"No games." You quietly repeat, still clenching the fake Dragon Ball. Upon prying it from the depths of your pocket, you place it on the cubby and slip it in. Gero begins rotating the revolving doors and, on cue, the soldiers inside shift positions. The floorboards beneath them rotate as the Dragon Ball crawls through a tube and reaches Gero.
He gently takes it out of the cubby and analyzes it. Slowly, very thorough with his work. Gero puts his hand into his vest and pulls out a small note. Upon reading the writing, he drops the ball to the smooth, yet solid ground. It does a small bounce, but finally subsides and simply rolls a few inches prior to coming to a halt. Gero picks up the Dragon Ball once again, still unsure.
"Release my men." You dictate, being sure not to show any unusual emotions. I need to be careful. If I don't say anything, he'll be under the impression that I'm trying to hide something. On the other hand, if I attempt to get out of here as quickly as possible, Gero will definitely realize the reason why. I need to find a balance; confident, yet still patient.
"What was that?" Gero locks onto your eyes and analyzes every emotion he can grasp. However, you refuse to give him anything.
"Kiryu, you are here alone. Answer me this: do you understand the power of my allies? Do you understand the potential danger you are in?"
"Of course. But I'm not worried."
"Why is that?"
"I believe you know why."
"Hmm..." Gero holds the ball up to a small magnifying glass and grunts. He's telling the truth. He must be. Such confidence...is it possible to lie that well? There shouldn't be any way. I can read and properly break down anybody I desire! He would surely crack in this situation if he were lying, right? Gero whips his head back up and attempts to analyze your emotions. There is only one way to know for sure. It's worth a shot...
"I'm waiting." You declare in a monotone, yet bold tone.
Gero whips the Dragon Ball against the wall with all of his strength, causing a loud ruckus to echo through the tunnel. "Who do you think I am, Kiryu!? Huh!? I don't want this worthless replica you're attempting to fool me with! Did you honestly think that I wouldn't notice!?" Gero pauses for a second, still carefully reading the changes in your facial expression. "You have ten seconds to hand over the real Dragon Ball, or I will kill those five worms in the cage. If that isn't enough sentiment, my allies and I will declare war on the Freeborn Military."
Damn it, he knows! I'm screwed at this rate. I don't have a choice but to give him the real ball, and even if I do, that may not calm his temper. How did he find out all of a sudd-...wait...did he find out? Still refusing to change your expression, you glare directly at Gero's furious self. Is he playing me? That sudden burst of rage must have been his attempt to get information out of me. He wants me to crack under the pressure.
"Give me the real Dragon Ball, Kiryu."
I need to get this right. If I screw this next line up, it'll be over. You prepare to scratch your nose, but immediately halt the action before any movement is made. Such an act would give everything away. "Stop wasting my time."
Stop wasting his time? What kind of a response is that!? Would somebody being accused of lying respond so casually...so cockily? Did he figure out my ploy? Damn you, Kiryu, I can't follow you!
"Unlock the gate. If you don't want the Dragon Ball, hurry up and say so." Gero hesitates for a second, unsure of what to do. I've got him! Now I just need to keep quiet. Any excess dialogue and he'll know that I'm trying to cover something up.
"V-very well." Gero pulls a lever on his end and the glass door opens. You grab the closest General, Dr. Fiasco, and pull off his blindfold. After that, you snap the rope binding his hands together. Upon doing so, Fiasco uses his own hands to take off the headphones and un-gag himself.
"Take all that crap off the others," you direct.
"I'm on it." Fiasco swiftly responds.
"I suppose this is it for now then, Doctor."
"Yes. Thank you for your cooperation. I'll be seeing you, Kiryu." Gero backs up and disappears into the shadows, leaving you alone with your men.
"Come on, there's a plane waiting just outside for us. Lets get out of here." Without even taking the time to acknowledge them, you back away and head back through where you came from. The others hurriedly chase after you, each of them remaining quiet.
When the six of you resurface on the outside world, a plane with the FBM's insignia is straight across. You turn back to the underground chamber and freeze for a brief moment, noticing that the building that was once beside it is no longer there. Suddenly, a gigantic cavity behind the passageway begins opening up rather noisily.
What is going on? You wonder, refusing to take your eye off of the situation at hand.
The head of a missile pokes up from beneath the opening and steam rises from below. In a few seconds, a white cloud of smoke covers the entire sky. You hear the sound of an engine crackling underneath the surface and, all so suddenly, the missile blasts off into the sky at an insurmountable speed.
"S***!" Kaiba yells into your ear. "I'm losing it! The missile is moving too fast, I can't track it!" The steam that once covered the sky whisks backwards and blinds your view. You instinctively raise an aura to scatter the bits of smoke away, but upon doing so, the missile is nowhere to be seen. "...We lost it. They're gone."
"..." You remain quiet. Each of the rescued soldiers slowly back up and hop into the docked jet. I could say that I outsmarted him by having him escape with a worthless replica, but now I'm not so sure if I completely won. I have no idea where their base is now...hmph.
Slightly thrilled at the events that unfolded, you return to the jet and signal the pilot to return to Forte Valkyrie. The plane skids across the ground and then blasts off into the air. You take this opportunity to have a seat across from the five Generals. You recognize four of them: John Giant, Dr. Fiasco, McGuy, and Blue. However, the bald one sitting in the corner doesn't seem familiar.
"I have some news that you guys missed out on." They each look over to you, obviously still in shock. "Rem is...dead. I am the new man in charge. Furthermore, currently, auditions for new Commanders are being held. When the five of you are ready, go to the Training Center and you'll have to fight against one of the current Commanders. If you impress them, there is a good chance of promotion. Finally, for those who don't mind relocating, we are going to build a new base in East City. If you are interested, please tell me as soon as possible."
None of them respond. Perhaps the information just hasn't sunk in yet. Finally, Blue breaks the ice and decides to ask what everybody is thinking. "What do you mean Rem is dead? H-how can that... I don't understand."
"He fell in the battle against Pitou. We withheld his death due to our fragile state after that battle."
"...But Rem is...invincible..."
"..." Clueless of what to say, you simply turn around and face the front.
"Kiryu," John Giant quietly says. "Thank you. Thank you for rescuing us."
For the remaining duration of the flight, not another word is said. The return flight is much longer than on the way out. Once the jet arrives at Valkyrie, each of you stand up and make your way out, with you, of course, taking the liberty of going first. Each of you make your way back inside. To your surprise, Dr. Fiasco heads straight for the Training Center upon his arrival. McGuy notices this and decides on following him. However, the other three head to their designated floor and return to their own living quarters.
When you arrive back on the second floor, you decide to check up on Piccolo. He noted that his body heals at a rapid speed, so there is a small chance that he'll be feeling better by this point.
The Medical Station is rather empty. From what you can remember, there is usually multiple patients being treated. Yet, right now, you cannot spot a single soldier, Piccolo included. You notice that he is no longer in the bedroom he was assigned.
Has he fully recovered already? Hmm... For some reason, I just don't believe it. He's probably being stubborn and pushing his body. And if that's the case... You relinquish your train of thought and let out an obnoxious sigh. He's probably rehabilitating himself in the Training Center. Some people simply aren't able to get away from physical exertion. You decide to leave the Medical Station as there is no point in staying in an empty facility.
Commander Echo and Joseph Pike pop out of the elevator across the room, both fiercely sweating, dawdle around for a bit, and finally drop down to the hard wood floor while leaning up against the closest wall.
"Long day?" You remark as you close the distance. They both gaze at you rather angrily and then turn away. "I don't mean to bore you with small talk. It's probably the worst thing a human can do to another," you continue. "I was just wondering, are you done for the day? Auditioning people, I mean."
"We've been going at it since you made the announcement this morning. So yeah." Echo coldly barks.
"Any potential candidates to promote?"
"Eh, I'm not sure yet. There is still a few more groups to fight against. As of right now-"
"General White was good," Joseph cuts him off. Echo points his finger to Joseph and nods. "I would still be up there fighting if it wasn't for him."
"White?" You say in astonishment.
"He fought me to a standstill. Granted, he only lasted for about ten minutes at full strength, but he was definitely the strongest General I've fought so far. And if I remember correctly, he seems pretty smart too. I'd at least consider him."
"Yup." Echo agrees.
"Has he really gotten that strong? He was barely breaking 20,000 at the war."
"It was his technique. He sort of lost control over his mind, but his power level multiplied after using it. Apparently he's still perfecting it, though. What did he say about it again?"
"I can't remember exactly," Joseph says as he shrugs his shoulders. "Something about how the more he uses it, the easier it becomes to control. Meh, you can ask him if you want. Doesn't matter to me. He seemed lucid enough."
"Okay. I presume you'll be back in there tomorrow?" You question, ending the topic at hand so you can leave. Both of them semi-nod, responding in a rather indecisive manner. With that conversation out of the way, you turn around and leave them be.
All of a sudden you realize that you don't have a particular destination as of this moment. It certainly has been a long day, but it isn't quite over. You lean up against the nearest wall and fold both arms over your chest, pondering what to do.
A) Go visit somebody. Who?
B) Go to the Training Center and attempt to learn a new technique.
C) Leave Forte Valkyrie for the time being. Go out and explore the world.
D) Sleep: Fast forward time to a few days later.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Choice that won: A