Don't Cry Alone
Part Four: Dark Savior





"Colonel Schubaltz, I heard about your assault at the Wind Colony. What do you have to say for yourself?"

"I was acting on defense, Fleiheight was assaulting Lieutenant Schubaltz, I was aiding him." Karl stood in the middle of the star in front of the Board of Ethics.

"But witnesses said you threatened Fleiheight directly. That wasn't aiding, Schubaltz, you flat out assaulted him."

"Because he was assaulting Lieutenant Schubaltz, sir." Karl was even more defensive, his own anger began to rise. "I had to come to the aid of one of my own."

"Colonel Schubaltz, we are well aware that the lieutenant is in fact your own brother. Were you not angry that your brother was being assaulted by the accuser?"

"I was, sir. But I did not lash out in anger."

"Colonel Schubaltz, are you aware that the punishment for perjury are severe?"

"Yes, ma'am. I assure you that I am not perjuring myself."

"Good."




"They're going to ask questions." Karl threw his hat against the table and closed the door. "Personal and intimate questions."

"They won't find out." Thomas stood up from the couch in Karl's room, wearing just an oversized Grateful Dead t-shirt. "I won't let that happen."

"Neither will I." Karl stripped of his uniform jacket and set it on the chair neatly. He sat down to take off his boots, Thomas massaged his shoulders comfortingly. Moaning contently and letting a sigh escape his lips, Karl leaned back into his brother's touch, his brother's arms. There was a moment of peace and silence, the room had gotten a tish darker with the setting sun. The only light in the room was that of the lamp above the desk, the book on the desk was an Imperial law book and a pair of reading glasses.

"You make me so happy, Karl." Thomas smiled, his chin against Karl's right shoulder. "I am so glad you came to my side as soon as you did."

"I would never leave you, I still won't."

There was a knock at the door, Karl looked up from his dream bubble, Thomas let go of his brother and rushed for the bathroom. Adjusting his white shirt's collar, Karl answered the door to their visitors. It was three soldiers, saluting to their colonel.

"Sir...?" They started with their business with formalities. "We came to deliver a message from the Board of Ethics."

"....what?" Karl's expression darkened, the tone of his voice suggested to Thomas that something was wrong.

"You, Colonel Karl Lichen Schubaltz and your brother, Lieutenant Thomas Richard Schubaltz are hereby under arrest by the Imperial Board of Ethics for the unrest at Wind Colony."

"What!?" Thomas cried out from the bathroom, alerting the soldiers.

"There he is!"

Karl suddenly swung at the soldiers, getting one of them in the jaw. The soldier had a glass jaw, he fell down cradling his broken jaw. The two soldiers restrained Karl and zapped him with the stun rods. Karl screamed out in pain, then fell limp against the soldiers' grasp.

"Let go of Karl!!" Thomas lunged at the soldiers holding his stunned brother, he grabbed the soldier by the arm and twirled him. The grey-shirt's back hit the wall, knocking the wind out of him. The other soldier pressed the alarm button, reinforcements came to the man's aid. They arrested Thomas and dragged Karl off to the cells.



"Brother..."

Opening his sparkling green eyes, the 27-year-old colonel saw he was in the presence of his brother. Thomas held Karl close in his arms, their clothes were dirty and wet. There was a small trail of blood trinkling down the corner of Karl's chin, a side effect of the stun rods. Thomas cradled his brother in his arms, tears in his eyes.

"I don't want you to be punished by the Board of Ethics."

"Too late..." Karl whispered softly, his cheek pressed against Thomas's thigh.

"What's going to happen to us?" Thomas stroked his brother's golden hair.

"We get flogged."

That answer sent shivers and worry pains up Thomas's back, he shook Karl's shoulder, his eyes sparkling with oncoming tears. "F-flogging? You mean like whipping??"

"Yes, with a heated wire whip."

"No!!!! Is that what happened to you and your back?"

Karl's silence was all the proof Thomas needed to confirm why Karl had whip scars on his back. Pulling his brother in his arms, he buried his face in Karl's shoulder.

"No!"

Karl slung his arms around the younger man, pulling him close to his body. He whispered so softly, so comfortingly. "Don't cry, Thomas... I'll take the flogging for the both of us."

"Karl...??"

The door opened and the head of the Board of Ethics saw the hugging brothers. The old man coughed and gave Karl a menasing grin. "Now, which one of you wants to be..."

"I assaulted Fleiheight.... it wasn't in defense. Just... just leave Thomas alone, he had nothing to do with it."

"Karl!?" Thomas grabbed Karl's hand, pleading with the handsome colonel to stop.

"So this is a confession?"

"Yes."

"KARL!"

The old man grinned and let the soldiers grab Karl, then shackle him. Karl gave no resistance, but he turned toward his brother with sorrow in his green eyes. Thomas grabbed a hold of Karl's off-grey shirt and tried to pull him away. The old man batted the younger man away and laughed at his dedication.

"You're a terrible liar, Schubaltz! But you're entertaining to say the least!"

"...."

"Take him to the square!"

The cell door closed, leaving Thomas in total darkness. There was a cell across from him with someone inside, playing a harmonica. Thomas curled on the mat with tears in his eyes, but the person inside stopped playing the harmonica and opened his eyes.

"You're in love with your brother, aren't you?" He asked in a low, seductive voice.

"H-how....? How did you know?"

"Can you keep a secret?"

"Y-yeah..... I-i guess." Thomas blinked, his hands holding the cold, steel bars of the door.

"I have Empathic sensory abilities, it's one of my many 'talents'. Don't worry, your secret is safe with me." The man smiled at Thomas, the continued to play the harmonica, but he stopped shortly after. "You want to save your brother, don't you?"

"Yes! What kind of stupid question is that!?"

"I'll make you a deal. I save your brother, you and your brother help me find something. It's a mutual benefit that both parties can benefit from."

"I..."

"You don't have much time to think, your brother's on the flogging block."

"We'll be fugitives." Thomas frowned, but saw the look in the man's exotic indigo eyes. "Save him, please!! I'll do anything!"

The man smiled, then slid the shades back over his eyes and finished by snapping his fingers. "Consider him saved."

A few seconds later, Karl appeared in Thomas's arms, his shirt was torn open and he was still shackled by the wrists. The handcuffs slid off his wrists and the cell doors opened.

"Let's get outta here!" Thomas shouted, but turned toward the man. "Thank-you, Mister... uhm...."

"Aethelwulf. Leon Aethelwulf." The man smiled pleasantly, he was unearthly handsome with Sephiroth-style blonde hair. He wore a black vest, fishnet shirt, black pants, black cowboy boots and black gloves, he was no doubt a mercenary. His skin was honey gold and his eyes were exotic and indigo. There was a tattoo on his left arm, a tattoo of a demon holding a sword. At the bottom of the tattoo was the word "EBONRULE".

"Hurry, Leon!" The alarms sounded.

The man snapped his fingers again, they appeared at the gates of the base. Karl and Thomas rushed to the jeep by the hangar and got in. Leon disappeared suddenly, but the brothers zoomed out of there in a heartbeat. A short time later, the place was rocked with a powerful shake. A white T-Rex zoid ripped from a hangar with buster claws armed. It followed Thomas and Karl, but it was Leon, no doubt about it.

"Nice zoid."

"Thanks." Leon smiled and looked at the open road. "I think so. This is Belle Starr, she's my pride and joy."

They were fired at by some persuing Molgas, Karl turned around and gasped, seeing them closing in. But before they knew it, the Berserk Fury twisted around while firing the charged particle beam, wiping the Molgas out in one fall swoop. This gave the brothers a perfect escape, Leon followed close behind...




-Continued-