SCENARIO 22 – Trust and Betrayal

"This is Zenith with Commander Strike and Quentin Lawrence onboard. We are being joined by refugees from the Rose City and Serenity City bases. We are asking permission to board the Zeus," says Commander Strike as the Zenith VVG approaches with several aircraft and few VVGs following closely behind.

"Permission granted. Welcome home, Zenith," says Captain Portland.

"You're clear for entry on decks 3 through 6, Miss Strike," says Erica.

(A few minutes later in the landing decks…)

Commander Strike and Quentin Lawrence jump down from Zenith to be greeted by Captain Portland and several crew members, including the Havocs and Dr. Xhinjiki.

"Pamela, we've come bearing gifts for our cause. Serenity and Rose City bases were destroyed from Techian attacks to GDF forces still stationed there, but we were able to salvage some valuable supplies nonetheless. Captain, we were able to find an Airslasher among the ruins," says Selena.

"An Airslasher!?" exclaims Capt. Portland.

"That's one of the GDF's special aircraft armed with anti-VVG weaponry. This is one of the fully operational and armored versions straight from Sector 05. They are quite rarely used despite of the effectiveness. The GDF is deadest on newer VVG models to match those of the Techians," says Dr. Xhinjiki while watching the crew members load the aircraft out of one of the carriers.

"I believe Ensign Wallace has experience flying an Airslasher, am I correct?" asks Capt. Portland.

Simon looks up from his wheelchair, "I've only flown the prototypes but I'm dying to get back into the action. It'll be a pleasure to work with the Havocs again."

"Then that's settled then. The Airslasher is controlled by the upper body so Ensign Wallace's disability isn't a handicap in battle," says Commander Strike.

"Agreed. The Havocs will be now able to ward off enemy VVGs while the Airslasher provides cover for the Zeus and air support. We definitely need to obtain another one of these craft when the opportunity arises. Doctor, can you and Modok get this craft battle ready as soon as possible?" asks Capt. Portland.

"Of course, the Havocs' VVGs have been fully repaired. All what's left is supplying all the VVGs with ammunition."

"Has Xion and Evangeline reported in yet?" asks Quentin.

"No, the N-Zero cut all communication lines since they left plus somehow the global locator onboard the VVG has been rendered inactive. It's been past 12 hours since they left. Should we send out search party?" asks Erica.

"No, that isn't necessary. Xion is being accompanied by Lady Evangeline. It is very unlikely that someone would be able to overpower the both of them," says Selena.

"She made Xion cut communication because they are going to the Sovereign Knight homeland," says Dr. Xhinjiki.

Q looks surprised, "Evangeline thinks Xion is ready to receive one of the gifts left by our mother. If he can best the challenge there, the N-Zero will become more powerful. Hopefully he can acquire it as we shall need all the help we can get in Sector 05. The generals there are an entirely different ball game than those you've experienced thus far."

Selena sighs, "We all have faith in your brother's abilities, but we can't waste time waiting or searching for him and Evangeline. They said they would meet up with us once we get closer to Sector 05. I'm expecting them to keep their word."

Capt. Portland adds, "I agree completely. We're about a day's worth until we reach Sector 05 anyway. All of you can't forget that everyone onboard this ship are traitors to the GDF and we have to keep moving. I'm sure that their forces that we encountered in Polis Providence have definitely supplied and called for reinforcements. I've had the Havocs on stand-by as we've been expecting an attack at any moment."

"Commander, you and Quentin missed out on the ship's new entertainment. We have a masked singer onboard. Sylvie, Chloe, and Candace were her backup singers. They don't even know who that mysterious angel with that heavenly voice was," sighs Nathan.

"I wish I was in love like she is," says Rachelle dreamily.

"Don't worry. They've been replaying the performance on the ship's broadcast channels. You and Quentin can still see it. She's gonna perform again later in the week too," adds Erica.

Selena and Q salute to Capt. Portland, "We're off, Pamela. We're worn out from that trip. I just need a nap for a few hours. I'll join you on the bridge later," says Selena.

Captain Portland salutes as they exit and then turns to Dr. Xhinjiki, "Do another maintenance check on the Havocs' VVGs, and make sure the Airslasher is ready for combat ASAP. I've got a bad feeling."

"What is it Captain?" asks the doctor.

"It's odd. After sending so many VVGs after us to make sure we don't leave Polis Providence then nothing – not one catches up to us after two days. It doesn't make sense at all. They are possibly ambushing us at the border to Sector 05."

"There's one more thing I've noticed about our last battle. The GDF only sent out 3 of their new models with Gallant being a long distance combat VVG, Vigor being a balance of long range and short range combat, and Galatea specializing in defense that can be converted to its greatest offensive weapon as well," says Dr. Xhinjiki.

Modok interrupts as he enters, "There's two more models that I've looked the blueprints for Sephia was made with Vigor as a base model but it's strictly a close combat VVG. It's another GDF model influenced by the Nephitari's design. The final model is Venus and it was designed as a sister model to Vigor but specializes in mid-range weaponry and capturing opponents. I personally think Venus will be used to possibly capture the N-Zero, while Sephia take down Nephitari. The rest of the Havocs would possibly be overwhelmed by the other three machines. Sure Whiplash beat the Gallant in our last battle but all of those new models we faced were still at the experimental stages. Now the GDF tech boys have combat data to study and perfect their new models with. Humph, and we thought those self-learning TPS dolls were bad."

"That IS bad. Two more models!? Sylvie said that Galatea's defensive and offensive traits are near perfect to say a human is piloting it. Neither Nephitari nor the N-Zero could damage it at all. That VVG's battle ability is in a league even or possibly above that of Beelzebub EX. Modok, Xhinjiki…please study all the combat data from the Havocs' past few fights against them to help them fight against those new VVGs to help come up with something to aid the Havoc against them to help them protect everyone on this ship. Erica, Rachelle…we're returning to the bridge. Doctors…contact me if you two come up with something," says Capt. Portland as they exit the port.

(Elsewhere… at the Sovereign Knight homeland)

"Wake up, Zeros. We've finished repairing your VVG and your arm," says Saito.

Xion holds his cybernetic hand in front of his face and notes, "It's functioning smoother. Thanks. I want to see how my Shadow is doing."

He then sits up and swings his feet off the bed, and onto the floor.

Evangeline speaks up, "Xion, you should rest you really took a bad hit there."

"I know that, but I've got a bad feeling about the Zeus and my hunches are usually right."

"Let the boy go, Dominique. My body double informed me that Dezanirus is going to gather his forces in Sector 05 since that's where that rumored new VVG power source is. The GDF is heading there too, especially after that mess in Polis Providence. Humph, they think they can win the war with their new machines. Make sure you give those gifts to Sylvie. Also, make sure she knows her mother lives and is somewhere in Sector 05," says Saito, standing and leading them to the hangar.

Soon, they find themselves in the hangar with the fully repaired N-Zero, looking good as new.

Xion looks at it then says, "Man that was quick on that repair job. Thanks a lot, Saito."

"Saito worked closely with your mother remember. The N-Zero's fundamental design is modeled after his Darkness VVG. Your mother was very fond of his VVG. With that knowledge, it was easy to repair your VVG," says Evangeline.

"Just don't go taking a risk like that again. (Grins) I've added strengthened armor plating and more powerful verniers, salvaged from my Darkness VVG. Astral Jump is a powerful high speed special function. It's also hard on the frame of the VVG and the pilot. Don't overuse this ability. Doing so will cause the VVG and the pilot to break down and and/or malfunction. I'm being serious, Xion. I doubt you want your body to be like mine with over half of it being cybernetic. And don't worry, Astral Jump, is already installed in the system. Xion, be careful, Ellone would kill me if something happened to you."

Surprising, Evangeline starts laughing.

Xion looks surprised and comments, "That's scary coming from you. This is the first time I've seen you relaxed and not serious."

Evangeline smiles, "I can't help that the leader of the Knights must be cold as ice in these war-filled times. The leader cannot show weakness…you know Master said that. The leader has no room for love either."

Saito rests a hand on her shoulder and says, "The Master didn't want you to strip yourself of happiness either. I know he's proud of you. You are a fine leader, not corrupt like Dezanirus is. You've guided Xion this far, keeping Ellone's will and Xao's final wish."

Xion opens the cockpit hatch and jumps inside. He then looks around the cockpit puzzled, "Where's the jack in port? Hey, the one in my arm is gone too!"

"Xion, please calm down. I've replaced those with a remote in your arm. Your VVG will be activated and meet you at your current location if you are outside of the cockpit and activate it if you are inside the cockpit. The N-Zero is one of the key factors needed to win this war and no side – nor the GDF, nor our kind allied with Dezanirus, should hold power over this VVG. That power belongs to you and only you, Xion. Use it wisely," says Saito.

Xion shakes Saito's hand and enters the cockpit once again. "Thanks Saito. You've thought of everything. I really appreciate all what you've done. You have my word – I'll watch over Sylvie and take care of her the best I can. Miss Riley, are you ready?"

Evangeline walks up to Saito and hugs him tightly, "The leader of the Sovereign Knights can show her heart to her friends and fellow Knights. (Whispers) When I find Ellone's diary, I'll let you know immediately. We must find it before Dezanirus does. In the meantime, I'll guide Xion the best I can. Unfortunately, the Foreseers may be coming to investigate this war themselves, so we must prepare for that as well."

"Of course, and I'll keep you posted on things on my end. You know I always have my ear in the ground. Besides, I'll be returning to my position among Dezanirus' ranks because my brother can't be me and himself forever. Keep Xion and Sylvie safe. I want them to make it through this war," says Saito as he returns the hug.

Both Xion and Evangeline wave one final time as the cockpit hatch closes. The N-Zero then moves toward the catapult as its verniers flare up.

"Xion, you're clear for launch. Have a safe journey," radios Saito.

"Roger that. You too," says Xion as the N-Zero blasts off and flies off in the distance.

Evangeline says, "Feel free to use Astral Jump for we can catch up to the Zeus."

Xion smirks as the N-Zero disappears in a flash of light.

Reizuka and Naomi are in the GDF carrier during maintenance on their VVGs, since Naomi has been given the Venus (Master class GDF model 04).

"All this time, I never would have guessed the pilot of the Zeus' Nightmare Zero to be so kind, yet so powerful," starts Reizuka.

Naomi nods in agreement, "I hope he encounters Wicked soon. I'm beginning to get tired of working for Ryuzo. I'm starting to miss Sherman as well. He kept things lively around here. Ryuzo is starting to use us more and more like weapons since he found out what we are."

"Besides, I really don't like working for the GDF, especially that Bambi's command. It's odd though, after meeting Mr. Zeros, I feel connected to him somehow. Don't you sister?"

"Yes, I could sense his battle aura when we fought in Polis Providence. Oddly, I can feel it now faintly but it's stronger than it was when we faced him. We can only pray that he doesn't lose his kindness in his strength. I agree with you about Bambi. She and Ryuzo got friendly TOO fast. I REALLY don't like their sudden alliance. Beating Chloe is one thing but framing the Zeus is overboard."

"I'm not too worried about him. If Sherman believes enough to leave Ryuzo's side and money for what he and the Zeus' crew are fighting for, then he must have a good heart. Sister, I have an idea. Let's join up with the Zeus once we get to Sector 05."

"Okay, but only after we find out what Ryuzo, Bambi, and GDF are up to. Then we can take that knowledge to the Zeus' crew to help them," says Naomi as she leads Reizuka out of the hangar.

Back on the bridge of the Zeus, Rachelle receives a COM link message, "This is the N-Zero Shadow with Xion Zeros and Evangeline onboard. We shall be returning shortly."

"Roger that, N-Zero Shadow. Come home safely sir."

"It's about time. I was worried to death about that boy," comments Capt. Portland.

Erica looks at the radar, "Captain, don't get happy yet. I have multiple objects on the radar."

Sherman does an analysis, "They are all registering as GDF VVGs, mostly VVG-AA's, but they are all led by the Sephia. All of the VVGs confirmed to having no life signs in the cockpit onboard so we can confirmed that these are all TPS controlled VVGs."

Capt. Portland phones the hangar, "Modok…Xhinjiki…are the VVGs ready for combat?"

"Yes, ma'am, but give us a few more minutes with the Airslasher."

"Ok, but hurry it up please. The GDF sent the Sephia as a TPS doll against us. (Switches to the PA system) Attention, all crew members are to take their combat positions. We are entering combat. Havocs mobilize your VVGs and meet the enemy."

"Great, right in the middle of my nap," says Sylvie as she buckles herself into Nephitari's cockpit.

"And still X to the Z – Xion ain't come back yet. Still, I'm game for playing with TPS dolls again," says Max as he climbs into Maverick.

"I figured you liked playing with dolls. I always knew you were a fag, Max," jokes Chloe as she boards Whiplash.

"(Grins) be nice, Chloe. You two better behave or Sylvie's gonna spank you, since she's in charge of the squad while Xion's gone," says Candace.

"Miss Barrett, load my VVG's back weapons on yours. Zenith's fuel cells are low from our trip and your VVG would benefit from its weaponry," says Q.

Modok radios Sylvie, "Miss Tripper, we used some of the scrap parts from the N-Zero prototype and designed the Zeus Pack # 1. Besides the head vulcans and the blitz boomerang, Nephitari has no distance weaponry. That problem is remedied with the back mounted gatling cannon and buster launcher included in the Zeus Pack. You should be pleased to be first to test this thing out."

"Thank you, doctor. Havocs move out! The lives of everyone on this ship are in our hands," says Sylvie as the additional weaponry is loaded onto Nephitari and Rough Rogue.

All the Havocs' VVGs slide down the catapult and blasts off to meet the enemy.

"What are they doing? They've all stop advancing except for the Sephia," asks Chloe.

"Maybe the Sephia wants to fight the legendary Chloe Allura?" jokes Max.

"Urgh…" groans Sylvie.

"What's wrong, Sylvie?" asks Candace.

"I'm alright…just a sudden migraine."

The Sephia opens a channel to all of the Havocs, "It's a pleasure to see all of you again and this time, I have a capable VVG to wipe all of you out! (Turns to Nephitari) Sylvie, finally we get to meet face to face for once. Don't you recognize my voice? Hmm, maybe this will help?" asks the pilot as she opens a V-window to all channels.

"Sylvie! She's YOU!" exclaims Max.

"She's not me. She's what Xion beat out of me…my dark Fervor persona…Bianca Blood!"

"Correct, Sylvie. You were always a smart girl. It feels so good to be released from the prison you hid one me in. I have my own body now. It may not be flesh but it serves my purposes," says Bianca.

"But how were you able to escape and gain so much power!?" demands Sylvie.

"Let's just say your old friend Mr. Redrum did a job on you by helping me escape by sneaking onboard. (Grins) He put my persona on a microchip and downloaded it into this body, but this VVG was a gift from the GDF to see how good my battle AI is to guide the TPS controlled VVGs as Shijima's is becoming obsolete. Sylvie, where's Zeros? I wish to kill him first for tricking me when I fought him."

"Why should I tell you!?" snaps Sylvie.

"Fine, have it your way. I'll just beat you down until you give me an answer. Destroy them all, my army of puppets!" laughs Bianca as the TPS controlled VVGs surround the Havocs and Zeus.

"Geez, if this wasn't the time for Xion to come and make a heroic entrance I dunno what is," comments Max as Maverick shoots down a few incoming VVGs with its buster magnums.

"Seriously, I agree," adds Candace as Rough Rogue destroys a group heading closer to the Zeus with its borrowed grenade launcher.

"We can't always depend on Xion to save us, even though I'll admit he's the most skilled out of all of us. Besides, Max, even with Xion's help you're still pretty pathetic," adds Chloe as Whiplash cuts through several of the approaching VVGs with its blade whips.

"She's right. Xion wants us all…especially me, to be strong on our own. Then together, we'll be unstoppable as a team," says Sylvie as Nephitari clashes wrist blades with Sephia.

"I'll beat Bianca…all on my own…She's my responsibility and no one else's," thinks Sylvie.

Back onboard of the GDF carrier, Ryuzo meets with Bambi in her quarters. Unknown to them, Naomi and Reizuka are listening and watching outside from the crack in the door.

"I think once we reach Sector 05, finding that Zeus should be put at top priority," says Ryuzo.

"I disagree. Chairman Ishido has recently formed an alliance with Dezanirus that the rest of the GDF isn't aware of. With their combined resources, the Zeus should be pretty occupied with that new battle AI that was loaded into the Sephia. It's that crossbreed's who I faced sleeping persona so that should keep them busy long enough for us to get to Sector 05 and meet up with Dezanirus' forces. Ishido says that Dezanirus' forces would like to help on finishing the last bit of work on our VVGs, especially after the combat data we received," says Bambi looking out the window.

"That's fine with me. But I have the perfect activity to pass the time until then."

Ryuzo moves closer and kisses her on the neck until she turns around for a long kiss on the lips. Reizuka looks wide eyed, baring her teeth and balling her fist up tightly. Naomi notice Reizuka's eyes turning more red than usual as she grinds her teeth.

"I'll kill them both. I want to bathe in their blood for using us and toying with my emotions."

Naomi holds her back and whispers, "That's just your anger talking. We have to get out of here now and let Xion and the Zeus know what's going on. Let's help Mr. Zeros out now and revenge later for what Ryuzo has done to us later, ok?"

Reizuka's eyes return back to their normal state as she nods and they both run down the hall, heading for the hangar. Once there, they quickly board their VVGs, with the Vigor still damaged from its fight with the N-Zero a few days before, and exit the carrier.

"Reizuka…Naomi…what are you two doing!?" demands Ryuzo.

"Something we should've done a long time ago…getting the fuck away from you," they say in unison.

Naomi notices a fast moving object on radar at least about 20 minutes away from their current location.

"Sister, I believe I've found him. It has to be him. Let's hurry and join up with him," says Naomi.

"Lead the way. If I stay here any longer, I'll be tempted to go back and rip Ryuzo apart."

(---End of Scenario 22---)

Next Scenario: The Kijima sisters race to catch up with Xion with Ryuzo and Bambi on their tail as the Havocs have their hands full with Bianca Blood and her army of TPS controlled VVGs acting like a wall to prevent them and all onboard the Zeus to reach Sector 05. Stay tuned for Scenario 23!