Disclaimer: None of the characters in this story belong to me, with the exception of Ryan, Ingriam, and some miscellaneous Zoanoids. I'm aware that this builds off of events in the first live action movie – which I have often stated is apochrophal in my personal canon – but bear with me. I do have my reasons.
The black helicopter, nearly invisible in the darkness, flew steadily over the night-dark water. It was a Chronos transport, and it was currently carrying a very important person from another branch of the Chronos Corporation. The job of this particular VIP wasn't one that most people would envy, since he was here to see about making a great deal of changes to the Los Angeles branch.
The branch of Chronos was by far the newest, and therefore the most underdeveloped branch of the organization. The VIP was coming to change all of that. He had been briefed about the fact that the Zoalord who was now in temporary command of operations for this branch, one Edward Caerleon, was very open-minded. Caerleon was also very loyal to Alkanphel, and so he had been sent to give his aid to his fellow Zoalord.
It had also been reported that there were still a few supporters of the traitor Gyou – the late Regional Commander – among the personnel at Chronos in this hemisphere. Another of his tasks was to root out the remaining traitors and eliminate them. He could see the landing site coming up through the darkness. He could also sense the Zoanoids that were waiting for him there.
The seven "aides" he had personally selected to come with him on this mission were starting to get impatient—he could tell by the way they were talking, but he was also occasionally monitoring their thoughts the way Mr. Dr. Balkus had said he should. As their helicopter settled to the ground, the Zoalord could also see the other man waiting for them; human, from the way the Zoanoids around him were reacting to him.
There was also the matter of the man's uncanny physical resemblance to another person, someone that all Chronos personnel were trained to be on the lookout for. The Zoalord grumbled softly to himself under his breath. Great, another one of Gyou's stupid clones. Of course, even Mr. Dr. Balkus didn't quite know how the late Commander Gyou had ever managed to make even one human clone of himself, since his DNA had been that of a Zoalord. It was a mystery, but some of the other Zoalords were helping Mr. Dr. Balkus to solve it.
As the Chronos helicopter settled to the ground, the Zoalord's Hyper Zoanoid troops stood up. As the hatch opened, the Zoalord waited. One at a time, six of the seven Hyper Zoanoids exited the helicopter and formed themselves into two even rows on either side of the door.
"C'mon, boss. Let's go," the last of the Hyper Zoanoids said, offering a hand to the still-seated Zoalord.
He smiled, taking the hand that was offered to him; the Zoalord smiled back. Big brother Zektor might have told him not to get too close to these clones – he didn't quite know why, but he hadn't seemed to like them much – but they were really nice to him.
Ordering the last of his Hyper Zoanoids to proceed him out of the exit hatch, the Zoalord made his way out of the helicopter. It was a pretty dark night, even with the lights that had been turned on for the benefit of the human who had chosen to meet them here. Naturally, the eyes of the Zoalord and those of the Hyper and Standard Zoanoids gathered on the rooftop with the man were adjusted perfectly to the darkness.
As the Zoalord stepped onto the boarding ramp and down the stairs, he saw that the human was striding forward to meet him. From what he'd heard about the man, he already didn't like him. But Mr. Dr. Balkus really didn't like him
"I've made my reports," the man said, bobbing his head in what he evidently thought was a respectful gesture. "I hope you took the time to look them over."
"I have your reports." Well, actually, Mr. Caerleon had them, but he wasn't going to say that.
"Good," the human said, bobbing his head again. "Then you can-"
A Gravity Bullet swirled into existence just above the Zoalord's now-outstretched palm. Before Gyou's human clone could say another word, indeed before he could draw enough breath to turn and run, the Gravity Bullet hit him square in the chest. The powerful energies contained in even this, a low-power shot and one of the more common attacks that Zoalords were known to use, were enough to punch a hole straight through the midsection of Gyou's clone.
The bloody corpse-to-be crashed into the wall of the landing pad as the Zoalord descended the last step separating him from the roof of the Chronos L.A. building.
"I don't tolerate failure," he told the dying man, just the way Mr. Dr Balkus would have done if he were here. Moron.
Turning away from Gyou's clone, the Zoalord signaled for his Hyper Zoanoid aides to follow him into the building. One of the red-haired Hyper Zoanoids turned back to look back at the still-breathing corpse behind them, but the Zoalord quickly signaled him to follow along with the rest of their group. The four Standard Zoanoids fell in behind the seven Hypers almost as a unit.
The Zoalord could hear the footfalls of his underlings right behind him as he made his way into the building. The stairs were better lit than the landing area, but there wasn't any real reason to waste money on fully lighting them when the only people using them were four Standard Zoanoids, seven Hyper Zoanoids, and a Zoalord.
As the group of twelve Zoaforms made their way down to the main area of the rebuilt Chronos' L.A. headquarters, the Zoalord clearly sensed the presence of his fellow Zoalord. The Sixth, Mr. Edward Caerleon was waiting in the office of the former head of Chronos L.A. By this time, all Chronos employees had heard about the fate of the former overseer for this particular branch.
They were nearly at Mr. Caerleon's new office by this time, and the Zoalord could feel that his fellow Zoalord expected him. When he reached the office, the Zoalord sent out a tendril of thought in greeting. When he received conformation and permission to enter, he did so without much hesitation. Dismissing the Zoanoids who had been following him up to this point, the Zoalord stepped into Caerleon's office.
Caerleon himself was currently standing and admiring the view of Los Angeles that the large, tinted bay windows gave him.
"Welcome to Chronos Los Angeles, Ingriam Mirabilis," Caerleon said warmly.
"Thank you for having me, Lord Caerleon," Ingriam said, bowing stiffly. I really hope he still likes me, Ingriam tried not to project.
Caerleon's smile faltered for a moment, and Ingriam wondered just what he had said to offend the Sixth Zoalord.
"There is no need for such formality here, Ingriam. We are, after all, both Zoalords." Caerleon's warm smile was back in place.
For a moment, Ingriam was apprehensive, thinking of all the lessons that Mr. Dr. Balkus had taught him about showing the proper respect to his superiors. Until or unless they told him otherwise, any Overlord above him in rank was to be treated with the utmost courtesy and respect. However, Mr. Caerleon had just given him permission to address him with at least some familiarity. In the end, Ingriam decided that it was best to do what Mr. Caerleon had asked him to.
"As you say, Edward." Ingriam inclined his head respectfully. Did I do that right? I really hope I did; I hope he's not mad at me.
"Thank you, Ingriam. So, what do you think of this place so far? And mind you, I want an honest opinion," Mr. Caerleon said.
Ingriam turned away slightly, considering his answer. "I think that the last person to run this operation was an idiot, even if he was one of our own. Letting a Guyver infiltrate so easily and create Zoanoids that were so ineffectual against him—how could one of our own fail this badly?"
There, that was what Mr. Dr. Balkus would have wanted him to say.
"He was not truly one of ours, Ingriam," Mr. Caerleon said, waving the other Zoalord over to his desk. "Come. There is something that I would like to show you."
Ingriam hurried over to where Mr. Caerleon stood, coming to a stop beside and just behind his fellow Zoalord. The display on Mr. Caerleon's computer screen was showing a datafile for the man who had once been the overseer for this branch of Chronos. Right away, Ingriam noticed something off.
"A Hyper Zoanoid?" Ingriam wondered aloud. That's… that's just really weird.