Zest Seven (Endymion)

GEAR

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Staff member
Jun 15, 2018
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#1
September 10th
Lunar Orbit
5:00 PM


"This is Rook 2. All clear on our end."
"Rook 4, same."

Another boring day, another dreary patrol.

A pair of figures drifted through the vacuum, setting course for home. A Huckebein M, and a Lympee. Two halves of the same coin, yet working together for a common cause. The very image of her majesty, Queen Selene's ideal. Their thrusters flared, and began maneuvering back towards the patrol station. Things had been quiet lately - under Elhirut, the Combine had mostly kept to itself, and all the fighting had been restricted to Earth. It made for an easy job, at least, most days...

Most.

There was the whine of a warning klaxon, causing the Huckebein to turn its head quizzically-

"Cross Smasher."​

Moments before a thunderous beam of twisting, coiling energy slammed home into its body, snapping it in two like a child's plaything. The Lympee balked, sputtering uncertainly on the spot - before the same blast swung wide, and swallowed it whole.

The hands of the perpetrator glowed with vibrant energies, the Valsion Kai CF observing the two distant explosions wordlessly. Within the cockpit, Alan Cicero - or rather, he reminded himself, the Bioroid Serpentis, nursed his wrist, where his severed hand had been hastily reattached. Mr. Mallor's combat data had been more useful than he would ever have expected... and this improved Super Robot, this symbol of Colonial authority, the Ultimate Robo - would serve handily.

Around him, the four forms of the Zelanio Class warships were already materializing. In mere moments, they would disgorge their cargo towards the target of their operation - the Crossgate. Nothing filled him with more dread than that terrible object - but there was nothing he could do, as the voice of his taskmaster crackled to life over the radio.

"Serpentis. Clear a path, and secure the Crossgate. Leave nothing standing."

He closed his eyes, and sucked in a breath. He had, after all, no choice. All he could do was repeat the words programmed into him, shared by all those of his kind...

And march toward his death.

"I hear... and obey."

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Enemy Force Composition:
Zelanio Class x 4
Valsion Kai CF - Cicero
 

MKR

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 19, 2018
626
3
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#2
There were reasons to be grateful and annoyed, at others and themselves. For one the 'guest of honor' had rescued the Masyaf but the fact that situation even came to be was annoying. Elhirut really should've known better and they certainly were there for him whenever they were required a small escort to some space station would have been nothing. Still the sight before the two sets of eyes was more than annoying.

"Hey is it just me or-" One spoke to the other, as the view grew closer.

"It is just like then isn't it." The other responded, worry seeping into her tone.

"Yes. But this time we're here earlier." Affirmation, confirmation and a tinge of positivity. "If this is a repetition of when man made hell from paradise. Do you think the same one's responsible for both?"

"I wouldn't think it unlikely, but come on we both know we're talking in circles." the two... borrowed machines so to say began to engage motion, departing from the one Zelanio that had manifested here not to take the massive object before them by force but instead protect it. A crossgate, the term stuck out of the collective minds of the two Remedys like a pillar erected to rival the heavens.

Twin machines coursed through space, though they were different from the machine one may have expected this pairing to arrive in. The twin Getviewms were kept in reserve in case these got damaged but for this sortie the initial unit they deployed in was more iconic for the Great Circle. Titans of grey with two massive cannons sitting on their shoulders and six wings at their back all while carrying a sword in hand.

Leige Geios.

The fateful day when Elhirut became their leader these machines were turned against them, the bioroids within them had then already been compromised but this was entirely different. That had been a foreign assailant this had been orchestrated by a skulking spider. Did it feel good to turn those guns on ships they didn't wish destroyed? No. Not at all, but the matter was a simple one.

Shoulders of the two Leige Geios sparked with electricity as they angled down.
"Fire!" Four orbs of energy barreled through space in response, hurling themselves at the exits to the ship, an unwelcome surprise and welcome to any deploying foes looking to make their way out of the two nearest enemy vessels.

"This is Lance Corporal De Bougher of the Starseeker Combine." One spoke into the communications "Elements that have turned traitor have begun an assault against Endymion forces. We will do all we can to help defend." It was certainly, without a shadow of a doubt the best course of action to not show that they knew what a Crossgate was just yet. Not exactly the kind of thing most people would know they figured but still... Here was hoping there were local defenders.
 
Mar 23, 2021
159
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#3
Guard duty was not quite what the Knight had in mind, but his gut told him that the silence from the stars bode ill for his home. How satisfied he was to be proven right. The alarum sounded, there was rush to meet the combatants head on. Leading the charge, a red Raftclans, a knight who came to see that his highness’s plans were not meddled with.

“Spread out! We form a defensive line, nothing gets past us. Make sure that ring stays spotless.”

Seeing the Liege Geios being sortied, he feared how many more were likely on the way. But suddenly their plasma barreled towards the Zelanio launch bays, attempting to halt the Combine’s launch. Well what do we have here, but a couple of deserters. Perfect, they needed all the help they can get if they hope to repel the incoming force.

“The help is appreciated, but the moment you so much as scratch anything Endymion holds dear, we will turn our swords upon you. Is that clear? If so, we have a gate to protect, do what you can Lance Corporal.”

As the Raftclans got in range, its Orgone Rifle pointed itself right towards the Valsion. While it very much had the appearance of a pile of junk, the specs were anything but. Mu cannot take this thing lightly, unless he wished for an honorable discharge of duty.

“Come then, run yourself upon my blade. How much can your will carry you?”

A barrage of Orgone blasts came next, the Rifle firing off a couple of shots at the Valsion. The distortion field will not be easy to take down, but the chance to attack will come soon.
 
Aug 25, 2018
205
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#4
The radio crackled to life once more. "Leave the grandstanding for ceremonies, battles have no place for it." A biting, clipped voice chastised the knight. Despite the underlying anger, despite sounding like the speaker was moments away from biting someone's head off, it was still much... calmer, than what it had been when Luna was under attack last.

A red beam shot out of a nearby station. A long range attack? No, though fast enough to qualify for one, and a fast one at that, that was rather unlikely. Heading for the Raftclanz as it was.

Crossing the vast distance in but a moment, the red comet came to a halt. Out of its motions, the Mobile Weapon was plain to see as it turned towards the invasion force. Red, tinted with gold and gray, unassuming if not for the speed that would make Weissritter paint green with envy, and the large cylinder on its back. Emblazoned on its left pauldron like an understated promise of death were two letters and a number, surrounded by decorative flames. Understated, but no less certain for it.

IV-1.


"Kvinna. Special Advisor for Endymion. And welcome, De Bougher." The radio crackled to life and out of it again. She had to be careful when to transmit her voice to the rest.

She could feel it, the Nen trickling out of the Crossgate. It called to her. And once upon a time, she would eagerly have answered the call and feed upon it, draw as much Nen out of it as possible. But she had grown from what she had once been. 'Defective', the bastard Huvud would likely claim. But since her decision so many months ago, she had been introduced to such wonderful emotions and experiences. Truthfully, she did not understand half of them, but even so...
If this was being broken, she did not want to be fixed. She did not want to get rid of this pleasant feeling inside of her she had felt since she had been entrusted with this machine, for whatever reason.

And it was every bit as strong of an inner fire as the burning flames of rage that always burned inside her. So she would fight, for as long as her body held breath and life in it. For her hatred of Huvud, to outlast him and their 'Lord's' presence on this planet. For those that had taken her in even after knowing the truth. For Selene, for Sullivan... and for Rodgers.

Containers on the machine's sides opened, and two handles extended out of them. The Imperial Valley grabbed them and twirled them before swinging them behind its back, energy flowing into them and forming a halberd's edge on both out of energy.

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"Focus only on crushing these invaders."

There was a glint of green from its eyes. And then it was gone in a scarlet flash.

No. Not gone. It had simply dashed forward with blinding speed as a scarlet comet, going well past the range of short-ranged weaponry in the blink of an eye. Rushing straight towards the Valsion Kai, using the fire from the defenders as covering fire.

Once it was halfway through, energy burst out of the bottoms of its legs as well as the cylinder on its back, and suddenly the Imperial Valley was flying straight upwards.

"Ngh!" Kvinna grunted inside the cockpit as the g-forces battered into her body. The capabilities of the Imperial Valley made its pilot its greatest weakness. She was not human, but her body still was human enough to suffer.

But she did not let that stop her. And Imperial Valley continued, aiming to go behind the Zelanios by arcing far above them into their rear. Once straight above the group of four battleships, it once again changed its trajectory in an almost ninety degree angle, straight down towards the battleships. And halted. Still above them, some distance away.

And its hands were empty. When had it put the beam halberds back to the container?

"Huff... huff..." Her breathing was elevated, heavy. Her eyes were bloodshot as the small vessels inside had burst. Her body was bruising, and she was certain some petechiae had already formed. More would follow. It was the price exacted by the Imperial Valley, but it was worth it. It was more than worth its price to pilot this technological marvel that got her heart racing, combination of so many different groups and factions that only Endymion could have done it. The Round Table, Dimensional Energy Institute, Luna, Directory... Innovations, technologies and data from all were combined into one by the Imperial Valley.

She was close enough.

...Even those from the Colonies.


Above the Circle fleet, the Imperial Valley entered a stance. A stance where the legs and hands were wide. A stance that promised carnage and destruction... and had always, always delivered.

Directory was gone. But its legacy endured. Its people remained. Their memories endured. And so too did their nightmares. But if a Melior Esse like her could turn and join their side... perhaps so too could their nightmares.

A dark sphere formed around the Imperial Valley, hiding it from sight. Its pull buffeting everything around it, its force increasing... and increasing... increasing into ever greater forces.

And what greater nightmare did the bloated, corrupted corpse of Directory ever have than the Mega Graviton Wave?

Scarlet lightning arched on the sphere of darkness as well as in its gravitational pull, the pull's fierce 'winds' visible in the space dust siphoned and sucked towards the Mobile Weapon.

A glint of scarlet light broke through the sphere surrounding the Imperial Valley....

"RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!"

Accompanied by the fierce roar that emptied her lungs of air, massive quantities of energy from the Dimension Converter exploded out of the Imperial Valley in a bright scarlet explosion of energy that was destruction incarnate.
 
Oct 3, 2022
31
0
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#5
He'd been posted on guard duty alongside Mu before everything started going south, his entrance delayed by the finnicky way the terran machine Shane piloted controlled in Zero G; It was made to run along the ground at high speeds and not turn around mid-charge, but the need for thrusters to even move in space already posed some trouble.

The Squire however, wasn't out here to be a burden, charging in a moment after that shockingly fast red machine made it onto the field. The Alteisen Nacht's thrusters flaring with a light sputter as it barrelled straight into the action

"My apologies for the delay, Squire Garvalle reporting for duty!"

Many things were not made to withstand a pile bunker to the face, and that made the young pilot grin upon the sight of the Valsion - the instigator of this, as far as he could tell; the Alt beginning to lean sideways, swerving into a direct collision course with the Bioroid machine. Right arm pulled back in preparation, the barrel of the piledriver spinning once and loading a round into the chamber.

"Alt, full force, keep 'em busy!"
 

GEAR

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2018
1,165
1
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#6
Artemis Commerce Center
50th Floor Conference Room


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"Combine traitors, is it?"

A pen nub was pushed between delicate, pale fingers. Queen Selene III, She Of The Flawless Mirror, leaned back in her chair at the news, eyes skyward. All around her at the table, nervous eyes watched her, waiting for some kind of reaction to the news as her aide bowed.

"Yes, your Highness. Our forces are already engaging them."

She nodded, looking out the window of the high rise. Fifty stories in the air - and they'd only just managed to get this business center running again. She gave a reassuring smile to the congregation - some of Luna's greatest business magnates and investors.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize, but we'll have to reschedule."

"Are we in danger?" Asked one man, dabbing his forehead with a napkin as he eyed the exits.

"We should get to shelter-"

"No."

Selene rose smoothly from her seat, the very picture of confidence. What's more, it wasn't an act this time - not for nothing had she spent all this time preparing for just such an eventuality. It wasn't a case of if, but when - and all they could do was be ready. No James to hide behind, no Sullivan...

Everything was on her shoulders.

"This time,.. I shall personally assure your protection."

She walked to the closest window, and with a couple of swift motions, slid it aside. The artificial wind whipped at the interior as she stepped through, lingering only at the edge a moment to give a polite bow to the horrified occupants:

"Please excuse me."

"Q-Queen Selene!"

And just like that, the Queen vanished from view, dropping like a stone. Yet all heard the distinct snap of fingers that followed, as her voice echoed through the surroundings.

"Come, Magarga!"

A flowing, floral form burst into view from above, crashing down in pursuit of the falling Queen - it hand swiped out, gathering her close to its chest. Then, in one fluid motion, it landed as light as a feather and darted down the streets, its pale yellow armor plates fluttering as it vanished from view. Left in its wake were a hail of flower petals, which now covered the interior of the conference center like a carpet.

"Oh... Whatever happened to our Queen?" Said one man finally, through a mouthful of white blossom:

"She used to be so delicate..."



Remedy

A shot speared over the heads of the two Liege Geios, punching an explosive hole into the side of one of the offending transports.

"Hmm." Muttered the pilot over radio,

"A little wide."

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Lingering just behind the other two, a third form emerged from the depths of the Zelanio battleship, head craning anxiously left and right. The Greaterkin II - an illustrious fusion of Lunarian and Colonial technology absolutely bristling with state-of-the-art weaponry, seemed in no hurry to charge into the thick of battle.

Mostly because its pilot was still only about halfway through the manual.

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"Adust this.. Press that and... Oh. No, no that doesn't seem right..."

Thane Ashford pursed his lips as he engrossed himself in the machine's settings. His hands moved as quickly and skillfully as any Colonist's, navigating the menus with ease, meticulously tuning it in real time exactly to his very specific preferences.

He was so fixated that he'd forgotten to give the speech he'd written for the occasion. Oh, well. Perhaps it was better that he lie low... Not, of course, that the former noble would be able to avoid drawing attention to himself for long. At the very least, he'd grasped the nature of his newfound allies with surprising ease compared to most, which had made things... smoother, so to speak, than she was likely used to.

"Eyes up, esteemed Remedies." He said, the machine now brandishing the plasma rifle in its hand as off-white forms began to emerge before them.

"We have company."

No sooner had he spoke than a flurry of beams lanced down at the trio. From the smoke billowing from the damaged warships, bodies loomed forth. Built like walls of marble and stone, like the Golem of myth, the towering Zeroas regarded Remedy and her companion with glowing, cycloptic eyes of contempt that were more than a little familiar.

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Enemy Force Composition:
10x Zeroa
 

GEAR

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2018
1,165
1
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#7
Mu & Shane

Cicero monitored the situation as Luna's defenders began to assemble. So far, nothing that wasn't manageable. A Raftclans, a couple of older Circle models that had been hijacked by some outliers, a dated custom Personal Trooper... The rumors of Luna's military might being a shadow of its former self were, it seemed, true. Energy crackled between the monstrous Super Robot's hands as it gathered more power, the shots from the Raftclans bouncing harmless off its Gravity Territory.

It was only when the proximity alarm whined that he stopped - the readout couldn't possibly be correct. Nothing was that fast, that big-

"What in the Hell-?" He hissed, head jerking up just in time to catch the enormous eruption of power from above.

The Mega Graviton Wave, powered by the Imperial Valley's own bottomless reserves of power, sliced down mercilessly into the transports below - three of them being swept up in its radius, pulled in - and then crushed like tin cans, sending up a cascade of riproaring explosions that left his blood cold.

When had they built that?

As a consequence, it was only at the last moment he registered the approach of the Nacht. The Stake went out-

BANG! BANG!

Tearing murderous, gaping holes in the Valsion's chest armor. It momentarily reeled, as if shocked by the sheer force such a comparably small machine could exude -but its counterattack against the two was swift, and equally vicious.

The still-energy-infused right arm was swept inward like a glowing claw, fingers outstretched, aimed to swat the offending beetle aside like a child's toy as it charged ahead towards the Raftclans, its whole body like a battering ram as it aimed to barrel into it, and seize its body with its remaining arm.



Kvinna

From overhead, the Melior Esse could survey her handiwork. The destruction unfolding at her hand - it was just like the good old days. The euphoria of annihilation. Of despair. But... there was no emotion from the vessels that were now little more than broken husks. Nothing but bioroids had staffed their halls. And her position now gave her a bird's-eye-view of the main attraction, as it too materialized into space.

It was unlikely Kvinna had ever laid eyes on what the Lunarians referred to as "Ganeden", but there had never been any shortage of iconography of the Pale Lady, especially in those sectors of the old Kingdom that had remained untouched.

A pearlescent deity, believed by them to be their protector - and which, according to Queen Selene herself, was as real as real could be. But the enormous, towering thing that made itself known, although similar, was distinctly different. Its body was cracked and shorn, as though it had been shattered and then brutishly reassembled into a masculine form, its somber, chiseled features staring out at her with divine grace.

The radio crackled, and a slow, sarcastic clapping filled the cockpit.

"Well done."

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Within the cutting-edge cockpit, Myr Rodis, his cybernetic body linked into the machine by countless wires, gave a low, threatening chuckle.

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"I see Luna continues to live up to its reputation for technical excellence... even in decline. What a... charming little weapon."​

A curious pulse spread forth from the enormous statue-like weapon. The barest of touches on her mind - like a switch, somewhere, was being flipped.

"Let's put it to the test... shall we?

Guardians of Terra, Custos! Do my bidding!"​


The space directly to Kvinna's left pulsed and rippled... and a pearlescent fin of enormous size burst into being. A tremendous piscine body cruising past, a glittering, jewel-like visor sizing her up before it disappeared from view.

She didn't have long to wait - the Custos, one of the three sacred protectors of Luna, burst from the void behind her at breakneck speed, fins gleaming with plasma as it lunged forward, attempting to rip her clean in half in a single stroke.

In the distance, approaching at unbelievable speed were its fellows - the panther, wreathed in lightning, paws beating against a phantom surface, and the hawk, its body cloaked in flames, approaching from the East and West respectively. It wouldn't be long before they were upon her, and their strength unleashed in earnest...

But why?

Why were they answering the call of the invader, of this conqueror from the stars...?

Enemy Force Composition:
Cyber Geber Ganeden
Keren
Kanaf
Zarav
 

MKR

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 19, 2018
626
3
18
#8
The twin Remedies smiled as one of Luna's defenders threw a threat their way.
"Awww, look at him." One mused as Mu issued forth a warning "He thinks he'll have time to worry about us with all this going on."

The second nodded in accord "It is kind of endearing every time isn't it? Always the surprise at help and the cautious acceptance."

A beam passed them by, striking the ship as they continued to commentate.
"I just hope he doesn't get too distracted watching us that he gets snagged by the real threats."

It was then that Thane disrupted their commentary, causing them to look towards the newly appeared adversaries.
"Oh thank you Mr. Ashford." Both replied, the Leige Geios readying their armaments "Ah crud." One Remedy replied once she actually saw what they were up against. "I don't know about you but I'm still sore from the kicking our other ass got last time."

"Definitely the same."

The Combine weapons turned towards the array of foes, shoulders opening up.
"Well we have some heavier weapons now, oh- Mr. Ashford you should watch out for these." The warning was left at that as two missiles fired from each Leige Geios, both machines moving forward after in unison. The blasts from the missiles aiming to both incapacitate and obscure their approach as the laser blades lit up.

"You go left I go right?"
"You go right I go left?"

"Perfect."

In unison the machines approached, splitting and using their momentum to do something Remedy liked to do in the Getviewm, spin with the blade extended. Thereby covering a much larger group than she otherwise would have been able to.
As they did so, the message came across beneath.

And they saw something- some terrible thing.
"No-" One replied "It can't be." the other continued.

A clump in their collective throats, as they then surveyed the approaching Custos.
"I wish we had about ten times our number now." One spoke, worried "I could do with some girl power right about now." The other replied.

The latter of which, actually seemed to be on the way. Drawing both their attentions from the depressing sight of Geber Ganeden towards something they felt more than saw.
"Did Elhirut come along?" "He did not."
The two engaged in dialog as the blades spun, a thread of thought connecting the pair in harmony as usual.

"Then is that feeling."
"It must be."
Yet they affirmed themselves all the same.

"Oh that's good we'd been meaning to check in on that."
Unfortunately for anyone listening in because both knew what they thought they didn't tend to finish it, as such what they were worried or pleased about was lost in the sea of words.
 
Mar 23, 2021
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#9
“Tch. Tough nut to crack, aren’t you? No matter, that’s what the squire’s stake is for.”

He said as he watched the Valsion‘s armor suddenly become riddle with holes from the Alt’s. He knew from the way he handled those traitors last time that his strength was not to be underestimated in the slightest. One false step, and the iron giant will spell their doom.

Whilst Shane had succeeded, Mu’s attention was temporarily drawn to the pearlescent figure occupying a majority of the battlefield. What in the queen’s name? Not to mention, the fact that it managed to summon the guardians of Luna. This was starting to become a problem. This was their victory condition. If that thing gets anywhere near the Crossgate, whatever their plan was, it will be a massive defeat. So it was imperative that he get the smaller threat tossed aside first.

“Out of my way, I have a job to do. I must protect her dream.”

As the Valsion blasted towards the Raftclans, the red craft teleported, leaving behind traces of the Orgone Cloud that surrounded it. The knight manifested itself in a flash of green right next to Shane as the shoulder cannons folded down, and the chest opened to reveal the Orgone Cannon hidden underneath.

“Shane, your Claymore!”

The red warrior prepared to fire, the howl of the Orgone Extractor became telltale of the devastation this weapon will reap should it land. The Orgone Cannons charged up, ready to fire once Shane had done the same.

“Let us be done with this one and assist our comrades.”
 

GrimmShane

New member
Oct 3, 2022
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#10
The metallic crush of the Valsion's armor under the power of the Alt's Revolving Stake would be accompanied with the charge loaded behind the spike itself, with a hilariously loud BANG for this close proximity; this of course, would make the arguably huge entry hole even larger - as well as an exit one as it extended forwards to break through to the other side.

And thus with a cock of its forearm, the Nacht ejected the used shell, taking both hands off the larger machine and pushing itself off just barely in time to dodge its attempt to swat it - the very tips of the enemy machine's claw lightly digging through part of the front armor layers with a simple graze; it was thankfully not enough to expose the cockpit to the emptiness of space, but it most definitely ate through the patchwork of armor Shane had added to account for his previous deployment.

"Roger that!"

With a visible clash of steel the gates over the Claymore charges would violently swing open - The young man in the cockpit breathing sharply and taking an instant to blink, still recovering from the horror he'd caused with them against the traitors; but that slight delay would not hold back the Squire when it came to following up on an order that'd close up a skirmish in a larger battle.

"The bigger they are, THE HARDER THIS'LL CRUSH 'EM, firing claymore!"

Charge after charge the first layer of Claymore on both shoulders begun bursting out, a torrent of steel ball bearings closing in on the Valsion with murderous intent; this weapon was one made to act as a be all end all weapon in close range, as on the average target it was unleashed on... they'd be crushed mercilessly; and now it wasn't the only thing coming at the hostile machine.
 
Aug 25, 2018
205
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#11
Kvinna regarded the destruction around and below her, inflicted by her, with grim satisfaction. The Imperial Valley was performing just as well as she'd hoped. Bu that satisfaction didn't last long, as her eyes locked onto an empty section of the space. Was it just coincidence, blind luck? Or perhaps her instincts as a Melior Esse, however defective.

Whatever the reason, she was staring at the space Cyber Geber Ganeden materialized into even before the gargantuan construct started to do so.

The Enemy. Everything screamed it so, deeming it an enemy to all Ruina and Endymion both. Circumstances, and especially her instincts, screamed at her to charge at the ruined 'god', to throw her body and machine at it to do whatever damage she could with her life.

Kvinna shook her head and broke the bloodthirsty reverie. And why was the one controlling the deity's broken corpse - and there was an instinctual smile on her face at the wounds still evident on the corpse, unnoticed by Kvinna - engaging in conversation with her? She scoured the memories of her body to find an answer to what was going on. Trash talk? Well, why the hell not? She already had thrown in with the humans, and if this was another part of being human she should strive to do it.

"Come over here and I'll show you just how charming it can be, charm the shit out of you."

Nailed it.

But before she could make good of her promise, she found herself staring into the visor of the Custos. Enemy.

Melior Esse and Custos were natural enemies. Despite her betraying the Ruina she still was a Melior Esse, one of the Lord of Ruin's generals, and always would be. Just as Custos were made as a weapon against beings like her, so too were she and her kin made against things like the damn fish.

It likely was what saved her, as the Custos attacking her did not come as any sort of surprise. Indeed, reflexively it was what she expected, even if reason told her there was no reason for them to attack her whenever they met. Imperial Valley moved to the side, and though it could not avoid the deadly fin entirely it ensured that instead of being bifurcated it tore a gash to the Mobile Weapon's left side instead. But in return, the beam halberd she had managed to take out in time descended in a furious chop at the Custos as it 'swam' past. The other one was connected to the intact side, and sent a blast of energy chasing after the Custos.

Seeing the other Custos charging towards her, Kvinna couldn't help but laugh. Laugh at the irony of it all. Custos against Melior Esse, a fight that came to them even more naturally than breathing. Yet here, in this instance, both of them were traitors to their sides but still about to fight it out. Like nothing had changed from where they started.

"Fine. Now that it has come to this..."

The beam halberds were put away to their compartments. Imperial Valley straightened, the gash on its side knitting itself together as the regenerative armor hull worked its magic, fed by the infinite well of the Dimension Converter. It did not run, that was not even under consideration.

It stood its ground, standing tall, unafraid of the three Custos about to descend upon it. Inside, Kvinna was grinning, neither hiding nor holding back her excitement, her bloodthirst.

"I'll have to break all of you!"
 

GEAR

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2018
1,165
1
18
#12
Residual Recovery Complete.
Deep Scan Braintape Retrieval Process: 80%
Psy-Scarification Trauma Index: Within Acceptable Parameters
,,,
Warning: Administrative Lock placed by Aristarch
Override?
...
Processing...
Done.
Beginning Playback.


Ten Minutes Before Titan Swell Gravimetric Event
Signvaris System
Moon of Gestellic
7:08 PM


"We're already too late."

The sound of her own voice, in her own ears. The only familiar, comforting thing about the scene playing out before her.

She thought she'd seen it all. From one side of the galaxy to the next, dealing with the forces of darkness that encroached upon all that was good, orderly, and sacred... but the universe, it seemed, delighted in finding new ways to sicken her to her stomach.

The three Getviewm units drifted through upper orbit of the moon, like a trio of weary butterflies, thin trails wisping behind their twin-tailed frames.

In the distance, the enormous structure of the Crossgate loomed... but right now, their eyes were downcast at the surface of the planetoid below. This tiny, special place, tucked away for untold thousands of years. It wasn't her first visit - the inner workings of Pantheon were not for them to interfere in. So she had been told, over and over again. It was not the prerogative of the Aristarch that they, the heralds of logic and rationality, should involve themselves too deeply with those who were fundamentally beyond their reach.

But there were always exceptions.

Her cameras spied the devastation below. A once beautiful sanctuary, home to the Circle's greatest, wisest, and oldest families. The scent of burning flowers, scorched flesh and coarse dust formed a pungent cocktail that clung to her body - the foundation, she knew, for many sleepless nights to come.

No life signs.

And over all the devastation, all the destruction, was the shattered body of Geber Ganeden. Smashed and battered, torn and thrown aside like a child's doll. She had only ever bore witness to the God of the Great Circle once - deep in its wisdom, its kindness, as fearsome in war as it was tempered in statecraft. Its presence had been an immovable rock, a bulwark against the forces of wickedness...

Now reduced to ruin, at the hands of those it was charged with protecting.

A thought nagged at her, however.

How could this have happened? Was this really the work of the Circle...?

"It's never too late." She said to herself, solemnly.

"The Masyaf-"

"The Crossgate still stands. Focus on the mission."

She forced the intrusive thoughts from her mind. That wasn't her role, wasn't her function. Their job was simple - to go in and try to stop a bad situation from becoming a thousand times worse. The Circle were trying to tap into the power of the Crossgate itself. Meddling with forces beyond their understanding.

They had to be stopped. Billions and billions of lives were at stake...

And in that moment, she felt their weight on her shoulders more than ever before.

The three shapes closed in on the underside of the Crossgate, arcing gently through space, and she was struck by how... quiet it was.

She had been expecting there to be a full Circle fleet surrounding the construct... but even they, it seemed, felt the unnerving energies that coursed through its being, and felt no need to draw any closer than they need be. That suited her just fine - made their job all the more easier.

Thrusters flared, and the trio landed on the surface of the device. It was much larger, she thought, than the one on Earth. An older model, perhaps? They moved across the outside of the ring, keeping to the shadows, occasionally stopping to sample the waveforms within.

"Output is... stable." Reported Remedy, to her left.

"Fluctuations are within expected parameters."

For the first time that evening, Remedy exhaled. She let herself lean back a little in the cockpit, and closed here eyes. They'd made it. All they had to do was install the lockdown codes as instructed, communicating with Earth's Crossgate, and all of... this would be handled.

"Remedy, start preparing the synchronization module. Remedy, keep watch, I don't-"

She blinked, as a sudden cold chill went down her spine.

In a split second that felt like a million years, her head slowly turned up, her mouth trying to form a warning-

As something smashed down into the surface of the Crossgate with such force it rocked the entire structure, a Getviewm disappearing under it. A massive cloud of dust and debris shot up from the structure's surface as Remedy and Remedy darted back in alarm.

How? How had it gotten so close, so fast, without showing up on their sensors? She hadn't even heard her cry out-

Bang.

A point of red light in the cloud - it grew in an instant into a howling, oscillating beam that speared out - and snapped a second Getviewm in half like it was a child's toy, right at the waist before the two halves blossomed into a pair of explosions. Her heart rate spiked - the Orbit Blaster formed in the unit's hands, and it swung forward, ready to annihilate the threat-

"REMEDY!!!"

But as the towering form stepped forth, looming over her...

The particles snapping between the Enigma Machine's fingertips stopped... and its arms slowly fell to its sides.


"...what...?"​

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". . ."​

The Angeloi Arca stared down at the Getviewm. The Chariots of Pantheon. The Judges of the Wicked. The Bringers of Light. She'd never seen one up close before... and the sheer aura it radiated, the menace... took her breath away. She struggled to speak, struggled to move - to do something, anything - but every program in her body, her mind, seemed to lock up in the face of its direct, immediate superior.

The Arca raised its hand - and in a single, horrific motion, plunged it clean through the chest of the Getviewm.

The taste of her own blood filled her throat, mixed with the shock of utter disbelief.

This couldn't be happening.

Every part of her cried out in revulsion, in a kind of puerile mechanical terror the likes it had never felt before. Logic circuits collapsed, command structures and subroutines imploded in on themselves as the impossible manifested itself before her very eyes.

This couldn't be happening!

"But... why...?"

Her desperate, final question went unanswered. The last thing her consciousness noted was the Arca as it turned back towards the Crossgate. Its belly flared with a tremendous light as it took aim toward the center of the mass-

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Then there was only sound... and fury.​