Categories > Anime/Manga > Dragon Ball Z > Illumination

Mission 02: Rebel Without a Cause

by SilverArmada 0 reviews

The crew (wow, a whole two people ^^; ) heads out on a mission for...Tere?! What's going on? Hilarity ensues...and both will hate 'needles' afterwards. ^_^

Category: Dragon Ball Z - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Trunks - Warnings: [!!] [V] - Published: 2006-02-11 - Updated: 2006-02-12 - 8600 words

Mission 02: Rebel Without a Cause
The quiet hum of the Verdandi'/s heating/cooling system echoed through the mostly empty ship. Trunks yawned, opening his eyes to stare at the ceiling above himself. For a spacecraft, the place was pretty comfortable. Granted the /Verdandi was small, it never felt small or cramped. Almost as if no matter how many people would occupy it at one time, there'd always be room for more.
Trunks sat up in bed, bringing his feet to the not-so-inviting cold metallic floor. The bite of the ground hadn't fazed him. He stretched, wiping a hand across his face in an attempt to awaken. It took him only another moment to finally rise. He quickly made his bed before hopping into the shower, with each of the three rooms containing it's own lavatory respectively. Afterwards, he proceeded to get dressed, sans one blue jacket, and make his way to the bridge.
Armada sat at one of the navigational consoles, specifically the one to the right of the pilot's seat. She sat lazily, with her left elbow against the board and her chin resting in her hand, while her right hand used a controller on the console to scroll through a list of figures on the monitor before her.
"Do you ever sleep?" Trunks asked on approach.
"Only when I'm forced to," she replied in an uncaring tone. This was odd, compared to her normal sarcasm that is. Armada continued her monotonous scrolling and clicking through whatever list it was she was analyzing, not bothering to look at Trunks once. "I've already cooked; there're leftovers if you want them. If not, fix something for yourself then."
Armada wasn't a great cook; but she wasn't terrible either. Whatever she did cook, however, always managed to hit the spot. "Okay," he responded automatically. It had only been four or five days total that he'd stayed on the /Verdandi/, and already he didn't care what was for breakfast. It was there, so it wouldn't go to waste. He walked across the bridge, exiting through a doorway on the left side. Both the kitchen and the 'living room' of sorts weren't connected to the main corridor, and were the only two parts of the ship that remained so.
Trunks found the well-kept remains of breakfast. It was greenish looking and resembled rice, but tasted nothing like it. It was another foreign cuisine that he had yet to know the name of. The meal was fine; he sat at the counter and ate quietly. Armada had told him she had a mission lined up that would last the two about a week but the client suddenly backed out. The next mission wasn't set to go for another week or so, so until then there was nothing to do except wait and hope that by chance somebody would call.
Breakfast didn't last long, and Trunks soon found himself washing utensils and putting them away. He leisurely headed back to the bridge to find something to do, seeing as how nothing was happening.
He'd only just passed through the bridge after seeing that Armada was not there anymore when he heard an obvious 'Yes!' come from the Comm. Room. Armada came running up to him in the corridor after exiting the tiny room. "Get ready to go! We just another mission!" She scampered past him into the bridge again. Trunks went back to his room to grab a few things.
Armada was in the pilot's seat in no time, punching in coordinates once again with a slight look of glee on her face. Trunks followed up from behind, adjusting the strap of his sword's sheath across his chest on top of his jacket. "So what's the mission?" he asked while seating himself at the navi-console to the right.
Armada turned to face him. "Remember Tere? They're hiring us to help them break into a government building in Mainc, a city in the northern parts of Bmyhad. We'll fly to Juu, leave the Verdandi there and cross the border on foot where we'll be given some sort of transportation-they're not sure just yet-to Mainc with a group of guys from Tere. They'll brief us on the exact plan once we get to Mainc."
"Wait a minute, why the hell are we going to help Tere?! Have you already forgotten what they tried to do to Lennir?" Trunks shouted at her, enraged by her apathy for the situation.
"No, I haven't forgotten-but like I told Lennir, this my job; it's what I do. Anyone with enough cash gets my business, and I don't make friends with every single client I get," she reciprocated with disdain.
Trunks was very unlike Armada-he wouldn't do anything to make a quick buck. But after the twenty five thousand beta of the last mission, and considering its time and difficulty, or lack thereof, he couldn't afford to quit. Besides, he wouldn't let the personality clash between himself and Armada step in the way of this job. He sighed and she turned back around, finishing the launch sequence. The roof of the /Verdandi'/s garage, building 7873, opened up and in no time the pair was headed for Juu.
Both were silent for the duration of the flight.
"You guys from VDD?"
"Can't you read the side of the ship?" Armada tossed back as she and Trunks stood on the ground in front of the /Verdandi/.
"Okay, I get it. Shit," the red haired man cursed. He wasn't too high up on sarcasm. He turned and called over his shoulder. "Hey Bro, get over here!"
"I'm coming; you don't have to yell," the lanky youth spoke as he approached while adjusting his large glasses upon his face. He wore clothes that appeared to be several sizes too large and that didn't quite match.
"Meirk!" Trunks blurted out before realizing it.
"Huh? Oh, hey!" Meirk reached out and shook hands with Trunks. "I didn't know we got you guys!" he exclaimed with admiration.
"I didn't know we had a reputation," Trunks laughed.
"Well, I have the reputation; you're just along for the ride." Armada's sarcasm was out in full force.
"Heheh," Meirk laughed, "sounds like this happens more often than not."
Both mercenaries' eyes narrowed. "It's not like that," they said in unison.
"Uh, right," Meirk dodged nervously. "Oh, I almost forgot, this is my brother, Rail," he said while placing his right hand on the red haired brute's left shoulder.
Rail was very built, and very unlike Meirk in his appearance. Rail's hair was uneven and jutted out in spokes from his head, and was a bright red in color, attracting attention whether purposely or not. His clothes fit him well and were fashionable of the times, another clue to his meticulous nature about his appearance. He was attractive, simply put.
"We have a few things to get together before we can cross the border, so you'll come to camp with us at Northbase, our post not too far from here," Rail reported mildly. He and a few other men turned and began to walk northeast. He stopped and faced the others once more. "We'll have to walk; we can't afford to bring transports out this far." Rail once again continued with the pedestrian convoy.
Armada and Trunks shrugged to one another and followed suit with Meirk walking between the two.
Trunks estimated that the group had walked several kilometers in the few hours they had been traveling. The two mercenaries and one rebel brought up the rear of the group still, but not from lagging behind. Trunks was fine, he was used to this sort of thing from training. Armada had no apparent difficulty that Trunks could see. Meirk, however, was another story.
Every now and then, he'd trip up over something small, like a rock or a bush, seeing as how he didn't pay much attention to the ground. He looked as if he'd collapse at any moment. And when he'd attempt to fall, either Trunks or Armada would quickly and effortlessly whip out a hand and catch him, usually by the wrist but sometimes around the brachium. Poor Meirk. He already looked pasty and un-athletic, let alone when he was hiking several miles through not-so-forgiving terrain.
"Hey, I heard about that 'factory' you trashed a few days ago," Meirk said excitedly to Armada while he adjusted the glasses on his face once more. "Those were some sweet moves I heard you pulled back there."
Armada laughed. "It wasn't anything difficult, really; they even made it easy by keeping so many explosives around," she said. On certain issues, well a lot of issues really, Armada was not a modest person.
"You might wanna be careful though," Meirk continued. "I heard Rieve had a bid in on that place and already put down the first half right before you demolished it."
"I don't care what the hell Rieve does," she replied with a more serious tone, "I'm not gonna run from them or anybody else; I'm not scared."
"Care to explain any of this to me?" Trunks piped in before the conversation could continue.
"I don't know what your Earth is like, but society isn't very different from place to place," Armada began. "Here...well...I mean..." She couldn't seem to find the words at the moment. "When Meirk said 'factory,' that's not what he literally meant...if you get what I mean."
"Like...what?" Trunks asked, still trying to follow.
Armada thought for a minute. "Weapons. The illegal kind. Except in some places they're legal. Well in this area they aren't, and I was paid to take out one of their factories, which I did," she finished quickly.
"Okay, I get that. But who's 'Rieve'," Trunks carefully pronounced the word, mimicking it as he heard.
"Rieve is an organization that's above the law," she stated coldly. "Understand?"
"Yeah," he replied. /A not-so-legal-organization/, he thought.
"You've probably seem some of them," Meirk interjected excitedly. "They wear those weird blue uniforms."
"Blue uniforms...?" Trunks said to himself while thinking. "Hey Armada, that guy that robbed you in Ute, he was in a blue uniform, wasn't he?" he turned to ask his comrade.
"Yeah, that's Dax. And yes, I know him. He's not really... he's...well..." Armada shook her head in an indication that she didn't wish to continue with the subject further. Trunks gave it up and the three continued on in silence.
It was around midday when the small group arrived at Northbase. It was really a bunch of tents set up near the border, but it was done fairly neatly. Each white tent looked identical to the next, some larger than others and some mostly open and others entirely closed. To Armada, it resembled a military camp.

"All right men, ready to go?" Armada stood on a small ledge in front of her company's encampment. The troops at the base camp cheered in joy and high morale, ready for the great battle in which their leader would bring a strong victory. She smirked, excited herself for the impending bloodshed.

Armada blinked and shook her head, coming back to reality. /Funny how I remember things like that/, she thought. Actually, she didn't find humor in the matter.
"I'm gonna go...get some rest...okay?" Meirk panted out between breaths to the two mercenaries.
"Yeah, sure," Trunks replied while Armada was still in a daze.
"I'll be going with you guys to Mainc. 'Till then!" he waved as he dashed off. Trunks was a little surprised that he'd have the strength left to jog after that hike, let alone run like he did.
Trunks turned to face Armada as she walking away. "Hey! Where're you going?" he shouted after her.
"I'll be back," she replied, still looking kind of out of it. She turned and continued to meander through Northbase.
"Everyone tends to leave me by myself," he sighed. Trunks then realized the full meaning of his statement-how everyone back home had died. Even Gohan. He only had his mother left, and he ended up leaving her. How ironic.
Trunks wondered how Bulma was doing back on Earth. He hadn't seen her or spoken to her since he left. "I'll have to go visit sometime soon," he told himself while walking. No sooner than he realized it, Trunks had run into someone. This time, it was just a small bump of a collision, not like the one with Armada, but he apologized all the same.
"I'm sorry-" he started, but stopped once he looked up. He'd run (well, walked) into some strange, huge bluish alien that was at least twice his height, if not more. The stranger had two yellow eyes and resembled a human in the face, but was covered with green freckles over the blue skin and what appeared to be gills on the sides of his neck. "Geez!" Trunks exclaimed and jumped back. The stranger gave him an equally disapproving looked and continued on.
"After all this time and I'm still not used to that," he said aloud to himself while continuing. Trunks wandered around for a while, peeking into this tent and that, just generally poking around the camp. He found the mess tent and grabbed a bite to eat; some reddish beans and another unknown vegetable to him that was fairly satisfying. He found the weapons tent, where hand-to-hand combat and long-range devices such as rifles were intertwined-he even saw a mace-like tool that had some sort of laser in the end of it. He found the armory where they kept several kinds of armor, and he was reminded of Lennir. Trunks passed by other tents of wares without really going in, just 'window shopping' from the outside.
He'd eventually made his way to the end of the line of tents and noticed one large, slightly decorated canopy underneath which Rail and some his colleagues reviewed their plans. Being hired to help on this job, he decided it wouldn't be a bad idea to go see how the group was doing.
"So we're going in the side, the second company through the back, and you guys from underneath?" asked a slightly older man who was standing next to Rail.
"Right. Euma's got the rear because his group knows how to deal with the security back there, and my group can get in easier from underneath. Your group, Ahtsui, has the pass codes and keys for the side entrance, so that pretty much tells us already who's going where. What I'm really concerned with," Rail continued, "is the sixth floor. I have reports that it has the most elaborate security system, and other reports-such as the building schematics-say that it doesn't even exist."
Trunks approached and stood to the side, watching as the men debated and planned the best course of action. Once they had it figured out, the other two men relaxed and sat down.
"Trunks, right?" Rail said turning to face him. "Have a seat. I bet our debate wasn't the most exciting thing you've ever heard."
"It wasn't that bad," he laughed back.
The blonde man, whom Trunks presumed was Euma, spoke. "So we leave when the rest of the group's ready?"
"And VDD," the brunette opposite of Euma added in.
"Right, Ahstui," Euma said unamused.
"So what exactly is my role? With Armada, I mean," Trunks asked. Rail leaned forward over the table laden with maps and diagrams and divulged the plan to Trunks.
Armada stood at the edge of the camp with all the tents behind herself. She stared out over the grassy yet barren terrain, gazing at the tree line in the distance.

The landscape burned. Fire engulfed everything, and the place smelled of burnt flesh from those who'd been caught in the fire. The smell of death covered everything. It meant victory, yes, but there was sadness within her. She had to wait until next time...

Armada closed her eyes and opened them slowly again, reminding herself of where she was. "Who would have thought that a thing as simple as this could bring back so many memories?" she said aloud to herself quietly. She winced inwardly. /Now is not the time to be thinking about what happened back then/, she told herself.
"Hey!" Armada turned to see Meirk coming her way, now wearing different garbs from before-they even matched this time. A nice improvement. "We're getting ready to go. C'mon!" he pulled at her wrist excitedly, as if to drag her behind him. Right.
"Wait," she said taking her hand back from him. "How are we getting to Mainc once we cross the border?"
"Um, well...we lied. We have to go the full way by foot. Sorry," Meirk said with some shame.
"Ah, it's not a big deal. We would've come anyway," she tried to reassure the revolutionary. He looked up to her and opened his mouth to say something, but she cut him off. "Let's just go. Okay?" Meirk nodded in agreement and the two headed for the other side of the base.
"Euma's group will run two umns to the east of us, and Ahstui's company four umns southwest. Anyone not designated to come with us will stay here and guard the base," Rail's voice was thunderous over the crowd. He stepped down from the chair he was standing on, indicating that the speech was over and the crowd dispersed into one of several directions-either to their specified commander or back to their tents.
Meirk and Armada pressed forward and soon caught up with Rail, Trunks, and a few of Rail's men in front of the head tent. "Bro, Armada, I was just about to have somebody go look for you two. Where the hell you been? Doesn't matter; anyway, you two are coming with my group," Rail stated plainly to the two.
"What about me?" Trunks asked, assuming that he'd simply go with Armada in Rail's company.
"You're going with Ahstui. The plan is that we do most of the work until we get to the sixth floor. You and Armada are gonna take over there and help us get past the security systems. All the important stuff is on floors nine through twelve, so after we get past that one tricky floor it's home free-they don't keep security very tight higher than the sixth." Rail finished and started to head off. "Let's go," he threw back over his shoulder, the command directed at Armada and Meirk.
Armada rummaged around in her pocket for a moment while Meirk spoke. "Didn't you hear him? It's time to go!"
"Hold on, damnit. I can't find-here we go!" At that moment she pulled a small, deep navy blue rectangular piece out of her pocket. It had a large 'X' etched across one side and easily fit in the palm of her hand.
"What's that?" Meirk asked with interest, leaning in closer to get a look at it.
Armada swatted him away. "Get back!" she shouted annoyed. She took a few steps back from Trunks and Meirk. "Watch this," she said triumphantly and with a smirk. She held the piece against her waist in front of herself and tapped the 'X'. Neon blue lines ran out from the device and traced a pattern around her, then suddenly solidified into similar pieces like the first, joined together to form a belt. Neon blue lines once again sprung forth, this time from the entire loop of pieces, and traced along her body, except for her head. With a flash of light, the lines solidified once again-into a complete set of battle armor! The hard dark blue substance covered her chest, forearms, lower torso, and legs. Underneath was a black material that appeared to be simple cloth, but was actually a tough fibrous material.
Trunks and Meirk stood with wide eyes and open mouths. "What was...?" Trunks tried to stammer but was answered before he could finish the question.
"The digital armor, as I call it. I designed it. I can manipulate the armor into doing many things, even appearing on the spot like this," she stated with an air of superiority.
"I never knew you had armor," he said, still in a little shock.
"What, do you think I'd wear it all the time?" she questioned. "I dress down so people don't recognize me. I mean, walking around in battle armor all the time is begging for attention. Besides, the simpler the outfit I wear, the easier it is to toss on a coat and hat and throw people off my trail if I'm being followed."
"Well, that does seem to make sense," Meirk admitted.
"MEIRK! Let's GO!" Rail shouted out to his brother from across the field. Meirk winced in embarrassment. He looked to Armada and she nodded. The pair then headed off with their group, leaving Trunks to himself in Ahstui's legion.
It didn't take Trunks long to catch up with his group. From camp, the three companies each began their march. For two thirds of all the rebels, they marched away from Northbase for several kilometers and then headed towards the border. Trunks judged the distance Rail had mentioned, umns, to be about the length of a kilometer. While marching, he noted that Rail had the largest group of the three, and Euma had the smallest. The border could be seen up ahead in the distance, where a small, decrepit wooden fence served as the border.
"Rail said he hired you," Trunks heard a familiar voice from behind him. He turned to see a dark haired man who looked about Meirk's age jog up to meet him. "The name's Gemma." He gave a slight wave.
"I remember you," Trunks began. "You were the one who was scared of me. When I was talking to Meirk at Lennir's concert."
"Heheh, yeah," Gemma turned a bright red hue and scratched the back of his. "But you weren't on our side then."
"Well, I'm not really on anyone's side," Trunks stated factually. "This is just my job, you know," he said mimicking what Armada had told him. Although if he could choose a side, it'd be that of Lennir and K'ha.
"Yah, I guess you've got a point there. I kinda hoped you guys'd be working with us longer though. Pitchin' in on the effort; the cause." Gemma sighed disappointedly. "That's okay though, everybody has to live his life how he wants." The two continued marching for a while without anymore words passed between them. Gemma spoke once again. "I kinda wish Meirk came with us, but Rail's too overprotective of him. I keep telling him he's not gonna die or something, but no, Rail's too stubborn to believe that his baby brother's actually a goddamn adult. Hmph." Gemma snorted in frustration.
Trunks laughed. "Do you really have issues with Rail or what?" he joked in the form of a question.
"He never lets me and Meirk do anything!" Gemma whined, sounding much like a small child. "It's always 'too dangerous' or some shit like that. I mean, no offense to Meirk and all, but who cares? How many people are out to get /him/? Seriously," he shook his head and rolled his eyes.
"I can tell you don't have much love for Rail," Trunks laughed. "So tell me about Tere. Do you hate it?" he asked out of curiosity.
"Nah, the family's great. Except for dear old dad," Gemma chuckled.
"The family? So you see Tere as a family?" Trunks pursued.
"Well, yeah, I mean...where would I be without it? Probably on the streets like I was before," Gemma said while taking a large step over a mud hole. He turned to face Trunks. "Tere is a home for those without. I mean, I don't care that much about the whole revolution thing, but I have to act like I do so I have something. You know?"
"But you're a capable person; I'm sure you can get a job somewhere?" Trunks suggested with concern.
"Nah. For one, there aren't that many jobs since the economy's been down for the past thirty or so years. And for two, once you're in Tere, you don't leave. Nemo makes sure of that," Gemma said with serious intonations.
"So Nemo's still alive..." Trunks muttered under his breath to himself. He was pretty certain that Armada had killed him, but apparently he was wrong. Trunks looked up and saw another guy yelling and waving at Gemma, a gesture that to anyone would have suggested 'come here.'
"Hey, I gotta go talk to someone," Gemma said regaining Trunks's attention. "I'll see you later, probably when we arrive at Mainc." Gemma waved and scurried forward in the mass of men and headed for this friend who called for his attention.
Trunks relaxed. The hike was kind of refreshing.
Rail marched in front of his legions, leading them physically and emotionally. He'd never really asked for a position of leadership; it was handed to him because he had a way of attracting people. He himself didn't understand what it was, he only accepted it.
He looked over to his right. His brother was walking alongside the blonde from VDD who was next to himself. He watched them both from the corner of his eye for a moment. The two seemed so out of place beside one another. Her cold countenance was unwavering; staring forward to the task at hand. Meirk, on the other hand, was fumbling along, tripping over bits and pieces here and there, and couldn't keep a decent look on his face to save his life. Here were two extremes.
"I'm gettin' kinda hungry. Maybe we can eat once we get to Mainc-" at that moment Meirk caught his foot underneath a root and fell forward. Armada snapped around and caught him by the wrist, stopping in her tracks to help him. Rail saw this and immediately snatched Armada's hand away from his brother forcing her to drop Meirk regardless. He crashed to the ground with a slight 'thud' due to his light frame.
"Keep your hands off of him!" Rail shouted at her.
"What the hell? I was only trying to help the poor kid!" she shouted back. "No thanks to you now."
Rail released her wrist and made his way the short distance to his sibling and helped him back to his feet. "You need to watch where you're walking," he told his younger half.
"Yeah...sorry Ris," he said disheartened while he stood. Rail winced at hearing his childhood name mentioned but quickly shook it off.
Armada gave Rail an infuriated gaze as he turned to face her. "Get the fuck away from me!" he shouted. Rail swung around and placed his left hand on Armada's collarbone and shoved her to the ground.
"That's IT!" Armada jumped up quickly and punched Rail across the face, starting the fight that would try to ensue. Rail stumbled backwards and Armada charged at him but found that within the matter of seconds it had taken to scramble to her feet and give Rail a good one, the soldiers had noticed and now six of them were holding her off.
Rail wiped at his already sore cheek with his left hand. He stood up straight. There was already a crowd surrounding the area. "We're all adults here; we can settle this reasonably." Armada relaxed although Rail's groupies hadn't let go yet. She looked over to Meirk and while looking away, Rail closed the gap between the two and punched her in the face.
"You bastard!!" she shouted at him, writhing to break free from the six revolutionaries without harming them in order to snap the man's neck.
"One for one," he said, spitting the blood that seeped into his mouth onto the ground at his side.
The men dropped Armada to the ground. She sat staring at her feet for a moment. /For somebody without ki, he sure does hit hard/, she mentally noted. Once Armada looked up she was greeted with a plethora of different weapons pointed at her face. The soldiers had only let go of her so they could draw their firearms.
"Back of the pack," Rail started. Armada sat unmoving while staring at him. "If you want to keep your life and still make a little money I suggest you do as we say," he added. Rail and a few others turned and began their march again while Armada watched from her seat on the ground. While people around her kept walking, she tucked her right leg in closer as she received menacing glares from the members of Tere.
Once everyone had passed, she stood and dusted herself off. Sure, she wanted to fly over the soldiers to the front and rip out Rail's internal organs. /No/, she thought. A much better idea had just made its way into her mind. Revenge much worse than killing Rail. She smiled to herself while walking. Armada pulled a small piece of her belt out and held it in her left hand. It projected a rather transparent looking board and screen, which read "Compose Message."
The border was completely undefended; all that they had to do was hop over a one meter high wooden fence, composed of two boards standing up from the ground with two levels of one board running between every set of two. As Trunks had heard, it was the farmer's fence in Bmyhad. His grandfather or something had put it up years ago.
After crossing through several empty fields of agriculture, as it was harvest season, the three slices of Tere had made it to Mainc and met up at the outskirts of the city. "Find your pets, don't let them get away. We'll meet back at the nursery, just go straight there after finding your pet," Ahstui said to his group of thirty-some people. With that, in pairs the members of Tere ran off in all different directions, leaving Trunks and Ahstui by themselves. "You're coming with me," he said to the demi-Saiyan. Trunks then realized what Ahstui said was some sort of code and everybody was going to get to this building on their own. To avoid attention, he figured. So, Trunks went with his partner, Ahstui, and the two headed on their way.
Armada wandered through the troops while they dispersed. /Where am I supposed...? /she thought. At that moment, a familiar grasp wrapped itself around her forearm. She snapped around and swung her arm away from her assailant. "Rail!"
"You're coming with me!" he shouted. He grabbed her arm once again. "You don't know the way in and I hired you, so you'll do what I say."
"Get your hands off of me before I break your damn face!" Armada countered with equal rage.
"Fine," he said, calmer now while releasing her from his grip. "But you'd better stay close and not get lost." Rail bent down to her face to emphasize this point. He turned on his heel quickly and started off in another direction than the one he'd been previously walking. He made it to the entrance of an alley, took a few glances left and right, and went in. Armada followed, but stopped as Rail did to look back. She saw a strangely dressed man standing on a street corner a good distance away. From under his dark hat, he nodded to her. Armada smirked and nodded back before disappearing down the alley much as Rail did.
Rail found a manhole cover in the intersection of two alleys. He moved it out of the way and waited for Armada to approach. "Down," he stated harshly.
"Obviously," replied the still angered Armada. She deftly jumped down into the dark, and landed to her surprise on solid ground. She looked up and saw Rail coming, so she moved aside while trying to read her surroundings in the dark. It certainly didn't smell like a sewer, and she heard no running water. The place was confusing her. Rail closed the cover and made his way slowly down the ladder. Beside the metal ladder hung flashlights, of which Rail grabbed one. He turned it on, revealing not a sewer but more of an underground passage-the place had the buildup of dirt through time but not of heavy traffic or water. And so, they continued on their way.
Trunks followed Ahstui casually through a mixture of streets and alley-shortcuts. He spotted a tall white building not much farther ahead and assumed that it was the one they were heading towards. It took only a few more moments before the two arrived at their destination at one side of the building. Only six or seven other people from the infamous Tere had made it. The look on Ahstui's face said that he'd expected this to happen.
"Mura, the keys please," he said to another man who handed him an assortment of odd shaped pieces, ranging from what looked like a throwing-knife to a ball-bearing like sphere. Ahstui pilfered through the charms and put them into a pouch hanging from his belt. He faced the door leading into the building and typed in a series of numbers on the keypad, waiting patiently for each step to finish before continuing.
This'll take forever... Trunks thought with a sigh.
The two reached a small blockade in the passage. "Damn," Rail cursed himself. He didn't know it would be blocked.
"Now what?" Armada asked, agitated.
"We'll go back until we find a way up and try to barnstorm the front. The others are probably blocked and will do the same thing," he said still eyeing the rubble filling the passage before himself.
After setting in another set of numbers, what looked like a drawer popped out from underneath the keypad and contained a compartment for a small ball. Ahstui carefully dropped in the 'key' and the second door opened. Onward, to the third his group went.
Armada pulled herself along the ladder back to surface world from the hidden corridor from which she and Rail had recently traveled. No sooner had her shoulders cleared the ground, Rail reached down and snatched her left arm near the shoulder, yanking her out with enough force to lift Armada above the ground he stood on. Once she'd landed, Armada was just about to scream at Rail once again but gunfire soon found its way upon the two.
"Fuck!" Rail shouted. He quickly pulled back into an alley behind where he stood, dragging Armada with him. The building they were attempting commandeering was just a block farther down the street from where they stood. Unfortunately, Bmyhad's military was there in full force trying to blow them away.
"Oh, nice one there Rail," Armada spat, placing emphasis on his name.
"We're not quitting just yet," he said, checking back around the corner to see the count of soldiers firing upon himself. He turned his attention back to his position and quickly searched around. It took him only a moment to find what he was looking for. With one 'borrowed' piece of junk in his hands, Rail leapt out of the alleyway and threw the garbage at the soldiers. Instinctively, they fired upon the object as it soared through the air. "Now!" Rail turned and ordered the woman standing behind him. Both fled across the street and to another alley, where Rail stopped their progress.
"Listen, you need to go ahead. There's no way you're getting in the front now, so you'll have to find another way, maybe with one of the other groups. Just don't forget what I'm paying you for!" He outlined the 'I-just-thought-of-this-while-standing-here' contingency plan to Armada.
"I guess I can manage," she said while heading for the street on the other side, away from Bmyhad's weaponry. She took one last look back at him before disappearing around another building.
At the fourth security point, Trunks's patience was beginning to wear then. Especially after they heard gunfire on another side of the building. Ahstui finished the process and deftly entered the building farther, scanning for personnel. "Clear," he called back to him comrades who then followed him in. They found the utility stairwell and climbed, stopping at the fifth floor where the stairs stopped. Ahstui led his group inside through a few offices and found the building empty, save for Euma and his pack of survivors waiting for their arrival.
Euma stood when Ahstui approached. "They brought the military. Rail's not coming in, at all probably," he surmised the situation in a few sentences to his peer.
"Can you go it alone?" Trunks was a little surprised when Ahstui shot the question at him. Trunks wasn't sure exactly what he was in for, but before he could think he gave an affirmative answer.
Euma and a few others began to decode the large metal door before them, supposedly heading to the non-existent 'sixth floor'.
Armada was at a full sprint towards the target with soldiers chasing on her heels. She looked up at the building while running. One, two, three, four...
"Five!" she yelled, jumping into the air and flying upwards at the building.
All the rebels on the fifth floor ducked as gunfire shattered the large windows on the eastern side of the building. Shards of glass came flying through the office; everyone instantly shielded their eyes. An odd 'thump' sound was heard through the gunfire, and Trunks looked up to see what had happened, fearing that the military had possibly sent in something that wouldn't help the situation. "Armada!" he shouted in astonishment as the young woman skidded across the floor and crashed into several pieces of furniture before scrambling to cover behind a desk
Armada looked up at the sound of her name. "So you made it," she half-questioned, surprised that only her attack squad was targeted. At a break in the shelling the building was receiving, she made her way to the other side where everyone else was crowded with haste.
She came to join Trunks, whom was standing closest to the door with Ahstui. "Not the most graceful landing ever," she laughed nervously.
Ahstui glanced over the odd woman standing beside himself, and then to Trunks. "Never mind I asked," he said, proceeding to turn his attention back to Euma and the door. Armada looked at Trunks confused, and he shrugged in response.
"Done!" Euma said, pulling back from the door and removing the small radio from his right ear. The group stood back as the door slowly opened, only enough to push fingers through at the most.
"This is it?" Armada asked with her left eye twitching.
"We have to push it open," Ahstui relayed to her. The two generals, the two mercenaries, and several members of Tere banded together and pushed at the goliath metal wall that was for reasons unknown called a door. With the combined strength of so many people, and a few who were slightly stronger than average, the door caved and the path was open.
"We don't know what's up there," Euma began, "so be prepared for anything." The numerically small crew of the Verdandi both nodded and began their ascent of the stairs laid out behind the door.
Armada and Trunks both entered the next floor slowly and cautiously, stopping once they'd made it to the top of the stairwell. Each took a moment to look around, observing any traps they could see. Which, unfortunately, was none.
The entire floor was metal-different shades here and there yes; but metal. There were no windows as the walls were complete metal as well. Based on the size of the floor underneath and where the pair was standing, they assumed that this floor was divided into four small rooms. There was only one door, on the other side of the room from where they stood. The rest was comprised of strange tables and consoles with a myriad of buttons on them.
Suddenly, a small noise whispered between the two, right by their ears. Simultaneously, Trunks and Armada whipped around and noticed three needles pinned into the door behind themselves, passing right by their heads.
"Needles?" Armada said flatly. "They're going to attack us...with needles?"
Trunks's left eye twitched. "What a way to go."
"Forget this, we've got work to do-" Armada started while walking forward. She stopped in mid sentence upon hearing a small 'click' at her feet. Curious, she looked down to see that she'd stepped on some sort of button. "What the...?" she questioned aloud while looking at it.
Trunks looked at the walls around the room and turned pale. After examining the contraption for only a few seconds, Armada turned to face him. Upon seeing the look on his face, she spoke. "What's with you?" She then focused her vision on the wall behind him. The entire thing opened up with small holes everywhere-holes the size of the three needles shot at them earlier. Armada turned white as well. "Crap."
The wall behind the two fired first. Both mercenaries dove for cover behind a small console nearby. After the barrage was finished, which sounded a lot like rain, the two stood. Only to notice now that the wall opposite the previous barrage was preparing to fire. "Duck!" Trunks exclaimed and the pair dove forward behind another odd inanimate object. The seemingly same number of 'dinks' was heard as before. Once the second wave finished, both stood.
"You think it's-" 'over', Armada was about to finish when needles suddenly appeared from the remaining two walls in the room and prepped for launch, as if sensing that their opponents had not been eliminated. The two paled once more and made a mad dash for the door across the room, hurdling over objects while trying to outrun the needles flinging perpendicularly to themselves on their tails.
"One at a time!" Armada yelled while running, noticing that both couldn't flee through the door at the same time. She pulled back behind Trunks and pushed him forward into the door, which flung open with the force of the impact. Trunks let out an unknown muffled sound as his face smacked into the metal of the door and the two went flying through the doorway, crashing on the floor in the next room.
After taking a moment to recover from the crash, Armada and Trunks both sat up on the floor, the latter with an extensive red mark across the bridge of his nose and on the upper part of his cheeks underneath his eyes.
Trunks gingerly touched his newly sore face while Armada tried to contain her laughter. "Sorry," she choked out between giggles, obviously torn up about the situation.
The demi-Saiyan eyed her with disdain. "Thanks, I can tell you feel real bad about it."
Armada stood. "Well, let's keep going. I'll treat you when we get back to the /Verdandi/, so just hold out for a little while. Okay?"
"Fine," Trunks grumbled while following suit and standing upright as well.
In the short moment it'd taken him to stand, Armada was at the other end of this room, opening the door into the next. Trunks nearly fell over at the sight. "What are you doing?!" he screamed across the room.
"Well, if there were any traps in here I would've hit them by now, right? You should thank me," she said with an air of superiority.
"Right," he replied sarcastically.
"I'm gonna check out the next room; you look around this one," Armada ordered and with that she proceeded out of his sight.
Trunks wandered a few steps before spotting yet another button covered console before him. Well, it's worth a try... he surmised while positioning himself in front of the contraption to operate it. He knew more about technology than most people, but the things he'd found in Bmyhad so far were above his head. /A few buttons here, some switches there...let's see what this thing can do/, he told himself while fiddling with whatever was in reach.
Armada walked into the third room of the sixth floor with confusion. The room was completely empty, save one chandelier like decoration hanging from the ceiling in the very center of the room. She approached and studied the object, noting it's short yet wide cylindrical shape and the square peg-holes in the sides around it. Armada reached up to try and touch the metal surface, but was drawn back when what appeared to be cannons suddenly popped out from the square holes. Wait a second...cannons?
Trunks looked at the small screen in front of himself that he'd managed to make appear after smashing the keys around a bit. Something written in red characters that he, for obvious reasons, couldn't make out was flashing across the monitor. "Wonder what that's..." he trailed off while looking at it. Instantaneously, gunfire was heard from the next room over-the third room to be exact. Trunks's eyes widened and he ran towards the door to the room to see if Armada had made it out okay, but was forced back when bullets came flinging through the door. "Damn!" he exclaimed, as a bullet had grazed his left arm.
Armada had slowly started to back away from the 'cannons' as she figured it was maybe a good idea to leave. She was no more than halfway to the door when the cylinder began to spin and fire gunshots around the room. Armada ducked and fled towards the next door, which was much closer than the previous, and began to pry it open. The problem was that this door wanted a pass code from the keypad placed in the wall next to the door. Armada punched in numbers wildly for a moment, then turned to see the odd weapon firing methodically around the room-starting at the top and heading down, creating lines of bullet holes in the walls. She ducked immediately, as now the targets were at eye level. From the ground she kicked and shouldered the door, trying desperate to smash it open. Amazingly, the door slid open and she scrambled inside right before the gatling cannons would have made target practice of her hide. The firing stopped, and Armada peered inside, noticing why nothing was stored in the previous room-it was ALL trap. She looked up and saw the keypad next to the door she'd entered had been shot and malfunctioned, opening up for her anyways. What luck.
After the firing stopped, Trunks took a look inside the room. The place looked like computer programmed Swiss cheese! He saw Armada on the ground from around the door into the final room, peering in to see the damage as well. "You okay?" he called over.
"Yeah," she nodded in response after seeing Trunks at the other door.
"Sorry," he said lightly, now realizing what those red flashing characters meant. It took him a moment to stifle his laughter.
" 'Sorry'...?" Armada thought about what he said for a moment. "Wait...YOU!" she screamed across the room.
"It was an accident, seriously!" Trunks laughed at the look on her face. Had he known better, he might have been scared.
Armada twitched. "Let's just go," she said flatly, standing and returning into the fourth room.
When Trunks arrived in the final room, Armada was already punching in this and that into yet another operation console of sorts, this one placed in front of a large elevator. "We have to figure out how to get the elevator to open up. After that, we're done," she said keeping her eyes focused on the screen of numbers and figures she was working with.
Trunks watched for a moment, ready to ask a question but stopped before he spoke after hearing a small 'clink' behind himself. He turned and looked, seeing three needles yet again poised to fire. "Get down!" he called out, crouching to the floor and taking Armada's right wrist and dragging her with him.
After the firing and waiting another moment afterwards, Trunks stood and looked at the console. The three needles managed to hit the console dead center, and by the appearance of the monitor the machine was having issues due to this.
Armada slowly stood, her back to Trunks and her left hand over her face. "You okay?" he asked a bit confused.
Armada whipped around to face him and removed her left hand from where it was. "Look what you did to my FACE!!" she screamed. Trunks jumped back a little, seeing practically the same injury he had incurred earlier on his comrade. "You smacked me against this DAMN THING when you dragged me to the FLOOR!!" she motioned to the contraption she was working at before continuing on her tirade.
Trunks couldn't contain it any more. He burst out laughing and after a moment Armada stopped yelling. Surprised at why, Trunks calmed down and looked to the console where Armada's vision was focused. A few clicks on the screen and a strange, loud noise were heard. The elevator door slowly opened and sounded with a 'ding' after the door was completely out of the way. Both mercenaries simultaneously face-vaulted.
After recovering from the insanity involving needles, the pair looked at the elevator. "I can't believe this. We didn't do anything, but we succeeded?" Trunks asked rhetorically while looking at the elevator.
"Yeah," Armada said examining the elevator as well. Her expression slowly turned into one of glee. "Yeah, we get paid and the traps did everything for us!" she exclaimed excitedly.
"Yeah, but we were nearly killed," Trunks stated flatly to counter his comrade's enthusiasm.
"Not important. Now, we need to go find Euma 'cause he has our payment so we can get out of here." she said thinking to herself.
"What's the hurry?" Trunks drew her back to reality.
"If I say we need to go, then we need to go. Okay?" she said sternly. "So...let's go!"
"Yep, that's all of it," Armada said after counting the stack of cash Euma had handed her. "We're out." She nodded to Trunks and the two proceeded to the back stairwell on the other end of the fifth floor.
The two had made it out the building through the area where Trunks had entered, and Armada turned down an alley heading out to the main street in front of the building. In front of the building were vehicles belonging to the Mainc police and some from the military. Trunks gawked at all the members of Tere being arrested while Armada led him through the mess. He saw a strangely familiar all-black vehicle and stopped to watch it for a moment. An older man opened the door and got out. The man smiled and nodded to Trunks and a realization came to him-it was K'ha! He was wearing a strangely crafted uniform of black and sunglasses, but it was definitely him!
When Trunks turned his attention back to Armada, she had stopped and was talking to a man standing next to another strange black vehicle. He handed her something and stepped away, heading back into the mess of police, civilians, and 'Tere'-ans.
"Was that-" Trunks started but was cut off.
Armada walked around to the other side of the vehicle. "Get in." She motioned to the door on his side. Both got in and Armada started the automobile and pulled away.
After seeing the smirk Armada had on her face after passing the newly arrested rebels, Trunks knew something was up. "All right, what'd you do," he asked heavily.
Armada laughed. "It all started on the way to Mainc..."
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