AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was a challenge fic; I had to write a fight scene between the two characters that lady tecuma chose for me.

"You're an antique."

It was the truth, and Ziggy had never been more aware of that fact than in this instant. The first encounter he'd ever had with Margulis was one he'd barely survived; if it hadn't been for MOMO, he was certain the outcome would have been rather different. There was no MOMO this time; there was no help at all. If the rest of his comrades weren't already dead, then they were well on their way …

Ziggy stood a mere several paces from the robed swordsman, studying him with reserved silence. He was all too aware of the skill Margulis possessed, and was determined not to underestimate him. He watched as the other withdrew his long, slender, deadly curved blade and sliced the air before him with practised ease. It wasn't theweapon that worried him; it was the Ether that Margulis added into his attacks.

"You're a machine, out of date and ancient. Why stand against me?"

With a trace of a sardonic smile, Ziggy answered grimly, "You know why."

Margulis looked less than pleased to know that the cyborg wasn't quaking with fear. Truth be told, Ziggy didn't fear much anymore. The answer to Margulis' question was lying hidden twenty feet behind them both, broken and bleeding from the aftermath of the first initial U-TIC attack. Though Ziggy didn't know if MOMO would survive even should she escape Margulis, there really was no other alternative. Never again would this man capture MOMO, and if Ziggy had to fall in order for it to be so …So be it.

Odd that he'd lived against his will and lived wanting to die – odd that he was about to get his wish, and he would do it happily if only to protect her …

Margulis was rushing at him suddenly, fast, and Ziggy twisted away from the gleaming length of the sword. He produced his own blade, flicking it into a ready position from where it lay dormant along the length of his forearm. Margulis charged again, and the two lengths of steel connected with a clarion ring. For a moment they circled each other, the only sounds the hum and whine of Ziggy's mechanical limbs and Margulis' rapid breathing.

"You think to protect that Realian?" The swordsman snarled, and with a deft movement shoved Ziggy away and sent him stumbling back. He leapt forwards, bringing his sword down hard; caught unprepared Ziggy could only block it with his free arm. Too late he realized Margulis had used an Ether; the force of the attack sent up sparks, and with a harsh, grating sound the sword sliced roughly through the limb. It fell to the ground and skittered away; Margulis struck again but Ziggy had already moved beyond his reach.A crackling sound was apparent now; jagged arcs of electricity were dancing over the severed edge of Ziggy's arm and up to his shoulder. He wasn't certain if what he felt now was pain or not; it had been such a long time since that sensation had been relevant. He was acutely aware that his chances for survival in this battle were less than 10 percent.

"My point is proven, cyborg." Margulis drawled, indicating with the tip of his sword the mechanical hand that lay twitching on the floor several feet away. "You stand no chance; you never did. Tell me where the Realian is."


Margulis' eyes darkened, and he began to approach with slow, deliberate steps. This was it, Ziggy knew. This was the attack that would end it …

A small noise interrupted the charged silence between them, a girl's muffled cough.

Margulis froze, gaze swivelling to the cough's origin. SeveraldamagedA.G.W.S were crumpled in a pile near the rear of the hangar; Ziggy had placed MOMO there upon fleeing here. He could see the realization crossing Margulis' face, and he knew he had to act.

Goodbye, MOMO.

Margulis never saw it coming; Ziggy's blade struck a glancing blow off his side. It served as a distraction, however; seconds later Ziggy's entire form crashed into the swordsman, sending them bothcareening across the metal grating floor.They skidded to a halt, Ziggy straddling the swordsman because of his greater weight. Margulis was furious, snarling, but for all his power he could not dislodge the cyborg. With a final, bittersweet glance towards MOMO's hiding place, Ziggy ripped from his abdominal plate his central power unit. He held it up with one hand to catch the swordsman's attention; the other hand was wrapped securely around Margulis's neck. Too late Margulis realized what was about to happen.

In an iridescent wave of blue light, the power unit exploded, engulfing both men in a swarm of ultraviolet flames.

When the glare from the explosion died, the only sound that could be heard was that of a young girl crying.