Darker Intentions Ch2

I would like to thank Levells and Sword of Protection for their reviews.

This chapter will probably work more as a stepping stone for my story, where I start to introduce my own elements into the story, the first tournament will probably take place next chapter. Note that this chapter is based solely on my imagination.

One of the most important things to note is that the Guylos Empire and New Helic Republic from Chaotic Century and Guardian Force are still around, this will feature prominently.

Note that the base where brad acquired Wraith, the Shadow Fox, will be referred from here on out as Phantom Base.

Naomi's Gunsniper will be called comet.

My first full length battle appears in this chapter, so I want your opinions on the fight.

I do not own Zoids, or I would have continued the New Century Zero series for another season at least.

-Phantom Base six hours after Brad's escape-

"Sir. The Shadow Fox has returned." Laon's assistant said.

"About time." Laon grumbled. "Guards you are to keep the pilot there. I will be down there in five minutes." Laon told his guards getting a barrage of replies.

"It feels strange coming back here after we just escaped, especially under our own free will." Brad told Wraith.

"Indeed. But remember to keep the plan, find out what we need. Then wait for the right time to make our escape." Wraith quietly growled to Brad as he looked up and noticed all guards running about, and a giant of a man was walking down the upper walkways of the hanger. "Heads up seems like the man in charge is coming."

"Thanks." Brad replied as he pulled Wraith to a stop and popped the canopy. Grabbing a bag from Wraith's storage compartments, he leaped out onto the upper walkway in front of Doctor Laon. "So what do we do first?"

Laon stood there glaring at the blue clad youth standing casually in front of him with a messenger bag hanging from his body. "Men leave us." Laon ordered his men as he continued to take in Brad as if he were a strange puzzle.

"Sir!" The guards salute, causing Brad to quirk an eyebrow.

"First of all … Where did you go?" Laon questioned.

"Oh I went to see Howl one last time, as well as pick up a few things." Brad replied.

"Your old Command Wolf?" Brad nodded. "Well I guess that I can understand a man paying his last respects to his Zoid. So what did you pick up?" The giant questioned.

"A piece of Howl's armor, a change of clothes, my necklace, and some CDs that I had stored on Howl." Brad replied.

"I see. But how did you get that stuff out, he should of turned to stone by now." Laon questioned.

"Well when I reached the site he was all stone, but it seems that before he passed he released his cargo storage. No matter what you say that old wolf was always thinking ahead." Brad smirked.

"Hmm. So warrior what's your name?"

"Brad Hunter."

"Hunter. Hunter. Where have I heard that before?" Laon questioned. "Anyway, you're not some run of the mill hot shot pilot are you?" Brad smirked. "Tell me how do you know about wild Zoids, that's something that not many know about, an almost abandoned subject of study, the last people who specialized in that field were …"

"You got it Doc. My parents were Zoid researchers specializing in wild Zoids. Actually Howl was a wild Zoid himself." Brad remarked. "But he actually was never mine, he belonged to my Dad." Brad leaned back against the rails of the walkway, knowing that it was going to be a long story.

"As you know my parents studied wild Zoids, but you probably don't understand what that entirely entails. First of all they observed wild Zoids, noting how they acted, behaved, their personality, and so on. One day while we were out studying we came across a pair of Command Wolves fighting off a group of bandits."

"The Wolves were completely outnumbered, and outgunned. I remember the bandits using Molgas and Sinkers. The Molgas were staying back to launch a barrage, while the Sinkers circled to keep the Wolves trapped. My parents were carrying anti-Zoid rifles. Seeing the Wolves in trouble they began to fire taking down the Sinkers allowing the Wolves to maneuver and attack the Molgas, while my parents kept the Sinkers off their backs. When it was over, the Command Wolves approached."

"The Command Wolves were both wild Zoids, so my parents were slightly nervous. But when they reached us they bent down and lowered their canopies wanting my parents to pilot them. I don't think I have ever seen them as shocked as they were at that moment. My dad piloted Howl the blue Command Wolf, while my mom piloted Luna the silver Command Wolf. This all happened when I was about ten. Howl and Luna became some of my best friends, and by hanging out with them, I started to be able to understand their language." Laon looked shocked that a person was able to understand the Zoid language. "Everything was going fine, until my parents and Luna died while Howl and I were going into town to pick up some supplies."

Laon was silent for a minute. "Well I am sorry about your loss. But I guess that does explain how you know about wild Zoids. But how in the world were you able to remain conscious?" Brad shrugged.

"Brad, ask him what we are to do. Try to make him answer some questions, I think we should start gathering information as soon as possible. After all I want to get out of here as fast as we can." Wraith told his partner. Brad nodded.

"Anyway, how bout you show me my room and we'll hash out the details of my contract on the way there. And I would appreciate it if you would not install any new components on Wraith, if we need to change something about our performance, then I will make the changes. After all he is my Zoid."

"Fine, whatever. Now tell me what you were being paid by the Blitz Team." Laon said as he turned and headed down one of the halls. Brad patted Wraith on the nose before turning to follow his new 'boss'.

"Well actually my pay was based off of how well I preformed in battle; as a mercenary I wasn't given a stable paycheck." Brad replied.

"Well how about we pay you a base check of eight thousand a month and you also will get be paid based on how well you perform in battles." Laon said.

"Sounds good. So what will I be doing exactly?"

"Simple you will train for a tournament that is coming up in a month."

"Really? And here I thought that you would want me to go out and immediately beat the Blitz Team, after all it seemed that was the only thing that you were focused on." Brad said in a confused tone.

"That was the original plan, but I just got orders from the Council of Seven that no one is to attack the Blitz Team until further notice, we are just wasting money. Now as I was saying, the tournament will provide the Backdraft a number of uses. First of all it will be used to rank the warriors that we have, allowing us to better deploy our men in our missions. Secondly it will provide us with a great source of income, seeing as there will be heavy betting going on. And of course the winner will be crowned the King of Unsanctioned battles." Laon explained.

"What's the Council of Seven?" Brad asked.

"The Council of Seven is the group that is in charge of the Backdraft. It is they who make all of the decisions. …There is one thing that you should be aware of, and that is to not cross the Council. People have been known to disappear when they mess with them." Brad nodded solemnly knowing that gathering information on these guys would be one of his top priorities and one of the hardest things he had to do.

"By the way you will be working under me. I plan on having you be my champion in this tournament. If you win, I will get more funding for my projects." Laon said as he drifted off thinking about all that he could build and design as they came to a stop in front of the barracks. "Oh I see we arrived. Anyway this is you room." Laon directed Brad to a room with a single bed, a computer terminal, lamp, chair, bookcase, and a closet.

"Not bad. Well I'll see you tomorrow for training." Brad said as he closed the door and dropped his stuff on his bed. As he began to unpack, he realized that he would need to go into town and pick up some more clothes, seeing as he only had one change of clothes. After he finished packing away his stuff he pulled the chair up and turned on the computer.

"Let's start with some names." Brad said as he started to dig through Phantom Base's files, looking for anything and everything that would be useful in finding out the organizations true intentions.

-Two Weeks Later-

"So Doc, when will you actually start to let Wraith and I battle, we're getting kind of tired of all these tests and simulations." Brad said wearing some new clothes that he recently picked up. He wore another long coat, cut in the same style as his blue one, but this one was black along most of it, but from the upper chest to the high collar it was gold, and had a red zipper. Underneath the coat he wore a darker black shirt. He completed his new look with a pair of dark blue baggy pants, and his old boots. (1)

"Fine you can start fighting unsanctioned matches. Do you have anyone that you want to fight?" Laon asked impatiently, annoyed that this young warrior didn't understand how crucial it was to run these tests, the data that they were receiving, showed that the Shadow Fox was performing markedly better than it was designed to do. He just didn't understand, all he wanted to do is battle.

Brad thought about all the toughest opponents that he had fought against. "Hmm, the Lightning team would make a good opponent, definitely would help us improve our reflexes, timing, and aim. Harry's team has good Zoids, but they don't have any skill. Don't want to fight Naomi's team. Can't fight the Blitz. The Tiger team would be a waste of fuel, but still better than Harry's team. I could always ask to go up against one of the Republic's or Empire's teams. Not that much of a choice. But there was that one guy with the Elephander. Hmm. Yeah he would be a very good opponent."

"Hey Doc, what do you think about letting me fight the guy who defected from the Backdraft? You know the man with the Elephander." Brad asked.

"You're telling me that you want to fight Stigma Stoller?" Brad nodded. "I admit to him being a good opponent, but I doubt that he would want to fight anyone from the Backdraft, especially if it might mean him losing his Zoid."

"Well why not offer him a guarantee that if he fights, win or lose, then the Backdraft will leave him alone, or at the very least we could tip him off if someone is coming for him. And besides I doubt that the Elephander would let anyone else pilot it." Brad smoothly replied.

"You're joking." Brad stayed silent. "Fine I'll set it up. You know sometimes I think that you are more trouble than you're worth."

"You don't know the half of it." Brad thought. "I'm going to work on Wraith, give me a call on the comm when you get his answer." Brad said as he walked towards the hanger to finish some rewiring on Wraith.

"So buddy, do think my idea will work?" Brad asked Wraith, as he was installing parts, and doing some complex rewiring.

"The theory is sound, so it should work. But you might want to upgrade the Vulcan's cooling system, before we actually go into battle." Wraith replied.

"Good point, can't have our main gun burn out on us." Brad replied as he got back to the procedure. After an hour he finished the rewiring and then he started to upgrade the Vulcan's cooling system when he received a call from Laon.

"You got your battle. It will be held tomorrow at three P.M. so be ready. Oh and if you take the Shadow Fox out today, be careful there seems to be some outsiders near the Eastern half of the forest."

"Yeah doc. I just need to finish some upgrades on the Vulcan, and we'll head out. And how many times have I told you, his name is Wrath, not Shadow Fox."

"Whatever, just be careful. And don't get caught or spotted, you have a battle tomorrow, so try to keep out of trouble."

"After we finish this, how 'bout we go and give the new improvements a test fire, out in the forest." Wraith growled his agreement.

-With the Blitz Team-

"Alright guys, Brad has been missing for over two weeks. His last known location was somewhere in this forest. Now the Fluegel team has volunteered to help us in the search." Doctor Toros was saying.

"So Doc what do you think happened to him?" Bit asked.

"To tell the truth I am not sure. It is possible that he ran into that phantom Zoid that he was searching for." Toros replied.

"Come on dad surely you're not buying into Brad's messed up imagination. I think that he was meeting another team, and simply decided to leave us without letting us know it." Leena argued.

"I don't think so. If Brad was going to leave the team then he would have told us. He always makes how he stands on any issue clear, so even if he switched teams he would have let us known." Jamie replied.

"What makes you say that?" Leena asked Jamie.

"I think that Jamie is right. Remember that time where you were held captive by the Backdraft?" Bit asked Leena. She nodded. "Well when we were invited to battle for your safe return, Brad walked out of the base, and told me straight to my face that he wouldn't fight a battle that wouldn't earn him a penny. So if he was willing to do that, then I doubt that he would just slink on off and abandon us without telling us." Bit reasoned.

"HE WHAT!" Leena shouted.

"Never mind, just search the forest." Doc ordered. Bit nodded and ran for Liger Zero. Leena grumbled, but complied climbing into her Gunsniper. Jamie and Doc climbed into the jeep. "All right team here's the plan. We will comb the Eastern part of the forest, while the Fluegel team combs the Western half. (2) So split up and radio in if and when you find something." The team nodded as the all split up and dashed off to search the forest.

-With Naomi-

"Comet, have you picked up Brad's Command Wolf yet?" Naomi asked her Zoid as they searched the Western half of the forests surrounding Mt. Iselina. Growing irritated at their lack of results she popped the canopy and climbed down from her crimson Gunsniper. After she stretched her limbs she began to set up a little propane stove to make herself a quick dinner. Lighting the stove the fire flickered over her light purple eyes. Anyone who knew her would have noticed her change in style. Her long red hair was still spiked in the back. She wore her typical orange and red top along with her orange gloves, and red arm rings. She still wore her red boots, but the difference was that she was wearing a pair of red pants instead of her usual attire. (3)

"No. The old man doesn't appear on any of my sensors." Comet replied.

"Old man? Brad's only a month older than me." Naomi asked slightly amused as she was waiting for her meal of noodles to heat up.

"I'm not talking about your warrior." Naomi blushed at this. "I'm talking about his Command Wolf, he is actually a pretty old Zoid. I would probably guess around three to four hundred years old." Comet replied.

"You're joking. If it was really that old, then why was it still only a Command Wolf, wouldn't it have evolved by now?" Naomi asked clearly shocked that a Zoid that old hasn't evolved yet.

"So you know about Zoid evolution. Not many are aware of that fact, since it happens so rarely, and often only in remote locations. But the reason he didn't is that he probably didn't want to, or even need to evolve."

"Fair enough. So where do you think Brad is at anyway? We've been searching for five hours, and its getting dark." Before Comet was able to respond the comm came alive.

"Naomi, this is Leon, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to call it a night, I don't want to take Kain through the forest at night. It would be suicide for anything on four legs other than a Helcat to go running through the forest at night."

Naomi growled. "Fine, but you know that you are going to be docked for this right." Naomi stated. Leon simply grumbled as he turned his blood-red Blade Liger back towards their camp. "So Comet what do you think that Brad is doing out here? The Blitz are pretty divided on what he was doing out here."

"Well he doesn't seem to be the type of man to be given to wild flights of fancy so I think he is looking for that Zoid that he saw." Comet replied.

"Hmm. Well the noodles are done. Hey Comet, while I'm eating, why don't you try to scan and search to see if he made a base camp." Nomi suggested to her Zoid. Comet hissed in agreement.

Thirty minutes later Comet had finished her scan, but came up with nothing. "Naomi, I'm sorry but it seems that he is nowhere in my search radius." Looking up Comet saw pair of red eyes looking at them. "Get in hurry, the Zoid is here."

Wasting no time Naomi quickly climbed up her Gunsniper and buckled up before launching Comet into a run after the set of eyes. The scanners were showing a blip so small that it was easily missed. Using the magnifying lens of the cockpit Naomi brought up an image of a four legged Zoid that was slightly bigger than a Command Wolf running through the forest as if it new every turn.

"Whatever this thing is it takes its agility very seriously." Comet hissed her agreement as she nimbly ran through the trees keeping pace with whatever was in front of them, but she could never seem to gain on it. "Alright that's it lets open fire with the Beam Gatling Guns." Naomi said as she put words to action as she began to shoot at the shadow that kept ahead of them between the trees. But in response the shadow began to run between trees even more, making turns that should be impossible for any four legged Zoid, and at all times it kept itself out of her sights.

Getting frustrated she started to fire with Comet's belly cannon, trying to hem the shadow in. But it was determined to stay ahead of her. After being led on a chase for ten minutes the shadow suddenly sped up to speeds that she wouldn't even attempt to move at in this forest. (4) Grinding her teeth she noticed that they were coming upon a cliff the prepared herself to cripple the Zoid and hopefully get some answers on where Brad was. But as the cliff base came into view all those thoughts flew out the window as she pulled Comet to a halt, because before her lay Brad's dead Command Wolf.

While Naomi didn't notice what happened to the shadow, so absorbed was she in the wreckage of the Command Wolf, Comet noticed how the Zoid seemingly ran up the near vertical cliff, with a grace and speed that boggled the mind. As the Zoid came to a rest at the top of the cliff it paused there for a second before it turned around and howled into the night. Naomi broken from her shocked state, looked up in anger at the Zoid quickly engaging her sniper rifle she took aim, only to see the fleering tail of the Zoid. Disengaging the rifle she positioned Comet at the base of the cliff and carefully began to climb the cliff in a similar manner to the Zoid that just passed through here, but at a noticeably slower speed. When she reached the top of the cliff the Zoid was gone, and was out of her sensor range.

In her frustration Naomi pounded on the controls at her side. "ARGHHH. We were so close. Comet, … do you think that he's … dead?" Naomi asked in a whisper. Comet sighed, but she had to keep her pilot's hopes up. Looking around she spotted something attached to a tree. Pointing it out to Naomi she walked close enough for the girl to reach out and grab, what happened to be a letter stuck to a tree held there by a knife. As she opened the letter a necklace fell out taking in into her hand she read the letter. (5)

-Next Day at the Battlefield-

"Well Brad I hope that you have a plan, because the Elephander is going to be one tough opponent. And as the battle with Bit showed, it takes a lot of power to bring down that shield." Laon said.

"Don't worry Doc, I have some ideas." Brad said from the open cockpit.

"You planning on using the new laser upgrades?" Wraith asked as Brad closed the canopy.

"If we need to. But it is always best to keep secrets and techniques close to the chest. Besides we don't want to give too much away to our competitors in the tournament."

"Good point. So what is this Elephander like? You said that you have fought him before."

"I fought him once, but I have seen the Elephander in combat recently, and it is a giant of a Zoid. It has an energy shield that is deployed from the trunk and it is at least as strong as a Shield Liger's if not stronger. The trunk can also create a beam saber. And he will probably be using the Gatling and Missile launcher combination. But the biggest weakness that it has is that it is slow. So I think we will use our maneuverability to try and hit his flanks."

"Good plan. So what's with you and the red Gunsniper pilot?" Brad blushed slightly at this. "I thought so. So what did you put in that letter that you were writing during the chase?"

"I'll tell you later. But let's worry about my love life after the battle." Wraith laughed at this.

Brad moved Wraith down the Whale King's ramp and onto the battlefield where the Elephander was waiting.

As Stoller sat in the cockpit of the Elephander he observed the black fox Zoid as it walked out of the Whale King. Pulling up a communication screen he opened a channel to the warrior of the Zoid. "So tell me warrior, why did you choose me to fight?"

"Simple, I needed an opponent that was the equivalent of the Panzer, and you fit the bill. Oh and you can call me Hunter." Brad replied.

Stoller not recognizing the name simply nodded. "Very well, but do you honestly think that your Zoid has the fire power to defeat the Elephander? Your Zoid seems to be built for stealth and agility, not combat." Stoller remarked.

Wraith snarled in anger. "Easy boy. I guarantee you that we will be tougher match than Zero Schneider was." Brad replied confidently.

"We'll see." Stoller replied with a knowing smirk as the Dark Judge appeared.

"The area within a fifteen mile radius is the designated battlefield, if either competitor leaves the area, then the other warrior automatically wins. Battlefield set, the Shadow Fox vs. the Elephander. Battle mode 0982. Ready … Fight!"

And at that the two competitors sprung into action. Stoller had the Elephander acquire a missile lock on Wraith. "All right Wraith lets show him just how quick we are." Wraith growled in response as he started to move. Quickly realizing that they were being targeted by missiles Brad readied his move.

"Let's wrap this in one move." Stoller said as he launched his missiles. As the missiles came around to acquire their target the Shadow Fox suddenly sped up causing the incoming missiles to miss and crash into the ground. 'I better keep on my toes with this guy.' Stoller thought with a smirk at another good challenge.

Wraith emerged from the dust cloud in a burst of speed straight at the Elephander with his claws glowing, and his Vulcan deployed and firing at the Elephander peppering it with laser fire. The Elephander in response quickly deployed its shield absorbing most of the laser fire before it could strike itself. As Wraith closed with the Elephander he sharply changed directions and ran along its flank to get behind it. As soon as he passed the energy shield he opened fire at the Gatling Assault unit. In the time it took for the Elephander to turn itself around the Gatling unit was completely toast.

Stoller gritted his teeth in annoyance. "Sanders prepare the Beam Guns." Stoller began to back his Zoid up to his Whale King, making sure to keep Wraith in sight of his trunk mounted dual lasers. But that was proving to be a difficult task, as the Shadow Fox proved to be more maneuverable than the Zero Jager that Sanders once fought. Brad was piloting the Shadow Fox at top speed and often made impossible turns, avoiding Stoller's laser fire while returning his own Laser Vulcan. Stoller had to keep his shield up to deflect the lasers, but this caused him to move markedly slower.

After ten minutes of intense shelling from Wraith, Stoller finally reached the Whale King. where he switched out his wrecked Gatling unit for the double beam rifles. As Stoller was being refitted he took the time to think of a new battle strategy. After a minute of pondering he decided to fight like he fought Bit in the stadium all those months ago.

As the Elephander lumbered out of the Whale King he saw a cloud of black. Realizing that his opponent had smoke dischargers he decided to change the game and started to fire into the smoke cloud with all his guns.

But as Stoller raked the cloud with fire he never noticed that Wraith was actually on top of the Whale King. "All right time to show our strength." Brad whispered. Charging all four claws to full power Wraith gave his battle howl and leaped from the top of the Whale King onto to back of the Elephander slashing off the Beam guns and digging deep gouges in the giant Zoid's armor. Stoller in response lifted the trunk and engaged the beam sword slashing at Wraith on his back. Brad reacting quickly leapt off the Elephander and created some distance from that trunk. Stoller opened fire at the stationary fox and scored some good hits. Brad quickly deployed the smoke screen again as he ran enabling him to break the target lock that Stoller had acquired.

Stoller, this time forgoing the option to switch weapons so as to not allow the Shadow Fox to again set up for an ambush and sneak attack stood at the edge of the smoke with his trunk ready to deploy either the energy shield, or the beam saber. "I admit that you are a good opponent, definitely better than the Zero Schneider." Stoller called out in hopes that he would be able to use Brad's reply to pinpoint his position.

Brad remained silent, as he decided it was time to stop fooling around. In the smoke a flash of gold was all the warning Stoller had before his Zoid's front right leg was hit by lasers that turned out to be significantly stronger than anything Brad had deployed so far. The rounds pierced the Elephander's leg crippling it. Brad used that moment to rush out with his Strike Laser Claws charged. Stoller seizing the opportunity raised his trunk and powered up his beam sword in preparation to skewer the Zoid. But to Stoller's shock Wraith didn't leap up and come down and slash, instead he closed the distance and leapt upward slicing the Elephander's trunk off as Wraith and Brad flew over the Elephander.

As they turned back, fully prepared should the Zoid be ready to get back up, the great Zoid finally collapsed. "Battle over. Battle over. The winner is the Shadow Fox." The Dark Judge said in satisfaction before he returned to the Dark Satellite.

"You know if I had to point out one thing that I hated about the Backdraft it would have to be those Dark Judges." Stoller said to himself. He popped the canopy and hopped down Wraith walked up to him and lowered his head. Brad then popped the canopy and joined Stoller on the ground. "Good battle Mr. Hunter." Stoller congratulated. "But next time, I'll be better prepared for your tricks."

Brad smirked. "Well next time I guarantee that I will have new tricks. But I'm afraid that you'll have to wait a while for our next battle, seeing as I'm going to be busy for awhile."

"No matter. Just get in contact with me when you're ready." Stoller replied.

Brad nodded as he hopped back into his Zoid and ran back to Laon's waiting Whale King. "Well done Brad. You just made the Backdraft a lot of money. I hope you're ready, because for the next two weeks this is what we'll be doing. And from now on I'll be choosing your opponents, you have no idea what I had to do to get this battle approved." Brad sighed.

"Well buddy, I hoped you enjoyed your first battle."

"It was very good. I hope all our opponents are as strong as this guy." Wraith said. "Now that the battle is over let's talk about your love life." Wraith said with a grin causing Brad to groan.

(1) Brads new battle outfit is almost exactly like his old one. His coat is in the same style with the black replacing the grey, and the gold replacing the blue.

(2) Laon's scanners didn't pick up the Fluegel team because they took their gustav and two Zoids. Which is considerably smaller than the Blitz team's Hover Cargo and the Zoids that it carries.

(3) It is my decision to have Naomi start to wear pants. I was going to actually make the wardrobe change happen later on, but this opportunity was fine. My reasoning besides person preference is that she already found the man she wants, so why attract any more attention. Note that she still is wearing the random green gems.

(4) Wraith sped up because during the previous time Brad was busy writing a letter. After he finished he took over and was able to push Wraith to his max speed.

(5) The letter explains to Naomi what Brad is doing, where he is, why he is doing what he is doing and so on so forth. Also he asks her to speak to the Zoid Battle Commission to let them know that when he shows up at their doorstep, that he is actually on their side.

So I hope that you like the chapter. Tell me what you think about the battle. I want opinions, advice, suggestions, comments and such.

Leave a review, it will make me write faster, trust me. The next chapter will most likely focus on the tournament, involving a lot of battles, so it might take a while. Remember to leave a review.