"The Rouge"

An "IRIA: The Soul of Silence" FanFic
Based on "IRIA: Zeriam the Animation"
Written by: --|(ris-Sama!!-- The Illustrious Swordfish!!!


Part Three:

Gren and Iria pulled into a large hanger-like building set outside of the Administration Headquarters. The room was brilliantly lit with bright florescent lights, lining the ceiling by twos and stretching all the way to other wall. Iria eyes were opened wide as she gazed around at her new surrounding in wonderment. Gren glanced over to her from time to time as he weaved his way past a few other Kreepers; he couldn't help but to crack a smile.

"What's this place, big brother?" Iria asked. She nearly stood up in her seat and leaned over the side of the Kreeper to get a better view of the lines of vehicles parked in rows. "I've never seen this many hover-cars in one place before unless it was on the television....!"

"Yeah, this is the parking district," Gren said turning into his newly reserved parking unit, one of the many benefits of being a Hunter. "Only people who have direct ties to Administration...or the occasional Tedan Tippedai are allowed entrance here."

"Geez, that's a lot of people it seems...."

Gren chucked softly as he turned the engine off and flipped a few switches to turn all the necessary systems off. "You forget, 'sis, Myce City isn't Batabitajira."

"You said Tedan Tippedai though," Iria questioned with a quirk of her brow. "I thought you said you didn't like them...?"

Gren shrugged and tried to think of a good reply...if she was going to be training for this business, the last thing she needed was a bad impression of their main employer. "Yeah, they're asses every now and then, but you have to learn to put up with them," he said as he checked the Kreepers guidance systems, making sure everything was turned off. "They usually don't show up around here. They make their bounty offers over the computer or directly through their own headquarters." Finally he shot a glance over to the young girl. "Just keep on your toes so you can learn. I want you to follow my lead and do exactly as I tell you, ok?"

"Whatever happened to the 'when in doubt, act' speech?" Iria asked with a toothy grin.

"I'm changing the rules for now," Gren replied. "And if I were you, I'd follow..."

"Fine...." Iria said, a bit pouty as she plopped back down in her seat. She folded her arms across her chest and turned away from Gren. "You act like I'm a little kid..."

Gren shot her a playful smile as he shrugged a bit. "....you are a little kid."

She huffed in response, "I know I can take care of myself atleast...."

"Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of..." Gren added as he leaped over the side of the Kreeper and landed with his feet on the floor. He then glanced back up to her with a grin and held he hand out to her. "C'mon, I want you to meet someone while we're here."

Iria looked back to him with an icy stare, mainly because of the crack he took at her. Yet, she was young and couldn't stay mad at one thing for too long. She stood up and took his hand. "Who is 'someone'?" she ask curiously as he helped her out of the Kreeper and down to the concrete floor.

"Bob, my former instructor. I've told you about him," Gren said and the automated motors and propulsion systems tilted the Kreeper into an upright, resting position, "but it's about time you met him since he's gonna be helping you with your training."

"So he's a baby-sitter when you're not around..." Iria pointed out, a bit sarcastically.

Gren shrugged a bit, laughing softly. "If that's how a pessimist looks at it, then yeah, you could say that...."

Iria scoffed, but then her eyes widened in amazement once again as she caught a glance of a large sliding door, opening and closing as other Hunters and executives walked in and out. Excited, she grabbed Gren's hand and yanked him along at a quicker pace. The door slid open and Iria rushed inside to get a look. She eyed the receptionist desk, computers an holo-screens abound, each with there own personnel worker monitoring them. Gren stumbled along to keep up behind Iria, then pointed a few things out.

"This is the front lobby. Simple, right?" Gren said, flashing a sly smile to Iria.

"Simple enough," Iria said, returning his smile back up to him. Gren could automatically tell that she was happy to be here, even if he felt the need to poke a little fun at her every now and then. However, that bad feeling still lingered around him, making his expression grow hard again. Something didn't seem right....

"Well, good," Gren went on, ignoring his thought for the time being. "Then you won't mind sitting here for a few minutes."

"What?!" Iria smile flushed into another pouty frown.

"I have a few things to take care of," Gren said with a shrug and a smile. "Getting promoted isn't all that easy of a process you know. Just let me check on a few things then I'll be back to give you the tour, ok?"

Iria let out a deep sigh as she let her foot scuff at the floor a little. She remembered, Gren was in charge. "Alright...."

"Ok..." Gren said, reaching up and petting her head which never fails to make Iria smile. "I'll hurry back, so just wait here." He turned and made his way down an ornately, decorated corridor. But now that he was out of Iria's sight, he gritted his teeth slightly. It was getting to where he couldn't deny this gut-feeling of his, that something, somewhere, was wrong. The keeping feeling kept growing stronger and stronger with each passing minute....but he couldn't let this show to Iria... maybe that was his weakness. He glanced over his shoulder and saw the she had found a chair to sit, kicking her legs back and forth as she waited. Was it her that was giving him this feeling....or something else....

"Hey! Buddy!" a scruffy voice called out from beside Gren, snapping the young Hunter back to attention. Gren rolled his eyes and stopped immediately upon hearing the familiar voice. He let out a quick sigh and turned to face the middle-aged man. He was taller than he was, with a scruffy look to him. He had green-tipped, black hair with stubby beard, along with a rather wide nose to boot. He wore ragged, loose clothing, typical of an old-school Hunter, and carried a short shotgun-like rifle propped on his shoulder.

Gren stared this man down, a cold, bitter hint to his expression. "What do you want, Fujikuro...?"

The man moved in a bit closer to Gren, shrugging slightly. "Sheesh! Can't a guy congratulate an old buddy for earning his wings around here?" Fujikuro arrogance was another on of his typical quirks.

Gren wasn't buying it. He knew better than to listen to Fujikuro. Bob had taught him better. He simply shook his head, leveling that gaze on the aging Hunter. "So does this mean you're happy for me alone? Or because this just gives you another Hunter's keep to steal?"

"Hey, now..." Fujikuro's brow narrowed, holding he free hand up in a kind of pushing motion. "You trying to say that I'm a bounty jumper, Gren?"

"Well, you're reputation proceeds you..." Gren added, a coy smirk crossing his lips.

"Maybe I wouldn't be so hard up for the Kem if your wonderful boss would give me a decent case every now and then..." Fujikuro said, pointing a finger in Gren' face. He young man didn't flinch. Fujikuro took a deep breath, decided a change of subject was needed before this argument got out of hand...to his own fault. It wouldn't be very good for the ragtag Hunter to cause a scene in the middle of Administration headquarters, especially with a new recruit. He glanced over to the lobby, his eyes falling on the girl sitting by herself. "Who's the chick...?"

Gren followed his gaze to Iria. He grit his teeth slightly, he knew he had to say it... "She's my...sister. So stay away from her...."

"A sister...?" Fujikuro glanced back to Gren from the corner of his eye with a sly smile on his face. "Curious. You've never mentioned her before...."

Gren could tell that Fujikuro could see past his tale, that Iria really wasn't his little sister. True, he was a low, dirty scumbag, but he was a smart scumbag while he was at it. Bob had told Gren many stories of Fujikuro, of how he sniveled his way into things. His record was one of the most colorful of the entire Hunter's network, glittered with small marks of bounty jumping, misconduct, and unnecessary force in given situations. Naturally, he wasn't the most reliable man in Myce, so naturally, Gren's trust in him was nonexistent.

"But 'stay away from her'? What kind of talk is that? I think I should atleast go introduce myself? Eh, buddy?" Fujikuro said with a leachy smile.

Gren's pale eyes narrowed in frustration. "I don't think I stuttered. Stay the hell away from her, clear?"

"Or what...?" Fujikuro's brow arched slightly. The man let out a snickery chuckle and turned away from the young Hunter. "Eh, suit yourself newbie, but I'd watch my back if I were you...or her's..." Fujikuro turned on a heel and headed towards the parking deck door to leave.

"Whatever...." Gren muttered under his breath....but just as he did, an alarm sounded above him. A bright red light blinked on and off and caught Gren in a state of surprise. A female voice momentarily called out over the comm-systems....

"Attention, all available security personnel report to Transit Station 3 on Level B-2 immediately. All unauthorized persons are hereby ordered to exit Level B-2 immediately... Repeat... All available security personnel..."

Gren listened as the warning played over again as a few guard rushed by him, presumably in the direction of the lifts leading to B-2. Of all the times... He gritted his teeth and looked over to Iria, who was now standing up, looking right at him. Could this be what that feeling was about...? He had to find out. He snapped to attention and pointed to the girl.

"Sit there and don't go anywhere!" he called out to her from across the room already on the move to follow the guards to the lower floors.

"But...--!!" Iria attempted to start up again...but was left in the cold as Gren sprinted away, leaving her alone in the huge lobby...


Gren burst through the door that led in to one of the small Transit stations located inside the lower levels of headquarters. He had heard the calls for assistance over the intercom system while he was weaving his way through the corridors, but each new transmission vaguely updated on the situation. His gloved hand was readily at his belt, gripping the hilt of his versatile pistol despite not even knowing what he was getting in to. Quickly, his pale eyes scanned the area to take in what had happened. In the middle of the somewhat darkened room, which held a hint of greenish atmosphere from all the glowing transembler modules, was a large Kreeper. It was a two-seater, standard for Hunter pairs. However, the sight around this Kreeper was a something Gren could barely comprehend.

"What the....?!" Gren thought to himself, his hand relaxing off of his pistol a bit. "Kaz?!"

There stood the shadowy apprentice. A fiery, haunting stare radiated from his usually cold, emotionless green eyes. Kazon stood there clutching a lone soldier, gripping him tightly by his throat in one hand, a medium-lenth curved sword in the other. Katana, Gren thought. Gren's brow arched in confusion as he could barely get a word to escape his mouth, as much as he wanted to speak. But he held off as he looked to the other side of the line which revealed group of armored guards. Their fat, cylinder-like rifles were drawn and aimed at the dark apprentice. In front of them was a young woman, petite in stature, donning a long, ornate, white and gold robe. Gren peered in closer to the woman and, to his surprise, she wore golden pin with an emblem of two 'T's crossing over each other was attached to her near the bottom of her sleeve.

"T-Tedan--.......Tippedai?! She must be executive branch....?" Gren muttered very quietly under his breath. "What's going on...?" He watched in amazement at this sight, unusual as it was, and a bit frightening as well.

Almost immediately, a half-dozen guards filed in behind Gren, their weapons drawn. Gren quickly glanced back to them from the corner of his eye and he leveled a palm down to his side, signaling for them to hold their positions. At this point, Gren didn't see any need in provoking Kazon even further, especially not until someone found out what was going on...

Kazon slowly lifted his gaze to meet the eyes of the young executive. His dark and slightly dirtied face had shown some wear on it, bruised in a few places and with a few small cut here and there. In fact, his whole attire looked to have been put through a skirmish or two. As a few brown bangs fell in front of his darkened eyes, he began to grind his teeth as his grip on the poor soldier's neck tightened slightly, causing the man to cry out in pain. Kazon was livid, as Gren could obviously tell....but why?

".....you...." Kazon said in a low, pained voice. "All of this.....is because of you...!!" He was out of breath it seemed, noted by the pauses between words. He appeared to be running of pure adrenaline.

"I don't understand what you are implying," the female executive said in a shaky, nervous voice, "However, I demand that you release that man and turn yourself over to us! Tedan Tippedai promises to compensate for your loss and hopes to make--"

"Why should I listen to you!?" Kazon screamed with a furious, deafening volume while he snapped the blade in his other hand up and pointing towards the woman. The girl jumped back in fear, nearly pumping into the guard behind her. "Why should I have to be the one to listen to your lies?!" Gren's eyes widened in shock....a single tear was slowly rolling down Kaz's dirty cheek. "Why us, huh!? Why did you have to do this to us?!"

"...the hell--?" the words rushed through Gren's mind as fast as they came out of Kazon's mouth. What was he talking about? Then suddenly Gren eyes widened even more as he caught a glimpse of a small symbol engraved into the blade of the katana. He took one step in, peering closer to see the abstract, half-oval with a two triangles atop it and a single triangle in-between them.

"Ouspi....?" Gren though for a minute. "That's Ouspi's sword....." He then realized Kazon's instructor wasn't even in the room and failed to even notice it before. Yet Kazon, vengeful and irate, had possession of the old Hunter's weapons. "What's going on...?!"

"Locke, you are ordered to stand down!" The woman said, her scared expression becoming more and more exuberant. She tried to step up to him, but was very hesitant. "This is senseless and will only get you into more trouble than you already are! Stand down!"

Kazon's eyes grew colder and darker, and with his silent demeanor came a rush of icy chills up and down Gren's spine. Kaz won't stand for that...not from a pencil-pusher..." Gren thought. The rookie Hunter took one deep breath before he through himself in the melee. "Listen to her, Kaz!" Gren said aloud from the side, gaining the silent apprentice's attention, those icy eyes staring Gren down....which didn't make him feel very secure to say the least. "Just calm down, so we can talk this out and fix--"

"Why should you care?!" Kazon cut him off, screaming at the top of his lungs. His eyes retrained in on the Tedan Tippedai executive once again. "Just stay out of this, Gren...!"

"No!" Gren took a step forward, pleading with him. "I don't want to see you get hurt, so just chill out, ok?!" Gren watched as Kazon's anger took complete control over him, he could tell just by looking at him. He was about to break and Gren wasn't helping much.. "Kaz--...!!"

Too late. Kazon couldn't hold back anymore. He screamed out, his anger and voice rising. "I said stay out of it...!!!!" With an unmatched quickness, Kazon jerked his arm back, flinging the poor guard he had by the throat up against the hull of the Kreeper. Gren's eyes widened in surprise as Kazon took hold of Ouspi's katana in both hands and with a screaming rage he lunged toward the executive. His speed shocked Gren, the guards standing behind the girl didn't even have time to react. Sensing that he could stand to the side no longer, Gren gritted his teeth and flung his arms out to his side. Two, medium-length blades flipped into a pointed position, extending outwards from his wrists. Quick in his step, he intercepted Kazon before he could reach the executive, crossing the two blades to form an 'X' and blocking the cold steel of the katana.

Kazon's expression didn't fade, his teeth ground together in his fury as he pressed down hard on Gren's blades... "Get out of the way, Gren....!" He gloved grip tightened and his eyes narrowed. Gren could feel himself being pushed back slightly, he knees buckling... Who would have guessed the two top youngster in the business would have ever been in this position. A bead of sweat r down his forehead, as his fist clenched.

"Not until you come to your senses..!!" Gren responded through his teeth. "I don't want to have to do this to you Kaz...!"

"Then get out of the way...!!" Kazon retorted, pushing himself off of Gren's blades, sending the green haired Hunter reeling backwards. As soon as Kazon could plant his feet on the ground, he charged forward at Gren again. He ducked his shoulder and popped him with all his weight momentum before Gren could regain his bearings. The impact sent both young men into a nearby wall, parting the crowd of guards that surrounded them.

One of the guards, saw an opportunity to take the livid apprentice out, so he raised his weapon to take a shot. The female executive stopped him, however. "Hold your fire!" she ordered. "Let the Hunter handle it! We can't afford to slip up and shoot both of them!"

Both the Hunter and the apprentice were stammering to their feet after Kazon's onslaught. Gren's fists clenced again as he had no choice but to take him down. Kazon crouched down, katana at hand with a fightening glare. Gren countered his stare with a smirk...if Kazon was this angry, he knew just how to finish this. Gren knew that if you faught bound by rage, you were sure to slip up in your agression. He might as well use this to his advantage....

"Lucky shot..." Gren said with a smile. "Tell you what Kaz...if you can do it again, I'll let you have her," he said pointing to the executive, who's jaw had just hit the floor nearly.

Kazon stared at Gren for a minute, trying to figure him out it seemed, or maybe considering his proposal. However, he obviously wasn't in the state of mind to ponder anything for very long. Gren's eyes narrowed as he crouched lower to the ground, bringing those two short blades up in front of him. Kazon pounced from his crouch and sprinted towards Gren with a scream of rage. Gren waited for just the right moment, right when Kazon was in within his reach. Gren then spun around to the side, pressing a small button on his wrist armor. A shock of static emitted from one of the blades and it the blink of an eye, he popped the passing Kazon in the back of the neck with the blunt side of the blade. He tried hard not to cut him, and he did well. The blow sent an electric shock through Kazon's neck and down his spine that stunned him into submission. He dropped Ouspi's katana and fell flat on his face with a grunt. Gren watched as Kaz laid their on the floor for a moment...the apprentice was in obviously in pain...yet he still tried to get back up.

"Ou...spi..." Kazon muttered under his breath before the shocking sensation finally got to him and he collapsed, out cold.

Gren let out a soft sigh... then was pushed aside by the Tedan Tippedai guards and the girl executive. "Whoa..!" A look of dumbfoundedness crossed his face as he watched them restrain Kazon with hand-binders and roughly picked him up. "Hey! Wait a minute! What are you doing?!"

The girl looked over her sholder to him, that nervousness she had displayed during the skirmish had sudden disappeared after the problem was nuetralized. "We are taking him into corporation custody."

"You can't do that!" Gren said angerly, protesting. "What's going on anyway!? Why did he flip out like that?! And where's Ouspi?! Huh?!"

"Mind your tounge, or you'll be joining him..." the girl said as she motioned for the guards to bring thier prisoner along. "We thank you for your cooperation..."

Now Gren could barely keep himself from jumping the girl. But he valued his own security, and it certainly wouldn't be a good idea for him to get into something with Iria here...who'd watch out for her? He quietly watched all the guards and rhe executive exit the room, dragging Kaz along with them.

"Kaz..." he said softly... "What happened...?"


Author's Notes:
Took long enough....actually the only thing that got me off my ass to post this was a nice email that gave a nice bit of motivation. Now I'm all tired. Well, this certainly wasn't as chipper as Part 2 was, but hey, it's starting to tie everything together. However, I said from the beginning that this story wasn't gonna be very long, so it's time to wrap things up...

To look for next time...
"I've heard all the rumors about you..." Gren said in that timeless first episode of the OVA...but do you remember thinking, 'what rumors?' upon hearing it? The questions were never really answered, so I'm gonna answer them for you! Yeah...
Next time, Gren gets his answers from a familiar face in the final instalment of The Rogue.