HomePortalRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Xao's Story

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Soma
The Pony Buddy
The Pony Buddy
avatar

Posts : 26
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 23

PostSubject: Xao's Story   Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:37 pm

hey peeps. i've put off doing this just cause i never felt like coming on to do it. but at the command of Mega... and Ryu's confusion of a character of mine... i decided it is time that i shared this peice of work in progress. you get the first five chapters today. and then the others sometime later. .-. and yes, i'll seperate them.

Chapter One

The shadows moved in the night. Every living being was silent, deep in slumber within the bricks of the city. It would seem that way, as a being, dressed in black, stepped into the light of a streetlamp. The being was a human, a male with brown-black hair, cropped closely to his skull, and dark hazel eyes set deeply and widely apart.

He looked about him, his gaze searching the dark buildings for something. His eyes settled upon a still, metallic object that stood taller then his own height by a head. It moved slowly, pulling itself to its full height before walking purposefully to the man. As it stepped into the circle of light, the man shrank back. The metallic object was a zetraloid, approximately six feet six inches in height, gray-edged silver armor covering nearly every inch of its tall, slim frame. Its gender appeared to be a male with a slightly muscular slim build. His eyed were the coldest, uncaring, most uninterested icy blue you could imagine.

“Are you Darius Lewis?” The zetraloid asked in a cool, deep voice. The man straightened a little at the name.

“Y-yes, I am Darius. You must be my escort. Your master told me I'd be waited for here. Come now, hop to. I must speak with Mr. S. as soon as possible.” The man spoke quickly, which made his high-pitched voice sound shrill in the night. The zetraloid grimaced in distaste before he spoke again.

“I am the one you are to talk to, Darius. Do you have the products?” The zetraloid crossed his arms, looking rather cross himself. Darius fidgeted slightly before answering.

“Yes, I have the products. I hope your boss doesn't mind having an extra mouth to feed though. I found a sneaker in my shop just before I was ready to leave. Come. They're in my van.” Darius began to walk towards an alleyway across the street. The zetraloid waited a moment before making a small gesture with his hand and following the smaller man.

They stopped in the alleyway, next to a dull red van which Darius hurried to produce the keys to. A muffled 'thump' came from inside the van's trunk. Darius succeeded in finding his keys and proceeded to open the back door. The zetraloid stood beside the van while Darius lifted the door.

“Here we are. Mr. S.'s shipment of P-15s, K-5s, and X-36s. All in these four boxes,” Darius patted a wooden crate. The silver zetraloid nodded and raised two fingers. Six large zetraloids melted out of the shadows. He indicated at the boxes and stepped out of the way. Four of the zetraloids removed the crated from the van. The other two opened the crates for the silver one to inspect the contents. The silver zetraloid rummaged through each, nodding slightly when the contents reached his approval. He turned to Darius as the crated were being closed and picked up.

“So, what about that sneaker you were complaining about?” He crossed his arms and waited. Darius pointed in the van at a square, black lump.

“I crated her. She was pretty fiesty. Bit my poor old shoulder when I was trying to do it. That would have been a good time for my zetraloids to be up.” Darius sighed. “Why exactly does Mr. S. always want secretcy? That's something I've never understood.”

“That isn't any of your concern.” The silver zetraloid whistled gently. One of the large zetraloids came up to him. The zetraloid indicated the black crate.

“Keep it covered and handle it gently.” The silver zetraloid turned to Darius. “I thank you on behalf of Mr. S. for doing fine business with us again,” the zetra pulled out a small wallet. “Your pay is in here. We will be in contact.” He placed the wallet on the van and led the burdened zetraloids back into the darkness.

“Hardly, Mr. Mysterious. I've had far too much of sneaking about behind my wife's back. I think I'll hand my shop over to my boy and retire.” Darius sighed and closed his van before grabbing the wallet and clambering into the driver's seat.

____
The silver zetraloid led his crusade a few blocks from the red van before he turned into another alleyway. The other zetraloids placed their loads down on the ground, watching the silver one sit on an empty crate, one of the many empty crates lining this alleyway.

“Unload the crates and take the contents into the first floor armory. Minao, bring me the covered crate. Twins, guard the entrance. Axe, bring that crowbar over here.” The silver zetraloid leaned back as the other zetraloids began their work. Two of them came over to the silver zetraloid. The large, blue trimmed black armored zetraloid holding the crate and a large plain red zetraloid holding a rusted crowbar. Both stood there quietly, waiting for him to notice them.

“Open it, Axe. Minao, if it tries to escape, catch it.” The silver zetraloid watched quietly as the lid slowly popped open. As Axe lifted the lid off the main box a black and blue blur exploded from it and crashed right into the silver zetraloid. The line of empty crates behind him came crashing down on top of him and the thing that had crashed into him. All of the movement in the alleyway stopped immediately as all eyes turned to face the pile of crates. Slowly, the boxes moved as the silver zetraloid clambered out of the pile, firmly holding a squirming fabric bag. He glared at the host of silent zetraloid.

“Maothin, I know you're here. Come with me. Dalin! You come with me as well. The rest of you get back to work!” The silver zetraloid slipped behind a row of crates, opening a trapdoor hidden behind the crates in the ground. He was soon followed by a blue zetraloid with fins sprouting from his wrists and a red-orange zetraloid, who seemed to have little blue flames licking his helmet.

The silver zetraloid led them to the lower levels of the trapdoor building. The two other zetraloids followed quietly, ignoring the stream of muffled curses that came from the bag. After a few minutes of walking through supported makeshift dirt hallways, they stopped at a door marked only with a lock and knob. The silver zetraloid pulled out a key, unlocked the door, and ushered his two companions inside. He followed them in and closed the door behind him.

“Maothin, Dalin. I do believe we've acquired a new recruit for S.O.T.A. However, I have not the slightest idea of where to put this new recruit without endangering our entire organization. Have either of you have any idea as to where I might place this?” The silver zetra tossed his fabric bag onto the floor. His companions watched as it rolled out, unfurling into a small zetraloid child wearing a midnight blue cloak much too big for it. The three adult zetraloids watched it as it glared at the silver zetraloid through red-pink eyes. Its armor was black, although it did seem to glow a light red color, seen more on its body than its helmet.

“It looks a bit small for muscle work… and anyone would remember a zetra who glows red at all times. So that cancels out thievery or spying. Best for woman’s housework, I’d say.” The red-orange zetraloid nodded at his own words. The small zetraloid fixed its glare on him.

“I’ll have you know that I’m a she and not an it! And I decide my own hopeless path, thank you very much!” The little zetraloid piped up defiantly. The silver zetraloid chuckled quietly.

“Easy, little warrior. I had asked for Dalin’s opinion in the matter. As for you, you don’t really have a say in your future at the moment. I’m sure you’re wondering why so I’ll save you your breath. You’ve been sold into service to S.O.T.A., a gang formed for run-aways, stowaways, and semi-obedient criminals hiding out from the Federation. I’ll need to know your name, model name, and your type, little zetra.” The silver zetraloid smiled grimly at the little zetraloid. “And please, tell the truth or you’ll have to be recycled. Maothin will know if you’re telling the truth or not.” The blue zetraloid nodded at the comment and looked down at the small black figure. She hesitated, staring at the silver zetraloid quietly before nodding.

“My name is Shift-15-16 but I’m called Xao. I’m a… a Shapeshifter.” She looked down at her feet, scuffing them on the dirt floor.

“Xao, huh? It’ll be nice to have you with S.O.T.A. I’m the gang leader. My name is Sota Sendoa.” The silver zetraloid smiled and stood to his full height. “I do believe I will place you in the hands of Maothin, our Gatekeeper. You’ll be learning under him until you are thirteen, which will be the point in time when you decide if you want to stay or not.” Sota smiled again, more pleasantly. “I suspect you are about six right now, aren’t you?” Xao nodded, a little surprised at the unexpected turn of events.
Back to top Go down
Soma
The Pony Buddy
The Pony Buddy
avatar

Posts : 26
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 23

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:43 pm

Chapter Two

Xao stumbled along behind Maothin, struggling to keep up with the older zetraloid's long stride. She had just been assigned to Gatekeeper duty with this tall blue zetraloid. And that silver zetraloid, Sota, had stayed behind to talk to Dalin, the other zetraloid who had treated her like merchandise. She huffed and looked up at the blue zetraloid in front of her.

“Hey... I don't really have to stay here 'til I'm thirteen, do I?” Xao stumbled slightly as she asked. Maothin looked back at her for a moment before answering.

“Sota's word is law around here. If anyone disobeys, they get recycled. So yes, you really have to stay here until you're thirteen. Then you can choose to stay or to go.” Maothin stopped by a thick wooden door, which was marked only by a carved 'S' about eye height for the average height zetraloid. Xao looked up at Maothin curiously. “Until then, just for safety reasons, you'll be wearing a collar. It'll trace back to Sota's surface business, which is what gives us reason to have crates piled in the alleyway and a large building to live in, if necessary. And it will keep you from leaving the city without permission. So don't try to run away.” Maothin opened the door and nudged Xao inside.

The room inside had several boxes, organized neatly along the walls and through the center of the room. There were only two crates, sitting beside the door, that were not organized in the same way as the rest of the area. The crates were full of metal collars, many of which had leather straps hanging from them and two of which on the top, disturbingly enough, had dried plasma and blood on them. Maothin nudged those two aside and started to dig through the box for something. Xao stood silently, glaring at the metal collars, waiting for Maothin to find the thing he wanted.

“Ah, here we are. This should fit you. If not then we'll have to go see Bulih to get it fitted properly. It wouldn't be too much hassle seeing as we're going to have to go and see him anyway. Come here, Xao.” Maothin beckoned to Xao, holding a metal circle with a long leather strap hanging from a small hoop attached to it. Xao compared it to a dog's leash and collar and considered her choices before trudging up to let Maothin attach it to her neck, under her cloak collar. It fit her neck snugly but comfortably. “For the moment, it's just a plain old circle of metal. It won't stay that way for long though, little Xao. We're going to get that fixed now.” Maothin smiled lightly before picking up the loose end of the leather strap and leading her out of the room.

Maothin led her onto the second floor above the surface to a clean metal door. He paused in front of the door before he knocked on it, still holding the end of Xao's leash. They stood there for a few minutes, waiting, before a short, unhealthy looking zetraloid pulled open the door. It was obviously a male, with plain white armor with a single pale blue arrow on its helmet. It wore a white lab coat with thin latex gloves covering its hands. His eyes were black, with dark bruises under them, indicating a lack of sleep. He looked briefly at Xao before turning his gaze on Maothin.

“Business from Sota? Normal activation treatment, I suppose?” He asked, sounding very emotionless.

“More then the usual, Bulih. Is David inside? This needs to be as secret as possible.” Maothin shrugged. The white zetraloid looked down at Xao, looking slightly annoyed.

“No, David went out to get cleaner parts for assembling a new zetraloid and repairing some of the criminals Sota holds downstairs. Come on inside if you must but please don't get anything dirty. You street rats are always so insanitary.” Bulih turned and walked into the room. Maothin walked inside, tugging on Xao's collar to get her to follow. He closed the door behind him quietly before turning to Bulih, who was pulling out a tray of tools and placing it by a steel operating table.

“Well, you street rat. What is that Sota wants done with this one?” Bulih stared at Maothin with the barest hint of annoyance. Maothin sighed reluctantly.

“This collar needs to be able to change size and shape when the zetraloids' body does. And the normal activation as well.” Maothin looked around the room while he said this. “This needs to be done before anything else, mainly because this one's being attached to outdoor service.” Bulih nodded silently.

“That can be easily accomplished. You'll need to leave the room however. What you ask is not a normal everyday procedure.” Bulih pointed at a bar attached to the side of the operating table. “Tie that disgusting leash to that. I'll have one of the other servants sanitize it before our next patient comes in.” Maothin made no move to do ask he was told.

“Sorry, Bulih. I'm required to stay during the procedure. Security reasons.” Maothin smiled slightly and walked over to the table. Silently he pulled up a chair next to its head and sat, still holding the leather strap. Bulih sighed, the slightest hints of annoyance showing before he looked at Xao and pointed at the table.

“Get up on there. Don't argue. You don't have a choice, if Sota ordered this.” He pulled out another tray of tools, placing it next to the other tray. “Maothin, do I have permission to put her out? You know how I hate doing procedures with patients awake. They're always trying to run away.”

“Sota didn't say anything against putting her to sleep when you did it. He just wanted it done with me watching.” Maothin leaned back and shrugged.

“Good. I don't have to deal with a conscious patient.” Bulih nodded, resuming his emotionless face and pricked the waiting Xao with a thick needle, designed specially for zetraloids.

Meanwhile, down in Sota's quarters.

The blue light of a computer screen was one of the few lights in the dark room. Dalin, the red-orange fire elemental zetraloid, was standing near the door to the room watching the silver zetraloid at the computer database. He knew what Sota was doing. Sota did it with every zetraloid who was introduced into the gang. It was what Sota called a background check on the Federation's list of zetraloids, wanted and general database. There were some rumors in S.O.T.A. that the leader was an ex-Federation officer or general. No one except Sota himself knew where he had come from. Dalin shifted his weight slightly, waiting patiently for his master to show the information of Shift 15-16 on the big screen. He didn't quite believe the little zetraloid's story about being a Shapeshifter. The Shapeshifters had been extinct for two years now and most of them were already caught and melted down. There were always, of course, the few smart ones that found safe-houses before the Federation had reached their planet and hid away.

“Here we are.” Sota spoke and a button clicked. The big screen flickered on and a image appeared on it for Dalin to see. It was in standard Federation format. An image of the zetraloid on the left hand side and information on the right. Dalin read the information silently.

'Name: Shift 15-16
Model: Shapeshifter
Status: Wanted
Location: Unknown
Age: 4 at last known contact
Height: 3'4”
Weight: 89 lbs
Notes: Shift 15-16 was possessed by creator Larry Bosan at time of the repossessing and melting of Shapeshifters. Shift 15-16 escaped from transports with Shift 15-14 and Shift 15-17 before transport had arrived at destination. Shift 15-16 is still missing and is wanted for past due melting.'

Dalin nodded silently, accepting the little zetraloid's story now. He turned to Sota, waiting for a signal that he could express his thoughts.

“Well, Dalin. It seems as though we've welcomed another outlaw into our midst. It's a shame though, that she's an outlaw for just being what she was made to be.” Sota leaned back in his chair.

“Yes, it is a shame. I, however, must say I didn't quite believe her when she said she was a Shapeshifter. Will we tell the rest of the group, knowing the rumors and reputation of Shapeshifters?” Dalin watched his master quietly while he waited for a response.

“No, I don't think I trust the others enough to give them this information. Maothin knows more about Shapeshifters then either of us do. That might be because he comes from a rich family with an education and everything. Xao will need teaching if she wants to survive in the world and in our way of life. Maothin should be able to provide that, in the academic aspect and in her race's secrets.”

“That and she will be more protected acting as Gatekeeper then she would be if she were wandering the city gathering information or materials. Personally, I think you placed her in a good position. You'll need only hope that she'll choose to stay with us, Sota.” Dalin smiled lightly.

“Yes, well we have seven years to convince her to stay. With what we can provide to her as an individual zetraloid and as a growing girl, I'm sure she'll be more than happy to stay after so long with us. I doubt that she has anywhere else to go, considering that she was caught by that greedy nobody Darius.” Sota grinned and waved at Dalin. “You can go now. Remember, do not tell anyone about Xao's true identity. Just say that she's a common runaway zetraloid hiding from a cruel master. We don't want rumors to spread about a new Shapeshifter that's green behind the transmitters hiding out here in S.O.T.A.” Dalin nodded silently.

“Of course, Sota. I'll inform Maothin about Xao and the need to keep her true identity a secret. He should be almost done with Bulih by now.” Dalin walked out of the room, confident that Sota would do everything in his power as a big business zetraloid and the gang leader to keep their new addition safe and sound, not to mention useable only by S.O.T.A.
Back to top Go down
Soma
The Pony Buddy
The Pony Buddy
avatar

Posts : 26
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 23

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:48 pm

Chapter Three

Xao groaned. Her head throbbed and her neck hurt, not to mention that she felt sick to her stomach. She wasn't sure exactly where she was. There was clean metal lines everywhere... like a laboratory. Slowly, memories started to come back as she sat up, shaking her head to rid it of the painful throb it did with every heartbeat. The blue zetraloid... Maothin, turned around in his seat to look at her.

“You're awake. Bulih should have probably lowered the dosage before he gave that stuff to you. You've been out for two and a half hours.” Maothin smiled lightly, trying to appear encouraging. Dalin had come up to speak with him about Xao's origins an hour before. Maothin watched as the little black zetraloid rolled off the operating table that had served her as a bed. There was a little bit of plasma on the table, which was normal for an activation procedure.

“Ugh, what did that beastly zetra do to me? I feel horrible!” Xao struggled to her feet, slightly surprised to find that Maothin had removed the leather strap from the collar around her neck. “And why did you take off that leash you loved so much?” Xao fell over just as she reached her feet, her sense of balance deserting her.

“Well one, Bulih gave you a drug to knock you out. You're experiencing the side effects in a little more extreme manner which is probably because he gave you enough to knock out a full grown battle zetra. And as for number two, you don't need it anymore. Bulih activated your collar so even if you do run, you'll be returned here.” Maothin watched Xao as she tried to regain her feet once again. She glared at him while he was trying to smother laughter.

“Drug? I've never heard of a drug that knocks out zetras before.”

“Sota invented it just before the fall of the Shapeshifters. From what I know about it, Sota had tried to present it to the Federation officers as a solution to troublesome Shapeshifters. He was turned down at the door without having ever spoken to any officer or been able to present it. The very next day, Shapeshifters were illegal. It's a rather sad thing. Sota was the only zetra outside of the Federation trying to find a peaceful solution.” Maothin shook his head sadly. Xao looked up at Maothin from her face-down floored position.

“Sota tried to save the Shapeshifters? Why? Doesn't he hate us like every other zetra and human around?”

“No. Some of his closest friends were Shapeshifters. But come now. We need to get outside. Remember, we're in charge of guarding the entrance.” Maothin smiled and picked Xao up with ease, placing her on his shoulders and walking from the room. Xao squirmed a little before planting her chin atop his head.

“So Sota likes us? I mean, me?” Xao smiled slightly at the thought.

“Potentially, yes. You have to remember he just met you so he doesn't have a really good idea of who you are, in a personality perspective.”

“Okay... So why did he put me with you? And why are you 'Gatekeeper?'”

“Sota put you with me because he believed I could do the most for you. And--”

“How so?” Xao interrupted.

“My history has provided me with more detailed information on Shapeshifters than any other zetra here. What my history is, however, is another story for another time.”

“Okay, so why are you Gatekeeper? And the Gatekeeper is just pretty much a guard at the entrance, right?”

“Yes, a Gatekeeper is pretty much an entrance guard. S.O.T.A. is one of the only gangs that has a Gatekeeper. And I am Gatekeeper because Sota considers me to be a valuable source of information that he cannot access through Federation files.”

“Huh? Why is S.O.T.A. one of the only gangs with a Gatekeeper? Why does Sota consider you valuable information source? And what does S.O.T.A. stand for?” Xao asked these as she was set on the floor.

“Well, I'm not exactly sure what S.O.T.A. stands for. I've heard Sota's Organizations To Alliances before but I've gotten no firm confirmation from Sota himself.” Maothin opened the trapdoor and climbed out. He paused, looked down at Xao, and reached down to pull her up. “The information once again goes back to my history so we'll talk about that later.”

“You haven't answered the first question. Why is S.O.T.A. one of the only gangs with a Gatekeeper?” Xao straightened her cloak, pushing the extra fabric out behind her.

“Well, S.O.T.A. is one of the only gangs that does not have twenty different hideouts spread out in the city. We have four different hideouts at four different corners of the city, with a few blocks of territory around each one. Three of those four are connected by underground tunnels. All of them, however, are behind business buildings that Sota owns. Currently, we are in the North Corner. It is our only hideout defended with barriers on all sides. That fact can be either an advantage or a disadvantage. The East Corner is our disconnected hideout. That one is behind Alejandro Coffee so there is a very strong scent of coffee beans around it.”

“Ugh, I hate coffee! Why place a hideout there?” Xao walked alongside Maothin on the edges of the crates.

“Because if we're ever attacked in one of our jointed corners, we can hide in the East Corner. The strong coffee bean smell helps cover up the scent of plasma. Animal zetras have a hard time tracking us because of that.” Maothin stopped and looked down at Xao. “Can you scale a wall?”

“What?” Xao stared at Maothin dumbly.

“Can you scale a wall? Like, climb up the side of a building.” Maothin tapped the brick of the building they had stopped by.

“You can do that?! Not possible. Why would anyone want to climb a wall?” Xao crossed her arms under her cloak, the ruffling cloth being the only indication of movement.

“It is possible and a necessary skill to survive in the city. If you can't climb a wall when corner, you're as good as a dead dog. And your first technical lesson begins now.” Maothin looked at the wall and then at Xao. She stared blankly at him. Maothin smiled and stepped away from the wall.

“First off, how high can you jump?” Maothin watched Xao hop up about two feet in the air. He nodded quietly.

“Good for someone your size. Now what you're going to do is run at the wall, jump at it and grab on it. Kinda like a spider. You'll have to launch off of it fairly quickly or you'll slide down. Remember, spider land, launch, mid-air turn, repeat.” Maothin smiled and demonstrated the move for Xao, zigzagging up the wall like a flying squirrel moving from tree to tree. Xao stared up at him in amazement.

“Come now. Hurry up. You still have a lot of verbal lessons to listen to. Climb up like I showed you.” He sat on the corner of the building's roof. “I'm waiting Xao...” He settled himself, preparing to wait patiently.

Xao gulped and looked at the solid brick wall. Where she was from, the buildings were two-room mud huts, not these giant brick buildings she'd been hiding around for two years. Slowly, she took several steps back, steading herself mentally to run at it. She stood there for a minute before running at the wall. Maothin watched from above as she ran, misjudged her jump and smashed face first into the wall. He tried to smother his laughter while Xao sat on her behind, holding her face in her hands. After a few minutes, she stood up and positioned herself again. She ran at the wall, succeeding at her first jump, but failed to turn in time to land correctly for the second jump. She fell again, rolling backwards a little. She lay there for several minutes, staring at the sky while only seeing parts of it at times. She stood slowly, uncertain of her balance.

Once she was positioned again she glanced up at Maothin. He was watching her through his pretty sky-blue eyes. Xao sighed and tried scaling the wall again, with the same result. She got up almost immediately, anger turning her face a light red. She ran at the wall, and half ran, half jumped up the wall, finally making it to the top. Maothin looked down at her.

“Sloppy. But it's okay for your first time. You'll need to practice though.” He grinned and looked out on the street.

“Yeah, so what? Anyway, you were talking about hideouts and corners. What about the West and South ones?” Xao sat up slowly, trying to calm her breath.

“Ah, right. Well our western point,” Maothin pointed in the direction. “It is the only one with air conditioning and heating. Everyone in the group loves to hang out in that corner during the year. Sota is okay with it, so long as we don't use the surface entrance when the group isn't lodging there. We'll be moving to that location come winter.”

“What's that one's business cover up?”

“M.M. Arcade. Not many of our own play the games in there but there is a very good pizza place inside. Unfortunately, the pizza place isn't owned by Sota but rather rents the little joint inside the arcade.” Maothin shook his head as Xao got up to sit next to him. “Now the Southern Corner. That one is next to a hamburger shack that Sota named The Tall Pole for some reason. It's about a block from one of Sota's business rivals in zetraloid build and repair. It's run by a man called Canorith. I've seen him once and at a distance so please don't ask too much about him. I only know book information about him.” Maothin paused, thinking. “The South Corner is also the only alleyway that has a dumpster marked with a S.O.T.A kill logo on the backside of one of the two dumpsters there. We don't use kill logos anymore expect when against rival gangs in the city. They're too easy to recognize if we use them on everyone.”

“Okay... So what's the place for this hideout?”

“The business place for this corner? Sota's Zetraloid Repair, Build, and Armory of course. Most people around here just call it Sota's Repair. He's one of the only business owners around here licensed to sell zetraloids and weaponry in the same place.” Maothin smiled and looked up at the darkening sky.

“Come on. You've been up for almost twelve hours at least by now. We need to find you a bed inside.” He stood and looked down at Xao. It was true what he had said. She had been awake since the dawn of yesterday morning.

Realizing just how long she had been awake, Xao tried to cover a yawn. Maothin chuckled quietly and picked her up in his arms before sliding down the building side. She was asleep by the time Maothin had taken her through the trapdoor.
Back to top Go down
Soma
The Pony Buddy
The Pony Buddy
avatar

Posts : 26
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 23

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:51 pm

Chapter Four

It was noon when Xao woke. Yawning, she stretched out, enjoying the mattress she lay on. Sleepily, she looked around. She was in a dimly lit room filled with mattresses set on rugs. The floor, where it wasn't covered by a rug, was dirt. The room itself was like a large underground ballroom, only without the glamour, the lights, or the big ceiling. She slowly sat up, rubbing sleep from her eyes and trying to remember where she was.

Xao stood up on the mattress, bouncing slightly. She looked around again, noticing the mounds of sleeping bodies scattered around the room. Quietly, Xao hopped off the mattress and looked at the wall behind it. A wooden pole with a sign on it was stuck in the ground above her mattress head. Even in the dim light, she could see her name painted on the wood. She looked to the beds beside her and couldn't suppress a giggle. The bed to her right was Maothin's bed... and the left one was Sota's bed.

Smiling to herself, Xao stretched out once more and walked out of the room, careful not to wake any of the sleeping zetraloids. When she was in the hallway, she looked around. It was long, unfamiliar, and like most of the underground tunnels, made of compacted dirt and wood support beams. She stared down the tunnel both ways, before she shrugged and started down the right part of the hallway. She was going to have fun, exploring her new home.

'And hopefully I can find my way back here.' Xao thought as she began her newest adventure.

Meanwhile, in Sota's Office...

Maothin sat himself in one of the chairs decorating the plain office. It was his underground office, dedicated solely to discussion of gang-related matters. The room consisted of five chairs, all a mix of metal and plastic, a big oak desk near the back and two tables on either side of the room. The walls had wood over the dirt and had several large maps pinned to the wood panels. There were no rugs in the room.

Maothin looked at Sota as he walked inside the room. He watched the tall silver zetraloid look through papers on the desk. Sota looked up briefly at Maothin.

“Maothin. Good to see you. You're here about Xao, right?” Sota smiled lightly. “Or are you just paying a visit to an old friend for no reason?”

“You asked me to report on Xao as soon as I could. You asked, I came. But if you just want this to be an old friend visit, I'd be happy to oblige.” Maothin grinned.

“Ah, I wish I could, Maothin. I wish I could.” Sota shook his head and sat in the chair behind the desk. “Okay then. Let's hear it. I'm ready to be attacked with complaints and failures, oh mighty judge.” Both Sota and Maothin laughed.

“I'm sorry, great mischievous one. I haven't got any complaints or failures to attack you with. I've only great questions, requests and compliments to comb your wild fur with.”

“Well, comb away, my judge. I'm afraid I am in need of grooming.” Sota grinned. “Seriously though, go ahead and tell me how she is and such.”

“Sota. You fail at describing what you want in a report. I'm so sorry you can't have your business assistant help you down here.” Maothin smiled, obviously joking. “Xao is fine. She'll need a thorough education, in combat, survival, and book. Her curiosity may or may not get her into trouble, but that depends on her personality.”

“I see.... I can certainly arrange for her to be taught on several different subjects. What were you thinking for education?”

“She needs to learn to move through the city silently and the best places to fight or run. From what I've seen, I can conclude that she knows little to nothing about combat. I would like her to learn geography, mapmaking, some form of medical care and the basic math and science.”

“Maothin, you ask for so much in such a small amount of time. Are you sure she'll be worth it?”

“I'm quite sure. Anyone who asks as many questions as that little one has to be worth teaching.” Maothin watched Sota lean back in his chair.

“What ones will you be able to teach her while keeping your place as Gatekeeper?”

“Geography, maybe. Mapmaking and unseen movement surely.”

“Okay... I can get Bulih or David to teach her science and medical care. I believe Zulok would be best for geography and Dalin for math.”

“And combat?” Maothin raised an eyebrow, unimpressed at the current list of teachers. He had a feeling Xao didn't like Dalin or Bulih.

“I'm blessing her with my teaching.” Sota smiled wickedly. “Have to ensure she can fight on her own and survive.” Maothin laughed lightly.

“In that case, I will give you a word of luck, my friend. Xao will most likely kill you with a barrage of questions. So please, take care, good theif.” Maothin stood, smiling. “Would you like me to fetch the others?”

“Everyone but Bulih. He's working with David to build a zetraloid for a client.” Maothin nodded and started towards the door.

“Maothin.” He stopped at Sota's voice. “I'll contact you with times for her to be in 'classes' so she won't be late or lack in a subject she doesn't like.” Maothin nodded.

“Thank you, Sota. And please, leave some free time for me and her together.” He left silently.
Back to top Go down
Soma
The Pony Buddy
The Pony Buddy
avatar

Posts : 26
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 23

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:53 pm

Chapter Five
The room was dark and stuffy. The sound of a door opening echoed in the room. A small shaft of light fell upon the floor.

“S-s-sir?” A low, frightened voice came from the area behind the light shaft.

“What?” This voice was a low growl, like that of an hunting animal. A squeak came from the frightened voice.

“R-r-report on a-a-activity, s-s-sir!” The frightened voice rose slightly.

“Report then. And stop that dismal stuttering.”

“T-t-the spy set o-o-on S.O.T.A reported s-s-seeing a new f-f-face there last night. A-a-a l-little black zetraloid w-w-was with the b-blue w-water zetraloid.”

“Have you heard a name?”

“N-n-no s-s-sir.”

“Go get one then. I want to know who this new game piece is and why its appeared there.” The door closed quickly.

It was silent for a few minutes before a steady orange glow filled the back of the room. It slowly filled the area with light, showing a room empty of furniture. The floor had papers covering it, the papers ranging from maps to detailed reports. An occupied dog bed in the corner was the only piece of fabric in the entire room.

The doggie bed occupant wasn't an actual dog. The occupant was metal, like a zetraloid but its shape was that of a giant wolf. The metal fur was a sooty ash gray with lines of red and orange. His eyes were a smoldering ember orange. And the source of the light were his ears, which were covered in fire.

He moved slightly, pawing through papers by his bed. The corner of a picture appeared from under a pile of papers. Moving carefully, the wolf zetraloid extracted the picture and laid it on the paper carpet. He stared at it for a moment before he stood and padded away.

The picture held the image of three zetraloids, one being a younger version of the wolf zetraloid sitting on a chair with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. Standing by the wolf, paying seemingly absolutly no attention to it, was a blue zetraloid in Federation uniform adapted to allow his wrist fins to be free of restriction. The blue zetraloid was looking to another zetraloid who was standing just inside the picture. That one was tall and slim, obviously male and very high in the chain of command at a young age, judging by his Federation uniform. His armor was silver with gray edges. His icey blue eyes, humorous as they were, had a hard edge in them, seen even in the still image.
Back to top Go down
Mega10
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 6953
Join date : 2010-01-13
Age : 126

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:43 pm

HAR HAR I'MM DISRUPT YUR FLOW

_________________
Back to top Go down
http://www.zetras.com
Ryu
Chicken Byproduct Lovers
Chicken Byproduct Lovers
avatar

Posts : 319
Join date : 2010-05-12
Age : 26
Location : Nearby

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:14 pm

Ryuuuuuuuuuuu. C:
Back to top Go down
Mega10
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 6953
Join date : 2010-01-13
Age : 126

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:58 pm

I SEE NO RYU >=C raaaage

_________________
Back to top Go down
http://www.zetras.com
Ryu
Chicken Byproduct Lovers
Chicken Byproduct Lovers
avatar

Posts : 319
Join date : 2010-05-12
Age : 26
Location : Nearby

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:19 am

I am quite here. Can\\'t Believe it
Back to top Go down
BradHummr
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 4855
Join date : 2010-01-13
Age : 26
Location : Place

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:33 pm

Alrighty Soma, as it would appear I am now going to read your story. =U So I am going to continue pretending I don't want to for some reason or something.....I dunno maybe I'll jsut start reading. Chaaaaapter one.

OOOooo. Starting out very mysteriously. =. Hmm... a human emerges. Didn't expect that, maybe I'm just too used to Mega's stories. xD Phew, there we go, a zetra. Haven't read a story without one in a long time...was almost panicking there for a second. Nice eye description. =. Sounds like a rather unfriendly zetra. I get the feeling Mr. Darius got himself in a baaad situation. =U

Hmmm I am quite unfamiliar with the items in the crates...and what a sneaker is. A last transaction for Darius? Only time will tell and I shall not make any predictions. It seems the silver zetra has quite the authority. =. All these names I am unfamilar with. xD Makes it hard to complain about them or whatever I normally do with comments. Hmmm they certainly seem like a cool group. =O I'm interested to learn more about them.

Muffled curses. =O Black and blue...thing can talk? That's cool. Ohhh okay I see. xD It makes more sense now. Poor leetle zetra. =. Ahhh so that's what SOTA is. Sounds cool. xD I'd be mad if I were the little zetra. =U No info for them. Sota Sendoa. =O That's a cool name. Huh, you got me. I thought for sure Mr. Sota would be a crooked guy, which could be true, but so far I am surprised. xD Which is always good.

So far I am quite interested. =. I will read other chapters as I find the time. Thanks for posting. Wink

_________________
Thank you Ten. =P
Brad is now....A MAN....after however long this message has been here. >=. --Mega10
Back to top Go down
Soma
The Pony Buddy
The Pony Buddy
avatar

Posts : 26
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 23

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:09 pm

Brad... ;-; i'm sorry i have no cool response to your comment. but i am glad you enjoyed Chappy One.
Back to top Go down
Mega10
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 6953
Join date : 2010-01-13
Age : 126

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:31 pm

*dances around* I told you I told you c:

Didn't I tell you Soma?

_________________
Back to top Go down
http://www.zetras.com
Soma
The Pony Buddy
The Pony Buddy
avatar

Posts : 26
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 23

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:56 am

Chapter Six

Xao groaned as she pulled herself back to her feet. Sota stood a little ways off, waiting for her to move. It had been nearly two long, painful years since Xao had been brought to this place. Maothin had caught her on day two, raiding the kitchens she had discovered, and told her about her classes – which, she was sad to find, she could not skip or avoid – with the other gang members. She had been introduced to the sly stealth zetraloid, Zulok, later that day for her first lesson with him. Since that day, Xao spent much of her time, including most weekends, practicing different skills she was being taught on a daily basis. She knew – or at least thought – she had improved dramatically since she arrived, particularly in stealth and model anatomy which was taught by Bulih during her medical care classes.

“Come on, Xao. Can't spend all day standing around, can we?” Sota grinned and came running at her again. Xao reacted quickly, barely thinking, striking out at his face with her right fist while defending herself from his blow with her left. This initial strike led to a flurry of exchanged blows, a mix of fists, feet, knees and elbows, for a good two minutes before Xao got flattened with a good kick to the face. She leaped to her feet, ready for the next exchange, when a single set of applause came from across the empty room. Both Xao and Sota looked towards the doorway to identify the source: Maothin.

“Well done! You two should do some public training sometimes. Everyone would love your ferocity.” Maothin smiled lightly.

“Yes, but then all of my secret moves would be revealed to everyone in the gang and I'd really hate for that to happen. They could corner me before I knew what was happening.” Sota laughed and walked over to Maothin. “Now, what is it that you need, my good friend?”

“I'm so sorry, Sota,” Maothin said in a teasing voice. “I must steal Xao from your skillfully deceitful hands. I must teach her my own lawful ways above the surface. So sad for her, to be torn in two by criminals and myself.” Maothin laughed lightly as Xao picked up her cloak from its neat resting spot in a clean corner.

“Okay, Maothin. I'll be right out. Go on ahead, I'll catch up.” Xao smiled, settling her cloak around her neck. Maothin grinned at her and walked out of the room. Sota watched Xao as she sat in a nearby chair.

“You're gonna have to start training with that thing on soon. Get used to fighting with the extra pull and weight on your fragile shoulders.” Sota grinned as Xao glared at him. Scowling, Xao set to work to rubbing her joints, where her dark armor was weaker to allow movement.

“Yeah, we'll do that tomorrow, won't we?” Xao sighed and smiled. “Don't worry, I won't trip over it tonight if that's what's worrying you. I have Maothin to protect me, after all.” Xao stood and stretched before she smiled cutely at Sota. She took a moment to arrange her cloak properly on her, covering her slender little girl frame, before she walked out of the room. Sota looked at the door as it swung close, smiling to himself.

“Such a sweet girl. Sometimes I wish she was my kid, the way I treat her.... and yet I can't stop worrying. How will she manage out there, what with all of these attacks and disappearances lately?” Sota sighed. “Best way to protect her is to stop whoever it is trying to downsize our group, I guess. Time to really crack down on that.” Sota walked out of the room quietly, talking to himself in his own head.

---------
Maothin was waiting for Xao on the rooftop. Smiling, Xao stood next to him silently, waiting for him to notice her and to speak. Maothin glanced at her without moving, quiet.

“What will we do today, little one? Maps? Stealth? Or perhaps you feel for a little bit of history...?” Maothin looked down at her with a grin on his face. “Or shall we do job training tonight?”

“I'd say we need to do some job training tonight. It's been a couple days since we actually did the work we're supposed to be doing daily.” Xao grinned up at him. Maothin nudged her with his foot gently.

“Well then, little Xao. Let's set off. Can't very well do surveillance from atop this old roof, now can we?” Maothin looked down the side of the building, observing the street.

“Yup. North Corner surveillance begins now.” Xao grinned widely before she slid down the building side. Maothin watched Xao walk away below, her figure covered in her large midnight blue cloak. When she was half the block away, he slid down the side and followed her quietly. He walked casually down the sidewalk, as if he had every right to be there. He let his eyes wander the streets, looking over the afternoon crowd. He noted to himself that Xao was turning the block corner, which was more out of the habit of watching her to protect her from child thieves rather than actually noticing.

Still looking as casual as ever, Maothin turned the corner, instantly scanning the crowd for Xao's tell-tale cloak. It was hard to break habits, Maothin knew, but he stopped. He searched through the crowd, looking for Xao in her cloak silently. He found her, by the way of her tattered cloak, on the other side of the street, turning the corner and therefore changing the route they normally walked. Maothin hurried to catch up to her, wondering to himself why she changed routes without contacting him.

Xao wanted to whimper as watched Maothin pass her hiding spot. She looked up at the zetraloid who stood in front of her escape hole, knowing that he and that other had purposely led away Maothin, her guardian. Not only had she been taken by surprise, she had also failed to warn Maothin. The zetraloid who now wore her beloved cloak had hit her with some kind of electrical shocking item which, as she had found out, disabled all of her communicating skills and devices. She couldn't even growl in her throat like she wanted to. The same shocking device had hit her a second time, while she was trying to recover from the first shock, and had made it practically impossible for her to function at all. She was having to fight just to stay awake, even now.

Xao glared at the zetraloid as he wrenched her out of the hole, which he had made with his foot and shoved her into. She stared into his flinty black eyes while he held her by her head. She quickly sized him up, unsure as to how long the shock-stick's effects lasted. He was solid black and massive. He was taller than Sota's six foot six inches by a good foot and looked to be very sturdy. Xao mentally compared him to a tree and laughed in her head, still unable to move. His armor, as Xao noticed, was extremely thick and had spikes sprouting from it in places, which reminded Xao of spears.

“Hey pipsqueak. Boss man wants to talk to you.” His gravelly voice was edged with malice. Xao winced and closed her eyes, unwilling to look at his cold black eyes any longer. He slung her over his shoulder and walked away, following the street into the heart of the city.
Back to top Go down
BradHummr
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 4855
Join date : 2010-01-13
Age : 26
Location : Place

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:04 am

Chaaapter 2!!
I do not envy Xao's situation. xD Everything seems rather sudden, and to think she'll need to be there until she is thirteen? That is quite intimidating, especially for a six year old. Does Maothin have any issues breaking this news to Xao? Or is he pretty accustomed to it? =P

Oh boy, what I assume to be Xao's plan A is thwarted instantly. xD Poor kid. Oh boy, collars with dried substances on them. =. eah Xao maybe try plan A now? =. Bulih. =. That's....interesting to pronounce. Wow. D= A collar with a leash? How humiliating. 0.0 Poor Xao. Bulih does not sound like a fun fellow to be around, course in his defense he could just be tired I suppose! Bulih sure has no issues letting others know what he thinks of them does he? xD Oh boy, operations. >=U

Hmmm with so little being known about Sota, how do his employees know that he isn't totally evil or have some master plan that results in many casualties? =) xD The pay must be good. Ohhhh good idea not to tell everyone about her shapeshifterness. =. I didn't think about that but it's a good idea. xD Seven years. xD Even though I am aware of Xao's situation and stuff I still find that to be a long time. You know, it's odd. A lot of the people here actually seem to CARE. xD Not sure why this surprises me, but it is fun to read so I'm not going to worry about that. Very Happy

_________________
Thank you Ten. =P
Brad is now....A MAN....after however long this message has been here. >=. --Mega10
Back to top Go down
Mega10
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 6953
Join date : 2010-01-13
Age : 126

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:08 pm

Mega10 has approved of this comment. *nods* *total inside joke*

_________________
Back to top Go down
http://www.zetras.com
Soma
The Pony Buddy
The Pony Buddy
avatar

Posts : 26
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 23

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:07 pm

oh brad. XD you're just beginning to get into the story my friend.

Maothin doesn't have any kind of issues telling anyone that kind of thing clearly. XD he's told adults they cannot leave the place. Bulih's name is indeed interesting to pronounce. XP

Sota will be explained.... later in the story. XD *points at Mega* she likes him quite well as a character. =3

why does it surprise you that people actually care in S.O.T.A.? =3 because it is different majorly from Mega's? or wut?
Back to top Go down
BradHummr
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 4855
Join date : 2010-01-13
Age : 26
Location : Place

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:39 pm

I know I know. xD

Also, I'm not sure why I am surprised they care. =O Maybe it is because compared to most of Mega's characters, they are very different. That's probably the best assumption, but when I think about that to myself it doesn't clear my mind, it's not the only thing. I think another part of it is that they are a secretive...organization thing and I'm only used to the evil ones (Aside from 3rd Echelon, but now I'm rambling.)

I dunno! xD

_________________
Thank you Ten. =P
Brad is now....A MAN....after however long this message has been here. >=. --Mega10
Back to top Go down
Mega10
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 6953
Join date : 2010-01-13
Age : 126

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:09 am

*unpoints at Mega* It took me what like 17 chapters >_> before I got it through my mind |D

_________________
Back to top Go down
http://www.zetras.com
Soma
The Pony Buddy
The Pony Buddy
avatar

Posts : 26
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 23

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:42 pm

Seven
Maothin watched the cloak quietly, still following. He had figured out that the human or zetraloid – he hadn't figured out which yet due to the distance it kept at – wasn't Xao. He did, however, want to know why this being had Xao's cloak and where his little charge was now.

He followed the cloak around a corner and noticed where he was at. He was standing mere feet away from The Tall Pole hamburger shack, which he knew marked the Southern most hideout.

'This person has dragged me across the city without me realizing it... no, around it. We passed the West Point some time ago. It's a wonder we haven't been stopped by some rival gang already.' Maothin began to trot towards the cloaked being, noticing that it didn't increase its pace to match.

As Maothin approached it, still at his easy trot, he noticed that it was a zetraloid with a pure black helmet. It moved its arms up to its neck and unclasped the cloak's hold on its neck, sending the blue fabric at Maothin's head like a net. Maothin yelped and slid as he tried to stop and backpedal at the same time. The cloak settled over him, tangling and catching on his armor, however sleek it may be. It took Maothin a few minutes to untangle himself. He looked about himself, looking for the strange zetraloid. There was no sign of it anywhere on the street.

Standing, Maothin looked at the cloak in his hands. It was definitely Xao's, worn down and torn in all the right places. It had the same faint outline of a rare flower on the collar, the very same place Xao rubbed when thoughtful. Frowning, Maothin looked around for the thief once again before he carefully folded the precious fabric and set off for the North entrance, greatly concerning for the well being of Xao and the future of S.O.T.A.
Back to top Go down
Soma
The Pony Buddy
The Pony Buddy
avatar

Posts : 26
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 23

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:49 pm

Eight
Sota stood as the door opened. He knew he had taped a note on the outside, telling all visitors to come again at a later time. He watched as the door moved to allow Maothin to slip inside silently. Sota gazed quietly, questioningly, at Maothin as his friend closed the door quietly.

“Maothin? Aren't you supposed to be with Xao now?” Sota stared, waiting. 'Something isn't right.... He's not looking me in the eye like he normally does when he enters... and his helmet fins are drooping... definitely not normal.' Sota walked around his desk cautiously. “Maothin? Is something wrong?” Maothin sighed and looked up at Sota.

“Sota, I can't find Xao. I lost her. I lost XAO, Sota.” Maothin looked down at his feet. Sota smiled slightly, feeling sympathetic but couldn't help the feeling that there was more to this story.

“Maothin, don't worry. She's probably just hiding somewhere, waiting to scare someone half to death. She'll appear in an hour or two.” Maothin shook his quietly before Sota had even finished his sentence.

“No, Sota. I really lost her. I'm in trouble, I know, but I have a feeling she's in bigger trouble than I am right now.” Maothin held out his hand, holding the worn midnight blue fabric that Sota immediately recognized as Xao's cloak. Sota took a step towards Maothin, staring at the fabric in disbelief.

“Xao's been kidnapped too? Why weren't you watching her? Didn't she call you at all?”

“Yeah, she got taken.... They had someone her size lead me away. So they must have grabbed her when she turned the corner... the only time when she wasn't in my line of sight. What's worse is that it was practically in our front yard. Not even a block away from our alleyway.” Maothin sighed, his face the perfect image of sad shamefulness.

“So close?” Sota crossed his arms, thinking carefully. “They, whoever they are, have been getting far too brave for my likings with this latest act. We'll move to the West Corner, underground. Use of North and West entrances is permitted for the time being. No one is to go to the East. They may have followers on our members and I want that Corner ready for use as a refuge. I have a feeling we'll need it soon.” Sota paused, looking at Maothin thoughtfully. “Spread the word. And then collect six people you trust. We're going to look for Xao... together.” Sota smiled and rested a hand on Maothin's shoulder, noticing that his friend was shaking slightly. “Don't worry. This won't end like Trini did. I won't allow it to end like that.” Sota kept his smile, although it did waver at his own mention of Trini, watching Maothin think.

“Yeah.... I know you won't let it end that way again.” Maothin looked up from the floor, his eyes too bright and his face determined. “I'll inform our group of the move and meet you in the hallway just inside the entrance.” Maothin grinned, seeming a little unsure about himself now. Sota smiled and took a step backwards, letting Maothin walk out – Maothin left Xao's cloak folded on a chair.

Sota looked down at the cloak once the door had closed after Maothin. Slowly, he bent to lift the fabric from its resting place. He sighed, rubbing the collar quietly. He felt a small pocket on the back of the collar, hidden on the inside for protection against the weather. Cautiously, Sota found the opening to the pocket and reached inside. A folded piece of paper was the only occupant of the pocket. Sota stared at it for a moment, as if trying to decide whether or not to open it, before he carefully placed the cloak on the chair and started to unfold the paper.

A second paper fell to the floor as the outer paper unfolded completely. Sota bent to pick it up before he looked at them. The papers were faded, slightly torn, and a little mud-stained. They were pictures, both years old. The outer picture held the image of eighteen zetraloids, seventeen Shapeshifters of various colors, one a tiny little Water zetraloid who was probably days old, and three humans, two of which were adults, grease-stained and seemed to have a friendly kind of rough edges. Sota assumed this was Xao's family. He was a little surprised to see an older zetraloid – Sota assumed he was the father figure – dressed in the Federation junior officer's green uniform. No doubt about to leave again.

Sota looked at the other picture. It was older then the first by a couple years. The image held three very young zetraloids and a human child roughly two years of age. The youngest zetraloid looked like Xao, sparkling with a light red glow. A red welt that looked like a freshly healed cut lined the left side of her face, which was the closest side to the camera. She didn't wear a cloak in the picture but she appeared to be much happier, smiling widely while being hugged by another Shapeshifter – one who was glowing blue and patterns reminded Sota of the sea. The third zetraloid looked to be the oldest, holding the human child in its arms. It was that one that was wearing the cloak that Xao now wore everywhere. The green patterns on that Shapeshifter's helmet were arranged in such a way it seemed as if she were a crown of summer leaves in the wind.

Sota sighed and folded the pictures again. He tucked them back into their pocket, thinking quietly. He thought he had known everything about Xao up until now. He had known she had had siblings. He had known she had escaped with two. But these pictures scrambled pieces of his puzzle – a puzzle he had thought he had finished. Now there were new pieces and he had to reassemble other pieces that changed their shape... as well as the troubles that had surfaced with the recent days.

'The puzzle jumbles and the riddles get harder. Soon I'll have my hands full with everything. I'm just going to hope there won't be any more surprises here soon.' He walked out of the room, planning and worrying to himself.

__________

Xao whimpered quietly as she was thrown onto the cold floor. She had been carried into an abandoned office building, which still had supplies in it. Slowly, Xao forced her body into a sitting position, wincing as it sent lancets of pain through her senses.

“Can you tell me why exactly the boss wanted this pipsqueak? She's not even ten years old yet. If he wants someone to love, I could do a whole lot better than this tiny thing.” A female's voice came from the stairway behind the massive black zetraloid. The black male moved to the side to allow another black zetraloid in the room. The newcomer was certainly an attractive female, with pure jet black armor and fierce green eyes. There were no flaws on her armor, which spoke of a great care in her appearance.

“Dunno. Boss seemed pretty mad when he told us to grab her. Think you can get that collar off of her? It might have a tracker in it.” The male looked at Xao. “And if she's still awake after that, another shock.” The female sighed and walked over to Xao.

“Of course I have to remove this filthy thing. He'd kill you by accident and that would mean our heads too.” She kneeled down beside Xao, who was trying to stand, and grabbed the attached collar. Xao whined quietly as the female zetraloid tugged on the collar, which didn't move one bit. The female frowned and tugged again, harder. That earned her a yelp from Xao as she fell over and felt a sharp pain emerge from her neck. The male started to laugh as the female stared at Xao, a look of thoughtfulness coming onto her face.

“Well, Duani. Is it possible to take it off?” The male asked, grinning.

“Yeah, it'll come off. I just have to break it. Hopefully, it's not too tight around her neck.” The female grinned and gestured for him to grab a part of the collar close to her own hand. They looked at each other, grinned evilly, and pulled on the collar in opposite directions. It held for a few seconds before it snapped. It, however, didn't fall to the floor as the two zetraloids had expected it to. Instead, it pulled out slightly, revealing two large spikes on either side of the snapped metal. Two holes matching the spike sizes were indented in Xao's neck, plamsa already starting to leak out of the holes.

“Well, that's new.” The male stepped away, letting the female pull the rest of the collar off of Xao's neck. She let the collar drop to the floor and stepped away from Xao, who was shaking uncontrollably. The male grinned slightly and nudged Xao with his foot, chuckling when he received a weak glare from the little zetraloid.

“She's still awake, Duani. Would you care to shock her again?”

“First we need to cover her neck. Don't need a blood trail leading to the boss.” The female looked around and soon found a dirty rag on the floor. Silently, she went to pick it up and judged it to be long enough to wrap around Xao's neck. She walked back to the little zetraloid and wrapped it tightly around her neck, not caring that the rag was covered in dust, dirt, grease, and who knew what else. Xao whimpered, not enjoying the feeling of the rag against her wounded neck. She yelped loudly when she felt electricity run over her body again, racking it with pain. It lasted for only a moment as a cooling darkness overcame her.

The female zetraloid straightened, putting a small stick-like object the size of a pencil away in her wrist band – most people didn't notice the compartments in it, almost always mistaking them as being an part of her actual armor.

“Now we can go. Grab her.” She left him to carry their charge to their mysterious boss in their true hideout.
Back to top Go down
Soma
The Pony Buddy
The Pony Buddy
avatar

Posts : 26
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 23

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:51 pm

Nine
Sota looked at the six zetraloids Maothin had chosen to help with the search. Two near identical brown armored female zetraloids stood nearest to Maothin, flicking their cat-like ears around to capture all sounds in the hallway. They were twins, but only Sota and Maothin knew their true names. Even Sota had trouble telling them apart, as their only difference was eye color – Sal had green eyes while Sin had amber eyes.

Standing near the twins were three large blue and green zetraloids known more commonly as the Splat Brothers. They were Tracker mixes, each with a half that differed from the others. Maud was the tallest of the three, having Acrobat blood in him. He stood just a little shorter then Sota, with a thin, wiry build. His sky blue helmet was dotted with green splotches, almost like green paint thrown at a wall. His smooth green eyes sparkled at the prospect of a challenge. Part of his right transmitter was missing, the result of an early childhood fight with his younger brother, Baon. Baon stood beside him, the same height as Maothin, nodding quietly. He was more heavily built than his older brother, as his different half was that of Battle blood. His face was covered in scars, one eye misty white, and his helmet scratched and nicked so many times it was a dull silver. His armor, in what places it wasn't scratched or discolored from repair, was green striped with blue of the same hues of his brother. The single eye that could see was dark blue in color. He looked incredibly bored with the entire situation. The last brother was the shortest, standing just over five feet. His blue-green armor was in near perfect condition, which Sota counted as a demonstration of his Healer blood. His face was covered entirely by a visor, coloring his intelligent eyes green – he had a little breather pack strapped to his back like a backpack, as he couldn't breath on his own due to a rare inborn lung condition. It had two slim hoses reaching up to his visor, held against his body without pressing them closed with straps Sota had designed especially for the brother, connecting smoothly and was airtight. His helmet looked like it had been painted by an artist, the green streaks swirling artfully around his helmet giving the illusion of movement. He rarely spoke but Sota knew his name was Aon.

Sota looked around for the last zetraloid, jumping when he realized the sixth one stood beside Aon. The sixth zetraloid Sota did not know, as the new zetraloid stood at just a foot and a half, maybe shorter. Sota studied the little guy – Sota guessed it was male by the way it stood and the facial bone structure – quietly. The stranger wore a dark black robe cut to his size, covering his entire body, and the folds of a large hood for his size resting on the shoulders of the robe. His helmet, the only visible armor on the stranger, was blue-tinted silver, trimmed with a blue so pale it almost looked like it was white tinted with blue. A dark blue mark was centered on his helmet – the image of a bird's footprint above an open eye symbol, easily seen on the lighter colors of his helmet. The image tugged at the back of Sota's mind, as if he should remember something about that image that was buried under years of experience and knowledge. Sota walked over to the group, smiling brightly.

“Maothin! I see you've gathered our tracking team! Great choices. I must ask you and the small silver-blue zetraloid some questions however.” Sota winked. “You know, trust-ability things.” Sota gestured with his head back at a empty room a little ways down the hallway. “Please excuse us Twins, Splats.” Sota nodded to them before he turned and walked down the hall, turning into the room silently. Maothin and the stranger followed quietly. Maothin waited until he received a nod before he began to speak.

“Sota, I'm sorry but you'll have to swear to the great Creator that you'll keep this conversation a secret. Otherwise my friend here won't speak to you.” Maothin watched Sota as he spoke, watching for any sign of movement. Slowly, Sota nodded as if he actually understood the odd request.

“I'll keep this discussion private, no word of it to another soul after I leave this room unless I have permission to speak the true from your little blue friend. I swear this by the Creator, and my business career.” Maothin sighed at the words – he had forgotten that Sota didn't believe in the Creator as the foot tall zetraloid next to him did – and nodded quietly. An audioable sigh escaped the zetraloid's lips.

“My name is Ryu. I specialize in tracking down murders, missing personals, tracking illegal activity, and other suspicious activities. A spy-for-hire you could say.” The stranger stared at Sota for a moment before continuing in his feather light voice. “Most the time I end up tipping the local police of the activity, except in special cases. And for friends whom helped me before, like Maothin here. I, if you have any idea what I mean by this, am a Seer zetraloid.”

“A Seer?” Sota realized why the image had tugged at his memory. “They're supposed to be extinct. Illegal almost a hundred years ago.” Ryu nodded.

“Only two escaped the Federation back then. Each of them had a copy of the Seer blueprints. It was from their hands we survived, even if our numbers were single digits. It's easier now, since the Seers have been forgotten. But we're still in the low double digits. Nothing compared to the Shapeshifters today.” Ryu looked up at Maothin. Sota sighed and rubbed his temple, which was starting to pound with the beginnings of a headache. He remembered exactly what Ryu's helmet symbol meant now – Seer blood.

Quietly, Sota mentally flipped through everything he knew about the supposedly extinct Seer model. Their bodies were extremely weak and normally could only stand two or three hits. All Seers were extremely short, the average height for a full grown male being two feet tall – the tallest recorded had been three feet tall but it had died months after creation, not reaching full maturity. They relied on their mental memory and ability to hide in plain sight for survival. Money source was generally sold information on anything or anyone. They had been some of the top spies of their time. Seers all had the ability to see recent occurrences in a location up to four months prior – violent ones were recorded as being the easiest to spot. Some had the ability to see if a person, human or zetraloid didn't seem to matter, was lying about a subject. Seers were made illegal due to questions about issues concerning the Federation and dead persons with a supposedly clean slate. Prototype Seer, SE-01, was removed from the model museum and destroyed with the rest of the Seers. After just over ninety years without Seers in public eye or Federation file review, Sota knew that the model was long forgotten. Slowly, Sota nodded.

“Understandable. Ryu, may I ask for your assistance in finding our young one, Xao? I believe your abilities will be a great help in finding her.” Sota smiled.

“Y-yeah. Sir, may I ask for your name?” Ryu paused, looking uncertain. “And can I ask if you're related to a zetraloid named Frozun? Stories were passed down my family line about a zetraloid by that name and you match the description of him almost perfectly.” Sota smiled slightly.

“I used to go by that name, yes. I haven't heard it in years though. Now, I prefer the name Sota Sendoa. Please, if you will wait to talk about that later. I fear we have to be moving as soon as possible if we want to find Xao alive.” Sota turned and left the room, followed quickly by the two zetraloids.

______________________________________________

Sota and Maothin stood silently on the street corner, watching the foot and a half tall Ryu walk around in circles, his eyes closed. The Twins were sniffing the ground, going up and down the sidewalk. Sota smiled slightly every time one of them got so involved in their task that they ran into buildings and objects on the sidewalk. They responded by glaring at the object they ran into and continuing with their sniffing. The Splat brothers where standing in a half circle, discussing which essence trail to follow – each brother had a special visor-like object that allowed them to see the trails of beings - zetraloid, human or animal - defined as different colors. Aon didn't need the eye object as his set was built in with his face visor.

Sota noticed that Ryu had stopped pacing and was kneeling down beside a slight indent in the pavement near the building's side. He walked over to the short zetraloid and stooped down beside him. Sota looked at the indent, now clearly a hole, thinking to himself. The hole was barely big enough to fit Xao inside and looked as if it were made by a large, powerful foot kicking the pavement.

“Your friend got shoved in here by a big black zetra. She was pretty frightened, so it wasn't staged at all.” Ryu's feathery light voice spoke suddenly, startling Sota. “She wasn't able to move or talk at all, to answer the question you're bound to ask next. The smaller black zetraloid jumped her with a shocker stick. I'm not sure what they're called but the small one hit your friend twice with it while the big one kicked in this hole. Shoved the poor little thing in here after the smaller abductor took her cloak and ran off in it. Maothin ran right by without noticing either of them. I'm sure your friend wanted to do something about it.” Ryu looked up at Maothin, who had come to stand nearby. “It gets a little fuzzy then but I'm near positive he took her farther into the city. Said something about Moss Han wanting to shackle her or something like that. It's difficult for me to tell exactly what he said. But the direction I'm sure of.” Ryu pointed down the street. The other trackers came over, curious. Sin sniffed the hole quietly.

“The scent's there, but overpowered by some sewer stench. It covers this entire area.” She pinched her nose shut as best she could. “That big guy must never bathe, like ever. Or if he does, it must be in the sewer.” Sal rolled her eyes at her twins' comment, smiling slightly.

“Are you certain?” Maud pushed his sunglasses-styled essence trackers back onto the bridge of his nose, placing them in front his eyes completely. “I seen none of Xao's essence trail in the hole. Only a green sludge-looking essence trail.” Baon and Aon nodded in agreement. Ryu narrowed his eyes and looked down the street, looking as if he were concentrating very hard on a distant object.

“He... carried her, I think. Over his shoulder. Definitely that way though. I'm absolutely positive now. But unfortunately I can't actually track him. It's too fuzzy to see, if you know what I mean.” The Splat brothers nodded, understanding.

“Yeah, eyes stray and get distracted. No big deal since you're not the only Tracker here.” Baon grinned, stretching some of his facial scars in an ugly manner. Ryu shied away quietly, unnerved by the display.

“Yes, okay. Twins, do you think you two can follow the scent?” Sota picked up Ryu and placed the tiny zetraloid on his shoulders. He watched the two girls look at each other, seemingly having a transmitter-conversation, and Sin nodded.

“'Course we can. There's no possible way we can loose a stench like that... unless the stupid thing went into the sewer for another bath.” Sal said, laughing. Sin grinned at the mention of her joke in her sister's sentence and took off, following the scent beside her twin.

________________________________________

It took the group three hours to finally find a double layered trail leading into an office building.

They stared at it for a few minutes before Ryu hopped off of Sota's shoulders and walked towards the old building.

“Ryu! What are you doing?!” Sota made a grab at him and ended up doing a face-plant on the ground for his effort. Ryu looked back at him, barely hiding a grin, before he spoke.

“There's no one inside. We need to investigate what's in there. I have a feeling it'll be very important.” He turned and continued to walk inside. The Twins looked at each other before shrugging at each other and following the tiny fellow inside. The Splats and Maothin soon followed their lead. Maothin stopped by Sota to help him up and enter the abandoned structure with his friend.

Inside what used to be the lobby, or at least that's what Sota guessed, the zetraloids split into groups of two – the Twins together, Maud and Aon, Maothin and Baon, and Sota and Ryu. They all looked through the first floor. It was Sal, the more serious Twin, who sent out the transmitter call.

“Guys. You'd better come here. Stairway leading up to the second floor.”

The others were already there when Sota and Ryu arrived. Ryu hopped off of Sota's shoulder – which he had begun calling his riding spot – as Maothin came up to Sota, a look of concern on the blue zetraloid's face.

“Please tell me that this is better then what I think it is. I really want it to be less severe then what I'm thinking it is.” Maothin talked, babbling to comfort himself really, as Sota walked up the stairs to the little platform in which the stairs doubled back on themselves.

Sota stared at the object on the floor dumbly. It was a broken metal circle, spiked on the inside, lying in a small puddle of drying plasma. The plasma was still wet, as it still dripped slowly off of the spikes. Sota's brain finally registered what it was exactly – a collar. A collar Sota had designed himself for Xao's first birthday with the gang. It was more comfortable then the one Sota had made Bulih upgrade to fit the needs of Xao's circumstance, and was less bulk on her neck to allow for more breathing room while wearing the cloak. Sota kneeled down and picked up the collar, confirming it identity with one glance at the outside – painted with a light red pattern Sota had only seen once in life on Xao's helmet.

“This is Xao's. No doubt about that... and that means we have to hurry. We won't be able to call for reinforcements with this newest development and we will have to rescue her immediately.” Sota stood quickly, leaving the broken collar on the floor. There was no way of repairing it with the damage it had received.

“Why? What's the meaning of that collar?” Ryu climbed onto Sota's back just before the silver zetraloid walked out of the stairway, heading for the door.

“They forced it off. Broke it. That was the worse possible move if they wanted to keep her alive. I had designed that collar myself, specifically for Xao. It hooked directly into the central nervous system with those spikes, enabling the ability to shock the wearer to a certain degree after reaching a certain distance limit from the power source. With the wounds she most likely received from the removal of the collar, she'll probably bleed to death in sixteen hours at the least. Twenty hours at the most. If they physically hurt her more then that, the time of life decreases with severity. Twins! Please lead the way, quickly!” Both girls nodded and took the lead after Sota rushed out of the building doors.

'Don't worry Xao. We're coming for you. Just a little longer, baby girl.' Sota shook himself as he ran, trying to rid himself of bad mental images.
Back to top Go down
Soma
The Pony Buddy
The Pony Buddy
avatar

Posts : 26
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 23

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:55 pm

Ten
Xao moaned as she rolled over. Slowly, she forced herself into a sitting position, wincing as her neck complained. Gingerly touching the rag covering her neck wound, she looked around. The room she was in was empty of furniture and dark. A single candle near her flickered precariously low. The floor was cold concrete, firm under her hand. It warmed slightly the closer to the candle she put her hand but not by much. A large, messy pile of papers was stacked up in the corner, just barely within range of the candle's flickering light. She stared at it for a minute before she stood and began to walk unsteadily towards it.

“I would not do that.” A low voice growled from the back of the room – behind Xao. She froze, waiting for an attack. The voice laughed quietly, a mixture of a dog's bark and a human cough. It sent chills up her back. Xao turned slowly, tensed for an attack, until she could see the speaker.

It was a male zetraloid, if it could be called a zetraloid. He was in the shape of a giant wolf, lounging peacefully on a large, well-used doggie bed in a corner that used to be pitch black in darkness. His fur was a sooty ash gray with random stripes of red and orange running down his large body. Fire licked his ears, setting his ember orange eyes in shadows. He ran his tongue over his scarred muzzle as if he were contemplating eating her. She squeaked and took a step back.

“You, my little black friend, are quite the speciman. Do you have any idea how much trouble you've given me by just being so elusive?” His lips pulled back to reveal large, jagged teeth. On a normal humanoid zetraloid, Xao would have described his expression as a evil intentions kind of grin. On this massive wolf zetraloid, it was downright scary. “I know you go by the name of Xao. I know you claim to be a Common zetraloid but your abilities speak of a hint of Stealth blood. I know that you claim to be eight years of age. Plenty old enough to be registered in the databanks. So would you care to explain why exactly I cannot find you in those databanks?” He moved his great paws, sitting up slightly. Xao took a few steps backwards, stumbling. He was as tall as she was and he wasn't even standing! His teeth parted slightly. “Talk, little girl. You can't possibly stand up against me. I'm far too powerful to be stopped by a puny little game piece like yourself.” He was facing Xao head on now, his haunches placed so that he could easily jump at Xao with maximum speed. Xao looked behind her at the stack of papers, wanting to hide from his unsettling gaze. She looked back at him quietly, predicting her chances of being able to make it to the pile without being stopped. He hadn't moved again but his weird grin was back. Slowly, she positioned herself, readying herself to dash the short distance to the paper fortress, staring at the strange zetraloid. His tail moved to the other side of his body, rustling the fabric of the doggie bed he lay in as it moved.

She dashed to the papers. She'd barely made it two feet when her transmitters registered a woosh of air and the clicks of metal paws and claws on the cement floor. Two seconds later she was on the floor, her left shoulder in absolute agony and a pressure on her chest, restricting her breathing. She waited, her eyes closed, for the nausea to disappear.

“That wasn't very smart, Xao. My sources had told me you were smart. Clearly, they were very wrong. I'll have to punish them now... once we're done that is.” The wolf zetraloid's breath hit her face as her nausea dissipated. Slowly, she opened her eyes and instantly wished she hadn't. The wolf zetraloid's large teeth were inches away from her nose. The pressure on her chest was from one massive paw resting squarely in the center. She could see his eyes clearly from this distance and perspective, deciding quickly that she would have much rather remained at a distance. His eyes glowed a dim, murky red-gold and what should have been the whites of his eyes were as black as Xao's armor. His breath, Xao noted now, smelled of rotten meat, plasma, decay, and hints of fruit. She wrinkled her nose in disgust and lashed out with her right hand – her left arm wasn't responding to anything she told it to do – aiming to hit his face with her fist. His reaction was simple and fast. His head jerked back to allow her fist to pass by harmlessly. As her forearm was passing his nose he latched onto it with his jaws. His teeth easily pierced her armor, clearly designed for such a purpose, and crushed her arm with little effort, nearly severing the limb at the elbow. Xao yelled incoherently as her vision fragmented with the pain.

She barely registered the pressure lifting from her chest and the pin-pricks of pain emerge from her left foot. She did, however, register the fact that she was being dragged, as her wounded arm and shoulder sent lances through her senses. She cursed the wolf zetraloid, trying unsuccessfully to kick him with her free foot. To her, it seemed like an hour went by while she was being dragged across the floor to rest by the wolf zetraloid's doggie bed when in fact it wasn't even a full minute.

He flopped onto the bed, prepared to wait until her pain subsided enough that she could talk. He licked the plasma off his lips and teeth. 'It's been such a long time since I've been able to bite someone three times and not have them die. It's such a shame though. I would have loved to eat her if she weren't a vital game piece.' He looked at Xao, watching her look at her shoulder, which was also crushed. He enjoyed the look of shock on zetraloid's faces. He enjoyed that look on anyone's face really. It filled him with a twisted sense of joy.

“Feel like talking to me yet? Or would you like that pretty little neck of yours crushed as well?” He grinned, waiting. She looked up from her shoulder, swallowing down a throatful of raw fear.

“I don't --” The door Xao had failed to notice opened, interrupting her. The wolf glared at the shaft of light angrily.

“What do you want?” His voice was a menacing growl.

“Sir, a group of seven zetraloids have been spotted outside. They've been standing out there for an hour.” A voice Xao recognized spoke from the other side of the door.

“So why are you telling me this?! I have no use for that kind of information. It does my cause no good.” The wolf barked, his metal fur bristling in an unholy symphony.

“All have been identified as belonging to S.O.T.A, sir. Sota himself is with them. We suspect it may be a rescue attempt. How they found this place, we are not sure of.” Xao gasped, both at the information and remembering the voice's owner – the smart girl kidnapper, Duani. The wolf zetraloid turned his gaze onto Xao, smug gloating replaced with burning hatred.

“If he does happen to get you back, Xao, remember to pass on a message for me. Tell him to be afraid of the Dark. Remind him of what lurks behind the veils, unseen and undetected. Remind him of Trini and that pain. If you survive, that is.” He stood, raised one massive paw, and sliced down the side of Xao's head, barely missing her transmitter. His claws easily cut deeply into the side of her neck, slicing through the makeshift bandage and deeping the unhealed fatal wound. Her gasp of pain sounded more like a pitiful whimper, ending with a slightly liquid sound. The wolf zetraloid stalked out of the room, enclosing her in darkness with the sound of a slamming door.

It was silent for a few minutes. Xao stared at the invisible door, her mind in a haze of panic and pain. She couldn't move, despite all of her efforts to force her body to respond. Her grasp on consciousness was slipping as well.

The slight click of the door opening focused her mind. It swung open only a foot before a dark shape slipped inside. Upon shutting the door and therefore relinquishing the light, a squashed oval began to glow, illuminating a dark hooded figure. It was roughly a foot tall, crouching down as it made its way over to her side. It looked down at her, the glow of its armor letting her get a good look at its face. It was a zetraloid, blue-tinted silver armor with blue-tinted white trim. The eyes reminded her of the sea depths on a calm day in her hometown. There was a weird mark on his helmet, but her eyes refused to focus any longer. Reluctantly, she slipped into that cooling darkness once again, thoughts of her long-lost family forefront of her minds' eye.

____________________________________

Ryu stared at this little black zetraloid, a look of wonder on his face. She couldn't have been older then ten, most likely a year or two younger, but here she lay, her shoulder and arm crushed, her foot bitten, and her neck bleeding heavily. She had looked at him seriously before she'd passed out, as if she had been sizing him up for battle.

'This is Xao,' he thought. 'Determined, bright, joyful, intelligent, precious. This is Sota's adopted daughter. This is Maothin's entire world. This is life's young gift, worn out already. And yet this precious gift has been dragged into the beginnings of a gang war. A war that will most likely be the worst this city sees in its lifetime. I feel sorry for her. She's so young. Supposed to be innocent and ignorant of the real world... Somehow, she's gotten dragged into this thing. I have a feeling that something in this plot is going to tie back to the olden days, when Frozun was the greatest officer in the Federation....'

“I have her. It's bad, much worse then expected.” Ryu sent the transmission to Sota and pressed his hands against the child's neck, trying to slow the loss of plasma.
Back to top Go down
Soma
The Pony Buddy
The Pony Buddy
avatar

Posts : 26
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 23

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:59 pm

Eleven
Sota stood in silence next to Maothin and the rescue group. He was acutely aware of the activity in the old warehouse and knew that they had been watched by unseen eyes since they first arrived here. He hoped that they, whoever they were, had not seen little Ryu dash inside after a pair of female zetraloids.

He turned to look at his blue armored friend, worried for his friend's mentality. Quietly, he placed his hand on Maothin's shoulder, aiming to comfort with touch. Maothin glanced at Sota, his mouth twitching in an effort to smile reassuringly.

“I have her. It's bad, much worse then expected.” Ryu's light voice floated through Sota's transmitters. He looked at the building, silent.

“Can you tell us how to get there? Safely.” Sota responded after a minute of thought. He waited patiently for the reply.

“Basement. Last door to the right. The only steel door in the building.” His voice paused. “I'm staying with her. Her neck is bleeding very badly and I'm afraid that if I move that she'll die quickly. Otherwise I would stand outside the door to wait.”

Sota nodded, even though Ryu couldn't see him nod. “Good. We're coming in.” Sota lifted his right hand and motioned to the group to follow him. He started towards the door confidently. The group followed quietly. “We may have to fight, people. Be prepared for the worst.” Sota looked over his shoulder as he walked. “But now we at least know where we need to be to find Xao.” Baon, the middle Splat brother, groaned in mock dismay.

“Another fight? Life is so unfair to give someone who was as handsome and charming as myself more scars to bear!”

“Keep talking like that and I'll give you a scar on your face. And it'll never disappear at all, you miserable rat!” Sin stood beside her twin, glaring at Baon as he approached. Sota shook his head and walked around the building, looking for a different entryway. The group followed their leader without question, knowing what he was looking for.

They were soon inside, entering by way of a tiny basement window, dug into the ground as a fire escape route. They stood in a room filled with rotting, filthy mattresses thrown about the room as if several super-powered children had thrown fits of anger in the room all at the same time. A tiny pathway wound itself through the mattresses, barely big enough for a grown man's foot. Sin and Sal looked around the room, disgust plain on their cat-like faces and their hands held over their noses.

“Now I understand the sewer stench on that guy. This place is a mess! Sota, I am so glad you don't allow us to live like this.” Sal whispered in Sota's ear. Sota nodded absently, watching Maothin make the hazardous journey to the door with an attempt at minimal disturbance to the filth around him. Maothin successfully made it to the door and proceeded to open it and take a peek outside. Sota began the journey to the door as well, soon followed clumsily by Sal, Sin, Maud, and Aon. Baon, who's bulk often hindered him when stealth was wanted, stayed by the window, plugging his nose silently.

“Maothin. What does it look like out there?” Sota whispered his question only once the door was shut, Maothin looked at Sota and then at the door.

“We're near the back of the hall. There's a steel door two doors to the right. By that I mean that there's one door between that door and our door. No one is in the hallway at the moment.” Sota nodded and looked at the Twins for confirmation. They nodded.

“Okay. So you girls will go out and retrieve Xao and Ryu. We'll be here in case of trouble.” The Twins started to move but stopped when Sota glared. “You'll wait until I've informed Ryu of this plan. He'll have to answer the door at your knock and if he doesn't know it's you two he's going to hide away in a corner.” The Twins nodded meekly and crouched down again. Sota sighed and mentally turned to Ryu. “Ryu. The Twins will be coming down the hall here in a minute. They'll knock on the door two times to let you know it's them. Can you handle opening the door for them?” Sota's mental voice went unheard for but a moment.

“I think I can handle that. If one of you guys there can find a rag of some kind there then I can let her go until we get out. Cleanliness doesn't really matter. The current rag around her neck is grimy anyway.” Sota grimaced at the implication.

“Okay, I'll have a look around.” Sota looked at the Twins and Maothin. “Find a rag. How clean it is doesn't matter apparently as Ryu says Xao's current bandage if filthy already.” They began poking around the hills of filthy mattresses, looking for thin blankets or rags suitable for the task Sota had deemed necessary. Sota was the one who found the first thin blanket that looked like it could stop plasma flow at least for a time. He called to the other searchers quietly before making his way over the tedious mountains of mattresses and filth. He handed the blanket, a pitiful moldy green colored thing worn to near extinction, to Sal and nodded. She wrinkled her nose and handed it off to her sister, opening the door out instead. They walked out single file, Sal on watch and leading the way, Sin less careful and more concentrated on keeping the blanket as far away from her as possible.

____________________________

Ryu heard a light knocking on the door, two times only. Quietly, carefully, he flipped his dark hood up without releasing the pressure on Xao's neck. He waited a moment before darting over to the door, planning on leaving Xao's wound unwatched for only a moment. He cracked open the door just enough for him to see. The two brown cat zetraloids stood there, the amber-eyed one holding out a moldy sheet as far away from her body as possible. Seeing that, Ryu leapt at it and hurried back to Xao's side, carefully lifting her head to slip the thing under. The door swung open as he did so, letting a bright shaft of light fall into the room. It didn't quite reach Xao and Ryu but gave the Twins enough light to see Ryu tie the blanket tightly around her neck.

Ryu stood once it was tightly secured around the wound and shook the plasma off of his hands. He stepped away to let Sal pick the girl up gently. Xao's shallow breath paused as she was moved, something that scared Ryu a little. He had no connection to this little girl but he hadn't seen death yet and wasn't planning on seeing it now.

A finger tapped Ryu's shoulder. He turned to see the green-eyed twin gesturing to her back. Ryu stared for a moment before he got the message and scrambled onto her back, clinging to her armor like a baby monkey to it's mother's back. He looked back at Xao, only to see that her limp form was craddled in the amber-eyed twin's arms like a precious baby who'd just been born. He watched that twin as she came out of the room and started down the hallway towards the stairs. The twin carrying Ryu followed her twin, leaving the steel door wide open.

They were just passing the first door after the big steel one when both twins stopped, their ears alert and facing forward. Ryu looked at them both before listening, straining his transmitters to hear whatever it was they heard. He barely heard the clack of claws hitting hard cement, so fast that the creature must have been running at full speed. Ryu remembered where he had heard those claws moments before the door at the end of the hallway exploded, sending flaming chunks of wood flying towards the Twins.

The three zetraloids stared in shock at the flaming remains of the doorway. A good portion of the cement wall that had framed the door was gone, bits of dust and rock on the floor. Ten feet of fire licked the destroyed wall and the metal ceiling, despite the lack of fuel. A dark outlined shape, about five feet in height, came through the ruined doorway. Smoldering ember three feet off the ground glared hatefully as a chilling snarl came from within the fires' belly. A blue liquid Ryu recognized as plasma dripped from the place where the mouth would be and boiled moments after hitting the cement floor. Ryu could barely make out the general shape of a massive wolf in the heat waves of flame and color. It placed one flaming paw forward, metal claws clicking loudly on the hard surface. The noise brought Ryu out of his state of shock. He pinched his twin's ear, yanking it back slightly.

“Run, you fool! Run before it attacks!” Ryu whispered urgently into her ear. He didn't have to wait for his words to impact her and cause action. She ran towards the pillar of fire, grabbing her sister's ear to drag her forward with her. Ryu yelled, confused, as the beast within the fire leapt forward. The second door swung open as the fire-beast lunged at the two running zetraloid. The door hit the beast hard on the nose, sending it sprawling backwards several feet. Maothin stood in front of the door, pointing inside.

“Go, quickly! I'll stall this thing as long as I can.” He pushed the twins through the door. The tallest Splat brother was helping his younger brother through the window. Sota stood by the door, watching them.

“Got everyone?” Sal nodded in response. “Good. Maud will help you out. Maothin, go with them. I'll deal with this beast.” Sota tried to push his friend towards the window after the twins but got pushed back and received a friendly glare.

“No, Sota. You need to go. The gang needs your leadership much more then they need my knowledge. I know whoever stalls this thing will die and I can not allow you to throw your life away when you're needed so badly.” Maothin looked past Sota at Xao, who was being passed through the window. “Take care of Xao, Sota. Don't let her die. She's too much like you and Trini. I couldn't bear it even in the afterlife, should there be one, if you let her die. My life would be wasted then. Don't let her talents go to waste either, Sota.” Maothin stared at Sota for a moment before holding out his hand. Sota looked down at Maothin's hand before clasping it with his own.

“I'll miss you, bud. We'll both miss you, Maothin. Good luck.” Sota smiled sadly, his eyes starting to tear up. “We live forever, remember?”

“The old Federation saying, huh? Live forever to die tomorrow, Frozun. It's been a good long century being your friend. I won't forget that. Now go. Quickly.” Maothin smiled and pushed Sota towards the window before he turned, jumped out of the doorway and slammed the door shut. Sota stared at it for a moment.

“Yeah, live forever to die tomorrow... those Federation days were good, Slick. Really good. I had just hoped to die before you did, old friend.” He turned and ran towards the window, jumping just in time to make it through. It slammed shut and the group ran back to their base, deep in thought.

____________________________

Maothin stared at the fiery blaze as it moved, bringing itself to it's full height. His fists were clenched, but if they were clenched out of fear or anger, he wasn't sure.

“Slick...” A low growl rumbled from within the flames. “I didn't expect Frozun to hide behind your pitiful hide.” A barking cough of a laugh came into the air. Maothin flinched as if he had just been slapped. Something wasn't right... in an oddly familiar way. He had to fight the urge to think back, as he knew that it would take him back to his Federation days, when he was constantly fighting with evil and corrupt people.

“My name isn't Slick. I don't know who that is but it certainly isn't me.” Maothin brought his fists up, ready to fend off whatever beast lay within those devil flames. The barking-cough laugh came again.

“But it is your name. Don't you remember the good old days, back in the Federation. Sitting around Frozun's desk, laughing and playing. Fighting alongside one another for the greater good. Putting aside relationships for the job. Don't you remember any of it? I know it's been almost seventy years or so but you can't be so old that you're getting that human memory disease, can you?” The beast sneered distastefully. “But of course you are. Frozun always liked you better. Spoiled you, really. Letting you date that filthy trash when you should have been doing your job. What was her name again...? Oh, I remember! It was that purple armored Bad girl who dresses inappropriately, Trini.” The laugh came again as Maothin stared in shock. No one had ever talked about his dead girlfriend like that, not when she was alive nor when she was dead. No one except the one zetraloid who had hated her for being 'soft and weak.'

“Dark?!” Maothin asked, still shocked, the flames.

“Oh, you finally remembered my Federation name. How sweet of you. It's such a shame you can't take the good news back to Frozun. I'll be nice and reward you for remembering my name though. I won't use my fire to melt you while you die.” The beast laughed again as the fires died, revealing the massive wolf zetraloid that had tortured Xao. He grinned, showing his large, jagged teeth. Maothin took a step back.

“You're supposed to be dead... executed! How did you even find this city?!”

“Dead, not so much. The Federation is lazy, was lazy with prisoners even back then. As for your other question, it was a lot of hard work.” The wolf zetraloid's tail swished. “So sorry but you've used up your quota of questions for today.” He lunged at Maothin, easily covering the distance between them. Maothin moved to the left, trying to avoid the attack, but was too slow. The wolf's teeth tore Maothin's blue helmet, ripping off half of the armor, wiring, and circuits inside. Maothin fell to the floor, gasping. The wolf zetraloid dropped the hunk of metal that had been a part of Maothin's helmet. He grinned his wolf grin and bit into Maothin's shoulder and began to tear apart the body, limb from limb, leaving every piece in a neat pile. The wolf zetraloid left out the two pieces of Maothin's head, placing them together, side by side.

The wolf zetraloid, Dark, placed two paws on the large heap of metal chunks and pieces that used to be Maothin's body. His paws caught fire, roaring to life quickly. After five minutes of heat, the bits and chunks of metal melted, becoming a squashed liquid pool of molten metal. Dark removed his paws and quenched his fire, returning to the decapitated and halved head of Maothin. Grinning evilly, Dark picked up the smaller half – the half he had bitten off the first strike – and crunched it up into a few smaller chunks that were still large enough for him to place back together. He repeated the process with the other half of the head, leaving the facial features untouched. With that task done, he began to reassemble the pieces atop the cooled pool of metal, getting every piece back in its proper place. Silently, he licked the cracks, heating the metal just enough that the pieces would hold together so long as it wasn't moved. When done, Maothin's head looked untouched by tooth or claw.

“Sir, six zetraloid's just ran off. They were carrying the subject Duani and I captured earlier as well as a seventh zetraloid on one's back. We weren't able to capture them.” A big black zetraloid stood on a step, not daring to set foot in the smoldering remains of the doorway.

“That's okay, Tuff. We're leaving this hideout anyway. Go tell everyone to pack. But first, come over here. I need to leave a note by these remains for a couple of old friends.” Dark looked at the zetraloid, his wolfish grin still on his face.
Back to top Go down
Soma
The Pony Buddy
The Pony Buddy
avatar

Posts : 26
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 23

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:01 pm

Twelve
Sota sat in a chair in a corner, watching Bulih work over Xao. Sota's worried ice blue eyes followed the white zetraloid's every movement. Bulih would have normally told him to wait outside to keep from distracting him, like he was now, but Bulih didn't have the heart to send the silver guy away, not so soon after Maothin's sacrifice. Bulih's black eyes glanced up at Sota, noting once again the unshed tears in his eyes.

Bulih sighed. He hadn't been very fond of Maothin, despising the blue zetraloid's habit of correcting mistakes and constant flood of information that had come from his mouth, even the way he had told Bulih that he was ordered to do something. But the news of his death... well that shook everyone's roots, even Bulih's sleepy roots. Bulih was shaken more then most people in the gang primarily because he knew how Sota would feel – Bulih was one of the few zetraloids connected to the gang that knew exactly how far back Sota and Maothin went. An impressive ninety-three years.

Bulih concentrated on his hands deft movements for a moment, cleansing the deep neck wound with a alcohol cleaner mixture. His eyes flicked up involuntarily, registering Sota's appearance and body language – worried and tense, like a father worried about his little girl. He lowered his black-eyed gaze back to his work silently. Bulih did actually like Sota, despite his appearance of not liking his boss at all. He just didn't approve of Sota being the leader of a 'gang' and keeping all those street rats downstairs. Bulih had been hired on as a repair mechanic and engineer for Sota's Repair and soon got handed the 'special' job of repairing the injuries the street rats acquired. Granted, his pay went up for repairing them and they were cleaner then he'd thought they'd be, but his sterile equipment got used much faster then before. He had gone out and bought two more sets of his tools just to keep up with the number of patients and normal building and repairs he got to doing, plus he often spent four or five days up at one time, trying to finish everything in time for dead lines. Bulih had gotten a caffeine addiction because of his hours and spent his days off sleeping. Everyone had soon found out that once Bulih crashed after days of non-stop working, he did not wake up until his energy was completely restored.

Sota shifted, drawing Bulih's gaze again. Sota's eyes flicked down at the wound Bulih was repairing, undoubtedly asking a silent question. Bulih sighed and stopped working.

“Yes, I can fix her. It's just taking long because of the severity of her wounds and the general way her armor is made.” Bulih watched his boss for a moment, trying to force himself to say his mind.

“Look, Sota.... I know this is hard for you but you have to rest. Plus, I can't concentrate with you watching me the way you are. Why don't you go organize something since I know you probably won't be able to sleep.” Bulih watched Sota's eyes widen ever so slightly as his mind slowly registered what the white zetraloid wanted. Bulih made a mental note of that – Sota cracked slightly under stress by responding slower then normal.

“You'll send for me when you're done? At least, when you've done all that you can possibly do for her. Right?” Sota asked. Bulih sighed and nodded quietly. Sota smiled slightly. “I feel as if I underpay you, Bulih. You do far too much work for what I put you through. Thank you.” Bulih watched the silver zetraloid leave before commenting under his breath.

“Underpay me? No, Sota, it's more like you overpay me for my lousy work. I'm half asleep or on a caffeine high most of the time.” Bulih sighed and began working again. It wasn't five minutes later when Bulih became aware of another gaze boring into his backside. He sighed again and opened his mouth to send Sota off again.

“No, I am not leaving. Not yet at least.” A feathery light voice that was in no way Sota's voice floated up from behind Bulih. “Can you tell me what model Xao is, doctor?” The feathery light voice had a teasing tone in the last word.

“Common. Nothing too interesting about her physically.” Bulih remained working, suspicious of the voice's owner.

“That does not explain why Maothin would sacrifice himself for her. Nor does it explain your earlier comment about the way her armor is made.”

“Look, I just know that she's a Common zetraloid with uncommon armor. I'm just trained to fix her and others, not pay attention to details about different zetraloids. I'm not paid to pass on information to anyone. If you really want the details, find Sota. He's probably in his office now. Just don't come in here while I'm working. Leave now please.” Bulih clenched his jaw, grinding his teeth, once he was finished talking and continued his work. He waited until he heard the door close before he relaxed his jaw.

“Xao, what in the devil's world have you gotten us into?” Bulih asked the unconscious girl, working patiently on the repairs.

___________________________

Sota paced restlessly in his business office, his fingers twitching occasionally. His eyes trained themselves on his moving feet as they moved almost mindlessly in a thin oval track in front of the oak desk that dominated this office. Sota's business office was lavishly decorated, covered in soft fabrics and large, comfy chairs for clients and himself. Sota didn't notice the surrounding office anymore, really. His mind buzzed with thoughts, worries about Xao, and flashbacks of his younger days with his combat unit and the young medic, Trini, all sitting around Sota's plain desk in the Federation's base of operations, laughing and talking. Maothin, lively and young, teasing the shy purple armored Trini. Dark, the secretive wolf zetraloid, herding crumpled paper balls into a pile.

Sota shook his head, trying to rid himself of that memory. He knew where that road of memories led, as his mind often took him down that road when he had nothing to do. He turned at the sound of the door opening behind him and smiled at David. David, a short skinny man of about twenty-five years, looked up from the file he was reading and pushed up his square glasses, returning Sota's smile good naturedly. The human closed the file and combed back his greasy light brown hair with his fingers.

“Sota, are you too busy to spare a humble repair man a moment a chit-chat?” The human asked, nearly laughing at himself. Sota shook his head and sat on the edge of the chair behind his desk. He gestured at one of the two client chairs.

“Come on in. What's bothering you, David?” Sota smiled slightly. David looked at the chair and then at Sota. Sighing, he closed the door and walked over to sit comfortablly in the chair without losing the files he placed in his lap.

“Sota can I ask you something else first?” Sota nodded when David paused. “Why are you getting so stressed now? All of your businesses are doing well, Bulih's actually awake. You're popular among the politicians, even sought out by females of human and zetraloid races. What is causing this nervousness I'm seeing now?” David stared at Sota through his glasses, his dark green eyes focused on Sota. Sota stared back for a moment before averting his eyes.

“Personal life crisis. Good friend died a couple hours ago and I just got news of it. Don't worry about it.” 'Not the whole truth... but close enough. Yeah, Maothin died... but at least I got to say goodbye.' Sota thought as he looked at David. “You needed something, David?” David's cheeks turned red slightly, as if he'd forgotten that he'd come in for something and just been embarrassed by being reminded of it.

“Yes, who is that zetraloid Bulih is working so hard on? I walked in the room and got yelled at for distracting him. And promptly got kicked out of the room too. I don't have any records of that little one. Who's is it?”

“Little black and gray female, passed out?”

“Yeah. You've seen her?” Sota nodded at David's words.

“Bulih is doing that work for me personally.” Sota paused. “Did you see how she was?”

“She had a cruched arm and shoulder but those were the only injuries I could see. Bulih just started on her shoulder, I think. How'd she get so beat up?”

“I think she got in a fight with some inanimate machine and lost terriblly. Is that everything?” Sota smiled, his eyes laughing, and folded his hands neatly on his desk, leaning forward slightly.

“Yes, as a matter of fact. I think you're more worried about that little zetraloid then you're letting on. Would you care if I investigated her and her connection to you on my own time?” David smiled and pushed his glasses up again.

“That's fine by me. Just don't speak a word to anyone about what you find out about her and come confirm what you've found with me.” Sota shrugged. “The truth can be found, if you look through the maze properly. I can see you about the information you gather once a week, if you want to confirm any information.” David nodded and stood, stretching.

“Can I get a start with you, Sota? What's her name?”

“Xao. X-A-O.” Sota stood as well. “Have fun researching, David.” David smiled at Sota and left the room, his thoughts filled.

Sota sighed and collapsed back into his leather high-backed chair. Silently he closed his eyes and relaxed slightly. He raised one hand and covered his eyes with it, rubbing his forehead with his thumb. 'After nearly a full day of waiting, Bulih's repairing her shoulder.... He's moving so slowly.' Sota sighed quietly. 'Maothin, what am I supposed to do now? I don't know Ryu and he's staying here for the next two or three days. Bulih's going to crash once he finishes Xao's repairs, unless something comes up. He's already been working for five days and that's pushing his limit, especially since we ran out of caffeine for him. David is asking questions about Xao. I don't doubt that Ryu's asking questions too, just not to me. And then there's the fire-wolf gang issue... why did that fire wolf look so familiar, Maothin?' Sota sighed and sat up, removing his hand from over his eyes. 'I guess I'm experiencing one of those human sayings for myself. You know, that one that says that we never know what we have until we lose it... or almost lose it.' Sota stood up, deciding nearly instantly what he was going to do next. He was going to go on a hunt. He was going to take the zetraloids in the North Corner and storm that warehouse and slaughter everyone who stood in his way between him and that devil who started this kidnap-torture-and-kill business. He was going to make sure that that person suffered, much worse then Xao or Maothin did and have. And he wasn't going to fail, no matter how long it took him.

Sota strode from his office, looking as calm and confident as ever. The only way anyone could tell he was angry was by the cold fury that collected in his ice blue eyes.
Back to top Go down
Soma
The Pony Buddy
The Pony Buddy
avatar

Posts : 26
Join date : 2010-01-20
Age : 23

PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:33 pm

Thirteen
A day and a half after Xao's rescue, some of the S.O.T.A. gang stood in the very spot the rescue group had stood not so long ago. Sota was the only one in visible sight, staring at the quiet warehouse. He'd been standing there for half an hour, staring, waiting.

'There should have been some kind of activity by now... but there is zero. Time to go in, I think.' Sota turned slightly and snapped his fingers two times. Dalin, his helmet covered in low blue flames, stepped out of the darkness of an alleyway behind Sota.

“Infiltrate the building. If you encounter anyone, give them a chance to surrender before you attack to kill. Just one chance.” Sota leaned against the building, thinking to himself. “Try to keep the causalty numbers low. Bulih is already overworked repairing Xao and getting a rush order from a client. We're out of coffee and caffeine at the business too so he'll want to sleep.” Sota nodded, signaling to Dalin that he was dismissed.

Dalin turned and signaled to the darkness, a series of small, quick and subtle hand movements. Sounds of movement came from within the alleyway, soon followed by the appearances of a few zetraloids moving over to the warehouse doors as silent moving shadows. They paused in the doorway, the slight clicks of gun being loaded and readied for fire echoing from the area. Sota watched silently as doors were thrust open and zetraloids ran into the building on padded metal feet.

Long moments passed before a zetraloid, covered head to toe in dark fabric, stepped out of the front door and signaled to Dalin. Dalin nodded and looked over to Sota. Sota's eyes had hardened again, their cold blue depths filled with a fury that could have killed even the most vile monster with only a glance. He hadn't liked the news – the warehouse had been abandoned, not too long ago. Every portable personal item – papers, blankets, mementos, ect. – was removed, and every living being except for the rats were gone. Damages had been left unrepaired, mattresses left to rot. Only one other item had been found – Maothin's head.

Sota nodded and walked across the street, Dalin following quickly. He nodded to the zetraloid as he passed and entered the warehouse. Inside, he allowed Dalin to lead him to the stairs leading to the basement. There was a small group of zetraloids standing near a blackened and charred hole in the wall – what used to be the doorway leading into the hallway. One zetraloid in the group looked up from the remains and nudged his fellows with his foot.

“Mr. S. Master Dal.” He saluted the with the subtle two-fingered salute that S.O.T.A. used – a simple raise of the middle and index fingers to the mouth and gesture towards the person who is being saluted. Similar to the raising of a cigarette to the mouth. “Right down the hall. It's been left untouched.” He saluted again, followed simultaneously by the rest of the group, and turned back to speculation of the doorway.

Two zetraloids stood near the end of the hallway, seeming to be on guard. Sota made his way towards them, knowing that they must be guarding what remained of Maothin. Dalin had to increase his pace to keep up with Sota's long strides.

Sota slowed and stopped a few feet away, looking down at a mound of metal next to a bodiless head. It took Sota a moment to place the head with a body and confirm the owner: Maothin. 'He must have been really beat up if he got decapitated. Unless...” Sota looked at the mound of metal, noting the blue tint and layers – like it had been something more elaborate once and got melted down. He kneeled down beside the mound, touching it lightly with his right hand. His finger told him what his eyes could not – there were faint indentations in the metal. Two, spread like a person catching themselves from a fall, both of the shaped like wolf prints with large claws leaving four separate prints at the top of each pawprint.

His eyes wandered over to Maothin's bodiless head – and saw a paper taped to the back just as Dalin placed his hands on the head to pick it up. Sota's hand flew through the air to hit Dalin's arm but was already too late. The head fell to pieces as it was lifted an inch off the ground, the tiny metal chunks bouncing on the floor in a symphony of pings and clicks. Dalin dropped the single full piece – the face – holding his arm tenderly. He looked at Sota, seeing his boss carefully fish out a small paper from within the pile of metal pieces and bits.

Dalin watched Sota read it, noting the near instant tenseness in the tall silver zetraloid's body. Sota's free hand balled up into a fist, responding to the renewed fury that welled up in his chest, threatening to overwhelm his better senses. He stood abruptly, closing his hand over the paper.

“Dalin, take Maothin's body to Bulih. The mound of metal here is Maothin's actual body, so take it along with the metal pieces of his head. Have Bulih melt the remains down to a box, preferablly small.” Sota turned and walked away. 'How dare he. First kidnap Xao and then murder Maothin. Now this. How can that ******* have the guts to tell me to watch out after all I've done? That pup forgets his place.' Sota huffed to himself angrily. 'And as a former senior officer in the Federation, and his former superior officer, it is my duty to teach him that lesson.' Sota released the paper outside without paying any attention to it as it floated down, landing face up in a puddle, revealing its words to the world. Crude words sprawled across the paper, only two lines long. The words, becoming increasingly unreadable as water soaked the paper, read:

'Your time is running out. Beware of the dark, Frozun.'

Two days later, in Bulih's Lab.

Xao's eyes slowly opened. She took in the bland, dim white ceiling and the soft snore that came from somewhere to her left. Feeling no pain upon moving, Xao looked down at her body. She frowned slightly, trying to remember when she got repaired.

When she came up with nothing, she looked to her left to identify the source of that soft snore. She smiled when she saw Bulih, seated in a stool and his head resting on an empty operation table. His eyes were closed, his lips parted slightly. A thin line of droll dripped from the corner of his mouth, a small pool gathering near his face. A plastic container was near his hand, cold water condensing on the sides. Xao turned to her right. Her cloak was folded neatly on a stool by the table she was on. Silently, Xao swung her legs off the table and hopped down. She reached for her cloak and secured it to her neck, surprised to find her neck had been repaired as well. Xao smiled and thanked Bulih silently before tip-toeing to the window, which had heavy drapes covering the glass to block out the sunlight. Careful to keep the curtains covering the window, Xao opened the window and slipped out, sliding down the building side to land on the sidewalk below.

She looked around as she adjusted her cloak to rest correctly on her shoulders. Her eyes caught a black zetraloid almost as tall as the average thirteen-year-old zetraloid. It was on the other side of the street, walking with its head down. A red scarf flapped lazily behind him – Xao guessed it was male because it lacked the feminine curves most female zetraloids got during their teenage years. Xao looked at her arm and then at the black zetraloid. Their armor style was identical, which surprised Xao. Curiousity overtook Xao's cocmmon sense. She dashed across the street, watching out for the humans' metal monsters. She put the buildings to her side and began to follow the sstranger along the streets. He continued on, unaware of her behind him.

Xao was just spotting the West Corner building when she noticed the sound of two or three pairs of feet hitting the pavement – all zetraloid – following her. She looked forward at the black zetraloid she'd been following and saw that he was being herded into an empty alleyway – on of the dead ends on this block. Xao started into a jog, thinking she'd reach him in time to drag him away and hide in some dark place while these goons continued looking in all the wrong places.

Her plan was interrupted when she received a kick to the side of her head, sending her flying head first into the side of a dumpster. The other zetraloid was already in the alley, staring wide-eyed at Xao. He was being held by one of his helmet fins, which was in the hand of a large blue and gray battle zetraloid. A small gun was in the battle zetraloid's other hand, held against the black zetraloid's transmitter. Five other armed zetraloids blocked the alleyway entrance. One dark green male took a step forward, watching Xao squirm with her hands covering her transmitters, which were ringing painfully.

They waited the moment it took for Xao to recover her hearing in near complete silence, the only sound coming from the black zetraloid as he tried to yank free of the battle zetraloid's grasp and Xao's muffled whimpers. The dark green zetraloid smirked and crouched down beside Xao.

“Hey squirt. You're awfully brave, wandering around after what Boss did to you. And meeting up with a friend too. Either extremely brave, or extremely stupid.” The zetraloid grinned and striaghtened himself before he walked over to the zetraloid Xao had been following. He lifted the stranger's chin and examined the black zetraloid face as one might examine a horse he was planning to buy. “Handsome, but a bit old for you, don't you think so squirt?” The green zetraloid looked back at Xao. Xao glared at him.

“He's not a friend. Let him go.” Xao stood, watching them warily. The green zetraloid's eyebrows rose slightly.

“Not a friend, hm? Guess we'll have to dispose of him. Can't have some teenager running around bragging that he saw a fight between gangs. Boss would have our heads.” He nodded to the blue zetraloid. There was a blinding flash of pink light, followed quickly by the sound of a gun firing. The sound of a dumpster being kicked twice resounded in the alleyway. The six zetraloids were staggering around blindly when the light faded. It took them all of two minutes to regain their sight and take off running.

________________

Xao sighed, relaxing when she heard the footsteps fade. She was sitting at the bottom of a dumpster with the black zetraloid across from her. She was in her true form, primarily white armored with light gray helmet fins. Her body was glowing a light red, although it could easily be called pink. Red runic patterns covered her feet, tracing a path up the sides of her legs and torso. The patterns went onto her back, appearing like wings between her shoulder blades, before they connected to the back of her helmet and ended in the front of her helmet, where a gem would normally go. The same runic patterns covered her hands and tried to trace up her arms, ending at her wrists. The light that came from her body brightened the empty dumpster, making everything in it – the two zetraloids – light enough to be seen.

Xao looked at her visitor and frowned. He was staring at her wide-eyed, his mouth gaping. She sighed and tried to convince herself he was staring at the large scar the lined the left side of her face – a detail that faded when she shifted from her true form most of the time. Slowly, she stood and lifted the dumpster lid just enough to see out into the empty alleyway. After watching for a minute, she forced the tiny plates that made her armor to move, resuming her day-to-day form of a Common black zetraloid. She pushed up the lid completely and clambered out, pausing on the edge to help the stranger climb out.

“Listen, I need you to keep quiet about everything you've seen here today. I really don't want to die and I doubt you want to die either.” Xao watched the black zetraloid quietly. “And a tidbit of advice for you as well. Learn how to climb a building side. It may very well save your life one day. Go straight home, too, and stay away from business buildings for the next couple of days.” Xao smiled lightly and scaled the brick building, disappearing swiftly over the rooftops and left the zetraloid on his own down in the alley.
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Xao's Story   

Back to top Go down
 

Xao's Story

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
MB :: Creative Arts :: Writing-