"Verse I: New Blood": In the Hollywood Hills, Ame Okumura is wrapping up her weekly delivery with Jimu Kioke. Jim professes his disapproval of her sterile attitude, that they never talk any more. Ame courteously brushes off his concerns and concludes the
- Yutaka-san... In Ame, I see the future.
Appearing in "Verse I: New Blood"
- Ame Okumura (First appearance)
- Jason Blood
- Elphius Levi (First appearance; unnamed)
- Shoko Ishiguro (First appearance)
- Yutaka (First appearance)
- Jimu Kioke (First appearance; dies)
- Yutaka's Girlfriend (First appearance; unnamed)
- Kazuo (First appearance; unnamed)
- Kosaku (Only appearance; dies)
- Marquez (First appearance; unnamed; dies)
- Seamus (First appearance; unnamed; appears only as a corpse)
- Jimu's House
- Levi's Laboratory
- Ame's Condo
- Ishiguro Technologies
- Ishiguro's Office
- Four Seasons Hotel (Mentioned only)
- Rodeo Drive (Mentioned only)
- Ame's Mustang
- Kosaku's Nissan Z33 (Destroyed)
- Yutaka's Private Jet
- Clan Ishiguro Limousine
Synopsis for "Verse I: New Blood"
In the Hollywood Hills, Ame Okumura is wrapping up her weekly delivery with Jimu Kioke. Jim professes his disapproval of her sterile attitude, that they never talk any more. Ame courteously brushes off his concerns and concludes the transaction, looking at her watch before she leaves.
Ame's next duty is meeting the waka gashira, Yutaka and his current girlfriend as they arrive at the airport. In the limousine, Yutaka mentions how much Ame has grown in the last three years. She tells him she is now seventeen, which is met by a snort of condescension from Yutaka's girlfriend who mocks Ame's teddy bear buckled in beside her. Ame ignores her and checks her watch.
At the Clan Ishiguro Building, Ame - with her teddy in tow - leads Yutaka into Shoko Ishiguro's office, then leaves the two powerful men to talk. After the formalities and discussing the purpose of his visit, Yutaka raises the topic of Ishiguro returning to Japan to be an executive oyabun. Ishiguro is content leading his own clan, and sees the potential in L.A.'s global market that Yukata's conservative prudence views as risky. Yutaka changes the subject to Ame who he mentions is no longer the scrappy young speed addict Ishihuro took under his wing long ago. The old man defends her, claiming she is clean and strong, which is why he made her his Saiko-komon. This revelations shocks Yukata. He expresses that someone so young - and female - should not hold such an honourable position. But the octogenarian, occupying his days constructing puppets, sees the future in Ame.
With nightfall, Ame enters Ishiguro's office to request leave for the evening. Ishiguro, still working on his puppets, asks her how her day was. She recalls the "boring" events of her tedious schedule while tapping her foot impatiently. After one minute and thirteen seconds of small talk, Ishiguro dismisses his young advisor.
The second Ame returns to her condo she blasts J-punk on her stereo and dances wildly, tossing her work clothes to one side. She removes her conservative wig revealing her short punk hair underneath, purple with leopard prints. With her precious teddy, Kodomo-No Uta, Ame jumps into her yellow mustang and drives to a gathering of street racers. On arrival she is greeted by Kosaku who challengers her to keep up with his new Nissan Z33. Ame accepts without hesitation and the two speed furiously down a desolate road. They are neck and neck with each other until an inhuman creature runs into the street. Ame swerves to avoid the monster but Kosaku hits the mysterious figure head on, sending it flying and destroying the car. Kosaku's lifeless body lies draped in the wrecked vehicle and Ame calls the only person she can turn to. Ishiguro calms the distraught girl and requests the details of the situation. Ame explains the unlicensed import could lead the police to their clan. A laboured voice captures Ame's attention as she spies a horrifically injured man lying in the road. Ame kneels beside the broken stranger as he struggles to recite a rhyme. From behind her, Jason Blood emerges from a warehouse and heeds her not to touch him. His warning comes too late as an eldritch light erupts between the two persons and Ame cries out in pain. The event causes Ame to vomit and the stranger with a streak of white hair implores her to listen to him. Terrified, she tells him to keep away while returning to her mustang, launching herself far from the bizarre occurrences. Another man joins Blood, appealing that they need to leave immediately.
As soon as Ame pulls into her driveway she receives a call from Jim Kioke who demands to meet with Mr. Ishiguro. Ame reasons with him, that it is impossible for him to meet with the Clan's head, but she can be with him in an hour and a half. Ame joins Kioke, sitting down to take notes, as Jim vents his frustration of his position within the organisation. Ame calmly and confidently reminds Kioke how fortunate his situation is whilst simultaneously writing vigorously on her notepad. Jim demands to know what she's writing. Ame, confused, looks down at her pad and recites the verse scrawled on the page. Just before she reaches the end, Ame blacks out. When she wakes the room is a scene of carnage. All Kioke's men are slaughtered and Jim's head sits on the coffee table, a message carved into his torso;
HELL'S GREATEST TRAGEDIAN
IT'S ONLY THE FIRST
OF MANY A VERSE
YOUR NEW DEMON
- This book was first published on September 10, 2003.
- Jim Kioke's name is incorrectly spelled "Koike" once in this issue.
- Ame's racing nickname is, "Teddy Bear" most likely due to her inseparable bond with Kodomo-No Uta.
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