Categories > Anime/Manga > Dragon Ball Z > Illumination

Interlude: Execution

by SilverArmada 0 reviews

The return to Bmyhad doesn't go as well as hoped...

Category: Dragon Ball Z - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Trunks - Warnings: [!!] [V] - Published: 2006-02-11 - Updated: 2006-02-12 - 8433 words

Interlude: Execution

What I really meant to say
Is I'm sorry for the way I am
Never meant to be so cold
Never meant to be so cold

--Crossfade, "Cold"

"It's about damn time somebody answered," Laiserta chided with a toothy smile. The signal snowed over for a moment, taking the Taydran completely from sight for a few seconds. When the signal returned-still lacking in clarity-she blinked at the three faces on the other side of the monitor before speaking. "Where the hell have you guys been/? We haven't been able to get any kind of signal until today, and even /now it's crap."

"Sorry about that," Trunks responded with a slight smile. "We sort of took a trip a long way from where you guys are."

"Psh, duh," Laiserta threw an almost insulting look towards him. "So when will you guys be back in Bmyhad?"

"Hopefully by tonight," Armada responded before anyone else could speak. "Depends on if they let ships through right now," she elaborated.

Laiserta's eyes widened. "Wait, you mean they won't let you guys through?!" she asked in worried tones.

"I don't know if they'll single out /us/," Armada continued, "but they have had problems with pirates lately."

"Aw geez," Laiserta's head dropped. "I don't wanna share a room with Naya again tonight!" she pleaded.

Off screen, a very familiar voice made itself known. "Stop your complaining Lai. and I share a room on the /Verdandi/."

Laiserta's eyes darted to her left as she thought. "Oh...right." She then turned her attention back to the other three-fifths of their group. "Just hurry the hell up, would ya?" With that, the transmission was cut off from her end.

As the three stood, Marice held a quizzical look on her face. "Hey..." she turned towards Armada, "why didn't you tell us there might be a delay in getting back to Bmyhad?"

"What do you care?" A slightly wide-eyed Armada countered in an apathetic tone. "You want Lai and Naya back that badly? I thought you liked having some peace and quiet in your room."

"Eheh..." Marice laughed. "True...hey!" she shouted out as a thought hit her. "How come you get your own room and the rest of us have to share?" Marice shot at her commander.

Armada, in response, only narrowed her eyes menacingly at the girl. "O-kay..." Marice said slowly before averting her gaze. As she turned her head, she noticed the other person standing in the small comm. room with them. Her face lit up as she opened her mouth to speak but was interrupted.

"Oh no no no no no!" Trunks jerked his hands out in front of him in protest. "Don't even think about it!"

"Aw come on Trunks!" Marice begged while bringing her hands up in front of her chest in a pleading manner. "You must understand how bad it is to share a room with those two!"

"Marice," Trunks started to reply to the youth but stopped as he looked up to see Armada smirk at him before leaving the room. Gee, thanks, he thought, annoyed that his comrade would leave him in such a predicament.

"I swear, I won't bother you at all!"

Trunks sighed. "Marice..."

"Y-you'll never even know that I'm there!"


"Please please please please /please/!"



The Verdandi had no sooner landed when the door leading into the ship opened. "You know, I'm not a huge fan of waiting," Laiserta announced upon entering the bridge, followed closely by her older comrade.

"And I thought that assassins needed tact and patience," Naya mocked. "All these years and I've been wrong the entire time."

"Haha, yeah, you're really funny," Laiserta sassed back while she finished removing her trench coat and tossing it across the back of the pilot's seat.

"So, uh...where is everyone?" Laiserta asked aloud to Naya as the two stood in the bridge by themselves.

"I swear," Armada grumbled under her breath while walking into the bridge with her head down a bit while carrying a few tools in her hands. "Oh," she stopped walking once she saw Naya and Laiserta staring at her as she strode into the bridge. "Good to see you two back." After receiving a nod from both women, she continued on her path through the bridge towards the main hall leading to the rear of the ship.

Laiserta and Naya both exchanged inquiring glances only seconds before Trunks entered the bridge as well. He too stopped upon seeing his two comrades standing before him. "Hey, you're back!" he exclaimed with a smile.

"See, I knew you guys missed me," Laiserta spoke through her ego and a large smirk.

The smile on Trunks's face faded. "Who said it was you I missed?"

Laiserta's jaw dropped and Naya laughed. "Why Trunks, I'm flattered!" the general mockingly responded.

Trunks clenched his right fist over his heart and raised his left hand up into the air. "Oh Naya, what would I have done without you!" he stated with all the melodramatic eloquence of a soap opera star.

"Oh shut up you two," Laiserta barked out drearily as she narrowed her eyes and hung her head while her comrades laughed hysterically.

"Come on Lai," Trunks approached his now seated comrade and placed a hand on her shoulder. "You know we're just joking."

Laiserta's head snapped up at the sound of bubbly laughter directed towards her. "What's so funny?"

"That pouty look on your face, you big faker!" Marice pointed a finger towards Laiserta while laughing hysterically.

"So I'm not as great an actor as these two," Laiserta sat up, her mood instantly back to her normal amount of happy-go-lucky mixed with a slight ego. She shrugged. "I gave it a shot."

The owner of the Verdandi then strode into the bridge, throwing down the remaining half of the tool in her hand on the small table in the rear of the bridge. "What?" she questioned as all eyes were on her. Armada slightly shrugged. "It wouldn't turn properly." The others continued to stare at her. "So I have a habit of using a little too much force sometimes...big deal."

The other four mercenaries nearly face-vaulted at her reply. Trunks figured he'd change the subject, turning to face Laiserta and Naya. "How'd things go for you guys while you were gone?"

The two in questioned shared a quick glance, in which Naya gave Laiserta a determined stare with a hidden meaning and the Taydran slightly nodded before responding. "Well..."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"WHAT?!" Laiserta slammed her fist down on the bar before her with eyes larger than her head at the moment.

The black haired young woman behind the counter nodded. "Supposedly you'd joined Rieve and left Taydr." She continued cleaning out the mug in her hands with the rag she also held. "None of us really believed it, but Tresia wasn't going to let any lead go unchecked."

"Oh come on Neinta," Laiserta near-shouted, "that was three years ago! Don't you think he would have returned by now?"

Neinta shrugged. "Maybe he just decided to stick around in Rieve. I've heard that it pays well...and it has good benefits."

"Like what, a guaranteed premature death?" Laiserta narrowed her eyes and answered sarcastically.

"Say what you will Lai," Neinta continued, "but people change. Maybe Tresia got tired of searching for a phantom and decided to settle down...even if he settled into a mafia," she finished through choppy and foreign sounding words. At least, they sounded foreign for the person she spoke of.

Laiserta sighed heavily and shook her head. "Fine Nei, whatever. I haven't given up on him yet."

At that moment, another Taydran appeared from the back of the bar and approached Neinta. He opened his mouth to speak to her when he noticed the red-eyed Taydran standing at the bar. "Oh, hey Six," he spoke with a smile.

"Hi Ja," Laiserta responded in a dull tone, hiding her eyes behind her unusual sunglasses.

"Sit down, have a few on the house with us," Jaleiro proceeded to invite Laiserta to stay.

"Sorry, I'm...kinda in the middle of something," Laiserta responded, giving Jaleiro a more tolerable look than earlier.

"I'm sorry to hear that," Jaleiro responded in his typical nice-guy fashion. "Come back when you have the time, okay?" he finished with his sickeningly sweet smile.

Laiserta turned and headed on her way out, throwing a quick "Sure" over her shoulder as she went.

"We'd love to have you cook for us sometime!" Jaleiro called out as Laiserta exited the bar owned by he and his wife, Neinta.

Once outside, Laiserta looked up towards the sky and breathed a breath of fresh air. "Never thought I'd make it out of there." As she returned her gaze back to its normal level of vision, a sudden surge of anger hit her. "How can Neinta think so poorly of Tresia? It wasn't even ten years ago that she was head over heels for the guy!"

"Hahah, you bet!"

"Mm?" Laiserta blinked, brought out of her soliloquy by the small talk of a pair of elite soldiers walking past her in the small street she currently stood in. She followed the couple with her eyes until they turned the corner and were out of view. Elites! She ran towards the building on the corner of both streets, and stopped to peer around it and watch as the two soldiers kept on their path. They just might know something useful...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"...I followed a couple of soldiers around and I heard a few interesting things. Mostly about how crazy Emperor Gen is. At least, they think he is."

"You're gone for several weeks and that's the best you've got?" Armada noted rather condescendingly.

"Hey, if you really don't want to know where the largest fleets of Taydr's troops are concentrated, that's fine by me," Laiserta closed her eyes and smirked at her remark.

"How eloquent," Trunks replied, unamused.

"So how was your trip Naya?" Marice asked with a smile to the eldest member of VDD.

Naya hid the sharp pang at her heart surprisingly well. "Although my finds were not quite as significant as those of Lai..."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Naya, wearing a uniform she hadn't donned in ages, strode up casually-or as casually as she could at the time-to the main reception desk of the inner sanctum of the capital of Tyron, the Heidel building, the proverbial 'palace' of Tyron. The building, along with the nation, was founded by and named after the first ruling family of Tyron, the Heidel clan. Then, as now, it contained all of the major branches of the military and government, and housed the highest-ranking officials in the country-as well as the nation's ruler.

Naya stopped at the desk where another woman waited to check the ID's of all persons entering the building, the exit being on another side of the building that also ran its guests through a security system similar to that of the entrance. /Just stay calm/, she repeated to herself mentally.

"Your identification?" the woman asked politely. Naya slid the small card to the woman, keeping a bit of her distance so hopefully she wouldn't recognize the face partially hidden beneath the bill of her hat, which also kept her hair from sight.

After scanning the card, the woman blinked in surprise at what she read from the monitor before her. "This card hasn't been used in over nine years." She looked back to Naya in disbelief.

Naya swallowed hard as she dropped her accent and spoke in a deeper voice when responding. "That's because I've been on the Drixanna-Melt missions. I returned here, as ordered, to give my full and in depth report to Corporal Reiike."

"Oh, of course!" the young woman slightly laughed. She handed Naya the ID once more and the former general was on her way. While heading into the first main hall, she heard the receptionist call out behind her. "Welcome back Lieutenant Corporal Mela Chiro."

Naya picked up the pace once inside the first long corridor. If she wasn't fast about this, somebody would eventually see that the long since 'deceased' Mela Chiro had made an appearance. And the few people that knew who Mela really was...would know that Naixame wouldn't be far behind.

At the end of the hall, Naya could see the elevator. She couldn't just ride it to the top floors of the building; that'd be way too suspicious, especially for someone with the rank of lieutenant corporal-if the word 'general' wasn't anywhere in your rank, you didn't belong on the upper floors of the building.

She was going to have to ride up a few floors, walk a few floors, run a few floors, and so on. But before she'd even made it to the elevator she recognized the face of another lieutenant corporal headed her way. Valix...! Naya's eyes widened in both shock and the fear of being discovered. Before he was within range to recognize her-thanks to her hat, he'd have to be pretty close-she dodged into another hall branching from the main corridor.

Once out of view, Naya turned to see a young private run up to her old comrade. "Master Corporal Chimera!" he shouted and gave his salute. Master Corporal? /Naya thought. /You've been promoted again, Valix. I'm impressed. With a silent laugh to herself, Naya continued further down the route she'd now taken. It wasn't a big deal. If she needed to take the most hair-brained way to the top floors of the Heidel building, she could. She'd worked in the building for the past six years, so she knew her way around.

Approximately two hours later, Naya glanced left and right down the corridor of the forty-ninth floor after ascending the three previous flights of stairs. She hadn't had much trouble dodging anyone after the thirtieth floor, as it seemed either nobody was at work that day or they were all out on reserve missions. She walked casually yet still close to the wall until she reached the only double-doored office in the hall, located in the center of the hallway on the northern side. She turned the doorknob slowly, her mind split evenly on whether or not she wanted to see the head of Tyron awaiting her on the other side.

Naya released the breath she held in upon seeing the room empty and cold. Yet, at the same time, a sharp pang rang out in her heart at seeing a room that held so many memories. She closed the door behind herself slowly and her eyes fell to the floor. I was supposed to meet him here the night I left...No/, she reasserted herself, /I don't have the time to dwell on this now. She quickly made her way over to the single desk in the room and began shuffling through the papers on top of the desk, searching for any keywords she might recognize.

Finding nothing useful on top of the desk, she turned to the computer terminal on the desk to her right that accessed the entire network database and also housed the most confidential of documents in Tyron-she was in the office of the leader of the country, after all. However, just as she went to boot up the terminal, she heard voices in the hallway. Fearing her possible discovery, she swiftly moved across the room to the wall beside the door, hiding in shadow and praying that whomever was entering wouldn't bother to look her direction or turn on a light.

"But sir," a youthful voice continued behind whomever opened the door.

"But nothing lieutenant," a strong voice replied firmly moving fully into the room.
"We can't underestimate the prince, even if his father is a loon."

That voice...! Naya's eyes shot wide for a second before falling to the floor once more. Keiya...I'm sorry. /She felt a burning sensation behind her eyes. /If only things went differently...

Keiya Tenpouin moved towards his desk, flipping through the documents scattered across the top in a hurried pace. He sighed in a disappointed annoyance as whatever it was that he searched for couldn't be found.

"Sir!" another voice called out while running into the room...or at least it sounded as if he were running from where Naya stood. "Your presence is requested at Intelligence, sir," the officer blurted out in haste.

"It had better be important, private," Keiya replied, still in an aggravated mood.

After a moment of silence, the soldier spoke. "They wouldn't tell me what it was sir, but they said it had to do with General Chiro."

Naya couldn't see the two soldiers who stood in the doorway, but she could see Keiya from her position, and how he'd immediately frozen upon the mention of her name. He hurried towards the door and Naya held her breath once again as he and the two soldiers left the room.

Several moments after the room as abandoned once more, Naya sighed with relief. She then moved back towards the terminal on the High Commander's desk. At least now she'd have some time to see what, if anything, Tyron knew or had to do with the happenings in either Bmyhad or Taydr...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"...I did discover, as you have probably already assessed, that Rieve is indeed in league with Taydr. Apparently, the young prince had a chance meeting with Rieve himself at a large ball for the higher-ups in the area, and the two formed an alliance quickly. From what I understand, Taydr has been purchasing a great deal of disruptors from Rieve, intended for use. As to what purpose, I am not sure," Naya finished while folding her arms across her abdomen.

"You're right; we'd figured that Rieve and Taydr were working together, and we also figured out why they want all those disruptors," Trunks added, slightly curious as to why Naya didn't see what he and Armada had seen.

"Taydr wants to conquer the Shera system; possibly beyond," Armada said plainly with her usual detachment.

"I'm not so sure," Naya replied. "If Taydr had plans to conquer the neighboring countries in the system, using disruptors isn't quite the way to go about it."

"Why not?" Laiserta piped up, not entirely sure what a disruptor was.

Naya glanced at Laiserta before responding. "They tend to destroy a large area of land, including resources. So," Naya elaborated, "a country that's imperialistic, like Taydr, would want to conquer other areas and keep the land and resources in tact so they may take freely over land that they control. Taydr's use of disruptors works against the theory that they wish to conquer for imperialistic reasons."

"Nevertheless," Armada broke in, "Taydr's working with Rieve and the two have disruptors."

"Wait...what are you trying to say?" Marice looked towards Armada.

"We need to get the hell out of here as soon as we can," she answered. "We need to leave the Federation and this debacle with Tayd-Rieve, whoever, behind."

"I agree," Naya quickly added. "When do you propose we leave?"

"As soon as I finish tuning up the ship and we get a hold of enough supplies," Armada replied.

"Great," Naya answered back. Armada motioned for her to follow and the two headed for the rear of the ship. "So what all do we need..." Naya's voice was heard fading as the two disappeared from earshot.

"...ohh," Marice yawned, blinking several times thereafter. "What?" she asked to the two mercenaries left in the bridge as she received a pair of strange looks. Neither responded and she shrugged before heading for the other exit from the bridge, towards the commons.

Still standing, Trunks's eyes fell as he sank into thought. Something about this...something just doesn't seem right. He let out a small sigh. His intuition sent the message that something was up, regardless of what conclusion his more logical half came to.

When Trunks came to, he looked up to find a pair of red eyes staring back at him. "Eh!" he jumped back, a bit surprised at finding Laiserta's eyes mere inches from his own.

"Why so startled?" Laiserta queried, moving closer to Trunks as he backed away. She narrowed her eyes and smirked in a strange way.

"Lai," Trunks started, but stopped once he realized he'd backed into the navigational console. After looking behind himself, he turned back towards Laiserta to watch as she placed her right hand over his left shoulder and leaned on the wall behind the two with her right hand.

"Oh, come on Trunks," Laiserta leaned slightly closer as her smirk turned into a toothy grin, "don't you wanna have a little /fun/?"

As Trunks fully realized what Laiserta was trying to do, she leaned in closer and he backed away as far as he could, turning his head to the side and dodging his comrade's gaze. At his rejection of her, Laiserta's visage slightly faded into one of annoyance.

"Trunks, I was wondering if-oh," Naya stopped as she walked into the bridge to see two of her comrades in quite the compromising position. "A-ah," Naya finally steered her wide-eyed gaze away from the couple, "didn't mean to interrupt."

"No; no, you weren't interrupting anything," Trunks practically yelled out to her to keep her from leaving.

Naya, noticing the hitch in her comrade's voice, quickly caught on. "Oh, well, I just wanted to know if you cared to retrieve a few supplies with me," she waved a small piece of paper in her right hand, "but if you're busy-"

"No, no; not at all," he quickly responded.

Laiserta, disenchanted by the answer her comrade gave to Naya, backed off. "Pretentious bastard," she said under her breath while leaving the bridge and giving Trunks a contemptuous stare.

A nervous and still shaken Trunks made his way over towards Naya. "Uh..."

"Let's get going," she cut him off before he could speak.

Once outside in the streets of Ute, Trunks breathed a heavy sigh of relief. Naya stopped with him, carrying a sly smile on her face. "Care to tell me what that was all about?" She asked the question with an air that said she already knew the answer.

Trunks gave her an exasperated look. "I don't know. To be honest, I...I never really thought about any of you guys that way. You're all just..."

"Comrades?" Naya laughed lightly. "Don't worry; that's just Lai's way of showing her appreciation for you. She...didn't exactly grow up like most of us," she added in a more somber tone.

Trunks brought his gaze up from the ground to Naya. "What's on the list?" he asked after a moment of silence had passed between the two.

"Nothing really large," Naya answered and started on her way down the street, headed for the downtown district of the city. Once Trunks caught up to her pace, walking at her side, Naya spoke. "I only asked you to come with me because I haven't had the chance to speak with you lately."

"Why Naya, I'm flattered," Trunks feigned adulation at his friend's comment.

"Quite the humorist I see," Naya commented with a smile. As the two turned a corner, Naya continued. "I don't mean to intrude, but...well," she started again, approaching from another angle, "Marice came because she wanted to leave Euphoria, she told me so herself; and Lai, well, she was already a mercenary, and, you're not like them; and you're definitely not like the captain, so...why?"

"Why did I become a mercenary?" he finished for her. "Well..." Trunks thought for a moment. "Mostly, I'd say because at the time I was strapped for cash, and partly 'cause I figured that whatever it was, I could handle it." He paused. "What about you, Naya?"

Naya was a bit startled. "Wh-what about me?"

"You were the top general back home, right? Why leave it all behind?" Trunks inquired as the two turned yet another corner, heading through the market area towards the more industrial area of business located farther in town.

Naya laughed. "I can't seem to escape anyone's scrutiny," she deigned in good humor. She opened her mouth to respond but the words she was about to speak never came.


Both Naya and Trunks's heads snapped in the direction of the voice that seemed to be shouting at them, and indeed, it was.

"By order of the Federation Alliance, you're under arrest!" an officer shouted, as he and four others behind him had their weapons raised and aimed at the two mercenaries in question.

Naya took a quick glance behind herself, and after seeing that indeed they were surrounded she relayed the news to Trunks in a near-whisper. "They're behind us as well."

With no other exit present, and guns pointed at their heads, all seemed lost. We've got no choice! Trunks thought hurriedly. We have to fight! He narrowed his eyes and charged at the group in front of him, barely dodging the shots fired his direction.

Realizing that Trunks had taken the initiative to charge at those in their path, Naya stood upright and narrowed her eyes. As bullets from both sides converged on her, they miraculously stopped short on all sides by about a meter. Taking advantage of the confusion of the officers who had emerged behind the pair, Naya charged at the group, giving the first of her victims a nice uppercut to the lower abdomen. She kicked away the second and rammed the palm of her right hand up into the nose of the third, breaking it on impact.

After disposing of the last officer in his path with a quick spin-kick, Trunks turned towards his comrade to see that oddly enough, she was unharmed-and was handing out a beating to the officers on her side.

Naya finished giving the last of the policemen in her way a left knee to the gut when Trunks approached her. It was then that the two noticed, in the distance, more officers headed their way.

"Naya, let's go!" Trunks shouted and moved to start running but was stopped when his comrade grabbed his arm to prevent him from leaving.

"No," Naya looked upon him with a determined visage. "If we run, we'll lead them straight to the others. I'll stay and get arrested, you run and tell the others what happened!"

"Naya-" Trunks began to protest but was cut off short.

"I'm the former general of Tyron Trunks, but they don't know you," the Tyrian reasoned. "They'll be satisfied enough with my capture that they won't chase you!"

"Naya!" Trunks shouted again in protest.

"Just go!" Naya commanded in a fervor Trunks hadn't seen from her before. "Go!" she shouted once more at his hesitation.

After another moment's pause, Trunks finally complied. He nodded to her and took off.

Naya watched as he went, and as soon as he was out of sight, Naya was tackled to the ground from behind. Godspeed, she thought as her hands were yanked behind her back and she felt restraints placed on her wrist.


Trunks burst into the /Verdandi/, trying to catch his breath more from panic than anything else.

Laiserta looked up from where she stood, between the pilot's controls and navigation in the bridge, narrowing her eyes once she realized who had entered the room. "Oh, it's you," she added dryly.

"Naya's been arrested!" he blurted out hastily.

"What?!" Laiserta's eyes immediately widened and Marice turned to look at Trunks in shock as well.

"Oh Naya," Marice said lowly and with sympathy to herself.

"What happened?!" Armada came running into the bridge from the hall where she'd heard Trunks's announcement.

"Federation officers stopped us in town, and to keep them from finding you guys, Naya let herself get arrested and told me to run," Trunks said hurriedly, surmising the situation quickly.

Another 'What?!' resounded from Laiserta as Armada spoke. "And you let her?!" she shouted, giving him an incredulous look.

Trunks, taken aback, was at a loss for words. "Yes, but-"

"Naya's in jail?!" Marice finally exclaimed, effectively cutting him off. "What are we going to do?!"

"We're gonna get her out of there, that's what!" Laiserta yelled in optimism. "Hey," she started, noticing that one of the four was heading for the door, "where are you going?"

"Out," was Armada's cut-and-dry response.

"What are you doing?! Naya needs our help!" Laiserta retaliated.

"This isn't my problem!" Armada shouted in return, sending her three comrades into shock.

"Armada," Trunks started, but didn't get very far.

She turned to face him. "Naya was stupid enough to get arrested, so why should I care?!"

Trunks, now enraged, joined in on the shouting match. "Naya sacrificed herself so the rest of us would be safe! She's counting on us!"

"I don't give a damn!" Armada threw her right arm out from her side, slicing through the air and adding emphasis to her words. Before any of the others could reply, she turned on her heel and the one person who couldn't care less was gone.

After the door leading outside of the ship had closed, Laiserta clenched her teeth and fists. "I don't believe her! Naya would do anything for her and she just walks out on her, on /us/, like a total ass!" Laiserta growled to try and keep her rage from bursting out and making her chase after the mercenary who'd ditched them and kill her on the spot.

You really are a despicable person, Armada, Trunks thought in his anger. You truly hold no allegiance whatsoever to anyone or matter what that someone would do for you.

"What about Naya?" Marice managed to query in a calm voice. "What do we do?"

"I could blast in there and-"

"No you can't, Trunks," Laiserta interrupted with dazed eyes as she sighed and seated herself. "They'd be prepared for that." Before Trunks could ask how, she continued. "Your kind-ki-fighters-are nothing new to the universe. I'm sure that the building has an anti-energy barrier around it." She slumped in her seated position.

"But," Marice started, but couldn't continue as tears started to well in her eyes.

"Don't worry, we'll think of something," Trunks told himself more so than he told Marice.


I can't believe I'm doing this, Armada thought with a sick feeling as she stood before the Federation Alliance Police Department in downtown Ute. The building was very wide and a good six stories high, every floor probably having fairly high ceilings. Alliance police departments also operated as courthouses, and one judge presided to convict and sentence every detainee the officers brought in. If, of course, the person had actually committed a crime. She took in another deep breath before approaching the building. Hopefully they wouldn't shoot her on sight.

As Armada approached, one of the two guards spoke. "Hey, what are you..." he paused as he recognized the woman's face fast approaching. "Whoa! It's her!" he exclaimed to the other guard. "The mercenary!" The two immediately drew their weapons on the fugitive.

Armada stopped her approach at the bottom of the steps leading up to the building and raised both hands in the air, palms facing towards the officers. "I have no weapons and I mean no harm," she stated, silently yelling at her intuition to shut up about the scent of death. "I'm here to surrender," she quickly added, awaiting the reaction of the two guards.

"S-surrender?" the guard who had previously remained silent spoke.

"On two conditions," she continued, "those being the release of Naixame Chiro and a guarantee that the Federation won't chase after anyone who was in my company. They haven't done anything wrong."

"We can't authorize that kind of exchange!" the first guard shouted.

"Then get someone out here who can!" Armada return-shouted, agitated at the time wasted. The longer it took, the more time she had for regrets.


Naya sat in a small, uncomfortable chair in an equally small and uncomfortable room. Her hands were still restrained behind her back; they'd even gone to the lengths to force the back of the chair between her arms and her back. She sighed in annoyance as the only door to the room opened. Hadn't they realized by now that she wasn't going to crack, even in the slightest? After all, what militaristic nation would entrust its top secrets to someone unless it had been previously proven that said person wouldn't break under pressure?

Four officers moved into the room, two staying at the door and two heading for her. One moved to untangle her arms from the chair and pull her up to her feet, and the other retrieved her shoes that were lying several meters in front of her.

Now where are they taking me? Naya pondered, but didn't bother to ask, as it was entirely unlikely that they'd tell her. She glanced around as the officer behind her pushed her along, curious as to why she needed the two 'escorts' in front of her, and why the fourth had bothered to retrieve her shoes. Naya then noticed that her entourage was headed for the front doors of the building. Are they going to release me? ...why?

Naya's question was soon answered as she was forced through the far right door to the exterior of the building, avoiding the crowd of officers to the left. ...captain?! Just outside the doors, as her restraints were being removed, she saw Armada, with her gaze diverted, holding her arms out before her as a pair of gauntlets were slapped on her wrists. Naya, in shock, couldn't find her voice as her current commander was hauled off into the building from which she'd just exited.

Naya was then forcibly pushed down the stairs from the building, and after catching her balance on the ground just below the last step, she turned to see the officer carrying her shoes throw them at her. Completely floored by Armada's action, Naya swiftly put on her shoes and took off for the Verdandi. Her mind raced as she ran through the streets of Ute. What in the world is going on?!


"Arg!" Marice groaned. "Nothing works! This is so frustrating!"

"Calm down," Trunks said fairly sternly to the sixteen-year-old. Laiserta resumed the silence she'd held for some time now and only glanced at her red-haired comrade.

Trunks turned as he heard the door leading into the ship open, and his mood immediately fell. He narrowed his eyes and turned for the door, ready to beat the living hell out of Armada at this point, when he was stopped by the last person he expected to see walk through the door. "...Naya?!"

Naya rushed past Trunks into the bridge, glancing first at Laiserta and then Marice before turning to face Trunks once more. "What are you all doing here?!" she cried out at him.

"Shouldn't we be asking you that question?" Trunks retorted, still in disbelief that Naya was indeed standing before him.

Naya, looking thoroughly disheveled, quickly scanned each of her three present comrades. She turned to Trunks once more with a pale complexion and wide eyes. "You don't know..." she said in a desperate whisper to all those present, including herself.

"Don't know what?" Marice chimed in out of curiosity.

"The captain, she-she turned herself in in exchange for me!"

"No," Marice muttered softly from where she stood, Laiserta cringed and dropped her head into her hands, and Trunks felt as if he'd turned to stone.

"They released me because she surrendered," Naya added, as if she had to confirm her previous statement to her obviously stricken comrades.

Trunks couldn't believe what he just heard. He was frozen in shock while his mind ran at a mile per minute. "That's why..." he said almost inaudibly more to himself than to his comrades. That's why she said what she said! She didn't want us to know, didn't want us to follow her...didn't want us to stop her... He was suddenly grief-stricken at his last thought. If she didn't want us to stop her, then does that mean...?

"We-we have to do something," Marice started again, trying to be the brave one of the group.

Naya averted Marice's gaze as she moved towards the pilot's console to lean against it while she let down her already half-destroyed bun from her head. "We can't."

"We have to do something!" Trunks shouted in protest, guilt being one of his driving emotions in the matter.

"There's no way in, and there's no way out," Naya added in a deadpan tone. "Even your strength-or Armada's, for that matter-is useless before an establishment such as the one in question."

"Lai told us about the anti-energy field," Trunks continued, "but couldn't Armada blast her way out from the inside?"

Naya shook her head. "For energy warriors such as yourselves, they keep special restraints on hand. I'm not sure how they work, but I know they're effective at keeping a person from using his or her energy freely."

"We need to come up with something Naya!" Trunks found himself shouting at his comrade. "We can't just let her rot in there!"

"She won't."

Trunks and Marice both turned to Laiserta who had quietly spoken the two words from her seat. Naya's head dropped; she knew what Laiserta knew, all too well.

"What do you mean 'she won't'?" Trunks questioned in a calm but stern voice.

Laiserta raised her head from her hands, revealing the pleading gaze set in her eyes.
"She's gonna be convicted as a traitor, Trunks." Laiserta's eyes fell to the floor. Trunks would have sworn that if Laiserta could cry, she would have begun to.

Panic started to set in at seeing his fellow mercenary's actions as she spoke. Trunks stared at Laiserta through a seemingly long and very uneasy silence; all the while his intuition was screaming inside his skull that he didn't want to hear what she had to say.
Laiserta sighed unevenly and heavily before returning Trunks's gaze. "Don't you get it?!" she shouted unlike anyone had ever heard her shout before. "They're gonna kill her!"

Trunks's eyes shot wide in shock. He couldn't believe what he was hearing, what was happening. How could she have acted so cold when, when...?

"But...but..." Marice tried to speak through forced breaths while holding her tears at bay.

"That stupid bitch!" Laiserta shouted once more at the top of her lungs. "She knew, she knew what they were going to do to her!" The look of anguish on Laiserta's face was once again covered with her hands, which slowly slid up her forehead and into her black mane, where she death-gripped her own hair to try and ease the pain.

Marice sank to the floor, the first to be unable to control her sobs. Naya's breathing quickened and she squinted her eyes, wrapping her arms around her waist and squeezing the cloth of her uniform for all its worth.

Trunks absentmindedly placed his right hand around his left arm, just above the elbow, and backed up until he leaned against the wall in the back of the bridge. Just when he thought Armada couldn't be more horrible, she went and proved them all wrong-she gave her life up for another without any hesitation. Trunks had never felt such a strong mix of guilt, regret, and confusion...and he wasn't sure if it would ever end.


The moment they'd put the gauntlets on her, Armada immediately felt it. Just inside the doors to the building, she fell to her knees, the sudden draining of her energy dizzying. Well, it didn't drain that much, but it also sent a nasty shock through her entire nervous system while forcibly suppressing her energy level to that of about five, probably slightly lower. She couldn't exactly tell; her entire skeleton felt as if it were on fire from the initial electrical shock the restraints gave. She stared at the ground, holding herself up by her hands while she tried to catch her breath. She'd never actually had a pair of ki-binders on before, and she needed a moment to adjust.

"Get a move on!" one of the officers behind her shouted. After a few seconds of no movement on the prisoner's part, another of the officers reached down, grabbing her by her upper left arm and pulled her up from the ground to her feet. She stumbled once more, so another officer took her right arm in his left hand and the two proceeded to drag her to whatever destination they had in store.

The party of six, including the prisoner, made their way down the large main corridor of the building. A good distance from the door the group stopped, as another officer whom held a small radio-like device in his hand up to his ear put a hand out in a motion that resembled 'halt.'

"Yeah...yeah..." he carried on his conversation with whomever he was speaking to.
"So what do you want us to do?" He nodded as the person he was talking to presumably responded. "Right." He brought the device down from his ear and looked to the officers in front of himself. "This one gets the VIP treatment," he smirked.

The other officers laughed lightly. One of the two in front of Armada spoke. "We take her to holding until the judge is ready?" With a nod from the superior who'd stopped them only moments ago, the officer who'd spoken waved with his hand, and the group continued forward.

Armada kept her stony visage as she was forced down the hall to the rear of the building and thrown into a small holding cell, which consisted of four walls and one door with thirty-six cubic feet of floor space in between. After being pushed through the door, the mercenary fell to the ground, landing on hands and knees once more. After catching her breath a bit-she was still feeling the effects of having her ki forcibly regulated at such a low level-she turned over, sitting on the ground with her back to the wall opposite the door. So they're making this quick, huh? she thought sarcastically, recognizing that the holding cells were only used for prisoners who were soon to see their judgment. Something I can actually appreciate.

Armada leaned her head back and sighed. Wonder what everyone's up to... She thought briefly of the four mercenaries she left behind. Naya should have gotten back by now...I wonder if they've left yet? Armada sighed and closed her eyes, thinking back to her much older comrades. She laughed. Guess I'll be seeing you guys in Hell shortly... She opened her eyes as a realization hit. Except for Dax; that bastard's still alive. How the hell did he manage without us? And... Another recent memory came to mind. Arrianna...if she's really alive, guess I won't see her there either, huh? But you guys'll still be there to get your revenge...I hope it's what you've been waiting for all this time...Huh? Armada's attention was drawn back to the door before her as it opened and several officers stood on the other side.

Two policemen entered and lifted her to her feet, pushing her towards the door. "That was quick," she commented with a smirk towards the third that stood in the doorway.

"Silence," he firmly commanded while giving the felon a strong uppercut to the abdomen. "Hey," he called out to the officers escorting the prisoner as she started to double over from the blow, "we need to switch the restraints for the judge."

"Oh right," one of the two responded, "arms in the back." The three officers dragged the mercenary out of the room and into the hallway, where the third that wasn't physically holding the prisoner bent down to where her hands were cuffed together in front of her. He inserted a key into a small hole with allowed the metallic band joining the two gauntlets to drop from the left cuff. The two officers holding onto Armada's arms then drew them behind her back where the band was reattached to the left cuff and then shortened so as to make the position all the more uncomfortable.

It wasn't long before Armada found herself walking into a huge room within the equally large jail. She had passed through overly large and ornate double doors to enter a tiled room with a large marble bench at the end opposite the doors. She saw one man sitting at the highest part of the bench, raised at least six feet from the floor, and an officer on either side of the 'judge,' but as to what their purposes were she was lost. She then noticed, upon further inspection, an equilateral triangle carved into the floor in the center of the room, each side about a meter long, filled with white sand. Around the triangle several circles were carved into the floor as well.

The group stopped with Armada standing before the sand-triangle. She glanced at the judge quickly, a man of some age. How much exactly, she couldn't be sure-Bmyhadians aged strangely, that much was sure. "On your knees!" one of the officers behind her shouted, which followed with forceful blow to the back of her knees. Armada fell forward, landing on her knees in the White Sand of Truth, as it was known. She continued to fall forward, not having the greatest balance with her hands restrained behind her back. The officers next to her saw this, and each grabbed one of her shoulders, forcing her to stabilize upright.

"Mercenary," the judge began, not bothering to use her name-they'd assumed it was a fake name anyway, since she didn't carry a surname, "you have been indicted on many counts, the most serious of those including several counts of murder and treason." Armada cringed. Sure, she'd murdered, but it was always out of self-defense. The charge that angered most her was treason. How was she a traitor to the Federation? In reality, she wasn't, but since Taydr had control of the Alliance in that particular area, they were going to convict her as a traitor since the sentence was the harshest-execution. While she sat in silence, part of her was screaming to defy every charge to her last breath. "Have you anything to say in your defense?" Upon receiving no answer, the judge continued. "With no defense in question, you acknowledge your guilt." Armada's eyes narrowed and lit ablaze with anger. "Under the guidance of the Federation Alliance of the Shera System, you are sentenced to death. Have you any last words before your sentence is carried out?"

Armada cringed and shouted as loud as she possibly could, "Fuck you!"

"Such language will not be tolerated!" the judge shouted in return. Immediately the officers were on her, and she received more than her fair share of abuse for her outburst.

"Get the prisoner out of here at once!" the judge commanded, and the officers did as told, lifting her by the arms once more and dragging her out of sight.

Once outside of the judge's chambers, Armada didn't pay much attention to where they were taking her, except that they seemed to head farther behind the room she had received her sentence in and were taking her somewhere entirely different.

Armada did notice when they arrived at the actual jail, where the cells were a lot worse than the one she was held in only moments ago and consisted mostly of bars instead of walls. They led her past the more open cells and into the solitary cells in the back, where the more unruly of prisoners were kept. The officers brought her to a metal door, which required a keycard and a numerical password. The door opened, and inside was one cell with three walls, the fourth being comprised of bars. The door into the cell was on the bar wall, and the officers didn't push her in this time. Instead, they led her in backwards toward the wall opposite the barred wall, and removed the metal band between her cuffs. Two officers then reached for the floor, where two long metal bands lie, and attached one each to her ki-binders, effectively shackling her to the building. With her arms shackled, Armada was at least a meter, if not more, from reaching the bars in front of her. The officers deftly went, locking her cell and the room in which her cell was located.

After the policemen left, Armada leaned against the wall behind herself and sank down to the floor to a seated position. There was a window, she noticed, outside her cell but still in the room. She looked outside to see that the sun had already set and twilight was quickly turning into night.


Trunks sat in the weapons control seat of the bridge of the Verdandi with an almost dead look upon his face. His comrades were right, and he knew it. There really wasn't anything they could do for Armada, and for all they knew, she was already dead. He, however, wasn't totally ready to accept that fact. If she'd been so willing to throw her life away for the freedom of her comrades, then...couldn't he do the same? He was waiting for everyone to fall asleep, so he could sneak out and launch his own attack on the building where the captain of the Verdandi was being held. He had no idea if it would work or not, but he had to try...didn't he?

"Hm?" Trunks's head snapped up and his eyes widened as he heard and odd beeping noise. He turned towards the source of the noise, and found himself staring at the pilot's controls. It appeared that someone was trying to contact them. He rose slowly, almost painstakingly, from his current seat and walked over to the helm of the ship. He wasn't in the mood to hear some babble from someone who had too much money on his or her hands about another mission. No, now was definitely not the time. However, he answered it all the same, hoping to take his mind off of this destitute situation he currently found himself in, if only for mere seconds.

After permitting the transmission, a man his age appeared on the ship's main monitor, wearing an oddly familiar blue uniform. Not Rieve...who...? Trunks gazed with curiosity and worry at the brown-haired, green-eyed face of a stranger he could have sworn he'd seen somewhere before...
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