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Old 12-15-2006, 10:47 PM
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Neo Emolga Offline
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Default Re: The Trial of Juno I and II - The Complete Edition

Chapter 29
Eyes of the Enemy

It was left down to just the three of us. I couldn’t believe what had just happened only minutes ago. Rackal had served the Silver Rebellion faithfully, even to the moment of his death. He had taken us this far in the hope that this mission still had a chance. The missiles were gone and would never be used against the Silver Rebellion. The weapon stockpiles were burning to their destruction as we spoke. In only a few more minutes, there would be nothing left. Already we had saved countless lives and damaged the Crimson Star war effort. But… it was far from over yet…

Two of our objectives had been completed. The only ones left were to head over to the prison and release the captives and shut down the assembly plants. Hopefully, with their assistance, we would shut down the assembly lines and get out of here. I’m sure they had been here too long as it is.

“Well…” Vice told me, looking over to me, “You’re the leader. Where to?”

“Let’s head over to the prison.” I told him, knowing any released prisoner could also mean reinforcements, “Chances are if we keep running down in this direction, we’ll find it.”

Vice had looked to me with a curious eye.

“What makes you so sure?” Vice asked, looking at me curiously.

“Why would they place a prison so close to a weapons stockpile?” I told him logically, “Believe me, they would keep them away from that kind of thing as much as possible.”

“Hmm…” Vice replied, looking down in thought, “Makes sense. Let’s go.”

As we kept on running, we had passed by the assembly plants, and then it had all made sense. The prison had to be nearby. No doubt they were forcing the prisoners to work at the assembly plants as slave labor to help build their machines and weapons. Since it was the night hours, I could only expect the prisoners to be in their cells by now, probably sleeping.

We were now in the heart of Macomb, which contained the largest and darkest of the buildings. Large factories and containment areas surrounded us as we continuously moved through the streets, trying to be as silent and covert as possible. All of the buildings had windows with a grid made up of panes of glass. Inside, I couldn’t see anything, but we knew to stay away from any windows that had light glowing inside of them.

The more assembly plants we passed, the longer I knew it would take to dismantle all of them. As we passed into the new district, I could see the development of machines, Talons mostly. And then, I got a view of what a VAT looked like. I had easily mistaken it for a factory until I realized it had wheels.

And lots and lots of guns sticking out of it…

But, it hadn’t been close to completion. Nonetheless, we continued our way around the last bunch of assembly plants before we came across a metal, linked fence with jagged razor wire wrapped around the top. In the distance, we saw an enormous building, with only little black squares as its windows. Around it was a large open space, leaving the building in the middle. All around, search lights were moving around, always looking for anyone that was trying to escape. It seemed pretty hopeless for anyone locked in there…

I had looked above and saw the same barbed wire we had been trained to remove. All around the wire were blades shaped like pizza cutters. I knew for a fact anyone trying to crawl thorough that would be cut to ribbons…

“Well, I think we made it.” Randy said, recognizing the building was the prison, “Now how do we get through the fence and make our way toward the building?”

I looked along the fence but I saw no possible opening or end to the wire. And truthfully, it would be a serious waste of time and risk to run along the fence looking for an opened, which would probably be guarded anyway.

“Must you always doubt my power, Blitz?” Vice asked Randy, giving him an evil stare, “This is nothing. I’ve dealt with this many times before.”

“Careful.” I warned him, looking into his eyes, “That’s exactly how Lahanas thought before he opened fire on those Wind Strikers…”

“No…” Vice replied, “What he did was just plain stupid. I’m not like that at all.”

Vice the told the two of us to step aside, and when we did, he slashed away at the fence. But, he had tried over and over again, but not a single cut was made in the links. Then, after some aggravation, he finally gave up…

“Okay…” Vice hissed, just barely keeping his cool, “I guess we’ll need to find another way around.”

“Yeah,” Randy replied, “But these Crimson Stars aren’t going to let us through the front gate. Is there any way we can pretend we’re them…?”

Vice had turned toward Randy, and he looked like he was about to laugh. I had looked at him too, and Randy couldn’t understand what was going on.

“Blitz, you’re a genius.” Vice smiled, patting the little Pichu on the back, “We already have their guns. Now we just need some of their badges.”

“A badge?” Randy asked.

“Yes,” Vice told him, “It helps them bypass security measures and its proof that they belong to the Crimson Stars.”

Surely we could find some around here. I had looked left and right, and suddenly I saw two guards walking along the perimeter of the fence. I was surprised they hadn’t seen us yet.

“Hide!” I told them, “Someone’s coming!”

We had dashed behind the assembly plant ten feet away from us, and just waited patiently. After three minutes, they had started walking down, and I saw it was an Aipom and a Combusken. I had heard the Aipom giggling about something, and suddenly they stopped. The Combusken glared at the Aipom with a look of contempt.

“Just what the hell is so funny?” He asked with a stare.

We waited silently as the Aipom just kept on laughing. Suddenly, he tried to break out of it.

“Do you know who has the worst job here, out of everyone?” The Aipom asked, struggling not to burst out laughing.

“Hands down, it’s the prisoners.” The Combusken replied, “They never get a break…”

Still, the Aipom shook his head, indicting that he was wrong. Still, he just keep only giggling as we kept waiting silently…

“Yeah, you may think that…” The Aipom giggled, “But it’s really Ved. Now that’s the worst job ever!”

“You mean the guy who feeds the Skarmories?” The Combusken asked with surprise.

“Yep!” The Aipom laughed, “No wonder he swears all the time…”

The Aipom was laughing hysterically, and soon enough, as the Combusken thought about it some more, he started laughing as well. At that moment, we broke out of hiding, and pointed our guns right at them. Suddenly it wasn’t so funny anymore.

“Say cheese.” Vice smiled with a grin.

We then opened fire at them. My Vulcan rifle roared to life as fire blasted out of the rifle’s barrel. While they were being struck by our rifles, Randy finished them off with a blast from his Zephyr-E. Both of them were thrown back against the fence, perforated with bullets and smoking from the blast. When I looked at the Combusken’s body, I found a small, red badge on his upper right chest. It was shaped like a shield and had three red stars on it against a silver background. I pulled it off and realized it was attached by means of some sticky adhesive strip. I then placed it on my own chest. Vice had done the same as well with the Aipom’s badge. He had also taken the Combusken’s Vulcan rifle and threw his old caliber rifle besides his body. We now looked like the enemy.

“What about me?” Randy asked, realizing he was without both a Vulcan rifle and a badge.

“We have to pretend you’re a prisoner.” Vice told him, “It will be easy if you give me your Zephyr-E. We’ll pretend you were the only survivor in the gun fight, and Juno and I captured you.”

Randy swallowed hard, and looked a little anxious…

“Okay…” Randy responded.

Vice then took away Randy’s rifle, and we began walking toward the front gate. By the gate, there was a Bagon and a Golduck both armed with Vulcan rifles, just glaring at Randy. We had approached them, and we tried as much as possible to act like guards.

“We found this little delinquent over by the fence.” Vice said, looking especially at the Bagon, “We killed two of his companions as well.”

“Heh, really?” The Bagon asked in a gruff tone, “Do you think they were part of the five that had set the whole base on full alert?”

“Storm Riders.” I told the Bagon, “That’s who they were.”

“Heh, good.” The Bagon replied, showing a slight grin on his face, “Don’t think we’ll be seeing any more trouble tonight.”

He then tossed me a single key, and I caught it with my free hand, the one that wasn’t holding the Vulcan rifle. I looked it over and then looked up at the Bagon.

“Cell 385 on the third floor should make sure the little squirt doesn’t get out.” The Bagon snickered.

“Got it.” I responded to the Bagon.

“Now go on and get out of here.” The Bagon ordered us.

We then continued walking along the long, cobbled stone path toward the double, brown metal doors. Once I had grabbed the metal handle, it was cold to the touch. I pulled it open, and we peered inside.

When we looked in, we saw the floors, the ceiling, and the walls were made up of crude, dirty metal. Rust was everywhere in patches. I heard a faint clanking and wailing sound in the distance, but another than that, the rooms were dead silent and very dark.

We had walked down the metal hallways, and as I looked into each of the cells, I saw various Silver Rebellion soldiers lying weak and tormented on their rickety, metal beds. Each one of them appeared to be overworked and highly mistreated. I couldn’t help but think Alex was going to appear to be the same way.

When we had reached the end of the hallway, we came across more hallways left and right as well as an elevator and a door leading to a flight of stairs leading upward.

“I’d feel much safer with the stairs.” I told Vice, looking at the rusty doors of the elevator.

“I’ll second that.” Vice responded, heading over to the door.

We then opened the creaky metal doors and headed up the flight of metal stairs, which looked even worse than the dirty floor. Plus it didn’t have any handrails, so anyone who wasn’t careful could go tumbling down to the first floor.

We climbed our way to the third floor, but I had looked up and realized there were at least three more floors above us. How were we supposed to release everyone here without anyone knowing?

As we opened the metal door to the third floor, we came across another hallway to our right and a solitary window to our left, with a metal grate over it. A flicking light above us had lit the hallways with a flashing glow.

As we passed each cell, I saw there was a tiny metal plaque by the door handle. We had come across another intersection of hallways, and I didn’t know what direction to take. Suddenly, we had seen another guard, another Bagon had been patrolling around on the third floor.

“And who the hell are you three?” The Bagon asked, looking at the three of us with a stare.

“Your worst nightmare.” I told him, aiming my Vulcan rifle right at him.

“What the…?” He asked, backing away.

I then pulled the trigger, and the Vulcan rifle fired and shook furiously as it blasted fire at the Bagon. In only a few seconds time, he had collapsed, dropping everything and soon was lying in a puddle of his own blood…

“You want to get us caught already!?” Vice exclaimed after the gunfire ceased, “What do you think you’re doing!?”

“Look,” I told him, “I think it’s best if we work our way from the top of the building and make our way down, releasing everyone we can. Once we reach the lowest level and have released everyone, we defend the jail at all costs, until we can get some help.”

It seemed crazy, but we had already lost too many of our soldiers in this conflict for this to be a full success. Somehow… I was going to need major assistance with this if we were really going to pull it off.

“Just how do you plan on doing that?” Vice asked, looking at me with doubt.

“Somehow, we need to call the Silver Rebellion for help.” I told Vice seriously, “Because there is no way anyone is getting out of here by running on foot…”

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Old 12-15-2006, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: The Trial of Juno I and II - The Complete Edition

Chapter 30
Loss of Security

Unlike my previous assumptions, the prison hadn’t been very well guarded, or at least the night watches were very minimal. Still, there was more than enough to cause commotion. Already I had taken quite a big risk by shooting down one of the guards. Still, I could guess there weren’t that many guards running around, or at least most of them were inside. While these guys were armed, they probably didn’t expect us to get this far into the prison. In fact, they were probably thinking no one would make it this far into Macomb…

“So what’s your plan of action, man?” Vice asked me, looking at me curiously, “We don’t have a whole lot of time before someone finds out we’re here and locks down the whole prison…”

“We need to create a diversion.” I told Vice and Randy, “One of us needs to be a messenger to give word to Symarix and send for backup as soon as possible. The rest of us need to secure the prison and make sure no one comes in or out. We may need to lockdown the whole prison to do that…”

Vice looked at me with shock. He shook his head in disbelief.

“You’re kidding, right?” Vice asked me with his eyes wide open, “These guys have been here for years. As soon as they hear this place has been taken over, they’re going to take advantage of this as soon as they can and run the hell outta here.”

“If they’ve been here for years…” I reminded him, “Then they probably have a very good idea of what its defenses are like.”

Randy just looked at me curiously and Vice looked away in frustration.

“Look, once we get rid of the guards, we unlock all the cells and tell everyone to head to the upper floors.” I told them both, thinking it all out, “Blitz, you will be our messenger. Once all the prisoners are released, the three of us will head to the roof and Blitz will take Vice’s Pidgeot and head back to Symarix. Meanwhile, we’ll make sure no one enters through the roof.”

“Are you crazy or something?” Vice asked me with shock, “Storm Gale is my Pidgeot, and she’s mine only. You don’t know what you’re doing.”

I was getting very tired and very impatient. I didn’t want to spend a lifetime arguing this thing out.

“Listen pal.” I scolded him, “As your superior and your commander, I order you to hand over your Pidgeot.”

“Well, thanks for nothing.” Vice moaned, pulling out a red and white Pokéball and looking away as he handed it to me.

Then, I decided to get down to business. I wanted to finally get out of here, I was hating this place already.

“Blitz, you see if you can find the switch to open up the cells and lock down the prison so no one gets in.” I told him, hoping he’d be able to handle it on his own, “Vice and I will take care of the guards.”

“Well, this should be a little bit more fun.” Vice replied, his apprehensive feelings fading away.

“You got it, Juno.” Randy replied, nodding with a little smile.

“And once you’re done,” I told him, “We’ll meet on the roof.”

I then tossed him the Pokéball that Vice had given me and Randy caught it and put it on his own belt. He then picked up the fallen Bagon’s weapon and wiped off the blood.

“Let’s go, we don’t have any time to waste.” I told them both.

Vice and I had headed up the stairs, after we were convinced the third floor was empty. We had arrived on the forth and the halls were completely empty, which was highly unusual. Nonetheless, we made our way to the fifth floor and I had realized there was only one more floor above us, making six floors in total. Once we had opened the door to the fifth floor, the rusty, metal door hit the back wall and sent a harsh slamming sound throughout the halls. At first, we thought the floor was empty until a massive, hulking Exploud turned around the corner and was holding two rifles in his massive hands. He looked at the two of us and just smiled.

“Well, well.” He growled with a low, amused voice, “I don’t remember the two of you shrimps ever being assigned guard duty.”

“That’s because we’re not guards!” Vice shouted with laughter, “Up yours and have a bullet breakfast!”

The Exploud readied his two Vulcan rifles and pointed them right at the two of us. With his strength, he could fire both and still have very little recoil in each hand. He then pulled both triggers, and then fire had rushed out from the end of the barrels, and he sprayed the hallway with ammunition and carnage. I then focused and concentrated hard and then bullets slowed to a crawl. Vice and I had pulled out both of our rifles and returned fire.

While we could move significantly faster than the bullets from the Exploud’s rifles, that didn’t mean our bullets were faster. The two of us had opened fire, and I felt the assault rifle shake violently as ammunition had blasted out from the end of the barrel. The whole hallway was full of bullets, and it wasn’t very easy to dodge the ones that the Exploud had fired upon us since there were double the amount. Meanwhile, the Exploud had been hit several times, and growled in pain. He stopped firing and leaned over, and suddenly the two of us had stopping, figuring the Exploud couldn’t handle any more. At that moment, I broke my concentration.

But then, our situation had turned grim when suddenly he had laughed off the pain. He pointed his two rifles at us again. But just before he pulled the trigger, Vice and I had fired upon him first, this time at normal speed. The end of our rifles had blasted fire as the loud cracking of the rifles had echoed throughout the metal hallways.

At that moment, we heard the Exploud scream in agony, but we didn’t release our pull on the trigger until he had collapsed, falling over and dropping his weapons. He hadn’t moved once after that had happened…

I released the lock on my rifle, and tossed aside the two empty ammunition cartridges. I then pulled out the last two I had, locked them into place and had reloaded the Vulcan rifle. Vice had done the same, not wanting to run into another guard like that and be out of ammo.

“Come on.” Vice replied to me, “We have to keep moving. Blitz will be locking down the prison soon, so we need to make sure there aren’t any guards in here with us.”

I could certainly agree with that…

We had moved our way through the cold, metal prison, shooting down two more guards. We had already caused a commotion among the prisoners, wondering who we were really. We kept silent until Randy had found the switch to unlock all the prison doors, and he locked down the entire prison, sealing off the front and back entrances with steel security doors. Only then did we tell them we were part of the Silver Rebellion, but we told them to remain in their cells while we called for backup. Though we were trapped inside, we were protected from any outside forces coming in from the ground. Hopefully it would be enough to last until backup had arrived.

We had met up with Randy again on the first floor, and already I could hear banging on the metal panels, meaning there were more Crimson Stars trying to break down the door. We then headed upward, and we made our way up to the top floor, and looked for the entrance to the roof, since the stairwell and the elevator didn’t reach all the way up. After looking everywhere for a second staircase, we found the only one, which was behind a rusty metal door with a tiny plaque labeled “Maintenance.” I grabbed the doorknob and it was locked. I wasn’t very surprised. Vice had looked it over and just shrugged.

“Oh, what the hell is the point?” Vice remarked, readying his sharp claws.

He slashed furiously at the metal door knob, sending a loud and hideous screeching sound into the air. I put my hands on my ears to neutralize the terrible sound, as well as wincing from the pain of the noise. When it was over, I put my hands down and looked to see a twisted metal lock on the floor, with deep cuts into it. I looked at the door and saw Vice had ripped out the lock, knob and all. Now it was just another normal metal door with a gaping hole in it.

“Locks only keep out honest people.” Vice said casually, grabbing the ruined door and throwing it open, “Come on, let’s get out of here.”

“Man, glad I was on the receiving end of that.” Randy replied, looking at the knob with disbelief, “I don’t think I would have much of a head left after that…”

We headed through the doorway and came across a spiral staircase with rickety metal stairs. We made our way upward and into another small room with a metal door. The tiny metal room was especially dirty, and looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years. Regardless, we quickly made our way for the door, and opened it. We then made our way onto the metal roof, and we could see the red and black sky with its occasional lightning flares above us. We walked over to the edge and looked down and saw plenty of Crimson Star soldiers on the ground. There was only one way to escape now, and that was through the air.

Randy had grasped the Pokéball containing Vice’s Pidgeot Storm Gale. Randy had prepped the ball, tossed it into the air, and the shiny red and white Pokéball had struck the metal floor. A bright white light had poured from the open ball, and moments later the light had formed into Vice’s Pidgeot. The brown and beige Pidgeot with its long yellow and pink crest had looked toward Vice, her trainer…

“Listen, Storm Gale.” Vice told his Pidgeot, “This Pichu’s name is Blitz, and he needs to tell Achilles to send backup for the Macomb attack. Tell him we already have the silos and the weapon depots destroyed.”

Storm Gale had turned herself around and spread her wings, signaling for Randy to climb on her. Randy had made his way over to her, climbed onto her back, and buckled himself in tightly using the leather straps tied around Storm Gale.

“Fly fast and furiously.” Vice told Storm Gale seriously, “The lives of hundreds of Silver Rebellion soldiers lay the hands of both of you!”

“They aren’t going anywhere!” We heard a voice shout above us.

The three of us spun around and to our shock, we saw four Wind Strikers and what appeared to be their leader, a green and vicious looking Scyther riding on a Flygon. Vice had stepped back and shook his head.

“Oh no…” Vice moaned in fear, “It can’t be him… Not now…”

“Who the hell is that?” I asked Vice, never before seeing him in so much fear.

“That’s Vorox and Tychal.” Vice told Randy and I, “Vorox has killed nearly a thousand Silver Rebellion troops, torched five of our cities, and had earned all seventeen ranks of the Crimson Stars…”

Randy had looked up at the Scyther with a fearful look in his eyes. I couldn’t believe it either.

“You mean he’s the…?” Randy asked in fear.

“Yes…” Vice replied, swallowing hard, “The leader of the Wind Strikers…”

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Old 12-15-2006, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: The Trial of Juno I and II - The Complete Edition

Chapter 35
The Jade Sword

The four Wind Strikers and their leader Vorox were the only force that could stop us now. And having heard from Vice that Vorox nearly killed a thousand of our troops wasn’t exactly the morale-boosting comment we needed to start fighting back…

“Vice, who the hell is this guy!?” Randy shouted in fear, looking at his intimating state before looking frantically back to Vice.

“He’s known as the Jade Sword, a ruthless and cunning soldier, maybe one of the best elites of the Crimson Stars.” Vice told Randy, even beginning to fear a bit himself, “Believe it or not, whoever kills him will be advanced five ranks in the Silver Rebellion Army and will be given the Serious Decoration of Honor.”

“What an incentive…” I remarked, still not finding that enough to embark on an assisted suicide of fighting this guy.

I then looked to Randy, and knew that if there was any hope of getting the backup we desperately needed, he needed to leave, and now. Plus I didn’t want him to be around when this guy broke out into a fury to cut all our heads off…

“Blitz, get out of here.” I told Randy seriously, “Storm Gale, fly as fast as you can, faster than ever before.”

“Yes, you both need to get the hell out of here, and now!” Vice shouted furiously.

Storm Gale had spread her wings, and jumped into the air, flapping her wings to ascend higher and higher into the air.

“After them!” Vorox shouted to his team, “Kill those two, and do it now!”

Suddenly, the four Wind Strikers flew furiously toward Randy and Storm Gale, and readied their rifles. I gritted my teeth, focused on the four Wind Strikers and aimed my Vulcan Rifle at them. I then pulled the trigger hard, and the rifle roared to life. I aimed for the one closest to Randy and Storm Gale, and I aimed right for the Skarmory’s abdomen. The heavy ammunition rounds tore their way into the Skarmory, sending the first Skarmory and its Aipom rider spiraling toward the ground. I didn’t even wince when I realized both of them would be dying a screaming death.

The second rider was a Lombre, already with his aim on Randy. I concentrated on my aim and again pulled the trigger, blasting the Skarmory with an intense amount of ammunition. I heard the Skarmory scream in agony as it completely lost control of its flight. The Lombre was instantly thrown off of the Skarmory’s back unable to make the shot, now tumbling to the ground. There was nothing that could save the two of them now…

The third and forth Wind Strikers were riding close together, having only watched their two companions get shot down. I was also running out of time, realizing they were drawing closer to Randy. Both riders, a Breloom and an Abra were only thirty feet away from Randy, both with their weapons drawn. If I didn’t stop them now, they were going to kill Randy for sure…

I first aimed for the Breloom, focusing my aim on his back. I then fired the Vulcan Rifle, and I saw the bullets had struck him viciously in the back. When he had fallen off his Skarmory, I aimed for the Skarmory itself, and fired. Moments later, the Abra found himself alone, with no one to help him.

But I watched in horror as he already had his aim on Randy before I had my aim on him. He had fired three times before I had fired upon him, shooting him in the back of the head and sending his lifeless body forward, which tumbled right off the Skarmory. I then aimed for the Abra’s Skarmory itself, and fired ruthlessly upon him. When all four Wind Strikers were taken down, I had frantically looked for Randy. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw both Storm Gale and Randy were okay, never hit once by the Abra’s attack. They were flying safely in the distance, heading right for Symarix with nothing to stop them. I watched both of them disappear in the distance, and sighed in relief that they were going to make it…

I then turned around and looked right at Vorox. He had glared viciously at me, totally in disbelief at what I had just done. Meanwhile, the burning red eyes of his Flygon named Tychal stared at me with a harsh gaze. Vorox already knew there was no hope for Macomb. Within less than an hour, the whole industrial city would be destroyed, just like what they had done to the many cities of the Silver Rebellion.

“Those were four of my best and fastest fliers…” Vorox growled angrily, “How was a normal, everyday Pikachu like you able to kill them so quickly!?”

There was silence. I ripped off the Crimson Stars badge that was on my chest and threw it on the floor. I then threw down my rifle, and pulled out the Pokéball containing Latias, otherwise known as Blazewing. I tossed the Pokéball into the air, and it struck the metal floor. The light had poured out from the Pokéball, and had formed into Latias. She had looked up and immediately knew her enemy…

“That’s because I’m no ordinary Pikachu.” I told Vorox with a firm voice, “My name is Juno.”

And for one dark moment, Vorox had seemed surprised, struck with the look that I had arrived far too early than he had expected. I could see in his harsh gaze that he had only expected me to come when Symarix was crumbling before him, when the last city of the Silver Rebellion was doomed to fall and there wasn’t any hope in the world to save it.

“So, the Gold Rider has come at last…” Vorox laughed mockingly, “But I don’t believe in prophecy. I’ve ruthlessly slaughtered hundreds of Silver Rebellion pigs without mercy, and you Juno… You’re just like all the others…”

“I will let nothing stand in my way of achieving my ultimate goal.” I told Vorox seriously, “Not your soldiers, your Wind Strikers, and not you or your Crimson Stars…”

He had laughed, just as a flash of lightning had lit up the dark and twisted sky above him. He had shown me his two gigantic sickle arms and the blood red sky was reflected in them. I could tell with those same sickles he had killed many honest and pure Silver Rebellion soldiers without mercy. I needed to make sure that they would never end another life…

“Come on, Juno!” Vorox shouted, nearly screaming in laughter, “Let me prove to you I am your worst nightmare!!”

“I guess that makes us even…” I shouted back to him, picking up the Vulcan rifle.

I then jumped on Latias’s back, and strapped myself with the leather straps that had been tied around her. Once I had secured myself on her back, Latias had leapt into the air, and once we had flown above the ground, we turned around to face Vorox and Tychal, our adversaries.

I will let nothing stand in my way of achieving my ultimate goal…

I stared strongly into the eyes of my enemy, and at the same time, he glared into mine. A bitter rush of hate and anger had filled the trenches dug within our hearts, and now it had all come down to this final, gruesome conflict. Blood was going to be spilled, and one of us was going to die. As a harsh and violent wind had blown past us, a flash of lightning had lit the sky. I refused to fall to my adversary…

Having already killed thousands of righteous Silver Rebellion soldiers, Vorox was not going to resist taking the life of my own. And as a loyal leader of the Silver Rebellion army, I certainly was not going to resist taking the life of his…

With that, our gruesome clash had initiated…

Tychal had extended his wings, and then burst toward us in full speed. I tried to concentrate on his flight pattern, but even with all my focus and concentration, Tychal was still flying at an excessive speed, faster than I had expected. I watched in anxiety as Vorox readied his sharp scythe, and prepared to slash upon us viciously.

I had no time to attack, and instead just wanted to evade as soon as possible. I beckoned for Latias to ascend upward, and she had surged into the air, just as Vorox had sliced the air next to us. Moments later, Vorox and Tychal had flown past us, and now Latias and I were above the two of them, glaring at the two again.

I had felt a hot, burning sensation in my side, and when I had gone to look, I grimaced at the sight. Vorox had cut my side, and a small trickle of blood was running down. It wasn’t fatal, but if we had been any slower, that cut would have been a whole lot deeper…

And as I turned around, I saw Vorox, licking the end of his scythe…

“My, I never knew the blood of the Gold Rider was so tasty.” Vorox sneered with glee, “I need more… Much more…”

“You enter Hell today, Vorox!” I shouted at him angrily.

I then pointed my rifle at them, and aimed for Tychal instead. I then focused and pulled the trigger, and my Vulcan rifle spat fire and carnage as the metal rifle shook with recoil from the blasts. Regardless, Tychal was extremely fast. I tried to follow his flight pattern and aim ahead of him so he would run right into the bullets, but he still managed to catch on and dodge the attack. Then, he curved around and headed right toward us, and Vorox prepared to attack again. I was hoping the closer he was, the easier it would be for me to shoot him, but that wasn’t the case…

Latias and I had dashed away at the last second, and Vorox had swiftly sliced the air furiously. We had flown from the two and dashed away as far as we could, at least several hundred feet away from Vorox and Tychal. When we had stopped, I could hear Latias whimpering, and it didn’t take me long to figure out what was wrong.

Like me, she had been cut in the side, and it was bleeding as well…

“How can we… expect to beat him?” Latias said softly, wincing a bit in pain.

“They aren’t invincible.” I reassured her, “No one is. We need to find a way to fight back, and we need it now…”

And then, Vorox had seen the cut in Latias and had only laughed. My anger was only growing worse.

“What’s the matter Juno?” Vorox laughed in amusement, “Am I too fast for you? I really expected much more from the famous ‘Gold Rider.’”

“It is prophecy.” I told him strongly, “We cannot fail…”

Again, I had aimed my rifle at the two, this time I was going to shoot at Vorox, knowing it wasn’t him who was controlling Tychal’s flight pattern. Vorox and Tychal were fighting as two minds. I now realized what his weakness was…

Tychal knew nothing of how Vorox was going to attack, and I was going to use that as my weapon. Again I had opened fire, but it wasn’t long before the Vulcan rifle had stopped firing, and all that came out of it was a click. For a moment, I was shocked when the cartridges had fallen out and I realized I was out of ammunition. And then again, I had taken the metal rifle, and threw it toward the ground. I didn’t need it any more. I had my own weapon…

Vorox was grinning when he realized my rifle was empty and I had tossed it away. Tychal had flown toward us furiously, and Vorox had prepared to swing his scythe again, thinking I didn’t stand a chance. As I saw him closing in, I concentrated and my red cheeks flared brightly with electricity. Tiny bolts of thunder had surrounded them as Vorox prepared to swipe the air. Now, Tychal could not predict my method of attack, for he could not see me clearly from his angle.

Vorox’s scythe was in feet of preparing to strike, and then I focused my charged electricity not on Vorox, but on the scythe itself. I sent a thrusting surge of thunder for his arm, and when the intense voltage had hit it, the power was enough to cut right through his skin, and evidently slice off the scythe itself.

Suddenly, the intensely sharp scythe had spiraled off his arm only inches in front of my face, but it had missed, and then lowly fell toward the rooftop of the prison. I saw the severed scythe lay on the metal rooftop of the prison. Now, Vorox had one less weapon to use against me.

“There will be no dawn for the Crimson Stars.” I told him with a firm voice.

“You may have won a few victories, Juno.” Vorox replied, setting aside the fact that his arm was cut off, “But it’s not over yet. I still have plenty of chances to kill you.”

I immediately saw Vorox signal Tychal to pull back from the conflict. Then, I realized what he was going to do.

“Dragonbreath.” Vorox ordered his Flygon, “Focus hard and firmly.”

And then, I got a sickening feeling as Tychal closely watched every single one of our moves. I needed to give Latias power she could obtain from none one but me. I needed her to have that strength now, and I concentrated hard, even to the point of shutting my eyes. Then, for some strange reason, I was able to see what Latias was seeing, as if I was her…

Hyper Dragon Slash Attack…

Blaze. That was all I could use to describe the speed that she was moving. The air was blasting past us to the point of burning, and we homed in on our enemy. The raging, bitter fire that was blasting from Tychal’s mouth had no chance of hitting us from the excessive speed we were traveling. With the claw of Latias sharp and ready, I prepared to bury it into Tychal, and deliver as much suffering to him as I could. Faster and faster I traveled toward him, and when we were suddenly close enough, the claw of Latias had thrust its way into the green underside of Tychal, and tore with such fury and anger to the point of incinerating the cut with fire. Within seconds it was over with, and the two of us had pulled upward, and I opened my own eyes again.

Tychal had let loose a horrible shriek, beating the flaming cut with his wing and still attempting to keep afloat in the air. When the fire was extinguished, I could see the vicious tear in Tychal’s underside, bleeding very badly.

And in pure, uncontrollable rage, Vorox ordered Tychal to attack again, and Tychal with its last bit of strength flew toward us in a frenzy, desperately desiring to tear the two of us into ribbons.

Again, I had shut my eyes again, and Latias flew with a blazing fury toward Tychal. Seconds later, we had arrived at Tychal’s under side, and with Latias’s sharp claws ready, she tore another gaping cut into Tychal, blasting his skin with raging fire and slicing his flesh with claws as sharp as surgical knives.

We had flown right past them, and I had watched as Vorox screamed desperately as Tychal spiraled toward the metal roof top, unable to control his flight. Moments later, Tychal slammed into the roof of the prison, rolling over several times before stopping and lying on his stomach. Tychal lay lifeless, with his wings folded over and his head lying motionless as a pool of warm, crimson blood had surrounded it. I had signaled Latias to head toward the roof, and we flew swiftly toward it. When we had arrived, I leapt off of Latias, and looked at Tychal’s dead body. I had wondered if Vorox had been crushed by Tychal’s dead body, but then I saw something rise up, and I realized Vorox wasn’t dead…

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Old 12-15-2006, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: The Trial of Juno I and II - The Complete Edition

Chapter 36
Time Crisis

He had jumped off of Tychal’s body, and landed on the metal floor of the prison, still armed with his left scythe. It was certainly more than enough to kill me.

“No one…” Vorox growled in a murderous tone, “You murdered my precious companion. You will suffer for that… suffer great!”

Then, in uncontrollable fury, Vorox rushed toward me with all the anger and fury in the world, blasting toward me with extreme speed, holding his left scythe in the air and ready to send it ripping into my body. I had no time for an electrical attack, and he knew that. There were only seconds before he would get the chance to bury his scythe into my flesh.

I had stepped back for a moment, and I felt my foot step on something firm and hard. When I looked down to see what it was, I saw it was Vorox’s severed right scythe.

And in those critical last seconds, I bent down and picked up the scythe, and held it firmly in my hand. I then put my foot firmly on the ground, arched my hand back and vigorously threw it forward, aiming right for Vorox. The sharp scythe had violently spiraled through the sky, slicing the air as it spiraled toward its target.

Suddenly, the sharp scythe had buried itself right into Vorox’s face. It had sliced right past his nose and was now half-buried in his head. He had stopped short, and had quivered and trembled with unimaginable pain. Then, he had fallen to his knees, laid down his arms, and collapsed onto the metal roof.

Vorox, the leader of the Wind Strikers… was dead. The ruthless days of his onslaught upon the Silver Rebellion were over. Never again would he rise to challenge them…

Or challenge me…

It was over. I was finally glad at last it was all over with. Despite our victory over Vorox and Tychal, he had scarred Latias as well as myself. Regardless, it was well worth it to stop his tyranny. But there was still one more adversary I needed to stop. Zander…

Meanwhile, I had realized Vice had been watching the whole event, and as I turned to face him, he just stared at me, completely in disbelief. He had slowly approached me, and just shook his head.

“Man…” He replied softly, looking at me at then turning toward the dead body of Vorox, “You’re far more powerful than I thought…”

“But this is only the beginning…” I told Vice as he gazed upon the fallen body, “There’s much more we need to do before this war is finally won…”

Regardless, we still needed backup from Symarix before we could even think of getting the prisoners out of here. Meanwhile, I had looked off the roof to see several Crimson Stars soldiers banging on the metal door coverings and trying to use all sorts of tools to break them open. I could only hope Randy had given the message to Achilles and he was sending backup. Otherwise, we would only be delaying the inevitable…

I then had realized something. The entrance to the roof hadn’t been locked down. In fact, the door wasn’t even remotely secured. I was wondering why they had gone through all the trouble to ensure that the doors and windows of the prison were sealed up tight while the door on the roof wasn’t even the least bit secured…

“I’m wondering…” I said to Vice, “Why would the Crimson Stars go through so much trouble to seal up everything but leave the door to the roof untouched…?”

Vice had looked at the metal door we had used to reach the rooftop, and indeed, it was loose enough to be swaying in the wind.

“Well, there’s no way prisoners would come up here to try and escape.” Vice replied, “They lock up their Pokémon nice and tight. And jumping off the edge would only be suicide…”

And then, it hit me. There was a perfectly good reason to leave the door to the roof unlocked. It case something like this had happened. No wonder Vorox and his Wind Strikers had appeared. They were going to infiltrate the prison until they had seen us…

“Keep your weapon ready, Vice…” I told him, looking around, “Something tells me we’re only going to see more havoc breaking out here…”

Vice had looked at me strangely, not really seeing how that would come about.

“What makes you say that…?” Vice asked with hesitation, slowly pulling out his Vulcan rifle.

“There’s a reason why the roof door doesn’t lockdown with everything else around this prison.” I told him firmly, “It gives the Wind Strikers a way to enter the building, just in case of a crisis. Why do you think Vorox was here…?”

“Oh man…” Vice moaned, clutching his Vulcan rifle.

We had put our backs to the single metal door, and I had quickly returned Latias to her Pokéball. She desperately needed time to rest. I was without a weapon, which wasn’t going to help me considering these Wind Strikers were likely armed with rifles.

I had heard a violent swish of air to my right side, and I had seen three Skarmories and their riders fly over the wall of the prison and landed quickly on the rooftop, the three Skarmories slamming their sharp talons onto the metal roof, and their riders had dismounted, a Sandshrew, a Plusle, and a Minun. I was shocked. They certainly weren’t cute looking anymore. With battle scars all over them and seeing them hold a lethal Vulcan rifle, they were anything but cute…

The Minun’s eyes had caught sight of Vorox’s dead body, as well as Tychal lying in a puddle of his own blood. The other two had caught sight of it as well, and they pointed their rifles right at us.

“I don’t believe it.” The Minun said with a furious growl, lowering his eyelids and giving us a cold, violent stare, “Which one of you two killed The Jade Sword!?”

“That would be me…” I told the Minun with a firm voice, “Juno… The Gold Rider.”

The Minun’s stare had lessened, now growing tense. He obviously knew who I was, and why I had come here. I could see he hadn’t expected to encounter me, and he didn’t expect to see Vorox dead, killed on my behalf. I could see a fear growing inside of him…

“You were the one who did this?” The Minun growled angrily, “You were the one who killed our leader!?”

I could already sense he was going to strike. I was prepared for him to unleash his attack. I also knew that by my side, Vice was ready with his Vulcan rifle, as well as his sharp claws…

“You’re not going to walk off this rooftop alive, Juno.” The Minun growled, “Never…”

And then he pulled the trigger…

The Minun’s Vulcan rifle blasted furiously at us, and the only thing we could do was just run from the door. Vice and I had run in opposite directions, and the rifle blasted the metal door with a round of bullets, slicing holes through the metal. Then, he stopped firing.

“Throw your weapon down, and surrender!” The Minun shouted, especially aiming at Vice.

Vice didn’t even have his aim on the Minun, and he didn’t have a single second to get an aim on him before Minun and the other two Wind Strikers would fire upon him. There was nothing he could do but toss his Vulcan rifle onto the metal ground.

“Kick it aside.” The Plusle told Vice, with his rifle pointed right at Vice.

With little choice, Vice kicked the Vulcan rifle to his right with his left foot. Now his only automatic weapon was completely out of his reach. But that wasn’t the only thing that was bothering me.

Suddenly, right over the side of the prison wall arrived two more Wind Strikers, this time a Machop and a Tyrogue. The two Skarmories had landed on the roof, with their talons clanging on the metal floor. When their sharp, blade wings had folded up, the Machop and the Tyrogue had dismounted, and had landed on the metal floor, rifles drawn and ready. Things certainly weren’t getting better…

“Who are these punks?” The Tyrogue asked, looking at the two of us, “And what is…?”

“That’s Juno.” The Minun replied with a rough voice, not even looked at who asked the question, “He’s the one that killed Vorox…”

The Tyrogue’s mouth fell wide open, just gawking at Vorox’s dead body. He shook his head in disbelief.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” He shouted in total shock, “And he doesn’t even have a single arm chopped off…”

“I say we kill him now.” The Machop told the others, “After killing Vorox, he certainly deserves to die.”

Already, I knew there was very little way for me to dodge a swarm of bullets firing from five rifles, no matter how much concentration I could use. I had barely escaped when there were two firing at me.

And despite my previous beliefs that there were barely any Wind Strikers left, three more had arrived, and quickly joined the ranks of the others. I could only guess more were going to come up here, and they were going to take us in their custody. Either that, or they were going to shoot us dead, which certainly seemed far more likely.

I was too far away from Vice to say anything, and he was looking to me for a solution. That wasn’t a very good sign. We really had no chance of escape whatsoever…

And then, suddenly we heard an explosion below us, and everything stopped. I was wondering what had happened.

“Open fire!” A familiar voice shouted above.

I had looked into the sky to see dozens of Storm Riders, with Randy leading them. They had aimed at the small group of Wind Strikers below them, and then they unleashed their attack.

The Wind Strikers on the ground had looked up, and couldn’t believe their eyes.

“Damn it!” The Machop shouted angrily, aiming his rifle at the group.

But it was far too late for them to do anything about it. Suddenly, I watched in shock as the Machop was struck twice in the chest. When he fell on his knees, throbbing with pain, another bullet had struck him between the eyes. He had collapsed onto the ground, laying down his rifle.

Some of the other Wind Strikers had opened fire, but they barely got an attack going before they were blasted by the gunfire of two dozen Storm Riders. A loud cracking of rifles had roared out, but the Wind Strikers were highly outnumbered and unprepared for the attack. When it all stopped, not one of them remained standing…

Randy had then taken Storm Gale and guided her to land on the roof of the building. Then the rest of the Storm Riders had followed, and each of their Pidgeots landed on the roof of the prison safely. Randy had dismounted and then approached the two of us.

“Looks like we got here just in time…” Randy remarked, seeing we would have been doomed without him.

“I owe you one, Blitz.” Vice told Randy, looking favorably upon him, “You really saved our butts this time…”

But it certainly wasn’t the time to rejoice now. I had heard an excessive amount of gunfire coming from below, meaning the battle was still going on, and at a feverish pace.

It certainly wasn’t over yet…

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Old 12-15-2006, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: The Trial of Juno I and II - The Complete Edition

Chapter 37
The Passage Home

The fighting was still going on, and I could hear loud explosions all around me, as well as new fires raging out besides the ones that were already consuming most of Macomb. Already the assembly plants were under attack by the incoming Silver Rebellion invasion.

On the rooftop, I had seen a familiar face approach me. It was Sever, looking at me with a dense look in his eyes.

“There are transports waiting by the prison entrance, Juno.” Sever told me, not surprised at how far I had come, “There should be enough to carry everyone out of here. Take the prisoners and get out of here, by now the guards by the door should be gone.”

“You’re crazy!” Vice shouted in protest, “You pack ‘em up, we still have fighting to do here.”

“He’s right, Vice.” I corrected him, “Come on, we’ve done more than enough here.”

Vice let out a pout in disappointment, but he realized it wasn’t his place to disagree. After Vice had recalled Storm Gale and Randy had begun to follow us, we had headed back into the prison and prepared to release the locks. This time, we were even faster, heading downstairs and once we found the release, the metal panels on the doors and windows had folded up and were removed. Then, we headed to the group of prisoners on the first floor and guided them to the transports waiting just outside.

The transports were huge, metal trucks with tiny slits for windows to prevent entry of attacks but to allow at least some circulation. Armadillos and Land Splitters were racing all over the Macomb city, shooting down any Crimson Star resistance and tearing apart the little that was left of the industrial city. For once… we were winning, proving we weren’t the pushovers the Crimson Stars thought we were.

Once the prisoners from the first floor were packed in, we then brought out the second floor’s prisoners, and kept going until the entire prison was empty. Then, Randy, Vice, and I had climbed into the final transport, and then the doors were shut, and closed in tight. It wasn’t long before we had begun moving. As I gazed out of one of the holes in the transports, I saw that soon the fighting force that we left behind would follow us home, because there was very little left of Macomb now.

Moving by armored transport was much slower than riding the skies as a Storm Rider. It nearly took triple the time, and certainly wasn’t as exciting at all. Regardless, we had accomplished our mission, even against all odds. And even as I thought about it, somewhere on one of the transports must have been Alex. What freaked me out the most was knowing I led him out into the transport and didn’t even know it was him. But now wasn’t the time to start looking for him. That would have to wait until we got everyone home.

Exhausted and weary, I had fallen asleep in the transport, just waiting and waiting…

It was a bright light that had caused me to awake. When I opened my eyes, I realized the transport door had been opened. The other Silver Rebellion soldiers around me had begun heading out, and so did I. And moments later, I had laid eyes on the familiar sight of Symarix. It was great to be back especially after this kind of success. Macomb was definitely a nightmare I didn’t want to live over again.

It didn’t take very long before word had gotten out that I had slain Vorox, the commander of the Wind Strikers. To say the least, Jamac and Achilles were extremely impressed with my performance, and had promoted me to the commander of the Storm Riders as well as a General of the Silver Rebellion army. I was willing to accept it as well as my new role in this whole campaign. Meanwhile, Sinis had been giving me another odd stare. I really didn’t know what was wrong with him, or if he was just jealous of something…

A report had come in concerning Macomb’s state, and to say the least the base wouldn’t be coming back online, and it definitely would cripple the war effort of the Crimson Stars. Apparently, Vice and Randy were given promotions as well, simply for their contributions in the attack on Macomb.

But somehow, it really didn’t surprise anyone that I had already been given an extremely high promotion in such little time. Most of them said it was because I was able to kill Vorox and lead the destruction of a base that had never been penetrated before. Regardless, this war was far from over. Yet, even for me, I didn’t know what lied at the end…

Despite the kindness of Jamac and Achilles, the awards ceremony was pretty boring. In fact, once they had handed me my rewards, it was quickly over with. Achilles asked if I had taken any offense to it and I told him no. It didn’t bother me at all.

After that, I was compelled to find Alex. The free prisoners of Macomb were being held for questioning, asked about what they had assembled and the conditions of Macomb. I had confronted each group of prisoners, asked for Alex, but I pronounced it differently so they didn’t think it was a human name, since I had already seen how much uproar that had caused.

It wasn’t until the fifth group did I actually receive a response. Again, I had asked for Alex, and after some long hesitation, someone had come from the group to meet me. Randy had been with me at the time, and we waited as the small group gave way to the one who was approaching us. When he finally arrived at the front, I had seen yet another tiny Pichu before me, looking pretty confused as to what was going on.

Regardless, I felt we should be talking in private, so I took him away and we ended up meeting behind a building. I didn’t say anything to him until we were out of sight.

“Alex, is that really you?” I asked the Pichu, pronouncing his name corrected this time.

“Yes, that is my real name.” Alex responded, looking at me strangely, “I know you’re Juno, but how did you know my real name?”

Randy then stepped closer to Alex. We both looked at him seriously.

“Alex, we’re actually Jake and Randy.” Randy had told Alex, “You remember, from Scottville Middle School?”

“Oh man…” Alex responded, nearly passing out, “How on earth did the two of you find me?”

“It’s a long story.” I told him, keeping serious with it “But right now, we need to give you a different name. The Silver Rebellion is highly against anyone here having a human name.”

Alex looked around with caution, and he appeared to look so lost around here. I couldn’t blame him though. It was really strange to me at first, but in time he would get used to it…

“Is everyone is this city a Pokémon?” Alex asked, seemingly shocked at the fact.

“That’s right.” I told Alex, “I… know it seems really weird but just give it a few moments. After a while, it seems normal…”

Alex was silent for a moment. I don’t know why he ended up to be a Pichu like Randy, but I guess that was what Zander really wanted after all.

“You can call me Tek.” Alex told the two of us, “Just anything will do really, I really don’t care. But I still can’t believe Jake is the leader of the Storm Riders. That’s freaking amazing…”

“Tek, you really need to call me Juno, no matter what.” I told Alex seriously, “We’ll try and find a way out of here, but you need to give it time. Something tells me Zander is behind this entire war and wants us to finish it. We have no choice but to continue on.”

Still, Alex remained quiet. He stilled appeared to be in disbelief.

“I still can’t believe that was really you behind everything.” Alex told me, “Man, you are tough. Macomb completely fell to pieces because of you.”

“Well, I’m glad we finally met up together.” I told Alex and Randy, “Let’s try to keep it that way, for as long as we can…”

I was so relieved that afternoon, finally we had gotten together, once again to try and escape from this unknown world we had been put into. But even now, we had already been here several months, and it wasn’t looking so foreign now. It wasn’t this world that was becoming foreign actually. It was the one we were supposed to be in…

Several days later, I had been unable to sleep one night with one strange thing on my mind. The prophecy. Something was telling me I really needed to read it myself. I wanted to find out who the Silver Rebellion really thought I was, and what they expected me to do.

That next morning, I had approached Achilles. I then walked up to him and popped the question.

“Achilles, I was wondering if you could tell me where I could find ‘The Prophecy.’” I asked Achilles, looking at him seriously, “I’ve wanted to read it myself.”

But Achilles had looked at me strangely, almost with the look of that I should have known it already.

“Look, we have a lot more things that have a higher priority than that.” Achilles told me, “We should really start planning our next method of attack on the Crimson Stars.”

I just shrugged and decided to go along with it. I could guess from the way Achilles was looking at me, I really knew all of it already. I could expect it to say something about my arrival and how I was supposed to defeat the Crimson Stars, but I really didn’t know the whole depth of it.

And then, out of nowhere, I had seen Sinis, just giving me a cold, hard stare. He had glared at me for a very long time, and then I just turned away. What was wrong with him…?

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Old 12-15-2006, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: The Trial of Juno I and II - The Complete Edition

Chapter 38
Allies and Enemies

I had been unable to sleep that night, just thinking about Sinis. What was even more strange was wondering what his purpose was. I never really saw him do anything, but then again, I haven’t been here that long.

The whole night, it rained, constantly saturating the thin metal of my bedroom with water. Ever since my promotion, I’ve gotten a much better place to sleep, but it still wasn’t luxurious. I could hear every raindrop hammer down from above.

The strangest thing about rain here was that it was a very light, transparent crimson color, and nothing ever benefited from it. Also, the rainwater couldn’t be consumed directly, it had to be purified first. If it was consumed in its raw form, not only did it taste awful but it had long-term health problems. And at night, it looked like the whole city was covered in blood…

That next morning, Achilles wanted me to discuss the next attack upon the Crimson Stars in the command center. The room was cold and dark, being the only concrete building in the entire city. All we did was stare at a map and decide what target we would attack next. There were three colonels there, along with Achilles, myself, and Vexcel the Dragonite, another general.

“Now that we’re gathered here…” Achilles began, after we had all taken our seats, “I wanted to discuss our next attack. As long as we keep fighting back like we have been, it will protect the citizens of Symarix.”

I just keep looking up at the map. I could see the red dots resembled the enemy locations while the blue ones resembled ours. There were a whole lot more red dots than blue ones…

“Considering how much damage we did to Macomb…” Vexcel replied, “Our next best attack location would be Black Rock. It’s only a military camp. Attacking that location would reduce the number of Crimson Star soldiers to some degree.”

I nearly totally ignored Vexcel and just looked at the largest red dot on the map, labeled Jasandax. There were many other small dots surrounding it, but I couldn’t help but keep my eye on Jasandax…

“We’re better off destroying all those smaller outposts first.” One of the colonels said seeing things differently from Vexcel.

I had looked to face him and looked into his eyes. Wow. That was one nasty looking Charizard. I didn’t even want to ask how he got his promotion. It must have been through a lot of blood and guts…

“What do you think Juno?” Achilles asked me, looking at me when I was just barely paying attention to the conversation at hand, “Should we attack the outposts in the northwest or attack Black Rock?”

I sat there, looking at the map and looking for Black Rock. I saw it was nearly a million miles away from Jasandax. In my opinion, attacking the smaller outposts would have been better, but I still didn’t think it was the best solution possible.

“Juno…?” Achilles asked, after some delay in my response.

I then looking back up at the bright red dot of Jasandax. I couldn’t help but speak the way I felt.

“I think we should stop wasting time around here and attack Jasandax directly.” I responded.

One of the colonels burst out laughing. The others had looked at me very strangely, and Vexcel just shook his head.

“Juno, we just can’t attack the head capital of the Crimson Stars like that.” He told me, feeling I was making a heavy mistake, “It’s extremely dangerous.”

“He’s right Juno.” Achilles told me, looking down upon me, “There’s a lot more that needs to be done here.”

I still couldn’t believe this. How long was it going to take them to realize we were on our last legs here?

“First off,” I responded, getting a bit angry, “Attacking Black Rock is worthless. Its a million miles away from the main route of their activity. There’s almost no reason to attack it.”

“It would be easier since there’s nothing they can do to protect it.” Vexcel tried to correct me.

“It would be a waste of our time.” I told him firmly, “If we keep attacking like this, they’ll have a second facility like Macomb up in no time. They don’t really even need Black Rock. If we were to take every last soldier and use them in an attack against Jasandax, we might be able to bring the city down.”

Achilles seemed to be losing his patience. I didn’t understand this. Exactly what were they trying to achieve? And why beat around the bush like this, I felt we needed to do this while we still had the chance.

“I’ve heard enough.” Achilles responded, looking at me with a dark stare, “I’m pretty disappointed in you Juno…”

He then turned to face everyone else. Fine. If he didn’t want my advice, that was up to him. I was ready to say to hell with it, but then… the Silver Rebellion really wouldn’t stand any bit of a chance.

“As for the rest of you,” Achilles said to the rest of the commanders, “I’ve decided on what would be the best target to attack. We will be attacking Black Rock, as commander Vexcel has suggested.”

What a bloody waste of time. No wonder these people were fighting a losing war. Why did we bother attacking Macomb in the first place? And then I suddenly remembered… that was my command… that wasn’t not even Achilles’s suggestion. Heck, if I hadn’t be here, Macomb would have been alive and well.

How long would it have taken to attack Macomb without me…? But… the answer to that question was easy. It would have never happened…

Achilles didn’t even want to speak to me after all of that had happened. He told me I should sit down and think about what I was doing wrong, and in the meantime, they would be attacking Black Rock… completely without me…

To say the least, I was angry. If I was able to destroy Macomb, why didn’t they trust me? And then again, Achilles had told me never to participate in a tactical examination again. He even told me that he would have demoted me, but he decided not to because it would hurt his own image. Gee… how kind. I was slowly beginning to feel my only purpose in this war was to kill Zander and get the hell out of here, as if the Silver Rebellion was just a way to get there. I was getting very tired of this.

The only ones I could trust were Alex and Randy now. They hadn’t betrayed me like everyone else here had. I knew no one here anymore. Jamac never spoke to me once after that assault, it was so much touch and go when it came to appreciation here. I nearly got myself killed in Macomb, but then again… no one really cared…

I had left the command center feeling so downright awful. Why didn’t they trust me? It wasn’t over yet…

And then… just as I walked out the door, I had sensed someone approach me. I thought it was going to be someone like Vexcel or Sinis but instead, I had laid eyes on a female Pikachu. She seemed so gentle and her eyes were so warm with life. She lightly smiled at me and I couldn’t help but smile back…

“I would like to thank you for all that you’ve done for Symarix.” She told me, giving me a light smile, “It seems to be a whole lot of other people aren’t as thankful…”

“You’re welcome…” I responded to her, almost speechless…

To say the least, I was surprised. I really didn’t expect that whatsoever. Even after all this misery I endured, it was nice to know someone here still appreciated what I did.

“To the normal everyday citizens of Symarix, you’re more of a hero than Jamac himself.” She said to me with a gentle smile, “There was much rejoicing when you brought back those captive soldiers. I saw many families were finally brought back together due to your efforts.”

Well, that at least made me feel a little better. Funny, because at the moment, it almost seemed like everything I was doing had been against the Silver Rebellion. And then again, I was more interested in learning who this Pikachu was.

“What is your name?” I asked the female Pikachu.

“Sita.” She told me, wearing a slight smile, “But, I will always remember your name. Your name is Juno… I never thought I would be this close to the one they call the ‘Gold Rider.’ It just seems so unfair they’re taking all of your services for granted…”

“Yes… it does.” I told her softly, “I’m not a miracle maker like Jamac and Achilles think I am. I can only do my best…”

She approached me very closely, and she held out her tiny hand. I then put my hand on top of hers, and I looked up at her. Her eyes were so shiny and beautiful…

“I will always be by your side.” She told me with a warm smile, “You’re more amazing than I could ever imagine. Everything you have done for us…”

I stared into her eyes, and I couldn’t keep my gaze off of them. Never before had someone truly cared about me, and for the first time I was feeling it more than ever.

“Thank you for you support.” I told her, feeling somewhat shy, “I don’t know what I would do without you…”

“I just…” Sita told me, feeling somewhat uneasy, “I know this time won’t last forever. I want to be with you for as long as I can. You mean so much to me…”

Still, I was silent. There were many things I wanted to ask her, but I couldn’t find the will to ask her the questions that were in my mind. I thought maybe now wasn’t the perfect time. But, I felt for certain I would meet her again. No one stood out the way she did… not at all.

“Well, I must be going.” Sita told me, seeing it was getting late, “Thank you for everything, Juno.”

“Farewell Sita.” I said to her, “I hope to see you soon.”

She then turned around, walked a few paces and waved goodbye. I had waved back, and I admired the way she respected me, unlike other people I knew…

It was great to know there were others I could count on other than Randy and Alex. While they were some of my greatest support, I could easily assume there were others out there, just like Sita, who didn’t see just as a tool for Jamac and Achilles. That was true respect. All that anger in me before had slowly melted away, just from Sita.

She really was amazing…

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Old 12-15-2006, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: The Trial of Juno I and II - The Complete Edition

Chapter 39
The Act of a Traitor

Nearly a month later, General Vexcel and his soldiers had returned from the attack on Black Rock. As I got a look off of him, he certainly looked a hell of a lot worse than he did those few weeks ago. I had seen him leave with three Armadillos packed with soldiers and three squads of Storm Riders, having twenty members per squad. That afternoon, he came back with only one very beat up Armadillo, and seven Storm Riders that had lost every trace of morale…

The attack on Black Rock had been successful…to a degree. But all that time, I kept thinking what it was for. Yes, we reduced the soldiers of the Crimson Stars, but they just did the same to us. I had overheard Vexcel telling Achilles that he didn’t want to fight again until he had gotten his eyes off of combat for some time. I couldn’t blame him for one thing. It was a harsh reality to see some fellow Storm Riders tumble to their deaths after being shot. But then again, it was him who decided to go there in the first place. Everything he had witnessed was his own fault, and I couldn’t excuse that.

Considering we had lost three outposts in the last month, we were still losing at a hideous pace. Already, intelligence had given us information about a plan to rebuild Macomb, only this time it would be behind Jasandax, a place that we couldn’t reach without a lot of problem. Our casualty list was only getting longer, and the graveyards were only getting larger.

I grew colder when I noticed every male child born on Silver Rebellion soil was already enlisted as a future soldier. We were certainly getting desperate. Still, Achilles heavily insisted that I was a General by title only. He refused to give me commanding authority over other soldiers or pick my own support members. For the longest time, I had been doing nothing, only hearing about consistent losses. Achilles kept blaming it on weaponry and kept insisting to the weapons manufacturers that they weren’t strong enough. But I knew there wasn’t anything wrong with the weapons, it was how they were being used… Still, Achilles refused to take my advice. I knew Achilles was the High General of the Silver Rebellion army, but he certainly wasn’t a tactician. No one was.

It all came down to one problem, and I figured it out one rainy night in my bed. Achilles was listening to only what he wanted to hear. Never once did he say to himself that he was doing the wrong thing. No wonder he shut me out from saying anything, I was the one voice that was actually saying something against his actions. Vexcel and all the others were probably used to this by now. I then realized something that made me sick. As long as Achilles was calling the shots, we were going to lose in time. For every unneeded outpost we destroyed, the Crimson Stars wasted three of our most vital ones.

And then there was one day when I had lost my patience. I had approached Achilles one more time, just before he was going to walk into the command center for yet another meaningless tactical examination.

“What do you want?” Achilles asked me as I got in front of him, “I have a meeting to attend…”

I didn’t care if I was going to be brutally honest. It was either that or be brutally killed when the Crimson Stars were waiting outside to siege Symarix…

“I know where you’re going.” I told Achilles in a firm and serious tone, “But I’ll tell you right now that for the last month and then some we’ve been on the wrong track ever since.”

“Are you saying there’s something wrong with my battle plan!?” Achilles growled at me, growing angry.

“To put it short, yes.” I told him, unafraid of his anger, “Vexcel isn’t the brightest General I’ve ever seen, but you’re not doing justice to this by following his advice. If our performance stays like this, I suspect Symarix will be overrun in less than a year.”

For the longest time, Achilles had been deadly silent. He stared at me for the longest time, and I refused to look directly into his eyes. Never before has he given me such an apprehensive look.

“I would have you thrown into prison for treason,” Achilles scowled at me, “But then how would you fulfill the prophecy? That’s if, you’re even the real Juno and not an imposter…”

“Imposter…?” I asked him, growing very bitter, “Really now, Achilles. I really don’t think an imposter would be able to destroy Macomb with only a few casualties, let alone even find the will to go there.”

“I was wrong about you.” Achilles replied, shaking his head, “How could I have been such an idiot? Hmph, let the people worship you like a god, but while you’re under my power, you’ll never be higher than me or Jamac. We’re still your superiors, whether you’re actually Juno or not.”

I certainly never thought Achilles would ever act like this. Something was telling me that he didn’t expect me to perform so well, or either that or he was taking me for granted. Or he was worried about losing his High General position. Yes, that had to be it, why would he keep me from engaging on missions? I could never get a higher promotion if he kept me off.

“You’re being extremely selfish.” I told Achilles, staring right into his eyes, “You’re afraid of me stealing your General position, but that isn’t my intention.”

“That’s a lie.” Achilles growled at me, “I know what you’re here for and what you’re going to do. To tell the truth, life was better here without you. You are already set on taking my position. That’s what it says in the…”

“Prophecy?” I asked Achilles, seeing deeper into his soul, “Tell me, what else does The Divine Prophecy mention?”

And then, I was shocked at his reaction. Suddenly, he had lost his anger, and he then looked me over. He shook his head, and couldn’t believe it.

“You mean you don’t know!?” Achilles shouted, nearly laughing, “The legendary Juno doesn’t even know his own fate? I was right… you are… an imposter…”

“Stop it!” I shouted angrily, “This country is about to die because of your negligence. And if it dies, you go along with it. Right now, that fool Vexcel you promoted to General just lost another good fifty soldiers, and the rest of your lackeys aren’t doing anything either! You… you’re this nation’s biggest threat.”

He then glared at me with an evil stare. Achilles had changed, he had become far more worse than ever. He pointed his claw at me, and grew extremely angry. All I could look at was the razor-sharp edge of his nail.

“Guards!” He shouted loudly, “Apprehend this ruffian!”

“Stop this at once!” I shouted at Achilles, “You don’t know what you’re doing!”

“Yes I do.” Achilles responded his voice grew softer, “I’m going to arrest you and put you out of my way!”

At that moment, I had laid eyes on Sever, as well as four other soldiers. They had arrived in a hurry, but they stopped dead in their tracks as they saw the two of us.

“General Achilles…” Sever replied, looking confused, “You want us to apprehend Juno? The Gold Rider…?”

“On the grounds of treason.” Achilles responded with a harsh tone to Sever, “He’s been betraying us, but I caught him just in time before he did anything harsh!”

“That’s a cold-blooded lie!” I shouted at Achilles, “I would never plot against the Silver Rebellion! I’m here to help you!”

Still, Sever did not move. I could see behind the skull he wore over his face and into his eyes. I could see that he trusted me more than he actually trusted Achilles, but he didn’t say anything, and he didn’t make a move. Even the three other soldiers hesitated to move.

“Apprehend him!” Achilles ordered, “He may still be a General but I still have power over him! Treason’s a serious crime here!”

With hesitation, Sever confronted me along with the three other soldiers. Two of them held me down while the third bound my hands with metal chains behind my back. I didn’t try to struggle, I didn’t want to make this any worse.

“I’m deeply sorry you’re making a choice you will regret.” I told Achilles, just before Sever prepared to take me away.

“Sir, are you sure about this?” Sever asked, “He’s one of our key commanders. You remember what he did at Macomb and Black Bay and what he did to Vorox. Is this your way of thanking him?”

“Shut up, both of you!” Achilles shouted, “Take him out of here, I’ve seen enough of him!”

And then, I was pushed along through the city, headed for the Symarix prison. I already knew something deeply wrong had gone inside the heart of Achilles, and it seemed I wasn’t the only one who suddenly felt this way…

They had led me through the streets and between alleyways, and the very sight of me bound in chains was enough to scare the skin out of the citizens. They kept asking Sever and the other soldiers what I had done, but the five of us remained silent. I kept looking down, unable to look at them in the eyes. I was pretty sure I had heard Sita’s voice, but I didn’t look up to check.

It wasn’t long before we had arrived at a black, metal building with very tiny windows. I couldn’t believe I would be spending time with captive Crimson Stars soldiers, but I didn’t have a choice. The gatekeeper, a very shocked and distressed Slowking had looked me over, but I didn’t look up at him. I was too ashamed to even look at anyone but the ground before me.

“You have got to be kidding me…” He remarked in complete bewilderment, “This is Juno for crying out loud! Do you fools even know what you’re doing!?”

“General Achilles has ordered us to arrest him on the grounds of treason.” Sever told the gatekeeper.

“High General Achilles!?” The gatekeeper shouted in fright, “That means he doesn’t even get a trial! What did he even do?”

There was silence. Obviously they didn’t even know, since they didn’t even hear anything. Only if they had…

“We don’t know…” Sever replied scornfully, looking down.

“There has got to be some mistake.” The Slowking gatekeeper replied, “Never in a million years did I think General Achilles would be sending Symarix’s greatest asset to prison!”

But there was silence. Still, I didn’t look up. I was too ashamed at the moment.

“I’m deeply sorry, Juno…” The Slowking replied with the sound of desperation on his voice, “But if this order is from Achilles, there’s nothing I can do about it…”

Moments later, I was led into the building, which wasn’t as bad as the prison in Macomb, but there was one big difference between this one and the one at Macomb. I never thought I would be forced into a cell by my own comrades...

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Old 12-15-2006, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: The Trial of Juno I and II - The Complete Edition

Chapter 40
The Binding

I was wrong, at least for some time. I had been thrown in a small metal cell with only one barred window and a rickety bed. Unlike the jails I had seen, this only had a single metal door with another barred window. That was my only way to look out into the hallway. When I had looked out the window, all I could see was a metal wall of the building next to the one I was in. I wasn’t sure if it was still another part of the prison or another building altogether, but the window was pretty much good for nothing.

I was pretty sure a few days had passed, but I had lost all track of time. During the beginning, Sita, Randy and Alex had come to visit, but the only way I knew it was them was through their voices. They kept telling me I would be out soon, but that crept further and further away as the days kept marching on with no purpose.

As time passed on, they started to visit less and I found myself more alone than ever before. During those days, I tried to remember the family I left behind, but now I couldn’t even remember their faces. I wanted to go back to that place, even though I would have difficulty in trying to adjust to what had happened. There were many times I wished I have never gotten myself in this mess. I couldn’t help but think of all the alternative choices I could have made prior to this, and how they might have changed things.

I could have sworn a year had passed. How long was I going to be kept in here? Would this be the place where I die? If it was, there was no point in me living. Sita only came once every few months, telling me the situation was only getting worse. Jamac had gotten power-hungry, demanding more money from the people for a dying war effort. It was hard to tell her that everything was going to be okay when I really didn’t believe that myself. So… I never said anything. For some reason, fear was the only thing that was letting me keep my sanity and grip on reality after all this time. Most of the time… I was too scared tense to let my mind wander and permanently fall into insanity from the waiting…

Three years later, I had gotten a hideous shock. I had heard an explosion, and then rounds and rounds of gunfire. I heard shouting and screaming from outside, yet still couldn’t see anything with the window being as useless as it was. More shots were fired, blasting loudly all around me. Then, I had realized something…

Symarix was under attack…

But, there wasn’t anything I could do about it. All I could do was just listen and try to assume what was happening. All I could think about was Randy, Alex and Sita. Were they okay? Still, until I heard from them again, anything could be happening. They could have already been dead for all I knew.

It took several days for the carnage to finally stop. I could only imagine what happened, but for now it seemed like the city was safe. If we had really been taken over, the whole prison would have been raided to release the captive Crimson Stars soldiers inside. But I knew that only in time the city would fall. It would only be a matter of time before it was attacked again. I could just imagine seeing the door of my cell finally opening, only to reveal a Crimson Stars soldier that would gun me down seconds later.

I had later learned that Sita, Randy and Alex were okay, but they had told me about the gruesome battle, and how hundreds of lives were lost. But still, there was nothing they could do. Jamac had become corrupted, as well as Achilles. Symarix needed new leaders now or the Silver Rebellion would be torn to ribbons. Already the citizens of Symarix had protested against the two of them, but Jamac silenced them with constant threats, threats that he acted upon as well…

And then one day, the impossible happened. I never thought in a million years that it would come to this, but it had. Down the hallway, I had heard the sound of what seemed to be someone collapsing, but with no shout or anything. I knew there were guards on patrol, but wouldn’t have someone noticed something…?

And then, I had heard a metal clanging sound in my door, and with a click, the door was unlocked, and it was finally opened after all these years. In the doorway I saw a face I had not laid eyes on for a very long time. And I was surprised to see him, most of all…

In the doorway stood none other than Sinis, the Zangoose I once had a bitter contempt for. In his hands he was holding a large tattered book with a key in the other. He looked at me, and then sighed.

“We’re very fortunate you’re still alive.” Sinis told me, looking straight into my eyes, “We need your help, more than ever…”

“This command is from Achilles?” I asked Sinis, knowing that if it was, it wouldn’t be long before I would end up right back in here again.

But… Sinis shook his head, and looked down for a minute. Things… really did change more than I could ever imagine. It was too late to turn back now…

“No, this is from me and me alone.” Sinis told me seriously, “And there was something Achilles and Jamac have been keeping from you in the first place.”

“The Divine Prophecy…” I realized the book he was carrying.

There was silence. Obviously, Sinis had already killed ruthlessly to even get in here. I needed the answers now.

For eons I had wondered what The Divine Prophecy spoke about. How much of it was about me, and why had Achilles and Jamac kept it away from me for so long? What was inside of it that they didn’t want me to see?

Sinis stood before me, holding the brown, tattered book. I could already tell that what he was doing could lead to serious punishment. He was breaking boundaries just to do this for me. While I knew I couldn’t trust Achilles anymore, maybe Sinis was different now. Or even then, maybe he had never changed at all…

“Read it, and read it carefully.” Sinis told me, handing the book over, “I’ve marked the area in the book where it describes you…”

When I had taken the book from him, I found a metal clip between some of the pages. I opened the book to where the clip was, and began reading the first page…

There will be a time when all hope has faded. There will be a time when fire rushes from the sky and pain and desperation will be closer to your heart than ever. When it seems at the moment that everything is lost and destroyed at the hands of your enemies and your merciless oppressors, there will be one last source of hope that you can rely on.

He will be like the rest of you, no different in appearance from the ones in your ranks. He will fight with you, and risk his life for you to ensure your victory. And he will come at your most dire time of need. He will arrive on a bird as red as blood and as white as lightning. When the skies turn into fire and the land is burnt into ash, he will come. When you have endured the restless masses, the battles, and the nightmares, he will arrive. When the night seems endless and all hope has faded, he will come, and he will go by the name of Juno.

He will lead your people into their darkest battles, but you shall have no fear, for your victory is ensured by his presence. Never once will he betray you, and he will be by your side until you have established a new order.

You will fight on the harshest, twisted fields and with fire and storm thunder you will bring down the enemy. Though courage and determination you will prevail.

And to prove his loyalty to you, he will destroy the worst of your foes. He will fight until the bitter end. The battle will claim his life, but it shall be the same for oppressors. And when the last of the enemy’s blood has been shed, a new light will be revealed.

“Claim my life?” I asked, still looking anxiously at the words.

“That was the part Jamac and Achilles didn’t want you to see.” Sinis told me, looking at the book as well, “Why do you think every time you asked to see it, you were denied the right? They thought that if you knew you were going to die in the end, you wouldn’t have bothered. They felt you would be too afraid of death to carry forward.”

I was silent. While it did seem to be quite a shock to read it, for some reason I was able to cast the fact aside.

“Hundreds of our soldiers march into battle knowing they might not survive the onslaught either.” I told Sinis with a firm voice, “Why do they feel I will be any different?”

“They don’t usually go into battle thinking they’re going to die. They all feel they’re going to come out of it somehow.” Sinis said to me, “That’s what makes them different from you…”

I always thought that’s the way it would be in the end as well. And then again, I began to think maybe I wasn’t meant to go home. After I had realized that, I had completely abandoned any hope of ever reaching my family again. But for once, I wasn’t sad about it either. For the longest time… it had almost seemed like this was meant to happen at some point in time. I had begun to think harder around what the Prophecy had expected me to do. And then, another question had come to mind.

“I can see in your eyes that you didn’t expect this to happen.” Sinis told me, “But I don’t believe in prophecies. In fact, I’m about to prove The Candle of Enlightenment wrong.”

“Candle of Enlightenment?” I had asked, never hearing it before.

Sinis had looked down toward me, and he realized Jamac and Achilles had truly told me nothing about what was going on.

“It ties very closely with the prophecy, they both rely on each other.” Sinis told me seriously, “It has foretold that Jamac and his descendants will be the future rulers of the Silver Rebellion. It has also predicted that you will come and defeat Zander and bring peace. Again, it says that you will die in the process, but I wouldn’t worry about that. It even states that you will always be loyal to Jamac and his cause. I like to think of it more as, only loyal to the cause. Jamac was never loyal to you.”

“You’re going to kill him…” I said, realizing how he was going to break the prophecy.

“And you’re going to help me…”

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Old 12-15-2006, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: The Trial of Juno I and II - The Complete Edition

Chapter 41
Breaking the Threshold

I had seen Sinis had made quick work of the guards. I never pictured myself fighting my own comrades, but something needed to be done, for the honor of the Rebellion. Upon passing a dead guard, I bent over and picked up his caliber rifle. I had looked over the steel casing of the rifle, and I could feel a cold chill, knowing this same rifle was going to end lives.

Sinis and I had made it to the streets, and I could only guess what was going to happen next. We had traveled through the streets, mostly unseen. I hadn’t seen the streets in years, and it made a world of difference. Nothing looked familiar now, and I had also seen some of the damage the recent battle had done. Some of the buildings were lying in ruins, something I thought I would never see in Symarix…

We had arrived at the tallest building in the city, the same place where I had been accepted long ago. Today, I was entering for a whole different reason. I wasn’t going to let compassion get in the way of justice. Not today…

Sinis and I had made it through the front door, and we headed for the elevator. I couldn’t help but notice the bronze statue of me again. Betraying the Silver Rebellion? No, it had betrayed me, and Sinis and I were going to set things straight. Today, we were going to shatter corruption, as well as a false prophecy. Sinis was right, more than I could ever imagine. Rank didn’t make one soldier’s life more important than the other. Everyone has their own dreams, goals and experiences. But right now, Achilles felt those of oblivious Generals like Vexcel were more valuable than the common soldier that would honorably risk his life for this nation.

We had approached the elevator, and I hammered in the security code on the keypad. I still never forgot since it was told to me a long time ago. Once the doors were opened, we entered and pressed the button for the top floor, and soon the doors shut we began ascending. We were just about the only ones who knew that code besides the head guards as well as Jamac and Achilles themselves. When he had arrived at the top floor, the doors opened, and I laid eyes on that familiar hallway. At the end of the hallway was Sever, as well as two other guards, a Magmar and a Breloom. Sinis and I had approached them, still keeping our intentions. I had no idea how they were going to react to this.

“Juno… Is that you?” Sever asked me, looking at me strangely.

I looked at Sever and the two other guards seriously. He knew and I knew what I was capable of.

“I will give you one choice, Sever.” I told him seriously, “You’re a good soldier, an honest and a valuable asset to the Silver Rebellion. But you have witnessed first-hand the mistakes of those who rule this dying country. Sinis and I have decided that something needs to be done. Either you let us through, or we will find our own way in there, but either way, we are going to change the way things are done around here.”

Sever was struck silent, as well as the other two guards. Sever looked into my eyes, and I could see with his own soul that we were about to break a prophecy that no one would believe in anymore. Yes, the prophecy was right in the fact that I would come to this nation, but it was dead wrong on how it would be resolved. Someone was going to die today…

“I never thought it would come to this…” Sever replied to the two of us, “I never expected Jamac and Achilles to abuse their power, but is that really punishable by death?”

“We believe it is.” Sinis told him firmly, “And that’s why we are here.”

But it didn’t take long before I saw Sever make his final choice. It was quite different from what I had expected…

“I never thought you would do this, Juno.” Sever growled at me, “I never thought in a million years you of all people would betray the Silver Rebellion. Sinis… you were a different story. I never trusted you right from the beginning…”

“I didn’t betray the Silver Rebellion, Sever.” I told him angrily, “It was Jamac and Achilles who did that. They betrayed all of us, especially me. They betrayed the citizens of this city and its loyal army. Sever, if you and your cohorts don’t move aside, I won’t be afraid to take your life.”

I could see Sever quiver with fear. He looked very unsteady, and meanwhile the two other guards turned toward him for an initiative. Then, grabbing his caliber rifle, he made his choice.

“Kill them…” Sever said in a firm, soft voice.

Those last few seconds seemed to slow down to a stasis. I had watched Sever take his rifle, and slowly raise it to aim the long barrel at us. But even in those dark moments, I wasn’t going to let him stop me, I couldn’t. I could see he was not acting upon his personal beliefs, he was acting upon the realm of responsibility. I had raised my caliber rifle before he had the chance to fire, but then something stopped me from firing. The Breloom guard had reached out at Sever, and he placed his hand on the hull of the rifle. Just milliseconds before Sever had pressed the trigger, the Breloom swiftly tore the rifle away from Sever’s grasp. I then dropped my firearm, knowing neither one of us was going to die. The caliber rifle had left my hands, and slowly fell toward the ground, and fell over as it hit the floor. I could only watch as the Breloom now held Sever’s gun, away from his grasp.

“Do you know what you’re doing!?” The Breloom exclaimed at Sever, “You’re blind Sever. You know why they’re here. They’re here on behalf of everyone in Symarix…”

“Give me my weapon, Lezales!” Sever shouted the Breloom angrily, “Are you betraying the Silver Rebellion as well?”

But it was evident he wasn’t going to give Sever his rifle back. The Magmar had grabbed Sever from behind, restraining him from trying to grab the rifle. Sever struggled to break free, but to no prevail…

“Sever, think carefully.” The Magmar told him, “Think about what Jamac and Achilles have done to everyone. Think about what they have done to Juno, your family, and even you. Sever, someone needs to stop them, and now. Otherwise we will lose everything.”

“Let me go, now!” Sever said angrily, struggling and squirming to break free from the Magmar’s grasp, “That isn’t for you to decide!”

“Sever, they tortured your brother Avin on a false claim.” Lezales said to Sever in a firm voice, “Never in the past have we ever tortured a soldier, not even ones from the Crimson Stars. Don’t you see that something is wrong here!?”

Sever froze, and he no longer tried to break free. He stood there, very still now.

“What did… you say…?” Sever asked in a soft and fearful voice.

I then saw it again. Jamac had kept something from him, just like me and the prophecy, so I wasn’t at all surprised to see this. I didn’t know who Avin was, but it already seemed like something had gone terribly wrong in my absence…

“Sever, they killed your brother.” Lezales told Sever seriously, “They thought he was hiding something after he came back from a mission, so they tortured him. And because he wasn’t hiding anything, there was nothing he could say. So they killed him…”

I could see a dark, hideous fear come into Sever’s expression. He began to quiver with fear and anger, not knowing what to think at that moment.

“Sever, Jamac told the two of us that he would kill us if we ever told you, but I don’t care anymore.” Lezales spoke seriously to Sever, “This is unacceptable, and it cannot be allowed to continue.”

But nothing had come from Sever’s mouth but silence. I could see his eye was beginning to water with a tear of bitterness and hatred.

“Achilles told me…” Sever said softly, trying not to break, “That he had died in combat… He… showed me where he was buried. He even…”

“The medal he gave to you was a fake, Sever.” The Magmar told him, “Avin was never given any actual recognition for fighting. He died the worst death possible, at the hands of the ones he trusted with his life. Juno and Sinis never betrayed the Silver Rebellion, it was Achilles and Jamac who did that.”

I could only thank God that Lezales had been able to stop Sever before he fired upon the two of us. If Sever had ever found that out after he killed the two of us, he would regret it to the point of suicide. But even after hearing this, it gave me even more reason to act upon my intentions…

“Juno… Sinis…” Sever said in soft voice, “I’m so damn sorry. I just… didn’t know…”

“Sever, it’s not over yet.” I told him firmly, seeing there was a way to still pull through this after all, “There’s still time to correct the wrong that had been done here. Symarix is still standing. The Silver Rebellion is still alive, and that flame of hope that searches for a way to stop Zander is still burning brightly. No one can blame you for the ways you feel given your circumstances.”

“This can’t be allowed to continue.” Sever said, picking his head up from the ground, “There must be no more like Avin. I’ve served Achilles and Jamac with all my heart and soul… but no longer!”

And then, he bent over and picked up the caliber rifle. No long did he show his contempt for us. His mind was now sent in a new direction. It had appeared the five of us were prepared to do that last right.

The sword of justice was about to be unsheathed…

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Old 12-15-2006, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: The Trial of Juno I and II - The Complete Edition

Chapter 42
Tattered Trust

It would only be moments until it was all over. It would only be moments before the next hour would determine the fate of the Silver Rebellion. But I saw something that Sinis and Sever as well as the other two guards were showing on their eyes. If we were going to die, we wanted to die knowing we tried everything in our power to stop the evil that was being done. I didn’t want to die knowing I didn’t do anything to try and stop this corruption. There was a reason why were still fought and shed blood. When words alone weren’t enough to change intentions, then it had to be done through action. It had to be done through pain and death. There was no other choice.

Putting a dead soldier in the ground didn’t mean we had to forget about them. Seeing an entire race oppressed and discouraged didn’t mean we could turn our back on them or take advantage of them. But at the moment, it seemed there were others who didn’t share these beliefs. Others like Jamac and Achilles…

We had gathered behind the door, claws sharp and weapons drawn. One the count of three, we charged into the door, and it burst open, blasting the two doors aside and slamming them against the wall. We then charged in furiously, gathering in the back of the room with our weapons ready to fire.

Jamac had been in his throne, while Achilles stood out of his chair by Jamac’s side. Vexcel had been there as well, along with three other guards. Only seconds later, they had drawn weapons of their own. I didn’t expect to see anyone else in the room besides Jamac and Achilles…

We stood there for a few seconds, weapons pointed at each other, ready to begin unleashing hell at any moment. Nothing was going to stand in our way…

“Well isn’t this a surprise…” Achilles said to all of us with sarcastic humor, with his own caliber rifle ready to fire, “I never expected any of you would be one day pointing a weapon at your own leader…”

“Enough of the crap, Achilles.” Sinis growled in anger, his claw already set on the trigger of his rifle, “All that was pure in your heart was lost in the bloodshed of your comrades.”

I could see Vexcel was looking right toward me. I didn’t care who he was looking at, my aim was right on Achilles, right between the eyes. However, I wouldn’t be able to kill all of them by myself. I didn’t know who everyone else was aiming at…

“You never knew anything, did you?” Achilles asked Sinis, “Sinis, whenever you lead an army, you have to know that lives are cheap. You can’t mourn the death of every soldier. There are far too many. Soldiers have to know that when they are going into combat, they might not make it out alive. In fact, chances are very good they won’t.”

I grew furious at that comment. I would have shot him right then and there but I was concerned about Sinis and the others. If anyone shot a single bullet, a whole firefight was going to break out, and chances are good someone was going to die on our side. Not one of us deserved to die, it was everyone on the other side. Unfortunately… that was beyond my grasp…

“Our soldiers go into battle to fight for the liberty and in the name of justice they risk their lives for this country!” I shouted angrily, “But I can already hear in your words that something like that doesn’t matter to you. Achilles, I ask you, if you don’t believe in fighting for this country, then what the hell is your purpose!?”

He had turned toward me, somewhat shocked to see I had made it out of my cell. Regardless, he wasn’t going to ask why. I could already tell in his angry, flaring eyes, he was having difficulty answering that question…

“And so I ask, who are you?” Achilles asked me, “You’re obviously not the real Juno, you’re clearly an imposter. But, I would have to admit, the way you killed Vorox as well as destroying Macomb, you actually had us all believing you for a minute. But you’re not the real Juno that the prophecy mentions. The real Juno wouldn’t betray his own commanders. He would know his place in the Silver Rebellion Army.”

“I’m not your killing tool, Achilles.” I said to him firmly, “I’m not a resource like the way you think of these soldiers. We have lives, Achilles, just like you and Jamac. That doesn’t make any of us less important than the two of you…”

Achilles had let out a chuckle, and I was incredibly insulted. I had looked past his eyes, and I could see a soul shaded in darkness. I could see a commander that had lost the ideals of leadership. One that had lost all the virtues of interest of the people of his country.

“You don’t know your duty as a part of this army, Juno.” Achilles laughed, “You duty is to respect your superiors. I am… your superior…”

“I know my duty, Achilles.” I told him in a firm, harsh voice, “My duty is to protect the people of this country from all enemies, foreign… and domestic…”

There was a short silence, and then I saw in his eyes he had reached his limit.

“Today, the legends and everything we have ever believed in will die.” Achilles said to all of us, “All the foundations we have set in stone, all the journeys we have taken and all the praises we have ever given will kiss the darkness. Everything the Silver Rebellion has ever believed in will be shattered like glass smashed against a stone. Juno, Sinis, and all you others… I don’t know you anymore…”

It was him who fired the first shot…

Achilles was never one to negotiate. Not even with his comrades or even me. In fact, it was him who threw me in a tiny cell to forget about me. To him I had no purpose and didn’t have any use. I was only a tool to him.

I didn’t see who he had fired at, but the next thing I knew the room was shattered by the blasting of rifles. I had focused hard and could see bullets streaking across the room in all directions. I pulled furiously on the trigger of my firearm, firing furiously at Achilles. If I could only kill one of them, it was going to be Achilles. I fired multiple rounds just to make sure there was no chance of him not getting hit.

I had realized I wasn’t the only one firing at Achilles. Among the countless screams and ear-piercing blasts of firearms, I could see Achilles had already been shot several times, and was collapsing onto the floor. On his way down, he still had been pulling down on the trigger, now spraying bullets in random directions. It wasn’t long before he was lying down, and the arm that was holding his rifle had hit the ground, and completely stopped firing. Even though a side of me felt like rejoicing at that moment, there was still opposition, and they were still firing upon us.

Vexcel had been firing at me, but not only was I too small for him to hit but too fast as well. I then started returning fire on him, blasting him furiously with as many shots as possible. The only good thing about fatso was he was a nice wide target, which was good considering the fact it was going to take a whole lot of shots to bring him down. Regardless, all I could do was inhale, kill, and exhale. Any hesitation could mean the difference between life and death.

Bullets blasted right past my head, only within inches of hitting me. I didn’t know who else was trying to shoot me, but I wasn’t going to waste time to try and find out. I needed to kill Vexcel, and now.

The more and more I shot him, the less and less he was able to get his aim back on me. I tried to aim for more fragile and sensitive targets, but he was constantly shifting back and forward. Soon enough, he was no longer able to support his own weight, and he collapsed to the floor as well.

There were less people firing now, and just as I heard a long round of bullets fire from Sinis’s gun, I turned and saw the last Machop guard fall backward and lack on his back, his arms lying limply on the floor as a pool of blood began to form around his dead body.

Suddenly the insane carnage had ended. Achilles was lying in a pool of his own blood and Vexcel had just started bleeding uncontrollably, lying on the floor and not making a single move. I had seen Jamac lying on the floor face-down with his arms laid out also in his own blood. All the guards were dead as well. I dropped my rifle and the metal clanging sound of it hitting the floor shattered the sudden silence. Then there was nothing but the still air of death. No one made a sound now.

And then, I got a sick feeling in my stomach. It wasn’t about feeling guilty about what I had done, no. This needed to be done, or everyone would die. It wasn’t that which was bothering me…

I had slowly turned to face the ones who had fought with me. I felt incredibly sick at that moment. The Magmar and the Breloom named Lezales were dead, having taken far too many shots to continue living. I saw Sinis holding on to his bleeding knee, gritting his teeth in pain but still holding furiously onto his rifle, just in case someone on the other side wasn’t dead and needed one last shot to finish the process.

And to further my misery, I saw Sever, lying on the floor. I had rushed to him and I was relieved seeing he was still alive, but seriously wounded. I couldn’t believe the amount of blood that had pooled around him. I stood over him, just praying he was going to make it.

“Sever…” I said to him with a harsh, dry feeling in my throat, “I’m sorry…”

He struggled to try and say something, but after a few moments, he was able to speak.

“What… are you… sorry about…?” Sever asked, looking at me with his sorrowful eyes, “How can you… say you’re… sorry when you’ve… done so much…?”

I shut my eyes tightly for a moment, trying to fight off my anger and misery. I wanted to know who killed Sever. Who thought he was higher than him, because I would take their last ounce of blood and smear it all over this room. I was so angry, never before have I been so furious.

“Juno…” Sever said softly, “It’s over… They’re gone now… You become… a leader for them now…”

“Sever…” I said softly.

“Lead them to victory…” He whispered, “Do it… for me…”

After he said that, his head had hit the floor, and he lay limply on the hard ground. He didn’t move or say anything after that. All I could do was look at him for a few seconds, and I realized he was gone…

“DAMN IT!!!” I shouted furiously, pounding the ground in rage.

I covered my eyes in my hands, wishing there was some way I could bring him back or go back in time and stop it from happening. He believed in me, right from the beginning. Right when I had rescued him from Black Bay Prison. He was the first… to even know who I was. He made me believe I had a purpose in this army. He knew who I was…

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Old 12-15-2006, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: The Trial of Juno I and II - The Complete Edition

Chapter 43

What choice did I have but to carry on? It wasn’t long before everyone had figured out what we did. It had appeared the general population had cried out in celebration that Jamac and the others had been eliminated. I knew he was bad from what I had been told, but what had been going on since I was in that prison for so many years? I could only wonder what they had done that was so terrible. I wondered if it had anything to do with that battle that had occurred right at Symarix while I was in prison…

I had finally met up with Randy and Alex, and it seemed like forever since I last saw them. To my surprise, they weren’t shocked one bit at what we had done to Jamac and Achilles. Still, I could see in their eyes that they appeared to have stayed here too long. Five more years we had been gone. Surely we were given up for dead now, wherever we were…

I had also gone to see Sita, and upon seeing me, she had gone up to hug me with tears in her eyes. We stood there for a good two minutes just hugging each other. It seemed like it had been forever since I last saw her, only being able to know she was there by the sound of her voice. She wasn’t angry at all from what I had done. If fact, she said she wished she could have been up there fighting with us, but I quickly told her that we barely made it out alive…

After Sever’s depressing funeral, Sinis and I decided that we needed to pick up the pieces and figure out how to get us back on our feet again. Not a whole lot of people were familiar on who Sinis was, but he was accepted as the ruler of Symarix, taking over Jamac’s position. During his time as leader, he never made assumptions, stood firm in his beliefs and refused to let anything set him back from accomplishing his goals for the citizens of Symarix.

With Sinis in command, he felt it was only right I be given the High General position, something that would cause Achilles to twist and turn in his grave. Once that had happened, I had realized there were no Generals except for me in the entire army. I had looked through the documents Achilles had left behind, and Vexcel and myself were the only ones. And as I thought about it, Achilles was never the one doing the fighting. And if I had been locked up all these years, who was left, just Vexcel? This was a crying shame. I was going to have to come up with someone to replace their positions.

When I had finally returned to the command center to discuss tactics among the few that were left, I had already received the nickname of “Suicide Runner,” which I didn’t look highly upon.

“I really don’t think ruthlessly slaughtering Jamac and Achilles should reward you with the High General Position.” The Charizard Colonel told me, not looking very highly toward me.

“I don’t think Achilles’s method of ruthlessly slaughtering our soldiers should have retained him that position.” I responded to his complaint, “I ask you one question. Are you going to support me, because if you’re not, I don’t even want to see you here.”

The Charizard and two other Colonels had just gotten up and left, just like that. I didn’t care, in fact I could have laughed about it. After all, they were the same idiots promoted by Achilles in the first place. What credibility did they have after all?

All I was left with for commanding officers was a Tyranitar named Baladax and a Rhydon named Namdor. I was happy at least to have someone on my side…

“So you two are going to support me?” I asked them both.

“Achilles was a fool with power.” Baladax responded, looking directly at me, “He was known for throwing out officers that didn’t agree with him. But why am I bothering to tell you that, you of all people already know…”

“No one ever said anything, unless it agreed with his plans.” Namdor continued, “Likewise, the entire Silver Rebellion relied on him alone to bring us to victory. But that was never going to happen.”

It wasn’t long before I had promoted both of them to General status. Already they were in charge of commanding forces with Armadillo tanks as well as Land Splitters. I could already see modifications to these machines. The Land Splitters now were adjusted to fit two riders, one driver and one gunner. As far as ground command had gone, we were set.

“What do you plan on doing for the Storm Riders?” Baladax asked me, knowing there was no way I could command such a huge force just by myself, “You can’t be the only one to command them. It’s far too impossible.”

“You’re going to need someone else to act as support.” Namdor advised me, “Only problem is we don’t have any Colonels left, and there’s no way we could ever ride one of those Pidgeots…”

“Don’t worry about it.” I told them both, “I know just who to pick for those positions…”

I really couldn’t discuss any plans until I had at least most of my major commanders ready to go, which meant finding the people I needed to fill those commanding positions. I already knew who I wanted for those General positions. They had been with me since the first day we were here…

“You want us to do what!?” Randy exclaimed in shock, “Are you serious about this?”

“I need two Generals that can be Storm Riders.” I told Randy and Alex, “You two fit that criteria. You’re already a Captain and Alex is already a Major…”

“That’s besides the point.” Alex responded, really unsure about this all, “The only commanding I’ve ever done was through playing Battle Hammer Elite. There’s a whole hell of a lot of difference between this and a computer game…”

Still, there wasn’t anyone else who I trusted more than Randy and Alex. I could trust Baladax and Namdor since they didn’t turn their back on me, but it was really Randy and Alex that I could trust the most, above everyone else who was here.

“You are Storm Riders, aren’t you?” I asked the two of them, “You do have your own Pidgeots, right?”

“Well… yeah.” Randy replied, looking at the Pokéball that contained his Pidgeot, “They force you to raise them from being a Pidgey to a Pidgeot so it trusts you more. I named him Fire Blaze, and we get along pretty well.”

“Considering how you led that attack on Macomb five years ago,” I told Randy, “and how far you gotten since then, you’d make a very good commander.”

Randy had just stood there, not really sure if this is what he wanted to do. Meanwhile, Alex just kept looking around, still searching for an answer.

“Look, I have an obvious question.” I told Randy and Alex, “Even after five years and then some of the three of us being stuck here, are you still intending to go home?”

There was some silence before they had decided to say anything. While five years was a long time, I was hoping it wasn’t long enough…

“It has been awhile since I ever saw home…” Randy replied looking a little depressed with his ears drooping down, “I’ve tried to look out the window and picture what everything had looked like before this happened, but it gets harder and harder as the months pass by.”

“Look, as much as I appreciate everything the Silver Rebellion has done for us, I really have no intention of staying here for the rest of my life.” Alex replied, looking away for a small moment, “Once Zander is gone, if there’s a way to get out of here, I’m going to take it…”

It was strange, but I felt exactly the same way. Despite how much these people respected me, I felt like I really didn’t belong here after all these years. They could make a million gold statutes of Latias and I, but inside, I was still Jake Kossak, and there was a life outside of this one…

“The best way for us to get out of here is to work closely together.” I told Randy and Alex, “You may not like it but I’m appointing the both of you as Generals. The closer we work together, the better the chances we have of getting close to Zander and getting rid of him forever. Between the three of us, I know I call the two of you Blitz and Tek and you call me Juno, but you’re still Alex Davidson, Randy Ferguson, and I’m still Jake Kossak. We’re not going to stay here much longer…”

“But what about…?” Randy asked with some hesitation.

“The prophecy?” I asked Randy, figuring that’s what he would be asking about, “It means nothing. Sinis and I already proved it wrong by overthrowing Jamac and Achilles. Technically we betrayed a piece of the Silver Rebellion, so it can’t possibly be true…”

Regardless, there wasn’t much else to say after that. After some time, Randy and Alex had agreed to becoming Generals, and it wasn’t long before the five of us had sat down to discuss what we were going to do next. Surprisingly, Baladax and Namdor didn’t even ask as to why I had selected two Pichus as Generals. I was glad there were at least some people here who trusted me.

I had looked at the map and I could already tell we had been fighting very defensively, after what I could easily assume had been a very poor offensive. I could already see we had lost Black Rock for all that it was worth, along with many other areas. Regardless, my idea was still possible, even though it would be difficult to act upon…

As I looked over all the locations on the map, I tried to figure out what would be the best approach. Going after locations like Black Rock were worthless. Supply routes meant nothing to me, there were other ways around them. What I was concerned about was reinforcements. If we were to lead an assault on Jasandax directly, what were the chances of reinforcements arriving in time?

And even through all the scribbling that Achilles had left on the map, I realized Zander or whoever was in control of that base believed one thing. We were being attacked from the east and west of Symarix, I could already see that’s where they were leading troops, and from what I saw in Symarix, the east and west walls were where most of the damage was done.

It was shameful that the entire Crimson Stars army felt having one outpost called Lorenza would be enough to stop an attack coming from the south. While it was bigger than most outposts, it wouldn’t be enough to stop us. It certainly wasn’t as big as Macomb was…

“Who agrees with me that Lorenza should be our next target?” I asked the four of them.

“You’re not going to attack their military camps or their production facilities?” Namdor asked, “They could supply reinforcements to that area if we don’t get rid of their camps first…”

“Not if we strike fast and hard enough…” I told Namdor with a firm voice.

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Default Re: The Trial of Juno I and II - The Complete Edition

Chapter 44

I kept thinking of the ways we could take apart Lorenza without difficultly. If we attacked that outpost and ended up failing, it would be a very costly mistake. I needed to be sure that outpost was demolished so we could move on to Jasandax and hopefully rip past their defenses.

“Just how many soldiers are you going to take to attack Lorenza?” Namdor asked, looking at me in question.

“I planned on attacking Jasandax quickly after Lorenza has been leveled to the ground.” I told the four of them, “That would mean we would need every soldier possible to come with us.”

Baladax looked strangely at me, but then he realized what I was planning. To put it short, we wanted this seemingly endless war to be over with.

“This is our last chance.” I told the four of them, “Either we try our ultimate best to bring destruction to Jasandax and the rest of the Crimson Stars army, or we die trying. I want every possible soldier available to be in that attack.”

“While we are suffering from considerable losses,” Namdor told me, looking away for a moment, “Having the entire Silver Rebellion attack force in one assault will be extremely devastating. Lorenza will be unprepared for the assault and will have no chance of survival but I’m not sure how the battle between the Silver Rebellion army and Jasandax will turn out.”

Hearing that Lorenza was going to be toast was something good to hear, but then again, if we were going to lose at Jasandax, we would end up losing the entire war. But from the way I felt about it, we really had no other choice…

“It’s this or nothing.” I told Namdor and the others, “While the Crimson Stars have a bigger attack force overall, they’re not all in the same area, and there should be certainly less of them at Jasandax then we have here. The final outcome of this war will be determined in this one last battle.”

“If Jasandax falls,” Baladax told the four of us, “The war is over. You don’t know how sick I am of fighting endlessly for years and years. You’re right Juno. Achilles was wrong this entire time. We don’t have any more time for nonsense and attacking outposts when our real target should be the home of our enemy.”

It wasn’t very long after that when we made it very clear what we were going to do next. In very little time, the whole city of Symarix knew of our plan. This was our only chance to pull through in this seemingly endless onslaught. I knew we had a chance to win if the entire army fought as one overwhelming force. But, it wasn’t that which was bothering me. If anything was, I already knew that the battle between us and Jasandax was going to be an extremely bloody one.

In only a week, we would already be preparing to leave for an onslaught I knew I would never forget. Already, the troops we had deployed were returning to Symarix to gather as one, overwhelming force. Then, after five days worth of time of organizing, planning, and preparing our method of attack and what weapons we were going to use, I had been given a head count of how many soldiers we have available for this gruesome attack. I couldn’t believe the number, being only a little above thirty thousand soldiers. It didn’t take me very long to realize that we were indeed a force to be reckoned with. Despite all the fear and terror we would embrace, we were not going to be an easy enemy for the Crimson Stars to destroy.

With our weapons loaded, our machines of war ready to be released to render terror, we were ready for a battle neither side would ever forget. Luckily, we were ready for it first.

It wasn’t long before that day of departure had come. We were going to try and do our ultimate best to give the people of Symarix and the few others of the Silver Rebellion one last chance at peace and prosperity. Something inside of me told me very strongly that this was the best way to resolve the fighting as soon as possible, if not the only way…

It was then that Sinis told me that we should get moving along, but there was something I wanted to do before we had left. I wanted to say something to each and every soldier about the seriousness of this battle. Something that would inspire them that this wasn’t about purpose, it was about hope… about believing…

I was surprised it actually wasn’t customary for a General to give a speech to his soldiers before they had set off to battle. I knew I had never seen Achilles do it or anyone else for that matter, but I decided I was going to do it. Somehow they would be broadcasting it through radio, even then when I looked at the equipment they used, it looked much different from what we used long ago, when we were back home. Regardless, they assured me every soldier would hear it, since I would be talking through microphone to a large group of soldiers, but their speakers would assist me in reaching the rest of them. Soon enough, they had all gathered in front of me…

“Today you embark on the final journey that this country will ever have to embrace.” I began, looking into each of their eyes, “For the longest time, there was doubt among the many liberty-loving people of this nation that it would be possible to break free from these chains that keep us bound to our enemy. But I’m going to tell you that if we prove successful in these upcoming tribulations, the rock of the Crimson Stars will be shattered, and we will be able to come home to remember that which matters most…”

There was silence among them, and I could already see that this was unexpected. It was strange to see a custom so widely practiced elsewhere to be completely unheard of here.

“Through courage and bravery, we have been able to defend our homeland to the best of our ability, but now is the time to strike back. Now it is time for us to put an end to the injustice that we’ve faced for so many years. Too many times I’ve seen the endless fear bring more desperation than actual physical wounds. Too many times I’ve seen a sense of hopelessness dwell in these streets. But those days of misery will soon be over with. There will be a time when the common citizen of Symarix will have nothing to fear. They will see no desperation, and no longer will children be drafted as soldiers before they are even born. Those days of desolation… will be over soon…”

And then, came a feeling that I have never felt before. Never before have I felt a feeling of such strong belonging…

“Though I’ve never said this to anyone,” I began again, “But from where I came before arriving here, we didn’t have a sky that shook and trembled with anguish, one that didn’t rain impurity itself among its people below. We didn’t have fields and fields of tortured land, and endless deserts of despair. We lived under a shining blue sky with a bright sun that illuminated the world around us, rather than kept us bound to darkness. We had fields of fertile grass and forests that stretched beyond what the eye could see. I believe that we can make that possible. I already know that many of you don’t think such a thing is even possible, but I want to believe otherwise.”

I had gotten a strange reaction, and then something stopped me for a moment. I then felt a presence that told me that it wasn’t always like this. No, because I had remembered…

There will be a time when fire rushes from the sky and pain and desperation will be closer to your heart than ever.

No, the skies didn’t always scream terror like I once had thought. I could see in their eyes that some of them had seen brighter days, ones without the torment or suffering. I had realized… there was a time that everything was once bright like we always had. Still, we weren’t there yet…

“I will be fighting alongside you.” I said to them, beginning to close off, “I will be your leader, as well as your fellow soldier, your ally. I will be someone you can trust in, as I always have. Because we believe in each other, we will not fail. I promise you…”

It was over. My speech was greeted with silence, but that didn’t matter. We marched proudly through the streets as we headed toward the gate, but I’ll never forget the sights of how supportive the citizens of Symarix were as we made those last paces through the city. Many of them were throwing flower petals outside their window. I had picked one up and realized there was a way for something to flourish here. It was no different from the petal of any other flower I have seen, regardless of how long ago it was. I tried for one moment to visualize the barren desert fields of Kivistal as bright and green, rather than the wasteland that it was. At a time like this, it seemed so possible… so near.

For one moment, I had seen someone rushing through the crowds, and I stopped to see who it was. Then, I realized it was Sita. She had rushed up to me and greeted me with a hug.

“Please promise me you’ll come back.” Sita said, nearly crying, “Please promise me…”

I had hugged her in return, but then a dark feeling had overcome me. After this fight had concluded, there was no way I could return. For as much as I loved Sita and this great city of Symarix, it wasn’t home. And then, there was something else…

“Sita, please understand that as I fight alongside my brethren in battle,” I told her firmly, “I am still at risk. I can’t promise anything.”

She had begun to cry, but I really couldn’t lie to her.

“Sita, just remember that I love you.” I said to her, just before leaving her, “No matter what happens. No matter what…”

Then, I had to leave her behind. It felt hard to do something like that, but I couldn’t promise anything regarding my return. I just couldn’t…

We embarked on one, last great crusade that I would never forget. We left with the ringing of cheers and jubilee in our ears. As we headed out of the gates, we made our way toward Lorenza as one, massive force, tied as a brotherhood of bravery and steel.

I will never forget…

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Old 12-15-2006, 10:59 PM
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Default Re: The Trial of Juno I and II - The Complete Edition

Chapter 45
A Call to Arms

Like great, massive bulldozers, the Armadillo tanks rolled across the land, crushing every rock that they rolled over. The much smaller Land Splitter dragsters traveled alongside, kicking up dust and dirt as they traveled at the same speed we were marching.

Regardless of the fact I could use a Zephyr-E with ease, Sinis insisted that I take a caliber rifle instead. Of all the countless drawings and sculptures that depicted me, it always depicted me using a caliber rifle instead, so I was given one that had been highly enhanced with more power and less recoil. I don’t know why anyone felt that just because I was a higher rank meant I should be getting a more powerful weapon. But if this was the way he wanted it, it wasn’t going to be a problem to me.

Slowly we crept toward Lorenza, as one massive force they would never suspect would be coming right toward them. We moved like one massive wave, ready to swallow up anything that stood in our way, just before we crashed against the massive rock of Jasandax…

My plan was simple. We slept at night, marched in the morning, take a break around noon, and continue until it got late. I felt there was no point in overworking the same comrades you expect to fight to the death. There was nothing I needed more than for them to perform their best even under the intense fear and pressure of battle. That was what I called courage.

Unlike what I had seen many times before, there was no wave of chilling air, or sense of doubt that I had witnessed during Achilles’s command. There was no reconsideration or disrespect, no disbelief in the one who led them to battle. They were with someone who they could trust. And as I realized that powerful feeling, I knew I could give them nothing less than absolute victory… no matter what the price…

Still, I didn’t fly in the air riding on top of Latias, but instead stayed on the ground, walking alongside the ones I trusted the most. And unlike the many military leaders that cowered behind their own troops, using them as a shield, I joined the ranks of those in the frontline. Even when they tried to make me aware of the danger that was presented with being there, I insisted on leading them into combat first, something I knew that many leaders both here on Kivistal and back on Earth would never even think about doing.

It wasn’t long before we had seen the fortress of Lorenza in the distance, and I realized it was much smaller than Macomb, simply nothing more than a shield to prevent an outright direct attack against Jasandax. Once we were only two miles away from the fortress, I was already aware of how I wanted this to be handled. We stood there before the fortress, ranks upon ranks of soldiers ready to destroy the one obstacle that stood in the way of our true target. While the fortress was lying asleep, we were going to give them a loud awakening.

“Bring forward the tanks!” I shouted loudly, enough so they could hear me.

Baladax, Namdor and I had already planned that we would attack the small fortress with our heavy artillery at first, inflicting as much damage as possible. When the tanks had fully crept forward, they readied their cannons, prepared to blast apart the wall the surrounded the fortress.

“That’s strange,” A Totodile had said nearby, “We used to always attack first with the Storm Riders…”

I couldn’t believe that when I heard it, and then I realized why it was all so clear our military progress had been so shameful in the past. Attacking with Storm Riders first would be suicide. How could anyone expect them to survive the anti-air defense so many of these fortresses had been armed with?

When I saw the cannons where ready, I looked forward firmly and strongly. I then raised my arm into the air.

“Fire!” I shouted as loud as I could.

And suddenly, the ground shook with the massive blasting of heavy artillery, firing flaming tank shells directed toward the southern wall. The shells had slammed into the wall, dealing serious damage in very little time. In only seconds, the entire southern wall had been unable to withstand the blasting of tank shells from every Armadillo tank the Silver Rebellion could produce for this assault.

Still, even after we shattered the wall into rubble, we were now prepared to deliver serious damage to the one building that the fortress consisted of. It honestly looked like it could withstand even less than Macomb’s prison. I had heard an alarm ring out, so I knew we had to act fast.

Once the tanks had reloaded, they fired again, sending another trembling blast through the ground, shaking the earth below us. The shells had hit the wall of the fortress itself, ripping apart the wall until the hollow interior was exposed.

And then, I had looked up into the sky and saw swarms and swarms of Wind Strikers, heading right toward us. We didn’t have a single Storm Rider in the sky, but that was my whole intention. This was going to be something they weren’t prepared for.

And it was going to cost them everything…

They came closer and closer. Still, the tanks continued pounding the already crumbling fortress with heavy rounds of ammunition. Still, their fleets of Wind Strikers were homing in, and I already knew what they were capable of.

“Draw arms.” I commanded the soldiers around me.

At that moment, as I drew my caliber rifle, so did everyone else around me, sending a wave of locking rifles through the field of soldiers behind me.

“Shouldn’t we send up some Storm Riders?” The Totodile asked me, wondering why my tactics were so different from the ones that Achilles used.

“That’s just what they expect to see when they come down here.” I silently told him as the Wind Strikers drew closer, “And normally, they would go after them. But what if they aren’t there?”

Those Wind Strikers must have been very brave or very insane, for their chances of defeating us were next to nothing. No, they were nothing. They had no chance…

“FIRE!” I shouted to all the soldiers around me.

And then, the air around us had exploded with gunfire, and every one of us had targeted the Wind Strikers. Despite the fact there were nearly a hundred of them in the sky, they dropped like flies sprayed with a poisonous gas. The machine guns attached to the back of the Land Splitters were especially loud and lethal, ripping apart the underside of the Skarmories like a knife through paper. Within just ten seconds, the entire group was falling a very long way down toward the ground. Each of them hit the ground hard, rolling over from the intense impact completely lifeless.

Some of the soldiers inside the base had managed to make their way out, only to be instantly overwhelmed at the size of the attacking force, and were shot to ribbons in an instant. The tanks had nearly shot their way through the fortress, killing plenty of soldiers inside before they even had a chance to fight back. Pieces of the fortress were flying everywhere during each successful blast, and levels were crumbling on top of each other.

When I saw the top level completely crumble on top of the third, I knew it was over. It wasn’t long before the entire fortress collapsed, leaving only pieces of the west and east walls still standing. Still, we had already predicted this battle wouldn’t be a problem. I was surprised that Lorenza had been made as one critical outpost for Jasandax. We had plowed it down to the ground, with very little problem.

“Achilles never would have thought of this…” The Totodile said to me, baffled at the amazing success of the battle, “Bringing the entire Silver Rebellion army to the outpost of Lorenza? Never in a million years.”

“This is only an example of the potential that we have.” I said to the Totodile, “This wasn’t the real battle. Unfortunately, our presence hasn’t likely gone undetected. Jasandax will be ready, but so will we, more than we have ever been before.”

All that lay before us now was the ruins of the single fortress that stopped us from moving toward Jasandax. Already, I could tell Zander and his leaders were going to be shocked at how fast we ripped Lorenza to pieces, thinking we would have never made it this far considering it was only days ago that the Crimson Stars were attacking the beloved city of Symarix. Now, it would be us who would be attacking their way of life, their tyranny over the innocent.

Today, we were able to win because of our overwhelming number and our unexpected strike. But I knew in the battle ahead, everything was going to be different. It was going to be evenly matched, and this time Jasandax was going to prepared for our attack. But would they be prepared enough…?

Regardless, we made our way past the fortress and drew ever so closer to the massive city of Jasandax, the beating heart of the Crimson Stars. The battle with Lorenza had been short-lived, but only because they weren’t prepared to deal with our entire army. But this upcoming onslaught was going to be something far more different than that. Many lives were going to be lost on both sides, no matter how I approached the situation.

I could only hope and fight for the best at a time like this…

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Old 12-15-2006, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: The Trial of Juno I and II - The Complete Edition

Chapter 46
Defiant Stand

We had left the ruined fortress of Lorenza behind us, still smoking from the blasting. The only loses we suffered in that battle were the expired tank shells and a few rounds of ammunition. Not a single casualty resulted because of the attack, which I found remarkable. Still, we crept toward the massive city of Jasandax, which lasted another three days. Then, just ahead, we had seen the massive city in the distance. Closer and closer we drew, like silent killers in the night. But it wasn’t going to be a silent battle, and it wasn’t going to be painless either.

Along with the massive size of Jasandax came the overwhelming power of its fortification. Large cannons were placed on the towering metal walls that shielded the city. It was larger than even Symarix, and I thought the city of the Silver Rebellion was massive. But, before we could even think about tearing our way into the city, we had to remove the defenses, and that was going to be much easier said than done.

Once we were in attacking range, I had grown cold seeing at least some sort of distress call had reached Jasandax, giving them enough time to prepare for our attack. Still, I could only predict that this city was attempting to pull back as many reinforcements, but it was already too late. None of them would reach the city in time…

Fields and fields of Wind Strikers were before us, as well as plenty of infantry troops and three massive VATS just waiting to attempt to run over our troops. I could make out more Talons, and then some other machines of war I hadn’t even recognized. Some of them looked like tanks, only there were plenty of variations, from large, flat ones to smaller ones obviously designed for more maneuverability. And then there were others the size of a small house with more large weapons placed on top of it, anything from guns to steamrollers covered by sharp knifes, meant just for running over troops.

“Oh no…” Said a voice only a few feet away from me, “We’re going to have to take down all of that? How are we going to do this?”
“With speed, courage, and bravery.” I responded, not even knowing who had said it among us.

It was then that I had ordered my fellow Strom Riders to release their mounts. The storms were growing stronger and brighter now, more than they had ever done before. A cold rush of wind had encircled us. I let the tanks move forward first, with one simple order to destroy as much of their heavy artillery as possible, and to stay as far away from the cannons on the walls as much as possible. I made the job of the infantry quite clear. Their job was to protect our machines from the Wind Strikers, because I already knew that once they had landed near them, it wouldn’t be very hard to disable them. And if the infantry led a charge against them, their job was to shoot them dead.

However, the job of the Storm Riders was different. Each of us had been armed with Inferno Grenades, set aside for using against the tanks of the Crimson Stars. Smothering their great machines with fire was a sure way of disabling them, but it was also extremely risky. I knew there was no chance I was going to lead such an attack until their infantry was in a charge, or we would be shot down the same way we would be shooting their Wind Strikers. Our mission was to remove the Wind Strikers, then destroy the machines, both on the walls and on the ground. And somewhere along the line, it was going to take Storm Riders to destroy the VATS. They were the only ones who could do it and avoid being shot due to the speed.

All of the Storm Riders had gathered behind the tanks. I wasn’t going to wait for the Crimson Stars to fire first, that would be ridiculous. We came here with every intention to fight, and there was no turning back now.

Sand, dust and dirt was kicked around as the lowly wind blew past us, whipping the colored crests and the feathers of the Pidgeots in its wake. Even though no one said it, we were all united, and we were all aware of it. Today there was going to be a great sacrifice, but it had to be done. We stood there under a sky of fire and anguish as we prepared for our final battle with the Crimson Stars. We stared at our enemy, and they stared back at us. We readied our weapons, and so did they.

The time for words was gone. There is always a time when mere words cannot stop the pain and suffering that one must go through because of others. There is always a time when words cannot stop the iron will of those oppressed. There is always a time when the only solution is through action, and I finally realized why war does exist…

Jake, Randy, and Alex. We were no longer trainers trying to catch a new Pokémon or trying to get the next badge. We were no longer traveled on a journey to be the best trainer we could be. Not anymore. We were no longer trainers…

We were soldiers…

It would only be moments now until I decided to unleash hell upon the Crimson Stars. I knew what I wanted to attack first. If we disabled all of their machines, then we would be on the upper hand. It would bring us one step closer to winning.

The waiting was over. The Armadillo tanks were obviously ready, so now it was up to me to begin this final battle, this last conflict to end all the shame and disgrace of this long, bloody war. Then, I grabbed the breath that would cause the end of many lives. It wasn’t easy to do…

“FIRE!” I screamed as loud as I could.

And then, the ground shook with the heavy blasting of artillery, rocking everything and filling the air with the deafening sound of blasting. I had looked ahead to see we had done considerable damage to their tanks and artillery, but it wasn’t over yet. Now it was my turn. We had plenty of anti-air support, but still, every Storm Rider we had needed to be up in the air, including me. I had signaled every Storm Rider to take flight, with me getting off the ground first. I headed high into the air, and down below I could already see that the Crimson Stars were returning fire. The heavy roaring of machine guns could be heard from everywhere.

And then, while I had told everyone to stay as far away from the cannons as much as possible, they had opened fire as well, releasing gigantic flaming shells that looked like fireballs. Their range was so massive it didn’t even matter. Down below, the Wind Strikers were preparing to take flight, but it wasn’t long before we had opened fire on them, trying to prevent as many of them reaching the skies as possible. I didn’t aim for their riders, and neither did anyone else. We didn’t need to shoot of them, each of their Skarmories was a bigger target to shoot, and so we shot them instead.

Only a few seconds later, they had opened fire upon us, and the bullets flew toward us like hail. Regardless, I kept firing furiously upon the group of them, not caring about my personal safety, I was only concerned about where the bullets were headed, and who they were going to kill.

And then, I heard the sounds of screaming that I would never forget. Those who were behind me, flying besides me were getting hit from the vicious oncoming fire. Still, I flew closer and closer to their machines, using all of my concentration as possible. I had only just begun to fight.

I had seen another wave of incoming fire from the Armadillos slam into the defending Crimson Stars, ripping away their machinery and blasting any infantry besides them to pieces, letting loose many unanswered cries of misery and pain. I ripped out one of my Inferno Grenades and yanked out the pin, and tossed it among the masses of Crimson Stars. The grenade fell until it almost seemed to disappear, and then I had seen it explode, covering a large group of their soldiers with consuming fire. Still, even from this high point in the sky, we were still being pounded with ammunition.

Then, even when we knew it was inevitable, the Wind Strikers had entered the sky, and then I focused on trying to kill as many of them as possible, even while we were still being shot from below. I could only wonder how Randy and Alex were getting through this. I had never seen so much devastation in front of my eyes. Never before…

The Wind Strikers ripped at us furiously, killing Storm Riders that were only feet away from me, and sending their riders, my comrades, screaming as they fell upon the world below, with nothing to save them from death…

Many of them had tried to aim at me, only I was the one to fire first. They had tried to aim for me rather than Latias, but I only turned around and shot directly at their Skarmory, ripping away their abdomen with my rifle and sending them plummeting to their doom. Even when they knew they were going to die, they still tried to fire upon me even while they fell, but it yielded very little success.

The fireball blasts from the cannons on the walls were no longer able to hit our attacking tanks from below, but instead hit our Storm Riders, immediately smothering them with flame and killing them instantly. I had looked around me and saw we were doing pretty poorly. Everywhere I looked, another Pidgeot was shot to death, or either the rider was shot right off their mount. I could only pray that Alex, Randy and I would make it through this hell alive…

It had looked like the sky itself was in flames. So many flaming shells were flying into us as we tried to mow down as many Wind Strikers as we could. Still, I knew that every second that passed, another good, noble warrior to the Silver Rebellion cause was passing away. As much as we tried to keep our edge in the conflict, we were being struck by a force just as rigid and determined as we were. Regardless, we were both losing…

I could feel the heat. Latias had been shot once but she was able to keep going. My mouth was dry as hell and my eyes were burning from the fire. We kept trying and trying, keeping at least some sort of hope alive in our hearts that something beneficial would arise from all this pain. But as each of us were feeling the pain ourselves, and watching our brothers die such painful and cruel deaths, we began to believe there wasn’t a chance anything good could come from this.

I must have killed hundreds by now, but I lost count. Down below we were winning, but up in the air, our performance was entirely shameful. But if we didn’t keep fighting up here, then everything was going to go wrong.

Down below, the Crimson Stars ground forces were being ripped to pieces. I had realized we gained a serious edge from removing their tanks first. All they had was charging infantry, and they were being cut down like grass. In only moments they would begin their attack on the wall, and they would start losing their defensive cannons once the wall began to crumble.

I had looked to my side, and I could have sworn I saw Randy through the entire conflict. He was surrounded, and I tried to help him by attacking his oppressors. He had tried to get away from the other four Wind Strikers until they had opened fire. I then watched in complete horror as Randy’s Pidgeot Fire Blaze was struck with seven bullets. The lifeless Pidgeot began to fall, taking Randy with him…

With all my energy, I tried to drive Latias as fast as she could toward Randy, who was quickly falling faster and faster. The four Wind Strikers were closing in after me, but I didn’t care for them. I knew Fire Blaze was gone, but I couldn’t let Randy die. I would never forgive myself if he did…

We were surging toward him as fast as we could, and slowly we began to catch up with him. The ground was coming closer now, but I wasn’t going to let him die. I was within only five feet of him, and he began to call me. I couldn’t make out what he said, but then six seconds later, I reached out and grabbed his hand. Once I got a grip on it, and threw him in back of me, and he had been able to hold on. I then tried to pull up Latias before we struck the ground. It was going to be too late…

Latias had slammed into the ground forcefully, throwing both Randy and I forward, and we hit the ground hard. I rolled over at least five times on the rocky ground before I stopped on my back, and I could see the battle in the sky. Randy had landed right next to me, and while he seemed he had taken some painful blows, he looked okay for the moment. I was aching all over.

The ground forces were in front of us, since we had landed behind them. One of the soldiers from the attacking force had seen us, and he had rushed over. It was a Marowak, and already I could sense his feeling that he thought we were dead…

“Say something… please…” He pleaded with us.
“I’m okay,” I said to him, trying to get up off the ground.

I then turned to Randy, and he had already been standing up. I then slowly walked over to Latias, who had still been lying on the ground. I realized the blow must have been hard for her as well…

I had put my hand over her, and suddenly she began to feel cold, like the warmth was leaving her body. She had been so still, never moving once. Then, I realized she wasn’t wounded or unconscious…

She was gone…

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Old 12-15-2006, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: The Trial of Juno I and II - The Complete Edition

Chapter 47
The Longest Walk

Even among the restless shouting and blasting, I couldn’t help but think of how much I had just lost in those few seconds. Latias had been with me since the beginning. Without her, I never would have reached home. Even after the shedding of her own blood during my battle with Vorox and the bitter fight that was still raging on, she had been a faithful supporter. I would never forget the sacrifice she made that day to save my friend Randy.

“She isn’t…” The Marowak questioned, looking at her with concern.

“She’s dead…” I told him, still looking at her tightly shut eyes.

He was silent, and the only thing Randy did was just look on. Then, he came closer to me.

“I’m sorry…” Randy told me, looking depressed.

“This wasn’t your fault.” I told him, still looking at the fallen body of Latias, “Don’t ever think it is. You’ve done more than I’ve asked for this entire time. She did this… for both of us…”

I couldn’t help but shed a tear for her. Nothing else mattered at that moment, but then I was interrupted.

“Juno, I’m sorry but we must press on.” The Marowak told me, looking somewhat ashamed, “We’re getting closer to the wall.”

I felt horribly sick that I had to leave her behind, but I had no choice. I followed the Marowak back to our attacking force. Up in the air, I could see we were still losing. It was then that I saw one Storm Rider leading the force away from the Wind Strikers. As that one Storm Rider headed down to regroup with the rest of the ground forces, I could see the rest of the Storm Riders were following him, and soon they had retreated away from the skies. I then realized that one Storm Rider was none other than Alex. He had seen me and he directed his Pidgeot to land. Once she did, he dismounted, and then he approached us.

“The sky is a slaughterhouse.” He told me, telling me that it was time to give up, “Let’s just hope we can get through the wall before reinforcements arrive.”

“She’s gone.” I told him, letting him know why I was alone.

There was some silence, and then he looked at me seriously.

“She can’t be.” He remarked, looking somewhat sick, “No, that’s not possible...”

“Latias hit the ground like a bullet.” Randy told him, letting him know exactly what happened, “It would have been better if she just fell the entire length.”

Just before I could say anything, the Wind Strikers that were still above had begun to attack the ground force. There was nothing we could do but just continue, at least make this last tribulation worth the loss.

I found the rifle that I had dropped, and I simply picked it up and continued moving forward. I didn’t care if they attempted to open fire on me, I wanted them dead for what they had done. Never before had I known such bitterness and hatred inside of me. I just looked at them and told myself not one of them would be going home, for after this last slaughter was finished there would be no home for them. There would be no place they could retreat to for security. Just like me…

The anti-air guns were the key force in eliminating the rest of the Wind Strikers. They had crept far too close to the emplacements and ended up getting round after round of heavy caliber ammunition shot through them. Almost every single bullet had ripped in and out of the Wind Strikers, sending their bodies into the masses of our soldiers. It wasn’t long before the only thing we faced was a retreating infantry, attempting to hold back the walls for as long as they could. They were waiting for reinforcements, I could tell that’s what they were waiting for. We were going to have to beat time itself with the little that we had left…

Still, we had many ranks of soldiers and plenty of Armadillo tanks left. Once they were in firing range, we had begun to fire upon the wall. The first blasts had rocked the ground, and each of the shots were directed to a point in the wall were there were cannons above. After two sections had been blasted furiously, the walls began to crumble, taking the cannon and the soldiers above it tumbling down in the mass of rubble and dust that fell. I could only hear faint screaming from where I was standing, but I knew they were wailing as loud as they could. All I wanted was enough to be able to enter the city, and torch everything that was inside. Still, it was going to take more time, something that we were quickly running out of.

Again, the tanks had blasted again at the wall, rocking the ground with the recoil before another vast section of it had begun to crumble. Still, reloading was taking too long, and the delays between blasts were costing us serious time. We needed to have the city destroyed before any reinforcements arrived, or we might not be able to fight them off. And if I knew correctly, I could already feel they were coming from all directions. It would be hopeless if they had arrived in time to stop us. There would be no chance of escape, let alone victory…

After the tanks had ripped another hole in the wall, a large gap of at least three hundred feet had been torn from the wall, and it was then that I declared the charge. Since the pile of rubble had been too high for the tanks to cross over it, they were to stay behind until the path had been clear. The only machines that could enter the city now were the Land Splitters.

There had been a few Crimson Stars soldiers trying to prevent us from entering the city, but they had very little success. The machine gun rounds from the guns mounted on top of the Land Splitters were powerful enough to rip through flesh and bone. We then had to climb a massive pile of rubble to get beyond the wall. Everywhere around me, there were still plenty of Silver Rebellion forces left. But we were faced with a problem…

The city was so massive that it would take us forever to completely destroy it. Since we didn’t have the tanks to use, there was only one thing I could think of. If the city of Jasandax wasn’t going to crumble to the ground, then it was going to have to go up in flames. I couldn’t imagine what a city this size would look like completely on fire, but it was going to have to be done. They could stop us from attacking the city with tank shells, but they would have a hell of a time trying to extinguish a fire raging out of control. Especially if they didn’t have any water…

“We need to destroy and water pumps that you can find.” I told the troops around me, knowing I couldn’t reach the entire army.

“Why the water pumps?” One of them asked me, staring at me with an odd look in his eyes.

“Tell everyone we’re going to set the entire city on fire.” I said to them, looking at the vast amount of buildings ahead of us, “If we destroy the pumps, there’s no way they’re going to be able to put out the fire.”

Still, they were somewhat doubtful. I could tell there was something else.

“They still might have water Pokémon they can use.” One of them told me.

“Then you have no choice but to kill them.” I responded, looking into his eyes, “Do whatever it takes to make sure this city is smothered by fire. Use Inferno Grenades, Fire Pokémon or whatever. And another thing – don’t enter any buildings unless you want to cook yourself.”

I don’t know who they were, but they took forever to get the word passed around. It seemed like an hour had passed before I saw even just one building starting to burn. I had been throwing Inferno Grenades through the windows until I had completely run out of them, but that was the most I could do. I told others around me to start setting the city on fire, but either they didn’t listen or they didn’t hear me. Plus having each building made of metal didn’t exactly help the fire spread around. On top of that, I was on the last reload of my rifle. After this I was going to have to find someone else’s if I wanted to keep fighting to get out of here alive.

Thirty minutes later, we were doing a little better, and a least thirty blocks buildings were burning brightly, covering the streets and the other buildings around them with a deep red, flickering glow. The streets were very wide, so avoiding the flaming buildings wasn’t hard. Still, being out in the open was very dangerous, since there were still enemy soldiers running around. But they were very limited now.

And above all other things, I had to force civilians of the city out of their homes so we could set it on fire. I never thought once I would be inheriting such a cruelty utilized by so many war leaders before me, but I had no choice. They had to leave, or they were going to get killed. It twisted my soul to see them run away in tears, but there was no other choice.

As we moved further into the depths of the city, I began to see one building in particular stand out from the rest. It was massive, and I was shocked I hadn’t seen the building before, but now there it was, standing before us. I had a feeling that was where I wanted to go. That would be the place where it would all end…

“That has to be where Zander is.” I heard Randy say behind me.

I turned around, and I was surprised to see he had followed me this whole way. Along with him was Alex, standing only a short distance away. We were pretty much alone now. The rest of the Silver Rebellion army was behind us, slowly setting the rest of the city with consuming fire. Slowly they were drawing closer…

But so was the rest of the Crimson Stars. If we were still here when they arrived, the losses were only going to be greater. We had to press on.

“We don’t have a lot of time.” I said to the two of them, “I say we go there now, and see if we can find him.”

“Whatever it takes…” Alex said softly, looking up at the massive building.

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