Chapter 18: Goodbye

Tucker, Simmons and Palomo engaged Kai in battle. Palomo swung wide and was pushed away to the side. Simmons came in from the back and tackled Kai on his torso. The General with a grunt held Simmons' chin and flipped him over until the maroon solder went tumbling down to the ground. Tucker bent down and punched Kai in the stomach. He looked up to see the unmoved soldier glaring down at him through his visor. Kai took Tucker's arm in his hand and almost snapped it like a twig before Palomo intervened. Palomo brought Kai down to the ground and before he could land a blow, he was stopped by Kai and kicked away. "You are getting very annoying now you pest."

"Yo, Sigs," Tucker slowly sat up rubbing the back of his helmet. "I could use some help here."

"Have you tried kicking him Captain Tucker?"

"Oh that's very funny haha," Tucker answered sarcastically as he stood up and slowly began stumbling forwards. "Now I need serious suggestions."

Simmons stopped Tucker and suggested. "Eta is proposing that we attack him from a distance."

"Better than getting my ass kicked every two seconds," Tucker retrieved his assault rifle and quickly hid behind cover. He peeked outwards and opened fire. Kai having heard the gun shots reacted quickly with his super speed and closed the distance between himself and Simmons who in his panic fired in all random directions. Kai gripped the edge of the gun, bent the barrel upwards and elbowed Simmons in the chest. Palomo launched a grenade towards the General and with force the ball exploded leaving fire remnants. Out of the fire, Kai reached out and gripped Palomo's visor in his hand. "You annoying bug."

As Tucker opened fire upon obtaining a clear shot, he was quickly stopped with Kai threatening Palomo. The Chorus soldier became a live meat shield for the General. Tucker silently cursed under his breath and slowly moved closer in circles around Kai. He followed the aqua soldier's gaze without fail and upon feeling the perfect opportunity he pushed Palomo towards Tucker disorientating the two and tackled them both down to the ground. He quickly proceeded to kick them both in the ribs nearly breaking a few in the process. Even their fragments could not help them face up to this monstrous human. Kai eyed Palomo who stood up glaring towards him. Every fiber of his body ached with the realization that he was weaker than Kai. But still, he knew that he had to stand up and fight for it was the right thing to do, and it was why he was here. Kai looked without emotions before declaring. "You are an annoyance, in fact all of you are."

Kai stopped a kick from Palomo midway, and swung down hard on his thigh easily breaking the bone inside. With a moderately audible squeal, Palomo fell to the ground and gripped his leg in agony. He turned over and began to crawl away. Kai watched his opponent's suffering with an amused smile as he picked up a rock. Slithering it through his hands until the sharp jagged end was pointing forwards. He paced forwards and kicked Palomo down. Disappear. Kai swung down the rock, but before it could make contact he was interrupted by Tucker and his many sword swings!

"I won't let you kill him!" shouted Tucker as he swung diligently and with a rather refined form. Kai raised his arms to protect himself but quickly found that the sword is able to cut through with ease. After a long hard fought struggle, Kai found the painful stinging sensation of several cuts throughout his body to be mind breaking. He rolled out of the way of another swing and hit the nano-bots injection button. Nothing happened. What is going on? He hit the button repeatedly and nothing happened. Oh no, the suit is too damaged. The nano-bot injection tubes are fucked. Kai swung wide and managed to hit Tucker who swung back around and made a hollow cut on Kai's helmet. With every swing his strength now began to waiver and his once buffed up form begins to return to normal. The nano-bots within him all become ineffective and are eventually deteriorated. However due to his base training with General Creed, he still manages to hold his own against Tucker. Simmons watched the fight from afar and gripped his assault rifle on the ground. "It's because of people like you that so many have had to die. People who are brash and power hungry should never be allowed in powers of position."

Simmons opened fire as Tucker retrieved. Kai's armor managed to block the bullets as he bent down to punch Simmons heavily in the guts. Simmons felt his whole body shake and go numb. His grip loosened on his weapon as he fell to his knees. Kai kicked Simmons over on his back and sat atop him. He raised a fist filled with pure and raw strength. "I honestly don't give a shit about what my enemies think about me. The only thing I care about is the rush I get from beating down my opponents!"

He swung down punching Simmons' helmet from one side to the other and eventually moved on to the visor. As the hits clinked and clanged, the orange visor began to crack up. With another punch, the visor cracked to the lower most layer and left a deep scar as well as a distorted vision. Tucker moved from cover to cover to get the jump on him while keeping a keen eye on the developing situation with help from Sigma. Just hold on a little longer dude. Kai looked to his side where he observed a sharp, almost knife like shaped metal debris. He aimed it at the center of the visor scar and started swinging. Tucker ran out of the cover and tackled him away hearing a visibly annoyed grunt from the general. "God damn interruptions, just let me have my fun for once!"

Tucker drew his sword and started swinging. With a perfect form he drove Kai backwards and with every swing that made contact, he was left distraught at the losing situation. Kai jumped back while holding his one arm now bleeding quite heavily from all the cuts. He gritted his teeth and cursed under his breath with a deadly glare at Tucker. The aqua blue soldier on the other hand however brushed some dust off his shoulder armor and asked. "So where is all that douche bag confidence now?"

"Fuck you!" Kai lunged forwards but was knocked back with Tucker bending down to avoid his punch, pushing himself forward and hitting Kai in the stomach with his shoulder. He swung several times and with each swing Kai lost ground. Eventually he was out of room to maneuver in and fell. Tucker reached out in an effort to stop it. "Grab hold!"

But his pride would not let him do so. He looked away down towards the ground. The chance at survival was now perhaps gone forever and as he fell, he hoped that only a world of raining hellfire awaited those who did not believe in their cause. He landed hard against a few metal rods sticking out from a broken building. His whole body clenched at the piercing pain that went straight through his heart!

"Gahh!" Kai felt his heart struggling to pump. Tucker looked away unable to bear the sight. This was not how it was supposed to go. He could not believe that this was the death he was presented with. He hoped for a quick death, not this slow painful demise. Perhaps it was karma catching up to him for all his actions in life, or perhaps it was just meant to be. To him however, to the very last breath he continued to deny that this turn of events was reality. To the very last thing he saw, he continued to question just how he could have been beaten by a group of jokers. Tucker looked over the edge just as the agonizing breathing and grunts stopped. Kai's body was completely lifeless, no signs of movements or vitals from what he could see. He stood up and walked towards Palomo. He bent down to check his friend's condition and breathed a sigh of relief at a stable pulse.

Upon hearing the noises of a nearby explosion, Tucker stood up to observe the ongoing battle between his squad and Kai's soldiers. He looked to Sigma who activated the mouth speaker as well as accessed all available radio frequencies. "Attention assholes, your General is dead and now you better give up or else I will raise hell on your sorry asses like the badass warrior I am!"

The gunfire died down. The Cradle of Hope soldiers looked at one another clearly distraught at the event. One by one, as if a chain reaction they all took out grenades from their belt pouch and held them up in the air. "We will destroy our enemies to our last dying breath!"

They all ran towards the reds and the blues who opened fire. The enemy soldiers activated the grenades and held them tightly, until some were shot and brought down for good. However several broke through the defense lines and invaded the other reds and blues. As if on time, the grenades went off one by one and in a kamikaze attack they took those around with them to the afterlife. Tucker watched in horror, completely speechless. Simmons used all his strength to crawl over by Tucker's side and used his body as a support to pick himself up with Tucker's help. The two men looked at the explosions, fiery embers and the rising smoke. Simmons felt his head shake from the absurdity of the situation. "They are all insane, a bunch of lunatics…"


"But they were conditioned into believing this way," Simmons added with a somewhat sympathetic voice. "They believed in the wrong people who gave them false hope, and in the end those people even asked these men and women to kill themselves."

Tucker gently sat Simmons down and activated the speaker in his mouthpiece again. "I want some of you guys to check for casualties, any usable gear we can take and then take a breather everyone. We will rest for a bit, once we are ready we will move out again to provide support to the other groups!"

In another area where the troops under General Kabira fought, she stood face to face with Sarge and Washington. The ex-freelancer drew his sword and glared towards the general who shrugged it off with a sarcastic remark. "Oh, your glare scares me so, please stop it."

"Um, just so you know Wash," Sarge mumbled giving sideways glances. "I'm uh, I'm probably not going to be of much help here."

"Gee, I hadn't noticed," said the grey soldier who slowly lessened the distance between himself and Kabira. She walked with immense confidence and a sense of dominance in her abilities over theirs. Kabira eyed the sword and with a smirk started running towards Wash. As he swung wide, she slid down to the floor avoiding the swing and took hold of his leg throwing him off balance. Sarge looked at the General standing up and went to help Wash. But he was stopped in his tracks and met with a barrage of fists from Kabira. He managed to block many but a few got through to his stomach and one to his groin sending his aging body into a spasm of pain. She bent down again and interjected her hands between Sarge's helmet and arms. She spread his arms apart and punched his visor. "Just to let you know, I don't mind if you choose not to fight back. It makes it easier for me to wipe the floor with you incompetent idiots."

Washington stood up and came in swinging hard. Kabira dodged every swing and took his sword holding arm in one hand and twisted it backwards. She kicked the back of his knee until he was on the ground and applied pressure to the sword wielding arm until it loosened the alien object. As the sword fell, she picked it up with curiosity. "This would serve better in the hands of those more capable than an aging freelancer."

She looked for a button to the sword but found no such thing. How did he turn it on? Washington smirked and stood up. "Having trouble? Don't worry. It happens sometimes to all of us. I mean, not me but you know."

In her frustration with the sword, she threw it to the side away from his reach. "Then let's make it an even playing field for us all."

"Says the woman using enhanced strength and speed," Sarge noted getting a devious stare from her. He quickly withdrew the previous statement before she came in and repeatedly punched him in his visor. Washington tackled her away and held Sarge still to study his condition. "So Sarge, still feel like not hitting her?"

"To be fair, I think I want to run away now," he answered drawing his shotgun, and Washington drew his assault rifle. "But running away won't solve anything."

"I guess that would be right, well I will make an exception this one time to my rule of not hitting a woman."

Kabira got up with a chuckle and noted. "Oh how honored I feel to have you make an exception for me almighty Red leader. I sure am looking forward to whatever fight you can put up."

In the underground system, Aria dominated with an upper hand against her two opponents. Unlike before, she used her abilities to their maximum now. Carolina swung for Aria who stopped the hit with a tight grip on her arm and punched her with the back of her fist on her chest. Everyone in the room could hear audible and brutal cracks of Carolina's ribs. The female soldier fell to the ground with a loud scream. Church materialized beside her. "Don't get so impatient."

Aria smirked as she walked towards Carolina in particular. Church looked back and forth from the two ladies and urged for his host to strengthen up. "Come on sis, get up!"

Alex intervened and managed to land a firm blow to Aria's stomach. But even that was not enough to budge her as she stood like a machine out on a mission to terminate its one particular target. Aria took Alex's hands in hers and swung him over her shoulders. With a loud thud he landed on the ground against his back. She looked back at the ex-freelancer who slowly stood up with heavy gasps. Aria nodded her head and claimed. "Good, good, keep on standing up. Stand up as many times I beat you down so eventually I can break you and then finally put you out of your misery as you are begging for a release."

As Aria rushed towards Carolina, she was once again interrupted by Alex who stood strong against her overpowering aura. She dodged his punch but met the other in the visor as a surprise attack. He kneed her in the chest and watched her fall back. Aria could not help but glare at him as much as her helmet would allow from her slightly obstructed vision. So you are taking this seriously now. I suppose I should take you seriously as well. She stood up and used her superior speed against him. Unable to effectively follow her movements, he found himself on the back end of her palm and knocked down to the ground. Aria paid attention as Carolina remained standing up with some struggle. She moved fast and punched Carolina in the guts. Aria took hold of her by her visor and smashed the back of her helmet against a wall and watched her body slowly fall down. Church pixilated beside her. "Applying healing unit, Alex this is bad."

"Tell me something that's not new!" Alex complained dodging several of her punches and throwing a strong few of his own in return. She blocked his arms, twisted them back and punched his nose with a loud crack. Blood spilled out from the nostrils sending an eerie feeling through his body. He watched the dripping blood and studied the overall condition of the nose. He groaned in pain gently caressing the affected area.

As Irene's soldiers fought in the background, she jumped back and forth in her spot while faced with three adversaries. She studied their posture and easily deduced their threat level. So the pink one will fight like a little girl, the blue one will be swinging like a boy with a temper tantrum and the Spanish speaking robot will be doing its Spanish thing. Caboose drew his sword and shouted at the top of his lungs. "Come for I only wish to help!"

"How will you help her Caboose? Maybe give her a nice back rub, or one between the thighs. That won't be too inappropriate will it?" asked Donut readying a few grenades. Lopez sighed and looked down at the ground noting. "[Maybe if I just stand here, they will all just kill one another and it will be over like a bad dream.]"

Okay, never mind, they are all idiots. Irene rushed in overcoming that laziness and closed in on Donut. She kicked the grenades out of his hands as they rained down in all directions. Thankfully for them none had been activated yet. She kicked Donut in the groin who winced with a loud squeal and hobbled his butt onto the ground and proceeded to roll around with an exaggerated emotion of agony on his face. Caboose came in swinging wild and hard. "Don't worry my deliciously named friend after a snack, Donut. I will help her for you!"

Irene kicked him down and bashed the back of his head in with a random rock. Caboose stood up completely unscathed by the attempt both confusing and surprising her. He looked around with the smile of an eight year old. "Hello, my name is Caboose. I would love to be your friend."

Did he lose it or something? She pondered, but little did she know, he never had it to begin with. Donut still rolling around while holding his southern region turned towards Lopez and begged. "What are you doing Lopez? We need your superior hombre help here!"

"[Oh, what a pretty sky.]"

"Stop talking about the sky and don't ignore me!"

"[So now you understand me when your life is in danger? I see how it is.]"

"I don't get what you are trying to say here."

"[Oh, what a pretty sky is what I'm trying to say. I don't like messing with angry women. They tend to fuck up your world if you do.]"

"Please Lopez I'm begging you, just help."

Irene laughed at the back and forth skit as Lopez looked everywhere but at the pink soldier. Caboose swung behind her but his actions were ineffective when she dodged him and landed a firm upper cut to his jaw line. Caboose went stumbling back and nearly cried at the pain. "She is being too mean. I don't think I want her as my friend anymore."

"[You can do it, I believe in you]," said Lopez rather sarcastically and followed up with a whisper. "[Please let her gut you, please let her gut the two of you. That way I don't have to feel guilty about doing it myself, and I can tell the truth that the General got them.]"

Caboose shouted like a berserker warrior while bashing his chest like a gorilla. He ran towards Irene and swung many times. All of which were dodged but one swing. That one swing managed to finally cut into her armor. "Please, I only want to help you!"

Okay, so he isn't as stupid as he seems or sounds. The little boy actually knows how to fight, thought Irene finally taking the threat a little more seriously. She eyed every opponent taking close note of their positioning, the objects between them and their terrain. Little did they know, that thanks to the damage her armor experienced at Caboose's hand, the tactical fighter was about to awaken.

As Irene's soldiers closed the distance between Ohio's and Sherry's group, they kept up the heavy fire. Ohio looked to Idaho and Iowa and said. "Idaho, cover our left, Iowa help with the right!"

Sherry too ordered the same. "Terrill, cover the left and Darryl you are on the right!"

"There are too many of them!" shouted Andersmith doing his best to keep the situation under his control. As the crew all got to work, they managed to hold the enemy at bay. With their constant shout outs, skilled gun usage and superior team work thanks to Washington's training, they managed to slowly start driving the enemy back. Terrill raised an arm in excitement still a little high from the adrenalin and asked. "Hah ah, how do you like that you jerks?!"

But as he finished, they saw more numbers on the horizon. Idaho quickly began to feel the pressure of their enemy once more. "Just how many of these assholes are there? Do they breed them like rabbits?"

"We take some out and more take their place," Ohio thought out loud with Sherry remarking. "What a brilliant situation we have here eh?"

"I could do with less sarcastic replies please, thank you," answered Darryl as he nailed several bullets into the enemy in his sights. "Reloading!"

"Check your ammo!" ordered Ohio as she quickly found out she was running dry. The case as it seemed was true for many others as well. Idaho's face went pale as he reported. "Panic time, I'm out of assault rifle ammo and only have one magazine left for my pistol."

"Idaho, here," Darryl threw him a pistol magazine of his own surprising the ex-Freelancer. "Dude, are you sure? You may need it later."

"You can pay me back for it with a drink and a nice Italian dinner later," he replied with an aloof tone before realizing that all eyes were on him. "Ahem, no homo."

"So then what, this is like our last stand?" Terrill asked noting the number of rounds in his current magazine. Sherry shook her shoulders displaying her uncertainty. Ohio slapped the back of Sherry's helmet. "Don't be so melodramatic you guys. Nothing is ever set in stone. Just when we thought we would never be able to leave that ice planet, we did. No point in sulking, if you have the energy to be sad then use it for anger towards these bastards."

As the enemy lessened the distance, Idaho looked around at their battlefield and noticed several craters, some larger than others. He looked at his best friend and motioned for him to follow. The rest looked at the two departing men questionably and even questioned by Terrill. "Yo, where are you guys going?"

Idaho simply waved back and stopped at one of the craters. From the depth he could judge that it would fit his needs perfectly. "Iowa, I need you to look over the edge here real quick. I think I saw something down there before."

"It's not the boogey man is it?"

"Don't know, take a look and find out."

As Iowa peeked over the edge, he found himself being pushed by Idaho deep into its darkness. Wide eyed with shock, he saw Idaho waving with his last few words. "Sorry pal, but if there is anything that I can do for you here, that is to keep you safe. I will be back for you, so stay put till then."

Iowa hit the ground hard and immediately stood up. "But I want to help!"

Before his words could even be heard, Idaho was long gone. Iowa took it upon himself to climb out and prove to them just how much help he could be. He gripped at one of the rocks and began climbing. But as the terrain fought against his attempts, it became extremely clear that he would have a much tougher time than he originally thought. He lost his grip as the rock he held loosened and fell back down with a loud thud. "Agh, dammit!"

The ground shook as tremors vibrated and sent cold shivers down his spine. He looked up at a few rocks loosening and falling downwards. From the sound echo, he knew that the noise was from an explosion. He quickly bent down with his hands over his head as if to protect himself. He looked down with his eyes closed ready to be caved in at any time as the successive explosions felt nearer.

As Idaho returned, his thoughts were directed towards his recent actions. Deep in such thoughts he was met with a firm grip to his shoulders by Ohio to shake him out of his trance. "Idaho, quit spacing out, we need you here in the fight. What happened to Iowa?"

"I…left him in a crater until things blew over."

"Aw so you really are a big softie," Sherry pocked at the side of his helmet with a sly grin. Idaho gently pushed her away and noted with a very serious face. "If there is one thing I can do for him ever, then that would be to protect him no matter what. Right now this is what I want the most."

"I can respect that," answered Terrill with Darryl agreeing. The group looked at just how close the enemy was now. From every side they were surrounded. Terrill lifted his assault rifle with a reminiscent sigh. "I really was hoping to open that bar someday."

"Same here," said Darryl as he spotted his prey. Ohio and Sherry moved a little closer together and let their hands gravitate towards one another's and spoke. "It was an honor having you all as a team, and…a family."

As the two sides prepared, the enemy soldiers took up arms and their opponents closed their eyes taking in a deep breath. Both sides opened fire letting bullet shells fly down to the ground. With a loud clang they fell and creating a symphony until all was then silent.

On General Dallas' battlefield, Matthews, Bitters and Grif fought him at a distance. They made sure to control their level of fire to avoid burning ammo fast. They hid behind cover when needed as the General threw grenades out and used his pistol occasionally to suppress. Dallas eyed the three and moved from one cover to the next as they were suppressed. Cover by cover, he lessened the distance between his foes and himself until they were within striking distance. He punched Bitters with the back of his fist, used his superior fist and stomped on Grif's chest until he was down with a loud impact on the ground. Matthews intervened to help but quickly found out just how terrifyingly powerful their foe truly was. Dallas shoved Matthews to the side, blocked Grif's kick and threw him off balance. Dallas reacted quickly and bent down dodging Bitters' barrage of punches, stood up and kicked backwards. The three men fell down to the ground leaving the General standing above them.

Dallas eyed Bitters and walked with heavy footsteps towards the Chorus soldier. He took one of Bitters' arms as he tried to defend himself and nearly broke it in half until Grif intervened with his sword. Dallas became instantly wary at the heat the sword exhibited from the edges of its physical energy form. He backed off and prepared to fight all three at once. But as Grif swung wildly, he threw his other two comrades off and made this easier for Dallas. He stopped Grif's swing with both his arms, kicked the orange soldier in the ankle and disarmed him of his weapons. He threw the sword to the side upon noticing its cease of function and kneed Bitters in the visor. Matthews came swinging from the back but was blocked and faced with the back end of Dallas' fist on his visor and then a strong follow up to the chest. He fell down having felt shaken up and looked to find the General towering over him. This is too much to deal with.

Dallas looked at nearby sharp metal debris. He slowly picked it up while looking towards Grif and began an adequately paced walk. "It's a shame you chose to oppose me. But this is the outcome. If anything lies beyond death, then I hope you find peace in it."

As he raised his arm, Grif closed his eyes ready to brace for impact. I guess this is it. I will have to leave it to these two, so much for me trying to be a good soldier. Grif relaxed his body and lied back down. I really am a lazy bastard like others say, I didn't get to say so many things to the guys that I have wanted to. I always thought that there would be a next time. I guess there won't be a next time now.

Dallas swung down the sharp object. Grif braced for impact. The object made contact as with a grizzly, and a gory noise it pierced through the armor. Yet, Grif breathed just fine, however he heard the sound of dripping liquid. He slowly opened his eyes with questions, but quickly the questions were forgotten and overtaken by shock. The crimson red splattered on his armor as the Chorus soldier above him acted as his shield. Matthews breathed heavily all the while feeling his body struggle against the pain. Grif's mouth quivered as he reached out. "W- why?"

"To protect my hero," Matthews uttered slowly falling to the ground. "Grif…I…believe in you…"

The light from Matthews' eyes slowly died and his last breath quickly left him to embrace the darkness. Dallas walked back with a regrettable expression. It really is a shame. He watched the orange soldier's body shiver from the transpired events. He watched for the soldier to reach out for his dead comrade's body. Grif gently touched Matthews' arms and did his best to absolutely not break down. "Hey Matthews, come on…you are going to be okay…right, right?!"

Bitters stood up with the support of a rock, his mouth fell and eyes wide opened he himself grow numb at the sight of Matthews' limp body. He tried walking over to his best friend's dead body, but with every step he took, he felt the weakness grow. Grif held Matthews' shoulder in one hand and just looked in silence. The rage that slowly brewed within was beginning to leak out. Is this how Simmons felt when Edwards was executed in front of his eyes? He reached for his sword and stood up. Silent tears ran down his cheeks. He activated the sword with rage induced eyes. "Fuck you, fuck your organization, morals, fuck everything!"

Grif pointed the sword towards the General with a heavy breath. "There is nothing in this world that will be able to save you."

A/N: Musical suggestion – "Bless" from Zankyou no Terror anime OST. Imagine the content from the sixth break line to the seventh as a video bit and play the suggested music. So quite a bit happened in this chapter, next chapter, look forward to more action!

Constructive criticism/feedback is welcomed!

Thank you for taking the time to read and support the fan-fiction and I hope you look forward to the next one! :)

~ Monty