Zoids-S

Episode 11: Jamie's Fusion; Assault of the Redler

He ran across the open fields in a panic, bare feet treading the cool grass. There was nothing
to keep him from its steely grasp. It was already over him like a huge shadow.

His feet gave away and he fell onto his stomach. He rolled over just in time to see a
huge talon descend. He barely got out in time. He looked up to see a shadow of a
bird-like creature hovering over him. The creature,with glowing yellow eyes,
reached down with his talon again.

Jamie Hemeros sat up in his bed. He put his hand to his clammy forehead. This was the
fourth time in a week that he had that same nightmare. And this time, he almost came
close to being bird chow. He was worried, more worried than he ever had been in his
entire life. How long? How long would it be before he succumbs to the bird's steely
grasp?

--

Jamie was still worried the next day as he drove the Blitz Team's Hover Cargo up to the
battle sight. They were going to be going into battle against the Spherion Team,
one of the vetran Class-S teams. He missed Doc. Torros' lecture about the Spherion Team.

"What makes the Spherion Team so formidable is their ability to change their strategy should
the need arise," Doc. Toros told Bit Cloud, Leena Toros, and Brad Hunter. "So we can't use
any of our usual strategies. We'll have to adjust our strategy to counter their strategy."

"That shouldn't be too much of a problem," Leena said. "Not using strategies is something
we do best."

"Better not let Jamie hear you say that," Bit commented.

"Oops." Leena placed both hands over her mouth then looked at Jamie. Fortunately, Jamie was
in deep thought about his nightmare to respond to Leena's comment.

"Our best bet is to take them one on one and finish them off quickly before they would have a
chance to take us out."

"We're here," Jamie announced. The Spherion Team were already in their Zoids which consisted
of a Saber Fang, Guysack, and Shield Liger.

"All right, I'm ready to go," Bit said standing up.

"No you're not," three voices said. Leena, Brad and Doctor Toros forced Bit to sit back
down again.

"You're still reovering from your injuries you got at the WARLord camp," Leena said firmly.
"In the words of my father, you're not fit to pilot a tricycle, let alone a Zoid."

"So who will go in my place?" Bit asked. Jamie could feel several sets of eyes on him.
He sighed. "Uh... Doc, are you sure you need me for this? I mean surely Leena and Brad can..."

"I'm sure they can, Jamie, but the rules clearly state that three members are suppose to
take part in a battle. So suit up, Wild Eagle, we need you on that battlefield."

Jamie moaned. Sometimes he wondered if the only reason the Doc was keeping him around was
because he was the Wild Eagle.

The Raynos, Shadow Fox, and Gun Sniper were dispatched and the battle began. At first, it
seemed like things were going nowhere, then the Blitz Team slowly began to gain the upper
hand. Suddenly, the Raynos went into a dive and as it dangerously close to the ground,
it accelerated causing a shockwave that blew back all Zoids. The Spherion Team, who was
already damaged from the attacks, fell over, their combat systems frozen.

The end buzzer sounded. Wild Eagle let out a laugh. "This wasn't even a challenge."

"Yeah, but did you have to knock down your own teammates too?" Leena asked.

"Hey, it got the job done." Leena fumed. Sometimes she found it hard to believe that this
loose cannon and the quiet boy who came in years ago were one and the same, it was almost like
Jamie's dark side.

--

The trip back to base went without incident. Fortunately, nobody held it against Jamie,
they knew that he technically wasn't himself.

Once they were settled back at base, Bit noticed that Jamie was quieter than he usually was.
"Hey, something on your mind, bud?"

"Huh? Oh, no, nothing."

"Come on, you can tell me." Bit put his good arm around Jamie's shoulders.

"Well... I'm just wondering why I am here."

"Sheesh, Jamie, why're you getting all philosophical on us?"

"No, I mean why am I part of this team?" Bit looked at him questionly.

Jamie continued, "When it comes to Zoid piloting, 'Jamie' is moderately skilled. But the Wild
Eagle... I don't think any Zoid has the skill to stand up to him. You guys never listen
to my strategies and still come out on top. I think that the only reason you guys keep me
around is because of the Wild Eagle."

"That's the biggest load of bull that I've ever heard," Bit commented." Jamie, have you
forgotten that you are the Wild Eagle?"

"No, Bit, I'm not the Wild Eagle! We're two separate individuals. You remember when he first
appeared, it was as if Jamie didn't exist and the Wild Eagle was piloting that Raynos.
Let's face it, Bit, Jamie's expendable."

"Jamie, that's enough self-pity. You're just as important as the Wild Eagle, don't..."
They were interrupted by the sound of a motor. "What's that?"

"I don't know."

"Come on, let's check it out." Bit and Jamie ran outside to see a motorcycle pull up to
the base, kicking up a cloud of smoke in its wake. Bit and Jamiecoughed and gagged from the
dust.

"Hey, buddy, you have a lot of nerve," Bit criticized.

"You haven't changed at all, Bit," a female voice said.

Bit inadvertantly took a step back. "No, it can't be."

The woman took off her helmet. She had long teal hair and light blue eyes. She was dressed
in a leather biker jacket and tight blue jeans.

"It's you!" Bit gasped. "You're that woman from the Backdraft Group!"

"What's going on, Bit?" Leena asked as she came outside with Brad and her father. "Who's this?"

"Oh, that's right, I never did told you my name while we were at the resort. You can call me
Pierce."

"All right, Pierce," Bit said harshly. "What are you doing here?"

"I've come for a rematch. I want to challenge the one who defeated me."

"Well bring it on," Bit said. "Even with one arm, me and Liger can..."

"It's not the Liger Zero I want a rematch with."

"Huh?" The entire Blitz Team asked.

"But I thought since Bit beat you in the mountains..." Leena began.

"Technically, the Liger Zero didn't beat me, I withdrew from the battle. But no, it's not the
Liger Zero I want a rematch against, it's the Raynos."

"The Raynos?" Brad asked.

"Yeah, that's right. Before your little sneak attack on us all those years ago, I pride myself
on my abilities as an airborn Zoid pilot. But then some crazy Zoid warrior in a Raynos
took on me and defeated me like I was nothing. I wanted a rematch ever since."

"So why wait until now?" That was Leena.

"My Zoid. I wanted an airborn Zoid that was better at maneuverability than firepower.
The Raynos is almost perfect when it comes to aerial maneuverability so I searched high and
low for a Zoid that could equal the Raynos and I did.

"Now it's my turn to ask a question. Who's the pilot of that Raynos?" She moved
her finger over each of the Blitz Team.

Meakly, Jamie stepped forward. "I was the pilot."

Pierce stared at him. She couldn't believe that the opponent she was seaking all this time
was a kid half her age. She smirked. "Nice try, kid, but playing martyr won't get you
anywhere."

"He's telling the truth," Bit vouched. "You know I was in the Liger Zero. Leena was the Gun
Sniper pilot and Brad Command Wolf. Jamie here was the only one in the Raynos."

"I can't believe it. You? Some kid beat me at airborn Zoid piloting! I can't believe it!"

"It's... kind of hard to explain," Jamie said.

"Yeah, right. I don't know what I was worried about, besides having some snot-nose punk beat
me."

"Hey, don't talk about Jamie like that!" Leena said.

"Oh please, 'Jamie' couldn't beat an egg."

"I accept your challenge!" Everyone looked up in surprise. Jamie had transformed into the
Wild Eagle (although Pierce didn't know that). "We shall see who is the best airborn Zoid
pilot."

"Ja..." Leena then remembered that the Wild Eagle considered himself an entirely different
person than Jamie. "Are you sure you want to do this?"

"No doubt."

"Then it's decided," Pierce declared. "You and I, tomorrow, high noon." Bit whistled a Wild
West-like theme. Leena elbowed him in the injured arm. "The coordinates are E5046N125."
The Wild Eagle nodded. "And prepare to lose."

"The only thing I'll be prepared to do is clip your wings, Little Lady." Leena could see that
Pierce was ready to slap Jamie silly for that 'Little Lady' comment.

--

Bit watched from a corner as Jamie used the Raynos as a flight simulator. He was still the
Wild Eagle.

"He's still at it?" Leena asked as she came in with a tray of food. "He didn't show for dinner
so Dad sent me with this."

"He's still doing it, but I'll gladly take the food."

"Want another broken arm?"

"Sorry."

"I've never seen him stay in his Wild Eagle persona for so long," Leena commented.

"Yeah, I know. I think I should leave the food here."

"Hey, kids." It was Jamie's father, Oscar Hemeros.

"Mr. Hemeros," Bit and Leena said at the same time.

"Please, none of that, call me Oscar."

"Oscar, what brings you here?" Bit asked.

"Your pops called me and told me about Jamie's solo battle so I thought I might come by and
watch." He leaned against the wall. "Pierce must've really shook his ego if he's been at this
all afternoon.

"Oscar, I was wondering something, why does the Wild Eagle consider himself a different person
from Jamie?"

"That might be my fault."

"Your fault."

"Believe it or not, I wasn't always the strong man standing before you. As a matter of fact, I
was just like Jamie."

"No kidding?"

"No kidding, Bit. Keep in mind this was before I met your father and Layon. I was quite the
bully magnet. Yeah, people used to use me as practice for fights and stuff. My father, Jamie's
grandfather, was a strong man, he said that the only way I was going to be tough like him was if
I started fighting back with all my strength. So I did and eventually I grew to the hunk of a
man you see today." Bit and Leena sweat-dropped.

"But that still doesn't explain why Jamie and the Wild Eagle consider themselves different
people even though they're in the same body," Bit pointed out.

"Oh, well, it was when I was at the Zoid Training Academy with Torros and Layon. It was there
that I met Jamie's mother, Lita." Oscar sighed and a shade of red crept onto his cheeks.
"She was one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. She was not only beautiful, but
very gentle. Well, you know the story. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy
promises to be a super strong Zoid pilot for girl. When Jamie was born, he grew up under the
teachings of both of us. Now I'm no psychiatrist, but I'm guessing that Jamie's mind had
trouble seeing my teachings of strength and bravery and Lita's teachings of kindness and
wisdom. So it created two separate and entirely different personalities."

"Talk about not knowing who you are," Bit cracked.

"Oscar, just out of curiosity, what happened to Lita?" Leena asked.

Oscar sighed depressedly. "She's no longer here."

"Did she die or just leave you?" Leena didn't want the false pretense like what happened when
her father first told them about Oscar.

"She died." And that was the end of that discussion. Oscar's previous optimicity returned.
"Jamie and the Wild Eagle are like brothers. They're both my sons."

Brad heard everything from outside the door. At first, he never considered Jamie a strong
individual, but now he was beginning to wonder if Jamie was braver than the three of them
combined.

Oscar took the tray of food from Leena and walked up to the Raynos. "Hey kiddo, how about
refuelling yourself as well as your Zoid. You won't win on an empty stomach."

Jamie looked down at him. "Sure, Dad." He jumped down and took the tray from his father.

"Did you hear that?" Bit asked Leena.

"Oscar was right," Leena threw in. "Jamie and Wild Eagle are like brothers. True, they have
no idea of each other's existence, but they are like brothers."

--

The coordinates that Pierce gave them was a cavern that was more of a labyrinth.

"Man, it's like a maze here," Bit commented. "Why did Pierce choose such an odd location?"

"Since both competitors will be using an airborn Zoid, ground cover is not a factor here," Dr.
Torros said. "Oh, looks like we're here." Here was a circular clearing in the center of the
maze. Doc. Torros flipped on an intercom. "Are you ready to go, Wild Eagle?"

"Just try and stop me," came the reply. Bit, Leena, and Brad still weren't used to the Wild
Eagle's gung-ho attitude.

"All right, open catapult. Adjust for air launch. Launch Raynos!" The Raynos was propelled
almost straight up into the air. It looped a few times before landing on top of one of the
rock cliffs.

"So where is this spectacular airborn Zoid Pierce was telling us about?" Bit asked. As if
on cue, a red blur shot past the Raynos. It barrell rolled a couple of time before landing
on top of the cliff opposite the Raynos. It was then that the Blitz Team got a good look at
the Zoid.

It was a dinosaur-type Zoid with a narrow spiked head. Its wings were folded perfectly
behind it.

"It's a Redler!" Brad gasped.

"I thought they were taken out of service," Bit said.

"They stopped mass producing them a while back," confirmed Oscar, who was driving the Hover
Cargo in place of Jamie.

"Do you know why?" Leena asked.

"Sorry, no. I never been a big fan for Redlers."

"Surprised?" Pierce smirked. "I told you all I had a Zoid that could equal and surpass the
Raynos."

"Wild Eagle, be carefull!" Doc. Torros warned. "Redlers are extremely fast and agile.
Their maneuverability is second to none!"

"Thanks for the warning, Doc," Wild Eagle said. "But it doesn't take a Zoid to win a
fight, it takes the Zoid and pilot working together. And the Raynos and I together are
unstoppable."

"You have one hot-headed half son, Oscar," Leena said.

"Yup," Oscar agreed. "Must run in the family, har-har-har-har!" Oscar let out a hardy
laugh much to the chagrin of the Blitz Team.

"Here we go!" Doc. Toros announced. "Battlefield set up! Raynos versus the Redler,
battle mode 0999." Toros didn't really like using the freestyle battle mode normally
used by the Backdraft Group but the ZBC said they wouldn't support a sanctioned battle mode
with one of the Backdraft group. True, They made an exception with Stoker but that was only
because he registered with them first. Pierce didn't. "Ready... FIGHT!"

The two airborn Zoids took off. They looped and then came at each other.

"This won't even take a minute," Wild Eagle said firing his forward gataling gun. The
Redler banked. "Hey, not bad, but can you do this...?" Jamie turned the Raynos on its side
and twirled until it faced the Redler.

"Care to put your money where your mouth is?" Pierce retorted. She looped the Raynos and
fired a small rocket under its wing. It exploded before it could reach its target though.

"She's even better than I thought," Wild Eagle said to himself. He maneuvered in for close-
range combat. Suddenly a blade extended from the Redler's right wing. As she flew by, the
blade scraped the Raynos' wing.

"Whoa! Where did that come from?" Wild Eagle asked.

"She must have took that blade from her Storm Sworder and added it to the Redler," Doc. Torros
guessed.

The Redler banked and attacked again while the Wild Eagle was still trying to rebound from
the first attack.

"Since I can't out fight her," Wild Eagle said to himself. "I'll have to outfly her."

"Come and get me, Little Lady!" Wild Eagle called back as he piloted the Raynos up into the
sky.

"Close, but no cigar, kiddo." The Redler quickly overtook the Raynos then did a u-turn. It
came straight at the Raynos. Wild Eagle barely dodged it in time.

"The Raynos is fast but it isn't as maneuverable as the Redler," Brad commented.

"Time to unleash my secret weapon," Pierce decided. She moved above the Raynos and dove at
its backside. She knocked the Raynos for a loop and before the Wild Eagle could recover, she
came at him again. She was knocking him around like a pinwheel. Pierce extended both of her
wing blades and sliced the Raynos twice. The Wild Eagle felt like his head was spinning.

{This might be it,} Wild Eagle thought. {She's going to beat me, there's no way I can match
her maneuverability. There's no way I can win.}

[There's always a way to win,] a strange yet familiar voice said. The Wild Eagle looked at
himself in the reflection of the windshield. Only it wasn't him, it was Jamie but the Wild
Egale didn't know that. [It's just a matter of finding it.]

{You... you're me!}

[Something like that, I'm you when you're not acting like such a hot head.]

{No way, there's no way that I can be you.}

[It's true, we share the same body, but you don't know that, at least not until now.]

{So do you have a way to defeat her?}

[No, but we can figure out a way if we join forces.]

{Join forces? No way, I can do this by myself!}

[Yeah, you were doing a great job so far. But trust me, together we will make one supreme
airborn Zoid pilot! We can make both our father and our mother proud.]

The Wild Eagle looked into Jamie's eyes, his own eyes. {Agree.} The Wild Eagle felt Jamie's
consciousness meld with his own. He now knew who he truly was.

All this happened within the span of a few seconds but to Jamie, it felt like forever. Then
the Raynos folded its wings which caused the fire that developed in them to be extinguished.
Then the trusters fired again and the Raynos U-turned and proceeded straight up again.

{Okay,} the new Jamie thought. {I've brought some time, but it won't take long for Pierce to
overtake me, so I need to work fast. Now, what do I know about the Redler. They were very
popular way back in the days when Zoid battling was still young, but the ZBC decided to take
them out of service, but why?} The Raynos' rear scanners showed the Redler coming up on him.
{Blast, I need more time. If only the Redler wasn't so maneu...}

"That's it! That's the Redler's weakness!" Jamie cried.

"What are you talking about, Wild Eagle?" Leena asked.

"Hey little lady," Jamie called to Pierce. "You want a piece of me? Well come and get me!"
The Raynos dove into the cavern and began worming its way through them.

"Nice try, kid, but the Redler is maneuverable even a few feet above the ground." The Redler
pursued the Raynos through the labyrinth of caverns.

"Perfect," Jamie said to himself. "She's falling right into my trap."

"What's he doing, Oscar?" Brad asked.

"I wish I knew." {But if I know my son, he has a plan and however unusual it is, he's going
to pull it through.}

On and on the chase went. Pierce was beginning to wonder if something was up, but her
experience from years ago told her that this pilot wasn't capable of hiding a strategy.

She was about to be proven wrong.

Suddenly the Raynos curved up and Pierce found herself rapidly approaching a wall. She jerked
the stick to the left and suddenly the plane started spinning horizontally.

"Oh no, a spin out!" She cried. She ejected just as the Redler hit the wall and exploded.
Pierce got ready to pull her parachute cord but stray debree knocked her in the head and she was
knocked out.

"Oh, crap," Jamie muttered. He quickly opened the cockpit of the Raynos and Pierce fell right
into his lap.

Pierce quickly revied and looked warily up at him. "You saved me."

"Hey, I couldn't let a good airborn Zoid pilot go to waste," he said as he piloted the Raynos
back to the Hover Cargo.

--

Moments later, the Blitz Team, Oscar, and Pierce were standing in front of the Hover Cargo.

"I get it now," Dr. Toros said. "The reason they stopped mass-producing the Redlers was
because they were too movement sensitive. One wrong turn of the lever could throw the Zoid
into a tail spin."

"I should've known that," Pierce scolded herself. "And I call myself an airborn Zoid
specialist."

"Don't sell yourself short," Jamie said. His voice was like that of the Wild Eagle, but his
face and manner was that of plain old Jamie Hemeros. "You're a good pilot, one of the best
I have ever faced. You just chose a bad Zoid. If you used your Storm Sworder and not the
Redler, you probably would've won. Any time you want to hone your skills, I'll be around."

Pierce smiled. "Thanks, kid, I really appreciate that."

"Call me Jamie," he said. He then turned to Dr. Toros. "Hey, Doc, I've been thinking. I
haven't exactly been pulling my weight around here."

"What are you talking about, Jamie, you've been a great help."

"I know, but I want to help you guys on the field as well as off the field. I want to
become a full-fledge Zoid pilot."

"Maybe you should do that, Dad," Leena commented.

"Yeah, it might not be so bad having a full-time airborn Zoid pilot around," Brad agreed.
Doc. Toros groaned. This meant he had to start paying Jamie full-time too, something he
hated doing. He put on a painful look which caused the others to laugh. He then said,
"Oh, well, I guess it wouldn't hurt to have a fourth pilot around."

"Thanks, Doc., I promise you won't be disappointed."

--

He ran across the open fields in a panic, bare feet treading the cool grass. There was nothing
to keep him from its steely grasp. It was already over him like a huge shadow.

His feet gave away and he fell onto his stomach. He rolled over just in time to see a
huge talon descend. He barely got out in time. He looked up to see a shadow of a
bird-like creature hovering over him.

Suddenly, he was filled with a new sense of courage. He went up to the bird-like shadow and
petted the talon that wanted to grab him earlier. The bird looked at him and nodded its head.

In his bed, Jamie Hemeros slept peacefully, the first peaceful sleep he's had in days.

--

Leon: Simon McCormic was the guy who originally sold my Dad the Liger Zero. Now he's back and
demanding a cut of the Blitz Team's winnings so he could pay off this loan shark. Whether they
like it or not, the Blitz Team is going to have to protect him when he sends his elite group of
sinkers after them. Next time on Zoids: The Con Man and the Thief. Ready... FIGHT!