Disclaimer: See my bio.

Summary: Angst fic about Raven after the Guardian Force. What could have happened?

Rating: PG-13 for blood, language, and suicidal attempts

Category: Angst/Tragedy

A/N: I¡¯ve got something to say about the dividing-section of the story. -- is flashback. --- is.. well, not flashback and just normal turn of the story as it changes its focus onto another person, etc. In this chapter, I¡¯ve marked the normal turn of the story as italics.

---

Salva Beatos

By. Firemoon

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Chapter 1: Aftermath

He sat there in the dark, days of starvation and still bleeding wounds gnawing at his weakened body. The sheer feeling would have been painful, only that he didn¡¯t feel it. His mind was numb. Except for the constant ache somewhere deep inside his chest, he couldn¡¯t feel anything.

It hurt so much... It had hurt so much.

..They took him. His Shadow, his friend.

They destroyed Shadow. The Genobreaker too, but right now, Raven wasn¡¯t paying any attention to the red zoid¡¯s fate. His thoughts were fixed on Shadow.

He felt an eerie déjà vu at the situation he was in.

Ah yes, it had happened before.. not so long ago. The wound had not healed yet, but it opened again, and was now bleeding afresh.

But this time, he wasn¡¯t coming back. He himself knew it, and it hurt.

Slowly, painfully, he pieced his memories back together. The huge, big, gaping hole in his mind and heart did little to help him with the task, and ached fiercely for the familiar presence of Shadow.

But he was no more.

Then Raven screamed.

--

Raven dropped down from the Genobreaker, Shadow appearing beside him as usual. He casually wiped the streak of blood on his face, and looked at the cheering crowd afar, gathered around the Ultrasaurus. He distractedly patted Shadow on the head.

¡°It¡¯s over now, Shadow. We¡¯re free.¡±

Shadow looked at his master fondly. He did not understand the meaning of being ¡®free¡¯, but as long as his master was happy about it, he was willing to go along with being ¡®free¡¯, whatever it was.

Raven turned around at the sight of Rhyss and Spacula, and the blue-haired girl threw herself at Raven, hugging him tightly. Raven blinked, obviously confused. The girl grinned up at him.

¡°Hiltz is dead. Dead, Raven.¡±

¡°...Obviously. Everyone saw.¡±

¡°I... we are free.¡±

Raven shrugged her away, ignoring the slightly hurt look on her face. He turned to Shadow and the Genobreaker, and called out behind his back to Rhyss.

¡°Go with Spacula to the house. I¡¯ll catch up with the Genobreaker.¡±

¡°But-¡±

¡°Stay if you want. I don¡¯t want to stick around until they arrest me.¡±

Rhyss hesitated, and then nodded. Spacula let out a loud roar before enveloping Rhyss inside its chest panel and shooting off across the darkening sky. Raven watched the last remains of that blue streak disappearing, then glanced once more towards the crowd, cheering and happy. Finally, Raven sighed, before turning towards the black organoid and the red zoid.

¡°Let¡¯s go Shadow.¡±

He staggered a bit, then hastily righted himself, frowning. He tiredly rubbed the side of his face. Guess I¡¯ll have to set it in Autopilot, then.

¡°HALT!!¡±

Raven swore as he noticed the group of armed soldiers coming his way; he wasted too much time already. Too late. The soldiers fired warning shots as he tried running for it, and they surrounded him and Shadow, blocking their path to the Genobreaker. Shadow growled menacingly at the gathered soldiers while Raven prepared himself for the inevitable fight.

¡°Halt, Raven. By the order of the Guardian Force and Emperor Rudolph, you are being arrested.¡±

¡°Try your luck.¡±

Raven smirked as the soldiers advanced cautiously.

¡°Just surrender quietly.¡±

¡°Oh yeah? What if I don¡¯t?¡±

¡°Then we have no choice.¡±

--

Van looked around, confusion clearly showing on his face.

¡°What is it Van?¡±

¡°I thought I heard some gunshots back there.¡±

Fiona¡¯s expression was that of puzzlement as she looked around, then she shrugged, smiling sweetly as usual. Her blonde bangs bobbed joyfully as she tugged at his arm.

¡°Well, I¡¯m sure it¡¯s nothing. Let¡¯s go, they¡¯re waiting for us.¡±

Fiona tugged again, and Van followed, the gunshots already half-forgotten by her dazzling smiles.

--

¡°WHAT?¡±

The people looked at Van as if he had gone mad. Moonbei frowned.

¡°Van, there¡¯s no need to be so touchy. It¡¯s just Raven, you know.¡±

¡°Yeah, besides, all of us will now sleep better with him locked up.¡±

Van looked around, but saw only confused faces of his friends.

¡°You...you don¡¯t know?¡±

¡°Know what?¡±

¡°He, I mean Raven, helped us! He¡¯s the one who put the hole in the shield of Deathsaurer so I could get in!¡±

Thomas waved his hand dismissively.

¡°Oh well, I¡¯m sure that he only changed sides to sneak out.¡±

¡°He didn¡¯t!¡±

¡°Van, you¡¯ve had a big day and now you¡¯re exhausted. You don¡¯t know what you¡¯re talking about. Why don¡¯t you go and rest?¡±

Van turned to Fiona once he realized that everybody was against him or seemingly ignorant.

¡°Fi? Help me. You did see it, right? Raven saved my life back there!¡±

There was a general gasp around the room, and Fiona blinked, torn between the authority¡¯s decision and Van¡¯s pleading face.

¡°Van..? You see, I don¡¯t remember much of what happened back there. I—¡±

¡°Fine then! Nobody saw it! The only other person who could have seen it is in god-knows-where, and even if she did, you guys are gonna accuse her of lying and shut her up in a cell like Raven anyway and I—¡±

¡°That¡¯s enough, Van.¡±

Irvine stood up, his tired face grim. Van had to look up to the lavender-haired youth to see him in the eye.

¡°Irvine, this is—¡±

Thomas stood up to stand beside Irvine, his expression as hard as the grim-faced man.

¡°He killed two soldiers before getting knocked out. Two, do you understand with that sympathetic brain of yours? And that damned organoid of his killed almost twice that. Out of fifteen, less than ten came to report.¡±

His voice became a fraction gentler.

¡°You¡¯ve had a hard day. Just go and rest.¡±

Van looked around once more, and then stormed out of the room. Every occupant sat silently as Van¡¯s words echoed angrily along the corridor.

¡°You just don¡¯t understand!¡±

I¡¯m sorry Van. I had no choice. Fiona thought, her crimson eyes hidden behind the golden bangs.

--

Raven woke up inside a dark, semi-underground cell. He blinked as his eyes slowly adjusted to the dim light, and winced as he gingerly fingered the wound at the back of his head. There were minor cuts and bruised where the soldiers had kicked him, presumably, while they were dragging him to this cell. He stood up, then winced again, muttering a curse. Apparently one of them gave him a fractured ankle too, by the feel of it.

¡°Hey, shut up there.¡±

Raven snarled. Fucking son of a bitch. He half-sat, half-collapsed onto the bed on the side of the cell and closed his eyes, leaning onto the wall behind him. His head rolled a little to the side as he fell once more into the darkness.

--

¡°Lieutenant Flyheight.¡±

¡°Hn.¡±

Van saluted distractedly as the soldier sitting beside the cell hastily stood up, nearly spilling his cup of coffee, which Van noticed was cold.

¡°How¡¯s Raven?¡±

¡°He woke up a little while ago, sir. Then.. well, I think he either fell unconscious or asleep.¡±

Van looked through the bars into the cell, and barely made out the shape of someone slightly darker than its surroundings, half-leaning against the wall. He nodded curtly at the soldier.

¡°I¡¯ll take over a little while until you return with a new cup of coffee.¡±

Noticing the look on the soldier¡¯s face, Van grinned slightly.

¡°Just stretch your legs a bit while you walk up to the kitchen. I know from experience that nothing tastes more horrible than a cold cup of coffee... Well, maybe a cold salted cup of coffee.¡±

Van sighed to himself after the soldier saluted smartly again and disappeared through the door far down the corridor. He looked once more towards the sleeping figure, his expression unreadable as he beheld the forlorn form inside the jail.

--

Raven woke up the next morning with the sound of someone opening the cell door. He immediately sprang to his feet, teeth bared and snarling. The figures looked surprised then immediately two bulky men jumped at him, pinning him against the wall with hands behind his back.

¡°Hurry up, give me that—¡±

¡°He¡¯s struggling. C¡¯mon, someone help me—¡±

Immediately Raven felt something sharp plunge into his neck, and he collapsed onto the floor, rising gray surrounding his fogging mind.

--

Van looked nervously round in his seat among the viewers, and Fiona rather sharply nudged him in the ribs.

¡°Ssh! They will be coming in soon.¡±

¡°But what fo—¡±

Van¡¯s question died in his mouth when two muscular, bulky soldiers half-dragged, half-pulled Raven into the room, who was surprisingly calm-faced. Irvine muttered beside Van, his mutterings barely heard over the jeers and boos of the crowd around them. Many were shaking their fists.

¡°Figures. They injected sedatives.¡±

¡°Sedatives?¡±

¡°SILENCE!¡±

All the voice died down as the judge¡¯s voice boomed out, and the two guards forcefully chained Raven to the chair, literally. The gray-haired youth¡¯s face was blank as he looked at the judges looming above him. But, Van could see his violet eyes glinting dangerously.

¡°Name?¡±

¡°Raven.¡±

¡°...¡±

The judge frowned as the booings got louder, and irritably banged his hammer down onto the panel. He looked down onto Raven once more.

¡°Raven what?¡±

The gray-haired sighed; an annoyed sigh, that is.

¡°Raven Prozen, satisfied?¡±

¡°Silence!¡±

Everyone exchanged glances, muttering and whispering and the judge had to bang the hammer for a long time before all died down.

¡°Date of Birth?¡±

¡°Do you seriously have to ask all that?¡±

Van had to grin at the ever-sarcastic voice of Raven and the purpling face of the judge. However, the judge didn¡¯t smile. Rather, he looked down at Raven frighteningly.

¡°Date of birth?¡±

¡°I don¡¯t know.¡±

The judge gestured to the clerk who began writing something down rapidly. After being handed a piece of paper, the judge read out.

¡°Raven Prozen, – Van could see Raven roll his eyes slightly – you are accused of destroying military bases around the planet and murdering thousands of innocent civilians over the years. By both the Rapublic and the Imperial laws, this is a very serious and unforgivable crime. Therefore,¡±

The judge paused for dramatic affect, and the crowd held their breath, not even daring to breathe. Van¡¯s eyes darted nervously.

¡°Therefore, I declare you be executed.¡±

Beside Van, Fiona inhaled sharply.

Raven¡¯s face did not change.

-----

Er, I¡¯m back..?? *laughs nervously* Don¡¯t worry, Love or Hate is still in progress. I just had to get rid of this idea before this finally consumed me.. *sweatdrops* Yeah, this was meant to be a one-shot but I kinda extended it, so...

ONE THING TO GO OVER: This is NOT VanxRaven slash and if you expected that kind of thing, well then, you¡¯ll be disappointed. This is not categorized as Romance or whatever, and I personally think that for me, VanxRaven pairing is enough for Love or Hate.

Hope you enjoyed the first chapter. And oh, this was typed in by my faithful friend who I¡¯m trying to brainwash into being obsessed with Zoids like me.

READ AND REVIEW! Flames accepted, but with REASONS!

Yours Faithfully Fanfictional,

Firemoon