Story by Tsumori Tokio
As soon as he is alone with Dominick in her office, the first thing he does is go around and destroy all the hidden cameras and microphones. The two officers engage in a long session of verbal sparring. Dominick reveals that she is married to another officer on the base, a man who dislikes Lucifard for having long hair. Ever since the couple was transferred to the base three years before, he has been avoiding his wife. Thus, she decided to take her frustration out on the other male officers who came to be measured, involving a number of other female subordinates (those with grudges against men) in her scheme. Lucifard manages to convince her that harrassing other men is never going to solve her problem and that she needs to confront her husband directly, even if that means demanding a divorce. She promises to stop the harrassment...after finishing with Lucifard himself.
He gets through the actual measuring process unscathed, yet as he is just about to leave, she pretends to trip on a bump in the carpet and rips his shirt open as she falls. She calls the other women in to "repair" the damage, and they descend upon Lucifard like ravenous wolves, trying to strip his clothes off. When one of them grabs his screen glasses, however, he instinctively uses his psychokinesis to shove them all away. He uses his status as a ranking officer to order them all out of the room and locks the door. He intended it as a maneuver to buy him some time to distract them from the use of his powers, but it leaves him once again dangerously alone with Dominick.
Determined to have him, she begins a straghtforward attack, dueling him with a pair of sabers she had hanging decoratively on the wall. Lucifard is amazed by her strength and combat ability, which stem from the fact that she's one-eighth Hexanaut, though he's even more amazed by the glimpse he gets of her garter belt.
At one point in their conversation, Dominick had asked him about his preferred type. The conclusion he reaches is that his preferred type is someone elegant and refined, yet strong, with long hair. He admits to himself that his ideal is based on his mother. He mentally lists the people on the base who fit that description: Melissa, Saladin, and Dominick herself. He then proceeds to eliminate Melissa and Dominick because they already have other men with feelings for them--even if they are divorced or on the verge of divorce--which would make a relationship too troublesome. That leaves... Lucifard is suddenly shocked at himself for including a man on his list. He can't deny that he tried to rape the doctor on more than one occasion, the most recent just the day before. He concludes that his actions must be the result of not getting enough sex lately.
The story comes out that Dominick's husband was the captain of a military spaceship that answered the distress call of a craft infected by a deadly parasite called Green Bomb that multiplies inside its host like a virus and then causes the host to explode, the resulting green fluids spreading it to a new host. The other ship had sealed off all infected sections, jettisoned the belongings of all the victims, and passed a sufficient quarantine period, so Captain Bunker decided it was safe to rescue the survivors. Tragically, his own ship was then infected by the parasite and he lost half his crew. That was when Dominick lost her eye and gained her green scar. Captain Bunker was found guilty of having made a bad decision and he and his wife were transferred to Vermillion as punishment. That was when he started avoiding Dominick, because he felt her injury was his fault and couldn't bring himself to face her.
Lucifard recalls hearing about the incident and thinking it suspicious. He speculates that Green Bomb was engineered as a biological weapon and released aboard the contaminated ship intentionally as an experiment. After all the precautions taken, the only imaginable source of infection for Captain Bunker's ship was from inside the sealed emergency rations retrieved during the rescue. Thus Captain Bunker was made into a scapegoat by those in the upper levels of the military. Dominick is touched by his understanding. Just as Lucifard is about to leave, having essentially won the duel, Dominick picks up the issue of Purple Heaven that had fallen out of his pocket during the fight. She tosses it at his feet and uses his distraction in picking it up to pounce him and have her wicked way.
After his ordeal, Lucifard returns to his apartment to shower and change out of his ruined clothes. Lilah drops by to give him the message that Kaja called to tell him Red regained consciousness. He spills what happened with Dominick, with the excuse that it was the effect of her matching red garter belt and lacy underwear that did him in. He wonders out of curiosity if other female officers wear such items, making Lilah warn him against asking Melissa because it would be sexual harrassment. She turns the topic to male officers' underwear instead and suggests that he ask Saladin what kind he uses, hypothesizing that it's probably silk. Lucifard vehemently refuses. With Melissa, it would likely turn into a bit of friendly flirtation, but with the doctor, he would immediately be pinned against the nearest wall with no chance of escape.
Saladin himself, having an unusal period of free time, decides to visit Kaja. He figures out what's going on with Red and goes into a jealous rage, causing the Hakushi to protest, "Don't kill him! At the very least, don't kill him in my wing!" Lucifard arrives and enters the hospital room, using his body to block Red from the doctor's view. Red, his feelings for the Ra-Phael officer painfully apparent, offers to stay and use his abilities to help with the Evil investigation. Lucifard coldly turns him down. Kaja, who can all too easily imagine himself in Red's place, takes Lucifard's unfeeling attitude personally and angrily kicks him out of the room.
Saladin, sensing there's a deeper reason for the officer's words, invites Lucifard to his office for tea. He deduces that Lucifard acted cruelly on purpose to force Red to give up on him. When Saladin questions him about it, Lucifard explains that "the order of whom to protect" was wrong, adding matter-of-factly, "You're number one on my list." He elaborates that as a commanding officer, he has had to develop a prioritized list of whom to protect; he can't save everyone. He realized during his first encounter with Red that the Mermenoid has an air about him that makes people want to protect him. Yet, as Lucifard discovered when he faced Bloody Les, with both arms devoted to holding Red he can't draw his gun. Thus, since Saladin is his highest priority, he has no choice but to sacrifice Red.
The doctor is moved by the revelation. That turns to shock, however, when Lucifard lets slip the full truth of his encounter with Dominick. Lucifard interprets Saladin's expression as surprise that he would sleep with a married woman, but the doctor is really reacting to the news as a sign that he is a failure as a Houraijin. His mother could make anyone into her love-slave merely by smiling, yet despite all his efforts at seduction, Lucifard easily has an affair with someone else.
Just as Saladin decides he should forget about his Houraijin aesthetics and simply bite Lucifard to possess him once and for all, the Ra-Phael officer admits that he finds the doctor attractive. He goes on to say that he had thought at first his feelings were due to sexual frustration, but now that he is seeing Saladin fresh from his interlude with Dominick, he is forced to conclude that he likes the doctor as a person over and above his sexual urges. After he leaves, Saladin doesn't know what to think. Lucifard's bizarre mixture of extreme attraction and firm rejection is utterly perplexing. Having previously heard about Lucifard's history as an "escort sheep," he understands that what occurred with Dominick was no more than an extension of the same. It isn't that he's a failure as a Houraijin, it's that Lucifard is a particularly difficult nut to crack.
End Volume Ten
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