A call for aid (Tackle, GEAR)

GEAR

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#21
"I'd appreciate it." Said the mercenary, tapping the side of her nose as she added:

"And of course... Keep it to yourself for now. I don't know if Alkahest is involved or not, but... discretion is the better part of valor, as they say."
 
Aug 4, 2018
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Somewhere in the UK
#22
The pair would arrive at the hangar previous holding their machines in short order, being quickly waved through security to find the Medius and Wildraubiter already in the process of being loaded onto a transport ship by staff. Two Bergelmirs stood either side - freshly unloaded and awaiting transport deeper into the cradle.

What appeared to be a corporate secretary awaited them at the ramp. She would cough politely once the two got close enough, getting their attention before speaking.

"Miss Moses, Miss Pseuda. All preparations are complete for the operation and a secure line has been established for all communication. Although... we've had something of a hitch with regard to your new machine - it doesn't seem to follow standard directory practices. So we've left the codes inside the cockpit for manual entry."

As she talks a veritable flurry of activity can be witnessed around the hangar. Some of it seems to be last-minute preparations and checks on the C-242B, but this clearly wasn't the only operation Alkahest was performing tonight. The secretary glances back into the hangar at the Medius, stepping closer to Eris and lowering her voice.

"I believe Mr. Digby wanted to discuss your machine, but that will have to wait until your return." Message duly imparted, she raised her voice once more. "Please be aware that this mission is not officially sanctioned by Alkahest or the Directory, and in the event of a Directory Investigation we will be forced to deny all knowledge of your activities."

That last part almost seemed to have been read off a script, and would likely have been heard many times before by Eris. Alkahest had a fondness for deniable operations and claiming failures were a result of 'rogue employees' - leading to Xander having a rather ironic reputation for being unable to control his own company during Terra Sentinel's heyday. And yet nothing could be further from the truth. Every little piece seemed to be moving to his direct orders, even after the man himself had left the cradle.

"With that said, welcome aboard the Slyph. I'll be monitoring you on behalf of Alkahest and providing on-site updates if necessary."
 

GEAR

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#23
Eris traipsed her way into the hangar, with her new bosom-buddy in tow. At the sight of the Bergelemirs, she noticeably slowed, in the practice known colloquially as "rubbernecking". Their ornate features - the smooth curves, the bladed limbs, and the six, bladed remotes set in rings about their persons - made her curious... but, unfortunately, now was the time for business, not pleasure. She would pester Xander into a closer look later on.

As the Secretary, for lack of better word, trotted out the usual lawyer-speak about denying involvement, she practically mouthed along with the words, having heard them far too many times in her work - and, occasionally, seen them followed through. She found herself hoping, for Moises' sake, that this wouldn't be one of the occasions she found herself on the run. Still, she took it all in stride - plausible deniability was a corporate taskmaster's best and brightest lapdog, and far be it from she to question its pedigree.

With a soft whumpf she idly tossed her baggage into the secretary's arms, and placed her free hand in the small of Vulyn's back, affixing the shrewish woman with a smile as she did so. They were going to have plenty of time to get to know each other, she thought mildly.

Might as well start now.

"Let me tell you about Mars, Miss Vulyn…"
 
Nov 12, 2018
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#24
Vulyn nodded along as the secretary recited the disclaimer, just about ignoring her at this point as she was checking out the PT’s lining the halls. Most importantly she was mystified by the Bergelemirs, trying to understand the design of such a... Strange unit...
“I’d really like to check that out...” The mumbled sentence was cut off as Eris started to guide her. “Mars?”
 
Aug 4, 2018
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Somewhere in the UK
#25
"The Bergelmir is a classified Alkahest secret." The secretary seemed like she was about to launch into another speech, but relented with a sigh after being tossed Eris's bag. "There are two more being used as backup in case of unknown intervention, but they will not be able to assist in the initial raid."

She gestured deeper inside the Slyph, then turned to walk inside - Gesturing for them both to follow. The inside clearly had space for more suits beyond the Medius and Wildraubiter, but all other slots were kept empty - presumably to store the machine they had been hired to retrieve. There was a sense of normality in the ship unseen in the rest of the cradle. Perhaps it had something to do with the lack of anything resembling machine cells inside?




NORTHERN ITALY - SOMEWHERE NEAR MILAN - 13:01pm
January 6th, OE 102


The rolling hills and pleasant scenery of the country roads made for a picturesque scene, fields of wheat and other crops as far as the eyes can see. Civilization was almost entirely irrelevant here, one of the only concessions to modern society being a highway that snaked between each plot. With automated harvesting technology at the level it was, nobody would have a reason to be this far out unless something had gone horribly wrong.

Which it had, in all fairness.

The peace of the countryside was in the process of being shattered by a small convoy of mobile weapons, moving cross-country to minimize the chance of detection or directory trouble. Two Axios flanked an ancient PT Carrier while another dual set of MaskLions covered the skies at a low hover. Said carrier had its back compartment almost entirely covered with a tarp, although nothing could cover the unmistakable silhouette of the Mech underneath.

Eris and Vulyn would find themselves dropped several miles from the convoy, with the Slyph holding in the nearby airspace for extraction. What to do now was up to them.
 
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GEAR

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#26
The Slyph's hangar doors groaned open, a blaring klaxon screeching its warning over the sound of escaping air, as the two women within were treated to rolling clouds and ebullient sunshine. The light traveled across its rusted deck, up onto the dual forms of the waiting mobile weapons: the dark, pointy-eared form of the Medius Locus lay crouched, one arm encased within the long, boxy form of the Divided rifle, the other securing it to the white, smooth-bodied Personal Trooper below, currently in its FM Flier mode.

"Two Axios, and... Some kind of armored Lions?"

Within the cockpit, Eris Pseudea chatted avidly away to Vulyn, in stark contrast to her earlier silence, as data readouts swapped between the two machines.

"Nothing we can't handle, but..."

A bad feeling stirred in the pit of her stomach at the sight of the MaskLions. She had heard someone had been snapping up off-market auxiliary weapons at a rapid pace, and rumor had begun to swirl of unidentifiable Armored Modules, with all the serial numbers filed off. Nobody knew where they came from, or who they served... but those who tried to find out were seldom heard from again. The last thing she needed, she thought... were powerful enemies.

Still, the two had plenty of time to prepare - the Medius would ride the Raubtier down to the earth, with the two striking the enemy from above all in one go. With any luck, she mused, they wouldn't even have time to call for backup. They could drag the prototype off and be back before dinner...

In theory.

"You have done this before, right?" She asked suddenly, the black Personal Trooper cocking its head quizzically down at its mouth, as it finally occurred to her to ask.
 
Nov 12, 2018
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#27
Vulyn was making running some final checks from the cockpit of the Wildraubtier, poking her head up to the display. “Never. Only take offs I’ve made have been from a from an airstrip or a running start. Dropping in? Can’t be that hard, glide in a bit, Fire my engine at a low output before dropping our payload.” She pulled double checked her load, nodding to herself. “Should be fun...”
 

GEAR

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#28
"Well, I can't fault your enthusiasm at least." Remarked Eris levelly as she finished pulling on her own gloves, leaning over the controls in excitement.

It had been a while since she had fought like this under Earth's gravity... Tesla Drive or not, it promised to at least be an interesting test, and a sure sight better than what an Axio could do. Her fingertips tapped at the control panel, gently prodding AI1 into a state of wakefulness - no way, she thought, would it want to miss this.

"Let's go!"
 
Nov 12, 2018
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#29
Pulling down her goggles, Vulyn took a deep breath before gripping the controls. No going back at this point, she thought as she armed her bombs, firing up her engines. "Hey, let's try not to screw this up, alright?" She chuckled nervously, ready to drop, certainly not running through everything that could go wrong.
The jet lurched forward with it's package on top, shooting down towards the ground. The first salvo came as she released her payload of the first Air-to-Ground Bomb to the path in front of the PT Carrier to crash it into a ditch, while Eris and the Medius began to open fire onto the on the Axios, a burst of rounds at both of them.
 
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Aug 4, 2018
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Somewhere in the UK
#30
The bombing run would indeed be successful in driving the PT carrier off the road, forcing it to smash through the walls fencing the road in and grind to a halt in the ditch. This somewhat jostled the tarp loose, revealing flashes of green metal as the loose sheet fluttered in the wind.

"Enemy attack! Split up and engage, do not let them damage the prize until it's activated!
That split-second of warning wasn't enough for the first Axio, the cockpit splitting like a melon as the Medius's rifle hit home. It's twin was luckier, managing to boost out of the way at the last moment as what would have been the killing blow slammed into the ground where it was formerly standing. An EM blade came out of nowhere as it landed - this was no mere Axio. The Axio Burglar would break away from the convoy, sprinting through the fields while firing blindly at the Wildraubiter and its rider to try and force them to the earth.

Both MaskLions launched themselves upwards, trying to gain height on the falling machines as their railguns lit up the sky in perfect sync - every shot aimed for one of the Medius's vital points. Their angling meant that even if the Medius dismounted to dodge, the railguns would find purchase in the 'Raubiter's hull.


Enemy Force Composition:
Axio Burglar x 1

MaskLion x 2

???





As the fight progressed, both pilots would begin to feel a chill down their spines. Something... wrong was emanating from the carrier, a deep purple light visible from underneath that tarp as their target stirred into life.
 

GEAR

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#31
"Feel that?" - A cold chill ran down Eris spine, and she felt cool droplets of sweat forming on her brow as a sensation of unexpected dread surged through her.

"It's waking up."

It's too soon, she thought animatedly, clockwork-like brain running through what must have been a thousand scenarios in mere seconds. There was nothing else for it - desperate times caused for desperate measures. The Medius reached down as Vulyn ducked and weaved among the fire, suddenly wrenching the nose of the Raubtier upwards, so that it did something resembling an unexpected half-flip, leaving twin vapor trails in the air as it was suspended in the air, hanging upside down.

For the briefest of moments, the Medius turned its head down at the Raubtier almost quizzically, as its pilot quipped:

"I'll be back."

Probably. The assassin added silently, a little less confidently than she would have liked.

With that, the black Personal Trooper kicked off from the white one's surface, carrying its momentum as it came screaming from the skies. It fell between the two Masklions, like a dark comet on a purple tail, Eris struggling not to swallow her tongue as G-forces tore at her body. As it closed on the hidden figure, the Medius did a forward flip, slowing its descent minutely as, from its rear skirt armor, there was a bright light as it drew its own crackling EM blade.

The flashing of the electrified weapon contrasted with the unearthly glow of her target, the two radiant spheres coming into violent conflict as with one final screech of its own thrusters, the Medius drove the EM blade down in a two handed strike, smashing down atop the canvas in a desperate attempt to halt whatever evil was taking place beneath it.
 
Nov 12, 2018
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#32
*Don’t fuck up Vulyn. Don’t fuck this up.* The Geier spun mid air as the fire from the Masklions grazed the outer armor of the FM as she turned around to face them.

“Keep that thing in bed!” She shouted over the comms as she pushed her engines to maximum output, exploding forward at one of them.

It was a stupid move as she transformed mid air, drawing its knife and attempted to spear the Masklion and drag it down to Earth.
 
Aug 4, 2018
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Somewhere in the UK
#33
Vulyn's attempt to impale the Masklion would narrowly succeed, their combined weight proving to be more than enough for the tesla drive mounted on the machine. His comrade seemed scared to fire into the melee, but that didn't stop the one she'd grappled from trying to dislodge itself and maneuver its railgun into a safe position to punch holes into the Wildraubiter.

The Burglar left the Lions to their aerial brawl, loosing a few hopeless shots at the Medius while it fell. It would continue moving in circles around the Wildraubiter and lion, akin to a shark circling its prey.

Meanwhile...

A green hand would rip the sheet away from underneath, the light momentarily blinding all present before it faded to nothingness - the only light now emanating from the twin cannons aimed squarely up at the Medius. Its left arm was used to block the falling EM Blade, letting it cut deep while the other made a grab for the arm holding the weapon.

"No directory stooge is going to defeat me... Great Dissolution!"

The still-glowing barrels began to ignite, negative energy gathering at the base of each cannon. If not interrupted, both would loose a beam of surprisingly divine-looking negative energy, ripping apart anything foolish enough to stand in its path.







Enemy force composition:

Axio Burglar x 1
MaskLion x 2

ARTIFICIAL ELEMENTAL LORD - BULLDOG
 

GEAR

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#34
Eris' eyes went wide as saucers as the blade sank deep... Into what she could only describe as a monster of a Masouki. It rose off its flatbed, towering over the Medius, twin cannons glowing as it prepared her annihilation. A growl started in the back of her throat as she clenched the controls, preparing to throw the black Personal Trooper into an evasive dive-

"You are one ugly son of a-"

...But the threat died in her throat, terminating instead in a strangled gasp, as a wave of the negative energies pulsing through the Bulldog spread into her own machine, transmitting through the alloys, the humble, earth-hewn materials that made up the protective entity that was her shell... And into the woman within the cockpit.

It was just... a taste. The smallest, slightest touch... But with it came a rush of emotion, plunging her into...

Somewhere else.

What was that term again? Ah... Yes.

Void Memory.



OE ???
Time: Unknown
Location: Unknown


"Why didn't we realize it sooner...?"

A voice, tinged with anxiety. One she wasn't supposed to ever hear. She stood, surrounded in the gloom, by several other forms, disembodied constructs that loomed overhead... Save one.

"You're saying a foreign body escaped detection until now?"
"It was concealed within the Observational Unit we picked up... the one-off."
"How is that possible...? Are you saying... It was tampered with?"
"Speculation is hardly my function of expertise. Aristarch, please recommend a course of action."
"Notify Censor. Expunge it immediately."

A burst of static-

Static?

She was in the dark - somewhere... clinical, somewhere contained... Yet it was wholly unlike any medical facility on Earth, or even in the vast, techno-utopian halls of Luna. Suddenly, a bright, white light, and then... pain. The worst, most agonizing pain she had ever known. A thin ray of light, a laser, punctured her chest - the agony was indescribable, and her back arched against the restraints that bound her as it began to trace a line slowly upward, between her ribs, the scent of sundered flesh mingling with burning bone.

They weren't supposed to feel pain, she recalled in that instant.

The normal ones, at least.

At last, it stopped, only inches from her neckline... and she lay, gasping for air, trying to curl up into a ball. The voices started low, and began to rise in pitch and tempo, terminating in what could only be described as panic.

"There's a reaction. It's-!"

At length, she managed to look down.

Something jet black dribbled out from the wound. It wasn't blood... Nor, for that matter, was it oil - its surface was tinged with swirls of pale crimson, and it glowed with an eerie, unusual light. Tiny, thin transparent tendrils spreading out into the world, oozing a liquid that corroded everything it touched. Even as she brushed it with her fingertips... It began to drip from beneath her fingernails, and an inky, metallic tang filled her mouth as she tried to speak, feeling something now running in rivulets from her nose, her ears, the corners of her eyes-

"Oh God." She heard herself whisper.

What emerged...
What came out of her...
A pitch blackness, so vile, so foul -
It blotted out the light, touching, corrupting everything in sight.


It choked the room.

It enveloped the other figures, swallowing them like a gluttonous swarm, leaving nothing but crumpled husks in its wake.

Everything went dark.

It was far from the reassuring blackness of unconsciousness. Rather, it represented a precipice of sorts - the beginning of a steep trench in her memory, where a series of events had transpired... Ones which she was not beholden, only to be glimpsed as half-truths, mired in nightmares.

Two figures, standing among flames. Both of them bloodied and beaten, circling one another.

"We should never have taken you in." Said one, in a stern voice that seemed... Familiar, as if she had glimpsed it in a happier dream.

"You're not one of us. You wear our skin, but you're nothing like us."

A voice - one that sounded like hers, yet which spoke words she could never once recall uttering... and which sent a chill down her spine, for the playful way in which it had intoned:

"You're right. Because, at the end of all this... I'll still be alive. You'll all be dead."

...

From out the other end had emerged a dazed, confused, and badly bloodied woman staggering across the surface of Mars, with no memory of how she had got there, only barely remembering a name when asked:

"Eris Pseudea."




In that moment, the assassin should have died. Fear, paralyzing fear, held her so fast in its grip that even faced with total obliteration, she couldn't will herself to move. All she could do was clutch at her chest, in recollection of the razor-thin, bleach white scar that she knew lurked beneath the pilot suit.

Yet, in defiance of fate... the Medius moved, its motions guided by an intellect far removed from the shackles of human frailty. AI1, perhaps sensing with whatever mechanical means it had been designed, wisely took that moment to intervene.

The Medius released its hold on the glittering blade, thrusters flaring as it rolled down to the earth below, letting the twin blasts punch overhead, leaving only the scent of burning ozone on the air. On its left arm, the Coating Sword jutted out from its casing as the Medius slashed up and out, ripping it across the Bulldog's belly in an attempt to disembowel it - pilot and all.
 
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Nov 12, 2018
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#35
That’s... That’s not good, Vulyn posited as she saw the Bulldog rising up and engaging with Eris. “I’ll keep these guys off you.”
As the Raubtier continued to wrestle with the Lion, she attempted to keep the railgun pointed away from her, attempting to, if anything, try and detonate the clip in the railgun by crushing it in the Raubtier’s grip.

“Hey, how about we try and settle this like adults, eh? Over a cup of coffee? Sandwiches?”
 
Aug 4, 2018
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Somewhere in the UK
#36
Vulyn's attempt to destroy the Railgun's ammunition would prove futile at first, but its next attempt to fire would cause the gun itself to detonate in the Wildraubiters hand - finally breaking their grapple, at the cost of most of the Lion's offensive abilities. It reeled back as the two remaining machines sprang into action. Rockets and Railgun projectiles would rain down upon the falling Raubiter, as both the Axio and the other MaskLion let rip with everything they had.
Trials...
A horrific shriek came from the machine as it was torn open - whether that came from the MW itself or the pilot was unknown. Purple light spilled out from the breach, revealing the reactor to any who could see through it. The bulldog took this as a chance to withdraw, throwing a punch in the Medius's direction that was doomed to fall short...
Darkness...
Until it separated from the arm. A wire guided the Bulldog's fist through the air, allowing it to curve and home in on the Medius's head for what would be a devastating impact.
Calling...
 

GEAR

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#37
Eris flowed through the slipstream, malevolent energies surging about her as she moved. The sensation, she could only think - it was anything but unfamiliar. But... Where? Half-completed thoughts and visions ran through her mind, but it was akin to water flowing through her spread fingertips - only glimpses and fragments, nothing more. Everything felt... slowed, as if she were underwater, and there was a sense that she was a mere spectator in the action - only partially linked to her own senses, even as her hands closed about the controls once more, and her eyes gleamed with new resolve.

Where have I felt this before...?

The guided fist blasted forward towards the Medius, AI1 preparing to pulverize it into nothingness - but at the last moment, the dark machine whipped its head away, and the ensuing strike only succeeded in glancing its frame, tearing off part of the vane-like binders that jutted out of its back. Within the cockpit, the woman scowled, giving a low hiss in a voice that she barely recognized as her own.

"Sloppy."

The black Personal Trooper whipped the now drenched Coating Sword up and out as it spun, slashing the cabling for the Bulldog's arms as it did with a spray of sparks - before it cannonballed after the Artificial Elemental Lord, like a shark sensing blood in the water. Easily swifter and more agile than its lumbering foe, Eris jinked the Medius closer, angling closer to the open wound she had caused only moments before.

"Think you're getting away...?"

The blade-ended arm lashed out once more - but this time, it shot forward, plunging into the guts of the Bulldog as its fingers flexed - and then pulled, the entire weight of the Personal Trooper heaving against its foes frame as it sought to disembowel it in a spray of metal and oily ichor...
 
Nov 12, 2018
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#38
It was chaos between the Raubtier and it's opponents, the explosive detonation of the Railgun taking the manipulators with it, leaving them mangled. "I wanted to talk, be all mature and like-" Vulyn used the still working manipulators with the knife in it to drag the grappled Masklion into the spray of bullets long enough for the Wildraubtier to transform and blast vertically up while she strained the engines.

The brief respite gave her a chance to look back at Eris and the Medius fighting the Bulldog, confused at the considerable carnage. "Need a hand?"
 
Aug 4, 2018
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Somewhere in the UK
#39
The Bulldog tried to retrieve the fist in a hurry after the glancing blow, even beginning to back away in fear as its arm was rendered useless. Eris's blade would strike gold - not just hitting sensitive internals, but piercing the reactor itself. Her disembowelment of the reactor would have a knock on effect, a thick purple haze spilling out into the air as what few safety features were present on the bulldog failed spectacularly.

"Y-You monster!"

A last cry could be heard from the pilot as the ejection seat went off too late, what was left of the Bulldog's head being destroyed even as it separated from the remainder of the mech. It's violent detonation brought a new colour to the battlefield. Purple fog - apparently residue from the reactor - began to settle over the countryside, bathing the battlefield in an eerie glow.



Time: Unknown.

Location: Unknown.

A figure out light slept in the void between worlds. Aimlessly drifting, forever dormant... until something gained it's attention. The figure stirred - something of that strength implied the return of it. Negative energy in such quantities posed a threat to existence itself.

The cancer must be cut out at the source. There was already a path to this world - A gate they had opened themselves.

L'Isola. It's death would be bloody, but necessary. To end the Trial before it had begun.



Every shot and rocket slammed into the helpless Masklion, ripping it's already battered body apart and forcing a momentary stillness over the battlefield as the remaining TS machines reloaded. But that silence was soon shattered. A golden blade seemed to appear out of nowhere above the Bulldog's corpse, ripping a hole in reality itself as cracks criss-crossed out from the centre. If this was a dimensional quake.. it was a quake unlike any other.

Seconds after it's initial entry the dimensional walls would shatter, revealing an almost angelic figure that would step through into their world. it would glance from side to side, taking in the haze before looking down at the ruined machine it was floating above.


"Where is.. the Distortion?"

 

GEAR

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#40

The Medius' outstretched arm buried itself in the gut of the Bulldog, feeling its fingertips close about something. Within the cockpit, Eris gave a triumphant sneer, blue-colored lips stretching tight over gleaming teeth.

"Monster?" She cooed, the Medius cocking its head to the side playfully as she continued:

"Such a flatterer."

With that, the black PT slammed its foot up on the Bulldog's chassis, and with all its weight - wrenched its arm back, ripping free a chunk of the offending reactor with a spray of oil and shattered metal. The Bulldog erupted into a violet explosion, dark energy rippled across the battlefield... And as it began to clear, only the Medius remained as bits and pieces of the foe rained all about it, still clutching the heart of the artificial Masouki. Taking a step back, it tipped its hand, letting the sparking debris clatter to the ground.

"So much for that bonus... What a shame!"

A cold, cruel laugh erupted from her throat - and the Medius drove its foot down, smashing the last piece of the enemy into nothing. Now, her thoughts continued, where should we go from here? Those Lions don't look like they could take much punishment, but that woman - what was her name? Vula, or whatver? She looked... durable. Enough to keep her from getting bored for a little while-

Her thoughts were interrupted, however... As a blade of blinding light suddenly pierced reality. Her eyes widened, pupils dilating into pinpricks - before she covered her face, giving a low wail, body buckling in agony as two blue eyes peered out from between her fingertips in insane hatred at the world around then.

No! Not yet! I haven't even had my fun yet-!

...

"...Ugh."

...Slowly, but surely, like lights returning a dim, dusty building to life, the thoughts of "Eris Pseudea" returned to normal. Her head hurt. It felt like someone had been beating the inside of her skull with a miniature sledgehammer for the past... Wait, she thought-

How... How long was I out?

There wasn't much time to consider it, as she looked up weakly. A radiant, winged form was descending upon her - or rather, upon the whole battlefield, driving away the rippling clouds of black aether that swirled about them. Her fingers closed about the controls once more as she raised her head, groggily, trying to come to grips with the current situation - as well as keep her throbbing brain from bouncing out of her skull.

"...That light... Who the Hell...?"
 
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