Reika leaned against Luminescent as they sat, slumbering underneath the unfurled wing of the Redler. The sun of the desert was just starting to rise and bring forth the nearly unbearable heat. Organoid and Zoidian alike stirred as they heard the whir of Zoid legs working in the distance. Reika awoke and rubbed her eyes and looked out beyond the dunes and heat waves, she spotted what appeared to be a liger. Reika rubbed the sleep from her eyes a little more and focused her vision. It wasn't just any old liger, it was the Blue Blade Liger she saw defeat the Deathsaurer. She quickly got up and startled her Organoid in the process.

Finally the Blade Liger made it to her Redler and the pilot opened his cockpit to speak to her.

"Hey there, are you lost?" A boy with spiked black hair, pulled back into a short ponytail asked. Reika shook her head.

"I am looking for someone very, very dear to me." Reika replied. Luminescent walked up beside her and the boy nearly flipped.

"Oh wow you have an Organoid too!" He stated beaming. "Hey Zeke!" He called out. A silver Organoid with red eyes walked out from the other side of the Blade Liger. Luminescent and Zeke both looked at one another quizzically.

"Would you like any help finding your friend?" a girl with long, somewhat crazy blonde hair asked as she popped up behind the boy.

"I do not see why you cannot help me." Reika replied smiling. Zeke had gone back behind the Blade Liger after sniffing the air. A wind had blown by giving him a whiff of Luminescent. Zeke, unlike the other two, could smell Shadow on them.

Reika climbed into the welcoming cockpit of her Redler, and started to utilize its four legs to walk next to the Blade liger instead of flying full speed ahead of it. The Redler walked awkwardly next to the liger as she and the other two conversed through the communication systems.

"So I am Van Flyheight, and this is Fiona. What's your name?" Van introduced.

"I am Reika. Your name sounds very familiar and I cannot place where I have heard it before." Reika responded. Van laughed a little.

"It kinda feels like everywhere I go I've heard that same line. Then they end up turning on me once they figure it out." Van replied. "So how'd you come across your Organoid?" he asked.

"Huh? She's always been with me." Reika answered.

"Oh wait does that mean you are an Ancient Zoidian as well?" Fiona asked excitedly.

"Oh, yes. I did not know you were one also." Reika answered.

"Do you happen to know anything of Zoid Eve?" Fiona asked, sounding a little desperate.

"Zoid Eve? I am sorry I do not remember that about our past." Reika answered sadly. "To be honest the most I remember of the past is destruction and that monstrosity I saw you defeat in the city." She added.

"That's okay; I finally got to remember my real name once I was near the Deathsaurer." Fiona stated.

"I am very unaware of myself compared to you Fiona." Reika stated.

"So Reika can you describe who we're looking for?" Van asked. "It would help so we don't just stop some random traveler thinking they're your buddy." He added.

"Well, he has kind of medium length black hair, violet eyes, and a red Zi mark." Reika began to describe. The Blade Liger stopped dead in its tracks and the Redler turned to face it. "Anything wrong?" Reika inquired.

"Uh…Nothing just thought of someone else I once knew who looked like your friend." Van answered and the Blade Liger began to walk again.

"Oh, maybe it was him!" Reika excitedly stated. "He had to go away for missions often you must have seen him! Did you know his name?" Reika asked even more excited halting the Redler.

"Uh…His name was Raven." Van answered unsure of how to bring bad news upon her if he was right.

"Really? That was him then! Where did you last see him?" Reika bombarded. Van stuttered a little as he tried to find the right words.

"Reika I'm sorry but I don't think you'll ever see him again…Or at least anytime soon." Van tried to get out. Reika became confused.

"Why Van, what happened? Is he lost?" Reika asked. "He promised he would come find me if something ever happened…" she murmured.

"Well Reika…I…I had no choice but to obliterate his Zoid…" Van got out as bluntly as possible, to avoid beating around the bush anymore. Reika gasped and felt her heart skip a beat. "I'm sorry you had to hear that from me…But he was after me to kill me and take Fiona back to Prozen and I couldn't let that happen." Van added. "Reika?" He called out concerned.

"Now I remember where I heard your name…" Reika said in a monotone voice.

"Oh great…" Van muttered.

"Prozen said your name when he sent Raven off…That is when Prozen told him that if he did not bring Fiona back or even try then he was going to hurt me to make him do it…" Reika went on. "He came after you because of Prozen…and he is…" Reika was trying to piece the news together herself.

"Look Reika I don't know anything about that Prozen bit, but he had his own gripe with me from the start, and intended to kill me whether or not Prozen asked him to." Van corrected. "But I am sorry about your loss. I apologize for having to be the one to tell you as well." Van kept on saying sincerely. Reika heard the sincerity and was still trying to put things together. She was feeling very confused and bewildered as many emotions hit her at once.

The Redler stopped in its own tracks and it was the Liger's turn to check on it. Reika sat there in the pilot seat mortified. She was gripping the controls of the Redler tightly, then releasing them over and over again. She was feeling remorse over the loss of the only person who retained any meaning in her life, anger directed at Van for being the one who eliminated him from her life, and hatred towards Prozen for even placing him in the situation.

She could feel her heart skipping, and her blood run cold. Reika felt something warm stream on her cheeks. She went to wipe it off her cheek with her hand and found tears.

"W-what?" Reika breathed as Van appeared on the communication screen.

"Hey, you ok over there?" Van asked. Reika only blankly stared off into the sands while a tear dripped off her finger tip.

"What is 'Ok'? What are these that are coming from my eyes?" Reika began to asked aloud. Her bright green eyes were dulling in their color. She held her head like she was in agony. Van and Fiona saw her back rise and fall as she began to cry. "What are all these feelings that I am feeling? I do not know anymore…" She couldn't get a hold of her emotions and Luminescent roared outside of the Redler. Luminescent opened up her boosters and fused with the Redler in a bright purple streak. Reika's raging emotions were making the Redler an uneasy Zoid. Van and Fiona watched helplessly as Reika was attempting to deal with her breakdown.

Luminescent cut the communication off with the Liger and took control of the Redler. Zeke quickly fused with the Blade liger is unexpected confrontation was going to occur. Luminescent put the Redler into flight and soared off into the desert to get as far away from Fan and Fiona as possible.

After a half an hour of speeding away from the duo Luminescent landed the Redler in a patch of dunes. Reika was still crying and holding herself in the cockpit. Her head was pounding. How could Raven be gone? How could Van have told her that? He must have been lying, Shadow should have rescued Raven before anything bad could happen to them. Then she thought, what if Shadow didn't get to him in time? No that had to be impossible, how could Shadow not act in time? He must have there was no way that Raven was gone.

Not only that she was feeling that bubbling feeling in her blood again. Prozen. She hated him, she hated him immensely. It was his fault Raven would have even risked his life in that situation, it was Prozen who threatened her own life. She was overjoyed that Prozen was dead.

But that was a bittersweet sense, with the knowledge that Raven was also…

She couldn't bring herself to even think it. Reika could hardly take all the emotions swirling around inside her heart. She gave a small scream of agony and was taking in labored breaths. She had to do something to stop all this pain, but what?

Block it all. She opened her eyes and leaned back in the pilot chair. She let go of herself and began to take in deeper breaths. She just had to block everything that required any feeling. She closed her eyes and took in deep breaths. She began to put up mental walls around the images she had that did make up a nice, happy time in her past. She kept one memory up in the front of her mind. And that was the night that she and Raven had talked about the dark side of the moons, and the dark side to people.

Now she fully understood what she was getting at. Now that she had gone towards her own darker side. She opened her eyes to peer out into the endless desert, to peer out into the same bleak future that was about to unfold for her. A future filled with dunes to cross over, and sand to fall through the slow hour glass that she imagined her life as.


Scouring the Stars