Even the closest friend may have something dormant within themself... You never can tell until the symptoms fully develop.
Hallelujah! I'M BAAAAAAAACCCKKKK!!!!
Now, this chapter might be a little short (19 pages), but It's got one of the most important plot things in the story, so pay attention. The first part of this story will be wrapping up with two or so more chapters, but don't worry! It goes on far longer than just that!
Disclaimer: I do not own Shute so cute, nor Baku, blazing anger eternal. If you say I do, I will hit you with a shoe. If you claim that Zero is mine to hold, or Captain belongs to me, I will slip down your pants an ice cube so cold, and kick you in the knee. Good day.
Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8
7. Pulse of Spirit
“So that's what's going on here. Or that's what we know anyway,” Shute tried to explain to the trio as they were approaching the doors of the conference hall in the compound under Noir Base. Not everyone was there; only Shute, the trio and Graye had chosen to attend the meeting. The other three were busy with other things, mostly with FeatherDragon composing a speech to be delivered at the World Peace council in an attempt to alert the administrative leaders of Earth.
Grappler Gouf emoted a frustrated emotion and growled, “Yeah, you told us 8 times already. It'd be great if you'd quit saying the same thing over and over.”
Shute whimpered a bit and blushed. Truth be told, he was extremely anxious about the whole idea of letting the Dark Axis trio into the base. What if they double-crossed? “I, uh, sorry.”
Dom stared off into the random hallways. “Big place.”
“Yeah. Amazing that this complex was built two months ago with a grant sent over from Cybertoy00. And they only just decided that this would be the permanent SDGManiac base. I didn't even know this place existed until Charon got us here, and I frequent mediaminer quite a bit; none of them have said a word about it online. But I've not been on the forum a ton, so I dunno,” Graye mused and then looked over at the red mecha with an apologetic expression. “Sorry.”
Zapper Zaku blinked his eye. “For what, organic?”
Graye pointed at the slightly damaged fin on the top of his head, “For that. I didn't mean it; really. I thought you were the enemy. We can get it fixed.”
“Nah. `sno problem; quit babying me, you freaky human,” He groaned and poked Graye and frowned. “Yuck, you're squishy too.”
Shute giggled; he wasn't the only one being poked. “It's okay Graye, they're like this all the time.”
“Yeah, I kinda figured that. It's a refreshing slap in the face, that's for sure. Someone who I DON'T want to kick in the nuts that's being a piss.”
Destroyed Dom glanced at Graye blankly. “Nuts?”
“You know; the er… crotch?”
Gouf looked at her oddly. “Come again?”
More vacant stares.
“Ah c'mon… you know… naughty bits?”
“You're making no sense,” Zapper yawned.
Graye frowned and tried one more time. “A guy's di-”
“We're here,” Shute interrupted. “This is either the conference room or the girls' bathroom; I forget which. That soldier was too sugarhigh to say anything clearly.”
“Wow; that's reassuring, Shute,” Graye mumbled and patted the boy on the head, pushing the door open.
The room looked almost exactly like the main above-ground performance hall, but was painted white. Most of the same people were there too, save FennFeatherDragon.
The motley group walked into the center of the room, slightly unnerved at the hungry staring.
Suddenly a huge roar of glee erupted from Melady, “I CAN'T CONTAIN MYSELF ANYMORE!!!”
A chorus of “SQQQQQQQUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUEEEEEEEEEE
EEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!” sounded as all of the fangirls in the room, save Graye, dogpiled the trio.
“GAH! TOO MANY HUMANS!” Dom frowned.
“Th…they're on top of me!! Squashy! Ack! Get them off! Get them off!!!!”
“Argh!!!!! There are humans playing with my circuts! Stop that you bags of female meat!!!”
BEEEEP Brief Interlude *insert picture of Bakunetsumaru snoring loudly asleep in Zero's lap*
The trio looked at the all the women in the seats in confusion. SBA, CrystalDragon, Melady and Charon were in their appointed representative seats, and FFD was absent to write the speech.
“Wait,” Zapper stumbled, “You mean all our fans are FEMALE HUMANS?!”
Graye shook her head. “Nope, there's one or two that aren't. But most of them, yeah.”
Dom stared blankly.
“Now that's just WRONG.” Grappler Gouf frowned, and Charon grinned.
She stood up, adjusted a slightly Chief Haro-esque Sabercat mask and waved. “Welcome, Dark Axis trio, to Noir Base. And that's just about as stuffy as I'll ever sound, so let's cut to the chase. You three know about our situation, right? SilverBellsAbove and Crystal told me the whole infiltration story.”
Zapper rolled his eye and spat, “Yeah, we know it a couple dozen times over by now. Humans just don't know when to shut up!”
Graye grinned and poked the red mecha, “Speak for yourself, Motormouth.”
“Heh,” Grappler drawled. “For an organic you're sort of above average.”
Graye stared at him in confusion. “Thanks I guess?”
“You just insulted Zapper. He likes that,” Shute whispered quietly, both looking at the peeved Zapper Zaku.
“Ah. I see,” Graye giggled.
Melady gave a bored look. “Okay, okay. Enough blabbing. We want to know what you know. You guys probably know more about what's going on than I do. All I know is that I've been on high for kicking that purple things shiny metal-”
“We get the picture Melady,” SBA sighed. “Sorry about Melady; she's feeling kinda blunt and to the point today.”
The Dark Axis fangirl made a `tsk' sound. “Feh! Why apologise?”
“Because this is conference time. Not evil time. If you want evil time you can do your evil time in the sparring room at the end of my whip.”
At this CrystalDragon burst out laughing, “OOH… didn't know you swung that way… or had a bondage thing…”
“ARGH! You know that's not what I meant!” the brunette growled. “So, MOVING ON, let's hear what the nice mechas have to say.”
Charon snickered a bit, but nodded. “Yeah. We need to know, or else Earth might be in trouble. What's the Dark Axis wanting with a backwater planet like us, much less abducting humans?”
Zapper gave a stubborn frown. “Why should we tell YOU?”
“Well,” TDAT-CrystalDragon followed, “Seeing as you were put in a big fat prison cell, the Dark Axis here must not be too friendly with you. Why not help yourself get them back while helping us?”
Melady gave an evil smile. “Besides, it's not like you three have anything to lose anyway. No where to go but up… you want me to lead you guys to the elevator?”
Everyone gave Melady a weird look.
“Whatever; just keep the metaphor in mind. Take it or leave it; our deal is that you guys will get your payback or whatever and we'll be rid of these Force of Evil wannabes. You guys kick more butt than they do anyway, so it's a win win situation.”
“Fine, fine. Whatever. We'll tell you. And you'd better be quiet because we aren't going to say anything again.” Grappler glared.
Dom gave a frown. “QUIET!”
Both Shute and Graye sat on the ground, crosslegged. Standing the whole time would be a pain.
“Ugh.” Zapper grimaced. “What is this now, story time? Okay, where to begin?”
“Us and Booms go through Zakorello Gate,” Dom reminded, somehow managing to look sagacious. SBA cocked an eyebrow.
Gouf nodded. “Yeah, right. There we were, sweeping the weapon room like slaves, which is exactly what we were, and then the Zakorello gate comes and swipes us and our stuff! Without warning!”
Suddenly, SBA jumped out of her seat and into the trio's faces. “POTATO!!!”
The trio were startled and fell back on their butts, a look of surprise on their mecha faceplates.
“WHA'D YOU DO THAT FOR, ORGANIC?! WHAT THE DELL WAS THAT?!” Zapper yelled. TDAT CrystalDragon giggled.
“One of the many random comments that you should expect by now. Watermelon pickles.”
SBA blinked. “Was it kinda like that?”
“Well, you got the `startling and completely random' part right,” Grappler drawled, and they all stood up again. “Anyway, we find ourselves in the office of one of the big honchos, the Assistant Deputy General. Or we think. It was just a plain room, and the ADG's voice came over the loudspeaker.”
Dom shrugged. “No see face.”
“Yeah. From what I gather, the ADG's a secretive, if effective pile of gundanium.” Zapper nodded, “But they forgot the `insane' in all of that. We were told we were traitors, and then… drafted to the cause. They assigned us that little purple paperweight as our `commanding officer' and forced us to do exactly as she said… so that explains the shocks.”
Destroyer looked at Shute. “Put human in the box, you see?”
Shute blinked, and nodded. He had never seen much intellect from Dom before, so the slight intelligence (though due to his programming, ability to rationalize and use proper grammar was still impeded) was just a little strange. “Uh huh. I saw them. There were crates, and there were people inside of them.”
Charon nodded. “Is that where all the people abducted are going? Into stasis inside crates and then shipped off somewhere?”
Gouf glared. “Don't interrupt, human. But that's correct. Beats me why, though. Why would the ADG EVER want organics, much less live ones?”
“Yes, that is kinda weird.” SBA yawned, “Is that all you three know?”
“Fuh… yeah..” Dom nodded. “Keep under watch; not know much.”
TDAT nodded. “Okay. Welcome to the SDGManiacs, trio. Nice to have you.”
FennFeatherDragon walked through the door. “Excuse me?”
“FFD, you done already?”
“Yes. I want you all to know that the president has chosen our unit to guard the World Peace Conference in Washington DC. In specific, he has requested the presence of TDAT-CrystalDragon, Melady, myself, SilverBellsAbove, Graye, and the accompaniment of seven `special deployment units', namely those from the SD Gundam world. I suggest you all get prepared. Tomorrow's going to be hectic. And Shute,” she nodded, “The Force is free now. They're milling around, but you can probably track them down. It's not that big a place.”
“Okay.” Shute nodded and left.
SBA sighed, got up and looked at all the rest as the fans started to file out. “I'll go get my evening training in. Melady, you look like you need to blow off steam. Wanna come with?”
“Do I ever. I'll whup you soundly this time, you can bet on it.” The girl grinned, “The only question is HOW to whup you today.”
TDAT rolled her eyes. “What has Mel got in her pocketses today?”
Mel only grinned.
“Well, I can deal with it, whatever it… they are… is.” SBA shrugged, “Ick. Grammar just died there. Ah well, let's get to it. I want to be ready for tomorrow.”
“Can you EVER find a reason NOT to spar? Do you EVER stop?” Mel poked at SBA.
“Can you? DO you?”
The trio stared. You can guess who said what.
“Well, these humans are very… complex for organic beings.”
“I've gotta say I'm with you there, Dom. CRAZY.”
Bakunetsumaru looked out the observation deck down to the training room below. Actually, he would have liked nothing more to be down there, but he was surprised to see it was already booked for a while. He would just have to wait his turn for now, and be content with watching.
Grappler Gouf entered the room with a bored look rolling around in his single eye. Peering through the plexiglass into the training room below, he uttered a few phrases.
“Oh look,” He shrugged. “Organics.”
Bakunetsumaru said nothing but was staring intently.
Melady and SBA were standing roughly ten feet from one another. Melady's voice came on softly through a speaker.
SBA grinned. “Sure; if you are. Just try to keep up. Don't want you to break your nose like last time.”
“Last time? I remember I gave you a sprained wrist last time.”
“Well, we're both psyched, so this'll be good. I can't wait to try something new that I've been working on today.” SBA grinned, “You start?”
Melady grinned insanely, “With pleasure.” That said, she pulled a long pole out of her pocket. The end immediately began to glow, white-hot heat emanating from the staff.
“Oh, shiny little toy. You've been busy. This ought to be good.” SilverBellsAbove smiled and in a dramatic crack she drew her razorblade whip, the electric field crackling as it settled to the ground. “So, in chess, white goes first. Are you white or black today, Melady?”
The other girl grinned, licked her lips and sprang, “Oh, most definitely white.”
“I hope you don't stain today as you usually do on white days, then.”
Bakunetsumaru watched the face-off with the utmost respect, but also with a kind of awe.
At this time, Grappler was staring at the furious combat below, a disturbed look on his faceplate. “This is NOT normal organic behavior…”
“Wanna bet?” a voice said a foot from behind Grappler.
Both of them were startled “GAH! Don't sneak up on me like that! How'd you get in here anyway, CrystalDragon?!”
The pilot just gave a dry look. “Um, the door? You were so sucked in watching that you didn't notice.”
Bakunetsumaru turned to look at TDAT as Melady drew first blood. “Won't the two injure themselves? They are fragile humans, after all.”
At this, the girl snorted. “Fragile? Those two? That's a pretty good one. The parameters of the combat room are set to simulate; they may feel pain and stuff down there, but neither of them are getting hurt. But Melady's house is pretty close to the airbase where SBA and I are usually stationed before we got transferred here.”
“What does that have to do with anything?” Grappler blinked.
TDAT gave a sly look and sat down in between them to watch the combat. “It means that every day SBA got off she would spend it sparring with Melady, or me if I could get our off days to line up. I forget how many times I've had to carry them both back and take the heat for them missing a day on patrol… those two can go on for hours… I think the record is them going straight a day and a half without food, water, rest or sleep. Just fighting like that. I think the record with me and Melady and me and SBA is about the same.”
Bakunetsumaru gave a small laugh, “Not bad. I've gone two days.”
TDAT just grinned. “And of course it's me that always drags them back where they're supposed to be. They can nearly kill each other doing this. It's happened before. And when no one's free they just train alone. SBA's excuse is that she needs to be good to protect people. I think Melady's is that she's bored and needs to vent. Me, I just say that exercise is good for me.”
The voices got louder on the intercom again. Melady gave a pleased smirk, and winced as a thin slash appeared on her arm, next to a near identical one that had been inflicted a moment earlier. “You're in pretty good form today! I haven't had so much fun in months!”
“Amen, oh evil one,” SBA grinned, “And I've not even gotten down to business with the real game yet.”
At this, Melady's grin only widened. “You're not the only one who's been working, foxy.” And soon was a maniacal smirk of triumph.
“Um… duh?” SBA offered. “And don't call me foxy!”
“Whatever, FOXY,” Melady waved, “Just make sure you've got your lunch after I'm done with you today. You're not the only one who's got a move.”
SBA was blasted backward with an unseen kick to the stomach. “URK!”
“Inferno Guillotine!” Melady grinned and threw her staff, spinning around in a giant wheel of incinerating heat. Her opponent gracefully jumped backward, but was still struck. A giant, burned slash appeared on the chest of SilverBellsAbove, and like a boomerang the weapon returned to Melady's hand.
In extreme pain, SBA doubled over and was reduced to one knee. A steady ooze of simulated blood dripped down her front as she looked up, a painful smile on her lips. “Not bad, Mel. Excellent form. If I hadn't jumped when I did, I would be in two bloody, medium rare chunks on the floor. A wonderful trick.”
“Glad you think so. Now, I'll take the win.” Mel grinned and rushed to deliver the finishing blow.
But SBA snapped upright despite the wound and deflected the attack with a precise swipe of the whip. “Not so fast. I'm not done with you yet.”
Bakunetsumaru was now staring. “She can continue to fight?”
“That's just freaky,” Gouf moaned.
TDAT grinned, “That's just like her. Neither of them know the meaning of the word `quit'. Though they could probably say the same thing about me, or worse.”
“Um, you're a bloody mess? And you're telling me you're not done?” Melady blinked. “You look pretty done to me.”
“Of course I'm not done. Just try to keep up,” SBA grinned and flicked her wrist, causing the two long blades on her whip to whiz dangerously close to Melady's nose. The girl stumbled backward.
Melady just looked confused, “What the heck are you doing?! Trying to rearrange my face?!”
“Quicksilver shockwave!” the brunette cried, and with a deafening thunderclap of a whipcrack the powerful electric field rolled off her weapon and sent a huge pulse of lightning streaming thorough the training room. Intense light flashed and subsequently Melady stumbled backward, quite charred.
The girl in the black jacket lifted her head, staggering back to her feet. “You're not too bad either. If this wasn't a simulation or if I was a Zako I would have been fried on the spot. Kudos.”
Both of them were having trouble standing now.
“We going to finish this, or what?” SBA groaned and clutched the wound on her chest, feeling faint.
“All or nothing,” Melady grinned, coughing.
“HAAAAAAAAAAH!!” SBA yelled as she charged her foe.
Mel in turn did the same. “RAAAAAAAHHHH!!”
They struck at the same time.
They fell at the same time.
SESSION OVER. TIE.
The blood and wounds disappeared and the two got up and walked out of the room.
TDAT grinned and punched the Blazing Samurai in the shoulder, “Wanna have a go, Baku?”
“So, what's the plan?” Graye asked as she belted the case for her plasma pike to her back. They were all getting ready in SBA's plane, the KITSUNE. Well, all except Bakunetsumaru. Crystal had offered him the back seat in her plane and he had accepted.
FFD fixed her uniform and adjusted a blast rifle. “We're here to see that things don't go bad at the conference. All the world leaders will be there, so it makes for a really big Dark Axis target.”
The trio had been silent the entire time. But now Zapper spoke up, “Yeah; we know that part. What am I supposed to do?”
The war hero simply nodded, “You three are going to be teamed with Melady to guard the west entrance of the Peace Hall. The Gundam Force, including Shute, will be guarding the south. Graye and I will be standing guard in the main conference hall. That leaves the private airstrip as the only other way they can get in, and that will be under watch by Crystal and Silver on the runway.”
“A well organized plan, Lady F,” Zero commented, using his own nickname for FennFeatherDragon.
Shute grinned, “Nothing will get past us!”
“But Shute,” Captain commented, “There still is the 1.8 chance that…”
Bakunetsumaru silenced his fellow gundam, “That's exactly what's not needed, Captain.”
SilverBellsAbove nodded from the cockpit. “We're landing. Good luck all of you; we're going to need all of it.”
“You're telling me.”
A conference is a conference. Full of people, all chatting amongst one another. Full of goofy nameplates on desks. And the single podium in the center of the hall. That's a peace conference.
“All clear,” Captain Gundam said into a communicator to FFD as the meeting started.
“Roger that,” Crystal agreed.
Grappler replied as well, “A-okay on this end.”
“Perfect. Over and out,” FFD nodded and the communications were put away.
Graye turned to her senior, starting to be a little antsy. “Do you think things will be okay?”
“I kind of doubt it.” FFD spat, “If the Dark Axis doesn't attack, it'll be things in here that are ugly. No one is willing to cooperate.”
The younger girl nodded. “Yeah. It's dumb that way.”
“We all know we're in deep crap, but no one wants to solve it.”
“People can be stupid that way,” FennFeatherDragon agreed.
“Amen,” Graye put in, and the conference started.
And for the next hour or so it was all matters political. FFD almost fell asleep. But halfway through counting the ceiling tiles, Graye froze. Something in the back of her heart was yelling at her to be vigilant, something was telling her all was not well. Something was sounding the call of battle in her head, and she tensed.
“I don't like it,” Graye suddenly mumbled and poked FFD. “Stuff is going to go down soon. I just know it.”
“Huh?” FennFeatherDragon blinked. “Nothing's wrong.”
“No, I'm just getting this funny feeling… I dunno… It's just saying that we are in danger and I can't stop it. And it's telling me to get ready to fight.”
The older woman shrugged, “I'm sure it's just your imagina-”
A few flakes of plaster fell from the ceiling and there was a low tone in the air.
Graye drew her pistol in a flash, “It got worse. I'm shooting the first thing that comes at me, I don't care what it is.”
A shrill ring of a communicator sounded and FFD picked up. “Yes?”
“It's Bakunetsumaru. Be on your guard; there is a reaction in my gunsoul… and I doubt it's a good omen. It can't be when both Zero and Captain feel it as well.”
Another ring. FFD switched signals.
“Zapper Zaku here. Listen, I know it's weird but just trust me. Something funky is going on. All of us on this end can pick it up, just don't blow it.”
FFD blinked. “I don't get it; everything's fine!”
Graye's eyes narrowed and she clenched her gun tighter. “It's getting closer.”
A few more pebbles fell from the ceiling.
A huge rumbling erupted out of nowhere, and a gaping hole in the floor opened up. Diplomats screamed.
All three units guarding doors burst inside.
“The dogs!” Bakunetsumaru yelled over the people, “They tunnel from underneath!”
“We've got to get these people out of here!” Shute yelled and tried to get the attention of the diplomats. “HEY!!!”
More panic. And the Dark Axis was likely to come out of the hole at any time!
“Well isn't this just perfect?” Grappler scowled.
Melady pulled out two flare guns and fired them. Two humongous plumes of sparks flew out and she yelled, “DO I HAVE EVRYONE'S ATTENTION?!?!”
“Well, that worked,” FFD nodded, “Okay, please remain calm. Follow me!”
FFD led all the diplomats and other people involved to a small, blockaded room, mostly safe.
“We're going to DIE!!!” the German diplomat cried, breaking down.
The French one patted him on the back, “Don't worry about zee problem, mon ami.”
“We have a squadron of experienced soldiers on our side; we're in no danger,” the Israeli ambassador nodded.
The Palestinian envoy glared. “You've underestimated things in the past; this may be no different.”
“And what have I underestimated?!”
“You!” The man growled.
Soon the whole room was alight with arguing and political insults. The heat rose and rose until finally, Shute couldn't take it anymore.
“QUIT IT!!!” he screamed “PLEASE STOP ARGUING!!!”
Everything stopped to stare at the child on the verge of tears.
“Please…” he sobbed, “This has to stop, really. It's only going to get worse. Don't you get it?!”
All of the diplomats began to gaze at him intently.
Shute wiped away the dampness on his cheeks and looked up at them all. “People are dying. His people,” he pointed to the Japanese ambassador, “Her people,” he pointed to the British woman, “Everything's dying. It's not the Dark Axis that's killing your people. It's you!”
A chorus of incredulous sighs echoed through the room, and a few people's eyes became downcast.
“All of you are killing this world,” Shute continued, “All of this fighting has to stop; how can you even think about the Dark Axis when you're willing to turn on your neighbors… friends… family? I know Graye said there was peace, but you guys are shooting on each other and blaming it on the Dark Axis! It doesn't matter if you say that this planet's just a rock floating through space that you all live on, this is your home. And all of you are living under the same sky, the same stars!”
“Who ARE you?” The Chinese diplomat blinked.
Shute immediately gave out a snicker, “Ha, I know it must seem weird that a kid like me's telling all of you guys this. I grew up in a place where everyone got along, but I've seen a lot, you know. Where I come from it doesn't matter if you've got black skin white skin, metal skin, it doesn't matter where you came from either. I know in this world it's not quite that simple, but c'mon. All of you are the same. You're not Americans, or Frenchmen or Italians or whatever the places in this crazy messed up world are. You all are the people of planet Earth. Can't you start acting like it?!”
For a while, save the banging on the reinforced doors by the Zako forces, all was silent. Then a single woman stepped forward, the representative of India.
“I propose an idea,” she hesitantly said, “All our armies work together. There's no use if we continue to wage war on each other as well as these invaders.”
“You have my consent.”
The room came alight with the agreement of diplomats and the shaking of hands. Graye stared at the triumphant boy as if he had taken on Tallgeese and won.
“You just did the thing that's taken years… darnit, MILLENIA to do. In the space of ten minutes. Wow.”
The bangings on the door became louder, and Captain Gundam voiced clearly, “I advise immediate evacuation of all civilians on the premises.”
“Trio, Melady,” FFD ordered, “Get these people out of here; take them to a safe rendezvous point. I'll send for personnel carriers.”
Melady nodded, “Let's hit the road, NOW ALL OF YOU FOLLOW ME!”
She and the trio herded all the diplomats out the back door, leaving the force, Graye, SBA and TDAT CrystalDragon in the room.
”I guess it's time to get down to business,” Graye nodded, putting her gun away and grabbing her pike. “No time to waste, right?”
“Yes,” Zero nodded and summoned his sword.
Crystal fixed her cuffs, “Let's get em'. They aren't going to get anywhere near my plane.”
Once again the door was banged open, and Captain Gundam forced the Zako soldiers back with his strength. Bakunetsumaru took care of them with two swipes of his sacred swords, but to their surprise that was all that was there.
“What?” SBA asked in confusion.
A rumbling cut them off, and a huge machine arose from the hole in the floor, a four-legged Zako creation with a control seat. At the wheel sat a very familiar lavender Zako…
“Surprise!” Slayer Edge grinned, “Gotcha!”
A metallic tail whipped around to strike at them all, catching Graye, Bakunetsumaru and SBA off guard. They were thrown back, and not soon after the communicators of the pilots rang shrilly and the faint voice of Melady was heard.
The carriers are here, but they can't take all of the people! And there are drones! We need backup, STAT!
“Gotta go, Force! We'll see you, and FFD, you'd better come too; we've got no authority over the ambassadors, remember!” Crystal called.
“Right!” Shute nodded, dodging a swipe of the leg, “You guys go on ahead, we'll clean up here!”
Crystal frowned. “Not without a goodbye present!” She started with a powerful movement, but then sprang at the creature spraying with the freeze blaster, but then sending a flurry of punches at the metal creature. Sparks rained in a torrent and melted the ice, shorting the robot with its own power. “Water Titian's Strike!”
“I get to kiss it goodbye too!” FFD nodded, “You can't escape gravity, Edge! Demi shot!” She shot a torrential hail of shots from her repeating rifle, the bullets piercing the shell and somehow slowing it down to a crawl. “Now, you guys take care! We'll meet you outside later!”
The three Earthlings exited, leaving only the Force and Graye to fight the slightly weakened contraption.
“You know, it's just too bad,” Slayer Edge sneered, “You could've used the help, but now you're doomed!”
Bakunetsumaru deflected a few shots from the mounted gun, “Ha! We've heard that plenty of times, you scum! Now get up off your contraption and face us honorably!”
“Not likely!” Edge grinned and raised a large foot, “Pop goes the human!” and tried to smash Shute, but luckily she missed… by an inch.
“AHH!” Shute piped, “Captain, help!”
Captain Gundam rushed over and shot the leg away from his friend. “Shute, you get back!”
“Can't you leave things alone for once, you little purple pest?!” Graye yelled, slashing the other leg of the thing.
Zero, who had been silent for a long time raised his sword and sent a powerful slash to the remaining leg, “Villain, take that!”
The last reachable spot, the knee of the final appendage of the machine (which by this time was rather wobbly) was struck and cleanly severed by Bakunetsumaru. The large apparatus clattered to the ground, immobilized. Dust and debris was stirred up, and out of the cloud a pink eye rolled, a childish laugh stabbing the air.
“Have at thee, knave!” Zero hissed, “What jest appeals to your vile humor so?”
The lavender Zako continued to laugh maniacally. “None of you even know what's going on. You think this is a teeny little conflict for any goodies earth might have. You're all so, so, stupid it's funny!”
“What is your game?” Baku growled, “Come where we can finish you off, then tell us of your insanity!”
“It's something that will make the Dark Axis unstoppable… It's the secret for an unlimited energy source, without mucking around with that Soul Drive stuff… Reiki is the answer, you dingbats. With Reiki and power we will conquer existence. And where will your pride be then, hm?”
The staring pink eye vanished into the darkness of the hole, and when the dust cleared enough to see, the Zako was completely gone. So much for victory. Bakunetsumaru turned away, contemplating the words with a frown on his usually determined face.
“Rei…ki?” Graye mumbled, “What?”
Captain Gundam turned to his musha teammate, “Bakunetsumaru, your behavioral pattern is abnormal. What is troubling you; do you have information on this recent development?”
“Perhaps. But perhaps not. Let's get to somewhere safer,” Bakunetsumaru informed hesitantly. “Maybe it's best if the SDGFManiacs don't know about this one until all of this is over. I doubt they'll take it well.”
“How is it that you know of such plans, Bakunetsumaru?” Zero intoned in the empty room next to the conference hall. The Force, plus Graye had met there to discuss what had went down that afternoon.
Bakunetsumaru shook his hand, “She spoke of lore that originated in my homeland. Reiki.”
“Uh,” Shute blinked, “What's that?”
“According to some of the old legends of Ark, it is a type of energy. Actually, it literally translates to `energy of the spirit', and it is said only to appear in humans.”
Captain blinked and blew a strand of hair out of his face. He still wasn't used to having it. “You have implied that there is no existence of human life in Ark.”
“Ah, but there are legends abound of humans. It's possible they were there in the deep past, but they are there no longer.” The musha explained, “Anyway, it is said that all humans possess Reiki, or spirit energy. Usually, it is said to be very weak and diluted, rendering humankind a mostly powerless race.”
Graye frowned. “But where does `unlimited energy supply' come in if it sucks in most people?”
“According to lore, all humans possess it in different degrees of intensity, so there are a few humans above their kin,” Bakunetsumaru went on, but his tone suddenly went desolate. “However, according to one of the most famous of all the human legends there is…well…”
“Out with it!” Zero pressed.
Bakunetsumaru shook his head “Forgive me, it's hard to say; the legend is dark and terrible. According to this legend, it is said that once every five generations, there is born a single child with an impossible amount held inside itself. So much in fact, it rivals the gunsoul in potency and may even have a similar energy signature.”
“And this is dark and terrible how?” Graye blinked.
The musha gundam looked at the girl potently, “The ultimate end of the legend is the eradication of most of Ark. An evil musha lord found a way to steal the spirit of that human and turned it into a weapon, nearly destroying all life on Ark in the process.”
“Wow,” Shute blinked, “That's bad.”
“Judging by the count of missing persons in this world, a logical hypothesis would be to say that the Dark Axis will use this world to harvest humans and use their energy. They are not searching for whomever this fable is based around.” Captain pointed out.
“A reasonable conclusion, Captain,” Zero pointed out, “Is there any way to determine potency of the human spirit?”
Captain paused, then nodded. “Yes. Using the bio data concerning the average human, I could calculate the level of Reiki in any lifeform I can scan.”
“Okay. So, what's Joe Shmoe's amount of juice?” Graye put in.
Captain stared at her. “Joe Shmoe is not a…”
“I think she means the average person's amount of Reiki, Captain,” Shute interrupted hastily.
Captain gave a blank stare for half a second, but then snapped back to reality. “I will create a unit for this type of energy. According to the biometrics of the average Neotopian human and the average Earthling human, he or she will possess 5 Reiki.”
Shute grinned. “Cool.”
“Shute,” Captain blinked with interest, “Possesses 10 reiki. Not surprisingly, the frequency synchronizes with my Soul Drive exactly.”
The kid grinned, “I'm so cool.”
Captain continued, “According to the scans I have made earlier, the average SDGundamaniac possesses nearly 19 Reiki, enough to power a basic attack drawing on their own Reiki.”
“Interesting,” Bakunetsumaru went on, “That explains some things. I was wondering if they were even allowed to have those sort of attacks, because they do, but I guess that they are.”
Zero waved a hand at the girl who had been silent for a while as he levitated off the ground, “Have you included Graye in your calculations?”
“Negative,” Captain replied, “I have not scanned her yet.”
“Really?” The girl blinked. “I thought you'd gotten around to it.”
Captain gave a blank look again for two seconds, and then said, “My last statement is now false. I have scanned Graye and will calculate her Reiki degree momentarily.”
Once again he gave a faraway look, but at once a rain of small sparks fizzed from the area around his arm for no apparent reason, and he jolted back with a series of twitches, a look of shocked surprise ringing around in his eyes. When CAPTAIN makes that face, nothing can be good.
“Ah!” Shute yelped and shook his friend back to reality, “Captain! Are you alright?!”
“Yes Shute. I am fine,” Captain gasped.
Graye blinked, “Sorry if it was my fault.”
“How powerful is her reiki, Captain?” Bakunetsumaru asked shakily.
A pregnant pause floated through the air.
“It must be a miscalculation. There is no possible way it can be a correct number. But my computation is flawless; there is something wrong here.”
Zero blinked, “What is the trouble?”
“Her Reiki,” Captain stumbled, “Surpasses the norm by a factor of more than ten thousand times. I calibrated the factors to accommodate for power organic life might hold, but I malfunctioned when her Reiki surpassed the limits I had set. Shute, Zero, Bakunetsumaru, Graye has a gunsoul, or something with a signature very like one.”
Once again there was complete silence. Four awestruck stares directed at the girl who sat in shock herself in her chair.
“Wait,” She eventually said, pale silver eyes darting around in unease. “Say what?!”
Betcha you didn't see that one coming. Or maybe you did. Whatever. So the Gundam Force is NOT rubbing off on Graye. It's something different.|
Believe me, more will happen and be explained next chapter. I promise. Really.
I smell an epic battle close by. I know you do too.
But the question remains…
WHY DOES GRAYE NOT HAVE AN ATTACK YET?!
You'll see next chapter! Tune in next time, peeps!
Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8