Title: SD Gundam Force – Nataku's Final Moments

Author: LJ

Summery: Nataku faces off against an old enemy, and a new one within the confines of the Dark Axis Fortress.

Rating: PG-13 for violence, coarse language, and character death

Author's note: Nataku's name seems out of place in Lacroa huh? Yeah…that's what I thought too. So after discussing it with friends, I had this idea of Kibaomaru finding Nataku in his final moments before being fed into the smelting pools, and give an insight about where Nataku came from. Might actually write a back-story for him one day, for now, though, just this one shot. Enjoy! Please review!

Disclaimer: I own nothing! Except maybe Nataku's back-story. -. yeah I think I own that….

"DEED! You BASTARD!" Nataku cried standing barely on his own two feet on the edges of the smelting pool. "We trusted you…you were our friend! Our comrade! And now you turn your back on Lacroa and your Princess?!" His eyes were filled with tears, having moments before watched as Rock and Battle were thrown into the pools, only minor parts of their armor having survived. He himself was upon his last legs, and he knew that he was to die in this place. Above him, Deed, now calling himself Deathscythe, ignored him and twirled his scythe half heartedly.

"I never turned my back upon my Princess love!" he cried glaring down at the older Gundam. "I'm doing this for her! I will be with her!" Deed dove down, the wings of Steele Dragon singing through the knight. Nataku barely dodged the attack falling in the large piles of other former comrades scrap, the helmet of Rock nearby.

"You are no Knight of Lacroa…" Nataku hissed coming to his feet again slowly, using his spear arm to keep his balance.

"Neither are you, Arkian coward!"

"What's going on in here?" a voice called, stopping the lone Dark Axis ally in his tracks. Quickly cloaking himself, Deed returned to his post.

"Trouble with one of the knights is all, Lord Kibaomaru…" Nataku stiffened and looked up as the Arkian overlord appeared. His good arm clenching he fought down the pure rage that boiled inside of him. His tears burned away at the sight of the Musha Gundam upon his platform.

"Kibaomaru…" he hissed, the accent that he fought so hard to hide in Lacroa, coming out clear as day. "BETRAYER OF ARK! BASTARD!" he cried at the top of his lungs in Ark's native tongue. Kibaomaru and Deed stiffened and looked down at the Knight Gundam.

"Insolent pest!" Deed growled before raising his scythe to cut him down. Kibaomaru stopped him and gave the dark knight a look that caused him to nearly swallow his heart. Kibaomaru flew his platform down to get a better look at the Lacroan who knew Ark's language so well.

"Just who are you?" he asked looking over Nataku. "You are clearly a Knight Gundam, how do you know Ark's blessed language?" Nataku glared daggers and curled his spear arm up pointing it at the Musha.

"I am known as Nataku in Lacroa. But my full name is Natakukumaru! I am a Musha Knight of Ark and Lacroa. You took my arm as a babe, and because of you and your senseless war my family had to flee! I was never given the chance to fight as a Musha Gundam because of you! You took away everything I had ever dreamed of! I will kill you here so that I may have the honor of dying as a Musha!" Nataku took off his Lacroan helmet, showing the crest of his family and of Ark upon his head. Kibaomaru stared at him, wonder in his eyes.

"Natakukumaru, is it? I'm sorry I don't recall anyone by that name. Usually I would, if you were such a pest I had to rip off your arm." Kibaomaru smirked suddenly and dove for the Musha Knight, grabbing him by the neck and spear arm. "But maybe this will help my memory…" Kibaomaru returned to his platform, holding Nataku over the edge. Gripping the false arm tightly, with one mighty tug, Nataku was disarmed literally.

"AAAAHHHHH!" Nataku's body writhed in pain, his eyes pinpricks as precious life fluid ran down his side and dripped into the smelting pool below. Kibaomaru smiled slowly and tossed the useless arm aside, it barely missing the smelting pool and landing in between the helmets of Rock and Battle.

"Ah! Yes, now I remember. That insolent little child who tried to stop me from razing that village to the ground, now you look more like him." Nataku tried to glare at the Musha, shock slowly setting in and causing his body to shake like an autumn leaf in the wind.

"Bastard…" Nataku cried, his voice growing weaker by the moment. Deed stared in horror, behind his cloak he nearly felt like he was going to be sick. He had never seen the true brutality of Ark's overlord, and truly, never believed Nataku when he told him the stories that he remembered.

"I…will leave you to your enjoyment, Lord Kibaomaru," Deed said his voice nearly faltering as he stared at Nataku's bloody stump of an arm. Nataku turned and glared at the cloaked figure.

"Traitor…" he hissed, his eyes beginning to cloud over from tears. Deed tried to glare back, but was unable to, instead, although not seen, he gave a look of pity and guilt before disappearing in a mana compass.

"Do you fear death…?" Kibaomaru asked looking into Nataku's eyes. Nataku swallowed and tried not to cough up the precious fluid that was beginning to leak into his lungs.

"No. Musha's reincarnate…I do not fear death." A lie, Nataku had never been more terrified in his life. Kibaomaru saw it and sighed.

"I will give you a chance to live and fight as a Musha, if you so wish it. A new arm, another chance to fulfill your dream. Join me…" Nataku blinked and stared at the lightning Musha. Was he hearing this man correctly? Was he truly giving him a chance at a new life?

Take it… a voice in his head said. Take that offer! You could stay alive and find a way to kill Deed for what he did, even if it means serving Kibaomaru! Time was beginning to run out, and Nataku looked down at the pool below him. It's better than dying here and feeding this monster.

"Well…?" Nataku swallowed and shook his head slowly.

"I cannot. You betrayed my homeland. I will die here, but I will reincarnate and hunt you down. You and Deed for betraying those who trusted you." Kibaomaru nodded slowly.

"A shame. You would have made a great Samurai, Natakukumaru. Such a loss will be known in Ark." Kibaomaru let him go, and Nataku relaxed, his body beginning to glow as his Gunsoul faded. Nataku watched him as he fell, slowly, realization dawning upon him.

You wouldn't have accepted me anyway… he thought in his final moments. You just wanted to give my gunsoul time to leave…you gave me time so that I wouldn't feed this beast's hunger…

To those who looked on, it seemed as if Nataku fell into the smelting pits to boil and burn, but Kibaomaru knew better. His body had reverted to that of a gunsoul of a Musha, and was already on its way back home.

I still gave you that second chance, Samurai. Don't fuck it up this time.