Part Two: Angel of Assassins
"Sire." Marcus spoke, his hand being bandaged up by a medic. "We have a problem."
"What is this problem, Marcus?" Prozen asked, seeing the look in Marcus's eyes.
"The test was a success." He began, wincing in pain. "The Berserk Fury likes its' pilot."
"What is the problem then?"
"The pilot was Aethelwulf."
"WHAT!?" Prozen snarled, his red eyes narrowed. "You mean that it was Aethelwulf was behind the helm of the Berkserk Fury prototype!? Where was Schubaltz!?"
"...we're still looking, sire."
Karl opened his eyes, sitting up slightly. He could see he was in Leon's room, and that he was well-rested. Looking around, Karl slid closer to the edge of the bed, then slowly approached the door. He heard voices on the other side, including Marcus's.
"Aethelwulf probably stashed Major Schubaltz in his room, unlock the door."
"We are, sir!"
Karl froze in his tracks, a voice in his head told him that something was really wrong. Looking about, Karl looked for a place to hide, then looked up.
The door flew open and five soldiers ran un with fully loaded semi-automatic machine guns. They combed the room looking for Karl, unable the find him. They didn't know Karl was in the ventilation shaft above them. Karl sat completely still, he heard Marcus muttering something.
"I cannot believe Aethelwulf knew about the experiment, he must have been listening into the Minister and I's private conversation."
//E-experiment....? So Leon....// The Epiphany hit Karl swiftly, it almost made his head whiplash. //Leon was telling the truth.//
"He isn't here, sir." A soldier looked at Marcus.
"Bah. Let's look elsewhere I guess." They left the room, closing the door behind them. Karl slid the grate off and jumped down, almost tripping. He wiped the dust off his uniform and went for the door when he heard the unforgettable beep of someone imputting the opening sequence code. Freezing in his tracks, Karl let out a small gulp before it open. However the person who opened the door was a very friendly and handsome face. Leon stood there with a sack of groceries in his arm, looking surprised to see his room trashed.
"Damn, Major. If you wanted out, you could have called me."
"Marcus's men were looking for me. What did you do?" Karl demanded, but in a soft tone.
Leon turned on the light and closed the door, he set the groceries on the table and sighed. "They were going to put you behind the wheel of a very powerful, very dangerous zoid... a prototype zoid called a Berserk Fury. They wanted a pilot with nerves of steel and an iron will, they wanted you. I had a gut feeling that with this thing that even you would crack under its' bloodthirsty pressure... so I wanted to protect you and thus I assumed your form and took the experiment onto myself."
"L-leon.. I...." Karl was speechless, his gaze from Leon's face shifted. His hands slipped on the back of the chair, looking a little ashamed of putting Leon through this.
"No need to be upset, sir." Leon smiled, his body close to Karl's. His fingers under Karl's chin, delicately and tenderly lifting his chin. "Your safety and well-being is my first priority."
"I can handle myself, Leon... but I...." Karl's words were interupted with a soft kiss, his sparkling green eyes widened in surprise. Soon the kiss became full, Karl's eyelids fluttered shut, his arms snaked around Leon's body.
"I am concerned for you." Leon whispered softly, his lips close to Karl's. "I am concerned for you because I love you."
For the first time in his life, Karl didn't feel right responding to that with protocol and procedure. His hands caressed the ebony fabric of Leon's uniform, his eyes gazing longing into Leon's pools of indigo.
Finally a response found its' way out of Karl's pouty lips. "I love you too, Leon."
Smiling brightly, the mysterious Lieutenant kissed the blonde Imperial cutey again. The moment was sweet at best.
"This is the Berserk Fury?" Karl asked as Leon turned on the lights to the hangar.
"Yes, ain't she a beaut..." The blue and black haired lieutenant smiled as he neared the white T-Rex type zoid. "It's equipped with a charged particle beam, similiar to the one Raven uses in the Geno Saurer... but the way they build this thing.... the Berserk Fury would kick the Geno Saurer's ass anyday."
"It worries me, Leon." Karl looked up at the beast, then looked at his right-hand man. "The Empire is building big, bad tools of mass destruction when we should be working to bring peace to the world."
"Maybe Prozen's angle is peace through superior firepower
... at any rate, they weren't sure if they were going to build another like it because they were unsure of the effects on a normal person. So they sent for someone with 'nerves of steel and iron will'. I managed to get a hold of the notes, it seems that there were other tests on other pilots. They were 'consumed' by the Berserk Fury's morbid grip and were usually placed in mental wards afterward because they were drained of their mental will and went insane. THe Berserk Fury is a beast of blood, Karl. A monster who feeds on the fallen and the slain, to satisfy its' own desire for death. And I feel I am better suited on controlling the fiend because I'm the only one here to have tamed it and got it to like a pilot controlling it."
"By all means." Karl's hands slipped on Leon's shoulders, giving him a reassuring smile. "I always knew you could tame demons, and I feel you too are better suited for this zoid. I won't try and force you to not give it up. If you did... the Empire... Prozen will try to run more tests on unsuspecting and unwilling participants... I don't want that."
"Thank-you for having faith in me." Leon smiled, taking one of Karl's hands in his and caressing it lovingly.
"There you are!"
The lights switched on and soldiers flooded the hangar, they were soon joined by Marcus. Marcus had a gun in his hand, aiming it at Karl and Leon with a smile on his face.
"I knew I'd corner you, Aethelwulf." Marcus stepped out of the crowd of soldiers.
"Bite me, Marcus." Leon had Karl in one arm, glaring into Marcus's cold black eyes.
"I cannot let you take the Berserk Fury, Marcus!" Karl stood his ground, getting out of Leon's protective grasp. "It belongs to Leon now!"
"You're wrong, Schubaltz! It belongs to Prozen therefore it belongs to the Empire!" Marcus disputed, his hand on the gun.
"Why would anyone want to build such a deadly weapon to begin with? We don't need it!"
"You see, Schubaltz... if we don't act soon, the Republic will send its' own personal assassin to kill Prozen. We have to stop him in his tracks and because he pilots a specially modified Stealth Liger, we won't be able to track him and he'll enter our glorious nation unobserved!! Then he'll kill Prozen just like that..."
"So he's doing humanity a bit of good." Leon came back quickly to Marcus's explanation. "But this... this is overkill, Marcus! Nothing short of a Death Saurer will stop this thing!!"
"Death Saurer?" Marcus aimed his gun at Leon, snarling. "How did you know about the Death Saurer?"
"D-death Saurer!?" Karl froze in his tracks, then turned toward Leon. "Is there something you're not telling me?"
Leon pulled Karl into his arms and stared into Marcus's eyes. There wasn't a word said, but suddenly the Berserk Fury came to life with a blood-curdling roar. The soldiers looked up shakily and ran from the zoid as it began to chase them. Marcus was one of those poor fools who ran for safety, Leon scooped Karl up and jumped for the cockpit of the Berserk Fury. Strapping himself in, the lieutenant gave the BF its' command to blast the door, it responded by giving a grotesque growl, then tromped to the hangar door.
"Stop them! They're getting away!"
The zoids behind them were coming to life, Leon frowned and looked at the view screens. The unfinished prototypes and various untyped zoids surrounded them, Leon grinned and spoke to the Berserk Fury itself. "Belle... lunch time. Have at 'em, girl."
The Berserk Fury roared, then lunged at the nearest zoid, ripping it to pieces with its' claws and claw arms. The fight ensued, blood and zoid part flew everywhere, Karl watched in amazement as the Berserk Fury bowed to Leon's every wish. Finally it tore into the hangar door and made its' escape.
"So the Republic has their own Raven." Leon looked at the road ahead, Karl in his lap.
"I never knew they had trained an assassin like Prozen trained Raven until now. A Stealth Liger... I heard of those. They're exceptionally modified Blade Ligers, used by a certain assassin sect... I didn't know that this sect existed until Marcus mentioned the Stealth Liger..."
"You heard of them?"
"Yes, they're ninja who tore from their old ways and decided to go with the rest of Zi into the Zoid Era." Karl frowned, looking up at Leon. "But I didn't think that the Republic had access to these assassins, their bargaining prices are usually too costly for anyone to handle..."
"Plus the Republic reminds me too much of the United States on a planet called Earth. They want to be the heroes of Zi, they're doing it but being good guys. It doesn't seem like the Republic to hire to assassins... unless... they're desperate..."
A mini-submarine emerged in an underwater cavern and docked in the mini-dock. The front of the submarine opened up but nothing seemed to emerge. But in the mud, four Liger footprints formed, then followed by a trail of them. The Stealth Liger had landed in Imperial space without detection. The figure in the Stealth Liger looked at the picture of Minister Prozen, his silver fox-like eyes narrowed under cybershades and continued piloting the Stealth Liger toward the entrance of the cavern...
...the assassin had finally arrived.