I don't own Zoids.
Summery: During a battle Brad has a flashback to when he was twelve years old and sitting by his grandfather's deathbed.
"Hey Brad, I could use some backup here!"
Brad smirked and swept the ShadowFox into a wide turn, bringing it around so he could pick off Leena's assultor. He licked his lips in anticipation and fired, grinning in saticfaction as the ZaberFang fell.
Something hit the Fox, and Brad turned to see a D-Bison with him in its sights. Smiling grimly he dodged the next shot and set off the ShadowFox's smoke screen to give him a little cover.
"What was it Granpa always said about what to do when far out-gunned by the enemy...?" he mused out loud.
His grandfather had been a hero in the great Zoid Wars of the 1900's, fighting for both the Empire and the Republic until total peace was achieved on all sides, ushering in the world of Zoid battles Brad knew.
Granpa had died seven years before, and Brad had never been the same since. His parents had both died when he was really little, and he'd been raised by his widower grandfather.
The two had been inseperable, and after his death Brad had been almost inconsolable. But he took some heart and comfort from Granpa's last words to him.
"Brad," he'd said, as his breathing became more labored. "You are the only one I have left, and I hate to leave you. But I can see them waiting for me. Your parents, and your Gramma, my beloved..." Tears had filled his eyes then, and they had nothing to do with sadness. "I know you can take care of yourself now, and I want to be with my friends again." He'd taken Brad's hand in his own and squeezed it lightly. "Do you remember my stories Brad?"
Brad nodded, sniffling slightly. "Yes sir."
Granpa smiled faintly, his eyelids beginning to droop. "Good. Pass them on. No one must forget how terrible the war was or it will start again. And always remember Brad, always remember that the Guardian Forse lives on, as long as the story is kept alive."
Brad nodded. "I promise Granpa. No one will forget you."
"Good. I love you Brad."
"I love you too Granpa."
His eyes had closed, and he'd gone still, the big hand cradled in both of Brad's smaller ones beginning to cool. Brad sniffled again, swiping at a few stray tears, and had stood up to leave.
At the door to the room he'd stopped to look back, one last time, and had seen them. The Guardian Forse. They stood by the foot of the bed, ghostly apperations that Brad could see right through. They stood silent, grinning like idiots, as Brad's Granpa, now as young as he had been during the war, rose off the bed to meet them, leaving his tired, withered body behind.
Brad had watched with amazed eyes as his Granpa greeted each of those who had come to welcome him into eternity, including Prince Rudolph and Major Schubaltz. Finally he came to his wife, Brad's Gramma. They stood looking at each other for a few moments, and then almost jumped into each others' arms, tears of happiness in both their eyes.
They'd turned then, towards Brad. The legendary Guardian Forse. Brad wanted to run, but his feet seemed frozen to the floor. Could ghosts hurt you? But Granpa wouldn't let them, would he?
The specters did nothing for a moment, and then, as one, they raised their hands in a salut to the young boy of twelve years. "Keep our story alive." his Granpa reminded him.
And then they were gone.
"Hey Brad, watch it!"
With a jerk the mercinary snapped back into the present and out of instinct rolled the ShadowFox to the left as the D-Bison fired at him again through the fading smoke screen.
The ShadowFox let out a howl and Brad let it charge at the enemy, Strike Laser Claw-ing it into a system freeze. Two minutes later the battle was over, Blitz Team again victorious.
"Come on Brad, let's go celebrate!" Came Bit's typical yell as the Liger ran past the black Zoid.
Brad nodded absently at the blond on the screen, then reached forward to turn the moniter off. He popped the canopy and let the warm desert air flow in, penetrating his senses. He breathed deeply, settling back in his seat.
As he gazed out at the blue sky Brad again saw the faces of the Guardian Forse and again heard his Granpa's last words.
Brad's lips curled into a rare sight. A smile. Not a smirk, not a triumphant grin, but a true smile.
"Granpa Irvine... Gramma Moonbay... Van, Fiona, Zeek, Thomas. I promise, as long as I live, you will be remembered."
*grin* Ok, how many of you actually guessed his Granpa was Irvine? Shouldn't have been that hard... Should I turn this into a series? I already have Chaotic Century/Guardian Forse ancestors lined up for Jamie and Leena... and suggentions are definately welcome! ^_^
God bless minna-san!