|Ice Age is a Historical Event
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This is Year Five of the Ice Age.
- 1 A Rough New Year
- 2 Crimelord meets Abomination
- 3 Return to the Distant Planet
- 4 A Devil's Deal
- 5 Spawn of Vengeance
- 6 Chi's Attack
- 7 To Andromeda
- 8 Into the Data Archives
- 9 The Fight of the Manliest
- 10 Invasion of Autmau
- 11 Deep into Hyperborea
- 12 Benefiting the Warlord
- 13 The Fat Man Shares his Meal
- 14 You May Call Me Boss
- 15 Journey to Afiloxenos
- 16 The Growing Special Forces
- 17 Your Highness
- 18 The Benefactor Revealed
- 19 Xerkea's Plan of Action
- 20 Dark Guardian Angel
- 21 Fire meets Flesh
- 22 Meat Shield
- 23 No Mercy, No Remorse
- 24 Ways of Making You Talk
- 25 The Hegemony in Flames
- 26 The Dance of Demise
- 27 Battle for Planet Soltako
- 28 Xerkea's Final Battle
- 29 Benefiting Hyperborea
A Rough New Year
Vekaron and his crew, as per Kamaris' suggestion, went to Anatezc-ji 0. The planet was a bustling hub of primarily Kicath, but other races were present. The skies were clouded over by the skyscrapers in the air and the ground was lit up by numerous lights from the buildings. The crew found themselves in a bar, upon an observation deck overlooking the planet's vast metropolis skyline.
- Vekaron - It's a big contrast from the last time I've been here.
- Vansenk - This place is too clean.
- Kirlisir - I like it. Lots of people, places, community. Reminds me of the Nation Fleets.
- Wragrot - Anyone fancies a drinking contest with me? You're gonna lose in the end but hey.
- Vyatak - Very active. Interesting environment. Enjoyable location.
- Kilchárunya - Does feel good to be among my own race...sort of. Wearing this sort of clothing grants me anonymity here.
- Kamaris - Anonymity?
- Kilchárunya - My family name is rather affluent. Being cast out of the family by my own accord is a disrespectful action by Kicath standards. Wearing these clothes cover the family tattoos that we were given after our birth.
- Wragrot - Huh. I've been casted out of mine by...external sources.
- Kirlisir - Pfft, family. It's overrated, I prefer friends. Like you guys. Sort of.
- Vansenk - It appears we are all social outcasts. You certainly know how to organize a crew, Vekaron.
- Vekaron - Like-minded individuals attract each other. Even though I'm by no means an outcast.
- Kamaris - So these tattoos define your family?
- Kilchárunya - Yeah. Nearly every Kicath alive have them covering their skin. Agents...I'm not so sure. I don't remember that well. They are rarely seen outside of their armour.
In front of Kilchárunya laid a platter with Kicathian food. To the rest of the team, the smell was almost suffocating, but not displeasing.
- Wragrot - You sure that's food?
- Vansenk - I've eaten worse.
- Kilchárunya - For me it is. For you...well if you eat it, expect your organs to fail, your throat to swell up and burn, your cells grow at a cancerous rate all at the same time. Basically you lot are allergic to it.
Kilchárunya picked up Kicathian cutlery, similar to chopsticks but made of metal and pronged.
- Kilchárunya - So I wouldn't breathe it in. It will kill you slower.
- Vyatak - Interesting. Will take a sample for study later.
- Gardin - Auntie Kilch's food smells like Vansenk!
Gardin was sitting close to Vekaron, who had his tail wrapped around him in a way she could not walk away from the team.
- Vansenk - You are being very complimentary today, young sprout.
- Wragrot - What do I gotta do to get something edible around here?
- Kilchárunya - Simple. Ask. Anatezc-ji 0 is one of the few Kicath-controlled planets that accommodate for Borealis life.
- Vekaron - I asked for a standard Zoles meal and I got it. Just be polite.
- Wragrot - Don't make me smack you, Vekaron.
On the observation platform outside, a car, rather expensive and sleek by Kicathian standards, hovered over and landed on the platform. From it, a Kicath appeared. Taller than average, and wearing grey military uniform that fell around his legs like a trench coat.
- Kirlisir - They probably won't have Rovegar food here. Nobody serves Rovegar food anywhere.
- Kamaris - I didn't know Rovegar ate.
- Gardin - We eat food and magic!
- Kilchárunya - You don't have to be that polite. Kicath aren't that polite either.
- Kirlisir - We eat more for pleasure than for sustenance. There are farm animals. Molluscs, lots of tentacles. Suckers. I've bore witness to a few unfortunate incidents involving them. Not pretty.
- Gardin - I want milk!
- Kirlisir - Shall I get you some?
- Wragrot - Not sure if I like where this is going.
- Kamaris - I was wondering whether I was the only one thinking that.
Vekaron kept his eyes on the Kicath who had just arrived. Kilchárunya looked at Vekaron, and then at what Vekaron was looking at.
- Kilchárunya - Siná'in. Military.
- Vekaron - Is that an Agent?
- Kilchárunya - ...I think so. Definitely rich enough to be one.
- Vyatak - No reason to fret. We have done nothing wrong.
- Kirlisir - I thought Agents were selected, not bought?
- Kilchárunya - They are. Once they are Agents they are given more privileges than the average citizen. Kind of a...reward for their services.
- Wragrot - So the military has more benefits. Just like Murgur society.
- Kirlisir - Kind of like the Gallarade. Brr. His privileges are certainly different to an Agent's. I think, judging by what I've seen of your race.
- Gardin - The Gallarade is the coolest!
- Kilchárunya - If that is what I am thinking about, then yeah. Kicath don't do love. Not even a word in Kicathian.
- Kirlisir - Oh, the Gallarade doesn't love. Love is too complex for the likes of him. He's simple-minded. Nice. Well, nice-ish.
- Kilchárunya - See? I didn't even use the word right.
The Agent looked around, and walked over to the table that the crew were seated at. He looked down and at the crew. Vekaron looked back at the Agent, somewhat aprehensive, while Wragrot watched him while drinking from his cup.
- Agent - Vekaron Zankho?
- Vekaron - That's me.
- Agent - Evening. I am Agent Commander Sigma. Your arrival to Anatezc-ji 0 was monitored, and I apologise for interrupting your...vacation.
Kirlisir took a large sip from her cup and allowed her optical implant to scan and analyze the Agent, keeping another eye on Wragrot as he drank. She proceeded to cough and splutter as she became distrasted.
- Vekaron - Sigma?...You don't look like Kithworto.
- Sigma - Oh no. I am his successor. Of sorts.
- Vekaron - Oh, I see. But why are you monitoring me?
- Sigma - There is no sense in me wasting rhetoric. The Agency requires your assistance.
- Wragrot - Now that's a big surprise.
- Sigma - I would explain more, but right here is too out in the open. When you are ready, come to the Agency's headquarters.
Sigma placed a tablet on the table, showing the location of the headquarters.
- Vekaron - Very well. Let's go, team.
- Wragrot - Just lemme drink one more cup.
- Vyatak - Must not waste time.
- Wragrot - Gah. Right.
Sigma nodded, and turned away. He then turned back and then spoke to the team again.
- Sigma - Wait for a few minutes. A dropship is on the way.
Sigma then turned away again, and entered his car, and took off away from the tower.
- Kamaris - Well. At least he is nicer than Chi. I was beginning to think you Kicath were all the same.
- Wragrot - A mission right in the middle of New Year? We better get a good reward out of this.
- Kirlisir - Believe me, this isn't a first. Ugh.
- Vansenk - Be thankful you have celebrations not dedicated to demons.
A streamlined dropship, sleek in design hovered over the observation platform. The side of the ship unfurled as there was an opening. Vekaron left the bar and walked into the dropship, followed by Wragrot, Vyatak and Gardin. Kirlisir and Vansenk arose from their seats, with Kirlisir tripping and stumbling several times, appearing misguided and somewhat drunken. Kilchárunya placed a card into a slit on the end of the table, took it out and then left.
- Kilchárunya - Do I have to pay for everything?
Kamaris then stood up and left along with them.
- Wragrot - Wait. I thought everything was for free in this place.
- Kilchárunya - Not for non-Kicath. Policies.
- Wragrot - So I almost commited a crime on the Kicathian capital. Should add that to my personal records.
- Kilchárunya - Urgh.
The dropship did not take long before it travelled many miles across the landscape of Anatezc-ji 0. From the inside of the ship, they noticed a cloaking shield went over the ship.
- Vekaron - I never expected the Agency to ask us for help, ever.
- Kilchárunya - I dunno. Agency have their reasons.
- Vyatak - Good. Proves they are not so high and mighty as they act.
- Kamaris - So where is these headquarters?
- Kilchárunya - Don't know. No one knows. Underground, off the map.
- Wragrot - Well, I hope it doesn't take long, I wanna go back and finish my meal.
Through the immense array of skyscrapers, the team could see an approaching tunnel that from any other angle would have appeared invisible.
- Vansenk - Now that's clever.
- Vekaron - Interesting.
Entering the tunnel, the shaft went deep underground, thousands upon thousands of feet. It was pitch black for a few seconds until a massive hangar was then visible to them; filled with similar dropships. Numerous Kicath were present in the hangars; technicians and intel. Vekaron looked around with interest. The dropship came to a halt and landed in one of the bays, with the ship's side opening up again. Awaiting their arrival was Agent Alpha, flanked by Agent Delta and Agent Iota.
- Wragrot - Isn't that the Agent boss?
- Kilchárunya - ...Yes.
- Vekaron - Whatever they want from us, it must be important.
- Kirlisir - Now, this is getting exciting.
Vekaron and his team made their way out of the dropship, walking up to Alpha.
- Alpha - Ah, Penumbran. You're earlier than I expected.
- Vekaron - Greetings. Agent Sigma said you need my help.
- Alpha - Assistance, rather than help. I heard you Penumbrans were concerned with the welfare of the galaxy.
- Vekaron - It's our job, so of course.
- Alpha - Very well. Follow me. And don't run off.
- Vansenk - Why run?
- Iota - My question exactly.
- Wragrot - Weird question. Let's just go.
crew followed Alpha to an elevator, which was large enough to fit all of them in with room to spare for at least twenty other Kicath. Wragrot stretched his arms while Gardin looked around aprehensive, while clinging on Vekaron's leg. Kirlisir appeared somewhat cautious while Vansenk sniffed the floor and coughed from its hygenic condition.
- Kilchárunya - So, what is this all about?
- Iota - Wait.
- Vyatak - Cannot think of reason for this. Eager to find out.
The elevator reached the top. The team found themselves in a hall of a similar size to the hangar, but in the midst of the room, was an enormous tunnel that went directly downwards. It was about as wide as the elevator was. Walking to the left, the team then found themselves in a small communal hall, with a large round table with a holographic projector in the centre. Alpha beckoned them to sit as he sat in the most ornate chair in the room. Vekaron, Wragrot, Vyatak and Gardin quickly took their seats. Vansenk slithered to his seat while Kirlisir took hers in a far more formal fashion. Kilchárunya took to her chair, curling her tail around the chair as Kicath normally do. Alpha sat around nine metres from the team, the diameter of the table. He began to speak as his pented his fingers together.
- Alpha - I suppose Sigma has said we require your assistance. This is true in a sense. Matters such as this are too delicate for Agents to handle as it is an...internal matter.
- Kirlisir - If it is internal, why seek us?
- Vansenk - Surely that will not look beneficial, politically.
- Vekaron - What do you mean by internal?
Alpha sat back in his chair.
- Alpha - I take it you are familiar with Agent Chi.
- Wragrot - Are we? He's been a pain in our asses for a while now.
- Kirlisir - Ugh, please don't remind us.
- Alpha - Well. We have reason to believe that he has gone rogue. There has been no sight of him since you last encountered him on Hyperborea.
Vekaron raised an eyebow.
- Vekaron - Chi was present in my latest mission a few days ago.
- Alpha - Oh? Explain.
- Vekaron - We infiltrated Torrent's headquarters to rescue Baptarion of the Indoctrinate Collective, and Chi followed us there.
Alpha's eyes narrowed.
- Alpha - Anything there that would gather interest for an Agent?
- Wragrot - Well, there were Torrent's nanomachines. Body-hardening machines in your bloodstream that could make you invincible. Torrent and some of his lieutenants use them.
- Kirlisir - We saw Chi tear apart an agent of the Imperium there as well.
- Vekaron - Yes. That nearly costed us our mission.
- Alpha - Sounds rather foreboding. It also coincides with other theories the Agency have come up with. Are any of you familiar with Agent Xi and Agent Omega?
- Vekaron - I'm afraid not.
Alpha waved his hand over the panel, and two holograms appeared on the table. One of Xi, and one of Omega.
- Vyatak - Devilish looking duo.
- Alpha - Xi and Omega were originally Agents of the Agent III program. Friction between them and Warlord Aknatazán when he was an Agent caused them to be outcast. Their political extremism turned them into terrorists and have been attacking the Kicath Empire for over twenty years now. We believe that Chi has joined their cause.
- Kilchárunya - I heard stories about them when I was younger. Causing mass murders by destroying buildings, blowing up transport. Paying off military forces to execute civilians.
- Wragrot - So not only Chi is a douche, he's now a terrorist. Good, now we have an excuse to punch his jaw in.
- Vekaron - And you believe these two are targeting Borealis now?
- Alpha - Borealis? I am not so sure. But likely. That is not the end of the story though.
Delta came forward, changing the hologram to another figure. This one was not Kicathian; it seemed soemwhat frail, but its eyes were somewhat ominous.
- Kirlisir - Who's that handsome fellow?
- Wragrot - You insane? That looks like a walking stick!
- Kirlisir - As opposed to you who looks like an overly-obese Purion.
- Wragrot - The hell's a Purion?
- Kilchárunya - Who's that?
- Vyatak - Completely unknown species. Never seen before.
- Delta - Hinúrnr Ilingelm. Otherwise known as 'The Benefactor'. Around a century ago he elevated himself to the status of a galactic crime lord. The Civilisation in the Milky Way eventually managed to suppress his operations and was believed to have died.
- Iota - Until we intercepted a transmission from Chi's ship which is linked to Agent sources, and his name was mentioned. Around the same time he went missing.
- Vekaron - So Chi may be under this "Benefactor".
- Alpha - It is likely. And so may be Xi and Omega. The Benefactor was a technological genius of his time. Supplying terrorist groups with technology thousands of years ahead of their race. Speculations were that he was tied to the Legion of the Deathmarch.
- Kilchárunya - So, an arms dealer.
- Vekaron - So they are linked with demons too.
- Kirlisir - Interesting. Crime lords, demons, you guys get this often?
- Alpha - No.
- Wragrot - Just ask Vansenk how we met him.
- Delta - That is why it is important. Now that the Dominion are active in Andromeda, arms trade coming from the Dominion into the Benefactor's hands are probable.
- Kilchárunya - This doesn't explain why you need our help though.
- Vekaron - The fact there's an Agent terrorist running around at Borealis is already a major problem. We know how much damage an Agent can cause.
- Iota - If Agent Chi has converted to Agent Xi's cause, then the Agency is under threat. We have numerous leads as to where Xi's activity is, and we have numerous sources regarding Xi and Omega. Sources about the Benefactor however are limited.
- Kilchárunya - So any leads for as to where we can get information about The Benefactor?
- Iota - A few leads. One location is Paclernos, our homeworld. The section location is Tauyachon-4, our capital in Andromeda. As far as we know, no known information about the Benefactor exists in Borealis data files here.
- Kirlisir - You're asking us to venture to Andromeda?
- Vyatak - Alliance-made spacecraft incapable of intergalactic travel. Would not be possible.
- Alpha - Is it not? Problematic.
- Kirlisir - ...Rovegar vessels, however...
- Iota - Whilst we are asking you to travel outside of Borealis, Chi is more than likely planning to strike Borealis. Hyperborea is probable. Anatezc-ji 0 as well.
Alpha leant forward from his seat.
- Vekaron - Not even an Agent would survive going against the entire Alliance military. Attacking Hyperborea is suicidal.
- Alpha - That is what perturbs me, Zoles. If he does attack Hyperborea, then he is prepared to strike with effect.
- Delta - Rovegar spacecraft?
- Kirlisir - Yes, Rovegar spacecraft. Specifically Nation vessels. Albeit recent developments, still not quite perfected. We still use the technology of the Cold Ones, after all.
- Vyatak - They are named Kormacvar.
- Wragrot - You expect us to be well-received by them? It'd be easier if the Kicath just lend us a ship.
- Kirlisir - ...Kormacvar. Right. Anyway, it would be dangerous to ask the Matriarchy for a vessel. Even more dangerous to attempt to steal one. We had better go with the Kicath option, though I was just throwing the idea about.
- Iota - Space stations surrounding Anatezc-ji 0 often had intakes of intergalactic spacecraft. When Kitoramnan took over the Empire we closed those stations. Ships there are still under working condition.
- Delta - Fortunately, you have a Kicath in your crew. The ship should be operable to her.
- Vekaron - In that case, I can go to Andromeda. However, I'm gonna have to ask you to not take your eyes off Hyperborea.
- Vansenk - Yes, Hyperborea is decent. Would be a shame to see it go to waste. Oh and all the people on it, of course.
- Alpha - You do not have to ask us that. Agents are already stationed there, that is if you know or not. Warlord...I mean...Councillor Aknatazán wouldn't like a space station without Kicathian security where it is available.
- Delta - A pilot will take you up there. I do warn you though. Landing on Tauyachon-4 might be somewhat difficult.
- Wragrot - Why's that?
- Iota - Well. We're enemies of the Kicath Empire. If they realise this is coming from Anatezc-ji 0, then they will shoot you down. You might be lucky to find a Kicath Empire designated ship up there.
- Vekaron - Very well. Give me two days so we can prepare ourselves and warn the Council of our absense. Then we can go.
Alpha nodded. Two guards came through the arch and guided the crew out.
Crimelord meets Abomination
Out in the deep space regions of Borealis, surrounded by debris, Billig sat with Gyjak in a small space station, a hideout while all his associates did his work for him (and while he wasn't working with the PCA on the 'cure'). Space debris, rocks and asteroids floated around this forgotten region of space as Billig sat, ate, and yelled out orders, going about his usual business.
Billig then received a transmission from his Heeyorian subordinate Yvomil.
- Billig - Eh? I thought I'd been ova' things an' they were goin' fine...
- Yvomil - Boss, a ship has entered the system and it claims to be the mysterious "Vorius" we have heard of so much.
Billig then stroked his chins.
- Billig - Vorius, eh? I thought that was jus' a rumour...
- Yvomil - You might want to take a look at his ship. It's...interesting, to say the least.
- Billig - Show it.
Billig's screen then showed the space hulk which was once the Iron Fist, slowly making its way to his space station.
- Billig - Bloody...hell...I never seen that ship since...
- Yvomil - Isn't that the Iron Fist?
- Billig - It is...the same damn Iron Fist I used to work as a butcha in.
The link with Yvomil was broken and Billig's screen suddenly turned static, before changing into another image which showed a standard Wranploer with an emotionless expression.
- Wranploer - You are...Billig, are you not?
Billig paused for a second.
- Billig - ...I might be. What's it to ya?
- Wranploer - My warlord wishes...to do business...with you.
- Billig - An' who is your warlord, eh?
- Wranploer - Warlord Vorius.
- Billig - So it ain't jus' a rumour. That's odd.
- 'Wranploer - He requests...to land on your station...so you and him may...discuss a partnership.
- Billig - ...This station's disposable, ain't it, Gyjak?
Gyjak responded with a hiss, and Billig nodded, then turned back.
- Billig - Fine. Go ahead.
- Wranploer - He is on...his way.
- Billig - I'll be so 'appy to see 'im.
A seemingly standard Wranploer vessel appeared out of the Iron Fist and made its way to the space station, landing into its spaceport. Billig sighed, picked himself up off his chair and then took the elevator down to the hidden spaceport. Guards coming out of PMCs stood on the spaceport, awaiting for the ship's crew to show up. However, several minutes passed and nothing happened.
- Billig - You're wastin' me bloody time!
After a few more moments, the ship finally did something. However, instead of the crew leaving through the front door of the ship, the ship's cargo bay slowly opened.
- Billig - Some kinda trick you're pullin'?
- Guard 1 - Why leave through the cargo bay? That's pretty stupid.
- Guard 2 - I'm gonna take a look.
The guard arrogantly walked up to the cargo bay's entrance and looked around, but it was too dark to see anything. At this moments, loud growling sounds were heard coming out of it. The guard panicked and prepared his weapon.
- Guard 2 - W-w-what the hell was that?
- Billig - Well go check it out, eh? I'm not payin' ya to stand around doin' nothin'...
Before he could do anything, a huge tentacle appeared from the darkness and wrapped itself around the guard, pulling him back into the cargo bay while he screamed in terror. Billig wasn't as shocked as the other guards were. He turned to another.
- Billig - Go check it out. With a light.
The guard gulped and walked up to the cargo bay, shining at light at it. What he found was a swarm of hybrid mutants glaring directly at him with grinning faces. The guard attempted to fire his weapon but the mutant swarm jumped out of the cargo bay and began infesting the spaceport.
- Billig - Bloody useless. I shoulda hired betta ones!
Billig looked closer and took a look.
- Billig - Vorius, whateva the hell you're doin', stop it, or I'll have ta take actions.
Loud footsteps were heard and out of the darkness, Vorius himself appeared, towering 30 meters in height. He looked down on Billig's direction with his black eyes while all the guards began panicking.
- Vorius - Made yourself notable...deliver your genetic code.
- Billig - What exactly would ya want with my genes? I'm hardly the most healthy fittest Wranploer alive...
Billig chuckled loudly.
- Billig - See, the Taldar are keepin' me alive. Were it not for them, this body woulda died long ago. I can do whateva' the fuck I want to it, eh?
- Vorius - ...Taldar. Excellent. More reasons. Deliver. Deliver. Deliver. Deliver.
- Billig - Yer havin' a larf. Only one doin' the devourin' 'ere is me.
Vorius ignored Billig's words and began walking into his direction, his right arm twisting into a mass of tentacles.
- Billig - Ahahahahaha, FRESH MEAT!!
Billig grabbed one of the tentacles and his cybernetic teeth bit it off, as he chewed at it. Billig could feel as if the insides of his mouth were being digested, as faces began morphing into Vorius' skin. The faces began letting out horrified screams while Vorius himself showed no reaction.
- Vorius - Deliver. Succumb. Ascend.
- Billig - Well, seems I ain't feastin' on your meat.
Gyjak appeared, hissing, as she threw knives to try and cut it off, burning away at the skin that was attaching. Vorius turned to Gyjak and threw tentacles into her direction. With her sharp reaction times, Gyjak dodged them, though she was fully aware she could not do anything to this monstrosity. Vorius let out a roar and more tentacles erupted out of his form, which crushed and slammed into the space station, causing damage to it.
- Billig - Good thing it's disposable, eh?
Gyjak let out a roaring screech, as she continued to try to run from his tentacles. Billig began to sweat. Not because he'd just ran a few metres, but because he was feared. And fear was not an emotion he was useful. Vorius' eyes shined intensily and everything in his proximity was thrown away by a blast of telekinesis which tore the floor apart and crushed several guards to death.
- Billig - Now then...Vorius, you either fack off, or I'll blow this bloody space station ta smithereens!
- Vorius - Vorius...not my name...
- Billig - I don't facking care about yer name. Just get the fack off me space station or I'll blow it up an' blow you up with it!
- Vorius - You can't...kill...Regnatus.
Billig's eyes widened.
- Billig - No...it can't be...
Billig tried to think. Surely it was one of those time anomalies that had been appearing as a direct result of the recent incident, right? But there was no temporal anomaly associated with this thing. And no Chronoscopic to be found on Vorius... At this moment, Billig was reminded of his time serving in the Borealis War. Most specifically, the mission on the Alvino ship. He got reminded of the mutant Wranploer who called for a man named "Vorius", who he had confused Billig with. Billig was reminded of the mutant's name.
- Billig - I rememba now...Nookrul! That name mean anythin' to ya, Voriagtus?
As Billig talked, Vorius became completely static.
- Vorius - ...Old friend?
- Billig - Old friend who suffered tha same fate as yerself, it seems. Or at least, simila one. Giant mass of growing flesh, or in his case plant, tryna eat everythin' up...bloody hell.
- Vorius - Is this what...Gaaaaahh!
Vorius held on his head with his eye widened. There was still "some" of the original Vorius deep inside of this monster, and the Regnatus shard inside of him began fighting for control again. Billig chuckled, and Gyjak let out hysterical hisses.
- Billig - I'm jus' ribbin' ya!
- Vorius - Subject...mine...destroy...destroy...destroy!
Vorius' eyes went blank and his body as a whole turned into a mass of tentacles which went into a berserking rage. However, he was distracted enough for Billig and Gyjak to escape.
- Billig - Now, Gyjak, whacha say we blow this joint?
- Gyjak - Yessssssssssss...
Gyjak pulled out a switch. It was the switch that could cause the entire station to self destruct. Gyjak then tucked away under Billig's many heaps of fat, as she hit the switch. Time suddenly froze for a second, as three Taldar surrounded Billig.
- Vyro'Narza - You are really pushing your luck, Billig Oltauris...
- Billig - You gonna save me or what? I AM yer only hope of savin' the universe from this...
The Taldar then locked him - and Gyjak - in a time bubble, as the entire station around them exploded, and they were then taken to another hideout. Meanwhile, at the debris of the destroyed space station, Vorius' exploded flesh drifted through space. Telekinetic energy slowy united them all in one body once more, and Vorius looked around the vaccuum. His rage had ended, being replaced by standard cold look.
- Vorius - You cannot kill a god...
Return to the Distant Planet
A Draining Sensation
A day had passed since Vekaron and his team talked to Agent Alpha. In the middle of preparations to go to Andromeda, they were suddenly stopped when Councillor Xeron sent them a transmission. He appeared visibly distressed.
- Xeron - Vekaron! I got an emergency mission for you and your team.
- Kirlisir - Could you at least warn us beforehand?
- Xeron - No, because I just received the news about it.
- Vekaron - What's the problem, Xeron?
- Xeron - Macronormus' science team has gone missing!
- Kilchárunya - Ech.
- Wragrot - Macro-who?
- Xeron - Are you serious? You've never heard of the greatest wildlife preserve slash Kormacvar ruin in the entire Alliance?
- Kirlisir - You mean Gradinoon? The world of colossi?
- Xeron - If that's how your kind calls it. And indeed, it is a planet inhabited by gigantic animals.
Kirlisir had a shiver sent up her spine.
- Vekaron - I feel like I'm missing something here.
- Kirlisir - Gradinoon... The Witch Bane...
- Kamaris - Wildlife preserve. So...vegetation then?
- Kirlisir - It is a daemon world. Guarded by titans, the very soil has taken the lives of my kind.
- Kilchárunya - If you're gonna keep talking in poetic rhythm I am going to smack you one.
- Kirlisir - Sorry.
- Xeron - Macronormus is a planet located near Alvino territory housing immense animals. It was formerly under the rule of Wranploer pirates until recently, where the Alliance has taken it as a protectorate. Many science teams including some of the greatest minds of the Alliance were studying at Macronormus. And now I've been informed that most of these scientists have gone missing.
- Kirlisir - Colonizing Gradinoon? Your Alliance is insane, as are the pirates that exploit it. It is not a friendly place; the planet is outright hostile.
- Wragrot - Missing, eh?
- Xeron - Yes. We fear the pirates have attacked in an attempt to reclaim the planet. It houses an extremely important Kormacvar ruin deep inside its caves.
- Kamaris - Why didn't the Alliance put the planet under protection?
- Xeron - We did. But whoever took the scientists managed to slip past all orbital defenses.
Vekaron looked at one of his screens and then turned back to Xeron.
- Vekaron - We have a day before we go to Andromeda, so we'll be on our way now. Just send us the coordinates.
- Xeron - Very well. Good luck, and I await your report.
Xeron left the transmission, leaving the team to themselves.
- Wragrot - Fighting giant animals. Heh, just like when I was a teenager.
- Kamaris - You should go to Mahanaya. You'd have fun.
- Wragrot - Is it as arid as Kaos?
- Kamaris - Is a maximum temperature of one hundred and sixty enough?
- Wragrot - Sounds like a fun place already.
- Vekaron - Let's get ready to move. Someone who can just slip past the planet's defenses...this better not be Chi's doing.
- Kirlisir - ...This is insane. No, I can't do this. "We" can't do this.
Kirlisir began to panic where she stood, leaning against a wall while objects around the room began to shakedly levitate.
- Wragrot - The heck? Calm down, girl!
- Kirlisir - We can't make contact with it! Not even the atmosphere! We'll be at our weakest, at our most vulnerable!
- Vansenk - Curious. I wonder what the fauna is like.
- Vekaron - We can and we will do this. No "buts" or "ifs".
After travelling to Macronormus' star system, Vekaron, Wragrot, Kirlisir, Vansenk, Kilchárunya and Kamaris travelled to the surface via shuttle. They planned to land right next to the scientists' camp, as it would be the best place to start searching. Right as they entered the atmosphere, Wragrot and Kirlisir slowly felt as if they were being drained. Kirlisir much more so than Wragrot.
- Wragrot - Nnuuurgh. I feel like I've eaten something bad.
Kirlisir collapsed, planting her face against the floor of the vessel as she began to wheeze and splutter. She coughed up fluids and screamed, shaking and shuddering across her body as tears wept down her cheeks. Vekaron's eyes widened and he leaned down on Kirlisir.
- Kirlisir - Take us out! Take us OUT!
- Vekaron - What's going on? Are you okay?
- Wragrot - I'm feeling a little hungry all the sudden. You think they got food down there?
- Kirlisir - W-We shouldn't b-be here! Not here! Not HERE! Anywhere BUT HERE!
Kirlisir faced the ground once more and curled herself into a ball, crying and sobbing while continuing to wheeze and splutter, Her body shook violently, she began to hyperventilate as the ship descended downwards.
- Kamaris - It sounds like the planet is affecting her biology. Either that or she is afraid.
- Wragrot - Heh. Probably afraid of the big scary animals.
- Vansenk - Bizarre. I cannot find a solution as of yet to her... reaction.
The shuttle landed and opened so the team could exit it. They had landed next to the science camp, which appeared abandoned. It was evening, and infant Routriths had begun invading the camp, eating the food still in it.
- Wragrot - This place is full of ball lizards!
- Kilchárunya - Ew.
- Vekaron - Alright, I was given a databank listing the species of this planet...those are called "Striped Routrith".
Kamaris' nostrils flared. He could smell arrays of wildlife surrounding him, so far as to cough from the amount.
- Kamaris - Not used to this much vegetation.
- Vekaron - Alright, team. Split up and search for survivors. Also, see if there's any medication around here for Kirlisir.
- Vansenk - Affirmative. I can smell everything here. ...It is damnable.
- Kilchárunya - That's rich coming from you. Kamaris. Follow me.
Vekaron moved out to the camp, with Wragrot going to another direction, scaring the Routrith away by growling at them. They both began searching around for anything that could be a clue. Kilchárunya walked to the left as Kamaris drew his blade, following her whilst staring blankly into the forest. Vansenk slithered stealthily across the camp, taking his own direction away from the others. Kirlisir remained upon the ship, wheezing and coughing more severely as the minutes passed. Vansenk appeared concerned but more with the wildlife than he was with the sick Rovegar. Vekaron walked into a small laboratory the scientists had prepared and appeared to have found something.
- Vekaron - Team! I found something.
- Kilchárunya - Of course.
- Vekaron - There's a board here. It says "planet acts as an essence damp". I also found some kind of pill for essence-users.
- Kilchárunya - Well that was convenient.
Back, at the ship, Kirlisir could feel something small gently poking her leg.
- ??? - Mik?
Kirlisir whinced as she felt the thing poking her. She began to cry more, tearing up severely as she muttered quiet words in her distress. She shivered as she became more fear-filled than ever before. Kirlisir could feel herself being carried out of the ship. Vekaron's team looked back to the ship's direction to see Kirlisir being carried by a small army of colourful tiny, colourful creatures.
- Kirlisir - T-T-The d-demons... T-They're h-here for m-me... T-The D-Dancer w-wants me... S-She w-wants my s-soul!
- Wragrot - ...Am I seeing things or there's little men stealing our Rovegar?
- Kilchárunya - Heh. Wait. No that's not good.
- Vekaron - What in the world. Hold on lemme check the databank...those are called "Mikmik", apparently. They are tribal creatures.
- Mikmik - Fo-d fo Voh-lora!
- Vansenk - Why do I get the feeling of ritual sacrifice?
- Kilchárunya - Glad I'm not the only one who thinks that.
- Vekaron - ...Oh shit. Save her!
Wragrot tried to launch a psychic wave at the Mikmik, only to find his powers not working.
- Wragrot - What the hell?
Kilchárunya ran after the Mikmik, shouting out in profane Kicathian whilst Kamaris walked slowly after her. The Mikmik looked at Kilchárunya and panicked, throwing Kirlisir into the ground and running away.
- Kilchárunya - Didn't expect that to work, to be honest.
- Wragrot - I get the feeling they mistook her for a dead animal. Heh.
- Kilchárunya - Give her the damn pill already.
Wragrot had taken one of the pills himself, the draining sensation he was feeling was slowly disappearing. Kirlisir had fallen unconscious by this point, an expression of pained upset on her now-unhealthy-looking face. It was as if her youth and physical appeal had been stolen from her, causing her to gain grotesque dry patches and wrinkles across her face. Vekaron ran up to her and put one of the pills he had found on her mouth, trying to get her to swallow it.
- Vekaron - Damnit, she's getting worse...
The pill dissolved in her mouth, causing her to weakly gasp for breath as her eye fluttered open. Groaning, she sat herself upright on the ground and held her head, still crying although not as heavily as before. Her appearance began to improve, but only slowly.
- Vekaron - Phew...
- Wragrot - For a moment I thought you were gonna have to kiss her to make her ingest it. Not sure why I thought that.
- Kirlisir - I-I... I-I've n-never been so t-terrified... Ech...
The Mikmik watched the team from a distance, and after Kirlisir got up, they all returned and formed a circle around them. Vekaron and Wragrot looked aprehensive for their sheer numbers.
- Kirlisir - D-Demons! Kill them! KILL THEM!
- Mikmik - Nái ba-k! Yey! Nái ba-k! Yey!
The Mikmik jumped into Kilchárunya and began hugging and cuddling her.
- Kilchárunya - Namnátakajaína!? [What the fucking fuck?!]
- Vansenk - I've seen enough heresy to know where this is going.
- Wragrot - Hahahahah!
In a distance, the team could see a gruff-looking purple Mikmik running at their direction, carrying a black helmet of Kicathian origin.
- Purple Mikmik - Oof! Oof! Nái! Ba-k!
- Kamaris - What is this Nái thing he's talking about?
- Vekaron - I have no-...is that a Kicath helmet?
- Kamaris - I don't know. Is it?
- Vekaron - Kilchárunya?
- Kilchárunya - Certainly looks big enough to be a Kicathian helmet.
- Vekaron - It reminds me of Nu's armor back when we worked together on the Second Great War.
- Kilchárunya - ...It does?
- Vekaron - Yes. A lot, actually...
One of the Mikmik walked up to Kirlisir and held its hands together.
- Mikmik - To-t yo de-d. To-t yo fo-d fo Voh-lora. So-y.
Kirlisir glared towards the Mikmik and hid behind Wragrot's back, cowering as she saw it and heard it spoke. The purple Mikmik delivered the helmet to Kilchárunya, as if it was hers.
- Purple Mikmik - Nái thee-g. Yi.
Kilchárunya looked at the helmet. It had some wear on it, but there were crpytic Kicathian glyphs marked down the right side of the helmet. Reading it, it said 'Thirteen'.
- Kilchárunya - Siná'in. It is Nu's helmet.
- Vekaron - How did that get here?...Is this all Nu's fault?
- Kilchárunya - He's a psychopath. But not genocidal. At least not with the tools he's given.
- Wragrot - Well, we know this planet is an essence damp and there's these little guys. But what about the scientists?
- Kilchárunya - Anyone here speak Mikmik?
- Wragrot - Have Kirlisir try. Heh.
- Kirlisir - Get fucked!
- Vansenk - Hmm... Allow me to try.
Vansenk approached the Mikmik and knelt down towards it, stenching as usual as he began to speak.
- Vansenk - Ahem... Mikmik miki-miki miki-mik mik-miki.
The Mikmik appeared indifferent toward Vansenk's smell as they had no visible nose. They looked at each other in silence for a moment before one of them approached and poked Vansenk's snout. Vansenk twitched before falling onto his back, gripping ahold of his nose as he screeched.
- Vansenk - It touched me!
- Kamaris - You're making it sound like it's a rare occasion. Guess it is.
Wragrot chuckled. At this moment, loud footsteps were heard. An adult Striped Routrith entered the camp and let out a roar at the team's direction. Vekaron prepared his blade and Wragrot took aim of his shotgun. The Routrith growled loudly and then charged into the team's direction.
- Vekaron - Watch out!
Vansenk slithered away while Kirlisir ran in any which direction she could, screaming. Kilchárunya unsheathed her pistol, pointing it at the head of the Routrith. Vekaron evaded the charge and slashed at the Routrith, causing it to roar. Wragrot began shooting at it immediately after.
- Wragrot - You guys think these taste any good? I'm still kinda hungry.
Kilchárunya let out a few blasts from her pistol whilst Kamaris fired bolts from his own cannon. Vansenk slithered after the Routrith, using his scythe to try and take its feet out from underneath it while trying not to get trampled. The Routrith fell over and the rest of the team's attacks finished it off. However, it didn't just die. Its body slowly dissolved into a bright, golden liquid.
- Kamaris - ...Well.
- Wragrot - Hell, I'm not eating that.
- Vekaron - There's something really, really unconfortable about this place.
Kirlisir - I told you! We shouldn't have come here!
The golden liquid on the ground suddenly began moving on its own, slithering away.
- Vansenk - Makes me hungry.
- Wragrot - Follow that jelly!
- Kilchárunya - Yeah. Bad idea.
- Vekaron - We have no other leads. Follow it from a safe distance.
The liquid sprinted rather fast for its shape, leaving the scientist camp and going into the direction of a cave. The Mikmik horde followed the team as they chased the liquid.
- Kirlisir - Euch, disgusting infidels.
- Wragrot - "Infidels"? Are you serious?
- Kirlisir - If they are not demons, what else are they? Filthy primitives.
- Wragrot - Tribal men? I didn't know you Rovegar were so speciest.
- Kilchárunya - Big cave of death. Who's first?
- Vekaron - I'll go ahead.
Vekaron went ahead of the team, following the golden liquid as it passed through the cave's entrance. However, as he did, tentacles appeared from the shadows and wrapped around his legs and neck. The tentacles took Vekaron into the shadows until he could no longer be seen.
- Kilchárunya - I warned him. Big cave of death.
- Wragrot - And you're gonna just stand there?
- Vansenk - I have seen enough heresy to know where this is going.
- Kirlisir - Don't just stand there!
The Golden Wraith
As the rest of the team approached the cave, it allowed them to see its interior. In a distance, a massive golden blob was visible carrying Vekaron inside it. Vekaron's expression was as if he was being choked to death. Kirlisir rushed forward, drawing her blades as she ran. She had a stumble in her step but she still possessed her agility and her speed. Wragrot ran up behind, shooting at the blob with his shotgun. However, his gun did no damage to it.
Vansenk sat down and began to concentrate, his nanomachines working away at the material of the golden blob, converting its mass into energy as they attempted to consume. A muffed roar came out of the blob, and from the shadows, a group of Brukars appeared and attacked the team. Kilchárunya aimed at the tentacles, blasting at them with her pistols.
- Vansenk - What are those? They are UGLY!
- Wragrot - Heugh, these spiders are almost as big as me.
Kilchárunya aimed at the mass, blasting it with her pistols, but the mass was not damaged. The Brukars jumped into the crew, scratching them with their claws. Wragrot retaliated by blasting the Brukars with his shotgun, the shots destroying their heads. Inside them, there was nothing but more golden liquid.
- Kilchárunya - For the love of the death god stop killing these things!
- Wragrot - You want them yo kill you or what? You help me kill these things!
Kirlisir began to carve away at the false Brukars while Vansenk's nanomachines continued to eat away at the blob, attempting to release Vekaron. The blob began wiggling violently from Vansenk's nanomachines as the liquid of the dead Brukars travelled through the ground and merged with it. At this point, a loud thud was heard behind the team.
- Wragrot - The hell was-...oh.
- Kilchárunya - What?
- Wragrot - Behind us.
Kilchárunya turned around.
- Kilchárunya - What the?
- Vansenk - Doesn't sound good.
- Kirlisir - Oh, goddamn.
Behind the team was a Migehew. It winded a punch and then hit Wragrot across the face, sending him flying across teh cave like a ragdoll. Kirlisir screamed at the sight of the Migehew. The Migehew put its fists upwards and then threw them at Kirlisir's direction. Kirlisir, still screaming as she looked at the Migehew, sent her blade towards its fists. The blade penetrated the Migehew's hands, showing Kirlisir in golden liquid. Right after, the fists came down and pummeled her into the ground.
Kirlisir crashed into the ground, although she was kept alive by her suit of armour. Growling, she forced herself upwards and rammed herself against the Migehew, throwing them back away from the group.
- Kilchárunya - Alright. Next time we're asked to go to a planet let's assess the pros and cons first. I don't see no pros here.
The Migehew's hardened skin and size made it only stumble from Kirlisir's ram. It threw one of its hands at her with the intention of smacking her away. Kirlisir danced around the Migehew while remaining close to it, flexing her body backwards and sideways to almost supernatural angles in order to avoid its strikes. As the hand came close to her, Kirlisir threw her bladed arm upward with the intention of slashing the Migehew through its wrist.
The Migehew was slashed and out of its wound, more golden liquid appeared. The Mikmik horde then jumped into the Migehew and began swarming it, attacking it with punches, kicks or stabs. Kirlisir sighed and whiped some of the golden liquid from her suit and face before turning back to the main enemy, which Vansenk continued to fight against. The blob entered a new, much larger chamber, and as he was closer to it than the rest of the team, Vansenk could see its interior. He could see the PCA scientists, trapped into the walls by golden slime and with pale, nearly-dead expressions.
- Vansenk - ...By the Black Gods...
Meanwhile, the Migehew threw the Mikmik away in a tantrum and charged into the team again. Wragrot got himself back together and began shooting it with his shotgun, tearing parts of it away.
- Vansenk - It's... It's eating Vekaron! And then it's going to eat me! By the Gods!
- Wragrot - The hell are you talking about, stinky?
- Vansenk - You don't see it... You can't see it like I do...
- Kirlisir - Hurry up and kill this thing!
- Wragrot - Stop dicking around and help me! It broke a few of my ribs already!
Kirlisir growled and ran past Wragrot, leaping into the air. As she was in midair, she curled her body into a spherical formation, her blades still poking outwards however, and launched herself towards the Migehew while she spun forward at amazing speed. Kirlisir easily outsped the Migehew, who found itself overwhelmed by her blades. Wragrot kept shooting at it until it was finally struck down, dissolving away into the same golden liquid as the rest. Kirlisir panted and looked towards Wragrot with an exhausted expression, before smiling and laxing her shoulders as she approached, covered in the Migehew's golden "blood".
- Kirlisir - Thanks.
- Wragrot - No problem. Can't say the same for Miss Useless over there.
Wragrot looked at Kilchárunya.
- Kilchárunya - Well I objected to coming here in the first place. Don't say it wasn't a good good suggestion.
- Wragrot - Help kill shit. You're a Kicath, for Kaos' sake.
- Kilchárunya - Kill stuff that turns into moving golden goo? If I know lifeforms, which I do, they're not meant to turn into golden goo. That's not natural.
Vansenk continued to chitter and stutter before he let out a frightening scream which caught the group's attention, unable to take his eyes off of what was going on within the chamber the golden blob was found within. The blob moved itself to the center of its chamber. The scientists on the walls suddenly jolted awake and began speaking in union.
- Kilchárunya - See?
- ??? - My lair. My home. Begone. Intruder. Insect. Infection.
- Wragrot - We're not leaving this planet without Vekaron and the scientists.
- Kilchárunya - Fine. Next time though you're paying for the meal.
- ??? - No planet. My lair. My galaxy. Mine.
- Kirlisir - If you don't give us the Zoles, we WILL chop you down!
- ??? - Primitive. This is. Not how. You speak. To your emperor.
- Kamaris - Arrogant thing, whatever it is.
- Kirlisir - ...Emperor?
- ??? - Thing. You dare. Primitive. I am. Emperor of. Kormacvar Empire.
The blob's shape changed into a more humanoid, but deformed version which stood on two legs. Kirlisir's eye widened and she took a step back, gulping as she looked upon the golden creature. She began to flinch, shaking and shivering again as she looked towards it.
- Kirlisir - ...C-Cold One... No, y-you lie! Demon!
- Wragrot - That's not possible...right?
- Kilchárunya - Oh. That's not good.
- ??? - Cursed by. Time Gods. Cursed into. Gold mass. Cursed into. This world.
- Kirlisir - It... It used to be a Kormacvar... I think I'm g-going to throw up...
- Vansenk - A preposterous fate...
- ??? - I were. To be. A god. Merge. With Grid. Like Regnatus. Before Regnatus. But Narza. Cursed Narza. Cursed me.
- Kilchárunya - Uh. Alright.
- Kirlisir - ...What was your name?
- ??? - Emperor. Karius. Pertannar.
- Kirlisir - Karius Pertannar... That other Cold One isn't going to be happy to hear this.
- Kilchárunya - Getting real tired of this.
- Pertannar - Tired. You tire. Me. You suffer. With me. You die. Here!
- Kilchárunya - You're alright, thanks.
All the golden liquid in the room united with the Pertannar, causing its form to become larger than it already was. It let out an angered, muffed roar at the team, while the scientists fell off the walls. Kirlisir shakedly readied herself, while Vansenk materialized his scythe and looked upon the Pertannar with sorrow. Wragrot growled and aimed his shotgun at the Pertannar, who walked into the team's direction, shambling as it did.
- Vansenk - There shall be rest for the wicked.
- Wragrot - I'm gonna blow the shit out of this creepy bastard.
Kilchárunya readied her pistols, whilst Kamaris loaded his gun after grabbing it from his back. The Pertannar's arm turned into a tentacle, which was thrown into the team's direction. Kirlisir and Vansenk moved forward and maneuvered around the Pertannar, slashing at it with their blades while trying not to become absorbed into it. Kamaris unleashed slugs into the Pertannar's torso as Kilchárunya fired rapidly at its head.
- Kamaris - How does one defeat something like this anyway?
- Vansenk - One does not simply defeat something like this.
None of the attacks did visible damage to the Pertannar. Still floating inside it, Vekaron's expression had turned pale. The Mikmik began swarming at the creature as well, until it shook them off and crushed them with its tentacle.
- Wragrot - It reacted to stinky's nanomachines before. Use them again.
Vansenk nodded and began to focus himself, sending his nanomachines to attack the Pertannar, specifically attempting to penetrate to where Vekaron was being held.
- Vansenk - Keep me protected.
- Kilchárunya - Ugh. Fine.
As the nanomachines entered the Pertannar, its form began to wiggle. The creature let out a roar and its tentacle morphed into a series of needle-like blades, which it began throwing into Vansenk's direction. Kirlisir growled and moved in front of Vansenk, slashing at the needles with her own blades although proceeding to get struck several times as she did. The needles could penetrate through Kirlisir's armor and she felt herself stabbed multiple times. Wragrot shot the Pertannar in anger, creating holes into it. Vansenk's nanomachines were causing its structure to become unstable.
- Kamaris - I don't know whether our attacks are causing any long-term damage.
- Wragrot - They seem to be now. Keep attacking!
Kamaris kept on doing so. Kilchárunya also continued, but looked more despairing.
- Kilchárunya - I dunno. Something doesn't feel right.
- Vansenk - They are damaging. You're keeping me protected so I can cause long-term damage.
- Kirlisir - How much longer, stinky?
- Vansenk - How long's a piece of string?
The Pertannar lunged itself upwards and began to float. A hole formed into its "head" and out of it, it launched a fire breath at the team. Kamaris shielded himself from the blast, whilst Kilchárunya leapt out of the way in an acrobatic manner. Kirlisir could not escape in time as she stumbled and was launched across the room, engulfed in fire. However, she had inadvertently protected Vansenk and Wragrot from taking the blast with her shielding. In quick succession, the Pertannar threw a blast of transparent, body-fluid-like liquid at the team.
- Wragrot - What the hell is this thing?!
- Kilchárunya - What did I say? Old Kicath saying. Listen to a Kicath and you won't get your ass burned!
- Wragrot - Oh, shut your trap.
- Kamaris - I agree with her. We need a more innovative method rather than just 'attack'.
Vansenk's nanomachines revealed to the team a series of organs inside the Pertannar, shaped almost like cell cores. As the Pertannar attacked the team with its bodily fluids, one of the cores shined slighty.
- Kilchárunya - That looks important.
Vansenk watched as the beast's organs became visible and used his nanomachines to afflict them; he began to make them biologically malfunction, manipulating them to his will while the creature shot out its bodily fluids. The Pertannar felt itself being hurt and began shrieking. It launched itself from the air into Vansenk's direction.
- Vansenk - Come on... Devour me!
- Kamaris - Bad idea I think.
Vansenk unleashed his scythe and roared towards the Pertannar as it fell towards him, laughing maniacally as he watched it drop. The Pertannar landed on Vansenk and crushed it with its weight. Moments after, Vansenk was absorbed into the monster's body and placed close to Vekaron.
- Wragrot - Stinky!
- Kirlisir - Urgh, ech!
- Kamaris - Ngh.
Kirlisir had to resist herself from vomiting. Inside the Pertannar, Vansenk's eyes were wide open and his smile grew wider. He was close to the creature's organs; using his nanomachines, which he was now close to, he began to deconstruct the beast from the inside-out and also began to cause internal organ failure in the most painful manner possible while he was stuck inside the beast, grabbing ahold of Vekaron. The Pertannar began shrieking louder. Holes appeared on its body where it launched blasts of fire, fluids and electricity at all directions. Parts of itself began falling into the floor.
- Vansenk - The desire of the Hseraelna is to be devoured... I AM NOT HSERELIE!
- Kilchárunya - Crazy bastard.
- Wragrot - Huh...pretty cool, actually. Except the monster's on a frenzy now.
With his body now regaining a degree of movement due to the beast's degradation, Vansenk materialized his sickle and raised an arm before slicing towards the glowing nuclea of the Pertannar, laughing as he did. The Pertannar struggled to keep itself stable until it finally lost its forces.
The monster's form crumbled, launching both Vekaron and Vansenk into the floor, away of it. Vansenk slammed against the ground and was knocked unconscious as he hit the floor, sliding into the furthest wall. Kirlisir stood by Wragrot as she looked over the maddened Hseraelna, an expression of worry on her face. The Mikmik behind the team charged ahead again and began attacking the Pertannar's weakened form, which squealed and escape into underground, disappearing from sight completely.
- Kirlisir - ...Is that it? Is it... Is it over?
- Wragrot - Vekaron? Stinky?
Kirlisir ran towards Vekaron and leaned over him, pushing on his chest in order to recieve a reaction. When it didn't work, she began to physically pound on his chest, forgetting that she possessed enhanced strength in her suit. Vekaron and Vansenk were both covered in golden liquid which began sliding away into the same direction the Pertannar had escaped to. The Mikmik surrounded the team, with a look of worry on their faces.
- Mikmik - Nái? Ih dem okee?
- Kilchárunya - ...Eh?
- Wragrot - I think it's worried with them.
- Kilchárunya - Well I don't speak stupid.
- Wragrot - I'm not gonna comment.
Kirlisir looked over Vekaron again and, with some hesitation, she put her mouth to his, breathing into him as well as systematically pounding on his chest in order to attempt to get him to breath again. Wragrot put his hand over his face in disgust.
- Wragrot - No! I was just joking back then!
- Kilchárunya - Gah.
Vekaron coughed and slowly woke up, opening his eyes to see Kirlisir in front of him.
- Vekaron - ...W-what happened? Where are we?
- Kilchárunya - ...Macrowhatever.
- Kirlisir - Gadinoon... We're still here... We fought the golden demon, we discovered something... horrible... and Vansenk is... I don't know about Vansenk, but he saved you.
Vekaron turned his eyes to Vansenk.
- Vekaron - Well...I gotta thank him when he wakes up then.
- Kamaris - Or if.
Vansenk was sprawled across the floor, a maddened, maniacal expression across his face while his tongue hung out of his mouth, still "breathing" as it lay limp. The Mikmik all jumped in joy around the team. At the other side of the room, the scientists began to wake up as well, holding on their heads in confusion.
- Wragrot - Let's get ourselves out of here. I wasn't joking about breaking a few ribs.
Kirlisir lifted Vekaron to his feet and helped him to walk. Wragrot walked up to the scientists and helped them get back up their feet as well. The team left the cave, with the Mikmik leading their way.
Having rescued the scientists and waved goodbye to the Mikmik, the team took their shuttle and prepared to make their way out of Macronormus. Wragrot and Kirlisir felt their power returning as the shuttle ascended. Wragrot held on his chest in pain while Vekaron held on his own arms, his expression still showing some fear.
- Vekaron - So it was a cursed Kormacvar...unexpected, to say the least. I wonder if Arkarixus knows this "Emperor Pertannar".
- Kilchárunya - Why the hell do people go to that planet? Screw Kormacvar ruins, that place is a death trap. There are ruins on Paclernos that we don't enter because of precisely that.
- Vekaron - They're here to study. It surely has a lot of mysteries.
- Kirlisir - We discovered something today... Something horrific. Vekaron, please... Promise us we're never going back?
- Vekaron - I'll tell Xeron to find another Penumbran if the situation rises.
Kirlisir approached Wragrot and looked at him rubbing his chest. She reached out a hand and placed it on Wragrot's chest, with the pain beginning to ease and calm.
- Wragrot - That's nice of you. That huge lump thing gave me the hardest punch I've ever felt in my life.
- Kamaris - The way which it moved. I haven't seen anything like that.
- Wragrot - Hope Vyatak can get this fixed. Otherwise I might need someone carrying me into the fights.
- Kirlisir - The Rovegar have been there before. When we went there, we faced something... different. It wasn't like what we saw today, it was... worse. Most of the research team died due to starvation of Essence when they made first contact. We haven't been back to Gradinoon for millennia.
- Kilchárunya - That's somewhat obvious. Wonder what Nu was doing there.
The shuttle flew close to a cliff, which the team had a full view off. And at the top of that cliff was the Pertannar, who waved its tentacles at the shuttle's general direction as if it was shouting at it.
- Kilchárunya - Haha. Bastard.
- Kirlisir - Does this ship have weapons?
- Vekaron - It's a transport shuttle so no, it doesn't. Unfortunately.
- Kilchárunya - Time to get back on track.
- Pertannar - Kill me. Impossible. Begone. Never return. Never bother. Me. Again.
And with that, the shuttle left Macronormus behind, to hopefully never return.
A Devil's Deal
Chairman Gelhov of Iltronis Arnaments was in a meeting with his board of directors. With general torrent presumably missing there was less direction within the company and within the boardroom where they were trying to find a way of keeping their profits up, but it was looking grim due to the encroachment of security forces withi nthe arm of Wilderness. The meeting went quietly. That was, until there was an explosion that sounded like it came from the lower offices, interrupting the meeting as everyone was startled by the shock.
Gelhov - What the bloody hell was that?
Flicking though camera images they saw Zoles soldiers wearing special-ops armour marching though the office, firing at security guards with non-standard weaponry.
Gelhov - Zoles? Here? Hmpf, they got a lotta nerve doing that! Defend the base! And let none of these scum survive!
One Zoles passed near a camera and looked into it, straight at the Chairman before there was a "crack" and the link to the camera was severed. The chairman growled in anger and kept ordering his guards to move out. The guards' weapons proved effective at injuring some of the raiders, but the Zoles captain, the same one who passed the camera, had bullets and plasma bolts impact his armour to no visible effect. The guards, startled by the captain, kept firing at him but with no effect.
Captain - Pitiful.
Aiming his weapon, the captain fired his carbine at the guards shooting at him. Despite the carbine's size, the captain was holding and firing it with one hand.
Guard 1 - Our shots are going through him?
Guard 2 - You Zoles just keep getting worse!
As he marched though the building, the captain physically forced one guard out the way by slamming him into a wall, breaking his victim's bones in the process. The guard fell over dead, with his comrades intimidated as no Zoles had ever displayed such strength. While the raiders kept firing, the guard - and a pair alongside him - kept moving forward, paying little attention to the charging guards.
Captain - You can all run or you can all die.
Passing the middle floors the captain stopped as Bursting through a door appeared a squad of Loron mercenaries from the Thugz Fer Dosh, who charged into the Zoles captain's direction.
Loron – WES GONNS SMASH YAS MAN
Captain - Must I?
Loron – ’BE EETEN BY ME? YEH PLEESE
The Loron launched a punch at the captain's direction. The captain smiled and lifted his hand, grabbing the Loron's fist in his hand. Even with his strength, the impact against his palm sent him backwards a bit. He followed though by thrusting his other fist downwards ont othe Loron's head. The Loron leader was launched back and fell into his head. Confused as to what was going on.
Loron – wow wat
The captain looked down and sent a hard kick towards the Loron's head, the impact cracked the Loron's skull, killing it. The other Loron mercenaries looked in astonishment.
Loron 1 – he keeled him wiv HIS BEAR HANDS
Loron 2 – its not a zoles...ITS A MEGA ZOLES OR SUMFIN
Captain - You can either let me through to your employer - The captain cracked his knuckles to emphasise his demand – or you join your former Loron friend.
Loron 1 – not worff it. LEG OFF!
The Loron duo ran off, not waning to risk their lives after their comrade was so humiliatingly defeated by a single Zoles. The captain laughed confidently and marched on, followed by two of his accomplices. Eventually reaching the doors to the boardroom.
Upon entering the boardroom, the captain was met with more guards around the chairman, who immediately fired at him. Bullets once more impacted his armour. But the captain merely smiled. Aiming his carbine he fired at the boardroom's security camera while his accomplices ducked for cover and fired at the boardroom guards. Gelhov and the reast of the board of directors ducked at the whizzing bullets flying about the room as their protectors were picked off.
Gelhov - How the hell are you not dead yet?
The captain smirked and fired a shot aimed right for a guard's brain, causing brain matter over the walls behind him. The chairman looked at the scene with anger. One of the captain's accomplices however suffered an injury on his arm and fell onto his side. Once the boardroom guards were all dead the captain took another step forward.
Captain - Are you done with those slingshots of yours?
Gelhov - Kill me and be done with it, Zoles filth. I'm not wasting my breath with you.
Captain - Oh...I'm not here to kill you.
Gelhov - Hmpf?
The doors to the room were slammed shut by the captain’s remaining accomplice. The captain reached for his gauntlet and pressed a code, smiling devilishly all the while. At the push of a button his form became distorted, but reforming into a much bulker shape, his armour replaced with a long coat with soem holes. He looked like a Draconis, but he was much bigger and had two sets of horns instead of one. Gelhov looked in horror as the Zoles transformed into a Draconis in the blink of an eye.
Gelhov - What in the General's name?
Valserion - Oh no my dear Wranploer. I'm here to make you an offer.
Gelhov - I ain't make deals with you Draconid imperials!
Valserion burst into a demonic laughter that boomed thoughout the room before returning to staring at the chairman with intense red eyes and a hideous, tooth-filled grin.
Valserion - You don't interact with the Draconid Imperium much do you?
Gelhov - Why the hell would I want that? All you do is wander around our galaxy thinking it's yours and getting in our bloody way!
The chairman's expression displayed much more disgust than fear of Valserion's appearance. Examining his expressions, Valserion could see this. While not upset, he was slightly ashamed but also relieved; panicked subjects aren’t always as cooperative as their fear let’s one believe.
Valserion - Well, I am not an Imperial. In fact...you might like my offer.
Gelhov - I have many reasons to think I won't.
Valserion began wandering about the room, playfully brushing his hand over the board members' chairs as they looked towards him, feeling wary. They all freshly recalled how this man turned out to be the one to cave a Loron’s skull in within a few swift blows.
Valserion - Influence, contacts, perhaps expansion into Dranvamus?
Gelhov - Eh? What's the catch?
Valserion - Well..there is the small matter of you needing to cut business with Torrent, you can do it quietly if you like. Oh and my organisation would also like a share of your inventory.
The chairman held on his head and sighed.
Gelhov - Grrrhh...Torrent has gone hiding recently...if I did cut business with him, I imagine he wouldn't even notice.
Valserion - There's always the cover of this little raid. As far as any of your staff are aware, this is all the Zoles' doing.
Gelhov - Hmpf...Fine. I'll comply.
Valserion stood straight and rubbed his hands.
Valserion - Excellent, my lord shall be pleased!
Gelhov - Well good for him. Can you leave now?
Upon Gelhov’s rather snappy request, Valserion turned around with a sly smirk on his face. It was a clear sign that the chairman would not have liked his next few words.
Valserion - One last thing before I do: Should you, oh let's say...throw your lot in with someone else. Well, I imagine the consequences will not favour well for your offspring.
The chairman glared at Valserion and growled. Valserion opened out his palms and spread his arms out in response, attempting to feign concern for the situation.
Gelhov - Get out of here.
Valserion - They and your assets shall be unharmed so long as you stay devoted. Farewell.
Valserion performed a quick gesture and snapped his fingers before he and his accomplices vanished in a cloud of black smoke. After he had gone, Gelhov held on his head and grunted, yjr board of directors looking anxiously at him, some having trouble understanding what had just happened.
Spread The Word
Valserion materialised within a base somewhere within the Arm of Wilderness, populated by mercenaries, Superzazane and Khaxvis Draconis who applauded him as he returned. The walls were strung with banners and icons of the Khaxvis Resurgence As he walked towards the base's command room he was approached by a female Khaxvis carrying a tablet computer.
Selenna - Your grace I am glad to see your mission was a success. Do you have any new orders?
Valserion - Do you have the camera footage from the raided base?
Selenna - We do your grace. It was a simple task.
Valserion stopped and turned his head to look at the attendant and cracked a slight grin.
Valserion - Good...I want that footage leaked onto this galaxy's answer to the exonet. I don't care how much it takes, how much you push it. I want this to be viral, am I clear?
Selenna - Clear as Aldra at high-noon, your grace.
Valserion - Excellent. Now if you will excuse me, I feel the need to wash coming on.
Selenna - Understood your grace, is there anything else you want to ask of me?
Valserion - A bottle of Esterian Red '423 would be nice.
Selenna - An excellent vintage your grace, I will see what I can do.
Valserion - I am grateful. Now, if you don't mind, you have a task to complete
Selenna nodded and headed over to a control room while Valderion gave a relaxed sigh and plodded over towards an attached section of the base, rolling back his shoulders as he entered, confidently chuckling to himself.
Spawn of Vengeance
A day had passed since the end of the event known as the Mass Armageddon. Zargoth had returned and destroyed countless universes. The Polar Crystal Alliance and its allies fought together to save this universe, and while they succeeded, they could not save the others, which were completely obliterated by the Dark God of Time. And during the final moments of the event, the PCA had united multiple individuals from different timelines to aid them in saving the universe. One of these individuals ended up as being none other than Vorius.
As he had appeared to the Alliance, no one had any idea of what he was supposed to be other than a "huge flesh guy who stinks a lot". But that was irrelevant. What mattered was that during the final moments of the Mass Armageddon, the Alliance was attacked by multiple evils coming out of different timelines, brought into this universe by time anomalies. One of these evils was Regnatus himself. At the sight of Regnatus, Vorius had entered a state of panic. Not out of fear, but out of awe. He wanted to be just like the entity he was seeing.
When the Alliance team boarded Regnatus to destroy him from inside out, Vorius deliberaly stood behind after the rest of the team had escaped. Regnatus was eventually destroyed and exploded with Vorius still inside him, though it's already known that exploding Vorius really has no effect on him. What really happened was that, once Regnatus exploded, Vorius managed to get himself one of his debris. A second Regnatus shard.
Once the whole incident was over, Vorius had returned to the Iron Fist. His identity remained unknown and it was ambiguous if the PCA even remembered him. With the second Regnatus shard on his grasp, the flesh mass pondered: something about Regnatus was beautiful to him. He wanted to be as great was Regnatus, or even greater. And to do so, he had to become as similar to Regnatus as possible. During his short stay inside Regnatus before he exploded, he took the opportunity to study him. And he found out Regnatus had created a physical manifestation of his own madness as an extension of his will.
Using the second Regnatus shard as a basis, Vorius crafted a body. Not from hybrids like the rest of the other Children of Synthesis, but out of his own flesh. Vorius focused his emotions on this body, the powers of the two shards connecting. The new body eventually came to life, opening its eyes and looking around. It acted as if life was a familiar feeling to it. And indeed, it was.
- ??? - ...The cold...is gone.
Concerned for his life, Vindevus had retreated to a fortified villa in the mountains of Praetoria's northern hemisphere. With the three-floor villa surrounded by highly-trained Blood Dragons, Vindevus contemplated in one of the upstairs studies as the sun began to set While he had retreated to this sanctuary to pmprove his chances of his surival, the alien desiring him dead had other plans this evening.
Chi, however, was not concerned. He was adamant on finding Vindevus. His ship was on course to the mountain regions where Vindevus was secured, however it was not of a regular Kicathian design. It was darker in colouration, more angular, and instead of a cyan lighting, vivid red. Blood Dragons on the villa's rooftops kept a watchful eye for unwanted intruders, using a mix of scanners, transmitters and orbiting sattellites to keep a atchful eye on the undulating region around the villa. As a member of House Ultanos, Vindevus' life was considered crucial and so every precaution was taken. On Chi's systems, Vindevus' compound was in sight. The altitude of his ship lowered as it neared the compound, perhaps ten kilometres away.
While Draconid villas were known for expansive vineyards, the undulating rocky terrain prohibited such. But near to Chi's landing position, a few kilometres away were some old tunnel entrances, blocked off to secure the compound's underside. Security was more lax at this distance, mostly remote probes or sensor beacons hovering about the landscape. As the ship lowered, it diverted sharply to its left. Chi's systems picked up structures in the distance, and piloted towards that direction. There was life in these mountains, up ahead was a cluster of Draconid houses in the form of a village, all empty save for a scattering of remote drones that patrolled the empty streets.
Chi lowered the ship further, hovering perhaps a hundred metres over the ground as he neared the tunnel complex. The tunnel's entrance was obscured with boulders, char marks and signs of melted rock indicated that engineers had sealed up the entrance at some point, potentially during the villa's construction. Unlike other locations, no remote drones were in sight at this location. From the underbelly of Chi's ship, a single, humming laser of colours white, orange and red accumulated right in direction of the sealed up area. The blast from the laser created a clean hole i nthe rock face, revealing a well-chiseled tunnel that apppeared to travel deep into the mountainside. The sides of Chi's ship folded, some parts folding inwards and others dematerializing as if it melted into a liquid. Turning into a thin streamlined ship, Chi entered the tunnels with a sharp hum resonating off the walls.
The tunnels reached for kilometres, but sensers could be used to work out where the various pathways led. As Chi's ship travelled though the tunnels however there were signals appearing on his ship's sensors, small signals; remote drones that hovered in the air as they flew though the tunnels scanning for intruders Chi began to take evasive manoeuvres, as he elevated his shields. The tunnels began to get narrower as Chi neared the villa's underlevels. Getting closer his sneosrs were picking up more and more drones, making it more difficult to evade them. Chi directed his cannon backwards, before charging a blast in an attempt to close the tunnel. The blast caused a cave-in that crushed four drones travelling forward. The ship eventually neared an artificial wall of a material that, while resembling concrete, would have been much stronger due t othe advanced technologies used to build the villa.
As it became apparent, Chi slowed the ship down, eventually stopping it. As it met the ground with a controlled landing, he left the ship. His entire body was now different; his armour seemed like a skin tight, almost fleshy looking configuration that was a glossy black. As he breathed, spaces between his spine glowed red in a similar fashion to his ship. No light from his eyes appeared through his sleek helmet however. He looked at the wall with a quick examination. A few moments passed before he re-entered his ship, and directed the cannon forward, blasting it. After several shots the wall was blown outward from his perspective, the smash of glass could be heard fro mthe other side, as the dust cleared, it became evident he had forced his way into a wine cellar. He walked his way through the vast cellar, looking very briefly at some bottles before making his way upstairs.
However after a few minutes there was a muffled "what was that?" coming from the far end of the wine cellar. There was a door opening and two Draconid shadows moved across the wall. He stopped in his tracks. Turning around slowly, he examined the room to see where the voice came from. The two shadows - Blood Dragons - walked down the steps into the wine cellar, drawn to the hole in the wall and the smashed wine.
- Blood Dragon - Oh damnation I think we've lost a few bottles of Alvadia.
- Dragon - The Viceroy is going to be mad at that.
Chi turned around and walked back down. His footsteps made very little sound, and no breath came from his body.
- Dragon - "Mad"? We both know how much that wine is worth these days and-- Where did that hole come from?
- Dragon - Hole?
- Dragon - Yes the hole at the back.
The first dragon pointed t othe hole Chi had made with his ship's cannon and the pair of them drew weapons, slowly and carefully making their way towards it. Chi neared the two Blood Dragons, as his posture changed, ready to assault them.
- Dragon - We summon a repair drone down here it reconstructs the wall. We then go to Prefect's Park and--
- Dragon - Something's not right...
The two Dragons readied their weapons and slowly turned around. Chi's arms changed shape - like a liquid form, his hands turned into very sharp blades. The two Dragons turned around and swung twin blades at Chi's body. As the blades hit Chi's body, he flinched backwards as the swords cut into his body as if bricks hit water. Parts of his body splashed out of shape and back into his form as he recomposed his posture. The two dragons looked at each other and moved around him with one in front and one attempting to move behind him As they moved around they swung their weapons again. His body began to separate, but as it did, it melted and his body reformed at a distance from him. His left arm reformed, and expanded across the room in a blade, hurling at one of the Dragons.
One of the dragons turned around to block the blade which impales him in the left bicep. The blade mutated into numerous razor sharp whip tails, lashing at the dragon with furious speed. The other dragon watched as his partner was hacked apart, the Dragon under attack furiously attempted to break free, his body glove giving him enough pulling force to easily lift a creature his size and mass off the ground. The other Dragon drew his blades and twisted them before charging with the intent to slice Chi in half at the waist, his footsteps shaking the bottles which were still sat i ntheir racks.
As the blades dug into Chi's waist, his torso opened up like a maw, with teeth, engulfing the Dragon's body. The dragon struggled as Chi's body began to engulf him. With his arms trapped he was unable to maove anything but his legs, which he used in an attempt to topple on top of Chi. The Dragons being lashed by the blades continued sufering ,each blade chipping at his armour, digging in until eventually ha began succumbing to his wounds. As the first dragon fell to the ground, the other's weight caused Chi to fall over. However, it did not stay him out of his grasp. The teeth from his torso and the rest of his body began to shape around the Dragon in an attempt to suffocate him.
- Dragon - *muffled* Get this...thing off me!
As his body liquidated over him, it began to enter his body through his eye sockets and mouth. Despite having a sealed set of armour and an independant air supply, the technology Chi posessed was able to seep through and enter the body. He convulsed as he tried to reject Chi. The liquids from his body, including the severed arm travelled in further until it almost completely entered his body. The Dragon gave out one last scream as his body was invaded by the liquidated Chi. His heart pounding as his mind tried to enter e berserker state.
The dragon could feel Chi flow through his veins; it felt as if a burning solid was pushing its way through his arms and neck, and felt as if he was losing control over his body. The Dragon tried crawling towards the door as he lost control, slowing down after a brief burst of movement, growling and snarling, slowly claming down. Chi began to feel dexterity in the Dragon's body as he entered its brain. After attacking it long enough, he began to control the Dragon's body like a puppet.
He stood up, albeit with a small stumble. He let out a long, deep breath as he examined his own puppet. He then took to the stairs again, and up into the villa. During that time, he healed the wounds that he previously inflicted on the body. As Chi gained control he heard voices over the Dragon's helmet; status reports, patrol reports, status messages, the HUD was being fed data from all around the compound. The chatter filled Chi's ears but there was another benefit The Dragon's HUD displayed nearby Dragons as well as hints as to VIndevus' location. Chi then stepped out into the halls of the villa. Vindevus' location was clearly visible, but scanned the rest of the complex to map the building.
Outside of the wine cellar the corridors were lavishly decorated, soft orchestral music swept the halls which were coloured in rich reds for the carpet and walls. Gold detailing was everywhere on pillars, picture frames, skirting boards and on the ceiling. He took to one of the corridors, in hopes to scale the building to find his target. He walked unusually fast for a Draconis. All the blood dragons that patrolled the halls were walking in pairs, some looking curiously at the lone Dragon that moved at an unusually brisk pace. Chi's HUD indicated that VIndevus was in the study but there were no windows on the main floor.
Chi headed for the study. Unfortunately for him, blood trailed on his feet, with every footstep leaving an imprint from the wine cellar. Two dragons crossed the corridor behind him and noticed the blood trail.
- Dragon - Brother.
Chi stopped in his tracks. He turned, facing the Dragon.
- Chi - Yes?
- Dragon - You are trailing blood all over the hall. We can get a cleaning team to sort it out but, where did it come from?
- Dragon - We had a heads-up there were suspicious goings-on in the wine cellar.
- Chi - I rectified the issue. There was a Kicathian infiltrator. I killed him upon sight.
- Dragon - Where is your bond-sister?
Chi's face showed little emotion. In fact, it appeared rather mundane, as if he were dead. His eyes were somewhat glazed, as the vessels in his eyes were turned black.
- Chi - I believe she is currently disposing of the body.
- Dragon - Fair enough.
- Dragon - Wait Kicath-- Do you know if it was that rogue commander?
- Chi - Rogue commander? Possibly. He wore black armour. Tall. It suits the description. Now, would you mind accompanying me to inform the Egalparagus that the incident has been quelled?
- Dragon - If you insist. HUD says he is in the first-floor study.
- Chi - Very well.
The second dragon handed Chi a coarse cloth. Chi took the cloth, and cleaned his claws. It was a somewhat abnormal contortion for Draconis, as he did it as if he had a Kicathian anatomy.
- Dragon - You'd better clean yourself up, the Egalparagus hates his guard trailing dirt ot...blood everywhere.
The first dragon observed Chi's claws with concern behin his helmet but shrugged and the three of them headed towards the study once Chi had cleaned himself. As they were walking there, a glossy black liquid started bleeding from Chi's snout.
- Dragon - Hoprefully if we can confirm it was this "Chi" individual you KIA'd the Egalparagus can return to the capital.
- Dragon - WOuld be a shame though, I partially enjoy these mountains. So impressive and serene, don't you agree?
Chi stopped to wipe the liquid from his snout, and continued walking on.
- Dragon - Do you suffer rhinnorhea often, brother?
- Chi - Rhinnorhea? No. I am fine.
Chi reached the door to Vindevus' study. Knocking on the door, he waited for a response. Vindevus' door was flanked by two blood dragons who stared at the trio sternly. After a few minutes, Vindevus' voice was heard though the door.
- Vindevus - Yes?
- Chi - Permission to enter.
- Vindevus - What purpose?
- Chi - I would like to report an incident.
- Door guard - It had better be worth the Egalparagus' time.
Chi's eyes attempted to narrow at the door guard, but only resulted in a slight squint and twitch. The door guard looked at Chi suspiciously but twisted the door handle and allowed Chi and the other tw oto enter the room. Chi entered the room, as more black liquid poured from his snout, wiping it away again. Vindevus was spread across a lounger reading from an e-book while listening to an orchestral piece on a nearby media player, he tilted his head up from his device to look at the three dragons.
- Chi - Egalparagus. There was just an incident with a Kicathian infiltrator in the wine cellar. A wall was blown away and...some wine bottles were destroyed in the blast. My bond-sister and I terminated the Kicath and she is currently disposing the body.
The study was filled with dozens of books as well as ornate furniture and a fine patterned velvet carpet. Behind VIndevus was a screen displaying a mountain range at sunset with snowy caps on the taller ones.
- Vindevus - I hope those destroyed bottles were not part of my more valued collection.
- Chi - I'm afraid I did not take time to study the scene. The infiltrator was rather...difficult to take down.
- Vindevus - Any indication who it was?
- Chi - Speculations are that it was a Kicath Agent. Possibly that rogue commander you informed the Kicathian Republic about.
- Vindevus - Then make sure your partner provides some form of confirmation. So long as Commander Chi is out there my life is potentially at risk.
One of the dragons who entered with Chi heard a signal though their headpiece with worry.
- Dragon - My egalparagus. I just recieved a report that Dragon-sister Assanala is confirmed dead.
- Vindevus - Who?
- Dragon - The Dragon who "supposedly" is absent to dispose of the Kicathian agents' body.
Chi made no reaction. He turned slightly to the dragon, but it was almost as if he was ignoring him. The dragon then turned his head to look at Chi
- Dragon - Your bond-partner.
Still no reaction. Vindevus slowly put his e-book on a nearby table and glared at Chi as he stood up, standing squarely in front and looking the man over.
- Vindevus - Can you explain why you told us your partner was disposing of the agent's body when just now she has apparently been found dead where the incident happened. Either you or one of my other guard is lying to me.
Chi's body convulsed for a split second, and then more of the black liquid poured out of his nose; this time in multitudes. Vindevus staggered back from the sight while the apir in the room took steps back and gripped the weapons in their sheathes. Vindevus face twisted itself as he almost retched in disgust. As more of the liquid flowed out of his nose, then mouth, then eye sockets, the Draconis looked at Vindevus with a twisted smile.
- Chi - You Draconis are so easy to fool.
- Vindevus - Security breach!
The two dragons drew their weapons and swung them to hack, stab and slice at Chi's body. As the blades hit the Draconis' body, liquid exploded out of the Draconis' mouth before it dropped to the ground lifeless. Vindevus fell backwards into the lounger which toppled backwards, luckily he was not seriously hurt.
- Vindevus - Burn it, annihilate the body!
- Dragon - I'm not sure if there is any point.
- VIndevus - Then eradicate the filth he covered my study in!
The liquid began to move. Quickly, Chi's Kicathian body formed from the mass. As quickly as it formed, blades from Chi's arms shot through the Dragons' chests, pinning them into the wall. Vindevus' eyes widened as he watched the Dragons bleed to death. he rushed for a weapon case and drew a sabre after smashing the glass with his elbow. He yanked the sabre out and swung to cut one of Chi's arms off.
The arm severed from Chi's body. As it separated, the arm evaporated into the air, as Chi's body regenerated another arm. The other arm that was still pinned into the Blood Dragon retracted and reformed.
- Vindevus - You made a grave mistake coming to this sanctuary, Kicath!
- Chi - Did I now?
The two Dragons collapsed to the floor, bleeding from their chests as they attempted to stand up. Chi's hand slithered around Vindevus' sabre. A few seconds before he crushed it, snapping it into many shards. Vindevus staggered back holding the sabre's hilt, he growled before tossing the hilt aside.
- Vindevus - What, you thought the Imperium would simply leave this galaxy upon my death?
- Chi - Does it look like I care about your Imperium?
The door t othe study was forced open and Vindevus' door guards entered wielding their weapons. One of them, armed with a fusion pistol, fired at the back of Chi's head. The back of Chi's head exploded open whilst the front remained the same. He turned around to the face the guard, as his head slowly reshaped. The two guards changed their equipment. Wielding fusion rifled they fired a full-on volley at Chi while Vindevus ducked behind the lounger and shielded himself with his wings. Chi's arm expanded as it formed a shield; unlike the rest of his body, it was incredibly hard.
One of the guards lowered their fusion rifle and switched to a power sabre. As the weapon was sheathed in plasma she ran to slice at Chi's flank while the other guard continued firing volleys at Chi's shield. Chi's body dispersed as the Dragon came to his side. In a mass of liquid, he drove the Dragon into the wall. Reforming, he delivered punch after punch into the Dragon's torso at an unnatural speed - three or four punches a second. To deter the other Dragon, his body was as hard as his shield was. The punches wore away at the Dragon's armour, she could feel her bones chipping and cracking fro mthe impacts, the other growled and lowered his weapon. He also drew twin baldes and charged to cut at Chi.
After dozens of punches the ceramic armour shattered and the Dragon felt Chi's fist penetrate her torso. Continuing his volley on the Dragon's torso, a shape from Chi's back formed; another front. An extra set of blades appeared from his back and jutted at the other Dragon with incredible force. The Dragon attacking Chi's rear was caught off-guard, he dodged one blade but felt the sting of the other scratch at his bicep. Shredding the arm, the dragon behind Chi tried to strike with all the force he could muster from the supernatural power of his body glove and his own flesh. The punch dissolved his body, as it flowed around the Dragon and reformed behind him.
- Chi - You call that...supernatural?
- Dragon - No I call it technological.
- Vindevus - Every Dragon in this compound is now aware of your presence, agent. You would have to fight an army in order to escape!
- Chi - Tagárai-ít aronaí! I am not an Agent!
- Dragon - No. You're a monster on limited time.
The Dragon swung his tail and his arm in order to hit Chi. As the fist hit Chi, Chi grabbed the Dragon by the throat, lifting him up. As he did, his eyes glowed red, as an electric surge of a similar colour ran down his arm. The Dragon struggled to break free, swinging his legs in an attempt to put Chi off-balance, swinging his legs in order to kick Chi in the stomach.
- Chi - Ekolnyúrákarnasadálnaryakasatín ít etsamnatakinasha. I'll show you 'supernatural'.
The Dragon growled and thrashed about as Chi glared at him. The Dragon's attempts seemed to do nothing. From the Dragon, a pale, ethereal red light began to glow as it travelled down his arm.
- Dragon - Wh-what is this?
- Chi - Power.
As the light intensified, the Dragon could feel his life force slipping away in an infernal pain. The dragon growled and snarled before eventually letting out a roar of pain as his life slipped from him, Vindevus watched in horror at the event. As his body became limp and inanimate, Chi hurled aside like a ragdoll, before turning to Vindevus. Vindevus peeked out from under his wing, looking at Chi as his heart and breathing rate increased.
- Vindevus - That kill...what are you!
- Chi - A hybrid. A perfected view of technology and the power of death. The Benefactor helped me realise this, and now I am a vessel of his message.
- Vindevus - Message of what, anarchy?
- Chi - Not anarchy. Freedom.
- Vindevus - Under who's guidance!
- Chi - His message.
Chi's arms expanded into blades which pierced Vindevus' chest, and raised him off the surface. Vindevus gasped as he felt himself lifted from the ground, he looked into Chi's eyes, gasping for air as blood began trickling from his mouth. Chi pulled his blades away from position, widening the wounds in Vindevus' chest and putting stress on his torso. In his last ounces of breath, Vindevus leaned forward.
- Vindevus - There is...no difference...between...complete...freedom...and...chaos...
Chi smirked, as he pulled the blades apart from his torso, tearing Vindevus to shreds. Vindevus' remains were spread across the study room, smearing the screen, the books, al lthat remained in the room was Chi, several Blood Dragon bodies, the scattered remains of the praetor, all the while the orchestral piece Vindevus was listening to when CHi had entered. Chi looked around him, at the carnage he caused. Removing furniture on one wall, he then placed his fingers in a pool of blood, writing a message in Kicathian. Looking at it for a few moments, he laughed, before leaving the room back for his ship.
Alarms sounded and more Blood Dragons began swarming the corridors, many of them rushing to the study. Chi kept on walking, before his body readjusted. Using the power of light to his advantage, his body morphed into a material that seemed invisible to the naked eye. Upon entering the study, several blood dragons looked around before one caught a glympse of the Kicathian writing on the wall. Looking at it, the dragon seethed and ckenched his fists.
- Dragon - Security protocol . Have this planet blockaded!
- Dragon - Captain?
- Dragon - No one. Leaves. The planet.
- Dragon - Y-yes sir.
A Plague Among the Free
In the abandoned reaches of the spaceport orbiting the Kicathian capital of Anatezc-ji 0, Vekaron and his crew were searching for suitable transport to Tauyachon-4. The spaceport itself was immaculate, but the cold abandonment of it made it rather ominous. There was little sound, only from the parts of the spaceport that was still in use.
- Kirlisir - This place looks ancient. And not the good ancient either.
- Vekaron - I'm unsure how long the Kicath have lived at Borealis but they're probably the oldest extragalactics after the Grox.
- Kilchárunya - Twenty thousand years. And for the record, this part of the port was only abandoned in the late 2780's. No intake from the Empire...so why use it?
- Wragrot - Where's the stupid ship so we can go? I'm gonna be the first Murgur to ever travel to another galaxy. I'm very excited.
Wragrot pointed at his face, which had a deadpan expression.
- Vansenk - You appear more dead than the station.
- Wragrot - At least the place smells good.
- Kirlisir - Ooh, snap.
- Kilchárunya - Well, take your pick. Supercruisers...supercruisers and more supercruisers. Apart from that major transport shuttle.
- Vekaron - Whichever is the most convincing.
- Kamaris - Would they accept a supercruiser?
- Kilchárunya - Yes. But you need a crew of like...two thousand.
- Kamaris - Shuttle it is then.
Before they could walk over, Vekaron's wrist display started beeping. Vekaron looked at his display and turned it on. A hologram of Agent Alpha appeared, wearing his usual armour.
- Kilchárunya - Oh no. What now?
- Vekaron - Greetings, Alpha. We were about to take the transport to Andromeda.
- Alpha - Indeed. We have just received message from the Draconid Imperium territories.
- Vekaron - What about them?
- Kirlisir - This can't be good.
- Alpha - One of our informants, Vindevus, has been assassinated. Surveillance indicates that it was Chi who did it.
- Wragrot - Vind-who now?
- Kilchárunya - Well there's your answer. Chi's gone rogue.
- Alpha - I will not divulge information on this line. Detectives at the crime scene will inform you further on this matter.
- Kirlisir - Great, and I was so excited to go take an Andromedan holiday.
- Vekaron - If I remember correctly, Vindevus is the name of the one in charge of the Draconid Imperium in Borealis. But why would Chi kill him?
- Kilchárunya - My suggestion? Vindevus knew Chi went rogue and Chi went and silenced him.
- Vekaron - We'll delay the travel to Andromeda and make our way to Praetoria then.
- Vansenk - A dreadful shame.
- Kirlisir - Gah, how can this day get any worse?
- Alpha - Indeed. If you find anything particularly suspicious, inform me once your business is done.
- Vekaron - Understood.
- Kamaris - Very well.
- Kilchárunya - Take the shuttle anyway. Probably easier to take the shuttle there and then to Andromeda.
The team landed on the reaches of Vindevus' compound on Praetoria. Even from a considerable distance, the team could see that the entire complex was sectioned off by military forces; vehicles of all manners barricading it.
- Kilchárunya - Well. If Chi's still in there, they're not helping their situation much.
- Kirlisir - ...Still in there?
- Kilchárunya - ...Yeah. We don't know his motive.
- Vekaron - Hm. I didn't expect to come back to this planet. The last time I was here, it was being attacked by the Devourer's Chosen. The Chosen Champion possessed Nu and forced us to fight him.
- Kilchárunya - And I thought Nu normally was bad.
- Vekaron - You think Nu is bad? Imagine him turned into an entropic energy demon.
- Kilchárunya - Please. Can you not?
- Kamaris - If there is that much security then there would be little chance of him in there. I don't think he could stand up to that.
On the outskirts of the compound were soldiers wearing uniforms marked with both a corproate logo and an insignia of House Ultanos. However the soldiers did not bear the colours of the Imperium itself, instead wearing drab-coloured body armour and jumpsuits. Kilchárunya took the ship down to the ground, perhaps a hundred metres from an entrance to the compound itself. As the shuttle landed, a squad of seven soldiers led by a Blood Dragon approached the shuttle with weapons in hand. Vekaron left the shuttle and faced the soldiers, with no weapon in hands.
- Vekaron - Greetings. Vekaron of the Penumbra Unit. I've come to investigate Agent Chi's attack.
Kilchárunya walked with the team, her hand placed on a pistol in her holster.
- Kilchárunya - I'd be prepared for a crossfire if this goes awry.
- Kamaris - I hope not.
- Vansenk - You are all very jumpy.
- Dragon - Penumbra unit... We were informed you may be visiting.
- Kamaris - By Agent Alpha?
The dragon held up a hand and made a signal that indicated for the soldiers behind him to lower their weapons, which they did so, still giving the unit cautionary looks.
- Dragon - From what I was told.
- Vekaron - Is Chi still at the building?
Kilchárunya slowly lowered her hand from the gun.
- Dragon - There has been no sight of him since he performed the kill. The Houseless slipped away when the compound went onto full alert.
- Kilchárunya - Houseless? I resent that statement. No offence.
- Wragrot - So no collective shooting his face. Shame. Where's the dead guy?
- Dragon - The Egalparagus' body was transferred to a van destined for the Neo Pratoris starport.
- Kilchárunya - In that case, we'll look at the murder scene then.
- Vekaron - Indeed. Let's go.
- Dragon - A layout of the complex has been provided to Penumbran Vekaron.
- Vekaron - Thank you.
- Kirlisir - Didn't know a Penumbran's job could get so... detective-y.
- Vekaron - Well I'm the first Penumbran, so every new thing is a surprise.
- Kirlisir - You know, I could be a Penumbran one day. I think I'd make for a pretty good Penumbran.
- Vekaron - Who knows? You just need to be an official Alliance citizen and be extremely skilled in the eyes of the Council.
Vekaron followed the layout and led his team to the murder scene. The room, although the bodies were removed, was drenched in blood, spewed all over the walls, windows and floor. More interestingly, the bloodied message Chi left on the wall. Inside the room as a Terratrix studying the remnants of the room, hologramcopies of removed items such as corpses and debris had been placed so as to aid forensics teams.
- Vansenk - Personally I would have wrote the message in my own feces or my victim's intestine.
- Kilchárunya - Mother of god.
- Kamaris - I concur. Where do we begin?
- Wragrot - There's something on the wall over there.
Detective Greltanjo turned around abd by the looks of his face, he was not at all pleased to see the unit inside the room.
- Greltanjo - Do you all mind? This is a crime scene not a circus...who are you people anyway!?
- Vekaron - Penumbra Unit. We're here to investigate the murder.
- Greltanjo - Which is exactly what I am doing.
- Wragrot - We're on the same boat then. Pleased to meet you, yadda yadda.
- Kilchárunya - Yeah...and the message on the wall? Can you read that?
- Greltanjo - Penumbra unit...Penumbra unit...yes, you must be the group I was informed would be arriving. I hate black ops.
- Kamaris - Well I apologise. Well. No I do not apologise.
- Wragrot - Aren't you the happiest man in the world.
- Kirlisir - Who rustled your feathers?
- Greltanjo - But to answer your question, no. I cannot read that writing on the wall. Trust the murderer to leave a message in one of the most complicated languages in the cluster!
- Vekaron - Kilchárunya, can you read it?
- Vansenk - She is Kicath. It is to be expected.
Kilchárunya examined the wall.
- Kilchárunya - Yes...but it's not the Kicathian you see normal Kicath use. This is the system of writing Agents use.
- Vekaron - What does it say?
- Kilchárunya - You will have to give me a couple of minutes.
- Vekaron - Very well.
- Greltanjo - Since you are connected to forces looking to track the murderer down, you have access to the room's security recordings.
- Wragrot - Ah, yes. We get to see how the guy died. Good.
Kamaris went over to one of the hologram corpses. Looking down at it, he noticed that surrounding the area was a blackened liquid.
- Kamaris - The black liquid. What is that?
- Wragrot - How can you see the liquid?
- Kamaris - I do not need eyes to see, my friend.
- Vansenk - You didn't lick it, did you? That is my job.
- Greltanjo - From what we can identify its' some kind of nanite paste. Consistency of tar and highly adaptable.
- Kamaris - Advanced technology then.
- Greltanjo - I've seen nothing like it in Andromeda.
- Vekaron - He must have gotten it from the Benefactor.
- Kirlisir - This isn't Kicathian technology?
- Greltanjo - Heh, yeah, like i'd have knowledge to what the Agency has available to it.
- Kilchárunya - No. Not from the Remnant.
A few minutes passed, and then Kilchárunya turned to the team.
- Kilchárunya - Well, I have completed the message.
- Greltanjo - Good, so what did the sod want to tell us?
- Kilchárunya - It's rather cryptic in itself.
- Wragrot - Say it.
- Vansenk - Knowing Kicath, 'cryptic' is an understatement.
- Kilchárunya - "As war rises, infernal eyes stare above you. Control walks like a plague among the free. 'For blood and honour'." So basically, Chi has gone batshit insane.
- Greltanjo - "Blood and honour"...great forests...
- Wragrot - More reasons to choke him with his tail.
- Kilchárunya - Where have I heard that phrase before...?
- Vekaron - Have you heard this before?
- Greltanjo - Its a battlecry uttered by the Blood Dragons. Also serves as a motto.
- Kilchárunya - I meant the first part. It's from the Chronological Compendium. Maktanshatinaknatazán's words as he revealed himself to the Kicath.
- Wragrot - Woah there, slow down, tongue-twister.
- Kirlisir - I have no idea what you just said but it sounded funky.
- Greltanjo - So...he was citing from some Kicath holy script?
- Kilchárunya - Not a holy script. A historical recount. I don't know but it sounds like Chi has declared a curbstomp on us. Following paragraphs from those words basically say every Kicath that looked at him died.
- Kamaris - Not a very nice fellow then.
- Kirlisir - Luckily Kamaris has no eyes to see with.
- Vekaron - I'll have to inform Alpha of this.
- Greltanjo - Perhaps I should display the recordings now. If you're going after him...you'll want to see it.
- Vekaron - Ah yes. Do show.
- Kilchárunya - I wonder why he used that particular sentence though. I mean, everyone knows now that Kithworto is a reincarnation of Maktanshatinaknatazán...but he turned to our side.
- Greltanjo - He happened to have dialogue with the Egalparagus before he died. Here.
Greltanjo projected ha hologram of the security recording; revealing Chi killing Vindevus' guards, morphing his body and eventually butchering the man himself. Before vindevus died, he and Chi spoke, Chi revealing his plans and VIndevus telling him that he believed such freedom to be equal to chaos, before Chi tore him apart. Vekaron narrowed his eyes, disgusted of Chi's form and his attacks, while Wragrot watched in confusion.
- Kamaris - ...What did he do to that Blood Dragon?
- Vansenk - What didn't he do to that Blood Dragon?
- Vekaron - He...entered his body. As if he was made of liquid.
- Kamaris - And the other one. That scream. What happened to him?
- Kilchárunya - ...We call that 'soul devouring' in ancient Kicathian definitions.
- Greltanjo - Come again?
Greltanjo looked at Kilchárunya as if she had spoken gibberish.
- Kilchárunya - That red light passing from the Dragon's body into Chi's arm? I'm not sure what the real science is behind it but we used to call that sucking someone's soul out.
- Greltanjo - Are you suggesting that Chi acted as some variation of "spirit eater"?
- Kilchárunya - I'm saying that Chi now has Death Energy. As well as being a metamorph.
- Vekaron - Like the Devourer's Chosen used to do...Chi has become a demon.
- Wragrot - Man, we just keep finding reasons to kill this guy.
- Kilchárunya - No. Not demonic. Every Kicath has the potential to do that. Except he is able to do it.
- Kirlisir - I have never seen one devour an entire soul so quickly.
- Greltanjo - So...we call the Inquisition?
- Vekaron - I definetely have to warn Alpha about this.
- Kilchárunya - Well. Warn everyone. Alpha's conviction when we talked to him made it sound like a galactic emergency.
- Vekaron - If Chi has this kind of power, it really may be. The Inquisition and the Council have to be informed.
- Kilchárunya - Kithworto especially.
- Greltanjo - So let me get this straight. A rogue agent gained the ability to devour souls, aquired a nanotech form and used it to murder Borealis' egalparagus. All to give a message from some ancient prophet?
- Wragrot - Dude's crazy, we gotta kill him before he kill everyone.
- Kamaris - Seems so.
- Kirlisir - And I was really looking forward to that Andromedan vacation.
- Kilchárunya - Well. We have a lead now. If Vekaron gives us the blue light then we can go to Andromeda now.
- Vekaron - Just let me warn Alpha and the Council and we can go.
Kilchárunya nodded and then turned to Greltanjo.
- Kilchárunya - Listen to me, Terratrix. Do not relay this information to anyone. If Chi is still here, he will slaughter you and every last person you inform.
Greltanjo gulped and nodded.
- Greltanjo - Great...
- Dragon - Standard protocol for a message like this is a pres blackout. The message will never come to light.
Vekaron had walked away from the others and made contact with Alpha and the Council. After a few moments, he turned back to the team.
- Vekaron - We may go now.
Vekaron's crew took course to Tauyachon-4. It did not take much time for them to come into the Kicath Empire territory. Kilchárunya set the shuttle to auto-pilot before checking her weapons. Vekaron waited with his arms crossed, apprehensive to what the team could face, while Wragrot leaned on a wall.
- Kamaris - So. What can we expect in Tauyachon-4?
- Kilchárunya - Expect weird looks.
- Vekaron - Let's hope they don't know what a Zoles is.
- Kirlisir - Probably won't know what I am.
- Kilchárunya - Oh, they will. Just a tip for this planet though. Wear a hazard suit. Atmosphere is poisonous to carbon based life. It doesn't really do well for the Kicath either.
- Vekaron - I'm worried of they immediately finding out we come from the Alliance by my appearence alone.
- Kilchárunya - We will probably be fine. Security influence on this planet is lower than most.
- Wragrot - Let's not waste time then. I don't feel like spending too much time here.
- Kamaris - But you wanted to be the first Murgur to be in another galaxy.
- Wragrot - I was joking about that.
- Kirlisir - You? Making jokes? That's a first.
- Kilchárunya - Well. Joke or not, Tauyachon-4 isn't the nicest place in the Gigaquadrant.
- Vekaron - Come on, get your hazard suits and let's move.
- Vansenk - Hazard suits. Eugh, I can smell the sterility.
Kilchárunya took to her hazard suit. It was minimal in design; it was simply a breathing apparatus to put over her already-existing one on her neck.
- Kilchárunya - Trust me, you'll want one.
The ship lowered into one of the open hangars on the edges of a section of the planet. As the team geared up and walked out, they saw the architecture was older and darker than general Kicathian architecture, and the sky was a deep, carmine red, clouded over. There was also a low mist that carried stale wind, grit and dust.
- Wragrot - What a dump. Reminds me of Kaos except worse.
- Kilchárunya - I wouldn't let the locals hear that. This place used to be really nice up until about twenty thousand years ago.
- Vekaron - What happened?
- Kilchárunya - The Xhodocto attacked. Put the Andromeda territory in a blender and spat Tauyachon-4 out.
- Kirlisir - Ouch. Must've been rough.
- Kilchárunya - You bet. The system count went from seven million to only four hundred or so in about twelve hours.
- Vekaron - Damn...
- Wragrot - My knowledge of these Xhodocto is limited from what I've seen of those Chosen guys, but I didn't imagine they were that bad.
- Kilchárunya - Well, that was the Chosen. Vekaron would know that if you hear of a direct Xhodocto attack it usually ends up in fifty million systems destroyed in a split second. Anyway. They almost destroyed this place and now they're suffering for it even twenty thousand years later.
- Vekaron - I've never had experiences with Xhodocto. The Chosen are the most demonic thing I've encountered so far.
- Kilchárunya - Well. Neither have I. I just pray to whatever god that's still listening that I never do...We should probably get some directions. Hopefully someone here is nice enough to help us.
Over near a podium stood a group of armoured Kicath. They were taller than usual, and their bare exoskeleton was cracked and dull similar to rock. It took on a reddened appearance as their eyes gave off a dim glow. Vekaron looked around with apprehension. Him and the rest of the team followed Kilchárunya. She went over to the Kicath group, speaking Kicathian to them. It was not long before she returned to the team.
- Kilchárunya - Clearly he doesn't like Borealis types.
- Vekaron - Anything useful?
- Kilchárunya - Apart from calling me a Kóramasáka-satalaí...no.
- Vansenk - And what does that mean?
- Kilchárunya - Simply put it, Borealis scum.
- Wragrot - So the place is a dump and there's no one to help us here. Great trip.
- Kilchárunya - Well, there's only one way to get information around here and that's the Kicathian way of doing things.
- Kirlisir - This is gonna get ugly, isn't it?
She went over to the same Kicath before, and delivered a punch to his right shoulder; a crack could be heard from the distance as he slammed into the ground. The other Kicath around her appeared startled and ran off. Wragrot and Vansenk both chuckled at the scene.
- Kamaris - Ouch.
- Kirlisir - Yep. It got ugly.
The Kicath on the floor was groaning in pain as he spat blood on to the floor. Kilchárunya grabbed his shattered shoulder and lifted him off the surface.
- Kicath - For a Kóramasáka-satalaí...you punch like a damn Agent.
- Kilchárunya - Enough with the flattery, kilshanal [Little girl]. Data Archives. Point and I won't break your other shoulder.
- Kamaris - Is this really necessary?
- Wragrot - Hey, it's Kicath. Of course it's necessary.
Kamaris shrugged his shoulders.
- Kicath - And why would I tell you, Althārulísi [Houseless]?
- Wragrot - I suggest you spill before I go over there and break more than just your other shoulder.
Kilchárunya dropped him on to the ground. She plunged her foot into the broken shoulder of the Kicath, as blood spurted out like a jet. He roared out and his legs convulsed violently before talking again. Vekaron narrowed his eyes while Vansenk licked his teeth at the scene.
- Kicath - Aagh! Take...take the transport and look for the...agh...big dome...can't miss it.
- Kilchárunya - That wasn't so hard now, was it?
The Kicath moaned despairingly as he stood back up, his shoulder hanging by threads.
- Kirlisir - Yuck.
- Vekaron - Big dome it is. Let's move.
Kilchárunya brushed her foot against the ground, wiping blood off.
- Kilchárunya - This is why you kasatsamné don't go to Kicath planets much.
- Wragrot - If I wanna go to a planet full of homicidal maniacs, I just go to a Zí-Jittorám planet.
The team went back to the shuttle, and took off. Raising the altitude some thousands of feet off the surface, a large dome structure could be seen in the distance.
- Vekaron - Any idea of what that is?
- Kilchárunya - The data archive by the looks of it.
- Wragrot - I'll keep my gun close just in case.
Kilchárunya set course for the ship. It seemed to be a steady journey, before blips on the radar could be seen.
- Kirlisir - What's the blipping for? Are we being followed?
- Kilchárunya - Yep.
Vekaron and Wragrot looked for the terminal at one part of the room, while Vansenk slithered around looking elsewhere. Kilchárunya charged the shields as she increased speed.
- Kamaris - What is it?
- Kilchárunya - A guess? Agent drones.
- Wragrot - I thought Agents were a Remnant-only thing.
- Kilchárunya - In that case, Chi's drones.
- Wragrot - I don't like being foiled like this.
The drones flew in front of the shuttle. They were not much larger than Vekaron himself. They were black in colour with a peeling red paint mark down the middle.
- Kilchárunya - Those are big drones.
- Vansenk - By their look, they definetely belong to Chi.
Pulses of particle weaponry blasted at the shuttle. Two blasts hit the hull and Kilchárunya was forced to take the ship down. Vekaron grunted while Wragrot punched a wall in frustration.
- Kilchárunya - Is one of you gonna deal with those drones or not?
- Wragrot - Weapons. I need weapons against drones.
- Kilchárunya - Check the back of the shuttle. Must be some heavy weapon down there.
Wragrot turned to the back of the shuttle and began looking for a heavy weapon. Mounted on the wall, was a large Kicathian particle beam cannon. The barrel was almost as long as Wragrot himself. Wragrot grabbed the cannon and let out a laugh.
- Wragrot - Now this is a nice weapon.
The weapon was surprisingly light for its size. Kilchárunya opened the side door as the winds picked up inside the ship. Wragrot could see the drones firing at the ship as well as the blurring cityscape. Wragrot aimed and fired the cannon at the direction of the drones.
- Wragrot - If I miss, I hope it hits a building!
- Kilchárunya - Use the damn aim assist then!
- Wragrot - This has an aim assist? That's for pansies but alright.
Now using the weapon's aim assist, Wragrot charged and fired another shot. The drone exploded in mid air as its remnants hurtled towards the ground. Another drone was in the air. Wragrot laughed at the explosion and charged another shot, aiming at the second drone.
- Kilchárunya - Hold on. I'm picking up a third signal.
- Vansenk - You know, you could have used Kamaris' own weapon for this.
- Wragrot - That'd be nowhere as fun!
Before the shot could fire, a lean, black Kicathian figure leapt into the shuttle and kicked the gun out of Wragrot's hands before throwing Wragrot to the back of the ship. Wragrot grunted as he was thrown. Vekaron, Kirlisir and Vansenk prepared their weapons as they watched the Kicathian figure land on the shuttle.
- Kilchárunya - What's going on back there?!
- Vekaron - We got company.
Kilchárunya briefly turned around before her eyes widened.
- Kilchárunya - Hold on to something!
Wragrot, Vekaron and Kirlisir all clinged to nearby objects in confusion, while Vansenk clinged to Wragrot's leg. Kamaris held on to the ceiling of the ship as he dodged the swings of the blade. The figure's left arm morphed into a razor sharp blade as it swung frantically at the team. Kilchárunya took the ship downwards, throwing themselves towards the surface almost vertically at hundreds of miles an hour. Wragrot and Kirlisir used their essences to form an elemental shield to protect the team from the figure's attacks as they descended.
- Kilchárunya - I'm running out of air to fly in! Do something!
The figure's arms then morphed into multiple whip-like appendages as it threw itself upon the shield, damaging the interior of the shuttle. Kirlisir let out an ear-piercing shriek, in an attempt to stop the attacker. Vekaron, Wragrot and Vansenk all grunted from the loud sound. The figure's body dissolved slightly as the sound permeated his body. Kamaris lunged forward and kicked the figure out of the door as his body flew away from the falling shuttle.
- Kirlisir - What in the Composer's name was that?
Kilchárunya pulled the ship back into normal flying position. The angle she flew it in caused the ship to go off course, eventually skidding across the floor with destructive turbulence. The team held to the shuttle to keep them on their feet as the shuttle hit the floor. The ship skidded to the left, before slowly hitting the walls of the Data Archives and stopping.
- Kilchárunya - Chi, Xi...I dunno.
- Vansenk - It was downright repulsive.
- Wragrot - I seriously won't rest until we kill that guy.
Kilchárunya stepped outside of the ship. A few seconds before the dizziness kicked and she fell over. Vekaron left the ship with his hand on his head, while Wragrot left while grumbling loudly. Kirlisir tried to leave but also fell over while Vansenk shook his head repeteadly. Kamaris stood up, although with a slight stumble to his steps.
- Kilchárunya - Gimme...a couple of seconds.
- Kirlisir - We all need a few seconds...
- Kamaris - Well. I didn't enjoy that.
- Vekaron - Chi or Xi, what matters is that our enemy knows we're here. We need to haste.
Into the Data Archives
team entered the depths of the Data Archives. The complex seemed labyrinthine in design as all the walls glowed with red lights.
- Vansenk - Is everything you Kicath make always this omnious-looking? It's like if you took lessons from the Hseraelna.
- Kilchárunya - Well. No. It's peculiar. This design.
- Wragrot - Alright. Point at what we're looking for.
- Kilchárunya - There should be a terminal in this room somewhere. That's what we want. It should be in the middle of the room. That's how it usually goes.
Kirlisir started looking in the middle, while the others made their way there. There was a large, torus-shaped table in the middle of the room. On it were many touch-screen panels in Kicathian. Kirlisir signalled to the others as she approached the table.
- Kirlisir - Is this it?
- Kilchárunya - Yeah.
Kilchárunya walked up to the panel and looked at the glyphs.
- Kilchárunya - This panel hasn't been updated in a while. Definitely a sign of how old this place is.
- Vekaron - Is it still usable?
- Kilchárunya - Yeah. Systems might be slow and broken linguistically but yeah, usable. Doesn't look like it has been updated for at least ten thousand years.
Kilchárunya pressed her hand on to the panel as many holograms turned on.
- Kilchárunya - Aesthetically that is. Everything else seems to be in order.
- Vekaron - Good news. We'll keep guard while you look into these.
- Wragrot - Yeah. We don't want Captain Slime sneaking up on us again.
- Kilchárunya - Right. So...any keywords we should use?
- Vekaron - Benefactor? Agent Xi?
- Kilchárunya - Benefactor might help. We might need a bit of a narrowing down. What was his name...Hinúrnr Ilingelm?
- Kirlisir - That was it, yes.
Vekaron adn the rest of his team positioned themselves across the room, keeping an eye on any entrances Chi could come from. Kilchárunya typed his name into the system. It took a few seconds before a result came up.
- Kilchárunya - Ah. Here we go.
- Kamaris - What does it say?
- Kilchárunya - Not much. It says he is a 'Zirtonian'. I've never heard of that race before. First mentioning of him goes back to around 2693. Last mentioning of him is 2711.
- Vansenk - A fairly old individual then.
- Kilchárunya - Yeah. Says he was into weapons trade. Makeshift engineering. Drugs trafficking as well.
- Kirlisir - Huh. This makes it sound like he's just a petty thief. Yet he turned Chi into a murderous abomination.
- Kilchárunya - That's because it says here, he had access to technology that was coinciding with the Legion of the Deathmarch.
- Vekaron - Does it say where these Zirtonians come from?
- Kilchárunya - Zirton. Well that was anti-climatic.
- Vekaron - I mean, are they native to Borealis?
- Kilchárunya - Not sure. Data is broken at that point.
Kilchárunya searched into the systems further.
- Kilchárunya - It says here also that he had a flagship called the 'Martem Ignis'. A ship of 'indeterminate origin and design'. Odd.
- Kamaris - Anything else?
- Kilchárunya - Yeah. Something here really does not add up. At all.
- Kirlisir - What's that?
- Kilchárunya - I searched into planet Zirton further. It turns out the Zirtonian race became extinct a while back.
Vekaron turned to Kilchárunya in confusion.
- Vekaron - ...What?
- Kilchárunya - Yeah. We're not talking fifty our a hundred years ago either. Seventeen thousand years ago.
- Vansenk - This isn't good.
- Kilchárunya - No. No it isn't. So we've got a criminal who hasn't been seen in over seventy five years from a race who was extinct seventeen thousand years ago. Sounds like a zombie to me.
- Kirlisir - A zombie...or a demon?
Kilchárunya looked at Kirlisir and then back at the terminal.
- Kilchárunya - With his former links to the Legion of the Deathmarch, it wouldn't be surprising if he was with the Dominion now.
- Vekaron - As Arkarixus would say, "Problematic".
- Kilchárunya - There's two things then I'd suggest, Commander. We go back to Borealis to relay this information, or we continue searching for info. My only suggestion is to find someone linked to this Martem Ignis ship.
Kilchárunya turned off the terminal.
- Kilchárunya - Your call.
- Vekaron - Looking for someone who knows of the ship might be better. We're more or less empty-handed right now.
- Kilchárunya - In that case, we'll have to find either Chi, Xi, Omega or someone who has seen them recently.
- Vansenk - Any suggestions of where we may start looking for them?
- Kilchárunya - Well...he's an arms trader. So there's two suggestions there. Check with Hyperborea for every transaction gone through there...or go to the Dominion.
- Vekaron - Go to the Dominion? No. That's going too far. We better go back to Hyperborea.
- Kilchárunya - Very well then. We should ask Agents stationed there whether they've seen anything suspicious.
- Wragrot - Back home it is.
- Kamaris - Why Agents?
- Kilchárunya - They'll spill information to us easier than official security would, believe it or not.
- Vekaron - And I imagine all of them want this entire incident dealt with as soon as possible.
- Kilchárunya - Exactly.
- Kirlisir - Let's go then, this place gives me the creeps.
The Fight of the Manliest
It was rare that UNO ever needed to dispatch the entire UNOC team to a single world. Often only a single UNOC member could decimate entires armies and sort out most of the trouble. This time, however, everyone was needed. The Rogue Boyz had brought all the Rogue Warbosses in an attack on the Vyronicia world to try and kill the cultists. If UNO lost that, they'd be at a signficant disadvantage. On a shuttle heading down to the world, the team chatted amongst themselves.
- Thr'aloy - I don't like this. i meen i wanna smash loronz as much as da next guy but dis seems weird. wat kind of dumass sends all deir peepz to take ova one planet. its a trap man i swer
- Dalverat - It is indeed weird of Da Rogue Boyz to be doing such a move...Are they...actually planning something ahead?
- Vaktyl - Man, I doubt it. I think they just got bored and had the idea at a pizza party.
- Darwishi - I don't know about you, but I think we can just blow this whole planet up! Kill all the Loron on it and we'll defeat the Rogue Boyz in one hit!
- Dalverat - Idiotic. This is the world of the Blyro'Tralzica, one of the most important planets in our entire empire. Losing it is out of the question.
- Zelfron III - Seconded. Let's not kill innocents over this matter.
The shuttle landed, right in front of the Loron army. This was one of the biggest armies of Loron they'd seen.
- Vailisa - Oh hahaha...this is gonna be fun!! THE FIST SMASH PUNY LORON BUGS!!!
- Vaktyl - C'mon, Darwishi, you ready to blow stuff up?
- Darwishi - Heheh...I'm always ready. Let's set the skies and the land on fire!
In front of the army were the Rogue Leedas and Warbosses. Brag'klogga flew around the air chanting madly.
- Brag'klogga - HERETIKS OF ZR'AN'KAR YOR DAY HAS COM!!!!!!
- Ray'loth - OI UNOCS HEER MAN. PISS OFF CANT YA SEE WES BUSY KILLIN YOR PEEPS
- Thr'aloy - We are here to prevent that. COPYCAT DUMBO
- Fre'kloar - IMMA PREVENT YA MOM
- Thr'aloy - Eh. u wot m8 yor gonna buy us free condoms? safe blud
- Fre'kloar - hm wait dat sounded wrong
- Jol'kiar - FUKIN SHUP. KILL DEM NAAAAAO
Jol'kiar pointed at UNOC and the Loron army charged at their direction. Vaktyl opened fire, his chaingun turning hundreds of Loron to paste. Darwishi dropped bombs over their heads, while Zelfron III cut them to shreds and Lupercal blasted Chronoscopic. Dalverat, of course, raised the dead Loron to fight amongst themselves, as Vailisa stepped on them.
- Thr'aloy - You have no hope. WE CAN TAKE ON ENTIRE ARMIES BY OURSELVES MAN
- Kal'kuir - WOW YOO NEED A FUKIN NERF
Meanwhile, Kalcedia, from the backlines, fired her sniper rifle at the Loron tanks. Her rifle was loaded with exploding bullets. The Loron tanks were destroyed in only a few shots.
- Thr'aloy - Hah! TAKE DAT LOSAS
- Fre'kloar - DAM DIS. GRAK'TONA DO SUMFIN
Grak'tona walked up in front of UNOC and pointed at his crown.
- Grak'tona - AS DA KING I ORDER YAS TA STAND DOWN
- Thr'aloy - Hahahaha NAH M8
Thr'aloy punched Grak'tona, and knocked the crown off his head, then pointed at him and laughed. Grak'tona shouted angrily and ran after his crown. Fre'kloar facepalmed.
- Hagto'Zhl - i told ya it wuldnt work but NOOOOO NO ONE LISSES TA ME EVA
- Jol'kiar - NO ONE LISSENS TO YOO COS YOR FULL OF CRAP
- Gol'thabex - man to be honest all of yoos ar. but oh well. anyways if yoo guys pay me ill shank one of dem
- Fre'kloar - i will NOT SLAP YOO ACROSS DA FAIC if yoo shank dem
- ??? - How about you all get a slap across the face?
- Fre'kloar - eh?
Above in the skies, a creature of Zargoth appeared. Many of them recognised it as Antagonar.
- Antagonar - Hah! As if I'd miss one of the greatest displays of manhood in Borealis over one of my own planets!
- Dalverat - Antagonar!
- Hagto'Zhl - OI UNCLE
- Antagonar - Yes it's me! I am offended that I was not invited to this brawl. How about I brawl you all?
- Fre'kloar - YOO WANNA SLAP? FINE DEN
- Dalverat - The situation has worsened considerably. Concentrate your efforts in getting rid of him!
Several Vyronicia Knights appeared, all pointing their weapons towards Antagonar.
- Antagonar - Ahem. Enough with this chat! Let's test our manlihood and brawl!
Antagonar then stepped down, pulled out his swords, and turned to the toughest looking - which happened to be Fre'kloar - and charged towards to fight him. Fre'kloar charged at Antagonar while screaming angrily to punch and kick him. Antagonar slashed Fre'kloar with his sword and kicked him aside, then turned towards Thr'aloy, who beat him before being kicked back.
- Hagto'Zhl - antagonar? usin wepons? YOO DUNT LOOK LIKE YOO
- Antagonar - Come on then, Hagto'Zhl, your uncle wants a brawl!
- Hagto'Zhl - DUNTCHA CHALLENJ ME
Hagto'Zhl threw himself at Antagonar and punched him repeteadly. Antagonar was taken aback, though he humbly threw Hagto'Zhl to the ground and then stomped on him. He turned towards Vailisa.
- Antagonar - And you, huge thing. How would you like to face me in combat? Shall we see if size matters?
- Vailisa - THE FIST SMASH SMUG VYRO'RALZA!
Vailisa sent his huge fists at Antagonar's direction with the intention of crushing him. He was knocked back badly, falling to the floor. He then got up, and started hovering above the ground again.
- Antagonar - Hmph...well, you seem strong indeed.
Knar'gank appeared behind Antagonar and backstabbed him with his shankas. Antagonar threw the sneaky Knar'gank off, though he was cut by the blades. He then looked around at UNOC, and noticed an abscence among them.
- Antagonar - Say...whatever happened to that Valzo fellow?
- Thr'aloy - Valzo was killed years ago. wow yor fukin stoopid isnt yoo supposed ta be a time god
- Antagonar - ...I see.
Antagonar then pulled out his blades, and rushed straight towards Gol'thabex with a slash of his blade. Gol'thabex relaliated by throwing his axes at Antagonar as he charged at his direction. The axes knocked Antagonar to the ground once again. It was clear that in this form, he had been weakened.
- Antagonar - You are all very deserving of your reputations. Quite the fighters you are indeed.
- Dalverat - Hmpf. It seems time has not been gentle to you, Antagonar.
- Antagonar - Indeed, it has not. I enjoy our little fight, though. I think we've come to an understanding.
Of course, he soon realised that he needed to toughen his image, and then corrected his statement.
- Antagonar - ...An understanding that I'm going to crush you all!
Two more arms appeared from his shoulders, both carrying firearms which fired upon the group. Thr'aloy and Ray'loth both charged at Antagonar while both Kalcedia and Naktor'zak fired at him with their weapons. Antagonar, using all four of his arms, tried to fight them all at once. Dalverat ordered his undead minions to attack Antagonar as well, while Brag'klogga fired blasts of Dark Chronoscopic Energy. At this point, they were trying to overwhelm Antagonar with their attacks.
- Antagonar - Not bad. Your tactics are good. This has been an enjoyable fight so far.
- Jol'kiar - STOP TALKIN LIKE GENRAI NAL
He then coughed, and rose in the air again.
- Antagonar - But enough with the expository banter. Let's fight like men! And Loron! And Loron who sit in tanks! For Antagonar...it's time to switch things up!
Antagonar grew four more arms, giving him a total of eight. Four with firearms, and four with blades. Da Propa Big Rogue Smasha entered the fight and fired its spacetime defects at Antagonar, while Drizz'pyrokirk fired his freezflamas. Zelfron III engaged in melee combat and striked at him with his blade. Of course, the proud Antagonar attempted to fight them all at once with all of his weapons.
- Fre'kloar - fuk sake JUS DAI ALREDY
- Antagonar - That'd be unsporting, wouldn't it?
And suddenly, another voice appeared.
- Zargoth - Indeed, it would.
- Dalverat - ...Oh no.
- Hagto'Zhl - GRANDPA
- Zargoth - I've no need for failures, Antagonar.
- Antagonar - What? But I wasn't finished fighting!
- Thr'aloy - Hah. C NOT EVEN YA OWN BOSS LIKES YOO MAN
- Zargoth - You may have noticed, but I'm phasing out any 'servants' I have. I'd much rather do everything alone. And phasing out servants includes you...
- Antagonar - Damnit, no! At least give me back to Kolossus!
A portal appeared below Antagonar, and was only sucking him in. UNOC and the Rogue Loron watched, unsure of what was going on.
- Antagonar - No! NOT THE VOID! ANYTHING BUT THAT!
- Zargoth - I'll take you to the void. Maybe they can teach you a lesson there. And maybe Volim will have a new friend!
- Antagonar - NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
- Kalcedia - He's being imprisoned? Aw. I was wondering, if he can multiply his number of arms, perhaps he can also multiply his number of d-
- 'Knar'gank - shut up befor i slap yoo
- Zargoth - Well, I'm done here. Enjoy the cheeseland.
Antagonar was sucked in, with only his arms trying to keep him above ground. Zargoth was gone.
- Antagonar - NOOOOOO...HAHA FOOL! I AM NOT LIKE VOLIM, I CAN LEAVE THE VOID!! I WILL TRAVEL AROUND, AND BE THE GREATEST WEILDER OF WEAPONS!!
And then, he could no longer hold on, and fell in.
- Antagonar - YOU'LL SEEEEEEEE!!!!!!
The portal closed.
- Thr'aloy - Well. dafuk jus happened
- Fre'kloar - erm...idunno bout yoo but i fink we shuld call it a day fer nao
- Jol'kiar - mite as well
- Thr'aloy - Indeed. yeh man it was fun an all. can i jus ask whai yoo sent everyone to attak da planet btw
- Fre'kloar - well Brag'klogga wus shoutin bout da blyro'thingies bein "heretiks" all da time plus we wanted ta push all da buttons on da taldar artifacts ta see if dey could DISPENSE PIZZA
- Grak'tona - reli? i thought we was jus goin fer a groop bondin activity
- Gol'thabex - dats ghey as fuk man get offa me
- Grak'tona - wow fuk yoo im da king
- Dalverat - Well, there goes my theory of Loron tactics. Let's move out, UNOC.
UNOC all returned to their shuttle, while the Rogue Boyz teleported up to the Propa Big Krooza.
Invasion of Autmau
Everything seemed fine at the Zoles Imperium world of Autmau, located at the outer skirts of Alliance territory, at least until ships of teh Children of Synthesis arrived. For the first time, the Children were launching an attack on the Zoles to obtain their genetic codes in Vorius' name. Leading the fleet was the Iron Fist followed by the Assassin Class Stealth Cruiser, former flagship of the Aurfaust PMC now turned into a ship lettered to the brim with mutants and chimeras. The fleet attacked the Zoles Imperium defenses with no remorse or empathy. Their single-minded, hiveminded behaviour meant they had no fear or mercy for their enmies at all.
Soon, mutants invaded the cities on foot and engaged the ground forces, overwhelming them with their sheer numbers. Voirus and his new cohort, the Spawn of Vengeance, also landed and followed their armies. Behind the front lines, the commander of the Zoles forces, a young Zoles woman, watched as the mutants destroyed her forces with little difficulty.
- Commander - What in the ancestors' name are those things?!
- Soldier - We don't know, ma'am, but they're advancing extremely fast! And there's this giant individual who is sustaining tank shots like nothing.
- Commander - What? Put it on my screen, now!
The commander's screen showed Vorius himself. Zoles vehicles unleashed their most powerful weapons at the monster, who sustained their shots, unflinching. Faces forced out of his being and screamed, deafening the battlefield. With his tentacles, Vorius grabbed the Imperial tanks and threw them away as if they were nothing but little pieces of paper. The commander put her hand on her mouth, terrified of what she was seeing. It was impossible in her eyes, yet she could see it.
- Commander - ...This...this is our end. We'll die here!
- Soldier - Ma'am? Ma'am, control yourself!
- Commander - We can't kill it! We're done for!
- Soldier - No, we can survive still. We can evacuate.
- Commander - ...Yes. Yes! That's it! Order an evacuation! Immediately!
Before anyone could do anything, however, the mutants breached into the base and attacked. Soldiers attempted to fire back only to be killed or eaten alive by the hordes of chimeras. The scene completely broke the young commander, who felt herself rigid. Vorius' visage appeared on the fire caused by the attack, glaring down at the base, while the Spawn entered himself and stood in front of the commander. With a raspy, hissing voice, it spoke to her.
- Spawn - Become one...with the plan.
- Commander - ...Aaaah! Aaaaah!
In a fit of panic, the commander grabbed her pistol and shot the Spawn several times. The Spawn, however, remained indifferent from the attacks. It let a shriek and its tentacles extended, then pierced the commander's body at various points, killing her instantly. After the carnage had endeded, Vorius himself entered the building, and the Spawn turned to him.
- Spawn - I've left the corpses here...so you may absorbed them..exactly as you seem fit...master.
Vorius began consuming the corpses as he had done to every victim before them. However, his gaze did not even hit the Spawn's. Vorius was completely indifferent to what the small flesh mass said or thought about. IAfter he was done, he simply left, followed by his hybrids. The Spawn, however, remained behind and idle.
- Spawn - You...you...
The Spawn's various eyes narrowed as it clenched its fists. A feeling of anger hit it.
- Spawn - You won't even thank me...for my work...you...ingrate...
Deep into Hyperborea
Invaders at the Station
The team took the shuttle to Hyperborea. After a discussion in landing, they stepped outside into the hangar of the station. They noticed that, as they looked around them, Agent activity had gone up since their last visit.
- Wragrot - Seems like they upped the security a bit.
- Kilchárunya - I dunno if I could call that security.
- Kirlisir - Pfft, nannies.
On monitors scattered around the hangar, many citizens were watching the recent news. The team could see them speaking of the recent attack on the Zoles colony of Autmau, and showed images of the Children of Synthesis attacking. The team could recognize Vorius in the images.
- Vansenk - Concerning. I'd say that's a cause for worry.
- Vekaron - ...That thing again.
- Kilchárunya - ...Why don't they censor anything here?
- Wragrot - That's the ugliest army I've ever seen in my life.
- Kirlisir - I don't know, I've seen Murgur fighting. They're pretty grotesque.
- Wragrot - And you look like a toothpick.
- Vekaron - We got Chi already, and now that thing is attacking Imperial planets. The situation is getting out of hand.
Agents were asking numerous citizens and stoppers-by of the station, often in groups. More suspicious looking individuals were being questioned more thoroughly; that was, multiple Agents surrounding them at one time.
- Wragrot - So what now? We walk up to one of them?
- Kilchárunya - Uh. I'd rather let them walk up to us.
- Wragrot - Right. Let's hope they hurry up then.
A few minutes passed before an Agent clad in metallic black armour, very similar to how Chi looked, walked up to them, accompanied by two others in the same set of armour. Their drones flew overhead, albeit much smaller than the ones they encountered in Andromeda. The Agents were of similar height to Vekaron, as they looked at him and then down at the team.
- Agent - Penumbran Vekaron?
- Vekaron - That's me.
- Agent - Well. As you can see we are conducting questions. Suspicious activity of our interest has arisen in this area.
- Vansenk - I remember similar actions during my time onboard the Hseraelna vessel. People were questioned out of paranoia and suspicion. Those they found to be even the slightest trace of guilty were executed.
- Wragrot - Let me guess. Guilty as in not loving demons.
- Vekaron - I take you mean Agent Chi.
- Agent - Chi, Xi, Omega. One of those three. We've seen activity rise here. Related to Chi but signs of criminal species - Auatorom, Kondrakar....Hseraelna. Arms trade. Drugs trade in Hyperborea.
- Wragrot - Kondra-what now?
- Agent - Species native to Borealis. Long, speak in a sibilant manner. Range around four metres tall.
- Vekaron - Never heard of.
- Kirlisir - ...Brr, Kondrakar.
- Kilchárunya - So...you're saying Dominion species have been seen in Hyperborea?
- Agent - We don't know. We're not ruling out that possibility.
- Vekaron - This day is just getting worse.
- Kirlisir - So much for a holiday.
- Agent - We've had sightings of these species in the lower mechanics of the station. Quite possibly using stealth tech. We've had small sightings.
- Kilchárunya - ...And you want us to go take a look?
- Kamaris - Even if you don't want to, it will help with our search.
- Kilchárunya - Agh.
- Vansenk - Brilliant.
- Vekaron - We can't afford having Dominion servants on the station. They need to be found, interrogated and eliminated.
- Agent - Well. If you want to go take a look, then be my guest. We have not been given authorization to explore that region of the station.
- Wragrot - I'd expect you lot to rush in and throw everyone off their feet as you did.
- Kirlisir - Seconded.
- Vansenk - If there are Hseraelna here, we must combat and exterminate them. They must all die.
- Vekaron - Let's not give them any time to escape. Move out.
- Kilchárunya - Right...so where is the engineering and all that then?
- Vekaron - Just ask a Caretaker.
- Kilchárunya - Uh. I'll let you do that.
The team reached the innards of the space station. Technologically, it was beyond that of any race that the team were from, lit in a cold atmosphere. Vekaron looked around with interest, while Wragrot appeared downright confused.
- Kilchárunya - So this is Kormacvar technology? Pretty...uh...cool. Heh.
- Kamaris - That joke was terrible.
- Kirlisir - ...Fascinating. Reminds me of Rovegar architecture, in a way, but definitely more freezing.
- Wragrot - Everything is so...lean and clean and grey and blue and cold, agh why is it so cold in here?
- Kilchárunya - They were called Cold Ones for a reason.
- Vekaron - Project Armageddon, the Kormacvar weapon used by the Seagon during the Second Great War, was just like this on the inside too.
- Wragrot - Was it this cold too?
- Vekaron - Yes.
- Wragrot - Stupid Seagon.
As they walked further down, a slow shadow could be seen obscure the light that shone down on the group. Vekaron slowly gripped on his blade while Wragrot put a hand over his mouth as they noticed it. Kirlisir prepared her blade, Vansenk grasped ahold of his sickle and assumed a stance.
- Kilchárunya - Urm...what was that?
- Vekaron - We're not alone here.
- Wragrot - Hey. Bluehead. You seem to know about those Kondrakar. What are these?
- Kirlisir - Unpleasant. Very, very unpleasant. If you've encountered something like a giant worm, imagine that but with arms. And lots of teeth.
There was a loud, deep hiss that caused them metals of the room to tremor, as the echo passed through the halls.
- Vekaron - Definetely not alone. Everyone keep your weapons ready.
- Kilchárunya - ...Do Kondrakar sound like that?
- Kamaris - No.
Large, syrup-like drops of liquid fell from the ceiling. As it came into contact with Kamaris' armour, it caused it to burn. Wragrot looked at Kamaris in confusion, and then looked up. As he looked up, a shadowed figure of a titanic Zí-Jittorám could be seen clinging on to the ceiling.
- Wragrot - Literally fuck off.
The Zí-Jittorám dropped from the ceiling. Kamaris and Kilchárunya dived out of the way, but the impact of the monster on the floor caused them to lose their balance, flooring them. Kirlisir leaped away but was pounded against the wall by the force of the impact, while Vansenk slithered into the darkness. Vekaron was launched into the floor by the impact, while Wragrot fell into his back. The Zí-Jittorám let out an immense roar that shook the walls of the corridor, before manically slamming its fists towards the team.
- Wragrot - That's not a Kondrakar. I was told we'd be fighting worms, not trees.
Wragrot took his shotgun and fired at the Zí-Jittorám's chest. The Zí-Jittorám flinched, before a deep, heavy laugh came out of its mouth. It stood to its full height, doubling Wragrot in size. Wragrot narrowed his eyes and kept firing, while Vekaron attempted to slash at it at its legs. The Zí-Jittorám fell forward, swinging its giant fists at Vekaron and Wragrot before it charged forward.
Vekaron was thrown back and hit a wall, while Wragrot leaped back to evade the attacks. The Zí-Jittorám's mouth swelled up, before waves upon waves of corrosive acid burst out in a wide spray. Kilchárunya leapt back from the spray whilst Kamaris crouched down, taking the acid on to his armour. Kirlisir launched herself forward, dancing around the alien as it sprayed its load onto the group. She used the opportunity in an attempt to dismember one of its limbs with swift strikes to its joints.
The incredibly thick skin of the Zí-Jittorám caused the creature to fall on the floor, before jumping back up into the darkness of the ceiling. Wragrot helped Vekaron get back up, with the two of them looking up.
- Vekaron - We should've asked the Agents to follow us here.
- Kirlisir - The only time we need them and they're not here.
- Wragrot - Where the hell is Stinky at?
- Kirlisir - Probably bathing in some sewage. I'm not entirely sure.
- Wragrot - Next time we fight a Zí-Jittorám, I'll use him as a bat so he can't run off.
At the far end of the corridor, the Zí-Jittorám dropped back down. In an equally quick move, it charged at the group with alarming speed. As the Zí-Jittorám ran forward towards the group, the aforementioned rogue Hseraelna sprung from the darkness and clasped onto the monster's back, striking its head and spine with his sickle. Wragrot blasted a pulse of energy through the corridor to make the Zí-Jittorám trip as it charged.
The Zí-Jittorám crashed to the floor, but rose back up in a frantic motion to bash itself into the wall to derail Vansenk from it. Vansenk slithered, crawled and climbed across its larger body, providing a worthwhile nuisance to the beast while continuing to chip away at it with his weapon. Wragrot took the opportunity to fire at the creature's chest, aiming for the eye, with Vekaron trying to strike it with his blade. It screamed as its eye was hit, before it returned with numerous whipping motions from its tongue. From where it hit the ground, it scarred the floor with burns.
Vekaron stepped back to evade the attacks while Wragrot put his tongue out in disgust. One of the whips smashed straight into Kilchárunya's leg, hurtling her into the side of the wall. Vansenk launched himself from the creature and landed near the team, combating the whip-like tongue with his scythe as it transitioned from his sickle, while Wragrot sent more psychic pulses and fired at the Zí-Jittorám, keeping his distance. The tongue wrapped itself around Vansenk's arm, before it tried to pull him back into its mouth. Kamaris, at a last second fired at the Zí-Jittorám's tongue, severing it and sending acidic blood everywhere.
Wragrot let out a "yuck" and created a psychic barrier in front of the team to protect them against the acid. The Zí-Jittorám then fell again from another pulse. It started to slam itself into the ground and the wall faster than before, quite obviously angry. Vansenk looked towards Kamaris with a grateful expression, nodding in acknowledgement.
- Vansenk - ...Thank you.
- Wragrot - Screw whoever invented these bastards!
Kamaris nodded blindly at Vansenk before rushing towards the Zí-Jittorám.
- Kamaris - I hate these things.
- Wragrot - Everyone hates them. Hell, I've been at many bars and heard many stories, and none of them had "Zí-Jittorám are ok" in it.
- Kirlisir - Anything with a tongue that long is usually unpleasant by Rovegar standards.
- Vekaron - ...Heugh.
Kamaris unhooked his sword from its hold, and jumped upon the Zí-Jittorám, cleaving into it. Combined its weight and his physical strength, the blade stuck deeply into its shoulders. Vekaron followed Kamaris' lead and attacked with his own blade, while Wragrot kept shooting at the creature. Kirlisir ran past Vansenk and charged for the creature, sliding and dancing around it in order to strike at any vulnerabilities with her blades. The Zí-Jittorám fell to the ground as it started to groan painfully. Acidic blood trickled out of its mouth and from lesions made with their blades, as its eyes flickered almost furiously. Vekaron kept his distance from the acid while Wragrot barred his teeth and kept firing at the eye's direction.
The last shot caused the eye to burst, as more blood drenched the floor completely before the Zí-Jittorám went limp and crashed to the floor, dead. Vekaron jumped back, with a look of disgust, while Wragrot let out a groan. Kamaris yanked the blade out of the Zí-Jittorám's back, with enough force to send himself to the floor.
- Kirlisir - Like stepping on an ant. A big, deadly, freaking ugly ant.
- Wragrot - You Alliance loads need to, like, nuke their homeworld.
- Vekaron - Hm. We'd need to find it first.
- Kirlisir - Your people need to find easier methods of killing those things.
- Wragrot - "You people" include you, bluehead.
- Kamaris - That was an older Zí-Jittorám. I've never 'seen' one that big before.
- Vekaron - Let's hope this was the only one. Otherwise we'll have to go back and get reinforcements.
Kilchárunya stood back up, with a large gash of flesh torn away in her leg. Inside could be seen numerous threads of metallic strains as she walked towards the group. Vansenk approached Kilchárunya with concern, taking a few moments to observe the gash upon her leg.
- Vansenk - You're hurt.
- Kilchárunya - That? No. Luckily that just tore the synthetic flesh around my leg.
- Vansenk - Can I lick your wound better?
- Wragrot - Ew.
- Kilchárunya - Sinásátinmatzká.
- Vekaron - If you're not hurt, then let's proceed.
Kilchárunya nodded and walked on forward. Wragrot kicked the dead Zí-Jittorám and then followed, close to Vekaron.
- Kirlisir - You're going to need more than foundation to cover that up, lady.
- Kilchárunya - ...Eh?
- Kirlisir - Foundation. You know, make-up? Skin cream?
- Kilchárunya - Skin? No. Exoskeleton.
- Wragrot - Kicath wearing make-up! Bahaha!
- Kilchárunya - No, I'm serious. What's make up?
- Vekaron - Products you put on your body to look "prettier". At least, I was told mammalians do it.
- Kilchárunya - Why in the name of...whatever. Keep on moving.
- Wragrot - I was in a bad mood but that put me up again.
Chase at the Innards
In the distance, voices could be heard from numerous species. Vekaron and Wragrot positioned themselves close to a wall and listened to the voices. Kirlisir and Vansenk positioned themselves together, preparing their weaponry.
- Kamaris - I would take cover. Sounds like a group of seven. Perhaps eight.
- Wragrot - Ahead of you, bud.
- Kamaris - And if they come to take a look here?
- Wragrot - We kill them, of course.
- Kilchárunya - The Agent mentioned Dominion soldiers. That's not exactly a 'we go in and kill all of them' situation.
- Wragrot - That's why I'm taking cover on this wall, woman.
The voices approached. One of the shadows appeared to be a large Shaatorm Auatorom clad in black and golden armour. In his left arm he wielded an energy pike that beamed black energy. Vekaron peeked over from cover with his stalk eyes, staring at the direction of the shadows. The Auatorom was then accompanied by six other entities; three Kondrakar, one Mahanayan and two Zazane.
- Kirlisir - ...What are you doing?
- Vekaron - Ssh. They're coming.
- Auatorom - The Zí-Jittorám has been slain.
- Kondrakar 1 - By whom? I thought all of thesssse "Caretakersss" had been dealt with.
- Zazane 1 - That is what happens when you allow an animal to serve as a scout. This beast was massacred.
The Mahanayan growled as he looked at the blade mark in the Zí-Jittorám's back.
- Kondrakar 2 - If that'sssss ssssso...our "visssssitorssss" mussst ssstill be here.
- Mahanayan - A Colossus' blade. Unique blade mark.
- Auatorom - You. Zazane. Inform our contact. Reinforcements might be needed.
- Zazane 2 - Affirmative.
The Zazane, a woman in tightly-clad clothing and armour, walked away from the group as she raised a hand to her ear, speaking into it while her Zazane partner stayed with the group. The horns of the Kondrakar trio all made a loud cracking sound and twisted forward as they assumed a hunting stance.
- Zazane 1 - That is disgusting.
- Auatorom - As for the rest of you, search for these invaders. There's four of them...maybe five. One of them Zoles.
- Kondrakar 3 - Aaah. We will be the firssssst to give a Zolessss a tasssste of Kondrakar hossspitality.
- Kondrakar 1 - They think they own thissss galaxy. How wrong they are.
The Mahanayan's blade materialized in its hand as he walked away from the area, whilst the Auatorom stayed in place.
- Kilchárunya whispered - Well this isn't good. Got any ideas?
- Kirlisir - Stay away from the Kondrakar.
- Wragrot - Vomit on this exact spot.
- Kamaris - And the Auatorom right there?
- Vekaron - If he's as tough as the Chosen's dead acolyte, then we're in trouble.
- Kilchárunya - We'll need to surprise him then.
The Kondrakar trio slithered away, each to a different direction. The one closest to the team's general vicinity sniffed the air repeteadly. Meanwhile, the Zazane drew his serrated-edge blade, charged with potent energies, and wandered within the vicinity, breathing heavily through his helmet. The Auatorom examined the Zí-Jittorám's corpse and the numerous burns and slashes in the walls, ceiling and floor.
- Auatorom - They could not have gone far.
- Kirlisir - I was hoping to have avoided fighting Kondrakar throughout my life.
- Kamaris - If we don't make a move now, we'll die right here.
- Vekaron - The others are not here. Now it's our chance.
The Auatorom's head turned in the direction of their voices. Wragrot lunged himself into the Auatorom and delivered a punch to his head. The Auatorom flinched back as his shield sparked in gold, before he stood back up.
- Kamaris - Oh dear.
- Wragrot - Why didn't it go flying?
The Auatorom let out an intense screech, alerting his group to their position.
- Wragrot - ...Oops.
The Zazane turned and rushed to the Auatorom, grasping his blade tighly. Kirlisir prepared a stance, while the Zazane continued breathing heavily, steam erupting from his nostrils. The closest Kondrakar turned to the team's direction, hissing and slithering. As he took sight of Kirlisir, his eyes narrowed. The Mahanayan returned, with his blade in hand.
- Kilchárunya - Agh. Siná'in.
- Kondrakar 1 - A Rovegar, here?
- Kirlisir - Come and fight me, worm-tongue.
- Kondrakar 1 - Have you grown tired of hiding from the Ganthoreanssss yet, weak-bodied insssect?
- Kirlisir - You've grown tired of hiding from us, clearly.
Wragrot delivered more punches to the Auatorom while Vekaron prepared his blade. The Auatorom's shield soaked up the damage, before the Auatorom delivered a punch back. The Auatorom's hand gestured a motion to cease aggression. He walked up to Vekaron, looking down at him.
- Auatorom - You. I know who you are.
Wragrot fell on his back. Vekaron kept his blade on his eye as he watched the Auatorom. The Zazane approached Wragrot, blade in hand, and glared at the Murgur furiously before depositing his blade and clenching his fists.
- Zazane - I will not need a sword to claim your head, Murgur.
- Auatorom - This is one of the targets our contacted wanted. Sieze them.
- Vekaron - Not gonna happen.
The Auatorom's weapon raised.
- Auatorom - And do you think you will live through this if you don't cooperate?
- Wragrot - We ain't going nowhere. Also, Zazane fight like ladies!
- Zazane - ...Take that back before I tear out your tongue!
Wragrot charged his energy and then fired it directly at the ceiling. The ceiling came crashing down, pinning the Auatorom's team to the ground in a heavy thud.
- Kilchárunya - Good time to run now!
- Vekaron - Good job. Now let's go before the other Kondrakar show up.
- Kirlisir - Agreed. It's not like we can go anywhere else.
The wall sectioned off the corridor in which they entered, meaning they could only go further in. The Auatorom was still conscious as he struggled to lift the chunk of metal that came down on him, attempting to lift it off of him. Wragrot pointed and laughed at the Zazane as he ran, followed by Vekaron. Kamaris ran with the team, followed by Kilchárunya.
- Kilchárunya - Uh...where are we going?!
- Vekaron - Anywhere but there!
The Zazane roared furiously as he watched his opposition escape, causing him to slam the ground in an effort to raise the debris off of his body. Kirlisir and Vansenk followed in the middle of the group.
- Auatorom - Get me out of here, Zazane!
- Kondrakar 1 - Gah! My glandssss are being sssqueezed!.
The Zazane, his eyes twitching in a frenzy, threw the debris off of his body and approached the Auatorom, launching the metallic chunks off of his body in an angered fit. The Auatorom lifted himself off the ground, before tapping his intercom. The two other Kondrakar returned to the scene and helped their comrade out of the debris.
- Auatorom - Get me the damn reinforcements. Now!
The Auatorom hurled the beam off the Mahanayan's body, before lifting him up by the chest.
- Mahanayan - ...What reinforcements?
- Auatorom - Maulers will do.
- Kondrakar 1 - Don't sssstand there! After them! They have a Rovegar with them!
The Kondrakar glared to the direction the team had ran to and sprinted after them. The Zazane's partner, the female, approached the team once again as they gathered. Still furious, he slammed his womanly partner against a wall, squeezing her breast with increasing pressure.
- Zazane 1 - Stay out of my damned way!
Nearly two minutes after running, the team encountered a large group of Zí-Jittorám warriors flanking in a large hall, seemingly a storage room.
- Kilchárunya - Oh. Fuck.
- Kamaris - This I was not expecting.
- Wragrot - I'm not going near them.
- Kirlisir - Well this is just brilliant!
The Zí-Jittorám however, did not attack them. Instead, silence. All that could be heard was slow, approaching footsteps of something very large. Vekaron took a step back and looked around in confusion. Wragrot appeared apprehensive but kept a grip on his shotgun.
- Kilchárunya - Don't these Dominion fucks ever run out of things?
- Vekaron - I pity Kithworto and his team.
- Kirlisir - Who?
- Wragrot - Hell, forget about Kithworto. Pity me instead.
In a doorway, appeared two massive arms, which pulled itself forward. It was a Kheráglá, which more massive near-humanoid jaws. It was taller than the Zí-Jittorám they encountered before, and wielded large bladed claws.
- Kamaris - Now that is new.
- Wragrot - ...What in Kaos' name is that?
Kilchárunya looked around the room, and saw an exit to the left.
- Kirlisir - ...Where are those Kondrakar? I'm sure they need fighting instead.
- Kilchárunya - Guys. Over there. Exit.
- Vansenk - I think now is a perfect opportunity to practice our endurance running.
The Zí-Jittorám all looked aggressively at the Kheráglá, before it roared. The roar caused metallic crates to fall from their shelves, and the Zí-Jittorám all screeched and fled the scene.
- Wragrot - Fuck that. Leg off!
- Kilchárunya - Ladies first!
- Kirlisir - Thank you very much!
Kilchárunya stormed to the left, running quickly through the doorway, bashing some fleeing Zí-Jittorám to the ground. Kamaris followed at a considerably fast pace, but throwing more Zí-Jittorám around. Vekaron ran as fats as he could, while Wragrot threw himself forward to gain speed. Vansenk slithered across the battlefield while Kirlisir performed teleportation in order to travel faster. The Kheráglá followed, using its arms to scale the room, tearing down balconies and shelves.
- Kilchárunya - I reiterate; where are we going?!
- Vekaron - As far away from that thing as possible!
- Wragrot - I prefered Hyperborea when all you had to worry was food fights with Loron and not giant whatever the HELL they ares chasing you!
The Kheráglá, larger than the doorway they went through, rammed his entire body through it, sprinting quickly but awkwardly, crushing many Zí-Jittorám under its feet. Wragrot running on moving on all fours, with his teeth bared.
- Kamaris - Keep moving, there must be a place where these soldiers came from.
- Kilchárunya - Like, underground tunnels?
- Vekaron - There should be tunnels used by Caretakers nearby!
- Wragrot - Caretakers are smaller than my fist! I wouldn't fit in these!
The further the team moved down, eventually they came to a station. The Dominion soldiers all pointed their weapons at the team, before fleeing as they saw the Kheráglá behind them.
- Kilchárunya - Quick, take one of those cars!
Vekaron ran to the closest car, followed by Wragrot who panted heavily as he ran. The car that was at the station had a gun mounted on it, seemingly by the Dominion. Kilchárunya leapt on to the car as Kamaris met the car at the end. Vekaron and Wragrot both threw themselves into the car, with Wragrot causing it to shake as he hit it.
- Kilchárunya - Get this thing to move, quick!
- Wragrot' - You drive! I can't feel my legs!
The Kheráglá jammed its body in the stairway, too big to get through it. It clawed at the ground, tearing up the floor as it growled at the team. Kilchárunya madly slammed the controls in random succession as the car began to move. The weight of the gun at the end caused it to move slower than usual.
- Wragrot - One of you not completely tired, shoot the thing! I gotta take a break here.
The Kheráglá destroyed the wall it was jammed in, before rushing through the tunnels that the car went in.
- Kilchárunya - Someone! Gun! Shoot! Now!
Kirlisir grunted and threw herself to the back of the car, mounting herself upon the gun and taking aim. Using her inbuilt Rovegar technology to override various security codes, she began to shoot and fire rapidly at the monster, yelling as she did while her eyes narrowed, a grin forming on her face. The Kheráglá was blown back by the blasts, although not by much. It sent the monster into a frenzy, frantically crashing into the walls of the tunnel as it sprinted faster.
- Vekaron - It's not really working.
- Wragrot - Shoot harder!
Kirlisir continued firing, screaming as she fired more directly, blasting at the creature's face and joints.
- Kirlisir - How bout you help and act as bait, how bout that?!
- Wragrot - How about you go screw yourself?
- Kirlisir - Do you want me to keep firing?
The armour began to burn away as the shots hit the joints, and the creature began to slow down. From it's helm, a red light appeared as it stopped moving.
- Kilchárunya - ...Uh what is that?
- Vekaron - That can't be good.
- Kirlisir - It wasn't me! ...Or maybe it was, not sure.
- Kamaris - Sudden increase in temperature. Uh oh.
- Wragrot - ...It's gonna explode, isn't it?
- Vansenk - May I suggest taking cover? Or ducking?
- Kirlisir - Shut your trap!
The red light soon exploded into a continuous beam of energy as it severed the tunnel to burning shreds. The impact caused the train to move even faster, hurling Kilchárunya and Kamaris to the floor. Wragrot was thrown aside and crushed Vekaron under him. Vansenk was launched away while Kirlisir continued firing towards the colossal beast, her orientation and vision blurred and made difficult by the creature. It continued moving on forward, dodging Kirlisir's shots as it moved closer.
- Vekaron - Guuuuh!
- Wragrot - I'm not fat, I just got big bones.
- Kilchárunya - Yeah, and my legs are real.
- Vansenk - Doesn't mean I would not enjoy splaying my tongue across them.
- Wragrot - By Kaos, no, stop saying such things.
- Kilchárunya - Ech.
The Kheráglá started clawing at the car, with one of its claws severing off a section of the floor next to the gun.
- Wragrot - Man, the Dominion has terrible guns.
- Kirlisir - Bite me!
Kirlisir fired the gun into the red light upon its helmet as she dealt an ear-rending Rovegar screech, much more powerful and powerful than that used by the Rovegar infant some time ago. Vekaron and Wragrot both bared their teeth and put their hands over their ears from the screech. The Kheráglá's eyes contorted in pain as it heard the screech, before the shot hit the helmet. A gradual light formed on the top, before an immense explosion from the head of the creature.
- Vansenk - Well... it's working... Ow.
- Wragrot - We're lucky Gardin isn't a toddler. Imagine her crying like that all the time.
Kilchárunya struggled to keep a hold of the car, as the speed caused her to fly from it. Vekaron turned to Kilchárunya and held on her arm to keep her down. Kamaris dug his claws into the car, keeping himself grounded. Some seconds passed before a light appeared at the top of the tunnel.
- Kirlisir - How much further?
- Wragrot - We're doing it, folks!
The brakes kicked in, and a sharp jolt could be felt as the car slowed down abruptly. It was taken in slowly, meeting the terminal. As Vekaron and the crew looked around, the room was filled with Kicath Agents surveying the area.
- Vekaron - Incoming Dominion monster!
The Kheráglá rushed out of the tunnel following them, before an Agent heavy weapon shot a bolt of white energy directly under its jaw, shooting straight through its head and sent it hurtling to the ground. Vekaron and Wragrot both left the car, slighty dizzy. Kamaris stood back up, whilst Kilchárunya simply rolled out of the cart and moaned in dizziness on the floor. Vansenk emerged from the car; he fell forward and slid across the floor, drooling and twitching.
- Kirlisir - ...I could have done that.
- Vekaron - Make sure it's dead. The innards of the station are filled with Dominion creatures.
One of the Agents nodded, and, with the heavy weapon, walked into the tunnel with a group holding the same weapon. Vekaron shook his head and got back to his senses. Wragrot sat on the floor, grumbling. Kirlisir tore the gun from the car and carried it with her, leaping from the vehicle and approaching the gang while casually carrying the heavyweight weapon.
One Agent in particular however approached the group. His armour colouration was different, noting status among the other Agents. Kilchárunya read the glyphs engraved into the side of his collar, reading 'eleven'. It was Agent Lambda, one of the Agent II Kicath.
- Lambda - Vekaron? I thought Alpha sent you to Tauyachon-4.
- Vekaron - We're back from that planet already. We were looking for clues here now, and found a bunch of Xhodocto Dominion soldiers inside the station.
- Lambda - Well I can see that. Whilst you were down there we discovered this station. We cleared out the Dominion presence...and captured the ringleader of the duo. He might have some information for you.
- Vekaron - Good job.
- Wragrot - Yeah. Next time we'll take you guys with us.
- Lambda - Unfortunately that's not your call. Nonetheless, the ringleader is being held over there.
- Vekaron - Lead the way, please.
Lambda looked rather confused at Vekaron's command, and instead pointed in the direction. In said direction, Agents were guarding a doorway, and shadows of what seemed to be more Agents were inside.
- Wragrot - I don't think he likes you.
- Vekaron - Was I...too polite?
Lambda took no notice of Vekaron's words and walked away, speaking to more Agents.
- Kilchárunya - Yeah. Agents aren't used to being asked to do things.
- Vekaron - Wow. Okay. I'll remember that then. Don't be polite with Kicath.
- Kirlisir - So... we demand instead?
- Kilchárunya - Actually neither. Trust me, better off letting them do what they want. Last time an Agent got confused he tore my legs off.
- Wragrot - You gonna keep that gun? It's too big for your tiny hands.
- Kirlisir - It's not too big to fit up your ass.
- Wragrot - Now you're just being nasty.
Vekaron led his team to the doorway. In the room, a Dominion soldier, stripped of his armour to nothing but the stasis suit underneath was held in suspension in the middle. Numerous Agents wielded precision rifles directly at his head. It was a Zí-Jittorám that was held.
- Wragrot - You guys managed to capture the least useful kind of soldier.
- Zí-Jittorám - Watch what you're saying, Murgur.
- Wragrot - Also aim at the eye, not at the head.
- Kilchárunya - ...Did that thing just speak? Zí-Jittorám never speak.
- Vekaron - I'm surprised as well.
The Agents all looked at Wragrot with disbelief and then lowered their aim to the chest. Kirlisir aimed her new gun towards the captive, her eye widening as it spoke.
- Vekaron - Why were you and those other soldiers here?
- Zí-Jittorám - Wasn't it obvious? I thought you Zoles were smart.
- Vekaron - I want to hear it from you.
- Zí-Jittorám - Crates, armoured guards, a Kheráglá? Arms trade of course.
- Wragrot - Your Dominion really let itself go.
The Zí-Jittorám laughed. Being smaller than the first one they encountered, it was controlled and higher-pitched.
- Zí-Jittorám - If I was being ordered by the Dominion, I would be upstairs chewing on a Zoles child right now.
- Vekaron - Who are you working for, then? The Benefactor?
- Zí-Jittorám - I don't give that information freely.
- Kirlisir - Poke him in the eye.
Wragrot threw his fist at the Zí-Jittorám's right arm, hitting him at his eyes. The eyes flickered as a slight screech could be heard from the Zí-Jittorám.
- Wragrot - You talk or I'll blind you one eye at a time.
- Zí-Jittorám - You know better than to anger a Zí-Jittorám, don't you?
- Wragrot - Do I look like I care?
Wragrot delivered a harder punch. The Zí-Jittorám screeched again, before talking.
- Kirlisir - We killed one of your larger brethren earlier with ease, massacred him. You'd better answer our questions.
- Zí-Jittorám - I'm not the one you should be scared of. Three Kicath. Two black, one white.
- Vekaron - Three Kicath, hm? It must be Chi and those other two Alpha mentioned, Xi and Omega.
- Zí-Jittorám - Oh yes. Once they come, you're all going to die.
- Vekaron - Hm. Alpha should be informed of this.
- Wragrot - Better get all the defenses ready and stuff, just in case.
- Kilchárunya - Wait. Where is the Benefactor?
- Wragrot - Yeah, there's that. Tell us what you know about him. Now.
- Zí-Jittorám - Do you think I am stupid, Kicath?
Wragrot grabbed one of the Zí-Jittorám's arms and dug his claws on one of his eyes. The Zí-Jittorám screeched out before its tongue wrapped around Wragrot's neck, acid burning his skin.
- Wragrot - Get your stinking tongue out of my neck and start talking, you little shit.
The Zí-Jittorám unfurled his tongue, hurling Wragrot away. The Murgur hit a wall and fell on the floor, holding on his neck.
- Vekaron - If he won't tell us anything else, he should be terminated here.
- Kirlisir - He should tell us where his damned homeworld is.
- Zí-Jittorám - ...I suppose you want to know about the Martem Ignis then.
- Wragrot - Start-agh, talking now.
- Zí-Jittorám - Heheheheh. Go to planet Afiloxenos, and you'll have your answers.
- Vekaron - Tell us where that is.
- Zí-Jittorám - Demolidus Sector. Find the Martem Ignis stationed there, and you'll have your answers.
- Vekaron - Hm. Very well then. I suppose that's all.
One of the Agents nodded and drove his fist through the Zí-Jittorám's chest, rendering it limp before falling on the floor. Wragrot let out a chuckle and then let out a pained "ow".
- Vekaron - Well team, we're going to the Zí-Jittorám homeworld. I'm not sure how to feel about this.
- Kilchárunya - I don't like this. Why would he just give us the answer?
- Wragrot - Probably a-ouch-trap. We should be prepared.
- Kirlisir - Agreed. Luckily, I have a new gun.
- Kilchárunya - ...Alright then. Death World it is.
- Wragrot - Medi-bay first. My throat is literally melting right now.
- Kirlisir - Aww, want me to kiss it better?
- Wragrot - You can do that but your face will probably melt off too.
Benefiting the Warlord
In an isolated planet, Torrent kept himself hidden from everyone, including his own servants. Since the encounter with Vorius, he had become paranoid. When he stared into the monster's eyes, it felt like he was staring directly at Regnatus again. The mere thought of it made Torrent hold his pain in head. He was not in healthy conditions of leading his empire. Torrent sat on a chair and looked through several monitors, where he watched the news across the galaxy. His bird Scallywag sat on the chair's shoulder and watched the news as well. He watched as the mutants he had seen were now attacking the Zoles Imperium, but then his attention turned to the news of a rogue Kicath Agent. He did not think such a thing was possible.
Within his room, he could hear deep humming sounds fly overhead, something along the lines of a drop shuttle. Torrent turned his head and bared his teeth. No one was supposed to know about his location. The sound from the ship was somewhat mysterious - it bore no familiarity to Torrent as it passed over the compound. The sound of the ship landing in a close vicinity was heard. Robotic guards quickly made their way to the ship's direction to eliminate the invaders. Meanwhile, Scallywag flew outside so it could see what was happening.
The dropship's build was equally mysterious - the design appeared somewhat feral in build, as if it were numerous layers of black shards laid upon each other. The side of the ship unfurled as the Benefactor himself, accompanied by a tall, silver-white Kicath. As the robots approached their location, they aimed their weapons at them.
- Robot - You have no authorization to be within this solar system.
The Kicath figure stepped forward, as his two arms morphed into long, serrated blades. Being provoked, the robots opened fire at the Kicath. Despite the Kicath's size, well over four metres, the robots were slashed to pieces in swift and contortionist movements. The beams of plasma that shot at his body dissipated upon contact, and seemingly missed the Benefactor entirely. The robots were quickly destroyed, opening the way to the base. In a distance, Scallywag's cyborg eyes shined in a intense red as they recorded the fight, and once it was done, the bird flew inside again.
The Benefactor moved on forward, with the Kicath behind him and his arms still sword-like. He walked his way in, coming to the very door that Torrent himself was seated behind. As the Benefactor opened the steel doors, he was greeted with a pitch-black Torrent who sent his fist at his direction. The Benefactor's hand raised to meet Torrent's fist. Upon contact, an infernal sting went through Torrent's body as he was flung away in a crimson red flash of energy. Torrent hit the wall on the other side of the room, destroying the monitors he was watching and leaving a dent on the wall. He fell on his feet on the floor and glared at the Benefactor's direction.
- Torrent - Who are you, alien? How did you even find me?!
- The Benefactor - I know many a great thing, Kvargo. Your location being one of them.
- Torrent - Answer me, creature. Who are you?
- The Benefactor - Who am I, indeed. A friend or a foe? That is your decision.
Torrent looked at the Benefactor with a weirded look for a few seconds. He relaxed from his bombat stance, though his arms were still pitch black in colouration.
- Torrent - What do you want from me?
The Benefactor strafed the room, looking at his surroundings with intrigue.
- The Benefactor - A friend then. My actual question is what you want from me. I have a proposition for you, granted that you take it.
- Torrent - Proposition, hm? Very well, I'm listening.
- The Benefactor - Well. We see that your legion is in disarray. Afraid of Vorius. I can promise you immunity to his influence, provided you give me something in return.
- Torrent - Is that how that...thing is called now? And I'm interested. I can't work if that creature is lurking about.
- The Benefactor - Then we are in agreement? What do you desire, Torrent? What do you require to...rebuild the Legion?
Torrent looked behind the Benefactor to see the silver-plated Kicath.
- Torrent - You're the one behind the rogue Agent, aren't you?
- The Benefactor - Indeed. This is Omega.
Omega did not move, nor did he acknowledge Torrent.
- Torrent - Hm. What I desire? I desire the Polar Crystal Alliance in ruins. I desire to create my own empire, and to bury the Wranploer below my legacy.
The Benefactor turned to Torrent, holding his hands together.
- The Benefactor - This I can promise. Weapons in trade, armament potent enough to eradicate the Alliance...and Vorius if you so wish.
- Torrent - Yes. All of that will help. The Alliance must die...and Regnatus must stay dead.
- The Benefactor - Then we are settled. There is only one thing I desire in return.
- Torrent - What is it?
- The Benefactor - You must swear upon your own blood that you do not betray my trust for your own ends. If you do, great calamity will befall you from all four corners of the universe.
- Torrent - Hm...very well.
- The Benefactor - We have a deal then?
- Torrent - Yes. We have a deal.
The Benefactor smiled, before reaching out his hand. His body was concealed in an ornate blackened armour, right down to his very claws. Torrent reached his own hand, which at this point had reverted back to normal. As the hands met in a gesture to shake, heavy, burning imprints were left on his hand. Torrent again felt the infernal sting, but was prolonged - upon ending contact, the Benefactor smiled again before walking out.
Torrent looked at his hand and then watched the Benefactor leaving, with an eyebow raised. On his hand, was left a steaming mark of indeterminate origin, but it appeared ominous, bordering supernatural.
- Torrent - ...Space magic. Hmpf.
Having returned to New Wranploer Legion territory, Torrent was on his new hidden headquarters, planning what to do next. With his Legion still in disarray, it would take a long time to get everything back normal. As he took his seat to think, from nowhere, a knife was thrown at a rapid pace. It hit right next to his head, missing by inches. Torrent's head had turned pitch-black before the knife made contact, his nanomachines protecting him from any damage. He quickly glared at the direction of where the knife was thrown. But there was a message carved into it. It read "I bet you're wondering how any intruder got in here, or even knew where you were. I bet you're wondering how bad their aim must be that the knife missed you."
- Torrent - I'm not in mood of playing hide-and-seek.
Another knife was thrown, hitting right above his shoulder. The message carved into that read "I'll stop killing your guards if you allow me to come out, and if we can be peaceful for a second." Torrent did a dismissive hand gesture and rolled his eyes. Scallywag walked up to the controls of the room and pecked one button, which opened the main door. Through the main door, a small Loktan figure appeared. The others in Torrent's room all backed off in fear, and Torrent recognised the eyes. It was Gyjak, who simply hissed. For someone who was claiming to be peaceful, she wasn't really showing it.
- Torrent - Oh look, it's Billig's little slave. What do you want? I don't care for whatever boasting your fat boss wants to say this time.
Gyjak hissed louder, and then stood on the table in front of Torrent. She was actually surprised, being used to everyone backing off in immense fear of her, but Torrent seemed unmoved. In frustration, she grew closer and hissed louder. Torrent looked at Gyjak with a grin and then bit the area in front of her, showing off his sharp rows of teeth. They'd reached a stalemate now. Neither were scared of each other, despite their threats. She grew tired of this game, and then stepped back, and threw something on the table. It presented a hologram of Billig.
- Billig hologram - Ah, Torrent, my old friend! How're you holdin' up, eh?
- Torrent - What do you want, you ball of lard?
- Billig hologram - As usual, I see. Well, part of me brain is stored in a computer which is projecting ova 'ere, cos I'm either dead or kidnapped. Accordin' to some accounts I've been captured by some Dominion geezer. Oh well, I'll get out in time, eh?
Torrent held on his head and let out a laugh.
- Torrent - The day's going well.
- Billig hologram - Ow's about I'll make it go even betta, eh? I got a little deal fer ya. Now 'ear my out, cos you might jus' like what I'm sayin'.
- Torrent - Fine then. Spill.
The hologram of Billig now displayed a map. It displayed certain individual - including Gyjak - and all of Billig's territories.
- Billig hologram - You want 'em?
- Torrent - What's the catch?
- Billig hologram - Eh, jus' that you look after 'em, an' give 'em back when you're done.
- Torrent - And what makes you think I'll do that?
- Billig hologram - Probably that they'll kill ya if ya don't, eh?
- Torrent - Kill me. Pfff. I'll accept your offer just because you're a funny man, Billig.
- Billig hologram - Heheh. So we 'ave a deal then.
Gyjak then approached Torrent, and stood by his side.
- Gyjak - YOU WILL GET USED TO ME IN TIME.
- Torrent - I prefered when you didn't talk.
- Billig hologram - Oh, she ain't talkin'. There's a little secret to 'ow she works, eh?
- Torrent - She needs to take a bath, I can feel your smell in her.
- Billig hologram - Harharhar. See you figured it out, clever man. Part of me brain is inside her. The nanomachines just constructed somethin' temporarily that does the same fer yersefl. Feel free to use her perspective wheneva ya want.
- Torrent - So be it. I'm sure these territories will be of use to me.
- Billig hologram - Oh yeah, about those. There's a woman called Yvomil. She'll be in charge of all that, keep in touch with her.
- Torrent - I'm hoping your taste in women is better than your hygiene then.
- Billig hologram - Funny man, eh? Well, that's about it. I'll probably see you when I get outta whatever mess I've gotten into.
The hologram closed, and the device self destructed. Gyjak hissed.
- Gyjak - GIVE ME SOMETHING TO KILL QUICKLY, BEFORE I KILL ONE OF YOUR OWN.
- Torrent - Well, if you do that, I'll feed you to Kravh Helljaw. If you want something to kill then go attack a Zoles planet.
- Gyjak - VERY WELL. I HOPE OUR PARTNERSHIP PROVES FRUITFUL.
Gyjak then left back to her ship, and Torrent now knew his empire was twice the size as it was before.
- Torrent - Yes...I'll see you, "if" you get out of the mess you got into.
You May Call Me Boss
At the Outer Core of the galaxy, a planet owned by the species known as Caxildiz lived another normal day. A species often seen with racism by the rest of the galaxy, the Caxildiz trusted few and preferred to keep to themselves. However, the planet was about to receive an unwanted visitor. Ships emerged from the closest Cold Relay and approached. These ships belonged to Soltako Armed Military, one of the largest and most successful private military companies of the Arm of Wildness. At the bridge of the leading ship was a well-armored, strong-looking Heeyorian who clasped his hands together and grinned as he looked down on the planet.
- ??? - Oh, how I love my job! Alright, boys, get down there pronto! We don't wanna waste time here, after all, our employer is on a hurry.
Shuttles carrying soldiers and vehicles left the ships and made their way to the surface of the planet. They began landing close to the capital of the planet, where the Caxildiz forces began amassing and preparing themselves for a counterattack. The armored Heeyorian traveled on one of the last shuttles, taking his time, despite what he had said earlier. As he landed, he walked up to the front of his army, who aimed their weapons at the Caxildiz's defenses. A diplomat of the Caxildiz approached, protected by several guards. The tall Heeyorian looked down on in with a humorous look.
- Diplomat - What is the meaning of this? Who are you?
- ??? - Hmm. A demanding type, eh? Well, if you wanna know so much, I am Zoltik Relkhul, CEO of Soltako Armed Military, but you may call me boss for now on.
- Diplomat - ...Excuse me?
- Zoltik - Your planet and population are now property of SAM, including every man, woman and child. You are now obliged to follow my orders and instructions, and resistance will be payed with violence.
- Diplomat - What the hell? We Caxildiz are a proud people! We will not bow to a PMC just because you're telling us to!
- Zoltik - Eheh. A demanding, and stubborn type. Okay then, fish head. We can play the game your way, but don't tell me I didn't warn you.
The diplomat stepped back, confused. Zoltik laughed hearty and opened his arms, making himself exposed. The soldiers all fired at his direction, with the intention of turning this invader into nothing but ash. However, the Heeyorian's shields and armor shrugged off the less advanced attacks of the Caxildiz. Large high frequency blades emerged from Zoltik's armor and he lunged forward, slicing through the weak bodies of the soldiers. He was much larger and stronger than the average Heeyorian, and using the best tech the black market could offer. Still laughing, he turned back to his army.
- Zoltik - Take each and every fit civilian. Let none escape.
The PMC army stormed the capital and faced the Caxildiz army, which despite all of their efforts, were no match for them. The Soltako soldiers began surrendering civilians while taking down the authorities, while Zoltik strolled through the war, humming as if the sound of destruction was music to his ears. It wouldn't take long until the city was surrendered, and the PMC soldiers began their real operation.
The civilians started being forced into servitude. Each man, woman or child capable of carrying of a gun were now to serve under Soltako's orders. The disabled, elderly or toddlers, unfit for combat, were gunned down, being considered useless. The civilians saw themselves forced to gun down their own residences, to represent their full "indoctrination" into Soltako. Those who refused were gunned down as well. It was a matter of obeying to survive. Soon, the capital was in flames, and the private military company's new slaves were transported back into the fleet. Zoltik pressed a button on his wrist, and spoke.
- Zoltik - Relkhul here. Job's done.
- ??? - How many?
- Zoltik - Easily a couple hundred survived and preferred to stay alive. They're your men now to do whatever you like.
- ??? - Good, good. I'll make sure to prepare your paycheck for every 5,000 soldiers you get me.
- Zoltik - And this is just the first of many! How long are you gonna wait until the big event? I'm pumped to participate.
- ??? - The faster you get me these soldiers, the quicker the big event will be. Now, go. Your work is not yet done.
- Zoltik - Heheh. So it isn't. Always a pleasure to work with you.
Zoltik turned his communications off, and took his shuttle back to his ship, to attack another planet.
Journey to Afiloxenos
Homeworld of Beasts
Vekaron's crew was preparing for the trip to Afiloxenos - weapons necessary to combat the Zí-Jittorám, and quite possibly for precaution, hazard suits for the atmosphere. Kamaris and Kilchárunya were piling up the supplies in the ship. Wragrot returned to the team after going to the medi-bay, his neck healed from where the Zí-Jittorám had burned him. Kirlisir walked beside Wragrot closely while Vansenk was with the other two, practicing with modified and upgraded weaponry that had been programmed into his nanomachines.
- Kilchárunya - Particle beam cannons, check. Medicine, check. Hazard suits, check. Sanity, nope. No sanity here. Why the hell must we go to this planet?
- Vekaron - It's either this or the Benefactor wins. Trust me, I don't like this anymore than you do.
- Wragrot - Thank Kaos we got Vyatak. If I had to rely on Murgur hospitals, I'd just dig my own grave right here.
- Kamaris - We are armed well enough. Whatever is on that planet should have the right to keep their distance.
- Vekaron - One problem, though. Afinoxenos's location is not known by the Zoles or Niaka. Unless someone can give us coordinates, we'll be searching aimlessly.
- Vansenk - I have no idea what lies upon this world nor where this world lies.
A Kicath of considerable age and appearance was close by, propped against the wall as his weapon of choice, a cannon of sorts laid against the wall also. His skin definitely showed his age; perhaps in his mid two-hundreds - it was a dark, dusted brown. He looked at the team with apprehension. Vekaron turned to the Kicath with an eyebrow raised.
- Kicath - I heard you were going to Afiloxenos, Penumbran.
- Vekaron - I am, yes. Or at least I plan to. Cna I help you?
- Kirlisir - You look... different to other Kicath we have seen.
- Kicath - Well, if you must know, the Councillors tasked me to join you on your mission for different purposes. The name is Kitanúniama Zonmnakhéron. Penumbran number twenty-seven.
- Vekaron - Oh, another Penumbran? I was not informed.
- Kilchárunya - ...Kitanúniama Zonmnakhéron? ...The High Commander Kitanúniama Zonmnakhéron?
- Kitanúniama - There is no other, is there?
- Wragrot - A Kicath Penumbran? Man, Chi would flip his shit if he met you.
- Kitanúniama - On the contrary. I was the one who trained the Agents.
Kitanúniama turned slightly to reveal aged, yet perfectly advanced cybernetics marked down the left side of his body. His eye was replaced with a visor-like enhancement.
- Kitanúniama - I'm older than most Kicath you see.
- Vekaron - Well, it's a pleasure to have a fellow Penumbran to work with. By how Kilchárunya reacted, I take you're famous across your race.
- Kitanúniama - Indeed. Most Agents you have met nowadays were trained under my supervision.
- Wragrot - Even the crazy ones?
- Kitanúniama' - ...Even the crazy ones. I take it you're talking about Nu.
- Wragrot - I meant Chi but I guess this Nu guy counts too.
Kilchárunya quickly turned away and kept on packing the equipment.
- Kirlisir - How many Penumbrans are there? They must be small if we see so few.
- Vekaron - I remember Councillor Semirian mentioning they planned around 40 or so Penumbrans at most.
- Kirlisir - Do you know any of them?
- Vekaron - Me? No. Kitanúniama is the first Penumbran other than me I've ever met.
- Kitanúniama - So. Afiloxenos. You don't know where it is?
- Vekaron - I'm afraid not. Afiloxenos is in unmapped territory.
- Kitanúniama - You would be glad to know then that the Agency knows of its location.
- Vekaron - Ah, good. That'll help.
- Wragrot - You. Guy. If you trained Agents, does that mean you're also an Agent?
- Kitanúniama - Agents don't have names.
- Wragrot - Eh. I'll take that as no then.
Kitanúniama's left arm raised. Upon his enhancement, laid a datapad in which he typed into, relaying information of Afiloxenos' coordinates to Vekaron.
- Kitanúniama - I take it I can trust you with that information.
- Vekaron - Of course.
Gardin appeared on the ship's door and walked up to the team.
- Gardin - We're going to visit the Zee-Jees? My mommies always told me they are big meanies!
- Kirlisir - They are, and that's why you're staying on the ship, young one.
- Kitanúniama - You have a child on your ship, Zoles?
- Vekaron - Yes. I do.
- Gardin - Can I take a Zee-Jee as a pet? Please?
- Kirlisir - No. As entertaining as that sounds, it's impossible. How are you going to clean up after it, how are you going to take it for walks?
- Gardin - Awww, you never let me to anything fun.
Kitanúniama walked on to Vekaron's ship, storming through the team.
- Wragrot - Heh. Welcome to the family, guy.
- Kitanúniama - Well let's go. The longer we wait, the longer the council will pester me.
- Kamaris - ...You Kicath aren't very approving of the council, are you?
After a short travel, the team descended down on to Afiloxenos' surface. Even at the very ground, the atmosphere seemed thin. It was entirely desolate; the ground was a sickly, dead green as the composition of the earth verged between mud, sand and frost.
- Kilchárunya - Wow. Even Paclernos is nicer than this.
- Kamaris - Even Mahanaya is nicer than this.
- Kirlisir - Even... actually, I'd best not mention.
- Vekaron - Is this really Afiloxenos? This planet is completely barren.
- Kitanúniama - Definitely. Agents tracked the location here. Numerous Agents were actually killed in the process.
- Kamaris - Killed? I thought Agents would be easily able to kill Zí-Jittorám.
- Kitanúniama - That is what I am cautious of.
- Wragrot - I expected a planet of plant people to have more...well. Plants.
- Kilchárunya - Oh heck. It's cold out there. Atmosphere is poisonous too.
- Vekaron - Hazard suit it is.
- Kilchárunya - And some central heating as well. It's minus sixty out there.
- Wragrot - Stupid galaxy full of cold planets.
- Kamaris - Mahanaya goes down to minus twenty. Minus sixty?
Kirlisir looked to Wragrot with her eye narrowed.
- Kirlisir - Hey, your species is native here, I thought you primiti-- people would be fine with it by now.
Wragrot smacked Kirlisir and gave her a glare.
- Wragrot - What did you call me?
- Kirlisir - Sorry, act of habit.
- Kitanúniama - No time to wait. Out we go. Into the cold.
Kitanúniama opened up the ship, as the cold air of the planet bit at the suits of the team. As they stepped out, all they could see was vast, frozen deserts. Wragrot barred his teeth while Vekaron leaned down and grabbed some sand on his palm, looking around.
- Vekaron - How can anything survive here?
- Kilchárunya - You could ask the same of our species. Paclernos is a massive desert as well.
- Wragrot - So. We're in the middle of nowhere. Where do we go and what do we do?
- Vansenk - Survive.
- Wragrot - You won't if you keep talking like that.
- Kamaris - Find wherever this ship is.
- Vekaron - Let's go then. Expect ambushes.
- Kilchárunya - So, Commander. What are you actually doing here exactly?
- Kitanúniama - My mission? I have to find Zí-Jittorám larvae and return it to Hyperborea so that the Zí-Jittorám are re-engineered into aliens with normal personalities.
Wragrot looked at Kitanúniama in disbelief.
- Wragrot - ...What?
- Kitanúniama - You heard perfectly well.
- Kirlisir - ...Zí-Jittorám pets.
- Kitanúniama - Actually, the council intend to introduce the Zí-Jittorám as citizens as soon they are of age.
- Vekaron - Either the Council has a really good plan or they've gone completely crazy.
- Wragrot - I think this is a situation where you can say, yes, you're old enough to have heard everything possible.
Chase to the Ship
The team walked on forward through the wastes of the planet. It was a short journey until the team came across a lake of jet black liquid.
- Wragrot - What's that gooey thing on the floor?
- Kilchárunya - I dunno. Drink it.
- Wragrot - Hell, you do it.
- Kirlisir - Heh, take a dive. I always wanted to see a Murgur in a mankini.
- Wragrot - What the hell.
- Vansenk - ...As have I.
- Wragrot - Stop that shit.
- Kirlisir - Get undressed then.
- Wragrot - I said stop that shit before I bury you here.
Kilchárunya knelt down at the side of the lake. She dipped her claws into the pool - as she rose her claws, the liquid showed to be of syrup-like thickness, but vapour rose from the suit as it burned the surface.
- Vekaron - ...Is this Zí-Jittorám equivalent of sap?
- Kilchárunya - I have a feeling it's their equivalent of water.
- Vekaron - Just as weird.
- Vansenk - Looks delicious.
In the distance, in the midst of the pool, a Zí-Jittorám, twice as large as Wragrot emerged slowly and silently, observing the team.
- Vekaron - Contact.
- Kitanúniama - I've never seen one that big.
- Vansenk - What is that animal doing?
- Wragrot - I'm tired of coming across bigger things than me.
Kirlisir giggled to herself inappropriately. A short pause, before the Zí-Jittorám exploded out of the pool, charging frantically at the team. A few seconds afterwards, more and more of them did the same.
- Vekaron - Shit. Run!
- Kitanúniama - Run? Nonsense.
- Vekaron - You say you can take on this many of them?
Kitanúniama swivelled his gun up to his eye level.
- Kitanúniama - No. But I'm not going to run.
- Wragrot - Right. I'm starting to like this guy.
He then fired numerous blasts from his cannon - felling six of the group in one blast directly aimed at their torsos. Another six continued to run towards them.
- Kitanúniama - Hmph. Right. Intelligent decision to retreat now.
- Wragrot - So much for liking.
- Kitanúniama - Very well. Let's see you take out six.
- Wragrot - I could if I felt like it, but I'm just following the team here.
One Zí-Jittorám came close to the team, but Kitanúniama grasped its throat with its cybernetic arm, thrusting it into the floor. Other Zí-Jittorám kept on running towards the team. The team ran, with Wragrot and Kirlisir both using their psychic powers to keep the Zí-Jittorám away. As all of the Zí-Jittorám were floored, one then again rose back up. Letting out a deep, earth shaking roar, more Zí-Jittorám were alerted. Hordes of the aliens bursted out from the ground, climbing out of deep crevasses in swarms as the team almost became surrounded.
- Kilchárunya - This is not what I had in mind at all!
- Kirlisir - I preferred when we were surrounded by sand!
- Kitanúniama - Right. Return to the ship!
The team ran quickly back to the ship, with hundreds of Zí-Jittorám behind them.
- Vekaron - I think I speak for everyone here that this wasn't the best landing spot.
- Kirlisir - Please remind me who was it that thought THIS was a good idea?!
- Kilchárunya - Bah.
As the team ran, a massive spaceship appeared and dominated the skies. Black and streamlined, it appeared almost supernatural. It slowly made its way to down, preparing to land in a rather close distance to the team's location.
- Kilchárunya - Looks like the Benefactor's ship to me!
- Kirlisir - What's it doing here?
- Vekaron - Okay, change of plans. Run to that direction!
In Kitanúniama's hands, he held a blackened pod of flesh close to his chest. The Martem Ignis caused the desert's dust to be launched about as it landed. With the Zí-Jitttorám still chasing the team, they were forced to endure the sand hitting them.
- Kirlisir - Good thing for this armour's anti-environmental force fields! ...Sand's getting in my hair!
- Kamaris - This is the first and last time I'm visiting this planet.
- Wragrot - Heh! You wouldn't last a day at Kaos.
Among the Zí-Jittorám, a much smaller figure appeared and ran extremely fast at the team's direction. It was a familiar face.
- T'enth-ei - You are not allowed here.
- Kilchárunya - ...What's he doing here?
- Wragrot' - That Sankáryn?
- Vekaron - I don't like the implications of this.
Kirlisir growled as she saw T'enth-ei and ran forward, boosted by her armour's enhancements. Her blades prepared themselves, her eye glaring in his direction while her optical implant glowed vibrantly. T'enth-ei turned to Kirlisir and moved his body to be at her side. He then fired his shoulder-mounted machine guns at her direction. Kitanúniama fired at the Zí-Jittorám horde, clearing out some numbers.
- T'enth-ei - I would love to join you in the slaughter of these beasts, but the warlord does not want you in that ship.
- Kirlisir - Don't be such a spoil-sport!
Kirlisir maneuvered herself in a manner so that she could evade or deflect the bullets he fired towards her. Clenching her fists, she launched a blast of psychic energy towards T'enth-ei while running at him. T'enth-ei was hit by the blast, causing him to be disoriented and nearly trip. One Zí-Jittorám launched its tongue at his direction, forcing him to keep away from the team to evade it. The Martem Ignis was already landed by then and only a few more meters away.
- Wragrot - How do we get on the ship?!
- Vekaron - I don't know! Climb on it or something!
The team arrived to the landing site, with T'enth-ei and the Zí-Jittorám still after them. Looking up, they could see an opening large enough for all of them to go through.
- Vansenk - We may penetrate.
- Wragrot - What.
Vekaron leaped on the ship and began climbing it, followed by Wragrot, who used his psychic powers to boost him upwards. T'enth-ei let out a hiss and fired at the team's direction from a distance. Kilchárunya followed, along with Kitanúniama and Kamaris. Kirlisir began climbing, although not before unleashing a barrier of psychic energy which acted as a form of wall-shield against T'enth-ei's shots, deflecting them and returning them to his direction. T'enth-ei jumped back to evade his own shots. However, part of the Zí-Jittorám horde began attacking him instead of going after the team. The Sankáryn hissed and ran the opposite direction, disappearing from view. Vekaron got up to the opening, followed by Wragrot. They both extended their hands to the rest of the team to help them climb up. Some Zí-Jittorám began climbing as well, trying to get to them.
- Kirlisir - Grr... What is that guy up to?
- Vansenk - It matters not. We must ascend and penetrate.
- Kirlisir - Okay, seriously, please cut that out.
- Wragrot - Less sexual innuendo, more getting in here!
Kirlisir grabbed ahold of Wragrot's hand and was lifted up, although as she was assisted she laid a sneaky, cold hand upon his thigh before moving on. Vansenk grasped ahold of her leg as she was lifted and followed suite. Vekaron helped get Kilchárunya, Kitanúniama and Kamaris up to the opening right after. One Zí-Jittorám launched its tongue to get them, but as it did, the door suddenly closed, cutting the tongue off in the process.
- Vansenk - ...Anybody going to eat that?
- Wragrot - Huh...huh...suit yourself...
Into the Martem Ignis
The ship was cold; not much warmer than the unforgiving outside of Afiloxenos. The ship had a long, winding blackened corridor that was engraved in numerous, complicated patterns. There was no lighting, instead it led into a blank darkness. Vekaron and Wragrot both breathed heavily. The Murgur looked for the team by waving his hand around. The Zí-Jittorám on the outside were hitting their hands furiously on the exterior, but no effort could be made to dent the hull. Kilchárunya and Kamaris also panted, whilst Kitanúniama kept his composure. Kirlisir reached out and grabbed ahold of Wragrot's hand, with her optical implant activating to create an improvised flashlight, allowing limited visibility. Vansenk was slithering across the floor at the team's feet.
- Wragrot - Agh! Oh. It's you.
- Kirlisir - Who else were you expecting? Mrs. Wragrot?
- Wragrot - A Zí-Jittorám, actually. I can't see shit.
- Kilchárunya - ...Right. Back outside or into the long tunnel that breathes death?
- Wragrot - Both end in death. Corridor.
- Kilchárunya - Well lead the way then.
- Vekaron - I've been in a darker and scarier place than this. You all follow my lead.
Vekaron walked into the direction of the tunnel.
- Kirlisir - ...Where exactly is darker and scarier than this?
- Vekaron - One word. Regnatus.
Kirlisir shivered, her armoured suit rattling.
- Kamaris - I cannot see anyway. A little anti-climatic.
Whilst it was incredibly dark, all that could be seen of Kilchárunya was her bright, teal eyes. Wragrot walked on, holding on Kirlisir's hand.
- Kirlisir - Hehe, getting a little tense there, Murgur.
- Wragrot - Shut up, light the way...grrrh, I don't like not seeing the way.
Kirlisir nodded and enhanced the brightness function of her optical implant, allowing them to see some path ahead of them.
- Kilchárunya - I would say being able to see in the dark helps...but it doesn't. This is darker than dark.
- Vekaron - Let's move on.
After two minutes or so, the team came to a stale light at the end of the tunnel. Walking through, the team met the innards of the ship. Laid on its side, the ship was nearly hollow inside - almost four hundred metres one way and one hundred the other way, the ship was home to oddly complex architectural designs that linked up the ship overall.
- Wragrot - Where's the insides of this ship?
- Kilchárunya - This is the inside. The whole thing has a hollow interior.
- Kirlisir - Huh. Pretty empty.
- Wragrot - Feels like you could break it with a hard enough punch.
- ??? - Well, I would not. I do not want you harming the integrity of this ship.
- Vekaron - Contact.
Vekaron took out his blade and turned into the direction of the voice, while Wragrot turned with a frown. Directly on the other side to them, around ten meters up, stood the Benefactor himself. He wore powerful, dark plated armour as he looked down at the team with his luminous eyes. Kilchárunya and Kamaris drew their weapons as they looked at the Benefactor.
- Kirlisir - Hello, handsome.
- Vekaron - You must be the "Benefactor".
- The Benefactor - I prefer the name Hinúrnr Ilingelm, myself. But you already know that, do you not, Vekaron Zankho?
- Kilchárunya - Crap. He's one of those 'I-know-everything' types.
- Wragrot - Man, I'm gonna beat you to a pulp.
- Kirlisir - Aren't we always?
- The Benefactor - If you think I am to come with you quietly, then you are sorely mistaken.
- Vansenk - Then you may kick and scream just as you entered the world.
- Vekaron - He's planning something. Watch out.
The Benefactor's grin widened as a small laugh left his mouth.
- The Benefactor - There is no plan involved. You will die here, plain and simple. Well, no. You are likely to escape. But I will try to kill you nonetheless.
- Kirlisir - If you think you can kill us, then you're sorely mistaken.
- Wragrot - I'm sick of you already.
Wragrot grabbed his shotgun and fired at the Benefactor. The rounds from the shotgun hit the armour of the Benefactor, rebounding like sparks. The Benefactor himself remained still. Vansenk's nanomachines targetted the Benefactor, directing themselves towards any vulnerabilities in his armour while Vansenk himself watched with a sadistic glare. But there were no vulnerabilities in the Benefactor's armour. Little changed as the Benefactor's smile remained wide. Kamaris and Kilchárunya continued with firing shots of their own, no effect also.
- Wragrot - Damnit, die already.
- Kilchárunya - Is it me or does he look a little different to the hologram?
- Wragrot - Eh?
- Kilchárunya - Look at him. I mean, his armour.
- Kirlisir - ...A double? A decoy, possibly?
- The Benefactor - Oh no. I am very real.
The Benefactor's right arm raised as his fingers flamboyantly formed into a gesture. Arcing from his very fingertips, qualities of black and an abhorrent red coalesced into a sphere. A vacuum was drawn to the sphere as the ship strained. Vekaron's eyes widened and he braced himself.
- Kirlisir - Well, that isn't good.
- Kilchárunya - Siná'in.
- Wragrot - Whatever that is, stop.
The Benefactor then raised his arm up high - the ball grew to an exponential size as the scenery around them started to groan and crack at the sheer power of the manifestation.
- Wragrot - I said stop.
- Kilchárunya - Right. Not good. Time to run I think.
- Vekaron - Supported.
- Kirlisir - Seconded.
Kilchárunya nodded, before backing up into the corridor they walked down in, running as fast as she could. Kamaris followed, albeit not as fast. Vekaron ran after them, while Wragrot went behind him, but not before an elemental barrier between the team and the Benefactor. Vansenk hissed at the Benefactor before turning and running. Kirlisir had wasted no time and ran beside the Murgur with eagerness. Wragrot looked as Kirlisir approached him and grabbed her, lifting her up and putting her in front of him, using her as a lantern.
- Kitanúniama - What is that, Death Energy?
- Vekaron - I'm not going to stay and find out.
Kitanúniama ran along with Vekaron's crew, holding his gun in one hand and the pod in another.
- Kirlisir - Eeep! What do you think you're doing?!
- Wragrot - Lighting the way. Also, Kicath guy whose name I keep forgetting, what's that thing you're holding?
- Kitanúniama - Zí-Jittorám larva pod. Picked it up when you guys were getting ambushed.
Some seconds later, the team could hear a calamitous explosion, as the clouds of energy swarmed closer to them.
- Vekaron - Yeah, it does remind me of Kithworto!
Wragrot swung Kirlisir around as he ran faster to evade the energy.
- Kirlisir - Eeeee!
- Kilchárunya - Okay, whenever I say "I've been closer to death before" I now mean this precise moment! Screw that thing back on Hyperborea!
- Vekaron - Look for an exit!
- Kilchárunya - You mean the exit we entered?!
- Vekaron - That works!
- Wragrot - But there's nasty vegetation out there!
- Vekaron - It still works!
- Kirlisir - This is a really bad idea!
The seal to the exit was approaching quickly. Kamaris adjusted his posture to ram the door whilst Kitanúniama fired numerous blasts at it. Vekaron prepared to strike at the seal with his blade while Wragrot shouted profanities in Murgur language. The combined force of the team ripped the seal from its lock as if it were nothing; some Zí-Jittorám were felled in the event as the clouds of energy that came to contact with them caused them to explode in colours of black and red. Vekaron contacted his ship from his wrist device.
- Kirlisir - Go, go, go!
- Vekaron - Vyatak! Shuttle! Now!
- Vansenk - A very uncomfortable situation.
The witnessing Zí-Jittorám screeched and fled the scene, burrowing themselves back underground helplessly as the clouds caught them too. Wragrot put Kirlisir on the floor and both him and Vekaron kept running away from the Martem Ignis. At this moment, T'enth-ei returned, witnessing the event.
- T'enth-ei - ...By the Warlord.
- Kilchárunya - Don't just stand there, run you bastard!
T'enth-ei quickly turned around and blasted himself away, launching sand behind him.
- Kirlisir - Ngh, who is that guy?
- Vekaron - Someone who's obviously very happy he can run that fast.
- Wragrot - Where's the damn shuttle?!
The clouds kept destroying the surface of the landscape, following the team at an alarming distance. At this moment, the shuttle appeared in the skies and landed ahead of the team. Vyatak opened the door with a smile, but the sight of the clouds caused him to scream.
- Vyatak - What have you done down here?!
- Kilchárunya - No time! Open the door faster!
- Kirlisir - Open, open, open!
- Vyatak - Damnation! Would have asked for samples! Now impossible! Double damnation!
Vyatak opened the door on its entirely, with Vekaron and Wragrot both launching themselves inside. Kirlisir threw herself forward, landing inside the shuttle while Vansenk clinged tightly to her leg. Kitanúniama rolled inside, whilst Kilchárunya and Kamaris leapt in with great height. As the entire team entered, Vyatak shut the door and the shuttle made its way back to space, barely missing the clouds as it did.
- Kilchárunya - What in the name of fuck was that?!
- Wragrot - I don't want to run ever again.
Kirlisir sat beside Wragrot and panted heavily.
- Kamaris - Great. We had an answer and now we have more questions.
- Vekaron - I gotta inform Alpha of all this...
The Growing Special Forces
At the Niaka homeworld of Ikkiz, Xerkea rested at her office. It was now guarded by elite, hand-picked Levarcor soldiers who were assimilated into the Niaka Special Forces following the defeat of the Borealis Consortium Network five years prior. The Niaka saw potential on the Levarcor, as well as felt empathy for them, as they were not really pirates are more like slaves to the Wranploer. Under the Niaka's guidance, the Levarcor had joined the PCA and were now gaining the respect of the other races for their strength and fast learning skills.
Since the end of the Mass Armageddon, Xerkea had not done anything other than administration of her empire. Billig's disappearance meant she had one less problem to take care of, which allowed her to at least take a rest from going to the front lines. It was then that she received a transmission from none other than Councillor Xeron, who appeared in the form of a hologram. Despite technically being above Xerkea, Xeron saluted in respect to her.
- Xerkea - Well, if it isn't our Councillor.
- Xeron - Good evening, ma'am. I hope I'm not interrupting.
- Xerkea - Oh, you aren't. And I've told you already, you don't have to call me ma'am anymore. I'm not your superior.
- Xeron - You may not be my superior in technical terms, but you'll always be my commander and Chief Major.
- Xerkea - Heh. To think I personally watched you training as a cadet, all the way to Chief Minor, and then to a galactic councillor.
- Xeron - I'd rather not remember my training days. They weren't the most pleasant.
Both Xerkea and Xeron shared a short laugh. Chief Minors are Xerkea's personal advisors and most trusted individuals, and this was the position Xeron had before Xerkea pointed him to be the Niaka Councillor.
- Xerkea - So, I take you're not here just for the nostalgia.
- Xeron - Well, no, ma'am. I've come here to talk about immigration from surrendered Niaka Order individuals into the Special Forces.
- Xerkea - Hm? Surrendered Order Niaka?
- Xeron - Yes. Recently, many Niaka hailing from the Old Order have surrendered to the Alliance. According to interviewed individuals, it seems Xoraika's rule is falling into disarray and life conditions are becoming worse every day. They have no choice but to rely on piracy to survive, and even then their life quality is deplorable. The sudden arrival of those mutants has also caused the Arm of Wildness to become a far more dangerous zone to explore.
- Xerkea - So, they've come seeking our help because they realized the Alliance is a much better place to live.
- Xeron - Precisely. I know your immediate decision would be arresting and killing them all, but I'd like to point out the chance of accepting them. It would cause the Special Forces to grow, your numbers to rise, and Xoraika's empire to grow weakened.
Xerkea scratched her head, thinking of the possibility. Xeron made no effort to hurry her up, both from knowing it was not the most simple decision, and from knowing well Xerkea did not enjoy being rushed at all. After a few moments, the Chief Major spoke again.
- Xerkea - I'm convinced. I can trust you and your plan, Xeron. Send these Niaka to my empire and I'll accept them, but warn them they'll be kept under observation for a month, so I can be sure they'll learn our laws and rules.
- Xeron - Excellent. This is a great opportunity, ma'am. Soon enough, Xoraika's empire will be weakened enough to the point we can get rid of him completely.
- Xerkea - I hope so. This cold war between the Old Order and the Special Forces needs to end.
- Xeron - I need to go back to my duties now. Have a good day, ma'am.
Xerkea nodded and Xeron's hologram disappeared. The Chief Major relaxed on her chair and let out a chuckle, imagining the scene on her head. The Old Order finally falling to the Special Forces. As she was fantasizing, though, she received another transmission. This time, the hologram of a Zoles appeared. It was Commandant Asraels, one of the military leaders of the Zoles Imperium.
- Asraels - Greetings, Chief Major Xerkea.
- Xerkea - Commandant Asraels? It's been a while. How can I help?
- Asraels - I'm currently on a mission on the Inner Core to investigate the sudden burst activity from the Soltako Armed Military PMC, and I was wondering if you'd like to take part of it.
- Xerkea - Eh? That PMC is still active? I thought they had disbanded after Zaarkhun died.
- Asraels - Not at all. They have, in fact, grown stronger. And now they are attacking and capturing the population of entire planets.
- Xerkea - What? Give me your coordinates and I'll meet you there.
- Asraels - Very well. I suggest you be quick before we get noticed.
Xerkea closed her transmission and left her room, passing through her Levarcor guards. She made her way to her battlements to get her Battle Suit. It was time to use it again.
At the outskirts of New Wranploer Legion territory, Dark Grip were on a break after Torrent's deal with the Benefactor. Dolgan Tuchaki decided to spend her time on a club located on planet Astle, a world inhabited by many high class, rich criminal warlords. It was already late at night by the time she had arrived, and many people were already on the club, drinking and watching dancers. Dolgan walked past the trio of Murgur guarding the club, warriors hailing from the Muganda Warbands who were often hired by criminals as bouncers. She did not even exchange looks with anyone as she made her way to the barkeep, where she bashed the table to get his attention.
- Dolgan - Drink. Now.
The barkeep, an usually-fat Boglot, turned to Dolgan and raised an eyebrow at her.
- Barkeep - What drink, eh?
- Dolgan - Most expensive you have.
- Barkeep - And I take you're aware of how expensive my most expensive drink is?
- Dolgan - I asked for a drink, not to hear you talking, you fat ball of lard.
The Boglot barkeep grunted and passed Dolgan a special, golden-coloured drink. It was Vijahan Wive, made of herbs formerly found at the now-destroyed homeworld of the Wranploer, Vijaha. Dolgan simply drank with an uninterested expression, as some Borealis Zazane men around the club gazed at her direction. By the standards of a Borealis Zazane, Dolgan looked absolutely stunning in every way. The lieutenant herself did nothing about it, perhaps not even noticing all the men who undressed her on her mind.
As she drank alone, a pair of armored Borealis Zazane entered the club, grinning. Their armor was unlike that of the Zazane who worked with the New Wranploer Legion, implying they were outsiders. The Murgur bouncers kept an eye at the duo as they walked past them and made their way to behind Dolgan. Meanwhile, the Dark Grip lieutenant just kept drinking her Vijahan Wine.
- Zazane 1 - So, there she is. Dolgan Tuchaki.
- Zazane 2 - Look at this fine piece of meat. She's even better-looking personally.
Dolgan turned her head slightly at the duo, and spoke, almost as if she was bored.
- Dolgan - If you know who I am, you know you're not supposed to talk to me in that tone.
- Zazane 2 - Eheheheh. Look at her. She thinks we care.
- Zazane 1 - You're coming with us, Dolgan.
- Dolgan - Oh, really now? And where are we going?
- Zazane 1 - There's a huge bounty on your head on the Polar Crystal Alliance's Most Wanted. With that bounty, hell we could buy ourselves a whole planet.
- Zazane 2 - I don't know, man. Maybe we should keep her to ourselves. She sure looks..."valuable".
The Borealis Zazane duo chuckled in unison while Dolgan turned to them more, revealing the side of her uninterested face. She did not appear exactly annoyed at them as much as she appeared bored.
- Dolgan - You two are obviously lost, so let's leave it all quiet and go on with our lives here, hm?
- Zazane 1 - Oh, we aren't lost at all. We're here for your head.
- Zazane 2 - Yeah, and I want her on my head.
- Dolgan - And why should I even move a finger from my chair for a duo of idiotic bounty hunters?
- Zazane 1 - Because if you don't, we'll kill you here and now, "Your Highness".
The two Borealis Zazane took out a pair of plasma pistols each and aimed at Dolgan's back. The citizens around the club were startled and shouted in fear of the guns, taking the attention of the Murgur bouncers, who quickly aimed their own weapons at the duo. The Boglot quickly hid himself behind a freezer, whiel Dolgan slowly got up from her chair. She hid her face from the duo, but the Boglot barkeep could see from where he was hiding that she was barring her teeth in anger.
- Dolgan - What did you call me?
- Zazane 1 - That's how you're known, isn't it, "Your Highness"?
- Zazane 2 - I wonder how royal you are in bed.
- Zazane 1 - Now, put your hands down, so we can get over with this, "Ice Princess".
Dolgan remained static, signalling to the Borealis Zazane duo that she had no intention of resisting. The first member of the duo approached to grab her by her arm, but before he had the chance, Dolgan turned around. Her tail's colouration changed from the usual blue and became pitch-black, with veins clearly exposed, and Dolgan launched it against the Borealis Zazane's head. In a loud bash, the tail slap hit the Zazane's jaw, dislocating and then tearing it off his head complete,y launching it across the club. The Zazane let out a blood-curled scream and, before he could anything to react, Dolgan threw her claws at his forehead. Like her tail, her hand became pitch-black, and in a backwards move, she ripped off the Shidium crest from his head. The Borealis Zazane immediately screamed louder and fell into the floor, where Dolgan threw her foot at his skull, crushing it in a single blow.
- Zazane 2 - Holy Vaxal! What the fuck are you?!
The second Borealis began firing at Dolgan the fastest he could, but as his shots hit her, the hit parts turned pitch black and the shots did nothing. Her nanomachines increased her power and made their weapons useless. She gazed at him with a furious, murderous glare.
- Dolgan - Never. Call me. Your Highness.
Dolgan lunged forward and grabbed the second Borealis Zazane by the neck, before grabbing him by his neck. Squeezing his throat, she lifted him from up the ground. He gasped as her tremendous force made it hard for him to breathe, while the rest of the club watched the battle in a combination of horror and awe.
- Dolgan - You want to know how my body feels like so much? Then I'll show you!'
Dolgan threw the Borealis Zazane over the head into the floor, causing him to shout in pain. She then leaped into his direction, throwing herself at him to hit him with her elbow. And as she hit, the entire club head the sound of cracking bones. The Borealis Zazane screamed as he felt his ribcage turned into pieces by Dolgan's attack, and the furious Dark Grip lieutenant did not stop. She punched the Zazane's head multiple times and then pushed his head with both her hands, crushing it. The Zazane could do nothing but scream until his very skull was crushed by Dolgan's massive strength.
Dolgan lifted herself from the floor, her hands, arm and tail all drenched in the blood of the two bounty hunters. The entire club looked at her in silence as she turned back to the bar and sat down again, before banging on the table again, like she did when she arrived.
- Dolgan - More drinks. Now.
The Benefactor Revealed
Vekaron's crew returned to the safety of Hyperborea. The shuttle that had picked them up on Afiloxenos was damaged considerably from the Benefactor's attacks, and was sent for repairs. Outside of the council's tower, Kilchárunya was stretching her arms in forms of exercise as the rest of the team were grouped there as well.
- Kilchárunya - So. Turns out the Benefactor wasn't a frail old man, but a Death Energy-wielding crazed maniac who nearly killed all of us in one blast.
- Vekaron - And he apparently has Torrent on his side.
- Kamaris - Well. I am now short on ideas. My only idea would be on stopping the Benefactor.
- Kilchárunya - Easier said than done.
- Vansenk - We have no means of fighting him in our current state.
- Wragrot - I don't like not being able to kill things.
- Kilchárunya - Old tactic I suppose, would be finding out on how to stop the Benefactor. We don't have the tech, so we should get the tech.
- Kirlisir - And how are we supposed to do that? Death Energy isn't exactly common.
- Kilchárunya - It is in Kicath rings.
Kilchárunya finished her stretching, before turning to the team.
- Kilchárunya - Vekaron's call, but I'd run it by the council first. Seems serious.
- Vekaron - Yes, we should warn them and also Agent Alpha of this. But the council won't help us about Death Energy, they barely understand Essence at all.
- Kamaris - Isn't the leader of the Kicathian Republic a councillor?
- Vekaron - Kithworto is still on his Andromedan mission.
- Kilchárunya - Hm. Regardless, warn the council.
- Vekaron - Let's go then.
The crew proceeded into the entrance of the council tower. In the main chamber, were the councillors, surprisingly, Kithworto included, as they stood to acknowledge the team.
- Vekaron - ...Eh?
- Vansenk - You are not very good at knowing recent events, Vekaron.
Whilst the councillors were dressed in formal gowns, Kithworto was clad in dark, ceremonial armour which tinted a blood red in light. Arkarixus was also present, walking around while reading from a tablet device. As Vekaron and his team entered the room, the councillors noted their presence.
- Semirian - Welcome back, Penumbran Vekaron.
- Arkarixus - Hm? Ah. Greetings, Vekaron.
Kithworto nodded, looking at the crew.
- Kithworto - You have information to present to us, I hope?
- Vekaron - Kithworto and Arkarixus? Shouldn't you be at Andromeda?
- Kithworto - That is a story best left for later.
- Kirlisir - So that's Kithworto? His armor looks impressive.
- Vansenk - I for one find it terrifying.
- Wragrot - No time for chit-chat, you. Vekaron, tell him about the Benefactor.
Kitanúniama was stood on the edge of the platform, quietly waiting behind them.
- Xeron - Yes, we're awaiting for reports on your missions.
- Vekaron - We have met the Benefactor, and he is a Death Energy user.
- Kithworto - Death Energy? You have proof of this, Vekaron?
- Arkarixus - ...Dominion agent?
- Vekaron - We don't know. I got the event recorded on my armor. He unleashed these clouds of Death Energy which ate through Afiloxenos.
- Kithworto - Hm. Very well. Relay the event to the hologram projector, and we shall see.
Vekaron walked over to the projector and removed a small chip from his armor, before placing it on the projector. The councillors could see the Benefactor using his powers on his ship and later on Afiloxenos' surface. Kithworto's eyes narrowed. Walking down from the councillor's chair, he looked closer at the hologram. What he could see, was that the energy that the Benefactor was using was not Death Energy.
- Kithworto - Arkarixus...does this seem familiar to you?
- Arkarixus - It does. Extremely problematic.
- Semirian - You recognize his power, Kithworto?
- Kithworto - Indeed. This power is strikingly similar to entities which we encountered within Ardonia and the Realm of Dreams. It looks far more like Chaos Energy rather than Death Energy to me.
- Kilchárunya - Chaos Energy...what's that?
- Valzaria - Chaos Energy? Yickes. This is way bigger than we thought
- Xeron - Someone explain this nonsense!
Kithworto pointed to the hologram.
- Kithworto - What you faced there was not a Zirtonian.
- Wragrot - Yeah, we can see that. What's that guy supposed to be?
- Kithworto - ...Something worse.
- Kirlisir - Worse? How worse?
- Kithworto - "Be lucky you survived and escaped to tell us" worse.
- Arkarixus - There is no point hiding the entity from them when they met it face-to-face.
- Kithworto - Very well. What you faced there was not a Zirtonian. It was a Xhodocto.
Vekaron's team exchanged looks.
- Wragrot - ...You're mocking us. He's mocking us, guys.
- Kithworto - Not just any Xhodocto either.
- Xeron - Xhodocto?...Please don't tell me it's that one Xhodocto who kept ranting about cheese.
- Kithworto - No. The other one.
- Arkarixus - Angazhar.
- Kamaris - ...I've heard about him. Very dangerous.
- Vekaron - But...why would a Xhodocto pose as a mortal?...Why would he ally with Torrent? Why would he do all of this?
- Kithworto - Despite as confounding as it sounds, the goal is simple. He is going to use Torrent, he is going to use Xi, Chi, and Omega to slaughter all of us.
Arkarixus walked over to Kithworto.
- Arkarixus - Should we postpone our mission to deal with this?
- Kithworto - It would make sense, yes. The threat is closer to home.
- Vansenk - One thing I learned from the space station which I once called home is that a Xhodocto is not something you simply "deal with".
- Kithworto - You would be surprised. Xhodocto happen to be great actors.
- Kilchárunya - But, isn't your mission a little important? Saving the universe and all? Keeping Nu away from me and such?
- Arkarixus - ...Nu is no longer with us.
Kilchárunya stood back in shock.
- Kilchárunya - Did you just say...he's dead?
- Arkarixus - Yes. Nu gave his life to save us in our last mission.
- Vekaron - ...Nu can die?
- Kamaris - Apparently he can.
- Vekaron - I've seen him survive a blast from a Grox drone, I didn't think he could die at all.
- Kirlisir - I'm very sorry for your loss.
- Arkarixus - Don't be. He did it knowing he would not survive.
Kithworto's face seemed rather blank, before a slight smile appeared on his face.
- Kithworto - Of course. But, now, this matter is closer to home.
- Arkarixus - In this case, I will warn the rest of our team that our party has been delayed. Let's just hope the Spinker does not kill anyone in the meantime.
- Wragrot - We're gonna need bigger guns than mine, I guess.
- Xeron - Xhodocto threat. Our galaxy in danger, again.
Xeron groaned and pointed at Kitanúniama.
- Xeron - Tell me you have good news, at least.
- Kitanúniama - Indeed. I retrieved a spawn pod from the Zí-Jittorám nest. They're in incubation as we speak.
- Kirlisir - Yeah, about that. Have you gone completely bonkers? Trying to have civilized Zí-Jittorám? What idiot thinks of that?
- Xeron - Excuse me? Watch your mouth, it was my idea! Now, Kitanúniama, you're dismissed to do what you please for now.
Kitanúniama nodded sharply, before walking out. As Kitanúniama left, a warning appeared to the councillors. Semirian checked it and put it on the council's screen, revealing to be an attack warning coming from the Imalmah Hegemony. In it, the Martem Ignis was visible.
- Kilchárunya - Fuck.
- Vekaron - Well, we got directions now. He's attacking the Imalmah.
- Kamaris - ...Anyone know why?
- Vansenk - The mind of demon gods cannot be comprehended.
- Kirlisir - Maybe he's just bored?
- Kithworto - Or perhaps he has a motive.
- Semirian - A motive...Penumbran Vekaron, did you not report encountering Agent Chi while chasing Fleet Commander Bakarl?
- Vekaron - Yeah, I did...
- Semirian - Perhaps he has gone there to finish the task.
- Kilchárunya - Ah. Makes sense.
- Wragrot - Okay, so off to the Hegemony we go. When we see the Benefactor kid again, what do we do? Attack with our strongest guns?
- Kithworto - Run, if you can.
- Wragrot - Beh.
- Vekaron - Very well. Let's move, everyone.
- Kilchárunya - Time to die, I guess.
Xerkea's Plan of Action
Arriving at the coordinates given to her by Commandant Asraels, Xerkea took a shuttle to the planet where they about to meet. It was a heavily-populated Caxildiz colony in the Inner Core, and as the shuttle went toward the spaceport, Xerkea and her men could already see Asraels' own shuttle. As they landed on the spaceport, the Niaka left the shuttle on their mecha suits and marched forward, with Xerkea leading them. They marched in an ordered, robotic way, as if they had been trained to do exactly that.
Xerkea and her men entered the port to find Asraels awaiting for her. Close to him stood a Caxildiz of considerable age, who wore a rather elegant suit. The Niaka soldiers all made a perimeter around Xerkea, Asraels and the Caxildiz, while the Chief Major herself approached to speak to them.
- Xerkea - Asraels. I'm here.
- Asraels - So I noticed. This Caxildiz is Grumbgor, the governor of this sector.
- Grumbgor - You must be the Chief Major of the Niaka. Your feats are legendary.
- Xerkea - I'm flattered, I guess. So, why did you call me here?
- Asraels - I'll let Grumbgor explain.
Grumbgor moved to Xerkea's front and coughed to get her attention. Inside her suit, Xerkea raised an eyebrow at the Caxildiz, as if she thought he looked silly doing such an action.
- Grumbgor - Those Soltako men are terrorizing the region. About seven planets were destroyed recently, and I've received news from the Krinkut and the Ransio saying they were also victims of attacks. All of these attacks involve great part of the population being killed, while the rest are taken away. Kidnapping en mass.
- Xerkea - Hmm...I've never seen anything like this.
Asraels grabbed a small spherical device and pressed a button on it. A light was emitted from it, and a hologram of Zoltik Relkhul appeared.
- Asraels - This is the culprit. Zoltik Relkhul. Heeyorian. Native of Ottzello. Apparently a criminal in the galaxy many decades ago until he went into hiding. Follows pro-Zaarkhun philosophies.
- Xerkea - Zaarkhun? Grrrh. But we just got rid of that Billig guy. Why yet another Zaarkhun wannabe?
- Asraels - Zoltik Relkhul is the founder of Soltako Armed Military and as such is directly responsible for their attacks. There is no evidence of him ever working with Billig, or in fact Torrent. So he is either doing this for someone else, or on his own will.
- Grumbgor - This man is a sadist! If he was hired for this, he'd not force my people to destroy their own homes!
- Xerkea - ...He did what?
- Grumbgor - You heard me right. Those men he kidnapped? He armed them with weapons and forced them to destroy their own homes. He also forced them to shoot down elders, children or disabled individuals who apparently could not hold guns themselves.
Xerkea frowned inside her mecha suit and let out a loud hiss, causing his soldiers to quickly turn to her and take a step back.
- Xerkea - This man is a dead man.
- Asraels - Thanks to satellites from the Caxildiz's worlds, we have identified Zoltik Relkhul's ship and which Cold Relay he used last. Unfortunately, we have no way of tracking him further than this. In addition, we have reasons to believe SAM will attack this planet next. Which is why I am here right now, to ensure the planet's protection.
- Grumbgor - If you can stop this madman, Alliance, perhaps I can talk to Emperor about having our people join you.
Xerkea thought to herself before turning back to Asraels and Grumbgor.
- Xerkea - Very well. I'll go after Zoltik, while Asraels stays and defends the planet. Give me all the info you got, and if the planet really is attacked, and Zoltik is present, call me back here immediately.
- Asraels - That is an acceptable plan. Grumbgor, warn the planet's military to stand at bay. They must be available for when the attack hits.
- Grumbgor - I'll do so. Thank you, Zoles and Niaka.
Asraels handed over the device containing the information he had to Xerkea, who nodded in acknowledgment and made her way out, followed by her Niaka soldiers. Storing the device inside her suit to not damage it, Xerkea had a new goal now: bring Zoltik to justice. And by justice, she meant bringing his head to the barrel of her cannon.
Dark Guardian Angel
The Inner Core was already alarmed by SAM's raids. However, a new fleet arrived to a planet controlled by the Rafows, but this time it wasn't related to Zoltik's schemes. It was instead a Wranploer fleet, coming from an independent remnant. With Torrent and Vorius's influences growing, independant remnants were struggling to survive and were forced to raid worlds to obtain resources and territory. Often for the sake of audacity they'd target more vunerable worlds - such as those of the trader-inclined Rafows where they had a more certain chance of victory.
The Wranploer soldiers landed on the planet and pushed into the cities, confronting the Rafows military. The Rafows themselves were among the least advanced inhabitants of the Inner Core, and their numbers quickly fell to the Wranploer force's weaponry. But as the raiders advanced, descending upon the colony's capital, new signatures arrived in orbit. Rather than some organised force sent by the PCA or Rafows themselves, the fleet consisted of numerous ship makes and origins, firing superior weaponry at the Wranploer forces in orbit. While on the ground, raiders were confronted by capsules hot-dropped form orbit and opening ot reveal mercenaries armed with equipment not quite of Borealis make, resisting the raiders' charges with lasers, coilguns and advanced armour and tactics. Two soldiers looked on as a hot-drop pod opened up deploying these strange alien soldiers.
Wranploer 1 - Who the hell are these people?
Wranploer 2 - Hell, they don't look like Alliance to me. Warn the commander!
As if the arrival of infantry was problematic enough, the skies became swarmed with fighter drones that began firing down on raiders, moving as if the restrictions of air was of no issue to them. Several of the raiders were gunned down or forced to take cover. The Rafows themselves were caught by surprise as this new fleet showed no hostility toward them.
The commander of the raiders was already at the center of the capital city, taking his forces to breach into the planet governor's palace to surrender him. Forcing their way though the guards and eventually breaching the defences, the Wranploer raiders and the commander - upon entering a large hall some of the mercenaries had already deployed inside to greet him. Emerging to gree him, one of the lieutenants - a squat figure clad in advanced combat armour dashed with urban camo patterns - poked his head out and looked at the commander smugly. The commander however, looked at this small aggressor with disdain.
Lieutenant - Clear off Wranploer, go and pick on a target more worthy of your strength, if you still have any.
Commander - Who do you think you are to tell me what to do? Get off my path, this planet belongs to us now.
Lieutenant - Unlike you malformed slimes, we work for a greater purpose. Right lads!?
The opposing mercenaries all cheered with excitement before pointing their weapons at the invaders. The Wranploer commander however, looked at the defenders with a low growl and kept his weapon close.
Commander - Like I give a damn for your purposes. My purpose is to get rich off these weaklings' backs! And if you're gonna stay in my way then I'll have you join them in the grave!
The commander and his soldiers began firing at the mercenaries. In retaliation, the mercenaries began firing back at the Wranploer. Unlike the soldiers outside, they were using strictly Borealis-developed equipment, and were not as effective as the soldiers outside, a few of them losing their lives to the raiders. The Wranploer began pushing forward as some of the mercenaries died to their guns. The commander took what looked like a grenade launcher and fired it at the lieutenant's direction. The lieutenant jumped to dodge the shrapnel from the grenade, some of it hitting his body and damaging his armour. Making a few shots at the raiders he backed away deeper into the chambers. The commander looked on and spat at the ground with disgust as the lieutenant ran off after mot much of a firefight, leaving his raiders to clear out the rest.
Commander - Pathetic. Move on, men. The sooner as we get the governor to surrender, the better.
The lieutenant limped away, but moved fast enough and with enough cunning that he gave the raiders the slip some ways in. He did not matter so much, the governor was the prize and the entrance was close. The commander and his men exploded their way into the governor's chamber, blasting the doors apart and rushing in, the Rafows himself cowering in fear as the raiders gunned what remained of his guards down. As the Wranploer commander approached his prey, his companions could have heard a thud behind them, landing right in front of the door was a muscular, tall and clearly modified red-scaled Draconis wearing advanced boy armour under a long velvet coat.
The raiders all took a step back in surprise, and then aimed their weapons at the Draconis, who stood up and smirked as he twitched his fingers, displaying an aura of confidence about him.
Commander - What's with all these weird people showing up from nowhere in my raiding party?!
Valserion - It is good to see you are enjoying yourself, commander.
The commander said nothing and simply fired his grenade launcher at the Valserion's direction. He caught the grenade and crushed it in his hand, somehow he had prevented it from detonating the moment he touched it, and grinned slyly. The sight of this feat caused the commander to lower his guard in shock, suddenly doubting his chances against this aggressor.
Valserion - Now it is my turn.
Commander - Uhh...
Valserion relaxed his arms and extending from devices on his wrists were two barbed chains that clattered to the floor, attached to his wrists. Giving the Wranploer only a moment of hesitation he flicked the chains in a whip-like fashion, sending a wave of razor-sharp barbs to sweep itself over the raider teamThe raiders were taken by surprise and hit by the barbs, causing some to agonize. Other raiders not nearly as affected fired their guns at the Draconis in anger. Valserion moved swiftly through the ranks, the barbs flaying like razor-sharp currents that moved in his wake, cutting, digging slicing, some swings he hooked the barbs in a noose around raiders and tugged violently, shredding their innards, and al lwith a look of glee on his enhanced face. He made sure however, to keep the commander alive, shots from raiders' guns bouncing off his armour or damaging his skin with him showing little care. The commander dodged, recieving a few cuts but wondering in horror about the almost-unnatural nature of his attacker.
Commander - What the hell is this guy?
Some of the wranploer he caught he tugged with enough strength to send them flying, scattering blood and flesh throughout the chamber. With the last raider down- which he threw to a wall on the left, he stood calmly and looked at the commander.
Valserion - I am vengeance, a symbol of order in this hellpit of a galaxy. Your actions here seek to upset the balance of stability and for that...well I give you two options.
Commander - You talk like a damn Niaka.
The Draconis pressed a panel to retract the barbs on one of his chains and tossed it to wrap around the commander, yanking him inwards, pulling the commander close.
Valserion - Bow to me, Wranploer, apologise for your foolishness in raiding this planet and I will spare you. Or I can choke you.
Commander - Grrrh! Die in a fire, mutant!
Valserion - Final answer? I can promise you wealth and technology beyond your imagining.
Commander - A Wranploer bows to no primitive!
Valserion - Shame then.
Valserion clenched his fist, prompting the barbs to extend and dig deep into the commander's body. He gave another tug, shredding the commander's flesh. The commander fell dead, but not before spitting towards the Valserion' direction. The Rafows governor shyly looked over to see the carnage from behind his desk, hardly used to such violent scenes. Valserion retracted the chains into his bracers and stepped over the Wranploer's body.
Valserion - This raid is over, sir.
Governor - ...Y-you're not here to kill me?
Valserion - On the contrary, I am here to offer my aid.
Governor - Aid?
Valserion - Allow me to introduce myself, I am Valserion Khaxvis, I represent an organisation not of the Andromedan Commonwealth or the Alliance, who desires to bring order to the cosmos.
Governor - Well, if you bring no harm to my people, then I'm all ears.
Valserion - Your planet was in danger, your people are at risk from powers with greater assets and weaponry than you. And I can help. Protection, equipment, technology, ships, I can provide all of this. Perhaps more.
Governor - That would be immensely helpful.
Valserion - Well, nothing is free... Perhaps in return you could offer my own forces a location to resupply and perhaps-- No,What I had just thought of would be too harsh given your circumstances.
Governor - I need a way to thank you for saving us. Do tell me what you have in mind.
Valserion - Our own forces rely on hrmm, volunteers. But despite the strength of our cause it is not enough...perhaps you an provide a regular portion of your own people to support our numbers? I would happily see that they are equipped with what our organisation has access to.
Governor - I can do so, if you give my men time to recover from this attack, I'm sure I can give you our support.
Valserion - Of course.
Governor - Well, it's settled then.
Valserion - Well...one planet might not be enough support. Perhaps you can spread this news to your peers within your civilization? I could happily spread our protection forces to defend your peopel as a whole rather than this one planet.
Governor - I can do so. But note we Rafows are mainly traders so even many planets may not give you a large amount of soldiers.
Valserion - Even a minor contribution is satisfaction enough. I thank you governor. Your trade lanes will be safe under our protection.
Governor - I'm glad to hear that. Now if you excuse me, I need to plan repairs and clean up all this...blood splatted all over the walls.
Valserion - Of course, Apologies-- sometimes I get carried away when dealing with scum.
Governor - It's okay, really. I'm just, well, not used to seeing so much blood.
Valserion - Understandable. I bid good day to you governor.
Governor - Goodbye and good luck on your mission for order.
Valserion walked outside of the palace and looked about the mop-up operation. He walked down to a group of soldiers dealing with a few dead raiders. Not all of them had been killed in battle, some had been intentionally incapacitated.
Valserion - Have the wounded cleaned up and processed. If they refuse our recruitment offers, feel free to brand them for the slave markets. Wranploer shalves should fetch a very good price with the correct conditioning.
He leaned down to one injured Wranploer and lifted the soldier's head up to look him in the eyes. The other soldiers looking onward with some manner of satisfied grin on their faces.
Valserion - If you are smart, then I know you will cooperate.
He let go of the Wranploer and walked onwards, heading to a shuttle ready to take him back up to the fleet in orbit.
Fire meets Flesh
At the carcass of the Iron Fist, Vorius stood in the middle of a room. He was static, with his eyes wide open. When not devouring entire populations of planets, Vorius simply stood there, doing absolutely nothing. His chimeras walked around, working on their own tasks, while their leader simply stood there, motionless. In the stagnation of Vorius' musing, the Iron Fist began to feel motion. Heavy, sub-bass booming could be heard, quiet, becoming increasingly louder. It sounded similar to breathing. The chimeras began panicking as they heard the sounds, while Vorius himself remained ignorant to it.
A shadow walked through the frame of the ship - The Benefactor, walking through the corridors, facing Vorius. Vorius' own minions were driven away from his very presence, bringing with him intense heat and dread. Vorius' head moved down to stare at the Benefactor as he approached. The Benefactor showed no fear in his face, but much rather a smile as he looked at Vorius.
- The Benefactor - Greetings. I am called The Benefactor...and I bear great tidings.
- Vorius - ...Unknown. Species?
- The Benefactor - Zirtonian, my friend. Zirtonian.
- Vorius - New DNA.
- The Benefactor - You would not want to assimilate me, no. Our bodies are weak. Our minds? Strong.
Vorius lifted his hand and he glared at the Benefactor.
- Vorius - New new new new new new new.
- The Benefactor - Hm. I have an offer for you. Increased power...but just for a small cost. Mutual respect...is what I ask.
- Vorius - Offer life. Offer sample. Offer body.
Vorius lunged forward and threw his hand at the Benefactor in an attempt to grab him. Upon contact, the heat of the Benefactor's body caused Vorius' hand to burn. Faces appeared in Vorius' skin and screamed as they burned. Vorius kept glaring at the Benefactor and attempted to absorb him, but had no success.
- The Benefactor - ...I believe you should not have done that.
- Vorius - Cease.
The Benefactor's body dissipated in front of Vorius. The universe, however, began to morph as colours of red, orange and blue took form. The chimeras around the room began wailing and screaming while Vorius kept looking at his own burned hand. Directly in front of Vorius, through the mess of corridors, a bright infernal blue iris, with an abyssal darkness in the middle, looked directly at Vorius. The mutated warlord looked directly at the iris, while the chimeras all ran away from it.
- Angazhar - Vorius.
- Vorius - Newer. Give.
- Angazhar - Irrelevant. Serve me.
- Vorius - Serve? You dare. You serve me. You serve Regnatus.
Vorius' chest opened vertically, turning into a mouth which let out a roar at Angazhar. The coalescence of energies around the eye caused debris to float from the ship, as Angazhar roared back; the Iron Fist was thrown back, violently off course. Vorius stumbled back and then fell on one of his knees.
- Vorius - Unknown. Strange. What.
- Angazhar - I am Angazhar. Serve.
- Vorius - Serve. No. I don't serve. You serve. You. Serve.
Vorius lunged forward and ran at the iris' direction, wanting to attack it. However, before he could, another chimera stepped between him and Angazhar, causing Vorius to stop on his tracks. It was his second-in-command, the Spawn of Vengeance.
- Spawn - I will speak for the warlord.
- Angazhar - Speak.
- Spawn - You offered us increased power for mutual respect. We can gladly do so. We are looking for more power, after all.
- Angazhar - A pathogen spreads. Pathogens die out. A swarm spreads. Swarms remain.
- Spawn - Our deal is settled then. Please allow me to apologize for the warlord's manners.
- Angazhar - Accepted.
An invisible force drew itself across the ship; the Spawn was hurtled through the wreckage, hitting a wall and splashing across it, letting out a pained groan. The eye magnified closer to Vorius, as the debris flew away intensely.
- Angazhar - Serve me now. A great flame shall be carried forward.
- Vorius - My flame. Leave.
- Angazhar - Command is mine.
- Spawn - Yes...command is all yours.
The scope of space rocked to and fro, as the abhorrent skies burned back into normality, leaving horrific echoes of Angazhar's breath behind. Vorius remained static for several moments until he let out a furious roar, then sent his fist to the floor where Angazhar once stood. The floor exploded with the strength of the punch and shattered into pieces.
With the help of the Caxildiz's satellites and Asraels' instructions, Xerkea traveled through the same Cold Relays where Zoltik Relkhul had passed through in an attempt to chase him. After learning from his actions, the Niaka Chief Major would not rest until she brought him to justice. Her travels eventually paid off, as she detected ships from Soltako Armed Military on her radars in a close world, also owned by the Caxildiz. The planet was already under attack once she arrived, much to her annoyance.
- Niaka - Orders, Chief Major?
- Xerkea - Kill every single one of them.
- Niaka - Roger.
Shuttles left the Niaka fleet and made their way to the planet, Xerkea and their soldiers ready to do what the Niaka did best: raze criminals off the map. As the soldiers of the PMC watched the shuttles descend, they all prepared themselves and opened fire at them, in an attempt to take them down. However, the Niaka Special Forces' shuttles were already prepared for being attacked from land and were all properly shielded for such, as this was a very common occurrence for them. As the shuttles landed and their doors opened, Xerkea and her men unleashed fire at the mercenaries. Not a word needed to be said. What mattered was that all the scum was dead.
In a distance, Zoltik watched as the Niaka pushed into his direction and massacred his men. He looked at the scene with a grin, as if he enjoyed the sight of the battle. He turned to one of his subordinates, who looked weirdly at him for grinning so much.
- Zoltik - Put the civilians on a line over there.
- Mercenary - Uh...y-yes, sir.
The mercenary ran off and began shouting orders at the captured Caxildiz civilians, while Zoltik kept watching Xerkea. From his location, he could get a good view of the battle. He watched as Xerkea grabbed the head of one of the mercenaries and crushed it on her grasp, splatting his blood and brain over the ground. He watched as she aimed her cannon at the mercenaries and blasted them with impeccable aim, tearing them apart. He watched as she endured his soldiers' shots, unflinching, walking through their fire to get them and destroy them. The sight of such a bloodthirsty warrior filled Zoltik with glee.
He watched as one of his soldiers was suddenly flung to his own direction, taking one of his blades and cutting his in half before he could hit him. And as he did, Xerkea's suit itself appeared in front of him and delivered a punch directly at the Heeyorian's head, sending him flying backwards until he hit a wall. Zoltik gasped in pain as he fell to a knee, surprised by the sudden attack. Xerkea, who had flung the mercenary in the first place, aimed her cannon at the Heeyorian's head.
- Zoltik - Gah...heheh. You're full of surprises.
- Xerkea - You cannot hide from me.
- Zoltik - Not even a greeting? We just met after all. I'm Zoltik Relkhul. And you?
- Xerkea - I'm the Niaka who'll kill you.
Xerkea fired her cannon at Zoltik's direction. The Heeyorian chuckled as he jumped off the way and evaded her attacks. Some of her shots hit him, only to be absorbed by his shield.
- Zoltik - Hah! Just like I expected! A woman of few words and many weapons! I like you, Xerkea. You're one of the reasons I love my job.
- Xerkea - Don't play stupid with me, you freak.
- Zoltik - Now that's just rude. I'm doing these people a favor and that's how you thank me?
Xerkea lunged forward, winding a punch. Zoltik, however, saw her coming and sent his foot at her, kicking the suit on its side. The Niaka Chief Major was thrown off course and crashed into the ground. Inside the suit, Xerkea shook her head in pain. She did not expect Zoltik to be strong enough to do that.
- Xerkea - Strong enough to fight a Niaka suit in melee? Yeah, you're a damn freak, alright.
- Zoltik - I just like to be in equal terms with my opponents. Curb-stomps are never fun after all, eh?
- Xerkea - But I enjoy curb-stomping scum like you. All of you private military scum are nothing but war criminals who deserve nothing but death.
- Zoltik - ...Just like I expected. You don't understand a thing.
Zolti walked from side to side, while Xerkea got up and aimed her cannon at him.
- Zoltik - I do this because it's my job. The War Economy gave us jobs! Technology! A purpose in life! To become stronger and survive! I'm creating a galaxy where only the strongest are allowed life!
- Xerkea - You're a lunatic, just like Zaarkhun was.
- Zoltik - Lunatic? No, no. You see, sapients are cruel creatures by nature. It's what separates us from animals. They always want to be at the top, with everyone else below them. Things like morals are used to suppress the true nature of men and women. Without these, they realize they must use all means necessary to achieve their goals. And what's the best mean of obtaining what you want?
Zoltik opened his arms.
- Zoltik - Through force! Through battle! Through war! War is part of what we are! We naturally want to be at the top dogs. So why fight it?
- Xerkea - I've heard these speeches from Zaarkhun already and I'm sick and tired of them. You war criminals are all the same to me. Cruel anarchists who want to destroy civilized life with your wars, just so you can fill your pockets with credits.
- Zoltik - "War criminal" this, "cruel anarchy" that. Bullshit! Who are you to talk to me about cruelty when you're the cruelest Niaka in the galaxy? I do what I do for the greater good! And if you can't understand, it's because you belong to the weak cattle who must be swept aside to make room for the strong! It's a damn shame, because I'm not lying when I say I like you, Xerkea.
Xerkea let out an angered hiss, tired of hearing Zoltik talking. She charged forward to strike at him again, but the Heeyorian leaped back, then backed away to another street. Xerkea chased him, but once she crossed the street and stared at Zoltik again, she stopped on her tracks. Zoltik was surrounded by Caxildiz civilians, while hugging several of them and lifting them to his chest level. He looked at Xerkea with a grin.
- Zoltik - I'm right here. Finish me off, eh?
- Xerkea - ...You son of a bitch.
- Zoltik - C'mon! I'm at plain view! What're you waiting for? Don't you want to end all of this? Prove me wrong by ripping my head off and putting it on your trophy hall? Don't try to hide it, I know you got a trophy hall.
Zoltik laughed as he saw Xerkea hesitate. If she attacked, she would hit the Caxildiz civilians. They looked at both Xerkea and Zoltik with fear, visibly shaking. The Niaka Chief Major and the CEO of Soltako exchanged looks for several moments, until Xerkea, inside her suit, let out a sigh.
- Xerkea - ...I must do what it's necessary. I'm sorry.
Xerkea opened fire, blasting her cannon at Zoltik's direction. The civilians he was using as meat shields were obliterated, and Zoltik was hit by the blasts. He cackled as he threw the Caxildiz he was hugging forward to absorb the shots and backed away, before leaping high into the air and landing at the top of a building. His shields were weakened, but he remained overall unharmed.
- Zoltik - The cruelest Niaka of all time! Xerkea! Ahahahaha!
A shuttle belonging to SAM emerged from the buildings, and Zoltik leaped inside, but not before waving goodbye to Xerkea. At the street, Xerkea shouted in anger and punched the floor in frustration. She failed to even harm him, and sacrificed innocents in vain. Even with all of her attitude, Xerkea hated the idea of sacrificing innocents. One of her soldiers approached her from behind and saluted.
- Niaka - The PMC forces have been eliminated, Chief Major. Orders?
- Xerkea - Grrrh. Find Zoltik Relkhul's location. Chase him. I don't care what it takes, he must die!
- Niaka - Yes, ma-am. I'll call the shuttle to retrieve you.
- Xerkea - Cruel...I'll show him how cruel I can be.
No Mercy, No Remorse
The Imalmah Hegemony weren't exactly the most honest of races. They were criminals, deceitful bastards that were notorious among Borealis' community. They were thieves, scoundrels and really weren't the pleasant sort, not a single person trusted them, and the PCA had concerns for them.
But that certainly didn't warrant the fate of one of their worlds.
An Imalmah world was stormed by an enormous fleet, with battleships carrying weapons far beyond most of what the Imalmah were using. The Imalmah were an expert on illegal technologies, and most of these weapons were, in fact, 'above the law'. They had their orbital defences torn apart in minutes, almost unable to respond, as the fleet shrugged off their retilitory blasts.
But the Imalmah soon saw the fleet was headed not to their world, but to its moon. The capital ship fired, and the destroyed moon came crashing down on the world below it. And they looked up in horror. The resultant meteor shower was not something any of them could survive.
Only a few could retreat, and those who could were shot down before they got anywhere. The evacuees were all murdered, other than one single escape pod. The crew, curious as to which heartless monsters had destroyed their planet before they could so much as react, looked back through the window.
The ship which had destroyed the moon, and the planet, was a UNO Warship.
The Polar Crystal Alliance's Council was instantly contacted. The Imalmah wanted a word in this outrage after hearing what had happened. An Imalmah Highmaster sent a transmission to the council.
- Imalmah Highmaster - Excuse me, sirs. But do you have any explanation for this attack destroying our worlds?
- Semirian - Imalmah Hegemony? We have not ordered an attack on your planets.
- Imalmah Highmaster - How do you explain this detailed attack on one of our worlds? The reports are that an UNO fleet destroyed the orbital defences around one of our planets out of nowhere, then fired upon the moon of the world, and caused it to be destroyed in seconds.
Xeron held on his head and screeched in anger.
- Xeron - Not this again!
- Semirian - UNO acted without our knowledge...again.
- Rylarien - Highmaster, we'll make sure to punish UNO for this act. This attack is their responsability.
- Imalmah Highmaster - I will trust you when you take action against them. Anyway, I am glad we could come to an agreement, and we will not take this as an act of hostility from your part. That is all.
The Highmaster then disconnected.
Xeron pointed at a Caretaker who was working on the council room and shouted.
- Xeron - You! Find Valzaria now!
The Caretaker let out a fearful yell and ran over to a nearby terminal, used by the Caretakers to control the space station and the individuals in it. With this technology, they could easily track any man or woman in Hyperborea, and after several moments, the Caretaker turned back to Xeron, shyly.
- Caretaker - Councillor Valzaria is...not at Hyperborea, sir.
- Xeron - What do you mean not?!
- Semirian - This is inexcusable. Have they not learned their lesson already?
- Xeron - I will haev that Galotian's head! Send a transmission to UNOL now!
And ineed, they acted on their word sending a transmission to UNO, but instead all they got was the Mechanic.
- The Mechanic - Hey, hey! No it's not actually me talking, this is a pre-recorded message! The transmission you just sent to is currenlty not in use. Either their transmission methods changed, the empire blew up, or you entered it in wrong! To search again, press 1. To get one of the Caretakers to search for you, press 2. To file a complaint, press 3. To truly show your disapproval with the system, feel free to smash up the console you're using by banging your head into it multiple times until it is destroyed!
- Xeron - What is this bullcrap?
- Rylarien - Oh dear...
- Caretaker - ...do you want to urm...press two then?
- Xeron - Uuuuuugh! Press whatever button it takes to get those stinking Ottzelloans on the screen!
After a few minutes of searching...
- Caretaker - I've, urm, found something familiar...
- Semirian - Put it on our screen.
A transmission was shown with Commander-King Thylaxiz.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - State your intent.
- Xeron - Don't play stupid with us, you cursed machine. Explain your attack on the Imalmah Hegemony!
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - They were irritating. We showed them a lesson. Were we not busy with other matters, we would have destroyed them already.
- Semirian - This is the second time we have been through this. What makes you think this was a good decision?
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - As I have stated: they were irritating.
- Xeron - We will not show the same mercy as previously. Consider yourselves banned from Hyperborea and the Polar Crystal Alliance. Approaching our territory once more will be an act of war! Be thankful I've not ordered your damned sector quarantined again!
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - I am confused. To which Hyperborea or Polar Crystal Alliance do you refer to?
- Xeron - Bah!
Xeron closed the transmission on the Commander-King's face.
- Semirian - Ridiculous. To think they helped build the galaxy and are now reduced to this.
- Xeron - Call the Mechanic! Quarantine that infernal sector again! Let them all die!
- Rylarien - Calm down, Xeron, please.
Ways of Making You Talk
Following whatever leads she had, Xerkea made her way to a space station in the Arm of Wildness not owned by any specific empire. Instead, it was inhabited by all kinds of races. It was a hub point for pirates, crooks and other nasty types, and the perfect way to get information out of someone. Immediately upon entering the solar system of the station, defense systems were turned on upon detecting Xerkea's ship. A Niaka Special Forces vessel entering their territory could only mean problems, and they had better prepare themselves. Xerkea boarded the station, followed by several of her men. They marched through the station, intimidating the population with their presence. Pirates around the station watched them from a distance, ready to strike if they tried to do anything funny.
Xerkea made her way to the upper levels, where the nobles lived, and walked into the direction of the home of a notable individual who made his residence there: a very rich Arviper named Wuiring, who more or less had the station's military forces on his hands. Xerkea was interested in him because, according to her reports, this snake had hired Soltako in the past. As they approached the residence, guardds immediately got in the way, and from their outfits, they were clearly mercenaries.
- Guard - Halt. You may not travel any fu-
Xerkea blasted the guard's head with her cannon before he could finish his sentence, and her men quickly followed her action and gunned down all the other guards who got in the way. She slammed the residence's doors with her mecha suit's foot, tearing it down, and made way inside. More mercenaries appeared and attempted to stop Xerkea, but her suit endured their shots and she made her way through them, not leaving a single one alive. Her men positioned themselves at the residence's entrance so that no more reinforcements could arrive, and Xerkea made her way upstairs.
Xerkea arrived to the second floor to see the Arviper crimeboss surrounded by females of his species. As she made herself visible, Wuiring screeched in terror and his girlfriends panicked and slithered away as fast as they could.
- Wuiring - What is the meaning of-
Xerkea launched her suit's hand forward and grabbed Wuiring by his neck, squeezing him on her grasp. The Arviper shrieked in pain and wiggled, trying to get himself free, but with no success.
- Xerkea - Tell me about Soltako.
- Wuiring - G-gah! What are you talking about?!
Xerkea tightened her grasp, causing Wuiring to gasp for air.
- Xerkea - I know you hired them in the past, back in the Borealis War. You know a lot about them. I want to know where their headquarters are.
- Wuiring - Agh! I-I don't know! L-let me go!
- Xerkea - Does it look like I'm joking around here? Fine, let me prove you my point!
Using her second hand, Xerkea's mecha suit grabbed one of Wuiring's arms and twisted it, until the sound of his arm breaking could be heard. The Arviper screamed in pain for several seconds while Xerkea delivered a cold, deadly glare to him.
- Wuiring - Aaaaaagh! Ok ok! I know where it is! B-but if I tell you, they're going to kill me!
- Xerkea - What makes you think I'll not give you an ever worse fate if you don't spill your beans?
- Wuiring - Ngh...okay. But just between us. Their headquarters is called Planet Soltako. It's in the Arm of Wildness, Vijaha Sector. I can give you coordinates!
- Xerkea - You better not be lying.
- Wuiring - By the name of all my credits, I'm obviously not.
Xerkea let go of Wuiring, who slithered to a nearby computer terminal, albeit slowly and painfully. He worked on the terminal with his sole working arm until the coordinates appeared on his screen, which also showed pictures of the planet itself, and a particular picture had Wuiring shaking fists with a Soltako mercenary, proving he was indeed saying the truth. He downloaded the data into a small pad and delivered it to Xerkea.
- Wuiring - Dare I ask, how did you find me? And what do you want with SAM?
- Xerkea - The Special Forces has records on all of you posh and rich pirate scum. And I'm going to destroy SAM.
- Wuiring - You will fail. SAM is much more powerful than you think. Their influence is huge.
- Xerkea - Do I appear to care?
- Wuiring - Urk...I gave you your information...am I free to go now?
- Xerkea - Oh yes, you're free alright.
Xerkea's suit suddenly delivered a kick, sending Wuiring crashing through a window and to outside. He screamed as he fell out of his building, disappearing through he space station's depths. Xerkea walked back downstairs and signalled her men to follow her back to their shuttle. Her job was done.
- Xerkea - Time to pay Zoltik a visit.
The Hegemony in Flames
Vekaron and his crew took their ship to where the Martem Ignis had been located. It was no ordinary planet, but actually the capital of the Hegemony itself, the Imalmah homeworld of Xtronznarter. Taking the shuttle to the surface, they could see the Martem ignis looming in the distance while the capital itself was in flames. On a screen inside the shuttle, the team could see the surface, where Imalmah soldiers were fighting hordes of...mutants.
- Vekaron - Oh no. Not them.
- Kilchárunya - Wonderful. So the Martem Ignis and Regnatus' mutants?
- Vansenk - The spawn of Regnatus swarms this world.
- Kirlisir - First Torrent, now that tentacle monster too? Please don't tell me the monster himself is here.
The shuttle landed at the top of the staircase leading to a building used for military meetings, which now layed in flames. Bodies of dead soldiers and mutants were everywhere, and the city burned intensily from the attack.
- Wragrot - We're probably the first aliens to ever set foot here, you know. Great honour. Except not really.
In the heights of the burning buildings of Xtronznarter, stood a silhouette of Kicathian figure in black. It was Chi, roaring through the clouds of smoke. Vekaron, Wragrot, Kirlisir and Vansenk quickly took cover behind ruined walls. Chi's voice rung out through the burning city;
- Chi - The Penumbran is here. Find him and his associates! Bring them to me!
- Wragrot - Oh boy.
- Kirlisir - Yickes.
- ??? - Here's an associate for you, you bastard. Fire!
- Kilchárunya - What now?!
Missiles were fired at Chi's direction. Vekaron looked at their direction to see a large squad of Imalmah soldiers, led by Fleet Commander Bakarl. The missiles collided with Chi's body - exploding on contact. The smoke and dust settled, to reveal remnants of Chi's body still standing, slowly reforming itself from a liquid mass back into solidity.
- Bakarl - What the...fire again, damnit!
The Imalmah soldiers wielding rocket launchers fired at Chi's direction once again. The rockets this time did not even make it to Chi's body; with a formed blade from his forearm, Chi deflected the rockets off course. He leapt down to the ground, towering over the Imalmah forces. The soldiers all backed away and began firing at him with their guns, while Bakarl stood behind them. Kilchárunya peered through narrow opening of debris, watching the ensuing carnage.
- Kilchárunya - As much as I hate to say it, we've got to help them.
- Wragrot - How? We can't even hurt him at this point.
- Kilchárunya - We've got to try.
- Vekaron - She's right. Criminal or not, I'd rather have Bakarl alive than Chi.
Chi drove his blades through the bodies of the Imalmah forces, slicing some of them in two. Wragrot emerged out of cover and fired his shotgun at Chi, while Vansenk sent his nanomachines at his direction and Kirlisir launched psychic pulses. Bakarl looked at the team's direction in surprise.
- Bakarl - What the bloody hell are you lot doing here?!
He then walked further to Bakarl himself, grabbing him by the stalk of his head. Chi absorbed the damage, not even wincing nor moving.
- Bakarl - Get your filthy hands off me!
- Wragrot - See? Told you.
Chi turned slightly, before a wave of rocks and dust was hurled at the team, flooring them.
- Chi - Did I ever tell you...how much I hate pirates?
- Bakarl - G-gah! Kill me if you want, but the Hegemony's will is infinite!
- Chi - Hmph.
Chi planted his hand on Bakarl's face, as liquids from his body entered the tear ducts of his eyes, his nostrils and his mouth. Bakarl panicked and thrashed around, while Vekaron and his team all turned away in disgust, with the exception of Vansenk. Through the seams of his skin, the liquids burned through, as it melted right down to the bones. All there was left of Bakarl was a steaming pile of shredded and melted flesh in a gelatinous mass on the floor.
- Vansenk - ...Impressive.
- Wragrot - That bastard...stole our kill!
- Kirlisir - Both of you. Seriously.
Chi then looked on, throwing away the severed stalk that he still held in his hand. He looked directly at the team, before walking away from them. Vekaron looked at Chi leaving with a raised eyebrow as he slowly got out of cover. Kilchárunya, looking at Bakarl's corpse, doubled over and vomited all over the floor. Wragrot jumped away from Kilchárunya in disgust.
- Kilchárunya - That was just cruel.
- Wragrot - Do you not have manners?
- Kilchárunya - I have a stomach.
- Vekaron - He just left...keep your guards up, everyone.
- Kamaris - Do we follow him?
- Vekaron - Yes. But let's keep a safe distance.
The team proceeded to follow. It was but a moment before all trace of Chi was lost, safe for the whirls of smoke he left behind as he sprinted through it. His footprints were quickly erased by the winds. Vekaron inspected the area, trying to find Chi's trail with no success.
- Vekaron - Damnit. Where did he go?
Beasts of Fire
Some minutes of following, before the team came to a large, round structure. It appeared to be the centre of the capital; the base of the Imalmah's 'politics'.
- Kilchárunya - That looks big and important.
- Wragrot - They really aren't. Imalmah Highmasters are like the worst leaders in this galaxy.
The windows that were originally there were blasted through impacts and what seemed to be fire - the structure was burning on the inside. Vekaron vaguely saw Chi scaling the side of the building as he entered through a window frame. Vekaron signalled his team to follow him as he made his way to the entrance of the structure. The entrance of the structure was littered with Imalmah corpses; some of them burnt to a charred husk. Kicathian footprints could be distinguished...as well as Zirtonian.
- Vansenk - He is here.
- Kamaris - Be prepared, then.
Unlike the way the Benefactor walked before, the footsteps seemed to be irregular. As if there were a stumble.
- Kirlisir - Strange...is he hurt?
- Kilchárunya - No blood. Doesn't look like it.
- Kirlisir - It looks like he's stumbling to walk.
- Vekaron - Xhodocto can stumble?
- Wragrot - We're about to find out.
Moving through, the main entrance to the chamber was blocked by a fallen beam. It was too large to dislodge, let alone move. Wragrot walked up to the beam and tried to move it, with no success.
- Wragrot - Hmpf. Path blocked.
- Kilchárunya - There must be another way around. Anyone familiar with Imalmah architecture?
- Kamaris - Considering you found me on an Imalmah planet...
- Vekaron - Well, let's see what we can do. I've not visited that many Imalmah worlds.
- Kamaris - There must be a staircase up. This building has multiple floors.
Vekaron looked around and located a staircase leading to the next floor. Some debris were in the way, but Kirlisir removed them with her psychic powers, allowing the team to proceed.
- Kilchárunya - That works.
- Vekaron - Keep your guards up, everyone...
Moving up the stairs, an Imalmah was seen screaming as he was thrown through the air; a sickening crack as he hit the wall, and slid down the stairs dead.
- Kirlisir - Uh-oh...
- Wragrot - I could do that.
Something peered its head down the stairs. It appeared to be an eyeless Zazane, with a plated head. As its mouth opened, a second mouth revealed something similar to a Zí-Jittorám's maw; a tongue slithered out like a whip. The rest of the body showed itself, in a horrid mixture of Zazane and Zí-Jittorám biologies, covered in golden flesh.
- Kilchárunya - What. The. Fuck. Is. That.
- Wragrot - No.
- Kirlisir - Absolutely disgusting.
The creature groaned in numerous voices, before charging down at the group. The sheer size of the mutant caused the staircase to crumble under its weight. Wragrot frantically shot the monster while Kirlisir attacked it with her psychic pulses. Vansenk pointed his scythe at the creature to send his nanomachines at its direction. Kilchárunya let out frantic sounds of disgust, shooting at the monster as well whilst running backwards down the stairs. Kamaris shot his gun at the monster. Chunks of flesh was blown from its body as it screeched out, waving its fists at the floor to sweep them away.
Kirlisir danced around the creature at high speed and slashed at it with her blades, while Vansenk attacked it with his scythe, and Vekaron with his sword. The tongue of the monster pierced the walls of the building, leaving heavy dents in the wall. It then spewed out golden jets of liquid from its mouth, which hit the ground and burned.
- Kirlisir - Eeeeeew! Make it die make it die make it die!
- Wragrot - Tired of this shit. Blue hair, follow my lead.
- Kirlisir - My name is Kirlisir, okay?!
Wragrot concentrated his psychic powers and his eyes shined in an intense blue. He lanched them at the mutant, and Kirlisir quickly did the same. The creature felt itself being ripped apart from inside out. The creature stood up on its legs, screeching out further as it held on to its stomach. It leaped into the air, clinging on to the ceiling as spikes from its back was shot against the ground, some as long as Vekaron was tall. Wragrot and Kirlisir both used the full extent, and the monster was ripped in half vertically, with its halves being thrown at opposite directions of the room. Golden blood leaked from the body, as the heavy crash of the monster shook the room.
- Kirlisir - Phew. Glad that's over.
- Vekaron - Good job. And ew.
- Kamaris - Easier than expected.
- Wragrot - These mutants all seem like they're already in pain.
- Kilchárunya - ...Back up the stairs then?
- Vekaron - Indeed.
The Benefactor Revealed?
The team walked back up the stairs again, avoiding the blood of the deceased monstrosity. An opening in the wall, an open door frame, revealed the inner chamber. They could hear wheezing speech, seemingly in a maddened monologue.
- Vekaron - Everyone hearing that?
The Benefactor was pacing the chamber, stumbling as he went. Xi was with him, witnessing the Benefactor's speech.
- The Benefactor - Vorius...invading this territory the same time as I?! Was he watching me?! I didn't agree to any of this! I didn't agree to this at all! This has fallen apart! And it's his fault! His!
- Kirlisir - Vorius? Is that the tentacle monster's name?
- Vansenk - Keep quiet. He might hear you.
- Xi - Calm, sir. They have not attacked us.
- The Benefactor - I do not care if they have attacked us! I was to strike a deal with Bakarl, and Chi just went and killed him! Who is he serving?! Me?! Him?! The damned Xhodocto?! Who?!
- Vekaron - It's like...he doesn't know about Angazhar...
- Xi - Chi shall pay for that transgression. Should Omega silence him?
- The Benefactor - ...Yes...yes...Omega. Send Omega to kill Chi. Chi has betrayed us, and he should pay the price.
Vekaron's team looked at each other in surprise.
- Wragrot - Woah. Twist right there.
- Xi - And the Penumbrans? Chi said they were here.
- The Benefactor - Stay close. I will need your protection. Chi hasn't killed them, and they will find me.
The Benefactor continued to stumble before his breath became heavy. He sat down in a broken chair, struggling to keep composed.
- The Benefactor - I promised...the Dominion that I would deliver. If it is not that Vekaron who will come to find me, it shall be the Dominion. Hez'Kalka will have my head.
- Vansenk - Our next course of action?
- Kilchárunya - I'd say attack. We're outnumbering them.
- Vekaron - So be it. Attack!
Vekaron entered the chamber with his blade in hand, followed by Wragrot, Vansenk and Kirlisir. The Benefactor jumped in his seat, and Xi strafed the team. His arms formed into blades as he looked at them.
- The Benefactor - Xi! Kill them! Kill them now!
- Wragrot - Man, you Xhodocto are this easy to scare?
- The Benefactor - Xhodocto? ...Xi? What is he talking about?!
- Xi - Nothing, sir.
- Vekaron - Don't try to make a fool out of us, Angazhar. We know it's you.
The Benefactor started breathing heavily, moving his bodysuit to make himself more comfortable. Wragrot fired his gun at Xi, while Kirlisir fired her essences. Xi dodged the attacks, whirling around the room faster than the team could register. The Benefactor fled whilst the team were not looking. Vansenk turned to the Benefactor's direction to find him missing.
- Vansenk - He is escaping us!
- Wragrot - I thought Xhodocto were supposed to be fearless things.
Kamaris ran in the direction the Benefactor fled; Xi materialised in front of him, punching him across the hall.
- Xi - Come on. I thought you Penumbrans and your associates were talented warriors.
- Wragrot - Go screw yourself, Chi 2.
Wragrot charged energy on his fist and sent it into Xi's direction. Xi grabbed Wragrot's fist, crushing it in his grasp as he dragged it down. He then threw the Battlemaster across the room, similarly to how Kamaris was thrown.
- Xi - Are you going to get through me, or not?
Vansenk hissed and sent his nanomachines toward Xi, to invade and weaken him from the inside. Kirlisir charged at the Kicath and striked at him with her blades. The nanomachines played with his system, but did little to hinder him. Xi shaped his body out of the way of Kirlisir's attacks before kicking her away. Kirlisir was launched away and crashed into a wall. Vekaron took the opportunity and ran at where the Benefactor had escaped to.
Kilchárunya growled, before assessing the balcony above him. It was loose, hanging by threads of metal and stone. She then shot at the balcony, crashing down on Xi's body and covering it completely. She then ran after Vekaron, as Kamaris threw himself out of the rubble, then following Kilchárunya. The Benefactor was not far away. His speed caused him to move slowly as he tried and failed to run quickly.
- Vekaron - Something's wrong here. Why is he running from us instead of using Chaos Energy?
- Vansenk - Why ask? Merely catch him before he gets away!
The team caught up on the Benefactor's trail. He turned, and fell to his knees, weakened and defeated. Wragrot and Kirlisir both arrived as well, and the entire team looked down at the Benefactor in confusion.
- The Benefactor - Don't kill me! I have links, weapons! Anything!
- Wragrot - He's trying to trick us. Listen here, ruseman. Just becuse you're a Xhodocto doesn't mean you can trick me.
- The Benefactor - Why do you keep saying Xhodocto?
- Kirlisir - Because we know you're Angazhar!
The Benefactor got up to his feet, and backed away from the team.
- The Benefactor - I'm not coming with you.
Vekaron approached the Benefactor and grabbed him by an arm, putting his blade on his neck.
- Vekaron - You don't have a choice.
- The Benefactor - See you in Inferno, Penumbran.
The Benefactor, in fact, had a pistol held to Vekaron's waist. He shot at him, before walking back further. The shot went through Vekaron's shield, causing him to shout in pain and let go of the Benefactor. He then placed the pistol to his jaw, shooting again. Blood and machinery painted the wall behind him as he fell to the ground in a crash. Vekaron held on his wound in confusion.
- Vekaron - Did...did he just kill himself?
- Kamaris - ...Seems like it.
- Vansenk - Consider me puzzled by this outcome.
Kilchárunya walked up to the Benefactor's corpse, kicking it. Nothing.
- Kilchárunya - Well. Shit.
- Wragrot - ...We killed the Xhodocto? Yey?
Vekaron then received an alert on his wrist device. Reading it, his eyes widened.
- Vekaron - Shit.
- Kamaris - ...Hm?
- Vekaron - Hyperborea is under attack!
- Kilchárunya - Under attack? Dominion?
- Vekaron - By...the Benefactor.
Kilchárunya held her head in confusion.
- Kilchárunya - What in the name of fucking fuck is fucking about?!
- Vekaron - I have no idea either, but we gotta go to Hyperborea pronto. And I gotta get this bullet wound healed because ow.
- Kamaris - Let's get out of here quick, then.
The Dance of Demise
A typical day aboard the Rogue Krooza, things in Ottzello had gotten...a lot quieter than usual. However, most of the Rogue Leedas were typically too oblivious to notice any change. They had their typical conversation as usual.
- Fre'kloar - oi lads wanna shank som uno geezas
- Hagto'Zhl - yeh man wev not don dat in a whil
- Fre'kloar - is dat sarcasm hurhurhur
- Hagto'Zhl - no wev not attaked uno in ages man
- Fre'kloar - havent we? i forget man
- Jol'kiar - dis i like. PROACTIVITI. LETS SHOW DEM WAT WES MADE OF
- Fre'kloar - SIK WHOS COMIN
- Grak'tona - EVERYUN IS OTHAWISE DEY GET SENT TO DA ROYAL DUNJUN
- Voa'reak - WE DUNT EVEN HAV A DUNJUN
- Grak'tona - WE DUNT? DIS PLAIC IS A DUMP MAN I SWER
- Rel'larutina - Urm, you sure about this? UNO territory got really quiet lately...
- Ray'loth - lets wake dem up wiv LOTSA GUNS AND BOOMZ
- Zalk'don - wats dis bout boomz nao
The Rogue Krooza flew off to the nearest UNO world that they'd marked on their map. However they were surprised that when they arrived, the orbital defences of the world were...inactive.
- Fre'kloar - u wot m8
- Jol'kiar - wheres da resistance man deyz supposed ta at leest PUT UP A FITE
- Ray'loth - m-muh boredom
- Kal'kuir - by ma calculashons even unos not dum enuff ta sleep thru dat. hmm can i hak stoof
- Grak'tona - I ORDER YOO TO
- Hagto'Zhl - shuddup dumbo yor bein stoopid
Kal'kuir then got his cap on, sat by a computer and then started hacking away at the information tower. Then suddenly, his eyes widened and he screamed out.
- Kal'kuir - WAT DA HELL
- Jol'kiar - wat man
Kal'kuir smacked the Propa Big Rogue Geek to display the video he had just witnessed...
UNOL held a conference together, but they looked at each other rather blankly, not showing nearly as much emotion as usual. In a way, they seemed almost possessed. The tone of the discussion was far different from any ordinary UNOL conference.
- Kralgon Emperor - I think it has been decided. Restructuring must happen.
- Zr'Ahgloth - YEH. WE DO DIS. WATEVA DA HELL DIS IS
- Tuolog - This really not a good decision.
- Kralgon Emperor - Tuolog, don't you see what's happening to UNO? Half the nation becomes progressively weaker each day while the other becomes progressively stronger. We have been evolving from the pack of random species shoved into one galactic sector to one of the most powerful nations in not just this galaxy, but this known universe. A restructure is only natural!
- Yogtam - I'm skeptical but I do see the benefits of it.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Agreed. it is the best decision.
- Valzaria - No, it isn't! We'll make the whole galaxy turn on us!
- Kralgon Emperor - Bah! To hell with the whole galaxy! What happens when we become stronger than them? Borealis will be Ottzello 2.0!
- Tuolog - You become completely deluded, like Roshisiz before you. This only bring us ruin.
- Kralgon Emperor - Do not...do NOT compare me to Roshisiz!
- Zr'Ahgloth - tuolog man STOP BEIN A BUZZKILL ITS GONNA BE FUN
- Tuolog - You forget who here has power to see future. If I say it will bring us ruin, it will bring us ruin.
Suddenly, an electrical spark hit all of them. Commander-King Thylaxiz's eyes changed to dark purple.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - I will have you know that at the end of today...none of this is your decision.
- Zr'Ahgloth - wat da hell WAT YOO DOOOIN
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - The power is not yours. You are merely a representation of who truly has the power here.
- Yogtam - What?! Thylaxiz, what is the meaning of this?
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Did you not realise all the time that each of you were nothing more than parts of the UNO Omega Commander's consciousness? You do not have the power to decide, that belongs to the Omega Commander.
- Valzaria - This is treason!
- Tuolog - I warned you...
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Treason? It is not, you are merely puppets. I have removed you from the AI now, none of you have any power here anymore, unless you wish to remain in UNO. If you do not, the nanomachines in your body will terminate you.
- Zr'Ahgloth - yor a fukin wanka man
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - In which case, you are first.
Zr'Ahgloth suddenly felt his body start burning on the inside, a direct result of the electric shocks and the mini-explosions occurring inside him.
- Zr'Ahgloth - NNNNGAAAAH FUK YOR MOM
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - We have little need for the Loron, merely their DNA. We certainly have no use for Loron brains, but they may make decent zombie soldiers.
- Valzaria - The AI was never like this...
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - The AI never had any need to be like this before. But it needs to step its foot down. And were you not useless, Valzaria, I would kill you too...but I would rather brainwash you.
- Valzaria - What?
Valzaria was beginning to feel a huge headache and electric shocks all around her body.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Kralgon Emperor, you would make a great face as our new leader. Are you interested?
- Kralgon Emperor - New leader? Since the rest of these fools refuse to see reason, it is only natural I accept.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Excellent. And Tuolog...you and your people are redundant. However, you may make useful research rats temporarily.
- Tuolog - This not last for long. You see.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Really?
Thylaxiz tried to do the same that he had done to Zr'Ahgloth...but he had no effect on Tuolog at all. It was as if the nanomachines had gone.
- Kralgon Emperor - Bah, forget about him. He knows nothing.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - ...Well, that is problematic. You will leave the ship or be killed.
- Kralgon Emperor - Yes! Leave and don't come back. We don't need you hindering our progress!
Tuolog vanished, and took Zr'Ahgloth with him.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - This meeting is closed. The restructuring shall begin. Until then, we shall remain in isolation. Anyone who objects now raise your hand and die.
- Yogtam - ...Don't you mean raise your hand, OR DIE?
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - No.
- Kal'kuir - holy shit man
- Hagto'Zhl - well...wat do den
- Fre'kloar - SHANK DEM ANYWAY?
- Jol'kiar - COURS
- Gol'thabex - i dunt see whai if yoo only hated dem cos of deir wimp loronz an nao dey dunt got loronz anymoar
- Fre'kloar - YEH? DAT MEENS DEYZ INSULTIN LORONZ. DAT MEENS DEYZ INSULTING US
- Gol'thabex - man i will neva undastand any motivashon otha dan cash but woteva
- Fre'kloar - dats cus yor a dumbo. nao LETS GO MAN
Before they left, they recieved a transmission. It was Zr'Ahgloth.
- Zr'Ahgloth - urm hi
- Hagto'Zhl - copycat dumbo wher da hell did yoo com from
- Zr'Ahgloth - frum ma old empire...is dere urm...a space fer me?
- Fre'kloar - ...wat
- Zr'Ahgloth - can i join man i dunt even care if ya demote me ta warboss
- Fre'kloar - i erm...i...
Fre'kloar turned to the others.
- Fre'kloar - wat do
- Jol'kiar - i guess so hes liek da most respected loron otha dan us whai not maek da rogue boyz grow
- Hagto'Zhl - YOO IDIOTS. DUNT YA SEE? HES SURRENDERIN MAN ACCEPT HIS SURRENDA DIS IS DA BEST DAY OF MA LIEF
Fre'kloar turned back to Zr'Ahgloth.
- Fre'kloar - ok yoo can join us
- Zr'Ahgloth - safe bro. one fing...dere is no moar uno
- Fre'kloar - wat ya meen wiv dat? and whai is yoo askin ta join us anyway?
- Zr'Ahgloth - uno is ova. but i wanna shank da peepz who replace dem
- Fre'kloar - fair enuff
Battle for Planet Soltako
Using the coordinates she forcefully got from the Arviper crimeboss, Xerkea and her fleet made their way to the Vijaha Sector, to launch an attack on SAM's headquarters and end their kidnapping schemes, as well as every scheme involving them, once and for all. Since encountering Zoltik in person, Xerkea's mind was locked in a state of permanent anger, unlike any other she had ever been through. She was fooled and insulted by pirate scum. She was called cruel. And indeed, Zoltik was right. Xerkea is the most cruel Niaka in the galaxy and she was about to make him feel the full extent of her cruelty.
She arrived to the coordinates and looked upon Planet Soltako: a beautiful gem, with vast blue oceans and immense cities. It was a world inhabited by only the richest and most influential men and women of the Arm of Wildness, to even set foot upon this would, you would need Zoltik's uttermost permission and hope that his forces would accept you. And now, Xerkea was here to turn this gem into a broken asteroid field, and to burn every soul in it to the ground.
- Xerkea - Attack!
The Special Forces' fleets flew into battle, facing the planetary defenses to make room for their land assault. Soltako's spaceships, created from the best technology the black market had to offer. Their power easily surpassed that of a Niaka spaceship, but Xerkea had brought a huge fleet with her to swarm at the enemy and defeat them through sheer numbers. She watched as her own ships fell as they fought, but she did not care for the sacrifices at this point. To bring justice, she was willing to have some of her men die. The battle raged for several minutes, blasts, lasers, missiles going to all sides, entire spaceships being turned into rubble in a matter of moments. Xerkea watched as her fleet was reduced to only part of its original glory, but at the same time, the planetary defenses had been weakened.
- Xerkea - To the shuttles!
- Niaka Soldiers - Yes, ma'am!
Xerkea and her soldiers made their way to their mecha suits and then to their shuttles, which traveled to Soltako's surface. They landed on the largest city, which was dominated by a titanic skyscraper where SAM's logo could be visible. Zoltik's skyscraper. Upon leaving the shuttles, Xerkea and her men clashed as waves of mercenaries attacked them in an attempt to push them off. However, no weapon in the universe can stop Xerkea's hatred. A storm formed in the horizon, further setting the scene for her confrontation witj the madman she hunted.
At the top of the skyscraper, Zoltik himself watched as his city was attacked. However, unlike any other individual who would be terrified or angered at the scene, he instead had a large grin on his face, as if he had accomplished something. He turned around to gaze his eyes on a nearby mercenary, and spoke.
- Zoltik - Xerkea is here. Warn him to begin the operation.
- Mercenary - Yes, sir.
The streets were in ruins, with bodies of mercenaries, Niaka soldiers and civilians littering the streets. Xerkea made her way inside the skyscraper, fighting off more and more mercenaries on her way to the elevators. At this point, only a handful of her men were still alive, and her suit was damaged and with weakened shields. In her head, however, she was not going to stop until her own was done.
Using the elevators, she managed to get all the way to the topmost floor, though she was still not at the ceiling itself. Leaving the elevator, she found herself surrounded by even more mercenaries while a platform towered over them all. Xerkea hissed and attacked the mercenaries, who immediately responded the same way. And as they fought, Zoltik himself appeared at the platform, looking down on them all.
- Zoltik - Astonishing, downright beautiful! You've impressed me, Xerkea. To find my planet, to defeat my fleets, to launch an attack on my very base! I'd not believe if I couldn't see it with my own eyes.
- Xerkea - After I'm done with your lackeys, you're next! You're not escaping me again!
- Zoltik - Lackeys. I much prefer the term "employees". They're lives of their own after all. Also, mind you, those guys you're killing right now? Civilians I took away. Let that sink in.
Xerkea's eyes widened as she stopped in place. However, she was immediately forced to fight again as the soldiers kept attacking them. They would not stop fighting, almost as if they were brainwashed into servitude. This fueled Xerkea's rage even more, and she came back to fighting as hard as before, if not harder.
- Zoltik - Civilians are scared, weak things. They can hold a weapon, sure. But can they actually shoot with it? Not without some extensive "therapy sessions", ehehe. Turns them into what they're supposed to be, weapons of war to be used by the strong. If the weak can't fight on their own, then you gotta make them fight. But don't worry, they enjoy it themselves. I make sure to give them all two hours of recreation per day so they can reflect on their job well done, haha!
As Zoltik finished talked, Xerkea was the sole survivor. The soldiers, as well as her own men, layed dead. She stomped the floor below her, causing it to crack.
- Xerkea - You, and me! Now!
- Zoltik - Heh. Not here. Follow me.
- Xerkea - You're not gonna run away!
Zoltik sprinted through the same corridor he had arrived, while Xerkea climbed a nearby set of stairs to get up to the platform he once was standing on. Following his trail, she eventually found a sole door, which she immediately teared down with a punch. She found herself at the ceiling, where a tremendous storm took place. Zoltik stood close to the edge of the building, looking down on the ruined city, where Xerkea's soldiers and mercenaries still fought and caused destruction. Xerkea walked closer to Zoltik, and as she did, he spoke.
- Zoltik - This...this is what I aspire for. This is what I wake up everyday to. A bloody, messy, horrible war which takes away the lives of those too weak to survive.
- Xerkea - You really have no empathy for your men, don't you?
- Zoltik - Why should I? If they die, it's because they failed me. I gotta say, you're doing a good job in proving me you Niaka are strong. It makes me proud of being part of this operation.
- Xerkea - ...Operation?
- Zoltik - Oh, I bet you want to know what the operation is now, don't you? Well, it won't matter to you, because you're dying before you can see it in action...unless you overpower me!
Zoltik removed his shirt, revealing his immense, cybernetic body. Huge frequency blades emerged from his robotic arms as he stomped the floor in front of him, grinning maniacally at Xerkea.
- Zoltik - Yes! If you want to know, then overpower me! Come, Xerkea! SHOW ME HOW STRONG YOU REALLY ARE!
The Strongest of All
Xerkea fired her cannon at Zoltik as he rushed forward, with his blades ready. He approached the Chief Major and swung the blades, each swing causing the very ground around the duo to shake. Xerkea launched her suit backwards to evade his attacks, then immediately threw herself forward, launching a punch at the Heeyorian's direction. Zoltik put his arms in front of his face, shielding himself and stopping Xerkea's punch. The angered Niaka delivered more and more punches, but none of them could get past Zoltik's arms.
- Zoltik - Hah! You can be crueler than that, Xerkea!
Zoltik slashed the area in front of him in an X formation, hitting the arms of Xerkea's mecha suit and sending them back, visibly cut. He grabbed Xerkea's suit with his bare hands and threw it over his head into the floor, causing a loud thud as it hit the ground. Xerkea hissed in anger and punched the ground in frustration as she got up. The upper half of her suit suddenly spun 180º and delivered a punch at Zoltik's mouth, making him scream and stumbled back. The lower half then spun as well, and as it did, Xerkea lunged forward and delivered a kick at the Heeyorian, launching him the ground.
- Xerkea - You want more cruelty? I'll give you more cruelty!
- Zoltik - Hahah! I'll bathe in your blood!
Xerkea's suit jumped into the air and came down crashing on Zoltik's direction. However, before she could hit him, the Heeyorian jumped up and launched his feet at Xerkea, hitting the center of her suit in midair. Xerkea shouted in pain and her suit was knocked into the floor, losing its energies in the process. Sparks came out of the suit's joints, which was clearly damaged from all the damage it took so far. However, Xerkea would not allow this to get on her way. She got up and turned her suit's jetpacks on, launching herself at Zoltik's direction at speed.
Zoltik's eyes widened and he threw himself to Xerkea's left as he saw her approaching. However, Xerkea suddenly turned the jetback to the opposite direction, making him stop in midair right in front of Zoltik. She then delivered a kick directly at the Heeyorian's mouth, knocking him away and sending many of his teeth into the air. The CEO of Soltako fell into the floor like a rock, blood coming out of his mouth, while Xerkea fell on her floor herself, panting and looking at her suit's systems. Her power cells were running low, and she could not fight for much longer.
Zoltik got back up, his grin turned into a frown, and he striked Xerkea's suit with his blades, making large cuts through it and exposing parts of its interior. He stabbed the blade through the suit, and Xerkea watched as it penetrated her controls, forcing her to threw her body to the left to evade the attack. However, she saw it as an opportunity. Reaching to her controls again, Xerkea forced the suit to fall on Zoltik himself, much to his surprise. The Heeyorian was crushed by the suit's sheer weight, and as it fell, Xerkea immediately got up and got his arm out of her.
- Zoltik - What the hell are you-
Xerkea stomped on Zoltik's head and grabbed his arm. She then used all of her suit's strength and began pulling the arm upwards. Zoltik's eyes widened again and he screamed in pain as Xerkea kept pulling, and kept pressing his head against the floor. In a few moments, loud cracking sounds were heard, until Xerkea tore Zoltik's very arm from his torso, releasing blood all over them both as he did. Zoltik screamed more while Xerkea ripped the blade out of the arm's wrist, before throwing the arm away.
Zoltik launched himself up while Xerkea was busy stealing the blade from his arm, and roared in anger. He launched himself at her and the two of them clashed blades with each other. Xerkea's energy was running out, while Zoltik slowly suffered from blood loss. The Niaka Chief Major noticed an opening in one of Zoltik's swings, and then thrusted her blade forward, hitting the Heeyorian in the chest. His own blade penetrated his robotic enhancements until it cut through his biological flesh, causing him to scream in pain once more. Xerkea removed the blade only to thrust it again, stabbing the Heeyorian over and over and over again.
Xerkea's suit stopped responding. It had run out of energy. In turn, Zoltik groaned as he looked down on his chest, and then fell backwards, panting loudly. Xerkea opened her suit and got gout of it, jumping at the top of Zoltik's chest and looked down on his face.
- Zoltik - Huh...huh...you're...you're pretty strong...
- Xerkea - What is this operation you're talking about?!
- Zoltik - Heh...Operation...New Order...you don't think I'd do all of this...without someone backing me up, right?
- Xerkea - Explain yourself.
Zoltik chuckled and coughed blood, some of it hitting Xerkea's face, much to her disgust.
- Zoltik - Does the name...not remind you of anything?...My employer is someone you know very well...almost as if...he was family.
- Xerkea - ...Oh no. Don't tell me...
- Zoltik - Yes!...I was hired...by Captain Lord Xoraika! Leader of the Old Niaka Order!...This entire business of kidnapping people...and turning them into an army...it was all his scheme...HIS army!
- Xerkea - For what purpose?!
- Zoltik - To attack Ikkiz...with an army so big...you could never hope to stop!
Xerkea's eyes widened while Zoltik let out a loud laugher.
- Xerkea - Why the hell did you help him?!
- Zoltik - You dead?...Your stinking "Special Forces" gone?...That'd be a paradise...no more filthy insects trying to make me obey...their filthy laws and orders...no more telling me...my opinions are wrong...
- Xerkea - This ends here. I'm destroying you, and Xoraika after you!
- Zoltik - Heh...heh...you're too late...I'm nothing but a bait here...the moment you arrived, I warned Xoraika you were busy here...by now, he is already launching the invasion!...So, Xerkea, make your choice...you can stay here and destroy Soltako Armed Military once and for all...or you can skiddle back to your homeworld...and die trying to stop the army you failed to save!
Xerkea looked down at Zoltik. She suddenly felt powerless. It was all a trap to get her away from Ikkiz. Now her entire empire was in danger, thanks to this lunatic's actions. Could she get back to Ikkiz in time? Some of Xerkea's soldiers arrived to the ceiling of the building and immediately approached, aiming their weapons at Zoltik.
- Zoltik - So, Xerkea...too scared to respond?
- Niaka Soldier - Chief Major? Orders?
- Xerkea - ...Power up my suit. I need power cells.
One Niaka soldier opened a container located on his suit, revealing a power cell which could be used to power up Xerkea's suit once more. He worked on it until the suit turned itself on again, and Xerkea opened inside. Zoltik stared at her as the suit got back online.
- Xerkea - I came here to stop you...and I'm stopping you here. I may not destroy SAM as a whole, but you?...Welcome to my trophy hall, bastard.
- Zoltik - Hahahah!...Never change, you cruel son of a-
Xerkea stabbed Zoltik's neck with his blade, causing him to let out a blood-curling scream. Some of the Niaka soldiers shielded their view as they watched the scene. Zoltik Relkhul was dead. With another slash, Xerkea decapitated the Heeyorian, taking his head on her grasp. She turned to her soldiers.
- Xerkea - Ikkiz is under attack. Let's move!
- Niaka Soldier - But ma'am, your suit is not in conditions to fight any longer.
- Xerkea - That is an order, boy! Take me back to the shuttle, and take me to Ikkiz! Pronto!
- Niaka Soldier - Y-yes, ma'am.
- Xerkea - Xoraika...you can bring the largest army in the universe...I will murder every soldier of yours just so I can end you for putting me through all this.
Xerkea's Final Battle
Hurrying back to Ikkiz, Xerkea rested on her captain's chair on her ship. The fight with Zoltik had exhausted her and almost destroyed her suit. Luckily, though, she had a spare mecha suit on her ship to use on the next battle. Any Niaka by now would be too tired to go on, but Xerkea would rather due than let Ikkiz fall to Captain Lord Xoraika's claws. Her own family, her own uncle, was her very greatest enemy in the galaxy. Xerkea's entire family was, in fact, composed of pirates. Her grandparents, her parents, her siblings, Xerkea had already killed many of them. Xoraika, her mother's brother, was the last one remaining. And she planned to end her family feud now.
She arrived at Ikkiz with what little remained of her fleet, most of her ships lost to Soltako's defenses. She looked at her screen to see Ikkiz swarmed by Old Niaka Order vessels, and ships with Soltako's logo on them. Those ships were filled with innocents turned into brainwashed servants, who would not stop until Ikkiz was Xoraika's. Xerkea looked at her soldiers who were present in the captain's bay with her, a worried look on her face.
- Xerkea - Men...I'm going to make you all a honest question here. Do you believe we can win this?
The soldiers all looked at Xerkea in surprise. She had never asked them such a thing before.
- Soldier 1 - ...Why do you ask, Chief Major?
- Xerkea - We've already been through hell today. I understand you are all tired, so if you wish to evacuate the ships and leave me alone, I will not blame you.
- Soldier 2 - Well...we might not win...but that doesn't mean we can't try!
- Soldier 1 - Yes! We are the Special Forces, and we never back down from delivering justice!
- Soldier 3 - And we'd never let you alone, Chief Major! We'll be with you forever and always!
At her chair, Xerkea smiled and closed her eyes.
- Xerkea - I knew I could count on you. It's this kind of cooperation that makes you all better than the Old Order. And it's this cooperation which will end their plans. Let's show them what we're made of!
- Soldiers - For law and order!
The shy, hurt Special Forces fleet advanced into battle. At this point, calling reinforcements would take too much time. The Old Order fleet responded swiftly, their ships swarming Xerkea and her men. Their ships, made of looted material, were naturally less powerful than the Special Forces', and Xerkea watched as her fleet cut through them. However, their sheer numbers, plus their new brainwashed army allowed them to slowly cut through the Special Forces fleet's ships. One by one, Xerkea's ships fell. It was like a swarm of insects, stinging you to death.
Xerkea turned to Ikkiz again. Her beautiful homeworld, it was once controlled by the Old Order until she managed to push them out. She could see Xoraika's flagship descending into it. But it was the least important thing in her mind as she looked at the planet's yellow, almost golden landscapes and mystic green seas. If she was going to die there, at least she was going to die fighting, defending what was her's. What was her people's.
But it was not her time yet.
- ??? - Zoles Imperium, attack!
A new fleet appeared, launching such a barrage of attacks that obliterated the swarm of Old Order ships. Xerkea regained her senses and looked at her screens to see who this was. It was the Zoles Imperium, followed by Caxildiz ships. Most specifically, it was Commandant Asraels' flagship. His face appeared on her screen, smiling. And by his side was Governor Grumbgor.
- Asraels - I trust I'm not too late?
- Xerkea - ...You beautiful person. You arrived just in time.
- Grumbgor - It's time to repay you for your trouble, Chief Major. Let these fiends taste the might of our combined fleets!
The Zoles fleet unleashed its full power at the Old Oder. It was a complete curb-stomp. Xerkea's soldiers cheered as they watched their allies coming for their aid, and then helped in the battle themselves. The Zoles, Niaka and Caxildiz forces pushed into the homeworld, turning the Old Older and brainwashed ships into wreckages. In Grumbgor's view, these people were beyond saving, and as such there was no other alternative. As the path to the homeworld was cleared, Xerkea spoke.
- Xerkea - Man the shuttles! It's time to give Xoraika a piece of our minds!
- Soldiers - Aye-aye, ma'am!
- Asraels - I will keep patrolling the planet and stop Xoraika if he attempts to escape. By my sensors, he appears to have invaded your government citadel.
- Grumbgor - Good luck, Chief Major, we all count on you.
The End of an Order
As the Zoles spaceships dominated the skies, Xerkea and her men landed on Ikkiz to confront Xoraika. They landed close to Xerkea's citadel at the capital of Ikkiz, the very headquarters of the Niaka Special Forces. Losing this city would mean losing the entire planet, and she had to act fast. As quick as she arrived, brainwashed soldiers and Old Order mecha suits got in their way, but Xerkea and her forces made their way through them, gunning them down with no remorse.
- Niaka Pirate - Don't let the wretch get to the citadel!
- Xerkea - Get out of my way, scum!
Xerkea marched through the waves of enemies. It was Planet Soltako all over again, but this would not stop her. Nothing would stop her now. The citadel was located in elevated terrain, above a huge staircase with a plaza in front of it. As Xerkea's forces arrived at the plaza, a pair of Old Order suits modified with tank weaponry appeared. They fired huge, explosive blasts at Xerkea's men, destroying some of her comrades, turning their suits into scrap metal. Xerkea turned her jetpacks on and charged ahead, grabbing one of the tank suits and throwing it at another, causing both to explode. Meanwhile, her remaining forces fought more pirates and brainwashed enemies, until a figure was visible at the very top of the staircase leading to the citadel.
A large, imposing Niaka suit appeared. Modified with a pair of four extra arms, two of them carrying a pair of miniguns and other two carrying a pair of grenades launchers, it aimed its weapons at Xerkea's forces and fired both its bullets and explosives at them. Not only Xerkea's forces, but every pirate and brainwashed soldier in the attack's range were destroyed. Xerkea glared at the suit as a voice could be heard, screeching from it.
- Xoraika - Niece!
- Xerkea - You! What kind of abomination of a Niaka suit is that?
- Xoraika - Just the best weaponry the black market could buy, the perfect equipment for killing the likes of you!
Xoraika's suit opened, revealing him driving it. He had a smug look, smirking and taunting Xerkea by making himself exposed.
- Xoraika - By being here, I take you've killed Zoltik Relkhul. Not that I care, his use had ended anyway.
- Xerkea - You really don't care for those who aid you? Your own people evacuate to my empire because of your failure of a leadership!
- Xoraika - I am the greatest leader the Niaka ever had! Ikkiz is my birthright! The entire Niaka race belongs to me and me alone! By making this army, I only establish that! The fact the Zoles are here won't change a thing, for after I'm done with you, they are next.
- Xerkea - Listen here, you piece of shit. I'm angry, I'm tired, and I'm really really sick of you. Stand still so I can jam my fist through your face!
- Xoraika - I'll teach you manners, since your father obviously never did so.
Xoraika's suit closed again as Xerkea leaped into the air, her jetpacks activated to get to Xoraika's suit as fast as possible. The Captain Lord aimed his miniguns and fired at Xerkea as she approached, hitting her easily. However, her shields allowed her to absorb most of the shots, and as she approached, she delivered a powerful punch at Xoraika's suit, knocking it into the floor. The pirate shouted in pain as he was flung forward from his seat inside the suit, until he managed to get himself back up again.
Xoraika aimed one of his grenade launchers at Xerkea and fired, hitting her suit and causing it to stagger. He then grabbed Xerkea and slammed her into the floor, before kicking her down the immense staircase. Xerkea screeched as her suit rolled downwards while Xoraika let out a cackle, but as she rolled, the Chief Major aimed her cannon and fired precise shots directly at Xoraika, sending him back, breaking through his shields and damaging his suit.
- Xoraika - Graaaaah! I've come too far to fail now! Ikkiz will be mine! IT WILL. BE. MINE!
Xoraika unleashed his barrage of bullets and explosives again, tearing the staircase apart as he hit Xerkea. Her own suit's shields were down and the damage was starting to be noticeable. She saw as her cannon stopped responding as she got to the bottom of the staircase and finally stopped rolling. Getting up, Xerkea looked up to see the mad Niaka pirate bombing the area in pure anger. It was then that she realized, she was actually just as angry. She was not like Xoraika. She would not reduce herself to his level.
Xerkea breathed slowly and closed her eyes. She was doing something she never did: she was calming herself down. A heavy smoke was between her and Xoraika, obscuring their view of each other temporarily. Xerkea stood there, doing nothing for several seconds, much to Xoraika's confusion. He turned his suit's heat vision on to see Xerkea among the smoke, and as he did, all he saw was a huge silhouette lunging at his direction, punching his suit right in the front. It was Xerkea's own suit, the Chief Major looking at her uncle with a cold glare.
Being staggered by the punch, Xoraika did not even notice Xerkea grabbing his extra grenade launcher arms, and with a pull, she tore them off and threw them aside. Xoraika let out an angered roar, which Xerkea did not respond to.
- Xoraika - Die, you bitch!
- Xerkea - Hmpf. And it is I who have no manners.
Xoraika lunged forward and tackled Xerkea's suit, before delivering multiple punches at it. The Chief Major retaliated by slamming her now deactivated cannon into him, but as she did, he took a hold of it and gave Xerkea a taste of her own medicine by ripping it off. Xerkea growled quietly to herself as she delivered a kick to Xoraika, who began bludgeoning her with her own severed arm. Xerkea watched his arm coming at her direction and then deflected him by pushing the arm away, parrying the attack. Immediately after, she lunged forward and grabbed the arm, before throwing Xoraika over her head into the ground.
Xoraika screeched in pain while Xerkea jumped at the top of him, stomping at his suit's arms until they were launched off his suit. She did it one by one, until a single arm remained on Xoraika's suit. He turned his suit around and launched himself back up, and both him and Xerkea now delivered punches at each other with a single arm. They bashed the suits against each other and kept punching, the suits growing damaged and lacking in energy. They bashed their fronts one more time until both suits fell to their knees.
Xerkea's suit opened, with her holding on her head in pain. At the same time, Xoraika's suit opened, and he leaped out of it at Xerkea's direction.
- Xoraika - I'll kill you with my bare claws!
Xerkea's eyes widened as she found herself grabbed by Xoraika, who threw her off the suit into the floor. The two old Niaka fought each other, scratching each other with the claws. Xerkea bit Xoraika's neck, causing him scream, and then threw him at his suit's legs. He could only look up as the suit began stumbling.
- Xoraika - No...no! NO!
The suit fell, crushing Xoraika below it. The sound of his exoskeleton being squished was heard. Xoraika was no more. Xerkea panted on the floor, bleeding, as she saw someone going to the staircase to meet her. It was Asraels, followed by a squad of Zoles marines.
- Asraels - Xerkea? Are you okay?
- Xerkea - Asraels...I did it...I killed him...I killed my uncle...
- Asraels - You did? Where is his body...Oh. Nevermind, I can see his entrails. Yuck.
- Xerkea - Heh...you know what they say...no guts, no glory, hm?
- Asraels - Humorous. I'm here to warn you the Old Order has been defeated in space, and reinforcements from your other worlds have arrived. If Xoraika is really defeated, then the Old Order will truly fall into disarray.
Xerkea got back up, stumbling as she did. As she heard Asraels' words, she thought for a second before grinning.
- Xerkea - Disarray, hm? Would you say he used most of his resources on this attack?
- Asraels - Most definitely.
- Xerkea - Heheh...I got enough energy for one more fight, Asraels, and I want you involved.
- Asraels - Not before you heal first. But I'm listening.
- Xerkea - They attacked my homeworld, and your fleet. Logically, this is an act of war...so how about the two of us give them a war?
- Asraels - ...And with their leader dead and their resources wasted here, they will have no choice but to surrender.
- Xerkea - Now you see where I'm going!
Asraels chuckled as him and Xerkea both went down the staircase. After being taken to the medi-bay, Xerkea had one more thing to do. With her own forces and the Zoles on her side, this would take less than a day. It was time to do something she had always wanted to do: the end of the Order.
- Xerkea - Thank you, uncle. You have given me the entire Niaka Order!
Allies of Pirates
The message Vekaron received was indeed correct. Hyperborea was being attacked - in mid-destruction even. Hyperborea was on the verge of burning as debris of the station flew away from it. The once serene space of Borealis was twisted into colours of red and orange as fire lit up the sky, as if it were distorted art. Vekaron looked at Hyperborea in visible distress.
- Vekaron - How the hell did this happen?
- Kilchárunya - It doesn't matter. We've got to save the station otherwise Borealis is done for.
- Wragrot - Man, my trigger finger is really itchy right now. Let's go.
The further Vekaron's ship went in, deep whispers of a demonic mantra plagued the team's ears.
- Kamaris - Ugh.
- Vansenk - He is here. I question our chances of survival.
- Kirlisir - Is he really here this time? Last Benefactor we fought was a fake...or was it the real Benefactor?
Hyperborea's hangar was blasted away, and, in every floor of the ship, guards of the Polar Crystal Alliance and Agents from the Kicathian Republic were battling the pirate forces of Torrent. Overlooking the station, was an eye lit with blue flame. Vekaron growled in annoyance as he saw Torrent's pirates attacking the station and prepared his blade. Vansenk looked at the eye with his own eyes widened.
- Vansenk - He is definitely here.
- Kilchárunya - Dal'nyur above. ...Let's land near the council tower.
The shuttle flew in to the grounds of the council's tower; the entire plaza was now a battle ground between warriors of both sides. Landing a distance from the main battle, the team grasped their weapons.
- Kilchárunya - Right. We need a battle plan. We can't just go in there and shoot pirates. We're outnumbered.
- Vekaron - We should meet up with the soldiers and Agents. That way we'll have numbers.
- Kamaris - Right. How to get there though? Walk right through the middle of the plaza?
- Wragrot - We'll be gunned down like that. Gotta find another way.
- Kilchárunya - Go underground?
- Vekaron - That works.
- Kamaris - Right. The nearest opening?
- Kilchárunya - I dunno. Make an opening.
Wragrot grabbed Kamaris' cannon and fired it at the floor, creating a hole large enough for them to go through, before giving the cannon back.
- Wragrot - There. Opening.
- Kilchárunya - Right. Let's go before pirates get to us.
- Vekaron - Move out!
Jumping into the engineering of the ship, the halls of the innards of Hyperborea was blackened out. These paths seemed to be escape routes out of the council tower.
- Kilchárunya - How far to the plaza?
- Vekaron - Shouldn't be too far away. Let's go.
The darkened walls of the path away was shook by consistent explosions only metres above them. Vekaron carefully moved on, with Wragoth behind him. Kirlisir shined the way with her robotic eyepatch, followed by Vansenk.
- Kamaris - It should be few hundred metres more.
- Kirlisir - I've had enough of dark hallways already.
- Kilchárunya - You and me both.
Suddenly, in front of the team, a cackle was heard as a blast of fire was launched at their direction. Kilchárunya ducked as the blast narrowly missed her head. Kirlisir created a psychic barrier in front of her to protect her and everyone behind her, and out of the shadows, a familiar face appeared, bursting into flames.
- Kravh Helljaw - Hhhchk! You have come...to the party as well!
- Kilchárunya - Not this kiltaránkisiatékagazátazhatmanaí again.
- Kirlisir - By the Composer, no! Kill it kill it kill it!
- Kravh - Rrreck! Become one with the ashes!
Kravh aimed his flamethrowers at the team and launched streams of fire at them. Kamaris unleashed blasts of his gun at Kravh's face, strafing backwards. Kravh hardened his skin and was hit by Kamaris' attacks, which launched him backwards back into the shadows. The team heard a loud thud, followed by maddened laughing.
- Kamaris - Why don't I like this?
- Wragrot - I don't like anything anymore at this point.
Kravh suddenly leaped out of the shadows again and grabbed Vansenk by his neck, lifting him up and strangling him. The Hseraelna agonized on Kravh's grasp as he could not breath. Kamaris threw his fist into Kravh's wrist, in hopes to relinquish his grasp. The Varkorus stumbled back, letting go of Vansenk who fell on the floor breathing heavily. He then jumped on Kamaris and began clawing his face. Kamaris thrashed about on the ground, delivering wild blows to Helljaw's torso.
- Kravh - Hhck! Ahahah! After you're dead, I'll go after the other Kicath! I want to burn him up as well!
Vekaron thrusted his blade through Kravh's back, stabbing through him and causing him to screech. He let go of Kamaris and then jumped on Wragrot, biting him at his head.
- Wragrot - Ngh! Get it off me!
In the darkness, a Kicathian Agent walked into the corridor. He was stumbling, groaning in his native tongue. He was brushing up against the wall to remain standing. Wragrot fell on the floor while Kravh kept clawing and biting him. Vekaron turned to the Kicath Agent with a raised eyebrow.
- ??? - You! ...right! Yes! You! Get the hell off him!
- Kravh - Hhhck! Bite me!
- ??? - Don't...don't tempt me.
- Vansenk - Who is this individual and why is he smelling of alcohol?
- Psi - Agent...Psi. At your service...stinky.
- Kilchárunya - Oh dear. Here we go.
Wragrot grabbed Kravh and threw him into the floor. The Varkorus turned to Psi with a maniacal grin and leaped at his direction. Psi, in drunken stupor, ran towards the leaping creature, throwing his fists in the general direction he was running. Kravh was hit by one of Psi's punches and was flung backwards, hitting a wall.
- Psi - Get back here!
- Kravh - Hhheck?
Psi ran through Vekaron's crew, knocking over Kirlisir and Kamaris in the process. Grabbing Kravh by the collar, he threw him into the ceiling, and then into the floor continuously. Wragrot watched the scene in humor while Kravh let out angered and pained screams at each time he hit a surface. Psi threw Kravh into the ceiling one more time, before dropping him. He stumbled back, exhausted due to his inebriation.
- Wragrot - I don't know who this guy is, but I like him.
- Kravh - Hhhaaaah...ouch...I will burn you...later!
Using his last energies, Kravh sprinted away in all fours. Psi turned to the team, standing up with a slight sway.
- Psi - Now imagine if I wasn't drunk.
Psi crashed to the floor, unconscious. Kirlisir walked up to Psi and poked him, getting no response.
- Kirlisir - Yup. Knocked out.
- Kamaris - ...That was odd.
- Vekaron - Yes...but at least the Varkorus is out of the way now. Let us proceed.
The team proceeded further into the halls of the passages under the ground, before they came to a halt.
- Kilchárunya - Blast here. That should get us out.
Wragrot took Kamaris' cannon and blasted the way, before giving it back once again.
- Wragrot - You know, I gotta get myself a cannon too, I think.
- Kamaris - Yes.
- Wragrot - Heh.
The ground opened up beneath the feet of some of the pirates, blasting them away.
- Kilchárunya - Right, let's go.
Allies of Mutants
Vekaron emerged and quickly began slashing his blade at the pirates, while Wragrot took his shotgun and fired at them. Kirlisir danced through them, cutting them apart while Vansenk's nanomachines immobilized them. The team slowly opened their way to the rest of the soldiers and Kicathian Agents until they finally got to them. Among the Agents fighting were Upsilon, Eta, Zeta, and Tau.
- Eta - Fuck! Fuck Andromeda, fuck alternate realities, fuck pirates, fuck demons, fuck fucking everything!
- Vansenk - You know we got to our Kicathian allies once you hear them talking.
- Zeta - This wouldn't be so hard if there weren't lots of them!
Upon the tower of the council itself, Alpha and Kithworto were delivering support from a height. Zeta unleashed lances from his gauntlet, flooring pirates in an instant.
- Vekaron - Greetings, Agent Tau. I wasn't expecting to meet you here.
- Tau - Just kill these pirates, already.
- Wragrot - Damnit Vekaron, you gotta learn, never be polite with them.
The pirates' number slowly lowered with the efforts of the soldiers and pirates. however, at this moment, bestial growls and roars were heard across the station. From the shadows, Children of Synthesis mutants emerged, causing both the soldiers and pirates to panic.
- Pirate - What the fuck are these?!
- Upsilon - Okay. What the hell are these things?
- Vekaron - Long story. These guys worship Regnatus.
- Upsilon - So they're stupid then? Okay.
- Wragrot - By the way, we met one "Psi" guy. Is he yours?
An energy shield generated on Upsilon's forearm, bashing a pirate into debris.
- Eta - Don't tell me you left him down there.
- Vekaron - ...I won't tell you then.
All of a sudden, shots were fired from the hole in the ground, as Psi jumped out of it, screaming.
- Psi - There's gold things down there! The fuck is going on?!
The mutants swarmed and overwhelmed the pirates, tearing them apart. The Hyperborea soldiers attacked with all they had, but the enemy's sheer numbers made it look like two more beasts appeared everyone one was slain.
- Eta - Psi, shape up already.
- Psi - Fine, fine. Fine.
Psi looked at the hordes of the mutants nearing in on them.
- Psi - Lemme go get something. I'll be right back.
Psi darted off over a pile of rubble, screaming as he went.
- Kilchárunya - Did you get his head tested?
- Eta - Yeah. Unfortunately.
A small, Grox-shaped mutant levitated above the plaza, leaving a shining trail behind it. It waved its arm at the soldiers and Agents and floored them all with a psychic blast. Upsilon rose from the ground, with his shield still generated.
- Spawn of Vengeance - Hyperborea...I remember you well. And after this is over, you shall belong to me...
- Upsilon - Anyone got a plan?
- Kirlisir - Any of you got anti-Essence weaponry? That thing's power is immense.
- Vekaron - It...looks like Mirras III, almost.
- ??? - Anti-Essence, eh? It's my turn to shine then.
- Eta - Here he comes.
Out of the mob of soldiers, Agent Mu appeared, leaping up to the Spawn of Vengeance's direction. The Spawn glared at him and launched another psychic blast, but Mu's armor resisted the attack, and once he got close, he delivered a kick to the mutant which sent it flying across the plaza. Mu landed in the middle of the plaza, pointing at himself.
- Mu - Eh? Eh?
- Upsilon - Stop being a kid and kill it!
- Mu - Admit I'm a lot cooler than you lot.
Psi returned from over the horizon, wielding a ludicrously large turret.
- Zeta - Did-did you just rip that off the tank?
- Psi - What if I did?
- Mu - Oh god, aim that away from me.
Psi charged the tank's turret, laughing in a manner close to Nu, before firing it at the mutants.
- Kamaris - Kilchárunya, I might have said this before. Kicath are crazy.
- Kirlisir - These guys sure know how to steal the spotlight.
- Kilchárunya - Well go do something then!
Allies of Demons
The demonic whispers in the wind began to intensify, as the mutants fled from its very sound.
- Zeta - Demonic chanting. Feels like I'm back in Purgatory all over again.
- Vansenk - Expect the worst.
The reddened haze of Hyperborea's ruin began to turn green. And cold. Vekaron's team and the soldiers all looked around in confusion. Some of the soldiers appeared clearly intimidated or sick from having to fight the mutants. Over the mounds of rubble and barriers set up by the Agents, huge, long hands crept over them. The figures revealed to be immense creatures, with green skin.
- Psi - Okay. Never seen that before.
- Wragrot - What in Kaos' name are these?
- Kithworto - That would be the Desolation Hivemind.
- Vansenk - We are doomed.
Psi let out a blast from his turret; it rebounded off the creature's skin.
- Psi - ...That's not good.
- Kirlisir - Someone do something!
Kithworto jumped down from the ledge of the tower; his essence pooling around his arms.
- Kithworto - Upsilon. Get Vekaron and his crew across to the left wing. Chi's presence is nearing.
Upsilon groaned, beckoning the team to follow him. Vekaron nodded and him and his team followed Upsilon. Hordes of the Desolation Hivemind were crawling in on the team, whilst Kithworto blasted away holes in their numbers.
- Vekaron - Chi can't escape again. This time, we must destroy him.
- Wragrot - Easier said than done.
- Kithworto - Mu, go help them.
- Mu - Right. Gonna go babysit a Penumbran guy.
Mu ran off after Vekaron's team. As he got up to the team, Vansenk hissed at his direction.
- Vansenk - You look absolutely grotesque.
- Mu - I get that a lot.
- Upsilon - How about you shoot at these demons?
Upsilon's shield held off great deals of damage from Kithworto's blasts; moving across the plaza, the demons were trying to get to the team. Wragrot fired his own gun at the demons, while Mu launched blasts of Death Energy. Kirlisir used her own psychic powers to launch pulses at the demons as they approached. They were blasted off course - one got close to Upsilon, where he lunged out at its head, cleaving it in two. In the far distance, what seemed to be Chi and the Benefactor were moving close to a side entrance in the Council Tower.
- Wragrot - Shit. He's going to the Council Tower.
- Vekaron - I seriously hope the Council has already been evacuated.
- Upsilon - Let's get there quick then.
- Mu - I always wanted an excuse to punch Chi in the jaw. This is gonna be good.
Moving closer to the duo, the Benefactor was dressed in long, black robes. Pointing to Chi to go indoors, two blades morphed from the Benefactor's hands.
- The Benefactor - Did I not say I would be seeing you in Inferno, Vekaron? And you brought some friends, too!
- Vekaron - I don't know what you're supposed to be anymore, but this ends here.
- The Benefactor - Indeed it does. I'll be sure to bury you in the plaza.
- Mu - I've met the guy for 5 seconds and I can already say he's a douchebag.
Upsilon charged forward, his shield covering his body. Upon coming into contact with the Zirtonian's body, he threw Upsilon into the side wall effortlessly. Mu raised an eyebrow and then charged Death Energy on his mutated hand, before launching it at the Benefactor. The Benefactor retaliated with a beam of Death Energy of his own, overpowering Mu's.
- Mu - Fuck!
Mu was knocked backwards and fell on his back into the floor.
- The Benefactor - Did you think I would actually die on that Imalmah planet?
- Wragrot - Yeah. I'm sad I'm wrong.
Wragrot fired his shotgun at the Benefactor while Vansenk sent his nanomachines after him. He writhed in pain as the nanomachines interfered with his body, falling apart in places. Vansenk grinned as he made the nanomachines sicken and weaken the Benefactor.
- Vansenk - I appear to have found a weakness.
- Kirlisir - The way he's acting...guys I think this is not the Benefactor either.
- 'Wragrot - I swear to Kaos, if this is not the real one.
Upsilon rose from the ground, beating the Benefactor with his shield. Blackened blood spurted across Upsilon's body like a jet. Wragrot fired at the Benefactor again, while both Vekaron and Kirlisir approached and stabbed him with their blades. Mu got up and scratched his head in confusion. More shots caused the Benefactor to fall to the ground, shaking in pain as he struggled to move.
- Mu - Hell, it's working. Don't leave me out!
Mu got back up and began stomping at the Benefactor. The Benefactor convulsed in pain; his body caving in from Mu's kicks.
- Wragrot - Die, you piece of shit!
Wragrot charged his energy on his fist and delivered a punch at the Benefactor. The final punch from Wragrot's body caused the Benefactor to roar out, before his body totally ceased movement. The winds caused his body to degrade into black sand, liquids leaking all over the floor. Vekaron and his team panted as they watched the Benefactor degrade away.
- Vekaron - We...we did it!
- Vansenk - Never underestimate the power of disease.
- Kilchárunya - Now...to go for Chi.
- Wragrot - Oh, we go for Chi alright. And we deliver an even bigger beating to him.
- Mu - I'm starting to like you guys.
- Upsilon - Yeah. Time to teach him a lesson.
- Vekaron - Let's not keep the bastard waiting.
The Benefactor Finally Revealed
Rushing into the side entrance, the team found themselves near the main chamber of the council. Sitting on Kithworto's throne, was Chi. Vekaron growled and his whole team aimed their weapons at him.
- Mu - Listen here you little shit. Show's over. Get off Kithworto's chair.
Chi stood up. His appearance transformed into a third Benefactor - the one that they found on the Martem Ignis. His armour was magnificently evil; tainted red and carved with numerous demonic glyphs.
- Vekaron - ...What?
- The Benefactor - Oh, but you just defeated Chi out there. Rather impressive...I must admit.
- Kirlisir - Wait what?...That was Chi?
Wragrot let out angry Murgur ramblings as his eyes shined in blue.
- The Benefactor - Indeed. And you killed the real Benefactor back on the Imalmah capital.
- Vekaron - The real...if we killed the Benefactor at Xtronznarter, and Chi at the entrance, that you're...
The Benefactor's smile widened as the demonic mantras from outside filled the room.
- The Benefactor - Is it obvious now...mortals?
- Vansenk - It is him. Our doom ensues.
- Mu - The fuck's going on here?
The walls of the chamber began to peel away into a fleshy, reddened mess of its former self. The Benefactor's eyes glowed red as he walked down to the platform. Mu's eyes widened and he quickly backed away, and Vekaron's team quickly did the same. The Benefactor's voice became one with Angazhar's own, speaking to the team.
- Vekaron - So the Benefactor was nothing but a pawn all along?
- The Benefactor - Indeed. The Benefactor was nothing to me. Chi served me, and now his purpose has been served. I now stand in the throne room of Borealis.
- Mu - One moment there. What's going on?
- Kirlisir - That guy is Angazhar of the Xhodocto.
- Mu - No one told me we would be fighting Angazhar!
- Angazhar - You now accept me as your ruler.
- Kirlisir - Guys? Plan?
- Wragrot - Stupid invincible immortals.
Walking behind them, was Kithworto. His essences arced all over his body as he stood in the middle of the team.
- Mu - Hey, we're good now. Kithworto always does something to save the day.
- Angazhar - Once your bodies lay in the dust, I shall make sure that Vorius consumes them.
- Vekaron - My body will only lay to dust when I die of old age!
- Vansenk - A courageous, if not strange statement.
- Angazhar - So it shall be.
Two swords materialised into Angazhar's hands, formed from flame. Vekaron growled as he prepared his blade, while the rest of his team prepared their own weapons.
- Angazhar - I have succeeded in raining terror upon Borealis. Defeat me, and two more shall take my place.
- Mu - Over Kithworto's dead body you will! Just kidding by the way.
- Wragrot - I don't care if you're a demon god or whatever. I'm shoving bullets into your eyes.
The mask covering the face of the Benefactor melted away, revealing a skeletal face, with burning eye sockets. Kirlisir looked at the skeletal visage in disgust. Angazhar blasted forward with his blades, swinging them at the team with incredible speed. Vekaron and his team backed away, evading the attacks as they could. Wragrot fired his shotgun, Kirlisir used his psychic powers, Vansenk used his nanomachines and Mu used his Death Energy. They all attacked the hardest they could. Kithworto further blasted Angazhar's body with his essence; little seemed to damage the body.
- Wragrot - I want all you Benefactors dead even if it's the last thing I ever do!
- Angazhar - You shall have your wish.
Vekaron moved behind Angazhar and tried to backstab him with his blade. The blade shattered upon contact with Angazhar's being; he threw Vekaron across the room - contact burned his skin. Vekaron hit the floor, agonizing in pain. Both Wragrot and Kirlisir used their combined powers to launch blasts at Angazhar. The Xhodocto's body absorbed the damage, as what seemed to be trailing jets of dust fell from his figure. The demonic mantras intensified further, becoming very loud.
- Mu - Fuck damnit shut up!
Mu charged Death Energy on his fist and delivered a punch at Angazhar. The punch shattered the bones within Mu's hand, before Angazhar grabbed him by the throat. Angazhar's form was taller than that of Kithworto, and raised Mu up to his level. The skin around his neck began to burn intensely. Mu thrashed in Angazhar's grasp and shouted in pain as he swung his hand in pain. Upsilon ejected his shield, shooting it at Angazhar's arm. The shield also shattered on contact, as Angazhar lifted Upsilon up by the head. His helmet melted from the heat of Angazhar's hand.
- Upsilon - Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!
- Vansenk - I warned you all. We are doomed.
Kithworto combined a sphere of death and life energy within his palm. Firing it at Angazhar, his grasp was freed as he threw Upsilon and Mu away from him. Angazhar's appearance began to seem thinner; more dust fell to the ground. Wragrot kept firing his shotgun, while Vansenk approached Angazhar and struck him with his scythe. The scythe also broke upon contact with Angazhar's armour, as Angazhar kicked Vansenk away with a small sweep. The Hseraelna shouted in pain and rolled around the floor, falling unconscious.
- Angazhar - What shall happen when you heroes die?
- Wragrot - I go to Murgur heaven and get surrounded by busty Murgur ladies, that's what.
Kamaris launched blasts from his gun - hitting Angazhar's arm, it blew away a section of his armour - flame now trailed out of the wound as if it were blood. Wragrot and Kirlisir both used their essences in an attempt to slow Angazhar down, with no success. Angazhar's form became more infernal with each blow that passed on to his armour - soon, his body was a mess between fire and red armour.
- Vekaron - Urk...I hate demons so much...
- Mu - Yep.
Angazhar leapt into the air - in the middle of the chamber, his body morphed into a ball of flame, sucking in air and energies around it. It expanded, ready to explode over the chamber.
- Kithworto - Take cover!
Vekaron's team ran for cover as fast as they could. Kirlisir carried Vansenk to cover with her, all of them worried they would not survive this attack. Mu and Upsilon ran behind the pillars of the chamber, before the explosion cast ash all over the chamber. Kithworto was caught in the middle of the explosion; his back burnt away by Angazhar's fire. Fire hit every exposed corner of the chamber, leaving the ground black and burnt. Kithworto stumbled to his feet as his back was on fire. Vekaron held on his head and gulped as he saw the flames. Was this the end? Was all the fighting in vain?
Angazhar's body reformed in the middle of the room, his body faded into ghost-like form. Vekaron shyly looked over to Angazhar from cover, panting in relief as him and the others were not caught in the attack. Kithworto turned, and retaliated with violent outbursts of essence which lashed at Angazhar's body, whisking away more of his form into nothingness.
- Mu - Woah, we survived that? Kithworto looks like he got scorched bad.
All that remained of Angazhar's form was his head, and his left arm. Looking at the team, a deep laughter filled the chamber.
- Angazhar - And now, let your terror continue.
Angazhar's form screamed at the team. before whispering away in a plume of flame. The mantras died down, as the chamber's atmosphere returned to normal. Vekaron slowly got back up and walked up to Kithworto, looking around in confusion. Kithworto stood back up. Groaning in pain, the flesh on his back reformed.
- Vekaron - What...what happened here?
- Kithworto - What happened? We succeeded. For now.
- Kirlisir - Is he...just gonna let us live?
Upsilon stood back up. His helmet was warped, and could not remove it from the rest of his armour. As Mu looked back up, he looked at his neck, now scarred by Angazhar's attack.
- Upsilon - Xhodocto aren't like your typical villain.
- Mu - Good. More disfigurations. All I needed.
Vansenk woke up, and as he noticed Angazhar gone, his expression turned grim.
- Vansenk - He leaves, to torment us again in a later date.
- Kithworto - That is the Xhodocto's way.
- Vekaron - He caused so much damage. Hyperborea was tore apart by this attack. It'll take years to rebuild all of this, not mentioning most of our weapons.
- Kithworto - I would not be so sure about that.
- Vekaron - Why so?
- Kithworto - Step outside and see.
Puzzled by Kithworto's words, Vekaron and his team walked back to the entrance of the Council Tower. Looking outside, the grounds of Hyperborea was foggy, but greatly unchanged from normality. Vekaron looked at the scene in surprise. He looked down on his blade to find it no longer broken.
- Vekaron - ...Xhodocto are really weird creatures.
- Kithworto - They're an illusion. A story. A dream. A very real one at that.
Looking down near where Chi was slain, there was no trace of him to be found. Mu walked up to the spot and delivered a punch at it.
- Mu - Closest I can get to punching his jaw.
- Kilchárunya - Is he dead?
- Kithworto - Honestly? I do not know. Angazhar may still have use for him.
- Kamaris - For the Galaxy's safety, he is dead.
- Vekaron - Once the Council is back to the Tower, we can report to them the invasion was repelled. Still, many soldiers and Kicath Agents certainly lost their lives today.
- Kilchárunya - Right. Does that mean I get the bounty then?
- Vekaron - ...Bounty?
- Kilchárunya - For killing Chi?
- Wragrot - Hey there. We killed them together, that means the bounty is shared between all of us.
- Kirlisir - Yeah! Don't try to greed your way off of this!
- Kamaris - What do Kicath need credits for, anyway?
- Kilchárunya - Grr. Fine.
- Kamaris - That being said...I need another vacation. Away from Borealis. No offence.
- Vekaron - Well, I suppose we got the next few months free after all this.
As the team spoke, the Spawn of Vengeance emerged in the center of the Council's room, its many eyes looking around in curiosity.
- Spawn - You defeated him...good. He was bothersome.
Kithworto turned, with a bolt of essence in his arm. Vekaron and his team aimed their weapons at the Spawn, who did not react to any of them.
- Kithworto - Say your piece.
- Vekaron - What are you? What do you want?
- Spawn - I am vengeance made manifest...you remember this sentence, do you not, Vekaron? I hope you have not forgotten your old friend Mirras III.
The Spawn levitated across the room with its arms open.
- Spawn - Know that what you did here was get an obstacle out of my way. The Children of Synthesis will come, and we will take what is our by right: this whole galaxy, and all life in it.
- Mu - Getting real tired of this shit.
- Upsilon - Aren't we all.
Mu leaped at the Spawn to kick it like he had done before. However, before he could reach it, it teleported away from view. Mu kicked the air and threw himself about as a result. He fell into the floor and let out Kicathian profanities.
- Upsilon - You really need to restrain yourself more often.
- Vekaron - So...vacation. Anyone got any suggestions?
- Kilchárunya - I'm up for somewhere in Cyrannus.
Kilchárunya pondered for a moment.
- Kilchárunya - Actually...I have like forty bounties placed on my head there. Bad idea.
- Kirlisir - Yeah, and Cyrannians aren't the most welcoming people in the universe.
- Vekaron - We can discuss this back in the ship. Let's go.
- Kamaris - Indeed. I need to sleep for five months.