Takeshi was relieved. “So, you’re not mad at me?”
Hyuga shook his head. “Of course not,” he said, amused. “Why should I be? You have every right to wonder if I’m Aladdin or not. And, as you can see, I don’t really know.”
As if on command, the entire team smiled weirdly at him. “That’s all right, Captain,” they chorused.
However, Hyuga didn’t react with the expected cheer, his pleased expression fading. “We should be getting back,” he said weakly.
“Why, Hyuga san?” Takeshi asked. His concern was highly visible. “Does your head hurt? Please, tell me the truth!”
Hyuga looked at him, startled. Takeshi really was worried, but what could he say? “Don’t worry. It’s nothing serious. I just want to get away from here.” Well, that much is true.
Takeshi smiled faintly, satisfied. However, Wakashimazu wasn’t buying it. “You’re lying, Hyuga san,” he said seriously.
“You do it all the time,” his captain countered.
The team moved toward the front doors of the school. Even after the accident, the area was surprisingly quiet. Toho Gakuen itself seemed to be completely deserted. Almost completely deserted. And that was a big almost.
“Hey, who are those people?” Sorimachi spoke up.
Three uniformed people were standing at attention in front of the main entrance, wearing all green save for the bit of red on their arms. As the members of Toho approached them, the middle greenie started to move. Under his uniform, he was surprisingly little and blond. “You are not granted permission to enter!” he snapped. “Our leader forbids it!”
“Stop fooling around!!” Wakashimazu ordered immediately, stepping in front of his captain. His voice was tense with irritation. “Get out of our way, or I’ll be forced to waste my skill on you!”
The three greenies ignored him, unaware of the consequences of angering the normally placid goalie. They stood where they were, solemn expressions on their pre-pubescent faces.
“He said MOVE!!!” Takeshi joined in, leaving Hyuga’s side. “We need to go inside! Our captain needs to rest!”
“Captain?” the Howdy-Doody one to the right asked, his blue eyes devoid of emotion. “Do you speak of Kojiro Hyuga?”
“Yeah,” Takeshi told him, not quite getting the gist of the question.
The little blond guy threw his head back and let out a screechy laugh. It was the first sign of real life that any of them showed, and the members of Toho were appropriately startled. “Him?!” the creep cackled. “You call him your captain? Why, he is impure! Look at his skin, his eyes, his hair! He’s a Gypsy, I tell you, he’s a worthless thief!!!”
“Shut up, just shut up!!” Takeshi yelled back, practically foaming at the mouth. “Just who do you think you are?!"
The red-headed one regarded the boy with an air of superiority. “We are the sons of the Fuhrer, the ones who are burdened and blessed with the task of preserving the Aryan race. We are the Brothers of Fascism, the heirs to the--”
“Is that supposed to mean something to us?” Takeshi demanded, angry enough to spit. “Why do you have to pick on Hyuga san so much?!”
The blond one smirked. It was his turn to talk. The third greenie was obviously compensating for his buddies’ talkativeness by refusing to speak. He was nondescript. “He is not worthy of this world! His dark features betray his fellowship with Satan! He must be destroyed! All the Fuhrer’s children must be blond, blue-eyed pieces of cream pie!”
“You slime!!” Takeshi shrieked. “Hyuga san can’t help being the way he is! What gives you the right to say otherwise?!”
The blond twerp sneered to his “Brother”. “Could you expect any more?” he asked Takeshi. “We don’t want our children to turn out looking like him.”
“That’s it!!!!” Takeshi screamed, slamming his fist into little Mr. Germany’s jaw. “Hyuga san is beautiful! Beautiful! You just wish you had a body like his!!”
“Takeshi...” his captain protested weakly, his face bright red.
The little blond turnip’s head wobbled after the first punch, but his Brothers made no move to help him. They stood at attention like G. I. Joe dolls, making it hard to believe that any of them had ever spoken.
“What do you have to say for yourselves now?” Takeshi demanded.
The greenies gave no answer; the blond one who had been hit now joined them in frozen silence.
“Damn you! Answer me!” the frustrated boy shouted at them, clenching his hands into fists. “Cut it out!!”
Still no answer. The three greenies’ faces bore no expression, not even smiles of satisfaction at the upset they were causing.
“IDIOTS!!!” Takeshi trembled, seething with fury. Tears of contempt welled up in his eyes. “Damn you...” he repeated, his voice breaking on the last word.
“Calm down, Takeshi.” Wakashimazu patted the shaking boy on the back, concerned. “I’ll deal with this.”
With a battle cry reminiscent of good old Jimmy Lee’s, he jumpkicked the Howdy Doody greenie. The uniformed boy’s nose exploded in a spray of blood as soon as Wakashimazu made contact, but he remained at stiff attention, not even moving to stop the flow of dark fluid spilling over the front of his shirt.
“Idiot!!!” Wakashimazu cursed, his temper flaring. “We’ll see how long you can stay like that!!” His teammates stood spellbound as he proceeded to demonstrate just how much karate he had practiced during the off-season. However, his attacks drew little response from the ugly red-headed Nazi boy, and, exhausted from long minutes of one-sided fighting, Wakashimazu pulled back, his spectacular hair a mess. “Yyyyouuuuu....” he gasped.
“They’re not going to move,” Sorimachi announced. “We might as well go by them.”
“Good idea,” a nameless player agreed. “No point in wasting the rest of the day.”
The entire team, with the exception of Wakashimazu, who was still catching his breath, began to shift toward the entrance. As soon as they reached the double doors the greenies sprang to life, throwing themselves in Toho’s path.
“None shall pass!!” the blond one shrieked.
“You’ve got a lot of nerve!” Sorimachi retorted. “Let’s kill them, guys!”
“Right!!” the others chorused. Like a tidal wave they swept forward and began to beat up the greenies viciously, using techniques they obviously picked up from watching the Dragons in action. Their opponents didn’t cry out once despite the terrible punishment they were taking; they didn’t even defend themselves.
After a short while the battle broke up--certain people weren’t cooperating.
“I’m exhausted,” Sorimachi panted, releasing Blond Greenie’s throat and letting him drop to the pavement.
“Yeah, this is no fun,” his nondescript friend agreed.
The blond guy, who was apparently the spokesman of the trio, laughed at this despite his injuries. “You are defeated,” he stated. “We are eternal!!!” He began to cackle, his mouth taking up more than three quarters of his face.
Takeshi stepped forward, ready to resume the fight. “Why, you...”
“Stop!!” a voice ordered.
Takeshi turned around, surprised. “Hyuga san!!” he exclaimed.
Hyuga stood solemnly among the scattered players; he had remained silent throughout the entire ordeal. The late afternoon sun cast shadows that made him seem more stone than flesh.
“Hyuga san, are you all right?” Takeshi asked anxiously, rushing to his captain’s side. “Did those weirdos hurt you?”
“Takeshi...everybody...” Hyuga began, “let me deal with this. These people want nothing from you. I have to deal with this alone.”
“But...Hyuga san...” Takeshi protested, his eyes filling with tears.
Hyuga ignored him and took a step toward the greenies, a stern expression on his face. They exchanged sneers. The time was here. Once they eliminated the impure one, Schneider would love them!
Hyuga said nothing, reaching into the bag he had retrieved from Takeshi. The greenies watched in confusion as he felt around in it for awhile and pulled out a cellular phone. He dialed a number and waited, not throwing a single glance in his opponents’ direction.
“Your mortician?” Blond Greenie snickered.
Hyuga held a finger up to his lips, gesturing for the young Nazi to be quiet. “Hello, police?” he said into the phone. “I’d like to report an obstruction of the peace.” He didn’t speak again for several minutes, and by the time the call was finished the three greenies were getting so anxious that they actually started to move.
Finally, Hyuga put the phone back into his bag. “Five minutes, at the most,” he said emotionlessly, turning to his teammates. “Shall we go?”
Takeshi shook his head, slowly regaining his composure. “I think it’s best if we stay until the police come, Hyuga san. Those guys might try to get away.”
In the distance, a high-pitched sound could be faintly heard. It gradually grew louder and louder until a small car was seen speeding toward the school. It stopped abruptly, and a uniformed man came out followed by his female partner. “All right, kids, let’s go down to the station,” the first officer said coldly. “No funny stuff. Just get in the car.”
The blond greenie began to scream. “You can’t do this to us! We are proud members of the new Aryan generation!” He broke into a run, signaling for his buddies to follow. They didn’t make it very far.
“Fools!” Howdy Doody spat out, struggling in Officer #1’s grip. “Are you not ashamed that you are helping unholy slime?” His speech ended when he was shoved into the squad car along with his nondescript friend.
The female officer picked up the little blond greenie and slung him over her shoulder like a sack of laundry. Her captive thrashed wildly. “You cannot take me by force!!” he said dramatically. “I am a physically and mentally flawless being in the Fuhrer’s tradition! You will see what I mean!”
“Shut up, kid.” She tossed him roughly into the backseat. Before he made it all the way in, he grabbed onto the top of the car and braced his feet against the door frame. He was safe!
Not for long. Blond Greenie let out a choked cry as a nightstick cracked against his head. “Cowards!!!” he screamed just before slumping to the pavement.
Officer #1 picked up the boy by the scruff of his neck and tossed him into the squad car, where he lay sprawled across the seat. “Floor it,” he instructed his partner once they were both seated. “As soon as we drop these three punks in a holding tank, let’s take an early break and stop for doughnuts.”
“I like the way you talk,” his partner grinned. “Thanks for your help, kids!” she called out the window as the car sped away.
“No problem, Officer!” Takeshi waved to the departing squad car. Once the police were out of sight, he turned to Hyuga, worried. “What now, Hyuga san?” he asked.
“That’s all for today, Takeshi,” his captain answered, gesturing for him to follow. “Let’s go home.”
Takeshi was confused. “Uh...okay...but what about...” He paused to scratch his head. “Never mind.” With a final mystified look, he walked away.
“See you tomorrow, Hyuga san,” Wakashimazu said, an odd expression on his face. “Take care of yourself.”
As the members of Toho slowly dispersed, Hyuga watched with eyes wide enough to dominate more than half his face. “We still have to practice!” he called feebly. “That’s not what I meant!”Part Thirteen