by Hikari Okami
An epic tale of 5 soldiers involved in a war between humanity and a powerful alien race.
Chapter II: Angel in the Dark
Lunar Orbit – Command Center
“You said it was urgent?” Data commented as he and Fawn walked into the large room. The couple found General Connal and the two generals from the Hero’s Legend standing before a large video screen displaying various data.
“There’s been an incident,” General Connal began. “The transport ship your brother was on was attacked by 3 enemy units.”
The color drained away from Data’s face as he listened. The general turned to a young man on his right. “Please, Captain, tell them what you told me.”
“He was the only pilot on board so we sent him out with an old Komodo model we had. My ship just isn’t built for offensive procedures. The kid held them off and we managed to escape, but he never came back,” the captain explained.
Data’s eyes narrowed at the captain’s story, his hands curling into tight fists. “You sent my baby brother against THREE enemy pilots?”
“I’m sorry, I…”
“Why didn’t you call for help?!” Data yelled as he stepped forward towards the captain.
“We tried! Our signal was jammed by the enemy,” the captain retorted. In one motion, Data sealed the space between them and grabbed the captain by his collar, violently shaking him.
“Why didn’t you go back for him?!” Data questioned through clenched teeth.
“Hey, get this crazy guy off of me!” the captain cried.
“Professor Demarys! Control yourself!” General Connal demanded. Fawn rushed to her fiancÚ’s side, pulling him away from his victim. The captain straightened his collar and proceeded to distance himself from the raging man. Alverdine and Kyros gave each other strange looks as they watch the scene transpire before them.
“Please, calm down,” Fawn pleaded softly.
Swiftly he turned to face her with flames within his gaze. “Don’t you dare tell me to calm down.”
“He’s a good pilot, an ace, he’s probably fine,” she assured, rubbing his arm.
“He doesn’t have any real experience fighting in space…”
General Alverdine stepped into the scene as she shrugged her shoulders. “Oh boy, looks like our first assignment just turned into a rescue mission.” She turned to face Data and offered him a confident smile. “I’ll send a search party after the kid. We’ll get him back.”
The worry never left his features, but the blonde professor nodded his approval.
“I’ll join the search party with Cronus,” Fawn stated as she entwined her fingers with Data’s.
“Now let’s not get ahead of ourselves, this is a lot of man power for one man. Don’t forget your duties,” Connal spoke, his gaze shifting between Fawn and Alverdine.
A dark look fell over Data’s handsome features as he addressed the general. “You don’t think my brother’s worth it?”
The general flashed him a sympathetic look. “We’re at war. We have to look at the larger picture and accept our losses.”
“He’s a very skilled pilot and worth the effort,” Fawn interjected, stepping between her fiancÚ and General Connal. “And we have no confirmation that he’s dead.”
The general sighed and ran his fingers through his brown hair. “I will allow a small team from the Lunar Orbit forces to-”
“No,” General Alverdine interrupted, her mahogany gaze fixed on Connal. Kyros stood tall next to her, his violet gaze on Connal with the same determination.
“No?” Connal repeated incredulously.
“As I announced before, this will be the Hero’s Legend's first mission. It won’t be a waste of time because he’s not dead,” Alverdine explained.
“You can’t be sure,” Connal replied. Alverdine smiled and winked.
“Call it women’s intuition.” With a hint of danger in her eyes she added, “Will you be the one to stop me?”
For a moment, Connal’s eyes fell on Kyros before returning to hers. “If this is what you wish.”
A lone man sat in his quarters leaning comfortably in his chair. The room was dimly lit for he had no real use for lights. His eyes remain closed, his mind lingering on the events earlier that day. He and his team encountered a transport ship flying too closely to his ship, Purgatory. It was too early for the new ship to be revealed and thus ordered an attack. To his surprise, a skilled pilot with a second rate mech had effectively taken out his teammates. A small smile came to the man’s lips as he recalled the memory. The experience was quite invigorating. The man sighed and took off the helmet to his blue and silver flight suit. A river of silver hair fell over the man’s broad shoulders nearly reaching his waist.
A small beep interrupted his thoughts. He reached over his desk and pressed the button to his video com. The small screen flickered to life and revealed the face of an alien woman.
“Commander Ice, the Elders would like to have a conference with you,” the voice spoke with a strange accent.
“I understand, tell them I will be there shortly,” Ice responded.
“As you command,” the voice responded. He turned off the communicator as he reached for his white cane and he found his way out of the room.
Sector 2 – Zone 2
The Cronus drifted slowly though the darkness of space. The speed of a transport ship paled in comparison to a Dragoon, something Fawn was thankful for when she reached the coordinates in which Phoenix was lost in a short amount of time. Data had taken liberty to install a quick upgrade to Cronus’ operating system to include better tracking software to aide in their search. The scanning software sudden zoomed in on an object floating to Fawn’s right.
“It got something,” the woman announced. A pop up window of General Alverdine’s face appeared on the upper left corner of mech’s main screen.
“What is it?”
Fawn paused for a moment to read the data from the scan. “Debris from a Spectre model as well as traces of Fission particles.”
“Any signs of the Komodo?”
“One moment,” Fawn replied as she drifted further into the scene. The software once again spotted something. The pilot moved the Cronus to get a better look at the find. It was a giant severed mechanical arm still holding a sword. “I found an arm. The scan says it matches the Komodo model.”
Alverdine smiled. “Then there is hope. Send me your coordinates. The Hero’s Legend will meet you there.”
“What? You’re serious? Is it prepared?” Fawn exclaimed voice a little higher than the norm.
“Prepared enough for this escapade. I’m going to see this thing through.”
Fawn gave a soft chuckle before changing her voice to a more serious tone. “Thanks, this means a lot to Data and me.”
Alverdine nodded knowingly. “Analyze the particles while you wait for us. We’ll follow the trail right to Phoenix.”
Purgatory – Cell Block 5
His body ached everywhere, lasting effects from being electrocuted Phoenix presumed. He sat up from the hard, uncomfortable cot, rubbing the stars from his eyes. Quickly, he realized he was not in familiar surroundings. The small cockpit of the Komodo had been replaced with a slightly bigger prison cell. He moved his body away from the cot to peak between the iron bars that encased the front of the cell. His ears caught a group of voices approaching him speaking in a language he couldn’t understand. From the corner of the hallway emerged a group of alien soldiers. Despite his predicament, Phoenix couldn’t help but stare at the newcomers having never really seen the enemy up close and personal before. They were remarkably similar to humans he found, aside from pointed ears and strangely colored skin varying from blue to orange. The group was dressed in military like uniforms, also similar to the UEF uniforms, except more elaborate. The UEF had dubbed the alien enemy Taetrens as they had traveled from a distant galaxy named Traetria.
The one in the middle with the most decorated uniform stepped forward towards Phoenix’s cell. The Taetren was male and possessed tawny shoulder length hair that framed his tangerine face. His jade green eyes locked on the young pilot for a moment before he ordered something in his language causing one of the subordinates to scramble over and open Phoenix’s cell. The blonde pilot stepped back, narrowing his eyes as the soldier approached him. Before he knew what was happening, the young man became swarmed by the rest of the group. Working quickly, they placed shackles on his ankles and wrists and began to drag him out of his cell. Phoenix furiously wrestled again the restrains and his captors, but he was severely outnumbered.
“Where are you taking me?” Phoenix questioned. The tawny haired leader faced him, with a sadistic smirk on his face.
“What happens to prisoners?” he replied, his baritone voice containing a strange accent. The group finally reached a room and shoved Phoenix inside. Hastily, the pilot took in his surroundings. It had the makings of an interrogation room complete with some objects he’d rather not get acquainted with. His captors forced him into a chair located in the middle of the room. The leader stood in front of him, with several soldiers guarding the exits and one behind him with hands placed on Phoenix’s shoulders keeping him in the chair.
“Let’s get started, shall we?”
Down the hall, Ice strolled through the hallway, contemplating his meeting with the Elders. Once at the brig, he asked one of the soldiers stationed there the whereabouts of the new prisoner.
“He’s not here anymore, sir. Lieutenant Elteo took him into the interrogation room,” the soldier replied.
“What?” Ice replied, eyes narrowing. He turned around and rushed towards the interrogation room finding it locked. He pressed his forefinger on small green panel next to the side of the door. A white line moved vertically under his finger and the door slid open.
At the sound of the door opening, Phoenix’s eyes shifted away from the leader to see a man entering the room. His eyes widened at the newcomer’s presence. He was human and very beautiful. Extremely beautiful, with long silver tresses falling over and around his porcelain face. His eyes were strange mixture of purple and blue and his form was tall and slim.
“What is the meaning of this, Elteo?” the man spoke, his voice a low timbre.
“Interrogating the captured UEF pilot,” Elteo replied turning away from Phoenix.
“I didn’t authorize for you to do that.”
“You haven’t been a commander for long. It’s effective to find out more about the enemy through the means of interrogation.”
“Don’t insult my intelligence. Release the prisoner to me. Now.” Ice demanded. Elteo studied him for a moment, before motioning the soldiers behind him to free Phoenix. Roughly, he grabbed the young pilot’s arm and shoved him towards Ice. Phoenix stumbled into him but was steadied by Ice’s hand on his shoulder.
“Come with me,” Ice said to him gently, his long fingers wrapping around Phoenix’s wrist. Phoenix said nothing in return, still wide eyed. He let himself be led away from the interrogation room and down a white hallway.
Phoenix studied the man’s face, who had not once laid eyes on him. A small clanking noise caused his gaze to lower to the white cane held within the man’s grip. The man didn’t walk with a limp, Phoenix noticed, and the cane only tapped the floor every so often. What is going on? Phoenix thought.
They came to another room in which the silver haired man quickly opened. He stepped inside, but Phoenix stood still, hesitant to follow. His captor turned around to face him, his gaze falling in his general direction, but not quite meeting his own. A short moment of silence passed between them before the man spoke with a gentle voice.
“I will not harm you.”
Something in the man’s tone made Phoenix trust him, if only a little. He stepped inside and the door automatically closed behind him. Once inside, his wrist was released and he was left to explore the room on his own. Instead of walking any further into the room, he moved along the wall and sat in the corner near the door. From his spot he watched the man leave his cane next to a desk.
“Are you going to kill me?” Phoenix asked, finally finding his voice.
His captor walked away from the desk, stopping a few feet in front of Phoenix. “Not at all.”
“Then why am I here?”
“I wanted to meet you,” the man answered.
Phoenix tilted his head to the side. “…you’re strange. Why are you human?”
“Both my parents were human.”
“You know what I meant!”
Phoenix narrowed his eyes, his mouth forming into a frown. “Stop playing with me.”
The man chuckled. “Your skills are impressive.”
“Your skills as a pilot. They’re impressive. I haven’t fought against anyone like you in a while.”
Phoenix’s eyes widened at the comment, his mind beginning to piece things together. “You’re the pilot who defeated me?”