Tales from the First Panzer Division
Mission 9: Return of an Old Friend

Mission Log #8998652376, Colonel Karl Lichen Schubaltz reporting. On our way back to base from the proverbial Area 51, we encountered heavy firepower from a hidden opposition. Why most of us got away unscathed... Jinx however, fell down a rocky enbankment and toward a desrt valley below. The rocks were too unsteady to climb down just yet, we are looking for an easier way down. Leon's telekinesis can't lift us all down at the same time. It's too strainful on Leon's psychic brain.

"Jinx!!! Hold on, Jinx! I'm coming for you!" Scotty shouted, looking down at the fallen Zabre Fang.

"Jinx!" Doc shouted just as loudly, Thomas holding him close in his arms.

Jinx was unconscious in the cockpit of her Zabre Fang, a small trail of blood trinkling down her chin and down her forehead. If she were awake, she wouldn't be able to move at all. The steering column of the Zabre Fang was pinning her down by the stomach. The comlink device was busted, so the communications between her and the First Panzer Division was shot. Occassionally, Karl tried to get a link up with her, but the transmission would last only 5 seconds tops.

"Damnit!" Karl got out of the Iron Kong Mk-II and rushed to his comrades' side. "Leon, can you get us humans down there with no problem?"

"That's no problem, Colonel. Just these zoids, I'd have to lift them one at a time and in intervals of 15 minutes..."

"Don't worry about the zoids just yet, just get US down there."

"I got an idea." Doc slowly departed from Thomas's loving, protecting arms. "Leon, lift me and my Lightning Saix down there."

"Good idea. Jinx will NEED medical attention." Scotty looked at Karl, his eyes hidden by the Aviator shades.

Karl looked at Leon, then nodded. "Do it."

"Yes, sir."

Doc got into the Lightning Saix, Leon concentrated really hard. The Lightning Saix began to hover, then levitate, Doc looked around as he approached the Zabre Fang. But at the last second, he landed with a jarring thud as Leon broke concentration due to a pounding headache. Karl let Leon collapse again him and massaged his shoulders.

"Is he okay?"

"Yeah." Thomas looked down at the valley, a little shaken after the THUD. "He's okay, approaching Jinx now."

Doc got out of the Lightning Saix and rushed over toward the Zabre Fang. The damages were irrepairable, the zoid core was damaged too badly. He pried the canopy open and Jinx tumbled out into his arms. The frail medic treated her wounds and searched for other wounds and injuries.

"Is she okay?" Karl asked through use of the communicator, he was very worried about her.

"She'll be fine with a month's stay in the med bay, Colonel." Doc responded, looking up at them. "But we need to be careful moving her, she's too injured for any real rough terrain."

"Perfect. We'll have to take the long way. The short cut's very rough on the axles." Leon looked at the blonde colonel for response.

"Yes, the long way. We need to do that, if we took the shortcut, Jinx will surely die from her wounds." Karl turned to face his Major, his arms folded. "Getting down to take the long way is another matter altogether."

"Y-yes." Leon looked at everyone. "I don't know how long my psionics can hold out while carrying each of you down. I either got Teleport or Feather Fall. For Feather Fall to work, you have to throw yourselves off the embankment... literally. For Teleport to work, I need to concentrate super hard and I CAN'T have interuptions and afterwards, I need to rest. Teleport in all it's forms is one of the few spells that DOES drain me badly."

"I say we Feather Fall." Thomas suggested, his handsome face twisted in an angry scowl. "The way down there is miles away and not only that, but it'll be twilight when we return to Doc and Jinx from that location. Scorpion Valley has a well-deserved reputation of having scorpions with fatal venom and they only emerge at night time.

"U-understood." Leon nodded, then clasped his hands together. "I guess it's Feather Fall then. Everyone, in your zoids..."

The Division got into their zoids and rushed for the cliff, Leon chanted a spell and as soon as they were off the cliff, they were floating down less than 1 MPH, lighter than air.

"Does this feel familiar to you, colonel?" Scotty chuckled, seeing the landscape from afar. "Gotta love that view."

"It's lovely and all...." Thomas reminded them. "Kinda makes me homesick."

"Well, be homesick someplace else, we got a mission to get the HELL outta here." Karl snapped, but wasn't harsh about it. "Leon, can you steer things while in Feather Fall?"

Leon looked down from his Berserk Fury and blinked, seeing where the Iron Kong was going to land. He looked at the comlinks and nodded. "Steer the Iron Kong like you would if you were on terra firma. Use the Iron Kong's boosters for better mileage."

"Yes, sir." Karl kicked the boosters up and got out of the way, pivotting him right into the sand below. It fell with a iron-shaking thud and got back up from the ground. After that, the DiBison and Dark Horn landed, Thomas looked around at all the various boulders they could have crashed on if it not been for Feather Fall. Last to land was Leon, the Berserk Fury looked around as its' feet touched solid ground and then roared and gurgled. Getting out of their zoids, the Division neared Doc and Jinx.

"How is she?"

"Not doing too good, sir." Doc frowned up at Karl, his blue eyes watering. "She also needs a blood transfusion and the type of blood she needs is so rare that I didn't have it in the Lightning Saix."

"..." Thomas wrapped his arms around Doc, holding him tightly. Scotty knelt beside Jinx and grabbed his shoulders.

"Pull through, Jun. I demand you pull through!" Scotty's brown eyes watered, his grip on Jinx's outfit tightened and let out a sob. "Jun... please."

Jinx didn't move at all, her body was so rigid. However she was still alive, only injured badly. Her slender frame was wrapped in bandages and some of the limbs had splints. Leon and Karl took off their hats and put them to their chest, while Thomas held Doc close. They did not hear the fact that there was zoids on the radars, but the sound of Guysacks rang throughout the valley. Turning around, they saw a few Guysacks there, and a Stealth Viper staring down at them.

"Shit.... vagabonds." Thomas snarled, his arms around Doc protectively.

The Stealth Viper hissed, but soon a very familiar female voice spoke out to them. "Colonel Schubaltz?"

"C-callisto!!" Doc was the first to pick up on her voice.

"It's Callisto!" Scotty looked up, tears falling down his wrinkled cheeks.

"Hello, MacLean." Karl was almost tearful to see her as the rest of his troop.

Callisto got out of her Stealth Viper, dressed up like a desert vagabond warrior. Her long blonde hair was still long and blonde, only some of it was now chopped in certain locations. She was now a nice tan color instead of the pale, milky skinned girl that was Karl's flankswoman. Callisto looked at the Division, then up at the Berserk Fury, then at Thomas and finally at Karl.

"Where's Skeet?"

"Skeet is dead." Leon responded with bloodlust in his tone, his arms folded across his chest.

"He thought the need of his family came before the priorities of the Empire and he ended up dying in the hands of Leon."

"...Sounds like him." Callisto's eyelids closed tightly, her lips in a frown.

"I knew you had some feelings for him, Callisto." Leon spoke to her directly. "I took that into consideration... but you see, Skeet betrayed the Empire and nearly killed Karl..."

Callisto nodded once and turned to face Karl. "I know how much you care for Karl, Leon. I don't blame you for being mad..."

"Callisto, we need help. Jinx was injured badly, we need to get her to a medical facility immediately."

"There's a town 68 miles that way." Callisto pointed out, her gloved hand pointed southwest. "I can take you only so far before encroaching on Republic territory. We're criminals in the Republicans' eyes, we cannot enter."

"I understand, Callisto. I won't force you to enter someplace you're going to be put into danger." Karl nodded once, his eyes closed and a forced smile on his pouty lips.

"I know that this is the life you don't want ex-officers to live, Karl..." Callisto's voice was low and soft, her words sorrowful and full of shame. "But I have nowhere else to go."

"After you handed me your FPD badge, you were officially out of my juristdiction... but I can't help but worry about you, Yvette. You were always a girl who did things her way even against mine and Leon's better judgement."

"...I know."

"But in all those cases, you got done whatever needed to be done. I wouldn't have a soldier like that at my side if their results didn't fit the assumptions and the insubordination. What I'm trying to say, Yvette... you do what you do because you care for the people whom you sworn to protect. I have a feeling being a vagabond in this place has a reason behind it... that is one thing I have no ills again." Karl smiled, putting his hand on her shoulder.

"Thank-you, Colonel." Callisto was tearful at best, she put her hand over Karl's and patted it. "You and Leon are one of the only few males that has ever proved me wrong."

Karl smiled more, then looked at her troops, and back at her.

"Move out, we'll be able to get to town before dark." Callisto instructed everyone, then got into her Stealth Viper.

"Thank-you, Yvette." Karl muttered with a smile on his face, then went to the Iron Kong Mk-II.

"She'll be okay, Colonel Schubaltz." The doctor told Karl as the Division stood up upon his approach.

"Thank the gods." Scotty breathed a sigh of relief.

"Yes, thank the gods." Leon nodded and wrapped one arm around Karl gently. "Now we all could use a shit, shower and shave..."

"And some rest." Thomas stretched backward, allowing a nice popping sound in his back. He moaned with relief.

"Alright, boys and girls. Let's all get some well-deserved rest. Tomorrow we stock up on supplies and head back to the Imperial capitol. We'll have to take Jinx with us in one of the zoids..."

"Yessir." They saluted and walked off, Leon stayed with Karl.

"What a day." Leon smiled, turning to look at his beautiful desert flower in the Imperial Colonel's uniform.

"Yes." They kissed deeply, holding each other closely. In the shadows, Callisto watched them with a smile on her lips.

"I always knew you two would make a wonderful couple." Callisto whispered, then put the cloak hood back on. "Good-bye, Karl... Good-bye, Leon. One day our paths will cross again." She vanished as quickly as she came.