The Other Blonde
"Your free to go Colonel." Sigma gave his friend a salute. "You know, we got barracks, you don't have to go out."
"I know Sigma. But I feel like going for a drive on a town."
"Okay there wild one, just dont get into any trouble. Here a guide on the dos and donts of having your new body."
Sigma turned to Ace, who was watching TV. "I'm gonna spend the night showing him around. Shouldn't be to bad-"
Ace stood up. "Today is Friday? Woah. I was in a coma for a whole day! What else this place got?"
Ace followed Sigma to the door.
"Well, see you two soon!" Colonel walked out of the door, with a little swagger to his walk.
Driving out on the open road, Drew felt clear. calm thoughts in his mind.
This is when I'll turn my life around. A do-over. I'll get things right. I'll be happy again...
The view from his second story patio on his hotel was beautiful.
He could see the nice Montana night sky, the beautiful city lights, and the crisp cold air of early autumn was refreshing.
Drew couldn't help keep a smile on his face. It was a nice night, and the future seemed beautiful.
I'm gonna try again with Alia, I still do care about her. I really wished it hadn't ended the way it did.
And i can take Repliforce and defeat the Robot Masters and kill Wily. Colonel is back in the game. And no one can stop me now.
"Iris, I wonder what you would have to say to all of this... I wish I could just bring you back too. But I can't."
He paused. Twinges of sadness began to pierce his heart. He missed Iris, he missed her so much...
But that was the past,
and now he had to focus on the present.
Focus on protecting what was left.
He looked at his phone.
"Well, better go to bed, its gonna be a long day, starting to hunt down the Robot Masters.."
He turned, getting ready to hit the hay.
And then he saw him, sitting in a chair.
Long blonde hair, almost touching the floor.
Dressed in a sharp black suit, glass in his hand.
That piercing gaze of contempt.
"Well now, it seems that Drew Hendrickson still doesn't have a clue on what's really going on."
Colonel couldn't find words to speak.
A literal impossibility was before him.
He was dead.
Zero Williams had been killed in 2004.
Colonel had seen him die.
Thrown into a nuclear waste pool by Sigma.
Colonel helped KILL HIM.
Fighting Zero along with Sigma.
after all this time,
he was standing right before him,
This HAS to be a trick. NO ONE CAN survive what happened. Not even ZERO. Someone must be messing with his mind.
Or maybe a side-affect of the operation. Yeah, that HAD to be it, the job had been BOTCHED. He was SICK.
Zero cracked a smile. "What's the matter Drew? You look like you don't want to see me! Come on.." He stood up, arms outstretched. He took a step towards Drew.
"Give your little brother a hug..."
"YOU STAY THE FUCK BACK AWAY FROM ME ZERO!"
Colonel on reflex, reached for a gun that wasn't there.
"What... the hell, are YOU... doing here? You should be DEAD." He clenched his fists, ready for a fight. Colonel towered over Zero, he knew he could tear Zero apart if he had the chance.
Zero dropped his smile.
Walking back, he picked his glass, drinking it all.
Putting it down, he turned and gave Drew the look you would give to someone who was texting while driving.
"I'm the manifestation of your sub-conscious Drew."
"My subconscious..." Drew thought back to when he left the house. He swore he heard Iris's voice.
But Iris and Zero couldn't be further apart in his states of mind.
"Why you, Zero? Why would my subconscious take up YOUR form?"
"Because I'm here to warn you about the little web you've already fallen into."
And Zero had changed.
The suit was gone.
And it was replaced by the old Maverick Hunter uniform.
That all black gear. The camouflage and Kevlar pads, laced wit Zero's signature red color.
That brought back memories to Colonel. What happened Zero...
"Because I'm the part of you thinking about the war ahead and NOT about banging Alia."
That brought Colonel back to reality.
"The war? That'll be easy! Repliforce and the rest of the US government will use its real heavy stuff, not what you saw in the city."
"Exactly. And who will command that machinery? Who will go into battle with it?" Zero took a step forward.
"Ifs it not fully automated, then the new recruits. Like that Ace guy. Me and Sigma wont be doing any of the fighting."
Zero came closer, step by step. A scowl on his face. "Your wrong Drew. Not only will you be doing some fighting..." Zero was now right in front of Drew,
getting closer in his face than any man with such a height distance ever should be able to.
Zero whispered in his ear.
"They are going to put you in a Mech Drew.
Just like they did me."
Zero stepped back. "And we saw how that turned out,
didn't we, Drew?"
Drew was taken aback by Zero's claim.
There is absolutely no way in hell Zero could be right.
Sigma is going to put ME in a MECH?
"That's ridiculous." Drew said.
"Is it now?" Zero gave a condescending look.
"We saw Bobby on the rooftop. He sure as hell didn't look like a goofball to me. And yet, no sign of him."
"Maybe he declined, you ever think of that?" Drew retorted. He didn't want to believe it, but Zero could be right. It wasn't impossible...
Sigma wouldn't do that to him.
"Both him AND Masa said no? I'm finding that hard to believe. You know what I think." Zero said, taking a step back, pacing around. "I don't think they ever even got a call. I think they only person that got a call was you. Yes, yeeeeeeeesssss... Sigma wants a big man. A big strong, man that has years of experience, while at the same time have the youthfulness to fight effectively."
Zero stopped pacing, and turned to Drew. "The only reason he doesn't go out there himself-"
He raised his brow. "He probably considers himself too important."
Zero leaned on the patio rail. "So now that you know what's going to happen, you won't surprised. And now you can think on what your next move is."
"Well right now I'm going to-"
Zero cut drew off. "What your going to do, is follow their orders and put on the mech. You are going to SURVIVE, first of all."
if you live to see this war's end.
Maybe you can try to get Alia back."
"Don't worry about me, I can take care of myself, even IF they put me in a mech." Colonel was NEVER going to let anything Zero say intimidate him.
Besides, he had put on a mech before. He could do it again.
Zero chuckled. "I would think after your experience with mechs, I would think you wouldn't want to get back in one. Guess I was wrong."
That comment bit at Colonel like a King Cobra. Rage consumed him. He took a step toward Zero, fists clenched. "I don't blame the mech for what happened Zero..."
"Well, I know that you better play your cards right. Remember, you cant trust anyone right now, that includes Alia."
Drew didn't want to believe it. "How can I not trust Alia? We were almost married."
"Well your not, are you? You two split up for ten years on a VERY sour note and now you just think that by showing up and becoming Teen Girl Magazine Coverboy you automatically get her again? It doesn't work that way, and YOU KNOW IT."
Colonel couldn't fight that. But he really wished he could.
"Drew, lying to yourself is only going to get you killed. Stop thinking with your dick and start using your goddamn military mind. The only person you can trust right now is you."
Zero turned for the door.
"Good luck. Try not to end up like me."
Walking past the door, he left one last closing remark.
"Oh, and try not to end up like X either."
The door slowly closed.
Leaving Colonel speechless.
Zero was right.
That creeping feeling of dread was setting in.
That creeping feeling. Of reality.
The honeymoon with his new body,
was already over.