Thievery Of The Sword
Chapter 1: Knight and Night-walker
Written By Illuminet
Disclaimer: Characters from the Guilty Gear series are the rightful property of Arc System Works.
Note: It really just started as something to get the creative juices flowing, but I started to get more into it even though it really is pretty much Order-Sol's story mode from GGXXAC+ with just some added side bits here and there. So yes the main focus is nearly all on Sol. I've considered making it start with his story mode and lead up to the start of GGTML though I'm still debating it in my head since I've got another story I'm working on as well as real life to deal with. Regardless, I hope this is still enjoyable for readers, even if it is a bit short.
'Fucking war...' He wandered towards the remains of a train station. He had to get away from the Order HQ. Had to think without so many other Knights around and their own internal struggles. The train station had been the final destination where 13 platoons of Knights had boarded from half the world away in order to stage an assault against the Gear Messiah, Justice, after Intel claimed sightings of her in A-Country.
'This is my chance...I have to get to her...the Messiah.' The Knight wasn't sure why he had to, but had the nagging feeling that the fog of confusion surrounding his creation would come to light somehow if only he met her. In truth, the man called Sol Badguy had joined up with the Sacred Order of Knights for this reason. He wanted to find out about the Gears. About his own existence. There was nothing in it for him out any sense of patriotism, only his own selfish motives.
"I'm one of these bastards too..." He muttered to himself as he stepped over the carcass of a Gear amongst the wreckage. The locomotive had been impressively reinforced with metal plating but it had not been enough, considering the damage inflicted upon it by the Megadeth Gear that was laying dead on top of four cable cars of which it smashed. Seeing the massive Gear got Sol thinking of the reason it got there. The circumstances had been annoying, but the Knight would be damned to be trapped in a steel can being crushed like sardines.
Earlier that morning...
High noon, and only a wisp of clouds scattered the sky. The locomotive held the 13 platoon of Knights that would participate in the siege campaign to liberate A-Country from the Gear menace. The Sacred Order of Holy Knights, despite it's relative youth as a military organization of the Humans behind the Zeppian Empire and the near ancient Assassin Guild, had been making the most headway now during what many Humans were hoping would be the latter part of the war. To bring it to an end.
Despite the harsh rattling that would sometimes occur in bumpy areas of the tracks, the train met with no resistance so far and the Knights were glad about it. But that had changed instantly. Sol Badguy, Second Lieutenant and leader of the 13th Platoon Knight Raiders, had felt the tremors with his enhanced senses. He realized he was the only one to notice. He stood up and made his way to the back door of the cabin, theirs being the last one of the train.
"Sir Sol, what are you doing? We were ordered not to proceed through any doors until reaching the Volvania Station." It had been a female Knight sitting near the back, who saw his hand go for the door indent. She was just a Private and newly appointed as part of Sol's platoon. Sol spared her no glance.
"Find the boy and let him know a Megadeth Gear's coming for the train. Be ready for an assault up ahead too." He said as her hand went to his shoulder but he shrugged her off and opened the door to the outside. He used fire magic to weld the door shut so he could have no assistance. He then hopped up to the ledge and flipped up to the roof. She was able to see what he was talking about the moment his hulking frame had been out of sight of the window. It made her run to find the head commander of the Knights aboard the train, Brigadier General Ky Kiske whom was referred to only by Sol as the Boy. The young man and Sol had many problems with one another, due to Sol's constant disrespect.
"Sir Ky! Megadeth Gear behind us! Sir Sol says to be ready for an assault ahead of us too!" She blurted out. Despite being only sixteen years old, Ky had ranked up quickly and performed amazingly upon the fields of battle as a skilled swordsman and tactician. Rumors had it that he may receive a treasure of the government as a reward from legendary Commander Kliff Undersn himself, in the form of the long sword of the Outrage set known as the Thunder Seal. Ky had ordered everyone to break and/or open the windows and ready a long range offensive both in front and behind the train.
"The Raiders are in the last cabin, are there any who can use long range spells?" Ky asked of her. The Knight Raiders were the most offensive oriented unit, and took their battles up close and personal. They were the forefront of the Knight's infantry, mostly knowing only potent close range magic and nothing else. They were commanded currently by Sol Badguy himself.
"Only about twelve or thirteen Raiders can. Sir Ky...Sir Sol exited the train and is on the roof." Her words made Ky's eyes widen considerably.
"What?" He growled out, making her take a step back in fear.
"He uh...sealed the door shut. I think...he wants to take on the Megadeth Gear." She blurted out before taking her leave. She was just passing orders and didn't want to feel Ky's incoming wrath.
"Dear lord..." Ky muttered under his breath, calming himself. Meanwhile, Sol was crouched low upon the roof of the train. His wild hair and uniform jacket was waving out frantically from the momentum and velocity of the train as it swept past the plains. The Megadeth Gear was a large reptilian monstrosity with large horns jutting from it's body. It ran towards the locomotive on all fours, clawed hands about in reach of the back cabin. It noticed Sol upon the train, and reached with it's right hand towards him. Sol leaped towards the outstretched appendage, grabbing hold of one large thumb. Before the Megadeth Gear could crush Sol in his fist, Sol slammed his cleaver shaped blade into the digits of the first and middle finger with enough force to break them.
"RAAHHH!" The Megadeth Gear's fingers were bent in unnatural angles, and it tried to throw the Knight away, but he would have none of it. Sol rushed along the forearm. Hopping onto the head, the Knight slammed the blunt flat of his wide blade into the left side of it's face. Several rows of teeth were cracked apart while others went flying free. He caught onto the large horn on it's forehead with his free hand to keep himself on the massive Gear. It veered off the course of the tracks, heading for the mountains, shaking it's head about violently in an attempt to send Sol flying. It tried to grasp Sol with it's remaining good fingers. The Knight evaded, but not without receiving a few deep cuts to the ends of his long coat. About ready to simply end it by thrusting his blade into the Gear's spinal column, Sol was left with a nasty surprise as the long prong end tail of his foe caught him cleanly in the ribs.
"Fuck." The Knight uttered out as blood left his throat. He was sent in front of the Gear's face and nearly eaten alive as it's jaws snapped down on him with the remaining good teeth on the right side of it's face. The Megadeth Gear growled, realizing the Knight's strength was beyond normal. Sol received some cuts on his fore limbs from the teeth, but was miraculously keeping the jaws pried open with but one arm and his feet. It's rank breathing was making Sol's gag reflex kick in, but he retained focus. With an upward swipe of his crushing blade, Sol sent the tip of the Megadeth Gear's horn flying in the air. The pain caused it to loosen it's jaws enough to free the Knight. He hopped back up to the remaining stub of it's horn, aiming the hilt of his weapon and one solid yellow eye. Flames erupted from it like a gun, burning and blasting the soft tissue black. The roar it let out was enough to hurt Sol's ears. Half blinded, it collided with a mountain and sent Sol flying, cracking the face of a jutted rock and making it topple over. Both Knight and Gear groaned.
'Shit...damn near cracked every bone in my ribcage and spine. Gotta up the healing factor then.' As he was alone from the other Knights, Sol let his Gear abilities come forth stronger than usual. Though the limiter device on his forehead kept his Human form and suppressed much power, Sol had enough control to draw and increase certain abilities if needed. And right now, he needed to be up and moving. He rolled out of the way as one massive hand tried to crush him. This caused rock and sand to burst free and form a dust cover and Sol used it to get towards the Gear's blind side. He left vicious cuts in it's arms as he swung his blade, weakening it's mobility. It ran off feral instinct, it's tail swinging with precision, and had Sol been not so well attuned at the moment himself due to his Gear abilities he would have suffered a dislocated shoulder or worse.
'Still not doing enough damage. It's got a pretty tough hide. The soft underbelly is my answer.' Sol noted and began to form an idea. He charged his magic, dissipating his cover as flames shot out from underneath him. The Megadeth Gear caught sight of him with it's remaining eye and swiped with razor sharp claws. Sol went to his knees before sliding forward, body just shy of touching the ground save for the tip of his sword which cut a jagged line of flame underneath him. Pillars of fire burst upwards and pierce soft flesh. Once. Twice. Three times. The Megadeth Gear gurgled blood, dripping with that and saliva from it's gaping maw. Even having been punctured by the spear shaped flames, it still stood. The tail went whipping at Sol, who had to hop back to avoid a knock to his cranium.
"Come on, you asshole!" The Knight hollered as he ran through the mountains. The Megadeth Gear was still quite mobile as Sol believed. Sol was charging his magic energies again, rushing and weaving out of the Megadeth Gear's ferocious blows. Sol found himself trapped upon a cliff, overlooking the Volvania Station. The glass dome shimmered brightly with the sunlight glaring off it's smooth surface.
'Look's like they made it...' Sol turned to see the giant Gear barring his way out. Green light filled it's mouth, warning Sol that it was about to unleash a laser breath attack. It reared it's head back. Sol rushed up to it as it's head came forward, twisting his body about and sending his blade to slap the Gear in the cheek with enough force to veer the blast away, letting the green trail fade in the sky. Sol hopped away, near the edge of the cliff to avoid it's snapping jaws as the aggravated Gear continued to stew in frustration. Even though weakened, it was not going to let the Knight live and reared itself upon it's hind legs.
"Son of a...!" Sol knew he would be crushed under some eighty billion tons of muscle and sinew if he didn't act. Having charged up and feeling his attack would be strong enough, jammed his blade into the ground. A tornado of flame whipped up underneath him, the force enough to make the Gear to ascend from it's descent upon him. It still wasn't enough, and the Megadeth Gear fell forward again. The glazed over eye was enough for Sol to know it was pretty much at it's last breath. Crouching low, Sol's coiled body sprung up and rocketed skyward with an impressive leap, leaving him with enough air time to let the Gear fall and allowing him to land safely on it's back. Things weren't so easy as rocks began to crumble.
"Fuck." Sol ran to the path of the mountain again to avoid the collapse of the cliff and the Megadeth Gear. He realized that it was going to fall on the train station, more specifically the train itself.
"Shit!" Sol had already shut down his Gear abilities and hadn't expected the Gear's tail to suddenly move during his mad rush by it, catching him cleanly around his upper body and pinning his arms. The strong appendage held as Sol flexed to try and get enough leeway to escape.
"SON OF A BITCH!"
"Annoying bastard..." Sol looked to the giant corpse a moment longer. He had fallen through the roof along with the Megadeth Gear, pretty much obliterating the train and the remains of the station. Luckily the station hadn't contained any of the Knights, who were busy fighting off Gears that were swarming outside of it. Regardless though, the amount of property damage was significant and the Knights had lost a good mobile link to the Order HQ of A-Country. Also about eighteen percent of their supplies was damaged or destroyed. Another train had been scheduled to come, but it would have to take another route to a further out station. He'd gotten quite an earful from the boy as well, though Kliff defused the anger and spite between them for a time and saying that some loss in war is unavoidable regardless. His senses alerted him to something, the rain falling harder now as if to tell of the hardships to come.
"Oh...it's you. Well now this is quite the sight for sore eyes." A man dressed in a fine olive color tuxedo and red cape over his shoulder came in view of the Knight. His slick hair and trimmed mustache and beard spoke of a refine grace and lifestyle of which the Knight was anything but. He adjusted the monocle upon his eye, a robust wooden pipe dangling from his lips.
"That's some costume you possess there." The man said.
"Shut up." Sol growled to him. Slayer was an immortal, having lived far longer than Sol had, or any other Gear for that matter. He was also the original founder of the Assassin's Guild, which had once been a far more noble organization but began to become more and more corrupt with each successive generation of leadership within the Guild. The use of Forbidden Beast Magic spells and rituals had propelled the organization as a contender against the Gears for a time before Zepp's full military might could be completely established or the Sacred Order itself. Slayer only chuckled at Sol's simplistic response.
"I can see your merely fighting in this war to get something. It must be quite the chore for one such as yourself. You were never really the sort to take orders." Smoke billowed from his pipe, unimpeded by the rain.
"Spit out your reason for being here old man. I ain't got all night." Sol growled.
"I was simply out for a stroll. Even though I do not mind the day, the night is much more of a comfort for one such as myself. That is neither here nor there, as it is not everyday I get to see you like this, much less in such a state. I believe a friendly spar is in order, so that we may be reacquainted." Slayer began to walk towards Sol again. The Knight did the same. Steady steps became a blur of motion as the two propelled at one another like bullets, fists collided with flame and energy dispersing about the two. Both skidded to a stop and rocketed towards another again, fully airborne this time. The hilt of Sol's weapon slammed into the steel like knuckles of Slayer's empty hand, the strike sounding like a clap of thunder. Sol and Slayer passed one another again, only Slayer vanished and reappeared to the Knight's back. Sol sent his blade into the wet dirt, grovel and bits of glass and metal flying all about as flames shot up at a slanted angle to pierce Slayer's face. Or would have, had he not done his vanishing trick again and now a few feet away from Sol.
"You fight quite ferociously. I can sense a lot of anger and distaste in your attacks. As well as your confusion. You believe you may find a key to your past if you meet with her, don't you? Yet you are still unsure." The Night-walker eyes seemed more solemn than they usually were. The old man usually had a jovial air about him even in serious situations. He was more attuned to Sol's mood than Sol would like to admit.
"So? So what? Leave the affairs of Humans to the Humans." Sol tensed after saying those words, knowing Slayer would capitalize on them. Which he did.
"And are you Human? Everything in your appearance suggests as such, much like myself..." Slayer vanished again as Sol's blade came forward, blowing debris every which way from the force the weapon's contact with the ground.
"I'm going to meet with Justice and put an end to this stupid war. If I find out of the person I was before the conversion then so be it." Sol growled as he pulled his blade free, now encrusted with mud and grime. He guarded a strike sent his way, body rattled by Slayer's strength though he held his stance despite the shaking in his arm.
"She holds no control over you. You will be treated as any other Human who crosses her path. A battle would be unavoidable. Can you really hold out against her? She is the superior creation compared to yourself, being the precursor to her own birth. Commander Undersn has battled with her over ten times in both youth and old age. You really don't have a clue as to what your getting into. But he recruited you personally. Because he sees something in you that you yourself don't yet." Slayer sent another fist for Sol to guard. It was like trying to halt a freight train. Sol went skidding back, but his stance held.
"Believe what you want old man. Even in this fucking organization and their stupid way of dress, I don't fight for anything but myself." Sol responded, twisting his large sword to parry another of Slayer's vicious strikes and catching the immortal in the shoulder and pushing him off balance. Capitalizing, the Knight swung wide and sent the blunt of his weapon into Slayer's ribs with enough force to crush an ordinary Human's ribs. Slayer took the attack with a grin. Sol was blinded as a black smokescreen surrounded him. He growled and dispersed it while charging his magic, only to be sent on his back with a heavy thud courtesy of Slayer's kick to the side of the head.
"You are too amusing. Yet so very interesting as well. Look at you, torn between two opposing sides and knowing nothing of your true wants or desires. You wish to know your past and yet you are also afraid of what you'll learn. My dear fellow, you must fight not only with the incredible strength you possess, but with a conviction unrivaled. Only then might you find that which you seek. And not the wants of the surface which you keep foolishly clawing at." Slayer shook his head at the fallen Knight. Sol was up on his feet quicker than expected, his canines elongated to fangs.
"I said to shut that fucking mouth!" Sol came forward, flames cascading about his blade and arm. He sent the blade forward as he punched, catching Slayer dead center in the chest. Even as the first explosion rocked the ground, a second one was already soon to come as Sol's free hand was balled into a tight fist. Flames spun about his arm even as it was sent forward, connecting solidly with Slayer's chest again.
"Get out of my sight!" Sol brought his sword to bear, combining his final explosion. A fiery figure slammed into the remains of one of the train cabins still partially intact. Sol breathed heavily, each intake making him calm down a little further. He knew Slayer was alive. It aggravated him, but he knew his limitations well. Knew Slayer would emerge from that now burning wreckage as alive as he was when he first entered to disturb the solstice the Knight sought but never could fully attain. Slayer was in front of him, his normal jovial state now solemn again, once fine clothes now shredded and burnt.
"Be well, my friend. Our little spar was entertaining, but now I must depart. If and when you meet Justice, try to keep yourself alive. I would like to meet again and see how your strength has been developing." Before Sol could retort to Slayer's words, the immortal slung his cape outward and disappeared amongst the folds before the cape also disappeared in a ball of fabric shortly after.
"This whole day is just one constant headache." Sol muttered. His back was stained with mud and dirt, though the rain was helping to clean it up slightly. Sol walked back to the base. He hated to admit it, but knew Slayer was right. Just because he was a Gear didn't mean he could treat a confrontation with Justice as just another fight. He hated to try his best, but knew sometimes it had the best results.