Thievery Of The Sword
Chapter 10: Leviathan's Raid
Written By Illuminet
Disclaimer: Characters from the Guilty Gear series are the rightful property of Arc System Works.
"Hmmm...should be any minute now." Johnny claimed as he stood mostly idle, free hand fiddling with a golden coin that had been carved with the letter J upon it's surface. Sol stood away from the Pirate Leader and the closest amongst his entourage. He smoked a cigarette to pass the time, the Fire Seal plunged into the ground within arm's reach. He pondered just who Johnny's contact could be here on Zepp. To lessen the stench, he had turned his power of smell down to that of a typical Human's
'Zepp is under oppression. Few would stick their necks out to help a rather well known outlaw...even though he does do some good in this fucked up world in his own way. All those girls...' Sol may not show it physically on his face, but he could admire the solid efforts of Johnny's Jellyfish Sky Pirates. Most females were not fighters, and several were left orphaned when the male family members had joined in the war efforts and died out on the field, most who joined the Sacred Order or Zepp Army. Johnny provided a haven for many a lost girl who usually resorted to wandering the usually barren streets of cities and other hovels to try and make a living. That was the main reason Johnny's crew was all female. Despite his flirtatious ways, Johnny had his serious and caring side. He was able to make use of what had once been his father's airship, a vehicle that was used as a weapon within the Zepp military before being shot down, into a haven for these lost girls who banded together to try and pull their own weight in the war.
They often used what were mainly guerrilla tactics at best, but any little thing helped where the Gears were concerned. The Gears had many strange creations in their armies from the experimentation performed on them through the Gear Conversion which granted them often very dangerous and bizarre abilities and powers. Sol heard the crunching of many feet before any of the others in the direct vicinity and turned his head to listen more carefully. Some girls were rushing back to their location. They were scouters who had set out to make sure any enemies could be spotted and assessed of the threat level that enemy posed.
"Johnny, it's him. Beak Nose is on his way here. He's alone." The girl reported. Johnny nodded, spinning his coin a moment longer before digging it back into the pocket of his coat.
"Good job. Let's sit tight a bit longer and greet him. Here's hoping he was able to get the May Ship up and fully functional." Johnny took a few paces towards his scouts. He had explained to Sol how his airship had been so heavily damaged about a week ago. Not far off one of the far coasts that boarded China and Russia, the May Ship had caught sight of a Gear raid occurring. The Sacred Order's Russian branch had intercepted them. Three Megadeth Class Gears had been a part of the raid. Johnny had aided them with missile fire, distracting the Megadeth Gears enough for the Knights to overwhelm one while the other two used laser breath strikes to try and shoot the May Ship out of the sky. Zepp had not been floating too far away and mobilized it's own force to assist. One of the Zepp airships recognized the May Ship and attempted to attack it with intent to weaken the airship and take the infamous Jellyfish Sky Pirates into custody. The Megadeth Gears kept them busy, but a lucky laser breath shot struck the Zepp airship that was heading for the May Ship.
Due to the explosion from having struck the engine room of the Zepp military airship, shrapnel had burst free so quickly that it had impacted the May Ship quite severely. Johnny claimed that the airship had only enough power to reach Zepp after he had called his contact from a secure line. Apparently this contact had quite a bit of influence despite only being a Grunt for most of his enlistment. It was this contact that was able to have the May Ship brought within very close proximity to Zepp and allowed to board the base of which the ship Sol had stowed away on was also headed. Having told Johnny that he could only hold the ship for one week's time to get it fixed up, Johnny and his crew had to be discreetly removed from the base itself and had been staying low while waiting for the airship ever since. The man that came into view was someone Sol hadn't quite expected to see so soon.
"So this is where you decided to hide out, Johnny. Sorry for the delay." Gabriel, the Sergeant that Sol had eavesdropped on with his subordinate Potemkin.
"Yo, Gabe, took your sweet time. Were you able to fix 'er up?" Johnny spoke in a jovial tone. Sol snarled, him and Gabriel locking gazes for a moment. Sol spat out his cigarette and snubbed it under his heel.
"Your him. Sol Badguy. To think I would find you on Zepp of all places." Gabriel spoke, making his way towards Sol rather than Johnny.
"Once upon a time, we served in Ukraine together. Seems you've figured out my desertion from the Order." Sol said. Gabriel sighed. If he was surprised that Sol was aware that the Sergeant knew about Sol abandonment of the Order, he didn't reveal it.
"I ponder as to why you would do such a thing. Unlike Zepp, the Sacred Order of Holy Knights is not steeped in corruption of tyranny. It's foundation as an organization is strong. There is very little I know about you as an individual, Sol, but I do know of your impressive strength and skill. Few people can contend with a Megadeth Gear one on one and kill it without outside aid. Even our Slave Soldiers have had to require some assistance." Gabriel placed his hand to his chin in thought.
"Keep pondering what you will. I'm getting off this rock." Sol said as he pulled the Fire Seal free from the ground.
"I can't contain you here, that much I know. The problem is..." Gabriel was interrupted by a call to his radio strapped close to his right shoulder.
"Sergeant! Sergeant Gabriel do you copy? Over." The voice Sol had recognized as Potemkin's own even with the static pitch.
"What's going on, Potemkin?" Gabriel questioned, not the only one to hear the urgent tone in Potemkin's voice.
"It's Leviathan! Sergeant, the Leviathan is heading straight for...!" Before Potemkin could finish, a giant explosion rocked Zepp from one of the outer parts of the floating island. Near one of the edges. Zepp was still rumbling softly, a large plume of smoke and debris floated skyward. It was far from them. A roar of fury sounded as far as the large city itself. Sol's grip on the Fire Seal tightened.
"Leviathan..." Sol muttered. Before the others could react, Sol was already in motion.
"Wait Sol!" Gabriel called to him.
"Fuck off." Sol flipped him off without even turning from his stride, making an impressive leap upon the garbage piles to gain higher ground with less obstacles to transverse as he leaped from one mound to another with surprising grace for his hefty frame. He had heard of Leviathan. Some Megadeth Gears were both bigger and much stronger than their fellow Megadeth Gears. It was said that Kliff was one of the only ones in his prime to fight such a powerful foe on his own. The particular Megadeth Gear had been dubbed as Hydra due to having a similar appearance to the mythical creature of the same name.
Leviathan was a similar type of Megadeth Gear, stronger and larger than some of the other Megadeth Gears Sol had faced. It was one of the key opponents that was able to assist in Japan's destruction as a whole. It took three heavily armed airships to perform a suicide run and crash into Leviathan. This was only to penetrate the extremely hard scales that protected it's skin. They all sunk to the bottom of the sea, earning one of the most costly of victories the Sacred Order ever knew since Hydra who had appeared in Europe and rampaged for several days and nights before Kliff weakened it enough to be sealed. Leviathan's sinking to the bottom of the ocean with three airships pinning it down did not allow a similar sealing to that of Hydra. As it hadn't reared it's head in nearly ten years time, most had believed it dead.
Sol picked up his pace. It wasn't out of a sense of being a good Samaritan and savior of people that Sol was moving with so much speed. As always in the life he knew, it was about his own way. His own code of ethics. No, the reason for his purposeful pace was something that he didn't fully understand. Even as far back as his Bounty Hunting days prior to his service as a Knight of the Order, Sol had only a small selection of choice words that spurred him to hunt Gears any place, any time. Perhaps his trademark slogan as it were. Having taken up Fire Seal got him feeling that perhaps the creator of the Outrage had a similar mindset. He still wasn't fully convinced that it was he who crafted the weapons of the Outrage, but he knew that it was in his own voice that spoke when he got that strange flashback from taking the Fire Seal in hand for the first time in the A-County Order HQ.
'I kill Gears...all Gears!' He may have failed to take down Justice, but he would see to it that she was brought down. This setback was only temporary. He would put the Fire Seal to good use to maximize his already vast battle prowess. In the long run of things, the caring side of Sol that was hardly ever made visible to the outside world knew that to stop Justice would avert any further tragedy in this world.
'Stupid emotions spurring me on...mine? Or someone else?' Sol could not be sure, but shook his head to rid his infernal thinking from messing with his scope. He had a Megadeth Gear to kill. The sooner the better was all he needed to know over such nonsense like emotions or scattered bits of knowledge and memories.
'There!' Sol could see the haze cresting over the jagged horizon of metal and glass. Leviathan was near. The shouts of innocent civilians scattering away would have detracted Sol's progress had he not been taking the high ground via rooftop, high pole structures and chimneys. He could see billowing plumes of smoke and flames from downed airships and many carcasses of Zepp Soldiers that laid strewn in pieces. Sol's senses sharpened, the rumbling he felt was getting closer. He hopped through the air, twisting about to evade a massive blade like wing. It cut through the buildings like a knife through butter.
"Fucker!" Sol reared upward in his twist, foot aflame as he struck the snapping jaw of a gaping maw about to swallow him whole. Leviathan was akin to a massive serpent, scales a rusty color. Unlike a typical snake however, many wings with blade edges grew on either side of it's body. Each one was like a cover, discharging massive amounts of electricity like a storm. This was what kept it flying despite it's weight. Sol completed his back flip, air dashing to evade yet another snapping jaw strike of the Megadeth Gear.
'Shit...' Sol landed on it's back, glancing back only for a moment, in some awe at the length of it's body which was still coming forth from the streets as they were heaved skyward from the force propelling Leviathan up. Sol hadn't expected the amazing reflexes, it's dragon like head twisting to face him. It lobbed a discharge of electricity at him, the shining sphere the size of Sol himself if not a bit larger. The swordsman guarded as best as he could, his body tingling from the sensation as the ball of destruction engulfed him. A roar elicited from Sol's throat and he thrust his hands downward, Fire Seal piercing into Leviathan's back to give him leverage. Leviathan snarled, feeling some pain though it was superficial at best. Sol growled.
"Heavy..." He muttered. He raised his blade upward and shredded through the attack. Some holes filled his clothes from the strike, sparks leaving his vision, but not fast enough to defend as he was smacked in the back by it's whipping tail. Sol was sent to the ground several feet below, crashing straight through the roof of one skyscraper. Leviathan turned about in the air, ready to face another wave of Zepp's military that it hadn't already dealt with as it continued to wrought destruction. Sol was in a lot of pain at the moment, his spine fractured. He upped his healing factor. All limbs that were broken or torn fixed themselves. Sol snarled.
"You'll pay for that one..." He uttered, bones and flesh returning to their original state upon his body as he stood up. Several words were scattering across his vision like someone was typing on a keyboard linked to his sight.
HEALING FACTOR CURRENT LEVEL=40%. This atttibute has increased by 24%.
ALL OTHER ATTRIBUTES(Individual Statistics not shown)=18%. These Statistics have dropped to incorporate a high increase to attribute HEALING FACTOR.
BODY RECOVERY(100%. Capacity=Full)=Excellent Condition. All pieces of the body have been recovered successfully. Disinfection complete. No Disease or Viruses to note at this time.
WARNING(!)=Activated Gear abilities may cause malfunction or breakage to the Gear Cell Limiter. There is an allotted 12% allowed of active Gear abilities to continue use before levels surpass Gear Cell Limiter's inhibiting effects.
RECOMMENDATION=Dragon Install Mode should be used. Target enemy is Megadeth Gear #100431, code named as Leviathan via Humans. Conventional weapons will cause only .5 to 1.3% actual damage to it's body structure, unless blunt force trauma from something akin to Leviathan's size is used again as in the past. Weapons of the Outrage can cause 13 to 48% damage depending on the pressure applied. Wounds created from Weapons of the Outrage will also take much longer to heal as they disrupt Healing Factors and other regenerating abilities inherit in Gears.
"Damn it...that did a number on me. It's got better reflexes than most Megadeth Gears I've fought." Sol stared at the remains of Leviathan's onslaught. It had to be stopped, that was absolutely the truth if Zepp didn't want to be ripped apart. Sol had a feeling that Zepp was lucky so far since Leviathan hadn't located the generators that kept Zepp up, and there was still various amounts of solar panels feeding them energy. Still, knocking out too many of the solar panels was likely to do what locating the generators and destroying them would also cause.
'Stupid brain of mine...stop rattling for a bit and let me think!' Sol hopped back up to the roof through the hole he had created from his fall. He rushed towards the destruction that Leviathan had left behind, tailing the Megadeth Gear. He couldn't go as fast do to the fallen buildings and skyscrapers that made them harder to transverse do to all the broken glass and piercing shrapnel.
"What the fuck...?" Sol heard the sound of an airship behind him. He caught sight of the May Ship flying overhead. Some missiles were being shot towards what Sol was sure Leviathan was located further ahead. Sol noticed that one of the destroyed skyscrapers was fairly close by where the airship was located.
'So the Jellyfish Sky Pirates are going to try and help stop Leviathan. I've got an idea...' Sol knew the May Ship was fighting Leviathan by itself, separated from the Zepp military's fleet of airships so as to avoid what had happened the last time. Johnny's tie with Gabriel must have been what allowed the May Ship to be repaired without garnering any outside suspicion. Despite being only a Sergeant, Gabriel must have been very well liked if he could do such things and not be found out by the current President of Zepp and those that were loyal to him.
Sol increased his speed, scaling up the steep slope the skyscraper provided. His enhanced hearing picked up as he heard another missile being ready to be fired. Using his momentum to keep him rooted, Sol blasted off with an impressive leap as a missile was fired and was making it's course towards Leviathan. Sol grabbed hold of the missile's case, propelling himself up by his free hand. The propulsion made Sol's hair whip wildly about along with the shreds of his clothing still intact. The missile was large enough that Sol's weight did not effect it's trajectory. He could see Leviathan smash into a couple of airships and leave them in fiery hazes of scrap metal.
'They're getting killed off from being too big and cumbersome a target for Leviathan...guess it's gonna be up to me to down this giant snake. Even wounding it's open areas is hardly slowing it down. But with this...' Sol gazed at the Fire Seal held tightly in his grasp. The war was still going on after all, no matter how peaceful things might seem at a glance.
'How long do I got?' Sol questioned.
DRAGON INSTALL MODE= Calculations complete. At your current state, including if you use Strength Release at 5% increase, Agility Release at 4% increase, Tension Gauge at 1%, and Healing Factor at 2% will be tolerable to maintain the Gear Cell Limiter from breaking. Overall Performance=70%. Increasing any parameter above this may begin to start erosion. Approximate time allotted will be 15 minutes. Activating Dragon Install Mode must be at your disclosure. Proceed?
'I already knew I would need to end this quick, but this...ah hell, might as well go ahead. If I can weaken it enough to be sealed anyway...then...' Sol knew that the closest faction of the Sacred Order must be on it's way with reinforcements and a Sealing Unit. Since Leviathan attacked, Sol wagered they were probably from the Russian and Chinese Branches heading here. Sol would have to end this quick enough to make his getaway from the Order making it's way here to Zepp. He could only hope that any annoying side effect of using the Dragon Install Mode would be fairly minor like a killer headache at best. Or he could be unconscious for about three days and wake up with a killer headache and in custody of the Order and Zepp at worse.
"Let's get down to business!" Sol leaped high in the air just a few seconds shy of the missile impacting with Leviathan's back and exploding, the concussive force making Sol spin up higher still. Sol crossed his arms at waist level as he continued his spin. Once he slowed, he spread his arms out wide as flames rolled off his body like a wave, his vision and hearing becoming incredibly sharp. He could hear Leviathan's heartbeat even through the sound of the explosion. Sol started to descend into a free fall towards the Megadeth Gear. Dragon Install had been activated.
HEAVEN OR HELL...
Note: I will be taking a break from writing this to begin writing my other story again, so expect an even bigger delay between this and the next update.