Disclaimer: I don`t own Zoids. BYE NOW!!!
The Night That Dreams Died
The sun set to the east, police were swarming across the entirety of what had been a battlefield mere hours earlier. The remains of the destroyed Judge Capsule were being hauled up by a team of Godos units, while the remains of the dead Konig Wolf were being chipped away at to get to it`s core, which was thought to still be relatively salvageable despite all of the damage that had been done to the Zoid as a whole, while the remains of the Black Stormsworder were completely shot to Hell, not even the core had survived.
Paul Tsun and his son weren`t too far away, though the older of the two was obviously miffed to say the least. The younger was just a bit scared and a bit out of it, put things lightly.
Borealis was surrounded on all sides by a number of men in bio-hazard suits, each of whom was in the process of working the downed Organoid over with the same freezing compound usually reserved for use on partially damaged Zoid cores to help stabilize them until proper repairs could be made.
The catch was that these men wore no insiginias on their suits like most of theothers, and the police weren`t saying who they were. Everyone on the Blitz Team could easily guess that they were either Guylos, Helic or Guardian Force, obviously a black ops unit of some kind. Borealis, for his part, was unconcious, and as a result, unable to do anything to stop them, while an armed guard prevented anyone from trying to interfere.
The Gunsniper had been loaded back into the HoverCargo by now, as had the Scout Fox - which was still able to function on it`s own with relative ease despite it`s battle damage. It was probably the toughest Zoid that Brad had ever piloted, but he still couldn`t stand the thing. Leena on the other hand, was standing next to her father, annoyedly calm and quiet, literally biting her tongue to not blurt out anything offensive at the scene playing out not to far from them.
This was probably due to the fact that Steven and Brad were both giving her death glares that could probably give Kale a chill or two. They were doing this for a simple reason: Respect for a mutual friend. At least that was Brad`s only reason, Steven also had to deal with the fact that said-friend was also an employee and his godson.
The last part of the wide scene playing out was the one between the two people who had decided most of the day`s events, namely Jamie Hameros and Leyla Tsun. The latter of the two was still bleeding from the shoulders, though she was also bearing a new piece to her ensemble: a pair of shackles across her wrists. Attempted murder and seeming criminal insanity weren`t things the Battle Commission took lightly. A guard stood nearby, imposing despite actually having a fairly short stature.
"Where are they taking you?" Jamie asked with a sigh, standing across from her by a few steps.
"The Transtock Temporary Home for the Criminally Insane, I`m guessing," Leyla replied with a sardonic tone, her voice seeming a bit more enchanting - was that the word for it? - than usual. "I`ve heard of the place, it`s supposed to be a temporary evaluation-type of thing."
"And then they`ll probably try me for attempted murder," she answered with a shrug. Jamie frowned deeply, it had been a bad enough day as it was. "How`re you holding up right now, anyway?" He finally asked.
"I`m not sure. I`ve been kinda... Flooded with things. Memories, I guess. I`m not sure what they mean or what they`re supposed to be, but the only thing I can really get out of them is that I`m not... Human... Er..."
"You`re an Ancient Zoidian then?" Jamie asked with a bit of surprise. It would have been more so but really - when someone fuses with an Organoid and mutates a Zoid all on their lonesome, it tends to remove the shock value from things. Leyla only vaguely nodded in recognition of the word, as if it struck an old, untouched chord somewhere in the very back of her thoughts.
"Sounds about right," she finally stated dimly. "Though... There is one thing that`s kinda sticking out."
"What?" Jamie asked.
"Nyx. The Dark Continent," she answered, the second part coming a bit hesitantly. "Just... Don`t ever go there, alright?" She asked dryly, not sure why she was giving the warning in the first place, but doing it anyway. Jamie gave another nod and sighed again. "I won`t."
"Alright kids," the guard finally chimed in annoyedly. "Time to go."
"I`ll visit you whenever I can, and write too... And call," Jamie assured after several seconds of apprehensively staring at the guard, looking back at Leyla in the process. What he found waiting for him was a fairly lengthy, drawn out kiss on the lips, even if it was cut a bit short for his tastes. Surprised as he was, he embraced it, and at some point in the process, he could swear he felt the Wild Eagle actually cheering for him.
Within a second or two though, it was over. Leyla and Jamie both drew away and the guard started to step forward, taking the girl by the arm and virtually dragging her away.
"Bye!" Leyla called out.
"See ya soon, Leyla!" Jamie shouted back, standing there with an undeniably silly little awestruck smirk on his face. For once, even if things had basically gone straight to Hell, they were starting to look up in the most unlikely of ways. Even Paul seemed to be agreeing to it, and he absolutely hated having Leyla around boys her own age.
As for the other observers...
"Ahhh, young love," Leena fawned like the rabid fangirl she could be at times.
"The single greatest cancer that has ever plagued the face of Zi," Brad commented with a lazily cheerful tone.
"Yep," Steven shrugged in agreement with the same tone to his voice.
The Kravenoft Ruins, situated two miles south of Garnhelm Base, just beyond the steep 'shelf' drop that came with the distance involved. It was night time, the ancient structure looked like an old corpse left out in the desert for too long.
Kravenoft was once a religious temple dedicated to the deities of the Ancient Zoidians, it towered over most structures since it was almost the same height as a Whale King. The years had not been kind to the enormous structure though, and now what was once undeniable grandeur had been reduced to a deathly shadow of it`s former glory. War, apocalypse, looting, time and the relentless conditions of the weather had all worn away so that the ancient symbols only could only vaguely be seen without some sort of visual aid.
These things didn`t concern the twelve year old pilot of the Razorwind Fury. He had more pressing matters to deal with - like the fact that his only real reason for being out at the Kravenoft Ruins was currently hidden somewhere inside. Kale had apparently made the place into his own personal rest stop for a few days, probably to allow the Geno Saurer or Shadow the chance to catch their mutual breath. Vega was willing to bet that his older brother was still sitting in the Geno`s cockpit, arms crossed murderously over his chest, just waiting for his Zoid and the Organoid to finish resting up.
He also knew he was probably wrong. Kale was able to read him like a book after all, it wasn`t too far fetched that the older of the two brothers would be have the foresight involved in manipulating the Guardian Force into throwing Vega at him.
He had little, if any clue, how utterly wrong he was.
With a roar of compressed air and super-powered electronics, the Fury launched like a bullet from the rail on the underside of the Foe Hammer, landing with the sounds of crunched, centuries-old stone and pavement, then skidding along for several seconds into the weathered remains of the ancient structure.
"Alright guys, head to the base and hope I don`t get killed..."
"Ever the optimist," Lars pointed out with obvious sarcasm only to be smacked upside the head a few seconds later by Dana.
"Come back alive," the older woman ordered sternly, bringing the Hammerhead II around to point at the nearby base, then blasting away at medium speed.
"I will," Vega said, though he didn`t mean it. The youth wasn`t terribly keen on making promises he couldn`t knowingly keep after all, so he didn`t even try acting like he would. Vega truthfully didn`t even believe that he would survive the third round of his battles with his older brother, let alone succeed in it. As such, he wasn`t fighting for survival or victory - he was fighting to cause damage. His heart was racing in his chest as the Zoid lumbered forward slowly, hesitantly vanishing into the darkness of the old temple, even as a familiar silhouette appeared not too far away.
Two clacking sounds echoed in the quiet of the night, and the Geno Saurer went rigid...
It had been earlier in the day when Fiona Alysse Linette-Fleiheit walked out from her home. It was near mid-day, in fact. She was clad in the same pink-and-red dress that had once been her trademark clothing, and despite the age that had only seemed to begin catching up to her, the blonde lady still held the same grace and beauty that had also once been her trademark, moving fluidly to an oddly out-of-place collection of weeds in the middle of her front yard, at the very base of the hill that her home had been built on.
An oddity of these weeds was that Fiona had never let anyone cut them away, and had always told her daughter and the ones who came after her to avoid playing around it - usually with an excuse that they were poisonous or something like that. Even the Liger Zero and it`s Organoid seemed to give this unassuming patch of growth the respect of not stepping on it, though Bit hadn`t noticed that when he`d arrived at his last visit.
With a tired smile, Fiona knelt down and cleared away the weeds, revealing a simple headstone. It was simple because he had never wanted to have his grave become a place of worship, or historical significance or anything else. He`d just wanted to be left alone in death as he hadn`t been in life. The headstone read with only a simple phrase, it didn`t even list the dates of his birth and death.
friend, lover, father and
hero to the end of his days.
"I thought you had Thomas buried somewhere around here as well," Riese commented a bit snidely, the limp in her walk becoming a bit more visible if you actually paid attention to it. It wasn`t a major limp, she didn`t need a cane or anything, it was just that her right leg was weaker beneath the knee than it had been before she had learned to avoid running from the Guardian Force.
"Bitter as ever, I take it?" Fiona asked knowingly, her smile fading as the blue haired Zoidian walked towards her, the old dress-jacket billowing slightly in the wind. She knew that when Riese referred to the long-gone Thomas Schubaltz by his first name rather than 'Schubaltz' or 'Schubaltz` little brother,' she wasn`t meaning it in a respectful or friendly way.
"He put a bullet in my kn-"
"You robbed him of his memories," Fiona cut her off sternly.
"He could have just asked to have them back," Riese snorted indignantly.
"He did. Apparently, his request wasn`t good enough, now was it?" Fiona defended one old friend from the wrath of another. Riese shrugged and dropped the subject from there, moving on to something else...
"How much longer do you think it`ll take them?" She asked, leering out at the storm clouds hovering in the distance. They were all centered ominously around the general area that Bit and Zeke happened to be in.
"Too long," Fiona answered dryly.
"I guess we`ll have to take the high road out, won`t we?" Riese asked. Fiona only shrugged.
We`re being surrounded...
"You felt them too?" Bit asked somberly, not stopping for a moment.
Yes. I`m unsure of their numbers or what type of Zoids they`re using, but I can practically smell them.
"Well... We don`t have time for them, now do we?" Bit asked, feeling the same intensity that Zeke had been possessed of since they`d set out from the Blitz Team base two days earlier. The two would`ve been at the Wind Colony by now if they`d had the Jaeger armor, but as it stood, the basic armor configuration would have to do. Not like they`d set out with any time to actually switch to Jaeger in the first place.
Liger growled in agreement, pouring even more energy into it`s boosters, only to come to a skidding halt seconds later as a number of dark green Rev Raptors blazed out of the sands in front of it. Canyon walls lined off to either side, it wasn`t wide enough for Bit to just go around them and it wasn`t narrow enough to hold him in place. Behind him, a dozen more of the dark green Rev Raptors emerged from hiding, soon joined by at least an equal amount from either side of the canyon walls, and another six dark green Helcats came from the tops of those very walls a second later.
Bit grit his teeth defiantly, even as a dark green Scout Fox came up from behind, moving in front of the Rev Raptors.
"Bit Cloud! You have one minute to surrender peacefully, otherwise, we`ll kill you where your Zoid stands."
Brad uneasily sat by on the bridge of the HoverCargo, Leena and Jamie sitting not too far away, though one of them was asleep from genuine exhaustion and the other from flat-out boredom. The Doc was piloting, and silence seemed to reign aside from his occasional humming.
Eventually though, silence yielded to a vague feeling of paranoia. His gut instinct was acting up again.
"What?" Steve answered, glancing back at the former mercenary from the helm.
"Is the Scout Fox loaded into the launch system?"
With murder in his eyes, Kale pulled the trigger. An instant later, Shadow howled with delight as the stillness of night shattered into a million pieces, lightning flaring briefly in the background as the charged particle cannon let loose with it`s deadly attack.
"Minute`s up! Surrender at once or be destroyed!"
Silence. And then a chuckle.
"I think I speak for both myself and the Liger here when I say: EAT ME!" Bit shouted back, and with his words, the entire enemy force opened fire at once.
It was night time now, Fiona and Riese sat alone on the front porch of the two-story house, each staring thoughtfully off into the stars of the night sky. Neither spoke, neither needed to, they were both skilled telepaths and both knew what the other was thinking instinctively after having been around one another for over two hundred years now.
"They`re already razing the Wind Colony," Riese thought to her old comrade as explosions and flames burned into view in the distance. It wasn`t that far away, of course, but it was far enough that most of the explosions weren`t that visible in comparison to anything else. Black smoke billowed up from the former home of the Fleiheit family.
"Do you think Cloud`s family will escape?"
"Most likely not. Silvia is a good woman, quick on her feet but Richard is too stubborn. Hopefully they`ll survive, but I doubt it," Fiona thought back, a bit of sorrow and a bit of pity edging at her tone.
"Be strong. It`s needed for what we`re going to have to do soon..."
"I know. It seems that when Van and Thomas died, they each took a bit more of my strength with them..."
"I can relate," Riese thought vaguely at Fiona`s mental sigh. The two women remained though, rocking back and forth as they were, neither speaking another mental word, yet both sharing an intense feeling of resignation at the same time.
In Guygulos, a bell struck midnight. Across the world, television and radio receptions on every frequency were promptly cut off to reveal the face of a man with glossed black hair in his early thirties, standing in what had, until two minutes ago, been the command-and-control room of the Zoid Battle Commission. Blood stained the walls, bodies were everywhere and smoke was visible in the background.
The temple exploded -
We have to hurry!
"I know that!" Bit yelled at the Organoid, taking the head off of a Rev Raptor in one swift pass, only to have the Liger Zero hit a dozen times at once from shells and plasma.
"You may not know my name, but quite frankly, I don`t care."
"What the hell is this supposed to be?" Mark asked in surprise, mirrored by both Abbie and Kyle. The Gustav pulled to a slow stop several dozen miles from Farentown.
"My name is Vilhelm Rommel, I own and run the Rommel Corporation, which, as many in the military may know by the time they hear this, is responsible for the production of roughly two tenths of the military-owned Zoids across the world. As you may not know however..."
The man raised a simple looking remote, with only a single switch and an antenna upon it.
"That means two tenths of the world`s military happens to have a high powered suicide bomb located next to it`s Zoid core."
With that, everything changed.
"Doc!" Brad yelled out.
"Eh?" Tauros asked, stirred from watching the broadcast to look over at his employee. "Launch the Scout Fox."
"Fine, get in."
"No, the thing`s got a fucking bomb on it!"
"... Crap," Tauros muttered, practically diving over Brad`s head, over the control consoles for the launcher. He landed with a thud onto his shoulder but was back on his feet by the time Jamie and Leena had started to wake up, already typing in the controls for the launch rail.
- and the Razorwind Fury emerged from the flames, utterly unscathed thanks to it`s shields. Pillars of enormous strength had been shattered and broken by the blast from the charged particle cannon, the entire roof of the enormous structure was gone and there was a hole through four of it`s six lower levels. Lightning blazed for an instant, Specular and Shadow ominously flared at each other in a telepathic exchange, while Kale and Vega silently narrowed their eyes in unison.
Two clacks, the Geno Saurer`s footlocks unleashed, and with them, it started to move forward, it`s steps ringing hollow as a summer thunderstorm kicked into high gear, whisps of dust and smoke curling as what seemed like a tornado began to form.
"End of the line," Kale stated.
"I didn`t come for fancy chat," Vega replied angrily, all six of the Razorwind`s laser saws humming to life furiously. Both Zoids` optics flared a menacing red, and each slowly, calculatingly continued their mutual approach towards what was going to be their final showdown.
Shots rang out, the Scout Fox tumbled from it`s feet briefly, a Rev Raptor went down and the Liger Zero howled in pain as another series of shots actually hit home on it`s left shoulder, followed by a Helcat`s paw swiping across that side of it`s face. The Zoid tumbled loosely onto it`s back legs, standing vertically for a split second before a pass from a Rev Raptor cut into it`s stomach in a flare of sparks and flame, sending the Ultimate X crashing to the ground on it`s back, then side.
"Come on Zeke!" Bit shouted, rocking around violently under the assault.
A flash of blue-white, the Zoid keelhauled along for several seconds on it`s side before streaking up into the air, one clawed foot slashing through the cockpit of another Rev Raptor in a glare of gold and crimson. The enemies were everywhere, it was hopeless.
"Now, I`m sure you`re all shitting yourselves at the mad man who wants world domination, correct?" Rommel asked with mock understanding, waving the remote around rather plainly, then giving a cruel smile, like the devil himself had come up to the mortal realm for one last sadistic game.
"World domination is for those who actually care. Consider this the kickstart of the apocalypse," he growled out, flipping the switch.
The Blitz Team Scout Fox hurtled through the air and...
Around the world, both the Guylos and Helic militaries, along with the military might of the Guardian Force and more than a few of the thousand or so Zoid battle teams were all crippled in a single instant, bombs going off at once in an eerie symphony of death. Each bomb in and of itself was too weak to destroy everything around them, but coupled together, with the unleashed might of an exploding Zoid Core, the blasts were enough to tear apart six Zoids, which was exactly what happened. Six of almost every ten Zoids on Planet Zi went up in flames, two were horribly damaged and two more were left relatively unscathed.
In a split second, everything had changed.
"Fiona Alysse Linette-Fanel, come out with your hands up!"
Fiona chuckled to herself dryly, suddenly becoming visible to the dozens of heavily armed men and women currently standing in front of her house, guns levelled upon her. Riese became visible to them a second later, and both were already standing at the very edge of the peak of the hill. The chuckle that Fiona had let out wasn`t one of genuine humor, it was of utter resignation.
"Come and get us," the two women ordered. Helcats and a Command Wolf stood behind the lines of soldiers, and in the distance, Cloud House - as it had come to be known over the years - was visible as nothing more than a funeral pyre of smoke and flame.
"Have it your way!"
With that, the troops charged forward.
The transmission ended as abruptly as it had started. The militaries of the world were in shambles, and as Madison and Roc drew away from the thoughts of what it all meant, they both turned their attentions to the far north, stunning clarity ringing true in the First Born Organoid`s telepathic Voice as it spoke.
The Reign of Chaos has begun...
Author`s Note: *Cue dramatic music.* The cliffhanger from Hell >_> And there you go if you`re wondering what the next NA book will be called. Reign of Chaos, expect it once I finished the first chapter... Sorry for the relative shortness of this one, but I could only cram in so much and all @_@ And yes, consider this chapter to be the one where the Slow Building Conspiracy of Doom Button is fully un-pushed and the All Hell Breaks Loose Button is shoved down through the keyboard >_> Though I still have a whole shitload more Hell to break loose, this is the kick-off to it all.
See you when ROC is out, until then: Read, review, enjoy, Sh33p out and see ya next time!