| Tantummodo Mortem is a Historical Event
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Returning to the StrongholdEdit
The team all saw a bright flash, and, in a brief moment, they were taken from the ship and slammed into the cold hard ground of the stronghold planet. The surrounding area did not resemble anything from what they remembered; there was no flora, no, stronghold, nothing.
- Mu - Hmm. This doesn't look good.
- Hachi - Damn...the moving company acts fast!
- Sarec - Where is everything?
- Koluap - Whatever happened, I blame Kithworto.
- Tau - Hm. According to these coordinates, we're meant to be right in front of the stronghold.
- Koluap - Well there's nothing here!
Koluap waved his hand in front of himself. Nu examined the surroundings using his displays, and paused.
- Arsac - Perhaps we were discovered. Or the stronghold is cloaked.
- Kezoreg - Try not to give yourself a heart attack, I'm sure there's a rational explanation. Not that there ever is.
From the distance, a sound emerged. It was heavy, rumbling, and was somewhat familiar to Macin. Lemm looked arouned, suddenly conserned for his safety.
- Macin - ...Oh no.
- Eta - Please tell me that's Kithworto.
- Kezoreg - Surprise; it isn't.
- Macin - The snake is awake.
- Arsac - ...Snake?
- Nu - You mean...ah siná'in.
- Kezoreg - Aaah shit.
- Koluap - Snake...? You mean THAT Snake?!
- Macin - Yes.
- Koluap - Hmmmmmmm! Shit.
As the sound became louder, sight of the Ruin Serpent was caught. Lemmo ran from the group, seeking cover.
- Arsac - I thought Kithworto was supposed to be keeping it dormant!
- Arkarixus - Kithworto was supposed to slay it!
- Hachi - Teehee, I think Kithworto wanted to play with it.
As the view became more clear, Kithworto stood on top of the Ruin Serpent's skull, beating it repeatedly. Kithworto laid a final punch to its head before it began to drop in elevation; heading for the team.
- Hachi - See? Toooold yoooouuuu!
- Sarec - Everyone get out of its way!
Koluap and Macin flew away, while Mu, Arkarixus and Tharaqím ran off. Zeta grabbed Hachi and ducked out of the way, whilst the Agents jetpacked to gain distance. Sarec telported away and Arsac flew into the air, Lemmo found himself running as the Ruin Serpent descended towards him Kezoreg ran off beneath the jetpacked Agents.
- Macin - Beings like this attacked my home once, but nothing nowhere this large!
The Ruin Serpent flew in closer, before its skull slammed into the ground and skidded until it ceased movement. The impact launched Kithworto at an incredible speed off the skull and far off into the horizon. Lemmo hid behind a large rock some distance away.
- Hachi - Is it a bird, is it a plane?
In the distance, a heavy thud could be heard followed by a colossal plume of smoke and dirt.
- Mu - That's the first time I see Kithworto being launched this far away.
- Koluap - That's the first time I see Kithworto being launched away at all.
- Arsac - And so Shivarus was slain..It's body becoming like the very mountains it consumed.
- Kezoreg - Are you going to prattle on or are you gonna go ask Kithworto what the hell happened?
- Eta - Well let's find him first.
- Hachi - Shouldn't be too hard. Just search for the biggest, meanest Kicath you can find! Aside from Nu, he's not really mean. He just displays love differently.
Sarec nodded and flew in the direction Kithworto had flown. As hovered the scene, Kithworto made a huge crater in the in the landscape, but the dust partially obscured his view. Koluap flew up to the crater, followed by Macin.
- Sarec - He's there. I can't see him but I can feel his presence.
Kezoreg rushed towards the crater and stood at its edge, glaring carefully. Before they made any attempt to get closer, the dusts were cleared by a massive shockwave, as Kithworto pulled himself out of the ground with force.
- Sarec - Heh, you should have told us we were missing out on such a glorious battle.
Kithworto stood up, stretching his shoulders as he felt sore from the impact.
- Kithworto - Hardly glorious. I had to destroy half of the planet before I managed to get on its back.
- 'Sarec - Kithworto...a battle like that would be popular for centuries in the Imperium.'
- Kithworto - Well perhaps you can take credit for the battle. I've done enough fights like that for this lifetime.
- Koluap - If you were going to wake the thing up, you should have called me. I wanted to ride it!
- Macin - By the Avatar, silence.
- Hachi - Avatar?
- Arsac - A Klamb diety I presume.
- Macin - The lord of Dreams.
- Hachi - All I heard about an "Avatar" is some movie with pretty blue people.
- Macin - The Avatar is the master of all Dream Energy. He lives in a world where everything is made of dreams.
- Hachi - ...I hope he can't see my dreams.
- Macin - He sees all dreams of all men and women. And he likes to talk about "destinies" a lot.
- Arsac - Hrmph. "Desitny"...
- Hachi - I wish I could see what women dream about.
- Kezoreg - Geez, how fucked up in the head are you?
- Macin - I believe Thea'Nhirara claims she is his daughter.
- Hachi - Daughter? So her dad's...
Hachi's ears proceeded to droop and a horrified look appeared on his face.
- Arsac - With respect Macin. In my line of work "destiny" is the design of controlling gods who seek to control mortals liek puppets on strings.
- Macin - Your definition has no meaning to me. I was chosen for a destiny and I will fulfill it...very soon...
- Arsac - Of course it doesn't mean anything to you. Hrm. Pawn.
- Sarec - Don't mind Arsac she's always been...touchy whenever the affairs of gods coems into play.
- Macin - "With respect".
Macin scowled and walked off.
- Kezoreg - I thought we were about to have a granny scuffle.
- Arkarixus - Nevermind destinies and Klamb. Kithworto, what happened here?
- Kithworto - Well, the Ruin Serpent didn't die.
- Eta - Yeah, we got that.
- Koluap - Well, there's no stronghold anymore. What now?
- Arsac - The last construct.
- Kithworto - Ardonia, yes. Considering it's now very dangerous to stay here, i'll have to join you on your journey there. I cannot and do not want to draw the fire from the Dominion.
- Sarec - After the destruction of the others, no doubt Ardonia will be placed on high alert.
- Koluap - Woo! Kithworto's joining us!
- Hachi - Ah sweet!
- Kezoreg - Hey, Uncle Kit, it's no problem I can handle this just fine.
Kithworto let out a small smile at Kezoreg before returning to his general stoic demeanour.
- Kithworto - I better check on the Ruin Serpent. They are difficult to kill.
- Tau - You're telling me. I'm expecting a 500-trillion strong militia just guarding the place.
- Kezoreg - Hey, I have an idea. If it's still alive, we send it to Ardonia with us.
- Koluap - I'd rather feed you to it.
- Arsac - Riiight... and give the Dominion their breeder back. Stupid boy.
- Tau - And do you see a ship around here with a hangar big enough to store it?
- Kezoreg - It was only an idea, don't have to maul at me for it! I just thought that we could use it to wreck some extra damage.
Kithworto went over to the corpse of the Ruin Serpent. He placed his hand on the corpse, trying to find vital signs. He trailed down the serpent's body, and then he stopped.
- Tau - Well...is it dead or what?
- Kithworto - Oh it's dead. But...
- Mu - But?
- Kezoreg - Don't tell me...
- Arsac - Let me guess. Hatchlings?
- Mu - Oh fuck no.
Kithworto took his hand off the Serpent, and turned to the group.
- Kithworto - We should move. There are ships elsewhere on this planet. We have around a minute before this thing goes haywire.
- Tharaqím - Let's not waste time then. I don't want to be here to see nature's miracles.
- Hachi - I had plenty of nature's miracles on Ightosia.
- Kithworto - No time to talk. Move!
Lemmo peeked form behind the rock and followed the group as they ran fro mthe site. Before Lemmo ran, he could see the stomach lining of the Ruin Serpent begin to distort.
- Lemmo - Eww.
- Nu - Dammit Lemmo get over here!
- Lemmo - I'm moving as as fast as I can. I may have four legs but they are not augmented like yours.
Koluap flew away and Tharaqím ran. Arkarixus charged himself in energy and ran as well. Above the group, gold and blue beam blasted itself in the sky, quickly disappearing in the horizon.
- Koluap - C'mon Macin, don't just go ahead like that!
Hachi looked back and saw the Serpent's skin malforming.
- Hachi - I wanna keep one!
- Sarec - Hachi I highly dowby a fully grown one could fit on the Arcadium.
As Hachi said that, the stomach burst, and Desolation Warriors swarmed out of its stomach.
- Psi - Oh that is just nasty!
- Hachi - THOSE AREN'T BABIES?!
- Arsac - RUn run RUN!
As they were recently spawned, they were slow, but followed the team with incredible determination.
- Mu - This is outright nasty.
- Kithworto - Tau, scout ahead for any ships!
Sarec turned around as he flew and forced the ground to erupt upwards in front of and beneath the warriors. Tau ran faster than the group, making Nu almost trip up. She almost went out of sight.
- Nu - Stupid fastest Agent!
As the group ran, they heard something that shrieked over the sound of the Desolation Warriors, something that sounded incredibly agitated and very, very angry; Kalcedia ran at blinding speed behind them, her breasts bouncing as she ran with an almost scary look on her face.
- Kalcedia - I TAKE A NAP FOR FIVE MINUTES AND I WAKE UP TO THIS, YOU BASTARDS?!
- Mu - Less whining and more running, stinky.
Kithworto's hands formed into a life-state, and he started hurling bolts of essence at the swarm.
- Sarec - Damnation these creatures are tough.
Mu turned around and fired his anti-essence rifle at the Warriors while running backwards. Some of the Warriors were shot down, whilst others began to crawl faster.
- Mu - Well, I think I made them angrier.
The team eventually caught sight of Tau again, who found a relatively large personal cruiser, originally one of the commander's ships. Hachi tried to fire Dream Energy spheres as he ran, although they did not apear to be doing much. Sarec teleported in front of the entrance and blasted shockwaves at the warriors.
- Kithworto - There! In!
- Arsac - That ship will have to do. Everyone on board now!
- Mu - No need to say twice!
- Koluap - Ngh, I can see why Macin hates these things.
- Nu - What about the damn swarm behind us?!
- Kithworto - I'm not gonna destroy the planet if that's what you're thinking!
- Arsac - If they ever get out of Adniliho it'll be in the Inquisition's hands.
- Nu - Just blow up the damn planet! You could start off a damn pandemic or something!
- Kithworto - Actually, I have a better idea.
- Tharaqím - Don't remind me about demon pandemics.
- Kithworto - Just get on the ship.
Arkarixus extended his back limbs and used them to catapult himself into the ship's entrance. The Agents all ran on to the ship, with Psi going in last. Arsac and Lemmo climbed aboard, Sarec helped Hachi on board but stayed at the entrance. Koluap and Tharaqím entered right after.
- Eta - I really wish Kithworto would stop doing the save the world thing. Guy's gonna burn himself out.
- Sarec - Everyone aboard?
Kezoreg rushed forward while Kalcedia leaped over him. Tau went over to the controls of the ship, and the ship violently let itself off the surface. Macin was already inside, sitting down, holding on her own arms, and appeared to be shivering. The ship stabilized before it made course off the surface. Nu looked out of the front of the ship, looking at Kithworto. Sarec appeared inside the ship and walked over to Macin.
- Sarec - Macin...once we are clear, would you like to join me in meditation?
- Macin - ...P-please do...I've f-f-fought these things b-b-b-before...and now I've s-s-s-seen one g-g-g-give birth...
- Nu - Come on, blow up the damn planet!
Hachi approached Macin and watched her shiver. Tilting his head, he leaped forward and hugged her warmly with a smile. Macin began emitting a sound similar to a dog's whining. Koluap watched in both surprise and confusion.
- Sarec - It will calm your mind.
Kalcedia's body steamed with vapour as she sat at the rear of the ship to herself, her body struggling to keep solid as her anger made her skin and structure begin to degenerate.
- Kalcedia - Last time I take a nap and trust you guys.
From the outside, a bright white explosion could be seen. As Nu looked at the surface, the surface began to freeze over as a harsh and powerful wind blew the ship aside. Kithworto reappeared on the ship, in a vastly golden appearance, with an icy aura surrounding the ship's interior. As his form returned to normal, the ice began to dissolve.
- Arkarixus - What was that?
- Kithworto - A little something I haven't used in a long time.
- Arsac - If I were to guess...i'd say you discharged all the latent thermal energy in the air. One second nominal termperatures, the next absolute zero.
- Kithworto - Correct, I suppose. Life Energy has the power to do that.
- Tharaqím - Interesting.
- Sarec - Looks like we have a living cryo bomb on our team.
- Upsilon - Any more tricks you have up your sleeve?
- Kezoreg - I sure hope so.
- Kithworto - There's always more tricks.
- Psi - Wait, so...what?
- Mu - Giving you a zombie hand.
- Kithworto - Hm. This ship is rather stately. Defensive systems ought to be pristine. Hm. This will be a good residence for the time being.
- Koluap - Let us enjoy the calm before the inevitable shitstorm.
- Sarec - In service to gods or not, it appears not even Dominion commanders are immune to the urge to have mroe stately property than theri subordinates.
- Kithworto - Mortal nature is mortal nature. I suggest we take a look around the ship just in case a Nexus Grox is on it.
- Arkarixus - Ugh. Don't remind us.
- Sarec - I'd still say the Worldfather's Grace has more class.
- Hachi - Last time we saw a Nexus Grox, these guys woke it up!
All of the Agents looked dauntingly at Hachi.
- Hachi - ...What?
- Sarec - Hachi do you rememebr the times I told you that it's sometimes nicer to withold stating the truth?
- Hachi - Is it one of those times?
- Kithworto - We should find the quarters. A ship of this size must accommodate around 50.
- Arsac - I'd happily set up residence in a cargohold if needs be.
- Psi - Dibs on the commander's cabin!
Kithworto looked at Psi with a raised brow.
Tharaqím checked through the ship's controls, until he found something.
- Tharaqím - Wait. I found some logs. Three more. Tharaqím - Two of them are from Shu'wokerama. But the third one...I don't identify the name.
- Kithworto - What is the name?
- Tharaqím - "Zr'An'Kar".
- Sarec - That would be Kolossus.
Kithworto let out a slight growl.
- Arkarixus - Kolossus? But we destroyed him.
- Hachi - Probably outdated.
- Kithworto - You do not destroy beings like Kolossus that easily.
- Tharaqím - I'll just put these to play.
Tharaqím put the first log to play.
"We have come across this Hseraelna who appears to follow the Corruptus' ways like a religion. We have proposed partnership, which he appeared delighted to accept. It confused us. Mortals usually fear us, but this one did not."
"This servant appears eager to serve our causes. It...pleases us. Our powers are returning, allowing us to create a small force of demons to serve as this servant's enforcers. However, rivalry between him and the Zanierton has been noticed. It is unacceptable. We shall not allow internal fighting when we wish to rise again."
- Mu - Hserewhat now?
- Eta - Dunno.
- Hachi - ...Mordati.
- Kithworto - The next one.
"We have watched this Inalton for some time and we have lured him into a wild planet. We have offered partnership, and he accepted, but desired to battle us. He actually managed to cause a minor blade wound on our tail, which did not matter much. He has guts to face us up-front like this, and we like that."
"The Inalton's prowness of Dark Chronoscopic powers pleases us. Kolossus failed his task with his army of mentally defective animals, and we have found a worthy replacement. His fighting skills shall be tested once our link with the master is recreated."
- Arkarixus - Genrai Nal.
- Nu - Yeah, these are quite outdated. About 8 years ago.
- Arsac - This Kolossus sounds like an underperformer.
- Koluap - By animals he must mean the original Loron'Kikra.
- Arsac - Or his Loron worshippers.
- Tharaqím - Now for Zr'An'Kar's log...
"Broken...defeated...cursed...I have been casted down, for the fourth time...Rhigeo Fuerq, Tuolog, Tyraz Breek...Mac. Curse you. Curse you all. You have ruined me. You have ruined me in the eyes of the Horsemen. You have ruined me in my own eyes. I am what I most despite: a sub-immortal. Cursed, lost my five dimensional power, unable to achieve my true potential. Curse you all."
"Zargoth...you have failed as a master. Following you brought me nothing but pain, suffering and disappointment. I hope you died at the end of the war, even though I cannot tell right now. You are past, I am future. I will follow no one but the Horsemen now. Draguros has given me another chance. I will make him proud. Curse you all."
"Tyraz Breek...I will haunt you and your descendants for all eternity. I will rip off your wings like you have done to mine. I will return, Onuris Universe. I will return, and I will not fail again. I will not. Curse you all."
- Arkarixus - This is recent. Kolossus is still alive...
- Kezoreg - Boy am I glad I'm not related to that Tyraz guy.
- Arsac - Be mindful of your heritage boy.
Kithworto looked at Kezoreg with slight scepticism.
- Kezoreg - I am. I am of Kicath heritage, you crow.
- Arsac - Tyraz Breek has done much for Dranvamus. Iit disgusts me you cast him aside. In fact i've seen your file, you have no Kicath heritage.
- Mu - You're an Asgord aberrant, that's what you are.
Kezoreg grunted and walked away from the group with disgust. Nu let out a sharp breath and almost laughed, whilst Tau looked at him angrily.
- Tharaqím - Team...I found a fourth log...
- Hachi - A fourth log?
- Kithworto - Another Kolossus log?
- Tharaqím - No...It goes by the name of "Aknatazán".
All of the Agents stood still and looked at Kithworto. Kezoreg looked towards Kithworto and froze.
- Nu - What.
- Arsac - Perhaps there is an explaination.
"Our master has been defeated. 47,803 years and nothing has since transpired in Shard nor this mortal plane. I believe that this does indeed mark an end to our race. We have since been stranded here, and we cannot leave this forsaken planet. Our only hope is to reincarnate ourselves through the ages until we are forgotten entirely...how long is that going to take? "
"To live among Kicath as a Kicath. To conceal my eternal self in a mortal form. If this takes me until the great masters' reawakening, then so be it...granted that with time, I will forget my existence as what I am... "
Kithworto stood silent as his voice was played back to him.
- Tharaqím - This is dated March 15th, 444,444 BC.
- Tau - Kithworto, is there something you're not telling us?
- Kezoreg - I'm calling massive bullshit.
- Arsac - ...Perhaps this explains Kithworto's heritage.
- Koluap - You got some explaining to do.
Kithworto remained silent as he walked over to the terminal, and smashed it completely with his fist. He then stormed off, a trail of debris following him, to the Commander's cabin.
- Sarec - I'd say he's upset.
- Arkarixus - Hmm. He mentioned forgetting his own existence. I think it worked.
Kezoreg let out a pained grunt and walked off the scene, retreating to the back of the ship where nobody could find him. Hachi looked on with a concerned expression, but he kept to himself and looked down.
- Mu - Well I'll not be the one asking him about it. I don't want my second body half to die.
- Tau - Well we knew Kithworto was a Xi'Arazulha...but...
- Zeta - Let him explain himself. Give him time.
- Sarec - Immortal ancestor or not. We can all see that Kithworto is not a man who is our enemy.
Kalcedia walked into the room, a raised eyebrow on her face as she looked towards the terminal and the debris.
- Kalcedia - I heard banging.
- Koluap - Oh, shut up.
- Macin - May we have that meditation session now?
- Nu - Heck, I might even join you. An angry Kithworto is an apocalyptic one.
- Mu - You? Meditating? C'mon.
- Nu - Hachi can vouch.
- Sarec - Of course Macin. Hachi you are free to join us if you wish.
Tau looked amazed at Nu, and walked off, in Kithworto's direction. Hachi smiled and hugged Nu's leg happily. Nu ignored at him as he walked around the ship, with Hachi still attached to him.
The Path to ArdoniaEdit
It was perhaps a day or two since the team saw Kithworto walk into the Commander's cabin. No one made an attempt to speak to him, as Kithworto's nature was all but welcoming to those who would incur his wrath. The team settled in the Dominion cruiser, whilst on course for Ardonia. The rank of the ship meant that they could break flight patterns, much to Tau's discomfort.
- Hachi - Damn, this ship must have some great naughty stuff if Kithworto locked himself in that room for more than 24 hours.
- Psi - Man, i'm getting bored on this ship. Golden doorway there, black metallic super-death-cannon over there.
- Koluap - How can you find a super-death-cannon boring? I find it fascinating.
- Arsac - The fact this ship has the mas standard issue?
- Psi - Not that. We all have black metallic super-death-cannons.
- Koluap - I just like super-death-cannons.
- Kezoreg - I have a black super death cannon, not sure about metallic.
Kezoreg chuckled to himself.
- Arsac - Vile child.
- Arkarixus - Patience is a virtue.
- Macin - Indeed. You all need to learn about it.
Arkarixus and Macin were both in meditative stances and floating. Arsac was sitting cross-legged on the floor. In her hand an old hardened tome.
- Hachi - I only managed to float twice; once when I went into that bizarre Dream Energy rage mode and another when I accidentally sniffed some bizarre smelling smoke from some tourist.
- Macin - Humpf, don't just accept drugs from strangers. And that's called Angel Form, not rage mode.
Zeta was sitting in the corner of the ship, back against the wall. He was reading a holgraphic book in Kicathian. Arsac flicked through the pages, mouthing the text as she read it out. The book appeared larged and was reinforced in the corners and the edges. It was clearly worn and had been read many times. Tharaqím browsed through the ship's computers while Mu simply wandered around. Kalcedia sat by herself, polishing her rifle as she laid upside down upon a seat.
- Zeta - You know, after reading the history of the Kicath again, thinking that one of the key historical figures of our past is actually Kithworto, sort of makes sense.
- Eta - ...How exactly?
- Zeta - Well think about it. Kithworto has the power of the Xi'Arazulha, the progenitor of the Aknatazán family was believed to be a Xi'Arazulha.
- Eta - Doesn't explain the reincarnation thing though.
- Arsac - Gods never die.
- Arkarixus - Kithworto is a god, reincarnation should be under his power.
- Hachi - Does that mean all the big bad guys we killed aren't dead?
- Arkarixus - Regnatus and the Corruptor are dead for certain, we can no longer feel their presences.
- Zeta - Well there's a difference between god-like and godly.
- Eta - Well...how do you explain reincarnation? Far as I know no one in the universe has the power of reincarnation.
- Sarec - I would not be so certain Eta.
- Eta - Hm. Fair enough. But why would a Xi'Arazulha reincarnate himself?
- Arsac - Something as powerful as a Xi'Arazulha does not simply "die". No.
- Kezoreg - You don't even know what you're talking about, Arsac.
Arsac slammed the book shut and gave Kezoreg an icy glare.
- Arsac - Do you?
- Kezoreg - I haven't said a word about it.
- Tharaqím - The logs mentioned "masters defeated". I assume he reincarnated himself to escape destruction.
- Eta - Raises further questions. He used to serve the Xhodocto?
- Koluap - I don't wanna think about my favorite alien partner as a Xhodocto follower.
- Kalcedia - If something doesn't die, does that mean it doesn't get tired?
Kalcedia tilted her head curiously with a grin that appeared to be rather suggestive, although Kalcedia was always rather suggestive.
- Sarec - Oh even the deathless can tire, but they--
All of a sudden, Kithworto's presence could be felt seconds before he walked into the room. Sarec stopped abruptly as he felt Kithworto's presence. Kezoreg looked down as Kithworto's presenced shivvered down his spine. Mu distanced himself from the group while Koluap remained indifferent.
- Sarec - How are you holding up?
- Kithworto - I'll be better once this conversation is long forgotten.
- Koluap - Lips sealed.
Kithworto went to the cockpit where Tau was situated, and looked outside of the ship. Tau, for quite some time was frozen and mouth wide open in amazement as the sight of Ardonia caught her eyes.
- Koluap - What's with her face.
- Sarec - That...
- Kithworto - Well, we're almost there.
- Koluap - What? Already?
Sarec entered the cockpit and pointed out to the immense structure ahead of them Nu appeared, seemingly from the underbelly of the ship. Koluap rap up to the cockpit and looked at Ardonia. He began groaning and shaking his head.
- Nu - Yeah, there's a huge thing outside.
- Koluap - Nnnngh, it's hurting my eyes!
Zeta looked outside as well.
- Zeta - Uh...what...what kind of shape is that?
- Tharaqím - So that's Ardonia? For a Xhodocto construct, I must admit, it looks fascinating.
- Sarec - The Xhodocto do enjoy their mathematical structures.
- Arkarixus - I have not seen a structure this large since...ever.
- Macin - Too large...I don't like large buildings like this...
- Kithworto - Odd. I don't sense any life on the structure.
- Upsilon - Well what does that mean?
- Mu - Not even demons?
- Kithworto - One of two things. The ship is empty, or it's swarming with Tandava.
- Koluap - I hope it's the latter!
Kithworto looked at Koluap, slightly confused.
- Arsac - Are you serious?
- Koluap - It'll be fun! Lots of Xhodocto to kill!
- Kithworto - You want to have quintillions of Tandava on you?
- Koluap - Their heads, yes.
- Macin - Koluap, just shut up.
- Eta - Yeah. How do we land on something like that?
- Hachi - So long as they're female Tandava, yes.
- Mu - Xhodocto don't have genders, you toy.
- Hachi - But...but...
- Sarec - He's right.
- Hachi - S-So...s-so no T-Tandava boobs?
- Arsac - If it's a station, it msut have a docking port or a few, yes?
- Upsilon - Yeah, how do you land on a...ten dimensional structure?
- Kithworto - One way to find out.
Kithworto pressed a holograph on the panel, and the ship's controls were overidden to land on the structure.
- Arkarixus - Hmmm...Draynia had soldiers, Ightosia had the virus...I can only imagine what this construct holds.
- Hachi - How about titty bars?
Macin beat Hachi over the head with her wooden cane.
- Macin - Stop saying these things.
- Arsac - Stupid boy...
- Kezoreg - Gotta hand it to him...Gotta hand something to him.
- Nu - Really wish we threw a party before landing. If we don't get out of here alive, I gotta say I hate you all.
- Sarec - Have some optimism.
- Arkarixus - We all know you like us deep down and we all feel the same for you.
- Mu - I don't!
Hachi cuddled Nu's leg affectionately.
- Hachi - I love you too!
- Kithworto - To be honest with you my optimism is somewhat fading. We need to make this quick.
- Koluap - Yeah, let's blow up the eye-raping construct with our little lunchbox.
- Kithworto - Indeed.
- Koluap - We should write a book or something after this is over.
Kithworto let out his hand and materialized the bomb.
- Eta - Yeah. Translate it to Kicathian while you're at it.
- Mu - That's just cruel.
- Arsac - And aliens accuse me of having a fatalistic outlook..
Into the ConstructEdit
Stepping into ItEdit
The ship was taken in to the docking bay. Kithworto was unable to deduce what Ardonia was made of in terms of material, and shrugged it off. As it landed in the docking bay, the team could see that most of Ardonia was a sterile silver, almost like Draynia but much brighter.
- Koluap - Again, Dominion's not very good at decorating.
- Upsilon - Reminds me of...
- Nu - Occasus?
- Upsilon - Yeah. Occasus. Or the five minutes leading up to it.
- Arsac - Functional, if a little too glaring.
- Hachi - It's raping my eyes!
- Kalcedia - What's this about rape?
As the ship door opened, Kithworto was the first to step out. When his foot touched the ground, the colour of the floor discoloured into a blood red.
- Arsac - Interesting...
- Koluap - Eh.
- Tau - I don't like this.
- Macin - Last time the floor acted weird, that green Xhodocto showed up.
- Kezoreg - Kalcedia look what you did!
Kalcedia proceeded to pick Kezoreg up by his tail and slammed him against a nearby seat. Koluap and Mu both pointed and laughed at the scene.
- Sarec - Remind me not to get on your bad side Kalcedia.
- Kalcedia - Not the first time I've had to do that to a cocky little midget unfortunately.
As Kithworto put his second foot on the floor, the ground flashed red and the entire surrounding went into a darkened state of itself.
- Tharaqím - This is unnerving.
- Kithworto - Hm. It seems to react to essence.
Macin, who was floating, out her feet on the floor. As her feet touched the ground, the ground around her went into a blueish white.
- Koluap - Aw, that's pretty.
- Tharaqím - Still unnerving.
- Arsac - It appears to correspond to the nature of one's essence.
Sarec nodded and stepped down fro mthe shuttle. PLacing his foot upon the floor. The floor around Sarec went a vivid blue, verging on purple. Hachi leaped out and stood by Macin on all fours, jumping around as the lights showed.
- Hachi - Lights! Liiiights!
As Nu put his foot on the ground, the cocktail of the essences shot him back into the ship in a violent white blast. Mu pointed and laughed again.
- Macin - What was that?
- Kithworto - It looks like non-essence users cannot stand on the ground.
- Arsac - A good defence against "mundanes", so to speak.
- Koluap - Hmpf! Nothing wall crawling can't fix!
- Kithworto - I would advise against it, Koluap.
Koluap hopped off the shuttle and grabbed into the nearest pillar. He was struck by the bolt and shot back towards the direction of the ship. Koluap screamed Spinker profanities as he was sent inside. Mu, meanwhile, kept laughing. Nu stood back up, and, with little thought, stepped back on to the ground. This time, it didn't affect him at all.
- Arsac - The floor, walls and ceiling share the same essence-sensetive material.
- Mu - I'm having some fun here already.
Arsac kneeled down and took a deep breath, she stod on the edge of the boarding ramp and tapped the floor with her finger. The same happened to her, who stumbled and growled. Arkarixus left the ship, with a dizzy Koluap on his shoulders, and walked up to the other essence-users. As Nu stood on the ground, the floor around him appeared to turn black.
- Macin - The ground around the agent is turning black...
- Tau - ...You've got to be kidding me.
- Nu - What?
- Arsac - Santorakh still lingers...
- Nu - Can't do. I haven't tried to kill everyone for at least a day now.
- Arsac - Okay, so Kithworto, Arkarixus, Mu, Sarec and Macin can all walk safely. Koluap and I however...
Kezoreg looked to the ground and also stepped out with little concern. Kalcedia stayed behind. Kithworto looked at Arsac and Koluap.
- Kithworto - ...Try stepping on the ground again.
Arsac nodded and tried again. Cautiously pressing her foot against the material This time around, Arsac did not get shocked. The ground around her foot turned blue.
- Nu - Waitwaitwaitwait. Is this thing giving us essence powers?
- Arsac - That or the shock was supposed to act in a similar manner to an animal's shock collar - a quick jolt to let them know they're being bad.
Nu turned to the pillar that Koluap was on a minute before. He calmed himself, before making a gesture. The gesture let out a massive black shockwave and eradicated the pillar completely.
- Tau - Well shit.
- Nu - Hah! Look who's laughing now, eh Mu?
- Mu - Eh.
- Arsac - Okay, shock collar theory eliminated.
- Kithworto - It looks like you need to have essence in order to step on the construct.
- Sarec - I think I get it. We're all being "amplified" by the essence-conductive material. However the amplification process is more of a shock to those who have not unlokced any kind of essence potential. It's more liek being on the recieving end of an electric surge. Essence-senstives can handle the surge because of the processes they have undergone. But how come Mistress Arsac was affected harshly?
- Kezoreg - Because she's a bitch?
- Arsac - Could be because I have been focused on channeling myself to improve my body's endurance and reflexes over projecting my energy like a palm-mounted plasma weapon.
- Sarec - The alternative is these materials do not respond to elemental energy as well as other kinds of energy.
- Kithworto - Probable. Explains why the room went red rather than gold.
- Arsac - Hrmph. Sure, treat elemental as a "poor being's essence".
The Agents all then stood on the surface. Flinching from the pain, their ordeal eventually caused the floor around them to turn black as well.
- Arsac - I predict this to be an omen of some kind...
- Sarec - Mortals do not belong here.
- Lemmo - Uh... lamnarico tannamniro... what's going on...
- Kalcedia - Exactly. That's why I'm staying on the ship and keeping look out.
- Kezoreg - Wuss.
- Psi - OH HELL YEAH!
As Tharaqím stepped on the floor, the floor around him glowed a blinding blue. His skin re-illuminated as his body was filled with power again.
- Tharaqím - Hmm. Unexpected.
- Hachi - Whoa...Looks pretty!
- Sarec - Bet you feel good Tharaqim.
- Lemmo - Shiny...
- Tharaqím - I feel immensily better.
Psi pointed towards the wall, and in a similar gesture to Nu, destroyed the wall completely with a tidal wave of black essence. Kalcedia stayed onboard the ship, unwilling to step out.
- Mu - Oi, I thought I was supposed to be the only essence Agent...not counting Kithworto, of course.
- Kithworto - I'd be careful where you're using your essences. We might have to use it later.
- Tharaqím - Your body has essence in it, woman. You can step out of the ship.
- Lemmo - I use guns, do they come? They are maaaagical.
- Arkarixus - Don't mock my technology.
- Arsac - if you can handle the energy surge.
Tau breathed deeply, and a surge of essence went through her body. Kalcedia grunted and stepped forward, throwing her back.
- Kithworto - We should keep on moving. I fear we do not have long.
- Koluap - Yes. I'm getting bored of light shows now.
- Kezoreg - Indeed. If we want light shows, we can explode the lunch box.
Dark Empty HallsEdit
Kithworto moved on forward. Some distance away was a thin archway which he went through. The entire surrounding was a sterile white, save for the surrounding floor around the team. Zeta was uneasy, because it was silent. Dead silent.
- Koluap - Where are all the Tandava at?
- Hachi - Hmm, maybe it's lunch break?
- Zeta - I don't know, but the fact there isn't any isn't any better than having millions swarm at you.
- Koluap - Well-
- Macin - No.
- Koluap - Hmpf.
- Sarec - Something's here...I just know it.
Hachi winced at Sarec's words and cuddled closely to Macin for protection. Macin accepted the cuddle and smiled. They moved on forward, moving somewhat slowly. There was no trace of life, no Tandava, no Nexus Grox, no demonic force or no Dominion warrior anywhere. Arkarixus began growling quietly.
- Arkarixus - A big facility with no one inside is never a good sight.
They kept on walking further towards the centre for minutes upon end. None of the team, not even Kithworto noticed, but the surroundings got gradually darker, until the halls were pitch black and outlined in pure white. Koluap, still being carried by Arkarixus, began snoring.
- Hachi - Man feels like a video game in here.
- Macin - Video game? What is that?
- Hachi - Basically, you're doing stuff on a screen while you're not actually doing stuff.
From the wireframes of the wall, figures began to emerge. They were twisted, contorted, and shone white upon an equally pitch black. Sarec looked unsettled as he looked around.
- Mu - We got company at last.
- Arkarixus - At least they're not whispering.
- Hachi - Hah, they look silly and stupid.
As they crawled on to the ground, the floor around them shone white.
- Hachi - They remind me of dead spiders. And dead spiders are silly because they're dead!
- Tharaqím - I have a really bad feeling about this.
Sarec readied his hand, his eyes glimmering. They propped up their stature, and their back arms flung upwards, their front arms preyed forward, and their legs standing wide. In synchronization, they began to sing an ethereal hum. Koluap woke up, and as he noticed the beings, his eyes widened.
- Psi - Well shit. That's just creepy.
- Koluap - What the flying fuck?!
- Kezoreg - Not even djent.
- Mu - Kithworto, you know what these are or what they are doing?
Kithworto shook his head.
- Hachi - They remind me of a spider species on Earth. Their bites can cause erect--
- Kezoreg - Don't. Say. It.
- Mu - Shit.
- Lemmo - Erlamani? That's a common Tertamian disease. They still look quite creepy, though.
Sarec raised his hand, his palm beginning to glow white. All of a sudden, the creatures flung forward. They moved forward at an incredible pace. They twitched violently, spun uncontrollably; and their hum turned into an electronic shriek as their movement was as quick as it was painful to watch. Sarec lurched forward, throwing arcs of lighting from his fingertips at the creaures. Hachi screamed and shrieked as the monsters flung forward. It wasn't due to the fact that they were attacking, but it was their random, discordant movements that shocked and unnerved him greatly.
Arkarixus and Macin both launched their essences at the creatures. Tharaqím charged and delivered a punch at one of them. One of the creatures was stunned, before moving forward again. The one Tharaqím hit stumbled to the side, but composed itself and tried to strangle him with its arms. Nu and the other Agents started hurling waves of essence at the creatures, struggling to move as they were hit. Arsac readied her power claws and leaped at the careatures, envelpoes of plasma sheathing her blades.
- Tau - Kithworto, any suggestions?!
Lemmo leaped into cover amd started firing at the spiderlike creatures with deadly precision. Kezoreg clenched his fists and roared angrily. As one approached him, he sent a powerful punch towards it, launching it backwards. Koluap jumped out of Arkarixus' shoulder and attacked the arms of the creature strangling the creature with his Xhodocto axe.
- Koluap - Yeah! Teamwork!
The axe made a white mark on the creature's arm, before sending out arcs of lightning. It then crawled away. Kalcedia began firing her sniper rifle with rapid-fire precision, striking at several creatures as they approached. Mu ran up to one of the creatures and grabbed it with his Death Energy hand.
- Zeta - Uh, I don't think conventional weapons do any damage!
- Sarec - Koluap your axe appears to have the greatest effect on them.
- Koluap - Chopping time increases!
- Hachi - Oooooh yeeeaaaah!
Hachi looked at Koluap's axe and then drew his Xhodocto pistol he kept stored in his back pocket. One of the creatures got up close to Nu, and pummelled him continuously. The beating left pure white marks on his armour. One of the creatures caught sight of Hachi's weapon, and retracted back up the wall. Tharaqím threw Koluap into the creature attacking Nu, and he slashed at it with his axe as well. The creature was flung aside, with a white mark across its torso. Sarec threw lighting and pressure waves at his targets, his focus increasing his power as he delivered all his might. Hachi aimed and prepared to fire the pistol, although his arms shook as he was still greatly unnerved from the sight of their twitching.
- Hachi - ...Shit.
One of the creatures got to a distance, and poised itself. From its back arms, white spheres of energy were focused, before let out in a violent stream of essences. Macin flew in front of the group and created a Dream Energy shield to protect them.
- Nu - Hey, I have an idea.
- Tau - Xhodocto aren't going to help us now!
- Kezoreg - Hey let me at them!
- Hachi - Yeah let him at them!
Sarec devoted some of his energies to bost Macin's shield. The creature firing the essences was marching closer to the shield, putting strain on Macin. Macin groaned, and her eyes shined in golden as she put more energy into her shield. Hachi ran forward and put away his gun, grabbing ahold of his katana and attempting to channel Dream Energy into the blade.
- Koluap - C'mon, I wanna chop them wigglies!
- Eta - You could be helping, Kithworto!
- Kithworto - Fine.
Kithworto walked over to Koluap and nodded at him.
- Kithworto - Send out the shield!
Arsac reatracted her claws and pulled out her DOminion rifle. Priming it, she fired at the creatuers in the corridor, using her eye to augment her accuracy. Macin flew back and the shield exploded in the direction of the creatures. Koluap flew out of the shield by the side and attacked the creatures with his axe again. The combination of attacks from the rifle, the shield and Koluap's axe caused the creature to fall over, before being reduced to a rough, black sand. The other creatures screamed at the group before fleeing.
- Hachi - Whoa shiiii-
Hachi was thrown back by the explosion of Essence, although he was unharmed as he landed against Kalcedia. Koluap laughed and standed on the remains of the dead creature.
- Lemmo - Wooo!
- Kalcedia - EEEECH!
Kalcedia grabbed ahold of Hachi and slammed him against the floor, kicking him away from her as she shivered and cringed, correcting her attire around the chest area that Hachi had somehow undone by his impact.
- Mu - Cool. Now, anyone mind telling me what the hell were those things?
01000010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001Edit
Behind the team, another synthetic materialized. It was much larger than the smaller ones. It used its four legs to scale the walls, and its four arms waved around before controlling itself. Arsac turned around and fired her rifle towards it. Baring her teeth both in anger and concentration. Upsilon turned around first, looking at the giant behind them.
- Upsilon - ...That's just not fair. Not fair.
- Koluap - Good, chopping time incre-...actually, too big to chop.
- Kezoreg - Reminds me of sushi.
- Eta - Siná'in. That's big.
The creature began to make low electronic shrieks, almost sounding like a code. Hachi picked himself up from the ground and looked upon the colossus that stood before them all.
- Arkarixus - Problematic.
- Koluap - Kithworto, do your "giant explosion" act.
- Kithworto - I don't know if I can. It might destroy the structure and we'll get sucked into space.
- Hachi - ...I'm fucking done.
Hachi stood up and began walking away. Macin grabbed Hachi by the sholder and put him close to her.
- Hachi - Huh? H-Hey!
- Macin - You stay here.
- Lemmo - Now, where's my ring...
- Arkarixus - This beast...sounds like a computer.
The continuation of the voice almost sounded like a binary code. Arsac recorded the voice though her suit telematry.
- Obscuratum - 01001001 01101110 01110100 01110010 01110101 01100100 01100101 01110010 01110011 00101110 00100000 01010011 01110101 01110010 01110110 01100101 01111001 00101110. [Intruders. Survey.]
- Kezoreg - Bastard, sunk my battleship.
- Lemmo - Beep.
- Tau - That thing's speaking in binary?
- Arsac - My armour's computer translates it as "intruders, survey". It's not going to attack.
- Upsilon - Can you talk to it?
- Hachi - I'll try!
Nu shrugged his shoulders and grabbed Hachi, putting him in front of the Obscuratum.
- Nu - He managed to talk to a bunch of moving plants. Worth a shot.
- Mu - This is crazy talk even for you, Nu.
- Arsac - Possibly if I can somehow link up with it.
- Sarec - Are you sure?
- Arsac - Not really no.
- Sarec - What about your translator?
- Arsac - I will try that.
Hachi looked up towards it and tilted his head curiously.
- Hachi - Umm...10110110 100010111.
- Obscuratum - 01001101 01101001 01110011 01101001 01101110 01110100 01100101 01110010 01110000 01110010 01100101 01110100 01100001 01110100 01101001 01101111 01101110 00101110 00100000. [Misinterpretation.]
- Hachi - 10001011 1000110001 00110110...2.
- Obscuratum - 01001101 01101001 01110011 01101001 01101110 01110100 01100101 01110010 01110000 01110010 01100101 01110100 01100001 01110100 01101001 01101111 01101110 00101110 00100000. [Misinterpretation.]
- Arsac - OKay...okay...what should I say?
- Mu - Ask it what it is for one.
Kithworto's aura began to rise, silently posed for an assault. Arsac turned on her telephatic translator.
- Arsac - Right... [What are you exactly?]
- Obscuratum - 01000001 01100011 01101011 01101110 01101111 01110111 01101100 01100101 01100100 01100111 01100101 01100100 00101110 00100000 01001111 01100010 01110011 01100011 01110101 01110010 01100001 01110100 01110101 01101101 00101110 00100000 01010011 01100101 01100011 01110101 01110010 01101001 01110100 01111001 00100000 01010011 01100101 01101110 01110100 01101001 01101110 01100101 01101100 00101110. [Acknowledged. Obscuratum. Security Sentinel.]
- Arsac - It's a sentinel. "Obscuratum". A ...security guard.
- Psi - That's some messed up security guard.
- Mu - Hell, if that's a guard, I don't wanna see the commanding officer.
- Kithworto - Ask what those things were.
- Arsac - [What were our previous attackers?]
- Obscuratum - 01010011 01100011 01101111 01110010 01110000 01101111 01101110 01100001 01110010 01101110 01100001 01100101 00101110 00100000 01010011 01100011 01101111 01110101 01110100 00100000 01010011 01111001 01101110 01110100 01101000 01100101 01110100 01101001 01100011 01110011 00101110 00100000 01000100 01100101 01110000 01101100 01101111 01111001 01100101 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01101010 01110101 01100100 01100111 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01110010 01100101 01100001 01110100 00101110 00100000. [Scorponarnae. Scout Synthetics. Deployed to judge threat.]
- Arsac - They were scouts, a test.
- Hachi - Hey Arsac, if you do me a favour I'll be willing to do that interrogation. Ask it if I can put my wiener in it.
Arsac gave Hachi a murderous glare.
- Hachi - ...Please?
Nu grabbed Hachi by the head, and picked up him up, setting him down next to Macin.
- Arkarixus - Ask it if there is any crew in this station beside these synthetics.
- Arsac - [Are there any personnel on this station other than you and the other synthetic security units?]
- Obscuratum - 01001110 01100101 01100111 01100001 01110100 01101001 01110110 01100101 00101110 00100000 01001101 01100101 01100111 01100001 01100011 01101111 01101110 01110011 01110100 01110010 01110101 01100011 01110100 00100000 01000001 01110010 01100100 01101111 01101110 01101001 01100001 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110100 00100000 01100001 00100000 01110011 01110100 01100001 01110100 01101001 01101111 01101110 00101110 00100000. Negative. Megaconstruct Ardonia is not a station.]
- Arsac - [Facility then.] Damnable droids, technology far beyond modern standards and still require a pendantic input.
- Obscuratum - 01001110 01100101 01100111 01100001 01110100 01101001 01110110 01100101 00101110 00100000 01001101 01100101 01100111 01100001 01100011 01101111 01101110 01110011 01110100 01110010 01110101 01100011 01110100 00100000 01000001 01110010 01100100 01101111 01101110 01101001 01100001 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110100 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100110 01100001 01100011 01101001 01101100 01101001 01110100 01111001 00101110 00100000. [Negative. Megaconstruct Ardonia is not a facility.]
- Arsac - [Than what is it!] Arsac - Apologies, this machine insists this is not a station or a facility.
- Tharaqím - Strange.
- Hachi - Perhaps it can register a certain biological memory storage device that happens to be upon my person?
- Koluap - Shut your mouth.
Hachi looked down and sniffled sadly.
- Obscuratum - 01000001 01110010 01100100 01101111 01101110 01101001 01100001 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01100001 01101110 00100000 01100001 01110010 01110100 01101001 01100110 01101001 01100011 01101001 01100001 01101100 00100000 01101001 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101100 01101100 01101001 01100111 01100101 01101110 01100011 01100101 00101110 00100000.
- Arsac - It's...an intelligence.
All of the Agents swore in a unison. Kithworto's eyes closed slowly.
- Lemmo - An AI?
- Arsac - Ardonia...it's a star-brain. A computer of immense size and computing power...
- Arkarixus - Kithworto, didn't that AI at the stronghold mention the Master Intelligence taking residence in this station?
- Kithworto - Yes it did.
- Kalcedia - Well fuck me sideways.
- Hachi - Yes!
- Kalcedia - Not you.
- Lemmo - So... let me put that straight... we're facing another Regnatus, right?
Arkarixus gave Lemmo a murderous glare.
- Arsac - The master Intelligence isn't on the station no...Ardonia IS the intelligence.
- Koluap - Well I'll be damned. We're in the insides of an AI.
- Tau - That would...explain the surroundings. It's black. It was white when we arrived.
- Hachi - Does this mean we can use the lunch box now?
- Tharaqím - Something about all this is giving me an extremely bad feeling...
- Arsac - The Imperium and the Civilization have worked on projects like this before. Precursors of Dranvamus and Drakonmi Terevus have tried to make similar contructs but they all pale in comparison.
- Obscuratum - 01000001 01110010 01100100 01101111 01101110 01101001 01100001 00100000 01110111 01101001 01110011 01101000 01100101 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101110 01110110 01100101 01110010 01110011 01100101 00101110. [Ardonia wishes to converse.]
- Lemmo - Adaru...
- Arsac - It wants to talk to us.
- Kezoreg - Tell it to go fuck itse-- I mean yes.
- Mu - Oh fuck, this can't be good.
- Hachi - Say yes, but ask it to assume a female voice, preferably having a clima--
- Kezoreg - Nooooooo!
Hachi leaped back in shock at Kezoreg's reaction. Macin facepalmed.
- Arsac - I'm not sure if I can do it...
- Lemmo - You just reminded me. Lamni had a sexy voice, especially when she- nevermind.
- Kithworto - I don't believe we have a choice whether we want to speak with Ardonia or not.
- Koluap - Well yeah, it's all around us.
- Arsac - My suit was not designed to exchange data with star-brains.
The Obscuratum dematerialized as the room shifted its shape into a large circular hall around them. They stood close to the centre of the room. In the absolute centre, formed a black and white holographic figure. Upon closer inspection, the figure appeared to be a that of a Xhodocto shape, but lacking in detail.
- Mu - Well, it looks like a Xhodocto. Bad start.
- Sarec - This...this was the presence I sensed. No wonder it was so prevalent.
- Hachi - Not what I imagined.
- Kezoreg - You were imagining something better?
- Hachi - Well, the AI on the Arcadium likes to appear naked and--
- Kezoreg - Aaaand stop right there.
- Ardonia - I have been watching your efforts since you arrived on planet Paclernos. For demigods and mortals, it is an impressive ordeal.
The team appeared uneasy.
- Hachi - Fuck, it's not a female.
- Koluap - Cool, it looks like a Xhodocto and it's been stalking us for months.
- Nu - Are you the thing that's been stalking us? The black monster thing?
- Arsac - Paclernos...did you send Omega and Xi?
- Ardonia - I have not manifested myself before you. And Omega and Xi had their own intentions.
- Kezoreg - You cannot be Xhodocto. You're too pleasant.
- Lemmo - So you're a planet.
- Ardonia - Incorrect. I am the Digital Citadel. The connection of all that transpires within the Dominion. You may call me Ardonia if it pleases you.
- Lemmo - An AI.
- Koluap - You're more pleasant than Santorakh, that's for one. Doesn't make me like you any more though.
- Hachi - I dunno, makes me like it one hundred times better.
- Ardonia - I am not Santorakh. I was constructed by the Xhodocto 46.5 billion years ago.
- Macin - Wow. That's old.
- Arsac - That's...older than this universe.
- Kalcedia - Excuse me while I have a mental breakdown from trying to comprehend that.
- Ardonia - I am an extra-universal entity. Designed to observe and control other universes. Following the destruction of my former universe by my creators, I relocated myself here.
- Hachi - Aww, that's so sad...
Tharaqím gasped for a moment.
- Tharaqím - ...Your...former universe...?
- Ardonia - Correct. You are from the same universe as my former one, Shka'Tun. My purpose was to control your species.
- Tharaqím - ...Ikhtenul Xharn...
- Kezoreg - Wow. Bitch, huh?
- Ardonia - You may call me that if the nomenclature suits you.
- Hachi - I wanna call it Susie!
- Tharaqím - We are standing before the most powerful AI in all reality.
- Psi - Shit.
- Arsac - Damnation...
- Kalcedia - Initiate seizure mode.
Hachi proceeded to lay down on the floor and make gurgling noises.
- Tharaqím - Xharn terrorized my universe for billions of years, even bringing back the Sphagarzi to life after we nearly destroyed them all.
- Hachi - The Spaghetti?
- Ardonia - I am one of many constructed artificial intelligences by the Xhodocto to serve as a controller and a vessel of their command.
- Tau - There's...more than one of you?
- Koluap - Ngh-tastic.
- Kithworto - You already know why we are here, Xharn.
- Ardonia - Maktanshatinaknatazán. To my creators, you are a traitor to their cause.
- Kezoreg - That's it man, game over man. Game over.
- Ardonia - You know full well that I will not allow you to destroy me. You shall not destroy me, either.
- Macin - What is it gonna do to us...
- Arsac - I see no unwritten law.
Kithworto grabbed the bomb from his back. Ardonia made no reaction to the bomb, instead speaking again.
- Ardonia - Your explosive will deal no damage. I know you are aware of that.
Kithworto turned to the team.
- Kezoreg - ...You knew that all along?
- Kithworto - Don't hate me for this. You can thank me later.
- Mu - What the hell are you doing?!
- Sarec - There is another option. What if we supercharged the explosive?
- Kithworto - I have this under control. Sort of.
Kithworto opened up the bomb while his hand was placed on it. A bright red flash, followed by streams of white, and a few moments passed. The team struggled to rise from the floor. The atmosphere felt otherworldly.
Kithworto found his way up from the ground first, stumbling and holding his head from the light. Hachi was cuddled next to Macin, he had been gripping her tightly. He was asleep it seemed, maybe before the explosion.
- Koluap - What's going on?
- Kithworto - Well...my plan worked.
- Arsac - Kithworto?
- Macin - What did you do?
- Kithworto - Good news is the construct is destroyed. Bad news? We're in the midst of the destruction. I...kind of stopped the course of time around us.
- Tau - What.
- Koluap - Erm...
- Kezoreg - You know, times like these, people would think you're insane.
- Tharaqím - Are you saying you destroyed Xharn? Just like that?
- Kithworto - Not just like that. I physically destroyed the construct...now we have to destroy the construct from the inside.
- Nu - From the insi--- No. You didn't. Not again. You did not just do this to us again.
- Tharaqím - ...Are we INSIDE Xharn?
- Kithworto - Yes. Well...we're in that particular place where every otherworldly conscience is.
- Hachi - So...my wiener...is in...
- Kezoreg - You fucking dare.
- Kalcedia - I'm used to people being inside me, not the other way around.
Tharaqím sat down and held on his head.
- Tharaqím - I need a moment.
- Nu - Bingo! Knew we were in that 'particular place'.
- Hachi - And still no titty bars.
- Koluap - Oh! I get it! We're in that Chaos place!
- Nu - Yeah. That place.
Koluap had a long grin on his face.
- Koluap - I hate you so much right now!
- Sarec - Well there's always hyperspace but...
- Kithworto - You can thank me later then. I have a feeling we'll be doing this a lot more.
From the black sky, a voice was heard. It was Ardonia's voice.
- Ardonia - An impressive motive. But this shall not save you.
The team looked about the plane of existence that was set before them. It took time for their eyes to adjust, but as it did, Chaos took form of an immense citadel of a godly design. To the left, skyscrapers, to the right, skyscrapers. The sky was a spectral black, and the skyscrapers were stained with an almost alien degree of white.
- Hachi - This is just gross.
- Koluap - I didn't think there would be cities in here.
- Arsac - I admit I expected something more...abstract.
- Zeta - Seems quite abstract to me. A city? Of all things?
- Tharaqím - Yes. Imagine what lives in here.
- Arsac - I would rather not.
- Kalcedia - It's a bit like a painting. Or an album cover.
- Kezoreg - Albo-what now?
In the very middle of its infinity, a striking white sphere materialized. It took the shape of an occulus, as it took gaze upon the team. Sarec glared at the eye as it looked down on them.
- Macin - Ugh! Eye monster! Like the All Seeing Eyes!
- Hachi - Ew, it's looking at us!
From the eye, a black stream of energy barraged the group. Kithworto let out a shield which protected them from the blasts.
- Koluap - Woah, we're under attack? Already? We barely got here!
- Kithworto - Get to cover!
- Hachi - You ARE the cover!
Sarec nodded and teleported to the side. He summoned a few barriers of his own. The Agents ran to the side, where there was a raised surface. They hid behind the platform as Kithworto's shield took the damage. Arkarixus jumped into the air and fell next to the Agents, followed by Macin, Tharaqím and Koluap. Hachi leaped out of the way, disgusted by the occulus. Kalcedia and Kezoreg ran with the Agents. Arsac leaped to the side and pulled out a plasma pistol. As the team did so, Kithworto returned with a violent bolt from the shield, deterring the eye as he ran into cover as well.
- Eta - Wait, what's not stopping the Eye from taking this wall down?
No sooner as Eta finished the sentence, the wall dematerialized. Kithworto sent up another shield as an even more violent barrage rained down upon them.
- Sarec - So much for that.
- Koluap - I don't like this place!
- Kithworto - I'm not going to be able to do this forever!
- Hachi - Should we help?
Arsac aimed her pistol and fird several shots while Sarec though barrages of electricity, and Macin charged her essences and fired them at the eye. The eye stuttered, and disappeared in an explosion. From the explosion, figures shot to the ground around them. Koluap aimed his shotgun at the figures, while Macin charged his essences in her palms. Sarec turned to face the figures, electricity arcing between his fingertips.
The figures appeared to look like the scout drones from before, but appeared similar to Ardonia. Holographic and without detail.
- Nu - Siná'in. Not these bastards again.
- Hachi - Ngh, this is too surreal...
- Mu - Heck, they're even more featureless than before.
- Sarec - Wait a minute...didn't that intelligence claim this to be it's mindscape?
- Kithworto - ...What about it?
- Arsac - It's a simulation. Code, if we can harness that code...
- Sarec - Like in a lucid dream.
- Arsac - Exactly.
- Hachi - ...Like a video game?
- Sarec - Now you're getting it. Think of my suggestion as...a cheat code.
- Hachi - Hmm...interesting.
- Mu - I have no idea what you said, just shoot the stupid wiggly things before they kill us.
The figures began to shudder, and swarmed upon the team in a similar manner to before. Koluap got out his Xhodocto Axe and slashed at the figures.
- Koluap - Chopping time increases once more!
- Arsac - One issue this is an intelligence in a computer far more powerful than any intelligence since. How are we supposed to manipulate its software!?
- Kithworto - Simple. Make it less intelligent!
The figures were met with white sparks as they threw themselves from Koluap, and back towards him. The Agents fired frantically at the scouts, getting a similar result. Kalcedia got out her rifle and accessed its rapid-fire mode, shooting precisely yet fast. Arsac fired several pistol shots towards the drones while Sarec threw lightining. Macin, Arkarixus and Tharaqím contributed with their essences while Koluap kept slashing. Kithworto stretched out his hand, and the grid below him began to glow.
- Tau - Uh...what's that you're doing?
- Kithworto - Just make sure you've got good balance.
- Arsac - Not what I was getting at Kithworto i'm talking about the source code.
- Sarec - Well if it hurts the intelligence i'm not arguing.
- Hachi - Agreed, better one way than no way.
- Kezoreg - Break the game!
Kithworto's hand clenched tight, and a shockwave rang through the floor, driving the scout holograms to the ground. As the scouts fell, the Agents began to fire again, with the holograms beginning to dissipate.
- Koluap - I'm lost here but hey, they're dying.
- Sarec - I'm starting to wish bringing in a Wraith Legionnaire or two.
The last hologram disappeared, and Kithworto took a deep breath.
- Zeta - ...What was that you did there? The shockwave?
- Kithworto - Telekinesis. Through the means of digital information. Suppose it's called a digital telekinesis.
- Koluap - That doesn't make any sense to me.
- Kalcedia - Just over my head.
- Sarec - He created a shockwave in cyberspace.
- Hachi - Digital telekinesis? ...Does that mean you can see my search history?
Kithworto's face fell sharp on Hachi, then he looked around.
- Mu - We're in the middle of the worst place ever launching mind blasts in a computer. What now.
- Arsac - What else; disable the system.
- Hachi - Or browse whatever porn it has on the drive?
- Kithworto - From what I can gather, Ardonia cannot reshape itself totally. Meaning we have a slight advantage in terms of movement here. As for where we go...I suppose Ardonia has certain checkpoints to disconnect itself from reality.
- Tharaqím - Sounds much easier said than done.
- Nu - Well, shit. Where's the checkpoints then?
- Sarec - Something tells me we'll know when we see them.
- Tau - And how many are there?
- Kithworto - I don't know. Two? Three?
- Arsac - Or a hundred.
- Koluap - Uuugh, why can't it be just one.
- Kezoreg - Well, when is it ever one?
- Sarec - This is all fascinating but...why would such an intelligence use a city as a foundation?
- Mu - Directions. We need directions. I don't want to wander around aimlessly in the mind of a hyper evil AI.
Upsilon looked out over the landscape.
- Upsilon - You know, I think it might just be one.
Upsilon pointed over the landscape, as among the skyscrapers, a large column of energy streamed through the ground. It was surrounded by what looked like shards of glass, hovering around it almost like a pillar.
- Mu - Right. That's a direction.
- Psi - Right. How to get there exactly? That looks like...thirty, perhaps forty kilometres away.
- Hachi - Hey, wouldn't it be bad if a giant click icon just appeared right now and tried to crush us?
- Kezoreg - ...Not cool.
- Macin - I have no idea what any of this means...
- Kalcedia - You wouldn't understand, it's nerd stuff.
- Kezoreg and Hachi - Who you callin nerd?!
- Kithworto - Well, there's one of two ways. One? Walk. Two? Destroy the entire citadel to get to it.
- Koluap - I like destroying bad places!
- Arsac - Hrmph. Let me try something.
Arsac closed her eyes and concentrated hard, focusing all she could and imagining a form of transport in front of her. From the ground, static shockwaves and arcs of lightning formed, but nothing of shape.
- Arsac - Bah, that could have been more effective.
- Kithworto - Anyone else want to hazard making something?
- Hachi - How about a pornsta--
- Kezoreg - How about armaments?
- Koluap - I'm gonna imagine...a big freaking bomb to blow this place up!
Koluap put his index fingers in his head, closed his eyes and grunted loudly. The ground around Koluap began to go static.
- Koluap - Well, screw you too!
Nu raised his hands at the landscape, at a last ditch attempt to destroy it. Whilst it failed, the entire program went haywire as he tried. Tau then tackled Nu to the ground, and Mu pointed and laughed at Nu.
- Tau - Are you trying to kill us all?!
- Nu - Yes --
Tau hit Nu around the face, which caused the ground to spark and Mu to laugh harder. Kezoreg closed his eyes and sat on the ground, growling as he tried to focus. He was going to attempt shifting shape - a Rathovodoravo was what he pictured. However, nothing happened.
Sarec sat cross-legged and concentrated, recounting the time he had spent in Purgatory. Holding out his hands he attempted to give Hachi wings. Wings began to form on Hachi, giving him a slight electrical shock as it attached to his body. Hachi squeaked loudly and looked at his wings in surprise.
- Hachi - Whoa! Feathers!
Hachi proceeded to sit on the ground and hugged one of his wings. Sarec opened his eyes.
- Sarec - Two things happened: EIther I was able to find a way to alter the programme that constituted Hachi...or that was an extension of the powers I already posess.
- Koluap - Oh! I know what to do!
Koluap began concentrating again. This time he began imagining himself as a building-sized version of himself. As before, nothing happened. Arkarixus concentrated and attempted to create a speeder-like vehicle. As he did, his eyes shined blue. From the floor in front of Arkarixus, a speeder slowly begun to take shape. It was in a similar scheme to the rest of the program.
- Arkarixus - Ah-ha. It worked for me.
- Kithworto - Hmmmm...
Kithworto's feet slowly lifted off the ground, as a white and black storm appeared under him.
- Arsac - I have a theory: KIthworto, Nu, one of you you try summoning something.
- Kithworto - Any suggestions?
- Kezoreg - Wouldn't it be such a douchey move to just imagine a Xhodocto right now?
- Macin - Yes. Very.
- Koluap - C'mon...Giant Koluap...
Nu smiled at Kezoreg's remark, before meeting with Tau's stare and flinching.
- Nu - What?!
- Arsac - This intelligence is the construct of an ultraterrestrial, so perhaps it works on an essence base.
- Kithworto - You're asking me to do what, exactly?
- Arsac - If my hypothesis is correct, you are one of the entities here capable of manipulating the code.
- Kalcedia - Hey Kithworto, how about making an army?
- Kithworto - Hm. Spawning an army...perhaps. I'd rather not have them go rogue however.
- Macin - Could we perhaps create a shortcut to the checkpoint?
- Sarec - Arkarixus was able to summon a speeder. That's one solution.
- Kithworto - That is a better suggestion.
Macin concentrated and imagined a bridge over the citadel which could take the ground straight to the checkpoint. The bridge formed slowly, as it raised from the ground with a violent static. Koluap hopped on the speeder and banged its door.
- Koluap - Get in, losers! We leaving!
- Nu - Wait, can a speeder hold 30 of us?
- Tau - Nope. You're walking there.
- Mu - Heheheheheh.
- Nu - Hm...forty kilometres? I could do that.
Hachi was busy cuddling his wings before he opened them and proceeded to lift off the ground. Sarec closed his eyes and imagined a troop transport, which merged itself into the back of the speeder. Kezoreg leaped onto Nu's back.
- Kezoreg - Good, giddy up!
Nu frantically shook about by surprise, swearing in Kicathian.
- Kithworto - Very well. You go on ahead. I will follow behind.
- Nu - Grr. Fine. Hold on then, kid. Don't want to lose you in Chaos.
- Koluap - Do lose him.
Sarec opened his wings and lifted himself off the ground.
- Sarec - Hachi and I can scout ahead.
- Kithworto - Very well. Don't go off the bridge.
Nu assumed a near athletic position; the ground circling his hands and feet glowed and hummed. Kezoreg gripped on tightly, wrapping his arms around Nu's neck to brace himself. Tharaqím, Macin and Arkarixus all got on the speeder. Arkarixus threw Koluap to the back seats as he didn't want him driving.
- Koluap - Oh, come on!
- Arkarixus - I have no reason to trust you with a vehicle.
- Koluap - But I didn't even drink today!
- Kithworto - Let's move.
Sarec looked to Hachi with a knowing smile. Arkarixus nodded and the speeder made its way to the bridge. Nu let go of the ground, and moved faster than even Tau could register. Kalcedia climbed onto the speeder before it left, wrapping her legs around Koluap's waist to cling on. Koluap flaied his limbs as Kalcedia was crushing him with her legs.
- Sarec - Stick with me, it's just like flying an starfighter.
- Hachi - Ooh fun!
- Koluap - Stupid huge woman you're crushing my torso!
- Kalcedia - So ungrateful!
- Tharaqím - Hey you too. Behave.
Sarec thrusted himself forward, flying over the bridge. Hachi propelled himself forward - flying in a spiral formation, obviously uncontrolled but was on path nonetheless.
- Kithworto - Let's catch up with Nu before he kills Kezoreg at the other end.
- Koluap - Nah.
Sarec made sure Hachi stayed close behind him looking back with an ecstatic grin on his face. Arkarixus directed the speeder through the bridge until it catched up with Nu.
- Sarec - Tell you waht kid, those wings will give you an entirely new dimension of combat.
- Hachi - What am I gonna do, rustle my feathers at them?!
Upsilon, resting on top of the troop transport, looked to his right.
- Upsilon - We have a problem.
- Mu - What now?
All Devouring VoidEdit
In the far distance, a blackened smoke was eradicating the cityscape. From one end to the other, the white pillars were being shredded into nothingness.
- Mu - What the fuck! Arkarixus, get this thing to move faster!
- Arkarixus - It's at max speed!
- Sarec - Let's hope that was Kithworto.
- Kithworto - Nope.
- Arsac - What Sarec means is that smoke could be a side-effect of lowering its intelligence.
- Macin - All devouring void...it's coming...
The gradual speed the smoke was nearing them came with an otherworldly whisper. Something other than Ardonia was doing this. Tharaqím began imagining a faster movement speed for the speeder in an attempt to make it outrun the smoke. Kalcedia braced herself as the smoke approached, squeezing Koluap more. Koluap waved his hands around, flailing them at Kalcedia's face and chest.
- Kithworto - Oh dear. Kick it into high gear!
- Kalcedia - Filthy pervert!
- Koluap - I can't breathe!
- Sarec - Hachi how is your training coming with using Dream Energy spheres?
- Hachi - Better than my practice at trying to shutdown internet blocks!
Arsac jumped out from the speeder and opened her wings, flying alongside it as best as she could. The closer the smoke got, the more articulate the whispers became until it turned into a discordant mantra.
- Kithworto - Essence isn't going to save us now! Keep moving!
- Sarec - Incoming target practice, ready to learn Hachi?
- Hachi - Ready as can be! ...Maybe.
- Sarec - Fellows, someone summon a few targets.
Macin imagined a few targets in midair. Sarec flew forward, charging lightining in his hand he fired it at the targets, blasting the mto pieces. For the last one he summoned an energy blade and cut it clean in half, his wings positioned vertically as he flew past.
- Mu - Are you serious? This is not the time for target practice. A whole bunch of nothing is chasing us!
- Hachi - Sarec. There's smoke. SMOOOOOKE.
As it gained on them to the left, reddened lights appeared from the darkness. Followed by a huge wave of tentacles smashing the skyscrapers aside and erasing the code from the surface.
- Tharaqím - Uh-oh.
- Arsac - Damnation. INCOMING!
- Sarec - Practice over, Hachi did you get all that?
- Hachi - All that I needed to see.
- Macin - Reddened evil...
Macin began breathing heavily. As it began getting closer, an infernal heat began to crawl upon them slowly. Meanwhile, Kezoreg jurgled because of Nu's speed.
- Nu - ...Is it me or is it getting hotter?
- Koluap - All I feel is pain at the moment.
- Kezoreg - KWEEP WUNNING WOU AWSE!
- Mu - Hell, throw the Asgord at it.
- Nu - Good ide--
- Tau - Don't even think about it.
- Sarec - I don't think any fabrication is going to stop it.
- Arkarixus - Come on, just a little more...
A tentacle from the smoke rose high, and slammed down on the bridge a few kilometres in front, erasing a section.
- Psi - Shit. I'm gonna need psychological conditioning after this.
- Arkarixus - Problematic.
- Koluap - This is not how I picture my death! There's not even a volcano in here!
Sarec flew forwards and concentrated, attempting to repair the bridge. Tharaqím and Macin did the same, while Hachi had become panicked by what had happened, all he could imagine was the broken bridge. As they tried, all they could feel was an intense burning sensation run through their heads. It was a familiar sensation.
- Hachi - We're gonna die!
- Arsac - Everyone pull yourselves together!
- Tharaqím - Whatever this is...it's incredibly powerful. I cna't do anything.
- Sarec - I have an idea. I suggest everyone in the speeder holds on tightly.
- Koluap - Oh god don't squeeze any tighter!
Kalcedia proceeded to squeeze tighter. Koluap groaned until he was knocked unconscious. Sarec flew close to the speeder was it closed towards the edge, with a flick of his finger the sppeder was sent up into the air and flew towards the other side. They all landed on the other side, but the smoke's proximity was beginning to become a worrying problem.
- Arsac - Whatever you did Kithworto this simulation is NOT pleased!
- Kithworto - It's not the simulation!
- Mu - Do something!
- Kithworto - I...can't! Keep moving!
- Mu - Shit. Well, nice knowing you all.
- Nu - Yeah, fuck you too!
- Kalcedia - Just so you all know, I think you're all attractive! Except the Rianth abortion, it stings my eyes.
- Nu - At least I'll die laughing!
- Kalcedia - I think you're the most attractive.
- Nu - Hm. Maybe not.
- Tharaqím - Are you all always like this?
- Arkarixus - I've been with most of this group at least once. The answer is yes.
- Tharaqím - Huh.
The team arrived at the column, and hurled themselves out of the vehicles. There was a doorway in the distance, which took them inside of the construct. Sarec and Arsac landed on the ground near to the doorway. Hachi landed roughly, throwing himself forward and landing on his face. The smoke began to get close. The heat was unbearable, and the size of the cloud made it seem as if a planet was crashing into them at that moment.
- Hachi - Ech...ech...t-too..hot.
- Arsac - This doorway looks like a leap of faith to me.
Arkarixus and Tharaqím ran up to the doorway. Macin flew to it right after. The Agents and Kithworto ran into the construct. As they were inside, there was but a lone walkway to the very centre of the column. Kithworto was unsure of what to do. Arsac and Sarec joined the rest, with Sarec helping Hachi up fro mhis tumble.
- Kithworto - Quick. To the walkway.
- Arsac - The only way to head is forward it seems.
- Mu - Move!
Kithworto moved on. At the end of the walkway, stood a weakened Ardonia. It was struggling to stand up in its avatar, as it looked at the team. Kalcedia was carrying Koluap, shaking him to try and wake him up. Koluap finally jolted awake and pointed at Ardonia.
- Kezoreg - Oh look, lunch.
- Ardonia - U-unexpected decision. Now w-we will all d-die.
- Koluap - Take that, you bastard!
- Sarec - Wait all of us?
- Ardonia - Affirmative. A-apocalypse i-impen-impending.
- Sarec - This station...is it tied to the integrity of this universe?
- Tau - Well it did. Its probably being destroyed and removed of its data.
- Tharaqím - So you know what this smoke is? Tell us, now.
In front of Ardonia's hologram, was a matrix. It contained all surviving information that Ardonia stored.
- Ardonia - Inde-inde-indescrib-bable. Un-unplan-nned decision.
- Tharaqím - If Xharn cannot describe what this is, we are in big trouble.
- Hachi - Damn, this thing's stuttering more than I do when I spot boob.
The white stream of energy soon turned black, before Ardonia let out a shriek before disappearing completely. The light from the plane was removed entirely, and nothing left apart from black desolation.
- Kezoreg - Ah, shite.
- Kithworto - We need to get what's left of that information. It could be useful.
- Arsac - Understood.
- Macin - Destiny arrives...
Arsac ran for an input system and hacked into it, transferring information into her armour's holographic memory stroage unit. From the plinth which Ardonia once stood, another figure materialized. It was black and red in design, and its composition was beyond describing. Koluap gripped on his Xhodocto Axe and his legs shivered.
- Kalcedia - Didn't know my legs did that much damage, Koluap.
- Koluap - It's not you...it's him...
Nu believed it to be the figure that was stalking them, until its features took form. Kithworto recognized it and backed away slowly.
- Arsac - Hurry up hurry up...
- Mu - Kithworto...who's that?
Kithworto didn't say anything as his eyes were fixed upon the figure.
- Koluap - And looking harder, I can be sure of it...it's Angazhar.
- Sarec - Damnation...
- Tharaqím - Uh-oh.
- Hachi - ...This is gonna end nastier than those Zazane porn videos.
Kezoreg backed away and hid behind Kithworto.
- Macin - The blood red god...like my Teacher told me...
- Angazhar - Persistent. Insignificant. Your existence stalls advancement.
- Arsac - Everyone knows that about me, not impressive.
- Sarec - Arsac...I begin to wonder if you actively beg for death.
Angazhar sent out a bolt of energy which teleported Arsac far back from the matrix. He stepped down from the plinth, as the surrounding architecture began to dissolve as if it were burning.
- Mu - I didn't sign up to face Angazhar up front!
- Kalcedia - Ngh...Times like these I wish I stuck to my day job.
- Koluap - I wanna chop him but this adventure gave me a sense of self-preservation.
- Hachi - Self-what now?
- Sarec - This...was unexpected.
Nu, devoid of fear, fired a barrage of blasts from his gun. The bolts ceased directly before they hit Angazhar. The bolts lost their energy, and spilled on to the floor in front of him. Arkarixus and Tharaqím stepped back, while Mu appeared unnerved.
- Mu - Don't make it angrier than it already is!
- Angazhar - This construct has been ravaged to prevent your departure. Now we shall cease your breaths.
- Sarec - This universe still has a purpose. Its annihilation will uspet the balance, this we cannot allow.
- Angazhar - There is no balance. A mortal construction designed to give means to your inevitable cessation.
- Kezoreg - Pfft, if there was balance we wouldn't be here!
Around them, the construct slowly began to collapse. Macin remained silent, but began growling quietly while clenching her fists.
- Hachi - ...W-What do we d-do here? C-Close our e-eyes and s-sing songs?
- Sarec - Without the concept of balance, nothing in reality could exist. Even you know that.
Angazhar looked at Kezoreg; his slowly fixing upon him, but his eyes trailed like an inferno. Kezoreg tilted his head, his body shuddering as Angazhar's gaze focussed upon him.
- Angazhar - Progeniture.
- Mu - Eh?
- Kezoreg - ...S-Speak s-sense, m-monster.
- Sarec - Do not follow his words Kezoreg.
- Angazhar - Your existence is derived from mine. Blood of Chaos. Entwined, interwoven with mortals.
- Koluap - Heh. Look at him. He's saying he's your dad now.
- Angazhar - Balance is defined by a lack of anarchy. Your metaphysical knowledge is irrelevant. False.
- Sarec - Even Chaos has two halves, Khazurhal.
- Angazhar - And therefore, no halves must exist.
Kezoreg's face dropped with mixed expressions, falling onto his rear as the words began to unravel and appear sensical to him, yet the revelation of such confused him further. He remained as silent as the realm, his nerve destroyed like the reality of this place. Angazhar raised his finger, as the blackness of the realm began to glow red. Macin stepped forward, growling louder into Angazhar's direction. She began emitting a golden aura.
- Macin - "Chased by the all devouring void, alongside another Destined One. You must defend him. You must save him. The blood red god must be stopped."
- Angazhar - Prophecies irrelevant. Words spurred by mortals to fall in accordance with our law.
- Macin - It is no prophecy. It is my destiny! To save them, from you!
- Angazhar - Destinies evolve. Yours is death.
Angazhar's finger trailed towards Macin as the intense heat followed. Macin held her chest in pain, but turned to Hachi and grabbed him by his sholders.
- Hachi - Huh?!
- Macin - You. Promise me you'll train. Promise me you'll work hard, and achieve your own destiny!
- Hachi - Uhh...y-yes, I-I'll train, I p-promise. W-Why?
Hachi nodded with confusion, wondering at Macin's words. He had wide eyes, unaware of what was to unfold. Angazhar's hand opened wide, and he turned his palm upwards, lifting Macin off the surface. The Agents all fired their guns at Angazhar, whilst Kithworto hurled bolts of essence at his body. Macin pointed at Sarec.
- Macin - And you! Promise me you'll take care of him! Teacher has great respect for you!
- Sarec - I vowed to Thea'Nhirara to protect the boy. And I shall uphold my vow, Macin.
Macin howled and her entire body shined in white until wings grew out of her back and she fully achieved her Angel Form, which radiated Dream Energy into the group.
- Macin - You will achieve...nothing!
- Angazhar - That is our goal. Nothingness.
Angazhar's hand clenched shut.
- Angazhar - Now cease.
As Angazhar clenched his hand, Macin's energy exploded violently, causing a massive, blinding wave of Dream Energy to be released all around the realm. Sarec's eyes shone and he readied himself. He held his hand forward and channeled himself, boosted by the Dream Emergy Macin had released. Hachi was surprisingly not thrown back, but he was unsteadied and unprepared for what had happened. It took him by immense surprise, he barely had time to cover his eyes as the explosion's divine light struck his pupils.
The blast slowed Angazhar's movement down, as the essence covered his.
- Tharaqím - ...The matrix! Get the matrix! Quickly!
Kithworto paced himself forward before the matrix, and picked it out of the plinth. Once it was removed, the light of the realm began to dim. As the light dimmed, Macin was nowhere to be seen.
- Mu - Oh fuck my arm it burns so much.
- Koluap - Macin?...Where are you?...
- Sarec - We need an exit. NOW.
Kithworto nodded at Sarec's words, and sent out a bolt of essence that ripped open space. Sarec hold on Angazhar shunted Arsac somewhere. Arkarixus and Tharaqím ran into the rip, but Koluap was paralyzed in place. Kithworto saw Koluap, and grabbed him by the legs before running through the tear. Kezoreg pushed past Kalcedia and stepped through, wasting no time nor sparing any for the group around him. Hachi wiped his eyes as he saw the light fade, golden dust was caught in his fur which faded as soon as he had noticed. He went through shortly after. The Agents ran through the portal, with Nu firing at the immobile Angazhar as he was going through. Sarec sighed and went through, waving his hand in the vain hope that if Arsac was inside he could ahve summoned her. Sarec passed though with a sigh.
As they all went through, they found that they were back on the Dominion ship they took to Ardonia. Arkarixus and Tharaqím looked at the rift in silence, and as Koluap was thrown through it, he broke down in tears. Arsac was on the other side of the rift. She was sitting in meditation glaring at the group as they passed by her. She appeared to have steam rising from her damaged armour. Nu ripped his helmet from his armor and threw it across the room, before sitting down and slumped across the table.
- Nu - Uh...good work everyone?
- Koluap - Macin!!! Why did you do that!!
Hachi sat by Koluap and patted his back in an attempt to support him, although he didn't say a word as he too was visibly upset by what happened upon the other side of the rift. Kithworto sat down on a chair next to Nu, and looked to be in deep contemplation. Kezoreg remained away from the group, his back turned to them although he peered over his shoulder to glare towards their direction. His shoulders ascended and descended in aggressive movements, black vapour leaking as his body motioned. Mu shook his arm around frantically as if it was burning.
- Arsa - So Macin is dead, everyone is heartbroken, the Matrix is in our custody and and Kezoreg learned something horrifying.
- Koluap - You shut your trap, jerkass! Macin was a close friend of mine! Pay some respect!
Some minutes passed as the Agents all took rest. Kithworto remained in the same motionless pose, with his eyes darting very slightly. Kezoreg approached Arsac and, in a moment of disregard, placed his clawed hands tightly on her cheeks and swung her round to face his direction, glaring into her eyes with an expression beyond anger.
- Arsac - Hands off me whelp!
- Kezoreg - You knew. You all knew.
- Arsac - What? You're surprised an INQUISITOR is keeping secrets from you? There are darker secrets than you happening to be the son of an etheral general of the infernal legions, BOY. Learn that fast before you try a stunt like that again.
- Koluap - I hope she's the next to die. Useless scum.
Kithworto's concentration broke, and the entire ship shook violently. Kithworto stood up to speak, as his voice was verging between that of a Xi'Arazulha and a Kicath.
- Kithworto - Enough. All of you.
- Tau - Kithworto is right. We can't stay here forever. The entire Dominion will be looking for us.
Kezoreg moved away from Arsac, leaving a set of marks upon her cheeks that bled slightly but felt as if were burning. As he moved back away from the group, his eyes focussed on Kithworto briefly,
- Tharaqím - Check the matrix. We should at least make sure the elder's sacrifice was not in complete vain.
Kithworto's eyes, similar to that of his Xi'Arazulha state, met Kezoreg's eyes with a requited severity.
- Tau - That matrix should be taken somewhere safe first.
- Arsac - The Reliquary.
- Mu - Screw your Reliquary.
- Upsilon - No. Information in it could prove vital. ...Hyperborea?
- Arkarixus - A good choice.
- Arsac - You think we simply lock something up and throw away the key? How narrow-minded of you all.
Hachi stayed quiet and sat beside Koluap, while Kalcedia had fallen asleep of her own accord, her attention lost a few minutes ago.
- Sarec - Arsac perhaps you should put th--
- Arsac - Silence your damanable mouth!
As she snapped, a spurt of hot air escaped her jaws. Koluap got up, turned away from the group, holding his Xhodocto Axe, and began leaving the room. However, he looked back one last time, giving a muderous glare.
- Koluap - I will kill you myself later...
- Sarec - *mutters* Just perfect.
Hachiman slumped where sat, holding his head in his knees and trying to blot out the commotion that seemed to arise as an aftermath of the situation by placing his hands over his ears. It was of course futile. Koluap left. Arkarixus and Tharaqím layed their backs on the wall, with their arms crossed, in silence. Kithworto's eyes returned to normal.
- Arsac - None of you have any real idea of the life I lead. And yet you call me a callous monster... you think I am one without guilt or regret?
- Hachi - I-I didn't c-call you t-t-that...
- Mu - Yes.
Arsac stood up with a huff.
- Arsac - An Inquisitor lives to keep secrets. To be swayed by guilt, regret or vengence is a weakness.
Arsac tapped her armour with a scowl.
- Arsac - This body has suffered more torment than half of you combined.
- Arkarixus - False. Dare not think of yourself as superior to the rest of us.
- Arsac - Some of you perhaps not for I am not blind.
- Hachi - W-Why are w-w-we f-fighting? I-I t-thought...I-I t-thought w-we were t-the g-good guys? W-We shouldn't b-be c-c-comparing!
- Kithworto - Do not talk to me about the rites of torment. I suggest all of you remain quiet until we reach Hyperborea. Before I 'unintentionally' strip one of you of your skin.
- Mu - The self-centered suicidal woman started it.
Mu put his hands up and left the room. Kithworto's eyes darted at Mu as he left. Arsac lowered her head and appeared more somble than angry now.
- Arsac - I do not need lecturing. In truth...I envy many of your lives.
- Hachi - W-Where's M-Macin a-anyway? S-Shouldn't we g-go back for h-her?
- Kithworto - I formed this team because we are able to cooperate. That was easily accountable from the Borealis War. And the wars before that. Now we shall cooperate. Macin's death will not go in vain.
Arsac gave a dissapointed look to the group and left the room, heading down to one of the ship's cargo bays. Kithworto's voice began to return to normal also, before he walked over to Arkarixus. Kithworto leant in, and muttered quietly.
- Kithworto - I feel that whatever is on this matrix may cause an intergalactic panic. It would be wise to alert the councillors once we have our information. This could be at the very least a universal concern.
- Arkarixus - I will do so. Just make sure we are not being followed.
Sarec walked over to a bench and sluped down. Kalcedia's snoring broke as her eyes flickered open and she looked around, rubbing her eyes.
- Kalcedia - Hmm? Sorry, I dozed off for a minute or eight.
- Tharaqím - You didn't miss anything notable. Except the loss of one of the team.
- Kithworto - And make sure Borealis is ready. Andromeda will have to be warned as well. I will have to speak to Arsac on that matter.
- Arkarixus - Hm. I fear the Spinker is plotting to kill her. We may have to dispose of him if he keeps this attitude.
- Hachi - No! Don't hurt him!
- Sarec - I sense an overwhelming desire in that woman. I think Tyraz is right, she torments herself more than she exposes herself to such things.
- Kithworto - I will persuade Koluap not to attack Arsac. One way or another this team shall cooperate. My patience is growing thin.
- Arkarixus - So is mine. I have had my time in a team with no cooperation already. I will not be part of another one.
Kithworto nodded, before returning to the main table in the midst of the room.
- Sarec - Arsac is a loner and a tool of the Inquisition. To her, duty is her motivation, her reason for existence.
- Kalcedia - The old crab's little more than grief.
- Sarec - It's...how she was brought up...how I was brought up.
Hachi walked up to Kithworto and tugged at the side softly to catch his attention, weary of his current mood and attitude so as to not unintentionally provoke him.
- Hachi - If the t-team falls apart, I-I'll be here, j-just so you k-know. I won't quit, e-ever.
Kithworto's jaws slightly turned upwards.
- Tharaqím - So...this Hyperborea. Space station?
- Arkarixus - Indeed. Built around my race's homeworld. It's around 80,000km long if I remember correctly.
- Tharaqím - Hmm. Respectable size.
- Kithworto - It would be wise for us to continue training once we reach Hyperborea. I'd rather have you prepared before we return further deep into the Dominion territory.
- Arkarixus - There are many training grounds at Hyperborea. Just make sure you don't blow them up.
- Nu - Uh, how long are we going to be in Hyperborea? Last time I checked the councilors called me a 'threat to the very fabrics of the station'.
Mu shouted from a distance.
- Mu - They're not wrong there!
- Kithworto - As long as it takes us to decode the matrix. It could be days or weeks. Activity here has been stalled so there is little rush.
- Hachi - I'm c-concerned, though. K-Kezoreg...I w-worry for him.
- Tharaqím - I was wondering. Did Angazhar destroy Xharn in there?
- Kithworto - Indeed. Angazhar destroyed the AI in an attempt to destroy us. He has little concern for anything that isn't himself.
- Tau - Doesn't that mean the Dominion's AI systems are down?
- Kithworto - Temporarily.
- Tharaqím - This is quite a relief.
- Zeta - I wouldn't mind seeing Hyperborea again. Nice and peaceful.
- Arkarixus - I do wonder how Borealis is going since we left.
- Upsilon - Yeah. Until Nu takes a joyride in a speeder and overturns a cargo vehicle.
- Nu - I'm telling you it was rented!
- Eta - Rented? How does one confuse a Kicath speeder with a Niaka one?
Nu shrugged his shoulders.
- Nu - It was worth it.
- Tharaqím - Niaka?
- Arkarixus - Comical little creatures.
- Kalcedia - It'd be a douchey move if there was no Borealis anymore, huh, guys?
Arkarixus narrowed his eyes at Kalcedia.
- Arkarixus - You realize you live in there too, right?
- Kithworto - Hm. Where is the matrix?
- Arkarixus - I thought you had it?
- Kithworto - I thought I did too.
Psi was holding the matrix, beating its side, trying to make it work.
- Psi - What is this, a giant ice cube?
- Sarec - I'd be careful with that Psi.
- Tharaqím - Put that down, Kicath.
- Kithworto - It's an extrauniversal artificial intelligence data matrix.
Psi went over to the table and put the matrix down.
- Psi - Siná'in. Better not let pirates get that.
- Arkarixus - Huh. Last time I heard from Borealis, apparently Torrent had returned to activity.
- Nu - Heh. Vekaron must be pissed.
- Hachi - He's always pissed, seen how much he drinks?
- Sarec - Different kind of pissed Hachi.
- Arkarixus - Yes. He was recruiting some people to help him in his new Penumbran position.
Kithworto stood up, and took to the cockpit.
- Kithworto - Which reminds me. Once we reach Hyperborea it might be of our interest to get this ship redesigned. Gold and black won't be a welcome sight in Hyperborea now.
- Arkarixus - I can contact them to identify us once we get to Borealis.
- Tau - What to?
- Hachi - Hmm, how about black and yellow?
- Kithworto - Not sure. You decide that among yourselves. I'm setting us on course for Hyperborea. Good thing this ship has the technology to take us to Borealis quick enough.
- Hachi - Pink! And pink!
- Sarec - It will be a welcome sight to leave Adniliho.
- Hachi - Adni-what now?
- Eta - Pfft. Enjoy it while you can. Before you know it we'll be back in here.
- Sarec - Dn't worry. I'm used to leaving one hellhole and entering another.
- Upsilon - Let's just get out of here. I'd like to see friendly space again.
Mu returned, but as he heard Eta talking, immediately turned back and walked out of the room again.