Har Megido (Bio)

GEAR

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2018
772
0
16
#1
Location: The Endless Frontier
Time: Unknown


"...Impossible..."
Eliza Kruger's eyes refused to believe what they saw.

Her feet crunched the glistening sands of the strange, benevolent space that she and Ana had found themselves flung to only a day or so ago. A place that perfectly matched her memories of her childhood home, Cape Town, right down to the smallest grain of dust. She almost wished they could stay there together, in this peaceful plateau of solitude and safety, forever.

Even so... When the sky had split, tearing itself asunder, and the ground shook with the crushing weight of a new arrival, the two had hastened back to the beach, her behind the wheel of a bright yellow Jeep that had belonged to her neighbor. She raised a hand to its door to steady herself, eyes wide as saucer plates, in abject disbelief at what was before her.

...

The water which had once kissed the sands, so clear and pure... was now muddied and dark, its surface rich and thick, as though a millenia's worth of rust had been scraped into its depths all at once. Chunks of metal bobbed across its uneven surface about what could best be described as a miniature mountain of sparking, rotting parts. Yet... the uneven light rolled over its form, a certain shape began to render itself familiar to the eye.

Cruel, hooked tusks bursting from a ragged torso, spine-riddled shoulders that terminated in a single, long, thin arm gnarled into a wicked claw, its opposite seemingly having drooped away, leaving only oozing, oily strands of artificial muscle. Its head was smooth and sunken into the body, its one remaining eye black and unresponsive, underneath the corroded remains of an almost halo-like structure that had stood on its back.

Arrayed about it were the remains of... faces, almost - leering, mechanical things that were somewhere between monsters and demons - a yawning lion's maw, a pair of blackened goat's horns, the smooth, splatted scales of a metallic serpent - all piled up among the refuse, little more than garbage.

It was as if it had been aged a thousand years in a few moments, on the very verge of crumbling away into carbonized dust... yet its form, even in this reduced state, was one she could never forget.

"It... can't be..." Murmured Eliza, shaking her head slowly in denial. It was... wrong, all wrong.

But... who, if anyone, would know that form better than she?


"...Lemures...?"​
 
Jun 14, 2018
120
0
16
#2
Whatever climatic confrontation with the unknown Anastasiya had steeled herself for, this was decidedly not it.

"That's..."

The bulky form of the Gespenst settled to the ground aside Eliza, its weight sinking slightly into the crystalline sands. Those glittering grains seemed as though they were the only element of the landscape that had not been dramatically altered by the spacial rend, though even they were in part stained deep vermilion by the polluted waters lapping at the shore. With the sky above streaked between light and dark, it was no longer clear where day ended and night began - not that either seemed to hold much significance in this place. But what caught their attention, understandably so, beyond any of these things, was...

The thing made her feel small.

It was an unpleasant sensation, not one Ana was accustomed to. Craning her neck to look up at the rotten husk of a machine that had desecrated the bay's crystal surf, there was a sense of awe at the sheer size of it. Or rather, that feeling still persisted - because what lay before them was, undeniably, the same machine which Eliza had been piloting in defense of the Institute, whose scale had amazed her back then as well.

Except...that it also wasn't.

Even Ana, only marginally familiar with the design of the Lemures from that single battle, could pick out the tremendous differences between the two units. Even beneath its sagging, melted, decaying visage it was clear that while they shared a basic anatomy, this one was far more...bestial. Organic. Refined, even, perhaps? It was hard to say under all that damage. But if it was the Lemures, but not Eliza's Lemures, and it had originated from outside this world as well...then from where? And built by whom?

She glanced over at the scientist, an unseen frown creasing her brow. No doubt the other woman's theories were piecing together far more quickly than her own.

"Eliza? What's going on?"
 

GEAR

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2018
772
0
16
#3
"I... I don't know."

Eliza finally managed to tear her gaze from the abomination, looking directly at the Gespenst's visor, and the woman within as she fumbled for an explanation, finding none. Was it another unit from the Institute, perhaps...? No, there was only one Lemures, the one she had built herself... Not accounting for the Lunarian prototype, but that looked nothing like this...

"It looks like the Lemures, but... It can't possibly-"

Her words were halted as a load mechanical groan filled the air.

Tangerine-colored sparks crackled across the machine's chest briefly, casting strange, jagged shadows across its melted features. A moment later, and the noise tapered into a harsh metallic screech as bolts of lightning lanced out, smashing into the sea before the mass, surging from the "Lemures" chest like anchors thrown overboard.

Only a moment later, it found what it had been searching for.

The waves parted, and a much more familiar shape emerged - a bulbous black and purple torso, with a clean slice down its middle, "grasped" by the coils released from the new arrival as it was suspended in midair, dragged from the depths of the ocean as water poured from it in thick streams.

"T-that's..." Gasped the scientist, putting her hand over her mouth in shock.

The Test type. It had been beneath their feet all along.

The "coils" suddenly tightened, shearing apart the metal of the Test type to close about its heart, the metal exterior falling away like orange peel to reveal the glowing emerald form of the Artificial Sphere. With a snap, the tendrils born of the [Sphere of the Covetous Ox] retracted its Artificial sister, dragging it into the chest of the nightmare where it vanished with a plop that sent ripples all across its form.

A dull green flash was emitted above the torso, as a cracked eye flickered to life, focusing on the two standing on the beachfront.



[K R U G E R . . .]

Eliza recoiled, hands over her ears as a booming, distorted voice rattled through the surroundings, emnating from the . It whistled, as though it had been run through an ancient voice recorder, only barely understandable were it not for the sheer volume at which it spoke.

[F I X . . . M E . . . K R U G E R . . . ]
The Geminion's arm rattled and sparked as it extended a warped hand towards the young woman, reaching out. All across Anna's system, the Gespenst began picking up... signs, power surges across the arrival's body, eleven in total including the artificial Sphere. The others were... similar, but one she would have recognized for certain - that of the monstrous "Scorpion" she had dispatched prior. The thing's whole frame shuddered as it began to move, tiny trails of Dimensional Power already flowing over it as the rot began to fall away, as though it were shedding the damage of a millenia, turning back the clock to restore its true self.

[M Y . . . F I G H T . . . I S N O T . . . O V E R . . ]
Eliza stepped away, shaking like a leaf. Something about this thing filled her with a deep and unyielding terror as it reached out, a presence brushing against her soul as it tried to get in - the sensation of someone running their hand across her mental defenses, in search of a crack.

"No... No no no...!"
 
Jun 14, 2018
120
0
16
#4
Reacting instinctively as the colossus ground suddenly to life, Anastasiya darted to the side, arms outstretched, to shield the defenseless Eliza - but the beast's immediate attention was not on the pair, it seemed. There was little the two could do but observe in awe as this strange Lemures dredged the depths with chains of pure energy. Though it hailed up what little was left intact of the Test Type, finally knowing what had happened to the experimental machine offered sparse comfort.
Less comforting still was the way in which their mysterious visitor handily cracked its formidable torso in twain, seeming to absorb the man-made Sphere that had dwelled within.

And then...it spoke to them. A tremendous, cacophonous noise befitting of the half-rotted hulk. And somehow...somehow, it knew Eliza. One some level, it was perfectly sensible that the machine she had built with her own hands, now seemingly possessing some level of sapience through means unknown, would recognize the scientist. But if this, this thing, hailed from a reality foreign to their own, the implications became far more convoluted. And given both the blatant differences from their own Lemures and its method of arrival, the question of whether it had come from somewhere other was not actually much of a question at all.

The Gespenst pirouetted on the spot as a titanic hand shifted toward them, gracefully but unceremoniously scooping up Eliza as it rose into the sky. The fact that the thing seemed to desire her aid rather than to attack did nothing to dissuade Anastasiya's intentions of keeping plenty of distance between it and them. "I gotcha!" The two slid smoothly backward through the static air, jetting safely out of reach of the grasping limb for at least the moment with Ana's charge tucked securely in her arms. She couldn't have known of the mental pressure being placed on Eliza, but hopefully the contact - in spite of the layer of armored plate between them - as well as the growing distance from the invader served to ease her fear.

I don't like this. A smattering of signals had spread across her sensors, little pinpricks of dimensional energy that were growing at a concerning pace. Eleven in all, and one of them in particular...was a perfect match for the stored data the Gespenst had on the Sphere of the Resentful Scorpion. But that was impossible, wasn't it? That Sphere was not only back in their own reality, it had been built into yet another of the Institute's creations. As if they needed more evidence that this beast was from another world. The ten remaining ten signatures were all a little different, but at the same time, their base presences mirrored one another. Which meant...

"They're Spheres," Ana muttered more to herself than anything, eyes still fixed on the Lemures. If just a single Sphere was enough to send the DEI into a frenzy over its potential, a machine possessing eleven must be capable of exhibiting tremendous power. "I'm seeing eleven dimensional energy sources," she continued at greater volume, realizing that Eliza would need filled in on what was visible to her, "and one of them matches that Sphere from the scorpion. Pretty sure the other ten are Spheres, too." A grimace crossed her features. As much as she wished it hadn't, her gut distrust of this place had proven accurate in the end.

"I don't think this thing is interested in letting us leave, Eliza."
 

GEAR

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2018
772
0
16
#5
Eliza gave a yelp as Ana scooped her up and out of danger, holding for dear life onto the Gespenst as it rose into the air. Her hair fluttered about her delicate features as she only nodded.

Eleven! Eleven Spheres? The possibility that all of this was just a fever dream kept building in her mind - DEI couldn't build a machine that could hold two Spheres, let alone eleven, yet this machine was somehow one of theirs...? It just didn't make any sense.

[K R U G E R . . . ! ! !]
The Geminion's hand closing on empty air seemed to do little to deter it, as the "voice" came again... Louder, and more insistent than before. The matter at its feet churned and boiled as it began to move in their direction, dragging its rotting shell through the water with its one remaining arm, eyes fixed on the Gespenst. A sudden spike of power caused the suit's sensors to give a warning trill, as the monster suddenly opened its mouth wide, Eliza going pale as she recognized the familiar sensation of Dimensional Power gathering, prickling at the back of the neck.

[P A I N . . . S H O U T E R . . .!]


"Look out!"

A wave of emerald green erupted from the Geminion, the most crude - yet effective weapon in what aspects of its arsenal still worked: an explosion of pure agony, a tremendous blast of riproaring power centered on itself that sent a shockwave rippling through the whole sky, causing Eliza to gasp as everything went white-

What was that term, again? It vaguely prodded at her thoughts, something that had been circulating the late night talk shows as of late, little more than unfounded gossip, and yet... Oh, yes.

Void Memory.



...
Another Time
Another Place



1579865264316.jpeg

Silence.

That was the strange thing.

The mornings in Jeddah were no longer accompanied by the hustle and bustle of the locals, nor the occasional squawk or chirp of wildlife. No, ever since the King of Ruin had returned... the whole world cowered.

Well...

Not all of it, at least.

DA010DFB-59F0-4630-8786-9ADBC3537914.jpeg

A dark, metallic figure leaned against the rusted, ruined remains of DEI's main hangar. Unmistakably masculine, their mechanical frame gleamed with newness, a pair of yellow-rimmed cameras watching as morning dawned. The sun was cut off by the imposing form of an unfamiliar machine, its curved surfaces and mismatched armor plates indicating it had been hurriedly reassembled, standing approximately twenty meters in height.

His sword.

And soon... prison.

In only minutes, the Ruina would come, as they always did... and this time, it would be the last. They no longer had the strength to repel them, as the ranks of the Lord of Ruin were as deep and wide as a bottomless ocean. His thoughts were interrupted as a voice called out:

"What are you doing?"

"Just... thought it'd be nice to see the sunrise, is all. One last time."

His voice sounded... unfamiliar to him now. Tinny, yet baritone, as though he were speaking through a synthesizer of yesteryear. There was a clack clack as another figure came into view along the catwalk, lowering her hand from the safety railing that remained, her features no less ornate or beautiful with age - though the dark lines beneath her eyes showed little, if any rest.

2A1BDD58-D48E-4725-A144-3E3485208F30.jpeg

"How are you even able to walk-" She began to ask;
"Time is of the essence, Director Kruger. The Twelve must be gathered, if any of us are to survive."

One steely hand turned thoughtfully, as if its owner was admiring the craftsmanship in its design, opening and closing.

"Your assistance has been... invaluable."

Eliza scoffed before turning to the machine in question, taking a few steps before leaning in to tinker with this and that in the cockpit, running through as many last-minute checks as she could.

"Strange way of saying thank you." She said; "I don't really have any choice. Everyone else... is..."

"What happened to Director Bertram was unfortunate. You should be commended."
"There's no chance... He would ever approve of-."
"He would never have been able to accomplish this."

Eliza's features darkened at his words. This... was no "accomplishment", she knew. This... was a monstrosity. An abomination that should never have existed. She was only grateful that nobody was left to see its completion. Desperate times caused for desperate measures... and if there were a better way to describe their current situation, she couldn't think of it.

"The Geminion is ready?"
"Yes, but... Once you close that door, you won't be coming out. You'll just be a part of the machine, and the last traces of who you are... Will cease to be." She paused, gently. It wasn't the first time she had said it. yet she felt compelled to ask once more.

"Are you certain this is what you want?"
"Sacrifices must be made. I intend to be the last."

They both turned their gaze up at the yellow-visored machine, the Lunarian prototype's will. Humanity's Hail Mary. What was that name he had picked out, she thought again? Oh yes - "Black Charisma".

"Forlorn Hope" would have been better.

"A vessel for human will." He continued; "That is what I must become, Kruger."
"The erasure, and realization of the self... transcendence..." Said the Director, quietly.
"You really believe this will work, don't you?"
"As you said... There isn't much choice. Everything that I am, that I was... must disappear."

At this, Eliza just gave a long, slow sigh. All of it was just hypothetical, things she had cribbed from Dr. Couch's notes and experiments, taken to a logical conclusion... Yet, here they were, betting all of humanity - all of existence - on a hunch. Not even the late Doctor would have thought this was anywhere close to a good idea. She closed her eyes, and leaned against the adjoining pillar, its stability far more certain than the rusted catwalk.

"I'm sorry, Director." Said the Black Charisma, suddenly, causing her to open one eye a little, giving a wry smile.

"A little late for that... but, what for?"

"...For this."

"Wh-"



Pain.

She reeled back with a cry as something struck her, the sound from the impact still ringing all through her head as she lowered her hands - blood. The scent of it filling her nose, the taste of it filling her mouth as everything went dark. Eliza Kruger gave the Black Charisma one last look of astonishment and shock before crumpling to the floor.

There was a clatter of metal, as the now blood-splattered length of decayed guardrail joined her, dropping from the cyborg's fingers. Those cold, unfeeling eyes watched for a moment more for any signs of life... before turning back to the Geminion. No further contemplation was needed. It was time.

"With the last tie severed... My rebirth is now complete." He said - though to whom, it was not immediately certain.

"I did say there would be sacrifices, Kruger."

The dark deed complete, and the final string of humanity that had held him back gone... he lowered himself into the cockpit - but took one last glimpse at Eliza's face.

"You, Director... were just the first."

The doors closed... and with it, the end began.
 
Last edited:
Jun 14, 2018
120
0
16
#6
With every power reading she was getting from the beast peaking dangerously as its maw stretched wide, Ana did not need to be warned twice.

The battlesuit at last was forced to turn its back to the Lemures as the colossal wave of energy erupted forth. Rocket thrusters ignited, Ana accelerating as rapidly as she dared with the unprotected Eliza in tow. Streets and structures flashed past below them at a fevered and rising pace...but would it be enough? Sensors screamed at Ana but she dared not look back as they fled.

And then without warning, the world around them went pure white -


It was the strangest sensation. Had she failed? Was she...dead?

But, no; after a moment, the void resolved itself into reality once more. Except...that for the second time in as many days, Anastasiya found herself deposed from the world she knew. And what was more, that odd sensation persisted. It was as though she had been frozen in place, and her limbs would not obey her. Not the same hesitation borne of fear, or of nerves - these were things she was familiar with, things she had felt before, things that were simply part of human nature. No, this was a...numbness, one that saturated her being so thoroughly she might have questioned whether she had not deserted her physical form after all.

Was this some sort of...vision? Or had moving between worlds simply broken something fundamental in her existence? Either way, it didn't appear that Ana had much choice other than to stay put.

Her attention turned to the scene before her and the solitary figure that occupied it; the perspective given to her was one from on high, seemingly a bodyless observer. Try as she might, it wouldn't budge. He stood, motionless, for what seemed like a long time...until interrupted by a voice. It was one that she could not possibly have mistaken after the last few days, though it carried a weariness even greater than what she had heard from Eliza before now. Frustratingly, she was forced to wait until the woman wandered into her field of view on her own, and she was surprised to see that the figure, while just as recognizable as her voice, was notably older than that she knew. Though distant from her perch, their conversation was somehow crystal clear as she listened on.

...The Twelve must be gathered, if any of us are to survive.
The...Spheres? Was that what the mechanical man referred to? Then this machine was...but no, it had no resemblance to the monstrous thing, the Lemures, which they had encountered. Yet, the way he referred to her - 'Kruger' - and something in his voice mirrored the way it had spoken to them. They were one in the same. She continued to observe in abject, forced silence as the scene played out, almost like watching a recording.

Which meant, of course...that she could observe those moments leading up to this aged Eliza's demise in disturbing detail as well.

No... Initially puzzled as the man hefted his makeshift weapon, what he was about to do came to Ana a moment of terrible clarity. No! This wasn't even her world, her Eliza, but all the same...! With all of her being, she struggled against whatever phantom force locked her in place to no avail - that strange numbness was her only response, the only thing she could feel, if you could even call it feeling.

Anastasiya was forced to watch, silent, distraught, as this Eliza was stricken down.

NO! ELI-


"-ZA!"


What began as a silent scream burst from her lips as she found herself, quite abruptly, back in the Gespenst, back in the static world they had come to know, and seemingly not so much as an inch from where they had left it. Yes, they; as she glanced down and confirmed, with tremendous relief, that this reality's Eliza was still nestled in her arms. The woman could feel moisture gathering at the corners of her eyes, but blinked it away; she needed to be strong if they were going to make it out in one piece. That could come later.

It seemed they had survived for the moment, the domed radius of the Pain Shouter falling away behind her as the attack petered out. She didn't slow her pace; for now, they still needed to get as far as humanly possible from the Lemures.

What was that?
 

GEAR

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2018
772
0
16
#7
Eliza's face was as white as a sheet as she reached out, and suddenly gripped the Gespenst's arm. Whatever she had felt, whatever she had experienced must have been, at the very least, different from Ana's own, for she trembled terribly in her grasp. Had she felt the pain of her own demise? Or perhaps it was something more?

No, her mind was racing to reach a conclusion. One that had been clattering and whistling away on the backburner of her mind, foamy contents running down the sides of the pot as it reached its boiling point. As the emerald wave dissipated around them into crackling clouds, a realization was dawning on her. All she could feel, beside the rush of cold air, was her fingers gripping her flank tightly, insistently in search of... something.

They should be dead. A wave like that, of such incredible strength, like an atomic bomb - both of them should have been instantly vaporized, she thought to herself. And yet... they lived, somehow. On top of that, from Ana's tone, something else was apparently clear.

She had seen it too.

But that was impossible, unless-

...

Click.

The last part of the puzzle snapped into place in her mind, and a long, slow gasp escaped her lips as her eyes widened.​

Everything.

No - nothing about this place had made any sense to her since they arrived. No world would be a simple mirror copy of another. The difference was simply too small - "possibilities" alone weren't enough to fork planes of existence. Such was one of the guiding principles of Dimensional Science as it was understood - knowing just how far you could bend the rules was tantamount.

Somehow, that machine - and Ana itself - had willed them into existence.

Something from nothing.

It broke every possibility, every law, everything she had ever known... Yet, there was no other possibility.

And when it faded, that would mean---

...

No, she couldn't think about that right now.

"Ana..." She said, grabbing the head of the Gespenst in both hands, staring into the eyes of the woman within. Even as the Lemures shrieked in the distance, she needed to be heard.

"This place... It's..." She gasped;

"...yours...!"

...It took a moment for her to realize how her gawking wouldn't suffice for an explanation, causing her cheeks to flush red as she struggled to find the words.

Not just some simple pocket dimension - a true one.

"You... made this. You own it. At that moment, when all you wanted was to "protect me"... That desire... created this..."

A "safe" place. Something that had taken from her own memories the notion of what that "idea" constituted, and which had imprinted itself on a new reality. A place where Ana - her mind balked at the word, even though it sprang to mind - was a functional God. A new, albeit stunted branch of human history. It had pulled directly from her own thoughts, everything that she considered "safe" was here. Meaning-

Boom, boom, boom.

The distant crashing of tidal waves as the Lemures drew ever closer, its shambling gait shedding its limping quality further and further with every step as it continued mending itself. It somehow seemed to grow even more warped, more distorted with every passing moment, its features melting and blending together like a wax figure, only those glowing eyes remaining consistent, fixated on the subject of its desire.

Its existence was agony. Every single moment its body was breaking apart and fusing back together, this very "place" this "world" rejecting its presence.

Yet still, it pushed forward, the "will" that guided it having been subjected to far worse tortures, yet now having been forged so keenly and so brightly, that it was as much a machine as the metal shell that contained it.

The Lemures body rocked - and then swayed forward haphazardly, as the crackling energy whips from before re-materialized, the monstrosity's "desire" manifesting in the most literal of senses as it lashed out in search of Eliza, carving through the air. This time, there would be no escape for the Gespenst - even if it took a hundred thousand years, it would have them both in its grasp-

"No."​

A quiet voice emanated from the young woman in Ana's arms.

"No more!"​

Always, she was hiding behind someone else. First Doctor Griswold, then Bert, and now Ana - always needing someone else to fight her battles for her. Everyone always picking on her, looking down on her - and she'd let them. Even this man - this thing before them - had just used her up and thrown her away like garbage, all in the name of his insane plan to become some kind of messiah.

She wasn't going to let it happen.

She wasn't going to let him hurt her, or take her, or harm Ana.

This time... She would be the one to protect her.


[K R U G E R . . . ! ! ! ]

"My life... IS NOT YOUR TOY!"​

...Now, how would Ana do it? Eliza's fingers went up to the sky-

And snapped.

"COME HERE! CHAOS LEO!"


A golden glint in the sky-

And a sudden whirlwind of metal, as a familiar form crashed from the heavens, interposing itself between the Gespenst and the Lemures, causing the latter to reel back in shock as its tendrils were severed. DEI's premiere Super Robot crashed into the shallow waters below, eyes agleam as it rose from its beastial crouch, fanged maw going wide as its cabled claws whipped back into their holsters.

Even Eliza's featured betrayed a small amount of surprise and awe, her hand trembling with excitement. It worked! She hadn't even installed that feature yet on her own machine, but because of the nature of this place... What was impossible became possible, if only the will for it existed. She gave a nod to Ana, her features resolute:

She'd made her decision.

They would fight.
 

XekuZwei

Moderator
Jun 14, 2018
120
0
16
#8
The Gespenst came skidding to a halt as Eliza grasped desperately at its arm in obvious distress. Eyes full of concern were already gazing down at the scientist as she moved to forcibly redirect Ana's attention. Her expression visibly softened at the sight of the diminutive woman regaining her composure, only to give way to a look of confusion at the hurried explanation of this world. "Mine...?"

Her head snapped up as chaotic whips of energy once again lashed out from the Lemures, probing the air like a nest of vipers searching out a scent. She braced herself to once more leap away, to make distance from the monster until they could figure out some plan, any plan, but she was interrupted by a small voice -

No. No more! My life... IS NOT YOUR TOY! COME HERE! CHAOS LEO!

Ana's eyes went wide and an audible gasp escaped her as the beastial machine crashed down between the pair and their pursuer, severing the Lemures' seeking whips seemingly as easily as its barbed form parted the air. From whence it had come, she couldn't even begin to decipher - but there would be no complaints given. Looking back to Eliza, she returned her friend's nod, and though it was hidden behind armor, and despite the dire severity of their situation...seeing her so determined brought back a grin, though slight, to Ana's lips. The Gespenst darted skyward, swinging around the form of the Chaos Leo to gently deposit Eliza in its cockpit before arcing away to hover alongside it.

This world...I made this?

For one not versed in the functions of Spheres, it was a difficult concept to grasp. Ana gazed down at her own hands, palms up, fingers outstretched. Her desires...had created this world, or so Eliza said. An entire existence, one which revolved solely around the singular want to protect her friend. And what was it...that she wanted now, more than anything else?

To punch that screeching mass of scrap metal right back to where it had come from.

"So when you say I own this...what you're telling me is, basically...my house, my rules." The Gespenst adopted a fighting pose, fingers curling into raised fists, one foot forward, looking for all the world as if it intended to carry out Anastasiya's desire in the most literal sense. She inhaled deeply, paused - focused her mind on a single, decisive point, and bellowed with all of her might, amplified for all this world to hear:


"GESPENST! SYSTEM XN! GIVE ME YOUR STRENGTH! GIVE ME EVERYTHING!"


S Y S T E M__X N
A U T O N O M O U S__I N T E L L I G E N C E__M O D U L E__I N I T I A T E D
V E R B A L__C O M M A N D__R E C O G N I Z E D
P A R A M E T E R S__S E T
P I L O T__S T A T U S__O K
L I M I T E R__R E L E A S E__C O N F I R M E D
C O M M E N C I N G__O P E R A T I O N__A T__M A X I M U M__O U T P U T
. . .
. . . G O O D__L U C K .

The Gespenst seemed to burst at the seams as raw dimensional energy roared forth from within its frame: the full brunt of System XN's capabilities vomiting forth into their world without cessation, no longer fettered by the multitude of safeguards and regulatory devices that had heretofore kept it under lock and key. In any other place, at any other time, the unending torrent of power would have simply burned the battle armor to nothingness - or worse. But here, in this place, Anastasiya stood resolute, her form barely discernible through the blazing effigy that had surrounded her.

My body...feel like it's on fire. This is...power? My power? It's...incredible, unbelievable.

I feel like I can do anything.

Keep On Keeping On - Aldnoah.Zero

A colossal fist, wreathed in burning power, extended toward the Chaos Leo. It far exceeded the scale of the Gespenst - or rather it would have, had the battle armor not suddenly and inexplicably stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Institute's machine, equal in scale. There was no question of how; in this world, one in which reality could be shifted through force of will, it simply was. Her words echoed across the battlefield, crystal clear even over the keening of the Lemures, and a single titanic eye was visible through the ruby visor as Ana stared down their foe.

"Let's do this, Eliza."​
 
Last edited:

GEAR

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2018
772
0
16
#9
As the Chaos Leo emerged, and the Gespenst swelled before its very eyes, the Lemures hardly faltered. Its unstoppable advance continued, features distorting even further, exaggerating as the very same power flowed through its body, a will unbending even in the face of the apocalypse. Nothing would stop it. Nothing could stop it. These thoughts echoed through the mind of what remained of Black Charisma like an endless, unceasing drumbeat.

Victory or death.
Victory or death.

Victory or death.

The staff-holding arm extended jerkily towards the two, energy crackling along its length as the golden points along its tip split apart, forming a pyramid-like array as it focused an immense amount of power - enough to eradicate an entire city from existence in a single strike-

But it didn't come.

"Let's."

The golden lion bounded forward, arms spread wide as its claws extended, the waves parting behind it in broad, sweeping arcs. Eliza grit her teeth. No matter what happened... It was now, or never. They were toying with forces beyond their understanding, grabbing the live-wire with both hands - and there could be no turning back.

[ . . . ! ! ! ]

"Cables away!"

Bladed tendrils slashed out from the Chaos Leo's "paws", the appendages smashing away the staff's end, causing particle-fire to shatter and splinter off in every direction, a cascade of explosions rippling across the battlefield as the Lemures' power was sent awry. Eliza rocketed forward, closing the gap with each passing moment - if she had some kind of plan, she didn't seem to say, but for the moment the fear had completely evaporated.

All that was left... was determination.
 

XekuZwei

Moderator
Jun 14, 2018
120
0
16
#10
"Split Missile!"

A quartet of missiles rocketed forth from the Gespenst's back, arcing up high and splitting wide before bursting mid-flight to release a hailstorm of projectiles that rained down on the Lemures. A far cry from the kinetic penetrators they normally carried, each dart resembled nothing more than a blazing meteor of raw dimensional energy as the swarm crashed down to saturate their target's profile. The machine itself thundered forth in the wake of its fire, skimming the ruined ground alongside the charging Chaos Leo.

"That's it! Keep hitting him!"

Arcs of pure energy seared the air as they crackled between the stakes adorning Anastasiya's left arm, flashes of dark-hued power that exceeded their normal discharge a thousandfold. But that alone...would not be enough. More! More! Reality - or what passed as reality in this place - twisted and seethed around her right fist, and when it uncoiled itself a moment later the armor had been transformed into a mirror image of its plasma stake-bearing sister. Her path changed abruptly, the Gespenst arcing into the sky with an alarming instantaneity and soaring high.

"Haaaa!" She brought balled fists inward, plasma stakes coming together with a titanic crash. Whipcracking tendrils of energy snapped wildly across the gap as they separated, a blinding spiderweb of currents snaking to and fro. The portal on the Gespenst's chest behind which the Vampire Laser lay nestled snapped open, the weapon's aperture working in reverse as it belched forth a great torrent of dimensional energy directly from System XN itself. Latching on to the chaotic web, it coalesced into a brilliant sphere of pure power. The orb grew and grew, rapidly eclipsing the machine wielding it.

"EAT..."

Ana raised her hands above her head, lifting the mass of congealed power as though she intended to simply bludgeon the Lemures with it.

"...THIS!"

She flung her arms downward, sending the colossal projectile careening earthward toward the Black Charisma.
 

GEAR

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2018
772
0
16
#11
Something was wrong.

The Lemures forward lurch was interrupted by Eliza's talons puncturing its chest, easily tearing through the rotted armor as the Chaos Leo bounded in, sparks flying from its paws as internal winches whined and tightened, drawing the two sister machines ever closer. Black Charisma paid her no heed - he'd already killed Kruger once, sublimating her a second time would be child's play.

No, what was bothering him was the other one.

As Ana rose into the sky, it seemed as if the world itself was coalescing behind her, the sky churning and thundering, as if giving the presence that behind the diminutive Gespenst there was something...

Larger.

A spark of memory that reverberated even through the phantom Spheres he still claimed, as if they were instinctively attempting to recall something vitally important, to warn him of a terrible impending danger.

Ana's sphere of power came crashing down, and the Lemures raised its shattered staff in response, the two colliding in midair with the force of an atomic bomb. Waves of power shattered the shores and split the sea beneath them, turning water to vapor instantly. Normally, such a strike would hardly have hindered him, not even for a moment-

But here, in this place, it was enough.

The Vampire Laser-sphere expanded on contact with the staff, the energy that streamed from the Lemures suddenly seized and dragged into its mass. Somehow, the cycloptic emerald eye managed to go wide with shock. How... Was this possible? How could such a ridiculous thing be? He could sense it - the limitless power of the Spheres starting to wane, being dragged inexorably into that woman's own being.

The Lemures maw opened wide - and in response, issued forth a beam of cataclysmic proportions, a veritable supernova of Dimensional Power comparable to the main cannon of DEI's pride and joy, the Great Axion - aimed to swallow the Gespenst whole, and silence the threat forever. The brightness alone seared the skies, casting everything in blacks and whites as below, Eliza grit her teeth in tenacious silence, the Chaos Leo burying its claws into the chest of its sister.

She had to believe.

Believe in Anna.
 
Jun 14, 2018
120
0
16
#12
The breadth of the beam that leapt from the Lemures engulfed the smaller Gespenst, the machine's dark silhouette briefly visible amid the glow before being washed away by the blinding intensity of the attack. Just as the Black Charisma had intended, and yet...

As the starkness into which their world had been plunged retreated along with the surge of energy, there it remained still.

Tremendous swathes of the battlesuit's armor had been shorn away by the viciousness of the strike, simply vaporized away into constituent particles by the raw power of it. That which remained was blackened and burned such that it began to flake away at the surface even from the wind of the beam's passage. And in those areas exposed by the titanic force it was clear that the tender meat beneath had weathered it only marginally better, cherry red and blistered where it had not been gouged out entirely.

Through a great gaping hole that appeared to almost have been scooped from the helmet's plating, a single steely blue eye still glared down at the Lemures.

My turn.


The Gespenst raised one ruined arm skyward. Anastasia's senses screamed in protest at mere existence as agony the likes of which she had never known coursed through every fiber of her being - but still, she persevered. She knew, in her heart of hearts, that to falter even a moment was destruction not only for herself, but Eliza as well. She had no choice but to persevere, to hold tight to the same convictions which had created this world in the first place. In the real world, merely retaining consciousness with such injuries would have been an impossibility, but not here.

The sky seemed to...twinkle, almost, as though a great light shone down from the heavens. The source rapidly became apparent as the Lemures' attack returned, appearing for all the world like it had simply bounced from a colossal mirror in the sky. But rather than continuing on to crash down upon its sender, the torrent of power appeared to latch on to the Gespenst, sucked into the ravaged profile of the battle armor in much the same way as the Lemures' energy had been a moment before. Soft flesh and hard steel alike writhed and twisted as they knitted feverishly back together, the damage to both Ana and her faithful mount restored in the space of a moment. The resonant glow cocooned the machine, a coat of brilliance almost too bright to directly observe.

No pithy one-liners, no smart remarks. Just two simple words that shook the heavens themselves with their fury as she thundered earthward, splitting the sky in twain, wreathed in power indescribable.

"GESPENST...KIIIIIIIICK!"
 

GEAR

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2018
772
0
16
#13
The Black Charisma regarded the miniature supernova approaching him in the sky with the same sense of certainty in which he saw all else. No matter what, no matter how... He would never fade, never give in, and never surrender. So long as his existence was certain, so too was his victory. As he thought this, however... there was a strange, terrible sensation within his chest, one he could not quite place for its unfamiliarity. He looked back down at Kruger-

She was clutching something in the Chaos Leo's paws.

He remembered the look of that young scientist, when he'd first met her. Uncertain, yet unafraid. Determined to survive, no matter the cost. To "meet her again". How he had callously ground her ambitions to nothing, the first of countless many. Did he regret it? Strange that would occur to him now, of all times.

Eliza held her prize up for his inspection.

"Looking for this?" She asked, breathlessly.

The Sphere of the Wounded Lion, in its whispery, ethereal form, flickered in her grasp. The Lemures eyes widened in horror, realizing all too well what was about to happen.

"NO!"

Eliza's hands closed - and it was gone, its faded facsimile succumbing to the one thing that had been built to rip away its treasure. A hundred thousand years of pain - deferred, but not forgotten slammed into the body of Black Charisma... And in that instant, that moment of indescribable agony-

The great will that had persevered through even the most horrific of trials... flinched.

As it did so, Ana's Gespenst smashed into the chest of the foe, carrying behind it the weight of the Lemures own destructive blast... And kept going. For Ana, it must have been like traveling through a kaleidoscopic tunnel, only the sound of screeching metal all around her as the collective power of this small world came crashing down upon Black Charisma like a hammer. As she broke through the other side, the Gespenst's form shrouded in a heat mirage-

The shattered fragments of the artificial Sphere hung in the air for the briefest of moments before splintering, shattering into nothing more than emerald dust on the winds.

With nothing anchoring it to the world, the remains of the Lemures began to break apart, as though it were aging a hundred thousand years in an instant, all the damage it should have sustained now rematerializing, as the unstoppable will that had held it together finally met its end. As he felt his body growing cold, growing still, only a final thought occurred to the Black Charisma - perhaps reminiscent of who he was was, before he had given up all that he had.

...

Please, forgive me.

If I'd known it would end up like this... I would have...

[ . . . J U - ]

A resounding roar filled the ocean, as the monstrosity finally exploded, leaving not even a trace of its existence. All around them... this world was turning to white. Eliza gave a yelp, as the Chaos Leo she had called out to disappeared, leaving her flapping her arms in futility in the air... Only for no gravity to seize her. She was simply... suspended there, as all of creation around them became undone.

"Ah..." She murmured, quietly.

"It's over."
 
Jun 14, 2018
120
0
16
#14
It was with an ear-rending shriek of tortured metal that Gespenst and Lemures made contact for what would be both the first, and the last time.

The malformed surface of Black Charisma's machine - no, his vessel - parted under the force of Anastasia's outstretched boot, a knifedge of blazing energy that split its shifting form asunder leading the way. Even as she dove bodily into the thing, it resisted; layers of the Gespenst's form warped and peeled bizarrely away as they were shorn from it by the power of the remaining Spheres. By the moment in which she reached her goal, Ana was once again little more than a tiny speck of a battlesuit against the towering Lemures, near to all of her captured energy expended in the struggle...but it was enough. The artificial Sphere Sphere suddenly loomed, massive, in her vision, once more large enough to eclipse the Gespenst -

The world stopped, time suddenly ceasing to progress, as her armored boot impacted the orb's surface.

It was a precipice. Ana could feel the pull, a potent force that threatened to yank her unceremoniously over the threshold that separated dimensions and the twisted space that lay between. Possibilities fanned out before her, thin slices of space-time, but they did not pass through the woman's vision in a blinding blur as before. This was a choice. Horizons flitted to and fro, shuffled through almost mundanely until the one world which appealed most appeared before her.

Earth...their Earth.

Not yet. But soon.

Time resumed, snapping spontaneously back into motion.

The Sphere cracked beneath her strike, spider-webbed fractures racing across its surface from the point of impact. With a final groan it shattered, a sound not unlike the jaunty tinkle of falling glass filling Ana's ears as she rocketed through its center. The Lemures' body seemed almost to...soften, as if it were wax before a flame, and she burst uncontested from its backside only to slam into the ruined ground and slide to a halt. A trail of soft glass lay in her wake, blasted by the last vestiges of that tremendous power as it burnt out. Something, some instinct, told her that it was done even before she turned to see the Lemures rot into nothingness. It was done. And so too ended the Chaos Leo, created as it was from the power of the very Sphere she had just destroyed.

"It's over."
Even as the world began to fade to white - a void so pure, so totally absent of existence that Ana wasn't sure she would ever truly be able to describe it - the Gespenst swooped gracefully up to Eliza's suspended form. Gathering the diminutive scientist up in her arms, something about the way its head was cocked as it gazed down at her managed to convey the gentle smile that Ana wore.

"...yeah."

A tingling warmth washed over Eliza as the battle armor's protective field expended to encompass her, and Ana squeezed her just a little tighter.

"Let's go home."

System XN ripped a hole in space, and what was left of the world around them seemed to race weirdly into the distance as they departed unceremoniously. The alien shapes and colors of the spaces between worlds rushed past outside their little marble of reality, and soon enough the far end of the tunnel would dump the pair without fanfare back into the reality they knew...
 

GEAR

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2018
772
0
16
#15

Eliza dropped into the Gespenst's protective bubble with an appreciative gasp, landing in the crook of the machine's arm. For the moment, for however many moments were left, it was just the two of them. She watched the world they had made together disintegrate, washed away like pictures drawn into the sand, as it dissolved back into the greatness of infinity.

"It's... sad, isn't it?" She said, quietly.

"I would have liked to have stayed... For much, much longer."

The scientist's fingers went once again to her side, touching the skin there, knowingly as a lump formed in her throat.

"..."

There was a short, careful silence. Even if she knew what was coming, had known the moment she realized what this place was-

It was no easier to face it. Emotion welled up in her chest, too much to fight down. She let it come, this time.

"Hey, Ana?"

Eliza turned to look at the Gespenst's visor, and the woman beneath it. There was too much she wanted to say, too much for too short a time - all she wanted, all she needed, was to be held in her arms once more. Twin tears ran down her cheeks.

"Thanks..." She said, giving a small smile.

"...for trying to save me."



Lantau Island
January 21st
3:18 PM


Reality returned.

Time, unbound as the will that had restrained it snapped.

What had been done, would be undone. Such was the rule, the law of the universe.

To Ana, it would have been like waking up in Hell.

The afternoon light was punctuated by a riproaring explosion, waves of Dimensional Energy blossoming into the surroundings as a chunk of the pre-leveled mountain returned to the flow of time, sending two figures slamming into the earth below.

Every system in the Gespenst was screaming red, its armor scorched and battered from the force of the exploding Sphere run amok... But she was alive, albeit far worse for wear than when she left. There was no sign of the young woman she had whisked away into the other world, who had known all along how it would end.

To her left, was the ruined chassis of the Lemures - not the monster they had encountered in the pocket world, but Eliza's machine, its every surface leaking a gleaming, green liquid that had once been the Artificial Sphere within it, the heavy slice from the Jinrai's attack still red-hot and sparking across it's body.