Unwanted Visitors at the Arcadium
January 26th, 2792
Hachi was sat cross-legged on his bed, staring intensely at the holo-screen in front of him as he used a holographic controller to play his game. He appeared annoyed as he played the game, as if aggravated with something.
Hachi - No way, I shot you first! I call hack! He's a hacker!
Meanwhile, Sarec conversated with his ship's AI, ADIA.
ADIA - Reports have been minimal, Sarec. But rumours are circulating on Resurgence channels.
Sarec - I see, I see. y'know ADIA, I think I could do with a break from all this "demon-hunting" business, and Macronormous was a little stressful for a vacation.
ADIA - Indeed, Sarec. Perhaps Master Hachiman would enjoy the beaches of Elimataia Prime?
Hachi - Ngh...How does a goddamn MP5K beat a Galil?! Hacks!
Sarec - Well...the boy sin't fond of swimming but I don't see why not.
ADIA - Do you know is he enjoys the passtime of constructing architectural projects made from sand?
Sarec - You mean sandcastles? I think I'll ask him. But, knowing him, he may be more interested in the other tourists.
ADIA's voice was followed by a very quickly static, before returning to normal. Sarec took a cursory glance at the static, but smiled as he stood up.
Hachi - Ngh...shut up noob! Fight me in real life!
Hachi proceeds to lean forward on his bed, rather close to the edge. Hachi's screen also suffered a sudden static.
Sarec - ADIA when was your last diagnostic?
Hachi - See, see?! I knew you were a hacker! Can't wait til you get kicked, noob!
ADIA - Last full diagnostic approximately three months, four days, five hours and thirty-five minutes ago.
Sarec - You may want to run one.
Sarec felt something poking his back. He flinched and turned around, but there was nothing behind him.
Sarec - ADIA was that you?
ADIA - I have not moved from this location Sarec.
Sarec shrugged and teleported to Hachi's door. He pressed the doorbell and waited.
Hachi - Urgh, come at me! I'll have you!
Hachi grunted again and then shouted in anger as he lost again. His screen also started to randomly flick.
Hachi - Shit!
Sarec - Hachi, do you have a minute?
Hachi was surprised by Sarec's voice and fell off the edge of the bed onto his face, with his legs in the air.
Hachi - Mmph! Come in!
As Hachi fell, his screen changed from the game to the image of himself, being mutilated, which turned back to normal just as fast. Sarec opened the door and chuckled seeing hachi's position. He waved his arm and Hachi felt himself lifted int the air and back onto his feet.
Hachi - Urgh, these games are so easy to hack! It's like anybody can do that!
Sarec - ...Sorry if I was interrupting. But I've had a thought. How are yo with resort beaches?
Hachi - Resort beaches? You mean, like...nude beaches?
Sarec - Well...maybe. I was thinking more in general.
Hachi - Oh...you mean, like, bikini beaches?
Sarec briefly saw a small shadow moving behind Hachi before disappearing again. He was startled for a moment, but then turned his view back to Hachi.
Sarec - Well I was more thinking along the lines of if you liked building sandcastles.
Hachi - Sandcastles? Hehe, all the girls like sandcastles! Like...big sandcastles!
Hachi's game started to play a loop of Hachi's play character dying over and over again. Sarec rested his hand on his forehead, groaning.
Sarec - How did you even....'
Hachi pointed to his screen - See? That's what people do when they hack!
Sarec then peeked at the screen, he narrowed his eyes.
Sarec - ADIA?
Hachi's screen changed again. This time, it was no longer the game, but images of both Sarec and Hachi on Macronormus, being devoured by many beasts. One of the images was Hachi being devoured by Nu.
Sarec - Uhh, ADIA?
ADIA - My diagnsotics show there is nothing anomolous wit the consoles workings.
Hachi - See, this is why I hate cutscenes in multiplayer.
ADIA's image changed into that of Sarec, except completely skeletal. Hachi turns to look at ADIA and then places a finger on his chin in thought, while Sarec jumped back.
Hachi - Hmm I'm fond of that form. How about something more mammalian?
Sarec - ADIA is this another prank?
ADIA's image the changed into that of a skeletal Hachi. Meanwhile, a gruffy roar was heard in another room, and the sounds of things falling on the ground was hard.
Sarec - Okay, something is definitely off.
Hachi - Yeah and not just ADIA's clothes this time.
Sarec - I still remember that was your doing.
Above them, they heard the sound of a high-pitched laugher, and somethign walking through the ship's hull.
Hachi - Errm...I need a motivator...Motivator, motivator, motivator, motivator-- ADIA, go Radeon form!
ADIA - Must I?
Hachi - ...Yeah, you're right. There's somebody in the ship, you can't just go full nude now.
ADIA's image changed into that of a Radeon. Indricarron. Hachi jumped back and cowered beneath his bed.
Hachi - WHATTHEHOLYFUCKINGSHIT
Sarec - ...Well. You did ask for a Radeon form.
Hachi - S-Sarec! Something's not right!
It then changed again, this time into Arsac. But not the usual Arsac. It had the appearence of her possessed form, from the Chosen homeworld battle. Sarec backed away seeing this.
Sarec - Yep, something is definitely not right.
Something bashed violently against the door. Sarec blinked and turned towards the door, growling, while the entire room started to grow darker.
Hachi - Ooh, hold on Sarec! I'll get it!
Hachi jumped up from the bed and approached the door.
Sarec - Hachi, NO!
Hachi - What? It could be somebody coming to fix ADIA!
Sarec - Whoever is behind there isn't friendly.
Hachi - Sarec, I think I'm old enough to answer the door responsibly.
The bashing then stopped. ADIA started to glitch out, changing forms randomly.
Sarec - ADIA, I advise going into standby mode...
ADIA - ...We know you're there. You cannot hide. You made us fail our mission. We will get you back.
ADIA turned back into its normal form, but stopped responding.
Sarek - Oh-kay..... that's not the normal ADIA.
Hachi - Sarec...I'm too scared to ask her to go Radeon again. I-I think I'm gonna...go get a drink.
Sarec - Perhaps walking the ship's halls alone at this time is not the best idea...
The door opened by itself. There was nothing outside, except a small, floating black sphere. Sarec stared at the sphere. Somehow feeling a sense of dread from it.
Sarec - Something's not right.
Hachi - Sarec...I get reminded of the time the anti-grav was on in the bathroom all of a sudden.
Two red eyes formed on the sphere, as we as several spikes around it. It was a Shu'olerthae.
Sarec - ...Shit.
Hachi - Exactly.
Sarec - No...the creature.
Tentacles extended from it, and it let out a high-pitched shriek.
Sarec - Hachi stay close to me!
Hachi - Ngh fuck off!
Hachi proceeded to slam the door on the Shu'olerthae. However, the tentacles pierced through the door, trying to stab them. Sarec threw bolts of psychic energy at the tentacles.
Hachi - Quick Sarec, gimme my gun!
Sarec - Did you try those VR gunslinging sessions I suggested?
Hachi's ears perked and he smiled, blushing. The tentacles shook and retreated. Meanwhile, the duo heard a groan and something breathing behind them. Sarec's eyes widened.
Hachi - Hehe, no need to thank me ADIA...
Sarec - Hachi....I don't think that's ADIA.
??? - Are you afraid...of the dark?
Hachi - Only when the lights are off, hehe.
Sarec - Don't give hm ideas--
Two large hands grabbed Sarec and Hachi and turned them. It was a Balanar demon. Gazing upon its maw left them both with a powerful headache and blurred their vision.
Hachi - Agh! Goddamn, ADIA, what did you have to eat-- Wait, THAT'S NOT ADIA!
Sarec - Hachi. Whatever you see. Think of something else!
Hachi - L-Like what?!
Sarec - Well... maybe a beautiful woman?
Hachi began to try and think of something, as shown by the fact his tongue was hanging out of his mouth and he had his eyes closed. The Balanar opened its maw, with the intention of eating Hachi.
Sarec - Well that works.
Sarec managed ot move his arm and slammed an essence-empowered fist into the Balanar's face, who was was knocked back, letting go of them. Meanwhile, the Shu'olerthae tore the door down, and various angered eyes were seen on the shadows.
Hachi - Hehe...Bouncy like a trampoline...
Sarec - Not good. Hachi. You can open your eyes now.
Balanar - The Thoi Themek user must die!
Hachi - I dunt wanna open my eyes!
Sarec charged his body with energy and glared at the Balanar.
Sarec - Then fight with your other senses.
The Balanar charged his own energy and tackled Sarec. He was hit, but blasted the Balanar upon collision. Hachi groaned and opened his eyes, angrily discharging a beam of Dream Energy from his hand by accident at the Balanar. The combined attacks launched the Balanar against a wall, causing it to dissolve into a black fog. Meanwhile, the Shu'olerthae slashed its tentacles on Hachi. Sarec turned around and summoned a white light in his hands, making the Shu'olerthae shield its eyes, while Hachi's face cringed in disgust and he pointed at the demon.
Hachi - It's molesting me!
The Shu'olerthae let out a shriek, launching more tentacles at Sarec. Hachi grabbed his sword but instead of slashing at it, he poked at it with a disgusted look. Sarec crossed his arms and formed an essence barrier in front of him. As the tentacles hit it, he forced it fowards, pushing the olerthae back, causing it to hit the ceiling and fall down, stunned. Meanwhile, another gruffy roar was heard, and a Malcaeum formed from the shadows.
Malcaeum - KILL THE DREAM!
Hachi looked at the Malcaeum and he groaned, charging his sword with some Dream Energy.
Hachi - This isn't my idea of a party!
Sarec blasted the Malcaeum with arcs of electricity. The Malcaeum shouted in pain and retaliated by slashing its blade at Sarec. The Shu'olerthae got back up and slashed Hachi again. Sarec materialised an ethereal blade in his hand and parried the malcaeum.
Hachi - Hey, no touching!
Sarec in full control of his emotions, remained stoic against the Malcaeum, depriving it of his rage. Hachi slashed at the Shu'olerthae with his sword, cutting it in two, the halves evaporating away. The Malcaeum started to pant, seeing how Sarec was not affected by its powers.
Hachi - Eww...it makes a squelching noise!
Sarec smirked and slashed the malcaeum down the middle, the slash was supported by a shocwave that allowed him to cut further than the blade's reach. The Malcaeum was cut in two, and also evaporated away.
Hachi - Grr, why is it that demons always come after ME?! Why can't it be anybody else?
Sarec - You know, they are trying to kill em as well.
Hachi - I mean, what have I ever done to them?!
An animalesque roar was heard, and from the shadows, a Sarungerak appeared and charged at Sarec's direction. Sarec leaped to the side as it approached him. throwing an arc of electricity as he dived. The Sarungerak hit the wall, and was stunned. And from below Hachi, zombified synthetic hands appeared and grabbed his legs.
Sarec - ADIA send out a distress call! Demonic incusions aboard the Arcadium!
Hachi - Wait in line, you're not the first guys who wanna touch me down there!
AIDA, however, remained offline. Hachi growled and leaped into the air, spinning himself in a circle to free himself. The face of the creature appeared. it was Kheora'Errr who let out a moan as it launched its own tentacles at Hachi. Sarec twirled his blade and swung downwards at the Kheora'Errr. The zombified demon shrieked, however the Sarungerak returned and tackled Sarec against a wall. Hachi simply stared at the Kheora'Errr and then headbutted it. Sarec's eyes shone as he struggled to get out of the Sarungerak's grip. From the shadows, a slimmer demon appeared. A species neither had seen before so far: a Garvathae.
Garvathae - Fight all you wish. We are not leaving without the human.
Hachi looked at the slim demon but then noticed its face.
Hachi - Not sure if want.
Sarec - Then you will all die!
Garvathae - I am giving you a choice, inquisitor. Give me the human, and I will leave your ship alone.
Hachi - I dunno...are you able to shapeshift into beautiful women? If so, I may consider your offer.
Sarec - I would rather stain the bulkheads with your essence than give him to you!
Garvathae - Your choice is made, then. Die.
The Sarungerak bit Sarec's shoulder angrily, while the Kheora'Errr launched tentacles all over the room.
Hachi - Okay! Confirmed do not want!
Sarec grunted as the Sarungerak bit into Sarec's shoulder. With a growl he let out a blast of white light from his body.> Hachi looked to the Kheora'Err and then headbutted it again, knocking it to the floor.
Sarec - Light of valor burn you all!
Hachi - Who said you could get up?!
Kheora'Errr - Feeeeast...
Hachi - Bite me!
The Sarungerak was burned to a crisp. The Kheora'Errr felt no damage from Hachi's standard attacks, and wrapped its tentacles around him. Hachi slammed his mechanical fist into the Kheora'Errr's mouth and released a blast of Dream Energy. Sarec chenched his fist, white light shining between his fingers as he lifted his blade to the Garvathae. The Kheora'Errr was disintegrated by Hachi's attack. At this moment, the Garvathae jumped at Hachi's direction in an almost acrobatic way and kicked him across the room.
Sarec - No one. Hurts my charge!
Hachi - Nobody hurts me either!
Sarec ran at the Garvathae from behind and plunged his sword deep into the creature's stomach, and as he was stabbed, the Garvathae extended its claws and stabbed Sarec back.
Garvathae - Stabbing an assassin? Amusing, mortal.
Sarec - I am no mortal...
Hachi rubbed his head and then ran at the Garvathae, grabbing its chest in a rather suggestive way while he charged Dream Energy.
Hachi - Damn, it's like you guys don't even have pecs!
The Garvathae smacked Hachi away and stabbed its tentacles deeper at Sarec, who grunted as the tentacles burrowed themselves. As they did, he charged his body with elemental energy, attacking the tentacles from within. The Garvathae started to groan in pain.
Garvathae - You are...not?
Sarec smiled seviously. A sinister smile spredding across his face.
Hachi - That's the sorta look he makes when he hears me in the bathroom.
As Sarec did, he plunged his fist into the Garvathae's chest and pumped large amounts of harmful energy into the assassin's body. The Garvathae roared and fell down, letting go of Sarec. The shadows across the room started to fade away. Sarec panted as he puleld his hand out, and Hachi approached the demon and stood over it, tilting his head.
Hachi - Why do you want me so bad? What have I ever done to you?
Garvathae - You destroyed the Chosen. You interrupted your coming. You will pay for this.
Hachi - When did I--- Oh yeah, that bitch Marigrax.
Sarec - So long as I exist, his life shall be beyond your masters' reach.
Garvathae - You cannot stop...the coming tide...we will rise and you...will be history...
The Garvathae evaporated away, and the roomr eturned to normal.
Hachi - Well, that happened.
ADIA - ...Systems fully online, no more hostiles detected.
Sarec - Well that is lucky...Now about what I was saying earlier. I know a planet galactically-famous for its pearl-white beaches.
Hachi - Sarec...don't you think you wanna scan ADIA first?
Sarec - Don't worry, I asked him to perform a full dagnostic when he started glitching up.
Hachi - Ahem. She.
Sarec - Personally I prefer the male avatars.
Hachi - I bet that's not the only thing you prefer.
Sarec - As I was saying-- Do you fancy a holiday?
Hachi - After all of this...Yeah, a holiday doesn't seem so bad.
Sarec - I can check ADIA's performance on the way.
Hachi - I'm just a little worried. Why are the Corruptus here in Andromeda?
Sarec - I still have a few allies in the Inquisition. I can ask if they have noticed anything.
Hachi - Well...fine. Heh, I hope you have a few female friends in the Inquisition as well, see if they wanna day off or two.
Sarec - You don't mind more Draconis like Arsac joining you?
Hachi - ...On second thoughts, I'm sure there'll be girls there already.
Sarec smirked and with a nod he patted Hachi on the shoulder.
Sarec - You did well today.
Hachi - Hehe, that game says otherwise.
Hachi looked to his game and stuck up his middle finger.
Hachi - NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOB!
Sarec - I have a strong feeling the guy on the other end is hardly as tough as you.
Hachi - Yeah, I have like over 300 confirmed kills and I'm one of the top fighters in Borealis, as well as like trained by a being of pure energy!
Sarec - He would not stand a chance if you two ever met.
Hachi nodded to Sarec and then went to leap onto his bed, although he hit the wall instead and ended up back on the floor. Sarec chuckled as he left the room.
Means of Perfection
25th May 2792
The sun was rising over the tropical rainforests of the planet. Atop an ancient temple, built by past generations long gone, a Zazane stood with his guard. His arms were folded, he looked upon the forests with disgust before looking to the rising sun. A smile appeared on his face. In Varugr's hand, a book that was seemingly old. He was protected by 12 guards, who he gave no notice. Instead, his eyes were focussed towards the sun.
Varugr - From the depths of dirt, earth and imperfect heritage, a hero stands. He stands above all others, for only he who is beautiful deserves the title of the righteous. And he shall conquer the world and remake it in his image, bringing forward a new age of perfection.
The 12 guards paid no attention to Varugr. He made them believe they were not worthy of his "divine words". He made them feel imperfect and that they should be honoured to be his protectors. However, something wasn't right. They could feel something...something dark. On the horizon, a dark fog started to appear. It slowly spread through the sky, blocking Varugr's view of the sunrise. His eyes narrowed. Clenching his fist, he continued to stand, unflinching.
Varugr - A storm dare seperate me from my desire...I should clear it.
Varugr and his men felt a strange sensation, as if something was touching them, but nothing was visible. Varugr himself felt it the most. The fog spread over the sky of the temple, and what sounded like a thousand voices speaking together roared through Varugr's mind.
Voice - Believe yourself to be this "hero"?
Varugr didn't bother to grasp his head. Instead, his face appeared to harbour anger and annoyance. He wasn't scared, instead, he remained valiant, if not stupid.
Varugr - I believe myself to be the hero...for nobody else upon this cursed rock is as beautiful as I.
Voice - Do you wish you had the power of getting rid of all ugly and imperfect? Do you wish you could achieve true perfection?
Varugr - What makes you believe I am not already perfect? Who are you to say that I am like the others, dirty, filthy and primitive?
Voice - You are mortal. Like the rest.
Varugr - You mock me?
Voice - We are not here to mock. We are here to make you a deal.
Varugr - Show yourselves. I shall be the judge of whether you are worthy or not to deal with.
A second after, massive tentacles emerged from the ground and wrapped themselves across the palace. An enormous shadow appeared, with four red eyes which shined like the sunset. The shadow approached Varugr's location and rested its hands on it, easily crushing two of his guards.
Voice - We are Shu'wokerama, Warrior of the Devourer of Dreams.
Varugr watched as the shadow crushed his guard, who tried to fight back. Varugr himself simply stood still and unfolded his arms, approaching the shadow.
Varugr - What business do you have with me here, Warrior?
Shu'wokerama - We are here to make you a proposal. We can give you the power of gods. Make you perfect.
Varugr - And how would you, a mere shadow, know of true perfection?
Shu'wokerama's image became clearer, showing his true visage. His body radiated entropic energy, which corrupted the ground where he rested his hands in.
Shu'wokerama - We know.
Varugr - Indeed...you are a beautiful being...perhaps I was mistaken to assume you hideous.
Shu'wokerama - We can...share...our beauty with yours, and combine them. But we have a price.
Varugr - Name you price, Shu'wokerama, Warrior of the Devourer.
Shu'wokerama approached his face to Varugr's.
Shu'wokerama - Your soul.
Varugr glared and stepped closer to him, examining his face.
Varugr - My soul...You wish for my soul? A stranger, albeit one of divine power, desires my soul? I do not know whether to be honoured or disgraced.
Shu'wokerama - Your soul will be linked to ours. While we live, you shall be eternal. The powers of the Devourer will be yours to do whatever you wish. Whatever you want. You shall be given the chance to recreate all under your image, as long as you swear allegiance to us.
Varugr thought for a moment, before smirking. At last, he would have the chance to rebuild his world. He looked to Shu'wokerama and nodded.
Varugr - I shall offer my beauty to become one with yours.
Shu'wokerama - The pact has been sealed.
A sphere of entropic energy appeared in one of Shu'wokerama's hands, before taking the form of a Shu'olerthae. The small demon tackled Varugr and forced itself down his throat. The demon did not need to force itself into him, however. Varugr willingly swallowed the creature. He began to already feel the changes. His scales darkened and his muscles began to grow somewhat. His claws extended, as did his jaws. His wings dissolved into more bug-like wings. Ultimately, the biggest change was his tail. From the tip, a gaping mouth filled with sharp, knife-like teeth had grown. At this moment, another being teleported near Shu'wokerama. Far smaller insize but about as large as Varugr, it stared at him with its arms folded. Varugr turned to face the being. Varugr saw this being also appeared to be under the influence of Shu'wokerama.
Varugr - And who is this...?
??? - I am Mordati O'dat Tu'n Kai'Sler, oldest servant of Shu'wokerama. The master has instructed me to accompany you until you fully familiarize with your new powers.
Varugr - I am entrusted with a fossil.
Mordati - And I an entrusted with a child. I expect respect from a fellow servant. The last servant to not show his respect had an...unfortunate end.
Mordati chuckled to himself. Varugr turned to one of his shocked guard. A devillish smirk upon his face, his tail jaws wrapped around the guard and devoured him head-first.
Shu'wokerama - Do what you wish. But when we call you, you will come. Or else.
Shu'wokerama, and the dark fog in the sky, disappeared. After devouring the guard, Vaugr turned to Mordati again.
Varugr - Mmm...I shall enjoy this. And what can you do, fossil?
Mordati - What can I do? I have the greatest army of all the Corruptus, gifted to me by the master himself!
Mordati summoned several Mor'natios into the room.
Varugr - Impressive. They shall serve well, I hope. Mordati, here you shall witness the cleansing of a world, as shall my beloved.
Mordati - Yes, you do need some training. And the inhabitants of this world will be perfect target practice...
Varugr chuckled and turned towards the sky. He smiled, he was just in time to watch his sun rise in full potential. It was truly beautiful.
Varugr - No longer shall the beings of imperfection feast upon the hero's desire, for the hero shall cleanse them with his divine power. No longer shall him and his desire be seperated or interrupted, they shall be together.
5th June, 2792
Much had changed in the two years since the G5 directors had visited Tytho. She was older, her days were spent displaying her skills, every day the scientists applied mreo and more pressure to her. At night she returned to her room and lay on the bed, looking up at the pictures she had drawn when she was younger. As she lay she began hearing voices She recognised them from mrely a year ago.
Scientist - We can't keep pressuring her like this, she's not a weapon, she's a living being.
Official - Stow it professor, she is a formidable weapon, she could be the beginning of something.
Scientist - I signed up to this programme because I wanted to serve the union, I didn't want to create a weapon!
Tytho curled herself up in her bed.
Official - I don't want to hear it! She needs to be moved to a location where she can be better-prepared!
Scientist - You're not taking her from me.
Official - Soldiers, hold this man down, I am taking this woman myself!
Scientist - No please! She is far to delicate.
Tytho sensed the scientist was in pain. She scowled and looked at the door to her room. It opened and she peered up to see a Val'Kar in military uniform slowly walk up to her.
Official - Hey, it's okay. I am a good person.
Tytho remained quiet, but rage built up inside her.
Official - I don't want you to be alarmed, but we are moving you somewhere else. Can you speak to me?
Tytho - DIE IN A PIT!
She sat up and reached out her hand, sending the official flying into the doro and knocking him out, blood began trickling from his mouth. She sensed that his subordinates were coming and stood up. As they entered she ran towards them and, flailing her arms they both were forced into the walls. She punched the door, obliterating it and foudner hself in a location very strange to her. Plucking up courage she darted for an elevator, throwing anyone aside who would get in her way.
Sirens blared, rubble and debris was thrown about and soldiers carrying dart guns aimed at her and fired. However the darts appeared to stop in midair and she halted. She saw the darts, turned them aroudn with her mind and threw them back at the targets, some of them being thrown back by the impact. She kept running slamming through doors in a desperate bid to escape. She turned around ot see dozens of soldiers lining up with dartguns ready. She felt panicked and backed against the door.
Almost withotu her knowing, every soldier felt pressure gainst their skulls some of them backed up and held their heads, eventually all of them were feeling the pain, blood tricked from their ears and noses until they all collapsed screaming. Terrified, Tytho made oen last attack and managed to pry open the last door. She could not wait for the elevator and climed up via the girders on the inside of the shaft.As she was climing she saw the elevator coming down and tore here way into a ventilation shaft as the elevator cart pased her.
With a sigh she continued climing and emerged at the top of the shaft panting and frightened. She was still wearing her clothes fro mthe lab and as she passed through the lobby she took a coat fro ma rack and headed outside into the city above.
She was almost overwhelmed as she was exposed to the real world, a millino foices chattered inside ehr head, rain was pouring, it was nothing like the simulations so she ran towards an alleyway, somewhere she could hide from the din. She stumbled between crouds and without fulyl knowing how she could hear their thoughts abotu her, how she looked strange, how she was acting, she just wanted time lone. She sore she was going mad from the racket of people's thoughts as they chattered away. Eventually, finding somewhere quieter she reested her back against a wall and sat down.
Greeting the Real World
6th June, 2792
Tytho slept restlessly in the alley. She miseed the comforts of the lab. it was cold ,the ground was hard and rain had swept through the town. She awoke when two figures approached her and kicked ehr hard in the side. Her eyes fluttered open to two rather fierce-looking aliens who sized her up.
Thug - Missy, if you want ot live then you'd better give us what you have!
Tytho looked at the thug confusedly, not entirely sure what was going on. He kicked her again.
Thug - You deaf? Hand over any valuables you have.
Tytho - I...Don't have anything you want.
The headman looked dissapointed.
Thug - A shame. I could always take that coat of yours.
Tytho - You can't have it?
Thug - Missy. Its two-to-one and, no offence, you look like I could snap you in half.
Tytho - You would?
Thug 2 - They don't call 'im snapper for nothing.
Tytho - Then snap this!
The first thug felt himself flying through the air and slammed against a wall. After a second or two he collapsed and hit the floor with a thud. His accomplaice pulled out a knife and as she got up fro mthe floor he stabbed her in the stomach. She felt a stinigng pain as the knife dug in and with a swing of her arm she knocked hi min the head, the connecting punch causing a blast of energy through his head, throwing him off and giving him the headache of his life. The first thug stood up and ran towards her with a scream. She grabbed his fist and punched him back twoards the wall, this time with enough force to send hi mthrough it. Scared, she ran as fast as sahe could, pulling the coat tight over herself.
She panted as she ran through the streets, she hoped the thugs would not give chase and she was lucky. Looking behind herself she could not see them and ran fro somewhere to hide. her heart raced as she saw a soldier talking to two police officers down the road. She ducked into an alcove and hugged the wall, hoping things would be over.
She could hear the soldier shouting, she needed to get to higher ground. She looked upwards and noticed a fire exit attached to the side of the building. Jumping up she pulled the ladder down and ran up as fast as she could all the way to the rooftop. As she ran she could hear footsteps behind her, there wre soldiers running up the fire exit to rach her. When she reached the rooftop she tried looking for a way off, a way ot evade the soldiers. She ran to a ledge ot an ajacant building as a soldier poked his head up to see her jumping off the roof. he poudned his fist on the top of the ledge, knowing she had escaped. Unknown to him, she had landed on a rooftop and hid inside the rooftop entry way, no one could see her there and soldiers had by nwo run up to look for her.
The jump between buildings was too great for them, she had gotten across safely with her powers. She headed downstairs and looked for a seculuded spot within the building to rest. It had been a tiring morning. The real word was far more scary and unpredictable than any of the simulations.
25th June, 2792
Tytho had spent weeks on the streets of Foth-Venn. She kept ot the rooftops for the msot part, although away fro mthe crowds it made her more exposed but she felt she had to risk it; someone could recognise her. The Union had posted a bounty on her head the day she escaped and anyone out there could have the potential to take her back to the labs, she did not want that.
One day, she returned ot the steets, she had managed to pick a few pockets days ago and used a hooded sweater to hide her face as she moved through the crowds. She ducked into a corner shop as two policemen strolled past acocmapnied by a camera drone. Inside the shop she bought herself some confectionary and slipped out without paying.
She was spotted as she left the store, another customer had called her out and she ran for the alleyways. Desperate to find her, the shipkeeper was willing to give an on-the-spot payment to a group of mercenaries who followed suit.
Running through the winding streets she foudn herself cornered by a dead-end. THe mercenaries, a group of four, cracked their knuckes as they closed in. Tytho panicked as she pressed against the wall.
Merc - Give back what you stole cutie, and we'll let yo go - fair deal?
Merc 2 - Such a pretty face, shame we're going to have to damage it...
Tytho - Back away, I don't want trouble...
Merc - Should have thought of that before you left without paying!
Tytho snapped, she ran for the group and as she got close she vanished, out of the confusion she appeared behind them and performed a leg-sweep, tripping two of them up. As her leg approached a third it was grapped by an athletically-built Ryketian who lifted her up by the leg. He pulled back her hood and looked into her eyes.
Elrom'Tussar - You...you're that woman the G5 are after, aren't you?
Tytho - Screw you and put me down.
Elrom'Tussar - Here that lads, this one has fire! The name's Elrom'Tussar, I work for a little merc group called the Arvaad Comany and you picked a very bad...
Tytho's eyes welled up with tears as she dangled.
Elrom'Tussar - What are you doing?
Tytho - Please... don't send me back to them, I don't want that life!
Elrom'Tussar - What life?
Tytho - I'm a weapon to them. They...they want to use me.
Merc - Captain, if we give her in we'll all be rich!
Elrom'Tussar - She's a mentalist...How long have you been in hiding?
Tytho - Umm... over half a month?
Tussar's eyes widerend and he set her down. He brushed her off. He made a hand signal asking for the other mercenaries in his group to keep their distance.
Merc - Bos... are you putting feelings over income?
Elrom'Tussar - I have my standards Raketen. I don't do selling for experimentation.
Tytho - You don't?
Elrom'Tussar - If you have nowhere to go, I supopse you could stay with us. Its been a while since I had erm...guests.
Elrom helped her up onto her feet.
Elrom'Tussar - We are part of Arvaad comapny. You have my word we will keep you safe from harm. My house is yours, we will make a bed for you. Stick close to us and we'll keep the government out of your hair.
Tytho - You will?
Tussar nodded and Tytho was almost crying for joy as she hugged him tightly. Tussar was caught off-guardbut let her hug him, deep down he knew how she must have felt. After a few minutes she let go, tears still streaming down her face.
Tussar - Get your things together. Rutam, be nice and pay the shopkeepr for what she stole.
Rutam - We were given a contract, are we going to jut back out?
Tussar - Tell him circumstances changed or something. He paid us, maay as well pay him back.
Rutam - Grr fine, but the brat 'aint sleeping near me.
Rutam walked off, grumbling to himself. Tussar brought her to a hotel room downtown where he and his mercenaries were lodging after buiting her a hot meal, which she promptly gobbled up after not having anything like it in weeks. The hotel room was warm and accomodating, Tytho learned that there were some 30-odd other mercenaries using the hotel as a resting place. Tytho geps close to Elrom'Tussar as he guided ehr through and introduced her to the other mercenaries. She felt nervous around all these strangers but in the weeks since she had learned to control ehr telepathy. What would have been a horde of others' thoughts were now the odd spouting she could dsicern easily.
That night, Elrom'Tussar could not find her in the hotel, after exploring he discovered her on the rooftop, lying on her back and looking up at the night sky. Despitei t being dark, there was a faint yellwo glow near the horizon due to the lights of the city. Tytho had one arm behind her head, resting on it like a pillow while the other arm lay flat on the floor.
Tussar - I'm sorry aboutwaht I did to you when we met. At first I thought you were a common criminal.
Tytho - Oh don't be, I should have paid. I had the money after all.
Tussar - So...why steal?
Tytho - Money is hard to come by for me. If I can spare a few credits I wll. I tell myself that it is only bad if I am spotted.
Tussar - I take it you are good at beeding discreet?
Tytho shrugged as she tilted her head away.
Tytho - Mmh, i'm getting better.
Tytho then turned her head to look at Tussar.
Tytho - Why do you ask?
Tussar - I might be able to get you some cash. A job perhaps.
Tytho - Well... What kind of work did you have in mind?
Tussar - Not everyone in Arvaad comapny is a killer. We could do with a few strategists and infiltrators. Your abilities make you a good all-rounder.
Tytho - All-rounder?
Tussar - Your mental abilities; very handy I'd say.
Tytho stood up and walked over to him.
Tytho - I thought you said I could be free of tha kind of stuff? I don't want to be a weapon.
Tussar - You won't. Arvaad looks out for its people... which reminds me, if you want ot be a full-time meber, you'll need the mark.
Tytho - Mark?
Tussar unbuttoned his shirt a little and revealed a tattoo on the top edge of his left pec.
Tussar - Everyone in Arvaad wears this as an identifyer. it reminds us who we are and who our bothers and susters are, we're family?
Tytho - Family...
Tussar - But first, you need to be prepared. I can help you.
Tytho - Oh...alright. Are you going to train me?
Tussar - I gladly would. Do you mind coming downstairs?
Tytho - I'm happy up here.
Tussar nodded and walked through the roof access back downstairs, returning half an hour later with a pair of blankets, a light and a deployable sun shelter.
Tussar - Seeing as it is your first night, I want to keep an eye on you, so you stay safe.
Tytho - Okay, I'm fine with that I guess.
Tussar deployed the sun shelter and prepared a pair of beds for them. After settling down he looked at her with a comforting smile.
Tytho - Tussar....
Tussar - Yeah?
Tytho - Thanks for not selling me to the government.
Tussar - Sure thing.
Strength in Connection
13th July 2792
A damaged ship travelled through empty space. The ship was similar to the designs of the Brood of War, but it had several changes in terms of function and appearance. This was a ship of the broken Kordalian Connection, who had split during the Andromeda War. This was once the pride of a Kordalu fleet, but was now reduced to a lone, damaged ship.
On board the ship was an important member of the Kordalu - Knife of Pride, a former member of the Connection Council. His personnel were numbered in the hundreds, but a majority of them were damaged. It was then that Knife of Pride received a transmission request from an unknown source. Knife of Pride turned to his communication screen, telepathically accepting it with his mind enhancements, and before him appeared the hologram of a large, imposing blue creature with a mechanical eyepatch, smoking what appeared to be a cigar.
Knife of Pride - You have contacted the Omegon of the 21nd Kordalu Connection Battle Fleet.
??? - Good. My leads were correct then. You're just then one I've been looking for.
Knife of Pride - Elaborate. What would you have of Knife of Pride of the Omegon of the 21nd Kordalian Connection Battle Fleet?
??? - I am Gnorvi, emperor of the Stratocracy of Karnagtah. I've come to make your Connection a proposal.
Knife of Pride - Elaborate further, Gnorvi, Emperor of the Stratocracy of Karnagtah.
Gnorvi - I've been watching your kind. I know it lies broken, chasen off your lands when you joined the Grox years ago. But your relations to them are irrelevant. I am interested in your strenght, both physical and technological.
Knife of Pride - Your claim of us becoming one with the Andromedan Grox Empire during the Andromeda War is incorrect. We merely assisted their cause. What do you require of our physical and technological capabilities, Gnorvi, Emperor of the Stratocracy of Karnagtah?
Gnorvi leaned forward on his throne.
Gnorvi - Let me skip the small talk. I want you to join my empire. You'll be given a new home in enchange of serving the Stratocracy.
Knife of Pride - What services would you require of the crew of the Omegon of the 21st Kordalian Connection Battle Fleet if we are to join the organization of the Stratocracy of Karnagtah? We assume this would mean military from most of our ran scenarios.
Gnorvi - I am offering your people full citizenship. This means you may be present in all areas if you so wishes. Oh, and I should notice, we'd be glad to help a fellow strong race achieve their Path...
Knife of Pride - What technological assistance can you offer us to assist us in our life goal?
Gnorvi - We are always searching for new strong cultures to add to our own. This includes their technology. And by being full citizens, you'll have access to everything.
Knife of Pride - Full citizenship sounds like a rather promising status, judging by the current situation we are suffering. We shall gladly accept your offer and uphold it for as long as possible.
Gnorvi - Excellent. My only request is that you inform this to the rest of your people.
Knife of Pride - There is no need. We share a technological collective mind, thus thoughts are always shared by default between us. This is a step we have taken to further us along the Path.
Gnorvi - Ah, I see. If that's so, then I'll be sending you the Stratocracy's coordinates. It's been a pleasure, Knife of Pride.
Knife of Pride - Pleasure. That is not a simulation we are designed nor programmed to understand.
Gnorvi - Maybe we can program new emotions into you once you join our ranks.
Knife of Pride - We are struggling to locate reasons why emotions would assist our Path.
Gnorvi - Again, you are full citizens. Do whatever you wish, for you have the strength to do it.
Knife of Pride - ...We currently have no understanding of emotions. Perhaps if we research and test them, we could have a greater understanding and thus enlighten ourselves further.
Gnorvi - Well, having emotions give you a wider view of the world around you. Then again, it's your choice.
Knife of Pride - It would be a new experience to venture into the unknown aspects of organic mentality. Yes, perhaps we will accept your offer for emotion simulations and programmes.
Gnorvi - Good, good. Now, if you excuse me, I have some other things which require my attention.
Knife of Pride - You are excused from our transmission program. Please feel free to close. Have a nice day.
Gnorvi closed the transmission with a smirk on his face. Behind him, Commandant Kolger watched with his arms crossed.
Kolger - Emperor, are you sure giving full citizenship to aliens is the best for the Stratocracy?
Gnorvi - Let's face it, Kolger. We Gros are not the strongest of all. However, there are strenght in numbers. By having worthy aliens with us, we shall become feared and respected like we should already be.
Kolger - ...I see your point. I don't like it, but I agree.
Gnorvi - You'll see, Kolger. These Zazane are just the beginning of something very big...
Audience before the Prince
15th September 2792
After hearing reports of a rogue Brood of War planet going dark, the Grand Inquisition feared something was amiss. This supicion came after Inqusiitor Sovvosh, a senior operative and a Val'kar, felt a psychic disturbence during a routine patrol a month ago. He requested permission from the senior council to investigate. The council accepted his request, concerned of a rise in activity from the Devourer's Chosen he was given a task force of two less experienced inquisitors.
While Inquisitors often operated alone, the potential magnitude of the situation in question prompted the senior council to send more than one operative. He was joined by a Draconis and a Zazane who beamed to the planet's surface not far from a village near to an old temple. Sovvosh had performed many investigation missions like this; missing persons, strange energies, he was trained one of the order's demon-hunters and had trained himself to resist both demonic energies and augment his own abilities to counter the often-unnatural strength of his opponents. The Zazane was Inquisitor Kalakor, an expert on Zazane history as well as a ranged combat expert. Kalakor was equipped with an RF-32Z fusion pulse rifle and two personal Zazane daggers. He observed the surrounding environment they had been inserted in - dark jungle a kilmetre from a Zazane village - and grunted in disgust at the lingering presence of dark energies.
Kalakor - I smell an awful stench of corruption in the air.
Sovvosh - Same.
Terimus - Zazane. How long have you been with the order?
Kalakor - Does it really matter?
Kalakor primed his rifle, it emitted a slight and high-biched whine to indicate the rifle was ready to use at any moment. Being a rifle adapted for use by Zazane it was slighly smaller than what was normally found.
Kalakor - We are all siblings now, no matter our age.
Terimus - I was only asking. I was curious as to whether or not you have been on many operations like this before.
Sovvosh - Don't mind Terimus, Kalakor. He is somewhat new himself.
Kalakor - I can tell. Two combat drops beforehand, I learned not to be so cocky after my first.
Sovvosh - Alright. engage active cloak and let's head out. According to rumours the citizens on this planet descended to a pre-industrial level of society.
Kalakor nodded and cloaked himself as soon as he gave the order. With the others following suit. After they emerged from the jungle they approached the nearby village of scrap metal, wood, wattle and grass houses. Materials scaveneged from the local environment to build crude huts. However it was all in ruins, with shacks and huts burned to the ground, with traces of blood and struggle all across the area. However, there was no sight of bodies anywhere. The entire village was deserted of even remains. Terimus walked about. He knelt down to a blood stain and sniffed it, then brushed his hand near to it. He then looked about the area.
Terimus - Burned houses, blood, smashed personal items, lack of bodies, do you think we have a body harvest?
Kalakor - It would not surprise me by the trace of things. This wasn't an attack from a rival tribe, however. If this was a raid from another tribe, they would have no need for a body harvest unless there is evidence of cannibalism. However, I doubt that the natives here are that uncivilized. And despite the blood traces, the scents are all different. Individually, there is a small amount. This could possibly mean a mass kidnapping.
Sovvosh - And the burned houses means someone wanted to erase all trace. Good work, but where could they have been taken?
Terimus - I might make a suggestion but I get the feeling there might be clues in the old temple not too far away. It looks like a good gathering point to me.
Kalakor - Good guess, but I do not smell the scent of corpses, so a mass suicide or sacrifice is unlikely. Nevertheless, investigation is necessary. Temples are often religious icons devoted to certain deities within Zazane culture.
Sovvoth - Then why are we wasting time? We'd better check it out.
The inquisitors nodded to each other and headed towards the temple, believing that the key to the mystery was at its apex. The temple itself was a stepped pyramid design and consisted of many steps. The stone was not that old, although still at least a century old, and moss-specked on the lower levels but on the upper levels the moss and vines were nonexistant. The skies were clear and the sun could be seen high in the sky, shining down upon the Inquisitors. Kalakor's nostrils twitched as he picked up several scents; one of corpses and one of...something else entirely.
Kalakor - Does anybody else smell that?
Terimus - Corrupted flesh?
Sovvosh - I may not have such a good nose but I feel it.
Kalakor - Ready your weapons in precaution. I feel all isn't right.
Sovvoth and Terimus nodded. Preparing their weaposn as they ascended the temple steps.
Terimus - Any ideas who this temple was dedicated to?
Kalakor - No obvious design traits that indicate worship to any particular or certain deity...in fact, this temple is relatively recent. Built within the last 100, maybe 200 years.
Kalakor - Whoever it was dedicated to, it was no deity in our original legends.
Sovvosh - Hmm. From the loosk of things, it mghit be a sun temple. But that can't be right, i've never heard of sun-worship within the Brood of War.
Kalakor - You forget, Inquisitor, Zazane can be found roughly anywhere nowadays. Visitations or past migrations millennia before this time often leads to Zazane degenerating technologically through loss of unity. Obviously somebody wasn't up for contributing with others.
Sovvosh nodded as they approached the apex. That feeling grew stronger, something dark lurked within the temple.
Sovvosh - Okay... this feeling is definitely getting strong up here.
Several seconds after Sovvosh finished his sentence, there was an intense wave of unseen energy, knocking the Inquisitors down the steps of the temple. Kalakor grunted and drew one of his daggers, slamming it into the stone steps to try and support himself. Terimus used his power claws but had damaged his wings in the fall. Sovvoth meanwhile tumbled down and slammed the back of his head into a wall.
Terimus - Brother Sovvosh, are you badly injured?
Sovvosh - Just a knock on the head. Urgh. I thought we were in the clear then I felt an energy surge.
Kalakor stood up slowly and held his rifle tightly in his grasp, aiming down the sights. And then he saw it - a Zazane of bizarre green colouration approached the steps. He appeared taller and more muscular than other Zazane, but there was also something else strange about him, such as his vile aura and the fact his tail had a drooling maw.
Terimus looked up at the Zazane and pulled himself to his feet. Charging his claws as he rolled his shoulders back.
Terimus - Looks like someone made a pact with a demon.
Kalakor - Identify yourself, Zazane, for you stand before the Grand Inquisi--
Varugr - SILENCE!
Varugr spread his carapace-like wings and unleashed a roar that sent the Inquisitors stumbling backwards. This Zazane was definitely different to many others. Terimus was thown backwards and flew down the steps. He hit the ground and rubbed his head. Sovvoth by now had managed to stand up and pulled out a rather powerful looknig assault rifle.
Sovvosh - We are warriors of the Grand Inquisition, and you smell like you have been speaking to members of the Corruptus. Identify yourself!
Terimus stumbled up and charged at Varugr, roaring confidently with his power claws sheathed in plasma. Varugr smirked a fang-filled smile, an air of confidence had washed over his face
Varugr - You are in the divine presence of the Prince of the Sun, King of the Solar Winds, Lord of Nova!
Varugr looked to Terimus and simply stood, waiting for his approach.
Terimus' wings were broken, but he leaped up in an attempt to attack Varugr, gathering his energy to deliver a powerful strike. Once he got close enough, Varugr swung his mighty tail as he span his body round, slamming the end of it against Terimus' face and sending him flying to the side with little effort. Varugr looked to the other Inquisitors and continued to smile.
Sovvosh - Urgh, you have a very high opinion of yourself for someone standing before agents of the Grand Inquisition.
Varugr - Grand Inquisition? The Zazane Empire certainly has changed since our little...disconnection. They send boy scouts to try and tempt me back into their service?
Sovvosh - Times have changed with your isolation. The Zazane Empire as it was is no more. And we do not work on their behalf. We are here for the sole purpose that demonic presences were detected on this planet.
Varugr - Demonic presences? You aliens are very easily confused. You do not stand in the presence of a demon, but far from it! You stand in the presence of a prince, royalty!
Sovvosh - Most Zazane do not have mouths on their tails. Also we detect a foulness within you. And trust me, just because you are royalty does not make you pure of heart.
Varugr - You mistake foulness for divinity! You come here to my world and dare bathe in the divine rays of my beloved?
Sovvosh - Bathe in the rays of-- do you mean that sun?
Varugr - You have no right to speak her name, for her identity is much more grand than yours, lowly being!
Sovvosh - I think you're mistaken.
Terimus - Urff...your "beloved" is nothing but one of trillions of superheated balls of gas! The galactic community has the technology to feed off their light at a whim to power empires!
arugr - And I have the power to feed off you and your friends and families at a whim to power myself...
Sovvoth stood up with a grunt, laxing his shoulders. Varugr turned to Kalakor, who was trying to stand from being knocked down by the corrupted Zazane monster. Varugr approached the Inqusiitor, his tail jaws drooling hungrily. Sovvoth gasped and raised his rifle.
Sovvoth - Not one more step if you value your legs!
Terimus pulled himself up and charged at Varugr, the enrgy of his poweer claws bristling in a blue plasma as he swung hisarms ot cut at Varugr's flesh. Varugr gave a quick glance to Terimus and watched as his power claws were illuminated with searing plasma. Without another step, he watched as Terimus' lower arms became seperated from his elbows and dropped to the floor, his tail now covered in blood. He had used the immense force of impact to act as a blade, dismembering his arms. Varugr's limbs had been strong enough to snap the bones of Terimus' arms from the impact. Terimus cried out in pain as his arms collapsed limply to the floor. Unsure of waht happened he staggered backwards. With his arms goen and his wings broken, he found it difficult to balance and fell on his back. He rolled down a few steps, smearing the stoenwork with his blood.
Varugr - You come to my world, insult my beloved bride and threaten me with injury at my temple's steps. I think you should be wary of taking another step.
Sovvosh - I am not the one who annihilated the entire population of this planet, am I?
Varugr - They were no population. They were a plague, a blemish that required removal.
Sovvosh - Lies! You're not a king you're a madman!
Varugr - Madman?
Varugr thought for a moment, looking down at the bloodstains that were left upon the stonework of his home. He blinked for a moment, before looking towards the sun above him for a minute or so. A smile appeared on his face as he glanced at Sovvoth, grinning.
Varugr - I AM VARUGR!
Kalakor then found himself constricted by Varugr's extensive tail which wrapped itself around his torso and pinned his arms, his body being crushed within its grip, his bones audibly cracking and snapping as they surrendered to Varugr's grasp. Suddenly, the jaws of his tail appeared over Kalakor and engulfed his entire head, before sucking the entirety of his body inside of itself. The Inquisitors could head Kalakor's body snap and break as it travelled through the tail, as if being turned into paste. Terimus was visibly horrified, watching helplessly as the maw swallowed the Zazane whole without effort, crushing the body inside the bulk of it..
Terimus - What...in....void's...name....are you.
Varugr turned to Terimus and stepped forward, blood beginning to drop from Varugr's mouth like water from a tap. It was clear it wasn't his blood.
Varugr - Your worst nightmare.
Lashing out with the only weapon he had left, Terimus opened his jaws and with a savage growl he clamped them around Varugr's leg. Sovvosh grunted with contempt at Terimus actions. Sovvoth aimed his rifle and fired several high-powered rounds into Varugr's torso, and tried to aim one at the maw-lke construct at the end of his tail.
Sovvosh - Stay back you bastard!
Varugr looked towards Sovvosh as he fired at him, grinning with absolute glee. The jaw-like formation at the end of Varugr's tail moved almost intelligently, dodging the shots while increasing and decreasing in length. Without looking away from Sovvosh, the tail proceeded to clamp upon Terimus' tail, as if beginning to swallow him whole as its jaw extended to devour his legs. Sovvosh's eyes widened and he dreopped his rifle, running for Terimus and drawing a power sword. He ducked and swung the blade in the vain hope of cutting the tail off and saving his only surviving squad member. Terimus watched the whole incident desperately trying to crawl away, both completely helpeless from the lack of hands and for the jaw clamping on his tail.
Sovvosh - No no no no no!
Terimus - Save me brother!
Varugr stepped forward and slammed his muscular arm against Sovvosh's sword, stopping it in its tracks. The tail pulled Terimus away from Varugr's leg, crushing his lower body inside itself as the tail's stem seemed to "contract" in a way that it squeezed those inside it. Terimus was dragged down through the "throat" of the mouth, which quickly worked its way up to his chest after swallowing most of his torso. Sovvosh staggerd back as he watched such a horrifying scene But as an inquisitor heh ad to stay strong. Drawing a pistol from his side he fired several shots up at Varugr's torso, baring his teeth and growling fiercely.
Varugr allowed the shots to strike his torso. Although he appeared to have been inflicted with pain from the shots, he recovered within seconds and began to smirk and laugh at Sovvosh's efforts. Meanwhile, the tail began to close itself over Terimus' head while he was still alive, almost as if it was about to swallow him completely.
Varugr - You shall find no forgiveness under the presence of my beloved.
Sovvosh - No...it is you who should find forgiveness from us. For what you did to my men, this planet, and you are not going to stop with this one system mare you?
Varugr - I shall not cease until there is none left but my own beloved. And thus we shall spend eternity together, with one another, alone and away from the rest of the imperfections and filth that poxes this Universe.
Sovvosh lowered his pistol, watching as the last sight of Terimus dissapeared inside the maw. Sovvosh looked up at Vaarugr with a clear scowl. he was unimpressed and remaiend defensive. Varugr's tail's bulk contracted as it crushed and churned the Inquisitor inside it into little more than paste to be swallowed, making a gross noise as it did so alongside the sound of Terimus' bones and armour breaking, although his cries and screams seemed to have stopped. Varugr approached Sovvosh.
Varugr - What did you hope to achieve by coming here, insect?
Sovvosh - Answers. Why this planet went black, why a demonic presence was felt here, we wanted to know what happened.
Varugr - That is not what I meant. Why did you take this job, knowing you could die, and you will, or become fatally wounded, or abandoned? Do you possess so much faith in yourself that your efforts would protect your Imperium? Your friends? Your family?
Sovvosh - It's what an inquisitor does. He makes sacrifices others may not be able to make. I do not care if I die because I know one day death in battle is an inevitability. I may as well make as much effort to be useful as I can.
Varugr - You were not useful. You will not prevent death. In fact, you have given me vital information that I can use to end your race and others a lot faster. And so have your allies; their strength and knowledge has become mine.
Sovvosh - Know your enemy. But stand against the Inquisition and you will fall.
Varugr - I shall fall from how bloated the corpses of your primitive, ugly kind shall make me. And I shall vomit up the faces of everybody you ever loved, knew and hated.
Sovvosh - You swallowed a fully-grown Draconis in one go that's not exactly going to keep you slim.
Varugr laughed at Sovvosh's remark. At that moment, he threw his arms back and thrusted his torso forward as his pecs and other muscles bulged and shivered, increasing in size significantly. Sovvoth could hear a cracking sound as they swelled to a greater size. Varugr soon calmed and looked toward Sovvosh again lowering his arms to his side, his muscles now larger. SOmehow mocking his remark. Indeed, eating a fully-grown Draconis did not keep him slim, instead it makde hi mmore muscular as he inherited the kind of strength posessed by even a merely healthy Draconis.
Varugr - Obviously.
Sovvosh stumbled back shocked at the sudden transofrmation.
Sovvosh - Crap...
Sovvosh took several steps back and with a slighth movement of his palm, pressed a butto non the underside of his gauntlet. Discreetly, a data package was transmitted into orbit.
Sovvosh - So what of me now, I know about you and you know from my companions what Inquisitors can do.
Varugr leaped from the temple, landing right in front of Sovvosh, the forceo f the impact and causing him to fall to his back from the mere force of his landing and impact with the ground, leaving a miniature crater. He stared down at Sovvoth, his tail jaws biting the air excitedly, drooling madly.
Varugr - You shall suffer a quick death, for your sense of humour amuses me.
Sovvoth grasped his sword and slowly stood up, ready to repel any of Varugr's attacks but as he did, Varugr slammed his foot down upon Sovvoth's body, crashing his sword against his torso with little effort. Looking down at the Inquisitor with a grin, he reached his hand down and clasped the flesh upon the Inquisitor's chest. In mere moments, the Inquisitor's upper torso was seperated from the rest of his body in one, strong pull.
Varugr held the torn-off body part in his hand for a few seconds before he threw the half of the Inquisitor that was in his hand away, stepping off the body to reveal the stomach had been crushed by Varugr's foot. He had a dark, grim smile on his face, one that displayed he had no regrets for the incident.
Varugr - First, this world. Next, the universe.
Whether or not Varugr knew, Sovvosh's data package reached the relays of an orbiting ship, relayign everything he had seen and heard from his armour to the ship. Both sides now had knowledge of each other and knowledge of each other's capabilities. The Inqquisition would have quickly learned of Varugr, his capabilities and his level of power from the data recorders built into the armours of Sovvoth, Teremius and Kalakor. In letting thep lanet fall to a primitive state, Varugr had negelected to isntall any jamming equipment, meaning that even the horrific digestion process was recorded from the insideu p unti lthe point the internal forces and energies damaged the device too much to transmit.
3rd November 2792
Tytho was handstanding on top of the roof access to an apartment block that Arvaad company were using as a temporary base. Earlier that d day she had coordinated an operation with Elrom'Tussad's guidance. Her enhanced sense of perception giving them a superior edge during the operation. Thanks to her, a crime ring working out of the Solonese Union's inner rim had been vanquished. She felt quite at home within the skyline and doing this sort of thing relaxed her. The sun was setting and the city in front of her was lighting up for the night. She was taking deep regular breaths, slowly moving her legs to keep flexible. She rolled her head side-to-side, she heard the bustle of the city below. After a few minutes A flock of birds perched on the building ledge nearby, she turned her head and looked at them. She tilting her legs forward she flipped to land feet-first in front of the door. She had a few snacks in her pack and reached into a pocket, pulling out a sandwich wedge that she looked at with satisfaction.
Raptin egg and Tosivian cress was her favourite sndwich filling. As she was about to take a bite out of a snack, she noticed a golden flash of light appearing behind her as well as a faint pop. She turned her head to see a large Miluiel standing right behind her and looking down. Startled, she turned around and drew out a pistol. Gripping it with both hands. She pointed it directly at Mezzadriel's face but the Miluiel remained calm. A warm smile spread across her face.
Tytho - H-how did you get up here?
Mezzadriel - Shhh... Do not fear my child. I am here to rescue you from this life.
Tytho - Are you with the G5? Tell me or I won't put this gun down!
Mezzadriel - No. I am an ambassador of my Lord, Antediluvian. He grows interested in your welfare it seems.
Tytho - Never heard of him.
Mezzadriel - He is a fine mentor who only wants the best for his family. A family, I invite you to join.
Tytho - Family...?
Tytho lowered her pistol slowly. She was slightly suspicios and attempted to search the Miluiel's mind, wondering if this was all too good to be true. Mezzadriel, fully aware of her talents, blocked her attempts, but made it seem that her intentions were pure.
Tytho - Erm, look. you seem nice, but I already have people who care for me. They sorta...saved my life.
Mezzadriel - They are mercenaries, are they not?
Tytho - Yeah. So? "Arvaad looks out for its own", as Tussar likes telling me.
Mezzadriel - Has it occurred to you that Elrom'Tussar is merely training you as a weapon?
Tytho - *shugs* Well... Not really. But he would never do that. Not to the extent the Union had at least-- Wait, what do you know about him?
Mezzadriel - I know enough to know that remaining with him can only lead to ruin.
Tytho - But... he cares for me, I know it.
Tytho's face screwed up a little, coming close to tears, not wanting to believe waht Mezzadriel was telling her.
Mezzadriel - Search your heart, you will know that he views you only as a machine. A weapon.
Tytho looked around, she sniffed before she placed her hand against her neck - over a tattoo she had gotten recently. This tatto was the mark of Arvaad company, all of the mercenaries wore it.
Tytho - He said. The mark. Would...display..our unity. Why did I go along with it!
Mezzadriel - Have no fear my child, know that I, Mezzadriel am a true friend.
Tytho sniffed and looked up at Mezzadriel. A smile crept across her face amidst the sadness. Her words felt sincere
Tytho - You...you really mean that?
Mezzadriel - Yes. Under Antediluvian, we are all equals.
Tytho - Can he proect me from...the soldiers?
Mezzadriel - Of course, my dear.
Tytho - Thank you. I will go with you then.
Mezzadriel smiled and put her hand on Tytho's shoulder. The two translocated to Orbispira, where Tytho's new life began.
Later that night, Kroggh, a Val'kar operative for Arvaad was in his room reading a book. He was disturbed by a loud knocking on his door, that sounded frantic.
Kroggh - Alright alright I'm coming!
Kroggh opened the door to see Eldrom'Tussad in a sorry state. He tossed hsi book onto the bed and opened the door more.
Tussad - Tytho's gone!
Kroggh - You mean the kid?
Tussad - No the new teech-- Of course the kid!
Kroggh - Chill Tussad, where was she last?
Tussad - On the roof doing exercises.
Kroggh - Do you think Union troops got her?
Tussad - Not at har skill level...at least...not without special equipment. If it was then I would know, in fact I can't even feel her bond anymore!
Kroggh straightened himself and loked at Tussad with confusion. Tussad saw the look and gave out a sigh.
Tussad - I wanted to protect her so we joined. I always have an idea where she is, but first soemthing blocks me, then when the block was finally lifted I couldn't feel her anymore.
Kroggh - Psi-ops?
Tussad - Worse; her mind vanished completely from this planet. At least with psi-ops I can follow a trace. This... well it was like she vanished of fthe face of the planet in the blink of an eye.
Kroggh - If you felt a block why didn't you rush to her?
Tussad - I'm not stupid, tried that but the damn service stairway door was jammed. When I finally got through she was gone, but she dropped this.
Tussad showed Kroggh the dirty egg and cress sandwich. Kroggh did not know her as well as Tussad but he knew it was her favourite flavour, and she wouldn't simply drop it like what was implied.
Kroggh - Damn... What are you gonna do?
Tussad - I know a few people in the G5 - i'll find out what's going on.
Kroggh - Didn't you say she had a bounty or something?
Tussad - If I ask the right people, I may be able to find out if the bounty was retracted or if someone else turned her in. I'm not gonna stop looknig for her Kroggh. She's out there, with no-one familliar, I have to find her! I won't rest until she's back in my arms adn everything can go back to normal.
Kroggh folded his arms and sighed wearily.
Tussad - If you hear anything can you tell me?
Kroggh - Sure.
Tussad - Thanks.
Seeds of Discord
5th November 2792
A Ryketian mercenary, Rolleth'Vel was walking through the dark streets of the Coalition world of Otzrawa, away from the prying eyes of the Commonwealth survelliants. Finding a small, barely visible door, he entered a dirty, crowded cantina, the loud chattering of the Coalition aliens telling the mercenary that it was the right place to be searching for his employer. As the Ryketian entered, a Millenis smuggler, small even for his dimunitive kind, approached him.
Millenis - ...So that's you.
The Millenis looked at Rolleth'vel inquisitively, analyzing his appearance and manners. He needed to be sure that he met the right person.
Rolleth'Vel - It depends who you're looking for.
Millenis - Heard of you. Elrom'Tussar's gang, yes? Very famous.
The Millenis' manner of speach was making Rolleth chuckle; befitting his species, his syntax was strange to say the least.
Vel - Aye, I know Tussar. I heard stories of work, is this true?
Millenis - Yes... The name's Vr'ch, serve the Shadow Blade.
Vel - That name's unfamilliar to me.
Vr'ch put a small holoscreen out of his pocket and showed it to Rolleth'Vel; a shadowy, indistinct humanoid image appeared from it.
Image - Ahh... Rolleth'Vel. I heard about you and your Ryketian mercenaries. I have always found your species somewhat... weak... but I think that your gang still deserves some respect.
Vel folded his arms and looked at the figure.
Vel - Weak? Try saying that after I break your own spine without touching you.
Image - Breaking the spines of my enemies would be more lucrative. And by lucrative, I mean BILLIONS of AEUs. My family is known for its generosity.
Suddenly, the shadowy image started to glitch and another, feminine voice appeared from the holoprojector.
Female voice - Why did you tell them about our family? That Ryketian should not know more then he needs to.
Image - Hmph.
The image returned to normal.
Vel - I'm mostly in this for the Units. What's the contract?
Image - Nevermind. And... where did I stop? Ah, yes. I would like your gang to blow a few buildings on Tharrus. You might also know this world as Praestol or Spoddah.
Vel - Isn't that planet supposed to be one of the commonwealth's big get-togetherness contracts?
Image - ...Exactly. Destabilish the Commonwealth rule there means to destabilish it in the entire galaxy.
Vel - So you want Arvaad to blow a few buildings up? Hm, We could always usea few billion credits. What are the targets?
The humanoid image faded, replaced by the image of a black and purple Radeon temple, which then changed to depict a few more Divinarium and Coalition buildings.
Image - The Temple of the Demiurges, the Central Union Bank... You get the idea.
Vel - Hmm. Those places are rather high-security.
Image - Oh, don't worry about that. You see, being a neutral world, Praestol can't be protected by the Divinarium or the Coalition, which means it has to rely on its own army. A robotic army. Nothing which my Quaesitors can't hack...
Val - How generous of you. We'll get it done.
With these words, the Ryketian mercenary left, leaving his mysterious employers alone. Whatever the Shadow Blade was, it surely had plans of its own for Andromeda...