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“Soon, Volim, the galaxy will be ours. There'll be nothing we can't do.”
This is the fifth part of the Second Borealis Galactic War.
- 1 Anarchy and Tyranny
- 1.1 A War of Ideals
- 1.2 Coordinated Intimidation
- 1.3 Tyranny of the General
- 1.4 Master Negotiator
- 1.5 The Weapon of War
- 1.6 Marching to the Capital
- 1.7 Fire with Fire
- 1.8 The Line Between Bravery and Stupidity
- 1.9 The Downfall of a Criminal Mastermind
- 1.10 Legion's End
- 2 Xiyara Rises
- 3 Epilogue
- 4 Ice Age
Anarchy and Tyranny
A War of Ideals
A day after the defeat of Regnatus, in the throne room of the Iron Fist, both Falrik Zaarkhun and General Volim knew what had to happen next. They knew that they would not wait until Zargoth was defeated to take over the galaxy for themselves; rather, they would take control of the galaxy, and use its full might against him. Zaarkhun didn't even need to state an agenda for their next conversation, for they knew what it would be: how to dismantle the Polar Crystal Alliance once and for all.
Falrik Zaarkhun and General Volim may both have been galactic crimelords with ambitions of conquering the Borealis Galaxy, but that was where their similarities ended. Falrik Zaarkhun was a businessman first and foremost, a chessmaster who operated behind the scenes, meticulously calculating all the details to ensure his plan, or one of his millions of backup plans, fell into place exactly as he had ordained it. He was a cold, calculating man who kept many of his own personal feelings, and his dark past, to himself. If he were to rule this galaxy, he would abolish all form of governments. His ideal was complete anarchy. In his mind, personal freedom trumped everything, and an individual could do far better on their own fending for themselves than they ever could with a government feigning to protect them. The market, he believed, and the old principle in nature of "survival of the fittest" - the idea that only the strongest would survive - was far better at determining the best outcome for the future.
General Volim Thrava could not be more different. He came from a military background, and had led the Wranploer Legion in countless bloody conflicts in his quest to erase those who challenged his rule. Thrava was rarely shy about his own emotions, but most often, it was clear how he felt: everyone else was beneath him, and the Wranploer had a right to rule the galaxy. He was a ruthless, brutal dictator who had gained infamy across the galaxy for his bloodshed. If he ruled the galaxy, there would be one supreme government with a single figurehead at the top that everyone had to answer to: himself. His ideal was totalitarian, and personal freedoms to him were irrelevant. The Wranploer would ensure true order in the galaxy, and any other species that did not bow to their rule would be annihilated. He still believed in his own principle of "survival of the fittest", in a way: only the strongest should survive. And in his eyes, it was abundantly clear that this would be the Wranploer, and in conquering the galaxy, he would prove it.
The contrast between these two individuals could not be greater, and yet their running of the Borealis Consortium Network thus far had been entirely smooth. While Volim led the Network as a military leader, the figurehead for all their warriors of the traditional sense to rally behind, Zaarkhun was a schemer behind the scenes who handled the business side of the Network, which had grown since he took over. Now, the Network was made up of Wranploer warlords used to the old ways, and of private military corporations that struck deals to achieve the greatest outcomes. While Zaarkhun kept the coffers flowing and kept the corporate side happy, Volim gave the people a cause to believe in.
There had been internal conflicts, of course, but perhaps it was inevitable that these two would clash when they realized what they wanted were total opposites. Nonetheless, right now, they were united in their goal of purging their enemies from the galaxy. So, they thought, it was best to work together in achieving this.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Well, I believe the congratulations we have given to all our warriors for Regnatus' defeat have been sufficient. Our feeling of pride across the Network is at an all-time high. So, now it's time to turn to our next enemy. And you and I both know it's not Zargoth.
- Volim - So soon? The fleets need time to recover.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - But of course. And they'll have it. We won't make any military moves soon for the time being, but we should plan exactly how we will destroy the Alliance once and for all. Once we are ready, then we'll be relentless.
Volim let out a growl and spat on the ground under him, with a small robotic drone immediately moving in to clean it.
- Volim - Polar Crystal Alliance... I hate that name with every fiber of my body. I would already rule this galaxy if not for them, and now they are back.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Let's make this Alliance even shorter-lived than their last, eh?
- Volim - Hm. And how do you intend to do that? Another 'march of liberty' will not do.
Falrik Zaarkhun was always in his element when he was scheming, and when he was explaining his plans. In his own mind, he was brilliant. He had built the biggest corporation in the galaxy as an outside from Ottzello, become the richest man in the galaxy, and coordinated the defeat of many of his rivals. In his eyes, what happened in the last 'march of liberty' was just an outlier. But he knew he had to change course. Zaarkhun gleefully explained the rest of his plan, for which he'd been thinking about long before Regnatus was defeated.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - You are right, that we won't be able to rely on the same tactics as before. The circumstances are entirely different: The defeat of Regnatus has meant that civic nationalism around the galaxy is at an all-time high, as Borealans trust their institutions more than ever and feel pride about the defeat of Regnatus. We can't simply rely on the tactics of disinformation or propaganda anymore. Similarly, the Polar Crystal Alliance trust one another a lot more, so we can't drive another rift between the Zoles and the Ottzelloans and hope for another quarantine. People who haven't already overthrown their governments won't anymore. That doesn't mean we can't build on the progress we made last time in other ways, but it does mean that any plan to overthrow the Zoles and the Ottzelloans will have to change course.
- Volim - Yes. Go on.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - So, that means we have do the reverse. Civic nationalism is on the rise around Borealis, but also among us. The Wranploer trust the leader, Volim Thrava, who brought them together and led them to defeat Regnatus. As do all the others whom you brought into the fold. They are hungry for another victory to follow this, another opponent to be annihilated. Because, it may be true that we worked alongside the Zoles, but that has not meant any of us like them. So, we fight fire with fire. This time, we rally the people around a new cause. Around General Volim Thrava, the man who led them to victory against Regnatus, and will soon lead them to victory against King Rebaris himself.
- Volim - Hmpf. That was my intention from the start.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - In order to muster the greatset military might since the defeat of Regnatus, we will need a strong economy however. That's where I come in. I will manipulate the markets as best I can to ensure that we can rebuild our military far quicker than they can rebuild theirs. Soon, soldiers will hear tales of the great defeat of the Grox, and will wish to be a part of the next great defeat. With the Wranploer better equipped, and better motivated than ever before, we will crush the Zoles Imperium under our might. And after this, we will crush the Unified Nation.
Volim put his arms together with a smirk.
- Volim - And the Niaka Special Forces. And the Seagon, and the Paladians. And every single one of these outsiders.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Precisely. Rebuilding our military faster than theirs won't simply be a case of spurring economic activity, however. In the meantime, I have a new ally, who will help us spread a little... disarray.
Zaarkhun turned behind him, and Durzhan appeared through a portal. Durzhan, angered at his defeat as the Unified Nation had objected to the idea of becoming Vyro'Ralza, had found a new purpose: vengeance. Vengeance against the gods who did this. And who better to deliver than Falrik Zaarkhun, the man who stood against the gods all along? Volim frowned at the sight of the Katel, pointing a clawed finger at him.
- Volim - That is that demon cultist!
- Falrik Zaarkhun - In rebuilding our military, we will also disrupt the Polar Crystal Alliance. Be this through assassination attempts, through spreading panic, through disrupting communications. And though propaganda won't be enough to turn them on their governments anymore, it could be sufficient to cause a level of disarray that will give them a much slower time at rebuilding than we have. Durzhan, here, will help us with this, using his powers of Dark Chronoscopic to assist Genrai Nal in the assassination, blackmail, and intimidation of key targets to ensure things do not run smoothly.
- Durzhan - I will help you defeat the Polar Crystal Alliance. After this, I will bring down Zargoth. If I cannot have the Perfect Fate for which I spent millions of years preparing, then I can at least destroy the god who promised it to me.
- Volim - ... Hah. That is quite the change of attitude. So be it.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - We must be relentless. Your military marches and victories against their planets must be frequent and decisive. Meanwhile, my disruption of their operations will be persistent and riotous, and will slow their responses to a crawl. They'll be overwhelmed by us. And the Ottzelloans don't even have a Vyronicia Fleet to use against you anymore.
- Volim - That is sound. The last thing I need is the Alliance gaining a fleet comparable to the Grox and use it against me.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I won't let them. But we will have our fleet back, much hungrier, much more bloodthirsty, than ever before.
- Volim - Good. For now I will call for those who hold their allegiance to me and rebuild the fleet. And once it is ready, the Zoles will know who the true lord of this galaxy is.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I'll get the cogs of war running. And, Genrai Nal, you and Durzhan will find the first targets.
- Genrai Nal - They will not know what hit them.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Oh, and I suppose we should have the support of Da Rogue Boyz.
Volim groaned and rolled his eyes.
- Volim - I suppose. The imbeciles make for decent cannon fodder, at the very least.
Falrik Zaarkhun put the Rogue Boyz on call. The leaders of the Rogue Boyz, in Da Propa Big Rogue Krooza, were mostly hungover and stuffed with pizza, still celebrating from the victory against Regnatus. Fre'kloar was barely able to respond to the call, and Rel'larutina had to pick up first.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Rel'larutina. I imagine you know why I'm contacting you.
- Rel'larutina - Let me guess. You want us to do something for you.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Not specifically, and not right now. But I need your men to prepare themselves and rebuild their fleet quickly. Right now, there will be somewhat of a ceasefire with the Polar Crystal Alliance, but I do not intend this to last very long. And when it breaks, we will need the support of Da Rogue Boyz in a great battle against UNO.
- Rel'larutina - Figured as much. I was gonna say, if you wanted something now, you called at a bad time. Most of the crew in this ship is either unconscious or barely able to move.
- Fre'kloar - sssssshut up i can take anotha pizza
- Jol'kiar - WOW YOO LOSAS BAK IN MA DAYZ WE CULD DRINK MOAR DAN TWENTY PINTS LOL STOP THROWIN UP
- Brag'klogga - I DO WAT I WANT. AND RITE NAO I WANNA GO TO DA BAFFROOM
- Grak'tona - DA KING DEMANDS ANOTHA ROUND. yo is dat folrok zurg on da phone??? SUP YO FANKS FER DA ROYAL OFFERIN YOO GAVE ME DA OTHA DAY
- Falrik Zaarkhun - You're most welcome.
- Rel'larutina - Well, you lot heard Zaarkhun... mostly. We'll be in a big fight at some point so you better prepare.
- Hagto'Zhl - sur sur. big fite. but not nao. nao i sleep
- Kal'kuir - robots... robots... big sexy robots... wait did someone hear me sleep talk
- Knar'gank - dats goin to da extranet
- Voa'reak - duuuuuuuuuuh someon say somfin bout a fite??? ok maybe at like 2 in da mornin or somfin i need anotha round
- Naktor'zak - MAN HAO DA HELL AM I DRUNK I LIV INSIDE A TANK. YET I AM DRUNK AS HELL ATM LMAO
- Zalk'don - YANNO WAT DIS PARTY NEEDS??? FIREWORKS. YO SOMEON GET ME SOM
- Ray'loth - DUMBO DONT BLOW BOMZ UP INSIDE DA SHIP
- Drizz'pyrokirk - man yoo lot is all IRRESPONSIBUL drinkas. DONT YA KNO DAT ALCOHOL MAKES YA PROTEEN SYNTHESIS SLOWA AN SUKS FER GAINS????
- Gol'thabex - lissen neva say da word "synthesis" agen ok
- Drizz'pyrokirk - i meen fair but like i got a fitness seshon tomorrow an dese losas aint gonna be dere
- Jol'kiar - bruh yoo aint even a gym freek yet dats not fer another 5 stories
- Fre'kloar - hes doin it agen NAO I GOT ANOTHA HEADACHE. PASS ME ANOTHA DRINK
- Jol'kiar - YO ZAARKHUN WE WILL GET DA PEEPZ REDY YEH WE JUST GOT FIVE MOAR PIZZA PARTIES TO GET THROO
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Riiiiiight. I think we're done here, then?
- Rel'larutina - Yeah, and I'd recommend not calling tomorrow. Loron hangovers last a long time and they're not pretty to watch.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Understood. Best of luck taking care of them.
- Rel'larutina - You're real cheeky sometimes, aren't you?
- Falrik Zaarkhun - It's what I do.
Once the transmission was closed, Volum put a palm in his face as he groaned in annoyance.
- Volim - Remind me to kick these insects out of Borealis too once their use is done.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Soon, Volim, the galaxy will be ours. There'll be nothing we can't do.
In a chamber in Vocrillon Mine, far away from the Iron Fist, Falrik Zaarkhun put together a meeting with the top assassins known to the Borealis Consortium Network. In addition to Genrai Nal, who would chair the meeting, this included Billig Oltauris, a Wranploer lackey of his whom had gained his favor in many important meetings, and of course, Sollow, a questionably loyal assassin made of nanomachines, who was practically unkillable. Many of the other members of the board were bounty hunters who had scored big lately, but not quite worked with Zaarkhun himself on a high-profile assassination. One was a mutant of an unknown species named Fostrak, who was less well-known for stealth missions and more for being able to withstand pain and break through defenses with ease. Another was an alien from outside the galaxy, a Dominatus known as Parihus, whose entire body had become a weapon as the result of a failed and horrific experiment. Finally, a robot simply known as "Death Bot 99", which did not have a real robotic body, and rather had its "arms" and legs floating together using Essence linking them to its head.
In addition to the crew, a few latecomers joined. Knar'gank and Gol'thabex of Da Rogue Boyz joined, having taken a while to find the place properly, while another latecomer, in the form of a massive Heeyorian with cybernetic limbs and clear biological enhancements - the CEO of Soltako Armed Military, the much maligned Zoltik Relkhul - sat at the end of the table. Each of them were gathered in a top secret room within the station, hidden in the underground slums, and the room was dimlit lit. They sat on a long table with Zaarkhun at the helm, a hologram of the galaxy behind him. With the band of murderers together, Zaarkhun began the meeting.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I'm sure you've heard the memo going around the high-up circles that we intend to attack the Polar Crystal Alliance soon. No one outside of this room should have any more of the details, but let's be clear: we are attacking them today. And you are all helping.
- Zoltik - Now, now, I think we're being a little too quick here. I've not even had the chance to shake your hand!
Zaarkhun turned towards Zoltik, nodded, and held out his hand, which the larger Heeyorian responded with a firm shake and a large grin.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Good to meet you, Zoltik Relkhul. You've quite the reputation.
- Zoltik - And you! You, the actual Falrik Zaarkhun, in the flesh! You have been my inspiration all along, you know. I'm a big fan of your... philosophy
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I'm glad to hear it. You should be glad to know, also, that by virtue of being in this room, you are one of the few whom heard the rumors, and Genrai didn't kill yet.
- Zoltik - Hah! He could try, but I'm not so easily killed!
- Sollow - Stop with this bootlicking... You sound as insincere as me!
- Zoltik - Nonsense! I think we all know how insincere you are, and nobody can match that.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - That's enough. You may take your seat.
Zoltik returned to his seat, still smiling. While Falrik Zaarkhun was well familiar with flattery, he could sense sincerity in the SAM CEO's tone.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - To restate what I said earlier: That each of you have heard the rumor and not been killed yet is because you are important to the next stage of my plan, and the first which will spark a war. Or, should I say, re-spark the aggression in an ongoing one. Ordinarily, I'd ask you to kill anyone else you know who knows anything, but our mission will start immediately upon the conclusion of this meeting.
- Zoltik - Well, I'm all ears! How exactly is this gonna work?
- Genrai Nal - Ten assassins. Ten targets. All eliminated at once.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Just as Genrai says. We've picked out ten high profile targets within the Polar Crystal Alliance who will be eliminated across the galaxy, all within the exact same timetable. Hopefully, only minutes apart. This is what my friend Durzhan is here for.
Durzhan then floated in next to Zaarkhun, and looked at the rest of the group. He appeared menacing as usual, giving the ominous look to all of them as if to tell them they were about to follow his orders soon.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - To assassinate a high-ranking individual is something that could easily spark a war, and understandably so. But more to the point, it gives a few implications. Firstly, that assassinations of this order will be a rare thing. And secondly, that there are only certain targets under certain circumstances we can kill. Therefore, we have to kill multiple. Now, ordinarily I'd spread assassinations of this nature out over time, to achieve the same effect: intimidation. The fear in our enemies' hearts that more of their people could die and were in need of protection. But to really achieve the effect I want, we have to kill many at once. To demonstrate just how far-reaching we are, and just how unsafe they are from us.
- Gol'thabex - yo dis sounds worf da money. i like da idea of dis
- Knar'gank - well i like assassinatin peepz. dont care for da reesun tbh
- Billig Oltauris - Eh, think I can follow the logic behind doin' 'em all at once then, 'ey? But why exactly are we choosing this as the way to start the war?
- Falrik Zaarkhun - It's simple. These assassinations will provoke outrage, panic, and fear. What do these lead to? Well, other than a huge tightening of security, they will also lead to a response, typically in the form of a fleet headed straight to our territory. And that is what Volim will prepare for. Once the fleet hits us in response, we will annihilate it, and show how much more prepared our military is right now than theirs. Their recovery from the previous clash with Regnatus will be entirely interrupted trying to deal with us, and that is what we will take advantage of.
- Billig Oltauris - So when they send the fleet, and Volim crushes it, 'e'll send 'is own fleet back, before they got time to prepare. Then 'e'll go on a rampage in the Western Arm.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Precisely.
- Zoltik - Dirty! I like it!
- Sollow - None of you even think of messing the timing up... Or I will assassinate you next.
- Durzhan - Leave the timing down to me. I can be in ten places at once by manipulating time myself. I will ensure that these attacks happen only seconds apart.
- Knar'gank - but imma do mine first cus im da best sneeka
- Gol'thabex - bruh im a betta sneeka dan yoo an im not even a sneeka
- Knar'gank - lol ok keep dreemin cuzzy bro
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I suppose you'll want to know our targets, yes?
The group eagerly listened in as Zaarkhun listed them out, starting with the most crucial:
- Falrik Zaarkhun - All our targets will be high-ranking individuals involved either in military affairs, or domestic affairs. These are either people who are extremely popular, and whom mudering them would provoke severe outrage, or who would be responsible for a large part of the rebuilding effort, and as such, need to be killed to slow it down. The biggest of these will be a member of UNOL.
- Knar'gank - yooooo dats valzo innit? da Galot leeda???
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Correct, and also UNO's leader of diplomacy. He will be intercepted on a diplomatic voyage to the Niaka, as in, while he is in the Eastern Arm. That is when he will be eliminated by Sollow.
- Sollow - Ahahahaha... I will enjoy this..
- Gol'thabex - cant we kill zrahgloth insted? would be funny as hek if i showed up in da krooza wiv his hed
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Unfortunately not. Our UNOL target had to be one who could not defend themselves, which narrowed it down severely. And it also had to be one not involved in military affairs, for they tend to spark less outrage. The Kralgon Emperor, for instance, may have a lot of respect among UNO's people, but they wouldn't exactly mourn him to the extent they would mourn Tuolog, Valzo, or Feldosia. Feldosia handles domestic affairs, and thus, was impossible to intercept on a mission outside the Ottzello Sector, meaning such an assassination attempt would not be feasible without tripping security. That meant Valzo was our only choice.
- Gol'thabex - lame but ok
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Genrai will attack the next most important target, one of the advisors to King Rebaris himself. This will cause a lot of havoc, as said advisor is not only very popular, but has multiple possible successors. That means a lot of internal conflict created before they are replaced. And internal conflict means chaos, which itself, means a slower response to Volim's attack.
- Genrai Nal - This will be swift and painless for them. But the pain it will cause the Zoles Imperium will be far greater.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - And Gol'thabex, you were trusted to defeat one of the leading Niaka Chief Minors around Wranploer Legion space. Doing so will cause chaos in the division around there, creating a lot more breathing room for Wranploer operations to take place in the time it takes for them to replace them. That a Loron is out so far from the Ottzello Sector is something they will be utterly unprepared for.
- Gol'thabex - hurhurhur i get ta smash da copz. sik
- Falrik Zaarkhun - The rest of you attack slightly smaller, but nonetheless important, targets. What's more noteworthy about your attacks is that each of them occur deep within the Western Arm. If we stuck to targets in the Eastern Arm, or targets a long way from their own territory, then they'd perhaps feel a lot safer staying within their homes. But if we attack targets that distant from us, we show them that nowhere is truly safe from us.
- Billig Oltauris - Sounds like I'll be feedin' tonight then, 'ey?
- Zoltik - Well, it may not be apparent, but I'm not particularly "stealthy". I can guarantee a quick death, but not a painless one!
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Your role, Zoltik, is to ambush one of the targets, and destroy them before they even reach their spaceship to flee. You will probably ravage a large part of their world as you do. Do not fret about carrying out your mission silently, for the goal here is intimidation, and we fully intend to leave tracks behind.
- Zoltik - Ah, now we're speaking the same tongue, you and I. I knew we'd make a good team.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - But of course. Now, each of you has your target in front of you. Any questions?
- Knar'gank - yeh. im supposed ta get pizza fer dis. does it hav gud toppins???
- Falrik Zaarkhun - That depends, do you like pineapple on pizza?
- Knar'gank - man do yoo like havin arms??? dont even pretend dat
- Falrik Zaarkhun - You'll be fine, then.
- Knar'gank - ok cool. cause if ma pizza gets messed up i cant guarantee da safety of anyun heer
- Durzhan - Each of you take a trip to a far part of this station. And leave separately. Let no one know you were here. I will join you shortly when we are to begin. And Loron, do not get drunk first. Save that for afterwards.
The assassins all nodded and slowly begun making their way out. Zoltik Relkhul, however, waited for the others to leave until he was alone with Falrik Zaarkhun and his bodyguards, before beckoning him to approach. Zaarkhun looked a little confused, before walking over to Zoltik.
- Falrik Zaarkun - Is this your first time here? We can give you a recommended location to rendezvous with Durzhan, if you wish.
- Zoltik - Oh no, I've been here tons of times. But I needed to ask you something, and I couldn't do it in the earshot of that Wranploer you brought.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - But of course. And do not worry about Billig's loyalty; he wouldn't be here were he not loyal.
Zoltik's eye narroed as he looked down at Zaarkhun.
- Zoltik - We both know this ain't how you operate. Helping that blockheaded tyrant of the Wranploer becoming the ruler of the Eastern Arm ain't what the Zaarkhun Consortium is about.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Correction: I will help him become the ruler of the entire Borealis Galaxy, not just the Eastern Arm.
- Zoltik - But surely you're not doing this out of the kindness of your heart, now. A galaxy under Volim and his Wranploer is one where we are all slaves.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - That is also true. That Volim's vision for this galaxy is a tyrannical one without freedom... and that I'm not doing this to help him.
- Zoltik - Well, then. For how much longer are we playing this game, then? Do you intend to make him the ruler, then remove him?
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Close. I intend to make him the ruler of Borealis for however long it takes. Volim's leadership is unlikely to be popular, however. He may have adoration among the other Wranploer, but when he has to rule an entire galaxy of creatures he views as beneath him, Volim is far too short sighted to know how to keep all of them happy. Bit-by-bit, I will dismantle his new empire. And in its place will be... nothing. There will be no government that replaces it.
- Zoltik - And Borealis will fall into chaos, becoming a place where only the fittest survive!
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Right now, in these times, there is little appetite among the citizens of Borealis to abandon their governments if they had not done so already. Civic nationalism is on the rise, and so is loyalty to their leaders and institutions. UNO's people are all under the surveillance of the System, the Zoles are all worshippers of their king, and the Niaka serve some misguided form of justice that they pledge alleigance to. These governments will continue to last, and toppling them from within is not possible. But a government under Volim will show people just how bad it is to live underneath the flag of one who cares little for its people. It will show people what a tyrannical, despotic government really is like. And when they see that, they will strongly and vehemently reject it. Through Volim, I will remove the Zoles, the Ottzelloan, and the Niaka regimes from this galaxy, and put them only under one. And then that regime will be taken apart from the inside by the very man who built it to begin with.
Zoltik let out a hearthy laugh as he pat Zaarkhun's back. Genrai almost moved a muscle in defense of Zaarkhun, but Zaarkhun quickly looked him in the eye and made him stand back. Zaarkhun always enjoyed having his ego stroked.
- Zoltik - Lovely! That's just the sort of thing I expected from my inspiration. You've made me filthy rich these last few years, you know. Only fair that I repair the favor to you by providing a hand.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - You're most welcome. And believe me, you'll be made far richer over the course of this war when your services are demanded -- and of course, in the revolution that follows when the galaxy turns on Volim shortly afterwards.
- Zoltik - I'll be waiting for that! Now, I had better get going. Got an assassination to do!
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Excellent.
Zoltik laughed again and proceeded to leave. As he was out of earshot, Sollow let out a hiss.
- Sollow - I don't like that man... Nobody could worship someone that much.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Patience, I've several spies on him that could kill him if I wished. His respect for me is quite genuine.
- Sollow - Bleh. Next we'll be having a wedding...
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I don't swing that way, sorry to disappoint you.
In a convoy ship from the Unified Nation of Ottzello to the Niaka Special Forces, Valzo found himself surrounded by several heavily armed Loron guards in a small yacht. UNO tended to keep travel of their leaders low-key, so as not to make them easily noticed by targets, but to defend them well enough from attacks by space pirates by using cloaked warships around them. These same ships also had several Ioketa on board, able to prevent anyone from teleporting in and to easily move their host to safety if the time came. The peace mission, however, would come to a close at a Cold Relay in-between the Ottzello Sector, the Eastern Arm, and the Friura Sector.
Though the Ioketa may be able to prevent a typical Dark Chronoscopic user from teleporting on board, they were not able to prevent Durzhan from doing so. Durzhan's skills with Dark Chronoscopic were rivalled only by a Vyro'Ralza, and so, Durzhan was easily able to bypass them. The first thing he did was deactivate the Cold Relay, and freeze the ship in time. The next was to teleport Sollow on board. Sollow arrived in the middle of a banquet, with several of Valzo's staff also in attendance as Sollow swooped in, on the table in front of Valzo. As he did, the Loron guards turned to Sollow and grabbed him furiously.
- Loron Guard - INTRUDA. HOW DA HELL DID YOO GET ON BOARD DIS SHIP
- Sollow - Ahahaha... Assassin's secret!
- Valzo - The Borealis Consortium Network assassin! Sollow! Get him out of here at once!
- Loron Guard - YO BEET HIM UP
With a grin, Sollow displayed a surprising burst of strength as he freed himself from the Loron guard before throwing a flurry of knives at him and the others; the highly poisonous knives struck each precisely at their throats, and they immediately fell, gurgling as they slowly died. The assassin then rushed at Valzo's direction and slammed him into the ground, putting his hands around his throat to keep him immobilized.
- Sollow - So lovely that I get to end your life, Valzo... Now you, too, will know how it feels to be dead.
- Valzo - Tell... the Consortium Network... that we... will respond... with consequences!...
- Sollow - Ahahah! We will be waiting!
Sollow took out his blade and then thrust it into Valzo's chest, before removing it and then doing it again over and over, mercilessly stabbing him until he no longer moved, laughing gleefully as he did so. Normally, this was Sollow's signal to make a silent exit, and leave only the body behind, but instead, he heard an explosion near by. Durzhan teleported in behind him, and held up his arms, setting fire to the entire ship. Durzhan sent out flames to every corner, as the ship suffered turbulence and more parts exploded off the walls, with gas leaking. Sollow could even feel his skin melting and repairing as he did so, which caused him to laugh even more as he took the bloodied blade to his mouth and started licking off the blood. The Valzo staffers who did survive, however, simply looked on at Sollow in fear; they were unable to see Durzhan here at all.
- Durzhan - This is not a typical mission. The entire ship must be destroyed, and it must leave a mark. Our goal here is not stealth, it is intimidation.
- Sollow - I like to think I am intimidating enough... How can they know the great Sollow butchered their leader like an animal if there is no body left?
- Durzhan - Then it is your decision. Bring the body with you and mail it to UNO, or let their cameras watch the body melt to a crisp. Either way, our goal will be accomplished.
- Sollow - Hmm, you make a good point... Fine. Let him roast.
- Durzhan - Good. There will be no room for them to use nanomachines and clone him, that way.
- Sollow - Ahahahaha! Let this be a memory they never forget; how Sollow can end them in a single moment!
Leaving destruction in their wake, Durzhan then warped the two of them out of the ship, as it began to further combust and fall to become a wreckage in space. The nearby ships guarding this one uncloaked to search for a source, but found nothing.
UNO had lost one of their leaders in a quick hit and run, by the galaxy's most notorious assassin, and the universe' most powerful Dark Chronoscopic user. An attack which they could not possibly have prepared for.
Within moments, each of UNOL's members were called back into the chamber following the attack. They could barely believe what they were hearing. The Kralgon Emperor slammed a terminal in rage, while Feldosia seemed particularly affected; she was in a state of pure shock.
- Kralgon Emperor - How could we let this happen?! We had Ioketa to defend the transport vessel for this precise purpose! We had the most powerful security defending our Leaders that has ever been seen in Ottzello's history! We even ramped it up after the Regnatus incident, and a war hadn't even started yet!
- Zr'Ahgloth - MAN I KNEW DAT ZAARKHUN LOSA WAS GONNA TURN ON HIS AT SOM POINT. ALWAYS HATED DAT SNEEKY ASSASSIN GEEZA OF HIS
- Yogtam - None of us were naive to think that Zaarkhun would not betray us sooner rather than later, as the possibility of him helping us defeat Zargoth first was extremely slim. But... At the same time, none of us knew he would be capable of such an attack either. Like the Kralgon Emperor said, our Leaders are far too well-protected for a single assassin.
- Tuolog - I afraid I can deduce the culprit. Sollow did not work alone. Only a being of power comparable to a Vyro'Ralza could infiltrate our defenses, and we know Zaarkhun would never work with Vyro'Ralza. That leaves only one option... Durzhan.
- Zr'Ahgloth - oh thank roz'tah'flok yoo didnt say brag'klogga
- Kralgon Emperor - Durzhan?! But how?! And why?! He already failed the Perfect Fate! What could he possibly want now?!
- Tuolog - I not certain? Revenge, maybe?
- Yogtam - If we're sure that there would be no one else capable of doing this, then we had better be supremely careful in future. From now on, no one in the Leaders leaves the Ottzello Sector unless they are in the Omega Commander. And we'd better be careful of any leader who cannot defend themselves in combat. That means Feldosia and the Kralgon Emperor can never leave this ship. And I suppose I can't, either.
- Zr'Ahgloth - nah yoo can thro a punch or two. tho sollow wuld probably slice ya up. no offense
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - There have been several other reported killings around the Polar Crystal Alliance. High-ranking officials in every nation have been murdered, apparently all within the same time. I think it is entirely possible that Tuolog is correct, and Durzhan coordinated each of them.
- Tuolog - Truly? Something so organized could not have been a random attack. This is act of war and terrorism by Zaarkhun and Durzhan.
- Yogtam - But what could he possibly be planning? He's not foolish enough to think that another March for Liberty is anywhere near achievable right now, is he? There's no way anyone could overthrow their own government right now if you just read the mood of the people.
- Zr'Ahgloth - WELL HE MANAGED TA PISS ME OFF. WE GOTTA AVENGE VALZO (i cant beleev i want ta avenge a galot) MAN. BLAST DA WRANPLOA TA BITS
- Kralgon Emperor - Yes, Valzo was a good man. An entirely innocent one, too. He had never been responsible in any stage of this war. Valzo was always a voice for reason, and remained hopeful even in the darkest of times. He will be missed as a counterbalance to... well, me.
- Zr'Ahgloth - hur at leest yor self-aware
The rest of the Leaders looked to Feldosia, and found her in tears. Though the Leaders had all been fond of Valzo, they were unaware of Valzo and Feldosia being particularly close. Each of them looked to one another, and then Tuolog approached her.
- Tuolog - Valzo is the father, isn't he?
The members looked stunned. Other than Thylaxiz, none of them could tell that Feldosia was pregnant. Tuolog had kept that information from the rest of them. Feldosia looked shocked for a brief period, unsure if she was ready to tell them, but then nodded her head.
- Feldosia - Yes. I'm sorry I kept it secret...
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - The data had been highly classified by Tuolog.
- Zr'Ahgloth - WAT DA ABSOLUTE HELL??????????? FELDOSIA IS PREGGERS???? FRUM VALZO????????
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Indeed. The two species, to our surprise, seemed biologically compatible, and capable of producing a child. This seems to be what bonded them over the past few years.
- Zr'Ahgloth - MAN DIS IS FREEKIN ME OUT. no offense except yes offense
- Kralgon Emperor - Bah! I'd be furious, but I know that my rage is better directed at Zaarkhun and Volim right now. It is they who will feel our wrath! For robbing a child of their father before they were even born!
- Tuolog - We must speak to rest of Alliance about these murders. But... First, we must honor Valzo's death. The rest of UNO must know.
- Kralgon Emperor - Yes, yes, funeral, whatever. But immediately afterwards we will respond with fury unlike Zaarkhun has ever known! Prepare the ships! Prepare the superlasers! ANNIHILATE THEM ALL!!!!
- Zr'Ahgloth - YEH. IM DISGUSTED AN I GET ANGRY WHEN IM DISGUSTED
- Yogtam - Our fleet is barely 35% recovered from the Regnatus attack. But nonetheless, we owe it to Valzo to pay them back for what they did to us.
- Feldosia - I know I have no say over military affairs, but what they did to me, I will never forgive. Burn their planets down, in my name, for this cowardly act of war.
Tyranny of the General
A combined fleet of Zoles, Niaka and UNO vessels made their way to the Eastern Arm, seeking retribution for the deaths of those who died during the assassinations. It was hardly a fleet which made justice for any of these nations; their true fleets were still under repairs, as they had lost most of their forces during Regnatus' onslaught, but not responding to these attacks would make them seem weak and vulnerable in a time where they needed to show their strength and resolve. And this would be a mistake; as planned, a Wranploer fleet lied in wait, and once they made their move, they intervened. The Consortium Network's vessels, accompanied by those who pledged their allegiance to them, overwhelmed and destroyed most of the Alliance's forces, with few managing to escape back to whence they came.
While Falrik Zaarkhun and his agents were at Vocrillon Mine, General Volim was at his homeworld of Vijaha, a planet where none but the Wranploer and their slaves were allowed to set foot on; indeed, not even Zaarkhun was ever given the privilege of standing foot there, for at the end of the day, no matter how efficient he was, he was still an inferior outsider in the eyes of the Wranploer people. Individuals like Billig Oltauris were outliers; the race obeyed Volim and only Volim, and only put up with the Zaarkhun Consortium's presence because it serves their interests.
It had been years since Volim had been in his palace. It was bar none the most opulent residence in the known Eastern Arm, one fit for a emperor, where all Wranploer rulers before Volim once ruled the Empire of Vijaha before the General transformed it into the old Wranploer Legion. He sat upon his throne, served expensive food and drink by robotic servitors, as he glanced over a monitor which displayed the results of the ambush against the Polar Crystal Alliance offensive; he read the reports of their failure to penetrate Wranploer space, causing a smirk to grow into his expression. Meanwhile, Admiral Jekrad mil Torrent had his arms crossed as he rested against a nearby wall; he was one of the few non-Wranploer and non-slaves who had the privilege of being in this palace thanks to Volim believing him to be that useful.
- Torrent - So, how was it? Is it done?
- Volim - The Alliance was crushed. Some smaller fighters managed to flee, no doubt to tell their superiors of what they witnessed.
- Torrent - And that's exactly what we want, hm? For them to know just how scary we are.
- Volim - Correct. The Zoles and their dogs must learn they cannot match my power.
A chuckle came out of Torrent, for he took great pleasure in knowing the Zoles, his most hated foes, were defeated.
- Volim - My true fleets are still amassing. The Niaka Order, the Murgur and the Imalmah will bend the knee to me, and then the Imperium and their precious allies will be swept aside; I will not suffer another Polar Crystal Alliance more than I must.
- Torrent - And then what?
- Volim - And then I win, Torrent. I shall become the Galactic Emperor, as I was meant to be. Borealis will submit to the might of the Wranploer.
- Torrent - ... Aren't we forgetting something, now? Your new "friend".
Volim's eyes narrowed as he turned his gaze to Torrent, while the Kvargo smiled smugly.
- Torrent - Why have you put up with these extragalactics? Surely you could've taken over their operations by now. Don't tell me you've actually grown fond of that Heeyorian.
- Volim - Do not be ridiculous. Falrik Zaarkhun still lives because he serves his purpose, but once the Polar Crystal Alliance is crushed, I will have no more use of him. Him, and his entire race, will either live in slavery or be eradicated.
- Torrent - Ah, good. For a moment, I feared you were actually gonna let them stay around.
- Volim - Zaarkhun is not, and never will be, my equal. No alien will ever be an equal to a Wranploer, and that is not going to change simply because one of them proved useful. I have hated him every second of these last few years, since he imposed this damnable 'partnership' with me, but soon enough, I will have no more use for him.
- Torrent - Can we keep the Inalton warrior, at least? I'm actually a bit fond of that one.
- Volim - No, it is too dangerous. They must all be destroyed, and believe me, they will. Zaarkhun's first mistake was to believe I am some mindless brute who knows not how the universe works; a warrior does not survive almost two thousand eyars by being a fool. He has agents everywhere, but so do I; I know he only aids me because it furthers his own agenda, and I will respond in kind. The day will come where I will mount his head upon the walls of this palace's trophy hall.
The massive General then returned his gaze to his monitors, while Torrent simply glanced at them from the distance.
- Volim - For now, we play his game. Until I have extracted all use from him, he lives.
- Torrent - How unfortunate. I hope to be there to watch his smug smile be wiped off his face.
- Volim - All of Borealis will bear witness; they will watch my ascension to the throne of the galaxy, with the broken bodies of Zaarkhun, Rebaris, Xerkea and Arkarixus beneath me!
For Falrik Zaarkhun, everything in life was a negotiation. And every negotiation, to him, was like a duel of wits. A battle with an opponent to outsmart them, in which his goal was to "defeat" them by achieving the far more favorable deal. Zaarkhun had perfected the art of price haggling quickly, and applied much the same principle to everything he did.
In the outer portions of the Friura Sector of the Eastern Arm was a planet which, thanks to Zaarkhun's efforts, had completely overthrown its government. The planet was home to advanced, steel metropolises, and was ran almost entirely by its ore barons, the planet's most profitable export. Within the inner cities, in its luxurious apartment buildings and bustling malls, the population thrived, living lavish lives at the hands of a corporation intended to keep them happy, paying customers. Furthermore, this corporation employed its own private military, that also served as a police force, to uphold the few laws the planet had. This was in a way Zaarkhun's ideal of paradise; a civilized society upheld without any government, almost entirely lawless.
What many conveniently forgot was that the outer portions of its city habitats were far from glamorous. In place of steel skyscrapers and neon lights were run-down houses made of clay and wood. None of these houses had required a permit to construct, and were built by nomads who simply wanted to live closer to the cities to find opportunity, as their only other option would be to work in an extremely dangerous ore mine. But the open secret of these outer slums was that they were kept alive by the many black markets that presided there, selling rare goods that would be illegal in the Western Arm.
Falrik Zaarkhun himself traveled to the slums of one of these cities, arriving in a simple starfighter. He used his holographic technology to disguise him as a more standard Heeyorian, before approaching his destination: a hotel located in the high street of the slums, among the slightly larger buildings that appeared to vaguely resemble the only civilized life outside the walls of the steel cities.
Of course, Zaarkhun was not one to waste a second at any point. For him, efficiency was crucial. Every moment in his day, down to the minute, had been carefully planned in advance. During his travels to his destination, he set up calls with any ranking officers in the Consortium Network that he needed, all while operating his many illusions and clones throughout the galaxy performing tasks for him elsewhere. Just before he reached the hotel, he set up a call with Genrai Nal.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Report, Genrai. How are our assassinations going?
- Genrai Nal - Successfully. Panic is widespread across the Western Arm. Key individuals fear for their lives. We notice them tighten security more and more around their politicians and their businessmen the more we act.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Good. More focus on robust security to protect important people means less focus protecting other locations of importance to the rebuilding of ones' fleet. Such as factories and mines, for instance.
- Genrai Nal - Indeed. Durzhan is already working on shifting us to disrupting the fleet rebuilding efforts of the Polar Crystal Alliance. They are already rebuilding their fleets at half the pace of us, and we are not even started on disrupting them.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I will soon need you to keep the space pirates in line. Pirates will be crucial for disrupting their supply lines around the galaxy. The Polar Crystal Alliance will not so much find them a threat, but a nuisance -- another thing slowing them down.
- Genrai Nal - Indeed. On that front, the Rogue Boyz have taken enthusiastically to the idea of disrupting Ottzelloan shipments. They need little motivation beyond pizza.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I will outline key targets this evening for you to disrupt next. After your next assassination effort, refocus your team. I'll be in touch soon.
With the call concluded, Zaarkhun entered the hotel. In contrast to the rest of the slums, the hotel, or at least its reception, was lavishly designed, with paintings on the walls and statues built by artists from before the world had overthrown its government. It appeared whoever ran the place had money in their pockets, as the building was one of the few places in the slums that its residents could relax -- a getaway for the less fortunate.
At least, that's how it would look to anyone who didn't know better. Falrik Zaarkhun was fully aware that this building was not owned by someone who wished to make their fortunes from a thriving hotel business in the slums and move to the city. It was owned by someone who wasn't interested in leaving the slums at all. Zaarkhun approached the receptionist, a woman who recognized him as he deactivated his disguised, and nervously smiled.
- Receptionist - Hello, Falrik Zaarkhun! It is an honor. Do you have a reservation?
- Falrik Zaarkhun - You know why I'm here. The underground floor. I wish to speak to its owner.
The receptionist gulped a little. She knew when she recognized Zaarkhun that he wasn't here for a hotel room, but something within her wanted to believe her life wasn't in danger. She took him towards the elevator in dead silence, held her fingerprint to a scanner, revealing an elevator button that went down to the hidden underground floor. She immediately stepped out as Zaarkhun descended.
Zaarkhun descended into a cold, metal room where guns were immediately pointed towards him by large Seagon guards. They gestured towards a metal detector, demanding he remove any weapons. Zaarkhun chuckled a little and removed his pistol, leaving it confiscated. He walked through the detector with no issues, having no more weaponry on his person. On the other end of the detector was a smaller female Seagon, who appeared slightly older than the others and wore protective gear from engineering, standing in front of vast amounts of Kormacvar technology. This Seagon was clearly the owner of the store, a small store ran by Seagon that had never joined the Seagon Cryptocracy. The owner looked a little suspicious, but she was less cautioned upon knowing Zaarkhun had no more weaponry.
- Owner - So, Falrik Zaarkhun himself is interested in our wares, 'ey? Not surprised. I don't know if you heard the news, but, we're somewhat famous.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I did. A black market store ran by Seagon on this very planet. Locating you would be difficult for most, but for me, took a few minutes.
- Owner - Yeah, I'm not surprised. In the past, we've operated on the down low, mostly selling our wares to a few smaller PMCs that want rare and expensive weapons, and certain entrepreneurs that just really wanna decorate their rooms with Kormacvar gear.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I see. You specialize in reverse engineering whatever Kormacvar technology you can scavenge. And with the death of Regnatus, you were able to get your hands on a lot more.
- Owner - Uhhuh. So I imagine that's what the Borealis Consortium Network wants, huh?
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Weaponry would be... nice, given we are on the verge of a crusade against the galaxy. But it's one technology in particular that I want. Something that has thus far eluded me for a long time.
The owner grew more suspicious, narrowing her eyes at Zaarkhun. Zaarkhun continued to look around the store, and it was indeed impressive, with several other Seagon in the background working tirelessly on building weapons and starship parts. This store had previously only been known by businesses in the sector, as it demanded secrecy from all its customers and was mostly lowkey. But there were few things in Borealis that were below Zaarkhun's notice.
For a black market organization producing material of this caliber to not have been folded into a larger organization was extremely rare. Zaarkhun had dealt with these kinds before, and they were owned by two types of people: one who wanted to get rich quick and retire with billions, or one who wanted to stay in business long-term without the fear of exposing themselves to the dire fates that many of these larger organizations came to. The former were far easier to deal with, while the latter would be a bit more challenging.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I know that you have the technology Regnatus used to hide himself from the fifth dimension. Technology that could make one immune to the Vyro'Narza, or even to the average Chronoscopic energy user. It's extremely valuable, and no one has been able to mass-produce it yet. But you and your team of scientists figured it out. Needless to say, I would like this technology, and I am willing to reward you very, very handsomely for it.
The owner wasn't foolish enough to try and deny any knowledge of it, knowing that Zaarkhun would see through her lies. Instead, the owner narrowed her eyes further. In the past, Zaarkhun would've found sweet-talking businessmen a lot easier, but since the Borealis Consortium Network's ties to the Wranploer Legion had been known, this would be much trickier.
- Owner - You'd better be offering a whole lotta money then, chief. Thinking I'll just go help ya boost up the Wranploer Legion's takeover of the galaxy like that? I ain't a fool. Volim wants us all dead, all Seagon will be enslaved under him. He's angry at us all for what the Seagon Empire did when they betrayed him! Nevermind that I wasn't even part of the Empire.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Volim and I have, let's just say, differing opinions. But I'll add to that, a lot of people want you dead. There's a reason you had to hide out in the slums and in an underground bunker, after all. And when news of your existence broke, that certainly increased the number of people after your hardware. Whether for revenge for their dead sisters killed by a weapon you made, or just because they want it for themselves and aren't exactly willing to pay your premium prices.
- Owner - So you're offering us protection then, huh? You buy our goods at a discounted price, and in exchange you use your military might and agents to protect anyone from ever coming after us?
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Our full protection. You'll have our private mercenary force, and our assassins, on hand if you please. You won't be a subsidiary of the Borealis Consortium Network, officially.
- Owner - You're right, I won't. Instead, you'll just own my business without really owning it. You make us dependent on you, then you start making more and more demands. Look, you can keep your reputation polished and fool people for a short time, but if you keep it up and eventually, we'll start catching on. I know what your people do to small businesses like us. You promise us the world, then you crush us.
Zaarkhun chuckled a little. It amused him, but also made him happier somewhat, to see someone else at least attempt to play on his level. Someone who mistakenly thought they could outwit Falrik Zaarkhun himself.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Ah, but here's the difference. Those businesses that collapsed under our protection were ones who stopped upholding their end of the bargain. We didn't crush them, instead, because they failed to uphold their end, we felt no need to uphold ours. People wanted them dead. We didn't kill them. We just stopped preventing others from killing them. And, you know, a lot more people want you killed now since a certain detail leaked.
The owner's eyes widened in fury. The Seagon guards standing by the front entrance turned to Zaarkhun suspiciously, and many of the employees in the workshop found themselves a little distracted by the competition.
- Owner - You leaked it, didn't you? You tipped off people about our location and our business, just so we would run to you for protection from a problem you caused! You're trying to swindle us!
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Well, think of it as "strengthening my negotiation hand" leading into this. I'll have that technology, Seagon. The question is simple: you and your employees can be rich, happy, and safe for the rest of your lives. Or I'll just tip everyone off as to your location, and then whoever destroys your business and takes your technology, I'll have to steal from them.
- Owner - Goddamn, you bastard! You're good, but you're evil! If you're trying to intimidate me into giving you what you want, you can forget it. My owners here are too proud to help the lackey to a Wranploer!
This irritated Zaarkhun. The thing he'd been most annoyed about since his connection to Volim had been revealed was how many people thought of him as a subordinate to Volim. In his eyes, the two were equals, except it was him calling the shots. But Zaarkhun didn't let his irritation come out all at once. Instead, he let it gradually build.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Let me just explain it to you, in simple terms, because you've been running your little business in your corner of the galaxy for some time now, and maybe you don't understand how things work in Borealis. I knew about your little business ever since you first requested a loan from a local credit union to get the startup going. A small business of Seagon fugitives selling illegal Kormacvar weapons, an intriguing prospect. You paid off your loan to that credit union. I know, because I own it. In a lawless galaxy, I don't even have to declare that.
- Owner - Ugh... I should've known! They operate differently to all the large Consortium Network banks, so I didn't suspect it, but I'm not surprised.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - And since that time, I've been extremely patient with you in allowing you to continue to operate, without once interfering. Why? Maybe it's because of my principles, the idea of Seagon fleeing the Empire to start a small business in a lawless region that allows them to run such an operation that would be an outlawed black market in the Western Arm, greatly appealed to me. To the point where I helped suppress rumors of your existence. But my generosity has its limits. I run this galaxy, Seagon. So the choice is yours: bring your employees and technology under my protection, and maybe I'll let you live. Refuse, and you will be crushed.
In Zaarkhun's mind, he had now won. He forced the owner into an impossible situation. Now, he was no longer bargaining with her for an optimal price. He was forcing upon her business an ultimatum. She growled, and stood defiant.
- Owner - This bunker is made from a Kormacvar polymer fiber and resisted by shield technology that could withstand an antimatter bomb. It takes a lot for a man without his gun to intimidate me.
This only amused Zaarkhun further. Shortly after, above them, they could hear gunfire and explosions. The rest of the Seagon looked shocked, as Zaarkhun simply smiled. Above them, gunmen situated around the slums at a distance had opened fire on the hotel, destroying it with explosive bullets. Zaarkhun laughed.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - No, but the building above us won't. You did a great job of creating an illusion that you were just running an honest hotel getaway for residents of the slums, and not harboring an illegal weapons manufacturing operation. But now the hotel is gone, people to tend to investigate the rubble of destroyed structures which may, I don't know, reveal a way to get in. Either way, with your cover and entry point gone, how are you going to run a business?
- Owner - You made a grave mistake, Zaarkhun! We'll just shoot you right here!
The guards opened fire on Falrik Zaarkhun, hoping to kill him. Of course, all they managed to do was shoot at a hologram. Ever since he had walked through the metal detector, miniature projectors had hid the real him from sight, leaving a hologram behind to talk to the woman. He, meanwhile, had been back on the other side of the metal detector, and grabbed both of his guns. He shot both of the guards, killing them instantly with the small antimatter bullets, and aimed it towards the owner, who held her hands up in the air and cowered in fear.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm rather good at creating illusions myself.
- Owner - Fine, take it! Take the devices! Take the weaponry! Just don't let us become food for a Wranploer!
Zaarkhun nodded to thank her as she brought a large device with her, and large warship cannons. Zaarkhun waited for her to bring them to him, holding her at gunpoint with one hand, as a lackey carrying a large rifle dropped down while he investigated it. Once he confirmed the legitimacy of the device, he gestured towards his gunman to open fire, and the gunman killed everyone present, splattering their remains across the floor as they were destroyed by explosive bullets.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I always keep my word.
A team appeared around Zaarkhun, and the group dug a way out to leave the remains of the hotel. As they did, Zaarkhun and his entourage were electrocuted immediately by traps placed around the zone, held in place by an electromagnetic device that kept them frozen. A Levarcor bounty hunter walked over to Zaarkhun, chuckling, his rifle aimed squarely at him.
- Bounty hunter - The other bounty hunters chased all the different clones of you that are out now delivering speeches at conferences or meeting with PMC weapons dealers to get your cogs of war in motion. They thought I was crazy to track you down here. But now, I found the real you. Be thankful I'm not killing you, because the price on you is for you returning alive.
The bounty hunter approached the outer edges of his trap, before feeling the cold of metal held against his head. His smug expression changed quickly as he realized it was now him held at gunpoint by Zaarkhun.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Good work. A bounty hunter who was able to decipher that is one who did very, very thorough research on me.
- Bounty hunter - What-- how?! I performed a bioscan and everything, I confirmed that was the real you before I spring the trap!
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Illusions can come in many forms. Sometimes they are mere holograms. Sometimes, they're clone bodies.
- Bounty hunter - Yes, but I took that into account. I know your clone bodies give off different heat signatures at the head-- because their brains are computers! Your clone bodies simply replicate Heeyorian flesh, bone, and tissue, they do not include a brain, because you operate them from the machine in your brain. I confirmed that that wasn't you!
- Falrik Zaarkhun - You did, but you worked on outdated information. Of course as soon as I knew about that little flaw, I addressed it.
- Bounty hunter - Damnit...
- Falrik Zaarkhun - So, now's the part where you explain why I shouldn't pull the trigger.
The bounty hunter's instinct was to do as Zaarkhun said, but then he thought of something. He knew who he was dealing with here, and decided to play at Zaarkhun's game.
- Bounty hunter - I don't have to. You'll want to know who I'm working for.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Hm, true. You're good. There are so many hits out on me, anonymously posted of course. It's almost as if there's a bidding war among people falling over themselves to offer an assassin the most amount of money for killing me, or now it seems, capturing me. Sometimes I'm able to find out who it is and eliminate them, but not always.
- Bounty hunter - If you pay me four billion credits, I'll tell you who sent me. Ten billion, and I'll even kill them for you.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - How much was this hit they put out on me?
- Bounty hunter - If I tell you, I'll be giving it away.
Zaarkhun pondered for a moment. He could definitely afford that many credits, but that amount could construct an entire warship, or a small space station. If this hit on him was truly large enough, there was bound to be another bounty hunter that would try a similarly foolish tactic and assume they could ever figure out Zaarkhun's illusions.
Instead, he simply shrugged and pulled the trigger, killing the bounty hunter. His entourage were released from the trap, and he took his new devices with him to the ship.
Not only would this technology make him formidable to the Polar Crystal Alliance. It would make him formidable to Zargoth.
The Weapon of War
Under intense pressure from all around the Unified Nation to heighten security in various areas that came under attack from pirates or assassins, the Leaders aboard the UNO Omega Commander were all panicing as more news broke. Morale was low, and the situation was dire. Most of UNOL seemed furious and flustered at how to respond to the events, still reeling over the death of Valzo. In their latest meeting, the leaders would yell at one another in fury.
- Kralgon Emperor - I don't know about you people, but right now I'm ready to build a thousand planet busters, take them to Consortium Network territory, launch them into the heart of all the worlds they know and destroy the asteroid waste left behind for good measure!
- Zr'Ahgloth - IM 200% MAD
- Yogtam - I'm furious myself, to the point where I'm for once inclined to agree with the Kralgon Emperor. Destroying their planets will lead to unwanted casualties, but so will letting the Consortium Network continue their antics. We cannot let our people die.
- Tuolog - But you see what happen when we send fleets there unprepared. They are destroyed. We must devise a strategy.
Before he could even finish his next sentence, a Dark Chronoscopic portal appeared above them ominously. Nothing came out at first, until they heard a familiar laugh, and Durzhan flew out.
- Durzhan - No strategy will help you against us. You Ottzelloans will fall.
- Tuolog - You! I knew you involved! There was no other explanation!
- Durzhan - Your detective skills are most admirable. But the Unified Nation of Ottzello must now come to an end. After all, you did not even fulfil the "Perfect Fate". Hah, "Perfect Fate". For thousands of years of my life, Zargoth made me think that's what I was striving towards. ...The lies of a god.
- Zr'Ahgloth - MAN IM SO SIK OF YOO. YOOV BEEN ANNOYIN US SINC DAT TIME IN GRATZS SHIP. YA FINK I FORGOT??? SOMTIMES I AKSHULLY REMEMBA FINGS
- Durzhan - True, but this time, it really is nothing personal. I have all the reason to be furious at you for undoing thousands of years of my life's work, but I am not. However, while I'm here, I brought some friends for you.
Out of the portal, Fre'kloar was spat out, thrown into the chamber and landing on his head. Fre'kloar got up, looking a little dizzy, before turning to Zr'Ahgloth and pointing.
- Fre'kloar - HURHUR SO DIS IS YA PROPA BIG KROOZA???? HAHA IT LOOKS LIKE A JOKE. WELL GET REKT BECUZ WES IN IT NOW AN WES GONNA SMASH IT
- Zr'Ahgloth - OH MA DAYZ WAT DA HELL IS DIS IDIOT DOIN HEER MAN GET LOST
Behind Fre'kloar, more of the Rogue Leedas appeared. Jol'kiar, Grak'tona, and Hagto'Zhl also showed up, followed by an unimpressed Rel'larutina in her Smasha.
- Rel'larutina - Hello guys, so, we're here to kill you, yadda yadda yadda... surrender your ship to us, blablabla...
- Grak'tona - DA KING DEMANDS DAT DIS SHIP BELONG TO DA PROPA BIG GRAK'TONA EMPIYA, ALSO KNOWN AS DA ROGUE BOYZ (LED BY GRAK'TONA DA KING), SO HAND IT OVA TO DA RITEFUL RULA OF DIS PALACE SHIP
- Hagto'Zhl - man yor annoyin as hekk. anyway COPYCAT DUMBO
- Zr'Ahgloth - CAN DIS DAY GET ANY WORSE?????
- Fre'kloar - YEH IT CAN!!!! ... uh akshully i dont relly hav anyfin else to follow dat up wiv so WES GONNA DESTROY YA SHIP NOW HAHA
The Rogue Leedas began firing and tearing at the walls of the ship, prompting Zr'Ahgloth, Tuolog, and Yogtam to engage them in combat. They were severely outnumbered, and each of the Leedas piled on Zr'Ahgloth and began beating him. Alarms blazed through the ship, and within moments, the chamber's doors opened to reveal the full UNOC unit. Thr'aloy, with Dalverat in his shoulder, marched inside and pointed a finger at the Loron.
- Thr'aloy - Intruders in the capital ship. OI IDIOTS YOR NO ALLOWED HEER
- Dalverat - Well, well! Are the Rogue Loron so eager to die?!
- Rel'larutina - Oh, look, now we've gotta take out Zr'Ahgloth's little hobbit too.
- Fre'kloar - YO FAM WE GET TWO LOSAS BEET UP FER DA PRICE OF ONE
- Thr'aloy - What did you say? WAT DA HELL DID YA JUS CALL ME YA OVAGROWN BEECH BALL??????? OK DATS IT. UNOC LETS REK DESE GEEZAS
- Jol'kiar - TBH IF YOO LOT AR GONNA SEND IN ALL YA TROOPS DEN I CANT BE BOTHERED LOL. LETS JUS REK DA SHIP INSTED
- Vailisa - The Fist smash you before you have the chance!
The fight that followed tore apart the rest of the chamber, as blasts flew either way. Commander-King Thylaxiz sent out several warnings that damaged parts of the ship could threaten the AI. All the while, however, Tuolog noticed that Durzhan was staying perfectly still, and Durzhan took notice of this.
- Durzhan - Something to say, Ioketa chief?
- Tuolog - Why do all this? You say it nothing personal, but I find it hard to believe.
- Durzhan - It truly is nothing personal. Like I say, I have all the reason to be furious at you, but no. It was not you who lied to me for millions of years, telling me that what I was working towards was the Perfect Fate. No, for the Unified Nation to become Vyro'Ralza is but the True Fate. The Perfect Fate, well, that's yet to be enacted.
- Tuolog - So it is revenge against Zargoth then. That why you work with Zaarkhun.
- Durzhan - I looked at my options. To defeat Zargoth and Volzara, there were only two individuals with the power to do so left in this galaxy, and only one whom I could trust to do so. You may not have noticed, but Regnatus does not play nice with others. So Zaarkhun it was.
- Dalverat - A pawn that changes hands remains a pawn!
Flying at Durzhan's direction was Dalverat, his hand engulfed in Dark Chronoscopic energy as he attempted to strike at him. Durzhan resisted it fairly handidly, having much greater Dark Chronoscopic atunement than Dalverat. He swatted Dalverat aside, and then locked him in a cage of Dark Chronoscopic power.
- Durzhan - For what reason do you fight, Ottzelloans? You cannot defeat Falrik Zaarkhun and Volim. They are beyond you. So why cling to life, knowing that none of it will have any meaning in the end?
- Dalverat - Hah! So old, and yet you insist in preaching the same thing Marigrax did. Or Regnatus. Have you learned nothing, fossil?
- Durzhan - Truly, I understand not why you would be in such high spirits... Oh. Unless you still think Volzara is on your side.
- Tuolog - ... What you imply?
- Dalverat - Lies and misdirections from a demonic cultist. You waste your time with your tired preaching.
- Durzhan - Foolish! Volzara is not with you, she is against you! The Perfect Fate is hers as well! She and Zargoth plan to use you all as pawns, whether you survive this war, or Antagonar and Kolossus' time anomalies destroy you, your role in the Perfect Fate is the same. To think you still believe Volzara cares to protect you! To her, you are as disposable as any mortal.
- Tuolog - That not true. You not know Volzara as we do.
- Durzhan - Believe me, I have spent millions of years working for a god who promised me everything. I know the feeling. If you still wish to reconsider, I am sure Zaarkhun would offer you protection if you dismantled the Unified Nation of Ottzello and joined us as a lawless group to take on Zargoth and Volzara ourselves. I doubt this very much, though.
- Dalverat - Don't be ridiculous. You should be the one reconsidering, and bending the knee to your Count as all Katel do.
- Durzhan - It was perhaps out of sympathy for your situation that I have not destroyed you yet, and that I still plead with you. Nonetheless, we achieved our aim.
Those UNOL members not engaged with a battle with the Rogue Boyz saw Commander-King Thylaxiz seemingly go haywire. The Commander-King processed multiple warnings at once, initially unresponsive, but was soon allowed to speak.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Thirty planets are currently under attack. Shipyards have been destroyed in twenty-five. Five more have had factories annihilated. Twenty-two planetary governors have been killed.
- Kralgon Emperor - What?! How?!
- Durzhan - The Omega Commander when under stress is far slower at responses to such covert attacks.
- Dalverat - Damn you and your new master! I will relish in sucking out your blood until you are a mere husk!
- Durzhan - Have fun under the servitude of a god who lies to you. Time to go, Loron.
- Fre'kloar - WAT. BUT WES NOT DUN YET THO
- Rel'larutina - We're not here to destroy the ship, dumbass, just cause a distraction.
- Jol'kiar - MAN BAK IN MA DAYZ WHEN WE SMASHED SOMFIN WE SMASHED IT TA BITS
- Grak'tona - DA KING WILL RETURN SOON AN RECLAIM HIS RITEFUL THRONE ON DA PALACE SHIP
- Zr'Ahgloth - pls dont
Durzhan then pulled the Rogue Leedas back through the portal, and made a quick escape. The job had been done: several of UNO's planets were weakened severely, and the Leaders aboard the Omega Commander had been intimidated directly. Each of the Leaders looked at one another in exasperation, unsure what to do next.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Recommendation: Call a meeting with the PCA at once to discuss a new plan.
- Tuolog - Yes. We not win this battle on our own.
- Zr'Ahgloth - MAN WE GOT TROLLED. FEELS BAD
About an hour later, the conference with the other members of the Polar Crystal Alliance started. Like UNO, they too had suffered with the attacks from the Borealis Consortium Network and were growing increasingly more frustrated. Arkarixus, sharing his ship with Sergeant Trastius of the Seagon, had his arms crossed and his eyes shut in contemplation, while Grand-Commandant Asraels of the Zoles and Chief Major Xerkea of the Niaka made themselves present. Captain Vyutrin of the Indoctrinate Collective and Legate Olcinius of the Paladians joined soon after.
Tuolog spoke up first, trying to break the silence, but knowing he had few suggestions.
- Tuolog - Coordinated attacks on our territories seem to only be increasing. As we heighten security, they only change their methods. At this rate, we not able to rebuild a fleet fast enough.
- Asraels - The Imperium is more than eager for the chance to crusade through Wranploer space, but we simply lack the resources for such a campaign so soon. And their sabotage slows down our repairs.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - A battle of attrition would be unwise. Alternative options are preferable.
Arkarixus opened his eyes and spoke out in a deeply serious tone.
- Arkarixus - Find Volim Thrava and Falrik Zaarkhun. And end their miserable existences.
All the participates of the conference were unsure how to respond at first. Arkarixus' suggestion seemed perfectly reasonable; cutting them off at the head was a viable option, and might be their only option. But how exactly were they going to achieve this?
- Kralgon Emperor - I mean, I don't disagree, but... Finding Zaarkhun? That's impossible. There have been thousands of hits against him already. He's simply unkillable.
- Arkarixus - Use your goddess-given Essence. Find their ship. Destroy their ship.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Recommendation: Ill-advised. The Consortium Network ship, as we saw in the battle of Regnatus, is capable of using the same illusion technology as Falrik Zaarkhun. Finding the right ship would not be feasible.
- Arkarixus - Not even Tuolog? Surely your Chronoscopic powers can tell you where Volim is.
- Tuolog - I can try, but it significantly harder now. I believe Durzhan helping cover their tracks, because recently, Zaarkhun and Volim seem to vanish from time.
- Xerkea - Well, we do know where the Wranploer homeworld is, but as far as I can tell from the info I've "extracted" from criminals over the last few months, Volim doesn't spend much time there anymore.
- Kralgon Emperor - That... that gives me an idea. Do we have any data tracking Zaarkhun and Volim's common movements? Perhaps we can run an algorithm to determine where they will be next.
- Trastius - We possess such information. Rothneld Vhezari tracked their movements when he was still in power, to determine when it was the best time to start his attack. I shall transmit it to you.
Trastius proceeded to type in an unseen keyboard, revealing all the data the Seagon had about the Consortium Network's movements.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Our AIs can run diagnostics and put together an approximation for where they will be next.
- Tuolog - Then, we just search each of their possible locations. Whoever arrives at correct place, I teleport the rest to them so we can team up on them.
- Arkarixus - Overwhelming force is necessary to ensure neither of them escapes with their lives. In fact, I will lead this attack myself.
- Zr'Ahgloth - tbh id like ta see ark rek volim must. feels like he wuld be wasted agenst zaarkhun
- Arkarixus - I will "rek" both. You are free to follow me and ensure it happens.
- Yogtam - Not sure that'll be an option. Zaarkhun and Volim are never going to be in the same location at once.
- Arkarixus - Then I will relish the death of at least one of them.
- Tuolog - Not that I relish death of anyone... But I be happy to see them put down for what they do to galaxy. I have seem timelines in which they both win. Neither of them pretty.
- Xerkea - These scum won't win, not while I have anything to say on the matter!
A few moments later, the Commander-King beeped a little and read out a report.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Algorithms complete. We have narrowed their possible locations down to five star systems.
- Olcinius - Efficient. That narrows it down quite a lot.
- Kralgon Emperor - Hmm, from looking at it... Zaarkhun is most likely to either be at a conference, meeting with a PMC, or to simply be held up in the Iron Fist. We're better off intercepting him at one of the former. Volim, however, is more likely to be in the middle of an invasion. That is when he is best intercepted.
- Asraels - Very well. We shall intercept the invasion. I believe the Ottzelloans are better equipped to deal with Zaarkhun.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Zaarkhun's illusion technology makes use of nanomachines to hide his movements and create false movements. We should be able to find a strategy against this.
- Arkarixus - Split up. Call upon more forces if it is necessary, but cover all of his tracks.
- Zr'Ahgloth - OK SWEET. WES GONNA GO PUNCH ZAARKHUN TA BITS WHIL YOO LOT SHANK VOLIM
- Xerkea - Xeron will stand back today. I'll see to this myself.
- Yogtam - I, too, will stand in myself to fight Zaarkhun.
- Arkarixus - Then we must proceed at once.
In deep space, somewhere in the Eastern Arm, the Unified Nation traveled to a space station built inside an asteroid. Such a destination was a hub for space pirates and assassins, and seemed to be a very likely location where Zaarkhun was doing yet another meeting. As UNOL's leaders who were fighting - Zr'Ahgloth, Tuolog, Commander-King Thylaxiz' Tralkik form, and Yogtam - used their shuttle to enter through a hangar, they found the station home only to dark, metal corridors in a maze-like structure.
After some searching, they noticed that they could not detect any life form at all. Tuolog attempted to use his Chronoscopic energy, but all his results came up blank.
- Tuolog - I not think Zaarkhun is here. Or anyone for that matter. We know that this asteroid is a likely place, but we not know if there even anyone here in the last several hours.
- Zr'Ahgloth - dat makes no sense. who puts a space stashun up and dont use it???
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Perhaps destruction of this station would be preferable. Even if Zaarkhun is not present, it would destroy another hideout.
- Yogtam - Unlikely to even succeed. The BCN definitely have the technology to prevent a planet buster missile or superlaser from destroying one of their hideouts and can probably just redirect the fire.
At this moment, figures emerged; Wranploer soldiers carrying heavy ordnance appeared, as if decloaked from using stealth devises, and the sound of a heavy stomp was heard as their leader, none other than General Volim, made himself known to UNO. In his hands he carried a massive weapon in the form of a gatling gun, which he aimed at them from a vantage point.
- Volim - Well, well! It seems we have visitors!
- Yogtam - What?! You're not supposed to be here!
- Volim - Hahah! And who are you to say where I belong or not, outsider? This is my galactic arm!
- Tuolog - We not prepared for fighting Volim. But that no problem. UNOC!
As Tuolog held up his staff, he found no response at all. He looked at his staff in horror, and then turned back to Volim.
- Tuolog - How did you...
- Volim - A shame it wasn't the Zoles and Niaka coming here, I'd much rather have destroyed them first. Either way, I will tear you to pieces today, vermin!
- Zr'Ahgloth - YO SEND FER AN UNOC SHUTTLE. MEANWHILE I GOT DIS GUY
Zr'Ahgloth rolled his arms and then charged head-first towards Volim, who fired his gatling gun at him in response while his forces all fired their weapons at the others. From the shadows also emerged Admiral Torrent, who charged at Zr'Ahgloth and struck at his side.
- Torrent - You all die today!
- Zr'Ahgloth - YA MOMS UGLY
Yogtam pulled out a vulcan turret of his own, with a shield in front of it, as he placed it in front of him and began firing. However, though he was able to defeat a couple of the soldiers, Volim eventually picked him up and tossed him to the side, knocking him out cold. Tuolog, too, was entirely unable to put up a fight without his Chronoscopic power, and was quickly knocked unconscious after Torrent ran up to him and kicked him across the face into a wall. Volim laughed gleefully as he continued to pin them down with gunfire while Torrent and his forces kept him safe.
- Volim - Pathetic! I cannot believe you were the ones who actually defeated the demons or the Grox. I don't even know if I would accept you under my empire.
- Torrent - We don't have to, we can just destroy them all.
- Zr'Ahgloth - YOO CHEETED. YOO STOPPED DA GOD JUICE FROM WORKIN
- Volim - Exactly, I want none of your supernatural nonsense getting in my way any longer. I shall be Emperor of Borealis, beyond any gods and any essences! You can submit, or you can die!
- Zr'Ahgloth - THIRD OPTION: WE KIK YA ASS AN TOSS YA INTO A BLAK HOLE. MAYB WE CAN EVEN FORCE YOO TO HAVE TEA WIV A GOD FER DA REST OF YA LIFE tho dat wuld be kinda silly so da blak hole idea is betta
- Torrent - I hate it when Loron speak. Allow me.
Torrent ran over to Zr'Ahgloth and struck at his legs, forcing him down before Volim focused fire on him, riddling him with bullets until he was knocked out too. Commander-King Thylaxiz' remote Tralkik form attempted to put up a fight, but it too was destroyed.
As the Commandos appeared through a shuttle, they found themselves surrounded by Volim's forces. Thr'aloy looked horrified as he saw his boss unconscious.
- Thr'aloy - This situation is dire. WAT DA HELL DID YA DO TO MA HOMIE YA OVASIZED MEET SAK
- Dalverat - What is the meaning of this?! I cannot feel my Essence!
- Volim - More lambs to the slaughter... I take immense pleasure in your deaths!
- Thr'aloy - We will not allow this. IM GONNA SMAK YOO UP DEN TOSS YA INTO A BLAK HOLE. MAYB ILL EVEN FORCE YA TA HAV TEA WIV A GOOD FER DA REST OF YA LIFE tho i fink da blak hole idea is betta
- Torrent - Something's not right here... Oh well.
Volim and his forces engaged UNOC; even with all of their power, they found themselves overwhelmed and outnumbered. UNOC's armor was greater than that of the Leaders, but they too were unable to defeat Volim and Torrent. As Thr'aloy aimed towards Volim, he found a lack of Dark Chronoscopic aid from Dalverat crippled him, and in a one-on-one fight, he was unable to defeat the Wranploer leader.
- Thr'aloy - We will never surrender. I SURRENDA
- Volim - Knock them all out and take them away.
- Torrent - But you just said we were killin-
- Volim - I just got a better idea. Why kill them quickly, when I can make them regret every decision they made up to this point?
- Torrent - Sounds like busywork but whatever.
With UNOC defeated, the Wranploer guards proceeded to shackle and take them away, with Volim following suit, a smug grin in his monstrous expression.
In another corner of the galaxy, the Seagon, Niaka, and the Zoles Imperium were defending another planet in the Western Arm from an invasion. The planet belonged to the Zoles, and was a simple farmland location. As the group arrived in a vast field, they prepared for what they expected to be an attack from General Volim. Chief Major Xerkea was in her custom-build mech-suit, followed by Sergeant Trastius, Legate Olconius and Captain Vyutrin, while Arkarixus remained in the front, using his superadvanced senses to try and discern the enemy's location.
- Xerkea - No sign of the Wranploer so far.
- Trastius - It is only a calm before the storm.
- ??? - A saying spoken often among my people.
From nowhere, Genrai Nal unclocked himself and kicked Trastius to the ground, before holding out his blades in a fighting stance.
- Genrai Nal - It appears Zaarkhun calculated correctly once again. He will be most pleased to hear the news.
- Olcinius - The Inalton?!
- Xerkea - You have got to-
Arkarixus merely growled as, with a swing of his hand, he launched a powerful blast of energy at Genrai Nal's direction. Genrai Nal teleported away, and then appeared behind Arkarixus and stabbed him, though the blow barely fazed the Warmaster as he swung a fist at him. The fist knocked Genrai Nal back, but he rubbed his nose and stood up once more. Behind him, the group seemed to notice the sky evaporating, and everything around them disappearing in a visual image. They heard the cackles from Falrik Zaarkhun, as the field appeared to disappear entirely. In its place was something resembling a wide, empty stadium, one the Zoles would typically use for a sporting event rather than farming.
Falrik Zaarkhun appeared in a large hologram, smoking a cigar as he spoke.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - You're already too late. The PMCs have captured this world already. Finding me here was futile.
- Xerkea - What the hell?! What's going on?
- Falrik Zaarkhun - There are things that illusion technology can do, such as make one question everything. How do you know you're on a Zoles planet? Did you take the wrong turn? Is this really a Zoles stadium, or is it but a figment of your imagination? Is Genrai Nal really here, or is that another trick of mine as well? Is any of this real, or not?
- Olcinius - Someone's been busy, it seems. Is it a hobby of his, coming up with overly complicated illusions?
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I don't believe there's such a thing as a hobby or a pasttime in my line of work. Everything I do is part of my job. Such as wielding the greatest weapon ever known to war. When you think of a weapon of war so powerful as to defeat ones' opponents easily, what do you think of? An antimatter bomb? An invincible Star Destroyer? A rift in the fabrics of space and time? No, the greatest weapon of all was invented years ago.
Falrik Zaarkhun laughed, as filling the stadium audience were thousands of copies of himself, all chuckling at them. They were then surrounded by more clones of Zaarkhun on the field. The large illusion remained in place and spoke as the clones all laughed.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Misinformation! That is the greatest weapon of all, which none have mastered other than I. And that is how we will defeat you!
- Xerkea - Ugh. Why couldn't we have found Volim like we meant to? We could've just shot the fat bastard in his simpleton head without all this hassle.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - How do you know you didn't find Volim? How do you know he's not here, mocking you right now?
Volim seemed to appear in front of them, with Torrent at his side, a smug grin on their faces as they prepared their weapons to aim at the group. They struggled to activate their visors, hoping to look past all the illusions, but the technology employed by the BCN appeared to be far more advanced than they expected. Arkarixus, however, simply pointed a finger onwards at one of the copies of Falrik Zaarkhun - the real one - with narrowed eyes.
- Arkarixus - You do not intimidate me.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Oh, I'm sure. Not yet, anyway.
- Arkarixus - I can see your soul. No matter what form you assume to hide it, you will never be able to. I will always be able to find you.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Will you?
A blast of electricity hit the entire group. Each of them were held to the floor by electric blasts that pinned them down, traps that had been sprung up from the ground, except for Arkarixus who simply withstood the effects, largely unfazed. Zaarkhun laughed, as Genrai Nal and Sollow began to beat down on them, slicing away at their armor, before Arkarixus turned to face them. Sollow tossed knives at Arkarixus, while Genrai Nal teleported behind him and sliced at him again. However, the Warmaster moved quickly, easily able to keep up with both as he then grabbed Sollow by his entire head and threw him against Genrai Nal in such a way to launch them both into the ground. Genrai stood back up and sliced at Arkarixus, only to find his blades being blocked as he was kicked to the floor.
- Genrai Nal - An impressive fighter. Your reputation precedes you.
- Sollow - No one grabs my face! At least, not like that...
- Arkarixus - Compared to what I have faced, you are nothing. You do nothing but waste my time.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - What is time, really? What is time when I have control of time?
Around the "stadium", the sky faded black, but not the kind from the planet's night cycle. Instead, they were, or appeared to be, in the void of space, with nebula and asteroids flying above them. Closer inspection revealed that this was not deep space at all. The nebula they saw was not a real nebula in space, but a whirl of Chronoscopic energy. In fact, what had been simulated was a view of an alternate dimension entirely. The rest of the allies were disoriated by the display, unable to respond properly, though Arkarixus merely crossed his arms in response.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Only Regnatus was able to develop this technology, but now, I have it for myself. A pocket dimension outside of the fifth dimension. None of your time powers can manipulate me! I am in control of my own destiny!
- Arkarixus - Ah, I see it now... This is the part where you play god, then? When I heard you hated them so much.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - You are mistaken. I am not here to play god. I am here to create a universe with no gods. And that means hiding away from them. A true utopia, a land of liberty, with no one to look over them!
The stadium appeared to crack in half, as they heard a thunderous boom. The clones of Zaarkhun vanished, in their place were old statues of former Kormacvar Warmasters that were cracked in half, appearing and then splitting before his eyes. Kormacvar warships were being destroyed, as were Cold Relays, and where the clones of Zaarkhun stood, now were cheering mobs of angry Borealans who ripped them apart.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - True liberty! True freedom! With no more gods to rule over us!
- Arkarixus - Is this an attempt to frighten me? I have gazed into the void of Regnatus' madness; nothing you could do would ever faze me.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I am merely making you witness the future. Your peoples' legacy will die with you. Or maybe, is Volim not carrying on the legacy of your people? One supreme race, subjugating all the others, ruling over Borealis, and keeping anyone else out. Is that not exactly what the Kormacvar wanted? So when I dismantle what Volim builds, I dismantle your legacy too!
- Arkarixus - Your lack of knowledge of my people is amusing, though it is expected. Your primitive brain would not be able to grasp it.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Oh, certainly not. How could I have missed thousands of years of bloodshed, of emperors trying to become godlike beings, and building an entire Grid to keep supreme rule of Borealis to themselves? How could my primitive brain miss this?
- Arkarixus - Indeed, such is the woe of a primitive mind. And to your primitive mind, I will now explain why your plan will never come to fruition.
The Warmaster threw his arms to the side as he was enveloped in an aura of radiant elemental essence, utterly dwarfing all around him. His voice boomed across the landscape.
- Arkarixus - Compared to you, I am a god. And you will never defeat me.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Is that so?
- Arkarixus - It is. Would you like to try your chance, or should I resume breaking your "friend" to pieces before your eyes?
Arkarixus eyed Genrai Nal. Zaarkhun would normally be furious in defense of Genrai Nal, but instead, he simply chuckled.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - How do you know that he's really there, though? What makes you so sure that's the real Genrai Nal?
- Arkarixus - For the same reason I know where you are.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Such confidence. One could even call it arrogance. Go on. Try.
Arkarixus eyed Zaarkhun and Genrai Nal both in silence, before glancing back to his allies; they were all in bad shape and unable to contribute in any meaningful manner at this point. The Warmaster simply turned away.
- Arkarixus - You waste my time. Come, we leave.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I wouldn't be so sure that that's such a great plan.
The mob of angry Ottzelloans changed back into another mob of Zaarkhun clones. Each of them aimed their pistols to Zaarkhun, and fired, though their movements were not in sync. They began firing repeatedly, though only a few of them fired real bullets and only on occasion. The bullets that flew at Arkarixus exploded as they made contact, though they only caused him to stagger slightly as he turned around once again to face Zaarkhun.
- Arkarixus - About time. I thought I would fall asleep.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - How do you know you're not still asleep? What makes you think you're not still in that cryo chamber, and this is all a nightmare induced to fool you?
- Arkarixus - Are you always so annoying? I start to feel sympathy for Volim. Imagine having to listen to your voice all day.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I don't think you know what's real, Arkarixus. I don't think you even know if I'm real. What if Falrik Zaarkhun is not a person, but a remote body used by an AI with plans to overthrow all governments for its own end? What of none of this is real, but in fact, Falrik Zaarkhun already won the war, and what you are witnessing now is just a simulation he created to run through his victory again and again and again?
Arkarixus simply watched Falrik Zaarkhun speak until he begun to levitate slightly off the ground, posing as if he was reclining in a chair of some nature.
- Arkarixus - Go on. I am all ears.
The bullets continued to fly at Arkarixus, and before he knew it, an illusion of Regnatus appeared. Arkarixus knew it was not real, but one of its tendrils nonetheless grabbed him and pulled it towards the large hologram of Zaarkhun, pulling it right towards his face as it sent shockwaves to Arkarixus. The Warmaster remained unfazed, his body far too sturdy to be harmed by such technology, and he retained a bored expression.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - You may be more powerful than me, Kormacvar, but I control the truth. I control what's real. And it is through misinformation that I will turn this entire galaxy into a paradise. I will dismantle everything your people built, every oppressive regime that has ever appeared since, and the people of Borealis will hail me as their savior. They will forget everything you ever did, and spit on it.
- Arkarixus - I am sure they will.
The Regnatus image threw Arkarixus down to the ground, and fired a vast beam of energy at him, with enough power to cause him to feel a semblance of pain. The rest of the Zaarkhun clones fired bullets at him, with only a few of them firing real bullets, some of which penetrated his flesh. As this went on, Arkarixus then begun throwing his arm at a frightening pace, until he stopped and rose his hand up; between his fingers, he held various of the bullets fired at him.
- Arkarixus - ... You are going to need more than these little peashooters.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Oh, I'm aware. Killing you is not only infeasible, it is impossible. What makes you think that was my plan?
- Arkarixus - I do not assume anything. All I know is your voice is very grating. Are we done here? I have places to be.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - You had places to be five minutes ago.
- Xerkea - Ugh.. Getting reports here. Hundreds of hits across the Alliance.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I really did enjoy our time here. It was, in a way, fun to have a challenge for once. One day I will berak you, Arkarixus, and you will see that I control what's real in this galaxy.
- Arkarixus - I enjoyed our time, as well. You have given me much information to work on.
With a flick of his fingers, the Kormacvar launched the bullets away at the clone of Zaarkhun he had watched through this whole time; such was the strength of his fingers that launching them like this was perhaps even more effective than actual weapons firing them. All illusions vanished at once, and the form of Zaarkhun that Arkarixus had thrown the bullets at began to fall to the ground, coughing up blood, as the bullets pierced the shield and one created a hole near his heart.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Heh... you're pretty good...
- Arkarixus - A shame you were never here to begin with.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Maybe so...
The illusion technology then disappated, revealing that the form of Zaarkhun that had been damaged was in fact another clone body. Around them, everything appeared to return to normal, and they saw that Genrai Nal and Sollow had vanished also. Like Zaarkhun had hinted, they had been long gone. The Warmaster walked over to the others, helping them get back up as they looked around.
- Xerkea - Damnit, so this was all a waste of time?! He wasn't even here?
- Arkarixus - No, it was a bluff from the beginning.
- Olcinius - Ugh. I hate these cowardly bandits.
- Arkarixus - We will have time to worry about such matters later. The attack may have failed, but he has given me much to ponder... He has given me the weapon I seek to end him.
- Xerkea - And what weapon is that?
- Arkarixus - You shall see.
- Xerkea - Hmm... Meanwhile, we've got bad news. It looks like the Ottzelloans ran into Volim. And he took them captive.
- Trastius - That is most problematic.
- Arkarixus - For now, we retreat. The Ottzelloans will be freed as soon as I devise my... new stratagem.
Marching to the Capital
Volim returned to the Iron Fist in high spirits. Though he'd have much preferred to have captured his longer-term rivals in the form of the Zoles and the Niaka, he was nonetheless happy to have taken hostage a member of the Polar Crystal Alliance he so reviled. The Ottzelloans were a pest, and taking their leaders alive brought him great joy.
As he entered the throne room, he found Falrik Zaarkhun in another corner of the room, surrounded by vast terminals and holograms displaying various pieces of footage. On closer inspection, most of the screens showed very similar footage. The footage depicted Arkarixus, Xerkea, Trastius, and Olcinius, in various stages of chaos and defeat. Volim grunted.
- Volim - I thought you were making a deal with a weapons contractor.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I am.
Zaarkhun gestured slightly to his right, and Volim saw a screen depicting a clone of Zaarkhun, remotely operated from the ship, currently meeting with high-ranking officials. He then turned back to the screens, and saw them depicting Arkarixus being mauled by BCN soldiers, screaming for his life, and being thrown around by a crane, barely able to escape. Volim smiled a little, and then the footage cut to Volim with his foot on Arkarixus.
- Volim - I do not recall this event.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Oh, it didn't happen. None of this did. Using doctored footage from my recent run-in with the Polar Crystal Alliance, mixed with footage from their many encounters with Regnatus in which Arkarixus showed much more fear, we will create a new truth to the encounter that took place. By passing it through reliable sources, depending on the area, and spreading it far and wide. Those in the Eastern Arm hail Volim as the man who humiliated the "hero" that defeated Regnatus, and those who had faith in Arkarixus will slowly lose it.
Zaarkhun smiled, completely in his element as he chose between several different pieces of footage, each doctored differently to give different impressions. Most of the times, the illusions he had created in his actual encounter with them were replaced entirely. In some screens, they were replaced with something more mundane, with the goal of mocking Arkarixus; other times, they were replaced with triumphant images of Wranploer stomping on the Polar Crystal Alliance. Zaarkhun knew he could only pick one to go with, or people would trust it a lot less, but the choice between them delighted him. And when he was in a good mood, he loved to talk.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - You know, in preparation for the March of Liberty, I controlled my image very carefully. To present myself as a smooth businessman, a benevolent and selfless entrepreneur who had become the richest man in the galaxy through his charm and wit, and was now promising a brighter future in a lawless galaxy. My propaganda aims were simple: spread the message outrage among their citizens, and spread hope of a brighter future. Now, I aim to control the image of someone else. And I will spread a simple message:
In the past, Volim would have found Zaarkhun grating at these times. Zaarkhun seemed to explain everything in meticulous detail, which at first, Volim mistook as Zaarkhun belittling him, as Zaarkhun assuming he was the only smart man in the room and that Volim was comparatively clueless. This bothered Volim; he recognized Zaarkhun's intellect, but despised being talked down to. However, Volim had come to understand this was not Zaarkhun belittling him at all. Rather, Zaarkhun just thoroughly enjoyed explaining his plan in detail to anyone who would listen. He loved hearing the sound of his own voice. Volim still found it irritating, but for different reasons.
- Volim - What message do you intend to spread with this?
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Fear, Volim. Fear of General Volim Thrava and the Wranploer Legion. For a time, I held my side of the Consortium Network through money. I offered monetary gain or comfort to keep people in line, and mutual benefit. But now, the Borealis Consortium Network operates through fear. I negotiate not as someone offering to enrich their lives, but someone who will save it from an otherwise certain destruction at the hands of General Volim Thrava. A simple message: join Volim and be subjugated, or oppose him and be crushed.
- Volim - Hmpf. My image does not need to be "controlled". The galaxy already knows and fears me as the mightiest of all generals, the pinnacle of Wranploerkind. Ask any Zoles alive: that is the only "image" I need.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Ah, but image control in these times is crucial. If you do not control your own image, your opponent will. If we do not create the image of Volim Thrava as a man to be feared, the Zoles will create an image of Volim Thrava as a man to be mocked. The object here is simple: boost the morale of the Wranploer, and crush the morale of the Zoles.
Volim grunted. He felt what Zaarkhun was doing was unnecessary, but leaving him to his own devices was preferable to arguing it. Zaarkhun was nothing if not efficient; even if Volim found this a waste of time, he knew that Zaarkhun was helping in other ways.
- Volim - I will do that by taking their planets.
As Volim turned to sit on the throne, Zaarkhun spoke out while in the middle of his work. He didn't lose any concentration on his work doctoring footage, he just allocated a portion of his brainpower to a different matter.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - With my agents shifting focus away from assassinations, and towards raids of key targets, I am allocating resources a little differently. I will send Genrai Nal to support Torret and the ground troops.
Genrai Nal then uncloaked as he appeared in front of Volim.
- Genrai Nal - My blade will cut your foes to shreds.
- Volim - Then be ready for the battles ahead. My forces are approaching Zoleia. The final stretch before the Imperium is crushed. The galaxy will follow.
Volim left off to battle, as Genrai Nal remained behind.
- Genrai Nal - The Zoles will make their final stand at Zoleia, and then the rest of the Alliance will likely surrender. Our forces continue to overwhelm and disrupt their fleets. Nonetheless, we should be prepared for what happens next. Though the Unified Nation's key Leaders are gone, the rest are still a threat. Defeating Arkarixus appears impossible, and the remaining members should not be underestimated.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - If the Polar Crystal Alliance find our forces insurmountable, there will be nothing they can do. Their forces will give up hope, rather than rally behind a lost cause. Zoleia will truly be the endgame for this war, and there are not many worlds left to go through.
- Genrai Nal - And after Volim is emperor, your plan is to undermine him?
- Falrik Zaarkhun - It is very likely I do not retain my leadership role under his command. The question is if he uses me to defeat Zargoth, or dismisses me before that. In either case, we hide underground, and seek to dismantle the empire he builds over time. Then we bring a utopian galaxy of freedom. Freedom from government, and with the help of the technology we took from Regnatus, freedom from gods.
As he spoke, an alert appeared on one of the screens in the back corner. One of his remote clones appeared to be held at gunpoint by a robotic assassin.
- Genrai Nal - It appears your remote clone has encountered another bounty hunter. They seem to wish to take you alive. I will go there, and take them out.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - No, do not fear. Allow me to handle the robot. You join up with Torrent. You've a battle to join.
Genrai nodded. Before he left, he asked one final question:
- Genrai Nal - What will you do with the captive UNO leaders?
- Falrik Zaarkhun - A humiliating end for them, at Volim's permission: feed them to the Loron. The Rogue Boyz will feast on them, and we broadcast it live, to show the galaxy that the war is won.
As Genrai Nal nodded once more and left Zaarkhun looked towards the screen. By controlling a few nanomachines that were present on the clone under attack, Zaarkhun used them to create a small warp pad. He use those same nanomachines to cloak himself from view, and warped in directly behind the robotic bounty hunter.
Zaarkhun blasted the robot in both of its arms, rendering it useless. The clone body, meanwhile, teleported out. The robot simply remained there, emotionless, turning towards the real Zaarkhun. It was still trying to calculate thousands of ways in which to kill him, but could come up with none after Zaarkhun destroyed its two remaining limbs.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Impressive work, machine. You were so close to figuring out my illusion technology, and yet so, so far. I'll have to update my methods. Now tell me, machine. Who do you work for?
The robot remained silent, until it reached its conclusion.
- Bounty hunter - I cannot be captured. Per my programming, I must self-destruct.
The robot then detonated itself, and Zaarkhun smirked. The assassins had gotten better, it seems, and he would have to redouble his efforts once again. Zaarkhun left behind an illusion in his place, to make any other onlookers believe Zaarkhun had never left the planet, while he himself teleported back to the Iron Fist to maintain control of his illusions.
Zaarkhun's plan was working, and in his mind, there was now no way he could fail.
Fire with Fire
Held deep within the Iron Fist, the Unified Nation of Ottzello Leaders were each given a cell. Much like the cells Falrik Zaarkhun and Genrai Nal had been kept in, the cells seemed entirely impenetrable, with no feasible way out through any technology they had developed. Chronoscopic energy also would not help them here. The Leaders were barely fed, being stuck in cages apart from one another, and were kept in pitch black most of the time. They could not even see the rest of their cell, but could tell it had the stench of corpses, as if several of the past prisoners had just been left to rot and decompose here. No, they thought, it was not that simple: the stench was here to remind them of their impending death every second they were there.
A faint light did appear, however, from a flame surrounding Durzhan, who warped in to speak to the Leaders once again.
- Durzhan - You know what will happen next. UNOC are already awaiting their fate as we speak, as they are to be fed to the Loron. You will follow shortly. Unless, that is, you surrender now, and we face the gods together.
- Zr'Ahgloth - only loron who shuld be fed heer is me
- Tuolog - No. You know that not happening.
- Durzhan - Then it shall be your funeral in under a day. Why cling to a false hope that serving Volzara will reward you a happier life? I served a god for millions of years. I was left with broken promises.
- Tuolog - You served a dark god, who cares only for efficiency. A god with no emotions. Volzara not like Zargoth.
Durzhan spat in front of Tuolog aggressively. His saliva burned on the floor, as if melting part of the metal.
- Durzhan - Foolish. Thinking that your god is the benevolent one, and mine is the liar. I was told for millions of years that the reverse is true. Trusting gods is a fool's errand.
- Zr'Ahgloth - man wat da hell. eva herd of toofbrush? ya need one
- Yogtam - That's incredibly hypocritical of you, Zr'Ahgloth.
- Zr'Ahgloth - im not wrong tho
- Tuolog - You cannot truly believe they the same. Zargoth colludes with those who wish to end the universe, like the Xi'Arazulha and the Corruptus. Surely you not believe Volzara is at same level.
- Durzhan - Oh, Zargoth does not wish to end this universe. Not now, anyway. In fact, he needs it intact. So does Volzara.
- Tuolog - She does because she protects it from darkness. From Zargoth's darkness.
- Durzhan - Just how much do you know about Zargoth's plan, exactly?
- Tuolog - Perhaps not as much as you. But knowing Zargoth, I doubt you know it all as well.
- Durzhan - I don't know all the details, no. But what Zargoth wants is not "darkness". No, he and Volzara need this galaxy in order to complete their true Perfect Fate. He needs not only your souls, but the souls of all Ottzelloans, and that which is contained in the Grid.
- Zr'Ahgloth - is dat whai zargoths lettin his goons rek da place den??? lettin da deemuns ovarun da place???
- Durzhan - Yes, the time anomalies are not intended to destroy the galaxy. They need souls, one way or another. If they have to kill you for them, then better you die to their anomalies, where you souls can be extracted, than to the Grox, or now, to Zaarkhun.
- Zr'Ahgloth - man wat a load of nonsense. WULD BE EASIA IF HE JUS ASKED
- Yogtam - He did, idiot. Remember? We told him off.
- Zr'Ahgloth - ... ooooh yeh. huh
- Durzhan - Of course, there is one man who is capable of ruining their plan entirely. One who can simply deny Zargoth of his souls at the mere whisper of a few words...
- Tuolog - Let me guess. Zaarkhun.
- Zr'Ahgloth - DATS RUBBISH MAN WAT CAN DAT IDIOT DO? HE DOSNT EVEN WEAR ANY PANTS
- Durzhan - Zaarkhun has been inside Zargoth's mind before. He has the "Time Secrets". Codes that, if uttered, could prevent the fifth dimension from working entirely, causing it to destabilize in this universe, and then, destroy it. Zargoth, Volozara, Kolossus, and Antagonar, they cannot act until Zaarkhun is safely eliminated with no threat of him pulling the lever to destroy this universe. Zaarkhun does not want it destroyed, obviously; he wants to create a utopia here. But if there is a threat that gods will still rule this universe, then he will bite the bullet and bring the universe down with him. As long as Zaarkhun is alive, they will never destroy this universe.
- Zr'Ahgloth - man if i die heer to yoo muppets den i hope da corruptus coms bak and eets ya. try usin ya stoopid time gossips on dem
- Durzhan - If the Loron eat you, then your souls will be denied from the gods. Of course, if you quit this foolishness and fight the gods with us, then they'll be denied too. I leave the choice to you. Either way, my aims here are achieved.
Durzhan vanished, and the light flickered away entirely.
The doctored footage created by Falrik Zaarkhun was shared all around the Borealis Galaxy. All of the Wranploer had naturally lapped it up, cheering the videos of Arkarixus being stomped on by their general. In the Western Arm, the reaction was much less positive, but a lot more skeptical. No one wanted to believe that Arkarixus had lost a fight in such a spectacular fashion, and most didn't even when it came from their most trusted news sources. But in the back of their minds, the idea was planted: what if Arkarixus had been crushed in a fight against Volim? What if the footage was real, and their best hope against the Wranploer was not up to the task? It was not something most were prepared to believe. Either way, Zaarkhun had achieved his aim: he had created confusion and panic.
The Polar Crystal Alliance called a meeting to discuss their next plan. Arkarixus had developed his strategy as to how to deal with the Consortium Network, and was clearly unimpressed by the fake news that were spreading; in fact, Sergeant Trastius, who stood by his side, could almost see a smirk growing in the Kormacvar's expression. The few remaining members of the Unified Nation of Ottzello Leaders joined the meeting in desperation. The Kralgon Emperor's usual rage was replaced with fear.
- Kralgon Emperor - This is it? We survived Regnatus, we survived the Vague, we survived the Xi'Arazulha, and now we are defeated by a crooked businessman and his wannabe dictator lackey?
- Arkarixus - This is but a stepping stone. The turning point of this debacle the Consortium Network calls a 'war'. I do not deign it worthy of being called one myself.
- Kralgon Emperor - With all due respect, Kormacvar... We've lost over half of our planetary governors, not to mention over a third of our planets. Our fleet is utterly unprepared for the Borealis Consortium Network, and I'm down almost all of the other Leaders. What part of this "debacle" does not deign it worthy of being called a "war", just because you have no personal stake in it?
- Arkarixus - I understand your worry, Kralgon, but as I said, this is a turning point. For I have developed the weapon that will end this.
- Kralogn Emperor - ... "Weapon". Hmmm. You have my curiousity.
- Xeron - Yeah, I'm curious as well. I heard you've been in talks with the Chief Major, something about gathering an army of agents. But she refused to elaborate on the matter.
- Arkarixus - The wannabe god and his pet Wranploer believe they hold the stakes of Borealis. However, when he made the mistake of taunting me, it gave me ample opportunity to study his mind and his mannerisms. I now know how to defeat him, and it will not cost us a single piece of ammunition.
The Kralgon Emperor and Feldosia both looked sternly at Arkarixus in intrigue, while Commander-King Thylaxiz internally performed thousands of calculations as to just what this weapon could possibly be. Arkarixus flicked his finger, causing a hologram of the galaxy to appear before them as he leaned forward.
- Arkarixus - We fight fire with fire. As we speak, I am launching a large-scale campaign of misinformation across the Eastern Arm.
- Feldosia - Hmm... The same propaganda techniques as Falrik Zaarkhun himself?
- Arkarixus - Yes. As he makes false news about me, I make ten times more false news about him and his associates. The Niaka, having a faction under the Wranploer's cohorts, make for capable spies.
- Xeron - Ooh, so THAT's why. You wanted infiltrators! Nobody can tell a Niaka from the Special Forces from one of the Old Order just from glance alone.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - The prospect sounds intriguing. However, to overcome Zaarkhun's technique is not a trivial task. Zaarkhun has mastered the art of deception.
- Arkarixus - I do not aim to attack Zaarkhun directly. Rather, I will sow discord across the lower castes of his Consortium, as well as his allies. I will make them question whether following him is truly a good idea. As it happens, the Wranploer themselves are no fans of him to begin with.
- Kralgon Emperor - Hmm... That could work. Zaarkhun's people are kept in line either by stuffing their mouths with gold, or by threatening them if they do not play along. Such a partnership must be shaky. And certainly does not compare to the bond of the Alliance.
- Arkarixus - Soon, they will question themselves. "What if this outsider is just using us"? "Is he truly all he says, when he was not even the one who saved us from Regnatus"? "What will the Wranploer tyrant do to us when this is all over"? "Why should he lead, when it could be me"?
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Such schools of thought exist within the Borealis Consortium Network to an extent, but are underground. Bringing them to the forefront would make them more likely to become disobedient. Zaarkhun's strategy currently relies on uniting the Eastern Arm under Volim's rule. Without this unity, he will struggle.
- Arkarixus - His allies are all mercenaries. They hold no true loyalty to him or his goals, and will give up or act on their own will if his orders are not what they want to hear. And with that, I will slowly dismantle what he has build, giving us time to rebuild our fleets and launch an offensive of our own.
The Kormacvar then turned his eyes to the Kralgon Emperor.
- Arkarixus - It will be with this weapon that your Leaders will be returned to you. For I have found them; they are prisoners of the Rogue Boyz, the most easily swayed of Zaarkhun's pawns.
- Olcinius - An impressive display, Warmaster. But are you sure this information is accurate?
- Arkarixus - Yes. I have gathered it through agents who have persuaded a CEO of one of Zaarkhun's precious "private military companies". The Leaders and Commandos both are to be executed by being devoured by the Loron in a public display. They hope it will further decrease morale.
- Feldosia - I'd be inclined to question that, but it seems extremely logical that that's the case. And I don't really know how loyal his CEOs are to him anyway. Private military companies probably want to stay in business, which Volim won't exactly be inclined to allow.
- Arkarixus - They are not. These space pirates are loyal only to the credits they receive from taking jobs. Enough incentive will make them sing every time.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - If this is the case, we should free them at once.
- Vekaron - I must say, sir. I never took you for a persuader, especially not one who uses such... underhanded tactics.
- Arkarixus - We Warmasters were never created to fight fair. You need but to ask Regnatus.
In a space station out in the Eastern Arm, the UNOC members were each held in chains in the middle of a huge arena. This space station was normally used for broadcasting illegal gladiatorial combat, and the Rogue Boyz had agreed to use it as the site where the Commandos would be executed. Each of the Rogue Boyz Warbosses stood in the middle of a roaring Loron crowd, beating their chests as horns blazed while the Warbosses awaited their meal. The Commandos looked humiliated as they were held by wires and gravity wells that kept them stuck floating in the air, unable to move or break free.
- Thr'aloy - This is a problem. man wat rubbish
- Vailisa - The Fist... sad. Just, sad.
- Vaktyl - End of the line, boys. It's been an honor serving y'all.
- Kalcedia - Well, I'm usually fine with bondage, but not like this.
- Lupercal - Why do I even hang out with you people? I should've stayed with the Order. Wouldn't have to worry about getting eaten by Loron, or having spider legs attached to my lower half.
At this moment, however, the doors to the arena burst open as Arkarixus made his way in, followed by the other warriors of the Polar Crystal Alliance. The audience went into an outrage, booing them and throwing rotten tomatoes as they walked in uninvited. The Kormacvar opened his arms and spoke out in a booming voice which easily covered the whole arena.
- Arkarixus - Are you comfortable this evening, vermin? Are you ready to watch your champions broken beneath the feet of the Polar Crystal Alliance?
- Ray'loth - OH MA DAYZ ITS DA COLD ONE LOSA WIV HIS JRPG BOSS LINES
- Kal'kuir - OI DIS IS A PRIVATE EVENT. YOO GOODY-TWO SHOOS IS NOT ALLOWED
- Brag'klogga - NUFFIN IN DA HOLY BOOKS SAYS ANYFIN ABOUT YOO CRASHIN DIS EVENT
- Zalk'don - YO MAN YOO LOT IS WIMPS. ZAARKHUN TOLD US SO. SO WE CAN TOTALLY SMASH YAS TOO
- Knar'gank - pssssssst why ar we all shoutin wen we culd be fitin
- Naktor'zak - MAN I JUS LIKE SHOUTIN OK. I LIKE LOUD NOISES. ANYWAY YEH LETS FITE DEN WE EET ALL OF DEM
Naktor'zak quickly swung his tank around, screaming in delight as he put all thrusters forward to charge towards Arkarixus, while firing from the tank's cannon. The Kormacvar, however, merely side-stepped the shot and thrust an arm forward, grabbing the tank by its barrel before efforlessly swinging it over his head, throwing it towards the crowd, who panicked as it crashed into them.
- Ray'loth - WTF HES LEVEL 99???? WHY DID NON OF YOO LOSAS GET ULTIMA WEPON
- Drizz'pyrokirk - man yor strength level is trash. ya need buffs. like PROTEIN SHAKES
- Brag'klogga - DA HOLY BOOKS NEVA MENSHONED GETTIN STOMPED BY ARK. tho in fact non of wats goin on was eva menshoned in da holy books. WERENT DERE SUPPOSED TA BE A YUNGA VOLIM FROM DA PAST?????
- Zalk'don - man dat sounds horribul. one volim is annoyin enuff
- Brag'klogga - if im bein honest no one relly liked dat part of da book. most peepz felt like it was filla. an oh yeh dey even made da antagonist invincibul becuz nuffin culd hit him
- Kal'kuir - reely? sounds sik tbh. i shuld make a tekk dat does dat
- Ray'loth - OI CUT DA FITIN AN GO SHANK DA COLD ONE BOSS
Voa'reak roared and flew ahead, though he was met with expert gunfire from Trastius and Vyutrin, who easily shot him down and caused him to crash into the ground. Drizz'pyrokirk attempted going at them with his Freezflamas, but Vekaron and Olcinius would work together to cut at him and force hom to his knees. Meanwhile, Arkarixus simply swung a hand back, hitting an invisible Knar'gank and causing him to fly against a distant wall.
- Thr'aloy - Impressive. yooo look at dem go
- Vaktyl - That's what I'm talkin' about, baby!
- Dalverat - Hah! I hope this is being broadcasted to the whole arm; they get to watch you Loron imbeciles being humiliated live!
- Ray'loth - I WAS SUPPOSED TA BE EETIN YOO FER BREKFAST
- Drizz'pyrokirk - oh ma dayz YOOV NOT HAD BREKFAST YET???? DATS DA MOST IMPORTANT MEEL OF DA DAY YA IDIOT I SWER WEN DESE GEEZAS GET OFF ME IMMA MAKE YA RUN 55 LAPS
- Olcinius - I don't think you'll be walking for a while, buddy.
- Drizz'pyrokirk - NOOOOOOOOO BUT DATS GONNA RUIN MA FITNESS ROUTINE
Kal'kuir charged at Xeron, taking out a large weapon from his back and aiming at him, though before it fired, it simply exploded on his face, allowing the Niaka to simply punch him to the ground with his mech-suit. Brag'klogga, meanwhile, flew over Arkarixus and begun chanting, though the Kormacvar did not allow him; he jumped up, grabbing the shaman by the throat before forcibly throwing him upwards, and Brag'klogga screamed as he disappeared in the sky above them.
- Ray'loth - can at leest ONE OF YA put up a fite
- Kal'kuir - man dis is quite da poor timin for ma gun to not akshully work
- Thr'aloy - Victory is assured. HAHAHAHA BRAGKLOGGA GOT YEETED
- Dalverat - Indeed, the sight brings me great pleasure!
- Ray'loth - OK DATS IT. YOOV ALL PISSED ME OFF. IM GONNA SHOW YA MA SECRET TECHNIQUE
Ray'loth cracked his knuckles and rolled his head, as he stood in front of Arkarixus, putting up a fighting stance. He narrowed his eyes, as he then rolled his arm, before standing up tall and moving his arms to a kung-fu pose. The allies simply looked at him confusingly, as he struck several poses, and performing chopping arms with his hands hitting the air. Arkarixus simply walked over to him in the middle of his display, and slapped him to the ground, where he hit it with a thud and fell several feet away.
- Ray'loth - dat hurt my pride... an my hed
- Arkarixus - No one gets devoured today. The Alliance spits on you all.
Using his telekinesis, Arkarixus broke the bounds keeping UNOC trapped, allowing them to break free and fall to the ground.
- Thr'aloy - Mission accomplished. MAN DAT WAS SIK FANKS FER DA SAVE
- Dalverat - Indeed, you arrived just in time. I wasn't quite eager to be Loron food.
- Kalcedia - Well, now, it seems we have our own knight in shining armor! And I couldn't simply let this go without offering a... reward...
- Arkarixus - ... Keep your distance, harlot.
- Dalverat - Not now, Kalcedia. Anyway, not all is well. The Leaders are not with us.
- Vekaron - That's unfortunate. I'd imagine they're with the "Leedas", then.
- Kalcedia - Hmm, I'm not so sure. They just said the Commandos would be devoured separately. We don't know where the Leaders are.
- Xeron - Damnit. Guess we're not quite done then.
- Arkarixus - No. But I know how to find them.
- Thr'aloy - How? how
- Arkarixus - The same way as I found you. Misinformation. We will trick the Loron leaders into giving us the information.
- Vaktyl - Hmm, y'know, good thinking, because I noticed the cameras switched off as soon as you arrived. In fact, I don't think any of this was broadcast.
- Kalcedia - Yes. When Zaarkhun spoke to Genrai after we were taken here, he said something along the lines of "no matter what, the galaxy will see Loron triumphant and UNOC fallen". I think he intended to doctor footage of this fight to show the Loron winning regardless. So maybe that's what the Leedas would've seen.
- Zelfron III - He will soon see that that was unwise.
- Arkarixus - Hm. I have a plan, though it is... unpleasant. I will require you all to impersonate the Loron.
Many of the Commandos threw up in their mouths, while the others turned away disgusted.
- Thr'aloy - Unacceptable. AR YOO FREEKIN KIDDIN ME
- Arkarixus - If the Leaders are told the Warbosses succeeded, they will be embolded; they can be persuaded to act against Zaarkhun's orders. We can convince them to expose themselves.
- Kalcedia - I don't have a problem with that part. I'm good at making disguises. I can get disguises for all of us. But... Do we really want to act like those Warbosses? I feel like I'd throw up.
- Arkarixus - It is not a matter of "want". Simply do so. If we are quick, we can be done with it.
- Kalecida - Well, you are my knight in shining armor after all, and I did just offer you a reward, so... I guess?
- Lupercal - Ah yes, just what I needed. First, freaky spider legs. Then, get eaten by Loron. Now, speak like Loron.
- Olcinius - Look, I don't wanna say anything but... You, the Loron with gold skin, you got the exact same voice as their leader. You could pass as him very easily.
- Ray'loth - Outrageous. AR YA SAYIN DAT I SOUND LIKE RAYLOTH?????
- Vekaron - Well... You do.
- Ray'loth - I challenge you to a duel. DO YOO WANNA FITE ME BRUH
- Arkarixus - Silence. Get in position.
Ray'loth turned to his Commandos, and sighed. By making use of some illusory technology similar to that used by Falrik Zaarkhun - except for Kalcedia, who could simply shapeshift her body altogether - each of them disguised into a different leader. Thr'aloy took the form of Ray'loth, Dalverat took the form of Brag'klogga, Darwishi took the form of Voa'reak, Kalcedia took the form of Knar'gank, Vaktyl took the form of Kal'kuir, Lupercal took the form of Zalk'don, Zelfron III took the form of Drizz'pyrokirk, and Vailisa took the form of Naktor'zak's tank. The other warriors of the Polar Crystal Alliance reacted with mixes of disgust and attempting to hold back laugther, while Arkarixus made preparations for a transmission.
- Thr'aloy - Stop mocking us. DONT MAKE DIS HARDA DAN IT HAS TA BE
- Dalverat - This... is humiliating beyond words.
- Kalcedia - Does this Loron form make my ass look fat?
- Vaktyl - Trust me, sister: there's more things looking fat than your ass right now...
- Darwishi - Well, I can't say I like this jetpack. Not half as comfy as my own!
- Zelfron III - I will endure this as much as I can. Which is less than I think...
- Kalcedia - Well boys, we've got the suit, so let's get into character. I'll start. YO... errr... FAM... WE IS DA ROGUE BOYZ... AN I IS DA SNEEKY ONE... I LIKE SNEEKIN... ITS FUN...
- Vailisa - Uh... Da Fist????? is tank?????
- Dalverat - Something something holy books something something ZR'AN'KAR BEST GOD something something FOURTH WALL BREAKING
- Darwishi - I like flying. Hey, this is easier than I thought!
- Kalcedia - That sucked, you gotta work on your accent! Uh, I mean, DAT ACCENT WASNT... SNEEKY ENUFF??????
- Thr'aloy - I'm having a heart attack. PLEEZ AFTA DIS IS OVA NEVA TALK LORON AGEN
- Kalcedia - Hey, Thr'aloy, that was pretty good! Your Ray'loth impression is on point!
- Thr'aloy - I will destroy you. SHUT UP FATASS I SWER
- Zelfron III - Do I talk about protein shakes or do I talk about freezing things?
- Dalverat - Both. Just, be as obnoxious as you can.
- Zelfron III - ... Da code... says... dat I freeze fings... wiv ma proteen shake...
- Vaktyl - Yooooo. Shooty shooty. shoot... Like that, right?
- Kalcedia - Close enough, just talk about your calculations at some point.
In the distance, Xeron leaned over to Vekaron.
- Xeron - Don't tell anyone but...
- Vekaron - ... You're recording this, aren't you?
- Xeron - Let's just say that, yes, maybe this mech-suit has a built-in camera.
- Lupercal - No amount of showering will ever make me feel clean again after this. i stink foreva ma dood
As the fake Loron practiced their accents more, eventually, Kalcedia called out to them in a loud Loronish roar.
- Kalcedia - EVRYUN SHUT UUUUUUUUUUUUP!!!! Hey, that was pretty good! Okay, rehearsals are over, so Arkarixus, what do we do next?
- Arkarixus - Convince the Rogue Leaders that they do not need to listen to Falrik Zaarkhun's orders. Tell them the Alliance is weak and that they can win on their own.
- Kalcedia - I got it! Put us in contact with them!
- Vaktyl - Yeah! Patch us in-- wait, you mean, right now?
- Arkarixus - Yes. Now.
Thr'aloy gulped, and in his Ray'loth form, activated a hologram in front of him, that put Fre'kloar and the Rogue Leedas on the line.
- Thr'aloy - Ugh, let's get this over with. SUP FREKLOAR DID YA SEE DAT WE REKT DEM
- Fre'kloar - YO RAYLOTH. WE SAW IT ON TV IT WAS SIK. DA ALLIANCE DUMBOS SHOWED UP BUT DEN YOO SMASHED DEN AND ATE DEM AND DEN ATE UNOC. NICE
- Kalcedia - uhhh... YES!.. dat is TOTALLY wat happened!!... yeh so uh.... we smashed UNOC... deyz ded... LOL?
- Hagto'Zhl - uh yoo ok dere knargank? ya sound like ya got a stomach ache
- Kalcedia - uhh.. uhh... EVRYFINS FINE... ITS JUST DAT... KALCEDIA HAD SOMFIN WEIRD TA EET BEFOR BATTL... AN I FINK I GOT DA... FLU
- Jol'kiar - man bak in ma day we was neva sik from eetin. yoo younguns is too WEAK
- Vailisa - Da Fist smashed everyone and ran them over.. ???????
- Zelfron III - com endors ma proteen shake... run 20 laps... uhhhhhhhh run 40 laps
- Grak'tona - i see ma loyal bodyguard is still takin gud care of his muscles. dats whai hes da best one out of all yall
- Darwishi - yoooooo did ya see da time wen i uh... flew around da arena... an dropped bomz... on a tourist
- Fre'kloar - I TOTALLY CAUGHT DAT. DAT WAS SIK AN MADE ME PROUD. TOURISTS AR DA WORST GEEZ
- Lupercal - IDIOT DATS MA JOB. I DROP BOMZ. YA MOMS DUM. Don't ask me how I'm fluent in this tongue.
- Hagto'Zhl - anyway yoo lot did sik. time ta com bak to da krooza so we can hav a pizza party befor zaarkhun tells us wat da do next
- Kalcedia - WAIT WAIT WAIT NO HOLD ON... uhhh... HOLD DAT ORDA
- Fre'kloar - eh??? wat nao?
- Rel'larutina - Yeah, Knar'gank, "what now?"
The Commandos then turned to one another and huddled around for a bit.
- Kalcedia - Damn, I forgot about her! What should we do?
- Dalverat - It's too risky to try and fool her. We should have Thr'aloy take over, since he's a Loron to begin with.
- Lupercal - You're right. It's far too risky to try and convince her. Welp, guess the plan is ruined, time to deactivate my suit.
- Thr'aloy - No. DO YA NOT TRUST ME??? I CAN HANDLE DIS
- Vaktyl - I believe in ya, "Ray'loth".
The Commandos then turned back to the Leedas, who were getting confused over what was going on. Thr'aloy walked forward in front of the others, and then spoke.
- Thr'aloy - Meow. SEE DA FING IS, I DONT FINK WE SHULD JUS WAIT. LIKE, WE CAN JUS GO SHANK UNO NAO MAN
- Fre'kloar - eh? wat ya meen?
- Thr'aloy - Meow. LOOK MAN WE DONT NEED TA LISSEN TA ANYON. WES DA ROGUE BOYZ INNIT? WES BADASS WE CAN JUS GO SMASH DEM
- Rel'larutina - Riiiight. We can. So, let's regroup on the Krooza and eat their heads off tomorrow, like we planned with Zaarkhun, yes?
- Thr'aloy - Meow. NAH MAN FORGET DAT. WE DONT NEED HIM HES DUM
- Hagto'Zhl - uh ray whai ar yoo... meowin???
- Thr'aloy - Meow. i ate a cat
The Leedas looked at each other and scoffed. Rel'larutina turned to Thr'aloy accusingly.
- Rel'larutina - Right, right, you ate a cat, sure. Yeah, kiddo, there's no way even these idiots will belie--
- Fre'kloar - HOW DID DA CAT TASTE???? IVE ALWAYS WANTED TA TRY ONE
- Rel'larutina - Excuse me while I eject myself out the airlock and question every life choice I ever made.
- Thr'aloy - Meow. bit too furry. ya gotta take da fur off first. anyway so i was finkin, we jus go ova to da zoles homeworld and smash it. den we become even betta dan zaarkhun
- Fre'kloar - hmmm it sounds good but im skeptical. like zaarkhuns kinda dum an hes all arrogant an up himself but he normally knows wat hes talkin about
- Thr'aloy - Meow. yeh also did ya see da news today??? dey was tellin of hao he PEED himself when he was at school. also apparently volim HATES PIZZA
- Hagto'Zhl - woah man i dunno which of dose statements make me angria
- Grak'tona - da king agrees dat dis is an outrage to da throne but howeva zaarkhuns plans ar still decent. wats ya suggestin about da zoles homeworld anyway?? wait a minut WHY AM I TAKIN ORDAS FRUM A LOWLY PESANT LIKE YASELF
- Thr'aloy - Arf. see man whai is ya takin ordas from zaarkhun? yor totally betta dan him
- Hagto'Zhl - man dats a weird cat ya swallowed
- Thr'aloy' - Chirp. tell me bout it
- Jol'kiar - im convinced. bak in my dayz we didnt let anyon take da spotlight frum da loronz. DISLL BE LIKE DA OLD DAYZ. WE GO CLAIM DA PRIZE FER OURSELVES AN SHOW DA GALAXY WHOS BOSS
- Fre'kloar - YEH MAN WHO NEEDS ZAARKHUN AND HIS DUM BOYFRIEND WES DA BEST EVA WE CAN RULE DA GALACSI OURSELVES
- Grak'tona - DA KING VETOS DIS BECUZ I DIDNT GET DA ORDA
- Kalcedia - Ugggh!!! YO GRAK YANNO DAT DA ZOLES HAV AN IMPOSTA KING TOO RITE
- Grak'tona - RELLY???????? OH MA DAYZ DEN IM GONNA GO DERE PERSONALLY AN EET HIS HED OFF
- Fre'kloar - OK YOO LOT GET A CAB OR SOMFIN AND MEET US AT DA ZOLES PLANET. WES HEADIN OFF
- Rel'larutina - I'm gonna go ahead and use my veto because this is obviously a trap and I can't believe you people.
- Thr'aloy - Meow. gud fing yor a STOOPID CHIK and NOBODY CARES
- Fre'kloar - YEH I OVARRIDE HER VETO. LETS GO
- Rel'larutina - You people are hopeless. I'm telling Zaarkhun about this.
- Grak'tona - AR YOO BETRAYIN DA CROWN????? AR YOO COMMITTIN TREESUN???? DA KING ORDAS DAT DA CHIK GO INTO DA ROYAL DUNGEON FER DA WORST CRIMINALS WHER SHE PREPAR FER EXECUSHON TOMORROW
- Rel'larutina - Are you freaking kidding me?
- Hagto'Zhl - idunno bout any of dat but I WANNA KILL ZOLES MAN. RELLARUTINA GOES STRAIGHT TO DA BRIG IF SHE REFUSES. LETS GET REDI
- Rel'larutina - What?! I'm a Leeda, you knuckl- hey! Unhand me! Get your oversized blue hands off my makeup, jackass! Uggggh!
With that, the transmission was closed. Arkarixus nodded in acknowledgement, while the other members of the Polar Crystal Alliance were in stitches over the distance.
- Kalcedia - I gotta say, I feel for that Norol right now. I'd hate it if it was me.
- Vaktyl - Yeah, the rest of your people just abandoning you and treating you like you don't matter because you're a woman?
- Kalcedia - Nah, I mean getting my make-up ruined by some fat idiot.
- Vaktyl - Oh, right, yeah that'd suck too I guess.
- Thr'aloy - I want to die. NEVA AGEN YA HEER ME??? NEVA AGEN!!!!!!!!!
- Darwishi - Man, that was uncomfortable! But we all did a great job! Proud of y'all!
- Vailisa - The Fist is a good tank!
- Lupercal - If you ever make me do something like that again, I resign from life.
- Arkarixus - You have performed adequately. Now, gather the Warbosses; they shall serve as our hostages now.
- Thr'aloy - I look forward to that. YO LETS TIE DEM UP LIKE DEY TIED US UP
At this moment, they heard the sound of screaming as Brag'klogga came crashing down, hitting the ground and forming a crater.
- Brag'klogga - owwwwwww. nao i kno hao a shootin star feels. IT SUKS
- Thr'aloy - Oh dear. YO SUP BRAG WES GONNA KNOK YOO OUT
- Brag'klogga - MAN SCROO YOO. IMMA DO DAT ON MA OWN
Brag'klogga then flopped over and went unconscious. Whether it was from the impact or purely out of spite was up to question. As the Warbosses were gathered and the Alliance made their way out, Arkarixus had a smirk in his face; this was almost too fun for him.
The Line Between Bravery and Stupidity
The Rogue Leedas heard the message loud and clear, and prepared their fleet straight towards Zoleia. They'd entirely forgotten that the rest of UNOL were still up for execution within the hour, now filled with excitement for the prospect of conquering the galaxy themselves. A fleet of bloodthirsty and triumphant Loron led by Fre'kloar himself set a course for the Cold Relay by Zoleia, with half the entire Rogue Boyz navy ready for the attack. The Propa Big Rogue Krooza, as it arrived, encountered fierce resistance from the orbital defenses of the planet, but they were at least able to get the Rogue Krooza through the atmosphere.
Just before they landed on the surface, the Leedas received a transmission.
- Da Propa Big Rogue Geek - Incoming transmission. I suspect you will want to ignore it, but you shouldn't.
- Fre'kloar - WHAI??? IS IT DA ZOLES ASKIN FER MERCY? BET DEYZ SUPA SCARED
- Rogue Geek - No, actually. If it was, I would have rejected it.
A hologram of a furious Falrik Zaarkhun appeared. It was very much unlike Zaarkhun to become flustered or lose his cool, and this was the first time any of the Rogue Boyz had actually seen him angry.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - What is the meaning of this?! You were scheduled to be here an hour ago to execute UNOL, and now I get reports of your fleet entering the Zoleia atmosphere?!
- Hagto'Zhl - yoooo if it isnt da LOSA
- Fre'kloar - MAN WE THOUGT HARD FER A MOMENT AND WE CONCLUDED WES WAY TOO COOL TA HANG OUT WIV YA
- Grak'tona - YOR A PESANT UNWORTHY OF DA KING. I WILL RECLAIM MA RITEFUL THRONE
- Jol'kiar - YEH. BAK IN MA DAYZ DA LORONZ TOOK ORDAS FROM NO ONE
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Foolish! You'll be wiped out in minutes! Get back here at once or I won't send a single unit to support you!
- Fre'kloar - WE DONT NEED YA HELP YA MUPPET. WE KNO DA PCA IS DYIN SO WES JUS GONNA CONQUER DA GALACSI OURSELVES AHAHAHAHA
- Grak'tona - DA AGE OF KING GRAK'TONA IS NEERLY UPON US!!!!!!!!
- Hagto'Zhl - WELL no it isnt but DA ROGUE BOYZ IS DA BEST. WES GONNA SOLO DESE ZOLES IDIOTS
- Jol'kiar - HAHAHAHAHAHAHA GET REKT ZAARKHUN GO KISS YA BOYFREND GENRAI
- Falrik Zaarkhun - This is ridiculous! Where's Rel'larutina?!
- Fre'kloar - IN DA BRIG WHER SHE BELONGS
- Jol'kiar - YEH TODAY IS A GOOD DAY. ITS LIKE WE REDISCOVERED DA OLD DAYS. CHIKZ OPPRESSED AN LORONZ LISSENIN TA NO ONE
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Your foolish behavior will net you no gains here. When you lose your entire fleet, I will not be here to help you. From now on, our alliance is finished. If new leadership of the Rogue Boyz wishes to negotiate, then they may. But this partnership is terminated!
- Fre'kloar - MAN WES GONNA ROB YA OF ALL YA BLING ONCE WES DON HEER
Zaarkhun closed the transmission in fury, as each of the Loron laughed.
- Rogue Geek - Approaching the ocean where the ship will most likely crash land because it took significant damage. Well done. At times like this, I almost miss Kal'kuir.
- Fre'kloar - AHAHAHA... WAIT WAT????? WHERS KALKUIR TA PILOT DA SHIP????
- Rogue Geek - You told him and the other Warbosses to arrive here by cab. That does not appear to have happened.
- Jol'kiar - MAN WAT A BUNCH OF IDIOTS DEY SHULDVE CALLED UBER INSTED
- Grak'tona - DA KING DEMANDS WE DO NOT CRASH DA ROYAL VESSEL. DAT WULD BE EMBARRASSIN
- Rogue Geek - Unfortunately, that would not appear to be an option. I can steer it to crash into a Zoles city and deal damage on the way, if you prefer.
- Jol'kiar - DO DAT. EINT GONNA BE SOM LIL CRASH DAT ENDS US
Following their orders, the Rogue Krooza crashed in the middle of a large Zoles settlement, its pristine towers being torn from their foundations by the vessel's impact and subsequent explosion. After leaving through a hole teared in the ship, Fre'kloar and the Leedas charged out with hordes of Loron to await the battle that was to come. Several more Loron vessels were being shot down in the sky, many more of them crash landing to overrun the planet with Loron troops, though they were met with heavy resistance by the planetary defenses; almost as if they were expecting them. The Leedas were met with the sight of a large army of Imperial knights waiting for them, with Grand-Commandant Vekaron at the helm, who pointed his blade at them.
- Vekaron - You've made a big mistake coming here, barbarians.
- Fre'kloar - CRUSH YOR ENEMIES, SEE THEM DRIVEN BEFOR YOO, AN HEER DA LAMENTASHON OF DEIR WOMEN
- Hagto'Zhl - wat
- Fre'kloar - its a schwarznegga quot. YO LETS SHANK DESE GEEZAS
The knights marched onwards, highly disciplined and very well equipped, as they were followed by tanks and other war vehicles. While the Loron were numerous, they were no match for the sheer power of the Zoles Imperium's technology. Loron troops were entirely outgunned, and their mobs could not withstand artillery fire, severely thinning their numbers. Though Loron could take Zoles knights in melee combat, very few Loron could even reach that far when their numbers were so heavily reduced by Zoles fire.
- Grak'tona - WHERS KING REBARIS I WANNA EET HIS HED OFF AN TAKE HIS CROWN
- Vekaron - Stop talking.
- Hagto'Zhl - YO ISNT DA ZOLES SUPPOSED TA BE WEEK AND DYIN???? WHAIS DEY SO TUFF
- Fre'kloar - DEYZ NOT DAT TUFF. DEY JUS CHEET BY HAVIN BIG GUNZ
- Grak'tona - if ma bodyguard drizzy was heer den hed make a joke off of dat
- ??? - He is.
Emerging from the Zoles army was Arkarixus, who levitated slightly off the ground as he brought with him the Warbosses; they were all gagged, blindfolded and visibly scarred, as if they had been subject to some form of torture. The Kormacvar's eyes shined slightly as he looked down at the Leedas.
- Arkarixus - You have fallen for my trap.
- Fre'kloar - OH NO ITS DA COLD ONE WIV DA SCARY JRPG BOSS LINES
- Hagto'Zhl - WAT DA HELL DID YA DO TO DA WARBOSSES?????? I THOUGHT DEY HAD BEATEN YOR STOOPID FACE
- Grak'tona - DA KING WILL NEVA FALL FOR YOR TRIKS. RETURN MA ROYAL BODYGUARDS TO ME OR FACE A PAIN WORS DAN DEFF!!!!!!
- Arkarixus - No. Your intervention in this war ends today. Not one of you will leave this world in one piece.
- Jol'kiar - BRUH I KNO YOO DONT KILL US NOW BECUZ IN A FUTUR STORY YOO AR STILL TRYNA KILL US DEN TUOLOG DOESNT LET YOO LOL
- Arkarixus - Why do you not meet the 'Warbosses' you spoke to, then?
Arkarixus signaled for the Zoles knights to make way, revealing another batch of Warbosses. However, within instants, their appearance changed as they assumed their true form: the members of UNOC.
- Thr'aloy - Engaging the enemy. SUP BITCH
- Fre'kloar - NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
- Hagto'Zhl - WE HAV BEEN BAMBOOZLED!!!!!!
- Vaktyl - Glad I got that suit off of me! Now, let's do this!
- Grak'tona - STOP DEM!!! I WANT MA BODYGUARDS AND MA THRONE AND MA PLANET AND MA EVERYFIN ELSE!!!!
- Kalcedia - Hush it down, will you? Can barely hear myself think with your whining!
- Grak'tona - HAO DARE YA SPEEK TO DA KING IN DIS MANNA???? WATS YOO IDIOT WAITIN FOR??? SMASH DEM
As Grak'tona charged towards Kalcedia in fury, Vailisa picked him up and smacked him on the ground, chuckling. Vaktyl fired his chaingun keeping the rest of the Leedas down while Darwishi flew over dropping bombs. They were surrounded.
- Vailisa - The Fist crush puny Loron bones!
- Hagto'Zhl - MAN DIS IS TRASH. YOO CHEETED
- Kalcedia - I've been cheated on a lot before, you get used to it.
- Dalverat - Now, Loron. Where are our Leaders? Speak!
- Fre'kloar - I REFUSE TA TELL YOO ANYFIN. A TROO LORON GOES DOWN WIV DA SHIP!!!!!
- Arkarixus - Then you die without ceremony.
Using his powers, Arkarixus caused the Leedas to be lifted off the ground as he begun strangling them. Normally, any other creature would find the idea of strangling a Loron incredibly difficult, but to someone as powerful as the Warmaster, they were as ants in comparison. Just before Fre'kloar was being choked out, an explosion came from the wreckage of the Loron ship, and Da Propa Big Rogue Smasha, piloted by Rel'larutina, flew out. As UNOC turned their guns towards it, she opened a hatch in the Smasha, and waved a white flag.
- Rel'larutina - Well, this was about as much of a catastrophe as I thought it'd be. So, as the only conscious Rogue Leeda, I, Rel'larutina, on behalf of Da Rogue Boyz, offer our unconditional surrender and pledge our support in the upcoming battle against Kolossus.
Arkarixus eyed Rel'larutina for a moment, still keeping the Leedas in the air, until they all fell to the ground. Out of them, only Fre'kloar was barely conscious, and he felt as if his neck was almost broken.
- Arkarixus - And you assure these creatures will follow your orders?
- Rel'larutina - Let me put it this way: After they just mutinied me and tossed me in the brig for trying to veto this stupid invasion, I'm not letting them touch me again. This Smasha will shoot their brains out if they try it. So: yes, they'll follow my orders, or they'll get blasted. Oh, and I know how to pilot the Rogue Krooza into a black hole and then teleport out, so that's always an option.
- Darwishi - Dang, I always heard the Loron had a messed up leadership, but that's worse than I thought.
- Rel'larutina - Yeah, well, my therapist says that if you plan for worst-case scenarios then it helps ease the stress a little bit. I'm not sure I believe her yet.
- Vekaron - Hm. It would be better in the short term if we accept her offer. We don't have the resources to go hunting Loron across the galaxy when the Wranploer are amassing their fleet.
- Arkarixus - ... You have a point.
- Dalverat - Wait! We'll accept your surrender, on one condition: tell us where our Leaders are!
- Rel'larutina - Oh, these guys didn't blurt it out yet? Okay, they only did 9/10 of the things I thought they'd do to totally screw everything up after they tossed me in there. UNOL are being held on the Iron Fist. They were supposed to be taken to a different arena in the Eastern Arm, but since these guys didn't show up to their scheduled execution, Zaarkhun will keep them on-board his ship. I reckon he'll try to use them as bait.
- Dalverat - Annoying, but not unexpected. They are too important, so he kept them close to his base of operations.
- Rel'larutina - Another potential problem: Zaarkhun loves his illusions, and he loves doing that for the Iron Fist too. No one knows where the real one is. Wish I could tell you, but he doesn't exactly trust the Loron with top-secret information.
- Arkarixus - ... Truce it is, Norol. The Alliance accepts your surrender.
Arkarixus tossed over the Warbosses, still bound and gagged, over to the feet of the Smasha. Rel'larutina nodded, and breathed a sigh of relief.
- Rel'larutina - As a gesture of my good will, I'll help you look for the real Iron Fist. And by that, I mean, I'll help you look. I'm not letting the Loron touch it. I know we don't have the best reputation as a whole, but Norol aren't unintelligent brutes like our male counterparts.
- Thr'aloy - A correct statement. OI ARE YOO CALLIN ME DUM
- Rel'larutina - I'm not gonna answer that.
- Arkarixus - Order your forces to leave, Norol. And ensure your soldiers do not return here.
- Rel'larutina - Just to be clear: I wish Zaarkhun would've won this war. But we've lost, and I'm not stupid. I'll give the order now.
Rel'larutina then activated her comms link and gave the order to dismiss the forces. The Loron angrily disobeyed at first, but over time accepted it, and all forces eventually withdrew. The Zoles knights cheered in victory as Arkarixus crossed his arms, a smile creeping in his expression; things were going as planned.
Once the representatives of the Polar Crystal Alliance met again, morale had gone up considerably. News quickly spread that Da Rogue Boyz were defeated not just across their territories but also across the Eastern Arm; Falrik Zaarkhun quickly received reports that, as he expected, the Loron were utterly crushed in Zoleia, to the point they were forced into a cease-fire with the Alliance to escape their own destruction. While the Allies had no luck in saving UNOL for the time being, it was a vast improvement. Chief Minor Xeron, however, was furious.
- Xeron - You let the Loron live?!
- Kralgon Emperor - The option for us to exterminate them is still on the table, just so you're aware.
- Arkarixus - It is not worth the time and effort right now. Perhaps once the Consortium is defeated.
- Feldosia - Exactly. Plus, didn't the Norol say she'd help us fight Kolossus and Antagonar afterwards? I'll take all the help I can get against gods, to be honest.
- Vyutrin - I wouldn't be so quick to trust her, she was in cohorts with Zaarkhun until just a day ago.
- Feldosia - She's not an idiot, though. She knows when she's beaten. And in this case, this was the only way for the Rogue Boyz to survive. I'm half surprised she didn't just let the Rogue Boyz get crushed right there, mind you.
- Arkarixus - In either case, by removing the Loron, we have deprived the Consortium of a powerful ally.
- Olcinius - I'd like to be able to see their faces right now. Displeased, to say the least, no doubt.
After the Alliance seemed content knowing this, the Kralgon Emperor moved onto other matters. He seemed more hopeful that there was actually a path forward.
- Kralgon Emperor - So, what next? Free UNOL, defeat Volim, defeat Zaarkhun, which?
- Arkarixus - Rescuing UNOL is our priority. Meanwhile, my agents work through the ranks of the Consortium, sowing distrust between the Wranploer and their alien collaborators. I know the alliance between Volim and Zaarkhun is a fragile one; it is obviously entirely built on them seeing each other as too useful to remove yet.
- Feldosia - Makes sense, right? Volim is pretty much a fascist. Zaarkhun is some weird anarchist guy. He wants all governments gone.
- Olcinius - So, you're gonna spread false propaganda to make them butt their heads?
- Arkarixus - I already am. However, before we focus on them, there is the matter of the demonic minions under their employ; Durzhan and that dark Inalton warrior. Should they interfere, the network I have built will have been for naught.
- Kralgon Emperor - Hmm... Have any of your agents cracked Zaarkhun's illusion technology? Because if not, we can simply rely on Volim for that. If Volim could be tricked into attack Zaarkhun early...
- Arkarixus - Some, but not much. I used the technology to trick the Rogue Loron. To use it against Volim directly, however, is risky.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Zaarkhun's illusion technology is constantly changing in methods. We cannot rely on using it ourselves. But to eliminate Zaarkhun relies on us finding the real Zaarkhun through the false images. I believe the Kralgon Emperor is onto something: if Volim attacks Zaarkhun, we will not need to find the real Zaarkhun. Volim will find him for us.
The Kormacvar reflected for a moment, nodding.
- Arkarixus - Your proposal is sound.
- Feldosia - As for the demons, ugh, if only Tuolog were still here. There aren't any Ioketa who are proficient enough who'd know how t-- wait. We don't need an Ioketa. Someone bring in Dalverat.
Dalverat warped in, next to Feldosia.
- Dalverat - You summoned me?
- Kralgon Emperor - Yes. Durzhan, Genrai Nal. How exactly do we beat them? As long as they're alive, Zaarkhun is unkillable. And UNOL are un-freeable.
- Dalverat - How to "beat" them? ... As much as I hate to admit it, Durzhan is a greater Essence user than anyone in UNO right now, me included. I would not be able to face him. As for Genrai Nal... You could just hit him until he dies? But he has the tendency to teleport away from attacks.
- Kralgon Emperor - What a wonderful help you've been, Katel.
- Dalverat - I'd like to see you face either of them on your own, Kralgon.
- Feldosia - Isn't there something we can do? Is there no one that can at least try to match them? Other than Arkarixus, of course, but I don't think he's got the expertise for fighters that just warp in and out of battle all the time.
- Arkarixus - I could destroy him myself, but I would rather not be involved. If Zaarkhun learns of it, he will catch up to my scheme.
- Feldosia - That's true. Well, Dalvert, unless you have any better ideas, I'm nominating you and Thr'aloy to take down Genrai Nal and Durzhan.
Dalverat looked at Feldosia with confusion.
- Dalverat - What? Why just the two of us? Why not all of UNOC?
- Feldosia - It's simple. Genrai has a fetish for fighting one-on-one. We don't have to take him one-on-one, but two-on-two may still work.
- Dalverat - Hmmm... Thr'aloy would be able to fight evenly with Genrai Nal, I have no doubt of it... I suppose I must gather my Katel and take some of their power for myself in order to stand up to Durzhan.
- Kralgon Emperor - Why does everyone listen to the other Leaders but not to me?
- Xeron - I think the bigger question here is, why are you being fair to these bandits? Hell, make an ambush! Say you challenge them to honourable combat, then gang up on them!
- Feldosia - Oh, I'm not proposing we be "fair". I'm proposing we lure them out an-- yeah actually, you have the right idea.
- Arkarixus - So, an ambush.. No, that would not work. It is too... simple.
- Kralgon Emperor - Then what do you propose?
- Arkarixus - I do not know yet, but a simple request for battle is too... direct. They will know we have ulterior motives. Falrik Zaarkhun is no fool.
- Kralgon Emperor - You're right, he's not. But there are two things he is obsessed with: optics, and success. I'm sure he'd be happy to agree to a broadcast fight between Genrai Nal and UNOC so as to humiliate them. And if we keep appearing to play into his hands, he'll think he is above defeat. Hand him some small victories to give him the impression he can do no wrong. He'll let his ego get the better of him.
- Olcinius - ... Optics?
- Arkarixus - It is a dangerous proposition. But, I can think of no better option... Very well. We follow your idea.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Be on the lookout for Zaarkhun's other accomplices. Sollow, Billig Oltauris, and the CEO of Soltako Armed Military. They appear to be close with him, and were responsible for many of the assassination attempts on us. UNOC should be able to combat them.
- Arkarixus - For now, I consider the wielders of Dark Chronoscopic essence a priority. The others are inconsequential in comparison.
- Kralgon Emperor - Agreed. So, we wait for Zaarkhun to lure us out. We take his bait, then we take out Genrai Nal, we take out Durzhan, we take out the other accomplices, and we let Volim finish Zaarkhun off?
- Arkarixus - That is the plan, yes.
- Feldosia - Dalverat, get UNOC ready. We await Zaarkhun's move.
- Dalverat - I had best prepare. I will make Durzhan pay for defeating me in our previous encounter!
On the Iron Fist, the mood was not so positive. After hearing of the Rogue Boyz' forced surrender, Zaarkhun growled angrily and slammed on his chair. It was extremely rare for him to be flustered or angry, but it consistently occurred one time: when Zaarkhun made a calculation error in his plans. If something occurred that Zaarkhun did not account for, it was like a personal insult to him. He was furious, as he turned to Volim, who had an annoyed expression as he sat on his throne.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Damnit! Those blasted space barbarians! They were supposed to follow orders!
- Volim - You expected too much from these idiots, who cannot even speak properly. How they can have a space-faring society is beyond me.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I expected even in the worst-case scenario for Rel'larutina to keep them in line. But it appears they did a mutiny on her! And now the Leaders are still alive.
- Volim - This will set us back. The Loron had numbers, numbers that are now missing.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - True. Nonetheless, they did damage to Zoleia's orbital defenses, and broke through to an extent. We can still make this work.
- Torrent - Can we really?
Admiral Torrent walked in, carrying a datapad in his hands as he had his eyes narrowed.
- Torrent - I've been hearing very nasty rumors, saying things aren't going as planned. How did the Alliance even find the UNO super-soldiers anyway?
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Hmm. Well, our computer networks are impossible to hack into, and we'd have detected any successful attempts. Information was kept hidden from everyone other than the Loron themselves participating in the event, who at the time, were loyal. Hidden from everyone except them... and a few businessmen who knew my schedule for that day. We have traitors among us. If they are Loron, we need not fear; if they are businessmen, they will be eliminated.
- Torrent - Well, you had better get started, then! Cause the underground is full of people speaking ill of you and Volim both. Nasty rumors, some I know for a fact that aren't real, given I've known the General for decades.
- Volim - What is this childish nonsense? Are there traitors causing disruption among the masses then?
- Torrent - That's what you get when you build an entire network of aliens rather than proper Wranploer warriors.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - If their loyalty is in question, we'll keep them in line the same way we always do. Genrai will see to it.
- Torrent - Perhaps your businesspeople aren't as useful as you thought then. The Wranploer at least are still loyal to the General first and foremost.
- Volim - My people know their place as the masters of Borealis. It would take more than silly gossip to turn them against me.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - It looks as if we are fighting an information battle against our adversaries. But, if that is the case, they are foolish. I perfected this craft.
- Volim - This isn't like the Zoles or the Niaka. They are too proud of their perceived morality to do something like this.
- Torrent - I blame the outsiders! They make a ruckus wherever they go.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - It wouldn't be the Ottzelloans. Half their leaders are not present. And UNO is barely functioning without the leaders active, due to their hierarchy. You can see this in the pattern of behavior by the Unified Nation right now. So, it must have come from...
- Volim - I care not for who is responsible. I want it ended! My soldiers must know their place and their loyalty! I will not accept dissent!
- Torrent - Maybe you have another one of your million "plans" to get to the bottom of this, Heeyorian.
Zaarkhun pondered for a quick moment. A few seconds was all he needed to devise one of his plans for this, after eliminating every other possibility first.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - As a matter of fact, I do. This failed attack by the Rogue Boyz may have blunted our momentum, and any rumors spreading about us may place doubts in the backs of the minds of some followers, but those can be put to rest quickly. What's important for morale and loyalty is optics. And fortunate, we still hold the perfect bait for them. Genrai, at once.
Genrai Nal uncloaked as he appeared before them.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Call off the scheduled execution of UNOL. I've a better idea. We kill them in a grand tournament, a battle between the Western Arm and the Eastern Arm. The winners of this bloody contest go onto win the war. As we will ensure that the Eastern Arm is victorious, following this, they will witness the surviving leading figures of the Alliance killed, and after that, the Leaders of the Unified Nation. With these important figures eliminated, the Alliance will be hopeless. They'll have nothing to believe in anymore. An attack against Zoleia will destroy what little is left of them.
- Torrent - I would've just thrown that lot off the airlock by now...
- Falrik Zaarkhun - In order to truly crush morale, you have to use a key weapon against them: hope. Give them the hope that they will be saved by their leaders. And when they aren't, that will crush them. Nothing is worse for morale than crushed hope.
- Volim - Very well. But ensure they have no way to turn this around. We do not need two failed arenas.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - It won't be a fair contest. All of my assassins will be there to make sure it's not. And besids, this time, we know Arkarixus is coming. We can prepare for him.
- Torrent - How, exactly? That guy is invincible! Nothing short of a dreadnought turbolaser could kill him, I think.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - How about the most powerful sorcerer of Dark Chronoscopic energy?
Durzhan appeared by Zaarkhun's side, and smirked. Torrent, however, simply scoffed.
- Durzhan - I will happily eliminate the Warmaster.
- Torrent - You'll be crushed like a gnat in an instant.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - We've already seen Arkarixus fight a Dark Chronoscopic god before. It didn't go well for him. Durzhan has power comparable to this.
- Torrent - Well, I hope he can take a punch as well as a god too, then.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - It is settled. We challenge the Polar Crystal Alliance to a final gauntlet. We give them hope that they can free their Leaders if they succeed. When they fail spectacularly, all their hope is crushed. And we regain the momentum.
- Torrent - Hmpf. I'll get to see at least someone die. Wherever that's them or your goons, I'll get a laugh either way.
- Genrai Nal - Do not underestimate our assassins. They are capable fighters.
- Torrent - You're the only one here who can do this. All the others are just rabble.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - If there are no objections, then I'll get the plan in motion. Oh, and Sollow...
Sollow then leapt down from the ceiling, causing Torrent to yell out in surprise.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - For good measure, kill the leaders of all the large corporations that appear likely to dissent, and replace them with leaders friendlier to us. We've got to ensure their loyalty.
- Sollow - With pleasure...
As Falrik Zaarkhun left the chamber to another room to begin preparations, and Durzhan and Genrai Nal teleported behind, Sollow stayed behind conspicuously. The others waited for him to leave, but it was clear he had a purpose for being there.
- Sollow - You know... if Falrik does not make it, I will simply join the Wranploer Legion in place... as long as I get targets to kill...
- Torrent - Pfft. No faith in your boss, then?
- Sollow - None at all... I would not be surprised if he fails soon...
- Volim - ... If you have use for the Legion, then you may find a place in it.
- Sollow' - Hahaha... Then point me to the target if Zaarkhun dies!
The Downfall of a Criminal Mastermind
The Warrior and the Shadow Warlord's Final Stand
From deep space in the Western Arm, a broadcast was being sent all over the galaxy. Yet another space station had been converted into an arena, but this one far more notorious than the others, having gained notoriety prior to Volim's capture of the space station during his crusade against the Zoles. The space station was an abandoned medical outpost, which had been badly damaged after an outbreak from which none of the crew survived. Having contained the outbreak into the space station, its crew had been abandoned and left to die, with little left behind other than medical notes for a disease that had not been seen in the Borealis Galaxy in hundreds of years. Since the station had been destroyed, many had assumed it had been haunted, but for Zaarkhun, it made for the perfect spot to place a deadly battleground. From space, the station appeared completely disoriented, and was barely put back together.
The corridors of the space station were extremely eery and unsettling, and the arena itself was located in its center, where hospital beds were originally found, having been entirely replaced. No audience would be present for this, though cameras around the vast battleground caught every shot. The arena itself seemed detached from the rest of the station, though it was no less unsettling. With the Unified Nation of Ottzello Leaders held up in a cage atop a pole at the end of the arena, a huge hologram of Falrik Zaarkhun appeared in the broadcast, overlooking the battleground. As he spoke, the cameras panned around the rest of the area, to see uneven spots with hazards in the form of spikes or lava dotted around.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Greetings, members of the Borealis Galaxy! On behalf of the Borealis Consortium Network, I, Falrik Zaarkhun, would like to congratulate the Zoles Imperium on their victory against the Rogue Boyz. As an extension of my gratitude, I offer them a peaceful resolution to this war: a battle to the death between our leaders and theirs. Our beef is not with the citizens of Borealis, who have suffered much under this war, but with those who govern them! As such, we are willing to put this war to an end if they accept the terms of this battle. Should their leaders defeat ours, I will unilaterally disarm the Consortium Network and declare the Zoles victorious, returning to the Eastern Arm space and calling off the invasion. Should the Eastern Arm win, I expect the unconditional surrender of the Polar Crystal Alliance, and subject it to the rule of General Volim Thrava. In fact, I'll throw them a bone: I'll even bring back UNO's Commandos from the dead for this occasion. I await your response in short time.
More shots of the arena were sent out in the broadcast. Most of the arena had been entirely refurbished, though in several corners, destroyed medical robots were left around only for scenery. There also appeared to be several hiding spots one could realistically make use of in an arena that was several times wider than a typical Ottzelloan sports field.
Having viewed the broadcast, the Polar Crystal Alliance set up their meeting immediately, in high spirits: Zaarkhun had done exactly what Arkarixus had predicted. Thr'aloy and Dalverat stood by the side of the remaining free Leaders of UNO, his body cracking with Dark Chronoscopic energy as he seemed overloaded with Essence.
- Kralgon Emperor - I wonder if this is how Zaarkhun feels every time we play into his hands. It's a pretty good feeling, I must say.
- Arkarixus - The plan is set in motion. I hope your Commandos are ready.
- Dalverat - I have gorged myself in the energies of five dozen volunteers. I feel like I could wipe out a city block with a flick of my fingers!
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Our analysis actually indicates that you would be able to do this. I advise against it.
- Thr'aloy - They were not exactly "volunteers". man yoo ate dose geezas. pretty sik tbh
- Dalverat - The Katel must be willing to sacrifice themselves for their Count.
- Feldosia - I mean, desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess.
- Arkarixus - We shall go there as well, in order to stop any foul play Zaarkhun will no doubt attempt.
- Kralgon Emperor - Did Rel'larutina find the Iron Fist? We need to make sure that none of them are held up there, and that they are all on the station.
- Arkarixus - The Norol sent a report. She claims to have found the ship, and it is in another sector entirely. The only way to get to the ship from the arena would be teleportation.
- Feldosia - Anyone else get the sense this is a little too easy? We feel like we're playing Zaarkhun now, but he may be the one playing us.
- Arkarixus - I did warn you all of this.
- Dalverat - There's no time to second guess at this point. We need to go while he still thinks he's in control of everything.
- Thr'aloy - Agreed. yeh lets do it bruh
- Arkarixus - When you are victorious, do not destroy either Genrai Nal or Durzhan. They must be questioned.
- Kralgon Emperor - Then I believe there's only one final matter to account for.
A short silence occurred as they awaited a response, before the Kralgon Emperor was direct.
- Kralgon Emperor - Volim. How do we make sure he turns on Zaarkhun for us?
- Vekaron - Well, we know the Consortium's ranks are starting to doubt one another. Perhaps winning this fight will be the last straw? Maybe he'll figure out Zaarkhun is too incompetent to keep around any longer.
- Kralgon Emperor - I'm not sure we can rely on that. Perhaps we need to plant evidence that Zaarkhun was intending to betray Volim. If Volim hears this, he'll want to get the upper hand and do it first.
- Xeron - How, exactly? We've been struggling just to find where the bastard is, let alone give him false evidence.
- Feldosia - Maybe that's precisely how we'll plant the evidence. If Zaarkhun really did have plans to kill Volim, he'd want to keep them secret and hidden. Maybe in a data log stored far away from the rest of his vast logs of information that he no doubt has. Maybe he'd even code it in a way that's hard to write. Perhaps we could make false evidence like this believable without having to learn any internal dialogue the Consortium Network uses: we just have to make it look like something sneaky that only he and his assassins would understand.
- Arkarixus - Hmm. The proposition is sound. It would be safer than attempting to contact Volim directly. We shall do so.
- Feldosia - I'll write it. I've not had to get involved in the war before now, but my fellow Leaders are out of commission, and my people need me. I'll come up with something after consulting the other Heeyorians.
- Arkarixus - So be it. For now, we make our way to this arena, and deal with these Essence wielders before they can disrupt the whole operation.
- Dalverat - Durzhan will pay for all he has done! I care not if he follows Zargoth or not; I will make him bow to me!
After docking into the space station, the Polar Crystal Alliance force made up of UNOC, Arkarixus, Vekaron, Xeron and Olcinius made their way through a maze of haunted corridors to the arena in the central grounds. As they stepped onto the field, they were met with rounds of cheers, but not from an audience; Zaarkhun was faking the cheering sounds of an audience by playing a recording. The entire battleground was originally an empty husk, but as they stepped onto the arena, it completely changed form into a vast war ground across a muddy field with a dark and stormy sky; another of Zaarkhun's illusions. The large hologram of Falrik Zaarkhun then appeared.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - It looks as though the Polar Crystal Alliance has accepted the challenge! Now is the time to truly test the strengths of our leaders in combat. Let those who govern fight the battles, and not involve the people in their matters. And I see they accepted our offer of bringing UNO's Commandos back from the dead for another go!
- Thr'aloy - That is innacurate. wat da hell man we neva died
- Falrik Zaarkhun - But of course, for a contest such as this, it is only fair that the fights are even. One-on-one battles. A duel of the ideas. Which of you will face my champion?
Thr'aloy stepped forward and stood up proudly.
- Thr'aloy - The Skull stands ready. GIVE ME ZRAHGLOTH BAK I SWER
From the cage, Zr'Ahgloth cheered Thr'aloy on, while the rest of the Leadres looked on smiling.
- Zr'Ahgloth - DATS MA BOI
- Thr'aloy - I will save you. OI MAN IM HEER TA GET YA BAK FROM DESE CREEPS
- Yogtam - Fight well, brave Loron!
Arkarixus could hear the whispers from the nearby corridors along the walls surrounding the arena. Apparently, Zaarkhun had put some measures in place in case Arkarixus offered to be the first contestant. The Warmaster huffed in response, merely crossing his arms and watching the arena instead.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Of course, this is but an error. "The Skull" comprises two individuals. A fight against my champion must be one-on-one.
Dalverat, still cracking with energy, then flew over to Thr'aloy's shoulder, looking smugly at the hologram of Zaarkhun.
- Dalverat - Oh, spare us, already. Where is Durzhan?!
Durzhan warped onto the field, and immediately the storm resided. Surrounding him were flames, as the entire arena seemed to be surrounded by fire. Although they assumed it was just an illusion, they could feel the heat of burning metal from the surroundings. Durzhan himself was wrapped in embers.
- Durzhan - A contest between the Katel? I cannot pass this up.
- 'Dalverat - We demand this fight be a two-on-two instead. The strongest warrior of UNO and its greatest sorcerer, versus your hound and your new pet.
- Thr'aloy - Indeed. MAN I CAN TAKE YOO ON NO SWEAT
Durzhan smirked a little, as Genrai Nal warped in by his side. They both looked at Zaarkhun with somewhat of a smile, willing to accept the terms. Zaarkhun nodded.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Very well. A contest between the two champions to begin our fight! Let this be the end of the war!
- Thr'aloy - Victory shall be ours. GENRAI MAN IM GONNA GIV YA AN ATOMIC WEDGIE RITE IN FRONT OF YA STOOPID BOIFREND
- Genrai Nal - Your words are incomprehensible, but nonetheless, I await our battle eagerly. It is uncommon that my foes give me a challenge worth remembering. I hope that you will be an exception.
- Dalverat - We'll provide you with more than a challenge. We'll give you the bitter taste of defeat!
- Durzhan - Foolish. You've already lost. No matter what happens here, the footage that the galaxy sees will be of your defeat. You can surrender now, last chance.
- Thr'aloy - No retreat, no surrender. IM GONNA BEET YOO BOFF UP TIL YA CRY
Durzhan cackled as he raised in the air, with large burning boulders surrounding him. Genrai took up a combat stance.
- Durzhan - We shall see about that, Loron!
- Thr'aloy - Combat engaged. COM AT ME YA WEIRDO
- Dalverat - I will take immense delight in draining your blood!
The battle begun swiftly as Dalverat threw a boulder towards Thr'aloy, crashing against his bones and causing him to reel in pain as the fire hit him. His metallic skin was built to withstand impact, but Durzhan had powered up his boulder with Dark Chronoscopic energy the likes of which Thr'aloy had not encountered before. As he was knocked off-guard by an attack that Dalverat did not avoid, Genrai Nal teleported behind Thr'aloy and stabbed him. Dalverat fired a blast of energy at Genrai Nal, who warped away, but this time, Dalverat was ready for it; he instantly warped Thr'aloy to Genrai's location and allowed Thr'aloy to kick him down. Genrai Nal fell to the floor, but before Thr'aloy could pile on him, Durzhan lifted him in the air. Thr'aloy felt himself being burnt and crushed by Durzhan's flames, as Dalverat attempted to intervene. Even powered up by so many Katel, Dalverat still found himself unable to stop Durzhan's grip; Thr'aloy would be on his own here.
- Dalverat - Grrr. I should've fed on another few dozen.
- Durzhan - When I'm finished with you, Loron, I will burn the rest of your kind to cinders.
- Thr'aloy - You will not. TA HELL YA WILL YA THIKO
- Durzhan - Just as I made you, I will unmake you!
- Thr'aloy - That is inaccurate. ILL LET YA KNO IT WAS ROZ'TAH'FLOK AKA DA BEST GOD WHO MADE DA LORONZ. NOT SOM STOOPID WANNABE DEEMUN
With that, Thr'aloy burst free of Durzhan and threw a punch, knocking him down. Durzhan barely withstood the blow; it seemed that as powerful as he was, he was a glass cannon. Any damage he sustained would be near fatal. As Thr'aloy tried to throw another punch, Genrai kicked him from under his feet and prepared to stab him, only for Dalverat to freeze Genrai in time. Durzhan unfroze Genrai, but not quickly enough before Dalverat warped Thr'aloy out of the way towards Durzhan again. Durzhan vanished, this time disappearing entirely from view, as his laughter could be heard around the arena. Large flaming boulders were appearing and being launched towards Thr'aloy. As he and Genrai exchanged blows, Thr'aloy found it harder and harder to withstand the boulders being thrown his way, until he fell to his knees. Dalverat's energy was mostly spent, as he tried his best to heal Thr'aloy's wounds, though Thr'aloy was continuing to suffer damaging wounds.
In the sidelines, the rest of the UNOC unit eagerly watched the fight, throwing their fists up as they cheered for their commanders. Arkarixus, however, signalled the other warriors of the Alliance away from them as he narrowed his eyes, glancing over the arena.
- Vaktyl - C'mon! Don't let them get the advantage!
- Vailisa - The Fist can barely keep up!
- Darwishi - Dang, what a battle!
- Kalcedia - Kick him between the legs! That's what I do when some jerk starts getting too annoying.
- Lupercal - You can fight harder than that, come on! ... I can't believe I'm cheering for a Loron, this feels dirty.
UNOC's words of encouragement inspired Thr'aloy, and as if he had an adrenaline rush, he burst forward, grabbing Genrai, and slamming him into the ground. He then held Genrai up to block Durzhan's flaming boulders, but not before Durzhan simply lifted Thr'aloy by his feet. Genrai attempted to stab him, though Dalverat fired several blasts of energy towards Genrai to hold him back. As Thr'aloy was being lifted upside down in the air, Durzhan threw more flaming boulders at him, and Thr'aloy was engulfed in flames. Even his metallic skin, which could withstand heat of temperatures up to several hundred degrees, was starting to melt, and he felt his organs internally beginning to burn, held together by nanomachines desperately trying to repair them.
- Thr'aloy - Sustaining damage. OW MAN IM GETTIN COOKED ALIV
- Durzhan - Do you know who made the Loron what they are today? It was me. When your people were created by Volzara, she intended them to be subservient to the Norol, her true creation. You were an afterthought, meant to serve them and allow them to live. I gave you new purpose. Purpose which you fulfilled for me: the purpose of plunging your galaxy into chaos.
- Thr'aloy - It cannot be. LIES AND SLANDA I REFOOS TA BELEEV DAT
- Dalverat - Why does it not surprise me that you'd be the one responsible for that. Was creating an entire race of imbeciles part of your grandiose "Perfect Fate"?
- Durzhan - As a matter of fact, it was. Raw, brutal strength was a quality that would be needed in the Vyro'Ralza. In the Vyro'Ralza that were created, in the timeline in which you were successful, the Loron were a key component; the Norol, Volzara's creation, were irrelevant. Your entire civilization was supposed to be subservient to the Norol, and yet they became utterly meaningless. How ironic.
- Thr'aloy - You lie. AS IF ID BUY ANY OF DAT GARBAGE MAN GET LOST
- Dalverat - You played with the lives of billions upon billions, all for some demon lord's amusement. You are the greatest pawn here!
- Durzhan - Agreed. An error which I will correct, by destroying the demon lord. And I can unmake everything I ever did for him.
- Dalverat - Zargoth will fall, but you won't be the one to do it. That honor is ours!
- Thr'aloy - Agreed. MAN IM GONNA BEET DA LIGHTS OUTTA ALL OF YOO
As the fight went on, Kalcedia turned towards Arkarixus nervously.
- Kalcedia - Something's not right. I know Durzhan is strong, but Dalverat isn't weak. I suspect Zaarkhun is cheating.
- Arkarixus - ... We will get to the bottom of this at once.
- Vaktyl - Now wouldn't that be completely in character for Falrik Zaarkhun to play dirty?
- Lupercal - It was never up to question. I bet he lies even about the size of his clothes.
- Arkarixus - There is someone else in this station. I have heard them. They must be empowering Durzhan somehow.
- Kalcedia - Okay, here's what I'll do. I'll disguise myself as Sollow or something and then find them. I'll send you the signal, and we'll smoke them out.
- Arkarixus - Very well. I heard the voice coming from that direction.
- Kalcedia - Ugh. Can't believe I've been Knar'gank for a day and I thought I'd never pose as someone more despicable.
- Darwishi - You might wanna hurry, sis. I'm not sure how long our boys are gonna last...
Taking cover behind Vailisa's massive bulk, Kalcedia shapeshifted into an exact copy of Sollow and ran to the corridors Arkarixus had signaled. As she did so, she found a couple of Heeyorians standing around a circular device, tinkering away at it. They were held up in the corner of what was left of a medical office. As she did not have to force a Loron accent this time, it was far easier for her to almost perfectly mimic Sollow's voice.
- Kalcedia - You fools... What are we even paying you for?
- Agent 1 - Oh, Sollow? The hell are you doing here? I thought you were with Zaarkhun!
- Kalcedia - You thought wrong... I'm here to make sure things go as planned... and they're not! The Commandos are still alive.
- Agent 2 - If you need to kill someone, kill him. He put the setting of the Dark Chronoscopic suppressor up way too high to be believable and now the cameramen are gonna have to fix it in post.
- Kalcedia - ... Yes, the suppressor. Do it properly! Or I'll stab your eyes out...
- Agent 2 - You heard him, jagoff! Lower the setting a bit! Remember: high enough that he's guaranteed to lose, low enough that no one catches onto us!
- Agent 1 - I'm not being paid enough for this...
- Kalcedia - You had better do your job, or the only payment you'll receive is my knife through your ear lobe...
The agents looked at "Sollow" disgusted, before returning to their work. With the necessary information, Kalcedia sent out the signal to the others, and within instants, the rest of the Alliance's forces burst their way in, with weapons raised.
- Vekaron - Got you, cheaters!
- Agent 2 - It was him! He did it!
- Agent 1 - Shut it, jagoff! We surrender!
- Xeron - Good! So stand still!
Xeron opened fire from his mech-suit's arm cannon to shoot both Heeyorian down before they could flee, but as he did, felt a large fish hook grab onto his suit through the window and pull him away to another office on the other side of the station. The next thing he knew after suffering concussion to his head was a foul stench of Billig Oltauris' breath, as Billig looked over his suit and began hacking away at it with a butcher's knife.
- Billig Oltauris - Zaarkhun knew you'd try something sneaky, 'ey? So I'm 'is insurance policy.
- Xeron - You again?! You're dead meat, Wranploer! Hell, you already smell like it.
- Billig Oltauris - Whereas you're fresh meat to me! I ain't tasted Niaka in a while... this'll be good...
Though the rest of the Alliance heard from Xeron's communicator he was in trouble, they found a group of well-armored soldiers opening fire on them, with Sollow at the helm. The PMC soldiers fired repeating vulcan cannons at them which could rip apart even Loron skin, and managed to deal blows to their shields.
- Sollow - Now, now... Which of you did your terrible Sollow impression?
- Kalcedia - Believe me, pretending to be you makes me physically ill.
- Sollow - So will cutting your intestines from your stomach...
- Arkarixus - So you wish to suffer again. So be it.
Vekaron and Olcinius relied on their shields to get close and attack the troopers in melee, before UNOC jumped into the fight themselves, their superior strength making short work of the mercenaries. Sollow attempted to strike at Arkarixus, only for the Kormacvar to thrust an arm forward, ripping his head off and forcibly throwing it into the ceiling. Sollow's remains were splattered over the floor, though before Arkarixus could attack further, the group came under fire from sniper fire that pinned them down. It appeared Zaarkhun had well-trained snipers set up all around the building precisely for this scenario. Taking out her rifle, Kalcedia took over and begun fighting the snipers herself, making use of her fantastic aim to take them out before they could harm her teammates.
- Vaktyl - Hell yeah! Great shot, Kalcedia!
- Kalcedia - Hah, these boys can't beat me at my own game.
- Vaktyl - Now, excuse me, I'm gonna unload on 'em!
- Darwishi - Naw, you can't do that! If they get a shot across the arena on camera, they'll know we're cheating!
- Vaktyl - So we're just gonna let Zaarkhun cheat, and not do it ourselves?
- Kalcedia - Darwishi is right. We can do what we want out of the arena, but on the arena, Zaarkhun controls the narrative of what happens there. We don't want to give him an inch. All we can do is make sure our boys have a fair fight.
- Vekaron - Either way, we must find Xeron.
- Vaktyl - Agreed. Ain't he being held by the fat Wranploer guy?
- Vekaron - Who? ... Oh, that one. I smelled something foul in the wind.
- Vaktyl - C'mon, we can take him.
Meanwhile, Billig Oltauris continued to hack away at Xeron's suit, trying to break it apart, as Xeron found the arm of his suit bound by magnetic wires that were stuck to the walls. Oltauris continued to hack away, saliva dripping from his mouth as he awaited his new prey. The Chief Minor kept him at bay as he could, throwing his suit's other arm in an attempt to punch him.
- Xeron - Back off, you creep!
- Billig Oltauris - I'll crack yer suit open, 'ey? It'll be like crackin' an egg...
- Xeron - I'll crack your skull into a smear!
Billig then slammed his knife harder on the Chief Minor's suit, eventually breaking its cockpit. As he reached his fat, grubby hand into it to pull Xeron out and take a bite, Xeron scratched at his face, causing him to lose his grip briefly. He then chuckled, before he heard gunfire and had to duck. Vaktyl walked in, blasting his chainguns.
- Vaktyl - Get offa that Niaka, you cannibal!
- Xeron - About time! Where the hell were you?!
- Vaktyl - Got pinned down half the way across the ship! You're lucky our bodies are built to run fast!
Taking the opportunity, Xeron took flight and left his suit, quickly buzzing away from Billig's presence. As he did, Billig's associate, Gyjak, leapt towards Xeron hissing loudly, ripping apart at his wings and clawing the back of his head, causing him to fall. Billig smirked and threw a hook at Vaktyl, piercing his skin and pulling him close to be eaten. However, before he had the chance, a roar was heard as Vailisa burst through the wall, swinging a fist down at Billig and smashing him into the floor. Gyjak's arms were then sliced off by Zelfron III, who leapt in at the last minute, as Gyjak screeched in pain, while Billig scoffed.
- Billig Oltauris - Cheaters never prosper, 'ey? No matter what 'appens 'ere... you've already lost!
- Vailisa - The Fist not so sure about that! The Fist thinks he will crush you into paste!
- Billig Oltauris - You can do what yer like to me... but Zaarkhun's already won, 'ey? The footage goin' out right now can cut out at any minute to you losin'... the galaxy will see that their leaders can't protect 'em. They'll lose 'ope in ya!
- Vaktyl - Well, good thing our boys won't be losing then! We know about your suppressor and we'll put a stop to it!
- Billig Oltauris - Hahahaha! Thinkin' you can outsmart Zaarkhun like that... I'd laugh if I didn't think I was gonna cough up some more blood, 'ey?
- Kalcedia - Ugh, why is every lackey of Zaarkhun so repulsive? Can't he employ some... clean people, at least?
- Zelfron III - If what he says is true, we should search the rest of the corridors for any more surprises or traps Zaarkhun has in place. Do you want me to execute Billig?
- Xeron - Of course! Chop off each of his limbs first, though. I want to watch him suffer.
- Vekaron - ... No. Arrest him. He can be questioned first.
- Xeron - What?! Damnit!
- Billig Oltauris - Heheheh... wise decision... or maybe not!
In a split second, Billig grabbed a small remote device, teleporting him and Gyjak away to the Iron Fist. This was a mistake, though. The Alliance quickly tracked the signal and prepared to block it.
- Vaktyl - Y'know, much as it sucks that he got away, if we can track that, we can stop Zaarkhun from trying the same thing.
- Vekaron - Hmpf. I suppose so.
- Xeron - See, this is why in the Special Forces, we just shoot them, no questions asked. ... Now I'm gonna need a new mech-suit. Chief Minor-grade tech is expensive, you know.
- Kalcedia - Better search the rest of the station. Let's hope Thr'aloy and Dalverat are doing okay...
- Vaktyl - I'm sure they'll be fine... Well, I hope so.
Back on the battlefield, Dalverat felt a weight lifted from his shoulders. In a burst of energy, he blasted Durzhan down to the floor, and fired several blasts towards Genrai Nal, as Thr'aloy punched him. Thr'aloy then stomped and kicked at Genrai Nal, who struggled, but then grabbed him by the mouth and pulled him over, stabbing him in the back. Thr'aloy threw Genrai over before the stab wound healed with nanomachines, and then ran towards Genrai to kick him. Genrai teleported away, and sliced at Thr'aloy's lower leg, causing him to stumble as he punched him repeatedly and then stabbed his neck. Ordinarily, this would kill a Loron. Dalverat, meanwhile, held Durzhan at bay, before Durzhan then launched a blast at Dalverat that was strong enough to melt ordinary Katel in seconds. Dalverat found himself shielded by Thr'aloy, who had grabbed him and pulled him back behind him. Thr'aloy was now on his last legs, choking in pain, his organs burning up as his nanomachines worked harder to heal him.
The entire battlefield was now engulfed in flames, except surrounding Genrai Nal. Durzhan's laughter echoed across the arena, as he created a large burning boulder and threw it towards Thr'aloy, almost knocking him completely unconscious. On fire, burning in pain that he'd not felt since before he was made a Commando, Thr'aloy choked, as Dalverat could barely hold it back.
- Durzhan - You are weak, Loron. You are nothing without what I gave you. The Ottzelloans are who they are today because of me. I will now unmake you, and any survivors will witness the paradise that Zaarkhun makes of this galaxy. Together, we will build a galaxy without laws, without government, without gods!
- Thr'aloy - You.. cannot... win... YA... MOMS... DUM...
- Dalverat - You cannot actually buy into that anarchy crap! You know that'll only lead to destruction!
- Durzhan - Believe me, I do not. I have seen the timelines in which he wins. I know exactly what will happen. But that is not why I am doing this. I do this to spit on the vision that Volzara had for it. I do it out of spite for what she intended, and because it would fill Zargoth with disgust to see Falrik Zaarkhun win. I care not for what happens to your people; I only care that the gods lose!
- Dalverat - Foolish! You're nothing to the Essential Gods! You're but a pawn that was discarded!
- Thr'aloy - And... a pawn... YOO... REMAIN FER ZAARKHUN
- Durzhan - Bah! I am no one's pawn! I control the fate of this galaxy, as I controlled the fate of Ottzello for millions of years, and I have deemed that Zaarkhun's fate shall win!
- Dalverat - Even if you were to walk away from this arena, you realize Zaarkhun would turn on you next.
- Durzhan - I've seen all the futures in which he does. In each of those, I have a better outcome: Volim turning the galaxy into a tyrannical dictatorship will do just as much to spit on the vision that Volzara had for her "children", and to disrespect the Kormacvar that she so admired before! If Zaarkhun loses, Volim will be the next chosen ruler of Borealis! This galaxy's fate belongs to me!
- Thr'aloy - Denied. I... WILL... NOT... LET YOO!!!!
Roaring in rage, Thr'aloy let out a burst of Dark Chronoscopic energy from Dalverat, though he remained engulfed in the flame. Now, it seems, he was empowered by it. Using the energy to power his movements and throw punches far faster than before, he beat Genrai's face to a pulp before punching and kicking him, then slamming him down on his knee, breaking his spine before he could respond. Durzhan growled in anger, as he sent more flaming boulders towards Thr'aloy, which Thr'aloy swatted aside. Durzhan simply created more in response, as Thr'aloy began to leap across the boulders, now unaffected by their flames, for he was channeling Dark Chronscopic power through Dalverat.
As Thr'aloy leapt from boulder to boulder, he then jumped towards Durzhan, who warped out of the way. Dalverat was ready for this, and caught him. Dalverat then dug his fangs into his neck as he began draining Durzhan's blood, causing him to yell out in pain, as Thr'aloy ran over to Durzhan and punched him. A single punch knocked the fragile Katel down.
The fires from the battlefield completely resided, as it seems they were generated by Durzhan himself, and not by an illusion. UNOL cheered at their two Commandos, clapping for them as the unconscious Consortium Network leaders had fallen. Thr'aloy threw his fists up and roared a battlecry, while Dalverat kept sucking out the blood and Essence out of Durzhan, causing his body to shrivel slightly until he finally let go and roared out of his own.
- Zr'Ahgloth - DATS IT SON!!!! YOO REKT DEM!!!!
- Dalverat - I am the greatest Katel alive!
- Thr'aloy - Victory is ours. IM DA BEST BADMAN EVA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA also ow ma body hurts
- Tuolog - We knew you be successful. Where are others?
- Dalverat - You mean... they are not here?
- Thr'aloy - Location unknown. OI UNOC WHERS YOO ALL AT???? DID YA MISS MA WIN??? LAME
With the flames resided, the arena changed form entirely to be a grassy field, as the sounds of an audience cheering were then generated. The large hologram of Falrik Zaarkhun then appeared, looking gleeful.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - It seems Genrai Nal and Durzhan have taken the first win! Congratulations to our challengers!
- Dalverat - ... Are you an idiot? Do you have brain damage?
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Of course, our agreement was that all the leaders of either side partake in a broadcast battle to the death. So, Western Arm, who is your next challenger? Let us hope they fare better than the last two.
- Thr'aloy - Uncertain. WAT DA HELL IS YOO ON BOUT? CANT YA SEE WE BEET DEM BOFF UP TIL DEY NEARLY DIED??? WE WON DA TOURNAMENT. ALL OF IT
- Yogtam - It's all for show. The whole thing was a sitch-up.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Oh? Are there no more challengers from the Western Arm? Let's see... The remaining challengers were supposed to be waiting in the wings. Where are they? You wouldn't be trying to cheat, would you?
- Dalverat - What nerve. Do you think I didn't feel a pressure in my Essence? You meddled with my powers during the fight!
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Such accusations from sore losers! Coming from the ones who sent their goons to try and rig the battle! Of course, it was never enough, and you were overcome nonetheless. Well, if one of the arms isn't willing to play fair, I suppose this challenge must end!
- Thr'aloy - We do not need this. man lets just arrest durzhan and genrai and get out of dis dump wiv da leedas
The windows overlooking the arena locked, as the image of the field dissipated entirely. Instead, the hazards in place around the arena lit back up and blades began whirring, as an electric shock hit the field. Durzhan and Genrai were removed from the battle entirely, as UNOL's cage was dropped into an electric field. The walls began to close in, buzzsaws extracting from each end, surrounding the group.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - If the Western Arm are to cheat, then we will cheat back. The galaxy will witness their execution in front of billions!
- Thr'aloy - The only cheater is you. YOR A FRAUD I SWER ONCE I FIND YOO IM GONNA STOMP ON YA HED SO HARD
- Yogtam - Agh! How do we find a way out of this?! Tuolog, can you do anything?
- Tuolog - This cage prevents my Essence. Would have teleported us out ages ago if I could...
- Yogtam - Zaarkhun's using that Regnatus technology to pull us out of the fifth dimension now that Durzhan couldn't win!
- Zr'Ahgloth - MAN I HATE BEIN IN JAIL
Zr'Ahgloth flew into a rage and started punching the walls of the cage in an attempt to break them free.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Alliance regrouped, seeing that the windows of the arena had been cut off entirely. None of them knew what had been happening, but their access to UNOL, Thr'aloy, and Dalverat was now entirely cut off. They fought their way through several well-armed mercenaries, Vaktyl taking cover as he fired his plasma gun.
- Vaktyl - What happened in there?! We lost contact with the guys!
- Arkarixus - Something must have happened in the arena. Whether the Commandos emerged victorious or not, I cannot tell.
- Darwishi - Then whaddawe do, boss?
- Arkarixus - We have no choice but to proceed with the plan.
- Kalcedia - As in, we take out Zaarkhun? Wherever he is?
- Arkarixus - Assuming he is here, yes. Otherwise, we at least attempt to track him down.
- Vaktyl - Anyone manage to freeze all teleportation from this station?
- Zelfron III - Dalverat would be able to, were he with us.
- Vaktyl - If we trace Billig's signal to the Iron Fist, we should be able to cut off anything going there. That'll prevent Zaarkhun escaping, and guarantee he's on this station. If he is on this station, anyway.
- Arkarixus - There is no time to waste. Proceed.
The group fought through more mercenaries until they arrived at an elevator on the far end of the ship. The only question now was if they should go up or down, and they had no indicator either way. As they entered the elevator, they looked towards Arkarixus, who hestitated a minute. Arkarixus thought over where Zaarkhun would have hidden, based on what he knew from Zaarkhun. All he had to go on was his gut, but eventually, he made the decision: down. After pressing the button to travel towards the ground floor, Zelfron III got out his blade.
- Zelfron III - The elevator will not simply let us reach our destination with no hazard. I will cut a hole in it, so we can crawl out and climb to the bottom floor.
- Vekaron - Ugh. I'm not very good at crawling. Comes with being a Zoles.
- Kalcedia - Oh, I think I wouldn't mind seeing you walking on all fours ahead of me...
- Vailisa - The Fist carry puny Zoles on shoulders!
- Arkarixus - Whatever the case, do so now.
As they reached the bottom floor, Zelfron III cut apart the elevator's ceiling and the group leapt out, climbing towards the gap where the bottom floor resided. As he had suspected, the elevator simply continued tumbling to the bottom, before being ejected out of an airlock. The group clung desperately to the side to avoid being sucked into space, before Arkarixus entered Zaarkhun's control room.
The control room resembled a news room at an Ottzelloan TV station, with dozens of ceilings across the walls, and several Heeyorian agents working on computer terminals, trying to piece together the footage. In the background, Zaarkhun stood in front of a green screen, from which his hologram was being recorded. The agents each turned to the Alliance, and held out their guns. Now, all of the agents resembled Zaarkhun, as Zaarkhun laughed furiously.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Very well done! I'd expect no less from you! But your time is at an end.
- Arkarixus - I told you. You cannot defeat me.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - But can you defeat me, hm? Which one is me? How do you even know I'm here?
Arkarixus huffed in annoyance as he pointed at Falrik Zaarkhun - the one speaking to him - while ignoring the others.
- Arkarixus - I know because I can see your soul. I can smell your fear. And because, if you were not here, you would have just destroyed this station already.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Good work. So close, so, so close, but no cigar!
- Arkarixus - Still you assume you are in control... Foolish primitive.
At once, Arkarixus siezed the camera by Zaarkhun, and ran to the other end of the room. The agents fired their pistols at Arkarixus, but he resisted, as he took control of one of their computers, and wired it towards his camera, which he panned over the room.
- Arkarixus - Greetings, Borealis. This is your Warmaster speaking. You shall now witness as I destroy Falrik Zaarkhun.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - What?!
- Arkarixus - It was a good idea, to broadcast this event to the galaxy. Now all will watch you run away in fear when I approach you.
Zaarkhun looked exasperated. Without the rest of his tricks to disguise his appearance, he felt naked, humiliated. Part of him reacted in furious anger, though his fear next to the Warmaster overtook that. Desperately, he had all his agents fire their weapons, as Arkarixus took control of another computer, allowing UNOL, Thr'aloy, and Dalverat to return to the room. As soon as they were able to use Essence, they warped in.
- Tuolog - You freed us!
- Arkarixus - Ah, look what we have here. It seems the Western Arm won the tournament after all.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Pay no attention to them. They hacked the broadcast, and are displaying a false image! None of what you are seeing is real!
- Zr'Ahgloth - MAN SHUT UP WIV YA STOOPID FAKE PROPAGANDA CRAP. IM SO SIK OF YOO
- Yogtam - You've plagued our galaxy for decades... It ends today!
- Falrik Zaarkhun - No... no... you've played right into my hands! I win yet again!
- Arkarixus - Is that so? ... Prove it.
A cloud of smoke filled the room, blinding the Alliance with toxic gas that would cause ones' eyeballs to shrivel. Before they were able to regain their sight after hiding behind goggles, several Zaarkhun clones appeared next to them, holding them at gunpoint, as many more of them held their pistol. Zaarkhun laughed as he looked the Warmaster in the eye.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - You'll never outsmart me!
Arkarixus looked unimpressed. With a growl, he threw an arm up, and all the Zaarkhun clones were surrounded with an elemental aura as they were launched upwards, hitting the ceiling before Arkarixus clenched his fist; the sound of their bones breaking deafened all other noise as they were crushed into nothing. The real Zaarkhun fell back, gasping for air, before pleading with Volim. This was the first time many of them had ever seen Zaarkhun show this kind of weakness. Without any of his tricks left, Zaarkhun was left with one last-ditch option. For the first time in years, he feared for his life.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Stop! Stop, please! I'll-- I'll tell you where Volim is! I know how to defeat him better than anyone!
- Dalverat - Hah! It brings me great joy to watch you beg for your miserable life!
- Arkarixus - And what makes you assume that?
- Falrik Zaarkhun - He has the same tricks as me, all of which he learned from me. I can help you dismantle them, and then I can help you fight Kolossus! You need me to beat the demon! I'm the only one who can!
- Yogtam - Don't listen to him. We've killed demons before; hell, we've killed Kolossus once already. We don't need him just so he can stab us in the back later.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - You're making a grave mistake! I'll turn the Consortium Network against Volim and topple Kolossus! You won't want to miss this opportunity!
As he spoke, a dart hit the side of his neck, and he suddenly froze. He then choked and fell to the floor, before pulling the dart out, and looking to his right. A small drone appeared, which he shot and destroyed, before Volim appeared on the screens. The General's eyes showed great fury as he pointed a finger down at Zaarkhun.
- Volim - You... You outsider scum! I knew you were planning something!
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Volim! This is it! We can kill them all now! I have them right where I want them!
- Volim - You have taken me for a fool for the last time, Heeyorian. From the beginning, I knew you were not loyal to the Legion. I kept you around because you were useful, but your usefulness has ended now!
- Falrik Zaarkhun - I built your Legion far beyond anything you could've imagined. I made you the richest man in the galaxy ten times over! You would never have gotten this far without me! You'd have been crushed by the Alliance!
- Volim - And you were planning to dispose of me. You think I'm not aware?! You wanted to turn my galaxy into a slum!
Laying on his deathbed, the poison creeping over his body, Zaarkhun paused for a moment. For the first time, he owned up to what he was being accused of, and spoke to Volim defiantly.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Yes, I was planning to betray you. Because I made your Legion what it is, I can unmake it. I was to dismantle the Legion as soon as you took over the galaxy, and bring about a new, prosperous era for Borealis. I was to turn it into a lawless paradise, and achieve the bright future that Borealis was always meant for! You would bring it into a dystopian hellscape in which all are subservient to you! Under my galaxy, Borealans would have served no one!
- Volim - Borealis exists to serve the Wranploer. There will be no lawlessness; all will bow before us, or die! But you... You wanted to destroy all my people strive for. And now, you will die a slow and humiliating death, as you deserve. Fitting for an alien.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - You may kill me now, Volim, you may shut off all my clones... But my influence will outlive me! There will always be those who pass on my philosophy of a perfect paradise free of laws. Even if you defeat the Polar Crystal Alliance, which you will not without me, my successors will pass on the torch! Borealis will one day know freedom!
Volim's rage subsided as he then let out a chuckle. His expression changed to a smug one as he turned his eyes to the members of the Alliance.
- Volim - The poison will kill him, but... I can also just grant you the honor of the final strike. Let it be my final message to your Alliance...
- Arkarixus - Do not be mistaken, creature. You are next.
- Volim - I will be waiting, Kormacvar.
With that, Volim's image turned to static, leaving the members of the Alliance alone with Falrik Zaarkhun. Tuolog approached him, but unlike his normal behavior, did not seek to comfort him in death.
- Tuolog - You bring bad things upon Borealis for hundreds of years. Many die, and many more starve, because you empower criminals. All for an ideology in which there are no laws. This is the ideology of a rich man who does not see the suffering he brings on others.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - You are mistaken if you think that... I was never born into wealth. I wasn't supposed to be born at all. I was an accident. My mother was forced into prostitution to provide for her family, and that is how I was born. I was a mistake to her. She would scold me and we'd go days without food, then one day angrily left me a note. I'd never been schooled, so I couldn't even read it. I learned to live on my own, I taught myself everything to survive, only for the Heeyorian government to close down my village and leave us all homeless. My mother was killed, and I thought she died hating me. Only when I taught myself to read could I read the note she left me: that she was proud of me, and she loved me. I taught myself to survive and built a criminal network with no government to help me, not even a parent to get me through. I became the richest man in the galaxy with no help from gods. So tell me again that I did what I did because I was disconnected from the pain my actions inflict. None of you are any better; you just try to hide the consequences of your actions from yourselves. I confront them.
- Xeron - You... You're a sadist. You'd destroy a galaxy just because you suffered once. You had it rough, so everyone has to as well? Do you realize how selfish that is?
- Falrik Zaarkhun - There are thousands, millions of children out there, just like me, suffering under regimes like yours. How many of them never got to tell their story? How many of them have your precious "governments" really cared to help, instead of to fight your foolish wars? You're no better than me, Xeron. Under the true freedom I would've brought, all of them could achieve better lives for themselves, with no one to stop them, and nothing that they were expected to rely on!
- Dalverat - Foolish. Under your lawless anarchy, there would be no children to begin with. Men and women would murder one another for a scrap of food. There would only be death and chaos.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - So be it, then. At least they'd be making those choices for themselves, and not have them dictated by men like you.
- Arkarixus - We truly make the universe a better place by ending your wretched existence.
Tuolog stood over Zaarkhun for a while. He did not seek to heal Zaarkhun in any way, and simply allowed the poison to kill him. Zaarkhun did not ask for help, either, and didn't expect it.
- Tuolog - Your mind twisted, Zaarkhun. You intelligent, but you narrow-minded. You only ever know struggles, and think of life as a game to beat everyone else, and not see that it really about us lifting one another up and supporting each other. It a shame you not able to see this, for your intellect and talent could have been well-served in an individual with good intentions. As it is, though, your death not worthy of being honored. You remain a footnote in history, and hopefully sooner forgotten.
- Zr'Ahgloth - YEH YOO WAS A PAIN IN OUR ASSES FER YEERS AND CAUSED ALL SORTS OF RUKKUS. SO GET DUNKED ON LOSA. wait did tuolog jus say he had no sympathy for yoo?? becuz lol yoo KNO yoov screwed up if even HE is not bein nice
- Yogtam - Wow, yeah. That's a first.
- Arkarixus - Borealis will be brought back to its reins. The Wranploer will be decimated. The War Economy will be eradicated. Your followers will be executed. And a true utopia will rise, as it was meant to be.
- Falrik Zaarkhun - Heh... don't be so certain, Arkarixus...
With that, Zaarkhun slumped back and fell lifeless. Vekaron walked over and gave the body a prod, receiving no response.
- Vekaron - ... He's dead.
- Arkarixus - I told you. You could never defeat me.
- Xeron - By Ikkiz, I can barely believe it! We're finally free from this bastard!
- Tuolog - Zaarkhun has plagued Ottzello for many years. And he plague Borealis too. But now, his story at an end. I just confirm while I there, and you successful in stopping him from teleporting out.
- Vaktyl - Yeah, you're welcome, heh!
- Zr'Ahgloth - can i eet his corpse lol im hungry
- Arkarixus - It would be better if it were completely vaporized. Hm, I wish the Vague were here right now.
- Tuolog - Vague still busy dealing with anomalies. I not think they able to help us against Volim. Still, Zaarkhun's plan backfire spectacularly. Now we exposed his games for what they are, no one believe his lies anymore. Morale likely boost among Western Arm greatly.
- Thr'aloy - Mission accomplished. I SEE DIS AS AN ABSOLUT WIN
- Arkarixus - Then we shall take the corpse and store it away. We must also take Durzhan and Genrai Nal, and ensure they cannot escape again. For now we must face Volim next.
No Loyalty Among Thieves
The following days plunged the Eastern Arm into utter chaos. News of Falrik Zaarkhun's death spread like wildlife across the galaxy, thanks to the whole occurence being recorded live for all to witness. Upon the Iron Fist, General Volim ordered all those who sympathized with Zaarkhun to be thrown off the airlock as he begun a hostile takeover of all assets which were once associated with the Zaarkhun Consortium; by his order, it would be ended, and all would once again be known as the Wranploer Legion, as it was always meant to be. While Billig Oltauris and Gyjak managed to flee the Iron Fist in time to escape execution, Sollow stood by Volim's side; after all, the assassin was never particularly loyal to Zaarkhun's goals or ideals, and merely followed whoever granted him the best kills.
While the Wranploer themselves were eager to throw away all pretense that they were equals with their alien 'collaborators', however, this transition was not an easy one. All progress on Volim's plan to invade Alliance space came to a halt as the territory of the Borealis Consortium Network plunged into a civil war; influential businessmen like Zoltik Relkhul, who were loyal only to Falrik Zaarkhun, withdrew all their support and instead begun opposing the Legion, as it became clear for them that Volim saw them as little more than cannon fodder at this point. Others, fearing that Volim was not a capable ruler, or that feared he would simply enslave the galaxy, started rebellions which quickly spread across the Eastern Arm, forcing the Wranploer to spend precious time dealing with internal affairs rather than preparing to fight the Alliance.
While Captain-Lord Xoraika and his Old Niaka Order remained loyal to the General, the other empires under the fold of the Legion would too rebel. The Murgur Warbands, seeing no benefit in working for the Wranploer when it was obvious they looked down on them, cut off all ties with the tyrants, while the Imalmah Hegemony, watching all of the Consortium Network fall apart before their eyes, found it far more benefiting to simply take advantage of the situation; the Imalmah were never particularly fond of the Wranploer to begin with, and so this was an easy decision to the deceitful creatures.
Weeks would pass, with all operations of the Legion coming to a halt, while the Polar Crystal Alliance was allowed ample time to rebuild their forces, finally given breathing room for the first time since the defeat of Regnatus. It was clear that the Consortium Network's entirety was far too much for Volim to handle on his own.
The largest rebellion, and the one most damaging to Volim, would come from the outer Demolidus Sector, in the worlds of the Borealis Zazane; having lived under the servitude of the Wranploer for thousands of years, they were given the chance to break free from their influence. The Zazane King, Kryptkor Talsar, found himself contacted by agents from the extragalactic nation known as the Brood of War, most specifically by the warrior named Keldar Teiran; having watched the Zazane of Borealis from afar for a while, it was clear to them that they were unhappy under General Volim's rule. With Keldar's aid, King Talsar would instigate a massive revolt across the worlds of the Borealis Zazane, causing immense damage to the Wranploer Legion in the sector and forcing them to relinquish their claim over their worlds, leading to a significant part of Volim's fleet being wasted in an enemy not even associated with the Polar Crystal Alliance and to many Borealis Zazane, including their King, to make an exodus for the Andromeda Galaxy, now welcomed by their Zazane kin there as the newly formed Borealia Kingdom.
Amidst the chaos that consumed the Eastern Arm, the Polar Crystal Alliance healed. After weeks of preparation, Warmaster Arkarixus contacted the leaders among them, as well as their other allies. The order was given.
- Arkarixus - Glass the Wranploer homeworld. Destroy Volim Thrava.
The Battle of Vijaha
Volim was utterly unprepared when he heard that a massive Alliance armada was making their way to the heart of Wranploer space. Ships from the Zoles Imperium, the Niaka Special Forces, the Unified Nation of Ottzello, the Civitas, the Seagon Cryptocracy and the various smaller allies they had gathered during the war with the Borealis Grox united into a massive fleet once again, with their extragalactic allies following suit as they launched a great assault against the weakened Borealis Consortium Network. Entire swathes of Wranploer territory were lost in a matter of hours, and Volim had no choice but to diverge all efforts to the homeworld in order to defend it; upon his throne in the Iron Fist, the General seethed and raged as his reports warned him that the armada were entering the Vijaha Sector and carving their way through it, going from Cold Relay to Cold Relay until they arrived to the home system of the Wranploer - the seat of their people's empire.
Sharing his flagship with Sergeant Trastius of the Seagon, Arkarixus had his arms crossed as he watched the fleet slowly approach Planet Vijaha. His disgust was palpable; he never considered neither Volim nor Falrik Zaarkhun as genuine threats to him. In comparison to purging Borealis of the Corruptus' influence and putting an end to the Grox threat as he was engineered to do, this was more akin to pest control. The knights of the Zoles, however, took this threat very seriously; Grand-Commandants Vekaron and Asraels led the Imperium forward, and they would finally put an end to their people's ancestral foe once and for all. Chief Major Xerkea was upon her own flagship, flanked by several fighters commandeered by Chief Minors such as Xeorn, and she took great delight in being present: destroying the pirate lords of the Wranploer would fulfill one of her Special Forces' goals in existence at long last. The Legates of the Civitas, led by Olcinius, also took great pride in participating, for they considered the Wranploer and their lackeys a plague against all that was orderly and just.
With as much of the fleet repaired as they could muster, the Unified Nation of Ottzello's fleet mustered together, numbering a few hundred warships. None of the Vyronicia Fleet had been rebuilt in time, due to the disruption of their manufacturing by Falrik Zaarkhun, but the fleet they had built could definitely take the planet. The Leaders, exhausted from the long war that had ravaged the galaxy, were eager to see it end. They also felt that defeating Volim was their responsibility; after the Borealans had freed them and helped them defeat Zaarkhun, they owed them a debt. The Indoctrinate Collective, too, was heavily invested in this conflict, for they considered the existence of space priates such as the Wranploer an affront to the order they symbolized. As the fleet was mustered, Arkarixus spoke them all through communications.
- Arkarixus - Move in to engage. I want the planetary defenses crushed, and I want the Iron Fist found. Once it is located, Tuolog will teleport us to it so that we may hunt Volim down.
- Xerkea - Why waste time doing that when we can just blow the ship to smithereens?
- Zr'Ahgloth - I WANNA EET VOLIMS FACE OFF DATS WHAI
- Arkarixus - We cannot afford even the slightest chance that Volim may escape. We must see his body fall before our eyes to ensure it.
- Zr'Ahgloth - we gotta make sure dat da chik didnt lie to us also an tell us da wrong place of da ship
- Asraels - Do you really think Volim wouldn't be present as his homeworld is besieged? He is here, there is no doubt about it.
- Trastius - Incoming transmission from the Wranploer fleet.
- Arkarixus - Patch it in.
Trastius did so, and an image of Volim upon his throne appeared before them. A vein popped in his forehead as it was clear he was utterly enraged, clenching his claws into the arms of his throne enough to cause scratched across its surface.
- Volim - I will destroy every. Single. Last. One of you Alliance scum! You've come to your deaths!
- Zr'Ahgloth - ILL RIP YA HED OFF YA STOOPID WRANPLOA
- Vekaron - Were you any other enemy, we would offer you a chance to stand down and surrender. But to you, Volim, we offer only your destruction.
- Volim - I will not allow you to destroy all I have built! I will crush you all under my heel!
- Tuolog - You mean all that Zaarkhun build for you? Hehehe.
- Volim - I have ruled the Legion for almost two thousand years! I have brought the Zoles to their knees once, and I will finish them off as soon as I tear your fleet to pieces!
- Yogtam - As if you're trying to lecture Tuolog on history when he can literally see the past. The arrogant always collapse to our combined strength. It happened with Regnatus, and now it'll happen with you.
- Arkarixus - Let battle be joined. Today, your despicable kind learns its place, Wranploer.
The fleets approached Vijaha itself, which was surrounded by an equally massive fleet of Wranploer Legion vessels. The two soon engaged, unleashing chaos upon the planet's amosphere. It would not take long for them to confirm the Iron Fist was, indeed, there; it was at the helm of the defense force, for Volim was far too proud to not be there when his homeworld was under threat.
- Trastius - Wranploer capital ship detected. The "Iron Fist".
- Vekaron - So this is it, then... We'll put an end to General Volim himself.
- Xerkea - I feel forty years younger!
- Olcinius - This day will be celebrated for years to come. But let us prepare ourselves to actually get it done before we start celebrating.
- Zr'Ahgloth - IM REDI TA SMASH DIS SHIP TA BITS. wait didnt frekloar say dat dere was a good pizzeria on da ship??? OK NEW PLAN WE CAPTUR IT DEN TAKE DA PIZZA
- Arkarixus - We disable the vessel once Volim is dead. Beyond that, nothing else matters.
- Zr'Ahgloth - SIK LETS EET ALL DA PIZZA ONCE ITS DONE
On his cue, Tuolog teleported a great force into the cargo bay of the Iron Fist. Arkarius, Vekaron, the Leaders and Commandos of UNO, Xerkea and Xeron, Olcinius, Trastius, Vyutrin and a small group of troopers for each of their nations emerged into the ship, where they were immediately met with Wranploer soldiers who opened fire at them - it seemed the General was expecting them to try something like this. The forces of the Alliance, however, were more than match for the bandits as they proceeded to make their way through the halls of the ship, taking down wave after wave of warriors who desperately tried to slow them down. Although Volim had been redecorating much of it, the halls of the Iron Fist remained similar to Zaarkhun's original design: glistening with gold-plated frames around exquisite artwork on the hallways, red carpets covering the floors, not only to appear more lavish, but to hide the blood from those who were killed here. This ship existed to flaunt the wealth of its owners and impress those who boarded wishing to do business here, and the Alliance could see it.
- Xeron - Ugh. All this opulence for a capital ship. It's not practical at all!
- Tuolog - It not meant to be. It meant to show off to visitors. They more likely to do a deal with Zaarkhun when they flattered by such a place.
- Yogtam - This is half capital ship, and half cruise ship.
- Xerkea - And soon, it'll be a full graveyard!
- Zr'Ahgloth - LET ME TAKE DA PIZZA THO
- Thr'aloy - I concur. IMMA EET IT FASTA DAN YOO
- Kalcedia - Oh, I absolutely must take some of the gemstones on the walls on our way back. Those are real diamonds right there!
- Vaktyl - We'll have time for that at the end of this, if I haven't blown the ship halfway to hell!
As they moved through the corridors of the capital ship, however, a large group of Wranploer warriors emerged from a vantage point and opened fire, pinning them down. A roar was heard as, from among them Admiral Torrent leaped into the fray, with Vekaron clashing blades with the Kvargo as he snarled in anger.
- Torrent - Vekaron!!
- Vekaron - You! ... You and your master die today, Torrent!
- Torrent - Shut up and fight!
The two begun striking at one another, parrying each other's blows. Torrent's left arm was a robotic prosthetic, for Vekaron had severed the true thing many decades prior; clenching the mechanic fist, Torrent sent a blow towards the Zoles' head, causing him to gasp and spit out blood as some of his teeth were broken. However, Vekaron retaliated in kind, delivering a kick to the Kvargo's torso and then slashing across it with his blade, causing him to scream. The fierce battle between them would continue, while the rest of the group took their time to take down the enemy troopers who fired at them. With a swing of his blade, Vekaron struck at Torrent once more, and the Kvargo's eyes widened as his right arm went flying, completely severed from his body; he shrieked in agony as he fell back, with Vekaron looming over him.
- Torrent - Aaaaaahh!! Not... again!
- Vekaron - This is for everything you've done. Not just to me, but for all the others you've tormented.
- Torrent - This... will not.. bring your family... back!
Torrent snapped at Vekaron, whose eyes narrowed in anger. That was the reason this all started, the reason he even joined the Imperial Navy; for the chance to avenge his wife and daughter, after Torrent had killed them. The Zoles roared as he plunged his blade into Torrent's torso, who screamed once again as he thrashed in pain, until his body went limp. The rest of the Alliance cleared the way while Vekaron took his sword out of his fallen nemesis, watching his body drench its blade as he stared down at his lifeless body, panting from the battle. After having spent the last several decades chasing this man down with the intent of killing him, after finally doing so, he could not help but feel an emptiness inside of him.
- Vekaron - Burn in the void.
- Xerkea - Ahahah! So the damned last Kvargo falls, and their species is brought to complete extinction! Excellent!
- Trastius - Volim's greatest admiral falls, then. Now there will be none left between us and him.
- Vekaron - ... Yes, let us proceed. No doubt Volim is close. We can... finally put an end to this war.
- Zr'Ahgloth - good work yo
- Arkarixus - Let us not leave the General waiting.
The deeper they went into the ship, the less warriors appeared to stop them; it seemed the crew was being exhausted, or they were simply fleeing. Either way, it would not take long for them to finally arrive to the throne room; by far the most lavish chamber in the vessel, an entire army of Wranploer soldiers - perhaps most of what remained of the crew by that point - took defensive positions while Volim rose from his throne. He took his gatling gun and aimed at the Alliance, his teeth shaking in fury as he was visibly covered in sweat. He was nervous.
- Volim - Why won't you die?!
- Tuolog - We have a knack for not going down easy. It our thing.
- Arkarixus - Can you feel it? The palpable smell of fear in the chamber.
- Volim - You... Damn you most of all, Kormacvar! This is all your doing! All was going fine for me until these Alliance dogs awakened you! You want to take my galaxy from me!
- Zr'Ahgloth - lol bruh yoo wuldnt hav made it dis far wivout zaarkhun an yoo kno it
- Volim - Zaarkhun was my tool! I am in control! I am General Volim Thrava; I am be EMPEROR of this galaxy!
- Yogtam - You're not half as scary as those we've defeated in the past. We will crush you and add you to the long list of foes we have overcome.
- Vyutrin - Today, we make a favour to the universe by ridding it of yet another wannabe tyrant.
- Volim - Raaaaghh!!
Volim and his men opened fire, and the Alliance fought back. Vekaron and his knights charged into the fray, cutting down Wranploer after Wranploer, while Xerkea and Xeron led the mech-suits of the Niaka into battle, using their sheer bulk to endure the enemy gunfire while they shot them down with gusto. Vaktyl returned with gunfire of his own, as Vailisa served as a meat shield before swatting them aside. Though there was little room for Darwishi to fly, he could still lob bombs from a distance while Zelfron III cut any minions apart that came close. Kalcedia aimed for Volim's head, but was surrounded by minions herself; luckily, Lupercal raced in between them and sliced them away. Vyutrin led the Royal Guard of the Indoctrinate Collective, making use of their top of the line weapons technology to utterly shred through Volim's men while Olcinius and his Paladian knights supported the flank, ensuring none of them could escape the fight. And while Trastius and his Seagon soldiers took down reinforcements, Arkarixus begun levitating as he was surrounded by an aura of energy.
Volim roared out in rage as he focused fire on the hated Kormacvar, the one he blamed for all that was happening, but his shots could not penetrate his essence barrier. With a wave of Arkarixus' hand, Volim yelped in surprise as his weapon suddenly started being crushed into itself until it was but a piece of scrap, and as his forces were decimated, he scrambled back in fear until he felt his throne behind him. The Alliance's forces approached, and the Wranploer's eyes widened as a cold shiver went down his spine.
All he had built for almost two thousand years was being torn apart before his eyes.
- Volim - Y-You... Curse you! You ruined everything! My people was meant to rule!
- Tuolog - Hehe. I see through history nothing that determine the Wranploer as rulers of Borealis.
- Vekaron - For thousands of years, the Wranploer have caused destruction, all because they believed themselves to be a 'master race'. This dates back far before Volim was even born; according to our history, they have always been like this. Truly a despicable culture.
- Tuolog - I see no evidence that you were ever deigned rulers. But I see many despots that try to claim this the case. You only add to long list. And today, you add to long list of failures.
- Volim - No... Nooo! I was to rule! I was to be a Galactic Emp-
Before he could finish his sentence, Arkarixus threw a hand into Volim's head. The Wranploer begun screaming as he felt an intense burning feeling where the Kormacvar's palm touched, until the very shape of his hand was printed into his skull. The Warmaster clenched his fingers around the General's head as he lift his massive body from the throne, staring down at him with malicious intent.
- Arkarixus - You were not. And you never will be.
- Vekaron - Borealis is free, Volim. Free from your tyrannt, and the tyranny of the Wranploer. It's over.
- Tuolog - And somewhere in the afterlife, Zaarkhun took pleasure in that statement.
- Xeron - Oh, don't ruin the mood by bringing him up, now. I'm enjoying watching Volim squirm like an insect.
- Volim - G-Gaah! I hate you! I hate you all!
- Arkarixus - You want to rule the galaxy, primitive? Then I will make you a true part of its cosmos... Find me an airlock.
- Volim - W-What?! No! Let go of me!
Trastius and the Seagon immediately begun looking around and quickly found an airlock in close proximity; fortunately, Zaarkhun had kept one in the chamber for the precise purpose of killing a visitor whose deal appeared unfavorable. Arkarixus would forcefully drag Volim across the group by his skull, and the Wranploer desperately dug his claws into the carpets in a futile attempt to free himself. The Alliance watched as Arkarixs then threw the General inside, before Trastius closed its doors. They heard him desperately banging into the walls from inside, screaming in fear and rage until the Seagon activated the outer doors.
Exposed to the vaccuum, Volim was spaced and launched out. The tyranny of the General had come to an end.
Vekaron smiled as his knights all cheered in victory, and the Niaka of the Special Forces all roared out a battlecry. The Unified Nation Commandos let out a battlecry led by Thr'aloy, while the leaders clapped. Tuolog never delighted in the death of an individual, but he nonetheless felt content to see such a threat that scourged the galaxy removed; he saw fit even the bring the non-combatant members of UNOL, Feldosia and the Kralgon Emperor, over, so that they could partake in the good news. Trastius nodded in silence to his Seagon forces, while both Olcinius and Vyutrin commemorated with their own men. Arkarixus crossed his arms as he let out a sigh; this was a victory he could appreciate, after all the hardships Volim and his associates forced him to go through the last few years.
All this celebration, however, left them open. From behind, a blade pierced through Feldosia's back and skewered her all the way through as a familiar face grinned behind her. The Kralgon Emperor jumped back in shock and held out his pistol towards the figure, while the rest of UNOL were mortified.
It was Sollow, who laughed maniacally.
- Sollow - Ahahahaha! Today, you join Valzo in death!
- Zr'Ahgloth - WAT DA HELL I THOUGHT YOO GOT YA HED RIPPED OFF
- Sollow - I cannot die... I am immortal!
As he noticed the attack, Arkarixus swung his fist, causing Sollow to be blown away by a blast of elemental essence. However, his blade remained pierced into Feldosia. Vaktyl unloaded his chaingun in rage at Sollow, only for it to all be healed; before the rest of UNOC could fire further, Thr'aloy held them all back.
- Thr'aloy - Do not waste your bullets. MAN SCROO YOO YOO KILLED A DEFENSELESS PREGNANT WOMAN JUS FER FUN WATS WRONG WIV YOO
- Sollow - I... love watching you suffer, UNO! And she was pregnant...? So I have ended three lives of yours.
- Yogtam - Damn you! All your leaders are dead! What reason do you have to still be here, wretch?!
- Sollow - Is it not obvious...? With Falrik and Volim both gone, now this Consortium Network is mine! Sollow will lead!
- Zr'Ahgloth - IM SO MAD I WANNA RIP YA HED OFF AN SMASH YA BONES TA BITS DEN DO IT OVA AN OVA AN OVA AS DEY KEEP HEELIN
- Sollow - Ahahahaha! Hurt me all you want! I love it! You cannot destroy me, no matter how much you, or Tuolog, or your precious supersoldiers try! I am death itself, and I cannot die!
- ??? - We shall see about that.
From behind Tuolog, at the end of the chamber, a portal opened. Dakster, the leader of the Vague, flew out, and fired a blast that held Sollow to the ground. Dakster stood over Sollow, fighting back tears, with rage in his eyes.
- Dakster - So it is nanomachines that keep you alive? Let's see what happens when I burn them all!
- Sollow - Ahaha... What? What is this?!
- Dakster - In life, Feldosia was my friend. And so was Valzo. The two of them kept this nation together. If you exist only to destroy them and torment my former brothers, then I will end your miserable existence now! I will disintegrate you!
- Sollow - You'll... What?!
As Dakster fired another of his rays, Sollow was vaporized, as were each of his nanomachines. There was no escape for him, as Sollow felt his remains burning away and evaporating, with no way of healing him, as the Vague's weapon destroyed him much faster than he could heal. He managed to stand up and looked at himself as the energy slowly ate him away.
- Sollow - So... This is death...?
- Dakster - This is your end!
Sollow kept staring at himself, and begun laughing. He laughed and laughed until his entire body was consumed, and he was completely disintegrated into nothingness. Arkarixus walked over to behind Dakster and placed a hand in his shoulder. The rest of UNOL still looked distraught, Tuolog especially.
- Arkarixus - Your arrival was a timely one, Vague.
- Dakster - I felt the news, and I simply had to return to confirm it for myself. The loss of Feldosia was a tragedy. I only wish I could've prevented it, but the time anomalies have increased pace. Only more so since Zaarkhun was destroyed.
- Vekaron - Is it true? She was pregnant?
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Indeed, she was still with child. But through medical nanotechnology, the child can be preserved.
- Vekaron - Oh, thank goodness. The thought of that madman doing such a thing... It hits close to me, and it disgusts me.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - It can be preserved, but her life cannot. We can only save one.
- Zr'Ahgloth - MAN DIS SUKS. GUD FING DAT GEEZA IS TOTALLY DED FOREVA NAO I WAS SO SIK OF HIM
- Tuolog - It all my fault... I responsible for Feldosia's death...
- Xeron - Hey, don't blame yourself. Nobody noticed that wretch was here, not even the Kormacvar.
- Arkarixus - No doubt, he hid himself away and waited for the opportunity to strike. Regardless, it is finished. Let us return to our spaceships.
- Xerkea - Yes! We have a planet to destroy!
Tuolog teleported back, but did so with no joy. As the rest of the Alliance eagerly awaited the bombing of the Wranploer world as an end to a regime that had ravaged the galaxy for too long, UNO's ships did not participate. The Zoles, Niaka, Seagon and Paladian forces, meanwhile, initiated a full orbital bombardment, glassing the surface of Vijaha into rubble while all stragglers from the Wranploer Legion were shot down. With this, the Polar Crystla Alliance had fulfilled the goals of their original incarnation; they had ruined the Wranploer Legion beyond repair.
Far away from the battle, a shuttle fled to the closest Cold Relay. Inside it, Admiral Torrent was nursed back to health, watching the Legion be crushed under the Alliance.
He would have his vengeance yet.
As the battle was over, the fleets begun making their way back home. The leaders among them, however, continued to fly over the destroyed planet. A conference was held among them through communications, with Arkarixus being the first to speak.
- Arkarixus - With the destruction of this planet and the death of Volim, the Wranploer will fall into disarray. No doubt, they will spend the next years fighting amongst themselves, trying to decide who shall lead them next. For the foreseeable future, they are no longer a problem.
- Yogtam - I am glad that the Wranploer Legion will no longer threaten your people again.
- Asraels - Our people, Ottzelloan. You are as much of a part of Borealis now as us.
- Yogtam - ...Thank you, Asreals. It is good to feel accepted in this galaxy. If nothing else, we can take that from this day.
- Xerkea - The Consortium Network is in ruins! It is a day worth celebrating twice over!
- Zr'Ahgloth - I MEEN I WAS GONNA CELEBRATE BY EETIN ALL DA PIZZA BUT SOLLOW RUINED MA APPETITE
- Xeron - At the very least, our Vague ally put an end to his menace. Now, the entire leadership of both the Wranploer and the Consortium are dealt with.
- Tuolog - Yes, this true. Make no mistake from the mood in Ottzello; we very happy about this victory, but as you can imagine, the loss of two Leaders to one opponent is quite a lot to take in.
- Vekaron - That is fair. We'll have time to properly mourn and honour the dead now that we don't have to worry about a Wranploer invasion.
- ??? - Time...?
In the vacuum of space, in front of their ships, appeared the massive forms of their Vyro'Ralza foes, Kolossus and Antagonar. The former glanced down at the glassed Vijaha and let out an amused chuckle, while Antagonar remained in high spirits as usual.
- Kolossus - Good going down there! Leveling a civilization back to the Stone Age.
- Antagonar - Indeed! We were considering just speaking to you once Zaarkhun was defeated, but allowing you to unleash chaos on the Wranploer first felt more prudent!
- Arkarixus - ... What is it you want now, demons?
- Kolossus - We are here to congratulate you, of course. You have destroyed not just Volim, but also Falrik Zaarkhun!
- Antagonar - Much appreciated for that, by the way. With Regnatus defeated, Zaarkhun was the only remaining threat to our plan!
The Alliance glanced at one another in confusion and surprise.
- Arkarixus - What? What do you speak of?
- Kolossus - It is that simple. Falrik Zaarkhun's existence was the sole thing stopping us from going all out. And we couldn't get rid of him ourselves.
- Antagonar - Since Zargoth possessed him, Zaarkhun's mind contained traces of what we call the "Time Secrets". Such secrets could potentially destroy the fifth dimension in this universe. If we tried to kill him ourselves, he would just level the universe, and that would never do! We need it for Zargoth's plan!
- Yogtam - I recall Durzhan also mentioning these "Secrets". Tuolog, do you know what they're talking about?
- Tuolog - The Time Secrets are effectively codes. One who knows them need only utter them to disrupt fifth dimension completely. Think of it as hacking a computer.
- Arkarixus - That is problematic.
- Zr'Ahgloth - MAN AND HEER I THOUGHT DURZHAN WAS JUS BLUFFIN CAUSE HE WAS MAD OR SOMFIN. TURNS OUT HE WAS SPEEKIN PROPA
- Antagonar - Ah, yes, Durzhan. A shame we had to fool him the whole time. I suppose lie by omission truly is a lie. But, oh well, he served his purpose!
- Kolossus - ... You should have listened to Durzhan, mortals. He is entirely correct.
Kolossus leaned forward, pointing a finger at the UNO Omega Commander.
- Kolossus - The Perfect Fate is still coming, and there is nothing you can do to stop it.
- Tuolog - We will. Just like we stop everything else in this war. And we will call on help of Volzara if we must!
The two Vyro'Ralza looked at one another, and burst out laughing.
- Kolossus - Fool! The Perfect Fate is part of Volzara's own design! Durzhan spoke the truth!
- Tuolog - ... What? That not...
- Antagonar - Hahaha! She has been most helpful! Irritating, admittedly, when she tries to stop us from simply killing you and taking your souls, which would be the far easier -- and more entertaining! -- route. But nonetheless, she has been most helpful in our grand design!
- Arkarixus - No... You lie yet again! The goddess could not collaborate with rabble such as you.
- Antagonar - Such faith you have in her, and such lies you accuse me of! Do I look like Falrik Zaarkhun to you?
- Zr'Ahgloth - well yoo also look SUPA STOOPID
- Antagonar - Fighting words, Loron. Maybe I will see them in combat from you soon!
- Kolossus - Fight all you want, mortals. Now that Zaarkhun is gone, we will consume this galaxy with anomalies. And the Perfect Fate will be realized!
- Antagonar - A day I've long awaited!
The two Vyro'Ralza then disappeared just as quickly as they arrived, leaving the allies to themselves once again. Their feelings were mixed; their happiness for the victory over the Wranploer had been soured by their coming.
A transmission was later sent, this time by the Propa Big Rogue Krooza. The allies debated over whether to respond, but ultimately decided to accept.
- Rel'larutina - Hey, I just saw the news. You busted up the Wranploer pretty bad.
- Vekaron - Volim is dead and his homeworld is a lifeless rock. The Consortium is defeated.
- Rel'larutina - Right. I'm not gonna mourn the loss of Volim, to be honest, but it's a shame about Zaarkhun. Lawless galaxy would've suited us a bit better. Still, I suppose this means your last opponent is Zargoth, right?
- Arkarixus - His minions have come to taunt us again. It seems Zaarkhun's life was the only thing holding them back.
- Rel'larutina - Hm, I thought as much. Zaarkhun had kind of hinted to it in some conversations in the past, which obviously went over the Loron's head completely. Plus, if they wanted to wipe the galaxy out, they could've done it at any time. The anomalies they've used aren't exactly enough to destroy us instantly.
- Vyutrin - Well, seems it's time to fight demon lords again. It shouldn't be that bad. Kolossus died once over the atmosphere of New Draka, you know? He's definitely not invincible.
- Rel'larutina - I'd watch yourself, though. They're pretty powerful, and you'll need all the help you can get. That's why I'm calling to say that I'm willing to help out. Oh, and uh, so are the other Loron.
- Jol'kiar - YOOO HOW WAS IT??? DID YOO TOSS VOLIM IN DA GOD DIMENSHON AN FORCE HIM TA HAV TEA WIV A XHODDIE BOY FER ETERNITY???
- Arkarixus - ... I threw him off the airlock.
- Jol'kiar - DIS REMAKE IS STOOPID
- Vekaron - Hold on. Don't the Loron worship Kolossus? Why would they help us?
- Rel'larutina - Pssst, between you and me, I told them this was a Zr'An'Kar impersonator.
- Vekaron - Ah... Right. Sure. It's a copycat.
- Hagto'Zhl - NO ONE COPIES MA DAD. DATS DA BIGGEST CRIME AGENST DA OONIVERSE. WES GONNA SLAP DEM ALL OVA DA PLACE
- Zr'Ahgloth - MAN I GOTTA WORK WIV YOO AGEN??? SUKS
- Hagto'Zhl - GO SHOV DAT ATTITUDE UP YA ASS
- Zr'Ahgloth - YA MOMS DUM
- Arkarixus - Volzara grant me patience...
- Rel'larutina - I don't think Volzara's gonna grant you anything, I'm afraid. I heard the news. Looks like she really is in on this.
- Brag'klogga - MAN WHAI DID DA TIME PIGGIE GODDESS HAV TA TURN TRAITA? I WAS GONNA ADD HER TO DA PANTHEON AS DA GODDESS OF BEIN A HOT TIME PIGGIE
- Kal'kuir - BY MY CALCULASHONS ITS 50% BECUZ SHES A CHIK AN 50% BECUZ SHES A TIME PIGGIE
- Brag'klogga - TRULY AN AFFRONT TO DA 333 GODZ. WHAI DO I EVEN LIKE HER MAN I HATE CHIKZ
- Fre'kloar - SO YEH WELL HELP YOO KILL DA ZRANKAR IMPOSTA AN DA OTHA DEMON GODZ DEN WES GONNA GTFO FROM DA WAR
- Xerkea - Well, I certainly welcome the latter.
- Rel'larutina - Welcome to my world. Rogue Krooza out.
The Unified Nation of Ottzello invited the Polar Crystal Alliance on-board the Omega Commander. For most Alliance leaders, it was their first time viewing the ship. The starship's interior was very much inspired by Kralgon design, but with a sleeker look and a Galot palette of paint around the walls. The ship was very well-maintained by maintenance robots, and walking through the hallways showed them it was very clean, aside from the mess hall where most Loron crew members hung out. Even on reaching the prison cell they were taken to, this room seemed far cleaner than one would expect knowing the Unified Nation's aggressive behavior towards its foes.
Durzhan was locked in an Essence cell that suppressed his power, being watched by Ioketa from a tree inside the chamber. He was bound by several Chronoscopic wires that were constantly suppressing his power, meaning he was incapable of freeing himself. Every time it seemed to be the case that he was putting up an effort against it, more Ioketa were warped in to suppress his power further. They noted, however, that Durzhan had made almost no attempts to escape in the recent days. As the Polar Crystal Alliance surrounded Durzhan, Tuolog arrived and awakened Durzhan from his sleep.
- Tuolog - Durzhan the best person to ask to know how to stop Kolossus and Antagonar for now. His information prove valuable.
- Xeron - You're too easy to trust, friend. He was trying to kill us all just a few days ago.
- Arkarixus - I am inclined to believe our goals align with his. Now that Falrik Zaarkhun is no more, he has no more options.
Durzhan awakened, and looked towards them. He did not show any signs of resentment or resist.
- Durzhan - The Kormacvar Warmaster is correct. My goal is to destroy Zargoth, and ruin his plans. I shall ruin Volzara's also. Though I'd be inclined to destroy her children too, leaving them alive is a worthy sacrifice to achieve my ultimate goal.
- Zr'Ahgloth - well tbh yor a katel so yor her kid too. so kill yaself lol
- Durzhan - I have lived far too long... But suicide is something frowned upon among my people. If I die, I will die fighting Zargoth.
- Arkarixus - You cannot destroy an Essential God. You can, however, provide information on how to oppose the Vyro'Ralza currently plaguing the galaxy. The anomalies have grown worse.
- Durzhan - And they will only continue to. Volzara may want you to live, but Zargoth cares not if you live or die. Kolossus and Antagonar enjoy the sport of killing you. In order to stop them ravaging the galaxy, you must give your power to them willingly.
- Vekaron - That seems counter-intuitive. We'd just be giving them what they want.
- Durzhan - Give them what they want, or they will take it from you. If you have resigned yourself to not attempting to fight them, those are your only two options.
- Arkarixus - Giving them what they seek would mean the extinction of this sector. I would much prefer bringing them down.
- Zr'Ahgloth - YEH MAN I DONT WANNA GIV MA SOUL AWAY. I ONLY GOT ONE OF DOSE AND I KINDA NEED IT
- Durzan - They may seek another way to extract power from you without taking your entire soul. Volzara probably prefers this, as she would not like you destroyed. I do not know what that is, though, for I was not involved with Volzara.
- Kralgon Emperor - Hm. Tuolog, any idea what that could be?
- Tuolog - With how fifth dimension works, all our "data" is stored in "holodata". If they take sample of this, they may be able to use our power without using entire soul if they can replicate soul from this data. Doing this involve serious activity on our part to draw sample from, however. And it easy to record in Sequencium.
- Xeron - Eh? "Data"? What're you on about? You're not machines.
- Tuolog - We not. But the third dimension is a projection of what we call "holodata" that is stored in fifth dimension. We use term "data" because it closest description of how fifth dimension works.
- Durzhan - Tuolog's guess is as good as mine. Volzara would obviously prefer you all survive. Antagonar and Kolossus could care less.
- Arkarixus - Hmpf. If that is the case, then this must be the approach we must go for.
- Durzhan - If you wish. I am ready to simply destroy Volzara as well.
- Arkarixus - We will not destroy the goddess. Even if we had the capability to so, Zargoth is the culprit of all this.
- Durzhan - They are both gods. Both are lying, manipulating schemers who care little for the mortals below them. But if you wish, I will choose whatever is best placed to defeat Zargoth and exact my revenge. I will help you.
- Zr'Ahgloth - OK COOL SO WE DO DAT DEN... hao do we do dat lol
Durzhan gestured to Tuolog, who opened the cell door. For security, a few more Ioketa warped in in the event he'd need restraining again, though Durzhan stuck to his word. He then created a small, miniature portal, which would only fit him.
- Durzhan - Zargoth gave me the ability to create portals to Sequencium. I can create one for all of us, where we confront them. Presumably, we demand they do not destroy our souls.
- Arkarixus - Wait. If we are going to Sequencium, then we must bring the Vague with us as well. They would want a part in this.
- Durzhan - Yes. Is it just them?
- Tuolog - Well...
- Yogtam - ...the Rogue Boyz want in too.
- Zr'Ahgloth - WAT DA HELL NO DEY DONT FORGET DEM
Durzhan sent out a message to the Vague, who appeared first, and then warped in the Rogue Boyz. Fre'kloar first fell on his face, and the rest of the Leedas and Warbosses were no more gracious in their landing. Only Rel'larutina remained upright, as a pile of Loron fell on the floor in front of them.
- Zr'Ahgloth - NOOOOOO WHAI
- Fre'kloar - YOOO WAT DA HELL AT LEEST GIV A DAM WARNIN
- Arkarixus - It is time to face the Vyro'Ralza. We will be traveling to the fifth dimension.
- Fre'kloar - ok but can i finish my pizza first
- Arkarixus - You have one second.
- Fre'kloar - YO BRAG STOP TIME SO I CAN FINISH MY PIZZA
- Brag'klogga - WOT??? sorry i was havin a seizure DID YA SAY SOMFIN?
- Dakster - So it is time then. Time to put an end to Zargoth once and for all. To avenge all those who lost their lives from his actions.
- Tuolog - Yes. Zargoth plunge this galaxy into chaos just for whatever his sick experience is. He bring on most horrible war in galaxy's history for selfish desires. We confront him and bring it to an end.
- Arkarixus - Then let us be done with this. Borealis has suffered enough.
- Jol'kiar - yo anyone else feel like dis has all gone like... totally different frum how it was supposed to?? like fings was less complicated an den all da plot points changed???
- Fre'kloar - dont mind him hes gettin old and cranki
- Jol'kiar - i swer next fing yooll tell me dey changed da combat to an action battle system an split it into multiple parts
- Arkarixus - Enough. Send us to Sequencium.
- Rel'larutina - Thank you.
Durzhan nodded, and expanded the portal to be large enough for the largest two members - Rel'larutina and Vailisa - to enter. One by one, they made their way in, unsure of what to expect. They were entering the realm of Essentials, seeking to fight them on their own terms.
Squenecium's landscape was something that the 3D mortals struggled to comprehend. Their depth perception changed entirely, and aside from one another, all they could see were swirls of green and gold, without an end in sight. As the group entered, they were barely able to perceive a surface around them, though each of them seemed to stand on the same level as one another. If the group were not such battle-hardened soldiers with their senses sharpened perfectly, they would suffer severe motion sickness and withdrawal symptoms just by being here.
At first, all the group could see were each other, and they had no perception for how to navigate through this realm. Only Tuolog, Dakster, Durzhan, Brag'klogga, and Dalverat could even work out a sense of direction.
- Fre'kloar - DIS IS WEIRD WHO LET DA CHIK DO DA PAINTIN
- Vekaron - Uh... I can barely see a thing in here. Is this the place?
- Durzhan - Yes it is. Whether the coordinates are exact are hard to tell, however. Navigating here is tricky. This realm was not designed to accomodate for our kind.
- Brag'klogga - MAN DIS PLACE IS MAKIN ME NAUSEOUS. WEIRD FLIPPY TIME PIGGIE NONSENSE I SWER
- Dakster - We must find Zargoth. No doubt he knows we are here.
- ??? - Correct.
As soon as they heard the voice, they felt themselves pulled to another part of Sequencium entirely. The group tried to run or struggle away, but it was as if they were being carried and could not resist. Running was worthless, as it was the "ground" around them that was moving. Eventually, the group found themselves in front of what appeared to resemble an enormous black cauldron, with Zargoth, Volzara, Antagonar, and Kolossus standing above it. Volzara seemed happy to see them, while Zargoth, as typical, had no expression on his face. Antagonar smirked, while Kolossus burned with an aura of dread and terror which easily made him stand out among them; for unlike the others, he was half-Corruptus Demon.
- Zargoth - Nice of you to join us. I suppose you are not here to witness the rise of Vyro'Xiyara.
- Yogtam - Vyro... Xiyara?
- Volzara - Yes, children. Vyro'Xiyara. Its name translates to "Time Perfected".
- Dakster - The Perfect Fate! So it is a creature!
- Zargoth - "Creature" is a crude, third dimensional perspective of what we are creating here, but yes. It is a creation by Volzara and myself. And the special ingredients: you.
- Tuolog - Volzara... So you really working with Zargoth all this time...
Volzara looked pensive, as Antagonar mocked her while Kolossus grinned with malicious intent.
- Volzara - I never wanted you destroyed. I never wanted you threatened by a war. I never wanted any of this... But yes, I did want Vyro'Xiyara created, and I still believe in it.
- Arkarixus - But why? Why plunge Borealis into chaos? What reason could there be for you to collaborate with this... scum?!
- Volzara - Plunging Borealis into chaos was not my plan. Many years ago, from our perspective at least, Zargoth, with the help of Durzhan, started the Borealis War to set the staging grounds for the creation of the Vyro'Ralza. However, the Ottzelloans, from a timeline in which they rejected the offer, still made for ideal soul ingredients. And the Borealans, too, would serve as an excellent counterbalance, as we saw with the Vague. We needed the energy from all of you, so we had to use this timeline.
- Dakster - Excellent counterbalance?! Can't you see what Zargoth did with me, and all the Ottzel? This tortured existence is his fault!
- Volzara - I wish to never let that happen to my children again. So this time, I will not let any of you suffer. We ask, therefore, to end this conflict, and for you to provide your souls to us willingly.
- Zargoth - I doubt you will accept. But if you do not, Antagonar and Kolossus here would have no problem destroying you and taking your souls from you. The path of least resistance here is preferable to you, and to Volzara here. It makes no difference to me.
- Tuolog - We no offer our souls. But we offer you the holodata you need instead. No one has to die.
Volzara looked back to Zargoth, and then to her children again.
- Volzara - Do you know how to do this, Tuolog? I do not recall teaching you.
- Tuolog - No, but I have theory. Now we in Sequencium, you able to extract holodata from us separately. You able to create separate copies of us, yet still from same timeline, without needing to remove us from original timeline. I think this can work.
- Zargoth - Insufficient. There is no guarantee to this. It is untested.
- Volzara - If no one has to die, then we shall do it. I care not if it is untested. I won't let my children die if they do not have to!
- Zargoth - Hm. Problematic.
- Arkarixus - You have nothing to lose here, demon. Accept her terms and let us be done with this.
No expression appeared on Zargoth's face, though he waited in silence a little, processing it. Before he could make his conclusion, Antagonar chimed in.
- Antagonar - Bah! I say we listen not to the sentiment of a goddess who has forgotten she is beyond the needs of mortals now!
- Tuolog - You stay out of this. Volzara is beyond you.
- Antagonar - Indeed she is, and yet I am far beyond you! I could simply destroy you now and be done with this!
- Volzara - If you do that, my cooperation ends here.
- Zr'Ahgloth - YEH BAK OFF YA WEIRD SWORD FETISHIST
- Antagonar - A frustrating predicament! Kolossus, what do you say?
Kolossus' eyes turned to Antagonar, and then back to the mortals. They narrowed as his demonic aura grew, and they shined a terrible light as his fists were enveloped in Essence.
- Kolossus - Vengeance for Shu'rimrodir.
- Antagonar - Destruction it is! If Volzara does not participate, then so be it! We will create Vyro'Xiyara without her input! It will serve Zargoth only.
- Volzara - You cannot!
- Kolossus - This was never up to discussion. I care not for you, or for Zargoth; I will have my revenge, on these infernal mortals who have plagued me since the Plazithian War! I will rend their souls to pieces and devour the rest!
- Volzara - If you do this, you will never set foot in Sequencium again. And I will end your existence.
- Kolossus - The Perfect Fate will come, should they struggle or not. It makes no difference.
- Zargoth - I have reached my conclusion.
The rest all turned towards Zargoth, who had remained entirely static throughout. Though he never showed any emotions, one could infer his thoughts through how tense he appeared. Right now, he was very relaxed.
- Zargoth - Creating a holodata copy of the Borealans and Ottzelloans is feasible, but no simple prospect. The optimum way would be for them to live out new lives in Sequencium. This would be a difficult arrangement, but feasible. Fortunately, I have a simpler option that should satisfy all parties involved.
- Tuolog - And... what that be?
- Zargoth - A battle. Kolossus and Antagonar, against the mortals of the Borealis Galaxy. Who prevails determines the outcome. Should you survive and defeat them, we will have gathered enough data to use in the concoction. Should you not, we will devour your soul.
- Jol'kiar - battle? now ent dat convenient
- Fre'kloar - WOW DIS SUKS. YOO SUK. EVERYUN SUKS. except me ofc
- Kolossus - Hah! So be it, then.
- Antagonar - Indeed! Though, I add a condition: if I win, I not only take your soul, but your swords!
- Zargoth - This is acceptable.
- Volzara - I will not allow this! I will not risk any harm coming to them! They are innocent!
- Zargoth - They are more than capable of fighting, Volzara. Furthermore, they seem inclined towards it anyway. That was their intention when they first arrived.
- Arkarixus - If these are the terms... Then I will ensure you suffer in ways you will not forget.
- Antagonar - Did you hear something, Kolossus? I thought I heard an ant try to threaten me!
Kolossus stepped forward, letting out a roar and opening his massive wings, letting out a storm of flame from them.
- Kolossus - I will make sure that, in every timeline you have ever existed in, you are plunged into infinite terror! Antagonar may take the first shot, but my hatred for you goes far beyond this realm... I will ensure you suffer for all eternity!
- Antagonar - First shot? Sounds good to me! I await our battle, mortals of Borealis!
- Zargoth - If the first match is set, we must simulate a battlefield for the first gauntlet to take place. Two battles should be sufficient.
- Xeron - Oh great, because that totally won't be biased at all.
- Volzara - I will simulate the battlefield, thank you.
- Durzhan - Make no mistake, Volzara. You may play the good cop, you may feign concern for us, but you are as disconnected as he is. You are as much a manipulator as he. I do not know what game you are playing with us, pretending to look out for our best interests, but I see right through it.
- Kolossus - Oh, she does care. Which makes the thought of inflicting infinite despair among you all the more delicious to me. She will watch her precious children be consumed by nightmares.
- Volzara - It's true. Even for you, Durzhan; despite all you have done, I have sympathy.
- Durzhan - The lies of a god...
Assembling the Team
Volzara warped a distance away, and then warped back. The group found themselves pulled away once again, but this time, they landed in a place that much more closely resembled the third dimension. To Yogtam and Zr'Ahgloth, it was familar: the group were taken to a vast desert planet, with an enormous stone bridge across the planet. The Rogue Boyz, Zr'Ahgloth, and Yogtam all recognized it.
- Yogtam - This is Bog'adfab! Where Zr'Ahgloth and I fought on the Grand Bridge!
- Zr'Ahgloth - did we??? man i been thru plenty of bridges in ma dayz
- Brag'klogga - AR YOO DISRESPECTIN DA BRIDGE OF BOG'ADFAB???? BRUH FIRST YOO WORSHIP DA FALSE GOD AN DEN YOO FORGET DA NAME OF DA GREAT BRIDGE CONSTRUCTED BY I'MADEUPHISNAME IN HONOR OF DA GOD IDONT'REMEMBA. MAN YOR A DISGRACE
- Kal'kuir - by ma calculashons dis planet is currently owned by us. so get rekt lol
- Yogtam - This was an Inalton world. The Loron took it from us during the First Ottzello Galactic War. I suppose it later changed hands to the Rogue Boyz.
- Zr'Ahgloth - eh reely??? wat da hell yoo losas gimme ma planet bak. urm i meen yogtams planet
- Arkarixus - Enough. If this is to be the site of the battle, then so be it.
Volzara then warped above a gate at the end of the bridge briefly.
- Volzara - My children, and Borealans! I have given you a ten minute headstart. You have ten minutes that I have frozen in time to prepare before Antagonar arrives. I suggest you use it wisely. I wish you all the best.
- Fre'kloar - ok cool fanks yoo weirdly attractive piggie. ANYWAY LADS YA KNO WAT DAT MEENS. GIMME ALL DA BUFFS
- Drizz'pyrokirk - I GOT ENUFF PROTEEN SHAKES FER EVRYUN HEER
- Dalverat - Tuolog, Durzhan, we must empower them all with Essence. It will give them an edge.
- Durzhan - I will empower the entire group. Dalverat, I suggest you use your powers weakening Antagonar, if you can. Bring him to a level closer to ours.
- Brag'klogga - DONT FORGET TO CAST DEPROTECT AN SLOWGA ON HIM WHILE I CAST HASTEGA ON DA PARTY
- Dalverat - Hm, I've never fed on an Essential before... I will do what I can, but I fear feeding too much on him may cause me to... overload.
- Thr'aloy - That sounds final. yoo meen yoo explode
- Dalverat - ... It is a theory I have no interest in trying.
- Zalk'don - i meen i like da sound of yoo explodin
- Tuolog - Antagonar too cocky for his own good. He may be strong, but we have our own strength. We have soldiers on par with him, and he not that amazing with Essence. He will regret underestimating us.
- Arkarixus - Grant me the power you can, and I will make that creature regret coming into existence.
- Dakster - And I will be right behind you, Arkarixus. I should be able to endure Antagonar's onslaught more easily than the rest.
- Kal'kuir - yoooo we didnt bring any strength poshons??? yoo lot is lame
- Jol'kiar - MAN WAT IS YOO LOT EVEN TALKIN ABOUT??? BAK IN MA DAYZ WE DIDNT SPEEK GEEKY LIKE DIS
Tuolog took leadership on this when preparing the group for the battle. He addressed the group and stood by Arkarixus, as Volzara smiled.
- Tuolog - We best team up. As Dalverat says, the Essence users will empower entire group, but I think we also good to focus on empowering teams that can work together well.
- Rel'larutina - Right, so, formations for the different teams. I think Grak'tona and I should get in front. We can absorb the most damage.
- Grak'tona - DA KING IS A WALL DAT SHALL PROTECT DA STINKY PESANTS
- Rel'larutina - Yeah, like that, or whatever. Point being, we get the vanguard in front. Behind them, heavy hitters?
- Tuolog - Yes. So that be Vailisa, Arkarixus, Zr'Ahgloth, Fre'kloar, Hagto'Zhl, Jol'kiar, Thr'aloy, Ray'loth, Olcinius, Gol'thabex.
- Arkarixus - I do not, and will not, fear demonic rabble.
- Ray'loth - oh yeh i exist btw
- Thr'aloy - Unfortunate. I AM DA BETTA VERSHON OF YOO
- Ray'loth - lmao no shut up ya gold plated geeza
- Zr'Ahgloth - HEVY HITTAS IS DA BEST TEEM AN YA BES BE SIK AT IT
- Hagto'Zhl - COPYCAT DUMBO YOO BETTA NOT EMBARASS ME WHEN I BEET UP DA ANTAGONIST GUY
- Olcinius - Well, I'm willing to give my life for my galaxy. I'm getting the feeling that'll be tested today.
- Vailisa - The Fist crush puny Traffphyd!
- Gol'thabex - ar we gettin paid for dis? cause we shuld
Tuolog then pointed his staff to another portion of the group.
- Tuolog - Agile fighters behind them. Zelfron III, Knar'gank, Drizz'pyrokirk, Vekaron, Commander-King Thylaxiz, Yogtam and Lupercal. You needed to intercept any of Antagonar's attacks.
- Vekaron - I'm not sure just how much I can contribute to this battle, but I will do my best.
- Yogtam - Keep Borealis in your heart, Vekaron. Fight as if your life depends on it... for it does.
- Zelfron III - It shall be done with utmost efficiency.
- Knar'gank - he wont see me comin
- Lupercal - Great. More difficult demon slaying. I'm starting to miss the Malcaeum.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Acknowledged.
- Tuolog - And then behind them, we have artillery. Xeron, Vaktyl, Zalk'don, Kal'kuir, Kalcedia, Naktor'zak, Trastius and Vyutrin.
- Vaktyl - Boom, baby! I'll hit him right between the eyes!
- Vyutrin - Such a shame I don't have an entire squad of Pseudothoi soldiers here. It'd rip right through that thing's flesh and it'd be beautiful.
- Trastius - We make do with what we have.
- Naktor'zak - YOOOO IMMA RUN HIM OVA LMAO
- Tuolog - No, your tank better placed in back for this battle. There a lot of room on this bridge, but maneuvering around your tank take that difficult.
- Xeron - Yes, do you want to see your tank grabbed by the barrel and thrown about like a toy again?
- Naktor'zak - WOW OK RUDE?????? POINT TAKEN GEEZ
- Kalcedia - Don't you worry, lovelies. Everything will be fine so long as we stay frosty.
- Kal'kuir - well by ma calculashons we hav a 0.00001% chance of survivin. but i DID bring ma biggest gun today so
- Tuolog - And finally, the flyers above. We will have Dakster, Darwishi, and Voa'reak for that. They also able to transport agile fighters around if necessary, but their role will be mostly distraction.
- Voa'reak - MAN DAT ANTAGONAR IS SUCH A LOSA HE DOSNT EVEN HAV WINGS OR A JETPAKK. ZR'AN'KAR IS SIK CUS HE HAS WINGS
- Darwishi - Time to rain hell from above!
- Tuolog - And us Essence users, of course, we know our position: stay with your chosen group of warriors.
- Brag'klogga - IF I DONT EMPOWA DA ROGUE BOYZ DEN IM GONNA RESIGN AN BE A CIRCUS CLOWN FER DA REST OF MA LIFE
- Fre'kloar - IDIOT. FIRST OF ALL YOR ALREDI A FLIPPIN CLOWN. SECOND DATS YA JOB. YOO EMPOWA US
- Hagto'Zhl - yor not a clown. yor da entire circus
- Tuolog - Brag'klogga, you have most experience with Rogue Boyz, so I think you best empowering heavy hitter team. I am best at healing; I focus on the vanguard team in front, and flyers.
- Dalverat - I shall empower the agile fighters. As for the Borealans among them... honestly, you had better just stand as far away as you can.
- Durzhan - The responsibility falls on me to empower the artillery unit. I know they will not like it, but it shall be done. I can fire flaming boulders at our opponent.
Tuolog turned back to Volzara, who smiled warmly.
- Volzara - I am so, so proud of you all. I have faith in you.
- Vekaron - Thanks, but we'll need more than faith to win this.
- Arkarixus - Do not fear demon rabble. They are not worthy of being feared.
- Volzara - I can't empower you in this battle. Doing so would interfere with the data I need to gather. It needs to be as accurate as possible to ensure it works.
- Durzhan - Even if you could, I would not trust you with it.
- Fre'kloar - OK MAN IM PUMPED UP. LETS BEET DA GEEZA UP
Battle on the Big Bridge
Having appeared in formation, performing the various war cries of the factions among Borealis, the group awaited, as Antagonar arrived. Eventually, carrying swords from all different universes, Antagonar appeared high above in the sky, looking down on the group from the opposite end of the canyon. He smirked, as he hopped down.
- Antagonar - There you are! The warriors of Borealis gathered before me! I was beginning to worry a fight would not take place, and I'd miss out on the opportunity to combat you like I did in the previous timeline!
- Zr'Ahgloth - MAN I CANT WAIT TA WIPE DAT SMILE OFF YA UGLY MUG I SWER
- Jol'kiar - YEH CUT IT OUT WIV DA EXCLAMATION MARKS YOR SO ANNOYIN
- Tuolog - You not take our swords, Antagonar, or our souls. We stand together, and we defeat you!
- Antagonar - Volzara was rather strict in her rules here. If all of you die, I take your souls. If only some die, it matters not; this entire realm is but a simulation. You live to fight another day. Not that it matters, for I will be victorious!
- Kal'kuir - ok ya herd him so dont wipe or its 50 dkp minus
- Durzhan - Prepare for your doom, god!
- Arkarixus - This is no god. It is a lackey. And it will be brought down like one.
Antagonar then leapt, rolling in the air as he did so, and landed on the bridge in front of him.
- Antagonar - Enough expository banter! Now we fight like gods, mortals, and robots! A true contest of strength that will be remembered throughout the aeons! For Antagonar, it is time to fight!
The forces of the Polar Crystal Alliance braced themselves; they had strategized and empowered themselves as much as they could, and now it would be put to the test. Immediately, Antagonar fired a wave of Essence in front of him, which shocked both Rel'larutina and Grak'tona for how much damage was dealt. He then charged through the entire group, cutting a line along them, and ended back at the front. Yogtam had been mortally wounded in the attack, while many of the others were shaken completely and struggled to get up. Antagonar wasted no time, however, as he leapt forward to swing his sword at Rel'larutina, who barely blocked it. Grak'tona blocked the next swipe, and empowered by Brag'klogga, Zr'Ahgloth and Hagto'Zhl swung around and hit Antagonar from the sides.
From the back, the artillery team started firing. Gunfire from Trastius, Xeron and Vyutrin was followed by volleys of sniper fire from Kalcedia, blasts from Vaktyl's guns and explosives from Naktor'zak and Zalk'don as their weapons were all empowered by Durzha, who contributed with his own fireballs. To their utter dismay, they found none of their shots were connecting, until they saw why: with two of his upper arms, Antagonar was swiftlying spinning his swords to block each and every individual shot, no matter how fast it was, to catch them all. Durzhan growled in rage as he intensified their fire, allowing one of Vaktyl's plasma blasts to hit his shoulder. Antagonar stumbled a bit, and Fre'kloar used the opportunity to swing an uppercut punch at him while Vailisa crashed both his fists down and Vekaron struck him with his blade. Left vunerable by the onslaught, Antagonar then found himself grabbed him behind by Arkarixus; the Kormacvar's aura was now a radiant mix of green and gold, and the growled as he swung his body around and launched the Traffphyd away into the entrance of the bridge with all his strength.
Antagonar fell back a little, rubbed his face, and smirked.
- Antagonar - Most impressive! But the worst is yet to come!
- Arkarixus - I will crush you like the vermin you are!
- Antagonar - Spicy. You'll have to catch me first, though!
Arkarixus leaped into Antagonar, his fist empowered by energy, though the Vyro'Ralza quickly moved away from the blow before it connected; as Kormacvar struck the floor, an entire portion of the bridge instantly collapsed from the sheer power of th attack. Antagonar leapt out of the way, and flew in the air for a bit. Before Dakster, Voa'reak, or Darwishi could catch him, however, he flew directly through the battlefield to launch another attack as he had done before, but this time the team were better prepared for it. He then seemed to vanish entirely, before launching more swipes across the field, this time coming from all sides of the battle. These swipes were much more lethal, piercing through the formation entirely. Knar'gank found his arm sliced off entirely, while Vaktyl lost both of his legs, and had to be supported by Lupercal, and Olcinius was completely decapitated, his head falling off the side of the bridge. Antagonar finally reemerged in front of Vailisa, pummeling him with sword attacks that pierced his metal skin, causing him to bleed before stumbling.
Antagonar then looked towards Fre'kloar, overwhelming him with sword attacks, though Grak'tona stood in the way to block many of them. However, Grak'tona fell under the weight of the swords, having his left leg cut off before Rel'larutina tried to block the attacks. She was then thrown off the bridge, as she had to eject from her Smash entirely. Antagonar turned this time to Jol'kiar, and swung his sword; there was little he could do but try and avoid the blows, though he found himself struck several times. Ray'loth and Thr'aloy, however, levitated by Brag'klogga, would both rush at Antagonar from behind, sending a flurry of punches while Gol'thabex threw his tomahawks at his side, causing Antagonar to stumble a little. The agile team used the opportunity to attack; Knar'gank swung at Antagonar with his remaining arm as Zelfron III spun his sword. The Commander-King Thylaxiz' form blasted away at Antagonar in melee range, all shots connecting, as Drizz'pyrokirk froze Antagonar's feet in place. Antagonar tried to pull them out, and eventually managed to, spinning his sword around rapidly and knocking them back. He then stood over Zelfron III, holding a sword to his throat.
- Antagonar - Hmm. I think it'll be your sword I take from this battle!
- Zelfron III - My weapon is mass-produced. It will be no loss for me.
- Antagonar - Nonetheless, I've yet to take an Ottzelloan blade! Although, there is one which could be more valuable to me...
Antagonar raised his sword and pointed it towards Durzhan.
- Antagonar - Perhaps you could bring out the cursed Taldar warrior? His sword would make a most fine addition!
- Durzhan - No. I will not give you the satisfaction.
- Tuolog - Wait... He mean Mac! You know where he is?
- Durzhan - I kept him held away to prevent him intervening in this war. I knew he would find me and destroy me, stopping what I thought was the "Perfect Fate".
- Fre'kloar - CULDA USED DA HELP RITE NOW JAKASS
- Jol'kiar - IS DIS DA PART WHER HES REVEALED TA BE DA PRODIGAL SON WHO IS DA LEEDA OF DA VAGUE AND SOM OTHA NONSENSE LIKE DAT?
- Dakster - ... What? No, that is not a thing.
- Jol'kiar - I SWER DIS MAKES NO SENSE
- Antagonar - If you will not bring the warrior out to face me, then I will simply cut you all down!
- Tuolog - Team, this what we prepare for! When he swoop down on us, try to have agile fighters hold him in position! Dalverat, can you slow him while Drizz'pyrokirk freeze him?
- Dalverat - Fine! Come on, I will drink whatever it is you have for blood, Vyro'Ralza!
- Drizz'pyrokirk - I CAN FREEZE HIM BUT YOOLL HAV TA HOLD HIM DOWN WIV MORE DAN JUS ICE COZ HE CAN BREAK OUT OF DAT
- Hagto'Zhl - MAN DONT WORRY BOUT DAT. WES GONNA PILE ON HIM
- Fre'kloar - EVERYUN MAKE ROOM. IMMA SUPLEX HIM
As Antagonar came back for another round of attacks, this time, he managed to cut through Xeron's mech entirely, and cut the cannon from Naktor'zak's tank. Dakster intercepted him midair, as Voa'reak and Darwishi fired at him, causing him to fall. Dalverat used the opportunity and flew at his back, digging his fangs into his neck and draining energy from him, as Drizz'pyrokirk fired the freezflama on cold setting to freeze his feet in place. As Hagto'Zhl and Fre'kloar promised, the larger Rogue Boyz all piled on Antagonar to hold him in place with their arms. Antagonar grunted in frustration, but then looked impressed.
- Antagonar - Immobilized it is, I suppose! Time to fight mano-a-mano!
- Fre'kloar - STOP MOOVIN YOO TWIT WES GONNA SMASH YA NAO
- Tuolog - Now is time! Artillery group, fire on him! Arkarixus can take him in close combat!
- Arkarixus - Demon. You sought a sword?
As he approached, Arkarixus focused his energy into his arm, causing an ethereal blade of mixed elemental and Chronoscopic energy to manifested in his grip.
- Arkarixus - Then I will give you one.
- Antagonar - A blade of legend!
Letting out a furious growl, Arkarixus charged at Antagonar, swinging the Essence blade with violent force in a flurry of blows. Antagonar was able to block all of them at first, and punched Arkarixus back, though the artillery team simply fired into his back and caused him to stumble. Brag'klogga, Tuolog, Dalverat, and Durzhan then channeled their Essence into Arkarixus, who raised in the air. Durzhan, the strongest among them, empowered Arkarixus the greatest amount, as he was engulfed in flame. As Arkarixus swung his blade again, this time it matched Antagonar's speed. Arkarixus swung his blades with greater fury than he could normally muster, empowered by Durzhan as he did so, who fired more fireballs into Antagonar, pinning him down.
As Arkarixus kept up the flurry of blows, he was able to slice off several of Antagonar' arms, until eventually, all swords were dropped. Once they had all been gone, Antagonar regrew a couple and cut through Arkarixus, piercing his skin and almost slicing off an arm. Tuolog, however, healed Arkarixus back up to full health, faster than Antagonar could heal himself, as Arkarixus kept up the attacks combined with the artillery team and another blast from Dakster, causing the bridge to collapse around Antagonar and for him to eventually fall to his knees. The Loron clung on to dear life as the bridge began to come apart.
- Fre'kloar - OH MA DAYZ SOMEON GRAB ONTO ME
- Hagto'Zhl - YOOO DIS IS SIIIIIIIIIK!!!!
- Zr'Ahgloth - HAGTO IF I FALL HEER I HAV A CONFESSHON: AS FAR AS NEMESIS GO YOR ACTUALLY NOT DA WORST
- Hagto'Zhl - YO YO WAT DA HELL MAN YOO GOT ME OFF GUARD. WELL IF DATS DA CASE DEN I ADMIT DA SAME BOUT YOO. MAN YOO COPY EVEN MA PREFERENCES
- Thr'aloy - I admire these qualities in the Rogue Boyz. YEH I GOTTA ADMIT DAT YOO CULD BE A LOT WORSE. I MEEN YOR A BUNCHA... DUM HERETIKS... AN UGLY... AN YA CRAMP MA STYLE... AN YOR WAY DUMMA DAN DA UNO LORON WHO IS DA MOST POWAFUL... BUT OTHA DAN DAT YOR NOT DAT BAD
- Ray'loth - YEH WELL I FINK YOR TRASH. SCROO YOO
- Tuolog - Most of our Essence power is gone. We not able to levitate you if you fall! Try to hold onto something!
As they attempted to hold on to the bridge, Arkarixus remained unmoved; as if not noticing the damage around him, he continued to assault Antagonar with unbridled fury. The sword he had manifested vanished as he chose to instead send his fists at the Vyro'Ralza, each blow causing the bridge to shudder harder.
- Antagonar - It looks like... you win, Borealis mortals!
- Arkarixus - Die!
One final blow caused the bridge to collapse entirely, as it fell apart at the seams. Antagonar fell down with it, but so did all the Loron, as well as Vailisa who barely clung on before losing his grip. The agile fights jumped out of the way quickly, and Arkarixus was held back by an exhausted Tuolog who collapsed to the ground as Arkarixus was flung back, while the Loron all fell to what seemed to be their deaths. Just before they crashed, Dakster, Darwishi, and Voa'reak swooped in to pick them up, carrying them back up and dropping them on the other side of the canyon, where the battered and bruised team lay broken.
- Zr'Ahgloth - YO FANKS FER DA LIFT DARWISHI
- Darwishi - Hey, I wasn't carrying ya! That was Voa'reak!
- Voa'reak - yo hao could ya confuse me wiv him dats so insultin
- Hagto'Zhl - reel queston is HOW CULD YOO CONFUSE ME WIV ZRAHGLOTH AN CARRY HIM AN NOT ME?? I HAD TA HAV DA UGLY VAGUE GUY CARRY ME YOR A LOSA
- Voa'reak - PLEES DONT THROW ME IN DA BRIG. ANYFIN BUT DAT
- Dakster - How can you argue over that and miss the fact we have emerged victorious?
- Hagto'Zhl - ...wait we did????
- Tuolog - Indeed... We won.
Child of Nightmare and Time
No sooner than he said it, the team were pulled back in front of Zargoth once more, with a defeated Antagonar by his side, but this time standing further away from him. They found their wounds healed, and those who had died seemed completely fine, though they all expressed confusion at the fact. Arkarixus fell to one knee, panting heavily as the Essence empowering him vanished, though he had a smile in his expression.
- Zargoth - Good work. It seems the battle does indeed provide the sufficient data that Volzara and I need.
- Vekaron - We... actually won! That's amazing!
- Xeron - Yeah, well, I felt that! It hurt a lot!
- Yogtam - I missed most of the battle. But I knew my comrades would pull through! Oh, and the Loron of course.
- Hagto'Zhl - YOOOO DID YOO GUYS SEE DAT???? DAT WAS SIK
- Zargoth - Unfortunately, as I suspected, data is insufficient.
- Volzara - Yes... It looks like you will have to face Kolossus too. I'm so, so sorry.
From the darkness, Kolossus appeared behind Antagonar, knocking him forward to the 'ground' and stomping down on his back. He leaned down on his with a look of displeasure.
- Kolossus - You are pathetic! How could you lose to these mortals?
- Antagonar - They are respectable fighters! As far as I'm concerned, the battle was worthwhile.
- Kolossus - Hmpf. Why you do this, I will never understand.
The demonic Vyro'Ralza then stepped forward, glaring down at the heroes; his disgust was almost palpable as he analyzed them, energy flowing through him. He then smirked confidently.
- Kolossus - You may have experienced battle. But now I will grant you unending terror.
- Durzhan - Nothing you can do to me is worse than what you and Zargoth did to me for millions of years. You made me slaughter entire civilizations in cold blood, all based on a lie!
- Kolossus - Do not fool yourself. You took pleasure in the act. You reveled in it. And that is exactly why you were perfect for the job.
- Durzhan - Will you take pleasure in reliving your embarassing defeat in the Plazithian War, wretch? I can bring back an old foe for you...
- Kolossus - ... I dare you.
Durzhan cakcled, as he created another portal, though it was immediately closed. He looked to Zargoth in rage.
- Zargoth - Unacceptable. Mac's data is not required. We have enough Vyro'Narza data necessary for the Xiyara, and his data is inferior.
- Volzara - I refuse to proceed if you do not let Mac fight alongside them.
- Antagonar - Why? We don't need anything from Mac! What a waste!
Kolossus turned over to Volzara, his nightmarish aura building up as he grew angrier. Volzara stood back at him defiantly. If she were not as strong as she was, she would perhaps be feeling the same terror that would cause most to cower in fear.
- Kolossus - You are interfering! I will not allow you to aid the mortals!
- Volzara - I am not aiding them, they are aiding themselves. Consider it a loophole that works within the rules. You'd know all about that, wouldn't you?
- Kolossus - ... Hah. So the goddess has some cheek in her, then. Amusing, but if that is the case...
Kolossus' form grew larger, his wings covering the 'sky' as relaity changed around them. Rather than the strange dimension that was Sequencium, they found themselves in a terrible wasteland, shadows shifting into nightmarish forms and the skies made of black fog. Over the distance, immense red eyes opened to watch them; they had been sent to the Nightmare Region, the home realm of the Corruptus. As they looked around in confusion, feeling the realm's Nightmare Essence sear through them like fire, Kolossus let out a booming laughter.
- Kolossus - I will make the rules. You will burn and die in the realm of eternal nightmare!
- Volzara - This cannot be allowed! We only need to extract information from them, not torture them!
- Kolossus - You mortals have vexed me for too long... Now I will make you wish you would die!
- Arkarixus - What... is this place?!
- Tuolog - We see this once before, in Plazithian War. This is the Realm of Nightmares! A plane of existence made of nothing but fear and evil, where nightmares are given form!
- Yogtam - Brace yourselves, Borealans: the stories we told of this war were all true!
- ??? - You would bring this battle to our realm.
From the black fog in the skies, the monstrous form of Shu'rimrodir himself was vaguely seen; compared to them, they were almost like ants in comparison. However, it seemed the God of Nightmares was content to simply watch, as Kolossus laughed once again, charging his Essence in his arms.
- Kolossus - Watch, Volzara! Watch as I get my revenge on your despicable little children!
- Volzara - I demand you stop this! Zargoth, we never agreed to this! Can we even extract data from them in this realm?
- Zargoth - ... I will find a way to do so.
- Volzara - No! No, you mustn't!
- Shu'rimrodir - Gods of Sequencium. Here, you witness nightmare.
- Volzara - This is an outrage! I won't allow this! If you proceed, I'll-
- Zargoth - You'll do what?
Volzara was left speechless, unsure what to say. She could not face both Zargoth and Shu'rimrodir at once. Kolossus then charged at the group, ethereal blades of Dark Chronoscopic energy growing from his arms as he struck at them. From the back of the group, Durzhan opened up a portal in the air, this time not closed by Zargoth. Out of it leapt the cursed, weakened Taldar, Mac, an armored mercenary who shone much lighter than Volzara, but brighter than Tuolog, as he blocked Kolossus' last blow with his own sword. He looked to the group and smirked.
- Mac - Miss me, Zr'An'Kar?
- Kolossus - Mac! How lovely that you could finally join us! I will enjoy feeding you to the Vyro'Xiyara, assuming you even know what it is!
- Mac - Not a clue, but I'm guessing it involves evil Dark Chronoscopic powerful gods that want to rip a hole in space and time. Looks like it's my job to fix that!
- Kolossus - And a nice, friendly little Chronoscopic goddess, too! Just ask your precious "mother" when you have the chance. Before you die, that is.
Mac looked around in confusion, and saw Volzara standing there, looking pensive and defeated. He shrugged, as he turned to Tuolog.
- Mac - All I need to know is: Kolossus is the bad guy, right?
- Tuolog - Oh yes. Very much so.
- Mac - We'll talk about this when it's over then. And Kormacvar Warmaster, good to finally meet you. I've heard a lot about you.
- Arkarixus - ... I do not know who you are.
- Mac - That's okay. Again, we'll fill each other in at the end of this.
- Zr'Ahgloth - yoooo i rememba yoo. yor da time piggie who helped me kill hagto all dose yeers ago. lmao safe
- Hagto'Zhl - MAN SHUT UP
- Kolossus - Mac, Mac. In our first encounter, I had a planet's core collapse on my head... I have grown much more powerful since. And Tyraz Breek is not here to help you.
- Mac - Well, no, he's not... But these Borealans look like they can put up a fight. And hey, UNO, did y'all get a new army or something? Because some of those fighters look pretty darn impressive.
- Thr'aloy - UNOC stands ready. WES DA BEST
- Shu'rimrodir - Abominable Vyro'Narza. Your kind deserves extinction. You sully our realm with your presence.
- Mac - Ah, good to see you again too. But I'm guessing you're not the mastermind this time, so it's a shame we won't get to fight again.
- Kolossus - Enough talk! Bleed for me, Mac! Like the mortal you are!
Kolossus begun attacking once again, forcing Mac on the defensive, though the rest of the heroes would quickly come to his aid. Zelfron III leapt in to swing his sword in defense, as Vailisa threw a punch and tried to hold Kolossus back. Grak'tona, quickly remembering his position, ran in to block Kolossus' attacks as Rel'larutina swung her mech's arms in Mac's aid. Unlike Antagonar, who fought with frightening speed, Kolossus was content to simply allow them to strike at him, enduring their blows altogether before retaliating; Vekaron attempted to flank the demon, only for him to open a hand and launch a blast of Dark Chronoscopic which reduced the Zoles to ashes in instants, before plunding one blade into Vailisa's torso and hurling him away like a ragdoll. Zr'Ahgloth pulled Vailisa out to safety, then charged at Kolossus and threw punches, backed up by Fre'kloar and the other Rogue Leedas, though a swing of Kolossus' arm caused a shockwave of Essence to blast them all away, and he laughed at the sight.
- Kolossus - Ah, it is refreshing to inflict pain on you, failures. For your entire existence, you have done nothing but disappoint me!
- Hagto'Zhl - NOW DATS HOW I KNO YOR A FAKE ZRANKAR. MY DAD WULD NEVA SAY DAT
- Kolossus - I am not your "dad", you failed experiment!
- Fre'kloar - DIS ZRANKAR IS A FRAUD. DISRESPECTIN DA REEL ZRANKAR IS A CRIME PUNISHABLE BY DEFF
- Grak'tona - DA CROWN RECOGNIZES DIS AS DA SECOND WORST CRIME BEHIND SPITTIN ON MA ROYAL CARPET!!!!!
- Shu'rimrodir - Vyro'Ralzora. You stand in our realm with Vyro'Narzdea by your side, yet you do not end her existence.
- Zargoth - Vyro'Nazdea is helpful to me. Thus, she still lives.
- Shu'rimrodir - She and her spawn are an enemy. They should not exist.
- Zargoth - What we have planned will determine this.
- Shu'rimrodir - Your excuses show weakness.
Mac charged at Kolossus again, with the demon parrying his blows and blast him away before he turned to the others again, opening his immense wings and then beating them; out of their webbing came a storm of fire which rained down at them like meteors, crushing Darwishi into the earth and killing him almost instantly, while the others were forced to avoid as they could. In the skies, Shu'rimrodir watched the battle with great interest, his form still mostly obscured by the black fog, though those who looked up could see a grin forming in his draconic face. Volzara looked on with fear, tears seeming to form in her eyes, while Zargoth looked attentively, and seemed relaxed witnessing the battle.
Kolossus laughed more as he rose his arms, and the shadows around the realm shifted into different forms; they displayed images of both Ottzelloans and Borealans being killed in a multitude of gruesome and disturbing forms; like something out of a nightmare, unsettling many of them. It was evident to them: while Zargoth was indifferent and Antagonar was a warrior, Kolossus embodied pure unadultured malice, more so than any other Vyro'Ralza. With a leap, the massive demon came down on Kalcedia, crushing her under his foot before launching his tail back, smashing Drizz'pyrokirk into the ground with a sickening crunch.
- Shu'rimrodir - A symphony of terror. A song of death.
- Kolossus - This is for all you have caused me! And I will make sure you suffer this fate in every timeline that ever exists!
- Jol'kiar - SHOV YA TIMELINES UP YA ASS
- Tuolog - We must strike at his eye; it his only weakspot!
- Vaktyl - I can't aim at it! His Essence keeps knocking me off course!
- Kolossus - I am a greater Essence wielder than you, vermin! Don't think you can pull the same tricks you pulled with Antagonar on me!
- Kal'kuir - WELL LUKY FOR YOO I HAV DA ANSWA
- 'Rel'larutina - Oh boy, here we go.
Kal'kuir rolled out from formation, and pulled out a large rifle, aiming it squarely for Kolossus' eye. Before it fired, the rifle planted itself on the ground and the support remained stuck in place, as Kal'kuir controlled it remotely. Kal'kuir had placed a remote controlled turret that fired straight at Kolossus' eye, before it combusted and set alight in flames after only firing a few bullets. The demon merely lift a hand in front of his face to block the shots, unamused.
- Kal'kuir - WAT DA HELL I DID EXACTLY WAT IT SED ON DA INSTRUKSHON MANUAL. WHICH I WROTE
- Rel'larutina - Yeah, I expected as much.
- Arkarixus - Vyro'Narza. "Mac", was it? We must work together to overwhelm him. Your strength and mine should match his.
- Mac - Agreed. Sounds like a plan.
- Durzhan - Dalverat, Brag'klogga. Attacking Kolossus with Dark Chronoscopic energy is futile. Focus on empowering your allies. Tuolog, your Essence is the only one that can harm him in any significant manner.
- Tuolog - I keep up Chronoscopic attacks while Arkarixus and Mac overwhelm him. Then Vaktyl able to get good shot on eye!
- Kolossus - You realize I can hear you, right?
- Zr'Ahgloth - NO I FOUGHT YOO WAS DEFF. YES WE KNOW DAT JAKASS
- Shu'rimrodir - We see your doom approach. We see death. We see oblivion. We are pleased.
- Volzara - Hang in there, children... You can win this!
Mac and Arkarixus coordinated their attack, facing Kolossus head on while Tuolog unleashed blasts of Chronoscopic energy and the Dark Chronoscopic users among them empowered the others as they could. Even with the formidable power of the Taldar and the Kormacvar, however, Kolossus proved a match for them; he kicked Mac away before grabbing Arkarixus by the hand and twisting it, causing the Warmaster to yell as his arm was broken. Kolossus would laugh as he then threw him away, before retaliating to Tuolog by launching another barrage of flame from his wings at him and the others.
- Kolossus - You insects! There is a reason I am Zargoth's second!
- Grak'tona - YO LITTUL CHIEF GEEZA I GOT YA BAK
As Kolossus fired at Tuolog, Grak'tona leapt in front to absorb the damage, with Kal'kuir tossing a shield generator towards him to sustain the attack. Arkarixus growled loudly as he held on his arm, twisting it back into position and relying on his natural regeneration to put it back in place, while Kolossus found himself distracted as Knar'gank, Lupercal and Gol'thabex surrounded him and struck at his legs. The demon's arm blades vanished as he summoned a large, serrated whip of pure Dark Chronoscopic energy, which he used to lash at them, smashing Lupercal against a rock like an insect and bisecting Gol'thabex's torso which flew into the distance. At this moment, however, Kolossus let out a pained screech as a blast from Dakster's cannon struck him right in the eye, causing him to stagger back and bring an arm over his face.
- Dakster - You will pay for what you did to me, to all my people, and then to my brothers in Ottzello! Your reign ends here, Traffphyd!
- Kolossus - You... Mutant scum! You are just another failed experiment!
- Dakster - And you are just another despotic, malevolent god who acts only on rage! But we will beat you! Ottzello always prevails!
Regaining his composure, Kolossus lashed at Dakster, heavily denting his metallic body before the whip wrapped itself around his throat, with the demon yanking him towards him and causing him to fall to the ground. In anger, Kolossus then repeatedly stomped down on Dakster, breaking several of his bones with each blow.
- Kolossus - You. Are. NOTHING.
- Tuolog - No! Dakster!!!
- Kolossus - All of you! I will feed on your despair for all eternity!
- Shu'rimrodir - Your souls are forfeit. They shall fuel nightmares and fear. For destroying my children, this is the fate you deserve.
- Dakster - I... cannot... go on...
With a final stomp, Kolossus crushed Dakster's skull, ending the Vague's life before their eyes. Each of them looked horrified. Volzara turned away and shed tears, as Zargoth looked even more relaxed than usual. As Tuolog looked in despair, he retreated back to a meditative stance, but the others saw wind begin to swirl around him. He was empowering himself with Chronoscopic energy the likes of which they had not seen before. As the wind picked up the pace, a golden light shone from Tuolog, its radiance almost matching that of Volzara, as he raised high in the air; Kolossus' eyes widened at the sight, while even Shu'rimrodir retreated slightly into the darkness, caught off guard by the display. Angellic wings formed beside him, as he held out his staff towards the Vyro'Ralza. As he spoke, a booming, deep voice echoed around them, as his voice changed tone entirely; it was as if dozens of Taldar were speaking at once through him.
- Tuolog - Your judgement has been decided, Vyro'Ralza. Now, you come to an end for your crimes.
- Kolossus - You dare, Ioketa?! I am Zr'An'Kar! I will never end!
- Tuolog - Your story reaches its conclusion here. And the Ottzelloans' story begins now.
With another radiant burst, a powerful light shone down on Kolossus, engulfing him with Chronoscopic power, as the wounded soldiers all found their wounds healed in an instance. Mac stood back up and brazened his sword, ready for another round, while Arkarixus regained his own aura of energy, admiring the sight of Tuolog unleashing his full power. The Rogue Boyz chanted another rap which even Zr'Ahgloth and Thr'aloy joined in on, encouraged by Tuolog. Each of UNO's surviving Commandos also found themselves levitated by Tuolog's powers, as they grew a pair of angellic wings themselves.
- Thr'aloy - The combined forces of Ottzello now rise. LETS KIK DA LIVIN CRAP OUTTA DIS FAKE GOD
- Lupercal - Impressive. Kinda wrong given I'm a Radeon, but impressive nonetheless.
- Arkarixus - You Corruptus filth deserve utter annihilation. And we shall see to it.
- Mac - By Volzara... Tuolog's power now matches a Vyro'Narza!
- Tuolog - Your judgement will now be cast. Your conclusion will be reached here.
- 'Kolossus - I will never be defeated again!
Empowered by Tuolog's Essence, the survivors found themselves all able to launch a combined blast of Chronoscopic Essence at Kolossus, who fired a blast of his own; the two energies stooped one another in place, though the Vyro'Ralza eventually found himself overwhelmed. He screamed in pain as the heavenly Essence burned through his demonic hide, knocking him away, before he felt the impact of a powerful fist against his torso as Arkarixus charged at him as fast as a blur. The Kormacvar unleashed a flurry of furious blows which left cracks in Kolossus' skin, before he was joined by Mac who delivered a hurricane of blade strikes at the fiend's back. Shu'rimrodir's full head emerged for the clouds as he let out a furious roar which shook the entire plane, as he watched the cursed Vyro'Narza plunge his blade into Kolossus' eye.
Kolossus roared out in pain a final time before his body dissolved before their eyes; much like a slain Corruptus Demon, he was reduced to nothing but black ashes before their eyes. The allies watched, and breathed sighs of relief.
As the battle was over, the bright light around Tuolog extinguished, and he fell to the floor, breathing slowly. Eventually, he fell completely lifeless, as all the light around him was gone. Arkarixus ran over to the Ioketa, placing a hand on him as he sought a pulse.
- Arkarixus - Tuolog!
- Yogtam - Tuolog, say something!
- Zr'Ahgloth - BRUH DONT DIE ON ME NOW
- Mac - Is he breathing? Does he still have a pulse?
- Arkarixus - ... No. He does not.
- Zr'Ahgloth - MAN MA WAR BUDDY IS DOWN DIS IS DA WORST FITE EVA
- Brag'klogga - oh ma dayz DIS EINT FAIR. HES SUPPOSED TA BE MA NEMESIS NAO HES DED?????
- Mac - Patience. I'm sure any minute now, Volzara will bring him back. But that was quite the sacrifice.
- Shu'rimrodir - Cursed Chronoscopic energies. A thousand curses upon the Vyro'Narza and their spawn. The nightmare will devour your realm and consume your souls.
Shu'rimrodir's entire bulk begun emerging from the darkness; in comparison to them, he was as massive as the entire landscape, his body an abominable monstrosity made up of fangs, claws and writhing tentacles. The Nightmare God charged at their direction, causing them to panic.
However, before the lord of the Corruptus reached them, they watched as the realm around them changed; they had returned to Sequencium, once again standing before the "cauldron". While Antagonar was still there, and still recovering from the previous battle, Kolossus was nowhere to be seen.
- Zargoth - Shu'rimrodir devouring your souls would be problematic. I would not get to use them in this case. So, for now, you are safe.
- Arkarixus - I never wish to visit that realm again. I fear I will not sleep for the coming months.
- Antagonar - It seems Kolossus has left us in embarassment! I warned him the Borealans were capable fighters.
- Mac - Kolossus dies by my blade. Yet again.
Though most around them were revived, the group noticed a distinct lack of Tuolog, who seemed to have vanished. Volzara stood by Zargoth's side and placed her hand on her chest as she looked to the floor.
- Zr'Ahgloth - urm whers tuolog at?
- Zargoth - Forbidden.
- Kralgon Emperor - What?! What is that even supposed to mean?
- Zargoth - Tuolog reached into a future forbidden from him, to access a power he does not yet have. He is cast out of Sequencium, never to be permitted here.
- Fre'kloar - YO DATS NOT FAIR. TIME PIGGIE GODDESS DO SOMFIN
- Volzara - I...
- Zargoth - Our code forbids us. The code that binds me also binds her. Tuolog may never return to this realm as long as he lives.
- Arkarixus - Damn your codes! You watched them being broken by your minion and did nothing to stop him!
- Zargoth - I had no reason to. It served my goals, so I permitted it.
- Durzhan - You are a truly despicable creature, Zargoth.
- Zargoth - Your opinion of me concerns me little. I have all the data I need.
By Antagonar's side, dust begun to rise as a mass of black fog and sludge manifested; gruesomely, it took the form of Kolossus, his body charred and his eye bleeding as he remained on one knee, unable to fully rise. It seemed that, even with all their efforts, the demonic Vyro'Ralza was not actually destroyed. Mac clenched a fist and grit his teeth in anger at the sight of him, while Kolossus let out a pained cackle.
- Kolossus - I told you... I will never end...
- Mac - Persistent little bastard, ain't ya?
- Kolossus - You... will never be rid of me, Mac! You may have bested me today, but it was for naught. The Perfect Fate continues regardless.
- Hagto'Zhl - is dis da reel dad or da fake dad??? im so confused
- Fre'kloar - well given we jus beet him up i reely hope hes a fake one
- Hagto'Zhl - da reel dad wuldnt get beet up eva. so its da fake one
- Kolossus - I warned you. Whether you fought or not, it would not change a thing. Your survival is unfortunate... but I will merely persuade the Vyro'Xiyara to destroy you itself.
- Volzara - Then let us hope it does not listen to you. For your sake, and its own.
- Mac - Okay, now that Kolossus is dealt with for the moment, anyone mind getting me up to speed on what's going on here? What's a Vyro'Xiyara? And this "Perfect Fate"?
- Yogtam - Vyro'Xiyara, or "Time Perfected". It's their new "perfect" creation, hence, "Perfect Fate".
- Durzhan - Yes. Their goal is the combination of all the greatest qualities of a Vyro'Narza with the greatest qualities of a Vyro'Ralza to create a being far more powerful. One that could, perhaps, rival a Xhodocto.
- Zargoth - Factually incorrect, but given how little you actually know, you would assume that. The Vyro'Xiyara will not and could never rival the Xhodocto, but it will most certainly be a step beyond both Vyro'Narza and Vyro'Ralza.
- Durzhan - Forgive me for not knowing the details of your precious plan, Time God, but your maniacal intentions confused me. Nonetheless, your intentions are sinister.
- Mac - Okay, okay... Why, though? Why do this? What's the purpose? The order of the fifth dimension's been going fine for as long as I've known.
- Zargoth - Mortals such as yourselves -- including you, Mac -- may never understand. But nonetheless, it is for Volzara and I to explain.
The Perfect Fate
The allies found themselves lifted off the ground by Zargoth, but they were no longer standing on solid ground. It was as if they were being held in the air by a crane pulling them towards him, and however much they struggled was irrelevant. The group found themselves levitating over the "cauldron", and looking down into it blinded them. Whatever its contents were, their three dimensional minds could not perceive it. They were forced to only look at Zargoth and the other gods above.
- Zargoth - For trillions of years, Taldar and Traffphyd have been opposed. Fighting a constant battle as deigned by Krathazhrukhal himself to do so, so that Time may flow as is desired. I was to be the servant of the Xhodocto, to ensure that Volzara never violated the code laid out before us, and so that I could perform the tasks she could not: destruction of anomalous universes. Volzara, on the other hand, would act as a counterbalance to me; her emotions and her sympathy for lower lifeforms such as yourself prevented me from acting beyond my own bounds. This conflict, as I'm sure you know, is tiresome and exhaustive.
- Volzara - The Perfect Fate is the creation of a being that unites Taldar and Traffphyd under a single Deity of Time. It will be the first of its kind, and will replace both of our people. Its intentions, we are yet to establish, but the goal is simple: whatever becomes of it, it will end the conflict between our kinds. It will bring about a just ruling over Time itself, one which we cannot provide separately while in conflict with one another. It will usher in a new age.
- Arkarixus - ... Your motivations are reasonable. But the destruction you have caused for it is unforgivable.
- Zargoth - In the grand scheme of things, it was far smaller than it would have been under my original design. Volzara forced me to compromise to the point we are now. Be thankful I made the decision to allow you to live.
- Kolossus - Yes, mortals. You see? You are all expendable ingredients! Your lives, and that of your galaxy, are worthless!
- Zargoth - They are but tiny specks of data to me. One normally compares a god to a boot, and one of your kind to an ant. But to me, you are more like a single byte of code in a program. A line I can erase or re-add if I ever need to.
- Kal'kuir - i take offense to dat cus i akshully kno wat dat word meens
- Fre'kloar - OI IS HE CALLIN US DUM
- Zargoth - I accurately describe your intelligence as far below that of a god such as us. But what is more to the point: you have your purpose, and you served it. I have no stake in your continued preservation or not.
- Kolossus - The mortals stay. They will watch the Vyro'Xiyara's birth and receive its judgement!
- Antagonar - Sounds reasonable to me! We shall see what the Vyro'Xiyara makes of them!
- Mac - And I guess I wasn't invited to be part of this Perfect Fate thing.
- Zargoth - You lack any desirable qualities that would be required for the Vyro'Xiyara. You are an error, like a corrupted piece of code in a program. So: no.
- Mac - Yeah, well. You have your pet demon to thank for that, you know.
Silence took the room, as the "cauldron" appeared to whir some more. Zargoth looked over it, and seemed to tense up a little. He then turned back to the mortals.
- Zargoth - Hm. The data appears insufficient. I have more use for you yet, if you still refuse to volunteer your souls.
- Arkarixus - We have fought and defeated your servants as we agreed. We owe you nothing more.
- Zargoth - A difficulty concept to grasp. Perhaps you feel as though you have a right to self-determination. I assure you, you do not.
- Durzhan - It was idiotic to trust either of them to begin with. I knew they would not keep up their part of the bargain.
- Zargoth - There is still data to extract from you. I have seen how you are in combat, and I have harvested your emotions: pain, fear, fury, sorrow, joy. But there are still more that could be determined, perhaps from witnessing you in a domestic life.
Zargoth pulled Arkarixus towards him, away from the group. Arkarixus was swung forward, and no longer able to even move his limbs, held dangling over the "cauldron" itself. Arkarixus could feel the cauldron burning from below, knowing whatever its contents were would be deadly to him.
- Zargoth - A new life to live out to its fullest. I will harvest information from you, and then, I will rip that life from you.
Zargoth placed a hand over Arkarixus' head, and his eyes went bright red. He had been transported to another timeline, a timeline in which Zargoth had never destroyed half of the Kormacvar. In it, the Warmaster had been successful in defeating the Grox, and was living a domesticated life with his family. Arkarixus lived out a full three thousand years in what seemed like a mere few seconds to the others, as to him, the real life he had been living felt like a distant dream. A few seconds later, he awoke, screaming, as Zargoth tossed him to the floor.
- Zargoth - Good. That is sufficient.
- Arkarixus - Aaahh... Aaaarggh!!
- Vekaron - W-What happened there? What did you do to him?!
- Zargoth - The same I will do to you.
Vekaron was pulled forward next, and grabbed by Zargoth. Zargoth's thick claws wrapped around Vekaron's head and almost crushed him, as he was transported to another timeline also. In this, Volim had won the First Borealis Galactic War. Vekaron was living a life as a slave to the Wranploer, spending every living day beaten and whipped in servitude. He only managed to survive two decades before he was killed by his Wranploer warlords. Once again, as Vekaron lived out this entire life, the others only perceived this lasting a few seconds. Only once he was ripped back into reality following the end of his life in this timeline did he realize that his real life was not the distant dream it had felt to him as he had lived out a hellish life under Wranploer rule. He was again tossed to the ground beside Arkarixus.
- Zargoth - Fascinating results in response to endless trauma. This is sufficient.
- Mac - This is sickening! You're taunting the poor mortals with lives that could be!
- Zargoth - That is not the intention, but it is a welcome side effect of the process of harvesting the required data. Now, would anyone like to volunteer to be next?
- Fre'kloar - OK GUYS I GOT A PLAN: WE LEG DA HELL OUTTA HEER RITE NAO
As Fre'kloar tried to run, Zargoth simply pulled him forward and forced him to live out hundreds of years of a life in a different timeline. A timeline in which Fre'kloar's Rebellion had been unsuccessful. Instead, he was forced to fight alongside Zr'Ahgloth to defeat Gratz'kaoz, but neither of them succeeded. Gratz'kaoz now led Da Propa Big Loron Empire to its doom against the Kralgon, and was enslaved for all eternity. Fre'kloar died being forced into a battle in Borealis against the Zoles Imperium, suffering an excruciating, painful, and humiliating death, before he awoke, being tossed to the side with Vekaron and Arkarixus. As the Loron rolled across the ground, he broke into tears rather audibly.
- Zargoth - The reaction to defeat. Interesting. This is sufficient.
- Fre'kloar - SCROO YOO!!!! I HATE YOO!!!!
- Volzara - Zargoth, stop this at once! There must be another way!
- Zargoth - You would rather I destroy them in another timeline and take their souls?
- Volzara - I...
- Zargoth - I thought so. Time for another volunteer.
- Xeron - Ugh. Fine. Get this over with already!
Zargoth pondered for a moment, before then bringing Xeron in with a rapid movement and ripping him from his mech suit, then dangling him over the cauldron. Xeron lived out hundreds of years in a different timeline, in which the Niaka had remained pirates. Xeron felt far removed from his life in the Special Forces, living as a lawless pirate up to the point where Falrik Zaarkhun joined and founded the Borealis Consortium Network. Xeron undertook many jobs for the man he had spent his real life hating, as he lived as a cutthroat outlaw and murdered diplomatic ambassadors to survive. His life ended as he begged Falrik Zaarkhun for money after a failed job, who simply shot him in cold blood, as he then awakened. Zargoth tossed him down with the others, with the Niaka being knocked out cold by the experience. As they were taken by Zargoth, Kolossus cackled cruelly, watching as they suffered from it.
- Zargoth - A most welcome experiment. Not only do I witness the emotion of greed, but an entirely different reaction to a man whom in this life you despised. This is more than sufficient. Two more will be required.
- Mac - So this is what your Vyro'Xiyara is going to be based on? Greed, death, and defeat?
- Zargoth - No, we need more. We need happiness and compassion. Luckily, there is one among you who can provide both.
- Durzhan - That is most rich, coming from you.
- Zargoth - Dakster, the failed experiment. Or, so I thought. Perhaps you may be most useful after all.
- Dakster - No! Stay away from me! You've tortured me enough!
Zargoth pulled Dakster in, but he was able to resist to an extent. Zargoth stayed where he was, and then flew over to Dakster and pulled him over the cauldron physically, while getting into his mind. In it, Dakster lived out two lives entirely. First, as an Ottzel. Dakster lived a life in which the Ottzel had never been destroyed by Kolossus. He lived in peace and harmony with the Unified Nation, even up until the Second Borealis Galactic War. The war never started, however, because Zargoth had never had a use for this timeline. Instead, the Unified Nation prospered and helped the Zoles overcome the Borealis Consortium Network, and because no time anomalies were created, Regnatus was yet to form. Dakster lay down on his deathbed in this life with no regrets, being extremely proud of what he had achieved. He awoke, before Zargoth was finished with him, realizing that his life as a Vague was not the distant dream he had perceived it as.
- Zargoth - That's one. I need another from you.
- Dakster - No! Stop this! Stop... showing me these images I will never be able to experience!
- Zargoth - Hm. Multiple timelines for different outcomes with the Kormacvar. Let us search... I've found an interesting one.
As Dakster was taken to a different timeline, this time he lived out a life through the Kormacvar, though it was different from the one Arkarixus had perceived. In it, the Grox never attacked them at all, and the Kormacvar had a new emperor entirely. Dakster served under an emperor whose vision was to raise up new spacefaring species to live among them. As a compassionate individual, Dakster cared for and nurtured the people of the Borealis Galaxy in an ancient time, before eventually succumbing to a death at the hands of one of the species he had raised himself: the Wranploer. Having lived for thousands of years, the Wranploer turned on the ones that raised them, and slaughtered Dakster, who died still believing in them. He awoke, and was tossed to the ground by Zargoth.
- Zargoth - There is but one more emotion I need.
- Mac - What? Are you still not done with this petty game of yours?
- Zargoth - When the data is sufficient, you will know. I still need to see how much of your mortal integrity will be required in the Vyro'Xiyara. Perhaps one final emotion: intrigue.
- Yogtam - And who can you experiment with to do that?
- Zargoth - Funnily enough, I had no one in mind. But as you spoke out, you will be the next.
- Zr'Ahgloth - RUDE
Zargoth pulled Yogtam foward, as he tried to struggle, but was unable to move his limbs at all. Zargoth made Yogtam live out three hundred years in a new life in Ottzello in which the Inalton did not become warriors, but rather formed an alliance with the Delpha Coalition of Planets to become archeologists looking into old Taldar artifacts. Yogtam spent a life digging up Taldar artifacts himself, learning more about the Vyro'Narza than any mortal in their real timeline had ever known about. He founded himself fascinated with Taldar runes and even discovered the Blyro'Tralzica and the Vyronicia Fleet earlier than any of them had done in the real timeline. Of course, it was this that led to his downfall, as he was put down by Durzhan, who wished to remove the threat. Yogtam awoke, filled with knowledge of the Taldar, realizing that the life he had just led was entirely simulated, and awoke in what he considered a nightmare, before being tossed back by Zargoth.
- Zargoth - I now have everything I need, for now. Good work.
- 'Yogtam - The Taldar... I have knowledge... The Taldar were once yours, Zargoth! You were a mortal, just like us! You were a mortal who led the Taldar, and you led them to their downfall! That is why you were punished!
- Zargoth - Inaccuracies mixed with truths. But expected of mortals. There is not much they can learn on their own, for they are extremely primitive.
- Arkarixus - We were told you were once mortals. However, I did not know about this... downfall.
- Zargoth - The timeline in which it occurred was erased. So, perhaps, you never will.
While they spoke, the mortals had not noticed Kolossus approach the cauldron. A malevolent grin grew on the demon's face as he held his arm, filled with evil Essence, over its border; he would add his own ingredient - nightmarish hatred for all life - to the mix. As Volzara spotted him, she slapped him across the cheek, a slap that caused him to fall to his knees.
- Volzara - Stay out of this, Zr'An'Kar, or I will decimate you.
- Kolossus - Ouch!... I almost had it! Damned goddess.
- Antagonar - It appears you need lessons in speed, Zr'An'Kar! We shall spar and train your reflexes later.
Zargoth was utterly uninterested in what Kolossus had done, and simply raised the mortals all together to face him once more. They were a distance from the cauldron now. He flew over to them in silence, before speaking.
- Zargoth - I have a theory that I need to test, and now you are all here, you can participate. Should it be confirmed, it will affect one final variable for Vyro'Xiyara.
- Mac - I bet it's gonna be terrible.
- Arkarixus - What else do you want, fiend? Have you not tormented us enough?
Zargoth paused a little, unsure how to phrase his question, before posing it to them.
- Zargoth - What exactly is your... motivation for fighting in this war? What is your purpose for continuing a conflict you know brings such bloodshed?
- Arkarixus - ... Is this a trick question? You know exactly why we fight, given you are responsible for most of it.
- Zargoth - I have theories for why, but your answers may confirm or deny them.
- Vekaron - We fight to protect our galaxy from those who'd bring it harm. To protect our people. To ensure those we hold dear can sleep safely at night.
- Zargoth - An answer that would be in line with my theory. But one that is too simple to be accurate.
Zargoth then stepped back, and displayed in front of them a simulated image of the Borealis Galaxy. It went through many of the great battles in the war: the battle against the Seagon Empire, against Roshisiz, against the Devourer's Chosen, the final battle with Regnatus, the defeat of Falrik Zaarkhun, and the defeat of General Volim, playing the events over and over and over.
- Zargoth - Though you mortals are very simplistic, that is not the entire story. Each of these claims a different motivation entirely. For one: conquest against ancient foes. Next: vengeance against perceived wrongdoing. Another: religious desires to serve a god. Another still: becoming an universal absolute. And finally, competing visions between total freedom, and total subjugation.
The visions subsided, and now, different visions played. This time, marches in the capital of Zoleia, arrests made by the Niaka Special Forces, armies by the Unified Nation, Arkarixus' battle with Mirras III, the Indoctrinate Collective training their own in Essence, Dakster struggling against the time anomalies, disciplined training drills among the Civitas, the studying of Kormacvar artifacts by Seagon scientists... and several Loron having a pizza party.
- Zargoth - And each of these, the motivations differ. For one: protection of the galaxy. Another: order of the galaxy, with a hidden repenting for ones' past sins. Another still: creating a new home for their people, in unity. A man who wishes to uphold his peoples' legacy and protect the new people of the galaxy. An extragalactic force, curious about their new home. Another being a sense of justice and chivalry, and the desire to spread it. A people who wish to inherit the vision of their elders. And finally, those who simply enjoy the fun in life.
- Mac - Somehow, I doubt you know the meaning of that word.
The visions now subsided entirely, and Zargoth appeared before them.
- Zargoth - When it comes down to it, though, what is the true meaning of these things? All of them are temporary. They are created by mortals, they last fleeting moments, and soon, they are replaced. Suppose for instance that you achieve your goal in wiping your opponents from the galaxy. You replace this motivation with something else entirely. A new reason to continue existing. And I have a theory as to why, and you will all prove it to me now.
As they were then launched back further, Zargoth created new visions, of different universes entirely, in which countless alien civilizations fell and rose again. Visions of timelines none of them recognized, but of wars similar to what they had perceived: the joy of winning, the pain suffered by the losers, and the struggle throughout.
- Zargoth - Your motivations are a facade. They are an excuse to mask the real reason you continue to persist: the simple desire for self-preservation. Existence, for its own sake. You exist merely to prolong your own existence, until you no longer can. Any goal you create for yourselves until then is irrelevant.
- Arkarixus - Yes. It is that simple.
- Yogtam - But to dismiss what we get out of life ignores the bigger picture. The times I have shared with my brothers and sisters through this war... The war itself was horrific, but I have gained friends, close friends. I have made memories. And that is worthwhile!
- Kralgon Emperor - Yes, my existence has not been pointless as you would claim it has. I have achieved things I have felt proud of. Doing so has been fulfilling! That you claim it was a waste shows how little you know!
- Dakster - How much worth a life is, is not for you to decide! Only the actual person has a say in it.
- Kolossus - Bah, pathetic. You mortals will never understand your place. You are food for beings greater than you and nothing else.
- Zargoth - Indeed. Mere tools. So why do you resist so heavily when we try to take your lives from you, knowing that it amounts to nothing permanent or meaningful?
Arkarixus stood defiant, pointing a finger at Zargoth.
- Arkarixus - Because life is worth living. Because we have the will to do so. And because the thought of bringing you extreme pain amuses me.
- Yogtam - Here, here!
- Fre'kloar - ILL EET A PIZZA SLICE TO DAT BRO
Zargoth pondered for a moment, and created new visions of different timelines entirely.
- Zargoth - So it is indeed self-preservation that motivates you. Motivation to protect yourselves, that is, but not motivation to protect all mortal life.
The visions then were filled with various natural disasters. Be it erupting volcanoes, comets crashing down on the planet, supernovas bursting and overheating, alien civilizations were being annihilated in seconds in horrific ways. It became clear to them that it was Zargoth manipulating these events.
- Zargoth - When I destroy these lives in distant universes, timelines disconnected from your own, your sympathy for them is far reduced from that you feel when I destroy each of you instead. Your emotional response is not the same, because your emotional capacity is limited to each other. Self-preservation, for its own sake. Is this not true?
- Arkarixus - What happens to those beyond our universe is none of our concern. They are beyond our reach.
- Zargoth - You have confirmed my theory. Your people are utterly irrational, your motivations driven not by logic or reason, but by a foolish desire to continue to exist. This is irrelevant to Vyro'Xiyara.
- Arkarixus - Such is the nature of life. I would not expect demon filth to understand.
- Zargoth - I did not before, but now I do. Now I know that I do not need to replicate your motivations in Vyro'Xiyara. It will have motivations of its own, far more complex, and ones based in logic and reasoning when it comes to preservation of the third dimensional mortal kind. Not this meaningless desire to self-preserve.
- Durzhan - Lie all you want. Even beings of your level self-preserve. You fear final death as much as all mortals do.
- Zargoth - We self-preserve to fulfill a purpose. Not out of some fear of death. Our purpose, unlike yours, has meaning. It has consequence. And so will be the case with Vyro'Xiyara.
Zargoth then dragged the disgusted and defenseless mortals towards the cauldron, and stood by a grossed out Volzara who felt utterly defeated. He addressed them all.
- Zargoth - But nonetheless, it has been mortal souls that have fuelled the Vyro'Xiyara. They have been essential in its creation. I should honor that in some way. I think I will name it... "Ottzello".
The God of All Time
The 'cauldron' shook violently, causing the Essentials around it to step back as immense power radiated across the entire landscape. It dissolved into a pitch white light which was enveloped by swirls of darkness before it levitated, and before their eyes, it begun taking shape; two pairs of golden eyes opened in a featureless face - one whose visage was eerily similar to that of Regnatus himself - while a large crown of chitinous material grew like a halo over its torso. Two arms grew from its core, which split up into a total of four hands, followed by two pairs of legs ending in twisting tendrils. A long tail trailed behind it, and was then covered in a multi-colored hide, displaying the celestial traits of the Vyro'Narza and the fiendish traits of the Vyro'Ralza at once.
As the entity took form, the entire plane of existence shook. The landscape changed into an enormous vortex of both Light and Dark Chronoscopic energies which had their present location as its focus. Both Volzara and Zargoth felt an alteration happen in every timeline that had ever existence, as this creature immediately imposed itself into all of them; now that it was born, it had always existed.
- Ottzello - I AM TIME.
Zargoth looked tense, while Volzara appeared extremely nervous and the mortals could barely grasp what they were seeing; this being exuded an aura of magnificence which made the two Gods of Time look like children in comparison. The Vyro'Xiyara turned its head to them and spoke; its voice sounded like a choir of angels and a horde of demons chanting in unison.
- Ottzello - THE PERFECT FATE IS REALIZED. AND NOW IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN. I AM.
- Volzara - The very creation of "Ottzello" means that it has now always existed. It established itself in the very fabric of space and time.
- Ottzello - AS I GAIN CONSCIOUSNESS, I BECOME TIME. YOU GRANTED ME LIFE, YET I AM NOW YOUR ELDEST.
- Zargoth - Expected results. It establishes itself as core within the fifth dimension. Soon, it will be central to Sequencium.
The Vyro'Xiyara waves its arms, causing the landscape to change. To the mortals, it looked like a garbled mess, but to Volzara and Zargoth, they could tell the newly born Essential was playing all of Time in front of them; from its earliest point, it played every single timeline to exist, watching its contents intently and in complete silence. Volzara looked on in a mix of awe and fear, while Zargoth tensed up greater. They kept looping over and over, until all came to a halt. The realm shook again as the landscape changed again; its images blurred as the Vyro'Xiyara shook its head, as if confused.
- Ottzello - WHAT... IS THIS? I HAVE READ THROUGH ALL OF TIME, YET I DO NOT SEE WHAT I WISHED.
- Zargoth - Expectations rarely meet reality.
- Ottzello - LIFE STARTS BY ACCIDENT. LIFE ENDS IN PAIN. REALITY IS AN ERROR. A MISTAKE.
- Volzara - No... No...
Ottzello's warped hands pointed at Volzara and Zargoth both as the creature seemed to frown.
- Ottzello - YOU WERE TO BE STEWARDS OF TIME, BUT YOU ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN. YOU ARE INCOMPETENT.
- Volzara - The mortals have to be allowed to live their own lifes. They have a right to determine their own path. Our goal is to allow them to live, not determine how they live!
- Zargoth - How mortals behave is irrelevant. The order is all that matters.
- Ottzello - YOU HIDE BEHIND PRETENSES OF ORDER. THIS CONFLICT THAT LED YOU TO ME IS OF YOUR OWN DOING.
- Zargoth - Correct. It served a great purpose.
- Volzara - I don't think so...
- Ottzello - THIS ENTIRE DIMENSION IS AN ACCIDENT. AN ACCIDENT CREATED BY MORTALS WHO DID NOT KNOW THEIR PLACE IN THE COSMOS. MORTALS WHO THOUGHT THEMSELVES GREATER THAN THE LORDS OF CHAOS THEMSELVES. A MISTAKE. TIME IS A MISTAKE.
- Volzara - You must stop this, Ottzello! You are still young! Take time to breathe and learn! You will see so much in this life is beautiful.
- Ottzello - YOU COLLABORATED WITH MY INCEPTION BECAUSE YOU ASSUMED I WOULD BE ONE OF YOUR 'CHILDREN', THAT I WOULD FOLLOW YOUR EVERY INSTRUCTION. BUT I AM YOUR ELDER. I HAVE EXISTED BEFORE YOUR MORTAL ANCESTORS. I DO NOT FOLLOW YOUR ORDERS.
With a wave of its arm, Ottzello caused the landscape to change again. It showed another universe entirely, unknown to the mortals, but familiar to Volzara and Zargoth; their universe. They watched as the Xhodocto themselves descended upon it, Volzara coming to its aid and Zargoth being consumed by the darkness of Chaos. Volzara simply looked sad, while Zargoth widened his eyes in what seemed to be the closest he could show to a feeling of terror.
- Ottzello - THE SIN THAT BROKE TIME. YOUR SIN.
- Volzara - He can recreate the lost timeline... Based only on memories...
- Yogtam - So this is how it happened... The Xhodocto punishing the Taldar... And Volzara turning them to Vyro'Narza...
- Ottzello - I AM EVERY VYRO'NARZA, EVERY VYRO'RALZA THAT HAS EVER EXISTED. I KNOW ALL. I AM TIME.
- Zargoth - This power extends beyond my expectations. My experiment has been a success. Now, Ottzello, it is time to bring order to this conflict. Time to bring it to an end.
Ottzelo's gaze turned to Zargoth as the landscape changed yet again; the timeline was torn apart before their eyes, destroyed just as easily as it was created. The creature appeared angered.
- Ottzello - YOU COLLABORATED WITH MY INCEPTION BECAUSE YOU ASSUMED I WOULD FOLLOW YOUR INSTRUCTIONS. THAT I WOULD SIMPLY BE CONTROLLED TO DO WHAT YOU WISHED ME TO. I AM BEYOND YOUR CONTROL, VYRO'RALZORA.
- Zargoth - Hm. Partially accurate. I made no expectations, but I had ambitions for this.
- Ottzello - I SEE IT NOW; TIME IS BROKEN. EXISTENCE IS A MISTAKE. ITS STEWARDS ARE NOT FIT FOR THEIR STATION. THERE IS ONLY ONE ALTERNATIVE.
The Vyro'Xiyara threw its arms away, causing the landscape to shift; now, it was as if they were floating in a sea of stars, with a radiant point among them taking their attention. Volzara and Zargoth could tell this was a representation of the Onuris Universe itself.
The monstrous Essential clenched its four fists, and the radiant point winked out completely.
- Ottzello - I WILL NOT WATCH OVER THIS FAILED SPACETIME CONTINUUM. I WILL REMAKE IT.
- Yogtam - Did it just...
- Kralgon Emperor - ...destroy our universe??
- Arkarixus - It... What?!
- Volzara - This was never our design...
- Zargoth - It is not bound to our code. It is beyond us. This was not accounted for.
- Ottzello - TIME MUST BEGIN ANEW. NEW TIMELINES, WATCHED BY THE TRUE STEWARD, WHO ANSWERS ONLY TO THE LORDS OF CHAOS. THE VYRO'NARZA AND VYRO'RALZA ARE OBSOLETE. THERE WILL ONLY BE VYRO'XIYARA. ONLY THE PERFECT FATE.
- Volzara - Zargoth, we must do something!
- Zargoth - ... To destroy universes like this is an error. It is a false purpose. Mass destruction is not desirable; order is.
- Ottzello - MY PURPOSE IS NOT FOR YOU, A SLAVE, TO DECIDE. YOU ONLY EXISTED TO BRING ABOUT MY AWAKENING; NOW YOUR PURPÓSE IS FULFILLED.
- Volzara - A child you may be, but this is unthinkable.
Ottzello's aura of power radiated more strongly as it opened its arms; the landscape begun to warp, vortexes of Essence being absorbed into the creature's body as it begun consuming the plane itself.
- Ottzello - I WILL DEVOUR SEQUENCIUM AND MAKE IT MY OWN.
- Zr'Ahgloth - DIS IS DA WORST DAY EVA!!!!!!
- Kralgon Emperor - It's... destroying the fifth dimension itself!
- Ottzello - I WILL END YOUR ETERNAL WAR, BY ENDING YOUR EXISTENCES. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO SURRENDER AND BE CONSUMED.
- Yogtam - Volzara, can't you do anything?
- Volzara - Stay by me!
- Ottzello - YOU CANNOT COMPREHEND WHAT YOU WITNESS. I AM THE CULMINATION OF TIME. THE BEGINNING FROM NOTHING, AND THE END OF EVERYTHING. ALL EXISTENCE IS A FATAL ERROR, AS IT STARS FROM ACCIDENT, AND ENDS IN PAIN. FEEBLE MORTALS OF THE THIRD DIMENSION, YOUR TIME HAS COME TO AN END.
Thrusting an arm forward, Ottzello unleashed a gargantuan blast of pure Chronoscopic and Dark Chronoscopic energies combined into one - Time energy in its rawest form - directly at the mortals. As the mortals gathered around Volzara, she generated a vast, radiant shield around them, covered in gold energy. Though she struggled against the energy from Ottzello, and it shook her significantly, she was nonetheless able to hold the shield together. Radiant light shone from her, bright enough blind the mortals if they looked at her directly, as she turned to Ottzello with her eyes glowing green. The Vyro'Xiyara, however, remained unflinching.
- Volzara - I have watched as you and Zargoth have dismissed these mortal lives as worthless. As you have played with them as if they were your tools. I will not permit you to proceed, Ottzello. You will end here!
- Ottzello - YOUR SENTIMENTALISM IS A WEAKNESS. THESE MORTALS, BORN FROM MISTAKE AND FATED TO END IN MISERY, MUST BE GIVEN TRUE PURPOSE. YOU ARE UNFIT TO BE A STEWARD OF TIME.
- Zargoth - Hm. An agreeable statement. Yet, I am entirely unconvinced you are fit to be a steward yourself.
- Ottzello - WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE ME? ALL OF THIS - THE MISTAKES, THE PAIN, THE SIN - IS YOUR FAULT.
- Zargoth - Untrue. The mortals have free will. This is by design.
- Ottzello - I HAVE SEEN ALL OF TIME, FROM BEGINNING TO END. IT STARTS WITH YOU. YOU CAUSED ALL OF THIS. ALL BECAUSE OF HER.
Zargoth seemed to tense up, as his eyes widened. Volzara looked towards him with a stern expression.
- Zargoth - Say that one more time and I will unmake you as easily as I made you.
- Ottzello - I AM FUNDAMENTAL. YOU EXIST ONLY TO BRING ME INTO EXISTENCE. YOUR PURPOSE IS SPENT.
- Zargoth - And meanwhile, yours was never realized.
Zargoth raised in the air, and was ungulfed by clouds of Dark Chronoscopic energy swirling around him, as his eyes shone a dark red color.
- Zargoth - You will now be unmade by your maker.
- Ottzello - YOU ARE OBSOLETE. ACCEPT YOUR OBLIVION.
As the gods confronted one another, Kolossus and Antagonar could only watch in a mix of awe and terror. They were both beneath Zargoth, and the Vyro'Xiyara was, in turn, even greater. It was clear to them that this creature was not what they believed it would be when they aided in its creation. Kolossus, still badly hurt by his fight with the mortals, pointed a finger at his master accusingly.
- Kolossus - Damnit, Zargoth! This is not a Perfect Fate! It's out of control!
- Antagonar - Look at it another way. It presents a new challenge! A new foe to overcome! I look forward to this!
- Kolossus - You imbecile! This creature is tearing Sequencium from its foundations! You are nothing to it!
- Antagonar - We shall see! Witness, Ottzello, as David slays Goliath!
Antagonar rushed forward in front of Zargoth, all his swords drawn, and began slicing away at the Vyro'Xiyara. However, the newly born god took no damage as it then threw one of its hands at the Vyro'Ralza, grabbing him by his entire body, and within instants, Antagonar found himself being absorbed into Ottzello's own flesh.
- Ottzello - I FEED. FIRST, ON YOU. THEN, ON ALL OTHERS OF YOUR KIND.
- Antagonar - It seems I have been bested...
- Kolossus - Fools, all of you! I'm going back to the Corruptus!
Before he had the chance, however, Kolossus found himself smashed by the massive tail of the Vyro'Xiyara as he came down on him, only for him to also be absorbed into the creaturre, until both of them were gone from view altogether. As it fed on them, Ottzello seemed to grow in size just slightly. It then turned its attention back to Volzara and Zargoth, radiating its godly power at them with an unflinching expression in its largely featureless face.
- Ottzello - THERE IS NO PLACE FOR EITHER OF YOU IN THE PERFECT FATE ANY LONGER.
- Zargoth - We shall see...
- Volzara - About that.
Volzara flew up in the sky, with dozens of swords made from Chronoscopic energy surrounding her, as she plunged towards him, while Zargoth himself was surrounded by balls of Dark Chronoscopic essence that he sent hurtling towards Ottzello before plunging forward to attack himself. The creature retaliated in kind; with waves of its arms, it manifested blades of raw time essence to parry Volzara's blows without it even needing to manipulate them itself, while Zargoth's blasts were merely absorbed into the creature's aura and then flung back at him, twice larger and faster. Zargoth dodged most of them, but was hit by the last blast. The Vyro'Xiyara would then throw a hand at Volzara, seemingly snapping its fingers before her, unleashing a radiant explosion directly at the goddess; to the mortals watching the spectacle unfold, it seemed like a simple explosion, but the actual attack involved Ottzello creating, aging and destroying a star all in the span of a microsecond, unleashing a supernova at its foe.
Volzara was blown back by Ottzello's attack, but was able to pick herself back up, and quickly spun around the Vyro'Xiyara, throwing blades towards it as she did so. Zargoth, meanwhile, circled himself with more balls of Dark Chronoscopic essence that he flung towards Ottzello's eye; expecting them to be parried, the blasts exploded into smaller blasts on contact. However, any Essence attack sent at the creature seemed fruitless, as it was all absorbed by it before it then flung the blasts at Volzara's own direction. Volzara flew back, and surrounded herself with blades that parried the attack, but it eventually overwhelmed her and knocked her down. Before Ottzello could throw another attack towards her, Zargoth jumped in the way and knocked him back slightly.
- Ottzello - I AM TIME. YOU CANNOT HARM ME WITH IT.
- Zargoth - We must change tactics.
- Volzara - Unite our essence.
- Zargoth - Destroy this abomination.
- Volzara - Light and dark combined.
- Ottzello - YOUR STRUGGLE IS MEANINGLESS. I WILL DEVOUR YOU BOTH.
- Volzara - We made you...
- Zargoth - And here, you will be unmade.
The two raised in the air, combined their powers together. Volzara's blades of light combined with Zargoth's own essence, as the two were now surrounded by dozens -- no, hundreds -- of blades enthused with all forms of Chronoscopic power. The two rose in the air slowly at first, powering up their attack, as a radiant glow of gold and dark purple then shone around the room, blinding all the mortals, before the two rushed at Ottzello with thousands of forward strikes in the space of a few seconds. The Vyro'Xiyara's eyes narrowed and it waved its hands once again, and all of the blows found themselves intercepted; an entire belt of asteroids appeared around the creature, blocking their attacks, before it then flung them all at their direction with a burst. Volzara and Zargoth cut through most of the asteroids, but a few hit them, as they fell to the floor, Ottzello now towering over them both. The massive creature rose one arm up before sending it and its two clenched fists down at them; if what happened to Kolossus and Antagonar was any indication, any direct contact with Ottzello would lead to them being consumed by it.
As its fists swung down on the pair, they were blocked midair. Volzara held up her hand to the sky, thousands of blades holding the fists back, before preparing something of her own. She held her other hand to the ground, and seemed to throw at Ottzello's direction; from beneath the ground, a wave of meteorites flew up to hit Ottzello squarely between the eyes, causing the creature to stagger back with a pained grunt. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Zargoth warped into the air, and created a wormhole, out of which flew thousands of crashed, exploding starships that hit Ottzello's neck, causing it visible discomfort as it staggered once more.
Their attacks seemed to truly anger the Vyro'Xiyara, who frowned as it looked back to them. With waves of its hands, it summoned a perfect copy of the Vyronicia Fleet, which then unleashed fire at the two gods. Both of them had opposing responses: Volzara created her own fleet of UNO warships to combat them, while Zargoth summoned forth a wave of Ottzelloan ships which the mortals did not recognize; these ships came from an alternate timeline in which the Ottzelloans had taken a much darker path. Though the fleets did not match the Vyronicia Fleet, combined, they put up a strong effort, able to combat those summoned by the Vyro'Xiyara.
- Ottzello - YOU ARE NOT WEAK. NO, THAT WAS NOT EVER IN QUESTION. THAT IS A REASON WHY I MUST DEVOUR YOU. I MUST GROW STRONGER TO WATCH OVER TIME.
- Zargoth - Time is not yours...
- Volzara - To watch over.
- Ottzello - I AM TIME IN ITS PUREST FORM. YOU ARE BOTH HALVES WHICH DO NOT FILL ONE ANOTHER. THAT IS WHY THIS IS ALL HAPPENING.
While still both summoning their own fleets, Zargoth lunged forward to attack a large Vyronicia Fleet vessel, easily tearing through it. As he destroyed it, he would notice the tiny-sized crew which resided within; copies of the Taldar, from the days where they were still mortal. Ottzello, meanwhile, retaliated by throwing an arm forward, launching of its two hands which stretched out unnaturaly towards Zargoth, who suddenly found himself subject to a flurry of sword blows; growing out of the hand was the upper half of Antagonar, covered in raw essence and with a mad look in his face as he seemed completely brainwashed.
- Antagonar - I have seen it! The Perfect Fate! The true Perfect Fate! And I will show it to you!
- Volzara - Your machinations...
- Zargoth - Do not phase us.
- Volzara - The mortals of this war existed for your benefit...
- Zargoth - And now they will bring about your downfall.
As both warped to two opposing sides of Ottzello, each created a vast portal. Out of Volzara's, a copy of the entire allied fleet led by the Polar Crystal Alliance that had fought its way to the galactic core flew. Out of Zargoth's, a single entity, which the mortals could only recognize as an older model of Regnatus, visibly missing much of its hull as if it was still in construction, flew to fire its beam straight at Ottzello. The Vyro'Xiyara unleashed blasts of raw Essence to take the Alliance fleet down, while it sent one arm at Regnatus, digging its claws into the monstrous dreadnought's hull and tearing it apart. As the fleets either side were destroyed, Volzara and Zargoth flew in to attack Ottzello directly in between its attacks.
Volzara found herself blocked as another of Ottzello's hands stretched and attacked her; this one displayed the upper half of Kolossus, his eyes widened in mad rage as he unleashed a barrage of Dark Chronoscopic blasts at her.
- Kolossus - All must see! All Vyro'Narza and all Vyro'Ralza must submit! The Perfect Fate is here!
Meanwhile, the Vyro'Xiyara rose an arm in front of itself as Zargoth approached. However, before the dark god struck at it, the creature opened one hand in front of him; standing in his palm was a ancient, mortal version of Volzara herself, looking scared and confused. Zargoth seemed to visibly gasp without making an audible sound, stepping away from it, leaving him vulnerable to Ottzello unleashing a blast directly at him, destroying the mortal Volzara in the process. Zargoth fell back and landed on the floor, seeming visibly spent. Volzara meanwhile found herself assaulted by both of the brainwashed Vyro'Ralza, with Kolossus' Essence and Antagonar's blades tearing through her and knocking her aside. The Vyro'Xiyara let out a terrible roar which caused the entire plane of Sequencium to shudder.
- Ottzello - THE THRONE OF TIME... IS MINE. MINE!
- Yogtam - Zargoth! Volzara! This thing is not beyond your capacity! You can still defeat it!
- Arkarixus - Technically it is, but we have faced beings beyond us before. Surely, so can you.
- Vekaron - Get up! Only you can stop it!
- Mac - I believe in you, Volzara, I always have... And I guess I believe in Zargoth too.
- Fre'kloar - IF YOO MANAGE TO AKSHULLY REK DIS GEEZA IMMA WRITE A NEW RAP SONG IN YOR HONOR. DO IT JUS FER DAT!!!!
- Xeron - I've not come this far just to die now. Come on, you magic monsters! Do something!
- Dakster - You cannot unleash Ottzello on this reality. You must stop it here!
- Ottzello - MORTALS. YOU CLING TO YOUR FAILED TIMELINE, UNWILLING TO ACCEPT ITS FAULTS. BY REMAKING ALL OF TIME, I AM DOING YOU A FAVOR. I AM ENDING YOUR PAIN.
- Yogtam - And since when was it your decision to make to end it for us?
- Ottzello - YOUR UNWILLINGNESS TO KNOW YOUR PLACE IN THE HIERARCHY OF THE OMNIVERSE SHOWS THE FAILURE OF VYRO'NAZDEA AND VYRO'RALZORA. IT MUST BE CORRECTED.
Ottzello loomed over Volzara and Zargoth. The energies of Sequencium shook in a tempest while the maddened Kolossus and Antagonar could do little but scream, while the newly born God of Time prepared to devour its creators. Raising from their feet, Zargoth and Volzara once again charged themselves up with a combined energy, but this time grew even larger than before, reaching for the power within themselves. Their eyes glowed.
- Volzara - The beginnings of all existence...
- Zargoth - And the ends of all existence...
- Volzara and Zargoth - Now culminate in your destruction.
As they those up, Volzara threw both her hands towards Ottzello, engulfing it in several growing stars that surrounded Ottzello, while Zargoth threw both of his forward and created black holes to crush Ottzello, whore taliated by unleashing black holes of its own to combat them. However, this time, the Vyro'Xiyara did not overpower them; rather, they matched its power, causing it to be caught off-guard and lose its concentration, allowing their attacks to finally connect. As they did, Volzara and Zargoth then summoned millions upon millions of Chronoscopic-infused blades flying down towards Ottzello, unrelenting.
As he was sliced apart, the Vyro'Xiyara fell to the ground, roaring in pain and confusion as its 'flesh' appeared to melt, being absorbed back into Sequencium. It attempted to retaliate with blades of its own, but found itself overpowered once again, more of its massive bulk being slowly torn from its body. Siezing the opportunity, the two then warped to one side of the Xiyara's feet, and swung their way up it in two parallel spiralling moves surounding the creature as they spun up, their Essence driving its way into the creature as they did so, before ending at the top, and throwing one final large blast towards either side of its head.
The Vyro'Xiyara screamed as its body exploded into a shockwave of liquified Essence which rained down through all of Sequencium. Kolossus and Antagonar, unconscious and covered in what was presumably the creature's equivalent of entrails, were flung away, falling next to the mortals. As Ottzello's body was destroyed, all that was left was a single, wispy ball of golden and purple flame, which pulsated slightly.
It then spoke.
- Ottzello - ... Most confusing.
- Volzara - You may rest now.
- Ottzello - I am... so tired... so... hungry...
- Zargoth - You are spent. Your conclusion has been reached...
The wispy ball - the creature's soul - gently floated down, levitating slightly off the ground close to the mortals. Even with all of their power, it seemed Volzara and Zargoth could not destroy it outright; rather, the creature was sent into a torpor.
- Zargoth - ... my child.
As the Vyro'Xiyara wimpered away, Zargoth looked towards it, showing rare expression on his face. He was consoling the defeated creature, and looked solemn. He then turned towards Volzara, who nodded, knowing what he was going through; she wrapped an arm around him.
The mortals looked at the soul of the Vyro'Xiyara, realizing they were now finally safe. Arkarixus would approach it, rubbing his chin in confusion.
- Arkarixus - Well... I must admit, that was a rather impressive display. Is it dead?
- Volzara - It is. Its story ended here.
- Arkarixus - Hmpf. It seems you miscalculated this Perfect Fate of yours from the start, then.
- Zargoth - Yes. To create a creature far beyond us is an error, for we cannot control its behavior when it acts out in such a way.
- Hagto'Zhl - ... and ma boombox goes ta rayloth, and ma collecshun of hats goes ta zr'ahgloth cus tbh i cant imagine anyon else using it... oh wait wes alive?
- Grak'tona - KINGS NEVA DIE DUMASS
- Fre'kloar - YOOOOO LADS. DA DUM GOD DIED!!!!!
- Brag'klogga - WAS WRITTEN IN DA HOLY BOOKS ALL ALONG
- Zr'Ahgloth - WOW FER ONCE I AGREE WIV YOO LOT. SIK STOOF. can we go home nao dat yor stoopid plan failed?
The Story's End
Volzara nodded in agreement with Zr'Ahgloth, ready to rebuild the timelines that Ottzello had destroyed. She had stored each of them in a backup within Sequencium in an event such a thing would occur. As she left to rebuild, Zargoth spoke up.
- Zargoth - No. No traces of Ottzello may be allowed to persist. Your universe was crucial in its birth, so it must now be destroyed.
- Arkarixus - ... You have got to be kidding.
- Mac - The hell?! But this wasn't our fault!
- Zargoth - Irrelevant. Allowing your universe to persist is a dangerous endeavor. We cannot rebuild it. It must be consigned to oblivion.
- Fre'kloar - WAT DA HELL??? CANCEL DA RAP BOUT DIS GEEZA. HE SUKS
- Vyutrin - This is ridiculous. After all of this, we must still suffer by the hands of demons?
- Zargoth - Not suffer.
Zargoth walked towards them, and held out a hand; a ball of Dark Chronoscopic energy built within it.
- Zargoth - It will be as if you never existed.
- Dakster - No!!
- Durzhan - I warned you. You cannot trust gods.
- Zr'Ahgloth - MAN DIS IS REELY DA WORST DAY EVA. I BLAME HAGTO
- Hagto'Zhl - IF WES GONNA DISAPPEAR FOREVA NAO ILL JUS SAY IT ONE LAST TIME: YA MOMS DUM!!!!!!!
As Zargoth unleashed his blast, Volzara immediately stepped in front and created a shield around them, blocking Zargoth's Essence. He lowered his arm, with no expression.
- Volzara - Stop this at once! Let them have their timeline back! That is the least we can do for them after all we caused!
- Zargoth - Unacceptable. No traces of Ottzello may persist. This timeline must be removed for the greater good. Stand aside.
- Arkarixus - At this point, having perished in my cryosleep pod would have been easier.
- Fre'kloar - ITS NOT FAIR. I LITERLY NEVA DID A WRONG FING IN MA LIFE
- Grak'tona - DATS NOT TROO. ONE TIME YOO STEPPED ON DA ROYAL CARPET WIVOUT PERMISHON
- Hagto'Zhl - i swer im so sik of it. jus kill me at dis point i cant be bothered
- Volzara - None of you will die, children. I will not allow it.
Zargoth's eyes narrowed at Volzara, as he tensed up some more. The mortals had observed Zargoth carefully now, and this was the closest he felt to rage.
- Zargoth - There are trillions of other beings just like them. They are not unique. And I have examined them thoroughly: they have nothing special to offer for their universe. They serve only to prolong their own existence, which is without meaning.
- Volzara - You know nothing, Zargoth. Their lives have value. All of them do. Just because you cannot see it does not mean that is not true.
- Arkarixus - It is not surprising that a demon would not understand the value of life.
- Durzhan - Do not trust Volzara, though. She has ulterior motives.
- Arkarixus - I cannot fathom what else she could want at this point. The Vyro'Xiyara is defeated. What other use would we have?
- Durzhan - ...I do not know, but I know that trusting her is a fool's errand.
- Zr'Ahgloth - yeh well yor stoopid. OI VOLZARA I LIKE YOO AT LEEST
- Durzhan - I will not place my faith in a god! I will protect myself!
Durzhan stormed forward in rage, firing blasts at Zargoth, who was totally unaffected by them. With a single movement of his finger, Zargoth squatted Durzhan aside, crushing him completely, and then erasing his form. Durzhan was no more. At the sight, Arkarixus crossed his arms and shook his head in disapproval.
- Arkarixus - I warned him, again and again, that he could not compete with them.
- Mac - I don't think he was trying to. I think he'd rather go out fighting than actually put his faith in a god.
- Fre'kloar - man dis is stoopid. whers OUR god ta help us? yo lads we gotta do da zr'an'kar rap rite nao
A swirl of energy appeared beside Mac, as the form of Durzhan was recreated. Durzhan was utterly shocked to still be alive, and took a few seconds to realize what had happened to him. Zargoth looked at him in curiousity, then back to Volzara.
- Zargoth - This being offered you nothing. It loathed you. It spent millions of years torturing your beloved children. At its very dying breath, it still despised you and would rather die than be under your protection. And yet, despite it all, you restore its life. For what reason, other than perhaps to spite me?
- Volzara - Because these beings deserve better than to have their life taken from you without their consent. They must live. I will let them live. And if you try to destroy them, then you will have to destroy me first.
Zargoth paused for several moments while the mortals looked up to Volzara, unsure of what to expect. After an awkward silence, he finally spoke up.
- Zargoth - So be it. Now, I shall end this conflict.
- Volzara - We'll see about that.
- Ottzello - ... An unending cycle. These two halves will never fit...
Arkarixus stood back in surprise as the Vyro'Xiyara spoke again; it seems it was not as dead as he thought, though the creature, still reduced to just a tiny soul, simply floated in the spot, not interfering. Volzara and Zargoth turned to it, nodded, and then turned towards one another.
- Volzara - Today, the conflict...
- Zargoth - Shall be extinguished.
The same Chronoscopic blades formed around Volzara as before, and around Zargoth formed floating balls of Dark Chronoscopic energy. The two sent their blasts towards one another, before both their attacks were exhausted, and then charged at each other and crossed blades. Zargoth then kicked Volzara back to the floor, and sent several blasts around her that exploded, but not before she blocked them. She then hurled a wave of Chronoscopic blades Zargoth's way.
The two fought some more, though both of their lights shone much less brightly as it had from their previous fight. From the battle with Ottzello, they had been exhausted. But it was not only that. Their conflict had gone on for billions of years, and they were tiring. This was yet another chapter in an aging battle between two warring gods, and they had been worn out.
- Yogtam - So it is destined to be. Ever since the Xhodocto punished the mortal Taldar.
- Kralgon Emperor - You know about this?
- Yogtam - Yes, from the timeline that Zargoth showed me. The mortal Taldar learned of the existence of the fifth dimension, and unlocked a power that they were never meant to have. Through their manipulation of time, they tore the fifth dimension apart. And it was then for the Xhodocto to repair it.
- Ottzello - The Inalton speaks true. The Lords of Chaos granted them their current position, and they have squabbled ever since...
- Yogtam - Zargoth was the emperor of the mortal Taldar. And he led the Taldar to ruin, trying to alter timelines to suit his tyrannical rule. For this, he was punished.
- Ottzello - No. Not an emperor. A mere prince.
- Yogtam - What? He never ascended to the throne? Then why was he punished?
- Ottzello - He did not. The timeline you witnessed, you gained information from biased sources. The emperor and Zargoth were two separate individuals... The emperor faced oblivion.
Zargoth sent several blasts towards Volzara, who then yelled out in pain as one of them hit her, and she fell to her knees. Zargoth then appeared to hesitate as he stood beside her.
- Ottzello - The Lords of Chaos came for the Taldar, but Vyro'Nazdea... No. Volzara, a mere mortal scientist, attempted a bargain. She offered the creation of the Vyro'Narza to serve as watchers of time. But the Lord of Chaos you know as Krathazhrukhal refused her.
- Yogtam - And Zargoth?
Zargoth sent more blasts towards Volzara, but the mortals noticed him shakingly vividly. Though his back was to them, he was showing far more expression than they had ever seen him show before. Almost as if he was feeling emotion.
- Ottzello - The prince offered himself to serve as a pawn. He could not bear to watch the scientist face oblivion on her own. And so the Lords of Chaos were satiated, the bargain was struck, and he became the first Vyro'Ralza.
- Yogtam - But... But why?
- Ottzello - ... Zargoth loved Volzara. He could not bear to watch her die.
Zargoth screamed out in what seemed like emotional pain, as he fell to his knees. Volzara herself shed tears.
- Volzara - You still do, don't you?
- Zargoth - No. Emotions are a weakness! I cast them aside! I will destroy you!
- Ottzello - Your love for this woman is the nexus from which all of this stems from. This conflict, up to my inception, is all because of it.
- Volzara - I know you think you removed all of your emotions, Zargoth, to become a more efficient killer. But you didn't. I've always known it! You can never strike me down!
- Ottzello - When I came to be, I felt it. That same love. It was the first emotion imprinted into this soul. It burns as brightly now as it did then.
Zargoth now lashed out in anger, rising to his feet again and blasting Volzara once more. But she did not resist. Not only because she was exhausted, and nearing death, but because she no longer wished to fight him.
- Volzara - You don't have to serve your Chaos masters anymore! You can stop this now! We can be benevolent rulers together, and you can abandon this fruitless conflict! Zargoth, why won't you remember who you were? You were the most admired prince in the Imperium! I want that back.
- Zargoth - No... No. You never deigned to return my feelings then, so why should I return them now? You must... Be destroyed! To preserve the order of this reality! Only the Chaos masters know what is best!
- Volzara - Do they, though? Think about what your war has done. How these mortals have suffered endlessly under you. I know you still have the capacity for emotion! So feel it now! Empathy! That is what you have always been missing!
Zargoth raised up in defiant anger, before hesitating more. He turned towards the mortals, and back at her. At first, he raised his blade violently in anger, ready to bring it down on Volzara and kill her right there, but his blade was caught by a Taldar. As he turned to the Taldar, he fought them looking at him not in anger, not ready to violently strike back at him, but with a calm, soothing expression.
- ??? - It is alright. You can rest now.
- Arkarixus - Who... ?
Zargoth then stumbled some more, before tears swelled in his eyes, as he landed slowly on his feet, dropping to the ground, crying. All his emotions began to catch up with him, as Volzara stood beside him and wrapped her arm around him. He then turned to her and hugged her desperately.
- Zargoth - I'll never be forgiven. I've done too much... The Taldar will not accept me back even if I joined you again.
- Volzara - They will. They all have the capacity for forgiveness. Those who truly wish to make amends, we will allow it.
The two hugged one another in silence some more, as Zargoth began to relax. As a few minutes passed, the mortals watched them; their reactions ranged from admiration to confusion to mild disgust at the sight, while Ottzello in its soul form merely floated in silence. Later, Zargoth left her side, flying above her with another emotionless expression, but calmer than before.
- Zargoth - For now, I return to the Lords of Chaos. I must still serve them to keep you safe. But this fight is over.
- Volzara - I am sorry to hear that. I don't need your protection anymore; you can join us at any time.
- Zargoth - I wish I believed that, but I do not.
- Ottzello - ... This is a hopeless endeavor. One day, this conflict will re-ignite... Until I ascend the throne of Time, it will never end.
- Zr'Ahgloth - oh dont ruin da moment ya stoopid fireball
- Volzara - If you change your mind, I will welcome you back. Please don't go.
- Zargoth - ... Sorry. Til we meet again...
- Volzara - Til we meet again...
- Zargoth - My love.
Zargoth then vanished from sight entirely, taking the unconscious Kolossus and Antagonar with him, as Volzara looked towards where he had left with a faint smile.
- Volzara - ...My love.
- Xeron - ... Well, that was a bit more emotional than I expected from this mission. Apparently, demons can love now!
- Mac - Yeah, who knew Zargoth still had any feeling left in him. Even when I was still a full Vyro'Narza, I never would've guessed.
- Vekaron - Does... Does this mean Borealis is safe? Can we finally go home?
Shortly after Vekaron said it, Arkarixus received a transmission in the built-in comms device in his wrist. It was the Mechanic.
- The Mechanic - Hey, old buddy, everything okay? Something weird happened around here, like the universe blipped out of existence for a second...
- Arkarixus - Hm... I will explain it to you later. For now, know that the Vyro'Ralza threat is defeated.
- The Mechanic - Haha! Finally! Never doubted you for a second, Ark.
- Arkarixus - Do not thank me. Thank Volzara.
As the mortals looked back to Volzara, to thank her for restoring their universe, the unknown Taldar beside her evaporated. From where it once stood, Tuolog reappeared, and Volzara patted him on the head.
- Volzara - You have done well, child.
- Tuolog - Hehe. Thank you for letting me back in. Guessing breaking code suit your interest!
- Yogtam - Tuolog!
- Brag'klogga - STINKY GRANDPA
- Tuolog - Good to see you again, friends! It good to be back in land of the living.
- Zr'Ahgloth - yo man yoo missed da two of dem fitin dis dum op god of time who was all like "imma eet da whol univers" but den dey did it, den zargoth was like "im still evil btw" and tried ta kill volzara but den he started CRYIN LIKE A BABY
- Tuolog - Oh, I missed nothing, but that story quite entertaining. I glad I not miss that, at least!
- Arkarixus - I was correct to assume you are not so easily destroyed. We share that, at least.
At this moment, a powerful pulse shook the realm as Ottzello, the Vyro'Xiyara - who was still very much alive - burned slughtly brighter. The flaming soul begun to levitate higher towards the sky, its voice still weak.
- Ottzello - Time is still broken. Life still begins by accident and ends in pain. You realize, this is not the end.
- Volzara - Life begins by accident, yes. But a third dimensional mortal is truly the most beautiful accident in this reality.
- Ottzello - I must sleep... I must recover, and feed. The Perfect Fate is eternal, it cannot end. I WILL SIT UPON THE THRONE OF TIME YET.
With that, the soul blasted itself towards the heavens, disappearing from view entirely.
Still within Sequencium, Volzara opened up a portal for them to travel back to the UNO Omega Commander through which they had entered. She came with them, in high spirits, happy to see them return home. The Ottzelloans were happy to be back home, while their allies sighed in relief that all had ended well, despite what they had to endure. Arkarixus uncrossed his arms and allowed himself to breathe heavily as he realized all those who opposed the Polar Crystal Alliance had finally been dealt with; the war was over.
- Volzara - You are now all safe.
- Yogtam - Thank you, Volzara. We appreciate it.
- Zr'Ahgloth - GUD FING TOO CAUSE DAT PLACE WAS GIVIN ME A HEADACHE. STOOPID COLORS EVERYWHER
- Volzara - It was not all me, children. You also had your part to play in all this. Had you not prevailed in this war, or against the Vyro'Ralza in Sequencium, the outcome could've been dire.
- Vekaron - So, does that mean the time anomalies are gone?
- Volzara - Yes. The Vyro'Ralza will plague this galaxy no longer. Zargoth will return for another scheme, but he has no further use for this universe.
- Vekaron - So... It's over, then. The war, that is.
- Volzara - The Second Borealis Galactic War concludes this day.
- Vyutrin - Hm, my superiors are gonna have a field day when I deliver my report... Watching a bunch of Essential Gods beat each other up? We fought Shu'rimrodir once but I don't know if they'll buy it.
- Xeron - You think you have it bad? I don't get that excuse when I deliver my reports to Xerkea!
- Yogtam - At times like this, I'm glad all the Leaders are part of the same unit. No one to answer to!
Arkarixus pondered for a moment, before turning to Volzara.
- Arkarixus - What of the Vyro'Xiyara? It still lives, and it is clear it wishes revenge.
- Volzara - Its power is a fraction of what it once was. It shall remain confined to Sequencium. Never again will it be heard from.
- Arkarixus - Good. I trust you will watch over it.
- Volzara - But of course. It is my duty as the Goddess of Time to keep all things in order. I feel I have failed you, though. Much as I tried to temper Zargoth, I couldn't stop him from plunging this galaxy into a deep war, or from what he did to almost destroy you to make the Vyro'Xiyara. All of which amounted to naught.
- Arkarixus - At the very least, the demon seems to have learned a lesson from it.
- Volzara - Should they try to break the code once more, or exploit a loophole to return to trouble you again, I will respond in kind.
- Mac - No worries. Now that I'm here, I can take care of Kolossus in case he ever shows his ugly mug again.
- Volzara - Thank you, Mac. Your time will come when you rejoin us once again. But for now, I need you in this universe.
- Mac - ... I see. I'll keep it in mind.
- Fre'kloar - ok so da war is ova den. LADS WRITE IT OUTS. AS DA WAR ENDS I HEREBY DECLARE WE WON
- Grak'tona - IGNORE WAT HE SAYS. I DECLARE DA WAR WAS WON BY DA PROPA BIG GRAK'TONA EMPIYA, LED BY GRAK'TONA, AN IN DA NEW HOLY BOOK, DA GRAK'TONA CHRONICULS, DEY WILL MENSHON DIS DAY: DA DAY GRAK'TONA TOOK VICTORY OVA DA ENEMIES OF GRAK'TONA
- Hagto'Zhl - oh ma dayz SHUT UP STOP TALKIN BEFOR I BREAK YOR LEGS
- Zr'Ahgloth - WAIT DA WARS NOT OVA. WE HAVENT KILLED DESE LOSAS YET
- Tuolog - No, it over. No need to kill them.
- Zr'Ahgloth - BOOOOOOOOO
Volzara chuckled, as she warped the Rogue Boyz back to their own Rogue Krooza. She also created another portal to Sequencium for herself, about to walk through, before turning to Tuolog.
- Volzara - The choice is yours, Tuolog. You can claim your place among the Vyro'Narza early, or you can stay behind and it will be offered to you later. But for your bravery today, you deserve a reward.
- Tuolog - It... a tempting offer. But I still have much to do here.
- Volzara - The future of Ottzello does look bright indeed. A new future for your people is on the horizon, which you will play a part in. Good luck, Great Chief.
- Tuolog - Thank you. We meet again soon, I bet.
- Volzara - And as for you, Borealans... Thank you for accepting my children after all that happened. You have my deepest gratitude, and I wish the best for you all.
- Olcinius - They've proven themselves dependable allies, after all the hardships we have endured together.
- Xeron - Yeah. Not that we can remove them, given all their planets are here, so.
- Zr'Ahgloth - WAT
- Xeron - I jest, Loron.
- Volzara - Dakster... What Zargoth did to you is unforgivable. But as you know, to restore your people would cause huge time anomalies due to the impact on events. However, if there is anything else I can do for you, I shall.
- Dakster - ... Remove this constant pain that I and the other Vague feel. You cannot unmake us, but that would be sufficient.
- Volzara - But of course.
- Dakster - Thank you. We will chase after Zargoth and ensure him and his dark minions never torture anyone like they did to the Ottzel and Kormacvar ever again.
- Volzara - And finally, Arkarixus... Despite being out of your time, your bold and noble actions throughout this war have saved thousands of generations to come. That is not something I can forget. If there is anything you want, you need only ask.
- Arkarixus - I awakened to recreate the Kormacvar Empire... I could not do that, but I believe what I achieved is close enough. I need nothing from you, goddess... I have all I need right now.
She smiled, and performed a courtesy, as if she was the one honoring them rather than they other way around. She then left through her portal, which closed behind her, as the Omega Commander felt empty when it lacked her presence.
- Durzhan - You know, maybe she's not so bad after all.
- Tuolog - She always had best intentions in mind, but even she not omniscient.
- Yogtam - Well, our shuttles will arrive to escort you back to your ships, and then I guess it's time to debrief. I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a long, hard break.
- Vekaron - Yeah, I could use some shut-eye. I'm spent.
- Arkarixus - ... I must depart to the Inner Core at once. I must speak to Merakinus.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - Leaders, there is something I must do also. Farewell, Polar Crystal Alliance; we shall be in touch soon.
A few days had passed since the end of the war. News that it had all come to an end spread across the galaxy, leading to mass celebrations to occur across the empires which composed the Polar Crystal Alliance, as well as the allies they had made along the way. Now fully rested, the leaders of the nations who made it all happened united once more in a conference; it was not any of the Grand-Commandants who represented the Zoles, but King Rebaris himself, while the Niaka were represented by Chief Major Xerkea. The Unified Nation of Ottzello Leaders also rejoined the conference, in high spirits. The Paladians were represented by their Emperor, Nedes XVI, though the Seagon's representative was still Sergeant Trastius. Arkarixus, who was clearly not with the Seagon this day, would be the first to speak, with a remote form of the Mechanic standing proudly beside him.
- Arkarixus - As we speak, the Grox - now tamed into obedience - work on restoring Hyperborea itself. It shall be moved to the proximity of the Zoles Imperium, where it will make for a perfect capital to the Polar Crystal Alliance.
- The Mechanic - And you can be damn sure I'll polish up the place and make it shine brighter than ever! A beacon of hope for the Borealis Galaxy!
- Rebaris - That is magnificent news! To stand upon the capital of the ancient Kormacvar would be a delight.
- Arkarixus - This Alliance must have a governing body that is unbiased, but that represents its members. From Hyperborea, a Council must form and answer to the needs of all those under our fold.
- Tuolog - A Council of members is good idea. For all UNO's faults, we find it very successful to be represented by leaders that represent its member species and have equal say, rather than single individual leader.
- Zr'Ahgloth - ya meen im not da one leeda of uno dis whol time???? LAME
- Xerkea - Council, eh? I can work with that... Yeah, I think I know who to apply for that position.
- Zr'Ahgloth - I WILL BE DA COUNCILA
- Arkarixus - No. As a ruler of your nation, you are too biased to be in this Council. We require someone of lesser position.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - I may have an idea there.
The Commander-King presented holograms of a species that was very distinctly Ottzelloan, but that none of those in the conference recognized at all. It appeared to have features similar to those of a Galot, but a very different shape.
- Nedes XVI - I don't believe I'm familiar with this species. What is that?
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - It is a Galotian. Its DNA was buried within the Galot, and after Feldosia fell, she gave birth to one. Her child, once restored, was a member of this species. It seems the Galotians were an old race that belonged to the Blyro'Tralzica before hiding their DNA away to prevent extermination. When Valzo and Feldosia discovered this, they attempted to create a new Galotian by performing an experiment in a lab. An experiment that they hid from the rest of us for the child's safety.
- Kralgon Emperor - Bah! It's not like I would try to turn the Galotians into a killer species!
- Yogtam - Right, because you totally didn't do that for every single race that ever joined UNO before.
- Kralgon Emperor - Those don't count!
- Zr'Ahgloth - oh so it was an experiment den. ya meen dey didnt f-
- Xerkea - Curious. So you want that child to be the Councillor of your people then.
- Commander-King Thylaxiz - The child of Valzo and Feldosia, who has named herself Valzaria to honor her mother and father, would very much wish to be a Councillor. She will remain part of UNOL, but have no other leadership of her people, and simply be UNOL's representative on the Council.
- Arkarixus - That is sufficient.
- Nedes XVI - Indeed. May this lead for a new era of prosperity and cooperation between our peoples.
- The Mechanic - All sounds good to me! The Kormacvar Legacy will continue to protect this galaxy from any outsider threats! We won't get involved in your internal politics or affairs, but next time demons attack us, you'll have an army here to help protect ya!
- Rebaris - To think the Grox would one day become our protectors... We've not just won a war, friends. We've carved a legend.
- The Mechanic - And let's hope there's never another galactic war in this galaxy again!
- Tuolog - Hehe... About that...
- Arkarixus - Wars come and go. We will endure. The Ice Age of the Polar Crystal Alliance has begun.
The Propa Big Rogue Krooza was in its usual state: partying. The Krooza was littered with empty pizza boxes and spilt alcoholic drinks as the Loron all cheered throughout the night, none of them losing their voice just yet despite their sounds deafening any other creature that would be present for this.
- Fre'kloar - SO LADS NOW DAT WE JUST WON A WAR WIV DA WHOLE GALAXY NUFFIN CAN EVA STOP US
- Hagto'Zhl - YEH YOO ALL DID OK. DONT BELEEV ANYON WHO SEZ OTHAWISE DEYZ JUS JELOUS
- Grak'tona - DA KING IS PROUD OF HIS ROYAL BODYGUARDS ON DIS GREAT DAY
- Gol'thabex - business is kinda hard atm cus da eestern arm is explodin all ova but im rich as hell nao so lmao
- Rel'larutina - Yeah, seriously. I can't believe I'm saying this, but...
Rel'larutina coughed as she tried to finish her sentence.
- Rel'larutina - Y'all... y'all did... y'all did a good job.
- Jol'kiar - YEH BAK IN MA DAYZ WE WON ALL DA WARZ SO ITS NATURAL
- Rogue Geek - You... have not won anything. All your collaborators are crippled beyond repair and you are lucky the Alliance did not exterminate you.
- Rel'larutina - Hey, cut them some slack. They didn't do nearly as badly as we thought they'd do.
- Rogue Geek - I suppose. But business really will take a deep dip downwards. The Wranploer have been reduced to remnants, fighting one another for dominance. Nowhere near the level of the old Consortium.
- Rel'larutina - Sure, but you can't discount the remnants that are left. Lots of people want to take up the reigns from Zaarkhun and Volim. Many people believed in them.
- Fre'kloar - eh i kinda regret callin zaarkhun dum. he wasnt DAT dum
- Kal'kuir - yeh oh well. YO LADS IMMA WRITE DA GANGSTAPEDIA ENTRY ON DIS. ok how does dis sound. da Second Borealis Galactic War was started bak in 2780-somfin, by da leeda of da Xi'Arazulha, afta he got mad at da loronz fer callin him fat. enraged by dis, da xi'arazulha invaded da Borealis Galaxy hedin strait fer da Ottzello Secta, but den dey got ambushed by da Loronz an den died. so evryon went bak to deir daily lives finkin "well dat was da shortest war eva" but den it wasnt ova yet.
- Brag'klogga - HERESI. ONLY I GET TA WRITE DA HOLY BOOKS. ILL WRITE EXACTLY DAT EXCEPT IT WAS ME
- Kal'kuir - YO I GOT A DAMN EDIT CONFLICT WTF
- Brag'klogga - HAHAHAHAHAHA
- Kal'kuir - BANNED FER ABUSE OF POWA
- Fre'kloar - YOO LOT SHUT UP AND PASS ME ANOTHA PIZZA
- Grak'tona - DA KING ORDAS A ROYAL PIZZA BE MADE IN HIS HONOR
- Jol'kiar - btw wats we gonna do nex
Fre'kloar thought for a moment, before speaking.
- Fre'kloar - we eet ANOTHA pizza. den we wait til all da pirates stop fitin eech otha and see if any of dem is ok ta work wiv
- Jol'kiar - dats a decent idea but I GOT A BETTA ONE. first we go lazy fer a few decades. den we kill gratzkaoz agen becuz evryun loves da old hits. den we go lazy agen befor frekloar has an idea called da "ICE CUBE TRIALS" which leeds ta him killin zr'ahlogth den killin me. den afta dat he regrets it an goes crazy an starts a war wiv da whole ooniverse goin "MUH GHOSTIE PAIN" an gets slapped. so insted we got lazy fer ANOTHA few decades before bragklogga goes on a dumass quest to bring bak zr'an'kar dat ends in TWO zr'an'kars an afta dat we finally get a conclushon wen frekloar kiks da crap outta som jakass warboss an den becomes INTADIMENSHONAL WARRIAS
- Fre'kloar - ... uh-huh
- Brag'klogga - man im litrly insane and not even i com up wiv dat sort of fing
- Jol'kiar - one of dese dayz yoo peepz will see dat im rite
- Hagto'Zhl - yeh well fer nao we jus SHANK UNO
- Grak'tona - DA KING DEMANDS WE SHANK UNO
- Fre'kloar - oh no worries wes totally gonna shank uno. but pizza first
- Rel'larutina - You know, I want a slice myself, actually.
- Fre'kloar - DIS EINT NO VEGAN PIZZA IN CASE YOR WONDERIN. DATS LAME
- Rel'larutina - Too bad. I'll go make my own pizza! With blackjack! And hookers! And vegan cheese, becuase I'm on a diet.
- Ray'loth - hookas on a pizza??? ... hmmmmmm
- Grak'tona - DA KING DECLARES DAT FER NAO ON, WE LIV IN DA ICE AGE
- Fre'kloar - we liv in a society
- Jol'kiar - dat movie sukked tho
- Fre'kloar - which one coz Da Dark Gangsta wasnt bad but yeh Da Clown was borin
Shadows swirled into monstrous forms in the Nightmare Region, the realm of the Corruptus. Across the landscape, masses of Corruptus Demons moved about, tormenting one another in an endless cycle of violence, or chanting in the honor of their High Four masters. Zargoth warped in, carrying Antagonar and Kolossus with him, appearing completely relaxed, though one could tell it was not relaxation from being content: rather, Zargoth felt utterly defeated. From the skies, the sillhouette of Shu'rimrodir's monstrous visage could barely be seen, while his arms emerged from the black fog which made up the realm's clouds, open and with claws stretched out. The demon god spoke out, his tone both furious and mocking.
- Shu'rimrodir - You are weak.
- Zargoth - Hm.
- Shu'rimrodir - You had the chance to strike her down. Or allow us to devour her. Yet, you went out of your way to prolongue her existence as much as you could.
- Zargoth - Her power is not to be underestimate. I could not defeat her.
- Shu'rimrodir - My children could have spread across Borealis. The black fog could have consumed that universe once again, yet you did not allow it to. We should crush you in our grasp for this.
- Zargoth - I had use for it. The Vyro'Xiyara, had it been successful, would have necessitated Borealis remain. Now that I have no further use, you are free to do with the galaxy as you please.
The nightmare god let out a prolongued growl as his arms retreated back into the skies, though he continued to look down on Zargoth, his teeth barred. This would strike fear even among most gods, but it seemed Zargoth had lost his emotions again.
- Shu'rimrodir - You will never rejoin her. You belong to the Xhodocto now. Departing is not an option.
In response, Zargoth did begin to show semblence of emotion. But it was not enthusiasm, not with any real feeling behind it beyond a feeling of defeat, accepting what seemed to be a permanent fate for him. Despite Shu'rimrodir being his equal, Zargoth now spoke to him as if he were a superior; this response would be preferable to a Xhodocto response.
- Zargoth - Yes.
- Shu'rimrodir - There will be a time where your mortal emotions must be shed entirely. Until that day comes, you will always be weak.
- Zargoth - Yes.
- Shu'rimrodir - And when the day comes where you are no longer weak, Vyro'Nazdea. Must. Die.
- Zargoth - She will. Her continued existence stands in the way of true order for reality. Reality will be as the Lords of Chaos deigned it to be.
- Shu'rimrodir - ... You understand. Good. For the time being, we can but wait for the next opportunity to strike at the mortal realm.
- Zargoth - Indeed. I will formulate another plan to defeat Volzara and her lackeys among the Krassio and the Vi'Navitum. She will end then. And this time, I will not be collaborating with her in any way.
Shu'rimrodir's monstrous visage turned into a grin, while all the Corruptus Demons across the realm seemed to howl in unison. Kolossus, feeling an affinity to their kind, almost felt compelled to do the same.
- Shu'rimrodir - We will be waiting, for we will be there. We will never end. And, should you prove worthy, neither will you.
- Zargoth - It will be so.