Chapter Four: Tome of Two Souls

Pixie woke up in a cold sweat. She was finding it nearly impossible to get a good nights sleep. Might as well just give up.

She immediately struck up the fire for the camp. Not because she was hungry or cold. It just gave her something to do with her hands.

*Yeah. Don’t think about the fact that it was Blue who’d always do these kind of things for you.* One of her inner voices sneered at her. At least it was one of the more familiar voices.

*you’ve being doing this to yourself for years, please...*

“WHAT!?” She screamed out loud.

“Pixie? Are you okay?” Genki asked, jumping out of his sleeping bag.

“Nothing.” She said, folding her arms over her chest as the awakened rebels stared at her. “I’m just not a morning person.” She mumbled quietly.


Undine smiled, staring at the lost disks that littered the riverbanks. They’d been willing to believe her when she offered them her friends, well too bad. Their mistake...she wasn’t going to be guilt-tripped by a few slaughtered baddies.

What would he think of her? It didn’t matter, she was doing it for HIM.

“Who will do the harsh things? Those who can.” She said, trying to calm her nerves. Strange. A couple of years ago, at the lake, this wouldn’t have bothered her.


A cold wind had blown up as Nicole led them through the woods.

“Are you sure this is the right way?” Genki said, still watching her strangely.

“Genki, I’ve run this route a thousand times.” Nicole said, obviously tired of answering the question.

“Just one question...” Genki continued.

“What is it?”


Pixie smiled a bit at Genki as she took to the air. If she didn’t pay attention, she might make a mistake. She wasn’t quite used to her new...a fresh wave of nausea and guilt hit her.

*don’t cry. Listen, Please.* It came to her, not in words, but in a sudden influx of emotion. She screamed again as she fell...

*desire_inadequacy_terror_sympathy_NO_DON’T _*

She was shaking as Holly kneeled by her, saying something in a nervous voice.

*I’m sorry...Please. Sorry...*

She blacked out.


“What do you need, my Master.” Night Travel peered down at him from her perch on top of the ladder.

“You’ve been assigned to one of the scouting squadrons for the week.”

“You wouldn’t...the only squadron going out is one of Naga’s.” She said with a slight sneer. Studding the way he stood before her she spoke. “but you want me to do something else while I’m there, don’t you...Something you want to get without anybody knowing.”

“My, my, little baddie, you are perceptive...”

“Master, I’m your girl.”

“I know.”


Pixie walked ahead, trying to ignore the odd looks she was being given by everyone in the group. She felt fine, dammit.

All things considered.

Holly and Genki were talking to each other, maybe about her, maybe not.

She had the distinct impression that whatever had talked to her before was too frightened of hurting her to speak up again.

She was fighting between the urge to apologize or scream at it to get out of her head.

*You don’t need to apologize.*

Pixie groaned.

“Pixie. Are you...”

“We’re fine. Stop asking!” Holly just stared at her for a couple seconds before Pixie realized what she had said.

“I don’t know...I just need more sleep.” She said.

Holly stared at her for a second. Muttered “Yeah.” Then walked away.


“Night Travel, should we attack t hem?”

“You can attack them. I have another target.”

The plant nodded.


“We’re here!” Purple eye said as the walked into the grove.

“A tree.” Pixie said, raising one eyebrow.

“Two trees. And you have no romance in your soul.” Nicole said, sticking a perfect dismount as she jumped off Moiagon’s shoulder. “I’ve always felt something about this place.”

“Yeah. I feel it too. Just look around you.” She said, staring at the way the two trees

Genki looked around, then back at Holly. “Umm...”

“Not even with those clear eyes?” Holly joked.

“I think I see it...” Genki said, “...Nope, just a leaf.”

Holly laughed. “I’d forgotten how beautiful these journeys could be.”

“SEED GUN!” The plants opened fire on them from up in the trees.

“ELECTRIC AURA!” A girls voice, ringed with the sound of metal, screamed as she jumped down from the trees.

“Mistress!” One of the plants yelled.

“Deal with it!” She yelled, running toward something beyond the two trees.

Something that was becoming more visible the closer she got.

Someone follow her!!” Purple eye yelled, teleporting up into the trees and knocking down a plant, who Grey Wolf killed.

“I’ll get her!” Pixie yelled, beating her wings and taking to the air, dodging the seeds that flew like bullets through the air.

Pixie shook her head in amazement as she got a good look at the girl.

Night Travel smiled at the look on Pixie’s face. “Electiric Aura.” The electricity arced out of her body, knocking Pixie out of the sky.

Holly stabbed one of the plants with her dagger, tears running down her face. She turned and stared at the creature who was fighting with Pixie. Something about her was...

“ISRA!?” She yelled in relive . “You’re alright?”

She dashed forward, grabbing Pixie by the arm amping up the current as much as she could.

“I am a servant of Moo, apprentice to the esteemed Master Gali, and I answer to Night Travel.” She said, staring at the look of pain on the Granity’s face. No reaction, just observing it.

Grey Wolf swore as he took down another plant and turned to try and help her.

“LEAVE HER ALONE!” Pixie yelled at the top of her lungs, punching Isra with her free hand. The girl flew through the air a short distance, hitting the ground with a thud.

She grabbed something off the almost-visible surroundings and threw it in the bag she wore over one shoulder. She turned to run...but Pixie caught her. And no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t put a scratch on her.

After another punch, she was coughing up blood.

*Who are you?* Pixie asked inside her head, dazed in pain.

*Master, are you alright?*

*Big Blue?* She asked, nearly crying.

Nothing, just a silent affirmation.

*What do we do with her?* She asked him.

Pixie stared at the girl. Friend of Genki’s or not, she began to charge up a flame attack. Judging at how much electricity the girl had thrown at her, she didn’t want to take the risk of lightning not working.

Genki started yelling as the Plants turned and ran. She paused for a moment.

Isra saw that and vanished in a flash of light.


“It was her. I recognized the scent.” Grey Wolf said to Holly.

“What did they do her?” Genki asked.

“Pixie?” Holy asked.

“We’re fine. We’re both fine.”


“And Holly, call us Granity.”

“Us...I don’t understand…”

“He meant what he said. He lives on inside me. I’m Pixie, he’s Big Blue...Our name is Granity.”


“What is it? Nicole asked as Genki opened the bag.

“It’s a book...”

“Let us see.” Granity said.

“There’s something about it.” Holly said.

Moiagon and Nicole were looking extremely nervous as Granity took the book. It glowed slightly when she touched it.

“It’s the Tome of Two Souls.” He said.


Moaigon and Nicole stood before them as Pixie stirred the soup they would be having for dinner.

“The tome of the Two-souls, The tome of the mind The tome of the loyal And the tome of the kind The tome of Farseeing, In another world’s night, In a time after victory, But a time not quite right…” The two chanted in unison.

“I was once part of an expedition to find one of the books. We found it, but I never knew what happened to it, I was just labor.”

“They say that the Tomes grant great wisdom and will lead whoever owns them to the Gateway.” Nicole continued. “Every legend we’ve got says the Gateway is a variable. And none of us know how to read the script in the book...perfect.”

“Variable?” Holly asked.

“It’s location changes. At times it does not even exist.” Moaigon said, staring at Nicole with concern.

“And the tomes will only appear for someone looking for them or someone who knows where they are. Like Isra...” Nicole said, staring at the sky.

“Well, we’re looking for them too!” Genki said, jumping up. “We’ve got one of them!”

“But the baddies apparently know where they are.” Granity said. “And we can’t even read it.”

“We have to keep trying.” Genki said.

*It’s too hot*

“Keep the commentary to yourself...” Pixie mumbled under her breath.

“Huh?” Genki asked.

“I was talking to Blue, Genki.”

“Sorry. Uh, Pixie...”

*Uh, Master...*

“How in gods name did you manage to set soup on fire?” Purple Eye said, completely flabbergasted.

“OUR DINNER!!! AHHHH!!!!!” All the rebels yelled at once.

*Hmph. Okay, in future, I let you cook.* She thought at him, throwing the burnt wooden spoon at Purple Eye, stomping off a little ways.

*I have to ask...You don’t mind this, do you? Do you regret?*

*Never, Master Pixie.* She smiled as she heard the familiar title inside her head.

*I’m sorry I was so dense...* He was quiet.

*I’m so sorry for all I’ve done to you. And...and...*


*My true friend...I love you.* She finished.

She let down her mental guards for a second, letting the emotion run over her.

_Joy_ Pure and unadulterated. She couldn’t help but return it.


“Will she be alright?”

“Yeah. But she’ll need rest. She wants to see you.”

“I’m sorry Master...” She said through her daze. “Wasn’t expecting that.”

“You can always win the tome back from them. They are not to be underestimated, though. They killed me once.”

“Is that how you got...?” She made a vague gesture toward the broken spike on his mask.

“Very perceptive, my little baddie.”


Stay or go. Stay or go.

The woman woke up in a cold sweat. She grabbed the phone and punched a number on the AutoDial.

“Yeah, it’s Sayra Talner again. I just wanted to know…” Her face fell.

“No news. Sure. You’ll call me.”

She got up and began to draw the monsters she had once known in a sketch book. She wondered how her daughter was doing, wherever she was.

And she wondered why she could never go home, even after all these years.

“Goodnight Metalner. Goodnight Isra.” She whispered to the night sky.

Chapter Five: Dreams

She had to bite her lip to keep from laughing in delight...under the stars, everything going as it was supposed too...and he was there with her, just to make sure.

She jumped off the ruin, hitting the ground and rolling as she spotted the tome wedged between two stone altars. She grabbed it, and jumped up, electric aura flashing in warning.


She perched on a rock outcrop and stared down at the brown-haired girl. What had she announced herself as? Coltia?

The girl in front of her sagged down and yawned deeply as the men around her collapsed.

Yeah. He was there too.

"Thank you, Master Gali."

Just leaving the people where they had fallen, they turned to go home.




"Of course she can hear lout."

"Chi? Is she there?"

"Listen Holly!!"

_You are the key_

To hatred...

To the most powerful forces...

A city engulfed by flames.

_It doesn't have to be this way. But it still might be_

"Skip the and prophesy HELP US CHI!!!"



She bolted upright.

Holly closed her eyes as the sun rose. She breathed deeply, trying to remember the dream that was already slipping away.

*it was only a dream, I guess.*

The form behind her eyes began to become more clear.



BANG!! A yell, and Granity muttering under her breath.

"give you good odds the Pixie's in charge. The other one doesn't swear."

"Purple eye, you're going to get yourself killed."

"Hey ma'am, you look pretty and Moaigon still conducting experiments on what we will call the interspecies..."


"She warned you." Moaigon said as Purple eye spun around dizzy.

Holly turned and looked at Genki, pain apparent in her eyes.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah. I'm fine." She said, withdrawing slightly.

"Holly, this is what friends are for." He said, smiling. "Tell me what's wrong? Please."


"Come on Holly. I am stubborn enough to keep asking and I have no sense of tact. You can't escape me!"

"I can't?"


Holly stared at the goofy look on his face and laughed out loud. "I have this dream. And I miss the others so much. And I don't have the magic stone anymore, and I don't know how to help anyone." She said, burring her head in her knees to keep from crying.

"It's not your fault Holly. And besides, we'll get them back."


Genki grabbed her by the arm and stood her in front of the camp.

"Nikki'll go wherever Moiagon does, and Purple eye follows her. Granity's not leaving until she's...they're...whatever are two people again. And do even see for a second, Grey Wolf and Undine leaving with out Tiger and Golem."

"No." Holly said, smiling softly as the wind blew into the camp.


Night Travel struggled to keep her eyes open as she translated the writing. Tome of the Mind...lines 240 to...yawn.

Master Gali was a lot faster, she was only just learning the script, and she was so tired...yawn.

Gali had gone to bed hours ago (Night travel, Get your mind out of the gutter)...not the kind of thing he'd feel anyway. Don't believe in...yawn. It was 3 in the afternoon, she'd been up all the previous night...yawn.

Whatever the ancients were trying to say alternated between prophesy and what looked like computer code. Or maybe they had screwed up the translation...yawn.

Have to ask one of the Henger about that...or one of the Metalner. *Yawn*

Made another mistake...screw this.



Moo continued with battle plans, saying witch towns bordering their territories should be dealt with next.

"Gali. What have you learned about the girl."

The other Generals: Takao, Naga, A youngish Dryad and a Skeleton (Henger/???) turned quietly, not intruding but interested. Death Dragon turned to the side, smirking quietly.

"She's a 11 year old Human/Metalner halfing. She attacks with elect..."

"SILENCE! That's not what I wanted to learn...any fool can see that."

"What else is there to say about her?" He said, guarding his voice. "She is what she is. Nothing more."

The Sirens body extruded just as much menace as Moo's original had.

"Don't lie to me Gali. I own you."

"I know. But the girl is only slightly more special than her heritage permits. If her father was a Metalner/Suezo, there is nothing interesting about her at all."

"Have you made any progress at all towards regaining my power." Moo said, a dark aura slowly building. "I am not afraid to dispose of my past failures."

-------------------------- _What's going to happen to them?_

_Six billion hates. It's a lot._

Fire. Battle. Nothing left.

She screamed and woke up, unable to remember the dream that had been so real only two seconds ago.

Gali was staring at her. Or maybe he wasn't. It's hard to judge the facial expressions of a mask. But she was quickly becoming the resident expert.

"Isra, I need to talk to you."

She stared at him with her violet eyes. "I know."

She knew he had wanted to keep the Tome as their ace in the hole. _Their_ secret.

She knew Moo would kill them if they didn't do something right. She knew that as far as Moo was concerned, Gali had already failed he let Moo know they were up to something big...

He gave her a list of towns they had to deal with. 3 of the 5 were to be kept intact-it was slave towns that produced food and other materials for the baddies (who's infrastructure had been shot to hell when the Phoenix rose) The others were trading towns, useless to them, and they strengthened the ties between the other towns.

Too bad.


From the Tome of the Mind:

Only in ash is the true power found

A key to hatred brings back light...

No escape if ash is killed before the second Night...

Night and Day stand are for Phoenix second rise

But as only as their seen by clear or far eyes...


Set as BASIS: DnAVariable(dominant)

From BASIS: RECOVER: DnAVariable(Recessive) IF successful RESTORE...

Chapter 6: Snake's Heart

Author's Notes: sorry this took so long. Really sorry. -_- Some things I mention in here come from the Canadian Version of 'Battle with the Big Bad Four'. In it, Naga doesn't just drop. They talk a bit first. He explains that he's walked the path of evil for too long to take Holly's hand. Then he smilies at her...

Chapter 6: Snake's Heart: --------------------------

"When: The Dark heart is seduced..."

"That doesn't sound right."

"Are you sure, Master?. Jan mutanaso cai cutsua..."

"Cutsua isn't seduced. Seduction implies intent"

"What is it then?"

"Enraptured. Intrigued by, falls for..."

He took the tome from her.

"When the dark heart falls for, the glory?" He paused. "Whoever wrote this had bad handwriting,- of light in ash... The third and final evil...." He went quiet.

Suddenly he looked up. "Do you know where Naga is?'

"Actually, I asked him if he could deal with that town, that one that's just on the edge of his territory..."

"In exchange for what?"

"The recipe for the poison we used on the other town."

She sat on the crate. 'Well, was it a good trade? It would have taken us a week to get out there, and we have more important things to do. It'll take him two days."

"It was a fair trade. Which means it was less than ideal...and Night Travel..."

"Ye...ahh!" He grabbed her by the throat. Calmly he continued.

"Remember not to make any important decisions without telling me."




It was raining...

Either way, it was dark...

Suezo hit the wall.

"So that's why you're so strong."

She was yelling something.

"I've walked the path of evil for too long."

He smiled at her and fell.

"I can't run away with so many reasons to stay and fight."

Will you be there, chi?

Don't worry, she will. I'll bet on it.

She screamed...

"Holly! Wake up!" Genki was shaking her.

"These dreams are getting to be too much. Don't you ever sleep?" Undine asked, rubbing her eyes. She'd rejoined the team, much to everyone's delight. They'd heard a rumor about the Tomes from a travelling merchant. Nikki and Moaigon knew where they were. Life was good.

Holly looked up. "Genki. Did I wake you?"

"Nah, I was about to get up anyway."

"I'm sorry. I've been nothing but a bother the entire time. I'm no use to anyone."

"No you haven't..."

"I'm sorry." She said, getting up. "Just...not enough sleep." She said, turning away slightly.

Purple Eye jumped down from the tree. "Yauani Town's actually in one piece!"

Nicole turned to Moaigon, and smiled. "Come on!" She said, running ahead. "I can't wait to introduce you guys to everyone."

"Hey, that's my job!" Genki yelled, chasing after her.


She rubbed her throat. A bruise was starting to show. Man, she'd never marked Gali as the violent type. Or had he been trying to throw her? Now when had she been bruised there before?

Hadn't Moo been mad at her? But when?

It was before she joined. Somewhere dark.. She'd wondered where Moo had gotten her from.

But now she knew. Moo had wanted to kill her. So she must have been a Goodie. She was surprised to find that it didn't make a difference.


The town was beautiful. The people were friendly. The monsters were free and well taken care of. And there was food.

"Nicole!! You've come back? Are these monsters from the mines? Who are the humans? Have you seen my husband?"

Purple Eye smiled and turned to the group.

"Well, all those monsters we freed had to go somewhere, right Ma'am?"

Nicole didn't answer. Too busy. "Yes. No, well Moaigon is. Yes, he's the Moaigon I mentioned. YES. No details. The humans are friends, and I have bad news about anyone in the old city...but I think I saw your husband, he was a Clay, right?"

Holly suddenly froze on the spot. "Holly?"

There was a loud crash and a scream.

The Monsters who were talking shut up. "Slave Hunters? Who is it?"

"The city is dead. Which means its probably worse."

Granity jumped into the air. "I'll check it out. Prepare for a battle."


This was not funny.

She ran, close to the ground holding the bundles of arrows.

She jumped behind a earthen bunker and was met with raucous cheers from the archers. They'd had to fall back, ever closer to the town. However, they had taken care of one or two lines of baddies with well timed volleys of arrows.

Granity landed, holding a wounded Hopper. They looked haggard.

Her eyes were dark. "It's Naga. The main force is in the South. We're holding out, but not by much." She handed the hopper to one of the passing humans, who started to bandage it.

"Naga? Are you sure. Did you see him?"

"Yes. Holly, what the hell are you doing!"

She didn't stop running. Even when a the ground two feet from her exploded, she didn't stop.

"The things we have to do for these fools, heh?"

*Yes, Master.*

She jumped into the air, and chased after the human girl. "Dammit, I'm going soft."

Nicole sheaved her dirk as Moaigon hit another one of the numerous Jells.

It collapsed into a lost disk. But there were others. Everyone of the searchers was fending off some foe.

"STOP, please stop. Don't touch him!" Holly yelled, sobbing as she burst on to the scene.

"This is the second time we've done this Naga. What's the point! You know we're strong enough to survive this, or anything else you throw at us!"

"You can still quit and join us, Naga. It's not so bad." Grey Wolf said, turning from a fresh batch of lost disks. The baddies stared on warily, Granity nodded.

"I wouldn't be to sure of that. Just where are the rest of your little friends anyway."

She ran forward swiping at him with her dagger. "Without the rest of my _little_ friends you'd still be dead at the bottom of that canyon."

He hit her back, sending her flying. "Lost forever where Moo came back?"

She picked herself off the ground, still holding the dagger.

Naga watched as Undine and Grey Wolf twitched. "Let us at him."

"NO!" Holly yelled, crying. "He destroyed my village. I won't let him destroy this one." She turned to face him. "You don't care! I don't think you even understand that there is a right and wrong!" A strange red light began to surround her. A matching blue glow began to surround him.

"What Right and Wrong is there? It changes from side to side, from you to the "other". When the warrior rules, whatever he decides is right, is right."

"That's not true!" She yelled back.

"Isn't it? Why was it wrong for Moo to take your father but you don't hold the same hate for the Phoenix, do you? Was it alright for your group to kill groups of baddies with tooth and claw?"

"My friends chose to become the Phoenix. Moo stole my father. And they are coming back. You said we were strong." His eyes widened, then narrowed. "How could you get a second chance at life and make the exact same choices?"

"What good is a strength that can't save you now?" He said, cutting her with his claws.

"Who says it can't?" She said, crumpled on the ground. The blood dripped off of her, the glow surrounding every drop. "Tell me. What's the point in making the same mistakes twice?"

She pulled out her dagger again, and jumped. The red light exploded, filtering through the air.

The chaos noise and yelling of battle began anew. She whispered something as Granity picked her up.

She raised an eyebrow, and relayed the message.


"Holly, wake up? Are you okay?"

"That was incredibly foolish. We both think so. What the hell were you thinking?"

"What went down between you and Naga anyway?"

"Trust me Undine, it's a long story."

"Will she be alright?"

"Will you?"

"Nicole, I'm the Monster Champ. I've fought with worse...ow. Don't touch that, please."

"Great hunt Holly. There's only one thing we don't understand..."


She opened her eyes slowly.

"Don't pester her, will you give her some space!" Genki shoved the entire group out the door.

"We won?"

"Yeah. The village lost a lot of people, but they won. The baddies ran after you stabbed Naga. I think that they think you killed him."

She suddenly looked sad. "Did I?"

"No. They treated his wound an he left." She gave him an odd look. "He told me to say...that you were the strongest person he'd ever met."

"The villagers. they don't know what to do.. .Moo still knows the village is here." Genki said, forcing a smile. "But I'm sure it'll be alright. At least you're awake, I was starting to worry"

"We'll have to go."


They were finally on the road again. Unfortunately, they were chasing one of Moo's Zuums to keep it from telling where they were.

It stopped.

The Zuum twitched, once, twice, then withered into a Lost Disk.

The snake rubbed up against one of Holly's legs, then stopped, staring at her. It raised it's head and tilted it slightly. It was only a little thing. Would have been cute if it wasn't venomous.

Holly went stock still. Genki yelped and grabbed a rock.

"Holly? Don't..."

"Say thank you, Holly." Moaigon said, smiling.

"" She said, shaking in her shoes.

The snake perked up, made a nodding motion and slithered away.

"I heard once...that someone who could win the heart of a Naga, would always have her friends among the snakes. I guess you really got through to him."

Holly blushed, looking slightly ill.

"Don't worry about it...I've had my share of unwelcome suitors too, Holly..." Nicole said, on the brink of laughter. "I'm so sorry...How CUTE!!"

Purple Eye and Nicole fell over laughing.

Holly groaned. "Genki..."

"Ugh. That's like finding out Hannibal Lecter has a crush on you...But It's no surprise, everybody loves you, Holly."

Genki gave her a hug, being careful not to hurt her further. "This just settles it. Everybody loves Holly!"

"Yourself included, right Genki?" Nicole said, though her giggles.

"Of course! Hey, No, What- WAIT...STOP PUTTING WORDS IN MY MOUTH!"

At this point, Undine, Grey Wolf, and Moaigon started sniggering.

Holly smiled warmly. "Thanks Genki. What's a...Hannibal Lecter?"

Finally, Genki laughed. Holly joined in.

"This..." Purple eye struggled with her composure. "way. I think I saw something interesting."

"Then lets go."


"I got one of the Henger to test the computer code. It worked, had some very interesting effects on the monsters we tested it on. Moo sends her congratulations. She gave you control of Naga's territory, Master Gali..."

"I know."

"Could have been us."

"Quite easily. They've killed me before and they've killed him before. Moo's sending Death Dragon after them. I sincerely hope he deals with them."

"Me too Master. Where's the next tome supposed to be?"

"Night Travel...Isra."


"Don't fear fate."


Death Dragon folded his rotting wings and stared at Moo.

"I'm sick of waiting for blood."

"Every time you go out you end up slaughtering your own troops..."

"Just give me a worthy life to hunt and end..."

"So you can want another?" Moo said darkly. "I think I like depriving you."

Death Dragon hissed and attacked her.

She smiled like she had just taken a drought of the finest liquor. She dodged the attack and let out a ball of energy, cracking one of Death Dragons ribs.

"Because this way, you _hate_ me. You can destroy those searchers. They have accomplished much in life's name...but you will slaughter none of my troops."

"What is the point of war if both sides are not destroyed?"

"The true joy of war is in hatred and chaos, the slow deaths of the soul. But we'll see what we can do...if you defeat the searchers. Bring me the girl, she still holds great interest to me. The rest are traitors and rebels. The Phoenix has had too much of an influence on them. Kill them."


When the dark heart falls for

The glory of light in ash

When the words written here are decoded and used,

Hatred will sacrifice its Sun and its Night to death...

The third and final evil will arise.

The five virtues will return in ash and darkness,

In the shadow of the symbols foe

-Tome of Foresight

Do you know how to get eternal life?

In the center of the Lightning-Speed-Waltz?

See our souls cut by a rusty knife?

As we head down for the self-destructive edge?

-"Information High". Macross Plus Soundtrack


Chapter 7: Confusion

My master told me that every event effects every event that will come after, and the largest events can start with the smallest spark. It is one of the greatest drawbacks and the greatest advantages of fate.

Which means that it is very hard to predict the future, or if you do know it, to change it. You have to pay attention. Thank god people tend to be predictable.

Which makes it strange that the Tomes have proven to be so accurate, after hundreds of years with no adjustments for intervening acts. Or maybe were just changing our interpretations after the event? Or maybe we are doomed. Gali...and I, I mean...It’s not fit to write here.

I don’t know why I’m here, not really...

Goddamn Dyrad...

-Diary of Isra Talner,


The dark grey room made no pretensions. A dark room underground in a ruin was all it could ever be mistaken for. The cement floor always seemed to be cold through their shoes.

She watched as they screamed.

And in her mind the room could be mistaken for many things.

The humans on the tape were saying something she couldn't understand. Some dead tongue. But it was this place. The buildings were the same, but new, not the cracked and dusty ruins they were now.

Maybe the same language that was on the tablet she had seen? Who could tell? The writing didn’t seem to be particularly phonetic, but then again, she couldn’t figure out what the individual symbols meant.

"Why do you keep watching that?"

Suddenly the screen went blank.

"I told you to stop watching that."

"I couldn't not watch it..." She said sheepishly, staring at her fingers.

'Well, you CAN not watch it. It happened thousands of years ago, It doesn't matter any more."

"It maters..." She said, fiddling quietly.

"SQUAK! It matters, SQUAK!"

"Stuff that happened back then still matters today."

She turned the screen back on, and selected a different file.

"See Dadge, I think this here...they're talking about the Metalner...They really did come from the stars."

"I always thought that was just myth..."

"Yeah. Me too. Maybe we can start deciphering the spoken language too."

A buzzer sounded. Words sounded, they knew what the meant, even if they didn’t understand.

" Nsiarh Dandou..." Intruders Detected.

"I'll deal with them."

"Be careful." She said, the bird landing on her shoulder.


"Well, we walked all this way, Genki, and it turned out to just be some ruins. Great find." Grey Wolf said, walking ahead of the group.

"Ah come on. We don’t know what we could find here."

"Traps, baddies, explosives...we’ve let our enemies get away, we’ve made no progress, we can’t understand the one clue we do have...we’ll never find them. "

"Grey Wolf, stop complaining."

"Knock it off Undine, you know I’m right."

"How would you know that? The great hunter Grey Wolf been graced with knowledge from above?"

"I want to find Tiger just as much as you want to find Golem, but..."

"STOP FIGHTING!!" Holly yelled.

"Holly, are you okay?" Genki said.

"We’re going to find them." She said, wiping tears from her eyes.


They spun around to stare straight down the barrel of an ancient, but very deadly looking weapon.

"I learned my lesson the first time." The man spoke quietly, finger reaching toward the trigger. "Any questions..."


"Any questions, Dryad?"

"Questions? Yeah, I have questions. For one, why is Gali’s concubine here?"

Isra gave out an audible hiss. *Goddamn gossip mongering...*

"And what are they supposed to be doing while I’m cleaning up half the continent." Dryad said, hands on her hips.

"I hardly see why this fool is to be trusted with..." Gali began.

Takao rolled his eyes.


Gali, Dryad, and all other generals in attendance shut up. There was a long pause as the violent purple aura around Moo subsided.

"Gali, you and Isra are assigned to take care of a ruin to the southeast. There are several items of note there. You may encounter Death Dragon. He is hunting the searchers in the same area. Dryad, you already have your mission."

"Yes, Master Moo."


"When the dark heart falls for The glory of light in ash When the words written here are decoded and used, Hatred will sacrifice its Sun and its Night to death..."

"I know, You don’t have to keep reminding me, Night Travel."

"Does that sound like good news to you? Especially now that Naga’s gone chasing after goodie two shoes?"

"That was your fault Night Travel. It doesn’t pay for prophets to be too specific. And Prophesy means nothing if you see it coming."

"I don’t want to die yet..."

"Hrmmm? Isra. We are going to win Moo’s favor, we are NOT going to be sacrificed. And certainly not to that bloodthirsty fool."

She looked unconvinced.

"Death isn’t as bad as they say it is, little baddie."

"That doesn’t help, Master."


"Excuse me...I think there’s been a mistake."

"You think so, Undine? Excuse me, whoever you are, we’re not your enemies. And besides, do you think you’ll be able to kill all of us before one of our attacks reaches you?" Grey Wolf threatened.

"No, but I just might kill you, Grey Wolf. You’re one of Moo’s generals, aren’t you."

"He was, but he’s not now!" Genki said, stepping to the front. "What’s your name? I’m Genki, You’re fighting Moo too? We should be friends, not fighting each other."

The man readied his finger on the trigger. "I’m Dadge. Who are you?"

"The infamous clan Dagde. You study monsters." Nicole said, voice carefully icy. "I’ve heard of you...If you’ll forgive me, It’s not all good."

Ignoring Nicole, he stared at Genki. "We’ve been attacked before."

"Well, not by us. What kind of fool are you, attacking a group of this many monsters with one gun." Granity said, annoyed.

The man swung the gun around, pointing it at a large boulder that stood nearby. He squeezed the trigger and the entire rock exploded, leaving a crater in the ground where it had stood.

"I’ve learned a lot in these ruins. Come with me."

"Do we go with him?" Holly whispered.

"Do we have a choice?" Purple eye asked.

He pointed the gun at them again. "Come on."

"We’re coming." They yelled, running to catch up.


It was cooler inside…they’d gone down pretty far, they must be underground now…

Genki kept trying to engage the man in conversation...greatly grating on the nerves of the man with the gun. Granted, he didn’t think they were baddies anymore, but she still worried.

They’d commented on it. Ever since they’d left the last town, she’d been pretty jumpy.


She spun around with a start, trying to find the source of the voice. She tripped, and for a moment, she swore she could see flame hanging just out of reach…

"Coltia!" Genki yelled.

"Old friends, old friends. SQUAWK!!"

"You know her?" Dadge said, looking a little annoyed.

"Yeah. Hey Genki, Hey Holly, I guess you found the Phoenix. Where are all your friends? Are you okay?"

Holly sighed, and got up slowly.

"Did something happen to them?" She asked, in her heart already knowing the answer.



"So, why are you here? Holly told me you explore ancient ruins, but why are you here?" Nicole said, curling around Moaigon in a way that made Pixie wickedly jealous.

*Master? Are you alright?*

*How much longer…* Her eyes widened as she lost contact for a second. *Blue? BLUE!!!*

*Master? What happened? Are you…*

*I’m fine.* She said, a little nervous, directing her attention outward.

"We were working at another site, but we were attacked and some artifacts were stolen. A lot of people were hurt pretty badly."

"The energy drain was so bad that one man was in a coma for two weeks." Dadge said. "So excuse us if we’re a bit suspicious."

"Energy drain?" Undine asked.

"Gali’s Finale." Granity and Grey Wolf said in unison.

"Well, that’s what it felt like, anyway, after that the expedition broke up. We decided to keep going together, so we ended up here." Coltia continued.

"Have the baddies followed you here. I mean, you guys got away. Right?"

"They might still." Dadge said, drinking a cup of coffee with a severe look on his face.


The place was always noisy with ancient machinery, blow torches, cranes. The air was hot from the constant running of machinery. No wonder the monsters who had to work here were always snappy.

"Hewy?" She said, trying to attract the Henger/Metalner’s eye.

"Yes, Mistress." He said, continuing to work on the circuit board that still had most of his attention.

"We finished translating more of the tomes. We need them uploaded to disk."

"Could you repeat the request?" He said, nearly drowned out by the noise.

And they were all deaf.

"WE NEED THESE UPLOADED." She yelled, shoving a bunch of papers in his face.

"I’m sorry. We’re very busy."

"Moo wants this done." She said.

"Moo wants this done more." He said, putting the circuit board in place. "And if you check, as head as the engineering department, I rank higher, than the concu..."

"Electric Au..." She threatened.

"Lieutenant of a general." He finished, sweatdropping.

"Boss." One of the weeds said, pointing at the machine. Ignored for the dregs. Not just of the army but of the engineering corps. What now? She did have other things to do.

"What is it?"

"It’s overheating." The weed said, scuttling around nervously.

Isra gasped as she saw the flames around the machine. Dark flames...

"That’s impossible. There’s no current running though it yet." Heuy said, his blue eye scanning the area.

She stepped as far away from the machine as she could as they tried to cool it down. *Don’t they see it? Why aren’t they running away? Wouldn’t it be in their general best interests to yell "Fire"?*

"It’s busted. The entire inside is melted." One of the other Henger said as the flames vanished.

"Will you please get this uploaded." She said, handing the papers to the Henger.

"Why are you in such a hurry, Moo said she wanted this built because of information he got from you two."

Her eyes widened for a second. *WHAT?*

"Of course." She said, leaving at a quick clip. *Moo’s up to something. And if she’s getting something from our work that we’re not...* She shivered. *I have to tell Gali...*


No time to talk...there would be time later...

She hoped. What is it about those searchers. You’d think

"We’re not scared of you!" Genki shouted at the dragons who were perching on the nearby buildings.

"Ohhh...You’re not? We’re not here to fight you, that’s Death Dragon’s job. We only require access to the ruins…which are not yours to claim anyway." "

"Anything you took could only serve to help Moo. And we won’t help you." Coltia said. A bolt of lightning landed at her feet and she sweated. "Well..."

Dadge shot her a look and she blushed too. "You’re not getting anything." He raised the rifle and shot.

A miss. Or to be precise, Gali and Isra were no longer standing anywhere near that spot.

"Since when are you entitled to claim entire sites for your own cause. Especially when you have no way of enforcing your claim. Do you really think that is prudent?"

"Isra, you don’t have to stay with this jerk. You can come back. We’re sorry we left you there, but we didn’t have a choice. We could change you back to what you were, it’s not to late."

She laughed. "What’s so funny!" Genki yelled.

"Leave Moo? Be changed back?" She nearly doubled over laughing. "I was always going to change...this is what I’m supposed you look like.

"Why would you want to stay? Your body may have been meant to change, but what about your Soul?"

"I have every reason to stay." She said, eyes turning silver as her power began to build.

The dragons around them moved forward. "Any more questions? Or can we get to the point."

"Um Coltia? Which way do we run?"

"This way."

"Get them." Gali said, showing no real emotion in his voice.


"No." Holly said. The entire group tripped.

"Umm Holly?" Genki said, taking her arm as she pulled out her dagger.

"She’s supposed to be your friend, Genki." She stared at Gali, still out of reach. "If Naga can change his ways, so can you."

"Arrogance, little goodie."

*No. We are the ones who are arrogant.* Isra thought as she jumped into battle.

*Fighting the living while destined to die.* She parried a blow from Grey Wolf, firing a shot of energy at Undine. *We might as well win.*

Gali made a quick gesture with one hand.

She nodded and jumped into the air. "Hey Purple eye!" She yelled, directing all her attacks in the Suezo’s direction. *Rise to the bait, please. If you teleport them out of here, we won’t have to wait for Death Dragon.*

"Yeah. I’ll get her ma’am!"

"Be careful!" Nicole yelled as the two of them disappeared, dagger all ready covered with blood, but no closer to victory.

Isra paused as she teleported between two buildings. Backing out of the alley slowly, she smiled as the Suezo/Naga materialized in front of her.

"I could defeat you with my tongue tied behind my back." She bragged.

When she cleared the narrow space, she hit something on the wall and shouted some strange words.

"And what’s that supposed to…"

*Click* The guns unfolded from the walls, one by one. They turned towards the Eyeball monster. "...Do?"

The entire alley lit up with laser fire. She watched with a satisfied smile as Purple eye slumped over. So the machines here would accept her orders.

"You’re not going anywhere." She said re-materializing in front of the searchers.

"What did you do to her?" Nicole yelled.

"She wasn’t a disk, but she’s not getting you out of here. Of course, that first thing may have changed."

"You. You..." Nicole said, fists shaking.

"She’s picked up Gali’s annoying attitude, that’s for sure." Grey Wolf said.

Granity nodded, barely dodging a blast of flame that had been at completely the wrong angle to have originated with one of the Dragon troops. She stared at the form that seemed to emerge out of the shadows between the buildings.


*I know Master.*

A Hound Dragon let out an otherworldly shriek as it shriveled into a lost disk.

"They’re right though, you’re not getting out of here." Death Dragon said as he landed.

"Clearly, we have the situation under control here. Your presence is not required."

"I was ordered to deal with this scum. You are intruding on my territory."

"Um, we’re not with them!"

"DADGE!!" Coltia yelled. "You jerk."

"Pathetic squabbling creatures." Gali said.

"It doesn’t matter. Do you think you have led a worthy second life Gali?" Death Dragon grinned, rotting flesh still sticking to the bones of his scull.

Death Dragon spread his huge wings, engulfing the pavilion between the crumbling buildings into shadow.

Death Dragon *breathed*, the flames not a warm orange but a sickly green...

They still burned.


Purple eye woke up. Groaning sofly, she stood on her tail. Remembering where she had fallen, she quickly jumped out of the alley. Pausing for a second, she looked around. No smartmouthed baddie brat. No searchers either. 'Ma'am?'

'Nicole? NIKKI??' She yelled.

It was quiet. She couldn't feel any other presences...she had always found using Telepathy distasteful, embarrassing...but Nikki wouldn't have left her alone...

She shouldn't have chased after the damn girl. 'Cheap shot...' she mumbled.

'Nicole? Moiagon? Genki? Anybody?'

She tripped...a lost disk?

They were everywhere? Claw marks on the wall...blood on the ground...

Her friends? The girl who had saved her from slavery? The strange travelers they both led and followed...because...because...

No. The disks belonged to the baddies...they had too. There were no human they had to be okay...or they had managed to get a little ways away before being mowed down.

They didn't have to be okay...It was her fault.

Purple Eye broke down in sobs.


She hurt. Her arms burned...her eyelids danced with flames...

"Holly? Strong one? So we meet again..."


In the pause before sacrifice,

There will be a battle of Ally as foe…

The Dark Heart stands beside the Glory…

The Herald falls...the Musician burns…

The Hunter is prey….The Two-in-One are separated…

And one light and one dark see the flames.

--Tome of Forsight.

Chapter 8: Where we are.


"But what about..." She asked, staring at his back. "Genki...and the others"

She let her eyes fall to the lost disks of the guards. "Naga, I.." She bit back her tears and followed him, remembering that last moment when they had stood and fallen.

No, that wasn't true.

Some of them had run. But in the end...


He forced his eyes open. He felt the wall, pulling himself up, stumbling, everything he touched was slick, but that was more the fault of his fingers. Everything was still murky and blury. He took a couple steps before nearly tripping over something. Another

Grey Wolf had died.

Death Dragon had opened and reopened the fetid wound on his side and HE. HAD. DIED.

Still no way out...still barely any light...but...

It was warm. How could it be warm...It had been freezing when he'd

"G-golem..." Undine whimpered. She was covered with blisters, bright red lines of burns leaking pus...

He laid a hand on her shoulder, feeling the dryness and the heat.


"Not dying...same way..."

"Shhh..." He repeated. "We can make it."

He pulled himself back to his feet, trying to ignore the shooting pain in his leg...he didn't want to look at it, and he had to keep trying.

Least Death Dragon was gone. Not before blinding Moaigon, then killing him. Not until he had made sure Colt had stopped moving...Just one death, then another. Nothing said, just that self-same sadistic grin.

What had he said before he left...he'd be back.

"Come on everyone...we have to get out of here, now."


"LET ME OUT!!" She screamed, pounding against the walls, hands bloodied. "I'm not your goddamn experiment..."

"Would you rather you both die..." The Jell asked, fiddling with some equipment.

"You keep Moaigon out of this! He...we'll never bother you again, okay?" Bastardizing her values for the sake of her boyfriend? Not an issue.

"But they gave him to Death Dragon the second they brought you in...he's already..."

Tears ran down her cheeks..."But then you...SHIT!! I'm not..."

"They'll probably keep you alive until its born...hybrids seem to have interesting qualities...hey, speaking of which..."

"Huh...?" She said, confused.

"I outrank you, slimy Jell..." Isra whispered...She carried herself with little pride, shoulders slumped, clutching a couple large books to her chest. It looked like she might drop them at any second. She sprinted past, darting through what she presumed to be a door. Her cell blocked her view of everything behind her..

She slumped against the wall of the cage. Some way to find out...Tears rolled down her cheeks. "Again?" She asked the air...

"Again. Congratulations, Nicole, I never would have thought...must have done a lot of sneaking off. And in the end it serves you right...abomination."

"Takao...?" She said, quietly, staring at the boy in the door. "How dare always said."

"I was only ever in it for you...Nikki"

"WHAT THE..." The scream echoed from the other room.

"Intensive care." Takao said, twitching a little."


She lifted her arm, staring at it...the silence pounded in her head. She screamed silently...

Her wings burned, but they were there...alone. They had stolen him from her again...

The Heuey's eye scanned her, then moved on to something else. She hadn't had anything to eat all day...she was starving...

She cursed herself for thinking like that at a time like this...


"I'm not leaving without them." She repeated for the twenty-third time, not looking at the blood on his claws.

"I'm not seeing you dead, strong one..."

She stopped in mid-stride. "I'm not moving another inch...I'm not leaving till we find..."

/You show that.../

He punched her, hard. She crumpled to the ground, not making a sound.


He picked her up, slithering down the hallway, ignoring the scream that suddenly echoed trough the halls.


Takao's eyes snapped to the door behind her. "Shit...Gali bought it..." The girls screaming didn't stop, just softened into a long sob...

He steeled himself for a second..."Guess Moo meant it about leaving the girl...another one of us...shit."

"You could stay with us...Nikki..." He stepped toward her cage...

"Why did you..."

"I hate." He grinned. "I hated you..."

"But what did were my best friend..."

"I let them take him, after you were knocked out..."

She screamed, over and over, drowning out every other sound...


Dadge carefully sorted the files...archaic stuff...Wonder if they'd keep their promise to let Colt go... Well, If he didn't do what they told him too...and this was what he always wanted to do with his life...


She stood there for a long time, gripping the tattered peice of cloth untill silver knuckles turned white, as they pried the lost disk away, showing no mercy...

Back home, they carried away corpses under a white cloth or a bag. Here they treated them like a stump.

She shouldn't have remembered that. She shouldn't care. Guess Moo had done a lousy job corrupting her. She wished that Moo had killed this part of her...

"Gali...Master Gali..."

She spat as Death Dragon left the room...He didn't notice or care. She rubbed her arm where the Tiger/Naga had...

She despised the memory, the knowlage. She turned and ran. She'd trade them all for her Master's life...she liked this life better... What was the point of that old life... No matter what she did...getting Gali out of battle when she was wounded, sending Naga instead of going herself...she just brought their doom one step closer. Her sacrifice would be as nothing.


/Is she still out cold?/

/Jeez, Tiger, I WONDER../

/Stop...fighting...We have to do something.../

/In case you haven't noticed, we're dead.../



"You alright?" Purple Eye asked quietly.

"Where's Naga...I can't believe..."

"He went back without he kinda..."

"Well, that's better...which way did he go?" A couple seconds later. "What?"

"Uh...did you see Nikki?"

"No...but we're going to find her...what?"

"You know Naga likes you, right?"

In a tired, weary voice... "Yes, unfortunately...what did he do?"

"Uh, never mind..."

"I am going to find the others...then I am going to kill him..."

Purple Eye sweated... "It was just a kiss..."

Holly let out a shriek and began to run. "I have more important things on my mind...than some lovelorn SNAKE!!!"

Purple Eye hopped behind her, trying to catch up. "What the hell happened? That brat knocked me out...You didn't see any sign of them, did you?"

/You know, she's kinda cute.../

/I can't believe you, Suezo.../

Holly glanced over her shoulder, at some of the all too numerous lost disks. "I'll explain on the way..." She stopped for a second. "But I don't think I need too. It has to be close...You see anything..." Her voice was cracking, tears running down her face.


She was heavier than she looked, and the slightest jostling seemed to make her pain worse...

"Look, I'm sorry, but we have to get out of here..."

"Drown you both..." She muttered.

Chapter 9 Last Second

She brushed her hair off her face, staring at the married couple. They were staring at her like they would call child protection if her daughter wasn't already gone. Okay, maybe the teenage mother claiming her child had been fathered by an alien in another dimension didn't quite inspire the kind of trust she wanted.

She shrugged, zipping up her jacket. "If I'm right, the two of them are completely out of our reach. See Ya..."

"That woman is nuts..."


"How long has it been since I left..."

"A couple days...I think..." Purple eye nearly fell from her perch on top of the building. "But I was knocked unconscious..."

Holly said, shielding her eye from the sun. "Which way did he go..."

Purple eye pointed out the direction and they started to walk, searching for anything out of the ordinary.


She threw the bag against the door, causing a loud bang. Should get his attention.

Well, If you can't fight destiny...she thought, rounding the corner. She could hear the threats her "old friend" shouted at the space where she had been.

Well, the sooner she got this over with, the sooner...well, the sooner it would be over. Hope he had better luck with the tomes than they did. Of course, he got his own trouble written into it.


"Death Dragon..."

"What is it. My prey has..."

"Your prey is standing in front of you."

"Moo has commanded that..."

"I offer myself to you, a sacrifice to death..."

"It does not seem much like you...or your Master." He enjoyed watching her wince. "You were never ones for sacrifice."

"Death is always inevitable..." She closed her eyes, praying that this time, she hadn't screwed things up. "I won't fight it. I won't live."

"Excellent." He said, taking a step closer. "Moo has no power over.." He lifted one claw, as he barred her throat.

Well, if the sun and night died, that was that. Sent to this world as cannon fodder, she mused as she watched her flesh open under his claw.

But things...things would be alright now...

/You followed me you...I thought I had taught you better than this.../

She almost laughed, but she found she didn't have the strength. So she just closed her eyes.

/Hai, Master Gali. It'll never happen again.../


Holly carefully lowered herself down the passage, Purple Eye staring down. "This is it?"

"I think..." She lost her grip, screaming until she hit the ground.

"You think AHHHH!!?"

Her voice was muffled by the length of the tunnel, but she could still be heard. "I think this is it...


The remaining generals stood before Moo, in a state of near panic.

"And where is Night Travel..."

"She is understandably..."

"Listen to me, Takao. I will have none of this among my generals. In the past, it has led to disaster. Bring her here, she will be most severely..."

"She's dead." A mew yelled, bursting into the room. "Look, half my squadron is...Death Dragon...*wheeze* out of..."

"He's served his purpose." Moo said, ignoring the injured Mew. "Get your best troops and destroy him."


She struggled with the lock, her fingers slick with blood and sweat. Her vision blurred and she bit her lip, trying to focus.

There would be time for tears later. If the guard had decided to underestimate her because she was human, fine.

Finally, the lock made a satisfying "click". She dropped the pin and carefully opened the door.

Moo had convinced him that he hated her. Had he always resented her? Was that the hatred that ran in her head, over and over. She immediately broke into a run, grabbing her knife in one smooth motion. What could a lord of hatred have that wouldn't pale compared to some of the Masters she'd seen.


She made her way down the hallway, the Suezo breed following her. She found it easy to hide, the baddies were obviously involved in something else.

She looked as if she was on the edge of panic, jumping at the slightest sound. She had the horrible feeling that...

"TRAITOR!" Someone yelled. "Catch him!!"

She felt suddenly dizzy as the number of sounds multiplied. A long hiss, and the sound of attack. A sudden yell. And a gasp. And a long silence.

She carefully rounded the corner, nearly slipping on the..."

Purple eye looked like she was going to be sick. It was wonder. The dead body of a lieutenant would have that reaction.

Well, she wasn't thinking that straight. With baddies (and Naga) right there, she gave him a big hug. The scattered, rather confused baddies tried to sort out exactly who it was they were supposed to be killing.

Of course, when they heard the roar and a couple of them were ripped in half, chaos rained supreme.

Grabbing Genki's hand, she ran as fast as she could, trying to ignore the words and visions that clouded her mind.


"TAKAO!!" She screamed, barreling down the hallway. The man turned to face her.

"You think you can undo it all through being brave? Being a savior?"

"I don't care what you're saying anymore!!" She screamed. "You said you'd never hurt me. isn't you!"

He laughed out loud, yelling for his troops. "You're still trying to be a monster, trying to get away from your father, aren't you."

"I know what I am..." She said, a hot blush sweeping over her.

"But you hate always wish you were something else, don't you..." He drew his sword, dark and twisted, and swung at her. She let out a yelp, a cut opening on her upper arm. She swung her knife, parrying the next swing.

"Takao, we're friends."

"I never wanted!" He yelled, swinging hard, but carelessly, missing her. "To be your FRIEND!"

"I'm sorry Takao..." She said, taking a stab at much harder when they knew she was after them. Was like trying to catch an eel...

She watched as he came in for another ill-advised attack. He'd always been careful before. In her mind, it was just another way to distance herself from her attacker. Not him. When he was off balance, (he was used to fighting with a lighter weapon.

She tried to ignore the guilt that kept welling up as she cut him down. Hearing the noise of the baddies coming to their general's aid, she ran. Easy in, easy out.

Of course, she had to run a little faster when they found him. She'd have time to cry later. But...

Well, she couldn't have left Takao like that, could she? Maybe, she mused later, Moo's control of him broke right before death, as it often did. Or maybe, It didn't.


Too quiet. Not just in her head, where she had been used to hearing another voice...not just the fact that most of the baddies in the lab had been called to other duties. Just a sense of foreboding.

She shrugged it off as best she could, and continued demanding that they tell her exactly what they had done with who had been, until recently, her other half.

Damn it, she never thought she'd be unhappy to have the fusion reversed...

------------------- "Holly..." He managed to gasp as she pulled him around a corner. "I was worried about you..."

"The others..."

He suddenly looked sad. "Undine...I couldn't bring her with me, Isra dropped some stuff off and ran, and I'm willing to bet it's not good. Grey Wolf, Moaigon and Colt are dead, I don't know about Granity, Dadge, or Nicole. Were they with you?"

Purple Eye looked at Holly. "Were they? Naga only brought you."

She shook her head no. She tried to distance herself from what had been said, they'd have plenty of time to feel...

"Where is he..." Genki asked...

There was a loud roar in the room behind them, and a sudden burst of flame, barely missing them.

/Go ahead, Holly. We're here for you.../

/Do you think it's possible she could screw this up?/

/We still got ourselves killed./

/Underhanded, backstabbing.../

"STOP IT!!!" She screamed, clamping her hands over her ears. "What do you want from me..."

A clawed fist slammed into her, throwing her against the wall. "I simply want to bring you to the end a little sooner."

/ooof...Get up.../

Genki ran toward her, only to be knocked down. She screamed. Suddenly she couldn't breathe. The air burned her throat. She pulled herself to her feet, staring at the machination of bones.

She raised her hand, and shouted something at the top of her lungs. She was surprised when the room went dark.

Light started to appear around the edges. Like embers...She couldn't stop crying...even when Death Dragon yelled in agony.