NOTE: This story takes place 5 months after "The Tides of Hope and Fear" and 2 months before "The Tides of Ruin and Destruction" (both stories (c) Rain--Dance ) Also it happens after Season 2 (the final season). This ties into Rain--Dance's fanfics so you might miss a few things if you haven't read them though mainly there are just references. No sweat! Spoilers if you haven't read them but if you have it's nothing new though revisions are being made. (Up to chapter 6 was posted on Mediaminer)
~This is a revised version of what was posted on Mediaminer. Edited for grammar, spelling and the sake of storytelling! Closing up plot-holes~
Also you might catch some salutes and references to other fandoms
((If you have not watched the show or any anime, I suggest you don't read this as it is a bit dumbed down and has heavy used of "sweatdropping" and veins pulsing. It's written as if it is the actual anime show so forgive the illogical words and actions/display of emotions. **Also emphasized words are in bold or at times CAPS and not italics like usual writing. Instead foreign words are in italics. Translations to the italicized words (Japanese) will be in the Author's comments or the character will translate themselves. Thoughts and telepathic linking are also in italics.))
"Do you think we'll run into the smart guy who manipulated us while we rescue this... person?" Zapper Zaku asked as the burgundy robot walking along the hallway sculpted out of ice, his pink eye looking forward, not addressing a particular person. "I can't wait to introduce my fists to his face, though my guns would be more appealing."
The Gundam Force band, now joined with the recently rescued former Dark Axis lords and a hand full of Zako soldiers, quickly made their way through the ice fortress rooms and hallways, urgency to find the other captured individual as well as others still at hand. The ex-villain robots lingered in the back of the group, eager to lay their hands on the one who had captured them and used them as their personal toy soldiers.
"Dah, weapons gone. Disappeared." Destroyer Dom bobbed his head up and down as he lumbered down the hallway, sounding sad though he made a point.
"What gets me is here we had this boatload of weapons when we attacked but now we have nothing." Grappler Gouf looked suspiciously at the gundams, "I suppose I'm lucky to even have this." The blue robot lifted up his clawed hand, giving a look that dared anyone to try to take it from him.
"Even you gundumbs are at the ready and stocked with weapons." Zapper muttered, shooting a look at Captain, remembering the capabilities of the military gundam's Hyper Captain Option Z model body. Though he had never done battle with Captain in that form, Zapper knew it was sure to be a one sided battle and was jealous of the gundam's firepower.
"We're still not exactly sure why but my hypothesis is that the enemy is capable of extreme mind control and mastery over illusions. Illusions so strong they become real-- through magic that is." Captain commented, turning his head to look at the following ex-Dark Axis villains.
"Zero, how much further is it?" Shute asked gently, the Winged Knight's former words haunting him.
I think he's dying.
The human boy could tell the Laroan gundam was getting edgy as well as emotional. He could not begin to imagine the responsibility Zero must be feeling. Still the knight gundam should not blame himself for what happened and the current condition of the captured informant.
"I am uncertain; I can only feel the pull." The Winged Knight prayed silently, begging his pact with Mana to intertwine with this magic of Kendra to reenforce the connection, at least long enough to reach the destination. "I suppose when the trail ends it'll be the destination or..."
Zero did not have to finish for the thought crossed everyone's minds.
"We'll make it, Zero." Shute replied in comforting tone, his green eyes sincere and caring.
Only if Shute knew that Zero was beginning to think of the weakening captive as the same as his former Royal Knight companions. The same ones he had been absent from when they died. The ones he had been unable to aid and prevent their deaths. This was a chance to prevent a similar thing from happening and make up for the lost of lives.
"Relax! If we could save these nut bolts, we can save anyone." GunEagle reassured, jerking his hand in a backwards point, indicating the rescued ex-commander robots and their soldiers.
"Hey! Watch it Wing-boy!" Zapper snapped, the burgundy robot shooting a threatening look at the aerial gundam though it went ignored.
"I'm sure it's nothing of comparison in size to the Hiarashi Palace." Bakunetsumaru decided to try to bring on an optimistic light as well, sensing his comrade's despair. "The Tenchi Castle was truly massive and a force to reckon with. I'm sure this ice fortress is merely a parking, uh... um... what are those called? Zones? Reserves? Yeah! It's a parking reserve in comparison!" The Blazing Samurai nodded his head, the gundam's knowledge of other cultures clashing together.
"Parking garage." Grappler hissed in correction, his tone full of irritation due to what he deemed a stupid mistake. "Besides, I don't know how much you explored in that human world but those things can be giant-"
The blue robot was cut off when Destoyer Dom surprisingly whacked him, though intentionally not hard. He jumped, caught off guard by the act but more surprised that the larger, usually less verbal of the three had performed the physical act, having expected it to come from Zapper.
"What was-" Grappler began, annoyed, spinning around to face the larger robot but was cut off once more.
"Don't." Came the firm yet simple response, lacking Dom's usual dimwitted tone. The purple and black robot shook his head, simply looking down, watching his smaller companion as if daring a response. Grappler stared up at his comrade for a second, debating how to react.
"Tch, whatever." The irritable blue robot said after another moment, waving his clawed hand in dismissal before starting after the rest of the group who had gained some steps.
Zero suddenly stopped, as if frozen in place. The knight's shoulders were ridged, as if something unpleasant had touched him. The gundam did not turn to convey a message to the others however.
Captain halted his movement as well, noticing Zero's behavior. The military gundam was unsure what to make of the reaction, emotions still hard to determine from behind. "Zero, what's wrong?" The blue Neotopian gundam waited silently, trying to deduce the reaction. Was it because of what Grappler Gouf had said? Or because of emotion the Lacroan gundam was keeping silent about?
"Eh, what?" Zapper asked in a loud voice, not catching what Zero said. The burgundy robot cupped a hand to the side of his head where an ear would usually be, mimicking the gesture to amplify hearing a sound.
"It's near." Zero said in a louder voice, his pitch rising from the whisper he had just spoken. "We're close!" Without another word, the knight gundam bolted forward, kicking on his flight busters so he zoomed over the ice floor, his cape fluttering behind him like a war banner.
"Wait a minute! Zero!" Captain called out, his tone filled with caution but the other gundam was already ahead of the group. The military gundam quickly looked at the others in the group as he took a step forward, preparing to run, "Come on, we had best not lose him!"
"I hope this is not the start of a bad habit." GunEagle remarked, simply thinking over Zero's recent distant and preoccupied behavior along with his uncharacteristic hastiness. The aerial gundam quickly followed the rest of the group, Shute trying his best to run on the ice and snow packed floor while Bakunetsumaru appeared determined as well as focus to not slip. The ex-Dark Axis lords and the Zako soldiers had no choice but to match the urgent pace, not wanting to be left behind in such a strange place.
"If I wanted so much of a work out, I would have volunteered to be on the labor force division of the reconstruction plans for Ark!" Grappler said in a sour voice, his pace now a sort of trot.
"Yeah, well if you ask me, you could lose some weight!" Zapper replied, his own pace a fast trot.
"You nut bolt! It's called armor! And you probably weigh twice the amount I do! Especially when you would lug those tacky guns around."
"What did you say!?" Zapper snapped, his pink eye glowing, "Don't forget who got their commander fin first!"
"It was me, you bolts for brains!" Grappler shot back, pointing to his head fin which was a reminder of their times with the Dark Axis. Not that the commander fin mattered now since they were no longer in leagues with the Dark Axis nor of commander status; that did not stop the conflict though. The two medium sized robots began arguing and insulting back and forth as they raced after their gundam comrades.
"They're at it again, zako." One of the Zako soldiers commented to its comrades as they ran as fast as their little legs could carry them to catch up.
"Nothing ever changes, zako." Inputted another and all the rest nodded their heads as they ran. All of the little green robots were sharing the same thought: They wished they were back in Ark, under the direction of Genkimaru.
"Dah, I da biggest! And me say faster!" Destroyer Dom suddenly interrupted the other two robots. Before Zapper and Grappler knew was happening, the largest of the group grabbed the two of them as if they were toys, displaying his true monstrous strength, and turning on the wheels on his feet, speed forward with alarming speed.
"Wait for us, zako!" The little robots shouted, looking distraught, now the last ones behind as the ex-Dark Axis lords disappeared ahead of them, Zapper and Grappler's startled yells echoing off the walls. The mini group became a small mob as they raced after the larger robots and the gundams, and the human, wailing to not be left behind.
The running through the halls did not last very long thanks to the group's speed for they arrived at their destination rather quickly.
Destroyer Dom, still holding Zapper and Grappler, nearly ran into Bakunetsumaru and GunEagle who stood with Captain and Shute but stopped an inch way with a screech.
"Put me down!" Zapper sputtered, wriggling but Bakunetsumaru turned and gave the ex-Dark Axis commander a gesture to be quiet.
"We're in enemy territory! We have to keep our presence a secret." The samurai said in a quiet, firm voice, his brown eyes serious.
"Should have mentioned that before we ran around like half wired robots." Grappler snapped, though his voice was low. The blue robot shot a look at Dom, who was still holding them. The large robot looked confused for a moment but seemed to realize what Zapper had said as well as the silent meaning of Grappler's look for he put them both down.
Behind them the Zako soldiers ran up, all of them huffing and puffing for breath, collapsing on the floor.
"I can't take it, zako."
"No more, zako."
"SHHHH!" Dom suddenly hissed turning upon the small green robots, mimicking Bakunetsumaru's gesture, holding a finger up, only his pitch was deeper. The Zakos immediately stiffened but were still shaking in nervous excitement.
"Zero, what's wrong?" Shute inquired in a concerned tone, his as well as everyone else's attention on the Winged Knight once more.
The Lacroan gundam stood before large doors which were made out of ice, staring at them with much intensity. The invisible tugging at him was the strongest it ever was though it was still considerably faint. "Here, just beyond these doors." The indigo raised his hand toward the doors, reaching to push them open.
"Wait! It could be a trap!" GunEagle warned, causing Zero to halt his movement. The rookie blinked his green eyes as the knight gundam, as well as the others, turned to look at him. "What? Can't a guy be cautious for once? I mean, I'm all for busting in with guns blazing but how are you sure this isn't some part of our hidden opponent's plan?"
"I don't." Zero stiffly replied, "But I can't wait. Just incase it is a trap, you wait here and hide while I go in so if it is a trap you can flee and come up with another plan."
"Don't even think about that!" Bakunetsumaru objected, immediately stepping up toward Zero. "We're comrades at arms and a warrior like me will never back down from a fight. Even if it's a pan of lions, we'll make our way through and out!"
"Den of lions." Shute corrected the Blazing Samurai lightly, though the human boy could not help smiling and nodding. "Yeah, Zero. We've come this far together, so we're all going in. We can get in and out of anything because we're a team!"
"I couldn't have said it better myself." Captain agreed, the military gundam giving a nod. "We're here to support you, Zero. However my calculations do estimate the chance of an ambush or trap to be 85.8291%. In light of that though we are ready to give you backup, no matter what happens."
"But don't mind us," Grappler announced, managing to keep his annoyed sarcastic tone low, "we're just part of the popsicle stand. Just go ahead and do your thing while we mind the goods."
"Dah, popsicle?" Dom asked, his lone pink eye growing large with wonder and curiosity.
"It's a figure of speak you lead headed moron." Zapper snapped, though the burgundy robot looked content with Grappler's suggestion. The Zako soldiers seemed to show their agreement as well, all of them nodding their heads at once, looking like a mini see of green bobble heads with lone pink eyes.
"Cowards." Bakunetsumaru scoffed, not believing these were the same former Dark Axis lords who now served faithfully under the young energetic Genkimaru.
"Hey, now listen here, Mr. Fire." Grappler growled, pointing his clawed left hand at the red samurai. "We didn't ask to be here. It just so happens we were captured and you guys saved us. We'll do our own part of helping you 'save the day' and repaying you, but first off we would appreciate not walking into a possible trap that could end our lives."
"You all stay here." Zero informed turning around to face everyone, his teal eyes serious. He could still feel the pull from the magic, the invisible thread seemingly ready to come completely undone. "I appreciate all your support but I really should do this alone."
"Dude, if you're going to go save who ever it is, then go!" GunEagle exclaimed, "I was warning about a trap but nothing is going to happen if we just stand here! We're wasting time!" The rookie looked serious, his emerald eyes locked on Zero. "You're a knight who must fulfill his duty, yes? Then do it! No action is the worse thing someone can do when they know they should stand up for whats right. You said you were going to rescue... so then rescue!"'
Silence covered the group as everyone watched in anticipation of what the Winged Knight was going to say to the Neotopian aerial gundam. Shute stared with big green eyes, not sure what to say despite his experience with defusing confrontations. Finally after a few seemingly tense moments, someone spoke up.
"Thanks GunEagle." Zero replied with a nod, grateful for the honest pep talk to which the rookie smiled behind his mouthplate. Without another word, Zero turned around and gave a hearty shove at the icy door, forcing their frozen hinges to move. Everyone stiffened as the doors slowly swung open, all three ex-Dark Axis Lords tensing as they readied to bolt while the Zako soldiers hide and watched timidly.
No monster came bursting through the open doors or was there any enemy fire. Only silence and a cold blast of air greeted them yet the stillness in the air was almost haunting. With no obvious danger, the decision to go forward was unanimous though not without doubt.
Carefully the mixed company rescue party made their way into the large chamber, observing everything with a weary eye. Surrounding them were majestic walls made of ice, strange symbol's carved into them. Pillars lined the room like the previous rooms had, also having strange runes and symbols carved into them. The only life like things in side was a vast collection of ice sculptures which made the room seem like a maze of artwork.
Zero observed the markings, remembering similar ones in the area they had landed and wondered what they said but pushed the thoughts away as he turned his focus on locating the source of the magic pull. It was in this room. He could feel its sudden halt in path way, like a trail of string in the dark that had suddenly been severed.
Suddenly a sharp cry filled the air and everyone froze, whirling around toward the source of the noise with fearful looks. Bakunetsumaru stared back at them, also looking surprised but some what confused and flustered. "W-What are you all looking at me for? I didn't do it... It's not like this place is h-h-haunted or a-anyt-thing." He stuttered, starting to be convinced opposite of his own words. The red musha gundam however did manage to point at the cause of the noise.
Everyone looked in unison toward the direction that Bakunetsumaru indicated only to see GunEagle with a startled expression, his emerald eyes uncharacteristicly huge with tiny pupils. The rookie was before a ice sculpture of an enormous feral looking dragonlike bird whose mouth was opened. Its mouth was big enough to seemingly swallow GunEagle who had been about to walk right into its luckily lifeless jaws. The whole statue easily dwarfed the rescue party in height. It was amazing that it even fit into the room. The sculptor must have fashioned it within the room's walls.
"Haha... um, sorry everyone. Just got, you know, startled for a moment there." GunEagle nervously laughed as he let out a cough, sweatdropping at his embarrassing outburst as well at the heated looks he was receiving. He had not been paying attention to where he was going, instead looking at a long vertical strip of ice that nicely reflected things to which he was flexing his "muscles" and shadow boxing.
"Nice way to blow our cover of silence, Fly Guy." Grappler Gouf snapped, frowning deeply at the aerial gundam. "Just our luck that another one of the gundams turns into a chicken and just about jumps at his own shadow."
"Hey now, I do not jump at my own shadow!" GunEagle replied in a firm voice before adding, "Why should I? I think it's rather good looking, if I say so myself-- which I do."
"Looks like the Force has their very own Narcissus in the gundamium." Zapper murmured to his comrades, earning a sea of head bobs from the Zako soldiers, a low "Dah" from Dom and a "Tch, figures" from Grappler.
"Um guys, I think it's best we hurry up. The sooner we leave the better. We don't know if the enemy is watching us in the first place. And aside from the possible fact that GunEagle's outcry has alerted them, I would personally like to get out of this giant ice box." Shute said, looking nervous as he looking all around, as if about to catch sight of some evidence of the spying.
"For once it wasn't me." Bakunetsumaru muttered to himself, some what happy at this fact but paused for a moment as he began to comprehend the back handed complement that he had just given himself.
"I agree with Shute. Let's focus on the rescue mission then focus on getting out of here and avoid any more attention being drawn to us. There is a 68.349% that we have still not been noticed yet." Captain said, the military gundam motioning for them all to lower their voices.
"I can feel the presence strongest in this room, yet I don't see him." Zero spoke in a low voice, his voice tinting with worry. His teal eyes immediately went to the sculptures, afraid that the one who had been calling for help was now frozen like the ex-Dark Axis gang had been.
"Dah, found something." Destroyer Dom suddenly spoke, pointing away from the group, the large robot having wondered some ways from the others.
Through the rows of sculptures and the randomly placed ones, a large strange device sat toward the end of the room. There were large pillars on either side of it and something sitting at the bottom middle looked like a giant orb where lights swirled across its surface as it pulsed faintly. Wired strung up from the orb to something that hung down from the top, the object suspended in mid air as if on an invisible hanger.
Cautiously the group eased their way toward the strange device. Zero felt the magic pull on him tighten as he neared. Suddenly his circuitry began to run cold as a despairing feeling crept up in his chest. Was this a premonition or simply worry based on unfounded facts, an unspoken dread?
Once upon the machine, everyone moved to what they deemed must be the front. With curious eyes they all stared closely at this mysterious device. It took barely a moment for everyone to figure out what the object hanging in the middle was.
"Why, I believe it's-" Captain began but was immediately cut off.
"A girl!" GunEagle nearly bellowed, his emerald green eyes wide with shock but shining in happiness. "A babe!" The aerial gundam looked ready to pass out, eyeing the curvy body with delicate blue details adorning its armor that appeared a robin's egg blue tinting close to turquoise. He looked as if he were ready to pass out in happiness of the revelation.
"Star." Zero stated, his teal eyes staring at the imprisoned form, his processors solving the seeming riddle from not so long ago which the captive had spoken: "M-my name
it belongs to the sky, to the heavenly bodies above."
The Winged Knight took a tentative step forward, his eyes locked on the suspended turquoise body. "Her name is Star." He stared at the gundam whom he had been in contact with. He was relieved but shocked at the same time. A female?
This was indeed the one who had been calling to him, the magic trail abruptly stopping when standing before her. But why was she unresponsive to their arrival? She made no movements to acknowledge their arrival and no sound emitted from her. Were they too late?
"She has to get down from there immediately!" Captain instructed, pointing to the strange bindings that were wrapped around the gundamess' arms and legs, as well as some that connected to the dark red orb in the middle of her chest. "My scanners indicate that her vital readings are dipping expediently below normal!"
"I am captured by our
My strength is slowly being drained."
"It's hard to maintain a focus
My energy is being drained
"Quick! Cut those wires! They're draining her powers and life force!" Zero exclaimed, Star's previous words echoing in his memory bank like a haunting cry that sent chills down one's back. "We have to get her away from those now! Those things are sapping her life force!"
"Leave it to me! I can get her down in no time!" GunEagle immediately volunteered, jumping at the chance to save a damsel. The rookie reached behind him and pulled out his beam sword. Instantly its pink energy blade was pulsing, ready for use. "I swear my fuel cells are going to freeze up if I don't use them."
"I'll help you." Captain responded, pulling out his beam saber. "We'll be twice as fast working together."
"Much obliged Captain." GunEagle gave a quick salute to his idol before engaging his flight boosters to lift him off the ground. Once hovering, his thrusters switched on and the aerial gundam swooped toward the restrained Star, performing quick and precise slices with his weapon. Captain followed suit, swiftly severing the lower connections in a flash. Together the two Neotopian gundams were like adventurers making their way through a jungle, hacking away at vines that choked their path.
As the wires were cut away, the gundamess' body sagged more though stayed suspended thanks to her limb's bindings. Still with the energy draining wires gone, Star was unresponsive, making no signs of acknowledgement of the rescue party's presence.
"Zero, get ready! I'm going to cut her bindings!" Captain instructed, giving a nod to GunEagle who quickly took up the opposite position. A easy as a knife through butter, the energy beams of the sabers cut through the tight bindings. With mere seconds between, the feet binds where sliced clean through before quickly followed by the hand and arm ones. As the Captain and GunEagle cut the last bindings in sync, Star's body lurched forward and began its decent to toward the frozen ground.
Zero quickly ran under the device, arms outstretched, catching the falling turquoise body, the blue ribbons attached to her helmet streaming in response to gravity. The Winged Knight let out a grunt from the impact, as the weight pushed him down to one knee but he held on tight. Gathering his strength to not drop the gundamium made damsel in his arms, he tried to hold her up, calling in a concerned, anxious voice, "Star! Can you hear me? Star! Say something!" GunEagle and Captain flew down and were next to Zero in no time, everyone else in the group quickly gathering around Zero and Star.
The gundamess did nothing for a moment, her optical screens blank and showing no signs of movement. Everyone watched the gundamess from Kendra in anticipation, hoping from some sign of life to indicate they were not too late. Some horrifying seconds of absolute silence and no response set everyone on edge, the grim thoughts that their cause was lost unanimous.
However there was a low moan, immediately calling attention back to Star's form. Her optical screens flickered briefly before turning on, revealing violet eyes that seemed distant and blank. "...N...nani?" A weak sounding feminine voice asked, Star's eyes still trying to focus. She looked completely incoherent, shaken and not understanding who was around her. The word she spoke was foreign, nothing that Captain nor any other the others could comprehend.
The turquoise gundamess then managed another word, the tone filled with begging as she tried to raise her hand, "T-t...tasu...kete...", reaching for Zero but what strength she had left failed her. Her hand fell useless by her side as she trembled, her eye screens flickering. Her body gave a shudder but even that seemed to take all the strength and energy that remained within.
Zero did not understand her exact words but knew that she was still asking for help. Did she think this was another vision? The Lacroan gundam held her tighter as he tried to keep her upright. "Star! It's me, Zero! Remember!? The one you called to from another dimension! I've come to save you! I'm here now! As well as my comrades! M'lady!"
Star's eyes stopped flickering for a moment, allowing the gundamess' purple eyes to stare intently into the Winged Knight's own turquoise ones. "R-Rei..." Her voice whispered, "Kishi no Tsubasa... Zero..." As soon as she said the violet blue gundam's name her optics completely shut off, leaving the screens blank and dark. Her body then slumped backwards indicting her power and energy completely gone. Once more the turquoise gundamess was just a seemingly empty shell of gundamium.
"Well that went well!" Grappler said in an exasperated tone, breaking the stunned as well as pained silence, "We save this captive princess or whatever she is only to learn she doesn't understand us or speak our language!"
"But it doesn't make sense!! When she contacted me in Neotopia I could understand her fine! And we heard that strange magical visitor from her world! It could speak well enough too!" Zero exclaimed, distraught at the condition of Star as well of the shocking language barrier. It did not make any sense that he could understand her before and now he could not. "And that time she healed me in the No-Man's-Zone..."
"She's not... you know..." Shute began the young boy looking fearful and concerned, biting his lip as he looked at the blank eyes of the motionless gundamess.
"No, she's alive. Just weak." Zero quickly replied, feeling the orb in his chest throbbing. Was this due to fear or something else? It felt like a burning sensation and he felt slightly weak, some faintness sweeping over his consciousness but the knight fought it. The tingling sensation was present as well yet only as noticeable as a faint, half hearted whisper. "I think can feel the magic force within her but it's barely present."
"You don't happen to have a magic fueled I.V. pack on you, do you?" Zapper sarcastically asked Captain who he deemed the one to have the tools and means for anything and everything.
The Neotopian gundam for once ignored the remark and instead engaged his comlink system. "Calling Neotopian SDG base, this is Captain Gundam. Can you hear me, Chief Haro? Bellwood? Juli? Chief Kao Lyn? This is Captain Gundam. We have established contact with Zero's Kendra informant. She is in need of medical assistance. Requesting for use of the dimensional transport devise, over."
Static was the only response heard.
"Here Captain, let's try me. Chief Haro did say something about our new wave amplifiers together might be enough to establish connection. I think." GunEagle replied, the rookie stepping up, knowing the grave urgency of the matter. Together both Neotopian gundams stood about a foot apart, channeling communication waves between each other, being one another's living battery as Captain tried contact with his home world once more.
"This is Captain Gundam of Neotopia. Do you read me, Ground Base? I am calling from the planet Kendra, over."
There was silence over the com-system for a moment, as if sound had yet to reach across the universe to another planet where help was. Then came the brief patch of static, leaving the feeling of dread to sweep over the group once more.
Zero said nothing for a moment as he still clutched Star in his arms, his circuits buzzing with comprehension data and memory bank information. The Winged Knight looked once more at the pitiful, helpless form of the gundamess before finding access to use his voice processors once more. "Um, Captain. I'm afraid they can't hear us. And even if they can and are unable to answer, they will not be able to help us with the dimensional portal. Seeing as I was the last one through the portal, the DTD seems to have... well, broke. Or at least had been in the process of it right when I leapt through after the rest of you."
"What do you mean the DTD broke!?" Bakunetsumaru exclaimed, horror unmistakable in his eyes. "Couldn't you have mentioned this before!?" The thought of being stranded on a frozen planet for however long obviously did not sit well with the Blazing Samurai of Ark. Kharn had been bad enough with the Hiarashi Palace and dealing with a blood thirsty fiery bird, Scourge, who had turned out in the end to be a valuable ally. "Even if this place is slightly better than Kharn I still don't like the thought of being stuck here!"
"I was preoccupied with other duties, sorry!" Zero shot back, not happy about this revelation either but mostly angry at himself forgetting along. His worrying over Star's condition could not be denied either, emotions exploding inside of him like firecrackers. "Besides, Bellwood said before we left it was a one way trip back as the portals to return would be uncertain due to magical interference."
"The back lash of the Kendra portal imploding probably overloaded the systems and therefore spread to the DTD since Bellwood was using it to help anchor the portal." Captain explained, the military gundam going over the statistics for possibilities.
"What!? That stupid dimensional portal contraption of yours is broken again!? That is one of the most unreliable piece of junk hardware that I have ever seen!" Grappler exclaimed, throwing up his hands. "When we had the Zakorello Gate, we never had this problem! Getting thrown in the wrong dimension or dimensional travel simply not working... that was unheard of in the Dark Axis!"
"No, you guys just sucked at invading and winning battles." GunEagle remarked 'smirking' behind his mouthplate, his emerald eyes reflecting his amusement.
"Why you..." Zapper started, the maroon robot looking furious and annoyed.
"Hey, guys come on now. Fighting isn't going to solve anything." Shute quickly interjected, not wanting a fight among allies to break out. "Right now we should figure out where we should go and do until we can get off this planet. This place could be teeming with the enemy in no time. I mean, after all I believe we're in their territory if not headquarters."
"Go where? The way we came? No offense, Shute but I don't think I want to risk getting lost in that ice maze again. Besides we would be walled bats." Bakunetsumaru argued, though he was willing to go with any plan to get out of here. This place freaked him out and made his circuits run cold. Not to mention it seemed to interfere with his fire abilities, something that was far from comforting.
"You mean cornered cats." The human boy lightly corrected, though he knew the musha gundam had a point.
"Well we can't stay here. Star's condition can get worse at any time." Zero looked down at the turquoise gundamess who was limp and lifeless. A cold hand seemed to clutch his Lacrux, the vital orb in his chest freezing up as if to match the Winged Knight's surroundings. "No. I'm not going to let her die. Not anyone any more. Damia was already one too many..."
Without warning an explosion violently rocked the room, catching everyone off guard as chunks of ice poured into the room, dust kicked up around the source. Shute's eyes stung from the bits of flying ice and could not help coughing as he inhaled some of the fragments. The gundams and robots quickly shielded their eyes, not wanting the debris to fly and possibly hit and crack their optics.
"Dah, me not make that boom." The large robot spoke, thinking that he would be reprimanded by mistake due to the others thinking his carelessness had alerted the enemy. Still the Zako soldiers all let out an "Eek!" and crowded behind Dom, believing their ex-Dark Axis leader could perform well as a shield. Slowly the dust began to settle away from the wall where the explosion had come from, a gapping hole now left in the wall. Outside the wind howled like a lonely starving creature begging for comfort in a meal of a victim who stumbled into its path. Crouching in front of the hole, posed for attack was a figure. A gundam. An orange gundam.
As the figure quickly straightened, looking alert, eyes scanning the room, confirming its location and number of enemies, it stopped as soon as it caught sight of the obviously conspicuous group standing in the middle of the room. Stealth was obviously not in its favor but speed made up for it. Letting out what sounded like a savage growl, the figure leapt out of the settling dust and landed closer to the rescue party, revealing itself more clearly.
It was an orange gundamess.
~Kibou Hoshi: Ch 6. The Enemy's Icy Threshold will be back after this short break!
Due to size limit see part 2 for the rest of this chapter