Disclaimer: All characters copyrighted to Sunrise, with the exception of the few expendable extras I made up. Don't sue me... please!!!
Set four years after the end of Endless Waltz. Wufei is now 21, Sally is 25. They are still members of the Preventers.
Chang Wufei half-ran through the corridors of Preventer HQ, his expression dark. He reached Lady Une's office and went straight in, much to the distress of her secretary whom he silenced with a scowl.
Lady Une turned away from her window as the door slammed behind him. Her beautiful face lightened.
"Wufei... I'm glad you got here so quickly."
"Your message said it was urgent," said Wufei. He looked around the office and noticed a significant absense. "Where is Sally Po?" he asked referring to his partner in the Preventers. "Is she late?"
"No," Lady Une bit her lip. "No, but Sally is the reason I called you here urgently."
Wufei felt a tingle of concern rush through him. "What happened?" he asked bluntly.
Une sighed and turned back to the window. "While you were away that religious cult in South America that we've been monitoring started making aggressive noises, nothing very alarming, just some pamphlets, but we also heard rumours through our contacts that they've been stockpiling weapons. Sally decided to go on a reconnaissance mission and find out if the rumours were true."
Une looked around and fixed her eyes with Wufei's. "She flew out three days ago. We haven't heard anything from her since."
Wufei stared at her. In the four years he had known her, Sally had never been at a loss in a situation. Sally was the planner, the strategist who considered all the options and had back-up plans for everything. There was no way that Sally would have stayed silent for so long unless she was totally incapacitated.
"At the moment I am trying to remain optimistic," continued Une. "I think that Sally has been captured, which means that we have gravely misjudged the situation, the only other option I can come up with for her silence is..."
Wufei's eyes widened.
An odd feeling moved through Wufei's body, a sense of... dread? Loss? He shook his head. "No, not dead," he said softly.
Une lowered her eyes and let the ex-Gundam pilot rally himself. "I don't believe she is dead," she said. "But first of all, we have to shut down this group," a wry smile touched her mouth. "Observing religious freedom is very well, but we cannot allow it to spill over and create a paramilitary group of fanatics."
"I will go," said Wufei. "She is my partner, and if I had been with her..."
"I could have lost two and not one!" flashed Une. "Wufei, you can't feel that Sally cannot cope without you with her! And I cannot condone that you try to find her yourself. I will contact the other pilots, and Zechs, we need..."
"I will go in _alone_!" Wufei roared, stepping forward his fists clenched. Then suddenly the tension left him and he cast Une a look that was almost sad. "Give me three days," he asked. "If I haven't achieved anything by then, call in the others."
Une's eyes widened. NEVER had Wufei requested anything of her in such a heartfelt way. *Perhaps I misjudged the extent of his regard for Sally.* She sighed and nodded.
"Alright, Wufei you have three days and no more. And _try_ to keep in contact!"
Sally Po opened her eyes and greeted the sight before her with a groan. "Dark as always," she grumbled as she sat up.
It _was_ dark, not pitch-black, she could see the outline of objects, but that was only due to the two inch long slot three metres above her head.
Sally hauled herself up from the thin mattress she was lying on and stretched, hearing her joints click in protest. She touched her hair, trying to straighten it, and then felt around for her shirt and boots. She located them and quickly put the shirt on over her tank top before pulling the boots on with the practiced ease of one who had become accustomed to dressing in darkness.
"Well," she said with a slight smile. "At least I know I'll be okay if I ever get struck blind suddenly!"
She took two steps forward and made an abrupt right turn, then she took five steps and reached out her hands. Cool iron met her fingertips - the door. Sally slid her hands down and reached the small tray poking out of the door two feet off the ground. She touched the bowl on the tray gingerly, dipping her fingers into the concoction it contained.
"And what is on the gourmet menu today?" she asked gaily. "Why I do believe it's mush, again! I really think I'll have to complain to the chef soon!" However, she picked the bowl up, and the other bowl of water beside in and carefully carried the items back to her mattress where she sat and began to eat.
Sally tried to keep her thoughts off her food by once again ruminating on the events that had led to her current circumstances.
What she could recall of the events that was...
Sally touched her forehead, feeling the still tender lump there. She had no other injures, save for some bruises, but it was the bump on the head that was mainly resposible for her memory loss. Sally could remember flying the shuttle into the jungle and then... then there was a flash of light and she couldn't remember anything before waking up in this dark cell.
Letting out a small muted cry of frustration Sally put down her food bowl and clenched her fists. The worst thing, the worst thing of all was not knowing how long she had been imprisoned! Her instincts told her that this was only the third day of her captivity, but she just couldn't be _sure_. Sally grimaced, of course her captors wanted her to be disorientated, a confused and cowed prisoner was always much more likely to crack under pressure and reveal secrets. Sally had decided from the moment she awoke (with a throbbing headache) that she was _not_ going to give her captors the satisfaction of watching her collapse!
She shook herself and smiled grimly. From the beginning she had kept her mind occupied and her body active. She hadn't seen her captors - the food always arrived while she slept and was pushed through the slot in the door - and she had no idea of their numbers, but when (Sally never thought 'if') she escaped she intended to be fit to fight her way out. And if during her captivity she could unnerve her captors (who were undoubtably observing her), GOOD!
Sally stood up. "I think it's time I did a little workout, ne Wufei?" she had started speaking to her absent partner just recently, it made her feel better and less alone to image Wufei with her. Even if he was scolding her for her foolishness in her imagination!
Rapidly Sally began to pace the length of her cell, all the time singing a highly popular and _very_ catchy song.
"La di da... you are my hero..."*
Why just unnerve the people watching? Why not irritate the hell out of them too!
Wufei checked that the sensors were all operative and then switched the shuttle controls to autopilot. The route he was taking was a safe one, used by many people, but it didn't hurt to be cautious.
As the shuttle flew on, he called up the information that Lady Une had hastily gathered and reviewed it. The first conclusion Wufei came to was that there wasn't much on these people. The second conclusion he came to was they were a bunch of fruitcakes.
The group called themselves the Acolytes of the Rightful Kingdom (ARK). According to their pamphlets, the 'Rightful Kingdom' was Earth and the Acolytes were concerned that it was being tainted by contact with the space colonies. Their goal was to remove Earth from all contact with space and to remove all 'Space-born' people from it. Wufei curled his lip in disgust, hadn't these idiots learnt _anything_ four years ago? Surely the battles between the colonies and the Federation/OZ/Romfeller must have shown that there would be no peace with that kind of separatist attitude!
Wufei studied the rest of the scanty information. According to the Preventers' contacts in South America, ARK had started out very small and quite quiet, they'd handed out the odd pamphlets and done a bit of preaching but that was about it. Then, in the last year, they retreated into the jungle and took up residence in an old Aztec temple. One contact had seen a jeep filled with crates travelling down the one road leading to the temple, it had been well guarded by Acolytes... carrying automatic weapons. Finally the distributed pamphlets started getting more aggressive - talking about a 'cleansing war'.
A beeping sound caused Wufei to turn away from his study. The shuttle was approaching the town of _______, a small place on the edge of the deep jungle. Wufei took the shuttle off auto-pilot and began to navigate a course to a point a few miles beyond the town where he was planning to hide the shuttle.
As he flew on Wufei's thoughts strayed to Sally. He was furious with her for getting herself captured - he was positive she wasn't dead... she couldn't be. But she was his partner and it was his responsibility to aid her. His eyes narrowed. The Acolytes of the Rightful Kingdom had made a _grave_ mistake taking her and they were not going to live long enough to regret it!
"Has there been any progress?"
The Second Priest of the Acolytes of the Rightful Kingdom stepped into the monitoring room put his hand on his juniors shoulder as he asked the question. Beneath his hand he felt the young man tense.
"N-no my lord," the Acolyte answered. "She has not yet broken down," he frowned. "Although she might be going a little mad, she keeps talking and... singing."
Second Priest let out an irritated sigh. "Is this woman made of stone?" he wondered aloud. "We have kept her in darkness for nearly three days and she is not begging to be set free!"
"I don't mean to imply anything, my lord," said the Acolyte tentatively. "But wouldn't it be faster to... er... inflict a bit more on her?"
Second Priest frowned. "You _know_ our policy for the Earth-born, Acolyte!" he turned his gaze back on the screen and watched Sally some more. "But perhaps we should interrogate her now, perhaps her unconcern is all an act..."
Sally pulled herself out of the last deep stretch and shook herself. Her muscles were complaining a little from the last hours treatment, but otherwise she felt good.
"At least this gives me the chance to perfect some of those tai chi moves you showed me," she said to the absent Wufei, then she frowned. "Although since I can't see I might be doing them all wrong! *sigh* I can't win there! At least sit-ups and push-ups don't need light."
She made her way to her bed and sat down. Carefully she felt for the water bowl and lifted it to her mouth. Sally was thirsty from her workout, but she restrained herself from gulping the luke-warm water down all at once, it had to last her the whole day.
"Now, let's try and tidy up," she grinned ruefully and pulled at her sweaty tank-top. "Ugh... y'know Fei, at the moment I think I'd _kill_ for a shower - even a cold one! I must look, and smell, pretty awful!" she laughed. "I'll bet you didn't know I was that vain! To be so concerned about my appearance when I'm in a place like this."
There was a rattling sound at the door, the first Sally had heard in three days. She leapt to her feet, all traces of humour gone, her body tense and ready. This could be her only chance for escape!
The door flew open and a light was shone directly in her eyes. Sally stumbled back involuntarily as she was blinded, but her confusion didn't last long as she heard people advancing on her.
*Someone on the right!* Sally let fly with a perfect roundhouse kick and was rewarded with the sound of a pained cry. A hand grabbed her shoulder and she spun, ducked and punched out. Her fist connected with someone's gut and they stumbled back.
More hands grabbed her and Sally twisted, striking out. Her eyes were clearing and she could see their silhouettes, which made thumping them _alot_ easier. But she was being rapidly overwhelmed by the numbers of people coming at her. Eventually someone's fist struck her gut and she doubled over in pain. Before she could recover a hood was thrown over her head and her arms were wrenched behind her back and secured.
Sally was dragged out, she struggled a little more, but stopped deciding to conserve her energy. *I may have another chance later, at the moment I'm at a severe disadvantage.* she told herself.
After numerous twists and turns - which Sally took careful note of - she was pulled to a halt. Hands shoved her roughly into a chair and tied her to it. The hood was removed and Sally blinked in the sudden onslaught of light.
She was seated in a large, long room that was lavishly furnished. In purple. Several Acolytes lined the room. Sally almost choked when she looked at them.
They were all dressed in bright purple robes with hoods.
Their freakish appearance was heightened by the tattoo of the Earth on their foreheads.
Sally tore her eyes away from the Acolytes, before she started giggling, and looked ahead.
Unfortunately that was worse.
Seated on thrones, on a raised dais, were three men. They were also dressed in purple robes and had the tattoo on their foreheads. But on the edges of their robes glittered a wide band of gold. The middle man was also laden with gold chains and had a circlet of gold on his head.
Sally swallowed her laughter and the middle man smiled taking her reaction for a mixture of fear and awe.
"Welcome Preventer Sally Po," he said in a booming voice. "I am your captor, the High Priest of the Acolytes of the Rightful Kingdom!"
Wufei moved swiftly through the foliage, his training allowing him to move with the minimal disturbance. He kept his senses alert – eyes scanning his surroundings, ears straining for any unusual sounds, but his mind leapt ahead of time, working out what he had to do once he arrived at the temple. Wufei was aware that he had left himself a very narrow timeframe. Although he had radioed Une before setting out, he didn't want to contact her until the mission was over. Une had reluctantly agreed that the signals could be traced, but she told him that if he didn't make contact after three days she was bringing in further aid.
Wufei paused and looked around. He was making good progress, but it would still take until the next morning to reach the old temple. He sat down in a tiny clearing and took out some field rations. It would not be a good idea to arrive at the temple to exhausted to act.
No matter how worried he was about Sally.
On the way over Wufei had berated Sally's foolishness, wanting to shake her until her teeth rattled for being so… so idiotic as to get captured! The worst part was no knowing if she was simply captured. Were they treating her well or were they torturing her? Had she been killed during the delay between the news of her disappearance and now?
Wufei tried to imagine the rest of his life without Sally – a prospect he had regarded with favour on days when he found her particularly annoying, but now the thought was chilling. In the past four years he and Sally had become the best of working partners, often to the point of anticipating each other's moves and words. They had worked out a good working system between them for all situations – or so he thought. Wufei grimaced; they had never imagined a situation where one of them was captured!
Sally had also made it her duty to keep Wufei from working all the time. Wufei half smiled as he recalled the many times she persuaded him to accompany her to a movie, go out for a coffee, or just going on a short walk. Somehow Sally always knew the way to make things agreeable to him without sacrificing any of her principles to do it.
No, it was impossible to imagine working without Sally. She had managed to change Wufei's view that women shouldn't fight – now he believed all women except Sally shouldn't fight. He remembered her laughter when he told her that. Sally never seemed to get angry about his views, unlike Noin. Sally's response was either to smile or she'd roll her eyes in a weary fashion.
Wufei frowned at these thoughts and stood up. It was hard to believe that Sally Po had become so important to his life. The realisation was disconcerting, surely he had sworn never to feel such concern for one person again?
With an effort he pushed Sally to the back of his mind. The best thing to do was to concentrate on the mission, if he kept up this pace ARK's reckoning was not far away.
The High Priest regarded Sally for some length of time following his pronouncement. Her eyes now adjusted to the light; Sally matched his regard, keeping her expression calm.
The High Priest was obviously unused to prisoners who stared back at him fearlessly, for he frowned and looked away. Sally smirked inwardly and chalked up a point for herself on her mental scoreboard.
"Welcome Preventer," said the High Priest again. "Welcome to the first castle of the Rightful Kingdom," he smiled smugly at her. "I'm sure you have been enjoying our hospitality."
*Sure… the darkness, the tepid water, the food and no showers… I'm having a ball!* Sally thought sarcastically.
"But you have brought this upon yourself, Preventer!" thundered the High Priest shaking his head.
*What, this is all MY fault now?*
"By siding with the forsaken, rebellious colonies and the leaders on our green Earth who bow to the tyranny of space, you have made yourself our enemy!"
*Well, I sure as hell don't want to be your friend! And can we can the cheesy dialogue please? I don't get much food and I'd like to keep it down!*
"However, you can atone for your sins and become a part of our glorious revolution!"
*You're not going to can that dialogue are you…*
"Simply give us the information we need. Starting with the codes to unlock the computers in your shuttle…"
Sally laughed inwardly. Bless Wufei for being a paranoid man! Thanks to his insistence that all the Preventer shuttles should be fitted with special failsafes (designed by him, Heero and Trowa – with few surprises added by Duo) these fools couldn't access her files!
"And then," the High Priest continued. "You will provide us with the codes for the Preventer systems. That is how you will atone for your sin of association!" he leaned forward and smiled ingratiatingly at her. "We will reward you well for your cooperation. Medical cares, good food, clean clothing and…" he looked her up and down. "Bathing facilities."
*Y'know, I'm half tempted, but no.*
The High Priest was exasperated by Sally's cool silence. His mouth twisted with anger and he loomed over her.
"Woman! You have been lucky so far! Because you are Earth born we have treated you kindly! But this defiance in the face of your true saviours will make things very unpleasant!"
Sally smiled slowly. It was not a nice smile and it made the High Priest take a step back. It was a smile that promised a well-judged retaliation for every ill that had been inflicted on her. And this included the bad dialogue.
"I would rather shoot myself than aid your pathetic, posing group of separatist fanatics!" she said coldly.
The High Priest's face suffused with blood as he stared at her, almost apoplectic with rage. The other Acolytes were horror struck at Sally's audacity and one of the guards tightened his grip on her shoulder, digging his fingers painfully into her flesh. Sally bit the inside of her mouth to keep from wincing.
"Put her back in the cell!" shrieked the High Priest. "Restrict her rations further! We'll see how uncooperative she is when half crazed by hunger and thirst!"
The hood was placed back over Sally's head and she was released from the chair. She wrenched herself free of her captors' grip and attempted a bolt in the direction of the door. A savage punch to the stomach and she doubled over, gasping as stars flew across her eyes. *Not again...*
Sally was dragged back to her cell and roughly thrown inside, her hands unbound and the hood removed. She lay on the floor on her side, clasping her stomach and swearing, for a while before sitting up slowly.
She stumbled to her bed and lay down on it, gazing into the darkness. Sally sighed as she saw a pair of almond shaped black eyes look at her reproachfully.
"I'm sorry, Wufei, I didn't do very well back there did I?"
Wufei looked down into the valley that contained the temple ARK had chosen for their base. There were some scattered ruins around it, obviously from a surrounding town, and in the least dilapidated of these ruins he could see trucks and crates. There were not many people moving about, but Wufei had seen several guards posted at various points. So far none had spotted him. However, Wufei had _no_ trouble spotting the Acolytes.
*What kind of fools wear bright purple in the jungle?* he wondered. *And that's not even mentioning that large white circle printed on their backs!*
Shaking off his astonishment, Wufei scanned the area for Sally's shuttle. His eyes narrowed when he found it.
The shuttle was resting near the base of the temple and there were three guards and two people examining it. Wufei smiled grimly, it looked as if they had not yet disabled the shuttle failsafe. The shuttle itself did not appear to be in very bad shape, the nose was very dented and there were scorch marks on the side, but there was no indication that Sally would have been badly injured by the crash.
Wufei fingered the device in his pocket and nodded. Yes, the shuttle was the perfect place to start. In three hours from now, when dusk fell, he would make his move. Meanwhile he could make certain _other_ preparations...
Sally finished her exercises and slumped down onto her bed, breathing hard.
"Good workout," she said aloud. "Nothing like exercise to make you feel better!" she rubbed her midriff. "Despite rough treatment!"
She looked around, but as usual the pitiful light from the window slot of her cell barely illuminated her surroundings.
"I wonder if it's sunny outside," she mused. "What do you think Wufei? I can't hear any rain... but then again I can't hear much of anything," she finished sadly and drew her knees up to her chest.
"Wufei... I'm lonely," Sally's eyes stung and she clutched her legs, trying to squeeze her pain away. She sat like this for several minutes before letting out an exasperated sigh.
"I know! I know! Feeling sorry for myself is _not_ going to achieve anything!" Sally glared into the gloom. She could almost see Wufei's eyes filled with resigned disappointment.
"Don't look at me like that! And _don't_ you dare suggest that I'm acting like a weak woman!" Sally shook her head. "You can be so... judgemental sometimes! And an arrogant son-of-a-bitch!"
There was a long silence.
Sally laughed suddenly. "But you know what? If you were any other way you wouldn't be Wufei and I don't think I'd like that."
Sally put her hands to her cheeks. "I'm blushing aren't I? How stupid! But Wufei... I know I shouldn't feel like this towards you... and if you were _really_ sitting in front of me, I'd never ever say this! But I... I really do... like you. Alot. Alot alot," Sally swallowed. "I guess it's a bit to much to hope you might feel the same way..."
Suddenly Sally's face went very red and she looked up. "If you purple-robed, tattooed moronic bastards are watching me saying all this, you are _dead_, DEAD!!!!" she got to her feet and scowled. "And no one will ever find the BODY!!!!" she yelled at the top of her voice.
The Acolyte looked at his brother. "Er... isn't this treatment supposed to subdue her?" he asked pointing at his monitor which showed Sally yelling at the camera.
The other Acolyte blinked. "Perhaps we should mention this to the High Priests..."
The Second Priest regarded his high lord and his brother.
"The Preventer is not going to tell us anything," he said. "She has been too corrupted by the colonies."
The Third Priest nodded. "It is no use trying to make her talk," he agreed. "She has already started to rave – talking to someone who doesn't exist and singing those songs!" he shuddered. "She is dangerous!"
"We should get rid of her now, my Lord," said the Second Priest. "She is too much of a liability."
The High Priest dwelt on this and then finally he nodded. "Very well, but we shall try to obtain the codes from her one more time."
"As you wish, my Lord."
The sun fell and Wufei made his move. He had kept himself busy in the last three hours by preparing his small arsenal of grenades and ammunition, and in the last hour he had disposed of two guards on the North ridge. Now he was in direct sight of the shuttle. With a slow smile, Wufei removed the detonating device from his jacket. Une and Sally had been a bit dubious about the merits of fitting self-destructs to the shuttles, but Wufei had argued long and hard for them and they had finally agreed. Wufei had also insisted that both he and Sally carry the remote switch for the self-destruct at all times. Sally had rolled her eyes and told him he was paranoid, but Wufei half-wished she was here with him to see that his idea had been justified. Still, before long he would be able to tell her…
Wufei shook his head and raising the remote switch he brought his thumb firmly down.
Sally sipped the last dribbles of water in the bowl and laid it down with a small sigh. She hated to admit it but the water rationing was making things very tough. She frowned, hearing Wufei's voice chide her for her weakness and bent her thoughts to the problem of escaping.
The click of boot heels brought her head up and she narrowed her eyes, straining her ears. Somebody was coming for her so soon? Surely they would let her suffer for a longer period if they wanted to get anything good out of her. Sally got to her feet and edged to the door. The footsteps stopped outside her door and there was a rattle. Sally flattened herself against the wall; she was clutching her metal food bowl in her hands. Okay, it wasn't much of a weapon, but there wasn't much else except her boots and she was going to need those for running!
The door began to open and Sally tensed.
The shuttle exploded in a most spectacular way. Pieces of it were flung savagely outwards while a large plume of fire and smoke shot up to the sky. People screamed and others poured out of the temple; filling the night air with frantic queries.
Wufei was already moving swiftly towards the temple; slipping from shadow to shadow. Halfway there he paused and drew out another detonation device. He activated it and the explosives he had planted around the valley went off at once.
Wufei's mouth twisted as the Acolytes rushed towards the explosions. What fools they were, falling for something so obvious!
He approached the temple and hesistated in the shadows near the entrance. A tall man was directing some Acolytes, his clothing suggested him to be one of the leaders of ARK. Certainly the gold band on his robes glittered so brightly it was almost blinding - even in the dimming light! Wufei waited until the man had left and then slipped inside.
The light inside the temple was dim, something that both pleased and annoyed him. Really, this was hardly a fight at all! Wufei scowled, but reminded himself that his real objective was to find Sally... not to battle.
An Acolyte was approaching. Wufei tensed, and as the man passed he grabbed him and pulled him into the shadows. Holding his katana at the man's throat with one hand and using the other to twist his arm painfully behind his back, Wufei hissed into his ear.
"Be quiet and you won't die!"
The Acolyte paled and sweat broke out on his forehead.
"You will tell me where your prisoners are held!" Wufei tighted his grip on the man's arm, twisting it.
"I-I am a l-loyal f-follower..."
"Kisama!" Wufei pressed the sword closer to the man's throat. A trickle of blood ran down his neck. "You're going to be a _dead_ follower soon!" he whispered. "Is that what you want?"
Half-fainting from fear, the man swallowed carefully. "The lower levels..." he whispered. "Four floors below this..."
"Bright man, you get to live," said Wufei and he let the man go and swiftly knocked him out with a blow to the head. As the Acolyte crumpled to the ground Wufei snorted with disgust. Weak... very weak!
He put his sword away and moved stealthly further inside.
*I'm coming, Sally...*
Squinting as the light from the opening door hit her eyes, Sally raised the metal bowl. The first guard started to walk into the cell.
"HAH!!" Sally brought the bowl down on his head... HARD!
"Ugh..." he stumbled back. Before he could recover Sally kicked him in the ribs with enough force that he fell to the ground, at the same time she stepped out of the cell. Another guard lunged for her and she ducked and punched out - catching him in the stomach. Then she moved back and stamped down on the wrist of the downed guard causing him to let go of his gun. With a swift movement she bent and grabbed it. Then, without hesitation, she shot him in the knee and then meted out the same treatment to the one she had punched.
Sally whirled on the other guards, one was making a grab for her and she kicked him in the groin. As he doubled over, a bullet whistled past her ear and her cheek stung. Sally dropped to the ground and rolled as the other guard fired at her. She fired on him - catching him in the chest. As he fell, the other scrabbled to bring up his weapon, but Sally shot him in the hand and then the knee. She then knocked out the three guards with sharply administered blows to their heads. As for the other...
Sally looked down on the one whom she had shot in the chest. She didn't need her medical training to see he was dead. Sally frowned.
"Damn... damnit!" she cursed. "I didn't want this to happen!"
*But he would have killed you...* a little voice spoke up in her mind and she touched her stinging cheek and felt blood.
"That still doesn't make it right!" Sally shook her head, cursed again and then looked down the corridor. No one else was coming, but it was best to assume that back-up was on the way.
"Time to leave," muttered Sally.
Sally looked up as the muffled explosion sounded. Her eyes widened.
"Could the cavalry be on their way?" she wondered. "Well, I won't find out standing _here_!" She discarded the gun in her hand and picked up the semi-automatic that one of the other guards had been carrying. *Moron, didn't even try to fire this! Why do I get the feeling that these people have _no_ idea how to use these weapons?*
Vowing to have a little word with the High Priest and his flunkys before
she left this hellhole, Sally began to jog down the corridor... following
the path she had taken the day before.
Wufei ran down the corridor, swiftly dispatching anyone who encountered him. Luckily most of the Acolytes had been drawn to his diversion so his progress was relatively unhindered. Even then, the purple robes and the white circles gave him plenty of warning.
Rounding a corner, Wufei checked behind him. No one coming... so far, so good.
Sally poked her head around the corner and grinned. Excellent, all clear! She tightened her grip on the stolen rifle and sprinted down the corridor.
Wufei ran down another corridor and shot past another person running the opposite way.
*Wait a minute, that was...*
Sally kept running, she risked a look behind her, and then she was running past someone.
*Wait a minute...*
Sally and Wufei screeched to a halt and stared at each other.
"What are _you_ doing here?!" they both cried at the same time.
Wufei scowled. "I came to rescue _you_, Woman!" his mood was not helped by seeing the state of Sally's clothing and her pale, dirty face. He was especially unsettled by her bleeding cheek. "I caused a diversion so that the prison block would be almost abandoned!"
For a few seconds a whole range of emotions hurtled through Sally. She wanted to laugh hysterically, cry and hug Wufei at the same time. She was also horribly conscious of her rank and stained clothing, her mussed hair and dirty skin. Finally she settled on the one thing she felt she could managed - humour.
"Well, I could go back to my cell and wait for you to pick me up if you like!" she offered with a half smile.
Wufei made an exasperated sound. "That is not necessary!" he snapped. Then, as he looked at her longer, relief at seeing her alive and possessing her normal spirits softened his expression and he almost smiled.
"I think getting on with the _escape_ part of the operation would be best," he said.
Sally grinned. "Now that sounds good to me!" an evil gleam came into her blue eyes. "How about making it escape with massive property damage?"
Now Wufei did smile. "An excellent idea."
The High Priest put his hand on his brother's shoulder. "Well?"
Second Priest took a deep breath. "The shuttle is totally destroyed and the men have not found anyone on the hillside." he announced.
"So it _was_ a trick!" snarled Third Priest. "The intruders are here, inside the complex!"
The High Priest frowned and turned to the Acolyte manning the surveillance system. "Have you found them?" he barked.
The Acolyte flinched. "Not yet... oh!" his hands flashed over the keyboard and the largest screen flickered into life.
"HER!" cried Third Priest as Sally's face appeared on the screen.
"And a companion," pointed out the High Priest as the camera revealled the face of Wufei. "Yes, I remember. He is Chang Wufei, the former pilot of Gundam 05."
"A colony-born!" hissed the Third Priest. "It looks as if we made a mistake allowing her to live after that missile took down her shuttle!" he turned and walked towards the door.
"Where are you going?" Second Priest asked.
"To kill these insects infesting out holy temple!" Third Priest cried. "They will cower before _my_ wrath!"
High Priest frowned as his brother left. "No, it is time to leave and fight again another day!" he said dramatically. "Come, we shall gather our children and depart!"
Second Priest blinked. "But what about...?"
"He shall be remembered as a brave martyr for the cause!"
Second Priest genuflected. "As my Lord commands."
Wufei and Sally ran up through the temple searching for the areas containing weapons or information. When they found something that looked interesting they threw a grenade into it and bolted as it exploded. From time to time they also ran into the odd unwary Acolyte.
"Aren't these uniforms useful!" Sally commented cheerfully as she shot five Acolytes in the knees from a safe distance. "Very helpful to us!"
Wufei grimaced. "This is not much of a fight," he half-complained as he knocked down another lot.
Sally rolled her eyes as they continued on their way. "Huh! I'm just thankful that they're all so stupid!"
"Hmmm..." Wufei glanced around a corner and signalled the all-clear. "How did you get captured by these idiots anyway?"
Sally grimaced. "I don't remember!" she said. "All I know is that I woke up in the cell, I guess I got careless... and don't you say _anything_!" she warned Wufei as he opened his mouth.
"Wouldn't dream of it," said Wufei as Sally moved ahead of him. Sally shot him a suspicious look, but was interrupted from accusing him further by the arrival of several Acolytes, including the Third Priest.
The two Preventers leapt apart as bullets sped towards them.
The High Priest and the Second Priest gathered the Acolytes that were left (ten) and herded them out of the temple. From within the temple echoed the sounds of various explosions. Second Priest muttered a prayer after his brother, but otherwise followed his Lord eagerly to the shuttle that was stored in a dilapidated house not far from the temple.
The High Priest opened the door and scuttled in followed by the other Acolytes and Second Priest. He seated himself at the controls and relaxed.
"Now we are safe."
Sally stepped over the pile of groaning or unconscious Acolytes and grinned.
"Well, that was short and sweet," she said turning to Wufei.
She frowned at the sight that met her eyes. "Wufei, stop playing with the man!"
Wufei had backed the Third Priest up against the wall and used his katana to swiftly strip the Priest of his robe. The man was now wearing nothing except a pair of grey boxers and was trembling, his face white with fear.
"L-let me go and I-I'll reward you!" he sqeaked.
Wufei sneered. "You're pathetic!" he said and hit the Priest on the jaw with the hilt of the sword.
"Let's go!" insisted Sally as the Priest's eyes glazed over and he slumped to the floor.
Wufei sniffed disdainfully and walked over to her. "Shall we..." he began.
Another muffled explosion reached their ears. Sally looked puzzled. "Well I know that wasn't _us_."
Wufei frowned and then snapped his fingers. "Ah yes, I'd forgotten about that!"
"The bomb I planted in their personal shuttle, it was set to go off if anyone tried to get away," Wufei smirked. "Obviously someone tried."
"Oh," Sally shook her head in mock regret. "Poor them..."
Sally screeched to a halt outside one door and sniffed the air. Her blue eyes narrowed and she kicked the door open and stood in the doorway, gun raised.
Wufei looked over her shoulder. "Sally, that's the kitchen!" he snapped. "There's nothing in there!"
Sally removed a grenade from her belt and pulled out the pin. "Oh yes there is..." she savagely. "And it must _die_!"
Wufei backed away from the door. "Oookay..."
"Wufei! Look at this!"
Wufei peered into the room Sally was pointing at. "I think we've found their weapons room," he commented mildly.
Sally put her hands on her hips. "Well, now we have a problem..." she said slowly. "We can't just _leave_ these weapons here for _anyone_ to find and there is no way we can carry all this back."
Wufei pulled out a few things from his backpack. "Then the only option is to destroy them."
"You'll need something pretty powerful," said Sally. She looked at what he was doing and her eyes widened. "Oh, yeah... that ought to be just fine... ummmm... you _will_ give us enough time to get out won't you?"
"Be silent and let me work, Woman!"
Wufei and Sally bolted out of the temple and zoomed through the village. They ran up the hill at a frantic pace, leaping over rocks and bushes like rabbits. As soon as they reached the jungle they dived into the foliage… and the valley erupted with explosions behind them.
When the cracks and booms had died down Sally lifted her head and looked down.
The temple was half-collapsed, smoke poured out of it, and the rest
of the valley was a blackened ruin.
Sally got to her feet and vainly tried to brush herself off. Eventually she gave up and smiled ruefully.
"Well, that wasn't a bad little bit of property destruction," she commented mildly as Wufei came to stand next to her. "They must have had some explosive stuff in there to cause _that_ kind of reaction! Une's not going to be very happy about this."
"I quite agree," said Wufei.
Sally looked at his face and stifled a laugh. Wufei's front and face was covered in dirt, he had dived headfirst into a mud puddle.
Wufei noticed her twitching mouth and frowned at her. "What is the matter, Woman?" he demanded.
Sally couldn't hold it any longer; she burst out laughing and kept laughing while Wufei stood beside her looking more indignant than ever. Finally Sally got herself under control. "It's nothing really," she said, wiping the tears of laughter from her eyes. "Except that you really need to watch where you fling yourself, you now look almost as mucky as me!"
Wufei looked down at his stained clothing and touched his dirty face. "Well," he said finally. "I would suppose I am in good company then."
Sally's eyes widened at the warmth in his tone and she took a hesitant step towards him. Wufei turned towards her and held out his hand.
"Come Sally, we have to get back quickly before Une sends out the crack troops," he smiled slightly. "And we have to decide who uses the shuttle's shower first!"
Sally's eyes narrowed. "As the person who has suffered the longest…" she began as they marched away.
"As the one who has risked his neck to rescue you…" Wufei countered.
"Wufei! Don't be so selfish!"
"Woman! You always use up all the hot water!"
"I do not! And besides, I would have thought that cold showers were very manly!"
"You are impossible!"
And they didn't stop bickering all the way back.
Okay, this has _no_ relation to "The House that Wufei Built', it's not
quite as silly for one thing. I say not quite because the villians got
a bit out of hand ^_^! Anyway, this really became a exploration of Wufei
and Sally's relationship. I hope you enjoyed it anyway!
PS: *The song that Sally sings is called 'Hero' and is from a game called 'Dance Dance Revolution', it is a _very_ bouncy and addictive song!
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