*Author's Note: If you're reading this, you should know which characters come from Rare.

Showdown

By Sammie Spitz

Eschebone was a lot hotter than Vela remembered it. She and the rest of the team were unsure how anything could survive out on the molten planet, especially something as weak and expendable as a drone. Nonetheless, there were reports of drone activity, which was why they were there. They were keeping an eye out not only for drone activity but also for any of the strange wildlife that called this planet home.

As they walked along the narrow stone path, they came to a stone bridge. Vela was about to step across when Floyd pulled her back.

"What's wrong?" She asked.

"Remember how this bridge used to collapse at the slightest weight?" Floyd reminded her," Is there anyone around to fix it?"

"Oh yeah, it could still be booby trapped." She agreed. Juno decided to test it. He'd never been to Eschebone during the war, so, he was unfamiliar with the territory. He didn't take to steps onto the bridge before it dropped into the lava, taking him with it.

Vela shriked and covered her eyes, not wanting to watch her brother get roasted to death. She peeked through her fingers and realized he was alright. He was standing in lava that was a little over waist high. He walked back, completely unhurt by the lava.

"Maybe we should try the platforms." He suggested," They don't collapse, right?"

As they walked along the platforms, Juno suddenly stopped them.

"What is it?" Vela asked," Is something wrong?"

"I heard something. Kind of like some kind of high pitched motor noise. Listen"

Sure enough, there was some kind of high pitched noise. It was getting louder and louder by the minute. Suddenly, they realized what was going on.

"Cyclopes drones." Juno muttered. And, almost as soon as he said that, a squadron of the airborne drones came flying at them over a cliff. They all took out their guns and started attacking the squadron. As they were finishing it off, a cyborg drone came out of no where and hit Vela with it's gun, knocking her out cold. Luckily, she was on solid rock when it happened and she didn't fall in the lava. Juno went to her side and was releived to find that she was OK.

"You two take care of sis." Juno told them, loading his tri-rocket launcher," I'm going after the bug before he causes any more trouble." With that he raced after the drone while Lupus and Floyd protected Vela from what was left of the airborne squadron.

After about 5 minutes, Vela began to come to. she opened her eyes and slowly lifted her head. The only things with her were Floyd and Lupus.

"Huh? What happened? Where's Juno?" she asked in a daze. While Lupus liked her over, Floyd explained what happened.

"Has he been gone long?" She asked.

"About 5 minutes. Do you think we should go and help him?" Floyd asked.

"Probabley should. Come on, guys." They followed the path to a crevase that Juno chased the drone down. They got halfway down when they heard a scream. It was a very familiar voice.

"Juno!" Vela cried. She ran down the rest of the crevase and found that she was too late to help him. All that was left was his gun. She fell to her knees and started to cry.

"This can't be happening..." She muttered to herself, almost silently. Then she let out a piercing cry into the air," JUNO!!!"

"Vela are you alright?" Floyd asked. Lupus whinned to her.

"Alright?! Why wouldn't I be alright?" Vela sniffled, trying to calm down," Sure my brother's been captured and is probabley dead in this," she held up the gun," is all that's left of him....OH my god! I may never see him again!"

"Vela, relax. I'm sure we'll think of something." Floyd reasurred her.



Back on the ship, Vela wasn't feeling any better. She kept crying and sobbing that it was her fault that Juno was caught and that she let him down. Suddenly, the small Micro-comlink behind her ear turned on and static noises came from it.

"Vela.....Sis.....Can you hear me?"

"Juno? Is that you?" Vela asked in surprise, turning the tiny microphone in the device on.

"Yep...it's me."

"Oh my god! I thought you were dead! I thought I'd never see you again! I'm sorry!"

"Sis.....It's OK........listen, they're taking me back.....to Mizar's palace.....You need to go there and bail me out...please."

"Don't worry, bro. I won't let you down again. I swear it!"

"Thanks Vela...I know you can do it....Someone's comeing....Bye..I'll miss you.."

"Bye." Vela sat there in shock. She had a blank expression on her face for a while.

"Vela?" Floyd asked," Vela?"

The whole time she was blank, Vela had this thought in her mind," He's counting on me. I can't let him down again. But, I wasn't able to help him before. How am I gonna be able to pull this off? But, I can't just leave him there! I'll just have to try."

Lupus let out a loud howl and Vela snapped back to reality.

"We have to get him out of there! We can't leave him there!" She exclaimed.

"But how?" Floyd asked.

"I'm not sure. Well, the first step is to actually get to Mizar's Palace. We'll have to come up with something on the way there."



As they came into the atmoshere of Mizar's Palace, they still didn't have a plan. Vela's patience and temper were growing thin. She wanted to get Juno and get even with the drones. Suddenly, as they got closer, the communication's system jumped to life.

"Whoever it is, what do you want?" Vela demanded.

"Hello, Jet Forcers." greeted a low, familiar voice.

"Mizar!" Vela exclaimed," What is it?!"

"I just want to see how you're doing after the capture of your fearless leader." He revealed Juno, in an energy field cage with little room to move.

"Juno!" Vela cried.

"It's alright, Vela. I'm just a bit crowded. Nothing serious." Juno replied.

"What do you want out of us to get him back?" Vela asked, anger coursing through her.

"I want you, young lady, if that's what female humans are called, to come face me in a one-on-one battle."

"I suppose. But, as soon as I get there, you have to let Juno go!"

"Fine. Meet me in the courtyard as soon as you can. Oh, and, bring your big guns or whatever you call those toys. I'll be waiting."



Mizar was sitting in the middle of his courtyard when Vela rushed in. As she came to a skidding halt, she saw Juno off to the side, still in his cage.

"So, Jet Forcer, you did have the nerve to take up my challange." Mizar chuckled," Let's see how alike you twins really are."

"Alright, I kept my half of the deal. I showed up to fight you. Now, keep your half and let him go!"

"That's something I must tell you about. You see, I just decided that the boy should stick around and see how supirior I really am to a scrawny little creature such as yourself."

"Scrawny?! That's it, you back-stabber, your as good as dead! But, you better make sure he doesn't get hurt or I'll rip your insides out through your throat!"

"Very well." With that, a white force field went around the cage Juno was in.

Then, without warning, mizar struck at Vela with his dagger-like claw. she dodged it, just barely and was thrown off her feet.

"Just a warning, female twin," Mizar growled," I have been training for this little trap." Suddenly, the door Vela came in through sealed shut.



Meanwhile, Lupus and Floyd were working on breaking Juno out. Floyd was hacking into the security system's computer and trying to work the cells.

"Blast this thing." Floyd grumbled," Where in blazes is the stupid cells...Oh here it is. Still operated by codes. The only good thing about being with Mizar was that, now, I'm able to hack the systems a little easier.




"I'm not going to let my guard down as bad as before." Mizar said, challengingly," En guarde, Jet Forcer."

Mizar tried to strike her again, but she was more prepared and dodged. She tried to make her own strike with the tri-rocket launcher, but Mizar blocked it.

"Not bad, human. Not too shabby." Mizar chuckled," But, how about this." He fired a purple laser that knocked Vela off her feet. she hit the ground hard and let out a scream. There was a wound on her arm and she had hurt her wrist badly. In a rage, she fired her tri-rockets again, he didn't block in time and it hit him in the face, causing him to let out a shriek of pain.

"So, that's still your soft spot." Vela mocked.

Mizar gave her an angery glare and growled,"Why you impudent little...!" He tried to hit her again. she just kept dodging and fireing her gun. She seemed to be getting the upper hand.

Then, Mizar made a quick grab with his metallic claw and got a hold of Vela. He picked her up so they were face to face. He noticed that she was prying her gun arm free. He squeezed her even tighter. She found breathing becomeing more and more difficult.

Mizar then dealt a powerful blow. He sent a current of electricity through his arm to his metallic claw. Vela let out a scream and fell limp. He placed her on the ground and steppd back a little as he got ready to finish her off. He powered up a laser and got ready to fire it at her. Suddenly, he was shot from behind and the laser missed it's mark.

Mizar turned around and realized that Juno had gotten out. He also saw Lupus and Floyd running towards them.

" He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day!" Mizar chanted to himself. He turned on a jet pack on his back and yelled," You have two choices, boy. Give chase, or save your twin."

Juno saw Vela, who lay lifeless on the ground. He rushed to her side and tried to wake her up.

"Vela! Sis! Wake up!" He urged. He put his ear to her chest and heard a strong heartbeat," C'mon sis! You can't die! Not now! Just wake up! Please!"

He almost started crying. He held her in his arms and started cursing Mizar. As he was, Vela began to wake up.

"Juno?" She moaned," What happened?"

"Vela! Thank god your alive!" He hugged her tightly," I thought he killed you!"

Vela hugged him back, then asked, in a weak tone," Mizar got away?"

"Yeah, but we'll get him sometime. Don't worry." He picked her up and walked back to the ship. Tiredly, she rested her head against his shoulder.

"You did good out there. You really gave that bug a run for his money." Juno told her.

"Thanks for bailing me out of that, Juno." Vela replied.

"Likewise. Now let's get you to the hospital on Tawfret to fix your arm."

Vela yawned and slipped off to sleep.