Someone lied. Not just the kind of lie that makes people angry for a while, but the kind of lie that can end a relationship for good. One ship and one member down, can the rest of the crew su...
I have had enough
Walk away before I finish what you started
Face to face I will put you in your place
End this game before I finish what you started
Face to face everything will change
--Trapt, "Stand Up"
Upon walking through the front door to their new home in Nalm, Trunks promptly headed for one of the sofas in the living room and slumped down in it, letting out a large sigh as he closed his eyes and tilted his head back. Stress was the cause for his concern, and Marice's departure a week ago without any word thus far was a large contributor to it. Of course, sitting around Nalm while his comrade was off risking life and limb without him was rather disconcerting as well. It wasn't as if Trunks craved conflict... he just didn't want of his comrades, let alone the weakest of them all, to be out on her own millions of miles away to where he couldn't protect her. Marice was like a charge to him; a little sister he constantly looked out for, and not being there to keep an eye on her, well... it was damn near driving him mad.
It was then that Armada entered the front door. Her hair was up in a bun, an unusual look for her, and she looked tired-quite a feat for someone who managed to sleep a handful of hours over the course of a few days. She headed past Trunks and straight into the kitchen where she opened the refrigerator to grab a quick meal.
"Whoa, haven't seen you in a while," Laiserta commented upon seeing her blonde comrade as she entered from the hallway.
"I just came to grab some food and a few tools I left here," Armada answered as she turned to face Laiserta, sandwich in hand. "Have you seen Naya?" she queried through the food that was already in her mouth.
"Yeah she's upstairs," Laiserta responded, heading to the small kitchen area as well.
Trunks opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling as he spoke. "When are we going to leave?" he asked flatly.
"When the ship gets fixed," Armada replied as she finished inhaling the last few bites of her lunch.
"When will that be?" Trunks queried once more, his tone sounding rather annoyed.
"Soon," Armada replied abruptly.
"How soon is 'soon'?" Trunks continued, still sounding irritated.
"I don't know," Armada replied, her visage showing her patience had already dissipated. "Why don't you find something useful to do in the meantime," she shot back.
"What?!" Trunks questioned, slightly angered as he stood and turned to face her.
"Hey, guys, I know we're all stressed out from stuff recently, but this really isn't necessary," Laiserta tried to mediate the impending argument but the pair ignored her as if she weren't there at all.
"You're the one being vague about the whole thing, so excuse me if 'soon' doesn't have a great definition." Trunks narrowed his eyes at her.
"These kinds of huge overhauls take time," Armada replied, either very annoyed or slightly angry; Laiserta couldn't tell for sure. "New parts and materials have to be ordered every day as I find more and more things wrong with the ship, so I can't give you an exact day of when it'll be done. Besides," Armada added darkly, "it's not as if I'm getting any real help from any of /you/."
That was it. Beyond irritated, Trunks wasn't going to hold back any longer. "Gee Armada, maybe if you weren't such an uptight bitch and allowed other people help you, it'd be done by now!"
"You'd only get in my way," Armada shot back flatly. "Besides, it's not my job to make sure you have something productive to do to occupy your time. Oh, and sitting around stressing out about Marice-/doesn't count/," she finished, her voice full of spite.
Armada had moved out of the kitchen and into the living room, but stopped heading for the door when she saw the infuriated gaze Trunks still shot her direction. Angry herself, she took the opportunity to speak once more. "Lai's taking care of the house, Naya's helped me update and revamp the navigational systems of the ship, and you haven't done anything! Get off your ass and do something before you bitch at me about the progress of the /Verdandi/,"
Trunks, now starting to become really angry, promptly responded. "I can't help it if I'm the only one who wonders if you supposedly built the ship and know it better than anyone else, then why the hell does it take you so long to fix it?!"
This struck a nerve in Armada as she clenched her fists and stayed silent, something she wasn't too prone to do in an argument.
"Oh," Trunks continued, apparently not done with his rebuttal, "and next time maybe I won't finish off the mob boss who's trying to kill us all!"
"If I hadn't had my energy sucked out of me in that prison Lai and I were in then I would easily taken Rieve!" Armada shouted back.
Trunks scoffed at her. "You never would have been able to take out Rieve because/ your power doesn't even hold a candle to mine!/" Trunks shouted, the room falling silent just as Naya entered from the hallway, dumbstruck as to what was happening.
Armada couldn't contain her boiling anger any longer. That last insult, directed at her strength, was just too much. "/Fuck you, Trunks!/" she screamed back, seething with anger. "Get the hell out of my house!"
"Fine by me!" he matched her decibel level. "I don't need this bullshit!" He promptly turned and stalked through the door, quickly disappearing on the streets outside.
"What just happened?" Naya tried to ask to either of her two comrades still standing in the room.
"Nothing," Armada shouted as she too headed through the door of their temporary home and went on her way back to her current projects, blowing off the initial purpose of her trip back to her home to retrieve a special tool set.
Laiserta simply looked to Naya and shrugged.
Trunks fumed as he walked, hands in pockets with his gaze focused on an invisible point beyond the surface of the ground beneath his feet. Where does she get off saying I don't /do /anything? /he thought bitterly. /Just because I don't know how to fix the ship doesn't mean I'm useless...
Trunks's thoughts continued as he walked straight ahead, barely missing running into any of the denizens of Nalm who happened to pass him by on the street. He had no idea where he was headed or what he was going to do whenever he decided to stop, but he knew he had to get away from everyone.
Trunks suddenly felt a contact against his left shoulder, as if he'd bumped into something. "Oh, sorry mate," he heard a vaguely familiar voice speak in apology for the slight collision. After moving around the stranger, without even glancing at his face, Trunks continued on his way.
"Hey, wait a minute..." Trunks heard the voice behind him. After feeling the hand placed on his left shoulder, Trunks turned to face the man who spoke to him. He stood before a young man very close to his own height, with light blue eyes and reddish-brown hair that stuck out in all directions, wearing a hauntingly familiar blue suit.
"...you!" Trunks exclaimed as he realized who the person was that stood before him. The same man that he'd seen Armada chasing through the streets of Ute when they first met over seven months ago.
"You were at the execution!" the not-so-strange stranger exclaimed. "Where's Armada?" he asked excitedly.
Despite the fact that he was still rather angry with her, Trunks still didn't feel safe just letting this guy know where she was-he'd robbed Armada last time, so who knew what his agenda was? "Why should I tell you?" Trunks shot back bitterly, his mood still sour.
"Look, I understand if you don't trust me," the stranger replied, his odd accent becoming more apparent with the more words he spoke, "but Armada and I are good friends; we've known each other since we were kids," he laughed slightly, his lips curving up into a small smile.
"You've known each other that long?" Trunks queried, thrown off of his angry thoughts at the moment by this startling information.
"Yeah," the blue-suited man laughed, "we grew up together." He paused and glanced around a moment before speaking once more. "Hey, why don't we go get some lunch and talk it over a bit. I just want to talk to Ar, and I know that you're traveling with her, so I'd rather be honest and up front about it; y'know, man to man."
Considering that at that particular moment, the prospect of discovering more about the one thing Armada barely mentioned-her past-didn't make Trunks feel guilty, the demi-Saiyan decided to go with it. "Sure," Trunks smiled bitterly, "why not?"
"Oh, by the way," the stranger outstretched a hand to Trunks, "the name's Dax."
"Trunks," the mercenary responded as he shook Dax's hand.
"All right then," Dax replied, "I know this great little Republican place just up the road."
After Trunks followed Dax to the restaurant he'd recommended and the pair sat down and ordered, Trunks had to ask a question that had been nagging him since he'd first bumped into Dax. "Are you with Rieve?"
"Heh," Dax laughed, "this, huh?" He tugged at the blue jacket he wore. "I was with Rieve for a while, but since you took care of that, I just haven't bothered to get a new wardrobe."
"Well I guess it's good to know they're gone," Trunks commented.
"That was one hell of a stunt you all pulled off," Dax added, leaning over the table somewhat. "To defeat Rieve...I don't even want to get on your bad side now, heh." Dax laughed and shook his head before taking a drink of his water.
Silence descended upon the pair momentarily. "So what is it that you want to see Armada about?" Trunks queried, getting back to the matter at hand.
"There have been whispers of the presence of an old comrade of ours around this area," Dax said, his eyes fading and his tone becoming much more somber. "I've got to tell Ar; someone has to warn her." He paused. "It's easy to make enemies when you spend your life fighting wars."
"So you two served in an army together?" Trunks surmised.
"Hah 'served'," Dax laughed rather... bitterly. "Never thought of it that way. But I guess when you get conscripted at the age of seven it doesn't seem like much of a choice."
"You were that young?!" Trunks asked, fairly shocked. What kind of world makes children serve in its military?!
"Well, we kind of had special circumstances," Dax brought his right hand to his chin as he thought about it.
"What kind of army takes in kids that young?" Trunks asked rather disheartened.
"Well," Dax took a deep breath, "it's a long story; I'll warn you." With that, he started talking of the place he and Armada were born and the few early years they both had before they were 'drafted.' Trunks listened intently, starting to wonder if maybe that's why Armada was the bastard of a captain that she was. However, as Dax continued, a wave of disbelief washed over Trunks, and then Dax said it/. The words that made Trunks's lungs deflate. The way Dax talked about the whole thing, Trunks /knew he wasn't lying... it was just nearly impossible to believe, that... all this time... Trunks thought. All this time... she's been lying?! Once he got over the initial disbelief, a wave of anger washed over Trunks. She LIED! He couldn't believe that she would lie about something so, so-
"I've gotta go!" Trunks stood and took off sprinting towards the home he'd left about an hour ago. He thought he heard Dax call out after him, but it didn't matter. Nothing mattered except finding out the truth. He silently prayed that when he arrived, he'd find Armada there... otherwise he'd have to tear through Nalm to find her, and it wouldn't be pretty.
When Trunks stormed through the front door of the home he and his comrades currently resided in, Laiserta literally jumped from her seat on one of the sofas watching 'television.'
"Where is she?" Trunks said clearly but without bothering to hide the rage that threatened to break out of him at any moment.
"Trunks," Laiserta started, "it wasn't that big of a deal, I mean-come on, everyone's stressed out and we all say things we don't mean-"
"Where is she Lai?!" Trunks shouted, not willing to listen to the words of his comrade who thought he was still mad about the little spat earlier. Oh, if only it were that simple, Lai... Trunks thought as he stared at her.
Trunk's head snapped toward the sound of the voice belonging to the person he now sought. Armada stood in the living room after having entered from the hall, still as tired and dirt-covered as she was earlier. She looked at him with her eyes narrowed, like Laiserta assuming his anger stemmed from events that had happened only a mere hour ago.
"I met a friend of yours in town," Trunks tried to stay calm at first as he began to approach Armada. Laiserta stood, mouth open, completely dumbstruck for what to do.
"Oh really," Armada said flatly and unmoving.
"Yeah," Trunks added as he stopped a mere meter from her. "The name Dax sound familiar?"
Armada tried to pretend as though she were unfazed, but Trunks noticed how her entire body tensed up slightly. She stood silent a moment before finally speaking, "I don't know anyone by that name."
"Stop the lies, Armada!" Trunks screamed. With her denial of the little fact of who Dax was, Trunks couldn't hold back and play cool anymore. "Dax told me everything/-including the fact that you're a Saiyan!"/
Armada couldn't hide the shock that spilled from her wide, surprised eyes and her slackened jaw. She couldn't hide her surprise in the way her lungs suddenly let out all of their air and she felt like she couldn't breathe.
Her reaction said more than any amount of words ever could. Trunks knew right then that it was true. Armada was a Saiyan-so was Dax-and she'd blatantly lied about it... claimed she knew nothing of what he was talking about when he mentioned his ancestry all those months ago.
"Oh Armada," Laiserta said lowly. She didn't quite know everything about what a Saiyan was, but she remembered what Trunks had told them, and if Armada was one of them, then why didn't she say anything? Laiserta could feel the anger, the sheer betrayal that Trunks felt, and she sympathized with him.
With a clenched jaw, Trunks just shook his head wordlessly at Armada with a furious gaze. He took a few steps backwards towards the door and turned and left. He couldn't stand there any longer and continue to look at her, as the anger and betrayal he felt towards her threatened his control over his actions.
Armada stood silent a moment, before she clenched both fists and her eyes narrowed in an odd, sad way. She seemed angry, but at the same time her figure told of a long-ridden despair that threatened to consume her whole. Suddenly, she let out a scream of frustration and ran through the front door, although a confused Laiserta had a good feeling that she wasn't going to follow Trunks.../hide/ was more the word that came to mind.