“The High Inqusitor is mine!”
- - Dark Apostle Geltastra
When High Inquisitor Arsac was drawn into The Corruptus by a mix of Dark Apostle Geltastra and her own conclusions, almost everyone assumed the worst, while others such as Hachiman desired to save her. What they did not entirely predict however was how swiftly she acclimatised, nor how much she became a threat to her own order. While the team experienced realms unknown, in the real world Shu'wokerama's servants aided her in a plot to shake one of the gigaquadrant's most powerful organisations.
Operation: Holy NightEdit
It was the middle of the day in Dagonris, another busy day in the Grand Cathedral, the galaxy's greatest structure dedicated to the patron deity of the Draconis. Beneath the cathedral a lone cleric was running rounds. She carried a tome in hand, an account of recent events she was taking to a library. Draped over her body were simple robes, a sign of her status in the heirachy of the Path of Drakon. She stopped abruptly as a portal opened outside Arsac's quarters. The cleric stood, frozen as she looked at the portal, timidly watching as figures began emerging from it. The first being a powerful-looking Draconis with a horrid eye implant, four large wings and a swaying, perhaps boneless tail judging by the way iy snaked and curled. The cleric stepped back in fright as the Draconis turned her head for the light to shine right at the girl, its intense and bizarre light burning into her eyes and perhaps deep into her soul. Following her were a Radeon in green robes and equally green, shining eyes, a masked Hseraelna, a Basileus with a pair of blades, a dark coloured Inalton, an enormous Zua-Zaoi and a green Zazane with a mouth on its tail.
The cleric watched as the others stepped out and dropped the tome she was carrying, she tried to sprint away from the emergent but tripped, she felt a hideous tentacle wrap around her ankle and drag her along her stomach towards the group, eventually lifting the girl up to meet closer to eye level with the intruders, her robe now hanging over her torso as she hung upside down. The Basileus walked around and tutted to himself as he observed her dangling.
Mar-Júun - That's no way of treating your guests, missy.
Cleric - I-I w-was wnaware...wh-who are you?
Geltastra - Us? Hah. Why don't you tell her, Arsac?
The cleric stuttered and was speechless for several moments, hearing the name "Arsac".
Cleric - N-no...the elders...th-they said you died!
Mordati - Apologies for being an inconvenience, but you, or rather your organization, has resources that we take heavy interest in. I'm afraid that such most probably requires your demise.
Arsac - They lied, as they always do, you just never realised it.
Mar-Júun - You're dead meat!
Cleric - I-I'm only a book-keeper, I only come this way as a shortcut I swear, I mean no harm to you!
Murangon Nal - Even if you do not, your destiny is now on the High Inquisitor's hands.
Mordati - Yes, it is unfortunate that you have become so caught up in our business. Well, not unfortunate, but more inconvenient for you.
Arsac - It would be a shame for such a young girl's blood to spill these, mhmhm, "hallowed" halls.
Geltastra - They have a lot of nerve, don't they? Deeming you dead like this.
Cleric - Please, let me go and I won't tell anyone I swear on Drakon's breath I won't tell a soul!
Vouinas - You could let her go. Or you could let Varugr eat her. Who cares.
Varugr - I'm parched and starving.
Arsac - Her knowledge of the cathedral and the city could prove useful.
Geltastra - Let us keep her for now then, until her use has ended.
Arsac's tentacle however, swayed and sent the cleric to dangle in front of Varugr. A slight grin cropped up upon his twisted face as he eyed her hungrily
Arsac - Varugr, was I not informed you were able to extract the memories of your meals?
Varugr - You are correct, wretch! I could devour her and... use her memories.
Varugr twitched from the thought of eating her, the jaws upon his tail snapping eagerly and directing themselves to point at the cleric almost as if it knew where she was despite completely lacking eyes. Vouinas lowered his head and cackled, chittering away as he did.
Vouinas - See? Everybody wins.
Arsac - Even if you do not recall all the catacombs, my memory is good enough.
Cleric - Please! I don't want to die I'm only a volunteer! I work in a cafe during the bulk of the tenday!
Varugr - Then you may serve me food.
Galtastra mockingly paced around, Arsac's tentacle turning the cleric so she was facing Geltastra upside down, her snout dangling at such a height to be almsot level with Geltastra's muzzle.
Geltastra - Let me tell you something, girl. You'll prefer this over the firestorm that's about to hit this place. Be thankful.
Arsac's tentacle bobbed the cleric up and down before tossing it slightly into the air and above Varugr's maw. The tail rushed upward and wrapped its jaws around her head, quickly ascending upwards as it swallowed the rest of her body. Inside of his tail, the young cleric could feel the fleshy walls inside of the tail close in on her mercilessly, crushing her body and turning her into paste as she was swallowed. Mar-Júun shook his head at the sight of Varugr eating the cleric and grunted, watching with disgust as an amorphous mass traveled up the interior of the tail, shrinking as it did so..
Mar-Júun - Nasty.
Varugr - I think you mean... d-delicious!
Mar-Júun - No. Nasty. You're a nasty creature.
Arsac - She was a slave to a delusion. Poor thing.
Arsac walked over to her door and pressed her palm against the console, the hand scanned her but there was a red light that flashed on the scanning panel, the words "print not recognised" flashed in Dracid. Varugr looked at Mar-Júun with that hungry smile he had given to the cleric.
Varugr - And you look appetizing.
Mordati - Varugr, do not lose focus. Have you or have you not gained new information?
Varugr - ...Yes, yes I have. I can feel her mind... integrating with mine, being dominated by my conscious.
Arsac - Damnation! I should have guessed this would happen!
Geltastra - A disappointing side effect of our blessing.
Arsac - No, it has little to do with the blessing.
Geltastra - Hm?
Arsac - The cleric said I died. And you, Mistress, revealed my turning and blessing, the codes have been changed.
Mar-Júun - Dark nun screwed up.
Geltastra - Don't provoke me!...I admit it may have not been the best idea.
Arsac slammed her palm against the brick wall of the tunnel, launching concrete debris and forming a crater.
Vouinas - The look on that Zazane's face was pretty funny though.
Mar-Júun - Ah yes. He was mad. Very very mad.
Varugr - Which Zazane do you refer to?
Arsac - They refer to Tyraz. New plan: When the High Inquisitor is declared dead their codes are kept by the Inner Circle. Each member holds one part of the sequences needed.
Murangon Nal - So we must go for this Inner Circle and take it from them.
Varugr - Never expected the new recruit to be taking me to dinner.
Arsac - We will need one alive as genetic verification. One of the codes is a DNA sequence.
Mar-Júun - You'll have to point out wish otherwise I might...commit an accident.
Varugr - Aww, can I not just--
Mordati - Silence yourself!
Varugr growled as Mordati snapped at him, a mixture of disappointment and anger born from being told off and denied the chance to feast, something he had grown ot enjoy as one of the servants of Shu'Wokerama.
Arsac - I know the way to the Circle's chambers. They will be easy prey.
Geltastra - Lead us there, then. We are all aware of the consequences of failing this mission.
Arsac nodded and paced down the halls. She moved through the tunnels as if she knew them almost-instinctively.
Several inquisitors and clerics were down these halls and Arsac charged though and tore them apart with Entropic-enhanced claws and tentacles. Slicing at them with strength she had never displayed before, her tentacles cut into armour like razor blades, tearing open muscle, sinew and ceramic plating alike. Always one for the rush of battle, Arsac appeared to enjoy the spectacle, losing herself in the spilling of blood, be it inquisitor looking to strike her down or cleric merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Arsac - Some of these Inquisitors are just as blind to duty as I was, we can use them.
Geltastra - Let us use them then. Show them the real path.
Varugr - As foo--
Mordati - By the Devourer, I recommend you keep quiet until you have something at least a little dignified to say.
Murangon Nal - Your reckless attitude will displease the master. You do not want to incur his wrath.
Arsac nodded and stopped in front of a group of younger inquisitors who had set up a barricade, they fired a hail of plasma and coilgun fire at the group. Arsac let the shots hit while others she deflected with razor-sharp tentacles, the plasma burning against her skin and the wounds knitting themselves back up, fighting against the searing heat of plasma. Mar-Júun moved through the shadows to attac the inquisitors from behind, while Vouinas shrugged their fire and crushed them under his fists.
As she stood in the middle of the hall, the ghastly light in Arsac's artificial eye intensified, a blinding light bathed the young inquisitors in a purple light, who stopped firing and shook their heads as they were pummeled. After some time some of the survivors kneeled before the group, lowering their heads in submission. Geltastra smiled with satisfaction, the surrendering inquiistors were abrptly spared from further attacks.
Geltastra - Hmm. Excellent.
Vouinas - More soldiers? Good. We can always have more soldiers.
Arsac - I am uncertain if I can convert more veteren inquisitors, the Inner Circle likes to keep a cadre of the most fanatically loyal close at hand.
Geltastra - No one is immune to our blessing, my dear. No matter how much they try to resist, they will fall before us.
Mordati - Or we can reduce the time and merely terminate them.
Geltastra - More followers are always better than more corpses.
Arsac's light continued to blaze as they marched though, some Inquisitors bowing or turning on their comrades, others resisting and attmepting to destroy the group with no success. Outside the Inner Circle's chambers, two heavily armoured inquisitors stood at the door, pikes sheathed in plasma ready and waiting. They wore more advanced armour than other inquisitors, which enhanced their frames,m aking them appear larger and more powerful. A fitting outfit for the guardians of the order's most senior operatives.
Guardian - You shall stop this rampage abominations.
Vouinas - You're pretty rude, fellow.
Murangon Nal - If you are to stand in our way, then I hope you can give us a good fight.
Guardian - We guard the Circle.
Mar-Júun - All you'll be guarding are 5 feet of dirt above your heads in a few moments.
Swinging their pikes the guardians charged, one charging to impale Geltastra while the other charged Vouinas. Tipped on their blades was a resin-like material. Seeing it, Arsac became unnerved and warned the other champions not to let themselves get cut by the blades.
Geltastra leaped out of the way while firing a blast of Entropy at the guard, while Vouinas charged his fist in essence and sent it crashing on the second guard's direction. Another guardian charged from behind and attempted to lunge at Varugr, The guard who attacked Geltastra was knocked back by the blast while the other, charging his power armour attempted to endure the punch, breaking the armour around his leg in the process. Varugr roared and leaped forward to attack the guardian, although he found himself pierced upon the guardian's pike. He screeched in agony as he pulled back, slapping the guardian away with his tail. The guardian was knocked away although he had tried to block with his arm, within the pike wound something was slowing the healing process, the wound closed up much more slowly than normal
Vouinas took his other hand and grabbed the guard, and began squeezing him on his grasp. Applying pressures beyond what the armour could tolerate. Varugr looked down at his pike wound and gasped as he saw the wound was barely closing.
Varugr - What...what is that?
Arsac - The Imperium calls it "Yrsalimarus". It is technology designed to weaken beings like us.
Geltastra - Filthy creatures dare to harm our blessing.
Vouinas - Crush them like the insects they are!
Arsac launched a tentacle at the Guardian who had stabbed Varugr, wrapped it around the guardian's neck and with a swift tug, crushd the vertebrae, dislodging the position of the skull with a loud "crack" and caused the guardian to fall forwards. Varugr saw the body fall and scowled in Arsac's direction. Meanwhile, Vouinas crushed the second Guardian on his grasp, squeezing him with a grin on his face.
Varugr - Agh... I could have handled that!
Arsac - The Order uses the technology in blade and shot alike. One blow might not affect you much but what of a dozen wounds?
Murangon Nal - We do not simply die.
Mordati - No but we can be incapacitated and that gives mortals time to recover. I suggest we be careful where we tread.
Murangon Nal - Hm. Reasonable. But my blades still thirst for blood.
Arsac - Watch Varugr.
Arsac stood in front of the door and rolled her shoulders, thrusting her arms forward she slammed against the reinforced steel door, exerting herself she atempted to pull the magnetically-locked door apart, stranging as she battled with the lock. Geltastra let out a chuckle as dark thoughts entered her mind.
Geltastra - I can only imagine the look of their faces.
Varugr - I thought you were psychic?
Geltastra - No point ruining the fun by spoiling myself.
Arsac pumped her chest and pried the doors open, throwing the doors into theis slots and exploding the thresholds, kicking rubble though the seams and deofrming the rock. Inside were a dozen Draconis clad in elaborate and decorative armour, each one centuries old and sitting within large chairs The twelve draconis looked with mixtures of frustration and shock at the intruders, more guardians readying their weapons. Geltastra looked at each of them them with a grin, reveling in the varying expressions they displayed.
Circle Member - Code black. Now!
Geltastra - I hope we are not interrupting.
Mar-Júun - Old people everywhere.
Mordati - Hello, apologies for the intrusion but you have something we require.
Geltastra - Code black?
Arsac - Expect further company.
At the far end of a large wooden table was a Draconis with deep red scales who clenched his fists, his armour was trimmed with gold and looked reminiscent of Arsac's own armour before she turned. She realised what had happened, this man was her replacement, her successor; the very man she needed. her focus was interrupted by an AI on a broadcast system.
AI - Warning. Code Black is in effect. Code black is in effect. All forces report to the circle chamber. Repeat. All forces report to the circle chamber for Code Black.
Vouinas - So they're bringing their armies? Excellent! We may bring our own armies now!
Varugr - Who needs armies?! This is a buffet!
Inquisitor Thothus - Whatever you are after, demons, we will not provide.
Geltastra - We want your secrets. Your relics. And we will have them. Come, demons of the Devourer!
Hordes of Malcaeum demons began teleporting inside the tunnels, their roars and angered groans being heard echoing across the corridors. Thothus stood in his elaborate armour, he leaned his head back and smirked. As the Malcaeum were summoned, Mordati outstretched a hand. By his side, hordes of Mor'natios rushed through portals endlessly, snarling and growling as they leaped off the walls and ceiling.
Thotus - Then we have a problem, since demons are not allowed access to such things.
Mar-Júun - We don't want your permission, dog.
Arsac analysed the man standing directly opposite of her, she turned slightly to look at the other elders and glared maliciously towards Thotus. She pointed towards him as tentacles snaked from her back
Arsac - Feel free to destroy the others, but he lives.
Geltastra - Why is that? You want to kill him yourself?
Arsac - he has everything we need.
Geltastra - So be it.
Thotus - I will not yield demons.
Murangon Nal - You will die in this room. I hope you are capable to fight despite your elderly looks. Otherwise I will be very disappointed.
Mordati - Am I not an example enough of elderly strength, Nal?
Murangon Nal - You are. But these Draconis? I am unsure.
The inquisitors stood up and prepared weapons, despite their age they stood with little effort and reached to wrap their hands firmly around an assortment of weapons. Thotus reached ehind himself and lifted a dual-bladed polearm. Mar-Júun let out a cackle and disappeared among the shadows of the room. Murangon Nal stepped up on the inquisitors' direction, while Vouinas remained on the team's back, blocking the exit. Rifles, blades, spears and knives were a few of the weaons displayed. Aided by strength-enhancing body gloves the circle members armed with melee weapons charged at the champions, their blades laced with Yrsalimarus. Ranged inquisitors stood back and fired slugs of the same material
Mordati stepped forward, although he did not directly engage the Inquisitors. Instead, he allowed his horde of demons to try and fight them, staying somewhere within the middle of the demons' formation. Varugr charged forward, tentacles bursting from his skin and his tail roaring. Murangon Nal's eyes flashed and one of the Inquisitors found himself moving slower, as if Murangon had made time pass slower around him. Murangon then delivered a horizontal slash at his face. To his surprise, the inquisitor slowed by Nal's powers and moved slightly faster than what he expected and only just blocked the slash, retaliating with a swing of a blade in his other hand. Murangon Nal evaded the attack while a smile, and then delivered a dual-essence punch to the Inquisitor's head. Meanwhile Mar-Júun appeared from the shadows and stabbed the ranged Inquisitors in their backs with his blades. Geltastra merely watched the fight with her arms folded. The Circle flought the demons with intense ferocity, each one with the strength of five of their kind, faster and more tolerant to pain than any normal Draconis. Thotus swung his polearm to cleave though Mor'natios his blade cutting and leaving Yrsalimarus-laced wounds
Murangon Nal - The thrill of battle, the most enjoyable of all emotions.
Varugr - Incorrect! The most enjoyable of all emotions is satisfaction!
Varugr ran forward recklessly, attempting to go for Thotus and launching tentacles his way, his tail swinging forward as well. The Inquisitor who fought Nal twisted his knives and felt the punch connect, Reeling back he retaliated by boosting his body glove's acceleration capabilities to hit back. While soem were stabbed by Mar-Júun, others turned and fired on him.
Murangon Nal - I disagree, but I respect your decision.
Mar-Júun - Well you're all a bunch of weirdos.
Mar-Júun hid himself again before he could be hurt. Murangon Nal was hit by the knives and grunted in pain, relatiating by slashing at the Inquisitor several times. Thotus swung his polearm, aiming to slice at Varugr's tail along with swinging it to cleave at the other tentacles. Tentacles dismembered and his tail was slashed and thrown away from Thotus, Varugr roared out and charged, aiming to tackle the Inquisitor with his sheer brute strength.
Murangon Nal - Pain is a consequence of battle. Therefore, your answer is yes.
Murangon Nal inhaled and then breathed a blast of entropic fire at the Inquisitor. Thotus struggled, baring his teeth as Varugr knocked him backwards and attempted to crush him.
Thotus - We are the agents of judgement. Upon our word, the defilers fall and the just rise up.
Geltastra - Your judgement is false. The only righteous ones are us.
Mar-Júun appeared from behind one inquisitor and slashed his throat with his blades.
Mar-Júun - Righteous, powerful, same thing.
Arsac - Varugr, keep that man alive.
Varugr - Can I not injure him?!
Vouinas - Hey, she said alive, not unharmed.
Thotus tossed his weapon aside and extended a wrist-mounted dagger, plunging it towards Varugr's torso. Varugr screamed as the dagger pierced into his side, his demonic blood spraying across the floor. He raised a clenched fist and slammed it down near Thotus' head, missing him by just a few inches. In retalation for the stab, Varugr opened his mouth and used his tongue to slash across the Inquisitor's face. Arsac nodded. The inquisitor Mar-Júun slashed gargled as the blades broke though the armour, spraying red blood thoughout the room
Mar-Júun - Filthy creatures. All of you. Stand down and die like the vermin you are.
Thotus twisted the blade as the razor-lie tongue created a large gash upon his cheek, a twisted smile and he drove the knife further into Varugr's chest
Thotus - Gah. I thought demons were supposed to be resillient!
The essece of each dead inquisitor floated and formed a blackened sphere on Geltastra's hands. Arsac materialised in front of one of the spear-wielding inquisitors and punched though his chest, reveling in the satisfaction as his life sapped away, bleeding from his destroyed heart
Geltastra - You'll make a fine sacrifice.
Arsac - All these centuries of training, honing their energies and growing in power. they shall indeed make a generous sacrifice.
Varugr slammed his crest against Thotus' face, dealing a great deal of pain as his tentacles erupted from his body and proceeded to penetrate their way into Thotus' sides.
Varugr - Your weaponry will not save you!
Thotus was the last to survive the ordeal of blood and violence, red blood coated the floor and stained the bodies of the dead, their life-essences sprayed thoughout the room, and only Thotus was left. Geltastra put the sphere up and it then dissipated in a flash. Thotus gritted his teeth as he felt Varugr's tentacles squirm inside him, he writhed about, agony becoming more apparent. Within the ordeal, Arsac walked up to Varugr and stood over them both.
Geltastra - With this offering, I summon the Skewer!
Arsac - We need him conscious!
The room shook as a deep groan was heard outside of it, as well as the sound of walls crumbling.
Varugr - You said we merely required him alive!
Murangon Nal - You will sieze your attacks now.
Arsac - We need his voice!
Varugr roared and threw himself off Thotus in anger, pulling his tentacles out with little consideration which left tears in the Inquisitor's flesh and armour. He had been covered in blood, both his own and that of the Inquisitor. Arsac Approached Thotus and grasped him by the throat, lifting him up as his flesh began to knit together, she titled her head with a frown.
Arsac - To access what we need we require his DNA, his voice, his fingers, his secrets and his retinas. Geltastra - Then let us take him now. You will cooperate, you wanting it or not.
Holding him firmly, Arsac walked back to the group and nodded, an indicator they were ready to return to the room.
Thotus - Rot in...the void...
Mar-Júun - Heheheh. Funny guy.
Arsac lifted Thotus and marched towards her former chambers, already Inquisitors were attempting to fight to get into the room, inhaling deeply, Arsac dispersed many by blowing a stream of entropic fire over them, inquisitors further back stepped away to avoid getting burned. Those inquisitors were quickly striked by the Skewer Malcaeum, who had been summoned by Geltastra. The gigantic demon watched the team as they walked next to it.
Mordati - Good hound.
The light from Arsac's implant blazed, many younger inquisitors were hypnotised by the light and backed off, bowing to the figures they now considered their new masters. Upon reaching the door, Arsac grasped Thotus by the wrist and pressed his hand against the reader, smaller tentacles emerged and pried his fingers apart so that the reader could scan his fingerprints. A green light indicated the door was unlocked and Arsac opened.
The Inner Circle had left her room as she remembered it; shelves stacked with trinkets, occult items and a vast array of books. Some of these ocult items could be recognised, others were from circles so obscure only Arsac could recall them. Geltastra looked across the room with interest, while Vouinas and Murangon Nal appeared indifferent for the most part. Stacked on shelves the literature ranged from fiction to parochial text to scientific articles, particularly in psychology and anatomy. Upon entering a lamp self-ignited, the room began to fil with the smell of herbal incense. Mordati placed a hand upon his mask and stroked it as he analyzed the room with curiosity. Varugr grunted and spat demonic saliva on the ground.
Mordati - Interesting. I feel at home somewhat here.
Geltastra - We may take all of this with us back to our headquarters if you want.
Even for items the group knew had some value in demonic cults, they strangely appeared blank, washed of any possible taint they may have had.
Arsac - Keep it all Mordati, I have little use for these trinkets other than to remember my old life.
Mordati - It is very much appreciated. Even if I am above mortality, I still retain my obsession with history and culture. Yes, keeps my mentality healthy.
Arsac walked into her office holding Thotus, on her desk was a pistol inside a reinforced glass case, markings connected to the Congregation were clear across the handle and on the lower side of the barrel. Hanging above a large chair was a large spiraled horn that from the look of the base had been snapped off, the presence of of Descension energy radiating from it. Mar-Júun punched through the glass and grabbed the pistol, taking it from the case and looking at it with interest.
Mar-Júun - I'm in need of a gun.
Arsac snarled as she watched him, a clear sign of distaste for what he was doing.
Arsac - That has sentimental value to it! It belonged to the very cultist who killed my former mentor so I suggest you put it down.
Mar-Júun grunted and put it back on the case. Thotus grunted as Arsac handled him. She forcefully opened his palm once again and pressed it on a sensor under the desk, opening the desk to display a screen. She lifted Thotus up and snarled at him.
Arsac - Yor voiceprint. NOW.
Thotus - Rot as a houseless, witch!
Arsac impaled Thotus in the stomach with a tentacle, causing him to bare his teeth in pain. she pushed him forward and barked at him again
Vouinas - Heh. She's having fun with all this.
Arsac - Your voiceprint. Or this pain will be mild compared to what will come
Thotus - You kill me and you get nothing, I do this and you still kill me. No deal.
Arsac snarled, a demonic rumble that shook the room as she gripped him more tightly.
Geltastra - Oh no, dear boy. We will not kill you. You will feel much pain, but you will not die. We will not give you this peace, until you cooperate.
Thotus - I do not fear pain or death.
Geltastra - Then you will learn to fear.
Thotus - I fear nothing...for I am...judgement Incarnate!
Mar-Júun - Heheheh. What if...we descend him?
Arsac - We have passed the genetic phase. All we need now are his voice, retinas and his secrets.
Murangon Nal - A most cruel idea, given the circumstances.
Mar-Júun - You don't want to be a demon like us, do you?
Thotus - I would rather die!
Mar-Júun - Then you better cooperate!
Varugr - We don't specifically... need him for his retinas.
Arsac - Yes...he is strong of will but he is still mortal, an insect.
Thotus - Do what you will, but I will not break.
'Arsac - Hmhmhm, we do not need you to...
'Geltastra - Really now?
Geltastra waved her hand in front of Thotus, creating a small fog of entropic energy around him.
Thotus - You think your foul energies will break me? turn me? Make me your slave? I am not like those initiates.
Arsac - No, but you speak in the presence of your predecessor...
Geltastra - No one is immune to the blessing.
Thotus - You call this a blessing? You are all delusional!
Geltastra - We are demigods! And what are you? Nothing but a slave to this organization.
Thotus - Better a slave of sound mind than a maddened king.
Arsac - This is getting us nowhere, and do you really think he is worthy of the blessing?
Varugr - I could merely devour him and learn of his secrets, could try to replicate his voice.
Mar-Júun - Hmpf. He's resisting too much. My plan was to intimidate him but he's a tough guy. Too tough for my liking.
Mar-Júun made a cut through Thotus' side.
Arsac - If one of us enters his body we can control him, have him do what we need for us so long as his body is nto too heavily tainted
Geltastra - Either me or Varugr could do this. He seems eager to cause pain to this man, so let him do it.
Varugr - This is going to be thrilling!
Arsac threw Thotus to the floor in front of Varugr. He laughed maniacally as his body began to lose all forms of solid element, rendering him in a gaseous form. He remained as a cloud of Entropic energy above Thotus for a brief moment before coming down on him, penetrating through his wounds, mouth and nostrils which provoked immense pain. Thotus thrashed about, trying desperately to resist, gnashing at the air as if trying to clamp his jaws around some form of stress-release. He felt his wounds burn as he jolted, under immense pain Vouinas pressed his foot against Thotus to keep him restrained while Geltastra merely looked down at his writing body pitifully.
Geltastra - You were warned.
Eventually, he felt his mind submit to the intelligence that now shared his body, gradually settling down. As Thotus' body ceased its struggling, writhing movements, it ascended from the ground with power, throwing itself from the floor and standing on its two feet. He looked around, his eyes darting across the room before standing to a more casual stance.
Varugr - This body feels... pathetic. Something this weak was not meant to survive.
Arsac - That "pathetic body" was one of my peers for fifty years. Funnily enough I used to wonder if my prececessor was going to make him High Inquisitor.
Varugr, now possessing unrestrained control over the near-corpse that was Thotus, approached the screen on Arsac's desk. He leaned forward to examine it, analyzing it over several times.
Varugr - Remind me what I must do here.
Arsac - You need to perform three validations in order: First is the voiceprint password. Second is the retinal scan, third is five questions only he knew te answer to. All you need to do is input the answers when the screen turns blue.
Varugr - Sounds simplistic and basic. This shall be of no difficulty.
Arsac - Voiceprint is first, he should have memorised the password.
Varugr approached the screen and growled, searching internally through the Inquisitor's memories. Eventually, a smile came across his bloodied face as he then proceeded to speak the password in perfect imitation of Thotus' voice towards the blue
Varugr - Amantaca-five-five-seven-three-Axah-Janus-four.
The screen flashed blue before switching to the next check, this time the screen displayed a disk in the centre. Within the disk the screen was black, graphics within the screen gave the mck impression it was some variation of socket. Varugr, instead of placing his face towards the screen to allow his eye to be analyzed, lifted his hand and moved it towards the eye socket of Thotus' face. His hand clenched before moving away, holding Thotus' entire eyeball in his palm before he placed it towards the screen. Mar-Júun cringed at the scene while Arsac looked away in disgust as she watched Varugr perform the foul act.
Mordati - That was unnecessary.
Varugr - This amuses me highly.
The screen flashed red with the words "Contour not recognised. Remove form and try again. Attempts left: Two."
Vouinas - You messed something up.
Varugr - Hmph, not my fault. Must be faulty machinery.
Arsac - If I knew you were going to pull out Thotus' eye I would have warnd you. The problem was the scanner detects the eye and the surrounding body so enemies do not try a trick like you just pulled.
Mar-Júun - Just do it properly, nasty.
Varugr - ...Shyrak.
Varugr growled in a displeased manner before placing his face towards the screen, grunting with frustration as he allowed the remaining eye to be analyzed. The hand that held the torn eyeball clenched, crushing it into little more than paste. The screen scanned the eye and flashed green. The screen went though to another blue screen with five questions on it: "Surame", "homeworld of birth", "age of abandonment", "favourite meal" and "Favourite film"
Murangon Nal - Hm. What casual questions.
Mordati - Could have selected far more curious and tasteful inquiries.
Arsac - Do you know the answers Nal?
Murangon Nal - I do not. But I expected something more complicated.
Varugr placed a hand to his head and growled as he struggled to look through the Inquisitor's memories. Eventually, he leaned forward again with a confident tone in his voice, although the expression on Thotus' face showed that he was unsure and reluctant.
Varugr - Surname: Marlos. Age of abandonment: 15. Homeworld: Karimios II. Favourite meal: glazed udulov ribs with maccarias sauce. Favourite film: Keterem Vormis' "Letters of the Lamented Sister".
The screen flashed green after a few seconds, switching now to a menu system. Arsac smiled as she looked at the new screen, almost cackling with delight.
Arsac - it's all ours!
Mordati - Save that thought, Varugr. I am curious as per the summary and plot of that particular film. Varugr - Why are you so interested in historical mortal memorabilia?
Mordati - Just because I am beyond mortal does not mean I cannot enjoy mortal delights.
Geltastra - Yes...excellent. Get everything. Every secret.
Arsac worked the concole, revealing the truth about the Reliquary: It was not one, but fifteen different locations within hyperspace. Galtastra peered over her shoulder, somewhat irritated by the now-complex task.
Geltastra - Which one of those holds the Xhodocto Eye?
Arsac - I...I don't know. The Reliquary uses a network based on a separate system. The inventory and path of each one is kept only on their network. This is more of a relay system, a way of telling the Order where each facility is at any one time
Geltastra - Hmpf. In that case, we will strike at all of them.
Arsac - It is kept up-to-date in realtime, ther is no indication of previous or future course.
Vouinas - Fifteen targets. That'll make some good loot for the Dominion.
Arsac browsed though other folders, bringing up a list of facilities in interstellar space with millions of figures in each one
Arsac - The order's prisons
Mar-Júun - Hm. That's a lot.
Mordati - I suggest that we divide our armies so we can attack all of them at once.
Arsac - Not all in those prisons are loyalists. There are plenty who are indifferent or even oblivious to our masters.
Geltastra - Then we will make them loyal.
Arsac - With all this knowledge, the order will collapse. But...what to do with our captive?
Arsac turned her head to look at Thotus' body, puzzled.
Varugr - Don't look at me like that.
Murangon Nal - Feed it to the Skewer. It has no more use for us.
Arsac - And no more use to the inquisition given I doubt he will survive if Varugr abandons him.
Varugr - No, feed it to the Varugr.
Geltastra - What a waste. We could give him a much better purpose...
Arsac - I recall Varugr mentioned his body was weak. Then again, all mortals are weak in comparison to us.
Geltastra - He was made to be your replacement. It would more than fitting if he were...to serve under you, don't you agree?
Arsac looked into Thotus' single eye and thought for a moment. She turned away, taking time to think and then looked back.
Arsac - Yes... He would make a fine addition to the armies. As you said, he was my replacement, the elders would not have picked him had he been an inept and careless fool.
Varugr - He is inept from my point of view.
Mordati - Your point of view is not reliable in this situation.
Varugr - Hmpf!
Geltastra - Use your power...give him a new life, bless him like I blessed you.
Arsac - Varugr. Let him go, I want him to witness my judgement with his own eyes.
Thotus' lips rippled as Varugr snarled angrily. He complied however and blag fog spewed from Thotus' nostrils and mouth before the Draconis collasped to the floor, weak from the corrupting and overpowering influence of Varugr's possession on his body. Varugr rematerialised and stood looking over the body. Thotus gasped as he regained consciousness, blinking repeatedly before his had rushed to cover hie empty eye socket. He bared his teeth in pain, hyper-ventilating as he hung on the brink of death. As he acclimatised to regaining control, Arsac stepped up and latched her hand around his throat, lifting up and allowing black fog to pour from her arm and channel though to seep into Thotus' body. He felt the energies rushing though him, thrashing around and snarling, trying to resist the corruption, letting out yelps as he felt his body change, the fog tinging his skin, but unable to escape Arsac's grasp.
Geltastra - Hm hm hm. Welcome to the Dominion, darling.
Thotus - Gragh, urgh, I will...gragh!
Arsac - There is no point resisting, you are ours now!
Mar-Júun - You will learn to love this power.
Vouinas - Or we will force you to.
Arsac glared at Thotus as the mutating energies sealed his eye socket shut, obscuring the wound as if he had no opening there at all. The light from arsac's eye bathed him, over time, as his body transformed he calmed down, soothed, or perhaps controlled, by the hypnotic light to do so. Geltastra watched the scene with a grin on her face. She leaned into Arsac's side, resting on her arm.
Thotus - I...I shall. For...His glory, and Lady Arsac's favour...
Arsac - Good boy.
Geltastra - Interesting, is it not?
Arsac - He shall be mychampion, if you so approve. The armies I lead, he shall aid me. His failures will incur my wrath.
Geltastra - My dear, you don't have to ask me permission for that. He is yours to toy and order around at your own will.
Arsac let him go and watched as he knelt in front of her, now transformed, his armour darkened and partially melded with his flesh. he held his head low, displaying a now-impressive pair of horns.
Thotus - Your decree, is my existence...my queen.
Arsac - Queen...I like that.
Vouinas - Good! Now he can take part of the fun we're about to unleash upstairs.
Arsac - Yes. This edifice must burn for all to see; Drakon's guidance is nothing but a lie.
Geltastra - Yes! let us make an example of what happens to those who follow fools and liars.
Arsac nodded and motioned for Thotus to stand up before looking towards Geltastra and concentrating, within moments a hellish portal appeared that led to a place of space, noise and light, leading them out of the cramped and darkened chamber where Arsac herself once resided.
The sudden appearence sparked panic as hundreds of tourists and clerics responded with fear to the champions' appearence. Gazing down upon them all was a titanic work depicting Drakon; an enormous golden dragon of exquisite detail Adorning the walls were half a dozen portrayals of Drakon; a meditator, an alien, a scientist, a philosipher, a visionary and so on. The Skewer appeared behind the team and let out a monstrous roar, causing more Corruptus demons to appear alongside it. The crowds panicked, everyone running from the room as fast as they could, the scent of fear and distress rising from them as Inqusitors poured into the room, giving them cover. Arsac however disapproved and with a deep breath, let out a torrent of entropic fire to engulf the masses, the demons swarmed into the crowds, while Geltastra let out a loud cackle as she watched Arsac. Horror swept though the minds of the dying crowd as they were swarmed by demons and exposed to Geltastra's madenning cackle.
Varugr had not gone without involvement; he swallowed any tourists and clerics that had managed to escape from Arsac's Entropic inferno and the demonic hordes, causing his muscles to ripple, twicth and grow with each soul consumed. An entoire crowd a feast for the demon champion, his smile broad with maniacal joy as he continued to swell and grow, gradually emerging as a giant. Mordati stood beside Geltastra, watching as the chaos ensued.
Some managed to escape, their minds carried with the nightmares they saw; the mutated Draconis incinerating them with dark flame, the demonic cackle, the bloodthirsty demons that tore friend and stranger apart, and the all-consuming demon that grew and twitched with every innocent his tail swallowed. The Skewer looked up to the various portrayals on the Cathedral. Letting out a roar, it leaped into the portrayal representing the Cyclerist sect and pressed its claws against it, tearing part of the wall down. In the process, both it and the portrayal fell into the ground. Arsac gathered a ball of entropic energy in her hand and threw it upwards towards the sculpture, cracking it with a dark light before the statue and the roof with it exploded, showering everyone in debris.
Murangon Nal - Symbols crumble into dust. You should all have surrendered.
Mar-Júun - The master is going to love this!
Several tourists and clerics were crushed inder the shattered statue and Inquisitors pressed in further, Arsac gathered another ball and slammed it into the ground, destroying the tiles, cracking the ground below and blasting everyone with entropic energy.
Mordati - This is a pity. Even though my allegance lies with the the Devourer for now and all eternity, it is a loss that such art and design would all have gone to waste, especially within such a cultured civilization.
Mar-Júun - Cultured. Hmpf.
The rotunda was devastated, its sceiling gone, floor destroyed, greatest icon laying littered on the floor and everywhere one looked were bodies, charred and mangled of all kinds of aliens. The explosions had collapsed the passageways, crushing inquisitors who had not escaped, leaving everything a ruin. Geltastra continued cackling from the carnage ensuing around the team.
Geltastra - Now you feel what I've felt!
Arsac - As graceful as all this was, it was art dedicated to a lie.
Arsac clenched her fists, she felt energy and adrenaline rush through her body, she took a deep inhalation and smiled as she nodded in agreement with Geltastra
Arsac - I am done. We have the information from the archives and the Path of Drakon's greatest icon is dust. It will not be long before Alcanti's armies arrive.
Geltastra - Let us make our leave, then. Our mission is complete.
Arsac nodded. The Skewer let out a roar and as fast as they had arrived, all the demons vanished in a black fog, leaving the ruins of the once majestic rotunda to rest, a plethora of bodies draconis and alien alike. It was a dark day for Dagonris, Alcanti, the Draconid Imperium and potentially the gigaquadrant as the most senior of the Grand Inquisition's forces lay dead.
However, for an order such as this, the loss of command is not an automatic sign of immenent collapse. The great beast of the Grand Inquisition was yet to flail its arms before it was willing to finally die and lay still in its own wreckage.
A young and cybernetics-enhanced Draconis Inquistor and her handler, an aged Draconis in his mid-four hundreds sat in the back of a shot-proof car towards an area in the middle districts of a city within the Solonese Union. Steel, concrete and glass was everywhere, and nestled in the recesses of some of the more majestic buildings, more utilitarian concrete buildings could be seen. Traffic was not very busy today but the streets were busy with people, mostly races from within the Solona Cluster. Her handler, Sepavius, appeared to be silently interested in them as he looked out the window, on the outside his window was completely reflective
The expression on the younger Draconis' face, however, indicated that she was growing tired or bored with her surroundings as well as disgusted by the people that roamed the streets. She knew a life of high-tier and extravagent quality, she had not yet grown accustomed to the lesser environment that was the Solonese Union's colonies. Sepavius did not turn his head when he spoke, he didn't even see Prodigy's face as he looked out the window.
Sepavius - I know that face, but as one of the order you are going to have to get used to visiting less advanced civilisations.
Prodigy - You call this a civilization? You're being generous today, huh.
Sepavius - Not really. I've been to this part of the galaxy a few times.
Prodigy shuffled where she sat, trying to make herself feel more comfortable. She did not enjoy the thought of enclosed spaces; she preferred the open, although it was something she could live with. She had her head slumped in her hand, a frowning expression on her face as she looked out of the window.
Prodigy - Are we there yet?
Sepavius - Not far. I suggest you give these aliens some leniency, this union of theirs is only a few centuries old.
Prodigy - Hmph, "only a few centuries old". You make it sound like you're young.
Sepavious - A young lifeform is different to a young civilization.
Prodigy - Keep telling yourself that. Hopefully these dung-throwers will learn to build by the time I reach your age.
The car stopped outside of a medium-sized apartment building. Sepavius peered thouh the window and smiled a little.
Sepavius - We have arived, activate your holocloak and we will make our way inside.
Prodigy - I was starting to get bored.
Prodigy nodded towards Sepavius. In moments, her form had vanished without a trace aside from those piercing eyes of hers, although they shortly also vanished into the air. As her shape faded, Sepavius saw her form a large, threatening grin upon her face. Sepavius grunted and activated his holocloak, disappearing from view before he opened the car dor and stepped outside. it was warm this afternoon, and the building looked sparsely maintained, with cracks in the concrete here-and-there. The weight of her and Sepavius leaving caused the car's body to lift a few centimetres up as there was less train on the suspension.
Prodigy - Absolutely shameful, those dung-throwers really have no idea how to maintain themselves.
Sepavius - Reports indicate that the building is still sturdy enough to be safe to explore.
Prodigy spat onto the concrete floor, causing it to sizzle and dissolve while vapour steamed into the air. She approached the building with haste, refusing to wait for any infiltration and entrance order as her step caused cracks to emerge upon the ground.
Prodigy - This had better be worth doing, I don't feel in the mood for playing.
Sepavius - Watch your step, sister, you are leaving traces.
Prodigy - So? It's only concrete, it's not gonna hurt us. And don't call me "sister", faded-scales.
Sepavius stepped off the road and rested his hand on the door, it was slightly open and he took a slight peek inside.
Sepavius - Then how would you prefer to be addressed? Junior? Student?
Prodigy - How about something that doesn't make you sound like a self-righteous, up-tight cloaca?
Sepavius gave Prodigy a stern look before peeking back inside and pushing the wooden door open.
Sepavius - I keep telling you, Inquisitors must not leave a trace, yet you stomp around leaving Draconid footprints everywhere.
Prodigy - Gives people something to be scared of, I suppose.
Sepaviu - Our duty is not to cause fear, i have told you a thousand times.
Prodigy - "Your" duty. I'm not an Inquisitor, am I?
Sepavius - You are being trained for a similar role. Even with your...urgh...improvements, you must still learn our tenets.
Prodigy - Those tenets will mean nothing once I kill every last fucking cultist you throw me at.
Prodigy approached the door, snarling as she clenched her fists and glared into the entrance, analyzing every corner and aspect. She waited for several moments before moving in, her movement slowing but nonetheless eager. Sepavius cautiously made his way up a set of concrete stairs, makig sure Prodigy was behind him at all times. They travelled up five flights before walking down a domly-lit corridor, the smell of fresh blood could be detected by their nostrils, as well as a hint of urine. As the stench burned into Prodigy's nostrils, her grin spread further, giving her a maniacal expression that was unusual for domestic, sophisticated Draconis such as Sepavius as their expressions were rather reserved and subtle. There was nothing subtle about her as she knelt down, sniffing the ground and passing her tongue over it. Sepavius was unnerved slightly looking at her, watching as what could be considered sociopathic expressions by his standards burned into his mind.
Sepavius - Already this does not seem good. Do you smell it?
Prodigy - Sweat, piss, blood. They were taking captives.
Sepavius - Must you say such things with that expression?
Prodigy - They were taking innocents and torturing them, sacrificing them probably. Doesn't that make you want to tear them apart?
Sepavius - They are misguided and we are here to make them understand....Violence is not our only option.
Prodigy - Then why else did you bring me here?
Sepavius - Because not everything the order does involves slaughter.
Sepavius walked down the hall, sniffing the air and feeling the walls. His hand brushed against a door that had a black mark painted on it. Sepavius nodded to the marked door and Without hesitation, the far younger Draconis charged forward, roaring as her powerful legs drove her forward. Placing her shoulder in front of her, she collided into the door; it was thrown far from its hinges and she placed a fist into the ground as she passed the doorway, stopping her charge as the floor steamed with where she ran. Half a dozen aliens turned and glared; two Ryketians, two Solinkidor, a Colmar and a Valkar turned with maddened eyes to see what the noise was. Some of them jumping back.
Cultist - We have been discovered!
Cultist - The ritual! Complete the ritual!
In moments, several of the cultists' heads exploded as Prodigy aimed and fired her modified pistol, equipped with explosive rounds, into the cultist populace. She giggled with each head that was reduced to simple chunks that flew and splattered across the room.
Prodigy - Lay down on your fucking knees or I'll kill the rest of you!
Cultist - We must complete the ritual! Please, let us complete the ritual!
Prodigy - I said; GET. DOWN.
Cultist - No...please...If we stop, we die!
Prodigy stood and approached the cultists, her eyes darting across the room as she analyzed each of the remaining survivors. She gripped the handle of her pistol tightly, her jaws gritting against one another as she smiled grimly. Two of the cultists huddled near to a ritual altar, intimidated by Prodigy's hulking form. The Val'Kar of the group however, rolled his shoulders and charged to tackle her, screaming as he did so.
Prodigy - Dovastus, Nodastus, Tentrastus, Calcion...
Prodigy simply stood as the Val'kar charged, watching as it gained momentum with each step that pounded against the floor. Her massive teeth were bared as she waited for it to reach her range; as soon as the Val'kar penetrated her area of space, Prodigy launched her head forward and wrapped her jaws around the upper half of the Val'kar's torso. The Val'Kar cultist screamed, swinging his leg to hit Prodigy in the stomach as she came down on him The other cultists frantically prayed at the altar, beging for salvation from some unknown entity, frightened as blood spreayed from their fellow culist, now resting within the jaws of their assailant. Sepavius stood at the door and watched carefully. The kick did little, striking against her armour caused the bones inside his limb to shatter into little more than fragments. The Val'kar, however, was met with surprise; instead of finding himself split into two, he was thrown across the room and slammed into the altar. It was then that his skin began to boil and liquidize, his blood turning into fire as his flesh melted.
Prodigy - Why grant you a quick death when I can have you suffer for your misguided crimes?!
Cultist - Yes! A sign, the outbound ones desire to ascend us!
Prodigy began firing once again, saliva dripping from her mouth that caused the floor she stood on to begin steaming as it was eaten away, almost as if her saliva was acidic in nature. Prodigy scored a few more headshots, exploding blood and cranial matter across the altar while she roared fiercely. All cultists were now dead, collapsed around the altar, Prodigy felt a hand wrap around her pistol arm and if she looked to her right she would have seen Sepavius with a rather disgusted glare. Prodigy looked towards Sepavius and pushed him away from herself, causing him to stumble. Her eyes focused on his before she smiled once more, blood dripping from her gums and knife-like teeth.
Prodigy - See? Results.
Sepavius - We are judges, Prodigy, not demons.
One cultist, a Colmar was still alive. he whimpered, cowering behind the altar.
Prodigy - Judges, huh? Well, I don't know about you, but I feel the little fucks got exactly what they deserved.
Sepavius - You have to control yourself. Not every situation can be solved by kicking a door down and killing everyone you can see!
Colmar - Blood....for the outbound ones...
The Colmar grabbed a jagged knife and sliced across his palm, allowing the blood to drip from his palm onto the altar. Prodigy glared towards the Colmar as he slashed the skin of his palm, pouring his veins and blood onto the altar alongside that of the rest of the cultists. She raised her pistol and fired two rounds; one into his chest, the other into his waist. His guts erupted from the explosive round as he flew backwards, a twisted smile on his face.
Prodigy - Little shit doesn't know when to stay down, does it?
The room began to shake violently as the Colmar's corpse struck the floor. Prodigy took a moment to look across the room, her eyes dancing in her skull, before she turned her attention towards the altar; the monument exploded, replaced by a gaping maw of blood and gore that spiraled in midair. The horrific sounds of roaring could be heard from it, getting louder with each second. Sepavius stepped back, drawing a battle rifle strapped to his waist and looking to the twisting, reality-warping scene, he was now concerned.
Sepavius - his I do not like the look of
Prodigy glared towards the rift as it screeched at both her and her handler. As she was expecting, something emerged from within it; an oncoming horde of twisted, malformed and cybernetically-enhanced Zazane wielding corrupted weaponry ran forward, screaming chants and roaring collectively. Sepavius aimed his rifle and fired several bolts at the Zazane monsters.
Sepavius - These creatures cannot leave this unit!
Prodigy - Stand back, faded-scales.
Prodigy grabbed ahold of a device upon her waist. Once she removed it from where it sat, two long poles extended from either side of it, tipped with serrated pikes that sat upon both ends. Her eyes narrowed and her tongue passed over her jaws, smirking. Sepavius nodded and backed towards the door. He fired several bolts in order to provide her with covering fire as she prepared to dispatch the demons. Also ready in case any managed to get past her
The Zazane-like monsters focused their attention on the young Draconis, roaring and shouting curses. Suddenly, rows of them fell to the floor as their bones, flesh and organs were slashed into divisions as a result of Prodigy's staff-like weapon; she danced across the unit athletically, swinging and gyrating her staff to cause as much damage as possible. Sepavius watched with interest, some way though the battle, he looked at his forearm and noticed an incoming message from Inquisition command. Tapping the gauntlet and watching Prodigy fight, he listened in to a report, his mouth dropping as he was spoken to. One by one, Zazane found themselves separated from their torsos, waists, limbs and heads with every swing Prodigy initiated, dismembering and beheading many of the demonically-enhanced assailants with ease. When a cut was made against her flesh, her blood poured forwards and burned into the flesh and armour of her enemies; corrosive nano-acid. Cursing she would kill all of them there-and-then.
It was several minutes before the fighting stopped; Prodigy withdrew her weapon and had decided to finish off the remaining demons with her specialized assault rifle, fitted with hardware accustomed towards handling Yrsalimarus rounds, or with her bare fists, crushing in their skulls and breaking their bones.She approached Sepavius while drenched in daemonic blood, looking down at him with a content and satisfied sigh as her wounds steamed from where her acidic blood leaked.
Sepavius - Had your fill, sister?
Prodigy - Still going to call me that after seeing what I just did, faded-scales?
Separius - Whyever not? We are all a family within the Order, even if we do not share blood.
Suddenly, Sepavius found himself thrown through a nearby interior wall and into an adjacant room, hitting the back and causing an indentation in its material and rocking the whole room. Prodigy grasped ahold of his armour tightly, glaring into his aged eyes as she leaned her face towards his.
Prodigy - Don't ever distract me again, otherwise crap like that happens, do you understand?
Sepavius - Wha--how did I distract you!?
Prodigy - You don't ever question my methods. You may be my handler but that doesn't mean you know best, even if you are as old as your body shows. If you had let me finish what I started, those demons would never have appeared.
Sepavius - May I remind you sister who was assigned to be your supervisor! You were the one who went in sociopathically and murdering five civillians in cold blood! Cultists or not, you had better learn to think about the lives you take, or you are no better than the murderers you so wish to tear apart! Until you are considered a a full inquisitor you will accept that your methods will be under constant scrutiny by your elders. Am I clear?
Prodigy let go of Sepavius, allowing him to slump onto the floor. She glared down towards him, a horrific scowl across her face as her eyes struggled to focus on him, darting across the room and twitching as they had since the start of the mission.
Prodigy - Scrutinize me all you wish, the elders won't deny that my methods ensure results. That's all that counts in the end - the percentage on the board. I can't waste my time thinking about the damned as they wouldn't waste time thinking about me.
Sepavius grunted and lifted himself up, brushing himself down as he scowled.
Sepavius - While you were busy fighting I received distressing news; the Grand Cathedral has been razed.
Prodigy - ...What?
Sepavius - A code black was announced and...There are reports some 234 civilians have lost their lives.
Prodigy - The Cathedral was attacked by demons? Cultists?
Sepavius - Demons. Reports claimed sightings of Arsac among them.
Prodigy - ...I see. My time is coming.
Prodigy sighed, taking in deep breaths and exhaling loudly. Her shoulders raised and descended heavily, her eyes drooping towards the direction of the floor. Her fists clenched several times, her muscles twitching as she accepted the outcome that she was to face. Her eyes opened once more, turning to Sepavius. Sepavius looked at Prodigy with a blank look. He took an inhalattion before staring into her eyes. he lifted his arm and rested a hand on her shoulder.
Prodigy - Where shall we go to prepare ourselves if not the Cathedral?
Sepavius - I have been asked to report to keeping watch on transports connected to the Reliquary. It is possible they will use the Inquisition's secrets to learn about it.
Prodigy - I guess that includes bringing me along. I don't care for the paperwork; I am needed and I won't be stopped. I'll kill her, Sepavius... I'll kill her.
Sepavius - We had better leave. I have a few reports to fill out regarding today's incident.
Prodigy - Affirmative. Faded-scales.
Fall of AbsolutionEdit
Within a station in interstellar space, two black-clad Draconis soldiers walked though a hallway and stopped at the door to a cell. One of the soldiers, a Draconis, banged violently on the cell door. The other guard removed a covered plate from a trolley and slipped it through a small flap in the heavy door. This was the Realm of Absolution, one of the oldest interstellar prisons owned by the Grand Inquisition and maintained by the so-called "Purgatory Guard", who made up the entirity of the station's security personnel.
Guard - Lunch is served.
Guard 2 - So what's this one in for?
Guard - Caught with a tainted artifact, mentalists claimed he was in early stages of mental corruption.
Guard 2 - So why not put him in neurosleep?
Guard - Therapist says he can recover but he needs time and guidance.
Guard 2 - When's his next therapy session then?
Guard - Four hours from now. The therapist advised he undergo contemplation until then.
Guard 2 - Harsh. Any reading material?
Guard - Just the usual self-empowerment crap therapists give out.
Guard 2 - Poor guy...
One of the guards banged the door again.
Guard - We will be back in one hour to retrieve the eating surfaces.
The guards began making their way down the corridor, still talking casually to each other. Suddenly, one of the guards' shadow changed to that of a skeletal-like being. His perner noticed the transformation and held up his hand, signalling for his partner to stop. From behind the guard, a Garvathae demon emerged out of his shadow and slashed at his throat. The other guard stumbled back and drew a fusion pistol, he fired several shots, aiming around his partner's body but the Garvathae used the first guard as a meatshield for itself. Meanwhile, from behind the second guard, Mar-Júun appeared and backstabbed him with his blades. The second guard let out a cry as he felt the sting of corrupted metal pierced his body as out of the darkness, a lithe Radeon-like figure appeared with a victorious smile. Her vision was entirely focused on the dying guard.
Geltastra - How hypocritical of you, Inquisitors. You claim to defend the galaxy against- how do you call us again? - ah, yes, zealots... and yet you chain those whom you deem incorrect. What is the difference between you and us?
Geltastra raised her hand and incinerated the second guard completely.
Geltastra - The difference is that you are dead, and we aren't.
Mar-Júun let out a mocking shuckle as Arsac emerged and looked about the corridor. Examaining the hallway. Murangon Nal, Mordati and Varugr appeared next to her. More Garvathae appeared and moved across the hallway, scouting.
Arsac - I keep forgetting how depressing this facility is.
Geltastra - We can change that, darling. Free the oppressed... - Geltastra's voice was sultry, almost tempting, - Let them feel true liberation in our all-encompassing dark embrace... like I liberated you.
Arsac took a few steps down to the door the Purgatory Guard had attended to earlier. Grabbing it firly, she tore the steel door from its hinges and threw it aside, taking a step in to examine the prisoner.
Mar-Júun - Sheesh.
Mordati - I take we plan to be stealthy for now. Vouinas will join us when the assault reaches its apex.
Arsac - Last check this statino had some one-point-eight billion incarcerated.
Arsac looked down at the Sader, despite the corridor's look the bed was comfortable and he appeared well-fed, surrounded by contemplative and self-help holobooks. Mar-Júun peered inside the cell and a mocking smile spread across his face.
Mar-Júun - Hey look. It looks like dark nun except it's a midget.
Cultist - The things I saw, they call us, they call me, the Demiurges, the Yaldabaoth, the Crowned God...
Geltastra - Hmph. He's obviously insane... but perhaps he could prove useful?
Geltastra lit a spark of green fire in her hand. Arsac approached, her eye glowing faintly.
Arsac - You are not mad. We have come to liberate you from this place. Join us, join us and embrace the love of the devourer.
Mordati - It is why we came here. To give all these prisoners a new future.
The light of Arsac's eye intensified, bathing the Sader in an entrancing light.
Cultist - No... they. The Crowned God. Not the Nightmare God.
Murangon Nal - I would suggest immediately teleporting the converted men and women away. We do not wish to get attention as of now.
Arsac - Geltastra, is it possible to relocate them without breaking open every door?
Geltastra - I think I might try that. Everything for you, darling, and for our cause...
Arsac closed her eyes for a moment.
Arsac - I sense familiarity a few levels down...
Mordati - Familiarity?
Arsac - Something powerful. It's faint but I can feel it. Murangon Nal - Let us make our way there. It might be a powerful entity for us to convert.
Arsac nodded and left the cell after her eye finished its task, leaving the Sader deluded and under her influence. In a wave of Gletastra's hand, the Sader dematerialized and was teleported away from view.
Geltastra - Our Garvathae will warn us if guards approach. If we can get to a open enough area, we can summon Ocularivs inside, which should make the conversions much quicker.
Arsac - There should be a shaft at the end of this hall. Mar-Júun - Less talk, more invasion!
Travelling through the corridor they arrived at an open shaft, there was a cold breeze heading downwards, the prison appearing to be an 8-spoke wheel judging by the corridors. In the centre of this shaft was a rotating column with hundreds of pods connected to them in a similar pattern, slowly rotating. Murangon stared up, curious to the occupants of these strange capsules
Murangon Nal - Hmm. Prisoners?
Arsac - Neurosleep. In each capsule is an individual the Inquisition considers too powerful or too influential to simply assassinate, so they seal them inside those pods to rot, trapped just above brain-death.
Geltastra - A most terrible mistake, for they will serve us now...
Mordati - So this is where the Imperium's pay goes towards; not automated standard defenses across civilian areas but to keeping prisoners asleep.
Arsac - The signature I feel is five levels down
??? - Stop them!
On the far side of the shaft were three Purgatory guards, after seeing the group they primed stun rifles and fired electrolasers towards the group. Geltastra formed an elemental barrier in front of the team to defend them. The Garvathae emerged from the shadows and attacked the guards from behind with their blades.
Arsac - I believe this shaft is perfect, lady Geltastra
Geltastra - I summon the all seeing eyes of the Ocularivs!
A blast of entropic erupted from above the team, and a Ocularivs demon appeeared, floating on the top of the room. Its eyes shined intensily, and it began mind-warping the Purgatory Guards. One of the guards grunted and tried t oreach for an alarm, the Ocularivs dominated his mind before he reached the alarm. In response the demon forced the guard to turn around and shoot his own allies, while the Garvathae made room for them. Arsac chuckled and opened her wings, jumping down and gliding a few levels towards the central shaft.
Landing on one of the pods near to the signature she sensed she climbed down and grabbed the end of it. Grunting, she tore the pod out and tossed it towards a balcony, colliding with a pair of guards as it landed. She opened her palm and projected a jet of bllack fire to finish them off before jumping to the balcony.
Geltastra - Hm hm hm, it's like you and the Ocularivs were made for each other...
Arsac - This one
Varugr - What's in there?
Arsac - I'm not sure, I an feel an Entropic signature however.
Murangon Nal - Intriguing.
Arsac felt the pod, looking for a seam. Feeling one on the pod's rim, she gripped it and pried it open, pulling the lid off and tossing the door down to the flor and gazed upon the occupent with surprise. There was Capastrus; comotose, his head adorned with a plastic cap that fit the contours of his skull. From it, various cords were present, trailing into his mouth were more tubes, along with cables around his arms and legs. Geltastra levitated down to Arsac and looked into the pod, putting a hand on her shoulder as she did.
Geltastra - Well, well, well...so this is why I could not find his soul at Inferno. He is still alive.
Varugr and Mordati materialized beside Arsac and glared towards the occupent with a mix of disgust and curious interest respectively. Varugr snarled while Mordati merely observed. Arsac paced around to the console near to his head. She pressed several panels on the console, causing the cables wrapped all over him and connected to his skullcap to retract, allowing him to gradually return him to a conscious state.He slowly opened his eyes and twitched as he regained movement. He looked around, in a typical dull expression. Arsac leaned forward with a twisted smile, dominating Capastrus' vision.
Capastrus - ...U-u-unint-t-teresting...
Arsac - Salutations, Capastrus.
Capastrus - Y-y-ou...
Arsac - I see your coma has not dulled your memory.
Murangon Nal - A former Chosen champion is a valuable asset. He should be taken immediately.
Geltastra - Actually...I have a better idea...
Arsac - This fool fell against me. Twice. Thee times if you count his transformation.
Mordati - Not so much of a "valuable" asset after all.
Capastrus - You were just lucky....
Geltastra - He failed the Devourer already. And his attitude is an annoyance. He is not as reliable as he looks. So...what if you...absorbed his power?
Varugr - Looks weak! Is he worth absorbing?
Geltastra - I don't mean you eating him, Varugr.
Arsac - He is still more powerful than any ordinary mortal.
Mar-Júun - So you're saying...
Geltastra - Devour his soul, Arsac.
Capastrus - ...What? You cannot...you would not!
Arsac leaned forward and gripped Capastrus' jaws. He thrashed around on the pod in uneasiness, trying to get Arsac away from him to little avail as his restraints held him down. As he threashed about, Arsac pulled him close, demonstrating the new strength she had to him.
Mar-Júun - Heh. I bet he wishes he'd be still asleep!
Capastrus - T-t-treason...
Varugr - So much for emotionless.
Arsac - Remember what i told myself Capastrus what I once swore to you? I vowed that one day I would end you permenantl!y I could never do it when I was mortal, no matter how hard i tried, but Geltastra will not rescue you this time!
Capastrus - Curse you...Devourer consume you all.
Geltastra - Let's call this "recycling", shall we?
Arsac shifted her hand down and abruptly lifted Capastrus up by the throat, tearing him from the pod in doing so and holding him high into the air as her implant blazed. Geltastra watched with a smile, with Mar-Júun laughed and Murangon Nal watched in indifference.
Arsac - The Devourer no longer finds you worthy!
With that, Arsac forced her hand into Capastrus' torso and wrapped her hand around his heart. She snarled as she did so. Capastrus let out a pained groan as she did. As she clamped his heart, every muscle throughout her arm, in her shoulder and in her torso began to pulse, Capastrus could feel himself gradually beng drained
Capastrus - No...stop this...you scum...
Arsac - Your fate was sealed the moment you were sealed in that pod...wretch!
Arsac began to squeeze, each pulse of her muscles intensifying. Capastrus let out pained screams, his emotionless expression vanishing completely as he was drained. For the first time since his corruption, since he gained the title of "emotionless" he now felt something: Fear. As she felt Capastrus' energies flow through her, her scowl became a satisfied grin.
Arsac - You aren't even fit to hold the title of "the emotionless!"
Capastrus - Help me! I do not deserve this! I'm a loyal warrior! Why must I suffer this?!
Mar-Júun - Ah, shut up.
Arsac - The Devourer abhors failure Capastrus! This is your punishment for your incompetence.
Merely a few minutes passed but for Capastrus it was an eternity. With the last ounce finally drained. Arsac crushed the heart in her grip, Capastrus' body dangled lifeless on the end of her arm as the pulsing of her muscles ceased, his body appeared deformed and drained, almost rotting. Geltastra chuckled as she leaned next to Arsac. her voice soft and suggestive as she inquired.
Geltastra - It felt good, didn't it?
Arsac - Yes. It was...invigorating!
Murangon Nal - I have my doubts about this but I will not intervene.
Mar-Júun - Let's continue our mission now, huh?
With the body hanging, Arsac let Capastrus' cadaver slip from her hands and splat on the floor. Varugr's tail drooled eagerly towards the corpse as Varugr himself gave a smile. As Arsac turned around and rejoined the group, the tail launched itself at the corpses head, engulfing it and pulling the body inside, the bulge rapidly becoming smaller as it was crushed audiably and disturbingly into a paste. Varugr's muscles twitched and swelled slightly, the hollow body not as satisfying as living prey but still added something.
Mordati - A power equal...no, greater than a Champion stands before us.
Arsac - Feel free to feast on the remains Varugr, or you could always indulge yourself with one of the facility's many guards. Twenty-one thousand of them if I recall.
Murangon Nal - We must press on and convert more individuals before the prison guards take notice of their dead men.
Arsac stroked her chin, thinking where to strike next. She looked up the shaft and an idea hit her.
Arsac - This station is populated by a cadre of psychologists to aid prisoners in rehabilitation. Their knowledge of the mind will make good candidates for the Black Inquisition.
Geltastra - Interesting...do you know where they are located?
Arsac - Centre of the station is where prison staff reside.
Geltastra - Then let us pay them a personal visit.
Arsac - The top of the shaft leads to the station's core.
Mar-Júun - Good. We won't have to walk much then.
Arsac - By using these central shafts we can infest the station with our demons very easily. Think of each shaft as spokes on an axle.
Arsac nodded and spread her wings while Geltastra let out a sinsiter and scheming cackle.
Geltastra - Now we're really talking...
The station was indeed like spokes on an axle, Arsac guided the demonic forces into the central section of the station; running thrughout was a large hollow chamber, an inner tube that broke off to the spokes. Arsac guided the group though Purgatory Guards towards the very heart of the station. The station was now on full alert. Concentrating, Arsac gathered her newfound strength to summon a cadre of the newly-christened Black Inquisition. A dark mirror to the former Order's own operatives and recruited from the coerced remnants of its younger and more weak-minded members.
Geltastra - The misguided stand in our way, fighting a hopeless battle. It is almost saddening.
Arsac - Such a conclusion is what brought me to your embrace, lady Geltastra.
Mar-Júun - Saddening? I feel nothing but disdain for all of these loads.
Geltastra - Hence why I said "almost", Mar-Júun.
Arsac - That is why the demon are here, is it not? To convince them the truth.
Geltastra - Indeed. The Ocularivs will aid us in spreading the truth, and soon enough, all of these people will be under your command, dear.
Arsac - The damned will be given a second chance, yes. It is here we shall give hope where the Inquisition gave up. Simply by giving them a chance at freedom we prove which side is more compassionate. And the Purgtory Guard...They will either realise their doctrine is false or die serving a lie.
Geltastra - Yes, and then they call us the evil ones. We don't imprison. We accept everyone.
Arsac navigated though the corridors of the administration level. Concentrating she felt for the presences of the prison psychiatrists. Near a pair of double doors she grinned and slammed her palm into it, feeling for a seam and attempted to dig her claws in.
Arsac - Damnable magnetic locks!
Mordati - Having difficulty?
Murangon Nal - What is the issue?
Arsac - Just thaat they are everywhere.
Mar-Júun - Tear them down or just teleport inside.
Arsac - A magnetic lock can resist several tones of physical force...but the metal on the other hand...
Arsac stopped and brsuhed the door. She tensed her muscles and punched though the metal of the blast door. After making a hole she squeezed her arms though and attempted to pry the metal apart. While the magnetic lock could withstand several metric tons of force, the door itself was made of blast-resistant titanium, vunerable to strongths such as hers and within thirty seconds had torn a sizeable hole in the blast door.
Mar-Júun - She's not dumb.
Murangon Nal - Be polite to your companions.
Arsac stepped through. As she did several particle beam turrets emerged from the walls and floor. With lighting-fast reflexes Arsac launched a mass of tenacles to tear them off their fixings, punching though impact shields and yanking them off. he tossed them aside. The servants followed her with their weapons and Essence in hands in case any more turrets appeared. Fortunately, none didn't. Behind a makeshift barricade were a dozen aliens armed with various weapons. However after Asac's display they were too intimidated to fire back.
Murangon Nal - I believe these are the ones we are looking for.
Mar-Júun - Heheh, they look scared.
Four Purgatory Guards emerged from alcoves and aimed their weapons at the group. Standing stoically and aggressively at the invading demon officers.
Guard - Come peacefully demons and you will be given a merciful sentence.
Geltastra - Such hostility...
Murangon Nal - You will give me a worthy fight or you will receive a less than merciful death.
Guard - You are in no position to make demands.
Arsac took a step forward, unnerving the guards as they primed their weapons, indicating to the group they were prepared to fire. Murangon Nal teleported to one of the guards and slashed at him with his blades, while Geltastra blasted another with an entropic bolt. As the other guards prepared to fire, Arsac rsuhed to one and grabbed him tightly, the light from her eye burning into his mind, driving him into a mroe submissive state. Mar-Júun charged into the fourth guard and also attacked him with his dagger-like blades. Mordati summed tentacles as support for his companions while Varugr stayed back, watching. The fourth guard was taken by surprise and tried to batter Mar-Juun as Arsac let go of her target. The psychologists remained behind the barricade, hoping to hide from the carnage.
Psychologist - None of us signed up for shit like this!
Mar-Júun endured the guard's attacks while he summoned tentacles to pierce through him. Geltastra turned to the psychologists with a grin.The vicious look of her teeth and the malevolence in her face unnerved all of them, some cowering closer.
Geltastra - You will be re-purposed.
Psychologist - Wh-what...
As the hase of battle faded, three of the four guards had died, with one under Arsac's command. Both of them walked around the barricade and observed the psychologists. At this moment, a burst of entropic energy appeared in the room, and Vouinas teleported inside. He looked around with an almost mocking expression. One of the psychologists, an Oriito with a bold tan coat peeked out.
Vouinas - You guys started the party without me!
Varugr - You weren't invited.
Dr. Sentorimo - L-look. I'm not Inquisition. I have a family back home, we all have families. I-in fact I was due to be shippd back to Rinman in a month's time!
Geltastra - ...Good.
Geltastra grabbed the Orrito scientist and raised him until they were eye to eye. His feet dangled in the air and his tail swayed frantically as Geltastra held him by the collar.
Sentorimo - N-No offence, but you didn't exactly provide a good first-impression...
Geltastra - You have ten seconds to run. Then you join us or die.
Sentorino - Wait...y-you can't be--- You wouldn't! I'm not with the Order I tell you!
Mar-Júun - We don't care. You're coming with us.
Arsac - The rest of you are being offered the same thing.
Murangon Nal - Survival or death by my blades. Choose wisely.
Sentorino - You're not all pirates...are you?
Vourinas turned away looking visibly disgusted at the remark, the doctor continued to feel unsettled as he calmed down.
Vouinas - Pirates? Now that's just insulting!
Sentorino - Alright alright I submit i'll do what you want just-- don't kill me.
Geltastra - Excellent... darling.
Mar-Júun - Heh. Welcome to the Dominion of the Xhodocto.
The other psychologists submissively crawled out from their barricade. One however, a Solinkidor, attempted to bolt for the door, somersaulting over the barricade and runnign in panic. As the psychologist ran, her way was blocked by the Ocularivs, who blocked the hallway and stared at him with its eight eyes. The solinkidor skidded and strared at the Ocularivs, dropping her jaw and staring in horror at it. ANother psychologist, a Terratrix, squawked in panic but forced to the floor by the hypnotised guard. One of the eyes shined and the solinkidor found himself forced to walk back into the room, her body moving against her will.
Sentorino watched as his colleague was entranced back into the room, knowing enough that she wasn't doing it on her own. He looked back to Geltastra and a terrified smile appeared on his face.
Sentorino - So uh...what does this job opportunity involve?
Geltastra's eyes turned into devilish-looking fires and illuminated the room, inspiring fear into the naive Oriito scientist. Sentorino could not help but stare into these infernal fires within Geltastra's sockets that burned into his memory, becoming so afraid of what was happening that he no longer attempted to smile and drew his eyes so wide they could have almost fallen out of his sockets.
Geltastra - Serve them, as all of us do. Your creed, your species, your gender is irrelevant. Who you are is irrelevant; all that is needed is loyalty.
Murangon Nal - Now we can begin the converting of the entire station.
Geltastra bowed, setting the now-terrified and somewhat pale and distant Oriito psychologist down and turned to Arsac.
Geltastra - Darling... does this system have a broadcasting system?
Arsac - Of course.
Geltastra - Activate it. Our word needs to be heard.
Arsac nodded and marched to a terminal at te back of the room. She brought her entranced guard with her who activated the station's broadcast ssytem within a matter of minutes. Once he did, Arsac brushed the guard out of the way and cleared her throat. She stood at the microphone and took several deep breaths.
Arsac - Occupants of the Realm of Absolution, this is Arsac, your High Inquisitor speaking. As of now, this station and all who inhabit it belong to the Dominion of the Xhodocto. Already you have seen comrades and inmates fall under our sway. You can continue to resist for all the futility it will grant you or you can submit, and accept the truth. The Grand Inquisition is a dead husk of a concept. My so-called "rebellion" is proof of this. This is no rebellion, this is a wake-up, my eyes were opened to the truth that no matter what we do we will never make a true difference. Submit now, and you will be spared. Those who would fight to the end you give us little choice. Already our agents scour the station, explaining the truth in a way no words can. If this failed...there is only torture in oblivion.
As she spoke, drawing the attention of the remainging guards, more Ocularivs demons began teleporting inside the station, unleashing their mind-controlling powers on everyone on their vicinity. Arsac disabled the broadcast and stepped back with a sigh.
Arsac - In due time this station's occupants will be under our command, or dead.
Murangon Nal - Well spoken.
Arsac - Thank you Murangon. I realise after all this...Marigrax was indeed wise in marking me.
Vouinas - So many soldiers...this is a victory the master will surely enjoy.
Geltastra - Indeed.
Geltastra walked up to Arsac with a smile and cupped Arsac's chin with her hand.
Geltastra - He was indeed...
Arsac blinked as she looked at Geltastra and nodded. She was surprised by Geltastra's hestures towards her, a side the inquisitior had never seen nor expected. Mordati, however, glared towards Geltastra with an annoyed, almost angered, expression that could be seen in his eyes as her hand wrapped around Arsac's chin.
Arsac - --I believe we are done here. But what to do with the station itself?
Vouinas - Hmm. Destroy it?
Geltastra - The gods would love another offering for them... This station will suffice.
Arsac - This station was a failed experiment by the Imperium long before the Congregation. Imagine if we took it from under their noses.
Mordati - ...Resources dictate the station shall survive. It may house our armies and can function as storage.
Geltastra - ...Indeed.
Murangon Nal - A valid point.
Arsac - We can also easily expand it by attaching further modules to the spokes.
Vouinas - Hmm. Yes, you got a point there. We keep it then.
Arsac - To think, such a station was abandoned and given to the Inquisition because of such a concept as currency.
Murangon Nal - The Dominion will give it a better purpose.
Arsac stepped back from Geltastra and nodded confidently. She looked about, her mind contemplating hwo to steal the station from under the Imperium's nose. The corridors and central shafts were filled with Ocularivs abducting prisoners and taking control of what remained of the Purgatory Guard as well as any remaining civilian staff.
Secrets Of The InquisitionEdit
Deep within the Dominion's territory, upon a planet of an indeterminate name, multitudes of Dominion forces were gathering. Namely Corruptus forces, who were swarming for an assault upon something of incredible importance - a Reliquary, of which the location was unraveled by Arsac. Soldiers, demonic forces and other abominations to nature were all amassing for this one assault. It would be of great importance and great difficulty. Arsac stood looking over the armies. With her, two of her Black Inquisitors that served as aides. Far from ecstatic, Arsac was sombre, secretly wondering if this was truly the right thing to do. The Reliquary was one of the most secretive assets the Grand Inquisition ever owned
Six of the seven Corruptus servants were present, overseeing the demonic forces. Geltastra most especially displayed great glee at the sight of the infernal armies gathering.
Murangon Nal - I am very interested to see how this will work out. I love me a good taste of combat.
Mar-Júun - So you told us several times already.
Varugr - Hopefully, there shall be something worth devouring during this assault. I hunger and I thirst.
Arsac - I spent my life making sure these places were never found. I kept getting told there were secrets inside no mortal could be trusted with.
Mordati - Then it is fortunate we are not mortal.
Geltastra - We are no mortals, dear. These secrets belong to us.
Arsac - No, but we were once.
Murangon Nal - Correction: I never was.
Varugr - I was always a god, destined to conjoin with my love and court her for all eternity!
As Arsac contemplated blast of fire erupted out of nowhere near the servants, and out of it, Arrtkar Crowart emerged. Upon taking sight of it, all the demon forces bowed. Arsac knelt before Arrtkar, respecting his position both as one of Shu'wokerama's chief servants and as an intermediary with the high Corruptus demons.
Arrtkar Crowart - Leave your past behind and concentrate on the future.
Murangon Nal drew his blades, and sharpened them, eager to spill blood in a heated fight.
Arsac - As you wish.
Arrtkar - This mission will bring us one step closer to our great plan. The Tandava Lords are very interested in the outcome of this attack. Failure is not an option.
Murangon Nal - Whom, may I ask, are our opponents?
Mordati - Failure is not only not an option, but it is no possibility. We shall succeed, it is a guarantee. Do not worry. I shall compensate for the loss of men through generating more of my own soldiers.
Arsac - One thing I was able to recover was the signal code. All we need to do once activating it is wait at the arrival coordinates.
Geltastra - We will need to move out of this planet then. Their ships wouldn't venture this far inside the Segmentum.
Arsac - Any planet will do. But outside this segmentum is best.
Arrtkar - Let us not waste time then. The masters' patience is short.
Arsac had activated the signal code. Upon arriving on the surface of a barren planet they discovered they were not alone; the signal had drawn other inquisitors, fooled into thinking this was an item drop-off that needed to be protected. One of the inquisitors, a Val'Kar placed about, bored and flicking a gaming chip into the air, catching it in his hand in one swift movement.
Val'Kar - Soddin' guard duty. That's what we're assigned to do after some demons surface-glass the Grand Cathedral. It's a waste of time, I'm telling you.
Inquisitor - Maybe we'll get lucky. Some cultist high on yellow spice thinking he can take us on, heh, that should be fun.
Venthri' - No reason to be arrogant. Corruptus, demons...
Val'Kar - I'd rather take my chances with a spice junkie. It's merely a personal preference.
Inquisitor - I thought having an easy job wasn't what you were after.
Val'kar - There's easy and then there's boring.
In contrast to his more carefree comrades, the Fyrvrtha inquisitor, Venthri, remained vigilant, her six golden eyes moving from place to place analysing the surroundings. Even while speaking to other inquisitors she maintained a cold, professional exterior.
Venthri - Boring, meaningless word to us. We, stay vigilant. Reliquary, important. Dangerous...
??? - I'll show them who's dangerous.
The other inquisitors turned to the source of the voice, a chill running down each of their spines.
Val'kar - Ahh crap why her...
A Draconid woman stepped out from behind the Inquisitors, wearing a highly-specialized elite-pattern variant of Inquisitorial armour that was constructed of intelligent nanometal. Her body was evidently modified and augmented, her eyes darted around wildly as if she was crazed. She had a wide, threatening smile on her face.
Inquisitor - Drakon's Arse that smile's terrifying...
Venthri - Course, guard you.
Prodigy - Why me? Why do I have to get positioned with a group of egotistical weaklings?
Venthri saluted the Draconis with her cephalotorax tentacles and bowed in respect.
Prodigy - Shut your traps, all of you. I don't want to have to listen to you whine and bitch as well as clean up the mess you'll make when the demons hand you your arses.
And out of nowhere, a guard was stabbed from behind. At this moment, horrifying roars were heard. Out of portals, Malcaeum Knights appeared and charged at the Inquisitors' location.
Murangon Nal - Suprirse.
Murangon pulled his blades out of the body and kicked it to the ground, lifeless. The Fyrvrtha's entire body bloated in what appeared to be her species' equivalent to sighing.
Val'kar - Incoming!
Venthri - I knew it all along.
Murangon Nal teleported, and then sliced the head off another guard, before disappearing. Prodigy grabbed ahold of her Yrsalimarus-tipped staff and laughed, drawing it from her waist and extending it. She grabbed ahold of her customized assault rifle and fired anti-Essence rounds into the incoming demonic horde, her wings spread outwards. The inquisitors meanwhile drew weapons and frantically charged
The Knights rammed into some of the Inquisitors, tackling and slashing at them with their blades. Behind them appeared Kolger, who launched tentacles at their direction.
Kolger - Fall for the master!
Val'Kar - Stand your ground! For the order, and for the Circle!
Venthri activated her armour's weaponry and made an array of energy blades, whips and other anti-Essence weaponry emerge from all over her body, her tentacles in particular. The Fyrvrtha inquisitor then poised and glared at the Corruptus warriors.
Venthri - You, never pass.
Prodigy - Fuck that! Let them come at me, I'll kill every last fucking one of them!
Out of a larger portal, the Skewer appeared and roared at the Inquisitors' direction. Following it were Geltastra, Vouinas and Mar-Júun. Venthri teleported behind Kolger and extended her tentacles to assault him from behind, using her nullblades to penetrate his armour's Essence shields. Following them, Arsac emerged, the sight of her sent a chill down the spines of all inquisitors who heard te news of her. Kolger noticed Venthri and launched his own tentacles at her.
Val'kar - Ho-ly shit...
Geltastra - Make way, mortals.
Venthri - Fallen mistress..
Prodigy slammed the ground with her foot, shaking the surrounding environment. She caught eye of the high demons that had emerged from the portals, her muscles and joints began to twitch while her mouth began to steam, drooling with her acidic saliva. The Malcaeum Knights cackled as they felt empowered.
Venthri - No way.
As he stood wide-eyed, the Val'kar watched helplessly as Arsac's tail extended and wrapped itself around him, drawing him in before constricting him and crushing his bones within the mass of corrupted flesh wrapped around him. Venthri's armour formed a protective bubble around her and Prodigy, protecting them from harm, while staring at Val'kar with a mixture of happiness and sadness. The Skewer slashed the air, causing a slash-shaped fire blast to be sent at the Inquisitors.
Arsac - Those who oppose the inevitable shall die.
Venthri - Belief in karma, once again proven. Rest in peace, brother...
Prodigy - I don't need your assistance, squid! Get the fuck away from me!
Arsac opened both sets of wings, throwing an entropic-charged shockwave throughout the area. Prodigy charged out, slamming the full force of her tremendous body weight into several demons, throwing them backwards as she roared out. She was not angry; she was amused, she found herself entertained by the carnage around her and the demonic assault.
Venthri - Your arrogant belief in your superiority.
The Skewer extended one of his hands and grabbed Prodigy, squeezing her on his grasp.
Skewer - Empowering...
Extending large corrupted power claws, Arsac charged though the few inquisitors that remained.
Dust and air was blasted away, up above, a cruiser clad in dark material had appeared out of nowhere in upper orbit, now descending towards the planet's surface.
Geltastra - Hah. There they are.
Prodigy roared at the Skewer, who suddenly found himself feeling something bizarre; instead of feeling empowered, he began to feel his strength drain as he made contact with Prodigy's flesh and armour. The temporary shock to his system allowed her to break free, kicking herself away from him and leaping back. The Skewer groaned and let Prodigy leave him, his power quickly returning to normal.
Arsac - Our priority target has arrived.
Prodigy - I suggest you get the fuck back before I knock you back!
Kolger jumped behind Prodigy and slammed her against the ground before jumping back to the other servants.The battle wwas lost as Arsac lifted an inquisitor with their waist buried in her claws. Prodigy remained as the last inquisitor alive.
Murangon Nal - We may simply teleport inside now.
Arsac turned to Prodigy, a feeling of horror assaulting the inquisitor's senses as the light of Arsac's eye locked onto her own. Prodigy lifted herself from the ground, glaring towards the demonic horde. She grabbed ahold of her Yrsalimarus-charged bo staff, snarling as the other Inquisitors around her were mutilated and slaughtered. She locked eyes with Arsac; while she felt her demonic presece, she didn't faulter.
Arsac - Her...she will make a fine addition. To the armies.
Mar-Júun - I don't like her face. Let Varugr eat her.
Murangon Nal - No. Leave her alive. I wish to spill her blood.
Prodigy launched herself forward and tackled Arsac, forcing the Black Inquisitor queen back with incredible force. Arsac felt her power stoop as Prodigy was close to her, as if there was a presence in her atmosphere that weakened her Essences. Arsac was weakened but she had enough strength to launch her tail in order to wrap a constricting grip around Prodigy's body. Strong enough to pull Prodigy back. Geltastra herself studied at a distance, a dissatisfied frown emerginf across her face as she observed Prodigy's childish lashings out.
'Murangon Nal - Arsac, might I request that you allow me? I would prefer to take this one on one. It is rare that I find such competent opponents.
'Geltastra - Hmpf. This is nothing but a raging child. is the Inquisition really this desperate?
As the blades and tail inflicted damage upon her form, both Murangon and Arsac felt incredible burning upon their flesh; her blood acidized their skin, eating away at them with haste. The feeling of pain increased to almost unbearable levels, allowing Prodigy to summon the strength to knock back the tail that wrapped around her. Arsac staggered back and planted a fist on the ground, gritting her teeth as she saw her tail was steaming.
Arsac - Genetic enhancements, cybernetic implantation, energy enhancement...she is a child but she is powerful. unrestrained but powerful nonetheless.
Prodigy - I know everything about you, Arsac! Your weaknesses, your strengths, your strategy! You're not going to leave here alive; the Inquisition wants you dead, I'll have you dead!
Murangon Nal - This is OUR fight.
This was one of the very rare instances were Murangon Nal was feeling...anger, frustration. He wanted to cut this woman, make her bleed, but before he hdid Arrtkar Crowart materialized behind them all, with a frown on his face. Arsac grinned and began to laugh,
Arrtkar - Why are you all still here?!
Arsac - Apologies sir, The Inquisitor-child.distracted us...
Prodigy glared towards the titanic Arrtkar and stepped back. Her heart, or at least what equated towards one, skipped several beats while she had a scowl upon her face.
Arrtkar - Do you want to wait until the ship escapes? Get back to your mission before I force you to!
Prodigy - Shit... The Reliquary's lost, no use in trying to fight off all of them... I can't afford to die here, I'll have to get her next time!
Arsac - Fight all you wish, you cannot stop us.
Arrtkar - Get rid of the mortal already, you are trying my patience.
Arsac turned around and walked back towards the other demons, her tail twisting around before slamming Prodigy in the side of the head. Prodigy snarled angrily and threw a multiple grenades, packed with Yrsalimarus pico-fog, towards the demonic horde. While they were in midair, Prodigy made her escape from the scene; she teleported from the area, just missing Arsac's tail and leaving acidic blood trails across the floor and acidic wounds on several of the high demons' skins. Mar-Júun, Vouinas and Geltastra all cringed from the grenades, while the Skewer and Arrtkar did not react.
Arsac took one of the grenades in the back, falling forward slightly and grunting, feeling a burning sensation before she stood back up
Arsac - The ship will not send anyone down while we are as we are.
Varugr and Mordati appeared from a portal that formed beside the group, although it was weakened due to the affliction left by the grenades. Varugr coughed and spluttered while Mordati exhaled and inhaled heavily.
Geltastra - We may-nnngh-teleport inside from here.
Arsac - Good...enough...
Mordati - I surveyed the Inquisitor child. Biological and cybernetic augmentation, redundant organic systems, complete overhaul of bodily fluids into nanohordes that react similar to acidized substances. Psychologically...eugh...psychologically unfit for standard social interaction.
Varugr - Ack! Uargh! Gaaah, agh nnngh!
Arsac - I am reminded of reports of Genrai Nal.
Arrtkar - It is not important. Board the ship immediately.
Geltastra had summoned portal and within moments the Servants and Arsac hadmaterialised within. Inside the ship appeared sparse, there was no-one in the room thy had materialised in but the corridor was brightly lit, clearly designed for the needs of Draconis or perhaps something slightly bigger. As they materialised on board there was a braodcast o nthe ship's intercom system.
AI - Attemtion. Return to Installation twelve underway. Prepare for hyperspace transloaction. Geltastra - Hm hm hm hm. This is going just as planned.
Arsac smile gleefully, knwoing everything was going smoothly. As they felt some strange transition they heard noises. Emerging from either end of the corridor were battle droids and Inquisitors clad in black armour with bold yellow paint adorning the plates in racing stripe patterns. There was a weakening sensation in the air which everyone could have felt, sapping at them. The servants groaned as they were weakened, with the exception of Arrtkar and the Skewer. One of the inquisitors, marked with embossments on his chest,leaned out from the corner of the corridor.
Arsac - They have this technology flowing thoughout the hole damnable ship...
Arrtkar - Destroy them!
Purgatory Guard - Demons you are outmatched. Surrender now, and we will be lenient in your judgement.
Varugr collapsed onto his knees and threw up blood while Mordati was fighting the urge to tear off his mask, breathing heavily and struggling to keep the invisible fog out of his systems. Arsac threw bolts of entropic energy at the droids and the guards, causing loud impacts against the bukhead. Seeing the servants weakened, Arrtkar launched massive tentacles at the droids and guards.
Guard - Security breach. Isolate deck twenty section five!
The droids were a resistant to the tentacles, but a battering assault by the tentacles destroyed many of them, some of the Guard were forced to retreat. A klaxon sounded and at either end, blast doors were closing. The Skewer ran up to one of the doors and held it open with his massive hands. Arsac ran towards the blast door held open by the skewer.
Arrtkar - Dampering my essence only makes me angrier!
AI - Warning. Blast door Two-zero-five: Malfunction encountered.
Arrtkar let out an echoing groan, causing an aura of entropic energy to erupt around him. The servants next to him felt as if he was giving them part of his energy.
Varugr - Skewer...
Mordati - Press onward! We do not have much time.
Guard - Over there, kill the demons!
Arsac - You will. All. Die!
The Malcaeum Knights and Kolger all charged at the guards, attacking them in a frenzy. Arsac threw blasts of entropic energy, exploding one of the guards and throwing the rest off-balance. Vouinas charged his essence and summoned Zua-Zaoi soldiers into the ship, who fired at the guards with their weapons. The battle raged as the ship sailed towards the mysterious Installation Twelve.
Arsac - This damn vessel...Yrsalimarus everywhere.
AI - Installation Twelve inbound, engaging in approach.
Varugr - Damned Inquisition!
Mordati followed Vouinas' example, summing Mor'natios to assist within the situation at hand. They helped the Zua-Zaoi soldiers, tearing apart Inquisitors and droids alike.
Arrtkar - Stand next to me. No matter how much they try to damper me, I am linked directly to Shu'wokerama, and his energy is infinite.
Arsac - We're close...if anyone can sense the station's presence, send us there now!
Murangon Nal used his Dark Chronoscopic to make time go faster for the demons, watching so they could arrive faster into the station. Oddly, it was as they approached that the station could be felt. Within four kilometres of the station itself it appeared to "appear" within their senses. One moment it could not be felt, the next it could.
Murangon Nal - This is nothing short of cowardice.
Geltastra - We are here...
Guard - Put Installa--
The guard was silenced as Arsac launched a tentacle that buried itself into his face, tearing his intestinal tract out Mar-Júun covered his face at the sight of the gory scene, not entirely able to stomach the visceral scene he was witnessing.
Mar-Júun - Yuck.
Arsac - Then send us there!
Arrtkar used his essence and teleported all the demons out of the ship and to the station, dematerialising them all from the sight of the surviving Purgatory Guard.
Arsac looked about, the room they were in was an iron-grey colouration with markings all across the floor and down numeorus corridors. Yrsalimarus lingered in the air and everyone could feel it assaulting their senses. Vouinas and Kolger both growled intensely, while Murangon Nal held on his chest, Mar-Júun panted and Geltastra cringed. Arrtkar and the Skewer looked around, looking for the way to go.
Arsac - We are inside. It appears the Guard have not found us yet.
Geltastra - The sooner we find the treasures and get out of this irritation, the better.
Arsac - My knowledge does not extend this far. I...I would not know where to start.
Arsac looked about and discovered a console on one side of the room.She attempted to access it, using her credentials but receiving an "access denied" message. Varugr meanwhile coughed up more of his inner substances, his vomit containing what looked like an organ. He turned to Arsac, grasping his chest as he panted.
Kolger - What do we do?
Mar-Júun - We could perhaps get a Guard to tell us the way.
Varugr - I-I could a-always devour o-one and g-get the i-information.
Mordati - You don't appear to be... ech, be in the state to consume anything.
Arrtkar - Grrr. If it wouldn't make us look incompetent, I'd summon the Master here.
Varugr - W-Well... agh ack! W-We got... we g-got this fa-- Ack, urgh!
Arsac - A good suggestion. Varugr, I once possessed access codes to the installation's mainframes, does my successor have any such code in his mind?
Varugr - L-Let me a-attempt to find it... I-I can't c-concentrate like t-this, g-give me a moment...
Mordati - Urgh, why does this imbecile have to be our intelligence gatherer?
Varugr collapsed onto a single knee, causing the room to shake. After several moments of coughing, spluttering and spitting out liquid from his nostrils and mouth, he stood up again with difficulty and glared towards Arsac, breathing heavily.
Varugr - O-Only f-for terminals... Code is... agh... CX5-27P-Khalist.
Kolger approached Varugr and helped him stand up. Arsac nodded and punched the code into the terminal. Receiving analysis she studied the station layout and looked for signs of where the Eye could have been held.
Arsac - There are four articles on this station that require Axah-grade authorisation to access, and only the station director would have the passcode/
Vouinas - Then we have to pay him a visit.
Arsac - I have the route to the station director's chambers.
Arsac memorised the way as a blast door opened, with four Purgatory Guards armed with coilguns standing at the entrance.
Guard - Code Black incursion located. Let fly!
Murangon Nal - The battle continues.
Arsac turned to the guards and threw entropic blasts to attack them, killing one and stumbling two others. Arrtkar and Geltastra blasted their essences at the guards, while Murangon Nal, Mar-Júun, Vouinas and the Skewer marched at them to fight at melee range. Launching a tentacle, Arsac wrapped it around the neck of one of the guards, pulling him forward and snapping the neck in the process. Mar-Júun used his blades to slash at the throat of one of the guards, while Vouinas crushed another with his bare fists.
Skewer - Bloodshed...empowering bloodshed...
After a swift battle, the guards had been dispatched, two of them dead from entropic blasts, the other two stabbed .A fifth had his neck snapped.
Arsac - Move quickly.
Mar-Júun - No need to tell us twice.
Varugr - Don't... t-tell me what t-to do!
Arrtkar - Move quickly.
The group comlied with Arrtkar's orders, but as the group were almost through the threshold, Varugr felt the sting of a yrsalimarus bullet in his back. When everyone turned around in surprise, the guard who's neck Arsac had snapped was pushing itself up, her head dangling loose and held the smoking rifle while Mar-Juun's target reached to grab the legs of one of the group. Varugr dropped onto his knee again, coughing up internal organs that did not appear to be of his own; these were the undigested remains of his prey, gathered up and squeezed inside his body. His body twitched and shivered, struggling to stay balanced. Mordati turned with an angered expression.
Vouinas - They're alive?
The guards stood up silently, although the neck-snapped guard appeared to fire without looking as her head drooped as though she were sleepwalking. Murangon Nal teleported to the firing guard and slashed at her with his blade with the intention of decapitating him. Varugr threw himself in the guards' direction and pounded his fists against two of them, flooring them while shivering and twitching, his muscles increasing and decreasing in size unnaturally.
The head of Murangon's target was sliced off and flew across the hall. The guard's body however turned around and tried to stab Murangon with a forearm blade connected to her armour. Murangon was hit and grunted in both pain and confusion, he teleported away from the guard.
Murangon Nal - What are they? Cyborgs?
Arsac - Not exactly, for one they are dead.
Kolger joined Varugr and slammed the guards with his fists and tentacles. The Skewer extended its tentacle-like tongue, grabbing the head of the attacked guard and devouring it. Eventually the guards were crushed and no longer moving. Arsac wrapped her tail around one and crushed them, bending and cracking the ceramic plates to ensure the body could no longer stand up.
Geltastra - What was that? How were they still attacking even after being killed?
Arsac released her tail and kneeled down, pressing her hand against the chest of one of them, deep in thought.
Mordati - It appears almost demon-inspired.
Arsac - The Order wanted to use this sort of technology for all inquisitors but considered it too morbid.
Vouinas - Explain this.
Arsac - All inquisitors wear an exoskeleton that permits them mobility in the event of bleeding and broken bones. In the event of injury the armour would act as a crutch. One concept the Circle proposed was to fit each set of armour with a tactical VI; in the event of an inquisitor's death or becoming unconscious, an in-built tactical VI would take over. There is a computronium mesh within the inner-lining of the body glove. Destroy the torso and they should not stand back up.
Murangon Nal - Sapient armor. Hmm. This is not satisfactory.
Arrtkar - Move on before more guards appear.
Varugr - Urgh... I don't c-care what they u-use, it w-won't save them!
Mordati - Interesting... I should take this into account.
Kolger - Understood.
Arsac led the group through corridors. More of the Purgatory Guard showed up and it was a struggle to the station director's chambers. For his door guards, Arsac extended a pair of tentacles from her arms, one for each and wrapped them around the torsos, straining as she delivered crushing force to their bodies. The director was suddenly heard over a broadcast system
Tartanus - Do you demons honestly think you can raid this installation like the slaughterhouse slikkids you are?
Arrtkar - Most correct.
Tartanus - Straightforward. I like it. But determination will not save you, not here.
Mordati - We are not the ones in need of saving.
Skewer - Your blood to spill...
Tartanus - Then come in, have some tea, you drink tea do you not? Or do you prefer the blood of the innocent?
Mordati - Why not both?
Mar-Júun - I wouldn't mind some tea. Just tell us where you are, like a gentleman.
Tartanus - Come right in.
The doors to Tartanus' office opened up, but instead led to a large circular chamber with a very high ceiling
Murangon Nal - An ambush is bound to happen.
Tartanus - I hope you do not mind, I had time to redecorate before you arrived.
Wanting to get the mission over with, Arrtkar arrogantly entered the room first, slowly followed by the other servants. Standing on an upper balcony was a Draconis, or at least, that's what it looked like at first glance. On closer inspection it was several times the size of a normal Draconis, its body was curved, present on its smooth rounded surface were hundreds of large thick coiled rope-like material, some obscured by thick metallic plates. The Draconis' head was mostly featureless save for two black eyes and an impressive pair of chromed steel horns. Tucked behind its back were a pair of colossal wings, each step created an audible thud on the ground. Varugr looked up and was suddenly disturbed by its size.
Varugr - What...W-What is that?
The Skewer, being the tallest of the demonic team, felt provoked and stepped forward. Tartanus' voice echoed metalically from the entity, a deep booming voice that oscillated against the walls.
Tartanus - I know why you're here. You want my codes don't you? You want the installation's "finest treasures"
Geltastra - And you will give them to us, you wanting to or not.
Tartanus - Oh I'm sorry but protocol dictates I'm not allowed to give high-security codes to demons, especially ones who come to my door by carving a path of blood through my men!
Geltastra - It's not our fault if your lapdogs stood in our way.
Mordati - She is correct. If they had stepped aside, the conclusion would not have arose.
The Draconis jumped down fro the balcony and landed in front of the group, causing the room to shake and causing a small shockwave that knocked people back. The coils swelled and stretched organically like cords of muscle tissue as it stood back up at its full height of twenty metres.
Mar-Júun - You know this guy, Arsac?
Arsac - Never met him in my entire life.
Tartanus - Shame we can't settle this diplomatically, but then again, why parley with demons when all they do in the end is screw you over?
Arrtkar - Your suit will not save you. You will be devoured by our Zazane. Now be a good mortal and stand down.
Varugr - Augh gaaah!
Mordati - It appears the Inquisition has a great deal of experimental weaponry and assets. The modified Inquisitor child, the Purgatory Guard, this synthetic entity... wondrous.
Tartanus - How about a demonstration?
Murangon Nal - I will enjoy spilling your blood.
Yrsalimarus presence was even stronger in this room than everywhere else. Tartanus lifted his foot and thrusted it downward, creating a powerful shockwave that swept though the room, Arsac was sent flying backwards from the force. Vouinas, Mar-Júun and Kolger were knocked away, Geltastra and Murangon Nal throwing themselves out of the floor. Arrtkar was blown back but stood on his feet, while the Skewer leaped into Tartanus' direction. Tartanus swung a giant fist to collide with Skewer, with his other hand, he fired turbolasers from his fingertips towards Vouinas, Mar-Juun and Kolger
Varugr collapsed to the ground, struggling to even move by this point. Mordati leaped back, performing several twists and turns in midair before landing on his feet. He glanced towards Varugr before glaring back at Tartanus. Geltastra created elemental abrriers to defend her knocked allies. the Skewer was hit and blown back, falling into the ground on its belly. It let out no cry of pain, simply getting back on its feet slowly. Tartanus reached down and picked up Varugr, holding a tight grip that slowly got tighter as time past
Tartanus - What's the matter, too fat to fight?
Varugr - ...R-Rot...i-in H-Hell...
The Skewer walked to Tartanus' back and launched itself on his back. Upon reaching him, it slashed at him with his blade and bit him at his neck. Tartanus swing his muscular tail to collide with Skewer but just missed him, he jerked his head upwards as Skewer bit into the back of its neck, but he only squeezed Varugr more tightly.
Tartanus - Do you know what's the best thing about power armour? All those little errors in biology can be solved, organs like digestive tracts and lungs can be omitted and you can fit a much smaller AI core.
Murangon Nal teleported to Tartanus' hand and slashed at his fingers in an attempt to free Varugr. The Skewer forced its bite further while letting out a loud growl. Blood and innards splashed from Varugr's orifices, making him shriek and scream a horrific chorus. His eyes rolled into the back of his head, which leaned back as his entire body spasmed and twitched as there was a ear-rending *crack*; Varugr's spine had succumbed to the pressure of Tartanus' grip.
Kolger - Master Kriese!
Tartanus looked at the limp body and threw Varugr against a wall after Murangon damaged his hand, wih his other hand he reached to grab Skewer, from his hip he fired a turbolaser at Kolger. Varugr created a dent in the wall and dropped to the floor, supposedly lifeless although he had not yet immaterialized into the black fog that indicated demise. He was still physical, albeit badly damaged and still afflicted by the Yrsalimarus in the arena, causing his powers of immaterialization to become naught. The Skewer released Tartanus' neck and then threw its maw against his hand to crush it. Kolger was hit by the laser and thrown around the room, heavily wounded.
Tartanus opened his massive wings briskly, sunjecting the room to a strong shockwave-like wind. The hand was damaged by Skewer's attack and he threw his arm about attempting to dislodge the demon, Arsac stood up and charged, the oppertunity came and she leaped to cling to Tartanus' stomach. The Skewer meanwhile remained gripped to Tartanus' arm as he threw it around. Arrtkar then launched himself forward and charged himself in entropic fire, throwing a kick to Tartanus' head.
Tartanus raised his arm to block the kick but the power was still felt and he staggered back with crashing thuds, a percing screech as claws in his feet extended and buried themselves into the floor.
Tartanus - Hah! I thoght you demons were supposed to be unstoppable!
Arrtkar - Do I hear fear in your voice, mortal?
Tartanus - Are you kidding, I'm picking you off like gnats. How does it feel by the way?
Arrtkar - You tell me!
Arrtkar unleashed a massive number of tentacles at Tartanus, completely engulfing him with them. Tartanus braced himself, raising his arms to give himself some room Arrtkar gripped with his tentacles in an attempt to crush Tartanus, pressing more tightly.
Tartanus - How does it feel to be squashed, squeezed and pounded by a giant while you, the gnats, can merely either get out of the way or get squashed? Are you all disgraced a "pathetic mortal" is smacking you around like this!
Mordati - He appears deluded.
Tartanus strained to keep Arrtkar's tentacles from completely crushing him, he could feel the grip as his pressed against his limbs and his tail, he fired a laser array from his wing fingers in order to slice the tentacles surroundg his wings Arrtkar roared as his tentacles were destroyed and unwrapped Tartanus, launching himself back on the floor, grunting. Meanwhile, the Skewer radiated a reddish aura, and let out what sounded like a laugher. Tartanus followed with another shockwave from his wings before he pointed his partially-compacted fingers at Arrtkar, firing a turbolaser vollay at him. The assault had taken its toll on his systems. Arrtkar was floored and growled in pain. The Skewer approached Tartanus by behind and dug its claws at his back, with a grin on his face. Varugr stood, bleeding and coughing heavily as he walked with a limp, staring towards Tartanus with a vengeful glare.
Skewer - You're a good warrior...spilling blood...more blood...spill more blood...
Varugr - I-I'll d-devour him...
Tartanus swung his tail in order to smack Skewer away, Arsac continued to climb his stomach and towards his chest
After raching a suitable height, Arsac punched at the torso plating. Tentacles come out of the Skewer's back and wrapped themselves around his tail. The demon stabbed him with his blade as he kept penetrating his fingers on his back. With surprise, Tartanus clenched his fist while shaking himself about to dislodge the Skewer. With a massive fist he sent it flying to punch Arsac, who was injured by the impact that still clung on. The Skewer wrapped more tentacles, this time around Tartanus' head, and began forcing it as if he wanted to rip his head off.
Tartanus - I can see why you like to consider us vermin, you're crawling all over me.
Skewer - More blood...more blood!
Tartanus kept shaking, he moved his hands in order to grip the tentacles and tear them off. His eyes glowed before turbolasers burst out of them, blasting though the teentacles. More tentacles kept forming, the Skewer ignoring the pain. Geltastra, Murangon, Mar-Júun and Vouiasn took the opportunity and attacked Tartanus' chest plate together. Arsac kept punching, denting the metal plates in a demonic fury.
Tartanus staggered back from the volley at his chest. The neck screeched as the cords snapped oen by one, having trouble containing the pressure. The attacks eventually boke the plating, revealing a capsule underneath yet more bionic muscle. Arrtkar launched himself forward again, punching the exposed capsule which was firm enough to survive the impact with dents but was launched out of Tartanus' back, the entity slumped as its head was torn off.
After a few minutes of imbalance, the entity fell forwards, Arsac squirmed inside the interior as the entity hit the floor with a ear-piercing clang. Varugr limped towards the capsule as it was launched from the titanic entity and pounded against the floor. His eyes blazed with red as he approached, licking blood from his jaws while his fingers and claws twitched unnaturally. He still coughed and spluttered, but he paid no attention towards it. The Skewer landed on the floor, letting out a loud roar. Moments later, the giant machine fell on the floor on its belly, as if it had been "turned off".
A few minutes passed , the entity then jerked to life and tried to reach for Arrtkar. It was stopped abruptly, inches from Arrtkar's head as Arsac stood on its back, using a tentacle as alassoo to stop it, launching a mass of tentacles inside the entity and tearing it apart from the isndie, Arrtkar flinched in a reactionary way from nearly being grabbed, taking a step back.
Geltastra - If we are vermin, consider yourself infested.
Arsac - You may thank me if you so wish, my lord.
Arrtkar - Hhrrrm. Thank you.
The capsule was white and egg-shaped, several sockets were on the poles and equator, there was a thin seam, possibly a door of sorts. Arsac nodded and jumped off the husk. Murangon Nal, Vouinas, Mar-Júun and Kolger approached the capsule, surrounding it. Meanwhile, Arrtkar left the team and walked up to the Skewer. Varugr stood prominently in front of the capsule, growling irrationally as he threw his hands outward, penetrating the material and rending it asunder. Even with Yrsalimarus in his system, his rage was beginning to overcome it, his muscles pulsing violently. As the capsule was breached, golden fluid gushed from the seam Varugr had made, floating inside was Tartranus, his skin completely covered in a glossy, jet-black nanosuit which obscured his features. Tartanus weakly looked up, seeing Varugr, the drain fluid triggered an effect on his nanoskin which peeled away, revealing his scarred, crimson scales. He noticed Varugr's pulsing form and next to him, Geltastra was smiling wickedly and mockingly as he lay in the fluid.
Geltastra - Hello there, darling.
Tartanus - Ahh kranndung.
Varugr stepped forward, glaring down at Tartanus with a crazed, maniacal scowl. Before Tartanus could register a plan of escape or what the demon's next move would be, he was forced thrown to the other side of the capsule by a strong punch of Varugr's fist. Tartanus gasped as he colided with the capsule's inner wall, glaring back at Varugr with a mixture of fear and anger.
Murangon Nal - Remember, you are to devour him and obtain his information, not kill him.
Varugr - How does it feel to be squashed, squeezed and pounded while you, the gnat, can't even move out of the way?
Tartanus - Admit it, I was winning! I had an edge on the immortal demons! I took a gaze, my interface unit had you all worried. Arrtkar - All you've done is scar my disposable limbs, mortal.
Varugr grasped ahold of Tartanus and lifted him to eye-level, salivating constantly while his crimson eyes narrowed and pierced into the sight of Tartanus' own, imprinting his visage into the Dracons' head.
Varugr - What is wrong, mortal? Too weak to fight back?
Tartanus - You think I am the best this facility has to offer?
Arrtkar - You think we care? You'll all die the same.
Tartanus - This facility was intentionally designed to keep demons like you away from its contents. The high and mighly could teleport anywhere but admit it: We mortals outsmarted you. You needed *us* to find this place! You needed a mortal's knowledge to even know it exists.
Mar-Júun - Hell, who cares? We still win. Say goodbye to Terastia.
Suddenly, the team watched as blood flew through the air and Varugr drove his thumbs into Tartanus' eye sockets, although not so deep as to grant him death as of yet. With Varugr's demonic visage growing ever present in his head, Tartanus found his head engulfed by Varugr's jaws. He began to consume the Draconis whole without his tail, ingesting him as a serpent would. As Tartanus' body slipped down Varugr's throat, Varugr's body spasmed and twitched, blood and other juices dripping from his mouth as he began to swallow their adversary without so much as chewing. Eventually, after a minute, Varugr's jaws closed and he released a cold, heavy sigh as his muscles expanded and increased in size. Varugr proceeded to stand tall, appearing healthy once more despite the constant presence of Yrsalimarus within the room and even more so in the capsule. However, he did not even pass a cough or a stutter; he turned back to the group and wiped his mouth, a demented smile overcoming him.
Arsac - I always considered the Purgatory Guard disturbing individuals.
Varugr - ...I feel replenished.
Geltastra - Do you have his codes?
Arsac - wait...his body would have been swimming in the technology...
Varugr - I have more than that, Geltastra.
Mordati - Curious, do you not feel pain or discomfort at all?
Varugr - None.
Varugr stepped away from the capsule and tensed the muscles throughout his body, releasing a bellowing round of horrific, terrible laughter while the underside of his body writhed as it adjusted to the change in his physiology. Meanwhile, the Skewer's eyes shined again and it slowly got back up. Him and Arrtkar walked back to the rest of the servants.
Skewer - Tough fight...forced to rest...
Arsac - ...Varugr are you sure you are healthy?
Varugr - I am beyond healthy! I have never felt more satisfied in the entirety of my existence!
Mar-Júun - He's crazy. He has a crush on a star.
Arsac - Can you explain?
Varugr - You mock my beloved?!
Mordati - The Yrsalimarus isn't affecting him. It is possible that he has gained an immunity through the integration of his last victim. The Yrsalimarus machines could be mistaking Varugr for being "clean" due to the presence of the Draconis in his biology.
Mar-Júun - He literally loves a star.
Murangon Nal - Do not disrespect your fellow servants, lest you eventually incur the master's wrath.
Arsac - No matter. We have the codes and those articles are in the centre of this facility.
Arrtkar - Make haste then.
With the information in hand, Arsac led the asault team deeper into the station. Hafwat before they reached it, after carving thoughmore of the Purgatory Guard reached a solid metal door of considerable size. To the right was a sign "no personnel beyond this point"
Arrtkar - Is this it?
Arsac - Almost according to the map I saw. THis is the threshold to a buffer zone where the order keeps some of its most dangerous relics. 'Geltastra - Hm hm hm. Victory is within our reach.
As Arsac inspected the door, noticing a terminal, she heard something heavy plod down the corridor. Mar-Júun darted around to look as well.
Mar-Júun - Oh, what now?
Jerking her head to look around, she saw two Draconis, clad in armour thick enough that it restricted their movements and distorted their figure. At a distance the armour appeared thick enough to be more appropriate for vehicles than people.
Arsac - Varugr get this door open!
Vouinas - What's with those two?
As the two Draconis plodded forward, jets of plasma erupted from nozzles on their right arms. Geltastra summoned a barrier in front of the team to shield them. The jets aroding at the barrier as they relentlessly marched forward. Varugr began to work away at the door, focusing and concentrating on the task at hand. He grunted as he saw the two heavily armoured Draconis, although it wasn't enough to knock him off-course. Mordati glared and summoned tentacles from the walls and floor. The two Draconis noticed the tentcles, stepping back they blasted them with their plasma throwers.
Guard - Code Black on level 20. Threat must not breach level 19.
The Skewer inhaled and then breathed a blast of entropic fire at the guards. The entropic fire sizzled over the guards armour, they were shocked but appeared to weather it. Varugr heard a clank as the doors began to open, a klaxon soundng thoughout the facility and a blue flashing light bathed them all
Varugr - Door opened! Let's move!
Mordati - Your beloved must feel proud of you for opening a door.
Arrtkar, Geltastra, Vouinas, Mar-Júun, Murangon Nal, Kolger and the Skewer all rushed through the door. The door began to close behind them. Eventually as the door sealed shut, lights bathed the room in a dim red, a long corridor that appeared to curve upwards some way down
Arsac - Come. I have memorised the path we must take.
Geltastra - Lead on.
As the group progressed, they began to feel an itching sensation in their bodies, spreading li an irritant thoughout. Arsac twitched upon feeling it, jerking and scratching. Arsac looked at hear arm and gawped in horror to see that her scales were dissolving in patches. The others were suddenlt worried as to what was happening, but the warms did not appear t odo much due to the regeneration factor posessed by everyone in the corridor.
Mar-Júun - Grrr, what is this?
Varugr - What is it?
Arsac - Berserker swarms. It must be a security measure to keep these levels sterile.
Vouinas - Berserker swarms?
Arsac - Nanomachines you imbecile. Gah!
Varugr - We need to ignite this place.
Arsac - With pleasure.
Arrtkar growled and his energy sparked around him, in an attempt to destroy the nanomachines near the group. As they walked, Arsac supported Arrtkar and held out her arms. Opening her palms, she summoned spheres of fire that swelled as she concentrated with the intent ot incinerate the microsopic machines gnawing away at their bodies. The group could feel it; the machines had owked their way inside, chewing at their insides as well as theri skin, an itching feeling though every fibre, countered by the harmful energies that pumped thoughout their forms.
Mar-Júun - We've not come this far to die to nanotech!
Murangon Nal - A most cheap strategy.
Arsac - Were we mortal, we would already be dead.
The team kept walking, level after level where the only interruption was from nanotechnology. At the door to level 0 arsac pressed her hand against the door, trying to work out what it was. Clenching a fist she punched it with all her strength, causing a scratch to it.
Arsac - Neutronium. Nothing short of a relativistic weapon could scratch this.
In response ot this challenge, the Skewer began punching the door relentlessly. Despite Skewer's punches he was only making dents in the material, not enough to compromise it. There were three consoles near the door and Arsac tried to access one
Arsac - Damnation! This says we need access codes from three ranking station personnel.
Varugr - What now, then?!
Vouinas - Oh don't tell me we have to go back.
Geltastra - Did the director not have these codes?
Arsac - The director would only have one code.
Arsac turned to Arrtkar.
Arsac - My lord, you are the strongest of us, I ask you help us force the doro open.
Arrtkar - I will do so. Skewer, follow my lead!
The Skewer let out a growl of aknowledgement and stepped forward. Arrtkar and the Skewer both began trying to force the door open. Gripping the edge of the door which was pressed against one of the frames. The door was incredibly heavy, after several minutes of effort, the door began to budge to Arrtkar's strength, eventually creating a small gap in the middle. Vouinas, Kolger and Murangon Nal joined, contributing with their own strength. Varugr also joined in with the effort, using the full extent of his muscular mass to add onto the amount of force that the doors were being subjected to.
After cosniderable effort from everyone, the door was opened with a deafening screech, but at every moment it pushed back, it did not want to open but brute force was slowly overcoming it, eventually making a gap large enough for the others to pass through
Mar-Júun - Well, then. It worked.
Mar-Júun and Geltastra went through the gap to the other side, Mordati joined, with Varugr following shortly after.. Arsac followed and beckoned for the others to join them. The team slowly stopped helping and went through the gap. Arrtkar was the last to go through, the door closing behind him.
The room was another circular chamber, eight massive pillars stood halfway inside but the surrounded nothing, the level was empty, no trace of an Eye anywhere in the room and there was no other doorway aside from the one they came through. The very thing they had sought was no longer in this room, nor was there any sign that it had been there. Everyone looked about in agitation, frustrated as to where their target was.
Vouinas - Well, where is it?
Arsac - It's not here... Where is it!
Geltastra - Don't tell me...they relocated the Eye.
Arsac marched towards the centre of the chamber, bumping into something solid and invisible as she reached the pillars
Arsac - What-- What did I just--?
Mar-Júun - Oooh. I get it. It's cloaked.
Arsac had bashed her snout, rubbing it she punched the barrier in retaliation which bounced her fist back.
Arsac - This is no mere cloaking field
Vouinas - Obstacles everywhere...
Arsac looked about the room, focusing her mind, thinking intently and rubbing the ridges of her snout in a scene of intense concentration. Having a spark of ingenuity, she then looked up and to the pillars that surrounde the heart of the room, remembering that she had impacted a barrier that resided along the threshold between the two halves of the room.
Arsac - The pillars...Of course!
Murangon Nal - Instruct what needs to be done.
Arsac - Destroy them.
Understanding perfectly, Varugr roared and began to assault one of the pillars, joined by Mordati who had summoned a horde of tentacles to assault his targets. The Skewer cut through one pillar, while Kolger and Murangon attacked another, and Geltastra, Mar-Júun and Vouinas attacked others.As the pillars broke apart, their thresholds displayed visual distortions, as the last pillar broke it was as though a bubble had popped, the field that surrounded the Eye collapsed, revealing it in its entireity. The eye itself was a pitch black sphere, sitting upon an organically deformed pedestal - the prolonged exposure to it caused the plinth it was sitting upon to take on a malformed appearance of red and black. When one could see clearly; a red light stirred dimly inside of the sphere. The servants all looked at the Eye in susprise, while Arrtkar let out a cackle.
Arrtkar - At last! Terastia is ours!
Skewer - It looks like...the Master's former third eye...
Arrtkar - Unfortunately, this is not that Eye, Skewer.
Arsac - I...I thought the story of its aquisition was myth...
Varugr - You mean we could have potentially come here for nothing?!
Arsac - There was every possibility.
Arrtkar approached the Eye and attempted to take the object from its plinth and hold it in one of his hands. Before he could do so however, a blackened figure picked up the Eye in its talons. Seemingly out of nowhere, none of the team realized it was there. Arrtkar however threw himself in surprise. The servants looked at the figure in confusion. Arsac stepped back with concern.
??? - Indeed. Every possibility. You did not come here for nothing. Instead you came for this.
'Vouinas - Who the hell...
Arsac - We...Who is there?
The figure turned around. Seemingly a completely ambiguous figure; that is, being an absolute combination of humanoid and bipedal species - his main figure being as black as the shadows of the room, skeletal, wearing a blackened coat. His eyes, however were whitened. The servants appeared apprehensive at the figure's appearence. Arsac stepped back, her eyes fixed on the white lights of the figure's eyes. Surprisingly, the eye remained dead in the figure's hand, as opposed to it coming alive. He looked at the eye with an inquisitive look. His face was not unlike a human skull, but did not appear totally human as well. Upon closer observation, his face was like multiple human skulls as if they were layered.
??? - You have come far to obtain this artifact. For what purpose?
Arrtkar - To deliver it to the Xhodocto.
He looked at the eye again, before turning to Arrtkar.
??? - Are you frightened?
'Arrtkar - Why should I?
'??? - Because I have this in my hand and you do not. Do you know what Terastia is exactly?
Arrtkar - You have not shown to be a threat to us so far.
Arsac felt like speaking for Arrtkar, but knew her place and kept completely silent. The figure paused.
??? - Terastia is not only a weapon, but an entity in its own right. An entity that takes only the most powerful of entities to control. Beings among that of yourselves.
Vouinas - Who is this anyway?
Arsac - *mutters* The order knew what you what you speak of.
The figure stood back and lowered its hand, focusing its attention back on the deomonic beings that inhabited the chamber while holding the orb lower down, still retaining it in the focus of the servants to which it had so easily snatched the eye from their grasp. Everyone wanted answers for this figure, and he was willing to divulge.
??? - Well. Some call me life. Some call me death. Some call me change and transformation. A physical representation of a metaphysical construct designed keep mortals fearing and remain fearful. Others call me evil, delusional and insane.
Vouinas - Eh...
??? - Others call me, in mortal tongues, Paragseilitga, Azhakhalek, Nyrmandaselas. Many names to describe myself.
Murangon Nal - I am unfamiliar with all of these names.
Arsac - I recognise one. "Paragseilitga." In High Dracid it means "Master artisan."
??? - Tastiarothshyhin, Kházúr Drakházurin, Tavorm-os. And even more commonly, Draguros. A name that is felt but not spoken.
Arrtkar gasped and immediately bowed at the figure. The other servants did the same moments after. Arsac, seeing what was happening, bowed herself, following the other servants hoping to not offend the entity that stod before them
Arrtkar - We have come to get the Eye for you, my Lord.
Draguros - Have you? You should have known well enough that this Eye alone would have caused you your undoing. Your destruction. Submission of your body into an entirely new, once-dormant entity.
Arrtkar - I care not, I follow my master's orders without question.
Draguros - And who is your master?
Arsac's doubts flooded back to her and she gasped as she held her head low. Arsac shook her head, trying her best to hide her emotions as she realised how far she had been led.
Arrtkar - I have many, but you are above all of them.
Draguros - It would be unwise not to question your master's intentions. Have you ever wondered whether or why your master sends you into these missions?
Arsac - My lord...may I speak?
Draguros - You have a mouth. Therefore use it.
Arsac - While the Inquisition had kept the Eye largely hidden from my knowledge, throughout this entire mission I have understood completely why my order went as far as they did to protect it; why they sent so many mortals to challenge us thoughout our journey and why we had to rely on mortal systems to get this far. They knew it was dangerous, when I voiced my doubtsfor this mission, my lord, I was asked to be silent.
Draguros - Before me, your doubts are already spoken. Speak your doubts.
Draguros' eyes slowly turned to Arrtkar in an intimidationg fashion, commanding subservience.
Draguros - And your doubts will be heard.
Arsac - Even before we set out, I wondered why they went through so much trouble. They hid it outside of realspace, we had to rely on their transports, there were twenty levels of all consuming nanomachines, the chamber door was built with the densest of all materials and in this very chamber the Eye was hidden from our gaze by compressing the fabric of space and time itself.
Draguros - You know not of what this Eye is?
Arsac - I presumed it was dangerous enough for the Order to hide it with all their skill. At the time, it felt like enough reason to doubt the worth of retrieval, my master.
Draguros stood tall. He towered over Arrtkar, perhaps twice the height. He held the Eye between his talons and looked at Arsac, who lowered her head, feeling small in the presence of Draguros; insignificant in his eyes perhaps as the tiniest and most invisible of insects. And yet he noticed her
Draguros - The original wielder of this artifact held it in his power for over six hundred thousand years. With that, he held the world he walked upon under control. Bending the will of mortals and immortals to fear him.
Arrtkar - I have been told. Kithworto controlled this Eye in the past. It is one of the reasons we are here, so he may not get his hands on it again. Arsac - Then...The Inquisition were wise to keep it from everyone? Here in this facility so far removed from reality?
Draguros - That depends upon your interpretation. There are only a select few who can wield this with an intention of their own will. Before their will is consumed by the Eye's own. Maktanshatinaknatazán's intentions were as wise as the Inquisition's.
Geltastra - But now...it is the Dominion's intentions that matter, and not of our enemies'.
Draguros - You are quick to assume that only your intentions are those that matter. You live under an ecumene and you are but a microcosm of it.
Arsac - Then...what does that make the Inquisition? Naive? Or...Were we in fact wrong to come here?
Draguros - There was no wrong in your arrival here. It was all part of a plan - an infinite convergence of probabilities has amounted to this very moment. That I stand before you and you stand before the Eye.
Arrtkar - Our mission is a success, now all to do is take the Eye back to the Dominion.
Draguros - That you will. Or will you?
Arsac looked up, confused as to Draguros' statement. Draguros paced the room, throwing and catching the ball as if it were a mere toy, something to toss in amusement and catch again. Arrtkar was just as confused to the circumstances as the other servants were. they had spent years, some even years beyond count, following orders. This sudden change of intent for the masters of the Dominion seemed strange, almost uncharacteristic of them. The Tandava had given the servants of Shu'Wokerama an order and here Draguros himself was, potentially commanding them to do something else.
Arsac however, was not so blind. She had been a weapon, yes, but she was always given freedom of judgement; her superiors had always given her free reign to decide if a man was worth dying, at one time her pardons werecomparable to the gods themselves granting forgiveness. She was a weapon, yes, but at least she was able to choose how to hurt someone.
Arsac - You...you ask where the Eye is better-off: Here, or in the Dominion...do you not?
Draguros - My precise question, dear mortal. You will take the Eye to the Dominion. But once it is there, then what?
Arrtkar - The masters will do whatever they want with it. Our mission is simply to retrieve it.
Draguros - Then you are but the expendable piece in a game played by incompetent players.
Arsac - The eye is dangerous, a formidable power, the mortals that inhabited this station were wise to perform any means neccessary to make sure no ne ever touched or saw it.
Arsac - Could it be...that even gods fashion weapons so terrible that they are better-off lost or forgotten?
Arrtkar - But...it were the Tandava themselves who ordered this invasion.
Arsac - Acting upon intelligence I provided.
From Draguros' form, a white flame breathed through his body. It revealed a metallic muscular structure entwined with bones, as if he were the walking dead. In these bones, serpentine creatures slithered in and out of the body. Mar-Júun cringed at the sight of it while Arsac looked down, somewhat intimidated by the visage, although she had long ago grown accustomed to the sight of dead and decaying bodies. Arsac looked towards Arrtkar, both puzzled and a little dissapointed.
Draguros - Terastia is unlike any other. Do you believe that it can be controlled like Diafthora, or Ekthrikos for that matter?
Arrtkar - I don't know why you ask me this. I got the Eye for the Tandava, not for myself.
Mar-Júun - Ahem. We got the Eye.
Varugr - I provided the information for its collection!
Arsac shook her head and sighed. From the Eye, a red light appeared within it as Draguros held it up. Their surroundings began to melt, or bleed - it was of a supernatural quality, as the room around them began to dissolve. The servants looked around in confusion. The Skewer let out a loud groan whileArsac looked around, in the back of her head she felt as if her vision was confirming herself how right she was. The surroundings around them took them to an arid location - it was somewhat cold. The sky was a deep, dark blue mixed with purple. However, clouds that were black and red obscured that sight. The air they breathed was somewhat stale. In the distance, there was an ever-advancing swarm. It became further apparent, that these swarms were advancing on two sides. Thousands upon thousands were moving closer to their location, as the ground picked up tremors.
Vouinas - What's going on here?
Arsac - Wh-what is going on, my lord?
Draguros - You are yet to realise the consequences of this weapon what I hold in my hand.
Upon closer observations, these swarms of entities were in fact Kicath - one side wore golden armour, and the other side wore black armour. Wielding numerous weapons such as swords and spears. Arsac looked about and her mouth dropped in shock.
Mar-Júun - Are these...primitive Kicath?
Arsac - Holy wars...destruction...violence...
Draguros - Any guess as to where we are?
Arsac - Paclernos, my lord?
Draguros - Indeed.
Nearing the forces, some of the black-armoured Kicath appeared taller. They were somewhat malformed in appearance, absent of flesh and were adorned in spikes.
Mar-Júun - Hmpf. A war between primitives.
Draguros - Even if this is 650,000 BC...or pID.348427...they were beyond primitive, mortal.
Arsac - These are the kinds of conflict the Inquisition sought desperately to prevent.
Mordati - This is truly fascinating.
Arsac - They were driven mad by the eye, were they not? Those who desired to stay pure against those twisted and maddened by its embrace.
From the horizon, a black hole sucked out of the sky. Through the hole, an immense red jet of essence carved through the ground. Rock, ash and Kicath corpses flew through the air and blocked out what was left of the sun. Through the black hole, appeared a colossal Kicathian entity. Perhaps three or four times the size of a normal Kicath. The entity was all but too familiar.
Skewer - Bloodshed...so much bloodshed...
Mar-Júun - I'm surprised these brutes even learned space travel.
Arsac - Stow it Mar-Juun! I grow tired of your condescension. Your master is trying to teach you how devastating this Eye is and all you can think about is how "pathetic" the ancient Kicath are.
Mar-Júun - I don't need to know this. I'm not the one who'll use this Eye.
Arrtkar - You will listen regardless.
Mar-Júun hissed at Arsac in annoyance. The figure held the same object that Draguros held in his hand. From it, indescribable jets of energy streamed through the sky as fiery clouds descended and began to incinerate the forces against them. Without hesitation, the forces in golden armour retreated. What they were saying was unintelligible, but it was of distress and fear as the forces around them was being obliterated, thousands at time.
Murangon Nal - Impressive.
Geltastra - And now, these abilities are on our side. I can only imagine Kithworto's face when he finds out.
Arsac - None of you are truly understanding.
It was only a matter of seconds until all of the forces laid dead in the ground. Maktanshatinaknatzán walked among the wreckage and mountains of corpses around him. Using Terastia, the corpses began to reanimate. Taking on a shadowy aura, they rose from the ground and were from then on enthralled by his powers. As the original forces began to march on forward, it was only apparent that they were the same. He was leading an army of Kicathian undead.
Arrtkar - And to think Master Shu'ulathoi once possessed an artifact like this.
Arsac - These Kicath...they are either driven to madness, twisted into forms unregogniseable, those who resisted died without a chance...to become this.
Varugr - I remember a similar occurence beneath the glare of my beloved. The plague-ridden corpses of the unclean arose and assaulted our temple.
Arrtkar - That was the invasion of the force known as Tabescere. We have fought them at multiple occasions.
The armies marched on past them, taking no notice, as they did so slowly. Maktanshatinaknatazán then walked past them. Shadowing even Draguros' height, he stopped for a brief moment before walking on, with Terastia in hand.
The vision around them began to seal up, as the room emerged back into form around them. The air became dry and cold again, and they were alone. Draguros kept the Eye in his hand as he looked at the team.
Draguros - And yet you still believe you can control this item?
Arrtkar - We cannot. But we are not the ones who will attempt this.
Draguros - And you believe they can control this item as well?
Arsac - Power means little without self-control.
Arrtkar - If a Xi'Arazulha can control it, I'm sure the Tandava can.
Draguros - You really are an arrogant pawn of a subservient entity.
Draguros, with a look of spite on his face, threw the Eye to Arrtkar. Arrtkar hesitantly grabbed the Eye on his four hands. Arsac closed her eyes and smirked, a snoring chuckle escaping her nostrils at the act of discipline.
Arrtkar - I don't know what you wish of me. I am merely following your orders.
Draguros - And yet you see nothing else. This falls into the wrong hands, and there will be more than just an army of undead mortals. Undead Tandava. Undead Ultraterrestrials. If Terastia falls prey to the weak, then Terastia will overcome everything else. It awakens, and nothing shall stop it.
Arrtkar - But I'm doing this for you! Are you not the right hands?
Arsac - The Inquisition managed to aquire this, did they not?
Arrtkar - It was Maktanshatinaknatzán's own fault if he lost the Eye to the Inquisition.
Draguros - Who are we? Entities you follow? Gods of a religion long since rendered false? As I said. I am merely an agent, a metaphysical construct designed to give reason to unnecessary existence.
Arrtkar let out a sigh, being completely confused by Draguros' speech. For a being so old and so used to following orders, there was only one think he concluded he could do.
Arrtkar - I will merely do what I was ordered to. Whenever the Tandava keep conflciting themselves or not, the Eye will be delivered to them.
Draguros - Then you will remain forever a prisoner of your own altruism. For your sake, I hope that Krathazhrukhal sees your obedience as mercifully as I do. My only advice. Return them to the Tandava. Then return to your affairs. If Terastia arises from the earth, the only one who will save you is no longer serving us.
Arrtkar - Understood.
Draguros - Ekthrikos will be safe haven, a paradise. Malevolence will be but a sweet release.
Varugr - I have lost track of this entity's philosophy.
Mordati - I doubt you paid any form of attention in the first place.
Geltastra - Xhodocto philosophy is not something you can understand.
Draguros - What I said was completely understandable. You choose not to see the shadow but much rather see the thing that casts it.
Draguros walked through the team, before melting away in darkness. The team were now alone in the empty chamber, baffled by their lord's word. They had come here to retrieve an artifact, but one of the highest authorities of the Dominion spent the past period of time telling them to do something else, or else expect themselves to suffer the consequences.
Arsac felt as though she was the only one who took heed of His word. She looked around the chamber and furrowed her brow.
Arrtkar - Let us leave. I've grown sick of this place.
Arsac - I would rather suggest we leave the eye here.
Varugr - Are you insane?
Arrtkar - If you wish to be killed by the master for treason, be my guest.
Arsac - Did none of you listen?
Arrtkar - Draguros has ordered the Eye to be taken back to the Tandava, and that's what we will do.
Arsac scowled, rippling her lips as she accepted. Vouinas looked around, the only way out appeared to be the neutronium door that they had walked though, now sealed tightly behind them. Terastia was theirs, inert within Arrtkar's hands.
Vouinas - Hmmm...how do we leave, exactly?
Arsac - Can we not make a portal?
Geltastra - Ah yes, we can simply do that. Sometimes the easy option is overlooked.
The Skewer slashed his blade in the air, creating a portal. Arrtkar, Mar-Júun, Kolger, Murangon Nal and Vouinas went through it. Continued to look agitated and walked through the portal, clenching her fists and gathering entropic energy. Varugr followed through behind the main group while Mordati stood beside Arsac, looking towards her with something that may have been considered concern over his masked face which none of the other high demons had noticed.
Geltastra - It is a shame we did not bring explosives with us to destroy this facility like we did to the Cathedral...oh well, there's always the other Reliquaries.
Geltastra went through, and the Skewer followed last, closing the portal behind him and leaving the empty, ruined chamber behind.
Scaling Things UpEdit
In the ruined confines of the Reliquary installation, there was a new face. Marching inside the late commander's chambers and gazing upon the destroyed giant's body she scowled and removed her helmet, revealing crimson scales that accompanied the ebony robe she had draped over her glossy obsidian armour tinted with silver. Followed by four members of the purgatory guard she apparoached one of the officers expecting the body. He turned around and hastily saluted, a feeling of intimidation rushing though his mind as he looked up and down at the powerful and chiseled body wrapped in the armour she was adorned with.
Officer - Merisalir Alasta! We were not expecting such a visit, we were--
Alasta - Where is the polthamir, centurior?
Officer - No trace my lady.
Alasta - What do you mean "no trace"
Officer - No body, merisalir.
Alasta - Where is it.
Officer - According to telemetry...inside one "Varugr Kriese"
Alasta - "inside?"
Officer - The telemetry indicates he was...devoured whole.
Alasta looked away for a moment, a scowl appearing on her lips. The Centurior looked at her for a few moments with hesitation; she was slightly taller than him and posessed a far more chiseled phisique. Looking closely he noticed that her muscles appeared to tense rather firmly as she clenched her fists. She then fixed her amber eyes upon the centurior before barking back at him in her authoritative voice, slightly calmer this time but still demanding in tone.
Alasta - Who is the most senior member of personnel?
Officer - I believe I am, merisalir.
Alasta - Then congratulations, polthamir.
Officer - Who do-- Oh...Your orders, merisalir?
Alasta turned to one of her bodyguards as she clasped her hands in front of her stomach.
Alasta - Any news from Inquisition forces?
Bodyguard - Currently scattered across realspace, merisalir.
Alasta - Anything more coherent?
Bodyguard - None. Reports indicate devestation at the Grand Cathedral and several monasteries thoughout Draconid space. We have lost contact with the Inner Circle and there is no word of a new High Inquisitor.
Alasta - Thotus?
Officer - Corrupted. Now working for the enemy.
Alasta - Kranndung. So they're all in disarray. Good.
Officer - Can I ask your move, merisalir?
Alasta took a step up and looked slightly downward at the officer due to her height and took a deep breath before she spoke to him.
Alasta - Pass it on to other members of the Guard. Reliquary integrity has been compromised and Inquisition assets are scattered. By my orders, Contingency Xherum shall be enforced. Our target is the denizens of Segmentum Adniliho. I hereby give my word, voiceprint Axa-Ohlon-Ohlon-Kius.
Officer - Yes Merisalir.
Alasta turned around sharply, the black cloak sweeping in front of the newly-commissioned commander as she walked out of the room.
Alasta - Have this wreck cleaned up first. We are soldiers, not raiders!
Officer - Is there anything else?
Alasta - Yes. As per Contingency Xherum, the Prodigy Initiative will be brought under full Purgatory Guard control.
Officer - The lady might protest.
Alasta - Then you may as well inform that psychopath-of-a-success she has no say in the matter. Her involvement is of maximal priority.
Officer - ...Of course merisalir.
Alasta turned her head back around and marched out, folowed by her escorts with her new promotee lost for words on the matter; both the initiation of COntingency Xherum and the news he was to deliver to the Prodigy.
- "Tarefnar" in High Dracid means "to Fall". A reference to Arsac's fall from grace as High Inquisitor of the Grand Inquisition