Echidna (Shadow, Gear)

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#1
September 1st
Jericho Faction Territory
Mediterranean Sea, close to the island of Crete
18:20 Local time


Hands that once reached the cosmos now clawed only at dirt. Tunnels of own design and those existing prior. There was no going back from that, no going forward. It just was, and continued to be the state of things. Subtle waves ebbed over the surface of the water, like a child playing in the bathtub as volumes of it deep below were displaces beyond the sight of those above. It moved down below, across the surface of the waters.

Out of sight, out of mind. Like a modern monster in a lake, only that the lake was much much bigger then before. A journey with no destination, it was impossible to know the destination and so it just went and went. Marching onwards in tunnels, on the ocean floor, on the surface of the earth. Wherever the march carried it. Even from below it could see the gleam of the sun through the water's surface. Getting closer with every step, eyes which no one counted and as such became countless in their number stared up where they had once only glanced down. Such was the state of things, and how it continued to be with every agonizing moment of existence.

It came closer and closer, the Sun. One among the plethora of stars dotting the cosmos like sand on the ocean floor. Too many to count, enough to keep track of. Always so noisy, hearing every voice loud and silent in unison agreeing always. We, Us, words of before. But those ears which once heard every voice now were deaf, the sloshing of water was still heard. Sensory input was there but not how it used to be. Me, I, words of now. There was no word upon Earth which could describe this sensation going through it. No word in the cosmos, and no word beyond even that. There simply was no word for any of this.

Except, maybe that one.

Waves began to crash a bit more intensely upon the shore of the isle of Crete, in its airspace. A ship, but that was of little interest. No, something beyond that, a faint sense in descent. How it angered it with joy, how joyfully that made it angry. Yes the word had been found. But none would hear it, there were no lips to speak it and no ears which could understand.
Above, a hero's welcome.

Below, a monster inside the tides.

A Greek tragedy played on the inside of a monster, and now they were destined to meet. The waves grew stronger, something large was approaching the surface.
 

GEAR

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Jun 15, 2018
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#2
Space Shuttle Hangar
Descent


Flame plumed about the bottom of the craft as it entered the atmosphere, the comforting shape of their Peregrine Class retreating into the darkness above. These days, such flights were considered mundane - but that did not mean that it was impossible for things to go wrong. Ever more daring skirmishes between Endymion and Terra Sentinel led to battles taking place in the atmosphere itself, sometimes both combatants being reduced to flaming fireballs that spun violently out of control, plunging to a messy demise below as shooting stars.

These were the sort of thoughts that occupied Tilde Cortaine's mind as she tried to relax.

She rested in the Ascalon's cockpit, legs folded in a lotus position. All around her, far from the insulated comfort of the passenger area, the rest of the ship rattled and clanked as it began its controlled descent - but, she could barely feel it.

This was her place of "serenity", after all.

In, and out. Breathe. Feel the power of the stars, flowing through your body. Turn it this way, and that. Don't try to tear it free, or take it for yourself. Become one with the flow of life itself.

"Nam... myoho... renge... kyo..." She breathed, murmuring the incantation over and over softly to herself, letting the mantra soothe her tumultuous spirit.

Even so... She could still feel cool beads of sweat perspiring on her forehead, trickling down her neck, and the gentle shiver it sent up her spine. The sooner she felt solid ground under her feet - no, the sooner she was reunited with Lord Jericho, the better.
 
Mar 23, 2021
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#3
When your previous life makes you constantly drop in and out of atmosphere in what can only be described as picking up and dropping a ball over and over again, an atmospheric reentry sequence was old news to Dimidas at this point. He would remember how sometimes he’d have to go on orbital drop shock operations, sometimes it wasn’t even inside a Mobile Weapon drop pod. Sometimes it was just him, his gear, and his wits.

He simply sat in the cockpit of the Ritter, it had already undergone repairs to fix and replace the weapons and components lost in the previous battle. His head was completely uncovered, the scales on his chin were visible while his red eyes stared at the trinket he held in his hand. It was a pair of rings, clearly meant for marriage or for a promise between lovers. They were both hung by a chain which itself was wrapped around the dragon-kin’s neck.

As the Black Hunter gazed down at his beloved possession, he could only hear a voice echoing in his head. It told him to go while ”she” held the line. He heard the voice on repeat as he remembered what had happened a few days prior, his heart felt like it could have stopped at that moment, like the air in his lungs was all but sucked away by the shock of what he nearly experienced a second time. Lightning won’t strike twice, he thought. Not if he could channel it himself.

His head straightened as he opened a comm link to Tilde, where he heard her reciting a mantra. He was curious about it to say the least, they did say shinobi did something similar in the past to calm their bodies. So what exactly was she afraid of at the moment?

”Tilde? Tilde, are you alright? Are you not used to atmospheric reentry?” A simple query, but knowing how she seemingly likes to keep a lot of secrets he wasn’t expecting a direct answer on that front.
 

MKR

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#4
Waves crashing, tide pushing, volumes upon volumes being displaced on short notice. Aboard the Biancaneve this phenomenon was being noticed. It was... Unnatural, like some mass was moving beneath. Sensors were set to scan, the guard was raised. At this last leg of a mission there was no intent on getting ambushed by some Terra Sentinel prototype or otherwise.

But from above, perhaps it was seen best. A large shadow moving under the waves, staying mostly lurched down as it moved until suddenly. It straightened what could be considered its 'back' and towered upwards. Typhon, Scylla, Charybdis and Cetus had met their match upon the shore of Crete. Towering upwards wings unfurled from its back, the monster's skin was grey like volcanic ash with only red pearls decorating its form as gigantic horns pushed upwards into the sky, scraping the heavens themselves as it turned its gaze up, to the Biancaneve and further up, to the descending pods with two people inside in return, they all got a good look at it as well.




Perhaps a word came to mind, a lone word to describe the mass below: Putrid.

In the sky between heaven and earth, where the Shirogane Class dwelled there was a mad scramble, something this big just snuck up on them and by its malevolent gaze it clearly was not a benign entity, no it was closer to a tumor. The tentacled arm on its left flank swerving around and towards them. Towards the ship, a call to arms. A rapid response, they had been trained for something like this, missiles were launched. They simply had to kill the thing.

Its very presence upon the earth was vile, like it was made of bile made sentient. A sickening display of something, and the worst part. It was not alone, out to shore marched grey creatures like wilting plants and rotting corpses, shambling onto shore to deliver doom to the living. A different kind of tide then that from before.

The gigantic beast, whose head stood a hundred meters high, reached forward with its left arm, grey tentacles shooting out and up. Aiming to grasp the airborne ship. Even as missiles pelted its form, melting its flesh on impact it stared up, the grasp now on the Biancaneve the small army it had brought with was clambering all over its grotesque form. Moving up, and up, closer and closer to the ship. They would claw over the giant form which stared silently as the smaller kin it had brought with it moved to the ship.
 

GEAR

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#5
At the sound of her Comrade's voice, Tilde's eye creaked open, registering his presence. Amazing how the kid could yell over this din, she thought mildly - but, just as he had spoken, the worst of the shuddering subsided. She breathed a sigh, shoulders drooping in evident relief as the Shuttle's wingtips flared, carrying it down towards its waiting vessel.

"Not my favorite thing, no." She said, trying to give him a reassuring smile.

"I confess, I had a bit of a bad experience o-"


Her voice was interrupted by a great, horrible tearing sound. Eyes wide, she snapped her head in its direction - only to see a thrashing, writing tentacle whipping away. Sunlight blinded her, as for one terrifying moment that seemed to stretch until infinity, the bifurcated shuttle's front half fell away as easily as if it had been held together by tissue paper, dropping off the lip into infinity.

"Oh... God...!"

Her stomach slammed into the back of her ribs as the rear half of the shuttle tilted backwards, beginning its own rapid descent towards the water below. Somehow, training took over, fueled by fear, desperation, and adrenaline, her fingers hitting every single switch as fast as possible, the Ascalon's eye coming alive as one bony hand ripped out of its restraints.

Falling faster now. Only seconds remained until impact. The winged thrusters ignited, twin flares of blue in a cage of screaming metallic fury-

And the rear section slammed into the water below, sending up a cacophonous explosion as its fuel tanks were set alight, shards of shrapnel firing off in every direction. Only a cloud of black smoke remained, and so it hung, the seconds passing.

Ksshh!

The Ascalon erupted from the water, form now blackened with the aftermath of the blaze, but clutched protectively under one arm was Dimidas' Wildschwein as it affixed the... the... whatever it was in its beady gaze. The sound of Tilde's panting filled her own ears, and her grip on the controls was so tight that she felt they might snap. She had only barely escaped death yet again, but at the same time never felt so alive.

"Dimidas! You alright?"
 
Mar 23, 2021
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#6
As he finished his question, something didn’t sit right with him. He could hear the waves, it sounded like they were… roaring? Suddenly the sound metal being cut clean would reach his ears. An attack, but it wasn’t a machine that did this. If it was, then the shuttle would have taken a pounding before something like that could have ever happened, bar Jericho’s Antenora of course.

Suddenly… Gravity took hold of the ship.

Faster and faster, their descent went, like a bullet shot at the water’s edge. Dimidas grit his teeth as he felt himself pulled towards the Aegean’s watery depths. He immediately made use of the Ritter’s Beam Ripper, hacking apart the restraints holding the Wildschwein down. There wasn’t enough time to boost out before they hit the water. So he just had to hope he wouldn’t get buried underneath all the rubble.

Just before they made contact with the water, Dimidas felt a metallic tug as the Ascalon gripped onto the Ritter. The fountain of water erupted as he was pulled out by Tilde. His body stabilized as the constant speed of the Ascalon allowed his body to recuperate from the excessive Gs being pulled.

”I’m fine. How about you?”

He wasted no time, an arm reached for the beam rifle even while being kept in the clutches of the Ascalon. He needed to assess the situation immediately and a ranged approach was always the safest. His eyes moved towards the monitor as the Ritter’s eyes flashed green.

”What in Camelot is that?” His eyes widened in horror, as he gazed at the biomechanical monstrosity wreaking havoc. “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
 
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MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#7
If Prometheus could have choked the eagle to death, would he?

Hands that once grasped and strangled heaven, reached out once more. Wrapping around and entangling the Biancaneve which pelted wrapping fingers with anti air fire rounds firing into, through and getting lodged into the myriad wrapping tentacle holding the ship in embrace. Its gaze calmly following the descent and landing of the two units.

Shrapnel found its place embedded into the plethora targets around, small shards fired into living corpses finding embrace in decaying and regenerating tissue. A process on full display for the two, and all aboard the ship to see. As holes torn by the heated metal were being knit tight once more, the smaller compatriots which looked like the corpses of bipedal goats and decayed lettuce having their wounds patched. The giant monster did so as well, even quicker than its peers even as even the burn marks of the missiles were fading as they looked at the display of disgust.

If there was any time to pray in one's lifetime, now seemed like as good a time as any. But there were no gods here, no demons, just a monster in the daylight. One uncaring about hiding in the cover of darkness and with its eyes on the two below. Inside the ship, there was a scramble towards the hangar. Machines being prepared for launch in this lack of time, where every second sounded like eternity as metal creaked all around them in the embrace of the monster. To defeat Typhon Zeus needed a mountain so what the hell would stop this thing.

As the majority of the goat like bone creatures continued to climb up the tentacles towards the Shirogane the wilted garden of plants turned around, facing towards the water they walked out of. In unison a wall of the decayed greenery reached forward, stretching out towards the two as if to invite an embrace to the things with no faces. It was, of course, at that point that from every orifice they had light burst forth. It too, like them, was putrid, an impure purple beam crashing forth from each of the monsters, led along the embrace towards the Schwein and Nemesis. Scorching over their own kin, shredding through the heads of the bone-like creatures which had not yet left the water as if massacaring their own would improve their accuracy.

Of course someone would end their own torture if they could, it was only natural. The eagle would die.

The remaining numbers of the monsters which had not yet left the water began to march deeper into its waves. Advancing upon their selected foe.
 

GEAR

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#8
Now what?

From the dread waters, corpses rose. Rotting flesh, like wilted leaves wrapped in Autumn's refuse, stillborn nightmares that peered with cold, cold eyes. The incoming warning sounded, causing Tilde's eyes to widen, foot slamming on the Ascalon's accelerator.

"Move!"

The silver Super shot up and over the barrage, its wrist jutting out, sending a twin hail of large-caliber machinegunfire raining down upon the attackers. All the while, her head twisted back and forth, trying to get a gauge on the situation that had fallen into. At length, her eyes met the ship's embattled flank - and her heart sank, the beginnings of despair clutching at her chest.

"The ship." She breathed; "It's got the ship!"

Think, Tilde, think!

Her mind raced, trying to calculate every possible outcome, to find something - anything they could do to stop the ship being dragged to a watery grave. At the same time, she could feel it - almost like whispers, a dread undertow to her consciousness that kept pulling her towards that nightmarish, horned visage. The thrill of the hunt. Of climbing the highest mountain. Was that not what she had needed in her heart, all along?

"That container must get to Lord Jericho." She said suddenly, as if trying to silence the dissonant voice in her skull.

Duty. She had made a promise to Jericho. That was what had kept her from tipping over the edge before. She could only hope it would suffice now, as she stared death in the face. The Ascalon put on a burst of speed, pulling away from the smaller unit as it surged towards the side of the vessel, twin Enders Blades being drawn from their wing-holsters with a spray of sparks.

"Dimidas, get to the Bianca! Cut as many out as you can! I... might have an idea."

She closed her eyes a brief moment, sensing a stirring of emotion inside. She forced her breathing to slow as the Super Robot dived, bringing the guillotine like weapons down on the outstretched cable-like tentacles, white energy flickering along the weapon's edges. As she did, the cyclops' eye gleamed - and unleashed a burst of plasma aimed squarely into the frontal ranks of its soldiers, placing the Ascalon firmly between the vessel and the Jetzt.

"...Just... trust me, alright?"
 
Mar 23, 2021
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#9
The fight had only just begun, yet it was chaotic from the onset. But not only that, fear conquered the thoughts of every human being at the moment. A monster of myth had risen from the depths of the sea’s maw, but even the Hunter knew that monsters could be slain. However as the Ascalon flew through danger, Dimidas could sense Tilde’s natural determination mixed in with something else. She wasn’t just afraid, no she was desperate. Even if they didn’t die today, Tilde would very likely lose her spirit. Jericho was her anchor, he thought as they rushed through incoming fire.

He quickly disengaged from the Ascalon as they made haste towards the Shirogane. His rifle firing at the monstrosities attempting to board and harm the crew. They weren’t human, why would he need to hold back against something that didn’t have intelligence of its own? That was even before Tilde told him to take them out. Even though he remembered that sadistic pilot from space, he couldn’t help but smile.

“…Just… trust me, alright?”

The words echoed in his head, even if part of him kept on trying to deny it, she really was like Ashley. Well… almost. The good of it was that now, she trusted him. It was his job to do the same, his job to be the Phantom Knight.

Time slowed around him as he closed his eyes and took a deep breath… Focus… Overwhelm… Fight to protect. That is what he did as a warrior. As his eyes went back into focus, he tugged at the controls as it sent him flying towards the Biancaneve. ”Don’t worry Tilde, I’ve trusted you ever since we met. Besides, someone needs to look after the big sister too, right?” He added some banter to help clear Tilde’s head of any doubts that they would fail now.

The rifle would be kept as the Zweihander would activate, used to slice one of the monsters in twain. “Behold monsters of the deep, the Phantom Knight has arrived!” He would split the large blade into two as he dashed from monster to monster, cutting each of them down in a hurricane of metal. As some began to regenerate, Dimidas activated his Beam Ripper and used its beam sword mode to cut apart large chunks of the enemy. He was holding his own, for now at least.
 

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#10
Blades at the ready, a modern Greek Myth was being built slice by slice.

On one end, monsters without a home, rotting in all aspects. On the other, one from beyond the reaches of space and another drawn into violence. A tale which may even stand the test of time should time permit it. For now however, it was still being written. And in the process of writing, one needs to prove that the sword does still hold up to the pen.

Cut after cut against the 'fingers' of the massive monstrosity forced the tentacles to split in twain, the Biancaneve being released from its grasp with each slice. The ship itself had activated its thrusters to accompany this, flaring them to burn apart those which had grasped the back half of the pride and joy of Jericho's airforce. Snap after snap was heard in the air as bit by piece the Shirogane class was released from the grasp. Below new waves were being made as tentacles, burnt and cut fell into the waves decorating all below with the appropriate salt and water of the Mediterranean.

It too made for quite the backdrop for Dimidas, the Zweihander proving quite apt at culling the chaff of the bone creatures, the wounded be it by their own kin or by the plasma fired by the Ascalon stood no chance. Their lifeless parts falling into the waves, those who had sustained no prior damage however. Fared better, pieces reattaching slowly but surely. It was things like these, monsters like such, which made the foundation for 'double-tapping' one's foes and now, the remaining creatures around Dimidas extended their left arm, power surging into it as it grew suddenly. Doubling in size and despite the obvious imbalance in weight it seemed to cause no further discomfort or unwieldiness for the creatures and now with their massive claws they sought to scrape and cut the Schwein into pieces, puncture its shell with their tips like spears and many, many more ways to destroy the machine and the man.

The Beam Ripper carved through these masses, culling them further. But far from completely. Decapitated heads flying by and cut off claws sent into the waves formed hurdles for the remaining tide of grey things to jump over on their way to the Schwein. On their way to fresh meat.

Those behind, the wilted leaves turned upwards. Their reach extending unnaturally as if mimicking the massive lumbering form they stood in the shadow of, vines reaching out towards the Ascalon, not in embrace or to grasp it no instead to swipe at it. To strike it apart piece by piece, chunk from chunk. To knock onto a place of its armor and send it careening into the DEC forest beyond the horizon. Such was the intent.

The Biancaneve and its still firing thrusters now directed the remaining grasp on it, like a lasso holding onto a cow which was running away it was forced to follow the guidance of its prey, pulled along by the angry roar of engines firing. Damaged but not broken tentacles snapped from the pressure on them but more began to regenerate and extend and those already on the chassis of the ship began to squeeze.

A glint came out the launch tunnels, the sunlight hitting the tip of a rifle. A familiar one at that, for their venture in space had had these same rifles shown. Zechariah stood in the launch docks, not firing to launch but instead having moved up to use them much like archers had their arrowslits. Deploying now was a death sentence. Beams fired out of the holes striking down at the decayed masses and the giant in whose grasp they lay. Green, knightly visages pouring forth, more barrels pointing out of the front of the ship.

Inside, a message. A plan, displeased faces but stalwart visages. A nod from the captain's chair. It seemed there was little choice in the matter.
 

GEAR

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#11
"Almost..." Murmured Tilde to herself, sensing the weight of the ship as it moved. Dimidas, thank God, was following orders. Things weren't entirely hopeless just yet - but her plan was only half finished. At least the big one had stopped moving - or perhaps, it was just waiting. Watching. Her thoughts were interrupted as the front row of nightmares diverted its attention back to her, and she steeled herself.

Here they come.

A hundred thousand lashes descended upon the Ascalon, which crossed its arms in front of it, thrusters flaring as it stood its ground. A malestrom of sound and movement as the rotting plants whipped its body, leaving a score of tears and gashes across its surface-

I am iron. I am the shield. You will not defile me with your contagion, for I am the jewel in the lotus.

But it did not yield.

Not one backwards step was taken.

An aura of pure white poured off its body, peeling into the surroundings, visible to the naked eye, one that would have been instantly recognized by those whose bodies had been turned into weapons, the masters of "martial energy" - or Haki. Tilde barely felt the assault - and as the tendrils reared back, prepared to lash her once more - the Ascalon's blade sliced cleanly through the air, scattering the foul appendages left and right, looking for all in the world like she had thrown fistfuls of bamboo shoots into the air.

"Auṃ... maṇi... padme... hūṃ."

Be free of pain. Be free of hatred. Be free of pride. The Celestial Reactor's resonance thrummed all through her body, a great and terrible power begging ever more insistently to be unleashed. She understood what it was - what it really represented, what it desired - on some deeper level. Maybe she had always known. It was a power that could never lead to anything else but ruin. All the same, she drunk deeply, greedily of its bounty, such it ran it a river down the side of her lips, staining her soul with red, for she needed its power at that moment more than anything else.

The Enders blades lashed out once more as the Ascalon dipped, tearing free the last of the restraints that held the vessel hostage. It turned its body towards the Gemutes, the rotting, writhing, teeming masses of plant-like matter - and its chest lit up brightly, a large beam of pure power erupting from the four-set of emitters nestled in its heart, the Celestial Buster a light of burning fury, aimed to incinerate all that stood between her... and the beast itself.
 
Mar 23, 2021
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#12
”There’s so many of them, where did they even come from?” Dimidas wondered as he cut one down with his swords. The large group that formed was beginning to approach. The left arm swing to the side as the Beam Ripper detached into segments before reattaching into a bladed disk, it danced in the air before cutting apart the legs of the front of the wave of monsters. That would certainly slow them down and trip up a few of them, but now he needed to take them down in one fell swoop.

Both swords were reattached into a singular large blade before being held by the left hand, to be used if any dared to step closer than they already had. “I need to destroy them completely, or they’ll just regenerate.” He said as he grabbed his rifle with his right arm, aiming it at the wave of monsters that dared to consume him. “Not a step closer!” He said as he fired a high power beam into the group, but that one wouldn’t be enough.

As the first shot was fired, the Beam Ripper returned to its owner as it then created a gate of energy. Inside the cockpit, Dimidas redirected power to the rifle, giving it a higher output for what he was about to do. “Rifle, limit over.“ A bright yellow light emitted from the barrel, the outside of the weapon almost seemed as if it was reaching its heat threshold. A warning blared on screen, stating that the weapon was beginning to overheat. But thankfully, that would already be enough to wipe these vile beings out of existence. “Take this, you monsters!” The light pulsed, signaling the advent of its climax.

The weapon fired, a large beam which caused the Ritter to recoil back a little with the power of the shot. The beam traveled through the gate, causing it to build up and strengthen before exiting out the other side as an even larger and deadlier ray of determination. As it fired into the wave, Dimidas swept the beam across the entire group, destroying them. Once the trigger had been let go, nearly nothing was left of the metal creatures. The front end of the barrel had nearly melted as it glowed white hot.

With the stowaways taken care of, Dimidas could now focus on those attempting to take hold of Tilde. He flew and swapped to his Rail Cannons, shooting down those within his range. He made sure to aim for vital spots or their limbs which was what allowed them to attack with such ferocity. However, they needed a new plan and it needed to be fast. The child of Typhon could only be delayed at this rate, not stopped. With all the people in Greece, it would be a slaughter, not to mention a difficulty to evacuate. Firing at it wouldn’t be an option, but what about impaling it?

”Tilde, we need to stop that thing from moving! I hope you have that handled, and I suggest skewering it with your swords to do that.” He continued to keep up the pressure on the enemies, but for how long could he do it?
 

MKR

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#13
Wave after wave of strikes, tearing, cutting, whipping apart the Ascalon and as the display continued the gigantic monster began to lean forward, raising its so far idle right hand to the height of the Space Noah class ship. The claws within beginning to open up as a shadow would loom over the Biancaneve and with it, the Schwein. It was slow, lumbering, but its sheer size meant that even slow movements closed impeccable distances in mere moments. A single step from a giant was a hundred of a man, even if that giant ran ten times as slowly the man had no hopes of keeping up.

Such, was the case on display here as the claw approached. Unceasing in its approach, until. The blades came down on the last restraints, the massive beam that followed filled the sky with a second sun for just this moment. Helios' chariot descending to perform a drive by shooting the sheer impact of the beam pushing the looming claw backwards, intensifying its shadow over the Shirogane as it enjoyed newfound liberation. Thrusters firing at maximum power it bolted out of its place, no longer restrained. Those on deck finding their footing suddenly disrupted by the surge in momentum.

As the light passed, dust was in sight. The small army that had stood in the way of the Ascalon was now dust. On the other side of the field of dust and fading light was the gigantic thing, its claw reaching past the Super and clamping down...

The crunch of metal echoed through the air, but from the corner of her eye Tilde could see the ship on its maximum speed blasting away, out of range of the foe with sought to crush it. And visible, torn asunder was the backside of the ship. Six claw tracks digging through its back, new slits in its form as it barely held its behind together, but it was still held together.

A transmission from the bridge. Straight to the cockpit of the Ascalon.
"Order: Return Alive. Godspeed."

Courtesy of Dimidas the deck had been cleared, none of the stowaways had survived to still be on the ship as it began to leave, but at the same time Tilde was being left behind. Inside the ship the captain sighed, the message they received wasn't wrong in essence but it still hurt. They had to wonder if that woman was suicidal or not with a suggestion like that. Still, miraculously none of them had died. But Crete, all the people living there or otherwise on the shore. They wouldn't be safe not anymore.

That woman better follow that damn order.
Meanwhile, a transmission was sent to the Wildschwein.
"Corbyn, get inside and get some rest." The captain's voice spoke "This is out of our hands now."




The gigantic thing looked at the ship which was leaving, then its gaze landed on the Ascalon. Below, more and more monsters were marching out of the water. Ranks replenishing by the second. For better, and certainly for worse. She had garnered the undivided attention of the horde of grey monstrosities. The claw retracting from behind the form of the super with chunks of metal in its hand. Chunks which were released and fell down below, crushing an unsuspecting and uncaring goat-bone creature below into paste.

Eyes upon eyes were staring at her, through her, towards her. She could feel the faint hint of ire from the uncaring horde, somehow she had done something between now and a second ago to earn it even if their malice before was just a general sense. Whatever it was she did they wouldn't say, or perhaps couldn't say.
Instead, the massive monster shifted its weight. Revealing... Hidden inside its lower 'section' a missile pod. Somehow assimilated into its form by undoubtedly disgusting methods.

A selection of three missiles was visible and one launched forth, darting towards the Ascalon with its charge, quite literally in this case. As upon detonation an electric surge would be released, an attack aimed at machinery and the one operating it. Cruelty incarnate.
 

GEAR

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#14

"Sorry about this, kid."

The Ascalon stood alone now, a dot of mercury in a sea of oil and withering foulness, its head watching the retreat of the battleship. They had come within a hairsbreadth of being completely overrun - but now, they'd done it. They'd won. There were a few precious seconds until they were completely out of range, but she paused slightly before continuing.

"Big Sister Tilde... Had to look out for you until the end."

Her brow furrowed, as a wry smile spread across her face. The big one was shifting its weight again now, those eyes glaring down at her like twin emerald furnaces, in which burned nothing but unceasing hatred for all things small, fleshy, and pink. In spite of the situation... she felt no fear. No, rather... It felt as if a burden had been lifted from her shoulders.

Now there was no more need to fight it.

"Carry out the mission. Lord Jericho is counting on us. Tell him..."

She opened her mouth... but the words failed to come, he throat suddenly feeling tight, dry. There was too much, and it clawed at her from the depths of her chest, trying to force its way up - and she pushed it back down.

"...Heh. Don't worry." She said, finally.

"I'll say it myself... when I see him.

Take care... Dimidas."

Connection Lost.
Come back alive, huh?

The Ascalon turned to regard the encroaching swarm, now the sole focus of their attention.

I've been given more reasonable orders.

The missiles burst forth from the thing's distended organs, jolting her back to reality. The arm-mounted machinegun came up, tracking the warhead as it closed in, barrel lighting up as it blazed away. Bullets raked the projectile - but not quite enough to entirely keep her from harm, bolts of electricity ripping across the Ascalon's surface, causing it to falter and lose altitude, limbs fighting to stay straight, Tilde herself gritting her teeth as the charge tore through her own body, leaving her gasping for breath.

If that had been just a little closer-

"Come, then." She gasped, pushing the thought away; the Ascalon rising back to its full height as the imposing aura about its frame continued to build, wreathing her entire body in a peal of white haze. Through the pain... strength continued to flow in, the output on the Celestial Reactor rising higher and higher with every passing second. Yes, there was no longer any reason left to hold back.

It was time.

"I'll show you... the true power of a human soul."​
 
Mar 23, 2021
63
0
1
#15
Dimidas landed back on the ship as it started going again. He received the transmission from the Captain, rest up. But he wasn’t done, he knew the fight wasn’t over by a long shot. She was still out there. But…

That familiar voice echoed in his head again. “You have to get back to the fleet, Dimi. You’re the only one who can lead them out of this... I love yo-“ As fast as it had arrived, the voice was once again silenced in his mind. No… not again. He wasn’t going to let it happen a second time. The Wildschwein’s eyes looked back towards the Ascalon as a pure haze surrounded it. It looked like an angel more than anything else.

As it sounded like Tilde was trying to say goodbye, Dimidas gripped tightly on the controls. He couldn’t do anything again, he was powerless. He let this happen. All he could do was speak, not act.

“Don’t you dare say goodbye. I won’t let you. Don’t you even think about giving up your life, Tilde! I’ll come back for you, and when I do, I’ll make sure you know I’m coming for you.“ He desperately shouted over the comms, he was losing someone else even after having lost his entire world. He was starting to lose everything again.

”Just don’t die… please…” He was beginning to tear up, he rarely cried back in his other life, it was only in the end when he felt the despair, the dread, the loss all that once. “I’m begging you… come back”

Connection Terminated. Unable to Reestablish Connection.
As the connection was cut, he slammed his fists down. He remembered it again... all of it. Every single moment. The moment where he lost everything. He cried, a bit louder this time. The tears streamed down his face and his chin. A worthless dragon.
 

MKR

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 19, 2018
565
2
18
#16
The giant stood straight once more, towering over everything. During the entire encounter so far it had remained rooted in place like a tree, now however.

Claws below scratched at the sand, dragging the massive form further towards the Ascalon, two lights burned in its left arm the previously cut off tentacles having regrown. It swung it backwards and then forwards. Four appendages reached forward, aiming to swipe at the damaged Ascalon, then after a momentary retraction all four unified in the spot they were targeting and sought to pierce the core of the unit.

Like needles being used to knit fabric they would pierce through, however unlike the benign purpose of producing clothing this... This was far from that, instead they would puncture and pierce with the intent to harm, as much of it as possible. Which was to say nothing of its peers, half a dozen of the goat like monsters would suddenly vibrate with immense vigor. Their cores glowing red as if to signify their shared hate for the machine floating above.

The grey plants had formed a half circle around the battlefield, a glint from within their dull visages was seen. Not like the beams fired prior, but rather like the missile mere moments ago. Four of them, out of the empty faces they presented suddenly revealed a warhead. Somehow interlaced with their essence and as they seemed to vomit the projectile towards their unified enemy the warheads launched.

Midway towards Tilde the fronts of the four missiles opened up, in turn they revealed themselves as a not uncommon missile variety. Collectively these were known as 'spider's web' for a rather clear reason. The strings which restricted mobility that they released were the obvious namesake. In a case such as this, against an array of enemies like this. That, was a death sentence and a half.

The strings began to unfold aiming to wrap the Ascalon from four directions in their purple light and below coinciding with this the shaking entities stopped shaking the horns on their shoulders had grown in size, extending and now levitating besides the six demons, their claw like hands pointing at Tilde as if to direct the spinning, levitating horns at their target. Said target now under even more of a barrage than before, and all by herself.

The true power of the human soul, against an army of monsters.
 

XekuZwei

Moderator
Jun 14, 2018
152
0
16
#17
...A...BOM..I..NAT...ION...

One word.

Staccato, stilted, heard yet spoken not.

Deafening, overwhelming, all-consuming. So terrible to perceive that for that brief moment it obliterated all other thought.

Yet further followed, delivering pure agony upon the living. To the pilot of the Ascalon, to those who fled henceforth upon the decks of the Biancaneve - their suffering was beneath notice of the creature which spoke, so much as the forceful transmission of pure thought could be considered such.

...FORM...DEVIANT...CLEANSE...!...

The very world before Tilde's eyes would blur, writhing, shifting, altering on some fundamental level far beyond the capabilities of the brutish DAMON who smashed their way between worlds, or the hands of mankind that had begun to probe where they did not belong. Space simply...opened, disgorging its contents only a scant distance beyond the Ascalon. It was as though the figure she beheld had crossed the boundary from the outside as easily as one passed through a door in their own home.

It was similar...and yet unlike to the cadaverous monstrosities that assaulted them. It too possessed a skeletal frame adorned in bulky armor, limbs ensconced in herbaceous strands. Yet it was clad in vibrant crimson partnered with stark white across its body rather than rotten and mottled grays as the others were, and the bundled vines of verdant alien flesh that composed it visibly swelled and pulsated with vigor to an unsettling rhythm. To lay eyes on the glimmering azure orb that lay nestled deep in its chest felt almost as though one might peer through its clouded surface directly into another plane, a perversion of the natural order of the cosmos that harshly pained the mind merely to behold.

It was clear, somehow, that from it had the thought-shattering voice originated.

The thing seemed to draw in on itself, limbs curling, head dipping, tightening into a condensed ball of otherworldly matter - but then it recoiled, throwing its limbs wide, as if welcoming the tremendous combined barrage that as of yet flew home against Tilde and her mount. Beams of pure, unadulterated power blazed from the many orifices that adorned the thing's figure, their all-encompassing breadth sweeping across the battlefield. Bolt and missile and horn and tentacle, all withered before their intensity. The rays converged as they then sought the titanic master of the horde itself, a scorching collimation aimed to scythe a molten line across and through its form.

Had it come to save them, or...were they merely bystanders in a far more momentous conflict, set to benefit by happenstance?
 

GEAR

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2018
1,069
1
18
#18
Death in all directions, encircling her like the hangman's noose. Shambling, lurching corpses of nightmares from beyond the realm of possibility, true monsters in every sense of the word. The vicious tentacles snapped out, ready to impale her - but this time, she was ready. Focused. The white aura blazed, dragging ever more power out of the Celestial Reactor, the Enders Blades sweeping out to meet the abomination's strike. Unholy strength met immovable focus as the two collided, sending up shockwaves as Tilde parried the trunk-like tendrils,, sending cracks of blistering white up their sides, battering them aside even as the Ascalon's frame screeched in protest, sparks flying from its elbows and wrists as actuators were pushed to their very limits.

This is it. This is what I've been searching for, all my life. A dragon to slay.

Yes.

This... is a good death.

There was no sense fighting it anymore. Tilde simply let herself fall deeper and deeper, letting the Reactor take what it needed, feeling it gnawing at the edge of a consciousness that was already fading, falling... or perhaps, merely being cast aside like an unneeded shell. What purpose did it serve, anyway? The conscious mind was merely a filter, an overlay for the unconscious to bind and restrain it. To hold the beast beneath in check, and fetter fury to when it was only necessary.

But that origin, that flesh and blood, the hunter in the woods whose only instinct was to survive, had never truly left them.

And then-

Movement. Something else, pushing itself violently into the battlefield. A voice that echoed in her head, causing pain to shoot down her beck, and blood to run in rivulets from her nose and ears. For a moment, the Ascalon only stared up in wild-eyed shock at the arrival of the true Einst, trapped at the crossroads of awe and horror as beams fired from its body into the teeming, festering masses.

What she wouldn't give, part of her thought, to let her blade taste it's body. To feel the thrill of the hunt, the challenge, adrenaline surging through her veins. To grind both of them under her heel, scatter them to the winds. Such a fate was deserving of those who called themselves the originators, the beginning, the creators of life!

...Eh?

Tilde snapped back to reality with a gasp, feeling instantly the dampness of her hair and clothes, soaked with ice-cold sweat as they clung to her body. It was not unlike realizing one had forgotten to breathe for the past few minutes, or to awake from the grips of sleep paralysis, the choking tightness in her chest starting to fade as she reached up, feeling the taste of blood on her lips. Somehow, she had been spared. Her execution had been postponed. And yet, for reasons she could not explain, she lingered momentarily, captive of some subsurface emotion.

"...What the Hell am I doing?" She whispered.

"ASRS, activate!"

Spying a gap in the formation of the Jetzt, the Ascalon bolted forward, wings shifting under its arms as it engaged its High Mobility mode, thrusters blazing bright as Tilde pushed it as fast as it could possibly go in the wake of the Biancaneve... and Dimidas. A sphere of energy cloaked its form, the powerful ECM hiding it from all but the most advanced detection mechanisms... and it was gone, vanishing on the horizon, leaving the nightmare where it belonged: In the rear mirror. For how long, none could say - but the clash of the titans that was about to occur was not for her to interfere in-

No matter how badly part of her might have wished it so.
 
Mar 23, 2021
63
0
1
#19
Dimidas wiped his tears as he tried to recompose himself, that was until that ear piercing voice vibrated through the sky. Now he simply feared the worst had happened to Tilde. He thought he would have been left hanging on whatever that was and that he may never see Tilde again until a glint seemingly came closer and closer to the ship’s rear.

Dimidas growled lowly as he moves towards the back of the ship where he drew his twin Rail Cannons to fire on whatever was chasing them. There was no way that they would have been so bold to chase them down. “Was she not enough for you? You had to come after the people here too?” He said on the loud speakers of the Wildschwein. Whatever was chasing them, he would shoot it down to protect the people on board the ship.

Certainly one of the first things he would do once he could recreate Phantom Trigger would be to find out whatever that thing was, and put an end to its reign of terror. They could have been what caused him to be here in the first place, so either way, it would have been a worthwhile investment.
 

MKR

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 19, 2018
565
2
18
#20
As all of creation shook under the weight of the unspoken language, held in admiration to the vocal assertation of unclean being declared as such. The beast, rotting and decaying, regenerating and healing. Stuck in the balance between life and death like a zombie from media yet here, yet real. More real than anyone, and anything could have desired it be.

As the unclean stood to receive the declaration of the washed, there was... Nothing, no reaction as if words unspoken had fallen on ears deafened and muted. The beast spoke not, so no evil could come from its non-existent mouth, it heard not the words and as such evil fell upon deaf ears. But it could see, only when the crease in space opened up bringing out of its folds the red silhouette did it pause. Even this massive monster seemed momentarily taken aback by the appearance of the entity colored red and green, brimming with that purest of life.

To all else this thing had only been capable to be surmised as 'Putrid', perhaps in its vast knowledge of worlds unseen a word could be found to describe the thing before it by the Einst.

The yellow light tore apart the ranks that had just reformed, rendering them once more asunder and leaving the Ascalon its escape route while the hordes were culled. The giant's ire seemed to have eroded alongside its ranks, once more returning to a more 'neutral' state as if this was but a minor inconvenience. Or perhaps, its alien mind was calculating exactly what to do now and it had no room for such things as malice. The line carving across its form as if it was coated in butter. A molten scar now etched into its form. Grey flesh seeping over the wound as it partially slumped from the assault.

But, like its true peers from the past. This would not suffice.


Its green eyes would glow, a white sheen coming forth. The flesh on its chest was already knitting itself together once more and in this instance from every orifice a vile fog erupted forth. Like a mushroom releasing its spores onto the world, or a pile of dung let out in the cold the smoke spread over the shore and the coast quickly. As the Biancaneve evacuated the area all it could see behind it, erupting all over the eastern side of Crete was smoke, a thick haze obscuring all insight into the location leaving the fate of those contained within unknown to them. Inside however, the Einst would still see the silhouette of its foe cast inside the smoke. Here, it was almost familiar were it not for its more slender physique and the rampantly grown wings and horns it would look like it should. As it must have once looked, but now even hiding its form in either shame or a fraud attempt at intimidation it was repugnantly different.

But then, red lights dotted the horizon. The true nature of the fog was revealed, it was to disguise the mass proliferation the vile thing had done while spouting it forth from its carapace. Ranks it had in store could in no way have reached the shore that quickly, no it had just created those things. Mimicries of the known, the present mocking the past. Like a cancer it had multiplied rapidly as a defense mechanism, surrounded its foe. And to amass these numbers so swiftly, it was almost unfathomable, grey tentacles shot out of the smoke to grasp the Einst's arms and legs, to pull it down to the soil. Glied were on the move. At the same time a horde of the bone creatures were rushing it, tackling it with their bodies to add meat to a grinder that had already started. The Knochen intent on using their forms as weapons by weighing down the Einst which had appeared.

Looming behind, standing still for now was their leader, their Regisseur.

This rate of multiplication it must put quite the toll on it for it to not make a move even now, instead recuperating its strength and mending its wounds.