"So," Tempo prompted, "you'd just finished fighting two 300 foot tall monsters..."
"Indeed." Lion nodded. "I'm actually pretty sure that they were Weapons of the planet, but the alien somehow managed to gain control of them."
"How would it do that?" Tempo asked. Schala frowned, not saying anything.
"How should I know?" Lion shrugged. "Do you want to hear the rest of this or not?"
"All right, all right!" Tempo held up his hands. "Get on with it then."
Lion crossed his arms, and began. "I thought my problems were over once we defeated those monsters. In truth, the real fight was just beginning..."
* * *
Lion sighed heavily, digging a chunk of rock out of where it was imbedded in his hand. Green liquid from broken chloroplasts covered it, and he frowned before flicking it away. He looked up slowly as he heard footsteps moving toward their location, faint voices following along with them. "..should be over here..."
"What do you suppose is going on?" He asked Jaguarena.
"Who knows? I would assume that they'd send medical personnel to check us out." They both turned as a squad of troops rounded a corner and came into the city center. Lion could immediately tell that these were NOT medics. This was a rather large group of Soultech troops. As they got closer, he could see Matt walking among them, talking nervously. He finally turned to look at Lion, and hurried over.
"Where's Tess?" He asked, fear clouding his eyes.
"She's fine." Lion answered his unspoken question. "I took her to the top of that building." He pointed up at the structure he was speaking of.
Now the rest of the large Soultech squad had arrived, and was glaring at him in a none too friendly manner. "Jaguarena and Lionello?" The lead trooper asked.
"Well, yeah. Who else would we be?" Lion asked, not exactly feeling in the mood to put up with bureaucracy.
"You two are under arrest for failing to comply with orders."
Jaguarena's shoulders visibly slumped, but that was all the reaction she had. Lion was a different story. "Orders? What orders?! We're not in any military organization, in case you've forgotten!"
The man clearly ignored that comment. "You were ordered to drive the monsters out of the city, which you clearly did not do."
"So what?! You don't own us! I only fought because I wanted to protect this city, not because any fat assed bureaucrat ordered me to!"
"The fact remains-"
"The fact remains that I'm gonna kick your skinny little Soultech ass if you don't shut the hell up!! I didn't see you out here fighting! My brother died to defeat those things, and now you have the nerve to tell us we didn't do a good enough job?! Fuck you, you-" Lion whirled around as Jaguarena put a hand on his shoulder.
"Lion, stop. Let's just go with them for now. Do you really think any judge is going to convict us of any wrongdoing? The government is just blowing off steam here because the 'synths weren't as powerful as they wanted us to be."
"What they wanted? What about what I want?!"
"Let's just go. I don't want to fight any more." Lion frowned up at her, and saw absolute exhaustion in her eyes.
"All right. For you, I'll go."
"A wise decision." The Soultech leader nodded. He produced two pairs of hand restraints. A feral growl began to escape Lion's throat, but Jaguarena just put her hand on his shoulder again, and he relaxed, allowing the restraints to be placed on. "We've been ordered to take you in one at a time."
"Why is that?" Lion spat.
"I'm not at liberty to say." The man responded, then began leading Jaguarena away. Lion and Matt quietly watched her go, not speaking.
"I'm sorry about this." Matt finally said. Lion just glanced over at him, raising an eyebrow. "I saw how hard you were fighting. I can appreciate what you were doing, even if I couldn't do much myself."
"At least you actually did do something, unlike the rest of these dickweeds." Lion glared at the ground. Finally, the squad leading Jaguarena disappeared behind the buildings. Suddenly, there was a blinding yellow explosion, and when the Soultech troops could see again, Lion was glowing with yellow fire, his restraints completely vaporised. "You think you can hold me?!!" Lion roared at the top of his lungs. "I may be tired, but I've still got more than enough power left to deal with the likes of you!!"
One of the Soultech troops was speaking rapidly into a communicator, then sighed reluctantly. "Everyone, subdue him now!" He barked sharply. The troops gave each other nervous glances, but then began to advance on Lion.
"You want a piece of me?! Well come and get it!!" Lion charged at the trooper nearest to him, burying a fist in his gut that sent the man flying. He whirled around, delivering a roundhouse kick to the head of another trooper who had been trying to sneak up behind him. He hit the dirt hard, dazed, if not completely knocked out. Having finally figured out that attacking him one on one wasn't going to work, all the rest of the troops, with the exception of Matt, rushed him at once. Lion crouched down, and a yellow explosion radiated out around him, throwing them all back. Lion rushed forward, lifted one of them into the air by the collar, then slammed him back down into the ground, head first. Another knockout.
Even as he felt a booted foot kick into his back, a small explosion blew the offending foot off of its parent appendage. Even as the Soultech troop screamed, Lion whirled around and sent him flying back into a building with a quick blast from his hand. Another one out of commission, if not dead. Lion smiled. This was going to be over pretty quick. Then, his yellow diminished as he was surrounded by the green glow of Soultech. "You guys are willing to waste your lives on me? I'm flattered." Then, he launched himself at a man to his left. "But I'm hardly impressed!" As he was flying through the air, a red beam of energy raced at him. It was quickly countered and overwhelmed by a yellow blast from Lion. The man who had launched it was engulfed in the explosion, then sent flying by a knee to the ribs from Lion.
Then, Lion was quickly sent on a similar trajectory as energy attacks from the rest of the Soultech troops impacted on his back. Since he still blazed with yellow fire, he hadn't suffered any real damage, but the energy bolts had hurt a lot more than he had expected. This only served to make him angrier. He ran back toward his enemies on foot, deflecting any further blasts launched his way. When he was almost to his target, the ground erupted underneath him, a trooper emerging from it. Before Lion could do anything, the soldier grabbed his leg, and slammed him into the ground, face first. He was about to expend the extra concentration needed to launch an energy blast from his feet, when he went rigid as an electric current ran through his body. "You'll pay for this!!" He ranted, but felt his power dwindling as he was unable to concentrate at all.
Everyone else noticed as well, and a barrage of Soultech attacks was launched at Lion's prone form. They weren't large scale though. They took the form of needles, or electricity. Rather than trying to beat him into submission outright, they were now trying to incapacitate him with pain. Lion roared as the electricity forced his muscles to spasm, quickly draining him of strength. In one of the few moments of clarity he managed to grasp between blasts, he realized that the electricity would begin to adversely affect his heart and brain if he didn't stop it fast. He had to ignore the pain, he told himself as it intensified.
However, the troopers had guessed that Lion would try to tough it out. They quickly changed their attacks, never letting the same sensations of pain flow through him for very long. As he yelled even louder, Lion wondered how he was going to pull this off. Then, he stopped wondering, and simply did it. Later, he would wonder if some instinct had saved him, or if sufficient force of will had actually kicked in. Either way, his blazing yellow fire came roaring back, deflecting all further attacks, and he was back on his feet. He aimed his palms at the ground, and two large explosions detonated to either side of him. The remaining troopers had backed off as soon as they saw his energy returning though, and they were mostly unharmed. They closed in around him again now.
Matt had seen just about enough of this. He stepped slightly inside the circle. "Please, stop! This fighting is pointless! There's no reason for this battle continue, aside from pride and revenge." Hoping to lead by doing, Matt completely dissipated all of his defensive wards. "Last time I checked, those weren't good reasons."
There were a few calls of "Shut up cadet," but a lot of the others also lowered their energy shields, albeit not completely. Lion, however, did not catch this exchange. His ears were ringing, and he wondered if his ear drums were damaged, or if he had simply come close to being knocked out. He glanced from target to target quickly, waiting for someone, anyone, to make a move. Someone became nervous as Lion's gaze neared his own. A hand was raised, an explosion went off right in Lion's face, and fates were sealed.
"YOU'LL ALL DIE!!!" Lion roared at the top of his lungs as he rocketed forward. No more simple knockouts, no more diversionary tactics, no more mercy. He was going to exterminate them all for what they'd done to him. As he flew through the air, he noticed that one of the troops was standing slightly inside their circle, relative to the rest, and decided that he would be the first victim. More energy blasts were launched at him as he was flying, only to harmlessly bounce off. Lion poured all the power he could muster into his shot. He unleashed the ferocious ball of energy at point blank range, close enough to so that he could also deliver a punch to the chest with the same hand that had released the energy. Something snapped as he did so. The yellow fire around him instantly vanished, and his flight abruptly ended, tossing him to the ground.
Lion didn't have time to absorb these facts though. As he landed, he dimly began to comprehend just who he had hit. "Matt?" The young man had been thrown over 20 feet, straight into the wall of a building. There was a gaping hole in his chest, revealing vital organs, and blood was running out of his ears. Since his lungs were plainly visible, it was easy to see that he wasn't breathing. "Matt!" Lion rushed up to him. "No, this isn't happening man! I have to win Tess' hand fair and square, not by default!" Lion was about to panic, but instead, he forced himself to be calm, and began to summon up his power. He had only ever healed himself, but he was going to try to use his power on Matt now.
The power didn't come. Lion tried to force what had always come naturally, and still nothing happened, except for the sudden onrush of a monumental headache. The other Soultech soldiers were beginning to close in around him, looking none too friendly. They had initially not attacked him because they saw that he was trying to help Matt. But now, it was obvious that he couldn't, and it was also obvious that he couldn't because he was out of power. Lion glanced around nervously. 'Can't heal. Can't fly. Don't want to fight any more. There's only one thing left to do.' Lion stood up, and ran as fast as his legs could carry him. Tears of anger formed in his eyes as he ran. Mostly anger at himself, but there was still more than enough to spare for the screwed up world he lived in. He was so busy running off the adrenaline rush, that he never stopped to wonder why no one was chasing him.
"There's no bright future for soldiers scurrying for their reward." - Zechs Merquise
Chrono Trigger Fanfic