Chapter 1: Storm on the Wind

Authors Note: A story that came to life as a result of many different storylines making leaps of logic, into a new thing. This story is basically an AU of Curtain Call and onward. I admit, I do love Jesse Glen, for all that we don't see him much. That said, I'm not sure how well I can do that speech pattern of his, so don't be surprised if I drop it on occasion.

Disclaimer: I do not own Bakugan in any way shape or form. I do own my OC's Flourina and Vehla though, so ask if you wish to borrow them first!

Ventus Plitheon was not a happy Bakugan. In fact, he was a very unhappy Bakugan at the moment, and made sure to be very vocal about it. Why was he so unhappy? Well let's see, he and his partner, Jesse Glen, had just been forced to essentially run away from home to avoid getting blamed for the debacle that was the last battle between Gundalia and Neathia. They had managed to make a clean get-away in the middle of the night, only for a massive thunder storm to appear out of nowhere.

As a result, the two had been searching for shelter for hours now. But everything on the planet seemed to be conspiring against them. Every time they managed to find shelter, it was either flooded out, or already occupied by the local fauna. So they had no choice to continue walking through the storm.

"Grah! This is so irritating!" Plitheon grumbled. "It's just one thing after another today isn't it! Dang it, why can't something go our way for once!"

A series of harsh coughs sounded behind him, causing Plitheon to glance back to check on his partner. Of the two of them, Jesse had really suffered the worst from this storm. He was completely soaked to the skin, both due to the unending rain, and a nerve racking incident with the river a few miles back, and was shivering like crazy. His clothes were muddy and slightly torn, his hands were badly scraped from the number of times he had to catch himself after losing his footing, and he was so exhausted that he could barely see where he was walking, needing Plitheon to guide him. On top of that, he had developed a nasty cough that was steadily getting worse, and Plitheon was almost positive he had a fever.

'I have got to find us some proper shelter! Jesse may not last much longer!' Plitheon thought to himself, turning back around to continue his search. Of course, at that moment one more thing decided to go wrong, or rather it went right, but Plitheon didn't know that at the time.

*Bump* *Zap* "OW!" Plitheon suddenly found himself running into something invisible, hard, and electrically charged. Flying back slightly, he looked up to see the Neathian Capital some ways up ahead, much closer than he'd ever seen it before.

"Of all the…Looks like we walked all the way to the first shield!" Plitheon reported to Jesse. After a few abortive tests he continued, "Looks like they've got some sort of addition to it that prevents us from getting past the shield."

Jesse stumbled up and leaned heavily on a tree nearby, panting for breath.

"I suppose…'twould be the…height of foolishness…to not have additional defenses…on the last…wall before the castle."

"Heh, for once I understood you," Plitheon stated. "So now what? Should we try ranging around the shield to find some shelter? Agh, but that could take forever with our luck. Maybe we should…"

Plitheon's monologue of thought was interrupted at that moment by a dull 'fwumping' sound, like a body hitting soft earth. Startled, he whirled around to find that Jesse had fallen beneath the tree, eyes closed and chest heaving as he struggled to breathe.


Plitheon was at his partner's side in an instant, frantically looking him over. The young Gundalians earlier pants had become harsh gasps, a rasping sound emitting from his chest. The normal grey color of his face was flushed by the fever, and his expression was drawn in pain.

"Jesse! Jesse! Come on, you need to get up!" Plitheon pleaded, trying to rouse the boy.

Jesse's eyes fluttered open for a moment, but quickly slid shut again as his body went limp, slipping into unconsciousness.

"No! Damnit no!"

Plitheon quickly reviewed his options. In his current form he couldn't carry or shield Jesse, but if he resumed his larger form, he'd just be struck by the lightning bouncing around in this storm. He couldn't leave him either, not even to try to find shelter. Jesse may not last long enough for that, and he may not be able to wake him. On top of that, it was clear Jesse needed medical attention.

As Plitheon struggled to come up with something, he glanced around, and froze as his eyes lit on the Neathian capital again. There…right there was shelter, warmth, food, medicine, everything they needed. But…Would the Neathians be willing to help them? They were enemies after all. Could he really risk it?

Another series of harsh coughs drew his attention back to Jesse. His body shook violently from the coughs, and they left him gasping even worse than before. Seeing his partner like this, Plitheon decided he really didn't have much choice. Jesse needed help now!

His mind made up, Plitheon began to condense the energy inside of him, and push it out in a controlled pulse. As he did so, his body became enveloped in a bright green light, illuminating the world around him.

'Please let this work!'

~scene break~

Neathian Castle Control Room

Captain Elright, head of the Neathian Castle Knights, rubbed his eyes in exhaustion. He really hated when these supercell thunderstorms rolled through. The thunder and lightning alone were enough to make sleeping difficult, on top of the fact that these storms could cause a lot of damage. Anything could happen, from flash floods to lightning strikes to spontaneous tornadoes, and they always had to be on guard in case someone needed rescuing. Which meant long hours and little sleep for him and his men. He honestly was a bit jealous of Princess Fabia and her human friends. They didn't have to worry about this, so they could sleep as much as they wanted.

He was abruptly pulled from his thoughts as a loud beeping came from one of the consoles. The soldier there was quick to identify the issue.

"Captain Elright, sir, I'm picking up a Bakugan distress signal." The soldier reported.

"What?!" Elright nearly leapt to the soldiers' side to see the monitor for himself. "Who on Neathia would be out in this weather? Where is the signal, and what's the intensity?"

"It's coming from just beyond the first shield sir. And the intensity is high. Whoever is out there must be in desperate need of aid."

Elright leaned back, considering his next course of action. All Bakugan on both sides of the war knew how to emit a distress signal. It was something they learned to do as a result of the ongoing war, using the energy they would normally transform or attack with to instead send out pulses that their respective forces could pick up. The only Bakugan who could not do this was Drago, Dan Kuso's Vestroian partner.

Many lives had been saved due to this trick, but the Gundalians had used it to bait traps on occasion. As such, usual operating procedure was to send out camera probes first to scout things out, before sending a retrieval team. With the current storm, however, there was no way to get the probes out there, so they would have to send their men in blind.

'Damnit, we don't have a choice. We have to risk it. Whoever's out there could be in serious trouble.' With that thought, Elright turned to give his orders.

"Rally a retrieval team, and prepare to warp them to the beacon directly! Make sure they know they're going in blind!" One of the soldiers sketched a quick salute before turning to the communication terminal.

Turning to a runner standing nearby, Elright continued "Fetch Queen Serena, and brief her on the situation. We may need her authorization." The boy quickly snapped his own salute and took off.

That done, Elright turned back to the soldier monitoring the beacon, "Send the coordinates of the beacon to the warp team. Try to make them as accurate as possible. The less time spent searching for the source, the better."

With that, the waiting game began. The minutes slowly ticked by as his orders were carried out, leaving Elright impatient for things to hurry up. At length, the Queen finally entered the chamber.

"Captain Elright, what's this I hear about a distress signal beyond the first shield?" She immediately demanded.

From her tone, and the fact that she was wearing a sleeping robe, it was clear that the boy had been forced to wake her. It was only natural for her to be in a bit of a bad mood over it. Thankfully, she maintained her calm demeanor to an extent, as she knew the captain would not joke about such things.

"We picked it up only a few minutes ago, my Lady." Elright quickly reported. "A retrieval team has already been dispatched and we're just waiting to hear from them."

Just then one of the soldiers called out, "Sir, we're receiving a transmission from the retrieval team."

"Patch it through!" came the order.

"This is retrieval team Alpha, We've located and identified the source of the distress beacon. The source is Ventus Plitheon from the Gundalian forces sir."

"One of the Gundalians? Why would they brave the storm for a trap? They've always avoided them." The captain said in surprise.

"Sir, I don't think this is a trap! Plitheon and his partner, Jesse Glenn appear to have been out here for hours! The boy is unconscious and is having massive trouble breathing! And I don't like the rattle I'm hearing in his chest! I think he may be suffering from Storm Fever! He needs immediate medical attention!"

Everyone in the control room froze at the words "Storm Fever". That was a serious illness, and fatal if left untreated! Elright turned to the Queen for her orders. Bringing the Gundalian in would require them dropping the first shield to get past the genetic filter, and it was up to her whether or not they could do that.

On her part, Queen Serena didn't really need to think about it. She was a merciful woman at heart and while he was a soldier of the enemy, Jesse Glenn was not much older than her sister, which made him a child in her eyes. A child who was clearly in desperate need of her help.

"Captain, lower the first shield and bring them all back here. That boy needs our help."

Captain Elright smiled as he snapped out a "Yes Ma'am!" and moved to comply with her orders, snapping out his own to have a medical team ready to receive their new patient. Everything happened quickly at that point, and within minutes, Jesse Glenn was admitted to the castles medical ward for treatment.

~Time skip~

The next morning dawned…well, still rainy and stormy, but it had tapered off somewhat, a sure sign that the storm was weakening. General consensus of the castle was something along the lines of "Finally, the end is in sight!" No one liked the supercell storms that occasionally swept through, even if it did mean they'd have a few days free of the Gundalians.

Fabia Sheen, Princess of the Neathians and younger sister to the Queen, enjoyed a not-so-quiet breakfast with her friends from Earth. Marucho Marukura, Dan Kuso and Jake Vallory were peppering her with questions about everything from the storm to Neathian customs, while Shun Kazami watched on in amusement, letting his friends do all the talking. Linus sat beside him, occasionally asking his own questions about Earth.

The conversations paused a moment as Queen Serena and Captain Elright finally joined them. All of them stood to greet the two, greetings they tiredly returned as they sat to eat their own breakfasts. Fabia immediately picked up that something was off about the two. Both her sister and the Captain looked absolutely exhausted, far more than usual for a morning after a storm like this one.

"Are you alright Serena? You and the Captain both look exhausted?" She couldn't help but inquire.

Queen Serena blinked a moment, before turning to her sister with a wan smile.

"We're both fine, Fabia. It's just that there was an incident last night that kept us both up very late." She responded.

"An incident? What happened?"

"It's easier to show than explain. Let's finish breakfast, and I'll fill you all in afterwards."

With that, Queen Serena applied herself to her meal, just as the Captain was doing. Fabia turned back to the curious gazes of her friends, before shrugging and returning to her own breakfast, and the previous conversation. She knew her sister well enough to know that Serena would fill them in when she was good and ready. They just had to be patient.

Once they had all finished eating, Queen Serena motioned for the young brawlers to follow her. She led them down a series of corridors into a specific area of the castle that none of the humans had seen yet, with Elright bringing up the rear.

"Hey Fabia, what's this place?" Marucho asked. "I don't think I've been in this part of the castle."

"This is the medical wing," She responded. "It's where we treat any injured or sick Castle Knights, as well as their partner Bakugan. Each room is equipped with state of the art medical equipment, and have specialized healing chambers for injured Bakugan located beside the beds, so they can stay near their partners."

"Wow," Dan commented. "That's pretty awesome. But what are we doing here? What's this place got to do with the incident you mentioned?"

This time it was Elright who answered.

"Last night, we picked up a Bakugan distress signal just beyond the first shield. The Bakugan in question and his partner were both in rough condition, so they were admitted here immediately upon retrieval. Her Majesty and I were up late keeping an eye on the situation."

"What?! One of our soldiers was still out there in this storm?!" Fabia exclaimed in worry.

"Not exactly Princess." He corrected. "The pair in question weren't ours."

That got a resounding "Huh?!" from the six teens, as they all looked at him in confusion.

"What exactly do you mean by that, Captain?" Asked Shun somewhat suspiciously.

"If you look here, you can see for yourselves, Brawlers." Came the Queens voice. She was standing beside the window of one of the rooms.

The Brawlers quickly moved to join her at the window, only to freeze in shock at the sight beyond it. There, lying unconscious on the bed, was none other than Jesse Glenn. He'd been hooked up to several machines reading his vital signs, and had clearly been restrained. His normally dark gray skin was frighteningly pale, save for his cheeks which were flushed with fever. His chest heaved up and down under the blankets as he breathed, with an occasional set of harsh coughs breaking the rhythm. A wet compress had been laid across his brow, and an IV was attached to his right arm. His partner Plitheon floated in the chamber next to his bed in ball form.

The Brawlers stared at the sight for several minutes, unable to fully process it. It wasn't until a Neathian woman with short, light blue hair entered the room and began to check Jesse's vitals that Dan finally shook himself and started asking what was on everyone's mind.

"Wha…That's Jesse! What's he doing here? Is he the one you found?"

Elright nodded. "That's right Dan. We found Jesse already unconscious out past the first shield last night, and had no real choice but to bring him inside. Unfortunately, Plitheon collapsed before he could be questioned. Seems he used up all his energy calling for help. We don't know how long they were out there, or why they're on Neathia to begin with, but it's clear Jesse's fallen prey to Storm Fever."

Linus and Fabia both stiffened at that information, while the humans' looked confused. Elright quickly explained, "It's an illness similar to Pneumonia. Similar symptoms, and just as dangerous without treatment."

"Pneumonia? Oh man that's awful." Jake winced in sympathy. "My little cousin had that once. Poor alien dude. Is he gonna be okay?"

Queen Serena smiled at the concern in Jake's words, which was echoed on his comrades' faces.

"Doctor Marie is doing all she can for him. He's stable for now, but it's up in the air whether or not he'll pull through."

At this she turned to face the Brawlers directly, commanding their attention.

"As Elright said, we don't know why they are on Neathia, and won't know until one of them wakes up. That said, I have a feeling that they may not have had authorization to come here, based on the circumstances. Until we know more, I must ask you all to keep their presence here a guarded secret. I don't want the Gundalians finding out. This is for their protection."

Dan snapped a respectful (for him) salute at the order, his friends following his lead.

"Understood Queen Serena! Our lips are sealed!"