Author: Sunday
Warnings: Well... .no Yaoi just yet. I don't know what is wrong with me. They should already be screwing like rabbits... and they aren't. I don't know what is wrong. But seriously, the stuff in here is Part GW (not mine), part The Red Star (not mine either... but oooh pretty), and part mine (which is mine, ironically enough). It WILL be shonnen- ai, it may contain a lemon later on. It is ALL AU AU AU. And it is all1/2/1.
Notes: Well, this part was basically done for a while. It was missing pieces... it still is. *growls at the fic* I wrote this while having an EXTREME urge to drink orange juice... which is why the damned thing keeps reappearing. I really should do that... make orange juice reappear in everything I write. That would just set in stone my addiction. Although I am sure that there are plenty of worse things to be addicted to... cyanide, for example.
Dedications: to Dacia, Steelsong, Brighnasa, and LdySowan. All amazing people that make this thing go on, and on and on and on... .*hugs all*

Of Bullets and Barrels + Part 4

The Wild is a species of Human making. Having grasped protocol, having mastered magic, the drive to find the `Perfect Soldier' was too great. Therefore various schools of Magic sought out those with unique genetic mutations, which allowed certain protocol to be preformed without the lengthy `protocol name-to-protocol meaning-to- minute protocol union' training. These sorceresses and sorcerers were renowned for purely mental control over very select second level protocol (second level protocol being the first union of two base protocol). After much study, the nucleic sequences for this trait were discovered, as were the minute differences in neurochemistry. Once the information was available, it was only a matter of time before someone brought all of it together. Three weeks, in fact, between the public revelation of these findings, and the public unveiling of the embryo that could do second level protocol with the same grace and efficiency as one can lick one's lips.

An opposing company did one better, fourth-level protocol, and the miracle-child that could call upon them. The world was in awe. Gene therapy became wide spread, and many children were `healed' of cumbersome magic practices, and brought into the glorious world of effortless magic. We can only give thanks to the Gods that made sure that the gametes of these children were never affected by these therapies. Only the test-tube Miracle-children could produce new Miracle-children.

Of course, in the race for the ultimate weapon, these Miracle children were spewed forth from the Great War Machine in the hundred of thousands, they were born conscripted. Genetic mutations started becoming widespread, and more and more of them died before they reached full maturity, spontaneously combusting in their sleep. No one spoke of such things.

Romafeller and OZ built the top armies of the Miracle-born. Soon they were battling down all other military forces, working together as one of the most formidable alliances in human history. The children (aged 17-29) fought wars, and then they were freed, allowed to do what they pleased, after they had finished their services. As long as they registered each child that they produced. Of course, few of them did.

Trowa Barton.
Black ops files.
Pure Breed, class zero.
Level clearance: Class Zero Black ops.


+

"Yuy, wake up, and put this on."

Something heavy landed on him. Groggily he sat up, his body aching, his mouth tasting foul. He felt drugged. He was drugged.

Orange juice. Shit. He was going to kill the bastard. He was going to...

He was going to puke.

He pushed Maxwell out of his way, as he ran to the bathroom, and wretched into the toilet. Wretched black, which just about identified the strength of the shit that had been pumped into him. He slumped back to the floor shaking in anger.

"I-I didn't realize that it would affect you that badly."

"You poisoned me."

"Well, you were doing just fine after most of the drugs we pumped into you, this one was a last resort guarantee. It was not poison." Maxwell stood defiant by the door, although his face had softened, as he watched Heero kneeling on the floor. The Sorcerer stood to his feet, and stalked towards the sink. Washing his face and rinsing his mouth.

"Toothbrush?"

"Maxwell, do you know what you can do with that toothbrush?"

"Shove it up my ass, yah, I know. But Hee-ro, there are so many more interesting things that you could shove... "

"Shut up." Hero turned back to the sink, snatching the offered brush, before shoving past Duo, and back into the bedroom. He was stopped by what lay upon the bed. Red-brown leather shone dully in the room's light, the buckles and belts catching the light. Class Zero armor. Nothing could strip a sorcerer of his armor. When they died, the thick leather, most of which had been made from his broken and peeled skin, went with him. It was personal. It contained their power, helped them control it. The familiarity of the sorcerer's own body cocooning him, hindering any recoil that his powers would facilitate. It was...

"Whose is this?" He did not need to ask. He knew. He could recognize the smell of it, the uneasy the way in which Duo Maxwell's eyes shifted between him and it. The making of the armor was personal, it was painful, and it left the sorcerer permanently attached to it. Seeing the skin armor laying there made his own body ache for the loss of his own.

"Mine."

"I will not wear it." He would not. Could not.

"You have to. I assure you, I am no happier with the situation. But the thing is infused with the I-field. It will keep you from going nuts on us, and trying to run away. Not before we sell you anyway." His voice almost sounded sad, softer then he could remember his sounding. Duo slouched down, and ran his hands over the twisted leather, the scars marring its surface. It was in disrepair, burned in places, cracked in others.

It was not healing, which was disturbing. It suggested sickness on the sorcerer's part. Or on setting wilderness. But then again, the Wild was already both.

"... it will also protect you if they decide to be asses."

"Romafeller. I thought that was a threat."

"I am sorry. But I never lie."

Heero nodded, in acceptance. He walked back to the bathroom, stripping and stepping into the shower. Who knows, tomorrow he could be dead. All class Zero sorcerers were bonded to Oz with ties that had yet to see fractures. He would not be turned. So they would kill him, open him up to see how he ticked, run him through protocol until self-destruct. He was going to die. A part of him ached. Mourned everything he had not felt, not touched, not tasted. Mourned the loss of his friends, and the family he had never had a chance to develop.

The sharp spray of the shower beat against his scarred skin. Kissed against his heated body, muffled his dry sobs, and painted tears upon his face, tears he did not release even then.

Duo was waiting for him when he left the shower. He carefully helped him slip into the armor, did up the clasps, wound around him the leather straps. He smoothed the hair from his face, and patted his cheek.

"I'm sure you will be fine."

"I never said I would not be." Heero managed, his voice cold, colder then he remembered it being.

"Aa." Duo's voice was saddened, as the man skewed up his face, his lashes dark fanning out against his cheekbone. His skin pallid in the harsh light of the room, and the purple veins tracing his lids a stark contrast. He looked like a living corpse. Which was not saying much, Heero reflected, seeing that he himself was one.

"You are zero class."

"Aa. I am not registered."

Heero did not care to ask why. He pulled away from Duo's ministrations, stiffly walking into the hallway where Chang stood, his own armor pure white, slipping over the black tiling of the ships floors.

"I wish you strength, Yuy."

He gave a sharp nod of understanding, before following them both down the hallway. The path was empty once more. He was left solitary, flanked on both sides by enemies he had grown an attachment to. When he stepped form the ship, into the emptiness of the space port, and then into the bustle of the slave market he felt his heart racing. They were there, the Romafeller sorcerers, all class one, all watching, waiting for him. Recognizing his power signature long before they saw him or the armor. He would kill Maxwell for this.

He would kill him.

He turned sharply, staring at the longhaired man, noticing the pained expression on his face.

"You are taking this calmly." Duo whispered, his long hair loose, obscuring his face, his lean form clad in leather and cotton, straps running up and down his arms, holding together the claws which were his only defense. The only one he held which would not cause him to hit meltdown.

"As are you, do you normally give men away to their deaths? Or do you just not care?"

Duo swallowed heavily, turning his violet eyes to the man before him. Heero could feel the armor around him constrict, sooth, warm. It was not responding to his emotions, it was trying to sooth the man before him, the man it could not reach. Maxwell was in pain. And a part of him derived great satisfaction in the fact, even as he felt pity for the broken creature before him.

Wilds. Broken sorcerers, made into walking bombs by Romafeller.

"Will you run then?"

Heero glanced sharply back at Maxwell, who was smirking, his eyes wide, wild, his hair tangled at his back, and his skin as surely white in the bright sun, as it had been in the room. What the hell was he getting at?

"Shinigami?"

The power was sickening. How a anyone could flaunt it like that. They both turned to the Sorcerer. A tall man, his body clad in Romafeller's Class One armor.

"I am." Duo's voice was dead. Less colored with emotions that his skin with hues.

"Heero Yuy?" He pointed to Heero. His hand snaking out to grasp Heero's arm roughly. Jerking him away from Duo's side, and towards his own.

"He is. I was promised a border pass for my ship."

"And you shall receive it."

Duo nodded lightly, people swarming around the small group.

Chattering incessantly, the roar of humanity deafening. Heero wanted to scream, he wanted to unleash every protocol which was ingrained in him, into the man beside him. The man who stared at him as if he was his personal property. This one, when he got free, he would kill painfully.

He was already planning the exact sequence of protocols when the communicator in his armor turned on. The sound broadcasted over the air, pulsing in his eardrums, and piercing over the noise. The voice was familiar, and his body tensed as he recognized it. Relena Peacecraft.

"Duo, I really hate to break this up, but this entire thing was a trap. There are Romafeller troops coming to beat the living shit out of us as we speak. So tell you what. Why don't you move your scrawny ass back here, before I come after you, and make you wish you had never left."

Duo's eyes grew comically wide; he leaned in towards Heero, his fingers running against the sorcerer's feverish neck, before turning the communicator, attached to the collar, off. He took a deep breath, and licked his suddenly dry lips. Heero watched him, carefully cataloguing the other boy's movements, and the nervousness that seemed to seep from his body.

He gave a small wave to the tall Romafeller agent.

A heartbeat later, the nervousness was replaced by a wide grin, and an evil gleam in his eyes. Heero's hand was caught in Duo's, and he was pulled with ungodly force into the pulsing crowd that surrounded Colonies L2-67B3A's main market.

The first shot rang out loud, Heero pushed his savior out of the way of the bullet, ignoring it as it lodged itself in his upper arm. The armor shrieked at his pain, and number his skin, prying at the bullet, even as it tried to heal him. It mourned Duo's anger.

Another shot, this one hit it's mark, and Duo staggered, his side bleeding. "Shit. They are fucking nuts. They are fucking nuts Heero, they are shooting at a wild... fuck!"

Heero scowled, grabbing hold of the other man's arms, and pulling him away, much as he himself had been dragged from the market.

Heero skidded around a corner, grabbed hold of Duo's other arm, and threw him behind building 15-NE. His breath came in desperate gasps, as his lungs strove to grasp at the thin colony air.

Dock station 301-L2a, had turned out more heavily guarded then anyone had suspected. Or rather, Duo had suspected.

He glared at the man slumped against the wall opposite of him. His shirt stretched against his body, stuck to the perspiration upon his fair skin. His hair hung loose, tendrils curling around his neck, and sticking to his face. He was also scowling.

"Cheating bastards." He managed between desperate gasps. "Cheating, fucking, bloody, moronic, shit-headed... bastards. Treacherous... "

It went on for a while longer. Heero swallowed, before slapping his hand against the other's mouth. "Enough" he hissed between clenched teeth. Disgusted by the other man. "They might hear you."

Duo scowled, and pulled his hand away. "If they can't hear me, then they sure as all hell can pin point my power signature."

Heero frowned. Before shrugging lightly, and stepping away from the wall. It took him a second to get his bearings, and another to sprint the length of the block. He took a sharp turn, all too aware of the other man's heavy footfalls behind him.

There was some exhilaration in being chased.

He decided not to dwell on it; instead he took another sharp right, and hid behind the wall of a building, waiting for Duo to reach the entryway to the alley, before dashing past him in the opposite direction. It put more distance between them, for which Heero was thankful. He did not have the other man's long legs.

Panting heavily, he ducked into the main Spaceport, weaving in- between crowds, his lungs burning, starved for air, and unable to reach it in the thin atmosphere.

There was a whimper.

A crackle in the air.

Then the low moan of the sirens began. His breath caught in his lungs, as he turned on his heel, and started back to the last place he had seen the wild. The hollow moan of the sirens, not unlike the tornado-warnings of Earth, increased. The screams and milling of the crowd losing it s dull chaos and gaining to itself a panic that threatened to collapse his body under the pressure of thousands of bodies pressing together.

Heero had had enough.

"Protocol Clear. Alfa three beta, radius: two meters. Force: 9.13 meters per second squared. Commence protocol."

A crack then the protocol threw any obstacle out of his way, whether human or inanimate, he had better things to do, like protecting the idiots that had let a Wild onto their colony.

He pulled away from the streams of people heading for bunkers, and continued onward, the heat from the artificial lights beating at his neck, as, even in what was supposed to be the middle of the night the emergency protocol turned the colony sky gray-green, and the lights to full-noon status. The sound of the sirens was deafening. Where the pulse of human flesh had dampened them before, there was nothing to protect him from the mournful noise now, and a slight ringing was developing in his ear. He was not stupid enough to shut them down, though; they were loudest where the Wild was.

+

The first Wild, appeared on Colony L4-2134HG5. The fluctuations of his power were so great, that the ten-year old boy, named Mel Tompson, shut down every communication device within 3000 km. He then hit full maturity, for a Wild. Full maturity included a melt down, at 10 000 levels of protocol. This was not a mere combustion, it was equivalent to six mega tonne bombs being deployed three kilometers from the hull of the colony.

The fifth sector of the colony L4-2134HG5 was shattered. His power then began a fusion reaction, which could not be stopped by any of the emergency staff on-colony. The colony burned like a second sun for almost one hour.

This was the first of such cases. Resulting from the mating of two second-generation Miracle-born. Both parents were conceived naturally by Miracle-born test-tube parents. The situation became widespread. In no case of third generation miracle born did the degradation of the genetic code not become apparent, although no other case of the same magnitude as that of Tompson has ever been recorded, the average blast of a pure Wild (no human/pure-breed lineage) has been recorded at 5000 protocol. This is equivalent to the blast of a mega-tonne bomb.

The production of the Miracle-children is now illegal, and is punishable by force, if breached. Any country, city, company, or person to be producing these genetic mutants is eliminated. There is no solution in sight, in relation to the Wild problem. Although cross breading between Full Wilds and Humans, or Pure-blood Sorceresses/Sorcerers, results in part breeds with capabilities inferior to their Wild parents, the fall of their power is not linear, Part Wilds, remain mostly Wild.

More disturbingly still, there is no test for finding if a child is Wild. The wild's power signatures appear pure Human, until a few months before full maturity. Genetic testing of the required magnitude is impossible. Therefore these children remain walking bombs. This situation has been hidden from the public, by both Oz, and Romafeller, ever since both sides had dropped their alliance. Most impressively, both have convinced their sides that the antagonist side is responsible for the Wilds, and is actively and purposely planting them.

Trowa Barton.
Black ops files.
Pure Breed, class zero.
Level clearance: Class Zero Black ops.


+

He did not know what to expect, but the sight of Maxwell crouched beside a small child was not it. The girl was young, short brown hair falling into her face, her eyes wide, and unseeing, frightened, the pupils dilated in shock. But it was not that which caught his attention, instead, it was the fact that around her pale figure, the sidewalk was beginning to melt. He watched as Maxwell whispered to her, turning to him, slowly.

"Pick her up. I can't, not without setting myself off."

"She is melting the side walk... .she is a bloody Wild, Maxwell, get away from her."

"If I can control it so can she." Was the retort.

"Duo, just come with me, and we will get into the bunkers where it is safe."

The ringing in his ears was deafening.

"You thought I was setting the alarms off... what were you planning to do when you found me?"

"Duo... come on." Heero's voice was soft, coaxing, almost like one would talk to a frightened animal. He was sweating, his skin slick, his breathing harsh, and his entire body tensed with anticipation. The girl was Wild, and on the verge of meltdown, he was tempting death by just being there.

"Come on Duo... lets go to the bunker."

Maxwell took a deep breath, shook his head lightly, before shrugging, standing to his feet. "suit yourself, she is class three. That is almost 10 000 levels of protocol. I really think that you should pick her up, and follow me."

Heero stared at the longhaired man. He licked his lips, glancing back at the child, feeling the power begin to gather in the air. The sirens screeching louder and louder, as the child became more frightened.

"Protocol, Alpha, main attack, start sequence."

Duo raised a brow, stepping back, as Heero bent to pick the child up, the Pure breed's body glowed faintly as the child was lifted into his arms. His skin unaffected by the scorching shell of the young Wild's skin.

"Run a power down protocol."

Heero nodded. "Protocol, Alpha, main attack, end sequence, radius three meters."

The ringing in his ears increased, even as the child in his arms cooled. She began to cry, clutching to his shirt, her tears frozen against his heated skin, and her wail deafening over the sirens.

"There is something wrong." He could hardly hear himself over the noise "she should be alright now, the sirens should have shut down... Maxwell?" Heero looked over the child's head, to where the other man had been, only to find the empty alley, and the ring of the sirens. The ringing in his ears increased, the pitch sharp and high, like fine crystal being struck over and over.

Then he felt it, a slight shiver running through his aura, the fluctuation of his power, like a heart. Beating. He had always been the most stable of all the Sorcerers, and yet, his power was fluctuating, in time with the ringing in his ears. And he knew what it was.

Resonance.

He was resonating to his aura's twin.

And he harbored no doubt of his twin's identity. "Maxwell!"

Clutching the child to his chest, he darted out of the alley, following the aura, following the piercing screech against his eardrums. He found him, blocked from the spaceport by a wall of soldiers.

"You have to let me out of here!"

He was screaming at them, even as the skin on his neck began to crack, and stretch, blood running freely down his pale flesh. Hero set the child down onto the ground. Before running towards Maxwell, catching the man, as he began to fall to his knees. And the screech was deafening, the holler of the sirens stopped, as the machines shattered, sending sparks and smoke to the ground. The armor on his body was beating, reaching towards Maxwell all the while hugging his skin. It would not hinder him. It COULD not hinder him. The skin which lay against his own was as surely saturated with Maxwell's aura as it was with him. They were identical.

Duo was heavy against his chest, his breath ragged, and his eyes wide, he felt warm, feverish.

"I thought you could control it."

"So did I. She set me off, I can't help it... get me off colony."

Heero watched as the men on the team raised their rifles, he let go of Maxwell, letting the man fall to the floor, before stepping back, watching as they aimed.

"Protocol, Beta, disarm. Radius 100 meters." All rifles clattered to the grassy ground.

"Maxwell, get up and fight like a man." He watched as Shinigami's shoulders shook in laughter, as he stood shakily to his feet. He slouched, his stance unsteady, his legs spread wide, and bent at the knees. He looked like a drunk, wavering, ready to keel over, his long hair loose, picked up by the heat radiating from his body.

"Protocol Alfa, beta 3 gamma 2, radius .25 kilometers. Start protocol."

The ground beneath his feet began to shatter, light slipping between the cracks in it, before the whole of it collapsed around him, a trench a quarter of a kilometer deep opening up around him, leaving him alone, standing upon a sole pedestal, and Maxwell, facing him, thirty meters away, and standing similarly, his unsteady power pulsing with the same rhythm as Heero's heart. His violet eyes seemed to shine in the light that he emitted, the light that dulled the brightness of the colony's sun.

"Well, do you plan to stand there, or attack me?"

Maxwell's hook his head, he lifted his face to him, and from within the trench, from within the air, hell seemed to break loose, the air seemed to spark as it began to burn, moving towards Heero like a wall of fire. He was causing a fusion reaction. The ground beneath him turning to plasma.

"Protocol Beta, emergency I-field protocol, radius one meter. I-field strength, level 300, protocol block: 10 000 levels."

The flames crashed against the field like waves against the shore. And still the Wild's power was not exhausted. Another wall of flame moved forward, and another. The colony lights shattering beneath the heat. The wail of sirens from the other side of the colony permeating the air, as they picked up on the unstable Wild. The ground beneath Heero shuddered, before crumbling, He dove for the opposite side of the Chasm, barely stumbling onto solid ground, when one of Shinigami's attacks hit him straight on, the power of the protocol astounding, the plasma burning a brilliant blue. The protective bubble around him shattered, and he watched as the second attack moved towards him, this time an electric field. He did not have time to spell out protocol, did not have time to rebuild broken shielding as the wall descended on him.

He did not have time to consciously build the shield of blue fire that moved away from his body and nullified Maxwell's attack. They stared at each other over the battle field, Shinigami's eyes wide, his breath deep, and Heero could hear it, from over a quarter of a kilometer away, he could hear the other man's heart beat in his aura, and could hear his whispered words.

"You did not call protocol."

"Nor did you."

He watched as the Wild nodded lightly, his power signatures dying down, the wail of the alarms faltering and then stopping, leaving only the sound of a small child's screams, as the young Wild stood to the side of the battle and cried.

Heero fell to his knees, sitting on the cool ground, listening to the crunch of Maxwell's feet on the gravel and glass of a destroyed apartment building. They had nullified a sizable apartment complex; Heero could only hope that it had been evacuated. He was pulled into the other's chest, as Duo not so much held him, as collapsed against him. His body shook with exhaustion, his mouth felt dry, Heero's breath was shaky in the thick dusty air. The putrid smell of burned concrete, and melted tar filled his nostrils, and burned his throat.

"Thank you."

"Right. I am sure you would do the same for me."

"So I owe you, huh?"

"Shut up, Maxwell, and breath for a minute. Your brain is lacking oxygen and you are spewing nonsense."

"Right." His head fell against Heero's shoulder, Duo's breath warm against his cheek, his fingers cold against his back.

The sound of displaced gravel brought Heero back to the child, the small girl standing beside them, before carefully walking to them, and clutching at Heero's shirt, or what was left on it, the soot on her face broken by the trail of tears. She buried her face in his other shoulder, and they sat like that for a moment, before he realized that Duo had passed out.

With a snort, he threw him over the shoulder, took the child's hand, and started towards the deserted space port, towards DeathScythe Hell, he was sure that Dorothy still wanted to take a chunk out of Duo's hide, and he was very much looking forward to seeing it happen.

[part 3] [part 5] [back to Singles l - z]