-filled skyline in the dark of night, there is no enjoyment of it for the determined man plying those skies by sheer will alone.

What makes some walk the path of darkness, while others choose the light?

Curving between a pair of skyscrapers, Hiro Nakamura carves a supersonic path between towers of glass and steel, roaring through the heavens towards the brilliant logo of Yamagato Industries. Four hours past midnight, there is no one waiting on the outdoor park on the roof, only the stirred wind and freezing chill of the air this high in the sky, a chill that while sunk into Hiro's bones, does little to numb the fire burning in his blood.

Is it will? Is it destiny?

Not as fast as he tore through the air, Hiro's descent from the rooftop down to the administrative levels is hardly slowed by the security locks and doors that he bypasses with quick entry of his father's trusted codes. Down into the administrative level of the building, past an empty secretarial desk, and bursting through a door into his father's office. Loose papers blow across the office floor, signs of disruption in Kaito Nakamura's private and typically immaculate sanctum, but not quite signs of a scuffle. The only thing truly out of place, is an enormous concealed safe left open across the spacious office from his minimalist glass desk.

Can we ever hope to understand the force that shapes the soul?

Through the plate glass windows that compose the office's walls, there is only the neon view of the Tokyo skyline and the ragged, beaten reflection of Hiro's bedraggled form mutedly cast in their surface. Stepping further into the office, there is no sign of his father, no sign of Adam, no sign of anything. Except for light catching on plastic inside of the safe, a small case left behind where nothing else was spared. A small plastic disc case, and a box labeled with kanji.

To fight evil, one must know evil.

The box is simply labeled Hiro Nakamura in plain black marker, written in his father's handwriting. Much like Kaito, to leave a trail of breadcrumbs even in the most dire of times, when the life of family and friend hangs in the balance, when the world itself sets askew on its axis…

One must journey back through time and find that fork in the road…

Across the office, a plasma screen television hangs on the wall, with a DVD player set below it on a small glass shelf, the power light glowing, as though someone left it on, a blue LED that may as well be a signal beacon in the dark of the office.

Where heroes turn one way…

More pieces to father's puzzle.

…and villains turn another.

Hiro reaches out silently to take the plastic case with both hands, all his attention on it. Part of him wants the excuse to concentrate solely on the object and not look about too hard just yet. He'd like to delay knowing just how late he is. Some subconcious part of him must have noticed the DVD player and the LED because without looking at it, he zombie-walks across the floor with the plastic case in hand, with exaggerated slowness approaching the plasma screen and DVD before stretching out a single finger grubby with soot and grime to touch first the Power button for the TV, and then Play on the player.

A flake of burned cloth from Hiro's right sleeve crumbles away as he moves his hand to insert the disc into the open front slot, landing on the floor along with much of his cast off hopes for being in time to stop what happens. This moment, a defining one, could have gone — did go — so many different ways. But this branch of time's river, this unfortunate stream he floats down has gone so many different ways awry.

The DVD opens with several moments of blue and the green PLAY flashing at the top right-hand corner, a little bug that sticks in that corner of the screen even after the blue fades away with a grainy video recorded, presumaby from the view of the office, but the quality makes it look like a VHS recording transposed to DVD.

"Hiro." His father's somber countenance needs no introduction, nor does the imperitive that he records here. But most notably about the recording, is the dated look of it. Kaito's wrinkles smoothed away by a decade — if not more — of youth, more life in his eyes, and a distinctly different skyline of Tokyo outside. "«If you are listening to this message, know now that I am gone to be with your mother.»" A stiffness comes over Kaito, brows creased together in some potentially chastising look to what he may perceive as his son's refusal to acknowledge this loss — much as the way it was when he was but a boy and his mother was lost.

"«My passing means that there is much work to be done, and much responsibility that must be saddled upon both you and your sister.»" Weathered hands fold atop his desk as he leans forward, "«the contents of that safe should also contain a paper document of unparelelled importance. Undoubtedly by now I have told you of it, of the Formula, and of its significance to the world. Know, Hiro, that if there were any other way for this to happen…»" for once, Kaito trails off, losing his voice as he glances to the side.

"«What you have lost,»" he intones with a marked level of importance, "«will return to you, your birthright cannot be taken forever, and in time it will come back. It is this very birthright you carry, that burdens you with the responsibility of returning the Formula that you and your sister are entrusted to guard back to its rightful place. You and she are the guardians of its legacy now, for good or ill… but it is a responsibility I am afraid you are both too naive to undertake.»"

Leaning back in his chair, Kaito tilts his chin up and stares down at Hiro across the bridge of his nose, much as he would in the boy's youth. "«When you were but a boy, Hiro, I told you stories of a man who would become your idol. All things, in this world, happen for a reason, Hiro. They are a part of something greater, a story that will be told by other fathers to other children one day.»"

The video warps and distorts in its poor quality, a blurry line of rainbow colors smeared in a column on the right side, but still audible and mostly visible. "«You and Kimiko together, must be the ones to read the beginning of the story of this responsibility. You and she are the only ones capable of this, of journeying back to when all of this began, and witnessing for yourself the origins of the enemy you now face. If I have taught you anything in your young life, my son, it is that knowledge is the greatest power above all others.»"

"«In 1961, history began a cycle which will repeat in your era. It is a conflict my generation handled in the way we thought best, and now that same trouble looms on your horizons, and it is your responsibility to fight it as you see fit. But be armed, be aware of the consequences of this war, and bring that knowledge of what we did wrong, and keep it in your heart, and tell it to others who fight this same war.»"

"Hiro, «my son.»" Kaito's expression stiffens, a mask of impassionate display covering what might have been a hint of emotion. "«You and Kimiko must go to Coyote Sands in New Mexico, when our turn at history was only just beginning. You must view history by the ight of our tragic mistakes, and our triumphs, so that you may learn from us…»" His eyes narrow, slowly, "«and so that you may understand.»"

Hiro watches, the light of the plasma screen reflecting from the corneas of his eyes as he finds himself unable to blink. Briefly he glances down at the box in his hands and shakes it, just to see if there's something inside. Then opens it to glance at the contents. Just to see. But his attention goes back to the screen to watch his Father's message.

The glow suffuses that few foot space in front of the screen, flickering on one side with too much color and on both sides with a black border that shows just how old the aspect ratio of the video is, and how old recordings look so awkward on new technology. "«I know… how hard this must be for you, Hiro. Being shouldered with a burden like this, though, is your destiny. This is what I have raised you for, hoping that I instilled in your the morality and strength of character that was so lacking in my own upbringing. You and your sister,»" it's as though he knew she wouldn't be here, but yet at the same time seems unconcerned for her lack of presence, "«are my hope for the future. You two are the only good things to have ever been produced by my being. I can only hope, that when my grandchildren look back on their parents in the future you build… that they remember you fondly, and with honor.»"

Leaning back in his chair, Kaito stares at the camera for a long time, before slowly bowing his head and closing his eyes. "«Farewell, my son.»" The video lingers for just a moment, and then cuts out entirely to a blue screen, with the green bug in the corner having changed to STOP. Silence permeates through the office, now, just the blue glow bleeding everything that too-sharp shade. Silence, and of course, a responsibility.

There is a silence that stretches on.

Sometimes, when the tension is great enough, one finds oneself peering over the precipice into the chasm of insanity. Does one cling to the cliff, or let go and take one's chances below?

Hiro's face looks down, expression one of twitches and teeth. Gritted teeth. And rage.

The plastic case drops from his hands as he reaches for a small table nearby and with a feral roar sends it flying into the plasma screen! Briefly the screen shorts and goes into a technicolor fugue of electronic death as it falls overbackward and drags wires with it, crashing to the floor in an ugly noise.

Once Hiro takes in a deep breath and lets it out shakily, reaching over with exaggerated calm to eject the disc from the still-powered DVD player. He takes the disc. Then he takes the plastic case. And then with steely eyes, he bows to the fallen plasma screen. The memorial to Kaito Nakamura.

To survive in this world, we hold close to us those people on whom we depend.

Sparks jettison forth from the smashed television, lighting the darkened countenance of Hiro's face as he rises from the bow. Looking down at the screen, then around to the office, it means so many things. It means a business that has lost its most influential leader, it means a family that has lost its last parent, it means a transition of the sins of the father onto the son. It means change.

We trust in them our hopes, our fears. But what happens when trust is lost? Where do we then when things we believe in vanish before our eyes?

A window is opened in the office, letting fresh, cold air in through into the office from stories high above the great concrete streets of Tokyo. Hiro perches himself out on the sil, looking back at the office one last time, before plunging out into that yawning abyss, and rocketing away from the Yamagato building in a burst of speed, ascending high into the clouds, where only angels would tread.

When all seems lost, the future unknowable, our very existence in peril…

As the office falls into silence, and Hiro's form has vanished into the neon abyss of Tokyo's skyline, a single voice from the darkness of the room speaks in silent, solemn reverence, "Goodbye." The figure's words, swallowed in naught but a whisper, for he and the heavens alone to hear.

…all we can do is run.

Previously in this storyline…
This is the start of a Storyline…

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