Here is chapter two of my Voltron/Pacific Rim crossover. This one actually doesn't have any reviews yet, which *sniffle* hurtful. COME ON, PEOPLE!
Reviews for me mean more stories for you!
Hop to, folks!
DISCLAIMER: I don't own a single person. There is some word-for-word dialogue, but I tried to alter it as much as I could.
WARNINGS: Just my usual: emotions.
Of Rusted Hearts and Fractured Hopes
FIVE YEARS LATER
Construction for the Wall of Life started bright and early, and today was no different. Lance dragged himself out of his nice, soft-as-bedrock, warm-as-a-meat-locker bunk and dragged on his clothes, looping his welding goggles around his neck.
Oh, the glamorous life of a construction worker, he thought wryly to himself.
He made his way out of the barracks and walked through the snow to the main building, surrounded by thousands of other souls doing the exact same thing. This morning, the ration cards from last week's work were being distributed, so everyone was actually on time for a change.
Their foreman, Ralph Carter, jumped up on a big crate and let out an ear-piercing whistle to get their attention.
"Alright, alright, let's go!" he yelled. "Ration cards, to the left! When you've got your card, get back over here! And hurry up! We've got eight hundred beams to get installed before noon, and another six after that! MOVE IT!"
Lance shook his head with a grin. Carter was a good guy, but he had a rather short fuse sometimes.
Finally, everybody had their card and had reassembled in front of Carter's crate.
"Alright, fellas!" he shouted. "I got good new and I got bad news. Which do you wanna hear first?"
"Bad news?" yelled Jimmy Sanders from near the front of the crowd. He was one of the men Lance worked with most often, and Lance counted him a good friend.
"Right," Carter winced. "Bad news. Three guys died yesterday on top of the Wall."
Murmurs rose from the crowd, and Lance closed his eyes and sighed. That was so not how he'd wanted to start his day.
"What's the good news?" bellowed Clint Hollway, off to Lance's right.
"Good news is I've got three job openings," Carter yelled back. "Top of the Wall."
"Come on, come on!" Carter shouted. "Who wants to work? Who wants to eat?"
The 24-year-old sighed. What the heck.
Thirty minutes later, he was on top of the Wall, welding together the massive steel beams that would allegedly keep the Kaiju out.
He kept his doubts about that to himself.
Lance honestly liked his job. Yeah, it was hard and really freaking cold and he'd singed his own hand more times than he could count. But the work was simple and straightforward. He was still protecting the people he'd sworn to protect, just in a different way.
He told everyone who asked that no, he did not miss piloting a Jaeger.
He was hoping that if he said it enough, he might start believing it, too.
Lance slung his gear into its rack and rolled his shoulders with a groan of relief. He winced briefly as his left shoulder gave a twinge, but that was nothing new. It felt good to lose the extra weight after nearly nine and a half hours of hard, cold work on top of the Wall, where there was nothing to block the icy winds.
"Lance!" Jimmy called, jogging around the corner. Clint was right behind him, and both of them were frowning.
"You're gonna want to see this, Kid," Clint said.
A pit of dread formed in his stomach as he jogged after his friends. The TV in the main room was on, and Lance swore as soon as he saw the screen.
"I'm here in Sydney, Australia," the reporter was saying, "the location of the most recent Kaiju attack. The Kaiju, a monstrous Category 4, broke through the coastal wall just this morning."
With a sinking heart, Lance watched the footage of the beast smashing through the metric tons of concrete and steel, roaring out its intention to kill and destroy everything in its way.
"The Wall of Life, declared unbreachable by its builders, was destroyed in less than an hour," the reporter said, and there was an immediate outcry from all the workers around him.
Clint sighed and dragged his hand down his face. "Why are we even building this Wall?" he muttered angrily. "It obviously ain't gonna do us no good."
"Th-that thing," Jimmy stammered, face white and eyes full of fear. "Th-that thing just went through the Wall. It went straight through the Wall. Like it wasn't even there."
"Yeah," Lance sighed, rubbing his left shoulder. "They do that."
"Ironically," the reporter continued, "It was the recently decommissioned Jaeger, Striker Eureka, piloted by adoptive brothers Takashi Shirogane and Keith Kogane, that finally took the Kaiju down."
Lance watched as the Mark-5 Jaeger ended the threat with brutal efficiency.
His left arm throbbed.
The news report cut to an interview with the younger of the two pilots, Keith Kogane.
"Look," he said shortly, mouth in a thin line and brows furrowed. "They decommissioned the Jaeger program because of mediocre pilots. It's just that simple."
Lance ground his teeth together and clenched his fists, fury mounting at the callous remark.
"That's Striker Eureka's tenth kill to date!" Kogane said, dark eyes flashing. "It's a new record!"
Lance turned on his heel and started shoving his way through the crowd. He really truly did not want to hear more of this.
"Lance!" Jimmy scrambled after him, and Clint's heavy hand landed on his shoulder, but the big man only moved past him and forged a path.
"Thanks," he muttered, and Clint nodded.
"But even after all this, you're still going to Hong Kong?" the reporter demanded, and Lance let out a long breath and walked faster.
Of course, he knew that all the Jaegers were being decommissioned. He knew that the Shatterdome in Hong Kong was the last one.
Everybody knew that.
The difference was that he didn't care.
"Well, orders are orders," Kogane said, sounding thoroughly irritated. "What else am I supposed to do?"
Lance made it to the edge of the crowd before he stopped dead, causing Jimmy to run into his back.
A military chopper was setting down outside, and Lance would've bet everything he had that it belonged to one Alfor Castle.
Sure enough, the stairs folded down and the Marshall stepped out. His white hair was a little longer now, but his beard was still immaculately trimmed. The Marshall's hair and beard had been completely white for as long as anybody could remember, but it never made him seem old, just…more regal. And up here by the Wall, surrounded by snow and ice, he looked as though he could be part of the scenery.
Lance decided to keep that last thought to himself.
He took a deep breath and sighed, his shoulders slumping. Then he patted Clint on the shoulder, offered Jimmy a strained smile, and walked out into the snow to face his past.
"Mr. McClain," Castle said, striding forward to meet him halfway.
"Marshall," Lance replied with a forced smile. He folded his hands and valiantly resisted the urge to run screaming in the opposite direction. "Looking sharp, sir."
"It's been awhile, hasn't it." It wasn't really a question, but Lance answered it anyway.
"Five years and four months, sir."
Alfor nodded. "I don't suppose you have a minute?"
Lance snorted. "I'd invite you to my office, but…" he gestured vaguely upward, towards the top of the Wall. "We might need to borrow your chopper to get there."
Alfor gave him a Look™, and Lance held up both hands with a grin, leading the Marshall to a more secluded area.
"You're a hard man to find, McClain," the Marshall said. "Anchorage, Sheldon Point, Nome—"
"Well," Lance cut him off, dramatically slumping down onto an old—whatever the heck this thing was. "Men like me travel with the Wall, Marshall. We gotta make a living somehow, and most of us do it by chasing shifts." He dropped all attempts at civility. "What do you want?"
Alfor took a deep breath. "I've spent the last six months activating everything I can get my hands on."
"There's an old Jaeger."
He is not.
"You may know it." Alfor's sharp eyes bore into his. "It needs a pilot."
Lance snorted. "Let me guess. I was not your first choice."
"You are my first choice," Alfor said with a bland smile. "All the other Mark-3 pilots are dead."
Lance sucked in a sharp breath. He'd known that, of course, but still…they had been his friends.
They'd been Carlos's friends.
He shook his head sharply, forcing himself to his feet. "Look, Marshall…" he sighed. "I can't do this again. I told you when I left, I'm done. I can't…I can't have somebody else in my head. Not again. You know what happened. We were still connected, Marshall. I cannot do that again, and I will not do that again." He met the man's eyes. "I'm sorry."
He strode towards the door, but the other man's voice stopped him cold.
"Haven't you heard, Mr. McClain?" he called, in that regal, powerful voice. "The world is coming to an end."
Lance tightened his jaw and turned to face him.
"So where would you rather die?!" Marshall Alfor Castle shouted. "Here?!"
His voice echoed around them, until all the voices of Lance's past were shouting with him.
"Or in a Jaeger?!"
So, there you go.
Hope you enjoyed.
Till next time!