(PLEASE READ) AUTHOR'S NOTE!: Ahh, inspiration. Okay, so, I have no idea where I'm going with this story. I kinda have it planned out in my head already, but I'm not set on a definite decision. I'm either going to make (or attempt to make) five pretty long stories, each one going through the five years that Raven was technically with the Empire. OR, I'm going to make one huge story; it won't be as lengthy as the five separate stories, but you get the picture. What do you guys think? And also, I'm going to be kinda reader-interactive with this; where do you guys think this should this lead into? What do you guys think should happen within these five years? Any little scenes, any interactions with different characters, any situations... You name it, and I might take the one that fits best. Either leave a review or PM me with your idea. Haha, okay, I'm done. My apologies for boring you with my incisive ramblings. ON WITH THE SHOW! :D

btw, pointing out grammatical mistakes would be amazing and appreciated. :)

"His little whispers,

'Love me, love me.'

That's all I ask for;

Love me, love me."

"Monsters" by The Meg & Dia Band.

Year One: Exordium

Chapter One

The car rumbled across the desert wasteland, the tires kicking up an array of dehydrated sand behind it. Almost unbearable sun shone against a perfectly clear blue backdrop, all clouds absent from the midday sky. Dunes of sand resembling miniature pyramids piled up, the only scenery available in the barren land for miles. The car motored along, its engine growling under the voices of two out of the three passengers it was lugging around. The young one who sat shakily in the back could've been a mute for all the other pair knew; he hadn't said a word the entire ride, no matter how many pointless questions they prodded at him with. The female, the driver, had given up, not even liking children herself. The male, on the other hand, seemed to not take failure well and continued on probing on. Yet still, the dark-haired, dark-eyed kid remained speechless, his tongue caged and unmoving behind his lips.

The man turned around from where he was sitting in shotgun, facing the boy, who couldn't be a day aged more than eight or nine. "Have any idea what the Republicans were planning on doing with you?"

All he got in response was a dry empty gaze, a void of life reflecting in his irises.

The man sighed, shaking his head and perhaps even admitting defeat with the hopes of any reaction from the boy. "You're a tough egg to crack, kid." He turned to the driver, who was aiming total focus on the desert ahead of her. "Lieutenant Hardin, estimated time before arrival?"

"Roughly an hour." She replied mechanically, not breaking concentration at all.

The bland scenery of beiges and browns whirled by in a blurry frenzy, and for that hour the only sound was the wind howling past and the deep rumble of the vehicle's engine.

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Major Karl Schubaltz walked tall amongst the grey metallic walls of the base, his boots clonking against the floor and glistening in the fluorescent light. The place was an anxious mess with uneasy excitement, in which the reason was something Karl was left in the dark about. He attempted several times to pull someone aside and inquire them about it, but no luck. It was impossible to get one single syllable out of a person without them looking at you as if you were a complete idiot and running off somewhere else.

He sighed, deciding that if one of these neanderthals wanted to spill the beans and tell him, then they eventually would. He had a suspicion that it all traced back to the mission that was initiated earlier to steal an organoid from the Republic, as if it were candy from a baby. He did occasionally overhear gossip-like frantic whispers of, "Oh yeah? Well, I heard it was only one Command Wolf!" That made Karl chuckle, the truth obviously sucked dry from that statement and reduced to a ridiculous rumor. Surely just a mediocre Republican Command Wolf couldn't have taken out an entire Imperial fleet, packed full of Iron Kongs and other zoids that would've obliterated it in a mili-second. Although, he must admit, the reason behind deploying the fleet were ridiculously selfish; but hey, who was he to judge Prozen's command? That man was legend among the Empire, anything he says goes, no questions asked, period. Still, Schubaltz couldn't help that little bit of resentment towards the whole mission. It was just downright cruel, not to mention unnecessary. Who cared if the Republicans had an organoid? There was surely more of them out there somewhere.

The loud and stormy base suddenly became deafly still, as if someone had hit the mute button. Karl looked around, all the men were standing at attention with their backs against the walls, hands raised robotically in a salute. It looked as if the Red Sea of soldiers was parting, making way for a superior form.

Speaking of a superior form...

Karl heard pounding footsteps, importance vibrating with the soundwaves. On cue, he quickly became a mirrored copy of the other soldiers. Admiral Prozen appeared down the hallway, in all his admiral-like glory. As he progressed further, Karl could literally feel the tangibleness of his ego and it almost disgusted him. Something else caught his eye though, something he definitely wasn't expecting. Walking clumsily in front of Prozen, who hand his hands securely on his shoulders, was a kid, and a miserable looking one at that. Karl felt the urge to cock his head to the side like a baffled puppy; that sure wasn't an organoid. But wasn't that the main priority of the mission? Did organoids suddenly merge with humans too?

Prozen and the gloomy boy approached closer to where Karl was standing like a statue, who was beginning to get an irritating cramp in his arm from so much damn saluting.

"Permission to inquire, sir."

Prozen halted at the sound of Karl's voice, turning his head to face him. "Ahh, Major Schubaltz, just the man I wanted to see. Before I continue, what was your question?"

"Was the mission a success, sir?"

Prozen chucked, Karl not so sure on what was so humorous to him. "Far from it; in fact, it turned out to be a complete failure. The organoid escaped and our entire fleet was destroyed by a single Command Wolf."

Karl couldn't hide the sheer shock of it, his saluting hand falling down back at his side and his head jerking involuntarily.

Prozen chuckled again, as if Karl just told a joke. "Haha, yes. A tradgedy, it seems."

Taken aback, Karl was astonished at the lack concern that were his words. Clearing his throat, he attempted a nonchalant gesture at the child, who was staring at the floor of the base with empty glazed eyes.

"Ahh, yes," The admiral continued, a proud smirk lighting up his face. "This is Raven, a brand new recruit."

Brand new was right! This kid wasn't even adolescent! Karl smiled down at the boy, still confused as hell but not even daring to question Prozen. The bleak child didn't even lift his gaze up to register his presence.

"Follow me, Major." He and the boy walked further down the hallway. As soon as they were gone, the whole base was a busy bustle again, voices indistinguishable and wild.

Click. Unmute.

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Prozen held the door open for his company of two, then securely locked it behind him; Karl knew that the admiral was a giant privacy-holic and if that privacy was ever invaded, then the nosy sucker would pay.

Karl stood to the side with his hands clasped behind his back as Prozen led the boy he called Raven to a chair in the room, which was filled to the brim with random technological knick-knacks. The boy followed like a loyal dog who lost its bark. Prozen slipped the hair-tie from Raven's dark locks, the long hair flowing down the back of the chair gracefully. In fact, it reminded Karl of a woman's hair; it was all too feminine.

"Schubaltz, grab that towel and wrap it around his neck, if you will." Prozen ordered without any actual force while he tinkered around in the unorganized drawers, on the hunt for some long gone item. Karl did as he was told, having no real choice in the matter. "Ah-ha! Here it is!" The admiral shut the drawer, obviously content with his findings. Electronic hair clippers in his grasp, the cord dangling under it like a captured snake, he moved to the opposite wall of the room and plugged them in.

"If I may ask, sir," Karl started, completing his task with the towel. "what exactly are you planning on doing?"

Prozen ran his fingers through the boy's hair, which he must admit, was a much nicer texture than his. "We have to do something about this hair..."

With that, he began the balding process, the locks falling like rain on the floor. Raven seemed... indifferent. Not a syllable nor stutter nor any noise for that matter released itself from his throat. Karl felt a bit of remorse for the kid, although he wasn't quite sure why. Deciding to be helpful, and to score brownie points with the oh-so very great Admiral Prozen, he snatched an old room from the wall and began to sweep the mess of black hair from the floor, its bristles frayed and worn.

A few more minutes more, and Prozen had completed his personal mission of ridding Raven of hair, a bare scalp now replacing it on his head. He removed the towel from the boy's neck, more hair blowing out from it. The prideful smirk reappeared on Prozen's face as he looked down at Raven, his new pupil.

"Major Schubaltz, take a good hard look at this boy," He said, eyes glistening with something Karl was almost fearful of. "He's going to be the greatest weapon that has ever been unleashed upon Zi."

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Was it good? Was it decent? Was it so horrible that it made you want to lock yourself in a bathroom and dunk your head in the toilet? And I must ask the age-old question... Is Karl a colonel or a major? Please inform me, so I can fix it if it's wrong. :P And yes, I cut off Raven's beautiful hair all off. Don't worry, it'll grow back. ;D THANK YOU FOR READINGGG! And remember to let me know your ideas! :D