Lost and Found|
(Infirmary- Next day)
The first one to awaken from his deep slumber was Zapper. Unfortunately he awoke from terrible nightmares to a world of pain. Every muscle in his body was aching, his head was pounding and the wounds Gerbera had neglected to fix up the night before stung like hell. The colonel tried to suppress his moans, but one escaped from his lips and Gerbera jumped from his chair, wide awake.
In an instant the professor was at Zapper's side, injecting more medication into his veins. “When that takes full effect you should fall back to sleep okay?” Gerbera said quietly, glancing at the clock on the bedside table. “It's still very early. You need the rest.”
“Wait.” Zapper said weakly, catching Gerbera's wrist as the professor stood to walk away. “What…how did…” But as the colonel was about to ask a question the answer would come to him; his memories from the day before were slow to return, but they did. The professor gave Zapper a concerned look before reaching back and checking his temperature.
“You don't feel sick do you? Hit your head on anything recently?” Gerbera asked, pulling his hand from Zapper's forehead and placing it over his left cheek. The colonel weakly shook his head, his eyelids already beginning to close. “Alright, but I'm going to take your word on that. Now rest. When you wake up I should have dressed the rest of those wounds and you'll be all set to leave.”
Zapper closed his eyes and his muscles all relaxed. The professor groaned, shaking his head. “It's too early for this.” He complained, running a hand through his hair. From the next bed over Grappler's hand twitched and he turned his head to one side, causing Gerbera to freeze. Luckily the lieutenant colonel didn't wake up.
“And I have to check him too. Man this day isn't starting out good.”
“Who're you telling?” Gerbera jumped and looked over at Grappler, not realizing he'd been awake.
“Grappler! I didn't think you'd be up yet.”
“Well sleep can only last so long.” The lieutenant colonel responded, sitting up. The professor turned his full attention on Grappler, checking each wound to make sure none had been reopened. While he was examined Grappler glanced over at Zapper's sleeping form. “When did he get here?”
“Hm?” Gerbera followed Grappler's gaze. “Oh Zapper. I brought him in last night. After Madnug let me back in control that is.”
“So do you remember anything?” Grappler asked curiously. There was a pause and the whole room fell silent before Gerbera sighed. “Sometimes I get bits and pieces of what happens and sometimes I don't. It's hard, but Madnug keeps his memories to himself and I keep mine.”
There was another pause and Grappler stared back over at Zapper. He wondered if the colonel had an alter ego just like Gerbera. It would explain the merciless killing he'd done and why his eyes had been so evil. The professor must've read Grappler's mind because he began to explain the colonel's mood swings.
“Zapper there, he's a special case. His “demon side”, as we've classified it, is fueled by his emotions. It seems like whenever they reach a certain point his humanity disappears, leaving only his hate and desire to kill. I've only seen his demon side once, but we had him confined so he couldn't hurt anyone.” The professor was quiet for a few seconds as he finished wrapping Grappler's wrist. “Sazabi, however, has now seen it three times. He actually went to Kharlan after the killing first started and watched Zapper murder all those people. He wouldn't give me details, but he described it as a slaughtering house, full of weak, defenseless pigs.”
Grappler shivered at the thought of the scene, but didn't have a hard time picturing the colonel doing it. Now the question remaining was, “Why? Why did he kill all those people?”
Gerbera shook his head. “If you really want to know the answer to that you'll have to ask him. He wouldn't tell any of us and not even General Zeong could get it out of him. It's like he sealed the memories off or something.”
“But why?” Grappler thought keeping his eyes fixed on Zapper. The colonel seemed peaceful, almost innocent as he lay there. If Grappler hadn't known better he'd have said Zapper had never killed anyone in his life (but he knew better).
“Grappler,” Gerbera said, interrupting the lieutenant colonel's train of thought. “You hungry? I'll go get you something to eat if you'd like.” Grappler was still for a moment before nodding his head and Gerbera left the room, locking it behind him.
The lieutenant colonel sat quietly waiting for Gerbera's echoing footsteps to disappear before he jumped out of bed. The floor was cold on his bare feet, but Grappler quickly crawled onto Zapper's bed. He looked down at the colonel's sleeping form, wondering if he'd wake up.
“I want to be with you…so bad.” Grappler said quietly as he gently traced over the colonel's cheek with two fingers. “But I can't… I can't take advantage of you like this.” The lieutenant colonel stared down at Zapper with a longing in his eyes. Then he sighed. “It's pointless though. You could never love me…” Grappler sat back, averting his eyes from the colonel's face.
He allowed his gaze to travel over Zapper's exposed body, taking in every detail. It was the only chance he'd have; the only time he could catch the colonel off guard. But deep down Grappler knew it wouldn't make a difference. Even if he did take advantage of Zapper then and there he still wouldn't be satisfied. “And he'd probably hate me even more.”
But still Grappler didn't move from the bed, visualizing what he could do. And, until Gerbera returned, that's where he stayed, watching the slow rise and fall of Zapper's chest as he breathed. At one point the colonel stirred, but only turned so he was lying on his stomach. Grappler smiled warmly as he ignored the voice in the back of his head screaming, “Do it! He can't get any more defenseless then that. And he's practically inviting you.”
“I already said no.” the lieutenant colonel growled, sliding off Zapper's bed and back into his own. At that same moment Gerbera could be heard out in the hall unlocking the door. When he entered he was balancing two trays of food in one hand, but managed to get one to Grappler before setting his own on his desk.
“I see he moved.” The professor said, glancing at Zapper. “But he won't be waking up for a while. With the drugs I gave his he'll be out for at least two more hours. Just enough time for me to finish cleaning those cuts and getting them covered.”
Grappler nodded, showing he understood what the professor had said before turning to his food. The last time he'd eaten was breakfast the day before and he was starving. “Just don't eat too fast Grappler.” Gerbera warned, knowing the lieutenant colonel would otherwise.
“You don't have to baby me Gerbera. I'm old enough to take care of myself.” Grappler growled before beginning to eat. The professor scoffed before turning on his own food and the two ate in silence. Occasionally Gerbera would glance at his two patients, always catching Grappler staring at the colonel.
Why Grappler was staring the professor didn't know and frankly he didn't care. All he was concerned about was the two's well being. As long as Grappler didn't try to kill Zapper while they were in the same room together Gerbera could careless about what else they did.
“Say Gerbera.” Grappler said suddenly as the professor walked next to the colonel's bed. “Do you know what they did with my brother's body?” There was a long silence that was only broken when the professor sighed. “You sister is taking it back to Mizuho, to your family, where Gan will be given a proper burial.” Gerbera said as he unwrapped Zapper's wounds to clean them again. Grappler cocked his head in confusion; his sister hated their family because they always treated her like a street beggar or something, yet she was still going back to them.
“When is she coming back?”
Gerbera flinched when the lieutenant colonel asked this, but answered, “She's not.” Grappler froze for a second before laughing nervously.
“Ha ha Gerbera that's really funny and all, but seriously, when's she coming back?” This time the professor was silent and Grappler gasped. “No way!” he shouted, jumping up and running for the door.
“Grappler wait!” Gerbera shouted, chasing after him. The lieutenant raced through the halls, ignoring the protests from his body as he made his way to the loading/launching bay. When he got there his sister's transport was already lifting up off the ground. “Tank!!!” he shouted, running towards the ship.
“Grappler no!” the professor caught Grappler from behind, keeping him from getting too close. The lieutenant colonel struggled against Gerbera, but then he saw his sister looking down at him. Her red eyes were full of sorrow, but she still managed to smile weakly down at her brother.
Then she pushed herself back from the railing, disappearing to another part of the ship. Grappler watched as the transport pulled away from the base before disappearing into a dimensional rip. Then lieutenant colonel dropped his head, suppressing a sob. “She didn't even say good bye.”
“I'm sure she wanted to, but just couldn't bring herself to do it. She really does care about you Grappler and probably knew you'd try to stop her.”
“But we've never been apart Gerbera. Ever since I rescued her from the streets we've always been together.”
“But you knew you were bound to get separated eventually. Besides she hasn't left the Dark Axis. She's just going to be working with our group in Mizuho now.” Gerbera said comfortingly. His words didn't help though and he watched Grappler fight back tears.
“She should've waited for me. If I'd gone the family would leave her alone, but now…”
“Grappler.” Gerbera said sternly, tightening his grip on the lieutenant colonel's arms. “I know you're upset, but I don't think your sister would want you to cry for her. She would most likely want you to get better so you can see the end of this war and visit her. In order to do that, however, you need to stop running away from me and start taking better care of yourself. Running down here was a stupid thing to do and if you do it again I swear you'll regret it.”
Grappler nodded, showing he understood what the professor was telling him. Gerbera sighed and shook his head. “Then let's head back to the infirmary. I still need to finish dressing Zapper's wounds.”
“Okay.” Grappler muttered, leaning against Gerbera as they both walked back to the infirmary. The whole way the professor was talking about something, but Grappler's mind was too preoccupied with thinking about his sister and, more importantly, her safety.
When they got back to the infirmary, however, the lieutenant colonel's thoughts were shifted to something else. Gerbera had stopped, staring wide-eyed into the room. When Grappler looked up he was shocked momentarily before stumbling into the room and looking around. “Zapper?”
“Dammit.” The professor growled, also searching frantically. The colonel's bed was empty and upon searching through his stuff Gerbera discovered his keycard was gone too. “Grappler you stay here. He couldn't have gotten too far in his condition and not to mention the drugs I gave him.”
“No buts Grappler. Either stay here or you'll get one of those consequences I was talking about earlier.” This shut Grappler up and he quickly crawled back into his own bed. The professor gave him one last warning look before disappearing out the door, locking it behind him.
“Damn.” Grappler sworn quietly when he heard the lock click. Then he fell back into his pillow, staring at the colonel's empty bed. “If he was gonna lock me in here you could have at least stayed with me.” The lieutenant colonel mumbled before rolling onto his stomach and closing his eyes, deciding he should relax while he could.
Instead of its usual, eerie silence, the prison was filled with the horrible sound of someone singing off key. Behind the singing was the rest of the captives threatening the vocalist if he didn't stop. “I'm telling you if you don't shut up I'm going to rip your vocal cords out!” one person shouted.
“Why are you even singing?!” someone else shouted.
“I don't know.” The man sighed, finally ending his song. “I just have the sudden urge to express my joy in song form.”
“How can you still have any joy after being locked down here for so long?”
“I bet it's because-”
Every prisoner jumped at the sudden noise, some ever cried out. “What was that?!”
“Shut up!” half the prisoners hissed, listening intently. The guards outside the doors were talking, but nobody could tell what they were saying. Then the prisoners heard them grunting, perhaps there was a struggle. Eventually the noise stopped and everyone strained to hear.
“When your cells open….head for the door. I-it should be unlocked.” Came a pained voice from over the intercom. Everyone was confused at first, but when the cell doors all opened everyone rushed out for the door. Like the voice had said the door was unlocked and they all filed into the room.
A thick sheet of glass separated the large room from the control room, allowing the guards to watch over their prisoners without having to endanger their lives. Within the room was a man who was using the control console to keep himself standing. He was staring at all the prisoners with a pained expression on his face before pushing himself out of the control room. Once he was out of the control room, however, the man collapsed.
All the prisoners stared at the man, crowding around him in awe. Some reached down and helped the man up and he leaned against the glass for support. Then they recognized the man. “You're one of the Dark Axis scum! Zapper Zaku!!!”
“What?!” the other prisoners shouted. They all glared, growling.
“Did you let us out?”
Zapper looked wearily up at one of the prisoners. “Y-yeah….I-I did.”
“Who cares why? I say we kill him now and escape while we can!”
“No!” seven prisoners stepped forward and formed a protective line in front of Zapper, pushing the others back. One of them, however, kneeled down so he was eye level with the colonel. “Have we met somewhere?”
“You mean other then…out on the….field? I d-don't think so.” Zapper responded. The prisoner's eyes examined the colonel, studying him carefully. There were numerous injuries covering his body, some of which hadn't been treated while the rest were open, but surprisingly clean. His long hair was somewhat messy, but was so long it hung to about his waist.
“So if you're a Dark Axis dog why are you helping us?” someone asked from the defense line.
“W-well…you were s-s-supposed to be…taken to our General today….you'd die…but I-I'm gonna….let you go. But I need you…to do something….for me.” Zapper said, his voice still chocked. Everyone single prisoner was shocked by the colonel's words and gasped.
“Why let us go?”
“And what do you want?”
“Well first…I need you to beat the shit out of me. It…won't look very…convincing if… I sh-show up to report you…escaped if I… only look like this.”
“But you can hardly move!”
“That's the drugs. If y-you beat me…the drugs…will wear off.” Zapper responded as he tried to keep his balance. A couple prisoners stepped forward, cracking their knuckles and smirking. “Take this.” The colonel gasped, handing the guy who'd stood up for him a cardkey. “So you can get out. Just head back to Lacroa. And…as pay-payment for sparing your lives I ask….you leave right away. Don't spy…or search for info.”
“Well I guess we don't have much of a choice. I'd rather fight on an even field; better then having a debt.” The prisoner responded before the others pulled the colonel back among them.
Most of them had accepted that Zapper was being sincere, but they still did a good job of beating the crud out of him. “Okay guys that's enough.” The guy with the keycard commanded, seeming more and more like the leader. He reached down and pulled Zapper roughly to his feet. Even though he looked a lot worse then before Zapper seemed to walk a little easier and he could even speak. “Alright. The drugs are worn off. I'll lead you as far as I can, but I'll have to leave you when we get to the General's room.”
“What about the cardkey?” the leader asked.
“I'd appreciate it if you'd leave it at the entrance. I'm sure someone will pick it up.” Zapper responded. He then turned and motioned for everyone to follow him. Outside the halls were empty, but the colonel was still cautious. “Right here.” Zapper muttered. The prisoners all looked up and saw a huge set of doors ahead and they all gulped.
“Your general?” the leader asked. Zapper nodded as a response, making his way towards the door. “Get out of here. All of you.” The colonel glared at the prisoners. “And I expect you to give it your all in the next battle. Remember, as soon as you're back in Lacroa your debt has been paid. Just as long as you don't sneak info that is.”
“Don't worry Zapper Zaku. We knights honor our debts even if they are to our enemies.” One prisoner said; he talked like one of the royal soldiers. And with that the group of Lacroan soldiers ran off, following the instructions Zapper had given then earlier to the exit.
As they ran they discussed Zapper and why he was helping them. “You don't think it's him do you sir?”
The leader nodded. “I'm sure of it. They're so many similarities between the two that there's no way they couldn't be the same person.”
“Aw man. That chick looked so hot too. How can she be that Dark Axis guy?”
“Shut up you pervert. You want us to think you're bi or something?” the soldier's cell mate growled, trying to resist the urge to hit him.
“But from behind he looked like a women. That doesn't mean I'm bi.” The man replied crossly, feeling extremely insulted.
“Hold up.” The leader said suddenly stopping the party. “We can't leave yet.”
“What?!” everyone else shouted.
“But why not?” the pervy soldier asked.
“You remember what he said. We were going to be taken their general to be killed.” The leader said looking around at the other prisoners. Everyone nodded, still confused at what their leader was getting at. “So what do you think is going to happen to that soldier?”
“Why would you worry thy self with a matter such as that?” the knight asked.
“I don't know, but I want to know what's going to happen to him. I'm going to go back and see.” The leader held up the cardkey. “Anyone who wants to go, take this and do so. I'm staying though.” There was a long pause and nobody stepped forward to claim the card. “Then I guess it's settled.” He turned and rushed back the way they'd come. “We'll observe and then run. And no where in between there are we to get caught. Anyone who does gets left behind.”
Instantly the pervy soldier was knocked from the group, falling flat on his face as his cell mate chuckled. The soldier was back on his feet in a flash, however, and trying to catch his cell mate, probably to murder him.
(Outside General Zeong's quarters)
The prisoners were all crowding together, trying to see inside the room without being noticed.
Inside they could see Zapper standing at the center of the room, breathing heavily and staring at the floor. Then he began to speak. “Yes sire. I'd hoped to bring them to you, but…uh…the idea was….” The colonel was having a hard time speaking, but then blurted the rest out. “It was a stupid idea and I should've listened to the professor!”
The room became silent after Zapper's outburst, but the prisoners thought they heard someone…chuckling. Then the colonel's body stiffened, almost like he'd been paralyzed. Out of the concealing darkness multiple black, slippery coated tentacles slithered out, wrapping themselves around the colonel's body.
“Holy shit!” one of the prisoners muttered as he watched the torturous scene.
(A/N: Don't like graphical scenes don't read this part. I don't think it's that bad, but some people would say otherwise.)
Three tentacles wrapped around Zapper's abdomen, lifting him up off the ground. The others, meanwhile, snaked into the colonel's clothes, causing Zapper to gasp. “General! What are you doing!!!”
“I'm afraid I have no choice Zapper. I need more energy. But don't worry; I won't take all of your life force.” the tentacles removed Zapper's clothes and moved over every inch of his exposed skin. “Unfortunately this hurts like hell so I'm saying I'm sorry in advance.” One of the cold slick coated tentacles slid over Zapper's inner thighs, finding an opening and forcing itself inside.
Zapper cried out, trying to arch away from the searing pain. “Ahh! General!” the colonel cried as the tactical traveled in further. As it went its thickness increased and Zapper screamed in agony. When he screamed, however, another tentacle entered his mouth, silencing him as it pushed down his throat.
“Just bear with me here Zapper. It shouldn't be much longer.” Zeong tried to reassure, appearing from the darkness. His child-like appearance startled those still watching from the door, but he took no notice to them. At the middle of the general's forehead was the gem; his third eyes. The eye suddenly lit up, lighting half of the room. If Zapper could've screamed he probably would've because his face showed that he was in immense pain.
“Oh! Your life force.” Zeong's tentacles pushed further in. “There's such an abundance. And it's so…pure.” Zeong moaned through his face plate as his voice echoed in Zapper's mind. Any prisoners who hadn't already gotten sick and moved away from the door were somewhat confused; they had no idea what Zeong was doing. (Because they can't hear his voice)
“I'm almost done. I'm afraid you'll be bedridden after this, but you'll recover all your energy after about a day or so.” Zapper's eyes widened; he was mentally screaming in pain.
(A/N: You're safe now. 9.9 I made it nice and short. -__- And it's not very good.)
Outside in the hall the lead prisoner clutched the door frame, suppressing his anger. “That was going to happen to us.” he muttered. “And he took all of that while we were going to escape.” The leader turned to his followers, most of which were a sickly pale or green. “We have to do something.”
“Like what? If we go in there the general will know he let us out and then torture him more.” One prisoner said, swallowing the bile in his throat.
“He told us to leave so we should; his sacrifice shouldn't go in vain.” The knight muttered, not showing any signs of discomfort as he continued to watch Zeong and Zapper. Everyone was staring at the knight and he turned , staring back in confusion. “What?”
“You're right. We should.” The leader moved away from the door and motioned for his troops to follow him. “It's basically all we can do anyway. If we meet in battle we shall not show him mercy. Understood?”
“Yes sir.” Everyone echoed back before they all stood and ran back towards the exit. Once they were gone Zeong glanced at the door, finally noticing it was ajar.
The general looked at Zapper and sighed. “I don't understand why you do these things Zapper, but I ask that you not do it again. Those prisoners could've been without honor and destroyed us all.” Zeong said sternly as his tentacles began to withdraw. “Your luck has kept you out of any severer punishment then this. So next time you want to step out of line remember this pain.”
Zeong's tentacles pulled all the way out of the colonel's body, but Zapper fell unconscious and became limp. The general sighed again and lowered the colonel's body to the ground, hovering down as well. His mechanical hands hovered out of the darkness, but Zeong pulled back his long sleeves, revealing his small, pale hands. They were ice cold, but Zapper felt nothing as Zeong pulled the colonel's clothes back on.
Then the general lifted Zapper back off the ground and proceeded to carry him back to the infirmary. “Gerbera isn't going to be happy about this.”