With the loss of the Xhodocto Eye from the Grand Inquisition's Reliquary facility, along with the decimation of the Inquisition itself, the Purgatory Guard - a branch of the order tasked with safeguarding high-security prisons and the fabled Reliquary Network - under the command of their mysterious marshal, "Alasta" has decided on a final straw. Utilising "protocol Xherum", an obscure section of Inquisition operations, she has taken command of the order and now has one goal in mind.
As the Dominion of the Xhodocto continue to lash out at the universe, the Purgatory Guard emerge from their holdings, their prisons and their vaults, using technology beyond Inquisition standards on a crusade against the demons of Adniliho. An army emerging from the voids of hyperspace with one singular goal of retaliation for the audacity of those who would dare exploit the secrets they kept.
Alasta was in full armour as she walked down a hall of one of the Purgatory Guard's starships. Since the Reliquary raid, these ships were becoming more present throughout the first gigaquadrant, appearing like phantoms and doing the Inquisition's work. Alasta approached the door to an interrogation room where one of the Guard was standing sentry, giving her a nod. She stood slightly taller than him as she nodded in acceptance, being handed a notepad detailing the detainee inside.
Alasta - Is the prisoner feeling cooperative today?
Guard - Hm, sadly not. And from what we can tell, they're not happy being here.
Alasta - That was their mistake. They forced our hand, we retaliated.
The guard nodded and stepped to the side and opened the door for her, she walked into a dull and almost-featureless room. Two chairs, a table, a mirror and bright lighting. Alesta smirked as she brushed her hand over the backrest of the chair close to her, looking into the eyes of the single other individual in the room. The individual, a Sparghazi soldier, wore gold and black armour - the colours of the Xhodocto Dominion. He was reddened by skin colour, and his jaws were visible, portraying long rows of twisted, sharp teeth. The eyes flickered at the Inquisitor, with short, sharp breaths.
Alasta - How are we feeling today?
Sphagarzi - Like Dorzam's winds scouring the ice. Be glad I am restrained.
Alasta - We shall see.
Alasta paced around the tabled, closely observing the Sparghazi and quietly feeling confident in herself.
Alasta - Now, I feel concerned that the two of us may have gotten off wrong. I can be reasonable you see, and all I ask is that you give me a little information. With that, you may go free.
Sphagarzi - And me spilling this information makes you any safer?
Alasta - Well...your people were unaware of me until recently. The collective I serve knows how to cover its tracks. So are you feeling cooperative, or will I need to start becoming more inventive?
Sphagarzi - Hmph. Try and fail.
Alasta shook her head and reached out, she brushed her hand against the warrior's snout and looked at him sympathetically before he felt a burst of air rush into his nostrils. The Sphagarzi jolted in the chair, hissing in anger. Alasta quickly retracted her hand and let out a deep sigh as she turned away.
Alasta - Apologies, but I do need this information. I want to know where your Dominion will be striking next ,where are you funneling your soldiers?
Sphagarzi - Wherever it is, you are not welcome. You'll be shot down before you even take your first step in there.
Alasta turned around, in an instant, her eyes were now blazing an infernal energy, with the swift turn of her head, her Draconis-like features had become much more demonic, savage teeth made up a mouth surrounded by thick and coarse scales. Her armour was twisted, the numeorus dancing patterns now coalesced and danced like flame agaiinst the plating's surface. The Sparghazi's vision began to warp, the room darkening and the walls bending outwards as if the room he was in were swollen. The Sphagarzi sat straight in his chair, chuckling at Alasta's transformation.
Sphagarzi - Do...do...you think that's not...known to me?
Alasta opened her mouth, and it was as though ten different dissonant voices spoke at once and in unison. She chuckled, the noise reverberating before she set those burning eyes on him.
Alasta - It would not surprise me. But you know, just because you've seen it before, does not mean you do not fear it.
The Sphagarzi growled further, and spoke again.
Sphagarzi - Have you ever looked into the eyes of a Xhodocto, woman?
Alasta - In honesty no. But I hear that to gaze at such a thing, is to gaze at imminent oblivion,
Sphagarzi - Do you think I am going to speak to you, demon or not? You're closer to them than I am.
Alasta - Do you feel it alien? That sense of vertigo? The feeling that you are floating in water. It should be kicking in about now, but I can stop it if you cooperate.
Sphagarzi - Grrr. Why should I?
Alasta's movements became more blurred, she moved as though she were a living shadow, approaching the Sparghazi once agian, showing those teeth once more.
Alasta - This will go on until you answer. The vertigo, the warping, the sensations it will go on until you cooperate.
Sphagarzi - I will not talk.
Alasta breathed into the Sparhazi's face with a smile, releasing a wispy cloud that began to twist his world further, Alesta herself became less solid, a twisted and nightmarish shadow with two burning eyes. The sensations continued and intensified until there was no sensation of up or down, left or right, far or near, the walls and floor blurred and churned. The Sphagarzi's posture melted. His head lowered, struggling to keep composition.
Alasta - I can easily make sure this is all you see alien. Can you imagine? A life with no up? No down? Where every figure is but a shade, you can never feel the ground you walk upon. All you need to do to stop it, is tell me what you know.
Sphagarzi - ...Óserdzavnakházúrátaranadín. Senvarschashárkeltratavartesliarméomatlevkhasdrannirébh. [We are the Dominion. You and all others shall die.]
Alasta - You damn yourself with these words alien...
The Sphagarzi let out a drunken hiss, before knocking his head back in confusion.
Alasta - You want it to stop don't you? Your mind begs for a reality that makes sense. I will be kind, this wil lstop once you tell me where the Dominion plans to attack next!
The Sphagarzi doubled over, lunging forward as vomit spewed out of his mouth from the ensued nausea. Alasta's shade stepped back and shifted behind the Sparghazi, brushing a phantasmic finger against his snout.
Alasta - Well that was unpleasant, but it does not have to continue. I give you one last chance, speak now or this will continue another time.
Sphagarzi - Khazúrankhárazíreshírvnamlkraventaríairev. [He is watching you.]
Alasta - Then we are done for today.
Alasta moved her hand away and walked towards what vaguely appeared to look like a door, as she left the room gradually returned to normal and she became more physical before stepping out. Outside however, everything was perfectly normal, and when Alasta left it was as though she had never changed, but she did have a smile on her face.
Guard - Dare I ask what you were doing to the detainee?
Alasta - It is best if only he and I know, brother. But I have what I came for, he cracked all the same.
Alasta walked away, writing into the notepad with her finger, feeling satisfied with herself as the guard shook his head, looking at the monitor in his gauntlet at the Saprghazi. He was mildly shocked to see him convulsing in his chair, doubled-over and panting with panic, his eyes darting everywhere. Pooled at his feet was a large puddle of rather sickly-looking vomit. The guard could not help but turn away, or perhaps feel pity, another part of him wondering what in all the universe had broken and destroyed him like that.
Save Us From The Queen
Her sight extended beyond the horizon, the suns beginning to set beneath the veil of the red ocean that journeyed seemingly eternally outward. Prodigy rested herself upon the floor of sand and pebbles, with one eye focussed upon the waves while another set upon the skies. She was tranquil, ironically finding some form of comforting shelter within the wide, open space. A wide smile was crossed across her face, although it was not so intimidating nor daunting as those she wore in battle, however her armour still rested upon her body in preparation for any unprecedented situation that might possibly occur. She was blissful, calm, the sand beneath her felt like a moulded bed against her body, she could feel its form though her armour as it surrounded her imprint within its eternally-extending form, waves of red water lapping not far from her, darkening the ivory-white sand that it touched into a delicate pink.
Approaching behind was an odd presence, materialising into view was a Draconis clad in worn armour marked with a dark bloody red, the ceramics darkened into a slate-grey. Quietly approaching Prodigy as she rested, it slowly drew a short knife that buzzed to life with a sickly blue glow. Prodigy, however, continued looking out towards the ocean, as if she had not noticed the apparently hostile presence that approached her rear. After a minute, she made her acknowledgement of the presence public and shifted her head towards them, snarling angrily.
Prodigy - What the fuck do you think you're doing? Who do you think you are?
In response to her question, The intruder let out a savage growl and leaped to stab Prodigy, the knife almost burning from the plasma that coated the blade's edge. Prodigy herself roared, slamming the entirety of her fist into the plasma-coated blade, in turn spraying her internal acidic fluids upon the face and armour of her assailant who was knocked back in surprise, with the blade now buried in Prodigy's knuckles. The armour of his helmet gradually burned away to reveal a crazed amber eye that glared at her with savage intent. The attacker swung his leg, aiming for one of hers only to watch as she grabbed it, digging her claws into the flesh and piercing the armour that was meant to protect him from injury. The attacker's mass was shifted rapidly, transitioning between the floor and mid-air as Prodigy continuously slammed him up and down.
The pain of the attacks, bouncing between the floor, passing though the air and hitting the floor again, the attacker made a combination of primal snarls and screams as he was repeatedly slammed into the floor, his bones breaking with each collision with disturbing cracking sounds alongside the screech as ceramic armour was chipped and deformed. Eventually the screaming stopped, his body heavily deformed from the repeated impacts. After seconds which felt like minutes, Prodigy eventually let go, causing the deformed mass of what was once a Draconis to squeak and whimper pathetically. Around her, the ocean range and the orange skies disappeared in electrical sparks, causing the room to revert back to its original structure; walls and tiles of golden marble, with scriptures pasted across the walls and miniature mural-like formations of Drakon etched into the material. The eye of her assailant winced in pain, his pupil still as thin as a needle to indicate he was surviving of the basest of emotions.
But the pain was there, he was injured. Just through the door Prodigy could hear the sounds of struggle, roaring and grunting merely a few metres outside her door, she looked down to the broken Draconis and leaned inwards, her mere breath causing the possessed mortal even further pain.
Prodigy - How many more? Who brought you here?
Assailant - R-rep--pent. D-d....Dark...Lady...p-punish...y-y...ou.
The bones, tendons and flesh of her fist regenerated within moments of her pulling the dagger from the wound. Dropping it to the floor, the Draconis' skull was caved in as the monstrosity that had pummelled him used the very same fist to pound atop his skull, forcing him to let out a final, cut-short cry as his skull was crushed. There was a thud on the door, something very heavy colliding with it. She looked up with an irritated growl and focused on the door, narrowing her eyes to the noise behind it.
Prodigy - The fuck is going on out there?
??? - Sister, sister are you in there!?
Prodigy - Don't call me sister!
??? - Whatever just get out here and help us.
As she smashed though, Prdigy stood in shock after her initial roar, these corrupted "kin" turned their attention towards her as if she stood out as the freak she was in this world of conformity.
Prodigy - What the fuck is going on?!
Black Inquisitor - Another for the fires!
Black Inquisitor - You, sister, join the Dark Lady's embrace! She promises true salvation, not like those fools of the Inner Circle.
Prodigy - How about I shove your head so far up your arse you can't tell your cloaca from Hell!?
Prodigy ran forward, extending the Yrsalimarus-enhanced bo-staff that was equipped to the side of her waist. Her footsteps caused debris and dust to upturn, destroying the material of the tiles beneath her feet. Within moments, her scales were drenched in blood, her face wore a distorted grin, the divided-up bodies of the impersonators were scattered across the hallway. The pair that spoke to her were no longer two distinct entities, but an amalgamated mess, no by-eye method was available of telling the two of them apart save for the scattering of two different scale colours. Prodigy now had two corpses in her company, their armour black from their taint, now stained with their blood. Screams and shouts continued echoing though the hallways. Through her training, Prodigy could feel it; two signatures of immense power deeper into the tunnels. These once hallowed halls, now stained with the blood of traitor and loyalist alike.
Prodigy turned and made a sprint, grasping ahold of her weaponry as she dashed through the corridors outside her private quarters which were now broken and dampened with debris and blood respectively. She watched as Inquisitors fought their now-unhallowed brothers, tearing one another apart or incinerating each other's flesh and innards with plasma weaponry. She was clueless, she could not quite understand what was going on. He had heard rumours but now the Inquisition was engulfed in an all-out civil war.
As she ran, she was suddenly interrupted by an Inquisitor suddenly being thrown across her path. As she scrambled to regain her footing, a Draconis of great muscle stature and physique suddenly smashed into the wall she had just hit, fortunately the Inquisitor herself managed to miss the impact but the force of the impact blast knocked her aside. The inquisitor retaliated by using her twin kukris to slash at the Draconis, clad in fearsome black armour with the plates adorned with faces prominently featuring expressions of rage and pain. Pulling a massive, twisted warhammer out of the rubble, the Draconis swung it, intending to slam the Inquisitor oncem ore into a wall but before he could Prodigy slammed her shoulder into the side of the monstrous Draconis' head with unrelenting force, knocking the creature off of its feet and launching it across the hallway. The passive anti-Essence field that functioned as some form of invisible aura around Prodigy lessened the monster's ability, although it was nonetheless fierce and terrifying.
Prodigy - Get lost!
The monster was thrown back from the impact, slamming the hammer into a wall to hold itself after it hit the floor. It snorted and glared under its helmet, the effect ejecting bursts of steam from the helmet's nostrils. The Inquisitor stood up and brushed herself down, looking up at Prodigy.
Inquiistor Sallina - I thank you. I thought the brute had me for a moment there.
Prodigy - Do you have any idea what the fuck is going on? I am *this* close to losing my shit!
Sallina - Not sure. But I remember reports of Inquisitors turning on each other at the Grand Cathedral. These ones however are...different.
Prodigy - They'll all be the same paste once I am done with them!
Sallina - Good mindset. But according to the seniors someone's-- Oh shit!
Sallina looked ot her side ot see the Draconis charging back like some armoured rhinocerous, its pace quickened by the mechanisms built into its leg armour as it held the hammer behinds itself, charging thunderously towards the pair. Sallina stood in front of Prodigy and took the brunt of it, she tried ot slice it with her Kukris but only managed ot damage the shoulder armour as the impact dented the ceramic plating over her chest and sent her flying backwards down the corridor.
Gripping ahold of her staff, Prodigy threw herself forward and performed a backwards slash with the blades rendered at its tip, aiming to cause significant damage towards the monster's face and head and hopefully either break its skull or cause a decapitation. Instead, the helmet shattered into pieces and the blades left Yrsalimarus-based wounds across the Draconis' muzzle. As the helmet shattered from her blow the monstrosity turned its head, revealing everything. Blackened skin, eyes intense and crazed set into a brutish skull, its face a permenant embodiment of unbridled rage. The exposure revealed what the helmet had hidden; that this creature was not only furious, but borderline rabid. Prodigy took account of this hideous face and smirked, waching as the Draocnis lifted a warped sledgehammer and sent it careering towards Prodigy, who out of a sense of defence, swung her arm and aimed for the full brunt of the hammer; colliding into one another, the force of her punch sent a kinetic shockwave throughout the hammer, rupturing it at the most basic levels and causing it to shatter while steaming, acidic blood erupted from Prodigy's fist.
The creature staggered back from the hammer shattering, but the event appeared to only make it angrier. It threw the shaft aside and proceeded to throw a feverish flurry of large fists at Prodigy's head.
Crusader - Break! Crush! Will annihilate!
Prodigy - Hush your tongue before I rip it out!
Prodigy countered the creature's punches with her own, their fists colliding as they threw powerful, foundation-shattering punches. However, as their encounter prolonged, the black crusader began to feel itself weakening, its rage beginning to transition into a never-before-imagined pain as the Essence-inhibiting picomachines in Prodigy's proximity began working away at its innards.
The Crusader continued punching despite gradually feeling debilitated, as the fight wore on, it began to feel weakned, the combination of this and Prodigy's shattering punches was that after a time, one lucky punch knocked hi moff his feet and onto the floor, creating a lout thud and cracking the stonework as he landed, His feverish grunts now replaced with a pained groan.
Crusader - No...Black Queen....Forgive...
Prodigy slammed herself atop of the Crusader and glared into its corrupted eyes. Grasping ahold of an anti-Essence grenade strapped to her side, Prodigy drew it forth and slammed it in between the monstrous jaws of the aberrant, before leaping away and drawing her twin pistols, shooting at several Black Raiders as they ran towards her from several other angles. As she walked away the grenade exploded, with her at a safe distance, the impact enough to obliterate the Crusader's body and shower the vicinity with his blood and remains. Inquisitors continued to fight, but the feeling was stronger as she got closer; something dark and powerful was here.
Sallina came forward limping and coughing, her boddy trying to adjust itself to the armour moving with her on life support inside, trying to catch up to Prodigy. Before Prodigy moved on, she stopped and turned as she heard Sallina struggling to approach. Tilting her head she approached her Inquisitor brethren and assisted her in standing, holding her and supporting her weight so she could stand properly.
Sallina - I thank you but...that creature...argh my bones ring. I'll be fine, luckily my armour can support my weight for now.
Prodigy - Can you still fight? We need to kill every single fucking one of them, we need to make them learn for fucking with us!
Sallina - I think I can. I can still aim a rifle at least, but close combat may be a different story. Damnation that brute packed some hard blows.
Prodigy - Well, he's dead now. Blew him to little more than bloody pieces with a grenade. What about the others, can you find anybody to help you?
Sallina - We're all scattered by these raiders, it gets worse though. While I was on patrol I swore I saw some demon with eyes on stalks, hypnotising our brothers and sisters and whisking them away. None of them saw me, thank the Lifefather.
Prodigy - Demon with eyes on stalks? Hypnosis? Grr... I'll make sure that it won't continue. I'll destroy it, reduce it to a bloody pulp!
Sallina - No. We can deal with it, but the archives are under blackout.
Prodig - Shall I head there?
Sallina - I would advise it, apparently the last inquisitors sent in did not come out.
Prodigy - Then whatever's in there won't be coming out either. Gather who you can and put up resistance, try not to die until I get back. I'll secure the archives and kill whatever the fuck's leading this assault.
The doors were unguarded, crashing though Prodigy was faced with four Inquisitors pinned to their knees by imposing Black Inquisitors. Standing in front of them all, obscured in Prodigy's vision, was Arsac. She paced about, talking to them before leaning down and cupping the chin of one of them, lifting his gaze up to stare right into her eyes
Arsac - ...And here you all thought you could stop me. However, I came prepared, I came ready, I knew your faults and we exploited them.
Arbitrarily, she turned her head back towards the archives, as if changing the subject from the inquisitors to someone out of view.
Arsac - Didn't I sir?
Remaining within the shadows, a pair of bloody crimson eyes glared upon the subjects that Arsac and her army had captured, accompanied by a brief round of daemonic, alien chuckling. After several moments of admiring Arsac and her efforts, the figure stepped forth, revealing itself to be none other than Mordati - one of the champions of Shu'wokerama and one of the Devourer's most zealously loyal and dedicated servants.
Arsac - Now...New converts...or a resource.
Inquisitor Belstrus - Rot in the void, witch!
Mordati - You DARE speak out against your queen? Ungrateful insects, you have the manners of animals. Hopefully your conversion shall correct that, and you shall recognize your queen as your authority and the Devourer as your god.
Inquisitor Belstrus - We serve none but our creed!
Arsac reached in and grabbed the outspoken inquisitor by the cheeks, smilig maliciously as he forced him to stare into her eyes.
Arsac - You honour a doctrine that means nothing, the more you follow it, the easier it is to bend you to the Devourer's will.
The inquisitor struggled but what he saw was too compelling, panicking before settling, when Arsac let go the inquisitor lowered his head and uttered his loyalty. The one next to him looked up and down, shocked by his sudden turnaround, looked back t oArsac with fearful and stern eyes, horrified.
Inquisitor Zelvanna - What did you do to him!?
Arsac - I enlightened him, As I shall enlighten you all.
Inquisitor Zelvanna - Never!
The inquisitor managed to break free and jumped with her claws out to tackle Arsac, but as she dived, she felt a hand grasp her by the throat and lift her to eye level, her vision now fixated on Arsac's scarred and malformed face.
Arsac - That was unwise...
Snaking tentacles emerged form Arsac's back and wrapped themselves around the Inquisitor in her grasp, completely covering her before there was the intense and nauseating crack of bone and tearing of flesh, accompanied by an obscured roar before the tentacles waned and retreated, a dessicated corpse collapsing to the floor as Arsac rolled back her shoulders.
Deciding that she had seen enough of such heresy and defilement, Prodigy aimed her pistol upward and pulled the trigger, causing a loud whirring noise of travelling energy to be heard across the room along with the sound of it striking debris. Her eyes were fixated upon the malignant, corrupted Arsac and she made a single step forward, spreading her wings as she had to hold back her violent urges. Arsac turned her attention to the source of the shot and perked the brow of her natural eye.
Prodigy - Step the fuck back.
Arsac - What's this? Ahh I remember, the child from our raid on the Reliquary.
Arsac snapped her fingers and appearing behind Prodigy were two rather imposing warriors, like the Crusader they were notable in stature and physique. Unlike the Crusader however they appeared stoic, they appeared but stood doing nothing.
Arsac - I apologise but what incentive do you have to make me follow your demand?
Prodigy - I'll kill you otherwise. You and your cloaca-lickers too.
Arsac emitted a boastful and sinister laugh, while the dual-valve nature of a Draconis' syrinx made their laughs naturally dissonant in tone, something about Arsac's nature made hers' more intense, as if it wasn't jsut two or three people laughing with malice, but an army. as she lauhed she glared maliciously at Prodigy who smirked as Arsac laughed, with her Yrsalimarus picomachines already beginning to expose the vulnerabilities of the two Crusader-like creatures behind her and suppressing their potential for Essence and, in effect, their strength. Prodigy simply stood, although her hands twitched as she began physically struggling to contain her rage.
Arsac - You forget some of the most basic rules of diplomacy, dear girl. The first - Arsac glared at the inquisitors who gradually succumbed to her influence uypon exposure to the corurpted eyepiece she wore - Is you must have the advantage, second that you have a backup and finally...should a fight be the only option you must hold the advantage. I have the inquisitors, I have my escorts, and combined I am certain we are a challenge even for you.
Arsac closed her eyes and huffed in frustration, she then sharply turned towards Prodigy and unleashed a barrage of razor-sharp tentacles to slice at her, letting out a roar in the process. Grasping ahold of her bo staff, Prodigy began to twirl and swing, shredding apart Arsac's demonic tentacles as well as inflicting Yrsalimarus wounding, sending streams of the substance into Arsac's flesh and bloodstream through her tendrils. Grinning a wide grin, she turned briefly and placed her claws upon one of the Crusader-aberrants behind her and launched it towards Arsac, roaring in exchange. The abberant went flying and Arsac, seeing him soaring paced out of the way and leaped into the air, spinning herself as she threw more tentacles at her target, the Crusader-abberant impacted the floor but appeared largely unfased with the impact, it was as though it was not much of an impact to him.
Arsac was now on the offensive and extended her power claws, now infused with Entropic energy as she descended towards Prodigy's head. Holding her bo-staff in one hand and her pistol in the other, Prodigy began to open fire upon Arsac, exploding her tentacles as they came into contact with the explosive anti-Essence ammunition. When Arsac came in for a close assault, Prodigy launched her bo-holding arm and slammed it into Arsac with immense fury, hittingher in the arm and sending her flying backward, landing on the ground with one foot and one knee on impact, writhing tentacles hissing and steaming from the Yrsalimarius attacks. She bared her teeth as she could fee the effects seeping into her. She dematerialised her tentacles
Alrsac - Mordati if you need to continue studying I will not stop you, I can deal with this hatchling!
Mordati - Do not fail us, Arsac. The consequences of losing to such a whelp would be... dire. Keep her distracted if you cannot muster the strength to end her, but do not let her interfere with my research.
Arsac - Oh I shall make sure, sir.
Arsac charged forward, slashing at Prodiugy's skin with a pair of demonically-infused randing strikes, cutting though her armour despite hwo advanced it was. Prodigy screeched as Arsac threw herself into her, causing her to stumble off her feet and get thrown across the length of the room. However, as she collided with the wall, it would not take long for her to recover and threw herself at Arsac, clenching her fists.
Prodigy - Is that all you have, you fucking wench?! I'll make you eat your spine! Wait, I'll eat it for you!
Arsac twisted around, sending her thick, writhing tail to collide with Prodigy as she flew forwards, impacting her on the shoulder with bone-breaking force enough to cause Prodigy's flesh to rupture and for acidic blood to spew forth. However, using her hand she reached forward and grasped ahold of Arsac's tail, shortly before gyrating herself around and launching Arsac off of her own feet and towards the other end of the archives but not before Arsac scratched Prodigy's armour with the blades of hew power claws. Even with her enhanced senses, Arsac was too slow in slowing herself down and her boddy tore through a set of archival units, destroying them and causing the systems to short-circuit. Arsac eventually managed to stop herself before hitting a pillar, causing a large chunk of it to be obliterated before she fell onto her hands and knees. She panted and looked forward, her claws digging into the stonework and tearing some of it out. She put one foot forward before she made an attempt to stand up.
Arsac - Effective...but it will require more than that to end me.
Arsac readied in a sprinting position and began bounding for Prodigy at immense speed, writhing tentacles emerging from her back and arms as she raced forward before taking a flying leap to tackle into Prodigy, a vicious snarl stretched across her face, she was travelling at a frightening velocity. Her mind remained difficult to take apart however, every thought blocked by a mental barrier, a distraction, ways of killing Prodigy obscured by more mundane thoughts. Within a brief second the connection was made, Arsac's demonic body collided with Prodigy's augmented own, her head had been positioned to the side, as she had focused on wrapping her arms around Prodigy and taking her backward using her won momentum.
Prodigy's body was forced backward, her feet slammed from the ground as the force of Arsac's weight collided with her, sweeping her from her stance and throwing them both through the air. She cussed loudly as she was powerless to stop the excommunicated Inquisitor, although she took the opportunity to attempt to bite into the side of her shoulder and neck in desperation. But as her jaws came down, a mass of tentacles emerged from Arsac's other side and wrapped themselves around Prodigy's neck and snout, she clamped her jaws harder, her sharp teeth slowly gouging into Arsac's flesh as her back collided and smashed through the wall behind her. After several moments which felt longstanding, yet realistically were only a few seconds, the tendrils that emerged from Arsac's side had managed to launch Prodigy away from herself, throwing the Draconis augment across the room and smashing into the far wall at the other end.
Arsac had pushed herself away from Prodigy, which had made her impact even harder while Arsac herself landed back on her feet. She cricked her neck as she briskly paced over to Prodigy. Upon getting close enough, Arsac rached down and wrapped her hand tightly around Prodigy's tail before yanking it backward and pulling the supersoldier into the air with it, before swiftly colliding back down into the floor. Prodigy screeched as she crashed into the floor, tiles and debris ascending into the air while acidic blood poured from her mouth. Narrowing her eyes, she threw her tail to the side, launching Arsac away from herself in order to recompose and rethink her strategy, causing Arsac to hit the ground with a destructive thud, she rolled for a brief period before reaching out and using a claw to stop herself from further rolling.
Arsac - You...are a disobedient. Krann.
Prodigy - Shut your treacherous mouth! Don't talk to me about disobedience... filthy whore!
Arsac suddenly materialised in front of Prodigy and reached up to grasp her snout in order to clamp it shut, a mass of tentacles writhing up alongside the quad of extending wings on her back.
Arsac - You have much to learn, brat!
Prodigy muffled while Arsac had her jaw clamped shut, proceeding to retaliate by swinging a powerful hook across the demon mistress' face with bone-crunching force. She began to struggle, her instincts overwhelming protocol which she had outright refused to pay attention towards. Despite the blow, Arsac's head jolted but she kept firm, merely turning her head back slowly to stare directly at prodigy, snout-to-snout.
Arsac - You...DARE!Tensing her arm, Arsac thrusted Prodigy downwards, the floor was already damaged and Arsac expanded on that damage - enough to shatter the floor beneath Prodigy as she fell into a chamber below. Arsac had let go during the impact, allowing Prodigy to fall to hit the floor while she levitated above the hole.
Prodigy bled as debris lodged itself into her flesh and began to melt as she fell for what seemed to be an eternity. Eventually, she struck the ground; her body lay crippled among debris which continued to drop onto her, laying in a pile of rubble and ruin as her fall had created a crater within the floor. She coughed and spluttered as she spat blood and began to breathe smoke. Arsac meanwhile levitated downwards with her wings open and softly touched the floor with her feet, looking down on Prodigy who lay under rubble and struggled to breathe. All Arsac could do was smirk at the sight.
Arsac - Pathetic, sloppy, overconfident. What exactly did the order teach you, hatchling?
Prodigy - Enough... to remain loyal! Traitor, krann shit!
Arsac chuckled and looked about the room, not giving Prodigy any more satisfaction in seeing the Black Queen stare down at her or notice her at all. Within the chamber she noticed cryogenic storage units that encircled Prodigy. They were on a platform, and it seemed there were more below where they were standing. Arsac decided to pace about the room, brushing her hand across the registration plates that each of the containers had bolted upon them. "P-A-101", "P-A-102", "P-A-103" the labels were in sequence, inside each one appeared to be something roughly Draconis-like, encrusted in a thin layer of ice. Arsac approached one of the containers and leaned slightly closer to it. Prodigy meanwhile attempted to stand, her wounds beginning to rapidly cauterize and regenerate. She threw up another round of acidic blood, beginning to corrode the metallic materials of the platform while she stumbled to her feet.
Prodigy - What...d-do you think...y-you're d-doing? F-Fight me!
Arsac - Do you know any of these individuals?
Prodigy - What?
Arsac - Are they familiar to you?
Prodigy - No... I know none of these p-people. Now f-fight!
Arsac - Surprising considering how much damage you have suffered up to this point. And you still think you can defeat me.
Prodigy - I'll die when I'm dead!
Arsac chuckled and threw tentacles out of her body and against the control consoles of the pods, alarms blared as the doors opened and figures stepped out, half-frozen from the pods. Looking around with confusion. Arsac grinned and for those Draconis that looked towards her, her optical implant began to shine intensely. Each of these figures looked similar to Prodigy, but with varying differences regarding figure, implants, artificial muscle structure and armour makeup. Dazed, one by one they felt compelled to look towards Arsac, cast under the hypnotic glow of her left eye. Prodigy looked about the room, watching in shock, still a little worn-out from her fight with the Black Inquisitor Queen, She shook her head and barked out ot Arsac who paid no attention to her.
Prodigy - ...What is this? W-What are y-you doing? More... s-soldiers? That won't s-stop me. You k-know it won't.
As they begn to turn, they each began to look towards Prodigy with hostile faces, familiar faces: Each one bore a slight variation of her own face. Arsac finally turned to acknowledge Prodigy, a confident smirk spreading over her snout, studying her expanding fearful expression with twisted delight.
Arsac - Are you certain?
Prodigy - ...What trickery is this?
Prodigy prepared a stance, clenching her fists as she looked upon the Draconis. The resemblance to herself began to become almost frightening; her eyes widened, her jaw was left agape as she looked upon what appeared to be visages of herself, mirrors. Clones. There was a cold shiver that was sent up her spine as the revelation struck her, her fists began to become loose, her stance unsteady. She was rendered unprepared.
Arsac - There is fear in your mind. Once again you telegraph your feelings.
The clones moved closer before one of them charged to tackle her to the floor, displaying similar strength as her but still not exactly as much as the supersoldier herself. She was knocked to the floor once more, although this time she followed her descent with a swift kick which sent the clone flying away from her. She began to pant in panic, her mind focussing more on the abominations surrounding her rather than the abomination that Arsac had become in front of her.
Prodigy - Illusions!
Arsac - They are as real as you are, I wonder what the Order was considering with all this.
Lying on the floor and vunerable, more clones descended on her, throwing punches and kicks, their power amplified in a similar manner to her; through artificial muscle and bionic implants, gradually swarming her. Prodigy attempted to counter, yet it appeared that her savage, undisciplined nature had proved to be a disadvantage. She coughed and spluttered as punches and kicks were aimed towards her exposed face, ribs and stomach, crashing down upon her like a storm.
Prodigy - Y-You bitch!
Arsac folded her arms and spread her wings, launching herself back up through the hole and watching intently as Prodigy suffered the punches, kicks and blows of the horde of clones. She landed quietly on the edge of the hole and searched herself, pulling a worn, heavy book from her side. and looked at it briefly. After a few moments it was almost as though her gaze ignited the leather cover of the book before she tossed it to the floor, the tome descending while engulfed in dark fire before slamming against the floor and opening up to a specific page next to Prodigy.
Arsac - I no longer need that, farewell and enjoy your lies.
Even if she did not believe them the book that hit the floor was obvious - The Book of Divine Teachings. Prodigy roared, the scars across her body beginning to illuminate a deathly, cold blue while steam and smoke erupted from her scars, her nostrils blazing streams of fire. As one of the Prodigy clones tore at the original, they undid a large strip of flesh which covered a particular piece of augmentation; a sphere of glowing blue, white at its center, which vibrated violently. Seeing the device the clone stopped and was somehow mesmerised by the device, bending lower with curiosity as to waht it was and after a moment of hestation, the clone rached in and attempted to yank the device out, giving no care as to the feelings of the individual the device was attached to.
Prodigy - You s-sure... y-you w-w-w-want to... d-do that? C-Careful...
Clone - Fuck you!
Prodigy - Yes... f-fuck me w-when you... a-all d-die in a... h-horrific e-explosion. ...A-Antimatter charge... I-I die... t-the whole b-base and e-every fucker in it c-comes along with me!
Clone - The Queen shall spare us. She promised us freedom.
Prodigy - The a-antimatter charge won't spare you... Heh, you t-think killing me... w-would be so easy? Clone - She ordered your death.
Clone 2 - The queen promised us sanctuary in exchange for your life.
Prodigy - The only sanctuary you r-recieve... is one w-where you're blown into a million fucking p-pieces! And one w-where even your q-queen can't s-stop herself f-from being blown apart.
As Arsac watched the scene, a familiar figure approached behind her and lay a hand upon her shoulder; Mordati was there, it appeared he had succeeded in his assignment as he made noises within his speech indicating a tone of happiness.
Mordati - We have what we came for.
Arsac turned her head and smiled, nodding to Mordati in acceptance.
Arsac - The hatchling's fate has been sealed. So I am done here as well, sir.
Mordati - And take the clones. Do not allow their use to end here. They can prove useful for later.
Mordati nodded back and disappeared within a thick black fog which dissipitated briefly after. Arsac nodded and disappeared with him, whisking the clones away from Prodigy and leaving her alone within the pit.
Prodigy leaned her head back and grunted, her body attempting to regenerate while it steamed and smoked, her acidic blood dissolving the surrounding surface and rubble. Her eyes rolled into the back of her skull as she attempted to stay awake, although the stress and damage that had been imposed upon her had proven too great. The inner workings of her organs remained active however; she was alive but unconscious. As she lay in the open chamber, inquisitors and clerics arrived and saw her on the floor. With their help, she was lifted up and several of them took her from the hole towards a private chamber where she could properly rest.For the night she slept, a cleric sat in the room with her, reading from his holy script while waiting for her to stir.
Rain Hellfire Upon Them
The Sparghazi's confessions led the Purgatory Guard to Pheolirialis, a barren planet in the outer reaches of the Dominion's territory in Segmentum Adnihilo. From what the Sphagarzi that Alasta had interrogated revealed, Pheolirialis contained numerous assets to the Dominion that the Sphagarzi barely explained, but it was apparent that such assets were very dangerous. It was also a rallying point for some particularly major forces in the Dominion, which, if the Inquisition were to block or destroy, would prove to be a considerable victory over the Dominion.
Samhinuhrankal, an Alsium'Nivalim demon, at the Suradvis rank was overseeing the rallying point with great observation. Great by stature and presence, every single individual that he supervised listened to him without question. A fortress of Dominion design was constructed over Pheolirialis' dry canyons, which was large and perplexing in design. It could have housed a total of eighteen thousand individuals in its height, but this construct was almost empty in comparison.
Phasing into view in the planet's orbit were a thousand battleships, clad in plating as black as the void of space. As soon as they appeared they began firing with cannons, propelling their payloads though hyperspace and at the orbiting Dominion ships, ripping into them from the inside with shockwaves of detonated hypermatter pouring though their rifts. Standing within the command deck of one of the command vessels, Alasta, clad in black armour and a scarlet cloak flowing from her shoulders watched the battle. Alasta stood slightly larger than most other Draconis, a few inches at most, but still boasting an intimidatinh size and physique amongst the crew.. She watched with intent excitement, watching as her forces ripped into the Dominion as best they could.
Samhinuhrankal looked into the skies as the colossal Dominion ships fell quickly towards the planet; noticing the battleships in the air. Shouting over the edge of the platform, at the soldiers beneath him, he commanded;
Samhinuhrankal - [We are being attacked! Defend the construct with your lives or you shall answer to me for your cowardice!]
Black mist coaelsced around Samhin as he barked orders. The soldiers all ran into their ships, taking off from the ground with haste. They scurried across the earth of the barren planet and then up towards the battleships, the Dominion returning their volley with intense fire.
Cadamius - [We do not answer to you.]
Samin turned to glare at this sworling mist, growing stern. A few Vyro'Ralza appeared in the background. Being a hivemind, they all spoke with a single voice.
Samhinuhrankal - [You answer to me, because the Tandava gave me such right to be here. Obey my orders or the Tandava will cast you down.]
Vyro'Ralza - [We shall destroy everything. By the orders of Vyro'Ralzora.]
Cadamius - We fight. But not for you.
Samhinuhrankal - [Fight nonetheless, cur.]
Samhinuhrankal himself, however, ventured further into the construct. Barriers materialised behind him as swarms of Dominion soldiers and demons filled the path he walked through.
Meanwhile, Alasta watched the battle with interest when she was approached by a soldier clad in similar black armour to her, looking up and with resepctful eyes to her.
Purgatory Guardsman - Your strategy is working well my lady. I will send the men to the surface and we shall cleanse this planet justly.
Alasta - Have your men prepare, I wil have the ships commence a bombardment run and then your soldiers will transfer to the surface.
The guardsman nodded and Alasta glared as she watched the tide quickly turning. She ordered for her ships to begin evasive maneuvres to increase their chances of survival, while at the same time blindfiring a carpet bombardment over the planet's surface. As one of the greater ships, kilometres long in size, fired beams of golden energy straight at the battleships of the Purgatory Guard, cleaving through a portion of them. More Alsium'Nivalim, of Vibudhazatru rank, appeared from nothingness in front of the construct on the ground. Holding long, iridescent silver staves surging with black energy, they aimed at the skies, blasting at the battleships. The bombardment caused the Alsium'Nivalim to part from their position, as the structure itself fell lopsided but was not toppled. They returned to their position, continuing to blast the ships.
Projectiles rained down over the planet's surface, hitting the ground at many times the speed of sound, the debris hurlig silently before soldiers were met with an ear-bursting boom that followed, each impact hitting with the force of a 100 megaton bomb. The structure fell further, however, the architecture of the Dominion was difficult to destroy. Great slabs of rock were hurled thousands of feet up and aside, swatting some of the ships still low in the air. The Alsium'Nivalim, though not killed, were blasted to the ground.
In the wake of each impact, clusters of soldiers clad in glossy black armour appeared - Draconis mostly but other species of numerous creeds. Upon appearing they drew compact rifles that fired particle pulses of icy blue at their targets. Each of them fired in an alternating pattern and used the ground warped by the impacts as cover. The Alsium'Nivalim rose to their feet, growling viciously at the soldiers. Their staves became whirling rods in their hand, deflecting the blasts from the rifles. Some of them returned with a powerful slam from the staff into the ground, throwing rock into the air. Several of the soldiers were thrown int othe air by the staff impacts while others extended metallic claws from their feet to further hold themselves up
Alsium'Nivalim - [Slay these intruders!]
Vyro'Ralza - [Why are we fighting on such primitive terms? We could be destroying universes.]
The Vyro'Ralza appeared in the air out of nowhere, though they moved so swiftly one could barely see where they were. They fired Dark Chronoscopic energies and zipped through the battlefield. Several of the Purgatory Guard, either with wings or jetpacks, took to the skies and attempted to flank the demons by firing from the air, using their speed and manoeuvrability to flank the demons. The Alsium'Nivalim further deflected the volley of blasts from the sky. One of them, shrouding itself in blackened clouds, darted into the sky, aiming at the soldiers. Some of the soldiers who were felled from Chronoscopic blasts began standing up after a minute or two on the ground, lifting their weapons and firing at the Vyro'Ralza, more silently than they were before.
Another of the Alsium'Nivalim his hand into the air - in a second surge of black energy, more demons were materialised to their position. These demons were not armed with weaponry, but the essences channelled in their body proved enough of a threat to attack the soldiers. As the airborne Alsium'Nivalim flew though the sky, something collided with it, an incredibly sharp blade attempted to drive itself into its back, But even if this blade did not pierce its flesh, something silvery seeped onto its body, something that began to interfere with his essences. The demon's black shroud fell, as he then darted towards the ground. Hitting the ground on its feet, it looked around to see what hit it.
Alsium'Nivalim - [Where are you, mortal? Stop hiding.]
A Draconis materialised behind the Alsium'Nivalim and swung the blade at its leg, a swordlike implement attached to a shaft of alloyed material. The holder was Alasta, feeling confident as she dug the blade in. The Alsium'Nivalim grunted, before turning around to her. Its fist swung around; the sound of the air being torn following it. Alasta jumped back, the fist narrowly missing her and she responded by pulling the pole-arm away and swinging the blade end to hack at the Alsium'Nivalim's arm.
Its arm again fell from its swing, as the demon swung around with its tail, hurtling towards Alasta, who swung her polearm hoping to cut off the tail before it hit her. She thrusted her foot in order to impact the Alsium'Nivalim's leg in the hope of sending it collapsing. The blade however failed to cut the tail. Alasta was knocked sideways, staggering but not before, the thrust of her foot connected and sent the demon to its knees. Thanks to this audacious move the tail did not hit her as hard as intended and once she regained her footing she swung her polearm to slice off the demon's head. The swing, however only went as far in as half way through the demon's neck - blood as black as the void fell violently from the wound as it convulsed, trying to get the blade out of it.
Alasta - You just don't want to die do you?
Alesta's voice was distorted though her vocoder to sound dissonanet, powerful, it added an ethereal boom to her voice. The demon pulled the blade from its neck, throwing fists at the Draconis' face, knocking her back from the punches but she gathered her strength enough to launch a concussive blast of air at the Alsium'Nivalim from her hands. The impact rocked the demon's body, with enough force to sever its head, as it fell to the ground, but not before frantically sending its fists around, flailing about in the vain hope of hitting something. Alasta managed to dodge the fists and panted as she looked at the corpse, before turning her attention to the fortress. She turned her gaze and activated her headset, relaying orders to her soldiers.
Alasta - All forces converge. I want that affront to order gutted of demons.
Alasta marched with her soldiers, drawing a rifle and ordering her soldiers to follow a fire and advance pattern. This time the soldiers fired solid shots, rounds tipped with the same substance that Alesta's blade was coated in. The fortress itself had been blackened by the bombardment, but the demonic forces in front of it held it with perhaps not nearly enough effort. The demons' essence became weakened; instead of relying on their far range tactic, they moved closer in to the soldiers, using their great resilience to resist the damage.
While the demons and Purgatory Guard fought outside, Alasta gathered an elite team in order to penetrate another section of the fortress. Opening their wings they flew around to gain height before descending back towards the armies of demons and Guardsman fighting outside the fortress's front. Despite the intense bombardment the building suffered, along with the compromised foundations, there still remained no viable entry points. Scans from orbiting vessels and on the frintlines made it clear the only route inside was through the front door. Alasta and her team flew back towards the frontline, firing particle weapons overhead in order to make themselves an opening in the demons' numbers.
The overhead tactics gradually thinned the demons' ranks. Drawing weapons, Alasta and her squad forced their way inside, impaling several demons i nthe process and slicing them apart. Alasta wiped the black blood from her blade with a swift twist of it and held the shaft firm with both hands, carefully travelling through the interior, beset by demons from all angles.
Despite the disadvantage in numbers, Alesta and her soldiers kept a firm ground. Using Yrsalimarus ammunition and edging on their weapons, they had an edge over their opponents, who relied on the powers granted to them by the energies that Yrsalimarus hindered the flow of within their bodies. Being a construct of the Dominion the fortress was vast in scope, and fighting through wore down both numbers and
After fighting though armies of demons both in the frontlines and in the fortress itself, Alesta and a small group forced open the doors into the room where Samhinuhrankal was commanding his forces. She looked upon the demon, gripping her weapon tightly and growling though her helmet as she sized him up Samhinuhrankal turned, looking down at the Draconis.
Samhinuhrankal - [Do you think that you alone are strong enough to defeat the Dominion, mortal?]
Vyro'Ralza - [Allow the mortals to have their cocky moments. Time will not be kind to them.]
Samhinuhrankal - [No. I want to make this one scream. Loudly.]
Vyro'Ralza - [Oh, but there are many ways you can do that...in so many timelines does that happen...]
Alasta - Only a fool charges into battle not considering the likelihood of victory. Al that stands between me and victory, is your head off your shoulders.
Samhinuhrankal - [And are you going to sever the head of every demon in Inferno? Tangent? Insomnia? Erebus?]
Alasta - Not personally. But today I do not need to, this battle is over.
Samhinuhrankal laughed. A flash of demonic energies sent Alesta and her team to the floor, before he escaped the area, flying into the unknown. As if this dissapearence was a signal to the surviving garrison, the rest of the demons inside began to run in at frantic speeds; their battle cries sounding towards them.
Alasta turned around, hearing the cries as she clamoured up and rather than an expression of horror, she smiled deviously. She and her soldiers readied their weapons and she and her team headed to a logical defensive point within the roomm armed with rifles and grenades, the team eagerly waited. As the demons piled through they were met wit a harrowing hail of shot, plasma grenades exploding within their tight groups. The demons fell to the ground one by one, as the stronger ones were even met with enough damage to fall them. Alasta and her soldiers kept their ground, firing to thin the armies, watching as bodies piled the entrances and scattered themselves throughout the room.
After almost an hour of holding their position, the bodies of the demons piled up in the pathways, until there were seemingly no more of them to incapacitate. Alasta let out a weary sigh and she pressed several panels on her gauntlet, materialising an explosive device which she set in the middle of the chamber. With it set, she and the surviving soldiers returned to their ships and activated their drives, returning ot hyperspace as the bomb exploded with terrifying force, obliterating the structure and blasting away bodies of demon and soldier alike.
Both sides suffered heavy losses, but the Guard's objective nonetheless was complete, an army had been decimated over this planet, and as Alasta lay in the infirmary, she felt relief wash over her as she knew in her heart her work was done.
The first thing Prodigy saw as her vision slowly returned to her was of a brick wall, ethed in Dracid messages of religious significance, as well as tiny carvings of Drakon. As she stirred, she heard a voice form behind her, she had woken up laying on her stomach, her feet were closer to the voice than her head however.
Prodigy - ...Where am I? ...I lived?
Cleric - You were in a terrible state when we found you sister, lie still, please. Let your body mend itself.
Prodigy grunted as she laid forward, attempting to move although the sheer pain of even making a single motion told her to do otherwise. She laid there, her eyes barely open, glancing at her surroundings in an attempt to recognize.
Prodigy - How long was I out?
Cleric - Fifteen hours, sister. Fate has blessed you with a...peculiar body.
The woman walked into Prodigy's field of view, a blue-scaled Draconis wearing a plain grey robe, strapped ot he side was a small book, evidently a copy of the sacred texts. She lwoered herself to Prodigy's side and looked curiously at Prodigy's scarred and insanity-ridden face, looking at it feeling sorry for her.
Prodigy - What's with the look? And before you ask, no, I'm not a demon.
Cleric - It is only a copy of the Lifefather's lessons, sister. And I apologise if I was rude, I did not wish to cause offence.
Prodigy - Hmph, well, you can't possibly make my day any worse.
There was a knock on the door. The cleric stood upright and walked over. The cleric opened the door ajar and whispered to someone on the other side, Prodigy however could have worked out what they were saying due to her technologically enhanced hearing.
??? - Is she awake?
Cleric - Yes my lady but she is still weak from her fight.
??? - That is of no concern to me. I want to see her.
Cleric - In her state? but?
??? - Do you question my request?
Cleric - N-no my lady.
??? - Good. Now I expect privacy.
Prodigy grunted as she looked down, sticking her tongue out with misery. She formed a scowl across her face, growling in a quiet, though still evident, manner.
Prodigy - Great.
The cleric opened the door further, allowing a large Draconis clad in black enammeled armour to stride in, making slow, pounding footsteps as she walked across the floor towards Prodigy's bed. As she entered, the cleric quietly left the room and shut the door behind them, giving the two a chance of privacy. Inside the woman felt somehat fearful of Prodigy's visitor.
Prodigy - Grr... What do you want? If you're going to bite my head off, just send me a report.
??? - Manners, please.
Prodigy - Name first.
Alesta - Merisalir [marshal] Alasta of the Purgatory Guard. And as of thirty-one hours ago, I am your executive superior.
Prodigy - Nice joke, got anything funnier?
Alasta - You mistake my words, Inquisitor. Now, manners, as your mentors were supposed to have taught you.
Alasta - After you fucked up in stopping a demonic assault team from infiltrating an Inquisition Reliquary, I put this protocol of Inquisition policy. As of thirty-one hours ago, I am the Inner circle and the High Inquisitor. If you have issues with this, feel free to exert your dissatisfaction.
Prodigy - Don't tell me what to do. Urgh...
Alesta snorted and reached to grab Prodigy by the head, her hand clamping over the top of Prodigy's skull and with a tug, sent the woman flying against a wall. Prodigy screeched as she was thrown , causing a significant amount of cracking and shattering in its surface and foundation as she collided with it. Her eyes were still focused on Alasta, shocked at this seemingly random bout of aggression.
Prodigy - W-Why?!
Alasta - You are an operative of the Grand Inquisition so I highly suggest you start acting like one.
Alasta turned around and paced briskly over to Prodigy. Upon reaching her she crouched, spreading her legs out and cupping her hand around Prodigy's jaw.
Alasta - There are many...unpleasant ways I can ensure compliance. If you still feel inclined to act like a lone Krann in an empty field. Mind-controling probes, lobotamy, perhaps replacing your brain with a mroe compliant AI? My point is that while I am in charge, your disobedience stops.
Prodigy's prior scowl turned to a frown and she looked downward, wincing in agony and ache as her hands and feet twitched. Weakly looking towards Alasta, Prodigy seethed slightly before she spoke.
Prodigy - ...A-Affirmative, Merisalir.
Upon hearing this, Alasta smiled and stood at her full height, removing her hand from under Prodigy's jaw as she ascended.
Alasta - Was that truly that hard to do?
Prodigy - Like y-you wouldn't... b-believe.
Alasta - Hrmph, ungrateful.
Alasta took a step back.and clasped her hands in front of her stomach, standing straight.
Alasta - Stand up.
Prodigy growled as she stood to her feet, attempting to shrug off the immense pain that was beginning to overwhelm her regenerating body.
Alasta - Normally you would be assigned a partner to follow orders from the Inner Circle However given your potential and the threat you pose to the coming threats I have something else in mind. Instead of a middleman, you take orders directly from me.
Prodigy - So... I-I can operate o-on my own?
Alasta - I am not stupid, girl. I cannot afford to let you out of my sight so no, you will not operate on your own. But as well as cooperating with fellows of the Purgatory Guard you operate directly under my orders.
Alasta walked back up to Prodigy and took out something else from her bag, a capsule that was half the size of one of her nails. She held out her hand and though forces unseen drew Podigy towards her, shoving the capsule into one of her nostrils as Prodigy's snout found itself caught in Alasta's grip. As Prodigy struggled to break free she felt something within, as if the capsule had started crawling up her nasal cavity and into her head. She felt a tingling as if it was incorporating itself into hthe workings of her brain. As the discomfort settled, Alasta let go and stepped back.
Prodigy glared towards Alasta with wild, frenzied eyes and threw herself forward, clenching a hard fist as she let out a deafening shriek. Alasta stood where she was, but as Prodigy approached, rather than cowering or defending herself, she smiled, as before her fist came into contact with Alasta's face, it ceased motion. No matter how much force Prodigy placed into her arm, no matter how much she had gritted her teeth, no matter how much she wanted to slam her fist into this womans' face, her fist remained in midair, unmoving. In stasis. Prodigy's expression exploded outward in shock at this revelation. She had no control whatsoever of her body.
Prodigy - ...W-What?!
Alasta - ARK-790 bionics drone. Terribly Illegal but immensely effective. And don't try dissolving it with that acid blood of yours, the probe I inserted shares the same digital signature as the nanites in your blood. As of now it is part of you. Try and lash out at me in any way, and you will simply - Alasta leaned in with a sinsiter grin - stop. It is also a quantum-entangled communicator, its partner is in here.
Alasta tapped the side of her own cranium.
Prodigy - You're a Drakon-damned maniac.
Alasta merely chuckled and laxed her shoulders. She then walked towards the door, speaing as she did so. In moving away, Prodigy felt that she was regaining control of her arm and her body.
Alasta - I advise you prepare yourself. You are to be an important piece in our campaign.
Prodigy - O-Of course...
Alasta - Good.
Arsac and Thotus were sparring in one of the smaller training rooms of their order's fortress in Inferno, watched by a small number of the Templarii ranks. After several clashes of blade and body, Arsac delivered multiple fierce, fast and powerful blows to him and on occasion he managed to push back, delivering heavy swings to her. Since his conversion, Arsac was grooming Thutus as a second-in-command, taking personal time to training him to be one of the most formidable of her champions.
As they sparred, a dark portal appeared at some distance from the duo and out of it, Geltastra appeared. Behind her, Mordati also walked into the fortress, his arms crossed behind his back. Geltastra watched Geltastra and Thotus' sparring with a smile as she emerged. After deflecting another blow, Arsac slammed her foot down and managed to land a fist into Thotus' stomach before swinging her tail to sent him flying backwards into a far wall, turning to see Geltastra.
Geltastra - I see you're having fun over there.
Arsac - I prefer my soldiers' skills do not waste away when outside of an assignment.
Geltastra - That's good, yes. Now, I heard you got yourself an army? And you didn't invite me to take part of it? Arsac - I apologise. Its discovery was...unexpected.
Mordati - Indeed. It was an interesting discovery. Geltastra is a little too eager to see it with her own eyes.
Arsac nodded as a pair of Templarii walked over to help Thotus stand up. They walked over and used their strength to pull him out, responding to their gesture with a silent and sharp nod.
Arsac - I have most of them gathered in one of the meeting halls.
Geltastra - May I see them?
Arsac - As you wish.
Geltastra - Lead the way then, dear. I'll be going right behind you.
Mordati let out a sharp huff from under his veil, lowering his eyebrows and focusing his eyes on Geltastra. Arnas beckoned for the two to follow, and she headed out into the adjacant corridor. Once Thotus stood up he made a brisk pace over ot the leaving group. The two Corruptus servants folowed while looking around the Citadel's interior in curiosity, its black walls were ornately carved into the pitch-black rock of the tunnels they had been built within. In the short span the site had been set, the Black Inquistion had effectively turned the cavernous interior, this small section of Inferno's underworld, into the innards of some dark cathedral.
Geltastra smiled as she looked around, walking close to Arsac with an intrigued smile, baring her jagged teeth in a chilling grin as she was aimpressed by the work..
Geltastra - I love what you've done to this place.
Arsac - I intended this place to be not just a base for my order's operations, but a place of devotion to the Devourer.
Geltastra - Master Shu'wokerama has displayed favour for you, Arsac. And Master Shu'wokerama and Master Shu'ulathoi are one of the same. So you have pleased him indeed.
Arsac - I am glad I have pleased them both. I admit, I feel I have made more of a difference among his blessed followers than I ever felt I have under the old Order.
Mordati - Shu'ulathoi deeply cares for all of his servants, you included. Of course, if you fail, he will abandon you. But I do not think he even considers such right now.
Arsac - I am forever indebted to you Geltastra liberating me from my shackles.
Geltastra - The pleasure is all mine, dear. To think we started with insults and trying to kill each other...
Arsac - An error I would gladly rectify among those throughout the universe.
Mordati - And this new army will surely help.
Arsac - However I do believe that this fortress serves a third purpose.
Arnas opened her had to highlight the path ahead, indicating something she wished to demonstrate in one of the halls. Out of a corridor, an Ocularivs demon floated around, glaring at all directions around it.
Arsac - As you can see, my mistress, this sacred place has become a home for a few demons on this plane.
Geltastra - Ah, I see. Your Black Inquision seems to have taken the interest of the Ocularivs.
Arsac - My soldiers do not mind them and the demons seem content to roam among them.
Mordati - Even if they weren't, demons of the Devourer only obey other demons.
After travelling down more hallways, the four of them arrived at a set of large black metallic doors detailed in veins of deep red mineral. Arsac stood in front of the door and stretched her arms out, closing her eye to focus. The doors opened quite swiftly to reveal hundreds of large corrupted Draconis that stood to attentino in disciplined ranks. As the doors opened all of them stood to attention at once, creating an enormously loud thunder-like that rushed though the halls, causing the chamber to tremble. Despite the power of the soundwave, the walls stayed firm as not a single chip of rock fell from the walls or the ceiling. Geltastra and Mordati both looked at the Draconis horde in interest. Geltastra approached a few of them, looking at their faces, her eyes widening with surprise as she vaguely recalled the familiarity.
Geltastra - I recognize the face of these soldiers.
Arsac - The Grand Inquisition called it the "Templar Initiative". That soldier I and Murangon Nal fought during the mission to attack the Reliquary was a prototype.
Geltastra - Oh, I remember now. That filthy Draconis, I hated her the moment I set eyes on her.
Arsac - I have conditioned each of these soldiers so they are more...pure. They have been cleansed of the need to curse constantly, and they obey my every word.
As Arsac spoke, large, imposing demon with a skull head, a Carnirrasc, entered the room and let out a blood-curled growl at the clone horde, as if it was ordering them to stand down. The soldiers stayed in place, showing little intimidation but also signs of obedience. Geltastra stood back and grinned at the sight as the Carnirrasc marched in front of the horde, watching their reactions to it with satisfaction.
Geltastra - I see...indeed, they are obedient.
Arsac - Mistress you expressed the desire to have a few for yourself?
Geltastra - Hmm. I could give them some use, indeed. But you should have them. After all, they are your trophy, gotten from the hands of our enemies.
Arsac - From what has been studied of them, they do not fully match the power that one soldier displayed. But one-on-one a single inquisitor is still a trivial opponent for them. This "Templar Initiative" was an attempt to create a soldier that could match any of us.
Geltastra - And they have created soldiers for us. Excellent.
Mordati - Even if they are not as powerful as the prototype, they are still in much vaster number. We have strength in numbers.
Arnas walked up to behind Geltastra, lowering her head.
Arsac - Then you are pleased, mistress?
Geltastra - Oh yes. I am quite pleased.
A smile made its way across Arsac's face, the implant from her eye shone and, in unison, every single one of the clones lowered themselves onto one knee and lowered their heads in submission. Geltastra smirked at the sight of the kneeling clones, while Mordati showed little emotion from behind his mask.
Geltastra - What do you plan to do with them?
Arsac - I have already requested armour and weapons for them. I believe they would make excellent use as elite warriors for our cause.
Geltastra - Good, good. I'm sure our superiors will be pleased.
Arsac - That is what I hope.
Arsac let out a relieved sigh and looked Geltastra in the eyes after pacing around to her side, rolling her shoulders back and observing the army.
Arsac - Do you wish for anything else?
Geltastra - I don't believe so. I'll leave you to your new soldiers. Make sure to use them to their fullest extent, and make our enemies pay.
Arsac - I shall, mistress. Until the last Inquisitor of the old order falls, I shall not be satisfied.
On Wings of Fury We Fly
Fire once more rained down on one of the planets of the Dominion. The Purgatory Guard were continuing their relentless crusade but the increasing numbers of bodybags did not deter them. The Guard had the means to fight beyond death, as the number of soldiers expiring rose, the number of armours taken over by backup intelligences rose alongside them to a lesser degree.
Deeper and deeper the crusaders travelled, carving a swathe of ruin as they went. They pressed on even as gods an an army of monsters beyond count pushed them back. The guard was resorting to more dire tactics to match their opponents. They had brought with them some of the largest ships in Andromeda - behemoths officially designated as titans. The guard knew that they neededm ore than a single fleet and these gargantuan vesels were capable of building new warships. To combat the inexhaustability of their enemy, the Purgatory Guard turned to clone printers, such devices were capable of "assembling" living bodies, cell-by-cell. Imprinted with the brain maps of the fallen and the volunteer. THeir campaign was a nightmare but in her heart and mind, Alasta knew that for a goal such as this, no cost was too great, no sacrifice should be comitted without justification.
More of their assault forces rained form the sky, Alasta with them. Clones marched alongside veterens, the need for numbers had given rise to entire squads of the same person. Upon arrival these soldiers were beset upon by a tide of demons beyond count. Deploying repeater emplacements the assaulters tore into these supernatural defenders, shredding them with beams of intense blue light and hailstorms of hard bullets travelling at velocities so high they hit before they were heard. Their very impacts caused bleeding and concussive shockaves powerful enough to tear weaker bodies apart. As the Guard held the line, beams of light rained form the sky as if the Guard had called on the assistence of their own gods to turn the tide. But no diety sent these shafts of salvation, they were the wrath of starships above, who as well as supporting the soldiers below were fighting desperately against the Dominion's own navies.
Alasta stood at the frontlines, an advanced fusion rifle in tow as she supported the repeater emplacements in stalling the demonic onslaught. Keeping to cover behind what was once an exterior wall, she hushed herself up to fire bursts of particle beams at any target in sight. She slowly lost herself i nthe thrill, the rapid and constant thumping created by the hundreds of impacts per moment caused by the fire between armies. She and her forces had been holding this location for three hours now, the deeper they were going into this bombed-out metropolis, the thicker the conflicts became. Old military strategies used by the Draconid Imperium called for rooftop insertion on numerous rooftops. but if the comm chatter was anything to believe, this was a mistake. Out of thirty buildings the insertion occured within the last two hours, only seven insertion attempts reported reaching ground level. This made Alasta nervous, but in a lull period of the Dominion's asaults, Alasta gave the order and several fireteams made the charge towards a large plaza down the street.
The approach to the plaza was quiet, and Alasta hoped that this period of "quiet" was a mercy from the massacre before. When roughly one hundred and fifty soldiers and combat droids arrived in the central plaza they all quickly set up positions, covering the and the sky exits with flanking fire from repeater emplacements. Reinforcements arrived, storming tall buildings surrounding the plaza. There were reports of commotion inside, some soldiers on the ground spotted the odd demon or militiaman pushed out of a window and sent to meet the ground violently.
The assaulters had spent the last five hours fighting, keeping to cover but now they all believed they had the advantage. There was nowhere the Dominion could ambush them that was not covered with the oppertunity for gunfire. Forty minutes in however, and the violence started again. THere was commotion in the buildings above, talk of new assailants. Soldiers on the gorund watched as plate glass was smeared with blood and remains, or bodies launched out of windows and over balconies with enough force to propel them across the palaza, either smashing into opposing buildings or landing on the gorund far from where they were thrown. The flying bodies were joined by repeater fire and fusion blasts, and that was when Alasta saw the assailants: One of the attackers was shot repeatedly, collapsing backwards and out of a window on the lower floors, the short fall was enough to soften the impact enough to preserve the body to some degree but the thing in question was dead anyay, its torso and wings breaking down, almsot melting.
It was a Draconis, larger than msot of the soldiers here but unlike the Black Inquisition soldiers that were fought before, this one was larger, marked with dancing patterns detailed in a dark, blood-red metal on its ebony armour. Alasta stood for a moment over the body, wondering. then panic was heard behind her, she twisted on her heels and lifted her fusion rifle to see a living version staring back at her, vapour was snorted out of nostrils on the hemlet. It flicked its wrist, somehow yanking the fusion rifle from Alasta's hand as if someone had caught it with an invisible fishing line. Alasta was caught off-guard and the armoured monster capitalised on this oppertunity by raising a sinsiter-looking warhammer, it drove the weapon downwards but was stopped with the sound of a laoud clang; Alasta had drawn her glaive, holding the shaft of it with both hands while the hammer rested with the head and the join to the pommel tucked against the glaive's shaft.
ALasta shifted her weight to her side and pushed both arms upwards, sending the soldier backwards as it had lost its balance, Alasta followed though with a twist of the glaive and lunged it into the soldier's stomach, driving it in. A sinister growl enmated from the attacker's helmet and it gripped the glaive's shaft firmly. Alasta let go and rushed past, sending her leg sweeping towards the leg of the attacker. Despite the shock from the sturdy leg affecting her minorly, the beast fell forwards and toward its other side, crashing to the floor with the glaive propping it up. Alasta kicked the attacker in the shoulder and held out her hand, telepathically yanking the glaive out and back into her hand. She moved her other hand forward as if to push the air, the action sent the attacker sliding backwards into a wall, disorienting it as its impact crumpled the metal plate that served as a ground-level exterior. Before it had a chance to get up, Alasta moved her hand to the side and drew her fusino rifle to her, she planted the glaive's base into the gorund and pointed the fusion rifle up, pulling the trigger and destroying the supports and the connection to the wall that would have kept the balcon upright. As the soldier stood up, the balcony fell, further shots from Alasta dow nthe structure showered it with glass before chunks of the building and the balcony collapsed on top of it. As the dust settled, Alasta sighed with relief.
Some Royal Attention
She had barely a moment's breather when the sound of a sultry chuckle rang in her ears. SHe looked behind herself and there, standing with arms folded and both sets of wings partially open and two of her soldiers suspended in the air by black tentacles connected ot her back, holding them up by coiling themselves around the hapless soldiers' necks.
Arsac - I expected one of your pet projects ot be more competent than that, even after the treatment I offered they still underperformed.
Alasta turned slowly and growled aggressively towards her, furrowing her brow and narrowing her eyes to appear almost vicious.
Alasta - My pet-projects?
Arsac - Why, Project Templar of course.
Alasta - You twisted scavenging little SKINK!
Alasta turned her whole body and lifted her glaive from its resting spot, charging forwards and cracking the stone underneath her. Arsac simply smiled further and without her looking the tails coiled around her victims further until they were enveloped. Their screams were momentary and something appeared to "Pulse" down the tentacles and into Arsac's body before the tantacles unraveled and dropped the bodies. Alasta was halfway between her initial position and Arsac, but that was where she was halted, for after crushing one of Arsac's victims the tentacle curled around and coiled itself around ALasta's shin, hoisting her up into the air and throwing her at a building behind the black queen.
Alasta entered the far building alongside the remains of the plate glass window that she was thrown through. After a moment tumbling she clamboured to her knees, with shards of glass partially buried into the softer parts of her armour. As she struggled to stand up the room went dark as Arsac, using a combination of levitation and her wings, blocked out the view from the destroyed window as she levitated inside, stepping softly onto the glass-covered floor. She looked down at Alasta and reached in to grab the woman by the throat. Alasta saw this and quickly swung her arm, exposing the underside of Arsac's outreached forearm to a blade connected to Alasta's gauntlets. The blade dliced into the armour and severed what would have been several major arteries, causing Arsac to roar in pain and ot back her arm away as a black ichor spped from the wound. She held her arm and looked at Alasta before she gathered Entropic Energy withi nher palm. As ALasta stood up, Arsac thrusted her palm forwards, creating a concussive blast as the Entropic-infused palm hit Alasta's armour, sending the marshal through the back wall. Almost reaching a snarl, Arsac stormed though and extended her power claws, which shimmered purple as she infused them with the enrgies she posessed.
Alasta stood up more quickly this time and feigned to the right as Arsac charged, jamming the wrist-blade into the former Inquisitor's side, coating the blade in more of this blackened substance. With the blade dug in, Alasta twisted it to cause further damage, cuasing Arsac to wince im pain, she swung an arm to smack Alasta t othe side but she ducked and retaliated by using the blade on her other gauntlet to slash Arsac's armpit. As Arsac doubled forward, Alasta drew the blade out and grabbed Arsac's armour, about to toss her before tentacles began coiling up her arms. As Alasta panicked, Arsac turned to her with a vicious grin spread across her features. As if Alasta was easy to lift, Arsac tossed her about the room with the tentacles wrapped around the woamn's arms, slamming her into the floor and walls repeatedly, struggling al lthe while. Bones were broken, flesh was battered, it felt like eternity before Arsac let go and tossed her back into the room she entered.
Alasta cpat up blood as Arsac marched up to continue the onslaught, Alasta looked outside, her vision taking notice of something before she hat to turn back around to see yet mroe tentacles rushing towards her. She jumped up and moved her arms, using her gauntlet blades ot slice at the tentacles, which squirmed and poured with black substances as parts of them were self-propelled towards the window, vanishing into black smoke as they hit the walls behind her. feeling the sensation of the severed appendages, Arsac roared with such force as to make the room shake and the light within the room darken. She charged forward and swung her claws in a series of vicious flurries intending ot tear Alasta to pieces, but only managing the odd glancing scrape as Alasta ducked and weaved from the swipes, landing the occasional blow on her own. Arsac must have swung her claws perhaps thirty times before she cut into ALasta's helmet, three long metallic claws pierced the armour and cut into the flesh underneath. The stinging pain rushed though her face and it was almsot reactionary that Alasta tried to shove Arsac to the floor, opening her wings to cast a shadow over her opponent like an eagle spreading its wings to envelop its prey in darkness. Alasta was over Arsac for but a moment before she felt a strong impact in her stomach that knocked her backwards, her tail propping her up and preventing her from falling onto her back.
She stumbled to get proper footing as Arsac's mechanical eye began to shine intensely, something began dragging Alasta forwards towards the monstrous Draconis, a scowl becoming a distorted smile. Alasta felt fearful as she began hearing voices, the light from the eye felt hypnotic, she felt compelled to stare at it as her awareness of the room around her broke down, the entrancing voices becoming more intense. Grasping something that felt long and rounded liek a pipe, ALasta thrusted whatever she was holding, the light suddenly fading back to normal.
Inches from a bulge on Arsac's torso and wedged between the plates of her torso armour, was the blade of Alasta's glaive, the latter's hand gripping the shaft tightly. The shock from the impact had distracted Arsacm and Alasta used this oppertunity to connect her head with that of her opponents before heaving her towards the broken window. Using her foot to assist stability, Alasta drew the glaive's head from Arsac's body and, with an accompanying shove, knocked the woman from the building befire she herself fell and landed o nher side, panting and her heart beating hard and fast enough for her to hear it, Alasta lay within that ruined building with awareness slipping from her vision...
Alasta awoke to a strange corridor, smooth and white as ivory, the walls glistened in the light of the overhead illumination. Her vision was blurred and strange voices distorted, it was clear she was still suffering from the fatigue that had racked her body during her duel with Arsac. Despite the disorientation she could still walk straight ,and found her progressing though the hall, passing slim dinosaurid figures whose features were masked out ,as if surrounded by an aura of shadow. They spoke incoherently in a way that Alasta could not understand. A torrent of sounds that assaulted her ears with little means of comprehension.
She walked up to the face of a circular door that almost melted sideways from the centre as she approached it, exposing her retinas to a blinding light they quickly adjusted to and showed her a grand assembly hall with halls of purest white, banners that hung like glittering walls of light dominated the higher sections of the walls. On their lower half of their illusionary faces, the banners boasted a glyph of sorts that Alasta tried to make out, but all she could make out was a crosshair. In her distorted vision it was difficult to make out, as if the target reticle of a rifle cope had been smeared all over this watery banner if that were at all possible. Her eyes looked downwards to see more of these figures amassing, clouded in cloaks of black shadow that hid their forms, the soldiers congealing into a single mass of shadow that occupied most of the chamber. Alasta squinted, focusing her vision as she stepped drunkenly towards the mass, eventually walking though it, the shadows shifting aside like a parting fog as she walked though before her eyes were cast on a tall slender-looking dinosaurid figure, a head taller than she was, and looked at her with eyes that bore a light that burned like white-hot stars within her sockets.
She spoke, her lips moved, but Alasta heard nothing, or at least nothing she could understand. the disorientation peaked, as if standing in the entity's very presence was destroying her sense of place with every passing moment. A few of the sounds she thought she could make out but the more she thought she came to understand the entity the harder it was to keep her composure. Eventually, she blacked out. Her vision finally gave up and her world was enveloped in a darkness as intense as the void within the mouth of a black hole. She floated for what felt like an eternity before she heard anything besides a low continuous groan that echoed like a breeze though an expansive cavern. The new noise was less regular, more chaotic and varied. Darkness began giving way to grey and a point of light shone through from somewhere in the centre of her vision.
That was when she began to stir and open her eyes. The first thing she saw was the drab wall in front of her, a metal bulkhead of a spacebound infirmary. The chaotic noise she had been hearing was the distinct product of an active medical bay. In rousing herself, what she saw began to disappear. She could no longer recall the smeared crosshair, the figures, eventually she began forgetting the shape of the walls she saw, a reality she thought she had woken up in was now replaced with this reality. Se decided the best way to make herself comfortable in this reality was to stay in her bed and rest, her mind considering what she could remember of the figure who spoke to her, who destroyed the reality she saw. It was uncomfortable but the sounds this strange phantom had made were far from hostile or malicious. She in fact remembered them as something comforting.
Right now, rest was the only thing that soothed her mind. And that is what she did, even as doctors approached her and examined her in her listless state.
Alasta was in one of the drill halls of her armada's flagship. She still felt slightly sore from her bout with Arsac, but according to medical staff she was recovering well. She kept up her training routine, not wanting to submit to the idea that her fight with the former high inquisitor had weakened her. She was alone in the empty hall, the noise form her exercises echoing though the room. As she practised, there was a faint chill in the air - perhaps something to do with the darkness of space and the lack of life it had within it - but it was not a welcoming aura, whatever it was. Beside the sounds that she made herself, there was little other than just that. Alasta at first did not pay attention to the chill, her training had allowed her to endure both intense heat and cold and so a draft barely bothered her. She continued training regardless, moving from exercises to practising hand-to-hand techniques designed to focus the mind.
With each sound, the realisation began to form greater around her. There seemed to be complete and utter silence in the room, and whatever light that passed through the corridors seemed to be gone. Alasta was in the middle of arm-thrust movements when she noticed. She slowed down and looked towards the door to the corridor, becoming gradually unnerved. She began pacing with extreme caution towards the door, tilting her head as she got closer.
Nothing. There seemed to be a distinctive lack of noise or light coming from these corridors. Not long was it before the lights flickered back on with a loud crackle. The flicker triggered an automatic response in Alasta as she clenched her fists tightly, furrowing her brow in frustration.
Alasta - ...This is no typical power failure.
??? - [Indeed. It is not.]
Alasta - That-- That voice.
Alasta was suddenly made much more alert and twisted about on her heels to look back into the drill hall with her fists clenched. A sense of dread rushed down her spine as she recognised the voice on the wind. Once again, seemingly nothing. Whatever the presence was, it was invisible. For the time being. Alasta grumbled to herself, becoming irritated by whatever was toying with her senses.
Alasta - Must be fun to toy with us like this...
The presence materialised on the other end of the room, revealing the demonic figure of Saminhurankhal. She took a few steps back and reached for one of the rifles stored on a rack near the door. She pointed it at Samhinuhrankal, looking directly at the demon commander with both a mix of fear and fury.
Saminhurankhal - [Do you think that little peashooter is to do anything against me, mortal?]
Alasta - If you've been paying attention, you might know that I have more than this rifle to stand against you.
Saminhurankhal - [Perhaps. They've been watching you. Defeating their servants. And their form of recognition is to repay the favour.]
Alasta - You materialise yourself in enemy territory. You may pose as enigmatic but you are by no means idiotic to do something like that without very good reason!
Saminhurankhal - [What is idiocy to you? You stand rather tall for someone who garners their watch. Perhaps it is time to show you the reality of it all.]
As he spoke, a tone of irritation in the demon's vice, A figure began materialising beside Samhinuhrankal. The first sight of its form were two orbs burning with a malevolent and white-hot fire. Emerging from the darkness was a body both humanoid and draconic, that emerged with two enormous wings of a frayed crimson membrane. The darkness formed into a hellish set of armour dancing with malignant patterns, tinted red in the light.
As the demon emerged into full visibility, it bore the twisted features of a Draconis, warped by hatred and fury, staring down towards Alasta with its arms folded and a long prehensile tail swaying from side to side.
Saminhurankhal - [A gift from Theruskrayathos.]
Alasta - For me...or... for him?
Saminhurankhal - [I will let you decide.]
The demon bared his teeth, a subtle sense of eagerness in the way his lips were curling.
Saminhurankhal - [I will let you two...introduce each other.]
Alasta however was suddenly fearful for her life and took a few more steps backwards.
Alasta - You will pay for this act demon. You...will pay.
Maleus - The Inquisition wench's dues are first.
Saminhurankhal - [Perhaps. But not today.]
Saminhurankhal disappeared in a plume of smoke, accompanied with a chilling demonic breath as the lights flickered once again. The coldness of his presence was immediately replaced with the infernal heat of the second demon. Alasta took further steps back towards the door. Maleus snapped a finger and There was a loud and rather savage clang behind her. The abrupt noise forced her to turn around to see that the door had been smashed shut, the seam crudely welded. She looked back as she felt an intense heat and was pushed against the door by the noticeably taller Maleus who held her against the door by the collar, a baleful light glimmering from his throat and between his teeth. She raised an arm to bat Maleus' arm away but it was grabbed by his other hand. She felt crushing pressure and scalding heat as he delivered a vice-like grip.
Maleus - You have no idea ow long I have waited for a chance to exact vengeance...
Alasta - Who--
She was interrupted a roar being forced out of her as Maleus' clawed gauntlet gripped her tighter on her collar.
Maleus - I will savour your screams!
Alasta struggled, trying to break free as life slipped from her jaws, every moment she struggled Maleus grinned more sinisterly at her. She struggled to focus as she struggled to breathe. In her last gasps for breath she thrusted her foot to kick Maleus away, knocking hi mback but also tearing the flesh from her collar, falling forward as sh ereached for the torn off area of her body. After Maleus stopped stumbling he looked at the torn-off clump of scale and skin and clenched his fist, incinerating it immediately, the ash and embers dancing around, ejected from the force of combustion before being attracted to cling to his gauntlet. As she stood up, the exposed region began rebuilding itself, she barely managed to evade a strong punch by Maleus which ruptured the door.
Alasta ran for the other side, picking up the rifle she had drawn from a rack to shoot at Saminhurankhal. She fired several bolts of plasma that impacted against Maleus' armour which he shrugged off to her horror. He pulled a smug look as he began striding towards her again, gathering glowing embers in his palms. She ducked as he threw one of them, melting a hole in the wall behind her, burning her shoulder in the process. She looked towards Maleus and watched as training apparatus was torn from its fixings and sent to collide with him. After getting hit several times, he outstretched his arms and melted the metal components while setting fire to fabric and wood components before throwing them towards Alasta. She was knocked to the floor and tried crawling away towards the hole.
She was inches away when she felt something crush the midsection of her tail, causing her to yelp and struggle further. Maleus had his foot pressed down on her tail, breaking bone and searing scales. The more she struggled, the more force he exerted, eventually tearing most of her tail from her body, causing her to scream loudly as she managed to clamour though the hole. Her movements were pained and slow to begin with as platelets clotted within the torn blood vessels that once pumped such vital fluids though her tail and Maleus followed the trail like a hellish tracker.
Alasta kept running, pushing past crewmembers, most of which were slaughtered by Maleus as he followed her. Closing in he swelled his chest, releasing a jet of hellfire from his mouth which engulfed the hallway, incinerating anyone caught in the blast in clusters of fire and clouds of ash, the latter of which either settled or danced around his vicinity. She ducked around a corridor and watched as he stepped past, sniffing the air and looking around with eagerness.
Maleus - Where aaaare you, girl? I promise to be merciful...
Alasta had torn a loose pipe from within part of the corridor wall and waited for the right moment, as he was sure she was behind him, she swung it li a club at his head. With a satisfying clang, the pipe knocked him forwards and bent the pipe. As he turned around she hit hi magain, a third time he used his arm to block the pipe blow and released a jet of flame from his mouth and against her features, burning her scales and causing immense pain to flow through her body. She fell backwards and looked up to see hellish light pulse up and down Maleus' body, illuminating his armour as he stood over her with a satisfied grin. His palms began coursing with veins of an intimidating light.
As he reached forward, he arched backwards as his muscles spasmed. He turned around to see several of the vessel's marines had fired at him with stun weapons. He turned around with vexation and outstretched an arm, an intense light from his eyes incinerated the marines to ash. When he turned around however, Alasta had managed to escape while his attention was diverted. With a demonic growl, he looked around, heat radiating from his body as he scanned the corridors. He took predatory strides down one of the corridors, looking to the doors.
Maleus - Where aaaare you?
During the time he was distracted, Alasta had managed to escape to safety, sealing a door as demonic fire burned the corridor. After sealing it she stumbled down and fell onto her knees, tightly closing her eyes as the adrenaline rush faded and the pain emerged, her shoulder her face her throat and her backside burned with pain, her scaled were charred and her workout fatigues were horribly singed. She hugged the nearby wall and struggled to take deep breaths, trying to regain her composure as pain rushed though her body and Maleus' footsteps became louder and louder as he drew closer.
Maleus - Can you feel it? That creeping feeling of inevitability. That no matter what you do, your effrots come to the same conclusion...
Alasta moved herself out of the way of the door. Maleus pressed his hand against the door that she hid behind. She could feel it, he knew she was behind there. Rather than breaking though, he inched forward and exhaled. Alasta could feel the room's temperature intensify, the door itself began to heat up but. After several minutes of torment, the door itself melted and Maleus passed though unharmed. He looked down towards her and let out a deep cacophonous chuckle as he strode forward, crouching down in front of her, the burning orbs in his eye sockets catching her in a hypnotic trance. He lunged his left arm forward, pressing against her chest while his right arm more gently rested upon the claw-mark on her snout. The energies radiating from his hands severely agitated the scars, causing Alasta to wince but she could not move, she looked at him, waiting for when she presumed he would tear her head off.
But instead, he opened his mouth...and spoke.
Maleus - Hm. I have waited far too long to simply kill you and send you to Inferno where all your kind belong. No, I really do want to savour your suffering. Alasta - R-Rot in the void
Rather than look agitated by this profane remark, he simply smirked, as if he found it immensely humerous.
Maleus - I already have. But no...I won't expire you just yet...
He reached his hand from the scar, revealing that he had inadvertently burned it and the area around it, charring the scales. He moved his hand down and tore off part of her training fatigues to expose her torso. Extending a finger, he carved a demonic glyph into her left pec that began to glow once he had finished, filling Alasta's body with a searing pain, causing her to scream out as the feeling of pain overcame her willpower.
Maleus - I will haunt you, girl. Whenever I am near, my mark shall burn you, the pain of a searing brand will course though your body. You will become weak, unable to stand, revealing what all Inquisitors really are underneath all that "discipline" and "willpower". We wiil meet again some day, my dear prey.
He moved his head back, descending into a malicious fit of laughter before his body imploded into a cloud of dancing ash followed by an explosive heatwave that seared at Alasta's body, the burning pain of the mark he left gradually subsided, sending her to near-unconsciousness from a combination of heat exhaustion, fatigue and battle damage.
After he left, she could hear the sounds of panic and alarm on the other side of the wall as everyone rushed to fix the damage bulkheads and clean up the bodies. No matter how much she tried, she could not remove the image of Maleus' burning eyes, demonic features and the infernal glow she saw within his mouth. It was as though along with all the damage he caused, he had burned an image of herself deep into her mind.