|Ice Age is a Historical Event
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This is Year Four of the Ice Age.
- 1 Billig's Insurrection
- 2 Torrent's Rise
- 3 Another Kind of Legacy
- 4 March of the Mutations
- 5 Black Market Bust-Up
- 6 The Disappointed Matriarch
- 7 Attack on the Rafows
- 8 A Scientist Required
- 9 The Colossus
- 10 Fist of Iron
- 11 The Matriarch Confronted
- 12 The Kidnapped Archeologist
- 13 Penumbran vs Agent
- 14 The Dancer Discordant
- 15 Rising Tensions
- 16 Cloning Progress
- 17 Saving Face
- 18 Enemy of Old
- 19 New Toys
- 20 More Criminals
- 21 Zoleia's Esteemed Visitor
- 22 Assault on Biavumd
- 23 Martem Ignis
The Plot Thickens
It was clear, that after Semirian's kidnap, the Stock Market Exchange would soon be gone. And, of course, it was stolen, now under Zaarkhun's possession. Everyone had a clear idea of what he'd do with it; use it to ruin Borealis' economy, show how dependent they were on governments, and gradually bring them into anarchy.
The Polar Crystal Alliance's councillors gathered in their usual place. With one councillor kidnapped, Valzaria and Xeron were left to talk amongst themselves. Course of action was simple; they needed to get back the Stock Exchange, they needed to rescue Semirian, and they needed to stop Zaarkhun before he became a real threat.
Xeron - We should have blown them Wranploer up when we had the chance! Now Semilian is gone and Arkarixus is at some demon adventure or something...
Valzaria - Of course...and I had a run through our security checks. Their kidnapping was incredibly elaborate and ingeniously executed. If Zaarkhun is capable of something like this, and of stealing the Stock Market Exchange, then I really don't think we should underestimate him.
Xeron - I'd call Vekaron here but I really don't want to interrupt his mission...any suggestions?
Valzaria - Yes, I don't feel like the Penumbra Unit should be interrupted, even for how great a potential threat this could be. No, I feel like we need a team of more experienced indiviudals. Perhaps...we could call back the team who led the PCA forces in the Borealis War, as in, whoever's available. We should call trained indviduals from our allies and our members to infiltrate Zaarkhun's base. Knowing him, he'll see it coming, of course...
Xeron - Hmm. Good idea. I bet the Chief Major is gonna go nuts when she finds out...
Valazaria - Indeed. Well, I'll send relevant distress calls out, but I'll try to keep them on secure channels.
A few hours later, a large team gathered in Hyperborea's spaceport. The team was made up of several UNOL members (Commander-King Thylaxiz, Zr'Ahgloth, Yogtam), Chief Major Xerkea of the Niaka Special Forces, the Brood of War's Keldar Taran and Corteus from the Draconis.
Keldar - It's been a while since I've been away from Daedalus.
Zr'Ahgloth - an its bin a while since i don anyfin otha dan eet pizza tbh
Corteus - I find it a little refreshing to be back in Borealis.
Xerkea - Well welcome, you're in for immense irritation.
Valzaria - Before we send you off to the co-ordinates, we're currently in contact with Billig.
Xeron - I take you-
Xerkea - Yes I know what happened, I'm not stupid!
Xeron - S-sorry, Chief Major.
Venoriel - Am I interrupting anything important?
A hologram of a female Radeon appeared in a middle of the room.
Valzaria - Ah, you're just in time, Venoriel! Nice to see we have your help too. Before we send you all off, we're currently in contact with Billig.
Venoriel - It appears that the Polar Crystal Alliance requires extragalactic help to survive again. Hmph.
Xerkea - Big help you are, miss "run away at the sight of danger".
A large screen appeared before them with Billig in front.
Billig - Aww now, don't tell me you're givin' me threats...you'll interrupt me meal time...
Valzaria - This is your final warning, Billig. Return the Stock Market Exchange and Semirian, or we shall be forced to destroy you.
Corteus - Who's the walking fat silo?
Valzaria - That, Corteus, is Billig.
Corteus - No offence, but he looks like an udulov who didn't get much exercise and ate way to many oats.
Xerkea - Don't Wranploer die when they get fat?
Billig - Now, see, as much as I'm scared of you all comin' an attackin' me-
Billig was cut off, and Zaarkhun took over.
Falrik Zaarkhun - Oh, come on. Why do I have to work with this idiot? Billig, being stupid as he is, has just revealed our location to you. And now we get into unnecessary fights...
Xerkea laughed hysterically upon hearing Zaarkhun's voice.
Keldar - I can smell him from here...he's not even in the room with us.
Billig - Oi, mate, if it weren't for me, you'd still be dead.
Falrik Zaarkhun - Better dead than living in this crap body! Do you even use deodrant? Your body odour is disgusting...
Venoriel - Your accent is rather disturbing. Learn how to speak properly.
Corteus - Wait...Zaarkhun's in Billig's arm?
Valzaria - Well...yes. An AI in Billig's arm that simualtes Zaarkhun's thoughts. That's his resurrection plan.
Xerkea - Seems like ressurection didn't do you much good, Zaarkhun!
Falrik Zaarkhun - For once, Xerkea, I agree with you.
Billig - Oh, shut yer trap, before I cut you out.
Falrik Zaarkhun - You know you don't won't to do that...because you're too dumb to pull off a plan yourself!
Keldar - Pfft, Moxix resurrected infants with more control than these two.
Xerkea and the others continued to chuckle.
Xerkea - Oh boy, this reminds me back when we fought each other...and now they are doing it themselves. This mission is gonna be a piece of cake.
Billig now seemed to snap out of it, as Zaarkhun spoke.
Falrik Zaarkhun - You see, there's no way you can stop me. I can make power out of nothing, and I'll have my revolution that I spent my life seeking.
Valzaria - You say that. But you killed yourself at the end of your life.
Falrik Zaarkhun - Pfft, nonsense. Killed myself? I was killed by a sniper.
Everyone seemed slightly taken aback by what Zaarkhun said. The reports clearly showed Zaarkhun shoot himself.
Xerkea - Oh, now he denies it. Listen up, I don't need Vekaron and Arkarixus to kill you. Infact, that suicide was really unsatisfying as I couldn't kill you myself!
Falrik Zaarkhun - It wasn't suicide. It was a sniper rifle!
Venoriel - We've seen you pull the trigger! Don't lie!
Keldar - The UNOC whore was there according to Tyraz's reports. If it was a sniper, it could have been her. She would also state you killed yourself.
Corteus - Right now I'm linked up to this galaxy's information net work. You shot yourself.
Zaarkhun clenched his fist, then quickly opened it after feeling how greasy his palms were.
Falrik Zaarkhun - Come and meet me, I'll fight you in person.
Falrik Zaarkhun closed down the communications channel.
Xerkea - Hah! I'm going to enjoy this!
Valzaria - That's interesting. Anyways, I'm sending your shuttle to the co-ordinates now.
Venoriel - I should send some agents to accompany you. I won't go in person, of course.
The shuttle arrived to the co-ordinates of a secrete space station in uncharted territory. In fact, the space station was made out of the hulk of a destroyed Grox ship. As they got to the 'hangar' and took the elevator up to the bridge in which Zaarkhun was located, they saw no clear resistance.
Yogtam - No resistance. That means either Billig has nothing to fight us with or is waiting to fight us himself.
Xerkea - Or it's an ambush.
Commander-King Thylaxiz - I detect no lifeforms in close proximity. And I rather doubt Billig is clever enough to hide lifeform signatures.
Xerkea - Keep your eyes open anyway.
Corteus - Check for EM signatures. He could be using battle droids.
As they walked closer to the bridge, they heard hissing and scowling noises. Xerkea recognised them, though the rest did not.
Keldar - Please tell me it's not fucking snakes.
Xerkea - You all watch out. That "thing" is lurking around here.
Corteus - I'll keep an eye out.
They continued to progress into the bridge, the eery feeling of a ship that was once full of life making them uneasy. They could see blood and corpses all over the places, clearly leftovers from Billig's meals.
Xerkea - Urgh. Reminds me of that Grox shipyard.
Corteus - Okay. Draconis may have practiced cannibalism at one tiem but this guy looks like a fucking animal.
Keldar - I detect way too many calories and fatty acids in these leftovers.
And as they approached the door, it opened for them, with Billig half way across the room and a device - the Stock Market Exchange - being held in a large tube. Billig chuckled.
Billig - Welcome to me lair-
Falrik Zaarkhun - You realise you're meant to let me do the introduc-
Billig - Oh shut yer trap. You got my body an' you'll 'ave to deal with it.
In the far corner of the room, they could see Semirian tied up, unable to speak or move.
Keldar - That's just...sick. Seriously, fetishists creep me out and now you see why.
Xerkea - Hand over the Councillor before I blow you to smithereens. Actually no, I'll blow you to smithereens anyways.
Corteus - I'd be polite and ask for you to turn youself in but...Wraith Legion doesnt' do that.
Billig - Blow me to slithereens, an' I'll do the same to yer little Stock Market. An' you all know that you can't lose that.
Billig laughed evilly, then his laugh quickly turned into Zaarkhun's laugh. Corteus held out his hand and aimed it at Billig's canister-holding arm...as the hand turned into a plasma cannon.
Xerkea - Not if I aim good enough, you won't.
Keldar tried to approach Semirian while the others confronted Billig, stepping over chunks of meat and leftover.
Falrik Zaarkhun - Your friend has been rather helpful in allowing me to decipher the Stock Market. Now I know exactly how to use it. And my plan is clear. I'm going to manipulate the Stock Market. Undervalue everything, overvalue everything...and it'll only be a matter of time before the Alliance's economy collapses. And it's so simple to do. And when your economy collapses, and I grow rich...
Zr'Ahgloth - oi. is anyone else noticin dat zaarkhuns plans all pretty much da saem borin fing
Xerkea - Yes. Didn't bother coming up with something new.
Falrik Zaarkhun - Of course not. Because it's so effective. And now that I have all of you right here...
In a moment, a body of the Mechanic teleported right into the room.
The Mechanic - Ding ding, 34th floor, lots of corpses, lots of dead ships, and HAH! Sorry I'm late to the party, but c'mon Zaarkhun, please tell me that you knew I could easily get in here!
Falrik Zaarkhun - I did.
The Mechanic's avatar then recieved a massive EMP shot, and fell to the floor.
Corteus - The more you talk, the more I feel like disarming you.
Xerkea - Disarming? More like dismembering.
Keldar and some of Venoriel's agents tried to cut away at Semirian's restriction with her katana, careful not to hit her.
Keldar - Been a while since I used this thing.
Falrik Zaarkhun - I knew that the Mechanic would send a body here to try and deal with it. And now I can use it on all of you, and hijack the codes myself an-
Zr'Ahgloth - BLAH BLAH BLAH MAN DIS IS SO LAME OH MA DAYZ AT LEEST COME UP WITH SOMFIN INTERESTING LIEK A REVENGE PLOT
Xerkea - Let's just kill him already, I'm getting tired of this discussion!
Corteus charged his plasma cannon and fired at the wrist connected to the hand holding the Stock Exchange.
Xerkea - He will just go all intellectual "plan so good" so might as well end it!
Billig's hand moved swiftly, though not fast enough, as he dropped the Stock Market on the floor. Corteus dashed for the canister, moving at a blinding speed to scoop it up. Falrik Zaarkhun growled, and then he throw a bolt to the floor, that caused everything in the room to be electricuted and stuck.
Falrik Zaarkhun - Didn't think the Stock Market had any defenses for when you people tried to steal it? Hah!
Xerkea shielded herself with the suit's arms but was paralyzed.
Xerkea - Bastard!
Falrik Zaarkhun then tried to pick the Stock Market up, and place it right inside the fallen Mechanic suit.
Falrik Zaarkhun - It all comes together so well, I combine them, I take over the entire Galaxy's economy an-
Zaarkhun found that, as he pulled the Stock Market from Corteus, he was not walking towards the Mechanic's suit.
Falrik Zaarkhun - What? Billig, your body is not-
Billig - No, Zaarkhun. It's workin' perfectly fine.
Falrik Zaarkhun began to panic. Billig was walking straight towards another door...the incinerator.
Falrik Zaarkhun - Billig, what are you doing?!
Billig - Oh, nuffin'. Just, y'know, throwing this thing right into the furnace.
Xerkea tried to fire at Billig, but the bolt had paralyzed her cannon. Zaarkhun roared, powerless. Billig was chuckling as he was in control. This was Zaarkhun's last hope of his revolution.
Xerkea - What is the fat idiot doing?!
Billig - Oh, an' just by the way, you DID kill yourself an' you DID give up on yer little revolution. I just didn't want you thinkin' that. An' you never had the idea of a resurrection through AIs, I DID.
Falrik Zaarkhun - You betrayed me, Billig...
Corteus - Crime's a bitch isn't it?
The door to the furnace opened, as he threw the Stock Market right inside. It was destroyed in a matter of seconds. Zaarkhun roared, as though in pain, before Billig then inserted his arm into the wall.
Keldar - That smells...t-terrible.
Billig - I never wanted you alive, but I had to deal with it. Before my machine could figure out how to 'absorb' your mind. I now think as clever as Zaarkhun, an' more importantly, I 'ave all of 'is memories. An' I 'ave Taldar protection too! Oh, this is wonderful.
Falrik Zaarkhun - YOU BASTARD!
Corteus - Am I missing something here?
Xerkea - You were not around the battle at Vijaha. So yesh, yo'ure missing a bit.
Billig - Oh, and thanks everyone fer stoppin' by. Like Zaarkhun said, you've attracted the Mechanic's help, which has allowed me to use whatever tools 'e's got to completely take over.
And only a minute later, with Zaarkhun continuing to roar in outrage, it all stopped. Billig was left alone, chuckling to himself, as though someone had just made a slightly funny joke.
Billig - Well, now that I'm free of that fella, you can run along. I'll let you live if you do. Oh, an' this ship was Zaarkhun's hideout idea. Feel free to 'ave it.
Xerkea - I'm not going without your head!
Corteus - You might have missed -one- thing about someone like me.
Xerkea stomped on the floor and aimed her guns at Billig.
Billig - Yeah, yeah, you never leave without a fight. Don't worry.
Gyjak crawled out of the ceiling, and then scowled at them.
Corteus - Fixing shitstorms is Wraith Legion's specialty.
Billig - I ain't gonna be all Zaarkhun-esque an' go "hahaha you can't attack me I win". Let's have a fight, shall we?
Xerkea - There it is! Kill it! Kill it!
Keldar and the agents continued to cut away at Semirian's ropes, not jumping into the confrontation. However, upon hearing Gyjak's growling she turned around and gasped in an astonished manner.
Keldar - It looks so cute!
Xerkea - Enough talk. Die!
Xerkea fired her gun at Gyjak's direction. Gyjak dodged all the shots, and then jumped at Xerkea's suit. Corteus threw open his arms and his hands transformed into blades. His wings dissolved into his body and he sprinted towards Gyjak. Xerkea flaied her suit's arms trying to get Gyjak off.
Xerkea - Ugly motherfucker!
Semirian was freed by Keldar's katana and immediately hid behind her.
Corteus - Xerkea, leave the monster to me!
Gyjak stayed clung, as she clawed at the suit, trying to reach for Xerkea.
Semirian - This is no place for a scholar like me!
Corteus lumped up to reach Gyjak. Xerkea could feel his weight as he clung to the mech's body. Keldar looked to Semirian and smiled, leading her slowly towards the exit of the room while keeping her katana raised.
Keldar - Don't worry! You can rely on me! ...But doesn't it just look adorable?
Gyjak was then pulled down by Corteus, and snarled again. Billig, at surprising speed, ran and knocked Xerkea's suit back.
Zr'Ahgloth - OI DUN LEEVE ME OUT
Zr'Ahgloth jumped towards Billig and knocked him to the ground. Corteus slammed Gyjak into the floor and slammed his blades ito her arms. Gyjak squealed, and then fell back...presumably dead. They then all turned to the floored Billig, aiming at him.
Yogtam - Any last words?
Billig - Naw, not yet. I can't die now, see...
A tall Vyro'Narza appeared right in front of Billig.
Billig - I have Taldar protection.
Xerkea - ...What the hell!?
Corteus - Oh fucking hell seriously!?
Vyro'Narza - You must not destroy him.
Corteus - He's a monster and an animal and nearly drove this galaxy to financial ruin. Why not?
Vyro'Narza - For if he dies, the Secrets die too...take him for interrogation if you wish, but he must survive.
The Vyro'Narza then turned to Billig. Xerkea growled loudly and slammed her fist at the floor, shattering it.
Vyro'Narza - In return, he must not speak of them, or we shall destroy him ourselves.
Billig - Don't worry...I know the deal all too well.
Vyro'Narza - Abuse it at your peril.
The Vyro'Narza vanished, as Billig just lay their, looking smug.
Keldar - ...I'm fine with interrogation.
Billig - Well, nuffin' you can do with me but imprison me, eh?
Xerkea - Fine! We'll take him. And we'll stay imprisoned, forever!
Corteus - I hear the Inquisition has an ideal prison complex for lunatic shits like him.
Immortality and More
A door opened to the Polar Crystal Alliance' top secret torture chamber. Filled with locks so strong they would require 10 Loron to break a single chain, they found a bleeding, bruised and battered fat Wranploer. Billig had been abused by his torturers badly, in torture that was considered illegal in most regards, yet was still living, breathing, and chuckling. It was as if he'd felt no pain. Xerkea, in her suit, walked in to interrogate him.
Billig - I suppose you've some questions, eh?
Xerkea beat Bilig's head with an electric stunstick-like weapon.
Xerkea - You talk when I tell you to talk!
Billig was hurt, and then raised his head slowly, a smug grin on his face, as he waited for permission to speak.
Xerkea - Now, you fat sack of shit. This Oltauris Consortium of yours. What the hell is this? Did you not learn anythingr from the BCN's crippling?
Billig - Oltauris Consortium's me own little invention. We're gainin' a little ground, but so far it's not a kind of empire so to speak. More jus' an organization with hideouts in several regions.
Xerkea - Well, you will tell me where those are, but now now. I have other questions...I'm hearing abour some commotion involving the Rogue Loron. Are you responsible?
Billig - Heheh...I am. Problem?
Xerkea flickered her suit's fingers on Billig's forehead.
Xerkea - Yes. Problem.
Xerkea - I'm also hearing some news about another one of you fat orange bastards. Someone named "Vorius"...are you involvde with this man?
Billig - Vorius? Hell nah. 'E's jus' a fanatic guy. Word on the street is 'e's gotten 'is 'ands on somethin' 'e shouldn't 'ave. An' now 'e's insane.
Xerkea grabbed Billig' by his throat.
Xerkea - Do you work for someone? Because if you do, you better tell me.
Billig - Tryin' to strangle me 'ain't really helpin' you learn stuff. It's a little inhospitable on your part. An' I only work for meself. Now that fake Zaarkhun's gone, anyways.
Xerkea squeezed Billig's throat.
Xerkea - You should know I'm not the nicest Niaka interrogator in the galaxy.
Billig began to choke a little. His eyes narrowed, as his anger built in him. The broken body of Billig, however, was not something that Xerkea should fear.
Xerkea - Now, the big deal. Explain the bullshit with the Taldar protecting you.
Billig broke free of Xerkea as her suit loosened her grip on his neck to let him answer.
Billig - I got a better idea. Why don't you ask 'em yourself?
Xerkea - Don't play games with me. They said I can't kill you, but they never said I can't strip you to only a brain.
Billig - I was 'opin' you'd try. An' then could ask them yourselves. But anyways, I'll tell you the full story...
Billig paused for a moment. He grinned evilly at Xerkea, clearly taunting her. He then began to speak.
Billig - I found Zaarkhun's brain, at least, what was left of it, after 'e shot 'imself. I tried to place it into a little machine that could use the data from his brain to make an AI that replicated it. Course, as it was destroyed, an' the machine weren't perfect, I needed to learn more about the man 'imself an' tell the machine things about 'im. That could piece together a replicate of 'is brain. Containing 'is thought pattern an' his memories.
Xerkea listened with her suit's arms crossed.
Billig - Zaarkhun's mother was named Sella. She was named after the Taldar Goddess, of course. Sella had told 'im in a letter that she would protect 'im. The truth is, a Sella did protect him, an' gave 'im a device that would protect 'im using her power. But that Sella was the Taldar Goddess, not 'is mother.
Xerkea - I read the reports. I'm well aware of this.
Billig - But why? Why would a Taldar Goddess give a fuck, an' why would she protect a monsta? It's simple...when Zargoth took ova Zaarkhun's body, Zaarkhun was in Zargoth's brain. But only Zaarkhun's brain could handle all of that, handle 5D senses, without meltin'. 'E became a little insane, an' a little bit too cleva, of course. But that didn't mean 'e couldn't think. An' in Zargoth's brains, 'e learnt a few things. A few things no 3D mortal is meant to know. Even some of the Ultraterrestials don't know...the Taldar call them the Time Secrets. Secret locations, secret pieces of information, secret 'codes' to unlock these secrets, but overall, Zaarkhun became a little bit more cleva than they wanted.
Xerkea - Hmm...that doesn't explain why I cannot blow your guts over the wall.
Billig - See, it does. When he was given 'is own body back, 'e was now capable of using a few of these 5D codes to do only a few specific things. The Taldar came after 'im, positive that 'e'd not be able to figure out the codes for 'imself, ready to kill 'im. Course, 'e outsmarted 'em. He told them one specific code 'e knew, which could potentially destroy any Taldar that came after 'im, an' 'e bound this code to 'is mind to be activated upon death. Now this same code doesn't only affect the Taldar, it's such a broken code that it'd basically cause a rift in the Space-Time Continuum of whicheva universe 'e was in. It was so unstable that Zargoth 'ad abandonned it. But Zaarkhun figured, if somethin' was killin' 'im, why'd 'e care? An' the Taldar struck a deal...they protect 'im, if 'e neva speaks of these codes to anyone or anythin'.
Xerkea - ...This is so annoying.
Billig - What's more annoyin' is that I 'ave the secrets meself. An' I'm bound to the same deal Zargoth is. None of you can dare kill me...or I'll release that code. An' all of you will DIE.
Xerkea hit Billig over the head with her stunstick again.
Xerkea - Don't provoke me, scum! If we cannot kill you, you will remain here, in this dark little room, kept alive and alone, for the rest of your life.
Billig was laughing to himself, not listening to her, as he continued to speak.
Billig - But it ain't just immortality I was after. Those codes? There's plenty of 'em. Those locations? Plenty more of 'em. An' if they're all mine, if I can take 'em all, then who knows how powerful I can become? Zaarkhun was scared of gods, so 'e never touchd 'em. I ain't scared of no gods. Eva.
Xerkea - Hmpf. I could call Dalverat over so he can make you fear them. But he's away in the same mission as Arkarixus at the moment, so enjoy your sanity while you have any...IF you have any.
Billig laughed once again, but then quickly snapped into being serious. His voice grew deeper and quieter as he had something very important to say to Xerkea.
Billig - See, I know some things the Taldar themselves don't. An' Zargoth's alive...
Xerkea was paralyzed.
Xerkea - ...WHAT?!
Billig - The start of the Borealis War, Volzara and Zargoth 'ad a plan. Their plan was that, in the same location Zargoth had tried to make the Vyro'Ralza, they'd try somethin' new, making the ultimate Vyro speciman an' usin' it against Zargoth. But then Angazhar did somethin' neither of 'em coulda predicted. He appeared to Zargoth an' Kolossus, tellin' 'em that 'e knew their plan an' cursin' 'em, so that they may neva pull it off. So Volzara and Zargorh revised their plan to try again, but Zargoth 'ad otha plans. 'E'd make Volzara turn on 'im, so that he could be free of any connection to her. The whole idea of consumin' Borealis to make this race...it was a lie. If 'e wanted to, 'e'd have done it anyway. No, Zargoth is alive, an' still out there, an' I think only the Xhodocto 'ave any idea what 'e's doin'...
Xerkea walked around, nervous.
Xerkea - Damnit...is a peaceful galaxy asking too much? I thought we had gotten over this Zargoth bullshit when we fought him...
Billig - Who says it only involves Borealis? Zargoth's an omnidimensional threat...
Xerkea was speechless, still horrified. Billig didn't even chuckle to himself, and his voice now quietened to a whisper.
Billig - I don't know what 'e's up to. But the Secrets contain some idea of a future, in very vague terms, an' THAT is the origin of Zaarkhun's fear of gods. Zaarkhun wanted to live and fight Zargoth so that he, the sole carrier of the Secrets, could end it. But instead 'e was forced to give in an' trust you lot to fight...an' you did win, but you allowed Zargoth to survive. There's some grave dangers ahead...an' I'm the most intelligent man in Borealis, as well as the only carrier of the Secrets alive. Bet you're wishin' Tuolog carried the Secrets, eh?
Xerkea - Grrr...he'd certainly give them better use than you. ...But doesn't matter. If anything, this only gives me more reasons to keep you here forever. I hope you enjoyed your last day seeing your planet's sun, for it was the final one.
Xerkea left the room, ordering the door to be locked behind her. And as she left, she knew that Billig was much more complicated and twisted than anyone thought he was. Who knew that the prophecy Billig spoke about was?
Countdown to Mass Armageddon
Billig, still tied in his torture chamber, was just as bruised, injured and bleeding as when he had been left. His already horrid stench was now mixed with the stench of Wranploer blood. Several of the guards had given him a larger meal at mealtimes than he would normally be given, as their way of mocking him. But Billig's anger was relatively minor, as he still looked smug.
Soon after a few days, three Taldar visited Billig, seemingly out of nowhere. They looked at him with dissapointment.
Vyro'Narza - You have spoken of the Secrets to others. Now others know that they exist.
Billig - Aw, looky who we got 'ere.
The Vyro'Narza spoke again, with slightly more frustration in their tone.
Vyro'Narza - No mortal, no god, is meant to even be told of the Secrets. They are not to be spoken of. The only ones who are allowed to know them are already aware of them.
Billig - Well ya left me for interrogation. This is all ya fault.
Vyro'Narza - We left you for interrogation because the alternative was that we interfere with mortal affairs. Which is almost as much against our code as is allowing the Secrets to be spoken of.
Billig - Bleh, codes. Why dontcha do me a favour and get me off this chamber then if ya care so much? I'm 'ungry for some REAL food.
The Vyro'Narza were clearly becoming irritated at Billig's lack of co-operation. They circled him once again before speaking.
Vyro'Narza - There are only 5 mortals in this universe who should know these Secrets. One is the Valader. The second is beyond this known Gigaquadrant. The third is Emperor Wormulus. The fourth, beyond this known Gigaquadrant. And the fifth is Tuolog. You are not one of them, nor was Zaarkhun. And even he couldn't truly figure out the Secrets.
Billig - Eheheh...wait, what? What 'bout me?
Vyro'Narza - You have the same mind as Zaarkhun now. You should not work them out fully either. Zaarkhun didn't just stop studying the Secrets because he was afraid of them, it was because he lacked the mental capacity. There is not one timeline in which he works them out alone, and those which he did...we have already lost those timelines. Forced to isolate them and destroy them.
Billig's expression changed from smugness to frustration.
Billig - But...Zaarkhun knew of 'em! 'E even activated one of 'em! You're...you're lyin' to me! Tryin' to fool me!
Vyro'Narza - Of course we are not. And those Secrets may give you weapons, but they do not give you godliness. You cannot see time, as Tuolog, for instance, can.
The Vyro'Narza paused, and looked at one another, as though trying to check each other's opinions, before continuing.
Vyro'Narza - ...but we realise that we have little choice at this point. To really learn how to use the Secrets, you need to understand what they are. If you are willing to pay attention, we can explain a little to you.
Billig - Fine...I will pay attention.
The Vyro'Narza presented a sort of hologram, which showed 5D space. Along it, there were several patterns.
Vyro'Narza - Time is made of several different patterns, which each go their own way. We cannot explain the exact science behind them to anyone. What we can explain is that some patterns, or parts of patterns, are locked away. Discarded, unstable or isolated. The Secrets are the 5D codes to unlock them. But if they are unlocked, there is no telling what they could release.
Billig looked at the hologram, his smug face returning.
Vyro'Narza - One of these codes, for instance, is one that Zargoth worked on. It is designed to instantly kill Vyro'Narza, by removing the Gyronic protection. But that removes Gyronic's protection of everything, ultimately, destroying the universe as the laws of physics' instability is demonstrated with nothing stopping it from collapsing.
Billig - I suppose that's a bad thing, eh?
Vyro'Narza - You are familiar with this code. It is the one Zaarkhun bound to activate whenever something else threatened his life. And now is bound to yours. But there are plenty of other codes just as deadly. This was the only code he ever worked out, as it was by this point we realised the danger, and struck the deal to protect him.
The hologram then disappeared.
Vyro'Narza - That is the knowledge required to, from there, work out the remaining codes and how to activate them.
Billig - Oh, thank ya so much for the lesson. I'm sure it'll be useful.
The Vyro'Narza closed in on him, looking far more intimidating.
Vyro'Narza - The intention was not to empower you with this knowledge. We had no choice but to reveal this to you. The reason is because by telling others of the existence of the Secrets, you have doomed us all.
Billig - It's what happens when I'm around, ya see. Everythin' goes bad for everyone 'cept meself.
Billig tried to chomp on the Vyro'Narza but couldn't reach it.
Billig - I wonda how ya taste like.
The Vyro'Narza's harmonized voices now spoke in anger.
Vyro'Narza - Your understanding of what is at stake is worrying. We are uncertain of this universes' chance to survive the future now. And if Zargoth is involved, as you say he is, then the entire multiverse could be doomed.
Billig - Oi, cut it off with tryin' ta scare me. What I wanna know is how big this doomin' really is, 'specially since you're doin' nothin' but telling me 'bout them.
Vyro'Narza - We predict this universe has only a month left in its lifetime. At least, in this timeline. And if we cannot isolate it and destroy it before the damage leaks out, the entire multiverse is doomed.
The Vyro'Narza then sent a wave into his mind, as Billig once again saw the image of Zargoth that he'd seen, and told the others of.
Billig - Ya sayin' we're all gonna die in a month?
Vyro'Narza - We have reason to believe this image is based on the timeline where Zaarkhun capitalizes on the same doom we are predicting. We have no idea when Zargoth will arrive, but our prediction is that in a month's time, too much will be learned,. Through your curiousity, you already doomed us all. It is that sort of curiousity that will destroy us all.
Billig gave the Vyro'Narza a weird look.
Billig - Mate I think ya need to lay off the cofffee a bit. Ya actin' more paranoid than a Niaka in a ghetto.
Vyro'Narza - You have been warned, Billg Oltauris. If the universe crumbles because of you, your punishment will be far greater than death. You will join Volim in Chaos.
Billig widened his eyes for a moment, but shook his head and stared at the Vyro'Narza again.
Billig - Them Chosen didn't scare me, them Grox didn't scare me, that Regnatus didn't scare me!...well a lil' bit but still. I'm sure the Xhodocto wouldn't enjoy me barfin' on their home.
Billig then chukled.
Vyro'Narza - You have been armed by Zaarkhun with powerful weapons, Billig. Abuse them at your greatest peril.
Genrai Nal was called by Torrent to visit him on his new headquarters. He arrived on a planet he could not recognize as any planet in particular, though it was filled with ruins around Torrent's base. Genrai Nal was led to Torrent's office, where he was waiting on his chair.
Torrent - Ah, Genrai. Good to see you finally arrived.
Genrai Nal - I am unfamiliar with this region.
Torrent - Oh, I don't think you were presented to it. This, my friend, was the homeworld of the Kvargo. My homeworld.
Genrai Nal - Ah, I see. And these are the remnants of your people. Now, do you have an assignment for the Guild of Shadows, or is there another reason you have called for my presence?
Torrent - Not the Guild as a whole, no. I called you here because I want to test my new tools. And who's better to help me test them than the one who helped me get them in the first place?
Genrai Nal smiled, almost as if he were proud of Torrent. He knew exactly what Torrent was thinking. Torrent walked up to Genrai and put his arm in front of him.
Torrent - Slash at my arm with your blade.
Genrai Nal - My people have a code of honour, of trustworthiness and friendship. Several of these rituals are performed between friends. And one of them...is to face your friend in combat. Slashing your arm is indeed performing said ritual of trust.
Genrai Nal drew the blade on his arm and slashed Torrent's. Before it hit it, Torrent's arm turned black. Genrai's blade clashed against it, but could not penetrate or damage it. Genrai's arm felt a jolt as he failed to cause any damage. He was impressed.
Torrent - Heheheh...it's going well, so far.
Genrai Nal - Toughness gives a great edge in battle. Dealing damage is worthless if you die before you can deal it.
Torrent threw his arms away from Genrai, leaving his chest exposed.
Torrent - Now, do multiple strikes. Try to hit me.
Genrai Nal - This...is not part of a ritual I know. However, I will do as you request.
Predicting a similar outcome, Genrai striked Torrent three times, three being the lucky number of his people. Each time, Torrent blocked the strike with one of his arms, as if he was reading Genrai's movements. After the three strikes, he delivered a punch to Genrai's chest, knocking him away. Genrai was taken back at this surprise movement. Anyone else would likely be shocked or angered by Torrent's movement there, but Genrai felt only pride.
Torrent - Yes...perfect! It works just as I intended it to!
Genrai Nal - Reading your opponent's movements. I like that. By what means do you do this?
Torrent - Nanomachines, created by the scientists you got me. They allow me to harden specific parts of my body, as well as give me the ability of reading my opponent's movement. I thought I could get away with having no special "gimmicks", but Borealis is a dangerous place full of powerful people.
Genrai Nal - Such technology did not exist outside of Zaarkhun's private laboratories and the Unified Nation...hmm...And how do your nanomachines read movements?
Torrent - Actually, I had some brain implants installed as well. One compliments the other, you see. No point having the power of hardening my body if I cannot know when and where to harden.
Genrai Nal - I see. They are likely similar to mine; I read the muscle movements of my opponent to see what they are doing next.
Torrent walked up to a window, with his parrot flying to his shoulder.
Torrent - The best part of all this? It's not even my main objective.
Genrai Nal - The Guild does give its employers a right to secrecy. Though I am curious, I respect your decision to keep your plans from me, if you will.
Torrent - You see these ruins, Genrai? I will repopulate them. These scientists you got me...they are cloning new Kvargo, from my genetic material. My plan is to bring my species back, and get my revenge on that cursed Zoles Imperium, once and for all.
Genrai Nal looked slightly surprised. He hadn't thought of this before.
Genrai Nal - The last time this was pulled off...it was the Kralgon Emperor. And he was successful. If you need the Guild's help, I will gladly assist.
Torrent - Good. It will take time, but I can wait. I don't care if it takes weeks, months, years. My people will be avenged. I lived my childhood on this planet, you see. I was still a kid when the Zoles attacked it. My family barely left alive...when I found out the Zoles had not glassed it, I just knew my new HQ had to be here.
At this moment, a Wranploer entered the room.
Wranpleor - Warlord Torrent, we have located Commandant Vekaron's vessel.
Torrent - Oh, did you? Well, I think I have to pay him a little visit then.
Genrai Nal - You are visiting him? Then...I may come, if you wish.
Torrent - I would rather not, if you don't mind. This is between me and the Zoles. He cut off my remaining good arm back at Vijaha...I can't wait to see his face when he finds out he can't cut off anything anymore.
Genrai Nal - Very well. I have another employer who may require my skills in the meantime. You may have heard of him, he goes by the name of Oltauris.
Torrent - Hmpf...yes, I know him. Not the most pleasant fellow.
Genrai Nal - Being pleasant is a factor that the Guild does not consider.
Torrent - Well, you may go then. I must prepare myself for this "visit".
Contacting the Succubi
Arriving into the new sector, Vekaron's ship was immediately hailed by a race of aliens who called themselves "The Matriarchy". A shuttle taking him, Kilchárunya, Wragrot and Vansenk landed on the planet. The buildings were notably plain and white in colour in this planet.
Kilchárunya - Heck. A couple thousand feet taller and a few shades darker and we have a Kicath world.
Vekaron - This looks much more advanced than most other empires I've met.
Vansenk - It's so clean here. Why maintain such hygiene if they know it will amount to nothing in the end?
Kilchárunya - Coming from you that question has no relevance whatsoever.
Vansenk - Cleaning is the least of my worries.
A feminine, humanoid being with green hair, red eyes and a long dress made its way to the group. However, she did not walked. She hovered.
Wragrot - That looks so frail, I could probably use it to pick my teeth.
Kilchárunya - Wow. Looking like that in Kicath society would mean you're girly even for girls.
Vansenk - She's slim. Reminds me of a Hseraelna, except more visually appealing for several hundredfold.
The figure stopped in front of the group and bowed to them, still hovering.
??? - Welcome, Penumbra Unit. We were waiting for you.
Vekaron - Wait...how do you know we are from the Penumbra Unit?
??? - We simply do. Please, follow me.
Kilchárunya - Nnnngh. Don't like this.
Vansenk - No use in feeling nervous. Proceed forward.
Wragrot - Something is not right. That woman...she is like a huge beacon of elemental power.
Vansenk - I am glad I am not the only one who feels it.
The woman led the group into the direction of another similar being. Visually they were nealy identical to each other, almost as if they were clones. This second individual had more obvious political clothing, and bowed to the group.
??? - Our fates meet at least. Allow me to present myself. I am Diplomat Danita.
Kilchárunya - I still don't like this.
Danita - Fear not, Kilchárunya of the Kicath. We mean no harm.
Kilchárunya - Too bad! You're still creeping me out.
Vekaron - Mind explaining how you know so much about us?
Wragrot - Yeah, I'm getting unconfortable.
Danita - We know much about the Penumbra Unit and indeed, the Polar Crystal Alliance. Unlike most of the galaxy, we are not completely unaware of the outside world.
Vansenk looked uneasy at her comment but swallowed his expression shortly after. Danita's voice sounded somewhat soothing. Something about it was getting Vekaron uneasy and Wragrot, more nervous than usual.
Danita - We of the Rovegar were quite eager for first contact...
Kilchárunya began to find it soothing, but snapped out of it and growled.
Wragrot - Well...I...it's kind of getting hot here...
Vekaron - This interest...I don't really see the reason.
Danita - We admire your efforts, slayer of demons, criminals, and gods...
Vansenk - Hmph, I suppose I should better leave you three to this. I am as much a diplomat as much as I am a soldier, which I am not at all.
Danita pointed at Vansenk.
Danita - Don't go, darling.
Vansenk - If I stay, would it truly matter to you?
Danita - It would, so much...
Danita hovered around Vekaron, Wragrot and Kilchárunya, passing her soft hand on their chests. Vekaron and Wragrot were nearly paralyzed. Kilchárunya felt at ease, but kept on resisting.
Kilchárunya - Grrr. You know we have a phrase for people like you in Kicathian. "Sinásátinmatzká chúchnøkilnikilanaí sinásátinmatzká nanuntunítarǎz."
Vansenk - I realize now why you use a translator to communicate rather than your own tongue.
Wragrot - W-what...I...Eh...
Vekaron - I'm reminded of home, of my old family...
Danita - Oh, we would love to know more about you...more about your prowness...more about how you taste like.
Kilchárunya could notice energy shifting out of Vekaron and Wragrot into Danita.
Kilchárunya - Uh...well...wait. What we taste like?
Danita lifted her arms, and Vekaron and Wragrot acted as if if were chained. They could not respond. Vansenk simply stood still, his appearance nor behaviour anymore different than it had been up until this point. He seemed at ease even before the incident.
Danita - The Rovegar Matrarchy could use warriors like you, Zoles commandant...
Vekaron - Y-yes...it could...
Vansenk - If you seek to quench your thirst for curiosity concerning the flavour of my soul, I shall be happy to enlighten you. It is the least I can do.
Kilchárunya looked at the trio, and beat her fist on Vekaron's head.
Kilchárunya - Oi. Snap out of it.
Vekaron stumbled back and shook his head. He stare at the energy link coming out of his chest and frowned.
Vekaron - What the heck is this?!
Danita - Huh?
Kilchárunya - Maaaan, the Warlord of the Remnant would so smash you right now. Kilchárunya - And not in the sexual way.
Vekaron took out his blade and slashed at Danita, sending her back, letting out a pained screech. Wragrot snapped out of it and fell into his knees.
Kilchárunya - You trying to devour our souls or something?
Vekaron - I think it's close to that!
Wragrot - ...What the hell was that...I feel really weak right now.
Danita - I'm under orders of taking the Zoles hostage...I will do so, and you will not stop me!
Kilchárunya - Ah shut it.
Kilchárunya pointed her blaster at Danita, all the Rovegar around the group aimed their weapons at them. Vansenk smiled, showing his rotted, decayed teeth and raising his arms.
Kilchárunya - Just what kinda name is 'Danita' anyway? Pretty sure that's a word for something.
Before any of the group could take action, however, a fleet appeared in the sky and began bombarding the planet. The shipts were familiar: they were Wranploer vessels.
Kilchárunya - The fuck is that?
Vansenk - Who are they?
Danita - I will-what the...?
Wragrot - Are those...Wranploer?
Vekaron - Oh, what the hell.
Vansenk - Wranploer. The name escapes me.
Kilchárunya - Oh, not cool. I freaking hate Wranploer.
Shuttles fell into the city, and Wranploer soldiers began attacking. Appearing before both the group and Danita was a squad of Sankáryn.
Danita - What are those things?!
Vansenk - Bizarre.
Kilchárunya - Shit. It's the Zí-Jittorám juniors.
Wragrot - Don't just stand there looking dumb. Kill them!
Kilchárunya fired her blasters at the Sankáryn whilst keeping her attention on Danita. Vekaron tried to slash at the Sankáryn, while Wragrot fired at them and Danita and her soldiers fired as well. The Sankáryn, however, dodged most of the shots. Vansenk's rotten teeth gritted together as he pointed his arms towards the enemy. Shortly after, the Sankáryn began to feel sickened, as if struck with severe, chronic illness although it was not fatal.
Kilchárunya - ...Right. I forget they're like the most agile thing in the galaxy.
Vansenk - So long as I can concentrate, I can stall them long enough for you to strike them.
The Sankáryn retaliated by firing with their blasters at the group. Some managed to kill a few of Danita's soldiers. Wragrot tried to punch one, only for it to bend its body out of the punch's way.
Wragrot - Now I remmeber why I hate these things.
Kilchárunya - Zí-Jittorám are much worse.
Vansenk stood in front of Danita and her soldiers while he continued to keep his arms raised, inflicting severe pain amongst the Sankáryn while vulnerable to blaster fire.
Kilchárunya - If I remember correctly, they hate heavy sounds.
Danita - Heavy sounds? So be it.
Danita gathered energy in her body and then let out an echoing screech. The Sankáryn all stopped running and agonized.
Wragrot - Wow, ain't you bitchy.
Kilchárunya - Dang.
Vansenk - Now I can concentrate.
Wragrot ran up to one fo the Sankáryn and decapitated it with a punch, while Vekaron cut throguh another one. Kilchárunya fired her weapon at the Sankáryn's heads, blowing them off. Several Sankáryn began to choke and cough violently, vomiting up a mix of puke and other materials and substances that shouldn't be flowing out through the mouth.
Vekaron - I'm gonna take a while to get used to that.
Kilchárunya - Kasatrá. [Dude]. Not cool.
Vansenk - Did you want them dead or not?
The combined efforts of the two groups killed all the Sankáryn. However, they could still see the Wranploer forces were massacring the population. Vekaron walked up to Danita and grabbed her by her throat.
Vekaron - Explain yourself. I am really losing my patience.
Kilchárunya - Aw, I wanted to do that.
Danita - Agh...fine! I am an infiltrator, I was sent to take over your minds when we found out you were coming to this planet.
Vekaron - For what reason?
Danita - The Matriarchy thinks...you'd make a good enforcer...
Wragrot - Ohoho, the Alliance is not gonna be happy.
Vansenk - You should have asked. I could have done with the company.
Kilchárunya - Heh. People are more likely to court that Rianth with that team than you.
Vansenk winked at Danita, exposing his blackened tongue and disgusting teeth. Danita frowned and sighed. In a distance, a figure jumped to the top of a building, where the entire group could see its sillhoette.
??? - Ah, there you are! I was looking for you!
Kilchárunya - Oh what now?
Deep, Burning Hatred
The figure jumped down, and as it landed, it punched the group. A massive shockwave sent the entire group flying backwards. Kilchárunya was thrown back, but rolled her tail, finding herself back on her feet.
Lilchárunya - Well this isn't good.
The dust settled, and a bird landed on the figure's shoulder. It let out a long grin.
Torrent - Well, if it isn't my old friend Vekaron.
Wragrot - ...Captain Torrent?
Vekaron - No...No! NO! I killed you!
Kilchárunya - You know I really hate you BCN people.
Scallywag - Brack! The feeling is mutual!
Vansenk - A Kvargo. The Hseraelna onboard the station used to speak of them as a dead race with a smile.
Kilchárunya - Hah!
Torrent looked at his hands.
Torrent - Oh, you nearly did kill me. Left me to die, armless, in Volim's fortress. But some soldiers got me out, and I got better. But I don't take kindly of being left to just die.
Vansenk - You are severely ineffective at killing people, Vekaron.
Kilchárunya - Must suck for you. Last thing I heard was the Zí-Jittorám left you all. Torrent - Yeah, the Jittorám bastard left. Not that I care. He was a burder anyway.
Kilchárunya - Well they're with the Dominion now. Heh.
Torrent - Don't think I've heard of it.
Vansenk - You all speak in words alien to me.
Vekaron growled angrily and charged at Torrent, slashing at him with his sword. Torrent defended himself by putting his arm in the sword's path. The two remainde static as Vekaron's sword could not penetrate Torrent's arm.
Torrent - I ain't losing limbs anymore, pal.
Vekaron - What...
Torrent launched Vekaron away, sending him flying.
Kilchárunya - Get with the times then.
Torrent - How about I get my fist through your brain.
Kilchárunya - Uh, no.
Kilchárunya fired her blaster at Torrent's knees. His knees turned pitch black, and the shots did no damage.
Kilchárunya - You're screwing me.
Torrent - Oh, no. You're not my kind of woman!
Kilchárunya - ...What?
Torrent put his hands down, ripped off a piece of the floor and then threw it at the group's direction. Kilchárunya rolled forward, under the debris. She then unfolded herself, and launched her tail at Torrent's head. Vansenk focussed and placed a finger on his forehead. Chunks of the projectile began to dissipate, although not fast enough to completely prevent it.
Vansenk - Give me some assistance.
Vekaron jumped off the way, while Wragrot crouched. Torrent's head turned black and Kilchárunya felt as if she had just hit a metal bar.
Torrent - Oh, okay. Tail whip. I've not seen that in a while now.
Vansenk growled and got out his sickle, rolling out of the way of the projectile as it flew past him. Kilchárunya let out a heavy roar and roudhouse kicked Torrent. However, he grabbed her leg, spun her and threw her into Wragrot's direction.
Torrent - Hehehaha! This is very fun!
Kilchárunya - Craaaaaaaaaaaaaap!
Wragrot - How about no.
Wragrot tried to crouch out of the way but Kilchárunya hit him anyway, sending both into the ground. Vansenk approached Torrent calmly, gripping his sickle tightly although not making any offensive moves.
Kilchárunya - You tried ducking?! I'm 3 and a half metres tall!
Wragrot - Yeah, maybe I did not think this through. Just get off of me already.
Kilchárunya - ...Right.
Vekaron - How the hell are you doing this? This is not the Torrent I know.
Torrent - Nanomachines, son. They can do many wonderful things.
Kilchárunya got off Wragrot and tried shooting at Torrent's eyes. He blocked the shots by putting his hands in front of his eyes. At this moment, a small Rovegar approached.
??? - Mommy?...Where are you?
Kilchárunya - ...what?
Kilchárunya looked at the Rovegar. Vansenk looked at the child, breaking his concentration. Torrent ran up to the kid, landing in front of her.
Kid - Aaaah!
Torrent - Oh look, what do we have here. One of them "innocents", those which you strive to protect, eh?
Kilchárunya - Heck I don't care. All I want to do is kill you right now...I mean...yes. Innocents. Whoo.
Wragrot - Subtle.
Torrent looked at Vekaron and then pierced his fingers into the kid's skull. She began to cry and agonize as Torrent lifted her up.
Torrent - Reminds you of something, doesn't it, old pal? Reminds you of your own kid...doesn't it?
Kilchárunya - Yeah. Perhaps you could start using your psychic powers now and help?
Wragrot charged psychic power on his hands, but Vekaron roared and charged on his way. He began attacking Torrent, who effortlessly blocked all of his attacks. Vansenk regained his concentration, closing his eyes and blocking out everything. Torrent could feel his nostrils and gums beginning to burn, as if he had something incredibly hot within his mouth. The feeling thenextended to the roots of all of his teeth in a sudden movement. However, he began shrugging it off.
Torrent - Oh, is this nanomachines I'm detecting? Nah, get off, I already have my own.
Vansenk's nanomachines began being blocked by Torrent's own. Kilchárunya whispered to Wragrot.
Kilchárunya - He says he has nanomachines. If they're activated by thought, then...yeah. You get the idea. Fuck him up.
Wragrot - I can't if Vekaron doesn't get out of the way.
Kilchárunya - Do I have to?
Torrent let out a punch which sent Vekaron into the air. He landed uncouncious.
Wragrot - Nevermind, there's the chance.
Kilchárunya went over to Vekaron and dragged him out of the way by his horns. Wragrot launched a blast of energy at Torrent, which caused him to grunt. He threw himself back, disoriented.
Vansenk - It appears the extent of my usage ends here. I shall retrieve the civilian and leave the matter of offensive strategy to you.
Torrent - Agh...you. You're one of those psychic Murgur?
Wragrot - Heh.
Kilchárunya ran up to Torrent, and tailwhipped his head. Torrent was launched and crashed into a wall, which crumbled above him. The kid Rovegar fell down, and while she had a large wound on her, she was still alive.
Kilchárunya - Crap, I wasn't expecting to do that.
Torrent emerged out of the rubble and punched Kilchárunya's face. Vansenk approached the young child that Torrent had dropped, looking down at it with confusion. The child could see Vansenk's rather horrid features as he looked down at her.
Vansenk - Stay close and do not walk astray.
Torrent - Fuck all of your species!
Kilchárunya - Go tell that to the Agents.
Vekaron slowly woke up, while Wragrot threw another blast, which disoriented him further. The kid looked at Vansenk but then turned attention to the battle again.
Vansenk - If you do not get to safety, you will die. Can you comprehend that?
Kilchárunya tried to drive her claw into Torrent's eye sockets However, he managed to grabbed Kilchárunya's arms barely before she could hit him and began forcing her back. The kid, despite Vansenk's words, started walking into the fight and then creating an orb of energy on her hands, which she threw at Torrent. He shouted in pain and lost his grasp, and Kilchárunya's claws hit his eyes, causing him to scream.
Kilchárunya clawed herself out of Torrent's face before giving him a well placed kick between the legs. Torrent shouted in a high pitched voice, and Wragrot came down charging at him, sending him crashing through a building's wall.
Kilchárunya - Heck, it works on Kvargo as well.
Wragrot - You'd be surprised how good it is against Borealis Zazane.
An Innocent Girl
Vekaron slowly got up, and the building crumbled, crushing Torrent beneath it.
Vansenk - Hmph, I am assuming you are referring to reproductive organs. If that is the case, if you ever fight Hseraelna, you aim for its tongue.
Wragrot - ...Ew.
Kilchárunya - Wait, yours is black...so that...
Kilchárunya started to breathe heavily before screaming quietly.
Vansenk - If you wish, I can elaborate upon Hseraelna breeding rituals.
Kilchárunya - Too. Much. Information.
Vansenk looked at Kilchárunya and licked his teeth with his black tongue, leaving a yellowish substance across his jaws. He then looked upon the pile, examining the corpses crushed under the debris from a distance. Kilchárunya cringed hugely and started to wretch, eventually throwing up. Vekaron held his head, still stunned, when the wounded girl ran up to him.
Kid - Mister? Are you okay?
Vekaron - Eh?...Oh. Yes. I'm fine.
Kid - My mommy disappeared...can you help me find her?
Vekaron - Hmm. Where is your home?
The kid pointed at a ruined home. Among the debris, the group could see a dead Rovegar.
Kid - Oh! My mommy is in there!
Kilchárunya - Uhhhhh. Hm. Hmmmm. ....Awkward.
The kid ran up the Rovegar and began pushing her. However, as he was dead, it did nothing. Wragrot scratched his head, while Vekaron walked up to her.
Kid - Why is mommy sleeping?...Why is mommy all red?...
Vekaron - ...Child. What is your name?
Kid - Gardin, mister...
Kilchárunya - Oh man. If the BCN doesn't kill me you will.
Vansenk approached Vekaron, his eyes still kept on the bodies.
Vansenk - ...Should I tell her? Do you think she would be able to comprehend the notion of...this?
Vekaron - I'm not sure. The other ones tried to attack us ut...this is just a child.
Kilchárunya - Heck she managed to comprehend your face. Everything else is plain sailing.
Wragrot - This is why I never had a wife. I could die at any moment.
Gardin - Mister...?
Vekaron - Kid, your mother...she will not wake up anymore.
From behind the group, Danita appeared again. Her hands were charged in elemental energy, and her eyes shined in a bright red.
Kilchárunya - Uhhh...guys. Evil bitch lady is angry.
Danita - You got rid of the invader, now there is nothing between me and you.
Vansenk - Do it.
Vansenk stood up and approached Danita. However, from the debris of the building, Torrent's clawed hand bursted out and skwered through Danita's chest.
Kilchárunya - Whoa. Heck just for that, that guy gets cool points.
Vansenk - ...I am getting severely irritated that I have been denied of a goddamn KILL!
Scallywag - Wrack! Fat chance! Cannot kill the Pirate King!
Vansenk - Silence, cretin bird!
Torrent erupted out of the debris, his entire body turned black. His eyes were visibly damaged, but he appeared to know the group was still there.
Torrent - Fucking space magic. I cannot fight in these conditions! I'll let you know, this is hardly the end! We will meet again!
Vekaron - Come back, and I strike you down, just like before!
Torrent roared and jumped out of view. Kilchárunya went over to Danita's corpse and kicked it hard.
Kilchárunya - I. Hate. You. Women.
Scallywag came down and started pecking Kilchárunya, before leaving, laughing loudly.
Kilchárunya - Ngh!
Wragrot - Wow, that bird is a bigger douchebag than you.
Vansenk approached the girl and got on one knee, looking her in the face. He glared, showing no remorse nor pity. It was a clear sign he was angry as he could not kill Danita himself.
Vansenk - It is useless to try and wake your mother. She won't wake up. Her organs have been destroyed, crushed across the floor from the debris that toppled upon her. She's not coming back. You are lucky that you have not been taken with her. Or perhaps that is the unfortunate outcome. You are alone now, without a parent to care for you, it seems.
Kilchárunya - Heck, say that in Kicathian and you're a fully fledged male.
Gardin began crying, both tears and blood. Vekaron, at first silent, picked her up.
Vekaron - I'll take you to Vyatak. He can heal your eye.
Vansenk - Vekaron, what are you thinking?
Vekaron - She has a hole through her head. She needs to be healed.
Vansenk - This is a child. If she comes along with us, she will die. We are a combat dedicated unit and she will inevitably grow attached. We can leave her to be healed by her own people.
Wragrot - Yeah. One problem there. I don't think there's anyone else alive in here.
Vekaron - The Penumbra Unit is about galactic stability, not war. I don't see why we cannot help her.
Gardin - Mister...my head hurts...
Vansenk - We-- You are soldiers. This is not a soldier. This is an infant. Infants have no place upon your mission.
Kilchárunya - Heck you saw what she did to Torrent.
Vansenk - You saw what Torrent did to her.
Wragrot muttered to Vansenk and Kilchárunya.
Wragrot - I think it's the daddy instincts kicking in.
Kilchárunya - ...Eh?
Wragrot - Torrent mentioned he did the same to his daughter.
Vansenk - If he decides to bring her with us permanently, there shall be an inevitable repeat. Again.
Kilchárunya - Oh fuck what you think, whatever you are.
Kilchárunya went over to Gardin and looked at her.
Kilchárunya - Heck, it's like a family. Vekaron's the...uh...father...i'm the mother, Wragrot's the uncle and Vansenk's the crappy uncle who steals from the family.
Wragrot - Ew, now I'm picturing you and Vekaron as a couple.
Kilchárunya - Trust me, not as bad as Vansenk's face.
Vekaron - Helping the innocent is part of being a Penumbran. This girl is an innocent, and the Wranploer massacred the population. I will take her to Vyatak, and that's final.
Vansenk kept quiet and didn't say another word. He walked a few meters away from the group.
Vansenk - I'm going to console myself and count the dead. If she dies under your ownership, it is not my fault.
Above the group, Torrent's flagship left the atmosphere, followed by the Wranploer fleet. There was no more survivors on the city as the Wranploer had retreated.
Kilchárunya - Heck, with that attitude you might as well be a servant of that guy...who's name I forget. Big. Evil. Makes everything rot. Yeah that guy.
Vansenk - Believe me, I'm trying to prevent death.
Kilchárunya - Not with that face. Heh.
Vekaron - Hmpf. Let's go, kid. You'll like Vyatak.
Gardin - Oh...okay!
Vekaron carried Gardin back to the shuttle. Wragrot watched the whole scene scratching his head. He muttered to himself and followed them. Kilchárunya walked along with Vekaron, chuckling at her remarks about Vansenk, leaving the ruined Rovegar world behind.
Another Kind of Legacy
Deep within the many levels and floors of one of the Kormacvar Legacy's worlds, all was normal. Nothing had changed, schedules were being kept. They were the most powerful protection force within the galaxy, they had nothing to fear for they provided fear itself. However, perhaps it was this fact that got the better of them.
Roaming through the corridors of the base, a Marinox approached one of the more vital rooms; the data storage systems. A light in front of the door of the room passed through the Marinox, and a red light turned green.
Computer - Marinox drone. Access granted.
The Marinox entered through the door, not saying a word. It didn't look to anybody, as if it was unconcerned with them. It observed the massive room, a smile that depicted being slightly impressed washing over its face. Around the room, various Caretakers and Grox worked. Guarding them was a gold-coloured Dronox Commander. The Marinox gave a quick glance towards the golden Dronox Commander before approaching them, an emotionless expression over his face.
Marinox - Excuse me, Commander.
The Commander turned its attention to the Marinox. Its face could not be seen through its armor.
Marinox - I have been assigned to bring a file of information to the higher-ups. They were insistent on a file or drive detailing what we know of a certain being.
Commander - Hm...follow the corridor, last room to the left. Former indoctrination logs are in there. Don't take too long, those files are classified.
Marinox - Affirmative, Commander.
The Marinox followed the directions given to it, walking down the corridor calmly with a casual pace. It passed several doors that led to other storage rooms, but the one it desired was the last one to his left. After a minute of walking, the Marinox stopped and turned, entering the room.
The room had a red light in it, and was guarded by a forcefield, which lowered itself as the Marinox approached it. The Marinox watched as the forcefield lowered and approached it, entering through the room after another confirmed eye scan. The room was empty, though there were security cameras scattered around it. The Legacy obviously wanted these archives to remain hidden.
The Marinox observed a great number of futuristic, nail-sized drives that stored the information of every subject labelled within these archives. The Marinox walked past many until stopping when he caught a glimpse at a particular drive, which was stored within a cube-shaped chamber about the size fo a human hand, protected by a forcefiled just like all the others. Above the chamber was a holographic text projection that read "Hachiman". The Marinox could see several strings of text, which informed this chamber was of high importance. Strings of text also made references to the now-deceased Marinox commandant Khensu.
The Marinox read the text strings, provoking some interest. After finishing his read, the Marinox looked towards the chamber again. His voice proceeded to significantly change; it was the voice of the Mechanic.
Marinox - Deactivate forcefield protection. Figure of authorization; Mechanic.
Computer - Identified as Head Caretaker. Access granted.
The forcefield that protected the chamber deactivated and the Marinox reached in, grabbing the small drive that was suspended midair inside the small space. With that, he walked out of the room casually and walked back to the main room, where he nodded towards the Dronox Commander who was guarding the workers. As the Marinox left the main room, he made sure nobody could see him, not even the security cameras. Waiting for his presence to blend in, within a flash it was almost as if he was never even there; he was gone, no trace of his presence left where he stood, not even the information drive that was in his hands.
The Marinox materialized once more within a dark, barely-lit room, surrounded by architecture and structural design that appeared to mimic large, pumping veins across the wall despite their mechanical design. From the darkness, a large figure stepped forward into view; Kol Daren watched as the Marinox's shape vanished an in its place stood a Zazane that appeared rather similar to himself.
Kol - You have received the information, I trust?
??? - Yes. It was much easier than expected.
Kol - Excellent. You have proved to be the most successful thus far; I had a good feeling about you as soon as you awoke.
??? - Thank you, father. I am proud to be at your service.
Kol - No, it is I who am proud. To possess a remarkable child, it truly is a blessing.
??? - Father, do you mind if I ask the reason you desire this data? By what I have witnessed, this individual is...pathetic.
Kol chuckled at the Zazane's remark, approaching him and gently, carefully taking the drive from his hand, holding it between his fingers.
Kol - I suppose that you do not know better, as you were little more than raw material at the time. This individual possesses a power capable of rivalling those who proclaim themselves as gods. This information is more valuable than this very ship.
??? - Surely he cannot rival you, father.
Kol - The individual is still young, he has pathetic and inefficient control over his power. With this information, I can create a more...perfected being, one who retains enough control to destroy him before he can master such power. This perfected being...he shall be a valuable asset.
??? - I see. The individual's genetic material is mapped in this data, creating a clone should be easy.
Kol - Indeed, cloning is but another process of birthing. Now, leave me to my work. I shall reward you later for your efforts today, you have contributed greatly.
The Zazane bowed and then left, leaving Kol Daren alone with his new piece of data.
March of the Mutations
What had begun as a regular day at a sole Wranploer remnant quickly became a nightmare. It was a remnant composed of a single, shy planet, who only wanted to be left alone in the galaxy that hated it. The Wranploer in this planet only wanted peace and some space for themselves. Was that asking too much? Perhaps not, as they had remained undetected from the likes of the New Wranploer Legion and the Oltauris Consortium from day 1. The warlord of this remnant was actually preparing to make deals to absorb another, neighbour remannt who was suffering from a food crisis. Supplies in enchange of territory. Serve a man or die. Life was tough in Borealis.
Some, however, didn't care. The hatred of a fallen mad god would did not care for the size or power of an specific enemy. All it desied was to feed. To have its vengeance. To make these mortals join the plan. And soon, The small, defenseless, innocent remnant found themselves swarmed by strange spaceships. They belonged to that neighbour. Were they paying a visit?
Peace is asking too much. From the spaceships, hordes of monsters emerged and swarmed the small settlements which one could barely consider cities. The Wranploer soldiers found these things absolutely revolting and disgusting. Some could not take the vision and outright puked on sight. Teir stench contamined the air and their screams deafened their ears. Hybrids of all kinds, abominations mashed together, a vision of horror which one usually only saw on the extranet. The Wranplor soldiers defended as they could, but the beats were seemingly infinite.
And leading them, the greatest abomination of all. The successor to the throne of the fallen mad god, the progenitor of the monsters, the beast which had started it all. Vorius marched through the destruction, letting out incomprehensible rambling and crushing all opposition on his way. The Wranploer soldiers all fired at this building-sized terror in a vain attempt to stop it. But hitting it only made faces emerge from its body and scream. The faces of its former victims, still alive and aware of their situation, who could nothing but scream. Vorius himself felt no pain from the attacks, but his victims shared all of it between each other.
Capturing the foolish soldiers who had stayed to fight him with his immense tentacles, Vorius forced themselves against his own body. The monster's enzymes "digested" them on the spot, and they screamed. And at the same time, any kind of movement inside Vorius' body caused its victims to scream as well. It was a melody of pain. The sonundtrack of death, composed by one who had lost himself to powers beyond his understanding. And with each victim, Vorius grew a inch larger. Yet it was not enough, the plan was not done yet.
It wanted more. No, it needed more. And so, as quick as he had arrived, Vorius departed, while his chimeras stayed behind to create a base on the planet. But despite his bloodlust, Vorius was picky. He wanted specific genes. Specific genetic material for himself.
Torrent and Billig.
Black Market Bust-Up
In the outer reaches of the Borealis Galaxy, black markets still remained in full swing. Especially for the Murgur Warbands, and even more so for the Vorazius Warband. These Murgur were clothed in yellow, more to say almost gold. They were wealthy by most standards of Borealis social class, and they gathered a particular hatred for anything cybernetic, or machines in general. It was by some cruelty, or by some justice that one particular black market on planet Nizar was to be 'visited' by Kicathian Agents. Agent IVs to be precise; supersoldiers who are on the verge of total machinery.
Agent IVs are notorious for their physical prowess, technological advancement and especially among the Vorazius Warband to be the pinnacle of everything they hate. To them, Agent IVs were devils, as they were to every other race on the receiving end of their negativity. It would be of no surprise to anyone if a Vorazius Murgur were to engage one in combat for the pure fact they hated them.
On planet Nizar, five Agent IVs, under Agent Chi's command, landed in a stealth-tailored Crescentiform ship. It wasn't of any particular concern for the black market there, until Agent IVs appeared outside of the ship. The entire tone of the market went quiet. Murgur and criminals of many species of the Borealis Galaxy witnessed an ensuing issue. Kicath were known for their ruthlessness when it came to betrayal, and even more so when a Kicath is a supersoldier. Three of the Agents were male and two were female. They wore armor which was advanced even by Kicath standards; it was onyx black, save for a gleaning white visor. The armor seemed to define the Kicath's figure as well as having intimidating looking pauldrons along with the whole armor. Their weapons were on their back, all of them packing an Agent-grade rifle as well as two of the male Agents having an Agent Sword on their armor.
They walked through the main plaza of the market silently, with eyes following them in fear, amazement and in anger. They were, for the most part, taller than everyone there, marching through the halls like giants or sentinel drones with no emotion whatsoever. The Murgur however were marginally taller than them, but the Kicathian frame made it seem that they were taller. Some of the Murgur present were as angry as they were afraid, and some were even assessing how much money they could get for salvaging Agent-grade technology. No one knew why the Agents were there, with the possible exception of one Murgur. This Murgur was selling private-sector Kicathian technology, which by Kicathian custom was punishable by death. The Agents looked through the main room, which was somewhat small. It was perhaps five metres from the floor to the ceiling and around thirty metres from one end of the room to the other. It was darkly lit, with shutters letting in feeble amounts of sunlight. The whole theme was cold, save for the armaments being sold on heavy metallic slabs, heavy enough for even the Murgur to struggle moving them about.
The leader of the Agents, notable by a platinum strip on the jawline of his helmet and an Agent Sword, walked up to the Murgur with the Kicathian technology. The Murgur let out with one remark;
"Back off, machine scum, before you become scrap metal."
The Agent made no attempt to meet him with the insult, instead stood there without breath nor speech. The Murgur looked at the Agent spitefully, but confused as there was no response from him. The Agent instead looked down at the technology that the Kicath provided - soldier-grade prosthetics and an Agent-grade hand prosthetic, as well as numerous combat knives made for soldiers. Soldier-grade technology would often go for hundreds of millions, and Agent-grade technology was too expensive to put a price on, rather making an offer. The Agent drew his blade slowly. The blade, like his armor was onyx black, perfectly tempered and was, by Kicathian standards long. It looked almost katana in shape, if it were not for the fact that the blade was slightly thicker and curved slightly more. The Murgur around the hall all slowly moved their hands to their weapons.
The Agent parted the technology on the table with his blade in neat piles. The scraping of the sword cause deep cuts in the table, as well as horrid cutting sounds into metal. As the Murgur looked down and then looked at the Agent, the Agent did the same but to the Murgur. The Agent began to talk. Its voice was distorted by the helmet, making it sound almost machine, but intimidatingly so.
"Agent technology. Impressive."
The Murgur seemed almost relieved at the Agent's remark. The Agent began to let out a slight chuckle, before picking up the metallic slab of a table one handedly, effortlessly, and crushing the Murgur against the wall with a heavy slam, swinging it much like one would swing a bat. As the Murgur collided in a blood-laden explosion in between the wall and the table, the room shook as the Murgur quickly unleashed their weapons on the Agents. The Agent threw aside the table as the gunfire hit his armor in vain. He rolled to the side, behind a pillar. Four pillars marked the room in a rectangular shape. As he hid, so did the other Agents as the Murgur continued firing. The fifth Agent hid behind the collapsed table as it laid on the ground.
Despite the inevitability of the situation for the Murgur, the Agents followed common battle procedure as if it were too heavily imprinted on their minds. It was almost like a hidden curriculum for them, as if they were taught to follow the battle plan of common Kicath warriors, even though their name in Kicathian was synonymous to 'Divine Warrior'. By most standards, Agent IVs were invincible in conventional combat, and it seemed to be of little exception here. The Agent leader, with his sword drawn, went out into the fray. Using a module, he moved faster than usual, phasing through bullets and eventually meeting a Murgur on the other end. The Murgur was taller than him, but the Agent still picked him up regardless. The Murgur blasted at the leader, flinching slightly as the shields took damage. The Agent disarmed the Murgur with his blade, before driving the blade through his neck.
One of the other Agents had two Murgur firing on him. As he was situated behind a pillar, he thought up a tactic. As he had the other Agent Sword, he twisted himself into a fighting position, severing the pillar at the top and at the bottom. The pillar was now a free moving block. He drove his hand through the pillar, picking it up and making it a makeshift shield. The Murgur kept their fire on him as he moved closer, before eventually crushing one against the wall. The other Murgur however, was lucky enough to fire a blast directly on to the jaw. The Agent retracted back, stunned, before regaining composure and hurling the pillar at him, crushing him.
More Murgur poured in through the door, this time with heavier weapons. It became obvious that the Agents were to use drastic measures if they were to survive the situation. The room was not large enough for them to escape the fire by merely sprinting, so, when the Murgur opened fire, they phased through the wall behind them. The Murgur stood confused, and kept firing until it tore through the wall. As it did, their guns ran out of ammo. They stood there, laughing as if it were victory, before realising they all had tracer dots on their heads. It did not take them long to react before their heads burst and them crashing to the floor. The Agents rephased through the wall, and assessed the damage. The room, needless to say, was completely destroyed by the incident. What was on sale was no longer able to be sold, and the room was scattered with Murgur.
One of the Murgur, however, was still alive. He was slightly embedded in the wall, and his chest was slightly crushed. Blood pooled at his feet as he was pressed against the heavy duty wall with a pillar. One of the female Agents looked at the Murgur as he laughed, possessing a weapon with considerable firepower. She appeared startled, as the Murgur fired it at her. It hit the side of her arm, tearing through the shield and burning the armor. As she stumbled, the Agent leader stood in the way. The Murgur kept on firing, but in this case, no damaged seemed to be done. The commander was wearing heavy duty armor, and as he took the blasts with no issue, grabbed the Murgur by the shoulders and ripped him out of the wall, picking him up as the Murgur kept on firing. The commander put his hand at the Murgur's throat, and in one swift movement, crushed its neck and hurled him aside.
The other Agent seemed to had suffered substantial damage, however. She wore a stealth suit, and it almost tore through to her synthetic arm. She stood back up strong, flexing her arm and stretched it. As her shields regenerated, a link was made on the leader's comm. It was Agent Chi, who sent them there on the account of illegal products being sold.
- Chi - "Have the products been destroyed?"
- Leader - "Affirmative."
- Chi - "And the personnel?"
- Leader - "Executed. Eight dead. More expected to come."
- Chi - "Make your way out. Your mission is not yet done and you are probably on high alert. Perhaps next time, do not kill everyone you come across."
- Leader - "...Understood."
As the Agents stepped out of the complex, they were surrounded. Criminals with heavy machinery, weapons, vehicles and troops were all pointing their weapons at the Agents. As the Agents put their arms up in surrender, one of them picked a device attached to their chest. It was in fact a disruptive device. As he threw it, it let out a blue light, causing all nearby weaponry and machinery to fail. As they were about to fire, their weapons stopped charging and became useless. The Agents found that opportunity to quickly teleport out of the immediate area, some two-hundred metres away from the complex, and made it back to their ship before the market guard followed intensely.
The Disappointed Matriarch
At her throne flagship known as the Composer's Melody, Matriarch Vileraz IV of the Rovegar Matriarchy was awaiting for a report from the Sisterhood. Vileraz is the oldest and most influent of all Rovegar, but she is not exactly popular with her people. She is often associated with crimes and atrocities which, while not proved true, have given her a bad reputation. Even without these, she is well known as being extremely greedy, ruthless and cold when it comes to her schemes.
Standing next to her was a Rovegar unlike any other. Unlike the rest of them, it was a male. In fact, the only male. Erureidan, the Gallarade, the last remaining male Rovegar in the entirely of existence. No one but Vileraz and her predecessors know how or why the male Rovegar vanished, and attempting to ask about it is seen almost as a taboo. Erureidan knows the Matriarch is not the best person ever, but he was born with the task of protecting her, and so he does at all times.
The Composer's Melody is one of the most powerful spaceships in the Matriarchy. Named after the supreme goddess of Rovegar religion, it acts as the capital of the entire Matriarchy, unlike most other Borealis races who have their homeworld as their capital. Asking about the Rovegar homeworld is as much of a taboo as asking about the male extinction. At around 15,000 km in diameter, the Composer's Melody acts as much as a dreadnought as it acts as a huge, moving ecunemopolis, housing millions of influent Rovegar individuals in its interior.
Walking through the corridors of Vileraz's palace were a Sisterhood Representative and a team of five Sisterhood Militants. The feared organization responsable for the expansion of the Rovegar's influence, the supplement of resources, the keeping of the Rovegar's religious practices and the researchers of technology, the Sisterhood were well known for their cruelty and their independance from government matters. However, even the Mother Sovereign is aware of the consequences of getting Matriarch Vileraz angry.
As they entered the room, Vileraz put her hands together and grinned. The Militants were visibly nervous, as well as the Representative, though she did her best not to show any fear.
- Vileraz IV - Ah, Sisterhood. You've finally arrived.
- Representative - Greetings, M-Matriarch.
- Vileraz IV - I take you've brought me the Zoles Penumbran, like I ordered, no? Where is he? I want to see what he looks like in person.
- Representative - Well...that's the reason we are here right now...
Vileraz raised an eyebow, while her grin very slowly changed into a neutral expression. Erureidan rolled his eyes, already knowing what was about to happen.
- Vileraz IV - What are you saying?
- Representative - The mission...was a failure. Representative Danita and all of her squad were killed in action when a pirate fleet attacked the planet.
- Vileraz IV - ...And the Zoles?
The Militants forced their eyes shut, while their Representative gulped. All of them were at visible fear, while all the Matriarch did was watch them with her hands together.
- Representative - He...escaped, Matriarch.
- Vileraz IV - Hm. Is that so?
- Erureidan - Shame. Dare I suggest inspecting the damage?
- Vileraz IV - That is a good suggestion, indeed.
Vileraz IV pressed various buttons on a holographic keyboard next to her throne, and after some seconds, images taken from the attacked planet appeared. They showed the planet in ruins, destroyed by Torrent's attack force. Taken from surviving sattelites, the images also showed pictures of the attack itself, one of them showing the Matriarch a good picture of Torrent himself battling Vekaron. Her eyes narrowed as she watched.
- Vileraz IV - ...A Kvargo?
- Erureidan - That's the Borealis Consortium Network, is it not?
- Vileraz IV - Our sources exclaim they have been dissolved. It must be a surviving warband or something like that. But a Kvargo leading them? They are supposed to be extinct.
- Erureidan - I'd be more worried about these crooks venturing into our territory like this. They've never done it before.
- Vileraz IV - I'll put the Nation Fleets on high alert. Last thing we need are Wranploer in our borders.
The Sisterhood members watched as Vileraz and Erureidan looked at the screens. They expected the Matriarch to have punished them by now, but instead, she appeared rather calm. The screens turned off and she slowly turned to the Sisterhood members again.
- Vileraz IV - This is most unfortunate.
- Representative - I-I-I'm sorry, Matriarch.
- Vileraz IV - Your services are not needed anymore.
- Representative - So...we'll be on our way now and-
- Vileraz IV - Let me show you the way out.
Out of nowhere, the Sisterhood Representative was blasted out of the ground and hit the wall with enough force to cause a notable dent in it. The Militants screamed in horror as their leader's blood sprayed across the wall. They tried to run away, only to be stopped in midair and bashed against each other repeteadly until the room echoed with the sound of their bones cracking. As they perished, they were thrown aside, their bodies falling above their leader's. Erureidan looked at Vileraz IV, whose eyes were previously shining in a bright red and quickly returning to normal.
- Erureidan - Was that really needed? Like, they were only giving us a report.
- Vileraz IV - Your opinion was not asked, nor does it have any significance, Gallarade.
- Erureidan - Sheesh. Calm down. I'm just saying the Sisterhood is gonna be mad if you keep doing that whenever they fail a job.
- Vileraz IV - This has jeopardized my entire scheme. Now the Polar Crystal Alliance may attempt to retaliate. If I had succeeded I could have used the Zoles as a meatshield. But now, I must start all over again.
At this moment, a bright red beeped on Vileraz IV's throne console. A warning, made to show the Matriarch the enemy were approaching. A feminine, but synthetic voice spoke.
- AI - Warning. Ganthorean presence detected within 10 parsecs.
- Erureidan - Oh joy.
- Vileraz IV - Ganthoreans? Here? Ugh. Get to the closest Cold Relay and move the Composer's Melody deeper into our space. Last thing I need now are these plants bothering me.
Attack on the Rafows
The Core Region is a region of mystery. Very little is actually known about the inhabitants of it, despite the presence of the Kormacvar Legacy and members of the Polar Crystal Alliance such as the Herame Republic and the Kalda Polyarchy. The Outer Core, the region not inhabited by the Grox, is by far the largest sector of the entire galaxy, and as such, most of it still remains unexplored despite it being mapped.
One of the least known inhabitants to the PCA is the Rafows Republic. Former victims of the Wranploer Legion, the Rafows were at one time forced to be nomads to survive after the Legion destroyed their empire. However, in the last few centuries, the Rafows began rebuilding and even managed to re-claim their abandoned homeworld of Elence. They had remained neutral to the Second Borealis War, prefering to not get involved due to having too much problems.
And among these problems was an old enemy of the Rafows, the Imalmah Hegemony. Dreaded by the peaceful Rafows as a race of extermist, racist creatures, the Imalmah showed delight in pulverizing Rafows worlds to dust. And now that the Grox had been pacified and the Second War was over, the Imalmah decided to pay their friends another visit. Fleet Commander Bakarl invaded the Elence system and layed waste on the fleet defending the homeworld of the Rafows, tearing through it like paper. With his fleet, multiple mining ships of various sizes were also present. With the defeat of the space forces, Bakarl descended into the planet to prepare the next step of his plan.
Surrendering the ground forces of the planet, Bakarl and his soldiers invaded the capital and the palace of the government. It was an interesting building, as it had been built right next to an immense waterfall, giving it a calming appearence. The waterfall almost hid the flames that consumed the city. Almost. The council of ministers of the palace were held at gunpoint, with nowhere to run.
Bakarl - Look who's here.
Minister - You...why are you attacking us? Were the other invasions years ago not enough for you?!
Bakarl - I don't like leaving work unfinished. And my work her eis not done until you are all buried six feet underground.
One of the other ministers in the room, in a nervous state, tried charging into Bakarl from behind. The commander, howeve,r turned around anc casually shot his jaw, killing him instnatly. The men and women on the room all screamed in fear as the wall was littered in blood.
Bakarl - Nu-huh, you don't.
Misister - Madman! Stop torturing us! Why have we even done to you?!
Bakarl - Oh, you want to know?
Bakarl approached his face to the minister, almost rubbing his nose against his. He let out a grin and narrowed his eyes, the minister staring into him in fear.
Bakarl - You. Are not. Imalmah.
Bakarl swung his pistol and bashed it against the minister, knocking him into the ground. He pointed at his men, while the rest of the Rafows in the room only watched, defenseless.
Bakarl - Begin harvesting the planet's resources immediately. Once we are done, begin protocol "Bring Down The Sky". And make sure no Rafows leaves the planet.
Imalmah Soldier - Understood, sir.
Minister - W-what's this now?
Bakarl - Oh, you'll love this protocol. It involves your planet, an asteroid and a big explosion.
The minister's eyes widened and Bakarl let out a heatly laugher. He then ordered his men to take the ministers to his ship. He wanted them to watch as their homeworld was drained dry and turned into nothing but space rubble. Unless someone appeared to save them.
Bring Down the Sky
At Vekaron's ship, the team received an urgent transmission. Vekaron opened it, and a hologram of Councillor Xeron appeared.
Vekaron - Greetings, councillor.
Wragrot - Wait. That's a councillor? It looks so teeny.
Kilchárunya - Everyone's small in this galaxy.
Vansenk - Looks almost edible.
Vansenk licked his chops with his tongue. Kilchárunya's lips distorted upon the sight, before she looked away.
Xeron - I'll let you know, Murgur brute, that I have the power to glass your species into dust with the flick of a finger. Size means nothing.
Wragrot - Fair enough.
Kilchárunya - That was a little undeserving.
Xeron - Anyway, Vekaron and "crew", I have an urgent mission for you.
Vansenk - Ugh, let's hope this one does not involve children of any kind.
Vekaron - What's up?
Xeron - The Imalmah Hegemony has surrendered the Rafows homeworld of Elence and appearently plan to destroy it by launching a massive asteroid against it. The Zoles and Niaka cannot intervene themselves for we are not interested in a war against the Hegemony at this time. Instead, you will take care of it.
Kilchárunya - Couldn't have you just asked the Kicath to do it? Pretty sure they'd get the job done in a few days.
Xeron - I said the Alliance is not interested in war against the Hegemony. And you should know how your people operate.
Kilchárunya - Yeah. They'd still eradicate them anyway.
Kilchárunya walked off, muttering something insulting in Kicathian.
Vansenk - It is better we get the task done sooner rather than later.
Xeron - Yes, there is no time to waste. Infiltrate the flagship, rescue any hostages, and stop the asteroid before the planet is destroyed.
Vekaron - Understood.
Xeron's hologram disappeared.
Vansenk - Needless to say, I find the pipsqueak obnoxious already.
Kilchárunya spoke from a distance.
Kilchárunya - For once I agree. If the Council know anything about Kicath it's that we don't take kindly to being ordered around.
Vansenk - Come back and sit down.
Vekaron - Well, too bad. You're under my orders, remember?
Kilchárunya - Apologies. It's just that our race has had 700,000 years of it.
Vyatak entered the room, with Gardin sitting on his shoulder.
Vyatak - Need machine disabling? Can do that. Will require escort though. Not a fighter.
Vekaron - Since this is an infiltration mission, me, Vyatak, Vansek and Kilchárunya will go.
Wragrot - Fair enough. I'm not the sneakiest Murgur ever.
Kilchárunya - Are Murgur actually biologically suited to 'sneak'?
Wragrot - Nope.
Vansenk - If your stealth skills are as impressive as they were back on the Hseraelna space station, this mission is doomed. I can escort Vyatak. But the child is staying here. I find it just as obnoxious as the councillor.
Gardin sticked her tongue to Vansenk. The group could notice her eye had been fixed, but her pupil was now white instead of red. Vansenk looked to Gardin and shot his grotesque, black tongue out to return the gesture. The sides of his tongue seemed to "bulge", almost as if breathing.
Vyatak - Euch! Nasty! Stop showing me your genitals!
Vekaron - Save your grumpiness for the Imalmah. We'll be certainly fighting some.
Kilchárunya - If you're talking to me, Hseraelna, then I hope your dodging skills are as good as are your skills in unnerving small children.
Vansenk looked to Kilchárunya and smirked, sticking his tongue out and beginning to licking his eyeball.
Vansenk - Do not worry yourself, I am an expert in both.
Kilchárunya - I wonder whether neutering Hseraelna is legal in the Boeralis Galaxy or not.
Vyatak - Hmm. Will request DNA sample later.
A cloaked shuttle taking Vekaron, Vansenk, Kilchárunya and Vyatak made its way down to the surface, near the spaceport where the Imalmah flagship was located. There sere Imalmah guards everywhere, but the shuttle managed to land in the woods, undetected.
Vansenk - Ugh, I hate flora.
Kilchárunya - You'd hate Paclernos then. It's funny. Only around 0.2% of living Kicath were actually born on Paclernos.
Vansenk - Well, considering I have never smelled a plant before, this is pretty painful for me. It feels like my nose is on fire.
Vekaron - Don't talk too loud, we don't want attention.
The team progressed silently through the woods until they managed to get a good view of the spaceport. In it, a grey-coloured Imalmah was visible, ordering various political-dressed Rafows inside the flagship.
Vekaron - Bakarl...
Kilchárunya - Hm. Shoot? Don't shoot?
Vansenk - I could always dispatch him with my nanomachines. Then again, it's too far for me to reach. It would require being quite close.
Vyatak - Don't shoot. Will alarm entire Imalmah force.
Kilchárunya - ...Right. Stealth mission.
A voice coming from the flagship relayed a message.
Voice - Resources have been sucessfully taken. All back to your ships. Protocol "Bring Down The Sky" will take place in 30 minutes.
Kilchárunya - Well that doesn't sound good.
Vansenk - Yes, the name is very unoriginal if I do say so myself.
Vekaron - We need to get to that ship, and fast.
Kilchárunya - Any suggestions on how?
Vekaron - We sneak past.
Vansenk - Will they require distraction?
Vekaron - That'd be useful.
Vansenk - Leave it to me.
Vansenk kept low to the floor, almost crawling in order to hide himself from being seen. Approaching a group of guards that had been deployed nearby the ship, he examined them closely and quietly. Out of the blue, one of the soldiers of the squad began to vomit, although it wasn't near as bad as Vansenk's standard. The soldiers guarding the entrance to the airport left to investigate what was happening, leaving room for the group to enter it.
Vansenk - Hurry, the effects won't last long.
Vansenk looked back to the group and nodded. Kilchárunya sprinted at full pace into the entrance, running fast enough to have rocks trail her. Vekaron followed her, followed by Vyatak, who struggled to keep up. Vansenk followed Kilchárunya as she ran. The team managed to run fast enough to get to one of the flagship's entrances. As they entered, it closed behind them. Kilchárunya managed to stop in her tracks, causing the the floor to warp. The flagship slowly lifted itself off the ground and made its way to the atmosphere.
Kilchárunya - I forgot to mention, Kicath can run fast.
Vyatak - Interesting.
Vekaron - Keep silent and try not to get sighted.
Vansenk - So it seems your excess weight does not impede your athletic abilities. Much.
Kilchárunya - Excuse me?
Vansenk glared with a smile at Kilchárunya before becoming quiet as per Vekaron's orders. Making their way through the ship, the team stopped where various corridors met. Imalmah guards were visible patrolling them.
Kilchárunya muttered - Ét malí'mnajakta ákarnaniarazha...[When we get back...]
Vyatak - Need a map of the ship. Would make things faster. One of these guards may have one.
Kilchárunya - Hm. Plan?
One of the guards, whistling to himself, walked by the corridor. He passed right in front of the group, but did not notice them.
Vyatak - Grab that one!
Kilchárunya sprinted up to the guard, and gave him a well placed hook to the back of the head. The guard was knocked out cold and fell into the ground.
Kilchárunya - Hm. They have hard skulls. That would kill most humanoids.
Vansenk - No, you just have a weak fist.
Kilchárunya - I crushed a human skull with my hand once. I'm pretty sure I could crush yours.
Vyatak - Brain not in skull. Located in stalk above head.
Vekaron - Damnit, get the map and get out of there before they come check the source of the sound.
Vansenk moved forward and grabbed the map that the soldier was holding, examining it.
Vansenk - ...I have no idea whether I'm reading it right or not.
Kilchárunya - Idiot. Give it to me.
Vyatak - No, give it to me.
Vekaron - Ugh.
Vansenk passed the map to Vyatak without batting an eye to Kilchárunya. Two guards appeared to check the source of the sound and noticed the group.
Imalmah - Intruders!
Kilchárunya - Contact!
Vekaron - Can't let them warn Bakarl or sound an alarm. Kill them!
The Imalmah took their rifles and fired at the team's direction. Vansenk grabbed ahold of his sickle and threw it forward at the Imalmah. The sickle hit one of the soldiers, causing him to fall into his back, agonizing.
Vansenk - Deal with the other one, quickly!
Kilchárunya teleported out of the way and behind a corner, shooting at the Imalmah. Before he could react, the Imalmah was killed by her shots. Vansenk approached the Imalmah he hit, watching as he was in agonizing pain. Picking up his sickle, Vansenk then watched as the Imalmah proceeded to unnaturally convulse and then die on the ground.
Vyatak - Hmmm...control center is right, then up, then left, tehn up again...Imalmah architecture. Simple to say the least.
Vekaron - Lead the way, Vyatak. I can hear more soldiers coming.
Kilchárunya - Is that a good idea? The guy's slow. No offense.
Vansenk - The Kicath rogue does have a point.
Vyatak - Understimated. Path not so long. Just follow.
Kilchárunya - Fine. Let's go.
Following Vyatak's intructions, the team made their way through the flagship. However, halfway through it, they stopped by a windowed protection which showed the view of the ship's side. An enormous asteroid, fielled with propeller-like mechanisms, was visible.
Vekaron - Shit. It's bigger than I thought.
Kilchárunya - What now?
Vekaron - The asteroid. It's nearly the size of a moon.
Kilchárunya - I see that. What now?
Vansenk - If those mechanisms are controlled via onboard computers here, Vyatak should be able to direct them to travel the other way.
Vyatak - Go on. Close to control center.
Making their way up, the team heared as the ship warned the asteroid would be launched in 10 more minutes. They finally arrived at the control center, which appeared as a rather large hall. On a distance, Bakarl was visible sitting on the captain's chair.
Bakarl - So you are the ones causing so much noise downstairs.
Vansenk - See? I said you people had disgraceful stealth skills.
Kilchárunya almost launched her fist at Vansenk, before turning the gesture into sorting out her crest.
Bakarl - Hell, that's some ugly aliens you got there, Vekaron. What are you now? A circus master?
Vansenk - It seems this particular Imalmah is something of a hypocrit.
Vekaron - By the Council, you will stop that asteroid before I go there and cut off your brain, Bakarl.
Bakarl - I don't take orders from the Council, or from you! The Rafows will watch as their planet burns to the ground!
Vansenk - As entertaining as that sounds, I am afraid we cannot allow this action to pass.
Bakarl pressed some buttons on a gauntlet on his fist. Outside, the asteroid began moving.
Bakarl - Protocol's getting rushed now.
Vansenk - Son of a bitch.
Kilchárunya - That's it. Shoot him already!
Bakarl - You can try and stop me, or you can try and stop the asteroid, and save your precious Rafows leaders. I'll be on my way now!
Bakarl launched himself off his chair and ran down to anotehr corridor behind him. Kilchárunya growled and Vekaron tried shooting at his back, but his shields absorbed the damage. Several Imalmah soldiers, around 15, appeared and began shooting at the group.
Imalmah - For the Hegemony!
Kilchárunya - To Inferno with your Hegemony.
Vansenk - We must find a way to deal with the asteroid rather than find a way to deal with Bakarl.
Vekaron - Yes. Make way for Vyatak. We'll take care of Bakarl later.
Kilchárunya starting shooting rapidly at the Imalmah soldiers whilst strafing towards cover. Vekaron charged and attacked the Imalmah, cutting through them with his blade. Vansenk's sickle transformed into a scythe and he began to twirl it around and slash at the Imalmah soldiers. Kilchárunya started to aim her gun more accurately, and began to fire at the Imalmah stalks. The combined attacks killed all of the soldiers. Vyatak ran up to Bakarl's chair and began working on the computer.
Kilchárunya - The bastard got away.
Vyatak - Hegemony tech. Primitive. Should be done in a few minutes. Go find hostages.
Vansenk - I'll stay here and protect Vyatak.
Vekaron - Where are them, Vyatak?
Vyatak - Follow right corridor. Make haste.
Outside, a shuttle could be seen escaping the flagship. Kilchárunya growled as she moved on to find the hostages. Vekaron followed her and went into the right corridor, cutting and gunning down more Imalmah, until they finally arrived into the prison cells, wher ethe Rafows ministers were trapped.
Minister - Gosh! It's the Zoles commandant! We're saved!
Kilchárunya - Yeah, yeah. Keep quiet.
Several monitors across the ship showed Bakarl's face.
Bakarl - You'll pay for getting in my way. Self-destruct sequence, initiate.
Kilchárunya - Siná'in. Time to pick up the pace!
Vekaron - Ah, shit. Vyatak, hurry up!
Red lights began beeping across the ship. Vekaron opened the cells and the duo plus the ministers ran back to the control center. The Imalmah still on the ship began panicking and ran off to the shuttles so they could save themselves.
Kilchárunya - Right, dunno about you but we should make for the exit.
Vyatak - Hmmm...almost there...just a bit more code...
With the click of the final button, the asteroid outside began moving to the direction opposite of the planet.
Vyatak - Yes! Technical genius, as always.
Vansenk - Vyatak, can you program it to go to the Imalmah homeworld?
Vyatak - Too far from here. Would take millions of years.
Kilchárunya - Whoa, whoa whoa. One miracle at a time.
Vekaron - Vyatak, where is the shuttle bay?
Vyatak - Right below us. Take elevator.
Kilchárunya - Well what are we waiting for?
Making their way through the elevator, the team managed to enter one of the last remaining shuttles. As they left, the flagship exploded behind them. The ministers cheered and Vekaron panted.
Vekaron - Phew...mission complete.
Vansenk - All things considered, this mission went surprisingly well.
Kilchárunya - Except that Imalmah escaped. Permission to torture him when we catch him.
Vekaron - Granted.
Kilchárunya - Well that's my year sorted out.
Back to the ship, Wragrot and Gardin watched the team return. The hologram of Councillor Xeron appeared again.
Wragrot - Well, you look like you had a rough time down there.
Kilchárunya - Really? Hm.
Vansenk - Could have been worse. Kilchárunya could have survived. Oh wait, she did.
Kilchárunya slammed her foot down on Vansenk's foot. Vansenk shuddered in pain as her foot slammed onto his, proceeding to grab his foot and hop across the room. Gardin laughed as she watched Vansenk hop around.
Xeron - Mission report?
Vekaron - Planet is saved, Imalmah are gone, ministers are safe. Bakarl escaped, though.
Xeron - Bakarl was involved? Grrr. Terrorist scum.
Kilchárunya - Permission to speak, councilor?
Xeron - Go ahead.
Kilchárunya - We should go after him. If he got his hand on more advanced technology he could take out more than just a planet.
Vansenk - Yes. Like two planets.
Kilchárunya - Or two feet.
Xeron - Indeed. I will warn the authorities of the region to search and find him. But for now, you all earned your rest. I'll keep you updated. Xeron out.
Kilchárunya - Hm. That'll do.
Xeron's hologram disappeared. The planet was saved and Bakarl was stopped. But how long would it take for them to run up to him again?
A Scientist Required
Since the ending of the Second Borealis Galactic War, the Indoctrinate Collective had prospered and expanded through their territory in the galaxy. Being one of the greatest allies of the Polar Crystal Alliance, the Collective was almost considered "part of the family" at this point.
Baptarion Light, one of the heroes of the war, had retired from military affairs and resumed doing what he enjoyed to do best: archeology. He had found a rather large and well preserved piece of Kormacvar technology and several strings of alien text, which he had studied in the last 3 months. Some of these texts mentioned mutations in the galaxy following the creation of Project Armageddon, which could perhaps explain things such as teh Borealis Radeon and Borealis Zazane.
It didn't matter much, though. He was an archeologist, not a biologist. He kept being confusied with one due to his participation in the war. It was rather annoying, but who cares. Baptarion remained confident, for he was his own boss and no one could tell him what to do. At least until now.
As he had his back turned, a figure appeared in Baptarion's laboratory. It was Genrai Nal. As he turned back again, Baptarion shouted.
Baptarion - What the hell?!
Genrai Nal - We meet once more, scientist.
Baptarion - I thought you were under arrest...
Genrai Nal - You were mistaken.
Genrai Nal began walking into Baptarion's direction. The Radeon, startled, reached his hand to his pistol, grabbed it and opened fire at the intruder's chest. Genrai Nal's shields, however, merely shrugged off the damage. He grabbed Baptarion by hsis chest and lifted him up.
Genrai Nal - My employer requires a scientist. A well-known scientist, such as yourself, will suffice.
Baptarion - Get your filthy pirate hands off me!
Baptarion swung his mechanical arm, delivering a slam into the side of Genrai Nal's face. While he rarely used it, his mechanical hand granted him enough strenght to rival that of a Borealis Zazane. Genrai Nal stumbled back, but then grabbed Baptarion's throat with one hand and his mechanical arm with another, leaving immobilized.
Genrai Nal - You are aware you cannot win a battle against me. My employer has ordered me to take you unharmed.
Baptarion - Screw you and your employer!
Genrai Nal - This is not your choice. You will be taken to Torrent now.
Baptarion - Torrent?! Oh what the f-
Genrai Nal teleported himself and Baptarion out of view, leaving the laboratory empty.
In search of Bakarl, Vekaron's crew made a lead to the desert planet of Ordraunt. The planet was an Imalmah slave ring, a hub for pirate activity and a general hate-zone for the Polar Crystal Alliance. As they stepped out of the ship, the heat of the planet hit them like a slap in the face.
Wragrot - Just like home.
Vansenk - I have sweat on my sweat.
Kilchárunya - It's warm. Not unbearable, but it could be...better. You should see Paclernos. The heat of the deserts has made a natural boneyard.
Wragrot - Sounds like a good place for a vacation.
Vekaron - I've been in hotter places than this.
Vansenk - Yeah? Well I haven't. Just last year I didn't know aliens existed.
Kilchárunya - Well you're missing out a lot of info.
Vekaron - That's not relevant now. The authorities said Bakarl could be here. We gotta move on.
As the team made their way down through the multitudes of buildings; bars, slave-pens, and more slave-pens, the sheer number of criminals on the planet kept the animosity towards them at bay.
Vansenk - You're right, Wragrot. Reminds me of home.
Kilchárunya - Hmm...any lead? I don't know where we're going.
Vansenk - Why don't you ask for directions?
Vekaron - Asking Imalmah for directions? Doesn't usually work.
Kilchárunya - ...Grr. Alright, but it's your funeral.
Kilchárunya went over to an Imalmah, seemingly keeping guard of a slave pen. The Imalmah looked at her with slight disregard.
Kilchárunya - You. If you want to keep your legs, you'll give us directions. Where's the nearest administration building around here?
The Imalmah backed away a little, startled by the size of the group's members.
Imalmah - Largest dome at the end of the street, sir...madam...whatever you are.
Kilchárunya - Hmph. Thanks. Guess it's that way then. I'd keep our weapons on hold.
Wragrot - Gun in hand, got you.
Vansenk - See? Asking for directions always works, so long as you provide a little bit of aggressive reasoning.
Vansenk drew his sickle and raised his hood, hiding his face.
Vekaron - If you were all Zoles, this would have ended in a gunfight the moment we stepped on this city.
Vansenk - What's a Zoles?
Vekaron - My species.
Vansenk - ...I see. You are an attractive people.
Vekaron gave Vansenk a weirded look, while Wragrot chuckled.
Kilchárunya - I'm not even a Zoles and that creeped me out.
Vansenk - Well, in all honesty, any species is more attractive than a Hseraelna.
Vekaron lead the way through the masses of Imalmah and other species on the planet. As they went through, Kilchárunya caught sight of weaponry stores, butchers and other shops. The rest of the crowd didn't seem to take much notice.However, the Imalmah began to take notice of Wragrot. To them, Wragrot was something of a rare sight. Wragrot let out a loud grunt, causing the Imalmah to back away.
Wragrot - Quit staring, you ugly little midgets.
The Imalmah then took back to their activities, intimidated by Wragrot.
Vansenk - I take back my statement. *glares at passing Imalmah* "Almost" any species is more attractive than a Hseraelna.
Wragrot - I don't find aliens attractive. Plants? Can be pretty. Aliens? No.
As they moved further on, the buildings began to space out as the administration building dominated the nearby landscape. The building stood around 40 metres tall, and, like the Imalmah described, was domed. Numerous ship bays sprouted off from it, one being of Imalmah and the other being of a more interesting design. The other ship was sleek, golden, silver and was coated in a dark brown colour. It was clearly more advanced than the Imalmah's technology, which made Kilchárunya think.
Kilchárunya - Hm. Bakarl's ship?
Wragrot - Either that or some rich bounty hunter or client.
Vansenk - I would imagine it is someone of much more importance than that piece of cretin.
Kilchárunya - Vekaron?
Vekaron - I don't think that's Imalmah-made.
The team walked in to the reception of the building - receptionists took alarm to the appearance of Vekaron and the team. Upstairs in a central chamber, very faint shouting could be heard.
Kilchárunya - Doesn't sound like the conversation's going well.
Wragrot - Heh. Reminds me of one time I visited an Imalmah slaver arena.
Vansenk - That shouting. Reminds me of when mama and papa argued before he had her sacrificed.
Vekaron - Ouch...
Vansenk - It was mama's fault. Stupid woman wouldn't keep her mouth shut about her doubts in the Corruptus. And the marriage.
All of a sudden, Imalmah guards poured in through the main door, and passed the team, going upstairs into the chamber. The main door closed and secured itself.
Kilchárunya - Well that's just great.
Wragrot - Upstairs we go.
Before the team could go upstairs, four of the Imalmah guards were sent flying back down the stairs, with charred black holes burnt through them.
Vekaron - Hell, whatever is up there, it's definetely not an Imalmah.
Vansenk - I nominate the Kicath to go first.
Kilchárunya - I sure hope the guy up there's gonna give me an orbital cannon so I can blow your tail back home!
Vekaron - Hey. Less fighting, more going upstairs.
The team went upstairs, which curved to the left. The corridor was fairly narrow and Wragrot had to twist his body to the side just to fit in. As they passed, dead guards littered the staircase before they eventually reached the inner chamber. The room was circular in shape, and was completely covered in gunfire smoke. Vekaron held on his blade, Wragrot prepared his shotgun and Vansenk clasped his sickle and kept his hood raised.
Kicks and Pillars
As the smoked began to clear, a lone, titanic figure stood in the room with an Imalmah clasped in his left hand. A small cracking sound and the Imalmah dropped. As he turned around the team could see that he was well armored, and his helmet shielded his head well. From the shape and the sound he made from a sharp intake of breath, the being was a Mahanayan. Vansenk stepped back and slammed against the wall behind him in fear.
Wragrot - What the heck is that?
Kilchárunya - Oh crap. It's a Mahanayan.
Vekaron - Maha-what now?
Vansenk - Whatever it is...I don't like it.
Kilchárunya - It's an elite Dominion species.
Vekaron - ...Xhodocto Dominion? Oh, no.
Wragrot - It's a big guy. Think he can put up a good fight?
Kilchárunya unloaded her rifle on the Mahanayan; the Mahanayan taking cover by ripping off a section of the wall. Wragrot got out of cover and fired at the Mahanayan with his shotgun. meanwhile Vekaron attempted to get at melee range.
Kilchárunya - Crap, Vekaron don't get too close!
Vekaron - I can't fight outside of melee range!
Vansenk didn't even attempt to fight; he merely kept cover behind a wall. As the fire briefly stopped, the Mahanayan raised himself out of cover, before swinging the wall at Vekaron. Kilchárunya sprinted over to Vekaron and pushed him out of the way, though Kilchárunya was sent through the wall. Wragrot growled and charged into the Mahanayan, delivering a headbutt on him.
Vekaron - Damnit. Kilchárunya, you alright?
Kilchárunya groaned as she was unable to get up. Vansenk rushed over from his cover and stepped in front of Kilchárunya in order to avoid her getting hit, using his scythe as it transformed from the sickle as a means to deflect any gunfire. The Mahanayan stumbled back from the force from Wragrot's headbutt, before headbutting Wragrot back. Wragrot stumbled back, then let out a grin.
Wragrot - You CAN put up a good fight then!
Vansenk - What's the matter, Kicath? Where are you hurting most?
Kilchárunya - ...Shut up and fight the damn thing.
Vansenk - Hmph, tell me that is an attempt at humour.
Vansenk leaned down beside Kilchárunya and closed his eyes. Within moments, the pain began to quickly ease as he knelt beside her. Vekaron got up and ran up to the Mahanayan to slash at him with his blade. Wragrot charged his fist in essence and tried to punch him in the chest. The blade scratched the Mahanayan's armor, whilst he retracted from Wragrot's essence punch. A few moments passed before the Mahanayan stood back up.
Vekaron - Damnit, I can't do any damage to it.
Wragrot - Let the big man solve the problem then.
Kilchárunya slowly got back to her feet, nodding at Vansenk before looking at Wragrot engaging the Mahanayan.
Kilchárunya - Don't let the Mahanayan kick you!
Vansenk - ...Why?
Kilchárunya - Same reason you don't let a two-thousand pound car hit you at full speed!
Vansenk - ...Car?
Kilchárunya - Transport vehicle.
Vansenk - Right, much appreciated.
Wragrot's eyes and hands shined in essence. He gestured to the Mahanayan, provoking him to attack first. The Mahanayan looked at Wragrot, and instead of attacking head on, grabbed a heavy, sharp and wide blade from the side of his leg armour.
Wragrot - No man-to-man then? Boring.
Wragrot launched a wave of essence at the Mahanayan, who was knocked through the air; the immense weight of the alien sent him crashing through the wall and into the outside courtyard with an earth-shaking thud. Wragrot looked through the hole, looking for Mahanayan. It stood back up, flexing his neck. As he looked at the team through the wall, he grabbed his blade and hurled it at the team. Vansenk leaped forward and swung his scythe in order to deflect it to another direction.
Vekaron - Shit!
Wragrot - Knife fighting is for wusses!
The Mahanayan let out a slight grin before leaping a full twenty metres into the air and back into the room. Wragrot jumped back, startled.
Vansenk - ...Why isn't it dead? WHY ISN'T IT DEAD?!
Wragrot - Holy shit, this thing jumps as much as a Caxildiz on caffeine.
The Mahanayan began to speak.
Mahanayan - You all fight well, but you are going to have to try harder than that.
Vansenk - Yes. Try harder. Please.
Wragrot - You're not a bad fighter either. Usually most people die when I punch them.
Kilchárunya unsheathed her bladed gauntlets and assumed a battle stance. Vekaron held on his blade again, while Wragrot also assumed a battle stance. Vansenk gripped ahold of his scythe, although his stance was more directed towards evasion rather than combat. The Mahanayan smirked, before he clasped the ceiling with his hands, and launching his feet forward at Wragrot. Wragrot threw himself to the side, then launched one of his own feet at the Mahanayan's back. The spiked armor of the Mahanayan hooked on Wragrot's foot.
Wragrot - Aaaaaw! Mistakes were made!
Vansenk - I shall say this in the most polite of manners as I can; your appearance makes my skryndank quiver within an array of emotional receptions, most notably fear and disgust.
Kilchárunya sprinted over to the Mahanayan and let out a barrage of punches with her gauntlets. The Mahanayan felt a slight irritation before picking up Kilchárunya and hurling her aside, whilst the turn hurled Wragrot the other way. The Mahanayan put his finger to his mouth, where Kilchárunya sliced his lip. Wragrot crashed through the wall, falling into another room.
Vansenk looked towards the cut on his lip and then tried to focus on his nanomachines, keeping within range but also at a distance in order to avoid getting hit by the massive beast. The Mahanayan turned to Vekaron and Vansenk, grabbing his blade that was wedged in the wall.
Mahanayan - Let's see what you two can do.
Suddenly, one of the pillars of the room was thrown into the Mahanayan, who was was swatted aside, and groaned in pain, struggling to stay conscious as he struggled to lift the pillar off of him. Wragrot appeared out of the hole, and using telekinesis, threw another pillar into the Mahanayan.
Wragrot - My foot hurts and my back aches. You're getting on my nerves.
As the Mahanayan was downed, he felt his whole muzzle begin to irritate as Vansenk's nanomachines agitated and attacked all of the sensitive parts inside his mouth and flesh. The Mahanayan growled as he was irritated from the nanomachines, before furiously lifting the pillars off him, through the ceiling, before walking towards Vansenk. He looked towards the Mahanayan and simply pointed towards Vekaron.
Vansenk - It was him.
Vekaron - Oh, what?
Kilchárunya jumped back through the wall, and started shooting at the Mahanayan. Irritated from the shots, the Mahanayan kicked a heavy seat at Kilchárunya, Kilchárunya dodging the hurtling object.
Kilchárunya - Do something, quick!
Vansenk, gripping onto his scythe, slammed the blade directly into the Mahanayan's leg as he kicked the seat. Wragrot ran up to the Mahanayah and clapped his hands into his head as if he was trying to crush it. The Mahanayan let out a strained roar before falling to one knee. Wragrot's hands knocked the Mahanayan unconscious, slowly falling to the floor. Vansenk panted just once before he pulled his scythe out from the Mahanayan's leg, leaving a deep, curved wound while his scythe transformed back into a sickle. Wragrot panted as he stared at the Mahanayan.
Kilchárunya - Ugh. That made the Zí-Jittorám look easy.
Wragrot - That...was a good fight.
Vansenk - Should I remove his legs?
Kilchárunya - No...we should get answers out of him.
Vekaron - Indeed. If he is a member of the Xhodocto Dominion, we need all the information we can get. Carry him back to the ship.
Kilchárunya tried lifting the Mahanayan, but couldn't.
Kilchárunya - You know this alien weighs over a thousand kilograms right?
Wragrot grabbed the Mahanayan's legs and began dragging him around. As Wragrot dragged him around, dark blood leaked out of the Mahanayan's leg.
Vansenk - We're bringing him...onboard with us?
Vekaron - And putting it on a prison, yes.
Vansenk - I'm sorry, did you not just SEE WHAT IT DID TO THE DAMNED ROOM?!
Wragrot - Hey, come on, stinky. You've chickened out all the time in this one.
Vansenk - Ugh. Fine. I'll see if I am able to reduce some of the dead weight with my nanomachines but I cannot guarantee it will make him any lighter to carry.
Vekaron - Don't worry. The ship's prison was made to hold powerful beings such as this.
As Vansenk attempted to focus, the Mahanayan's arms shot up suddenly out of nowhere, although the Mahanayan itself was still unconscious. As one of the arms did, it launched Kilchárunya into the ceiling, knocking her out. Wragrot groaned, grabbed Kilchárunya and put her on his back.
Vansenk - Whoops...Wrong nerve centers. Still getting used to its biology.
Wragrot - Ugh. She needs to lose weight.
Vansenk - I have tried telling her, but I fear for my foot.
Vekaron - Well, let's go. We don't want the Imalmah returning to find us here.
Interrogation and Misinformation
The team, with effort, managed to take the Mahanayan back to Vekaron's ship and put him in the prison. Kilchárunya on the other hand was in the medical bay, walking up slowly. Vansenk was by Kilchárunya in the medical room, looking over her with his mouth open.
Vyatak - Wounds healed. Waking up. Welcome back.
Gardin - Auntie Kilch was hurt?
Vyatak - Was. Solved now. Easy task.
Kilchárunya woke up, and upon sight of Vansenk, rolled off the table quickly.
Kilchárunya - Ouch. My head. Last thing I remember was this huge Mahanayan fist sending me through the roof.
Vyatak - Knocked out. Brought back by Wragrot. Mahanayan under his and Vekaron's custody. Interesting alien.
Kilchárunya - Hm. Better go find them. Are you all coming?
Vansenk - I'd rather not. That...thing makes me quiver. Negatively.
Vyatak - Perhaps later. Studying blood sample...going to test on it.
Gardin - I wanna see the alien!
Kilchárunya - Hm. Come on then.
Vyatak whispered to Vansenk.
Vyatak - Her blood sample.
Vansenk - I must say that Kicath biology is indeed both interesting and appealing towards my tastes. I wouldn't mind possessing a body such as yours, so long as the excess weight was not a mandatory addition towards it.
As Kilchárunya and Gardin walked to the prison, they saw Wragrot and Vekaron looking at the Mahanayan, who was conscious and sitting down.
Wragrot - Sleeping beauty's awake it seems.
Kilchárunya - Hm. Thanks for the lift. Has the Mahanayan said anything since he woke up?
Vekaron - Nothing so far.
The Mahanayan tilted his head slightly, catching sight of Gardin, who climbed on Wragrot's arm, then turned to the Mahanayan.
Mahanayan - ...What is a child Rovegar doing on your ship?
Gardin - Oooh, scary monster!
Vekaron - We took her after her parents were killed by space pirates.
Mahanayan - Unfortunate. My condolences.
Wragrot - That's awfully polite for a Dominion whatchamacallit person.
Mahanayan - Dominion? Is that what you think? I'll have to forgive you for that misconception.
Vekaron - Huh?
Vansenk peeked around the corner of the room although tried not to be seen by the Mahanayan, as he still felt somewhat nervous about the creature's appearance and size.
Mahanayan - My race is not totally enslaved to the Xhodocto. I am one of the few who take residence in Mahanayan colonies in the Arm of Wildness.
Vekaron - Oh...erm...I was not aware of this...
Wragrot - Kilchárunya messed up.
Kilchárunya - Erm. Yeah. My bad.
Mahanayan - Although I am not totally appreciative of the wound you left in my leg.
Vekaron, not seeing the Mahanayan as a threat anymore, turned off the barrier which acted as his prison. The Mahanayan stood up, almost meeting Wragrot's height.
Kilchárunya - Whoa, hold on. We don't know this guy.
Vekaron - He might be telling the truth. Even if he tried attacking us here, he'd be gunned down anyway.
Vansenk took a deep breath and walked into the room, in full sight of the Mahanayan as well as the crew. His face was contorted, as if expressing some sort of fear or uncomfortableness.
Vansenk - My apologies for the wound.
Mahanayan - You are forgiven...mostly.
Kilchárunya - What were you doing down on that planet anyway?
Vekaron - Yeah. It was rather random finding you on an Imalmah slaver ring.
Mahanayan - Negotiation. I was attempting to free a particular group of slaves that bore some importance to someone who required my skill. Unfortunately, the negotiation didn't go that well.
Kilchárunya - You're telling me. You killed almost thirty Imalmah in just under a minute.
Wragrot - Heh. Things rarely go well when Imalmah are involved. How are you called, anyway? I don't want to refer to a worthy fighter just as "that guy".
Mahanayan - My name, for the sake of all of your vocal apparatuses, is Kamaris Vorava.
Wragrot - Well, it's nice to meet someone who can put up a fight, Kamaris.
Wragrot looked at Kamaris with a genuinely friendly smile.
Kamaris - Likewise. However I must know who you all are.
Wragrot - Kraknor Wragrot, Murgur bounty hunter.
Vekaron - I'm Vekaron, ex-commandant of the Zoles Imperium and first of the Penumbra Unit.
Vansenk - You shall address me as Vansenk K'nok Sa'r Rel'Giga.
Kilchárunya - Kilchárunya Toázensa.
Gardin - I'm Gardin!
Kamaris - The name Vekaron is rather familiar. You work for the Polar Crystal Alliance, am I correct?
Vekaron - Yes. As I said, I'm the first of the Penumbra Unit, the Alliance Council's special ops force.
Kamaris - Ah. Hm, I have heard of your actions of late. I believe much of Borealis owes much due to you.
Vekaron - You could say that.
Gardin began climbing on Kamaris' leg.
Gardin - I hope we can be friends! Unlike the slinky green man. He's a meanie!
Kamaris smiled very slightly before removing his helmet, revealing his face. Vansenk's face contorted further and his tongue lashed out of his mouth while he made a rather disgusting noise that came from the back of his throat, like gurgling. Gardin cringed and hid her face behind Kamaris' leg.
Vansenk - M-My apologies...I a-appear to be on e-edge.
Kilchárunya - Must you do that? Nevermind the child's stomach.
Vansenk - *whispering to Kilchárunya* It's face...I-It's f-face...
Kilchárunya - Sssh.
Vekaron - Do you want us to leave you somewhere?
Wragrot - Screw leaving. I like this man. He should stay with us.
Kamaris - You wish me to join your crew?
Vekaron - I wouldn't mind it. You've proven to be really powerful, and by your actions down on the Imalmah planet, your goals seem similar to ours.
Kilchárunya - That depends. What's your skill set?
Kamaris - I am rather proficient in heavy armament.
Vekaron thought for a second.
Vekaron - Hmm. We don't really have any heavy armament specialist at the moment.
Kamaris - Really? I would have thought your Murgur Battlemaster here would have had some skill.
Vansenk - Negative. He enjoys punching things.
Wragrot - Yeah, pretty much.
Gardin - Uncle Wrag wrecks things!
Kamaris - Hm. Very well. If you will allow me to return to my ship I will collect my equipment.
Kilchárunya - Yeah, what about your ship?
Vekaron - Hmm. We better go before the Imalmah notice the owner is not there.
Kamaris - My ship has the technologies in order for it to return back home unaided. It's an uncommon use however.
Vekaron - Hmm. Fancy.
The Mahanayan had joined the team.
Fist of Iron
At the depths of the Vijaha Sector, the Wranploer homeworld of Vijaha was little more than rubble. Being glassed into oblivion by a combined fleet composed of the Polar Crystal Alliance and the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth in the final days of the Second Borealis War, the planet which once served as the capital of the Wranploer was absolutely devastated and the system was completely abandoned. There was no point for the Wranploer to be in this system anymore, as Vijaha was the only inhabited planet in it. Orbiting around what remained of Vijaha were entire fleets of destroyed Consortium Network spaceships. Ships of all sizes and shapes, ranging from badly outfitted to very advanced, had fallen in the final battle against the Consortium four years in the past. And among these ships was a very special and unique model. A ship known as the Iron Fist.
Once serving as Volim and Falrik Zaarkhun's flagship, the Iron Fist was a war machine and a luxury hotel all in one package. Large, formidable, powerful and filled with everything a rich man would hope for, the Iron Fist was a symbol of the Consortium Network's power. However, during the battle of Vijaha, the Iron Fist was badly damaged and all of its crew died, leaving only the ship's empty, scarred carcass behind. Smaller ships would collide against it and get embbed into it, causing it to grow in size but become more and more broken and deformed.
One individual travelled to the "space hulk" that was once the Iron Fist. It marched through it, unfazed by the fact it was in the vacuum of space, and investigated it. Vorius needed a base, and the Iron Fist would fit him like a glove. A conglomeration of ships mashed together to house a being who was thousands of individuals mashed together. Volim and Zaarkhun's days of glory and luxury were gone, to be replaced by Vorius' days of madness and hatred for all Borealis.
The Matriarch Confronted
Matriarch Vileraz IV's ship, the Composer's Melody, approached the space station of Hyperborea while being surrounded by Zoles and Niaka dreadnoughts. After the Rovegar's attempt to capture Vekaron, Vileraz IV had been ordered by the Council to present herself at Hyperborea for her empire's "crime" against the Penumbra Unit. The Matriarch herself was disgrunted for having to do this, but she knew a war against the Polar Crystal Alliance was suicide and prefered to end their hostilities at that moment.
Vileraz IV and Erureidan were scouted to the Council's tower, where the councillors were waiting for them. The members of the Alliance watched as the duo walked by, confused and fascinated as the Rovegar had never been seen by any of them before. As they arrived at the tower, they took seats in front of the Council, who stood on pillars which towered over any Alliance race by a large largin.
Semirian, Xeron and Valzaria looked down on the two in a mix of curiosity and anger, though the latter was mostly from Xeron's part.
- Semirian - Leader of the "Rovegar". You have been summoned here to answer for your attack on a member of the Penumbra Unit.
- Vileraz IV - This leader has a name. I am Matriarch Vileraz IV of the Rovegar Matriarchy, and I don't expect you to disrespect me.
- Xeron - Watch your tone! Do you know who you're dealing with, missy? You're provoking the Polar Crystal Alliance and believe me when I say you don't want to commit that mistake!
The Matriarch's eyes widened in a mix of emotions. She was being ordered around, something she absolutely detested. Yet there was a very small alien insect screaming at her, and she found it somewhat adorable. However, Vileraz IV was aware of the situation and had planned her way out of it.
- Valzaria - We will give you a chance to justify your actions before doing anything. So I ask you to speak in your own favour now.
- Vileraz IV - I do have something to say. Are you aware the planet your Vekaron landed in was, right after he arrived, attacked by the Wranploer?
- Semirian - Yes. We read Vekaron's reports. He claimed your agents attempted to manipulate him and his crew.
- Vileraz IV - Now, I ask you, councillors: have we met before?
Semirian, Xeron and Valzaria appeared somewhat confused by the question, not getting what the Matriarch meant with it.
- Xeron - What's that supposed to mean?
- Vileraz IV - Have our races ever interacted? Ever met? Did you even know I existed at that point?
- Valzaria - Well, no. Your species is completely new to us.
- Vileraz IV - Exactly. And your species are completely new to me as well.
- Semirian - Please, go straight to the point.
A grin formed on the Matriarch's face. Erureidan, meanwhile, merely watched with a bored expression, not because he didn't like the Council but because he hated politics.
- Vileraz IV - Your Vekaron was followed by a pirate raid. I never had experienced Zoles or Wranploer before. How could I not know he was part of the invasion? A spy, or a scout, sent to see if the planet was good enough to be raided?
- Xeron - You would know because he's a Penumbran! A soldier of the Polar Crystal Alliance!
- Vileraz IV - My people are not members of the Polar Crystal Alliance!
Xeron glared at Vileraz IV for several moments until he put himself back, scratching his head. In his point of view, he had just commited a mistake.
- Vileraz IV - I've researched you since the incident and I know your objective is to bring order to the galaxy. But you have grown arrogant and you forget not everyone in this galactic arm is under your government. My people had no prior knowledge of you and you had no prior knowledge of mine. My people are being accused of being criminals for doing nothing but self-defense!...Am I not correct?
The councillors spoke between themselves for several moments. The Matriarch watched them, nervous to what they would say. Everything was going well so far but if they suspected of her now, she would be in trouble. The councillors, after some moments, turned back to Vileraz IV.
- Xeron - ...I withdraw my accusations.
- Semirian - Me too.
- Valzaria - And so do I. We have concluded this was a big misunderstanding and the ones who are really to blame are the Wranploer pirates.
- Vileraz IV - It is good that you see reason.
- Semirian - As a way of repaying for this, we will allow your Rovegar kind to move freely across Alliance space for now on.
- Xeron - Do keep in line, though. Now, you are dismissed.
Vileraz IV and Erureidan got up from their seats and made their way back to their ship. The Matriarch grinned and chuckled to herself. Not only had the hostilities been prevented, she had gained the perfect opportunity to expand the Matriarchy's influence. The Alliance would be most useful for her in the future...
The Kidnapped Archeologist
Baptarion woke up to find himself with his arms and feet strapped against a wall via an electric mechanism. He looked around to find nothing but Wranploer aroud him. Despite his situation, all Baptarion did was frown in annoyance. He had remembered what happened. Genrai Nal walked up to him and looked at his direction.
- Genrai Nal - You're awake.
- Baptarion - Damn right I am! Where the hell am I?!
- Genrai Nal - You are at Torrent's cloning facility. You have been out for 5 days.
- Baptarion - What? Five whole days? And no one is looking for me?
- Genrai Nal - Your empire is looking for you, but they will not find you.
At this moment, Torrent entered the room and ordered the Wranploer inside it to leave. He walked up to Baptarion with a grin.
- Torrent - Well, well! It's been a while, rat guy!
- Baptarion - Pirate asshole! Get me out of here!
- Torrent - Watch your manners, lab rat. You'll be working for me now.
- Baptarion - I don't work for no pirate scum!
- Torrent - You either cooperate, or I'll feed you to Helljaw.
- Genrai Nal - I do not believe Baptarion Light is familiar with Dark Grip.
- Torrent - He is not. No one is. I might as well present them. Dark Grip!
At this call, a group of individuals entered the room: a titanic Levarcor, a laughing Varkorus, a heavily armored Sankáryn and a musculous Borealis Zazane female. The size of the Levarcor alone astonished Baptarion, but before he could say anything, the Levarcor ran up to him and grabbed him by his cheeks, hissing.
- Torrent - Meet Dark Grip, tin man. The best group of assassins and soldiers in my New Legion.
- Kravh Helljaw - Hhhck! He looks so meaty and healthy!...How does your fur smell when it's burning?
- Brakarion Graron - Easy, Kravh. This man is our slave, not our food.
- T'enth-ei - For the time being, that is.
- Dolgan Tuchaki - Healthy? It looks frail and pathetic to me.
- Genrai Nal - I would suggest more operatives for Dark Grip for maximal efficience.
- Torrent - Who says I'm done searching? There will be more, that's for sure.
Baptarion scowled and tried to bite Kravh's hand. The Varkorus however dodged the bite and let out a laugher.
- Torrent - I am creating Kvargo clones, rat. You will help me with this.
- Baptarion - Grrr! I am not a biologist! I'm an archeologist!
- Brakarion Graron - Well you better start taking lessons from the other lab boys. We are not keen to dead weights.
- Torrent - I don't care for what you are. You WILL do what I say, or I will rip you apart and order your dear colonies pummeled to the ground!
Torrent turned to Brakarion.
- Torrent - Lieutenant Graron, take Dark Grip and resume the search for the individual named Billig Oltauris. He has been missing for a while and Genrai Nal refuses to be of any help.
- Genrai Nal - I am not a backstabber to my exployers, Torrent.
- Brakarion Graron - It shall be done, warlord. What do we do once we find him?
- Torrent - Bring him to me. I want to throw him in the meat grinder.
Brakarion saluted and the four individuals left. Genrai Nal deactivated Baptarion's prison and the Radeon fell on the ground, on his knees. Torrent grabbed him by the head and put him on his eye level.
- Torrent - To work, now.
Penumbran vs Agent
Following the Penumbran team's meeting with the team following the Dominion of the Xhodocto, Vekaron's team stayed in Hyperborea to re-stock. It was some time before Kilchárunya saw it fit to walk back out of the ship and rejoin the group.
- Wragrot - Cool people. Still I thought Kicath Agents were taller.
- Kilchárunya - They're tall enough.
- Vansenk - The mammal thing looked highly unappealing. Then again, most of them did.
- Vekaron - That's Hachiman, Vansenk. He is the slayer of the Chosen demon god.
- Vansenk - ...Such an act deserves whatever respect I possess.
- Gardin - I want to take him home with me!
Kilchárunya was still nervous after she caught sight of Nu, and looked around with much caution.
- Wragrot - Damn, girl, you're on a nervous wreck. What's your deal with that guy anyway? Other than his roars.
- Kilchárunya - He and I...have had a history. He wants payback.
- Vansenk - I sincerely hope it does not involve any form of bedroom-affiliated activities. If so, you are a sickening woman.
- Vyatak - Man and woman. Perfectly normal. Nothing wrong. Except if man psychopathic. Then problematic.
Kilchárunya pretended to ignore as she kept looking around, while Vekaron laughed at the idea. In the middle of the square, stood a Kicath. He was tall and heavily armoured. He looked somewhat like Nu, but with a little less weight on his person. Wragrot turned his attention to the Kicath, then turned to Kilchárunya.
- Wragrot - Prepare for some more leg exercise. There he is again.
- Kilchárunya - That's...not him. Not the same armour.
- Vekaron - Huh. Must be part of Kithworto's team.
The Agent stood there, with his eyes glowing through his helmet. He was slowly surveying the area. Out of seemingly nowhere, three more Agents appeared with similar armour. They were speaking to each other in Kicathian.
- Vansenk - Any idea of the identity of this group?
- Vekaron - The only Agents I really know are Nu and Tau. Everyone else is unknown to me.
The one that stood alone beforehand soon turned his head to the group, noticing that Vekaron's team was looking at him.
- Gardin - He looks a huge action toy!
- Vansenk - Yes. A toy.
The Agent soon made his way over with the other three trailing behind him. As he moved closer, it became apparent that he was tall for a Kicath, almost as tall as Nu. Vekaron and Wragrot watched closely as the Agent approached, with Gardin hiding behind Wragrot's back. Kilchárunya slowly stood behind Kamaris as he looked at the Agents with intrigue. Vansenk did not cower, standing perfectly still with his eyes fixed upon the Agents. He gripped onto his sickle however in preparation for any trouble.
On the Agent's sword sheath, located on his back, the Kicathian glyphs for the number twenty-one were engraved. He was Agent Chi.
- Chi - Hm. A Zoles, Murgur, Kicath, Samilinus, Mahanayan, Hseraelna...and a Rovegar child. Unexpected choice.
- Vekaron - Can I help you with something?
- Chi - Perhaps you can, perhaps you cannot.
- Vansenk - What business do we have towards you, stranger?
- Wragrot - Who're you again?
- Chi - Agent Commander Chi of the Kicathian Republic.
- Kilchárunya - The Pirate-Killer?
Chi looked at Kilchárunya.
- Chi - Kilchárunya Toázensa. Agent Nu has a particular 'fondness' for you.
- Vansenk - ...Whore.
- Vekaron - Pirate-Killer? That's quite a name.
In a blur, Chi unsheathed his blade and rested it against Vansenk's neck. It took Kilchárunya a second or so to realise that Chi even had a sword in his hand. As soon as he noticed it, Wragrot put out his shotgun and put it against Chi's head. Vansenk looked on at Chi with a smile, his jagged, decayed teeth gritting together as he smiled. He leaned inwards.
- Vansenk - I suggest you place moving away within your best interests, because coming this close usually approximates to death under most circumstances. Boy.
- Chi - Putting a shotgun to my head is unwise. Vekaron knows the physical capability of an Agent IV.
- Wragrot - Do I look like someone who cares? Hmpf.
Kilchárunya spoke to Chi in Kicathian, before Chi slowly returned his blade to his sheath. Wragrot slowly put his shotgun away. Vekaron looked at Chi with narrowed eyes. Vansenk moved outward once more, his disgusting smile still strong on his face. Chi could see in full detail as dust-like chips fell from his mouth and onto the floor where he gritted his teeth. Chi did not react to Vansenk; completely ignoring his existence.
- Vekaron - Whatever you're here for, state your intentions and leave.
- Chi - My associates and I hunt for a pirate. Imalmah.
From Chi's gauntlet, a hologram of Bakarl appeared.
- Wragrot - Hmm. Bakarl has a bad publicity.
- Vekaron - We are already tasked to take care of Bakarl.
Chi looked at Vekaron through his helmet.
- Chi - I don't care whether you were tasked to kill an Imalmah pirate. Whoever kills him first, the better.
- Vekaron - Are you challenging me for a competition? I'm doing this for galactic stability.
- Chi - I don't compete with Penumbran kasat-aná [scum]. And i'm not doing it for the galaxy. The more pirates dead, the less problems the Agency has.
Kilchárunya's face narrowed as Chi spoke.
- Vekaron - You have a terrible mentality. Bakarl is not a mere pirate. He's a high threat terrorist. And I don't care for your goals as long as you don't get in my way.
- Kilchárunya - Bad choice of words, Vekaron.
- Vekaron - I must remind you what being a Penumbran is. I have no reason to fear anyone here.
- Vansenk - Goading us into aggravation isn't going to stop Bakarl, filthy augment.
- Kilchárunya - I would really stop with the authority talk, guys.
- Chi - "Penumbran".
- Gardin - Bad man! Go away!
- Chi - Agent Tau spoke to me of you. She said that you had a sense of humility. Your title has gone to your head.
- Vansenk - I identify hypocrisy when I see it.
- Vekaron - You threatened my crewmates in front of me and insulted me, and expect me to be pleasant to you?
Kilchárunya sighed. Chi said nothing, but he flexed his shoulders before speaking again.
- Chi - I just hope you are quick enough to stop your target, "Penumbran".
Vansenk grunted and uttered under his breath.
- Vansenk - Go back to whatever rectum shat you out and modify yourselve further with robotics, see if that opposes your disgusting attitude as much as it does your appearance.
Chi walked away from the group with his Agents following him. Kilchárunya let out a deep breath.
- Wragrot - By the Earthland, I wanna punch that guy's face in.
Chi stopped in the middle of his walk, before walking further on.
- Kilchárunya - He heard you.
- Vansenk - That was what I desired.
- Wragrot - I could throw him around like a ragdoll if I wanted. Screw him.
- Kilchárunya - You've never fought an Agent have you?
- Wragrot - I've fought bigger.
Trickles of blood dripped from Vansenk's lower lip; he had damaged several of his teeth in frustration through gritting them.
- Vyatak - Oh dear. You're wounded. Once we get to the ship, meet me at the medical bay.
- Vansenk - Don't bother. What is your view on this, Vyatak?
- Vyatak - Self-centered. Stubborn. Rude
- Kilchárunya - Just...don't piss one off. ...He said that you know how Agents work in combat, Vekaron?
- Vekaron - I've fought together with Nu and Tau, and Kithworto in one occasion.
- Kilchárunya - You fought with Kithworto? I don't envy you. Rumour has it he can destroy planets.
- Vekaron - He tore down part of the Kicathian Republic homeworld to kill off a Devourer's Chosen Champion.
- Kilchárunya - Yeah... I wouldn't piss him off either.
- Vekaron - And let's not forget when he led an army of Xi'Arazulha in the Grox push.
- Vansenk - Hmph. I must be blind for I cannot see what benefit the PCA gains from allying themselves towards such brash and insulting creatures. No offense towards you, Kilchárunya.
- Kilchárunya - From what I gather the Agency don't align themselves to the PCA, but to Kithworto. They couldn't care less about what the council says.
- Vekaron - Not all Agents are like this Chi. Kithworto and Tau were fairly good to work with. Nu, on the other hand, is just as bad as Kilchárunya claims.
- Kilchárunya - Nu...has his heart in the right place. The rest of him? Well...no. Nowhere near the right place.
- Wragrot - You all look like Murgur...except you're lizard-like, and have fancier tech.
- Vekaron - The Council is well-aware of the benefits of having a demigod on their side. They enjoy the Kicath's partnership but there's obviously some protection interest involved.
- Kilchárunya - Let's just get out of here. Talking about Agents and physical gods makes me want to vomit.
- Vansenk - Hmph. For once I find it difficult to pass this phase of spite. There is nothing left for us here aside from frustration and irritation.
- Kilchárunya - You'd better be glad I talked him down. He was going to kill you.
- Vekaron - If he tried, he'd be branded a terrorist and be killed by security.
- Vansenk - Why did you stop him?
Vansenk turned away and walked off. Kamaris remained quiet for the whole ordeal and chose not to speak.
- Wragrot - Stinky's weird.
- Kilchárunya - Just promise me something. Never piss off a Kicath Agent again. Ever.
- Vekaron - I can try. If he Chi that attitude, I'm not sure if I can keep that promise.
The Dancer Discordant
Vekaron's ship made its way to the nearest Cold Relay so they could resume their search for Fleet Commander Bakarl. Some days had passed since they had been at Hyperborea and they had not received any news about him.
- Kamaris - The lack of news is rather perturbing. No leads.
- Vansenk - I do not like this.
- Vekaron - Indeed. If we lose track of Bakarl, finding him is gonna be difficult.
- Wragrot - Yeah, I don't wanna give that Kicath bloke the satisfaction.
- Vansenk - We should be more concerned for why the sudden inactivity has come about. Who knows what he may be planning.
- Kilchárunya - Why do I sense we're about to get a lead?
At this moment, a distress signal appeared on Vekaron's screen. Accepting it, the image of a Zoles worker appeared.
- Vekaron - Yes?
- Zoles - Help! Our ship is under attack! There are mercenaries everywhere!
- Vansenk - For once, you are correct, Kicath. Surprising, I should rely on women's intuition more.
- Kamaris - Well that was rather disturbing. Are all you Kicath doom-sayers?
- Kilchárunya - Perhaps you should have a shower first. And not all of us.
- Vekaron - Hold on, citizen. Give me your location. And who is attacking you? Is it the Imalmah?
- Zoles - No, there are no Imalmah. But there are these wom-
Before he could finish, the worker was hit by a blade and the screen went static.
- Kilchárunya - It sounded like he was going to say women.
- Wragrot - That's unexpected. How far is it from here?
- Vekaron - By the coordinates, quite close.
- Vansenk - Women. Are all of them this horrid?
- Kilchárunya - You wouldn't last five seconds in a Kicath commune.
- Vansenk - You wouldn't last five seconds in a Hseraelna festival.
- Kilchárunya - If you all smell like that, then I definitely won't.
Kamaris picked up his gun. It appeared to be heavy, but the design was sleek and streamlined. Wragrot looked at Kamaris' gun with interest. Vansenk grabbed ahold of his sickle and placed it upon his coat. His eyes shifted towards Kamaris' gun.
- Wragrot - Looks fun.
- Vansenk - Heavy, yet thin. Like the Kicath woman.
- Kilchárunya - My pistols. Small barrels. Just like Hseraelna kaþáratzí.
Vansenk turned to Kilchárunya and stuck out his tongue as it curled backwards, revealing bulging, writhing veins underneath it.
- Wragrot - Stop with that before I punch your jaw and make you bite yourself.
Vansenk drew his tongue back in as he had a look of shock across his face at Wragrot's statement.
- Vansenk - That is beyond threatening!
Gardin jumped on Vekaron's lap out of nowhere.
- Gardin - Can I go too, please please please?
- Vekaron - What? Definetely not!
- Gardin - But daaaaaad!
Locating the source of the distress signal, a ship designed to take large amounts of cargo through the Alliance's trade routes, the team approached and boarded it via shuttle.
- Kamaris - Pirate raid.
- Vekaron - Yep, seems like it.
- Kilchárunya - This could be fun.
Across the ship, there were lights flashing urgent colours, shifting between white and red every ten seconds to both warn crew and disorientate the attacking forces. As the team boarded, they quickly caught sight of several crew rushing for their lives before being cut down by gunfire from various pirates, who seemed to be multispecies. Wragrot put out his Murgur shotgun while Vekaron prepared his blade. Kilchárunya had her pistol in the right hand, and her wristblade on the left. Kamaris prepped his gun.
- Wragrot - I lost count on how many pirate teams I've been part of all these years. Certainly over one thousand.
- Vekaron - What happened to all of those?
- Wragrot - Most are dead. Got killed while I survived, or pissed me off.
The pirates turned towards the group, with some of them running at the sight of the team while others stayed behind to charge and fire at them, such as heavily-armoured Levarcor.
- Wragrot - Oh look, it's the Murgur wannabes.
Vekaron charged into the Levarcor and slashed at them with his vibroblade, while Wragrot got close and fired his shotgun at them. Kamaris fired two shots at the Levacror warriors whilst Kilchárunya fired her pistol. The Levarcor roared and attempted to fire back, with their armour strangely soaking up damage with kinetic barrier technology, something that wasn't usually seen amongst pirate bands such as these. This armour was beyond Levarcor ideal, it was too hi-tech to have been made by them.
- Wragrot - Weird. One shot usually rips them apart.
- Vekaron - Must be black market tech.
- Kilchárunya - Sincerely hope it isn't Agent tech.
- Vekaron - Agent tech in the black market? Ngh.
- Kilchárunya - Yeah. Heard a black market ring went ugly after an Agent party found Agent tech.
- Vekaron - The thought of Torrent getting Agent tech is horrifying.
- Vansenk - Was the Agent by any chance the anus-dweller we met upon Hyperborea?
- Kilchárunya - Probably. Chi is a pirate hunter.
The Levarcor, despite wearing advanced forcefield armour, were quickly dispatched nonetheless. One of the Levarcor charged away from the group, an act not known within the Levarcor race as a whole. If the group looked closely, they could see devices implanted into the backs of their heads.
- Wragrot - They got weird gizmos on their heads.
- Kamaris - Any guess?
- Vekaron - Hmm. Must be a communications device.
- Vansenk - I recommend we follow the coward who runs. He may lead us to where our required destination.
- Kilchárunya - Fun.
- Vekaron - Let's do it.
More pirates lined the corridors as the group moved on. They were equipped with guns that, while firing rapidly, almost seemed as if they were using grenade launchers. Shrapnel and smoke flew everywhere, with the pirates laughing or roaring as they created a smokeshield with their guns.
- Kamaris - Irritating.
- Wragrot - No one laughs at my expense.
Wragrot created a barrier around him and charged at the pirates, firing at them with his shotgun while throwing others around with his psychic powers. Kamaris pulled out his blade from the side of his leg, and tried to scope out the priates through the smoke. Kamaris walked through the smoke as the priates fired him, trying to find an enemy to carve. The pirates also wore hi-tech armour amongst their person, absorbing damage and allowing them to move faster and strike harder. Once more, they had gadgetry wired into the backs of their heads as they tried to resist against Wragrot's charge, with some of them running for it while others stayed behind.
- Kamaris - Ramōrovayonżo va! [Fight me cowards!]
- Vansenk - Do not let them get away! Spare at least one so we may possess a lead as to who is running this attack and who supplied them.
Kilchárunya stayed with Wragrot behind the barrier, shooting at the pirates. Vekaron opened his wings and clapped them to push the smoke aside. As the smoke was cleared, Kamaris was right in front of a pirate. He swung around and violently hacked the pirate with his knife.
- Wragrot - Woo, teamwork.
Kamaris looked over him as blood was spilt all over his armour. Vansenk pounded his sickle against the head of one of the pirates, slamming them against a wall before tearing off the pirate's arm. Vansenk slammed his knee against the pirate, weakening them as they fell to the floor in agony.
- Kamaris - This weapon was designed to skin Rathovodora.
- Wragrot - I take that's a big thing.
- Kamaris - 7 metres tall, predatory. Yes.
- Wragrot - Hm. You should fight a Kaos Sand Whale one day.
Kamaris then drove his blade into another pirate, lifting him off the ground. The pirates were carved down, leaving all but one survivor; the pirate that Vansenk had dismembered of his arm, who crawled along the floor in an attempt to escape. Pirate blood painted the walls and floor, with their armour reduced to mere scrap now that they had been killed. Kilchárunya walked up to the pirate, and slammed her foot into his back.
- Kilchárunya - You are not going anywhere.
- Vekaron - Get talking. Who's your boss?
- Pirate - Argh! Urgh... C-Cannot say, s-she'd kill me!
- Wragrot - You get killed by her or by the gal above you.
Kilchárunya dug her talons in.
- Pirate - Aaagh! S-She calls herself the D-Dancer or s-something like that! D-Don't know real name!
- Vekaron - And where is she?
- Pirate - B-Bridge, navigation r-room! S-Said something about...collision or i-impact or something!
- Kilchárunya - Doesn't sound good.
- Vekaron - Oh no, not again.
- Wragrot - Bridge, here we go.
- Kilchárunya - Are we done here?
Suddenly, before they could dispatch of the pirate, his head exploded into hundreds of tiny, fleshy chunks. The device beeped only once to indicate the explosion, not giving the group any warning. Kilchárunya jumped back.
- Kamaris - Hmph. I was going to do that.
- Wragrot - Hell, there's brains everywhere.
- Vekaron - That explains the thing on their heads.
- Vansenk - Such animosity. I have seen this before - Hseraelna elders would string up their young with bombs which would detonate should they fail.
- Kamaris - Sounds rather counterproductive.
- Vansenk - Bigger explosions than this. Antimatter charges.
- Kamaris - I correct myself. Very counterproductive.
- Kilchárunya - Better than sending a berserking Zí-Jittorám at us with the same charges.
- Vekaron - No time to talk. To the bridge.
- Kamaris - Very well. ...Zí-Jittorám?
- Wragrot - Ugly plant alien thing who spits acid everywhere.
The group proceeded onwards towards the bridge, cutting down various pirate squads in their path. The journey wasn't long due to the teleportation-based methods of transportation between decks within the ship. As they reached the bridge, more pirates packed the corridors, firing at them. They used energy weaponry, wearing the same hi-tech armour.
Vekaron slashed through the pirates while Wragrot kept firing at them with his shotgun. Kamaris was firing at the pirates, with Kilchárunya behind him firing her pistol. Vansenk stayed low, his nanomachines were unable to get past the kinetic barriers produced by the armour and he refused to charge into energy fire with little more than a sickle.
- Vekaron - Too many pirates for my liking.
- Kamaris - Perhaps it was ill-advised to be uninviting to the Kicath Agent.
- Vansenk - Only good pirate is a dead pirate.
Levarcor warriors ran forward, firing guns that rapidly produced grenades in place of bullets. These were energy grenades, unlike before where it was just mere shrapnel being sent through the air.
- Kilchárunya - Sometimes I regret not being a part of the Remnant.
Wragrot sent a psychic pulse to throw the grenades back. As the energy grenades were thrown back, the Levarcor were obliterated; their entire bodies were disintegrated, with their guns exploding and releasing fierce, massive explosions that killed off the surrounding pirates, causing their armour to explode in a Domino Effect-like chain. Kamaris kept on firing his gun at the torsos of the pirates.
- Wragrot - Using grenades against a psychic. Bad decision.
- Kilchárunya - That was easy.
- Kamaris - Overconfidence is met with a catastrophe, Kicath.
- Kilchárunya - ...True. We had better move on forward.
Up ahead was the navigation room, which was seperated from the team by thick doors. While these were usually automatic and would open upon detecting an authorized member of staff, they appeared to have been locked from the inside. There were few pirates, who simply ran instead of putting up a fight.
- Vekaron - Huh.
- Wragrot - Wusses.
- Kamaris - I sense more danger than seen.
- Vansenk - Would have been smart idea to collect one of those grenade guns. Could have exploded an entrance.
- Kilchárunya - Thank you, Commander Hindsight.
Suddenly, the doors opened. They moved away from one another almost naturally, with the navigation room being seen on the otherside, with the mutilated, slaughtered corpses of Zoles piled upon one another as soon as the group could see inside. The murderer of the crew was, however, nowhere to be seen. Vekaron growled and entered the room with his blade in hand, closely followed by Wragrot.
- Vansenk - Anybody else feel hungry?
- Wragrot - No.
Kilchárunya examined one of the corpses. The corpses were lined with slashes and cuts that appeared to burn upon closer inspection, steam emanating from the wounds as if something incredibly hot had hit them incredibly fast.
- Kilchárunya - Hm. Either pulseblades, energy gauntlets or Zí-Jittorám tongues.
- Vekaron- This is too clean and organized to be Zí-Jittorám work.
- Vansenk - Which one is preferable?
- Kilchárunya - For preference, not a Zí-Jittorám. I don't know what species in the galaxy have this kind of weaponry.
Kilchárunya examined the wounds closer.
- ??? - Take a guess.
From behind the team, a shadowed figure approached them, staying close to the shadows where the light from the emergency alarms could not hit them. The group could see a basic outline but no details, aside from a single glowing light that may have been an eye. Vekaron got into a battle stance while Wragrot aimed his shotgun at the figure. Kamaris stood tall, but his blade was firmly in his grasp.
- Kilchárunya - Hm.
- ??? - Kill me if you want, feel free if you think you're capable. But good luck trying to stop this bird from crashing into the nearby moon when only I know all the right procedures and passcodes.
- Vekaron - What's your problem? Identify yourself!
- ??? - You may call me the Dancer Discordant, and I suggest you change your to--
The figure tripped and stumbled out of the shadows, although they quickly regained their balance. The group could see she was a blue-tinted Rovegar that wore an impressive set of customized armour and wore an implanted eyepiece. She wore two gauntlets, each equipped with twin blades.
- Wragrot - Oh come on, another one of those whores?
- ??? - Urgh! How impolite! I do not happen to be part of the stereotype that my people have brought upon themselves.
- Kamaris - Explanation?
- Vekaron - Hostile alien race who apparently devour souls.
- Kamaris - If that is the case, then you are wiser to stand down rather than fight.
- Wragrot - Think Gardin but as an adult. Now, you. Blue gal. Someone's gotta answer for all those dead bodies.
- ??? - No, I don't think anybody has to. As soon as those bumbling idiots with guns pack up all the cargo, this ship is heading on a one-way course to oblivion, as is the rest of the living crew who I decided to spare.
- Vekaron - Not gonna happen. You'll stop this crash, even if I have to cut your limbs off to force you to.
- Kamaris - I would much rather sort this out peacefully.
- ??? - Oh really? What would I get out of helping you and stopping the crash? Arrest and execution? I find that more resources and material are my thing over the former.
- Vekaron - I don't take kindly of the slaughter of innocents, Rovegar scum.
- Kamaris - Killing her might be unwise. If she is the only one who knows how to stop the crash.
- Wragrot - Yeah. Very peaceful. Let's kill her already. Or at least incapacitate her, make her stop the crash, then kill her. Yeah, that's better.
- ??? - I'd listen to your Mahanayan friend.
- Wragrot - You would, but I'm not you.
Wragrot charged into the Rovegar's direction. The Rovegar smiled and also charged, being more direct than the pirates who they had fought before. She was quick on her feet as she ran, glaring towards the Murgur with a smirk. Wragrot charged his fist with essence, causing it to be set ablaze by a blue fire, and send it into the Rovegar's direction.
- Kamaris - From the one species most likely to kill everyone, I refrain from attacking. Vōthāyan nasyrothakōl ĥonaōmyon. [The universe is turning upside down.]
As the sphere of fire approached the Rovegar, its direction shifted and was thrown back at Wragrot as the Rovegar's eye illuminated, its speed and intensity increased as it was returned. As he got close, she dived beneath Wragrot's reached and slid beneath him. Wragrot hit the floor with his fist, causing the entire room to rumble. He looked in confusion, being startled by the enemy's speed.
- Kamaris - I did say it was unwise to kill her.
- Vekaron - Let's keep them fighting each other. At least he should be able to tire her.
- Kamaris - And if she kills him?
- Vekaron - We jump in before that happens.
- Kilchárunya - Hmph. I just say we kill her and rip the eye from her skull.
Suddenly, Wragrot felt a burning sensation across his side; the Rovegar appeared beside him for a brief moment before vanishing then rematerializing on the other side of Wragrot. She didn't appear to be teleporting or using cloaking technology - she was running and leaping.
- ??? - You move so slowly.
- Wragrot - Grrr. Stop running, coward.
Wragrot lifted his foot and stomped the ground, causing a shockwave around him powerful enough to blast the enemy away from him. The Rovegar was thrown back, colliding with a wall. As she struck the far side of the room, she propelled herself forward with outstretched nails. Little to Wragrot's knowledge, those nails were sharper than the blades upon her gauntlets and stronger than diamond.
Wragrot saw the Rovegar coming and threw his foot upwards to kick her in midair. Instead of being kicked away, the Rovegar landed the strike; her nails dug into Wragrot's foot, causing her face to cringe as she tried to pull them out and blood spat onto her face.
- ??? - That's just... disgusting.
Wragrot used the opportunity and slammed the Rovegar into the ground with both of his fists. The Rovegar screeched, colliding with the floor. She rolled herself back and stood up once more, throwing herself in Wragrot's direction and quickly slashing towards him with her blades as her body twisted and gyrated with flexibility.
- Kamaris - But I shall admit. Her form of combat is irritating.
Wragrot growled and attempted to deliver more blows to the Rovegar but kept missing. At this moment, the team could hear the door behind them opening, as well as the noise of somethig small tripping into the ground.
- Kamaris - Hm?
- Vansenk - What was that?
Vekaron turned to back to see the source of the noise: it was Gardin. Upon noticing her, his eyes widened.
- Vekaron - Gardin! What are you doing here?!
- Gardin - I wanted to adventure!
- Vekaron - It's too dangeorus here, get back to the shuttle!
As Wragrot was distracted, the Rovegar positioned a blade against the Murgur's neck, ready to deliver another slash. However, before she could, her attention turned towards Gardin as well. After a moment of looking over her, she rolled away from Wragrot and towards Gardin, getting on one knee to examine her closer.
- ??? - Hey little one! What's your name?
- Vekaron - Get away from her!
Vekaron ran up to the Rovegar and slashed at her. Kamaris looked at Vekaron and Kilchárunya before his blade rose. The Rovegar blocked the slash, growling as Vekaron as she struggled to hold him and his strength back.
- Gardin - Hey you! Don't hurt my daddy!
- ??? - Why do you have a Rovegar with you?! You kidnapped her, didn't you?!
- Vekaron - Kidnap? I saved her! But why would this matter to you?
- ??? - Same reason you care for those dead Zoles!
Kamaris let out a sharp breath. Gardin jumped close to the Rovegar and let out a high pitched shriek at her to keep her away from Vekaron. The Rovegar screeched and covered her ears, glaring as she jumped back and rolled away.
- ??? - Agh! Dammit... what did you do to her?! Why is she helping you if you kidnapped her?!
- Gardin - You don't hurt my daddy! Bad! Evil!
- Kamaris - Contrarily, saved her from a massacre. Listen before my patience runs out.
- Vekaron - Yes. If it wasn't for me, she would have died to pirates weeks ago.
- Kilchárunya - Just let it run out. Rip her to shreds.
The Rovegar looked towards the group and examined them. It was then that her expression changed and her single organic eye widened, looking surprised or shocked.
- ??? - Wait... you're Vekaron? You're the one who fought on that colony?
- Vekaron - How do you know me?
Kamaris' brow raised.
- Kamaris - Do all encounters begin with a misunderstanding in this group?
- Kilchárunya - So far? Yes.
The Rovegar ceased her combat stance and stood more casually, looking at the floor with an expression of guilt and shame written across her face. Vekaron remained on a battle stance. Behind the Rovegar, Wragrot was holding his shotgun at point blank against her head.
- Kilchárunya - Hmph.
- ??? - I was... on a mission. I was going to assassinate an important person that day, then the pirates came and my attention was needed elsewhere. I saw you leave after the fight had ended, I saw you take the child.
- Gardin - Bad person! Go away!
Kamaris' blade lowered, and sheathed it on the side of his leg. He then folded his arms as Kilchárunya next to him seemed rather disappointed at the outcome.
- Kamaris - I suggest your explanation should be more threaded out before we put our guns away.
- Kilchárunya - Just blow her head off.
- Wragrot - Tempted to, but we still need to stop the ship. My foot hurts too much for me to be merciful.
- ??? - I'll stop the ship, but only on the condition that it's my turn to ask the questions afterward.
- Vekaron - ...Hmpf. Very well.
The Rovegar rolled away from Wragrot and approached a panel, wiping away blood that had been spilled onto it. She proceeded to run her fingers over the panel and tap away at a holographic screen, running through codes and entrance screens for several minutes. She hummed while she worked.
- Kilchárunya - Hm. You seem rather...young for a warrior.
- Kamaris - One can talk, bounty hunter.
- Wragrot - You've obviously never seen a Warband-less Murgur clan.
- ??? - I was trained young, had to be if I wanted to survive getting out of the Matriarchy for the first time as well as surviving when I go back in. It's a harsh place, I need to be on my toes.
Vekaron's stance relaxed. However, Wragrot kept with his gun aimed at the Rovegar.
- Kamaris - You were quick to accept me as an ally. Why not her?
- Wragrot - First contact with her kind was not pleasant. At all. You were not around back then.
- Kamaris - You will have to divulge the story later.
- ??? - Believe me, I have better things to do in my time than to go around and try and seduce the weak-minded when I could either be saving them.
- Vekaron - Like you saved these innocent workers by slaughtering them?
The Rovegar sighed, looking down as she continued to tap away at the holographic screen and panel.
- ??? - I needed the resources to fight the Matriarchy. Unlike you, my materials and assets are limited.
- Kamaris - We have all committed atrocities in our past.
- Wragrot - One of you frilly bastards tried to eat my soul! Mine!
- Vekaron - How can I know you're saying the truth?
- ??? - Go up to any Matriarchy outpost and ask about the Dancer Discordant. You'll be met with stories, curses, insults and the likes. I'm... a celebrity, of sorts.
- Gardin - Still bad...Shiny Blue kind should be good, not bad...
- Kilchárunya - So where did the name 'Dancer Discordant' come from?
- ??? - I break the Matriarchy's order, I don't abide by their rules, I happen to be an excellent fighter, I use psychological warfare. I'm an expert in one of the rare Rovegar arts that revolve around the more violent forms of dancing.
- Vekaron - Hmpf. How are you called, exactly?
- ??? - I suppose it's alright for you to know my name, I know yours. Kirlisir, you can call me Kirlisir.
- Kamaris - Where has our disgusting friend got to?
Outside, Vansenk was examining what remained of the corpses of the pirates, examining the technology that they had been using. He turned his head and looked towards Kirlisir with narrowed eyes, licking his teeth as he spoke.
- Vansenk - What about this technology?
- Kirlisir - I stole it from various Matriarchy supply and collection vessels, as well as some military facilities. Perhaps a few science installations or two.
- Kilchárunya - Better than stealing Agent technology. You'll have Agent Chi on you.
- Kamaris - You really dislike Agents, don't you?
- Kirlisir - So that's his name.
- Kilchárunya - You've come across him?
- Kirlisir - On various occasions, usually watching from a distance as he massacred my assets.
- Kamaris - It sounds like him.
- Wragrot - Hurry up with those codes already.
- Vansenk - All the pirates are equipped with suicide-ware. Why?
- Kirlisir - You think pirates are just going to let me keep the resources to myself? Beside, it kills two birds with one stone; they provide a distraction and work force, and after their use is up I blow them to pieces.
- Kamaris - Resourceful.
There was a sound produced from an unseen speaker that indicated that what she was doing had now been completed. A voice spoke over the speaker afterward, it was autonomous and robotic.
- AI - Destination erased. Resume previous flight pattern.
- Wragrot - Hm. Good.
- Kamaris - I suppose it is time for you to ask us your questions.
Kirlisir turned towards the group and stared directly at Vekaron, her glare piercing and hostile although she herself stood casually. She had a stern, almost angry, expression on her face.
- Kirlisir - Why are you, a task group of soldiers and mercenaries, taking care of a child in your possession? What ever made you think that was a good idea?
- Vansenk - I inquired the same. The response requested me to keep my mouth shut.
- Vekaron - Torrent had pierced his fingers through her skull. She needed medical treatment, and her mothers had been killed.
- Gardin - Daddy made my eye see again!
- Kirlisir - Are you out of your damned minds?! I hope you know that she won't survive for long if she does something like that again.
- Kamaris - Perhaps we are.
- Vansenk - Well, I shan't confirm nor deny anything.
- Kilchárunya - I'm riding with a Mahanayan Colossus, a Zoles Penumbran, a Murgur Battlemaster, a diseased Hseraelna. Seems like it.
- Gardin - Don't yell at my daddy! You're bad!
- Kirlisir - ...Daddy?
- Gardin - He's my daddy now!
- Kamaris - Enough. What has happened has happened.
Kirlisir grunted as she placed her palm against her face, shaking her head as Gardin talked. With a heavy sigh, she removed her hand and looked back at the group again.
- Kirlisir - So, what are you going to do? Train her? Most species' military training doesn't complement Rovegar biology.
- Kamaris - And you are implying that we should let you take her.
- Vekaron - Train? No, I'm going to raise her to not be like those vile things who wanted me to turn me into their puppet.
- Wragrot - ...Well. We shouldn't let those powers go to waste.
- Vekaron - I'll not put my daugh-...ahem. Gardin, into danger.
- Kirlisir - Really? Place seems pretty dangerous to me. If you weren't fighting me, she would already be dead by now and you know it. That would've been the end of it.
- Vekaron - I didn't bring her here. She sneaked her way into our shuttle somehow.
Vekaron glared at Gardin, who smiled and scratched the back of her head.
- Kilchárunya - Why are we even answering your stupid question anyway? If it wasn't for Kamaris' reasoning, you'd be dead.
- Wragrot - Yep.
- Kirlisir - Because, Kicath, this girl has no way of defending herself in an actual fight. She needs training and I'm sure you all want what's best for her.
- Wragrot - So you're saying you want to train her.
- Kirlisir - I'm saying I'm the only one who can train her, albeit properly. That and...I kind of need a place to settle for a little while.
Vekaron put a hand on his chin, thinking. Gardin's visible eye shined and she put her tongue out, before returning to normal.
- Gardin - She's telling the truth.
- Kamaris - Why should we trust you? The number of corpses in this room is not in your favour.
- Kirlisir - Oh, I think they are, Mahanayan.
- Kamaris - Not what I had in mind.
- Kirlisir - You should trust me because of what I can do for you as a battle asset, and how I can pass those skills onto the little girl. I can also provide inside information on the Matriarchy's technology, weaponry, locations, culture, stuff like that.'
- Vekaron - ...Very well. You may come with us, but for now, you'll be under constant observation.
- Kamaris - Hmph. Yanvāmal. [Child.]
Kilchárunya growled slightly.
- Kirlisir - Also, I made sure to spare the younger members of the crew. You may wish to comfort them, they may be upset. They should be around the ship somewhere.
- Kilchárunya - I didn't come here to tend to children. I'm going back to the ship.
Wragrot leaned forward, putting himself close to Kirlisir's ear.
- Wragrot - If you screw up, I'll make you gag on Vansenk's tongue.
- Kamaris - Unpleasant.
Kamaris' tongue stuck out whilst his lips retracted, before returning to normal.
- Kirlisir - Well, aren't you just Prince Charming, huh.
Kirlisir passed her hand over Wragrot's side, which has been struck by one of her slashes from the fight, before walking past him with a smile. Wragrot looked at where Kirlisir had passed her hand on.
- Wragrot - Hm. Didn't notice this scar before.
Kamaris went over to Gardin, as his helmet deconstructed around his head. He knelt down to Gardin with a serious expression.
- Kamaris - Do you trust this other Rovegar on the ship?
- Gardin - I'll train. Then I'll beat her up!
Kamaris almost laid his hand on Gardin's head, but realised his claws were too sharp.
- Vekaron - You can read minds. Did she mean everything she said?
- Gardin - Yes. Except the Prince Charming part. She thinks Uncle Wrag is ugly.
- Wragrot - Oh no, my feelings.
- Vansenk - I think the Murgur looks astoundingly attractive.
- Wragrot - Ew. No. Don't be weird on me.
Kamaris turned to Vansenk, with his face fully visible. Vansenk screeched and covered his eyes, looking away from Kamaris fearfully as his body shook.
- Vekaron - Well, let's get back to the ship. We can get the rest of the crew to take care of the survivors themselves.
- Kamaris - Vo zoyantḫōa. [That's what I thought.] Indeed. We should return before she steals my guns.
The Dancer Discordant had joined the team. As Vekaron carried her back to the shuttle, Gardin watched Kirlisir with a mix of irritation and curiosity. She wanted to get strong...so she could beat her in her own game one day.
On an Imalmah world, a surprisingly peaceful planet considering their nature and that the world was a manufacturer of weapons of war, the planet's defenses were hit by a huge fleet. A fleet so large and co-ordinated that it had to be from a major empire. But there was no way this could be the Alliance. Normally starships would stop at the space defenses, the orbiting fleet and space station, to fire upon and destroy the defenses before then moving in to take the planet.
Not this fleet.
As if it didn't even care that the defenses were attacking them, its shields and armour absorbed the damage. And just as one of the ship's shields went low, it turned its cannon towards the defenses, and fired only a few, sharp blasts that blow up whatever was hitting it. But a fleet of this merciless nature coming from a clearly powerful empire, who had never declared war, this was downright dishonourable...so it couldn't be the Alliance, could it? It was. It was the UNO fleet.
As the planet was being bombed, the ground shook, and the Imalmah sent a message straight to the ship that was devastating their world. In UNO fashion, the message was conveyed through UNOL (or at least, images of them) from the ship's AI.
- Kralgon Emperor - You wish to speak with us, Imalmah?
- Imalmah Captain - ...So it's you! We should have known you Alliance dogs would go against us eventually!
- Valzaria - Diplomacy is currently out of the question. If you wish to strike a deal with us, do so after our attack is finish.
- Zr'Ahgloth - YEH OF CORS YOR A BUNCHA WANKAS AND WES GONNA SMASH YOO
- Imalmah Captain - Disgusting aliens. You may take this world, but you'll never extinguish the fire that burns in the Hegemony's heart! You'll pay dearly for this genocide!
- Kralgon Emperor - This attack is a warning to you all: Do anything that defies the Polar Crystal Alliance or Unified Nation of Ottzello, and ALL your planets shall be ravaged as this one is! We do not see this as genocide on innocents, don't make us pity you after what you have done.
- Yogtam - This does not have to be a declaration of war. Think of it as pre-emptive self-defense.
- Imalmah Captain - Then you will not mind when we bombard your worlds to dust. War is declared! You and your Alliance will burn!
As the world was destroyed, and UNO drones landed to clean up, salvage and to prepare for potential colonization, the Imalmah Captain and many others fled the world, though its wildlife could not, and burnt to death helpless, or otherwise were killed by the poisonous gas. Anything not killed by the explosions of the antimatter bombs were killed in radiation, over a slow, painful death. Not a single soldier even left a ship to go to battle.
On Hyperborea, Valzaria was greeted with Semirian and Xeron both entering her office. Both of them glared at her with visible anger.
- Xeron - You better explain yourself, missy!
- Valzaria - Explain what, exactly?
- Xeron - That attack on the Imalmah, that's what!
- Semirian - Why did you attack the Imalmah, when we made clearn we don't want war with the Hegemony? Do you realize the catastrophe this could cause?
- Valzaria - It was pre-emptive self defense. The act of force was to cripple them, and warn them of what we were capable of. Their resistance was shattered due to the nature of our attack and its surprise.
- Semirian - The Imalmah control that entire region and all of the empires in it. Waging war on them would make that entire region become hostile. And we want to unite the galaxy, not lay waste on it.
- Valzaria - My fellow leaders saw no peaceful solution. But why do you worry about that? It is not like we were friends with anyone in that region, anyway...or like it was of much value to us. If we defeat those in the region by force, they will submit, and no longer be hostile.
- Xeron - The Seagon Empire lives in the proximity. You and your hivemind may have just caused the downfall of one of our most advanced members!
- Valzaria - A pity. But if they are intelligent, they will side with us. Our act was one of deterrence. They won't want us to do to them what we just did to a helpless Imalmah world.
Xeron and Semirian glared.
- Semirian - No. You acted against the collective will of the Council. You do not have our support with this.
- Xeron - I don't care what you'll do, but you're gonna fix this. And if you don't, you'll have to take care of the responsibility all by yourself.
- Valzaria - Very well. But you will soon learn we were doing you a favour. We had suspicions of them for a while. And now, they have declared war on the Alliance.
- Xeron - Not with the Alliance. They're at war with you. You ticked them off, and they reacted. They're your problem, not ours.
- Valzaria' - Allow me to repeat myself. They have, in their words, declared war on the Alliance. Not UNO. That means you could easily be one of their targets.
- Semirian - We don't claim responsibility for this. All responsibility for the attack will be given to UNO.
- Xeron - If they attack any of our members, you can say goodbye to your Council seat.
- Valzaria - Which is certainly reasonable. We will destroy them, or force them into submission. The region will be affiliated with the PCA when we are done.
- Xeron - You're getting on my nerves. We DON'T want war with the Imalmah! Put that on your thick skull!
- Valzaria - A bit late for that, I'd say?
- Xeron - Grr. I've had enough of you. You've gone against our collective will, and for that, your Councillor status is revoked.
- Semirian - Supported. Leave, and don't come back until you have this sorted.
Valzaria looked highly offended.
- Valzaria - Is that so? I will have all trade routes with the Zoles and Niaka cut until you go back on this, in that case. And the Alliance no longer has permission to use our navy as they please. I do believe the discussion is closed. Good bye.
- Xeron - Get out of here before I call the guards!
Valzaria left to pack her bags and leave for the UNO Omega Commander, where she would now be living. She was going to miss Hyperborea, that was certain. And for now, tensions between UNO and the rest of the PCA rose. Many would reconsider their trust in the Unified Nation...
Meanwhile, at Biavumd, the headquarters of the New Wranploer Legion, Torrent sat on a hovering throne and moved around his room, which he had filled with a great variety of monitors, computers and other kinds of machinery. Each of these monitors showed a different recording, which he studied carefully. They were recordings of his agents around the region. Torrent personally wanted to make sure everything was going as he wanted, no errors or mistakes. It would be unusual to think of a warrior like him to care for this kind of thing, but he was too obsessed with his goal to care.
One of his screens, which he payed special attention to, was Dark Grip's recordings. Despite their efforts, they could not find Billig. Torrent was growing annoyed of the fat Wranploer's hiding. He also payed attention to other screens of agents sent to investigate a Warlord by the name of "Vorius", who was apparently wrecking havoc. Instead, they also found nothing. Torrent was not as annoyed as he was somewhat confused his agents could not find this Vorius. It's just a lowly Wranploer, how could it hide so well? At least Billig had increased intellect.
One Wranploer entered Torrent's room and got his attention. The Wranploer wore lab clothing and looked at the Kvargo warlord. It was obvious that Torrent had not slept that night.
- Scientist - Warlord, the first attempt to awaken a clone is about to begin. We would like to know if you are intered in watching.
- Torrent - ...Really?
Torrent quickly jumped out of his hovering throne and walked up to the Wranploer, who led him to the chambers where the kidnapped scientists were being forced to work on. From across the room, Baptarion Light glared at Torrent, while being guarded by a pair of Levarcor guards. Torrent and the Wranploer walked up to a large glass chamber. Its interior could not be seen due to the heavy mist inside of it.
- Torrent - The first clone...
- Scientist - Indeed. After many months, we've-
- Torrent - Shut up, just awaken it already! I want to see it!
The scientist backed away, briefly startled by Torrent's snapping. It gave a signal to another scientist, who worked on a console. A few moments later, the glass window opened, filling the room with an intense mist. Out of it, a figure which looked much like Torrent fell into the ground, gasping for air. The Kvargo clone. Torrent quickly got to its eye level and offered him a hand.
- Torrent - Take my hand, brother...welcome to the world of the living.
The clone looked at Torrent, with a confused expression, before it suddenly began gasping for air harder. Torrent watched with his eye widened as the clone grasped its chest and began hyperventilating in front of him. He looked at the scientists with evident fear on his face.
- Torrent - What's this?! What did you do?!
- Scientist - We don't know! He was supposed to be okay!
The clone threw itself into the floor, where it gasped a few more times. Moments later, it was static. Lifeless. Torrent looked at it in visible shock. The clone's lungs were not yet perfect, it seemed, despite the fact the scientists had implanted Torrent's nanomachines in it. The Wranploer scientist attempted to approach Torrent, but the Warlord turned at him with a sight of extreme anger. Torrent punched a nearby table, his arm turned dark, tearing it in half while causing nearby scientists to be knocked away.
- Torrent - You made me watch a Kvargo die!
- Scientist - I'm s-s-sorry, warlord! B-b-but I warned you it was a test!
- Torrent - I've seen my race die out already! I don't need to see more die!
The guards around the room ran up to Torrent to calm him down and stop him from attacking the scientists. The whole commotion allowed Baptarion to be alone for the first time. He watched the entire scene with a grin, having zero sympathy for his kidnapper. He was one of the scientists in charge of implement the nanomachines on the clone. In front of him was a vial which contained a portion of these nanomachines.
- Baptarion - When I get out of here...I could take these nanothingies to be studied...
Baptarion took the vial on his hand. Attempting this before could have gotten him killed by the guards, but they were all still busy. However, he didn't have much time. He had nowhere to hide the entire vial, and in a fit of hurry, he put the vial on his mouth and drank its contents. Putting the vial down, he coughed several times and put his hand on his chest.
- Baptarion - ...Maybe that wasn't such a good idea. Urk, I hope this doesn't poison me.
And at the opposite side of the room, one specific soldier watched the whole scene. It had kept an eye on both Torrent and expecially on Baptarion. Turning back, the soldier left the room and, activating a cloaking device, he disappeared from sight. It was not one of Torrent's men. It was a spy. But from where?
In UNOL's chamber, as Valzaria returned, she had bad news to give to them about her Council status...
- Kralgon Emperor - What do you mean you lost your seat on the Council?!
- Zr'Ahgloth - DATS PROPA DUM DAT MEENS I CANT SWIM ON DA COUNCIL POOL ANYMOR
- Yogtam - What exactly did they say to you about it?
- Valzaria - They said we went against the Alliance's will. Basically they said we turned our backs on them.
- Kralgon Emperor - Hmpf. Then let's ACTUALLY turn our backs on them. Cancel all trades, and refuse to offer our military services.
- Valzaria - I cannot return to the Council, unless we somehow make peace with the Imalmah. They said they'll put all the blame on us and won't move a finger to help.
- Zr'Ahgloth - wow i thought da pca was all goody good peepz turns out deyz jerkz
- Kralgon Emperor - And what did they say in regards to...destroying them?
- Yogtam - No, you aren't suggesting...
- Valzaria - I imagine we would lose our PCA member status completely.
- Kralgon Emperor - Why NOT destroy them, then? So what if the PCA turn their backs on us, when we were trying to help them? It's not like they can do much without us. Eventually they'll crawl back and beg for us to be members again, just you wait. Why bother making peace with what is clearly a threat to them?
- Valzaria - Sure we can win a war against the Imalmah. But what if this ends up with the PCA at war with us? The Zoles, the Niaka, the Kicath, all united against us?
- Yogtam - Even you have to admit, Emperor, we would lose that war if it were to break out. I'm not sure the PCA would want it...there would be heavy losses for them. But if you bring us closer to that idea...
- Kralgon Emperor - Graah, fine. Destroy a few more of their worlds and force them into submission.
- Yogtam - Are you serious...
- Tuolog - No. Even if we attack at full force, it take months if not years to defeat Hegemony. They much larger than you think. They have more allies than us. This doomed to make us hated through whole galaxy.
- Kralgon Emperor - I was hated through the whole galaxy. It didn't stop me from conquering it...
- Tuolog - Come on, that when the worst threat other than your Kralgon Invasion Force was the Loron. Who were even weaker than Da Rogue Boyz are now... *Zr'Ahgloth - SHUT UP MAN DOSE WERE DA GOOD OLD DAYZ
And before the Emperor could come up with another irrational point to try and justify his thirst for war...Billig, straight from his lab, sent a transmission.
- Billig - I'm aware that you've gotten yerselves into a little issue, eh?
- Zr'Ahgloth - oh no DUNTCHU START SPYIN ON US LIEK ZAARKHUN USED TA DO
- Billig - Heheh, what'd ya think I was doin'? I inherited 'is mind, after all...but anyways. I just found out that you've gotten into trouble with the Imalmah. Aside from pickin' an AWFUL time ta go ta war with 'em, I'll 'ave to stand by 'em in war, against you.
- Kralgon Emperor - Oh great, not only the Alliance chickens out, we have Captain Fat Blob threatening us now.
- Yogtam - We don't need anymore enemies. Our situation is already way worse than we had expected.
- Billig - Exactly. An', yanno, I may 'ave just started out, but I'm a pretty influencial figure already. Pretty feared, too. But that's only within the criminal underground, mind you. But what I am sayin' is, I'm jus' as powaful - if not more - a threat than the old man Zaarkhun woulda been back in the day. You really wanna rethink things. You said yerselves, it'd take months to beat these guys.
- Valzaria - You think...you could help us out of this?
- Kralgon Emperor - What? We don't need help! We can kill everyone if we want!
- Tuolog - Need I remind you, Emperor, about what Hostile Xenoform Threat did to all you "conquered".
The Kralgon Emperor growled and crossed his arms, remaining silent.
- Billig - Actually, Valzaria, that was EXACTLY what I was thinkin', eh? I can remedy this for ya...pretty easily. If there's anyone who can make a hostile race that the Imalmah change their minds about their enemies, it's me.
- Yogtam - We're listening.
- Billig - I can talk to 'em, tell 'em to drop the war, an' to return no fire. I can probably make 'em allies of myself in the process, but that's irrelevant to your problem, eh? Of course, I ain't offerin' that service fer free...
- Zr'Ahgloth - i can give yoo a king-sized pepperoni pizza. hao bout dat
- Billig - That'd be nice. Could you add some more meat to it?
- Zr'Ahgloth - sur i can add meet it makes it tastia
- Valzaria - I don't think he means food, Zr'Ahgloth.
- Billig - First of all, I'm settin' up me own business, eh? An' I need some headquartas. I need some which can remain hidden...an' ANYONE who wonders there by accident is shot an' dead an' neva 'eard of again. Now that's pretty expensive, an' would require me pulling out some of me budget on other...corporate interests...involvin' growth of me business.
- Yogtam - So you want us to supply you with territory.
- Billig - Not give me yer own, just find some for me, clear it out, an' it'll all be said an' done, eh? An' fund the construction of it, of course. Unfortunately, that means that any of you that you send to me to construct an' fund this place, I'll 'ave to kill 'em so that no word gets out, eh?
Billig's formerly laid back tone now changed, as he spoke more quietly but firmly.
- Yogtam - We have reserves. This is acceptable.
- Billig - An' that's not all. I ain't stupid, you PCA ain't plannin' on lettin' me go afta I'm done savin' the universe. If we DO survive - an' I'm assumin' we do - then you're ENSURIN' that I get free. Otherwise, I will expose you. I will tell the entire galaxy you struck a deal with me to sort out this deal an' save yer sorry hides.
UNOL looked at each other, with a worried look for a few seconds. They then looked back to Billig.
- Valzaria - ...Okay. We will make sure you're not put under arrest. And if you are, we'll get you free.
- Billig - That's good, eh? So we're at an agreement. I'll go speak to the Imalmah right now.
The conversation was then closed.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - We should all be feeling rather lucky right now.
- Kralgon Emperor - This was pathetic...
- Tuolog - Shush. You bone-headed. Remember, I can see future.
True to his word, Billig then got in touch with the heads of the Imalmah.
- Billig - Why, 'ello there. Me name's Billig, you made 'ave heard of me.
On Billig's screen was a room with various Imalmah in political outfits, the Imalmah Highmasters.
- Highmaster - A Wranploer? What do you want from us? We're busy with things above your concern.
- Billig - Oh? What do those include? Could it be your potential war with the Polar Crystal Alliance?
The Highmasters were all startled.
- Highmaster - Whoever got this information out of the colonies is gonna get executed!
- Billig - I'm pretty good at findin' out things, eh? I got contacts everywhere...but that's not the point. Point is that I'm full aware of your war with the PCA, an' that I know more about it than you do. That attack that destroyed the entire population of one of yer worlds? It wasn't a PCA attack, jus' an UNO one. They attacked on their own, totally unprovoked. An' the PCA ain't happy with 'em.
- Highmaster - Filthy extragalatics...if that's so then we have less to worry about. Only UNO needs to pay.
- Billig - Thing is, they already sorta did. If they carry on their war with you, I bet the PCA will turn on 'em. An', well, I'd join you in such a war if it were to happen. UNO's kinda fucked, eh? 'Specially when the universe is goin' down an' all...
- Highmaster - Blood for blood, Wranploer. UNO must die, and with this information, we could even get the PCA to attack them for us.
- Billig - That's what I'm sayin' yer could. But you're missin' some pretty important details in that. First, the PCA's opinion ain't high of you, what do you think provoked this attack in the first place? If you DO join forces with the PCA to fight UNO, who's to say you won't be next? An' who's to say you'll actually WIN that war? Who's to say your people will be 'appy with you for sidin' with 'em?
The Highmasters appeared apprehensive.
- Highmaster - What do you suggest then, Wranploer?
- Billig - What do I suggest? I suggest you think better about yer actions and their repurcussions, simple as that. I don't 'suggest' anythin', what I'm askin' of ya is a favour that could clear up this whole mess, eh?
- Highmaster - Favour, hm?
- 'Billig - We all know 'ow this piracy works, don't we? The PCA 'ad a problem with yous eva since they found out that you're jus' as dirty as the Wranploer Legion was back in the day, eh? But that's not all. Their suspicions on you rose soon as they found out about your little vault full of weapons.
The Highmaster began arguing among themselves. "This Wranploer knows too much!", "How did this info get public?!", "Throw him into the slaver pits!", among other things were heard. Billig chuckled, rather blatantly. He felt smug at knowing so much.
- Billig - I'm wired into this galaxy, ya see. I hear the rumours of a snitch on 'is street before 'is neighbours do. Zaarkhun was notorious fer findin' out some of the best kept secrets, I learnt a few of 'is tricks. That also makes me a pretty powerful ally I'd say, eh? But that's not the point fer the time bein'. Point is, they know you 'ave that vault, an' they want it taken down.
- Highmaster' - They'll have to take it from our cold, dead hands!
- Billig - Of course they will. What if I told you I was better at keepin' secrets than you are? What if we could 'remove' the vault...by placin' it somewhere else, an' me own agents could become yours to keep the thing a secret? Yanno...by killin' anyone with the slightest bit of info so rumours never even leave a mouth? You interested?
The Highmasters began arguing again. Some of them agreed with the idea, while others kept demanding Billig thrown to the slaver rings. He was forced to wait several minutes until the Highmasters finally go into a consensus.
- Highmaster - ...Very well. We are interested.
- Billig - I can arrange that. I'd also mention that your slave trade is something you can profit from heavily if you were to get in touch with my corporation...but that's for another discussion, eh? For now, all I'll need you to do is send a message to the PCA tellin' 'em that you just made peace with UNO an' that you're demolishing that vault as a part of their demands. PCA loves UNO again, they also leave you alone.
- Highmaster - You want us to cancel the war? You had not mentioned this before!
The Highmasters all began arguing again. It was clear that their government was a complete mess.
- Billig - An' what, exactly? You thinkin' you could go to war with UNO an' survive? Wake up an' smell reality, you're not winnin' nothin' in that but embarassment. Might I remind you...you're already a laughing stock among the Borealis criminal underworld after you lost that one world to UNO an' barely retaliated. You need to make yourselves FEARED. A cache full of illegal weapons is somethin' to be scared of...
After several more minutes of arguing, one of the Highmasters turned back to Billig.
- Highmaster - Okay...we will comply. We'll no longer wage war on them, for the time being.
- Billig - That's good, eh? Because I don't like seein' an empire with potential like you 'ave get crushed so easily an' mocked amongst the community. I'll send me agents over soon as I hear the news that you've stopped fightin' a lost cause.
And in typical Billig fashion, without a 'goodbye', he left.
Mere minutes after the nears had reached the PCA, the Council then sent a message to the UNO Omega Commander. And, as usual, UNOL replied, entering communications.
- Valzaria - Greetings, PCA. You called?
- Semirian - We have just received news from the Seagon that the Imalmah have withdrawn their war threats. Is it correct to say you're responsible?
- Valzaria - It is indeed correct to say we are. And we are also responsible for their admittance of the existance of the vault, which our spies had somewhat discovered and theorized for years now. And, as you will have heard, they took it down.
- Semirian - Excellent. You've done well.
- Xeron - More like, you've done your job. I hope you learned your lesson, missy. When you're part of a council, you have to take into consideration what every member thinks, not just you.
- Kralgon Emperor - Excuse me?! 'We've done our job'? We took down one of the biggest threats to the integrity of this galaxy with that vault. We made things BETTER than they were initially.
- Xeron - And you nearly caused a galactic war. Watch your tone, look who you're talking to!
- Semirian - This is not relevant. What matter is that the crisis has been averted. I for one was optimistic of Valzaria's skills and I knew she could have this all sorted.
- Xeron - Meh...I guess youre right. Things are better, blah.
- Tuolog - You right, Semirian. And what Emperor meant to say was, we all glad we could be of help. You clearly not interested in rewarding us for this, and we not asking for any kind of reward. If you need us, we always here. May I ask if you considering making us a Council member again?
- Semirian - As we had agreed on, Valzaria's Council seat is hers once more.
- Xeron - Yeah, yeah, we kept it clean and tidy for her.
- Zr'Ahgloth - OI CAN I SWIM IN DA POOL AGEN?
- Semirian - ...So it was you who were swimming in the pool!
- Zr'Ahgloth - oh...fuk
The Kralgon Emperor spat, while the others simply nodded and smiled.
- Valzaria - I'll be on my way to Hyperborea right away.
- Semirian - Welcome back.
- Xeron - Hmpf.
A large celebration ensued at the main plaza surrounding the tower of the Council. Many creatures of different races watched as the councillors made themselves visible in an elevated platform, and through the entire station, their faces were visible in millions of screens. They had an important announcement to make. Semirian stepped up and looked down on the people with a serious expression.
- Semirian - People of the Polar Crystal Alliance. Your Council has an announcement. Due to the recent problems regarding the Unified Nation of Ottzello, we have come to the conclusion the council is, right now, too small. It has been four years since its founding, and we believe the time to expand has finally come.
- Xeron - After much discussion, we have chosen two new races to step up and join us as the leaders of the Alliance. These two shall be remembered as the first members to achieve councillor status since the founding of the Alliance itself.
The citizens of Hyperborea watched the councillors speak in curiosity. Who would be the new council races? Were they worthy of this privilege?
- Semirian - The two chosen empires have been partners of the Alliance for a long time. They were of most importance during the Second Great War and they have helped establish the Alliance as a powerful and advanced body.
- Xeron - We believe our choice is fair and self-explanatory. All three of us have agreed on this.
- Valzaria - Indeed. Now, your new councillor nations are...the Seagon Cryptocracy and the Ransio Empire!
Mixed feelings hit the station. Millions enjoyed the changes and accepted them, but millions also disagreed, seeing it as very dangerous in a time of political turmoil. However, it was the will of the council and no one had a say on it.
- Valzaria - Your new councillors are the acting diplomats of these two nations, Rylarien Vhezari of the Seagon and Gavikrag Cuchog of the Ransio.
- Semirian - That is all for now. Thank you for your patience.
- Xeron - Hyperborea, dismissed.
Enemy of Old
Hyperborea was undergoing something of an average day, with the alien communities and cultures that made up the bulk of Hyperborea's populace attending to the schedules and routines that dictated their lives; jobs, family, the likes. Everything was ordered with fault, the course of the day was streamlined and smooth. The populace found themselves in bliss, unaware to the dangers outside of their homes that their militaries fought. People talked and Hyperborea functioned as it was supposed to, with the species that found themselves as members or protectorates of the Polar Crystal Alliance requiring no need to pick up their arms for no harm could touch them. They were assured safety and protection, as the Council had dictated upon its formation.
However, it would only take the brief space of several minutes to disrupt the collective harmony of the inter-racial population and ascend chaos above their ordered lives; all across the megaconstruct, all forms of holographic and audio technology found itself interrupted as their original broadcasts ceased, replaced by unpredicted, random displays of "letters" and words respectively. These words and letters found themselves immune to the advanced inter-language translation software that these races depended on to communicate with one another, everything looked and sounded alien to the residents of this world. It was bizarre, it was unannounced, it was random. They had not prepared themselves for such a delay in their ordered schedules; it was intimidating and terrifying.
After several minutes, this alien language that had forced itself into the minds of Hyperborea's residents started to make sense of itself, adapting to the neural structures of each and every species that was housed here; it was repeated words in both aural and written form. "We return." Even the Council were not out of it's reach; they could hear those very words appearing on their holoscreens, ringing in their heads as if it was fighting to get out. It was loud, it was frightening. The voice that spoke was not just a mere one voice, but many, all speaking and talking at once, giving those words a horrific, ominous tone as they were said.
Minutes passed before the words of the voice changed, something other than an ominous repeat of a single statement. Across Hyperborea, a single voice spoke, though it was no more calming or settling as the sudden appearance of the bizarre alien interference.
- ??? - We return. You do not know us, but we know of you. All of you. Everything your races have ever done, ever accomplished, ever destroyed. We have watched as you warred against one another, as you unified between yourselves to overcome greater threats. We can assure you of this; we are no threat so long as you co-operate. You possess something we desire, something that outweighs the value of every life aboard this construct. The remaining remnant of your so-revered Cold Ones; the one that designates itself as "Warlord Arkarixus Vhiktur", the last of the Kormacvar race and empire. Other than this, your concern is not required. We merely desire the Kormacvar Warlord in his flesh, no harm shall come to those that are housed here. However, if such requirements are not met, we shall not hesitate to resort towards methods of force. Once our requirements are met, there shall be peace once more and we will pose no threat towards you. Consider the wager carefully, for if you refuse, it could very well be your last.
The council watched the message, in disbelief. The newly elected councillor of the Seagon, Rylarien Vhezari, appeared the most intimidated. Councillor Xeron, however, showed nothing but anger.
- Xeron - Arkarixus is not here, and even if he was, we own you no information! You have much nerve, doing all of this. But we should assure you, we have destroyed gods! We fear no outsiders!
- ??? - "Outsiders". We were here long before your races were beyond the stage of single-cellular development. We were here before the Grox dominated the stars, we were here long before the rise of the final Warlords. We are not outsiders; we are reclaimers.
The unknown being suddeunly saw his transmission being interrupted as another being joined the conversation: the Mechanic, who was accessing Hyperborea's machinery from the galactic core. By the tone of his voice, he appeared irritated.
- The Mechanic - You whippersnapper! Who do you think are to mess with Kormacvar tech like this?
The unknown entity's voice raised towards the Mechanic, sounding more disgusted rather than angered although their calm was not disturbed, still sounding relatively collected aside from the partial shouting that was heard across Hyperborea.
- ??? - Zarkhator.
- The Mechanic - You lot? You were supposed to be extinct by now!
- Semirian - You know this being, Mechanic?
- The Mechanic - Oh, I do. A bunch of vile little creatures who tried to usurp the Kormacvar before the Grox War. They were all destroyed though...not sure how they're talking to us now.
- Zarkhator - "Vile". "Little". Watch who you refer to, abomination, for you are absorbed in the Kormacvar's lies.
- The Mechanic - I'm refering to a war criminal! You deserve no respect from me!
- Zarkhator - I tire of your interruption. I desire to speak with the Council of this...establishment of an alliance, not with the defeated of Regnatus.
- The Mechanic - Beat it! I'll not let you harm Hyperborea or its people!
- Zarkhator - No harm shall come to pass. This time. You shall once more look upon the face of Zarkhator as I take step upon the birthplace of our greatest enemy and you shall kneel before it. Do not attempt to stall my arrival; I desire discussion.
- The Mechanic - Why you little-
- Valzaria - Let him in, Mechanic. But hear this: we kneel before no one.
Minutes passed by. There was silence, but the holoscreens still projected those very words of "we return" rather than assuming their previous broadcasts. As the Council assembled once more, as they would with any diplomatic discussion concerning the Alliance, he appeared inside amongst a flash of black and red. The soldiers across the room immediately aimed their weapons at them. The room being reinforced since Santorakh's visit, the warriors were now armed with enough firepower to kill even Arkarixus in a matter of seconds.
There he stood; he towered over the Council, standing at an intimidating and impressive height. He wore exotic armour across his person, almost natural in look yet could still be defined as inorganic. His eyes burned with an ethereal fire, directing his glare towards the members of the Council as they remained seated. He was unlike anything they had ever seen before.
- Zarkhator - Hyperborea has fallen into the hands of aliens. Insects and amphibians, nonetheless. Oh how the Kormacvar have fallen from grace since their passing; I would consider the possession of my homeworld under primitives a fatal insult.
- Xeron - It looks like a demon!
- The Mechanic - It's not a demon, no. Unless he joined forces with them. From what I remember about this species, I really wouldn't be surprised.
- Zarkhator - You remember nothing of my species, false soul. No, I do not ally myself with these "demons" for I do not require their service though they shall bow to me nonetheless in future. Now, onto the reason why we are here; I require a Kormacvar.
- Semirian - There is no Kormacvar here. You were already told this.
- Valzaria - Arkarixus is away from the galaxy at the moment, in a mission at Andromeda.
- Xeron - Like it's his business what Arkarixus is doing or not.
- Zarkhator - You have nerve deciding what is and isn't my business, primitive. What happens to be your business? Crawling around within the dirt seems more suitable than attending a seat at the center of galactic politics where the Kormacvar used to find themselves. You will tell me when he is expected to return next, Council.
- Xeron - You watch your mouth! You have no power here! Unless you want to be blown a new hole, you'll stand down and watch your tongue!
- Semirian - There is no expected time for his return. Nor we will ask him for one, for he is busy with something much more important than you could desire.
- Zarkhator - ...More important than what I desire?
- The Mechanic - Hey, Zarkhator? If you're so smart, you should know what the Xhodocto are.
Zarkhator took a heavy step forward, the claws upon his foot digging into the material of the floor and rendering it back. He took only a single step, though, so as to not provoke the guards into firing upon him. He did manage to make them feel more concerned and jumpy, however.
- Zarkhator - The Xhodocto are none of my concern. I have watched their deeds for 5 billion years - they prove no threat to me as of yet. What I desire, however, is beyond simple destruction; the resurrection of my people is what should concern you as it does me.
- The Mechanic - Well Arkarixus is out there fighting Xhodocto! If you want him so much, go after him! And revive your species? Not in a billion years! I know well what you did back in the Kormacvar Empire times, and I'm not letting you do it again!
- Zarkhator - You hold no power over me, Caretaker, for you are but a toy of the Kormacvar. What of the Council, for they are the greatest standing influence now, it appears? What do they have to say? Are you going to enforce the punishment of the Kormacvar as well, primitives, a punishment that has lasted for longer than the entire history of your races combined?
- Semirian - You ruined any chance of cooperation with your hostile takeover of our systems, your threats and your insults. We will not aid you in your objectives.
- Zarkhator - Is that your final decision, primitives? You are aware of what is at stake, are you not? Or are you to risk war when you cannot even hold yourselves together, hmm?
- Rylarien - We are together. It is this union which has united half of a galaxy, has slayed Regnatus, and even the demon god Zargoth. We might be primitives in our eyes, but learn that Arkarixus shared this exact attitude when he met us.
- The Mechanic - Now beat it!
- Zarkhator - The fish has a fine tongue, I recall devouring something similar in my youth. Alive. Hmph. Take note, primitives, the Kormacvar tongue lies. When your worlds bathe in the blood of your people, that blood shall be from your hands for we gave you the chance to prevent hostility.
- Semirian - The only one being hostile here is you. If war is what you want, then we will fight you.
- Zarkhator - I did not desire conflict, I desire rebirth. But you are keen for my sentence to continue... I will not tolerate it any longer. Besides, war is not upon my agenda; pest control, on the other hand...
Zarkhator glared towards the Mechanic, his crooked smile shifting into a grotesque, horrific snarl as he raised a hand and pointed towards the Caretaker. Everybody in the room felt the air around them appear to "drain" into nothingness, as if the oxygen was vanishing into nowhere.
- Zarkhator - You claim to know of me and my species, but what do you truly know? After all, was it not Regnatus that erased you of your own past?
- The Mechanic - I know that you're a fiend who should've died 5 billion years ago!
- Zarkhator - You are as wrapped up in mythology and fiction as Kormacvar babes before they slept.
- Xeron - Enough! Guards, fire!
The guards around the room all fired at Zarkhator's direction in union. Before even the first shot could deliver damage, he was gone. There was no trace of the demonic-looking entity aside from the marks of tearing upon the floor; he had penetrated several layers of nigh-indestructable, specially engineered material with just a claw upon his toe. Aside from this, it was almost as if he had never appeared. Xeron punched his seat in anger, while the guards began investigating the room. The Mechanic let out a loud sigh.
- The Mechanic - Arkarixus is not gonna be happy when he finds out...
A captain of the New Wranploer Legion and his crew had just finished looting a world owned by the Minga Theocracy. Carrying the loot back home, the crew of the ships slacked, including even the captain who played a game of holocards with some crewmates to pass the time on the trip bac kto friendly space. The captain, a Wranploer, laughed as he won the hand and got his crewmates' money, completely uninterested from anything else at the moment.
Wranploer - You all suck at this more than a Niaka trying to lift a brick.
Levarcor - That because you cheat!
Wranploer - This is pure skill! Now shut up and hand me the beer.
Out in the cold void of space, the ship's sensors detected a hyperspace signature. While hyperpsace travel was uncommon amongst Borealis natives, a technology primarily owned by extragalactics, an advanced signature that made an opening less than a quarter of a kilometre wide. A long metallic object almost a kilometre in length slid out of the hyperspace rift, gliding calmly as it emerged. While it's entry was strange, its heat signature was even stranger; barely registering on the Legion vessel's sensors. A Galotian at the helm noticed the signature and called the captain in order to alert him.
Galotian - Captain, we got a ship coming our way. From hyperspace.
Wranploer - Eh? Must be them Indoctrinates or however they're called. Who cares.
Galotian - I...can't identify it...our ship can barely detect it.
Wranploer - That's kinda weird.
On the command deck of this strange vessel, a grizzled Drallivian sat at the command chair, observing the vessel(s) in the vicinity with a proud eye from a panoramic high-defenition screen. Around him, soldiers bearing the uniforms of the Imperial Talon Navy paced around, readying their stations.
ITN crewmember - Jump successful elmitharis, detecting New Wranploer Legion on long-range sensors.
Drallivian - Let's give them a wake-up call before we unleash the real firepower. Target their prow with a rail cannon volley.
Crewmember - Aye sir.
There was an energy surge, a dozen shells were ejected from magnetic barrels at he front end of the ship's boradside, rocketing towards the Wranplower ship as speeds of over half that of Light itself, striking the Wranploer shields almost-instantly upon firing. The Wranploer fleet was hit by surprise, with some of their smaller ships being heavily damaged by the impact. The Wranploer captain spit his drink and quickly ran back to his chair, where he tried to contact the attacking vessel.
Wranploer - Who the hell do you think you are?!
On the screen the Drallivian appeared, a rather brutish-looking reptile with a prominent claw scar on his snout. He sat relaxed in his command chair, as if indifferent to the captain, who's mouth opened wide and his brow furrowed, seeing who it was by the uniform.
Wranploer - ...Ah dang. Not YOU lot.
Drallivian - Elmitharis Tarsimiar Vetrium, 811th fleet. At your service, "captain."
Wranploer - I'm not going down without a fight, ya fat Zoles wannabe! Let's see how much tthe scrap metal of that ship of yours pays on the black market!
The drallivian shook his head, emitting an almost inaudible tutting.
Tarsimiar - So uncouth, I always hate it when pirates don't cooperate.
Wranploer Cruisers moved out of the New Legion's fleet to attack Tarsimiar's ship, firing their particle cannons at its direction as they approached. Their shots impacted the shielding. While part of the shield in one area of the bubble collapsed, the perticles merely hit another layer. The ship retaliated by firing its hyperlasers at the crusiers. The Wranploer captain's dreadnought turned around and fired turbolasers, while he saw some of his cruisers being damaged or destroyed by the hyperlasers of the enemy ship. This ship had only just appeared however whatever technology was being used was making it turn the tide already.
Crew - Elmitharis; dreadnought's firing
Tarsimiar - Give them a taste of our power.
Galotian - Captain, I'd recommend retreat.
Wranploer - Like hell!
Levarcor - We losing because you cheat!
Wranploer - Shut up!
The crewman excitedly nodded. The captain's ship could detect an energy spike in one of the modules jutting from this odd ship's hull. As the spike peaked, internal sensors detected a hyperspace rift within the crew decks. A fraction of a second later there was an explosion, tearing at the halls and exposing everyone to lethal hypermatter radiation. The hypermatter that had leaked from this rift then subsequently expelled its energy in a cascade flash, adding to the initial explosion and killing many. The explosion rocked the ship internally and areas not vapourised by te explosion were warped fro mthe shockwave. The captain felt it on the bridge and scowled.
AI - Warning. Critical damage at lower decks.
Wranploer - What the hell was that?!
There was another spike, another hyperspace rift and another explosion, this time in the engine bay. The surviving crew of the ship panicked. The Wranploer captain roared in frustration and ran off to seek for the nearest escape pod. meanwhile, Tarsimius sat back in his chair with a confident smile across his face, turning his head t oone of the crew.
Tersimiua - Dispatch marines to arrest whoever managed to survive and...bring me the captain alive.
With the vessel crippled, DI marines teleported on board and spread out throughout the ship to search for survivors. The marines could see most of the crew had died except for only a few dozen creatures who somehow survived, each one was planted with a tag after wither a struggle or submission and was dematerialised out of the area. The Wranploer captain saw them arriving as he ran for an escape pod and his eyes widened in horror, both at their mere presence and perhaps the speed in which they arrived.
Wranploer - ...I don't deserve this.
One of the marines saw him and tossed a spherical object at his feet, which opened up and released an ear piercing sonic burst in his immediate vicinity. The Wranploer captain fell over and screamed from the sound, pressing his hands against his ears in an attempt to make it stop. The marines surrounded him and walked behind, holding him down from behind while another tossed a probe into the air, materialising at the captain; a hologram. He looked very confident as he looked at the collasped Wranplower with his arms folded and tutting. The Wranploer looked at the hologram and growled.
Tarsimiar - Oh dear, I loathe it when they struggle. It makes my job so much harder, and the body count...all that paperwork that must be filled out.
Wranploer - Burn in hell, lizard!
Tarsimiar - I see there is no point talking to you, I gave you the chance to work things out with civility but no, you chose to fight like thecaged animal you are. Such a pity.
Wranploer - Hell, I don't wanna hear your mocking. The warlord's not gonna be happy with this! Mark my words!
Tarsimiar - Fine, mark him for the brig and we shall be on our way.
Marine - Yes elmitharus.
One of the marines attached a device to the captain and he instantly dematerialised, reappearing, senses and all, within a room with three solid walls and a fourth forcefield barrier deep withi nthe ne ship heh ad encountered, cells occupied by his crew were also within the adjacent hallway. A Levarcor, the one from the holocards game, looked over to his captain, slouched against the wall and sneered.
Levarcor - All because you--
Wranploer - Shut up!
On the borders of a PCA star system, transwarp signatures were detected. The signals suggested these vessels were capable of using technology that potentially negated the need for short and medium-range Cold Relay travel. Several large signals were clustered around dozens of smaller signals. Before it could arrive at the system, though, a fleet of Niaka Special Forces ships intercepted the vessels. The ships did not fire and instead the Niaka Special Forces were hailed by the central freighter of the fleet. The large signatures were freighters, their interiors were signal-scrambled to prevent scanning technology being used to find out what is inside. The Niaka Chief in charge of the Special Forces fleet sent a transmission to the vessels. The hail was answered by a red-scaled Draconis in a rugged freighter captain's garb; dark leather that was trimmed at the edges with furs. She gave the Niaka a friendly smile when she appeared onscreen.
Niaka Chief - You're not going anywhere, whoever you are.
Freighter Captain - Apologies, Chief, we did not realise we were entering a restricted zone. Perhaps we need an update on our star charts.
Niaka Chief - A Draconis?...This complicates things. We have heard reports of smugglers in the region, and now you show up, completely uninvited.
Freighter Captain - We are merely transporting medical supplies chief, we hear they are in high demand in this region.
Niaka Chief - Is that so? Still, I'm gonna have to inspect your ship's interior before I can let you go. Protocol measures.
Freighter Captain - Must you? Our cargo hold needs to be kept sterile, we are carrying some very sensitive containers and cannot risk contamination.
Niaka Chief - I must and I will. If what you say is true, then our suits should not contaminate your cargo.
The freighter captain looked towards a console that was out of shot of the Niaka Chief's view, she stared with a frown before looking back with a sigh.
Freighter captain - As you wish.
Niaka Chief - Good. My men will be boarding your ship shortly.
The freighter captain nodded and turned off her screen. She then looked to her crew.
Freighter Captain - He has given the word. Once the search party is aboard, activate the interdiction field and have the escort engage all ships. He wants no survivors.
The Niaka team, led by captain Xegarver, boarded the Draconis vessel while their Chief remained at his own ship, overseeing the situation. The entire team were in their mech suits as they boarded. Fortunately, the interior was large enough to accommodate their size. Xegarver approached a crewman who turned to look at the mech suit's cockpit.
Xegarver - Direct us to your cargo bay.
Freighter Captain - Central turbolift, Decks 1-60.
Xegarver - So be it. Men, move out.
The Niaka team moved on, equipped in their mecha suits and armed with appropriate weaponry, they made their way to the cargo hold. Following them were also a small number of Levarcor soldiers. In heading to the turbolift, they were passed by several alien soldiers armed with SMG type weapons and advanced body armour, who took a curious look at the Niaka. The ship itself was what you would expect from the Imperium; Depsite the rugged exterior the interior was comfortable, not as coldly ornate as an ITN vessel it was instead decorated with more warm colours and even hard-wearing carpeting. One of the soldiers looked to some of the aliens they passed, perhaps half a dozen different species as they plodded to the central elevator.
Niaka Soldier - How many races are there in the Draconis' empire?
Xegarver - You'll have to ask a diplomat about that.
Two soldiers stood at the door to the turbolift. Looking at their outfits, on their pecs were small emblams of a stylised sword with wings with a white outline, worn as a badge of some sort.
Xegarver - We're here to inspect your cargo. Open the door.
The soldier nodded and passed a key-card to open the service elevator. As the team stepped in, it all seemed normal. When the elevator began descending however, their signals began getting filled with static. The Niaka chief's screen was as a result, blocked out by an increasing level of static, irritating him as he was unable to oversee the operation.
Niaka Chief - What's going on?
Xegarver - Chief?
The lift descended, and the interference grew worse, making communication much more difficult.
Niaka Chief - I'm g-ttin- inter---rence!
Xegarver - Chief, what's the matter?
When the doors finally opened, the crew were greeted by soldiers behind barricades and armed with particle weapons who began firing on the Niaka squad. The Niaka squad immediately retaliated by firing their own weapons. Xegarver fired at the soldiers with his suit's blaster. As they fired, the use of mecha suits meaning that cover was of little importance, a gruff voice could be heard over the ship's intercom system, primarily within the mock cargo hold.
??? - I'm sorry to dissappoint you but I do not like flies on my ship!
Xegarver - Show yourself, scum, so I can get a good shot at you!
??? - You can come to me if you like. But only the best are worthy of my presence.
The Niaka's suits resisted the shots but some began losing their shilds. The Levarcor soldiers charged ahead and attacked the enemies at melee range with shotguns with explosive ammunition. The smaller soldiers of the ship's defense forces panicked and retreated to more secure positions. Interestingly, the interior for what was supposed to be the cargohold was very grand. The Niaka forces moved ahead, flanking each other to not be ambushed from any sides.
Xegarver - We were right about the smuggling. Move on, men! Whoever is in charge is this is gonna rot in jail for sure.
??? - Useless. I prefer my own forces to these hired wretches!
'Xegarver - Should've made it easier for us both and not have them in the first place.
??? - Oh don't worry, I planned for the off-chance they failed!
Reaching a large pair of doors, the team were flanked by a squad of Zazane who were larger and more physically powerful than what the squad had been used to such as the Borealis Zazane. These Zazane also posessed far more impressive sets of horns as well as larger and thicker crests.
Niaka Soldier - They got Zazane with them too?!
Xegarver - ...These are no usual Zazane. Take caution and slay them all!
The Niaka team and their Levarcor all fired at the Zazane, who roared with little fear and demonstrated impressive strength in melee and armed with deadly plasma-sheathed blades. One Zazane leaped forward and attempted to punch into a Niaka's mech suit while two more who were armoured bull-rushed a Levarcor
The Levarcor was crushed and killed as a result, while another Niaka charged forward to bash the leaping Zazane before he could get to his captain. The Zazane saw the Niaka coming and shifted to thrust his foot down on the Mecha suit, causing it to be launched back and fell over when it landed, leting out electric sparks as it did. Xegarver aimed his cannon and fired directly at the Zazane's head. The Zazane took the shot and slumped, but still surviving and still relatively intact, his flesh torn away to reveal metallic plating over his skull as he growled in frustration. Xegarver looked at the creature in surprise at what it had survived.
Xegarver - What the hell are these things?
With a roar, the Zazane charged with all speed he could muster to headbutt the captain's suit. Xegarver saw the Zazane charging and charged the fist of his suit in electricity, and then delivered a punch at the Zazane's direction. U[on collision with the fist, she was thrown backwards, impacting a bulkhead and slumping forward, the impact lightly shaking the corridor. As the Zazane fell the doors opened to reveal a generous decorated chamber. Inside, Xegarver could hear a slow, audiable clapping coming from within. He turned his attention to the hall, while another soldier continuously fired at the Zazane to make sure it was dead.
The chamber was brightly lit with pillars of marble decorated with spiralling gold, the clapping reverberated around the room. It's source, a large gore-red Draconis with four horns and powerful musulature, larger and slightly more upright in form, his tail curled behind his decorated chair. He sat slouched, a slight smirk on his face, a sign he was impressed perhaps. Beside him were more of these Zazane, who stood still and silent lie statues made of flesh and ceramics. Their armour detailed to indicate a distinguished rank. The Niaka soldiers immediately aimed their weapons at the Draconis' direction as they saw him.
The Draconis himself was dressed in a long leather coat patterned with spiraling silver and large epaulettes. Underneath his waistcoat was an indicator he was wearing living armour. He turned his head slightly to reveal his intense red eyes. As he spoke his voice reverberated from its source from his throat, almost as if three people were speaking in unison,
Draconis - Bravo captain, I was sure my master's Zazane hordes would have beeen the end of you. Apparently not.
Xegarver - You're no usual Draconis at all, huh...
Niaka Soldier - Captain...the way his eyes shine in red...is this a Chosen cultist?
When the niaka soldier commented, the Draconis let out a confident laugh in the same tone.
Draconis - I am not one of those madmen, no. Why destroy the universe...When you can rule all of it!
Xegarver - Hell, you're no smuggler. You're a terrorist.
The Draconis stood up, rolling his shoulders back along with rolling his head before turning back to to look squarely at Xegarver.
Draconis - My dear dear captain, I am none of those things.
Xegarver - What am I looking at then?
The draconis thew out his arms and cupped his hands, summoning black fire across his palms.
Draconis - The last challenge your order shall face...save for my master.
Xegarver - Challenge? I've killed enough pirates and terrorists to make a list longer than this ship. I'm not gonna be intimidated by some cultist guy with shiny eyes.
The Draconis smriked and threw black fire at a Niaka soldier, burning away with an intensity to melt metal before he charged towards Xegarver. The soldier shrieked as his suit was melted away. The captain's eyes widened and he began walking backwards to keep his distance while firing at the Draconis with his cannon. The Draconis jerked as the shots hit his body, burning at his coat before he extended a claw to latch onto the front of the suit. As he was about to make contact, the static on the Niaka chief's screen cleared as the fleet was in the heat of battle.
Niaka Chief - What the...shit! Everyone, to arms!
Burning the Draconis' coat only appeared to make him more furious, with tensing muscles he reached out to tear the front off the battlesuit. Levarcor soldiers jumped in front of the Draconis and charged at him to keep him away from the captain. Seeing the Levarcor approach, the Draconis twisted around and grabbed one Levarcor by the head, applying pressure before tossing him at the Niaka captain.
Xegarver - Demons! I hate demons! You scum keep coming back!
The captain was hit and both him and the Levarcor were floored. While they were laying there, the draconis smacked the other Levarcor aside and grabbed the captain's armour, tearing the front off and reaching inside to grab the captain. he wrapped a large claw around Xegarver's torso, his eyes staring intensely as his brow twisted to indicate a furious scowl.
Draconis - This coat is of the finest Valerian leather, do you have any idea how valuable it is!
Xegarver - Burn in hell with the rest of your demon scum!
The Draconis pulled the captain out of the suit and lifted him high into the air.
Draconis - Are you watching, Chief of the Niaka?
The voice of the Niaka Chief could be heard coming out of the captain's suit.
Niaka Chief - I am. And boy, are you in trouble for it.
Draconis - Tell me, how many missions has this captain performed? How many years of distinguished service has he given to you?
Xegarver - Urk! I've been serving for 30 years! 30 proud years of serving in the name of order!
Draconis - And you enjoyed those years didn't you...captain Xegarver.
Xegarver - ...How do you know my name?
The draconis smiled and tapped the side of his head with his finger.
Draconis - You told me captain, through that fold-out codex you would call a mind.
Niaka Chief - I get it now. You're one of those Khaxvis types. I've seen reports of your kind before, and I'm sure the Imperium is gonna be interested in me reporting about you for them.
Draconis - Valserion Khaxvis, if you do not mind. And that is if you can make it out of this battle. This entire vicinity is under an interdiction field. So long as my ship exists, you cannot jump to FTL. Oh yes, and I believe that field also cancels out all FTL communication.
The Niaka Chief could be heard hissing through the channel to the suit. Valserion moved Xegarver to be in full view of the Niaka chief's screen, he turned to look squarely though the camera with a sadistic smirk in the captain's direction before he clamped the hand holding Xegarver into a fist, crushing the captain into a bloody mess and letting the shattered carapace cascade to the floor like shards of broken pottery. The various innards had been crushed to a paste slipped between his fingers as he slowly opened out his hand As he relished in the gory execution.
Niaka Chief - Hisss. His sacrifice will not be in vain. I'll tear your ship apart.
Valserion let out another otherworldly laugh, rearing his head back from the enjoyment.
Valserion - That was for the coat. Feel free to try and take me again because any attempt you make to snuff me out will fail.
Feeling satisfied, Valserion walked away from the armour as the static returned to the camera. meanwhile, the interdiction field collapsed for a moment, with his ship powering up FTL and jumping out. The Niaka were too busy with the escort to fully notice but a few ships managed to fire pot-shots as it warped away and dissapeared. However in doing so it left behind a device that detonated, forming an expanding back hole in the centre of the battlefield. The Niaka chief watched on the tactical view as a spot of absolute nothing opened out and expanded, distorting the light around it as if the universe was opening up an eye, or more appropriately a mouth, blacker than one could ever think possible.
Niaka Chief - Son of a...
The black hole expanded, pulling the ships that were in the formation and had not warped out beforehand into its void-like aperture. Being too close, the Niaka Chief's ship was consumed by the black hole, a lingering interdiction field preventing him from engaging any form of FTL to escape its embrace alongside most of the Niaka fleet. However, as the ship fell in, gradually reshifting before fafing out of sight as each of the ships reached the event horizon, a single lone fighter managed to stay out of the black hole's pull. It quickly took the opportunity and made its way to the nearest Cold Relay to escape.
Zoleia's Esteemed Visitor
The RASC Worldfather's Grace arrived in orbit over Zoleia, the beautiful capital of the Zoles Imperium. After verifying with the planet's space traffic control, a shuttle from the Worldfather's Grace was sent to one of the shuttle hangers of the allocated starport. Upon landing, the door opened and protectively joined by a group of Fordanta Praetorians, Uriel stepped out of the shuttle dressed in a beutiful gold-embroidered naby blue trenchcoat with a high folded collar and red-velvet interior. Over his chest, Uriel wore a breastplate of chromed titanium detailed with golden designs varying from floral patterns to symbolic imagery. Engraved over the collar region was a two-headed dragon with wings spread open across the torso
Awaiting for Uriel was a party of ushers. As uriel stepped out amongst the group of armoured Fordanta, the ushers approached the group with a welcoming appearance, their outfits bearing a uniform that indicated they worked privately for the Zoles royal family. The Praetorians stood silently as the ushers approached. Uriel looked at the approaching group with interest, his hand on his sentimental sword's grip, the weapon itself within a pocket stitched into the fabric of the leg as though it were emerging from the linen. One of the ushers cleared their throats as they looked up at Uriel's radiant figure.
Usher - Welcome to Zoleia, Parag'avatus of the Draocnid Imperium! The King and the Queen were waiting for your arrival.
Uriel bowed slightly to the usher, nodding with approval.
Usher - Please follow us to the hovercars. It should take only a few minutes before we arrive to the King's palace.
Uriel - Thank you for the information.
Uriel made a hand gesture and as he started walking with the ushers, the Praetorians joined him towards the hovercars, being rented out by the royal family they were smart, expensive and high-tech cars that possessed the finest aerodynamics and a reflective sheen on their paintworks. Getting into the cars, they travelled to King Rebaris' palace after around 15 secons and landed in front of it. Right in front of the palace, Uriel could see a very large golden statue of a Zoles in regal clothing who held a sword on his hand and a shield in the other. Despite its regal clothing, the statue didn't resemble Rebaris himself. Uriel looked up at the statue with a smile, clearly interested in its symbolism.
Uriel - Protectors and bringers of wrath, who deeply care for history. Is that correct?
Usher - I take you mean the greater statue. This is in fact King Telarian, the founder and very first leader of the Zoles Imperium.
Uriel - It is good to see the Zoles respect their hostory, some species forget or fail to properly memorialise their unifiers.
Uriel could also see a smaller statue close to it. This statue could be recognized as being Commandant Vekaron, who stood in a striking pose with a blade on his hand. The ushers led on until King Rebaris himself was seen in a distance, walking toward the group. He approached Uriel wearing a waist-length cloak draped over his arms, underneath was a military uniform decoated with gold trim and various medals set into segmented silver-trimmed metal plates. Continuing on from the plates was a linen tunic that extended halfway down his legs. Adorned on the back of Rebaris' head was an ornate crown that fanned outwards, engraved with symbolic imagery. Uriel saw Rebaris approach and stopped, clasping his hands over his stomach and standing proudly.
Rebaris - Welcome, Uriel Ultanos! You arrived a lot faster than I thought.
Uriel - It is a pleasure to be here. I have only seen your capital and your palace but I have to say your peopel have already impressed me.
Rebaris - You're too kind. I take the statue of my great-great-great grandfather interested you.
Uriel - Indeed it did. It seems he took pride in the value of both defense and offence.
Rebaris - A sword to combat the enemies of the Imperium, and a shield to defend its citizens from all harm. That's what he strived for and we have followed his footsteps ever since.
Uriel - Vigilance. Respect. Our people are quite alike, Rebaris.
Rebaris - Indeed. Now, shall we go inside? There is only my front garden, after all.
Uriel - Lead the way and...apologies for the escort. The fordan people consider it a point of pride to protect me.
Rebaris - No need to apologize, I can understand that as I've also done the same before with other races.
Rebaris shrugged and led the way to the front entrance. Uriel and his group could see another Zoles in regal clothing was waiting, except it was a female with a lighter skin tone. She appeared just as old as Rebaris, wearing an elegant silken gown that travelled down to her feet. Along with an ivory-white dress, she wore an accompanying violet coat, closed at the top and opening up around the legs. Her body was adroned with large amounts of jewelery; necklaces, bracelets and rings of gold and silver. The fabric over her shoulders were padded out to a bulging flowing form, detailed with embroidered silver in beautiful geometric paterns; orderly triangles and beautiful spirals. Rebaris gestured his hand to direct Uriel's attention to the Zoles, who appeared genuinely interested i nseeing him.
Rebaris - Uriel, meet Queen Aldaren, my wife.
Aldaren - Oh, it's a great pleasure!
Uriel stepped up to Aldaren and bowed gracefully in her presence.
Uriel - I was not informed Rebaris had such an elegant consort.
Aldaren giggled, putting a hand over his mouth in a playful gesture of stopping him from talking. Uriel's brows raised in surprise at the act Aldaren had performed, not entirely used to someone other than close family so liberally touching him.
Aldaren - Why can't you be as polite as him, Rebaris?
Rebaris - Ungh, this is no time for that kind of conversation! Uriel surely wants to see the palace's interior.
Aldaren - I'm joking, you old man. I'm gonna get us some tea, if the Paragon is interested.
Uriel - The offer is greatly appreciated.
Aldaren - Great! I'll order some tea made in this case.
Aldaren turned around and walked inside the palace, humming to herself. By her way of acting, it was obvious that she was far more energetic than Rebaris.
Uriel - Your consort certainly has energy. You must be very fortunate.
Rebaris - I've been with her for nearly 350 years and I wouldn't trade her for anything.
Uriel - 350? I feel young.
Once Uriel and his group entered the palace, they saw themselves in an enormous hall with a large, decorated fountain on its center, the flowing waters producing a soothing melodic gushing that echoed thoughout the hall, giving the whole room the feel that it was some unearthly place. More statues were visible inside displaying the four member races of the Imperium, Zoles, Nilito, Heleanorian and Samilinus. The statue held their hands, representing their connection as members of the Imperium, their arms orming the hall's inner circumfrence, given that three of the main races had rather long tails. Uriel looked about at the statues, examining each one in turn with interest. He spent slightly more tiem looking at the Heleonorian than the others. His eyebrows raising slightly at the imagery.
Uriel - Libertus...How long have they resided within your galaxy?
Rebaris - I take you mean the Heleanorians? They arrived in the galaxy 40,000 years ago according to their own records.
Uriel - Fascinating. Let me think...by that time I believe the Draconid Imperium was already expanding into the Plazith Rim, as some call it.
Rebaris - It's very amusing when you think about it. My people are in fact the youngest race of the Imperium. the Heleanorians had a large empire before we were spacefaring, adn the Samilinus were in fact created by the Kormacvar.
Uriel - And yet you rose to be its most powerful members, it is a tesetement to your species' ability.
Rebaris - Indeed, we saved them from destruction and now we are all one. We cannot live without each other.
Uriel - Given your conection to the capricornians, how have you fared with the nearby Cyrannian Empire?
Rebaris grunted and frowned, this was clearly a sensitive subject, raising concern from Uriel who looked at him with slight worry.
Rebaris - They're the worst thing in this galactic arm since the Alvino Brood.
Uriel - My apologies, the Empre appears to struggle for favour in this cluster. They are not the most benevolent power I admit, and some of my people question the nature of one or two of their members.
Rebaris - The Cyrannian Empire fueled a civil war inside the Imperium. Because of them, we lost over one third of our entire territory in a matter of weeks.
Uriel - "Might makes right, so long as the mighty can enforce it" as one of my enemies once stated. Raw power can only secure order for so long.
Rebaris - All I want is for them to leave Borealis at once. Though they are, unfortunately, too powerful to be removed by force. My only hope is that they get bored eventually and just leave.
Uriel - I understand your concern, rumours persist that the Kicath Civil War was partially their doing, the Kicath Empire resigned from the Commonwealth because of their connection to the Vartekians.
Rebaris - Huh. In that case they did something good. The Kicath are now one of our greatest allies.
Uriel - Perhaps. their supersolder projects unnerve me greatly, however.
Rebaris - It has its uses. They make a perfect police, and this galaxy is still filled with crime, even more now with people like Torrent still alive and active. I think I remember the Niaka trying to talk to them to create Niaka supersoldiers. Of course, they were laughed at, and with good reason.
Uriel - You might want t oreconsider after learning of the so-called "Agent Mark Five".
Rebaris - I'm unfamiliar with the name.
Uriel placed about the room, clutching his hands over his stomach as he walked about with grave concern on his face, letting out a deep breath before he spoke once more.
Uriel - I was informed by the Royal Intelligence Agency only recently, they are little more than a brain in a droid's body.
Rebaris - Huh...I remember the Indoctrinate Collective having things like that. I'm gonna have to look into it later.
The Warlord's Legacy
They walked onward, Uriel and his escort passed through what looked like a stuffed version of the younger General Volim who had attacked Zoleia during the Borealis War. Uriel looked at the taxedermied corpse and smiled gleefully, entertained by the Zoles king's sense of justice.
Uriel - We think alike Rebaris, I have a taxedermied clone of the modern one in my own home.
Rebaris - Heh! I couldn't get the modern one to make company for this one. Vekaron claims he was thrown into another dimension or something like that. At least I can content myself with this one.
Uriel - I rememebr hearing you were king when he first went on a rampage. I would savour this one; for he is the version who first gave you trouble.
Rebaris - I'm aware. This one was a nasty piece of trouble. And also the reason we created the Polar Crystal Alliance in the first place. I hope he's proud of what he did.
Uriel - I could talk for days about my years in the Imperial Talon Navy, the universe has no shortage on filth like Volim, just not as powerful.
Rebaris - Funny you mention that. I also served as a soldier on my early days. I've fought these Wranploer up-front so many times...I don't relaly enjoy these memories, though. I made many friends who unfortunately died in battle.
Uriel paced around to Rebaris' front, signalling for his Praetorians to stay where they were so as they did not obscure his view or constantly move about..
Uriel - Do not forget them, Rebaris.remember what they did alongside you and remember the glory, but do not bury their deaths, remember the glory they felt on the field of battle.
Rebaris - Oh, I obviously don't want to forget them. Just the way they died. Some of their deaths sincerely gave me nightmares for several days.
Uriel sighed, releasing a burst of air from his nostrils as he closed his eyes tightly, as if expelling frustration.
Uriel - Forgive me, my brother died in a way I would also consider nightmarish...my only fortune was I did not see the pain he went through.
Rebaris - Oh...I'm sorry. I didn't mean to remind you of such.
Uriel - Don't be, he died fighting for the Imperium.
Uriel strayed a little as he was reminded of his brother, bu returned focus once he finished speaking, his features sharpened with concealed anger. At this moment, Aldaren returned with a cup of tea on her hand and followed by a small servant droid who carried cups for Rebaris and Uriel.
Rebaris - I'm sure my friends are happy with whatever afterlife looks like.
Aldaren - Ah, there you are. I take you admire Rebaris' morbid little trophy more than I do.
Rebaris - Don't be so negative, dear.
Aldaren - Honey, it's a dead Wranploer on our hall.
Uriel turned to Aldaren and his features transformed instantly into a cheerful smile, almost humoured by their conversation.
Uriel - You would not like to visit my own trophy hall them, one dead Wranploer is only part of the collection.
Aldaren - Ew. It's bad enough that there are living ones out there.
Rebaris - I'm not sure if you have learned about it already, Uriel, but some Wranploer have surrendered to the Polar Crystal Alliance. We are in fact experimenting wiht Wranploer living in Zoles worlds right now.
Aldaren - I don't trust them.
Uriel - Experimenting in what form?
Rebaris - Having them as legal citizens. We're studyring if our population, and the Wranploer themselves, can co-exist peacefully.
Uriel accepted the teacup from the service droid and sniffed it for a moment to acquire the aroma before lifting the cup to his lips to taste the scented liquid brew. The taste of the tea touched his tongue as a warm liquid sensation, he could taste the leaves that had been mixed in, a herbal taste of exotic plants, and perhaps a hint of sugar. It was not how he normally drank his tea but it was satisfying nonetheless, the same technology that allowed him to breathe Zoleia's air filtered the compounds of the tea, allowing him to experience it without risk of biological incompatibility.
Droid - This tea is made with special herbs found only on Zoleia. Quite a delicacy.
Uriel - It is divine, I greatly appreciate it. Tell me Rebaris, are you a huntsman?
Rebaris - I used to hunt, but was...several decades ago.
Uriel - I like to keep my skills sharp, some of my best trophies are from quite memorable hunts.
Rebaris - I'm too old for this kind of action, I'm afraid.
Uriel - Oh, but I apologise if I am unsettling your consort, sometimes ti slips my mind that hunting is not adored by some - sapient prey or otherwise.
Aldaren - I don't mind killing things. But I do mind killing things and keeping them on our halls, after said things nearly nearly killed you. Or in fact, killed you and then time was reverted or something dumb like that.
Rebaris - ...As you can see, Aldaren really dislikes the Wranploer.
Uriel - If they tried to kill me it would give me an even greater incentive to stuff the corpse.
As they kept walking in the direction of Rebaris' throne room, uriel and his group went up a very large staircase. On the walls, there were portraits of the past kings of the Zoles Imperium, starting with King Telarian and finally ending with King Rebaris.
Uriel - Fascinating, is it all one line or multiple families?
Rebaris - Just one line. But the Empire of Zoleia, our spacefaring nation before the Zoles Imperium, had more families as leaders.
Uriel - Your rulers were fortunate. Time has not been as kind to the Imperium's royal lines.
Rebaris - Oh? Why's that?
Uriel - The Imperium has been ruled by four families, the dissolution of the first spurred a civil war and the fourth usurped the throne from my own house for a few millennia.
Rebaris - Oh, the old rulers of the Empire of Zoleia were no good either. Telarian didn't reform the empire by words alone.
Uriel - Sometimes, use of the sword is inevitable.
Rebaris and Aldaren led Uriel and his group up until they arrived at the throne room. The large hall was decorated with the finest marble and carvings made by artisan hands. Banners and golden statues accompanied the carvings and ornate decoration. behind the throne there was a large bay window with a view to outside which showed much of the capital city of Zoleia, with the sun visible on the horizon as evening approached. Uriel looked out of the window behind the throne of pale blue metal and lush velvet and chuckled slightly ad the sight of the wondrous sunset.
Uriel - Beautiful, the star sets and as it says farewell for another day, it bathes your chamber in gold for all to see.
Rebaris - Heh. Time flies when you have good company. These days I barely get any good visits. All I get are boring, screaming military generals wanting to talk to me about how much people are dying and how bad our galaxy is. It's good to have someone different to talk to once in a while.
Uriel - I recall hearing you are experiencing a golden age.
Rebaris - Nothing is perfect, I'm afraid. Sure, the PCA has managed to untie most of the known galaxy, but people like Torrent and still out there. And who knows what else exists in the unmapped locations?
Uriel - True, but you make it sound as though you are in the middle of a war-- Good point.
Rebaris - You get rid of a problem, and two new ones show up. But I have to say, the Zoles Imperium has never been better.
Uriel - Piracy will never die, the best you can do is keep it contained or out of sight.
Rebaris - My reign is going to end very soon. I'm a senile man at this point and I have been punished both physically and mentally thorugh the ages. But I'm still hoping to see Borealis as a galaxy where piracy is a minor issue before I pass away.
Uriel - We all desire peace, a time where we can relax. We leaders shoulder a heavy burden, made heavier by how valuable our lives are to certain individuals. Hold your head high, Rebaris, stand firm, never back down or desire a different life. What matters, is now.
Rebaris - Your words are moving, to say the least. And don't worry. I still got some energy on these bones to lead the Imperium for a few more decades, and I'll keep doing my hardest.
Uriel paced around once again in contemplation before he settled by standing in front of Rebaris who himself had appeared to regress into some quiet contemplation, the old man staring out at the sunset. Uriel lifted his hand to touch the Rebaris' shoulder, slightly gripping it and looking sternly at him. Aldaren looked on at the scene with curiosity, adjusting one of her necklaces. She looked up at the two and her vision was shifted, she tilted her head, looking at the Paragon's right side.
Uriel - I stand before you, your image now burned into my mind. So long as I life, and so long as you perform as you do, your memory shall never die. In a sense, you shall not die in spirit.
Rebaris - And I'll never forget your image either. Aldaren - If you don't mind me asking, Paragon, but what's that thing on your eye?
Uriel jolted to look at Aldaren and took a deep breath as he lifted his hand from Rebaris' shoulder. He lowered his head with a sigh.
Uriel - It is a mark I received not too long ago. A scar.
Aldaren - Scar? From a distance I thought it was a tattoo.
Rebaris - Dear, that wasn't very polite of you.
Aldaren - I was just curious, I've never seen something like that.
Uriel - The creature who granted it was no orinary sapient. Do either of you two know of the Drakodominatus Tyranny?
Aldaren - The name is familiar. I think I heard a report of a hundred "Dominatus" being killed recently.
Rebaris - I've not heard of it.
Uriel - One of their leader's champions, a malformed Draconis larger than any such individual I have ever seen, almost too kmy life...or worse, dragged me to their Tyrant. In his final momsents, as I drove a polearm into his stomach, he grabbed my scull and with his finger...he carved this.
Rebaris shook his head while Aldaren cringed at the thought of it. Uriel appeared to lose himself in recalling the visceral situation, every blow, every swing, every scar, the memories came flooding back, stabbing at his psyche. Uriel appeared to both revel and detest this imagery, as it if it were both a twisted yet enjoyable event to him. Aldaren however, was clearly outraged.
Rebaris - Nasty.
Aldaren - Curse anyone who would defile another person's eyes!
Uriel - I remember him gloating, how he gleefully compared me to them, saying I was one of them in mind and perseverence. I am so far the only known individual to bear this mark outside of the DOminatus themselves.
Rebaris - Well, you could always get it removed through surgery.
Uriel - Perhaps, but in a way...I like it. When their Tyrant saw the mark, I could almost see the blood draining from her features due to fear.
Rebaris tilted his head back, now completely understanding while Aldaren folded her arms.
Rebaris - Aaah, I see what you mean.
Aldaren - That's mean. I approve it.
Uriel - The tyrant, as she was known, abused my daughter, tried to undermine my rule, transforming into a living nightmare for them was...oddly satisfying. Bizarre, but satisfying.
Rebaris - I don't blame you. Luckily, none of my children have been affected by the wars against the Wranploer. But Volim and Zaarkhun still harmed me and my people, and payed the price for it.
Uriel - I apologise if I unsettled either of you. A story like that iw sorthy of a saga amongst my own people. The man who carved this however, well, I needed a new trophy hall to keep him in.
Rebaris - Considering I spent a year as a prisoner inside Volim's ship, it doesn't unsettle me at all. Heh, I'm afraid I don't have any big major battles I can share with you. If you want that, you'd ahve to talk to Vekaron and not me.
Uriel - I recall seeing his statue outside, he must certainly have done much to earn that.
Rebaris - Vekaron was the head of the Alliance in the Second Great War and now serves as the very first member of the PCA's elite soldiers. To think how much he has grown, I remember first meeting him when he was a mere captain who was tasked to a single sector.
Uriel - It was a pleasure to meet the two of you, I wish you both a fond future with good fortunes ahead. --Actually...before I go. I have a gift.
Uriel approached Rebaris as his wife looked at Uriel with curiosity, wondering what present the paragon was about to give them; he reached his hand inside his coat pocket. He searched around before pulling out a broach marked in gold the House Ultanos seal, edged with a wreath of reflective silver. Etched into the edges was House Ultanos' motto. Uriel held the item in both of his hands and gracefully lifted it to hand to Rebaris. Rebaris took the broach and inspected it with interest, curious to its significance but also intrigued by the craftsmanship.
Uriel - I give you this, King Rebaris, as a sign of my favour. You have impressed me immensely today, it would be a crime for me to not return the generosity of your hospitality.
Rebaris - I will surely wear this with honour.
Uriel bowed gracefully, once for ebaris, and once for Aldaren, raising his head again he had a satisfied smile on his face, holding his chest out proudly.
Uriel - Once again I thank you for your hospitality. Unless you wish for me to stay for a few days, I shall depart.
Rebaris - We only had planned a daily visit, but you're always welcome to return and take a vacation at Zoleia.
Aldaren - Or maybe we could visit Uriel instead? We've never been outside of Borealis.
Rebaris - Now, let's not abuse of him.
Uriel - I receive visits from praetors all the time, I would not mind such a visit.
Aldaren - Oh! Can we, dear? Please?
Rebaris - We'll talk about that later when we have time and when we have free time. But I'm sure it'd be lovely.
Uriel chuckled, keeping eye contact on the two of them. He once again bowed, maing an elegant hand gesture. As he raised ---- After Uriel left, Aldaren paced around, cheerfully recalling the paragon's look, an unconscious smile on her face indicating that however she was picturing him, it was a form she was happily imagining in a half-daydream.
Aldaren - What a nice man. Chubby, but nice. A big species.
Rebaris - ...Dear, that's not nice.
Aldaren - Big as in chubby. Short and chubby. A very well fed Nilito.
Rebarus - Dear!
As Rebaris napped, Aldaren reared her head back, a little upset and sensetive as if she had done something wrong and was only informed harshly. Along with rearing her head back, she also turned to the side, not particularly fond of her husband's authoritative snapping.
Aldaren - Shees, fine, I'll shut up.
Assault on Biavumd
Several weeks had passed since Vekaron and his crew had recruited Kirlisir, with no news about Bakarl from Xeron or anyone else. The crew on the ship were about to prepare the celebrations for the New Year holiday which was about to come. Vekaron and his team themselves weren't doing anything special.
- Kilchárunya - Who's new year are we celebrating exactly?
- Vekaron - Borealis'.
- Kilchárunya - ...How exactly does that work?
- Vekaron - The Alliance has a calender. I expected you to know that.
- Kirlisir - I'm not even part of your Alliance and I know that.
- Kilchárunya - Sorry but if you don't remember I was an outcast before you recruited me.
Wragrot looked around, tossing Gardin repetadly in the air, with her giggling as he did. Kamaris was sat down, reading a book in Mahanayan script. Kirlisir was in her armour, performing press-ups with her diamond-hard fingertips as listened in on their conversation. Vansenk was by himself, residing in a far corner of the room.
- Wragrot - For my New Year, I want something big to happen. Big as in, kill a lot of people big. Know what I'm saying?
- Vyatak - Everyone so bored. Don't see reason. Could always help me. Need assistants.
- Wragrot - Yeah, no.
- Kamaris - I for one would like to go to Anatezc-ji 0 some time soon. I heard that the planet has a lot of culture.
As everyone was relaxing, the ship's communication unit signalled an incoming call on an encrypted channel, with signs of an ITN frequency. Vekaron raised an eyebow as he accepted the transmission. Materialising within the room was a hologram of Kerella Dacia, a terratrix admiral with some veterency from the Second Galactic War. She brushed herself down and cleared her throat, emitting a quick chirp. Kamaris' eyes remained firmly on his book.
- Kerella - Evening everyone, is this the Pneumbra Unit?
- Kilchárunya - Who's this?
- Vekaron - Oh, it's Kerella Dacia. She's an admiral of the Draconid Imperium. We have worked together during the Second Great War.
- Kirlisir - Looks adorable.
- Vansenk - Such blossoming feathers.
- Vekaron - You're correct, Dacia. This is Penumbran Vekaron speaking.
Kerella snapped at Kirlisir.
- Kerella - Watch it matey, I don't like people calling me tiny because I'm not.
- Wragrot - Hey, we started the conversation well.
Kirlisir's eyes widened and raised her palms submissively with an apologetic expression.
- Kirlisir - S-Sorry!
- Vyatak - Draconid Imperium. Not Polar Crystal Alliance. Reason for transmission?
- Kerella - Sorry about that Commandant...or is it Penumbran now? Penumbran, yes, I have news you might want to learn about.
- Vekaron - What's that?
- Kerella - Well, a wing of the 495th Fleet intercepted an encoded distrss signal, it had an Indoctrinate signature to it. Problem is, the patrol fleet were...kinda close to being detected deep in hostile territory.
- Kilchárunya - What kind of hostile?
- Kerella - Well we were in New Wranploer Legion space. Probably should not have been there, but, why shy away from that cesspool?
Kamaris let out a remark with his head still down.
- Kamaris - Sounds rather unintelligent for Draconis naval stratagem.
- Vansenk - They're Wranploer, you should have stayed away.
- Kerella - Space is big, the patrols kept to interstellar space as best they could.
- Vekaron - But an Indoctrinate signature? The Wranploer were never known to have attacked the Dracogonarious.
- Kamaris - Then it sounds unlikely to be Dracogonarious then. Any affiliations concerning Indoctrinate signatures, then?
- Kerella - The interception could not get a clearer signal due to distance, it was heavily encrypted, whoever transmitted it didn't want to get noticed.
- Wragrot - So what's your point and why is this our problem?
- Kilchárunya - I'm with the big guy here. Why should we care?
- Kerella - I'll be frank, the ITN is a behemoth, which also means that emergencies can pass slowly though the chain of command, you guys were nearby, I had two choices; contact you guys or wait about a week for reinforcements.
- Kirlisir - Why should we help you?
Kerella tilted her head and perked her eyebrow.
- Kerella - Is the PCA hiring mercs now?
- Kilchárunya - Seems that way.
- Kirlisir - I don't know, is the Imperium? We're not your people.
- Vekaron - That doesn't matter, they are under my care. Now, I need to know exactly what you want help with. My job is not babysitting the Indoctrinate Collective.
Kerella typed into a console and an audio file played though the transmission.
- ??? - This.....Ag......25.........HV....ne---tion. Re-- N--d Ext----on.
- Wragrot - Eh.
- Kilchárunya - Quite clearly you're wasting our time.
- Kerella - Best guess I have is someone needs extraction. Possibly of a HVT.
- Vansenk - I say we accept it. We have nothing else better to do.
- Kamaris - Well...there goes my idea of a holiday. Fine. I will get my armament ready.
- Vyatak - ...Implications unpleasant. Very unpleasant. Have you heard news?
- Kerella - You'll have to be more specific, since part of my job is keeping an eye on all these pirates.
- Vyatak - Indoctrinate Collective scientist Baptarion Light. Kidnapped. Several weeks ago. Genrai Nal responsable.
- Vekaron - ...Baptarion is missing?
Vekaron stood up, visibly worried.
- Kilchárunya - Fill me in. Who's this Baptarion character?
- Kerella - Knowing my luck this HVT is him and he's neck-deep in kranndung.
- Vekaron - Only one of the greatest heroes of the Second Great War. Kerella, give me the coordinates of where you found this message.
- Kilchárunya - Thank you mister laconic.
- Wragrot - Cyborg Radeon guy. Seen him on the news once. He led the attack on the Chosen.
- Kilchárunya - Suppose that helps.
- Kerella - Okay, coordinates sent. I'll see if I can gather the 495th and rendevous with you there.
Vekaron looked at the coordinates, and as he did, his eyes widened.
- Vekaron - ...Impossible.
- Kerella - Like I said, the fleet was pretty bloody deep in.
- Kilchárunya - Where's that?
- Vekaron - It's...the Kvargo homeworld.
- Vansenk - It's still around?
- Vekaron - I thought that planet was nothing but ruins...but if Baptarion is in there and Genrai Nal kidnapped him...Dacia, you may have just found Torrent's location.
- Kerella - ...you're pulling my feathers aren't you.
- Wragrot - Oooh boy, my New Year wish is being granted!
- Kamaris - Well. This certainly does not reek of unprecedented calamity. I'd better prepare.
- Kerella - In that case I'm going to see if I can pull in some backup.
- Vekaron - I'll meet you there. Time to give Torrent some payback.
- Kirlisir - Now this sounds exciting.
- Vansenk - Sounds quite routine, actually.
- Kirlisir - You're no fun.
Vekaron and the ITN made their way to the coordinates until they arrived at Biavumd, the former homeworld of the Kvargo race. Vekaron was correct the say the planet was mostly ruins, but it was being heavily survielled by Wranploer ships, meaning something big really was hidden down there.
- Kamaris - This place reminds me of Mahanaya. Only more like chaos instead of organized chaos.
- Vekaron - Note we shouldn't attack up-front. Me and my team will infiltrate the planet, get Baptarion and weaken them from the inside. Then the ITN can come in.
- Kerella - Good news I got a call back from ITN command.
Soredus materialised as a hologram alongside Kerella, inadvertantly dwarfing her.
- Vekaron - Ah, greetings.
- Kerella - Some of you may know this guy, he's a SGWvet.
- Vekaron - 'I'm the only veteran of the Second Great War here, I'm afraid.
- Wragrot - Good, more firepower.
- Soredus - I was informed that you needed someone to perform miracles, so the ITN sent me.
- Vekaron - It's good to work with you again, Soredus. Have you been informed what we're up against yet?
- Soredus - I have. Torrent's planetside, there are billions of Wranploer who need their skulls caved in, and Baptarion is currently trapped down there. Should be fun.
- Vekaron - In that case, let's get going. I can't imagine why Torrent would kidnap Baptarion, but we're about to find out.
- Kilchárunya - Let's just do this. I want to celebrate New Year.
- Kirlisir - I hope he can stand on his own two feet once we free him. I'm not babysitting somebody else.
- Soredus - If he can't I can take care of him.
- Vekaron - Baptarion is the kind of guy who would punch your mouth if he heard you saying that.
- Kirlisir - Then I know we can trust him to get himself out of there if things go awry.
- Soredus - Just point where I am needed.
Taking cloaked shuttles, the team and Soredus made their way to the planet, undetected by the larger Wranploer ships. They managed to slip past them and landed on a ruined city next to a gigantic facility, which was surrounded by guards. The ruins gave the team cover to not be seen by the guards. Soredus kept low as he approached, an optical cloak making him essentially invisible as he observed the entrance.
- Soredus - Right...any tunnels or old sewer paths we can use?
- Vekaron - We can search for one. The front door is out of the question for sure.
- Kirlisir - Aww.
- Vansenk - I can smell the sewers.
- Kilchárunya - Yeah. Smells like you.
- Wragrot - You're a walking sewer.
- Soredus - ...does the stickman know of the existence of a sonic shower?
Vansenk fell to an all-fours position and proceeded to crawl like some form of salamander over the ruins and debris with little effort, keeping his body low to the ground, especially his head and face as he could smell things more effectively from such a position. Unbeknownst to the team, a large figure in black armour was perched looking at the guards on an outcrop made of debris. Vekaron followed Vansenk as he searched for an entrance, while Wragrot clumsily attempted to not make any noise.
- Vansenk - The brute is too noisy, too unbalanced.
- Wragrot - Go take a bath.
Kamaris followed far behind Wragrot; his armour cloaked. Soredus moved quietly, despite his bulk, he posessed implats in his feet to allow him ot move quietly though the rubble. After some searching, the team found a sewer entrance next to a river which was big enough for them all to go through. Kilchárunya followed behind Kamaris in a similar fashion. The figure also followed, light on its feet.
- Vekaron - That's our entrance. No guards at sight.
- Soredus - I'll watch the flank.
- Wragrot - ...I got the sensation we're being followed.
- Kilchárunya - I'm not the only one then. Keep your eyes open.
- Kirlisir - Eye.
- Kilchárunya - Iró. [Yes.] Eye.
Vekaron moved into the sewer entrance and made his way inside, followed by Wragrot who looked around with his eyes narrowed. Soredus looked into the ruins as everyone passed into the sewers, waiting until everyone was though before he went though himself. The figure slipped past Soredus, now in front of him. The team walked through the sewers, a horrible stench making it hard for them to breathe properly. Soredus stopped cold and sniffed the air, reaching for a pair of kukris strapped to his sides, aside from Vansenk, who appeared somewhat accustomed to the stench that filled the atmosphere of the sewers.
- Wragrot - Don't smell Wranploer poo, Draconis.
- Kilchárunya - Draconis. You're making me feel nervous.
- Soredus - ...Something's here.
Vansenk then proceeded to place himself beneath the stagnant, putrid water of the sewer to both hide himself and identify particular smells and scents.
- Kirlisir - ...What.
- Vekaron - ...Ech.
- Kilchárunya - You know how to turn a girl off. Not that I was ever turned on.
- Wragrot - Hell, you both stop.
- Soredus - Does that guy even care he's swimming in excrement and Drakon-knows what else?
- Kamaris - I have seen many an unnerving sight. That now makes the top of the list.
- Kirlisir - I don't even know what he thinks he's doing. Please tell me he's hallucinating.
Finally arriving at the end of the tunnel, the team came across a grate. Wragrot pushed it forward until it fell over, revealing a larger room with a staircase leading upstairs. There didn't appear to be any guards present. The figure on the other hand, took to the walls, scaling them until it planted itself on the ceiling. Vansenk moved out of the water and walked onward with the group, dripping with filthy water and other substances while he licked the liquid off his jaws with his vile tongue.
- Vekaron - Alright, I heard something crawling up the wall now.
Kilchárunya turned around sharply, but looked confused.
- Kilchárunya - I don't see anything.
- Vansenk - Mutants, sewer-dwellers, vermin most probably.
Soredus took a breif look at Vansenk then looked up at the seiling. Using his implants, he filed though vision settings' infra-red, UV and X-ray, in order to see if anything was there. Something was visible on Soredus' vision settings, but it was unintelligible. Difficult to make out, as if it appeared like a near invisible blot.
Before any of the team could do anything about the figure, a burst of fire suddenly appeared in front of them. A shape made out of flames appeared, standing in a cross position. Soredus drew his kukris and stood rady to strike, and Vansenk drew his sickle, which proceeded to extend and transform itself into a scythe. He had a growl upon his face, snarling aggressively.
- ??? - Hkkkc...hhhhhck...
- Kamaris - ...What is that?
- ??? - A...twinkle in...my eye...oh how I want...to see...you all...BURN.
The figure levitated upwards until it hit the ceiling, where it disappeared completely.
- Vekaron - ...What the hell is Torrent doing in here?
- Soredus - Okay what in all the void was that. Please tell me there are hallucanegenics in that sewer gas.
- Vansenk - There's no hallucinations here. Only fire.
The shock from the ceiling caused a disruption, where Soredus could see the figure for only a split second. Soredus toruned to the figure's location and threw one of his Kukris towards it. The kukri deflected off the figure. The figure then darted to the ground in a somersault, before raising up. The cloak around him began to fade as its identity became apparent. Vekaron took a step back while Wragrot aimed his shotgun at the figure. Soredus extended his arm, generating a hum as well as the increase of a magnetic feild which pulled the Kukri back into his hand.
- Soredus - Time to party!
- Kilchárunya - Siná'in.
Vansenk stood within a combat-orientated stance, grasping ahold of his scythe tightly while glaring towards the figure. Kirlisir primed her blades, a sly smile across her face as she examined the opposition. Vansenk growled more, feeling his neck with one of his hands while holding his scythe in the other.
- Wragrot - Oh I don't want YOU for my New Year mission!
- Vekaron - ...Agent Chi.
- Soredus - Never heard of him.
- Chi - You still think that peashooter is going to do anything, Murgur?
- Wragrot - I've not tried yet.
- Vekaron - What are you doing here? And how did you even get here?
- Soredus - Someone explain who this guy is because right now he's thirty seconds from becoming a diced kebab.
- Chi - I suppose I should tell you even I don't want to. I came here because of pirate-related activity. As well as a war veteran going missing. As soon as I learnt you were also heading here, I followed you.
From the shadows of the ceiling, more Agents dropped down in similar armour.
- Vansenk - We don't need additional assistance. We have a strategy prepared.
- Soredus - That stalker shit is RIA territory.
- Wragrot - Hmpf. So you're a dickhead and a stalker. Good, good.
- Vekaron - Ugh...I guess you can come along. At least that way we have more chances of Torrent not escaping.
- Kirlisir - I say take every opportunity we can get.
Chi drew his blade, and turned his back to the team.
- Chi - I sincerely hope you have leads.
- ??? - What's all that noise down there?
- Kamaris - It seems we have a lead now.
A group of Levarcor soldiers walked downstairs and as they did, they spotted the team.
- Levarcor - Enemies!
Soredus turned to the group and snarled. With his kukris ready he twisrled them and leaped at the Levarcor, aiming for critical body parts. Chi swung his blade and hurled it at the Levarcor's head like a javelin. Vekaron and Wragrot also attacked with blades and guns, while the Levarcor retaliated by firing their assault rifles at them. However, the team's attacks cut through them with ease.
- Levarcor - Inform Lieutenant Gragon! Intruders in base!
- Soredus - Are these brutes even trained?
- Chi - Levarcor. Simple ground forces. Cannon fodder.
Soredus sliced the Levarcor cleanly and stood amongst the bodies, his blades barely covered in blood. Kamaris fired bolts from his gun at the Levarcor whilst Kilchárunya fired her pistol. Chi walked over to one of the corpses of the Levarcor and pulled his blade out of its head. The team killed the entire Levarcor squad with the exception of two of them, who managed to escape.
- Soredus - Well Chi, thanks to you our subtle approach has been demolished.
- Chi - Coming from a Draconis.
- Vekaron - What's done is done. We must proceed. Expect enemy reinforcements.
- Soredus - Keep it up and I'll create a holographic target in your honour.
- Chi - I don't want to kill more cannon fodder than I have to.
- Soredus - Ha, that's rich.
- Kilchárunya - Soredus, Agent Chi. Agent Chi, Soredus.
The team moved upstairs and moved through the base, evading soldiers to not get any more attention. Eventually, they arrived into a room devoid of guards, with the exception of ammo boxes. Chi scanned the area, using numerous filters of vision.
- Wragrot - Awfully quiet.
- Vekaron - Keep an eye out for ambushes.
- Chi - No lifeforms detected.
- Soredus - *mutters* Aliens keep mistaking muscle for fat...
- Wragrot - What's that?
- Kilchárunya - What's what?
- Wragrot - I thought I heard the Draconis talking.
- Chi - He did. Irrelevant dialogue.
- ??? - Irrelevant as your presence in this place.
Soredus turned around and growled. A figure ran through the ammo boxes at lightning fast speed.
- Kilchárunya - Company. Again.
- ??? - Unwanted company is the worst kind of company.
One of the large ammo boxes was launched at the team's direction, as if it had been kicked into them. One of the large ammo boxes was launched at the team's direction, as if it had been kicked into them. Soredus drew a fusion pistol and fired a bolt of exptoc particles, aiming for whatever kicked the boxes. The figure ran out of the shots' directions, faster than any of the team could recognize, and kept kicking obstacles into them.
Chi deflected some of the obstacles with his blade, some of them being sliced cleanly. Soredus used his arm to deflect some of the boxes while dodging with beyond-Draconis speed, aiming and firing more shots. Wragrot was hit by one of the crates and launched back slighty, growling in annoyance.
- Wragrot - Stop running, you whatever the hell you are!
- ??? - As you wish.
- Soredus - Oh I'm going to enjoy eviscreating you.
- Kilchárunya - Um. I don't think I want to see what this thing is.
The figure stopped running. The team could see a very well armored Sankáryn who glared at their direction.
- T'enth-ei - You shouldn't be here.
- Soredus - Up yours skinny!
- Vekaron - A talking Sankáryn? That's a new one.
- T'enth-ei - Yes, keep your speciesm, you arrogant, posh lizard shit.
Soredus tossed oen of his Kukris at T'enth-ei, aiming for his chest. T'enth-ei ran out all the way to the other side of the room in a split second. Soredus called the kukri back to his hand and glared over at T'enth-ei. Vansenk growled and proceeded to engage chase in T'enth-ei while Kirlisir also ran, being far faster than Vansenk by a wide margin thus possessing a better chance at catching the enemy. Her blades were prepared to strike.
- Soredus - Now that's just showing off, and we all know what happens to combatants who show off.
- Kirlisir - Insect!
- T'enth-ei - Bitch.
- Chi - You are fast. But not fast enough to dodge particle beams.
- Soredus - Hey genius, he just did.
T'enth-ei ran in circles across the room around the team. He then fired what appeared to be shoulder mounted rifles toward them while still running. With all the ammo boxes kicked away, the team had no cover from T'enth-ei's guns. Chi grabbed a particle beam rifle from his back and poised himself. He attempted to tune himself to T'enth-ei's patterns in running, but took time.
Soredus fired in an attempt to anticipate where T'enth was going to be, his accuracy aided by implants in his eyes and cranium to improve his predictive and hand-eye coordiantion skills. Vansenk attempted to slash at T'enth-ei with his scythe, using his nanomachines in an attempt to halt the Sankaryn for just long enough so that the team could have a chance to land a hit. Chi fired from his rifle, attempting to hit T'enth-ei's feet. As Chi fired, T'enth-ei's body turned black and he launched himself into his direction almost like a missile. Chi laid embedded in the wall. He pulled himself out, with two visible holes through his chest.
- Vekaron - What the hell is Torrent creating in this place?!
- Soredus - No idea but it's reminding me of the Resurgence.
- T'enth-ei - A future for me and my people. And nothing but the void for you.
Chi fired more blasts from his rifle, at a more rapid pace. T'enth-ei was hit by the shots and grunted, his body turning black and him running out the way. Vekaron's team were reminded of how Torrent had the same ability when they met him. Soredus fired his pistol at T'enth-ei his lips curling into a snarl as he kept doing so.
- Kirlisir - I'll go after him!
- Vansenk - Don't.
- Kilchárunya - ...Right. Essence powers. Now. Everywhere. Just blast him with super mind powers.
- Soredus - Wait-what?
Wragrot growled and launched a psyhic wave through the ground which hit the room, causing T'enth-ei to slow down and nearly trip.
- T'enth-ei - Agh. My head.
Vansenk ran towards T'enth-ei as he began to slow, while Kirlisir stayed back as her armour and herself began to fade from view; she was engaging her armour's cloaking systems. T'enth-ei turned to Vansenk and fired his shoulder guns at his direction. One of the shots struck Vansenk and sent him back, but not before he managed to deal a slash with his nanomachine-enhanced scythe towards T'enth-ei. Soredus darted about, surprisingly fast, ready to bury his blade into T'enth-ei as he approached.
- Chi - Your kind is nothing but dirt-eating primitives. Remain like that.
T'enth-ei shouted in pain the combined attacks and launched himself up to a platform. Two doors opened on his sides.
- T'enth-ei - I am a master, and I will prove you so. Suicide squads, attack!
- Soredus - Chi what in the void did you do.
Chi let out a rather evil laugh before disappearing up into the ceiling.
- Soredus - Please tell me he's uspposed to be on our side.
- Kilchárunya - Draconis, I don't even know anymore.
The team heard growling and groaning sounds as Zí-Jittorám began appearing from the opened doors, bombs strapped into their bodies. Upon catching sight of the team, the Zí-Jittorám let out a deep roar and darted towards the group, causing the ground to tremble.
- Vekaron - Oh fuck no, not them.
- Kilchárunya - Oh god.
- Vansenk - ...Kan'trel'dan.
- Soredus - Crap.
- Kamaris - What in the...
- Wragrot - You were supposed to not be in this galaxy anymore, damnit.
Soredus drew his pistol and fired almost in panic at the Zi-Jittoram, not wanting them to get close. Wragrot fired frenetically at the Zí-Jittorám while Vekaron took steps back. Kilchárunya ran to a good distance before firing, whilst Kamaris stood dumbfounded as to what was running towards him. Vansenk roared and swung his scythe while Kirlisir outstretched her hands and threw Zí-Jittorám away from herself and the team with her psychic powers.
One of the Zí-Jittorám combusted right in front of Kamaris, sending him across the hall and deep into a wall. T'enth-ei let out a mocking laugher as he watched the team panic. Wragrot then had an idea and used his psychic powers, throwing one of the Zí-Jittorám into T'enth-ei's direction. The Sankáryn was startled and ran out of the direction before the Zí-Jittorám exploded into him. Chi returned from the ceiling, moving incredibly fast. He tore through one of the Zí-Jittorám with his fist, causing it to explode.
Soredus took his advantage, as the Zi-Jittoram exploded ha opened his wings and jumped oup, bouncing between the walls with Kukris ready as he approached to intercept T'enth-ei, his teeth bared and ready to strike. T'enth-ei was hit by Soredus and shouted in pain again, beiong launched backwards. As he was stunned, Wragrot threw another Zí-Jittorám, this time hitting the Sankáryn and sending him flying across the room.
- Soredus - Not so tough without your speed are you.
- Wragrot - You're a master alright. Master of screwing yourself up.
One of the Zí-Jittorám ran towards Kilchárunya. Chi intercepted the Zí-Jittorám and hurled him backwards, digging his claws into its back and using the threads of its spine and its bones.
- Soredus - You Borealis types are all insane.
- Kilchárunya - That's what makes us brilliant.
- Vekaron - I'm not gonna comment.
T'enth-ei growled and let out a hiss, firing his weapons at Soredus while hissing at the Zí-Jittorám to go for him. Soredus took a few shots, while he was hurt, he flinched by a fair degree before he threw his Kukri again. Kirlisir launched herself towards T'enth-ei while her cloak revealed itself at the last moment, aiming to strike the Sankaryn with her blades. Soredus' kukri and Kirlisir's blades dug through T'enth-ei before he could harden himself, causing him to scream. He had grown tired of the battle and launched himself away from them.
The Zí-Jittorám let out a crazed growl before flailing towards Soredus. Vansenk ran to protect Soredus, using his scythe to pre-initiate an explosion from the enemies or throw them away from themselves. The Zí-Jittorám exploded, sending body parts all over them. Soredus used this oppertunity, and called the kukri back, inadvertantly causing it to tear itself from the Sankaryn's body as it flew back to Soredus. T'enth-ei screamed again and fell into the floor.
- Vekaron - Finish him!
- T'enth-ei - This is...not the end of my quest. You will pay dearly for this...very soon.
Chi unleashed beam after beam from his rifle whilst Kilchárunya used her pistol. T'enth-ei got up before he could be hit and ran away, disappearing into a corridor. Kamaris fell from the wall. His flesh was badly corroded and burnt, and dragged himself across the floor as shreds of skin and blood trailed him. Blood also spilt from his mouth as his eyes were blackened. Seeing the enemy leave, Wragrot ran up to Kamaris.
- Wragrot - Ah shit. Anyone got a medipack or something? Kamaris is in bad shape.
- Kilchárunya - Medipack? He has no skin!
Soredus pulled a nanospray from his pouches and tossed it to Wragrot. Vansenk approached reluctantly, kneeling down towards Kamaris so that the nanomachines around him could proceed to fix Kamaris' flesh.
- Soredus - Spray that over him. It won't bring back his full body but it should keep him alive.
- Wragrot - Thanks...and you can use those nanothingies to heal now?
Kamaris let out an immensely loud roar as his flesh was covered by the machines. Some moments passed before he slowly stumbled to his feet, before falling to his knees.
- Kamaris - ...Can't. See. Blind.
- Vekaron - Oh no.
- Vansenk - I always could heal with them. I simply chose to do so now.
- Wragrot - Well do it faster before I punch you.
- Vansenk - I never found it necessary beforehand. And besides, I am going as fast as possible.
- Soredus - Your only medical support is the walking waste heap over there?
- Vekaron - I hope those machines can help Kamaris see again. We can't proceed with him blinded and we can't heal his eyesight without going back to our ship.
Kamaris stood back up again, but he found it difficult to balance. His eyes were irreparably damaged. Wragrot looked at Kamaris with a worried expression. Kirlisir approached Kamaris with a concerned expression as she wiped blood from her blades.
- Wragrot - I'm gonna rip that Sankáryn's head off and stick it up his own anus.
- Kirlisir - Need any help, big guy?
Soredus looked at his palm and them clutched his fist, thinking. Kamaris growled whilst looking at Kirlisir.
- Soredus - There might be a way he can see again but...Not sure if I have permission.
- Vekaron - What's that?
- Soredus - Like most of Wraith Legion, I've been administered with this stuff called Morphis.
- Vekaron - I think I remember Corteus mentioning it.
- Soredus - His blood is flowing with the stuff. I might be able to donate a small part in order to restore his eyesight.
- Kamaris - Adyannaḫaro... [Leave me be...] ...I will not plague my body with augmentations.
- Vekaron - Are you sure, Kamaris?
Kamaris nodded, whilst his fingers clenched in pain.
- Kamaris - Old Mahanayan saying... ...More than one sense that makes a warrior.
- Kirlisir - If you insist. But you only have to ask if you want me to hold your hand.
- Vekaron - ...In that case, we must move on. Wragrot, keep close to Kamaris so he can keep up with us. We can't turn back to the ship now.
- Wragrot - Right.
- Kilchárunya - Let's go.
The team moved on through the same corridor T'enth-ei had run into until they arrived at a bridge inside the facility, where a river was visible below it. The bridge was several meters long and at the other side, what looked like a tower could be seen. Kamaris unsheathed his cleaver from the side of his leg. His head remained looking forward as his teeth bared. Wragrot tried to approach the bridge, but as he did, a shot was heard and a powerful blast nearly hit Wragrot, sending him flying back.
- Wragrot - Gah! What is this? Artillery?
Kamaris turned sharply and stepped aside.
- Soredus - You lot realise you just walked into a setup.
- Vekaron - There's no other way forward but this one.
- Kilchárunya - Less rhetoric, more solving the problem!
- Kirlisir - Hmph, anybody else able to cloak?
- Soredus - I am, plus with my anatomy, I'm not restricted to walking that bridge.
In the middle of the bridge, another apparition made of fire appeared. It walked around the bridge, holding on its own head.
- ??? - Pain...much pain...so much pain!
- Vansenk - Urgh. What is that?
- Kilchárunya - I dunno. Hopefully it's gonna give you a bath.
- ??? - I need to...share. Yes, need to share...got to share...this pain with SOMEONE.
- Soredus - A nice hot flamey bath, I take it.
Another explosive was fired and hit the apparition, causing it to dissipate.
- Wragrot - Definetely my weirdest New Year.
- Vekaron - Kirlisir, Soredus and Agent Chi can cloak and cross the bridge to take out whoever is firing at us. Once that's done, the rest of us can cross.
- Chi - Don't tell me what to do.
- Vekaron - It's either that or get more holes on your armor.
- Soredus - I can get over without touching the ground.
- Kilchárunya - Well do it then!
Regardless, Chi cloaked. In one bound, he leapt to the wall and then to the other side. Kirlisir nodded and her armour engaged its cloaking ability, fading her from view. She proceeded to run, enhanced by psychic extension. Soredus nodded and activated his cloak. He spread his wings nad leaped off the ledge, soaring over the area before banking himself in an attempt to land on the tower.
- Vansenk - Now this leaves us with a dilemma; how to pass the time.
- Wragrot - I'm gonna wait here and not get the chance of being fired at again.
The tower appeared specifically designed for snipers. A staircase led up which Kirlisir and Chi could use to climb to the sniper decks, while Soredus could see an opening on the ceiling which he could use to enter it. Chi looked at the tower, and changed his mind. Instead, he scaled the tower from the outside. Soredus smirked and landed on the roof of the tower, his pads tapping silently on the material as he landed, still in cloak. Kirlisir began climbing, alongside teleporting short distances in order to increase the speed at which she travelled.
Chi reached the top of the tower and leaped on to one of the decks. As the trio got a view of the sniper decks, they were surprised to find it empty, save for a few supplies. Chi tapped into his intercom;
- Chi - No lifeforms here.
- Soredus - Keep an eye out, somethings here, I can feel it.
- Vekaron - None cloaked from view?
- Kirlisir - Is it possible that they could have fled?
- Soredus - If they did it would be very bad for us.
At this moment, behind Vekaron, a Borealis Zazane female appeared decloaking from the shadows. With a blade on her hand, she striked at the Zoles, piercing his armor and hitting his back.
- Vekaron - Aaagh!
- 'Dolgan - You are very easily fooled for an elite soldier.
- Soredus - Damnation we've been flanked!
Soredus turned around and ran to see the incident. Kamaris poised his blade, ready to swing. Vansenk turned himself round and extended his scythe, snarling as he saw Dolgan but became nervous as he saw Kamaris grip his blade. Wragrot threw his fist at Dolgan, however she blocked his attack with her arms, who turned pitch black and hardened themselves. She then delivered a punch herself which knocked Wragrot into the ground.
- Wragrot - Stupid Zazane I thought you didn't exist in this galaxy anymore.
- Dolgan - You thought wrong, pig.
- Vansenk - Identify yourself!
Chi fired numerous blasts from his gun, whilst Kilchárunya fired her pistol further. Dolgan was hit by some shots but her body hardened on its entirely. She leaped out of the way of the shots and landed on the bridge itself. Soredus looked around, he was not a ranged specialist. he thought for several minutes, then unveiled a series of throwing stars from one of his side pouches. Soredus stared carefully and threw the stars towards Dolgan, the stars themselves had primitive AI, allowing them to act as guided throwing weapons should they miss.
The stars hit Dolgan's wings, causing her to grunt. She turned to Soredus' direction, getting a gun out of her back and aiming at him. Faster than any average sniper would, she took aim and fired explosive shots at his direction. Kirlisir closed her eyes for a moment and vanished from the sniper decks with an impressive flash. After several seconds, she rematerialized at the end of the bridge opposite of the team, trapping Dolgan.
- Dolgan - You're the most disgusting alien I've ever seen in my life.
Soredus tried to dodge, one shot grazed his shoulder, revealing it was not in fact organic, but a combination of alloys and synthetic muscle. Chi jumped off the edge of the deck and rolled on to the ground. He unfurled himself and began firing again. Vansenk couldn't help but laugh at Dolgan's comment, while Kirlisir's expression became enraged as she pointed towards Dolgan.
- Kirlisir - Says you with the boasting chest armour!
- Dolgan - No one crosses Dolgan Tuchaki and lives to tell the tale.
- Wragrot - Guys, can I just point out, we're being beaten in close range by a sniper. I feel sad right now.
- Vansenk - ...Ouch.
- Chi - Zazanī kasat-aí. [Zazane scum.]
- Soredus - Hey bitch!
Soredus leaped from the tower and flew about, tossing more throwing stars, made faster as he put more strength into each throw. As she ran, she twirled and curved her body in order to avoid incoming shots, her armour possessing no restriction over her movements. Dolgan growled and hardened her body again to defend herself from the stars and charged at Kirlisir with her blade in hand. The stars hit Dolgan's body, but upon impact they sparked, sending an EMP rushing though her system. Dolgan roared in pain and fell over into the ground.
- Soredus - Cave her skull in!
Chi walked over to Dolgan, and slammed his right foot into her torso. Kirlisir took the chance and yelled as she slammed her foot under Dolgan's chin, causing her to be thrown backwards from the force and knocking out plenty of her teeth. Chi and Kirlisir both felt as if they were stomping on a metallic surface. Dolgan's armor shined and a blast of extremely cold energy was launched into the duo, while Dolgan herself cloaked from sight. Chi stumbled backwards as his body shivered, but no vocal or facial expression appeared on his face.
- Soredus - I think that worked.
Soredus landed on the wall of the bridge, his claws digging into the material as he drew one of his kukris. More openings opened and Wranploer soldiers entered the room, firing their weapons at the team. Dolgan reappeared behind the soldiers, adjusting her jaw.
- Dolgan - I've been hurt worse than this. This is hardly the end.
Dolgan then ran off while more soldiers appeared. Chi turned around and fired blasts at the Wranploer soldiers with frightening accuracy. Kamaris took out his gun, and took a few moments before firing, hitting one of the Wranploer square in the chest. Kirlisir attempted to run after her, but Vansenk placed a hand on her shoulder. Looking towards him, Vansenk shook his head and proceeded to leap over Kirlisir's head to fight the oncoming soldiers, using his scythe to slash and throw away soldiers. Wragrot charged into the soldiers and blew them apart with his shotgun, while Vekaron used some nanospray on the wound Dolgan had inflicted on him.
- Kirlisir - Vekaron, you okay back there?
- Vekaron - I'm fine. Urk, I thought these Zazane were all under the Brood of War.
- Kirlisir - I've only ever heard of them. But I know of the native Zazane, had to fight a few of them when I was younger.
- Wragrot - Zazane already got pretty tough bones. And Torrent now makes then even tougher. Not cool.
- Chi - Psychic disruptions. Use them.
- Kirlisir - Don't tell me what to do.
- Chi - Then get torn to shreds, little girl.
Soredus leaped up fro mthe bridge and collided with the Wranplower. Against these opponents he suddenly began swinging his blades about dangerouly, with the speed and ferocity of a rabid animal, but the precision of a professional. Kirlisir focussed her eye and proceeded to use kinetic blasts to throw back enemy soldiers, before using ribbons of psychic energy generated by her blades to tear them apart.
As the soldiers fell to the team, the alarm stopped sounding. They proceeded into the opening the soldiers had came from, being the only way forward. They eventually arrived into an area filled with laboratories which appeared to have been evacuated. Looking around the laboratory, the team could see boards filled with statistics and what looked like a diagram of Torrent's biology.
- Chi - Appears familiar. Procedures for augmentation.
- Soredus - What exactly was that pirate working on in here?
- Vekaron - This is our chance to find you.
- Kirlisir - Pfft, augmentations. Just use power armour.
- Soredus - Oy.
The boards described nanotechnology being used to harden the body of the subject, vastly increasing their strength and endurance in the process. More boards displayed the process of implanting the nanomachines on other species, the charts showing a Sankáryn, a Borealis zazane, a Levarcor and another figure who had been erased from the board. One of the boards had the following written on it: "Work harder to develop the clone. The warlord is growing extremely impatient and you are all aware of the consequences of failure".
- Kamaris - I can smell...metal. Chemicals. Flesh.
- Vekaron - Develop a clone...
- Kirlisir - Why doesn't he just breed like everybody else?
- Vansenk - Sex. Ew.
- Vekaron - Torrent is the last Kvargo alive.
- Soredus - I'm no genius at biology but I don't think he can mate with anyone.
- Kirlisir - Oh yeah. I forgot about that. Poor guy.
- Soredus - Mainly because "the puzzle pieces won't fit" if you all understand my drift.
Chi walked away from the group, looking very closely at the statistics and blueprints.
- Vekaron - If he's developing clones...he's trying to clone his species back to life. And put these nanomachines on them.
- Kirlisir - I'm not against one attempting to resurrect their species... but what he's doing is wrong in all senses.
- Soredus - A whole army of nanotech Kvargo...And I thought Volkarus was bad
- Wragrot - And using kidnapped people to do the dirty work for him. I "hate" kidnappings.
- Kilchárunya - It reminds me of the time when the Empire said they were going to mass produce highly advanced Agents. I never knew anything past that though.
- Vekaron - How do you know that?
- Kilchárunya - Erm...spying. On Agents. Yeah. Eavesdropping.
- Chi - "Eavesdropping."
Kilchárunya went quiet as the scales on her neck raised.
- Vansenk - I can only imagine if one attempted to mass produce the Hseraelna beyond the number they currently stand at. It would be bad. The universe requires less cultists, as it does less religion.
- Kirlisir - ...Aren't you Hseraelna?
- Vansenk - In body, unfortunately. In mind... I am 'different'.
- Chi - We would have been advanced to a level beyond this. If it weren't for Nu leaking information.
- Soredus - What in the Void does Nu have to do with it?
Kilchárunya spluttered. The charts displayed what looked like reports of attempts to create a succesful clone. There were 25 reports, and all of them ended with "Died on birth". On his right, Chi could see a table with a body covered by a blanked. Below the sheets was a dead Kvargo, with his ribcage opened, revealing his internal organs. Chi examined the Kvargo closely. Vansenk and Kirlisir approached the Kvargo corpse, with Vansenk leaning in and sniffing the cadaver while Kirlisir examined it with her optical implant. It appeared the Kvargo had died very recently, as his blood was still wet inside the corpse. A nearby board had a picture showing nanomachines taking a shape and walking as they were set on fire. A crude text below the drawing said "Beautiful."
- Soredus - Wait isn't that the figure we keep seeing?
- Wragrot - So those were clouds of nanothings. Weird to say the least.
- Chi - Kvargo. Deceased. Perhaps twelve hours ago. Facial recognition is Torrent. Body seems incomplete.
- Vekaron - By what the charts say, it died of lung failure.
- Kilchárunya - Sounds like they were transferring cognitive faculties over to nanomachines.
- Vansenk - ...So is anybody going to eat this or what?
- Vekaron - Ew.
- Soredus - Why? It's been rotting for twelve hours.
- Vansenk - Just me then.
- Kilchárunya - I wonder how many clones there are.
- Wragrot - Chart says there's 25 but they all died. I suppose they're currently making clone number 26.
- Kirlisir - I'm not detecting anything that suggests male genitalia of any type on this particular model. On the contrary, I am sensing female-orientated internal organs.
- Soredus - Kinky.
- Kilchárunya - So he's trying to revive his race by...giving himself a sex change? Wha?
- Wragrot - That makes "screw yourself" sound much weirder.
- Kamaris - I can't see anything. But I'd prefer seeing over hearing right now.
- Soredus - I think he plans to mass-produce these bodies.
- Kirlisir - Sounds logical, I suppose. The first step to recreating a species is to introduce the opposite sex into the mix, even if you have to artificially produce them.
There was a shadow cast against a wall, a small-ish bipedal figure that from its shadow looked like it was peering into the doorway. Vekaron turned to the figure with his blade gripped on his hand, while Wragrot aimed his shotgun at it. On closer inspection of the shadow, the figure appeared to be roughly Heeyorian in shape, holding something in their right hand. Chi aimed his rifle directly at the Heeyorian's head.
- Wragrot - A single soldier? This better not be another augmented.
The Heeyorian was suddenly confused and raised his pistol close to his head.
- Heeyorian - Identify yourselves.
- Chi - I'd rather shoot.
- Vekaron - I'm not identifying nothing to one of Torrent's soldiers.
- Heeyorian - *mutters* Damnit...
- Wragrot - Hey, we could use this kid as our way in. Have him lead the way to Baptarion.
- Kilchárunya - I don't like this.
- Heeyorian - You lot are after Baptarion?
- Vekaron - We are. If you know where he is, you better cooperate and lead the way.
- Heeyorian - Penumbran Vekaron, right?
The Heeyorian lowered his pistol and suddenly warmed up. Vekaron kept his grip on his blade, raising an eyebow.
- Chi - "Penumbran".
- Heeyorian - Zeril Falthim, I'm on Baptarion's side.
- Kilchárunya - Never heard of you.
- Heeyorian - If you had I'm not very good at my job.
- Wragrot - A spy?
The Heeyorian tapped into a wrist console and sent an encoded data package to Vekaron, revealing he was affiliated with the Draconid Imperium's Royal Intelligence Agency. Vekaron smiled as he saw the data package and let out of his blade.
- Heeyorian - I've spent around five months in this facility. Sent here for a bit of datamining, found Baptarion working in the lab.
- Vekaron - So the entire clone business is true?
- Heeyorian - He wants to repopulate his species. Better. Stronger. Smarter.
- Vansenk - Madman.
- Wragrot - Can't let that happen. You know the way to him?
- Kilchárunya - Right. Chi, you have full permission to take him into Agent custody and whatnot.
- Chi - Don't tell me what to do.
- Heeyorian - Indeed I do. I even helped cover his tracks when he worked to hinder the project.
The Heeyorian pointed at the corpse.
- Zeril - That was his work.
- Vekaron - Typical Baptarion. Alright, let's go then.
- ??? - Hhhccck! You're not going anywhere!
Zeril lifted his pistol and aimed it at the figure, his eyes widening. Kamaris turned, and pointed his weapon at the direction of the voice.
- Zeril - Shit...That's my cover blown!
Out of a corridor, a blast of fire was launched into the room, setting it ablaze. Walking through the flames was a flaming Varkorus who glared at the team with a maniac smile.
- Kravh Helljaw - Hhhck. We finally meet face-to-face!
- Kilchárunya - What in the fuck is that?
- Zeril - I think Torrent tried to weaponise how that gal died.
Kirlisir glared and prepared herself while Vansenk extended his scythe, although he kept himself away from the fires. Chi turned to see Helljaw in flames.
- Chi - Unsightly.
Kravh Helljaw let out a roar which broke the windows and the glass of the room. He aimed one of his arms at the team and fired a hand-mounted flamethrower at them.
- Kravh - Yeck! Burn! Burn! Roast!
Soredus darted to avoid the flamed and tossed one of his kukris at Kravh. The Varkorus hardened his skin, causing the kukri to bounce out of it. He then grabbed the kukri and threw it back at Soredus. Soredus dodged and the kukri sliced Zeril's side as he tried to flip out of the way. Zeril fell onto his side and pressed his hand against the wound. Instead of blood, gas was escaping as his skin slowly closed up.
From Chi's forearm, two beams appeared. He pointed them at Kravh's eyes, and the beams intensified.
- Kilchárunya - I'm getting REAL tired of this skin-hardening thing.
- Kravh - Hhcck! The fun is just beginning!
Kravh turned to Chi and his body was engulfed in flames. He then threw himself into Chi's direction while screaming loudly.
- Vansenk - I cannot attack, I need to get behind.
- Chi - Étaza. [You.]
- Zeril - Fuck this!
Chi turned to see what happened to Zeril, completely disregarding Kravh. Kravh tackled Chi with enough force to send him stumbling back and then fired his flamethrower directly at his head. Chi turned to Kravh, and threw his fist directly into the flamethrower. Kravh's arm was thrown away. He laughed and then pressed his grip on Chi's neck.
- Kravh - Rrrech! Choke!
Zeril pulled himself away from the fight as his skin, his unifor moncluded, stitched itself together. Kirlisir rolled her shoulders and charged at Kravh, her armour sustaining damage from the demonic flames he spat. Chi growled, and grabbed Kravh's wrist with his hand, clenching hard. Kravh shouted and threw himself out of Chi, jumping over Kirlisir's head with her still going into Chi's direction.
- Kirlisir - Move it!
Chi raised his foot. Kilchárunya flung herself on to Chi to move him aside, but crumpled upon his armour and fell to the floor. Kirlisir ducked beneath Chi and rolled underneath him, slamming into one of the walls at the far end of the laboratory. Soredus continued to hack at Kravh furiously. Zeril sat at the corner of the room, moving his leg, hoping he was still alive, his chest was moving, but his breathing was not as obvious as it should be. Chi lowered his leg. He walked away from the fray, searching for the Heeyorian.
- Kravh - Hhheck! What's the matter? Am I too much for the great Penumbra Unit and Kicathian Agency?
- Chi - I am disinterested in your presence.
- Kilchárunya - Whose side are you on anyway?!
Soredus leaped up and positioned his fist to slam into Krvah's back as he travelled inderneath. Kravh was stomped on and screamed, while a blast of fire was launched into Soredus. Kilchárunya picked up one of the tables and threw it at Kravh's body. Soredus was charred but he endured the fire though implants and willpower, he grunted and snarled as he pounded Kravh's body more and more. Vansenk attempted to flank Kravh, slashing behind him with his scythe from a distance while trying not to sustain damage. Kirlisir ran and stood beside Vansenk. Chi looked around, as two blades from his wrists materialized.
- Kravh - Hhhck! So painful! So glorious! So much fun!
- Soredus - You want fun? I'll give you an hour you'll never forget!
- Chi - Andzääkuvóratäi? [Where the fuck are you?]
Kravh's body hardened and he gripped on Soredus' leg before throwing him into Kirlisir's direction. Soredus opened his wings in attempt to break his speed as he travelled though the air towards Kirlisir. Wragrot launched a psychic wave at Kravh, which caused him to groan angrily. He retaliated by gripping Wragrot by his neck and throwing him at Vansenk. Kirlisir moved out of Soredus' way, allowing him to break his fall by himself. Howevere, she saw Wragrot descending through the air and proceeded to grab ahold of Vansenk's wrist, throwing him out of the way at the cost of her getting slammed by the Murgur. Zeril heard Chi's tones and kept to the shadows, quietly muttering to himself in panic. His wound had healed but he was no supersoldier, he could not possibly handle a confrontation. Kilchárunya fired her pistols at Kravh, keeping her distance.
- Kravh - Rrrkt. You lady. He's a strong man. I think you and him should kiss!
Soredus crashed into a series of terminals, warping the metal fro mhis mass as he collided with them and causing sparks to flail about from damaged electronics. Without turning to face him, Chi picked a grenade from his belt and hurled it at Kravh. Kravh jumped out of the grenade's way into Kilchárunya, grabbing her by her throat. Immediately, he launched himself againt Chi and slammed Kilchárunya's head against his with enough strength to floor both. Chi fell to the floor with Kilchárunya on top of him. Chi grabbed Kilchárunya and threw her across the laboratory. He then stood up, ripping the helmet from his head. His eyes were clearly visible as they glowed orange.
Soredus grunted as he stood up, staggering before he charged to tackle Kravh. Kravh laughed maniacly at Chi. Vekaron ran up to behind him and help Soredus tackle him, sending the Varkorus into the floor.
- Vekaron - He's easily distracted. Keep that in mind.
Chi sprinted up to Kravh, leaping on to his body with a force strong enough to take him to the ground. Soredus pounded Krvah's skull repeatedly with fists that impacted with the force of sledgehammers. Kravh screamed from the attacks, fire being launched into Chi, Soredus and Vekaron. He dug his claws into the floor, trying to escape.
- Kravh - Hhhck! Get out of me! You're defiling my beautiful flames!
- Soredus - I'll defile your skull by the end of this!
Chi grabbed Kravh by the neck, and repeatedly slammed his fist into Kravh's face, faster than physically possible for Kicath. After several punches, Kravh stopped moving and became silent. Zeril peeked form his hiding spot and cautiously walked forward, holding his side. Chi stopped punching, and raised from the ground.
- Zeril - Good job and all, sorry I couldn't help and all but, well, I'm not a soldier.
- Vekaron - Hell, I got reminded of the Chosen's cultists.
Chi turned around, with his teeth baring. Zeril's features dropped as he looked up at Chi.
- Zeril - Oh crap--
In a lightning fast move, Chi grabbed Zeril by the skull and lifted him off the ground. Despite being contrained by the neck, Zeril, although squirming, appeared to show little regard for his airways, not gasping or trying to pry Chi's fingers form his throat.
- Wragrot - What the hell do you think you're doing?
- Kilchárunya - What are you doing?
- Zeril - Okay-- Was there-- Any need for this?
- Chi - He works for Torrent. The augmentations are near identical.
- Zeril - That's because I'm undercover, congratulations, you get a gold star for working out my cover.
Chi's grasp changed to clasping him by the torso. He raised his other hand, claws wide apart. Zeril then started squirming more, he saw the claws and widened his eyes.
- Zeril - Please...Mr. Agent...you really don't want to do that...
Chi's hand reached on to his skull. Using his claw, he dug his claw into the Heeyorian's skull; blood and brain matter spluttering everywhere as his head cracked open. As the head cracked open however, it was not blood and brain matter that came out, but large amounts of gas and liquid substances. Zeril let out a scream as his skin was broken.
- Zeril - S-seriously...F-f-fuck..y-you!
Chi then grabbed the Heeyorian's torso, and tore him in two. Vekaron put his blade out and pointed at Chi while Wragrot's Essence aura flared. Falling out of the ripped torso what looked like a balloon fell out, which swelled to beyond the Heeyorian's volume before deflating. Inside were various alien organs, visible though the semi-transparent membrane of the sreature's "skin".
- Soredus - Chi...what the fuck did you just do?
Chi threw the two halves the Heeyorian aside and sighed out loud before letting out a small, malevolent chuckle.
- Kilchárunya - Well. Shit.
- Soredus - In fact...what the fuck is that?
At this moment, Kravh Helljaw jolted awake and let out a roar. His body hardened as he punched Chi's back, skewering his fist through the Agent's torso and lifting him off the ground as fire erupted into his insides. He then spun and threw Chi into a wall with enough strength to tear a hole through it, before running away into the same corridor he had arrived. Soredus gawped before he looked down at the alien, he then checked his communicator.
- Soredus - Team...I think the admiral's mad...
- Wragrot - Of course he's mad, this dumbass just killed our allied spy. And he totally deserved what the Varkorus did to him.
Chi stood back up, but his posture was slanted to one side. His body was seemed near-molten as his flesh melted off his frame.
- Soredus - Linking you all now.
- Kerella' - Fuck yes I am mad. Agent Chi just murdered our Kovokitid informant!
- Chi - If I can do that to a nanotechnologically augment, just imagine what I could to you.
- Kerella - You asshole that Heeyotian body was not shaped for frontline combat!
- Vekaron - Do not hinder our mission. I'm not letting Baptarion die or Torrent escape because of your belligerent attitude.
- Kerella - In fact...what posessed him, i'm asking. Why did he randomly decide to tear open our primary link to Baptarion?
- Wragrot - Because he's an idiot.
- Kerella - That "augment" happened to be a Kovokitid wearing a Heeyorian-shaped nanoskin. The poor bastard is now dead because of the Agent's paranoia.
- Kilchárunya - Either way. Please don't piss him off. Especially when he's on fire.
- Vekaron - The one pissed off here is me. We can't let Torrent escape. Is that clear? Now move.
- Kerella - I'm going to file this report to the Agency once this shit has been screened of confidential information. Under the ITN or RIA, Chi would have sealed his death sentence.
Vekaron turned around and walked into the corridor Kravh had escaped to. Wragrot sighed and followed him, alongside Vansenk and Kirlisir. Before Kilchárunya could walk on forward, Chi spun her around and delivered a punch to her face, flooring her. He then let out a manic laugh before cloaking and disappearing.
The team proceeded through the facility, which had been completely abandoned, likely because Torrent ordered the soldiers to ambush the team later. Kamaris held Kilchárunya over his shoulder. She was knocked unconscious, and half of her jaw was split open by Chi's punch.
- Kamaris - Kicath. They are crazy.
- Soredus - Can I ask, are all agents that unpredictable?
- Vekaron - ...Yes. More or less.
- Kamaris - I have only encountered Chi, Tau and Nu. So I can only say 66% of the time.
- Soredus - Bloody Kicath, there was none of this agent nonsense back in my day.
As they approached a hallway with a large door, they could see a small, feathered creature sitting on a nearby pole.
- Scallywag - Bwag! Invaders!
- Vansenk - What is that disgusting little thing?
- Vekaron - Ugh. That's Torrent's parrot.
- Kirlisir - I think it looks adorable.
- Scallywag - Brack! Brack brack brack! You've far from home, aren't you? Why are you here? Looking for something?
Soredus pulled out his fusion pistol and fired it at Scallywag with a scowl. The parrot's body hardened and the shot did no damage to him. He then let out a squarking laugh.
- Wragrot - Oh fuck even the pet has nanomachines.
- Kamaris' - Rather annoying.
- Soredus' - Okay that's just damning stupid.
- Scallywag - You don't want chat? Then you don't have chat! I leave!
Scallywag took flight and flew over to the door. He slammed himself against it, fell on the floor, and repeated it until the door opened and he finally left.
- Kamaris - Well. That sounded idiotic.
- Soredus - So its immune to al ldamage but is as smart as a mentally-challenged Slikkid.
- Vekaron - At least he didn't peck us like last thing. It hurt my head.
Kilchárunya woke up. She groaned for a few seconds before semi-intelligble speech could be heard.
- Kilchárunya - I hate Agents.
Going through the door, the team found themselves outside, on a large field where another larger tower was visible on the other side. A nearby holosign said "Main Laboratory" and pointed at its direction.
- Soredus - Someone has a liking for nostalgia.
As the team walked on, a shadow suddenly appeared, blocking the sunset behind them.
- Kamaris - Is it me or did it just get colder?
Kilchárunya looked up. Soredus looked up as well and took a step back.
- Kilchárunya - Oh holy shit. That's big.
- Wragrot - What are you on abo-...oh.
- Soredus - I have no words.
- Kamaris - What is it?
Blocking the sun was a 25 meters tall Levarcor who watched the team with a mocking expression on his face.
- Vekaron - ...That's the largest Levarcor. Just, the largest Levarcor.
- Kamaris - Right. Kilchárunya, can you fight?
- Kilchárunya - Just put me down. I don't like being manhandled. Or womanhandled. Whatever. Just put me down.
- Kirlisir - Titan!
- Soredus - I'm going to need a bigger pair of kukris.
- Brakarion Gragon - Well, well, well. You got past all of my lieutenants. That's very impressive, I gotta say. Where did your little Agent friend go? Did you break up or what?
Kilchárunya was let off Kamaris' shoulder, and grabbed her pistol from her holster. Looking out of her only good eye, she looked up at the Levarcor.
- Kilchárunya - He broke my face and ran off. The Kiltaránkisiatékagazátazhatmanaí.
- Soredus - Okay...do we have airstrikes?
- Kilchárunya - ...You're the one from the fleet. You should know.
- Vekaron - We don't want to airstrike the base while Baptarion is still in danger.
- Soredus - How about a single orbital cannon blast? Torrent must surely have this place built like a bunker.
- Brakarion - Oh, so you're here for that Radeon. I should've guessed. He's currently working with the Warlord and Genrai Nal on the finishing touches of the clone. This one is certain to survive.
- Vansenk - It shan't.
- Kilchárunya - Wait what?
- Soredus - Also I highly doubt those nanomachines of his can survive a ship volley.
- Vekaron - Fine. But tell the fleet to attack only after we immobilize him. Otherwise he can just run off.
- Soredus - The whole blast him thing was to kill him, not to finish him off.
- Kirlisir - I'm curious, I wonder how old this Levarcor is. I'm also curious as to how strong it is.
- Brakarion - For your information, Rovegar, I'm 412 years old and I'm strong enough to kill a Murgur by flicking my finger at it.
- Wragrot - Oh, screw you.
- Kirlisir - I see. Still younger than the crone.
- Kilchárunya - Better than a 25 metre tall Zí-Jittorám. Never seen one myself personally but bigger picture people.
Brakarion chuckled and grabbed a gun out of his back, which was revealed to be a large-sized grenade launcher.
- Brakarion - Let's see how fast you can run.
- Kilchárunya - What the.
Brakarion began firing the grenade which exploded in contact with the floor. Kamaris leapt back, whilst Kilchárunya evaded with a backflip.
- Kamaris - Suggestions?
- Wragrot - I'm reminded of when we fought the frilly gal over here...throw a grenade back at him by telekinesis.
- Kirlisir - Except he isn't dancing around you like a prancey! ...Wait a moment.
- Soredus - I have one and its in orbit!
- Vekaron - They'd have to pass through the Wranploer fleet to even get here and we don't have that much time!
- Kilchárunya - You are the one with psychic powers, you know.
- Brakarion - Ahahaha! Run, worms!
Brakarion fired another grenade which travelled to Wragrot's direction. He concentraed his powers and stopped it in midair, before throwing it back into the Levarcor. As he was hit, Brakarion shouted and stumbled back.
- Kirlisir - Easy, it seems! Big boy, pass me a few of those grenades!
Brakarion changed his weapon to a large-sized rocket launcher, which he fired at the team's direction. Kirlisir outstretched her hands and initiated her psychic abilities, attempting to freeze the rockets in midair. However, it was significantly more difficult than attempting to stop the grenades and Kirlisir evidently struggled.
- Kilchárunya - That's not a rocket launcher that's a fucking mini-nuke!
- Soredas - Screw that its a shoulder mounted artillery cannon.
- Kirlisir - H-Help!
Wragrot helped Kirlisir and with their combined power, the rocket was launched back. Brakarion's eyes widened and he ducked out of the way, but Wragrot grinned and caused the rocket to go back to him, hitting his back. Brakarion shounted in pain as his rocket launcher was thrown out of his hands.
- Vekaron - All that size is bound to make you clumsy.
- Kirlisir - Phew! Somebody grab that launcher!
Kamaris went over to the launcher and picked it up, albeit some effort.
- Brakarion - If I can't fire with my guns then my fists will do!
Brakarion sent his fist into the team's direction.
- Kirlisir - Shit!
- Vansenk - Duck! Run! Cower!
Vekaron and Wragrot jumped out of the way before the fist hit the ground, causing a shockwave powerful enough to knock the team away.
- Brakarion - I will show you what it means to be the master of Dark Grip!
- Vekaron - So this is Torrent's twisted version of the Penumbra Unit, huh.
Kamaris was launched into the air, and hit the ground hard. He leapt back to his feet, and fired the rocket at Brakarion's direction. Brakarion hardened his skin but the impact from the rocket launched him back noticeably. He groaned in pain as he held his head in pain. Soredus flew into the air and circled Brakarion wondering how to even damage him. Soredus could see the back of Brakarion's head appeared to not be as armored as the rest of his body.
- Kirlisir - Vansenk, anything your nanomachines can do?
- Vansenk - Inflicting upon something this size? I'll require a significant open wound.
Soredus smirked and drew his Kukris, diving in in an attempt to plunge them deep into the back of Brakarion's head. Brakarion screamed in pain as Soredus managed to dig into his neck. He attempted to shake him off and grab him with his hands, but Wragrot sent psychic pulses at his direction which disoriented him. Vansenk took the opportunity and rushed forward, leaping onto Brakarion and beginning to scale the colossal titan, assisted by his sickle.
- Brakarion - Get out of me, you tiny ants!
- Soredus - I learned in my earlier days; bigger isn't always better.
Soredus dug the kukris into the flesh, twisting them to dice the skin. Brakarion attempted to harden his head, but Wragrot kept distracting him. Brakarion sent his fist down again, hitting the ground and knocking Wragrot away through the battlefield. Vansenk continued to scale Brakarion's body until he eventually reached his back. It was at this point he began to struggle with ascending the colossus' back, trying to reach the wound at the back of his head.
- Soredus - Hardening won't work when an opening has already been made.
- Brakarion - Die in a pit, extragalactic scumbag!
- Soredus - Now that's just prejudiced.
Kamaris fired another blast from the rocket launcher, aiming for his neck. Brakarion launched himself out of the rocket's way and then sent his fist into Kamaris' direction. Kamaris dodged the fist, but as it hit the ground, was sent back further.
- Wragrot - Hurry up, stinky!
Vansenk was knocked about by Brakarion's movements, although he had managed to secure a place on his back by digging his scythe's blade into the open wound, allowing the pain-inflicting nanomachines to enter his system, wrecking with his internal organs to provoke sickness and poxes. Brakarion began coughing and shivering, losing his concentration and nearly falling over.
- Brakarion - I feel so...sick...
- Vansenk - I have yet to initiate internal re-organization.
- Soredus - In Dracid?
- Vansenk - I'm going to move his organs around.
- Soredus - Oh that is nasty.
- Brakarion - What? No! Screw this!
Brakarion shook his body until Soredus and Vansenk were thrown off, and then ran off, disappearing from sight.
- Soredus - I suggested an orbital strike but NOOO. Screw you amateurs.
- Vansenk - We didn't need it.
- Soredus - "Didn't need it" when all you did was give him an infection.
Kirlisir approached Wragrot at the far end of the room, standing by him and reaching out a hand to assist him to his feet. Vansenk landed on all fours, standing up after licking the dirt off his hands. Soredus opened his wings and flew down to the ground.
- Vansenk - It was unlikely to have killed him. Inflict pain and damage, yes. Inflict death, unlikely on such a large specimen.
- Vekaron - What matters is that he's gone, and the path to Torrent is finally clear.
- Kilchárunya - Either way. Ew.
Battle for the Clone
Arriving at the main laboratory, the team came across a large hall filled with scientists who worked on a rather large pod. At the center of the room were Torrent and Genrai Nal, and at the far side of the room, Baptarion was visible. Torrent turned to the team with a frown on his face.
- Torrent - ...You survived Dark Grip?
- Vekaron - Your soldiers failed you, Torrent. Now it's time for payback.
- Genrai Nal - Weaker soldiers fall to superior, more determined ones. That is nothing new.
- Vansenk - Quite true.
- Kirlisir - Genrai Nal... At last! I finally get to see him!
Kirlisir danced a little as she saw Genrai. Wragrot raised an eyebow at Kirlisir's reaction. Genrai Nal looked to Kirlisir, confused.
- Wragrot - Eh?
- Genrai Nal - Who are you?
- Kirlisir - Kirlisir! And I'm your biggest fan, Nal! I heard stories about you, about how skilled you are, about all of your battles... It's great I finally get to meet you!
- Torrent - What's this now? You've got one of them albino aliens with you, Vekaron? What is she? Your girlfriend? Are you cheating on your Kicath now?
- Kilchárunya - Eh?
- Vekaron - By the ancestors, shut up, Torrent.
Genrai Nal paused for a second.
- Genrai Nal - It appears I have fans.
- Soredus - Good for you.
- Vansenk - ...I do not know how to react to this. I'm broken. You've broke me. The Rovegar broke me.
- Torrent - Doesn't matter if you defeated Dark Grip. I purposely made them less powerful than me in case they decided to go rogue. Now I'll break you myself, but I'll keep you alive enough for you to watch as my clone is born!
- Kamaris - Too much talk.
- Genrai Nal - As I said. The weaker, less determined soldiers fall to the stronger, more determined force. That is nothing new.
- Vansenk - Then you shall die.
Torrent bashed his fists together as his body turned pitch-black, a grin formed on his face. He took a step forward, while Vekaron marred his teeth and prepared his blade.
- Torrent - It's time for round two, Vekaron!
- Vekaron - Only one of us gets out of here alive, Torrent.
Before any of them could do another, however, an explosion was heard in the facility and the scientists began panicking. Torrent turned around in confusion.
- Torrent - What was that?
- Kirlisir - Huh?
- Soredus - Learn some sense of loyalty, pirate, I think the consequences of that neglect is just what's happened.
- Kilchárunya - One person alive? Excuse me?
Machinery was destroyed as mutants suddenly stormed into the facility, attacking guards and scientists. Tentacles began spreading through the walls as heavy footsteps were heard. Soredus looked around in alarm.
- Torrent - What the fuck are these?! Vekaron, is this your doing?!
- Vekaron - Of course not!
- Kirlisir - ...Please tell me it's not THEM!
- Vansenk - Disgusting.
- Genrai Nal - I think I know what it is. But of what nature? It does not seem to make sense.
- Kerella - Brace yourselves team, you have uninvited company.
Out of a corridor, a massive Wranploer, or what looked like a Wranploer, appeared. Its pitch-black eyes looked around, watching the destruction its mutant servants were causing. Both Torrent and Vekaron took a step back. Kirlisir glanced closer and, upon inspection, she let out a relieved sigh before becoming panicked once more. Genrai Nal, with his sharp reactions, quickly drew his blades and engaged in combat stance.
- Kirlisir - Phew, it's not them... THEN WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!
- Soredus - That...that looks like something in regurgetated last night.
- Kilchárunya - Well. Siná'in.
- Wragrot - Oh man...oh man oh man oh man.
- Genrai Nal - Rumours had circulated. I was not certain.
- Torrent - What...is that thing?
- Vorius - Kvargo...your DNA...is rare.
- Kerella - Team I am suggesting immediate extraction. Repeat, get yourselves out of there!
- Kamaris - I think we should get out of here whilst you all still have skin.
- Kerella' - I just said that, rescue Baptarion if you can, if not...perhaps we can at least recover a tissue sample.
- Baptarion - Oh Spode what the f-wait. You guys! You came here to rescue me!
Vorius let out a monstrous roar as it tore down entire walls, causing explosions around the facility.
- Kilchárunya - I'm out. So out.
- Kirlisir - Are we rescuing the rodent person or not?
- Vekaron - Of course we are. Get him!
- Torrent - You! You...whatever the fuck you are! Who are you!
- Vorius - I am...I am...Regnatus.
Vansenk approached Baptarion, slithering across the floor as he maneuvered around mutants and monsters. Baptarion could smell Vansenk from a distance. Vorius hit a machine close to where Baptarion was standing, causing an explosion which hit Baptarion. The Radeon was launched upwards and fell on the floor, the lower half of his body being destroyed.
- Vansenk - ...Stupid man, why did he not move!?
- Vorius - Feed me...now...now! Now! Now! Now! Now!
- Torrent - Genrai, don't just stand there! Save the clone!
could see Baptarion was still alive and breathing somehow, but was obviously not in condition of geting up. Soredus bullrushed though the facility with his kukris ready and dreadied to stab at the pod with the clone. As he noticed, Torrent ran after Soredus with his teeth barred.
- Torrent - Stay away from my clone, you scum!
Vansenk grunted and dragged Baptarion's upper half across the floor, struggling as he was intimidated by the tentacles that writhed across the room. Soredus turned around as he reached the pod, one kukri was swung to hit the pod, the other stravelled towards Torrent's face. Torrent hardened his bidy and the kukri did no damage to him.
- Soredus - Damn you and that nanotech of yours!
Vorius extended tentacles out of his body which travelled into the pod's direction, while another one was thrown into Genrai's direction. However, it went straight through Genrai's body. Vorius did not care, however, and kept glaring toward the pod. Torrent slowed down as he saw the gigantic mutant leaning over the pod. Soredus twisted his blades and plunged them both to hit the components of the pod, intending to seeverely damage it.
In fact, it was a mere illusion, a hologram. Right behind Vorius, Genrai backstabbed him, his blade piercing Vorius' spine. Any normal being would have died to this. However, Vorius had no spine. A mass of flesh was launched into Genrai's direction while horrible screams engulfed the room. Genrai Nal simply dodged it by teleporting away, and cut at Vorius' legs.
- Genrai Nal - A worthy opponent, it seems.
- Soredus - Your species will die with you Torrent!'
Genrai's attacks did no damage while Vorius' tentacles made their way to the pod. Torrent grabbed Soredus by one of his wings and angrily ripped a piece of it out. Soredus roared in pain and twisted to slam his arm against Torrent's body, blood rushing from the open wound of the torn wing. Genrai Nal turned to Torrent.
- Genrai Nal - He is taking no damage from my efforts. I should focus them elsewhere.
Torrent was thrown into the ground while Vorius tore the pod open, revealing the clone inside it. He opened his mouth and begun licking his teeth. Genrai teleported over to Vorius' mutant horde. At least he could do something to them. He danced through the battle with his blades going to work, chopping them all up one by one. But his rapid movements and skillful aim cut them apart quickly.
- Vorius - New...rare...mine...more!
- Vekaron - Soredus, get out of there!
- Kirlisir - Come on!
Soredus turned to see the body and readied his fists. he punched it, thrusting his fist though its stomch and tearing it apart. Torrent roared in anger, throwing the piece of Soredus' wing into the ground in frustration. Soredus watched as Vorius' tentacles wrapped themselves around the pod, surrounding both him and the clone. Soredus saw what was going on and tried to hack at the tentacles in order ot escape.
- Kilchárunya - How the hell do you people get through this and live!?
- Vekaron - This is a new experience to me too, okay?!
Kirlisir made a charge, slashing through the mutated monsters in order to reach Soredus. She reached out towards the Draconis, grabbing his shoulder and attempting to pull him back.
- Kirlisir - Get out of there!
- Soredus - Listen girl. Grab Baptarion and get otu of here!
Genrai Nal teleported right next to Soredus and sliced the tentacles with his blade, along with the mutant horde nearby. Vorius roared and grabbed both the clone and Soredus while knocking Kirlisir away. Soredus could feel an excruciating pain hit his body. Kirlisir was thrown back, landing on her back and sliding across the floor. She grunted as she hit a wall, rubbing her head as she stood up and saw what was happening.
- Wragrot - Ah shit. Draconis guy!
Genrai Nal, while close, hacked away at the mutant hordes around Soredus, simply trying to delay things. As Soredus squirmed he realised he could not moved, he did not scream, he did not weep, instead, as he was lifted up he opened up his helmet, for the first time since his arrival, everyone saw his scarred face. For the first time, he did not speak though a vocoder, but though his own voice.
- Soredus - Don't worry about me.... G-go. Save...save..Baptarion!
- Vekaron - Soredus...damnit!
Genrai Nal heard what Soredus said, and shoved Soredus away from him and into the organic mass consuming him, as Genrai then escaped. Vorius' tentacles engulfed both Soredus and the clone, until both were completely absorbed into his flesh. He stared into the ground before turning his attention to the team. Vansenk had carried Baptarion far enough in order to evade damage, although he was unable to retrieve Baptarion's lower side as they had been absorbed into the biomass that was Vorius. He panted exhaustedly. Kirlisir drew her blades and prepared a stance against Vorius, although she herself was reluctant to fight.
- Vorius - Two DNA samples...excellent...
- Vekaron - Retreat! Retreat now!
- Kerella - Team you have to do something!
- Torrent - Everything I built destroyed by you, abomination...Genrai! Retreat! We have to get out of here before we're eaten ourselves!
- Kerella - Any piece of Soredus I ask...no..I ORDER a recovery!
Vekaron noticed the piece of Soredus' wing and quickly ran up to it, taking it with him. Genrai simply hacked away at the mutants, then turned to Torrent.
- Genrai Nal - To abandon a fight...is dishonourable.
- Kirlisir - Get out of there, Genrai!
- Torrent - You can stay and get devoured then! I'm out of here!
- Vekaron - I got a piece of his wing, Dacia.
- Kerella - Bring it back to the fleet.
Genrai Nal looked, and saw he could not take this fight.
- Genrai Nal - ...But to abandon a fight you cannot win, is sometimes necessary.
Genrai Nal disappeared, going invisible.
- Kamaris - Enough. Let's move. Quick.
- Kerella - ...I thank you for doing that Vekaron, may Drakon preserve him.
- Vekaron - He sacrificed himself to make sure Torrent would not get what he wanted.
- Torrent - Damn you! I'll tear you apart one day! You and that monster!
- Kerella - His face...that wing section may be one of the most valuable tissue samples in Imperial history.
Vekaron's team retreated wile Torrent ran off to another direction, while Vorius finished feasting on the corpses still on the facility. A dropship from the fleet awaited for them outside and took them out of the world, back to their own ship.
The following day, the team had already delivered Baptarion back to the Indoctrinate Collective and the piece of Soredus' wing to Kerella Dacia. Vekaron appeared still visibly distressed from the mission. Vansenk was nowhere to be seen, although it was certain he could be smelled, while Kirlisir was sat down, wearing minimal armour.
- Gardin - What's wrong, daddy?
- Vekaron - Nothing, Gardin...I just had a terrible day yesterday...
- Wragrot - That thing...it was the most horrifying thing I've ever see in all of my almost 1400 years of life.
- Kirlisir - What... exactly was "it"?
- Vekaron - When I looked at it...it reminded me of Regnatus' visage...
Kamaris was wearing a blindfold, sitting down and looking on vacantly.
- Kilchárunya - Regnatus? You sure?
- Vekaron - Absolutely. It was like looking at him again for some reason. And I heard that thing call itself Regnatus.
- Kamaris - Then we will have to call upon more forces than just us. If Regnatus lives it will take more than just us to defeat him. Not that I have no confidence in our power.
- Kirlisir - Whoever... Whatever it was... It's still out there. On the bright side... the Kvargo resurrection has been halted. At least... I think that's a good thing. For you guys.
- Wragrot - It's a shame we lost the Draconis guy. He was okay. But hey, I didn't see Chi escaping. If we're lucky enough, he got devoured.
The ship was hailed once more, again, it was Kerella.
- Gardin - Oh! A birdie!
- Kerella - Greetings once again.
- Vekaron - Greetings, Kerella. Did you get the piece of Soredus' wing we managed to recover?
- Kamaris - I liked that Draconis.
- Krella - We did, and...given the circumstances, perhaps I feel his information should be declassified.
- Kilchárunya - Go on.
- Kerella - Soredus was his codename. In reality he was...
Kerella swallowed her confidence, as if she was having trouble beleiving it herself.
- Wragrot - Yeah?
- Kerella - Oniron Voxis. Perhaps one of the greatest icons in imperial history.
- Kirlisir - ...Who?
- Kilchárunya - Oniron Voxis...where have I heard that name? Oh yeah. Second House Wars. I remember now because he fought alongside some Kicathian Warlord whose name I forget. Aknatazán I think his name was.
- Vekaron - So he was a hero of your Imperium?
- Kamaris - You cloned him? I heard those wars were over fifty thousand years ago.
- Kerella - Well..not us. A group of terrorists tried to turn him into a weapon, our medical studied of him showed they even added cybernetics to him before we did.
- Wragrot - So you got him from the terrorists and got him working for you. Smart.
- Kilchárunya - Terrorists?
- Kerella - We kept his identity a secret for roughly a decade.
At this moment, both Vekaron and Dacia received a transmission coming from the Indoctrinate Collective. On their screens was Baptarion, however, he appeared very different. His lowre half had been rebuild and his torso and head had been also reconstructed, appeared much cleaner and organic than before. Kirlisir whistled and smiled at Baptarion, winking at him.
- Baptarion - Well, hello, my heroes.
- Kerella - Good to see you survived, commandant.
- Kilchárunya - Afternoon.
- Kirlisir - Now "that" is an improvement.
- Baptarion - Check out this new body! I've never felt better! Seriously, thank you so much for saving me. You have no idea how much shit I went through under that pirate bastard's rule.
- Vansenk - You don't want to know how much shit we went through to get there. Hehe.
- Kerella - We lost good people trying to save you.
- Vekaron - It's great to have you healthy again after you, well, got exploded.
- Baptarion - Yeah. That hurt a lot. Speaking of which, I got good news for both of you regarding Torrent's nanotechnology.
Vekaron leaned closer to his screen in interest.
- Kerella - You do?
- Baptarion - Yeah. A while ago, I ingested some of them when no one was looking. So I got them flowing through my bloodstream right now. The reason I survived was really because I managed to harden my body so I didn't bleed out completely. And you know that means? It means we can study them. Find weaknesses on them and use said weaknesses against Torrent.
- Kerella - Excellent news!
- Kirlisir - Wow, never seen a stranger so willing to ingest somebody else's essences. ...Fuck, wait, that wasn't right.
- Kilchárunya - Ngh.
- Vekaron - Well, now you're MY hero, Baptarion.
- Baptarion - Hey, I'm a straight man, okay?
Vansenk walked into the room, glaring at the group before slyly smiling and sitting down.
- Vansenk - A recovery. Excellent.
- Kerella - It is highly unorthadox but I wish to propose as a suggestion; you recovered Oniron's wing. Perhaps, if you feel it appropriate, we can restore him.
- Vekaron - Bringing Soredus back to inform him how we succeeded our mission would be great.
- Baptarion - Also, what was that huge jelly Wranploer thing? I felt an immense psychic power coming from it.
- Wragrot - We got the same question.
- Kilchárunya - Vekaron thinks it's Regnatus.
- Baptarion - No thank you.
- Kerella - Ah--- I am not sure if he would remember the mission using this method. He might, its a possibility.
- Vansenk - He would be lucky to forget the entity.
- Vekaron - Let's hope he does.
- Baptarion - Oh well. I'm off now. Thanks again and happy new Borealis year!
Baptarion left the transmission.
- Kirlisir - Oh yeah, it's the new year. Hmm, wonder what we could do to celebrate...
- Wragrot - Beer. A lot of it. I got a monster to forget and alcohol will help.
- Vansenk - Beer. You'll smell of it.
- Kilchárunya - That's rich.
- Wragrot - Would still smell better than you.
- Kerella - Well enjoy yourselves. But are you sure bringing Oniron back is what you all wish?
- Vekaron - Of course.
- Wragrot - Why wouldn't we want him back?
Kerella nodded and disabled the communicator.
- Kamaris - I want to go to Anatezc-ji 0. Beer until you drown I heard.
- Vekaron - We can do that. As long as we don't come across Nu, we should be fine.
- Kilchárunya - I knew you were going to say that.
Vekaron chuckled to himself and relaxed on his captain's chair.
- Kirlisir - Hey, how about we put you in the shower?
- Vansenk - ...What?
- Kirlisir - You know, new year's dare?
- Vansenk - Why would I do that? You know nothing of my principa--
Before Vansenk could carry on, Kirlisir was dragging him by his tail across the floor while he dug his nails desperately into the floor to try and stop her. He screeched and hissed like a panicked lizard, struggling while Kirlisir dragged him out of the room. Gardin pointed and laughed at Vansenk as she watched the scene. Kilchárunya laughed whilst Kamaris smiled.
- Wragrot - Happy new year to to you guys and for Torrent! A whole new year of "no Kvargo for you".
And so Vekaron's team celebrated New Year, with much festivities and rinks. But Torrent and, most terribly, Vorius were still lurking around. What awaited for them for the next year? Only time would tell...
Chi boarded his ship. He was a limping, twisted mass of metal and carbon, and sat in his seat with a slight bend to the right. It took off with a speed strong enough to sweep rubble up with it, until it left the atmosphere of the derelict Kvargo homeworld. Whilst he did not breathe, Chi remained rather unsettled, as if his body struggled to keep shape. Some minutes passed, as Chi set a course away from Borealis. Far away, far from prying eyes and away from the 'mislaid' transgressions that he caused. Chi, however left with a twisted smile upon his face, as if killing the spy was a sweet release from the company he was with. Indeed, Chi enjoyed tearing helpless aliens apart. Even if he was strong enough to tear walls from its foundations, the morality of his actions meant the inverse to him.
Chi was on course to the Mirus Galaxy. A quiet, but nonetheless savage location in the eyes of civilians. It had its order, but was famous for its disorder. Brutality, and internally fragile. It was far from the cares of Borealis, Andromeda and the Milky Way, and therefore, atrocities went unnoticed. Or if they did, they were ignored. It was not of any concern to those whose walls kept them out.
Upon his arrival in Mirus, Chi arrived in a far, secluded section in a secluded galaxy. Stars, planets and cosmic objects strayed far from each other as even space seemed barren. It was not long until he was contacted in this wilderness. It was another Kicath, like him, who despised control and politics. From a short conversation, a large vessel, blackened and appearing like a shard, or multiple shards of glass in space, materialized from the darkness. Chi took his course towards it, and boarded. He travelled through the bowels of this enigmatic design of a ship, until he reached its core.
The ship was in fact, hollow. A large, cylindrical column that granted access to all ships, in a decor of an archaic design. Black, and a deep sea blue. It was lit with red and orange, streaming through the creases of the ship as a strong, bright white light dominated it from the ceiling. Chi stood at the bottom of the structure whilst the other Kicath stood at the top. Chi, using his jetpack scaled the midst of the ship until he was face to face with the other Kicath.
This Kicath was black in appearance; black in skin colour and was decorated with unequivocally mysterious augmentations, beyond that of Kicathian technological design. It was carved gracefully and ominously with sigil designs, of an ancient Kicathian style art. He stood before Chi, with a grizzled, sullen expression on his face.
- Agent Xi - I take it that you have made progress in your search.
- Chi - Indeed. Technological blueprints relating to the Dark Grip and Torrent has been stored.
- Xi - Satisfactory. The Benefactor will be pleased with our progress. Which...brings me on to our new topic.
Chi stood apprehensively. What Chi knew of this entity, The Benefactor, was enough to give reason that Chi should listen, but with much caution. The Benefactor was indeed dangerous, and the shadows in which he resided in saw everything.
- Xi - The Benefactor has supplied us with the ability to implement nanotechnology to its most intricate degree. That, combined with my recent studies into the progression of using our native powers, will give you the extra edge in battle...as it has Omega.
Omega appeared from the shadows of the ship - like a fluid mass of water, or perhaps sand, the colossal, silver figure of the Kicathian synth appeared before Chi.
- Xi - The power to shape yourself into a weapon beyond that of your enemies' capabilities. Beyond that of an Agent. Exact revenge upon them...if you so wish.
Chi's eyes squinted. Whilst it sounded appealing, and that the evidence of Omega was enough, Chi was wary of the consequences. Chi could become more powerful than any other Agent with his advantage, but it would mean excommunication, treason, and all of the Agents, Borealis, Andromeda and the Milky Way declaring him a nemesis to the Gigaquadrant.
- Xi - You are not having second thoughts, are you? I will only offer this once. Decline and The Benefactor won't have much use for you.
Chi hesitated, but then nodded. Xi's smile appeared on his face, as the walked into the bowels of the ship. To the laboratory, Xi spoke again.
- Xi - The Benefactor also has other news. He says that he has established contact, and possible attempts to foster relations with the Borealis underworld. With their support, can the Polar Crystal Alliance be ousted from Hyperborea. And eventually, you could take the very throne that your enemies so sit upon.
- Chi - It sounds...rather exciting. I will pay the Agency a visit first. And perhaps Omega would as well.
Omega turned sharply as a small shot of breath escaped his mouth.
- Xi - In due time, my friend. In due time. But first, you must become like him.
Chi was taken to the laboratory. A wide open space; and upon a table, a figure, a clone of Chi, was laid upon it. It appeared grainy, however. As if it were made of a fine, metallic sand. Chi looked at the visage, and stepped back slightly. Xi continued walking to the other side of the room, past a table where Omega's original body laid. Xi pointed to an empty table, on which Chi laid upon. It panned to the left, and angled forward. A large device, something beyond that of Chi's understanding crawled down. It streamed in black and red, and pointed directly at Chi himself.
- Xi - Just relax. You won't feel a thing.