© 2003 Tow Ubukata
All rights reserved.
Originally published in Japan by Hayakawa Publishing Inc.
English translation © 2011 VIZ Media, LLC
Cover and interior design by Sam Elzway
No portion of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the copyright holders.
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Haikasoru eBook Edition
Book I: THE FIRST COMPRESSION
Chapter 1: INTAKE
Chapter 2: MIXTURE
Chapter 3: CRANK-UP
Chapter 4: SPARK
Book II: THE SECOND COMBUSTION
Chapter 5: PISTON
Chapter 6: INJECTION
Chapter 7: ROTOR
Chapter 8: EXPLOSION
Book III: THE THIRD EXHAUST
Chapter 9: CRANK SHAFT
Chapter 10: MANIFOLD
Chapter 11: CONNECTING ROD
Chapter 12: NAVIGATION
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
THE FIRST COMPRESSION
A girl murmured, in a voice that could barely be called a voice, “I’d be better off dead.”
It was the half-hearted sound of words that weren’t real, words not meant for the man next to her.
It was a sound that she thought could
She perked up a bit after speaking the words, as if a jazz singer had cast a spell with a song.
She was floating along in a four-ton black jewel. It was the highest class of AirCar there was, its body kept silently afloat by the Gravity Device Engine. All the door windows were Magic Mirrors—you couldn’t see anything on the inside when looking in from outside. You needed special dispensation to have this sort of window—
Usually there was a chauffeur assigned to the car, but now it was on complete autopilot, gliding through the city unconcerned.
Perhaps the car wasn’t so much the jewel as it was the jewel box. Perhaps it was the girl inside that was the jewel. Certainly, that was what her appearance suggested. The shimmering lights of the city lent her cheeks a lustrous sheen, illuminating her innocent face. It was beguiling, seductive. Her slim body, her piercing ebony pupils and her fawnlike eyes, her shoulder-length black hair: all there to give the client the pleasure of an encounter with an exotic doll.
Over her outfit she wore a trench coat that came down to her ankles. The type so beloved of the Senorita class of girls. It was spread open, and both her hands were stuffed deep in her coat pockets. She was the very picture of a cute, alluring young thing who’d been transported into an adult wonderland.
It was just then, as she was thinking about herself, reacting to the bright lights of the city, that the words