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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, '08, 10:56 pm
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Part Thirteen- Assault

(Camineet, the planet Palma)

It had been a very, very long day- soreness, fatigue, and the last dying vestiges of an adrenaline rush coursed through Nekishe Eushys's veins as he staggered weakly through his front door, practically dragging himself forward as he headed towards his bedroom.

He had nearly made it when he heard the familiar (and at this particular moment, extremely unwelcome) ring of his telephone cutting through the silence of his house. Grumbling under his breath, the youth decided to ignore it, and lurched forward onto his bed with a loud thud.

"Heya, it's Nekishe." He heard his voice from the phone's answering machine, accompanied by a sweet female voice- her voice- adding in, "And Alisa!" "Leave your name and number, and I'll call you back. Unless you're Malcolm Washington, in which case, would you kindly go eat #### and die."

The answering machine beeped loudly, and a gruff male voice suddenly said, "Nekishe, this is Malcolm Washington. Your boss. Felin and Munroe both called out tomorrow, so the Camineet Transportation Authority needs- nay, demands- you to come in on your day off and load and unload all of the baggage going de and ex Palma. For sixteen hours. No, Nekishe, you're not getting overtime for it. At all. No, this isn't up for debate- you're coming in tomorrow morning at six, even if I have to have some lawbots haul you out of bed. And Nekishe, I don't want to hear any more whining from you about Alisa. She married LaShiec, cry me a river, build a bridge, and GET OVER IT!"

The sandy-haired young man lay in his bed, still in his work uniform, for about a minute, taking this in before he groaned, "Ah, crap." Trying to drown out his boss's droning message, he twisted and turned in his bed, his weary vision focusing on a picture set next to his nightstand. He recognized it, despite his body's constant Hey, Nekishe, you're tired, get sleep urging, as a picture of himself, Alisa, and Nero taken at a beach near Shion the year before.

That was a fun day, he thought, shifting himself. Alisa's first bikini, Nero beating up that Fishman that tried to eat his surfboard... good times. Something we'll never have again, thanks to you, LaShiec.

Nekishe set the picture back on his nightstand, then sighed heavily as he settled into a well-deserved sleep. As he drifted off, he dreamed that the last few years were nothing but a bad dream- no robots, LaShiec was in the beginning of his "tough but fair" period, Nero Landale was still alive and that they would be sitting on the shores of Shion, going crabfishing with Alisa, resplendent in her new pink bikini.

This lasted all of seven minutes before the lines on Nero's crab cage started making distinct tapping sounds. "Neks!" the blue-haired young man said, waving him and Alisa over. "You hear that?"

"That sounds like a big one, Nero!" Alisa said, looking at the cage. Nekishe tried not to concentrate too hard on the way she was leaning over the cage. "Y'know, this is the first time we've ever actually caught anything."

"I know! Normally we just run around and pick up sea shells," Nekishe said. "Hey, Nero, now that we've got a crab, what should we do with it?"

"I'm thinking crab cakes, Big Brother! ^_^" Alisa chimed in as she picked the cage out of the ocean. To Nekishe's confusion, there was no crab inside- only a simple wooden door, set in a handsome frame. With each tap, the door shuddered slightly. Alisa adding "Oh, but I can't eat him. He looks so cute!"

Nekishe sweatdropped as Alisa handed the cage to her brother. "Err, Alis?" he asked, now very confused. "Two things... one, that's a door, not a crab. And, uh, not that I'm complaining or anything, but... since when did you have a belly button piercing?"

"Oh, this? I've had it since I was sixteen, silly Nekishe." She took a step towards him, smirking slightly. "Of course, someone was too busy staring at my chest and my lips to notice."

"And Neks?" Nero added as he set the cage down on the sand. "That's not a door. That's a jar."

"What... Nero, what are you talking about?"

"Look in the cage. You'll see."

By now, Nekishe was very confused. Still, he did as Nero asked, and knelt down by the crab cage. Alisa whistled slightly, adding, "Now I know how you feel when you're looking at my butt."

Next time after work, I'm getting drunk, he vowed as he looked at the door. Just as Nero had said, the door was opened slightly, revealing two vague human figures on the other side. "Huh. You're right. And it sounds like it's being knocked."

"So, go open the door," Nero urged.

Nekishe's eyes opened. Blurred numbers hung in front of him, telling him that he was asleep for a grand total of fifteen minutes. The knocking at his door persisted, and he slung himself out of bed. "Please, God, let it be the lawbots to black bag me," he grumbled as he marched towards the door.

Once he opened the door, Nekishe was snapped back into full awareness by the massive suit of Laconia armor before him, as well as its occupant, a blond-haired giant of a man with a laser rifle and a Laconia axe strapped to his back. Behind him was a blue-haired man in a white robe that occasionally reflected a hue of colors.

"What the-"

The two men hustled Nekishe backwards into the house, the large man closing the door after a small yellow Musk Cat leapt through the threshold. "Nekishe!" he said. "Sorry to bother you-"

"Guys, it's eleven in the morning. I just got back from work..."

"We are aware of that," the blue-haired man said. "There's a slight problem. Has Alisa ever told you about a friend named Suelo Rie?"

"Suelo?" Nekishe asked. "The lady who works at the soup kitchen? Yeah, I know her. Lutz, what's wrong?"

"We think her life may be in danger. Tairon, Myau and I checked on her house, but it's been abandoned."

"It doesn't look like there was a fight, Nekishe," Tairon added. "Do you know anywhere they could be hiding?"

Nekishe considered the two men, thinking silently as he struggled to remain awake. "Look, guys, I think I know a place, but... after what Alisa did, how do I know I can trust you guys? For all I know, Alisa could have hired you to be LaShiec's eyes and ears."

"Neks, you're talking to me, remember? Tairon? Code name Odin? Nero's friend! You know his code name, Neks. Extra Crispy, remember?"

Uneasily, Nekishe sighed, then nodded. "You're right. I'm sorry, it's just... I'm so tired, and this whole Alisa mess-"

"Don't you worry," Myau purred. "We're gonna get Alisa back so you can go flirt with her again!"

"We just need to go check on Suelo and make sure she's okay," Tairon added. "Then we'll let you get back to sleep."

"Fair enough. You know the warehouse district in the northeast bloc? ApathoMed Corporation used to have a big warehouse before the business tax put them out of business a few years ago," Nekishe told the group. "One of their competitors tried to buy out their warehouse a few years ago. At least, that's what I could hear while I was loading their stuff to go to Paseo."

"Do you still have their address?" Lutz asked.

"Hang on... yeah. Warehouse Four, Kodama Way after Industrial Road. Can't miss it." Nekishe yawned, then asked, "Is that... is that helpful... guys?"

"Yeah, that'll do," Tairon said, clapping Nekishe's shoulder. "Now go get some sleep. I think you earned it."

-=-=-

Tactical Analysis: One-level warehouse. Contents: Medical supplies, mostly lost to spoilage. Occupants...

Katya squinted, reading the number of heat trails glowing in her vision. Five. Scanning recent DNA traces... complete. Hits: RIE, Arturo; Cutruss; Janet; Rain; Susan. Transmitting to Base Royal and Base Two. Stand by for further analysis.

As she waited outside the warehouse, Katya ran some self-diagnostic programs, noticing the various readouts appearing before her flashing "Okay" or "Nominal" one after the other. Finally, after a few seconds, a message popped up over it: "From Base Two: VON MAD, Doctor Wilheim: sry typing on visifone & wrking on prject F algo. 2 hot daughters? bring m back, kil d rst- nd more xperimnt8ion to do lolz!'"

"Acknowledged," Katya said, transmitting to the doctor. "In the future, Doctor, please use proper English when messaging subordinates from your phone."

"Base Two: Nt al uv us hav blst procsng katya >_<"

Closing the message window, Katya strode forward into the warehouse, stepping silently through its massive doors as she adjusted several filters in her vision. She took a glance around, fine-tuning her senses as trails and readouts flickered into and out of view. After a few seconds, pulses of green lines arced towards her, standing out against gunmetal gray: Sound waves. The cyborg filtered them through, processing them into a female voice, saying "-ure, Mama? I mean, if Mister Lutz and the rest come back, how will we-"

Vocal Analysis: RIE, Rain. Age 18, born 14/2Month/AW 323/1022. Hair PNK, Eyes GRY, Ht 5'4", Wt 118 lbs last measure. SIN R8291-92787-524123.

She advanced, sourcing the voice down corridors and boxes, past crates and damaged supplies, once destined for stores across Palma. Rainy's voice was augmented with others, growing more concerned as they all voiced various worries and troubles, mostly due to "the chemical toilet clogging up."

After a few more minutes, the voices stopped entirely. Katya had come face-to-face with the Ries.

Arturo, Rainy, Janey, and Suelo all looked surprised at Katya while Cutruss's eyes wandered up and down her body. After an uncomfortable silence, he finally blurted out, "Whoa, hot!"

"Who the hell are you?!" Arturo demanded, taking a careful step backwards towards an overturned crate.

"Combat cyborg 01, designation Katya," was the emotionless reply. "Rie Family, you are all officially under arrest on this eighteenth day of Six-Month for violations of the LaShiec Public Security Acts of After War 338. Your sentences are as follows: Arturo and Susan, execution by firing squad. Janet and Rain, compulsory service life as converted combat cyborgs. Cutruss-"

"Please, God, let it be next to her," Cutruss mumbled, little hearts floating off his head. The rest of his family sweatdropped, as Suelo groaned and held her forehead in her hand.

"Let it be stated for the official record that defendant Cutruss Rie expresses a desire to be executed by pistol wound to the forehead after intercourse with designation Katya unit." Katya paused a second, then continued, "Sentence has been permitted by the courts. Do the five of you wish to come along quietly?"

"No!" Arturo shouted. "We're not going anywhere, you're not laying a hand on any of us-" He reached into the crate, withdrawing a recently-milled shotgun from its depths. "And if you touch my daughters, I'm going to make necklaces out of your skull fragments and sell them in Camineet's town square! Now back out that door, missy, and tell your vaunted Fearless Leader LaShiec that he'll have to send more than you to stop us!"

Neither Katya nor Arturo moved, each staring the other down in a psychic duel; Arturo's enraged father mode versus Katya's logical demeanor; locked in silent challenge to each other. Just as Katya's laser claws flared to life, Arturo pulled the trigger on the shotgun.

What he expected was to see the red-haired woman's chest explode into twin geysers of blood as twin two-ounce slugs slammed her backwards, then bouncing off the floor once or twice before she issued a pathetic death rattle. What Arturo Rie got instead was a dull horrifying "Click!" as both shells simultaneously misfired.

"Rainy, measure twice, cut once!" he managed to shout before Katya dashed towards him, claws ready to slice the man open. In desperation, he threw the shotgun at Katya, watching as she effortlessly ducked under the weapon.

"Oh no, you don't!" Suelo shouted, pushing a stack of boxes in between Katya and her husband. "Arturo, run!"

"Nobody messes with my dad!" Rainy shrieked, drawing a slender dagger from her jacket. With a battle cry, she rushed Katya, raising the dagger into backstab position. Janey stepped behind Katya, holding a massive sledgehammer behind her back. Katya's tactical software immediately warned her of the flanking maneuver, and she stepped out of it, delivering a kick to Janey's side.

"Damn it! She saw right through that!" Janey called out, hefting the hammer so she could run more comfortably. Rainy only grinned as she pulled several more daggers out, positioning them between her thumb and fingers. "When did you mill these?!"

"I have my secrets. Duck, sis!"

Janey ducked as her sister hurled the small daggers at Katya, one after the other, each one spinning end-over-end as they all threatened Katya. Several only grazed her, but one managed to land a solid hit, which she shrugged off without any emotion.

"Wh-what the?!" Rainy stammered as she drew more daggers. "That was a clean hit!"

"Never mind that! RUN!"

A massive fireball suddenly flew from Katya's outstretched hand, which the two sisters barely managed to evade, tumbling behind boxes for shelter. Janey looked at her sister and called to her, "Didn't you make any pipe bombs or anything, sis?!"

"Are you crazy!? Don't you know how dangerous those are?!" Rainy replied, throwing more daggers. "These'll do fi-"

The pink-haired woman suddenly screeched in agony, as a bolt of electricity shot through the air between her and Katya. Janey swore for a second she could see Rainy's skeleton glowing through her skin.

"Die, you red-haired freak!" Janey screamed, leaping out from behind the box again, swinging her hammer. Her eyes closed as she bellowed in rage. There was a sickening crunch as she felt her hammer impact.

Katya crumpled to the ground, synthetic blood trickling from a fist-sized wound to the side of her head, her face ever emotionless. Casting her hammer aside, Janey ran towards her sister. "Rainy?! Are you all right?!" she asked, concern flowing into her voice. "I'll get some Ruoginin, sis!"

"Janey... look... out..." Despite the electrical burns that started to form, Rainy managed to point weakly over her sister's shoulder. Janey turned just in time to see Katya leaping forward, the hammer wound scabbed over. She gasped in shock as both sets of claws dug into her stomach, managing to cry out before she sank to her knees.

"Sis..."

"Leave them alone, you really hot lady!" Cutruss's voice rang out from above them in the warehouse. He stood on top of a very haphazard stack of boxes, cradling a massive machine gun he scavenged in his hands. "Say hello to my not-so-little friend!" Pointing the barrel at Katya, he opened fire.

He proved to be a very poor shot- every round he fired missed Katya completely, and the recoil managed to not only loose the gun from his grip, but also sent him backwards off the stack of boxes. Cornered together, Arturo and Suelo watched as Katya advanced on them, preparing her claws for another strike.

"Looks like this is it, Honey," Suelo said, her voice grim. "At least we can give her a few scars."

"Yep. Didn't think we'd go out like this, huh?" Arturo asked. The two managed a weak laugh.

"Gi Flaeli!"

Three small fireballs slammed into Katya's back, knocking her to the warehouse floor. Behind her, Lutz raised the Psycho Wand as Tairon shouldered his laser rifle. Myau growled in anger as he approached Katya.

"Looks like you were right again, Lutz!" Myau called out. "I owe you some Meseta!"

"We can discuss that later, Myau," Lutz replied. He entered the warehouse, asking, "Suelo, are you and your family-"

"Lutz! To your left!"

The Esper turned in time to see Katya fling Myau away from her; the Musk Cat rolled into a ball to avoid any serious injury. Tairon immediately fired a few blasts from his rifle, exclaiming in shock as each laser barely affected the cyborg. "Hey, Lutz!" he shouted. "Problem! Lasers aren't hurting her!"

"You've got magic, damn it!" Cutruss shouted, climbing out from the boxes he fell behind. "Use that!"

"Defendants Tairon Tyler, Myau, and Noah Walsh, you are also under arrest for attempted destruction of capital property," Katya intoned. "Prepare for death."

"Make me!" Tairon shouted, charging Katya. He threw the laser rifle aside, choosing to bring out his Laconia axe. With a wild yell, he swung it, then watched as Katya easily caught it with her claws.

"As the defendant wishes. Your sentence shall be carried-"

Lutz raised the Psycho Wand and his hand, closing his eyes. "Gi Tandle!"

"Cure!" Myau added, forming a ball of cleansing energy, guiding it into Lutz's electrical arcs. The two faced down the red-haired cyborg.

"Collabo Magic... THUNDERSTORM!"

The cleansing energy channeled the massive electrical arcs, coursing them through Katya. She managed to scream, emotionlessly, as Tairon dropped the axe and backed away. There was the stench of charred flesh, burned hair, and severely damaged electrical components as Katya finally collapsed, intoning, "Systems failing... Lord... LaShiec..."

Returning to an eased posture, Lutz raised the hood of his Frade mantle. "I apologize, Suelo," he told her. "Are you all right?"

"I... I'm fine, Lutz," Suelo said. Arturo nodded as Tairon helped them up. "I don't know about-"

"Mister... Lutz..."

Rainy had managed to crawl up to the group, managing a weak smile. "Janey... she... she's bleeding... a lot of blood..."

"Miss Rainy! Where's your sister?!"

Rainy glanced behind her, groaning in pain. "By those... boxes... please..."

"Myau, cast Gi Heal on Miss Rainy," Lutz ordered. He ran to where Rainy told him, Suelo and Arturo behind him. He saw the purple-haired woman face-down, blood everywhere, her skin pale.

"Oh, my God!" Suelo said, looking at her daughter. "Is... is she...?!"

Lutz knelt down beside her, checking for pulse, breath, blood pressure- any sign that she was still alive. "I'm afraid so, Suelo."

Suelo sobbed, falling towards her husband, resting her head on his shoulder. "Damn you, LaShiec!" she wept, tears running down her face. "You murderer!"

"Suelo, I think I still have time. If I may..."

He clutched Janey's wrist, then closed his eyes, focusing on her wounds. A white corona of energy formed around him as he chanted slowly. As he chanted, Janey's wounds started healing over.

"Re..."

The warehouse disappeared, as did Suelo, Arturo, and their companions. All Lutz could see was himself, Janey's body, and a faint white shape before him, starting to float away.

"Janet Rie," he told the white form. "It is not yet time."

"I... I don't understand," the white replied, speaking with Janey's voice. "What happened?"

"There was a nasty incident. It's okay, Janey. Take my hand."

"I..." The white mist hesitated before approaching Lutz. "Is that me?! My body?"

"It indeed is. Don't worry, Janey." Lutz smiled. "You're in safe hands."

"....."

Slowly, the white spirit touched Lutz's other hand. It flowed through him, between his shoulders, before finally settling into Janey's body. Immediately, the warehouse returned to Lutz, as did everyone.

"...birth!"

Immediately, Janet bolted upright, nearly knocking Lutz over as she started gasping for breath. She looked at herself, then to Lutz and asked, "Oh, God... Lutz, what happened? Where am I?"

"You're in Camineet, Janey. You and your family were hiding from LaShiec here," Tairon explained. "Lutz, what in the world did you do?"

"Janey!"

Suelo, upon hearing her daughter's voice, ran over to her and embraced her tightly, tears streaming down her cheeks. "Janey, thank God! I... I thought you were dead!"

"Is that what happened, Mom?" Janey asked. "I don't know. I remember that woman skewering me, and I fell, but... I lost everything after that."

"Oh, does it matter?" Suelo replied, sighing. "At least you're okay."

Once out of her mother's embrace, Janey turned to Lutz. "Lutz... thanks. I don't know what exactly happened to me, but... thank you for saving me." Closing her eyes, she planted a kiss on Lutz's cheek.

Lutz sweatdropped, and stammered, "Er... th-thank you, Janey. But, uh..."

"*ahem* >_<"

Behind Janey, Rainy stood, her arms crossed and a little anger vein popping out on her forehead. "I know you just died and all," she said, moving past her sister, "But this is how you thank someone for saving your life!"

The pink-haired woman approached Lutz, and whispered breathlessly, "Thanks for saving Janey, Mister Lutz." Lutz sweatdropped again before Rainy kissed him on the lips, pulling his head towards hers.

"Hey, Myau," Tairon said, watching this all happen. "Notice how all the girls we meet want Lutz?"

"Alisa never wanted him."

"Okay, almost all the girls we meet want Lutz, then."

Everybody watched uncomfortably, Arturo in particular, as Rainy continued kissing Lutz, breaking away every so often with "Oh, you're the best!" or "Thank God for Espers!" Finally, Tairon cleared his throat, and Lutz held his hand up to Rainy.

"I... I appreciate the sentiment, Miss Rainy, but..." Arturo cracked his knuckles here, and intimidation showed on Lutz's face as he made out, "Butwehavetocontinueourjourneybye!"

"Wait, Lutz! The three of you saved us from that woman," Suelo said. "You deserve something."

"You let us crash on your couch," Tairon replied. "If anything, we're paying you guys back for your generosity."

"Righty-o! Now let's get goin', guys!" Myau stretched, then bounded to Tairon's feet.

Goodbyes were said, and the three heroes left the warehouse, Lutz with a particular spring in his step. Once they were back in Camineet's central district, Tairon asked, "So, how'd you do it, Lutz? Na Heal? A bottle of Lunar Dew while nobody was looking?"

"Oh, no. I assure you, Tairon, Janey was quite dead when I got to her," Lutz informed him. "I just used a spell I've seen the clerics of Algo casting. Healing Janey's body was easy enough- it was reconciling her soul back with it that was the difficult part. The spell of Rebirth is considered by most Espers and priests alike a gateway to Things Reserved for the Almighty Spirit."

Tairon sweatdropped, clearly not understanding a word of what he had just heard. "Actually, I meant that you had Rainy all over you. How the hell do you do it?"

"Oh, that?" Myau asked, laughing. "Don't you know anything, Tairon? Girls like bishies."

Lutz sweatdropped, and Tairon fell flat on his face with this revelation. Once he recovered, he signaled Hapsby back at the Luveno. "Hapsby! We're going back to the ship. This is gonna be the dangerous part."

"Understood, Tairon. Where is our destination?"

"LaShiec's castle at Baya Mahlay."

Hapsby cried out in alarm with a shrill beep, then said, "But, sir, that's a prime no-fly zone! Anti-aircraft fire is sure to be high!"

"This is for Alisa's sake, Hapsby. For Palma, and Motavia, and Dezolis, too. You're the best pilot robot in Algo..." Waterfall tears started flowing down the big man's face as he continued, "We need you, Robot Buddy!"

There was an electronic sigh, followed by the robot quietly acknowledging, "I still think this is suicide, but... what the hell, as you Palmans say. You only live once."

End of Part Thirteen

Is Katya truly dead? What awaits our heroes in Baya Mahlay? How will LaShiec and Alisa take the news of Katya's defeat? And will Nekishe ever see the Alisa he knows and loves again?

Last edited by Snorb on Sun Mar 15, '09, 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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