Chapters 63 – 68
Kaida is still trying to politely turn down Raidon’s advances while she recovers bits and pieces of her memory. After their recent fiasco, Yuki attempts to teach Seiko self defense, but Seiko fails, so Kaida gives her some pepper spray. She gets it just in time to go on a private excursion, which she tells Kaida is a date. Kaida, in the meantime, is visited by a couple of former syndicate members, a computer hacker named Dozer, and a one-armed red-haired bomber called Pepper. The two former syndicate members tell Kaida that it was none other than Raidon who helped them gain their freedom. They then treat Kaida to a night out shopping and drinking.
Seiko’s “date” involves sneaking into Raidon’s house to discover what kind of man he truly is, determined not to allow anyone else to bias her. Alex becomes her grudging partner this evening. As they attempt to enter the back door, Alex and Seiko are intercepted by Raidon’s Doberman Hecate, and the man of the house soon follows. He invites them inside, and Seiko and Raidon have a seemingly candid discussion about Raidon’s history and Seiko’s mother. Raidon insists that he was a bad man who has turned over a new leaf. He asks Seiko and Alex about Fudo, but both deny having any contact with him. They apologize and then begin walking home.
In the wee hours of morning, Kaida, Pepper, and Dozer encounter Yuki in a joyous mood. She’s on the case of Toyo’s attacker and reveals to Kaida that Fudo was framed in this case. After Yuki leaves, Pepper questions the wisdom of being her friend, especially in light of certain dark secrets (Luke). She advises Kaida to give Raidon a chance and beware of Yuki. Shortly, they run across Raidon, and the four of them decide to have coffee at the cafe where Mike usually worked. Tristan is playing barista in Mike’s stead, and frets over Seiko’s mysterious “date.” Kaida calms his fears by telling him she’s carrying pepper spray. At the end of the evening, Raidon takes Kaida home and they thank each other for a lovely evening. He then waves at Yuki, who has been trailing them.
As they walk home, Seiko and Alex are ambushed by a pair of men wearing goggles and masks that protect them from the pepper spray. Ronnie (one of the men) injects them with some kind of sedative/anesthetic. While she’s unconscious Seiko recalls her mother’s history of returning home wounded and refusing to tell her father any details. The men tie Seiko and Alex to cinder blocks and toss them into the river, but they are rescued by Fudo and Mike, who were out fishing. Seiko wakes up in Fudo’s home, and the host treats them to hot chocolate and is acting generally hospitable and sane. Seiko tells him about Raidon’s questions, but Fudo doesn’t recall his former boss. Mike then drives Alex home, and Fudo takes Seiko. When they arrive at the bookstore, Seiko is missing her keys and too weak to yell, so Fudo tosses a stone at Kaida’s bedroom window. A heavy sleeper, Kaida doesn’t stir, and Yuki interrupts them before they can continue this dangerous venture. She deliberately pretends not to see Fudo and then escorts Seiko inside, where she helps her dry off and tells Seiko she seen through her lies about going swimming and deduced that she has been drugged and nearly drowned.
Raidon and Meredith meet the next morning to discuss their position. Because she believes they were the only leads to find Fudo, Meredith gets upset when Raidon reports that Alex and Seiko have been killed. However, he adds that Mike Thompson is a better lead and assigns Meredith the task of capturing Fudo alive.