View Full Version : The Recollection of Meira | The FINAL Chapter!!-- Chapter 13
04-19-2002, 03:35 PM
Here's the first chapter... As an author's note, somewhere toward the end there, there is talk of the fee for a Hunter's License. The amount given is roughly $15 worth of Meseta, which I chose to reflect the maximum price of a 3 month Hunter's License in the US. Yes, I actually worked out an exchange rate for Meseta, which was based on the price of a burger and cola in Phantasy Star 1, and then comparing the prices of equivalent items between PS1 and PSO. So anyway, without further adue, here it be.
I never saw our home world, though Randon used to tell me of it, quite often. He said that it had once been a place with beautiful scenery, and the scariest monsters. Toward the end, however, it had become riddled with chaos. The ground shook uncontrollably, with four, sometimes even five quakes at day. The weather became horrid. It was hot, and no rain fell for several years. In the days before the launch of Pioneer 2, the sky even became clouded with the toxic gas being emit from various locations about the globe.
But that is supposedly behind us all, now. Now, we're settling a new planet. They say that Ragol is a stable planet, with a lot of features similar to our home world-- even having a few similar creatures. This is probably why Ragol was chosen. It's a shame that just about the time that we got there, our sister ship, Pioneer 1, converted into a local city, blew up. Sort of. They couldn't really figure out just what happened to it. The structures were fine... But there was no one left alive! I guess that's why it's lucky that Pioneer 2 had the Hunters' Guild aboard.
Randon Bragwin was a member of the Hunters' Guild. He used to tell me that he came from a long line of Hunters, going back more generations than he was ever able to track back. He was rather skilled, too. He took me in when I was only a handful of weeks old. I don't remember much of anything about what happened. All I recall is men in white jackets when I was very very young, whom, in retrospect, I believe were biologists. I assume that I was probably genetically engineered, and gestated in a large tube, as most Newmans are. Randon always told me not to worry about it.
Though Randon trained me in various martial arts styles, and also in the arts of all the major weapon forms, I never became a hunter. Not until that day, at least... that day that I received the message on the BEE system. It was horrible.
It was eight months ago, today. I had gone grocery shopping, in anticipation of Randon returning after a three-day-long guild mission. I wanted to treat him to a home-cooked dinner, but had left for shopping a little late, so I totally expected Randon to be home when I got back.
I strolled up the corridor to our apartment, groceries in arms, and a big grin across my face. I stopped at the door, and shouted into the microphone, "Meira!" though; this was much trouble to express, without giggling my way through it. Only a syllable and a half my name may be, but a giggle-fit will still mutilate it into a mess. Thankfully, the Voice ID system recognized me, or else I may have never gotten in.
As I stepped in, I giggled. "Randon?" I shouted. "Randon, are you home??" Still no answer. I was slightly disappointed, but had just really kind of figured that he was just later than his last message had suggested. Either that or I was early. The time was roughly @146 beats, so I figured he still had time to get home before it was too late.
I walked into the kitchen, and set the bags of groceries down. That's when I noticed the light blinking on the BEE box. So, I went over and hit the button.
"Meira," it said, "This is a message from the Hunters' Guild. We've received a message from Randon." At this point, I thought that he was just sending a message that he'd be late. Though I did wonder why he would've sent the message to the guild, and not directly to me. There was more, of course. It said, "He told us he was unable to complete the mission. Meira, I'm sorry, but he didn't sound very good. We have sent a search party out for him, but it the odds of finding him aren't favorable, as we are not receiving a signal from his MAG. We're sorry, Meira. If you'll come to the guild, we can give you the belongings that he left in his locker."
I was distraught. I didn't know what to do. Eventually, I just curled up on the couch and cried. It was all I could think to do at the time. I don't think I ate anything for the next couple of days. Guess I didn't need to go grocery shopping that day, after all.
I finally went up to the Hunters' Deck, Viridia section. This was where Randon had been assigned. I stepped up to the desk. "Excuse me," I said, "I'm Meira... Meira Bragwin... I'm here concerning Randon Bragwin?"
"How can I help you, Meira?" she asked. Like she cared.
"Um... You... you haven't heard anything about him since the other day, have you? The search parties haven't found anything?" The butterflies in my stomach desperately wanted to jump out my throat and beat me senseless.
"Let me check the quest log," she replied. I remember being rather insulted that she didn't know off hand. I was of the opinion that she should have been keeping track, trying to find out every little detail she could. I was wishing that the butterflies in my stomach would jump out and beat her senseless. "It appears that the mission has been cancelled. Three parties of four set out, but none could find him," she eventually told me. "The record here says that he's been officially declared deceased. Would you like to take his release papers to the check room, and claim his belongings?"
I didn't know whether to be angry or sad. I had to make a decision quick. I determined that my only options were to either yell, and potentially become violent, or squeeze a tear. I chose to yell and potentially become violent. "What do you mean he's been declared deceased?!?" I screamed. I reached over the counter and grabbed her by the collar of her unreasonably low-cut uniform, and nearly pulled her over to my side of it. Then I growled in her face.
After a few moments of this, I finally gave up, and let her go. I'm told that I've normally got a harmless expression on my face, but when I get angry, I suddenly get quite intimidating, somehow. Much like how a cute little kitty cat can suddenly become a big sprawling ball of fur, claws, and teeth when it feels threatened, I guess. "Fine, just give me the stupid papers," I said. Though, perhaps not quite that politely. Anyway, I took the thing and walked out.
I looked down the walkway, over to the left, and saw the big "CHECK ROOM" sign. I always thought it was kind of funny that the checkroom and the Hunters' Guild weren't part of the same building, but I suppose that they're probably owned by different people. I wouldn't be surprised, however, if the person that owns the checkroom, also owns the shops. Though, it is fitting, I guess, that the money-storage place is so close to the money-spending place.
So I walked over to the checkroom, and presented the papers. The lady looked over the papers, then looked up at me. "So you're here for Randon's things? I heard about what happened to him. I'm really sorry," she said. She continued, "Would you like a bag to carry the stuff in, or would you rather just take custody of the locker?"
This caught my attention. I'd never really thought about it before. There really probably wasn't anything in the locker that I could possibly have any use for at home. I mean, I suppose I could've taken the photon saber home with me, and used it as a steak knife, but then again, I like my steak rare, not well done. This got me thinking more. There were about three thousand mesetas in the locker, as well. This, and the three hundred I had left at home would be about all that I'd have left, before the funds run out. With a burger costing, on average, roughly two hundred ninety mesetas, and a single can of cola costing seventy-three, doing the math, that left me with only nine days worth of food money. Of course, there were those groceries that I'd bought, but those had already gone bad, anyway. As much as I'd love to get into the home economics of it all, quite simply, it was cheaper to live off of colas and burgers than to live off of home cooking.
Tangent aside, I told the secretary, "I think I'll just take over the locker."
"Okay then. Can I see a section ID?" she asked. The trouble was, I didn't have one.
"Um... I don't have a section ID... I'm not a licensed hunter..." I replied.
"I see," she said, "Well, I'll tell you what. We can place the locker in your custody for a thousand beats, but by then you must have a section ID, and a hunter's license." I was set. I was going to become a hunter.
"Do you have an application that I can fill out?" I asked. She promptly produced one from behind the desk. "Thank you," I said. "Just fill this out, and turn it in at the guild?"
"Yes, of course, but there is a small registration fee."
"A registration fee?"
"Yes, you'll find that information on the application. It's a thousand-one-hundred-thirty mesetas."
My first thought, was that I could eat for a day on that. But, of course, it's a small price to pay to achieve a steady income. "Okay, then! I shall return with my section ID, tomorrow!" By this time I had pretty well made up my mind. I was going to become a hunter.
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04-21-2002, 03:59 AM
Good fic. http://www.pso-world.com/psoworld/images/phpbb/icons/smiles/icon_smile.gif I especially like the attention to detail, like the meseta exchange rate. I wonder if McDonald's takes meseta...hmm...
Keep writing! http://www.pso-world.com/psoworld/images/phpbb/icons/smiles/icon_wink.gif
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Hikosaka on 2002-04-21 02:01 ]</font>
04-23-2002, 07:34 PM
Here's chapter 2. Here, I introduce a couple of characters; my buddy's HUcast, and another buddy's retired RAcast. Things get a little more interesting, but no real plot development. I guess the point of this chapter is just to kinda give some personality to a couple characters.
So that was how the whole thing started. To make a long, drawn out, and ridiculously boring story short, I was accepted into the Hunters' Guild, and given a Purplenum section ID, to go with my locker at the check room. So, I reported back to that sassy checkroom lady, and told her to put all of Randon's stuff in my locker.
After all of that, I sat down at a cafe to eat some lunch, and examine the equipment that the Hunters' Guild had supplied me with. A new frame, and a scrappy Photon Saber. The Saber actually looked like it'd been recovered from a thousand hunters before me. Glad to see that it evidently served them well-- I'd hoped that it would serve me a bit better.
I put the saber away, and looked up from my burger, and at the electronics shop across the street. A large android with a head shaped like some deranged vehicle's antenna came out carrying a large bag full of what I can only imagine was probably spare parts. Why is it that whenever you're looking at someone, they somehow know that you're committing this heinousness, and immediately look back at you? For reasons that I would discover just a few minutes later, the walking barge clunked and clanked its way across the street, and sat down across from me.
"Hello there," it said to me.
I held up a finger, and hurriedly finished the bite I'd taken. "Hello..." I said back to it. Had I known this guy already, I probably would've said something more like, "Go away!" or maybe "How ya doin'?" At this point, I really only wanted to know what he wanted from me.
"That a new section ID?" he asked. I guess it must've been extra shiny, in those days.
I started taking the defensive. "Yes. Why?" I replied.
He finally set down his bag, which rattled as it settled its weight on the concrete, and nearly tipped its contents out. He said, "Well, I've been in the business for a while, and I figure that I might show you the ropes. If you're willing to run around on the planet with a RAcast, that is. My name's Zeirom, by the way. What's yours?"
At this point, I took his offer for granted, and became a little friendlier. I told him, "My name's Meira. I suppose you'd consider me to be a new hunter. I just got my section ID, today... But I used to live with a HUmar, so I know a bit. I think." I nerded out. "Anyway, I suppose I could use some help. After all, in this business, the best thing you can have is a friend. A walking armored tank certainly looks good on the guest list. I mean... You're certainly BIG enough to be called a tank."
I could have sworn that he smirked at this point. Except that his face never was articulated very well. "You think I'm big?" he asked. Just then, his bag tipped over, and the neon-green breastplates for a female android fell out. We both looked. I looked back at him. He looked back at me. Again, his face isn't articulated very well, but nonetheless, his chin-piece moved down, opening his mouth, as if intended to reveal a set of grinning teeth, which was never there. That sort of embarrassed grin.
After lunch, we went to the Hunters' Guild in the Viridia section. Yeah, I remembered this deck, and I remembered that irritating slut behind the Guild desk in this section, too. For the sake of civility in front of my new friend, I decided to ignore my past experiences with her, and pretended that I didn't know her. About that time, another android stepped up. This one was just as tall, if not taller, but not quite so bulky. Sleeker. This one was built for speed, I just knew it.
The only thing about this android, was that I swear he was having a huge spazz-attack, or something. Very hyper-active, and constantly chanting the word, "KILL!" He approached us, and suddenly was able to contain himself for a moment. "Hello, Zeirom. How are you, today?" he said. That guy freaked me out. His sudden stop was almost as startling as his sudden appearance.
Zeirom turned his oblong head at the sleeker android, who I eventually figured out was a HUcast. "I'm doing as well as can be expected, Dragoon. Have you met Meira?" he said. I almost wished he hadn't.
It was at that point that Dragoon jerked his head in my direction. After eyeing me for a moment, he slowly began to lean toward me. He lifted a hand, and poked my forehead, just before a sudden quick movement toward me that made me jump. He kept moving around me, until he had me backed up in a corner. His blunt face moved up and down, inches from my body, and every time he moved his head, the rest off his own body had to exaggerate the movements. I swear, if he had a nose, he would've been sniffing me. Finally, after an unreasonably long time, he backed off. He looked at Zeirom and said, "She's alive! Flesh!"
I didn't give Zeirom an opportunity to speak. "Of COURSE I'm alive, you aluminum monkey! I would've SLAPPED you, if I thought I could've done it without hurting myself!" I said. Truthfully, it was about the point at which he said that I'm alive that I would've had the nerve to slap him. Before that, he just scared the begeezers out of me.
Zeirom shook his head, and in doing so, reminded me very much of an old-fashioned radar. "Let's just take a mission from the guild, and head down to Ragol," he said. Dragoon at that point emit a noise, which I can only describe as chilling, but somehow resembled the words, "MOP-UP," though quite urgently, and even to the point of sounding unnaturally excited.
Zeirom talked to the woman behind the desk with the unreasonably low-cut shirt collar. What exactly he said to her, I wasn't sure, because I stopped paying attention, looking out the window at the planet, and half watching Dragoon's reflection, to make sure that he didn't try anything.
After a moment, a soldier walked in, and told us, "I'm a lieutenant in the 32nd WORKS division of the Pioneer 2 outer space task force." I instantly lost respect for the poor guy. "Pioneer 2's army is ill-equipped, so we ask hunters to help out. I received the council's order to go to Ragol to do some research. So I want your help. Sweep the forest around the Dome for monsters, then I'll send my unit. The mission will start in 5 minutes. Finish your duties before the mission starts. I admit that our soldiers are too weak. Good luck." Who is this council, anyway? In any case, Dragoon ran off for the teleporter as soon as the lieutenant mentioned the forest around the Dome. Just needed to know where to go, I guess. Zeirom thanked the man for the wish of good luck, and he and I both went to the checkroom to retrieve our MAGs.
Down on the planet, the skirmish began. Finally, a chance to try out this rickety old photon saber. A couple good whacks felled a Booma, so I figured it was good enough for the time being. Dragoon and I rushed ahead, while Zeirom stayed back, and shot at things over our shoulders and between our legs.
Dragoon was insane on the battlefield. He'd pull out a sword, slash down 5 boomas with a single strike, then pick up their remains, and throw them at the on-coming wolves. It was strange, though. With each thing he killed, he became progressively more-- oh, what's the right word. Stoic. I guess that works. He became progressively more stoic. He was calming. With each thing he ripped apart with his bare hands, he became just that much more calm and his rage cooled by that much. After a while, his ear-busting chants of, "KILL! DEATH! HURT! CAUSE INNUMERABLE PAIN!" became seemingly out of place.
When it was all said and done, Dragoon had calmed extensively. He no longer darted around with the consistency that makes random number generators a popular tool, his stride was relaxed, and even his metallic voice became almost comforting. It was like he was someone else entirely. I knew it was too good to be true, though.
Back in the Guild, Dragoon went to collect his reward. As I walked in to pick up my reward as well, I overheard him talking to the secretary. "Hey," he said, "No offense but," I could see the lady start to back away, "I want to KIIIIIIIIIIILLLLL you!" I slapped my forehead. Dragoon continued, "It's nothing personal, and I won't, it's just.... I want to KIILLLL you! Not that this is uncommon, I want to kill everything I see..." He rambled on like that for a few more minutes. Finally the secretary gave him his money, and he left. She was happy to see me, after having to deal with that.
On my way out, I watched Zeirom walk up to her, and accept his reward. He leaned over the counter, and spoke as if there were a microphone in her shirt. "I'd like to accept my reward." With a few choice words, the secretary pushed him back to the other side of the counter, and gave him his meseta. The massive RAcast pointed at her as he stepped away, made a clicking noise, and jerked that pointing finger of his, before joining me in the teleporter, back to the lobby.
04-29-2002, 04:13 PM
Slightly longer Chapter 3. Hope everyone likes it! Little bit of plot introduction in this chapter, and I hit the humor a bit harder, too.
In the newspaper, I read about a wedding aboard Pioneer 2, just recently. I find it funny, that at weddings, when it's time for the women to try to catch the bouquet, it's a huge tooth-and-nail fight over who grabs the flowers, and the thing never touches the ground, but someone always leaves with a black eye. Next up, the bachelors doddling about the party form a group to catch the garter. This is what I find most amusing about the whole thing, especially when contrasted to the women and the bouquet. The groom will take the garter off of his new bride, then toss it gleefully into the air. As this loop of cloth falls to the ground, the men will part into a circle, and just stare blankly at it, until someone builds up the nerve to gently kick it away with his foot, and finally, someone will carefully kneel down and claim it. I've always thought that was funny.
At some time the day after my encounter with Zeirom and Dragoon, I received a message on the BEE System. I was to report to Principal Tyrell's office. My first thought, was that I'd done something terribly wrong, and he was going to demean me for it. Then, however, my logic prevailed, and I realized that I couldn't have possibly done anything wrong, so I proceeded to his office without fear.
The principal's office is big. And cold. Very cold. I think the huge domed windows on the roof let a little too much heat escape. Silly me, I was wearing shorts when I blindly ran in there. Have you ever gone from a lukewarm room, into a meat locker, in a pair of shorts and a light shirt? That's something what this was like. Except that there are no doors to the principal's office, and the whole floor is levitated in the middle of the enclosure, so you have to teleport in, which means that the sudden change is even more shocking. I guess the floor is levitated to give some extra inertial dampening. Either that, or to remind the Principal that he's on a ship. Great Light forbid that something should go terribly wrong with the levitation device's power supply. Everything in the room would go crashing down. Stupid sound wave emitters, they're out to kill us all!
In any case, I walked down the walkway, toward the principal's desk. The dome-ish design of the office gave the click of my high-heeled boots on the ground a particularly loud echo. At the end of the walkway (there are, by the way, no walls in here, aside from the exterior walls), there are actually 3 desks. The one in the middle, and directly forward from the teleporter at the opposite side of the walkway, is Principal Tyrell's. The Principal is an aging man. He's already over the hill, and from the way things have been going lately, it looks as if he's already starting to tumble down the other side. His hair is a very dark gray, though I suppose it was solid black at one time. It's interesting how these high-ranking officials dress, to look somewhat formal, at all times. The collar sticks up and encompasses his head, up to his ears, allowing him a place to look outward and breathe, only in front. Hard vinyl shoulder pads, and thing that looks like a big, green poncho with sleeves. Of course, he also seems to have a turtle necked sweater on underneath it. No wonder he looks so old-- he has GOT to be hot in that crazy thing. He also has an odd glare that he'll stare at you with, while he's talking to you.
As you're coming in, the desk on the right belongs to an oddly short-skirted woman named Irene, who I assume is the Principal's assistant. I sometimes wonder what exactly she assists him with. I guess part of her purpose is to slowly take over the simple tasks that he slowly becomes less capable of, as he gets older. She isn't chewing his food for him yet, so I guess he's still reasonably young, as of yet.
The desk on the left is the desk of the Science Administration, aboard Pioneer 2. I imagine that the goober behind that particular desk isn't really as much a scientist, as he is a politician that would've been an old fashioned researcher, if he hadn't screwed up so much. I think that's best. If they can't do it right themselves, then put them in a position where they're telling other people to do it for them. Come to think of it, I think that this idea is somewhat similar to Irene's role with the principal, in that respect.
Next to the Science Administrator's desk, there are always two more guys standing there. More white coats with big hair, and growing foreheads.. Between the three of them, there is no one they can't confuse. In my own experience, I have seen two of them argue over whether the subject was black or navy blue, then the third one come in and tell them it's dark gray. I shudder to think of the trouble one would be, if someone had to take him down to Ragol. I swear, not a one of them would have the sense to even eat a monomate, if he was an inch within his life.
So, anyway, I walked up to the Principal, and stood at attention. I don't know exactly how formal this meeting was, but I figured that I might as well try to pay the Principal some respect. His IS the Principal, after all. From here, there are only two places to go, if you are to get deported-- either out the airlock, or down to Ragol. All things considered, there's no air in space, and everyone that was on Ragol is either dead or unaccounted for.
Then the Principal spoke to me. "Are you Meira, the Hunter? I'm Principal Tyrell," he said. I guess I needed to be introduced to him, but really, did he really have to inform me of who he was? He continued, "We have a bad situation... We need to act quickly. Did you hear about the explosion on Ragol?" I nodded yes. He carried on, "Very well. Pay attention and listen to me. We've lost contact with Pioneer 1. We have no idea what has happened. We've sent unmanned search units, but communication seems to cut off near the surface. What happened on Ragol? What occurred on Pioneer 1? Are the people on board alive? The council made a decision to send a manned search team. You are a skilled Hunter. We need your help. We have no choice... We need a place to settle on." There's that mighty council at work, again. Just who ARE these people?
"I gotcha," I said.
"Uh, could you..." he stuttered. I looked at him expectantly, but his mouth kept moving, and no sound was coming out. He eventually just said, "No, it's nothing. Take care, and good luck."
"I didn't say anything. Go talk to my secretary. Irene will help you."
"Okay, Sir..." What could I do? I walked over to Irene's desk.
"Well, let me brief you on your mission. Once you're on the surface of Ragol, check the status of the residential area. Checking the status of the Central Dome is a good idea. A transporter was launched earlier. You can go down to Ragol directly from the city. It may be a little risky, so please be careful. That's all," she said. Then she piped up again, as I was about to say something. "Um, excuse me... Oh, sorry... no, nothing. I wish you the best of luck." Now I was getting slightly bothered.
I looked at her like she was a maniac, and said, "You, too? What is the matter with you people?"
Then she came clean. "This is just between us, OK? The Principal's daughter was on Pioneer 1. After that explosion, he's been constantly worrying about her. He can't even sleep. This is a personal request. If it's possible... Find out what happened to her. He isn't in a position to ask you such a personal favor. Red Ring Rico... A famous hunter and a top scientist on Pioneer 1. Rico's his only daughter. Please, look for her!"
"I'll, uh, hm. I'll keep an eye open..." I said. Depressing office people. I promptly left. I guess they were giving this lecture to just about every hunter on the ship, because Zeirom and Dragoon eventually told me about their trips in, and there was also another hunter going in as I came out.
After talking to the principal, I decided to visit the Hunters' Guild, to see if there was a quest available that caught my interest. After that cold visit to the principal's office, I was eager to get down to Ragol, and get some sun.
I walked up to the counter. Sometimes I wonder if the Hunters' Guild cruised first food restraunts for their secretaries. Upon arrival at the counter, I was greeted with an inhumanly friendly smile, and a, "Welcome to the Hunter's Guild, how can I help you?"
My first thought was to draw back and make a "Gah!" noise, but in a wild attempt at being polite, I just said, "Can I see the available quest list, please?" She did, of course, show me the list.
There weren't a whole lot of options really, maybe five or six quests available, but I managed to find one that interested me. I should note, that it is about this time, when I took this quest, that a major series of events in my life really began to take hold. The quest was titled, "The Dragon's Heart." Basically, the job was to go down with another hunter to help avenge a friend's death by a dragon on the surface, and for some peculiar reason, retrieve its heart. Thinking nothing of the retrieval of the dragon's heart, I put the list back down on the counter and told the lady, "I want that one."
With that, the lady behind the desk paged a HUnewearl by the name of Lynn Darkstrike. After a few moments, she walked in. She was considerably taller than me, and wore a tight-fitting brown top and shorts. Her eyes were brown, and slightly slanted in shape, which looks real funny, next to my huge green eyes. Her hair was a dark, dark purple, and at the time, it was long and straight. I'll reveal now, that this would not be the last time I saw Lynn. In fact, after this quest, Lynn and I became good friends.
Lynn seemed to have somewhat of a complex concerning her hair. She just could never decide how she wanted it done. She must've spent thousands of meseta on hair stylists every month. Myself, I never change my hair. At some point when I was younger (though, come to think about it, we're only speaking of about 2 years of my life), I found that I looked rather pleasant with my purple hair tied back in two ponytails, behind each ear, near the base of my skull. Somehow or another, I also figured out how to fan out my hair in those ponytails, and absolutely loved that. I've gone with that ever since.
So Lynn walked up to me. "You're the one that took my quest?"
"Um, yeah," I said. Seemed a simple question to me.
"Okay then. Let's go kill us a big fire-breathing lizard."
It was strange. She said it like it was no big deal. I didn't think much of it at the time, though from what I would figure out over the next several months, in retrospect, it would make far more sense. She looked me up and down, then we ran off for the teleporter.
Down on the surface, I noticed her MAG. It was big, and from a distance, somewhat resembled a cape. After clearing a courtyard of Boomas and Giboomas, I asked her, "What is that MAG?" My own, I had fed and raised into a Varaha, which I liked, because it somewhat resembled a big, blue pair of angel wings.
Lynn replied, "It's an Apsaras. I raise them."
"You raise Apsaras?"
"Yes. Every time I find a baby MAG, I raise it into an Apsaras, and usually end up selling it to someone." I couldn't believe she sold MAGs. Though, giving it further thought, people sell dogs too, so why should a Hunter's pet sell any differently than a civilian's pet.
I should comment, I suppose, that I love my MAG. It has saved my life in a great many battles, and I like to believe that the vast amounts of money I spent raising it to its current state was not wasted. Of course, if that weren't enough to make me love it, the big blue angel wing look is just so cute!!
A special bonding occurs between a hunter and her MAG. I guess any hunter would tell you this. I suppose that it has a great deal to do with the MAG being there as your support, as you run around and risk your hide. How can I describe this? It is, on a structural level, a giving relationship. You give your MAG food, and your MAG helps you survive. When things get tough, your MAG may gain enough energy to create a barrier field around you, to keep you from getting hurt. That's not all, though. Your MAG may also cast techniques like Shifta and Deband on you, to make you stronger and tougher, respectively. If your MAG really likes you, it may even go so far as to heal you, and revive you, when you are about to kick the bucket. That is, of course, assuming that it has the energy to do so. Sometimes it just doesn't.
MAGs were invented some years ago, as a Hunters' Companion. They give you one, when you join the Hunters' Guild. A MAG is, for all intensive purposes, an evolving robot. I guess they must have some organic parts or something, but after they've consumed enough substance, they can reshape themselves into many of a number of forms. A different form may react to a food differently, and it may also have different abilities. Such as being able to cast Shifta and Deband, the barrier field, casting Resta on you, or even casting Reverser on you. Which makes me wonder; if a MAG can cast techniques, and is a robot, then what's to say that this technology can't be integrated into an android? Anyway, enough with the MAG tangent. I love my MAG, my MAG is a Varaha, and Lynn's MAG is an Apsaras.
It was at that point, that I saw this for the first time. A chubby little fowl fell from the sky, and sat on the ground, a scant ten meters away from us. Lynn was unaffected, but I, however, was shocked and amazed. "Oh my god!" I screamed. "It is so cute!!" I turned off my saber, shoved it in a pocket, and ran over to the thing. It got up, and started to move toward me too, so my first thought was oddly enough, that it was as happy to see me, as I was to see it. So I ran up to it, grabbed it, picked it up, and hugged it. Then it tried to peck my eyes out. Luckily I was quick enough to dodge its beak, scream, and drop it, before it could eat my eyeball. I do believe that this is the leading cause of HUnewearls with eye patches on Pioneer 2.
I pulled my saber out, and beat the heck out of it with the hilt. It was pretty much all I could do with it, with it turned off. It eventually dropped itself, and stopped moving. Lynn walked over next to me, and both watched the thing. "Is it... Dead?" I asked.
"No, it's just playing dead," said Lynn. Evidently, Rag Rappies are actually pretty tough creatures. They can take a beating without getting killed. Though they normally play dead for a while, until they feel it's safe to run. Lynn tossed her sword on the ground to the side of her, and pulled out some variety of handgun. "All rappies must die!" she said, then took aim.
I guess the rappy heard this, and even understood it, because it looked up at her, jumped to its funky little feet, and started to run. "Yeah!" I shouted. "Shoot it! Blow its brains out!!" It didn't get very far, before a photon bullet found its way to its pelt. It slid across the ground, but nonetheless, still managed to get away, albeit, wounded. From what I gather, Lynn strongly dislikes rappies, possibly because they quite specifically are indeed very cute, when they're not trying to peck your eyes out. All subsequent Rag Rappies were exterminated immediately.
After wandering around the courtyards of the Central Dome for some time, and putting several large, horned, ape-like creatures known as Hildebears to sleep, we figured out how to open the last gate, and get inside the building, where a number of dragons had been known to take rest. The inside of the Central Dome was quite hot. Everything inside had been wrecked, from what we saw. In fact, it was as though a volcano literally erupted in there. I rather suspect that it was largely due, in part, by the dragon fire.
Somewhere in there, Lynn tossed me a Photon Brand, to replace my Saber. The Brand was noticeably stronger, and using this weapon, Lynn and I together hammered away at the Dragon's ankles, until it fell on its chin, and nearly bit its own tongue off. Then we smacked it for a while like that, until it stumbled back up to its feet, and took flight.
We couldn't hit it in the air, except for the use of our Zonde techniques, which disturbed it greatly by summoning bolts of lightning from the roof to fry it mid-flight. A pity though, we couldn't really do a whole lot to it like that. For the most part, our Zonde techniques weren't quite enough to get through its thick scales, and even beyond that, our photon weapons only charred the scales, for the most part. Luckily, of course, that's not to say that we weren't cramping its style. It quite obviously wasn't very happy with us, when it started spitting huge fireballs at us.
Lynn and I separated, and ran around, trying to avoid the massive flames. It's a good thing that they died away quickly, after hitting the ground, or we'd have been in trouble. It eventually landed, stumbled around on its feet for a bit, tried to spit fire at us, then took off again, after we'd beaten up on its legs some more, trying to get it to fall down again.
This time, however, it didn't stay in the air for long. It took a spinning nosedive straight into the ground. It didn't stop at the ground, though. It went right through it, and underneath, in a gush of flame. Now, I don't know if everything underneath there was molten lava, or if it was just the dragon melting the rock as it got to it, but when it splashed through the ground, it shot lava all over the place. Then it would move quite quickly underneath the ground, tossing around everything above it. It wasn't completely blind about it, though. That's the part that gets me. It hit Lynn once, and threw her across the room in the process, and caught me a couple of times, as well, before it finally shot back into the air. There were now 2 pools of lava in the room.
We were fortunate, however. As it landed, it was quite evidently tired. Lynn and I this time, instead of going for its feet, grabbed a hold of scales on its chin, climbed up on its neck, and attacked at the base of its skull. As exhausted as it was, it didn't have the energy to throw us off, and we were able to attack the base of its skull, until it finally gave one last shriek of pain, and dropped on its side to die.
I almost felt sorry for it, for a moment. But then I thought about how it would've killed us, if we hadn't killed it, and thus, I didn't feel very sorry for it anymore. As they say, the big dog eats the little dog. This is also the point where Lynn started to gross me out. She put away her weapon, and laid out a teleporter, to return to Pioneer 2, while I was collecting the loot. A few minutes later, she returned with a large chainsaw, and proceeded to cut open the dragon's chest.
"What the heck are you doing, Lynn?" I questioned her.
"I'm getting the heart, Meira." she said.
"What do you want the heart for, anyway?"
"I want it for a... trophy." You'd think that most people might be satisfied with a claw, or perhaps a tooth. No, Lynn had to get a chain saw, and cut out the thing's heart.
"Okay..." I said. I watched as Lynn peeled away scales, and grinned with a peculiar delight, as she tore its ribs out of her way. The dragon's body then lay dead in a rancid puddle of its own blood, littered with scales and parts of its ribs. Lynn squeezed her way into the chest of the beast, and after a moment of gooey sounds, she came out with a laugh, drenched head to toe in the creature's blood, with parts of its internal organs stuck to her. She held up the heart, triumphantly.
"I've got it!" she yelled, and giggled. "I'm going to go clean up, and do something with this, Meira. I'll meet you at the guild."
"All right, Lynn," I said. "See you at the guild, then." With that, I returned to Pioneer 2, and put my weapons in the checkroom. I also put away my MAG. I puttered around the shops for a little while, and had the Tekker identify a couple of items for me. He identified a sword-type weapon that I found in the Central Dome as a "Heart Breaker." That is to explain, a Breaker-type sword, with the Heart attribute, meaning that every time I use its special trigger on the hilt, it sucks some energy out of whatever I hit, and returns it to me. Really, I don't especially like to use swords. They're big, bulky, and slow. They can be convenient, especially when a bunch of those worker droids in the mine down on Ragol group up together in front of you, to try to beat you senseless. I really liked the name though, so I kept it. A Heart Breaker. I loved it, so I kept it. In fact, I still have it, even to this day.
After a while, I returned to the Hunters' Guild, and met up with Lynn. She thanked me for my help, and told me that I could get my reward at the guild counter. A nice 15,000-meseta reward. One of the better rewards I've ever seen. Lynn paid out nicely. Of course, I suppose I should point out, as someone else once did, that taking quests isn't really the biggest part of making money for a hunter. They're good for a quick boost in funds, but really most of the money a hunter earns, is in loot from Ragol. Finding weapons, frames, and maybe a few miscellaneous items to sell at the shops provides far more cash than any quest. In fact, for that 15,000-meseta quest, I sold 70,000 mesetas worth of loot, including meseta cubes I found scattered around.
In any case, after collecting my reward, I walked back over to Lynn. "That was a lot of fun," I said to her. "I'd like to go adventuring with you again tomorrow, if you're interested."
"That sounds like a great idea to me, Meira."
"All right! Meet up here again, at @790 beats, maybe?"
"Sure. I'll be here."
Thus it ended, but the next day would prove to be rather fun, as well.
06-11-2002, 02:01 PM
Been too long since I've posted a new chapter... Work on it has gotten a little slow. Anyway, now Meira's headed for the Caves.
When I got home that night, I sent Dragoon and Zeirom messages on the BEE system, to meet me on the Hunters' Deck, in the Purplenum section at @790 beats. I thought they might enjoy a run around on the surface, as well.
Laying down on the couch, my hand stumbled across a picture frame, while desperately searching for the remote control for the glowing box. I lifted the picture into view. A picture of Randon and myself, a few months before he disappeared. I was so young, then. I put the picture back, and promised myself I wouldn't cry.
My fumbling hand finally discovered the remote control somewhere between the ravenous cushions of my couch, which in the past, has claimed many pens, mesetas, batteries, and even assorted crumb-sized portions of meals hastily consumed while the vast majority of the room's population's attention was devoted to the glowing box sticking out of the wall. My thumb had already memorized the positions of all my favorite buttons on the control, so without much effort, I turned it on, ready to take in the latest news from the press room.
The news really is regulated very strictly. Just half the stuff I've found and reported, down on Ragol's surface should've amounted to major headlines, but nope. The big news that night, was the popular Ms. Weilder's party dress for the actors' guild award ceremony. I suppose it was a clever use of photon energy, but honestly, I'd never wear such a thing in public.
Of course, every once in a while, you stumble across one of those cheesy tabloid shows. While clicking my way through the array of available programming, I stumbled across one, just as they mentioned that 30% of active Hunters' Guild members go missing after a year or so, and only 15% survive long enough to retire. I don't think that those numbers are quite accurate, though. I rather suspect that they're taking androids out of those equations, because with numbers like that, you'd think that more than just one of Randon's buddies would have suffered a horrible fate, before Randon disappeared. Androids, however, I have observed tend to survive and last longer, mainly because they're very commonly found and rebuilt, and their parts are considerably easier to replace, as needed. Plus, androids tend to pack more of a punch, and also tend to be a little more accurate with a gun, too. I sometimes marvel at how well Zeirom can handle those huge guns; I don't think I could hit the broad side of a barn from ten feet away with one of those, personally.
Evening programming is always just so horrible. Randon and I always liked to laugh at the Hunter dramas that came on, just late enough in the evening that all the young children should be in bed. They were always so unrealistic. We always used to wonder what Kelley Murphy, the actor who portrayed Infurno on the series, 'The Guild', would do, if he found himself actually down on Ragol, confronted with a courtyard full of Barbarous Wolves. After seeing him take down a Gulgus-gue with a single mechgun, Randon laughed, and vowed never to watch the show again. It was a very cool and dramatic scene, but completely unreasonable.
Every once in a while though, you come across a really good comedy. I always liked the one about the guy with the android neighbors across the hall. Possibly because by coincidence, the guy's address would be my next door neighbor, if my apartment weren't at the end of the hall. I always thought that was really neat. Of course, with lines like, "Shove it in your oil intake, Chronogar!" and "At least when I consume oil, it's intentional," how could a show go wrong?
That night, I didn't particularly feel like cooking, and having eaten burgers for every meal in the previous weeks, I was getting pretty tired of those grease balls, too. So I ordered out for delivery barbeque sandwiches. I figured it'd be a pleasant change of pace. That's why I wasn't surprised when the doorbell rang.
Now, by this time, I had my hair down, was wearing a short pair of house pants, and a trusty old shirt, that by this time, was a smidge too small, but oh so comfy. So I grabbed the meseta cube I had waiting on the coffee table, and proceeded to take it to the door. Opening the door, however, while I did discover my food waiting for me, I did not discover the pimple-faced delivery boy I had rather expected.
Standing on the other side of my door was a tank holding a bag of food. After he appeared to grin at me, and I recovered from a brief episode of surprise, I said to him, "For pity's sake, Zeirom, don't you make enough money at the Hunters' Guild, that you don't need a part time job delivering barbeque sandwiches?"
Zeirom leaned forward and stared down at me, so I had to look almost straight up to look him in the eyes-- though I don't think it was my eyes that he was looking at. "Do you always answer the door in your pajamas? I might visit more often," he said. "Anyway, I was on my way here after I got your message, and saw the delivery boy, so I punched him out and took the food."
"You punched out the delivery boy??? Great light, Zeirom! They'll never deliver here again!"
"No, I didn't punch him out, can't you take a joke? I grabbed his arm before he knocked on the door, paid him, and told him I'd deliver it. Speaking of delivering, are you going to invite me in before your food gets cold?"
I shook my head, and gestured him in. "Come on in, you big land rover." Naturally, he came in. After the door shut, he turned to me, grabbed my hand, put the bag of food in it, then sat down on my couch.
"The Guild, huh?" he asked, commenting on the show I had stationed the glowing box to.
"It's the season finally," I said, returning to the couch, myself. "They're supposed to be killing Infurno's evil twin half-brother with an infected MAG."
"Ha! That's hilarious. Exactly why I stopped watching the show."
"Well shoot, it's funny stuff like that, that keeps me watching it! It's better than those cheesy supermarket tabloids."
"Last one of those that I saw, said that a war fleet was headed for Pioneer 2, from some unknown planet in the next solar system over." I laughed profusely when he said this. As I ate my barbeque sandwich, he made a few other comments that made me laugh, that I can't really remember off hand, but I do recall that one of which made me laugh a bit of barbeque sandwich out my nose.
I eventually went to bed, and when I woke, I found Zeirom shut down in the corner. I can only fear what he looked at before he shut himself down.
That morning, we set out for the Purplenum section of the Hunters' Deck. We were met there by Lynn, who was dreadfully watching Dragoon jumping up and down, and climbing around on street lamps in anticipation of the slaughter that would soon come. Dragoon's jumping up and down reminded me of a little boy that has to go to the bathroom really bad, but is trying to hold it until he can gain access to the proper receptacle. I always thought it was interesting that his need to kill can be contrasted against a human's need to relieve himself.
Lynn finally smacked Dragoon to try to get him to stop, but the result was that she nearly broke her hand on his chest plate, and if Zeirom hadn't been right there to grab Dragoon's wrist, Lynn would've died right then and there.
Zeirom held Dragoon's wrist back, and just looked at him as if he were some smooth Casanova saving a fair damsel from the wrath of a moral less jerk. "Don't hit the ladies, Dragoon." With that, he released Dragoon's violent appendage.
Dragoon was still jumping up and down. I couldn't believe it when he yelled, "But I NEED to GOOO!!"
Zeirom was content to ignore this, and he took a step toward Lynn, so that he was directly in front of her, and towering over here. Then he looked almost straight down to see her and said, "Hellooo, and who might you be?"
At this point Lynn pushed him back and retorted with, "Back off, Dish-head. I'm Lynn. Meira and I met just yesterday."
Zeirom teased,"Oh, you two MET yesterday, huh? Must've been fun!"
In the naivety I found so abundant at the time, I rang in with an exclamation of, "Oh, it was great Zeirom! I wish you'd been there to see it!"
I didn't really understand why at the time, but Zeirom turned his antenn--err... turned his head and looked at me strangely. One eye lit more brightly than the other, almost as if it were open wider. Then he said, "Well, in that case, I really DO wish I were there to see it!"
Just then, two photon sabers ignited, and we all looked in their direction to see Dragoon swinging wildly, and dashing for the teleporter. About halfway through his dash, he started emitting a high pitched squelching noise, which disappeared abruptly as he vanished into the depths of the area the surveyor team had dubbed, "The Caves".
We all looked at each other in bewilderment, and took off after him. After all, we couldn't let him have ALL the fun, could we?
Down in the Caves, we found ourselves with the task of tracking down Dragoon. It wasn't hard, really. Just follow the trail of Altered Beast blood. In other words, just follow the green spots on the ground, and you'll find Dragoon. After 3 or 4 rooms and a couple of hallways, dodging rock smashers and the like while we were at it, we got close enough to track him by the sounds of photons ripping through flesh, and his peculiar screams of "DEATH!", "DESTRUCTION!!" and "UNADULTERATED VIOLENCE!!!" We even found a rock smasher that had evidently nearly hit him. It had been ripped from the ceiling, singed, and torn apart, though, not necessarily in that order.
Somewhere along the way, I came across a pair of photon daggers. I balanced them in my hands, and found myself to be quite pleased with them. When we found Dragoon, he was on the back of a Grass Assassin, trying to tear its head off, which, after a moment of being flailed about by the frantic insect, he finally accomplished.
He spiked the head like a football, then started beating the body in like an ape. The body busted open, an hordes of little baby Grass Assassins fled from the corpse, most of which were stomped upon, and thereby killed and properly squooshed by Dragoon.
Dragoon looked at us, and made an odd sound of relief, before letting himself fall backward into the goo left behind by the Grass Assassin's body. He promptly giggled, and curled up into a ball, before rolling around, getting himself covered in the mess.
We walked over to him, and looked over him. "Dragoon!" I yelled at him. He stood up and stood at attention so fast, that I jumped, reportedly making a squeak; or so Zeirom informs me. He says that I "bounced". "Dragoon, do you feel satisfied, now?"
He looked stupidly at me, and said, "Noooo... Actually, I would really like to kill more. I broke my Gladiuses on a Nanodragon's head."
Lynn gawked. "You BROKE a Gladius? How??"
"I didn't break A Gladius. I broke two. I was trying to break its skull open with the hilts," Dragoon explained. Lynn twitched. Zeirom started walking toward the door to the next room. Dragoon leaned around me and looked at him. "Where are you going?" he asked.
Without even looked back, Zeirom replied, "I'm headed for the next room. I figure, if I start moving now, I'll have a head start."
06-18-2002, 04:54 PM
In the next room of this labyrinth we call the Caves, we fought large groups of creatures classified as Altered Beasts. Zeirom picked off the living, poisonous Poison Lilies from the door with some variety of photon rifle, while Dragoon and I slayed the varying breeds of bipedal sharks, that would mindlessly try to surround us and slash us to death. Meanwhile, Lynn took care of Nanodragons, by strategically placing herself in between them, so that when they shot off their beam attacks, she could simply sidestep in one direction, and watch each beam hit the opposing Nanodragon. Her expression through all that was oddly calm, but I didn't think anything of it.
Meanwhile, I got surrounded by Pal Sharks. Four of them. I frustratedly dodged left and right, up and down, around their blade-claw-fin things, until I finally got irritated enough that I jumped straight up, crammed a heel into one's forehead, and forward-flipped over the one directly in front of it, and came down on it from behind, tearing my photon daggers through its back. That shark dropped, and I proceeded on to the next three.
I immediately bought myself some time by tripping the shark on my left, stabbing a blade in its eye to throw it off balance. Then I took that same blade, this being the blade in my left hand, and slashed it through the chest of the shark directly in front of me (the one that got a heel to its forehead a moment ago), on its way to the throat of the shark on my right.
Slicing open the throat of the shark on my right with my left dagger, I continued to swing around, and finished off the shark in front of me with the business end of the dagger in my right hand, plunging it underneath the shark's chin, upward into what I always hoped was a vital organ.
By this time, the shark on my left had struggled back to its feet, so I took a couple of quick swipes across its chest and face, and finished it off with a boot to the gut, causing it to fall over face-first, into the ground, where it would quickly bleed to death.
Having finished that, I looked up just in time to see Dragoon throw an eighth Evil Shark into a corner. Then he emit a series of beeps. First three quick beeps, then two, then one, and finally, on rhythm, he did something that surprised all of us. Now, the beeps got the attention of all three of us, and this really kind of explained to us just as to why he was able to clear out rooms so quickly.
On rhythm with the beeps, his shoulders opened up, and a number of photon grenades shot out, into the air, and as if they'd been guided, they angled down at the corner containing the sharks, and shot at them. Each grenade hit in sequence, two or three at a time, until finally all the grenades had spent themselves, and only one Evil Shark was left, protected by the splattered remains of its brethren. It struggled to its feet, but its victory over the bombardment was short-lived, as Dragoon's shoulders immediately closed, and Dragoon charged in on the shark. Dragoon put his fist through the shark's chest, which pinned the shark to the wall until Dragoon pulled his arm back. When the shark fell to the ground, and Dragoon walked away, I took a good look at the wall, observing that his fist evidently made solid contact with the wall, as evidenced by the lung plastered to it, as well as the cracks in the rock behind the lung.
Dragoon hopped up the five or six stairs that lead up an incline in the room, and posed dramatically at the top of them. Zeirom, puzzled by Dragoon's maneuver with the sharks, stepped over to Dragoon, and at this time, pushed him out of his pose.
I personally think that Zeirom was just a little jealous at this point. He said to him, "Dragoon, just what in the Abyss was that?" On the other hand, maybe he really was just confused.
Dragoon was still giddy. All excited and as if he were an old man from a better time, he said, "I'm an older model than you are, Zeirom. Much older. Back in my day, androids used to have neat gadgets like that, that they could find. Most of you young bucks just have a grenade dropper, to set your bombs and ice traps. Well me, I'm older. Back in my day, we didn't HAVE floating traps! Uh-uh! Noooo way! If we wanted to drop a bomb at a range that wouldn't hit us, we had to LAUNCH them. So that's what I've got. I've got a multi-barrel grenade launcher in each shoulder. With the Burst Rock hardware driver, I can shoot off sixteen grenades at a time, and I've got the storage and auto-loader to reload 4 times, before I have to make a run to the City to restock. Now, you newer models, bah, you guys were built 'economically,' or so they say. Instead of launching bombs, you just drop them. Cheaper to build, but no where NEAR as fun!"
Zeirom shrugged. "Were all the models from your time as blood thirsty as you, too?" he asked.
Dragoon took on a stoic pose, and looked up at the ceiling, as though it weren't there. He said, "I was the first and last of my breed," as if it meant that he was some holy relic from a time forgotten.
Just then, Lynn walked up to me. It seems she'd been watching me, when I took down the group of Pal Sharks that had surrounded me. "Meira," she said, "How did you learn to fight like that?"
I was bewildered by her interest, but shrugged it off. "Fight like what?" I said.
"You took on those Pal Sharks like you were playing with them. I mean, you were even giggling toward the end there."
"Yes, you were. Your technique was excellent, by the way. I'm sure that if you were to go on like that for too long, you'd get rather tired, but it was not only very flashy, but just as effective, too. I like that," she claimed. She smirked, and I looked at her funny. She finished with, "I'm going to have to keep an eye on your progress." So I looked at her funny some more, then watched as she winked at me, turned around, and walked in the general direction of the androids.
As she walked by, both androids looked at her. Lynn walked behind Zeirom, and as she walked by, she raised her hand, to run it along the back of his head. From there, she continued to saunter toward the next unlocked door, which lead into a little room.
When her hand left his head-- and, I swear, I have never seen an android do this before, especially not a big tank like Zeirom-- When her hand left his head, he actually jumped, then jerked his head around, arms part-way outstretched, palms facing toward the ground, like a kitten who'd just been dropped to the floor after receiving a good pet in someone's arms.
At about this point, Dragoon made a dash for the locked door, and arrived at it just as Lynn hit the button in the other room to unlock it. On the other side of it, was a short hallway which lead to a huge room, in which, the floor was a huge metal grate, for the most part, suspended above a river of molten lava. It was, to say the least, rather hot in this segment of the Caves. Putting second thoughts aside, we all charged in, and cleared the room of its unnatural inhabitants. Dragoon amused himself by uprooting Poison Lilies, and depositing them in the lava.
It scared me when I realized that I did this, but I eventually teamed up with Dragoon in slaughtering Guil Sharks. We'd each grab one, and ram them into each other, or we'd both grab the same one, and use it like a bowling ball to ram two or three others over the railing on the edge of the floor. I even helped him stuff one through the holes in the grate. I had to say it, but I actually had fun. Well, at least, until Dragoon mounted himself on the back of a Nanodragon and, ended up riding it across the room, trying to strangle it. Honestly, they would make a good mount, if they could be tamed. It was able to fly quite easily, even with Dragoon on its back.
Dragoon finally made it back to the ground, but not until Zeirom shot down the Nanodragon. It was evident that Dragoon was trying to aim the falling beast at the large spout-ish hole thing in the middle of the platform, and his aim was just about right, until he jumped off, and thereby pushed it off course. Its grand collision with the platform rammed its head through it. We were all surprised. Noticing the dents in the floor where Dragoon's feet planted themselves, we all agreed that it would be best to move on as quickly as possible.
The Caves are a huge location. The total explored area contains three levels, each one bigger than both halves of the Central Dome's courtyards, combined. Furthermore, each level is a different complex of corridors and chambers, each chamber filled with variations of the local creatures. To make matters even worse, there are no less than six different entry points for each complex, each entry point dealing with its own segment of the level.
Each level has its own unique features, and each serves a unique purpose. The first level was used to harvest rock resources, and metals. It was eventually abandoned, for all the dangerous creatures that one way or another, made their way in. At first the resource gatherers thought they could contain the creatures, by installing a system of sensors and door locks, which checked for life forms with the specific properties that gave them away as being Altered Beast class, and locked the 1-foot thick, solid steel doors, if they were present. Access to certain areas was also restricted by laser bars, but those often did nothing for keeping the monsters out.
As the story goes, it supposedly worked for a while, until the creatures made their own entrances into the rooms, by burrowing, or finding cracks big enough for them to squeeze through. The resource gatherers were forced to abandon their mines in the caves, but many of them still died in the process. Many of our culture's people have already died on Ragol, indeed.
By the time we finally found the teleporter that had been laid down in this segment of the first level of the Caves, it was getting late. We were faced with the question of whether or not we should call it a night, and all go home to get some rest. Except for Dragoon, who was faced with a helmet fashioned out of a Grass Assassin's head.
Zeirom looked at Lynn and myself. He said, "All right, you two. When night falls on Ragol, the more dangerous monsters come out to play, and this forces the weaker monsters to run and hide. You'll find that the Grass Assassins have been replaced with Crimson Assassins, which will breath liquid nitrogen on you, and freeze you, rather than stick you to the floor with energy webbing. All the Evil Sharks and Pal Sharks, you'll find, have been driven away by the Booma's cousins, Vulmer and Govulmer. Worse yet, at night, Poison Lilies adjust, and become Ob Lilies, which don't waste time poisoning you, but rather, they've developed to use our own Megid technique. Also, by this time, the Nanodragons have eaten, so they'll be stronger, too. Now, do you two believe that you can handle this, or do you want to call it a day, and go rest until tomorrow morning?"
To make a longer story shorter, after some questioning and deliberation, Lynn and I decided that the best idea would be to remove the Grass Assassin's head from Dragoon's own, then proceed into the second level of the Caves.
06-18-2002, 06:49 PM
*wipes tears, I love it.
06-26-2002, 02:57 PM
Heh... I love recieving Reader comments... Anyway, here's chapter 6! PHEAR Dragoon's deadly new weapon!
In the first level of the Caves, Lynn had been marveling at how much Dragoon and I actually worked together to kill things, and what intrigued her most, was that I would actually lay the parting blow on more creatures than he would. Or at least, this is what she'd told me, before we went into the second level of the Caves.
The second level of the Caves was a vast departure from the first level. The first level of the Caves was hot, and dry. The second level, on the other hand, was cool, and humid. Because of the humidity, the local monsters found the area to be more pleasant, and therefore, there were simply more of them. Dragoon loved this, though I, personally, found myself getting tired quicker. Nonetheless, I managed to keep up with him.
This second level of the Caves was a natural occurrence. The surveyor team had decided that the whole place must've been carved out of the rock, by a network of underground rivers and streams, which have since, mostly drained off, though there are still waterfalls and ponds here and there.
Explorers down there have rigged up corridors with the same system of sensors and doors that was in the first level of the Caves had. In fact, all three levels of the Caves have this system set up. Thanks to the system, very few explorers had to lose their lives, as the system let them know where it was safe to go without an escort of hunters, and where it wasn't.
Most of the smaller rooms consisted of a pool of water, maybe two centimeters deep, at the deepest. The larger caverns generally had pools around the edges of the room that would suddenly drop off to several meters in depth, while the middle portion of the area would be raised above the level of the water. Some of these larger rooms are absolutely beautiful. One in particular, contains waterfalls on the left and right walls as you enter, and a hole in the ceiling which goes clear up to the surface. The result is that the light shining through creates an astonishing rainbow effect near the ceiling, and beams of light shooting down and all around from all over the place, reflecting off of the water, illuminating the spray of the falls, and so forth. If it weren't for the danger of investigating this area, I'd say it would be a wonderful place for anyone to visit.
Once teleporter dumped us into the second level of the Caves, we proceeded onward, but not until I had cast Shifta and Deband techniques on us all, making us hit harder and providing each of us with a dense field of air to soften the hits we take, respectively. Shifta basically just gives your photon weapons a little extra electrical charge (androids, too!), and it also gives Humans and Newmans a nice little adrenaline rush.
In the first room we entered, we encountered a Crimson Assassin, a couple of Vulmers, and an Ob Lily in each corner. During the skirmish, Lynn was narrowly missed by several bursts of Megid, which I could've sworn should've hit her, while a Crimson Assassin froze me once. By the time I thawed out, Dragoon, Lynn, and Zeirom had cleaned out the room, and we carried on.
The next room we entered, contained a single enemy, which caused us to all stand back, and watch, in amusement, Dragoon's frustration. The creature was a slime. A Pofuilly Slime, to be exact. The particular brand of attack that a Pofuilly Slime has, is to swish around on the floor, until it feels safe, and then it will condense the substance that constitutes its body into a vaguely dragon-ish, or maybe snake-ish shape, then either launch a peculiar ball of energy, or whack you with a tail that it materializes from a portion of itself which it has moved to be right next to you.
Well, Dragoon's technique to combat these, is to run around, and try to stomp on it, to cause it to diffuse into the water. This technique didn't, however, work. We all watched in an odd combination of horror, amusement, and amazement, as Dragoon chased the thing around the room, jumping up and down on it, and jabbing it with random weapons he'd picked up here and there along the trip. He yelled, and he screamed, and furthermore, he cursed dramatically.
Finally, on a near pass, Zeirom grabbed him, and pulled him into the doorway. "WAIT, Dragoon," he said. "The slime will condense itself into a body if it feels safe to attack, so just wait, and you'll be able to actually HURT it." Honestly, I don't know how Dragoon has ever killed any of these things, without Zeirom there to give him advice.
In supermarkets and general stores, they sometimes have little vending machines that dispense small toys, when you pop a meseta or two in, and turn the crank. Among these toys, you sometimes get a little plastic figure, or maybe a bouncy ball. Sometimes, though, in some of the neater vending machines, you might get a wad of slime that is claimed to be "liquid metal," or the even higher prized, "Sticky Hand". A Sticky Hand is basically just a gooey little wad of a jelly-like material that smells funny, but will stretch waaaaay across a room, ultimately to stick to a wall, until you jerk it to bring it back. Now, you're wondering where I'm going with this.
Well, when the Slime stood up, so to speak, Dragoon ran out into the room, and waited for it to try to hit him with its tail. When it did, Dragoon grabbed the appendage, and jerked the whole slime off the floor, then repeatedly swung it into the door, until its weight had both killed it AND busted the door open. The shriek that Dragoon emitted while doing this indicated to all of us, just how much he really enjoyed this. From that point forward, for the rest of our trip through the second level of the Caves, he had a new weapon for himself.
The next room was a large, dimly lit area, with two other doors. As we walked in, we saw a Crimson Assassin on the other side of the room. Upon seeing this, Dragoon said to the group, "Hey! Watch this!" At this point, he swung the slime over his head by its tail, and once he felt he'd built up enough inertia with it, he swung it in the general direction of said Crimson Assassin. The slime stretched all the way across the room, and upon hitting the Crimson Assassin, it clung to it. Having captured the large mantis, Dragoon jerked the slime back, and through the combination of the slime's elasticity and the strength of Dragoon's jerk, the Crimson Assassin flew through the air. The flight of the beast was guided by Dragoon, where it splattered against the wall, and remained there for a while after Dragoon wiggled the slime off. Amidst all this, was Dragoon's exclamation of "Woohoo!"
Dragoon would later clear lines of Vulmers and Govulmers by snagging the one in the back with the slime, and dragging it into the rest of them. Dragoon had great fun doing this, and giggled strangely every time he did. Yes, Dragoon can indeed be the slightest bit disturbing at times.
In addition to the Vulmers and Govulmers that appeared in this room, a few Ob Lilies also came out of hiding. Zeirom was unfortunate enough to be nailed by a burst of the Ob Lilies' devastating rendition of the Megid technique, but luckily, I was able to return a spark to his battery life, with a good casting of Reverser. After seeing that, Lynn cast the hugest burst of Megid I have ever seen in my life, and thus, left two Ob Lilies dead from their own medicine.
Here, we broke into two couples. Zeirom and Lynn took one door, while Dragoon and I took the other. After Dragoon and I had torn our way through several rooms, flipped a number of switches, and stood on enough buttons, we unlocked a door and joined back up with Zeirom and Lynn. But we did have a conversation, when we'd stopped to rest along the way, after clearing a room with a huge waterfall.
"Dragoon?" I said. "Just why are you so blood thirsty, anyway?"
He sloshed his slime around, and shrugged. "Just the way my AI was programmed, I guess. I've always been out for the kill. Though, at first, I killed anything and everything-- including the family of one of the guys that built me."
I drew back for a moment, and then questioned him some more. "You killed someone's family? Why? What keeps you from doing that sort of thing now?" I asked.
"Well... To keep it simple, I'm smarter now, so to speak. You see, I was built as sort of a prototype war machine that would kill on sight. When the researchers turned me on for the first time, it was shortly before noon, and the family of one of them was waiting in the next room, too join him for lunch. There was a window into that room, and they were the first thing I saw. So, naturally, my simple AI ordered me to kill them as quickly as possible. I killed two or three other researchers, and critically injured several others, before they finally got me turned off. That's what inspired them to append my AI with an algorithm that would differentiate between what needs to be killed, and what doesn't. Of course, if something threatens me, I'll still attack, no matter what they are, unless something can stop me, before I carry out the death sentence."
"Remind me never to piss you off, Dragoon."
"Never piss me off."
When we met back up with Zeirom and Lynn, Zeirom was carrying Lynn over his shoulder, securing her there with a firmly placed hand on her backside. We met in the center of the room, and he promptly put her down. "I ran out of Moon Atomizers. Reverser this fool, Meira!"
I looked at him strangely for a moment, then went ahead and used the Reverser technique on Lynn. While Lynn was trying to gather herself, I looked at Zeirom and asked, "What happened to her?"
"Her little trick with the Nanodragons backfired on her," he replied. If his metal face could smirk, I'm sure it would've been at this point.
Lynn got back to her feet, and stumbled a bit, before a gentle casting of Resta, which actually seemed to hurt her to pull off, for some reason. I would imagine that she was just in pain at the time. After all, she was nearly dead, just a moment before. She turned to Zeirom, and glared. "Did you pick up my weapon, Zeirom?"
"Do you think THAT little of my integrity?" Zeirom said, as he leaned over her. "Here, take it back, I could use the room in my pack”, he said, as he passed an unignited sword to her. Lynn had it re-ignited almost as soon as it was back in her hand. She then promptly pushed his head away from her.
We looked up, and Dragoon was gone. Evidently, he chased a dragonfly off into the next room, trying to smoosh it between his fingers. Again, another chase after Dragoon. We caught up with him in the next room, though. He was smacking a strange looking, insect-like creature, known as a Melqueek. Actually, insect-like a Melqueek is, they remind me more of some bizarre, early sci-fi movie's attempt at an alien.
When he finally killed it, he used his slime to grab it, and sing it around the room a few times, before, slamming it into the wall. Seeing that this was the last of any Altered Beasts that may've been in this particular room, we all proceeded to the next door. Much to our dismay, however, this door proved to be locked. Dragoon ran over to us, and popped his head over Zeirom's shoulder.
"The door's still locked?? Is the mechanism broke? Here, let me fix it," he said, then pushed and shoved his way passed us, to the door. He put his hands on his hips, looked around the edges of the door, then felt along the separation between the edges.
Then he startled me. Zeirom slapped his face into his hand. Lynn just watched unemotionally. Dragoon started to beat on the door like a frustrated ape, and after he'd knocked it loose from the wall, he dug his fingers into the edges of the door, and ripped it straight out. After throwing the door into the next room, he turned to us and said, "See? I've got the knack."
He was jeered quickly, and we proceeded into the next room, which, oddly enough, was free of the usual no-goods. There were three more doors, a whole bunch of buttons, and a strange monument in this room, not unlike a monument that I'd seen in the Central Dome's courtyards. It was somewhat of a pillar, with strange patterns engraved in it, but of course, it didn't stretch quite all the way up to the ceiling. This caught my attention. Lynn didn't seem to care one way or the other, and Dragoon and Zeirom occupied themselves with destroying bombs that'd been planted on several of the buttons.
Lynn looked briefly at the monument, then went on to step on a couple of buttons that Zeirom had rendered free of traps. "The teleporter to the next section of the caves is this way, everyone," she said. For some reason, at that point, I decided to take Lynn as a role model, and ignore the monument. I followed her, as did everyone else.
It was in this next little room, that Dragoon's slime finally broke. He warned us all to duck, then he ran out into the middle of the room, and swung it around in such a fashion, that it scraped along the walls, and gathered everything in the room. It was on maybe the third or fourth slam into the ceiling, that the slime's membrane finally busted, and everything inside splattered everywhere. The monsters were dead, no doubt about that, but Dragoon was upset at the loss of his slime. This didn't last long, though, as he quickly picked up a Govulmer, and tore its arm off, between the elbow a wrist, pulled out a few bones, and shoved his hand in it. "Instant claw!" he pronounced. We swiftly pushed him into the teleporter in the next room.
06-27-2002, 02:38 AM
LOL! Slime as a weapon! Great idea! Keep up the good work!
Trying to read this all in one shot's made me dizzy. @_@ I'm up to chapter 3 <I am not!>, and I'll edit this post as soon as I read farther. <Just did. Through it all.>
I really like it so far! I don't know if this was intentional or inadvertent, but your writing style fits well with a first-person account of a HUnewearl. It has the right mix of naivete and maturity at the same time, much like the other Newman Hunters from the other PS games. It's also got a fair bit of humor (at least, stuff that made me chuckle), which I think no fanfic can (or should) live without. Keep it up! ^_^
Edit: My old comments stand. I really like the character of Dragoon. You've managed to create a really off-the-wall character without visuals, which is, in my opinion, a really hard thing to do. I also like the references to stuff in the game: the quests, the section IDs, the enemies. Another of the must-haves of a good fanfic. Keep up the good word!
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kupi on 2002-06-28 18:28 ]</font>
07-10-2002, 03:30 AM
It is, indeed, more or less intentional that my writing style reflects a HUnewearl's perception of the world, but on the other hand, I suppose that the rather generalized way that I write probably lends itself to the HUnewearl's personality.
And really, when I made Meira, I certainly did have Nei and Rika's personalities in mind. Especially Nei. Heh, Phantasy Star 2 is quite possibly the best game ever made, in my personal opinion. And of course, thank you SS_Death and Kupi for your words praise. I find it very encouraging!
Anyway, here we go with Chapter 7! In this extra-long chapter, the party finishes off the Caves with a BANG! Plus, more hilarity with Dragoon's aggressive personality! Enjoy, folks!
The third level of the Caves is the most uncomfortable of them all. Surveyors say that rivers of lava flow a mere 20 feet from some of the walls, and because some of the rivers that carved the second level of the Caves empty into here, the combination of heat and water makes it irredeemably hot and humid. It was, however, for the nearby underground rivers of lava, that the people of Pioneer 1 dug the third level of the Caves further, and installed equipment to make a power plant of the area.
This level of the Caves served a dual purpose, however. In addition to using the area to supplement their power use, Osto-Hyle Labs also used this segment of the Caves as a sewage facility. In some parts of the area, at least. It sounds gross, but it's really not so bad. When someone says sewage, most people think, toilets, bathtubs, and kitchen waste. Well, Osto-Hyle Labs had only a few toilets, no bathtubs, and absolutely no kitchens.
Most of their waste was chemical, and had mostly to do with the waste from experimental robotics, cybernetics, and sometimes even weapons. Which means that there was a large variety of oils, failed fuels, and maybe the occasional battery acid leak. By far, more dangerous stuff to get on you, than your typical sewage, but not nearly as disgusting, or for that matter, smelly. Actually, the stuff contains itself well enough that some areas don't even smell of it.
Arriving in this third area, Lynn and I both gulped down a couple of Trifluids to cure us of our sore muscles, and prepare us for casting more Resta, Shifta, and Deband techniques. The androids just looked at us, and waited patiently, having no need for such pleasantries. They were, after all, incapable of casting techniques.
Dragoon took off, again. We caught up with him, and found all of ourselves in a frenzy of attacking monsters. Dodging blasts from the peculiar monsters known as Pan Arms, and avoiding the swipes of Melqueeks and Govulmers, we slowly cleared the room. Bursts of Megid flew through the room, from the Ob Lilies in each corner, and Dragoon started running at one to take it out, when he stopped in his tracks, seeing a burst flying right at him. I believe that he was, in that instant, prepared to die.
The burst hit him, and he stood there for a moment, his eyes not glowing, as if he had them tightly shut. The burst then dropped a Vulmer behind him, that was about to take a swipe. Dragoon's eyes lit up, and he looked over himself. "Whoa!" he yelled. "It went right through me!"
"Way to go, Dragoon!" I cheered for him, as he began to emit some sort of deranged Dragoon Battle Cry, and run toward the Ob Lily again-- just in time to be dropped by the next burst of Megid to fly from its mouth-thing. Dragoon was quickly avenged, however, by Zeirom's rifle.
"It's a lot easier to kill an Ob Lily when you don't have to run into its range of attack", he claimed, as he sprayed Dragoon down with a Moon Atomizer. Dragoon popped up, and immediately went into a rage against all the monsters in the room. The rest of us just kind of backed off, and let him do his work, though things would sneak up on Dragoon, as in his rage, he wasn't paying as much attention as he really should. Whenever this happened, Zeirom would take aim, and shoot it down, just in time to save Dragoon from getting smacked.
When the Pan Arms separated its orange side from its blue side, thus revealing its Hideom and Migium halves, they both charged concurrently at Dragoon, threatening to infest him with the effects normally associated with the techniques, Jellen and Zalure, which are, more or less, the opposite of Shifta and Deband. The threats were fruitless, however, as Dragoon took the opportunity to grab them by what would be considered their wrists, and impale them on each others' own sharp, pointy blade-like things. With Dragoon's grunt, and a nod, the next door unlocked itself, and we carried onward.
After dragging photons through entrails in the next room or two, we split up again. The parties were, as usual, myself and Dragoon, then Lynn and Zeirom. This time Dragoon didn't have his Slime of Whack, as he called it, so I was free to fight without ducking out of the way every few moments. He eventually broke his Govulmer's claw, and proceeded to beat things to death with his bare hands.
Dragoon's power is monstrous. Dragoon has the odd ability to just run into a room, and fight with the fury of a hundred pissed off men raging with testosterone, and yet, at the same time, produce a giggle that very much reminds me of a young school girl at play.
When Dragoon stomps something into the ground, or slams something into the wall, you feel it. His arms have power like the huge hydraulics that pound into the ground there, in the Caves, for no readily apparent reason. Dragoon is a heavy machine, that somehow packs the force of a machine six or seven times his size, and this startles me greatly. Whoever designed him, most certainly, designed him with sheer power in mind, but just barely the sense required to not kill things that shouldn't be killed. I am very, very grateful, that my MAG has the good habit of bringing me back from near death, when I take more than I can handle. Also, thank the Light for scape dolls.
Dragoon fashioned a weapon out of part of a door. He said, "I feel that my hands don't quite supply a long enough range. I need something bigger and longer." With that he attacked a door, and tore its frame off. Tearing off part of the frame, he bent the thing into something resembling a bent pole, and promptly stomped it into the ground until he determined that he'd compressed it enough for it to be solid all the way through.
When he swung the bent pole he'd created, he swung it with the bent part forward. This brings up another interesting point about Dragoon. Have you ever seen one of those real-life shows, where they show home videos of disastrous, or just plain obscure events taking place? Have you ever seen one where a guy just randomly freaks out, and attacks someone for no good reason? The guy that gets attacked tends to back up against something, or sometimes, curl up into a ball, and just try to block the attacker's intrusions. They get a strange, regretful look of, "Why is this happening to me?" on their face, which is sometimes accompanied by confused curse words or screams. Meanwhile, the attacker generally looks like they'd be a normal, mild-mannered individual, sometimes wearing a business suit, or perhaps something more casual, but nonetheless, the attacker just looks out of place doing what he's doing.
When Dragoon attacks something with a weapon, if they survive the first few hits, the same scene often unfolds, but on Dragoon's end, rather than looking out of place, he takes on a look that expresses something more to the effect of, "You're still alive?? What am I doing wrong??" But then it dies, and Dragoon strikes a dramatic pose while the creature's body settles, before moving on to the next one. Until you've seen Dragoon running around in the Caves, you haven't seen anything quite so puzzling as a Govulmer that looks like it is apologizing everything remotely offensive it has ever done in its life.
Myself, I was collecting my fair share of the kill-count, as well, though I tend to be a bit more graceful than Dragoon. Dragoon likes to crush, stomp, pound, and virtually anything else that causes the unfortunate target to make a funny noise. When I kill something, I like to try to take it head-on, and engage in some actual competition with it. Show a little sportsmanship, and don't just overpower it unnecessarily. Of course, I suppose that's a good thing, because if I did everything the way that Dragoon does it, I'd probably die from exhaustion after the first room attempting this.
We finally met back up with Lynn and Zeirom. Lynn stormed into the room, rather angered, while Zeirom strolled in casually. Lynn cursed, then yelled, "I am NEVER hunting alone with that pervert, EVER again!"
Zeirom chimed in with, "She's over reacting."
Dragoon looked at them both, stomped and asked the question on both of our minds: "What happened?"
Lynn gestured, pointed, and otherwise spoke with her hands and body as she replied, "I got knocked down by a Crimson Assassin, and this bozo thought I was out cold, and tried to pull off my shirt!"
"I wasn't trying to pull off your shirt," Zeirom rebutted. "I was lifting it."
"What difference does that make?"
"I was checking for a pulse. You biological constructs sure are quick to cast judgment, sheesh."
Then, in his usual crude manner, Dragoon asked of Zeirom, "Did you see her boobies?"
To which, Zeirom answered with the line that would forever excommunicate him from Lynn's good side: "Boobies? On her? I'd say they're more like ant hills, myself."
Lynn smacked Zeirom for that. Then she smacked him again. And again. Finally, she did one of those feminine, pissed off, "OOOOO!!" things, and marched off to the next room. Dragoon leaned in to Zeirom, and I don't know if he was being serious or sarcastic when he said this, but I heard him say, "I think she likes you, Zeirom."
In the next room, we found the oddities of all oddities, though, I suppose that it was to be expected, sooner or later. The air in this area was nicely free of the odor of waste chemicals, and in this particular room, it was filled with the pleasant aroma of, you guessed it-- cake. Parked in this room was a truck with a little bakery shop in the back. We had found, the Naula Cake Shop.
The three Naula sisters are famous for three world-renowned (ship-renowned?) bakery products: Cake, cake, and um, well, cake. Let's just say that it's good. Dragoon was fortunate enough that for some reason, he'd been designed with a fueling system that took carbohydrate matter and converted it to potential energy, which of course, means that he can eat.
The Cake Sisters gave us each somewhat of a sales pitch, saying something along the lines of, "Are you surprised to find a cake shop in a location such as this? Pioneer 2 wouldn't allow us to make cakes, so we came down here! What do you think of the heat and humidity here? It's perfect!" On a tangent, just to explain something real quick, when the Cake Sisters were on Pioneer 2, they baked a lot of breads and other nice things that generally need baking, but mostly no cakes, because well, cakes are good and popular, and the supplies on Pioneer 2 are limited. So, to avoid running into a shortage on vital things like sugar, salt, and flour, sweet things such as cake are banned from being made commercially.
Somehow I got as excited as them when they introduced themselves, and was jumping up and down, kinda giggly. Lynn insists that Zeirom couldn't take his eyes off me when I did this. I think she was just trying to slander him, myself.
Dragoon purchased a cake from them first. He took it to one of them and asked her, "What do I do with this? Do I kill it? Can I kill it?"
"No, you eat it, silly!"
"But can I kill it before I eat it?"
"Well... um... No, you just eat it, and it's warm and tasty, and good!"
"How good can it be if I can't kill it?"
"Just try it, you'll see!"
"But... but... I want to kill it! Can't I just kill it, and be done??"
"Just eat it! It's good! You'll like it just the way it is!"
"Why can't I kill it?? I want to see it bleed!"
At that point, the sister behind the counter of the truck grabbed the cake from Dragoon, and handed him another one. "Try killing this one, sweety..."
I watched as Dragoon's eye's brightened. He gawked at the most perfect cream-filled cake he would ever see. It was like watching a child being given a new toy. Then he ran halfway across the room, grabbed it with both hands, and in a huge, exaggerated motion, hopped into the air, and landed with his feet spread apart and knees bent, just a he tore the poor cake in half, spilling vanilla cream all over the place. "It bleeds!" he exclaimed.
I took a que from one of the sisters and called back to him, "Now eat it!"
He seemed to agree with that idea, and promptly stuffed it under his face plate. Afterwards, he held a messy thumb up to the sisters, and in the muffled voice of Dragoon with his mouth full (which we would unfortunately hear again and again and again...), "You ahr right! Itt ish good!"
Lynn and I bought some, and we both agreed, they were as the one sister described them- warm and tasty and good. Though, while I was content to define them as such, Lynn found it more favorable to say, "I like these. They are sweet."
Zeirom, however, declined with a polite, "No thank you. I'm not designed to eat, though I do appreciate the offer."
Still angry at him, Lynn had to remark at that with, "You aren't designed to do a lot of things, but that doesn't keep you from fantasizing about them!"
Zeirom's only reply to that was, "Hey, I'm content to watch! You and Meira enjoyed that cake quite nicely, and that satisfies me every bit as much as it does you!"
Awkward silence. Then we moved on to the next room. We all chose a path and stuck with it, despite the opportunity to split up again. Much to our disappointment, Dragoon had discovered the enjoyment of eating what he kills. After slaying the last beast in a room, Dragoon approached me carrying... something. "Meira!" he called. "You have GOT to try the Vulmer spleen! It's just so squishy in your mouth, how could anyone resist?" With that, he presented the gooiness to me.
I quickly jumped away with a shrill cry of, "Eeeeeeewwww!!! That is disgusting, Dragoon! Get that thing away from me!!" Which, by the way, by this point, he'd tied an intestine around his helmet-like head, as though it were a bandana.
"No no, try it!" he insisted. "It's like eating those candies that are all chewy and spill juice all over your mouth when you bite down on them!"
I expressed my detestment again, and Zeirom stepped in. "Knock it off, Dragoon. Can't you see the lady doesn't want any?" He leaned over and patted me on the back as he said this.
After another couple of rooms full of monsters to be killed, we finally came to a little room with a big teleporter. "We'd better take a telepipe back up to Pioneer 2, to restock on supplies," Zeirom said. "It'd be a good idea to go into battle good and ready." We all more or less concurred. Zeirom procured a telepipe from a storage location of some sort on his body, and placing it in a special receptacle on his face, blew a faint drift of air through it, and played a mellow, if not just strange tune. The pipe disintegrated as the tune finished, and an array of light surrounded him, soon to be followed by the bending of the space around him, and him disappearing into it.
We would all have been impressed, had we not seen this many times before. Lynn and I both used our Ryuker techniques to attain very much the same effect, and Dragoon used the warp that Zeirom laid down. I suppose he would've used a telepipe himself, but his face was covered in goo.
Back on Pioneer 2, 'mates, and Lynn and I also restocked on 'fluids. We all took a trip to the medical clinic, where Lynn and I both got bruises and cuts healed, while Dragoon and Zeirom had dents pulled, shorts fixed, and then they were both restocked with the customary bombs and grenades. Dragoon also made a hop over to the Check Room to acquire an actual weapon.
Back in the Caves, we all stepped onto the teleporter. After a count down from four, we were whisked away to a raft going down a river of the aforementioned sewage in an actual man-made tunnel. We looked around for a second, before hearing some splashing around coming from upstream.
We all looked at the source. Coming at us, was a large, armored, segmented, worm-like... thing. It made its war cry as it jumped into the air from the water, then splashed back down. Zeirom readied his rifle. "The beast known in Dr. Osto's research documents as Beta772. Known as a continually mutating, err, evolving creature, with a strong desire to either kill or infect. We commonly refer to it as... De Rol Le."
"I want to kill it, Zeirom." Dragoon said calmly. "Can I kill it, Zeirom?"
"Feel free to tear its legs off and beat it with them, Dragoon!" Lynn yelled.
Then it approached. It was clearly capable of moving much faster than our raft, and furthermore, it saw us as invading culprits. It was close enough to the craft, that Lynn could swipe at it with her sword to little effect. Zeirom, however, had no trouble with hitting it, and actually seemed quite content to fire away.
Dragoon started to tear off part of the raft to throw at it, but seeing this, I quickly grabbed Dragoon's hand, "Dragoon! No! We NEED the raft to remain intact!"
"Oh, all right," he pouted. "I'll just have to use the thing I pulled out of the Check Room." With that, he revealed a long, metal saber that caught the attention of all of us.
"Dragoon!" Zeirom yelled. "That's the Agito, made by one of the last of the legendary master sword smiths! Where did you get that??"
"I dunno. Found it buried in a wall a while back."
"They say that it's part of four-katana set, and between the four of them, they have the capacity to destroy a whole planet!"
"Really?? Wow, that's neat..." Dragoon's enthusiasm was certainly there, but for some deranged reason, he didn't seem to demonstrate the ability to express it, but rather, looked at De Rol Le, just as the thing jumped out of the water, and put its head on the raft.
"Meira!" Lynn shouted. "Now's our chance to deal the heavy damage! But watch out for its long legs-- they'll try to crush you!" Just as she said that, De Rol Le smooshed Zeirom's foot.
"CUUUUUUUUURSEEEESS!!!" Zeirom yelled. In retrospect, I think that was a good choice of words. There are quite a number of other words that can be summed up with the word he said, that may have left him distracted, apologizing to Lynn and myself.
Dragoon started hacking on De Rol Le with his katana. He hacked with the energy of a psychotic, half-dead axe murderer in a really bad horror flick. When a leg came flying at him, he batted it away with the back of his hand, and kept going. When another one came, he grew impatient, and grabbed it, promptly breaking it over his knee.
Meanwhile, Lynn started swinging her sword at the back of the creature's "neck", while I dashed and slashed at a segment of its body. Zeirom kept shooting at the legs, to keep them away from Lynn and I.
Then it happened. Dragoon broke the big piece of calcium armor off of the thing's head. The final stroke he made with the legendary Orotiagito shattered the mask, but it also slammed into one of De Rol Le's teeth. It didn't stop Dragoon's swing, but it did alter its course.
The first crack was heard when the Orotiagito hit the tooth. That's when it was evident that something bad had happened. Then there was the flash and deafening shattering noise, when the weapon slammed into the side of the craft. Dragoon held the hand guard of the weapon up to eye level on him, as De Rol Le retreated from our raft. "I, um... Broke it," he said plainly. Lynn and Zeirom's jaws dropped. I just kinda shrugged it off, not really realizing how incredibly shameful a deed had just been committed.
Zeirom shouted his custom curse word again, then yelled at Dragoon, until Lynn and I kindly reminded him of the big purple things that De Rol Le was tossing at us.
After a volley or two of purple things that hurt us, De Rol Le rushed forward, ahead of us, and with a flick of its tail, launched a whole bunch of large, ugly, spikes at us, which spun. Zeirom warned that they would blow up, if they were allowed to spin on the raft for too long. So Dragoon, Lynn and I destroyed each and every one, while Zeirom continued to peg on De Rol Le.
De Rol Le continued to move in front of us, and now drifted over to the other side of the raft, and let itself hang back behind us, letting off another volley of purple things at us, while we passed it. Then it faded off into the distance behind us.
"Did it um, go away?" I asked. We all waited. Then we heard a vicious noise, that sounded like concrete and electronics being crushed. We saw De Rol Le, now above us, quickly moving along the ceiling, destroying the long rows of florescent lights, and tearing bricks from the ceiling. Lynn and I skillfully dodged the falling debris, but Zeirom got pounded; Zeirom being far too big and clunky to jump around avoiding things. Dragoon, on the other hand, was catching the larger rocks, and trying to throw them at De Rol Le.
The worm quickly moved forward long the ceiling, faster even, than it had been while in the sewage. it charged well ahead of us, getting well out of sight, but we could tell that the tunnel's lights had been destroyed for a very good distance. All we really had for light now, was our photon weapons, our MAGs, and the emergency lights on Zeirom's shoulders.
Before long, De Rol Le was back with us. In front of the raft again, it raised out of the sewage, and moved backward in the tainted water. A purple charge grew in the creature's mouth, and it promptly shot a beam of that same purple stuff at us, but now, it was far more potent. I got hit several times by this beam, promptly casting Resta to heal myself each time I got up, because I just KNEW that I would not be able to survive a second hit without it.
De Rol Le shot a couple more blasts at us, and Dragoon got fed up with it. He laid himself down, with his head sticking out over the raft, in kind of a push-up position. Then his shoulders opened up, as he pointed himself at De Rol Le. Dragoon let out a yelp of, "Kill! Death! Destruction! WOO HOO!" before shooting off all of his grenades, using his Burst Rock engine to the fullest. This knocked De Rol Le back into the water, as well as destroying most of the armor that it had remaining.
De Rol Le was swept underneath the raft, but quickly resurfaced on the other side, just as we came to the end of the distance that the worm had destroyed all the lights. It started to swim up along side us, when Dragoon yelled at Zeirom, "Hey! Zeirom! Give me your rifle!!"
"Why?? You can't use it!"
"Sure I can! Give it to me, and I'll show you!"
Begrudgingly, Zeirom handed over the rifle. As always, Dragoon didn't fail to surprise us all. Taking the weapon by the barrel and holding it like a club, Dragoon ran to the side of the raft, and jumped onto De Rol Le. He screamed some unidentifiable exclamatories of excitement, as he grabbed a hold of a loose flap of skin on the back of the thing's head, and started to pound it with the rifle. Looking over at Zeirom, I saw him with his hand over his eyes, and his head turned away. Poor RAcast. He couldn't bear to look.
Finally, Dragoon stopped pounding De Rol Le in the head with the rifle-- but only long enough to scream, "Ah-ha!" and remove the photon cell from the top of the weapon, jam it in the creature's eye, and break it off with the butt of the gun. As the thing exploded, Dragoon jumped off. Just in time, too, as the tunnel suddenly got considerably narrower, and De Rol Le smashed into a wall. We presume that it died there, but according to Zeirom, the scientists aboard Pioneer 2 say that there may be a great many more Beta772's.
Zeirom found the control panel for the raft, and slowed the craft to a stop, as we came up on a docking port, with a door. We all got off the raft. Lynn and I wobbled a bit with sea-legs, but then were able to follow Dragoon and Zeirom through the door, and into a little room with a teleporter and a door.
"I think this little quest is over, folks." Zeirom said. "We're in the area ambiguously referred to as 'the Mines' now. We've made it all the way through the Caves. I say we all go home and get a well-deserved rest." We all agreed, and rather than walking through the door, we all headed for the teleporter, which would take us back to Pioneer 2. Zeirom stopped me, though. "Meira?"
"This is the first time you've been here, right?"
"All right. Be sure to slide your gate pass through the slot on the teleporter before you go up, then. That'll make sure that you have access to this area later on."
"Oh! Okay, sure thing, Zeirom," I said. With that, Zeirom went back up to Pioneer 2, and I did as he said, before returning myself. That ended that little camping trip. It would be the last run for a couple of months.
07-10-2002, 04:21 AM
Excellent! Great fun! Especially liek Dragoon's behaviour! lol! http://www.pso-world.com/psoworld/images/phpbb/icons/smiles/icon_mad.gif http://www.pso-world.com/psoworld/images/phpbb/icons/smiles/icon_evil.gif
And poor Zeirom http://www.pso-world.com/psoworld/images/phpbb/icons/smiles/anime2.gif well droids can dream can't they?
Keep up the good work!
Well, if you're style is intentionally that which one might expect of a HUnewearl, then you've definitely exceeded my writing capacity. I just find it really hard to write in a personality not my own, but this is your topic, not mine, so I won't go into that.
Chapter 7 was probably the best of the bunch. The characters have evolved nicely, with a few revelations about their personalities in each chapter. I don't really know what else to say about it, but rest assured that this is a fine peice of fanfiction you've got going here, and I'd love to see where it goes. ^_^
07-10-2002, 08:16 PM
I'm not even done reading chapter 3 !!! And I like it! I just had to post to mention it otherwise if I had to wait till I finished reading all of that is to read, well, I'd wait to long! I thought it was impossible to put that much word in a post, lol.
*goes back to read chapter 3
07-12-2002, 02:59 AM
Whoa... I sat down at the computer, and in a matter of hours, somehow managed to hammer out Chapter 8, and by some unnatural means, it got to be pretty reasonably long. Would've had it all posted a couple hours ago, but I decided that I needed to get the permission of a friend of mine, before I decided to make mention of his character. Anyway, I thank everyone for the comments, and I hope you enjoy this chapter as well!
The time was roughly @683 Beats or so when I got home, which, for my personal schedule, meant that I'd been up all night, and it was about darn time to get some well-deserved sleep. So I made a crash-run for the shower, then dragged myself out of there and into bed.
Hunting can be an exhausting profession. Coming in from a long night of killing and gutting, you get back not just dead-tired, but quite filthy as well. You usually end up with blood all over you, and if you're Dragoon, then you'll be covered head-to-toe. I want to think, for some reason, that he said his next stop would be the carwash, when he left the Hunters' Deck. I suppose he could've been going anywhere, though. When most people leave the Hunters' Deck, they leave through the teleporter in the Hunters' Guild. Dragoon, for some reason, has a habit of running to the area of the deck where the check room is, and jumping over the edge of the deck that has all the spot lights shining off. I suppose it hasn't killed him yet, so it probably won't. Everyone else is agreed, however, that he's a loon.
I suppose that the real advantage of being using teleporters in buildings, as opposed to, say, elevators, is that a teleporter is not only faster, but a teleporter can put a person in a number of pre-defined locations, in a non-linear layout, and best yet, it can do all this, with only a fraction of the space that would be required. Though teleporters are more expensive, Pioneer 2 does indeed have a few elevators installed on buildings, though they're mostly for only short navigational purposes.
The Principal's office is a shining example of how a system of teleporters can make a big place seem smaller. The Principal's office is but a single location, but the single teleporter in the room feeds in from a teleporter in each of 10 sections of the Hunters' Deck, as well as from several other locations that they don't like to tell us about.
The only thing that keeps an individual, such as myself, from using that teleporter to go somewhere that I don't belong, is that unlike an elevator, a teleporter doesn't have a built-in console-- After all, if it did, then the console would be teleported along with the occupant!
This is where the small console terminals come in. Most hunters wear them on their sleeves, to have quick access to it, as hunters deal with lots of teleporters, not to mention that it also acts as an interface with their MAG. This is common with hunters, though civilians usually have pocket-sized units with pathetic battery life and no where near the number of neat little features, like MAG interfaces and so on.
The device isn't really a computer in and of itself, but it is designed to automatically interface with nearby computers using a short-range RF signal. So, by entering a teleporter pad, or by activating a MAG, the device interfaces with it automatically, and will likewise, load up a selection of options and whatever. The display is generated by the host computer, and not the device, though your console terminal may send the host computer some basic information for generating that display, such as personal preferences like a display theme, as well as things like Government ID number, Section ID, Guild Card information, etc, etc.
That's not to say that these things have no computing power whatsoever, though. Many people use them to store contact information, and hunters commonly use them to trade guild cards with each other, so that they can contact each other on the BEE system at any point in time.
So, anyway, back to explaining the teleporter system. In the Principal's office, the teleporter interfaces with the user's console terminal, and after receiving information where the user came from, it will then prepare the route to the destination. A normal user here will only get one option of destinations, though a higher-up, like a government-sponsored scientist might get the option of going down to the Hunters' Deck, as well as the lab he's working in. Then Principal Tyrell himself, I would assume, probably has the option of going to any section of the Hunters' Deck, as well as any number of those other locations I mentioned earlier.
Entering a teleporter pad is always interesting. The actual hardware that does the teleporting isn't present on the teleporter pad. The teleporter pad more or less just acts as a containment field, which keeps the teleporter from warping everything in the general area to the destination. I want to think that it's some bizarre sort of magnetic work, or maybe static electricity, because it feels all tingly when you walk through it, but then again, maybe that's just me. The hardware itself that does the teleporting, is usually located somewhere else in the immediate area, generally near the middle of a well-planned teleporter network.
Old science-fiction flicks left over from hundreds of years ago, before teleporter technology was figured out, spoke of teleporters that take a person apart, molecule by molecule, and put them back together somewhere else. Scientists later on scoffed at such an idea, because it was not only far too complex to be effective, but the principles behind it were simply too painful to be imagined.
The way they finally figured out how to accomplish the feat of teleportation was actually quite simple, and I suppose that the idea came from the Ryuker technique currently used by Hunters, as well as the Hinas technique, once used long long ago. Rather than taking the individual apart, and sending them to a location, teleporters now take a location apart, and send it to the individual. Sort of. A teleporter will create a bend in space between two points, and augment it until the two points meet. The result is that the two points end up having zero distance between them, and if someone happens to be standing in one of the two locations, then when the teleporter releases that bend, the person will suddenly find themselves standing in the other location. Heh, you would not believe how many times Zeirom had to explain that part to me, before I finally understood it.
After I got up at about @020 Beats, I got a hold of Zeirom, then headed over to his apartment, just because I had nothing better to do. An android's apartment is an interesting thing to behold. The place was, above all else, a classical bachelor pad, but with a metallic twist. The place was, for the most part, uncleaned, and rather than the usual dirty clothes that might be strewn about, there were old circuit boards, screws, bolts, nuts, and so on.
Nobody answered when I knocked on the door, so I let myself in. I called out, "Hello? You in there, Zeirom?"
"Huh? Oh, yeah, come on in, Meira," I heard from another room. So I wandered on in, and found Zeirom sitting at his kitchen table, which, as might be expected, covered in circuit boards, screws, bolts, nuts, washers, and a number of other vital parts. Except they weren't his own parts. I walked over, and sat down with him.
"What's all this?" I asked, as I pulled a chair out and sat down.
"Well, you remember when you saw that chest plate in that bag the other day?"
"Heh, yeah, I recall."
"Well, this is everything else that was in that bag, plus some other stuff I had laying around, and some stuff that I'd bought before."
"And... uh... What are you doing with it?"
Awkward silence. I had to think about that one for a second. "What?"
Zeirom chuckled, shook his head, then tried to explain. "I'm building another android, Meira. When she's finished, I'm going to call her, 'Rosy 2000'."
Then I exclaimed. "OH! Now I get it! You're an android, so you can't reproduce sexually, so you have to do it manually! I get it!" I had a giggle fit at this point, and Zeirom shrugged.
"Well... I suppose you could describe it like that, though I had never thought of it in such a detail," he said, as he held up a little thing into the light, to look at it. "Hm. Another small electric motor found dead. I really need to start throwing these things away when I replace them."
"What's that thing do, anyway?"
"Well, this particular one is part of a power cell ejection system... It, uh, makes things move."
"What kind of things?"
"Those are like batteries, right?"
"They are batteries, Meira."
"Oh... What kind of batteries? Like, double A, or car batteries?"
"Actually, they look like mason jars."
The rest of the day pretty well went on with conversation like that, with me asking questions that were far to simple for Zeirom to answer simply. Sometime during this period, is when he explained to me the whole thing about how the teleporter systems work and so forth. When I finally got hungry, Zeirom volunteered to treat me to dinner.
We wandered out of the building his apartment is in, and down the street to the cafe where we first met. They actually do make a pretty mean burger there, and the atmosphere is pretty nice, too. Strange things happen out on the streets, though.
While we were sitting there, having our conversation, someone ran by, some sort of Newman guy, and ran into a really tall, blue haired Newman. The guy that'd been running shoved some stuff into the other guy's hands, said something to him, and then ran off, soon to be followed by a couple of humans, who I believe were military personnel. It didn't seem very important at the time though, and I question why I even mention it here, except that maybe it's because I found the guy's expression to be rather amusing, when the other guy ran off. He had this deranged look of, "What the heck just happened, and what is this stuff?" Looking back on it, I believe that he would've been considered a FOnewmn class hunter, if he'd been a hunter, which, for some reason, I don't think he was.
The next couple of months were occupied more or less with visits with Zeirom, with the occasional time that Dragoon would run through, and a few times I invited Lynn for a sleepover, just because hanging around with guys all the time just isn't quite healthy.
I was also visited a number of times by some of Randon's old friends, like the FOnewmn, Dux, who, ever since Randon's death, had become considerably more philosophical, and often wondered the point of going down to Ragol anymore. He'd say things like, "We go down and kill things to get better, and stronger, and stronger, but what's the point of doing this? What the heck am I working toward?" Sometimes a downer, but over this little break in going down to Ragol, I discovered that Dux gets really really funny, when he's been at a bar for too long.
So, one of the times that Lynn came over for a sleep over sticks out in my mind, in particular. She'd never had a sleep over before, but then neither had I, so we just kinda winged it. We stayed up late, ordered out food, watched the glowing box, listened to music, talked about woman things, and so on. I like to think that we lived up the stereotype pretty well.
We talked about Zeirom, and she expressed her dislike for being alone with him for too long. She was quite animate that if the four of us go down to the Mines together, then if we are to split up, then next time it would be her and Dragoon, and me and Zeirom, not the other way around. Which, indeed, that's what ended up happening, when we eventually did go down to the Mines.
We also talked about hunting, and she told me all about the monsters that were to be found in the Ruins. All about the Dark Belras, the Arlans, Dimenians, Delsabers, Chaos Sorcerers and Chaos Bringers, so n and so forth.
"The Ruins are pretty tough," she said.
"Tougher than the Caves?"
"Oh, by far. In the Caves you don't have to worry about monsters with some actual combat skill, like Delsabers, or things that have a habit of knocking your weapon out of your hands, like Chaos Bringers."
"They knock your weapon out of your hands?"
"Yes. They're like the old Centaurs or Horsemen of legend, but when they charge at you, they aim to knock your weapon out of your hand."
"Do they do that on purpose?"
"Well, I've never gotten into a Chaos Bringer's head, but I would assume so. The monsters down there are aggressive, but they're not stupid, Meira."
"What about the Delsabers? What do they do?"
"The Delsabers know how to fight. It's like they've all been trained in some sort of martial art. They've got one arm that's like a saber, and one arm that's like a shield. They're quite grotesque."
"What else is down there?"
"Well, there's Dark Belras. They're absolutely huge, and they have these big claws, that they shoot at you."
It went more or less like that. After that night, I no longer looked at Lynn as a peer, but more like a role model. Someone to really look up to. She'd been down on Ragol longer, and had seen a whole lot more of it than I had, and I just absolutely had to respect that, or I'd never be able to live with myself. She did seem awfully knowledgeable about the Ruins though, for some reason. More so than she was about the Mines, at least.
Then there was the time that I spent with Dragoon. That time was mostly spent getting in trouble. I don't know what possessed me to go to the zoo with Dragoon. I suppose it was mostly because I couldn't think of a better place to go with him at the time. Security threw us out, after he tried to attack an Orangoo. Dragoon kept insisting that it was looking at him funny with its third eye, but only its third eye.
"It was looking at me really weird with its third eye!!"
"It was looking at you funny?"
"No, just its third eye was looking at me funny."
"What about the other two?"
"I don't care about the other two. It's just that spooky third one. It was really pissing me off."
"But how can it be looking at you funny with one eye, but not the others?"
"The other two were looking at something else."
"But all the eyes have to focus on the same thing!"
"Ever since we started studying them!"
"Well, that one was different! It wanted a fight!"
"It's just an animal, Dragoon! It didn't want to fight you!"
"Oh yeah?? Well, I'm gonna go show that triclopped froop what a metal fist does!!"
Then Dragoon started marching back toward the zoo, and I chased after him yelling, "Dragoon! Stop! It wasn't looking at you funny, I swear!!"
What was really interesting, though, was watching Dragoon's AI suddenly go from 'don't kill' mode to 'KILLL!!!' mode, when he saw some guy snag an old lady's purse. We were walking down the sidewalk, along side a fairly busy street. There's an old lady about a block away from us, when this guy jumps out of an alley, snags her purse, and starts running.
Fortunately, this guy was unfortunate enough to run in the general direction of Dragoon and myself. At first I thought Dragoon was just going to stay calm, and let the guy run by, but then all of a sudden, just as the guy got right along side us, Dragoon grabbed him by the collar of his shirt, slammed him into the ground, and started beating the snot out of him, like he was a Booma or something. So, while Dragoon was busy going nuts on the guy, I keenly pulled the purse from the body, and returned it to the old lady. I nervously handed it back to her saying, "Heheh... hope you don't mind the blood...!..." I guess the guy that programmed Dragoon's ability to differentiate between things that should die and things that shouldn't die, gave him a very thin line, with absolutely no gray area in between, whatsoever. From what I hear, they were able to save the poor guy, however. I'm fairly certain that he's eating most of his meals through a straw now, though.
That's pretty much the way it went throughout that hiatus. Not a whole lot else happened that was of any consequence.
07-12-2002, 05:53 AM
Third eye ^-^ lol!
Can't wait to see what happens when they get to the mines!
07-24-2002, 07:12 AM
I like this fanfic! I wanted to write my own but I didn't think a fanfic of PSO could have humor in it. Keep up the good work! =^_^=
08-13-2002, 06:24 PM
Heh... Been a while since I've posted a chapter. Moving has monopolized much of my time. I want to thank everyone for the praise. Here's chapter 9. Things are starting to get a little more serious, and I end this chapter with a nice fight.
We finally got together, and decided to go ahead and proceed to the Mines. Once again, we gathered in the Purplenum section of the Hunters' Deck. We didn't waste any time in going down, this time. We each arrived at roughly the same time, collected our equipment from the Check Room, and headed straight for the teleporter, with only the usual nods and greetings.
Once we got down there, we all checked our weapons. Lynn ignited her sword, and I ignited the trusty daggers I'd become accustomed to. Dragoon warmed up his motors, and Zeirom unlocked the safety on his gun.
In the mean time, Zeirom gave us a run down of what this place was, and a little about its history. "The Mines," he said, "Were named such before anything was constructed down here. They mined out huge quantities of metals and variant natural resources, before what you see here was built. In fact, if you were to follow the elevator shafts down, you'd find what remains of the existing mining operation.
"What we have now, is Osto-Hyle Labs. Before the explosion that occurred when Pioneer 2 arrived, a wide variety of research materials were produced down here. While it was indeed a lab, most research here took place at another secondary location. The Mines were just used mostly for the refining of materials needed for research in a variety of fields from robotics to biology.
"According to logs that were found in the computer system, however, the varying androids and robots that performed various services, all under the administration of one of the three main computers, Vol Opt, started to malfunction."
By this point, we were all ready, and watching Zeirom, intent on hearing what he has to say. He paused for a moment, then continued. "They say that all the androids went nuts and killed everyone." Then he paused, and we all looked at Dragoon.
Dragoon just looked at us for a moment before finally coming back with, "What???"
Zeirom shrugged and continued further. "To sum it up kids, our mission is to destroy Vol Opt. Not that it hasn't been destroyed several times before, but by destroying it all the time, we slow it down, and it doesn't spread out to the Caves, or even worse, the Forest. It'll end up being repaired by one of the other two systems of course, but like I said, it's good to slow it down, and impede its progress."
Just then, Dragoon jumped up and down, then ran out the room yelling, "Come Zeirom!! Let us kill our brethren!"
I believe we all had about the same thing on our minds at this point. Zeirom was the one to speak it, however: "Here we go, again."
We all ran out to join Dragoon in the fray. First on the menu, was Gillchics. A Gillchic is somewhat of a worker droid. Under normal circumstances, Gillchics handle heavy lifting, and more or less, just some basic moving around of stuff. They're also commonly used for mining jobs though, too. Hence the little laser they have mounted on their right arms. They're certainly not designed for combat, but they're quite strong and they come in large groups, so if you're not careful when dealing with them, they'll be quick to get the best of you.
To avoid them, Zeirom would run to one end of the room, take a few shots, then run back to the other side of the room, while Lynn put her sword to good use. Gillchics can be dangerous when they attack, but they're knocked off balance rather easily, so a good hefty sword will put three or four of them to the ground quickly. Dragoon, on the other hand, was content to wait for one to try to smack him, then just grab it by its arm, and throw it into whatever was convenient; be that a wall, or another couple of Gillchics.
Myself, I found a Slicer that I quickly learned yielded a far higher success rate against these Gillchics than my beloved daggers. Because Gillchics have a habit of following their mark in a large, compact group, simply lobbing the ricocheting photon blade of a Slicer at the one in front allows a skilled hunter to very quickly lay in some reasonable damage on the whole group. I watched Zeirom's technique for handling the Gillchics, and with my nifty new Slicer, I did likewise.
Between the four of us, the room was cleared quickly, so we moved on. A larger room, this one with a group of small flying robots called Canadines, in a circular formation around a similar robot, a Canine. When in this configuration in particular, the Canadines are controlled by the Canine.
Canadines themselves look somewhat like, maybe the letter "U", except that they've got a third arm underneath them in the middle, and where all three arms meet, there is a small sensor array which can sense heat, movement, sound, and a number of other things, in addition to functioning as a low-grade camera. On the back of a Canadine, is a pair of antennae, as well as a recharge socket.
Canadines, in the past, have been integral parts of high-end security systems. They work as mobile cameras, and can even produce a strong electrical shock either to deter intruders, or to incapacitate them as necessary. According to Zeirom, many of their design features can be traced back to their long since predecessor model, "the Whistle", which dates back as long as 1,800 years ago, or more recently, the NeoWhistle, a newer model of the Whistle, which first appeared within the last 900 years.
The Canine is constructed in roughly the same manner as Canadines, but a Canine is typically painted red, is a little bit bigger, and most importantly, it acts as a server for the Canadines to send information to, and retrieve instructions from. Which means that if you destroy the Canine first, the fight with the Canadines will go quickly.
Taking aim as we entered the room, Zeirom charged a shot, and nailed the Canine. With a chuckle, Zeirom watched the Canine fall apart. "Now watch what happens," he said, just as the Canadines started to flash red lights and emit an alarm. "As a further security measure, if Canadines suddenly lose contact with the Canine, without being prepared for this, they go nuts and start on a kamikaze collision course for any nearby object."
A little worried, and maybe confused, I asked, "But Zeirom, doesn't that mean that they're all going to come toward us now, and blow up in our faces?"
"Yeah. I've seen many a careless hunter caught in the middle of a group of kamikaze Canadines get killed, after trying to kill the Canine first. That's why I killed it from way over here. Hit them with your Slicer, Meira. You'll stop them all at once."
"Oh... Okay Zeirom. Here goes..." With that, I drew back my Slicer to start to lob a photon blade at the group, but then the mysterious remains of a Gillchic from the previous room went flying through the air, right by me. It hit the ground and slid underneath the Canadines, which of course, caused the freaked out, blinking Canadines to reverse course and follow it into the ground, where they exploded and left us all alone.
Zeirom and I both looked back behind us to see Dragoon jumping in the air and congratulating himself with various repeated victory poses. With a shrug we continued on to the next room, Zeirom periodically stopping to shoot down a trap that Lynn and I wouldn't have noticed.
Among the next several rooms, we encountered two curious types of androids, whose combat prowess is comparable to a HUcast's. These would be the Sinow Gold and Sinow Beat designations of android. The Sinow Gold having the ability to spray Star mist into the air surrounding them to heal themselves and others, while the Sinow Beat exhibits holographic talents, including the ability to turn invisible, as well as the ability to make it seem as if many more of itself is in the room. According to Zeirom, these androids were designed as part of the security system. These are the back up that Canadines send for, when they come across something that they can't handle by themselves.
Our first encounter with these androids sticks out in my mind. We ran into the room, surprised not to see anything. All of us, except for Dragoon, that is. Dragoon has a strange personality, which causes him to think of things that others wouldn't. Usually this results in him being totally confused to everyone else, but every once in a while, it so happens that he notices something else that everyone else is oblivious to.
We ran into the room, and stopped to look around. There were stray comments of "There's nothing here?" and "Why aren't the doors open?" Actually, I suppose that I should explain the deal with the doors in the Mines, but I'll tell about what happened in this room, first.
So, we're looking around confused, then Dragoon starts tapping his foot. The clank of Dragoon's foot on the ground caught my attention, as well as the attention of Zeirom and Lynn. Following up Dragoon's metal body, I soon noticed that his legs were rigid, and his arms were crossed in a manner reminiscent of impatience. When my eyes reached his head, I discovered that he was looking at the ceiling.
Evidently Zeirom noticed this sooner than I had, though. Just as I looked up to see what Dragoon was looking at, Zeirom fired a shot. I looked just in time to see a Sinow Blue release its grip from the ceiling, and fall to the ground. Soon after, three more fell, and two Sinow Golds, as well. I stared for a moment. These were mean looking androids, and they were coming at us.
Zeirom started shooting at the Sinow Gold, but soon started running for the other side of the room-- putting some distance between he and the other machine. He is indeed a ranger, after all. Then the one in the lead jumped at us, but Dragoon caught it, then immediately started to pound it. Lynn charged two with her sword, and the last one just stared at me for a moment, before taking a step back, igniting a photon blade sticking out of its arm, and then leaping at me.
Because I'm quick, I jumped out of the way to my right, with enough time to swing my left knee into its gut. This was, however, when I was unfortunate enough to learn that ramming your knee into a half-ton piece of flying metal and silicon is only good for hurting your own knee. Nonetheless, I stopped its attack, but as I reeled in the pain I had ultimately inflicted upon myself, the Sinow Beat recovered, and drew back at me again.
My first reaction was to check my knee for metal splinters. There was a lot of cuts there, and the blood was already creeping toward my socks. I looked up just in time to notice that I didn't have time to deal with that, very narrowly avoiding having my head taken off by a photon blade, by dropping to the ground and rolling backward. As I rolled, I dropped my Slicer, and grabbed my daggers as I got back to my feet. Reacting quickly again, I had my daggers ignited just in time to use it to catch the Sinow Beat's photon blade with it.
It withdrew its arm, only to come back with the other, which I ducked underneath. I swung my dagger in a counter, but the Sinow Beat dodged out of the way in a seemingly unnaturally balanced move. I rather suspect that Sinow-series androids are equipped with some sort of directional stabilizers or something; which would explain their ability to jump long distances without moving far above the ground.
Almost an automatic movement, as soon as it dodged out of the way, I did a back flip, landing just behind where I was, just managing to avoid the Sinow Beat's blade again. Now that I was behind it, I knew I wouldn't have much time, so I quickly started a spin, first dragging my left dagger across its back, quickly followed by the other dagger, and I finished the spin with a jump and a couple of kicks, which, unfortunately, by this time, the Sinow Beat was turning around, and caught my kick, taking the prompt to throw me across the room.
Before I got too far though, it jumped at me, intent on striking me while I was in flight. By this time, I was through with my initial panic, and rebalanced myself in the air. It flew toward me, and as it swung a photon blade at me, I countered with my own blade, holding it off that way, though, I soon found my feet hitting the wall.
It was obviously stronger than me, this much was evident, but I held it away, nonetheless. As I put my feet back on the ground, it pushed forward, forcing my back against the wall. It kept pushing, and I needed a little more force against it, so I pulled up my other arm, and used the other dagger to push against it, too. This slowed it down.
As I held its blade back, it brought its face to me, and give me a mean stare in my eyes. Now I was nervous. I felt sweat drops drip down my face. Its eyes darkened, and I sensed something strange. Then I saw something. I don't think it was a hologram, because it had a dark aura about it; that is, it forced this creepy feeling on me. Another face seemed to emerge from its actual face. A very mean face. It reminded me of something evil. It was all dimly colored, and little red eyes were bright in eye sockets of infinite darkness. Then its fangs-- I will never forget those fangs. It opened its mouth to release this hideous cry at me, saliva stringing from lip to tooth, from tooth to tooth, and anywhere else. Its jowls were layered, and made its chin look like a separate object wedged in between them.
After staring at this wide-eyed for a few seconds, I dropped to the floor and rolled away from this thing, just in time to be missed by the photon blade in its other arm, as it raked across the wall. As I stood again, it turned toward me, and again, another onslaught. I kept moving backward, dodging and blocking as it swung at me, but I finally got wise, and ducked under a swing, then stepped forward-- too close for it to swing at me. As it jumped back, to re-establish its range of attack, I anchored my daggers behind its head, and the force of its own jump pulled them through, removing its head, and thus, all of its sensory equipment. Now that I was fighting a blind machine, I snatched my Slicer from the ground and with a few well-aimed sweeps, I finished it off.
Turning around to see everyone else, I looked up just in time to see the Sinow Gold jump at me. Luckily for me, just as it was about to hit me, it flew apart, scorched in the photon bullets of Zeirom's rifle. After dodging a little bit of debris, I felt relief. Everything had fallen. It turned out that if Dragoon hadn't finished off his Sinow Beat that he was confronting, Lynn likely would've been overtaken. It seems that after Dragoon tore apart his mark, he ripped its arms open, and started using the photon blade emitters as his weapons, which indeed proved to be quite useful to him. After doing this, he had gone after Lynn's Sinow Beats, just as they were starting to get the best of her.
I guess now's the time for my explanation of the doors in the Mines. The doors in the Mines don't remain locked as a natural state. The system is programmed to keep them locked, unless they are receiving a signal that tells them otherwise. This is part of the active security system in the Mines. Basically, any time a machine in the room has to go into attack mode, it transmits the "lock" signal to the system, and the system locks the doors. When the signal goes away, the system assumes that the threat has been eliminated, and it therefore releases the door locks.
So, when the Sinow Gold blew up, it was no longer able to maintain the lock signal, so the doors unlocked. We all looked at each other. Lynn used her Resta technique on herself, and Zeirom clanked up to me. "You handled that Sinow Beat exceptionally well, Meira." he said.
I looked at him with one eyebrow cocked. "Well? I nearly got killed!"
"Ah, but you didn't. Just look at Lynn."
This caught Lynn's attention. "What about me?! I'll have you know that I took on not one, but TWO of those monsters!" Lynn walked up to us. I thought she was going to slap Zeirom. By some miracle though, she held herself back from it.
"Seriously," I said, "I freaked when that creepy head came out of it."
"Creepy head? What creepy head?" Zeirom asked.
"The one with the shiny red eye things, and the icky teeth and it's all scary and stuff," was my reply. Zeirom just looked at me. Lynn cocked an eyebrow, but didn't say anything. I almost want to think that she smirked, just before she started walking for the door.
Dragoon started following Lynn. "Less talk! More kill!" he exclaimed.
Before we started walking, Zeirom looked at me and said, "I want you to tell me more about that face, later."
"All right..." Then we followed Lynn and Dragoon. There was a teleporter to the second level of Osto-Hyle Labs here, so we went ahead and moved on to the second segment of our trip.
08-14-2002, 05:17 AM
Hurrah! That was a really great fight!
I loved the level of detail and the descriptions of the features of all the machines!
Can't wait for the next chapter!
Keep up the good work!
09-07-2002, 06:21 PM
Here it is, folks... What everyone's been waiting for. Chapter 10. Not the final chapter, but things are starting to heat up, as our group here finishes off the Mines. Enjoy!
Entering the second section of the Mines was kind of spooky. This is where the real meat and potatoes of Osto-Hyle Labs' work was done. The place was wrecked. The basic architecture was nonetheless the same, but lifts were broken, light-up panels flashed and sparked, there were dents in the walls, and so on and so forth.
We ventured into the first room presented to us. Here, we were met by a group of Dubchics. Dubchics are a more advanced model of Gillchics. They're designed without internal logic processors, instead taking all of their commands from a remote control unit, which usually hovers high above. The intent of this advanced design, was to send them into areas that are too dangerous for Gillchics. See, in a good mine, there is constantly the chance that something might fall and destroy the robot. Because of this, measures have to be taken around this. To armor them so that they wouldn't fall apart would make them too heavy to move, or too big to maneuver in the small passages they may encounter. So, an alternative method is assumed. Instead of the robots being designed to withstand injury, they're designed to fall apart when damaged, then put themselves back together.
Using a technology based on electro-magnetism, a Dubchic's torso can magnetically recall its head, arms, and even its legs, back to the locations they are normally attached to. Because the connection is magnetic in and of itself, no screws or other binding devices are necessary. In fact, the part that it the torso calls back doesn't even necessarily have to be its own. This makes Dubchics a lot of trouble for Hunters who encounter them, because a massive amount of damage has to be done to them, before they will admit defeat.
Zeirom had fought many Dubchics in his time, however. He knew how to defeat them quickly, and as a ranger, he had the capacity to do so. At first, Dragoon, Lynn, and I all started to lay in on the Dubchics. Dragoon grabbed one and started swinging it around. This is when I first observed their technique of literally pulling themselves back together after they've been broken down. Zeirom just made a sigh of dissatisfaction. "You're wasting your time!" he yelled at us, then pointed his rifle at a saucer-like device floating near the ceiling. With precise aim, he destroyed its power supply, causing it to fall to the floor and smash into a billion pieces. "Now get away from them!" he yelled.
Lynn and I heeded his advice, but Dragoon stood there in the middle of a rough circle of them. "Dragoon! Get out of there! You are in danger!" Zeirom yelled at him.
Dragoon looked at Zeirom and shrugged. "I'm not in danger."
"Dragoon! The Dubchics are going to explode!"
"I'm not in danger."
Just then I saw the Dubchics, slumped over, and starting to spark. Zeirom was right. When these things stop, they explode.
"Dragoon, you fool! These androids are specifically designed for mining! When they can no longer receive a signal from the control unit, they self-destruct to clear any debris from the path!"
"Zeirom, you fool! I ha--" Dragoon was cut off by the explosion of the Dubchics. Shrapnel was flung about, and we all watched the pile of parts where Dragoon was standing. No movement. The three of us approached it.
I called for him. "Dragoon??" I shouted. When there was no response, I started to try to pull things out from on top of him. Before I could get anything moved, though, I heard something, and there was a flash underneath the pile.
Zeirom warned us, "Back off everyone... We don't know what that was..."
As we backed away, there was a shuffling underneath the pile, soon followed by a sudden upheaval of things. Dragoon burst out from beneath the pile, like a pissed off Hildebear bursting out from underneath a pile of dead Boomas. I believe that he made a machine-equivalent noise as he did this, too.
With bright yellow sparks fluttering about him, he posed dramatically, swaying back and forth, in the center of this pile of parts. His MAG, which resembled an old video game console, was beeping and flashing, and otherwise going nuts. Meanwhile, electric sparks flew from his joints and various panels. He would have been grinning, were he able to do so.
He twitched slightly, as he reached into his inventory, and procured a trimate, which he clumsily consumed. Momentarily, the sparks from his joints stopped, and he stood firm again. He climbed over the parts, and pat Zeirom on the head. "I just received enough damage to bring me near death, and my MAG gained a photon burst. For the next several minutes, I shall be invulnerable."
Zeirom eyed Dragoon. "Invulnerable, huh?" Dragoon stood and nodded. I don't think Dragoon saw it coming, when Zeirom's fist rammed into his face. Dragoon fell on his butt, but promptly got up and dusted himself off. "You take your invulnerability, and you and Lynn head through that East door there," Zeirom pointed to the door he spoke of. "Meira and I will go through the North door. We'll meet up later. And Dragoon... If you ever do that again, I will knock you out and rewire your logic circuit."
Dragoon shrugged, then ran over to Lynn. "Com'on, Lynn! I'll be your cannon fodder!" Lynn giggled, and with that, they ran through the East door.
Zeirom walked up to me. "Ready to move on, Meira?" he asked.
"Sure, I s'pose," I replied. "Did Dragoon really irritate you that much?"
"Not really. But I've done a lot of combat with Dragoon, and I've found that if someone doesn't smack him around every once in a while, he gets to thinking that he's the real muscle of the group, and he'll start pushing the others around. Just be glad I won't let him use his Spread Needle."
With that, he proceeded into the next room, and I followed him. As we entered the room, we saw a huge tank-like machine. "That's no security device..." Zeirom slowly and lowly pronounced as it turned to face us, hovering a few centimeters above the ground, using powerful jets to keep it there. It looked at us, and we looked at it. Then Zeirom's voice increased by a few decibels, "That's a war machine!"
The machine let itself lower to the ground, and then it anchored itself. "It, um, is attaching itself to the ground, Zeirom."
"It's a Garantz, Meira. It only anchors itself to the ground for one thing, and one thing only."
"It's going to launch missiles at us."
"Going to launch missiles at us."
"And we're standing here... why?"
"Because it'll only launch more at us if we run."
"So, um, shoot it! You're a tank! Make it go boom!"
Then the missile turrets opened, soon after, several fairly slow-moving, small target surface-to-surface missiles launched. They didn't move fast, but they weren't intended to. They're short-range missiles, after all. Zeirom tossed down his rifle, then jumped in front of me, and grabbed me. He picked me up, and more or less, hugged me. "I shall protect you, Meira!!"
"Um, Zeirom, what about you?" I said, then the missiles hit. Zeirom shook a little, but after the missiles had spend themselves, Zeirom quickly pulled out a high-end hand gun with a long barrel, and started shooting at it.
Somewhat mellow-dramatically, he cursed at the machine. Bits and pieces of its armor flew off. To my surprise, when the armor broke off, several more missile turrets were revealed. I emit an exclamatory at this, though I don't feel content to express what it was exactly. As the missiles launched, Zeirom cracked open a Star Atomizer, and sprayed it around us, before holding close onto me. The missiles hit again, and once again, after the explosion cleared, Zeirom turned around again, and started shooting.
He started to overcome it, and exclaimed a loud, "Ha ha ha ha! Die Garantz! Die! Die! Die! Die!" Until it finally toppled under its own weight. Zeirom continued to shoot it until a few times, until nothing was left glowing on it. Then he put his handgun away, and walked over to me.
He grabbed my shoulders, and with great care he asked, "Are you all right? You're not hurt, are you?" When he finished asking that, he started checking over my arms and my hips, and he looked at my legs, and so forth.
"I'm just fine, Zeirom. You took all those missiles head on, you're the one that should be hurt from all this," I said.
"I suppose you're right. Oh, I must have some nasty burns on my back, could you take a look for me?"
"Sure, I suppose I could. Turn around, y'big lug." So he turned around, and I started to look at his back. There was a few panels loose, and I just kinda pushed those into place. I felt along a couple of cracks, and wiped off some soot. "Yeah, you're gonna need a trimate for this one, Zeirom."
"Ah, I'll just spray a Star Atomizer," and thus he did what he said, and sprayed a Star Atomizer into the air.
Then the Sinow Beats dropped down. As they approached us, Zeirom exclaimed, "Sinow Beats! Meira, I shall protect you!" Thus, he grabbed me again, and started shooting at them.
I pushed and shoved at him, "Dang it, Zeirom, I can handle a Sinow Beat, too, y'know!"
He never did let them get close, though. They'd try to jump at us, but he'd shoot them out of the air, and if they ran toward us, he would just keep rotating which one he was aiming at, and they couldn't run fast enough to stay away from him. Plus, Zeirom did a tremendous job of aiming, and judging where they'd try to dodge when they saw a photon bullet coming at them. Not allowing myself to stay completely out of it, I stopped my futile struggle from Zeirom's grasp, and started casting Zonde techniques on them.
When they were all cleared, Zeirom put me down again, and once again asked me, "Are you all right? They didn't hurt you, did they?"
I told him, "I'm just fine, Zeirom! They never got close, and you were shielding me the whole time!" Then he started checking me for injuries again.
"You caste an awful lot of techniques, here I picked up this trifluid a while ago." He opened a trifluid, and handed it to me. I didn't really feel like I needed it, but he'd opened it and given it to me, so I felt obligated to go ahead and drink it.
A buzzing sound brushed passed me, and Zeirom started looking around. "A fly!" he yelled. "Meira! I shall save you!"
He went to grab me again, but I jumped away. "Hold on, Zeirom! I can HANDLE this one! Gee..."
I located the fly, then waited for just the right moment, at which point, I slapped it against the armor plating on Zeirom's arm, then promptly wiped it off. "Now Zeirom," I said, "Please don't just grab me like that over the slightest thing. I really appreciate that you want to keep me safe and all, and it's very gentlemanly of you, and I'm flattered that you would be so concerned, but please, let me fight, too, okay? If I'm hurt, I can use Resta, or a Trimate, and I'll be fine."
Zeirom chuckled, "All right then, Meira."
We heard echoes of Dragoon's whoops and hollers a few rooms down, looked at each other, and carried on. A few rooms full of Dubchics, Gillchics, and Canadines later, we stopped to rest. He stood and went into a low-power mode, and I sat down on the edge of the platform we were on, and hung my legs over the edge.
I decided to make conversation. "So why did Lynn insist on not going alone with you when we split up, anymore? You've been very nice, so far."
"She believes that I'm a pervert. Dunno why."
"What's a pervert?"
"A, uh, pervert, Meira, hmm... Well, I suppose a pervert is someone who tries to do, um, 'naughty' things without anyone noticing."
"Well that's strange. I haven't seen you do anything naughty."
"Really, why would I? I'm a machine, after all. Through and through."
"What does that have to do with being naughty, and getting intro trouble?"
After I asked that, Zeirom got a strange look on his face. I might say surprise, but it may be a little bit of him just barely realizing something, too. In any case, after that, he powered up and said, "All right, let's get going."
"All right, Zeirom," I said, as I turned and got back up on my feet. The room we'd wandered into to rest was a dead end, so we trekked back across the room we'd gone through before that, and went through a different door, to find Dragoon and Lynn waiting for us.
"Guys, be careful," Lynn warned. "After Dragoon's invulnerability wore off, he got hit really hard, and hasn't been quite right since."
"Um, what happened, Lynn?" asked Zeirom.
"I think a circuit board from a Gillchic got lodged in his head, just before he used a Trimate... He's been acting real strange."
Dragoon broke into the conversation with a few choice words of his own, "I want to hurt something big."
Zeirom shrugged. "He seems to be working just fine to me."
Zeirom's confidence re-assured me, so I shrugged it off, as well. We started walking for the next door. "The gateway to Vol Opt's control room should be just a couple of rooms that way."
We proceeded into the next room. We were met by two Garantz, a Sinow Gold, and a pair of Gillchics. Before anything could be said, I called out, "I got the Sinow Gold!" With that, I rushed out after it.
Much like my fight with the Sinow Beat, my fight with the Sinow Gold was a long trek of dodges and parries. We both charged each other. As I ran, I put away my Slicer, and drew my daggers. As my blades ignited, I redirected one of the Sinow Gold's blades away from my face. It did catch my shoulder just slightly, but it didn't bother me. Cut my shirt, and gouged a bit of skin, but I was otherwise just fine. This time, I knew how to confront one of these machines, in hand-to-hand combat.
It came back around to slash at me again, but I turned to step into it. After its arm went right by me, I continued to turn, grabbing its wrist. As I thrust it forward, I locked my dagger's trigger in to the 'on' position, and tossed it between the two of us. I leaned forward as I tugged on the Sinow Gold's arm, and as I did so, I brought a foot up, and caught the hilt of the dagger, just in time to kick the blade into the Sinow Gold's chest. This caught the machine off guard, so it went with the momentum I had started to create in it, and jumped in the direction that I was pulling its arm.
As it went by me, I claimed my dagger from its chest, and jerked it out, causing as much damage as I could. It landed on its feet, however, clutched its chest for a moment, then stood straight, and formally pressed a button on its arm. The Sinow Gold was engulfed in the mist of a Star Atomizer for a moment, and the hold I had pierced in it was mostly closed. It stalked toward me again.
I took an aggressive stance with my daggers at the ready. It came at me with both blades drawn. It attempted to swing them at me, raking them across each other like a pair of scissors, but I went low, and rolled underneath its blades. While it was still leaning forward, and moving, coming out of the roll, I thrust my legs upward, into its chin. Its arms still locked into that position, I sprung into the air, and caught a foothold on its wrists, from which point, I jumped again. This time, I flipped and turned to face the direction it was facing, as I landed on its shoulders. Rather than seriously trying to stay up there as it struggled, I crouched quickly, and embedded my daggers on either side of its head. With that, I held onto the daggers, and dropped behind it to let gravity do the rest.
The Sinow Gold was sliced up quite well, and the mount for its head was damaged beyond what any Star Atomizer could ever heal. It twitched a little, as it lay on the ground, but it was down for the count, nonetheless.
As I looked up from this wreckage, I could see that the Gillchics were down. Sliced apart, probably by Lynn's sword. At that present moment, Lynn and Zeirom were finishing off the Garantz closest to the door we entered through. Dragoon was unloading his supply of grenades on the second Garantz, though he seemed to be using them as more of a counter measure against the Garantz' missiles, while he hacked away with the Sinow Beat's blades he'd taken.
Finally, in an act of apparent frustration, I heard Dragoon yell, "Open that DOOR you blasted inferior robot!" just before he took a step back, and screamed as he charged into it, shoulder first, and rammed it dead through the door behind it, in a most obscenely loud manner.
The loud sounds of metal crunching against metal, and a number of sparks and small explosions came from the next room, as we approached it. There was electrical smoke wafting out the newly augmented doorway, and we waved it by, as we peered inside to see Dragoon pounding away at what was left of the core of the Garantz, as though he were some sort of deranged ape on a rampage. He seemed to finally be satisfied, when he'd crushed it to about a third of its original size. After that, he straightened up, and stood all straight and proper.
We'd become accustomed to his rampaging fits of destruction, but after seeing him ram a machine no less than six times his weight through a door it rightfully shouldn't have fit through, we were amazed, nonetheless. Dragoon truly was built for the express purpose of producing the maximum possible destructive energy in a single attack.
Zeirom pointed at a teleporter gate. "The entrance to Vol Opt's control room is right there," he said. We all nodded, and proceeded to it, but before we ran in, Zeirom stopped. "We'd better head to town and replenish ourselves, first." We all concurred, and used our telepipes and Ryuker techniques. Quick jogs to replenish supplies of 'mates and 'fluids, then a trot over to the hospital to heal our wounds, and revitalize us took all of 3 minutes, then we were back down to the entrance of Vol Opt's Control Room.
We all stepped into the teleporter, and activated it. Soon after, we were standing in the room. Alarms sounded, and a large electrical probe lowered from the ceiling. Semitransparent monitors lined the walls, and behind them, a large sensory device traveled around, collecting information on our locations.
Lynn and I attacked the thing behind the consoles, while Zeirom shot out the probe at the ceiling. Dragoon, on the other hand, didn't seem quite right. He put a hand to his forehead, and paused for a moment. The sensory device soon hid, and a number of columns raised from the ground to act as lightning rods for the electrical probe, and assault us with ice and fire bursts. Dragoon took this opportunity to, in a fit of rage, rip the columns from the floor, and throw them into the monitor screens, yelling, "No! No, I won't!" I didn't understand why he said that.
He tore another from the floor, and threw it as well, but this time, batting down another first, again, yelling, "I won't do it! You can't make me! Nooo!!" He was, indeed, experiencing some great personal frustration.
The columns descended back into the floor, but Dragoon grabbed one, and prevented it from closing, tearing it out. When the sensory device re-appeared, he crammed the column into it, destroying it thoroughly. I could sense a very dark presence, as the room began to explode. The monitors popped, and the air pressure of the room decreased ever so slightly.
As a large device descended from the ceiling, that sense of a dark presence only grew. I recalled that I felt that presence ever so slightly, when confronting De Rol Le, but it was no where near as strong then as it was at this point.
As it lowered down, Dragoon felt to his knees, and clutched his head. He screamed as loud as he could, a horrendous cry of, "Nooooooo!!!" before he finally collapsed.
I ran over to Dragoon, yelling for him, "Dragoon!" His eyes were blinking and fading in color. When I kneeled down next to him, I felt that same dark energy coming from him. His eyes started to glow with ultra-violet light, and I backed off. Something wasn't right.
"Vol Opt must've taken control over him!" Lynn yelled. "Destroy Vol Opt, and he'll be okay!" Just at this point, Dragoon attacked me.
He threw a backhand at me, but I clumsily ducked underneath it. He brought his fists together, and swung down at me, but I jumped to one side. His fists slammed into the floor, crushing a part of it, and causing metal to splinter all about.
Vol Opt started to shoot tracking lasers all about the room. I notice Lynn and Zeirom run by, just as Dragoon grabbed me by the shoulders. The ultra-violet lights behind his eyes glowed more intensely, as he slammed me into the ground, and a tracking laser settled in on my forehead. I saw a heavy metal object, almost like a large pillar, center in above me. It had me located, and now Vol Opt was going to crush me!
I wiggled to try to escape from Dragoon's grasp, but he held even tighter than Zeirom. I could feel the circulation to my arms being cut off. My mind was devoid of ideas on how to escape. I had a full-ton machine holding me to the floor, and something that was undoubtedly heavier about to come down and turn my head into a greasy spot.
The universe seemed to slow down for a moment. When you realize that you're probably going to die, you gain a strange sense of clarity. Something evil was present in Vol Opt, and it had continued to infect Dragoon. I was going to die, and I hadn't even found Randon, yet. But that was why I had gone down to Ragol, wasn't it? I had to find Randon, right?
As the hammer dropped, I remembered that I still had a mission. I had to get to the Ruins, because that's where Randon went, and I could let anything stop me. This fight with Vol Opt, and yet with Dragoon as well, was the only thing between me and the place that Randon was last known to have been.
The hammer sped toward my head, and with more force than I had ever exerted in my life, I lifted my legs off the ground, and more or less, curled up into a fetal position underneath Dragoon. With a strange amount of force and speed, that I had never known I was capable of, and I'm sure that I may never be capable of again, I suddenly rammed my feet into Dragoon's gut, and lifted him off the ground.
Just in time, I slid underneath him, and pushed him over me. The hammer came down, and slammed into Dragoon behind his shoulders. There, it kept pushing, but Dragoon withheld it, until the huge rod that it was attached to, finally broke, and the hammer fell off to one side.
I stood to watch this, but my legs suddenly felt weak. I could hardly stand, and my arms weren't much better, just barely regaining their normal color, after having become almost purple.
Dragoon stood up slowly, and turned to me. At this, I understood how he truly was, as a machine. He was virtually unstoppable. The only thing was, my life depended on me stopping him. Lynn and Zeirom were still assaulting Vol Opt, frantically trying to disable it, so that it would relinquish its control over Dragoon. I feared that Vol Opt wouldn't be defeated quickly enough, and Dragoon was charging toward me right then.
I went to slash at his gut with my daggers, but he blocked with his blades. At the moment, my arms were in no position to try to overpower his, and even if I had tried to hold him back, there was no way that I could. He backhanded me again, and I flew across the room, where I slammed into the wall. I consider it a miracle that my neck didn't break. The Great Light was surely watching out for me. At this point, I was convinced that I wasn't fighting Dragoon, but The Profound Darkness, itself. Dragoon had, after all, proven himself to be none other than, somewhat of a god of destruction, causing harm even to the machine that was controlling him.
Dragoon, seeing that I wasn't yet dead, charged after me again. Fighting Dragoon is no laughing matter. Because of his combination of weight, strength, and speed, the traditional concepts of using your opponent's momentum against him become warped and of no use. Because he's in complete control of everything he does, with the precision of a high-powered computer, all you can hope to do is lock him into a situation where only you can reap an advantage.
I did still have one advantage over him. As fast as he is, I am still faster, even though my legs were still a little woozy. So I could out maneuver him, and I did, as he punched and kicked at me, but I still had to figure out how I could damage him. All I could really do was dodge and parry.
He threw one punch after another, and tried to stunt my movement by performing several different strategies of attack all at once. I did come up with an idea, though. Getting hopeful, seeing that he is such a destructive force, I tried to bring him into range of Vol Opt, in hopes that I could get him to hit that. As hammers hit down and missiles flew, I did get him to hit Vol Opt a couple of times, but I couldn't get him to do what I really wanted him to, and that was to rip off a piece of Vol Opt to throw at me.
I couldn't stay so close to Vol Opt forever, though. As it began to turn, I had to move away from it, and Dragoon got me caught against a wall. He held me by my neck against the wall, and my feet dangled. I was choking, when he drew back his fist. I'd come this far, but I knew that this couldn't be the end. I'd proven a good fight for him, but if he killed me, then that would be it. There would be no bringing me back.
If I couldn't be brought back, then I couldn't go to the Ruins to find Randon, and that just wasn't acceptable. I had to find Randon, and at that moment, Dragoon was the largest obstacle to that... and I hated him for it. I could feel the hate, frustration and anger welling up inside me, just as the tears were welling up in my eyes. I didn't like the feeling that Dragoon was causing me to have, but that only fueled it more. I had never been so incredibly angry in my life.
That's when it happened. Dragoon was just about to throw his punch, when I shoved my hands at him, and from me, burst this wretched black ball of energy. This horrible ball of hate, anger, and frustration. I couldn't stand it, I had to let it out. Thus, I spilled it all onto Dragoon, and as the ball passed through him, his eyes grew dark once more. His fist lowered, and his grip loosened. I fell to the ground, and Dragoon toppled over, lifeless. Dragoon was killed, by my first burst of the dark technique, Megid.
I was shocked that I could do such a thing to Dragoon. He had become my friend, and we even went to the zoo together! But now was not the time to deal with this. If I had to place blame for Dragoon's death, I had to place it on Vol Opt.
Grabbing my daggers from the ground, I charged in at it, targeting a location behind a missile turret that Zeirom had just shot off. I slashed and stabbed at it, until between the three of us, we brought it down, and took it out of commission. Finally, it fell, and I stumbled backward, tired and otherwise worn. My legs were jello, my arms were sore, and my neck really really hurt. I caste Resta, but that did little more than heal my cuts and bruises. I was still, nonetheless, quite hurt.
"Zeirom..." I said, "Please take me home now." Zeirom didn't argue, and quickly came and caught me, as I collapsed into his arms. I wasn't unconscious yet, but I was darned close. From that haze, I remember going through the transporter with him, and I remember listening to his feet clank all the way back to my apartment. It was after he laid me down on my bed and I mumbled a thanks to him, that I finally passed out.
09-07-2002, 10:55 PM
::gasp:: you killed him, but he was so funny and cool. He reminds me of some ppl online I knew. Well hope things turn out better for Meria. Great work keep it up! =^_^=
09-20-2002, 04:15 PM
Egad! I darn near forgot to write a comment! Well, in any case... We're coming up on the home stretch, here. After Chapter 11, I'm figuring that there'll be no more than two more chapters. Chapter 11 here sees the preparation for this fanfic's final trip to Ragol-- The Ruins. Very soon, the awful truth shall be revealed!
When I woke up, Zeirom was standing in the corner, in more or less of a power save mode. First I groaned a few noises, then I yawned. Then I stretched and determined that stretching wasn't a good idea. "Zeirom?" I called.
Zeirom's eyes lit, and he looked up to see me. "Meira," he said, "You're awake!" He clanked over to me. "Going by my internal clock, it's been three days."
I questioned, "Three days?" Surely I hadn't slept for three days. I couldn't imagine sleeping that long, let alone, do it.
"Well, if you want an exact number, it's been three days and two-hundred sixty-seven point two-three-eight beats." he explained.
"Egad!" I yelled, and quickly hopped out of bed, now noticing, I was still fully dressed, though shoeless. Then I remembered what I'd done to get myself in this situation, and I grew concerned over the other results. "What happened to Dragoon??" I asked, somewhat frantically. I didn't mean to kill him, but I didn't have much choice.
"Lynn said she'd get Dragoon to the hospital, and have him repaired." Zeirom said.
This made cartoony images of Lynn trying to lift Dragoon appear in my head. This posed an odd problem to me, and I looked back at Zeirom and said, "But... Lynn's not much bigger than I am, and Dragoon weighs over a ton!"
Zeirom shrugged. "That's not a problem. She said she'd get Dragoon to the hospital, she didn't say she'd carry him. She can get help from the hospital staff to get him relocated."
"Oh," I said. "So have you heard anything about him?" I asked.
"No, I haven't. I've been here, watching over you," he said.
I wandered about my room, looking for my shoes. "So why don't we head over there, right now?" I asked, as I picked them up. They were at the foot of my bed, of course. It was about at this point, that I started to notice how weak I was at that current moment. "Ugh," I groaned.
"Actually Meira, I was going to suggest that we go get something to eat. You haven't eaten anything in three days, so I'm sure you're feeling quite weak. A basic physiological need of organic creatures is food to burn as fuel.
"All right then," I said, "We go get food, but then it's straight to the hospital, Mister."
Zeirom chuckled. "Yes, ma'am."
As I laced up my shoes, I replied with, "That's right!" then I promptly got up, stumbled a bit, grabbed his hand, and lead him out of my apartment. We took the elevator down to the ground floor, though the abrupt stop of my apartment complex's cheap elevator nearly made me lose my balance.
As we walked out the door, and the light of the streets hit my eyes, I nearly fell over, but Zeirom caught me. "Meira," he said, "Why don't you ride on my shoulder? That should be considerably easier for you."
I looked up at him in somewhat of a daze. "Sure, Zeirom," I said, then paused before finishing with, "I think I'd like that." With that, he hoisted me up on his shoulder, where I quickly took residence. He even held me in place up there by keeping his hand in my lap, like a seat belt. Zeirom's such a nice guy, he really is. "So where are we going?" I asked, as he clanked along down the street.
"I'm taking you to that cafe where we first met. I know you seem to like that place," he answered. Indeed, I do like that place. They make the best burger on Pioneer 2, in my not so humble opinion.
Before long, we were there, and Zeirom lifted me from his shoulder, to set me down in a chair. "What do you want? I'll go get it for you." he said.
I tried to think of what I usually like to get, only to discover that I have a variety of things that I like to choose from when I go there. This made my decision difficult, until I thought, "I haven't eaten in three days. I'm darned hungry!" So I nodded to myself, and looked at Zeirom to say, "Zeirom, whatever I've ordered the last three times we've been here together, I'll have that."
"You've ordered something different every time we've been here, Meira," he replied.
"Exactly," I said with a smirk. Zeirom chuckled, and walked over to the counter.
While Zeirom ordered the food, I looked around. It was a pleasant place to eat. Tables with parasols sitting out in front of the building, people chatting away while they sip at their beverages, and snack on pretzels. The atmosphere of the place is quite friendly, and it always reminded me of times when Randon and I would meet with his friends, and to discuss previous adventures, and plan upcoming treks.
I hadn't seen a lot of Randon's old friends since Randon went missing, though. Except for Dux, who I noticed just happened to be wandering by at that present moment. "Dux!!" I called to him, and waved frantically. He stopped on the sidewalk, and looked around to see where the calling of his name came from. He didn't seem to see me, so I yelled again, "Dux! Come here!!" and this time, he saw me, and hands in his pockets, he went ahead and came over.
He greeted me with some variety of standardized social greeting. "Hey, Meira. How's it going?"
"Ugh, I am hungry!" I said. "I've got Zeirom over there ordering me some food. I haven't eaten in three days!"
Dux lifted an eyebrow at that. "Three days? What possessed you to not eat in three days?"
"I was, um, asleep."
"Asleep? For three days? How'd you manage that?"
"I, uh... Got into a pretty bad fight."
"Oh... With what? Surely those Sinow Beats aren't that much of a problem to you."
"Well, no, the Sinow Beats and Sinow Golds, I can handle just fine... It's just... I, um,"
At this time, Zeirom walked back to the table with a little number plate, which he placed at the edge, so it was plain to see. The number was 28, by the way. "Hello, Dux," he said, offering a hand.
"Hey, Zeirom," Dux replied, then just stared at Zeirom's hand for a moment, before shaking it. My impression was that he was trying to figure out what, precisely, the gesture meant.
"Sit down, Dux. You don't have to stand when there's a perfectly good chair right there," Zeirom demanded.
Dux stood there for a moment, then with a shrug, he complied, pulling out the chair, and having himself a merry old seat. "I was trying to decide if I was in a hurry or not, before I sat down. Evidently I'm not."
"Where were you going?" Zeirom asked.
"To a bar, I believe. As I recall, I planned to meet up on a blind date with a rather attractive glass of alcohol. Fine dame she is. Makes you totally forget that life has no real meaning or purpose," replied Dux.
Zeirom capped off with, "You're depressing, Dux."
Dux shrugged, "No, I'm not depressing. Now Ragol. Ragol is depressing. You're a member of the Hunters' Guild. You understand. We go down there, and we kill things. Over. And over. And over. And. Over. And it just doesn't stop. It makes me ask... What's the point? Do you have any idea how many Beta772's I've killed? DeAD Rol Le, man." As Zeirom shook his head over this, Dux looked over back at me, "So what was the deal with this fight that you speak of?"
"I, um, killed Dragoon," I said. "I, I didn't really want to, but I had no choice-- he was trying to kill me."
Dux asked for confirmation, "Dragoon tried to kill you?"
Zeirom interjected with, "We were fighting Vol Opt, and somehow or another, Vol Opt took over Dragoon. Lynn had said something about a circuit board from a Gillchic being healed into his head. Sounds kind of strange to me, but I suppose that it very well could happen."
Dux blinked for a moment. "That does sound about like Dragoon's luck. But I've never heard of that happening before. And mind you, I've spanked Vol Opt in the company of a great number of androids, in the past." Then Dux looked back at me. "You KILLED that thing? Great mother of brains! How'd you manage that? Dragoon's built like a, uh, big, um, heavy armored, tough thing!"
"I used Megid on him, actually. He had me up against a wall by my neck, and if I hadn't, he would've crushed my head with his fist," I said.
Dux blinked again. "Huh. Figures that a burst of Megid would take him out that easily. Urg... I don't like that technique, though. You have to be so full of bad emotions to cast it. Sure makes you feel better afterward, though." Dux paused and thought for a second. "Meira, how'd a happy-go-lucky girl like you manage to cast Megid?"
"Well..." I said. "I'd rather not say." I was embarrassed to tell him that it was because Dragoon was preventing me from continuing to go down to search for Randon. I was also a little worried that if I told him, he might warn me against going down there, and I didn't want to hear that from Dux.
Just then a waitress came out with my food. "Number twenty-eight?" she said. I nodded enthusiastically, and she set her tray down with one hand, as she reclaimed the number. "Thank you!" I cheered, and she nodded to me, before walking away.
"So where's Dragoon, now?" asked Dux.
"Supposedly, Lynn took him to the hospital," Zeirom said. "So we were going to check there. Even if he's not there, we can at least find out where he wandered off to after they fixed him. Nurse Marina's sure to know, at least."
I mumbled something about how good the food was, while I scarfed it down. I didn't realize how hungry I was, until I smelled the fried potatoes in front of me. I ate like an animal, that day.
?Maybe I'll go with you to the hospital, then," said Dux. "I didn't really want to see that glass of alcohol anyway. Last time I spent the night with her, I woke up with a horrid headache."
After I finished my food, we proceeded to the hospital, though I demanded to ride on Zeirom's shoulder again, simply because it was just so much fun. He didn't mind, though. In fact he seemed happy to do it. For all you other HUnewearls out there, I tell you, on a RAcast's shoulder is the only way to travel.
When we got there, Nurse Marina was handling some log entries in the computer. "Ahem," Zeirom said to get her attention.
"Oh!" She exclaimed. "How can I help you?"
"Have you treated an android named 'Dragoon' here, recently?" Zeirom inquired.
"As a matter of fact, yes. He left yesterday, but if you'd wait here, Dr. Oscar would like to talk to you about him."
"Oh, well, all right, then." Zeirom replied. We all looked at each other, curious about why the doctor would want to talk about it. I think Zeirom assumed, as did I, that he wanted to ask about the Gillchic circuit board, though Dux may have just assumed that the doctor wanted to rant about how strange Dragoon is. The nurse walked through a door, into the hospital ward.
After a few moments, she came back out, followed closely by a well-built man, who I assume, had he been a hunter, probably would've been classified as a HUmar. He had long grey hair, and wore a long white coat. He walked over to Zeirom. "Ah, Zeirom," he said. "I'd like to speak with you about Dragoon."
"So I hear," Zeirom said. We all walked away from the front desk, and stood about in the middle of the room. "What exactly are you so curious about?" Zeirom asked.
"Well, Zeirom, I know that you've known Dragoon for a good long time, and you know that I've always been the doctor that's had the responsibility of rebuilding him whenever he's been hurt."
"Yeah, what's your point?"
"Well, when I took him apart to fix his power systems, something didn't quite seem right about him."
"Well, reportedly, he got a Gillchic's circuit board healed into him."
"I don't know about that, Zeirom. All his parts were perfectly in tact. I checked everything specifically, as well. His parts were his own, that's for sure."
"But Lynn said that a Gillchic's circuit board got healed into him, and that he was acting strange. Sure enough, Vol Opt took control of him."
"I'm telling you that there was no part of a Gillchic in him at all. Is Lynn the young woman that brought him in?"
"Yes, she was supposed to have brought him. I suppose she may have been mistaken about the Gillchic's circuit, though. But still, Vol Opt took control of him, and I find that to be quite strange."
"Well, what I did find, was that inside he was covered with some sort of a greasy film."
"Well, I dunno, he was eating things we killed in the caves just a few weeks ago. Think that may have caused that?"
"Ha, no, I don't think so, Zeirom. It would take something far more corrosive than anything that would be found in the body of an altered beast to spill through his internal matter combustion system."
"So what do you think it was?"
"I don't know, but I do believe that I can tell you that what Lynn told you was a lie. You'd better be careful about her."
I stared at the doctor for a moment. I wasn't too happy with him, after all, he'd just called my friend a liar. But, being a somewhat forgiving person, I passed it off as a misunderstanding, and just stood there, content to hear what else Zeirom might have to say.
"Well Doctor, do you have any idea where Dragoon might have went from here?"
"You may as Marina, she was the nurse that checked him out of the hospital. She's likely to know."
"Thank you, Doctor."
When I heard that, I didn't wait for Zeirom. I went straight over to Nurse Marina to ask her, discovering that Dux had been over there the whole time.
"Well, see nurse, I ask because I've had this cramp right here in my neck," he was saying to her, pointing to part of his neck, "And I was hoping maybe you could help."
I couldn't help but be distracted by Dux's complaint. "You've got a cramp in your neck, Dux? Why didn't you tell me? I can help you with that!" With that, I reached over and started to massage his shoulders.
"Hey, hey, Meira, you're cra--- ooo... Nevermind, go for it..." he said, and he almost started to seem to lose his balance there. Just then Zeirom walked up from behind us.
"Nurse Marina, did Dragoon say where he was going after he left?" he asked. I guess Zeirom really is a lot taller than the nurse. He got so close, he had to look almost straight down to see her. I let go of Dux, remembering why I went over there to begin with, to wait for the nurse's answer. Dux fell down.
"Actually, he said he had a score to settle at the zoo, as I recall. He's such a weird HUcast," she answered.
I slapped my forehead, "Oh my god, that poor Orangoo!!" I yelled. "Zeirom, we've gotta get to that zoo!"
"Orangoo," he said, "What's Dragoon's problem with an Orangoo?"
"He says that it looked at him funny with it's third eye-- but just its third eye."
"That's absurd! An Orangoo can't look at something with just its third eye!"
"That's what I tried to tell him, but he wouldn't listen!"
Dux, back on his feet, interjected, "Um, don't worry about finding him at the zoo. They caught him, quite literally speaking, red-handed."
"Eeeewww," I said. Zeirom started walking out. "Zeirom! Wait up! Where are you going?" I started running to catch up with him.
"I'm going to the law enforcement center. I'm certain that he's going to want someone to post bail for him," he said. After that, I caught up with him, and leaped up onto his shoulder, albeit, in a rather sloppy fashion.
Zeirom's figuring was right on the money. As it turned out, they'd gotten Dragoon on one count of hunting of an endangered species, one count of disturbing the piece, and another account of resisting arrest. He actually took down four Type-Os from WORKS, before they got him to settle down. Surprisingly enough, his fine was only 5,000 mesetas, so we just paid the fine for him. The chief at the law enforcement center explained that his fine was so low because he was a registered hunter.
As we were walking away, Zeirom asked Dragoon, "Dragoon, why didn't you pay your own fine?"
Dragoon looked at Zeirom like he was crazy and said, "But that would be like admitting that I did something wrong!"
"You killed a member of an endangered species, then howled at Ragol's moon like a Savage Wolf, tossing its innards about, all while kids were watching. Then, when they came to stop you, they had to call WORKS in, and you crushed four of their mindless Type-Os. You don't think you did something wrong? I mean, the property damage alone was worth well more than 5,000 mesetas."
"That Orangoo was looking at me funny with its third eye!"
Zeirom stopped walking and grabbed Dragoon, lifting him into the air and shaking him, "It can't look at you with just its third eye!" Zeirom yelled in Dragoon's face, "The eyestalks are all controlled by the same motor nerve impulses from its brain!! They all move synchronously!!"
Dragoon retorted, "It wanted a fight, I tell you!"
Zeirom dropped his head, shook it, and put Dragoon back down on the ground. "I give up."
After that, I hopped back on Zeirom's shoulder. It had been a few hundred beats since we'd been to the cafe, so we sung by a sandwich shop, and got something to eat, before we all departed, and went our separate ways, to our own homes.
Zeirom walked me home. When we got there, I invited him in, and we sat down, and just talked. Eventually, the conversation lead to our previous trip to the Mines. "Meira," he said, "About that face you said you saw."
"What about it?"
"Could you tell me a little more about it? In more detail, I mean."
"Well... It was really creepy. It carried with it, this odd sense of danger... Fear, hate... All kinds of mean things like that."
"Really, now? Have you ever seen anything like it?"
"Well, no, but..."
"Now that you mention it, Zeirom, I got the same feeling from De Rol Le, and Vol Opt. Actually, in fact, Dragoon started to make me sense that when I was fighting him. Of course, that could've just been Vol Opt that I was sensing."
"Indeed. This is interesting, Meira, because no android or human ever sees or feels those things."
"Well, sometimes a FOmar or FOmarl will pick up on the sense that you've described, but an android never has."
I was dumbfounded. "Well that's, um, really, really weird, Zeirom. I've been able to feel things like that my entire life. I always knew when Randon had a bad trip to Ragol, by the time he was down the block. In fact, I always knew he was coming, once he got nearby. I even learned to notice when his friends were coming, once I got to know them."
"Well, you see Meira, since ancient times, Newmans have always had a certain degree of extrasensory perception. I've just never seen it occur right in front of me, myself. It makes me wonder why Lynn never said anything about it."
"Lynn's been all over Ragol. I'm sure she doesn't mention it because she's used to it."
"Hm. I suppose that may be so."
"You know, Zeirom, now that I think about it, that feeling I sensed... It's a lot like Megid, in its nature... It's made up of only the worst emotions you might experience in life."
"Hm. Indeed, that's true. It sounds like it has a link with the energy emit by Dark creature types."
"Dark types... That's what's found in the Ruins, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is... Meira, I know you plan to go to the Ruins. But I warn you now, don't go there alone. There you will find the same sense that you felt come from that Sinow-class, and from Beta772, and Vol Opt. Only it will be stronger, because everything down there emits that, and the deeper into the Ruins you go, the more threatening it becomes. Roughly only half of the Hunters that've gone into the depths of the Ruins alone have been able to promptly return to Pioneer 2. They say that the Ruins are a space ship, built by the ancients, and that it has an awful secret locked away inside. That's why it's been sealed all this time."
"Yes. To open the seal, one must activate the monuments we saw in the Forest, the Caves, and in the Mines."
"But I didn't see a monument in the Mines..."
"It's there, trust me. The monuments act each as a third of a three part seal-- Red, Blue, and Green, or rather, Muut, Ditts, Poumn."
"Mutt Ditts Poumn? Does that mean anything?"
"As far as we know, it's just an incantation on the seal."
"Well that's interesting."
"Once the seal has been opened, it only stays that way for half an hour at a time, but we've already rigged a teleporter structure down there with our own signal, so all you need to get in subsequently after you've been down there, is the permission on your gate pass."
"Do you have permission for the Ruins on your gate pass?"
"Will you... Take me down there tomorrow, Zeirom?"
"I suppose I could. We'll round up Dragoon and Dux."
"What about Lynn?"
"If we're going down there to find Randon, then we're going to need Dragoon's blood lust, and Dux's knowledge of where Randon had gone. Only parties of four are allowed into one area of Ragol at a time. Though, I suppose that if someone can't make it, we can invite Lynn."
"I suppose you're right."
"Another thing, Meira... I'm sorry, but I don't completely trust Lynn, now. She may have tampered with Dragoon, to make him fall under the control of Vol Opt."
"Why do you say such things??"
"Dr. Oscar told me that there was no sign of any Gillchic parts in his body, which Lynn had claimed."
"She must've been mistaken, then. Lynn would never lie about such an important thing."
"Time will tell us the truth, Meira. We'll have to wait and see." This part of the conversation made me shed a tear. I'd heard the same evidence that Zeirom did, and I didn't want to believe that Lynn would do such a thing. The logical machine, however, could only see things as they logically fit. "In any case," Zeirom said, "If we are to go out tomorrow, you'd better get some sleep. I'll contact Dragoon and Dux, and we'll meet in the Purplenum section in the morning."
"Okay, Zeirom," I replied. I wasn't going to argue with him on this. I knew he was right, and he was acting in my best interest, to help me in the Ruins. As Zeirom recommended, I went ahead and went to bed.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: HUnewearl_Meira on 2002-09-20 14:51 ]</font>
09-29-2002, 11:29 PM
Ooo... The very... Revealing... Chapter 12. I hope you enjoy it folks, there's only one more chapter after this. It's all starting to boil down.
I woke up in the morning from a pretty shaky night's sleep. I didn't sleep well, because I couldn't stop thinking of Randon, and having the opportunity to search for him in the Ruins. It was, however, this day, when I would enter the Ruins for the first time, that would ultimately lead me to the predicament that I'm currently in, as I am writing this now. It's just as well though, because I suppose that this means that others will be warned of the horrible truth that is behind that which is in the Ruins.
After I officially considered myself awake, I promptly got up, and got ready to go. I stepped out into my living room where Zeirom was waiting. "Are we ready to go, Zeirom?" I asked.
Zeirom nodded. "After discussing it with Dux, however, there's been a slight change in plans. We're going to meet in the Viridia section, as this is where Randon left from. Dux wants to try to retrace his footsteps."
At first, I felt like I should be disappointed, because I was growing rather fond of the Purplenum section, but then it occurred to me that he was right. If we are to find Randon, then we need to start where he started. So, after staring at him for a moment thinking about it, I finally replied, "I suppose you're right. So what're we waiting for? Let's get going!"
"I'll contact Dux and Dragoon while we walk," said Zeirom, as he stood and warmed his motors. From there, we went ahead and walked out the door. I haven't been back to my apartment ever since then.
I rode on Zeirom's shoulder again, as I indeed seemed to have been developing a habit of. One day, I'll ride on his shoulder again. I thought about Zeirom as we traveled, and the day we met. He seemed so out going, really. But then I thought about the chest plate that had fallen out of his bag. "Zeirom, you're building a RAcaseal, right?" I asked.
"Yes, that would be Rosey 2000's designation," he replied.
"And a RAcaseal is female, right?"
"Yes, that's right."
"But you're supposed to be male."
"So, how do you know what's supposed to go where, and how everything is supposed to fit?"
"Well, I'll tell you what, Meira..." he said, "The research has gotten me slapped on more than one occasion."
The exact meaning of this puzzled me, but I decided I didn't want to go into it any further. I may have learned something that I didn't necessarily want to know.
Before long, we were on the Viridia deck, waiting for Dux and Dragoon. It wasn't long before they showed up, though they did show up individually. Not to be one that isn't punctual, Dux was the first to show up. He appeared first with his usual blank stare that on his face, somehow hinted at an underlying provoking thought Upon his arrival, he emerged from the Hunters' Guild, and we exchanged our usual greetings, before he continued on to the check room to procure his mag and a weapon that would suit him.
After doing so, he approached me and asked, "Are you sure that you're ready for this, Meira?"
I nodded and said, "Yes, I believe I am. It's been months since I've seen Randon, and I absolutely have to find out what happened to him. I need to know if he's really dead or not."
Dux nodded. "Very well, then. So long as you have something you're working toward, I'll help you out." He paused here, but then continued, "Heh, perhaps in helping you, I can find some meaning to my own continued existence as well."
It was about that time, right after Dux said that, that we heard the clanking. It was coming from the edge of the deck, so we looked down the side of the building, just as Dragoon flailed his arm over the side and pulled himself up. "Sometimes!!!" Dragoon exclaimed wildly, as he pulled himself over the edge and stood up, "The conventional way, just is not MY way!!" We all looked at him as though he were insane for a moment, though I suppose that there's nothing really wrong with that, because "insane" just might be the best word to describe the particular derangement of his personality.
Dragoon posed dramatically and informed us all, "I am ready to shed the blood of mortals infected with the darkness."
"Aren't you going to get your mag from the check room, Dragoon?" I asked.
Dragoon broke his pose to look at me and said, "Nah, I picked it up in the Redria section. I climbed up here from there."
Given that we blinked at him, and with cheers of, "Let's go!" and other variants on the phrase and its relatives, we proceeded to the teleporter.
The teleporter put us down in the Ruins. At first, I didn't feel anything, but I suppose that could've just been the air from the ship still wafting away from us to mix with the native atmosphere. The walls were perhaps a little rusty here and there, but there seemed to be the use of stone as well as metal. The technology, as a matter of fact, seemed to be strikingly similar to ours.
Once we left this entry room, and entered the hallway, however, is when I started to feel it. This immense feeling of oppression. This ambient feeling of hate and anger that travels through the Ruins like the stench of rotting foods travels through a building. It was a truly intense feeling which kept me on edge. Though, as I began to cringe, Dux placed his hand on my shoulder. "Don't worry, you're not the only one that feels it," he said. "Before long, you'll learn to ignore it. Well..." Another one of Dux's creepy pauses. "That's assuming of course, that you don't allow it to consume you. But I'm sure that you're stronger than that. Just remember Randon, and why you're here, and you'll do fine."
Dux's words were assuring, though at the same time, vaguely discouraging. He was right though. I was there for a purpose, and I couldn't allow this to hold me back. My voice cracked and I realized that I was crying, as I replied to him, "Thanks Dux."
We ran into the first area, and immediately, Dragoon began to run around the perimeter of the room. A large, peculiar creature faded into existence. It was cone shaped, more or less, with short, stubby, hoofed legs, and its arms were very long, though appeared to be separated at the elbows. From what Lynn had described to me, I understood that this was a Dark Belra; as opposed to a Normal Belra, I suppose? I don't know, I've never seen any kind of Belra other than a Dark Belra. Sometimes the name makes me laugh.
It raised its arms at Dux, Zeirom and I. Zeirom and Dux went running in either direction, but I just kinda stood there, not realizing what it would do. But when I realized that its arm was shooting toward me, I promptly made some sort of eek noise, and dropped to the floor, narrowly avoiding it.
As I stood back up, I saw Dragoon hanging from the other arm, trying to remove it, when suddenly a flash of light overtook the beast. When I looked over at Dux, I saw that he was casting a technique, which could only have been Grants, the technique of Light. He looked quite gallant indeed, with the energy of this technique flowing around him, then vanishing into a potent blast that tore through the Dark Belra like running water on an ice cube.
With the Dark Belra taken down, we then faced the ultimate mutation of the Boomas seen in the forest-- Dimenians. Dimenians come in three varieties. First you have your regular Dimenians, then there's La Dimenians, and finally, there's So Dimenians. I have no idea what each designation means, but they do get progressively bigger in that fashion, and each has different levels of resistance to certain elements. They're ugly, too. While they are tougher than Boomas and Sharks, their style of attack was rather familiar, and I was able to tear through them without much problem.
The wave of attackers didn't stop there, however. Mixed in with the Dark Belra and the Dimenians, was several groups of creatures that would float in the air. They are called Claws, and while they're shaped somewhat like a worm of some sort, at front, they have what appears to be two arm-like things and a pointy head, but it's actually more like a three-pincered claw; hence, the name of this particular breed. They move slowly though, and aren't much of a threat, so long as you keep your wits about you. Claws are the weakest of all the creatures in the Ruins, though that's not to say that they won't eat you alive more quickly than many things you'll find in the other areas of Ragol.
It didn't take us very long to clear the room, but after the last Dimenian fell, I couldn't hold myself in anymore. Through the battle, I only felt this horrible feeling getting stronger and stronger, and when my strength suddenly wasn't required of me so much, I caved in, and dropped to my knees. I dropped my daggers on the ground, and sobbed into my hands. This feeling was far too much, and somehow, it was incredibly discouraging.
Dux ran to me, and kneeled down beside me, putting an arm around me. "It's okay," he consoled me, "Everything will be fine, Meira. It's only an ambient vibe produced down here. Nothing more."
Though I truly appreciate his efforts from the bottom of my heart, his empathy couldn't penetrate my grief. I was getting scared, and there really was only one person who I ever felt truly secure with. Distraught, I felt my mind slipping from reality, and did the only thing I could think to do. I called for him. I called for he who made me feel secure. I looked up at the ceiling, and shut my eyes as the tears gushed from them, then at the top of my lungs, I screamed, "RANDON!!"
I did this two, three, heck, maybe even four times, before I couldn't anymore, and all I could do was topple over into Dux's arms and sob. I had called for Randon, even though I knew that he would never reply. Then, something happened, though. It was strange, and I can only explain it as being like a ray of light in the darkness, or a breeze of fresh air in a stuffy room. In the middle of all the anguish that flooded this wretched place, I felt a fine beam of care that seemed quite alien to this place. I suddenly opened my eyes, and slowly stood up. Zeirom and Dux just watched me, and as I realized this, I said it, "Randon... Randon is calling to me..."
Softly at first, but as it repeated, it got louder and more clear, like a vague radio signal becoming sharper out of the noise. In my head, I heard Randon's voice, "Meira... I'm here, Meira..." but that is all I could make out.
A new strength inspired me, now. I knew that Randon was still alive, and that he was somewhere to be found. A great smile came over my face, and I ran ahead of the group to face the next room, where Dragoon was already fighting. Nothing could stop me. I was going to find Randon.
The next room had several waves of Claws and Dimenians. No difficulties here. We tore through them, and moved on. From this point forward, I was typically at the head of the group entering into the next room each time, which also meant that Dux had to cast Anti on me several times, because I would get too close to the poison spitters commonly found in many of the corridors in the Ruins. It wasn't long, however, before I encountered my first Delsaber.
Lynn had told me much of the Delsabers. They are a breed of Dark creature that fights like a Hunter, having a sword on one arm, and a shield on the other. It stood on the other side of the room, and we all looked at it.
"I can peg it off, Meira," Zeirom said.
Dragoon proclaimed, "I can grind it up!"
Dux just said, "I think you guys can handle it. I'll just stay back here and back you up."
As I watched it watch us, I put my arm out to stop Dragoon from rushing in. "No... This one is mine. I want to take this one on."
They nodded. Zeirom assured me, "If things get too rough, I'll intervene."
With that, I took a deep breathe, and ran out to into the room, daggers blazing. I was going to hold nothing back. It leaped high into the air, and quickly came down at me with its bladed arm.
I observed that the blade of it's arm was a photon blade, curiously enough. That is, it was edged with a photon blade. Nonetheless, it came down on me with its blade, and with one dagger, I parried its slash of to the side, then took the other blade at its throat in a quick jabbing motion.
Its throat was incredibly thin, though, seeming to have very little substance to it, though I also observed its apparent lack of a mouth. Before it tried to do anything else, I rammed my foot into its chest to knock it back, and came back in with great speed. I didn't go high, and I didn't go low, even though both are great strategies. I would overpower this thing if I had to, but I was not going to hold anything back.
I went straight into it, and it blocked my first slash, but my second slash came so quick that it didn't have time to react. My dagger connected with its chest, and I came back around, intending to take advantage of its surprise, and nail it again with the other dagger, but much to my dismay, the shock of being hit didn't stun it at all. It kept its cool, and blocked my other dagger with its blade. I realized at this point, that it was mindless. While it would make an effort to avoid falling victim to an attack, in the event that it did get hit, it wouldn't stop to flinch or acknowledge a sense of pain.
Realizing that, I backed off, for a moment, just in time to avoid it slashing at me with the spiked end of its shield, which actually doubles rather effectively as a claw. I moved away, and it followed me. I figured that if I was going to be able to land any serious damage on this thing, then I needed to get to it from behind or something. It was obviously able to keep up with my speed however.
Having no better ideas, I tried to circle around it, but it moved with me, and we circled each other for a moment, before I suddenly dashed at it. If I couldn't attack it from behind, I would attack it from the side. Luckily, I was able to manage to take it off guard, abruptly breaking from this circle routine, and moving in very quickly. Three slashes with each dagger later, the Delsaber had fallen.
I jumped with my success, and looked at my friends, running in from the door. "I did it!" I yelled. They congratulated me, and I received pats on the back, but soon a number of claws and Dimenians emerged into the room, and it was back to battle.
In the heat of things, I got distracted. On the other side of the room, I saw a door open. Behind it stood Lynn. She just stood there looking at me, and soon lifted her hand to curl a finger, beckoning at me to come with her. I wasn't thinking about how Dux had replaced Lynn on the trip, though I did find it odd that Lynn was there.
I slapped a Claw or two out of my way, and ran to her. "Lynn?" I questioned as I walked through the door. She said nothing, but she looked at me with a smile, then pressed a couple of devices, which in turn, locked the door behind us. "Lynn? What are you doing here?"
She lead me into another room. "I just thought..." she said slowly, "That you might like to see Randon."
Before I acknowledged the contents of the room, I grabbed her. "You found Randon??" I exclaimed. She only nodded, and smiled back to me. "You must show me where he is! I must see him!" I yelled with great excitement.
She removed my hands from her, and turned away. "You need only follow me," she said as she started to continue walking through this small, cubic room.
We continued onward, strangely, not encountering any monsters at all. She lead me through a slightly longer hallway, and we soon came to a very large room, containing a massive crater, and a couple of fairly pleasant looking waterfalls. Then she suddenly stopped, and turned to me. "Wait just a moment, and I will show you Randon," she said.
Without a word, I nodded and complied. My heart was racing. I would soon see Randon again, and I knew that he had to have been alive. He had called to me, after all.
Lynn walked toward the center of the room, opened her arms to the ceiling, and looked up. After a moment, a large sack-like object lowered down before her. She turned back to me and said, "Come, Meira. Come and see Randon."
My heart jumped into my throat, as I approached. As I came toward the sack, which was still hanging from the ceiling by some sort of tendril, the sack pushed forward the solid portion of its contents, and I could see what was in it.
Tears welled in my eyes as I came upon it. It was Randon to be sure, but there was something... cold about him. The sack opened, and Randon's head and chest stuck out, though his arms were still well inside. He coughed for a moment, and his lungs ejected some the goo that was in the sack. Slowly, he opened his eyes and looked at me.
He tried to breathe with great difficulty, but soon had it under control, and he looked at me longingly, as more goo dripped from his dark grey hair. I looked into his eyes, and they were not the dark green that I had remembered. They had become blackened, and his face had grown to a ghastly pale color.
His lips parted, and he strained to speak to me. "M...Mmm.... Meir...a..." he said. When he said that, I couldn't hold back my tears. I had come this far, and here he was. I had finally found him, and maybe now I could even bring him back.
"Randon!" I said between gasps for breath. "I will get you out of here! I'll take you home!" I couldn't resist the urge to wrap my arms around his neck, even if it did get some of that goo on me. I didn't care. I knew he wanted to hug me back, but his arms were withheld in the sack, and I could tell that he didn't have the strength. It was strange, to see him so weak; he'd always been so strong for me in the past.
Then I heard Lynn's voice again. "I'm sorry, Meira." she said. When I heard that, I looked toward her, and slowly let go of Randon. She continued, "I'm sorry, but you can't take him home."
I looked at her with tears in my eyes. "What?" I said quietly at first. Then I got louder. "What?? Why not??"
"It will kill him," she said. "He's already far advanced into a mutation process. He cannot leave that sack." With that, she approached Randon and I.
"Mutation?" I asked. "Wha... what kind of mutation? How is... What will he become?"
She lowered her arms in front of her, and held her left wrist with her right hand. "He will become," she said slowly, as I heard a faint ripping sound, "Like me." As soon as she said that, her eyes became dark, and a pair of bat-like wings emerged from her back. I choked as I saw this, and took a few steps back. As she saw this, she grinned, and I could see that her teeth were now like the fangs of a serpent.
"You can be with him however, if you so desire," she said, slowly approaching me. "You can be like me, as well."
I was scared, and I backed away further. I stuttered, "How... er... Wha... What would I..."
Lynn grabbed my shoulder, and gently pulled me to her, and whispered into my ear, "For those who volunteer, it is but a simple pledge to Dark Falz..." she whispered. "And, it will only cost you... Your immortal soul."
...dang. I've been so behind on this series. The last couple of chapters have been a roller-coaster ride of plot twists ending in this brick wall. O_o But it's a good kind of brick wall! I want to know what comes next! To use the vernacular, this story is awesome r0x00rz d00d cool!
...and, by the way, keep it up. ^_^
10-05-2002, 12:58 AM
Well people... Here it is. The final chapter of The Recollection of Meira. I want to thank everyone who cheered me on as I posted this here-- it's that kind of response that makes me feel like this stuff is really worth writing. Now, without further adue, I present to you, the conclusion of The Recollection of Meira.
I was torn here. She wanted me to give my soul to Dark Falz, an ancient demon-- no, an ancient god of hate, malice, and destruction. It seemed, at this time, that my options were to either heed the demand, or never be able to be with Randon.
But then I had a thought. She referred to 'those who volunteer,' which made me think, that there must evidently be those that do not volunteer, but rather, are taken by force. So, I asked her about Randon. I asked her, "Did... Did Randon volunteer for this?"
Lynn let go of me, and backed away, to look at Randon. "Randon Bragwin..." she answered as she put a finger to his chin, and he stared blankly at her, "Randon put up a fight. He even killed one of us. He buckled under in the end, however." She laughed quietly to herself, after saying this, and though her back was to me, I'm certain that she had a smug smile on her face.
"It was you," I said, "who made Dragoon attack me, wasn't it, Lynn?"
"I was merely a vehicle that Dark Falz used to transfer its will. I observed from the beginning that you were a hunter of great talent. Still though, I felt I needed to test your abilities," after she said this, she paused, and turned back toward me. "And you passed the test with flying colors."
"This Dark Falz... Is this the immense hateful power that I have been sensing?"
"This power that you speak of, is merely an after shadow of Dark Falz. An emotional manifestation of the Dark Force, and just a taste of the Profound Darkness."
Then I heard Randon's voice, struggling to warn me. "Meira..." he said, "Run... Leave this... horrible place... I could not bear... To see you taken... by these... Demons... As they have taken me... So long as they cannot have you... They can never truly have my... My soul."
Lynn turned sharply at Randon. "Silence!" She yelled into his face. She then looked back at me, and I could only think for a moment, before she finally, in a calm, seductive tone asked me, "Well Meira? What will it be? Will you leave your love, or join him?"
I then remembered an incantation. It's the same incantation that is used in our seals, and powers our travel through the stars. So, I began to say it out loud. I said, "I wish it at an Alliance... From several years ago." Lynn backed off upon hearing this, and even seemed to hiss at me, realizing what was coming. My Varaha began to raise behind me as I continued, "Please protect me by virtue of your Power... Great Light!"
Lynn flapped her wings, and took to the air, and with a flash, my Varaha projected about me a shield of invulnerability. As Dragoon once was, I as now unstoppable. I ran away from Randon, to an area where he'd be clear from any projectile that Lynn might throw at me. My Varaha was jumping with excitement, and I realized what it had in store. The Profound Darkness is an entity of pure dark power, and produces a being from part of itself, known as Dark Falz. The Great Light, on the other hand, is an entity of Light, and just as the Profound Darkness can emit part of itself to dispense of its needs, the Great Light can as well. It was then, that I summoned Pilla-- the emissary of the Great Light known as The Sorcerer.
My Varaha released the energy necessary, and Pilla appeared, in all of his power. Pilla opened his great arms wide, and with the energy provided by my Varaha, he brought the wrath of the Great Light down from the ceiling, slamming Lynn into the ground with profound force. Pilla is a beautiful being, embodied purely out of the creative power of the Great Light. Though just as abruptly as he was summoned, he was gone again.
Lynn was on the ground, and beginning to stand, when the door into the room we were in was busted open. Dragoon stood there looking in, but was soon pushed out of the way by Zeirom. "Meira?? Are you okay?" Zeirom rushed to my side, and Dux ran in, first toward me, but then he stopped, upon seeing Randon.
"Randon..." he uttered quietly. I suppose he must've been shocked to see that Randon had been found. A person of his dismal outlook always assumes the worst, of course. Zeirom looked up, and I believe he was surprised as well. Zeirom's attention was caught more by Lynn, however, as she got up.
Dragoon stood about idly, tossing the miscellaneous chunks of the door that were on the ground, into the crater. Zeirom kept his sights on Lynn but said, "Hey Dragoon... Lynn's looking at you funny... With just her third eye."
Hearing this, Dragoon stopped what he was doing, and looked at Lynn. Suddenly infuriated, Dragoon rushed at Lynn, who was still recovering from the blast from Pilla. Though, as fast as Dragoon is, Lynn was ready for him by the time he got to her. Lynn touched him on the forehead as he came close to her. There was a spark, and Dragoon fell limp for a moment, before straightening up.
Lynn smiled again. "Good HUcast. Your simple AI has served me well. Now, dispose of Meira. If she cannot be made to join us, then she will do us better if she is dead," she said.
Dragoon went to hit her again, but couldn't bring himself to do it. He struggled with himself as we all watched. He eventually fell to one knee, and gripped his head with screams of "Nooo!!", "I won't!" and "I can't!" until finally, it overcame him, and he stood again, pointed toward me, and charged.
I tried to ready myself, but he rammed into me, transferring all of his momentum into me, and I went flying at an alarming rate, toward the huge hole that I have thus far referred to as a crater. Fortunately, my MAG had me in a state of invulnerability, so I didn't take a damage, but on the other hand, I do believe that Dragoon's impact on me was enough to break the barrier of invulnerability, as I observed that immediately after Dragoon hit me, the barrier was gone.
As I flew through the air, for that giant crater, I was certain that I was finished. Dragoon had killed me after all. It wasn't his fault though, he didn't do it because he wanted to. He had no choice, he was not himself. I never blamed him for it, he was as much a victim as I was.
When I saw the ground underneath me end, I was even more certain that I would die then, as I looked into the dark, and seemingly endless abyss that was this huge hole. I couldn't see the bottom, though I supposed that I didn't want to. It was over, though. That was it. I was going to die. My only regret, was that I would never be able to see Randon again, and there was nothing that I could do about it. I wasn't as sad about it as I expected I would be, though. For some reason, I felt like there would be a warm place waiting for me on the other side.
But then something happened. Suddenly, I wasn't falling anymore. I was looking straight down, and everything was dark, so I had no visual indication that I wasn't falling, but there was no wind, and I was still alive, so I was certain that I hadn't hit bottom. Then I realized, however, that there was something very tight around my ankle. I looked up, toward my feet, to see Zeirom hanging his upper-body over the ledge, hanging onto my ankle by just one hand.
"That was a close one, Meira," he said, "Let's not do that again." I was speechless at this. Zeirom had come through when I really needed it, and saved my life, when I had no chance of doing so on my own. Zeirom had most definitely proven himself to be a friend that is more than well worth having.
As he pulled me up, I could hear the sounds of Zonde-series techniques, and when my eyes came over the ledge and I could see what was going on, I saw that Dux was incapacitating Dragoon with a single continuous burst of Zonde, intensified in such a manner that only a FOnewmn could possibly achieve. I was quite impressed.
Zeirom set me back down on the ground, and I then saw that the sack that contained Randon was being lifted back to the ceiling, by the control of something that Lynn was doing, while Dragoon had us all distracted.
I became furious then. All this time, Lynn had lead me around, making me believe that she was a friend, and even worse, she was at least in some way responsible for Randon's current condition. I charged at her with the same kind of energy that I had used to push Dragoon off of me when we were fighting Vol Opt, but just as she did with Dragoon, she was ready for me, and countered my attack.
Having countered my attack, she took to the air, and hovered there for a moment, as her skin became a shiny, metallic color. Zeirom pulled out his rifle, and shot at her a few times, but it did no good. The photon bullets fizzled out of existence upon impacting with her.
Her metallic shade began to fade, but not until she had started to develop a large ball of energy between her hands, which I was confident, she intended to shoot at us, with intent on killing us. I couldn't let this happen, and I ran to Zeirom. "Zeirom!" I said, "If we let her release that, we're all going to die!"
"I can't shoot her now," he said, "If she dies like that, it'll only discharge the ball..."
I looked up at Lynn and watched as the ball got bigger, and the expression on her face got meaner. Then I looked back at Zeirom. "Throw me..."
"Throw me at her! I'll kick her arms, and make her throw the blast into herself!"
"I really don't think--"
"Just do it! It's the only chance! Dragoon has gone nuts again, Dux doesn't have the kind of combat skills to do it, and you're too big to get yourself up there! It's the only way, or we'll ALL be stolen by Dark Falz!"
Begrudgingly, Zeirom nodded and agreed. "I don't like it," he said, "But you're right. It's the only way. Here, put your foot in my hands." He made a stirrup with his hands, and I stepped into it, getting ready to be thrown.
Zeirom counted to three, and then I was launched. Again, I was flying through the air, but this time, I was not in danger. I knew that Lynn must've seen me coming, because she looked up at me, but because she was preparing this blast, she couldn't maneuver to get out of the path I was in.
As I grew closer to her, I stabilized myself in the air, and prepared myself to kick. This was it, there was no turning back. This was going to be over very soon. I was a little bit scared this time, because I didn't know what would happen. I didn't know if I could make Lynn take the full brunt of the blast, or if some would still effect me. I had bet that I'd probably get hurt, and this was definitely why Zeirom didn't like the idea.
I came closer yet, and I could see the dismay in Lynn's face, as she saw what I was about to do. She wasn't ready to release the blast yet, but she knew she couldn't hold onto it. So she started to point it at me. I was still coming though, and I wasn't going to be stopped. As I got closer, I refined my aim, and she refined hers.
Then, I was finally there. It was time for me to release my kick, and Lynn tried to rush to release this ball of photon energy that she'd gathered. Just as she was about to let go of it, I stretched out my knee at her hand, slamming my foot into it. The ball of photon energy was dragged back with her fingers, as I continued toward her, pushing her wrist back into her gut. With that much of the blast disturbed, I quickly swung my other foot into her other hand, which was now well in front of her.
I pulled back my first kick, and when my second kick made contact, I pushed that hand back into Lynn's gut as well, forcing the ball with it. As the ball impacted with Lynn's body, it exploded, releasing all of that photon energy. Myself, however, I was falling into Lynn, so I took on much of this explosion, as well.
I remember being flung into the ceiling, where I hit hard, and stayed for what seemed like hours, but must've been only a few moments. When the concussion waves of the blast declined enough, I finally fell back to the ground. I hit the floor with a hard thud, and I remember hearing Zeirom clank up to me, pick me up carefully, and whisper to me that I'd be all right. Then, I blacked out.
I eventually woke up again, laying in a hospital bed. As I've healed from my wounds, I've had a lot of time to sit and recall all that happened, and as I've done so, I've written everything down, into what you've read so patiently right here. It's taken several months to write all this, but I think that it's mostly been for me.
Every once in a while, Zeirom or Dux will drop in, not to mention a few of Randon's other friends, such as VanGarrett the RAmar, and Artemis the HUmar. I haven't seen Dragoon, but Zeirom says that he's back to normal, in whatever sense the term 'normal' may apply to Dragoon.
Dux says that he's gained new interest in exploring Ragol, ever since our trip to the Ruins, and that my determination has somewhat inspired him. He also says that there's a new assignment that hunters are being recruited for down on Ragol, and while it's very important, the details are limited. All he knows, is that they're going to test his skills. He says that when I get out of the hospital, I should join him there, but I'm really not interested in such assignments-- I just want to get back to the Ruins and find Randon. I think that just maybe, by now, he just might be out of that sack of goo. I'm just hoping that the doctors will be able to do something to bring him back to normal when I go back down to save him.
So, I guess that's really all I have to say on the matter. I do sincerely hope that anyone who reads this finds it to be rather informative, and I ask from the bottom of my heart, that everyone who reads this should take example from what I've endured, and cherish every moment you have with that loved one in your life-- because you never know when their next trip to Ragol might threaten to be their last.
Well, that's it. I hope everyone enjoyed it! But don't be disappointed that I've ended this here, because this fanfic is just the first in a whole series of first-person perspective fanfics, that I intend to tie into eachother. Watch out soon for the first chapter of my next fanfic, The Recollection of Crankshaft!
10-05-2002, 01:40 AM
Nice work. Good ending. Loved it from the first chapter. =^_^=
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