Ryu is 26 years old today. Kaori prepared a delicious birthday meal all by herself. The others all compliment her. She is especially flushed when Ryu does. Gai finds her response irritating. Meanwhile, photographers are doing a shoot with a fashion-model in her bathing suit. Maria observes this and places a bio-changer on the camera. It fires a beam at the girl. The photographer turns and throws her a towel. All stare in shock as the towel falls through her fading form. She appears in a photograph in Maria's album. Kaori is determined to make something special for Ryu. So she is knitting him a red sweater. Her butler comes in and praises her, but seeing her poke herself and draw blood tries to suggest that she have someone else do it. She wouldn't dream of it. Gai is playing pool at the bar when Ryu arrives and orders hot milk. Gai decides now is as good a time as any to ask Ryu how he feels about Kaori. Ryu responds that she is a soldier just like he is. Gai snarls that soldiers are human too, and need love. "I bet you've never been in love!" he snaps. He suddenly grabs Ryu's arm, spins him and pins him against the pool table. After a few snarled remarks about Ryu's heartlessness he releases him and stalks off. All Ryu can do is shudder with the memory of Rie slipping out of his hands, his failure to save her. "Oh Gai, you don't understand." He remembers better times, when he and Rie played lovers' games together. Of their apartment and her grand piano. She could play classical and he would stand beside her, amazed and proud of her beautiful playing. "Oh Rie, why did you die? I'd give anything to hear you play again." Maria gloats over the panic and confusion caused whenever her monster photographs people and they vanish. She's feeling her oats, sure that this monster will destroy the Jetmen. Radiege makes a snide comment about how she's just a woman, is she sure she can do this? They are distracted from their petty carping by a peculiar sound. Gure is trying his hand at this new things he's brought home. A piano. He can make sounds with it, but is still trying to figure out how to make more complex music. Toran remarks sarcastically on Gure's playing, so the robot stalks away. But Maria is drawn inexplicably toward the instrument. She sits down, lays her hands on the keys. From the first waterfall of notes the others are transfixed. Especially Gure. In the midst of the song Maria stops playing, to gaze in bewilderment at her hands wondering where the music came from. Kaori holds out a box to Ryu. "For me?" "Yes, it's a birthday present." Ryu draws out the red sweater, delighted by its softness until he hears Ako ask Kaori, "Did you make it yourself?" He glances over and sees the bandages on almost every finger. He realizes that the sweater represents a depth of feeling he cannot reciprocate. He will not play games with her heart and with a pang of guilt, tells her he cannot accept the sweater. Stunned, she takes it stuttering "I was just being friendly." Then she breaks, throwing the sweater aside she runs from the room in tears. Gai is furious with Ryu, but wastes no time in going after her, leaving Ryu to an angry Lyta who grabs him by the lapels and shakes him, "How could you be so cruel to her?!" Gai catches up with Kaori, demanding that she look at him. When she won't, he spins her around and kisses her. Kaori slaps him with all her strength. He backs up and demands, "Why? Why don't you care about MY feelings?" He reaches for the sobbing woman again but at that moment the Vyram attack. Gure, alone on the ship, is able to indulge himself with the piano. Slowly at first, then with increasing confidence he plays the classical piece Maria played earlier. Kaori and Gai are fighting the faceless minions. Gai takes a few shots meant for Kaori and calls for help. They are getting heavily blasted. Maria directs the camera monster to fire, just then the other Jetmen arrive. Ryu tells Gai and Kaori to run, but Maria catches Kaori, putting her directly in the path of the camera monster which shoots her. Kaori falls into Gai's arms and fades away. Maria gloats, showing them Kaori's photo in her album.
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