Author Notes:

I've never done any writing like this before. I usually do depressing and horror stuff. But I thought I'd take a leap of faith and try a bit of action and drama. It's fun, it's serious and it's not too bad of a read. It gets into the background of Briareos and his feelings about being a cyborg. As well as its effects on his relationship with Deunan. That's sort of the key element (sub plot), their connection with each other. Though the story ventures around revenge of fallen 'brothers in arms.' Landing them in a tense situation. For those curious about the length, I'm thinking it'll be about 4 chapters when everything is said and done. Hope you enjoy…

Appleseed

"I think, than I am."

Chapter One (Fievel goes East)

Tokyo lay in silent ruins—

Its damp grounds radiating a warm glow from the sunset. It never looked so gorgeous. Deunan basked in its light. Too long it had been since she enjoyed its comforting grace. This time she'd let it shine for her. Watch patiently as it descended into darkness.

It was relaxing for her to finally wrest a minuet, after traveling a long ways in her battle gear. She had been caring heavy weapons all the way from Nagoya. An M4 Carbine, 45mm stock pistol and a nice belt of grenades. All items strapped to her weighted armor. Spent the last several hours in routine, moving.

That's the life of a soloist, traveling. It isn't safe to squat for too long. So they live in an area for a week, and then move out. This time they decided to move north, see Tokyo. It was just how they left it before. Crumbly and broken.

Arms of safety held her close from behind. She couldn't see his face, but she knew who it was. Only a few people had a cold body with a warm embrace. Deunan took a deep breath, unburdening herself for a moment. She laid her head back on his steel chest, accepting his presence.

"Nice sunset, huh Briareos?" She said.

He didn't answer. But she knew, if his metal face had a mouth, he would have smiled. She knew this because he held her tighter for a moment.

Everything chaotic washed away. Her heart burst in fluttering pops. She wanted nothing more than to turn around and hug him. Which she did. Her motion broke his hold for a moment. Turning around and wrapping her arms around him.

The leather armor and scented clothes flooded her mind. Machine oil, dust and cologne. She had been traveling with him for the last several months. But she had never missed him this much. There're not many times a soldier can show affection. Even to a loved one. A battleground has no space for it.

Briareos face came to mind as she obsessed, lovingly. Fancy hair, chiseled jaw. Like most guys during those days, he would spend time making himself look good. For an obvious admirer. The loving guardian that watched over her.

In her girlish whims she reached up with her lips, eyes closed, and kissed him. His cold metal face bit back. She jerked away in surprise, remembering his current condition. He had lost his body in the war. Doctors refitted him with a robotic build.

She did not realize, but her expression didn't do so well for him.

"Ah…" he paused, "is everything okay?"

She shook it off, "yes. Sorry, I just forgo-"

She stopped herself before finishing. But it was already too late. Briareos stepped back, his entire body retracting. Leaving her in the finishing sunlight.

"Forgot that I'm a cyborg?" his mechanical voice was low.

"No it's not that—"

She moved in to hug him, but he stepped back again, picking up his ammunition bag. Deunan knew there was nothing she could say. Although he's thankful to be alive, he doesn't like the fact that his body runs off wires and metal sheets. It's perhaps the only thing that gets to him. When people notice that he's different.

Deunan felt bad for letting her words slip. For bringing up a touchy subject. It was nothing new though. Briareos mechanical condition was brought up several times before. She knew he'd get over it. It just made things awkward for the time being.

"It's fine," he said, "we should leave."

For a strong guardian, he could sometimes act like a girl. Never being straight about his feelings or what's bothering him. Sure he said it was fine. But it was quite obvious that things weren't fine for him. This annoyed her at times.

Guilt and frustration boiled through her mind. She huffed her way down the stairs after him. Angry that she mentioned the cyborg fixings. But at the same time mad at Briareos for taking it personally. "Another fine mess I got myself into," she thought to herself, "if he would just stop reading into things!"

Down below sat the rest of the squad. All six, including Briareos, gathered their things. The small shop they stopped in was too out of shape to stay the night. The entire room had been flipped by bandits and thieves before. It was a small dollar shop after all. Foods and drugs were stolen regularly. But by the looks of it, the place hadn't been touched since. And for good reason. The shops massive windows were broken. Floor, dusty. Every shelf, beaten and empty. Just an unorganized deathtrap.

Daiki patted Hachiro on the back, finishing his words of wisdom.

"…so never chew gum when you shoot people."

Hachiro was new to the pack. He wasn't military trained like most of the group. Got his skill through the chaos of the war. He was only seventeen when Deunan found him. Was scavenging for food. He hadn't eaten in days. Since then Daiki has looked after him like an older brother. His "wise words" can sometimes be bizarre or come off cruel.

"Keep your chin up and don't look so stupid," said Daiki.

"Thanks," replied Hachiro sarcastically.

A shorter, tough looking lady sat on a beaten wooden crate. She smoked a heavy cigar, laughing at a stalky guy holding a rocket launcher. It was Mayumi, she loved to smoke. She was the unusual tough gal of the bunch. Loved to hang with the guys and rough'em up once in a while. Not the usual sight of a shorter Asian gal. Spends most of her time talking with Isamu, the rocket specialist.

"Sure the R-4 is a great launcher," said May, "but this here M82 can punch a hole through power suit from two miles away."

Isamu shook his head, "I can knock down any bird in the sky with this beauty. Even got a tracker on the end. One good shot will knock a bogie to the ground."

"Don't snog it too much. People might think you're attached." She winked at him.

"Hey, don't diss the gear."

She blew smoke in his face and laughed again, "It got a name too?"

He stood up straight and proud, "sure does. I call her Brick."

"Lovely."

Katsuro stood watch by the window. Never liked to wait around. His eyes darted across the buildings, checking for possible bandits. He too held a rifle. Though his was lighter than May's, his rifle could shooter faster. Hers was stronger but slower.

"What do you think, Kat?" Asked May.

He answered without looking back. "It's about speed and accuracy. Not the power of the punch."

She grumbled, "Eh, like you'd know."

The men noticed Briareos walking down the stairs. They stood up, waiting to hear the news. He walked by them without saying anything. Just picked up the rest of his bags and started to get packed up. They took his gesture as a sign to get going as well. As they started to pack, they noticed Deunan coming down the stairs as well.

"Everything alright, Captain?" asked Hachi.

Daiki slapped Hachi in the arm. Trying to clue him in on the tension. He didn't get the agitated look on her face. Clueless.

Everyone had been traveling with Deunan and Briareos for a while. They were used to their awkward fights. Best trick, just stay out of it and don't mention a thing. After witnessing the aftershocks of the arguments, one starts to pick up on the signs. Everyone but Hachi. Who was new.

Deunan walked past without a glance, "let's go."