Rise From The Depths (Invite Only)

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#1
Lunar Surface
Apollo Sector Ruins

Though the DAMON had departed from the surface of the Moon, the devastation left in their wake was still palpable. A shattered dome hung over one of the oldest and most venerable settlements on the outskirts of Artemis - that of “Apollo”.

The shattered dome overhead had exposed the interior to pure vacuum, leaving it little more than a ravaged ghost town, it’s inhabitants evacuated to the last man. Power no longer coursed through its holographic false sky, casting it all in shades of black, like a monochrome sketch of its former glory.

A tremor in the void - and what was once still was no longer.

The horned form of the Nagzadd materialized in the center of the city, like a ghastly specter come to haunt, first as little more than a transparent whisper of existence before sliding, with horrendous contempt for the laws of physics, into the material plane.

It was joined in short order by its fellows, the five Jiwens clattering out of the Astral Plane with considerably less grace than the Archbishop - but all were there.

That, Lao Xi Feng noted... Was good.

Everything was proceeding exactly as planned.
 

VeraC

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#2
“It’s been quite some time, Magician.

From the top of a dilapidated building, a single white-haired man stood alone, facing the entourage of Volkruss mechs that were before him.

“Or rather, Lao Xi Feng. It seems you’ve been quite the busy man in my absence these past two thousand years.”

He spoke with an affable tone, and held a smile on his face.

Aberon folded his arms and sighed.

“Heidel was quite curious about what you’ve been up to… but perhaps it's been a good thing that her watchers have kept her in the dark about your movements…”

He narrowed his eyes, and could feel the malice and evil radiating of the prana signatures of the mobile weapons.

“I guess this makes three of the five ‘heroes’ I’ve once again met… and honestly, it’s all quite disappointing what has become of some of you. You and the Alchemist both, forsaking the strength I gave you to reside here in ‘Earth’. I know not what the Alchemist was up to, but you; forging a cult worshiping one of the defective trio of spawn from the Giants, quite the surprise indeed.”

He shook his head and gave an unapproving look.

“Do you truly seek the destruction of this world? Because while I hate to put your efforts to waste, they have been a waste, as someone --something-- is coming that will do it in a much cleaner fashion that you have and will do.”

His smile retained, and he raised his hands, waving them slightly.

“Well, do realize that I didn’t come here to interrupt you; I believe you have quite enough opposition already to your plans. It was rather the pursuit of curiosity has brought me here to ask you: Just what have been your thoughts behind this? What’s your true goal? Do you truly believe that this ‘god of destruction’ will grant your wishes and desires?”
 

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#3
“...Ah ha. Ha ha ha ha.”

At the appearance of Aberon, there was a long silence from Lao, who scrutinized the figure. Few could understand the gamut of emotions that ran beneath his features, but eventually he gave a low, unsettling laugh that grew in volume, the Archbishop clapping his hands in apparent joy.

“I was wondering who that could be!” He said, giving a vicious grin as the Nagzadd pointed an accusing finger.

“Yes, how perfect that you, of all... Well, I can hardly call you people now can I? That you would be here, to witness my triumph.”

Truly, he thought, it was a blessed day. To have the opportunity to vent his feelings upon his creator, why - what could possibly be more cathartic before ushering in the rebirth of the world?

“What I want... Is the undoing of the wrongs your incompetence wrought.” He practically spat, hatred slowly filling his voice as he spoke.

“Because of you, all was lost! All was tainted! For thousands of years, while you slumbered, I have been living in the world of sin that you forced upon us!

Because of you, everything that ever mattered was taken away from me! And now, upon your return, you come to lecture me?

Another belt of uproarious laughter issued forth from the Archbishop, practically doubled over in his cockpit with manic mirth. At his sides, even the Jiwen pilots exchanged nervous glances, uncertain of how to proceed - or react to the Director’s apparent breakdown.

“Volkruss promises me what I seek. Volkruss has given me power, wealth, and knowledge beyond even your imagining.”

Calming himself, the Archbishop took deep breaths, forcing the exhilaration he had been hiding for so long from his veins as he continued, through gritted teeth:

“All you ever gave me... Was your damning silence.
 
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VeraC

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#4
“My absence from this world was not of my own volition, need I remind you.”

His smile dropped and eyes narrowed.

“I did what I could with the circumstances I was placed under. Perhaps you ought to try creating an entire world, create life itself; and tell me how much power remains afterwards. The Giants were meant to be naught but observers and protectors; yet somehow, some way, they became defective, and turned their backs on the orders I gave them. They sought to conquer humanity for themselves.”

His voice had taken an abrupt turn too. His affable demeanour had faded and now his voice was cold and his face solemn.

“Had I not given you five the power to stand up against the giants, you would still be but their mere puppets, dancing and living to their commands.”

He then took a sigh and relaxed his expression.

“When I was locked in that prison of solitude for eternity, I had glimpses of the ongoings of the world, I even saw the defeat of the Giants… for whatever armistice that will remain. I had hoped that humanity would thrive and one day become strong enough to defeat the Harbinger of the End that is for sure to come one day.”

While he was smiling, it was a simple grin that was merely hiding a serious tone.

“But it seems that my faith was misplaced. Would you like to talk about failures, perhaps you’d like to mention your biggest failure? In your final battle with the Giants, hmm?”

The man’s grin remained.

You, Lao Xin Feng, you choked at the final moment. You had the chance to defeat the giants once and for all, and yet you choked; you failed. And what was the consequence? Because of you, Kusanagi had to sacrifice himself to seal away the Giants within him. Even now, he’s probably still fighting the Giants, in his solitary struggle; believing that one day his friends will find a way to permanently defeat them.”

His tone was empathetic, expressing pity for the Savior himself; though it was all simply an act. He paused for a moment, then gave a brief chuckle himself.

“...Don’t tell me you believe that Volkruss will be able to erase the giants and save him, do you? If so you’re more naive than I had thought. Volkruss, Gragios, Lasfitot, they’re but the opposite side of the same coin that the Giants are. So long as Volkruss exists, the Giants will persist as well, out of sight perhaps, but never truly gone.”

Aberon took another sigh and gave a shrug.

“But I digress. Unless you have some method to erase all of them, I’m afraid your efforts are yet misguided.”
 

GEAR

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#5
Lao listened to the former "God" and his rambling response, writing himself a metal note to look forward to Aberon narrating his own demise, as Volkruss devoured his soul. No surprise, he thought, that one of his own had betrayed him - probably couldn't stand to hear even a minute more of his self-aggrandizing. At the mention of Kusanagi, however-

The man's features instantly contorted, an expression of such absolute hatred that it could have been carved and sold as an oni mask. Even the other Cult machines could sense the shift in tone, and drew back from the Nagzadd as its twin tails lashed about behind it, scoring deep marks on the pavement below, the Jureiki itself responding to his avarice.

"You-" He began-

But another sound cut him off. A booming, familiar voice to both of them.

"All this racket."

Not far from the group, a statue had appeared to rest in the city square - a masculine form, with well-defined musculature, and a crowned head reminiscent of a king... But, no structure of man was this.

Slowly, the figure lowered itself from where it had remained motionless, taking a step off its ruined "pedestal" into the light. Across its once flawless, crystalline chest... A deep, cross-shaped scar now marred its surface, deep and glimmering, like a trench full of diamonds. His time spent in Lunar orbit had been... Reflective, so to speak. With the ZONE now beyond his reach, he was forced to rely on only his own - admittedly substantial - strength to survive, and had seen no further reason to intervene in the affairs of the slaves...

Until now, that is.

Vynatea opened his eyes, ogre-like head turning towards them as one eye glared in burning irritation.

"You're as bad as the slaves."
 

VeraC

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#6
Aberon gave a simple grin as Lao began lashing about in anger, alike that of a child in a tantrum. Perhaps he pushed the right buttons, but the appearance of the new individual was quite the surprise to him.

“Well now! This will make number four then!”

Aberon spoke in excitement as Vynatea appeared, sitting down and resting his arm on his bent knee.

“Perhaps the most mysterious of them all, ‘The Master’ makes his entrance. Considering all the others I talked to, it seemed like your whereabouts were the most unknown. Quite the standing you’ve gained for yourself, eh?”

His excitement settled down as his tone grew somewhat more serious, yet also aloof.

“So? What brings you here, ‘Master’?”
 

GEAR

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"Mysterious?"

Vynatea shook his head in slow amazement.

"Perhaps to you. Given the amount of attention you paid to those beneath you, that's no surprise."

Without breaking his gaze from the former God, he growled at Lao.

"Get on with it."

The appearance of the Master seemed to compose the Archbishop, forcing him out of his previous fury as he calmed himself, giving a chuckle. So long as this man was here, he thought, his plans could not be disrupted.

"Of course." He said, voice dripping with honey,

"I did promise you a fight, did I not?"

An affirmative grunt was all that issued forth from Vynatea as he shifted from his perch, slowly cracking his neck and knuckles as he looked in Aberon's direction, giving a slow grin full of jeweled teeth.

"Aberon."

Lao called out to the God, as the assembled Jiwens hurriedly moved into position.

"Whatever means you meant to invoke to heal this world are too little, too late. There is only one solution to the cruelty in the hearts of man, to the unfairness, the inequity, the pain of existence. It is high time your failure be corrected!"

Overhead... Something was happening. As the planets moved into alignment, the Grand Cross forming the great Celestial Leyline, so too were the dark spirits rising from the earth.

To Aberon, a soul attuned to the nature of Prana, it was like a distant, ever-growing tide of shrieking, wailing souls that descended upon them, whirling about them in a maelstrom as the Nagzadd spread its arms wide. Lao's face was perfectly calm, but his eyes told a different story. There was nothing there in those hues but complete and utter madness, a man who had lost himself to despair so deep and poignant that it was blacker than black.

"This is farewell, my dear creator." He said, as the Jiwens raised their arms,

"If it is any consolation... I will feel the smallest pang of regret, as you are torn limb from limb."

He smiled, thinly, adding quietly:

"...Briefly."

With that, he turned his attention back to the Spirit Machines, arrayed in the shape of a pentagram. Even as their own chassis hissed and sparked, they held firm - not, he thought mildly, that they had any choice give that their pilots had likely already been consumed wholly by the ravenous engines. Beams of light shot between each, and the Prana swelled to new heights as the swirling mass of negative energy was concentrated.

Tamed.

Bound.

"By the three phantom moons,
By the nine-locked gate,
By the one-hundred and eight unspeakable names:

Let poison drip from the eyes of the faithful
Let our blood be your wine, and our flesh your meat,
Let your flames scour the sin from this accursed world!

Awaken and taste your waiting sacrifice!
Awaken and tear from the bosom of the world your rightful due!

AWAKEN, AND TURN THIS WORLD TO NOTHING BUT DUST!"​

The ritual reached a crescendo, as all the Jiwens sank to the floor, the blood of the sacrifices snaking from their cockpits, draining into the vortex of power within the depths. Even Lao, filled as he was with the power of the evil God, could not stop his hand from trembling as he spoke the final words, beckoning forth the end of the world:

"RISE, SHIVA VOLKRUSS!"
From the ritual circle rose... what could only be described as a true monster.

A clawed hand of massive size reached from its confines, materializing as it anchored itself, digging into the Lunar soil as it lurched forth from the abyss, reality itself seeming to fight the abomination's loathsome appearance to the very end as it grew more and more real with every second. Yet, real it was - released from a prison thousands of years old into the world once more to fulfull its desire for obliteration.

A breath that was like the death rattle of a thousand corpses shuddered through the minds of all present.

"Kk -K Kkk-RR Rhh..."​

1594811833481.png

Shiva Volkruss drew itself up to its full height, spreading its wings so far that they seemed to block out the stars in the sky, as it fixed Aberon with a glare that was depthless, soulless-

And the very definition of pure evil.
 

VeraC

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#8
“Well, aren’t you quite the fool, Magician.”

Aberon gave a look of complacency at Lao while he performed his ritual, simply being an observer along the side. He sat on the top of the building nonchalantly as the being of destruction came into existence. Well, there would be no urgency in saving the world from Kali Yuga if Lao’s plans came to fruition and Volkruss destroyed the world in its place…

Aberon mused to himself.

As if that would stop her. It may delay Yuga’s arrival, but by no means would keep her from hunting down the last remnants of their forerunners.

“A magician, blinded by his own ambitions, failing to see the bigger picture.”

Aberon talked to himself.

“Well, I’m the least of your worries, perhaps you should turn your anger somewhere more productive.”

Aberon held his composure even in the presence of Volkruss, his tone barely changing from before.

“I believe you have problems much closer to you than you realize.”

***​

“Am I too late? Nay, the timing ‘tis still ripe.”

A deep voice that held both fierceness and mystery could be heard from the area around them all.

“Commence the Operation.”

Emerging out of thin-air, a rather large mobile weapon came into existence, the blackness of it blending in with the colors of space, the lights in its eyes and glow from its thrusters giving outlines to the contour of the angelic-like mech. From within the mech, Vayne looked upon the field; the fallen Jiwens, Lao, Vynatea, Aberon, Volkruss. His gaze of steel surveyed the surroundings and confirmed the situation.

“I shall give thee kudos, Lao. Thou hast succeeded in summoning Volkruss.”

There was but a tinge of sarcasm in his voice.

“‘Tis been what, some 2,000 years since we last met like this?”

Perhaps it was then that Lao could recognize Vayne. Perhaps almost as if a shroud that clouted part of his memory had been cleared, Lao would recognize the voice of Vayne, and could begin to make guesses about the machine he piloted. It was of familiar design to Lao, something made similar to Crescentian technology, not too dissimilar from the Jiwens of the Cult. Though the ‘source’ from which this mech obtained its power was something that existed beyond even the presence of Volkruss.

Something much older.

“Hearken, Magician, thy path shall end today.”

He looked at Lao.

“And for thee, Volkruss.”

Vayne turned to the God of Destruction.

“Thou shalt hand over thy head.”

***
“It’s time to check the sanctum.”

One guard spoke to another.

“Ah, already?”

“Ever since that intruder, we needed to increase the amount of patrols, remember?”

“Ah, you’re right. I’ll keep watch here.”

“I’ll be back soon.”

“Right.”

Pressing his hand to the door behind the two, prana began to flow inward and slow undo the several seals that secured the door. With a low hum and the sound of shifting stone, the doors slowly slid open revealing a staircase that led down deep into the earth. The guard began down the stairs, the sealed door shutting promptly behind him as he went down.

The fools, thanks to the intruder, there was a lapse in the security for me to infiltrate the guards and now it's easier than ever to sneak down here.

The man cackled quietly to himself as he walked down, pulling off his helmet and tossing it aside.

“With this, we shall finally see the return of the true Gods.”

As he reached the bottom of the stairs, the shallow waters and stalagmite formations of stone that composed the inner sanctuary became visible, the water a very tranquil deep blue; the stones gray and cold. Perhaps it was a cruel fate to be chained to one’s own prison like this, but the ‘guard’ held no sympathy for the man that laid before him.

The man laid motionless, his hands resting on his stomach, the legendary katana pierced through his chest. A small glow of blueish-purple energy could be seen emanating out from the blade’s insertion point. His face was disgruntled and almost seemingly in pain. Most people would probably be in pain fighting alone against gods for an eternity.

The ‘guard’ laughed once more.

“Well isn’t this ironic! The Savior shall become the ‘saved’!”

The ‘guard’ gripped the sword tightly with both lands, and with all his strength, lifted and pulled the sword clean from the man’s body.

The dim glow from before immediately exploded outward and now became a blinding light, radiating throughout the entire room. The ground began to rumble and quake. Stalagmites began to crack and fall, crushing down on the shallow waters, splashing water and shattering earth.

“At last! The Great Ones will return!”

It was then that the man who had been previously motionless, for the first time in 2000 years, opened his eyes.
 
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MKR

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#9
It seemed reinforcements were not in short supply this day, as a visage not foreign to the moon descended shortly after Vayne did. Yet perhaps it could be adequate to call it foreign to the entire world. The distant display of Lunar Knights and Earthy Warriors clashing with ghouls reflected upon the nigh perfectly black features of the monstrosity banished to roam the worlds by the shark toothed man. It towered over all present except Volkruss itself, and the other black clad machine that had declared its intent to behead the Dark God.

By now, the name and nature of this machine was no secret. Nor was that of the man behind its controls, for without such a nature it would never have descended from the deepest hells to aid him. Or the world in fact. The Black Angel, Astranagant, had come.
Inside Derrick looked over the two things pulling at his mind, informing him they were to be killed by their very presence. On one side the being that had sent him careening into the void right into Zivon's world and then subsequently the world of the Watchers. And on the other, Shiva Volkruss. A name he was already familiar with given his extracurricular activities prior to receiving the Angel. Now here, in the 'flesh', or about to be rather.
Magic never had been his forte, and never world be, but this was so glaringly obvious that even he could tell.
And besides those two there was the subject of Volkuss, Lao he had overheard as he arrived. The perpetrator who had used the Grand Cross to summon his master, of course one who would do that just had to be a high ranking directory official, that was the icing on the cake at this point.

Which left the other two already present before his arrival. The two were unknowns to Derrick however, but for the time being if they wished to deal with this issue that was good enough. Especially so if they didn't want to release their own apocalypses in retort afterwards.
Green wings illuminated the surface of the moon as the Astranagant completed its descent, hovering above the surface as its arms crossed a single hand already resting on the Z.O. Sword.

Perhaps this was the most heavily armed stare down in all of history, at least one unaware of the prior history could have declared it thus. But mentally Derrick couldn't help but wonder about the scuffles the Ur-Humans had found themselves in and the weapons used for that.
A question for when this matter was resolved and he could finish up the Swordian's matters. On which he made a mental note to ask Zivon about one particular wall painting for starters when they met again, because knowing his luck. That was inevitable.

But for now, the two Gun Slaves departed from their perches, hovering besides the Astranagant as it awaited the starting signal. Its gaze resting on the man that had called him slave prior. During their first meeting, the very one that had catalyzed the DEC forest upon the surface of Earth. Except this time, there was no ZONE for the man to sit upon.
"Why am I not surprised you showed up. Are there not other things for you to do than stir trouble on the moon? Have you nothing else to do?" The anger from their last encounter was now replaced by mild annoyance, if anything the past few weeks had accustomed the pilot of the Black Angel to the utter disasters he was constantly encountering.

"But your forced journey did broaden my horizons, not that I will thank you for it mind you." He informed Vynatea "Quite the contrary for all bar one of the figures I met due to it have been nothing short of the worst sort."
Volkruss' presence had been noticed by the man, how could he not with the feeling of pure evil, but these things had been normalized by now. Especially after his run ins with Gragios, a lord of evil even if it was a different brand was just that.

"But what I did learn was the shackles your sort have on you are worse than whatever I may bear." A sly grin formed as he gazed to the humanoid figure. "And in that I can take solace, now as for you." The Astranagant gazed at the Archbishop.

"You, you can consider this visit courtesy of Gizos Gragios, for insofar that matters still." The connection was loose, and Derrick was fairly sure that 'his' god was as good as out of the picture considering the rampage done by Abremalin prior. Yet... In this case, it felt appropriate to bring up to that man.
 

GEAR

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As the events regarding the Neo Granzon unfolded, all Lao Xi Feng could do was watch with increasing horror. The arrival of the Astranagant he barely even seemed to register, despite the prevalence of that black-winged form in his own vision-quests and travels across the thrice-plucked dreamscapes of the subconscious. Yes, that was a form he had never hoped to ever meet in person, and its appearance now was nothing short of what he expected from what amounted to the "harbinger of the end".

In what felt like a manner of moments, through some manner of what he could only describe as techno-sorcery his champion had been dismantled, and he was thusly out of a sacrifice. Fortunately he had prepared as such - the old man would suffice-

Ah, he thought, as the Nagzadd turned to regard the strange machine as Vayne revealed his treachery, wearily.

Et tu, Brute?

Yet, at the heart of it all-

He understood what it meant.

A cold, vice-like claw clamped about his shoulder, one that turned his blood to ice. Lao didn't bother to fight it. He knew, after all, that it was nothing more than futile as the black, bleak chains wrapped about his flesh, binding it tight in accordance with contracts that were hundreds of thousands of years in the making. Volkruss demanded a sacrifice, demanded flesh - most importantly, one that would know the sting of "betrayal". Now that he had neither of his own-

Volkruss would extract the cost from him.

The abomination of a dark God drew him close into its crawling, writhing embrace-

And in that moment, he would gladly have fled to the warmth and comfort of his worst nightmares.

Kusanagi... Please, forgive me. I've been...

...

...such a fool-

Only a single, shrill scream pierced the radios of Derrick, Aberon, and Vayne - and even that only briefly as Volkruss feasted. The entity's flesh flowed over the Nagzadd's own, fusing the two into a horrific nightmare that twitched and spasmed in the curious sunlight, its form twisting into a mutilated mound of flesh and metal, partly incorporeal, partly machine, with one horrible bulging eye jutting out of the formerly regal machine's armored carapace, gazing at all around it in absolute, insane hatred of everything that pulsed with life.

1595577819401.png

Everything.

It... He, rather, Volkruss....

Would destroy everything.

And nothing - not Ganeden, not the interlopers, not even the Black Angel- would stand in its way!

Its many mouths opened, bellowing a soundless scream of pain and exuberance both - the agony of a hundred thousand squalid, desperate souls, and the jubilation of a new world to come. A challenge to all present-

Yet for his part, the Master seemed to halt his immediate pursuit of Aberon, watching with only mild interest as his former ally was consumed by the power he once courted. Now, thought Vynatea, he was bored. A mongrel God like this was no challenge for the likes of him! For his part, he reacted to the reappearance of the Astranagant with a pointed finger and a whole-body laugh.

It was the kind of laugh that would have send reverberations crackling across space and time in different circumstances - but this time, it did not. Was it perhaps on account of him not having the ZONE backing his power up this time around? Instead, he simply raised his hands in mock surrender,

"I'm impressed, slave!" He bellowed, clapping his hands together.

"That the Watchers did not tear you limb from limb, well... Perhaps I was wrong about you after all!"

Yet, he had only a moment to speak before the Nagzadd seemed to explode, Volkruss aggression able to wait no longer.

From its many orfices erupted beams of pure prana, slashing and slicing apart the very gray surface as it lashed out at all present - Vayne, Vynatea, Aberon, and Derrick - a kaleidoscopic lightshow of brutalistic prana that punctured the air around them as haphazard magic circles were already starting to form under the beast's body, though for what purpose none could say.
 

VeraC

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#11
Aberon stood up and held out his arm, causing a myriad of prismatic barriers to conjure before him, blocking the beams from the Shin Nazgadd with relative ease. He looked on the monster before him with a pitiful look on his face, taking note that perhaps karma finally came back to bite Lao in the ass; a whole 2000 years worth of it.

With a sigh and a shrug he shook his head and now looked to the next new arrival, the Black Angel. Something seemed familiar about it, yet he was unsure just how exactly. Taking a step forward, he vanished from atop the building and appeared standing atop the torso of the Astranagant. He took a knee and placed his hand on the machine, reaching out with his senses to ‘feel’ the mech.

“Ahhh…”

With his touch he could understand it all.

“So the idiot Angel is still hanging around I see.”

He chuckled to himself before stepping back and vanishing once more, now appearing floating in the air.

“Well I hadn’t planned on getting involved in this all, but considering how things have taken a turn for the worse, perhaps it would be beneficial to lend my aid to you all.”

He began to channel his energy and as his did, a shape began to form around him. A mobile weapon of dark purple and black colors, with various points and edges jutting out from the machine.

“Crossblade.”

Forming in the hand of the machine, a large greatsword took shape and extended out thrice the length of the machine itself. The length of the blade almost seemingly was as long as Nazgadd was tall.

“Consider this me cleaning up after my creations.”

Meanwhile, Vayne couldn’t help but chuckle to himself as he watched Volkruss devour Lao and the ‘new’ monster take form.

Vayne had been a part of Lao’s whole cult endeavor for the greater half of the two thousand years, and perhaps watching his plans crumble and fall apart gave Vayne a moment of catharsis. Though perhaps his theory had been proven wrong, as even though the seal on Kusanagi had been removed, Volkruss still remained in existence, and presumably the other God as well. Though at this point, all that really seemed to be needed was the last push to wipe Volkruss from existence.

Azrael evaded the prana beams with ease, the spectral blue energy emitted from its thrusters providing more than enough mobility to dodge such simple attacks.

The current situation was different than what he expected, but the outcome shall be the same in the end. Today, Volkruss will fall. And considering the current people present, such a task would be achievable with the proper amount of effort.

The prana manipulators on the Azrael began to take shape and blades made of magical essence formed in its hands.

“Thy head shall fall.”

Though at the same time, Vayne felt uncomfortable about the situation with Tian Di. Seeing as how Volkruss took Lao as the sacrifice instead, he imagined she was safe for the while, but what of Granzon, now that the bond that connected Tian Di to Volkruss was broken. What would she do now that her fate had been shattered?
 

MKR

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#12
Uncrossing its arms momentarily the Astranagant motioned for Aberon to move away as one would to suggest to one they should move along. All the while the feeling bestowed upon him by the Tippler Cylinder made him wary of the man that was seemingly capable of teleportation and breathing in space. But he was not on the list of issues to deal with, yet at least.
The remark had not gone unnoticed however, and to Derrick it seemed that this man was similar in nature to Gail. Even if likely all parties involved would take offense to that claim, even if he did not know they would.

"Oh so I can hold you responsible for that interruption? I'll be sure to pay back your 'kindness' in time. For now if you wish to flee feel free to do so, I've more important matters to attend to."
With that done, the Astranagant noted the approaching attack, the beam colliding with the Astranagant's barrier. Only part of the damage trickling through as the beam cascaded in a dazzling display of light, beam hitting barrier causing colors to cascade into infinity, reflected upon the black surface of the Astranagant as cracks in its crystal began to immediately restore itself.

The fourth present person seemed simplest in that regard, simply wishing to kill the foe before them whereas the other two were either not interested anymore or otherwise aloof about the matter. Well, even in the worst case they were distractions and on average, they aught to allow him to line up the Infinity Cylinder's shot. Nevertheless- as the clash between the beam of Prana and his defenses the Gun Familiars were already on the move, closing distance, setting up angles.
The green light of the Black Angel's wings spread as it shed its feathers, hanging in the air during a moment of stillness.

"Fire."

He did not trust the magic circles below the form of Volkruss, but decipher them he could not. Thus, at his command the Gun Familiars began their hail of fire, rotating lining up shots, firing, moving, repeat. Staying irregular in their intervals of fire to avoid being predictable, in the meanwhile the hail of green feathers went to meet these blasts, all coinciding upon the Shin Nazgadd's form, Volkruss' tie to the material plane. And frankly at the moment he didn't need to kill Volkruss for good, shoving its form back into the black pit from which it crawled would be enough for now anything else was a bonus.

Which in turn left him looking for the opening, the moment to have the monstrosity that tethered the god of destruction to the realm of the living was vulnerable so that he could collapse its existence into the blink of a blink of an eye. For Ein Sof, the hubris against the shackles of fate and time, to be unleashed from its own binds. Two engines of Destruction had been placed on a crashing course, one an angel the other a god.
Neither, was willing to relent.
 
Aug 4, 2018
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Somewhere in the UK
#13
Middle East
Time:Unknown


XN-L stirred, snapping out of her meditation. Such breaks were a necessary evil - helping to regain her strength and fix her wounds after particularly difficult engagements. But this one had been interrupted by a chill, a feeling of.. elation?

Something was wrong.

The seal - that great barrier she had sensed upon her entry to this world. It had been discarded as an irrelevant consideration at the time, a curiosity to be investiaged once the silence had begun. But now that seal was breaking, and she could sense what was on the other side. Giants.

Her brethren could not be released upon this world. Not in this state - not in any state. Better for them to be sealed for eternity than slain at her hand. Assuming such a thing was even possible. She was but one individual, and the sealed giants were many. Her purpose defined her actions, in this sin among countless others. There was no time for sentimentality when the fate of existence was at stake. Not when a possible end to the slaughter was within her grasp!

They would damn her for this. She would damn herself for this, but what was one more sin on top of the endless pile?




Perindor, Crescentia
???:???


Perindor's sky shattered as XN-L made her entry into the sealed world, dropping directly onto the fortress with little heed for the defences - or anyone not fast enough to get out of the way of her landing. Irrelevant bugs, only to be squashed if they got in her way.

One colossal hand would rip through the castle, exposing the sanctum it was built around - and the blue light echoing out from it like a beacon. This was it - the return of the giants that Crescentia had always feared. XN-L stared down upon the breach, and then spoke - her voice echoing out across the frozen city.

"THE SEAL MUST NOT BE BROKEN."

Even the air began to shift and warp around her, Kusanagi's body - and by extension what remained of the sanctum - being bathed in a golden glow that replaced the light of the breaking seal. While XN-L did not have the power to recreate the seal exactly as it had been... a new seal could be made anew from the corpse of the old.

An imperfect solution. But a damaged seal was only dangerous if those who believed it was worth breaking continued to exist.
 

GEAR

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Jun 15, 2018
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#14
"A disappointment to the end, Lao."

Vynatea had watched the Sorceror being consumed by his own hubris with what barely amounted to amusement, even as beams from the deformed Nagzadd rained all about him. He was entertained, yet not surprised at the turn of events, as had he the fortune of advising the man during his younger days, he would never have pointed to the darker powers as a way forward, no matter how desperate he may have been.

Such was the price paid for foolishness.

"I was promised a good fight, yet all I see is a crude monstrosity. I've wasted my time."

With the errant flick of a wrist, a small hole was shattered in the world behind him, revealing the incandescent planes of "between places". The Dimensional General didn't even pause to look back before vanishing across the threshold, the glass-like planes of reality mending themselves hurriedly in his wake. Whatever his true thoughts were, at the passing of what had amounted to his only friend... Were known only to him.


"UuuOOOaaaGHHH...!"

That left Aberon, Derrick, and Vayne to face Volkruss nightmarish new form. Every moment it drunk deeper of the world around it, dragging in the vortex of negative energy as countless spirit soldiers were sucked into its body. Even as the Gun Familiars raked it, it made no attempt to avoid the blasts - the holes left from the cutting-edge pseudo familiars closed as soon as they were opened, unable to overcome the power surging through the malevolent being's body.

But they were enough to attract its attention in earnest.

The curved blade grasped in the nightmare's left hand snapped to life, virulent red energy flowing across its surface momentarily as it was raised jerkily into the air. The area around the three lit up with red as it plumed an enormous Prana Blade into existence, magic circles forming about the wrist like shackles.

"DGAAAAaaaGHHhhh!!!"

With an abhorrent scream, it brought the weapon crashing down towards the Astranagant, searing the Lunar surface as it did so - with more than enough force behind it to easily cleave even the Messenger of the Void in twain.

For Aberon, he would have scant a moment to think before the distorted, bulbous eye fixated upon him next - and the belly-like mouth at Shin Nagzadd's waist groaned open, tendrils of viscous saliva dripping from its lips. Magic Circles boomed into existence immediately, and the former deity would have sensed at that moment a truly enormous amount of magical energy being concentrated in the foul creature's abdomen-

With no further warning, a blast of pure power - the dreaded signature weapon of Volkruss, the Hyper Sonic Wave - which, despite its name, was more akin to a brute force wave of prana - was launched in the direction of the hated creator, so tall and so wide as to be practically inescapable... At least, if he chose to remain at his current size. It was blinding in its brightness and intensity, focusing further, growing wider with each circle it passed through, until it dwarfed even the battleships that floated in the distance.

For Vayne, he was not spared the Dark God's attentions. All about him, countless flames began to burst into being - lavender-hued flames that were each the product of countless souls that had been thrown on the pyre in Volkruss' name, each as large as his machine's own torso. After a few seconds, at an unseen signal from the Nagzadd, the Phantom Beurettes converged on his form, easily over fifty in number, the ordinarily anti-army weapon repurposed to smash the traitor apart with brute force - and sheer, incalculable numbers.
 

VeraC

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Jun 18, 2018
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#15
Faced with what could be described as instant death surging towards him, Aberon held the Crossblade at the ready, and swung the massive sword downward, the blade itself clashing with the beam. Seemingly, the blade parted the stream of prana, keeping the Zehirut mostly safe from damage, the blade itself somehow managing to stand against the sheer energy directed at the God. Upon closer inspection, one would notice that the blade was continuously being fractured, shattered, then reforged, almost instantaneously, the marks of damage being shown, but all damage being regenerated in a short instance.

Once the Beam began to subside, Aberon cleaved the rest of the way through, clearing free of the prana.

“Well, perhaps it's less than ideal but it’ll manage for the time being…”

He took notice of his weapon, and his regenerative capabilities. While he didn’t want to admit things were weaker than he had hoped, it seemed to be the situation at hand. Letting go of the blade with his left arm, he pointed it towards Shin Nazgadd, as energy began to form at the hand. After a brief charge, A torrential beam of energy blasted forth from his hand, almost in comparable size, though in shorter duration to the beam fired by his enemy. The Ald Laser lanced forward, meaning to strike Nazgadd dead center.

Meanwhile, Vayne had his own issues to take care of. His quick maneuvering saved him from the brunt of the several prana explosions that assailed him, yet the encroaching phantoms were another matter entirely. Conjuring forth from its hands, two swords that were formed of Prana, took shape and were set ablaze in a deep blue flame. Looking around him to gather his spatial awareness, Azrael readied its blades and in a singular spin, swung its blades in a three-sixty arc, in doing so, a wave of prana surged out, seemingly bent on cutting through the cluster of enemies that surrounded him.

The wings of the machine then opened up and from the Prana thrusters shot out several small projectiles that seeked out the souls that remained. Upon reaching proximity to them, they exploded in spectral blue flames, almost like a dance of fireworks that cleared the area around him. Were there any that remained, Vayne would take it upon himself to viscerally cleave through the phantoms that were left, before turning his attention to Shin Nazgadd, watching the situation before deciding his next move.
 

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#16
As the embodiment of Volkruss bore down upon the form of the Black Angel the readied retaliation was but a movement away, as the Astranagant uncrossed its arms and drew the Z.O. Sword in swift measure to block the incoming attack, a clash of blades more evocative of Luna's proud knights than a scientist's clash with a monster from beyond the veil but one happening nonetheless. The armor of the Astranagant in its pure blackness showed cracks that formed and reformed as brute force clashed with brute force. The pilot grunting as the Astranagant's off hand joined its main hand on the hilt.

But at this range, the Black Angel looked down, staring directly at the eye that aimed for Aberon and realized an opportunity. The machine's 'ears' aimed at the eye the sudden, rapid, sound of gunfire echoed through the surroundings as the Photon Vulcans acticated for a precision strike against the foe's greatest weapon and with it greatest weakness, for damaging that eye would simultaneously disable that weapon as well as blind their foe. How much both mattered however, was yet to be seen as its regenerative potential seemed far beyond caring about such matters.

But that was far from all, if anything that assault could at best be called supplementary as the Gun Familiars continued their movement and their assault for even if the monster regenerated its eye, and its flesh that still took its power, requiring it to take in more. And at that point the best course of action was to stem the tide, like a dam in a river for now however as Derrick contemplated measures with which to counter that- the Axion Cannon came to mind. A gravity sink and wormhole, if he could redirect the flow to cause it to gain a new place to go and rather preferably do nothing that would be fantastic. But first he needed to get the monstrosity off of him.

The Astranagant's wings fanned out, and green light seemed to angle itself towards the monster engaged in a melee. To this monstrosity without sanity and without meaning Derrick had no words, the man with whom he would have once liked a verbal exchange was gone, consumed and now, What stood before him was but a intruder, a being that made it through and needed disposing of. No words were needed for such a thing, if it could even understand them to begin with.

And so, wordlessly in the cacophony of energy blasts to and fro the Shin Nazgadd the Astranagant's feathers, psychic blasts almost comparable to daggers erupted from the back of the machine and were sent towards the enemy machine's arms. The intention was simple, force so much damage onto it that keeping it up was hard, if not impossible. So for a rather simple purpose of generating more breathing room right after the beams came the Black Angel would push back against its foe, aiming to end the melee altogether so that the machine could be disposed of.
 

GEAR

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Jun 15, 2018
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#17
The lunar soil beneath the Astranagant shattered as the Pragmatic Blade smashed down into his outstretched guard, turning the world around him bright red with its burning light. The sheer heat and force alone would have scalded the surface of the Black Angel's armor, sending even its crystal-infused surface into sudden repairs as it hissed and popped, only the composite nature of the Z.O Sword holding against the pillar of power... For now.

For Aberon, however, as his blade met the Hyper Sonic Wave, it initially seemed to fair well - the massive prana-based beam curved about his weapon, locking him between two streams. He held his own, the gleaming of the Zehirut like a jewel in a river, catching the fading rays of the sun.

The blast, however... failed to abate, at least in the sense that he was expecting.

"Ggggkrrr... CrEaToR... PeRIsH...!"

The deposed God would have gotten a brief forewarning, a chill down his spine alerting him as Volkruss' power surged, dragging in even more of the seemingly infinite dark prana energy in the area into its open maws, like a foul vortex. Before the two entities very eyes, it swelled and bulged monstrously, expanding the already taxed armor plates of its host, growing in size and weight with each passing moment. Vile musculature pulsated obscenely as the one enlarged eye rolled about in its socket, in search of a suitable target for its infinite hatred.

Jaws widening even further, additional Magic Circles pulsed into being along the blast, Volkruss intending on crushing its most hated foe with nothing more than pure force. The Hyper Sonic Wave intensified, becoming blinding in its intensity - and even more colossal in its size, enough to easily swallow the Zehirut whole, and tear it asunder in a display of the Dark God's power.

Yet-

As the last circle was conjured into place, the Gun Familiars raked the exposed eye of the Nagzadd, ripping its bulging surface in a bloody display that caused the entire abomination to emit a psychic howl of pain and fury, shuddering for just the briefest of moments - perhaps, just long enough for something to be done - and its arm to pull back, along with the pillar of power, as the Z.O Feathers mercilessly homed in on their targets, and slammed home into the shoulders of the Nagzadd. For all the damage they had done, it was akin to driving toothpicks into its shoulder - but they had certainly succeeded in drawing the beast's full attention.

The massive beam blade was brought about once more in a violent horizontal chop aimed at the Astranagant, slicing from its left to its right, as it sought to cleave it cleanly in half with one swipe. Further adding to Derrick's troubles now, however, were the masses of swarming Spirit Soldiers that were starting to converge on his location, peppering his surroundings with blasts of their own prana-beams. While individually weak, their purpose seemed to be obvious - to restrict his movement as they began to draw closer.

Vayne, for the moment, was at least spared Volkruss attention, as no more of the Beurettes seemed to materialize - but the Spirit Soldiers closed in on him the same as the Astranagant, a pair of phantom scythes howling out of the void, aimed to take his head and bury themselves in his chest respectively, as more ghoulish apparitions began to close in about him. Despite his strength, for every one that was cut down, two seemed to take its place - was there any end to the souls Volkruss had taken, in the countless years since its emergence?
 

VeraC

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Jun 18, 2018
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#18
Pushing with all the Might the Zehirut had, the blade cutting through the beam and providing a gap in its torrent, the purple machine shifted upward and out of the way of the line of fire. He looked down on the Nazgadd and took a sigh as he let go of the crossblade and held his arms at the ready.

“You are no creation of mine.”

Tensing his arms as Zehirut followed his movements, energy began to amass at the center of the machine, several white spheres of energy shooting outward in a spiral towards Nazgadd. They danced in the darkness of space, encroaching on the foul god’s machine form.

“You’re but an abomination brought about by the failures of those traitors.”

At the torso of the Zehirut, an orb of dark purple energy began to expand and take shape, before Aberon launched it at Nazgadd. The combined assault of the white spheres would first strike in coordination against the monster’s form, each hit causing a further expanding white sphere of energy to encapsulate the god of destruction. It was then that the final dark sphere would strike, reacting with the outer white sphere and causing a localized explosion within the white area, the force of the explosion doubling back as it reached the walls of the white encapsulation.

Vayne looked on at the endless horde of spirits that encroached around him, taking note on the emphasis of ‘endless’. It was no surprise how many souls Volkruss had consumed these past two thousand years, he had been at the head of most all it. It was rather troublesome, but perhaps he was currently reaping what he sowed. It would be too easy if he got out of all this scot-free.

With a blade in each hand, Azrael blocked the incoming scythes, and launched a counterattack of prana missiles from its wings, the magical explosives crashing and detonating into the attacking spirits.

“Prepare thyself.”


Vayne spoke in a deep tone.

The blue energy emitted from Azrael began to condense, creating an almost flaming cloud of blueish-green prana. Azrael’s form flickered briefly before dashing through the spirits, its form flickering, slicing, and burning through those which stood in his way, breaking free of the encroachment. He exited out, now shifting to Nazgadd’s rear, awaiting his chance to strike the machine in the back with his swords.
 

MKR

Moderator
Aug 19, 2018
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#19
The Nazgadd's strength had been beyond his expectations the first time around, and this short moment of reprieve was exactly that- short. In his seat Derrick shifted forward, leaning towards the controls as overconfidence nearly had gotten the better of him once he did not intend to give it a second chance to do so, not when the thing in front of him put him this on edge. With a frown clad upon his features the black winged angel contemplated escape options, backwards was impossible with the reach of that blade.

Down was the lunar soil and with the angle of the swing. Kicking the Astranagant into gear two streams of green energy move in the same direction as the blade, its speed by all means was good, not exceptional but for situations like these it more than sufficed. It moved with the swing of the blade, remaining ahead of it and in this moment of interruption not be within the Hyper Sonic Wave's radius, or Aberon's retaliatory strike. Which in turn left the ghostly apparitions attempting to close in. Their blasts striking the Zflyud crystal, or more aptly the TK-Barrier in front of it. Residual damage coming through as the Astranagant focused on repairing the damage to the lower arms from blocking the Nagzadd.

The man in the cockpit remained silent, seeing the blade catch up to him he knew he couldn't put his plans in motion quite yet, so as he moved around the vessel of Volkruss he did see one window, not to divert Volkruss' power supply but to deny it one vital thing. Namely the direction in which it had 'led' him with this slash was exactly the one with the draconic head hanging by its almost cable like form.
While bloated, the Shin Nazgadd still did not stand as tall as its foe, and so with one hand forward Derrick would guide the Astranagant's free hand to grasp the neck of the monstrous, dragon-like face and with its other hand raise the blade green light flickering on and extending into a long sword like blade, reaching up before being brought down in one swift continuous motion. If successful the cut off head would be properly separated from its body by flinging it into the horizon. If not, the Astranagant would push onwards aiming to drag the head with it to break it off much much less clearly.

Regardless this momentary decline in speed meant that the Nazgadd's blade could catch up with the angel blade colliding with one of the Black Angel's three toed feet and utterly decimating the toe, shards of crystal sent flying every which way like a bouncing betty waiting in a bush. The cockpit rocked, its inhabitant grunted, this was not the time to be caught by such attacks, until it could repair he would need to remain airbound.
 

GEAR

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Jun 15, 2018
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#20
The black angel launched itself foward, green flames bursting from its splayed wings as the Nagzadd, too slow to halt his approach, barely managed to raise its weapon. Derrick's blade sank into the neck of the nightmare-

But the promised sense of impact never came.

The incandescent Z.O sword's blade passed completely through, leaving only ghostly trails of vapor along its edge, as it traveled through the void, the force of the swing carrying the Black Angel slightly forward... And just close enough. Of the foe, nothing remained but an eerie, transparent image that was overlayed on the landscape, as though it were being viewed from underwater.

At this exact moment, the fearsome strike from the Zehirut impacted its body - and the mirage seemed to vanish under the assault briefly, the power of the ancient God causing a kaleidoscopic display of color that was visible even from orbit, blinding in its intensity. The light alone, along with Vayne's assault, seared away a broad swathe of Spirit Soldiers entirely out of existence, screaming and wailing as they were disintegrated utterly by its brilliance. Only the shuddering mirage remained, as the bright white light faded, hovering in the heart of the crater Aberon's strike had left.

The Astral Shift faded, the Nagzadd's form shifting from clear and transparent to monstrous reality as it stepped languidly back across the planes of existence. In a flash, the serpent-like arm, dragon-head and all snapped tight, closing about the Astranagant's body. One sinister red eye narrowed, evidently enjoying the sudden reversal as the pulsating coils about the Lunarian super-weapon began to tighten, filling Derrick's cockpit with the sound of buckling metal and crackling Zyflud Crystal, as the possessed abomination sought to crush him within its grip.

Its other hand moved lazily in the direction of Aberon... and its fingers flexed, forming a short series of complex gestures. Beneath the Zehirut's feet, a magic Circle pulsed into being - and crushing force, not unlike that which the Granzon itself employed, came howling down on his machine's shoulders. Beneath, bursting from the Moon's soil came more and more bony hands, reaching up to close about his ankles, his waist, the portal to Volkruss' domain itself starting to pull, to suck him down as more Spirit Soldiers began to emerge, eager to drag him down into the dark depths from which there could be no return.

Not for nothing had Lao meticulously planned his dark lord's resurrection. Under the aligned planets, fueled by the woe of billions of souls flowing from the Earth to the Moon, it seemed the Dark God was every bit as invincible and unstoppable as the dark prophecy had claimed.

All would fall into bleakness, and the world would be reborn through total annihilation.

Such was the credo of the Cult of Volkruss!

And yet-

Even as all seemed lost... There was something.

A small, glittering green spark twinkled across the chest of the Astranagant, passing through its armor to alight briefly before the Guardian of Causality's eyes. Another soon followed... and then, another.

Something echoed over the din of crushing metal, somehow carried forth through the soundless void.

A "sound".


A chorus of voices, as though from very far away. The tiny particles of DEC, whisked all the way from Earth by nothing less than the Dark God's own machinations, fell across the battlefield in a gentle snowfall. The lull of the voices, of the Stardust idols from the surface of the blue planet, cut through the gloom like a beam of radiant sunlight. Directory Riots and Lunarian Knight Machines alike paused momentarily in battle, noticing as the seemingly infinite skeletal hordes had stopped in their tracks, hanging listlessly in the void as they collectively stared up, as though in collective shock, at the falling lightshow.

"GugGHhhHh..."

The Shin Nagzadd gave a low, shuddering grown that rose into a howl of fury and pain. The fringes of its form seemeed to boil and rattle as the sound traveled through its body, causing the gripping coils about the Astranagant to weaken, ceasing their vicious assault as the entire abomination seemed to quake. Beams fired and spat from every orfice on its monstrous body as its seemingly inexorable growth began to slow, one insane eye rolling around in search of the cause of its agony as it felt its power starting to drain away. The Magic Circle it had spawned into being below the Zehirut too, shuddered... and failed, the gateway snapping shut as quickly as it had opened, along with the grasping hands it had summoned.

"GUuuaAAAaaOohhHH!!!!"

How? How?

One could only begin to fathom the thought processes of such an entity as black steam began to rise from its body, the massive amounts of Negative Energy it had absorbed to fuel its growth now leaving its body. It was as if a cloud that had been placed across the Moon's surface was starting to lift, a building sense of elation that eclipsed the all-encompassing despair that had held all so fast in its grip-

Yet, how long could it last?