Metal Dance
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Far From Home, Prologue
Neotopia. A peaceful utopia where robots and humans work side-by-side, living in peace and harmony. Only months ago, that peace was disrupted and the end was nearly brought about by the evil Dark Axis, stopped by the courageous acts of three gundams and a human boy; the Gundam Force. Since then, weeks became months and the land has been quiet since then.

"Stop, thief!!"

....Mostly.

An older boy, on the cusp of adulthood, went dashing through the icy sidewalk, the spikes on his cleats cracking the paper-thin ice ever-so-slightly, just enough to keep him from slipping. He huffed, holding a basket in one hand before he stopped abruptly, stumbling almost, then dove into an ally, grinning wickedly.

"No, Shute!"

A young blonde girl clung to the brunette boy's arm, the one who had been chasing the nearly-mature boy. Bundled in winter clothes, she looked at him, her voice as delicate as a rose, "He might be dangerous! I can just bake another cake, it's no big deal!"

"No, Sayla, that was low!" Shute growled, gently pulling his arm away, "Wait here, I don't want you to get hurt," he turned back to the ally, scowling, "Stop!" And chased after it again. Sayla, the blonde, held her hands to her face, whimpering worriedly for her friend.

"Hehe," the boy turned a corner and stopped, breathing a sigh for oxygen when he felt like he was alone, then grinned and looked at the stolen basket, "I wonder what's in here. That girl was holding it awfully close... a wallet, maybe? A watch? Something? Let's find out!"

"That's pathetic."

A scratchy, feminine voice hissed at him, making him jump and when he looked up, standing on a dumpster, as if all high and proud, concealed by the shadows casted by the buildings, was a fairly short figure, covered by a hooded cloak, almost reminiscent of a robe. The figure's eyes were dark blue, with piercingly sharp cat pupils.

"H-hey! How did you sneak up behind me without me noticing?!" He clutched the basket defensively, stepping back, "where did you come from, freak?!"

"I think the real question is how you stood directly in front of me and didn't notice me," the figure spat, "and I'm from a place where thieves strike fair targets."

Meanwhile, Shute came to a three-way fork and stopped, huffing and looking at them, comprehending where to go. "Aww, man... I can't let Sayla down! Where did he go?!"

"AHHHH!" A sharp, pain-filled scream echoed through the ally and made Shute wince.

"What was that?!" He looked in the direction of where it came from, then his face became focused, "I should check it out!" And that way, he went.

"Is this some kind of a joke?" The figure looked down at the boy, who was doubled over on the dirty cement ground, pain-filled tears falling from his eyes as he clutched his arm and stomach, blood dripping heavily from his arm. The figure held the basket in one arm as Shute came running in, "that wasn't even my hardest hit, and now you're on the ground, crying? Pathetic. How this land stopped the Dark Axis cold..."

"Hey!" Shute got it's attention easily, but when he looked into it's piercing eyes, he became wary but hesitantly stepped closer, "You, uh..." he looked at the boy, then at the blue eyes, and noticed red hair framing the sides of the figure's face, "what happened?"

"This pathetic excuse for a thief doesn't know how to take a punch," she said (he assumed it was a 'she' by it's feminine, though slightly scratchy and rough, voice) scoffing and walking past the doubled-over boy, closer to Shute. He nearly stepped away, until she stopped at arm's length away from him, "just pathetic. And look at you; you're scrawnier than a desperate anorexic."

Shute looked sheepish at the comparison the girl was making, then his eyes went to the basket and he pointed at it, "erm, that basket you've got... I kinda..."

"It's your's?" she raised an eyebrow, looking at it, then at Shute, scoffing, "cute. Take it, I despise sweets and I can smell the sugar in it," she grimaced hard, and Shute could see the shadows of her wrinkled nose when she did so. Surprised, yet please, Shute watched as she held her arm forward, the basket a bit battered from being tossed around, and noticed that her arms were covered by thick, metal gauntlets and that each finger was sharpened at the tip, creating claws. He grimaced and hesitated, "erm..."

"Are you going to take it, or not?" she raised an eyebrow, but then heard a siren go off as a short, blue robot in a green visor ran into the end of the ally, and when she looked back, it spoke, a second robot next to it shaped like a ball, "Alright, all of you! Hands where I can see them!"

"FFFF--!" Without asking for a response, the figure leaped onto the dumpster it had originally been standing on, then jumped off and dashed away before Shute could comprehend it.

"Wait!" Shute called to her, but she was gone. He turned to the robots as he took the boy's arm, who was still wincing from the agony.

"Both of you are going to have to come with me," he ordered, "to the station. You have some explainin' to do."

"But--" Shute stopped, knowing it'd be pointless--and illegal-- to protest, and glanced behind him as he and the other boy followed it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Afternoon, snow was covering the usually-grassy landscape when Shute came home, having given his friend Sayla a call earlier letting her know what had happened and that her basket may have been gone. He heaved a heavy sigh as he approached his home, disappointed he couldn't live up to his promise to her. Still, thoughts of that pair of blue eyes he saw in the ally didn't leave him. Whoever it was, she helped him; he never took the basket back, nor did he thank her. He regretted that a bit, but at least he knew the boy was likely going to prison.

"Shute!" a red, samurai gundam, who was practicing with his swords out in front of his house, shivering when he paused, snapped Shute out of his thoughts abruptly, "where have you been?! We've all been worried about you!"

"I'm sorry!" Shute scurried over into the front yard, pulling himself a chair on his front picnic table and sitting down, exhausted from walking a long distance, "I kind of... ran into some trouble... it's a long story."

"Trouble?! With Princess Sayla by your side?!" A second gundam, blue and white in colour with a scarlet cape that flowed elegantly behind him, floated from the house's roof and over to Shute's side, although he stayed suspended in the air, "what happened?! Was she injured?!"

"You appear unharmed, Shute," A third and last one, Captain Gundam, armour bulky and blue with the redesigns he had received months ago when an allied dimension was in peril, stated logically, "what had happened?"

"I'm fine, guys, really! And so is Sayla!" he assured, waving his hands submissively and sweatdropped, "It was just... well, it's a long story."

"Tell it, Shute," Zero said, remaining suspended in the air but backing up a little to give the boy some room, "What's happened?"

It was then that Shute told them what had happened; how he and Sayla were walking down the streets of a shopping area in town, when the boy who was much older than them seemed to swoop down out of the blue and snatch Sayla's basket (he paused when Zero expressed how horrified he was at the idea of such a thing happening to "Princess" Sayla), and when he attempted to chase the thief, a weird girl in black appeared and had stopped him. He didn't leave out that she almost gave him back the basket, but then when the authorities arrived, she had taken off and taken it with her.

"...and that's how it happened," he said, then shivered, not from the cold air and being surrounded by snow, but a cold chill from being creeped out, "it was a little freaky, though."

"Freaky? Huh! She stopped that petty thief, what was so creepy?" Bakunetsumaru, the red samurai, scoffed at him, resuming his practicing.

"Well," Shute looked up for a moment, grimacing ever-so-slightly in thought to determine how to describe it, "well, it was just.... she had these eyes that weren't human!"

"Who did?" Zero asked, "the girl who stopped the thief? How was she not human?"

"Her eyes," Shute explained, "it was, like... she had, like, cat eyes! It was like she could look into my soul!"

"Cat eyes?" Zero looked confused, "as in, her pupils were slitted? Are you sure?"

"Without a doubt!" Shute exclaimed.

"Are you sure she was not wearing contacts?" Captain suggested.

"They didn't look fake, Captain," he said, "she could move really fast, too. Like, when the police officer came, she jumped so fast, and then just... I couldn't believe it! It was like she was never there, almost!"

"No human could move like that, if you're not exaggerating, that is," Bakunetsumaru commented.

"Is it possible she may not be human?" Zero supplied, comprehending the thought.

"I don't know, maybe if I try to draw her..." Shute put a had on his chin in thought, then rose to his feet and started to run towards his workshop, "it'll be better if I show you!"

Zero and Captain shared a look of mutual uncertainty.

"If Shute isn't exaggerating about what he saw, maybe the girl he saw wasn't human?" Zero suggested, "but maybe, has a human-like appearance?"

"It's possible, Zero," Captain commented.

"I don't think it's important," Bakunetsumaru scoffed, "if it... she, whatever, was that fast to get away, I doubt Shute will see her again."

"She helped Princess Sayla by stopping that inconsiderate brute of a thief!" Zero defended, "of course it's important!"

Nearly slipping on the wooden steps that went down to Shute's workshop, the boy managed to keep his balance and approached the door, but saw something on the doorstep that surprised him.

Sitting there, battered from the day's earlier chase, was Sayla's basket. Delicate and decorated with a few subtle flowers. Shute picked it up gently, emerald eyes wide with wonderment, "how did this get here?....I thought.... she must've followed me!" coming to that conclusion, he looked around, then smiled, "hey, you! The one who helped me earlier! If you're still here, thank you!"

Although all he received was a "huh?" from his confused gundam friends, he didn't realize that she did, indeed, hear him.

Looking down at it, he comprehended the thought of finally tasting one of Sayla's cakes, then he grinned and opened it, but was disheartened by what he saw; it only had a few battered chunks of cake left, on the border of falling into grumbs. Thinking that cake is cake, he picked up one of the chunks and placed it on his tongue, lips puckering then morphing into a grin from the overwhelming sweet, creamy, heavenly goodness.

"It's delicious!"