The night air was fairly chilly, but not enough to deter the once invincible Tiger's Team from their evening meal of noodles as they bantered back and forth about their humiliating loss at the hands of the Judgeman in the Royal Cup. Having moved down a few ranks since then, they were not quite ready to give up, but finding the will to push themselves to do better harder and harder. "I can't believe we were defeated again," Lineback quipped, an annoyed look of his face. Omari nodded in agreement, "Yeah, we need to find a way to wipe away that Fuzzy Pandas nickname once and for all!" Kirkland groaned, "Can't a guy eat his meal in peace!?" The other two fell silent as they looked at him for a moment before sighing and going back to eating their noodles. The only sound was the burner on the small fire that was glowing in front of them, illuminating the dark desert where they sat. Their three zaber fangs stood proudly nearby, with only faint traces of the firelight glowing upon them. As they finished up their meager meals, the faint sounds of a zoid moving in the distance could be heard. Kirkland stood up to scan the dark horizon for the source of the sound. It took him some time, but he was finally able to make out the dark outline of a medium sized zoid heading in their direction. "Omari, Lineback – can you tell what that is?" "Sorry bro, too dark to tell," Omari shook his head, but it was Lineback that make a more observant comment. "That looks like another zaber." All three watched in silence as the dark zoid came to a halt nearby to their lighter colored ones. The pilot jumped out of the cockpit and came up to them into the light. "Need a savior, boys?"
Kirkland was the first to react with annoyed back, "Savior? Ha! Don't make me laugh; we don't need a savior, especially not from the likes of you." Omari chimed in following this "Yeah, I bet that Dr. Layon sent you!" "We don't want anything to do with him!" Lineback tossed in as well. The other zaber pilot, a female, chuckled, "Hardly, boys. I'm a freelance pilot looking to lend a hand to my fellow zaber fang pilots, and to prove I'm not lying to you I'll fight for free with you in your next battle and will guarantee you a win." The three looked between each other a minute before Kirkland waved his teammates off to the side as they talked it over. "She's offering to work for free, how can we turn that down?" "Are you crazy?! We don't need anyone's help, besides, remember the last time we took help from someone claiming to be a savior?" "Yeah, but we need the wins if we're ever going to be able to take revenge on the Blitz Team and their Bit Cloud for starting this whole mess for us." "Let's give it a go, we don't have to pay a thing and if it doesn't work out we won't be any worse off than we are now." They all nodded to each other, then turned around to face her. Kirkland spoke for them, "Alright, but you better not be lying to us." The women chuckled, "Don't worry, you won't lose. Now, let me introduce myself, my name is Sloane and this here is my partner, Angra." The teammates looked between themselves again, then back at this other warrior. Kirkland spoke again, "You mean you named your zoid?" He starts laughing and the other two soon chime in with their laughter as well. Sloane smirks and shakes her head, "Not exactly." This gets the three males to stop and look at her, Omari and Lineback looking a little creeped out by her smirk.
A small dragon looking zoid appears from the shadows, stepping out from behind one of the zaber's legs. It comes forward and lets out a growl, Sloane only smiles. "This, boys, is Angra. A one of a kind organoid who combines all the best power one could ask for in such a partner." All three members of the Zaber Fang's team look completely dumbfounded. Omari speaks first, "A – an organoid?" Lineback falls in with Omari as he continues, "Like the organoid systems in the Liger Zero and Berserk Fury?" The female warrior grins, "No, better." The three males all shake the look of disbelief from their faces as Kirkland speaks, "Alright, so you say that we can win with you on our team? We'll set up a battle tomorrow and see if you can prove yourself worthy." Sloane grins and nods her head, "You don't be disappointed. Now get some rest for yourselves so you won't be too tired for that battle tomorrow." The female warrior turns and walks back toward her zoid, the dark organoid following behind her.
Omari and Lineback look at Kirkland and speak together, "This better be worth it, Bro." Kirkland smiles a bit, "Well if the legends I've heard about those small zoids are true, then it will be." With that, the boys put out their fire and grab their sleeping bags to get some shut eye. Sloane, on the other hand, doesn't go to sleep right away. She pulls out some tools and begins to make some adjustments to her zaber as Angra curls up and falls asleep not too far away. Once she finishes, she pulls out her own sleeping bag and gets right to sleep.
Early the next morning, at the Champ base, Sebastian and Benjamin came running into the main hanger where Harry Champ sat with a cup of coffee. The two robots came to a halt in front of him and Sebastian spoke first, "Our next battle's been decided!" Benjamin followed him his counterpart's sentence with his own, "And it's this afternoon against the Zaber Fangs." Harry, who hadn't looked up when they began to speak, finally brought his attention up to his robots. "Zaber Fangs, aye? Well, looks like we're going to get another win under our belt!" A large grin spread across his face, "And I'll be one more battle closer to my Leena!" The two robots looked between each other and shared a similar sigh, shaking their heads. "Oh Harry, you really should forget about that girl." "Yes, she's really not worth the trouble." Harry's grin faded as he shook his head, then stood up and stretched out. "You two just don't understand how deep my love for her is." Both robots sighed again and muttered at the same time, "We're beginning to get a picture." Harry ignored the comment and looked up to the zoids in his hanger before bringing his gaze back to his loyal servants. "So, what's the battle mode?" "0982." Benjamin spoke first and Harry nodded in response to this, "As I figured." He laughed as another stupid grin crossed his features. "Look out Zabers! The Champ Team's gonna bring you down!" His laughter echoed throughout the large halls as Benjamin and Sebastian shook their heads.
As the sun broke over the desert horizon, the Zaber Fangs began to stir. The first up, Lineback, took note that their 'new teammate', Sloane, was already up and about. Kirkland was the next up and first to notice that Sloane was doing something to their zoids. "Hey! What gives?! What're you up to?" His shouting forced the final member of the team, Omari, to wake up and look around a little disoriented. Sloane looked up and smiled to the three, "Just making some adjustments. The battle's been decided on. It's this afternoon against the Champ Team in battle mode 0982." "0982? That means only three of us can fight." The still dazed Omari managed to point out. Sloane nodded, going back to work on the zoid, "That's right, and you'll have to decide amongst yourselves who's going to sit this one out." A silence fell as the three males whispered among themselves, Sloane ignoring the faint bits of the conversation she could hear from them as she worked. Angra growled a bit and she chuckled, "Yes, I know, don't worry about it. You'll get some action soon, I promise. Even if this doesn't go well, we can go back to our team and continue to fight in battles more our class."
Not having heard the female warrior's conversation with her organoid, Omari, Lineback, and Kirkland continued to discuss who would sit the fight out. Finally it was decided, the short straw was drawn by Omari and he would sit out the battle. They looked up to Sloane to see her finishing up with the last zoid and righting herself, walking over to them. "What'd you do to our zoids?" Lineback demanded, the other two nodding their agreement with his question. "Don't get yourselves in a twist over it; I just modified the natural healing ability of your zoids, so they can repair minor damage themselves. It's really quite simple and I'm sure you'll find it effective in the future." The three looked a bit confused, but shook it off and Kirkland spoke. "We've decided that Omari's going to sit this one out." He fell silent a minute before getting a nudge from Omari, "Oh yeah, what's the battle plan?" Sloane chuckled, a small smirk accompanying it. "That's simple; you and Lineback cover for me while I take care of this battle for you." She turned and walked over to her zoid, Angra following her. In the bright light of the day, it was clear that the organoid was a deep blue, almost green color. It was also clear that Sloane's zaber fang was not at all like theirs, or what was common. "What kind of zaber fang is that?" Omari asked as the trio looked up to the black, red, and gold zaber. Its pilot looked over her shoulder at them, "It's a Zaber Fang SS, a completely custom zoid with incredible rang and maneuvering capabilities. It's ground to air combat is also increased as well as various other aspects of the zoid." This time Kirkland spoke, "SS? Never heard of it." The other two nodded with their leader's words. Sloane chuckled, "And for good reason, this type of zaber hasn't been used since the war between the Empire and the Republic. It was Karl Shubaltz's custom built zoid. Of course this one is a remake, since the original was destroyed by the Death Stinger."
As the words came from Sloane's mouth, the look of shock and disbelief only grew on the male's faces. "How – how do you know all that?" Kirkland managed to speak again and Sloane shook her head, "That's a story for another time, don't you think? Now come on, get yourselves prepared for the battle, we don't have much time, the battle location is a fair distance from here." After a minute, they all nodded and got themselves up and running about checking on their zoids, still not trusting her. They all found her story hard to believe, as bits and pieces of it were no more than legends. But the fact that she had what was indisputably an organoid, her story was hard to ignore.
The first to arrive at the battle site, the Zaber Fangs set up camp just outside the battle zone, where Omari and Angra, and the third zaber fang would wait until the end of the battle. All in their zoids, Sloane opened a channel to all three. "Omari, you're our eyes and ears out there, if you see anything strange and noteworthy, let us know. Kirkland, Lineback, once this battle starts just cover me with a blanket of fire and I'll take care of the rest." "Roger." The three responded together as the combat zoids moved forward. The Champ Team's whale king could be seen landing not too far off, and Champ Team soon disembarked from their transport. A heldigunner, stealth viper, and dark horn were their choice zoids. Not moments later, the judge capsule landed. Once the judge, himself, was actually exposed he began his speech at once. "The area within a 30 miles radius is a designated zoid battlefield – this zone is now restricted; only competitors and personnel have authorized entry. Danger, all others must leave the area at once. This zone is now redistricted, danger." Both teams advanced forward, coming to a halt where they could clearly see each other. Sloane moved just a bit more forward than her teammates, speaking to them over the com. "Now remember, boys, just hang back and leave the real combat to the pro. All you need to do is keep them blanketed with heavy fire." "Roger." They both responded as everyone's attention went back to the judge. "Area scanned, battlefield setup. The Zaber Fangs versus the Champ Team; battle mode 0982. Ready? Fight!" As the judge's hands came together with the announcement of the battle, Sloane's zaber fang roared and charged forward.
Within a café at the nearby Romeo City, the Blitz Team sat enjoying lunch as the battle commenced. "Hey look, it's the Zaber Fangs." Leena pointed out. "And Harry." Bit added with a laugh. "This should be a boring battle." As the group looked up, they took note of the black zaber fang. "Would you look at that, wonder what kind of zaber fang that is." Jamie asked, looking at Dr. Toros for an answer. The look on his face, however, told that he would have no useful answer. "Wow, I don't know, all I know is I want one! Look how cool it is!" "Aww, come on Doc." Jamie sighed and fell silent along with most everyone else in the café who was now watching the battle, aware of the newly hired team member on the Zaber Fangs' team. A few tables away sat Naomi with Brad and Leon. "Would you look at that, seems like the Zaber Fangs finally wised up and hired a mercenary." Naomi laughed a little bit. Brad chuckled as well, "They're still probably going to lose, Harry's gotten pretty good." Brad only remained silent as he focused his attention on the battle, thinking to himself as he watched. I know I've seen something about that type of zaber fang somewhere, but where? He mulled it over in his head as he, along with his companions, watched the battle unfold.
Back on the battlefield, Sebastian was already out and Sloane had moved her sights to Benjamin. Sloane's zaber fang roared as she ran it to the side of the stealth viper, rotating her laser vulcan gun at an almost one hundred and eighty degree angle, firing and taking the viper out quickly. She turned her zoid to face Harry in his dark horn and grinned, speaking. "Get ready to wrap this up, boys, this battle's about done." Harry growled as he heard Sloane, "Oh no you don't!" He started to fire like mad at the approaching zaber fang. At the last second, Sloane pulled up as her zaber lept up and landed on top of the dark horn, the zoid's fangs sinking in and grabbing one of the guns to pull off as she went. The black zaber fang landed, the large vulcan gun in its mouth as Sloane turned herself around to watch as the top of Harry's dark horn let off a small explosion. She dropped the gun and lowered her zoid a bit, watching the dark horn. It wasn't moving, and moments later the judge spoke. "The battle is over, the battle is over. The winner is, the Zaber Fangs!" Omari, Lineback, and Kirkland broke out into cheers as Sloane folded her arms across her chest, letting out a low chuckle.
Back in the café, everyone there was stunned at the outcome of the battle. At the table with the Blitz Team, Bit spoke first. "So what do ya know, the Fuzzy Pandas actually won." "Who'd a thought?" Leena added, a little surprised herself. Jamie shook his head, "That was impressive, but it was all that black zaber fang." Dr. Toros nodded in agreement with Jamie's assessment. "Jamie's right, I wonder who the pilot is." "The pilot's name is Sloane." Leon's voice chimed in as he, along with Naomi and Brad, stopped at the Blitz Team's table. Everyone looked up at Leon, and his sister spoke first. "You mean you actually know that pilot?" Leon nodded and everyone else looked a little surprised. "I met her along my travels when I left the Blitz Team. She was one of the ones that totaled my shield liger, and with that zoid too. I think she called it a Zaber Fang SS, the SS being short for 'Shubaltz Special'. I learned a lot in my battle with her, she taught me quite a bit about what it means to bring out the full potential of a zoid." Bit spoke first in response, "No kidding? Huh, never seen that zoid before, she must be very select in her battles." Leon nodded, "She is, which is why I'm surprised she teamed up with the Zaber Fangs, last I hear, she was a Class S warrior." Leena's eyes widened a bit, "Class S? No way! How come we haven't faced her yet then?" Her brother shrugged, "Like I said, she is selective in her battles. So either she's gearing up to fight you guys, or doesn't think you're worth it." This prompted an annoyed look from Bit, "Not worth it?! Liger and I are the most amazing duo ever, she's just too afraid to face us in battle." For the first time, Brad spoke, "Easy there, Bit, don't go rushing into anything." Bit, however, ignored him as he continued to rant. "I hope I run into her so I can challenge her to a battle. I'll prove that she's just afraid of us because Liger and I are such an amazing duo." Everyone else sighed and shook their heads, only Jamie speaking. "There he goes again."
The door to the café opened and Sloane, herself, walked in. Having left with the Zaber Fangs to come and get her zoid checked out. A bit hungry, she had planned to go to the café and eat in peace, but when she was spotted by the gathered group who had just been discussing her, she didn't get very far. "That's here." Leon pointed out and Bit stood up and ran over to her. "You! Sloane!" With a sigh, she looked up at the blonde male and arched a brow. "Yes?" "I challenge you to a battle, to prove that Liger and I are worth your time." The raven haired warrior let out a low and cold laugh, "Is that so, Bit Cloud? You are as immature as ever, but fine. It will be a one-on-one battle with no restrictions. I'll prove to you that you are nothing and that all your skill as a pilot comes from your zoid." Without another word, Sloane looked over her shoulder and barked out at her organoid, who had hesitated at the door, to follow. She went to an empty table and sat down, ordering a drink and sandwich. When her drink came, she started at the cup for a moment before picking it up and taking a sip. Angra sat down off to the side where he'd be out of the way. Leon came up to her after the group that he had been gathered with dispersed. Before he could say anything, though, Sloane acknowledged him. "Leon, it's been a while. I hear you haven't been doing too bad for yourself. How's that blade liger working out?" Leon seemed surprised for a moment, but shook it off and sat down across from her and she looked up to him as he spoke, "You'd be right, and the liger's fine. What about you? What made you decide to team up with the Zaber Fangs?" Sloane looked down at her drink again and brought it to her lips, taking a sip before placing it back down. She didn't look up at Leon again, though. "I haven't had a good battle in a while and though I'm working below my rank, I didn't see the problem with it. I think I've pushed them in the right direction. The zaber fang is such a powerful zoid, they just need to learn to draw out its full potential and they'll be a force to be reckoned with. But at this point I only hope I showed them that simply charging into battle with guns blazing isn't the way to do it." Leon nodded, "It might take more than that, but it was an interesting battle all the same. You have my congratulations." Sloane shook her head as she took another drink, "That battle wasn't really worth it; it was too easy a win. But that's how battles seem to go, there's no real challenge or strategy to it anymore." Sloane looked up to Leon who looked only slightly puzzled. "What do you mean by that?" She shook her head though, "Perhaps another time I'll explain." A silence settled over them and Leon quickly took the hint that he was to leave. Just has he stood up to go, however, Sloane spoke again, "Wait, Leon – I want you to join my team." Leon stopped and looked back to her, "What?" She looked up at him, "You heard me. I want you to join my team. You are the best zoid pilot I have seen since I've been here, and I could use someone else on my team." Leon blinked a few times and looked over his shoulder to see that Brad and Naomi were still there. Since the end of the Royal Cup, the trio had been a team, as Leon hadn't been so willing to just drop out of the team and become a freelance warrior again. He was still unsure about Sloane's request, though, so decided on the best answer he could come up with. "How about I think about it? I'll watch your match with Liger Zero and see what happens, and then I'll make my decision." Slone nodded, "I wouldn't expect any less from you, Leon Toros." Neither spoke again as Leon left to join up with his team. Shortly following, Sloane's food was brought to her and she ate her meal slowly, watching the new battle that had come up on the large screen.
Sometime later, as the sun was beginning to give way to the twin moons, Sloane was making her way back to the place where she had left her zoid. After speaking with the man behind the counter, she got her zoid back and headed back to her base. The base, which was actually nothing more than converted ruins of an old military installation, was a good size and had suited her well up until this point. Her zoids were kept in the underground hanger, though she only had a few. She brought her zaber fang in and hopped out of the cockpit, Angra landed next to her and roared. She nodded, "Yes, I know, but if Bit and his Liger don't prove themselves worthy enough, Leon may be our only choice. No one seems to have a clue about what some of the former members of the Back Draft are up to. Come up, we need to rest up so we can train tomorrow. The battle with the liger is in two days and we've got to be ready." Angra nodded, then growled. This made Sloane laugh a bit, "No, I'm not going to use the zaber fang." Angra growled again and she sighed, "No, I need more maneuverability than the dibison can offer, that's why I'm going to use the saix." The organoid growled again and Sloane shook her head, "I'm sorry, but not in this battle. It wouldn't be fair, now would it?" Angra growled and brought another laugh from his partner, "I'm aware of the organoid system in the liger. But remember I've been studying it, so I won't have a problem dealing with that, even if it has learning capabilities." The organoid let out a metallic sigh as he gave up and followed her out of the hanger.
The next morning, Sloane was up early to take the saix out for a run. When she came back, she noted that she had company. It was the Zaber Fangs and she sighed, slowing the saix down until he had come to a halt before opening the cockpit and looking at the three gathered warrior. "Can I help you boys?" She called out to them and they looked up at her, slightly annoyed. Kirkland, as usual, spoke for them, "Yeah, it's about our next battle tomorrow." Sloane jumped down and shook her head at them, "Sorry, boys, but I've got a battle lined up." "What?!" All three of the male's cried out, Kirkland finding words to continue. "What'd a mean? We need you to help us win again!" Sloane shook her head once more, "I've got a battle with the Liger Zero tomorrow and refuse to back out of that to help lowly warrior like yourselves. The only reason I helped you yesterday was so that I could prove to you that there is so much more you can do with a zaber fang, and hoped that you could pick up some tips on how to draw out the full potential of the zoids. I had no intention of staying with you. I'm a Class S warrior, and such battles like you have are well below me." "Wha – what? Class S warrior? You never said that!" Lineback snapped, the other two nodding in agreement. "Sorry, but now I must ask that you leave, I have quite a bit of prep to do for my battle tomorrow." Angra appeared and growled rather threateningly to the trio and they quickly scampered out of her hanger, but not before getting a good look at the zoids she had there, one of which was a type they had never seen before.
The zoid in question was one not seen since the time of the Guardian Force before, and shortly after, the demise of the ultimate death saurer. Something that would rival the power of the berserk fury, the geno breaker, an evolved form of one of the three geno saurers used by the Fuma Team during the Royal Cup. Angra had managed to commandeer one at the time and since the Back Draft had fallen through; there was no one to notice the disappearance of the rather powerful zoid. Sloane looked up at the geno breaker, "The fools, they could never fathom the power behind such zoids, none of these insignificant people could or can. I'll show them all what it means to draw out the full potential of a zoid. And you, saix, are going to help me with that." Her gaze shifted to the lightning saix that stood where she left it. With a sigh, she left the hanger to relax for a bit before heading out again, this time into town to the same café she had been at the previous day. As she hopped down from her zoid, she noted three other pilots that she recognized to be from the Lightning Team. "Nice zoid." Quipped the male in the group and Sloane put on hand on her hip, chuckling. "One of the best." "Hnh, perhaps you'd like to battle sometime, would be an interesting match at the very least." The male's deep voice flowed out as the two girls standing behind him grinned. One of them spoke up, "Not that it'd be any match." Sloane grinned, "Is that so? You think you can beat the original?" The male only smirked as his twin companions looked a little surprised. "We'd have to see." He spoke before turning and leaving. Sloane shook her head and headed inside the café, "So much for laying low around here, huh Angra?" She said to her organoid with a chuckle, and he responded in kind as they took the same table that they had occupied the day before.
The next day, Sloane was up early once again and taking her zoid out for a run before the battle. Rather than going back to her base, though, she went straight to the battle field. The Hover Cargo that seemed trademark to the Blitz Team appeared over the horizon and Sloane looked up to the sky for the judge capsule that wasn't far behind. The battle field was large, and would prove perfect for the speed of the lightning saix. Sloane wasn't far from the Hover Cargo, and therefore saw the liger zero launch with its schneider armor. This brought a smirk to her features as she looked to see the judge capsule land and quickly start the battle. "Here kitty, kitty." Sloane tormented Bit and his partner as she immediately started off in his direction. "What?! A lightning saix?! No way! Doc, prep Jager for combat!" Sloane chuckles, "Oh no you don't." With the push of a button, the saix burst forward to catch Liger off guard. Without missing a beat, Sloane ran her zoid around behind the Hover Cargo to hit Bit and his zoid from the other side. "Watch yourself, Bit!" Jamie called out, pointing out the direction of the saix. Bit groaned, "No way, that fast?" "When a pilot and its zoid have achieved a real bond you'd be amazed how well your zoid will perform. Piloting a zoid comes from the spirit, of the pilot and the zoid. Without that bond only a limited potential can be achieved." Bit groaned again and managed to get around behind the Hover Cargo to get up into the loading ramp and onto the maintenance deck for the jager transformation.
Sloane moved off to await the launch of the zero jager. When he did launch again, Sloane held her ground for just a moment before turning and running the saix in the other direction. Bit pushed Liger to catch up and run neck and neck with the saix. "Sorry, too slow." Sloane quipped over the com as she pushed more speed out of the saix, exceeding Bit's but a full length. She stopped and spun herself around to charge back at the liger. "This is getting old fast…" Bit growled, a bit annoyed at the situation. "Come on partner, strike… laser… claw!" He shouted as the liger's claws began to glow as he charged the saix. Sloane chuckled and put up her energy shield, the saix stopping to hold its ground while the shield took the attack. All parties watching the battle looked it absolute shock at the shield that came up on the saix. "No way! Lightning saix' don't have energy shields, what gives?" Bit cried out and Sloane smirked and spoke her response. "The capabilities of this lightning saix are far beyond the capabilities of the current model. This energy shield can withstand a direct blast from the charged particle gun of a geno breaker, so it can easily stand up to your measly little strike laser claw attack." Sloane opened up a direct link with Bit so that they could see each other, "Ready to give up yet, Bit?" He gritted his teeth and shook his head, "Not on your life." "Very well." Sloane put the shield down as she turned her zoid around to face Bit, charging at him.
Doubling her speed in a matter of seconds, she lept up and allowed the saix' claws to dig into the back of the liger, landing a few feet away, she turned around again and watched Bit and Liger carefully. The blue liger didn't move and Sloane folded her arms across her chest, "Point proven. Bit Cloud you are nothing but a rank amateur who has gotten this far because of the capabilities of your zoid alone. Only when you can draw on the strength of yourself can you reach your full potential." The judge announced the end of the battle and Sloane started off in the direction of her base when Bit's face appeared on a screen in her cockpit. He was laughing, "Good match, perhaps we can do a rematch sometime?" Sloane's look was cold, "I doubt that, and I must say the apple really does fall very far from the tree." She closed the channel and her zoid took off, disappearing over the horizon, leaving Bit and the rest of the Blitz Team confused.