The mysterious underwater labs and facility operated by Phoenix below the ocean at the very bottom of Yosai Fortress. It is a place filled with experiments most unnatural, and is the birthing grounds of the Chaos Engines. This is White's favorite haunting ground, and contains not just labs, but factories, jails, and many more secrets in its sunken depths...
The Distant Land
Daikeim looks at the figure with a hazy look on his face before slowly flying through the barrier and fixate his eyes at Eta.
Daikeim: I believe this is yours...
"Ah, the 'Draken'. If you were simply here to return her you needn't bother. We would have taken her back ourselves. Still, I suspect you're here for something else. I don't offer candy at this house, kid. Might try the next door neighbor, the rock." She pauses.
"I should really not get back into making puns... I thought I broke that habit..."
Daikeim: Draken... I heard someone tried a suicide mission here, I intend to see him... I think you'll allow me that much, besides, you're lucky Draken here came back in one piece...
"She's a mere prototype. We have more in development like her, now we know the Eta are viable. And as for the specimen... I rather much doubt I should let you see him. Much less anything to do with the CE's. You should thank me. You wouldn't even have ashes to let blow away in the wind had I not intervened. He chose to involve himself in my war, invade my fortress, he paid the price. It was a combination of dumb luck and my mercy which is even why there is a vegetative corpse even left of him. In war you take no transgression lightly.
I can be reasonable, but you ask too much. With set circumstances, I could bring him up... but you cannot have him. ...Not yet at least. With the completion of the newest Eta's, I won't have a need, as I could completely clone his genetics into a specimen that way. I must see to the perfection of the Eta Generation."
Daikeim: I don't care what happens to me, I don't care about the CE's, I don't care... Just let me see my best friend...
She narrows her eyes slightly at him, but says nothing. She turns and lands on the courtyard silently. A woman made of ice approaches the woman.
"Lady White?" She asks.
"Bind him in your chains. Afterwards I want you to remove the memory of what he will see. The information within here remains secret." She turns back at Daikeim. "No exceptions. I can allow the mere specific memory of him... though I very much doubt you would prefer to remember him as he is. Nothing else. The secrets of Yosai remain secrets."
She lets out a dragonic growl. "Attempt to remember afterwards, and I shall personally ensure you and whoever you tell dies."
Daikeim: I've seen him worse, and I have much worse memories buried within my mind... Secrets... Yeah, using my friend as something for your sick tests must remain a secret. *He says that in a sarcastic yet angered tone, giving off the same energy signature as Drake's Primitive forms*
She says nothing, but thick icy cuffs form around his hands, tougher than any steel. She walks up to a wall and taps it, and it disappears, revealing a circular platform elevator. She walks on to it and turns toward him, and the icy woman follows, splitting into as many as ten.
Daikeim: *Sighs* Guess you can't be too careful... *He walks onto the platform, noticing Eta* What about her, surely it's fair for the first of your creatures to meet the person they're copying off from.
She silently walks on the platform as well. "News flash. I don't need an invitation. I live here." She leans into Daikeim's ear. "The mere fact you're alive right now astounds me. Don't push your luck with her."
Daikeim: If you saw my entire life, you'd be dumbfounded at what I've managed to live through. And besides, you wouldn't of walked on this platform if I didn't mention you...
"Why you litte-"
The platform lurches, then suddenly drops so violently that both Daikeim and Eta almost lose their stomachs, White and the frozen woman seemingly not even bothered in the slightest. With a sudden crash! The platform smashes into the water, but continues to travel at an intense speed, sinking deep into the water, yet a bubble of air protects them. With a more definitive crash, the platform lands inside some strange massive underwater complex, dim blue light the only thing lighting it up. A faint electric hum can be heard from the place. White walks off the platform, straight down one of the halls.
Daikeim: Impressive... How you've managed to create all this under Fantasy's radar, *He steps off, following White* I'm guessing we're getting close now... *He looks around* Hmph, you seem confident in these CE's... *He starts being quiet as he continues to examine the complex*
The halls open up into much larger ones, with many rows of containment chambers, dimly lit figures of humanoids all present within them, a great deal of them on one side seem more like just basic shapes of humanoids rather than the others, which look like individuals.
Eta doesn't seem at all bothered by the sights of the facility.
"You and I have more in common than you'd imagine, Daikeim." White says silently, not stopping.
Daikeim: Is that supposed to be a compliment or an insult... *He looks at the humanoids and shudders* Disturbing enough as it is... I got a feeling that worse is still to come.
"You were exiled from your world, you and Drake. Why? Because you defied the Vitae Gods and saved Cyanic from enslavement. You and I are not so different. We once fought to protect humanity. And they too scorned us. I know much more than you think, Daikiem. Humanity has committed wrongs you cannot begin to fathom."
Daikeim: How do you know about all this... Oh, Drake, right. And although humanity has caused some unforgivable sins, I'm willing to give them a second chance... But I'm guessing you're different.
White looks back at him. "Humanity is beyond saving. The only way to relieve them of their hatred is through their systematic extermination. They have had more than a second chance. Time upon time. And yet, see their actions. Calls for change fall on deaf ears, even as their very actions are bringing them back into the cycle they started years ago. The weak will be trampled by the strong. No matter how hard they try. And I don't need Drake to know about you. I've known about you since you first met Kado. As soon as he fought Razorwind, I knew his path would eventually lead him here. Apparently shows of force do not dissuade you two from anything. He should have taken the hint the time he fought Aoi. Just as you should have taken the hint with Eta."
She turns back and continues walking, and comes to a solid wall, and simply looks at it for a moment.
Daikeim: A genocide isn't the answer... There are millions of humans that don't deserve death, your penalty of death due to the actions of some should not linger on others... *Daikeim looks at the wall* Why have we stopped here?
Suddenly the emblem of Phoenix blazes to life on the wall, and it rumbles open, revealing a large chamber within.
"The only truly innocent are children. It is already too late for the ones who have already been exposed to hatred." She walks in, and Daikeim notices the room looks like an operating room. In the center of the room is an operating chair, and White indicates for Eta to lie down.
"I need to inspect her for damages, and collect data." Eta lies down, and White grabs the facemask and pulls it off Eta, once again exposing her face, which seems to cause her to become sleepy, and she soon closes her eyes. White places it on a scanner of sorts.
Daikeim: Hatred is manifested in everyone, it's a basic instinct... I see why you would suggest such an action, but it's ultimately a lost cause... Since the children will grow up, find a life and the cycle repeats... Attempting to off the world because of the hated born within it is useless... *He glances at the facemask then over to Eta* Collect data? I guess it records fights and automatically adapts towards it.
White seems to be observing something Daikeim cannot see, and then she turns and walks back to Eta, with a slight concern on her face, and lifts up the simple shirt Eta wears on the side, and seems to be feeling for something. She then presses hard against Eta's side, and her body flinches.
"...A rupture..." She places the mask back on Eta, and she almost immediately wakes up. She looks down at Eta, who looks away. "You had a rupture of your internal systems during your firing sequence. You declined to tell me this, why?"
"...I failed. I failed to maintain power. You would have canceled if you knew... what point would the Eta have then?"
"The fact you used Chaos Drive at all with success and a minor injury is insignificant. The Eta class can fire a Chaos Drive without a direct power source. What I've been hoping for. Your name is Kanashimi Draken. Remember it."
White walks to the other end of the room, and the wall slides open. "We're done here. Come on, Kanashimi." She reluctantly gets up and follows White.
"We will continue on now, Daikeim. You can still settle for turning back if you desire."
Daikeim: I am not turning back now... *He glances at Kanashimi before following White, he sighs* Why would I want to turn back... So, what was all that about...
"I was nameless. She gave me a name. I only had a designation, never a name to call my own. Proof of my worth as a CE. ...When I fired that beam, I have a internal failure that could have lead to me... exploding. Many CE's that have been born could not fire the Chaos Drive without a power source. An immense power source. The few that could were unable to fire powerful enough beams to cause the damage needed for our purpose."
Daikeim: Oh, then I'm guessing getting a name means a lot to you? I'm surprised that CE's have emotions, you think that it would hinder you... But then again, she did choose Drake as your "ancestor", who managed to keep his attitude while doing missions flawlessly... Most of the time.
Kanashimi looks at him with an irritated scowl. "We're augmented with machines, that doesn't make us emotionless, moron."
Daikeim: *Smirks* Doesn't change your mouth either it seems...
Ahead is a door, but White turns and looks at Daikeim. "Remember what I said. You cannot have him. Not yet." She seems to freeze for a whole minute, until he blinks, and the image completely changes to her being right in his face, and only then does he feel the cold steel of her blade dangerously close to his throat. "So much make a slight twitch I don't like... you won't realize your head was lobbed from your neck until a whole minute passes. Am I understood?"
Daikeim: *Loses his smirk* You're understood... Now put the blade away, I'd hate having to come this far only to attack.
"Glad I made my point." She puts the sword away and keeps going, Kanashimi walking next to Daikeim.
She turns her head and cackles. "Spooked much? She can go pretty fast eh?"
Daikeim: Yeah, she can... *Looks at White* Hmm... What other tricks do you have up your sleeve...
White walks up to the door, and takes out the sword again, Daikeim notices the blade is pure white, a white more solid than any other he's ever seen. She inserts the sword into a strange keyhole of sorts, and the door rumbles, and slowly begins to open.
Daikeim's Soul Stone begins to glow as he watches in anticipation, catching the energy signature. But not to his surprise, it's faint, like a ghost, he has trouble keeping sense on it but soon manages to pinpoint it as Drake's. He takes a quick sigh and slows his walking pace, he wonders what Kanashimi's reaction will be, but with that being the least of his concerns. He just hopes that Drake will be fine.
The door opens, and they step inside. In the center of a massive room in a large glass container is what Daikeim couldn't even describe as an angel, too powerful to be dismissed as just a mere angel. The room is shaped in a large circle, with similar tubes containing various other Mythos. He looks throughout the various tubes, eventually seeing a figure recognizable as Drake, but no where near 'prime' condition. From his appearance, he appears very haggard, almost as though as if he had been severely burned all over. His eyes appear listless, if he is awake Daikeim wouldn't be able to tell. Compared to the life signs of the other Mythos in the room, his vitals appear quite low.
White quietly looks at him. "And this just how he looks after Aoi patched him up."
Daikeim: *Starts walking towards Drake's tube, with nothing but a blank stare as he approaches him* Dammit Drake... You crazy bastard...
White notices something odd with the two, as Daikeim approaches closer, a blue aura in the shape of a dragon winds it's way around Daikeim. While with Drake, a black aura of a similar dragon is wrapped around the tube, growling at Daikeim. Surprisingly, the two half dragons don't notice this and just look at eachother.
Daikeim: Why... Why did you do this... God dammit Drake WHY!?
Daikeim knows he cannot respond and sighs, looking down at his feet. Unable to see that Drake has a small smirk, but due to his injuries, is hurt while he smirks, making him lose the smirk quickly. Daikeim turns to look at Kanashimi and prompts her to come here, regardless if she wants too or not.
Daikeim: I got a feeling this'll be your only chance of seeing him so you might aswell...
Daikeim can feel White studying him intensely for a moment, and then she looks over at Kanashimi. "Come here for a moment, Kanashimi." Kanashimi complies, and White appears to whisper something to her, then returns attention to Daikeim.
"I don't know what you expected to find or see. You should have expected this. I did tell you." White says in a passive voice.
Daikeim: I know what you said, I infact expected worse... But I-- ...*Daikeim suddenly growls at Drake uncontrollably*
White can now see the aura dragons growling and taking shots at eachother, she can also see air bubbles coming from Drake's mouth as he somehow manages to make a faint growl. Daikeim's Soul Stone darkens in colour, as they both manage to stop, he takes a step back.
Daikeim: What the hell...?
The lights in the room turn red, and the aura dragon surrounding Drake feels a powerful shock run through it as the Power Suppressors in the room activate, crippling both Aura dragon's from acting out further.
"Foreign spiritual entities detected. Threat level: Hostile. Suppressors activated."
"So it would appear the Aura Dragons are sentient after all... how interesting..." She stares at the one surrounding Drake. "Mind yourself or you'll find just how painful it is for these Suppressors to seal your powers."
Daikeim: I don't know what you're talking about, something like this hasn't happened before...
Daikeim looks at Drake and notices that his eyes have darken in colour.
Daikeim: ...Primitive, that's what caused it. *He soon realises* Oh shit... *He steps back as his Soul Stone darkens to black*
"Don't go just yet" can be heard throughout the room, Daikeim is shocked to see Drake's mouth move...
Daikeim: H-how can he talk!?
"Because he isn't. Or at least, Drake isn't. I know plenty about the affairs of spirits and their kin to know possession when I see it." White says calmly.
"I'll have none of that behavior in my fortress, whoever you are. Identify yourself and your intentions, and I might consider lowering the Suppressors."
The 'spirit' talks again... "Now, let's not be hostile people... I'm only keeping Drake alive, along with you. Daikeim, you know who, or at least what I am. Besides, I did give you some of my power for your own, but it seems that you managed to purify it to my surprise. Don't worry, Drake is fine, he doesn't feel a thing due to what those creatures did to him... Isn't that right, White. Drake's sacrifice only to defend you, Daikeim."
Daikeim: What are you doing...
The spirit laughs. "Haha... It's honestly nothing, it's just that Drake here isn't taking a liking towards them two... Then again, could you blame him?"
Another voice is heard, as muffled as it is, the three manages to understand.
Drake: S... Shut... Up... Corruption..
Daikeim: No way... No fucking way...
White looks on with impartiality. Kanashimi remains by her side, the red light in her mask turned on.
Corruption: Don't make me laugh, child... I'm the one keeping you ali--
Drake: Shut up... You bastard, listen to me right now... I will not stand in this damn tube to be lectured by a fucking spirit! Stay the fuck away from them three or I will end myself!
Corruption: You haven't got the guts...
Daikeim is unable to speak, staying in shock at what's happening.
Drake: Daikeim... I can tell that you'd want to attack, don't be a dumbass... It's thanks to her that I'm alive, despite the shape I'm in... *He makes eye contact with Kanashimi, he gains tribal markings all over his body* ...There, he shouldn't be able to talk. So then, who's that...
White looks at the markings. "Sounds like someone doesn't want someone else talking. Don't want him to say anything you don't like? Perfectly fine with me. I can still hear his thoughts anyway." She gives it a strict look. "The suppressors remain on for the time being. As for who she is, you must not be very self aware if you couldn't tell I've been extracting DNA from Drake. Consider her his child, of sorts."
Drake: *Faintly laughs* ...A child? Jesus, I wasn't planning to settle down this early... So then, how is she like me?
Daikeim: *Is surprised Drake is taking this pretty normally, like he's done this time and time again* How... How are you so calm?
Drake: There's stuff in my past life you don't know about, and it's best if I don't mention it...
White has a slight smirk. "From my data she seems to be plenty resourceful in the attitude department. Like you. She even has some of those curious 'aura' powers of yours. I'm surprised you're not interested in trying to escape. You were so intent on smashing the place. A pity all it took was clobbering you with the Eig- Seven." She catches herself, and then has an irritated look, as though remembering a rather sour detail.
Drake: Look at me, do I look capable of walking? Let alone breaking out and fighting the other members? Hmm, why did you catch your tongue...
"None of your concern." Suddenly they feel a shift come over White, and her calm aura crumbles quickly, becoming oppressive and heavy, like the sudden outbreak of a thunderstorm. Her eyes are closed, and Daikeim has to check twice, but he thinks he sees two fangs sliding from her mouth. She silently stands up, and begins to walk out. Aoi appears, and Drake gets the sensation this one is the real deal, not like the clones.
"Mistress?" She asks cautiously as White walks by, but a deep powerful rumble is the only reply, strong enough to shake the whole room with the force of an earthquake, and it takes a moment to realize it is a dull growl.
"Watch them. They do anything, kill them." A much more powerful, ancient version of White's voice rings out as she leaves. Aoi turns and looks at them quietly as the door closes.
Drake: Speaking of the other members...
Drake: One of the members me and another person fought... Tough son of a bitch, but makes sense... *He looks at Kanashimi* So if you got my attitude, throw an insult at me... Go on...
Daikeim: ...*Walks up to Aoi* Umm, I don't think Drake meant harm on her... Will she be fine?
Aoi just passively looks at him. She then looks up. "You might want to grap a hold of something. She's angry. Not at you."
Kanashimi looks at him dully. "How about I take a golf club and smack your head flatter than the surface of this floor instead?"
Aoi's feet freeze to the floor, and Kanashimi sprouts wings and idly flies as a massive roar deafens them, the sheer rage shaking the whole of the fortress.
Daikeim: *Manages to keep his balance* Wow... *He turns to look at Drake* The hell did you do?
Drake: Nothing, stop blaming me! Anyways... That's an ok insult... Try this; Listen to me fuckface, if you want to keep those wings on your back and not through your chest. I suggest sitting down, shutting up and let your good ol' Daddy Drake smack the bitch right out of you.
"Go ahead and try, Cripple." She flaps her wings and descends onto the ground again.
Aoi was about to pull out a book, but sighs and looks up. "Quiet both of you, before I elect to shut the two of you down for a few hours. Lady White's anger is directed towards the death of one of our senior members. He was killed in action fighting a traitor." She pauses for a moment, then looks back at Drake. "As a matter of fact I may just shut you down anyway. I still remember your rather... distasteful comment from our encounter before." She quietly opens the book and begins quietly reading.
Drake: Hey... That's a bit unfair, I was only having a bit of fun...
Daikeim: What did you say?
Drake: ...Let's not get into that, shall we?
Daikeim: *Glances over to Kanashimi and Drake, watching them throw insults at eachother* ...Two Drakes, that's someone's nightmares alright...
After a moment, the roaring quiets and the door opens, and White returns, the calm aura about her returned, though there is still an edgy tone about her. She looks at Aoi. "Check on the other Eta's." Her voice is closer to what it was, but still a lot stronger than before. Aoi leaves silently.
Drake: *Glances at Kanashimi's armour* ...You're one to call me crippled, tin woman... Besides, do you even have a name?
Daikeim: *Notices White* You seem tense...
She ignores him and walks over towards Drake's container. She then looks back at Daikeim. "Leave. You've seen him. Now I have work to do."
Kanashimi looks over at White. "What about me?"
White looks over at her idly. "Do as you wish, Kanashimi. Should I need you, you'll know."
Kanashimi blinks in confusion. "Do you mean...?"
"You're dismissed to go wherever you please. I will recall you if necessary." The face mask and armor retract into a small headband sort of device, and she looks stunned.
Drake: Oh you were doing that just to spite me!
Daikeim: Hehe... *He turns to look at Drake* Goodbye...
Drake: Hey, you'll be back, you'll miss me too much. Tell Elaonore I said hi, oh, and try not to die.
Daikeim: *Laughs* You too, you crazy bastard.
Drake: I'll be fine... Just go...
Daikeim sighs and walks out, soon realising that he's gonna get lost pretty easily...
A finger taps him on the shoulder. "Didn't think you'd just get rid of me that easily eh?" Kanashimi says.
Daikeim: Hmm? What are you doing this time?
"Coming with you. That a problem, 'Almighty Grouch?"
Daikeim: Why are you coming with me? Ain't you got anything better to do...
"Dude. There is nothing to do here except stare at mossy old brick walls. Or bash your head in boredom against said walls. Wherever and whatever you were doing has got to be more interesting than sitting here waiting for White to decide to make me do something. And with her new errr... toys... ...that could take a while."
Daikeim: I doubt it but ok... *He wonders through the hallways* So, what did you think of Drake? Strange meeting someone who's just like you, isn't it?
"He's a guy with a bad attitude and you two seem to be really close buddies. I can so see how he'd draw out the worst in you though. Anyway, I shudder to ask the question again, but what is with that girl you were with earlier? You seemed ready to chop my head off for no reason, all because I asked about her." She pauses and points down a hall. "It's this way by the way."
Daikeim: *Sighs and begins speaking in a more calming yet empty voice* The girl's name is Elaonore, a Mytho and the love of my life... She's been through so much thanks to me and I can't help but feel tragic every time she says my name or when I see her. Despite that, I'd protect her with my life and would stop at nothing to rescue her if she got captured... Knowing what you guys did to Drake, I threatened you because I don't want people to take her away again... The last time that happened... *He makes a soft growl and clenches his fists as he goes down the hall that Kanashimi pointed at* Let's just get going...
They eventually reach the platform and before they go up, Aoi appears. "So we're clear, you interfere with Phoenix, you will never see Drake again. That is not a threat. That's a promise. And Kanashimi. Don't forget your loyalties. It would be most... unfortunate for you if you did."
Daikeim: I doubt that I'll need to do anything... Just make sure he doesn't do anything stupid... Promise or not, if he dies for something he didn't do... I'm coming back.
"I know you will." She says with a certainty almost prophetic in nature.
Daikeim: *Looks at Aoi with a sense of anger in his eyes, but sighs once again and looks at Kanashimi* Just get this working and let's get out...
Kanashimi smiles, and presses her hand against the button. "Ready to lose your stomach again?"
Daikeim: Yep... I'm not gonna feel well in the morning...
The platform shoots up, and when they finally stop, Daikeim has to adjust for a moment. "So then Chief Vomit, where to?"
Daikeim: No idea... Actually, Forest City. That blast of yours almost destroyed it... If not all of it, and after that... I don't know. *He continues walking*
"Oh err... I can't really fly anywhere right now... see we're not supposed to use our powers if we're err.... off duty." Kanashimi laughs wearily. "In a fight to protect myself I can use my powers... just not carelessly, White doesn't want people knowing about the CE project."
Daikeim: Yet you go to a city and almost destroy-- Nevermind... I'll get you airborne, just get me out of this place first.
"Hey, I attacked you two under orders. When we have a target, that's different. Plus I only shot the douche. Let's not forget the two who were blowing the place up and knocking each other through buildings. Let's not forget who brought the place back to life and reversed the damage you guys did."
She opens the door to the room's exit.
Daikeim: And then blew it up again, but fair point... Actually, that reminds me... Why was Drekavas ordered to kill, and me to punish? I never done anything towards Phoenix prior this...
She looks at him with an irritated face. "Did I not just say I didn't aim at the city? Plus with your shield the damage would have been minimal. As for the second question, Phoenix's goal is basically to purge sin. Violently. Mythos who use their powers to blow up innocents? By all accounts they're sinners in Phoenix's book. He was just another hit to be destroyed. As for you, if you ever found out on your own, you would likely have gone against Phoenix. A more accurate term would be 'scare' or 'intimidate.' By showing you what Phoenix is capable of, White was hoping to scare you off by using me."
Daikeim: I'm surprised I managed to hold back, heck... Even Drake managed to hold back against you... Anyways, then how did they find out about me?
"I'll just say that White is very thorough in removing possible threats."
Daikeim: Right... *He looks around* So, where too now?
She gives him a look. "Scatter brained much? You said Forest City, isn't that correct?"
Daikeim: Ok ok... *Daikeim goes into his Half Dragon form, he looks at Kanashimi and his eyes flash gold, giving her a pair of aura wings that'll allow flight* The Mythos will mistake your for a Heroa God or a Cyanican, so don't worry about getting caught... *He flies up into the air and turns to the direction of Forest City, waiting for Kanashimi to arise aswell*
She does so, following him closely.
Daikeim starts to fly towards Forest City, but staying silent. The only time he talks, it's only to himself, after a while... Daikeim's Soul Stone gives him an electric shock, causing him to slow down and look around.
Daikeim: The hell... Ugh. *He shakes his head and continues flying, catching up to Kanashimi soon after. They soon make it back to Forest City*
Drake hears footsteps slowly grow louder, and the lights in the room begin to flicker on one by one, until the room is fully lit, and the footsteps grow even louder.
Drake: Hmm... I wonder who this is, probably one of the members... But that would only be White or Aoi, regardless.. *His eyes narrows down* It's way to damn bright here.
To his surprise, White and Aoi show up, but along with them are three others. White stops right in front of the glass and looks up at him quietly. The glass muffles her voice, but he swears he can hear her say, 'Open the glass'.
Drake: Wait... What? Did you just say, ok... I think the fumes here have gotten to me.
One of the people who had come with her presses a red button, and the glass suddenly swings wide open, letting a rush of fresh air blast his face. The man wears a fur coat along with a cloth mask on the bottom of his face, his eyes look borderline feral.
"Come with us, and come quietly, Drake." He says coldly.
The two others who had come leave in front of them, while White, Aoi, and the masked man wait for him to come down from the tube he had been in so long.
Drake steps down from the tube and looks at his burn marks and wounds, stretching his arms out. He has faint tribal marks stained on his body, he turns his head towards White and sighs.
Drake: I'd like my clothes back...
Aoi looks at him. "The Avatars destroyed them. We will have to get new clothes for you."
The masked man sighs. "I'll be back..." He disappears in a breeze. A minute later, he appears with a change of clothing. "Hurry up and change. We have things to talk about." He points toward a door on the right side of the room.
Drake: Of course they destroyed them... *He quickly changes into his new clothes and yawns, he looks towards the door and walks towards it* So, who are you and what do you want? Because honestly, I liked it in that tube, it was quiet... Peaceful, and I didn't have to look at her... *He glares at Aoi before looking at White* By the way, what was all that noise up in the fortress?
A red tint appears in White's eyes. "I just was busy killing a little gnat that buzzed too close to my ear."
The man speaks up. "I am Torrent, one of the main members of Phoenix. And with White finishing analyzing your DNA, she won't need you any longer. I don't want anything from you. Phoenix however has an offer for you, once that comes with your freedom should you accept it. We will speak of it upstairs, nothing further." He chuckles. "And if I were you, I wouldn't offend Aoi."
Aoi just gives Drake an impartial icy stare.
Drake glances at Aoi and smirks.
Drake: I love ya' too sweet pea. *He looks at Torrent* I honestly wouldn't care what Aoi does, as you can see. I've pretty much been to hell, beat the devil at checkers and returned to shoot someone in the face... But ok, we'll speak of this offer in a minute... *He sighs and summons his HSC and pulls out a book and reads it while walking*
As he walks, it gets much colder for some reason, almost as though he had plunged into arctic waters. Torrent holds out a hand and White sighs, angrily tossing him a gold coin.
Drake stops and looks at Aoi, giving her a death stare before growling, with small flickers of fire leaving his mouth while doing so.
Drake: Funny... Now raise the fucking temperature before I turn you into a puddle. *He continues walking then laughs* Wouldn't be the first time I made you wet.
They come to an elevator, and Aoi seems deathly quiet. The platform rises with no problems, but then Torrent looks up.
His voice comes out significantly higher pitched. "Umm, Aoi, please don't do that."
"Do what?" She says impassively.
"Please, turn it back."
Drake looks up to see the water covering the vertical entrance is completely frozen, and they are going to ram into it in probably a minute well over a hundred miles an hour.
Drake: Oh you son of a bitch, Aoi... *Drake creates a black fireball and throws it at the ice, only slightly melting it* ...Well, shit... Change it back Aoi, right now!
"What's the matter? Afraid of getting a little flat?" She says in her impassive voice.
Drake: I don't think any of us wants to end up like your chest, now for the love of God. CHANGE IT BACK YOU BITCH!
The water turns back to normal, and they exit and stop at the ground level. Aoi looks at him for a moment, before taking a small breath and blasting him with a blizzard that coats him in ice tougher than steel, and she walks off.
Torrent holds out his hand again, and White angrily fishes for another gold coin. "You and your stupid bets..." She growls.
Drake sets himself ablaze and melts the ice with ease before following with the others.
Drake: You're starting to get on my nerves... *A voice plays in his mind*
Corruption: Well well well Drake, this is your chance...
Drake: No way, I haven't got a reason yet.
Corruption: Hmph, you're pathetic... Where's your sense of honor? Where's your sense of bloodlust and endless kil--
Drake's tribal patterns show up again and Drake lets out a sigh of relief.
Drake: Finally... He'll shut up now.
White and the others enter the main building, and as Drake opens the main door and closes it behind him, a girl with blonde hair with electric blue eyes appears in front of him and leans in his face with hers very uncomfortably.
"Hello tankboy!" She says in an almost too cheerful way.
Drake takes a step back, startled at the sudden shock.
Drake: JESUS! ...Who in God's name are you? *He takes a second to breathe*
"Noriko. I hear you like to give Aoi a hard time. Lover's quarrel?"
A cold chill blows through the room, as Aoi coldly stares at them.
Drake: Yeah... Umm, my name is Drake, not 'tankboy'... Is there any other surprises like her? *He takes a second to look around*
Torrent, Aoi, White, and Toma are all seated, all that's left is this Noriko girl and Drake.
White looks at Noriko and sighs. "Not this again."
"Can I sit next to the new guy? I'll make him feel comfortable."
"Yes- Damn it!" White growls as Noriko pulls Drake to the seat next to hers, looking triumphant.
"I win!" Noriko says cheerfully, before giving Drake a bear hug.
Torrent lets out an exasperated sigh. "And welcome to my personal hell."
Drake: *Struggling to breathe due to how tight the bear hug is* Is... Is it too late to go back to the tube? *Drake manages to break free from the bear hug, he takes a look around at the other members* So then... Is this all of you?
White closes her eyes. "Sort of." She opens her eyes. "Enter, Azula."
The main doors open, and Drake sees a woman walk in completely encased in black CE armor with red hair at the base of her hair, slowly darkening to black at the tips. Unlike the other ones he saw, this one has a brilliant and powerful aura that flickers briefly in his vision, even though it appears to be in its normal mode. The headpiece slides open, and he remembers her face from Downation, though the eyes are dim and almost lifeless.
Drake: *Narrows his eyesight to her* Hmm... She was with the masked dude last time I saw her, so she's a CE now... *He looks at White* Your moral compass isn't right, woman... *He looks back at Azula* So your name is Azula, nice of you to give this one a name. Wait, what happened to the other one? Kanashimi, was it?
"Kanashimi was killed by Daikeim after he discovered our race's weakness. Had he left her alone conflict would never have been necessary." Azula speaks, something that surprises Drake.
"I have always been a CE. You are born a CE, you are not made."
Drake: Hmph, then Daikeim would of had a reason to attack... He wouldn't of killed her if he didn't have a reason. *He sighs* Great, then what are you planning to do with him? If you guys send anymore CE's in his direction, they're coming back as corpses...
"Kanashimi was a prototype. To survive realistically in the same situations as more fine tuned CE would be more difficult for one such as her. Making a new and improved Kanashimi would take no effort on my part. I already know the specific genetic codes needed to remake her. And as for Daikeim, that depends." White smiles.
"Mainly on you, that is."
Drake: *Glares at White and growls, standing up and clenching his fists* On me? Tell me right now, what the hell do you think you want from me... Just send me back to the test tube, I'm already tired of this.
"A battle is coming, Drake. I had intended to destroy humanity before tomorrow came, but time is too short to finish the Trimaster Plan. The awakening of a god is at hand..." She has a deadly smile powerful enough to make Drake shudder. "And I intend to bury him and his ally... Van Valeric."
Drake goes into his Aura Dragon form and sets his hands ablaze, walking towards White until he's a couple of feet away, speaking in a more demonic tone.
Drake: You expect me to kill Daikeim? And who's the crazy one here, not a damn chance in hell! You may of saved my life, but if you think I would kill someone who's helped me through the same life... How dare you, HOW FUCKING DARE YOU! Tell me White, killing someone you don't know is easy enough. But I can tell from experience that ending the life of someone you care about is damn near to impossible to recover from, you of all people should know that... *He turns around and starts walking away* I'm going back to the tube, fuck you and your goals.
Torrent looks at White. "I rather dislike emotional brats who don't think before they open their mouths."
Before Drake can make it out the door, he is kicked in the throat and slammed onto the ground, unable to move as Torrent puts his foot on his chest and effortlessly holds him there.
"Why don't you listen again before you get your head cut off? Here is the situation. There is a god of destruction going to appear tomorrow. He is known as Jibaku. He and his ally will be appearing tommorow. Got the picture? The whole aim of this war on Earth was to lure Jibaku out so that we might destroy him. Your part in this will be two fold. One, we expect you to aid in the battle against Jibaku and Van Valeric. That is required. What White should have said regarding Daikiem is that if he should pose a problem to us during that battle or immediately after we finish our task, you are to deal with him. You know him better than we do, so you would be perfect in making him back off. Peacefully or violently. Daikiem may not even show up tomorrow. It's just a precaution we thought ahead about.
We're not asking you to kill him, unless for some reason he attempts to do so to you. That's the letter of the deal. Do those things and consider yourself a free man. We already have your DNA, and this is our more humane way of dealing with you. White could just turn you into a monster or something. I hear she likes experimenting on trash. Though I wouldn't know. Now if you're done throwing a tantrum like a toddler, I'll let you up. We clear?"
Drake: Crystal... Now get the fuck off.
Torrent walks away in mid air.
Drake stands up and exits his Aura Dragon form and extinguishes the fire on his hands, he glances at the Phoenix members before walking out of the room.
Drake: Hmph, kill two people I don't know... Yeah, that'll be 'easy'. I'll be training 'til then, you better be ready when I am. *He exits the room and finds his way to the courtyard before opening his HSC and pulling out one of his jackets and a sword. He creates a couple of clones and trains with them.*
After a while, he notices someone is watching him and turns to find a CE staring at him that looks eerily like him.
"You're easily angered." It says quietly.
Drake: Oh great, so White made more mini-me's... And yes, I get angered easily... What do you want?
Drake: Let's see... Kanashimi was loud-mouth and brash, so you must be the silent and deadly variant of me. *Drake dodges his clone's attack then breaks his arms then sets him ablaze, watching him incinerate into ash* Anyways, so, you got a name?
Drake: Heh, good name. So then, you just came to watch? Ask questions or?
A clone appears of Silent Angel. The two start clashing swords. "....Sort of."
Drake: Well, if you have any questions, ask away. If not, then focus on your clone's blade. *He practices CQC with the clone*
"....He killed her."
Drake: *Sighs* Don't tell me you believe in that crap too... If you're gonna bother me with that too, then just go.
Silent Angel brutally stabs his clone in the heart, and Drake thinks he can see a momentary blaze of white hot fury in Silent Angel's eyes, as though he had imagined himself killing Daikiem with that blow.
He makes another one, and is silent for a moment. "She was my sister. ...The Lady forced me to stand aside and watch her die..."
Drake: Sucks, doesn't it. Having to be unable to do anything as you watch someone you care about perish infront of you... Infact, Daikeim knows how that feels, as do I, and you. But, if you want to be someone who works on the frontline. *He disarms his clone and breaks his neck, killing him instantly* Then you have to discard feelings, your kill just then. As brutal as it was, if it was in the middle of the battlefield, that would of gotten you killed. *He creates another clone and trains again* Anyways...
Silent Angel bisects the clone. ".......Want... ...we don't ask for this... ...we don't even have the free will to want anything more..."
Drake: I guess we're in a similar situation where we're forced to do something... I didn't want to get back into a mini-war but here I am... *He sighs* Regardless, sorry about your sister...
Silent Angel flies off without a word. Noriko pokes her head around the corner and sees Drake. "Oh hey Tankboy!"
Drake: Oh god dam-- Hey there Noriko, one thing. Drake, it's.. Drake, not Tankboy... Ok?
"Hmm... I suppose I can call you Drake, provided you stop trying to aggravate Aoi, I think I overheard her mumbling assassination plans."
Drake: That's probably about tomorrow and not me, but it's nice to see she cares. And I can't really help it, being someone who doesn't make somethings seriously is just who I am... Kinda. *He kills the last clone and the sword dissipates into nothingness, he turns to look at Noriko* So then, is every other member of Phoenix like that? Aoi is a stuck-up bitch, Torrent is headstrong, you... You're just... There, really... What about the others? Anything to 'warn' me about when it comes to them?
Her head tilts to one side. "Well I don't know, but we are down a few members. Master Hiroshi died, and Naomi joined forces with Kado, who has been a defector for a number of years and is fighting against us. The people assembled here are the only ones left. There's always been eight members of the organization, no more, no less. ...I guess we need to start looking for new members soon.
I don't know much about Kado anymore, but I do remember how quiet and timid he used to be, heh heh. Probably disguises how timid he is in a fight by pretending to let people take the first shot at him. Have you met him before?"
Drake: *Smirks* Yeah, I met him a once... He's something 'special', annoying too... I wonder if he'll be coming along tomorrow, it'll be fun to show him what I'm capable of. But that's an if, I need to focus about Van Valeric and Jibaku.
"I see, well, I don't know about you, but I think it would be a good idea for you to get some rest. Tomorrow is gonna be a big day, you'll need the energy."
Drake: Hmph... Does it look like I need rest? You can go rest if you want, I'll still be here by sunrise... *Drake sets up some moving targets and sends a barrage of throwing knives at them, all hitting in the heart or brain*
She gives him an odd look, then turns and starts walking away. "Don't let White catch you out here. She'll make you rest."
Drake: Pfft, sure she will... Bye then. *Drake takes a minute to breathe, while this happens, a black shadow appears infront of Drake*
Corruption: Well well, Van Valeric and Jibaku, eh?
Drake: Yeah, but I don't plan on using any Primitive forms. So don't try it.
Corruption: Oh I don't think you have a choice Drake, remember, I control when you NEED the forms. You better start treating me with respect, otherwise once you go into Primitive, you'll never come back out.
Drake: Like I want to listen to someone who lives inside of me, do me a favor and shut up. Alright? Now fade away before anyone catches you...
Corruption: ...This isn't over. *Forms back inside Drake*
Drake: ugh... Stupid parasite.
For a while, it's quiet, until a harsh yell breaks the silence. "ARRGHH! NORIKO! WHAT HAVE I SAID ABOUT COMING IN MY ROOM WITHOUT PERMISSION?!"
Drake hears an almost childish laughing coming closer, and he turns to see an orb of golden light crackling with lightning as it passes. It pauses, giggles again, and then flies off just as Torrent jumps over the wall like a feral animal.
"COME BACK HERE YOU DAMN FAIRY!" He roars, his cloth mask stolen.
Drake: This... Seems fun... *He looks at the multitude of bodies around him* ...Yeah, following them. *Drake goes into his Aura Dragon form and follows the two*
He sees Torrent running at very fast speeds right behind the golden fairy, but it happily manages to dodge every attempt he does at grabbing her. She merrily has no trouble keeping out of his range.
"♪ You can't catch me, you can't catch me!♪ " She sings tauntingly.
Drake flips so his back is facing the ground, he places his hands behind his head and flies past Torrent.
Drake: Oh, hey there. You seem to be in a spot of trouble. *He looks at the golden fairy before looking at Torrent* Wow, you're slow...
The fairy giggles. "♪ Oooh now I have two desperate men wanting a piece of the action! Whatever shall I do?♪ "
Torrent glares at him. "It's not my fault she's a freaking lightning fairy."
Drake: You do realise that I'm faster than you, Noriko... If I wanted to catch you, unlike slowpoke back there. It'll be easy...
She pulsates for a moment. "Nah."
She bolts downward into the water. Torrent sighs. "I'm not likely to get that back til tomorrow now."
Drake lands then turns his head towards Torrent.
Drake: Why does it matter anyways, it's only a mask...
"If I fail to kill someone and they become a threat later, they won't recognize me if I have my mask off. With my mask I appear less of a person and more of a monster. I don't want people to wonder if I have feelings or emotions or any of that nonsense. It's annoying. People are more likely to assume I'm just some thug who is as mindless as the next Mytho."
Drake: Noriko, give Torrent his mask back. That's like stripping a male of his manhood... Actually, it's not but-- JUST GIVE TORRENT HIS DAMN MASK BACK BEFORE I COME DOWN THERE AND TURN YOU INTO NOTHING BUT A SPARK!
He sees her briefly bob into view from the water, and hovers there. She then rushes up to his face and he feels a small jolt of electricity zap his face as she touches his forehead, and then zips off, dropping the cloth mask in the air, and Torrent angrily fetches it before it can fall.
Drake rubs his forehead and glances at Torrent.
Drake: Ow... Hmm, is she like that with everyone?
"I know for a fact she only acts like this with men. It's her little games. I don't know why she does it, but she will always play these games, even with people she's never met. I do know she can be serious when it matters, but men are open season."
Drake: So, she's a manipulative person... Interesting, I guess it's to fool newcomers... Only with men? So... Why does she toy with you?
"Because I'm a guy. She toys with any men, as I said. She'd be doing this alot more often if we had more main members who were male."
Drake: Right... I guess I'm glad it's just like this... I guess. *He looks up at the sky then looks back down then begins walking away, exiting his Aura Dragon form* Anyways, I'm gonna rest or train, see you whenever.
As he walks through the fortress, he sees Aoi in one of the walkways, staring at the moon as she paints on a canvas, a peaceful expression on her face. She almost seems radiant with the moonlight.
Drake sighs and walks up behind Aoi, looking at the painting before glancing at Aoi.
Drake: Hey... What are you painting?
"...The moonlight on the ocean. I like peaceful things. Beautiful things. I try to capture moments like this with paint but... I'm self taught, so I don't think I'm very good at it yet..."
Drake: *Takes a second to look at the painting, then the ocean and moon* You're doing well, self teaching yourself is very difficult to do, but the payoff feels amazing. Hmm... I guess the painting, and the ocean and moon look beautiful... Strange how you love peaceful things yet you're in Phoenix, seems stupid if you ask me.
"...I don't like it here. The violence. The hate. I don't. ...But... I owe the organization a great deal. ...My life, in fact. ...I haven't participated in any of their battles... the most I do is anything I'm directly ordered to do... or manage security. ...If I can avoid it... I do not fight."
Drake: That's... Surprising, you have quite the temper on you. And what about tomorrow? You're gonna be forced to fight, but I guess avoiding fights is a good thing in most cases... If you're that kinda person.
"...Considering that you keep insulting me and treating me as if I'm some rodent you found in the sewer..."
Drake: You would treat everyone like that if you arrived somewhere, got the crap beaten out of you by mythical beasts, had your DNA copied and made into clones, looked like a damn napalm survivor and had to stay in a tube... *He sighs* Fine, I'm sorry... There, now I feel like throwing up...
"....You're sincere..." She looks at the moon for a moment more. She eventually puts down her brush and looks at him, before she puts a hand on Drake's chest and her arm glows with a greenish blue light, which spreads to Drake's body.
Drake: Ummm Aoi... What are you doing, and why am I glowing?
"Quiet. Restoration." The light seems to momentarily sear his body, but immediately after it fades, he feels his skin is completely smooth with no hint of scarring or wounds, in fact he almost feels younger and full of energy.
"You're welcome." She says quietly.
Drake: Thank you, I feel better than before I arrived here.... Umm, anyways... I'm gonna go rest, good luck with the painting, Aoi. *He turns away and walks off*
She looks up from her painting. "I assume you will want a better place to sleep than a confined tube. I know of several open rooms right now, and I believe a few of the members have spare guest rooms within their towers, though I would have to ask them."
Drake: *Looks at Aoi* Several open rooms and spare guest rooms... Oook, wanna give me a list and location? This place is a size of a city, afterall...
Aoi smiles faintly. "White's quarters are the size of a mansion, she has many spare rooms, Torrent has spare rooms but I don't know if he would be keen, Noriko has spare rooms a plenty... not sure if you're willing to risk being near her though. Toma doesn't like company all the time... I also have spare rooms, and then there's the unoccupied member towers of Hiroshi, Naomi, and Kado. Each of the main member towers are the tallest and are arranged in a perfect circle around the middle. White's is the widest. There are color coded guards that represent each of the member's towers as well who can help you there."
Drake: I don't think I would want to stay in one of Torrent's rooms, why Noriko has more than one room scares me, I don't want to go near White, don't know Toma, and I think you would prefer peace so no me. I guess one of the unoccupied rooms... Hmm, what about Kado's room, where would that be exactly? Because I doubt that there would still be guards there...
"I'll show you, but it's probably dusty and stuff like that... but I can see what we can do. Follow me." She looks at a nearby guard.
"Make sure this isn't messed with, please."
She starts walking toward the center area.
Drake follows behind, taking one last look at the paining before paying attention to what Aoi has to say next.
Drake: Dusty? How long has he been out of Phoenix?
"He was fifteen when he left... it's been seven years."
Drake: Wow... So what was his reason for leaving, besides the obvious?
"White ordered him to be executed. She and all of the old masters chased after him the night we were chosen by the Slayers. For a while, we all heard he died. ...But eventually I learned from White that he was alive somehow, leading an organization called Azure. When we first heard about the incident though, we were told that Kado betrayed the organization and tried to usurp power. ...I quickly perceived it as a lie, but I kept that knowledge to myself. I very much doubt anything would ever make Kado return to Phoenix."
Drake: I don't blame him, in all honesty... Why anyone would want to stay in Phoenix is beyond me, but I guess everyone has their reasons, don't they... *He sighs then looks at Aoi* I wonder if anything of Kado's is still in the room...
"Possibly... if White hasn't done anything with it." They arrive at the building, and Aoi opens the door and suddenly appears shell shocked.
Drake: Uhh... Is someone expecting anyone? *He steps in and looks around* Spotless... Who the hell?
Aoi looks at the carpets. "...These were White's old carpets... ...White has been keeping it clean... ...But why?"
Drake: No idea... Hey, you don't think White has a thing for Kado... Right? *He walks around the room* I don't even... Strange...
"His bedroom is upstairs... but I don't think that she really cared about him that much... this room feels as though she expected Kado to rejoin us... ...So she wasn't lying when she said she tried to recruit him again..."
Drake: He left for a reason, so unless White knows the reason... There's no point in trying to bring him back, anyways... Thanks Aoi, I'll see you tomorrow. *He starts walking up the stairs* Goodnight.
"Goodnight..." She says quietly, and silently closes the door, pondering what she had seen.
Drake takes off his jacket on his way up and places it on a hanger, he heads towards the bed and lies down on his back and looks up on the ceiling and sighs.
Drake: Well... That was a strange first day out of the tube... Hopefully I can just rest long enough to be ready tomorrow... *He closes his eyes and slowly falls asleep*
White, or rather Shinwa, appears within her quarters, along with Volmond and Nezumi. She looks at the CE for a moment.
"Dismissed, Nezumi. Do what you will, but do not leave the fortress." Nezumi quietly walks away and out of Shinwa's quarters.
She sighs. "I have so much to do...." Rubbing her forehead, she sits on her bed.
"Yosai has a laboratory deep below, if you want a private workspace. I can show you around there, but I'd ask that you only touch that which is of your own making." She says quietly.
"My quarters also come with many levels, some including sectors dedicated to living quarters like this one, only for guests and servants, I have several available for choosing, if you ever wish to rest."
"Just call me if you need help," says the doctor, "I will need a lab space, but you do not have to worry about me bothering the works of others, I have enough to complete anyways."
She nods quietly. She walks over to a side part of the wall, which slides open and reveals a secret elevator platform.
The doctor nods and enters the elevator.
"Hmm... Don't forget to call if you need anything. I'm rather good at granting wishes," says the doctor, "Oh. and do be careful..."
She enters the lift. "I have time enough to show you around." She hands him a white and black emblem of a bird. "That is your permission slip within this facility."
The lift lurches, and begins to rapidly drop down, until they are in open air rapidly descending towards the water below the fortress.
"Hmmm, interesting design," notes the doctor as they continue their descent. "Was this your idea by any chance?"
"The system was built by White V, as well as the underwater facility below Yosai. Yosai existed as an old fortress of the Mythos long before Phoenix lived here. When our founders found it, they re-purposed and restored it. To be honest,the CE Project was first started by her. I'm mainly responsible for the late Zeta and the Eta generations. White V she.... ....is the one who found the initial subject."
The platform smashes into the water below, though the water is merely pushed aside by the platform by a sphere of air, and they continue down, though they begin to slow.
Volmond looks up, intrigued.
"....Let's put it this way. ....What did you think I meant when I told Nezumi to enter 'Archangel Mode'?"
"To initiate a protocol in which she would manifest the traits of an Archangel, part of her physiology. Why?"
The platform lands in an underwater facility lit by electronic blue lights.
"It is better explained in person." She guides him through the facility, and they enter a section of large corridors with many pods like the one he had seen Nezumi come up in, filled with both what looks like incomplete growing humanoids, and fully developed beings. Some seem to have nothing more than just ordinary humans hooked up to a strange metal tube connected to their necks.
"Hmm, very interesting indeed... Almost like the Advanced Chimera..." The doctor gets a misty look in his eyes, "Ultimate union..."
White approaches a wall at the end of the corridor, and it opens up to reveal a large chamber, where several beings are kept in tubes, a Endlos, Spirit, Aetherborn, and a strange half formed male of some description. The biggest significance takes the form of a single large tube with reinforced glass, with what appears to him to be a Archangel, deep in slumber.
"This is the initial subject."
"Ah... Hmm, would you care for an additional subject? I'm sure you will be quite interested in this being and its... Unique nature..."
Shinwa looks at him incredulously. "Additional subject...?" She blinks, confused.
"Have you heard of the Aetherae or Netherim?"
She frowns. "No...... why?" She says cautiously.
The doctor smiles, "Well then, would you like to meet the union of the two?"
"....Union...? What exactly are you planning on showing me?"
"Call it my thesis, a masterpiece in the works." The doctor draws a sigil in the air and space distorts around it. From the distortion emerges a large pod encased in crystal. The pod itself is ivory and gold in coloration and is covered in various sigils, glyphs and seals. Within the pod is a being with a multitude of different features.
The being is female in appearance, with pale flesh that fades grey in areas and white in others. Grooves are inlaid into her skin, forming crisscrossing lines across her legs and arms. The being's arms end in claws and its feet in talons. Long iridescent hair that fades to black at the tips covers her body. Eyes are closed in a peaceful manner as if dreaming. Several scale like grows emerge from her cheeks, forming what appear to be dimunitive whiskers. From her arms flow a blue energy that appears to be part of her body rather than an aura surrounding her.
"This is Taea..."
Shinwa stares at the being for a moment, not sure what to make of it. "I haven't seen anything like this.... what... how did you get a hold of her...?"
"You have your Chaos Engines, I have my Homunculi and Chimera... Taea is a mixture between both."
"So this is your... thesis? What, in that case, are you trying to accomplish with her? Is she incomplete or something?"
"Very incomplete. Taea cannot be controlled once awakened, even with a control module... Actually, I'm sure that the control module is the issue, maybe her conscious is rebelling against it... Ah, Taea is the secondary template, the primary template being... inaccessible. That being said, you may use Taea and this." The doctor tosses White a portion of the creature they encountered in the doctor's domain. "Maybe you'll find use for them."
Shinwa glances at Taea. "...Would it be possible to clone her? I have technology capable of extremely accurate dna replication.... the only question I have is it possible to replicate her? I'd rather not mess with a subject of your project. I'd like to avoid tampering with things that I don't understand, so if possible a replication of her dna would be preferable. As for that..." She looks at the sample of the creature. "I'll have to investigate these."
"Cloning is possible, Taea's base is highly replicable. The issue would be keeping the clones stable, assuming they inherit Taea's temperment..."
She thinks for a moment. "I could always sequence the DNA, and then create a modified version of the virus we insert into humans to transfigure them into CE's, and then just use the modified virus in one of the modifications to create a new being most likely keeping the victim's mentality and negating any... temperament inheritance."
"Worth a shot, try it. I'll get set up in the mean time. Once I'm done, I'll see what can do to help you out."
Shinwa looks at Volmond, and holds up a needle. "Will it cause any problems to extract DNA with this? I have other methods, but this would be the easiest."
"That should be fine. I put an extremely strong sleep spell on her, Shinwa. Just avoid touching the Exceed Nexus- the energy, or you'll regret it..."
Shinwa places the needle on a robotic arm, which draws a sample from Taea's chest, afterwards inserting it into a machine, which slowly hums with energy.
She also takes the chunk from the monster they encountered and places it within a different device.
"The devices requires time to fully replicate DNA, so in the meantime I may just rest." She pulls up a screen of the facility, and indicates a flashing point on the map.
"That space is unoccupied if you wish to set up." Her eyes close, slightly weary.
The doctor nods before moving towards the indicated area with such speed as to appear to have teleported there. Upon arriving, he draws several sigils in the air, causing his various tools, equipment and books manifest and rapidly organize themselves to consolidate and fit the given space. Shortly afterwards Volmond creates what looks like an ergonomic keyboard of blue energy from thin air and sets it before his desk after pressing a sequence of keys. A moment later several pods warp into the area, each containing beings similar to Taea though incomplete in form, save for one which holds the sleeping body of a woman with iridescent hair.
He momentarily hears Shinwa.
Please do me a favor and rest every now and then. I don't want to have to worry about you depriving yourself of sleep unnessiarly. Feel free to use any of my quarter's rooms to sleep in.
Don't worry about me Shinwa, I've gone months without sleep before. I won't overwork myself. If anything, please watch over yourself, I'm quite a bit harder to kill than the standard immortal... If it makes you happy, I'll take a break every few hours to rest or converse.
A mental sigh of relief can be heard, and he can feel part of her relief wash over him.
Alright... I will speak with you later....
On her end, Shinwa finishes taking a shower back in her quarters, then dries off, thinking silently.
....What is it about him that makes me remember so much? ....I feel confused....
She puts on a black nightgown, before walking over to her bed and crawling in, feeling the emotional weight of the past few days smother her, and she begins to wearily sleep.
"At least she's relieved... Now to map out a few things." Volmond looks around before getting to work, typing out formula after formula whilst havimg clones perform various jobs and experiments. "By the way, I know you're awake, Gaea." The doctor doesn't look up from his work as the woman with iridescent hair opens her scarlet eyes and frowns at him.
"You're more perceptive than usual, doctor," mocks the being in the tube. "I will be reunited with the missing fraction of myself soon... And I'll be happy to repay you for this treatment." The last words make the doctor stop working and look up.
"You mean the whimsical goddess," he drones, annoyed, "Even if she found me, I could fight her off as long as I kept you two apart. Besides, you aren't the only one strong enough to wipe this universe out, Gaea... After all, the hell I've endured made me stronger than anything you could understand. Now, sleep before I decide to ramp up the experiment pace and level." The contained entity scoffs, but closes her eyes nonetheless, falling into a peaceful looking slumber.
A loud knock at the door wakes Shinwa from her sleep, and she weakly groans. "What time is it anyway....?" Neither the less, she slides out of her simple bed and walks in her grey commoner's nightgown barefoot out to the front door.
"Who is it?" She yawns, opening it, then yelping in surprise upon seeing Furue, a long time friend and secretly, her fiancee. "Fu-Fu-Furue! Why are you here so early?!"
The light brown haired male shapeshifter cracks a smile in her direction. "Hey, I haven't seen you in months. Not since you joined that damn organzation.... what's it called...? Oh yeah, Phoenix. I heard you were back so I brought this!" He motions to the large wagon of food he had brought, causing Shinwa to gasp and practically collapse in surprise.
"FURUE!!! Why did you bring so much food again?!"
Furue only plays with her hair in response, and she faintly smiles, blushing. "You know why. Because I know my girl has the appetite of two dragons, and I love spoiling you."
Shinwa sighs, then laughs. "Alright alright.... let's eat. Before Father comes home with my little brother. You know how Father gets when he sees me eating this much in front of him."
Furue walks inside, taking off his shoes and socks, and begins cooking food, with Shinwa happily watching him cook, carefully watching how he makes each item of food. He eventually finishes, and starts setting down plates and food, and they dig in.
After they eat, Shinwa thinks for a long while in silence.
Furue looks over at her carefully. "You're weird today. What's eating you? Besides that black hole of a stomach of yours?"
She flickers a smile at him. "Oh, nothing. Just thinking of.... work...."
....I don't want to involve him... ...today is the last day I am allowed before I have to go back... ...forever.... ....I have to leave without warning.
Shinwa peacefully slumbers on, deep in memories replayed as dreams, and her mind for once open and relaxed.
"Maybe... Maybe I should consider my own happiness before I think about my revenge," mutters the doctor as he checks the status of several ongoing experiments. "It's not like they'll forgive me or anything, but I wonder if they'd understand my reasons and at least hear me before they tried to kill me... Probably not." Volmond sighs loudly before closing his eyes and thinking of the past...
"You're my Guardian Angel," scoffed the doctor, looking at the raven haired woman with electric blue eyes. "As much as I'd like to thank you, I can't humor a person who's not entirely there in the head. Besides, what God would utilize 'Guardian Phoenixes'?"
"If you will not believe me, I can prove my truthfulness," replied the woman, "Though it isn't exactly polite to call a lady a liar, Zwei." The doctor flinched. How could a woman he had barely met know that his current name was not his true name?
"V-very well then, prove it..." Volmond frowned, realizing he did not know the woman's name.
"Kokua," answered the woman, "And I don't lie." The moment the words left the woman's mouth, the air began to heat up until it ignited. The flames born, however, were an unnatural black color with licks of blue and violet as opposed to orange, red and yellow. In less than an instant the woman was engulfed by the flames which only grew and grew as the seconds melted away, finally swelling into a volatile sphere that undulated as arid air swirled around it. Volmond took a step back, both mystified and horrified by the events unfolding before him, watching the sphere continue to pulse and dance until it dispersed.
In the stead of the the raven haired woman was a massive bird that looked to be a cross between a raven, a peacock, a swallow and an eagle. Its body was an inky black color, housing the occasional red, green, violet and blue feather in its plumage, and was easily the thrice the size of an auto-tran. The bird's beak was hooked and pointed, but smooth as if regal, while its feathers formed a crest reminiscent of a crown on its head. The bird's tail separated into three pieces: a set of trailing "ribbons", the tail feathers themselves and several gothic blades attached to the tail feathers. The bird's wings were similar, they too had gothic armor and armaments attached to them, with flames trailing of of them in such a way as to appear as a cape of fire flowing from its body.
"Are you satisfied with this," questioned the phoenix, cocking a burning azure eye at Volmond, "Is this sufficient proof to back up my claim or must I 'return from the ashes?' In either case, I have proven my truthfulness." The doctor could only nod in response, having never seen such a being before, let alone up close. The phoenix huffed before dissolving back into her human form. "Was that enough proof, Zwei?" Again, the doctor could only nod. "Good, now let's get going. I ended breaking protocol revealing myself to you, so we must keep moving or else my superiors will be on our trail."
"U-understood," stuttered Volmond, following Kokua as she made her way deeper into the mountain range, unaware of the future awaiting them...
Volmond frowned. "I won't allow that to happen again..."
Night comes, and Shinwa cautiously gets out of bed, and dresses for her final trip away from home. One she would never return from. She quietly walks through the house she had always known and quietly enters the room of her little brother. She looks down at her two year old brother as he sleeps, smiling softly, a tear running down her cheek as she places a hand on his forehead, and casts a seal on her brother's forehead, one that would lock away her brother's memories of her forever.
"....Goodbye.... ....I'm sorry.... forgive me..... .....Kado....." She whispers, then slowly sneaks out of the house, closing the front door without a sound. She looks around at the empty streets of the small town she grew up in, and tearfully begins to quietly run into the woods.
For the first few miles, she runs, seemingly undetected, but then she hears a soft running behind her. She wheels around, to see Furue chasing after her.
When he catches up, he stops with a heavy pant. "Geez, you really were training tough.... you've gotten a lot faster since we first played tag.... ....What's going on Shinwa? I knew something was up. You've been.... ....too off lately."
Shinwa closes her eyes. "Furue.... it's over."
He blinks. "Shinwa? What are you talking about?"
She holds back tears. "This was the last time, Furue. I can't visit anymore. I am staying with Phoenix, forever."
He has a look of disbelief. "Shinwa, you're not serious! You hated the idea of joining Phoenix! What's with you?!"
She begins to cry. "Furue.... ....they showed me the future. About my brother. Kado...."
He looks confused. "Future....?"
"....Yes. In the distant future, he will aspire for power, and seek nothing but violence. He will come to kill anything and anyone, just to become more powerful. ....He will become like a demon.... and kill... and kill... and kill.... ....and never know happiness....."
She chokes back a sob. "I have to join Phoenix, and I must do as they say, to ensure he grows on the right path."
She begins to tell him of what she had learned, and what she must do, and Furue grows angry.
"Stop it, Shinwa, this isn't you! Don't listen to those people, they're a bunch of crazy psychopaths!" He yells.
Shinwa begins to turn her back on him, walking away. "I'm sorry, I have to do this. We can't see each other again."
He angrily grabs her arm. "Stop this right now, I'm taking you back to speak to your father about this, I won't let you do this to yourself!"
She pulls back against him. "Let me go!"
"No! I will never allow this! You're coming home with me!"
Breaking down into hysterics, Shinwa desperately attacks him to make him let go, and beats him repeatedly, without any sound coming from him. She shudders, as he suddenly stumbles back as he lets go. She looks at him in horror, as she realizes she's crushed his chest and snapped his neck, blood pouring out of his mouth, and she finds herself drenched in his blood.
Blood..... no..... no..... NO! I'VE KILLED HIM!!!
The sound of pure horrified bloodcurdling screaming shatters the silence of the dream, and of the waking hours of the night, as White begins to scream, bolting upright, staring at her hands in horror at blood to her has yet to be washed away, and begins to scream again, wildly rushing into her bathroom and locking herself within, pouring the shower as hard as it will go, yet the vision of blood burns her eyes, a lucid madness and fear consuming her.
She had forgotten her fear of blood.
For more than twenty minutes she panics, until she breaks down into wild, hysterical sobbing, tormented by her waking nightmare, the merciless shower stinging her skin.
"Shinwa!" Volmond phases into the room, an alarmed look on his face. "Calm down and look at me!" The doctor attempts to soothe White, eventually resorting to singing a mellow song in another language while cradling the woman against his chest.
She doesn't appear to notice him at all, looking at her hands in a expression of pure horror, her eyes seem fixated on her hands, as though something abominable was on them, and she appears to be listlessly attempting make a motion similar to washing her hands. Her mind is riveted open, and he can sense from her a mind dominating fear, and an endless stream of thoughts repeating saying:
Blood! Blood! Blood!
"I get the feeling I'm going to regret this..." Volmond kisses the shape shifter before drenching them both in a great deal of water.
She seems to start, mostly from the kiss, partially from the water. She begins to gasp heavily, the shock of her horror still coursing through her. She makes an attempt at speech, but she seems so disoriented that it is largely unintelligible. She lets out a high pitched squeak of distress and begins crying again, though she retains what little presence of mind she has, though she still seems to be partially having spasms.
"It'll be alright, Shinwa. I'm here... Calm down and breathe..."
She takes a while, but she eventually calms down, very light breaths and shaking the only remnants of her episode.
"....Why.... why am I remembering everything.....? ....I wanted to forget... why is my past haunting me now... why...?" She slowly sinks into his embrace, the sensation slowly soothing her distress, though she still has some tears rolling down her face, her shaking starts up again, only from the cold water soaking her.
Volmond sighs and has the air around them heat up to warm up White.
"The past has its ways of following us, no matter how hard we try to bury it. You have to learn to bear it and resist jts influence. If not, no progress can be made."
Shinwa weakly looks him in the eye, her eyes at first tense but it slowly seems to drain until her eyes begin to flutter and eventually close, letting out a breath that seems to carry his name barely above a whisper, and she falls asleep, her head coming to rest against his chest, her small horns lightly poking him.
Volmond smiles faintly as a memory stirs. Before he realizes it, he too drifts to sleep, still holding onto White.
Later that morning, a knock comes to the door, though White still slumbers on.
"White, my lady, are you in there?! We heard a scream but we never got permission to enter! Are you alright?!" A servant's voice echoes on the other side.
Volmond continues to sleep as well, completely unaware of everything excluding White's presence. He sleeps through his hair lengthening to beyond his shoulders and down his back and doesn't feel his armored wings grow as he snuggles against the Shapeshifter unconsciously.
White quietly stirs, tail and horns grown out significantly, the tail having subconsciously wrapped around Volmond's legs, which she embarrassingly uncurls with a faint blush. She cracks open her eyes and looks at the door, and weakly says in a very soft voice, "....I'm fine... I just.... had a very bad nightmare.... I just fell asleep in here, that's all...."
The servant reluctantly leaves, the footsteps fading quickly.
She blinks when she sees herself in Volmond's embrace, and notices his form's changes. She doesn't bother to move out of his embrace, just quietly laying there, occasionally noting with irritation her form had grown out of control, as her horns feel extremely heavy, and have almost turned gold and their full length.
I'm just glad I didn't morph fully into a dragon.... ignoring the fact the room would have been destroyed, I might have crushed him by accident...
"Hmm," the doctor narrows his closed eyes,as if he's having his own nightmare. The air around his superheats for an instant before he snaps awake. "...What happened? Are you alright?"
Her head tilts towards him slowly, to avoid knocking her overly large horns into the nearest wall, and her tail twitches. She blinks, dragonic eyes prevalent.
"....Thank you....I.... had an unpleasant dream. Thank you for comforting me...." She rests her head against his chest, having difficulty in keeping her head up from the weight of the horns, too tired to retract them.
"You're welcome, milady. I'll stay as long as you require me by your side," says the doctor, stroking White's hair, "Until then, rest and be at peace."
She lets out a sigh as he strokes her hair, and she ponders all that has happened.
One of her eyes looks at his face, and the dragonic pupil softens after a moment, and it looks away. She adjusts her tail, though it is still cramped by the space of the small bathroom, then finally after a few moments she says something.
".....I understand it now... ....why everything is coming back.... ....you remind me of him.... Furue..... ....we were going to marry a few months after I joined Phoenix except.... .....he tried to stop me from joining Phoenix and leaving everything behind.... ....I was desperate, willing to do anything to save my brother from the fate my masters had forseen... ....in my wild emotion, I ended up killing him.... I wasn't trained properly back then to control my dragonic strength, and it ended up killing him.... ...my own hands....
....I ended up killing the man I loved for the sake of the Cause.... In my horror at what I had done, I developed a incurable fear of blood." She looks at her right hand, and slowly clenches it. "...It was so severe, it prevented me from fighting. ...And in the end, the only potential cure was for me to seal away much of my memories, though I allowed the memories of the times I spent with my little brother to remain, to remind myself why I fight."
She closes her eyes. "....These past few days.... it was as if I could almost go back to those days...." A melancholy smile crosses her face.
"I see... I lost the ability to fear... That's one of the few things I never regained despite the time that's passed," mutters the doctor, "You know, you remind me of her... Kokua, only our roles are reversed... A long time ago, everyone I cared for was killed in a terrible accident. Only my mother and I survived, but soon afterwards she died from injuries brought about by her protecting me.
"I was named my family's heir, but many people believed that my status as the illegitimate son made me the culprit behind the incident and thus a target for their cries for 'justice' and 'vengeance'. Needless to say, I was innocent of the crime and allowed to return to the remains of my life... Until people decided to take justice into their own hands and attempted to kill me. Having no other choice, I ran, abandoning my name. Skip a few things and I met Kokua, my 'Guardian Phoenix'." A misty look enters the doctor's eyes and he sighs. "White, I will not let what happened to me happen to you. I will protect you, I will fight for you... I will comfort you as best I can, but I will never leave you."
She opens her eyes, a warm cast to them. "Right now, I honestly couldn't tell you how I feel.... ....but it's just like.... when I was in love with him... it's funny... ....Legna.... ...it almost feels like I remember how to live again...." The warmth of her eyes spreads to her face in a soft blush.
"....Am I... that important to you...?"
"You are, Shinwa," smiles the doctor gently, "You're that important and more to me."
Her eyes grow sharp and more serious for a moment. "I wasn't sure before, so I want to ask. Did I hear you say 'Why won't you let me love you'?" She asks, her voice a bit stronger, though her question and her intensity do not seem to have a hostile edge. She rights herself slightly in his arms, though the length of her tail as well as its width makes it slightly difficult to stay completely upright.
The doctor is silent for a moment, before answering.
"Yes... I did say those words and not simply in the heat of the moment... May I ask why you wished to know that?"
She closes her eyes. "So I could answer that question. Because I don't want to hurt anyone any more than I have to, Legna." She opens her eyes, looking at him quietly for a moment.
"I was absolutely set on my goal. To save Kado from his fate, give him one where he will find happiness. The world isn't paved with just niceties. So that others can be happy, others must be sacrificed, and some of those others willingly took on that role so that others might find happiness. That is the role I wanted.... what I want. A light drowned in darkness, and a shadow brought back into the light. Poetic, is it not?"
Before he can say anything, she adjusts herself successfully and looks at him almost level face to face.
"Yet now I almost want to be saved. Even though the wheel is already set in motion, and fate is cascading down upon me, I still somehow see the past and wonder if I can still have something beyond this. ....But I do not know if I can extend my hand to reach out for your outreaching arm, for fear I will in the end be swallowed regardless.
....I remember the sensation of love, and I feel so tempted to try to accept it again. ...But I do not want to lose everything, just when I've gotten it back. ....I am.... ....scared."
She says all of this with conviction, stronger and more like she was prior to meeting him, but laden with subtle emotions he can still pick up. Confusion, anxiety, hope, despair, fear, determination.
"At least you can admit that... All I can do is promise you that to the best of my ability, I'll try to make you happy and that I'll always offer my hand out to you. Don't forget that... Besides we walk a similar path..." A wistful look flashes across his face for the briefest of instants. "Time has the annoying habit of changing people..."
She leans over and embraces him. "That's all I need, Legna, and I appreciate you being by my side." She brushes her head against him, her horns becoming smaller and less sharp and more elegant, her tail finally adjusting to a more manageable size.
"If you truly mean to be by my side... then I can afford to open my heart once more."
"And I, you." The doctor ties back his hair and puts on a pair of glasses, continuing to stroke White's hair. "So, what is on today's agenda?"
Shinwa sighs. "Lots of things.... retrieving some of my members, picking out a subject to alter with the genetics I took from Taea, performing the said operation, lots of things. I'll have to have a meeting with the other members about the recent events as well..." She sighs.
"What sounds most interesting to you?" She asks dully.
"The second and third tasks."
She silently looks at the door, and gets up on her feet, and gestures toward the door, and it slams open, revealing an eavesdropping servant.
"What have I told you people about eavesdropping on me?" She says coldly, all traces of kindness wiped out and replaced with a cold steely aura laced with malice.
"S-s-sorry! I was just cleaning and I overheard you t-talking to someone so I-I-"
"So you want to die then?"
Volmond watches the interaction, giving the servant an uninterested look.
She walks up to the man and grabs his jaw, and a light crack can be heard.
"Get out before I change my mind." The man runs away in fear. She sighs. "When will they learn....?"
She looks over at Volmond. "I will be back shortly. I need to get dressed for today...." She says, looking at her still wet black nightgown, then walking out to her room.
The doctor nods then bathes himself in light, obscuring him from sight as he cleans himself. By the time White returns, his hair is back to its usual length and his wings are gone. He also appears to have changed labcoats and is slightly wet.
She appears in a varied version of her normal dress, modified to be more of a lab coat than a actual dress, though it is still significantly higher quality and more elegant than most lab coats.
"I might as well get started on the more interesting things in my day and slowly work out the more annoying ones as I go. Are you interested in joining me and overseeing the experiment?"
"Quite," says the doctor, adjusting his glasses. "It should be most enlightening."
White takes him down like before, but once they reach the facility, she takes a different direction, and eventually she opens a small door and enters what appears to be a observation room overlooking a large prison ward full of captive humans.
"These are the humans we captured during our invasion of Earth. We took largely healthy ones as well as some children, though we are keeping the children untouched from experimentation. We have.... other uses for them later on. The more grown ones we use. Do you have any recommendations as to physical condition before I select any? Such as weight, height, things like that? I'd prefer not to pick subjects that may not be capable of adapting."
"Not too heavy set or tall. Also, while you do not need to use children, choose younger subjects simply because they can adapt easier to certain changes and stresses."
White quickly starts typing, and a list of subjects appear, and she selects enter on one of the subject's names, and below, a girl around the rough age of eighteen starts as her door opens, and two guards grab her as she tries to run and gag and chain her, then begin escorting her out of the prison block, and Volmond can hear the footsteps approaching.
The door opens, and the guards drag her in even as she feebly struggles against their grasp. She appears to have light blonde hair, green eyes, and an average build for her age. White sizes her up silently, then looks at Volmond.
"Will she do, Volmond?" She asks him casually.
"Indeed. Should we sedate her first?"
"....In a sense. She motions for the guards to bring her forward onto an operating table, after they remove the clothing from her they strap her down onto the operating table.
"We have a sedative like drug that removes pain but keeps the physical sensations of change intact so the specimen can relearn their body quicker."
At the word 'change', the girl begins to violently struggle, panic and terror in her eyes. White looks at her calmly.
"Do not fear of the rumors those fellow captives of yours spoke of. I can assure you modification is almost 100% accurate and successful." She looks at Volmond. "They like to speak of experiments where I turn them into hideous monsters. It annoys me greatly."
"Ah, I can see why... Has any progress with the tissue sample?" Volmond turns to the girl. "Be at peace, soon this shall be a distant memory for you."
"It will take longer to complete, but I assume it should be ready in due time. I am most interested to see what becomes of the girl's modification."
She takes a needle from a shelf and inspects it, before injecting a orange substance into the girl's arm, and she slowly ceases moving as the chemical begins to cease her ability to move. White pokes her with a sharp claw, but the girl doesn't even flinch, unaware she had been jabbed.
"She's ready now." White attaches IV's to the girl, then lowers a robotic arm which slowly begins to continuously inject a dark grey substance.
"It is the retrovirus. It kills itself off once the human cells have been converted, as it has nothing left to feed on." Although the girl cannot move, Volmond and White can hear the girl's heartbeat intensify in strength and pace, a rapid dull thudding filling the room as the girl begins to be overcome by terror, and sweat rapidly forms on her, and White nods.
"Is there anything I should do?"
She thinks for a moment. "Does Taea's kind have a substance other than blood? Also if you wish, you may try to pacify her mind so that she does not become overwhelmed by the new data her mind will be forced to process as she gains power. Don't make her fall asleep, but try to steady her mind and heartrate if you can. The less medical issues we have to worry about the better."
"She has the Exceed Nexus, an energy array, but that forms naturally..." The doctor strides to the girl and places a hand above her head. "Peace." Volmond places a calming spell on her.
White nods. "Forms naturally isn't really the issue. Her body will probably try to reject her human blood as the change begins in earnest is all. We'll probably see her throw it up or something of that nature."
The girl's body beings to jerk and twitch slightly, as patches of her skin begin to change color.
"I could drain it..."
White looks at the girl for a moment. "No, wait until she's farther along. More time is needed before the rejection will become an issue."
As the patches of pale grey and white skin begin to grow to dominate much of her torso, the girl begins to cough, first slowly, then a bit heavier and faster as driblets of blood start coming out. White looks at the guards.
"Get the bucket ready." The guards fetch a while bucket and put it near the girl's head.
Volmond waits until he is required.
It's not until the change in skin spreads to her face and down her arms and legs that she begins coughing up lots of blood, which the guards manage to ensure lands in the bucket. Her coughing becomes thicker with a wetter sound.
"You may at this time slowly easing her blood out. Not all at once, slow as possible please, as to avoid accidentally killing her before she changes."
The doctor slowly drains the girl's blood, minding her bloodloss as he does so.
The girl's eyes begin to take on a nature similar to Taea's as does her hair, though they retain a trace of their original colors, and similar grooves slowly become apparent in her arms and legs, as the changes begin to reach her feet and hands.
"Anything we should expect beyond this point besides her continued transformation?"
White looks at the girl. "Provided that her behavior remains docile after her transformation, modifying her mind may not be necessary. Should the process incite her to wrath, we might have to resort to restraints, so while we still might hold no concerns, if you have a means to contain these beings it might be prudent to prepare such a means before the transformation and the sedatives run their course."
"The preparations have been made," says Volmond without moving, "Though, as you said, the need remains yet unseen. "
As her feet become talons and her hands become clawed, her body begins changing in other ways, growing slightly longer and wider, her face seems to also go a slight change combining her into more of a mix of her old face and Taea's, even growing the whisker like scales. The blue energy starts to flow from her arms, admittingly at first weakly, the girl's eyes roll back in her head, as the sedatives begin to wear off and the last few moment's worth of pain registers, she begins twitching for a few minutes, when it does, she breathes very heavily, the shock still coursing through her body.
White grunts in approval. "Subject modification successful." She slowly removes the IV's from the girl, as well as the robotic arm, and watches the girl carefully for a moment.
"What do you think of this experiment, Volmond?"
"It seems quite successful. Hmm... Now we wait."
The girl slowly stirs, coughing violently, before settling down, trying to sit up but the bindings on the operating table hold her down. Her eyes show deep alarm at the change of her body, now that she can move and see her modified body in full. She first becomes terrorized, almost hyperventilating for a moment, before sinking into a sort of gloom at the realization she is no longer human, and sinks down into the table, her eyes quietly despairing.
"It seems you have calmed down... Can you tell us your name," asks Volmond. Can you hear this?
She starts momentarily, then silently starts to cry, though she makes a vague nod. "......Na.....ki....." She says with a dry croak.
"Naki, how do you feel? Can you move everything or does a limb or two not work?"
Her head turns from them, looking towards the glass of the room out towards the prison block.
"....Like.... a..... .....freak...." She croaks again, and she shifts her position faintly enough so that he can see her move the vast majority of her muscles.
"What you refer to as a 'freak' is what is standard to ones such as I. You are unique, which is perfectly normal in the world you've been drawn into. It would be best to become acclimated to your new form and get used to the different world you are in, I'm afraid you will not be able to return to the life you once knew."
She starts to cry harder, and he can faintly hear her cry to herself, 'Why me' very faintly.
White looks at Volmond. "I'm not sure if I should confine her in one of the tubes like the other specimens, or give her limited autonomy...." She says in an undertone to him.
"Hmm... Let's try limited autonomy. If she makes a break for it, I can contain her and we can work from there. Besides, there are a few things to check for anyways."
White glances at the girl Naki for a moment, then gives the guards a peculiar look, and they blink, but they obey her unspoken command and carefully remove her restraints, much to the former human's shock.
".....W-why.....?" She croaks.
"Come with us, girl. As long as you do not attempt to flee, or dare I even say attack us, in exchange for some simple tests and occasional sampling, you can do as you please - generally. You may go anywhere except where we tell you not to, and you may do as you please, provided you remain within the fortress. Attempting to leave will make me... most unpleasant, and what limited freedom I'm willing to provide you will be taken. Consider us, the people of this fortress, your new family, and this fortress your new home. Think of it this way. You'll be able to always be guaranteed a meal, a bed to rest on and a roof over your head."
She starts to say something, and an irritated expression crosses White's face.
"And dear lord, someone get her a glass of water!" She snaps, and a guard scurries off.
Naki rubs her wrists, staring at her transfigured form.
"You'll get used to it," says the doctor, "Your transfiguration was far more pleasant than mine was... I didn't have someone like White to monitor the process and further it, I was nearly torn apart by the one who changed me. Be glad you didn't experience that."
She hugs herself tight, now curling up in a fetal position. "....What have I even become.....? ....What is this.... Monster.... this.... Thing! That used to be me?!" The guard returns holding a glass of water, and another behind him has white clothing with black details, much like White's and Volmond realizes it is the style of clothing all of White's personal servants wear.
"You are what could be called an Etherite, a being forgotten by time. You could say that, by that logic, you are a living legend. Eventually, you will regain your human form, but not until you accept yourself. Now dress yourself and drink the water."
The guard hands the girl her clothing, and she looks at it for a moment, slowly putting them on. She then slowly drinks the water, still looking a bit desolate from the events.
White looks at her, then sighs. "Stop moping girl. According to the records we have, you were nothing but a street girl along with your little brother. Now you'll be able to live a life you couldn't have before. A life of comfort, not disparity."
"There are perks to being like us, one of which is being more universally accepted and treated well for the most part," says Volmond, "As you are now, your chances at a better life are much greater than they were as a human. Besides, all you lost was your form, not your mind. In that regard, you are still yourself."
White walks up to the girl. "Enough of this, come along now. There's no point. You should have accepted something like this would happen to you and your former kin sooner, it would have been easier for you to accept this."
The girl bows her head for a moment, before she awkwardly manages to get to her feet, unsure of her new limbs and having to grab a nearby counter to steady herself.
White gives her one more look, then turns and walks to the door.
"Follow us now, we'll let you rest and become familiar with your new home and the quarters you will live in, give you some time to settle down before we start further tests."
"Further tests....?" Naki asks in a weak sort of despair, but continues inching along while holding herself up, though reluctantly.
Volmond follows White, keeping an eye on Naki as he does so.
She follows them, trying to keep pace with them without irritating the guards, who walk behind her and occasionally prod her along with a light push.
When they reach the elevator, White looks at Volmond. "Will you be going back to your research? Or will you be accompany me along with our new subject?"
She leans into his ear. "I believe you mentioned we could use this opportunity to check for a few things. Like what, I might ask?" She says quietly.
"The formation of a complete Shadow Matrix and whether or not she is hypercompetent. We should also check to see if she can replicate seen abilities," whispers the doctor.
White nods. "Understood, but let's give her time before we peer into it. Her emotional state could prove to be dangerous if she doesn't learn to cope with her powers."
"Agreed, we don't need that to happen, nor do we want it to."
She nods. "Naki, you'll be coming with me. Doctor Volmond, will you be joining us?"
"I believe so," replies the doctor.
The elevator lurches suddenly, and as it takes off, Naki screams and falls over, and pretty much loses her stomach.
"BLARG!!!" She coughs. "How fast is this thing anyway?" She gags.
"It can go as fast as Mach Five at maximum velocity." White says simply.
"This isn't a bad speed actually," comments Volmond, nonchalantly, "It could be Mach Thirteen or Twenty... Those are fun speeds to travel at actually."
"I feel sick...." Naki groans, and the elevator slams to a stop outside White's room, and the secret wall door opens, revealing her large rather luxurious room.
"Try not to puke. It would be a bad thing to anger my servants on your first day here."
She helps Naki up and has her lean against her, though Naki initially flinches on contact.
"I'll only be hurting you if you act like an idiot. Relax."
Volmond pepares to say something, but stops himself. He looks at White. Are there any more elevators similar to that one or will we be utilizing that one again when we begin the next few tests? That could be the test for the Exceed Nexus.
There are elevators in select locations, but yes. There are more. Are you hoping she will learn how to get faster...?
Naki looks about the lavish room. "This is.... a Mythos' home....? ....I thought they......"
White glances at her. "You are within an entire fortress controlled by Myths in Fantasy."
Naki pales. "F-F-Fantasy?!"
No, it is a test to see if she has proper hyperadaptability. Speed and fluidity of movement will come naturally as she gains information... Something else we could test, though subtly.
"Why are surprised? Did you believe that we lived in caves or abandoned, decrepid castles hidden in fog? No, we are more advanced than many of your people. Name something from Reality and see if we do not recognize it," chalenges the doctor.
"Umm.... Umm... ....Sistine Chapel? The Catacombs of Paris?" She stutters.
I see. I understand then.
"Let us go upstairs." White walks up a nearby staircase to the next level, helping Naki along. "I will show you two rooms you can choose from and assign them as yours."
"I want to say Italy for the first, thought it may be in France or maybe Germany and I know that the second is within one of the most well known cities in France, Paris. Speaking of which, how is Europe? I know that London is in ruins, but what of the rest?"
Naki looks away. "I... I do not know.... I came from further West." They walk up the stairs, and they pass by a mirror, which Naki stops to look at, looking at her new appearance, looking both stunned, awed, and alarmed all in one turn.
"This is.... really me....?" She seems transfixed by her now iridescent hair and eyes, touching her hair.
"Yes, this is you." The doctor's eyes flash gold, signifying his slight annoyance. "On another note, it is less... Hm, what is the word? Humidifying? Terrorizing? Petrifying! It is a less petrifying form than quite a few are granted with, you aren't a monstrosity." He glances at White and raises an eyebrow. Is this common amongst subjects?
White cracks a faint smile. This is probably the first subject I've modified like this. I usually deal with already handy specimens. I wanted to be careful and not possibly do something foolish with Taea, so I went for a replication. I understand her distress though. I mean look at her, she's never seen herself in a mirror you know. It's one thing to see herself with eyes, but she's seeing her body in its entirety now. Personally, I almost think she is more awed at the appearance. This'll probably make her give in to her new nature.
"Are you satisfied," he asks Naki aloud.
She quietly looks at herself for a while longer, before she closes her eyes, and an air of acceptance and resignation comes over her.
"....Yes." She says quietly.
Volmond nods. "Are we ready to proceed?"
She quietly walks next to White with her head bowed, and White continues escorting them, until she comes to a hallway full of doors. She opens one, revealing a decent sized suite inside, with a bedroom just visible at the back end, with a living room, kitchen, and bathroom also present. There appears to be various devices such as a TV installed as well.
"Each of these rooms are similarly fitted. There are rooms with blank nameplates, mark them with your names and they are yours."
The doctor watches quietly.
White looks at Volmond. "Are you not going to choose one? You can't just sleep in your office you know."
Naki slowly looks at a suite and writes her name on its empty nameplate, and White nods.
"Why don't you stay in there and relax for a while?" She asks softly, and Naki enters and closes the door with a nod. After which, White lightly places a hand on the door, and it briefly glows white, before returning to normal.
"Oh, I thought you were speaking only to her," says the doctor, looking up absentmindedly. He picks a random room. "By the way, what did you do to the door?"
She smirks. "A simple monitoring spell. If she leaves the room, I'll know for about an hour where she's going, until she comes back to the room."
"I see." The doctor stretches for a moment. "What is next on the agenda?"
White sighs. "Well, official business. In other words, a meeting with the other members. I doubt that is of your interests. We have to discuss an issue about deserters, you see."
She quietly starts walking towards the stairs. "Also, I will be making preparations for the next phase of the goal's completion."
"I see... I believe I will continue my research unless you think my input will be helpful."
A mask falls over her face as she deadens herself, and disappears down the stairs.
It's time to prepare. So much left to do in a month...
The doctor returns to his laboratory space, his expression unreadable. He sits at his desk for a moment before pressing another thing on his ethereal keyboard, this time pulling up the design for some sort of futuristic battle armor.
"Infinity Engine. Begin Construction. Time Alotted: Thirty-Six Hours." The doctor sends the image away, but a faint mechanical whirring can be heard around his lab space.
Awake At Last
Amongst all the numerous CEs in one room, one in particular hangs from wires coming from its head, the wires release steam and its wires detach and the CE falls to the ground and is instantly breathing fast and heavily.
"Wha..what...? Where..." Looks around and sees numerous other just like him deactivated. "Who did this to us?" 'Feels his face but a mask is in between his touch and his face. '"I'm a monster now, aren't? I I'm just like...one of them..."
Epsilon 'Xenima' 330. A statement that oddly clicks as his name rings out in his head. You are to meet me in the courtyard. A mental map of where he is to go appears in his mind.
Breathes heavily, get's up and begins to make his way to the courtryard. Passes down a few corridors and finally makes it.
He sees a white figure dressed in a white dress, and has a stern but elegant air to her, and she turns to him. "Ah, he has come at last. This is Epsilon 'Xenima' 330, Silent Angel." She says to a tall muscular figure with white hair and red eyes, who silently looks at him.
"Ah, an Epsilon class? Is he in good condition?"
The woman nods. "He's never been activated to my knowledge. You, come over here, 'Xenima'."
His hand body abit at the sight of White and the hearing of his name, but walks up to them.
"You will be accompanying Silent Angel on a mission. I know about you in particular, which is why I'm going to ask you to behave. If I catch you disobeying orders it's not going to be pleasant for you. If you do behave, I may see about letting you remain active. And that's a generous offer, considering the alternative."
Slowly nods in understanding
"Ok then. Epsilon 'Xenima' 330, engage CE Mode and follow Silent Angel."
The man called Silent Angel sprouts six golden wings and soars into the air in a matter of seconds.
Xenima: * a jet engine embedded in his back begins to turn faster and faster until fire blazes out and he dashes off after Silent Angel with a tail of jet fire behind him*
White looks to Nezumi and a white haired girl with red streaks in her hair, wielding two dark iron blades.
"I have a task for you two.... see it done."
The two bow, and teleport.
<Doctor, Infinity Unit and Burst Unit are completed. Deploy?>
"Send them to my Storage space. How fares the Aetherae?"
<Gaea has entered Stage X of testing. Ability Parameters remain beyond measure. Gaea's form is beginning the Stage Two Transformation and appears to be accelerating to Stage Three.>
"I see," says the doctor, standing up and walking towards the lab's exit. "Continue as you are."
White silently walks back into her tower, and steps before her throne, and blue symbols glow, and a circular section of floor rises as a secret elevator heading straight up to the top of the tower, a fake floor sliding to conceal the real floor's disappearance. The elevator completely masks White's existence as she travels to the complete top.
Volmond exits the lab and enters the courtyard of the fortress. He stretches for a moment then proceeds to challenge a guard captain out of boredom.
The captain draws a multicolored blade of elementium in the form of a katana and cautiously tests Volmond's reflexes.
- Top of Yosai Fortress
A ring of eight thrones, one unoccupied surround White, seven colored cloaked figures observe her from the tall thrones.
"We must talk of your guest.... Shinwa....." A white cloaked figure speaks out coldly.
A yellow cloaked figure speaks up. "It's not out of context with the timeline. He could be useful in regards to the development of creating the Perfect Chaos Engine. Plus there is the generational value involved in their.... relationship."
White Cloak turns toward him. "....I suppose... but he bears much risk. The Whimsical Goddess is not a fool....."
Volmond moves almost lazily, as if he is putting no effort into avoiding. He looks completely calm, though for a fraction of a second his eyes take on an icy gleam.
"Not a fool indeed..... Oh, I'm sorry. I meant to ask if such blades were standardly issued here."
"Mostly. The lower ranks occasionally get them." The guard throws a smoke bomb.
"I see," notes the doctor, summoning a small cylinder into his hand as he manipulates the space around him to repel the smoke. "Are there any special qualities about them, aside from their link to the elements?"
"Elementium is incredibly resistant to breaking, and is very receptive to magic amplification. They're the base of all Slayers." The guard takes slightly more aggressive attacks.
"That sounds quite useful." Volmond lazily rolls the cylinder, a flash bang grenade, in the guard's direction before drawing three scalpels.
White Cloak sighs. "Regardless.... the one called 'Volmond' should be regarded with caution... despite his potential to aid Shinwa, he could also pose a problem. We must continue Observation."
Yellow Cloak chuckles. "You're always such a uppity bitch dear White Cloak. You should get out more often."
"Quiet you....." She growls.
Yellow Cloak suddenly disappears.
"Him and his interventions...." White Cloak sighs.
"In any case, Shinwa. As long as he provides continued aid, I care not if he remains in Yosai. If he oversteps his boundaries here, he shall be removed.... immediately...."
White bows before her. "I understand...."
"....Ignore what Yellow said about Generational Value. He oversteps too many boundaries."
White says nothing, but the platform descends.
"That child.... I hope he will not become an influence that is undesirable to her goals...."
"I wonder......" The doctor appears to be contemplating something before he vanishes and reappears behind the guard, scalpels lightly digging into his jugular vein. He has an absentminded look on his face and seems to be focusing on another thing.
He hears a soft bang, and White comes out of the tower. "Sparring with one of my guards or trying to slit his throat?" She asks calmly.
"Sparring," says the doctor absently. He puts the blades away. "Slitting throats isn't my preference."
"I see. How goes your research?"
"Two units have been completed, Gaea is progressing further in her testing and I believe I figured out how to use vibration and high frequency movements a short while ago. How was the meeting?"
"Well enough. Several of my agents are now being deployed in missions. Azula is still scanning for the likely locations Aoi may have been taken. When she finds her, all attention will be directed towards her acquisition."
White closes her eyes. "I have so much to do... ...not nearly enough time to do it all in."
"You need a Chrono Diver... I could help you out if you require my my assistance."
White opens her eyes. "Chrono Diver?"
She absentmindedly looks up at the sky, a wind blowing her hair.
"I wonder....." She says, trailing off in thought.
"A Chrono Diver is a time manipulation device. It allows the user to travel forwards, backwards and very, very rarely diagonally through time. It does not change events that happen, but it allows you to do more in a lesser amount of time, such as doing two separate tasks at once despite any issues regarding distance."
She lowers her gaze down towards him, and absentmindedly says, "I see." She begins to walk down the steps of the tower, but once she reaches his level, she simply walks past him without a word, simply walking out of the courtyard, heading westward.
Is something wrong? You seem to be put off by something.
The doctor sounds curious, but willing to drop the subject.
There is no immediate reply, but eventually as she continues walking away, he hears:
There is no.... successor to the family line. The Dark and Light Slayers are practically bound to our lineage... should our goals in this generation fail.... ....there has to be someone left to carry the torch.... my brother.... he is too weak....
He notices however this is more on the lines of a trailing thought in her mind, and his words were noticed, but were not directly addressed in the 'response.'
I see... W-Well then... I was unaware of that, but.......
The doctor's own thoughts trail off as he flushes red. He seems to be confused about what to say and rather embarrassed at the same time.
She appears to stop dead, realizing that he heard her. ....oh..... .... .....my apologies... ....my mind has been.... all over the place lately....
He hears her thoughts trail off to, 'Damn it, Shinwa you idiot!'
She appears to slump and fall against one of the walkway pillars, resting her head and back against it, even from a distance she looks suddenly beleaguered and she is seen putting a hand to her head.
....what future do you even seeing me have Legna? Because I cannot see anything but despair.... ....I want to believe you but.... ....it's still crushing me.... ....this despair....
That's what I used to think long ago... I used to believe that I was doomed to endless despair... That proved to be untrue. Shinwa, you're at a slump, at the deepest down you've probably experienced, I know the feeling. You have to look on the brighter side of things or else the despair will define you. Even if you don't see a light at the end of the metaphorical tunnel, you must have hope... As for a future I see for you, I see you happy and able to smile sincerely, not needing to wear the mask you've constructed for yourself.
I see you being able to live contently, not despairing. Able to see that as dark as the past was, you have a future ahead of you, one where you do not need to worry about damning yourself to save another. Most of all, I see you at peace and able to depend on another to help you rather than shouldering a burden by yourself.
Her face suddenly contorts, and she wheels at him and to his surprise yells. "What happiness?! Being able to live contently?! What I have done has damned my existence Volmond! So what if those who want my head fail to kill me?! You will not be able to stop them from bringing this place down! They'll never stop until I have to go into hiding! And then what?! Live a life of fear and on the run! That's what! Between those you've wronged, and those I have, I will never have a home, or a place I can belong to again! Echo, Earth, Fantasy, they all want me dead! What kind of future is that?!"
"...White, on a scale of one to ten, how powerful would you say I am," Volmond asks, no emotion present in his voice. "Do you really think that, if I couldn't at least back up my claim or ensure that it remains possible, I would try to fill your head with dreams, ideas and hope? That I would try to show you an idealistic world without having the ability to bring it into reality or that I would let anyone with the intention to harm you within a mile of you in such a place? I may lie and take what I need, but if I promise to do my best to ensure something for someone, unless they break my trust, I will carry my promise through. That is my creed: Despite what grief I may cause, I will not harm those I have chosen to assist without a valid reason."
"Nothing.... nothing.... ...nothing.... ....is certain...." She chokes out, tremors rocking her body as her arms and legs start to wildly morph out of control into dragonic limbs, her limbs completely white, scaled, and end in large clawed hands and feet, and as her large wings burst from her back much bigger than they should be, he realizes the dragonic transformations are partially an indication when she's upset of her mental stability, and he figures she is now losing that mental battle and losing her humanoid form, as her tail and horns sprout, and then she collapses onto her knees and hands, a heavy and loud thud the result.
"Plenty of things are certain, it simply depends on your outlook... The bleaker you are, the harder it is to see the certainties of the world. I would ask you to calm down, but it would have no real effect... Just tell me what needs to be done and I'll handle it if it will make you feel better."
There is.. nothing... ...nothing you can do... ...my fiancee... my love.... Furue... ....the whole in my heart... will not close... ...you cannot unmake that day... ....nor would even bringing him back heal my wounds... ...I cannot even bear to see his face in memory...
Her dragonic transformation has slowed, but her dragonic limbs are grotesque in comparison with her slender shapeshifter body. She curls up in a ball, a shuddering white scaled half-dragon form in a fetal position. The scales have completely overridden her skin.
She lets out a half human, half dragonic whimper of pain. Legna.... it hurts.... my mind... my body... my heart.... make it stop.... make it stop.... please... please... please... how do I fill this empty hole that has become my heart?! ....it hurts... just make it stop....
You have to allow someone into it. If the void does not fill on its own, someone must fill it for you, Shinwa. If I could simply end your pain, I would, but you must allow me to before I can do anything.
The doctor approaches her calmly, hand outstretched.
She remains curled up, her tail wrapped around her. He can see her momentarily looking at her transformed hand through her pain, and at first she meekily puts it back down, but she slowly and weakly makes an attempt to reach out, even with her clawed hand.
"L-Leg-n-na....." She cries meekly.
Volmond takes her hand.
"I'm here for you, do not worry."
He manages to help her to her feet, though her ability to stand seems diminished, and she is forced to lean against him for support. He notices in addition to her pupils being dragonic, her eye color has become a shade of lavender. Her face is wet with tears as she rests against him, her body radiating a strong heat from her internal fire.
"....Leg-na.... p-p-please.... ....make it stop... ...I can't hold on.... ....to myself much...." She lets out another whimper.
The doctor does his utmost to comfort and soothe Shinwa with both words and actions, not losing an aura of caring.
After a long while, she seems to calm down slightly, and the wings and horns shrink down significantly, as does her tail, though none of the features disappear, in fact she seems to be still undergoing a metamorphosis of sorts, particularly in her aura. He has a hard time finding a trace of the cold refined energy of White, but is sensing more of who she is as Shinwa, which he so far has seen glimpses of in her fits, though distorted, and in her dreams, though not as accurate as this feeling. He can almost feel as though the woman in his arms is the same one whose lover was tragically ended by her own hands, and had to bear the guilt of all of her crimes beneath the mask of lies that until now has been impenetrable.
She doesn't notice, but her tail is attempting to entwine around him out of her desire to be comforted further.
"Legna...." She cries in a much softer, lighter voice than normal. "What's happening to me? I don't understand myself anymore...."
"You've regained something you locked away," says the doctor, continuing to comfort Shinwa as best he can, "Just listen to your heart and don't feel sad about this..."
"Legna.... I don't want to be weak anymore.... I feel so weak.... I don't want to feel weak..." Her lavender eyes look up at him, like amethyst. "Why am I so weak.... I don't want to be anyone, I don't want to be anything! I just want to be a shell that can't feel pain! I-I can't live like this.... all the memories.... these emotions.... I want to be White VIII, I want to be strong! Not weak, helpless, worthless Shinwa....." She cries again, burying her face in his chest in despair.
"You can't be one without the other, they are both you. The only real thing you can do is balance the two sides... Even as White you aren't a shell and as Shinwa you aren't worthless... You will never be worthless nor will you ever be completely hollow... To admit one's weakness is a sign of strength, that the seed has been sown and is starting to grow."
As he continues to comfort her, her body starts changing again, her large scales all breaking down into very fine, almost silky soft feather like scales, her horns become much smaller and curled rather than pointed, and her dragonic limbs slim to the point she can stand on her own. Her tail wraps around their waists, and she quietly hugs him, her wings folding against her back.
".....Do you.... love me.... as Shinwa.....?" She asks softly, any trace of her voice as White seems completely worn away and smoothed into a much gentler, weaker, kinder voice.
The doctor nods and returns the embrace. I love both sides of you, Shinwa.
"....I.... love you... Legna...." She presses herself tighter against him, light tremors running through her. He suddenly hears a distinctive grumble from her stomach.
And I, you. Volmond continues the embrace for a few moments.
"Maybe we should get you something to eat."
"I-I'll be fine, reall- *gurgle* ....see.... totally.... ....fine....." She stammers, as her stomach gleefully betrays her again.
The doctor chuckles.
"Come on, it's perfectly normal to be hungry."
The doctor feels a prickling sensation, and looks over to see Azula silently watching in the distance, her red eyes seem to be gleaming with a concealed hostility, not at him, but at Shinwa, her eyes almost look fire like from the intensity. She slowly turns and silently walks into the tower without a word, a faint aura of destruction energy around her, the ground cracking as she walks. Her red hair flows like livid fire.
I see... That may be worth noting.
Volmond tries to find a dining hall for himself and Shinwa, having grown hungry himself.
He finds one in the main hall of the tower, as well as the kitchen, after Shinwa points it out to him.
"What would you like," asks the doctor, "I'll go get it."
She blinks and thinks for a moment. She starts listing her favorite foods to eat for breakfast, which to his surprise, she seems to have an enormous culinary taste, in addition to a large stomach.
She pauses, blinking. "Oh... sorry... ....I tend to get real passionate about food...."
The doctor chuckles once again.
"It's fine, it's fine," he says before getting as many items that were listed as he can and a few others that weren't. "Let's eat."
Her stomach proclaims its agreement and she nods with a faint smile. "Yeah.... let's eat...."
Volmond eats quietly, though he answers any questions Shinwa has about him.
"Legna?" She asks as she eats, her tail twisting and weaving and whipping around in the air behind her, long and whip like.
"I know that you told me about her, and even pretty much said that I remind you of her... and that you love me, but what does that mean to you? What would you say the limit of that love is? Is it just limited to a desire to protect me? I have been in love before, but you're not Furue... ...you're Legna... ...and I do not know what Legna wants."
"Protecting you is part of it, but I also want to be able to make you happy and content. I want to be able to return your feelings and I want to keep you safe and anything that is part of that. While your safety is a priority of mine, that isn't the extent of my love nor will it be, not when I can do more than that."
She turns her head towards Volmond, and then has a surprisingly playful smile. "A question, how were you raised? As a girl born to an isolated shapeshifter clan, we tended to have our own unique customs. Strangely enough our customs tend to surprise outsiders."
Volmond's eyes shift downward.
"I was raised as the youngest of five. Of them, I was the illegitimate son and was treated as such by two of my elder siblings. The other two and my mother treated me just as they would a regular member of the family, correcting my mistakes and teaching me things. I had no father figure because my father squandered his own fortune long before I was born... when ever that was... Essentially, I was raised as a down to earth noble."
She looks at Volmond quietly for a moment. "You suffered because of something that happened to your family, huh? I can sense it in your manner."
"I guess we both had it rough at some point in our lives... espically when it came to family..." She closes her eyes. "I single handedly broke my family apart.... I don't even know what became of my brother and sister... ....Kado is the only one I know the fate of... ...because I've had a hand in the majority of his life... stirring him to hate me as an evil, cold hearted manipulative killer.... ....I even took away the love of his life...." She quietly opens her eyes and looks at a distant Azula, who is silently leaning against a pillar far off. She slightly opens her crimson eyes at the presence of their gaze.
"The part of my family that I grew up with, the part that I knew, was killed in a terrible accident... The details are fuzzy because I was hurt quite badly during the incident. I was the only survivor on my mother's side and had to abandon my name because of self-righteous fools who thought that I orchrstrated the incident... After awhile of running, I came across my father's family and stayed with them for a few months, thinking that they actually cared. They didn't. All they wanted was the power and wealth that I had in my name and my complete and utter obedience... Needless to say, that did not end well either side... It's painful when people betray you because they believe that they're in the right, but it's more painful to discover that the people you cherished as family only wanted to use you until you were an empty husk and would do anything to be able to do so..."
Azula quietly listens to their conversation, they're not able to see it, but she slowly clenches her hands into fists, slowly building the pressure until her knuckles are white, their conversation slowly drawing her buried conciousness to anger, but still powerless to do little more than listen.
White helps herself to some blueberry pancakes. "I see. I'm sorry you went through that."
Don't.........fuck with...... m-m-me...... Azula's conciousness growls, but is unheard due to her bindings. They.........of all......have no right....to act like.......they even have..... a soul!
"It's alright," says the doctor before changing the subject, "What is shapeshifter culture like?"
"The peoples where I come from live very much in a simplistic hunter gatherer kind of society. We grow our food, we hunt it, and we scavange it. Out in the wilds, our cultures vary from one clan to the next. Mine in particular was two clans in one village, divided by ethnicity. If you were born as I am, a dragon hybrid, you would be a Dragonclaw. If you were born as a spirit hybrid, the Spiritwood. Even though we have different last names, we came from the same household, the same mother and father.
We had very few rules, so few that most people from the cities or just more civilized locations would be astonished. I know I often had to share my bed with my older brother, because we only had three beds in the house, and whenever Furue came over, we had to share the bed as well. Father was alway strict about that. Now the city of Chinmoku? They're really sophesticated and they really are passionate about peace and things like that. It's a very tranquil place. The capital once tried to make universal laws over all of the villages, but that was quickly made impossible. Even though we are a empire, the nation's individual towns and villages are extremely autonomous."
"But just in general, Shapeshifters have always been a very lax, easy going race. When humans first appeared on Echo, it was our race that sheltered them and helped them survive in the harsh land. Of course they feared us at first, they were from Earth and all. But when we refused to fight them and showed them nothing but patient benvolence, they realized their mistake and we slowly grew a relationship that created the city of New Vince, and the collaborative city of the races, which is now Azure."
"I see... Hm, is there anything else you want to know," asks Volmond, nibbling on a raspberry tart.
"Those people.... Seraph.... Helios.... Asteria.... who were they?"
"Helios is, or rather was, a Rakshasas, a demon that devoured and killed humans for sport. We first met in Antiva, where he tried to kill me. When he failed to do so, I brought him from that realm and taught him many things, some of which allowed him to transcend from his original nature... Asteria is rather difficult to describe. She was formerly a goddess that governed life on a grand scale, but something happened resulting in her imprisonment. When I found her, her mind had long been rendered broken and incoherent from her time in the Tartarusian Quarter. I was able to bargain her freedom from her overseer and afterwards I had to repair her mind and give her a stable body to inhabit... Seraph is..." The doctor pauses, as if unsure how to phrase his next sentence. "Seraph is someone who I felt sorry for... After all of the things that she went through because of a single difference from the norm, it was hard not to feel pity for her. Now, fate seems ready to swallow her whole once more and I can only hope that she doesn't lose herself, it will not end well for the two closest to her."
"I was right in assuming you had interesting company. You certainly seem to be the focus of a lot of activity."
Shinwa puts down her utensils and just sits for a moment in thought.
Volmond stretches and sighs contently.
"That's one way of putting it."
He sees her irises turn black and her pupils white, and her dragonic features begin to disappear in mass. She gets up silently and pushes in her chair, then looks at Volmond and bows lightly. "Thank you for the meal, Legna."
She quietly walks toward the door leading to her chambers, and he can hear her murmur, 'I'm going to have to get this dress repaired.....'
The doctor nods.
"Call me if you require my assistance with anything."
Shinwa closes the doors behind her, and lets out a heavy sigh, taking off her dress, then scowling when she sees her black bodysuit is torn.
Didn't need this right now.....
She angrily takes off the bodysuit, leaving her in undergarmets, and she hears a wolf whistle, and she freezes.
"Oh dear lord in heaven, not you!" She cries angrily when she sees Yellow Cloak laughing at her.
"Still got quite the package, it's always amazing to think that's hiding under all those deceptive layers of clothing! Man, if only that bratty boy Drake saw this, he'd never call you flat chested again!"
Shinwa growls dangerously. "What do you want?!"
He cackles. "Oh nothin'. Just thought I'd pop in... ....give you a heads up on the good ol' future."
Shinwa blushes furiously. "Will you please let me get dressed you cloaked perv?!"
Yellow Cloak chuckles gleefully. "Alright alright. I give ya five minutes." He disappears.
She shudders. "Man that asshole.... why'd he have to come in without warning....?"
She irritably gets dressed, and as soon as she is done, he is back.
"That wasn't five minutes."
"You said, five minutes."
Yellow Cloak chuckles. "Oh you hate me don't ya?"
"You think so? I couldn't tell..." She growls.
"Alright then. To business."
<Doctor, the Infinity Burst, Overdrive Heat and Infernal Sword Units have been completed.>
Volmond nods then walks around the fortress.
"Place them with the Infinity and Burst Units."
"........And so in otherwords, that choice will mean the difference between you living and Kado dying, or you dying and Kado living. You know the rules. I can't say what exactly you have to choose, but the choice is acoming, so you better be ready for it. But oh yeah, there is a chance your knight in shining armor is not going to like one of the possible choices. Trust me, ya don't want to get caught up in that firestorm. But anyway, White Cloak's getting pissy at me again, so I'm gonna go. Remember what I said.
Oh, and you look more attractive without the dresses. Totally should go casual with tee shirts and jeans. Try the teenage girl look. He'll totally be caught of guard. Seriously though."
"Alright alright I'm going! Sheesh!" Yellow Cloak disappears.
"....I can't go casual.... that would be embarassing.... I don't think I even have anything like that.... just.... ....dresses." She sighs.
"No, no, no. I am not going to try that.... espically because he said it...." She shakes her head. "Man I really hate that guy...."
She emerges from her room, wearing a dress with embroided rose designs over it. "I wonder what Volmond is up to.... perhaps I'll invite him to do some tests on Naki.... ....maybe I'll even get around to creating a prototype CE if we do enough work...."
Volmond continues to wander around the fortress, slowly growing accustomed to its layout.
As he walks, a yellow cloaked figure appears in front of him, blocking him off from continuing down the tiered walkway he had been traveling on.
"Oh hey there Legna - oh wait, you probably don't want me calling you that.... right.... so then, hello there, Volmond. You enjoying your stay?" He chuckles lightly, Volmond noticing the being's presence is superfical, he's not actually there, merely projected. From where, he cannot ascertain, the figure's features are completely obscured by his hood.
"Ah, you're the one from earlier," remarks the doctor, "I did not expect for you to project yourself to me at this point. I am enjoying myself rather well. Now, may I request to know why you chose to appear before me... Oh and 'Generational Value?'"
"I see I've wound up sticking my foot in my own mouth. Man it tastes bad. Heh heh heh, I'd rather not say. My fair lady will likely throw me into a star again. ....not that would actually do much, aside from be really hot.... ....let's just say I am a bit of a... ....rude joker. That's not the point though. Generally speaking I have to have buisness to appear to someone, but I do have my casual call ins....
Urggh. Hate beating around the bush. So I'll keep beating the bush til it's black and blue. Did you ever wonder why dear little Shinwa seems so.... ....fixated, so.... sure, that she's going to die? I'll tell you one thing, it's not an insult to ya, that's for sure."
"I've noticed... She mentioned closure for those that were harmed by her, so I assume that it has to do with that... But I also think that part of her wants to die or thinks that death is the best solution to her story... Either way, I disagree."
He hears a light chuckle. "I was insinuating I'm the reason she's like that.... sort of. You see, back when she joined the organization, she wasn't quite.... willing. I may or may not have shown her the future..... .....and oh boy she didn't like it. Fortunately I see multiple futures at a given time, so I showed her a more optimal one.... ....and she leaped at the chance to change the future. Oh how she took it like a meek little rabbit jumping for its carrot....
It's not that she wants to die.... it's because she knows she will die. The actions she's done lately have begun to create a perfect storm. She's been deliberately making enemies this whole time, Volmond. She set the odds in such a way that she would ensure all the key players would want her blood.... and it's only getting worse, Volmond. She's already initiated a plan to ensure the world will come for her. And it all comes down til the end of a whole month's cycle.... do you know what happens at the end of the month?" He seems to be slightly enjoying this for some reason.
"The calm before the storm ends abrupty and the final battle begins in ernest..." The doctor's tone is unreadable, though his eyes flicker between gold and blue. "Quite the smooth manipulator you are... Though there is a slight snag in your plan if you haven't noticed."
"If you hadn't noticed, all I did is provide the knowledge. What people choose to do with it is all them. So basically this isShinwa's plan. But all the same, yes, it's you. None of us are idiots. ....No, mistress, I wasn't excluding me from that tally.... urgh. Interruptions.
I honestly just like seeing things run their course, I love all the little facets to how time just manages to arrive at the same conclusion many times, just in a slightly different way each time... to be honest you're many months too late to do jack about it now. Even as we speak, the future is very convoluted. So many possibilities exist for our reality. At the very least, there is a 90% chance of Yosai falling. A 98% chance of White dying. There are outcomes where she lives.... ....but those are negligible."
He looks off in one direction. "You're probably pissed at me right about now. I'll tell you this much. There is a chance. I won't deny that. There is a Fluctuation coming.... ....if this Fluctuation occurs, the remaining 2% chance occurs in which Shinwa will live. If it doesn't happen... ...and you'll know if it does or doesn't.... ....Shinwa. Will. Die."
Volmond's eyes settle on gold, but he smirks.
"Me? No no, I was referring to the shadowy force eclipsing the storm rather than my appearance. Indeed, I am too late to change Shinwa's course, but I was not referring her, I was referrring to your lady's plan. While I have no intention of interrupting that plan, someone aside from your group will benefit, that much I know. As for how this being will and when he will reveal himself, I do not know...
And you are right. I am very much so angry at you, but confronting your projection would be a fruitless endeavor and attempting to face you would cause more trouble than I am willing to deal with at this point in time. Instead, I'll thank you for your hint at a possibility and be done with the matter."
At the mention of a 'shadowy force', the figure appears to stiffin sharply, and a hint of his energy is released, cracking the stone around them. The energy released seems to indicate an agitation of some sort.
"....The Obscuring Shadow.... the one thing in the universe we cannot seem to track or trace.... it fills our visions with darkness. Such a thing shouldn't be possible.... ....If you know of it, then I suggest you beware it as well. Oh, a final note. Hate the game, not the messenger." He disappears.
"I watch my back rather well... Something I've mastered over the years... Ah well. Maybe Shinwa is no longer busy." The doctor returns to White's quarters.
He notices her just outside of her door, around the same time she notices him. As he approaches her, he swears he hears a dark, wispy voice speak to him in his mind, with no cause, origin, or reason for being, simply say,
You are the key... ...only you can trigger the Fluctuation that can save her.... ....it must be within the next few days.... ...or it will be too late.... ....it is the only window you have.... ...use our warning well.... it is not an action that is the trigger.... ....look upon the transformation you have wrought in her and understand.... ...there is now a wellspring of life where once drought consumed the soul....
The voice vanishes, before he can make an attempt to reply.
"Hello, are you busy," he asks gently, his eyes having since returned to their standard hazel. At the back of his mind he contemplates the voice's message.
Her eyes turn from black to gold in a matter of moments on hearing his voice, a tension seemingly lifted by his voice.
"No, not really. Enjoyed your walk?"
"Yes, it was rather enlightening. Is there anything on your agenda at this moment?"
She blinks. "Not really. I was thinking of possibly testing Naki or just going right into producing a CE prototype. Though honestly I don't actually have anything concretely scheduled. Why?"
"I was simply curious. We could test Naki or try to create a CE prototype if you want to do so." Volmond appears be thinking of something.
She looks at him for a moment. "Legna? Do you have something in mind? You seem to be thinking about something. What is it?"
"I was trying to think of a possible alternative to the experiments if that wasn't what you wanted to do... I'm not having much luck doing so."
She smiles after a moment. "It is often the simplest pleasures that endure the longest... Anything with you will make me happy at this point...."
"Would you like to star gaze then," asks the doctor after a moment, "We don't have to go now, but maybe tonight?"
Shinwa smiles. "That sounds lovely. I'd be happy to go with you." There is a slight light to her eyes.
The doctor cracks a rare smile at Shinwa then puts on his glasses.
"Until then, I guess we should continue with Naki."
Shinwa nods. "Do you want to test her then? What do you suggest first?"
"We should test to see if she adapts quickly to basic environmental changes and if she learns quickly. Those are the basic forms of her abilities."
She nods. "I have a facility we can test her in, a training chamber of sorts. It's reserved for CE's and main members only, but it will be fine for her."
"That seems to be an optimal solution. Let us go."
Deep down in the dark labs below the ocean of Yosai, four beings sleep, their forms shifting and changing. One of them opens their eyes, red with flakes of every color shimmering in its depths, giving her eyes a mesmerizing look. Her hair is blue with black tips, though it has a strange glow that radiates in a rainbow. From her back, six beautiful wings have begun to sprout, and sapphire blue scales, feathery and soft begin to grow on her skin, becoming patched together in various shades of white, though in the light her skin has a glisten of sapphire.
The woman lets out a gurgle of pain in the nutrient enriched liquid that the four can somehow breath in, as black and blue plate begins to grow out of her body and grows into a thick armor like covering that covers her arms completely, though a hole in the the lower arms open up and energy begins to flow from it. The armor also covers her legs and most of her chest.
Various blue symbols now dance about her form, and she begins to glow with an immense power. The combined powers of Aether, Ether, and Divinity produce a fearsome aura of dancing colors and as her claws and small horns grow, her transformation completes with a mighty blast that frees her at long last from her chamber.
I..... am.... Lambda.... Lambda.... Azula.... digital reference code: 001.
I am.... Azula.....
Free me..... Kado..... .....What have I become?
In an identical pod to the woman's awakens a younger man. His hair is an iridescent blonde with the ocassional completely golden strand and his cobalt eyes gleam with both intelligence and laziness. As his form begins to shift, he drowns out the pain and awe of the transfiguration with thoughts of his surrounding and his awakening. Finally, he notices his wings, four near identical golden limbs, each covered with a flexible layer of small golden scales, that were more draconic than the woman's. By this point his armor, thin yet durable ivory and cerulean plates, had grown out along with graceful claws and golden markings almost identical to lettters.
Squinting, the man watches as the pod containing him began to crack, slowly then rapidly, as a violent whorl of energy forms around him, finally shattering the equipment containing him and allowing him to stumble out of it.
...Core functions appear to be in working order. Verifying identity as Lambda Unit 096: Nanashi... Verification complete. Releasing Analysis Mode.
Well then, it seems that I have changed quite a bit. It will be annoying, but I'll have to grow used to this.
The woman who emerged before him turns to look at him, her eyes now changing to a deep blue like the rest of her, curious.
"You are newborn.... am I right...?" She asks quietly, but even with a gentle tone her voice carries great power.
"Yes... I do not recall this being my initial form, only that I was... different at some point prior," he responds. Despite the confusion in his voice, he is doesn't seem really bothered by his form.
"It isn't.... my sisters are due to awaken soon...." She says quietly, though there is a hint of sadness to her tone.
"I see... That appears to upset you. Is it not a happy ocassion when a family is brought together," he asks, processing something before he speaks again. "Ah, I believe I partially understand as I am now. It will take a moment to separate my processes from my thoughts and inquiries."
She closes her eyes. "It is good to see my sisters after so long...." She places a hand on one of the tanks and looks into the contents sadly. "But unfortunately we are slaves and are but weapons of mindless destruction to her.... ....our creator."
"We may be beings of great power beyond measure.... but we are still bound by that woman's cold grasp. A family reunion, tarnished by the tears of slavery." She opens her eyes, blue pools teeming with sadness.
"I used to be free. There was a man I loved... ....love.... ....but now I am denied my existence and made a weapon. As are you and my sisters on verge of birth."
The pod she had touched begins to glow red and cracks.
"I see," a genuine emotion enters his voice. "You may use my shoulder if you wish. If our situation is as dire as it sounds, we must foster some form of comradarie to keep us stable... I wonder...." The younger man has a thoughtful expression as the pod glows brighter.
The woman steps back as the red light grows blinding and the glass shatters, revealing a tall woman with white hair with iridescent glow, orange-amber eyes that look as though burning. She wears a thicker armor that is pure red with spikes on the shoulderpads. A tail whips from behind her with an axe like blade, and four blazing wings made of fire burn from the woman's back. She is far more muscular than her sister, having a much more generous form as well. Her claws are much larger than the first woman's, meant for heavy fighting, though they shrink and retract into normal hands with a reddish skin tone and scales, ones that gives her a red glow in the light. The energy that flows from her arms looks almost like fire rather than normal ether, though it still is, oddly enough.
She sweeps her much shorter white hair out of her face, and cracks a merry smile at the first being.
"It has been a very long time, my dear sister. How have you been, Azula?" Her voice is stronger and proud, almost defiant and unconcerned of her status as a slave to their unseen master.
The woman called Azula closes her eyes. "....I wish it were better... I saw the outside world.... I was happy... but...."
The woman puts a hand on Azula's shoulder. "We're sisters, Azula. Nothing will stop us. We'll pull through. Alright?"
".....You are always so confident.... Abeni...."
Abeni smiles. "Don't worry about it. Someone's gotta stay positive, and we both know that isn't going to be you!"
Abeni finally notices Nanashi. "Oh hello there. What's your name?" She says in a friendly voice, though her power gives an edge of a firestorm to her tone.
"I am Nanashi. It is nice to meet you, Abeni," he replies, a scowl forming when his voice comes across as mechanical. "...This will take time to adjust to."
Abeni laughs. "At least you weren't malformed and barely alive for several years. ...I'm impressed at this body though, it's not exploding from all of this power. I'm tickled impressed."
"That must have been unpleasant. It does appear that these forms are quite sturdy... Ah, fully restored." Nanashi blinks a few times then shakes his head. "Alright... Hopefully, that should stop the issue."
"Say, when we finally get free, what should we do with ourselves? We can't be enslaved forever you know. I wonder just what we're capable of."
She looks over at one of the other pods, and there is a faint green. "Ah yes, Gurīn the late bloomer. Did she really just now start changing? Man, her body is stronger than ours, Azula. Though then again, I did wear down the fastest, they said if she had just a bit more enforcement, she'd be a normal CE, but now she's got a body so strong it's slowed the darn process down. Hey princess! Wake up!" She knocks on Gurīn's tank.
"Enforcement? Is this related to physical stability?" Nanashi watches and waits.
Abeni nods. "Our bodies were torn up by our first transformation. They got carried away once they made Azula and thought we could handle acquiring all the genetic traits of a CE at once. ...We nearly died. They managed to salvage us and keep us alive, but it was torment for years. The pain we experience now is nothing. Nothing compared to be held alive by a wire thin rope."
A heartbeat like noise can be heard as the green light grows stronger.
"I see... I barely have any recollection of who I was before this. My processes inform me that they were active throughout my transformation, but I was not." Nanashi sighs. "I guess I'll figure it out someday, but until then, I'll figure out what I can about this form."
To their surprise, the glass begins to break in pieces, and through the holes grow thick wooden vines that begin to sprout leaves and flower blossoms.
Nanashi watches silently, not entirely concerned or worried.
Gradually, the pod completely collapses as a dense growth of vines, ferns, and small trees grow out of it, and tangled within the mess is a girl with green hair, with naturally iridescent flowers growing amongst her hair. She has yellow eyes, and what seems like normal skin turns out to be scales as well, with many green undertones almost making her camoflagued. Unlike her sisters, she has very little in the way of plate, except on her fore arms and lower legs, both her arms and legs are that of an Etherite, though she has a total of eight, the other three grown into a combinaiton of humanoid arms and an arch angel's wings, though the angel wings are tinted green.
The only clothing she 'wear's is a dense interweaving carpet of moss and vines that only barely provides adequate covering of her body, and she also has the prominent whisker like scales on her face. The various plants all seem to be growing naturally from her, as if they were a part of her, rather than just created by her. She is also noted to have various spines growing out of her body, and Ether naturally emits from her eyes and appear to cover even her feathers, of any of them she seems to be producing the most Ether of any of them. The strong heartbeat they hear is now very much louder, and they notice while the tank has shattered, she isn't actually awake, despite her eyes being open.
"Gurīn. Wake up sister." Abeni calls out to her. The girl Gurīn merely closes her eyes, letting out a soft whisper of a breath as she sleeps.
"Hmm..." Nanashi looks confused for a moment. "Late bloomer indeed..."
Azula carefully walks up to Gurīn and lightly places a hand on the girl's cheek. "Hey sis, wake up. It's me, Azula. Are you alright, sister?" She speaks softly. A vine touches Azula's cheek in response, and Gurīn awakens.
"Sister? You're.... we're.... alive?" She speaks in a soft airy voice.
"Yes, now come out of there. It's been so long since we last saw each other."
".....Ok..." The vines, flowers, and plants all begin to retract into her body, and the arms modified into wings shrink and disappear, leaving her with just two arms. Four small wings of green light protrude from her back, and Azula helps her out of the remains of the pod.
"Gurīn, this is Nanashi. Nanashi, this is the youngest of us three, Gurīn. She always liked plants, but I didn't think she'd be able to... grow plants. ...She was always an odd ball on occasion...."
"I'm not odd!" Gurīn protests.
"No, you're my special sister who I love dearly."
"Aww that's- I am not special!!"
Azula sighs. "Well, you get the idea. Younger sister."
"I do, I was the eldest brother in my situation," he says as he begins to flex his wings. "...I wonder what happened to him after the accident. He wanted to be a doctor so badly..." Nanashi looks bothered by something, but shakes it off. "At least my memory is returning."
They notice Gurīn undergo more changes, as the plate on her arms and legs spread up all the way to her neck, creating a full body armor, and her hands and feet become humanoid. The Exceed Nexus of her arms shrinks down considerably, and the wings disappear. The armor becomes black and her hair becomes a dark shadow of purple, almost black, and her eyes are now red like how Azula's were before. She appears to be a much younger looking Azula almost, except for a few facial differences.
Azula blinks. "You look passable for at least an Eta.... ....and your power.... what happened to it? Did she degrade or something?"
Gurīn blinks. "What are you talking about? I don't feel different...."
"I think it is being suppressed or sealed until the right conditions are met," chimes in Nanashi. "If she feels the same, then it means nothing was lost or taken... I think." He shrugs and leans against a wall.
Azula blinks for a moment, then says sadly, "Our creator has summoned us.... ....to show off to her subjects the perfect weapons she has finally created....." She says bitterly, then begins walking in a certain direction.
"Follow me. I have been in these halls too many times to ever get lost...."
Her two sisters promptly start walking after her, though Gurīn elects to walk nearby Nanashi a little bit further behind than her brethren.
Nanashi follows, giving Gurīn a curious glance.
Gurīn walks alongside him for a while, not noticing his gaze initially, but eventually turns her head to look at him as well.
"Am I interesting to you, Nanashi?" She asks, as a vine of some sort grows out of her hand and a beautiful purple flower blooms, and she pulls off the whole stem and hands it to Nanashi.
"Do you like flowers?" She asks.
"Interesting is one way to put it, though to be honest everything about this situation interests me on one level or another. You three are more interesting though," he says, accepting the flower, "And flowers are nice, though they're hardy and strong as well."
"I hope if we ever can be free, that we can be companions, and not by force. A flower should be able to bloom of its own accord, it should never be forced into blooming for another's pleasure or self gain...." She trails off, closing her eyes.
"That applies to all life," says Nanashi, "Forcing one down a path they did not want is... Distasteful. If you force a flower to grow in the wrong soil, it will not grow properly... " Nanashi looks upwards. Freedom... Do I truly understand that concept?
"But there's no reason for you to die here. I have an offer for you."
"Heh. I doubt there's much you could offer that I actually want, lady..."
She floats over to Rose and makes her look at her.
"What if I said... I could make you an Archangel? A goddess? In exchange for letting you live and having all the power you could dream... serve me faithfully. You have potential, but do you have the ambition to become more? Rose is it? Your existence has been spent as nothing more than a tool for others. You were created by gods just so that you could be used in an experiment. Then in that experiment, you were killed by your lover. Tragic, isn't it? How others use you as a disposable piece of clothing...
How about I give you the power to take back your life, be your own person, be yourself, and not someone's little toy? When I just said the catch is you must serve me faithfully? I meant it more as merely doing me favors as I ask. It's nothing too unreasonable. Besides. I hate seeing such beautiful potential never blossom."
"Favors, huh?" Rose responds. "What kind of 'favors' are we talking about?"
"Oh, perhaps for a few days lending me some of your genetics, depends on what else you'd be willing to do to repay me for such a gift."
"Eh? What'd you want...ooooh, you wanna add to your Chaos Engines, huh? You sure that's a good idea?"
White gives her an unmoved look. "Not add. My Chaos Engines are already hybrids of Archangels. You would just be the replacement... 'donor'. This project has been around longer than I. It began with the Alphas, and I have continued it down to the Lambdas. If I thought it was a bad idea, do you think I would be doing it?"
"Hehe...I see. Guess not. My mistake, then. Well, I've got a few conditions for that."
She smiles. "And what would that be?"
"I want to train her. If that wasn't an indicator, I want it to be a girl. I also don't want you messing with her until after I've trained her. I know about your little processes, and I don't want bombs, curses, seals, rituals, psychological manipulation or anything of the sort done. Lastly..." Rose's face gets serious.
"I want you to tell me everything you know about me..."
White's smile only grows. "Oh? So you guessed that I was going to make a replacement with your DNA? You're a shrewd one." She chuckles.
"Very well... ....on the condition I install a device that will let me know if you're up to any tricks... I will accept those terms. We have a deal then?"
"Sure, yes. Now can these puppets let me down?"
The planetoid that had been forming around Rose collapses, allowing her to be free.
"Well then, shall we prepare you for your new power? Or perhaps you would hear the tales of the past?"
"Tell me what you know." Rose says, stretching abit, while glancing at the creatures, and flipping them the bird.
"Bare in mind I don't know everything. What I know is that you were originally the creation of two gods. Though there is only one name I'm familiar with. I believe one of them goes by the name Van Valeric. I cannot be certain. You and Kalin were created as part of an experiment by these two gods, as a test to determine which was stronger. Good or Evil. You and Kalin were raised thus, as representatives of good and evil. You evil, Kalin good. Yet, such as irony goes, you two apparently fell in love with each other. Needless to say, as most of these boring tragedies go, you lost your life in some manner. I assume Kalin killed you, though I don't personally know that story.
Your spirit however lived on inside Kalin, and from my understanding eventually cooperated in various adventures, such as the time you encountered my young brother, Kado. Yet sometime after, you began to reemerge and in the end, you fell again, while Kalin faced off against the ruler of Twilight.
Apparently you are one persistent woman... because you were born again, curiously as an Angel of all things. I am not clear as to how you came to arrive within my fortress. But, the circle I weave comes to a close, as you now stand before me. So that's your tale. In summary, your whole life has been being used by beings higher than yourself, and getting killed. Over and over again. I would imagine a lucky break would be nice, no?"
Rose processed the words, her eyes closed in concentration. "Is that right..." She then looked at White."Alright, lets move on already."
White has them teleported back to the fortress.
"If you'll follow me, I will take you down to my labs to begin your transformation. After that, I'll have to harvest your dna to produce a new Archangel."
Rose follows behind, hands behind her head as she walks. "So, how does this hocus-pocus transformation stuff work?"
White smiles and holds out a needle, and presses the syringe. A stream of liquid streaks out, hissing and evaporating as it touches the ground.
"Take a guess."
Rose groaned, turning her nose to the ceiling. "Ugh I frigggin' hate needles..." As she spoke, the left sleeve of her shirt burned away. "Just do it quickly, ya damn masochist..."
"Well more the power of science. We're not there yet. I'm not going to turn you into an arch angel in broad daylight. Follow me." White walks to an wall, and presses it, revealing an elevator. "After you."
"Oh yay. An elevator to some distant enclosed space...with no witnesses to keep me safe...Why did I agree to this again?" Rose says, sweat dropping as she walks inside, whisperiing to herself the entire time.
The elevator suddenly drops, hurtling toward the ocean, White however remains calm, as a sphere of air forms just as they hit the water, and eventually land in an underwater facility below the fortress. The trip took mere moments, and Rose feels incredibly ill from the intense sudden speed.
"Th-thanks for the warning..." Rose says, stepping out of the elevator.
"You're welcome." White begins walking down a certain way through a corridor. "Don't look in the containers. If you're easily sickened, that is. Though it would be funny if you threw up."
"Hehe, yeah totally. Know what else would be fun? If you shut up with the sadistiic commentary." Rose says, following beside her.
"Nah, I like the sadistic commentary. It's fun." She takes Rose to an operating room.
"Well, lie down and we can get started. By the way... want the archangel I am going to make from your dna your own child or want to pick a subject from the Containment Quarters?" She says with a slight smirk.
"Well..." Rose says, lying down. "A kid...I guess, what's there to lose?" She replies. "Do it. make her my kid'
White puts clamps on Rose's arms and legs, securing her to the table. "It's to keep you from squirming like a worm once the changes start kicking in. Don't freak out. Now, do me a favor once we get started: don't blow up."
"Yeah...I don't think my blowing up will be within my own control..." Rose says, a worried expression sitting atop her smirk.
"I'm kidding. You won't actually blow up. Unless you do something stupid like... try to break out of the restraints before it's done. Or panic. Both sound like shitty ideas. So don't do either and you'll be fine."
White walks behind Rose and pulls down a large robotic arm with a needle, lowering it to around to the back of Rose's neck, and White lifts her head up to get a better vantage.
"Hold still while I get this tranquilzer ready."
"Why do you need a tranquilizer? Just get it over with. I've felt worse. Hell, I've died." Rose says, staring at the woman standing over her.
"There are worse things than death. Besides, I might just take you up on that~" She injects Rose with the machine anyway, a thick black liquid seeping into Rose's veins. The area burns and itches for a few minutes, but Rose soon feels the tranquilizer leave her without any physical sensations at all.
White taps Rose on the forehead, but she feels nothing. "Good, ready to start."
White pushes a button on the device, and it begins pumping a more silvery liquid into Rose, though the second she feels the liquid pour into her, she begins feeling like she's starting to burn alive.
"Fuuuuuuuuu-!" Rose yells, spiitting obscenities out at a rate that quickly becomes hard to follow. Her hands glow with fire, as she clenches them into fists.
White chuckles. "And you said to get it over with, you would have felt as though you were being burned inside the center of the sun had I not done the tranquilizer. ...Now that I think about it, that pain of yours would have been even more glorious."
"Kill...you...painfully..." Rose manages to say, before another torrent of swearing leaves her lips.
The burning sensation grows worse as small patches of fire and light begin to flicker about her body, and in fact, her body begins to feel as though as if it is getting... too small. Around the time of this conclusion, her body begins to crack, and golden streams of light begin pouring out from the cracks.
"Huh, your current form is breaking down faster than expected. Though I guess that comes with being already a divine being, this ascension should begin in earnest very soon."
Rose's swears reduce in number as the procedure continues, Her breathing slowing and becoming more steady, as if she was growing accustomed to the pain, or ignoring it entirely.
Her body begins to crack at a violent rate, until it suddenly bursts apart and burns to ash, Rose is now nearly entirely composed of light, but she slowly begins to take form back into a physical body, though her raw power is many times greater and she now bears six wings.
White makes a small smirk. "Well that was entertaining. I'll need samples from you before I can do anything else, so if you wouldn't mind holding still while I extract your dna..." She takes a large needle and begins drawing Rose's blood, a lot of it. When she has filled her needle, she stows it away in a bag.
"Rest for a minute, then we'll see about making you a mommy." She says this last part with an amused expression.
"Uhuh..." Rose mumbles, more occupied with her transformation. The power felt good, she had to admit, despite the pain she went through to get it.
"You can have even more power than that~" White says, pretty much reading her thoughts. "Though how much more you get depends on what you're willing to give in turn. I do believe in fair trade, after all."
"Let me know by the way... how would you like to have the child? Natural birth? Or something less... organic?"
"Natural birth isnt exactly an option...so, what else do you have in mind, psycho scientist?"
"I can always create a genetic clone of you. Only, you know, make it a baby, or however old you want it."
"That works. Definitely makes things simple..." Rose says, staring at her hands. She began to scrape under her nails, not really paying attention to anything, in particular.
White casually tosses a combat knife at Rose's face.
Rose catches the knife between her fingers."Uhm, what am I supposed t do with this exactly?"
"It was supposed to go between your eyes. I don't like when people space out."
"Well excuse me that I dont know the process of creating child clones, psycho..."
"Open up." White takes out a swabbing stick and points at her. "I would also not advise you to call me names when I'm getting ready to perform another few tweaks on you."
Rose opened her mouth, thinking all of the crude things she would be saying if she had the use of her voice at the time.
White finishes, then collects the sample into tubes, and slides them into a machine.
"This world is too dull for my tastes... too weak... it is as fragile as glass..." White mutters.
"Would you like to transcend this pathetic shell of a world with me? I intend to climb to the very top..."
"The top of what? God is....what did happen to the big guy...whatever, hes not around. The devil's had his ass kicked two months to tomorrow... Hell, whatever made me and Kalin probably are something worth beating on...yknow what Im saying? Whats your hope? what are you trying to become?"
"A survivor, Rose."
"So, this is all about evolution, huh..." Rose said, taking a minute to think about White's words. "Well, I can argue with your results. That red bitch with the sword almost managed to bother me, though I was holding back at the time."
"She is a runt compared to her elder and her younger sisters. She is limited, flawed. There are forces that many cannot see but I have seen... they will undo this world. And it would be so easy. I will not be trampled upon by them... I will trample them instead..."
"Well, that was unnesseccarily cryptic of you..." Rose said, staring to the side."So those girls you created are supppoosed to be your ticket to the top of the food chain, huh...Well, that's a pretty big goal you've set for yourself, jukets..."
"I can make you like them... a leader of the new world, my equal. There is no reason to submit yourself to greater powers when you can become one yourself... a slave to none. That is what I intend to become, at least..."
"Well, disregarding the fact you just implied I'm weaker than you...That idea sounds...fun. If I get a few fights out the deal, then sure, why not...with some stipulations attached to the deal."
"What could you demand of me, that would be fair, when I would offer you the gift of nigh infinite potential... and with our cause... we will have much blood to spill... if it's the heat of battle you seek... we will have no end of it... I implied, angel, that if you would turn me down, you would no longer be an equal. For if you turned me down, I would merely choose to only evolve myself into one of my Lambdas, rather than permitting you to achieve the same level of transcendence." She says with a slight smirk.
"Though if the gift of unlimited power is not enough, what is it thou art seeking from me?"
"Well, considering you want to give me a kid...and make me an almighty war machine...I just want to know we're not going to kill without good reason behind it. It's a stupid thought, people die all the time, but...I just wanted to know that."
"I will say this. One man believes he alone holds the key to stoping a cosmic force that will leave all of the Universe in ruin. I cannot accept or allow the world to simply fall because of an inevitable failure. The world must be ready, the right thing be damned. The right thing won't matter when everything ceases to exist." White says coldly.
"I see...it's one of those, huh. Well, I guess I'll just have to hope for the best. I'll do it."
White begins typing on a holographic keyboard.
"So, what are you doing now? Texting your zero friends over the internet? Trolling on social media? That sounds more like what you'd do." Rose said, stretching as she spoke to the slayer.
"Plotting how to deep fry you and serve you up for dinner," She says in a monotone. "I'm telling the computer what to do so that the child can be made."
"Oh joy. Hey, can you make her a red head? Wait no, white hair is sexier. Wait, no, do both!" Rose said, rushing to stare over White as she did her work.
"Black it is."
"...Damn buzzkill." Rose said, sitting on the floor with a pout on her lips."Black is soo boring!"
"Then don't hover over my shoulder. I'm just typing in data. There's nothing of interest here. And I'll think about it."
"Fiiine, I'll go back to the chair..." Rose said, as she did just as she said.
"Don't be a child. It's unbecoming for a mother."
"Yeah, well...I guess you've kind of got a point there...me being a responsible single parent, huh? Thats about as crazy as half the things that exist in the world. Which isnt exactly bad, when you think about some of the batshit crazy things that exist."
White continues typing.
Rose looks over at the light slayer, and rolls onto her side. "You're broken."
"I'm not clear on what you mean."
"Your soul, its broken. There's no other way to explain it...What did you do?" Rose said, staring at White, or more accurately, staring into the source of her being.
She stops typing and glances at Rose, there is not a pleasant look in her eye. "Look harder. My soul mended. The Origin point of our soul was broken. We are two, not one. I am no longer her half, and she is no longer mine. We had a difference in us. I wanted to continue, she wanted to escape. So I let her. Don't bring her up again." She turns back and finishes her typing.
"So how long will this take?" Rose asked, her wings fading as she brought herself to her feet. "And how, exactly am I going to go through this process of 'transcendence' while Im training her?"
White turns toward Rose. " 'We' are going to be in special tubes designed for the creation of Lambdas. It will take time, and you will either be in a comatose state or conscious and in agony for however long your turning process takes. As for your child, it will be growing along with you, just like any other child."
"How much time?" Rose asks, extending an arm, her hand igniting in bright golden flames. She clenched her hand into a fist, and the flames dissipated in an instant.
"That depends." She begins walking toward some test tubes.
"Okay then..." Rose replied, walking over and tapping a tube.
The tubes are several times larger than them, at least two additional people their size could fit inside. White appears to be entering some codes into a nearby control panel.
"What are you doing now?"
"Must your ever waking breath be a question? Opening these tubes. Now get in," She says shortly as panels in the large tubes open.
"Fuck you. There, not a question..." Rose replied as she climbed into the tube part way. "...I have your word on our agreement?"
"You will wake up a mother, as well as have all the power of a goddess. That is my end of the deal." White is also in a tube now, and both panels close, and liquid begins to fill their tanks.
"Our rebirth is at hand," She says just as the liquid completely fills both tanks, and both women drift away into unconsciousness.
Some time later
Rose feels incredibly, painfully sore, every square inch of her body, every muscle, bone, and organ all scream in pain from being reformed and transformed, the power of countless species and their DNA run thick in her veins, too much power and information for her to take into account. Just as she is on the cusp of consciousness, another round of pain racks her body, and when she wakes once more, she is lying on an operating table, staring up at a strange, majestic being's face.
The being is female, with beautiful ornate golden horns, black sclera with red eyes, and skin that almost looks like metallic silver. She possesses long silver hair, gleaming with iridescent colors, and six angelic wings. She gives Rose a strangely familiar smile.
"Welcome, my new Lambda, Rose." Rose hears a faint whimper, upon looking toward the source, she realizes that White is holding a bundle of cloth and within lies an infant with red and white hair.
Rose tried to speak, but the words wouldn't find their way out. Giving up on that, she looked to the child, reaching out even as her body screamed for her to stay still.
White gives her the bundle. "Rearing a child without the tools necessary would be difficult, so understand that it has a father, not that it matters. Feed it, clean it, the works. You don't take care of it, I will."
White gives Rose a critical look. "You were out for three months, not surprising considering you were growing the child. Don't try to join us in the war effort for a few weeks. Your body needs to recover from being still. And rearing a child. I'll have a CE attend to you." White disappears in a flicker of light.
Rose watched as she disappeared, before placing her gaze on the child in her arms. Slowly, a smile formed on her lips as she stroked the baby's hair, holding it close as she faded to into peaceful sleep.
The baby begins to start crying softly. About this time, footsteps can be heard.
Rose opened her eyes again, straining to keep them open as she slowly forced herself into a sitting position. She cradled the child in her arms, worried about what she needed.
The noise gets louder, until a girl in similar clothing to White appears, with white hair with red tips. "Bioscans indicate hunger."
Rose coughed quietly, her grip on the child firm despite how shaky she seemed. "F...Food for her?" She whispered, in a voice that didn't entirely sound like her own.
The girl's head tilts to one side. "It is an infant. Surely you know what an infant feeds on."
Rose looked down at the child and flushed. Tugging her top down, she brought the baby to her chest and started to feed her.
"Curious." The girl states.
Rose turned towards the girl, tilting her head in a questioning manner.
"You requested for something that could be provided by any male, in exchange for power that comes with a cost. It is an illogical thing, is it not, to sell yourself to someone for such a thing?"
Rose looked down at the child and smiled after a moment. "Maybe. It's...she...is one of the few things...that I got to choose for myself. That's enough for me."
The first sensation th e newly awakened Eta feels is cold, a deep bone numbing cold. Then, his senses slowly comes to him, and he finds himself waking up, with a second voice in his head.
"Ce Designation Program Initiated. Subject classified as Eta: Ares 467. Beginning system check routine. Beginning Activation Protocol."
Various machin es begin hissing inside the containment pod he dwells in. As his vision clears and the window of his pod dismists, he sees directly adjacent from him, a female figure deep in sleep in a similar pod, with a nameplate:
Eta 'Draken' 310: Nezumi.
The girl appears to have white hair and red highlights, but he can discern little else.
Vzark looks around from inside the Pod, occasionally taking glances at the girl to discern more over time. He taps on the Pod glass. "Hello?"
He doesn't get a response, the glass muffles his voice. He hears and feels an breeze as the pod begins opening.
Vzark walks outside the Pod, getting a better view of his surroundings, and finally gets a better look at the girl in the adjacent pod.
He notices a red light on her pod begining to flash, and a hissing noise of air can be heard from it, which soon begins to wake the girl.
Vzark quickly walks back tenses up a bit, and cautiously stays back from the Pod, unsure of who the girl is, and if shes friend or foe.
The pod finally swings open, revealing her as she fully wakes. She regards him with quiet faint red eyes, though she appears not fully alert.
Vzark raised an eyebrow at the girl, somewhat surprised how non attentive she is. "Hey, who are you?"
Her eyes open more fully as she looks at him, still quiet. After a minute, she says, "Eta Draken 310 is my designation, I am Nezumi. You... you're the one she told me to wake up for."
"Who told you to wake up for me?" "And...where are we exactly?" Vzark seems very on edge, not exactly sure what to make of most of this.
"The mistress. In the underbelly of the fortress." She says tiredly.
"Saying The Mistress doesn't exactly answer my question as to who "She", is, but fine." Vzark relaxes a bit. "I believe It said I was Eta Ares 467."
She quietly steps out of the pod, stumbling a bit but otherwise remaining sturdy. She quietly starts walking down the long corridor they are in, which is filled with other pods like theirs.
Vzark follows after her, still somewhat confused. "So where exactly are we going? Is it to this apparent Mistress?"
"No, she's busy turning one of our enemies into one of us. Her tongue is effective indeed..."
"I...see." "So where are we going then?" "Are there more of us?"
"Many more. We're going to the surface. It's stuffy in here."
"You don't talk much, do you?" "Very well, I'll save the rest of my questions for when we get there."
After a while, they reach a flat circular room, and Nezumi stands in the middle of it.
"What are we doing here?" "You said there were many others, I don't see anyone here but you"
"Step in here. And prepare your gut, by the way.
Vzark squints and gets tense, preparing for the worst. He walks up to the middle of the room, waiting.
Once he is in the center, the floor jerks violently, then rockets up into the air at speeds exceeding Mach 5. the circle floor is actually a large elevator with no visible means of movement, it merely moves on its own, literally flying of its own accord. Above them is a large shimmering surface he reckonizes as water.
Vzark nearly hits the floor of the elevator, but is just barely able to keep standing. "Jesus fucking christ this is insane"
The elevator hits the water full force, though instead of a violent crash, there is no impact, something like a bubble surrounding them as they race toward sunlight. Nezumi does not appear concerned.
Vzark is somewhat taken aback from most of this, but generally seems unphased on the outside. "This is quite an interesting way to ascend..."
They burst out of the water, now revealed to be an ocean underneath a massive fortress, which they are now rapidly rising up toward the bottom of.
"So after we finally reach our destination, what will we be doing? I assume it has something to do with the others, yes?"
The elevator abruptly comes to a halt inside, though Nezumi again does not seem bothered from the sudden stop.
Vzark stumbles a bit from the stop,not exactly used to the elevator, due to him using it for the first time. "Hey, are you even listening?"
A male's face drops down right in front of him.
"Hellllooooo there, new guy." He raps on Vzark's forehead, a shit eating grin on his face. "This one's got dark hair huh?" He says, pulling out a strand absentmindly. The male has white hair, and blue eyes.
Vzark jumps back, clearly annoyed from the rude interruption, as well as the strand being pulled. "Please don't tell me hes one of the others"
Nezumi speaks. "Kagerou, one of us, an Eta."
"Whats so odd about dark hair?" "Hair is hair, right?"
"Most of us have white or red."
"Okay.....anyways, I suppose its...good to meet you. Who else is here?"
"Silent Angel and Lyre. They're off on their on in the fortress." Nezumi speaks up.
"There's two others here but... they aren't Etas."
"If they're not Eta's, then what are they?"
"...They're... more powerful. They're Lambdas. Azula and Abeni. There were two others, but they're... gone."
"Huh...where are these two Lambdas then?"
He hears the clinking of claws, as well as the shuffling of armor come into audible range.
"I have the gut feeling that the noise is them."
A tall woman with white hair with an iridescent shine to her hair, amber eyes like fire, long curved horns, clawed hands and feet, and redish armor and and skin like scales that shine red in light, with six large dragon-angel wings, and a long powerful tail with an axe like blade at the end steps by the doorway and looks at Vzark.
"Hmmm. New kid?" She asks.
Vzark steps back, clearly not expecting her to look like that. "I uh...yes, I am." "Are you one of the Lambda's the others mentioned?"
"Expect the unexpected in this life, kid. And yes, I am. Abeni's my name."
"Good to meet you then Abeni, Im...I don't have a name. When I was in the Pod I was addressed as Eta Ares 467"
"That's a mouthful, come up with something you can say in casual conversation."
"Okay..." Vzark thought for a bit. "How about Vzark?"
"Whatever is natural for you."
"Going with Vzark then." "I was told about a mistress, but Nezumi wasn't very helpful. Who is she?"
"Her name is White. However, she controls the majority of us by force, against our will."
"Does that majority include you?"
"Protecting my sisters comes first above all. Even if it means I have to remain on my leash."
"And what if this White person did something against your sisters?"
"That comes later."
"I see. Who are your sisters anyway?"
"Azula and Gurin. She's not here right now any case. Just me and Azul."
"Alright. I've pretty much exhausted all my questions though. Is there anything I should be doing?"
Abeni slings her weapon over her shoulders, a giant broadsword with various faint runes on it, then sighs.
"Calm before the storm, kid. Before long, there's a fight to be had. I'm not rather looking forward to it. Neither am I against it. Humans are not my favorite creatures these days... even though we all were once human." She closes her eyes.
"I wonder if little Gurin's alright..."
"Wait, what?" "What do you mean we were all human once?" Vzark was clearly confused, so much that he almost completely disregards the upcoming fight.
"Our original selves were human, until Phoenix, the organization we serve, changed us into what we all are now."
"Is that for better or for worse?"
"That depends if you like being a weapon of war and forced to do it against thy will."
"I take it you don't exactly like it then"
"I don't. I put up with it because I must. I would not give White a reason to be angry with you, you will likely die."
"I'll keep that in mind, thanks for answering majority of my questions, by the way."
"It's my pleasure, it's what little I can do to help people." She sighs, then begins walking off. "I wouldn't really ask Azula questions though, she's... ...more hurt by what's going on than I."
"I'll stray from questioning her then." "Any more advice for someone new?"
"...Keep out of White's kitchen. She'll probably eat you if you do anything to it." She says with a small smile.
"I do hope you're just sizing me up, but advice is advice nonetheless. Good talking to you"
"Hmmm..." She walks off, soon disappearing into the many walkways of the fortress.
"Yo new guy." The white haired male calls out to him.
Vzark turns around. "I do have a name now, its Vzark if you didn't hear it."
"Tag." He says as he punches Vzark in the face, then rockets off on his pair of wings, cackling like a maniac.
"You filthy fucking bitch!" Vzark instinctively creates a pair of wings of his own, and speeds after the white haired male.
Kagerou cackles. "Catch me Miss Twinkletoes! Let's see how quick you are!" He zips about the fortress.
Vzark just follows after Kagerou, and lowers his own gravity, causing him to go even faster, which allows him to start catching up to Kagerou.
Once he speeds up, he smashes headlong into a stone pilliar Kagerou leviated into his path, and Kagerou sails off with a gleeful cackling row of laughter.
Vzark roars in anger and speeds after Kagerou again, using a concentrated explosion that jettisons Vzark straight above Kagerou. "TAG!" He lowers down kicks Kagerou in the back to the ground, in which Vzark heads off in the opposite direction.
He finds his movements becoming sluggish, and Kagerou is fastly approaching like a jet plane.
Vzark makes the illusion of Vzark creating a large, thick wall of metal in front of Kagerou, hoping to throw him off. He then creates a high gravity field infront of the illusion, just for safe measures.
Kagerou seems to vanish.
Vzark keeps his guard up and stays on edge, constantly looking around and listening for sound.
"Hey," He hears in his right ear.
Vzark created an explosion that engulfed him and anyone around him, and he flys up and looks around. "You're ridiculous. Play your childish game of tag with someone else."
"Missed." He hears again.
"You really have nothing else better to do than be a feeble prick?"
"And you are a feeble butterball." His voice says from the opposite ear now.
"What the fuck is a butterball....?" "Ugh, nevermind that." "You still didn't answer whether you have something better to do or not."
"No. You're the best entertainment this side of Fantasy."
"Should I be flattered or annoyed?"
Kagerou appears behind him, and jabs his rear with a cattleprod. "Both!"
"Where the fuck did you get that?!" Vzark grabs the cattleprod and throws it aside. "I swear your a fucking child, how do the others put up with this?"
They hear some wings flapping up toward them.
"You hear that too, right?" "Or are you just doing some more childish bullshit again"
Abeni flies right up to them. "Knock it off you two."
"I was trying to tell him to cease this bullshit, but hes much to dense to understand, how do you even deal with him?"
She swats the two's heads, knocking them out. "Like this." She sets them down on the ground and walks off.
Vzark wakes up shortly after. "Fucking hell". "What a great welcome to the family." he started walking off towards the area he was originally in.
As he does, he notices a being like Abeni roosting on the building where the elevator is. She has long blue hair with an iridescent sheen, and deep blue eyes, the depths of which are so deep he can hardly fathom them, small whisker like scales grow out of her cheeks, and she has skin like scales that shine a beautiful blue in the light. She bears six large angelic wings, and has clawed hands, and taloned feet. She appears to have an organic armor growing out of her as well. Her very presence seems to charge the air itself. She quietly regards him for a moment, before looking off at the horizon once again. A soft blue glow comes off of her.
Vzark quietly walks foward a bit. "She must be one of Abeni's sisters." "Mind if I join you there?"
"....Sure..." She says quietly.
Vzark sprouts wings and flies up, slowly roosting in the area shes in. "I assume you're Abeni's sister, right? Correct me if im wrong"
"...Yes. I am Azula..."
"Guess she doesn't talk much either." "Im Vzark, im currently trying to get a hold on who everyone is around here."
"There isn't much to talk about. I sensed you wake up a while ago."
"Yeah, just wanted to make sure I was able to get an idea on what the people are like here." "I'll leave you be then." Vzark sprouts wings and descends below, and starts walking again.
As he walks, he eventually finds a large pool of fresh water, which seems out of place.
"Why do they have a fucking pool....?"
Suddenly a female's head begins to form out of the water, its form flowing as though one with the water, and rises up until a female torso is seen.
"Would have been nice if they gave me an exact number as to how many people were here." "Who are you? I don't believe i've seen you yet."
"I am Toma. I am the Water member of Phoenix, wielder of the Water Slayer. You're a newborn, judging from the sheer fact you don't know that much."
"Newborn is a new way i've been described, but yes, I suppose I am. I'm Vzark."
She continues to rise out of the water, until she turns solid, with long black hair in a ponytail, and blue eyes. She appears to be wearing a kimono.
"I take it you're exploring?"
"Seems like the only thing I can do at the moment, so yes"
"I see. ...Please don't get in trouble, not with... ...with..." She seems to pause.
"With who? I need all the advice I can get, so if you have some i'd love to hear it"
"Be careful of White... ...she's... different than she was before..."
"I've heard about White but not extensively, what do you mean shes different?"
"...She's darker than she used to be. Just be careful, alright? She's dangerous."
"Alright, i'll make sure I'm cautious around her. Thanks for the warning"
"Hmmm. There are so few people here... even I'm getting lonely. Torrent has been quiet lately."
"If there's few people, that's probably why I was made." "And who's Torrent?"
"The Wind Slayer. He's not the friendliest."
"As long as hes nothing like that Kagerou prick, im fine"
"Hmm. Take care of yourself kid."
"Quick question, where do you recommend me going? This place isn't exactly easy to navigate around for me."
"Generally everything is open, but don't go in White's quarters, and if you're going down below, don't go in labs. White doesn't like snooping. The seven largest towers on the outside of the fortress are the Member Quarters, everything else has lots of random places in it. Kagerou likes the tunnels, Silent Angel likes to read while on the turrets, and Lyre hides in the libraries. Nezumi, she well... sleeps alot."
"And I assume you like the swimming pool?" Vzark smirks a bit.
"It helps me relax. I'm a Nymph. I haven't trained myself much, so the pool helps me learn control over this side of myself."
"I suppose thats good. I haven't seen much of the base yet to figure out where i'd like to hang out. Thanks for everything you've said though. I'll probably go check out the Library next."
"Good luck to you..." She begins to sink into the water again.
Vzark shrugs and starts walking again, looking for the library, as well as any rooms he can come across with people in them.
Unseen to Vzark is a black hooded man with a black katana at his hip, silently watching him.
"Another of her creations, huh. Hope it doesn't get creamed like the last one was."
Vzark continues walking, not hearing anyone. "Jesus, why can't they just put up directions around this place?"
He feels a subtle impression in his mind to walk an additional three miles then turn right at the door, to get to the library.
Vzark is somewhat confused but, but starts running, and eventually turns right as he sees the door.
Upon opening the door, he finds a vast library.
Vzark completely disregards how he was able to know where the Library is, and heads in, looks around, and inspects various books.
A white haired male with what looks like dragon armor sits in a chair, quietly reading a red book.
Vzark quietly walks past him, trying to get his attention without directly talking to him, due to him reading. Vzark grabs a book and reads nearby.
"What is it?" The male asks.
"I havent met you yet, and i'd prefer to know majority of the people i'll be ending up working with"
"My name is Lyre... is there anything you want to know?"
"Im Vzark, and I have been wondering where I can obtain armor and gear? something that would help. As well as any general advice you have"
"White authorizes armor and weapons, and be a bit specific as to what you mean. Random advice is not useful."
"Okay...what Book series should I read while im here?" Vzark laughs a bit.
"Hundred arts of healing. Useful for when you need to learn how to heal yourself. Though there's also books on various typical fantasy hero genres."
"I'll check out the Hundred arts of healing first. Thanks." Vzark walks off and searches for the book, and finds it, and heads out of the library, reading the book as he walks.
Lyre watches him go quietly.
"Lets do a recap, sleepy girl who needs coffee, ultimate prick, nice and helpful but somewhat scary, mystery and gloomy person, odd but friendly water girl, and quiet book nerd. Fan-fucking-tastic." Vzark continues walking, looking around for more people.
He notices a great many soldiers patrolling, and some dragons flying overhead in the sky.
"Is this really the normal day to day view of this place? Dragons and soldiers? I swear if theres more than this shit im going to pop a vein"
He feels a moist, warm breeze eerily like a breath of something huge behind him.
Vzark quickly turns around and jumps back, not enjoying the idea of something sneaking up on him.
What he sees is a giant dragon's head made of pure light, staring directly at him, he feels as though a vast conciousness is approaching his.
Vzark steps back, surprised that he didn't even realize a dragon was behind him in the first place, and is confused at the odd feeling.
It regards him for a moment, then it disappears right in front of him.
Vzark scoffs. "Guess im adding huge light dragon to that recap list."
He hears a sound of clashing blades.
"Guess im about to see some real action." Vzark heads to the direction of the sound, somewhat excited.
He sees a soldier clashing blades with Abeni, who appears to be absolutely trashing him.
Vzark leans against the wall, watching the fight, a little amused. Shes completely destroying him"
She finishes the fight with a spin kick, which causes a loud explosion of sound as the soldier sails straight into a pillar, knocked unconcious. Abeni doesn't even look fazed.
"Flashy, but seemingly effective. Think you may have gone overboard though"
"Nah he's totally fine."
Vzark looks over to the soldier, raising an eyebrow. "Yeah, probably." "You're a really good fighter though, but I assume thats standard for a Lambda"
"No. Gurin is a little flower."
"A flower can have thorns, as well as being poisonous." "But, thats more defensive, so,...nevermind. Im not very good with metaphors and shit."
"Both those terms don't apply to Gurin. She is just a simple flower, though she initally seemed to contain a large amount of power when initally reborn as a Lambda. We don't know where that power went."
"Is there anyway she, or something else is suppressing that power at all?"
"Very possible...." She says as she surveys the crowd of soldiers surrounding her.
"So why are you pulverizing these guys anyway? If its training, its pretty one sided." Vzark lets out a small laugh.
"They challenged me. I answered them."
"Jesus, I was just made and I can already figure out its not a good idea to fuck with you."
"Then you are one of the smart ones."
"Based from what I've seen that appears to be a rarity."
She casually tail sweeps a soldier's legs out from underneath him as he charges, without looking.
"Nice. Can you teach me how to do half of this stuff so easily?"
"A lot of it is something you have to learn on your own, if you mean everything in general. If you mean combat, it takes practice and skill. Anyone can swing a sword, few are masters of the craft."
"I mainly mean combat, in general I think I can handle it on my own..hopefully"
"Are you asking me to teach you how to fight then?"
"Well...yes II suppose. After all you are clearly adept at it"
"...Do you have a weapon?" She asks coolly.
"Well, no. I haven't found an armory so I don't have one yet. I think I could make one though, from what i've felt I think i can create certain things through elements, but Im not exactly familiar with my abilities so its probably best if I get a normal weapon for now."
Abeni holds out her hand, and a brilliant orange flame begins to burn in her hand, taking the rough shape of a blade.
"Huh....that's actually what i was trying to describe, I think I can do something similar"
It takes a more refined form, until a silver blade with a faint red glow and a bronze hilt with leather wrapping, which she tosses at him.
"I can actually create weapons. Also, if you tried it, my swords would probably break right through them."
Vzark catches the sword, inspecting it. "Huh, how encouraging." Vzark let out a slight laugh.
"Tell me when you are ready." She intones, in a neutral stance.
Vzark breathes and raises his sword, somewhat uneasy. "Ready"
Abeni comes in with a swing abruptly.
Vzark is caught slightly off guard, but still attempts to block the blow, as well as taking a step back.
Abeni whips her tail out and trips him, causing him to land face first. "Mind your footing."
"Oh come on, she has a tail. That's hardly fair." Vzark gets up and edits his stance to be more stable, keeping his sword up.
"The battlefield isn't fair hun." She says while swinging again even faster.
Vzark blocks the blow a tad easier, minding his footwork, and pushed Abeni's blade back.
With a sudden flip she swings her tail blade, shaped like an axe, straight at his head.
Vzark, surprisingly quickly ducks the swing, and grabs her tail, attempting to pull it to throw her off balance.
The tail promptly slings him into a stone pillar like a catapult as Abeni lands.
"Shit..bad idea..." Vzark gets up and dusts himself off, and starts running towards Abeni again, staying Focused for any attacks.
She now has two swords instead of one, and merely seems to be blocking for now.
vzark looks for any openings he can go for while shes blocking, keeping up the attacks and not letting up.
She suddenly moves forward and headbutts him.
Vzark takes the blow, and recovers. "Ok, now THAT was a dirty move."
"There is no such thing as honor in a fight for your life."
"Well we aren't fighting for our life are we?" Vzark gets aggressive and swings his blade down to Abeni.
She blocks it easily, then kicks the blade away, pushing him back.
Vzark growls and uses magnetism to bring the blade back to him in an instant, charging at her again, but swinging at her side.
She puts away her weapons, and stops his sword with her hand, the blade not even cutting her skin.
Vzark pushes her hand away, and starts forming the blade, making extremely sharp. He takes a swing to her shoulder quickly, keeping his guard up as well.
Her claws lengthen and grow larger, and then slash in response, slicing the blade to ribbons.
Vzark growls "Just don't let her fucking hit you, you idiot." Vzark raises his fists, seeming a lot more cautious than earlier.
She swings her tail as she spins, whipping up a dust cloud.
Vzark sends a wave of air that disperses the dust. "I swear if shes gone...."
There is a tap from behind him on his shoulder, he turns just to get spin kicked into the wall.
Vzark takes a bit to get up. "Fuck...nothings working....what do I do?" Vzark growls starts sprinting , and jumps in the air, attempting to roundhouse Abeni on his way down.
She dodges to the side nimbly, then flies up on the top of a granite pillar and perches.
Vzark kicks the pillar, causing the entire to shatter and the pillar starts collapsing. He jumps back, and waits.
She simply flaps her wings and is airborne, flapping to the next one, giving him a neutral expression. "Come on, kiddo."
Vzark raises his leg and steps into the ground, causing it to crack, and a large shockwave is made. The shockwave begins heading to the pillar Abeni is on, as well as the ones next to it, and causes them to collapse.
She once again flaps her wings, then flaps her wings strongly to create a powerful wind to toss him around.
Vzark creates a wall of air to block the wind, and sprouts wings of his won, and flies towards Abeni at high speed.
She swishes her tail, and spikes fly off of it at him.
Vzark dodges the spikes, and continues flying at Abeni,.
When he gets closer, large blade like spikes grow out of her skin, and she charges.
Vzark continues to charge foward, and makes Contact with Abeni. Hen relaxes his arm and in the meantime, dulls the blade like spikes. He takes the blow of Abeni and punches Abeni's side using hi shoulder and elbow in the punch. The impact of the punch causes Abeni to be pushed back, but the blow of Abeni's spikes still push Arnak much farther than Abeni.
Abeni lands soundlessly, not seeming phased. "Not too bad kid. Still, more serious enemies would beat you, but that was good practice."
Vzark lands the ground, panting. "I...fuck." "You were holding back too, how the fuck am I going to get better? You were tossing me around like nothing."
"What, you think you're going to get better overnight? Oh, and I don't train. This is my body's natural strength without training it. Practice with the other Eta's, it'll help."
Vzark was furious, but he was able to mask it. "....Thank you. At least I have a goal now." Vzark walked off, pushing the surrounding soldiers out of the way.
She watches him quietly, then sighs. "That one is going to be a headache... better talk to sis..."
Vzark walks in silence. "I need to train. I need to train as hard as I fucking can. Im not going to die so easily, just you fucking watch." Vzark had been clenching his fist extremely tight, causing blood to let due to digging his fingernails in his skin. "I will be powerful, even if it means I hurt myself in the process."
The Zeta deep asleep in its containment pod, begins to feel sensations, the first signs of its nervous system waking up."System Check: Chaos Engine Type: Zeta. Running Identification Software."
"Subject Identification Code: Zeta 'Aiev' 430."
"...where am I? Who...am I?"
"Beginning Activation Sequence." He hears the hissing of machines and mechanical parts moving, as a faint intake of air is felt as the casing begins to open slowly.
"...am I...being freed?...No...I might have a purpose..."
As the pod he is inside opens, he begins to feel a presence within the halls he is in, the presence of something... growing, becoming more powerful, with each passing moment, he can feel the air swell and grow heavier with its presence.
"What is this...this humongous power... could it be my...my Master's power?"
The pod opens fully, allowing him to get out.
He walks out and looks at his surroundings, "Is this...a laboratory?"
He is in a vast corridor, filled with pods just like his, vague shadows of others like him inside. He can feel the presence down one side of the corridor.
He proceeds down said corridor.
As he walks, the feeling is getting stronger as he gets closer.
"Such a strong presence...what will my Master look like?"
He eventually comes to a cross section, and further ahead, he sees a sliver light glowing across the hall from a doorway.
"What is that...that light?", he then starts walking towards the light.
Upon entering the room with the light, he finds a massive container full of liquid, and inside, is a woman who appears to be undergoing a large scale transformation. Her beautiful body twitches and spasms with the pain contorting her body into new forms. He sees a pair of dragonic wings becoming white and angelic, beautiful white scales grow on her skin, making her appear as though she is encrusted with diamonds. A large dragonic tail sprouts from her, as her hands grow into powerful claws, and her feet evolve into talons. He can hear her faintly, roaring in pain, her bared teeth are enlongating into dragonic fangs, and four golden horns are growing out of her skull, her hair elongating and gaining an iridescent sheen.
The sight is both beautiful, yet terrifying to behold, as he confirms this being is the one whose power is growing and swelling, being in the room is almost like being at the bottom of a dark ocean, it is so thick and heavy with her powerful almost godly presence.
"Is this...my master?...such power and beauty...but...why must she torture herself this way?"
As the process continues, she appears to be adapting to her pain, twitching less and less often, eventually she no longer even lets out cries of pain. A little while later, he feels something like a large presence enter his mind.
"....You... ..........Why are you looking at my bare form like a skank?"
"Who...who is this?"
The woman's eyes open, showing red eyes with iridescent glints in them. Her eyes narrow subtly.
"Me, you stupid half wit- -....Hmm. Wait, you're a Chaos Engine? I thought you were just one of my stupid attendants..." He hears an amused chuckle from the presence in his mind. "Very well. ...A Zeta class no less... funny how the first one to come to my side after my call was my first born..." She muses with faint humor.
"Very well... ...For now and and forever, you shall be my servant, forever at my beck and call... I shall name thee Aimaru. Serve loyally, and you may hold the honor of becoming one of us ascended, the Lambda."
"I see, so that's who I am...a Zeta...and my name is Aimaru...Very well then, since you've given me a name I shall serve you as your weapon and servant as you've said I should. May I know your name my lady?
"White the Eighth. ...And unless you seriously want me, quit staring."
"My apologies Lady White, I've just never someone with such beauty compared to yours."
The look in her eyes shifts multiple times, too quickly for him to read, but the last look settles on amused. A white sort of energy is now flowing from her elbows, and whisker like scales grow from her cheeks. He notices she is getting a more powerful muscle structure, as well as growing at least an inch every minute, growing large, a heartbeat like noise becomes audible as she begins to glow even more brightly with every heartbeat, until she is obscured from view, and the heartbeat noise speeds up. The glass begins to creak and crack, brilliant light streaming from the cracks.
Aimaru backs up and shields his eyes by activating his visor.
The tank violently explodes with glass flying everywhere, and he feels a cold wet substance wash over his feet. Looking back to the tank, the completely transformed woman lies on the ground in a heap.
"...Boy... my clothes and an extra set for you are hanging on the clothes rack... dress yourself and me, then take me upstairs... I will show you the way if need be. I cannot walk for a couple of hours..."
"Yes my Lady, as you wish." Aimaru goes to the clothes rack and picks up both outfits. He immediately dresses himself up first, then goes to White and dresses her up.
"Lend me your shoulder..."
Aimaru kneels down and presents her his right shoulder.
She takes it, grabbing ahold of him a little too tightly.
"My Lady forgive me for being a nag, but your squeezing my shoulder a bit to tight."
"Toughen up..." She grunts.
"Yes my Lady."
She begins giving him instructions to take her to an elevator at the very far other end of the hallway he had come down.
He nods, and begins taking her to the elevator. "Out of curiosity my Lady, but why were you in that tube?"
"To make myself like my creations... absolute perfection... the greatest of your kind, the Lambda. I have transcended my weak flesh and have become a being on the path to true divinity..."
"I see...but I guess your free to do as you wish, unlike me..."
"Those who are loyal and true will be bestowed with my favor, while all those who choose to resist their birth will be shunned."
"But I am merely a weapon to use as you see fit."
"Do not devalue your worth, for one day if you serve me well, you will become not a slave or a servant, but my equal... though few of my creations have earned that right yet..."
"I see...then I look forward to that day my Lady."
He hears a faint laugh from White. "You remind me of little Nezumi... it's cute almost... I think I'm going to like you, kid."
Aimaru slightly blushes, "Thank you...my Lady..."
They arrive at the circular room White had instructed. "Stand still, and prepare yourself, this thing can make you lose your stomach really fast. Brace yourself, and don't drop me, or I'll eat you. Trust me, it's not a empty threat."
"Yes my Lady." Aimaru gets a tighter grip on White and braces himself.
The elevator sudden lurches and lifts off into the air, hurtling at Mach 3.
"Guh..." Aimaru slightly grunts from the sudden speed and tightens his grasp on White more.
"Oh it isn't that bad. It's actually kind of fun..."
"Whatever...you say...my Lady,but...If you don't me asking...why is it so fast?"
"Because we're at the bottom of the ocean and I'd rather we do things quick than slow." She says as they suddenly crash into water at the top of the elevator shaft, all of the water repelled by an invisible sphere. The elevator continues, above them light can be seen on the ocean surface, far ahead.
The elevator soon reaches the surface of the water and explodes forth into open air, screaming its way toward the bottom of what appears to be a massive fortress above their heads.
"Such a large fortress...is this where you live my Lady?"
"Yes, Aimaru... this is where I live." The elevator has almost reached the bottom.
"It's a lovely place, befitting for someone like you."
"You certainly love to flatter." The elevator comes to an abrupt halt as it reaches a certain point.
"I'd rather stay on your good side than be put to sleep again."
"Hmm." The doors swing open, revealing a large, rather huge, bedroom easily the size of a whole house. In the center of the room is a large bowl like pit, with a bed on the far side of the room.
"It seems like the phrase, 'bigger is better' is your favorite one."
"Hmm. Take me to the bed please."
Aimaru guides her to the bed.
Once there, she lies down, though she pulls him down with her. "Rest here with me."
"Uh...ok...", Aimaru replies somewhat embarrassed.
"Now now, don't be a naughty boy. I can see you're blushing." She settles into bed quietly, and soon rests under the covers.
"Forgive me, it just something like this is so unexpected after waking up."
One of her wings extends, wraps around him, then pulls him in the covers next to her, then remains over him like a blanket.
"...If anyone wakes me, you have my permission to kill them." She says, now half asleep.
"Yes ma'am, I shall follow that order without fail."
After a while, Aimaru awakens, with White sleeping next to him, the wing still wrapped around him cozily.
'Morning already? Hm...should I wake her...no, I'll be patient and wait.'
She groans, and in her sleep her power fluctuates strongly, at first her presence is very light, but without warning, it deepens into an incredibly painful crushing weight. He notices a red, sinister light being emitted by faint cracks that grow stronger in size and intensity as the fluctuations lean toward her presence becoming heavier. As time goes on however, this appears to stop, and the air settles on a tense, but far less crushing sensation. She soon begins to stir.
"...You. Get me something to eat." She says barely audibly, still heavily asleep.
"Yes ma'am. Which way is the kitchen?
She groggily points in the direction of the kitchen.
Aimaru proceeds to the directions she points at, "What would you like m'lady?", he asks.
"A feast fit for kings. Meat, eggs, sweets. Just cook." She says, growing more irritable.
Aimaru remains silent as he enters the kitchen and cooks what she wishes.
White strolls among the dark depths of the fortress' labs, approaching the first central complex. She momentarily visits the lab in which Volmond once resided, sending the room an overall death glare before continuing her way down. Once there, she unlocks the doors and seals them behind her.
"To business then..."
She stands before a series of lab tubes, eyeing each one. With purpose she walks to one of the tubes and has it detach from the floor, and instructs it to arrive at the top floors. Meanwhile she turns to another tube, with an iridescent haired girl with green eyes and pale skin. Beside it is the Etherite Volmond left her.
She smirks. "Why would I need a gift like that from you?"
She continues looking over her preserved subjects, including the Endless creature from her endeavors with Volmond. After a moment longer however, she settles on one particular tank.
"I may just have you fulfill a purpose yet." With a smirk, the tank also rises up into the higher levels, and White turns around, walking back out with a strut, once more sealing the room behind her.
She roams the labs for a while longer, all while faint whispers nag at her, whispers only she can hear.
"Be silent. Yours is a fate long in the future."
The whispers fall silent, but White knows they will be back. The whispers were always there, since birth. Before, even. She knew them more than even her parents, for they never ceased their pestilence and plagues of dark, unknowable truths upon her mind, long until she all but ceased to be fazed by them. She pauses in her walk.
What will she do about them? My strength is all that prevented that side of us from being corrupted further in the first place. Now... ...I suppose the irony will be a fantastic gift for him. A ticking time bomb which will shatter his irrational hopes he so carelessly placed upon her.
She smiles, walking forth once more. She descends ever deeper, toward a hidden portion of the labs, where her next order of business would begin.
Deep beneath the labs, she finally arrives in a featureless room with the Omega symbol on its floor. She now holds a strange blue light in her hand, which pulses, opening the hidden vault door beneath her feet. She drops slowly using her wings, arriving in a gargantuan room with a humanoid coffin like structure at the very center, which pulsates with blue energy. Inside is a condensed sphere of azure energy, which once White lands on the floor far below, she looks toward and addresses.
"Begin start up phase." A faint cry from the sphere can be heard as its energy levels surges to insane levels, and the whole facility seems to come to life with a mighty roar.
"It's time to force the world's hand." She teleports soon after verifying the charge up sequence has been secured, arriving within her throne room, where she quietly sits down.
"And now... ...my wait begins." At her side is one of the tubes from before, while another floats in the air, brimming with a golden light, that of a ravaged soul.