The pair heads out to take out the leader of Tere, Nemo, but something goes horribly wrong... -Very short. Be forewarned.
"Thanks to you, we now have confirmation on where Tere's largest facilities are located," the officer stated.
"So you wanna send us to one of them?" Trunks asked, leaning on the back of the chair in front of himself.
"Affirmative," the man on screen responded. "Your objective is not to destroy any facility, but only one person inside."
"Let me guess," Armada mused. "Nemo."
"Correct. We're sending you the coordinates of the location as we speak. Our sources indicate that Nemo is definitely at this location currently, and should be there for another week at least. You are to terminate the subject in question and take no other casualties. Understood?" the officer reviewed.
"Sure," Armada nodded.
"You have two days," the lieutenant stated before cutting off the transmission.
"Two days," Armada laughed. "I'm going now." She stood from her chair and turned to face Trunks. "Go get ready."
It took no time at all for Trunks to head back to his room and get his sword, among other things. He started for the bridge but stopped once he saw Armada, clad in the digital armor, standing by the door leading outside the ship.
Trunks continued on a slow approach. "We're not taking the /Verdandi/?" he asked, a bit surprised.
"Nah," Armada sniffed. "It's too risky. Tere knows who we are now, and I can guarantee that after the Mainc incident that they're not too happy with me." With that, she turned and opened the door, taking a few steps out but stopping just before crossing through the doorframe. She looked at Trunks with a smirk. "You know how to fly, right?"
Trunks peered around the tree from which he hid and eyed the complex in the distance. It looked extremely run down, with foliage, rust, and pieces of Kami-knows-what lying everywhere. The vegetation nearby was overwhelming and made it hard to even see the target. Probably why it was so hard for the authorities to find.
He turned to watch Armada, standing several yards to his right behind a tree as well, as she scrolled through a list of figures on the makeshift monitor that her armor projected. She closed the window and nodded. "Yep, this is it. Ready?" she asked while packing away the small piece of her armor removed from her belt.
Trunks nodded, and with one last glance Armada dashed towards the complex. She stepped lightly, not making much sound and took large strides as to take less of them. Once she made it up to the building, she took a quick look around for any kind of surveillance. After spotting none, she motioned for Trunks to come over as well, and he deftly did so.
"Aw, another number-code?" Armada whined while looking at the rusted keypad next to the rusted door. She turned, leaning back and folding her arms against her chest. "I HATE these things. Especially since...well, y'know..." she said avoiding the subject.
/Yeah/, Trunks thought, /since the last mission/.
Armada sat back in thought and barely noticed the motion behind herself. "For once, I just want to blast some-" she was cut off in surprise as the crumbling door she leaned upon fell open and dumped her on the floor. The deteriorated door made a fairly loud 'crash' sound as it hit the wall of the building on the inside.
Armada stood and dusted herself off. "I really hate doors," she stated flatly.
"You would," Trunks muttered under his breath.
"You say something?" she eyed him warily.
"Heh, no, let's just get going," he laughed, not at all enthusiastic about starting another flame fest with her.
The navigation of the complex was difficult. Corridor after corridor spread throughout the base, intertwining in all kinds of places. Armada and Trunks had wandered around for nearly an hour without seeing a single person. And it wasn't as if they were trying to hide-the pair casually walked around as if they were members of Tere themselves.
"This place is getting on my nerves," Trunks said annoyed as they continued to traipse through the semi-underground fortress.
"You and me both," Armada replied as the two reached yet another intersection. "Hey...is that daylight?"
Trunks turned to where she indicated. "Must be...in fact, I think that's where we came in."
"This is driving me insane!" Armada grumbled. "How the hell are we supposed to kill Nemo if we can't even find the guy!"
Armada continued on her tirade while Trunks looked down another corridor slightly off center of the intersection. Five men were running down the hall, headed their way. "Intruders!" one shouted. "There they are!" exclaimed another.
At the sound of feet running on the dingy metallic floors, Armada turned around. "Huh?"
"Looks like we've got company," Trunks smirked, leaning back into his fighting stance.
Armada then noticed the group of Tere'ns headed for them. "So we get to party after all," Armada laughed sarcastically, preparing to attack.
The first two men approached, and Armada nailed one with a right hook, then grabbed him by his shirt collar and threw him backwards over her head. Trunks attacked the other, using a three-kick combo across the man's abdomen before knocking him to the side with a sweep of the left foot. The final three made their way to the 'attackers.' Armada took on the first man on the left, using a favored combination of punch-in-the-face, forearm-in-the-face, and elbow-in-back-of-the-head. She dropped him consequently. Trunks faced off with the remaining two, attacking one with a few punches before throwing him into the other, sending them both into a wall. Neither stood back up.
"Aw, I'm sad," Armada stated sarcastically while placing her left hand on her hip and motioning with the right. "That was far too easy. They didn't stand a chance."
"If only they knew better," Trunks chimed in.
"Whoa. Is that-dare I say it-/sarcasm/, I hear?" Armada joked cupping a hand around her right ear.
"That's fine, laugh it up all you want, because after this-" Trunks was cut short when a series of sirens began to go off.
Armada turned to look down the hallway the men had come from, and low-and-behold, there stood Nemo in a room at the other end. "There he is!" she exclaimed to her partner.
Nemo stood behind a metal desk of some sort, with several items littering it, none of which either mercenary could make out from the distance. Nemo's voice then came over a loudspeaker that resonated through the compound. "Fellow Tere'ns, the time has come. The intruders are upon us. But I assure you; we will not let the infidels win!" Nemo shouted, probably as loud as he could into the microphone.
A short, old man, dressed in an assortment of green decorative robes, stood behind a podium with a switchboard on the front. Some surrounded him on stage, while most of the crowd resided on the ground. He leaned forward and spoke.
"We will not let the barbarians win!"
Armada shot back to reality. "No...I can't...I can't do this again!" She backed away from Nemo with a few jerked steps, eventually falling over. Still with her eyes fixated on Nemo she slid backwards, slowly inching away while still in shock.
"Armada? What are you talking about? Are you all right?" Trunks asked, looking down at his fear-stricken comrade.
I lived through Hell once; I'm NOT going to do it again! she told herself mentally while hurriedly standing up. She faced Trunks and snatched his right forearm. "We have to go!"
"What? What are you-" Trunks stumbled through his thoughts, bewildered at what exactly was going on. He was interrupted when she burst out again.
"I'm not going to let the same thing happen to you that happened to me! Now let's GO!!" She raced towards the exit with a confused Trunks in tow. Not again! Not again!!
Nemo cackled in the background. He was a madman. And he was about to prove it with the push of a button...
In the distance, a farmer tilled his sodden field and readied it for the next planting season. Suddenly, the ground shook and the middle-aged man heard an explosion. He turned around and saw black billowing smoke coming from the depths of the Liam Forest.
"Father!" a young boy called from behind him. The farmer turned to see his fourteen-year-old son addressing him from the porch of their house. "Do you see that?" he said, pointing towards the smoke.
"Yes, I do Ryusen," the boy's father replied. "Now do you see why I told you and your sister not to play in the Forest?"
"Yes, Father, Mitsuko and I will not go into the Forest anymore. I promise," Ryusen said, lowering his head in embarrassment and shame.
The father turned and looked towards the smoke once more. "If only it weren't for those criminals, Juu would be..." he drifted off in his thoughts. He turned around to face his son once again. "Ryusen, come and help your father with the fields."
"Yes Father," Ryusen replied. He grabbed several tools from the porch and headed out into the field to assist his father.
"Do you realize what you've done!"
Signas regained his composure and began to pace back and forth behind his desk. He continued on his tirade, berating the two semi-charred figures standing in front of his desk. "...the audacity you have! I can't believe..." he continued on.
Trunks and Armada stood before Signas as he reprimanded them for the destruction of Tere's compound. It wasn't like it was their fault-Nemo self-destructed the place. The two were dirt covered, bruised, bloody, and burned to Hell and back. At least, that's the way Armada had put it when she first told him what happened.
It had happened like so: just as the complex exploded, the mercenaries had made it out the door. They were barely caught in the explosion-at first-and were flung into the forest as everything known to man seemed to go flying. Both were unconscious by the time the Bmyhadian military had arrived, and were brought back to Ute for examination and treatment. At the moment, they were speaking with the leader of the Bmyhadian military, Signas. Or rather, he was speaking to them.
"Do you realize what kind of evidence you've destroyed?! That was needed to uphold the court cases against these criminals and for record keeping purposes! Not only that, you killed anybody left in the building besides Nemo, eliminating witnesses! And on top of it all," Signas took a breath for this part, "you destroyed most of the Liam Forest-Juu's national pride, practically!
"You failed this mission in every possible way! If it was entirely up to me-based on your behavior-you wouldn't be getting a dime out of us!" Signas finished, slamming his hands down onto the desk before him.
Armada raised her eyes to look up at Signas. He laughed. "That's right-I said 'wouldn't.'" He reached into a desk drawer and pulled out several stacks of beta bills. "Forty-five thousand, as agreed upon earlier." He watched as both mercenaries blinked several times, still not believing what was happening. Signas then reached into an inside jacket pocket and pulled out a tenth stack of betas. "And five-thousand as a bonus for leveling the place." Signas smiled.
Armada opened her mouth to speak, but no words would come. "Why, you ask?" Signas filled in for her. "We had sent a raid out on another base and collected enough data there to satisfy our needs, that once you had finished off Nemo, we were going to flatten the place anyways. So thanks-we didn't use any manpower at all. If we had, it would have cost much more than a measly five-thousand beta, so think of it as a sign of appreciation." Signas grinned wildly.
"So we lost, but we...won?" Armada asked still confused.
"Yes; in fact, if you had killed Nemo, the base would have exploded anyway," Signas continued. "Nemo was insane, and he had vital monitors on his body at all times. So if the monitors reported that he was dead, the complex would immediately explode."
"So if we had succeeded, and killed Nemo, we would have died?" Trunks surmised, still pulling himself together.
"Precisely," Signas said with a smile.
The two stood, staring at their reward in shock. Trunks coughed, and some dust went flying.
"I can still hardly believe any of this!" Trunks exclaimed. "Another mission accomplished, and we didn't do anything! Is this how they all work?" he asked Armada, turning slightly to try and see her.
"Stop moving," she said lowly.
"Yeah, sorry," Trunks reminded himself. He sat on the infirmary's table as Armada stood behind him, bandaging up the wounds on his back. Silence descended upon the room as Armada continued to work.
"Not all of them," she said after a while.
"Not all of what?" he asked, confused by her statement.
"Not all missions are like this," she said, patching up yet another wound.
"Too bad. They're kind of easy," Trunks said with a slight smile. The two sat without words passed between them for a while. A thought hit Trunks and he decided to vocalize it. "What did you mean, 'I'm not going to let the same thing happen to you that happened to me?'"
Armada's fingers slipped and she dropped her tools. "Damn," she cursed, reaching down to pick them up.
"What did you mean?" Trunks pursued, now facing her as she stood.
"Turn back around. It's hard to fix you up when you keep moving like this," she stated wryly.
Trunks narrowed his eyes at the woman and did as told. Of course, that didn't stop him. "Are you going to answer me?" he questioned, now sounding a bit agitated.
"Nothing; I didn't mean anything," she said, finishing up the last wound. "You're done."
Trunks stood on the floor and turned to face Armada. "I'm not an idiot; you're lying."
"So what?" Armada shot back annoyed. "It's not like it matters anyway. Go get some rest, we've got work to do tomorrow," with that, she turned her gaze away as she reached for the gauze.
Now deeming the situation unworthy, Trunks proceeded out of the infirmary and back to his room on the /Verdandi/.
Armada took the wrapping in her right hand and placed the loose end in her mouth. She quickly wrapped her gashed left brachium and tied off the bandage. She put away the tools recently used, after washing them, and exited the infirmary.
The young woman headed to the bridge, but stopped before seating herself in front of the sub-navigational console. She felt kind of weak after the day's events. Maybe I'll get my sleep in earlier this month... she contemplated mentally. Deciding it was a good idea, she headed for her room and settled in quickly. Sleeping was a chore for her.
Less than three minutes after entering REM sleep, Armada began to toss and turn. Her breathing became rapid, her heart rate increased, and she began to sweat. Suddenly, she shot straight up in bed and yelled out.
"Lex-order the troops to fall back!!"
Fear and shock were written across her face as she glanced around the room quickly, scanning her surroundings. ...the Verdandi. It's only the Verdandi... /She took a moment to relax, and placed her hands across her forehead, shielding her eyes. /Suddenly I remember why I don't do this too often...
A/N: Yeah, that's supposed to be a dream she's having. REM sleep is the stage of sleep where you dream, if I'm correct, and it's the deepest form of sleep. REM sleep starts over about every twenty minutes, I believe. Ahem, sorry for the physiology lesson.