Disclaimer: Vandread, Ranma 1/2 and Tekkaman Blade belong to their own respective creators, and no money is being made off of this story which uses their characters.



"Saber! Come forth! We would wish to speak with you."

In a darkened room on the planet of Mejele and Tarak's ancestors, the crimson Tekkaman appeared before the council of leaders. He was in full armor and his expression was well hidden behind the visor of his helmet. Though Saber loathed the idea of being the lackey of these pathetic individuals, he could not openly rebel against them. It was all because of that blasted obedience chip they had implanted in his brain during his creation.

"What do you wish of me... Masters?" Saber gritted.

"I would suggest that you watch your tone of voice, Saber." One of the leaders warned. "Or shall we remind you of your proper place?"

Saber shook his head. He didn't need another demonstration of the pain-inducing effects of that bio-chip. "Of course not, Masters. What are your orders?"

Another leader nodded as he continued with the briefing. "The problem concerning the accursed Tekkaman Slade has now reached very disturbing proportions. He has become an obstacle in which we can no longer take lightly."

"I promise you that I WILL destroy him and the Nirvana!"

A third leader snorted in disdain. "As we recall, you made that promise once before and you failed MISERABLY! Perhaps we shouldn't have even bothered to rescue you from the wreckage of Battle Cruiser A-4!"

"Yes." Another leader agreed. "We lost a substantial amount of ships and resources in that battle. Perhaps we made a poor investment when we gave you that set of perfectly good organs and the power of a Tekkaman?"

"I was only defeated because Slade had that weapon and those new Tekkadreads!" Saber insisted. "If I had something to counter them..."

"Funny you should mention that." A fourth leader interrupted. "We have taken into account of those enhanced Tekkadreads and Slade's Super-Voltekker, and we came up with this!"

A holographic display appeared before the scarlet cosmic gladiator. When he saw what was displayed, he smiled evilly.

"Is this what I think it is?"

"It is." The first leader replied. "We have decided to give you a second chance Saber. Defeat Slade and the Nirvana and you will have redeemed yourself to us. Fail again, and..."

"I will not FAIL!" Saber said with utter confidence. He then left the Council Chambers to prepare for his next encounter with his counterpart.

After he had departed, the leaders began talking among themselves.

"Do you think that he can do it?" One asked.

"It does not matter if he is successful or not." The first one said nonchalantly. "As of now, Saber is nearing the end of his usefulness. I am well aware of his intentions to betray us at the first opportunity. If he succeeds in destroying Slade and the Nirvana, then it would be all the better for us. If not, then at least we'll be able to gauge their new strengths and weaknesses. As for Saber, we can discard him at any time. Should he rebel, then we can simply overload the obedience chip and cause his brain to implode."

"Yes, but we had used up a lot of our resources and some prime organs in his creation." The second leader reminded. "I would prefer to see some returns in our investments."

"Saber is just a pawn." The first leader insisted. "And he isn't our ONLY pawn."

The holographic display lit up again, showing an image of three figures in gestation tanks.

To be continued...