Part 2: Panzer Dragoon II Zwei
Jean Jacque Lundi.
There existed many quiet, independent villages out in the wastelands of the Frontier, and the young man called Jean Jacque Lundi was a resident of one of them. A major source of his village’s livelihood was the breeding of coolias; these creatures were one of the few kinds of mutated monster that could be tamed by humans, and they were consequently used throughout the Frontier as riding animals and beasts of burden.
The village had been troubled for some time by strange mutations in its young coolia pups though, as occasionally a pup would be born with a glowing green light in its throat. The superstitious villagers genuinely feared this light, believing it to be a bad omen; they had thus been putting all coolias born with this mutation to death.
Lundi saw this killing as cruel, however. When a mutant coolia pup was born into his care, he chose not to destroy it, but instead he hid it away from the other villagers. His coolia also had another abnormal mutation, one which particularly enthralled him: the coolia, which he named Lagi, had a pair of wings.
Lagi had a pair of wings.
Completely unknown to Lundi, this coolia had become the host of the Heresy Program, the renegade entity that had been ejected out of the ancient Sestren data network into the physical world. The unique mutations in Lagi’s body were the Heresy Program’s doing; they were also just the start of an intended growth process.
A year passed.
The Empire was once again expanding its lands by invading other nations, and its current goal was to conquer the Meccania Federation, a large nation-state whose borders were not far from Lundi’s village.
The Empire discovered that an enormous airship from the Ancient Age had recently appeared in this region; its origins were a complete mystery to them, though. As they moved against the Meccania Federation, the Imperials sent some of their battleships out to investigate the vessel, always eager to acquire new and more powerful technologies.
The Emperor planned to invade the Meccania Federation.
The Empire was quite unaware of the true nature of this “ancient ship”, though. The vessel - which would later be named Shelcoof - was in fact a flying Tower, one of the global regulators created by the Ancients. Shelcoof’s reactivation was the work of the Sestren AI, which had detected the Heresy Program in the coolia that Lundi had been raising; it knew that the creature had to be destroyed before it could become a threat.
In the months that had passed, Lagi had grown to adulthood; because of his wings though, he looked more akin to the image of the legendary dragon than a grown coolia. This was no coincidence: the dragon was the ultimate bio-engineered creature created by the Ancients, and it was the physical form that the Heresy Program was striving towards as it manipulated Lagi’s genetics.
One evening, Lundi was out with Lagi in the secrecy of the hills beyond his village; Lundi was attempting to teach Lagi to use his wings to fly, as he had often tried to do. This time however, it seemed as if he might succeed - clumsily, Lagi’s wings managed to lift him off the ground for a brief moment. Lundi did not have a chance to celebrate though, as without warning a blinding flash of light engulfed his field of vision.
When the light cleared, Lundi looked down upon the ruins of his village. The place where he had lived for so long now burned beneath him, with the immense form of Shelcoof hovering slowly overhead; the village had been annihilated by the destructive force of the flying Tower.
Shelcoof had annihilated Lundi's village.
Lagi had truly become a dragon.
As if in anger, Lagi finally revealed what the ominous light in his throat signified, and he breathed forth a volley of lasers that spiralled through the air towards the departing Tower. The beams faded in the spaces between Lagi and the great craft, but their implication was clear: Lagi was a dragon now, ready to set out on the mission that the Heresy Program had given him.
The dragon and its rider were alone; together they descended towards the ruins of the village, both seeking the destruction of the flying Tower.