These Events take place from The Darkest Hour and are currently ongoing.
The battle of Alcanti had taken it's toll om Volkarus's body. The confrontation with Tyraz had mutated him as his body warped itself to cope with the drain he had endured. A state of decay would not deter or stop him from reaching his goals, in the shadows Volkarus plots his return to prominence and this time he would not accept defeat or compromise.
The Red Snake of House Khaxvis is rising from the shadows once more...
- 1 Prologue - A gift of Thanks
- 2 A Dark Pact
- 3 Red Winter
- 4 Scientific Pursuits
- 5 The Grand Inquisition Emerges
- 6 States of Decay
- 7 A Prince in Danger
- 8 Training Begins
- 9 Trials of Patience
- 10 Imperium Under Siege
- 11 Dark Days Draw Near
- 12 Godly Insights
- 13 The Red Snake Rises
- 14 Epilogue
- 15 Navigation
Prologue - A gift of Thanks
It had been two weeks ince since the Khaxvis Resurgence's attack on Alcanti. A dark mass materialized near the Grand Cathedral. Tyraz Breek, a Zazane of much violence and anger, appeared outside. His usual aggressive, angry state had been replaced by what seemed a look of nervousness, not usual for a Zazane and especially one of the Breek bloodline. Once solid He approached the Cathedral The plaza is filled with people that day who backed away when he appears, a muttering rises from the crowd Tyraz could hear this and looked away, keeping his head "It seems as though I am still regarded as the warlord I am" he thought to himself as he approached the cathedral steps. he passed a few clerics who take a glancing look at him. Inside the cathedral foyer was a marvel of archictecture - marble and gold was everywhere mixed with ornate carvingas and frescoes. Tyraz was impressed and he would have stopped and observed all day if he wasn't on a mission to find a certain individual "Don't get distracted" he thought to himself. As he walked across the foyer he was greeted by a draconis in plain white robes, who bowed to him.
Cleric - Welcome child, what can we do for you this day.
Tyraz - I wish to speak with the one they call Arsac...
Cleric - Ah, the High Inquisitor. She wasn't expecting visitors mr... Breek wasn't it?
Tyraz - Please, just call me Tyraz. And it will not be a long visit.
Cleric - Very well, follow me.
Tyraz followed the cleric's every step, looking around as he is led to the cathedral's lower levels. The cleric took Tyraz down the eastern corridor and adorning the walls are artful protrayals of several Draconis, each wearing either armour as ornate as Uriel's or clothing fit for royalty. Their scales vary from red and amber and dark blue*
Tyraz - This place...For Zazane, our famous warriors and rulers are remembered through texts and the preservation of their weapons....
Cleric - What you see are depictions of each Paragon since the Imperium's foundation. Four families have ruled their own way, all contributed to the Imperium's glory whether their actions were good or bad.
Tyraz - In Zazane history, one notable family has been recorded, and are feared by most. They were zealous warlords, most of them.
Cleric - As much as house Khaxvis had dishonoured tradition through their rise to power we cannot deny they once ruled over us. The descendants that attacked this holy place so recently... I fear they are beyond the lifefather's forgiveness.
Tyraz - Indeed, most of them are....
For a moment Tyraz felt guilty for what he had done, he then remembers the holgrams, showing what the Khaxvis had done millenna before his birth. As they walk down, Uriel had his own wall painting: He was adorned in his armour and looking at winged cyborg insects and above him was a starfield with several planets. Tyraz noticed the picture and stops for a moment to stand and observed
Tyraz - I wish to be remembered like this...
Cleric - The creatures you see were nicknamed the mecha-wasps. They used nanomachines to strip entire worlds and were responsible for the death of Paragon Korr XX, Uriel's precessessor. Above him are a few of the worlds he had discovered in the name of the Imperium. Come, the High Inquisitor's chambers are not much further.
Tyraz nodded and followed the cleric, for a moment he looked back at the image of Uriel. His heart was pounding. He did not fear Arsac, nor did he have any personal feelings towards her. However, Tyraz has always had a fear of rejection, due to his past. They head into the Cathedral basement and approached an unassuming door.
Cleric - Mistress Arsac is inside. Is there anything else you wish?
Tyraz - No, nothing for the moment...sir.
Tyraz bowed in respect, leaving the cleric to return to his duties. He approached the door nervously and knocked on the door. A few seconds later Arsac's voice could be heard sayig "come". Tyraz opened the door, and he sees Arsac sitting within an impressive room. The smell of fragrant oils permeated the air and Arsac had been meditating in the middle of the room. She had her beck to the door, sat with her knees pointing outward and her legs were bent, meeting at her feet to form a triangle. Her hands were resting on her knees but she knew it was Tyraz from his voice.
Tyraz - Mistress Arsac, it is I, Tyraz Breek.
Arsac - I know. I take it you are here because of my pardon.
Tyraz - Yes, you are...partially correct. I have something you may want.
Arsac - Go on.
As she answered she raised her legs and stood up, her largeform suddenly towered over Tyraz but he felt nothing because he had met creatures much larger without fear. Tyraz opened his pack and showed her a relatively medium-sized box. He placed it on the ground, before opening it and pulling out a recent trophy. Inside was a straight broken horn that was unmistakeably from a Draconis. At the jagged base of it was the faint red stain of blood.
Tyraz - A horn from Volkarus, dried blood and everything.
Arsac - I am touched, Volkarus was a questionable man before you arrived and my contacts told me he used to personally execute mercenaries who failed him.
Tyraz - Yes, I know of this. He will always be seen as a traitor in the eyes of the Brood, despite how loyal he claimed to be.
Tyraz lifted the horn from the box and handed it to Arsac, who accepted it with a smile.
Arsac - It must have been some struggle to pry this from him. You know why the Imperium branded him as such but why would your Brood declare him a traitor?
Tyraz - He....planned on murdering innocents, which some of his incompetent soldiers did. Something against a Zazane's honour, we did not know of this when he pledged alliegance. Also...We know of the past of the Khaxvis.
Arsac - Khaxvis were never this vile... They use the judgement the Ultanos cast on their ancestors as an excuse to wage this secret war. the atrocities of the Second House war were when they were at their worst. That and the way they siezed power.
Tyraz - Yes, and I should never have been caught up with Khaxis affairs...Still, I managed to tear the horn from his head. I feel as though it may be of some usage.
Arsac - I do have a bit of a collection... but this was your trophy, I did not earn it.
Tyraz - Please, if anything I wish not for another trophy...They remind me everyday how many lives my empire claim during conflicts....
Arsac - Very well, I accept this gesture.
Arsac carried the broken horn into her office next door. Adorning the walls and trophy cabinets were various occult items and grisly trophies, On the centre-front of her desk is a plasma pistol surrounded by a glass case. A plaque in Dracid markings is attached to the bottom of the glass.
Tyraz - I see that your trophies are quite impressive.
Arsac - Three-hundred years i have been hunting heretics and demons alike. Every day i sometimes wonder if all I am doing is just holding back an inevitable tide.
Tyraz - If that is so, then you are obviously a good warrior....
Arsac - I need to be.
I sometimes wonder whether if I am the right ruler to my race....My father....I do not know him. My family....hate me. My race....they look at me as if I am going to abandon them or abuse them.
Arsac - At least you knew someone in your family... I had nothing and would have died an infant were it not for the Inquisition.
Tyraz - The only person I really knew in my family tried to kill me. And sometime after he died, he came back to launch an assault against me...
Arsac - After he died? it wasn't a clone was it?
Tyraz - No, it was him. I could tell from his rotting, decomposing body.....
Arsac clutched her fists in rage when Tyraz explained Moxix's appearence.
Arsac - Necromancy...
Tyraz - I have forbidden throughout my empire after that event. He only returned due to a war between old Zazane gods...Anyway, he's gone now. I am unsure if he will come back or not. He died again after using up the rest of his power to try and destroy all life in the Universe....
Arsac - He failed I take it...
Tyraz - Indeed he did. His attack proved in vain, and it killed him. And now I am only left with a son of my own, who will one day overthrow me.....
Arsac gasped in shock, holding back her anger by breathing deeply.
Arsac - A son...
Tyraz - Yes, a child. Kezoreg Breek. He is the only thing that is keeping me sane....along with my desperation to keep my race alive.
Arsac - I see... You are quite the enigma. When i look atoy you i see both rage and compassion conflicting for dominance, you're trying to hide something.
Tyraz - W-What? W-What makes you think I am hiding something?
Arsac - Uriel can't see it the way I can, Inquisitors practice rigorously to be able to read someone's aura... you can tell alot about someone by the energies that leak from their body. There's something being repressed, something you are doubtful of.
Realising that Arsac had worked it out, Tyraz sighed and looked down. He closed his eyes in shame.
Tyraz - I am doubtful of my own position within my race....
Arsac - And where does such doubt originate? What is it that makes you uncertain?
Tyraz - I was......I was almost killed by Moxix as a child. My father wasn't there to watch me grow....and I was bullied in combat school for my....defect.
He tapped his body ashamedly, indicating how short he was compared to other Zazane.
Arsac - I see. Yet look at you now: You have prevailed, you have proven yourself stronger than both your brother and those who picked on you.
Tyraz - Yes.....But even now, I am doubtful....I only earned my place simply by being related to Moxix.....Not through strength or honour. I can't even find a mate of my own race because female value size and strength over......over loyalty.....
Arsac - You are a leader by blood. Every Paragon line beyond the first generation was the same and look how the Imperium turned out. And to be honest.. I think size is overrated when it coems to finding a mate.
Tyraz - Zazane are often valued by their physical strength, which is shown by size.....Females of my race wish to produce the strongest spawn....Before I became what I was, I was considered weak.
Arsac - It's vanity. If you seek offspring there are other methods of doing so.
Tyraz - Such methods are not welcome in my empire....Zazane wish for it only pure and natural.....So the strongest Zazane often end up having the strongest children. My son.....My son is only strong because of the curse that has been laid upon him.....
Arsac - ...This obsession with raw strength, it's holding you back. There is more to life than war and death and the moment you realise it an entire world opens up to you.
Tyraz - If that is so....Why do you do what you do?
Arsac - Partly because I accept a duty few others will accept and primarily because... I had little choice. The inquisition does a noble thing Tyraz. We hold back the tide of ignorance born from blind faith, we ensure that all races live in harmony without fear of judgement.
Tyraz - I sense that you are a very angry individual....And this reflects your duties in killing heretics and demons. My empire is always at the scene of conflict....I try not to start my own wars.
Arsac let out a weary sigh.
Arsac - I go through hell every day to ensure all can sleep soundly. Without the discipline the Inquisition provided me i would have broken down years ago.
Tyraz - I made the mistake of giving into my anger some years ago.....And now look at me. I depressed being with almost nothing to lose...
Arsac - I try not to let my rage control me but... it is a difficult battle... *breathes deeply* Born of a scar long ago.
Tyraz - I was born into a world of treachery and hate.....And this was what my ancestors were known for. Every time I sleep, I dream of all the terrible things my ancestors have done....
Arsac - We are not our parents. What they did was their doing and you should not blame yourself.
Tyraz - But I must blame myself for what happened with the Khaxvis, which almost brought everything the Draconis built up.....down.....
Arsac - Perhaps. They would attack one day... that was just the largest raid so far.
Tyraz - And it was my own fault...
Arsac - Most of the time their fleets disintegrated from the battlestations, thinking they can slip though unnoticed. My mentor once told me that what matters is the present, you cannot change what has already happened and what you do today dictates the future.
Tyraz - Hmm....I suppose.....But the past makes your reputation.
Arsac - It was a mistake to brand the Brood of War a cult of blood, and i realise that you are not as bad as i first thought.
Tyraz - *blushes black slightly* Then...what am I to the Inquisition?
Arsac - Now? We still understand how dangerous you are however I requested you were cleared of the charge of demonhood because there was something inside you. A flicker of light obscured by darkness.
Tyraz - This light....It has not been shown for many years.....Instead, I prefer to hide it away, so that only my power can be gazed upon by my race....
Arsac - *sighs* It's one of the things I don't understand about barbarism - Compassion is considered weakness but all this does is make people even worse than they deserve to be!
Tyraz - Indeed.....It is the fact that us Zazane believe that our sons and daughters should make fine warriors....and so only strength is shown to them.
Arsac - And you sacrifice pride and compassion in favour of proving who can hit hardest, it's holding you back. Tyraz - Its all the Zazane have ever known....
Arsac - While your kind too the path of war, my kind took the path of discipline and creativity. This cathedral is a testement to both.
Tyraz - War is what Zazane were made for....And we also have discipline. Though this discipline is seen in the form of severe execution.
Arsac - And this brutality has resulted in a line of leaders with hearts as black as the void. You don't have to continue their legacy.
Tyraz - I....I don't?
Arsac - NO! Why honour those who tried to kill you and berate you!? Surely that's as much a form of weakness as being a coward.
Tyraz - True....But I always thought that I would end up like my ancestors....cold, brutal, successful....
Arsac - Larnus Vontarion is a man of honour, true he prefers to take a back seat when it coems to battle but he is regarded as one of the most masterful Lord Admirals of the present era. All of it while remaining honourable.
Tyraz - To a Zazane, the definition of a leader is one who rides into battle, commanding his army while fighting alongside it....boosting morale.
Arsac - Larnus is that in a fleet. But on the ground he doesn't like getting his hands dirty - Uriel on the other hand is the opposite.
Tyraz - I like Uriel....I see him as a lucky man......Just to have what he has. I would happily trade lives....
Arsac - Did you know that during military service he would fight in the trenches with his men? He would grab a fusion rifle and meet them on the frontlines. He has, on occasion, led fireteams into Mecha-Wasp hives to blow them to scrap with a well-placed antimatter bomb.
Tyraz - Did you know that I once annihilated a whole planet and its population......Because I was going into insanity?
Arsac - No. You should be glad I was oblivious to this until now.
Tyraz - Well that happened. Did you know that my own son has Ayrai'Shikua blood? Did you know that I am the champion of the god of which I hate? Did you know that my very first ancestor, Zagdala Breek, made an alliance with dark gods, thus starting all this? I deserve to be dead.
Arsac - Are you asking for it?
Tyraz - I am asking....if you knew of my ancestry, and if you knew of how unfortunate I am to be part of this wretched bloodline, would you have granted me that pardon?
Arsac - He who repents is always worthy of forgiveness. Yes, you did all those things but do you enjoy them? are you pleased about them?
Tyraz - No....I am not proud of it at all. But I have done these things nonetheless....
Arsac - If I knew you regretted such things I would still have consdered it.
Tyraz - I am troubled by my past and ancestry....and that is something I cannot change. That will forever be a stain in my name....
Arsac - You had no say or choice in what your ancestors did, the inquisition is more lenient of those grounds because they would have been unavoidable by the accused.
Tyraz - No, I suppose not. But in Zazane culture, your ancestory says everything.
To Clean the Slate
Growing weary, Arsac sat down on a padded chair and clasped her hands together. Exhaling deeply.
Arsac - Perhaps it is time for a new era...
Tyraz - Of what? More war?
Arsac - No. I'm suggesting one of change.
Tyraz - How do you propose this?
Arsac - I don't know how your governemt works exactly but to begin with you need to stop hating yourself! Just by looknig at you i can sense tension and unbalance.
Tyraz - That doesn't sound like something an Inquisitor would say...
Arsac - My job is to maintain balance - just call it a sixth sense if you will. I don't spend all day beheading people and if I did I would just piss off more people than I do right now.
Tyraz sat down nnar her, the Draconis-dized chairs and sofas made him feel small. He sat down to think.
Tyraz - Its hard to not hate myself for all the things I have done...
Arsac - You're overcome with guilt. You're not satisfied with waht you did in the past and now is the time for a clean slate, think of these actions as lessons to avoid repeating such things.
Tyraz looked up at her, tilting his head with a curious look. Arsac looked back with confusion.
Arsac - What?
Tyraz - Nothing...Have you spoken with the Clericarch?
Arsac - Not since the battle of Alcanti, why?
Tyraz - I was just wondering...I cannot seem to get her out of my cursed head....
Arsac - How so?
Tyraz - Well....I just cannot stop thinking about her. I haven't felt like this since .....Since I met that cursed Asgord.
Arsac - You.. and an Asgord...
The thought of this combination made Arsac even more confused.
Tyraz - Lezia.....and I.......
Arsac - You have feelings for Iovera.
Tyraz - Huh? M-Maybe....
Arsac - She did seem slightly distracted when i mentioned you.
Tyraz - R-Really? M-Mistress Iovera actually thought about me?
Arsac - There was something. I may not have been fully conscious in the archival rooms but I could tell there is something between you.
Tyraz - Well...uhh.....I don't know what to say....
Arsac - This could be what you need... even if it may be unconventional.
Tyraz - It sounds......I cannot even say what it sounds like. If me and the Clericarch do end up.......in such a way, wouldn't that be condemned by something in Inquisition law or something?
Arsac - We try not to get involved between such entities since there's not much we can do. I'd prefer it if the Clericarch was not tainted by dark energies and if she does for the love of the lifefather don't let her fall down the same path you took!
Tyraz - Hahaha, you think that.....Okay, you are correct. I will be careful with this....if this ever does happen.
Arsac - I am glad to hear. Hope is one of the most powerful feelings in the universe and it has been known to change the course of wars.. It's what keeps me from depression.
Tyraz - I can sense that you are an angry individual.... Deep inside, that is.
Arsac - I have had a hard life. With every unjust cult I end two more seem to spring up...
At that moment Tyraz had an idea, he stod up from the chair and walked over to Arsac.
Tyraz - I figured you should try a little something. Zazane do this to calm themselves down.
Arsac - What is it...
Tyraz pulled out a small, rounded object akin to a sealed bowl of putty and opened the lid on it. Inside is a sweet smelling yellow liquid. The small wafts through Arsac's nostrils
Tyraz - This has properties that are proven to relax the mind.
Arsac - What is it exactly?
Tyraz - Well, this is temporary Zazane body paint. You place it near the nostrils and eyes.
Arsac - My kind have not used body paint in millenia... And even then it was not used in such a way.
Tyraz - Zazane body paint....It makes the wearer feel calmer or more aggressive depending on what it is made from. This one is calming.
Arsac - How long does it last?
Tyraz - The paint lasts only for a few hours. Do not apply water to it until at least a minimum of two.
Arsac - ..I will try it.
Arsac was reluctant but nevertheless straightened herself, willing to try the paint.
Tyraz - It is best if I do it. For it to actually work, you need to penetrate the skin slightly.
Arsac - I see.
Tyraz dipped his claw into the paint. When he pulled it out his finger was stained yellow.
Tyraz - Where would you like the paint applied?
Arsac - This is still new to me so I will leave you to decide.
Tyraz - I will do it under the eye....
Tyraz placed his claw some centimetres away from her left eye and cuts in slightly. Her scales and skin felt coarse while a scar ran horizontally across where her artificial eye was. She cringed slightly as his claw dug in, his clawed finger ran across underneath her eye, leaving a glowing yellow trail as he cut through. He then removed his finger as he reached the side of her eye, leaving a glowing, yellow mark where he ran his claw. As the paint set it began to produce a calming sent, both of them could smell it. Through her orb-like eye Arsac noticed the paint luminescent.
Arsac - Wait... is it suppossed to glow?
Tyraz - Yes, it is. It shows that its working.
Arsac - I see.
Arsac - *smells the air* those fumes, it does feel soothing.
Tyraz - Indeed, and that is only one mark.
Arsac - I'm curious as to why you decided to start on my left eye.
Tyraz - In Zazane tradition, it always starts under the left eye. However, it also seemed like the memory of gaining that eye is an angry one.
Arsac - It's not the deepest wound, but when I remember, it feels so vibrant.
Tyraz - Indeed, and so that is why I decided to start under there.
Arsac's mind began to trail off as her mind was overcome with bliss.
Arsac - It must have been a century ago at least... I was trailing a cult in the Sarendic provinces.
Tyraz - Really? What did this cult do?
Arsac - They were zealots. Spreading lies that the governors of the cluster had been possessed. They believed that by 'exorcising' the governors they could ascend to immortality.
Tyraz - Okay, so what did you do to them?
Arsac - At first I entered the house to reason with the group. They declared me an 'agent of the dark ones' and all of them suddenly turned like they had been conditioned.
Tyraz - Sounds familiar...Carry on.
Arsac - I did m duty and incapacitated them before looking for their leader. As i entered the back room he ambushed me with a dagger - Were it not for my training i would have been at his mercy.
Tyraz - And so....he damaged your eye?
Arsac - Cut right along it, hurt like hell. As I bent over he walks up to me, I stand back up, grab the worm's throat an pin him to a wall!
Tyraz - Sounds.....bloody. Please....carry on.....
Arsac - What he saw.. it must have been horrible for him. He confessed that he had indeed indoctorinated others, something the cult despises, but he was adamant he was doing the right thing. My brothers saw differently, the governors were clean. I had no choice but to kill him.... he was.... too dangerious.
Tyraz - I could understand that...I had slain many a poor fellow.
Arsac - The other cultists were sent to therapy to be scrubbed of indoctorination... while I asked for this *points at her left eye* but that wound is only physical.
Tyraz - Let me guess, a more emotional wound.....has not healed yet?
Arsac slouched, both from melancholy and from the effects of the paint.
Arsac - Some wounds never heal... That incident was just another day really, I face deluded fools like him a lot.
Tyraz - Yes, I know what its like to have such a wound....I have many physical wounds, but we do not have doctors, due to evolutionary advances in our biology. However, wounds that are emotional.....
Tyraz shed a tear. There was no-one among the Zazane to treat emotional scars.
Arsac - I'd say the deepest i can remember is... Twenty, thirty years older than this eye. My entire world was torn apart...
Tyraz - I may only be 28....But I already know what my deepest scar is.....
Arsac - I'm willing to listen.
Tyraz - I was in combat school, aged 15, an important age for Zazane. The age where maturity kicks in. Usually, Zazane are given a celebration to mark this. Not me. I was told to stay away from the other students....except I encountered a female....Pala Mex....
Arsac - I take it you had feelings for her?
Tyraz - Yes....We dated, and we were getting along well.....Until one night, there was a raid on the school. I was a survivor, and I killed the raiders. However.....I found out Pala had led the attack on the school, and I was forced to kill her.....I remember it well....My sword slashing through her thin neck....
Arsac - ...Do you know why she did it?
Tyraz - Because she was a heretic....
Arsac - Thanus, my mentor was... probably the only man I have had... feelings for...
Tyraz - You had feelings for a man?
Arsac - I kept them secret. he was a bicentennial when he found me all those years ago.
Tyraz - Damn....I feel as if my experiences are nothing compared to yours....Zazane often die before they reach the age of 400.
Arsac - He never reached that age either......
Tyraz - Damn....I'm guessing that when he died.....You were at risk of corruption?
Arsac - It was cultists that killed him, I still remember that night...
Tyraz - At least you didn't have to kill your lover...
Arsac - That is true, i'm not sure if i will be able to experience something like that. We were on the trail of a group operating in the Isunian protectorate on the borders of imperial space. It was a destruction cult in every sense of the word!
Tyraz - Sounded like they had an experience with Umbrux...
Arsac - Thanos and I must have fought through two-dozen cultists.. they were like madmen eager to spill our blood.
Tyraz's interest was peaked. While he was not the same as other Zazane he still enjoyed stories of battles.
Tyraz - And so....what happened to Thanos?
Arsac - When we got to the main chamber their hereticarch was waiting for us. Thanos aimed his pistol calling out to him and the scum shot him in the shoulder. The weapon seemed exotic and Thanos collapsed in pain - Do yo have any idea how difficult that is?
Tyraz - Yes....Yes I do. Do you know how difficult it is watching as the one you thought was the love of your life remove her mask and show herself as the child of a heretic leader? The only person I trusted was a heretic, and I had to kill her with my own sword!
Arsac - I have witnessed betrayal. As Thanos collapsed the hereticarch was as smug as you can get, the name he revered still echoes in my skull - the eternal legion.
Tyraz - Then he was correct....The Eternal Legion it is if you still remember it....
Arsac - it gets worse, i learned later that was just one of many names for this 'legion'...
Tyraz - What are the other names?
Arsac - There is one you might know, It has cropped up in the last decade - Deathmarch.
Tyraz - Deathmarch.....That name is feared throughout the Gigaquadrant.
Arsac - Indeed. And the fools were honouring it right on the Imperium's doorstep!
Tyraz - Fools like that must die....I am sorry for your loss, Arsac....
Arsac - As the hereticarch cackled i felt he deserved justice. I lifted a pike from the ground and rammed it through his stomach! As he cackled like the maniac he was I discharged my pistol five times at point-blank and watched.
Tyraz - It is against Zazane tradition to put a foe in that amount of intense pain....But I would've done the same.
Arsac - When it was over I felt powerless. The man I had known for eighty years lay dying and i could do nothing. I can still see his smile.... he was proud of me.
Tyraz - Nobody was proud of me....for anything I had done. When I slew my mate.....nobody smiled. When I won in the campaign against my resurrected brother....nobody smiled for me. Time after time, I do a thing that saves many others....yet nobody smiles for me. However, who would smile for a being such as myself?
Arsac was pained by the flashback.
Arsac - What about Uriel?
Tyraz - Uriel shoudn't smile for warlords such as myself. I was only correcting a mistake I had done.
Arsac - You blame yourself too much. The fact you realised you had made a mistake was enough for him, that and you did save his life.
Tyraz - Yes, but its my fault for even allowing it to happen! If I hadn't had been there.....Uriel would've died, the Imperium would've fallen and the Inquisition would've lost everything!
Arsac - All you did was bait him to attack Alcanti early, the Blood Dragons knew he was up to something.
Tyraz - Yes, but it was me who Descended him and his armies.
Arsac - We know how Volkarus and his kin work. Millenia of amoral genetic augmentations on themselves is what garnered the Inquisition's interest in them.
Tyraz - Was it a bad thing I convinced him to bring down his elders?
Arsac - That was you? Volkarus siezed power in an unconventional way which could divide the entire house.
Tyraz - So, it was good or bad?
Arsac - Strategically it was good, the Inquisition has been trying to eradicate the elders for years. The only thing that could keep them in line now is whatever he has of his power.
Tyraz - And he is still alive....And I believe I have rendered him theoretically mortal. Time will not kill him, though it will weaken him, and he can be killed.....I have managed to take away most of his Descension, I believe.
Arsac - He still has a fair portion of the Inquisition's archives, he could use that to his advantage.
Tyraz - Yes....Please tell me they are encrypted...
Arsac - They were, but that does not make them immune to deciphering - what's more they no longer have the added protection of the archive's firewalls.
Tyraz - Then we must work quick....
Arsac - Some data was too important to keep on an archive like that. As High Inquisitor I am personally charged with protecting the Inquisition's greatest secrets and only i know how to access them.
Tyraz - I would be foolish to ask for them.
Arsac - Indeed you would. If Volkarus ever managed to find them he could become unstoppable.
Tyraz - It was my fault Volkarus got away with what he could of those archives....luckily, Zazane archives are written on paper in Zazane language, much harder to translate unless you are a fluent reader in Zazane.
Arsac - We didn't know what to expect. Personally I was half-expecting either Volkarus or just a bunch of mercs to be down there.
Tyraz - Ha, how about a little contest involving Volkarus's death.
Arsac - A contest?
Tyraz - Yes. When we discover Volkarus's location, we'll see which one of us can kill him first.
Arsac - Personally I would have just sealed him in a soldered-up neurosleep pod but now that you say he can be killed that makes things different.
Tyraz - Yes, I took away a majority of his Descension, and he can be killed by even mortals now....So I figured, why not have a contest with one of my favourite Draco-- Uhh, I mean, with one of the most successful fighters I know?
Arsac - *smiles* Not many people warm up to me like that outside of the clergy and the other Inquisitors. Let's just keep this between you and I, okay?
Tyraz blushed black slightly, grateful that Arsac did not mind how Tyraz felt about her.
Tyraz - Of course, a secret. I just don't often meet new people I like anymore. Not many people I can trust.
Arsac - I think i might take you up on that offer, so long as we keep it friendly.
Tyraz - Yes, a friendly contest. I wouldn't want to hurt anybody aside from that wretched Volkarus....
Arsac - Agreed, he has many crimes to answer for.
Tyraz - Yes, sometimes I wonder if I am worse, however...
Arsac - Uriel was right. I think there is something inside you - And he managed to notice it without abilities such as mine.
Tyraz - You mean a good thing?
Arsac - You still have heart Tyraz, you have not been overtaken by rage as he has.
Tyraz looked down and placed a hand on Arsac's shoulder. Before Arsac could react to this, Tyraz began to shed luminious blue tears, while this was normal it was unusual for a Zazane to cry.
Arsac - Tyraz?
Tyraz - I apologize....I have not been able to speak so openly to anybody for many years....
Tyraz moved his hand off her shoulder and sighed, his tail swishing side to side.
Arsac - Perhaps... this is an indication towards your race? Perhaps your kind have grown so obssessed with waging war you have marginalised the other aspects of life. The result is that as a leader you feel isolated becuse... you would be considered a pariah otherwise.
Tyraz - Anger, hatred, darkness....This is what being a Zazane feels like. Sadness is turned into anger, vengeance is turned into hatred, mourning is turned into darkness.....The only happiness we have is through war.
Arsac - I'm no expert but the body paint i wear now; it indicates something different.
Tyraz - What do you think it indicates?
Arsac - It may relate to war but i have seen cultures who use body paints for more civil purposes. I've seen the odd culture who tattoo their faces with mystical markings when they reach adolescence.
Tyraz - That body paint is intended to calm....However, it is made temporary, just as peace is. The paint that Zazane use to mark anger and war is permanent.....just as anger and war is. However, there is one body paint that Zazane use to mark each other....it symbolizes eternal love, either in mating or in family. Zazane warriors who are close will often mark themselves with this, whether male or female.
Arsac - The imperium has lasted a long time, we held up against the Vartekians and countless other threats, even these Xhodocto sat on our doorstep!
Tyraz - The Zazane Empire.....I remember when leader after leader was slain by the next. Moxix....
Arsac - War is not always the answer, and when you build a society of conflict like this it's just going to bite yo on the backside.
Tyraz - Yes, that is true....But because it has happened so many times....We have gained everything from it in terms of evolution.
Arsac - Whatever happens you have the oppertunity to begin a new Breek line. one where backstabbing is just as dishonourable as shooting a civillian tied to a stake.
Tyraz - In my culture, backstabbing is considered cowardly, which was why Moxix was disliked. And we try to avoid civilian deaths unless necessary....
Arsac - I had heard, one of the defending marines saw you killing two mercenaries who thought it would be fun to shoot at children.
Tyraz - In my empire, children who are without parents and on the streets often catch diseases and turn rabid. But it is sad to see this....and so killing perfectly okay children really angered me...
Arsac stood up and moved closer to her desk.
Arsac - Apparently they were being defiant. Tactical reports state that orbital bombardment was kept to to military infrastructure and soldiers were to migitate civillian casualties.
Tyraz - Yes...The defiant ones deserve to die. Soldiers who will kill children.....Should be slaughtered by the rabid Zazane children that often wander through our cities.
Arsac - Tyraz... We all have the power to control our future. What matters is gathering the strength to do it. Tyraz - The past dictates the future, Arsac....One will always be remembered by what they have done throughout their lives. When my time comes, and it will, I want to be remembered as a good leader, not some pariah who is weak.
Arsac - The battle of Alcanti as marked you on a path walked before Tyraz. Ages ago Oniron Voxis chose to turn his back on the paragons to free house Ultanos. What drove him was an ideal and even during the war that followed he was a hero despite previously serving under House Khaxvis with pride.
Tyraz - Oniron Voxis....He sounds like an inspirational hero....
Arsac - Oh he was. Curiously enough, there are some things about you that remind me of him...
Tyraz - *blushes black slightly* Really? But I'm a warlord....
Arsac - He spent a century of his life in the illegal fight pits, he risked his body every match and was a northern-rim champion fifty. years. running.
Tyraz - B-But....W-What are you indicating? I am not destined to leave a legacy such as Oniron...
Arsac - Oniron helped institute a regime change to restore the true ruling family. However his rise to prominence is similar to yours - House Ultanos should have abhored him but he cared about them. he originally sided with the enemy but decided the other family was better, no matter the cost or previous loyalties.
Tyraz - I requested that Uriel replace me as hero.....I deserve no such legacy for what I have done....People will remember Uriel as the one who defeated Volkarus....
Arsac - Deny it all you want, we can speak another time. I will provide you with a copy of Oniron's legacy - I get the feeling saving Uriel won't be the last mirrored thing you do.
Tyraz - What makes you say this?
Arsac - I have a gut feeling.
Tyraz - I.....I would like to thank you for allowing me to see you.....
Arsac - It was my pleasure, i am glad i managed to find out about the real you.
Tyraz - Same here. I shall leave for now...
When Tyraz left the room he teleported outside, he sighed and looked around to see that the cathedral plaza was not as busy as it was when he arrived..
Tyraz - If she is correct.....Then I must research more on this Oniron Voxis....
Tyraz looked around again and then walked on with his cape flowing in the wind.
A Dark Pact
Volkarus sat in a central room on his flaship, ever since his encounter with Tyraz he felt weak and had recorted to various methods to keep himself alive - cybernetics, nanite injections, nutrient baths and stimulants. The battle had disfigured him further as he now stood a towering 4.8 metres tall. As he sat on his throne a Rapidox messenger entered the room. He looked up at Volkarus with his lip quivering at the now-monsterous sight of his master.
Messenger - M-my lord, i bring word from the colonies... The Blood Dragons have discovered three enclave worlds in the Balas-6 sector. There were... no survivors and anyone who tried to escape was either caught in the orbital bombardment or shot down as they left the planets.
Furious at the grim news Volkarus stands up from his throne. He spproaches the messenger with a demonic snarl and grabs the creature by the neck. He snarls, bringing the terrified alien close to his snout
Volkarus - I grow tired of grim news! If you have nothing beneficial you had no reason to risk-
Messenger - But ... my lord I...
Volkarus - What....? How dare you interrupt me! I should snap your neck for this insolence!
As he gripped the messenger tightly he grunted in anger, the alien began to to shudder in pain, causing Volkarus to lose focus. As he looked at the alien he noticed his skin rippling up his arm like a wave as the alien screamed in agony, wasting away before his master's eyes. Horrified at this Volkarus let go, dropping the alien on the cold metal floor, he lay limp, quivering and chattering as his master looked with horror at his own hand, watching the scars close up. The moment of silence was broken when Vedrix, his personal advisor walked in.
Vedrix - Master Volkarus, there are a group of Zazane here to see you, they come with diplomatic tones...
Vokarus - *grunts* send them in.
Vedrix returned to the Zazane Rebels waiting in the hanger with a smile on his face.
Vedrix - The master accepts your request for an audience...
Zazane Rebel - Good. We are honoured that he has accepted.
Vedrix - This way, and I advise caution - the master is not in the best of moods right now.
> Pyrak Yannor - We shall take caution when speaking with him, then.
Vedrix - Of course. Through these doors here.
The Zazane pushed Vedrix aside when they arrived at the doors to Volkarus' throne room. At the mach of the towering room volkarus sat on his throne like a giant. He peered down at the Zazane who looked up to hom in surprise at how much he had changed from when their kind last saw him.
Volakrus - Why did you seek an audience with me?
Pyrak Yannor - We wished to pledge alliegance to you and your forces, Lord Volkarus.
Volkarus - I see. I take it you saw weakness in Tyraz Breek?
Pyrak Yannor - Yes, you could say that. We figured that you were by far the more superior leader.
Volkarus - Really, tell me what brought you to that conclusion?
Pyrak Yannor - He is different to most Zazane, and difference brings weakness.
Volkarus - I see.
> Pyrak - Also, we have thought to bring you a gift to show our loyalty.
Volkarus - I respect the strength the Zazane have. When I first heard of the Brood I admired you.
One of Volkarus' honour guard approached Pyrak to accept the scrolls. Pyrak hanaded over the scrolls with a smile.
Pyrak - This is the archive of Moxix's terror.
Volkarus - Moxix? The name escapes me.
Pyrak - Moxix Breek...Tyraz's step brother.
The messenger sat at the wall, his blubbering and chattering startled the Zazane who looked at him with orror. His body was shriveled and pale.
Zazane - L-Look! A w-walking c-corpse!
Volkarus - He's not dead... not yet anyway.
Pyrak - Hmm....This reminds me of Moxix...
Messenger - P-p-please... ma-master... spare m-m-me...
Pyrak - Why do you let him suffer?
Volkarus - One time, when I still honoured Tyraz' alliance I muttered something about his brother. He responded rather violently.
Pyrak - Moxix was killed by Sylits after helping them out during their war. He said he wanted territory, and got shot in the face. And then he came back, and unleashed a horrid wave of undeath over the Universe...
> Messenger - I could feel it... l-like my very f-f-f-flesh was... w-wasting away... It p-pulsed into the m-m-master's fingers....
Pyrak - *shivers* Moxix could do the same...
Volkarus - I never wanted such a horrifying talent! such a thing would only make me impure.
Pyrak - If you saw what Moxix achieved....You would not be saying those words...
Volkarus - Believe me, i do not like the idea of alien flesh coarsing through my body.
Their concersation was broken when Volkarus heard disembodied whispers inside his head. Startled he rested his hand over his forehead as thought it were a migraine.
??? - Why not? You could do so much...
Volkarus - What.... Something was in my head! And it wasn't Tyraz..
Pyrak - What? You hear Tyraz's voice often?
Volkarus - No. But he is one of few I know who has such ability; him, my honour guard, and my lieutenants.
Pyrak - Hmph. If you wish, read the scroll. One of my Zazane will be happy to translate if needed.
Volkarus - Thank you for the offer.
Pyrak - It is a pleasure, Lord Volkarus.
Messenger - What... did i d-d-o to deserve such t-torture?
Honour guard - *appraoches the alien* silence!
Volkarus - You mentioned Moxix shared the ability to.... absorb flesh. Where is he now?
??? - Finish him....Take his flesh and blood....
Volkarus - Damnation! Something is inside my head...
Messenger - *panicking* Please... I-i-i don't want-t... to d-die!
??? - Do it....Take his flesh....DO IT NOW!!
Volkarus - I will not.. corrupt my body with... his... impurity!
??? - Do it....Or you shall not regain what you lost....to Tyraz....
The voice had planted a seed of doubt in Volkarus' mind, he gazed at the hand that was once wrapped around the messenger's neck and the muttered to himself.
Volkarus - However for that... one moment.. I felt... better...
??? - Do you wish for everlasting pleasure? Your former shape? A greater shape? Take his flesh and blood....Even his bone....
Volkarus - I... How do I know you are not tricking me!
??? - I know....from experience....
Volkarus - Experience? Zazane. Do you know where this 'Moxix' is now? Pyrak - He is long deceased. He has been for three years.
Volkarus nodded as he stood up and walked over to the cowering alien, his body creaking under it's own weight and fragility.
Vokarus - At first I was just going to execute this one. But now... Now he can serve a better purpose.
??? - Devour his flesh....blood....bone....regain your former self and glory....
Volkarus - If you are uncomfortable about what I am to do you may want to leave the room.
As Volkarus picked up the mesenger the Zazane nodded out of respect and quietly left the room with the advisor. Volkarus was hesitant at what he would about to do. After they left the alien's screams echoed through the door, horrifying enough to send a cill down anyone's spine.
Vedrix - Master Volkarus would be happy to accept a translation of the scrolls.
Pyrak - I figured, seeing as not a single Draconis is fluent in Zazane writing yet...
Vedrix - Master Volkarus says he has learned some from Lord Breek, something to do with a telepathic link.
Pyrak - Well, that scroll is said to have some of Moxix's essence in it. I cannot figure what though....
Vedrix - Pardon me if i'm mistaken but are you suggesting Moxix may have some of his soul in those scrolls?
Pyrak - I heard somebody once say that the ink used to write on the scrolls was made from his blood....Whether this is true or not, I do not know.
Vedrix - Sounds like supersition, but if it is true it could explain why the master is hearing voices.
Pyrak - Go, do not tell him of the legend of the scrolls. I value my life...
The advisor returns inside for a few minutes and comes back out with a slight smile on his face, if slightly pale.
Vedrix - Master Volkarus tells me that accomodation is to be provided for you.
Pyrak - Ah, that is good news.
Vedrix - He has reserved a few suites if you desire it and respects that you have considered him stronger than Tyraz. He would be happy to include you into the resurgence.
Pyrak - *nods* Tyraz shall fall by the end of this year...Him and his Brood....
Vedrix - Excellent, we look foreward to a fuitful partnership. I will have the servants show you the chambers the master has assaigned for you.
Vedrix beckons over several servants who attend to the Zazane rebels, guiding them down the corridor as Vedrix returns inside.
Pyrak - Go ahead. Show us to our suites.
Alien servant - Follow us.
Vedrix entered to see Volkarus standing in the middle of a room as a skull slipped through his fingers, impacting into fragments like a clay pot as it hit the floor. He looked at his tand for a few moments he turned to Vedrix.
Advisor - Is everything alright sir?
olkarus - Yes... the voices were right...
??? - Yes....You shall begin the Great Feast....Consume all that you can....Including this petty underling....
Volkarus - No. he has not dissapointed me, not yet.
??? - Is he of that much importance to yourself?....Has he lost everything? He looks better than yourself....
Volkarus - He has served me well, killing him would be pointless.
??? - What has he ever done to serve you? Has he fought on the battlefield?
Volkarus - There are more places to serve with distinction than on the field.
??? - It does not matter in the end....When you are a god....
Volkarus - And what am i supposed to do in the meantime? Write up the expeditures and crew manifests myself?
??? - Crew tires easily....At least, living crew....
Vokarus - That one i just feasted on. He was but a messenger, no-one would miss him and all he did was bring me bad news... What are you suggesting?
??? - Turn them....Kill them and ressurect....They will never tire....They will never need or demand....
Volkarus - No... I will not lower myself to necromancy!
??? - Why not?! Tyraz has done it....I have done it.....Dark stains upon ourselves....But we became as strong as gods!
Volkarus - The dead deserve respect!
??? - Then why do you disobey me?!
Volkarus - Tyraz already killed me, when he held that infernal sword of his against my chest. I died and cam back stronger than ever! Is that what you suggest?
??? - You died and came back....Why not do this to your crew....
Volkarus - I have done, my lieutenants are bound to me.
??? - What about the rest? You can resurrect them....Like I did.....but as ravenous servants under your command....
Volkarus - Can you share your knowledge? I want Tyraz Breek to pay for what he did to me! Trapping me in this form as an abomination!
??? - I was like you....I was decomposing....And then....I feasted and became stronger....So powerful....
Volkarus - I value my kin, but there are other sources...
??? - Ohh? Such as what?
Volkarus - Inquisitors, traitors, other aliens - there are quadrillions in the Imperium alone!
??? - Devour them.....Or force them under your rule....
Volkarus - My advisor is currently having those scrolls translated, but perhaps that is not entirely neccessary.
??? - I will help you read them.....After all.....I share your head....
Volkarus - I accept. All that matters in life is power, after all.
Moxix - I am Moxix Breek, step brother of Tyraz Breek, and son of Korda. I turned honourable Zazane warriors into undead slaves, who ravaged and feasted on the living! I was deformed, but through feasting, I became near god-like!
Volkarus - You.. I once hinted at your name and Tyraz nearly snapped my neck.
Moxix - I am what made Tyraz different...I bullied him as a child....Almost killed him.....
Volkarus - Had I done that to my siblings, my mother and my elders would have shunned me. Union is what kept the house together, made it strong.
Moxix - And now it collapses under Tyraz's pathetic foot....
Volkarus - I was wrong to trust him, he is weak!
Moxix - Yes....He is weak....Yet he alone managed to collapse your whole house....
Volkarus - He and the Inquisition and the Imperium's military. But with the combined knowledge of you and my kind's Inquisition, I will become unstoppable!
Moxix - Yes...But first, you must feast....The stronger your food...The stronger you become....
Volkarus - Inquisitors; they have proved to take on entire warbands and emerge victorious. A perfect stock!
Moxix - Yes, yes! I can feel the power.....rushing through our veins....
Volkarus - Under your guidance. I will have my kin hunt and trap inquisitors like the vermin they are!
As Volkarus contemplated an enormous figure appeared in front of him; a pallid and deforemd Zazane built from countless decomposing corpses. The look startled Volkarus who looked at him with disgust.
Moxix - You shall become a god.... Volkarus - Is... this what I would become? Moxix - *snarls* Behold the face of a god... Volkarus - As you wish, lord Moxix.
The guards were oblivious to the appearence since only Volkarus could see Moxix. They looked at him as though he was talking to himself. One guard asked another what was going on but he was simply given a shrug in response.
Moxix - A thousand mouths shall cry out in pain before the wrath of Volkarus....
Volkarus - Yes! The Imperium shall still have it's divine Paragon! I submit to your wisdom for now, lord Moxix.
Moxix - Good, good...First, feast on your current Honour Guard. They take you as insane!
Volkarus - And who would replace them? I am still weakened from fighting Tyraz. But their essence... They hold fragments of Tyraz' power i can use!
Moxix - Yes....Now you understand....The more power you regain, the closer you are to matching Tyraz's strength!
Volkarus - Tyraz was unchanged from the masses he descended, perhaps I am the same.
Moxix - You are weakened from the attack Tyraz struck against you...You MUST feed!
Volkarus - To me my honour guard, I want to offer you gifts for your service.
The Honour Guard approached their master, surrounding him with curious and determined looks.
Moxix - Feast, Volkarus....Leave nothing left of them....
Volkarus - You are all to serve a higher purpose in restoring your master to his former glory!
The halls of the ship echoed with screams of pain as Volkarus turned on his own guards, absorbing every scrap of flesh on their corrupted bodies. Everyone within hearing range turned to the source, both frightened and confused as to what the onise was. Many of them assocciated it with Volkarus expressing his displeasure and returned to their duties. After abosrbing the final scraps the nanites within VOlkarus bloodstream set t owork, using the flesh as a stock for repairing his body. Several of his scars closed up and a slight colouration returned to Volkarus' scales.
Volkarus - I can feel my strength returning. It was uncomfortable but it was satisfying!
Moxix - *lets out a growl* They....They were delicious...
Volkarus - Is my body stable or must I do this for eternity?
Moxix - You are far from Tyraz's power....If you wish to become a god, you must absorb all life in this Universe, or at least this galaxy...
Volkarus - My cybernetics and these nanites sustained me until now, but devouring the universe or the galaxy... What point is there to ruling a dead realm?
Moxix - You shall create your own life... And that life shall eternally worship you
Volkarus - But you did not answer my question. Will I need to constantly replace my strength with new bodies or will the esssences of my honour guard remain for eternity?
Moxix - It will fade from your body if you do not continue to feed! Stop feeding, you will soon die!And that life shall eternally worship you
Volkarus - I have not fed on the living until now and yet here I am, perhaps I am stronger than what you expect.And that life shall eternally worship you
Moxix - You were not getting any stronger...
Volkarus - True, but I wanted to be a ruler, not a devourer of worlds.
Moxix - Then allow me to show you how you will rule....
Volkarus - If you insist...
Moxix walked over to the remains of Volkarus' Honour Guard. He lifted them up and smashes them together, sculpting and fusing them to make a gotesgue creature resembling a Draconis - grey scales, empty eyes and a dull, twisted snout. The wings were tattered and there were lumps and growths along it's back.
Moxix - Behold, the dead given new life....
Volakrus - This is not what I wanted... And what of their minds? Must they be be dependant on me?
Moxix - So long as you live, they will continue to move and serve.
Volkarus - Again you are hiding things from me. Will they be able to live out personal lives without my constant intervention?
Moxix - No...They have no minds, except to kill, feast and spread.
Volkarus - I have no interest in an empire of the soulless.
Moxix - Then you refuse to have a supreme army....
Volkarus - Only when you suggest that my entire domain is the same way.
Moxix - I despise the living, Volkarus! Life turns out pathetic, and then you die! A whole demain of the undead! Imagine it! Life for them....They experience no personal or exclusive pain!
Volkarus - Look around you Moxix! My kind celebrate life in all it's forms, you may despise life because it was taken from you but I will not agree to your philosophy on this! If I destroy life in the Imperium I also destroy EVERYTHING they have built. Every statue, every building, every streetlamp was made possible because my kind could think and create! I would do anything to gain power but i would not deprive the imperium of what is at it's core!
Moxix snarled, grabbed Volkarus and slammed him against a wall. The metal bulkead was bent inward slightly, leaving a giant imprint.
Moxix- My undead army screamed death and fire all across the Gigaquadrant, Volkarus! I was a god! Until ALL of it was taken away by disgusting, filthy mortals! All mortal life should be PURGED!! If everything dies....THERE CAN BE NO MORE DEATH!!!
Volkarus - I... Disagree... The entire galaxy saw your army as abominations, a crusade was called to end it! Because You. Threatened. LIFE!
Moxix slammed him againt the wall again, pressing him into the wall even harder with the desire to make him feel extreme pain.
Moxix - Says the man who would happily slaughter the Paragon and his wife!
Volkarus - I would happily slaughter the very family who cast mine into exile! Forty-thousand years of hiding... Ultanos will pay but not life itself!
Moxix - With death comes new life! And with new life, evolution! And with evolution, intelligence! And then, technology! War! And then complete death again! The cycle happens over and over!
Volkarus - Unlike you I am quite happy to experiment with life sciences. I can simply create life to restore that which was lost. New species, new intelligenct life. I don't need to wait for nature to take it's course to sustain myself. Perhaps I could create an even better Draconis with such science, removing the weaknesses that Drakon left in. I can still become a god as you imply Moxix, but that does not mean I have to rule over a dead universe...
Moxix - Do as you wish! You will need to feed! You shall soon realize that your ultimate destiny LIES IN UNDEATH!!
Moxix slammed him into the wall once again before letting hi mdrop to the floor. As he said his final words his body changed to sand, blowing out of Volkarus's sight. Weakened and on the ground he contemplated Moxix's word before deciding that action was needed.
Volkarus - *snarls* There must be another way, but this is the best solution for now...*telepathically* Advisor, inform the soldiers that we are to go hunting for Inquisitors!
Vedrix had left Volkarus and was attending to the Zazane rebels in the ship's upper suites. Truly a great honour for any Khaxvis aligned non-Draconis who had reserved the upper decks of their own ships for themselves. His duties were interrupted when Volkarus' voice filled his head.
Vedrix - My master calls me elsewhere...
Pyrak - Of course, Draconis. We shall settle in.
Vedrix - He tells me that i am to prepare the soldiers for hunting for inquisitors, which might include you.
Pyrak - Okay then. We shall prepare ourselves for such a hunt.
Arsac - Ghost of the Warrior this is shuttle registration IJJ-49341 requesting permission to dock.
Zealot Jauri - Permission granted. Enter with care.
Arsac - Understood.
The shuttle landed inside the ship's hanger and Arsac, wearing a hazmat suit under her armour, stepped out. Niddan Ho passed by, fully equipped and armed, and talking about a recent mission. The hanger is filled with Cyrodi, Zazane, and Hetii warriors. Arsac decided to inform one of the soldiers of her arrival. Unknown to her Tyraz was already waiting. When he heard her clar her throat he turned to look in her direction.
Arsac - Can someone inform Tyraz Breek that the High Inquisitor requests an audience.
Tyraz - Ahh, greetings Mistress Arsac. I was just speaking with my Battlesuit Commander. Of course you can have an audience. Meet me in the diner. The captain's room is currently under quarantine after discovering a Cyrod rat there.
Arsac - Lovely... lead the way.
Tyraz nodded and walked ahead of her, leading her down a dimly-lit hallway with the walls adorned with Zazane inscriptions. The inscriptions intrigued Arsac, drawing herattention towards them.
Arsac - Interesting, this is quite a comparison from an imperial warship.
Tyraz - Indeed. All ships of the Fleet of Ruin carry stories of the fierce ages we Zazane have been through. On this ship, the walls tell the story of my bloodline.
Arsac - And if my understanding of your bloodline is correct, reading them might not be the best idea.
Tyraz - No, they may not. Though I guess you have not read Zazane writing before?
Arsac - The situation has never come up before so no I haven't.
Tyraz - Good.
He led her down another corridor before turning left at a pair of large, gold-patterned doors. Arsac looked up with intrigue
Tyraz - We are here.
Arsac - These doors are quite a contrast. Where I come from such doors are normally found within monasteries or the grand cathedral.
Tyraz - This was all Zazane built. Designed by myself, and many archive keepers. The ship is designed to be some sort of chapel itself. We hold religious celebrations and traditions here.
Arsac - I hope the Zazane do nothing here the Inquisition would consider inappropriate.
Tyraz - Do not worry. Cannibalism is frowned upon.
- he pushes the doors open, and inside were many Zazane warriors tattooed with war markings and battle scars and eating from bowls filled with ground up red meat.
Arsac - I came because i bring good news. One of our agents discovered the Khaxvis operating within Imperial space. Apparently they are working to restore their army.
Tyraz - The Khaxvis are persistent. They are just delaying the inevitable.
Arsac - Persistent indeed. Brother-Captain Davius keeps telling me that they have so many connections to the criminal underworld it would take an eternity to track them all down.
Tyraz - The scum will die. But anyway, whereabouts in Imperial space?
Arsac pulled out a data chip with a set of coordiantes.
Arsac - The Sakelvi system, commercial world within the Tholfame-5 sector. these are the coordinates, the agent specifically requested Inquisition support.
Tyraz - Hmm, okay. And you wish for me to join you?
Arsac - This could lead us straight to Volkarus. But apparently the agent reported something 'wrong' with the khaxvis operatives. He couldn't specify what exactly but i can guess.
Tyraz - Everything is wrong with the Khaxvis vermin. What makes these ones different?
Arsac - Vokarus may have sent one of his descended lackeys, or he could be there himself.
Tyraz - He would not be stupid enough to go there himself. It may be ones of his Descended failures.
Arsac - There's only one way to find out, will you join me?
Tyraz - Of course I shall join you. In fact, i shall come with aid.
Arsac - Good. I'll be waiting in the hanger bay.
Tyraz nodded and walked over to a table that was occupied with five Zazane, each one marked with battle scars and tattoos while Arsac returned to the hanger bay and waited patiently inside the shuttle for Tyraz to arrive. Minutes later, Tyraz and a squad of five Zazane warriors approached the shuttle, packed with supplies and equipped with weaponry.
Tyraz - Mistress Arsac, meet Gargorix Team.
Arsac - Welcome aboard, we will use the shuttle to make a discreet approach.
Arsac had arrived with four blood dragons, each of them nodding when Tyraz and the others came aboard. As Gargorix Team enters, they eye the Blood Dragons wearily, cautious of them. They recognized strength when they saw it.
Arsac - The Blood Dragons are highly experienced when it comes to fighting house Khaxvis. They have thwarted their plans a thousand times over. But... times are changing.
Skarik - Lord Tyraz, is Mistress Arsac talking of the same Khaxvis that decieved us?
Tyraz - Yes, Skarik. We are going to fight some vermin today.
Skarik - Now I see why the Draconis need Zazane assistance...
The shuttle departs, after seven hour journey and they arrived within the cosmopolitan Sakelvi system
Skarik - Wow, this looks like a good place for a battle!
Karnan - Skarik, calm yourself! We are not on the battlefield yet!
Arsac - Alright, we are heading for Sakelvi II and-
Graarvus - Mistress, we have something on sensors!
Tyraz - *jumps out of his seat* Indeed, I sense something as well...
Arsac - Report!
Graarvus - It's a cruiser and looking at the profile... Sons of Urzgov mistress!
Tyraz - Sons of Urzgov? What is this?
Arsac - Evasive action. now! Don't let their turbolasers lock on.
The cruiser lookd like it had been built out of several different models. On the side was the Sons' emblam was clearly emblazoned. The crusier began firing its turbolasers at the shuttle. As Pilot, Graarvus banked the shuttle and narrowly missesd a turbolaser beam from the cusier.
Vedekinus - A Korkonid terrorist group. They claim to be free slaves but all they do is pillage imperial systems regardless of what's down there. Their equipment is either salvage, stolen or - in some cases - bought.
Skarik - Korkonids? They sound like the sort of enemy I'd like to fight!
Karnan - Ha, uprisings must be settled!
Vedekinus - We try. The Imperium's been doing that for over 150 millenia. Sure there are quet periods when we kill one leader but another eventually comes along.
Graavus twisted the shuttle to fly in the other direction. The Zazane fall over one another as the shuttle twisted and soared evasively, just missing each other's weapons.
Neya - Careful, Draconis! There are Shidium weapons here!
Graavus - Sorry. If this was a cruiser that thing would be scrap by now.
Arsac - Why aren't we at warp?
Graavus - They're creating a strong gravity well. I don't get it that sort of thing is beyond Korkonid engineering.
Tyraz - Whatever it is, it looks like we are going to get scrapped soon! I'd recommend bracing yourselves!
Vedekinus - Looks like they've found another contractor.
He was interrupted when a turbolaser beam seared across the shuttle's hull.
Vedekinus - Not good...
Graavus - I've lost the starboard maneuvering thruster! Brace yourselves, i'm going to have to make a crash landing.
Tyraz - Zazane! Turol nalag tar! Brace yourselves!
Arsac looked out the cabin window to see Sakelvi IV approaching theri view - The surface listened a bluish-white from enormous ice sheets on the surface.
Arsac - How are you with low temperatures?
Tyraz - Huh? W-What do you mean, low temperatures?
Arsac - Cold. The planet below doesn't exactly look like a tropical paradise.
Tyraz - I-I have never....I should be okay.
Graarvus - Brace for impact!
The shuttle hit the ice, throwing everyone about. As the smoke cleared and everyone returned to their senses they could see the shuttle was a wreck. Tyraz broke out of his seat and assisted Arsac out of hers, moving quickly.
Arsac - Thanks. Status report?
Graarvus - Ugh, there's not much left of this thing... Anyone hurt?
Avassa - I'm fine, just a few bruises.
Lenodivus - It's just a scratch... Vedekinus?
Avassa headed into the main room to find Vedekinus slumped against a wall, upon removing his helmet she notices his red-scaled face was heavily scarred. Sharik climbed out of his seat, grwling and rubbing his head.
Karnan - So much for feeling no pain, Skarik.
Neya - That boy is gonna get noticed one day. Noticed for how fragile he is.
Skarik - Quiet, Neya. Just because you're female does not mean you have the right to insult me.
Tyraz - Silence!
Vedekinus could bearly move his head and was bearing his teeth in pain. a metal beam lies across his stomach* Avassa - Mistress! Vedekinus is injured badly, i don't think he can make it. A quiet Zazane, part of Gargorix Team, stood up and approached Avessa and saw the state of Vedekinus. Graavus pulled out a medical scanner from the emergency kit and examines Vedekinus*
Zazane - ....Do not remove the bar....
Graavus - 2nd degree burns across face and legs, crushed ribs and thighs, impact on the left temple, fractured tibia and internal bleeding.
Tyraz - It doesn't sound like he can make it...The only way I could save him is if I Descend him....
Arsac - Don't you think you have done enough damage doing that?
Tyraz - Yes....There is nothing we can do, except a mercy killing...
Graavus - Even if we could stabilise him and give him a nantite injection it could take him days or weeks to fully recover.
AVassa - I will do it. I am bound to him and I will not accept anyone else.
The quiet Zazane moved back slowly, wanting to watch Avessa kill the one she was bound to. He placed a hand on his weapon ready, in case she was to turn. Avassa breathed deeply before drawing her knife. Vedekinus breaks a slight smile before she approached to comfort him. She uttered the phrase "rest in Paradise brother" ebfore plunging her knife into his chest. As he collapses she exhales deeply before standing up. The quiet Zazane simply looked away and climbed back with his team. Neya looked towards him.
Neya - What's your problem?
The Zazane ignored Neya and Arsac alked over to comfort Avassa. Tyraz looked outside to see a mild snowstorm.
Tyraz - Mistress Arsac...What do we do now? And what is that....white cloud outside?
Arsac - He is at peace now. We need to leave. We need to get off this planet. Graavus did you detect anything down here on approach?
Graavus - There's an old ice mining depot several kilometres northwest of here, i think it's connection to the main hub is still active.
Arsac - Understood. And Tyraz, wht do you mean white cloud?
Tyraz - That....white substance outside. I am not entirely sure what it is....It s-seems to be falling from the sky and has covered the entire landscape...
Graavus - You're joking right, you mean snow? Are you telling us you've never seen snow before?
Avessa - Graavus the Zazane have a shorter lifespan than us, so he couldn't have seen everything in the galaxy.
Graavus - I know that but.. not knowing snow? you know. Frozen water. Falls on the ground like rain.
Tyraz - We never had snow where I came from....Plenty of my warriors have seen it, but myself....*sighs* It looks.....I really do not know how it looks.
Arsac - We need to head out, it's going to start getting colder in here since the hull has been compromised, gather what you can carry.
Skarik - And no, Karnan. That doesn't mean ALL the meat...
Karnan - Thats funny, no-muscles.
Neya - Guys, its a serious situation. Grab your weapons and lets get out.
They left the shuttle to be met with an icy wind. with no hope of return they trekked onward towards the old mining base Tyraz walked close to Arsac, never experiencing this kind of weather before
Tyraz - M-Mistress A-Arsac...I-Is this "snow" d-dangerous?
Arsac - Only when the wind picks up, it's the cold you need to worry about. Just shield your eyes when it gets too strong and you should be fine.
The Zazane team trekked on ahead of them, not fearing the snow like Tyraz. They have seen this before, and were not afraid of what they would call a "little wind". Over a ridge Korkonid figures watched the aliens trek across the snow.
??? - Oi, I fink I see sumfink.
??? - You wanna tell me or do I have to punch ya first?
??? - It's da Draconis and sum wierd lanky fings, all black and stuff. Yeah dey'z look a little like Draconis only runty and skinny.
??? - Ya mean dey'z got 'elp? Dat's unfair... should we tell da boss?
??? - Wot da you fink!
Graavus notices a signal showing up on his HUD. He called for the squad to halt.
Graavus - Hold up... i'm reading thermal signatures.
Skarik - Hmm? Thermal signatures? You mean something can produce heat in this?
Graavus - It's a bio signature, too distant to tell what it is though.
Skarik - I think we should send somebody to go investigate. Which way are they coming from?
Graavus - They're not really moving, too hot to be dead.
Neya - So they are just standing there?
Graavus - Yes.. hold on i'm picking up something on a radio frequency.
Graavus - ... Someone knows we're here... I can't make out exactly but i think they were expecting us...
Tyraz - Could it be Khaxvis operatives?
Graavus - Urgh, no. I'd recognise these speech patterns anywhere: Korkonid.
Arsac - Ready weapons, let's find out what these brutes know.
The Zazane team quickly prepared their weapons, and were ready within seconds. Tyraz smiled proudly as his team began to patrol. Fearing their discovery A small squad of Korkonids wearing scavenged armour and firing slugthrowers emerge from the ridge. The weapons make a heavy din compared to the Draconid rifles.
Sharik - There they are! Come on, let us show them what Zazane feels like!
Arsac - Retaliation fire! Kill the brutish scum.
The Zazane team rushed towards them, firing weapons and getting ready for melee combat. As they close in several Korkonids extend large bayonets from their rifles while others pull out large swords, still firing their rifles. The Zazane squad approached them and drew their Shidium energy blades and axes, making sure to dodge slug fire from the Korkonids while slashing and slicing at them with their weapons. A Korkonid lifts his bayonet confidently the Shidium sword held by one of the Zazane broke his own, causing hi mto whimper "Krog 'elp me!". The other Korkonids clumsily flailed their weapons around in an attempt to hit the Zazane who were too swift for their clumsy strikes, and when a strike finally is dealt, the result isn't nice.
Neya - You dare strike me with that dirty sword, grunt?
She raises her knee and hit the Korkonid in the face with the hilt of his own sword before pulling it out of her leg and then slashed the Korkonid's throat. Another Korkonid saw this and was interrupted when he fell to the ground after one of the blood dragons hits him in the leg. She looked at the Blood Dragon who struck the Korkonid and thanked him. This did not stop the korkonid and he crawled to Nera.
Neya - Ugh, disgusting creature....
She picked it up by the scruff of its neck and looked at before opening her jaws and sinking her teeth into its forehead, penetrating its skull. The taste of the moss culture growing on his head meets her tongue, causing her to retch and throws the Korkonid away Arsac finished the last Korkonid off by tripping him up and impaling him in the skull within one spin. The Zazane squad let out roars of victory and kneel down to their victims, wiping their hands in their blood and marking themselves.
Arsac - This is bad, if these Korkonid know we are here they could alert the entire horde. Tyraz - I say bring it on. The Zazane are ready for them. Avassa - *walks over to Neya* You might want to refrain from doing that in the future - these things cultivate a moss on their humps, shoulders and head. Arsac - These Korkonid are here for a reason and i think it has something to do with House Khaxvis. Graavus - There was another voice on the transmission, it wasn't Korkonid.
Tyraz walked over to Graavus looking frustrated.
Tyraz - Was it Khaxvis? Or was it not?!
Graavus - Yeah, it was.
Arsac - Can you pinpoint the signal's origin?
Graavus - It Should not be too difficult.
A pair of korkonid lie down on a cliff overlooking the group, one of them wielding a sniper rifle.
Tyraz - What were they saying? Graavus - I'll link it to an audo system, they're speaking in Low Dracid by the sound of it.. Neya was marking herself carefully with the Korkonid blood before turning her head and seeing the Korkonids, and notices one holding the rifle. With lightning speed, she leaps in front of Graavus, and lets out a cry of pain as the bullet penetrated her side. Graavus landed in the snow
Korkonid - Dat's great shoooting but you's supposed ta aim fer' da head!
Korkonid 2 - It's my gun i shoots how i wants!
Avassa looked over to Neya and looksd up at the ridge. The quiet Zazane looks over to the Korkonids and aimed his gun, and without aid or difficulty, unleashed a hail of Shidium energy at them. Neya clutched her side in pain. After accurate bursts the korkonids lie dead in the snow.
Neya - Agh...I-Its s-stings....
Avassa - Point-seven calibre AP round. It seems they were expecting someone as tough as us. I think i might be able to pull it out.
Arsac - First the cruiser and now AP round-armed Korkonid. I'm having my suspicions about that contact.
Neya - Agh....*looks over to Graavus* You! Help me up!
Tyraz - Do not worry about pulling it out...In a few moments her body should push the bullet back out by itself.
Arsac - Somoene play that recording, i have my suspicions.
Graavus stood up and walked over to Naya, kneeling down. Neya takes ahold of his hand and lifts herself up. When standing, she looks at Graavus and then places her forehead against his.
Neya - You are lucky I saw that sniper...Keep your goddamn eyes open...
Graavus - *mutters* charming...
Graavus activates a device and a gruff voice of a Draconis can be heard. Tyraz snarled as he recognised the voice as Khaxvis.
??? - That shuttle managed to make it to the surface, if you see nay survivors - and i don't care who it is - gunt them down, we caanot risk our operations in this region!
Tyraz - Khaxvis scum...Neya, Skarik, recover those Korkonid bodies. We need all the weapons and intel we can get. That voice sounds familiar...But then again, all Khaxvis sound the same.
Arsac - It's not one I recognise. Definitely not Volkarus.
Tyraz - I must be imagining it. Damn I need a blood bath...
Neya brought the Korkonid corpses to them. One of the Korkonid had a note in his backpack, marked with the house Khaxvis seal. Sarik lifted the backpack causing the note to float to land in the snow. Avassa waked over and looked at the note curiously.
Graavus - What is it?
Avassa - I think i know where their base is. it seems we're not the only ones who had the old Mining outpost in mind. Tyraz - What would Khaxvis want with an old mining outpost?
Avassa - They mentioned operations in this region. And an old metal building is as good a place as any to hide.
Neya - Seeing as its a "Mining" outpost, I am guessing it goes underneath the ground as well?
Avassa - The region is quite mineral rich under all this ice. Tunnels could go on for miles.
Skarik - I say we blow that place to pieces!
Neya - Or we just search the whole building and kill a majority of forces, maybe even the person in charge here if there is one...
Arsac - I want to know what they are doing here. We continue onwards.
Tyraz - Agreed. I think there is something far more important than mining going on...
The group of them continue to trek onward through the snow.
Tyraz - Avassa, that Draconis you were paired with....He had red scales...Isn't that Khaxvis sign?
Avassa - Not really, red scales is an uncommon mutation, a reccessive trait in our genetic structure.
Tyraz - Arsac was telling me of Oniron Voxis...Apparently, he had red scales?
Avassa - Yes. It's somewhat common among blood dragons since many of us are descendants of Oniron Vokis.
Tyraz - That makes sense. Our greatest warriors, the Niddan Ho....They have no real father.
Avassa - I never knew my parents, I was taken to Minos'Drakon before I hatched... They say you don't miss what you never had.
Tyraz - Yes...You are lucky....
Graavus - Perhaps you could do with some treatment?
Neya chuckles and gasped again, clearly affected by the bullet.
Neya - Haha, don't kid me...Zazane regenerate, so no use for trea--
Graavus - Let me take a look if you are in this much pain.
Neya - The bullet...Its stuck in my side...
Neya pointed to the side of her rib, allowing Graavus to inspect the wound.
Graavus - It's lodged in...
Neya - Please, take the damn thing out...
Graavus - alright. Hold up team! Neya needs treatment.
Neya - I'm having trouble getting this bullet out! Nothing serious! You go on a head....*winces*
Tyraz - *nods* Fine. We will not be far away...
Arsac - I thought you said her body would push the round out?
Tyraz - Sometimes there is the odd instance where a little help is needed.
Graavus gently reached into the wound with a pair of tweezers from his pack and and grabbed the bullet, slowly pulling it out. Neya gasped as it was pulled out and looked at Graavus, a fanged smile appearing across her face. Neya - Thank you...That feels much better now...
Graavus - Protocol asks i give you just a little nanite injection to speed up healing.
Neya - Please, it'll heal almost completely by the end of the day...Injections are frowned upon in Zazane culture...
Graavus - You can either take the injection now and it'll heal up in minutes or you can spend ours with a gunshot wound in your side, your choice.
Neya - I'd rather take the latter...*giggles* Shame, you seemed eager to stick a needle in me.
Graavus - Well not an injection in the old sense, it's more of a spray.
Neya - Haha, still...Keep the bullet, you've earned it.
She places the blooded bullet in his right hand and walks off to join her team. Graavus thanks her before joining the rest of the group.
Tyraz - Hurry up! I don't think we are far...
Graavus - Everything's sorted, although I am concerned over your people's lack of desire for first aid.
Tyraz - We haven't used first aid since...Well, we never have. And look at us now.
Avassa - *mutters* trailing blood across the snow with one of us clutching her side.
Neya - Haha, I don't need Graavus here to clutch my side...I can do that myself.
They arrive over a ridge to se an industrial cylindrical building with pipelines trailing across the landscape. Outside
Tyraz - So here it is....
Arsac - Down there *a small horde of korkonid patrol the perimeter*
Tyraz - Let us Zazane handle this...
Arsac - *scans the area* that's quite a force. I'm noticing thermal readings inside, lots of them.
Neya - Nothing a Zazane cannot handle.
Arsac - Dragons, cover them up here. They have gun emplacements along the approach...
The quiet Zazane stood ahead of the others and started firing his gun as he charged towards them at a fast pace. In retaliation the korkonid scrample and fire a hail of bullets at the Zazane. His speed allowed him the stay a step ahead of the hail, before reaching the centre of the Korkonid group and drawing his Shidium energy blade. He began to brutally butcher the Korkonids, narrowly avoiding gunfire. Brandishing thier crude blades the korkonid fight back. They underestimated the Zazane who were smaller and thinner than a Korkonid. Soon the single Zazane has slaughtered the group, and looked almost unscathed. He looked back up to the other Zazane and Draconis, and nodded, giving the all clear.
Arsac - I knew those brutes were dumb but... that was a massacre...
Tyraz - Zazane like to impress.
Avassa - *shrug* Well they say you should beware of the quiet ones.
Arsac - Let's find out what they are doing here.
Hidden in the Depths
the group enters the base, the building is partially decayed and creaking. It was clear from the onset that the building
Neya - Ugh, this wretched place looks foul.
Graavus - I'd say it hasn't seen life for perhaps a decade or so.
Neya - Mmm....Just be careful...
As they talked Korkonid patrolled the corridor and saw the group, as his face goes pale he sprints in the other direction. Arsac pulls out a pistol and fires at the alien, who collapses to the floor like a sack.
Skarik - Impressive shot...
Tyraz - Indeed, especially with a pistol.
Arsac - Thank you. *walks over to the body, kicking it*
Tyraz - Should we split up?
Graavus - We'd cover more ground that way.
Arsac - We should split into even groups, one Dragon pair to two Zazane.
Arsac - Graavus, Devinus, you go with Tyraz. Avassa you're with me.
Tyraz - Neya, come with me. Skarik, Zoki, go with Avassa and Arsac.
The silent Zazane known as Zoki looked over to Avassa and nodded before walking to her, quite large for a Zazane. Avassa nodded back. As he approaches Avassa, she can see a deep scar that runs from the bottom of his left eye to the side of his neck.
Arsac - We'll keep in radio contact, be careful around any barrels.
Tyraz - Thank you, Mistress Arsac. Me and Neya will try to keep your Dragons alive, as will Zoki and Skarik.
Arsac - Stay vigilant.
Arsac beckoned for her team to follow her down a corridor away from Tyraz, who nodded and went down another corridor.
Graavus - This mine used to supply the prime colony with mercury, heavy industry was demanding it at the time.
Neya - Zazane never had problems with money. Why bother with currency when your race is going extinct? Everybody except the treacherous or the lazy are equal.
Graavus - It wasn't money that killed this place. Twelve years ago a large mercury deposit was discovered within the prime colony's arctic circle. Executives decided it would be easier to transfer extraction operations back home and left half of the mines here to rot.
Neya - Oh...Surely leaving this place here was a waste of resources...
Graavus - Well the mines had been running for a good 200 years, half of them were deconstructed and the matrieals sent to the prime colony. It's still uncertain why some of them were left like this.
Neya - It was a stupid decision to leave this standing....Because look what has happened now.
Graavus - We all ma- Incoming!
Graavus was interrupted when he noticed band of Korkonid staring at the group. They fired their guns down the corridor, the din echoing through the hall. Confident of an easy fight, Skarik fired at the Korkonid band with his Shidium gun while Neya does the same. The Korkonid get cut down, as one Korkonid falls a thin black tail could briefly be seen before dissapearing out of view.
Neya - Wait...Skarik you fool! How did you get here?!
Skarik - ...Dammit!
As he finished another Korkonid, he rushed back to join his group, hoping they haven't ran into trouble*
Neya - Skarik is known for his idiocy...
She draws her blade and rushes at the Korkonid. meanwhile Avassa, Zoki and Arsac cautiously make their way down a corridor, after shooting a Korkonid in the back they hear footsteps behind them. Avassa aimed her gun, seeing Sharik.
Avassa - Skarik! Void curse me I nearly opened fire!
Skarik - I apologize, Avassa! It shall not happen agai--
Before he could finish, he feels Shidium energy rupture into his back, and cries out in pain, the shooter quickly disappearing from sight. Zoki's eyes widened and he ran over to Skarik, gun and blade drawn Avassa ran over to Sharik, kneeling down and rifle ready. She inspected the now-limp body. She noticed his back was covered in burn marks and is bleeding heavily*
Avassa - This wasn't one of the Korkonid, unless House Khaxvis managed to get their hands on shidium weaponry.
Skarik - Agh....It b-burns like H-Hell....End me, I s-suffer!
Avassa - To the void with your traditions. I realise you Zazane don't like doctors but where I come from you live a lot longer with a bit of first aid.
Avassa rested the nanite spray against the wound. Zoki sniffed the air and keeps his gun held upwards, weary for if the shooter returns
Skarik - AGH!! Why do you dishonour me so?!
Avassa - Because where I come from people are a lot more useful when they can stand up.
Skarik - If I have to, I shall fight and die even while my guts spew out!
Avassa - Uou can't even stand up so hold still.
Skarik - You shall say a word of this to nobody!
Avassa - Like i would boast about something like this.
Skarik - Agh...How can I trust you?
Avassa - I won't tell anyone, Dragon's honour.
Avassa rested her hand on her right chestplate. Keeping watch Arsac noticed an open door.
Arsac - Can you stand, Zazane?
Skarik - I...I will attempt....
Wincing in much pain, he climbed onto his legs, his back still looking greatly wounded, and quaked as he stood up.
Sharik - I will t-take on....any enemy!
Arsac - I think i've found something, over here.
Zoki pats Skarik's shoulder and walks ahead of him, gun gripped tight as well as blade. Arsac enters the room, noticing a datapad on the table next to a dead Korkonid, who was bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head. Arsac - Either this guy was just incompetent or he told them we were coming, perhaps both...
Arsac picked up the datapad with curiosity. Zoki walks over to the corpse and examined it, before throwing the body to the floor.
Skarik - W-What did you f-find?
Arsac - I'm checking, it looks like a shipment manifest.
Avassa - If the registrations are what I can recall, this is for living cargo.
Skarik - Living cargo? Like animals?
Avassa - In this case, people; Slaves specifically.
Skarik - Agh, in the Brood we do not have personal slaves....Just a race that does slightly more than everybody else....
Arsac - *comm* Tyraz we've found something. We have shipment manifests here for slaves, hundreds of them.
Tyraz - *comm* What? Slaves? I don't see any trace of them here...
Arsac - I noticed thermal readings under the surface, they must have them stored in the lower tunnels. I've rarely heard of requests this big before and if this coding is correct this is just for this region.
Tyraz - Goddammit...So is this now a confirmed liberation mission?
Arsac - Slavery is legal in the Imperium, but why would they want so many?
Tyraz - Hmph. I wouldn't have any idea. Maybe they are using them as a food source, I don't know...
As they talk an image of a pale Zazane catches in Tyraz' eye before fading from view.
Tyraz - Huh? What was that? Arsac, aside from the ones with you, have you seen any other Zazane?
Arsac - Skarik was injured by a shidium weapon before we found the manifest. other than that, no. We're not even sure if it was a Zazane that shot him.
Tyraz - No, they couldn't get ahold of Shidium weapons any other way...We have only come in contact with them today. Neya - Traitors! They have pledged loyalty to Khaxvis!
Arsac - Such a weapon like that could have reached the black markets. Assume every possibility.
Tyraz - Assume every possibility, trust in the most likely.
Arsac - You have said that not every Zazane enjoys you as a leader.
Tyraz - That is true. Some will go so far as to completely abandone the Brood...
Arsac - We'll update yo if we find anything else, Arsac out.
As Tyraz and the others continue searching the figure returned, this time in a wall panel. Tyraz span and punches the panel with his fist furiously and denting the metal plate. Devinus, one of the dragons jumped with shock.
Devinus - What- What was that?
Graavus - Tyraz is there something we should know?
Tyraz - No....Everything is fine....
He turned and kept walking, wings outstretched. neya whispered to theothers out of concern.
Neya - Tyraz hasn't been well recently...He suffers from depression....
Graavus - Is is that serious for the Zazane?
Neya - If Tyraz wasn't Descended, he would've died from it.
Graavus - ...died?
Devinus - Depression doesn't normally cause you to punch metal bulkheads.
Neya - When Zazane get sad or upset, they channel it as anger, and rarely enter a state of being physically sad. Entering that state is quite serious.
Devinus - I never considred anything like this...
The group reached a pair of double-doors.
Graavus - There could be something in here.
Tyraz - Allow me....
He closed his eyes and let out a roar, and the doors burst open. As they walk in they hear a buzzing sound as the last of them enters, turning around they saw a forcefield now covering the doorway.
Neya - Shyrak! We're trapped in here...
Graavus - This wasn't in the design..
They noticed the sound pf slow clapping from the balcony above. Tyraz let out a growl and looked at the balcony, seing a red Draconis laughing softly.
Tyraz - Show yourself!
Gorzus - Well well, what have we here. The 'mighty' Tyraz Breek. Master Volkarus sends his regards...
Tyraz - Grr....Treachery is at foot....
Devinus - Imposter scum!
Devinus aimed his rifle but Gravus telekinetically threw him aside*
Gorzus - When i was told we would be expecting guests I honestly did not expect you.
Tyraz - I was not told that you were shipping slaves.
Gorzus - Ineed we are, as you can see I had very little time to tidy up.
Tyraz - You will find it difficult to tidy up after I have ripped you apart...
Three armed Zazane emerged from the shadows and stand to surround Gorzus protectively.
Neya - Traitors! The great leader Tyraz shall defeat all four of you!
Gorzus - Master Volkarus was so looking foreward to not having your body broken. But i don't want to kill you, oh no... Volkarus wants you alive.
Tyraz - Then Volkarus will be happy to know that I will still be searching for him after this pathetic encounter!
Gorzus - Your own kind turn against you Tyraz, you are a rare and unwanted breed of warrior!
Devinus - I'll kill all of you traitor scum!
Tyraz - Rare and unwanted? Rich coming from a man who serves a rotting corpse!
Gorzus - Volkarus is strong! He survived against you despite the blade you held, a blade that ended the lives of two inquisitors in a single blow.
Tyraz - And look how he turned out! A hideous creature, I presume!
Gorzus - I am not at liberty to divulge that, you might be undying but that wench Arsac... The righteous will see to it she is justly rewarded for her zeal!
Tyraz - You wouldn't dare lay a finger on Mistress Arsac!
Gorzus - I wouldn't dream of harrming her, but Volkarus greatly desires her for reasons that elude me. But then again... Inquisitors are rather defiant when they are at peak strength.
Tyraz - I will tear you to shreds before you harm her or my Zazane....
Gorzus - Zazane, how would you like to test your skill against the false paragon's Bodyguards?
Neya - The Paragon and his warriors are our allies!
Gorzus - So confusing.. I was referring to my companions.
Tyraz - They shall fall just as you will...
Gorzus - I was blessed by Master Volkarus with the gift he and you share.
the four of them leap down to the main chamber. Tyraz swiftly drew his Firesword. The four of them draw their own weapons.
Tyraz - He has made you Descended? Bah, this will be easy!
Gorzus - Cripple them!
Tyraz outstretched his wings and roared demonically. the four opopnents charge at Tyraz and the others. he roared once more and deactivated the force field, instructing Go now!
Graavus - We'll protect the Inquisitor!
Graavus and the others ran, leaving Tyraz to face off against the enemy. In another part of the facility Arsac and the others had managed to fend off another wave of Korkonid. During their rest period Avassa walked up to Sharik.
Avassa - Zoki doesn't talk much, do you know him?
Skarik - Yes...He is my cousin. And he doesn't talk much because of the scar on his face....
Avassa - What happened?
Skarik - *sighs* We were fighting traitors on a volcanic world once...And one of the traitors' knives was dipped in lava. Swiftly, he cut from the bottom of his eye to his neck, and....Well, after miraculously recovering, it hurts when he speaks.
Avassa - Poor guy, it reminds me of the story of how Arsac lost her eye although it wasn't spectacular.
Skarik - You should've seen what he did to the guy afterwards....He grabbed the heated blade and slammed it straight into the traitor's head....
Avassa - They say a cultist sliced right across it, she stood up from the ordeal she slammed him against the wall and choked the man to death. Seeing a ferocious Inquisitor, hands wrapped around your neck who is bleeding from the eye... must be a horrifying sight for anyone.
Arsac - We have hostiles!
A group of Zazane emerge in the corridor, accompanied by a Khaxvis. Skarik quickly turns and aims his gun, firing at them. Zoki drew his blade and waited his time. The Zazane fired back, Arsac and Avassa dived for cover, throwing a plasma grenade at the group. Losing patience, Zoki growled and leaped above the gunfire. With his blade and gun drawn, he shot down a Khaxvis, before rolling against the wall and swiftly standing, swing his blade through a Zazane and firing another Khaxvis through its head. As the group collapsed the Draconis emerged from cover.
Arsac - Tyraz' suspicions were correct, it seems.
Arsac - *Comm* Tyraz you were right. the House has found allies wtihin the Brood!
Tyraz - Damn this! I will be there soon!
Gorzus - I will present you to Volkarus, let him deal with you!
Tyraz - That would be your worst mistake! I will finish him!
Gorzus - I would not let my master have is prize in such an unrestrained manner. Better to break you first!
Gorzus drew an energised longsword
Tyraz - You think your pathetic toy can match my Firesword?!
Gorzus - *throws a blast of energy at Tyraz* perhaps not, but Master Volkarus would enjoy such a weapon as yours!
Tyraz - This was gifted to me by the Dark Ones themselves!
Tyraz simply swung his Firesword and deflected the blast. Gorzus stood back in horror, watcing as a wall panel is torn apart. He screams, swinging his sword at Tyraz out of desperation. Tyraz lets out a roar and grabs his throat, slowly crushing and lifting him into the air Gorzus plunged his sword into Tyraz' chest, watching as it crumples against his skin.
Gorzus - No... This.. c-cannot.. be!
Tyraz - Traitors like you deserve to suffer!
With these words, his hand continued to slowly and painfully crush his neck.
Gorzus - I am a true heir! Our time.. will come...
Tyraz - You are simply another treacherous stain that will be forgotten in time to come.
Gorzus drops his broken sword trying to pry Tyraz' hands from his throat. Tyraz's face begins to show signs of anger as his hand crushes further, and then while holding his neck with his left hand, his right hand easily penetrated through Gorzus's stomach. He coughs as the hand penetrates through, blood emerging from his mouth and stomach. Suddenly, Tyraz ignites Gorzus's organs with black fire, putting Gorzus under excruciating pain. As he struggles and screams in pain a datapad slips into view from his pocket. Tyraz looks down at it and then throws Gorzus's weak, burning body across the room, throwing him into a wall before picking up the datapad.
Tyraz - I cannot read this...I will hand this to Arsac. Meanwhile...
He turned to Gorzus and leaped onto his body, before his sharp jaws penetrate his neck.
Gorzus - What... ooh.. you..... want *coughs*
Tyraz - For you there shall be no afterlife, no glory, nothing. Just endless darkness, for you have turned your back on Zazane...
Gorzus - I forfieted... all that... for the g-gift.....
Tyraz - It is no gift! A curse, that is what it is! It is not good to be Descended...Especially by a being such as Volkarus....
Gorzus - Why do you... shun such power? my.. m-master offered me more if I did not fail him...
Tyraz - I thought you would've known the answer...Seeing as you betrayed me.
With these words, Tyraz's jaws clamped around Gorzus's neck and forcefully ripped off his skull, blood squirting into the air.
Arsac - *comm* Tyraz we've found something... you had better see this.
Tyraz - Huh? What is it, Mistress Arsac?
Arsac - ... We've found the slaves, and another datapad. Something called 'project Verekev'. If my hunch is right it's named after the Draconis who came up with the theory of evolution.
Tyraz - Hmm....This sounds suspicious. I am coming to your location now. Where are you?
Arsac - In the upper tunnels. The Khaxvis were probably using the rock above to hide the thermal signatures.
Tyraz nodded and teleported there. The team are standing in front of a wall that has becoem a dedicated cage, filled with slaves of all races.hanging on the door was a sign in Dracid. s*
Arsac - The sign says 'for Volkarus'. There must be hundreds of them.
Neya ran to the group with Graavus and Devinus, shooting remaining Zazane forces.
Neya - Keep firing! Lord Tyraz will-
Tyraz materialized in front of them and unleashed a roar, surprising the Zazane before slaughtering them in fast, slashing movement. A Khaxvis soldier tried to ambush Arsac from behind. She twisted around, impales her in the stomach with her power claws and then thrusted the other pair through the jaw. Arsac yanked the blades out, throwing the body to the side.
Arsac - Glad to see you survived your ordeal, did the scum have anything?
Tyraz turned to her and passed her the datapad.
Tyraz - I retrieved this from the bastard before I tore his head off.
Arsac - *Looks at the datapad* it's a message. *clears her throat* Gorzus: The slaves to be shipped to the flagship are for Volkarus only. I don't know what he wants with so many but he's draining the markets dry. Also he's asked for Inquisitors, no idea why.
Tyraz - Hmm....Something is not right about this....
Arsac - I had a brief scan of their little project. It contains a list of Zazane blood doners and a delivery point. Not just blood, sperm and egg cells too and i've seen this kind of list before.
Tyraz - Agh, this disgusts me! What would Volkarus want with such?!
Arsac - The slaves still stump me, but this list sounds suspiciously like another genetics project.
Graavus - Another one? Do you think they're trying a new angle? Khaxvis and Zazane combined could be a terrifying mix. Arsac - This just calls for Zazane material.
Skarik - Genetics project? Bah, can't say I blame him! Zazane are well known for--
Suddenly, a Shidium round went through his head, and his lifeless body drops to the floor as traitor Zazane ambush from all sides.
Arsac - Another ambush! Defensive positions!
Zoki watched as his cousin's body bleeds from its neck, and then suddenly, his body fuels with rage. Drawing his gun and blade, he unleashes a furious roar, and enters a killing frenzy.
Graavus - The Zazane is under Dragonfury, keep your distance!
Korkonid - Oy ya gitz keep firin at da angry one!
Zoki slashed another traitor before turning to a group of Korkonids and runs, his body being struck with bullets, though his rage keeps him going towards them. He slashes and shoots at the Korkonids, showing no mercy or rest, making sure each one of them is beaten and killed. One of the korkonids runs down the corridor in panic, getting shot in the leg with a fusion round. Zoki growls and snarls despite the traitors, Khaxvis and Korkonids backing off, his body shaking furiously. Graavus stood in awe. Zoki looksed towards Graavus and charged at him, roaring furiously. Noticing the charging Zazane his eyes widen and he leaps out of the way.
Avassa - Can you call him off?
Tyraz - I'm not sure...Zoki! Calm down!
Zoki continues to snarl and leaped at Graavus, however Neya pushes Graavus out of the way and is jumped on by Zoki.
Avassa - Blood dragons undergo this kind of state when they lose a partner - the dragonfury - but at they can still tell friend from foe.
Graavus - What in the void did I say!
Neya wrestlesd with Zoki on the ground, Zoki biting and clawing at her body. She cried out for assistance adn Arsac ordered the three Dragons to help who assist in trying to hold Zoki down. Zoki continues to snarl and roar, until Tyraz walks over and slaps him, knocking him unconscious.
Neya - Ahh....S-Somebody....
Graavus - Thank you Neya, I'm trying hard not to make this a habit.
Neya - Come here....
She lays on the floor, scars and bites over her face and body, bleeding heavily. Graavus walked over to her kneling down ready to help her stand up.
Neya - G-Graavus...are you h-hurt?
Graavus - I'm fine, a litle shaken but I've handled worse.
Neya - G-Good....
Slave - A... are you here to save us?
Neya coughed up blood as she lay on the floor, trying in vain to stand. Tyraz turned ot the slave and snarled.
Tyraz - Yes, I suppose we are.
Slave - P-please, you have to g-g-get us out of here! The Draconis... the aliens, they're calling us m-meat, saying we will serve a greater purpose on their h-homeship.
Tyraz - Meat? Something is definitely not right here...Volkarus is up to something, and I have a rough idea what...
Arsac - *approaches the cage* Do you have marks?
The slave shows her a chip on his back, nodding.
Slave - we all came from elsewhere, I-i was in service to an admiral before mercenaries captured me...
Arsac - Normally i'd consider they mean 'meat' as in living sacrifice or as cannon fodder. What's on your mind?
Tyraz - Oh, they are living sacrifice alright....Volkarus may be needing these slaves to restore himself....I've seen it before.
Graavus - *tries to comfort her* Easy Neya, your injuries are very severe...
Arsac - Restore himself? Are you suggesting he needs their... biomass?
The Blood dragons shudder at the thought
Avassa - 'Why in the void would he need so many just to replace his flesh?
Neya - Agh...yes, m-maybe too s-severe....
Neya removes her hands and shows him many deep cuts and scars on her chest and stomach.
Tyraz - I doubt its just flesh he's wanting to replace....
Devinus - Then what?
Arsac - It's just a suspicion but he could be wanting their life energies.
Tyraz - Quite similiar to....No, no that cannot be. He's dead, he can't be in league with Volkarus!
Arsac - Sometimes people get very good at not actually dying, I should know - I've done it myself. But who do you suggest?
Tyraz - ....My brother Moxix has died twice! He cannot come back! Not a third time!
Arsac - Hope for the best but expect the worst Tyraz.
Devinus - Rule of three Tyraz.
Avassa - We shouldn't be joking about this.
Neya coughed up more blood, dripping from her mouth and groaning loudly
Neya - G-G-Graavus...
Tyraz - If Moxix has returned....The Gigaquadrant is in grave danger....
Graavus - *reaches into his pack* Damnation Neya, not again!
Neya - N-No...D-Don't waste it....
She smiled lightly, and with some strained strength, passed her blooded blade to him. Accepted the blade with some reluctance.
Graavus - You fought well Neya, you will not be forgotten.
Arsac - Wait the Gigaquadrant? That's bit of an extreme scale isn't it? The galaxy wouldn't be surprising, the cluster if we're unlucky, but all of known space?
Neya smiles and with last strength, nuzzles his snout with her own before coughing up blood and falling back, lifeless.
Tyraz - You have NOT seen what he is capable of! He resurrected the dead all over the Gigaquadrant!
Avassa - Are you saying that houseless responsible for that?
Tyraz - Yes...He wasted all his gifted energy in doing so...And believe it or not, the TIAF contributed in his defeat and second death...
Devinus - The Imperium had to quarantine entire worlds believing it was some kind of nanoplague. Several of the border colonies were either dead and overrun or severely depopulated. On many words people evacuated for the false safety of the core worlds. They had to evacuate several places and confine them to arks until the infernal disaster was over, leaving the ITN to clear up the mess.
Arsac - several of the outermost colonies are still recovering, others were just left abandoned.
Tyraz - Moxix made sure nobody was spared....Millions of primitive worlds were overrun and billions of species of animal life was eradicated. The sentient races were harder, but...He could've achieved it.
Avassa - And now you think the horror could be back, was there anything left of him?
Tyraz - No, not that I know of....Except a biography that was apparently written in his blood....
Avassa - That just sounds primitive.
Arsac - -And typical of any peverted cult.
Tyraz - A traitor Zazane, do not blame me! My people despise Moxix!
Arsac - I don't intend to.
Tyraz - *sighs* If Volkarus was handed the scroll....Dammit!
Arsac - After learning of the atrocities of their reign the Imperium virtually turned on the Khaxvis during the Second House War. At the time they were still the official heads of state, meaning the entire Imperial population could have been branded traitors.
Avassa - A dark stain on the order's history.
Tyraz - Wow...Moxix was a genocidal maniac. More genocidal than any other Zazane leader....
Arsac - I have an idea of what to do if this scroll exists, I would bring it up but not here, only I truly know about it.
Tyraz - Hmm....That reminds me....how do we escape from this snow world?
Arsac - There should be a relay terminal within this station, we can inform the prime colony and they will send us aid.
Slave - If... If that is our fate, please don't let us go near Volkarus!
Tyraz - Volkarus shall NOT have you! We cannot let him....
Arsac - Don't worry, you won't enter his clutches. Now where is that terminal
Zoki panted as he calmed down, looking at the Blood Dragons restraining him*
Slave - They set up a terminal to the relay down the hall.
The Blood Dragons eventually back off. Zoki panted and looked about, calmed. He stood up, and observed the Dragons that held him down, and then looks at Neya's scarred body.
Zoki - Shyrak.....
Graavus - Her wounds were too grave... There was nothing that could be done...
Zoki looked to Graavus and snarls, before turning away. Arsac heads towards and peers down the hallway indicated by the slave. Graavus looks at Tyraz with concern.
Graavus - Am I at fault for this?
Tyraz - Hmm? No, no you are not. Zoki's rage is the reason Neya is dead. He is upset because he did this to a comrade, and that you were there to comfort her.
Graavus - She should have let me take that round! She risked her life three times to preserve mine and now SHE lies dead, not me!
Tyraz - If you had taken that round, Zoki would still have killed her.
Graavus - He charged for me and she got in the way to save me!
Tyraz - She made the right choice. If you had taken that round, it would've either been somebody else, or still Neya, and we'd be even less in number.
Graavus - The shuttle crash, the sniper rounds, My duty is to protect those around me and look what happens!
Avassa - Brother calm down, you are not improving the situation.
Graavus looked down at the bloodied blade he was given, holding it in his hands
Graavus - ...The last thing she did was save me... The last thing Neya ever did was made sure I survived...
Tyraz - Would you let her die in vain?
Graavus - No... *looks at him* The actions of Volkarus' ilk sent Zoki into the rage that killed her, i will return the favour...
Tyraz - What are you planning?
Avassa - Blood for blood. They took a life and so he would logically take their lives in her name.
Graavus - yes.
Tyraz - Ah yes...*inhales* I smell great bloodshed coming....
Avassa - You might want to hold your nostils, we kill out of justice not out of enjoyment.
They were interupted when Arsac beckoned them down the corridor. Tyraz began to follow.
Graavus - what of her body?
Tyraz - Usually, us Zazane leave our dead where they die. However, you may do what you like with her.
Arsac - It will not take them long to get here, the faster we contact them the faster Neya's body can be buried with respect.
Zoki grunts and walks over to Neya's body, sniffing and then looking at Graavus, snarling and teeth bared. After dispatching several guards they arrive at a reinforced metal door.
Arsac - magnetic lock, reinforced titanium-nanotube alloy, they built this door to last...
Graavus - You'd need a lot of brute strength to pry this thing open, whatever's in here must be pretty important. Tyraz - Pfft, stand out of the way.
Tyraz stood in front of the door and punched into it, allowing space for his claws. He gripped the sides and began to push.
Graavus - ....Amazing, the magnetic seal alone must more than compensate for any breaches...
Arsac - You clearly don't know much about Descention...
Avassa - We're not inquisitors mistress, we hunt the -mortal- enemies of the Imperium.
Tyraz keeps on pushing, having some difficulty in opening the door, until Zoki grabs one side and begins to assist. Graavus peers at the far side of the room, pulled out his fusion pistol and fired at a wall console on the far side of the room, between the gap Tyraz has made. After the imapct the seal deactivates and the doors opened by themselves, partially jamming due to the bent metal. Tyraz walked inside and looks around, Zoki at his side. The room contained several containers storing vials of both Zazane and Draconis blood. He looked at the vials and grunted. There were also several containers for fusion weapons.
Tyraz - Hmph...Zazane should not spill their blood unless in battle...Cowards.
Arsac - Looks like this stuff was ready to be shipped out.
Avassa - Sometimes i wonder where House Khaxvis gets all its money from: this has 'black market' written all over it.
Tyraz - Grr...If this stuff gets shipped out, who knows what Volkarus would've done with it.
Davinus - Do you think this blood is for that project of theirs?
Graavus - Obviously, why else would he have so much.
Arsac - *picks up a datapad* the vials were for export to somewhere else, the guns were an import.
Tyraz - That explains why the Korkonid had better weaponry.
Avassa - Black Market fusion weapons are horribly expensive, you can only get them from the military.
As they look around a metallic clunk was heard. Tyraz was startled by the sound and as they look about a grenade went off in the middle of a room, everyone is hit with a paralysing high-pitched whine. Zoki lets out a roar, trying to move, but could not resist the paralysis. Tyraz wass affected and so fell to the floor trying to cover his ears. Three Khaxvis and four Korkonid walk into the room, and as they entered one of them fired a stun gun at Tyraz, Who snarled and fell, his rage building up.The Khaxvis pointed at him, barking orders at the Korkonid.
Khaxvis - Make sure that one cannot move a single inch!
Korkonid - Yes boss
Khaxvis - Restrain the others, prepare them for transport. Master Volkarus will greatly enjoy our gift
Arsac began to move slightly, recovering.
Korkonid - Doze buzzy-fings are good fer dis sort 'ah ting, even da inqui-see-tors are vunerable to dem.
Tyraz - <<Can you get free?>>
Arsac grabbed the leg of one, squeezing it tightly and breathing erratically. She creams 'die' and sliced a leg off however she is hoisted up by one of the Khaxvis, her lefs are left dangling as he lifts her high into the air.
Khaxvis - You have been busy haven't you, do you have ANY idea how hard it is to clean your kind's filthy, hell-smelling blood?
Tyraz saw this and let out a loud roar before jumping to his feet and throwing the Korkonid to the ground. As he stood up a knife is pressed against her and everyone else's neck.
Tyraz - Let her go, traitor!
Khaxvis - You might be unkillable but the rest of you certanly aren't *looks at Arsac* depite what rumours may say...
Arsac - You betray the lifefather, threaten the paragon's life and now you're trying to combine zazane and draconis blood. They say there's nothing in the void but i certainly hope there is a reserved spot for all of you!
Korkonid - *punches her jaw* SHUT IT!
Tyraz snarled and then closes his eyes, before suddenly a giant reptile, a Koda, is teleported into the centre of the room and goes wild on the Khaxvis and Korkonid. The Korkonid panic and let everyone go, as one runs he runs into the knife of one of the Khaxvis, which hits him in the chest. The massive beast rages and swings its massive arms, knocking Korkonid and Khaxvis about as if they were rag dolls, while the party escaped the room. As the beast rampaged it destroyed the vials, as Davinus runs out several samples of Zazane blood land on him.
Avassa - What in the void's name was THAT!
Gravus - No idea.. but i think i know where it came from *looks at Tyraz*
Tyraz - That is a Koda, a mighty and ferocious beast older than the Zazane ourselves. It is one of the strongest beasts we have ever fought.
Arsac - I can understand why, I don't think the caretakers would be pleased.
Tyraz watched as the Koda crushed the Khaxvis and Korkonid and smeared their blood all over the room, and a smile appeared on his face. Zoki just looked on in silence.
Arsac - As i was saying earlier that was a paralyser capsule, horrid little things.
Avassa - Normally Blood Dragons are immune since we wear sonic dampeners, but such technology has limits.
Tyraz - Indeed....You'll need more than that to subdue a Koda though. Especially more than one.
Arsac - The device worsk by releasing a sonic signal that triggers a paralysing response in the body, the result is that you become as stiff as a rock.
Tyraz - Hmph. Koda are still incredibly powerful.
Arsac - You certainly handled it well, they needed a stun gun to finish you off.
Tyraz - *blushes slightly* Uhh, thanks.
Unleash the Dragonfury
As they walked, Zoki stares at Graavus, baring his teeth. Graavus took glancing looks at Zoki as they walked down, feeling uncertain. Zoki kept staring, his chest turning redder and redder, and heavy breathing sounds are heard. This concerned Gravus who paced towards Tyraz.
Graavus - I think i'm getting mixed signals, i till think Zoki is angry with me...
Tyraz - *glances at Zoki, who is looking at the floor* Just keep aware, Graavus....Zoki is knwon for his rages...
Graavus - *sarcastically* thanks...
Tyraz - No problem, if there is any trouble let me know.
Arsac - Form up, this is the place.
Zoki and Tyraz stop and look about, gripping weapons.
Avassa - If you are willing, we'll show you how Blood Dragons play 'raid'.
Tyraz - Of course. I'd like to see how you handle things.
Davinus and Graavus hugged the wall, holding their weapons ready, they opened the door slightly and Avassa rolls a flashbang into the room before taking cover. After a second they enter and swiftly incapacitate the Korkonid attendants, signalling for the others to enter. The Zazane enter the room and nodded. As Davinus looked about he sniffed the air, cringing his snout before a sharp blade ruptures out of his stomach, he looks down at it, horrified.
Graavus - Davinus... No.. not you... *places his hands on his head*
Avassa - Tyraz, Zoki, keep back; he's about to undergo a dragonfury state.
Tyraz stood back as insisted, but Zoki stays where he is, snarling and baring his teeth. Graavus breathed heavily out of both fear and anger, as he crouched his lowest he let out a vicious roar directed at the assailant who slides Davinus' body off his blade.
Tyraz - Zoki, get back! Now!
Zoki snarls with a smile and watched as Graavus entered dragonfury. Graavus launched himself at the shape, as the blade cuts his side he barely seesm to notice before grabbing the throat of a Khaxvis and throwing him to the ground. As the shape stumbleed up he lifts his arm to throw Graavus only for him to grab it and slice it off with his sword, lifting it again and plunging it into the back of the Khaxvis' neck. Zoki watched and lets out a roar of his own, fury welling up inside him.As Graavus forces the body to the floor, he removes the blade. Lifting his foot off the ground he thrusts it down on the skull, cmashing it like pottery. As the broken body lay there he stood panting heavily, bearing his teeth the looked at Zoki who observed Graavus and snarled angrily, wasting no time in charging at him full speed and leaping onto him, knocking both to the floor. Graavus snarled in response, wrapping his hands around Zoki's neck. Zoki roare and scratched at Graavus's face with his sharp clawed hands. Graavus tilted his head form the attack before turning back even angrier, pulling out one of his swords he plunging it into Zoki's side.
Avassa - call him off... Tyraz CALL HIM OFF!
Tyraz - You cannot call off a Zazane in rage!
Avassa - I don't care what you do, Graavus could tear him apart... they both could...
GraZoki roared furiously and gripped Graavus's snout, digging his claws at the sides of his nose. Graavus pulled the sword out amd lifted lifts Zoki up, dragging and slamming his back into a wall. Zoki once again roared and lifted his right hand to slash at Graavus's face, a powerful swipe knocking Graavus to the side. As Graavus staggered, he drew both of his swords and roared before lunging them at Zoki's stomach. As they dig in he snarled viciously. Zoki barely felt the pain as Graavus dug in, and claws into the side of his head before headbutting him several times furiously. Pulling out one of the swords Graavus lifted his bracer, watching as Zoki's head impacts against the strong ceramic plating. Zoki roared and kept on headbutting, his head actually starting to damage the plating, while his head bleeds seriously.
Arsac - Avassa get that massage through, I need to separate these two before they kill each other.
Tyraz - No, no...Let them fight....
Arsac - What? For crying out loud Graavus was supposed to calm down, all he's doing is defending Davinus' corpse! Tyraz - Zoki needs to learn his lesson...
Graavus threw his fist at the side of Zoki's face, knocking him sideways.
Arsac - I'm sure you've noticed but he's bleeding FROM THE HEAD!
Zoki landed on the floor and roars up at Graavus before leaping onto his again and biting into his armour. Graavus slung Zoki over his shoulder, he crouches over Zoki, rests a sword against his's neck and making a slight cut. Zoki let out a furious roar and bit against Graavus's snout, his teeth painfully sinking in. Grunting in pain, Graavus sliced his sword through Zoki's neck, killing him. As blood collected on the floor he stood up, panting heavily. Tyraz smiled and nodded, clapping for Graavus. Graavus glared at Tyraz, dropping his sword, he looked about the room, seeing Zoki's body.
Avassa - Graavus... Everything is fine now...
Graavus - What have I done...
Tyraz - Graavus...Zoki was never going to recover. What you did was best.
Graavus - It wasn't supposed to go that far... protect my brother, that was what was flowing through my mind.
Tyraz - Zoki saw you as a challenge, and you displayed you could very well fight it. Its not everyday I congratulate somebody slaying a raging Zazane.
Graavus - I wasn't supposed to kill an ally, when he launched himself at me... I had no choice...
Tyraz - As soon as Zoki leaped at you, he was no longer your ally.
Avassa - How did it feel?
Graavus - ...Like my blood was boiling, every bone cried out for vengence, I could feel the rage coarsing through my muscles... and two words echoed constantly "Protect Davinus"...
Tyraz - Graavus, are you also aware that in my eyes, you have just avenged Neya's death.
Graavus - ...I did? *looks at the body* Zoki was the one that injured her fatally.
Tyraz - Zoki has attacked allies before, but Skarik was there to stop him killing them. Without Skarik....
Avassa - Messsage sent, they sould be here in 30 minutes. They're bringing freighters.
Graavus - Skarik, i should have done something!
Arsac - I'm sorry that you had lost your team Tyraz.
Tyraz - It is okay, Mistress Arsac...They shall be remembered.
Arsac - House Khaxvis will pay. It is only a matter of time.
Tyraz - Mmm, the traitors will pay with blood. This shall not be forgotten.
Arsac - We managed to get the location of the lab those blood samples were heading to, I can send a team of inquiistors to clear them out.
Tyraz - Volkarus would want you to do that.
Arsac - The Inquisition has done something like this a thousand times before... you'd think he would be there?
Tyraz - If he wanted Inquisitors, he'd lure a load of them into one, huge trap.
Arsac - Perhaps you should go with them then? Every trap they had here you managed to foil.
Tyraz - Perhaps, yes. Though I don't think they'd like it if I lead them.
Arsac - You don't have to. Like I said the Inquisition has performed raids on gene labs a thousand times before. Tyraz - But Volkarus didn't need them back then.
Avassa - Sorry to interrupt but perhaps we should rescue those prisoners?
Tyraz - Oh yes, of course.
Arsac - Of course.
Everyone headed back to the cells.
Arsac - So you don't buy it as a genuine gene lab?
Tyraz - No, I don't. I could be wrong, however.
Arsac - We should suspect every possibility, rule unthing out until we can confirm. What concerns me is that there must be hundreds of bases like this dotted across the Imperium, and every one could be a trap for my inquisitors.
Tyraz - Exactly. The Khaxvis grow stronger with each passing day. Also, now that traitor Zazane have joined them...
Arsac - And if your suspicions about Moxix are correct things could get very bad indeed.
Tyraz - Indeed they could. If he tries to raise another army....
Arsac - I don't think the universe would be ready....
Tyraz - Andromeda would become the base of operations for Moxix's army of undeath.
Arsac - Presumeably with the Imperium at its heart.
When they arrived Avassa drew her sword and breaks the locks on the cages open but as they work to free the prisoners Graavus collpases to his knees. The thud was enough to draw Tyraz's attention. he turned turned as he heard Graavus collapse.
Tyraz - Graavus, what's wrong?
Graavus - Nothing.. I guess I can't endure pain as much... *coughs*... as you can...
Arsac - Zoki dug his teeth and claws in quite deeply.
Tyraz - Do you wish me to heal you?
Graavus - I think all I need is a nanite spray, and some *cough* painkillers.
Avassa - Krann-dung! Be thankful you were not overcome with pain.
Tyraz - It is quite bad, Graavus...
Graavus - Just give me a spray and i'll see a surgeon when we get off this rock.
Avassa - You could be in a coma by then, you're trailing blood!
Arsac - Tyraz perhaps you should...
Tyraz - Graavus, I will heal you, but only if you allow me to.
Graavus - *cringes in pain* ... yeah I suppose it's for the best
Tyraz nodded and lay Graavus on the floor. He opens his clawed palm and dark mist-like energy starts to smother the wounds. Graavus looked at the energies and Tyraz with concern. Arsac informed him that she and Avassa would lead the freed slaves to the surface. he nodded and turned his gaze back to Graavus. Tyraz reassured Graavus that what he was doing was not descentsion and that for that to happen Graavus would need to die. Graavus wasn't entirely convinced the act was safe but he kept his faith in what Tyraz was doing. The energies begin to burn slightly, though they are actually repairing the flesh. It was discomforting and Tyraz had to remind Graavus to keep calm as the wounds dealed up.
Graavus - I'm probably a rarity, not many Blood Dragons make it out of a dragonfury under my condition unless they had immediate medical attention, of course.
Tyraz - You fought a Zazane in rage, I'm surprised you didn't die.
Graavus - They train us to be tough, but under the fury they say one can become unstoppable. I hear of Dragons who are taken by the fury lose entire limbs and still come out on top,
Tyraz - Hehe, any Zazane would be impressed by what you did. Especially Neya.
Graavus - Thanks...
Tyraz - How close were you and her?
Graavus - I wouldn't say very close, but we both owed each other.
Tyraz - Yes...Its a shame.....
Graavus - I was closer to Davius though, he was my partner.
Tyraz - Of course. I'm sorry about what happened to him...
Graavus - Have you ever wondered why we're always deployed in even numbers? We are each paired with another Dragon, we become inseperable; we train, we fight and we live together. He was a brother to me...
Arsac - *comm* Arsac here, transports have arrived and are beginning to load the passengers on board.
Tyraz - Yes...I never had such a bond...
Tyraz stood up and was nearly finished with the healing process. He informed Arsac that they would be close behind and Graavus prompted them to move upon hearing. Tyraz helped him stand up and Graavus walked over to picked up Neya's mutilated body. He paused for a moment; He only knew her for a few hours but she may as well ahve been a close friendand they both headed to the surface, snow was still blowing outside and a thought hit the zazane.
Tyraz - Shall I....fetch Davinus's body?
Graavus - Yes, He deserves a proper buriel.
Arsac - You two we had better hurry, the pilot says the storm is going to get worse!
Tyraz - Yes, we are coming!
Tyraz momentarily vanished, appearing again with Davindus' body. He hurried to the ship with Graavus, the body in his arms. Despite th creatures size Tyraz had the strength to hold him with little effort. The back of the dropsgip remained open for them, a crewman sees the two coming.
Crewman - We'll have them taken care of don't worry.
Tyraz - Good. I don't know what you do with your dead, but they deserve the best treatment they can get.
Crewman - We will se to it The Dragon is buried in the catacombs, as for the Zazane... we're not so sure.
Tyraz - Let Graavus decide her fate.
Graavus - ...if you and Arsac are right about Moxix she deserves a cremation.
Tyraz - *nods* Smart choice Graavus.
Graavus - Thank you.
The hatch closed behind them and the whole ship shunted as it took off. Tyraz sat at the far end and sighed deeply. Arac walked over to him and sat on a seat opposite to him.
Arsac - I checked with my sources on the prime colony; it turns out that informant of mine was a double-agent working for House Khaxvis. Security forces currently have him in custody. Tyraz - Good. He deserves execution...
Weary, Tyraz yawned and lowered his head. Arsac smiled as she watched him drift off.
Arsac - I will leave you to your thoughts Tyraz, i'm feeling worn down myself.
Tyraz - Get some rest, Mistress Arsac. It'll be a long way back to Brood space...
Arsac - If you don't mind, I have other matters to attend to within the Imperium.
Tyraz - Oh yes, of course. If you need my services again, don't hesitate to ask.
Arsac - Of course. Good day, Tyraz.
Arsac stood up and headed deeper into the ship. She caught a faint glympse as Tyraz yawned again and closed his eyes, beginning to slowly drift off into sleep. it had been a long mission, he had walked for miles and had encoutnered a few revelations: House Kahxvis were more than licking their wounds. Whatever Volkarus was planning couldahve dangerous ramifications for not just the Imperium, but potentially all of the Gigaquadrant.
In orbit of a remote planet, Tyraz Breek arrived in a small shuttle and teleported over himself and a group of Zazane to a lone Srarfury-class cruiser. An inquisitor was waiting for him in the ship's primary hanger bay.
Inquisitor - Practical as always i see. Mistress Arsac was right about you.
Tyraz - *looks to the Inquisitor* We'd rather not waste time docking.
Inquisitor - Follow me, Mistress Arsac could not join you i'm afraid since she's on duties elsewhere.
The Inquisitor led them through the ship to a briefing room.The inquisitor prompts a holoprojector to bring up a hologrpahic map of a forested region on the planet*
Tyraz - So, what mission is so important that it requires Zazane aide?
Inuquisitor - We discovered a gene lab thanks to the coordinates you and the mistress discovered.
Tyraz - Ah yes...Mistress Arsac told me about these "gene-labs".
Inquisitor - We took orbital scans of the rejion below and found this.
the projector changed its display to show a network of tunnels underneath the ground.
Tyraz - Hmm? Now this is interesting...
Inquisitor - We're not sure how many embryos could be down there or even if there are any that have matured. Tyraz - Hmph, I will take pleasure in destroying that place....
Inquisitor - Reports stated you faced Korkonid last time. You won't encounter them here, the lab would be too important to allow something that stupid to wander the halls.
Tyraz - Ha, of course. Those clumsy brutes were a challenge though....I wonder what they do have down there... Inquisitor - Our best guess is the opposite - Highly-trained mercenary teams and perhaps a few of the Khaxvis' own guard.
Tyraz - Ahh, so a much more respectable challenge.
Inquisitor - Indeed.
Tyraz - When do we drop?
Inquisitor - I will be providing you with a strike team from the 217th legion. You can either drop down several kilometres away or you could use your ability to phase right in.
Tyraz - Bah, I would rather clear a path. So several kilometres away will do.
Inquisitor - Actually that is why I asked. If ew dropped you any closer they might notice you and place the facility on high alert.
Inquisitor - When that happens the occupants tend to start removing the evidence.
Tyraz - Haha, so I guess we made a good decision.
Inquisitor - You're still going to have to be subtle on approach.
Tyraz - Yes....That is why I brought with me a very skilled Zazane....
A tall, muscular Zazane entered the room, standing an extra three feet above every other normal-sized Zazane. he stared at the Inquisitor as Tyraz introduced him*
Inquisitor - Niddan Ho, i take it?
Tyraz - *nods* Yes, meet Kalt Ho.
Kalt - Where do you need my services?
Inquisitor - A pleasure, now a word of warning about the attack: It is possible there may be third-party scientists at this facility. The origin of them tends to vary but if you find any who did not swear complete loyalty to House Khaxvis are to ONLY be a aressted. Hearing from the royal academy about the loss of a few great minds is never a good thing.
Tyraz - Don't worry, we only murder those who try to harm us.
Inquisitor - That just leaves the guards. The Marines will keep track of your progress planetside.
Tyraz - Good. I want to make sure we don't run into any trouble. Or at least, trouble we can't handle...
A bulky Draconis enters the room and slutes by resting his fist horizontally against his right peck. The Sergeant had a large scar over his snout and greeted them with a stern look. Kalt walks up to Kelvanus, showing scars over his chest and arm
Inquisitor - This is Sergeant Kelvanus, he will be in charge of the marine squad that will be joining you.
Kalt - Good to know who your allies are.
Inquisitor - The sergeant fought on the frontlines against the mecha-wasps roughly eighty years ago.
Kelvanus - I am no stranger to horror, which is why the Inquisition picked me.
Kalt - Yes, well....We will see what awaits for us.
Inquisitor - I have something for you and your men.
The Inquisitor walked over to a cabinet and took out a small bracer, he tossed it to Kelvanus.
Kelvanus - High-spec HPa-72 projectors. Nice...
Tyraz - Hmm? What are those?
Kelvanus - Holofield projectors, a form of stealth technology that Inquisitors use all the time.
Tyraz - Hmph, not exactly what I would call honourable.
Inquisitor - This is so you are undetected when you approach the lab.
Kalt - No thanks, I got this.
Kalt's entire form suddenly turns invisible.
Inquisitor - Intelligence certainly didn't report that ability.
Kalt - We are well equipped for every situation.
Kelvanus - Looks like we're good to go, my team is waiting in the hanger.
Tyraz - Good, we shall join shortly.
An hour or so later the team lands in thick jungle and Kalvorus pulled out a device from his pack. Kalt turned invisible while the others activated theri holofields. When they reach the door the mariens keep back. One of them fires a dart at oen guard who collasped to the floor, falling asleep. Kalt slowly moved towards two guards. he grabbed their mouths tight so they could not shout before crushing down on them with ease, pressurizing their skulls into bloody pulps. After arriving at the entrance Garresa, one of the marines, pulls out the guard's keycard and swipes it, opening the door. The team entered a series of natural caves, strange noises echoed through them The Zazane soldiers ready their weapons.
Kalt - Hmph....Sounds rather unnatural to me.
Kelvanus - Nothing that comes out of thege labs is natural... I hear urban legends that scientists sometimes get their experiments 'wrong'.
Kalt - .....Wrong? Hmph. I myself am a product of enhancement.
Garresa - Apparently some scientists get sentimental and could not bear to have the freaks put down, it's still rumour though.
Kelvanus - Most of the time the scientists know what they are creating.
Kalt - If these rumours are true, we shouldn't have much to worry about.
Kelvanus - You never know...
Kalt - How much good is a mutant gone wrong? If its gone wrong, it cannot be very powerful.
The roars continue, upon reaching a cluster of luminous fungi they spotted a spindly shadow. kalt drew a large blaster and looked at the shadow, unsure what it was. The shadow emerges as something that looked vaguely like a Zazane only with much longer arms and legs. The creature stands hunched over, almost primal. The Zazane looked it it with concern, putting everyone on alert.
Zazane Soldier - What in the name of Shyrak is tha---
Marine - It looks... like one of you...
Zazane Soldier - That definitely isn't one of us.....is it?
Kalt - The Khaxvis have managed to get ahold of Zazane DNA. Traitors.
The creature quickly turned its head and leaped blindingly fast at one of the Zazane ,toppling him over. The best ravaged a soldier violently as he screamed in panic. kalt herd moer screams. Scrying out that mroe were coming he puleld the creature off the now-dead soldier while Kelvanus plunged his sword into its body. When he pulled it out he kicked the body to make sure it was dead.
Marine - First blood I guess, I don't get it that thing was as bulky as a Radeon but... did you see it move!?
Kalt - *sarcastically* Good observation, soldier.
Marine - Very funny.
Kelvanus sliced the flesh to reveal more taut muscle fibres.
Kelvanus - The muscle tisue must be several times denser than normal.
Kalt - This is strange....By the way it toppled the soldier over, it obviously had built up some momentum.
Kelvanus - Its legs must have been engineered to be like springs. Why create something like this and just.. leave it in these tunnels?
Marine - Must have been some kind of guard krann.
Kalt - Hmph....Either that, or it escaped.
Kelvanus - Keep moving, any mutant will be regarded as KOS from here on in.
Kalt - I hope you have your weapons ready.
Marine - Always prepared.
Kalt - Good, because I hear more abominations....deeper...
The team continued through the tunnels, going deeper and picking off any mutants that crossed their path. Along the way they noticed deforemed Zazane remains littering the caves that had undergone various states of decay. Eventually their route opened into a large natural room and standing in front of them is a Zazane with muscles of grossly unnatural size, grunting. The creature charged towards them, plowing right through the middle of the group. Kalt roared and charged for the beast, grabbing each other by the shoulders. As the creature had more momemtum, Kalt is pushed back, although not knocked over. Noicing the cahnge the beast changed its focus, slamming Kalt into a wall.
Creature - You serve.. Shyrak-eaters?
Marine - This just got a lot deeper...
Creature - Who.. you serve!
Kalt - I serve Lord Tyraz, cretin!
Kalt headbutted the creature, knocking it back. The creature panted, looking at the soldiers around him before speaking once again.
Creature - I once served... too...
Kalt - That may be so, but you betrayed Lord Tyraz by allowing those Khaxvis scum to do this to you!
Creature - Shyrak Eaters... must pay
Kalt - I guess you refer to the Khaxvis...I hope.
Kelvanus - if these rebels swore loyalty to the Kaxvis, that would explain much. But this... Volakrus isn't just breeding a supersoldier i think he's trying to improve what he has.
Kalt - Hmm.....May be so.....Protocol says that I must annihilate the mutants, but he seems loyal enough...
Creature - I chose this. Shyraks made mistake.
Kalt - Hmph....The damage cannot be undone. I am sorry.
Marine - Volkarus will certainly pay.
Creature - Shyrak-eaters told lies, said I... be better.. stronger. Stronger yes, no better.
Kalt - Mutant, what is your name, if you can remember?
Creature - Name... I think... Kordak
Kalt - Kordak, do you know the other mutants in these tunnels?
Kordak - Some, most went savage. One time.. all knew others.
Kalt - I'm guessing that the eaten ones....are your friends?
Kordak - Cannot.. remember.
Kalt - Your memory, how far back can you think to?
Kordak - Not much before change.
Marine - So let me get this straight; the Kaxvis took up voluenteers for their genetic experiments, those that went wrong were just dumped in these caves?
Kalt - Two wrongs do not make a right. However....Kordak, the Brood shall forgive you if you help us defeat the Khaxvis...
Kordak - Some come out worse, shyrak-eaters kill them. but will help.
Kalt nodded with a sad expression on his face. He told kalt to gather who he could; either friends or sane mutants
Kalt - Kordak, gather what "friends" you have, or at least the sane mutants.....
Kordak nodded and rushed off, pointing towards the base's entrance as he left. The group travelled in the direction Kordak pointed and after some time they arrived at the entrance after fighting off more grotesque mutants only to see the entire corridor electrified*
Kalt - Great....Now what.
Kelvanus - Well, this is simple.
Marine - Perhaps the electricity is to stop the mutants? They don't seem that tech-savvy.
Kalt - We want to allow the mutants entrance into the base. Savage or not, they will fight Khaxvis.
Kelvanus - *shrugs* bombs away.
He tossed an EMP grenade down the corridor and after a second the fevice detonates and the field deactivates.
Marine - Mag-seal, perfect.
Kalt - Pity Tyraz isn't here....
Marine - I know my way around a few locks.
The marine approached the keypad and pulled out a datapad, conencting it to the keypad. After a few moments he began to furiously tap at the datapad, a look of intense concentration spread across his face under his helmet. After a few minutes a loud clank was heard from inside the door.
When they sneaked inside two Val'Kar, aliens from the SOlonese Union noticed the door was open. Kalt was pleased when he was told that Val'kar were often interpereted to eb a more competent form of Korkonid. As one ran down the hall the other, with his weapon ready, carefully travelled down the hall. Suddenly, an invisible Kalt placed his hand over the alien's mouth and lifted him oup, impaling him with a large shidium dagger. Signalling all clear the marines silently moved in through the building, followed by a horde of mutants. kalt headed own the hall, scouting ahead.
Marine - Did you see where the other one went?
Kalt - The other way.
Marine - Should we let these ones loose?
Kalt - Let them loose...The feral ones will soon join in. And at that point, we must make sure we get the mission done quickly.
Kelvanus nodded towards Kordak. interpereting it as the signal he roared, signalling the mutants to charge through the base. Kordok conveyed his gratitude and Kalt told him to destroy everything in response. After a few minutes a klaxon is heard thoughout the base and the halls are bathed in red warning lights.
Kalvenus - Nice one, if they are producing a hybrid it will be on the lowest level.
Kalt - And so it begins...
As they headed through the base a squad of Val'Kar blocked them at an intersection the, team hid around a corner. kalt activates his camo and walks towards them. Leading the group was a Razzit, another alien from the Solona cluster. He was able to see kalt with multispectral optics. When Kalt realised his advantage was lost he used agile tactics to keep them off-focus. While they were busy with Kalt the marines fired theri weapons, decimating the squad. Teh Razzit cried to fall back but his words were cut short when Kalt keaped on him and plunged a dagger into his throat. Kalt stood up, growled and span in scircles with his daggers, slicing up remaining soldiers. Kalt noticed the Razzit and others had the same tattoo on the side of their necks.
Kalt - What does that tattoo mean?
Kalvenus - Hmm, if i remember correctly this tattoo marks them as Arvaad company, they're all Solonese mercs.
Kalt - Mercenaries? Hmph, they haven't exactly impressed me.
Kelvanus - Arvaad hires all five of the primary races, and each member is assaigned to use their skills to their advantage.
Kalt - Could've used them better. I know Zazane rebels who have been far more impressive.
Kelvanus - In Arvaad's case; Val'Kar are muscle, that thing is a Razzit and are infiltraitors, snipers and auxillaries and Rytekains are in command and the elite. They also have Colmar which are also muscle and techs and Solinkidors are runners and book-keepers.
Kalt - Niddan Ho are all those things. Their strategy is flawed.
Kelvanus - Were it not for the Razzit you would not have been seen.
They were interrupted as screams echoed throughout the base. Mutants were running rampant.
Kalt - Looks like the mutants are doing a good job....Hopefully, those screams should attract more.
Elith'Vaan - *intercom* I want this base locked down now! I don't care if yo have to throw your own bodies at those rejects, our employers need this lab!
Kelvenus - That would be their leader...
Elith'Vaan - Also keep an eye out for Draconis stalking around, with Zazane. And no, not the ones our employers sent!
Kalt - Huh? Ones their employers sent? Hmph, traitors!
The team find an elevator which took them deepr into the base. As the lift descends the marines check their equipment. Moments later the lights begin to black out. Wary of an ambush, kalt's eyes glow, giving him night-vision. He warned the group to be vigilant. Concerned for a mutant ambush the marines used a plasma cutter on the door. kalt could hear crawling froom above. Impatient, Kalt draws his blade and cuts an opening in the door. As the marines squeeze out a mutant lands on Kalt's back. he desperately struggles to pull it off. A marine stabs it while Kalt slams it into the elevator wall before ginalyl pulling it off and punching it mercilessly until it dies.
On this level the walls look were with Zazane blood, gurnfire could be heard in the distance and the odd mutant corpse was scattered about. kalt sniffed the air.
Kalt - Traitor's blood....They almost don't deserve this fate.
Kalverus - If we can find the security hub it will make the final floor easier to navigate.
The marines cautiously travelled through the corridors, it was clear the base's occupants were holding out on this floor. As Kalt walks through the halls, he sees Kordak bashing and ripping apart several traitor Zazane, obviously gone feral. They were stopped by a panicking Razzit holding a plasma pistol. Some marines notice how one Zazane was grabbed and slammed against a wall by Kordak.
Razzit - Stop... you did this... you let the freaks loose...
Kalt - You brought this upon yourself with your abominable experiments.
Razzit - All this... what the frak is in your blood! I couldn't care less what these Draconis are doing, what matters is they pay well!
Kalt approached the Razzit and was shot. He simply smirked and grabbed the alien by the throat.
Razzit - Grrak... I had no involvement in... this! I just.. follow orders...
Kalt - You follow the orders of traitors. Also...
Kalt lifted him up, revealing that he had his legs chewed off. Seeing this the Razzit screamed in horror.
Razzit - Like i said... I don't get paid to ask questions.
Kalt - Answer mine.
Kalt slammed him against a wall.
Kalt - What are they planning to do here?
Razzit - I don't know! I swear! only Elith'Vaan and his elite are allowed in the lowermost levels!
Kalt - Then you are of no use.
Kelvanus - You really don't know mercy. emind me not to get on your bad side.
Kalt - Hmph, the law of the Brood states that if you are not useful, you should die.
Kelvanus searched the bodt and discovered a keycard in a pocket
Kelvanus - Well, he wasn't entirely useless...
Kalt - He should've just said. I would've gave him a few seconds longer.
Kalverus - I don't think it crossed his mind.
Kalt - So much for psychic.
Kelvanus - Razzits aren't the psychic ones, it's only rumour but that would be the Rytekians.
Kalt - Hmm? Well....so much for a good line wasted.
Kelvanus - But i presume this 'Elith'Vaan' to be a Rytekian.
Kalt - Probably. All must die....
They continued on to a security room, the Marines positioned themselves to raid the room. Readying themselves a marine opened the door and before he could fiishe ordering everyone to the floor he was thrown against the wall by a blast of psychic energy.
Kalt - *growls* Yep. Rytekians.
Rytekian - Kill them!
The Rytekian threw a bolt of psychic energy at Kalt, who growled and moved out of the way before firing his own weapons. The Rytekian didgend retaliated with another bolt. Kalt reflected the blast. Regaining confidence the Razzits with him fired back. kalt leaped to stab the Rytekian but he was filed when he was momentarily suspended in mid-air. Kalt fell, landing on the Rytekian, he plaed his hand on the head but this was repelled by a abrrier the alien had summouned out of desperation. Kalt furiously headbutted the barrier, draining the alien. he managed to throw kalt off only to be impaled as Kordok broke through the security room's window, digging his claws into the alien's back. Kordak tosses the alien about, horribly disfiguring the corpse.
As the marines worked to access the termainals they discovered the lowermsot levels had theri own security systems. One of the screens showed a mutant charging a Rytekian, it just stops with a wave of his hand. The mutant then crushes two other, smaller mutants, acting completely placid afterwords.
Kalt - They can tame the mutants....Hmm...
He turns to the thrashing Kordak and smirks, talling Kordak to wait he runs to the Rytekian's head and dug through. There was evidence of cybernetic enhancement but nothing that looked like it could be a control device. Frustrated, Kalt pullled the brain out and showed it to Kordak. Kordak looked at it
Marine - This thing is just... odd. Thirty seconds ago it was tearing mutants apart, now it is helping the traitors and mercenaries. and when they're not being charged it is docile, i don't quite understand it.
Kalt - Kordak! Remember me, Kalt!
Kordok - ...Kalt...
Kalt - Yes, Kalt! Shyrak eaters! Traitors!
Kordak - Kalt... help Kordak... friend...
Kalt - Yes! Friend! Ally!
Kordak - *looks at the brain confusingly* What this?
Kalt - The enemy's brain! A new enemy! Psychic!
Kordak - Psy-kick.. voices...
Kalt - Listen to my command, I will not let them control you!
Kordak - Voices powerful... comfort.
Marine - Voices? comfort? Bah, of course. These Rytekains must also be telepaths.
Kalt - No! The enemy! They want to control you! Use you as weapons!
Kordak - Voices make pain go away...
Kalt - Kordak, you are Zazane! For Zazane, no comfort! No peace! Just war! Always war! You are Zazane! Honour your kin! Revel in pain!
Marine - Kalt, they're controllong the mutants with suggestion. And since several of them verge on beasts they're not exactly disciplined.
Kordak - Kordak.. Zazane... War...
Khaxvis - All beta-grade and above staff head to the lower levels! Leave the merceneries to their duties.
Kalt - *walks up to Kordak* Kordak. YOU! ARE! ZAZANE! No peace! No comfort!
Marine - Kalt, I hope your making progress because our visit has garnered attention.
Kalt - Help you kin! Remember what they did to you!
Kordak - Zazane... WAR! HELP KIN!
Kalt - Yes! *climbs onto Kordak's back. To battle!
Marine - We can keep the service elevators working and we've disabled all security cameras connected to this terminal.
Kordak charged at the horde with Kalt on his back while the marines headed for a nearby elevator to the lower levels. Kalt fired his weapon at any target Kordak missed.
Zazane Mark Two
After decimating the guards that had been set upon them, Kalt managed to fight his way to the lift. upon rejoining the marines he discovered them fighting against an entrenched sauad of mercenaries. Kalt huffed and activated his camoflage. His arrival soon heralded the group's defeat as he laped within the mercenary squad slicing its members to pieces. At the end of the corridor was a paire of large metal doors.
Marine - Clear.
Sergeant - Quite the entrance. If the number of mercenaries in this level of the facility is any indicator, we're close to whatever they are working on.
Kalt - Hmph. They dare corrupt the glorious Zazane form.
Sergeant - Those were obviously failures. Whatever is behind that door must be the prototype.
Kalt growled and headed towards the door, confident in what he was doing. The doors opened slightly and two Ryketians walked out wearing advanced equipment.
Ryketian - Halt!
Ryketian - The commander is not pleased with this bloodshed. We suggest you turn back.
Kalt roared fiercely, his eyes bgan to glow crimson. This act of aggressino was cut-short when the entire squad could feel pressure on their skulls. Both smiled confidently and one of them pulled out his pistol.
Kalt - Move out of my way...before I kill you both!
Ryketian 2 - You cannot stop progress, brute!
Marine - Urgh... Blast 'em!
Kalt charged and dodged a blast of psychic energy thrown at him, in response one of them surrounds his fist in psychic energies and punched Kalt squarely in the chest. Both aliens recoiled from the hit. kalt retaliated by slicing the alien's arm, his partner was distracted and pinned to the wall by Kelvanus, who punched him in the face. The first drew a knife, with Kalt goading him to use it. The ryketian plunged the knife into Kalt's foot only to see him laugh and jabbed his attacker in the face with the knife's handle, still buried in his foot. While he took a momentary glimpse at his partner, who was pinned to the wall by Kelvanus' forearm, Kalt grabbed him and repeatedly hit him with his foot.
Ryketain - Uhh.. wh-what the h-hell are you...
Sergeant - What is behind these doors!
Kalt - Tell me!
Kalt lifted his foot upwards again, slamming the handle against the Ryketian's forehead.
Rytekian - All we know it's some kind of Zazane... I-if you want answers talk ot the boss.
Rytekain 2 - Just tell him everything you coward!
Rytekian - Shut it, you haven't had your head and hand smashed in!
Kalt - Tell me everything...and I'll spare you.
Ryketian - And If we tell you the contractor will shoot us both in the head.
Kalt - I'll make sure he won't. I keep my word.
Rytekian - I've been told he's done it before.
Kalt - Listen....Tell me, and I'll kill your contractor and get your money.
Rytekian 2 - House Khaxvis keeps us in the dark, the only one who knows anything beyond the basics is commander Elith'Vaan.
Kalt - Elith, huh?
Rytekian - Yeah, a real piece of work.
Kalt - And where is he?
Rytekian 2 - Through the door, we'll tell them you're dead if you let us live.
Kalt - Fine. Tell him.
Kelvanus released his grip and the ryketian reaches for an earpiece telling the occupants the team was dead.Kalt turned invisible and hid as the doors opened. Commander Elith'Vaan stands in the middle of a very large room. Lining the back wall were embryo storage units and floating in a in the heart of the tube is a large, late-adolescent Zazane. Mercenaries had gathered, pointing their guns at the door and Vaan stood with his hands behind his back. Kalt saw the Zazane and gasped in horror. Kalt - No....How could they pervert our race like this? Elith - Come out from hiding Zazane. I know you're there!
Kalt grabbed the two ryketians and applied much pressure to their skulls.
Elith - Go ahead. While the pair were dealing with you my men took point, lining up shots.
Rytekian - You sold us out you arsehole!
Elith - *Laughs* ...like i care.
Kalt - *smirks* Fine then. Elith - It seems our benefactors' reports on your species was not wrong.
He crushed both their skulls as he swung them round, sending much blood in the sights of the mercs. While the mercs have blood flying towards them, he quickly ran at the closest mercs and swings his blade*
Elith - Big mistake savage!
Kalt - Ha! What can you do?
Elith smirked and lifted his arm, but before he could do anything he reached for his eapiece. His smile dropped, ordering his men to hold fire. Kalt stopped attacking in response and looked down at the corpses eh created before looking at Elith.
Elith - It seems my benefactors have an interest in you. And they wwant you alive.
Kalt - Hmph. Your Shyrak eating superiors can go devour more.
Elith - I was never one to turn down easy credits. House Khaxvis is stronger, this... thing... Is their work and you can join them if you like.
Kalt - This monstrosity is everything that goes against the natural form of the Zazane.
Kelvanus - Five more words of coercion and your head becomes mush!
Kelvanus amied his rifle. At that moment a holofield image of Volkarus looking as he did prior to the battle for Alcanti but he still appeared descended. Kalt saw him materialise and growled.
Volkarus - Is it? Is it really?
Kelvanus - What in the void... Not him...
Kalt - Hmph! Treacherous bastard!
Volkarus - Now that is no way to introduce yourself is it?
On the orbiting crusier the inquisitor noticed Volakrus appear from a feed on Kelvanus' helmet. He called Tyraz's attention over who linked his vision with Kalt's HUD.
Inquisitor - Lord Breek, you may want to see this.
Kalt - Hmph, I am loyal to the Brood and to Tyraz! I am no traitor.
Tyraz - What the....Hmmm.....
Inquisitor - It's just a hologram according to the sergeant's HUD.
Volkarus - Tyraz is weak. You could... purify this abomination, as you call it.
Kalt - If you think I will contribute to this monstrosity, you can go back to the pit of Shyrak from which your house spawned from.
Volkarus - Shame, you had promise. He's not so different from you, he has been made stronger, better.
Kalt - I am of natural birth! THAT thing has been grown in a tube!
Volkarus - 'Ethics' has so many obstructions.
Inquisitor - Tyraz.. there must be at least thirty embryos in this chmber alone.
Kalt - Listen, traitor, I will take this whole base down if it kills me to get rid of all these abominations.
Volkarus - This is the start. Those voulenteers were attempts.
Kalt - Treacherous worm! You have perverted what it means to be Zazane.
Volkarus - ...Since you don't want to join us... Artill you have permission to tear his spine out... And Tyraz, how do you like my work?
Tyraz tuned in so ke could speak through the display. Volkarus was now looknig dorectly at him, almost looking through the HUD.
Tyraz - Volkarus, you just don't quit do you?
Volkarus - What child of house Khaxvis would I be if i did?
Tyraz - A pox upon your house! You should've stayed dead...
Volkarus - *smiles* That's dissapointing, but I have to thank you. You can't babysit the Imperium forever and one day your back will be turned and on that day, the weak friends you have made in house Ultanos will perish and house Khaxvis will have the position it deserves!
Tyraz - Not if the Brood can help it.
Volkarus - Hah! Those Zazane you killed on that frozen rock were not the first.
Tyraz - Grr....Your vile influence infects the weak, and they deserve to die.
Volkarus - I don't think that's going to happen. Enjoy the show.
The hologram dissapeared mere second sbefore the crew on the ship could trace the signal. Tyraz sighed and turned to the inquisitor.
Inquisitor - What exactly did you do to him?
Tyraz - I should've killed him....
Inquisitor - Why didn't you?
Tyraz - He survived it....
Inquisitor - Guys like him always do, I know how you feel.
Elith charged himself with psychic energt, launching a powerful blast towards Kalt who moved out of the way, swiftly running up a wall. elith called for him to fight like a man and threw aonther pusle in his direction. Kalt didged again, grabbing a few embryo storage units. Elith panicked, Kalt moved to stand in front of a large cluster of containers, gaiding Elith to fire again. Elith clenched his fists and resorted to pulling out a plasma pistol.
Elith - there's more than one way to hit a target.
Kalt - Oh, you actually care for these things?
Kalt dropped one storage unit, which was telekinetically grabbed by Elith'Vaan
Elith - Not exactly but Volkarus will have my head if they get damaged.
Kalt smirked and pulled out a grenade, Elith fired at Kalt's hoand onbly for the shot to impact on a container. Kalt chuckeld to himself and threw the grenade into the container, leaping towards Elith and landing on him as the grenade exploded. Elith did nto realsie hwo heavy kalt was and kalt commented on how he was simply weak. Elith blasted him agian, sending him upwards. As he fell Elith backflipped so that Kalt's blade rammed into the floor.
Kalt - Impressive...
Elith - I'm not staying so I...
He looks to the door to sees that the marines had subdued his mercenaaries and the scientists. As he turned back Kalt was walking up towards him.
Elith - Ahh crap...
Kalt - Don't worry, I'm not going to kill you...
Elith took a defensive stance, drawing a longsword. His body was shaking slightly, his breaths were short but he tried to conceal it. kalt's eyes turned crimson when he saw this.
Kalt - You think its wise to face a Niddan Ho in a sword fight?
Elith - From what I've seen I suppose not.
Kalt - Then you're a brave man.
Elith - I like living, and after what you did those Draconis will want to gut me.
Kalt - Come with me, I'm not going to kill you.
Elith - What do you lot plan with me?
Kalt - Its a surprise. Something of a reunion.
Elith - Reunion? I'm not going back to the Union, you lizards pay well.
Kalt - Just come with me.
Kalt put his sword away, prompting Elith'Vaan to do the same
Artill - Fine. What about my men?
Kalt - They can also come, though I will let only you walk free with me. They have to stay chained.
Kelvanus - It's incarceration for them anyway.
Kalt - Sergeant, let them walk with me.
Kelvanus walked up to him and whispered softly. Kalt whispered back
Kelvanus - what do you have planned?
Kalt - Watch the cameras that film outside these doors.
Kelvanus - He holds secrets, Is there any possibility of interrogation?
Kalt - Ugh, fine...
Kelvanus - We will let the supervisor know.
Kalt - His men, however....Send them outside, lock the doors.
Kelvanus - They will be brought aboard the ship for processing.
Kalt - I said...Send them outside. And lock. The. Doors.
Kelvanus nodded and called for his men to leave the room.
The marines had left Kalt inside with Elith'Vaan and the surviving zazane projects. Elith looked at him smulgy.
Elith - Why spare me?
Kalt - Questions need to be answered. Tell me, how were you able to make these....abominations?
Elith - My men were paid to guard the freaks so I can'g give you specifics.
Kalt - Do you know anything of this project?
Elith - Some poor sods voluenteered to be changed, sometimes it didn't work and so we cast them into the caves to protect ourselves. 'junior' over there is a purebreed. Don't ask me how they got the material because i'd rather not know.
Kalt - Hmph. Did you ever think twice about coming here to guard these things? Do you know its not wise to piss off the Brood?!
Elith - I have pissed off a lot of people in my career. Usually our enemies accept that we do what we are paid to do. Deciding what is right and what is wrong only limits your oppertunities in my line of work..
Kalt - What is your personal view on all this? Did you enjoy accepting this job?
Elith - I like it when I am paid hamdsomely, House Khaxvis has a very gernerous wallet.
Kalt - Hmph. So you know nothing of what Khaxvis is doing here?
Elith - Even if i did, why would I tell you? Volkarus would find out and I lose my lungs. Although... *twitches* he's not exactly 'normal'...
Kalt - *raises an eyebrow* What do you mean?
Elith - Apart from the fact he always talks to me with holograms? I don't know.. He talks like .. well... Like I'm some kind of animal. I sometimes hear him in my head too. Creeplily enough. It's not through a subvocal communicator or through implants.
Kalt - So..you mean he could be doing it telepathically?
Elith - That's right. Only not on the level i've been accustomed to. I can do it to some degree but the way he does it.. It's odd.
Inquisitor - *to Tyraz* We already know this, you've experienced it yourself.
Tyraz - Inquisitor, what other info do you wish to hear from the worm?
Inquisitor - We need to know if this is the only project location. If there are more we need those sites.
Tyraz - Kalt, ask the worm if there are anymore sites like this.
Kalt - I wish to know if there are any more project areas like this that manufactures abominations.
Elith rested his head in his hand as though he had been struck by a headache
Elith - Great, now he's angry! They were going to move to batch production in the next few weeks. I dont' know if there are an other sites but there could be. He also told me that if- *clutches his head* grargh!.. That if i- ..No...
Inquisitor - What in Drakon's name is he doing...
Kalt - What? What is wrong?
Elith - It's him! He's in my head!... he doesn't want you to know..
Tyraz - Inquisitor...I may just have to go down there myself...
Inquisitor - Do you think he might actually show up?
The hologram returned, smugly tutting ot itself. Tyraz growled and started to leak dark energies.
Volkarus - We don't want to reveal all our secrets, do we mr. Elith? If you value your life. Do as i say! Kalt - Volkarus....Damn you! Elith - P-piss off! *screams* Tyraz - Thats it...Inquisitor, I'm going down there myself! Inquisitor - And do what? HUD scans check out he's nt truly there. Tyraz - Perhaps I could stop him from killing the maggot!
Elith fell to his hands and knees whimpering, he pulled out a remote from one of his trouser pockets and clutched it in his hand. Tyraz growled more and began to fade.
Inquisitor - We have movement, Conn I want his signal traced. Find out where that hologram is coming from! Kalt - What is that you're holding? Volkarus - Do this and I will keep you alive. Elith - I... I suggest you ready yourself...
He pressed the button, sirens blared throughout the room. At the back a gurgling noise was heard as the liquid slowly drained from the tank. Kalt looked in the tank's direction. Enraged at what Elith did he pulled out his gun and shot hi min the head. Elith collpased limply as the shot penetrated his skull. A slight look of satisfaction spread across his face. As the Zazane drifted to the bottom it opened its eyes for the first time and blinked considerably. Kalt stepped back in horror, frustrated at what was to come. Volakrus laughed confidently to himself. As te last remmnents of water drains from the tank the Zazane stands up inside. While not fully grown it was still much bigger than a normal Zazane. The glass slowly opened from the top. Kalt was now shaking, he had no idea what thie creature was capable of as it approached him.
Kalt - No fear...I am death incarnate...
It then sprinted at Kalt, leaping at him when three metres away with the intent to topple him. kalt threw his hand out to try and stop it, but was knocked onto his back*
Volkarus - The beauty of a genetic memory.. It is only freshy emerged but it is already a capable killing mechine!
Tyraz - How dare he...
The Zazane dug its claws deeply into Kalt's biceps, hauled him up and then threw him across the room. He landed against a wall full of specimens, and growled.
Kalt - Shyrak, he is strong! I need to be smart about this.
Inquisitor - Sergeant I want a staus report!
Kelvanus - In the data-core now. We're transferring all we can to the ship's database.
Inquisitor - Sergeant the zazane you saw is loose, set those explosives and be ready. If Kalt either triumphs or dies I want that facility blown sky-high!
The Zazane turned to look at Kalt and wih a smile it leaped towards him, aiding the jump with its wings. Kalt let out a roar and rolled underneath him, allowing the Zazane to crash into the wall as it his the wall it smashes some of the containers. It looks down at the broken glass and picks up a few shards.
Kalt - Wow...Its like I'm fighting against a big baby. But regardless, I cannot allow this abomination to survive!
The Zazane threw the shards in kalt's rirection with preciesion, Kalt bends his back backwards and the shards fly over and around him. Realising the shards didn't work the Zazane marches up to Kalt, readying its fist to punch the stomach. kalt smirked and ran towards the Zazane, slamming himself into it. The zazane is thrown to the ground and wrapped its hands around Kalt's neck as it falls. While they were both on the ground kale grabbed his combat knife and slammed it into the Zazane's side. VOlkarus looked on as his smile turned to a look fo dissapointment*
Kalt - Feel this, you son of a bitch!
Volkarus - Klll him, queeze the life from him.
The Zazane roared and removes it's hands from Kalt's neck, it then swung its arm to deliver a strong punch to the side of his head. This threw Kaltn off the Zazane, and quickly gets up, rubbing his head. Impressed with the creature's strength. it leaps to its feet and clenches its fists, thrusting the arm in a lunging motion directly to the torso. Kalt grabbed the arm and then proceeded to thrust his whole body to the side, throwing the abomination towards Volkarus' hologram. the Zazane collided with the hologram as though it was a solid wall. The Zazane lay at VOlkarus' feet, apaprently unconscious. As Kalt cautiously approached the creature it grabbed him by the ankle, roared and threw him upwards. Kalt hit the ceiling and lands back on the ground after a dangerous fall, although still alive Volkrus smiled wickedly as the zazane stood on Kalt's on his stomach. Kalt rabbed his combat knife and then rammed it into the Zazane's foot as it wrapped its hand around his throat. It roared in pain before throwing Kalt across the room. He slammed into another wall, before throwing several containers of Zazane-like embryos at the creature. It bends to dodge some of them but eventually one of the containers hit it squarely in the stomach, causing it to fall over.
Kalt walked over, grabbing one of the embryos and stepping onto the Zazane, before leaning down. he shows it the embryo, and the Zazane's face reflects off his armour. It glares at him, flinching slightly from the dangling embryo and not entirely comprehending*
Kalt - You see this? THIS is your kin! THIS is what you were grown from! *leans down more* This is family... And this is what I'm gonna do.
He crushes the embryo in his palm, and its juices fall onto the Zazane's face. The Zazane turned away from mthe bursting embryo in disgust as Volkarus claps slowly. He stood up, slamming his knife into the Zazane's stomach, and also into the floor, making it almost impossible for it to get up.
Volakrus - Touching, touching. So brave, so noble so... weak. I could use someone like you. Kalt - Hmph. I'm not a treacherous scumbag. Volkarus - Oh please... It seems that your head has been filled with weak thoughts. *walks around Kalt* your people are dying out, what I offer here is the future. Kalt - Evolution is a natural thing...What you have done here violates all moral code. Volkarus - Does that make me a monster then? Am I so 'abominable' that my entire house should be swept aside? Meanwhile look at you, you have ability that far surpasses what the rest of your species can do. and you think it is natural? Inquisitor - Damn that silver tongue f his.. I just want to tear it out. Officer - We're down to subsector-level accuracy sir | Sergeant - Bombs are ready, orders? Kalt - I am not the future of my race. I am born to do what I can for my race before I die. Love is not meant for people like me. Volkarus - Such dpressimg thoughts.. But I can't give out secrets can i Inquisitor.
The hologram dissolves. The Inquisitor slams his fist on the table with outrage.
Inquisitor - Damnation! We were so close!
Kalt - I apologize...I wish I could've hold onto him a little bit more...
Officer - Acuracy level at 200 parsecs sir, it's the best we could do.
Kalt - I'll be with you now. I'm sorry...
Inquisitor - You are forgiven, Sergeant prime those bombs and move fast.
Kalt walked from the room, but then looked back at the Zazane. The zazane looks back at him, snarling.
Officer - Sergeant we have a dropship inbound at the provided co-ordinates.
Inqusitor - Pack up people... We are done.
Officer - We have their mainframe archives.
Kalt - The mutants! We gotta get out!
Mutants were screaming in the hallways, the lab was now overrun with them. Marines were waiting at the coordinates outside of the base, firing at any mutants that apporched. They saw kalt coming Kalt
Marine - Had fun?
Kalt - Yeah, I'm thinking about coming here next year.
Marine - Alright let's move!
The marines climbed in. As they reached close to the edge of the trophosphere one of the marines took a deep breath and presses a detonater. A white flash erupted from the site followed by a shockwave that leveled trees up to three kilometres away. The ground cracked as the fireball incinderated everything within the tunnels. Tyraz and the inquisitor watched as the explosion wiped out the base.
Tyraz - Our mission here is done...
Inquisitor - You really messed him up didn't you?
Tyraz - I regret not killing him.
The Grand Inquisition Emerges
As the cruiser travelled back to Brood space the inquisitor met with Tyraz in a room that had been provided for him during his stay. he asked if could Tyraz visit the the briefing room, where a hologram of Arsac was waiting. As he entered she was standing beside the table looking, she smiled when he entered the room and bowed repectively.
Tyraz - Ah, Mistress Arsac. Good to see you again.
Arsac - And you Tyraz. How did the mission go?
Tyraz - We discovered much information while we were there. Disturbing.
Arsac - I take it this relates to the blood samples we discovered.
Tyraz - Indeed it does, the Khaxvis have done....horrid things.
Inquisitor - Volkarus is building an army, from what we discovered he appears to be making his own Niddan Ho out of the Traitors.
Tyraz - Kalt, my Niddan Ho on the scene, had fought and killed an example of the....abomination they perfected.
Arsac - So, they have already developed a stable prototype? He works fast.
Tyraz - Yes, although Kalt had killed it, I presume. I do not know if they're any other....prototypes.
Inquisitor - It gets worse mistress, Volkarus was personally overseeing the operation.
Arsac - ..What? Are you sure?
Tyraz - Yes. We have footage.
Inquisitor - Only a hologram, but he knew Tyraz was nearby.
Tyraz - Yes, he lies in the shadows, in fear.
Inquisitor - We have siezed all of their research and will have the data examined before destroying it. The man has commited terrible crimes against sapients in the name of science - mutagens, dissections, those that mutated into a rejected state were dumped in nearby caves.
Tyraz - He has defiled my race!
Arsac - Retribution will come. Their actions over the millennia have proved they are unfit for the imperial throne.
Tyraz - They are unfit for existence!
Arsac - I agree. I don't care what some council says, whatever draconidity they had has been erased by their amoral actions!
Arsac rests on the table and looked directly at Tyraz with a stern gaze.
Arsac - They are no longer worthy of being called 'draconis'....
Tyraz - They should be titled Grox for all I care! They shall not defile my race, a race that has been naturally perfected over the course of millions of years.
Arsac - I have some more news from the Blood Dragons and I don't think you will like it.
Tyraz - What is the news, Mistress?
Arsac - The resurgence is evolving.
An image of a crimson reptillian eye surrounded by four spiralled horns is projected from the centre of the table.
Arsac - If the Dragons are correct, the house is deifying Volkarus.This symbol represents what they like to call the 'blessed few'. The order represents the house's elite and all of them are descended; either by you or by Volkarus.
Tyraz - Indeed, I regret ever thinking about supporting Khaxvis.
Arsac - And now they see the man you met as a god. This is the very thing the Inquisition stands against!
Tyraz - I shall bring an end to their false god! They shall learn the might of the Zazane overthrows that of even deities!
Arsac - I do have soem good news, something that might interest you. After much thought I have decided the order needs a greater presence. I have spoken with the senior council and although they are uncertain of it I think it is about time the Inquisition needs more than a single species to keep order.
Tyraz - I would be happy to lend you several hundred trained Zazane and Zazane younglings for them to grow under Inquisition standard.
Inquisitor - Mistress are you suggesting we start getting aliens to help with our sacred duty?
Arsac - Inquisitor you speak in the presence of a man who has helped open my eyes. Religion concerns all who have the power to question what makes their world, why should and order trained to keep that kind of thing in check be so selective?
Inquisitor - Drakon raised us to be a light in the dark! We are his children!
Arsac clenched her fist and roared slightly at the inquisitor
Arsac - Enough inqusitor! I have made my choice...
Tyraz - I am flattered, Mistress Arsac. The Zazane will be more than willing to assist your sacred order. Arsac - I am glad you agree Lord Tyraz. We will make sure they do not lose who they are, they may believe what they wish within the order's walls so long as it does not compromise their quality.
Tyraz - 'What they believe enhances their quality.
Arsac - I hope so. Is there anything else I should know?
Tyraz - If any Zazane steps out of line, feel free to give them a good beating.
Arsac - We'll keep that in mind although the order does pride itself on the ingenuity of its operatives. One last thing Tyraz, Volkarus has used holograms before but out of curiosity: Draining Volkarus of the energies that sustained him and this newfound taste of his, I imagine this would have adverse effects on him. Can you provide us with any clarification?
Tyraz - The hologram seemed like he had not been scathed at all.
Arsac - Unsurprising; he probably used a video mask. It is a common thing when you want to hide yourself. Tyraz - Coward does not want to show his face...
Inquisitor - Question is, if it is a mask what is he trying to keep hidden?
Tyraz - Last time I saw him, he was in a pretty bad state.
Arsac - You left him almost-dead, could it have progressed?
Tyraz - Not without assistance...
Inquisitor - Volkarus was known for using video masks before, apparently he would often pass himself off as an imperial in order to conduct business undetected.
Tyraz - When I saw that hologram....I felt a strange feeling...
Arsac once again looked at Tyra with a sense of uneasiness.
Tyraz - Like...there was something....not right, he wasn't completely himself...
Arsac - I take it you imply something other than mental trauma?
Tyraz - Anything but. He seemed....more sadistic...reminds me of somebody I used to know....
Arsac - He could have hidden anything with a mask. Do you have any suspicions?
Tyraz - I suspect....Bearers activity....or Daemonum. They are treacherous Creeds.
Arsac - I see. I will coordinate with intelligence to see if we can flush out any more supersoldier labs, If Volkarus is anywhere chances are it would be the core of their operations.
Tyraz - Indeed, those labs are an embarassment towards my race and honour.
Arsac - House Khaxvis usually has a fleet for a headquarters. After their retreat from Alcanti we lost track of the fleet as it left the segmentum for the outer-rim. He's hiding, perhaps biding his time to build this army of his. However relying on aliens for his plans is not his style... We discovered samples of draconis blood so my suspicion is that he wants to further perfect the Khaxvis.
Tyraz - Or perfect himself...
Arsac - Ego runs in his house so it is possible. I have duties elsewhere, Inquisitor I entrust you to keep Lord Breek comfortable until he is back with his own kind.
Inquisitor - *salutes* As you wish, mistress.
Tyraz - Thank you Mistress Arsac. I hope to see you again one of these days.
Arsac - My pleasure.
The hologram dissapeared and Tyraz returned to his chambers. It would be several days before he returned to Brood of War's territory. Days later many Zazane arrived at monasteries across the Imperium, eager to study under the inquisition. A new age had begun for the order, but it would be months if not years before the initiates were deployed en-masse thoughout the gigaquadrant.
States of Decay
Volkarus sat in his personal chambers, since the battle he needed more spacious quarters. He awoke after dreaming of the day he was sapped by Tyraz. The image was still burned into his mind: He was ready to tear his former ally's throat out, the sword was spulled on him and he awoke from a feeling of immense pain. After a moment of recovery he looked at his own body. His scars were healing but it was not enough. Moxix was there however, his voice echoing through the skull.
Moxix - Volkarus...I see that you have been dreaming again...I feel it...the pain you suffered that day...
Volkarus - it just won't go AWAY! Over a year now now and not only does he prance about with that... bitch, but now his influence with the Imperium is even greater!
Moxix - Such strong words, Volkarus. Yet, Tyraz's influence is only limited. The Draconis still see Zazane as barbarians. They will never fully trust his judgement, he is Zazane.
Volkarus - Pehaps, but he is still getting dangerously close to Uriel and his ilk.
Moxix - Indeed, yet you have me. Its fitting, really. Your greatest nemesis being helped by my brother, and you being helped by me. We are both hated subjects of our races. But soon, that hate will turn into fear.
There is a buzz on the chamber door. Volkarus grunts and when the door opens Vedrix strolls in wiith a smile on her face. VOlkarus sat up he lowered his hulking form to Vedrix's level.
Moxix - What does the bitch want?
Vokarus - What news do you bring?
Moxix - I don't see why you just don't consume her, Volkarus...
Volkarus - <<because she is useful to me! She is reliable>>
Vedrix - I have what you asked for, my lord The loyalist fools kept a sample on ice for all this time and now it is ours.
Vedrix pulled out a canister from her supply pack. Volakrus nods to Vedrix
Moxix - Volkarus...I smell bio-matter...
Volkarus - <<Indeed Moxix>>, Deliver the sample to the labs and inform me when he is ready!
Vedrix - Yes my lord
She saluted and walks out of the room with the container, leaving Volkarus alone.
Moxix - "He"? Who are you resurrecting, Volkarus? I could do it myself!
Volkarus - A man named Oniron Voxis. Unless you can bring dust back to life in all his glory we must rely on the resources the resurgence has.
Moxix - Hmph, fine. Have things your way. But if I was to have influence, I could make him a powerful soldier of undeath!
Volkarus - I would rather have him as a living breathing man for what I have planned for him. The man was both a bane and champion of my ancestors and bringing him back will eb a great irony to the Ultanos.
Moxix - Ah, yes. Turning their very hero against them.
Volkarus - Do you know what his enemies used to call him? Oniron the red, the blood horror, the man was fury incarnate!
Moxix - He sounds...like quite the warrior. Yet you want him mortal?
Volkarus - I want the Draonis to see him reborn for who he is, not as some undead monster.
Moxix - But he can still die!
Volkarus - Perhaps. However, I see nothing wrong with giving him a few subtle enhancements, Technology has advanced since his era. Oniron had something of a reputation for being unstoppable, he was nothing short of a berserker on the field and lived for three centuries before my ancestors executed him.
Moxix - Wouldn't he remember such a thing?
Volkarus - I am not sure. However a little conditioning should make sure he is loyal to us.
Moxix - Perhaps...I could place my influence into his...pathetic brain.
Volkarus - So long as it does not kill or rot him. I want the loyalists to see him for what he was.
Moxix - Hehe, I will try not to decompose his brain matter...
Volkarus - Some cybernetics should preserve him jut in case.
Moxix - It would be wise.
Vedrix - *comm* My lord the cloning sequence has begun, he should be ready in a few weeks. We managed to recover all his memories and experiences prior to his execution.
Moxix - Agh! Turn your comm down...that was loud...
Volkarus - The volume in which I use my own communication systems is my decision. Now...
Volkarus activated a music player, violin music fille the room while VOlkarus was drawn into the soothing melodies. Moxix however screamed as though he was in pain.
Moxix - Agh! AGH!! You will pay for that, Volkarus!! Agh!!
Volkarus - *smiles* Do you despise music Moxix? That is a poor shame.
Moxix - You think this is funny?
A growl echoed through his mind, Volkarus could feel some pain at his side, with scales and skin starting to fall off slightly. he snarled when he noticed that Moxix was doing.
Moxix - You despise decomposition, Volkarus? That is a poor shame.
More scales and skin drop off, and some blood leaked to the surface.
Vokarus - No, no! Stop! Stop it! You do not understand!
Moxix - Oh I do! Now turn off that racket before your organs start falling out!
Volkakrus - Stop this! It is my body, I should do what I please!
Moxix - It is our body! Without me here, you cannot absorb what you need to restore it!
Volkarus - You are lying!
Moxix - Don't make me prove you wrong!
Volkarus, fearing for more of his body decaying, deactivated the music player remotely. The rot had stopped and this gave him a chacne to recover.
Moxix - Good...
Volkarus - Before you came I was perfectly happy to listen to music. And now I must deprive myself of one of my pleasures becaus YOU say so?
Moxix - Music...or your body?
Volkarus - Music you ingrate!
Moxix - Fine, fine.
Volkarus's scales start to fall off rapidly. Volakrus panicked as more and more of his amalgamated flesh began to show.
Volkarus - ANSWER ME!
Moxix - We all make sacrifices, Volkarus.
Volkarus - What is it you hate Moxix? That you lost all compassion when you died?
Moxix - Music is a useless product of the living!
Volkarus - Not to me!
Volkarus - I... will not succumb to your abominable fascination with unlife.
Moxix - Life is not all pleasure, Volkarus! You all have to endure sacrifices and hard times! This is one of them! You don't know how much I hate your pathetic whining! You wanted to be restored, you're being restored. You wanted to gain power, you HAVE power! So quit your whining before I personally reverse your body into Shyrak pieces!
As Moxix continued to rox the body, Vedrix ran in after Volkarus' cries had echoed in her mind.
Vedrix - My lord....What are you doing to yourself?
Volkarus - Vedrix I... I...
Moxix - Tell the bitch that you were having a simple nightmare...
Volkarus - Stop calling her that...
Moxix - Do it!
Volkarus - I...It was nothing, a nightmare.
Moxix - Good boy, Volkarus...
Volkarus - <<If I agree to refrain from playing music then yo must be more respectful to my chosen.>>
Moxix - Fine...It will not change my opinion of them though.
Out of concern Vedrix approached, extending her hand. Volkarus did the same, his coarse scales sliding acorss hers. She could feel the leathery flesh from gaps underneath and this made her uneasy.
Volkarus - The day house Khaxvis once again takes the throne, you shall be my queen for eternity!
Moxix - Are you trying to make me laugh, Volkarus? You show feelings towards this bi--- woman?
Volkarus - << I do. I made her this promise after Tyraz drained me>>
Moxix - See how long it lasts you...when she learns of how it was me who is restoring you. How much you've lied to your followers.
Volkarus - You were not aware that I had discovered this gift shortly ebfore you entered my head.
Moxix - It is not the technology bringing you this far, Volkarus....It is me. ME.
VOlkarus - Vedrix... let me know when he is ready.
Vedrix and Volkarus hold hands, he gripped more tightly out of fear
Volkarus - ...We will shake the Imeprium to its foundations!
Moxix - Agh...You disgust me! You're immortal...and yet you show mortal passion and love!
Volkarus - I have all the time in the universe to do whatever I desire!
Moxix - So do I...
Suddenly, out of utter randomness, a wound appears in his shoulder and blood starts spouting onto Vedrix. Volkarus let out a demonic roar as the wound tore itself open, the roar pushes Vedrix back slightly.
Moxix - Heh, I've had my fun. I think I will delve into your amygdala, see what emotions you suffer the most. Maybe view some of your memories.
VVolkarus - You are a twisted and depraved creature!
Moxix - Vedrix can hear you, idiot.
Volkarus - <<enough!>>
Vedrix stood without a word, the roar and the splatter had jerked her from holding Volakrus's hand. She backed towards the door, after she left the room she wiped the blood from her body and headed to her quarters for a more thorough wash.
Moxix - As I said, I've had my fun. Now, I'd get something to feed on, or that wound will take slower to heal. Two months after they had aquired the sample Volakrus was called down to the ship's labs. He had managed to gain the integrity to use some of his power to move about the ship. He arrived waring a large hooded cloak to obsure the decay he was undergoing thanks to Moxix. In the centre of the lab was a maturation tank containing a large red Draconis. VOlkarus smiled, seeing the fully-grown sapient inside the tank.
Volkarus - <<Behold Moxix, Oniron Voxis!>>
Moxix - So fresh...so young...he looks like such a large meal...
Scientist - Lord Volkarus, the subject is ready to be awakened and the enhancements you asked fore have been installed. All we need to do is wake him up.
Moxix - I want to see what he is capable of.
Volkarus - <<remember. I asked you to persuade him to be completely loyal to us, no decay>>
Moxix - Fine...I will persuade him.
Suddenly, his conscience moved from Volkarus' body into Oniron's. No one noticed apart from seeing Volkaruss tagger and Oniron jerking as he was prematurely woken up. Inside Oniron's head, Moxix began to coerce him, no-one noticed waht was going and it al lseemed to happen so quickly. Inside both Moxix and Oniron engaged within his mind.
Moxix - Listen to my voice...
Oniron - Gah! What's going on!
Moxix - Your descendants are in terrible danger...Ultanos House has pushed them to near extinction...
Oniron - I don't get it... is the Imperium dying?
Moxix - No...the Imperium is expanding...and with such power...they have tortured Khaxvis House to the brink of annihilation, who had redeemed themselves by helping the Imperium...However, Uriel Ultanos turned on them, and the Imperium now hunts for your very kin.
Oniron - Khaxvis are getting hunted? Glad the sods got what they deserved.
Scientist - Lord Volkarus he should not have reacted to awakening that fast, what is going on?
Volkarus - He will emerge loyal. Trust in my judgement.
Moxix - You don't understand, Oniron...They see YOU as the reason why they hunt Khaxvis. They hate you. As soon as they found your corpse, they burned your remains and sung songs about how you finally died!
Moxix - The Imperium plotted your murder, they planned your death.
Oniron - Impossible! Why would Ultanos do such a thing? I saved their lives, release d them fro mtheir prsons... they... they never were grateful were they?
Moxix - They knew of your past, Oniron...They knew about the violent things you did...They were scared of you, they feared and hated you...So they got rid of you.... They believed that even though you were on their side...you were unworthy of their trust.
Oniron - I was a fool to turn my back on house Khaxvis... Wait, who are you?
Moxix - I am the only ally of the Khaxvis...Moxix Breek...Saviour of the Zazane race, but they too have turned their backs and disposed of me..I now help Khaxvis survive!
Oniron - No one cares about loyalty anymore...
Moxix - Oh, but Khaxvis does...They still care for you...They see you as a beacon of hope for them...They were grateful of your service to them, and now they wish for your services once more.
Oniron - They're still proud of me? What is the year!
Moxix - Many millennia after your planned death. They were planning your resurrection for a long time.
Oniron's vision became clearer. he saw Volkarus standing some distance in front of him.
Oniron - Bloody hell.. who's the giant?
Moxix - He is Volkarus, mighty leader of the Khaxvis House as of this time. He is a good man...he was the one who came up with your resurrection. He sees you as a saviour.
Oniron - He does? Then I suppose I pledge my loyalty to him.
As Oniron becomes more aware of he body he noticed the sensation of metal under his skin.
Oniron - Okay what is this!
Moxix - Your samples were very rare...We could not regrow you completely, because Ultanos had disposed of many of your remains.
Oniron - No offence, but I enjoyed being a meatbag.
Volkarus - <<We made you even greater Oniron. In the years since our persecution house Khaxvis agreed that cybernetics was the way foreward. We passed this gift to you.>>
Moxix - If we did not augment you...then you would be without several organs and major veins. You would be weak and useless and in great pain.
Oniron - I don't exactly like the idea of being in constant pain for the rest of my life so I guess it's a compromise.
Moxix - Indeed...Now, I will hand you to the saviour of house Khaxvis, he will give you what has been going on.
Oniron stepped out of the tube and walked by the scientists towards Volkarus. He stopped in front and saluted proudly.Moxix returned his consciousness to Volkarus' body, while absent Volkarus had enjoyed not having oxix's consciousness floating about inside his head.
Oniron - Colonel Oniron Voxis, reporting for duty sir.
Volkarus - We are glad to have you Colonel. Your presence inspires us all.
Moxix - It is done, Volkarus.
Volakrus - <<...good, I did enjoy your brief time away.>>
Moxix - Indeed, I enjoyed looking through the memories of this fresh meat.
Volkarus - My men will prepare you for your first mission, join them and they will guide you to the armoury. Dismissed. <<Do you see now why they called him the blood horror?>>
Moxix - I am very impressed. He caused so much death and destruction...
Volkarus - And under our command he will cause even more.
For the next few weeks Oniron was brought up to speed on what had happened after his death. He was told that Tyraz Breek had sided with house Ultanos and upon hearing swore that an ally of house Ultanos is an enemy of his. The resurgence provided him with updated equipment, leaving him oblivious to the fact he had pledged loyalty to the very people who had executed him during the Second House War.
A Prince in Danger
Arsac was within the lower levels of a monastery in the heart of Araveene, a selenopolis orbiting the gas giant Corovai V. Unlike on ALcanti these walls were lined with metal as the building itself was part of the structures that reached high above the moon's rocky surface, not ancient stone. She was studying holographic images of the district's central square where crowds were gathering for a huge performance due that evening. She had contacted Tyraz some time before and she now waited for his arrival. After some time waiting a black substance appeared from nowhere behind her and soon Tyraz's body materialised within it, the substance then disappeared.
Tyraz - Mistress Arsac, it’s nice to speak to you in the flesh again.
Arsac - *smiles* Indeed it is. I am told the first initiates are fitting in rather well.
Tyraz - Haha, yes. I was happy to have made my decision.
Arsac - But we have more dire concerns. I received a message that one of Uriel's eldest, Paronus, could be at risk. I've been keeping an eye on him for days...
Tyraz - Uriel's eldest? Hmm, at risk? From who?
Arsac - I wasn't told, but I have a feeling Khaxvis are involved.
Tyraz - Of course. Damned Khaxvis, they never give up, do they? Damn pests.
Arsac - Right now Paronus is due to attend a performing arts celebration in the city's central square.
Tyraz - A crowded space, I presume?
Arsac - Indeed. I have talked with Domestic Security and the Blood dragons, no assassin can move without being under the gaze of a team of trained warriors.
Tyraz - So, why have you called me in? Surely the Inquisition, Blood Dragons and Domestic Security has it covered.
Arsac - Always prepare for the worst.
Tyraz - Hopefully no assassin turns up.
Arsac lifted her hand to her communicator, she nodded as a voice spoke to her from the device.
Arsac - Paronus is arriving in the square, let's hope things stay uneventful.
Tyraz - Yes, otherwise somebody is going to get themselves hurt.
Over the next couple of hours both of them spent time watchined the events remotely from nearby, As evening approached Paronus, wearing his finest, presented himself on-stage. At that moment Tyraz could feel a presence.
Tyraz - Hmm...something is not right. Arsac, any reports?
Arsac - Space-traffic control is suspicious of a Starfury-class that has just arrived. But apparently its codes check out. Obviously, I doubt this is anything to ignore.
Tyraz - Indeed, I sure hope that nothing goes wrong.
Arsac - *checks her communicator* you spoke too soon, apparently there's a drop-ship heading towards the plaza.
Tyraz - Dropship? Is it registered? Is it even loyalist!?
Arsac - It was dispatched from the ship that just arrived but it should not be going that way.
Tyraz - Hmm, who knows, it may be a surprise for the people attending. Either that...or something very, very bad.
On the screen the drop-ship hovered above the ground and from the back a large red Draconis jumped out. Both Arsac, Paronus and the crowd look with confusion, uncertain as to whom the figure really was.
Arsac - Impossible....
Tyraz - He looks familiar...
Arsac - It can't be... no no no the man is dead. If he was alive I would know!
Tyraz - I feel him...Is that...Oniron Voxis?
Arsac - Apparently.
Paronus stopped his speech as the figure plodded towards him. Paronus smiles lightly, recognising who the figure was from textbooks. He cleared his throat and smiled.
Paronus - Ladies and gentemen, a miracle fro mthe lifefather has been witnessed!
Tyraz - Paronus, you idiot...What are you doing?
Paronus's guards closed in and stand just in front. Oniron stopped, standing in front of the three of them. Two more guards approached from behind and they clutched their weapons. Realising something was wrong, Tyraz dematerialised into a black substance that flowed to the plaza, with Arsac following behind. A smile cracked on Oniron's face. He swiftly drew a pair of blades and through a series of flurries managed to kill the dragons with ease without as much as a scratch on his own body. He struck with finesse and without pause. When he finally did stop, the guards collapsed to the ground in synchronicity. Seeing this act of violence Paronus backed away but Oniron leaped onto his back and forced him to the ground. Tyraz's substance reached the area and he materialised, quickly rushing towards Oniron, still very confused. Sensing something behind him Oniron turned an eye to see Tyraz in his peripheral vision. Recognising the Zazane he swiftly smacked him with his arm, knocking him back. He opened his eyes with surprise and reached for his firesword. Oniron stands in front of him and cricks his neck. Tyraz stood up with his eyes glowing red.
Oniron - You’re on the wrong side.
Tyraz - Excuse me?
Oniron - You side with emperors who decided to murder me, cut up my corpse and left my remains to rot
Paronus shook his head in horror at what he was hearing. Oniron's words were like nothing he knew of established history.
Tyraz - What are you talking about? Are you a madman?
Oniron - Who's side are you on 'my lord'? Are you with or against Ultanos!
Tyraz - I am with Ultanos, of course!
Oniron – Too bad.
Oniron turned his back, walked over to Paronus and picked him up by the neck. He readied his blade to stab him in the stomach. Tyraz drew his Firesword, which was at a length that the tip of the blade is only a few centimetres away from Oniron, who was startled at the ridiculous size of the blade compared to its owner.
Oniron - What the...?
Tyraz - Release him. Now.
Oniron - *Snarls* I made the mistake of trusting them years ago, but as you wish.
Oniron increased his grip to a force that left Paronus crippled and struggling to breathe before he let go, letting the Draconis fall to the floor gasping for air. This act horrified Tyraz who was now doubtful this was the same man he had read about. Arsac eventually arrived at the scene. The crowd, fearing for what just happened were backing off in horror. As the two stood on the platform the dropship returned and hovered above the crowd.
Tyraz - You cannot be the same Oniron Voxis from the past!
Oniron - And why is that? Did no one tell you how dangerous I really was?
Tyraz - You died thousands of years ago! Your remains would be dust by now!
Oniron - And yet here I am. I remember everything; serving House Khaxvis, my many years in the arena; all of it.
Tyraz - Do you not remember serving House Ultanos for the greater good?
Oniron - Oh I did. Sure it was grand... but when I returned I was told Ultanos had disposed of me. They had turned against me!
Tyraz - Why would they dispose of you? That is insane!
Oniron - Politics is a dangerous game Tyraz. When you're no longer useful you're no longer worth keeping I guess.
Tyraz - Hmph. That is not the way of Ultanos!
A dark presence could be felt from within the returned drop-ship. The hatch opened up as the ship hovered near the plaza's distant entrance. Bodies of soldiers fell from the buildings as assassins picked them off as they stood distracted by Oniron’s returned presence.
Tyraz - What is going on?! Oniron...what have you done?!
Oniron - How long have you known the Ultanos? Two years, at best? I worked for them for over a century, I know more about them than you could possibly know.
Tyraz - Within the time I have known Ultanos, I have seen many good things from them!
Oniron - Oh really? Did you know they rounded up and executed -every- member of house Kahxvis they could find?
Tyraz - I know of this, yes. Khaxvis had done the same to them!
Oniron - This whole operation wasn't mine, but my benefactor is especially interested in you.
Tyraz - Benefactor?....Volkarus.
As Arsac cried for everyone to run, a shadow emerged from the drop-ship. As a group of people headed for the distant entrance a very large mass dropped and lands right in front of them with enough force to crack the ground, creating a small crater. The crowd backed away, noticing the obstacle looked organic. Tyraz flinched as the mass arrived, he turned to Oniron and rushed at him, but the crowd, now fearing for their life, got in his way which caused him to lose sight of him and drop his Firesword by accident. As he jostles through the crowd Oniron seems to disappear. Barriers of shadow emerge from the ground, closing off all escape routes. Arsac ran to Paronus and cried out to Tyraz. Out of frustration Tyraz swung his his hands, batting Draconis and other Imperial citizens out of the way and picked up his Firesword after finding it again. He shouted at the top of his lungs for Oniron to show himself. At the end of the plaza the mass, heaved itself up. Standing far taller than everyone else it spread its wings. TYraz turned to look, standing still as the creature made itself look as large as possible. While everyone else saw the creature resembling Volkarus, Tyraz saw a Zazane shape in the form of a rotting carcass of a man – Moxix. The realisation sent an uncomfortable feeling through his head, causing him to grip it in discomfort.
Tyraz – I... M-Moxix...Moxix!
Moxix - Look how they cry out for help...Look at how pathetic they are.
Volkarus let out a demonic roar, freeing everyone in place with fear.
Volkarus - Is this any way to react you your true master?
Tyraz - Moxix! I can end you here!
Moxix - I feel...A strange presence...Tyraz...Tyraz is here!
Volkarus - <<yes, just as I had hoped!>>
Moxix - Let me have him...Let me kill him!
Volkarus - <<We shall feast together!>>
Moxix - Indeed! Let his flesh be ours!
Tyraz gripped his head more and fell onto his knees. As Arsac tended to Paronus with a nanite spray, Oniron emerged from the crowd and pins her on a table with his forearm. Tyraz sensed this and turned to notice her in danger.
Tyraz - Huh? Arsac!
Moxix - Now, now! Attack him now, Volkarus!
Volkarus - You let me to rot Tyraz, and now I shall make you suffer just as I have!
VOlkarus summoned lightning from his fingertips and struck Tyraz who in response let out a cry of pain, one he had not felt in many years.
Tyraz - No...d-damn you Moxix! Y-You will not have me!
Volkarus - *strikes again* Who is left Tyraz? Arsac! She is weak; as you live on she will age, wither and rot.
Arsac - Tyra—
Arsac was interrupted when Oniron punched her in the side of the head.
Tyraz - Agh...no..s-she is not weak! Moxix....y-you will n-not c-convince me to leave her!
Volakrus - You are far stronger than she could ever be!
Tyraz - M-Maybe so...b-but I never wished for this strength!
Both of them lurched towards each other, Volkarus continued to electrocute Tyraz, sapping him.
Volkarus - Power is everything Tyraz! Your denial only makes you weaker!
After taking a series of struggled breaths Arsac worked up the strength to punch Oniron in the stomach. Such a blow did less than she expected but it was enough to distract Oniron enough to hit him in the jaw. He staggers and Arsac staggers as she collected her breath. After seeing Arsac manage herself, Tyraz turned and with blood red eyes, he let out a loud, demonic roar as he charged towards Volkarus, seeing him as Moxix, with his Firesword drawn high. Seeing Tyraz charging Volkarus leaped into the air, aided by his enormous wings. The sword struck through the wall behind them, and he looked up to see his foe in the air. With a motion of his hand, Vokarus summoned shadows to emerge from the ground, binding Tyraz by the legs.
Tyraz - Agh! N-No! Moxix, what dark...s-sorcery is this?
Seeing him helpless Volkarus he landed right in front of Tyraz and glared down at him. After a quick struggle with Oniron, Arsac dashed for him after regaining her strength. Tendrils of shadow emerged from Volakrus' body and grasped her by the waist and lifted her into the air with her arms pinned to her sides.
Tyraz - Moxix...what business do you have here...
Moxix - He has much soul in him, much flesh for us to feast upon.
Volkarus - I am here for what you stole from me! <<Shall we begin?>>
Moxix - Let us feast upon his damned flesh!
Tyraz - I...w-will not a-allow you...t-to do this!
With a sinister smile, several tendrils of dark substance emerged from Volkarus’s body and plunged into Tyraz. The process of absorption began, and Tyraz let out cries of agony and pain as his flesh was slowly devoured from his body. VOlkarus smiled with glee as both energy and flesh surged into him, prompting him to roar with laughter.
Moxix - It tastes so good! So much...energy! Volkarus, with this we shall become immortal!
Volkarus - So much power!
Arsac watched in horror, deep within she felt furious that she could do nothing. Over time the air around her fluctuated as temperatures rose. Tyraz continued to write in agony as he wasted away. As temperatures soared her growls became louder and louder. Feeling the heat Volkarus looked her direction and with a deep breath an inferno was launched from her mouth, engulfing Volkarus’s face in a searing heat. As scales were seared off the tendrils retracted from both of them. Some of the scales had been blasted away from Volkarus body, exposing what looked like numerous mixes of flesh. While Tyraz collapsed to the floor the air around all three fluctuated as temperatures rose; Volakrus could feel his scales cooking. He fired a bolt of energy at Arsac only for her to engulf it in flames. Seeing that he could do little, Volkarus teleported both himself and Oniron in a cloud of black energy. As Arsac stood she soon fainted. The crowd had slowly gathered around the pair as the two of them blacked out.
Sometime later Tyraz regained consciousness in a hospital, with Arsac sitting n a chair near the end of his bed. Tyraz was still panting, crying black tears from his eyes. He looked to Arsac with a worried expression. Seeing him awake Arsac moved closer to him.
Tyraz - A-Arsac...
Arsac - I'm here, do not worry about me.
Tyraz was still panting and noticed that he has been crying. He covered his face with the sheets out of shame.
Arsac - I organised for you to be in a private ward, no-one saw you.
Tyraz kept his face covered, sobbing could be heard beneath as the tears stained the sheets.
Arsac - Speak your mind, Tyraz.
Tyraz gathered the courage to speak. His words were broken with frequent sobbing.
Tyraz - I...I f-feel weak...w-weaker than ever before...e-even before my transformation i-into this...t-t-thing I had b-become...
Arsac - I spoke with the paramedics, we did what we could to restore what Volkarus had... extracted.
Tyraz - I-It will a-all r-re-return in time, A-Arsac...b-but t-t-this feeling of weakness w-will...n-never heal.
Arsac - *leans closer* Tyraz, I have spent only a short amount of time with you but I can tell you are not weak.
Tyraz peeked out from under the sheets, tears were still running from his eyes but he felt slightly better.
Tyraz - B-But...I-I couldn't s-stop Moxix...I-I mean Volkarus...a-agh, I'm losing my mind...see how weak I am?
Arsac - You fared better than most in that situation.
Tyraz - I am a leader, Arsac...a leader of a whole race...a whole empire! And- and look what happened...
Arsac - If it comforts you I feel partially to blame, I think Volkarus was counting on me calling you to Araveene.
Tyraz - He h-has gotten stronger, A-Arsac....W-When I saw the scales sear off h-his flesh, I-I saw...something f-familiar...
Arsac - I saw something too... He was like an amalgam, pieced together from Drakon-knows how many aliens....Is that what Moxix did to his victims? What he was doing to you? Tyraz - Y-Yes...e-exactly...I f-fear Moxix may h-have returned...
Arsac stood up and turned away, a feeling of pain flooded her mind.
Arsac - Are you certain of this?
Tyraz - T-The s-symptoms are so f-familiar...to the e-events of the Holy S-Shadow War...
Arsac - I never knew much of what happened beyond the attacks of the undead... those were dark days for the Imperium...
Tyraz - I...I m-must apologize...h-he caused that w-whole war to s-spite me.
Arsac - ...Just like Volkarus is doing all this to spite you.
Tyraz - Arsac, I fear that...I f-fear that Volkarus has become m-more powerful than we e-ever imagined.
Arsac - ... Even more powerful than what you originally made him?
Tyraz - I-If Moxix is involved, w-which I am certain...then yes.
Arsac turned to look at the wall and sighed deeply. Tyraz was feeling somewhat better about himself; he removed the sheets from his face.
Tyraz - Arsac...I must ask a favour...
Arsac - What is it?
Tyraz - I w-want you...to help me...
Arsac - I never managed to properly return the favour for you introducing me to those paints.
Tyraz - Hehe, I see you still wear them.
Tyraz stood up with a smile, approaching Arsac he ran his finger underneath her left eye.
Arsac - If you wish, I can offer you inquisition training.
Tyraz - You'd t-take me under your wing?
Arsac - *smiles* You are powerful Tyraz. Whatever powers you have been given I could only begin to imagine their full potential. The problem most suffer from however is guidance. What you saw that day... I'm not sure how but I did summon that power.
Tyraz - It seems I am not the only one who has powers. You also seem to be..."gifted".
Arsac - Unlike you this 'gift' came from spending hundreds of years learning to combine mind and body. I could offer you the same skills.
Tyraz - I will gratefully accept, Arsac. Who knows...maybe you and I together could uhh...d-defeat Volkarus, yes.
Arsac - I will give you this warning however: These lessons will change you. For one thing you will learn to temper you rage, forge it into a finer weapon.
Tyraz - You mean...make my anger my strength?
Arsac - Indeed. I did the same when I summoned all those flames.
Tyraz - It seems that these lessons will be very beneficial. Having the power is one thing, using it is another.
Arsac - That is another lesson: Over the years I have learned that desire can be harmful to the psyche. While it is healithy to have goals, we lose sight of things when our minds are too focused on what we want rather than what we are.
Tyraz - My desire...is to rid this Universe of Moxix's vile touch!
Arsac - You have much to learn. Take some time-off, take time to relax your mind before we begin because you need a clear mind.
Tyraz - Of course...I must thank you though, you helped me through my depression. And I'm not sure if you know, but...depression kills Zazane.
Arsac - I am aware.
Arsac headed towards the door as she spoke.
Tyraz - I guess you have business to attend to.
Arsac - Remember what I said, take some time-off before we begin.
As Arsac closed the door behind her he nodded and smiled, sitting back on his bed.
Unknown to the Imperium, Moxix had retreated to the very cruiser he arrived on, which had hidden itself to avoid being shot. Volkarus could still feel the heat on his scales, a creeping smile spread across his face as he could feel the energies he stole from Tyraz surging through his body.
Volakrus - Are you satisfied, Moxix?
Moxix - Yes...Very. Tyraz could do nothing...to stop us!
Volkarus - And now I have what he stole from me, perhaps more!
Moxix - Yes...Yes! But...something concerns me, Volkarus...
Volkarus - What is it this time? That I let that whelp Arsac live?
Moxix - Yes, why did you not kill her?
Volkarus - I regret not doing so. But what she did, I had never thought it possible from her kind!
Moxix - Indeed, it took me by some surprise...
Volkarus - I have to say there was something satisfying watching Tyraz writhe in agony!
Moxix - Yes, I felt so much pleasure from his...energies....it sends a chill through your spine...I can feel it.
Volkarus - It feels satisfying that I believe broke him. Arsac's ties to him can be used to our advantage. No, I will not be satisfied until I consume him completely, body and soul!
Moxix - Very well...I know the feeling of this hunger...this desire for revenge.
Volkarus - Oniron did well, h shall make a fine addition to my elites.
Moxix - Oniron beat the bitch into submission...but it is no more...than watching mortals fight....they are only mortals.
Volkarus - Mortals have their uses, whether you enjoy it or not.
Moxix - You take a mortal's head off...it dies...unless it is already dead...
Volkarus - I can see that it is impossible to convince you, fine. I will tolerate your contempt so long as you can tolerate what I see in mortals.
Moxix - Fine...they are of some usage.
Volakrus - Good. Good.
Volkarus entered makeshift room in the cargohold. He was using it as his quarters as the ship headed towards the fleet.
Moxix - Now...what are your next...plans of action?
Volkarus - Today was to set an example. House Ultanos is not invincible, perhaps we can use this.
Moxix - Let the realisation....sink in....Let them see that...Oniron Voxis, their greatest hero...hates them, and that Uriel....is on the top of his hate list.
Volkarus - One blow might not be enough. The people look up to Oniron, he is legendary. If we show that he hates the whole house, a few more aattempts on their life... that would bring the peoples' entire universe crashing down!.
Moxix - How about...we have Oniron...attack their allies, the Zazane? Not only...do we make them feel uneasy...but tensions will rise between them....
Volkarus - And if we prove he can defeat Zazane... Yess I see what you are planning.
Moxix - The Brood and Imperium....have the Imperium attacked...on all sides...
Volkarus sat in a large chair and leaned forward with a smile.
Volkarus - The people will cry out for a new leader, and when they see Oniron bow to me....
Moxix - Yes...we shall rule...and when we are in power....the Brood is mine!
Tyraz worked up the confidence to return to the grand cathedral where Arsac had called him. He was uncertain what was going on. As he entered he once again marveled at the cathedral's architecture as he headed towards the ctructure's far end. The route felt familiar to him as he headed down into the lower levels. He knocked quietly on the door and was in luck that Arsac was inside. They both new why they were there - Tyraz was ready to begin learning how to cotnrol himself the way the inquisitors could. Arsac entered from a side-room holding a towel in her hand. This was one of the few occasions where she was wearing something other than armour.
Arsac - Tyraz, I am glad you came so soon.
Tyraz - The sooner we start, the better.
Arsac nodded and instructed him to sit cross-legged in the middle of the main room. She sat beside him and positioned her hands to lock with each other.
Arsac - This is the first step. I want you to breathe calmly. Feel the air entering your nostrils as you inhale, and feel it rushing out as you exhale.
Tyraz was unsure what this would do but accepted Arsac's wisdom. The feeling was somewhat relaxing, he looked at Arsac to his left who had her right eye closed. He could faintly hear the air travelling in and out of her nostrils. Returning to this state Tyraz heard her mutter about focusing on a specific point in the room. A brass oil lamp was perched on an end table on the far wall. As he focused his attention everything else seemed less important. After a few minutes he could hear a "thump-thump" from his vicinity. As he thought about it he realised that the increasinly noticeable noise was his own heart. The sensation was odd at first but as time pased it became a feeling of comfort. After half an hour Arsac opened her eyes and he followed.
Arsac - How do you feel?
Tyraz - I... I do not think I have felt this way in a long time. I feel good.
Arsac - I am glad I could be of help but we have only begun. I will arrange for chambers for you.
Tyraz was fixated on the lamp. He brought himself to turn his gaze away and turned to Arsac.
Tyraz - This might seem odd request but but, do you mind if I borrow your oil lamp?
Arsac walked over to the lamp on the table, she had noticed Tyraz had focused his attention on it. She stroked her finger along an engraving i nthe brass.
Arsac - This old thing? Sure, I aquired it from a merchant on Paraelus VII, one of the Krrogvont colonies. You are welcome to have it if it helps you.
Tyraz - Thank you Arsac. You are most kind.
Tyraz walked over ot the table and gently picked up the lamp, stretching his arms out to reach it on the tal lend table and carreid it out of the room. Over the next few days Tyraz continued this practice under Arsac's instruction. She had offered him one of the guest domrmatories for the duration of his visit. The feeling of his heart and the air rushing in and out ofhis nostrils became ever more comfoting. He felt calmer, the feeling of rage was faintly subsiding and it was good. On the last few days of his dark energy began leaking from between his scales, it rested on his scales liek a thin residue.
On the final day Arsac entered his chamber to find him sitting with his legs crossed. He had his eyes closed but hearing the knock he blinked them open. Loking up at Arsac.
Arsac - How do you feel?
Tyraz - I have not felt this way in many years. I don't know if you are aware but I like taking baths in cold blood to release stress.
Arsac - Meditation is far more pleasant to the outsider, but to each his own. You may keep the lamp, I think it will help you.
Tyraz - Thank you Arsac. I have felt better in these last few days than I have in years, but I must return to the Brood.
Arsac - Of course.
Tyraz left the monastery later that day with the oil lamp and returned ot the spaceport. As his shuttle returned him to the fleet he could see Dagonris below. When he boarded the Ghost of the Warrior he placed the lamp on a shelf in his cabin and sat on the bed, looking at it for some time as the shi preturned to Brood space.
Trials of Patience
A couple of weeks after his visit to Dagonris, Tyraz arrived inside a monastery situated on one of the colonies closer to Brood Territory. Arsac had asked that she meet him there to begin the next part of his training. The monastery was nothing as grand as the one he had visited on Alcanti, but it was still an elegant structure. Tyraz examined the monastery and smiled slightly. He w ondered to himself what Arsac had planned, believing it would be a great honour to train with her. As he walked he saw Arsac down the hall talking to one of the local clerics. Upon noticing Tyraz she proompted him to walk onward. The cleric bowed and continued down the hall while she turned and walked towards Tyraz.
Arsac - Tyraz, it is good to see you once again.
Tyraz - And same to you, Mistress Arsac. I see that you've invited me into one of the Imperium's monasteries, is this like a training ground?
Arsac - The monasteries accomodate for inquisitors in the lower levels, very few get to see them. Come, I have arranged for a particular room for someone of your talent.
Tyraz nodded and followed closely behind her, eager to see what room she had prepared for him to train. Arsac headed down into the monastery's lower levels. as they approched the room Tyraz caught a glympse inside another room where young children were exercising in unison.
Tyraz - Reminds me of a Zazane combat school. I assume they will be future Inquisitors?
Arsac - They will. When an initiate comes of age they are pared with one of our field operatives as junior inquisitors.
Tyraz - Interesting. Will my training be anything like that?
Arsac - I understand you have goen through something similar while growing up. Part of your training will be physical, but the mental aspects are what I believe require the most attention.
Tyraz - Mental aspects? I assume this is more meditation.
Arsac - Not quite...
Arsac led him into a medium-sized room with a high ceiling. Occupying the centre of the room was a square wooden floor that was sunken and surrounded at the edges with flagstone. Adorning the walls were various weapons, tools and exercise quipment of al lshapes and sizes.
Tyraz - This place seems rather...interesting.
Arsac - This is one of the training rooms. An inquisitor must do more than focus their mind, they must also guard it from any distractions.
Tyraz - Guard it? I thought it would be easy to keep yourself focused.
Arsac - An inquisitor's lifestyle is a harsh one; We must be ready for whatever horrors the universe is prepared to throw at us.
Tyraz - True. But what has this got to do with my mental capability?
Arsac - What distracts the mind, can unfocus the body, you can be broken just as you had done on Araveene.
Tyraz - Agh...I see your point. Such vile memories. When does training begin?
After using her communicator another inquisitor walked in, who was in reality a forcefield-contained hologram.
Tyraz - Is this Inqisitor one of your assistants?
Arsac - Yes, I trained him myself. But I never took her on as a junior.
Tyraz - A lady such as you has no time for training juniors?
Arsac - This is Ganvara *the inquisitor nods* her task today is to make you crack.
Tyraz - Make me crack? Hmph, you will find this a challenge.
Ganvara - Is this the new project you mentioned mistress? He's not as impressive as I thought he would be.
Tyraz - *blinks for a moment* Excuse me?
Ganvara - I was told you took on armies of House Khaxvis' finest at the battle of Alcanti, I find that had to believe.
Arsac - Do not let her words get to you Tyraz, breathe deeply. Let her words wash over you.
After snorting, he inhaled, and then exhaled calmly.
Ganvara - Mistress do you really think he is worthy of your attention? He looks like something one of my nephews would play with!
Tyraz turned his head sharply, but exhaled again and blinked. Ganvara walked around him with her lips pulled back
Ganvera - I ahve seen much tougher initiates than you.
Tyraz - And I have suffered far worst insults.
Ganvara - Poor little thing, did you find it in the street mistress or did it follow you home?
Tyraz's eyes turn towards her as she mentioned the word 'little'.
Arsac - Breathe calmly, feel the energies flow up and down your spine.
Tyraz nodded and closes his eyes, restraining his energies from escaping. Ganvara pushed her hand against his chest, shoving him backwards. Tyraz growled and lets out a sigh, black energy was starting to leak through his scales.
Ganvera - Am I being too rough?
Tyraz - Hnngh, no. Push harder.
Ganvera pushed even harder against the pectoral region.
Ganvera - Does the hatchling want some meat broth?
Tyraz growled, gripping his sword.
Tyraz - Gr...hatchling...
Arsac - Tyraz... breathe...
He started to pant as anger started to slowly get to him.
Ganvera - Cute, it thinks it can use a sword.
Tyraz - Oh yeah...I can use a sword alright...
Arsac - She's only trying to provoke you, don't let her words get to you!
Ganvera - You waste your time with this infant mistress! He is not inquisition material.
Tyraz smirked and stood calmly, he moved his hand away from his sword. Ganvera stood right in front of him and stared down. Tyraz smirked, breathing calmly.
Ganvera - I suppose this was not entirely an error of judgement mistress.
Arsac - That is enough for now Ganvera. You may return to your duties.
Ganvera - As you wish, mistress.
Ganvera walked out of the room. Tyraz let out a long sigh and stepped forward after she had left the room. Arsac watched her leave before returning her attentino to Tyraz.
Tyraz - Well, that was harder than I thought.
Arsac - Not a bad effort. You did come close to cracking.
Tyraz - Hmph. Is she usually like that?
Arsac - That was part of the test, Ganvera is a proud woman, but she does respect you.
Tyraz - *smiles and sighs* Inquisitors certainly know how to be harsh.
Arsac - From what I can tell there is still much I still have to teach you. I watched your body langage, you were almost ready to slice her for her words.
Tyraz - Would you not do the same?
Arsac - As difficult as it would seem I would never bring myself to do it because that is what your enemy wants when they say such things.
Tyraz - So it seems that I am an oddity amongst my race.
Arsac - Perhaps. In time even the most vile insults and abuses can become nothing more than the vain spoutings of a madman to you - but only if you can control yourself.
Tyraz - Indeed. I guess that I really do require training.
Arsac - And I will gladly be there to guiide you. The first step would be to contain your rage and after that you will learn, alongside the meditation, to channel it.
Tyraz - Tell me, how else will help me contain it? I need to know.
Arsac - Do not let their words get to you. The only purpose of insults is to provoke the recipient, think nothing of them.
Tyraz - Fine. You're right. I need to be more resistant in mind rather than body.
Arsac - That is why we started with meditation.
Arsac - Control comes from discipline, and meditation can promote discipline and awareness.
Tyraz - So, discipline myself enough...I will have full control.
Arsac - Yes. But do not delude yourself iwth this prospect, I have wached initiates fail this with dangerous results. Tyraz - With great power comes great responsibility, am I correct?
Arsac - You can say that. Remember: Meditate as a daily routine and focus on what awakens inside you and do so with a sense of restraint, do not fascinate with what you could achieve.
Tyraz - Indeed...Otherwise, I am no better than Volkarus and Moxix...
Arsac rested her hand on his shoulder, smiling.
Arsac - Keep that in mind, Tyraz. We have only just begun.
Tyraz nodded and smileds back, chuckling* Oh joy, just like school all over again. Except a lot more friendly,
Arsac - However this time as your mentor I have faith in you.
Tyraz - Thank you, Mistress Arsac. You don't know how good it is to hear those words.
Arsac - You are welcome, now I have business. I trust you can return on your own?
Tyraz - I may be in training, but I am no child Arsac. I can get home safely, thank you.
Arsac chuckled as her holofield dematerialised, leaving Tyraz in the room alone. He sat on the ground and crossed his legs, shutting his eyes. As he breathed dark energies materialised from his body while he meditated.
Imperium Under Siege
continued from God Amongst Men
Since the conflict on Araveene the Imperium had faced an assault from multiple fronts. Oniron had been seen travelling to the various estates owned by House Ultanos and each visit was met with blodshed. Oniron's improved genetics and internal cybernetics gaveh im an extra edge over the Blood Dragons. He felt strangely satisfied to be facing down ananry he had trained ot defeat once before. Each raid would lead to the death of any House Ultanos members residing there. A shadow of doubt was being cast over the Imperium; had Oniron gone rogue? Had he lost his mind or had he turned traitor? These rumours were spread quickly to make sense of Oniron's sudden turn however when it came to facing Domestic Security he kept his distance, when DS forces surrounded him he would leap to escape and he would be merciful to any civillains who got in his way. Whatever his 'mysterious' motives were, there were purely against House Ultanos.
Other times, Oniron was seen attacking Zazane dignitaries and even certain members of the Zazane living within the imperium. With the deaths of both Ultanos and Zazane being made public, Oniron broadcasted a message at more public sites, saying that House Ultanos was corrupt for making the Imperium weak, hdinig secrets fro mthe population and siding with Zazane (to which he clamed were merely using the imperium to wage further wars.
More secretly the Resurgance was fighting another secret front. While Oniron acted overtly, the Resurgence memebrs were mroe discreet. Members of the Blessed Few, the Resurgence's elite made up of descended Draconis, had been teleporting inside the catacombs of numerous monasteries and were kidnapping inquisitors, vanishing without a trace. Whenever they attacked they prevented anyone from leaving the tunnels and anyone they found was either captured or killed. They had taken an odd preference to subduing and kidnapping the more powerful inquistors as opposed to killing them. Whenever they were finished they took all bodies with them. Dozens of monasteries were targeted and through hastily-erected forcefield walls almost nobody was aware.
Kervon Daktis, the leader of the Zazane living in the Imperium was furious. Uriel had made some attempt to know him better which gave him access to the Imperial Palace. After being granted entry he stormed into the great hall where Uriel was sitting on the throne. he was talking to some of his family when the Zazane threw one of the doors open and marched furiously down the aisle. The other Draconis turned to look down at him and they backed away to reveal Uriel was somewhat weary.
Kervon - You had better have answers Paragon! Why is one of your kind killing my people!?
Uriel - I wish I knew. Unfortunately my own family has been his target as well.
Kervon - Well then you had better do something. My warriors shed blood to keep our holdings and unless you do something I might have to reconsider returning to the Brood. Lord-Councillor Breek trusted you when he allowed su to live in your imepriumand now I am starting to doubt the effectiveness of both of you!
Uriel - Kervon, I can understand your pain I have seen what war and death do. This is not like Oniron, not liek the stories used to say.
Kervon - My people respect strength, paragon. I respect strength. And right now I am contemplating that this "Volkarus" Is right. You are growing weak on your throne. And Zazane do not approve of weakness!
Ultanos family member - We are doing what we can, Zazane. But right now we are draling with our own problems.
Kervon growled and glared at the Ultanos members in turn.
Kervon - Not good enough draconis. either do something about this 'Oniron' or we might consider an end to our agreement.
Kervon snorted and dturned around. As he marched away Uriel called out to him. he turned around with a fierce look in his eye.
Kervon - What!?
Uriel - Perhaps we can evacuate your people closer to the core worlds, then fortify the mwith a naval presence until we can deal with this situation. The core worlds appear to be less-likely targets for him.
Kervon lowered his head in thought for a few minutes. His lips relaxed slightly as his rage subsided.
Kervon - Better, but not ideal. Just sort this mess out before we all have to consider relocating.
Uriel sighed as Kervon left while still in a foul mood. Oniron's actions were dividing the imperium and he was unsure how to solve the problem aside from killing him. What's more whenever Oniron wasn't trying to assassiante some he would completely dissapear, making tracking him impossib.e
Dark Days Draw Near
After time in a cruiser Kol Daren and Vedrix arrive via shuttle to a large generation ship being used by the Resurgence as a headquarters. The design hinted that long ago it had been designed to be a space-bound palace. Kol however was unimpressed with what he saw.
Kol - Hmph. Such primitive design. The designers wasted their time with style rather than weaponry.
Vedrix - Oh this ship can defend itself, we have had millennia to improve the design. Lord Volkarus would be interested in meeting you in person while your accomodations are prepared. If you would follow me I will take you to him.
Kol - Fine. Be quick, I don't have eternity. Oh wait, I do.
He smirked and followed close behind her. Vedrix groaned and led him towards Volkarus's throne room. As they approached the droor to the great hall they passed a set of 20 murals. Each one showed a Khaxvis member depicted as a saint with either "clutch one" "clutch two" or "clutch three" in High Dracid underneath their names.
Kol - Again, all this is unneeded. Useless.
Vedrix - Before Lord Volkarus' ascention to immortality, these twenty were revered by the resurgence. While their parents were hanged by the Ultanos, these twenty were hidden. We are all descended from them. had they been found by the Ultanos, none of us would exist today.
Kol - Hmph. So, you are the survivors of a conflict. How...persistant.
Vedrix - These twenty rebuilt the house from nothing. All our assets, all our wealth that we had prior to their parents' execution had been destroyed by Ultanos.
Kol - That is all very well and good but it does not concern me. Nor does it interest me. In fact, it aggravates me that I am helping vermin like you.
They arrived at a pair of enormous heavy metal doors with hilights of gold and platinum. When he was told by Vedrix that Volkarus was inside he looked to the doors and with a smirk on his face, he headbutted them, swinging them open. Volkarus's guards jumped and readied their weapons at the sign of aggression. Volkarus was slumped on his throne and raised his hand, calling for them to stand down. He looked at Kol Daren with agitation.
Kol - Wise decision. This is a diplomatic meeting after all...unfortunately,
Volakrus - Next time, please refrain from using your skull to open the door.
Kol - Fine. So...I assume you're Volkarus?
Volkarus - I am.
Volakrus heaved himself and stood up from his throne. Towering over his guest, he peered down at Kol Daren. Volakrus took a moment to inspect him and smiled slightly. He called for the gaurds to close the doors and plodded arund Kol Daren.
Volkarus - Yes. Vedrix was smart to find you.
Kol - Hmph. If you say so. I would disagree, she talks too much for my liking.
Volkarus - She has her uses. Now... Vedrix tells me that you were interested in me. How so?
Kol - You have resources I require. And I have something you need.
Volkarus - You need the House's extensive resources and I need your genetics. I am being rather generous with this deal. Then again, what esle can you offer me?
Kol - I can guarantee you the destruction of the weakling Imperium.
Volkarus - House Ultanos and the imeprial senate are my targets. From their ashes I will build the imeprium in my own image. Kol - Why rebuild when you can destroy?
Volkarus - Because a god needs subjects and besides, how useful exactly is a ruin?
Kol - Of course, silly me. But tell me, what is stopping me from destroying you here and taking your resources?
Volkarus - Without me and without my support, the resurgence's connections are useless.
Kol - Fine. I shall assist you. But what else do you have that may be of interest to me? I heard you have a certain...power.
Volakrus - Tyraz Breek was so kind to start my path to divinity. But I take it you refer to this...
On his command an inquisitor emerged from a lift and Volkarus grabbed him by the throat. Kol watched in interest, and folded his arms.
Volkarus - With but a thought, his flesh becomes mine, his soul, his energy.. all mine!
The Inquisitor squirmed as his muscles convulsed and waste away. After a short time he stopped trying to pry Volkarus' fingers apart, and then stopped moving completely as his scales waste away. Strange masses pulse up Volkarus's arm and he appeared satisfied. Kol he unfolded his arms, his eyes examined Volkarus with a look of disgust as the latter tossed the remains aside.
Kol - That power...you are a spirit of decay...
Volkarus - *snarls* Is there a problem? Power is everything, one must grab what he can and this...this is my power! if you cannot bring youself to sieze whatever power comes your way then you are weak!
Kol - *smirks* I was born with power. It is my birthright.
Volkarus - But is it enough for you?
Kol - I am a god, not scavenging vermin.
Volkarus - *growls* Not all of us are so priveliged. I once knew a man who sat on an elder's council. He was born to advise my people and do you know what happened when I defied his word? I crushed his heart with my own hand. You may be born priveliged, but that does not make you immune to challengers!
Kol walked up to him, his face up near his. Volkarus smirked, remembering what Moxix had said about him.
Kol - I'd like to see you challenge a god like myself.
Volkarus - I'm not stupid. Now... I said I had something you need and i will show you.
Kol - Please do.
Volkarus escorted him to the labs in the lower levels. Superzazane walked about and looked at Kol with curiosity. Some were still in their tanks. Kol examined the Superzazane and growled with disappointment. One of them glared back at him.
Kol - They look primitive, stupid.
Superzazane - What did you call me?
Volkarus - I have been working on this for many months. Collecting samples like the ones you were buying. They are tougher, larger, faster, stronger and smarter than what they were. An adolescent and one of the first was close to victory fighting one of the Brood's Niddan-Ho. The loylist scum was thrown around like a ragdoll so much it was hilarious.
Kol - Niddan Ho are hardly strong. Nonetheless, their strength sounds somewhat fierce.
Volkarus - Indeed. You can inspect these ones further if you like, I have a certain... matter to attend to. Kol - Matter? Such as what?
Volkarus - Now that would be telling...
Kol - Hmph. Whatever.
Kol continued to look at the Superzazane while scientists studied them. Out of sight, Volkarus entered a private room. Drifting in a tank was a mature superzazane more powerful than the others in the lab. Yle lights flickered on and Volkarus stood with a smile.
Volkarus - Lord Moxix. I have something to offer you.
Moxix - Offer me...?
Volkarus - Indeed. I offer you this body, more powerful than anything I have made previously. It is yours.
Moxix examined the body, and laughed maniacally as his conscience left Volkarus' head, beginning to make its way into the empty body. Volkarus flinched forward as Moxix's presence left him. The body convulsed as Moxix took it over, triggering a system that caused the fluid suspending the body to drain from the tank. The eyes opened on his new body, flickering as the adjuted to the light. Once fully able he smashed the glass and stepped otu of the tank. He moved around some more to test his new body.
Moxix - Interesting...it has been a while since I have had to move...
Volakrus - Are you satisfied?
Moxix - It feels...so lively...
He smirked and approached Volkarus and alerady there were small signs the body was decaying. Volkarus stood and looked at the new Moxix with a smile.
Moxix - You have served me well as my carrier...and as my pawn. But it has been...an entertaining experience. When I unleash the next wave of undeath upon the Universe, I will be sure to find you.
Volkarus - Pawn? As I recall much of this was my own doing.
Moxix - You would never have achieved this much without me.
Volkarus - This is true but that does not make me a... pawn.
Moxix - This was all part of my plot to resurrect myself. If it wasn't you, it would've been somebody else. You have kept me safe for all the while and now...I am free again.
Volkarus - Should you unleash the undead once again, I ask that you spare the Imperium After all, I did bring you back and I desire the imperial throne for myself.
Moxix - Fine...I shall spare your precious Imperium. You are so full of greed. Very mortal-like.
Volkarus - Enjoy your body, Lord Moxix.
Moxix - I shall have it put to much usage in the near future. For now...farewell.
Moxix spreads his arms and he disturbingly disappeared amongst black and blood-red flames. Satisfied, Volkarus left the room and returned to the labs. He smiled as he observed Kol Daren settling in before he returned to his throne.
No Sanctuary From the Wicked
On Alcanti things were grim, Arsac had returned from the frontier to the Grand Cathedral to inform the Inquisition of what she had discovered. She had called the order's inner-circle (composed of soem of the most senior field inquisitors) and Tyraz to a war room in the underlevels of the Grand Cathedral in Dagonris. Tyraz arrived in a cloud of black energy to see Arsac discussing matters with the twelve members of the inner circle. An orbital view of Imsiria III was on a screen behind them.
Tyraz - Mistress Arsac, you I have arrived.
Arsac - Thank yo Tyraz. I would like you to meet the Inquisition's inner-circle.
Tyraz looked to the Inquisitors and kneeled to them with great respect.
Tyraz - It is an honour.
Senior - Arsac has spoken highly of you and she tells us you were the isnpiration for allowing aliens into the order. I can see how.
Arsac - We have to discuss House Khaxvis. I only reacently came back from one of the colonies in the Tholfame-15 sector and... well... The evidence is rather clear.
Arsac changed the setting on the screen to show footage from her suit of her encoutner with Kol Daren. Tyraz stumbled back in fear after looknig at the footage whaile several of the inner circle members were both apprehensive and disgusted.
Tyraz - W-What the...w-what is t-that?!
Arsac - He called himself 'Kol Daren'. And somehow considered himself a god.
Tyraz - I have never seen a Zazane like that before...Hmph, he is an abomination!
Senior 2 - I would say this is delusion but judging by Lord Breek's expression and the demonstration of his power I am not so sure.
Arsac - It gets worse, and the reason I mentioned Khaxvis.
The footage continued to play and it showed Vedrix, who convinced Kol to travel with her, along with taking Arsac's companions.
Tyraz - What is she thinking...?
Arsac - When I regained composure she was leaving with him on an outbound shuttle. His tone suggested that he chose to join her.
Tyraz - This is not good...really not good. What did Kol Daren say to you, exactly?
Arsac - That he was 'god of the universe' and wanted to 'cleanse' the Imperium of life.
Tyraz - God of the Universe? He definitely sounds insane!
Senior - I presume, Arsac, he really means 'erase'.
Arsac - Most definitely. And from his words he wanted... offspring.
Tyraz - Offspring? Why offspring?
Arsac - From what we can tell he is under the delusion that only his children deserve existence. Anything else is no better than a virulent plague.
Tyraz - Now I'm certain he is insane. He seems like nothing more than a deranged criminal.
Arsac - It is clear that he is willing to go to exteremes. we recovered this from sister Garavida's telemetry. Everyone brace yourselves.
Footage showed of an inquisitor peering into a rock hollow to show small, brutally torn-apart corpses. The footage is met with shock from the senior inquisitors. Tyraz watched in disbelief of what he saw and looked away with a feeling of shame.
Senior - That... that is vile! he cannot ppossibl live for such ebhaviour!
Tyraz - No Zazane should act like that...ever, under any circumstance...
Senior 2 - It is clear this Kol Daren is no Zazane. Do we have any idea where that shuttle is going?
Arsac - You are in luck, sister. I managed to plant a subspace tracer on it before it managed to fly too high. I have been keeping track of its movements ever since.
Tyraz - He could lead us to the Khaxvis base. If he has, then I suggest an assault to end this mess.
Arsac - That is the current plan. But we have a slight problem.
Arsac triggered the projection of a galactic map showing the signal had been lost after a certain point into in uncharted space.
Arsac - Something jammed the signal before we could get an accurate location. We know roughly where they are hiding, it is just a matter of pinpointing where exactly.
Tyraz - Surely if we go to where the signal stopped then we could have them in plain view.
Arsac - It is a possibility, or they could have set up a jamming network, perhaps light-years across. We know little of the region.
Tyraz - Then what do you suppose we do, Mistress Arsac?
Arsac - ......Do you remember Nocturnia, Lord Breek?
Tyraz - How could I forget?
Arsac - Kol Daren, Volkarus, Vedrix and other Khaxvis are descended. Their prescences would be like beacons in the dark. We reach the jamemd area and then focus our minds to find them.
Tyraz - That is a good plan. Even I can sense their demonic presence.
As they discussed matters an inquisitor's voice crackled through the intercom. Calling that hostiles were detected in the tunnels. The inquisitor was cut off when he mentioned that the enemy had simply appeared within the tunnel with no warning from orbit or ground forces - the hostiles had appeared within the tunnels themselves. Tyraz tightly gripped the handle of his Firesword and pulled it out.
Arsac - Not here... Seniors, inform the Imperial Talon Navy to mobilise. Tyraz we have to fight them off. They came for the inquisitors.
Tyraz - I shall have their blood.
Arsac nodded and headed to where the fighting was the most intense. Descended Khaxvis and superzazane had stormed the tunnels and rather than killing inquisitors they were fighting to incapacitate them while the descended draconis teleported them away. both of them roared and with weapons drawn charged into the frey to massacre the attackers. As Arsac fought she caught sight of Vedrix in the thick of battle. The latter turned and smiled and when Arsac charged she fired a bolt of lighting at Arsac's legs, forcing her to topple. Tyraz sliced through a Khaxvis before he noticed Arsac topple over and growled. With Arsac on the floor Vedrix marched up to her and bent down with a grin.
Vedrix - Did the poor girl lose her balance?
Vedrix looked up when one of her soldiers shouted to her to se Tyraz andshe hauled Arsac from the floor. She held Arsac as a living between her and Tyraz. Seeing Arsac in danger his scales began to go black while yellow scars started appearing. as he looked to them both. he bellowed Arsac's name, secretly fearing for what Vedrix would do. He growled at Vedrix started to get a little bigger while black energy seeped from his body.
Tyraz - Let her go and I shall spare your pathetic life!
Vedrix - *grins* Too bad i'm not in a cooperative mood.
She laughed as she teleported herself and Arsac from the hallways and ont oan orbiting battlecrusier, Arsac had joined several other memebrs of the inner circle. They were all restrained to the floor. back in the underlevels Tyraz he let out a demonic roar, which was heard throughout the Cathedral and charged around in circles, his Firesword violently sliced through more enemies and drenched the hallways in blood. In his fury, Tyraz swore that Vedrix would not get away with what she had done. and massacred the attackers. The halls are filled with Khaxvis and Zazane bodies. Near t oTyraz one Khaxvis was barely surviving and lay slumped againt the wall. Tyraz's body was now pitch black and adorned with luminous yellow scars. He stood tall over the Khaxvis, grabbed her throat aand lifted her up from the floor. he growled in her face while her eyes widened.
Khaxvis - ... What do... you want?
Tyraz - Tell me...where are you taking the Inquisitors...?
Khaxvis - They... they're being taken to serve a greater... p-purpose!
Tyraz bashed her against the wall, causing large cracks to form.
Tyraz - Answer the questions! WHERE are you taking...the Inquisitors?
Khaxvis - They're being taken to... the flagship. But you'll never find it...
Tyraz smirked and cackled demonically, he placed his Firesword up against her stomach. As he interrogated oen of the surviving senior inquisitors approache him but seeing his present state she kept her distance.
Tyraz - I shall wrench your very soul from your body...There shall be no Paradise, only eternal torture...if you do not tell me...where the flagship lies.
Khaxvis - I gave up on paradise when I was s-sworn into the b-blessed f-f-few...
Demon Tyraz - Then...I shall reclaim your powers...rip them away from you, and leave you to die a slow...painful death. It shall bring me great pleasure...Either way, I will find that flagship...
Khaxvis - You wouldn't...
Tyraz cackled as her Descension energy flowed through into his body, painfully leaving her own body as he grinned demonically, somehow enjoying it. The Khaxvis roared in pain from the ordeal.
Demon Tyraz - First it shall be your powers...then it shall be your very soul...
Khaxvis - A binary system! The fleet is passing a binary system within the week!
Tyraz - Which binary system....
Khaxvis - Why do you... th-think they call it "uncharted s-space"?
Demon Tyraz - Then...die!!!
She roared in pain as her Descension left her, her very own life force wass ripped away through her body and into Tyraz's own, fuelling his humour and wrath as the process grew incredibly painful. The surviving inquisitors stepped back as they gazed with concern at the process.
Demon Tyraz - I shall take wrath upon your entire house...for what you have you done....to defile my very race...and kidnap my friend...
He grips the her tighter before her scales and body slowly turned to ash as he took away more of her life force. Eventually he ripped his hand away from the Khaxvis as her body shatters into ash and dust. As the ash settled no the ground he turned to the senior inquisitor, his eyes burned with a yellow fire.
Demon Tyraz - Get a ship...take us to the location of that signal...and find the closest binary system!
Senior - Arsac was not the only senior inquistor they managed to kidnap.
Demon Tyraz - Then take me...to that location...if you want them to survive...!
Senior - Of course, Lord Breek.
The senior headed back to the war-room to plan the attack while the survivors worked to clear up the mess. Tyraz, meanwhile stood in the corridor with an evil smirk on his face, as if it was permanent while he was in his current state. His inner mouth glowed like the scars on his body and with a disturbed glee he muttered the name "Volkarus" to himself. The attack had been fended off but the cost was high, Arsac, numerous inquisitors and most of the Inner Circle were being transported to the unknown regins. dark thoughts were in Tyraz's mind, Arsac had been taken from him and a suffering vengence was all that filled his mind.
Arsac was taken aboard Volkarus' flaship and escorted to the brig. As she was searched her armour was stripped to the underlying body-glove and most of her possessions were taken from her. other inquisitors were also stripped and taken to other parts of the ship. When she arrived i nthe brig, Vedrix (who had been part of her escort team) pushed her into the cell, locking the door behind her. Arsac looked about the empty room and only the most basic of her needs were met with it; a bed, a sink, a mirror (which was in fact a viewig window for outside observers) and a toilet. With little to do Arsac decided to sit in contepmplation, she did nto eat much and she barely talked to anyone. Sometimes, often out of boredom, Vedrix would enter her cell and beat her, electrocute her and disrupt her rituals. But still she sat in meditation. Tyraz would come, she knew it, all she needed to do was wait.
Kol Daren was getting accustomed to the chambers aboard the Resurgence’s flagship. A few hours after he had settled in Vedrix’s voice rang through a communicator. She informed him that someone of potential interest to Kol Daren had been placed in the brig. He growled at the interruption and started to chuckle when he asked further. The mention of “A certain inquisitor” intrigued him as there was only one person he knew that that would have fit that description. Kol arrived in the brig to see Arsac meditating inside a cell. She had been stripped of her armour and all she was wearing was her body-glove. He learned that Volkarus had agreed to give Kol Daren time with her. As long as his actions did nto kill her. He agreed and walked through a door built into a one-way mirror with which outside observers could see into the cell but prisoners could not see out. Kol walked inside with the floor shaking as he stepped in and he examined Arsac, before sitting down himself. He sat down in front of her and her reactions indicated she did not notice him shaking the ground as he walked in. She slowly opened her eye and looked at him.
Arsac - Come to torment me when at my lowest?
Kol - Tell me, Arsac, what is it like to be mortal? What is it like to know that inevitably, you shall die one day?
Arsac - Why should the day I die bother me? What good is there in worrying over what is part of a cycle. I do not care, what is more important is what impact I make in my time in this universe.
Kol - Hmph, how do you wish for people to remember you? You are but one grain of sand amongst a whole Universe of civilizations.
Arsac - As an inquisitor my only concern is my duty. I have ended lives; I do not regret that when the cause is just. I find it is better to focus on touching one mind than to touch a million minds.
Kol found this amusing and slapped his knee as he chucked to himself.
Kol - What made you become devoted to your...goal? Is it this belief in this "Drakon"?
Arsac - I was the clerics in the monastery I grew up in. But if you really want to know, cultists who desired destruction, same as you, killed my mentor. On that day it was cemented in my mind: These cults should not exist. We both knew the day would come, but to see his killer revel in it... I knew what had to be done.
Kol sat straight and looked at her with interest.
Kol - So this is all some big quest for revenge.
Arsac - No. The murderer died by my hand moments later.
Kol - Then why do you persist?
Arsac - Because I do not want the same thing to happen to civillians as what happened to him.
Kol - So...I must be sickening to you. But be aware, I do not run some cult. I despise all life that is not god life.
Arsac - You are. I also consider you a break in a cycle of order.
Kol - There shall be no order aside from my own. You are foolish, like all mortals, for thinking otherwise.
Arsac - The cycle of life itself is order; creatures are born, mature, produce offspring and die. That is not chaotic in-and-of itself. When they die they leave room for their offspring to grow and produce offspring of their own.
Kol - Hmph. I must be a true god if I can break this cycle. I could vapourise all life from this Universe, and without dying, my offspring shall thrive.
Arsac - And what then? Will they spend eternity as children or will they spend eternity living in the shadow of their parents?
Kol - They shall live in Utopia, free to do what they like, aside from acts of violence and war, which I despise.
Asrac - But without death, would they not simply keep expanding in number? How long before not even you can remember all of them? 100, 1000, 20,000 years?
Kol - They shall be the example of perfect life within the Universe, an example set to the higher races.
Arsac - And what example is that?
Kol - That I have done what the Ayrai'Shikua, nor any other god, could do! I would have destroyed all life, and remodelled it in my own image!
Arsac - To me that sounds incredibly selfish. Think about it: You will kill quadrillions, annihilate entire empires and all to prove something to true gods? Forgive me but that sounds -exactly- like something one of their cultists would think.
Kol - That is my secondary goal.
Arsac - Is it? Or is that the whole reason you are doing this; because you want to consider yourself an equal.
Kol - Godhood comes second to my love for my children. I want what is best for them, like any father.
Arsac - Understandable. But is destroying every problem really the solution?
Kol - As I said, any father would want a perfect life for their children. And I am a perfect being! I shall make everything according to my will!
Arsac - Is a perfect life truly the best option? Is a life devoid of challenges really the best option? Or do you just want to hide your children from darkness for eternity.
Kol - The filthy demons that plague this universe offer nothing but war and violence! As soon as I have cleansed you...all shall be perfect. And my children shall live in a Utopia crafted by myself, a true god!
Arsac - Then you reject my wisdom. Fine, leave me to my fate. Just one last question, what will you do when the time comes that each of your children will want independence from you? What will you do when each of your offspring no longer wants the constant attention of their father?
Kol - They do not have to accept me as their father or as their god. All I want is for them to replace the vile scum that makes this Universe a hell to live in.
Arsac - And how do you know they will be any better? A true father, Kol Daren, gives his children freedom and guidance. What they do is essentially their choice and not yours. If your children do fight, each other, what would you do?
Kol - I will just have to start over.
Arsac - You mean kill them, the same thing you are doing to this universe? And what of those children who did not fight, what of them? Could you bring yourself to kill them?
Kol - Those that follow the ideal of peace amongst siblings shall serve by my side, as those who fight will be disowned.
Arsac leaned closer to him, still sitting in a meditative pose.
Arsac - Would you bring yourself to kill your own children? What about the children who disagree with you killing their siblings?
This made Kol Daren think. He leaned back and folded his arms, thinking for a moment. Arsac raised her eyebrow eager for an answer.
Kol - I guess in order to be a true god...I must fulfil the role of destroyer, as well as creator.
Arsac - Could you still live with yourself?
Kol - I am a god...What is destroyed can be recreated by my hand.
Arsac - You cannot stop death Kol. Be it committed by the hands of mortals against each other, or you on your own children. You said you wanted to create a utopia but you say you are still prepared to create death to keep to that way.
Kol - A utopia is a place without violence. It is why I shall create this place, but keep myself away, watching all activities. If my utopia is at threat of constant violence, I shall end it in one swift swoop.
Arsac - But as an observer, you will remain distant from your own children. Is that what you really want?
Kol - Like you said, I must let my children make decisions for themselves. Hopefully, they make the right ones.
Arsac - And if they don't , you would destroy them?
Kol - As I said, I must fulfill the role of destroyer, as well as creator, if I am to be a real god.
Arsac - If that is what you truly wish for. So be it, just do not expect the rest of this universe to understand. If there are alternatives, perhaps the existence of a more empty universe then I would encourage it.
Kol - My goals are beyond mortal comprehension, worm.
Kol stood up. He smiled and chuckled as he did so.
Kol - It is a shame...you too want to make the Universe a better place. Perhaps we are not so different. How does that feel? To know that you can be compared to sickening scum like myself?
Arsac - I walk a balance Kol. I could consider doing what you want myself on a smaller scale. It makes me wonder though, if we had grown up in each other's environments, would our roles today have been reversed?
Kol - Perhaps one day, I can find an answer to that question. But for now, it shall be a shame to see you die so early, and in such a way that seems almost unworthy. Almost.
As they talked, Vedrix returned to the brig. She was disappointed to find that the two were having a rather quiet conversation.
Kol - Hmph. This does not mean I wish your death to be quick and painless. I still think you're a dreaded whore of Drakon...like that bitch Vedrix, who worships her precious Volkarus oh so highly.
Arsac - I did not expect you to like me. I am not a person who lives to be loved, I know this and it is my burden.
Kol - Me and you seem to share some similarities. But we also have many differences, and that is why I shall hate you. If you somehow make it out of this alive, tell Tyraz to step down from his high horse. I am the most powerful Zazane.
Arsac nodded and tilted herself back. She closed her eye and slowly retruned to her trance-like state
Arsac - Perhaps you are not entirely beyond redemption as I first thought.
Kol - Redemption...You are the demon in my eyes. And you were condemned many ages before your birth.
Arsac - That is your opinion. If you think that of me, so be it.
Kol - I shall, just as you think of me as a crazed cultist.
He stepped out of the cell and budged past Vedrix,because of his strength she was knocked to the floor once again. She growled as she hauled herself up and her face displayed some form of disappointment.
Vedrix - Please tell me you didn't let her talk to you.
Kol - Would it matter? You are all scum. I am not fighting your wars.
Vedrix - One thing Inquisitors enjoy doing is getting inside your head, working out what makes you tick and then trying to break you down with it.
Kol - ...She did not succeed.
Vedrix - Sure, that's the beautiful part of it.
Kol snapped and grabbed her by the throat. He forced her against the nearest wall, conveniently close to Arsac’s cell, and leaned close.
Kol - You challenge my word, whore of Volkarus?
Vedrix - I know... how inquisitors think a lot more than you do!
Kol - And you think I am susceptible to their mind games?
Vedrix - It's possible...
Arsac seemed to smile weakly from her cell, as if she had worked out what was going on. Kol gripped her neck tighter and snarled before he let go and chuckled to himself as she collapsed to his feet and pulled herself up.
Kol - Haha! You are funny...I wonder if that is how you tempted your disgusting master.
Kol turned to walk away from her.
Vedrix - She may have failed now, but give it time. All inquisitors are silver-tongued scum! *turns to Arsac* You hear me in there, bitch?
Kol - And you are no better!
Vedrix glared at Arsac through the one-way mirror, squinting, Vedrix thought she could make out a sly smile spreading across Arsac’s face, but she dismissed it. She wasn’t imagining it, Arsac was able to tell what was going on by focusing her attention to what was going on through the mirror.
The Red Snake Rises
The Imperium dispatched a fleet to the coordinates where the shuttle’s signal had disappeared. Upon arriving they discovered a few binary systems within the vicinity. To resolve the issue Tyraz had decided to meditate in his quarters and focus his mind’s attention. He focused his attention to sense where Volkarus, Arsac and Kol Daren were. His attention was brought to a binary system containing a main sequence and red dwarf star. When Tyraz realised the Khaxvis fleet was on its way to its destination he promptly contacted the fleet’s admiral and readied himelf for a final confrontation.
A Daring Rescue
When they arrivee on the edge of the system where the Khaxvis fleet was due, Tyraz is called to the briefing room to meet with Admiral Kovontus. He sat down at a table in front of the Admiral.
Admiral Kovontus - Lord Breek, we are preparing for the resurgance’s arrival. you must understand that were are practically approaching this situation blind. The Resurgence fleet has only been seen once in many millennia; at the battle of Alcanti. We do not know what changes Volkarus has made.
Tyraz - They will most definitely be stronger. Than when we last saw them.
Kovontus - You want to rescue the high inquisitor and the inner circle, and I take it you want our fleet to keep them occupied?
Tyraz - It would be of great assistance.
Kovontus - What we do know is that the most-likely ship to search would logically be the largest dreadnought in the fleet.
Tyraz - Typical. The largest target. I shall rescue the High Inquisitor...And I have an old score to settle.
Kovontus - The largest and likely the most powerful. We have marines on standby to support you, we advise you head down to the main hanger bay once this meeting is concluded.
Tyraz - As you wish, Admiral. I shall serve the Imperium and Inquisition well.
Comm - Admiral, Lord Breek, we have numerous hyperspace signatures on an intercept course.
Kovontus - May your battles be favourable, Lord Breek.
Tyraz nodded and stood up from his chair, as he approached the door he turned to kneel in respect. The admiral saluted back and the two of them headed in different directions. Tyraz headed down to the hanger bay and kept a firm grip on his Firesword the whole time. Marines saluted him and boarded an AO-9 drop-ship that was powering up its engine. An intercom system called for all personnel to report to battle stations. As the shuttle approached the dreadnought, angry memories filled his mind of his time on board. This fuelled his anger. Outside the battle was raging amongst thousands of ships, ordinance from a few ITN ships created in the dreadnought's shields and several drop-ships forced their way inside. Once inside and having fought off the residents of the hanger, marines deployed portable barricades and fought harder to to secure the hanger bay. Something was not right, Tyraz could feel it. As he looked about, Volakrus spoke inside his mind with a chuckle. The voice prompted Tyraz to growl and he drew his Firesword.
Volkarus - So... you return to my domain and seek to claim my skull.
Tyraz - Your domain is that of corruption and treachery...It is better if I destroy it.
Volkarus - I have been very busy since our last encounter, and it would be a shame if you destroyed all my precious work.
As he said this, fierce roaring was heard coming from various corridors that connected to the hanger. Yellow scars on Tyraz’s body began to glow on his body and his scales turned pitch black as he heard the roaring. He called for the marines to be wary, he was right to: Emerging from the corridors were Zazane taller than the marines. The former leaped from the entrances and over the barricades, using various close-combat weapons to overpower and slaughter the marines.
Tyraz - Volkarus has defiled my race...in his attempts to create the perfect soldiers... He shall...be punished for his sins!
He smirked and transformed into his semi-demonic form. The marines fought desperately, but even with the enhanced strength from their outfits they were overpowered. As numbers dwindled several Zazane charged at Tyraz, he cackled and swung his Firesword in many circles and sliced the Zazane into several parts as blood was thrown everywhere. Eventually the superzazne stopped coming, which gave the marines the time to recover. One of them informed Tyraz that they would hold position while he rescued Arsac. Tyraz nodded and proceeded forward, his body grew taller every minute.
Volkarus - Those poor soldiers, left all alone without their guardian to protect them... You know they will die without your help.
Tyraz cackled and kept walking, saying he did not care.
Volkarus - What would Arsac think of you? You're a monster ans she knows it. She cannot save you!
Demon Tyraz - But I can save her...I don't care what you say to me...You're nothing but a monster yourself...
Volkarus - You made me this way Tyraz! You made me what I have become. It is all. Your. Fault!
Demon Tyraz - And I shall correct my mistake...with your end...
Volkarus - You cannot deny that it happened. You keep making these mistakes Tyraz.
Numerous mercenaries fired from cover as Tyraz approached. He stopped and stayed motionless of a moment.
Volkarus - Uriel died because you made me, these Zazane turned against you because they saw you as weak, and now Arsac is at death's door because of YOU! You cannot deny this Tyraz, none of these events would have happened were it not for your actions. You are no leader; look at the messes you create!
Tyraz stood still and looked upwards, he was ignoring the gunfire around him. He then cackled loudly, turned to the mercenaries.
Tyraz - ...I do not care...so long as you're dead...
He raised his Firesword and swung it as the mercenaries backed away. The move sent a massive slash of energy straight at the mercenaries, and none could escape its destructive force. The mercenaries were incinerated; their burned corpses fell to the floor. Tyraz slowly continued down towards the brig. As he continued forwards, the walls and hallways weaken with his very presence, the ship was deforming from his power.
Demon Tyraz - ...All is dust...All is ash...
Volkarus - It can't be avoided can it? Power is such a sweet thing and you always want MORE.
Demon Tyraz - ...Says the man...who thinks himself a god...
Volkarus - Feel it, feel all that power pumping through your veins. You were given this gift, the power over life and death itself. You would be mad to reject it...
Demon Tyraz - This is no gift...This is the burden that I am forced to carry...But no longer shall I have its weight on my shoulders...!
Volkarrus - Oh? Are you realising the truth?
Demon Tyraz - With this power...I shall correct my mistakes...Starting with the death of your kin!
Volkarus was silent for a moment, and let out a demonic roar through Tyraz's head. He smirked and sped up as a group of the Blessed Few drew closer and they fired at him. Now almost fully insane, he swung the Firesword with speed and agility, which caused slashes of energy to incinerate attacking Khaxvis. After fighting through several more groups he reached the brig, where Vedrix turned to notice him. He cackled sinisterly and called her out. She summoned an arc of lightning within her hand and threw it at Tyraz. He took the hit, stopping for only a second before he resumed his course towards her. She throws more bolts, eventually roaring from frustration and the commotion broke Arsac from her meditation. She could feel Tyraz’s presence and she stood up.
Demon Tyraz - You take pleasure in killing others...You believe your master a god..
Within the blink of an eye he suddenly appeared right in front of her; he wrapped his hand around her throat and lifted her high above the ground. She wrapped her hands around his fingers, trying desperately to pry them open.
Demon Tyraz - How will it feel...knowing your god is not there...to protect you? The one you love...shall not help you... Vedrix - Oh he is a god... and you shall see him rise to become more than you ever could be!
Tyraz stayed silent for another minute, before he looks to her, cackling. He muttered the words “Stupid harlot” and in a single moment, Vedrix's Descension powers were torn from her body, as well as most of her life, before her scales started turning to ash in that split moment, Volkarus teleported her away before she died completely. Tyraz stoodwith a sinister grin on his face, he then turned to Arsac, walked over to her.
Demon Tyraz - I have found you...At last...
Tyraz used his fist to punch through her cell wall, making a gap wide enough for Arsac to fit through. She backed away, recalling her nightmare of him.
Demon Tyraz - You...You must go back...
Arsac - Tyraz... is that you?
Demon Tyraz - I am correcting my mistakes...
Arsac stepped forward but as she did so a forcefield surrounded her. Tyraz watched her and growled from aggravation before cackling loudly. As he did so a device on the ceiling of her cell bathed her in a beam of light. In mere moments she vanished. His eyes opened wide and he stopped cackling. His smile turns into something more along the lines of anger. He could hear Volkarus laughing inside his mind.
Volkarus - Did yo really think I would let you have her THAT easily? It amuses me just how easy you are to fool!
Volkarus heard an almost beast-like roar as Tyraz, now more furious than ever carried on forwards and forced his way towards the throne room. Volkarus had made a huge mistake toying with Tyraz in such a fashion, and he was prepared to make Volkarus suffer immensely for it.
Devourer of Flesh Ascending
When Arsac regained her vision after emerging from the teleportation she found herself trapped in a container walled with a transparent material, with several metal pylons conecting the two halves of the cage. When she looked down she saw that she was inside the ship’s throne room. Volkarus stood over Vedrix’s chared body as she could barely move, crippled over in pain. Her cell was attached to the ceiling, it was obvious this had all been set up specifically for her. Volkarus leaned down to the body and muttered to himself, swearing revenge for what Tyraz had done. After a moment of caressing her he stood up and called four of his guards over. On his command, they remove their helmets to reveal that, all this time, they had been undead. Arsac looked at them in horror as they surrounded Vedrix's body alongside Volakrus. He outstretched his hands as his arms seeped black energy and the guards and Vedrix levitated. His eyes shone as with a swift motion, all four bodies collided with hers. He smiled devilishly as he channelled black energy into the mess of flesh. Oniron, who was standing beside the throne, looked with discomfort at the shifting mass of flesh, he gulped as the body took shape. Pyrak Yannor, whose body had been modified to become one of Volkarus’ Superzazane stood on the opposite side of the enormous throne to him. He smiled as he watched his master at work.
Volkarus – In mere moments Pyrak, no one will be able to stand against me! In life Vedrix was my most versatile servant.... Now... she shall be the herald of despair against my enemies!
Pyrak - You have learned much from Lord Moxix...He shall be proud of your power!
Volkarus – The best is yet to come...
Pyrak – Yes...Yes! Your words excite me, master!
Elsewhere in a corridor, the Blessed Few had fortified themselves within a junction to defend the throne room. They could hear twisted and demonic crying, loud crying as Tyraz rushed towards them with his Firesword drawn, engulfed in rage and anger. Upon seeing him they threw bolts of lightning and descentsion energy at him, he cries loudly as he sped through the corridor, and with one strong swish of his sword, a large energy wave approached them, they could feel its searing heat before it even touched them and were incinerated. Tyraz kept on crying, though from his cries, devilish cackles could be heard as he proceeded forward. Volkarus had broken him; overcome with the fear of what he would do to her he had been driven to the very edge of his sanity. As he continued the great hall's doors loomed in front of him, through the seams a dark light was seen flickering from inside. Tyraz walked forward, and then jumped through the doors, landing into the large room and staying silent. In the centre of the chamber he could see a giant, pallid and slender creature with huge bat-like wings and a very long and curled tail. Above it Arsac was in her prison. She stood up and pressed against the glass, calling out to him. Tyraz didn't appear to notice her, instead he focuses on the huge creature before him, with a twisted smirk. The creature turned to reveal a face that vaguely resembled that of Vedrix. Volkarus had transformed her into an undead abomination and as soon as Tyraz noticed, he lets out a loud, long cackle, his yellow scars were glowing brighter. Volkarus smiled from behind her, he clapped slowly in a mocking manner.
Volkarus – Bravo Tyraz. Once again your own actions have only served to better my position!
Tyraz stood and cackled, ignoring Volkarus words... that or he was finding it amusing. Arsac meanwhile resolved to sit in the centre of her chamber and began to meditate. Vedrix extended a long, sword-like bone from her wrist and Tyraz cackled to himself as he looked at it. Vedrix charged with a demonic roar she aimed her sword at Tyraz’s shoulder and at the last minute he stood do the side as she ran past him. Her word was able to plunge deep into the far wall and after watching; Tyraz approached and batted her to the side with his claws. As he fought he could feel something battling his insanity, a calm feeling was subtly washing over him but it was not enough for him to notice. When Vedrix pulled out the sword she pulled it back in and extended a pair of bony blades from her forearms. As she prepared to charge, Volkarus himself stood up after his eyes shone with a flash of blood red. Vedrix leaped at Tyraz as he held his sword high, a downward swing sent a wave of energy that she parried with her bone-like blades, dissipating the energy and driving the shards of bone right though Tyraz's demonic body.
She lifted him up and tossed him across the room, leaving to large corrupted holes in his body before she charged again, wailing an echo of the damned as she did so. Tyraz used his claws to block the downward strikes Vedrix sent against him, repeatedly trying to cut him, screaming for his demise. Reaching out and summoning his sword he butted her, sending her staggering back and giving him a chance to stand up. She did not relent, she swung her bone-swords against him again, cutting flesh while in other blows the bone blades were notched by the Firesword's impact. She used this opportunity to move closer to him, her tail snaking around his body before rising up and impaling him in the back, as blade-like as the protrusions that were her hands. She screamed in has face and as he rose above her, he roared savagely in response before headbutting her, knocking her back and throwing him across the room from her tail lashing about with any lack of control, dending him rolling to rest right underneath Arsac's prison.
Vedrix's ghastly wails continued, as if she was screaming with the fury of the damned at what he had caused her to become. She extended her tail that curled around playfully before thrusting down towards his stomach. Tyraz grabbed the tail and threw her aside, sending her crashing through the wall, leaving sticky remnants of dead flesh around the hole's rim. As she tried to stand up, Tyraz summoned his Firesword to him and charged towards her, she charged back, both of them impaling each other in their torsos; Tyraz with his Firesword, Vedrix with her bone sword. They both engaged in a struggle to overpower the other, their otherworldly cries and roars resonating throughout the ship. Tyraz eventually emerged prevalent, pulling the sword upwards and cutting her in half before swinging his Firesword to sever her arms and decimate her torso with fiery slashes, destroying the revenant as best as he could and turning around as the body decohered, deforming into a mass of amalgamated flesh and a tar-like substance that expanded across the floor like some form of blood.
During the fight, Volkarus had let out a bellowing laugh and threw his arms to the side, a devilish grin spread across his face. As he threw his arms out, tendrils of descension energy erupted from his sides and back and reached for a series of vents built into the side of the room. Tyraz walked forward after vanquishing the risen Khaxvis lieutenant and somehow joined in with the laughter. Volkarus lowered his head and smiled deviously as two sets of tendrils rose up from his shoulders. One set climbed into Arsac’s prison while another set shot towards Tyraz. In the brief seconds since Volakrus launched the tendrils, Oniron leaped in front of the ones after Tyraz and he let himself get impaled by them. Tyraz’s eyes widened in surprise as to what Oniron did. Oniron was his enemy and yet he put his own life on the line to keep Tyraz alive.
As Tyraz stood with confusion, a roar of pain was heard from the chamber above him, which was now covered in the tendrils. Her roars were joined with thousands of blood-chilling screams echoing throughout the ship. The tendrils were pulsing along with Volkarus’s body as he laughed out of some twisted sense of enjoyment. With a vicious roar, Tyraz swung his Firesword above him; a wave of energy cleaved a hole in the bottom and severed the tendrils. As she fell he leaped up to catch her but in response Volkarus directed more tendrils at them. As Tyraz landed he put her down only for the tendrils to impale his back. Arsac was weak and lay on the floor struggling to breathe as Volkarus’s body continued to pulse, he began to convulse as his flesh shifted and morphed. After a moment, Tyraz severed the tendrils with his Firesword and turned to Volkarus. Whose wings increased in proportion and his head, legs and arms reshaped into something far more twisted, vicious spikes erupted from his back, shoulders and arms.. Tyraz smirked and watched patiently.
Volakrus – You have lost Tyraz... godhood is mine. I cannot be stopped!
His voice was strongly demonic as he grew in size. Suddenly, Tyraz’s own body convulsed as he began to get larger, spikes erupted from his back while he grew, he became more vicious and powerful in the process. Arsac lay on the floor, weak from her experience and struggled to breathe while Oniron continued to convulse as Volkarus drained him, apparently unconcerned that he was consuming one of his own servants. On the brifge of the ITN flagship the admiral watched as tendrils of descentsion energy erupted from Volakrus’ dreadnought and latched on to various ships in their fleet.
Officer – Admiral, we’re getting reports that there is... well, something flooding our ships and killing everyone. Your orders?
Admiral - ...I have no idea. Tyraz, we're getting reports our own men are dying from... well they're not quite clear, what's going on from your end?
Tyraz simply responded to the Admiral a slow, yet aggressive, telepathic message. He uttered “Volkarus”. Volkarus meanwhile continued to grow; his breathing now had a demonic undertone to it. Tyraz looked to the mass of tentacles reaching through the vents, and he raised his sword. Volakrus launched a telekinetic blast at Tyraz and shoved him backwards. This strengthened Tyraz’s resolve and he ran toward him cackling. Kol Daren appeared out of nowhereand sent a strong Kick in Tyraz’s direction, which made him fly backwards. Volkarus's tendrils eventually receded from Oniron and he crawled to Arsac, pulling out but dropping a nanospray canister as his strength had been drained. He managed to pick it up and inject Arsac in the arm while Tyraz stood again and rushed towards Kol, but Kol simply leaped forward and placed a hand on Tyraz's head, before pushing upwards, sending Tyraz back again.
Kol - Tyraz! At last we meet! Is that all you have? Oh and look, you've come to save your girlfriend...
He looked to Arsac with a smirk.
Volkarus - Finish him or I will... consider devouring your... remains.
Energy manifested in his hands, he ran forward and delivered an incredibly powerful strike, sending Tyraz through several walls until he was out of sight. Volkarus smiled with a sinister glee.
Volkarus - Nothing... can stop me!
As he lay in the rubble, the voice of Arsac emerged in Tyraz's head, words of encouragement and comfort that challenged his feeling of insanity. he transformed back into his normal form from her words, and he looks back towards Volkarus' throne room, getting up and then sending two blasts of energy towards the room, heading straight towards Volkarus' tentacles. Volkarus smiled as he could feel the last traces of his victims being drained. His laughing was interrupted as the blasts hit the retracting tendrils. Kol saw the blasts and looked in Tyraz’s direction with a snarl.
Kol -I thought I killed you!
He furiously grabbed the powerless Arsac. The final result of Volkarus’s transformation caused him to hit the ground with a ground-shaking thud. His body had been twisted int a gigantic new form and he was now a colossal demon of flesh. He towered high above everyone in the room, making even Kol Daren look small.
Volkarus - I want her soul!
Kol looked to Volkarus, and smirked, throwing Arsac across the room.
Volkarus - You have no idea how much of a pest that bitch has been to me!
Kol started chuckling and looked back to Arsac, to see Tyraz as he limped over to her. Arsac struggled to stand up, she looks over to see Tyraz limping over to her and she smiled weakly as she propped herself up by a wall.
Kol - Isn't that cute...
Volkarus smirked and summoned a set of tendrils that he launches in her direction. Tyraz‘s eyes widened and he reached out, alerting Arsac to the attack. She was so weak, however she could barely move and several tendrils latched onto her, impaling her side. He weakly reached out but kept walking towards her, as he did he started to turn back to his insanity.
Tyraz - T-There is only O-ONE way...
Arsac - Y... you don't have to.... go that... way...I...believe in you...
Tyraz - I-I won't leave without you...
Volkarus - The inquisition is dead Tyraz! Arsac's flesh is mine, their precious inner circle is part of me and so are many of their inquisitors. There is no point pining for her!
Arsac - Rememebr... your... lessons...
Tyraz nodded and closed his eyes, before he quickly reopened them and threw several energy blasts straight at Volkarus' tentacles, separating them from Arsac. Volkarus reared himself as he stepped back from the attack. In the confusion Tyraz grabbed Arsac and pulled her forward, as he did so Volakrus teleported in front of the doorway.
Tyraz - I can get you out of here...
Volkarus - Do you really think I would be that merciful?
Tyraz growled, and he walked towards Volkarus, weakly limping as Kol watched with a smirk. Volkarus chuckled to himself and lifted his foot and stomped on the ground to create a descentsion-empowered shockwave that caused both Tyraz and Arsac to be thown backward and landed hard back down, but he stood up again. Volkarus looked down mockingly at Tyraz.
Volkarus - Losing your footing? You should not have listened to her.
Tyraz - I'd 'rather listen to a friend...than listen to a supposed god...
Volkarus - 'Her? She is nothing, she will age rot and die while you... you could have lived for eternity. Tyraz - This eternity is a curse! I never asked for this...I would rather die than live forever...knowing that you're causing grief...
Volkarus - Then let me help you.
Volkarus approached Tyraz, lifted his foot up and pressed down with the intent of crushing Tyraz between his talons. He grunted as he lay trapped, he could feel Volkarus twisting the foot to grind Tyraz into the floor. Struggling to move he reached for his Firesword and managed to pry one of his arms from under one of Volakrus’ toes. Reaching up he desperately plunged the Firesword into Volkarus’s waist. This caused him to roar demonically, causing a shipquake he and grabbed the blade, trying to pull it out. Tyraz reverted back to his demonic form again and grew in size under Volkarus’s foot he kept the sword rammed in. Eventualyl he became large enough for Volkarus to stop standing on him and he backed away.
Tyraz - You shall not...get away with this!
Volkarus he reached to grab Tyraz by the upper arms with the desire to drain his body to a shrivelled husk.
Volkarus - Your flesh, your bone, and your blood will be mine! Your soul, ALL OF IT. WILL. BE. MINE!
Tyraz cackled again as he was grabbed. He launched a beam of reddish-yellow energy flying past and Volkarus' head, blasting away some of his cheek. Volkarus flinched and turned back to him, the twisted masses of flesh underneath contorted to regrow. Volkarus simply smiled as the cheek grew back.
Volkarus - And waht was that supposed to do?
Tyraz smirked and pulle his Firesword up, slicing through more of Volkarus' flesh as he roared.
Volkarus - No... no no no NO NO!
Tyraz let out gasps as some of him was drained. He headbutted Volkarus in retaliation, who took the headbutt and threw Tyraz against a wall. He landed back near Arsac and when a marine group arrived at the door. He took Arsac’s arm. Arsac looked p to him and gave him a confident not, and he responded by gently tossing her to them.
Tyraz - Go now!
Volakrus - I will not allow myself to die, not by you, not by anyone!
As the marines left carrying Arsac, black energy leaked from Volkarus’s body and his eyes hone a blood red as he became angrier.
Demon Tyraz - You are no god!
Volkarus snarled and summoned a pair of lightning bolts. He roared as he threw them at Tyraz, who flipped backwards to avoid the bolts and they git the wall behind him. More furious, Volkarus threw more bolts in his direction.
Volkarus - You. Will. Not. Stop. Me!
Tyraz cackled loudly to mock him, and swung his sword in many directions and sent energy slashes everywhere. Volkarus teleported abut to dodge the slashes, quickly appearing behind Tyraz and grabbed him by the neck. Volkarus grinned as he lifted Tyraz up and threw him at a wall, embedding him. Volkarus summoned lighting arcs that electrocuted Tyraz. After squirming he fell out of the indentation and as he heaved himself up Volkarus grabbed him by the shoulder threw him across the room. Tyraz hit the cage Arsac had been held in the process and the impact caused him to roll when he hit the floor. Volkarus walked forward and in the blink of an eye he stood directly over Tyraz and stomped on his thorax with his foot. Tyraz pulled his Firesword to him and as he lifted it up Volkarus grabbed him by the forearm and gripped tightly. Volakrus lifted his foot off and used the other hand to lift tyraz up and press him against the wall. Draining Tyraz from the forearm caused him to let go of the Firesword which hit the floor. Volkarus grunted, his eyes burned bright red with rage as he threw his knee into Tyraz’s stomach several times. After several attacks Volkarus turned around and threw Tyraz to the floor. Tyraz lay on the floor and found himself being levitated with a twist of Volkarus’s hand. Tyraz could not move his arms or legs as Volkarus was pulled him closer.
Volkarus – When I am done with you, I plan to go to Alcanti and my followers will gather Arsac, Uriel and Iovera and I will slowly and painfully consume them all! Their own guards will become my servants in death and you... you will not be there to save any of them. They will all cry out for your name in vain, not realising you were not there to protect them!
As he finished, Volkarus launched Tyraz violently through several walls.
When Tyraz’s momentum stopped he found himself inside Volkarus’s personal chambers. He had barely a moment to look around when he saw the titan looming over him. Volakrus picked him up and forced him against the wall, pressing his forerarm into Tyraz’s throat and through several small spikes of bone he cut the skin. Volkarus’s growls were enough to shake the room.Tyraz could feel himself coughing as Volakrus aggressively choked Tyraz, he gathered descentsion energy in his hand and with a fierce roar he punched deep into Volkarus’s stomach. He roared in pain and bared his teeth and this only forced him to pur more pressure on Tyraz. Reeling in disgust at the twisted flesh he could feel inside, the energy Tyraz’s hand began to burn, incinerating the flesh and energy around it. VOlkarus’s anger turned to horror as he felt himself burning up. As the burning spread throughout his body, Volkarus teleported away, he returned to the throne room and collapsed to the floor in front of Pyrak Yannor.
Pyrak - Lord Volkarus!
Pyrak reached out to Volkarus only for the latter to reach out and clamp Pyrak’s head within his hand. As they touched Pyrak fele something rush through his mind before a quiet whisper ehoed "restore me". Volkarus lay on the ground and turned over to see Tyraz looking down at his collapsing body.
Tyraz - I pray to no god...
He turned and walked out, as Kol had his arms folded the whole time. With what little power he had left, Volkarus teleported Pyrak to a secret shuttlebay and took one last angered look at Kol Daren. Kol daren smirked and revealed a vial of liquid that he dangled in Volkarus’s view.
Kol Daren - I shall inherit your army...
Volakrus was too weak to answer however the ship shook as the superstructure began to collapse from bombardment outside. Kol Daren felt the shaking and teleported to one of the shuttlebays. He climed into one of the shuttled preparing to escape, a group of Khaxvis ran towars the shuttle to see Kol Daren extend his hand and crushed the metal floor around their feet, rooting them into the floor. He turned to the pilot and as the shuttle was ready to take off eh stretched out his hand and squeezed the pilot’s neck, pulverising it instantly and he threw the body out of the chair and out of the shuttle before he sat in the pilot's seat and took control of it.
Tyraz returned to the area he first arrived, he was now his normal size and as the ship shook one of the marines grabbed his hand and helped him inside one of the dropships as the door closed. Hundreds of shuttles and escape pods left the creaking dreadnought. Once the ship reached a critical point some of the matter-antimatter cores caused a chain reaction inside. Several ITN cruisers flew to intercept the fleeing shuttles, brining thousands of Khaxvis and mercenaries on board who were taken to cargo bays to eb transported back to the Imperium. Seeing a cruiser pursuing him, Kol Daren closed his eyes and with an intense thought he crushed the bow of the cruiser and engaged the shuttle’s hyperdrive. Pyrak managed to evade the patrols and once in hyperspace he set a course for one of the Khaxvis enclaves.
Pyrak - Lord Volkarus...He is not dead! He shall be reincarnated, to be better than before!
It had been several weeks after the battle aboard Volkarus’s deradnought. After returning to imperial space Arsac had been injured critically and was delivered to a hospital on Paraveta, one of the Imperium’s outer colonies. While she was in hospital several doctors had set about re-growing what she had lost against Volkarus. After the initial few procedures the doctors let her rest and Tyraz was allowed to see her. He visited her for a fortnight. Every time he visited her she was deeply asleep. Arsac lay on the bed on her stomach, typical for Draconis and her life signs were being monitored form a nearby machine. Tyraz sat next to her patiently, holding a rather strange and fierce looking plant that resembled a rose in his hand, watching her as she rested. One day Arsac's eye twitched and the signals on the machine began to elevate slightly. Her left eye slowly opened and looked in Tyraz's direction, a weak smile crept across her face. Seeing her flicker her eye open made him smile.
Tyraz - Rise and shine, sleeping beauty.
Arsac‘s eyelid flickered from adjusting to the light. She chuckled slightly although it sounded closer to a cough. He sits patiently, his tail swaying as she chuckles
Tyraz - I knew you could make it, you old dog.
He chuckled as he stood up.
Arsac - How... How long was I out?
Tyraz - A good few weeks. You took quite a beating from that bastard.
Arsac - ...I can still feel the holes.
Tyraz - At the end of the encounter you were so filled with holes you really did belong in a monastery.
Arsac - I... I never imagined he would ever become like that.
Tyraz - I...hope I didn't...scare you, miss Arsac....
Arsac - A little... When I saw you in that state there was a thought in the back of my head, "was this still the Tyraz I knew?" My cell... I couldn't see out but I could sense what you did.
Tyraz - Yes...I must apologize miss Arsac, I shouldn't have used my...Descension in the way I did onboard that ship.
Arsac - Is it over then? Is he gone...?
Tyraz - I...would hope so.
Arsac - With the cell and the hanging cage, I wonder if... Volkarus intended to use me to... get to you?
Tyraz looked down and blushed a little.
Tyraz - If he did then it sort of worked...
Arsac - I could hear... It must have been terrible.
Tyraz nodded and looked back at Arsac.
Tyraz - Don't worry yourself about me. I've come here to make sure YOU are okay. And I will do just that.
Arsac - You don't need to worry about me here. One perk of being in Inquisitor is you get some of the best healthcare in the Imperium.
Tyraz - Yes, but that doesn't mean I can't hang out with my friend until she gets better, does it?
Arsac - I suppose not.
She looked down and caught sight of the rose-like plant in his hand.
Arsac - Is that really for me?
Tyraz - Hmm? Oh, this, yes. My people call it a "Zanoferia", meaning "Warrior's Plant".
Arsac - No-one has ever given me flowers since—
Tyraz - ...A-Are you okay, miss Arsac?
He raised an eyebrow, concerned for her well-being.
Arsac - I'm fine, it’s just an old memory.
Tyraz - Well...the Zanoferia is a sign of passion to my people. When Zazane give it to each other, it shows they'd die for them and that they would do anything for them, no matter what state, gender, condition. It is like the painting ritual, except the Zanoferia is hard to come across, like the relationship it represents.
Arsac - I can see what Uriel meant by a "hidden majesty"... That is... beautiful.
Tyraz was silent for a few moments and looked to his side.
Tyraz - ....I'm happy you're safe mistress. It puts what's left of my spirit at ease.
Arsac - I have lived a lonely life; It feels good to share it with someone once again. Do you really care that much about me?
Arsac smiled at him. He stayed quiet for another moment before he looked back to her.
Tyraz - There is a reason I saved you and not just because you're important to the Inquisition.
He smiled softly and walked over. She reached out her arm as he passed her the flower.
Arsac - I did have... a feeling there was something... more. You consider me a friend, don't you?
Tyraz - Of course, Arsac. You've been my friend for a long time.
Arsac - I... I am not sure what to say. I feel honoured.
Tyraz - You should be saying "this is unprofessional and could get in the way", but I know you won't be saying that today. No matter how much authority you have, no matter how much of a reputation you have to keep, there is a person behind the profession.
Arsac - My duty is dangerous, Tyraz. Many of my brothers and isters fear that geting close to outsiders could put them... at risk. We do not want more innocents to--
Tyraz - Rest yourself, Arsac. You're job is not important right now. You are.
She paused in thought for a moment, her eye darted about.
Arsac - I suppose you are right... I have lost balance.
Tyraz smiled and sat beside her, he placed a hand on hers.
Tyraz - Don't strain yourself, miss. I fought to stop you from getting hurt...as you can see, I failed. But I don't want you hurting yourself.
Arsac - Look at me Tyraz, look at my snout, my whole life has been one battle. One war so that people I will never know can sleep with comfort. You cannot stop me from getting hurt. Only my own training can dull the pain. You arrived far too late to stop me from getting hurt...
Tyraz - You talk like a weapon, and yet all I see is a person who has seen and suffered much throughout her life.
Arsac - It is my burden, Tyraz. It is the only life I have known.
Tyraz looked at her with disappointment. He stood up from the bed and turned away from her.
Tyraz - Then... I shall relieve some of that weight from your shoulders.
Arsac - Wait...
Tyrez sto'pped and turned to look at her with a devious smile on his face.
Tyraz - Yes, mistress?
Arsac - Sometimes... Sometimes I wish this was not my life... I have, on occasion, asked myself if I could have been something else. In some respect, I feel like the Inquisition stole a chance for an ordinary life when I was sworn-in asn an inquisitor...
Tyraz - Arsac, before I met you, I was a doubtful, hesitant warlord who was scorned by his own people. Now look at me. I'm a much more powerful person, both in strength and in spirit.
Tyraz kneeled down beside for her bed.
Tyraz - Uriel is the Paragon, he is the most important person in the whole Imperium! And yet, he still has time for his own entertainment and family. So, if we all have a duty to fulfil, what's stopping you?
Arsac was speechless; she turned her head and looked away from him, feeling ashamed.
Arsac - I don't know...
Tyraz looked and her and smiled. He gently took her hand.
Tyraz - There is still a chance for you to fulfil your dream of an ordinary life. Being an Inquisitor doesn't mean you should waste your life away as a weapon. You're a person, not a tool.
Arsac - If only it were that simple...
Tyraz - Listen to me, Arsac! Can you not think for yourself? Are you so blinded by your "duty" that you cannot even recognize when you need to rest and have some "you" time? Life isn't all violence and paperwork!
Arsac - In my downtime I usually meditate but... When I am released from hospital... I will consider...a break; one where I can relax the way others do.
Tyraz - Good! First thing you do, put your armour away, get on your casual wear and go and have some fun!
Arsac - Some peace and quiet may be nice, after all these years.
Tyraz - Heh, whatever floats your boat. But Arsac, just remember...
He leaned close to make sure she could hear.
Tyraz - ...I'm there for you.
Arsac - Tyraz. You are one of the first people I have grown close to since my mentor...
Arsac smiled as he blushed and looked a little to his side*
Tyraz - And you...changed my life around...made me stronger...
Arsac - *she smiles* Three years ago I branded you a demon... Now I'm not sure if it was short-sighted, foolish, or both.
Tyraz - Heh, three years ago I wasn't the man I am today. You're the one that changed all that.
Arsac - ...I am? I suppose it is my duty but... I did not expect to do so in this fashion...
Tyraz - *chuckles* I don't think it was duty, Arsac.
Arsac - Maybe not... Perhaps I really do need to spend some time to myself other than meditation.
Tyraz - Have you ever been to a party, Arsac? And I don't mean a formal gathering.
Arsac - You mean... Casually? At a venue?
Tyraz - Yes, a venue. With drinks and food, and music.
Arsac - I have always considered visiting a wine lounge for relaxation...
Tyraz - Hehe, I think you, Larnus and Uriel all need to go visit a wine lounge and relax. Social chit-chat helps calm nerves, you know.
Arsac smiled at him and lifted her head up slightly. Tyraz reached out and stroked her head a little and did so gently. She raised her arm, feeling uncomfortable for a moment but she decided ot let it drop and let him continue.
Arsac - I suppose you are right.
Tyraz - It seems so strange...looking at you lay on your stomach...heh, almost like you were a completely different person.
Arsac - I suppose I have kept my distance on those around me for far too long.
Tyraz - If you don't put your trust in anybody, you end up with a lonely universe filled with paranoia and accusation. That is why I am here for you, you're my friend.
Arsac - I feel... comfortable, hearing that.
Tyraz - Arsac...Am I your friend?
Arsac - Yes Tyraz... you are.
Tyraz - Thank you, Arsac. I must take leave for now, but I will come to see you before long.
Arsac - Of course...
Tyraz left Arsac to rest inside the room. As he left she held the flower gently in her hand, the memories of her old mentor flooded her mind. She put the plant to the side and she drifted back to sleep.