Chapter 20: Cat and Mouse
Author: Lady Blue
"What can you tell me of the data crystal I've send you Jade Talon?" Zero Nightmare asked as he turned his chair to face the ghostly green image before him.
"My operation crew went through the data crystal as requested, Master Zero, and we found that the data is a fraud," Jade Talon replied, lowering his head.
"Fraud?" Zero Nightmare asked, sounding less than surprised at Jade Talon's answer.
"Yes, the data captured by Guardian Leviathan was a complete bogus, and the worse part was that one of my people found a virus in one of the data. It was lucky we could contain the virus before it did any serious damage to our machine," Jade Talon said. "I do not understand, Master Zero, how Guardian Leviathan can miss out such detail? She has always been very careful with information extraction."
"Nobody's perfect, Jade Talon," Zero Nightmare responded as he got off his chair and turned towards the window. "Were Adam and the other Satellites infected by this virus?"
"No," Jade Talon replied.
"Good," Zero Nightmare said, but he felt a little disturbance in Jade Talon's voice. "What is it, my friend?"
"It's about the handler, Master Zero."
"Yes, Hardedge. We have some problems with security lately. That is why I've sent Vanguard Hardedge to deliver the crystal to you personally," Zero Nightmare said. "I hope there is no problem to the arrangement I have made, Jade Talon."
"No, Master Zero," Jade Talon responded, but Zero Nightmare could tell from his voice that the falcon reploid was a little discontent with his decision. He could only guess that he was not very happy that some outsider was moving into his territory.
"Good. I would like Hardedge to stay in Eden for a while longer. Security purposes, incase someone tries to sabotage this program again," Zero Nightmare said, but some of his words were true; he did want Hardedge there for security purposes, but there was more to that, something he wished to see Hardedge do before his final arrival to Eden with the dark-elves.
"I will see to it that he gets my fullest co-operation, Master Zero," Jade Talon replied.
"That is what I like to hear, Jade Talon. I will speak with you again when the time is right, my friend," Zero Nightmare said as he gave chilling smile. "Take care of the trio for me."
"Very well, Master Zero" Jade Talon said as he gave a light bow before his image faded into the air.
Zero Nightmare was about to head over to his chair when he felt a presence of another in the room with him.
A growling sound filled the room as Zero Nightmare turned his attention to the shadows.
Fading out from a shadow a four legged beast and a cloak figure step forward. Zero Nightmare knew who this person was and greeted him with a smile.
"Aren't you worried that he might get a little suspicious?" Omega asked with a slight chuckle.
"Omega, is it?" Zero Nightmare said as he stepped forward to face the mysterious reploid. "We finally meet."
Zero Nightmare glared at the four-legged creature, which is pure black and had blue neon lines carved all over its body. The creature turned to Zero Nightmare, and like a cobra it stretched out what looked like flaps, making it look like a lion version of a reploid.
"Stay," Omega ordered. The creature stopped growling and retreated back, seemingly less hostile.
"Nice pup," Zero Nightmare chuckled as he turned to Omega, still concealed under the dark robes he was in. "You're not a tiny bit worried that the old geezer might find out about our little meeting?"
"Don't worry; with that hippie off my back, I'm free to move around again," Omega said. "Of course, it's all thanks to you."
"I need Hardedge to be on Eden when we are ready to carry out the next phase of my plan. I cannot allow any obstruction once we have all three of the dark elves in our possession."
"You are really systematic," Omega pointed out.
"Thank you," Zero Nightmare replied with a smile, and then retreated back to lean on his desk, crossing his arms.
"But aren't you a little afraid of X?"
"I have to admit, he was stronger then I had anticipated. I first thought I would have crushed his spirit back then, regarding his little affair with Leviathan, but I guess I was wrong," Zero Nightmare said with a slightly disturbed expression. "No matter. Once we have the cyber-elf in our possession, there is nothing he can do about us. Nothing at all"
Omega suddenly burst out in laughter, his voice filling the room. "Do not underestimate him, Zero Nightmare," Omega commented "I have faced his kind before, and believe me they are very, very versatile when the situation calls for it."
"I'm getting advice from a failure." Zero Nightmare gave him a mischievous smile as he gazed back to Omega. "Do not forget, Omega, it was you that allowed X to be in this picture. If you hadn't lost that little succubus in the first place, we might not have this problem now."
"Do not cross me, Zero Nightmare. You will find out that it is not very good for your health." Omega pushed his cloak aside, showing his left fist to Zero. Omega's fist slowly began emitting a haunting blue glow that emulated in the dark room.
Zero Nightmare took a careful glance at Omega as he gave an evil laugh. "Do not think that a little upgrade like that will make me see you as an equal, Omega."
"Don't worry Zero Nightmare; I'm not so stupid as to take you up on your offer," Omega said as he withdrew his hand and placed it under his cloak. Omega turned to his four-legged friend and nodded. The creature understood and retreated back into the shadows. Omega slowly turned around and walked back into the shadows.
"Maybe I will take you up on that offer some other time, but not today," Omega said before a short hum filled the room, and Zero Nightmare knew that the mysterious reploid had just teleported out.
"See you around, Omega" Zero Nightmare said, but as he was about to step away from his desk, his communicator began to chime. Zero reach to the panel and activated it. The display came alive, showing a familiar girl slowly sneaking out from a high security room.
"I see we have a little pest problem," Zero Nightmare said. "My dear Isis."
Somewhere far away from Neo Arcadia, in a underground facility, the resistance Commander watched closely as the door slid open, revealing a small room with a brunette girl standing in front of him, saluting.
"You wished to see me, Evelyn?" Elpizo said as he stepped into the room, followed closely by Hobbes.
"Yes, Commander," Evelyn said, standing at ease a little.
"Well, let's get it over with. I have some very urgent appointments I have to see through today," Elpizo said impatiently.
"Ciel?" Evelyn whispered to Hobbes beside her.
"Who else?" Hobbes whispered back.
"Sorry Sir. Then I shall not keep you waiting," Evelyn apologized as she stepped forward and it the panel in front of her. "It's something we found during one of our raids."
Slowly, the metal shutters in front of them lifted, showing a small group of scientists working on a strange machine which was lying in the middle of the clean room.
"What is it?" Elpizo asked curiously as he edged nearer to take a closer look.
"We're not sure Sir, but it seems to be a prototype drone of some sort," Evelyn said. "It was in a very bad state when we found it."
"Where did you get it?" Elpizo asked, rubbing his chin and looking rather interested.
"In the Australian outback, Sir" Evelyn replied. "When we raided a nearby Neo Arcadian facility, we suddenly picked up a distress call from a research centre just twenty miles away. We responded to the distress call and headed straight over."
"What else can you tell me about this, Evelyn?"
"For one thing sir, when we arrived at the facility, besides the outer defense, everyone in the facility was already dead, massacred. Human and reploids," Evelyn said as they continued to watch the scientists analyze the drone. "The human scientist we found next to the drone told us that the unit apparently went haywire and start terminating everyone in the base. The science team was able to come up with a plan to stop the unit, but at a very high cost. The scientist that told us they all died minutes later from serious wounds inflicted by the drone, sir."
Evelyn pause for a short moment before she continued "We were going destroy the drone at first, but one of our scouts received wind that a Neo Arcadia task force was on route to our position, so I did the only thing I thought logical. I took it back"
"I see," Elpizo said.
Evelyn fell silent for a moment as she looked back to Elpizo, who was seemingly absorbed in the machine in the next room. She cleared her throat as she stepped forward. "Sir… I recommend that we destroy the drone."
Elpizo turn to Evelyn with a bit of surprise. "Destroy it? Don't be too hasty, Evelyn."
"But Sir, if this thing could wipe out that research facility, think of what it could do if it was activated in a populated area," Evelyn replied.
"I'm very aware of the possible consequence of the drone's destructive capabilities, but I have other plans for it, Evelyn," Elpizo said with a sinister smile on his face. "I want you to keep this a secret for now, Evelyn. No one must know of our discovery."
"Yes Sir, I'll see to it," Evelyn replied.
"Good. Now I must take my leave," Elpzio said before he headed for the door. "Oh yes, I almost forgot; make sure Mr. X does not catch word of this finding."
Luna flew into the abandon base and gazed around. She was getting tired of running from her pursuer, who had been relentlessly chasing her for a week now. As Luna was about to fly straight into the command centre, she suddenly stopped and retreated into the nearby ventilation vent.
Luna carefully gazed out from the vent and saw two Z drones walking out from the command centre.
Deep in Luna's mind, she knew that she had arrived too late, and that the resistance must have left the base at least a week ago. Somehow this didn't really lighten up her situation. Her final instruction was to find X, wherever he may be. Luna sat down on the dusty vent and sighed. How she wish she know what to do next. Without Free Fall to give her instruction, she felt rather useless.
Tired from the constant running, Luna finally shut her eyes fell asleep inside the dusty vent.
Just above the abandoned resistance base, a lone figure stood and watched as the rain around her poured down in a torrent.
Leviathan slowly leaned against the wall as she continued to gaze in silence. The place seemed familiar to her somehow. Too familiar. Like she had been here before. Growing really tired of the waiting, she lazily turned her head to look over her shoulder and watch as Harpuia tended to his gryphon-like pet.
"Are you done playing with that bird of yours, pretty boy?" Leviathan asked. "I'm getting really bored with of all the waiting."
"You know I despise being referred to by that childish name," Harpuia frowned as he gazed back to Leviathan.
"Yeah I know. I just like seeing you blush every time I called you that," Leviathan said, turning herself around to face the green guardian. "Oh, how I hate Information extraction. There's simply no action in this line of work"
"Be grateful, Leviathan. At least you are contributing something, even if it is something as unsatisfactory as this." Harpuia shook his head and managed a faint smile.
"Oh, yeah, and how is that suppose to make me feel any better?" Leviathan asked, sounding more annoyed. She crossed her arms and looked back to the green guardian, remembering that Harpuia was here for her in the first place. "Really, you don't have to accompany me, you know. I can take care of my self."
"The Behemoth can wait. Besides, I haven't seen you in over six months," Harpuia said as he walked over to her and stood beside the azure guardian.
"Can I ask you something, pretty boy?" Leviathan asked "Have you every thought about what we have been doing?"
"Why do you ask all of a sudden?" Harpuia asked, surprised.
"Not sure, something in me just got all curious on Master Zero's decision in terminating innocent reploids," Leviathan said, tapping her finger on her chin and looking rather suspicious. "I mean, aren't we using up more resources in building and maintaining all these Z drones?"
Harpuia looked a little skeptical at first, wondering if this was a trick question, but after looking at Leviathan's expression, Harpuia finally said "I sometimes think of that myself."
"You do?" Leviathan asked, seemingly teasing Harpuia. "That's a surprise"
"Do you think I'm like Fefnir? All brawn and no brains?" Harpuia said "True, at times I do question Master Zero's judgment, but when I found out that he has the blessing of the council, I tried not to think too much about it."
"Bro, you need to get yourself a life, of better yet, a girl" Leviathan said.
"Now what does that have to do with this subject?" Harpuia asked, taking it as an insult but before Leviathan could continue, her communication device suddenly chime.
"Mistress Leviathan," Hook's voice called for her mistress.
"Yes, Hook," Leviathan answered.
"We've completed the recovery process."
"Nothing, my mistress. Everything has been wiped clean, even the BIOS system." Hook reported. "It appears that the resistance used a very high frequency EMP explosive in their computer room, knocking out everything electronic."
"Alright Hook, you and Silver pack up and head back to Neo Arcadia first. I'll catch up once I do another check," Leviathan said before she turned to Harpuia. "Come on, we might as well do something useful."
Just a few miles outside the city, three cloaked figures looked at the abandon city. One of the cloaked figures stepped forward and removed her hood. Her light blonde hair fell on her shoulders as it gave a soft, pale glow on her azure armor and white suit underneath. Yoshiyuki turned to the sky above her and felt drizzle of rain touch her pale white skin. The gothic dragon tattoo under her left eyes shimmered slightly, indicating that a dark cyber-elf was present nearby.
She turned to her other two siblings who were standing behind her. Unlike them, Yoshiyuki always felt there was something wrong with her. Definitely different to Void, who would do anything to win in a fight, Yoshiyuki always believed in a fair fight. Winning was not everything to her, honor was. However, there was something they both shared in common; a dire hatred for human dominance against reploids.
Yoshiyuki sighed and gazed at Void, who seemed to be as silence as always. She watched as the dark-armored reploid picked out a cigarette and light it.
Yoshiyuki withdrew her arm from under her cloak and opened her hand. A violet orb lit up the palm of her hand. "She is nearby," Yoshiyuki said. The arrow inside the orb rotated a few seconds before it pointed to the west side of the city. "There, to the west."
"Good, let's get a move on," Void said, taking a last puff of his cigarette before he threw it away and walked in the direction that Yoshiyuki had pointed. "You better not lose her this time, Yoshi, or else-"
"Hey, from what I heard you were to be blame for this, too," Tiger Fang suddenly burst out in anger "If you had not wasted time playing a fool bounty hunter the damn little twerp would have been in our possession by now."
Void turned his head over his shoulder and gave Tiger Fang sharp look.
"Big words from a rookie," Void said. "Do not meddle in our conversation, young one."
"Why, you scumbag." Tiger Fang was about to reach for her recoil rod that was attached to her back, but was stopped by Yoshiyuki.
"What?" Tiger Fang uttered.
"We've wasted too much time talking, whatever the reason. Master wishes us to apprehend the cyber-elf this time," Yoshiyuki reminded and nodded her head to Tiger Fang. "Failure is not an option here."
"Well said, Yoshi" Void said with a big smirk on his face as he turned around and walked in the opposite direction.
"Why did you stop me?" Tiger Fang frowned.
"Have I taught you nothing?" Yoshiyuki asked. "Besides, you are no match against Void."
Tiger Fang crossed her arms and turned her head in other direction "Yeah? I still think I can take him."
"Not with that sort of attitude," Yoshiyuki said as she tapped on Tiger Fang's head.
"Hey, that is not fair."
"I can't always be there to watch your back, my little sister, so please try to be more serious about what you are doing and less playful," Yoshiyuki scolded Tiger Fang before she turned around and moved towards the city, leaving Tiger Fang behind to think of what she had just told her.
As the duo stepped nearer to the abandoned resistance base, Yoshiyuki and Tiger Fang noticed piles of bodies scattered all over the entrance, all Z drones.
"What took you so long?" Void asked with a chuckle.
Yoshiyuki glanced around again before turning to the dark reploid standing in the archway, who was smoking another cigarette.
"Was that really necessary?" Yoshiyuki asked coldly. "We're not suppose to make any unnecessary contact."
"They were in my way, and I do need a little workout," Void said as he stabed his crude sword into the earth. "Come on Yoshi, let's not waste anymore time."
Yoshiyuki glared at Void with a death look before she stepped into the base. She glanced around, studying the structure of the building. Slowly, Yoshiyuki raised her hand and activated the orb.
"I can sense her presence, but the material in this structure is interrupting my sensor. I will not be able to tell precisely where she is, even if she is standing right in front of me," Yoshiyuki said.
"In that case, we have to do it the old fashion way," Void said as he walked deeper into the resistance base. "Coming?"
Luna was sleeping soundly when a loud explosion woke her up from her sleep. Drowsy and confused, she carefully popped out from the vent to see what was going on. The sight of dead drones lying on the ground stunned her, but it was not as frightening as what she was looking at before her. Two cloaked figures were standing just outside the Command Centre. One was the one that had killed Free Fall and had been pursuing her all this time.
Silently, Luna crept back to the end of the vent and curled up into a ball, too frightened to think or do anything.
"Anything?" Void asked, frustrated.
"I told you, the materials in this building are disrupting my sensors," Yoshiyuki muttered.
Tiger Fang was standing in silence as she peered into the darkness of the corridor, scouting for anything coming, trying her best not to get into an argument with the two.
"Sometimes I wonder if that DNA Master has installed into you is faulty?"
"I'll tell you what, when you see Master later you might like to let him know of what you think, Void," Yoshiyuki said as she walked over to Tiger Fang.
"Don't test me, Yoshiyuki," Void mumbled.
Luna shook in fear, too afraid to move. Unknown to the little cyber-elf, a dark, creepy creature started crawling to her position. As Luna felt something touching her shoulder, she slowly turned to see an ugly cockroach staring back to her. Shocked, Luna did the unexpected and screamed out loud.
The trio shifted their attention to the vent opening and saw a bright, shimmering light and a terrified voice shouting out repeatedly. "Get it off me! Get it off me!"
Yoshiyuki was about to head for the vent to check it out when she noticed Void push his cloak aside, and raised his gauntlet directly at the opening. A green beam shot out from the gauntlet and pierce straight into the vent.
"NO" Yoshiyuki quickly pushed Void's gauntlet out of the way as the energy chains swirled out of control, almost slicing Yoshiyuki's hand off.
"What's your problem?" Void muttered as he retracted his weapon back into his gauntlet.
"We want her alive, NOT dead you moron," Yoshiyuki uttered back. Both were on the edge of ripping each other's head off when Tiger Fang interrupted.
"Give it a rest, you two, she's getting away," Tiger Fang said, pointing to a small, shimmering orb which was flying hectically down the corridor.
The trio looked at each other before they give chase. As they reach the end of the corridor, the path seemed to split out into two directions. Yoshiyuki glanced at the corridor, wondering which path the cyber-elf took.
"Split up! We'll track her down easier this way," Void suggested "I'll take the left, you two take the right."
Both girls nodded in agreement as they went the opposite direction.
As both girls reach to the last room, Tiger Fang quickly signaled to Yoshiyuki to show her what she saw, which was a dim light coming out from the room. Yoshiyuki signaled back to Tiger Fang as they slowly made their way into the large room. From what they can see, the cyber-elf seemed to be circling around a portable Trans Server, most probably set up by the Neo Arcadians.
Yoshiyuki turned back to Tiger Fang and gave her sister a hand signal telling her to move to the side, hoping to outthink the frightened cyber-elf.
"There you are," Yoshiyuki said softly, trying not to startle the little cyber-elf while Tiger Fang moves into position with an energy web hidden behind her.
"Stay away from me yo-you monster" Luna uttered as she moved into the middle of the Trans Server.
"Come on now, little one, I'm not going to hurt you," Yoshiyuki said as she reach her hands out "You can trust me."
"What? Do you think I was born yesterday you idiot?" Luna scolded as her body gave out a light pink glow and the Trans Server came to life.
"Tiger Fang, NOW!" Yoshiyuki shouted.
Tiger Fang quickly tried to spring an energy web on the cyber-elf, hoping to push the cyber-elf out of the way. But to her best effort, the Trans Server teleport the little cyber-elf right before the net hit her.
"Damn, Void, we got a problem," Yoshiyuki said as she looked at the new arrival, standing in the doorway. "Make it two problems."
"Whoever you people are, you've got some serious explaining to do," the green guardian said, drawing out his sabers.
"A guardian, here?" Yoshiyuki said as she retreated back to Tiger Fang. Both girls stood ready as they gazed back to Harpuia.
"You're kind of observant for a Maverick," Harpuia said as he activated his two sabers and gazed back to the two like a hunter to his prey.
"Who are you calling a Maverick?" Tiger Fang uttered in rage as she powered up her recoil rods and charged directly at Harpuia.
"Tiger Fang, wait!" Yoshiyuki shouted, but it was too late.
Harpuia studied Tiger Fang's move as she charged straight at him with both recoil rod placed behind her. Harpuia pulled back his right saber and slashed at Tiger Fang, but to his surprise the crimson reploid leapt off the ground and did a somersault, dodging Harpuia's attack as she landed on top of the green guardian. Harpuia wanted to knock the crimson reploid off him, but she quickly clung both of her legs tightly on Harpuia's torso as she raised both of her recoil rods up into the air and plunged it downward.
Energy sparks ignited as both the recoil rods and a pair of sabers lock on each other. The green guardian gave an angry stare as he gave his sabers a push, knocking Tiger Fang a little off balance.
"Get off," Harpuia frowned as he lifted himself off the ground and made a living tornado, spinning hard and hurling Tiger Fang off him and into the wall.
Yoshiyuki quickly hurried over to Tiger Fang to check on her status. The crimson reploid had landed hard on her head and was a little dizzy from the spinning, but other than that, she had suffered no serious damage.
"Stay down," Yoshiyuki advised.
"Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere just yet. Not until everything stops spinning," Tiger Fang said as she leaned herself against the wall.
"That was highly unnecessary," Yoshiyuki said, glaring back at the green guardian as he placed his feet back on the ground.
"One last chance; lower your weapons and come quietly, Mavericks" Harpuia advised pointing one of his sabers at Yoshiyuki.
"Forgive me Guardian, but surrender is not an option for me," Yoshiyuki said as she reached for her katana and pulled it out, positioning the slightly curved blade downward. Then, as if like the wind, Yoshiyuki lifted her feet off the ground and charge at directly at Harpuia.
It was so fast that the green guardian barely had time to raise his sabers and block Yoshiyuki's katana. Harpuia watched Yoshiyuki move fluently and smoothly as if she was dancing with her long blade. He found it hard to believe that a girl her size could handle a weapon that length with such ease.
As Harpuia quickly raised his right saber, blocking Yoshiyuki's blade, he swung his left saber, almost slicing Yoshiyuki in half as she barely dodged the attack and retreated back.
"You're quick on you feet," Harpuia commented.
"Thank you for your compliment, Guardian." Yoshiyuki smirked slightly.
Harpuia was a little surprised as he suddenly felt a slight pain coming from his right cheek. He touched his cheek and found a small cut, right under his right eyes. "Beginners luck."
Yoshiyuki reached for her cloak and pulled it off her. The green guardian watch in amazement as he noticed a slim and stunning looking swordswoman standing before him. However, there was something else that caught Harpuia's attention, unlike him or the other guardians, this girl vest only covers half of her chest, exposing the right side of her chest, and there were even two metallic wing-like flaps hanging on her back.
But of all of these things, Harpuia found it hard to believe the facial design of both of his opponents, which had startling resemblance to his Master, Zero.
"Now, Guardian, shall we continue?" Yoshiyuki asked as she switched her katana backwards pointing the blade backward.
The change of style made Harpuia wonder how she was going to strike him in that position. The way she held the blade would surely not be strong enough to block any counterattack.
As Yoshiyuki crouched back a little and pushed herself off the ground, her body began to blend into the shadows as she quickly phased in and out erratically.
"What?" Harpuia was a little mesmerized by his attacker's move. He knew he had to act quickly or he'd be cut down where he stood. Harpuia watched as Yoshiyuki phase in and out of the shadows, nearing him every step. The green guardian quickly pulled back both of his sabers and released them hard, sending wave of violet energy at Yoshiyuki, but to his surprise, Yoshiyuki dodged every attack with ease.
"Damn, she's fast" Harpuia muttered as he leapt up to the air, barely escaping the long blade slashed on his last position. Harpuia watch as Yoshiyuki turned her head up and drew her katana back in a ready position, preparing to make a hard slash.
"Let us even the odds, Guardian," Yoshiyuki said as her wings flapped and spread open and a blue burst of light shot her off the ground and directly at Harpuia.
Both of their swords clashed together and they were forced back. Harpuia wasted no time as he dashed forward, trying to cut Yoshiyuki down, but she dodged the green guardian's attack as she prepared to make a counter attack and slam her katana at him in mid air. Both adversary had a hard time dodging each other's move due to the limited space in the room.
As Harpuia and Yoshiyuki continue to engage in an aerial assault, both found each other a worthy opponent. Tiger Fang finally shook off her dizziness, standing and watching as two blurring lights knocked each other around. As the fight grew more intense, the crimson reploid watched as the two finally clashed together, Harpuia's energy sabers locked tightly against Yoshiyuki's metallic katana, both seemingly even and eager to rip each other to pieces.
Then as the battle was going nowhere, Harpuia suddenly pulled off an unexpected move. The green guardian pulled back both of his sabers, allowing Yoshiyuki to drop forward and in a precise moment, Harpuia gave a 360-degree rotation and slammed his left blade at Yoshiyuki's back, sending her crashing on her ground.
"Yoshi!" Tiger Fang shouted, and watch as Yoshiyuki knelt on one knee and held a hand to her back. Tiger Fang could see that the green guardian had managed to slice off Yoshiyuki's left flap and partially cut through her vest.
"You had your chance, Maverick. Now it's time for you to retire," Harpuia said as he landed a few feet away from both girls and pointed one of his sabers at them.
"You have to get through me first," Tiger Fang uttered as she picked up Yoshiyuki's sword and pointed it at Harpuia.
"That will not be necessary," Void said as he threw his chain directly at Harpuia's back.
Harpuia quickly turned and looked over his shoulder to see a line of green chain coming his way. He was about dodge the energy chain when a familiar object wrapped the chain up and pulled hard, snapping the energy beam into two.
"Need a little help, pretty boy?" Leviathan said as she swirled her lance before launching a series of small ice crystals at Void. The cloaked reploid quickly waved his cloak to shield himself from the ice crystals.
"Thanks for dropping in Leviathan, but I have everything under control here," Harpuia gave her big smile, feeling very glad to see the blue guardian.
"I bet you do" Leviathan said winking her eye at Harpuia. "Looks like the odds are against us, bro."
"Would you have it any other way?" Harpuia asked as they both stood with their backs to each other. Both were prepared fight the new arrival.
"Two guardians, this must be my lucky day," Void grinned as he removed his torn cloak showing his full form. He was wearing a dark vest underneath a sleeveless trench coat, and both guardians noticed the full armor gauntlet stretching from Void's shoulder to his hand and in the end of Void's hand, the energy chain began to regenerate. "You girls just stand back and watch a pro in action."
"You'll do no such thing, Vanguard," a familiar voice spoke out in the darkness.
"What?" Void uttered as he turned to the doorway and found a familiar crimson reploid looking back at them.
"Master Zero," Both guardians said in unison.
Zero Nightmare just nodded his head to the two as he walked into the room like royalty.
"Stand down, Vanguard Void," Zero Nightmare said, looking at Void. Void nodded uneasily back to Zero Nightmare as he deactivated his gauntlet.
"Master Zero, do you know these people?" Leviathan asked in a demanding way.
"Yes, they are my new hunter squad," Zero Nightmare said, stepping forward to the guardians "I have recently assigned them on a special mission to track down a rogue cyber-elf. Unfortunately, your meeting here was not as I have intended. I was hoping that you two would not cross paths until a more suitable time."
Leviathan was expecting Harpuia to add something to this, but to her surprise the green guardian just stood where he is and gazed back to Zero with a serious expression.
Zero Nightmare turned to Tiger Fang, who was busy helping Yoshiyuki to her feet. "You alright, Yoshiyuki?"
"I'm fine…" Yoshiyuki said, but looking at Zero Nightmare she force herself to continue. "Master Zero."
"I still don't get it, Master Zero, they attacked our drones," Leviathan uttered "From the look of it, they deliberately did it."
"They have just been integrated into our database and your drones have been on the field for sometime now," Zero Nightmare said. "So it is natural that they have not yet got their updated protocols."
"But-" Leviathan was about to argue, but was stopped by Harpuia.
"Then forgive our misjudgment, Vanguard," Harpuia said.
"No offense taken," Void replied, but Leviathan knew that this was more then a simple apology. There was hatred in how Harpuia expressed it. She couldn't blame him. Harpuia was full of pride, and to make such a mistake must have hampered a great guilt on him.
"Good," Zero Nightmare said as he turned to Yoshiyuki. "Yoshiyuki, how did the hunt go?"
"Unfortunately for us, the little one got away," Yoshiyuki replied.
"I see." Zero Nightmare fell silent for a moment before turning to the green guardian "Harpuia."
"Yes, Master Zero."
"I want you to work with Yoshiyuki, give her all access into our communication array," Zero Nightmare ordered.
Harpuia hesitated for a moment, but finally said "Yes, Master Zero."
"Good," Zero Nightmare said, turning his back to the two guardians as he face Void "You may all go, except you Void. I have other duties I want you to see to."
"Whoopi," Void whispered and gave an evil grin.
In a dark room, underground the hidden resistance base, Ciel sat in a dark corner of the room as she was busy tapping the keypad on the console. With only the light from the console and a lone baby cyber-elf illuminating the room, Ciel failed to notice a small shadowy figure step up from behind.
"Huh?" Ciel got a little startle as she turn to find a small lime-haired girl staring back at her. "Oh, Yuna, what is it?"
"It's two in the morning. Aren't you tired?" Yuna asked.
"My goodness, is it that late?" Ciel said, looking at her wrist watch only to find that it was two in the morning. "I guess I have been so consumed with my work that I forgot the time."
"You better get some rest, Aunt Ciel. You don't want to get sick, you know," Yuna said, pulling Ciel's hand.
"Yes, I think you are right. I think I should close shop for the night," Ciel said with a smile as she tapped on Yuna's back and pushed the little girl to the door. "You go ahead Yuna, I'll be there in a second."
"Okay," Yuna said, but unbeknownst to Ciel, the little child gave the baby cyber-elf a dire glare before walking out of the room.
As Ciel was shutting down her terminal, her communicator suddenly rang.
"Now, who would call me at this ungodly hour?" Ciel asked curiously as she hit the control.
"Greetings, Ms Ciel" a blur and ghostly white figure stood and greeted her. Ciel didn't know who this person was, but from her voice Ciel could tell it was a girl.
"Who are you and how did you get into this secured line?" Ciel demanded.
"Who am I is not a concern, Ms. Ciel," the ghostly figure said "Let's just say I am a friend of a friend of a friend of X"
"And you ask me to believed that?" Ciel said, tapping her fingers on the console, hoping to track whoever was calling her, but to her best effort, the signal just bounced back. Whoever this person was, she really knew how to cover her tracks.
"I do not expect you to believe me, Ms. Ciel, but at least give me a chance to prove my faithfulness to you."
"I do not think so," Ciel said, hitting the security button.
"Do not even bother calling for you operators," the ghostly figure said "I have blocked out all communication aside from the conversation we are having"
"I have my way," the ghostly figure said. "Now Ms Ciel, I think if I managed to hack through you security network without a hitch, then I at least have proven myself to be trustworthy."
"I don't know," Ciel said doubtfully.
"Very well, maybe this can convince you of my sincerity," the ghostly figure said as she looked to the crystal port. The crystal on the port gave a blue shimmer, indicating information had been transferred into the storage unit.
"What is this?" Ciel asked, picking up the crystal.
"I'll let you find that out of your own," the ghostly figure said. "Good Bye Ms. Ciel. I hope we can speak again soon."
As the holo image faded away, leaving a skeptical Ciel holding the storage crystal, far away from the hidden base, in the heart of Neo Arcadia, a lone figure carefully stepped out from the holo pad and detached the cable from the back of her helmet.
"Good luck, Ms. Ciel," Isis said as she remove her helmet.
VERY BIG Thanks to Rioni for all her reviews and to be my new BETA Reader. :P
Would not have done this far without you all.