The Stormrunner was now sailing in the lower atmosphere of Earth. Piloted by Gasper and DK, with both Mercutio and another in the turrets, it was a blur unseen by both modern technology and human senses. Checking the maps, from his diminutive height, Nanaki rumbled lowly.
Why are we not there yet?
We explained this before Critter, Gasper replied, menaced once again by question and answer session, if we use sub-light engines, wed contaminate the atmosphere with radiation, and there are creatures that live below us. This is why in most cases we use repulsors.
Came the retort, Those creatures will be dead either way if we dont get there sooner.
I dont know how much TV you watched in your day Nanaki, but we dont have Dragonballs, at least not easily accessible to us. The growl wasnt as subtle now as the lion-beast padded off, away from the cockpit. DK chuckled, pulling up the exact same map from which the warrior was looking at, and nodding.
It would be faster.
Are you disagreeing with my tactics?
Not a bit, said DK, turning back to the data he was monitoring, but he does have a point.
Figured you were gonna say that. Gasper moaned, but not increasing the ships speed. Cant take the risk, I dont believe in the no win scenario, at least not this time.
DK mock saluted and stared at the captain. Aye-aye Kirk. Remember Jim, Im a doctor, not a Ph.D.
Shut up. Whats our ETA?
At our current speed, one hour. And the way its looking, the repulsors will be in for an overhaul. What if we used thrusters?
Contamination to a lesser degree. This fuel isnt exactly eighty-nine octane. Looking back at his co-pilot, he grimaced, and shook his head.
I know . Ill get on the horn with Minmei.
Taran bashed his sword down, now breaking his opponents sword for the third time; and to JWolf, it was visible that the Water Master, known to them only as Riptide was weakening. Taran waited for the weapon to reform, noticing that it was losing its edge rapidly. Riptide returned the stare with a beam of water shooting towards the two. Both jumped out of the way, JWolf letting the spell hit him slightly, taking the magic and energy signatures into his untapped powers memory. Taran, unnerved by the attack, brought up his sword, summoning a beam of holy light and imbuing it with power. Wolf glanced, and began running toward Riptide with a rage unknown to his opponent or his comrade. The Soul Knight followed suit and the ninja found that he was outmatched now as JWolfs blade cut into Riptides wrist, the hand guard shattering as blood began to pour from the wound. Dropping the blade, under no consequence of his own, Riptide felt the upward slash of Tarans Holy Blade. The white flash blinded Wolf and Taran as the spell sizzled through Riptides body. The light faded in a microsecond, and both could see that their opponent would leave the mortal coil soon. Falling to his knees, the Water Master looked to his right side finding, that even as he dodged, his arm and hip were disintegrated. Crimson was coughed up as his mask was torn off his face and thrown to the ground. JWolf smiled with glee as he readied his sword. Looking into the empty eyes of the ninja, Wolf raised the blade and spoke.
Any last words?
Why?! came the hoarse reply of the downed ninja. The grin on the mercenarys face grew wide as the sword came down hard, then reverberated off steel. Looking up, he saw Tarans head nod back and forth.
Dont stop me man!
We are not savages! Hes a dead man anyway! We have more to worry about then your petty want for death. Wolf growled lowly, then sheathed his sword. Taran turned and kneeled after dropping his sword. Youre finished. But we will honor any reasonable last requests. Riptide turned his head towards JWolf and whispered.
Destroy Boomerang, that will rest my soul. Riptide closed his eyes and his life ended.
Eloquent to the end the stupid fuck. Wolf said, turning and walking away. Bringing out his sword again, he brought it against the next shock troop he could find. The invader fell as his fury grew. Taran brought out his own weapon again and walked away from the body, hoping to provide support to his allies.
Icy Brian was facing his own demons as several troopers ran into the main conference room. The commander pointed towards the man and sent two of his soldiers after Brian. The rest continued on their way as Icy circled his opponents and threw his staff to the ground. The first rushed him shooting with a stream of bolts that would have killed a normal man. He wasnt as normal as others, but Brian dodged and collided into the second man. There was a quick struggle and then a large crack. Icy rose up with a gash on his forehead, the butt of a rifle used to knock him down and failing. The first man looked to both sides before charging the Paladin again, this time raising the rifle as a club. Brian dashed towards the other man himself, jumping and bashing into him. Both tumbled to the ground and rolled. Palming Icys head, he crushed it into the floor. Dazed, Brian took the man up with him and threw him into the last three troopers to leave the room. The four were on the floor in a split second. Dusting his hands, he grabbed an elixir vial from his belt and took a long pull. Feeling his magic return, Icy froze the four in a sheet of ice. Pulling out a small bead, he connected it to his earlobe and felt the mobile communications device expand, covering his ear and connecting him to the command center.
Minmei, theres three or four guys on your way that want to say hi. Can you handle them?
Yeah, that ninjas dead, but they still need help. I have another large ship appearing on the screens and its not friendly.
Roger, Ill clean up in here. Send any reinforcements out that you can to the tarmac. Out. Icy summoned forth his staff and ran through the corridors of his headquarters.
Boomerang Flash was on the field as the large red ship landed. Bringing forth the mystical sword he possessed he clashed with gunmen, slicing them to ribbons before he found his quarry. The man with red hair and cape was on the battlefield, fighting his way through the thinning ranks of Flash troops. Slashing viciously through whatever he found, his bloodlust was running high. An explosion shook the ground by him as the flagships shot down a fighter craft of his enemy from miles above him. His ground troops were expendable, Repikes orders were to be followed, and this young pup was to die.
Its the same man Gasper, mask, cheesy pose, big ass sword. Hes- Brian blocked a laser bolt from a trooper and jabbed him with the butt end of his bo.
Take it easy Brian, that bastards a tough one. ETA is fifteen minutes. Stormrunner out. Brian threw out a large icicle and stabbed through two troops as the Seraphim Knight Terrick power-dived and damaged more of the invaders. Landing, he stepped up to Brian and nodded.
Sorry it took me so long to return my liege. I was in New York and missed your other team. My apologies.
Not a problem. Terrick, I need a favor. Terrick bowed quickly.
Yes my liege.
I need you to take out any aerial assaults. Anything that comes out of the sky thats solid enough to destroy, dont hesitate. You know the profiles of the ships we use. Anything else you feel is threatening, kill it.
Should not be a problem my liege. Terrick was off in a flash, his battle armor reflecting the sun and laser light of the day. Brian turned his attention the bearer of the Atma Saber Luceid, and Boomerang Flash was waiting now for him.
So what the hell do you want?
Im here to collect your scalp. I doubt you know where Gasper and Nanaki are? As your two best warriors are not present, you should realize you barely stand a chance.
Think again! Icy Brian yelled, jumping forward and crossing the unbreakable staff with demonic steel. The first battle of wills began.
Zeal looked at Gasper as he walked into one of the back storage units. The Storm was on autopilot with DK monitoring it. He glanced back at her a moment before pulling out a large baton. Checking its weight, he clipped it to his belt and sat next to her in the limited medical bay.
You okay? He cupped her face, surprised she did not turn away.
Im fine darling. My body metabolizes things much faster then humans do. No offense. Gasper looked down, then locked onto her eyes.
Im sorry hon.
You were led into a trap, and you try and save me? And youre sorry about that? I guess you cant even manage to realize selflessness. LorenLeah told me you were ready to take on those flagships. I appreciate that my love. In a rare moment of tenderness, she pressed her lips to him, initiating the intimacy. Gasper felt his stress bleed off with the touch of her lips on his. Like a cure spell, he felt himself restored as she let go and smiled lightly.
I love you.
I love you too Zeal. Thank you.
I do my best. They stood at the same time, Gasper nearly banging his head. Their embrace was tender and witnessed by a few of the passengers in the transport. Uncharacteristically though, no one hooted and hollered. Gasper did his best to smile, making sure she was okay before turning and heading toward the cockpit. Grabbing another of the small communicators device that the LOF used. Bringing it online, she blinked as Gaspers voice was already over the comm. The commands were quickly put into action as LorenLeah brought up her wand and transformed to her sailor suit. Zeals battle armor was already formed when Nanaki padded into the room, licking his lips from an Ether.
ETA five minutes. Came another page. Nanaki, you and Zeal are up first out the ramp, followed by Leah and DK. Well cover the air then land ASAP. Copy?
:Copy One, Zeal replied. They made their way to the docking ramp and her hand covered the override button that would lower the ramp. DK joined them one minute before launch, just as Sailor Parma was receiving a Shell spell from Nanaki. Her aura emitted a pale golden glow as she felt her stamina raise.
Launch! Gasper said, slowing the ship rapidly as they approached the island.
Terrick had just landed another of the friendly ships, helping to guide it in with his smaller mana flares, when he saw the Storm descend. Watching the four occupants spill out, he flew by them, hovering down and protecting their lives whilst they landed. Floating by Zeal, he bowed his head and saluted.
An honor to fight with you once again, Prophet. Zeal twitched a smile as the knight flew upwards to block a laser bolt with his sword. Arching her eyebrow, she shrugged her shoulders and started shaping her weapons. Immediately the edged boomerangs, known to the Legion as scytherangs, formed in her hands and were launched with a precise throw. They sliced into the nearest trooper, than magically returned to their owner for another throw.
Kaeru kept monitoring the situation as both Jerm and Minmei sealed the main doors to the command center. The nerve center was flooded with sounds; voices of death and cries of battle filled the air. Ready for anything, Kaeru had pulled out the only weapon he was capable of finding. The plasma rifle sat next to him on the chair, charged and ready when it was time to fight.
Base, this is Stormrunner, requesting permission to engage and land. Came Gaspers voice over the flight controls speaker. Jerm punched in a few buttons and caught up on the radar. The IFF transponder showed the Dragoons vessel in the LOFs airspace, already having disgorged four members of its crew. There was only the large unknown blip to contend with.
Confirmed One, stay on course and tag that unknown up there. We could use some visuals and specs. Jerm replied, I repeat- the computer whiz was cut off as and explosion of massive proportions rocked the center. A bright buzzing was heard and a sparks started flaring from the door as invaders set about taking out the brain of the LOF complex. One, this is command, were compromised. Abort visuals and go ground side Gasper! Jerm inputted more commands; his hands working at a speed faster then most programmers could do in ten minutes.
Were dead, arent we? The younger man said, picking up his rifle and covering the door. Minmei smiled and nodded to Jerm.
Not yet. Computer, deactivate on my command, Macross Alpha Tango.
-CONFIRMED- The message board that served as the interface to the mainframe completed the line of text, then shut down, locking out all users save Icy Brian and Minmei herself. Taking out her microphone, she pushed a switch and then bashed it into the keyboard. Jerm followed suit and poured coffee into his terminal. Kaeru blinked a few times, when he heard the sound of metal being jarred from the outside. Staying his figure he waited until the final thud, when the circular piece of the ruined door fell to the ground, then began blasting. One instantly fell to the ground, followed by a barrage of fire from the other end. Holding the trigger back all the way, the plasma rifle bucked into rapid pulses, burning away the remains of the door. A stray bolt flew in through the room and ricocheted around the room, then sinking into the mainframe, melting the silicon chips and hard disks to molten slag.
Minmei was already in the escape hatch, grabbing an auto-grapple and pressing the button to send the claw in the air. More lasers filled the room, disintegrating metal plates and melting the walls gridiron construction. Kaeru continued pumping out plasma round after round, grabbing another rifle from the wall with a full power pack. Jerm set to reloading the drained pack when a bolt suddenly hit him, scorched flesh filling the air. Flying into the back wall, he felt the wound had cauterized itself, unfortunately through his stomach. With moments to live, he yelled at Kaeru.
LEAVE! The trainee saw his downed compatriot and with puppy-dog eyes, grabbed the other grappling tool and shot up the escape shaft. Soldiers flowed into the room, training their blasters on him. Jerm suddenly jerked, but not before pressing one more switch.
Kaeru had been climbing for ten seconds when he felt the heat below him rising quickly. Looking down, his face filled with dread as a wave of flame was flowing up the only escape route left to it. He was at the top when he threw the weapons away and ran towards Minmeis direction. Not wanting to turn and glance at his demise, he kept running and was suddenly yanked into another room with the door slamming shut. Smoke came from his outfit as the singer began putting out the smolders of his jumpsuit.
The red ship disgorged its last occupant, right as laser fire strafed the vessel and sent it to oblivion. Smoldering pieces of metal slashed through Repikes honor guard. Those who lived had little left in the way of armaments or protection. The general, in battle armor that displayed the symbol of his organization, was protected though. Having made the suit himself, with help from various alchemists and other mechanics (all dead now), he felt no heat, no cold. Linked to him through various small veins of metal that inserted into his spinal cord, the armor was a masterpiece and marvel of a highly advanced technology. Drawing out a four-foot metal pole, he concentrated and brought forth two enormous blades, forming an axe of massive proportions. He looked to the various fighters, and began the wet work. First was a mousy woman with only a rifle and a saber. Admiring her strength and courage, he sliced the axe down smoldering through skin and bone.
Gasper had landed the ship and was now on the tarmac, fighting his way through to Zeals side, when he saw Boomerang and Icy struggling against each other. To his side, there was a grunt, and JWolf appeared, blood smeared over his clothing and skin.
Good, we have more wolves to feed on these weaklings.
Im only here for one person. You seen 'im? JWolf bared a toothy grin, his incisors jutting down like fangs on a carnivorous dog.
If hes the freak with the axe, hes heading towards Icy and that masked loser.
Lets go. Try and Triple Smash the puppet, and then well take out the head honcho.
Im game. It was simple really. Gasper powered up, throwing his blue green aura into action. Nodding, he dashed towards Boomerang and flew up into the air. JWolf waited until the apex of Gaspers leap, than ran towards the apprentice with all the strength he could muster. The two synchronized their attack just as Icy bashed his elbow into Boomerangs gut. Taking a cue from the other two, he leapt back then started his own dash. Gasper was ten feet now as both Wolf and Brian bashed into Boomerang Flash, paralyzing the man for the next attack. Gasper hit ground zero, on top of Boomerangs shoulders, and smashed the apprentice into the ground with a sickening thud. The three retreated back, waiting for a counterattack that never happened. Their opponent stirred, and then left consciousness.
The whole that bastard fought, he kept trying to jab at my pride.
Fuck pride, eh? Wolf said.
Thats what I thought too. Icy replied, sneering at the crumpled mess on the ground.
Whatever the case, his being out cold should give us enough time to take down Repike. You two ready? Gasper was serious now. There was no second thoughts or guesses. Icy smiled to himself. Maybe the Dragoon had been wrong about himself and leadership.
It has been far too long. I should make it a point to do this personally more often. Repike looked upon the battlefield, smiling as the bloodlust filled his veins. Smiling, he found another weakling defender of the Earth and brought his axe in an upward swing, bisecting the fool. The blood vaporizing under the extreme temperature of the energy blades, he could smell the iron evaporate into a gas when he heard his name called.
Repike! We end this now! Turning, he saw three men walking forward. They were but forty feet from him when he smiled.
So Dragoon, you couldnt finish this yourself? There was a click, and the metal baton Gasper held out made an schick sound several times, as a shaft clicked out on either side, becoming a large spear. The telescopic weapon gleamed brightly in the sunlight as Gasper held the Masamune before him. Though not the sword of legend, it had been forged by the twins Masa and Mune and traded for a payment of rare ore not found in their time by Gasper himself. The neo-titanium shaft was crafted ages before anyone on the battlefield was born, and for Gasper S. Keltner, this was the first and last time hed use it.
We all have a bone to pick, bub. Wolf said, smiling a sadistic grin. Icy nodded in agreement.
No one attacks me or my team without getting equal recompense. You have five minutes before the three of us take you down for good. Repike shook his head, chuckling as he brandished his energy weapon.
And if I dont? Will you send me to the courts of this world?
No, but I have a trophy case that Ill have your head in. Icy Brian stared at Repike, waiting for the first move. It was Gasper who stepped forward first, making his way towards his former mentor. Wolf took to the left side, Repikes battle sense following the movements of the mercenary.
Let me take care of this JWolf. Youll know when to come in.
Unsheathing his broadsword Wolf sneered. Like hell youre taking the credit for this. Gasper kept his eyes forward as Icy made his way to the right of the Dragoon. With a leap, Gasper flew forward, clashing with the battle-axe Repike held ready. The sizzle of the energy on the metal was intense, but there was no heat buildup in the alloy. Staying cool to the touch, the spear lashed downward as Gasper flew up again into the air. Waiting, Repike suddenly was attacked by Wolf with a strike from his sword. Slashing fiercely, he powered his way into Repikes inner guard and did his best to bash the armor that covered him. Making no leeway, he backed off as Brian came in with a blow from his staff that broke through Repikes defenses. Deflecting the best he could, Repike swung again before feeling a blow from the right by Gasper. He felt the crackling of energy as Gasper let loose an energy blast that threw the man across the runway and into a shock trooper.
Slashing through his expendable army, Repike was up in an instant but pinned down again by Icy, bashing down upon the man with his bo. Blocking each blow, Repike summoned forth a wind spell and blew Brian off his feet, landing him next to Wolf. Gasper dashed forward again, parrying the slash that Repike was timing for his next attack. His aura starting to burn, the blue-green flames lashed up and surrounded the younger man. His speed quickened as his activation of a previous haste spell came into effect. Trading blows, both men were moving at a maddening pace. Wolf was ready to dash when Brian stopped him.
Dont. Make your way around and surround, get ready for a Triple Smash.
It aint gonna work twice Brian. JWolf replied.
I know, but its our best shot at the moment, until some of the others get freed up.
Just let me know when. Wolf dashed off, finding some remaining troops to quench the blood lust running through his veins for hours now.
Kaeru brought up a new rifle, firing frantically through the corridors of the complex. Laser blasts filled his escape route, but after losing track of Minmei, he was meandering his way through fighting as best he could. Turning the corner, he pulled out a pineapple grenade and grappled the pin. Drawing out the pin, he through it and ran. Five seconds later, the explosion resounded through the hallway. Rounding another corner, Kaeru felt a slam to the back of his head. Dropping the rifle, he slumped to his knees, groaning in agony. His eyes were blurry as he looked into the face of an angel. Her hair fell around her face, and the form fitting armor accentuated her curves.
Zeal? his voice croaked. She smiled and shook her head, and he lost consciousness.
Why wont you just die?! The slash was short an inch from hitting the Dragoon as the student and mentor dueled. Rolling, he swiped at Repikes legs, failing and rolling out of the way before the axe came down
Same reason you wont! Gasper came up again, whipping his fist around and catching Repike in the mouth before swiping his weapon around to slash at the older mans legs. Leaping into the air, Repike flew over his opponent and kicked him in the back. Falling forward, Gasper slid to the ground. Spinning quickly, he rolled as the axe came around in a swooping motion, and he barely was able to dodge it again. He did his best to get up, but his legs were unwilling, and the axe came down again, this time to his side. Backing slowly, he concentrated and found no energy heeding his summons. Laughing, Repike raised the axe again, aimed, and brought it forward.
To Be Continued
An End to the Beginning Part Two
Gasper S. Keltner's Fanfiction