There's just...too much to be spoiled! I can't summarize it! Or even give it a teaser...Well, there are a few things I can say: Trapezoid-shaped yellow sunglasses. Betrayal. Large explosives....
Three days. Three whole days. Armada lie on her back in her bed, staring at the ceiling above her, legs crossed and arms back behind her head. I can't believe it was her. After nearly thirty years...she's still alive. I wonder how she got away? I'd heard that tyrant was killed off years ago...by one of us, nonetheless.
A thunderstorm sounded off outside of the Verdandi in Ute. A typical summer thunderstorm. Armada was caught in her thoughts again as she couldn't shake the apparition she saw three days ago out of her head.
Outside, one wet mercenary ran through the rain up the door of building 7873. Trunks hurriedly entered the security code outside the Verdandi's hangar. Once the door opened, he dashed inside, already fairly wet. He closed the door behind himself as another lightning bolt struck in the background, followed by the inevitable thunder. He walked up the catwalks rising to the ship slowly and without haste. Coming back to the Verdandi wasn't something he intended to do for a few more hours.
Trunks had gone out to walk around Ute, just exploring the city. Nothing in particular to do, as Armada hadn't mentioned a word of more 'work' for a few days now. Not since they failed the last mission. She seemed to be in another world the past several days, staring off into space and lost in thought. The irritating thing was, that whenever Trunks would ask her what it was she was thinking about, she'd either ignore him or say it was 'nothing.' Annoyed, he was sick of staying on the Verdandi doing nothing and had decided to take a tour of Ute. The weather, however, had other plans.
Since he hadn't brought any money along with him-not that he was poor-he couldn't go inside a restaurant or any other place of business and wait out the rain. And all public places, of course, were open to anyone and anything-including rain, as there was no shelter he could find. The final decision came, and he'd headed back to the Verdandi in a fresh run, not in a huge hurry, as the rain wasn't too terrible.
"It's about time you came back," Trunks heard as he arrived inside the ship. He followed the direction from which the sound came and soon stood in the doorway to Armada's room, looking to the woman as she lie on her back, dressed in her armor, on a bed. Armada sat up and turned to face Trunks, still sitting on the bed. "We've got work to do, y'know," she, sniffing after she spoke.
"Really?" Trunks questioned, surprised at such a turn of events. "Since when did we get this job?"
"While you were out," came her simplistic reply. "It's in a space-station of sorts, so we have to fly there in the ship." She stood, heading to the bridge to pilot her craft into space, something she hadn't done in some time.
Trunks followed and sat at the weapons console to the right of the pilot's seat. Armada quickly flicked several buttons across the console and the Verdandi began to move. In what seemed like no time at all, the ship was clearing the atmosphere of Bmyhad and started to head to its destination.
"So what's the mission?" Trunks asked once Armada had quit smashing buttons and now held onto the two levers for flying the ship.
Armada looked between her radar on the console and the monitor before her, steering the ship manually. "Do you remember when I told you about Ukyo?"
Armada stood at the door to the outside of the Verdandi, reading oxygen levels and pressure on the inside of the building they'd docked to. Trunks stood, taking a deep breath. He'd never been into space like so before, and was nervous. Of course, he wouldn't admit that.
"Everything looks okay," Armada stated almost robotically while her eyes still scanned the electronic charts before herself. She stood and faced Trunks. "It appears there isn't much gravity in there. Probably some error in the gravity generating fields," she shrugged. "Not much we can do, but just be careful. If you start falling in a certain direction it'll be a lot harder to stop."
"Right," Trunks nodded, taking in her advice. Armada then turned and opened the door of her ship. She motioned for Trunks to head in first, and he did so. She hit a timed close on the door, so after stepping through it, five seconds later the door to the Verdandi shut tight. The two traversed a narrow docking hall before making it to the main building.
Another key-card type lock door. Armada frowned, and then punched the device, smashing it to pieces. The lock shorted and as an emergency measure, opened the door. Armada laughed slightly and led the way in.
The mercenaries had been hired by the Federation Alliance government to steal more computer files from Ukyo in his 'space-mansion,' or personal docking-station. The Federation had given the group the coordinates of the location and said not to expect anyone inside. So they didn't.
There were no lights on, and as predicted in their briefing no electricity in the household. The place was dark, with little light coming from the stars outside many windows. It was also cold, indicating that the heating systems weren't working either.
Armada stopped and placed her hands on her hips upon entering the 'living room' of sorts. "I don't know where he keeps stuff, so you go up-top and I'll look down here," she ordered Trunks, motioning towards the second floor balcony seen on the right side of the room.
Trunks nodded, and jumped towards the balcony. Accidentally, he used too much force in launching himself and nearly crashed into the ceiling. Instead of hitting the roof with his head, he used his hands to catch himself and push back down to the balcony floor. Armada shook her head with a laugh and continued to search the bottom floor.
Trunks meandered through the top floor, seeing almost nothing along the lines of technology. Most everything appeared normal, at least, normal compared to what he knew back on Earth. A few bedrooms, an area with a small table and sofas to sit on, a bathroom, but nothing else. He even checked in a few closets, finding only towels and a drab wardrobe. After closing the door the hall closet, he looked over into the shadows. Something looked like it was there, but at the same time it looked like nothing. He took a few steps to examine it better when he heard Armada call out from downstairs.
Trunks turned around. "No, doesn't look like there's anything up here," he answered. He turned to face the wall again and heard a slight rustle. He hurriedly went to the corner to see if he could find the source of the noise, but it was gone. Nothing was there. He could hear Armada's footsteps downstairs... Something clicked and Trunks ran for the edge of the balcony, closest to the other end of the house and opposite the side he'd jumped onto earlier.
Armada found a small power cell in the kitchen and had hooked it up to a computer on the lower floor. After searching around on the hard drive and several discs littered around, she found nothing. No data of any kind. Thinking it to be extremely odd, she shut down the machine and took a walk around, looking for any sign of anything. She stopped at a space on the wall that went all the way up, breaking the balcony into two halves but with a catwalk around the front, connecting the halves.
Armada looked at what appeared to be a rounded square lightly cut out in the wall. She reached out to touch the pattern, but a glint of light reflected off of something above her. She looked up and lost any time to react. A metal pole came flying around from her right side and nailed her across the face. Before flying to the floor, she did see her attacker-cloaked in black and wearing what appeared to be yellow sunglasses. Armada went scrawling much farther than she normally would have for the lack of gravity. She crashed into a sofa, knocking it over backwards and onto herself.
The attacker landed-his metal-soled shoes making a loud thud against the floor. He flipped the meter-long diamond alloy rod in his right hand before placing it in its proper place on his back. He stood upright, his long black trench coat smothering his figure in the dark.
Trunks had seen what happened below himself, albeit too late to stop it. He jumped down from the balcony and charged at the shadowy figure. Caught off guard, the attacker was barely able to block Trunks's first onslaught. Angered, the aggressor grabbed Trunks's forearms and pushed them against his chest, crossed. Then, the intruder pushed against him and jumped up, flipping over Trunks and using his momentum to push the demi-Saiyan to the ground.
While in the air, a passing light by a window outlined the figure as it was upside down and uncloaked above Trunks. And if he hadn't seen it himself, he wouldn't have believed it-their attacker was a thinly framed woman! True, such things were possible, as Armada didn't look very strong at all. But this was different; this woman had immense strength and wasn't using ki.
Trunks lost the time to think about it after hitting the ground hard. The dark haired aggressor did another flip with her hands after landing on Trunks, and turned around after landing. She reached into her jacket near her hip with her right hand and pulled out a rather large pistol. As soon as Trunks had turned and stood, he stared down the barrel of the handgun.
"Don't move," a rather deep yet feminine voice commanded out to him.
Armada had pulled herself together and saw the firearm pointed straight at her partner's face. She jumped up and came flying at the attacker. The raven-haired woman turned in a fright and aimed her gun at Armada. She fired, but Armada shielded herself with her right forearm, covered in the dark blue diamond alloy of the digital armor. On approach Armada reached back and threw her right forearm at the woman's face.
The attacker shielded herself with her hands, and her gun was knocked flying with the hit. Armada went on the offensive, still hovering in the air. She managed to connect with a few punches across the woman's face, disengaging her trapezoid-shaped canary colored spectacles. Angered by this act, the assassin reached forward boldly and grabbed Armada by the throat.
Startled by such boldness, Armada stopped her onslaught as the woman's second hand came to her neck. She started to squeeze the life out of the mercenary by cutting off her air supply. Armada's hands immediately reached for the wrists of her aggressor, working to pry them off. Unable to concentrate on removing the hands of her attacker, Armada began to succumb to the superior brute force of the dark haired woman.
Trunks appeared behind the attacker and struck her down across her scapulae. Startled, the assassin stumbled forward, releasing Armada. She whipped around, only to be sent flying by a kick to the chest from the violet-haired man behind her.
Armada fell to the ground, gasping for air with her hands on the ground, propping her body up. Trunks gave her a quick glance before looking up to see the enemy. The woman was now standing, with a grave look on her face. She reached on her back and pulled out a meter-long black metal pole, three centimeters in diameter. She ran towards Trunks and swung her weapon at the mercenary ferociously.
Trunks jumped back, dodging the first swing and pulled out the sword from the sheath on his back, using it to immediately block the next swing. Feeling his opponents surprise at such a weapon, he used it to his advantage. Trunks pushed back, sending the woman away from his sword. He then swung the sharp side around in an attempt to slice his opponents weapon in two, but just as he made contact his sword went flying from his hands, leaving the rod in the hands of the attacker unscathed. It was a much harder material than he'd anticipated.
The woman grinned and lunged at him, swinging her weapon at his head. Trunks flew back and threw a ki-blast at the woman. A bit shocked, she quickly stood her pole upright on the ground, jumped on top of it, and jumped over the energy blast headed her way-quite an amazing feat. Trunks's blast hit her weapon, but it was of no use anyway as the weapon was no longer in the attacker's hands.
He looked up and as the woman approached from the air, and noticed that she'd pulled out another pistol, same shape, size, and design as the one before it. She took aim and fired at the mercenary three times. Trunks turned his back towards her, moving to his right and dodged the first two bullets, but was grazed by the third on the side of his left arm. A little shocked by the hit, Trunks immediately placed his right hand over the wound and looked up to see the dark woman with her pistol pointed at him once more.
An enraged Armada stood and snatched the woman's arm, nearly breaking her wrist while throwing the gun away. She threw the attacker into the wall behind herself and gave her a few punches across the face, pinning down the assassin's right hand with her own left. The attacker took every punch harder than the last, indicating that she was in no condition to continue fighting.
"Armada!" Trunks called to his comrade, intending for her to stop brutally abusing the assassin.
She stopped and looked to Trunks, then backed away and released the trench-coated woman. With a bloody face, the woman slowly fell to the ground, sliding down the wall behind herself.
Three fighters breathed heavily in the silence, each wondering what was to happen next. After several minutes had gone by, Armada finally spoke.
"Why did you attack us?" she shot angrily at the woman in her midst.
The black covered woman rubbed her face gingerly, then wiped her mouth of blood. She sniffed once before responding. "The Federation Alliance ordered me to."
"What?" Armada shouted in confusion. Her confusion about the matter quickly turned to anger. "You're lying. The Federation sent us here to gather information for them," she relayed with malice.
"I'm not fucking lying!" the woman screamed back, enraged at the thought of being accused a liar. She took a breath before continuing. "Look, they told me there'd be a foul-mouthed blonde woman and a freaky-looking guy with purple hair and a funky jacket here, trying to steal from this councilman's house." She looked to the two of them, giving them a moment to soak in what she said. "Seems like you match the description," she added bitterly.
"If they told you we were stealing," Armada began coldly, "then why the hell did they send you? Why not send some police?" she questioned angrily.
"'Cause I'm supposed to kill you!" the woman shot back from her position on the floor.
"What?" she shouted, now more questioning and doubtful in her response than before. "That can't be right-the Federation sent us here! They wouldn't-" she trailed off, retreating into her thoughts for the time being.
"So I'm guessing Ukyo doesn't live here," Trunks added darkly, still holding tightly to his bleeding arm.
"Like I said, the place belongs to some guy on the council," the woman repeated with annoyance. "Wait a minute," she started, looking over to Trunks. "Did you say 'Ukyo?'"
"Yeah; this was supposed to be another place of his where he hid his personal files," Trunks responded in a lighter tone.
"Well, that wouldn't help," the woman almost laughed as she spoke. Trunks gave her a questioning look before she explained. "Ukyo's dead. They killed him a few days ago."
"'They?'" Armada came back from her thoughts.
"The Federation," the woman replied, sniffing again and reaching under her nose to detect for blood. "Some say it's 'cause he was gettin' close."
"Close to what?" Armada asked, narrowing her eyes.
"Close to proving that the government's corrupt," the woman said with disdain. It appeared that she had no favor with the current government.
Something in Armada suddenly clicked. "The list," she said softly. Images of the 'fake' council on the Net' and the 'real' council found in Ukyo's files passed through her mind. "The only thing we both knew," Armada began quietly, "was that the Federation was covering up the list of people on the Shera council," she finished closing her eyes. "He was killed because he knew, and they had you try to kill us because we know." Armada sighed with the realization.
She turned the wall that the assassin was backed against and threw a hard right roundhouse into it. "Damn! How could I have been so blind?" she yelled out, gritting her teeth in frustration. "Yeah, that information was useless all right," she said sarcastically, "and they paid me off! Why didn't I see it coming?!" She balled her left hand into a fist as well and leaned her arms and forehead into the wall. "Am I really so deluded by money?" she asked herself in a whisper.
"I'm real sorry; really, I am," the woman spoke up. "I never would've done anything for the Alliance, except they were going to pin some no-name murder case on me if I didn't. Believe me," she said with bare honesty, "I hate the Federation."
"Those good for nothing bastards!" Armada continued on her tirade, giving the wall another sock for good measure. "I can't believe they double crossed us!" She gave in and leaned into the wall farther. I used to see everything. I used to have perception...what's happened to me? Am I losing it in age? Her thoughts kept going, attacking her own integrity and intelligence.
"Damn," the raven-haired figure on the floor cursed. "I don't know what to do. If I go back without killing you two, they'll have me fried for sure."
Trunks reached a hand out towards the woman. "You do have a choice though. Just don't go back," he said, taking the attacker's hand and helping her to stand.
"If only it were that simple," the woman shrugged off Trunks's simplistic advice. She moved to wipe some of the hair out of her face that had been disheveled during the fight. Behind her dark messy locks was a pair of eerie, deep red eyes.
Trunks nearly jumped at the sight of the stranger's eyes. /Red eyes?! Nobody has red eyes! /he thought with an odd look on his face.
"What?" the woman asked when Trunks gave her a weird look. "Oh!" she said realizing that he was staring at her eyes. "No, I'm not normal," she laughed.
"How...?" he was unsure how to ask about her very strange eyes.
"Genetic enhancements," the woman responded. "Not that I asked for them, I just have to live with them."
"Who did this to you?" Trunks ask curiously.
The woman looked away, rage and loathing appearing on her features as she answered. "A group of very mad men."
Trunks could easily read the anger in her voice and decided to drop the subject. He quickly started into another direction of the conversation. "So, what's your name?"
The woman gave him a strange look that faded into a sly smile. "Laiserta."
"Xyros Kikulade?!" Armada exclaimed, turning to face the woman.
Laiserta jumped back. "Whoa! How'd you know?" she asked nervously.
Armada half-heartedly smiled. "I have to know who my competition is."
"You mean you guys are mercs too?!" Laiserta, or Xyros rather, questioned in shock. She looked back and forth between the two, noting how each nodded in response. "Wait a second..." Laiserta thought. Blonde hair, sometimes works for the government, wears a weird armor... "VDD!" she shouted out. Armada nodded. Laiserta smacked her head with her right hand. "Holy Hell, I didn't realize I was going up against you!" /No wonder I got my ass handed to me.../she thought with an embarrassed look. She turned to look at Trunks. "Who's he?"
Trunks face vaulted. After standing up once again, he introduced himself and explained briefly how he'd come to work under Armada.
"That's kinda weird," Laiserta surmised. "Hell, you're both kinda weird."
"Thanks for the compliments," Armada replied as her right eye twitched.
"No problem!" Laiserta replied with an overly happy smile, as she didn't see the sarcasm in Armada's statement.
"So what do we do now?" Trunks looked to his employer.
Armada shrugged. "I'm not sure. I think we need to just head back to Ute for now, I'll think of something later," she said, collecting her thoughts. "If we stay here much longer the Federation might show up, and that'd be bad if they want us dead."
"Hey!" Laiserta resounded, suddenly appearing next to Armada, putting an arm around the woman's shoulders. "Why not make them think you're dead?" Armada proceeded to give the girl a look as if she were insane. "If you destroy this place, and leave no evidence of ever leaving, they'll have to assume we all died in the fight!" Laiserta exclaimed excitedly. She figured it was a win-win for everybody.
"That's not a bad idea," Trunks added in, looking to his superior.
"But...where am I gonna go?" Laiserta asked, realizing that she took a ferry to get where the trio was now.
"You can come with us!" Trunks told her excitedly. "I mean, you're already a mercenary, so what's the difference? You'd just be working with us," he said logically. Adding another member to VDD appealed to him; he wouldn't have to deal with Armada all the time.
"I'm all for it! So what do you say? Let's blow this place to smithereens!" Laiserta stated with excitement and a very large grin.
Armada glanced between the two and thought silently for a moment. Another member of my group, or death by the Federation... After thinking it through, she spoke. "I know I'm going to regret this, but...okay," she answered with an irritated sigh.
"Hoohah!" Laiserta exclaimed, jumping up and down. "Don't worry, you won't regret it!"
"I'm so sure," Armada grumbled below normal audibility levels.
It took only moments to hatch a plan as to how to destroy the complex, and a short while more to put it together. The trio then set to work unloading some explosives from the Verdandi. Trunks and Laiserta brought them in and Armada hooked them up, carefully plotting their explosion. Within an hour, the setup was nearly complete.
"That enough yet?" Laiserta asked dryly, tired of carrying the large, and very heavy, metal canisters. She set down the package she was currently carrying, a metallic cube that weighed three times her own weight, at least.
Armada worked at wiring the several of the circuits of the bombs together. After stripping another set of wires and twisting them together, she looked up to Laiserta and the amount of explosives already in place. "Yeah, that should be enough. I hate to waste so much for a small job, but we have to make it look like my ship went up as well," Armada said disappointedly.
"Hey, don't sweat it," Laiserta gave her new boss a pat on the back, "it's all going down for a good cause. Or should I say 'up'?" she laughed at her own joke. Armada however, was not amused.
"Are we almost done here?" Trunks asked on approach, now sporting a bandage over his gunshot wound-the wound courtesy of Laiserta, the bandage courtesy of Armada.
"Yeah, won't be much longer," Armada quickly glanced up to answer her comrade as she continued to rewire the explosives. "Let me see the remote," she said to either in particular, keeping her attention focused on the work at hand. Laiserta reached over and hurriedly snatched it up, only seconds before Trunks reached it. He blinked at her while she smiled victoriously, as if the task was a game. Laiserta then tossed the remote to Armada, who caught it easily.
Armada examined the remote detonator for a moment, ripping open the back. She methodically pulled a few wires towards the front, careful not to break them. After gathering several 'important' cables together, she grabbed them all with her right hand and tore them out. Armada stood, throwing down the now shorting out remote, and looked to her comrades. "Time to go!" she laughed nervously, taking a mad dash towards the /Verdandi/.
Trunks and Laiserta followed, running after her. Upon reaching the door to the /Verdandi/, Armada took a second to open it. "What did you do?" Trunks questioned, confused as to why the group would be running.
"Well, if I had set off the explosives by remote, the house's security systems would've picked up the signal, so I had to destroy the remote in order to activate the fail-safe," she responded quickly as the door opened.
The three rushed inside, Armada closing the door behind. Laiserta ran to the front of the bridge and jumped into the pilot's seat, gearing up the ship to go. Armada and Trunks each followed, getting into one of the chairs to the left or right of the pilot's console.
"Fail-safe? What fail-safe?" a now very nervous mercenary asked his commander.
"The one that detonates the bomb within a minute if the remote is destroyed," Armada said with a nervous smile. If Trunks hadn't been seated, he would have fallen over.
Laiserta grabbed hold of the manual control levers on the left and right side of the main console in front of her. "Hold on," she called back to the two behind her. She shoved both levers all the way up to the front of the dash and the Verdandi took a large leap forward, nearly knocking all three of it's passengers out of their respective seats.
"Could you be a little more careful with my ship?!" Armada shouted out at the current driver.
Laiserta quickly pulled back and slowed the ship down significantly, though still traveling at a break-neck speed. "Sorry; I didn't know this thing had THAT much power!"
"I built this ship from the ground-up! Do you think I'd skimp on something so significant?!" she yelled at the black-haired mercenary.
"Ah, no, sorry!" Laiserta replied nervously.
A large explosion suddenly sounded and shook the Verdandi violently. Each mercenary clung tightly to what was available. Armada, seated at the primary navigational console, brought up a small display of the ship. "We've taken damage to the back of the engines, but everything else seems to be okay," she analyzed out loud.
Laiserta still cringed while flying the ship away from the area as the Verdandi began to stop shaking. She looked to a display in front of herself. "We were forty-two thetas away from that blast! What the hell was in those things?!" she glanced at Armada.
"Well, I don't use Lucin, like most people do-I use Glakin," she said with a nervous laugh.
Laiserta's eyes widened with shock. "Holy Hell! No wonder we were still hit by it!" She turned back around and mumbled a few things to herself.
"What's a 'theta?'" Trunks asked from the other side of the bridge.
"It's a unit of distance," Armada explained. "Do you have an understanding of how large the country of Bmyhad is?" He nodded affirmatively. "Well, at the shortest width, it's sixty thetas."
Trunks thought for a moment and came up with a visualization of how large such an explosion would have been. It was uncanny-something that size could have wiped out half of Earth. It was almost too much to think about.
"Where're we headed?" Laiserta asked anyone in particular from the pilot's seat.
"Ute, in Bmyhad," Armada responded, reading off the damage report from her console, wincing at rather large hits.
"You got it," Laiserta responded, decelerating the ship and taking it at a slower pace. They were in no hurry.
It was odd, as Trunks thought about it. Here they were, running from another 'failed' mission, now with the government wanting their heads, and a mercenary-who'd only moments ago tried to kill them-on board as well, yet...the atmosphere seemed lighter, as if none of the aforementioned events ever occurred. He laughed to himself. The more he thought about it-and calculated in just how 'odd' the three of them were-the more it seemed less 'odd.'
The Verdandi soared across space, heading back to it's current, and most recent home on Bmyhad, carrying yet another new passenger. Some knew what awaited them; others did not. Yet unknown to all was the fact that this adventure was only the first in many more to come.
A/N: I didn't want to put pronunciation keys in the middle of dialogue, so here they are as follows.
Xyros (zie-ros [long 'o' sound])
And, Lucin and Glakin are just random names for types of explosives-like C-4, TNT, etc. Get it? Good. And for those of you wondering, Laiserta is twenty-seven years old, putting her three ahead of the other two (so they are twenty-four). That kinda thing is mentioned in 'normal' conversation, and if I wrote every conversation these guys had, well...it'd go on forever! So since I'm pretty sure I won't be mentioning it later, here it is now. Ahem. Done. ^_^