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PSZAROD Chapter 1: Electric Pointy-Cat Battle! The Mysterious Figure in the Shadows! – I Hate Titling Things!

PSZAROD Chapter 1: Electric Pointy-Cat Battle! The Mysterious Figure in the Shadows!


Silence filled the air. If it were possible for a lack of anything to fill something, that is. The first rays of daylight flickered across the rather barren landscape of one of Zi's innumerable deserts, bouncing their glowy selves through the terrain. Wind blew, stirring up dust and slowly working to fill in the many Zoid footprints that crisscrossed the dunes and cliffs. Birds began to chirp, until the narrator remembered that the desert isn't usually the place to find flocks of songbirds, and the bird-chirping was replaced by a wild Saberlion yowling to its fellow lion-types. Much better.

Somewhere in the middle of all this pretty landscape was a base belonging to one Team Blitz. Winning the Royal Cup—especially in such a spectacular manner as the Liger Zero's defeat of the Berserk Fury—had propelled a relatively unknown team into the spotlight. This had prompted much celebrating and avoiding of annoying reporters, but the team members themselves hadn't really changed. They had enjoyed their short vacation, for the most part, and were getting anxious for a chance to fight a battle in the famed Class S...Bit most of anyone.

And as there was a battle scheduled for today at noon, Bit was up early.

So was Rinon.

And Bit just had to have a quick morning snack consisting of a certain person's bag of Chex Mix...

So much for the peaceful mood.

Crashes, bangs, and assorted loud noises filled the base, occasionally punctuated by a yelp of pain or Rinon's screams to give back the [colorful metaphor] Chex Mix before I tear out your throat, Bit!

A normal person would wake up and wonder what the heck was going on, and perhaps try to stop the pair before something nasty happened. But the members of Team Blitz weren't what one would call normal...and besides, they were quite used to all the noise the two made by now. Same old, same old. The clamor moved in the general direction of the kitchen, and was soon supplemented by the occasional clang of a frying pan. And then-disaster. One of the frying-pan-clangs was followed by the crackling of electricity and a rather loud explosion...and finally, quiet. For all of 3 and-a-half seconds.

"Gaaaaaah! You broke the stove! Now how are we gonna have breakfast?!?"

"I broke the stove? I wouldn't have hit it if you hadn't ducked!"

"I wouldn't have ducked if you weren't trying to bash my head in!"

 

And so it was that Team Blitz dined on cold cereal and Pop-Tarts that morning, the toaster having somehow escaped unscathed aside from a few scorch marks. Ballad had fallen asleep with his head on the table, his coffeemaker declared a total loss...what parts of it they could find, anyway. Bit reached out and poked the former mercenary's right shoulder. "Hey, are you gonna eat that?" he said, pointing to a lone strawberry pop-tart whose sugar-filled companion hadn't been enough of a substitute for caffeine. Receiving no reply, Bit shrugged and devoured the helpless pop-tart in a few quick bites.

"Mnnnnh..." Ballad stirred slightly, muttering something about getting back at the idiots who blew up his coffeemaker and that yes, the Shadow Fox would like some ketchup with its french-fried Ligers. Bit warily shifted his chair away from him, only to bump into Rinon's instead. She shot him a death glare. "Hey, how was I supposed to know it was yours?"

Rinon held up the now partially-crisped and empty Chex Mix bag. It rather clearly had "RINON'S CHEX MIX: DO NOT EAT THIS, BIT!!!" written on it in huge katakana in with a black marker and underlined. Twice. Bit gulped and rubbed one hand behind his head, searching for a way to change the subject, and quickly...ah, Jamie was about to say something, good.

"Got any more info on the team we're fighting today? I can't exactly come up with a strategy if I don't even know what we're up against." Jamie, too, was hyper, although in his case it was nervousness rather than excitement. He sat poking at the crust of his Pop-Tart, the rest long-eaten. Bit motioned towards it—he wanted to eat it? Er...Jamie shrugged, and the crust of his cinnamon Pop-Tart joined Ballad's strawberry one...and the five others Bit had already eaten. He sighed, realizing that he wasn't exactly going to get a reply from the Doc, who was currently running the plastic Lightning Saix that had come in the cereal box back and forth on the table in a close race with the salt shaker. "Sometimes I wonder if you guys pay any attention to me at all..."

As if that weren't enough, Bit and Rinon, Chex Mix forgotten, were now attempting to balance their stacked cereal bowls on Ballad's head amid much snickering over whether he'd notice or not. "Er, guys, I don't think that's a good idea." No sooner did the words leave Jamie's mouth than Ballad moved again, starting to sit up. Bit and Rinon jumped back, expecting much imminent falling-and-breaking-of-bowls, but Ballad smoothly caught them behind his back and placed them both back on the table. "Mrph...very funny, you two," he said, staring sleepily at the pair he had decided to refer to as the Evil Coffeemaker-Wrecking People for the time being. "I'm going to go get a cup of coffee in town or something before the battle." Pausing to yawn, Ballad looked back at his plate. "You know, I could have sworn I had another Pop-Tart."

Bit suddenly became quite interested in watching the Doc's race...after all, it was the final lap, and the salt shaker was rapidly gaining on the Lightning Saix.

 

Excerpt From "Vega's Stupid Boring Diary Thingie":

What am I supposed to write in this thing?

You see, Sarah told me I should find something better to do than bug her about when they were going to fix the Berserk Fury so I could go back to fighting. Who knew armor took that long to rebuild? Anyway, you know when you drive someone really nuts, they tell you to either find something to do, or they'll find something for you? Take them seriously, because that's how I ended up doing this.

Can I stop now? Did you fix the armor yet? Hey, come on, you're not even reading what I wrote.

I'm going to go see if Fury wants to play Go Fish again. I wish he'd stop insisting that because he's an Organoid and a Zoid fused and stuff, he should be able to play with two hands.

 

Eleven forty-five came around, and Team Blitz stood in yet another piece of desert, waiting for their opponents to appear. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Or so it seemed to Bit. He called up the display for the clock on Liger's control panel, and blinked when he saw that it only read 11:47. "Liger, are you sure it's only been two minutes?" Bit whacked the screen questioningly, and the Liger Zero growled, shaking its head enough to toss Bit back into his seat. "Okay, okay, just checking."

"I just wish I could have found out more about the other team." It was Jamie, who had stayed behind as he so often did. "They're called Team KawaiiSugoiNeko, but that's not much help. I suppose they probably have at least one cat Zoid, but I couldn't find anything else important. They must be pretty secretive."

"Hey, guys, look!" Rinon yelled, pointing upwards. Her Gun Sniper raised its head in the direction she had indicated, and the rest of the team followed it. Gliding overhead was a smaller version of a Whale King, painted all in black and blue and gold. "They're here!" The carrier opened while still higher up in the air, and for a moment the Team Blitz members thought the opposing team might consist of flying Zoids, not cats. That hypothesis was dashed when, one after another, a trio of largish feline Zoids fell from the opened doors and landed on the ground below with a practiced ease. Bit squinted, trying to get a better glimpse of the enemy through all the dust they had stirred up. One of the Zoids stepped forward, and Bit blinked in surprise—it looked just like Liger Zero! Well...if Liger were painted bronze, gold, and silver. And wore different armor.

"Doesn't matter if they look like you. We're going to win, right, Liger?" The Zoid mrrrrfed in reply, studying its lookalike opponents. They were obviously of the same design as himself, but the armor they wore wasn't. It was a pointy affair—flared pieces of blue set in black and gold forming the mane, blue translucent bits surrounded by black ones with a gold spike on the tops of the legs, a pair of golden blades across the back...for lack of a better word, bristle-y. Not in the same way as his Schneider armor, but more like a real cat's fur with a good amount of static to it taken to an odd, metallic extreme. This was something different, that was for sure.

"Bit, does Liger know what those things are?" Ballad, this time.

"Don't think so. Ah, he says no...you sure? They do look like you." As Bit continued to question the Liger, the judge landed and began to set up the battle, as it had many times before. Except this time, it was wearing a pink frilly hat. No, I'm kidding. Just seeing if you were paying attention. You were, weren't you? With a cry of "Ready, FIGHT!" the match began...

...and nothing happened. The two teams stood, staring each other down. "Well, that was anticlimatic." Ballad muttered, the Shadow Fox giving a bark of impatience and shaking its head in the direction of the opposing feline Zoids, and then shifting back and forth on its paws. Preferring to wait and see how these Zoids moved before attacking them, Ballad tried to calm the Fox down. "Aren't you being a bit hasty, there?" The Fox rruffed annoyedly, but stopped. "Then again, I bet you're itching for another chance at fighting a Liger like Bit's, even if it isn't the Zero..."

"So, are we going to get this battle started, or what?" Bit drummed the fingers of his right hand on Liger's controls. Come on, I want to fight already, answeranswerans—

After what seemed like an eternity to the impatient Bit, a voice came crackling through over the comm. It was medium in pitch and that of a younger man such as himself, and sounded confident...but it was hard to tell, as whoever it was didn't have visual on.

"Hah, you'll never beat Team KawaiiSugoiNeko! We use Liger Zero Xs, which everyone knows are better than your Liger Zero!"

"Uh-oh," said Bit. "Liger, do you think we should switch armor?"

"Grrrroar..." Bit, who cares? You pick, I'm tired. I was up all night partying with Leon's Blade Liger...

"The Schneider, I agree!"

"Groooaaar..." Sometimes I wonder if you even listen to me, Bit...

"Ballad, will you cover for me? Liger wants to change to the Schneider." Bit galloped off for the Hovercargo without waiting for an answer.

The Shadow Fox, meanwhile, was currently fighting for its life against the three Liger Zero X, who had charged the minute they saw Bit leaving. "Bit? BIT?!? Aw, crud, he's gone to change armor again." Ballad sent the Fox into a crazy mid-air roll as electricity arced through the sky in his direction. "Can't he just pick one and stick with it?" He pulled the Fox into another wild turn, meeting Strike Laser Claw with Strike Laser Claw. The Liger Zero X leaned forward, using its weight to its advantage as the Shadow Fox slowly skittered backwards, struggling for a foothold. Sparks flew, and Ballad could swear he heard something creaking that shouldn't have been. "Uh, Rinon, a little help, here?"

"Sorry, but I'm KINDOFBUSYRIGHTNOW!" Ballad looked to his right to see Rinon's Gun Sniper running from one of the Ligers, the only thing saving it from imminent destruction being the fact that its pilot was firing off enough ammunition that the Liger couldn't get close enough for a finishing attack. But where was the third?

The Shadow Fox was getting tired of this. It was getting very tired of this, as a matter of fact. It wanted to be the one with the fancy armors. It was sick of covering for the Liger Zero, sick of all these blasted Ligers! With a burst of energy, the Shadow Fox shoved the Liger Zero X backwards, just long enough for Ballad to get the gatling gun on the Fox's back aimed properly...

With a burst of fire and an indignant roar from the Liger, that part of the battle was over.

Hah, that'd show that armor-changing cat. Wait, Ballad was saying something about the other one...blast, that's right, there were three!

Alarms blared on Ballad's console as the Shadow Fox was hit with a wave of electricity. "Gah! One of them must have a cloak!" The Fox howled in protest. It just wasn't fair, stupid stupid Ligers...

Rinon turned to see the Shadow Fox go down in a crackling mess of sizzling metal. "BIT! WHERE ARE YOU, YOU IDIOT?" Wait, she thought. Why am I always so mean to Bit? Is it because I lo—aaaaaaah!" At that moment, the Liger Zero X had managed to get though her barrage of ammunition, and the Gun Sniper was sent flying to the ground sans one leg. "Bit, NOW would be a good time!"

"I'm coming, I'm coming!" Sure enough, there was the Liger Zero Schneider, loping back into battle in all its bright orange bunny-eared glory.

"Took you long enough," said Ballad, the frozen Shadow Fox giving a yelp of agreement. "Watch out, one of them has a cloak."

"Don't worry, Liger and I are ready for anything!"

"Graaarrr..." Speak for yourself...I'm exhausted...

"That's the spirit! Come on, Liger! Let's show them who's boss!"

"Rrrrrff..." Definitely not listening...

The Schneider ran forward, the blades on the sides of its face whipping forwards and charging with energy.

"Bah, you think that'll help you?" Lightning flashed from both sides of the Schneider, grazing it as Bit yanked the controls to dodge as best he could. The Liger skidded to a stop, a bit stunned, but otherwise unharmed. Flipping its face blades back and shaking its head as if to clear it, the feline Zoid seemed as if it were smirking. They had him now.

"No, but it gives me a better idea of where your buddy is. Okay, Liger, get him! Strike...Laser..."

The Schneider leapt towards one of the attacks' sources, claws unsheathing and glowing in that familiar golden light...

"CLAW!" The Liger Zero X exploded in a shower of light, the cloak rippling and sparking as the Schneider's claws ripped off one of the X's blades. The cloak dropped entirely as the X swung around to face Liger Zero, snarling at having its main advantage taken away from it.

"Go, Schneider!" Bit sent the Liger running forward again, the blades on its back flipping out to its sides. The X mirrored the move with its one remaining blade and charged, hoping to at least do some damage before going down. The two cat Zoids leapt for each other at the same time, each trying to dodge the other's blades and still score a hit. Both Zoids missed their targets, the X barely dodging a swipe from the Schneider's right blade as it hopped over the X's. The Schneider fired its right booster alone as it landed on its toes, whipping it around to face the X again at a speed that sent Bit slamming to one side of the cockpit. He wasted no time in deploying the blades around the Schneider's face, and the Liger roared as it rocketed forward and sliced into the still-turning X's shoulder, taking off its right front leg and sending it crashing into the dust, obviously out of the battle.

"All right! Now for the other one!"

"Grrooaaaarr!" Well, I suppose this is at least more interesting than sleeping.

The Schneider's side blades swung forwards, and the whole set of them charged with energy, whipping around the Schneider in a glowy tornado. "Yaaaaah!"

"Fine, if that's the way you want it...come on, Liger!" The other pilot sent his Zoid running towards the Schneider, the blades gathering electricity rapidly as they snapped forward as well. Lightning met energy in a blinding clash of blade and shield and claw, and the other members of both teams brought their hands up to their eyes as everything went white.

Ballad opened his eyes a few seconds later, trying to blink away the spots that still laced his vision. Not to his surprise, he saw the Schneider standing triumphant, its blades back in their normal positions, and the X, short several pieces, on the ground. The familiar cry of "Battle, all over! Winner: Team Blitz!" rang out over the battlefield, and he could practically hear Bit cheering even without the comm system being on...

"All right! Nice work, you guys!" Even if Jamie hadn't been there fighting, he'd been following the battle as closely as if he were.

"Of course we won! Liger and I are a team! We are kEwLZieS! WE ARE INVINCIBLE!!! WOOOO! SUGOIIIII~!"

 

Some distance away on a cliff, a figure stood watching Bit, who was now standing in Liger's cockpit and doing a victory dance. "Mmmm...quite impressive. Although more than a bit crazy." The figure began to pace back and forth, its identity remaining hidden in heavy shadow, despite that it was nearing the afternoon by now. "Think it's time we challenged them, Mach?" At that, a second figure phased into existence next to the first, seeming to solidify out of the shadows. This one was far from humanoid—it was too large, for one thing. And it also happened to be a cat. A metallic cat. With dragon wings. Yes, it was one of those rare and exotic critters long thought to be extinct (or at least hiding very well)...this creature was an organoid. It turned to the shadowed humanoid and murred its assent, dipping its head and sending small ripples of light reflecting off the shiny deep blues of its armor. "I think it'll be a nice change of pace," the figure continued. "After all, we've yet to find a Zoid that could stand up to mine." The organoid snorted in agreement, tired of battles that were over in a hit or two.

The figure finally stepped into the sunlight, revealing itself—herself—to be a young woman, around the age of the members of Team Blitz. She wore rather unremarkable clothes—jeans, a pink T-shirt and blue vest, sneakers...nothing that would really stand out in a crowd. The effect was ruined by the organoid, striding to her side on quiet metal feet. Your average citizen didn't go running around with something out of history books and legends, after all.

"That Liger of his looks like an interesting opponent, at least. Did you see how it moved? Almost as if it were being aided by one such as myself."

Especially not a talking legend. No, Shineryuu was far from ordinary.

 

Eh? What's going on here? I thought my pilot's old Command Wolf got blown up! And who's this weird girl, and why is he in love with her or something? Wak! Another Command Wolf, and it's really strong! Can even Liger Zero beat it? Do I even care? Next Zoids New Century Slash Zero...Clash! Team Blitz Vs. The Command Wolf of DOOM! Ready, fight!


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