THE ANIME-MAZING RACE 3

If anything defined scary and cute, this was it…

* * * *

Welcome to another round up of ‘which branch has the most deadliest sharpshooters in an anime-mazing race fic?’ Gunsmith Cats respected her European counterparts in Noir, but now it’s time for their chibi counterparts to take the reigns in one of the most heart-suffering series in recent years.

Gunslinger Girl is not for everyone. It can be very depressing, that’s for sure. And the story is slow. However, in it’s 13 episodes, it reveals a touching nature, a deep emotion that you route for, and perhaps in it’s shorter span, made me enjoy it even more so than the fantasic Noir, because there wasn’t much opportunity for filler, and I guess that with the girls, you’ve got a variety of personalities which makes them more interesting than Team Noir (though I dunno if they could beat Minnie May and Rally, they rule).

So, let’s see what these trained child killers make of Mirielle, Kirika…and the other teams as well of course…

*Starts singing the excellent opening theme song to GSG – it’s in English as well*

* * * *

(We cut to a newly made camp site, where whilst there is no summer home, we have a very cramped cabin where Ursula sighs, as visitors aren’t easy to come by nowadays…)

Ursula: Welcome to the pit stop, this is the mandatory rest period for the remaining teams, where they will eat…

(Shot of Kiki coming in and providing her delivery service, now that all the teams have their items back, no hard feelings, besides, the warm pies and bread are gleefully wolfed by all the teams, supplimented by a few fish caught by Hale and some rice prepared by Ursula…)

Ursula: …sleep…

(Most of them made it for early morning, so they are just catching bits of a nap here, not easy with the light shining in their eyes. It’s easier for those natural ‘sleepers’ like Weda and Naruto though…)

Ursula: …and mingle with other teams.

(Shot of Akari looking a bit upset after Oshige and Wakayoji got eliminated. Riku tries to cheer her up, but even Hiroyuki has a problem getting a reaction out of the girl. Naruto also looks guilty, and seems wanting to speak, but Sasuke doesn’t let him. Pity is for the weak and all that…)

Ursula: 12 hours ago, teams arrived here starting from one team, so 12 hours later, those teams will leave depending when they arrived.

(Shot of the wide awake Mirielle and Kirika, bishoujo assassins about to do what they do best, shoot ahead in the dark…)

Ursula: Mirielle and Kirika arrived here at 8.32am….so they will leave at 8.32pm…

8.32pm

MIRIELLE/KIRIKA – 1ST PLACE

Ursula: …let the Gunslinger Girl leg begin!

(The assassins nod, as Kiki, delivery girl and all, hands over the clue to the assassins. Mirielle takes it and opens it.)

Mirielle: Head over to the Capo Dichno Airport, in Italy.

(Mirielle twinges…)

Mirielle: Italy huh?

(Kirika puts a hand on her shoulder)

Kirika: It’s O.K right?

Mirielle: (sighs) I guess…

* * * *

(Whilst Mirielle’s fears of Italy are well-founded, inside Italy we have some other scary assassin girls. Though you wouldn’t think it if you saw them at first glance…to start with, we see Jose, the handler or fratello (brother) of main character Henrietta, removes his sunglasses and smile. It’s rare that he’s away from Henrietta, but for today, it’s an exception…)

Jose: Teams must make it to the Capo Dichno airport, where they will learn their next clue and whereabouts. As we’ve travelled around Italy many times, the teams will be doing the same thing in this leg, so they’d best be prepared.

* * * *

(After Eve changes the currency to lira with a bit of magic (and Lillith grumbling about how her sisters got all the good witch genes) Kirika and Mirielle begin to run, wondering if there is an airport around in this place…)

Kirika: Hearing where the leg was, it wasn’t a good start. But Mirielle is the toughest person that I know, so I know she can handle it. We’re not heading to Sicily I hope though…

(…as Chromus awaits a gun to his head…)

Tonbu: Eh? Airport?

Mirielle: Right…

Tonbu: (shrugging) Sorry, I’ve always believed in flying by my own ways, rather than others…

Mirielle: Huh?

Kirika: Let’s just go…

(Mirielle looks a bit lost, but decides to see if they can find their way there…)

Mirielle: We’ve got 20 minutes on second place, we best make use of it…because my familiarity with old-school Germany isn’t exactly one hundred percent…

* * * *

8.56PM

AKARI/HIROYUKI – CHILDHOOD FRIENDS

(The To Heart duo get their stuff together, thank Ursula and get their clue. And they are just as stumped…)

 

Akari: Ursula-san, where the airport?

Ursula: Airport? Don’t like those things…

(…as is Ursula…)

Akari: Let’s go Hiroyuki-chan…

(Hiroyuki and Akari run off into the night…)

Hiroyuki: We knew what we had to do – I don’t know where the assassins went, but good riddance. They are too strong, and they intimidate everyone here, but we know compared to them, we are out of our depth. We need every advantage that we can get…and with our only real help Oshige and Wakayoji now gone, we are all alone…

(The childhood friends head off, towards existence…and whatever…)

* * * *

8.58am

KORIKO EAST GERMAN AIRPORT (HEIDENSCHLIEG)

(It took a bit of luck, but thanks to the tram service, and a bit of prodding on the late night staff, Mirielle and Kirika have managed to make it to the KEGA, their best place to try and catch the next flight…)

(…now they have to get to Italy…)

Kirika: So we have to get to this Capo Dichno there?

Mirielle: Sure…

Kirika: What’s wrong…

Mirielle: I’m familiar with the name…and if I think it is where it is…I’m not looking forward to it.

Kirika: Why?

 

* * * *

(We cut over to the appropriately named Angelica – the last of the Gunslinger Girls we meet in the series…well…I don’t count Elsa…as she’s not on active duty, we can use her for this introduction. She has lush long black hair, a timid but sweet nature, and like the others, can kick ass as well as anyone. But she’s been suffering recently, and I don’t want to say too much more…)

Angelica: Teams must fly over to Sicily and get the next clue from the summer home where Henrietta-chan and Jose-san went to during Elsa’s investigation. It’s located in Palermo, south side under the name Vespers, named after the revolt of Aragon in 1284…

(…and not after an organisation where another android girl which came close to being used in AR3…Mahoro not being in AR3 is unacceptable!)

Angelica: …teams will get their next clue here.

* * * *

(After ‘Ange’ explains all, Mirielle and Kirika have to book a flight to Capo Dichno… Sicily. Mirielle’s not exactly flavour of the month there but hopefully they’ll avoid the problems that Jessie had during the Scrapped Princess leg of AR2.)

Mirielle: O.K, Italian borders…Sicily…

Kirika: That way…

(They notice a borders terminal for Holland, so around that direction, looking for Italian connections…but no luck. Kirika decides to be more assertive and asks someone…and yes, this is my second cameo that I have to put in…)

????: Hai, it should be down there!

Kirika: Thank you.

Mirielle: You speak Japanese very well…

????: As do you!

(The young man leaves as Mirielle smiles…)

Mirielle: Cute kid…

(The kid is marked by 4 girls, a long haired Naru lookalike, a Yamato nadesico esque girl, a Motoko-esque swordswoman and a blue haired Shinobu bookgirl…)

Asuna: Negi-bozu, we’re tired! When are we getting to the terminal to Wales?

Negi: Asuna-san, it’s O.K, we can sleep on the plane…

Konoka: Well, I can’t wait to meet Negi-kun’s family, eh Set-chan?

Setsuna: Um…that’s right Konoko-ojou-sama…but please…

Konoka: Nani?

Setsuna: Could…you…wear…something a little less extravagent?

Konoka: Hmmm…why?

(Konoka decked in a beautiful kimono is making Setsuna either extremely embarrassed…or extremely hot in the face…open to interpretation of course. Lastly…)

Nodoka: M-M-Meeting N-N-Negi-sensei’s f-f-family…a-a-am I worthy to be there…with the f-f-family?

(All four hold their pactio cards, and now back with the plot!!!)

Mirielle: It’s not bad…next plane at 9.15pm, hopefully we’ll be there before anyone else can make it.

Kirika: Good work Mirielle.

Mirielle: Thank the kid – just something magical about him as well – this magic thing may be good I guess…

(Kirika smiles)

Kirika: Hai.

* * * *

9.05pm

(Back with Ursula, our next team take off…)

Hale: Let’s move mom!

Weda: Awww…and I wanted a late night beer with Ursula…

(The mother and son begin running…)

Weda: It’s always fun to do well, but the fact that we are doing so well with our combined abilities makes it even better. I just want us to win now, is that so much to ask?

(Hale and Weda begin to jog into the late German night…as 10 minutes later, a successful board onto a plane heading to Mirielle’s old stomping grounds…)

* * * *

9.16am

(…and a minute after that, team four go in.)

Shannon: Let’s catch up.

Racquel: Right!

SHANNON/RACQUEL – STEPSIBLINGS – 4TH PLACE

Shannon: The magic of us doing well went down after that leg. It felt like we would score an advantage with the broom challenge, and then the road block ruined everything. It shows we can never be too prepared, and have to be careful. We are closer than siblings, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make mistakes. Far from it…

(Shannon and Racquel get helpful directions from Ursula, despite hearing slightly from Hiroyuki and Akari. As they leave, Shannon glances in the direction of a tree, snorts and runs off.)

(Above him, Sasuke glares back…)

* * * *

9.30pm

(No-one has made it to the airport yet, so we join Riku and Risa warming up for a jog….well, O.K, just Riku.)

Riku: Come on sis!

Risa: Hai…where’s the nearest train when you need it?

Riku: Come on, a little running never hurt you…

Risa: It dang well came close when we swopped places…

Riku: And you think I wanted to wear that apron?!

RIKU/RISA – TWIN SISTERS – 5TH PLACE

Risa: We slowed down badly in that leg, and whilst we’ve still got an hour advantage over those ninja boys, considering how fast they move and how quickly this game changes, we don’t want to take that risk…

(The Haradas run off, and Riku hopes that Risa can manage a bit more than a few hundred metres this time…)

* * * *

9.35pm

KORIKO EAST GERMAN AIRPORT (HEIDENSCHLIEG)

(Hiroyuki and Akari are the first duo to make it, after wiping off a bit of sweat and for Akari in particular to recover her breath…)

Akari: Anyway, we need to find out how to get to Italy…so…

Hiroyuki: …but where?

(Akari and Hiroyuki aren’t quite on their Italian geographical borders, and unlike Mirielle, they are certainly not familiar with Capo Dichno…so it’s time to do some research…)

Hiroyuki: …and it’s all in German. I hope Akari is having better luck…

(Akari isn’t…because whilst Hiroyuki can’t read German…Akari (shock) can’t speak German! Baka-(Hiro)yuki…)

(By the time Hale and Weda arrive at 9.42pm, the two members of To Heart are running in circles looking for connections and failing miserably…)

Weda: Hee…looks like we’ve got to play on someone else’s misfortune…

Hale: Isn’t that what you always do?

Weda: Hush baka-boy…

(Will Hale’s suffering ever end? Doubtful, but for now, his mom’s keen senses keep them in touch with the leaders…)

(…or so they thought…)

Hiroyuki: So, this is in…(bad English)…Si-cily?

Italian Attendant: (in English) Yes sir. Based in Sicily, there are some planes that travel down there on the hour, you need to go in that direction…

(Hiroyuki listens (or tries to) but he’s spotted Hale and Weda. He tries to remain out of sight, but Weda is like a pokute-hunter searching for it’s prey. Needless to say, Hiroyuki is no match for Weda when it comes to hunting, so whilst Hiroyuki tries to lose her, she keeps in distance.)

(Finally, he gives up and grabs Akari’s hand (still trying to find somewhere) and points down there.)

Hiroyuki: Damn.

Weda: Heh heh.

(Hiroyuki and Akari wait in clue to book a flight to Capo Dichno Airport, based in Sicily. Hale and Weda have hitched along for the ride whether they like it or not…)

* * * *

9.51pm

Shannon: And here we go…

SHANNON/RACQUEL – STEPSIBLINGS – 4TH PLACE

Racquel: …again?

Shannon: Yes, again.

Racquel: Well, what do we do?

Shannon: Well…

(Shannon scans around, trying to see if anyone can help them. With Team Heart and Team Jungle out of sight, they are unsure what the heck they are supposed to do…)

Racquel: We have to find an Airport, based in Italy…and it’s coming close to the tenth hour…

Shannon: Well, what do we do? Run around aimlessly and hope for the best?

(Racquel thinks for a moment…)

Racquel: Yep, that has always worked in the past!

(Racquel begins running as Shannon has a face which screamed ‘WTF…’)

Shannon: It’s official, my life is over.

(With nothing else to do, Shannon just follows his stepsister…)

Shannon: We know that sometimes things can go wrong going on hunches. However, we went strong, and hoped for the best…

* * * *

10.00pm

Hiroyuki: …that was sneaky…

Weda: Was it?

Hiroyuki: You saw us and just followed us…

Weda: Sorry kid, but we’ll take…and use…any advantage, and even disadvantage we can…

Hiroyuki: Still…

Akari: Hiroyuki-chan…

Weda: See, Akari-chan doesn’t mind!

(In truth, Akari isn’t too happy, and to be fair, Hale looks a little guilty, but both teams are on track now to head to Sicily…)

(…and see two certain cast offs from Dungeons and Dragons searching frantically through the crowd…)

Hiroyuki: Truce for a moment?

Weda: I’m game.

(Both of them grab their respective partners, and begin the tonzura dance…i.e, moving like heck…Shannon and Racquel pass by them, asking random people (and hoping to bump into someone who can speak their language, and failing miserably…) trying to accent the words ‘Capo Dichno’ or ‘Italy’….)

* * * *

10.15pm

Weda: …you are two lucky sons of guns.

(That was what Shannon and Racquel wanted to hear…)

Shannon: It was like that guy thought I was threatening him, and then security came along, and they got someone who spoke Japanese, and then all of a sudden, we’re here….

Racquel: It was very nice of them wasn’t it?

Hiroyuki: I think they just wanted you guys out of the country…

(The intercom shouts overhead that the 10.15 plane to Capo Dichno, Sicily have now left…)

(…and that was the last thing that two twin sisters wanted to hear…)

Riku: (just after reading the clue) That didn’t say what I thought it said right…

Risa: If it did, pinch me…because I didn’t want to hear it…

Riku: Now what?

Risa: Sleep?

Riku: Nice try…

Risa: Let’s just find the next plane…

Riku: Where do we have to go anyway?

Risa: Beats me…

(Riku neglects to try that on her own sister, and begins researching. Risa, after a few moments yawning, joins her sister, as they look for flights to Capo Dichno…)

Riku: That was a bad break, and now we are playing catch up…we don’t know if any other teams missed the flight, but I get this horrible feeling that for the first time…we’re in trouble. We’ve still got decent time on the ninjas, but knowing how fast they are, and how late it’s getting for flights, we’re worried…

(The girls manage to get some connection flights, but the next non stop is an hour away, whilst the next flight there is in 45 minutes. Riku and Risa nervously realise they may need to contemplate something…)

* * * *

10.22pm

URSULA’S CABIN

Naruto: ‘Bout time…

Sasuke: Let’s just hurry…

NARUTO/SASUKE – RIVALS – LAST PLACE

Naruto: This isn’t how things are supposed to happen…how the heck am I supposed to be Hokage if we’re trailing guys like this? We need to catch up and fast!!!

(AIRPORT)

Riku: …it just works out faster sis. Plus we are still ahead of Naruto and Sasuke…

Risa: …ignoring the fact that they out speed us by…what? A million?

(Riku pauses…)

Riku: You like raining on my parade don’t you?

Risa: Just doing my job as the younger sister…

* * * *

(Teams can’t relax on the planes because it’s mostly going to be a short trip from Germany to Italy – as Eve now relaxes by controlling the fabrics of time to make sure instead of old-school East Germany, they get to new school Rome…)

(…and Lillith pouts.)

Lillith: Y’know, the amount of trouble you did that to avoid me finding you…why couldn’t you have been a little more co-operative then?

(Eve just smiles as Lillith fumes…)

Lillith: You are doing this to piss me off aren’t you?

(Eve just smiles…that action alone is enough to see if she can forward a message to Kogechibi to blow stuff up…she needs some respite…)

* * * *

10.57pm

Naruto: …so we’re here…

(Sasuke and Naruto have arrived at the airport, and as usual (well for Naruto at least), look completely confused and out of their depth…)

Naruto: …so now what?

Sasuke: We find where the hell we have to go first…

(Naruto and Sasuke begin the tonzura as they begin rushing to find their tickets, as out of the corner of her eye, Risa spots them as she is holding their tickets…)

Risa: No…sis…hide…

(A little bit of movement however is all that is needed for Sasuke’s acute senses to take into sight, as he spots Risa moving away, trying to drag Riku away. Sasuke smiles.)

Sasuke: We’re not beat yet…so where did they go to get the tickets?

Naruto: Damn…can you use your Sharingan?

Sasuke: Looks where your Kage Bushin got us…

Naruto: You mean you can’t even use that?

Sasuke: No, and I don’t even a Sharingan, Kage Bushin, Kage Mune, Byaguran or any form of Jutsu could help you out anyway for the one thing you lack most of all…

Naruto: Hmm, what’s that?

Sasuke: Common sense.

(Sasuke calmly turns around and asks a passing tourist about how to get to Capo…who points out about the nearby terminals and where to look for in leaflets. They get lucky as he speaks Japanese, as Sasuke smiles, whilst the guy looks a bit hot and bothered and mutters something about ‘This Project R work is tough…’ J )

Naruto: Sa-su-ke…

Sasuke: Let’s go…dunce.

(The steam of Naruto’s head explodes, but Sasuke launches into investigation, as the ninjas search for Capo Dichno Airport…as the Haradas try in vain to avoid going near the terminal where they are waiting…Sasuke hovers around that area after seeing them, as after a few minutes negotation, the two find the right area.)

Sasuke: Naruto is a good fighter, but he needs to learn that sometimes emotions aren’t the biggest thing that can let you down…sometimes the mind can be the worst enemy and best friend…

(Whilst we’ll leave the ironic comment about emotions (*coughsItachicoughs*) alone…we’ll fast forward…)

* * * *

11.05pm

Naruto: (all smiles again) Ahem…sorry girls…

Risa: (Pouting) It’s O.K…

Riku: Sis, I know it sucks but that’s what this is about…

Sasuke: See on the plane…

Naruto: Yeah, eat our dust!

Riku: He’s dead.

Risa: Can I curse him first?

Riku: (cracks knuckles) Nah…I’ll soften him up first.

Risa: O.K!

Naruto: Hey w-w-wait, I was only joking! Y-you can’t use violence on another contestant!

Riku: Well, we’ll just use the fast forward after snapping your jaw O.K?

Naruto: No fair!!!

Sasuke: *sighs* As always…Naruto has problems with girls…*sighs again*…at least they aren’t chasing after me…

(When 11.15pm hits, the two last place teams get in the plane, worrying about the fact that a) they are last and b) neither of them have used the Fast Forward. Riku and Risa know they can’t beat Naruto and Sasuke in a foot race, so just have to hope…)

* * * *

11.34pm

(Meanwhile, boarding Capo Dichno…)

CAPO DICHNO AIRPORT, SICILY

(…touching down with a decent lead are the team probably the most suited to this leg…)

Mirielle: Back on old stomping grounds…

Kirika: …just not back on bad terms I hope…

Mirielle: …or memories…

MIRIELLE/KIRIKA – WORKING PARTNERS – 1ST PLACE

Mirielle: So, where to go?

(Shot of just ahead where outside the airport, a lot of black cabs and even a limo service is available ahead.)

Mirielle: Black…

Kirika: Let’s not say anything…

Mirielle: Are we driving?

(They move ahead, and notice the route marker ahead. This time without the Lillith inspired picture, it’s a beautiful hand-written note written by Ange as they look at it…)

Mirielle: O.K, so we’ve got to head to Palermo – let’s lead the way.

Kirika: Right…

(Mirielle’s knowledge of Sicily makes their advantage even bigger, as they quickly search for a hired vehicle with some kind of message. When they don’t see that, they realise they have to get a black cab. Mirielle’s other obvious advantage comes in, as she speaks perfect Italian to the driver to get to Palermo. Kirika nods gently as Mirielle hops in as the blonde Causcian sighs…)

Mirielle: I half expected someone to glare at me or open fire…

Kirika: Something is different about this place…

Mirielle: Those girls probably had something to do with it…

* * * *

11.59PM

(Arriving at Palermo, the duo now have to search for an off-shore mansion, one owned by Jose’s father. It would have been difficult but there is a picture of the mansion attached to their clue. Mirielle’s knowledge of Sicily is also an advantage, as she can pretty much vouch where a majority of the mansions are…she keeps the cab driver waiting after asking in town.)

Mirielle: Right, it’s down a winding round off the Biniri De Piasso cliff range…just look for the place with a huge white spiraling staircase…

Kirika: How many of them can there be?

Mirielle: Please don’t ask…

(After relaying the instructions to the less than capable driver (Mirielle and Kirika can’t have everything…sadly…) they begin to move, knowing that they still have a good lead, but they don’t know how long it will last…)

* * * *

12.03PM

(The duo manage to navigate well, as the night skies bring forth a calm breeze, as the bishoujo assassins escape the taxi, and advise to stay there for the moment. They walk around this rather elite area of Sicily, before noticing the long staircase…with a red and yellow line…)

Mirielle: (very nearly sweatdropping) This must be the place…

Kirika: Just a hunch.

(The girls break through the line and knock on the door of the large mansion. After a few moments, a woman exits.)

Elenora: Ah, you must be here for those clues…just a minutes…(calls)…Pietro, two of those racers are here…

Pietro: (calling back) Just tell them the clues round the back…

Elenora: Sorry, we’ve been looking after this place…

Mirielle: It’s O.K, it’s around the back…

Pietro: (calling) Inside the mailbox…

(The two girls nod and thanks the ‘detectives’ as they scoot round the back. Mirielle spots the mailbox as she opens it up, with some unopened letters. Mirielle takes one and opens it…)

Mirielle: Detour…Girl or Gun.

* * * *

(To introduce this problematic detour, we see a girl relaxing at a lake. It’s late, but she seems content to do nothing. She had similar hair to Angelica, but the big defining points of this girl’s looks is her large glasses. This is Claes’, the only GSG without a fratello thanks to tragic circumstances. She explains this detour.)

Claes: Teams must choose between Girl and Gun. Both have their own pros and cons but the team must choose which is most suited to them. In Girl, they have to get these…

(She removes her glasses…)

Claes: …with these on, I’m considered a good girl. Without them, I’m…well…the point is, the teams have to put these glasses on me…trust me, it’s not an easy task. Plus they have to travel here to the Piemonte Clearwater Lake.

(Elsewhere, in a southside Military outfit, an elder man is there, looking stoic.)

Claes: (continuing) In Gun, teams must be supervised in one of our hunting spots so to speak in Napoli – Special Service Branch. They must fix 5 different weapons up together under supervision from Jean, our illustrious leader and the handler of Rico. He is very strict and won’t take no for an answer…but he won’t hit you…

(Claes does a small Ruri smile…)

Claes: …at least compared to me…

* * * *

Mirielle: Now what?

Kirika: Piemonte or Napoli…well, we can fight and we can fix guns up in record time…

Mirielle: But Piemonte is closer.

(She points ahead.)

Mirielle: If we can take the Reggio Di Calabrio ferry, we can be there in a couple of hours, rather than navigate around via plane…and hope that no-one can see what we have to do.

Kirika: So…

Mirielle: Let’s see if we can get on one before they shut up shop…

(The girls nod as their taxi driver groans knowing he has to travel even more…)

Kirika: Mirielle is using one of her old fears to her advantage – her knowledge of Sicily. I know she can hold herself together, it’s just I have to worry…she is the only person I can know in my life…

* * * *

12.20AM

(Shot of the ferry as neon lights flash from a distance as Mirielle and Kirika continue their advantage with a relaxing Venetian ferry…they know they’ll have to be prepared for the worst when they take ‘Girl’ but for now, we see Mirielle enjoying some red wine as the two actually talk about the game…)

Mirielle: Has it changed you?

Kirika: I don’t think so…some things have made me unsure what to believe in…but the various trips make for diverse cultures.

Mirielle: I know…this is certainly not the Sicily I know…I can smell Pupa perfume everywhere, and enjoying fine wine…maybe we should become professional racers instead?

Kirika: (smiles) Well, if we need to avoid the remain traces of the Soldats, we’re always racing.

Mirielle: (chuckles) I guess you are right. Ah well…cheers.

(Kirika (who doesn’t drink, she’s under 20 (Japanese drinking age)) toasts her grape juice (who does she think she is, Lumiere from Kiddy Grade? J ) as the assasins share a rare moment of quiet and prosperity…)

* * * *

12.39PM – CAPO DICHNO AIRPORT

(Flying in next, we have two childhood friends, a mother and son and two stepsiblings who take the short step off the plane to become involved in mindless hectic racing…)

Hiroyuki: …now what?

Racquel: There!

Weda: Race ya!

(Racquel spots the Ange inspired route marker as they go ahead,Hale and Weda just behind, as Akari lags a bit behind as Hiroyuki tries to keep up. Shannon looks at the clue…)

Shannon: I think this is written with someone who actually has a soul…

(Ironic comment based on an android-esque girl, Shannon looks and sees their ride.)

Shannon: Late night and into the night…

Racquel: Let’s get that funny money out…

(Hale and Weda quickly look through it as Shannon and Racquel begin moving. Realising they have to do some travelling, they following in the direction without paying much attention to the clue for the moment. Hiroyuki and Akari aren’t that far behind, as after realising they have to head to the capital, they get to the cabs…)

(…which all the teams have problems in trying to communicate – because quite unlike Mirielle, speaking Italian isn’t quite high on either teams agenda. After a few accented ‘Palermos’ they managed to convince the drivers where to go, Racquel and Shannon still ahead…but none of the teams sure about where to go exactly, and again, Mirielle’s advantage is their disadvantage…)

Shannon: So where do we go whilst we are there?

Racquel: We need to find a summer home.

Shannon: How hard can that be?

Racquel: Ummm…

Shannon: I’ll shut up now.

(Nearby..)

Hale (in English) Need to go to…(points to photo)…this place…in Palermos..

(The driver seems to be completely confused, but drives off to avoid the scary ladies glance…)

(Akari and Hiroyuki aren’t fairing much better either, as they hope their slight advantage of being on Serika’s summer home and Lemmy’s American style home can help them out a bit, they just know it’s on the beach side…which isn’t helpful on Sicily to say the least…so they just become a blindfolded team into the abyss…)

(…a real abyss of darkness, definitely much more suited to the ladies of Noir than the duo from To Heart…)

* * * *

1.00AM

(When the bell tolls one, they are lost inside the depths of darkness of Palermo, as most of the capital is asleep, but for the average Anime racer, sleep is for the weak…though Akari and Hale are fading fast.)

(And it’s worse when you are searching for a mansion that they don’t have a clue about, and with their Japanese challenged drivers not being very helpful, they are resorting to playing charades…)

Akari: (in English) B-beach? Big house…

(…with very little success. Even with the picture on the photograph, none of the teams seem to be having much luck. Racquel however realises outside the sea and on top of the cliff face are some nice looking houses. On a hunch, she points them out to Shannon, who shrugs, and with nothing else better to do, points in that direction…)

(…after a while of ‘convincing’ (Hiroyuki is certain he was trying to swindle them out of more money by pretending not to know what Akari was talking about) the driver understands where they want to go and begin their trip to the seaside, but no admiring of swimsuits today Hiroyuki…)

(…Hale and Weda drag slightly behind as they seem to have a driver with the vocabulary of Chi and the intelligence of the Bonkuras, but like before, decide to trail Hiroyuki and Akari (Akari’s red hair is hard to miss even in a late night taxi)…let’s see if luck holds out for them…)

* * * *

1.26am

(It’s Shannon and Racquel who finally get their first, confused as heck as one can expect, but tiredness makes it worse. The stepsiblings begin their long trek up the steps, and pray that they don’t have to wait any longer…)

OFF-SHORE JOSE-OTOSAN HOME

Shannon: I hate to quote our little sister, but I could do with a nice soft bed now…

Racquel: …with a full course meal and dessert right?

(Shannon snorts, but smiles.)

Shannon: Yeah.

(They knock on the door, realising there is no sign or anything to stop them. After a few moments, before Elenora answers again…)

Elenora: Geez, looks like you guys are like us…never getting any sleep…

Shannon: Do you get a choice?

Elenora: For today, no.

Shannon: Then you guys are like us…

Elenora: Fine…check round the back, clue in the mailbox…

Racquel: Thank you!

(The stepsiblings stagger round as they collect the mailbox clue, and indeed, the detour. Shannon and Racquel look at it…)

(…and look at it some more…)

(…and more…)

Shannon: Great. Either way, we’re screwed.

Racquel: Well…what do we do?

Shannon: Guess…we do the quicker one…whether this Piemonte is…

(They go back to the taxi, trying to accent ‘Piemonte’. The driver again seems a bit confused, but just points over the sea. There is one more ferry due there, though Shannon and Racquel are not at all aware of that…)

Shannon: Is it that city?

(No luck – though he just points over there. Shannon’s lack of trust isn’t exactly a good thing…but decides simply he just wants to get out of there, and decides to just point in that direction…)

(The two drive off, unsure what the heck they are doing…)

1.30PM

Shannon: …we cut that close…

Racquel: Well, it’s a beautiful country, maybe they like their late night rendezvous’…

Shannon: You said that so casually it scares me…

(The two, by hook, crook, or complete luck, have made it to the last ferry…)

Racquel: That was just pure chance…

Shannon: The master just said Piemonte on here, so we’re just hoping for the best, and when we land…

Racquel: (nods) We find this girl, and get ahead right?

* * * *

(Back at the home, two more members join…)

Hiroyuki: Let’s go Akari…

Akari: Hai…

(Neither sound too enthuasiastic, which is never a good sign…)

(After Akari knocks on the door, Elenora answers again…and now is all smiles. She has a real soft spot for Henrietta, and Akari is very similar looking…except without the killing streak of course…)

Elenora: Hey there cutie, you want a clue as well?

Hiroyuki: (facefaulting) Does everyone have to hit on her in this race?

Elenora: Oh, you jealous big guy?

Hiroyuki: (turning to avoid his red face) Th-that’s not the point…

(Elenora directs traffic, as they get the clue. And like Shannon and Racquel, neither are quite happy of this turn of events…and then Hale and Weda park outside…)

Hale: Come on mom!

Weda: Right, right!

(As they head up, Elenora gives Akari and Hiroyuki a surprise option…)

Elenora: The Private Jets are based for certain employees only, but if you call this number you can book it even at this time of night. I’ll call for you k?

Akari: Er…thank you!

(Akari’s charm works again as she wins another fanb…I mean fangirl…Elenora gives a call…)

Elenora: Hillshire? Sorry to bother your last shift, but we’ve got a job for you…hmmm…O.K…yeah, if you can get a private jet in the next hour…yes, it will only be this once…sorry, she’s just like ‘Retta-chan. Ah…O.K, tell Triela we said hi as well…ja!

(She finishes the call…)

Elenora: All finished. Go back to the airport and go down the left central path, it should be there in an hour, so get there ASAP, they don’t like waiting.

Akari: Thank you madam!

Elenora: (smiles) A pleasure cutie…

(Akari and Hiroyuki have got a break…though it looks like it’s a one-off, and none of the teams may be so lucky…especially Hale and Weda.)

Hale: Where they going?

Elenora: Oh, they are catching a private plane to Piemonte – sorry, one shot deal only!

Weda: WHAT?!!!

Elenora: The clue’s round the back – moan at me afterwards…

(Weda makes a mental note to do that as Hale scoots round the back. He gets the clue from the mailbox and reads it. Indeed, he doesn’t look too happy when he returns…)

Hale: …we have to go a bit further for this detour mom…

Weda: Crap…that’s why those brats ahead got that shot…but why only them?!

Elenora: Complete luck…and I guess our fondness to turn cute girls into ballerinas?

(Weda picks up Hale…)

Weda: He’s cute, can’t you turn him into a ballet dancer and give us a short cut?

Hale: Short cu…

Elenora: Sorry…

Weda: Damn…so what do…

Hale: Short cut!

Weda: How?

Hale: Well…think about this mom, the guys are behind us, they haven’t used the fast forward yet. Two teams ahead have, and as long as Shannon-ni and Racquel-nee haven’t….

Weda: You mean…

Hale: May not be the best time to do so, but if we can keep ahead of them whilst the chips are hot, plus it looks like we’re getting a bit tired and frustrated. Let’s take it!

(Weda looks at the second part of the envelope…the Fast Forward.)

Weda: Hmmmmm….

* * * *

(Even the Fast Forward requires travelling, but to explain, we have the eldest of the GSG girls, and the most experienced, the German/Swiss girl Triela. Blond pig tails and a darker skin tone make up this cute tale of terror, but whilst the most skilled of the girls, she is also the most well liked.)

Triela: The suckers must see if they want to take the fast forward, because they have only shot at it…emphasis on shot…

(A ‘shot’ of Triela looking over the starry sky, where stars are glistening, and some even shooting…appropriate considering the leg and the fast forward…but not in the way you may think…)

Triela: …the team that gets there will certain have to perform…but they may definitely prefer this to smelling gun oil or getting the crap kicked out of them by Claes…

(Triela hums a familiar tune…)

 

 

 

* * * *

(Weda nods as they decide to take their cab back to the airport – it means a bit of waiting, but they hope to catch a small nap back at the port. This is not good news for two certain other teams though…)

* * * *

1.47AM

Risa: I’ve decided, the last people I want to board a plane from now on are ninjas. Lack of sleep or just plain stupidity, but Naruto keeped calling me ‘long-haired Sakura’ and Riku ‘short haired Sakura’ and despite the fact he’s kinda cute, Sasuke is not one for the talkative department – trust me, he’s no Dark…

(The two teams in last place arrive…well, actually Riku and Risa are now officially in last place as Naruto and Sasuke’s trademark speed gets them ahead. They nearly miss the route marker in their haste, but they manage to grab it and read it quickly.)

Sasuke: Palmero, can we walk it or shall we get a ride?

Naruto: (half-asleep) Sorry?

Sasuke: (sighs) Never mind.

(The two flag for a cab, whilst the Haradas do the same, realising they are in trouble if Naruto and Sasuke can pull ahead...)

Risa: We’ve got to try and pull ahead big sis…

Riku: Let’s just hope that we can do that…

(After getting into a cab, they begin to see if they can find this mansion, whilst one team sees if they can detour…)

* * * *

1.50AM – PIEMONTE GRAND FRESHWATER LAKE

(Mirielle and Kirika have come off the ferry, and had seen the massive lake overhead, so managing to get there was a cinch…)

(…now if they stop being so shocked at what they have to do…)

Mirielle: So…we have to put the glasses…on you?

Claes: Yes…what part of the clue didn’t you read?

Mirielle: Welll…er…

Claes: It’s O.k…just put them on me…

Kirika: There has to be a catch.

Claes: Of course there is, but it’s no fun if we tell you…so come on, put them here…

Mirielle: I don’t like this…little girl this late at night…

Kirika: We’ll found out as soon as we try…

(Mirielle shrugs, but goes over to put the glasses on. As soon as she’s within range, Claes, in a blinding bit of speed, ducks under her guard and in a move similar to Chloe’s initial meeting to Mirielle, stick her hand underneath her throat…and whilst it’s not quite a knife, it’s almost as deadly.)

Claes: Now let’s see who is really the most deadly of the trained killers…

Kirika: She knows about us…

Mirielle: (scared) Wh-who are you…

Claes: I’m Claes. That’s all you need to know…now try harder, otherwise YOU will get hurt…

(Mirielle steps back, realising what they have to do…)

Mirielle: Kirika?

(Kirika nods as the two jump. Kirika sweeps an arc avoiding contact as Claes tries to strike with an elbow. Kirika grabs Claes in a full nelson as Mirielle gets ready to put the glasses on…)

(…except Claes bridges forward and with inhuman strength for a young girl, throws Kirika overhead. Mirielle darts out of the way of the Kiri-missile, as Kirika somersaults and lands on her feet.)

(Without even asking, Kirika rushes again, none the least surprised of Claes’ inhuman strength. Kirika jumps, again seeming to attack, but at the last instance, Mirielle throws the glasses into Kirika’s hand, who somersaulted and plants her hands on Claes’ shoulders. Before the girl can realise, Kirika backflips and in one motion puts Claes glasses on.)

(As soon as she does, Claes stops attacking, smiles and returns to the lake.)

Claes: I believe this is yours.

Mirielle: So that’s all fine and dandy? You try to kill us by the looks of things and now it’s all O.K?

Claes: No, my conditioning cannot make me kill anyone that I haven’t been instructed to. I made sure my power did not exceed anything that will kill whoever my opponents were.

Mirielle: ….

Claes: Now, if you ladies don’t mind…

(Claes, peaceful as a lamb, returns to the lake to try some more late night fishing. And I don’t think Mirielle has been as scared as she has ever since she met Silvana for the second time…)

Mirielle: I just hope none of the others went for her…if she was that bad for us, how would Hale, Risa or Akari fare?

Kirika: I don’t know…

Mirielle: It was a rhetorical question Kirika. Anyway…clue…

* * * *

(Reading the clue, let’s go to the Social Welfare Agency…cunningly disguised as a secret base for loli-killers going after terrorists, government spies, and anyone who is willing to employ their services for the great good in general. Leading our next route marker is Marco, Angelica’s handler. They’ve been having…problems as of late after a partnership which was as strong at one points as Jose and Henrietta’s.)

Marco: Team must make it to the Agency – as it is a secret organisation, a van will wait them at Romani Airport and will be escorted blindfolded. There, they will get their next clue.

* * * *

Kirika: Have you heard of this agency Mirielle?

Mirielle: Never heard of it. I guess this is what top-secret is about after all…

Kirika: …compared to the way everyone in the underground knows the word ‘Noir’…

Mirielle: Let’s go…

Kirika: How?

Mirielle: We’re in Piemonte, we get to either an airport or some sort of travel service, and head off to Rome. As it’s the main capital, there probably is still a plane around, we just have to find the airport…

Kirika: So…how?

(Mirielle is quiet.)

Mirielle: Let’s head into town first, and see if we can find some directions. It’s late, but if it’s a big town, there is most likely going to be signs around, and unlike everyone else, I can read them.

Kirika: (nods) Let’s go.

(They leave, as Mirielle takes one look back at Claes, who is sitting under the stars, continuing her late night fishing and reading her vegetable garden book…)

* * * *

2.10am

(Thanks to Sasuke being quite awake, and being a lot more able to see things…the ninjas manage to get ahead of the Haradas – and finding the summer home…as Naruto drags his carcass out of the taxi…)

Naruto: Can we just stay here the night?

Sasuke: Not a chance.

Naruto: Crap.

Sasuke: This leg was the pits. Late night, knowing we’re at the back of the pack…and no clue about anything…and worse, we know that Riku and Risa haven’t taken the fast forward…and considering our luck with the last two legs, we aren’t sure if we want to risk it again, in case any of the others ahead took it…

(After some manoevering, Sasuke and Naruto jump easily above the staircase, and knock on the door. They dread the fact that no-one is awake…)

(…but instead, they get a letter posted through the door.)

Naruto: Huh?

(They read it…)

Naruto: Sorry…didn’t want to answer the door now – girl business. Clue in the letterbox at the back of the house.

(Naruto does that silly head slanted to the side look, i.e. the look when he doesn’t have a clue about the situation…)

(…in other words, his general look…)

Naruto: Girl stuff?

(Sasuke turns around…does he look a little embarrassed?)

Sasuke: Naruto…you’re chasing after Sakura…and you don’t know…

Naruto: Eh?

Sasuke: And to think I had girl problems…

(Sasuke runs to the back of the house, as Naruto just stands there, looking like a moron. Sasuke returns quickly…)

Naruto: So now what?

Sasuke: Let’s not take the Fast Forward. We’d have to probably catch a plane to do so, and if someone has already taken it…we’re screwed.

Naruto: So, what do we do now?

Sasuke: We just go to this Piemonte – we’re taking the faster option, no matter what the heck it is…

Naruto: And…how do we get to Piemonte?

(Sasuke looks thoughtful…)

(…back to the cab they go. Sasuke was at least smart enough and despite language barriers, when Sasuke says Piemonte, the driver points in the direction across the large sea. Sasuke sighs when he points back to the airport…but he then surveys the distance…)

Sasuke: Naruto…

Naruto: Hmmm?

Sasuke: …you fancy a swim?

* * * *

2.17am

(Are the ninjas insane? No matter how strong they are, they surely can’t swim god knows how many miles…but there is a method to Sasuke’s madness…)

Sasuke: …you see, if we use something as floats as well, we can rest if necessary, and if we’re lucky, someone might see us and help us across anyway…

Naruto: Hmmm…I’m not sure Sasuke. How about if we fall asleep in the middle of the sea?

Sasuke: We won’t.

Naruto: Why?

Sasuke: Not all of us have half a brain like you dunce.

(That comment seems to raise the sugar levels in Naruto’s brain, as he chases after Sasuke, ready for what seems a huge risk…but at least it keeps them fit…)

* * * *

2.30AM

(…it’s a bit longer before Riku and Risa make it there. In the background, it seems that Sasuke has found some parts of wooden crates which they can use as floats or to help float across as they seem to be able to steady their weight…)

(…on the other hand, the elder Harada is trying to steady the weight of the younger Harada, and is having a lot of trouble as she’s trying to steady herself as well…neither girl enjoying this part of the leg at all…)

Risa: Sis…can’t you walk any faster…

Riku: Quiet or you’re switching…

Risa: Hai….

(As the sisters half-drag each other out of the taxi after a very difficult negotations with a driver who seemed to be more interested in scoping the girls out (and threatened with great justice by Riku’s fist – hey, no violence to each other but to your own teammates…and lecherous idiotic drivers in the middle of the night), the Haradas bedrudgingly make him wait in case they have to go anywhere else…)

(…after finding the route marker and knocking on the door, they are surprised when they get an answer…)

Elenora: (yawns and looks a little red) Um…hello?

Riku: Sorry to bother you ma’am, but do you have the cl…

Elenora: Out in the back in the letterbox…just hurry it up please…it’s kinda embarrassing…

Risa: Really?

Elenora: Never mind! Piemonte is across the lake or Napoli is down wind via land, your choice…

(Both girls go huh as Elenora slams the door down, as Risa shrugs whilst they get the clue. When they look at it, they reach the same conclusion that Naruto and Sasuke got…)

Riku: If Naruto and Sasuke have taken it, then we’ll be in real trouble…

Risa: …we don’t want to go to Rome in case it means getting back here, we’ll be eliminated for sure.

Riku: Let’s just go to Piemonte.

Risa: And how do we do that fair lady?

Riku: Just because we look like we live in Europe doesn’t mean we have a clue about it…

(Risa humphs…)

Riku: Our best bet is to head back to the airport and pray there is a service there.

Risa: And if not, at least can we get a few hours sleep…

(Riku sighs, knowing they have to head back via that taxi, back to Capo Dichno. They have to hope for a late plane or something otherwise they are in trouble…)

* * * *

2.35AM

(Brief shot of Sasuke and Naruto conserving energy with underwater swimming, taking good gasps of air combined with makeshift air straws made from Sasuke. It won’t be easy, but the two are using their physical strengths to try and close the gap…)

Naruto: (gasping for air) Dammit, how much farther?

Sasuke: Still long to go…remember to rest if you need to…just don’t get too far behind me…

(Sasuke swims ahead, Naruto infuriated, follows him…whilst at the airport…)

* * * *

Hillshire: So, you the guys I’m taking to Piemonte?

Akari: If it’s not too much trouble…

(Hillshire examines Akari, and sighs…)

Hillshire: It’s offical, Elenora has a real thing for girls…

Hiroyuki: Is it O.K mister?

Hillshire: Yeah, it gets me away from Triela a bit more – just don’t expect it too much. We do sleep as well you know?

Hiroyuki: Wish we had that luxury at the moment…

(Akari’s charm gives Hiroyuki and Akari a lifeline in getting ahead, but two others have beaten them to it…)

* * * *

2.48PM

PIEMONTE – FRESHWATER LAKE

(After an enjoyable ferry ride which ended too soon, a very sluggish pair of stepsiblings find their girl still awaiting everyone, as Claes smiles…and unlikely said pair of stepsiblings, seems much more wide awake.)

(Not a good sign.)

Claes: Are you next?

Shannon: I guess…

Claes: Well then…

(Claes walks over, takes her glasses off, puts them in Racquel’s hands, and steps back.)

Claes: O.K, put them on me.

(Shannon has the same reserves that Mirielle did to say the least…)

Shannon: I think we could do with a sword and your powers for some reason…

Racquel: Why?

(Racquel steps towards Claes, and moves forward to put the glasses on…)

(…and her eyes widen as Claes fist is send towards her ribcage. Racquel instinctively blocks, but is sent back into Shannon who holds her firm.)

Shannon: …and they say Pacifica is the terror that will destroy the world?

Racquel: That…wasn’t good…

(Shannon steps forward and takes the glasses. Claes adjusts her position as Anita Version 2 gets ready for Shannon’s attack…)

Racquel: That was surprising…I never expected that – and just how vulnerable I am without my magic…and that made it worse as I was relegated to just watcher…

(Shannon aims a kick towards Claes, causing the GSG to step back and dive in with a rushing elbow. Instinct forces Shannon to roll out of the way and grabs a stick.)

Shannon: You’re no ordinary girl…

Claes: Well spotted.

(Shannon looks angry, but realises he has a weapon…and drops it.)

Shannon: If it comes to that, I really would go low…even against this machine…

Claes: Don’t call me that.

Shannon: (sarcastic) Sorry…

(Claes looks pissed, and rushes to decapitate his head off. But Shannon ducks as Claes misses the punch, and in a split second lifts his arms and puts Claes glasses on her face.)

(As soon as she does, she’s all stoic and sweet…)

Claes: I apologise for that – I let my emotions get the best of me.

Shannon: Same here – I did it to enrage you…not a tactic I like to use much but…

Claes: I believe here is your reward.

(Shannon gets it, as he turns away…he spits out a bit of blood.)

Shannon: That…was bad…

Shannon: The people who come up with this know how to make us angry, this was uncalled for. This was a super human girl who could break the neck of anyone…I just hope no-one else took this…

(Not no-one Shannon…EVERYONE took it. Claes better get ready for more of a workout…)

(The two now have to head to Piemonte – and Claes isn’t budging. She’s not speaking and just relaxing. Now what…)

Shannon: Lights are ahead…that must be the main city…

Racquel: It’s a start….

Shannon: Just asking for help may be tough this late…

Racquel: We’ve struggled before, we can get through this…

(The stepsiblings begin moving…)

* * * *

3.00AM – PIEMONTE STADIO AIRPORT/CAPO DICHIO AIRPORT

(A split scene as we see Hale and Weda at the airport (still busy thanks to international time lines) and Piemonte also energetic with assassins Mirielle and Kirika not quite so energetic – even bishoujo assassins have to sleep after all.)

(What they don’t know is that they will be getting on a late night shuttle service which actually travels underground, where they will travel to Rome that way. Hale and Weda also learn about this, as it passes through the major airports of Italy.)

(So unaware, as when Mirielle and Kirika board, and 10 minutes later, Hale and Weda board, the two teams are on opposite ends of the service. Hale sits down and promptly shuts his eyes. Weda smiles and puts Hale closer to her, as for once, they do look like mother and son, Weda cuddling her son. Mirielle and Kirika don’t quite do the same (darn) but just get a late coffee, and hope they can stay awake…)

(…otherwise they may have noticed the distinct dark blue hair of mother and son…)

* * * *

3.26am

(Hillshire drops Hiroyuki and Akari right outside death row. As soon as he sees (a still wide awake) Claes, he shakes his head.)

Hillshire: I feel sorry for you guys…

(Akari doesn’t like the sound of that, and with neither of them running on much but adreneline…)

Claes: Ah, busy night?

Akari: Hiroyuki…chan…

(Claes hands her glasses over, as Akari looks nervous.)

Claes: Just put them on.

Hiroyuki: There is no way in hell it’s that easy…

Claes: Try it.

(Hiroyuki steps gingerly towards Claes, unsure what to do. As soon as he becomes in range, he knows exactly what to do…)

(…dodge.)

Hiroyuki: Geez…try holding back a little…

(Hiroyuki holds his ribs where Claes got a good blow. Whilst he’s trained with Aoi, he’s not quite at her standard of martial art skills. But there is no way in hell he’s letting Akari deal with this chibi-killing machine…)

Claes: I was. I got the information on what level of strength I could use depending on who I was against. I thought you were tougher than that…

Hiroyuki: Damn her…

Akari: Hi…

Hiroyuki: Stay back…you’re not getting in range of this girl…

(Akari stays back, as Hiroyuki decides if all else fails…)

Hiroyuki: TORRRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAA!!!

(…mad dash to the queue always works.)

Claes: Angry…

(Though against intelligent pre-teen cyborg girls…)

(…Claes sticks her foot out, as Hiroyuki stumbles. Amazingly, he gets his balance, puts his hand on the ground and thrusts the glasses onto Claes face. Claes looks stunned but Hiroyuki looks smug…)

Hiroyuki: Gotcha.

(Claes is quiet for a moment, but then smiles.)

Claes: I underestimated you. Well done…all by yourself. You must really care for her…

Hiroyuki: Hey wa…

Claes: Here you go.

(Hiroyuki gets the clue, as they look in, or try to, because their eyes are getting quite blurry. However, they realise that they have to get to Rome, and they realise what the time is. Akari lets Hiroyuki rest on her shoulder, as they begin to see if they can trudge their way to Rome…)

Akari: How can we get to Rome from here?

Hiroyuki: We start walking. If we can just getting to a main town, and thanks to this lake, we can see the reflection of the city on the lights, so if we just get there…and pray.

Akari: I guess…

(The two, tired and disappointed, march their way onward…)

Akari: Hiroyuki-chan tried so hard for me…and this is what we got…Hiroyuki-chan is quite competitive, and he got hurt for it, and it hasn’t gotten him anywhere. And I feel guilty, because he did it to protect me…

(The childhood friends continue on…)

* * * *

3.45am

(Shot of Racquel and Shannon arriving in Piemonte Central, and as Mirielle said, they are not having as easy a time as the assassins – and Shannon’s Italian isn’t quite working wonders…)

Shannon: Where do we go?

Racquel: It’s a late night centre, with few people about…

Shannon: …what do we do?

(They amble about, as a few vehicles pass by. They can’t really stop anybody, so they hope to just find it by communication…)

(…not easy considering the language barrier. It takes them an extra 15 minutes before finding a sign which has an airplane signal on, and they begin to aimlessly wander in that direction…)

(…whilst speaking of airports…)

* * * *

3.55am

(Shot of Riku and Risa back at the airport…and realising the worst…)

Late night attendant: (speaking English) I’m sorry…there’s aren’t any planes that go directly to Piemonte, you are best getting the shuttle service, the first one direct to Piemonte is at 4.20am from here from Rome…

(The lady points in that direction, as whatever Riku could understand, the most she could was ‘we can’t get there’.)

(That was bad enough…)

Riku: We’re in trouble…

Risa: Don’t give up si…

(Risa nearly collapses as she tries (and fails) to play cheerleader. Riku launches her younger by 10 minutes sister across her shoulder, and goes underground, just waiting…)

Riku: Try and get a little sleep sis…

(Too late. Risa is already gone. Riku sighs…)

Riku: Now I’ve gotta stay awake…how can anyone else handle this?

* * * *

4.00am

(…here’s how.)

NARUTO/SASUKE – 5TH PLACE (PIEMONTE FRESHWATER)

Naruto: I’ve decided I don’t want to deal with water anymore…

Sasuke: You were never a real fan of Zabusa or Haku’s technique…I guess you won’t specialise in the water element then…

Naruto: No.

Sasuke: Damn.

(Naruto smiles. He may be dumb, but it is water vs. Sasuke’s electric element of Chidori, so looks like even Sasuke will like to get an advantage where he can. However, the two are dripping wet, exhausted, after somehow swimming and drifting across the sea, into Pier Cassano of Piemonte. After some shaking off, and some hopeful searching, they come across Claes at the Lake…)

Claes: Well, look what I caught…

Naruto: Er…hi?

Claes: It’s getting late, so can we make this quick please?

Sasuke: With pleasure.

Naruto: Ah, you finally found the fangirl for you Sasuke?

Sasuke: Baka.

(Claes hands the glasses over to Sasuke. Before she even has a chance to get ready, Sasuke somersaults over her, in a move straight out of the original test with the bells, he grazes Claes’ face, missing. Claes aims an open palm at the airborne ninja…who blocks and somersaults down.)

Sasuke: LION RENDAN!

(Sasuke goes for his aerial kick combo, which Claes is amazed by, and whilst blocks well, Sasuke smiles. She turns…)

(…and Naruto puts the glasses on her.)

Claes: What?

Sasuke: I threw them to Naruto whilst I went for my combo.

Naruto: Heh heh. Kakashi-sensei has nothing on us…really…

Claes: (smiles briefly) Well, what a surprise. I think you deserve this…

(Claes hands over the clue, thank the GSG as they use their speed, of course, it not really mattering, but hey, it not really mattering…)

(…because they suddenly realise they don’t know where to go.)

Naruto: Crap…

Sasuke: See if you can sense anybody in town…

Naruto: No real recent changes…damn, we could do with a Byakuran here…

Sasuke: Even if we did, we’d get disqualified. Let’s just jump high on the buildings and hopefully we can scan where a service to get to this Rome place is…

Naruto: Yosha, let’s g…(yawns)…

Sasuke: Right…

(The ninjas of the night (AMV pun intended) begin running…)

* * * *

4.20AM

(Riku has to literally carry Risa inside the early shuttle. Only a few people are going there, and of course, two teams are heading past them as they travel to the long trip to Rome…)

(…whilst at Piemonte, Shannon and Racquel finally make it to the airport.)

Shannon: We can’t even really get any sleep, because sleeping an hour isn’t really worth it…

Racquel: So, we just have to wait…

Shannon: Yeah, and hope no-one else gets here in time…

(A quick cut shot to Hiroyuki and Akari, who are lost as the early brightness begins to shine, but they are both running on adreneline. Behind them, Naruto and Sasuke’s superior speed is making ends as they super jump across some buildings and get on high to a rooftop...)

Naruto: There we are!

(Naruto points ahead as a plane takes off. The runway has never looked so good before the ninjas as they jump ahead and run into the night…)

(…passing Hiroyuki and Akari on the way…)

Akari: Was that…

Hiroyuki: It was. After them!

(Of course, they are no match for their speed, so just run in their general direction and hope they can make it…)

* * * *

4.45AM

Naruto: Crap…

Shannon: Indeed.

(A moment of tension as the two teams greet each other, or not so to be honest…Sasuke walks off as Racquel doesn’t smile, Naruto pouts and Shannon looks angsty….)

* * * *

5.20AM

(A quick shot of Mirielle and Kirika at the back of the shuttle, as Weda nudges her son (who seems content to sleep in his mother’s arms) gently, stirring Hale up, as they are within distance of Rome….)

* * * *

5.24AM

Hiroyuki: You guys are sneaky bastards…

(Hiroyuki and Akari have made it and fortunately, Shannon-tachi and Naruto-tachi are still there…and still not talking.)

Shannon: Early morning services suck don’t they?

Akari: (yawning) Are we there yet?

Racquel: I think a certain young lady already has already been there…

(They sit Akari down, as Hiroyuki tries to see if he can get some rest. Racquel explains to them when the shuttle arrives, as the ninjas use the ancient art of ‘kick the can’. Where’s Hale and his gameboy when you need it?)

* * * *

5.28AM

Riku: Risa, you O.K?

Risa: I’ll let you know once my caffeine levels reach up to me…

(After a Piemonte rendez-vous, the two have dragged themselves to the hill, where it’s still dark with remote signs of light coming through the early morning. All the teams have to be exhausted, but Risa probably takes it as being most exhausted…)

Risa: So…what do we do?

Riku: Erm…what do we do?

Claes: Simple.

(Claes puts her glasses in Riku’s hand and jumped back. Riku gulps.)

Riku: She’s good…Risa…

Risa: Go…for…it…Riku…

(Risa looks like to not being too much help. Riku sighs.)

Riku: Great…

* * * *

15 MINUTES LATER….

Riku: (spitting out spit and blood) I…can’t…believe…it…

(Claes has her glasses on, after what was obvious near mission impossible for Riku alone. A quick shot shows her trying everything, using a little martial arts talent and her excellent athletic abilities. Sadly, she doesn’t have the skill of the ninjas, Shannon, or the assassins, and doesn’t possess Hiroyuki’s superior strength and speed. In other words, not her day. And with Risa no help whatsoever, Riku simply relied on determination after being blasted back by Claes multiple times. Little Miss Stubborn finally gets lucky after reading a forearm swing and catches her off guard (though she suspects that Claes may have let her…)

(…and now neither Harada seems to be able to stand up. Riku washes up at the lake, as she sighs.)

Riku: Crap.

Risa: Sis…

(Without a warning, Riku splashes Risa in the face…)

Risa: WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR?

Riku: We need to move…so let’s wake up sister!

Risa: Riku…look at you, you need to rest…

Riku: Rest in this race is for losers, now lets…

(Riku nearly collapses, Risa manages to hold her briefly, but fortunately Claes helps her up. She hands the clue over to Risa.)

Claes: Take her back to the shuttle service and get to Rome quickly. I didn’t tell you that.

Risa: Thanks…

(Risa begins helping her sister back to the shuttles, it’s going to be a long night for the younger Harada…)

Risa: I didn’t even realise what Rika had done until I saw her mouth – this was a bit nasty for a detour, and not something I would have done even if meant working with guns. I knew we should have taken the fast forward…

* * * *

5.50AM

(…which is what two people have. As soon as they exit, they are spotted…)

Mirielle: You guys!

Weda: Eep…

(Weda has a piggybacking Hale on her back as he doesn’t seem fully awake. I know, it usually the other way round that Weda isn’t always awake, but work with me here…)

Kirika: Hello.

Weda: Erm…hi?

Hale: Er…what is it mom?

(He sees the girls face, and he is wide awake…)

Hale: YEEP! KIRIKA-SAN, MIRIELLE-SAN, GOOD MORN-MORNING…

(Kirika pats Hale on the head.)

Kirika: Morning.

Mirielle: Sorry, must dash…

(The Noir girls do, and as they see ahead, there is a line of black cabs with a) a Lillith-chan route marker and b) a man in black normally shown to be on the receiving end of a bullet from Kirika or Mirielle…)

Goon 1: Pass. Road Block or Fast Forward.)

(They show the road block. The goon nods and the girls actually let him blindfold them.)

Goon 1: Security measure ladies.

Mirielle: Don’t worry, we get that all the time…

(After being blindfolded, the ladies are put inside the car, to be driven to the Social Welfare Agency, on the surface, a government sponsored agency to look after severely traumatized children…but underneath that service…)

(…meanwhile…we see Weda hand over Goon number two the fast forward clue, and again get the blindfold one, and head in the same direction to Mirielle and Kirika, but actually take a right turn slightly off into the fields…)

* * * *

5.51am

SHOOTING STAR FIELDS, OFF SITE SOCIAL WELFARE AGENCY

(The car drops Hale and Weda outside a field, where the darkness is slowly becoming lighter, but the stars are still out. We can see Hale and Weda stepping out, as a certain pig-tailed girl kips up to turn around to see her victims…)

Triela: Ah, you guys here for the…

(She spots Hale…who in turn spots Triela…)

Hale: Uh…hi?

(Triela does a quick ‘inspection’ around Hale…)

Triela: You sure you’re a boy? You’re awfully cute…

(Hale blushes like anything…Weda smirks.)

Weda: It’s not even funny to do the joke anymore…but hey, you get all the cute girls around you…your mother has nothing left to teach you…

Hale: SINCE WHEN DO YOU TEACH ME ANY…er?

(Triela cups Hale’s chin as he turns into his best impression of a Battle Royale cosplay…lots of red…Triela grabs his hand as he takes Weda’s as they run to the summit…)

Triela: Okies, you gotta just sing a bit of this…

(Triela puts on Beethoven’s 9th Symphony…a familiar tune if you’ve seen the end of GSG. This is seen pre-episode 13 though…)

Triela: Come on!

Hale: B-but…I don’t speak German…

(Triela has a cheeky little smile…)

Triela: Then I’ll have to teach you then…

(Without warning, Triela lifts Hale into her arms, embarrassing the poor kid more levels than one can imagine.)

Triela: Just join on along with me…

(Triela begins singing…)

Triela: (in German to the tune of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony) Oh friends, no more of these sad tones…let us rather raise our voices together…in more pleasant and joyful tones!

(As Hale is getting embarrassed, Weda is having a cuteness attack…marred by something…)

Weda: Gunpowder?

(Hale seems blissfully ignorant…and after some coaching and some helpful advice, Hale joins in…solemn in the night, and a deadly chibi-assassin with a young man, somehow…this is uber-cute.)

Hale/Triela/Weda: Joy, though shining spark of God, daughter of Elyslum, with fiery rapture, goddess, we approach thy shrine. Your tragic reunites…

* * * *

Weda: That was the Fast Forward?

Triela: Yep, you guys picked up the song well, especially you cutie! You’re almost as cute as Henrietta…Rico-tachi would have a field day…

Hale: (really red) Um…thanks…

Weda: Maybe we should invite her to the family…

(Hale puts an ixnay on that – having one uber-dangerous girl in their home is bad enough…)

Hale: Anyway…thank you Triela-chan…

Triela: No problem sweetie…

(Triela leans over and gives Hale a kiss on the cheek. Hale’s face turns into a cloud of steam as he nearly collapses…or it gave him energy. Either way, he ignores the smell of gunpowder as they say goodbye as they get blindfolded again…)

Weda: Wow. Hale is a real lady killer…though I get the feeling she probably IS one. She’s cute, extremely cute…but…well, let’s just say…if anything defined scary and cute this was it…

Weda: Congratulations, you have won the Fast Forward! You may bypass all tasks and head straight to the Pit Stop, the dorm rooms of the Social Welfare Agency.

* * * *

(Shot of our heroine, the cutie-pie Henrietta, who probably ties with Angelica for ‘most tragic backstory in GSG’. Still, thanks to Jose and her friends she seems to be getting the most out of life…what’s left of it.)

Henrietta: This is the Pit Stop, where each of the teams will finish the race. As Hale and Weda have completed the Fast Forward, they may go straight here…

(The two head off to the agency, as two certain other assassin type girls already get there…)

* * * *

SOCIAL WELFARE AGENCY – 5.58AM

(Shot of Kirika and Mirielle arriving at the Agency, certainly not recognising the area, but see some shooting practice from what seems to be some ‘new inductees.’ Upon getting out, instructor Rabello greets them.)

Rabello: Greetings.

(He looks over the girls…)

Rabello: Wow, are you the…

Mirielle: Please…we don’t really want anyone to know too much…I guess this ‘agency’ is some sort of work…

Rabello: Yes, we can’t say too much, but let’s say we modify lives and give them rebirth so to speak. Anyway…

(Rabello points to the gun holders, where the next clues are held. Mirielle darts over there and picks it out.)

Mirielle: Road Block. This person must have an eye for duty.

* * * *

(Cut shot of the higher rooftops of the Agency, where a cute blonde girl waits with a sniper rifle. This is Rico, Jean’s GSG. Fortunately, unlike Jean, Rico isn’t a complete bastard, she is a girl happy she has been given new life. She’s Henrietta’s roomate and always tries her best, and despite being behind Henrietta and Triela in the killing stakes and having a bastard like Jean as her fratello, she’s always smiling. She’s our next host.)

Rico: For this road block, teams will have to get up here to the rooftops and shoot two targets, one stationary and one moving. They have to use this sniper rifle and be extremely precise, as the targets will burst with red paint if they are successful. Once they have completed that, they can receive their next clue.

* * * *

(Needless to say, this is right up the Noir girls alley…)

Mirielle: Rock…paper…scissors?

Kirika: Sure.

(After two rounds, Kirika gets the duke. She runs off to take the road block…as a car pulls in.)

Mirielle: Did they get lost?

(Shot of Hale and Weda escaping the car and the blindfold…)

Hale: Let’s go!

Rabello: Excuse me…

Weda: Fast forward…where do we go?

(Rabello points as Hale and Weda escape. Mirielle shakes her head.)

Mirielle: Typical. Oh well…

(She watches Kirika climb up a ladder ready to take on the Road Block…)

* * * *

6.00AM

(Finally, the first morning shuttle service has come to charter our team mate to Rome…though one team is missing. Riku and Risa.)

Akari: A few teams aren’t here?

Naruto: Riku and Risa were with us…maybe they messed up?

Shannon: Or took the fast forward.

Sasuke: Less teams to worry about elimination.

Akari: That wasn’t nice…

Hiroyuki: He was right though…

(All teams have managed to keep awake, mainly as the dark energies spewing from Shannon and Sasuke may have something to do with that. In any case, the three teams board the shuttle service, knowing they are going to be a few hours behind…)

* * * *

6.02am

SOCIAL WELFARE AGENCY, FEMALE DORMS

(Outside the female dorms, Henrietta bows and welcomes them. Hale and Weda hit the mat with ‘GUNSLINGER GIRL’ on as Weda inspects Henrietta…)

Weda: Another cute girl to add to your collection Hale?

Hale: (blushing) Please…

Henrietta: (smiles) Triela’s already phoned us about what happened Hale-kun.

Hale: WHATTT?

(Weda just laughs out loud whilst Henrietta can’t supress her giggling. Finally, she recovers after some prodding from Lillith, who appears out of nowhere…hey, annoying demi-goddesses have to have their beauty sleep as well…)

Henrietta: Hale and Weda, you’re team number one.

Weda: Yosha! That’s what I wanted to hear!

Lillith: Right…right…how do you guys hold on for so long? Constant fear?

Weda: Nah, just determination…oh, and I guess Hale getting rejuvinated by pigtailed girls helps too…

Hale: MOOOOOOOOOOMMM!

(Meanwhile, Kirika has accended and meets Rico.)

Rico: O.K, so to set this up…

Kirika: No need.

(Like an expert, Kirika positions the sniper rifle into the right position.)

Kirika: So what do I need to do?

Rico: (a bit stunned) Um…just aim for those two targets in the distance. If they burst red, you pass.

(Kirika sees a stationary bubble like item, with Lillith’s face on. There is also a moving on swinging in a pendulum like way. Kirika takes her position…)

(BANG!)

1 down.

(BANG!)

2 down.

Kirika: That do?

(Rico is shocked. Suddenly her eyes light up.)

Rico: Kirika-sempai!

(If it was possible, Kirika would have sweatdropped…or facefaulted…or both. She certainly is surprised from this reaction…but Rico seems a little giddy from Kirika’s skills.)

Rico: That was amazing! How did you do that so well?

Kirika: Let’s just say…I’ve had some practice.

(After a fangirl moment, Rico hands over the clue.)

Kirika: Head over to the dorms and head to the Pit Stop.

(She nods to Rico (still in awe) as Kirika climbs down, half way through the ladder, she somersaults and lands on her feet. She runs to Mirielle with the clue.)

Mirielle: Let’s go.

(The two run.)

Mirielle: That was our leg, and I don’t think it will get much better than that for us. The fact that Hale and Weda took the fast forward ruined things slightly, but we are still in a very strong position…

* * * *

6.06am

(Shot of Riku and Risa pouting the fact they have to wait until 6.50am for the next shuttle…)

Riku: We’re screwed.

Risa: How did we mess this up?

Riku: Lack of sleep, bad detour, messed up previously…I could go on, but…

Risa: We can still do it!

Riku: Do you believe that?

Risa: Yes…I have to…

Riku: Risa…

(The younger Harada leans over on a bench, trying to sleep. Riku shakes her head and leans next to her sister.)

* * * *

6.07AM

Henrietta: Nice to meet you.

Mirielle: The pleasure is all ours.

(Chibi-Noir meets Adult-Noir as Henrietta greets Mirielle and Kirika, as Lillith looks angry…)

Lillith: I DID NOT GET PERMISSION FOR MY FACE TO BE USED AS THOSE TARGETS…EVE, WAS THAT YOUR DOING?

(No answer…like she expected one. As Lillith rages, Henrietta congratulates.)

Henrietta: Mirielle and Kirika, you are team number two.

6.50am

(Riku and Risa finally move their rears into gear as they head to Rome, home of many wonderous things…sadly, they aren’t going to one of them – though it could be called a wondrous thing being a miracle centre, I’m sure once they seen what they are involved…)

* * * *

8.45am

(It’s a long while before the other teams catch up to Teams Noir and Jungle, but during the quiet time on the train (it’s hard to talk when you’re exhausted, and you have Sasuke and Shannon throwing angst against the wall like it’s a regular day at the Social Welfare Agency…oh wait, it is. Well, it will be once they get there…)

(Shannon and Racquel get off first, followed by Sasuke and Naruto, and finally Hiroyuki and Akari. The exhausted teams struggle to even see the route marker ahead, but the fact that a lot of men in black are a good hint. Shannon and Racquel are the first team to notice – well, Racquel does whilst Shannon tries to avoid the suspicious glares, even in real time clothing they look suspicious…)

Racquel: I think that might be our stop…

Goon 3: Road Block or Fast Forward?

Racquel: Why, Road Block please?

Shannon: Pit Stop would be preferrable…

(The two head into the car, where they are blindfolded. Now, Naruto and Sasuke, for once, are dragging behind, their trademark speed seemingly lessened because of their swimming lesson across Piemonte – they are still much better ahead than Hiroyuki and Akari, who Hiroyuki is still recovering from a Claes shot. Still, at least it isn’t like a REAL shot from Claes…)

(Naruto and Sasuke navigated their way to the route marker, where they also take the car option and going to the Road Block. A struggling Hiroyuki coughs his way to the front and takes the next car, with one still waiting…)

Naruto: You have to feel sorry for em…

Sasuke: No I don’t.

Naruto: Are you just heartless to all girls or a specific few? No…scrach that…are you just heartless?

(Sasuke just remains silent as they drive off…Hiroyuki and Akari blindfolded and driven off as well…)

* * * *

9.10AM – SOCIAL WELFARE AGENCY

(The three teams all arrive pretty much in unison, with Shannon and Racquel first. Their blindfolds removed, they get ahead as they get the clue from Marco, and nod.)

Racquel: Do you want to do it or shall I?

Shannon: It’s our duty to protect our little sis…and I did the last one…

Racquel: But…

(She looks around and sees a lot of aiming and firing going on. Whilst Racquel is a good spell caster, Shannon is a good striker. It’s tough…)

(…but as they see Sasuke emerge from his vehicle, Shannon frowns.)

Shannon: Never mind, I’ll do it.

(Shannon takes the clue as Marco points him in the right direction. Meanwhile, Sasuke has encountered a problem when Naruto’s blindfold is removed…)

Sasuke: I don’t believe it…

(Naruto has fallen sleep…)

Sasuke: WAKE UP!

(Sasuke shakes Naruto up a little, as the ramen loving ninja stirs his kitsune like eyes up as he sees a pissed off Sasuke looking down at him…)

Naruto: Hmmm…what?

Sasuke: Out…now…

(Naruto staggers out as Shannon and Racquel are moving towards the ladder, Shannon starts climbing as Naruto and Sasuke head over to Marco, who directs them to the clue. After looking at it…)

Naruto: Well…you’ve got THE eye…

Sasuke: I don’t think it means it like that, but considering how dead you look, I’ll still do it…

(For once, Naruto doesn’t complain, especially when he sees Akari and Hiroyuki getting out of their car…they run (not as fast as normal) towards the ladder…)

(…as Shannon is already being fitted up for battle.)

Rico: Now, just aim for the stationary target and the moving target ahead of you…there are 6 targets ahead but you only need to hit one non-moving and one-moving…

Shannon: Got it.

(Shannon is very good in patience, so whilst missing his first two shots (and getting taught the art of reloading by instructor Rico) he hits the moving one on his third attempt. As the red signals success, he turns his attention to the single one…)

(…just as Sasuke arrives. A little off-putting for Shannon, but she shrugs and takes his shot.)

(Success.)

Rico: Well done sir, are you used to battle?

Shannon: You could say that…

(He gets the Road Block clue, smiles and turns to leave…smirking at Sasuke as he climbs down the ladder. Sasuke frowns as does Naruto as Shannon somersaults from half-way down the latter, landing on his feet and showing the clue to Racquel.)

Shannon: Let’s move!

Racquel: Right!

(As they go, we see Hiroyuki rushing to the ladder, Akari a bit behind, as Hiroyuki obviously take the Road Block. Upstairs, Sasuke, whilst not being able to use his Sharingan Eye, is still very precise in sight, and whilst doesn’t match Kirika’s efforts, he nails the stationary one in double quick time. The moving target takes a bit longer…)

Sasuke: Geez…this is like kunai practice…

(Rico, like the majority of all 12 year old girls (even cyborg ones I guess) is blushing at Sasuke, which actually delayed Sasuke slightly when setting up the equipment. Sasuke has a few more problems with the moving target, as even the top ninja graduate has trouble when lack of sleep hits him. However, after about 5 attempts, he manages to hit the balloon as Hiroyuki climbs up, and Rico helps set him up. As soon as she finishes, she hands the clue to Sasuke.)

Rico: At least I won’t have to kill this one…

Sasuke: Huh?

Rico: Um…never mind.

(Sasuke looks at Rico weirdly, but scouts down the ladder and hopes to catch up with Shannon and Racquel. Not helped by a kitsune-ninja who seems half-dead. After snapping him out of it…)

Sasuke: SNAP OUT OF IT!

Naruto: Que?

Sasuke: Never mind.

(Sasuke and Naruto begin running as Hiroyuki has the most trouble with the guns. He hit the stationary after 3 attempts, but the moving one takes 10 attempts, which is hard because of the reloading he has to do. By the time he does it…)

* * * *

9.20am

Henrietta: Welcome.

Racquel: My, what a cute girl!

Lillith: She gets that a lot…you don’t want to mess with her bad side though…

(Shot of Lillith clutching her arm badly…)

Lillith: (under her breath) It was only a joke, it was not an insult about Jose…

(Henrietta’s eyes change from sweet natured to killer chibi staring at Lillith, who runs like heck…she returns to Shannon and Racquel (back to sweet) and declares them…)

Henrietta: Shannon and Racquel, you are team number three.

Shannon: Looks like we’ve got some catching up to do…

Racquel: We’ll be fine. We’ll always got out of worse predicaments right?

Shannon: You can say that again…

* * * *

9.22am

Sasuke: You can sleep in a minute, just…

Naruto: Ramen…

Sasuke: Geez…half dreaming about food…food and sleep, shame there wasn’t a class based on that…

Henrietta: Hello?

Sasuke: Ah, right.

Henrietta: Naruto and Sasuke, you’re team number 4.

Sasuke: We’re slowing get up…no thanks to you…

Naruto: …with an egg please…

Sasuke: (sighs) Never mind…

* * * *

9.34am

Akari: You don’t need to say sorry Hiroyuki-chan…you did everything here…

Hiroyuki: I’m not Lemmy, I’m not exactly finger operative…

Akari: Don’t worry…

(Akari stares at Henrietta as they come up – they do look a bit alike…)

Henrietta: Um…

Akari: H-Hello there…

Hiroyuki: I must be hallucinating…two Akaris?

Henrietta: Gomen…I’m Henrietta…

Akari: Ah, nice to meet you…I’m Akari.

Henrietta: Um well…Akari and Hiroyuki…you’re team number 5.

Hiroyuki: Nah, just the one Akari. She didn’t add ‘chan.’

(Akari and Henrietta look at him, and laugh. They’re still in it…thanks to…)

* * * *

9.37am

(Shot of Riku and Risa first making it to the shuttle station in Rome, where the remaining man in black puts the blindfold on the girls…)

Risa: Everything sucked here, and to be taken down like this after doing so well for so long really was depressing…

* * * *

9.49am

(Next, arriving at the Welfare Agency where after getting the clue, Riku goes off to some sharp-shooting…)

Riku: I was surprised they still let us do these things considering how far we were behind. We guessed maybe the off chance that someone had messed up, but it was a slim hope.

(Another shot as it take Riku about 3 attempts on the stationary and 6 on the moving. She completes it, thanks Rico (Rico and Riku…damn confusing…) and slides down the ladder as the Haradas await the music…)

Risa: Riku has done her best to keep us in it – I will grudgingly admit that anything physical is her nature – but in the end, we’re not a match for the Shannon’s, the Kirika’s and the Sasuke’s, or even the Hiroyuki’s. Even Hale is as good as Riku so it was kind of knowing that overall, we could be the weakest team.

* * * *

10.04am

(Finally, the Haradas wait at the mat. By now, Jose has arrived by Henrietta’s side, with a present for her, a Kaleidoscope. (See GSG Manga 3 and NOT a reference to a certain show) Henrietta sees the Haradas and nods.)

Henrietta: Riku and Risa, welcome.

Riku: I would say hi, but I’m too tired…and frankly…depressed…

Henrietta: Sorry.

Risa: Not your fault sweetie, just this leg…

Henrietta: (nods) Riku and Risa, you are the last team to arrive.

(The Haradas nod awaiting their fate…)

Henrietta: However, as this leg is a non-elimination leg, you remain in the race.

(Pause…)

(…a shot of the Harada’s mouth wide open.)

Riku: Say that part again…

Lillith: Bakas…lack of sleep make you stupid? In plain English, you stay!

(Risa faints. Literally. Jose catches her, as Riku looks ready to pass out as well…)

Riku: We’re still in…

(It looks like the weight of the world is lifted off Riku Harada. The DNAngel team are still in it. But with a big time difference, can they get out of this jam? Find out in the next installment of the Anime-mazing Race 3!)

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Next time;

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This leg was a real pain to write – I’ll get that out of the way first. Now I know why Adam struggled through the last one – finding out all these places in Italy, seeing which ones would work with the challenges I set up, working out distances so they could get to places on time, trains, shuttles, planes, all alternatives looked into before finishing the damn thing. Ironic, considering this is one of my favourite shows in the series.

Another homage to the great modern VA of our times, Monica Rial plays both Lumiere and Kirika (one for Funimation and one for ADV) – hence the grape juice joke. I was actually told by Monica herself as well (and only realised this until she e-mailed me) that she was playing Angelica in Gunslinger Girl. At Amecon, she said she wanted to play in GSG, as well as Naruto and DN Angel. 2 out of 3 Monica…and I hope she gets a third…she’d rule as Sakura or Ino…

Rico’s comment about not having to kill Sasuke is just one of many tragic moments that happens to our girls – in this case, a young boy sees Rico (she’s an assassin, she’s not supposed to be seen) and they get talking, and it seems that Rico is liking him, but when she returns, Jean tells her if anyone saw her face, they have to die. So when the hotel that he works is being infiltrated, and she bumps into him…she says with a smile on her face, and points her gun at him… ‘I’m sorry.’ Jean is a bastard. Yeah, you could probably see my contempt for him throughout this chapter, but he is. Rico should just put a bullet in him – I know she won’t…hmm, maybe Henrietta or Triela then, or better…Claes just ripping his lungs out…

Oops, sorry. End of character bash.

If you guys want to know a bit more about GSG (insert plug), as some of you know I write an interactive fanfiction known as Anime Game Wars. GSG has a bit part involved in protecting one of the main plots, and fellow fan Joe Mello is an expert in writing these scenes so check it out. You may have noticed a little plug inside when Sasuke and Naruto encounter a tourist that speaks Japanese. That is most likely Mello-kun running for his life…

Next, we have our 4th show with the title Princess involved. But it’s not a Sister, a Scrapped or a group of baseball stars. Rather, a Miyazaki classic with a lot of violence. And it rocks. So until then!