AN – My second fanfic. I hope you like it. Strike Laser Claw is known as 'Shield Breaker', being that an attack can bring down most shields (with the exception of really powerful ones). Also, Liger Zero has an original, so its' SLC is stronger than the Shadow Fox's. This takes place a year after the Royal Cup and one year after the defeat of the true Death Saurer.
Van opened his eyes, blinking them in an attempt to see through the spots that clouded his vision. The first thing he saw was a group of people looking down at him, a blond boy, two brown haired boys, and a pink haired girl.
"W-where am I?" he asked.
The pink haired girl answered, "You're in the Hovercargo."
"You've never heard of the Hovercargo? It's a transport Zoid."
"Zeke? Fiona? Dr. D?" Van called, looking around the room.
The blond boy answered, "We found a girl with you, she's in the bed behind us. She's not awake yet."
"Did you find anyone else?" asked Van hopefully.
"Nope, no one but you two." answered the taller brown haired boy.
"Where did you find us? We were at a military base." asked Van. The group exchanged a confused look among themselves.
"There was nothing around for miles." answered the shorter brown haired boy.
A movement from behind the group caught everyone's attention.
"Fiona, you're awake."
"Van, who are these people?"
"I don't know, we haven't been introduced yet."
The blond boy said "The name's Bit. Bit Cloud."
The taller of the two brown haired boys introduced himself as Brad Hunter.
"I'm Leena Toros." said the pink haired girl.
The last of the group to introduce himself was the youngest of the group.
"I'm Jamie Hemeros ."
Van looked at the group surrounding the bed he was on before saying, "I'm Van Flyheight and she's Fiona Elisi Linette. Now that we know everyone, can we get back to figuring out what happened? You said we were in the middle of nowhere, but that can't be right. We were helping Dr. D with an experiment on my Blade Liger at the Guardian Force base." As Van was speaking the door opened and a man walked in.
Hearing the last of Van's statement, he stopped and asked, "You've got a Blade Liger? That's a rare Zoid. It would be even rarer if it was red, like Leon's."
Leena sighed and said, "Come on dad, just give it up. Leon said he wasn't joining us yet until he was stronger and its not fair to bother this kid."
Leena turned back to Van to explain. "That's my dad, Dr. Steve Toros. He's obsessed with rare Zoids."
"You can just call me Doc." stated Dr. Toros.
"Umm, Leena? Can I ask where we are?" asked Fiona.
"Well, we're not really near any towns now, so I'm not sure how helpful I can be." replied Leena.
"Wait a minute Leena. We may not be near any towns, but the Gurreal Plateau isn't too far from here. That's a pretty famous landmark now." said Jamie.
"The Gurreal Plateau?" exclaimed Van and Fiona.
"Yeah. It's where the finish line was for the Royal Cup. There's an Ultrasaurus wreck there." Bit said.
"What?" yelled Fiona.
"Moonbay!" screamed Van.
Fiona looked at Van and said, "But how? We couldn't have been gone for long and it would have taken an enormous army beat to the Ultrasaurus."
"You guys knew that Zoid? But that wreck's been there for years." said Doc.
"Y-years? But how?" sputtered Van.
"Could we have a few moments alone? We have a lot to talk about." asked Fiona.
"Sure thing," said Doc, "Just let us know if you need anything. Come on gang."
"Van, I'm worried. Something isn't right, I can feel it."
"I know, there's no way the Ultrasaurus could be defeated in the amount of time we've been gone. And no towns nearby? The only landmark the Gurreal Plateau? Nothing adds up."
Fiona stared off into space for a moment before saying, "There is one other thing the Doctor said that's bothering me. From the sound of it, Blade Ligers are rare. Your Blade Liger is the only one. Not even Dr. D could help the Republic upgrade their Shield Ligers to Blade Ligers. So why does he talk like that?"
"Hmm, you've got a point, Fiona. I wonder if we should try contacting Dr. D, or even any base. Maybe they could help us figure things out."
"I don't know Van. I guess it's worth a try though. Let's go see if they can help us."
"Okay." Van and Fiona left the infirmary to find out if they could find Doc.
They found Doc in a room off to the side of the infirmary, it looked like the main living space. A table and a few couches covered the room, a vid screen on the far wall. Doc was sitting on one of the couches facing the vid screen, looking at what appeared to be Zoid schematics. He turned to face them when he heard them approach.
"What can I do for you?" he asked them.
"We were wondering if you could open a link to any military bases around here. We need to talk with someone in charge and find out what happened." said Fiona.
"Military bases? But there hasn't been a military in place for years. The Zoids Battle Commission is the only thing close to being military, but they just enforce fair battles."
"I was afraid you'd say something like that. Van, I think I know what's going on here. Why there aren't military bases, why Blade Ligers beside yours exist..."
"Well Fiona, what is it?"
"Van...I think we're in the future."
Van just stood there with his mouth open, staring at Fiona, trying to think of a way to refute her theory but he couldn't. It made complete sense and explained why things seemed different.
He closed his mouth enough to ask "H-how far into it do you think we are?"
Fiona shook her head and said, "I don't know. How long do you think it would take for the Republic and Empire to trust one another enough to get rid of their military bases?"
"You've got a point... maybe 100 years? Oh man, how are we going to get back? I'm going to kill that Dr. D if we do. Arrgh!"
"Van, just calm down. We won't get anywhere being frustrated. We'll just have to hope that Dr. D can figure out what happened and get us back. In the meantime, we might as well explore."
"Yeah, I guess you're right."
Doc watched the exchange between the two and then said, "Well, you're more than welcome to stay with us. We can show you around and if you'd like, you can register as a member of the team and join in some battles."
Van and Fiona turned to face Toros, clasping their hands in front of themselves and bowing slightly, saying "Thank you so much."
"Now, how about we get you two settled in. Fiona, there's an extra room down the hall. I'm afraid Van will have to sleep on the couch though." said Toros.
"That's okay, I've slept on much worse before." replied Van.
"Okay. In the morning, we'll get your registration squared away and see about what Zoid you can pilot. I'll show you to your room Fiona and I'll be back with a blanket for you, Van."
"Okay. Good night Van."
"Good night Fiona." Toros left with Fiona, leaving Van to sit on the couch and think.
'What else has changed? No military bases, something called the Zoids Battle Commission, fights for fun... maybe this era isn't too bad. I just wish Zeke, the Liger, Moonbay, and Irvine were here with us. I miss them.' Toros returned with a blanket.
"Here you go. It's not the Blade Liger, but we do have a Shield Liger. No one pilots it, so you can use it."
"A Shield Liger, huh? It's been a few years since I've piloted that. Thanks." Van said with a grin. Van stretched out on the couch, anxious to see what they would do tomorrow.
Van woke up early and went looking for the kitchen. He located it and entered, finding Brad at the table already, sipping a cup of coffee.
"You're up early." remarked Brad.
"I always get up early. There's always so much to do to spend the day sleeping." Van said. He reached for a mug and the coffee pot, looking at it carefully.
"How's the coffee?" he asked Brad.
"Fine. Like always." Van sighed in relief.
"That's good. I was afraid Fiona might have gotten up early and dumped in her usual amount of salt."
Brad coughed on his coffee before looking up at Van and saying "Salt?"
"Yeah," Van replied, "She always dumps a salt shaker in her cup. If you don't watch it, she might add it to the whole pot."
Brad looked a little worried and said, "I'll keep my eye on the pot then."
Van laughed before asking, "Which way to the hangar? I want to get in some practice time with the Shield Liger. It's been 5 years since I've piloted one and I need to get used the lower speed and maneuverability."
"It's down the hall and to the right, then go left at the end."
"Thanks Brad." Van said before leaving.
Van walked into the hangar, looking at the Zoids as he walked by them.
'That's a flying Zoid, but it's different from any I've seen.' Van mused to himself, looking at the green Zoid that might have been related to the Storm Sworder.
'That's one heavily armed Gunsniper. And that's... a modified Command Wolf? Or maybe a Lightning Saix...' Van thought, looking at a black Zoid.
'And what's that one? It doesn't look like the Shield Liger or Blade Liger. It's pretty well armored, maybe an advanced version? But I don't see any weapons besides the Shock Cannon. Interesting. I'll have to ask about them.' Coming to the Shield Liger, Van stops to reminisce about the old days, when Zeke resurrected his, the times he fought Raven, and when he thought he lost his Zoid forever.
"Those were some good times" he said aloud. A quiet growl from behind him made him turn around. The white Liger type Zoid had come closer, lowering its head to nuzzle against him.
"Well, you're friendly, huh?" The Liger roared in agreement. Van laughed and then turned to walk back to the Shield Liger.
Once inside the cockpit, he began familiarizing himself with the controls again. Gone were the familiar levers for the booster and the blades; without them, the cockpit seemed bare but Van knew the Liger was anything but lacking. Used properly, it could take out multiple enemies and take little damage. Van paused for a moment to remember how well the Liger moved and turned. Without Zeke, it would seem very slow when compared to the Blade Liger.
Van shrugged and said, "Well, I'm not going to get in any practice without getting out there."
The Shield Liger moved out of the hangar and out the back of the Hovercargo, walking for a few minutes before stopping. A light began flashing on the screen, signaling an incoming message.
"How about an opponent to practice against? The Shadow Fox and I haven't seen much action lately." said Brad as his picture popped up on the screen.
Van turned to look behind him and saw that black mystery Zoid from the hangar.
"Is that what that's called? Shadow Fox?" asked Van.
"Yup. Come on, I'll show you what it can do."
Van smiled, "Let's go for it."
"Doc'll have a fit if he has to spend money on repairs, so just be careful. I want to see what you can do, so don't hold back too much, alright?"
"Alright. Mobilize!" The Liger roared and charged full speed at the Fox. Brad turned the Shadow Fox and ran, trailing smoke and being careful to not outpace the Liger too much.
'Let's see how he handles this. The Shadow Fox can see him, but he'll be working blind.' thought Brad.
'Darn, I can't see him, so I don't know what side he'll hit me on. May as well put up the shield. If I were him, what would I do... Circle back and attack from the rear, probably.' thought Van.
He quickly turned the Liger around and put up the shield. Suddenly, Van felt the Shield Liger's legs buckle as the Fox jumped at the Liger's body, hitting the shield and then bouncing off to the side of the Liger.
"Are you okay?" asked Van.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Legs are a little damaged, but I'm not done yet." replied Brad as the Shadow Fox took off.
Van followed the sound of the Fox's feet, disengaging the shield once he left the smokescreen. The Shadow Fox was running slowly, taunting Van to catch up. He urged the Liger forward and then watched curiously as the Fox's tail seemed to split in two.
"A missile launcher?" Van was surprised but quickly opened the Liger's back armor plate, flipping the AMD 20mm beam cannons forward. The missile filed and Van let loose two shots and watched as the missile blew up, revealing a net that seemed to dance with sparks. Brad turned the Shadow Fox around and charged at the Shield Liger.
"Let's see how you handle this. Strike...Laser...Claw!" Brad yelled as the front legs of the Shadow Fox began to glow yellow.
"It's... glowing? That can't be good." Van said as he put up the shield once more. The Fox was almost at the Liger now, jumping in the air and twisting, ready to sink its left paw through the shield and into the Liger's left shoulder. The shield broke, unable to absorb the energy attack. Brad's Zoid hit the ground and ran past the Liger, digging in a claw to spiral it around and face the Liger again.
"I missed? There's no way, I was right on top of it." said Brad, shocked.
Van laughed, "You're good but I dodged it. You only gave it a scratch."
'He dodged it... but how? Shield Liger's are slow and not as maneuverable, so how could he pilot it so well in such a short amount of time? He said it's been 5 years but he pilots it like he's used it for that long. Alright, playtime's over. I'm not going to lose a practice match to anyone but Bit.' Brad fired the Vulcan at the Shield Liger. Or, rather, where the Shield Liger had been a second ago.
"Where'd he go?"
"Right above you." said Van as the Shield Liger jumped from the steep rocky hill he had somehow managed to climb. Brad raised the vulcan laser, trying to get it to the angle he needed before the Liger landed on him. The only two shots he managed to fire went through the Liger's front right leg and nicked the rear one. Van put a rear leg on the vulcan gun and the other on the Zoids neck.
"Impressive Zoid. But it looks like I win." said Van. "Alright, let's go back to the Hovercargo." replied Brad. He was annoyed and impressed that Van had beaten him, seemingly with little effort.
Leena was in the shower, humming to herself knowing that Bit wouldn't be up for hours. The next sound she heard made her temper go off like a Burning Big Bang.
"How dare you! You know this is my time to use the bathroom!" she yelled, tightening her robe.
"I'm sorry! I didn't know!" Van said in fear.
"That doesn't matter! Why can't anyone knock around here? Get out!" Leena grabbed the chair next to her, raising it above her head as she finished her sentence.
"I'm going, I'm going!" Van yelled, running out of the bathroom. Leena decided to take out her frustration at Bit on him and chased after him.
"I've had it with Bit and now you! You'll pay!"
Van ran to the Zoid hangar, the closest Zoid to this entrance was the mystery white one. The Zoid turned to look at Van as he burst into the hangar, breathing hard and looking over his shoulder. The Liger opened its cockpit and Van jumped in it, exiting the hangar quickly. Leena ran into the room a minute later, determined to get in Jamie's Raynos but then noticed the Shield Liger was still there. So were the Shadow Fox and her Gunsniper.
"There's no way... He took Liger Zero. But the Liger only lets Bit pilot it." she said out loud.
She ran to the Hovercargo's control room, where they normally watched the battles, and flipped on the louspeaker.
"Dad, Bit, everyone, get up now! Liger Zero and Van just left!"
Leena could hear Bit's scream from his room. "WHAAAAT?"
Toros arrived at the control room with Bit, Fiona, and the rest of the Blitz Team a minute later.
He took charge, "What do you mean they just left?"
"Well, you see, Van walked in on me and I kinda... chased him. When I got to the hangar, Liger Zero was gone." she said.
Bit was in complete shock. "But how? Liger won't let anyone but me pilot it and there's no way Van could have forced him out." he managed to say.
Toros looked deep in thought. 'Hmm... There's something special about that kid. Is it really possible the Liger Zero let him pilot it? But what about Bit? Will it let them both pilot it or will it only let Van now?'
AN – That wraps up the first chapter. Please leave a review. How did I do with the battle scene? I think it was a little iffy, but it was also just a practice battle... I think I stayed fairly true to the characters. Anyway, let me know. And thanks for reading! :)