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PSZAROD Chapter 3: Romance and Neon-Yellow Saber Tigers! Run, Bit! – I Hate Titling Things!

PSZAROD Chapter 3: Romance and Neon-Yellow Saber Tigers! Run, Bit!


"Eh? Karaoke?"

"You know, the thing where the songs play without words and you sing them?" Mach said from the other side of the table, watching in half-fascination as Bit managed to eat a rather large amount of food in a rather short amount of time.

"I know that." Bit shoved another large piece of pancake in his mouth—Jamie had made the things for breakfast, somehow managing to clean the kitchen before anyone else had gotten up. "What I mean is...why karaoke?" He reached for the syrup.

"I just thought it would be fun, that's all." Shineryuu shrugged. "Anyone else want to go?"

 

After convincing Bit that there'd be food, the team set off for a local karaoke restaurant/bar sort of thing. What one was doing located so close by and why they'd never noticed it before, no one was quite sure, but that wasn't important.

Wandering in, the group looked around...there were a bunch of tables, a few random chairs, a stage...and food. Bit managed to find it right away, and started asking if they could order some.

"You just ate, you nut."

"But I'm hungryyyy! Oooh, look, they have 7 kinds of cheese."

"Bit, why don't you just eat the breadsticks or something for now? You know, until us normal people get hungry?" Rinon chucked one of the breadsticks at him, snickering as he managed to catch it in his mouth and start eating it before his hand was even up to catch it.

"...what?"

One everyone on the team had taken a seat, they began the rather difficult process of deciding who should try singing first. Well, more accurately, they had Mach close his eyes and point. He picked Ballad, who complained that the organoid had only chosen him so he could make some sort of joke relating to his name. Mach insisted he was innocent, and Shineryuu ended the whole thing by telling Ballad to go sing already, which he did. And danced, too...much to the amusement of the rest of the team.

"Hey, I didn't know you could air guitar like that."

"Shut up. So I actually did have fun singing, so sue me."

"Perhaps you should change your name t—"

"See? I told you that organoid was just waiting to do that! Come on, Mach, there's all sorts of jokes you could make about the name 'Bit', bother him."

"Hey! You!" someone at another table yelled. "Quit arguing with the talking cat and give the mic to someone else!"

Ballad threw it at Mach, who ducked...and Shineryuu caught it. "Guess that means it's my turn." She got up and walked to the stage.

"Wait, talking cat?" The guy at the other table paused for a second, and then shrugged. That pretty lady was going to sing something.

"Yesterday...all my troubles seemed so far aw—hey, stop that, you silly thing!"

Shineryuu had only managed to sing the opening line before the karaoke machine switched to the next track. And yet, silence fell over the room—the sort of silence that only happens when either someone with a really beautiful voice is singing and everyone wants to listen, or the person singing is so horrible at it that everyone present is stunned. In this case, it was the former.

"World serves its own needs
Dummy, serve your own needs
beated...muffin ox..."

"Hey, what kind of lyrics are these?" Shineryuu said, squinting at the screen. "'Unintelligible mumbling'? Er, next song?"

Somewhere on everyone's favorite ominous Dark Continent, Nyx, a large creature stirred. Lifting a tooth-filled snout topped with purple horns, the Zoid from another time—and another continuity—growled. Why was it hearing what sounded like music? Never mind, the Gilvader decided, it would just go back to slowly healing and waiting for a plot hole big enough to fly away through. Its day would come. Eyes blazing a fearsome pinkish-red, it ground claws that could crush a Hound Soldier's head with one blow against the rock floor. Yes, someday...but for now, it would just listen to that pretty music.

"No one will be watching us
Why don't we d—"

Shineryuu's singing was temporarily interrupted again as an employee with "Obligatory 'Censored!' Joke" painted on his uniform ran on stage, and quickly changed the disks. A new medley of songs started playing, and Shineryuu resumed her melodious singing.

"I am he is you are he is you are me and we are all together, woah woaah..."

If Mach had eyebrows, they would have furrowed in concentration. Wait a minute...how could Shineryuu be singing a song in English if all they could speak was Japanese? For that matter, what was English, and why was he thinking in it?

Didn't matter anyway. The cat organoid shook his head a few times, clearing his thoughts. It was so distracting when one got on paths of thought like that.

"There's no time to cry
Happy, happy
Put it in your heart where tomorrow shines
Gold and silver shiiiine..."

Ballad sat gazing adoringly at the singing Shineryuu. She had the most beautiful voice in the world, like the chorus of a thousand angels on a bright spring day. It rang to the depths of his soul, uplifting his very sense of being.

"See, I told you. Look, he's got those heart-eye things again!" Bit nudged Jamie with an elbow and pointed in Ballad's direction with another breadstick.

Jamie looked. Sure enough, the man was staring at Shineryuu with...well, heart-shaped eyes. How was that even possible? People's eyes didn't just turn into random shapes at will. And if they did, Ballad was about the last person he'd expect to have them. "Maybe you're right about that crazy giant-anime-heart-eyes theory of yours."

No response. Bit seemed to have wandered off, and was now talking to Mach—Mach! "Boy, I know how I rate." Depressed, Jamie reached absentmindedly for a breadstick and found the basket gone. Bit had taken it, of course. "ARGH!"

The only response he got was a few other random people nearby who weren't completely focused on staring at Shineryuu—what was the big deal about her singing, anyway?—was to stare at him for a second and then go back to what they were doing...as usual.

You're really getting overly angsty, Jamie. He sighed, drummed his fingers on the table a few times, and then finally shrugged. He'd live. Once the whole ooh-new-team-member-ness wore off, things would quiet down a bit, and people'd go back to ignoring him less. But he should at least get some of those breadsticks back. He was getting hungry.

Shineryuu finished her song just as Jamie got out of his chair. "Well, looks like it's someone else's turn." She smiled, showing teeth that Jamie was convinced were far too unnaturally bright and twirling the microphone idly in one hand. "No, not you, Ballad dear, you already had a turn. How about someone who hasn't?"

Jamie realized that he was currently standing up and quite visible, and his mind promptly went from whining that no one was paying attention to him to hoping feverently that Shineryuu wouldn't. So absorbed in thoughts of please-don't-make-me-sing-in-front-of-all-these-people-ness, Jamie didn't even hear Ballad's wistful mumble of "she called me dear..." as he plopped forward onto the table, head falling on folded arms.

"How about you, Bit?"

Ah, crisis averted. And what's more, he'd have a chance to reclaim his breadsticks...if there were any left.

"Heh, why not? Bit bounced onto the stage, enthusiastic as ever...at least until he saw the lyrics. "Aw, man, I got some mushy love song!"

"It's just random." Shineryuu said, tossing him the microphone, and walking off stage. She sat down next to Ballad, who continued to stare at her with a look reminiscent of a lost puppy, or something else cute and fluffy with bigsadeyes of doom. "Er...could you stop that?"

"Sorry!"

"It speaks," Mach said. "Who would've thought?" Shineryuu shushed him. "This always seems to happen wherever we go..." The feline got in one last mumble before falling silent. He sat for a moment, finding Bit singing to be rather boring.

...unlike Rinon, who was staring at him with the same heart-eyes that Ballad wore. Again. Trouble brewing, probably, but not of any concern to Mach, who merely yawned.

Creeping closer to his target—his breadsticks, now apparently claimed by Rinon—Jamie again hoped he'd be ignored. Heart-eye-ified or not, stealing food from Rinon was rather like poking some animal with a bad temper and sharp teeth with a stick. It just wasn't a good idea, no matter how you sliced it. Ack, she was looking in his direction. Quick, look innocent! Jamie sat down with lightning speed, his hands folding in his lap so as not to look like they had been reaching for the breadsticks. Please don't hurt me...

But it wasn't Jamie Rinon had been looking at, no. It was three rather familiar new arrivals, currently laughing at Bit's attempts to sing a love song without looking nauseated.

"Hey, it's Team—"

"Don't even think about it!"

"I was going to say Tigers, honest!" Glad for a chance to stop, Bit had already put the microphone down and was now trying to convince some random guy in the front row to sing.

"Sure you were. Heyyy, free breadsticks!"

"They're not free, look, they have little '50 yen' stamps baked into them."

"Sneaky."

"Hey, over here!" Bit was waving to them from one of the tables, one of those grins that his opponents would probably call 'stupid' on his face.

"Well, do we go over there?"

"Sure, why not?" Kirkland shrugged. "And stop eating those breadsticks, Lineback, we can't afford to spend any more money right now."

"Says the guy who just bought a bunch of custom weapons for his Saber Tiger?"

"Which is why we're out of money!"

The fuzzy jacket-clad team sat down at one of the two tables claimed by the Blitz, Omari putting his feet up on the table, much to Jamie's annoyance. Not that he said anything.

"So, what do you want?"

"I dunno, I was just bored. How are you guy—er, I wouldn't."

Too late. Rinon now had poor Lineback's wrist in a death grip. "Those are MY breadsticks. Do. Not. Touch. Thank you."

"...ow." Wiggling his fingers, probably to see if they still moved, the Tigers member moved as far away from Rinon as was possible, muttering that the tables were too small.

"Eh, she kind of has that effect on people—WAK!" Bit rubbed the back of his head. When would he learn to duck to the side when he said things like that?

Kirkland merely stared, taking a Mach-like "just accept that these people are all crazy" approach. This was the team that had won the Royal Cup? One with an apparent leader who was now finding it amusing to stick breadsticks in his mouth and go "lookit meeee, I'm a Saber Tiger"? Well, they did say that the true geniuses were always a little crazy.

CRASH!

"Whoops...chair fell over. Eh he he...no, Rinon, I'm fine, ack." Rinon happened to be helping Bit off the floor when he didn't exactly want to be helped...especially by someone with those scary heart eyes. "Hey, I was trying to ask them how they were doing, right, guys?"

Please save me from the crazy lady, oh team that I've repeatedly beaten and called silly names. Oh, fine. "Badly."

"We keep losing. And out Tigers keep getting blown up in the process. And we're low on money. And I can't find my favorite pair of socks."

"Oh. Er." Bit wasn't quite sure to say...either to Omari, or Rinon, who was now clinging to his neck. "Let...go...please. Hey, look, it's Harry, over there!"

"Huh? Hey, where!?"

"Byetalktoyoulater." Bit, like any person with any sort of survival instinct, ran, and Rinon followed.

Team Tigers just sat there, watching as they both ran back and forth.

Finally, Lineback said something. "Team of psychos."

"Er...I'm still here?"

"Sorry, kid. Which one were you, again?"

"Jamie, the one everybody seems to forget is there."

"Hey, another one with bad luck like us!" Kirkland chuckled bitterly and ducked the chair flying past his head. "She sure can throw things."

"Er...yeah. I don't really have bad luck as much as I don't seem to be there."

"Maybe you're just getting overshadowed by all your craz—er, unusual teammates, or something. Dunno."

"Not really that, either. Unless you count her." Bashing other people wasn't something Jamie did by nature, but he was getting a little sick of Shineryuu and her perfect-ness.

"Oh, you mean that annoying perfect lady?"

"You know her?"

"Eh, not really. She just acts all overly-nicey-nice, like someone smiling and waving for a crowd when they'd rather go home...or something. Wouldn't trust her."

"Me either."

Jamie didn't particularly trust Team Tigers, for that matter, but at least someone was listening to him.

"I know you're in class S and we're not supposed to challenge you and blah blah blah, but how about a battle? You guys must have all sorts of spare cash right now."

Oh, so they were just trying to get money out of it. Jamie started to sigh, and then remembered his promise to himself to not be so darn angsty. "Yes, but..."

"You wouldn't want us to be kicked out of the hangar we're renting now, would you? Those poor Saber Tigers, they'd have nowhere to go."

"You look like an idiot begging like that."

"Hey, shut up! I don't see you saving money, mister let's get a CP-02 even though it's really expensive!"

"...and then not let us buy any breadsticks..."

"All right, all right, I'll ask Doc. But what will you guys do for money if you lose?"

Silence.

"Uh, we didn't think of that," Omari said. "At least not yet."

"Well...there was that one thing. That Doc of yours collects models, doesn't he?" Kirkland got up, and returned with a shopping bag he'd been carrying when they walked in. "They had these on sale."

Kirkland was holding a Saber Tiger. Not just any Saber Tiger, mind you, but a vacuum metalized Saber Tiger. It looked to be gold and black, the sprues catching the light and sparkling on the finished wood of the table.

"OOH! SHINY!"

"Well, so much for having to find him." Jamie watched Doc mysteriously manage to run across the crowded room in a matter of a couple seconds, and then sit down—where had he gotten a chair?—right in front of the shiny Tiger.

"Where did you GET that?"

And Jamie continued watching as the Doc agreed to a battle—of course—their money versus the Saber Tiger. He wasn't going to ask for anything else? No, of course not, not with a shiny Zoid on the line.

Jamie decided it might be a good idea if he went somewhere else before he started sighing again.

"Hey, kid! You with the pointy hair! Why don't you give it a try?"

Argh, no, I don'twanttosing...

Luckily for Jamie, Rinon picked that moment to whack Bit over the head with a chair. Or, more accurately, the restaurant manager who just happened to look a heck of a lot like Bit from behind.

"Oops, sorry, mister. I was trying to hit him."

"OUT. All of you, out. NOW. Once you've paid for all those breadsticks, that is."

 

The battle started that afternoon. How the required paperwork was filled out so quickly was unknown, although some might suspect that it might have had something to do with the workers at the ZBC not wanting to listen to the Doc go on and on about shiny things.

Both teams arrived at about the same time: the Tigers on foot (er, paw), and the Blitz in the Hover Cargo—where else? Ballad refused to fight for a shiny Saber Tiger, and the Command Wolf of DOOM! still needed some new guns, so Jamie was stuck accompanying Bit and Rinon onto the field.

This particular terrain was rather rocky. There were even a few cliffs off in the distance, pointy spires of rock that would have reminded a person of how Zi used to look long, long ago...if they were alive back then, anyway. But since no one present had been (or, in Mach's case, couldn't remember), it was a rather moot point. They were nice rocks no matter how you sliced it, but nobody was paying much attention to them.

"Ready to lose this time?" Kirkland's Tiger roared as the judge landed, its pointy teeth catching the light...as did its new set of guns and missiles and whatnot. Better known as a CP-02 or an 'assault unit', it left the Tiger looking a good deal more ominous, without being overgunned. Unlike a certain other Zoid...

"Yeah, right!" Rinon's Gun Sniper hissed at the Tiger—please, like anything like that could hope to compete with it in the "overgunned" department? Well, there had been that other Tiger. But it was missing its head now, wasn't it? So there.

The second the battle started, the Tigers scattered, each one running a completely different direction. Whether they had improved their tactics or they were scared was yet to be seen, but Team Blitz followed suit soon after. Bit took off after Kirkland's modified Tiger, and Rinon went after Omari's, probably because it was running more slowly than the other two.

"Well, guess I get that one." Jamie caught up with Lineback's Tiger easily, and fired a few shots in its direction. The Tiger dodged and continued running, not bothering to return fire.

"Hmmm...wonder why he's not attacking me." Jamie scanned the terrain ahead—rocks. Big, tall rocks. That one part looked almost like a canyon, perfect for blinding yellow Saber Tigers trying to avoid flying things. "So that's what he's up to. Well, can't let him get there." Jamie sent the Raynos flying lower, swooping ahead of the Tiger and grazing it with beam gun fire...not enough to be dangerous, but certainly enough to stop it for a few seconds. Lineback responded by spurring the Tiger back into a run, drawing it ever closer to the rocks.

"Please don't crash..." Jamie muttered, sending the Raynos into another low-to-the-ground pass, this time at a high enough speed that the Tiger was buffeted by a sonic boom, rocking it to one side and making it lose its footing.

"Hey!" Lineback shot back this time, turning the Tiger around and firing what missiles it carried into the flight path of the slowly turning Raynos. Jamie dodged as best as he could, tilting the Raynos slightly to one side or the other and sending it half-wobbling out of the way. Leveling the green Zoid, he again swept for the Tiger, skimming dangerously low over the sand.

While it would have been a far better idea to shoot at the Raynos to try and throw it off-balance, Team Tigers members weren't exactly known for being masters of the finer points of strategy...at least when they were angry or frustrated with things like a pesky Raynos that kept knocking their Tiger off its feet.

Nay, Lineback opted for sending his Tiger racing up the nearest rock and leaping straight into the air.

"Dodge this!"

"Aaaaaah!" Jamie, on the other hand, was quite familiar with the concepts of gravity and momentum—you couldn't pilot a high-speed aerial Zoid and not be. It was too late to do much of anything except try and pull up in time. Too late...this wasn't going to be fun.

The Tiger's claws scraped the Raynos' belly and caught on its legs, and the green Zoid shrieked as momentum pulled it one way and the Tiger the other, and the pair was sent tumbling to the ground. The Tiger touched down first, sliding on its back and shoulders until it slammed into another rock and exploded quite spectacularly. The Raynos—minus both of its legs and part of its tail—ripped free with a screech and continued on, skipping along like some bizarre rock until it finally hit a patch of sand and stopped, spinning slowly.

"Uhh...ouch." Jamie shook his head, amazed that the Raynos had even survived that mostly intact. Sure, it was missing its legs, but he'd gotten better at fixing things like that lately. The Raynos stopped spinning, finally, and the smoking mess of Saber Tiger bits reminded him of the whole explosion thing. "You okay?" he said, glad the comm still worked.

"Yeah, sure. I'm used to overly dramatic explosions. You build up a resistance to them after a while, you know?"

 

"Yaaah!" Rinon's Gun Sniper took to the air, boosters flaring and sending it into a seemingly impossible bound above the Tiger's head. Then again, it already defied gravity, what was a little more impossibility added to that? It rocketed downwards, hiss-roaring and slamming into the Tiger's back with a clatter of breaking guns and wobbling gatlings...woah, off-balance, not good—

Omari sent the wounded Tiger whirling around as the Sniper fell, and saber teeth found hold in the Gun Sniper's tail. He whipped the Tiger's head to one side, and Rinon discovered that hey, even Gun Snipers with a ton of weapons on them fly rather nicely.

"What, you aren't going to do that hover-thing again? Hah!"

"Gnhhh...take THIS!"

Even Gun Snipers with a ton of weapons now lying in undignified positions on their backs can still use said weapons if their pilots don't care at all about aiming them.

"Aw, crud."

Omari's Tiger went down in a crazed barrage of Rinon-fire (Bit had suggested numerous times that it should be its own word, but it hadn't been very well-received), managing one last claw swipe before its systems froze...which just so happened to smack right into the Gun Sniper's left leg, tearing it half-off and taking the Sniper out of the battle as well.

"Okay, this isn't FUNNY anymore! That's the THIRD time someone's chopped its leg off!"

"Well sor-ry," Omari said, swatting at a few sparks on the Tiger's console. Great, it was going to need a whole new display thingie. "It's not like I could really aim. Then again, you didn't seem to be able to either."

"I HIT you, didn't I!?"

 

For once, the Liger Zero wasn't faring well. The terrain was rocky, so any speed advantage it would have had was lost, leaving Bit facing an opponent who was about as agile as he was and had all sorts of nice missiles and guns, when he only had two distance weapons...one of which was at the end of the Liger's tail and of rather little use.

"Hold still, will you?"

"Not on your life."

Bit ducked out of reflex more than anything, and the Liger followed, missiles sailing over its head. Returning fire with the tail gun—probably the first time he'd ever used that thing—Bit didn't bother to turn around. Faking first right and then left as more fire headed his way, he took off in a sudden sprint for the Hover Cargo.

"Be back in a minute!"

"Hey! Oh, no you don't!" Kirkland's Tiger gave chase, even though once out of the rocks the Liger easily outdistanced it. "You're not gonna do that armor-changing thing again if I can help it!"

The Liger fired its oft-forgotten tail gun again, one of the shots grazing the Tiger's foot and causing it to trip. Kirkland swore as the Liger bounded into the Hover Cargo, doubtless to get that pointy bladed armor.

But that wasn't what Bit had in mind. Nay, he was going to fight fire with fire...er, missile with missile. And big huge hybrid cannons.

The Hover Cargo's side opened, revealing the boxy green form of a different armor altogether:

"Let's go...PANZER!"

The aforementioned Panzer hopped off the Hover Cargo, gold claws sinking deep into the sand. The ground seemed to shake as it shuffled forward. Heck, it probably did shake, with how much the cat Zoid weighed.

"This isn't a good thing, is it."

"No."

The ground exploded around Kirkland's Saber Tiger, the bright-yellow Zoid leaping every which way as the Panzer fired, hoping he could outlast the thing, that it would overheat. Yeah, sure, that'd work. One missile, two missiles, 25 missiles heading right for him...

"Crud!" Flipping the missile launcher forward and bracing the Tiger, Kirkland countered as best as was possible with fire from everything a CP-02 had...which was enough to shoot down two more barrages of missiles.

It was also still not enough, it seemed. Not another ream of these things...ream? Man, I should've never taken that office job for those weeks after the Royal Cup. They're missiles, not typing paper...woah!

Luckily for Kirkland, his Saber Tiger was rather sick of getting blown up. And it didn't really care very much that its pilot was currently thinking about typing paper, no, it wanted out of the way of all those big explodey things heading its way, so it had done the only logical thing: jumped straight up in the air.

"Hey, I didn't know it could jump like that!"

"Look out!"

Ah, yes, the hybrid cannons. Oh, great. The Tiger jumped again, this time to the left, the beams still grazing it and sending it tumbling end over end.

"Today just isn't my day. Then again, it never has been, ever since we first fought YOU!" Kirkland's Tiger was back on its feet, roaring angrily and looking rather as fearsome as a neon-yellow cat can.

The Panzer turned to face it, its feet gouging deep furrows of compressed sand. "Like your bad luck is all my fault? Okay, heh, so there was the meow-meow thing."

Kirkland muttered not-very-nice things under his breath. The Panzer still looked to be far from overheated, and if he ran, it'd just keep sending volley after volley of those missiles after him. "No place to go but forward, it seems. Yaaaah!"

Bit fired the hybrid cannons again as the Tiger sprung, heedless of the damage it might take. It plunged straight into the beams, cutting through them for a brief second, and then, BOOM.

The smoke cleared, showing the expected victor—the Liger, of course—standing tilting slightly to one side. Mainly, because a rather scorched and not-very-yellow-any-more Saber Tiger dangled from its right shoulder, teeth clamped quite firmly into the Liger's armor, and command system quite frozen.

"Battle, all over! Winner—"

"—not us. Man, I'm getting sick of this." Kirkland's Tiger fell to the ground as the Liger shed its armor and bounced away to the Hover Cargo, happy to be rid of the heavy stuff.

"Me too. Hey, you know, seeing your Tiger jump around like that gave me an idea."

"Do tell." Kirkland muttered, attempting to coax the Tiger's systems to work enough to get its teeth out of the piece of Liger armor. Finally, the thing gave a weak mrrr..., and spat the Panzer-bit out, before returning to its system-shutdown state...this time, with the cockpit lights out, to Kirkland's annoyance. "Especially if it doesn't involve us losing over and over. Again."

"Well, you know how they have people who do stunts and things...you know, like at fairs? D'you ever see Zoids doing that?"

"Omari, I think you might be onto something there."

 

Team Blitz returned home triumphant...at least the Doc did. He was the only who had won anything, after all. He had managed to put the Saber Tiger together before they had even dragged the Gun Sniper and Raynos back to the Hover Cargo, and had been having it "run" around on all the consoles. It was now going to meet the other shiny Zoids. What fun!

Ballad mumbled something about having a headache and needing coffee, and proceeded to wander off. The rest of the team did so too, in their own way...leaving Mach sitting in the hall.

"I think I missed something." He stood and wandered away himself. "When in Rome..."

Tired from the battle (the Panzer always made the cockpit too hot for his liking), Bit flopped down on his bed. Sighing, he leaned back over the edge. Dust, more dust, half a bag of pretzels (soon gone), and a superball. Time to try the how-many-times-can-I-bounce-it-off-the-ceiling game.

Nothing if not easily amused, Bit moved to the edge of the bed and pitched the thing against the floor. Up...down...up...down...whoops. There it went, into the wall, off a stack of CDs, into Rinon's head...

Wait, that last one wasn't good.

"BIT! You moron, I come here to compliment you on today's battle, and you whack me in the head with a...with a superball with glitter and a little Shield Liger inside it?"

"Compliment...?" It had to be a trap. Bit started slowly edging off the bed, ready to run.

"Yeah, silly." She walked in and say down next to him. Definitely a trap, he decided, and continued edging away towards the door.

"That was so cool how you blew up that Saber Tiger! I love exploding things."

"Erm." She was pausing like she was thinking of what to say, time to get out of here.

"And I wuv you!"

Bit blinked. Nay, he didn't just blink, he stalled. Froze. When his brain finally stopped exhibiting the mental equivalent of a test pattern, it managed to reply:

"'Wuv'? Is that even a word—GAK!"

 

Ballad sat peacefully on one foot of the Shadow Fox. Taking a break from repairing the thing, he was enjoying a nice cup of coffee. "Was" being the operative word.

"BALLAD! HELP! YOU'VE GOT TO HIDE ME!"

Sip. "All right, Bit, what'd you do now?"

"NOTHING! SHE'S GONE CRAZY!"

Sip. "And this is new?"

"SHE TRIED TO KISS ME!"

A raised eyebrow. Ballad paused for a second, watching Bit hop from foot to foot and generally act nervous. "Mmm...fine. You can hide on top of the Fox."

No sooner had Bit climbed onto the Fox's head than Rinon ran into the hangar, demanding to know his location. Bit merely sat as quietly as he could on top of the cockpit, not finding this amusing in the least. The Shadow Fox found it quite funny, however, and kept tilting its head just enough that Bit'd have to frantically cling to one of its ears to avoid falling.

"Have you seen Bit? You'd BETTER know where he is."

"Of course I've seen him. I have eyes, you know."

"Grrrhhh, that's NOT what I meant! Have you seen him RECENTLY?"

"Recently...such a relative term.." Ballad stood and took another sip of his coffee.

Luckily for Bit, Rinon didn't notice his foot sticking out over the edge of the Fox's face for a few seconds as it tried to tip him off again. "Stop thaaaat." he hissed. "Meanie."

"Ugh! You're hopeless!" She turned to storm out of the hangar, and then paused. "Oh, and your stupid Fox keeps twitching its head and making this weird noise. There's probably something wrong with it." With that, she was gone, doubtless to bother poor Jamie as to where Bit had run off to.

"She's gone. And you owe me, Bit. Bit?"

"Waaugh!" Bit's hand slipped, and he slid off the Fox's face, landing next to its paw—and Ballad. "Owowow. That thing tried to kill me!"

"It's doing its job, then."

Giving Ballad a wary look, Bit slowly got to his feet and started to leave.

"Aren't you forgetting something?"

"Okay, okay, fine. You can have half of my prize money from this battle."

"Nice try."

"Next one?"

"Better."

Casting one last suspicious glance at the Shadow Fox—it seemed to be smirking, the evil thing—Bit left to go hide someplace better. Preferably someplace that had already been searched. Or that had those kind of doors they had back in the old wars that you could ram a Zoid into and it'd bounce off, even if it exploded and stuff.. Yeah, that'd do it.

Back in the hangar, Ballad chuckled as he sat back down on the Shadow Fox's paw. If this kept up, it'd certainly be profitable...or funny, at the least.

 

Harry's here? Again? Oh, goodie, that always means lots of noise. I don't like noise. Don't tell me we're fighting Vega again, too? We are? Oh, dear...quick, Liger, get that new shiny armor! Next time on Zoids New Century SLASH Zero, Dragon Revived! Zero Flauschig! Ready, FIGHT!


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