It had been an unusually bad day at Gaines, Inc. Some people think the CEO of a company doesn't do anything, and that might be true of other companies. I, however, have done more public relations and put up with more bullshit than any of the troglodytes behind Microsoft, Sony, or any other legitimate corporation. Today was worse than usual. The press had released information of my ship's near-completion (formerly completed, but I requested modifications), and crackpots across the country were banding together in massive anti-Delmo protests. These protests and even more so the protestors, as it turned out, were everywhere. I had actually tried to go out for dinner that night. I wasn't trying to stand out or anything. Oppai, Mina, and an Italian-American named Alessia who had just recently been promoted to White Delmo. We were going to celebrate at a five-star Italian place, I think the name's Viaggio's. The staff was probably trained to deal with "eccentric" customers, but that helped nothing. I received glares from every female member, including the ones in the kitchen. Still, the restaurant wasn't going to sacrifice its reputation. Not every member of the public disliked or distrusted me, and if I badmouthed the place, it couldn't be good. As such, the staff performed fine.
The customers, however...I was halfway through some manicotti when I noticed. Five young lean businessmen in expensive suits and one slightly older, slightly richer-looking woman. Two of the men were finishing cigars, and the entire group was looking at me with drunken hatred. The woman seemed to have something in her purse, and her hand snuck towards it. I was going to say something when Oppai gently elbowed me and motioned to them. "My lord," she started quietly. "I don't trust that group. I suggest you ask for the check and leave the restaurant." I nodded quietly. Meanwhile, Alessia had nearly drawn her her .45 sidearm pistol, and placed her hand firmly on my back. "Hunch over, Lord Gaines. Be ready to dive under the table should something happen." I did as told, and it may have saved my life. Right as I bent down, the woman pulled a derringer and fired quickly. The shots that would have hit me in the back of the head instead hit Mina in the stomach and left breast. She clutched herself and leaned against the table for support. I was going to help her, but she grit her teeth, aimed her already drawn weapon, and returned fire, hitting my attacker five times in total. Only one of the shots missed her face, and I regret ever seeing the result. Made me want to vomit. The young men in question were the only others who had not made a mad dash for the door. They paused, looking shocked at what my injured bodyguard had accomplished. However, they were quick to shake it off as they drew miscellaneous melee weapons such as knives and brass knuckles. "You're done for, you wannabe Hargen!" Shouted one as the group charged. Alessia threw me under the table and chambered her weapon. I heard shots fired, and decided to poke my head out. I saw two men dead and a third injured by the time they were in melee range. The remaining three all went after Mina. Injured but not incapacitated, she threw a strong neck chop to the injured one, knocking him sensless. Oppai and Alessia grabbed the other two from behind. The former snapped her adversary's neck, while the latter opted for a choke hold. The man writhed in her grip, landing a few punches with his knuckles. She didn't let go, however. This was her new promotion, and she did not look ready to give it up. Once she had left him unconscious, I started to come out. I looked around at what had just happened in the space of two minutes. Alessia came to my side. "My lord, are you alright?" She held me close and looked me over. "I'm fi-!" I started to say I was fine when more shots were fired. I looked over to see that Oppai had opted to finish off those her comrades had left unconscious. She gave me a cold look. "Don't worry, my lord. You're safe now." As she came closer, the first wail of a siren could be heard.
The police asked some questions, got some witness statements, and let us off. Our attackers hadn't possessed the best records. They were all fanatics for female empowerment. One used to be the CEO of some femi-nazi social media site. Tumbler, I think, but it was formatted some stupid way. They had a history of protest, and the fact that they were all drunk didn't help. I headed back, trying to avoid the news cameras. However, I did get an idea as I was approaching the safety of my vehicle. The last news camera I passed, I looked right into. "Rie Petoriyacowa, I hope you're watching what happened today. And I hope you're happy." I knew that statement would be used against me, but I said nothing about Delmos. Nobody could say I'm planning to complete Hargen's work, or that certain women of mine are high-ranked Delmos. I just couldn't help myself. Rie's pleas for all Delmos to give up and give in were lies, and she had to see that Hargen's women have not been forgiven.
Entering the base caused a lot of commotion. Delmos surrounded our party with all sorts of questions. "Lord Gaines, are you hurt?" "Please, don't go out again!" "Commander Mina, are you alright?!" Mina had been given brief medical attention by paramedics. They recommended she go to the hospital, but that was a risk. Someone could connect her to Operation Silver Wild Grapevine. She was bandaged and came back with us. "Pink Delmos, Commander Mina needs medical attention. She'll live, don't worry." Suzy and a small group rushed to take care of my bodyguard. I answered all sorts of questions and made sure to kiss and reassure every last one of my girls before I went to bed. Well, almost. It was a little after midnight. I'd taken about four hours to get to my girls, but one was missing.
Virginia was in my quarters. She gave me a start when I saw her. "V-Virginia! Don't scare me like that!" She looked at me. "I apologize, my lord," was all she said. I was concerned. "Virginia, are you alright?" She shook a little. "Virginia?" I touched her gently, and she wept quietly. "L-lord Gaines, I don't want to be a Black Delmo anymore."
"Virginia, please. I'm begging you to stay."
"What? Oh, you mean-oh..." She came close and hugged me tight. "My lord, I would never leave you. No, I almost lost you today, and I could have done nothing to prevent that. I want to become a White Delmo." I stopped. This came as a shock. "Virginia...nobody's ever even tried to move that far up the ranks. Most Black Delmos don't even make it up to Blue, and most Blue Delmos don't get to White."
"Ever seen The Karate Kid?"
"A high-school kid named Daniel gets beat up on by these merciless karate jocks. He meets a handyman who turns out to be a kung-fu master, and through determination, Daniel goes from nothing to the winner of a karate tournament in 2 months."
"How do you know this? Your parents never would have taken you to the movies."
"It was the only one he liked. He watched it while he was drunk-"
"He watched it sometimes; we'll just say that."
"Either way, it's a movie. You can't expect to use determination alone to become a White Delmo."
"No, but it'll help. My lord, I want to do this. I want to be at your side, protecting you always. Can't you just help me do this?"
"Alright. I'll talk with Oppai, Sania, and Alessia."
"M-my lord...Oppai...doesn't like me."
"I've picked up on that. But I think you two should try to settle your differences. I know it's hard and some people can't be reasoned with. However, to better protect me, something you're both passionate about, you can't be at each other's throats."
"Yes, my lord. We'll talk."
"Good. If you need me, let me know. But I pray to the sort-of-there God the nuns shoved down my throat that you can do it yourselves."
She smiled that beautiful, warm smile of hers. "For you, my lord, I'll manage. Now come here." She held me tight and I kissed and felt her, and the day got a little better.