Silence settles, but I still haven't been allowed to make my objection. I bring out a sheet block from my bag, along with some kind of marker, quickly write on it and put it above my head. Feeling like this is not visible enough, I take the block with one hand and use a light fire spell with my free one to make the text more readable and draw attention.
The "sign" reads "There's one testimony missing", with an arrow pointing next to me towards Gina. She nods in agreement and crosses her arms to show her disappointment; all of this, while keeping the surrounding silence.
The Humpty Egg gives a glare back and snaps her fingers. The board vaporizes in Red's hands. "I'll have NO MORE interruptions! I care not what you all think! This trial will go under MY jurisdiction under MY rules! If I hear any more outbursts, I'll end the trial and the Knight will stay in those crystals forever! DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR!?" She yells out. She looks over everyone and clears her throat. "Now, next speaker!" She orders. Candace walks up.
"I suppose that's me. I am well aware of what Isaac has done over the course of his life. I've seen the evils he's done, but I know that it's all from the pain of his youth. I've watched as the sweet innocent boy I helped raise, grew into the man I've watched over from afar. The pain that welled up inside him changed him so much, but despite all of those changes, I've seen him change for the better. He's helped humans and mamonos alike. I've seen all of it. I wish so dearly that I could be with him, to tell him that it's all going to be ok. But that's not my place anymore, he has a wonderful family looking after him, to make sure he stays true to his ideals, to the dream he made and swore he'd fulfill. My vote is to save him." Candace states.
Spiga shakes her head and releases a heavy sigh. "Can we just continue. We have yet to hear the other testimonies. There's still a chance that he'll pass," she thinks to herself. Kenzie flails about like a wild child, struggling to break free, but Spiga's grip is firm.
Micah simply places a hand on her head and appears to be now more annoyed than frustrated with the proceedings.
"Next speaker." The Humpty Egg calls out. Candace gets back in line and the woman in Order armor steps up. "It is my sworn duty to stop Isaac Kifer, in the name of the Order, I will do just that or my name isn't Sophia Dilvasia!" The woman states. Jack and Anitra, while have never met her, are aware that she had undergone a new type of training to become a hero. Although they were just rumors, they were unsure if anything had come of it.
"So I'll strike your vote as condemn?" The Humpty Egg asks. "I'm not finished! While I would love nothing more then to see Isaac stopped, I must do it by my own hands! You'll not condemn him until I've fought him and won! Save him now, I'll finish him just as easily by myself!" She states. "I'll take your answer then. Next speaker?" The Procter asks.
Isaiah walks up with saddened eyes. "I cannot answer to save or condemn, my answer would be contradictory, I wish to be both alive and end all our suffering, we've held much pain inside since reflection. Therefore, I abstain." She states. The Humpty Egg nods and calls out. "Final speaker!" She calls.
The final speaker nods. The girl in the yellow cloak with spider webs and sunflowers as patterns. She takes the stand and looks over everyone with a determined gaze.
Kenzie begins to relax in Spiga's grip when the trial reaches the final speaker. Both Spiga and Micah return the girl in yellow's gaze. Both of the mamons' hopes are identical. A sparing from eternal bindings for the boy being tried. If not, then they felt that there was a good chance that things would turn ugly.
Micah admittedly, was quite surprised to hear the other Order knight demand that Isaac be saved. "Well, I suppose there's a silver lining to everything," she thinks as she tensly awaits the final speaker's answer.
"The count is three to two, your vote decides if I make my judgement or rule in favor of majority. Speak honestly and cast your vote." The Humpty Egg calls out. "I understand. Everyone, I've heard all of your sides, I see your points and feel your sympathy. I must clear a few things first, I am Human, I've always been human despite my upbringing. I have never met Isaac in person, this is my first time meeting him, it's...finally good to see him despite him the circumstances. I wish I could talk to him. But I must say, here and now, that my father is NOT a monster! He is the most kindhearted, gentle, heroic person I know. I was raised on stories of heroics he performed. My moms taught me his beliefs, and someone as monstrous as you make him out to be would never have such a pure-hearted dream. He is innocent by all meanings of the word!" She shouts.
Micah glances downward with a weak but hopeful smile.
"The Humpty Egg may very well be the deciding factor here," Spiga thinks as she watches the final speaker. Kenzie has by now stopped moving about, but the Jinko still has her paw clamped over her mouth to keep her from speaking out and potentially blowing the whole thing.
"Is that right? I see that you've been veiled by love for your father. This unfortunately means that the count has come to a tie." The Humpty Egg states.
The room starts rumbling, it's strongest near the door. "Oh my, does anyone else feel that?" Lilac asks. "Confirmation: Indeed, the magnitude will become a 3.7 on the scale. Suggestion: Hold onto something, preferably not me despite my resistance to such events." The Golem states. "I don't like where this is going!" Amalia shouts. She then clings to the Golem despite her statement.
"Oh hell, what now!?" Micah grumbles as she moves several steps back and equips her tranquilizer rifle. This was definitely the worst time for an interruption.
"I fear that either the Order or the Radicals have found us!" Spiga says as she drags Kenzie to where Micah is and forms a spirit shield around the three of them. She releases Kenzie who arms her rocket launchers and aims them toward the door shouting, "Whoooo...more baddies to blow up!"
Spiga summons her katana and gets in a defensive position.
Me: "Why does this happen every time?" I ask bracing myself.
Jack: "What's happening?"
Anitra: "If this is because of the verdict this is messed up."
Me: I start thinking about what happened and an Idea comes to mind. "If this is about the verdict like Anitra said I have an idea, partially unfreeze Isaac so he can make a final case in his own defense we've all said what we needed to say and told the truth but we haven't heard from the defendant himself." I say aloud.
The rumbling grows worse until a shattering sound brakes out and chunks of the crystals fly everywhere hitting some and bouncing off others. "There'll be no need!" I shout. "But...but that's improbable! Someone of your caliber shouldn't be capable of shattering that crystal!" The Humpty Egg cries. "Too bad, I did, what are you gonna do about it? Nothing, that's what! My fate is mine alone and none will take it from me!" I tell her. The Proctor is dumb-founded by this.
She slings her rifle across her back and Spiga lowers her shield, giving Isaac a warm smile. Kenzie pouts and whines, "Aww man, I wanted to blow up some bad guys!"
The Blaster is once again disappointed.
Micah points an accusatory finger at the Humpty Egg and shouts, "You! Why the hell did you think it was a good idea to use these certain people as a jury!? Do you have any idea what a fair trial is!? I bet if he hadn't broken out you would have condemned him anyway! Our testimonies didn't mean jack shit did they!?"
Her breathing is strained from the anger she had unleashed. Spiga steps in front of her, giving the Humpty Egg a calm, but scornful glare that seems to read, "You better not try anything rash."
The Humpty Egg regains her composure. "I suppose this is what her Majesty meant by 'he whose path is carved with each step.' very interesting..." She says. "My dear proctor, I fear that you've lost this gambit. You must pass him at this point." Lilac says. "You may be right. I, the proctor of the test of fate, pass thee Isaac Kifer. You may claim your prize and ascend to knighthood." The Humpty Egg states.
"Isaac! You're alright!" Amalia cheers running to me and embracing me tight. The Golem walks over and hugs the both of us. "Status: Elation." She says.
"H-how-... Did you- just- wha-" I keep stuttering while getting back up and looking back and forth between Isaac and the Humpty Egg. Gina is still clinging onto my arm, with her stinger getting closer and closer, especially with the artefact being so close. That little fact brings me back to reality: "Uh, guys...? I might need some assistance here."
"Request: Interfering." The Golem says. She rushes to stop Gina grabbing her stinger. "Comment: Everybody gets one. Any further assistance will require compensation." The Golem states.
The Humpty Egg considers her answer for a moment before giving it. "The 'idea' was that they were the most influential people in his life. They were the ideal candidates to give judgement, but it seems that what I did not anticipate was that their consciousness would be tied so closely to his own. I honestly thought he's be found innocent at a vote of two to four, not a tie." She answers.
Gina, surprised, lets go of my arm to try and free her stinger from the Golem's grasp. I manage to slip away and say: "Thank you very much. I'll try not to get caught again..." Gina instantly reacts by asking the Golem a request: "Could you please help me grab him?" I back away: "Gah, she's not wasting time..."
"That was a real dumb idea there. Using random people for a jury would have fared better. Either way, this test is over, and I'm not wasting anymore time here," Micah tells the Humpty Egg in a firm tone.
Spiga watches the antics between Gina and Red and let's out an annoyed sigh. "Could you children wait until we leave these ruins to play your game of Cat and Mouse?" she asks them.
Kenzie is just more eager than ever to get a move on.
"From what I got, she shortened the deal from 'until we get out of the ruins' to 'until we get the artefact' without my consent... Just ask her." Gina crosses her arms and replies: "FINE! I'll get him when we leave. But you have to guarantee he won't get away." She adds in a whisper: "That's why I wanted to bind him..."
I sigh and get a rope out of my bag: "There you go... I'll stay put as long as you keep your end of the deal. Alright?" I look at everyone else while she happily binds my arms, to know if a plan could be set up or if I just destroyed all my remaining options.
"Sorry, I might've had too much fun and gotten carried away when I wrote her code." Isaiah says. I let go of Amalia and approach the jury that the Humpty Egg made. "We really are a mess aren't we Isaac?" She asks. "Yeah, but it's who we are Isa, gotta live while we can right?" I ask. She nods and she places her hand on my chest. "Time to return, I'll see you soon." She whispers. Isaiah turns into light and returns to me. 'Nero' walks over to my side and leans his arm on my shoulder. "You know why I'm here pal, we'll always be tied to each other no matter what." He tells me. "Yeah, I'll be right there to end you my friend, count on it." I reply. He nods and turns into light going back to me. My parents walk up to me and grab my hand. They go to speak but I stop them. "It's alright, I never thought I'd turn out like this either. What matters is that I'm happy living my life." I tell them. They turn into light and I absorb them back into myself.
"Not just yet, all aspects must return to their own self. Give the knight his time to say his goodbyes. Also, I did not design the tests to be this way, did you honestly think I wanted to be stuck in that vial all the way back at the beginning?" The Humpty Egg states. "Confirmation: Request acknowledged." The Golem says grabbing Red. "Comment: Everybody gets one." She states.
The Order girl walks up to me and we slam our wrists together. "I didn't save you because I care for you, I did it so that you would suffer at my hands monster! I will end you, this I promise." She tells me. "I guess we'll just have to see if that's the case El, I'll be ready for you when next we meet." I reply. She gives me a steeled gaze of conviction before turning into light and flying back into me. Candace is the next. I tear up a bit. "Hello my dear, it certainly has been a while, I'm very proud of you." She tells me. I don't say anything and just hug her while starting to cry. "Shh, shh, it's okay my dear. Just let it all out, I know, it's been a long journey for you, you've been through so much...I know you'll be just fine, I've seen how far you've come and I'm so very proud of you. I love you Isaac, and I'll always be watching over you." She says. I barely manage to squeak out an, "I love you too Candice..." I squeak out. She turns into light and I sit by myself with tears staining the ground. The last girl comes up to me and hugs me.
"I never thought I'd get this chance to meet you, I miss you sooo much dad, I wish you'd come back sooner then you say. But that's fine, I still love you, I always will." She says. "I'm glad I got to meet you as well, Ophelia. I'm looking forward to meeting you again." I tell her. She turns into light and I get up drying my eyes. I ready myself, and turn around to look at everyone. "Alright! We ready to go?" I ask.
Me: "I was honestly surprised myself to find that vial of you, to be honest, was kind of expecting it to be something someone would have to drink, but since we're done here, I suggest we move along." I get ready to follow after everyone, chill rolling down. "It's probably just my imagination but with this being the last room and we should be on guard encase we might not be the only ones who made it there."
Jack: "I wouldn't be surprised if Red's harem of monster girls show up to try to claim him." He jokes.
Anitra: "If they do show up then we don't have to worry about our plan falling through."
Me: "I suggest we all stay on guard then, Kenzie heads up." I toss Kenzie some flash rockets. "Should the shit hit the fan and we need to haul ass use those and cover our retreat not in the mood to have this place come around our heads."
I nod and insert the ring into the door and the gears click and unlock. The hallway ahead is dimly lit with statues on either side. At the end, a small perch with a crystal heart suspended in place. "A crystal heart? That's the relic?" Lilac asks. "I am as uninformed as you are, this is the first of my knowledge to find a crystal here. Her Highness certainly enjoys her themes." The Humpty Egg says. "Searching: That information does not exist within my data banks." The Golem states.
Kenzie catches the flash rockets and tells Repter, "I already have my own explosives, but thanks anyway!"
"So that's it eh? Well, let's get this over with," says Micah who is now eager to just grab the relic and take off from the labyrinth. She however doesn't run ahead of everyone and stays behind Isaac and the others.
"I can not help but suspect that this appears to be far too easy," Spiga mutters as she scans the room for anything that looks to be out of place.
"I think I recognize some of these faces, tell me, Proctor, were these..." Lilac starts trailing off. "Former knights? I do believe so, her Highness might've held some sentiment for them. How do you know of them though?" The Humpty Egg asks. "My mother gave me her journal while she held her position here. She had sketched one or two of the faces here." Lilac replies.
Me: "I've seen something like this before, during one of my dungeon crawls I came upon a room with a crystal in the middle that was powering a magical device that whoever entered would get hit by magic lighting from one of many magic crystal."
Jack: "How did you get through it?"
Me: "I keep a bow on me at all times and several arrows of different metals and strength on hand and shot it from a distance knocking it off the pedestal and deactivated the trap I even harvested the crystals to enchant my weapons."
Anitra: "Sounds interesting, but how does that help us here?"
Me: "Well, I'm just spitballing here but if my hunch is right not only is that Crystal Heart powering this room and the temple's traps but if we remove the crystals we might also free the Knights of Old but we would disable the traps that are slowing the Order and Overlord's forces that are also in the temple and they more then likely would be here in a matter of minutes."
Jack: "That could be bad."
Anitra: "So we free the people that are trapped here, deactivate the traps and the rotating rooms and both sides storm in here with the intent of claiming the treasure, that means the crystal is a large source of power and if either side got it would be bad."
Me: "That means this crystal really is a powerful relic, oh crap." I sigh out. "Everyone I hope you're ready because, again I'm spitballing here but, we're going to be in for a fight."
"I doubt that Lustia would pull anything now, as crafty as she is, she would never tarnish the memory of those who've served her. I'm taking the relic no matter what." I say going forward. The statues creak to life and their heads to watch me as I go up the steps. "All this trouble for a single heart, how ironic..." I say.
Micah watches the moving heads of the statues as their eyes follow Isaac, completely unnerved for what was possibly to come. If they did attack, then none of her weapons would prove effective against them.
Kenzie eyes the statues with interest, but unlike Micah she has full confidence in her abilities to defend both herself and the team should it come to that.
"I hope for a swift exit from this place once he grabs the relic," Spiga whispers as she observes Isaac moving up the stairs.
"If all of my pursuers went to find me here, it would be the end for me... And it's not impossible for some of them to get here, there's already one in these ruins. Plus Gina." I keep walking (still tied up) as Repter explains his theory, then reply: "If this disables the room-shifting, then we're in for one hell of a ride to get out of here... On top of that, we should logically be in a pretty deep part of this temple, so the chances to leave without bumping into the other sides are pretty slim, if you ask me."
I nervously watch Isaac and the statues as he climbs the steps, hoping that nothing will go wrong on the moment he recovers the relic.
Steps echo from behind and Order soldiers start filling into the room and portals start opening up around the party with mamonos coming out, they all have scratches and honey bits and none of them look too pleased.
"Halt, by the Chief Goddess, we, the Order have come to cleanse you all from this world!" The commander shouts. "Stuff it human! We've business with them, mainly the one in red over there! They're ours!" The Succubus in charge states. "It would appear that they followed us." Lilac mutters. "I suspect the rooms stopped shifting around once the last door was opened." The Humpty Egg says.
Me: "Called it!" I state out loud then look around. "Right bad time to be gloating." I keep my hand on my weapon then remove it. "I would suggest we all calm down for a second because these statues look like they are ready to attack at the slightest provocation of an attack from any of us."
Anitra: "Stay your hand commander, this man speaks the truth the things in this temple have shown us that we must take caution before we make any further moves."
Jack: "Do not yet act for you may very well put everyone in the temple in danger."
Still tied up, I reply to the Succubus: "Uh, me? It's going to be complicated, there's at least a Girtablilu in your way", before turning around to ask for help. Gina looks anxious, likely because she can't do as she pleases anymore and will have to wait a bit longer. She threatens the Succubus, her stinger next to my back: "Move towards us, and I can guarantee you won't be able to talk to him!"
The Succubus I met earlier on in the corridors is with them and looks at the scene with both anticipation and stress in her eyes. All of this, just before Kenzie fires her rockets to add another layer of madness to the negotiations.
"Anitra and Jack, you are both hereby ordered to surrender yourselves on account of treason and suspicion of murder!" The Soldier shouts. "You wouldn't dare insect! He'd be of no use to you either!" The Succubus says calling Gina's bluff. "Ignore them Isaac, grab the relic!" Amalia shouts.
I grab the heart and a wave of intensity rushes out with a force that makes everyone feel immense weight. The soldiers and other mamono freeze in place as if transfixed.
Me: "Kenzie no!" I shoot the rockets out of the air before they impact and turn my attention to the enemy forces that are here. "Hold your fire and nobody else make a move."
Jack: "Wait, murder and treason?!"
Anitra: "Who are we accused of murdering?"
Me: "They are not traitor's I can assure you of that, but now is not the time for this crap." I soon hear Amalia tell Isaac to grab the crystal and can feel the force of the crystal's energy assaulting us. "Brace yourselves." I force myself to stay standing. "What is this?"
Anitra: "What kind of force is this?" She has to use her sword just to stay standing.
Jack: "Why do I get the feeling that the shit has hit the fan as you say?" He's leaning on Anitra's Shield trying to keep his balance. "Was that some kind of seal or something?"
Kenzie grows furious with Repter's interference and screams, "Hey asshole, they would have started fighting with us and each other either way! First you whack me in the head with your shield, and now you shoot down my rockets! You're...very...lucky...I don't...consider you an...enemy!"
Before the mysterious force locks her in place, she manages to get another DRS rocket off. This one travels at a much shorter range due to the greatly increased gravity, but it manages to catch an unlucky Order trooper in the foot. The explosion causes him to lurch forward and his body to slam flat into the ground. Both the powerful force combined with his armor keep him pinned.
Micah is unable to maintain her footing and is forced to drop to two knees. "Is this...the trap?" she wonders aloud as if she already knew that the immense increase in gravity was caused by the artifact being taken from its resting place.
Despite the weight bearing down on her, Spiga barely manages to maintain her balance. She grits her teeth at Isaac as if to tell him to hurry up.
Gina almost drives her stinger into my skin through my clothes. I gasp and claim: "She's serious!!!" Then comes the increased gravity, which pins both of us down, as well as her stinger next to me. I crawl towards the rest of the group to try and be freed, and Gina follows suit: "Hnngh... Come back here!"
I force my will over the heart and the force increases until the heart forms into a sword with a pink crystal blade and pommel. The force stops but it's as if time itself has stopped. Minutes pass until someone speaks. "Is it over?" Lilac asks.
Me: I look up and over at everyone. "I think it's over." I regain my balance and look around again. "Ok, that happened everyone alright?"
Jack: "I'm fine, Anitra what about you?"
Anitra: "I'm fine Jackson, just a little dazed but what was that?" She looks up at Isaac and sees the sword. "Oh, my Goddess that thing is so cute!"
Me/Jack: We look up at Isaac and see the pink crystal blade and start laughing.
Me: "Dude no offense but that thing is the most adorable sword I have ever seen, I think the Queen of Hearts played one last trick on you.."
Jack: "I have to agree." he pounds his chest and calms down. "Oh man, ok needed that sorry about that, now on to the matter at hand." He walks over to the order troops that are trying to get up only to hear a loud click when he looks back he sees me training my weapon on them and I gesture to go ahead. "Ok now I suggest you all don't get up at the moment, you said something about me and Anitra being murderers and traitors I suggest you explain quickly."
Anitra: She walks over to Red and quickly cuts his ropes freeing him and pulls him to his feet. "There you go." She looks over at Kenzie. "Kenzie you mind training your weapons on the overlord's forces over there before they get up."
Order Soldier: "Lady Anitra, Sir Jackson I know you're not traitors but please explain why you're here with monsters and why you would fight alongside those that would side with the Overlord."
Me: "One we're not with the Overlord's people, two we were helping them not the other way around." I tell the soldier trying to spin the truth to better suit them.
Kenzie just smiles at Anitra and says, "Whatever you say ma'am."
She aims her weapons at the Radicals, but she screams so that both sides get her message, "Anyone one of you try any funny business, and I'm blowing you up just like that idiot over there! Got that?"
Micah falls flat on her back for a moment when the immense force ceases. When she recovers she looks at Isaac with his new sword. "Do you see a way out up there young man?" she whispers, knowing full well that he can't hear her from where she stood.
Spiga dusts off her legs as the powerful force subsides and inspects her claws. She had come up with an idea for how she could possibly escape the labyrinth with the rest of the group in tow, but she decides to see what the two opposing groups do first.
"I'm ignoring you!" I yell. The sword then turns into a bracelet with heart gemstones. "Aw damnit..." I mutter. "I'd imagine that it was their superiors set them up in the first place. They might've discovered their plans." Amalia conjectures. "Does anybody else see that some soldiers have been frozen in time and others not so much? I think the mamonos chasing the scholar are frozen as well. They aren't moving." Lilac states.
"Uh, hello? Hello, hello? Can you hear me Isaac? Are you sure this thing is on?" A voice comes out of the bracelet. "Isn't that the Queen's voice?" The proctor asks. "Confirmation: Yes." The Golem says.
Thanks to Anitra, I get back up: "Thanks a lot." I take a quick look at Isaac's new sword. "Eh... I've seen better." Then, as Gina also gets to her feet, I start frantically looking into my bag. My ex-co-worker, also unfrozen, lunges towards me while I'm busy, and the Girtablilu changes her plans to try to stop her first. Seeing that, I silently slip away, a bit closer to the exit with every step.
Me: When I see the sword turn into a girly bracelet I just start laughing and have trouble stopping myself from crying. "Oh god the Queen of hearts is too much, I swear man."
Jack: "Focus for a second, as much as I want to laugh myself I need to focus." He lets out a small chuckle himself.
Anitra: "Oh my Goddess, that is so cute I want one myself." The Order soldier, Me and Jack all look at her dumbfounded. "Look I may be a Valkyrie but I'm still a woman ok, I like cute things ok that's not a crime."
Me: "I'm not judging." We then hear a voice coming from the bracelet when the Golem confirms that the voice is, in fact, the QoH, I go silent. "Wasn't expecting that."
Jack/Anitra/OS: both stop what they're doing and look at Isaac.
Kenzie notices the sword change into a bracelet, but she quickly returns her attention to the Radical troops with her weapons trained on them.
"I hope we get out of here soon," Micah whispers as she looks around the room. When she hears the Queen of Heart's voice she stares directly at Isaac and hopes that he asks her if there's a way out of the chamber. Given the animosity between the two sides, she figured that it wouldn't be long before the fighting started for real this time.
Spiga listens to the voice of the Queen of Hearts while at the same time waiting to spring her own plan into action should it ever come down to it.
"Helllooooo~ Isaaaaaaaaac~ I can hear voices on your end so you better answer meeeeee!" The Queen says. I sigh. "Yes your Majesty, I hear you just fine." I reply. "Good! Now listen, my advisors tell me that you weren't going to make it back, but you sure showed them! But, besides the little bet we had going, I need to be serious for a minute. For the moment, the sudden change in atmosphere and energy output has caused a teensy-weensy stop in time. Now don't worry, it's only been about a month time wise sooo, I'll open a way here for you. See you soon dearie~" She says.
"A month! You can't be serious!" Amalia shouts. A portal opens up next to the pedestal. "We can worry about that later! Let's go!" I yell. The Golem grabs Amalia and the Procter while Lilac jumps on her back. "Commencing movement." The Golem states as she dashes at the portal. "Leave the soldiers and other mamonos behind, come on guys!" Amalia shouts.
"Crap!" I start rushing towards the portal, in the direction opposite to the exit, and overtake Gina and her opponent. Seeing that, they both quit their fight after a second of thought and also run for the portal. "Not good... And one month, really?! Does that mean we're all one month 'younger' than we would have been had we not entered this place? More importantly, what happened outside during that time?!"
As more and more questions start popping into my head, the two furies get closer to catching up on me. "Isaac's right, no time to waste on that! For now, let's just hurry!" I jump into the portal, even though I don't know what's behind it.
Me: "Are you kidding me? Jack, Anitra through the portal now!" I move towards the portal and stop waiting for Jack and Anitra.
Jack: "Damn it I still have questions they can wait until later."
Anitra: "Don't have to tell me twice." she makes for the portal followed by Jack.
Me: I go to make my move when I see the Order soldier make a break for the same portal and dives through it. "Shit we got a tag along." I dive through right behind him wondering where we're going to end up.
Amalia, the Golem, Lilac and the Proctor go though the portal. I'm the last to go through. Red is the first to find himself in the throne room of Lustia herself, the Queen of Hearts. Gina and the other mamono fall on top of him shortly afterward. Kenzie, Micah and Spiga fall into the throne room next. They are soon followed by Jack, Anitra and Repter. Amalia, the Golem, Lilac, and the Proctor are sent off to the side whereas I'm sent right before her.
"Greetings my honored guests, and to you as well my dear interlopers~ We'll be looking forward to your next visit, have fun in the meantime~" She says snapping her fingers and Gina and the other mamono are sucked into another portal leaving Red to himself. "Guards, detain the Order soldier for questioning." The Queen orders. Guards rush at the soldier and detain him dragging him off with lewd smiles. "Now...how to deal with the rest of you? A lavish banquet? An indulgent orgy? Maybe some time in the gardens with an eating contest? Or perhaps...a bit or bauble from the treasury? Speak, name your pleasure and I might just grant it~" She coos.
"Candy!" Kenzie shouts almost immediately, giving Lustia a starry-eyed look.
Micah just looks around the throne room completely flabbergasted by the change of setting. One second they were surrounded by troops who served opposing sides, the next second their in an ornate room in the presence of the Queen of Hearts herself. She is so stunned by this shift that she just lays there speechless.
Spiga is quite puzzled as well, but she manages to find her voice and says, "You need not perform any favors for me, but I thank you for allowing us to escape that mess."
Inside, she is glad that she didn't have to use her Great Samurai Tiger form to help her and her friends escape.
OS: "No please I have a son back home waiting for me to return he's only five, please spare my life!" he yells as he's dragged off into the distance.
Me: "I wouldn't mind getting home actually I need to check on family, crew, and ship, for us we've only been gone for a few hours for them we've been gone for a month, they are more than likely worried about me."
Jack: He looks back at the order solder before he disappears then to the QoH. "Um thank you for the offer, if I may I would request that turn our former comrade in arms over to us please, I would hate for his family to find out he got violated and couldn't return home, no offense." He on guard being in front of one of the most powerful Mamono on the planet.
Anitra: "Since you're offering to grant us favors, can you please send the information that will prove our innocents to the Pope of the Order and the information that will show that those that report to him have committed crimes against the Order and its people?"
"I see that someone's easy to please~ Servants, bring the girl her candy." The Queen orders. Servants rush out of the room and come back minutes later with candy of all sorts. "Enjoy~ Now for the soldier, he won't be violated...too badly. And I can always just erase his memory. We just need information on what the Order is up to, sending out their unit along with that Nero person, a just challenge for my Knight but without MY permission! A grievous mistake on their part." She says. She points at Anitra and Jack. "That request, I'm afraid is impossible. In the 'month' you were gone, the plan of your desertion spread throughout the ranks and the higher-ups within the Order. There's no going back for you now, but you are more than welcome to stay here within my kingdom. But, if nearly endless days and nights of endless pleasure don't suit your fancy and you're the more boring type, I can have a convoy escort you to a suitable place to settle down in the human world. You also need not worry Repter, I've alerted your crew to your little delay, and they are awaiting you in the garden, they are a most entertaining company~" She says.
"My Queen, how are you awa-" I'm cut off with a curt hand gesture to stop. "You needn't trouble yourself with those matters my Knight. More importantly, I must find a suitable reward for your service and congratulate you on your official knighthood. It seems like you've already gotten familiar with the Golem stationed there, how about Lilac and Daisy as well hmm? You've not gotten an Inari and Humpty Egg to your gaggle of wives~" She asks. "My liege, I could never fo-" I'm cut off again by Lilac. "Oh my, a chance to observe his destiny up close? I could never pass that up! A thousand thank yous' your Grace." She says bowing. "I suppose it would give me further insight as to how he passed the test of fate. Very well, I accept this marriage proposal, thank you my Queen." Daisy the Humpty Egg says.
"Well how about that? Looks like they're up for the idea my dear~ A valiant service is always meet with great rewards in my kingdom. Now, does anyone else have any desires they'd like fulfilled?" She asks brushing my dumbfounded reaction off.
"YAAAAYYYY!!!" Kenzie cheers as she begins to chow down on the candy given to her. She munches away with the speed of a Cockatrice, and shows no sign of slowing down.
Eventually, Micah's mind recollects itself and she reaches into her jacket, taking out a packet of crackers. "So uhhh...this artifact. What does it do and how will it benefit us?" she asks Lustia as she tears open the packet and sticks a cracker into her mouth.
Spiga leans against the wall, her paw against her chin to show that she's pondering something. "A month of our lives missed," she mutters as her gaze shifts to the ceiling. She thinks back to the bare-chested man and his Order squad that she and her friends fought briefly. A memory of the tentacle pit and the floating platforms passes through her mind.
A smirk forms on her face, glad that she was out of that labyrinth.
I stand back up and look around, a little dazed by the fall. It's only after a few seconds that I notice the Queen of Heart, and that my mind becomes clear enough again to understand what she's saying. Being cautious in an attempt not to inadvertantly annoy her, I say: "Your Highness, if you do not mind, I would please like to have two bottles of water; if possible, cool, clean mineral water free of Demonic Energy. It has been a few hours since I last drank, which was before the first time I entered the temple, and I am afraid my water supplies are running short. I may have another small request later on, but this will be all for the time being."
I bow shortly and gulp, waiting for her reaction. I also start wondering about where the Succubus and Gina were teleported to... Maybe they were brought back inside the temple?
"You're a rather fussy one aren't you? Then again, it is to be expected for one stuck in your position. Servants, bring the boy some water DE free~" She orders giving another snap. The servants rush out and come back a few minutes later with water. A Cheshire Cat in a lab coat and swirly glasses. "Here you are sir, we removed the DE at her Majesty's request. I'm a scientist, I can guarantee that fact based upon the research we've performed on the Knight." She says pushing up her glasses with the edge of her paw. The Queen looks at Micah and frowns a bit. "You have a Queen before you, ready to grant you anything which your heart desires, a lavish banquet with food galore, fruits freshly picked from my vast gardens. Hell, you could've even joined your friend there in her sweet indulgence and yet, here you are, standing before me eating crackers. I don't think I've meet a mamono that would pass up such a chance. Knight, this is odd company you keep." Lustia says with a pout. "I'm well aware of that fact your Majesty, nonetheless, I trust them all with my life." I state. She waves it off with a hand gesture. "Yes, yes, that's all well and good my Knight but it is so BORING! But, I digress, is there anything else I can offer your companions for their aid?" The Queen asks.
While Kenzie chows down, a small rush of heat builds up inside her, a roaring flame soon builds its way through her body and starts clouding her head. Her face becomes rather flushed as well.
Lustia's question to Micah reminds her of the scroll that that earlier strange Jinko gave her that was meant for Spiga. She gestures to the Queen and says in a respectful tone, "You'd have to ask them that. I'm just not someone who feels like they deserve the world for her hard work."
She bows slightly to the Queen and makes her way over to Spiga.
The heat causes Kenzie to stop eating. She hugs her face and groans, "Ugggghhhhhh!"
Her body wobbles about and she stares directly at Lustia asking, "Ma'am, what's in that candy? My body feels warm!"
Micah reaches Spiga and asks, "Are you doing alright?"
Spiga glances down at Micah and replies, "I'm doing better. Thank you."
"You sure you don't want the Queen to give you anything?" Micah asks as she steals a glance at Lustia. "Micah, you are fully aware that I never request a reward after the deed is done," Spiga replies. "That is true, but..." Micah begins, but Spiga cuts her off, "That man you like in Cobblerock. Don't you want to feel more confident when you approach him?"
Micah nods slightly and says, "Y-yeah."
She turns away and rubs the back of her head with a chuckle, "It's just that I don't know how he'll take to the...new me."
"Then perhaps it would behoove you to request a guide on having a relationship with a man from the Queen," Spiga suggests. Micah looks at the Queen thoughtfully and mutters, "Y-yeah...I-I could do that."
Jack: "Thank you for the offer mam, but I think we'll past on the endless night of pleasure." He looks over at Anitra and she nod her head in agreement. "I'm not really sure about the convoy though don't want to attract attention to us."
Anitra: "I not sure if there are any settlements that we can really go too, we're homeless now and wanted fugitives for a crime we did not commit."
Me: I look at Jack and Anitra and the same suggestion I had for them before keeps coming to mind "Hey my offer still stands you two, plus if you want I can talk to King of Griffonvale and Lustia sister Sera and they can set you up with a place." I then think back to what she said about my crew and go wide eyed. "Wait they're here in the garden right now?" I start making for the exit and stop. "If you'll excuse me gotta go." I make for the exit to the throne room.
Jack: He looks back at me as I rush off and then back to Anitra. "I think we better catch up with him before he leaves us behind." He takes off after me.
Lustia waves them off. "Fine, fine, go talk to that killjoy sister of mine, I'm sure she'll be thrilled to hear that I sent off another participant to become a knight. 'But Lustia, what if they don't make it through the trial? Wouldn't it be easier if you just had them train and then knight them?' Well sister, if I wanted knights that could be trained into the equivalent of the Orders heroes, I would've been doing that from the start, but that's not the case!" Lustia whines. She sighs and smiles looking at Kenzie. "You wanted candy didn't you? I gave you the finest sensual candy I had with in my land. Do you not enjoy it~" She coos. "Remember when I said that thing about her Highness having hidden meanings behind her actions?" I ask. The Queen cups my face. "Oh Isaac, I would never do something like that you silly boy! Anyhoo, Micah, you seem to have something that you desire, speak it and it shall be yours! Spiga, you also might want to help...relieve your companion of her urges~" She coos.
Me: "Sorry your sister like to be a buzz kill!" I yell back into the throne room as I'm running down the hall and stop in the garden seeing my crew relaxing and kids playing. "Ok, nothing seems out of the ordinary."
Alesan/Lucia: "Papa!" they rush me and jump into my arms.
Me: "Hey you two you behave for everyone?"
Alesan: "Yeah we were good, Lustia invited everyone to her kingdom but Meria and Amber stayed behind the whole magic energy affecting a unicorn thing."
Me: "What about everyone else?"
Lucia: "Ms. Megan stayed on the ship as well, um Ms. Keria and Lucas have been busy dealing with her heat cycle whatever that is Ms. Ayu is over there watching over us and making sure that none of the food we were given had any DE in it and that's about it."
Me: "What about the ship?"
Ayu: "Conrad and I have been looking after things been quiet for the most part so everyone has been able to just relax for the most part." She looks behind me and sees Jack and Anitra. "Who are these two."
Me: "If they're still willing to new members of our crew, this is Jackson Bartlett a former hero of the Order and his teacher slash wife Anitra."
Ayu: "Nice to meet the two of you, you're among friends here speaking of the kids wanted to go see QoH but I told them to wait until you go here."
Alesan/Lucia: "Can we please?"
Me: "Sure you two stay here with Ayu she'll explain everything as best as she can." I take my kids and head back to the throne room with them.
Anitra: "Well it nice to meet you Ayu."
Jack: "Nice to meet you Ms. Ayu, I'm hoping that we can work together."
Ayu: "Same please take a seat and I'll explain things." they take a seat in the garden while I return to the throne room.
Me: "So what did we miss?" I ask returning with my kids in tow.
"Sensual? Oh crap," Kenzie moans as the realization hits her that she's eating Wonderland candy. She stares down at the candy and mutters, "I should stop but, it's so good!"
The Blaster starts toward the remainder of her hard-earned pile of candy when she trips and begins to stumble about. She yelps as she falls against a stand. The stand wobbles from the impact, causing the small statue it carries to fall free and shatter over her head. This knocks her into a state of unconsciousness.
Before they can answer the Queen, they hear the sound of something breaking and turn to find Kenzie on the floor out cold.
"Oh crap," Micah mumbles. Spiga races over and hoists the Blaster over her shoulder. "I believe that is enough candy for you young one," she mutters as she rejoins Micah.
Micah chuckles nervously as she stares at the broken statue and says to Lustia, "Heh, sorry about our friend."
She taps her fingers together and utters, "Y-you still want to hear about what I need?"
"My, my. How very anti-climactic. But, I suppose there's still a silver lining to all this. T'would seem I can still grant your heart's desire Micah~ What is it you wish for? A long passionate night with that special someone where you'll spend days in agonizing pleasure~ A one-day pass to have full use of my dungeon for 'play time'? How about a special spa trip for two?" She teases. It's then she notices Repter walk back in with his kids. "Hmm? I'm afraid you'll have to take those matters up with one of my advisors, or Isaac here!" She says to Micah. "Hey!" I reply. "Oh don't make that face Knight, you've gotten your reward, let someone else get one too. That's an order!" Lustia states.
"Yes, your Majesty..." I sigh. "There see? All you had to do was say yes~ Now, how might I entertain your offspring here Repter?" The Queen asks. I walk over to Micah. "Let's head to somewhere more private, I doubt you want anybody else to hear your request. I know the way to the advising room the Queen uses to go over how her kingdom is doing. It's this way." I say going off to the side. "I think Isaac will be busy for a bit, I'll just take you girls to our home and get you acclimated to things." Amalia says. She opens a portal to a Ranch and turns to the Queen and bows. They leave through the portal as it closes behind them.
Me: I push my kids forward and they bow. "Go on, I'm right here."
Alesan: "Thank you for inviting us to your realm and kingdom."
Lucia: "We had a lot of fun and thank you for looking after Papa." As she looks at the QoH she notices the candy Kenzie left behind. "Can we have some?"
Me: "That's not the kind of candy you give to kids, it's best that you don't touch it."
Lucia/Alesan: "Ok papa."
Me: "Thank you for looking after my crew and family."
Alesan: "Oh Papa I almost forgot when we were touring Griffonvale a few days ago we ran into Sir Rynold's and his wife they wanted to know if you would like to join his brother Admiral Rynolds as they take out their first fleet of new steam-powered ships on a shakedown run."
Lucia: "Yeah they said they were going to take them pirate hunting."
Me: "Sounds like fun, did they say when they would depart?"
Alesan: "They said within the next five days they were putting on the finishing touches for the flagship."
Me: "More than enough time to spend some time with you guys before heading off on another adventure."
Lucia/Alesan: "Yey!" they hug me after that.
Me: "I guess we might as well take our leave, thank you again, your majesty."
Lucia: "Oh papa, papa, I almost forgot they also said anyone who wanted to they could tag along as well."
Me: "Good to know." I then turn my attention back to the QoH and tip an imaginary hat to her. As I take my leave to return to the garden.
(Planning a RP sometime later I'll post something when I get the chance.)
Micah follows Isaac away from the group and says, "Sorry you got forced into this position. It's okay really, I wasn't actually planning on getting into any lewd business here. All I really wanted was a book. More appropriately, a page-by-page guide on how to have a proper relationship with a man."
Spiga watches her friend leave with Isaac and pats the unconscious Kenzie on her head. She glares at the candy on the floor and can't help but muster a smile. "Still a kid at heart you are," she whispers as she bounces her for a bit atop her shoulder.
"Yes, that's 'mamono candy' human children really shouldn't be having any, but you're very welcome. You have a lovely family, feel free to visit anytime~ And tell my sister to stop being so DULL!" Lustia shouts.
"Hey, the Queen's the Queen, not much I can do about it. Truth be told, I don't mind it all that much, I need her resources and the reputation that comes with being in the service to a mamono like her and she needs someone who can get things done efficiently. It all works out in the end, despite all the bumpy roads on the way there. But a book like that is an easy enough request to work with. I'm sure I have a few copies lying around somewhere at home, Lic-chan likes reading and has a lot of books in her personal library. She lends out books or outright gives them away. I can talk her into giving me a copy, and besides, she's most likely read it ten times over. So she could just make another copy. But, I actually have something I'd like to ask myself if you don't mind." I say.
I take the bottles: "Thank you very much." I drink half of the first one before sighing out of relief. After a few minutes, Kenzie breaks the statue and I intervene: "I can try to fix that statue, if you want, and heal Kenzie if necessary as well. I mean, a statue hitting your head and shattering isn't usually a good thing..."
I keep watching afterwards, before suddenly feeling the urge to ask: "Um... Please reassure me, the mamonos that were after me are safe right now, isn't it?"
Micah raises her eyebrows at Isaac and replies, "I don't mind. What's your question?"
Spiga calmly raises her hand toward Red and maintains her gentle smile saying, "While I appreciate your offer, you need not do such a thing. Kenzie is a mechanical being, so the chance of a serious injury from something trivial such as a statue broken over her head is very slim. Besides, I am capable of healing as well."
To demonstrate, she places her paw on Kenzie's forehead and it glows. The minor bruising that she received from the statue quickly dusappears.
"Oh, they're somewhere, don't know where, don't really care. They're safe though...probably. You needn't bother with the statue, I wasn't a huge fan of it anyway, it was seven degrees off kilter." Lustia says.
"It's about El, er, Elanor. She and I will be at the forefront of a war. It's something that her Highness has predicted, I'll have to fight her but...on the off chance I should lose...would it be too much trouble to ask if you could relocate my family. Once I'm gone, the magic that hides my ranch will weaken severely. If that happens, the Order will be able to find them." I explain.
A bit doubtful about the Queen's reply, I say: "Ah... I see. May I ask if they are 'probably' safe as in 'in Wonderland', or as in 'somewhere around the world'?" I feel like asking questions regarding the statue would only irritate her and look around instead, before thinking about something else: "Could I please know what will happen once everyone's requests have been granted? I was wondering in particular where we would have to go, or be teleported to."
Spiga smiles at Red and says, "It has yet to fail me."
She hears Keria's voice and turns to see her looking at her. "Yes, I am a good friend of Repter. He is a strong warrior," Spiga replies as she pats Kenzie's unconscious head once more.
Micah is a little stunned at Isaac's request. "W-well...your family is quite an interesting one. Do you have any special secret hideouts and how would Drac-chan react if I was to one day show up at the front doorstep and tell her, 'Hey, your husband perished in a huge battle. We need to get going'? I'm not trying to offend you, but this just sounds like a tall order for my friends and me," she replies genuinely.
"I dunno, not my problem anymore, nor is it yours either. Be grateful, you're not getting raped today, or if you'd like, I can have you taken care of~" She coos. "Your highness?" One advisor says. "Oh phooey, fine, anyway, after everyone's taken care of I have a little show that I'd like to have put on!" She cheers.
"We have a few places we can go to for asylum, this place is one of them, however despite that being the case, the Order will be moving at lightening speed to find my home. With me out of the picture, they'll do it, they'll find it. And you won't have to tell Drac-chan...directly anyway...you'll rely the message to the head mai-er, Kiki-chan first. Sorry, she's been insisting on her title a lot more. I think she's stressed out, she hasn't told me why though. But moving on, after she breaks the news there'll be some hostilities but after they all cool off, you'll have to ensure they make it out ok." I explain.
Keria: Her ears prick up and she turns to Red. "Oh hello nothing of the sort, really I smelled another Jinko in the area and had to investigate, I can tell she's strong stronger than me even and I met some of Repter's friends and allies and they're just as strong." She turn her attention back to Spiga. "Well it's nice to meet you I better get going spent the last week in heat and need to stretch my legs, come along Lucas and welcome back commander." She walks off with Lucas following right behind her.
Lucas: "Yeah welcome back commander." he takes off with her and gets pulled into an embrace as they walk away.
Me: "Sorry about that Spiga, she's just coming down from her cycle so she's kind of in a little school girl mood." I then hear the QoH say something about a little show. "Oh, that can't be good." I then turn to face Isaac and hear his concerns. "Isaac if you're going to war I'll provide whatever kind of support I can offer, hell if you need an orbital bombardment I'll send it your way, I don't abandon my friends when they need me the most, so I got your back."
"I don't think I'll need an orbital strike but thanks, nice to know I can count on your help. Honestly, I'm not sure what she's up to, but whatever it is, I'm not going to like it. Now that I think about it, Ryu-chan was rather distant during our last meditation session...it can't be a good sign for this war." I say. I open a door and gesture to Micah. "We can explain your situation to Lic-chan in here." I tell her.
Spiga chuckles at Repter and says, "You need not worry. Intercourse can be a tiring exercise."
She watches Keria leave with Lucas. "Though admittedly, I wish I could speak with her more," Spiga whispers under her breath.
"That's a bit reassuring," Micah replies as she follows after Isaac, relieved that she didn't have to tell Drac-chan directly should the boy die in battle. "Though, I am curious. Kiki-chan? Baph-chan? Drac-chan? Lic-chan? Do you have any other wives we need to worry about?" the mouse asks.
"Well, Helly will most likely throw a fit, she'll be bitter and most likely hate you. But, she'll get over that. Lic-chan will be despondent, Baph-chan won't be happy, but she'll be reasonable. Kiki-chan will be shocked, she'll ask if you're sure and ask some questions, she'll cry a bit but she'll steel herself and tell the others. Following that, they'll either burn the place down or teleport it somewhere here in Wonderland, or another safe place. Either way, they can't get their hands on Lic-chan's research, I can't risk that falling into their hands. But, enough grim talk for one day, let's get you that book." I say opening a portal. Lic-chan is sitting on a stool crouched going through a book. "What...is...it?" She asks.
Me: "I'll keep that in mind." I tell Spiga embarrassed then hear talk about wanting to continue the conversation under her breath. "I know they're busy minding their own business but I think you should go with them and get to know them." I check my watch and remember Jack and Anitra. "I need to head to back to the Garden and check on Ayu and our new friends, Isaac before you go to war you better call me understood because if you die out there I'll kill you myself." I take off to head back to the garden.
(Ah, my bad. Yeah, don't have much to say, plus exams for the next three weeks. Even when I was on holidays the past two weeks I already had lots of things to do... Lots of things to catch up on, including sleep and science-related newsletters.)
I look around some more and grow a bit tired of staying put. "Might as well visit a bit while I'm here..." And so, I decide to go towards the garden, also to meet new people.
Micah nervously waves to Lic-chan and asks, "Greetings ma'am. Your husband tells me that you keep a book around that serves as a guide for relationships with a man. If it's not too much trouble ummm...could I have a copy?"
She looks to Isaac, anxious about if she said the right thing or not.
Spiga watches Repter leave just as Kenzie begins to stir on her shoulder. "Errrrrrr...that candy is cursed," she mumbles as her eyes flutter open. The Jinko giggles softly and whispers into the Blaster's ear, "Welcome back. Did you enjoy your nap?"
"Stooooooop," Kenzie moans as she wriggles about like a tired fish.
Spiga thinks about Keria and Lucas, wondering if she should speak with them more.
(Don't worry about it, I was out camping and wasn't able to get great signal which is why this took me so long.)
Lic-chan looks at me before looking over her shoulder. She uses her magic to levitate a book called 'RoMANcing in all the right ways~' and hands it to Micah. "I've...read it...15 times...I'll...just...make...another one..." She states.
Me: I hear Jack, Anitra, and Ayu talking about something and round the corner to find them all sitting down Alesan and Lucia looking at the flower and exploring the garden. "Hey what I miss?" I take a seat at the table with them and relax.
Ayu: "Oh nothing really just the fact I was telling about that time while Meria's uniform went and the ripped when she stood up exposing her rear to the bridge crew and her running out off in embarrassment."
Jack: "Yeah, I find your crew to be quite funny and professional as well, but tell me is it true that you got involved in a candy war at a place called Nope Industries?"
Me: "Yeah it's true I had two Tommy guns designed to shoot sticky marshmallows at people, my team lost but we had fun, but how did Ayu know about that I never told her about it and she wasn't there either?" I shoot her a look and she looks away whistling.
Anitra: "Someone named Lydia told her about it and Conrad something called a shipboard A.I. filled in the gaps, you have some interesting friends to say the least."
Ayu: "You should've seen him when we were getting ready for the final battle against the Fish Queen, I kind of forced him to..." I quickly cover her mouth and she looks at me.
Me: "You will never mention that I'm still embarrassed about that." After they let out a small laugh we begin talking about other things waiting for the so victory party for Isaac to get started.
(Sorry for this really late reply, was a little busy with my exams. Three more to go at the start of next week, then it should be mostly fine. And I can handle summer heat much better than winter cold :) )
I arrive at the end of the corridor, into the garden, and look at the scenery. I start taking guesses and notes about plant species whose names I'm not certain of, then ask Repter and his crew: "Mind if I join you?"
After carefully looking around to check that no unmarried monster girl is hiding within the lush vegetation, I exceptionally take off my hood and let my guard down a bit. "It's not often such a break happens... Talking about breaks, I might need to do something about that one month gap."
Micah looks the book over and skims through several pages. She then glances at Lic-chan and says, "Much appreciated ma'am."
She takes several steps back to show Isaac that she is ready to head back to the throne room where her friends still remain.
"Spiga, can we go see the garden?" Kenzie mutters. "Let's wait for Micah to get back dear," Spiga replies sweetly. The Jinko examines the throne room once more, quite impressed if not a little unnerved by the architecture considering this was the home of the Queen of Hearts.
"What'd she leave with Isaac for again?" Kenzie asks. "A guide on love," Spiga responds, adding, "Can you stand?"
"I feel like I can?" Kenzie says. Spiga sets her onto the floor and she wobbles for a bit, but other than that she could effectively stand.
(It's all good, I'm just glad you guys are all ok. Yeah, I'm more of a fall kind of guy myself. Sunny, but with that nice chill that comes from the encroaching winter. Oh, one last thing Red, it was a month that passed while we were in the ruins, unless the year you're talking about something completely different.)
Lic-chan nods and looks at me again. "Remember...you...owe...me." She says. "I know, I know. I'll see you when I get back dear." I say closing the portal. "Alright, let's get back before her Highness sends out guards to find me again." I say. Micah and I leave and make it back to the throne room.
"Ah, my Knight, you're back! It's about time too, it's time to entertain the guests~ You better put on a spectacular show for them!" She cheers. "Wait what?" I ask. She raises her scepter and waves it, poofing me away. "All righty everyone! Ladies and gentlemen, mamonos of all ages! Please move to the garden for today's feature event!" She shouts.
Me: I look at Red and gesture to an empty seat. "Go right ahead."
Ayu: "We're talking about some of the embarrassing things that happened to Repter."
Me: "Hey at least it wasn't as bad as that time I caught you and Meria having a bad dancing contest with and you won."
Ayu: "You just had to bring that up, anyway didn't you?"
Me: "You started it, just getting you back." I state and look around. "I keep expecting something to happen." I then hear The QoH shout her announcement to her kingdom. "Ok putting my own foot in my mouth."
Anitra: "You tend to do that a lot."
Jack: "She's right."
Me: "Shut it you two." I look off in embarrassment.
(Sorry for the late reply... The last three ones went pretty smoothly, thanks for asking :) Just one last exam (a second session for a subject I had at the start of the year) to go. Will leave a proper reply tomorrow or in about two days, when I'm done with an annoying "micro-project" that's less easy than expected.)
(Back! Finally on holidays... Almost at least, since I'll have a job in less than a week.)
As I take a seat, the Queen of Hearts makes her announcement. "Haha, looks like you have quite a lively crew, Repter. And it also sounds like your crew and you often get into weird but funny situations. About the announcement though, I hope it won't be too dramatic of an event. I mean, it's the Queen of Hearts we're talking about after all... But hey, since we're guests, maybe it will be a bit more 'regular' than my assumptions about it?"
Spiga pats Kenzie on her back just as Micah returns and all three of them move out to the garden for the show. They all take seats in the back and Micah mumbles under her mask, "I wonder how the Queen's going to make Isaac humiliate himself this time."
"Do you believe that the book will help?" Spiga asks the mouse.
"That's what I'm hoping for," Micah responds.
"Could I see the book Micah?" Kenzie asks, pointing a finger at Micah's jacket.
"Sure," Micah replies as she takes out the guide and hands it to Kenzie. Kenzie reads through the piece of literature and whispers, "Wow, there's so much in here!"
Micah snickers and mumbles to herself, "It IS a guide on love after all."
Me: "Yeah it's mostly during the downtimes when we're not working that we get into the funny and embarrassing stuff." I look at Anitra and Jack.
Me: "You two been eyeing my kids the entire time and I don't mean in a predatory way, thinking about having a family of your own I see."
Anitra: "Someday." She looks around again. "Quick question, the entire time we've been here I haven't felt the usual energy a Demon Realm here, what's going on?"
Me: "It's the Queen of hearts, she wants to keep my kids safe and away from the influence of their energy so she set up a little barrier to keep protect those of that don't want to be affected by the energy of her domain that's why you two don't feel the energy of Wonderland."
Jack: "That explains a lot." soon a Keria and Lucas take a seat at a nearby table.
Me: "Lucas, Keria nice of you to join us." I then notice the look on Keria face. "I won't say a thing but word is going to spread among the ship fast." They both nod in agreement, Lucas rest his head on her shoulder while rests her on his head.
The Queen herself strolls into the garden past everyone and takes a seat on a mobile throne her servants brought out for her. "Not as imposing as my normal chair, but it is comfy none the less. As for that whole energy thing, while the barrier is in place, the residual energy is being studied in the lab downstairs by my scientists. The Knight's research has been very interesting to say the least. Now, on with the show my Knight! Show everyone your new found power!" She shouts waving her scepter. A visual monitor fades in with static and shows me running from a metal construct of sorts. "You have to be kidding me! Where did you even find this thing?" I yell. "Oh that's simple, remember that time you went to Oz and fought that robot? I had my dear cousin send it over and the girls in the lab tinkered with it a bit. I though it might come in handy if I ever had to push you a bit. Now go on, don't be shy, use your full might as a Knight of Heart!" She declares. "YOUR INSANE!" I scream. "Tut, tut Isaac. I'm not insane, I'm playful, you know that dearie." She replies.
Ayu: "Holy crap that's one of the robots you fought?"
Me: I'm laughing as Isaac runs from the thing. "Yeah it is, and sorry about laughing I know this is a serious matter but man that thing brings back memories."
Jack: "Good one?"
Me: "No, we had to take on an army of those damn things and they weren't there to knock us out they tried to kill us, still remember having to take down the giant serpent one, now that was a hectic fight, Jeiel's wife had to show up to help me out just to finally take the damn thing down."
Anitra: "I take it this happens to you often?"
Lucas: "Not really it's like a once every blue moon kind of thing."
Keria: "True but then again he happens to get dragged into those situations like the dungeon you all went through, something that's suppose to be a simple in and out ends up being that."
Me: "At least this one has been reprogramed to not kill." I then turn my attention to the QoH. "I am right this one was reprogramed not to kill right?" we all look at her while my kids come running back and take a seat at our table.
I eventually hit a magic barrier that stops me from running. "Oof!" I let a muffled cry of pain. "Quit running my Knight, that's an order! Use what you've learned during the trials and unleash your full potential!" Lustia orders me. "I didn't learn anything I didn't know before your Majesty!" I retort. "Just use the damn heart already and recite the words I taught you! Make sure you do it with flair!" She orders again. I pull out the pink crystal heart and hold it up. "I, newly appointed knight of Hearts beg of you, help me!" I yell. Nothing happens though. Lustia facepalms.
"Are you sure that you taught him enough?" Spiga asks Lustia as she watches Isaac with clear concern on her face. Concern that this "show" may end more disastrously than anticipated and that Isaac will suffer even greater humiliation than before.
"Beat that robot!" Kenzie cheers as she looks up from the book at the show.
Micah watches in silence. Though she knew that the Knight wouldn't be killed, she was very curious about his new power.
"Oh for the love of...Isaac quit fooling around and do it RIGHT!" The Queen commands. I take in a long breath and hold the crystal heart to the sky once more. "I, servant to the Queen of Hearts Lustia, invoke your power to aid me in my time of need! I, new appointed knight of Hearts, Isaac Aimilessa Kifer, command your power to be mine to wield!" I yell. The heart and my body glow pink as pink plates of armor surround me and the heart turns into a great sword with a pink blade and heart pommel. "That'a boy!" Lustia shouts. She snickers a bit though. "Aimilessa, heh he heh." She giggles. "I can hear you!" I yell.
"My parents were expecting a girl ok? Shut up!" I yell. Lustia clears her throat a bit. "That armor is specifically made to draw in energy from all around Wonderland. I had originally wanted the armor to be red, white and black to match the suits I have under my banner, but the hubby wanted it pink, don't know why though, did you know it used to be a man's color? Interesting piece of trivia that." She says. The metal monster brings down a claw and I hold it up. "Yeah, real interesting your Highness, but if he wanted it pink and you didn't, then WHY didn't you just say no and have it your way?" I grunt. "Hmm? Oh, that? Well that's what happens when you toss your lights and your dark's in the wash at the same time dear~" She explains. "COLORS DON'T WORK THAT WAY MY QUEEN!" I grunt holding up the claw. "Maybe not on the ranch my Knight, but here it's always opposite day~!" Lustia replies. "THAT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE!" I shout. "Really? Makes sense to me." She states.
"PINK!? LAME!!!" Kenzie screams out in disapproval as she sticks her tongue out and makes a thumbs-down gesture. Spiga bares her teeth and nudges Kenzie in her side, making her flinch quite a bit and give the Jinko an apologetic look.
Micah says nothing, but the choice of color and look for Isaac's new attire has caught her off guard. "Does he have the option to paint over the armor Queen of Hearts?" she asks Lustia.
Me: After I finally stop laughing I look around. "Yeah, it kind of does." I then notice Lucas, Keria, and Ayu showing something to Jack and Anitra. "What are you all looking...OH GOD NO!" I rush them trying to stop them only to get a Jinko's paw in the face holding me back.
Keria: "Sorry Repter but we kind of had to, it's only fair to Isaac."
Me: "I'm begging you don't you dare."
All: "We dare." Within a few seconds, they show a video of me in a bright pink dress with flowers chasing after Ayu while she's laughing to everyone at the event.
Me: I quickly put my helmet on and sulk into my chair. "I hate you all
AYu: "That was comedy gold right there and consider this payback for mentioning the dance-off."
Me: "I was sleep and woke up in that dress when I realized that Ayu and my kids were behind the prank I chased them down by the time I realized that I was still wearing the dress I had already chased them and caught them."
Ayu: "It was funny."
Lucia: "I didn't want to do it."
Alesan: "Same, but Ms.Ayu convinced us."
Me: "She bribed you two with homemade Zipangu style Imagawayaki, I know because I saw the crumbs and leftover Strawberry filling on the plates, next time to try to hide something don't hide it under the bed." I shoot them a knowing glance and they just smile.
Ayu: "You knew about that?"
Me: "Of course, because you used Zipangu Namagashi as a peace offering during a tea ceremony, I'm not dumb, besides I expected as much."
Ayu: "I am a fox, after all, we like to play tricks every once in a while." She smiles and looks back at Isaac as he fights. "Is Isaac going to be ok?"
Me: I look up at the monitor myself. "Hey Isaac, need any help, I can point out one of the weakness or are you just going to wing it?"
"The color isn't something I would have picked for your Knight to be honest. Perhaps something that defines him more like a green or a red," Micah comments to Lustia as she continues to watch the fight.
Spiga quietly nods in discreet agreement as she watches the battle alongside Kenzie who is shaking her fist and baring her teeth.
"Oh he'll be fine~ He just needs to START TRYING!" Lustia shouts. "I'M REALLY NOT IN THE MOOD MY QUEEN!" I shout. I gather my strength and flip the machine onto it's back. "I'VE HAD ENOUGH!" I yell raising my hands and dark bits of energy gather and form a large black sword with jagged edges. I scream and bring it down and start teleporting slashing and hitting it all over until it blows up. "THERE I'M DONE! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW!?" I ask enraged. "Attitude my Knight, attitude. A bit longer than I would've liked but a job well done none the less." She tells me.
(Sorry. It's totally my bad, I should have replied something like two weeks ago... and didn't. Again. Without imperatives on the side. I'll reply sooner from now on, preferrably within the day after a new message is posted.)
As the fight begins, I clench my fist a little and say: "Isaac, if you can hear me, I know you can do it. Finish it in one round!" That's before he summons his armour: "Welp, the colour doesn't matter much, but still... I feel sorry for him." I turn around to ask the Queen of Hearts: "I've just thought of something... Wouldn't this bright pink give your knight a tactical disadvantage in dark areas when compared to regular armours?"
Right after I ask, Ayu shows her video. I stare dumbfounded at it for a few seconds before letting out a gasp, followed by a laughter: "Haha... Repter, what the hell is *that*?!" Then he replies, and Micah comments on the armour. I nod and watch the fight's end, shuddering a little. "Woah, how fast did he just go?!"
"It's some random piece of junk we found in the time you were all gone. We're not sure what it does, but this as good as time as any to find out! Bring it out girls!" Lustia commands. A small gate opens up on the side and a group of Cheshire Cats in lab coats carrying some sort vacuum-like machine with a projector on the side. "Oh what now?" I ask tired of this shtick.
"I am certain that Isaac is in no danger here, as mamono do not kill unless either their lives or the lives of their loved ones are threatened," Spiga informs the others as she watches the Cheshire Cats roll out the device.
"Yeah, I doubt Lustia would be the sort to kill. Otherwise things would be a LOT more disturbing in Wonderland," Micah adds in.
Kenzie watches the machine with eager anticipation, excited to see what it could do and how it would challenge Isaac.
Me: "That's not what I'm concerned about, I'm talking about what that thing does, for all we know the guy could end on the reverse end of a mechanized robot tentacle is what I'm getting at." I state causing some of the people at the table to cringe.
Anitra: "I'm not even going to ask about that one."
Ayu: "As interesting as that sounds I have to agree."
"Don't worry~ My researchers have assured me there's only a 47.69% chance that it will result in doing...something. Like I said, we're not sure what it does. But we're certain nothing could possibly go wrong~ Now fire up the machine!" Lustia commands. The Cheshire Cats press a few buttons and the machine whirs to life. The machine whirs and sputters before firing a straight green beam of energy at me. The machine grows louder and steam starts pouring out. "Turn it off!" One of the Cats yell. "I can't! I don't know how!" Another yells back. "We never looked for an off switch!" One explains. The machine blows up sending them flying against the wall and in the wake of the explosion, a black, whirling portal opens up and someone steps out of it. A young woman in a long blue robe, embroiled with red flames. Her green eyes are devoid of emotion, her long black hair is messy and unkempt. She looks around and her eyes lock onto me. "So, you're this world's mamono mercenary..." She says. Her voice is smooth but yields no empathy.
I watch the device exploding while making a facepalm, before looking back at the machine and seeing someone coming from the portal: "Is that the moment where someone's supposed to shout 'A new challenger appears!" or something? Way to break the party, anyway... For real though, I'm not sure I feel really well about this woman. I probably won't label her as a 'villain' until she makes a move, but I can't say I'm reassured either. And yep, I had the same question Jack."
Spiga facepalms at the stupidity of the Cheshire Cats constructing a machine without testing it first. However, she quickly grows defensive when the portal opens and the woman steps out.
"Idiots," Micah whispers when she sees the device explode, but she too is on guard when the woman suddenly appears, but she is still slightly exhausted from the previous trek through the labyrinth. "She better not be looking for a fight!" Micah hisses softly under her mask.
"FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!!" Kenzie shouts enthusiastically as she waves her fist in the air.
The young woman looks at the others, gazing at them with cold, unfeeling eyes. "Looks like his intel was right on the money. They're all here just like he said they would be..." She says. She whistles and more figures from the portal emerge. Some female, some male, all armed. In fact, some of the women look like Repter, Red and Jack. The one that resembles Red speaks. "This is Wonderland correct? I can just feel the energy coming off this place, I think I'll try it out on my 'other'." She states with a sinister smile. The one that looks like Repter readies her weapons for battle. "Beat your other selves up all you like. I'm just here for my kids, weather he'll let me take them or not. Squad, standby for engagement." She orders.
"Nice armor, you certainly are the Queen's lapdog aren't you?" The first woman asks me. "I try to indulge her, I find it's easier that way. Now who are you?" I ask back. She shakes her head. "So much potential, so easily squandered. Don't worry, I'll be sure to end your service quickly." She replies not answering my question. Lustia slumps in her throne. "Otherworldly antics? Those aren't supposed to be until Friday..." She groans pulling out a pocket watch.
"Gah... Do we really have to fight, now? Especially since they seem to be our parallel universe versions AND after what we just went through? Why do you want to beat us up, anyway?! Do you want to take our place in this world, replace us, or something like this?" I say while throwing a tired, then more focused stare at the woman looking like me.
Then, I think while examining her equipment: "I have a bad feeling about all of this. Should she really attack, the wisest option might be to end the fight as quickly as possible... and that's not guaranteed it will be easy. Though it might also be dangerous to go all-in not to let the fight drag on... But maybe she already guessed I could try that as well. Tch. What an idea to fight oneself."
"Your family? Hah, that's what the last one said, he didn't last long but he took his kids out with him. I'm giving you a choice, hand over MY family, and you and your crew won't end up as needless bloodshed." She states opening a portal to Repter and the others.
"What's the matter Red? Can't tap into your true potential while there's DE around? That's too bad, because I CAN!" The female Red shouts rushing through the new portal and attacking him. "Troops, beam back up to the ship and neutralize that poor excuse of scrap metal and bring back my kids. Any of them get hurt and I'll kill you all." The female Repter orders her squad. 'Ma'am!' They reply and teleport onto a ship that comes out of cloaking. The other versions of Micah, Spiga and Kenzie walk through and ready themselves for combat.
Lustia frowns and snaps her fingers, she creates a non-dimensional space for the fighting to take place. "Can't have you ruining my kingdom now can I?" She asks to nobody in particular.
"You're insane, this is something we'd never stand for, parallel dimension or not! We don't hurt mamonos!" I shout at my opposite. "If that's what you choose to believe, subjugation is the only freedom there is in my world!" She answers. "I pity you in that case." I tell her. "I was about to say the same to you." She states.
"This is a complete crap show!" Micah snaps as the three of them rise from their seats at the sight of their alternate versions.
"WOOOO!!! Fighting time!" Kenzie cheers as she launches a cluster of rockets into the air that rapidly zero in on her counterpart.
"Why do you thugs wish to cause malice!? You will only achieve nothing!" Spiga demands as she transforms into her giant samurai tiger form and casts the invaders a searing glare. She lets out a thunderous roar and swings her now massive katana in a horizontal arc. This unleashes a large wave of blue flaming demonic energy that sails toward many of the alternates including their own. The Jinko is clearly intent on ending this fight quickly before it gets out of hand.
Me: I twitch when I hear my alternate self threaten me and my family again, I take a deep breath and sigh. "Blessed be God, my rock that trains my hands for battle and my fingers for war." I step back as I see the sky light up with weapons fire. "I don't plan on seeing you again." I charge through the portal before she gets a chance to come through her self and begin fighting my way through.
Jack: "I think he just prayed to God though I never heard that verse from the before."
Anitra: "Same but I felt the power behind it." she looks at the portal herself. "Let's go."
Jack: "Yeah." They quickly follow me through and begin fighting any men that stayed behind along side me.
Me: "When we get to the coward, leave her to me and Lustia thanks for the microspace."
"Can't have my lovely home be destroyed in antics I didn't make." Lustia replies. The female Repter smiles as Repter comes for her. She offers up a prayer of her own. "To the Goddess of war, bless me with the force of an army and allow me to destroy those who'd challenge my might!" She yells. She glows a bright crimson and tosses Repter aside like a ragdoll. "Your God won't save you through prayers!" She shouts starting to fire.
The other Kenzie brings out mini-guns and shoots out the missiles. Through the smoke, she rushes at Kenzie with a chainsaw hand. "I'mma chop you into robo-bits!" She yells. "Oh, but the show is just beginning my dear, stick around for the interlude, I hear it's a heart-stopper!" The other Micah says with killer intent. The other Spiga draws out her own sword and performs the same move, canceling the blows out. She runs growing in size and holding her sword tight. "Someone like you could never understand our reasons, if you don't wish to die a meaningless death then fight me!" She demands.
My opposite summons a Cursed Sword into her hands. "Armor or not, I'll drain your life to nothing you simple minded fool!" She growls. "I'd rather be simple minded then a delusional maniac!" I tell her summoning the crystal sword into my hands. Our blades clash and an out flux of energy flows out in waves.
"You're right! I could never hope to understand your reasons for this invasion!" Spiga angrily shouts to her counterpart as she evades her and hops behind her. She then raises a paw behind her and launches a large DE fireball in the direction of Isaac and his alternate. However, Spiga aimed her projectile to move behind Isaac's counterpart, hoping that Isaac would try to shove her into it somehow. Spiga then attempts to slash her blade down the enemy Spiga's back.
"You have a chainsaw and a minigun!? That's so cool!" Kenzie shouts as she thrusts out of the way of her counterpart's chainsaw attack. She smiles wildly as she launches two DE grenades at her that would explode on impact with whatever solid surface they hit, including the enemy Blaster.
"Heart-stopper!? This just feels like a random attack by idiots looking to start some crap!" Micah furiously screams at her opposite. She quickly glances toward Lustia and shouts, "Are you going to help us out here!?"
Micah takes a petrification bomb out of her jacket, primes it, and chucks it at the enemy Micah. She then backpedals away from the heat of the battle. Her class wasn't meant to be on the front lines after all.
"No! Don't!" I shout as the fireball comes at us. My counterpart sees it and slashes it, absorbing the energy into the blade. "A foolish move for your friend to make, I'll tell you this, your friends will be your downfall." She says.
Spiga's 'other' parries the blow and delivers one herself. The enemy Kenzie turns her other hand into a tennis racket and hits the grenades back at Kenzie. "I've got more in store, come on and let's play!" She shouts.
"I would, but I have to maintain this huge space for you all to fight in! Do you want my beautiful castle and gardens to be destroyed?" She asks. "You have no idea sister! This is the kind of fun you've been missing out on!" The other Micah shouts. She covers herself with her coat to hide from the blast when it goes off. She doesn't move, or rather, the coat doesn't move. The ground from underneath Micah shakes a bit before her copy bursts out giving her an uppercut. She tosses the portable drill off to the side. "Come on, you didn't think I wouldn't know you'd pull that stunt did ya? We're the same you and I! I just have more fun!" She tells the real Micah.
Isaac Kifer wrote: "Can't have my lovely home be destroyed in antics I didn't make." Lustia replies. The female Repter smiles as Repter comes for her. She offers up a prayer of her own. "To the Goddess of war, bless me with the force of an army and allow me to destroy those who'd challenge my might!" She yells. She glows a bright crimson and tosses Repter aside like a ragdoll. "Your God won't save you through prayers!" She shouts starting to fire.
Me: I quickly regain my balance and throw a look at her. "Not bad it's a shame though I've single-handedly taken on entire armies alone." I charge her again dodging her attack and send her into the ground with a single hit. "This is going to hurt, FUS RO DAH!" I use unrelenting force sending her flying and continue after her before she can regain her balance I deliver several hits to her. "WULD NAH KEST!" Using Whirlwind Sprint I force her further into the arena wall. "YOL TOOR SHUL!" I finish up my attack with Fire Breath and quickly put some distance between us, readying myself for whatever she plans next.
Jack: After striking down another enemy, he looks up at me in shock. "Damn he went all out even forced her into the wall and fried her."
Anitra: After defeating her last opponent, she does the same. "Don't let your guard down Jackson, even Repter put some distance between them after the damage he caused, and we should be ready to help him if he needs it."
Jack: "Right, just wasn't expecting that glad we didn't fight him when we first met them all." He readies himself to fight the other me.
Anitra: "Same and look at the others they're just as powerful." She states while doing the same as Jack and myself.
The female Repter just spits out a small amount of blood and regains her composure as if she hadn't been just hit with the force of a truck. "You forget, I've done that as well...KRII LUN AUS!" She shouts hitting Repter with a wave of sound that makes him feel physically sick. She starts running at Repter and shouts again. "RII VAAZ ZOL! Aid me in my time of need!" She yells. A Dragon Zombie materializes and roars, flying at Repter with great speed and force.
Me: "That's dirty but then again, from what I remember you saying you killed some other me and my kid as well I shouldn't be surprised and since you decided to summon a zombie Dragon I figure I might as well follow up by calling DUR NEH VIIR!" I shout out Durnehviir name and appears Durnhrviir the dragon of the Soul Cairn.
Durnehviir: "I come to your aid Dovahkiin!" he takes off and begin engaging the other dragon.
Jack: "THEY CAN SUMMON WYVERNS?!"
Anitra: "Ok that is so out of our league!?"
Me: "I'm not done yet, HUN KAAL ZOOR!" I summon a warrior spirit from Sovngarde to fight alongside me and charge in again with warrior and dragon fighting alongside me.
"His death would've been swift had he just given me Lucia and Alesan, but no, he had to be valiant and take them with him in death! DIIL QOTH ZAAM! May your meaningless resistance bring you shame in the next life fool!" She shouts. A Boneman, Mistman and Wrathman form from nothing and start going to Repter.
"Ma'am! We've negated their ships' weapon systems, attempting to siege it now." A voice from the female Repter's comm says. She bashes Repter back a few feet and speaks into her comm while staring at Repter. "Good, remember, the children are to be taken unharmed. The rest of their crew is disposable. Remember, failure is NOT an option." She says.
Anitra: She quickly strikes downs the Boneman and Mistman while Jack slays the Wrathman. "Repter please tell me you have a plan for stopping them, they're about to board your ship?"
Me: "Actually I do." I tell her after staggering back and regaining my footing. "Conrad, time for pop goes the weasel."
Conrad: "Understood." the weapons go through a shutdown process and reactivate, the ship does a warp jump putting some distance between and fires a volley of cruise missiles that send the other ship into a nose dive upon impact. "That's what you get for trying to mess with new and improved C0N4AD, you other dimensional slut." A huge holographic image of Conrad gesturing suck appears above the Skyhammer.
Me: "That's one threat neutralized now it just you and me, so let's finish this, JOOR ZAH FRUL!" I hit her with Dragonrend stripping her of her power. "That same move that I used on Alduin and I was planning to hold the for last but you forced my hand." I rush her in her weakened state and deliver a finishing blow. "I don't plan to take your life and believe it or not, this isn't the first time I've had to deal with me from another dimension and the Skyhammer you thought were hitting isn't the one that you know, it the one that was made to replace the old after it got destroyed some time ago."
Jack: "Damn, didn't see that coming."
Anitra: "Don't let your guard down just because he delivered a fatal blow he missed the vital parts on purpose." I step back and switch my sword to gun mode and train it on her.
Me: "I usually keep shock or DE silver rounds loaded but I'm currently training .45 caliber armor piercing high explosive rounds on you make one false move and I will end this here and now."
Kenzie thrusts aside of the first grenade, but the second hits her square in the chest and explodes. She flies back a few feet and skids across the ground before coming to a stop. The Blaster sits upright and points a finger at her alternate whining, "Hey, those were impact grenades! They should have exploded when you hit them with your racket!"
She stands up as her crazed smile returns. "Oh well," she whispers as she fires two homing missiles at her opponent. A third is fired into the air and soon dives toward the enemy Kenzie.
Spiga skillfully blocks the attack by the opposing Spiga. She bares her teeth at her and then swings her sword stopping just short of hitting her in an attempt to fake her out so that she can follow up with a strike at an opening.
Micah jumps up and punches away the other Micah. "You and I!? We're not the same you psychotic son of a Cu Sith!" she snarls as she turns to Lustia and yells, "Do you want your knight to be killed!?"
She reaches into her jacket and slips out a sleeping dart. With the speed and accuracy of a ninja she flings it at her opponent and hops backward to a safe distance. The mouse brandishes her DRS dagger to prepare for whatever attack the enemy Micah will come at her with next.
(My bad, forgot again and came back home late several days in a row while I usually reply in the evening. Now I'm fully on holidays though!)
I dodge out of several attacks' way, and sigh: "Tch. And here I thought I could be friends with, or at least understand my parallel self... Guess you're coming from a very twisted universe!" Then, when Lustia isolates the battlezone, I ask: "It would be too easy if you could just trap them there, isn't it?" I dash around not to get hit and cast a few thunderbolts in her direction as a distraction, before stopping and replying to her previous statement: "Heh, you know what? I'll try it."
I remove my cloak and quickly put it into my bag, which I then throw to Lustia: "I can't leave it anywhere except among the audience, so please take good care of it." After that, wearing ordinary Summer clothes, I turn to face my enemy and shout: "Bring it on!" I start dashing towards her, now faster because unhindered by the cloak, while avoiding her blows. "What's your goal? Do you really think killing me in this world will do you any favour?"
In the meantime, I hope to get close enough to deliver close-combat blows.
"No, I wouldn't think it was your first time fighting yourself, but is that all of your tricks...DOVAHKIIN..." Her voice turns into a familiar, sinister tone, and Repter knows who it is. The voice on 'her' intercom sparks to life. "Ma'am, they've done just as you predicted. The decoy has worked, it was an honor to serve, the main ship is releasing the NEMPs." The voice says. A massive silver swarm flies out of the enemy ship and starts making its way to the C0N4AD emitting massive amounts of electrical energy.
"Nano-machines son! They can do anything if you use 'em right, they told me they'd make me crazy, I told them I'd bash their heads in. Long story short, I did!" The crazed Kenzie says gracefully dodging the two missiles and clamping her jaw onto the third. "Mmmmm~ Dewishous! Tanks fer teh mall!" She says in between crunches. The nano-machines spray out from out her mouth encompassing the rocket and rendering it useless.
The other Spiga doesn't fall for the fake out as she does a quick leg sweep and kicks her away.
Lustia's faint smile turns into a scowl. "Do not forget your place here rodent, my kingdom is more important than your life, the lives of your friends, even the life of my Knight and he knows that as well. I will not tolerate such impudence again." She growls. The weight of her words carry a heavy air of power. "Careful there friend, you don't want to make the Queen mad~ Besides, you can't deny the rush you get when you fight! The feeling of pure adrenaline when facing an opponent! You're more alike me then you want to believe! You can't deny your hearts true feelings!" The maddened Micah shouts lunging at her with a knife made of some unknown metal, catching the dart in her mouth with a crazed smile.
"Aww, you wanted to be friends? How's this then, after I kill you, I'll keep your skull as a companion! And no, I don't think it'll do me any favors, I just want to keep all the energy you've stored up inside as mine! I found true bliss in DE while you and so many others spent your time and effort avoiding it! I'll take what you so horribly waste and put it to good use!" She yells unleashing a huge wave of dark energy at Red.
"Why did you come to this world, what's your problem with me and my friends? We've done nothing to you!" I yell at my copy. "True, but you have something I want. Something that was destroyed in my world. Something that I've killed countless other Isaac's, humans, and mamonos for. I'll not be stopped here. I'll kill you, then your friends, then your loved ones." She replies readying herself for combat as I do the same. "You're a monster." I tell her in a calmed, focused voice. "So are you." She spits back.
Micah dodges the lunge by the crazed Micah and pulls her dart pistol from her jacket. She fires three sleeping darts that are aimed for her opposite's back. The mouse then rapidly backpedals and shouts to Kenzie, "Kenzie, rocket this way!"
Kenzie frowns at the sight of her alternate consuming her missile as the other two explode behind her. "Wow, you're just as violent as that one lizard lady who brutally kills people just for the hell of it!" she shouts at the psychotic Blaster. When she hears Micah calling for a rocket to be fired at her opponent a smirk appears on her face as she aims her rocket launcher at the enemy Micah. A DE rocket shoots out of her arm and whizzes past both enemy Kenzie and friendly Micah, rapidly zeroing in on the violent mouse girl.
Once Micah is far enough away from the fighting she looks up at Lustia and furiously shouts, "Like hell I care about my position here! Everyone on this plane is fighting for their lives and you're floating up there chilling like it's no big deal! If we fall you don't think these psychos will come after you next!?"
She brandishes her dagger, prepared for her opponent's next attack unless she's been disabled by her flurry of sleeping darts and Kenzie's rocket.
Spiga recovered quickly from the kick, but instead of going for another attack at the enemy Spiga she raises her paw toward the ferocious Kenzie and launches a large DE fireball in her direction. Kenzie sees the fireball approaching her enemy and fires off another burst of DE cluster rockets at the Blaster to get her stuck between two separate attacks.
"Your skills are impressive," Spiga compliments to her alternate, "Even if you're just a violent version of me."
She raises her sword and charges toward her opposite, only to stop and hop to her side instead swinging for her flank.
Conrad: "It seems that they're trying to overload our systems using electrical discharges, I must say that is a brilliant idea I've gone ahead and cataloged this into my servers for future reference and ideas."
Me: "Any problems so far."
Conrad: "A lot of static coming through but no damage, remember that heavy nebula we went through with all of that energy discharge that hit the ship, we basically directed all of that built up energy away from the ship, in this case, I would suggest you shield your eyes."
Me: "Oh crap, everyone shield your eyes!" Within seconds a huge magnetic discharge causing a bright blinding light over everywhere, after a few seconds the light clears and the Skyhammer's weapons are trained on the female version of me. "Well that happened, any more tricks up your sleeve?" I ask still training my weapon on the other me.
The other Repter gets up and smiles, a shadowy figure forms behind her into a forgotten nightmare. "Oh, all that and so much more DOVAHKIIN! You will never be free from my grasp! Another dimension, another time, I shall always come back for you DOVAHKIIN! I shall claim your children and raise them to hunt you in all other worlds and ages, the ones you offered asylum to will hunt you down and spill your blood again and again! YOU WILL NEVER BE RID OF ME DOVAHKIIN!" The other Repter yells. Despite the discharge of energy from the ship, the swarm forms again, this time however, the electric pulses have died and they converge onto the C0N4AD. Tiny scratches are heard on the outside of the ship and the windows are covered in what looks like very tiny metal bugs.
"I will handle them should you all fail here rodent, now worry for your own sake and try to have faith in your comrades. Now don't test my patience further." The Queen states with contempt in her voice.
The mad Micah catches two of the darts with her tail and tosses them at the oncoming missile while the third sinks itself into her skin. Through the smoke her voice rings out. "Awe yeah~ I never needed a kick like that more! You should try taking this stuff sometime, it does wonders for the body~" She taunts. A vial filled to the brim with explosives flies out from the dust cloud at Micah.
"You really shouldn't ignore ME!" The second Blaster yells swinging her chainsaw arm at Kenzie after dodging the barrage and fireball.
The other Spiga blasts the missile barrage with blasts of DE and she cuts the fireball clean in half. "A warrior always strives for a greater challenge. You are one such challenge, but I will overcome you." She says. She concentrates and starts glowing a malevolent black. In the next second she vanishes and reappears next to Spiga and goes for a broad slash.
I bow to Lustia: "My sincerest apologies, rest assured it will not happen again. It is just that I am in a hurry, that is all." Right after saying that, one of the enemy blows reaches the ground right below my feet and sends it, along with me, flying away; still bowing. I quickly analyze the situation in mid-air: "Just in case this cloud is not Demonic Energy but rather poison or something, let's just make it disappear by burning it down."
I cast a fire spell to destroy it upon landing and start rushing again. "If you want my Spirit Energy so badly, then you'd be better off slashing me with a Demon Realm Silver sword and collecting it rather than making me use my spells. And even if you want the Demonic Energy sealed into my body, you could extract it along the way. Though I really doubt you'd use it for good, judging by your behaviour..."
I close in on her, but the more I run, the weaker I feel: "Darn, the Demonic Energy concentration in the air does not seem to be high enough to affect me just yet... And here I wanted to try and recover a bit of Spirit Energy... Less casting, more kicking, I guess!"
It's then that I realize who I'm fighting. "Alduin I should have realized sooner that you would reel your ugly mug again." I now know who I'm really dealing with. "This time when I put you down you will stay down, also leave my counterpart or are you that much of a coward that you can't fight me as the Alduin the World Eater, the Devourer of Souls, The Bane of kings have you fallen so far that you must inhabit another soul just to avoid fighting me in person to hide from Akatosh your father?!" I demand.
Behind her goggles Micah's eyes widen and she tries to roll out of the way. However, she fails to get clear in time and the shockwave from the resulting explosion sends her flying away several feet until she lands on the ground. In a daze she stares up at Lustia and mumbles, "And you bitched at me for turning down your offer earlier."
Micah rises to her feet and stares at her opponent. "That was a sleeping dart you took. You should start feeling tired soon!" she tells the opposite Micah.
The two darts that were thrown at the missile just harmlessly bounce off of it and it soon strikes the ground just in front of the enemy Micah creating a sizable DE explosion.
Spiga sees her foe's attack incoming and she raises her sword to block, but she mistimes it and suffers a grazing blow to her left upper arm as well as stumble back. She attempts to counter by swinging her sword in an upward motion and emitting a massive blue wave of DE in the direction of the enemy Spiga. With the two of them being in such close proximity it was likely to hit.
"But I'm not ignoring you! Can't you see how much fun we're having?" Kenzie exclaims as she dodges the Blaster's chainsaw attack. She spots Spiga stumbling back from the heavy attack and mutters, "Uh oh!"
She launches several rockets that are aimed for the enemy Spiga's back. Then she returns her attention to her foe and thrusts backward firing off her explosive cannon at her chainsaw arm.
Micah preps another petrification bomb, but instead of throwing it right away she cooks it for a few seconds. Once those seconds have passed she hurls it in the direction of the enemy Kenzie. The explosive sails past the allied Kenzie and explodes just in front of the enemy Blaster, the calcifying dust threatening to petrify her for a short period of time.
"Oh it's not just the DE inside your body I want EVERYTHING! Your DE, your Mana, your life energy, everything! I'll take everything until there's nothing left of you but a decayed husk!" Red's counterpart shouts.
Alduin cackles but faint hints of the female Reter's voice is heard in there as well. "You think I'm here by accident? She allowed me to take refuge in her body! We BOTH yearn for your destruction DOVAHKIIN!" He says in her body. She laughs. "He's right, I wanted his power, and having him in my body allowed me to tap into it! Your children are MINE!" She yells cackling.
The dark energy engulfs the enemy mouse. When it subsides, the couter-part Micah is covered in a blackish ooze-like substance. She writhes in pain, clutching her head. "PlEasE...KiilL...mmeeee..." A weak voice calls out. The ooze reforms and she resumes her maddened state. "I'm going to make your pain and suffering unbearable for that one rat!" She shouts. She throws a knife at the bomb setting it off mid-arc, she then returns her gaze to Micah.
The other Spiga takes the hit and goes back several feet but she uses the momentum to jump out of the way of the rockets. She grips her side when she lands as it becomes red. "I-I must've gotten careless...My wounds open once more...I can't stop here though, I must see my duty out..." She mumbles to herself. She picks herself up once more and gets into a combat stance, ready to counter any blow.
"But I want more FUN! Now dance for me!" The rampaging Blaster shouts unleashing both her mini-guns and firing with high velocity.
My counter-part and I dash at each other, our blades clash and sparks fly off from the swords. The force of our Mana and DE is seen through each swing and strike. There are no visible bodies, only the energy, the swords, and the sheer amount of skill behind the two opposing sides.
Hidden behind Micah's mask is a disgusted expression at the grotesque black ooze that is all over the alternate Micah. She's even more disturbed when she hears a voice plead for her to kill it. "What the hell!?" she mutters softly as the ooze reforms and Micah sees her psychotic foe once more.
"Make me suffer for what? Trying to stop a psychopath like you?" the mouse states as she takes a confusion bomb out of her jacket and primes it. She allows it to cook for several seconds before she chucks it at the twisted mouse girl, meaning a shorter fuse til detonation.
"We ARE having more fun you violent machine!" Kenzie shouts as she ducks and weaves around the flurry of bullets. At one point she readies her rocket launcher arm to fire at her mechanical foe, but one of the bullets grazes it and causes her shot to go haywire, instead firing the DE rocket toward the female Red.
Kenzie activates her thrusters and instead of dashing at the opposing Kenzie she charges in between and around the enemy Spiga, intent on making her catch some gunfire while at the same time avoiding it.
Spiga decides to try her hand a second time and launches a large DE fireball at the enemy Blaster, hoping that her equally large feline opponent would be distracted enough by the bullets and the allied Kenzie circling her to not intercept it.
Then she raises a glowing blue barrier in front of her to act as a defense against any gunfire, intentional or stray.
Me: I sigh in regret after hearing what they just said. "I feel sorry for you then." I keep my weapon trained on her and lean down to eye level with her. "I know my kids all too well and to be perfectly honest I sure they'd love to meet you but I have to protect my family even if I have to sacrifice my own life, can you say the same, would you be willing to give up everything you love and hold dear to protect them?" I ask. "You never needed power or Alduin to possess you to to be powerful, but I must ask, why go after my family what happened to yours?"
Anitra: "Jack how that spell coming." She whispers to Jack.
Jack: "It'll be done in a minute." He whispers back.
"Even my life force, eh? I think your greed will be the end of you." I keep dodging her spells, while starting to feel a numbing feeling caused by the unsealed Demonic Energy and a slight regeneration of my Spirit Energy.
A few dozen metres away, Kenzie's rocket explodes next to the psychopathic Micah, showing a promising result. It's only then that I remember: "Kenzie! Your rockets contain Demonic Energy, right? Do you think I could use one or two to absorb some?"
While I'm waiting for a signal, the deflected rocket flies above my head.
(Sorry, I typed a reply and I could've sworn that it went through. Sorry about not getting back to you guys sooner!)
"For letting her out you bitch! I'll kill you for that!" The fake Micah yells tossing a few knives. One of them goes into the bomb and sets it off early, the other two go flying at Micah.
"Then stop running from me! I HATE it when they run!" The other Kenzie screams. She deploys a blast shield to protect herself from fireball. "You wait your turn furbag!" She shouts after the blast disperses.
Being quick on her feet despite being injured, the other Spiga jumps onto Kenzie and thrusts a dagger into her shoulder blade and jumps off as quick when sparks start coming out. She lands, but she lands on her knees in pain. "I-I can't fall just yet, not now with so much at stake..." She mumbles to herself in pain. "Fuzzy! Hold on, I'll be right there!" The enemy Kenzie shouts rushing to her side.
"Is that what you think coward? I'll show you what my downfall will be!" The female Red shouts. She lunges at him with a dagger and plunges it into his shoulder and holds him in place. "My greed will kill me true! But you'll go out with me fool!" She shouts draining Red's energy while holding him in place and awaiting the rocket coming at them both.
"You happened! Another Repter came and took them away from me! I've gone to countless worlds and found that they've all been killed! I had no choice but to take his power! You think I had a choice! You gave me none! I either die here or you do!" The female Repter screams. She gets up quickly and scratches Repter's eye and drawing blood.
Micah ducks under the two flying knives and counterattacks by tossing another confusion bomb. This one however was cooked as well, and it explodes just in front of the enemy Micah. The mouse then backpedals some more and reloads her dart pistol, firing another dart in the direction of Micah. "Mamono don't kill. You're not a mamono," she mutters under her breath.
"I'm not running from you AAAAIIIIIEEEEEE!!!" Kenzie screams as the enemy Spiga pierces her with the dagger. "Kenzie, come to me!" Spiga shouts as she beckons for the Blaster to come to her. Kenzie easily removes the dagger from her shoulder blade as she dashes under Spiga's shield and Spiga heals her wound.
The Jinko then feels her power run out on her giant samurai tiger form and is forced to revert back to her regular form. She nearly collapses to the ground, but manages to summon her katana and hold herself upright. Kenzie furiously aims her rocket launcher at the two opponents and unleashes a powerful barrage of DE rockets that rapidly zero in on their targets. She also launches a DE missile toward the psychotic Micah.
"How are you feeling?" Kenzie whispers to her furry friend as she assists her in keeping her up.
"Drained, but I should recover soon," Spiga responds as she barely manages to stand and projects a barrier in front of them. She then remembers her alternate's words and wonders in her head, "At stake? What could possibly be at stake for you murderers to come here and attempt to kill us?"
"GYAAAAH! Can't say I wasn't ready for that... though." Since Kenzie did not reply, I think about the imminent incoming rocket: "Welp, not sure I want to know by taking the blast... But there's one thing I can try!"
I grab my counterpart's arm and remove the dagger from my shoulder while shifting our weights, in order to throw her straight into the Demonic Energy missile. Once that's done, I quickly turn around, dive towards the ground and roll for a few metres before getting back up and using a quick healing spell to prevent blood loss. "Unless that creep can fly or something, there's no way she can dodge this one..."
The confusion bomb hits the crazy Micah and she stumbles getting hit by the dart while trying to collect herself. She can't however due it fast enough before the missile reaches her and blows up. When the smoke clears, all that's left is her coat and the faint whisper of 'Thank you...'
Upon seeing the missile barrage, the other Kenzie runs in front of the attack and takes all of it to protect the other Spiga. "Kenzie! NO!" The other Spiga calls out. The blast settles and the second Blaster is still standing, an arm broken off and many pieces of her shielding blasted off. She's twitching as sparks come out here and there. One of her eyes is glitching out and constantly flickers between working and shutting off. She starts limping her way over to the Spiga and Kenzie. "I-I-I'll d-d-de-stroy you-you-you!" She states as her head jerks violently back and forth. She aims her arm and tries firing but her weapon systems don't respond, not that she registers that it's not working.
The female Red hits the missile and there's an explosion upon contact. When it settles, her lifeless body lies on the ground, small waves of DE coming off of her as her body deteriorates. The wound however, isn't healing, the blood flow is slowing but the wound itself doesn't close.
"Told ya", I say dropping to my knees after that outburst and looking at the evaporating body. "Phew... With that fury being out of the board, I can try to heal properly... I hope." I look around to check for any potential danger before judging it's safe enough and casting a much stronger healing spell on the wound, for the blood loss to stop and the wound to close, even partially.
"Still, I wonder... By the way she decayed, she was most likely not human. In that case, who created her, and for what other purpose than killing me in this dimension and perhaps many others? Unless she's coming from a place where everyone is made of a structure sensitive to this world's Demonic Energy, she has to be an artificial being... Maybe it's the doing of Isaac's opponent? It would make sense to create a diversion for his allies and prevent them from acting freely, though it would technically put her at a disadvantage by consuming energy as well."
I shortly chuckle while looking at the ceiling: "Guess I'll have an answer once his fight is over, then!"
Anitra: As I reel back from getting scratched, the words in her head start to ring in my head 'Another Repter took them away from me! ' I begin to remember the Other other me I fought some time ago and realize I know where her family are. "Repter get clear!"
Jack: "Free the soul his this and separate the dark soul that dwells within!" As Jack finishes the Incantation the Female Repter is bound in a bright light and the soul of Alduin is ripped from her separating the two of them from each other."
Me: "Thanks for the help you two." I rush the female me and tackle her away from Alduin before he can fully manifest. "I know where your family is, they're safe, that other Repter you were talking about, the one that stole your family from you, I fought him and won, I lead a boarding party onto the ship and eliminated the threat, while we were hauling ass away I found them in cryo-sleep and beamed them to my ship, when I woke em they wanted to know where their mother was, I promised them I would do everything I could to find you and as luck would have it I found you, not the best way to keep a promise but I was able to keep it, now stay back and let us deal with this." I tell her and get up off of her, I then turn my attention to Alduin. "This time Alduin, when I put you down you stay down."
Jack: "Repter we'll get the other one to safety and contact your ship to reunite them when the battle is over.
Anitra: "By the power of the Goddess, heal this man and grant him strength." I soon feel a healing aura around me and the scars I suffered and damage I've taken have practically disappeared. "Deal with this demon from another world, we'll support you the best we can."
"Wound me as you might DOVAHKIIN. But I shall always return to hunt your lineage! Your children, your children's children, every time I come back I will be stronger and stronger! Your bloodline will end by my claws DOVAHKIIN!" Alduin roars. "Ma'am, we've heard everything, withdrawing nano-machine forces." A voice says off of the female Repter's voice-comm says. The silver swarm that was surrounding Repter's ship return to the other one.
Me: "I've gotten stronger since the last time we fought." I charge in and deliver several strikes dodging his attacks and breaths. "Alduin do not forget that I'm just the one that is destined to defeat you over and over again, you should return to the Realm of the Nine and never leave because even after I am long gone from this world Akatosh and the Nine will have a have a champion ready to defeat you and any other evil that decides to reel its ugly head, JOOR ZAH FRUL!" using Dragon Rend to weaken him further I charge in and deliver several strikes.
Jack: "You don't fight alone, as a former Hero of the Order this evil must be cleansed!" following suit with my attacks Jack delivers several powerful attacks while also enchanting his blade to do more damage."
Antria: "In the Name of the Goddess and the world she wishes to protect, grant all of our allies your blessing and give us the strength to finally strike down the evil that lays in front of us." Sending her sword into the air she cast a strengthing magic that enhances all of us, she then takes flight and dive at Alduin joining us in our attack. "This evil will be purged from this world." With her attacks joining our the damage that Alduin suffers damage and quite a bit of Holy damage.
Seeing the heavily damaged Kenzie trying to fire on them to no avail causes the friendly Kenzie to smirk. She simply points her rocket launcher at her opponent and says, "You ain't destroying crap you violent lunatic. I may have violent outbursts now and then, but I never killed anyone unless they were a true threat like you, but you won't be any longer."
A single DE rocket is fired from her cannon, prepared to destroy her alternate in one final strike.
Spiga shakes her head in disappointment at what had occurred and calls out to the other Spiga, "Forgive me for the deaths of your friends, but they left us with no choice! However, there may still be a chance to save you! You mentioned so much being at stake, but what is at stake for you and your friends to attack us so violently?"
Micah simply stares at the coat of her former foe for a moment until she feels a bit saddened upon hearing a small voice thanking her. "You're welcome. I'm sorry you had to go through this," she whispers to herself as she turns her attention to the wounded enemy Spiga and equips her tranq rifle. She stares through the scope at her target, an antimagic dart in the chamber ready to launch at the tiger should she try anything rash.
"NO! STOP! YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING!" The other Spiga cries. The rocket explodes on impact when it strikes the second Kenzie. There's a moment of silence before the dust clears. The crazed Blaster's lower half has been ripped to shreds. Her circuits stick out as wires spark and dangle of out her body. The damage is immense, but she still drags herself towards Spiga and Kenzie with a badly damaged arm. The robotic remains of her face glitch more violently. "D-d-d-de-s-s-st-tr-oy-oy-oy-oy. P-p-p-p-p-ro-o-o-o-otec-c-ct." She sputters out in a robotic tone.
"YOU ARE NOTHING BUT AN ANNOYANCE DOVAHKIIN! YOUR WORDS MEAN NOTHING BUT WASTED BREATH! MY DEFEAT HERE WILL MEAN NOTHING IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS! FACE THE TRUTH DOVAHKIIN, THE NINES HAVE ABANDONED YOU TO YOUR FATE! I WILL END YOUR BLOODLINE WHEN I RETURN! " Alduin roars as he lashes out with his wings and claws. He lets out a fearsome roar and meteors rain down from the heavens to smite Repter, Jack, and Anitra.
Conrad: "I got them." The guns on the Skyhammer open up and shoot the Meteors out of the sky as they're descending on us turning them into rubble.
Me: "Nice shooting Conrad keep up the support." I then turn my attention to Alduin. "You won't be returning this time Alduin for I knew that if you returned that you would try something so I planned ahead and brought this." I pull out Auriel's bow and a Sun Hallowed arrow. "Your father told in a dream some time ago that should you ever reappear to use this on you." I let loose the arrow and it strikes straight and true. "Akatosh, your father is expecting as he enchanted that arrow himself to send you back to him to pay for your crimes, there won't be a next time."
Jack: "It would seem that they saw this coming and planned ahead with their champion."
Both Spiga and Kenzie jump a fair distance from the badly damaged robot. The Jinko heard her opposite's plea and prepares a response, but halts herself with a realization. If her Kenzie had a central core that could produce massive amounts of DE from an explosion, then it possibly meant that violent Kenzie's core could be deadly to everyone on this plane were she to explode.
"Time to finish you off! It was fun fighting you!" Kenzie beams as she prepares to fire another DE rocket at the robot who is desperate for a kill, but Spiga leaps over to her and grabs her wrist before she can fire. "Hey!" Kenzie whines, but Spiga gives her a stern, "No! We do not know what could result from her destruction! It could be fatal to all of us!"
She turns to her alternate and shouts, "You sound like you care deeply about her! I wish to help the both of you, but you must answer me this question! What drove you to come to our dimension and attack us!? What is at stake for you to make this callous move!?"
Micah takes a few steps toward the enemy Spiga before stopping, wanting to maintain a large distance between them. "You'd be wise to answer my friend's question ma'am! We're willing to help you out here!" she calls out to her!
The arrow lodges itself into Alduin's chest and he lets out a roar of pain. A swirling vortex opens behind him and starts pulling pieces of his flesh off as it sucks him in further. "PERHAPS NOT I DOVAHKIIN, BUT THERE WILL BE OTHERS! OTHERS WHO WILL BE EXACTLY LIKE ME! AS EVERY SINGLE BIT AS POWERFUL AS I AND MORE! NO MATTER WHAT KIND OF CHAMPION APPEARS I WILL HAUNT YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAYS! AND WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN SOVNGARDE WE WILL AWAIT YOU IN THE MISTS AND TEAR YOUR SOUL ASUNDER! OUR FIGHT WILL NEVER BE OVER DOVAHKIIN!" He roars as his soul and flesh are forcefully ripped away from his body into the vortex, leaving behind only the bones of a once frightful dragon. The allies that were summoned fade away from both sides as Repter, Jack and Anitra stare at what remains of Alduin.
"WE HAD NO CHOICE DON'T YOU GET THAT!?" The other Spiga screams fighting tears. The damaged Blaster ignores everything and keeps dragging herself towards her counterpart. "K-k-k-k-i--il-il-il-ill. De-str-o-o-o-oy." She sputters out like a broken toy.
The fight between me and my opposite however rages on, but one side looks like it's getting bigger than the other.
Me: I collapse on the spot and take a knee drawing in heavy breaths. "Ok, that was intense."
Jack: "You're telling us other than watching that fight and fighting him ourselves nothing the Overlord threw at us when we were part of the Order compared to that."
Anitra: "If that the kind of threats you deal with on a daily basis I think you can count us in, as long as monsters like that exist even if the Overlord was overthrown, No offense QoH, it wouldn't even matter because something else would just reel its ugly head."
Me: "It's not a daily basis mind you but it does happen." I sigh and look at the other me and the others. "We should help them out but I'm practically out of strength." I pull out a green bottle and toss two to Jack and Anitra. "Drink up." I down the stamina potion and stand back up. "That hit the spot."
Jack: "Thanks, so what now it would be a good idea to stay out of their fights as they look to be winding down themselves all but Isaac's."
Anitra: "We should let Isaac handle that, let take care of our guest here and reunite her with her children." Jack and I agree with that and move her away from the fighting between the others. "Can you contact you ship?"
Me: "Yeah I can but we should wait until the others have finished fighting, it might be too dangerous to try to leave." We keep an eye on the other fights and wait for them to end before leaving.
"Why, why did you not have a choice!?" Spiga calls out to her counterpart, "Tell us and we may be able to help you! Your refusal to explain is only making the situation worse!"
"Can't I blow her dumbass up now!?" Kenzie shouts as she points to her damaged alternate who is still sluggishly making her way toward her. "You will not fire another explosive at her for the time being!" Spiga snaps as she bares her teeth at her friend.
"Come on ma'am, just tell us what happened! We're giving you the chance of mercy here! Was she involved!?" Micah asks the enemy Spiga as she gestures toward the woman dueling Isaac.
The great clash of swords ends and my counterpart and I distance ourselves. Swirling masses of Mana and DE come off us as we stand there waiting for the other to make move. "You'll have to cave into that desire welling up inside you eventually Isaac, you can't control it AND keep me at bay at the same time. You're growing tired and won't be able to hold on to yourself for much longer. But why don't I help tip you over the edge?" She says with a sly grin. She vanishes in the next second out of my view.
As the half destroyed Kenzie struggles to make her over to the Blaster in her sights, the other 'Isaac' appears with her sword in hand, and as her intents manifest in the fear of the damaged Blaster's and other Spiga's eyes, that 'Isaac' thrusts her sword into the helpless mamono's core, draining it of energy and leaving the empty metal husk of a Blaster on the ground. "Pathetic creature, you could've bested your opposite had you thrown away that needless compassion." She says with disdain. "You said you'd fix her...YOU PROMISED TO HELP THEM!" The other Spiga cries out in pain. "You've all out lived your usefulness, be thankful I didn't absorb the energy from your other friend." The other me replies devoid of sympathy. "YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO KILL HER! SHE WASN'T A THREAT TO YOU!" I yell at her enraged at her actions.
Lustia absentmindedly tosses Red his bag back observing the alternate 'Isaac'. "I shouldn't have need to tell you that woman won't live to see her children, removing that Dragon soul from her has indeed condemned her." The other me states.
Me: "I hear what you're saying and I raise you a rebuttal." I look over at the other me and smile. "If you think me removing Alduin from her killed her you're sorely mistaken because I know how strong I am and how strong she is, she had a backup plan for when she needed to expel Alduin from her."
Jack: "You know what it is?"
Me: "Yeah." I toss her a black soul stone and watch it fuse with her. "Just like me, her soul was in the Soul Crain partially soul trapped all I had to do was help her restore it."
Anitra: "That's convenient, so you got your soul back from this place?"
Me: "Yeah I did, Jack, Anitra, I want the two of you to head back to my ship with the Other me in tow and reunite her with her children, I'm going to stay here and Help Isaac deal with our uninvited guest and maybe see if there's a way to help the other versions of our friends." I state and begin walking towards Isaac to stand beside him in battle.
Jack: "We'll get her out of here go do what you have to do and end this."
Me: I look at jack and Anitra and nod. "Conrad three to beam up leave me here to deal with this."
Conrad: "Understood sir." He deactivates the hologram he was projecting above the ship and beam them aboard the ship. "I have them sir, her kids are on the way to the medical bay as we speak, she'll live but she'll be out of it for a few hours."
Me: "Thanks." I stop next to Isaac and stare the other one down. "You now have the two of us to deal with and remember that H.E.A.P. bullet I promised to use on the other me only to find out the truth, I plan to use it on you instead." I state and load the round into the chamber. "Your move."
The other me smiles. "Are you sure you helped her? Was that really what you saw? Was that really what you heard?" She asks. Repter's vision distorts a bit before he sees that his counterpart is still on the ground and the soul gem is in my opposite's hands. The voice of his crew voicing their concern blaring in his ear. "I'm sure this isn't the only one you have, but you won't get the chance to save that woman." She states crushing the gem in her hands. She turns into a dark shadowy mist and goes right through Repter to the female version of him. Her passing through leaves him with chills of killer intent. She forms back to normal and thrusts her sword into the chest of the other Repter, draining her life energy. The other Repter struggles for a bit but eventually stops and a peaceful face dawns on her face. "I'm surprised, she was rather easy to trick into coming here. I had no idea her kids were even in this world. Not that I really care that much, now that Alduin is gone from her body, I don't need her anymore." The other me explains. "STOP BEING A MONSTER!" I scream.
Me: I twitch after the what she did and see what she did. "I'M GOING TO FUCKING MURDER YOU BITCH!" I charge headlong at the other Isaac trying to strike her down time after time only to feel like I'm not striking anything. "She finally got reunited with her family, the children she constantly been searching for across multiple dimensions, she even went so far as to kill other versions of ourselves just to get her children back, and you fucking killed her!"
Jack: Both Jack and Anitra teleport back down and see me trying to kill the other Isaac. "We have to help him."
Anitra: She rushes over to the other me and cries. "Jack help Repter kill this bitch and make her bleed." She picks the other me up and returns to the ship.
Spiga and Micah watch in horror as the alternate Isaac drains the enemy Kenzie's core and reduces her to a mere heap of scrap. Kenzie just glares at the female Isaac annoyed and mutters, "I was trying to, but then you cut in!"
The other Spiga's cries of despair make the Jinko and the Large Mouse even more saddened.
Spiga then grits her teeth and points her claw at the other Isaac screaming at the top of her lungs, "YOU HEARTLESS CUR!"
Micah shakes her head softly and mumbles coarsely, "Why?"
She lowers her rifle and trots over to the other Spiga asking quietly so that the alternate Isaac wouldn't hear, "Okay, I'm very sorry for your friends' loss, but we really need your help here right now! Do you know of any weaknesses that that monster might have?"
(Let's wait for Red to respond before we proceed.)
I hear what's going on, catch my bag and bow: "Thank you very much, Your Highness." Once that's done, I hurry towards the rest of the group: "This is bad... Now the other Isaac's against the rest of us AND killing her former allies as well?! Talk about misfortune..."
I arrive when the other Repter is being stabbed by the other 'Isaac', and see Repter and Spiga going out of control out of rage. "Shit... They were our enemies, true, but they didn't deserve an end as cruel as this! And now, a single wrong move and we'll meet our end too..."
I cast a barrier spell on both Repter and Spiga to try to protect them, even if barely compared to our foe's power, and shout: "Isaac! Any idea to defeat her?! Any shared weakness? Do you think she's sensitive to DE like the others? We kinda need it!"
The saddened Spiga shakes her head and sobs. "What's the point? The only reason I helped her was because of them, they were all I had left...I've got nothing now..." She sobs. She takes out a small syringe filled with red liquid. She gets up and goes over to the broken body of her dear friend and holds her close as well as the syringe. "I'll see you soon Kenzie..." She whispers kissing the Blaster's forehead. She injects the needle and pushes the liquid in. She holds the motionless body of her friend close as she lies down. Holding her friend close, tears run down her face as her eyes start shutting. "I'll see you both soon..." She manages to squeak out before her eyes close.
The other 'Isaac' smiles. "Sure, go ahead. If you think you can avoid illusions and actually touch me then go ahead. But consider this, what happens if you die? Your crew and family, no longer protected. I've taken the power from your counterpart and made it my own. Can you beat someone who knows your power and has more hidden away? I'm more than you can handle!" She states making duplicates of herself who all then Dragonrend shout him down. The shouts rip away Repter's barrier as well as his power. They blast him away into Spiga and laugh."You can't take us all by yourself! There's only one who can match me and he's cowering over there!" They say pointing at me.
"I'VE HAD ENOUGH! " I scream. An explosion of DE bursts out from where I stand. Lustia's eye widen. "EVERYONE GET AWAY FROM THERE NOW!" She screams. A dark shadowy figure walks forth from the DE residue wearing metallic black armor and an incredibly sharpened Cursed Sword. Two horns atop the figures head, one of them broken. Beady red eyes and a jagged smile with a black void inside. The figures other hand is a claw with sharp talons.
"STOP DRAGGING YOUR COLLECTIVE ASSES AND RUN!!!" Lustia screams.
"Uh-oh, sounds bad, tactical retreat!!!" I start running, grab Repter and Spiga by the arm to help them getting back up and hurry as far away from Isaac as possible. Even though I'm running, I can't help but shout: "Isaac, pull yourself together! Maybe you're more powerful that way, but you're blinded by rage and that's exactly what she wants! Snap out of it, dammit!"
(Probably won't be able to reply for the next three days, just so you know in advance...)
"Wait! Please don't...!" Spiga pleads with her alternate, but it is too late as she had already injected herself and passed on.
Spiga manages to catch Repter flying into her and sets him down just as Isaac's new monstrous form appears catching her, Micah, and Kenzie by surprise.
Micah hears Lustia's warning and speeds in her direction shouting, "Can you get us out of here!?"
Spiga picks up Kenzie and runs after the mouse. "Awwww...but I wanna stay and fight the baddie bitch!" Kenzie cries. "No, we are leaving before we perish!" Spiga snarls as she continues after the group at a high rate of speed.
Me: After seeing Isaac change into a new form I snap out of my rage like trance and realize that I'm being dragged by Red. "I'm ok, sorry about that I lost my cool but the fact that she used DragonRend means that not only did she absorb their souls but she also gained their powers the thing is there's no way she should have been able to use the shout unless she already knew it or was Dragonborn, not even the Dragon of Tamriel are capable of using that shout as it was created by man, not dragon."
Jack: "Which mean she like you said she gain the other you power and her Dragonborn abilities, which mean she also has the other Spiga abilities as well."
Me: I break away from Red's grip and look at the evil Isaac. "Laas!" I use the first shout of aura whisper to see which one was the real other Isaac and can see only one. "We'll get to a safe distance, Conrad take the ship back to the ship and leave Wonderland, we'll find my own way back."
Conrad: "Understood sir leaving now." with the ship leaves and we're stuck watching as Isaac in full rage get ready to pummel the other.
Me; "Hey Isaac if you can still hear me and still have some control do me a solid, BEAT HER WITHIN AN INCH OF HER LIFE!"
"Finally...Let's see who's stronger Isaac!" The other me says. "BWARRR! GRAH!" I roar. We vanish and high speed clashes ensue. With each strike there's a greater impact and waves of force reverberate through out the area.
"No I can't, if I drop this zone for the slightest second, they'll both brake out and destroy all of Wonderland. Just stay over here and you'll be fine. And no matter what you say, you won't get through to Isaac. He's gone somewhere he can't be reached by voices alone. I have to get him out of it, but I can't do that while he's still fighting. So stay back and don't do anything to help." Lustia orders.
"WHAT!? I can't do crap and have to let Isaac have all the fun!? What a load of horsecrap!" Kenzie screams angrily at Lustia whilst shaking a fist in her direction.
"So much for that," Micah mutters, equally frustrated that they can't just simply leave.
Spiga perfectly understands Lustia's position, but she isn't content with staying in this plane of existence while the two powerful Isaacs duke it out close by. She gives Lustia a straightforward expression and declares, "Lustia, while I understand that you can't drop this realm for risk of those two beasts getting loose, I do not feel that everyone here is safe from the grand battle. However, you do not need to concern yourself with releasing the zone, as I intend to create a portal to a spirit realm where the rest of us can be safe and recuperate!"
Her declaration made, she begins to utilize her power to create a small portal that will serve as a gateway into a misty world where whoever stands within it will feel their strength and energy return.
Lustia doesn't look at Spiga as she replies. "If that is what you wish to do then fine, so be it. Leave if you can, but I assure you, as long as you remain in my realm, you are my subjects and I won't allow you to be harmed if I can prevent it. I cannot use any more energy then I'm already using, but I'm still a capable fighter. Despite his transformation, I know Isaac's fighting style, I can disable him should his attention turn our way." She answers.
Me: After feeling like we at a reasonably safe distance, I turn to look at Isaac after QoH tells us about Isaac berserker mode and just rub my chin. " I'm not complaining, I'm hoping he rips her Limb from bloody limb." I say aloud.
Jack: "You're still mad aren't you?"
Me: "Unbelievably so." I state and sit back and watch.
(Sorry, was AFK one more day due to a last minute change of plan on my travelling schedule...)
Once I've reached the Queen of Hearts' throne with the rest of the group, I turn back to watch the clash: "Of course, it would be too easy if he could come back to his normal state just with words..." Repter's remark make me shudder at the mere thought the other Isaac could be more powerful than our world's by absorbing special abilities from other people. However, as Spiga opens her portal, I feel a bit relieved: "It looks like we can't do anything but rest or watch right now anyway, so a safe place to recover even for a few minutes is definitely welcome. Thanks!"
Spiga completes the portal and gives Red a side grin for his compliment. She then looks up at Lustia and says in a reassuring tone, "Fear not for us. I believe your time to concentrate on the major battle will be easier without us under your watch."
"I thought your kingdom was more important than us sweetheart," Micah mutters to Lustia with a concealed smirk as she dives through the portal into the spirit realm, her body immediately feeling its healing effects. "Ahhhhhh..." the mouse sighs with relief as she drops onto her back.
Kenzie wildly protests being taken away from the fight, but Spiga tosses her through before she steps through herself. The Jinko then turns her attention to the other members of the group and asks, "Anyone else wish to join us? I'll be closing the portal shortly to avoid the conflict here.
Lustia lets out an empty chuckle. "I wasn't worried about my castle being destroyed, hubby might've been miffed, but I could always have it rebuilt. The lives of my subjects however, those are what I don't want to lose." She says with a weak smile. My counterpart and I keep going at it. Making more and more shock waves until the female Isaac is launched at the wall of the enclosed zone with a great impact making a crack. I don't leave it alone however, I chase her and hit her with enough force to break the barrier. This stunt leaves Lustia blown back out of breath. While we're in the air, I grab my opposite and corkscrew dive her into the garden leaving behind a crater. In the wake of the dust, a voice is heard. "You're...stronger than I...had anticipated Isaac...Hear me well those who ally themselves...with this mamono mercenary...The war that's coming...it will be one that shall determine this world's fate!" The other 'Isaac' yells out. When the dust falls, all that's left is me in my frenzied state.
I look at the barrier being broken and the other Isaac being slammed into the ground. When I notice only the berserker Isaac is left there, I quickly enter the portal to heal a bit before the next move. I sigh out of relief feeling my wounds healing, then out of annoyance: "A war that will determine the fate of the world, huh? To think it was just a relic hunt a few hours ago..."
Me: "I'll stay behind I want to see this to the end with my own eyes."
Jack: "I'll do the same, everyone would be pissed if I left the commander behind to his own devices." he states, after the battle and the warning from the other Isaac he looks at me. "Last dying breath of a coming war that will decide the fate of many, that's never a good sign."
Me: "No it not, but good riddance to bad rubbish." I then look to the QoH. "You might want to do your calming thing before he decides to go Wreck it Ralph on the place." I say pointing to our Isaac.
Spiga listens to Repter and Jack's words, but she says nothing. She simply closes the portal, and soon it is only Repter, Jack, Lustia, and Isaac on the plane. Kenzie furiously shakes her fist at her and shouts, "Why didn't you let me fight in there!?"
"You would have been decimated in there if you attempted to raise arms against them," Spiga states simply.
As she lies down, Micah turns her attention to Red and asks, "You feeling alright now that you're out of there?"
Lustia struggles to gather herself and breaths deep. She steels herself, anticipating my next move. I crawl out of the crater, fixing my gazes upon the others. "Get ready to brace yourselves when he moves. When I restrain him, you need to follow my orders exactly, I can't risk the staff getting injured, my personal guard are protecting my hubby and the rest of them only know basic combat skills." Lustia orders.
Jack: "It's not too late to go with Spiga and the other is it." He looks back the same time I do and see the portal close.
Me: "Yeah it is." I look at Isaac and sigh. "Meh, what can you do?" I ready myself. "I don't know why you're scared we got this don't for what you are."
Jack: He readies himself aswell. "Yeah I'm a former Hero of the Order, trained by Anitra the Valkyrie and wife."
Me: "Don't forget that you also have the another Hero right here the Dragonborn of Legend, weh we get the go ahead we do excatly what the QoH says, on her count." We nod to each other and brace ourselves for what come next.
I start going towards everyone, slow at first, like an animal analyzing its prey. I crouch and Lustia mirrors my action. I bolt right at her making a shock-wave and she bolts at me making a shock-wave as well. I try and claw her but she grabs it, I try the same with my other claw but she catches that as well. "Don't say I didn't warn ya I'd knock some sense into you when you told me about this Kifer!" She yells reeling her head back and smashing it against mine. I stagger a bit before she grabs me and throws me over her shoulder into the ground making an indent. "There! Help me restrain him!" The Queen orders.
"Yeah, I'm feeling a lot better. Thanks a lot. And as long as Isaac can't break through dimensions, it feels a lot safer here as well. It doesn't mean I'll stay here until they're done dealing with him though, but I'll recover for a few more minutes before going back there. We have two heroes and a Lilim against him, I'm sure they can at least stall him."
Me: We rush in and quickly grab him, I pull out a staff of paralysis and hit him with it. "Jack, if you have some kind of binding magic now, would be a good time to use it!"
Jack: As he's holding the now paralyzed Isaac he looks up and nods. "I do Chains of Binding Light!" several magic chains raise up out of ground pull Isaac down and spreading his arms and legs apart. "That should help hold him for a while, and before you ask not they are not pulling on his arms and legs because of a fetish, I set them to do that so that he wouldn't have enough strength to just break through them."
Me: "Good call." I keep staff out and aimed at Isaac and prep myself to cast another one of my own.
"As I said, it is the purpose of the Spirit Realm to offer respite and recuperation," Spiga explains to Red as she sits on the invisible ground and crosses her legs. Her paws come together in her lap and she seals her eyes entering a meditative state.
Kenzie simply sits on the ground staring straight ahead with a pouty face. She felt that she was totally capable of taking on Isaac's powerful form, but to be seated in a peaceful location rather than out there fighting had left her in a sour mood.
Micah continues to lie on her back savoring every second of her moment of rest. When she hears Red mention the forces that must contend with Isaac's berserk state she mutters softly, "Hopefully they're able to. Looking forward to getting out of this madness once it's done. Too much crap has happened since we've been here."
"Good, this should hold him for a bit. Now, I need you to make the formula to revert him back before he brakes the chains and tries to kill us. I have to stay here and observe him for any changes. The girls in the lab will help you make the potion, they'll get you the ingridents in case you mess up. Just go now!" The Queen orders.
Jack: "I don't know the first thing about potion making."
Me: "Jack you stay here and help keep Isaac in check." I hand him my staff and get up. "I know my way around an apothecary, I've made some grade A potions before I go make the potion and be back, by the way just point the staff at Isaac if he tries to move and it'll send out a bolt to keep him paralyzed again."
Jack: "Oh ok."
Me: With that out of the way I run off as fast as I can when I reach her potion making lab the Mamono all look at me surprised and just as the Head lab worker goes to ask me about what's going on I stop her. "Three words, Isaac rage mode." I say out of breath and as if on queue they scramble to grab the ingredients needed to make the potion and I begin working on putting the stuff together. 'This better work.' I think to myself as I mix the items together.
(Sorry I'm late, was away from my computer for the last few days -_-')
"I think I'm ready to go back there now! Unless you don't want to open the portal for safety reasons, of course. I just hope they've managed to stop Isaac rather than fighting him, since it would make it difficult to get back onto the battlezone otherwise."
I stand up and get ready to quickly go through the portal if it gets opened back up.
"Yeah!" Kenzie shouts as she gets up and thrusts over to Spiga, "Please, can we head back out there now?"
Micah sits up from her resting position and looks to Spiga, awaiting her answer. Spiga becomes apprehensive and faces Red, her face stoic. "It takes a substantial amount of energy for me to even access this realm in the first place. If we immediately return to the warzone then understand that I will not be able to reopen another portal into this world for a lengthy period of time. Yes, my strength and power have been regained, but the essence needed to complete the task again must take time to recharge," she explains plainly.
The Jinko points a claw in a random direction and continues, "I can, however create a small opening into the other realm using tiny amounts of essence. This will allow us to peer into the battle and see if it is safe."
Spiga's claw glows blue and she spins it in a circle. Eventually the group has a window into the plane and they can see the monstrous Isaac chained up by Jack.
"He is bound, but I fear that it may not be for much long-"
"I'M COMING GUYS!" Kenzie screams as she happily bounds through the portal and races toward Jack and Isaac.
"KENZIE!!!" both Micah and Spiga snap simultaneously.
Kenzie reaches both the man and the monster but she stops short of them, wondering what she should do.
I struggle furiously in my restraints and try to thrash about. Lustia puts her hands on my forehead and looks at me. "Come on Isaac my boy, you can trust me to change you back. Just think about all the good times we've had." She says. I jerk even more violently and try harder to escape. The Queen backs off real quick. "I...they weren't all bad were they?" She asks.
Jack: He looks up after hearing Kenzie and see her standing there. "Hey Kenzie do you have anything that can keep a person from moving without killing them or something because I just doubled my binding chains and used Repter's staff to keep him pinned after the tried to move?" He asks then looks around. "Where's Repter with that potion?"
Me: "Come on, come on, I need to get this ready." I quickly look around the room and see the Mamono busy at work. "Hey not trying to be that guy or anything but I need that last ingredient like now!" I yell and see a March Hare bring me the last thing I need to finish the potion. "Thank you." I put it into the mix and smile. "Alright finished, now I have to get to back to Jack and Isaac." I rush out with the finish potion and a few extra just in case something goes wrong before I get there.
"Ah, I didn't know you could observe as well... It's indeed better to check the place first than to take useless risks and use more energy." I look at the ongoing scene thinking Jack might need some help when Kenzie jumps through the small opening. I do a facepalm, hear Jack's remark while I think, and ask: "Since Kenzie went through, does it count as the other, more essence-expensive kind of portal? If it's the case, then I'll go as well to help."
One of the Cheshire Cats yells out to Repter as he runs off. "Hey wait! You forgot the syringe! The potion is useless without it!" She yells. "For crying out loud, where's Repter with the mixture? He's not gonna stay like this forever!" The Queen shouts getting impatient. I thrash about and break one of the restraints on my arm and start trying to claw at the others on my arm. "Oh for the love of- Isaac knock it off!" The Queen says hold my arm down.
"Alright, I'll try helping with a petrification spell. Thanks. And sorry as well, it's also because I wanted to go and assist that Kenzie slipped through the portal..." I rush through it and cast the spell on Isaac with some distance, to avoid his claw should it be set free.
Me: With a sliding stop at the door I look back into the lab. "What do mean syringe, can't we just force him to chug this stuff down like a drink or something?"
Jack: He quickly redoubles the restraints and uses the my staff again to reapply the paralyzing effect. "What the living hell, how is Repter friends with this guy, his strength is insane?" After seeing the others show up he smiles a little. "Get you butts over and help us and someone go after Repter we need him and that dang potion he had to run off to make."
The Cheshire Cat adjusts her glasses. "It's not that simple sir, if we try to force him to drink the antidote, he'll just detoxify himself through one of his slime powers. Granted, he can try to do the same thing with the syringe but it's faster and he won't be as fast in detoxing himself. With that in mind, he might gain some semblance of himself and calm down enough for us to administer the rest of the dosage." She explains.
The spell has no effect on me in my current state but Lustia freezes in place because of it. Through her teeth she grunts. "Reind me oo epimend oo efter this scholar!" She grunts. I try to remove one of the other chains again, still no luck, but I'm getting closer.
"No, but do try to be careful, that mixture is highly concentrated AE or Ather Energy as we've dubbed it, is a volatile mix that counteracts DE by neutralizing it. Even if you only have just Mana or small amounts of DE inside your body, you'll be extremely tired if any of it gets on you. It's not fatal, but you should do your best to avoid exposure." She explains.
Micah nods to Jack and shouts at Repter, "Hurry up! We gotta get Isaac out of this state!"
With Isaac chained up, but still thrashing about Spiga decides to attempt to restrain him further. Since her energy has been refilled she transforms once more into her giant samurai tiger form and approaches Isaac from behind. She grabs both of his wrists and holds them apart from each other knowing that he'd be unable to slash at her. Her increased strength helps her in holding the monster in place.
"Isaac, I don't know if you can hear me in there, but think of your friends and family," she whispers into his ear.
"What the- I am terribly sorry your highness, this should never have occurred." I undo the spell and Lustia can move again. "I can try holding him in place as well, but no guarantees.", I say while pushing his ankle towards the ground.
Me: "Thanks for the information." I run off and start thinking about something. 'If he gets lose and one shot from this thing isn't going to be enough I'm going to need a way to administer this stuff in quick succession.' That when a brilliant if foolhardy idea comes to mind. "The Medic gun from TF2." I quickly have it fabricated while running and load it. "Just in case." By the time I arrive back at the scene almost everyone is back. "I see I missed quite a bit."
Jack: I'll say you did this guy almost got loose, where were you!?"
Me: "Sorry Chesire Cat didn't give me all of the information from the start so I had to double back." I pull out the syringe and ready it. "I'm here now so what do I need to do?"
The DE that was coming off of me starts turning gold and solidifying, dropping onto the ground with thuds. The DE that was surrounding me turns gold before breaking off and revealing the pink armor I'm still wearing underneath. My eyes are closed and my breathing is light. Her majesty lets out a deep sigh of relief. "The mixture worked. He's asleep...my, my he's a handful. But certainly worth keeping around." She states. One of the palace guards comes running up to her with a note and hands it to her. Lustia reads it over a few times, getting shocked each time she reads it. "Is that so...well, it was a good thing we captured that soldier then. Go to the lab and tell the girls to speed up their work, afterwards, tell the chefs to make a lavish banquet. All that mess has made me hungry." She orders. The guard salutes and runs back inside the castle. Lustia ponders to herself while looking over everyone. "I suppose that she-witch was right, there will be a war approaching, not for a time however so we might still prepare. But enough talk of war and fighting, I'm going back inside for a wonderful five star meal, you are all of course, free to partake." She says with a smile.
Me: "As amazing as that sounds, I think I'll pass I failed to keep a promise to the kids of the other me and now they're orphan's again I can't let them go through losing another parent after what happened to them." I tell everyone and begin to sulk away to try to clear my head.
Jack: "I know you're powerful and all but is there any way you can help him keep his promise, without bringing back the dead or turning her into a Mamono?" The entire time he asking the question he staring at me out of concern.
"Other than turning her into a mamono, there's no sure fire way to bring her back. The Ather Energy we've been experimenting with is too unpredictable, anything could happen with it. I'm sorry, but time is something that not even I can control, Isaac and his wives can slow down time, but not even they can reverse it. I'm afraid, that only my mother, the Demon Lord might be able to do something, but we haven't spoken in quite some time." Lustia explains.
Seeing Isaac back in his regular form and unconscious brought relief to the trio.
When Lustia mentions a dinner that would make even the gods drool Micah waves her hands in the Queen's direction and says, "I think I'll pass."
Inside she was still annoyed that Lustia had not bothered to help them fight their alternate selves, but for the sake of newfound peace and avoiding another confrontation, she keeps it to herself.
"I don't think I'll have your dinner either Mrs. Queen. If that candy could get me hot and bothered, then who knows what's in those other dishes," Kenzie mutters as she remembers her embarrassing episode of when she first ate them.
Spiga reverts back to her Jinko form and states to Lustia, "An appreciated offer, but one I will have to decline as well unfortunately."
"I promise no more tricks, it's been a long day however, so everyone should indulge themselves and eat to their hearts content! There's also be the best...er second best entertainment I can provide, that is to say, non-sexual entertainment of course." She states honestly. A small team of March Hares in nurse outfits come trotting out into the garden and place me onto a stretcher. A Jabberwock approaches the Queen and kneels before her. "Your highness, the researchers are ready for the samples to brought in." She says. "Are they already? Fine, tell them they'll be busy soon enough." The Queen replies. With that, the Jabberwock bows before leaving.
Lustia reaches into one of her pockets and pulls out some playing cards and throws them into the sky whistling. From the cards, Trumpart soldiers come out of them and land. "What are your orders your Majesty?" The head one asks. "The Cheshire Cats in the lab are waiting for these AE crystals, load up and get down there for hand offs. Remember to be extremely careful with those as well, I don't want any complaints that you slipped and fell and now you have to have the week off to spend it with your husbands, that's what you have Mondays and the weekends for." Lustia tells them.
Jack: "Wait Repter had some type of strange gun loaded with Ather energy knowing him he would give that a try, thank you that might help him keep his promise." Jack runs off to catch up to me to tell me what he learned.
As soon as Isaac returns to himself, I let go of his ankle and roll in mid-air to fall on my back on the floor. "Phew... At the end of the day: we've retrieved an artefact everybody wanted, ended a conflict by doing this, missed a real-time month at the same time, fought our alternative selves and brought back Isaac from his enraged mode."
I rest a bit before getting back up when hearing Lustia talking about a banquet, but am reminded by Kenzie's remark that it might not be the wisest idea to take part in it: "Sorry, I think I'll pass as well." I give a thumb up to Jack for his idea and scratch my head, thinking about the next step of my journey.
Spiga gives Lustia a polite smile and says, "Again, your offer is appreciated, but I must decline."
"Yeah, after everything that happened today I think we're good," Micah says as she gives Lustia an apologetic smile. It was true. After all of the events that transpired Micah wanted nothing more than to leave Wonderland and give Spiga the scroll that she had received from the other Jinko.
"It was good to blow up some baddies though. That was fun," Kenzie stated, trying to raise Lustia's spirits.
Me: "After hearing Jack's explanation about the Ather energy I still have on me I rush back like my life depended on and grab the QoH. "Is what Jack told me true that this Ather energy stuff could possibly bring back the other me without any side effects, even on the off chance?" I ask her.
Jack: "Calm yourself man and get a grip." As he says that I notice my ship return. "Looks like the Skyhammer is back."
Anitra: "We are the people from the other Skyhammer contacted us and asked if we could help repair their ship before taking their captain and her kids back with them."
Me: "Go ahead and fix the ship." I turn back to the QoH, not even bothering to hold back tears. "Please tell me that there's even the slightest chance of this working?"
Lustia huffs at the denial of her offer, but she remains composed and retains her regal demeanor. When Repter grabs her though, she narrows her eyes. "You'll unhand me first before I tell you anything Traveler." She says with contempt.
Me: I let go of her and fall to my knees doing my best to hold any more tears. "I'm sorry I got worked up when I heard that too there was a chance even a slim one, no one deserves what the other Isaac did to them so please, I'm begging to tell can it even slightly work?"
"First off, stop crying, it's unbecoming. Secondly, I make no promises, no guarantees. Ather Energy is still being developed and tested. If it doesn't work then that's not my fault. Third, if we even were going to try something like this, we'd need a conduit to send the energy back into her body. Isaac's the best shot we have at that, but, well, you've seen how worn out he was. So unless you've got a better way for his energy to be recovered, then you'll just have to wait. Lastly, before I even agree for this to even be tested and I'm not saying yes either here, are you absolutely sure you want to bring her back from the dead? Messing with the forces of life is meant for gods, not beings like us. Even if she was brought back through some miracle, she might not even remember anything about what happened, who she was, she's dead as in brain dead. If you want to go through with this, you have to commit 100%. You'll take any and all repercussions for what happens during or after. Have I made myself understood?" Lustia asks.
I gulp at the thought of Repter having to fully bear with the consequences of using Ather Energy, especially if it means his other self would be brain dead upon revival, and let out "Man, Ather Energy sure is risky compared to Demonic Energy...", mostly to myself.
With Micah asking to be teleported back, I wait for her to finish her thanks to intervene but can't, as Lustia reveals there's something else to do. I scratch my head and sigh: "Note to self: at the end of the day, it's not actually the end of the day. Especially when we skipped a month..."
Isaac Kifer wrote: "First off, stop crying, it's unbecoming. Secondly, I make no promises, no guarantees. Ather Energy is still being developed and tested. If it doesn't work then that's not my fault. Third, if we even were going to try something like this, we'd need a conduit to send the energy back into her body. Isaac's the best shot we have at that, but, well, you've seen how worn out he was. So unless you've got a better way for his energy to be recovered, then you'll just have to wait. Lastly, before I even agree for this to even be tested and I'm not saying yes either here, are you absolutely sure you want to bring her back from the dead? Messing with the forces of life is meant for gods, not beings like us. Even if she was brought back through some miracle, she might not even remember anything about what happened, who she was, she's dead as in brain dead. If you want to go through with this, you have to commit 100%. You'll take any and all repercussions for what happens during or after. Have I made myself understood?" Lustia asks.
(Sorry for not replying been busy getting ready for school.)
Me: After regaining control of my emotions I look at the Queen of Hearts normal expression on my face. "I have no intention of trying to play god, her soul may be gone but my attention is to return that which was taken for her body still lives despite the wound she received."
Anitra: "Repter's right, her body is in a comatose state on the ship, his crew moved fast when I brought her aboard and placed her body in a chamber of some kind, so she's not brain dead just soulless at the moment."
Jack: "So her body's alive but she has no soul, how do you plan to return her soul then?"
Me: "Lustia said it herself, we need a conduit and with Isaac recovering we need to move on to the next best thing, me we're both Dragonborn and have walked the path that only the dead should walk, it was not yet her time so I plan to return her back to her body, which is why I was hoping that the Ather energy would be able to return her back to her body." I turn my attention back to the QoH. "So are you willing to take the chance of using me instead?"
(Yeah, no, it's cool I got you. I had financial aid problems I had to take care of and that took a bit to do, so yeah, don't worry about it. I just get lonely sometimes ya know?)
"You'd be very wrong about that, once we have a greater understanding of AE, it can be controlled, manipulated, used to better ourselves. DE on the other hand, that is unstable. My Knight is lucky he can control the amount he is able, you've seen what happens when that limit is passed. Still, he has only touched the surface of Demonic Energy. And no, dear boy, the day is not over just because you're tired, a war is coming and I'll not have this experience wasted, you must be ready when the time comes." Lustia explains. She turns her attention back to Repter and continues.
"If we use you, there might be a chance due to your connection and background. But again, no promises. I'll have one of the lab girls go with you for this endeavor. I must see to the drafts in the war room." She states. She starts walking away but stops and looks back at everyone, an dangerous shadow in her eye. "I expect you all to be back here in six months for your roles in this war. Don't die before then." She says. With that, she walks inside the palace. A Cheshire Cat in a lab coat walks up to Repter. "I've been made aware of the situation, please, take me to the subject." She says pushing her glasses up.
"Something else to be done before we leave? Please tell us more," Micah mutters as she places a hand on her head in annoyance at having to spend some more time in Wonderland, "If it's just paperwork for us to fill out then I'll gladly do that."
Spiga sighs softly, expressing Micah's irritation in turn.
"What!? Come on I just want to get out of here!" Kenzie whines.
When Lustia talks about the upcoming war however, both Micah and Spiga exchange fearful expressions. Kenzie on the other hand brightens up and announces, "I'll gladly be there for the party!"
A Jabberwock goes up to them and kneels holding up a few scrolls bound in pink ribbons and sealed with wax with her Highness's symbol. "These are what her Majesty wants you take care of for the inevitable war. Please, accept them." She says.
Isaac Kifer wrote: (Yeah, no, it's cool I got you. I had financial aid problems I had to take care of and that took a bit to do, so yeah, don't worry about it. I just get lonely sometimes ya know?)
"You'd be very wrong about that, once we have a greater understanding of AE, it can be controlled, manipulated, used to better ourselves. DE on the other hand, that is unstable. My Knight is lucky he can control the amount he is able, you've seen what happens when that limit is passed. Still, he has only touched the surface of Demonic Energy. And no, dear boy, the day is not over just because you're tired, a war is coming and I'll not have this experience wasted, you must be ready when the time comes." Lustia explains. She turns her attention back to Repter and continues.
"If we use you, there might be a chance due to your connection and background. But again, no promises. I'll have one of the lab girls go with you for this endeavor. I must see to the drafts in the war room." She states. She starts walking away but stops and looks back at everyone, an dangerous shadow in her eye. "I expect you all to be back here in six months for your roles in this war. Don't die before then." She says. With that, she walks inside the palace. A Cheshire Cat in a lab coat walks up to Repter. "I've been made aware of the situation, please, take me to the subject." She says pushing her glasses up.
Me: "Then please stay close, Meria I need a site to site transport two to the lab asap." within the few seconds I say that we've arrived back on the ship and in the medical bay where the other me is seen in recovery tank. "We're ready to begin when you are."
Jack: "War is coming, and we just got dragged along for the ride, but a war with who, we no longer members of the Order and we're not allied with the Overlord so who are we fighting?"
Anitra: "We'll find out when the times comes but until then all we can do is prepare." she turns and see the Jabberwock hand over several scrolls. "We will be ready for when the time comes, to be honest, I am not looking forward to this war."
The Cheshire Cat pulls out a golden crystal. "Please place your hands on the subject and focus deep inside yourself." She says.
"The brunt of the war will be fought against the order, they have many agents working with them. We only know so much, they are several steps ahead of us. With each of these mission done in our favor, we can undermine them." The Jabberwock explains.
"I thought it was mostly the old kind of Demonic Energy that was unstable... I see Ather Energy has potential, but for the moment it's the way of handling it that sounds unstable." I scratch my head thinking about the QoH's last sentence before she left and think: "Great, looks like I've just signed up for a war..."
I take one of the scrolls and store it in my bag: "I'm not really enthusiastic about a war, even less when it sounds like a full-scale one and when we know the exact time at which it will happen. I assume it also means we'll meet the other Isaac then?"
"Oh goodie!" Kenzie cheers as she eagerly takes one of the scrolls.
Both Micah and Spiga are clearly not enthusiastic about this at all. They had already gotten through one major war back in Oz, and here they are about to be thrown into another.
"What...even are these scrolls?" Micah asks as she hesitantly takes a scroll from the Jabberwock.
"My heart still aches with sorrow from the souls that were forced into the last pointless war against their will. And it was against our own as well," Spiga says as she takes a scroll and tightens her grip on it, "But if we must keep the Order from gaining any ground, then I will join you."
Right now, Micah is the only one who is unsure if she wants to join another war. She could already think of the death and destruction that was to come.
A golden light starts to surround Repter as he concentrates. Images of how many worlds she's gone to in order to find her children. All the time she's spent alone and all of her sadness and darkness. The feelings grow stronger and start becoming overwhelming.
"They are tasks and information gathered by our tacticians in order to even out the odds, it's the best we have at this point in time. Keep them close and carry out the tasks if we want any chance of making it through this war." The Jabberwock answers.
Me: "Yes I'm fine, just seeing everything she was forced to go through and despite how overwhelming it is I can't stop now." I begin to share my past with the orb as well to help counteract what I'm experiencing. "I won't give up not as long there is a chance." I continue to focus on the task in front of me.
I tilt my head at the Jabberwock's explanation and ask: "Aren't there other people that are better fit to do this job? I mean, these tacticians surely have a few backup plans up their sleeves in case we don't accept these tasks if this war is so critical, don't they?"
Micah listens to Red and nods in agreement at some of the points he makes. She once again thinks back to the war for Oz and the immense power that Isaac's Baph-chan and Drac-chan demonstrated against the forces of the Fish Queen.
"Surely you have warriors that are better suited for this right? I think what Red is saying is that if we refuse to fight in this war then your tacticians will find stronger warriors to aid you. Heck, I know some good candidates from Isaac's list of wives that could put the hurt on the Order," she mutters. Micah wasn't exactly trying to talk her way out of fighting in an upcoming war. More appropriately she was trying to see if they had other, better options. Sure Kenzie and Spiga could take out large groups on their own, but her? She was more suited for taking out high level threats provided they weren't decked out in heavy armor.
"Micah!? Are you seriously trying to turn it down!?" Kenzie snapped, not fully grasping her friend's mixed feelings on the situation.