A “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons” story
Disclaimer: I don’t own Captain Scarlet, which is copyright to Mr. Gerry Anderson, or any created Captain Scarlet characters, which are copyrighted to their respective creators.
Summary: Captain Scarlet is about to fall to his death when a winged being saves him. Was it really a real life angel or something else? Something alien, something that has existed on Earth under mankind’s very nose…are they here to help Humanity, or are they in league with the Mysterons…
This is a response to Lady Hawke’s April 2003 fan fiction challenge over at Chris Bishop’s website and I hope the readers have as great a time reading this as I did writing it… Also, just a slight warning, I’m a big Anime fan and the characters will be doing Anime-type things (a bead of sweat appearing, a mushroom-poof sigh, face-vaults, that sort of thing) so I apologize in advance for any confusion. Oh yeah, I have a confession to make: I have a dirty, twisted, corrupted mind, so beware the insanity I shall unleash!
<<AN: Me talking.>>
<”Speech in a Foreign Language.”>
SITREP – Situation Report
ASAP – As soon as possible
E.M.T. – Emergency medical team
Rating: PG-13 to R (Remember, I’ve got a dirty mind, so turn back now if you’re squeamish or easily offended)
This wasn’t too bad a way to die, Paul Metcalfe mused to himself as his scarlet and black clad form plummeted through the air. The air rushing around him stung his eyes but he remained as he was, staring at the street below him, where his comrades would find his dead body. He was never the type to turn from his death. He would rather face it head on and with the acceptance that he was ready to meet his maker, just in case he never revived in Sickbay, just in case, for some strange reason, his retro-metabolism failed to bring him back from the land of the dead. Several hundred meters below him was a busy street and the faint sounds of car engines, horns, and the slightest murmur of voices floated up to him, despite the wind whistling in his ears. Despite the stinging wind in his eyes, he could see the headlights of the saloons below streaming across the open autobahn. Right now, he almost felt if he was flying, but he bitterly knew that soon his body would impact with the hard pavement below, breaking his back and possibly his neck and that in all probability, his dying body would be run over by the vehicles below. Until then, he would just enjoy the sensation of his body slicing through the air.
The faint sound of wings flapping invaded his ears. The sound came from above him so he rotated his body in midair and to his great shock he saw… an ANGEL?! No, not one of the female fighter pilots he worked with, but rather a humanoid figure with large wings protruding from the back was freefalling straight for him!
He couldn’t see clear details, such as facial appearance or even the Angel’s gender due to the night shadows that concealed most of its form from his disbelieving blue eyes. Its hands reached out for him and almost against his will, his own hands came up in a nearly beseeching gesture. The Angel’s wings moved closer to its body, causing it to plummet towards him faster. Its hands clasped his in a firm grip and he could see gleaming green eyes staring at him compassionately from its shadowed face.
“Brace yourself,” it whispered and instinctively, Paul complied.
Its wings suddenly opened, almost like a parachute and his body jerked as his decent to death was abruptly halted. The muscles of his biceps and shoulders screamed in protest to the sudden strain, but he stubbornly refused to let go of the Angel’s hands. The powerful wings flapped and caught an updraft and they glided to the roof of a building. Paul’s booted feet touched to rooftop and the Angel gently released his hands and landed half a meter away in front of him. It was shorter than he by a few centimeters and now he could see that its pale colored hair and silvery wings gleamed in the dim light.
“This is yours I believe,” it said in a soft, genderless voice as it held out his cap-mike.
“Yes,” he said as he took it. “Thank you. Thank you for…”
“You are lucky I was on patrol in this location. Let us not make a habit of meeting like this, shall we?” the Angel stated in a dry, amused tone.
“Captain Scarlet? Captain, are you there?” came the worried voice of Lieutenant Green from the cap-mike as Paul’s epaulets flashed green. Paul swiftly placed the cap-mike on his head and responded.
“Lieutenant Green? Yes, I’m here,” he replied. The Angel stepped back off of the rooftop, over the ledge. His eyes going wide, Paul knew that the Angel was leaving him now. He took a step forward, his voice rising to a shout, forgetting that Lieutenant Green and probably anyone else in the Control Room could hear him. “No! Wait! Don’t leave!”
“Farewell,” the Angel whispered before its wings caught a powerful updraft and soared up into the night sky, before disappearing from his sight.
“Captain Scarlet, who are you speaking to?” came the harsh voice of his superior officer.
“The Angel that saved me, Sir,” Paul said, staring at where he last saw it.
“What are you talking about? The are no Angels near your current position!” Colonel White exclaimed.
“It wasn’t any of the girls…it was a real Angel…” he whispered, almost too low for the others on the line to hear. “Wings and all, it was a real Angel!”
“I said I’m fine!” Paul exclaimed as Doctor Fawn examined his head once more. “I was lucky that the Angel was there to save me.”
“An Angel?” Captain Magenta asked in disbelief.
“Wings, white robes, halo and all?” Captain Ochre chimed in.
“I didn’t see the color of its clothing, but it didn’t have a halo – the wings were silver I think…” he said. “It had green eyes. I saw that when it grabbed my hands.”
“It?” Fawn asked.
“It was too dark to tell if it was a male or female,” Paul replied before he looked down at his hands. “It had to have been an Angel – what else could it have been?”
“An alien, perhaps?” The new voice was a low husky soprano. The men turned to see a petite woman with dark auburn-brown hair and lavender eyes dressed in a violet color-coded Spectrum uniform standing in the doorway of the Officer’s Lounge. Anika Solvig, code-named Captain Violet, Captain Grey’s German partner – and Magenta often jokes ‘love interest’ – walked into the Lounge and sat down across from them.
“An alien?” Ochre echoed. “You’re joking, right?”
“Far from it,” the German agent replied. “In fact, many have speculated that the many reported sightings of Angels have actually been the sightings of an alien species. Remember back in history class? On some of the greatest tragedies in the history of humanity there have been many reported mass sightings of what appeared to be Angels, saving the lives of those who would have died. Also sighted were what appeared to be large mechanical knights, protecting those on the ground.”
“You’ve been reading that paranormal garbage again, haven’t you, Ani?” Magenta asked, shaking his head in mock resignation before yelping when Violet delivered a sharp kick to his shins. He clutched his shin and cursed mentally – he had forgotten about her steel-toed boots…
“Fine, don’t believe me,” she declared haughtily as she stood. “Look it up for yourself if you want. Personally, I think the best thing to do would to be to go back to the building that you fell off of and do some snooping, Scarlet.” With that said, the female Captain left the Officers’ Lounge for the Room of Sleep.
*“This is the voice of the Mysterons. We know you can hear us, Earthmen. For your unprovoked attack on our city on Mars, humanity shall feel the wrath of the Angels of War,”* came the deep, rumbling metallic voice of Spectrum’s foes from the loudspeakers all over Cloudbase. Captain Violet looked up at the loudspeaker in her quarters and scowled.
“Oh eat shit and die already!!” she shouted at the loudspeaker so loudly she startled some of the personnel passing outside her closed door, while throwing her violet colored boot at it. A small bead of sweat appeared on the back of her head when the boot destroyed the loudspeaker before falling back to the floor. With a mushroom-poof sigh Violet walked over, tugged on her boot before she put her cap-mike on her head. Now how was she going to explain how she destroyed the loudspeaker this time?
The Senior Staff had already assembled in the Control Room and Violet slid into a chair beside Captain Grey, while Lieutenant Green watched attentively from the communications chair. Scarlet and Blue sat side-by-side across from her and Magenta was to Blue’s other side, with Ochre to Grey’s free side.
“Any ideas?” Colonel White asked his staff.
“The only Angels I can think of are our Angels here at Cloudbase,” Grey replied.
“But are they ‘the Angels of War’? Or even considered ‘War Angels’?” Violet argued. “Maybe you’ve got the right idea though.”
“How so?” Blue asked.
“I see what she’s saying!” Magenta exclaimed before elaborating, “we should look at fighting units, any named ‘Angels’ or having the nickname relating to Angels and War, specifically any older units.”
“It’ll have to be both those terms or we’re going to have a very wide field to search from,” Ochre warned before he suggested, “how far back in history do you think we should go? That saying ‘The Angels of War’ it sounds familiar.”
“With me too. A myth I think it was,” Green said in agreement from his place at the communications chair.
“Search everything – the Mysterons gave no hint to the time of when they’d strike so we’ll have to move fast. Captain Ochre, you and Lieutenant Green start searching through history and mythology while, Captain Magenta, you and Captain Grey shall search through past and present military units specifically. And to be on the safe side, I’ll keep our Angels here on Cloudbase. Anyone else have any ideas?” The Colonel asked.
“I think Captain Scarlet should go back to where he saw the Angel that saved him. Maybe it’s connected,” Violet suggested.
“We need any lead possible at the moment, so, Captain Violet, you, Captain Blue, and Captain Scarlet will return to where Captain Scarlet sighted this Angel of his. Are your orders clear?”
“S.I.G., Colonel White,” the group of Spectrum officers chorused.
“Good. Then you are all dismissed.”
With their assignments in mind, each left to carry out their own orders.
“That’s a long way down,” Violet said as she carefully peered over the edge of the building that Scarlet had fallen from two days prior.
“That it is,” Scarlet agreed. “I’m just glad I was able to stop that Mysteron before he could set that bomb. It would have been a disaster if the Mysterons had been able to kill the World President’s nephew, what with his work in helping us by developing Mysteron detection and elimination devices.”
“And he’s sexy,” Violet added absentmindedly, before noticing the looks she was receiving from her male comrades. “What?! I’m a healthy woman who notices attractive men!”
“Are any of us Spectrum men ‘sexy’?” Adam teased.
“If you tell Colonel White that I think he’s got a great body I’ll hurt you,” she deadpanned before snickering wildly.
“OK, seriously now, are we?” the American asked.
“You tell anyone what I’m about to tell you and I will tell them that you and Paul are having an affair,” the German threatened.
“What?!” Both men exclaimed in chorus before they looked at one another and swiftly looked away. They simultaneously shuddered at the thought of even looking at another man that way. Adam was heard to exclaim, “That is just wrong on so many levels!”
“Do we have a deal?” she demanded persistently.
“Will you be completely honest in saying what you think?” Paul challenged.
“Of course. My word of honor is my bond,” the German stated solemnly.
“Deal,” the men said in unison.
“Alright then, sit down and get comfy.” Violet said and she and the two men sat on the rooftop with them beside one another across from her. “Where to start? Ah, I know! Lieutenant Green’s absolutely adorable.”
“Adorable?” Paul interrupted. “How so?”
“If you’ll shut up, I’ll continue,” she growled and the scarlet and black clad man raised his hands in a gesture of surrender. “As I was saying: Lieutenant Green is absolutely adorable. He’ll make some woman very happy someday – I mean, she’d be an idiot if she wasn’t! He’s charming, loyal, compassionate, gentle, handsome, and he has such a beautiful smile… In fact, that was the first thing I noticed about Seymour was his smile; he just lit up the room with it and the feeling of happiness that came with it… Well, let’s see, who else is ‘sexy’… Brad is definitely one sexy man – especially in those swimming trunks of his." she paused for a mock lecherous grin before continuing, "And he's so reliable and always ready with a witty remark or two and let's face it – that seemingly emotionless attitude he puts up is a big turn on."
"It is?" Paul asked in bafflement. Women were so strange...
"Makes a girl want to see what happens when that emotionless barrier falls down," Ani said waggling her dark eyebrows suggestively at Paul and Adam.
"Oh," was all a stupefied Adam could say before something dawned on him. "Er… wait a minute then that means..."
"Yes, that means that made you sexy too," she snickered before becoming serious. "Seriously, Adam, you are. Especially to a certain lady fighter pilot I know." That caused the fair-haired American to blush slightly. “And since I have no wish to get in a fight with Karen, I’ll leave it at that.”
"What about me? And the others?" Paul asked as he leaned forward to hear what the female captain said better.
"Please, Paul, you already know you're considered sexy with all the ladies that flock to you,” Ani snorted. “I’m not going to stroke that ego of yours any further! Now for the others… Richard’s a sweetheart really. And he’s so funny, which is definitely needed in a relationship. Of course, he’s so charming, straightforward, and well, his protective streak would thrill many women even while it irritated them. He’s definitely a looker that’s for sure. Patrick… well, Patrick is sweet, charming and his bad boy appeal is very sexy – even if he is somewhat a pervert. And is he oh so handsome! Of course, so are all of you.”
“Even the Colonel?” Adam asked in disbelief.
She smiled sadly. “You probably haven’t looked at his eyes the way I and the other women on the base have. They are… amazing, that’s the only way to describe them, really. When he doesn’t have his guard up, he’s just sitting there thinking and looking at the sky, he’s a completely different man.”
Adam gave a low whistle. “Wow.”
“You women are a strange bunch,” Paul said.
“You’re just upset that I wouldn’t help inflate that already gargantuan ego of yours,” she sniffed disdainfully.
“Ani, really, who is the sexiest man to grace Spectrum? Brad maybe?” Adam asked teasingly, causing the German to blush.
“Well, at present, for me personally – yes, yes he is,” the female Captain said softly.
“What do you mean at present?” Scarlet demanded.
It didn’t seem possible for her to blush any deeper than she already was, but somehow she did. She then mumbled something indecipherable.
“What was that?” the British man teased.
“I said, ‘Black used to be the sexiest man in Spectrum to me until he was turned into a Mysteron,’” she snapped. “There I said it, now are you happy?!”
Adam’s jaw dropped. “You and Conrad were an item?!”
“Well, no, not really,” she hedged, hating to hide the truth from the two men she considered older brothers. “We were good friends and for the longest time I used to have the hugest crush on him and if he knew I had a crush on him he never let on about it. Of course, then he was assigned the Mars mission, while I was promoted to Captain – you can figure out for yourself what happened after that…”
“I’m sorry, Ani, I didn’t mean to bring up any unpleasant memories…” Paul said, sympathy in his blue eyes.
“It’s not your fault – it hurts every time I see that Mysteronized version of Conrad…” she told him. “And not for me either – he, Brad, and the Colonel were such great friends… I know you looked up to him a lot too, Paul…”
Adam opened his mouth to speak when his, Ani’s, and Paul’s epaulet’s flashed green and their cap-mikes dropped down.
“Lieutenant Green? What’s wrong?” Scarlet asked.
“We think we have solved part of the threat from the Mysterons – apparently the term ‘Angels of War’ was in an early myth like Ochre and I thought, but it also ties into something from modern day.” Lieutenant Green replied.
“How so?” Ani queried and was surprised when her epaulets flashed magenta.
“Looks like I owe you an apology, Captain Violet,” came Magenta’s voice. “You were right with your research earlier – the Mysterons were in part referring to that ‘paranormal garbage’ as I had called it.”
“Really?” Violet said, shocked.
“Yes, really,” Green said. “And what’s worse is that the Mysterons may have already put part of their plans into action.”
“What?!” Blue yelped.
“The Mysterons have taken a fleet of fighter craft from Spectrum Headquarters, New York,” the young Lieutenant stated grimly. “There were little human casualties, but those fighters have been reported to be heading your way!”
“WHAT?!” Violet shrieked loudly, causing all of the men to wince.
“How long until they get here?” Scarlet asked, his eyes turning up to the sky.
“Five minutes, maybe less – these are the latest stealth fighters and they aren’t showing on radar,” Colonel White informed them.
“What do they have to target around here?” Blue queried.
“There is a skyscraper near your position that is the headquarters of Senkano Incorporated, a company owned by a woman named Tenshi Senkano – which translated from Japanese means Angel of War!” Ochre declared. “Her company has several contracts with the military as well as several universities – primarily the archeology departments, which have researched the Angels of War that you mentioned earlier, Captain Violet. We think that they mean by drawing the wrath of the Angel of War means that if her company is attacked by some of the fighters her people helped build could destroy those contracts and engage us in severe legal troubles.”
Scarlet felt a wave of vertigo and nausea overwhelm him and cursed as he pointed to several fast moving dots in the sky. “I think I have a visual on those fighters!”
“Get over to Senkano Incorporated and try to evacuate as much as that building as you can –” Colonel White began, only to be interrupted as one of the fighters swooping down and firing a low ordnance missile at them.
“Get down!” Scarlet screamed as he, Blue, and Violet ran towards the roof’s exit when the missile struck the roof ledge near where they had been sitting earlier.
“What the hell?!” Blue exclaimed as he pointed to the building housing Senkano Incorporated. “Look!!”
Scarlet and Violet turned their heads and their jaws dropped in shock as the top levels of Senkano Incorporated opened up and launched some more advanced looking fighters. However, that distraction took their attention away from the Mysteronized fighter, which took that second to launch a couple more low ordnance missiles.
The trio of Spectrum agents was thrown in different directions from the explosions, with Violet and Blue going over the roof ledge while Scarlet was hurled through the closed door of the doorway leading back into the building. He tumbled down a couple dozen or so steps before he came to an abrupt halt by slamming into a wall.
With a moan of agony, he pulled himself up the stairs and dragged himself through the shattered doorway. He could already feel his wounds healing thanks to his retro-metabolism as he rested his blood-covered forehead on his forearms. He steadied his breathing and tried to focus on the crisis at hand. It was then he heard the footsteps. They didn’t sound like those he, Blue, or even Violet, had made with the hard soles of their boots’ heels against the concrete, rather the sound of metal against the concrete. He lifted his head and his eyes widened in shock.
“Oh my God…” Paul whispered as he stared at what appeared to be large metal boots.
Above him, he could hear the sounds of the Mysteronized fighter craft as they soared overhead and the sounds of missiles screaming through the air and exploding. The British man’s mind raced and his concerns instantly ran to his comrades, Adam and Ani – were they all right? ‘Oh dear God, Adam…Ani… they went over the ledge – there’s no way that either of them could have survived unless there was one of those Angels that saved me nearby...’ he thought as he forced himself to his knees.
His gaze traveled up armor-encased legs and he tilted his head back to stare at what appeared to be some sort of high-tech knight. He stumbled as he tried to stand and large hands helped him stand upright. His eyes were level to where the sternum would be on a human and he was startled by the thing’s sheer size. Its – his? – height was around seven and a half feet and it’s shoulders were probably a little over two and a half feet in width, and covered in large metal epaulet plates, with what looked like two miniature rocket launchers resting on those epaulets.
He tilted his head back and stared up at the black chrome and smoky glass faceplate of the high-tech knight. It was not even looking at him, but at the sky where a Mysteronized fighter was destroyed by one of the unknown fighter craft that had launched from the skyscraper next door. It’s head then turned and he repressed a shiver from the gaze he could feel boring into him from behind that smoky glass. If he squinted, he could probably see the outline of it’s eyes…
“Paul!” came Adam’s shout and it released him. He carefully turned to see Adam running towards him, with another of the large high-tech knights behind him. The only differences between the knights were their builds – with the one that had accompanied the American agent being around six foot, six inches and it’s shoulder width being nearly two and half feet. This knight was a little over a foot shorter than the other but Paul had the impression that this one was just as ‘muscular’ as the much taller knight due to the heavy armor it had on it’s torso, arms, and legs. Their paint jobs also were different, with the one that had helped Paul having a simple black chrome and dull silver, while the one that had aided the American had a paint job of dark midnight blue edged in black chrome.
“Adam?” Paul reached out with a shaky hand and poked the other man’s shoulder before dropping. He gave the American a shaky smile. “I thought I lost you there, brother.”
“Almost did,” the blonde-haired man told him. “Ani and I were falling through the air when these two knight things came from the building the fighter craft did and scooped us up out the air. The other knight took Ani back to that building the knight things came from.”
“What?!” Scarlet exclaimed and cringed at the pain that lanced through his aching cranium.
“I don’t know who or even what these things are, but I hope they’re on our side,” Adam whispered.
In emergencies such as this, it is always wise to keep calm and to act rationally – or, one can have a screaming hissy fit like she was doing now. Captain Violet smacked the tech-knight with her color-coded cap repeatedly – since she was unable to draw her pistol, seeing as it was pressed tightly between her body and that of the tech-knight’s – while screaming in German <“Let me go now!!”>
<“If you’ll shut up, I’ll do that!”> the tech-knight stated in flawless German, it’s mechanical voice sounding eerily like that of Captain Black’s.
That shut her up immediately and she blinked at the tech-knight in shock before it abruptly dropped her on her rear. She dropped her cap and scrambled away from it and ran smack into a set of legs. A strong hand on her right bicep hauled her to her feet and she craned her head to see a towering male figure garbed in black body armor. Pale blue eyes stared at her from underneath white brows that were furrowed into a fierce scowl. She jerked away and her hand automatically pulled her color coded sidearm from its holster and trained the weapon onto the white-haired man.
<“Xioni, return to battle, I shall handle the Human,”> the white-haired man ordered the tech-knight, but Violet could not understand the strange language that sounded like a cross between Arabic and Japanese.
<”Yes, sir,”> the tech-knight responded with a bow before it turned and the metal hump that gave the tech-knight the appearance of wearing a backpack opened up and activated the hidden jet boosters before it swiftly exited the hanger bay.
“I don’t know who or what you are, but if you come near me, so help me God, I’ll shoot you!” She snarled.
“You can try,” the man stated in barely accented English.
“That is enough, children,” a soft, genderless voice commanded them.
The white-haired man turned to face the source of the voice and Ani couldn’t help but turn to see the speaker as well. Her jaw dropped as a regal looking woman with incredibly long white hair pulled up into a complex set of braids walked down a long ramp towards them. She was garbed in white oriental styled robes with black and silver embroidery and a long train trailing behind her. The white-haired woman came to a halt several yards away from them and folded her pale, delicate looking hands into her overly large sleeves and stared at the white-haired man with a single upraised eyebrow.
“I apologize, Great Lady, but several Mysteronized 29-G6 WildCat aerial fighters have opened attack on this building and one neighboring it.” the man stated grimly.
“Wait a minute!” Violet squeaked. “How do you know of the Mysterons?! That’s highly classified information.”
He looked at the Spectrum officer in surprise and then began to curse in the unknown language, causing the newcomer to laugh. Several of the technicians milling around looked up at the almost musical laugh coming from the white-haired woman. She stopped laughing and looked at the man before her in amusement in her silvery-green eyes.
“You have not erred, Lord Maric, nor will your Father and I skin you alive. You see, it has come time for Spectrum to know the truth,” she stated.
“Truth, what truth?!” Violet demanded, her grip tightening on her service weapon, preparing to start shooting her way out.
“The truth is, child, that the Mysterons are not the only non-terrans on this world.”
Shock ran through her, causing Ani’s grip slackened and her pistol fell to the ground. She swayed slightly as she stared at the woman. “Oh shit, more aliens?! Oh Nein…”
With that said, Violet’s eyes rolled back in her head and she promptly fainted.
“Well…” the white-haired woman mused, “that went much better than what I thought might happen, don’t you agree, Lord Maric?”
“If you say so, Great Lady…” Maric muttered, pinching the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger – he was getting one of those headaches…
“What are those things?!” Blue shouted as he pointed to one of the unknown fighter craft that seemed to morph into a humanoid aerial fighting unit similar to the tech-knights standing near them protectively.
“We have incoming,” stated a harsh mechanical voice, causing the two Spectrum agents to jump and turn to stare at the two tech-knights standing side-by-side observing the battle.
“I shall handle it, Neo’lin. Xioni is already returning to take my place,” the taller of the tech-knights said in a deep mechanical voice, which was eerily similar to Captain Black’s with the one exception being that the tech-knight’s mechanical voice was much deeper than the Mysteron Agent’s.
<”Go with the Gods,”> Neo’lin intoned and the taller of the two nodded and stepped forward and activated it’s hidden jet boosters. It soared into the aerial battle, going directly for a Mysteronized fighter that was flying straight for them.
Panels opened up on the large tech-knights epaulets and forearms guards as it came to a halt mid-air. A ghostly glow came from the opened panels and the Spectrum men could hear a low-pitched whine as the glow grew.
<”Blaster barrage!”> the tech-knight growled in it’s mechanized voice and from the opened panels came several blasts of a laser-like weapon.
The Mysteronized fighter was instantly vaporized, beyond even the Mysterons’ ability of retro-metabolism to repair itself. The tech-knight bobbed in the air, as though weakened from the attack it just performed before righting itself and taking off into the fray. Several of the unknown fighter craft turned large mechanical humanoid war machines were forced to disengage from the battle as they took on heavy damages. Numerous Mysteronized fighters pursued them and opened fire recklessly, sending a hail of bullets at a civilian skyscraper full of apartments.
One of war machines threw itself into the line of fire while the others retaliated in a seemingly futile defensive effort. The war machine that purposely placed itself into harms way was struck repeatedly, sending chunks of its outer casing flying. Its engines spluttered and died, causing it to drop through the air like a lead weight. The defending war machines took severe damage and seemed to be holding out for help, which arrived in a blazing glory as an unknown tech-knight flew straight through the enemy fighters with a large energy scythe, causing the fighters to explode.
The large tech-knight that had protected Scarlet came into view towing the war machine that had fallen after protecting the civilian apartment building. It then lead the other damaged war machines back into the top levels of Senkano Incorporated, while the tech-knight with the energy scythe seemed to vanish as it returned to the fray at incredible speeds. A pair of Mysteronized fighters shot through the air, heading straight for the rooftop where Blue, Scarlet and the tech-knight Neo’lin was located. The tech-knight stared as the fighters, but remained motionless.
“What the hell? Why isn’t that thing blasting those fighters?!” Scarlet whispered to Blue.
“Maybe it’s trying to scare them?” the American suggested before shaking his head and sighing, “I don’t know. Maybe it’s got some laser weapon like the other does but it has a limited range, like our Mysteron rifles.”
With a seeming blur of displaced air, the unknown tech-knight appeared in between the Mysteronized fighters and the Spectrum personnel and slashed at the enemy craft with its energy scythe, causing them to explode in a dual fireball. It then flew towards them and landed before Neo’lin. This one was taller than the other tech-knight by a head and its shoulders wider by the other’s by a foot, and had a paint job of silver, blue, and white.
"Greetings, Xioni," the shorter tech-knight stated.
"Greetings to you as well, Neo'lin," The taller tech-knight's voice was several octaves higher than it's comrades, but the mechanical monotone was still present. "Who are the civilians?"
"We are not civilians! I am Captain Scarlet and he is my partner Captain Blue, and we are from Spectrum," Paul snapped before demanding, "and where is Captain Violet?!"
"The female is with Lord Maric inside Senkano Incorporated," Xioni said. "And you are not of us, so therefore, you are civilians."
Blue blinked at the particular way the tech-knight had phrased that sentence. Shouldn't it have said 'are not one of us'? Strange...
Several rooftops over, Captain Black scowled as he lowered his binoculars. This was not going well, but maybe this could be turned to the Mysterons’ favor…
“I have movement inside the building,” stated the low mechanical voice of the other black clad Mysteron, who had been lying on his abdomen and observing Senkano Incorporated through the scope of his sniper rifle. “We may have been discovered.”
“Several units are heading our way,” the younger man answered the terse command with the ease of a soldier used to such orders.
“How many and of what type.”
“One Teikkani Knight, a cyber-IA, and thirteen Stalker class mecha,” he replied before his jaw dropped open slightly and snapped closed. “They are being led by General Cheetari, in an Eliminator.”
“What?” Black turned to look at the younger agent.
“I confirm, General Cheetari is their commander, and is piloting an Eliminator,” the younger man replied before he looked up from his scope into his senior partner’s emotionless black eyes. “I can damage them slightly and hamper their progress until I run out of ammo, but I can not terminate them with this caliber rifle. Caution is suggested, seeing as firing on them may alert them to our exact location.”
“Understood. Initiate backup thirteen beta.”
She came to consciousness groggily and immediately tried to sit up, but a gentle hand on her shoulder kept her down.
“Careful, you don’t want to pass out again,” came a soft female voice in lightly accented English. “You’re blood sugar is very low.”
“What? Where am I? I had the strangest dream…” Captain Violet murmured as she raised her hands and pressed the heels of her palms against her aching eyes.
“No dream, child,” the soft, seemingly genderless voice, of the woman Lord Maric called ‘Great Lady’ informed her.
Ani bolted into an upright sitting position and stared at the white-haired woman standing at the foot of her bed. At her right was a gentle looking blonde-haired woman in a light blue body suit and a matching blue and white doctor’s smock.
“Who are you people?!” she demanded as she scooted back away from them.
“We are the Azan,” the white-haired woman informed her, “And we have lived among your kind for a very long time – thousands of years before the birth of the one you call Jesus Christ, as a matter of fact.”
He turned and opened fire at his pursuer before ducking into doorway and running down a flight of stairs. That cyber-IA had been after him since he and Black had separated on the roof. The Teikkani Knight had pursued his commander and it wouldn’t surprise him if the Stalkers and Eliminator were waiting for them on the ground floor. He barely dodged the long claws of the cyber-IA and his foot slipped on the stairs, causing him to tumble down the stairwell. He collided with a wall and stifled a curse. He was on his feet in a split second and had his rifle up in an instant, firing on the dark figure covered in body hugging cybernetic armor. In a move that seemingly defied all of the laws of physics, it disappeared in a blur of displaced air and reappeared a foot in front of him, lashing out with its long metal claws.
He screamed as the claws sunk into his forearm and he tilted the barrel of his rifle and pulled the trigger, sending a bullet directly into his attacker’s abdomen. Despite the agony it caused him, he pulled his injured forearm back, causing his attacker’s metal claws to pull out of his arm. Blood poured from the wound and he darted down the stairwell once more, hoping to get away from his pursuer long enough for his masters to get himself and Captain Black out of here – he could only hope that his commander was having better luck than he was…
Captain Black leapt over the stairwell railing and landed with a cat-like grace on the stairs below. Above him, he could hear the much larger Teikkani Knight tear off the door at the top of the stairwell. If he could just stay in places it would have more difficulty maneuvering in, he and his younger counterpart may just make it out of there with a little help from their Mysteron masters…
The SPV pulled up before the Senkano Incorporated complex and Captain Grey and Lieutenant Green stared in shock at the strange fourteen large humanoid machines standing before one of the buildings beside Senkano Incorporated. Thirteen of them were in a triangular formation, with the fourteenth standing right in front of them. The fourteenth straightened and trained its weapons on the buildings front doors, and the other thirteen followed suit. A smaller machine that looked like a technological knight appeared in the building’s double doorways and the fourteen war machines lowered their weapons. The tech-knight then walked towards the fourteenth war machine and they conferred in low tones, in an unknown language. The fourteenth war machine walked away from the tech-knight towards the Spectrum personnel. Its metallic footsteps were loud and echoing in the now deserted streets and its large machine guns were lowered to its sides. Grey stepped out of the SPV and stared at the large war machine, one hand on his service weapon.
“You are Captain Grey I presume?” from the war machine came the question in a low, genderless mechanical monotone.
“I am,” Grey answered with more bravado than he truly felt.
“Excellent. We have two Mysteron agents trapped in the building before you.”
“Who?” He had to contain his excitement – if it was Black and they could finally catch him…
“The one you call Captain Black and another who’s identity is unknown – a young male, black eyes, black hair, Caucasian.”
“Alright. Block off all exits with your troops and I’ll go in with a Mysteron rifle,” Grey ordered as he reached inside the SPV for the Mysteron rifle.
“You will not be alone in there,” the war machine informed him.
“What?” He paused and turned his head to stare at the towering machine.
“One of ours is in there, hunting Black’s accomplice.”
Grey straightened, the rifle cradled in his arms. “To be blunt, I don’t see how something as large as one of you can maneuver in there. That reminds me – just what are you?”
“That information is classified, Captain,” the war machine informed him. “But all shall be revealed in time.”
Colonel White sat at his desk, trying to keep his concern from showing on his normally stern visage. Captain Magenta sat at Lieutenant Green’s usual station and he couldn’t help but stare at the console before him, a frown of worry etched on his brow. Magenta started to lean back slightly in the communication’s chair when a light suddenly blipped on the communication’s console.
“Sir!” Magenta exclaimed as he leaned forward. “We have an incoming message from Senkano Incorporated. It’s Tenshi Senkano, sir and she’s asking to speak with you in person at her building immediately.”
“That is highly unusual…” White murmured.
“Colonel, I may have been hearing things, but I think I heard Captain Violet’s voice in the background,” The younger man informed his commander, worry evident in his eyes.
“…arrange for me to get down there immediately.”
“If Senkano has Captain Violet with her, it could mean one of two things – Violet has briefed her on the situation and is worried that the Mysterons could eavesdrop on any conversation we have over the radio… Or – God forbid – that Senkano has been Mysteronized and is holding Captain Violet hostage,” White informed his subordinate. “And if the second is the case, we’ll have to do anything we can from letting her Mysteron clone from authorizing any launches of her prototypes against Cloudbase or any military or civilian targets. Ask for Captain Ochre and that young man – Giz, is that his name? – who has been testing the new modifications to the communications chair to report here immediately.”
“Understood, sir,” Magenta replied and turned back to the communication’s console.
“Your Colonel is a wise man,” the doctor told her as Captain Violet sat down on the bed she had awoken on. To say that Ani was in shock was an understatement. From what little information she had been told, there was an ancient alien species – possibly several – living among humanity since several thousand years before Christ!
“Are you going to explain all of this,” that was said with the wave of a hand towards the incredibly high levels of technology present, “when Colonel White gets here?”
“Yes. With the presence of the Mysterons known, it is believed that Humanity is at the right age to know of not only the Azan, but of the entire Empire,” the doctor replied.
“Empire?!” Captain Violet shrieked. Low blood sugar plus incredible shock equals – you guessed it – fainting.
Captains Scarlet and Blue watched in slight awe as the rest of the Mysteronized fighters were wiped out by the tech-knights and a squadron of the humanoid war machines. Was this top-secret technology being displayed in this aerial battle? If it was, then why had this obviously mass produced technology not been sold to Spectrum? The tech-knights landed back on the roof beside the two Spectrum Captains.
“You are to come with us,” the taller tech-knight informed the Captains.
“What?!” Blue exclaimed and his hand reached for his service weapon – only to find the holster was empty.
“Your weapon was lost when you were sent over the ledge,” the shorter tech-knight informed the American Captain.
“Please come with us. Your Colonel shall be here soon,” the other informed them.
“Colonel White is coming here?” Scarlet asked in disbelief.
“Affirmative. He comes to speak with Tenshi Senkano in Senkano Incorporated where we are ordered to take you for the meeting,” the tall tech-knight told them.
“Should we trust them?” Blue asked, eyeing the tech-knights warily.
“Do we have much choice?” Scarlet retorted. “I only have my service weapon and its caliber is too low to do more than scratch the paint on those things.”
“He is correct,” the shorter one offered helpfully.
“Then let’s do this…” Scarlet said grimly.
Grey stared up at the war machine before him and was surprised when it suddenly turned to face the building where Black and his accomplice were cornered.
“They have escaped,” it stated.
“Damn!” Grey cursed.
“Agreed.” He could have sworn he heard dry amusement in the machine’s voice. “I have new orders, and they are to escort you and Lieutenant Green to Senkano Incorporated, where your Colonel White is about to arrive for a conference with Tenshi Senkano.”
He looked at it with shock. The Colonel was coming here? For what reason would he leave the safety of Cloudbase? Grey nodded his head jerkily before he spoke. “Alright, let me inform Lieutenant Green of the change in plans. Is there a place where I can park the SPV without worrying about it getting stolen?”
“One of the Stalkers shall guard it, despite the low likelihood that any civilians would come out at the moment.”
For some reason, he could swear that it was amused…
Teeth clenched against the pain bandaging his forearm was causing, the young Mysteron Agent did his best to keep the roll of gauze on its proper course, which was exceedingly difficult. It was a nearly useless gesture – if he willed it, the wound would close itself instantly, but doing so would have taken energy he was not willing to spend before going back into his mission.
“You’re not doing it right, Shadow,” stated the low voice of Captain Black from behind him. Shadow had to repress the urge to flinch in surprise. The former Spectrum officer crouched down beside the younger Mysteron’s sitting form and took the gauze from him and demonstrated the proper way to bandage the injured limb. “You were hurt during the mission. By the Cyber-I.A.?”
“Yes,” he answered before shrugging. “The wound will finish heal soon.”
“A wise decision to keep from forcing it to heal – you will need your energy.” Shadow’s eyebrow raised. Praise? Surprising from the other Mysteron, since like all of his brethren, he was unemotional – before others at least. What was done when he was alone was unknown to all but Captain Black and their Mysteron masters.
The younger Mysteron stared at his lap and allowed his mind to wander. He was an assassin, at first created solely to be undetected by Spectrum’s detection devices. Of course that wasn’t successful, seeing as all of the genetic engineering gave him the photograph silhouette and the detector would come up both positive and negative at the same time. After that, he was trained to kill any and all threats to his Mysteron masters. He stole a glimpse at the older man from the corner of his eye. Black was more than his commander – he was the only father figure he had, who raised him and trained him over the past two years since he was artificially created from the combined DNA of a Mysteron Agent and an Earthwoman.
Shadow’s mind darted back to his failure. Was it because of his Human DNA that he failed?
Colonel White strode into the lobby of the main office located on the top levels of Senkano Incorporated with Captain Magenta following him.
“You asshole I don’t care who or what you are, you’re going to have my boot so far up your ass that you’ll taste boot leather for the rest of your misbegotten life!” Violet was heard to screech.
“Shut the bloody hell up, you harridan!” A male voice shouted back.
The two men looked up and saw Violet and an extremely tall muscular man with long white hair garbed in black body armor were standing on a balcony above them screaming profanities at each other. From another doorway came Lieutenant Green and Captain Grey followed by a large humanoid machine with huge machine guns on the end of its ‘hands’. It walked over to the side of a large marble staircase and assumed a military styled resting stance.
“Colonel White!” Lieutenant Green exclaimed as he caught sight of his commanding officer right as Captains Blue and Scarlet walked in through a doorway with two large machines following them.
“You pompous ass, if you think I’m going to back down just cause you’re bigger than me, you’ve got another thing coming to you!” Violet was heard to shout.
“Try it you uptight bitch!”
“Jackass!” She screamed and the sound of flesh striking flesh echoed in the lobby.
“That’s it!” the male was heard to roar.
Violet shrieked and the entire group watched in horror as the man picked her up and held her up over the balcony’s railing.
“Lord Maric, that is more than enough,” stated the war machine standing beside the large staircase as it turned it’s ‘head’ towards the two on the balcony.
“Stay out of this, Cheetari!” The man, Maric, snarled.
From the shadows of the balcony cam another black clad, white-haired figure. This one was also a male and his garb was far more regal than that of the other man’s.
“Enough, Lord Maric. You’re behaving like a child. The woman is a guest and will be treated with respect,” the other man warned.
“Calm yourself, Lord Maric. Immediately,” came a soft, seemingly genderless voice from the top of the marble stairway. “And please put Captain Violet back on the balcony – she is not of us and would be injured if you dropped her. This is neither the time nor the place for flirting.”
The man growled but complied by pulling Violet back onto stable ground. He then looked down over the railing and found himself facing several drawn weapons. He sneered at them and shoved her out of his way and stormed off.
“Please for give him, Captain Violet. Generally he’s much more subtle with his flirtations…”
“You call that flirting?!” the female Spectrum officer spluttered.
“To us, it is.”
The Spectrum officers warily looked around and they saw just who stood at the top of the stairway. A woman with incredibly long white hair pulled up into a complex set of braids walked down a stairway towards them. She was garbed in white oriental styled robes with black and silver embroidery and a long train trailing on the stairwell behind her and following her was a group of muscular men and women garbed in the same black body armor as Lord Maric. The white-haired woman came to a halt several yards away from them and folded her pale, delicate looking hands into her overly large sleeves and stared at the white-haired man on the balcony with a single upraised eyebrow.
“What do you think, that time of the month for him?” This said with a slight tilt of her head towards the door that Lord Maric had exited through.
“Not too certain, his are always erratic,” the man replied. “I believe that we have confused the officers of Spectrum long enough – their drawn weapons are making the I.A.s and the Enforcers rather edgy.”
“Please, follow us into the conference room,” the woman said as she walked by the Spectrum officers towards another large doorway. The group of black-clad men and women spread out and flanked the door that the white-haired woman entered.
“It’s all right, she’s not a Mysteron,” Captain Violet said softly from behind the Spectrum officers.
“Ani, are you all right?” Grey blurted out as he shoved his weapon back in its holster and rushed over to his partner.
“I’m fine,” she told him. “Please, Colonel, despite Lord Maric’s actions, they have no quarrel with the people of Earth.”
“The other way around, in fact,” the unknown white-haired man told them dryly as he walked by.
It took a little coaxing by Violet to get the group to go into the conference room where the white-haired man and woman were waiting. The large war machine and the two tech-knights followed them in. The tech-knights walked over to where the woman sat at the head of the table and kneeled behind her chair, while the war machine walked over to a recess in the wall.
“I would appreciate your output outside of your Eliminator, General Cheetari,” the woman said to the large war machine.
The large machine’s front opened up and lowered to reveal a figure sitting in a cockpit cage. Long slender hands covered in black and green gloves emerged from the depths of the cockpit and caught hold on the sides of the opening and out emerged a figure clad in black and green. Bulging cargo pockets ran up and down the sides of the figure’s muscular legs, around the trim waist and on the powerful biceps. An ebony helmet and visor adorned the figure’s head. From the back of the helmet, wire cables ran into a ‘pack’ on the figure’s back. Heeled boots rested silently on the stone floor and the figure moved fully into the light.
“I am General Cheetari, Warriors of Spectrum. It is a pleasure to finally meet you.” The voice still was low, but had lost the mechanical tone. Cheetari moved over to a seat beside the white-haired man. Before sitting however, the helmeted head turned to stare at Captain Scarlet. “I have heard of your valor and heroic deeds, Captain Scarlet. It is a true honor to be in the presence of such a warrior.”
“Please, sit,” the man said to them. “I am Jaren, I am certain that you know my spouse, Tenshi?”
“It’s an honor to meet you in person, Senkano-san,” Colonel White said as he holstered his weapon and bowed. He then sat down and gestured for the other’s to do likewise.
They carefully sat down, although each of the Spectrum officers that still had a weapon kept their hands casually resting on their weapon.
“You must have many questions,” Tenshi Senkano stated.
“You’re the angel that saved me, aren’t you?” Scarlet asked softly.
“Very astute, young one.” Her lips lifted up into a smile. “Yes. I saved you from your fall. And doing so allowed you to see the external difference between our kinds. You see, I my husband, nor most of the people who work for me are Human. Those that are Human are the spouse or adopted child of one of my people.”
“What are you?” Colonel White demanded.
“We are the Azan and we have lived among your kind since thousands of years before the birth of the one you call Jesus Christ,” she told him calmly. Her head then turned to the two kneeling tech-knights. “You have been in that form long enough, my Teikkani Knights. Please revert to your original forms so that you do not exhaust yourself.”
“Yes, Great Lady,” the duo stated in unison.
Both stood and a nexus of light surrounded them. When the light subsided, two much smaller Humanoid forms stood there. One appeared to be a tall, slender human woman with long golden blonde hair, while the other was a shorter, more muscular woman with pale blue skin, pointed elf-like ears and short spiky white hair. They both what appeared to be an oval of stone embedded into their forehead with the human looking woman possessing a silvery-blue stone and the blue skinned woman had a bluish-black stone.
“What?!” Blue’s eyes were wide and so were the other Spectrum agents.
::We are Teikkani, we are the sacred protectors.:: the voice echoed in their minds. The stone on the blue skinned woman’s forehead seemed to glow.
Violet raised one hand to her forehead and stared at the women in shock. “Amazing…”
“The Teikkani are part of our Empire, the sacred protectors of all we are, of all we hold dear,” Jaren stated. “The Azan Empire was created millennia before life came to be on your world and our first journey to space happened several hundred years after. Our Empire expanded in the next thousands of years as we began colonizing habitable worlds and making alliances with other space-bound species.”
“Then we found Earth,” Tenshi informed them. “We landed quite by accident, actually. A piece of meteor damaged a small science vessel that was taking scans of your world and caused it to crash-land here, millennia before the birth of Jesus Christ, whom you base your yearly calendar off of. Those early explorers were terrified of contaminating your developing species and immediately went into hiding on the mountain that they had landed on in the country you today call ‘Greece’.”
“Mount Olympus…” Scarlet breathed.
“Precisely,” Cheetari stated. “From there, our people waited for rescue, which came promptly. After discussing it with the Empra and other high placed officials, it was decided that several teams consisting of scientists, medical personnel, and soldiers would be left behind in the most remote regions of Earth to watch it’s progress.”
“What’s an Empra?” Green asked as he leaned forward.
“I am,” Tenshi replied. “It is my title and position. You see, I am the ruler of the Azan Empire.”
Before any of the Spectrum officers could speak, the doors opened again, this time to admit a figure garbed from head to toe in black cybernetic armor. Long metal claws adorned the figure’s hands and on those claws was dried blood. There was a gaping hole in the center of the armor covering it’s abdomen.
“Niress, from the condition of your armor, I take it you engaged one of the Mysterons in battle,” Jaren asked.
The figure nodded once and walked over to a computer console behind Lieutenant Green. It lightly tapped a sequence of keys and a small portion of the console opened up and it placed it’s blood covered claws into the opening while it’s other hand lifted and formed a fist. From the back of the figure’s hand came a small spike. It inserted the spike into a small hole beneath the computer’s large screen and the screen lit up and an image of an outline of a figure appeared, signaling that the person in the frame was a Mysteron. Characters of an unknown language appeared in the lower corner of the screen and a vertical line passed over the frame, changing it from the visual spectrum to infrared, then to ultraviolet and then the entire frame went black with the exception of the Mysteron. There stood a young man in his late teens, early twenties holding a sniper’s rifle aimed right at person who took the photograph. His eyes and hair were the darkest of black and which contrasted starkly with his pale skin-tone and on his chin was faint stubble. Unknown character text suddenly ran across his image and an English translation was provided below: “Identity Unknown.”
Another window opened up on the computer screen and this one was running a test of sorts and Colonel White’s eyes went wide as he recognized that on that window was a DNA strand being assembled piece by piece. It looked Human, but also at the very same time nonhuman. Text appeared on this window, both in the unknown language and in English.
“So far it looks like we have something new to deal with,” Cheetari growled. “A Human-Mysteron hybrid. Great…”
Another window opened and this one also of the DNA strand. More text started running and Colonel White had to keep from gasping in shock. The text in English read that the Mysteron was almost two years old, despite his physical appearance and that his DNA had been manipulated to include heightened senses as well as superior strength. Yet another window opened up, again with the image of the unknown Mysteron, this time of a x-ray. All of the Spectrum personnel felt like they had been socked in the gut. They could see both his skin and his skeleton! His skeleton seemed like a faint shadow, while his skin seemed more predominate – was this a possible after-effect from his continued presence around the Mysterons or the genetic tampering done by the Mysterons?
“Good God, a super-soldier…” White breathed.
“Exactly.” Cheetari’s low voice was grim. “The thing is, Colonel, you’re people are not trained for this sort of thing. Ours are.”
“What?” The Colonel’s head snapped into the armored General’s direction.
“I hope you don’t mind my bluntness, Colonel, but your soldiers are nothing compared to ours,” Cheetari replied. “And I mean that in and out of our mecha.”
“Our species matures much more quickly than yours does, Colonel White, as well as having very long natural life spans, so please don’t take it personally. Cheetari is a prime example of our best soldiers – even at almost eighty of your Earth years old,” Jaren said diplomatically. “I am the Commander for the Enforcers, and I am almost one-hundred-thirty-seven.”
The Earthlings were, to put it bluntly, shocked as hell.
“One-hundred-thirty-seven?!” Green gasped. “When do you reach maturity?!”
“Thirteen of your years.” Cheetari sounded amused.
Violet fell out of her chair as she fainted.
“She did it again…” Jaren said, a large bead of sweat appearing on the back of his head.
“Does she faint often? Because this is the third time she’s done is since she came here,” Tenshi asked.
::Her blood sugar is low. Does she have diabetes?:: came the low voice mental voice of the blonde Knight.
Grey smacked his forehead. “She didn’t eat before leaving Cloudbase! She told me that she always gets sick if she does and that she’d pick up something after she, Scarlet, and Blue looked over the rooftop he fell from and that was several hours ago.”
“Well that makes sense. With that fall from the building and her first meeting with Lord Maric, the rest of her energy reserves must have been depleted," Tenshi mused.
Grey was out of his seat and kneeling beside his partner in less time than it took to blink. He placed one hand on her shoulder and gently shook her.
“Ani?” His voice was low and concerned.
“Wha?” her pale lavender eyes opened slightly as she shoved herself into a sitting position. “Brad? What happened?”
Grey’s eyebrows twitched and a vein appeared on his forehead before he starting shaking her. “What’s the big idea not eating?! You should have said something, I’m certain they would have given you food if you asked them, bubblebrain!”
“I’m getting whiplash and who’re you calling ‘bubblebrain’?! I don’t know these people and what if their foods weren’t compatible with a human’s digestive tract? I wasn’t going to risk it!” Violet snapped as she shoved her partner away from her. She snickered as he fell on his arse.
Colonel White cleared his throat and glared at the duo. Violet blushed and crawled back in her seat, while Grey stood with a blush adorning his high cheekbones. He dusted his derrière off and sat back down in his seat. Tenshi and Jaren exchanged looks and smiled knowingly.
“Back to the whole super-soldier thing…” Magenta began. “How can we stop him? What if there are more of them? And why are you so certain that we can’t handle them?”
“Come with us, if you wish to see,” Cheetari stated before standing.
“Alright,” Colonel White stood as well. “And on the way, maybe you can continue explaining how your species of lived on Earth under our very noses.”
“Of course,” Jaren and Tenshi said in unison while standing.
The group stood and walked out the large double doors.
Shadow glanced down at his bandaged forearm and his face contorted into a silent snarl of rage. Damn that Cyber-I.A.! He’d kill it the next time he fought it. He hid the savage expression as he heard the door behind him slide open. He turned and his eyes met those of his commander’s, who signaled that it was time to move out. Inwardly he gave a grin promising extreme pain to those that opposed them, while his face was stoically cold as the genetically engineered Mysteron agent picked up his rifle and followed Black as silently as his namesake.
Magenta was certain that had Ochre been here, his jaw would be dragging the floor from the sights he was seeing. Currently he, the other Spectrum officers, and the Azan were walking through a hanger bay located on the top floors of Senkano Incorporated. All around them were large aerial fighters and large humanoid machines of war that were similar to what General Cheetari had piloted. Dozens of people – some that looked human, while many didn’t – milled around, carrying tools and conversing with one another in a multitude of unknown languages. Magenta’s eyes went wide as a centaur-like creature walked by carrying a large machine part on its – his? – shoulder.
“Hit the deck!” a voice cried out and several of the people dove down and a figure swung by on a cable. The figure had fallen from a high up catwalk and struggled in the safety harness attached to the cable as it finally came to a halt. “Help! Somebody get me down!!”
“I’m comin’!” another voice shouted over the sound of boots thudding heavily against the metal stairwell. A crimson clad figure appeared on the catwalk and started pulling the cable to reel the hapless hanger on up.
“Are you all right?” Tenshi asked as the crimson clad figure pulled the person who fell up onto the catwalk.
“I’ll be fine, Great Lady, just a little shaken up.”
“Go on to sickbay, just to make certain you aren’t injured and take the rest of the day off,” the white-haired Empra ordered.
“Yes, Great Lady.”
“You never quite finished your story on about the research teams and how they remained undetected,” Colonel White asked.
The group started moving once more.
“Quite simple. We gave the appearance of being human. It wasn’t that hard – unless we were injured or we showed our wings, we passed as human,” Tenshi told them. “Rather tall humans, but human nonetheless.”
“Try as our scientists might, they still influenced some of your ancestors. I am certain you are familiar with the Amazons?” Jaren added in.
“The tribe of warrior women in Ancient Greece,” Violet whispered.
“They saw the matriarchal rule of our people as well as the numerous female warriors and drew their own conclusions,” Cheetari stated. “At first it was rather alarming for the scientists, but later it proved useful as the strength of the Amazons flourished. The Azan settlements were avoided because it was believed they were Amazon villages.”
“Of course, we would help those in need – it is not our nature to turn away the helpless and those that needed protection,” Tenshi stated as they walked through a long corridor. “There’s a training room down this corridor for the Enforcers, the military police of the Azan, if you’d like to see what I meant about your people not being able to handle a super soldier, Colonel.”
The training room’s large double doors opened and the group was treated to the sight of a figure in black and crimson armor being thrown across their line of sight. Metal clashing against metal rang throughout the room and in the distance two figures struggled to best the other with their large swords. A loud bird-like screech came from above them and a blurred blue and black clad figure dive-bombed from the ceiling, a set of wicked looking claws extended. The crimson and black clad warrior swiftly rolled to its feet and caught the blue and black clad attacker.
“Attention!” Jaren bellowed.
All activity came to a sudden, complete halt. The four individuals were standing at attention before them in seconds, weapons sheathed. All were different from one another in many ways – the crimson and black armored figure was a tall, thin humanoid feline, with a long lion-like dark brown mane, which flattered his pale cream colored fur and golden eyes. The blue and black clad figure was also tall and thin, but almost avian in appearance, from it’s long crest of brilliant scarlet and green feathers that offset it’s milky white skin to its long, thin beak-like nose. Along the bird-warrior’s bare forearms were small green feathers ending into an almost spiked point at its elbows. The two sword wielders were both male and garbed in identical black armor, but they too were as different as night and day. One possessed pale hair and skin, as well as a large pair of pearly white angel-like wings and the other had a dusky complexion and black hair and eyes, which seemed to go wonderfully with his large bat-like wings, which gave him an almost demonic appearance.
“Greetings, my Enforcers,” Tenshi said softly. “You four are commanders of your respective units here on Earth and that is why I have requested your presence here. We have a Mysteron-Human hybrid to deal with. His strength and senses have been dramatically increased to equal that of an Azan. Thankfully, he is lacking in the training to properly use his abilities.”
“Do we wish for him to be dead or alive?” Asked the bird-like being in a high musical voice.
“That is up to Spectrum,” Jaren informed them as he turned to face Colonel White. “Would you like for us to give a try at bringing either the hybrid or Captain Black in?”
“That should be left up to the World President and his council – after all if you wish to make an alliance with Earth, it is to them you must speak with,” The Colonel stated diplomatically.
“I see,” The Empra said thoughtfully. “I shall confer with my council and if they are in agreement, we shall see if your World President is willing to make an alliance.”
“We shall give them all the information available about our people and the Empire if they wish it,” Jaren informed them.
“Forgive me if I sound cynical, but why would this Alliance be interested in us? We don’t have the same advances in technology as you, and we must seem incredibly inept to you,” Scarlet asked.
“Your species is still in its childhood compared to ours, yes, but that is part of your appeal, Captain,” the white-haired woman smiled. “It is why we stayed, not only to study your development, but to protect you as well. Had we not, Humanity may have destroyed itself several times over.”
“You could call us your Guardian Angels, if you like,” Cheetari said in amusement.
“Besides,” the demonic looking Enforcer added with a leer at Violet, “your species happens to be genetically compatible with most of the bipedal species within the Alliance. And it doesn’t hurt that you’re very attractive either!”
Violet twitched and promptly stepped behind Grey.
“Dat’ck, don’t be crude! And I told you she was more than likely already mated!” the Angel-like Enforcer snapped, elbowing his darker counterpart.
“Actually, Spectrum forbids that sort of relationship from forming among its personnel,” Grey said, an embarrassed blush on his cheekbones.
“So she’s free?” Dat’ck grinned, rubbing his gloved hands together gleefully.
A low growl answered him as Maric stepped in from a side door. The white-haired man snarled something in an unknown language and the demonic looking Enforcer responded in kind.
“Enough!” Tenshi declared, a scowl darkening her features for the first time since the Spectrum officers had met her. “Captain Violet is a free woman capable of making her own choice of if she is or she is not interested in your advances! You’re both making fools of yourselves and in your ranks, that is highly unacceptable, so apologize to her immediately.”
Dat’ck’s face turned a brilliant purple with embarrassment, while Maric remained stoically cold.
“Sorry,” Dat’ck mumbled. “Its just, you’re at peak and well…”
Grey blinked. “Er… at peak? What’s that supposed to mean?”
Violet punched her partner lightly in his lower back. “Don’t ask, I don’t think I want to know!”
“They can’t smell it like we can, Dat’ck — Violet herself probably is unaware that she is at the peak of her fertility cycle,” Maric stated dryly.
Violet blushed brightly as she pressed her face and frontside against her partner’s back. Grey also blushed, but that could have been from the feel of his partner’s breasts pressing up against him. Magenta grinned at her and she had to refrain from kicking the Irish-American in the shins – or groin, which was a much more tempting target. Blue and Scarlet looked at the younger woman that they affectionately called their ‘little sister’ with sympathy – Magenta would probably make several jokes at her expense for a couple weeks – months if he got Ochre into the act – and from there...chaos would ensue. Green looked uncomfortable and the Colonel hid any embarrassment or humor he might have felt behind his usual stern visage.
“If you could point me to your communications room, I’d like to contact World President Younger immediately,” Colonel White stated.
“Of course,” Tenshi said warmly. “Please, come this way…”
Shadow had to contain a grin as he spotted World President Younger’s aircraft coming in to land on the rooftop of Senkano Incorporated. This was going even better than he had hoped. The younger Mysteron turned his head from the scope of his rifle to look over at his commander, who was peering at the scene through his binoculars. Behind them were the corpses of several security guards and a couple of the World President’s bodyguards.
::The World President has arrived.:: he said through their telepathic link, since speaking out loud could draw attention to them. ::Not only will we take out most of that blasted organization’s higher circle, but the respective leaders of Earth and the Azan Empire as well!::
::Focus on the mission at hand, Shadow – remember the target is the Azan Empra.:: Black’s replied.
::Yes, sir.:: he mentally sulked, before returning to the situation at hand. ::What caliber do you want me to use?::
Violet felt a little better after she got some food into her, although she had to restrain herself from hitting Magenta every time he walked up and sniffed the air around her. That didn’t stop her from mentally promising some pay back, though. Maybe a little bit of laxative in some food left out for him… She shook her head to clear out her plans of vengeance to pay attention to the aircraft coming in. World President Younger, coming here! Pride welled up in her chest. She hadn’t been able to interact the man when she, Blue, Scarlet, Giz, and the Colonel had gone for that top-secret conference that had been interrupted by a Mysteronized Captain Indigo, but now, maybe she could.
From the aircraft came the World President, surrounded by a group of bodyguards. All of the Spectrum personnel straightened and saluted in unison. Younger returned the salute and stepped forward to shake hands with Colonel White.
“Good to see you again, Charles,” he said warmly. “What’s this I hear about a friendly alien species wanting to make an alliance?”
It was then the hanger bay doors behind them slid open. Surrounded by four Teikkani Knights, the four Enforcer Commanders, and several large war machines was the white-haired figure of Tenshi Senkano, with her husband to her right and Lord Maric to her left. Directly behind her was the form of General Cheetari and in the shadows of the Knights was the form of the silent Niress. The bodyguards’ hands automatically went for their side arms at the sight of the technology-advanced warriors and the alien Enforcers, but a sharp command from the World President caused them to reluctantly lower their hands.
The group walked forward, with the war machines edging out to stand beside the ledges of the rooftop, while the Knights and Enforcers took an arrow formation behind Cheetari. They paused at the halfway point, allowing Tenshi, Lord Maric, and Jaren to continue forward with Lord Maric and Jaren staying a respectful three paces behind their leader. The Spectrum officers moved to flank Younger and in unison, all of the war machines, Knights, and Enforcers kneeled with their heads bowed in respect. Lord Maric and Jaren lowered into a kneeling bow while Tenshi gave a version of a curtsy.
“On to you, Leader of Earth, we offer our humble request of an Alliance,” Tenshi stated formally. “I, Tenshi Senkano, the Empra of the Azan Empire, ask this in place of our High Council.”
::Now.:: came Black’s terse mental command.
Scarlet couldn’t shake the feeling of unease and his sixth sense was all but screaming at him. His brilliant blue eyes scanned the surrounding rooftops. From one came the glint of sunlight off of glass. A sniper’s scope? A gunshot cracked loudly and he found himself intercepting a bullet intended for the white-haired woman. Over the pain he struggled to comprehend just how he had been able to move so fast. Tenshi looked up at the younger man who was sprawled over her in an attempt to keep her safe.
“Evacuate the rooftop! Find that sniper!” Lord Maric bellowed as he hauled the wounded Scarlet to his feet.
‘DAMN HIM!’ Shadow thought viciously and readjusted his aim. ‘Let’s see him save the other!’
The gunshot cracked loudly once more and with a blur of displaced air, she moved.
Tenshi Senkano’s white clad form covered the World President and reddish-purple blood stained the white silk covering her back. Younger gasped in shock of the pained face that was suddenly above his own. The leader of the alien Empire had taken a bullet meant for him, and she had moved so swiftly, faster than his bodyguards could have.
Gunfire rained down once more and the Azan warriors were moving so swiftly that they seemed to defy the laws of physics. The Knights moved in blurs of displaced air to block the incoming bullets, which were too low a caliber to do any damage to them. The war machines took to the air to follow the source of the incoming fire back to its point of origin. Niress had leapt upon the back of the lead war machine the second that it had started moving. The Enforcers were all but dragging the World President’s bodyguards inside the hanger bay. Jaren scooped his wife up into his arms and carefully ran into the hanger while Cheetari and Maric helped the World President, with the officers of Spectrum were providing cover fire for them.
::Stop firing and retreat!:: Black snarled and to his relief, Shadow instantly complied and had his rifle disassembled in two seconds and shoved into it’s case in three.
The two Mysterons shouldered their gear and were running across the rooftop they had been occupying towards the door leading back into the skyscraper for their rendezvous point; beside the doorway were the dead bodies of three security men and two of the World President’s bodyguards. A war machine appeared in the sky above the doorway and from its form leapt a Cyber-I.A. with battle scared armor.
‘Rematch!’ Shadow thought to himself and had to keep from grinning sadistically as he pulled out a pair of handguns and opened fire on the Cyber-I.A. heading for him. Chips of its armor flew and in seconds it was right before him and sweeping out at him with its claws. Excepting this, Shadow lashed out with his foot, striking the Cyber-I.A. in its lower abdomen. It grunted and slammed its fist into his jaw, a blow he easily shrugged off and retaliated with a haymaker to its helmet covered chin. The Cyber-I.A. staggered and shook its head clear. He launched himself at his foe, and slammed the butts of his handguns down atop its helmet covered head, causing a hairline fracture to form on the ebony material. The young Mysteron repeated the action repeatedly, causing the fracture to grow and then screamed in agony when the Cyber-I.A. slammed its claws right into his abdomen, cutting through his kevlar vest with the greatest of ease. Blood dripping from his mouth, Shadow placed the barrels of both his guns against its chest and opened fire over and over again until both weapons dry-fired. The Cyber-I.A. shuddered slightly and its claws went slack.
The Mysteron agent clenched his teeth as his guns clattered on the rooftop and his hands came up to carefully pull his opponent’s claws out of his abdominal cavity and it slumped onto the rooftop, purplish-red blood pooling around it. Blood poured through his fingers as he clutched the wound and desperately tried to hold his intestines inside his body. Behind him, Captain Black finally took down the war machine with several shots from a grenade launcher, sending the flaming wreckage falling through the air to the deserted street below.
Captain Black ran over to the younger Mysteron, tossing aside the empty weapon.
Shadow’s mouth moved, but no sound emerged as he staggered towards Black, who caught the taller Mysteron.
“Hold on, Shadow, we’ll be out of here in a moment,” the older Mysteron ordered as he pulled a detonator out of his jacket pocket. He tapped a button and part of one of the hangers located inside the top level of Senkano Incorporated exploded in a fireball.
“Get me a SITREP, NOW!” Lord Maric bellowed as he shoved his way through a throng of evacuating personnel. Behind them were the burning remains of hanger bay four.
“Everything is unclear, we only know a bomb went off, but we need this hall empty ASAP for the E.M.T.s to get in there!” General Cheetari shouted back.
“Can they not get around any other way?” Maric demanded.
“Negative, the other hallways are blocked by rubble and back up teams are already digging through them for survivors. It’ll take a half-hour for them to get through the west corridor and probably two hours from the east corridor to be cleared. Hanger Bays one through three have deployed the Teikkani Knights, who are trying to get through the bay doors to extinguish the fire and retrieve any survivors out through there!” the General’s low voice was grim. “Thank the Gods it wasn’t Bay One, it would be a much worse disaster – it was busy right now!”
“Any life lost to us is a disaster!” Maric roared and the crowd thinned out as the personnel were finally evacuated.
“I know that, Maric,” Cheetari snarled at him. “My daughter was in Bay Four!”
Maric froze and looked over at the ebony visor hiding the General’s visage in horror. “Oh Gods, I didn’t know, Cheetari, I’m so sorry…”
“I have faith that she is well, and that many lives were not lost,” Cheetari replied. “Now let us get in there and help our people.”
Green flinched as more wounded were brought in, screaming in agony from the burns covering their bodies. He jumped when a hand gently rested on his shoulder. He turned to face Jaren, who looked at him sympathetically.
“It’s never easy to see people of any species in pain,” Jaren told him solemnly.
Behind them was Tenshi sitting up in a hospital bed, with Captain Scarlet in the medical bed next to hers, watching the carnage in the Med Bay with a look of sorrow on her pale features. Beside her was World President Younger and Colonel White. Scarlet carefully sat up in his medical bed, much to his partner’s dismay.
“I am so sorry, all of this has happened because of our war with the Mysterons…” Younger whispered.
“Never blame yourself, for this is not you’re fault,” the Empra told him, gently placing a hand on his forearm.
“You took a bullet for me!” Younger protested.
“I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” she said dryly. “Just as I am certain Captain Scarlet would for me.”
“Exactly,” Scarlet grunted as he reached for his turtleneck sweater and color-coded tunic. “Anything I can do to help?”
“Yes, you can lay back down, child,” Tenshi retorted softly. “Even one with your healing abilities cannot be moving around so quickly. If you weren’t so sensitive to electricity, we’d use our equipment on you – but we have no wish to accidentally kill you.”
The Med Bay doors burst open and Lord Maric and General Cheetari strode in carrying wounded. Behind them were several stretchers carrying even more injured personnel.
“Get the Med Teams ready!” Maric bellowed. “We got critical patients here and there are plenty more about to come in from Bay Four!”
“The Teams are ready, Lord Maric!” A doctor replied as he led the tall white-haired man over to a bed. “Set the wounded down. We have already began triage and have moved the walking wounded to other areas where they won’t hamper us.”
Moments later, Tenshi and Scarlet were dismissed from the Med Bay to make room for the wounded and they adjourned to a meeting room, while Lord Maric and General Cheetari went back to help with Bay Four. After hours passed and Scarlet’s wound finally healed, finally the meeting room’s doors opened to admit Maric and Cheetari, both of whom looked as though they had just walked through the fiery pits of hell. Maric’s long white hair and most of his face were dark grayish-black from soot and ash, while Cheetari’s visor was cracked and the green part of the General’s body-suit were almost black from the soot and ash.
“How bad is it?” Tenshi asked, her voice wavering.
Cheetari and Maric looked at each other before looking at their leader.
“Total numbers are not in,” Maric said haltingly.
“How bad is it so far then.” It wasn’t a question anymore, but a demanded plea.
Maric swallowed and bowed his head.
“Twenty-three so far confirmed dead, two-hundred and seventy-six are in critical condition with fifty-nine of them not excepted to last the next forty-eight hours. There were six-hundred and ninety-eight inside Hanger Bay Four and two-hundred and thirteen still unaccounted for,” Cheetari stated.
“Cheetari, what of your daughter? I know she was there in that Bay.”
“She wasn’t there at the time – her shift leader sent her to her quarters because she was sick.” Relief was audible in the General’s low voice.
“And of the troops we sent after the snipers?” Jaren asked carefully.
“All twenty returned safely with the exception of two,” Maric grated out.
“Second Lieutenant Tir’ni Locken…and…Great Lady, I’m sorry…” Cheetari whispered.
“No…” Jaren whispered, while his wife choked on a barely contained sob.
Maric stepped forward and reached up to his collar and he pulled off a soot-covered metal button and set it down in front of Tenshi, in a seemingly ritualistic manner. Jaren and Tenshi followed suit, each pulling a metal button from their collars and clutching them.
“Niress is dead,” the General said softly.
“Mother… Father… I’m sorry…” Maric sobbed, silvery tears carving paths through the soot and ash that stained his face. “He lasted long enough to download his report, then he... he…”
Tenshi stood and pulled the taller man into a tight hug, ignoring the soot that stained her new white robe, and Jaren stepped forward to embrace them both. The conference room door behind General Cheetari burst open to admit a distraught looking young woman with pale green hair.
“Mother, please tell me it isn’t true!”
Cheetari reached up and undid the cables running from behind the ebony helmet and into the small ‘pack’ resting on the General’s back. A long silvery-green braid fell from beneath the helmet and the features of a battle-scared tanned woman sadly stared back at the young woman.
“I’m so sorry, baby, Niress is gone to join the Gods in the Celestial Halls,” Cheetari whispered and the younger woman threw herself into the older woman’s arms, sobbing uncontrollably.
“No, no! Not now! I was going to tell him and now I never will be able to!” The girl choked between her sobs. “Oh Mother, why does this happen?”
“Tell him what, baby girl?” Cheetari asked as she rubbed her daughter’s back.
“Mother, he and I are having a baby,” she told her as she looked up into her mother’s shocked face. “Mother?”
Cheetari blinked in incomprehension and several factors suddenly clicked. There had been an attack on her Empra, whom she had failed to protect. Hanger Bay Four had exploded and she had feared her daughter was dead. Her daughter was just fine – and pregnant, with the Empra’s grandchild. Cheetari’s eyes rolled back in her head and she crumpled to the floor with a loud thud.
Cheetari sat at the conference room table with an ice pack held to her temple. Cheetari’s daughter, Cheri, was nervously pacing behind her mother’s chair. World President Younger sat across from the General and at the opposing ends of the table were Jaren and Tenshi. Working at a computer station was Maric, who had yet to put the metal button back on his collar, putting together a list of the casualties. The Spectrum officers and Enforcer Commanders were each sitting around the table, some speaking in soft tones to one another as they awaited for the final word to come in.
“It’s done,” Maric said hoarsely. “One hundred-twenty-seven dead, three-hundred-ninety in critical with one-hundred and nine not expected to make it through the next two days. One hundred seventy-one only had minor injures, while ten were outside of Bay Four itself and are uninjured.”
“Dear Gods, and most of the dead were non-military personnel, primarily mechanics and janitorial staff!” Tenshi cried.
Jaren stood and walked around the table to pull her into his strong arms, hoping to offer some comfort to his wife.
“The Mysterons shall learn what it is like to be hunted down by the Azan Empire,” Jaren growled.
“I have Niress’s last report, if you wish to view it,” Maric said softly.
“Let us see what our son died to bring us,” the Empra stated grimly.
Behind Jaren and Tenshi, a large viewing monitor slid into view and horizontal lines appeared before the screen suddenly came into focus. They could see the back of one of the war machines from earlier, which they could see Niress griping tightly with his metal claws. They soared through the air and a rooftop with two running black-clad figures came into view. Niress’s claws released their hold and he seemed to make a suicidal jump and the rooftop rushed up to greet him. He ran towards the taller of the two men clad in black, who promptly pulled out a pair of semiautomatic handguns and opened fire on Niress. They could see chips of Niress’s body armor flying from the bullets’ impact and the screen suddenly blurred and then immediately refocused with Niress immediately in front of the Mysteron agent. Niress lashed out with his metal claws, but the Mysteron seemed to expect this and slammed his booted foot into the Azan’s armor covered abdomen.
They could hear Niress grunt and saw his fist fly and slam into the tall Mysteron’s jaw, which the effects of were easily shrugged off. The Mysteron’s black-clad fist wound back and lashed forward in a dark blur, connecting with Niress’s helmet covered chin, sending the Azan staggering. The camera shook as Niress tried to clear his head. The Mysteron lunged at the Azan with his guns raised, and resounding crack echoed over the speakers, which repeated itself several times before Niress slammed his claws into his opponent’s lower abdomen, causing him to scream in excruciating pain. Blood dripped from the Mysteron’s mouth as he raised up his handguns and pressed them against Niress’s chest. Tenshi flinched as the sound of gunfire echoed in the conference room until the weapons dry-fired. The camera shook and the angle turned downwards as the Mysteron Agent carefully pulled Niress’s claws from his abdomen. The ground rushed up to greet the fallen Azan and they could see the other Mysteron was Captain Black, armed with a rocket launcher. In the sky behind him, the war machine Niress had rode upon fell engulfed in flames.
Captain Black ran over to the taller Mysteron, tossing aside the empty weapon.
The Mysteron’s mouth moved, but no sound emerged as he staggered towards Black, who caught the taller Mysteron.
“Hold on, Shadow, we’ll be out of here in a moment,” the older Mysteron ordered as he pulled a detonator out of his jacket pocket with his free hand. He tapped a button and they could hear a loud explosion. The two Mysterons then faded from view and lines of static criss-crossed the screen.
“That’s all of what he gave us,” Maric said as he turned back to the computer.
The screen changed and the picture of the Mysteron Agent Niress had cornered inside the building, another of the Mysteron Niress had battled, and a picture of Captain Black appeared side-by-side. A computer program ran and in seconds, the first two pictures were positively identified as being of the same individual and the most recent picture was placed beside Captain Black’s. A name for the previously unknown Agent appeared: Shadow.
“It appears we now have a common enemy,” Scarlet said grimly.
“Peace is needed, President Younger, all of us can agree on that,” Tenshi said as she turned her gaze to the World President. Her silvery-green eyes were filled with sorrow, but also determination and the need to protect her people.
“I think it would be wise to begin drafting a peace treaty and alliance between Earth and your Empire. Hopefully all of the leaders of Earth and your Council can come to some for of agreement…” Younger suggested.
“I am familiar with bureaucracy, President Younger,” Maric said with a trace of his usual sarcastic personality showing through once more, “It will take years for the treaty and alliance to be agreed upon and ratified among all of the countries of Earth and all of the peoples that compose our Empire. And if my sources are correct, you are near the end of your political term. My Mother will remain Empra until she either dies or names a successor and steps down – none of which will happen soon. Of course, soon for us is a decade or so.”
“Peace is worth any cost,” Colonel White stated.
“Even at the cost of people’s free will, rights, and individuality?” Maric snorted. “Peace is important, but we will not take away the rights of the people just to achieve what the leaders’ ideals of peace are. We’ve fought and won several wars just for that reason alone.”
“Well said,” the Colonel said and tilted his head. “If I may be bold, Lord Maric – when was the last of these wars and have you fought in any of those wars yourself?”
“The most recent of which was fifty of your years ago, and yes, I have fought in it – lost my leg in the damn thing,” Maric tapped his left leg. “But it was worth it – we freed an entire solar system which had been quite literally drugged to the point of the repression of all emotion, individuality, and free will.”
“Of course one of the benefits of the alliance will be our medical technology – we have some amazing prostheses,” Cheetari said dryly. “I too fought in that war and it has increased my love for this Empire and its people. Any who become our allies will receive the Empire’s protection if they so wish it. Of course our enemy, the Natari, started the war by attacking and destroying one of science vessels because of what they called sense-offense.” Cheetari’s face became a visage of carefully controlled rage. “My brother was on board that vessel and he and his comrades were murdered because they felt emotion. The Natari leaders didn’t care who you were – if you violated their ideal of perfection, you were murdered, regardless of age, gender, or even if the person was part of another species or government with different customs and ideologies.”
“What a dreadful people!” Magenta exclaimed.
“This treaty and alliance does sound nice, but Lord Maric is right – it could take years to get everyone to agree on it and for it to be ratified. More years for war with the Mysterons to continue, for more people to die,” Scarlet stated grimly.
“Hopefully by the time the treaty and alliance are ratified, the war with the Mysterons will be over with and they can be members of the alliance as well,” Violet said softly.
Grey reached out and patted his partner’s hand. “We can all hope.”
“Hope comes easy when we fly amongst angels,” Scarlet informed them dryly.
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