Disclaimer – All characters and dialogue present in the anime and manga Burst Angel and Burst Angel: Infinity are registered trademarks and copyright of Funimation and studio Gonzo. All characters and dialogue not used within Burst Angel belong to me.
A/N: Set after the 3-minute epilogue of the Burst Angel OVA and 5 years after the end of the anime. Rating may increase in later chapters, and contains yuri/femslash/shojo-ai concepts and violence. Contains spoilers for the epilogue.
Edit 9th May, 2010: For meta, discussions, previews and updates, check out my LJ. The link's on my profile! Also, in further news, a rewrite of the first 2-4 chapters is pending. Because frankly, I look over them and cringe. Chapter one, for an instance, needs more cybots and more action.
Crimson Burst Angel
"From now on, Meg, you must fight for someone who needs you.
That is what your future holds. It's a future you must now search for."
Jo, Episode 24, 'Angels, Explode!'
The sun was setting as she streaked down the highway, the thrum of the motorcycle's engine soothing any of her latent nerves, any fear she may have still felt… She was calm. The wind buffeted her hair around as she swerved around a car, going faster and faster, feeling the thrill of being alive – of danger, of the chase – echoing through her entire body.
Then she spotted her target. A non-descript pickup truck motoring down the highway, dodging in and out of the light traffic as they tried to escape her watchful eyes.
She smirked, a bare quirking of her lips before it was replaced by a look of seriousness.
No chance. Unconsciously, she raised her wrist and yelled into the comm. link strapped to it,
"Hey, Amy, I've got him in my sights. What's news?" Her voice was nearly snatched away the powerful wind.
The comm. was silent for a short moment, even the crackling of bad reception being stolen by the gusts. Then it glowed.
"There are constructions going on up ahead of you, two miles away now. I'm trying to force a complete stop of traffic… there!" Amy's voice sounded pleased with herself as she announced what she had done. "All traffic locked up! Those assholes will have to stop now, and then WHAM!" There was a cackle from the other end.
A pair of clear blue eyes narrowed in deep thought. There was an easy way to do this, and of course, the hard way.
"Be careful, Meg, Bai-Lan requires those men taken alive." A deeper, feminine voice replaced Amy's chipper commentary. Sei's way; the hard way.
She sighed. "Got it, Sei…" Meg needed a challenge today, anyway… She'd been starting to get jittery for a while. Tokyo sure had calmed down these past five years.
"I know you'll follow your orders to the letter, Meg."
"Sarcasm is so not appreciated." Meg swerved around an orange van, squinting as the sun bounced off the mirrors and into her eyes. That white pickup was entirely too erratic to be predicted. Meg smirked again and accelerated, quickly overtaking the bus in front of her and reaching back for the modified Desert Eagles strapped in their holsters. She grabbed the left one, the motor roaring beneath her and snarled.
Horns blared up ahead, wheels screeched, and Meg drew level with the white van. The man in the driver's side seat glanced out the window and screamed in terror as he spotted her. She could almost imagine what he was screaming…
"OH JESUS, IT'S HER!"
Damn right, arseholes, now pull over before I put a bullet in your sorry faces. Meg shrugged, taking aim. The fading sunlight gleamed off the muzzle of her modified Desert Eagle. Time seemed to slow to a stop as Meg tried to remember what it was that Sei had wanted her to do.
Oh, that's right, alive.
She lowered her aim from her target's temples and pulled the trigger. The glass windows shattered, the bullet ploughing straight through and out the passenger side. She could hear the men screaming, the tires screeching they tried to get control back over the white pickup. Meg's smirk grew as she cast her eyes up ahead, and she gave a sly salute to the two men she was pursuing. She could see the confusion in their faces as she dropped back, giving an amused shrug.
They were still staring at her as they slammed right into the back of a jeep. Ahead of them stretched at least a mile of backed up traffic…
"Nice going, Amy!" Meg told the hacker, revving the engine before screeching off towards the white pickup.
"It was too easy," Amy told her with an airy tone, "Just get the bad-guys so we can eat already."
Meg nodded an affirmative, screeching to a halt by the partially ruined pickup.
Finally, to put this juvenile chase to an end.
There were horns blaring behind her as more traffic stopped, and an angry voice from inside the jeep was starting to yell. Meg shrugged, turned off the engine and climbed off the bike. Too easy. She didn't understand why the authorities were having such a hard time with idiots like these –
The run sun gleaming off the metallic barrel of the handgun flashed in her eyes, and Meg threw herself backwards. Gunshots tore through the air, her targets screaming in defiance as they moved her down. She could hear the shots ricocheting off the hard metal of her motorcycle, pounding into the tarmac as she hit the ground. She used the momentum to bring herself into a backwards roll, landing crouched behind her motorcycle, blood spurting from her arm as she drew the other Desert Eagle.
As the shots slowly stopped, she waited, blood running freely down her forearm and dropping gently to the asphalt. She felt her anger bubbling. She should have expected as much from low-lives like these guys.
"Meg, are you alright?" Sei demanded by her ear, but Meg ignored her. Over the blaring horns and screeching tyres and angry voices, she could hear them.
"Nice shootin', Yock. Sure cleaned up that bitch's ass."
"The whore won't mess with Yock and Kervil any time soon." There was a savage ferocity to Yock's voice. "We cleaned her up good."
Meg's anger boiled over and she slowly climbed to her feet, each gun trained on each man. They both stopped in their tracks and stared. The faces seemed familiar.
((Meg stared at the file of the drug-runner ring Bai-Lan had singled out for Sei's group to hunt. Her lips compressed.
Yock Johnson, age thirty five, competent with handguns and knives alike. The threat-assessment Bai-Lan gave the first file was a lowly C+. Hardly a threat at all, Meg noted, before flicking to the next member of the drug-running gang.
Kervil Vrage, age twenty nice, outstanding skills when it comes to driving. Has previous charges of grand theft auto with RAPT – not that Meg truly cared. Threat-assessment – C. A truly low class criminal. It was enough to make Meg wonder why Bai-Lan was bothering with such low-key criminal rings. Especially since the remnants of RAPT was still out there.))
Once again, she could almost hear the thoughts going through their heads as they stumbled backwards, sweating in fear and their faces twisted in terror at the sight of her. A cruel amusement soured her stomach as she stared at the pathetic life forms she'd been ordered to hunt down for Bai-Lan.
'Oh shit' is damn right, motherfuckers. She felt a snarl tugging at the corners of her lips as she rose up, like a phoenix rising from the ashes of the old…
"You two are coming with me. Or you two are going to wish I killed you here and now," she told them quietly, knowing they would hear her despite the swell of noise. The men backed away further, the man Meg recognised as Yock reached into the car.
Meg pulled back the hammer of her left Desert Eagle threateningly. There were people watching from the safety of their cars, staring at her fearfully. She ignored them, focusing entirely on the two men before her.
"Touch that rifle and I swear, I will kill you."
Unnerved, Yock pulled his hand away from the pickup, and demanded instead, "What do you want?"
She stared at them through her dyed-red bangs, swearing beneath her breath. "Bai-Lan has considered you both… worthy targets of an investigation."
As such, I can't kill you. Yet.
"Bai-Lan?" Kervil spat at the ground. "You expect us to believe Bai-Lan employs a slut like you to come after guys like us?! You got no idea! No idea of what the Tokyo Serpents got up their sleeves, you smarmy little bitch."
Meg was quickly tiring of these two. Asses… just scum, gnawing away at the roots of Tokyo. Far more worthy people of life had walked the packed streets, cleaning up the mess made by the criminals and RAPT alike, before fading forever, devoured by fate…
The ground rumbled dangerously, and Meg's eyes narrowed.
God damn it.
"Meg! There's a massive force heading straight towards your position!" Amy told her through overwhelming static. "It looks like a cybot!"
The ground between Meg and the two drug-runners split open, and the bounty hunter leapt back, cursing. Her side of the highway began to break away beneath her feet, tracking her footsteps dangerously as she retreated back and away from her targets. A large, silver hand shot out from within the massive crack, clawing a few cars down into its depths before climbing out. Meg swore again as the unmistakable form of an old RAPT cybot allowed Kervil and Yock to climb aboard.
Those bastards had backup all along! There's only one way to deal with these fuckers. She rolled to her feet, shooting uselessly at the silver cybot that had taken her targets. The bullets glanced off the reinforced steel armour, protecting its allies with one massive silver hand, but only when the mags were finally emptied did Meg stop firing.
She scrambled backwards as the silver hand went crashing into the area she had been standing mere moments ago. Concrete crumbled around it – Meg clenched her teeth, reloaded and aimed for the head, where the two drug runners had vanished into the cybot. The bullets grazed over the armour, ricocheting into the blood red sky as the sun set. The silver cybot seemed to be stained red, as it leapt off the remains of the highway and to the ground below. Meg dashed forwards, tracing the cybot's path with her eyes desperately.
Her eyes scanned the areas either side of the highway – construction sits all around. There were thousands of places a cybot could hide in this part of town. She had to find them – quick.
"Prep Jango R!" she told Amy shortly. "I'm going after them!"
There was a cackle of glee from the other end.
"Those guys are toast now!" Amy hummed beneath her breath the tunes of her latest pop-song obsession, then laughed. "Jango R is on his way!"
Meg breathed a sigh, staring after the dust-cloud created by the silver cybot. Jango R wasn't far, but every second counted. Growling under her breath, Meg took the crumbling edge of the highway in a running jump and sailed down into the darkening construction site below. The air was colder down there, and the ground slightly damp as she braced herself for the impact and waited, the sounds of the chaotic highway above seeming very far away now as the red-head regained her focus.
Littered around her were the smoking shells of the collateral damage the cybot had caused. She couldn't help these people now, they were doubtlessly all dead. She just had to focus on her mission, her goal.
"The silver cybot seems to be heading north towards the anarchy district." Amy reported to her, transmitting a satellite image of the enemy cybot. "Its pace appears to be slowing, and with Jango R's renewed capabilities in the speed department, you should catch up no-sweat!"
Meg nodded quickly, slinking forwards in the cool darkness of the construction site. The modified twin Desert Eagles were raised, despite the pain in her arm, her fingers nearly trembling on the triggers. Everything was silent and sleepy, and with a relieved sigh Meg holstered the Desert Eagles. She closed her eyes, hearing the sound of ion-boosters and a speeding tower of metal hurtling her way, so loud it had to be on top of her almost –
Jango R – modelled so closely on the original Jango, the Jango that had been torn up in the RAPT HQ explosion five years ago – sailed through the air and crashed to the ground. The glowing green eyes slowly looked up at Meg, before crouching, waiting.
"And heeeeeeere's Jango R! Time to kick some drug-running ass!"
Meg slid into the cockpit of Jango R, stripping her blood-soaked red jacket off and strapping herself into the pilot's seat. Yock and his friends had really done it, this time.
"Nowhere to run… nowhere to hide," she told the fleeing image of the silver cybot, smirking and activating dash-mode. Wheels emerged from the below Jango R's feet, powerful boosters sprouted from the metallic hulk's shoulders. Meg smirked as she activated the boosters and watched the world whirl by in a dizzying blur of colour.
"And I'll be damned if I show you mercy."
Her eyes were fixed on the map of Tokyo plaster all over the transmission screen, but an image of Amy flickered to her right. The teenager – wearing a brown jacket and a miniskirt – gave her a big grin and a wave.
"Just testing my latest amendment to Jango's program, 'Amy TV'. No need for the scowl, you stupid ingrate. I AM the one who's gonna get your fat ass to the drug-runners, no?"
Meg nodded. "Spill the beans already, then."
Jango R ducked a low-lying steel beam, swerving around a couple of trucks and using a crane to change direction. Meg accelerated, adding more power to the boosters. She had to hurry up – her fingers felt itchy on the triggers, she wanted to finish this goddamn mission and prove to them that she wasn't weak or useless –
"You're cute, but you're weak, Meg." The hated voice was whispering in her mind venomously. Meg ignored it – it had been so long ago, she was surprised she could still remember the soft, deadly voice now. Especially when Jo's voice had faded away…
"Just follow this path here, and you'll slam straight into those guys. We're countin' on ya!" Amy's visage flickered from the display screen and was gone, leaving only the designated path Meg was to follow. It was winding, dangerous and involved chaos – Meg smirked. It was perfect.
"Hey… you really think we're on Bai-Lan's wanted list now?" Yock asked quietly inside the silver cybot. His two friends were silent, focusing only on the escape route they'd planned if they authorities caught up to them finally. They'd lost their product back in the white pickup truck, but that could be rectified. So long as they were alive to do so, everything was a-ok, as Kervil had put it when they had clambered into Razor's salvaged cybot.
The ex-RAPT pilot sneered. "Obviously. Worse, Bai-Lan have sent Mitarai after us. Could you guys have been anymore idiotic?"
Kervil was picking his teeth with a toothpick, lounging in one of the two passenger seats. He laughed coarsely. "Mitarai. Why does that ring a bell?"
Razor punched Kervil's shoulder. "Remember those experiments on the brain that RAPT used to carry out before it fell and kicked us out?" At the two men's nods, Razor continued. "Well, word is she was involved, because shortly after she appears – like a burning angel, they say. Deadly, powerful. 'Til she was caught in the explosion that destroyed RAPT. She emerged again – the red coat and everything – and remained alive. She's a tough one, don't make that mistake.
"The Genocide Angel… and now her. So, understand, you two fools? We gotta keep her off our tails, or we're as good as RAPT is. Dead." Razor swore and frowned at the screen. "What the-"
Something incredibly fast was approaching their position, so fast it was nearly on top of them before Razor could even blink –
The building beside them exploded in a shower of glass, brick and mortar, a massive red hand lashing out and taking hold of the silver cybot's leg and hurled them into the next building. Kervil was thrown from his seat and into the plexiglass. He screamed.
"Kervil!" Yock shouted as Kervil tumbled back to his seat, and then turned to the red cybot – obviously that girl's cybot! Rage clouded his vision. "YOU'LL PAY!!!!"
Razor tried to manoeuvre the silver cybot away from the red one, but the girl's voice snarled over the comm. link she created between the two cybots,
"Not likely." And suddenly, the three drug-runners were staring down the twin barrels of the red cybot's guns. All three flinched as she opened fire, cleanly severing the cybot's head from its shoulders and ripping it free.
The green eyes of the red cybot glowered down at them.
Razor sighed. It was either go with Bai-Lan or die, it appeared. "Yield," he told her.
Mitarai had won.
Meg lay on her bed in the quietly hovering Elizabeth airship, staring dully at the night lights of Tokyo. Amy was out with her cyber-friend, celebrating yet another 'victory for the mind of the supreme Amy' and Sei was contacting the Bai-Lan council to let them know about the successful capture of the Tokyo Serpent drug-runners.
The red-head sighed, clenching her fist tighter around the softness she held, easing her pain in the darkness of her room. Her bicep was wrapped in tight bandages.
Meg let her eyes drift shut, fixing in her mind the rapidly fading face of a woman with silver hair and blazing red eyes – her sleeping ritual.
In her fist she held a tattered, cream scarf.
Chapter One: From the Flames