Joe stepped out of the auto store and noticed the unusually large crowd gathered by the window of the small appliance store across the street. Eyes narrowing behind his sunglasses, he remembered the new large-screen TV the employees had put in the window during the grand opening yesterday. He went over and pushed his way to the front of the crowd.
Some kind of news broadcast. A thought hit him. I hope they didn't...
On the screen were Kamo and Ken, the latter in full Gatchaman rig. Joe groaned to himself.
"..and so," Kamo was saying, "We ask your help in finding a bone marrow donor for Gatchaman, who has contracted leukemia in the service of this planet.”
Joe mentally groaned again. They SAID they weren't going to go public with that! That they hey didn't want the remaining Galactor factions to get any ideas! I should have known…
"You do not need to do anything special: please do not write the ISO or the Science Ninjas. Simply go to your local hospital or blood bank, state your purpose, and you will be tested for donation suitability and compatibility. Most places will do appointments as well as walk-ins.
"Copies of all results will be sent to the ISO's Medical branch. From there, a search for a compatible donor for the Eagle."
"And remember, when you donate, that you aren't just helping me. You're also helping everyone that needs new bone marrow to fight disease," Ken added, standing straight with his wings flowing around him. All stern-but-sympathetic, brave in the grip of a deadly disease, he just dripped with noble martyrdom.
Joe rolled his eyes as he worked his way to the edge of the crowd. Why is he such a... Then he felt the slightest twitch at his pocket.
Spinning, Joe almost managed to grab the tall thief that had picked his pocket. He lunged away, but Joe was right on top of him. The pickpocket dodged like a rabbit and took off. Joe sprinted after him.
Why that #$%*) @!?$$$~!!! When I get my hands on him--!
The guy ducked into an alley. Turning the corner, Joe saw him vault up a pile of boxes and over a wall into the next street. Hot on his heels, Joe followed.
Further obstacles over the next ten minutes, coupled with the thief's apparent ability to think two steps ahead, caused Joe's anger partially replaced by amazement. 'Course, being able to pick my pocket and then get away from me says this creep's good. But that doesn't mean this guy's not going down!
Ahead, the thief paused for a brief second, glancing left to right. Condor cranked up the cyborg speed another two notches the instant he saw the pickpocket stop and tackled him to the ground.
Joe grabbed his wallet back, and got surprise number one. Despite being almost the same height as him, the thief was a woman -with a strong left hook.
After knocking her flat, her sunglasses fell off -and gave Joe surprise number two.
Looking up at him was a younger and slightly more delicate version of a face he knew all too well, right down to the sky-blue eyes, brown hair and sweet face.