Schala85: Since I've been slow in updating my Rokai story, I thought I'd start posting this story too to tide people over (all 4 of you XD). This fic has been put on a forum I tend to go to often, and so there is a good deal of background missing, but I've been trying to add in whatever's needed at that time. If you do have any questions, I will try to address them, whether by replying to your review or trying to stick information into the chapters. I don't own Zoids, nor any of the characters. However, I own Collins, Lauren, Night Striker, Remik, Joara, Aiden, Daniel, Terra, and the place Terkh. A friend of mine owns Nicodemus. I think the setting is about a year after the Death Stinger incident. I've tried hard to not make my main OC a Mary Sue, and I think I've done at least a decent job so far.


Van's bellow of surprise could be heard sounding throughout the base's hangar. He and Thomas were staring at the communications monitor in the room, Van wearing a shocked expression that held hints of disappointment. Thomas instead went from slight shock to irritation at Van's outburst, to giving a determined nod to the monitor. On that monitor was Karl's face, as this particular mission was oriented within Imperial territory. In short, Thomas was being sent on a mission alone, and Van wasn't a happy camper. The older Schubaltz looked a bit annoyed yet at Van's reaction, as it caused unpleasant noise on his end.

"You heard me, Lieutenant Fleiheit. Lieutenant Schubaltz is being sent to the coordinates I sent. He knows the area more then you," the colonel stated, his gaze going over towards his younger brother. "The area that the bandits have been attacking is the Terkh colony."

Thomas knew that the surprise on his face was plain. He should have known that the old colony would be re-built sooner or later, but it was still unexpected to actually hear the name of the colony again. No, it wasn't a large place, nor had he or Karl ever lived there. Though, they had visited often as children. The late General Remik and his wife Joara, who did live there, were friends of their father, and so of course they would see them often. He remembered Joara much more than he did Remik, though that was more then likely due to the fact that she treated him like he was her own child. He remembered that Joara border lined genius status when it came to zoids, and whenever she spotted Thomas working on something mechanical she would hug him (nearly tight enough to choke him!) and shower him with affection. Which, considering that Karl was usually the one to get any and all of the attention, he soaked it up without any complaints like a sponge. "Okay, I'll get my zoid ready to go," Thomas said, silently reminding himself to get supplies and such for the journey.

After a few more details about what had happened so far with the bandits, Karl ended the remote briefing and the communication's screen went blank. Once the screen lost all the light from the previous message, Van turned around and walked off. Thomas could almost have sworn the renowned hero was muttering under his breath, but who could blame him? The younger man had been wanting a mission like this for weeks, and instead of him getting it, Thomas was the one chosen to be dispatched. Either way, the blonde Lieutenant inwardly smiled to himself feeling good about this mission. With Beek and his Megalomax capability, those bandits won't stand a chance!

It was merely a couple of days before he caught sight of the village. It was even smaller then he remembered it to be, though he wasn't surprised. Well over three quarters of the village's population had been killed that night years ago, with the others unaccounted for. It was his guess that it was the unaccounted survivors that rebuilt the place, and he wondered if he would recognize any of them. Would they recognize him? It had been about seven years after all. Actually, it was much longer then that, he was thinking of something else. There was only one way to find out, and that was to actually go inside. Once he got a bit closer, he noticed a zoid that he had never seen before. Yet, at the same time, it seemed strangely familiar. It was fully black, and what he determined to be like a feline, maybe a panther. What caught his attention were the structures on the back. He couldn't tell if they were folded wings or some whacky booster system or what, but they were certainly prominent. He had to see it up close. Of course he reasoned to himself that he should, being part of the Guardian Force he had to check it out as it could be used against him. Though deep down, he knew it was just the mechanical whiz in him that wanted to inspect it.

Once he got close enough, he got out of his Dibison and looked around, the people that were in the village were too concerned with the market, and only a couple of them even looked at him. Not that there were many outside to start with, the village was too small for a lot of people to be moving about. Once he got over to the zoid, he looked it over and confirming that the structures on its back were indeed wings, with the booster on its back between them. The type of zoid eluded him, and he climbed up to the cockpit, and once the canopy opened he jumped inside. The controls were amazing! They had to be coded, for he didn't quite understand what control did what, aside from the booster controls being the same as a Shield or Blade Liger. It took his breath away, and he became determined that he was going to figure out everything. However, his concentration was broken by a voice.

"Scanning DNA..."

The blonde lieutenant's head popped up at hearing it. DNA scanning? What for? It made him feel quite uneasy.

"DNA found incompatible...ejecting now..."

With that said, Thomas found himself flying through the air with a yelp of surprise, making a very ungraceful landing on the sand. As he pulled himself up to brush off the sand, he noticed that it had been the moment that people started to notice that he was around. Though once they saw him, they appeared to know precisely what had happened and went back to their normal tasks, before he could even explain himself. He wasn't sure if he should've been thankful for that fact or completely embarrassed, but he didn't try to waste any time to check his Beek headpiece to make sure he hadn't gotten any sand in it before replacing it on the left side of his head.

While he was doing this, he hadn't noticed someone standing at the entrance of the Terkh. This young woman was wearing an Imperial officer's uniform, the rank denoting a second lieutenant, and she had obviously come out to see what had happened. Her eyes were fuchsia colored and her hair was for the most part a sky blue, though when the sun hit it right, you could see a metallic sheen coming from the strands, which were pulled back into a high pony tail. When she spotted Thomas, she was first concerned, then an expression of shock soon overtook it. Finally, anger took over a moment later and while she marched over to him she yelled, "Thomas Richard Schubaltz! I don't believe you just did that!"

The hair on the back of Thomas' neck stood on end as he heard the voice, as it was extremely familiar, and it wasn't a good sign at all. He looked to his right and saw the woman approaching him and a nervous chuckle escaped his throat. "H-hello, Lauren, it's so nice to see you after all of this time!" It was true, he hadn't seen her in nearly eight years. Though he knew she'd see right through anything he'd say. Lauren Starsword was one of the survivors, actually the only survivor that had been accounted for at that time. Which, that was only due to the fact that it was his father that had her under his care at the time being that she was Remik's child and she was visiting them. It was also due to that fact that she stayed with them for a little over six years before being taken to the Guylos capital. During that time they had nearly adopted her as part of the family. Or at least he and Karl had thought of her as the sister they never really had.

"You know better than to just climb into anyone's zoid," she said, eyeing him with that glare she had as she got right in front of him. She wasn't as tall as he remembered, but then again, he probably had grown quite a bit since they both last seen each other. "Especially being as adapt at machines as you are, you should have some respect!"

Thomas opened his mouth to speak but the words were lost once he felt something ram into him, for a moment. He looked down to see Lauren sitting on the sand, rubbing her shoulder. "Um, what are you doing?" he asked her, blinking.

It took her a second to look up at him, a bit pained. Though he was willing to bet it was more her pride than her arm. "You were unaffected by that. ...Time really has made you stronger," she said, looking much more surprised than angered. At least until she caught sight of her zoid behind him, which upon she glared at him again. "But that doesn't stop me from being mad at you."

I hope it wasn't too bad. Please don't forget to review!