Body of Steel, Heart of Gold
By Blackout the Swordsman
Presented by: Xenogears: God and Mind
This story doesn't take place at any particular point in the game. Probably after the attack on Shevat and before the Wels run amuck. Maybe this is nothing new, but I don't really remember the game ever covering this element of the storyline. Tried to sound sciency at the beginning.
Activate Preliminary Startup: Processing... Done
Begin Activation Diagnostic
Left Arm: Encumbered, Online
Right Arm: Unencumbered, Online
Upper Anterior Torso: Encumbered, Online Lower Anterior Torso: Encumbered, Online
Upper Posterior Torso: Unencumbered, Online Lower Posterior Torso: Offline
Left Leg: Unencumbered, Online
Right Leg: Unencumbered, Online
Data from Optical Sensors: Processing... Inconclusive, view is blocked.
Conclusion: This unit is under attack. Begin counter measures.
* * * * *
A bulky arm swung around and latched its hand on the structure attached to the colossus' body. The structure groaned under the pressure of the death grip. A blood-red eye glared forward without any emotion or consciousness, its only function was to see.
Maria hurled herself against the rail of the repair bay she had to hesitate to maintain her balance. Once she shifted her weight to rest securely on the rail she looked sadly up at her stout, cobalt friend. "Siebzhen! You're just under repairs, don't fight with the equipment!"
The straining stopped. His arm fell limp at his side, the fire in his eye dimmed. His whole body seemed to sag like a puppy scolded by its master. There was a vast emptiness where it felt appropriate that Siebzhen would have sighed in disgrace. The workers recollected themselves and continued to operate on him. "He's never done anything like that before," Maria thought aloud. I wonder how he feels.
A presence deep within Siebzhen cried. A presence known as Jacob Aziroth. A Jacob Aziroth that had never volunteered to participate in Project M, that had hated Solaris with an unequaled passion. And it was this passion coupled with brilliance that made this man both formidable and dangerous to the continuance of Solaris. So they came and made him a weapon. Jacob started, I know who I am again! I remember... And with that his awareness was flooded by a white light that roared like the ocean.
The ocean. It was so loud even though it barely crept over the horizon. Grassy fields in all directions, an ocean on the far side of the land, and a mountain range on the other. Nestled in that sprawling mountain was the village Lahan. There were legends in Lahan about the way the sea echoed off of those mountains, that some people would be awakened by the sound of crashing waves on nights of the high tide.
The sun shone overhead in a deep blue sky. Jacob turned to the sky to admire its beauty, but some part of him dreaded the color. It would soon mean something terrible. He turned his gaze over to the checker blanket squirming on the ground, his three daughters laughing as they tried to keep it from flying away in the wind. Their mother walked back to the blanket with silent grace and set a stone at each corner to hold down the blanket. She turned to smile at her love, "Alright. I think we can start our picnic now." The three girls cheered as they flung open the baskets strewn on the ground.
"Remember your manners now, girls. Wait until your father gives this meal his blessing." The youngest of the girls, Naomi, looked eagerly up at her father.
"Please bless this meal quickly! I want you to try some of my apple cobbler! I made it just for you, Daddy." Jacob smiled at Naomi with a serene satisfaction. One day she would be famous for her bakery skills, he was certain.
He knelt on the edge of the blanket and bowed his head over clasped hands. When he looked up Naomi was already placing slices of her pie on a plate for him, the other girls grabbing at hot rolls and several varieties of meat. Returning the helpless glance of his wife, Jacob stood with a grunt and scratched at his chest. "Is it your heart bothering you again?"
"Oh, it's just this old body of mine. We weren't made to last forever."
"Dad, you speak like you would die today," Carolyn said in a worried tone. Jacob turned to her and smiled again. She would be a great nurse and doctor. All of his daughters excelled in whatever they did. Rebbecca, his eldest, was a poet and a singer.
"How fortunate I am, though! I have with me wonderful children that can fulfill my every need. Even if I died today I would be a happy man into eternity. But don't fret yourself, dear. I'm not going anywhere yet."
For almost half an hour the five enjoyed themselves, laughing and singing. Each girl showed their father something new they had learned, something he could be proud of. For everything the girls showed him he returned the favor with stories of the resistance against Solaris or he would show them some new invention he was working on.
The second course had finished cooking on the fire when a sound very similar to the ocean came from the sky. Sensing danger, each family member looked to the sky. Something like a steel whale pushed its way through the air in a menacing, slow fashion. Three faint pops were accompanied by tiny dots leaving the flying whale, rapidly growing larger in their swift decent. Much sooner than Jacob had anticipated, the gears slammed into the dirt, sending dust in every direction. The gears had smartly landed in a half circle to box them in, standing in front of Lahan so many miles away. The only place they could run to was the ocean.
"Run quickly, my darlings! Stay behind me!" Jacob reached into his coat pocket and drew a large silver pistol he had designed to fire nuclear reactive shells. It wasn't nearly enough power to level a city, but a few shells would ruin even the best gears Solaris engineers could create. He spent the first five rounds on the gear to his right. Green explosions erupted from the hulls and liquid metal ran down its sides.
Not eager to be the next victim, the gear to Jacob's left fired before he could lock on properly. A geyser of dust and rock sprouted from where Jacob stood. The screams of four women could be heard over the cacophony, drawing attention to them. The gear adjusted its aim to the small party and opened fire. From the cloud of dust Jacob was surrounded by he pleaded shrilly as the air around his beloved family was filled with red spray.
Jacob moved the gun to his temple with great hesitancy. "You wanted me alive, did you not?! I will ruin this for you with my death!" He clenched the gun tighter. Both gears leveled their weapons on him.
From a speaker one of the pilots threatened, "Stop, or we will shoot!" Jacob did not desire to die and dropped the gun. He immediately cursed himself and reached for it, but was greeted by a hail of bullets. He raised himself a bit taller and held his hands up in surrender.
Stench like feces and rotting flesh. That was his first impression of the ship. Blood and broken teeth spread along the corridors and across the walls. Grungy hands gripped at the bars of prison doors as he passed, sunken eyes pleaded for freedom. One man reached through the bars to touch the newcomer, maybe as an act of hope, but had his fingers crushed under the blow of a club. "No one is to touch our latest specimen. Our good doctor has a special interest in him." There was sadistic pleasure in that voice.
Jacob was thrown down into a chair and strapped firmly into place. A guard at each side held a gun to his temple. The doctor paced through his office, looking from time to time at Jacob, sometimes fingering at his medals and ribbons, now and then adjusting papers on his desk.
"Why do you have me here you worthless slime?"
"Ah," the doctor was amused that his subject had finally cracked. "You see, my good man, we need a way to make our beautiful machines operate more," he paused to find a suitable word, "efficiently." He moved to run a gloved hand over Jacob's face, yet Jacob did not react. He would not allow this man or any other to find pleasure in his pain. The doctor turned disappointed and leveled his gaze with the guards. He spoke something in the most vile language, each syllable cutting at Jacob. The guards nodded and dragged Jacob from the room without loosing the straps of the chair. "You see, Mr. Aziroth, we are very constrained for time and must operate immediately. Say hello to Nicolai for me." He laughed coldly as Jacob was dragged away.
The operation would not be held in a hospital room, but rather right next to a hulking gear in the bay. "We wouldn't want your brain to go stale before we could plug it into all that marvelous machinery, would we?" The doctor had somehow made it to the site before the guards. Behind him was a wispy, pale man. His eyes were sunken and his lips tremored. Despite his light build, he had a bold face with a prominent nose. He was Nicolai Balthazar. "Good sir, please pass me the scalpel. Oh, and do show me how to make these lovely cuts in his skull without killing him. That was one of your finest arts, keeping them alive."
Nicolai moved with great reluctance but obliged. He looked up at the guards with sorrowful eyes, and requested that the subject be unconscious for the operation. Not having any drugs available, the guards took pleasure in having an excuse to knock him out. But unconsciousness didn't save him from the pain of the electrical nodes as they were simply shoved forcefully into his sides, trails of hot blood dripping down his chest and stomach. Then power cables were hooked up to them, ramming them deeper into his body. He went under again and did not awake for the rest of the operation.
His awareness of being was returned to him, but there was a great clutter of information added to it. Data files on the -Lambs-, military information, specifications for his own body. Then Jacob realized he was inside a machine. He moved his hand, the whole machine moved his hand. It ran into the catwalk and he could feel it. No, this isn't right... He was the machine! Nicolai crossed over to stand on the catwalk in front of him. Since he had a microphone, he only whispered what he wanted. "Free yourself. Now."
Siebzhen lifted his mighty arms, and before any other gear in the bay could anticipate what was happening he brought those fists down on the hanger control tower. Pilots began flooding into their gears to destroy Siebzhen. He was slow, but he could react much quicker than any other gear. Their one achievement was now a disaster, no other gear could keep up with him. Soon, Siebzhen became aware of himself, aware of a gravity cannon built into his chest. He fired it. The wall collapsed into itself, forming a writhing ball. Then it exploded outward to reveal an exit. Siebzhen jumped through his new exit.
For such an enormous body, it flew like a swan, gracefully dodging any bullets that didn't merely bounce off of his armor. He was headed for Shevat, as according to his first and only mission file. A picture of a beautiful little girl, that was where he was going.
He found her after much fighting. Knowing immediately that he was part of the M Project, she declared she would take care of and maintain him. And everyday he would feel deepest lament for his family. And everyday she was there to brighten him. She would come at odd hours of the night and read him stories, sing a song, or wrap her arms around one of his fingers in a tight hug. This girl was all that remained of his humanity, and he would gladly fight with God himself to protect her.
Okay, so that story was a little long, I think. I would have added more, but it was just getting ridiculously long. If enough people like my story and give me feedback I might add a bit about Siebzhen after the fall of Deus.