Lost and Found|
(Magna-Musai: Early Morning)
Sazabi emerged from Grappler's room, extremely ticked off. He hadn't been able to find either of his lieutenant colonels in their rooms and was tired of always having to look for them. “They better show their faces or so help me,” the commander growled as he unlocked the door to Zapper's personal quarters. “I'll fry their hides and…” but Sazabi trailed off when he walked into Zapper's room and saw the very people he'd been looking for.
The futon had been pulled out into a bed with the three soldiers sleeping soundly together. Zapper was at the very edge with one arm hanging off the side and was also closest to the commander. On the other side of the bed was Grappler who was lying on his stomach, his head buried in his pillow. Destroyer was stretched out between the two, lying on his back with one hand on his stomach and the other just lying at his side. Sazabi glared at the three, growling.
“You guys are so dead.” He mumbled, walking to the end of the bed and grabbing the single blanket that covered the trio. He quickly yanked the covering away, but the only person who moved was Zapper. The colonel seemed to stir, but all he did was turn, lying so he was facing Destroyer. His hand fell onto the lieutenant colonel's arm, who smiled slightly in his sleep.
This, of course, only resulted in pissing Sazabi off even more and he reached over, grabbing one of Grappler's ankles. “Hey!” the commander shouted, pulling Grappler towards him. The lieutenant colonel yelped, causing Zapper to awake with a start and fall off the futon. Destroyer, however, remained asleep, showing no signs of waking up.
Grappler was quick to pull his ankle back and jump to the floor, turning to see his attacker. “Sazabi! What's the big idea?!” he shouted, standing up. Zapper groaned, remaining on the floor as he looked around. At first he didn't know where he was as some of the memories from the night before returned. Again he groaned, but Sazabi was now standing over him and pulled the colonel forcefully to his feet.
“What do you three think you're doing?! Do you even know what time it is?” Sazabi shouted, enraged. Zapper looked around for a clock, but Sazabi continued to yell. “I don't care about your guys' sex life, but when it interferes with your jobs then I have to step in.” At this Zapper pulled away from Sazabi, beyond freaked out.
“WHAT?! Sex!!! With them?! I'm not gay!”
“Then why were you sleeping with them?”
“Sazabi calm down.” Grappler shouted. “The only reason me and Dom are here is because we had to keep an eye on Zapper. He was acting really weird last night and we had to make sure he didn't do anything stupid.” The lieutenant colonel said. Behind them Destroyer opened his eyes, staring at the chaos around him.
“Uh….what's going on?” he asked innocently, causing everyone to facefault. Sazabi then regained his composer and straightened his uniform. “Regardless of what you were all doing I need you all to hurry up and get dressed. The people of Lacroa have started to panic and this is our chance to strike. If you're not ready in five minutes you'll all be-” but the three had already disappeared, leaving Sazabi to talk to himself.
The commander growled, clenching his fists before turning on his heels and leaving the room.
Once he was gone Zapper appeared from his room, wearing his battle fatigues and tying his long hair back. When he stepped outside the door closed behind him, locking itself. Zapper then took off in the direction Sazabi had just gone, despite still being somewhat sore from the day before. It wasn't long before he caught up with Sazabi and stopped a good foot behind him, asking why the Lacroan people had suddenly dropped their guard.
“Actually Zapper, thanks to you, the tables have been turned. We shall end this war and we will be victories. There's no doubt about it.” The commander responded as Grappler and Destroyer fell in line with Zapper, panting slightly.
“What did I do?” Zapper asked. Sazabi smirked, but it went unnoticed by the other three. “You remember when you followed Gan? Well, among those knights you killed was their five star general. Without him the whole army fell apart and has left their royal family defenseless.”
Grappler and Destroyer glanced at Zapper, but the mention of the crime hadn't even fazed him. “So we're just launching a full scale attack; no survivors?” Zapper asked. Sazabi nodded before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a glass tube. “Take a look at this.” He said, tossing the vile back to Zapper.
The three peered through the glass to see what looked like a fruit fly. “A bug?” Destroyer asked.
“It's called a Bagu-Bagu. Zeong just finished it. Millions of these creatures are going to be sent into Lacroa once we've destroyed the army. Everyone bitten by it will be turned to stone.” Sazabi explained.
Grappler was skeptical about the idea and asked, “What if our soldiers are bitten?”
“Zeong can program the Bagu-Bagu to go after only certain types of organic matter. Right now their instructions are to go after the people with Lacroan blood only. We would've tested the Bagu-Bagu before now to make sure they were safe, but all of our prisoners escaped.” When he said his Sazabi glanced at Zapper, not knowing what the colonel had done, but had still heard from Gerbera what Zeong had reported.
“So why did you need us now?” Grappler asked suddenly as Zapper returned the Bagu-Bagu.
“You three, myself and a group of our airmen are taking the Komusai out to meet the army first. We'll have half an hour to take out as many as we can before the rest of our battle ships and ground soldiers attack. After we take out the army we'll retreat back to the Magna-Musai or the main base and release the Bagu-Bagu. Any questions?” The trio responded no as they entered the loading/ launching bay.
There they saw the Komusai ready and waiting for the last of its passengers. Once the four were on the pilots launched from the Magna-Musai, flying full speed through the dimensional rip and towards the battle field near Lacroa's capital city.
Zapper, Grappler, Destroyer and Sazabi were all strapping weapons on or storing them in their bags, preparing for the final battle. Once they were ready Sazabi turned to Zapper. “You'll be going down first and alone. We'll head down as well after about ten minutes.” The commander said sternly. Zapper's eyes widened. “What?! How do you expect me to survive ten minutes against the whole army on my own?!”
“Oh Zapper.” The trio jumped and whirled around to see Madnug sitting not too far away on a crate, waving happily at them. The colonel made a break for the cockpit in an attempt to get away from the white haired man, but Sazabi caught him by the neck of his shirt. “Hold it there colonel. There's no where to run so don't try to resist. We're going to put that power of yours to good use.”
“Have you ever once considered I don't like being turned into a homicidal demon?!” Zapper shouted, enraged. Sazabi ignored him, strapping a parachute to the colonel's back and shoving his prepared artillery bag into his arms. “Deal with it.” The commander growled, pushing Zapper back into Madnug's arms.
“Hello again.” Madnug chimed happily. “The mixture I've prepared for you today is stronger then the last so you'll be your evil self longer. Okay?”
“No wait-!” But Zapper was silenced when Madnug forced their lips together. The colonel tried to struggle, but after a few seconds he stopped. Madnug moaned in pleasure, allowing his tongue to explore Zapper's unclaimed mouth as the potion transferred between them. Grappler had a hard time keeping himself from murdering Madnug and Destroyer kept a strong grip on the other lieutenant colonel's shoulders just in case.
Sazabi, meanwhile, was waiting by one of the dropout doors, positioned to open it. “Good luck.” Madnug muttered as he pushed Zapper over the door. His eyes were half closed and hazed over, but Sazabi quickly opened the dropout door and the colonel disappeared. The commander then shut the door before standing up and walking into the cockpit. Grappler had fallen next to the spot where Zapper had been standing, Destroyer kneeling next to him protectively.
“You think he'll be okay?” the lieutenant colonel asked.
“Don't worry Grappler.” Madnug said, smirking as he sat back down on the crate. “You should be more worried about the poor soldiers who Zapper encounters.”
Grappler glared up at Madnug, shaking in anger, but his attention was quickly drawn back to Zapper. “Is there any way we can watch him?” Destroyer asked. Madnug shook his head, staring off into space. “All we can do is wait. We're giving him a ten minute head start so when we get down there he won't kill us on sight. But then again…maybe he'll have killed them all before that time is even up.”
At first Zapper wasn't even awake as he fell; the potion still hadn't fully taken effect. Then, when he was close to the ground, the colonel's eyes shot open. Acting on pure instinct Zapper snapped his feet beneath him and pulled the release on his parachute. The strap around his chest jerked back painfully, knocking the air from his lungs. And the same time his parachute had ripped slightly because he'd been falling too fast when he'd opened it. “Shit!” Zapper cursed as he fell towards the rock ground, not so fast that would seriously injure him, but fast enough that it would hurt.
When he did finally hit, there was a loud crash and a dust cloud rose high into the air. The noise disturbed the silence of the area, but it was soon quiet again. After a moment Zapper tested his limbs to make sure they still worked. A jolt of pain from his left wrist caused him to hiss and cringe, but everything else was fine.
As the dust began to settle Zapper pushed himself to his feet, surveying the area with his demon eyes. “Well well well. Seems the knights have sent a welcoming party.” The colonel muttered when he spotted a group of about twenty soldiers marching towards him. The colonel smirked, ignoring the pain in his wrist as he cracked his knuckles. “I guess this will do for a warm up. I just hope there are a few sorcerers among them. It'll make this interesting.”
And with that Zapper ripped off the remains of the parachute harness, tightened the strap on his artillery bag and slowly walked towards the Lacroan soldiers, chuckling evilly. “It's not Kharlan, but this should still be fun.”
Grappler was the first one off the Komusai once it'd landed and he rushed towards the area the knights had been reported to be stationed. “Just over the ridge.” Sazabi called as he and the rest of the squad jumped out of the Komusai. As soon as Grappler got to the top of the hill he gasped, his eyes widening in shock.
Destroyer appeared next to Grappler, his barrel guns drawn. His reaction was about the same as his comrade's. “Whoa! Zapper doesn't waste any time does he?” the lieutenant colonel exclaimed, staring at the mangled, bloody bodies of what looked to be about twenty Lacroan soldiers. Sazabi and the few other soldiers came up behind the two and gawked.
“Seems he's more motivated this time.” Sazabi muttered. In the distance they could here screams mixed with other strange noises and the group took off towards the commotion. “Remember everyone, until that drug wears off Zapper is extremely dangerous. If you get in his way I can't guarantee your safety.” Sazabi warned as they climbed the hill.
When they reached the top everyone stopped and stared. There were at least five thousand soldiers in the fleet, but a lot of the ones close to the group were lying in a puddle of their own blood, dead, or taking their last, tortured breaths. Grappler spotted a group of sorcerers who had managed to surround Zapper who was just standing there. Upon closer inspection Grappler saw that the colonel's legs were encased in rock up to his knees and it looked like he was trying frantically to break free. The sorcerers were all charging lightning based elemental attacks to finish the colonel off.
Sazabi was first to react when he saw Zapper, but he'd never reach him in time. The sorcerers' hands glowed a bright white and they all fired their attacks. At the same moment the colonel's hands glowed as well, and the rock holding his legs broke. Zapper managed to jump up and out of harms way just in time, landing outside of the circle. When he'd dodged the lightning, however, the sorcerers ended up getting hit in the crossfire killing all of them.
Zapper chuckled, turning to see his work. “Pathetic. If they can't see an obvious trap like that then this battle is as good as won.” The colonel turned and looked around for his next victim. He momentarily glanced at the other Dark Axis soldiers that had arrived, but paid them no mind. Instead he charged into another group of soldiers with drawn weapons, taunting them till they attacked.
Grappler, who'd been transfixed by what Zapper had done, suddenly realized he was being attack and dodged a knight's sword. In a flash he pulled from his bag the clawed extension and quickly attached it before skewering the enemy soldier in one fluid motion.
The corpse fell to the ground only to reveal another and Grappler growled before killing the second one too. “There's just no end to them.” The lieutenant colonel thought as he claimed his fifteenth kill. There weren't any more knights moving to attack him; most of the Lacroan soldiers were all going after Zapper now.
The colonel seemed to be enjoying himself though, taunting his opponents to attack him. Eventually he'd killed all the ones around him off and he looked around for a new opponent. His sleeves up to his elbows were soaked in blood and the bright red gore was dripping from his hands like water. The blood also covered his boots and there were small speckles on his face. The mechanical eye patch Zapper wore gleamed in the sun as he turned and his eyes fell on Grappler.
The two locked eyes and Zapper smirked. Grappler suddenly felt very cold as the demon eyes bore into him, but he didn't look away. The colonel's smirk was suddenly whipped away, however, and replaced by a pained looked. Zapper stumbled forward as an arrow pierced into his right shoulder, piercing through all the way to the bone.
Behind the colonel, not too far back, was an archer who was smirking triumphantly. He thought he'd done a great thing, but when Zapper turned around and glared at him the soldier gasped. The colonel spit out a mouthful of blood from when he'd bitten his cheek to keep from crying out and advanced on the archer. Once he was close enough he wrapped his fingers around the soldier's neck and lifted him high into the air.
“But it doesn't make sense.” The archer choked. “You should've died!”
“And why is that?” Zapper growled, curious as to why someone would think a single arrow in the shoulder could kill.
“All of you share the weakness. It's the tattoos on your shoulder. If we pierce them you die. How can you survive?!” Zapper chuckled before breaking into a full maniacal laugh. “Wow! Nobody has ever figured that out. But if you knew about our weakness then you should've also known that the tattoo we receive,” the colonel used his free hand to rip his left sleeve off, showing the archer his tattoo. “Is on our left shoulder.”
And with that he tightened his grip enough to separate the soldier's head from his neck, killing him instantly. Grappler was still staring, wide eyed, in the background, shocked at what Zapper was doing. He'd never actually seen someone kill like the colonel did; he'd never known anyone who could.
“Consider yourself lucky Grappler.” Zapper called to the lieutenant colonel as he pulled the arrow out of his shoulder. “I was going to kill you before this soldier shot me, but now I'm not interested. I suggest that you move away though. If you want to live, that is.”
Now knowing what he was up against, Grappler ran away from Zapper, deciding to stay closer to Sazabi. The commander gave him a worried glance, but was soon preoccupied with another battle and was forced to turn his attention back onto the fight.
As the battle wore on, however, the knights began to retreat back to the city, but that's when the rest of the Dark Axis fleet arrived. Sazabi looked around frantically for Zapper, knowing the drug he'd been given could wear off at any moment, leaving the colonel unconscious and totally defenseless. “Where is he?!” the commander called to the rest of the squad.
One soldier pointed to a large group of soldiers and sorcerers who were all attacking the same target at once. With his demon state of mind at full strength Zapper could've easily taken every one of those Lacroan knights down, but the battle had taken its toll and his energy was running out. His movements were somewhat slower then before and some attacks from the opposing soldiers managed to hit their mark, draining the colonel's energy even faster.
One knight got so close to slicing through Zapper's tattoo that the colonel could feel the tip of the blade barely scratch his skin, but it didn't cause any damage. As a result a shockwave of pain traveled through Zapper's body, causing him to cry out. Seeing this as an opening all the soldiers attacked, weather it was with their swords or elemental attacks.
“Zapper no!!!” Grappler shouted. “Get out of there!”
The colonel closed his eyes when he heard Grappler's voice and time seemed to stand still. Something trapped inside of him was suddenly set free and when he opened his eyes they were glowing a dark red, giving him an eviler look then before. Time started itself again when his eyes were open, but the attacks never hit their mark.
Half a sphere of energy surrounded the colonel, but Zapper put even more power into the shield, causing it to expand and ram into the Lacroan soldiers around him. As the shield hit the soldiers they screamed, disappearing as they were vaporized. All the Dark Axis soldiers around covered their eyes, blocking out the blinding light.
Then, like a mini explosion, the sphere erupted out, disappearing in seconds. Zapper was still standing, his eyes still glowing, but after a moment the light in his eyes faded and he collapsed, hitting the ground hard. Sazabi got to the colonel first and quickly checked to make sure he was okay. “He's alright.” The commander called, lifting the limp body into his arms. “He's just unconscious. Nothing to worry about.”
Grappler was glaring at Sazabi though as the commander carried the colonel past them. “I think that was the last of the knights around here. Our battle ships will get the rest.” Sazabi looked over at one of the zakos. “Call for the Komusai. We shouldn't be down here when the Bagu-Bagu are released. They're still experimental so there's no telling if they'll attack us or not.”
“Yes sir.” The zako chimed, saluting. He pulled his communicator from his bag and radioed the Komusai. Destroyer was still out in the distance, aiming for another group of knights that were slowly marching towards them. “That's it. Come this way. Just a little close.”
“Dom!!!” Sazabi shouted. Destroyer didn't look up, but growled. “I'll be right there Commander. Just gotta take care of one more thing.”
“Destroyer you better get your ass over here or I'll-” Dom fired his missile launcher, drowning out whatever else Sazabi had said. As the numerous explosions went off in the distance Destroyer jumped happily up next to Grappler, smiling from ear to ear.
“You moron.” Grappler growled, hitting the other lieutenant colonel hard across the back of his head.
“Ow!” Destroyer cried, nearly falling over. Sazabi then handed Zapper to Grappler and hit Dom as well. Again the lieutenant colonel cried out and fell face first to the ground. “Owwwwww. Why is everyone hitting me?”
“Because you're an idiot. Now get up. Our ride is here.” Sazabi motioned towards the Komusai lowering to the ground and Destroyer jumped up, running towards it. The commander sighed in defeat, walking towards the Komusai as well. “He'll never learn.” Grappler walked behind Sazabi, muttering a quick “yeah” before looking down at Zapper.
Being able to hold the colonel again so soon was like a dream come true for Grappler and he couldn't help but smile. It was weird, but when people slept they looked so innocent and Zapper looked like the most innocent angel (in his eyes). The lieutenant colonel wanted to do so many things at that point, but again he restrained himself, trying to keep his feelings hidden. He knew if anyone except Destroyer and Zeong knew about his crush his reputation would be ruined; if people knew that he was in love his fierce image would become a faint memory.
“Hellloooo. Grappler?” the lieutenant colonel jumped, noticing Madnug's face less then an inch from his own. “If you're going to sleep then I'll just take Zapper from you.”
“But I-” Grappler tried to argue, but Madnug was quick to snatch Zapper away, going back to his corner. The lieutenant colonel suppressed a growl in his throat before going over to Destroyer, who was currently sitting against the wall, resting. Grappler flopped down into the other lieutenant colonel's lap, scaring him. “Grappler?”
But Grappler was too busy trying to burn a hole through Madnug's head with his glare to notice Destroyer was talking to him. The white haired man had laid Zapper on the floor and was soon undoing the top half of the colonel's uniform. When Destroyer saw this he restrained Grappler who had been planning on murdering Madnug. “He's just going to make sure Zapper is okay.” Dom hissed.
“He's not even a certified doctor!” Grappler growled back.
“Actually he is. He's not as skilled as Gerbera, but he still knows a bit about the trade man.”
“Then why doesn't he just let the professor back in control?” Grappler asked, no longer struggling to free himself from the other lieutenant colonel's hold. Dom shrugged and Grappler leaned back and whispered, “If he goes any lower then Zapper's waistline or above his knees you will let me go.”
“Grappler, if Madnug does that then you'll have to beat me to him.”
As the two talked in the background Madnug called Sazabi over and was showing him a large bruise on Zapper's chest. “What do you think that's from?”
“Uh….” Sazabi kneeled down to examine the injury closer and Madnug glared.
“It's from the parachute. You didn't have the strap tight enough and it's likely he was falling too fast.” Madnug paused as he picked up Zapper's left arm. “Maybe if you would get those flying units working.”
“Hey! We're trying our best. It's not my fault the damn things don't work. Maybe if Gerbera would help us we'd be done with them by now.” Sazabi growled, glaring at the other man. Madnug just glared back before removing Zapper's left wrist guard, revealing the joint to be swollen and black. “Yet another injury because of our equipment. Probably landed on it and, judging by the extent of the damage, he hit down pretty hard.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean the parachute probably ripped. I don't know how, but it did. Zapper's lucky he wasn't knocked unconscious upon impact.” Madnug reported as he pulled a pocket First-Aid out and opened it. He was quick to realign the colonel's wrist and wrapped it in record time, but was cautious as he examined Zapper's chest further. “No cracked ribs that I can find.” He mumbled. Sazabi was staring intently at Madnug before standing back up.
“Well if you don't need me for anything then I'm going back to the cockpit. The war isn't over yet.”
“But we've practically won.”
“And yet there are still people fighting out there. Until Lacroa falls we shall continue to fight.” And with that Sazabi disappeared, back up front to observe the Bagu-Bagus' first use. Madnug sighed before turning his attention back onto Zapper. His hands were shaking as he touched the colonel's bruised chest, but then pulled his hand back and looked up at Grappler and Destroyer. “Could one of you two help me? I need someone to hold him in case he wakes up.”
Destroyer glanced at Grappler, but the lieutenant colonel was staring off into space now. So, carefully, Dom slipped out from underneath Grappler and walked over to help Madnug. Even when Zapper moaned loudly in his sleep when Madnug accidentally hit one of the many bruises, Grappler still didn't say anything. He just sat there, his eyes glazed over.
“Destroyer.” Madnug had finished with Zapper's chest and was examining the large cut on his right shoulder. “This needs to be sown up so I need you to hold his arm down. I'm not the most skilled when it comes to stitching, but I can manage as long as he doesn't move.”
Dom nodded and tightened his grip on the colonel's arms, knowing full well what would happen if Zapper woke up while Madnug was still working. Then the lieutenant colonel looked back up at Grappler, blinking in confusion when he saw the other soldier was smiling. “What's up Grappler?”
The lieutenant colonel tilted his head back so it was resting against the cold metal wall and chuckled. “Don't you see? It's over.” Grappler muttered, closing his eyes.
Grappler sighed, too happy to care about Dom's stupidity. “We've finally finished….the war…it's….over. And,” the lieutenant colonel trailed off as he looked back at Destroyer and Madnug. “We won.”