AN: I finally got around to it... now I introduce another one of my characters into the fold - this turned out longer than the first and it still feel a bit 'incomplete' so I wouldn't fault ya if you feel such. But overall, the idea is down for your eyes to see this prologue unfold for one of my heroes!
Within the ARKS vessel in a well disclosed room, Exodus was making a final check with a project. After the adjustment he had taken a step back; looking down at the subject on the table. Placing a hand on the chin he rubbed it; pondering to himself.
“Well, so far so good… now for the finishing tou-…”
Awakening of the Cipher
There was a beeping noise that interrupted Exodus’ thoughts; he turned back and walked toward the door – pressing a combination on the pad.
When the door opened, standing before him was a lithe woman with white neck-length hair; a part hanging off one ear. Highly tinted brown eyes appearing as if they were orange; completed with oval bifocals hugging her nose and ears; wearing a black one-piece dress suit draped with a white over-coat, completed with heels. Her olive face expression showed that of a surprise, not expecting Exodus to answer so soon.
“Oh… hello Exodus…” the woman said
“Hello Shidow-san… please, come in…”
Exodus held his arm out into the room to welcome her in; Shidow Risa, one of the scientist of the ARKS colony R&D sector. The sector in itself amassed technologies dealing with photon energy – such as photon crystallization to better inventory ARK infantry on the field.
Shidow made her way in; giving a smile in return for Exodus’ courteous nature. He closed the door behind her; rekeying the pin.
“Please… call me Risa…” she said
“Oh… the formal greeting is too much?” Exodus jest
Risa blushed, “N-no… nothing like that, it just reminds me of work…” she paused, “… besides… we knew each other for a good while anyway… and to be fair with you of course.”
Exodus lent a smile, “Sure… okay then, Risa it is…”
Risa returned the same, she then turned toward the table; looking at the subject lying upon it.
“So… this is…” looking back at Exodus
“Yes… the big secret I was telling you about…” he said
Risa turned back, examining the subject up and down with a careful eye; during the moment Exodus spoke.
“I hope everything looks okay… I did this without a guide…”
His comment made her chuckle a bit and he continued.
“Anyway, she is made differently from other current CASTs… the parts I had were the only ones I can use… Anything else wouldn’t have been able to suit her…”
“Fascinating…” Risa said, “… Absolutely… fascinating…”
As Exodus observed; he seen the eager mind of Risa study the monitors behind her, she then looked back at the CAST.
“These photon readings… are within levels that is dangerous for a CAST yet… she remains stabilized.” Risa examined more, “This shell… well I don’t know if I should even call it that… I cannot even fathom the fact of it being possible… though it was the talk amongst the board.”
She then turned toward Exodus.
“Exodus how did you…?”
Exodus scratched the back of his head, “Ah… well it’s sort of hard to explain…”
“Oh…” Risa had seen the expression, “… I apologize… I don’t mean to pry…”
“It’s okay… you’re a smart woman and will figure it out anyway… wouldn’t want to ruin that for you…” Exodus said
“I see… well it is enough that you brought me here to see this… for that I am grateful…” Risa said
“Eh, it’s no problem; besides I feel that you out of the many are the only one I can trust this way…”
From his statement, Risa turned red being a part of this privilege; as for Exodus he was ready to execute the last step of this process.
“So… I’d say it’s about time to wake her up…”
Out of the statement he walked back toward the subject on the bed; once Exodus was over her, he placed a hand over her bosom. Risa was curious to know why he was doing this knowing good and well with her knowledge about CASTs; this wasn’t a way to activate them for the first time.
“Brace yourself…” Exodus said
He closed his eyes started to utter a few silent words, then his voice grew in volume as he spoke; a glow rose from under his hand and began to grow in size. Being a Newman herself, Risa figured Exodus was preforming a TECHNIC spell; question was what type for it was something she never heard nor seen before, even his stance was unique.
“Awakening a CAST with a TECHNIC… Exdous… what are you doing!?” trying to talk over the sound
Exodus continued as the winds began to pick up within the boxed space they were in; Risa grabbed onto something still seeing the surreal sight before her eyes. With the final verse, Exodus uttered the words…
Exodus immediately forced his hand dead center on the caseal’s bosom; the elements coming from the light as well as its glow quickly diminished the moment it was put into her. Instantly the caseal opened their eyes as they taken a gasp of air; this sight was perplexing for Risa to see as she had a knee on the ground.
The caseal instantly rose from the table; now sitting up, still panting as one would if they woke from a nightmare. Exodus gave no expression and continued to stare at the caseal from the side; allowing her to take in the first breath of life. Risa however was being overwhelmed upon the experience happening before her.
“E-Exodus… are… are you going to do something?!” she questioned
The statement was heard and Exodus seen that the caseal’s breathing hadn’t slowed; he addressed his concern.
“It’s okay… you can relax…”
When Exodus tried to reach over to the caseal, she instantly looked at him and grabbed his arm.
“What?!” he breathed
The caseal pulled him toward her, then used her other hand to strike his chest; Exodus was pushed through the wall.
Exodus flew out of the room as a hole was left behind him; tumbling a few times on the ground. Risa panicked at the sight of Exodus being hit to such a degree.
The caseal on the other hand was walking out; then she grasped her head as it made her body tremble.
“Fire… fire… stop… make… stop…” the caseal uttered
Exodus instantly realized what she was talking about; picking himself off the ground, he started to console her.
“It’s okay… it’s over… the dream is over…! I am not the enemy!” he said
The caseal’s attention was grabbed again; leering at Exodus hard, she held her hand out and called out the name.
“Tsu… ko… doku…”
Shocked to what was going to happen; Exodus fixed himself quickly and rushed at the caseal. Before anything could manifest fully; Exodus managed to get behind her, the caseal tried to react but, it wasn’t quick enough for Exodus.
Now in a hold the caseal tried to get out but, her struggle was in vain; Exodus kept on her as tightly as he can and once the caseal knew she couldn’t get out she cried.
“FIRE.. STOP… MAKE… FIRE STOP…” the caseal yelped
The same words voiced again from her lips; Exodus ready now to lay his verse.
“Listen! Listen to me!! I am not letting go until you calm down… the fire is gone… it is over… you don’t have to worry anymore…” he said
The caseal still struggled but, Exodus still held on; within the moment, he felt her restraint waning and he continued with a softer tone.
“Yes… listen… nobody is here to hurt you… I am not going to hurt you… It is gone, the fire is no more… it was just a dream…”
After those words; Exodus felt the calm looming over her. Content with the progression he let her go; Risa on the other hand still let out a voice of concern.
“Exodus, are you alright?!” she gasped
Exodus looked back at Risa, “Yes…” he then looked back at the caseal who was just standing there; staring out into space, “Risa-san… can we borrow your quarters for the time being…?”
“Huh?” Risa surprised
Exodus smirked to himself, “I know this area is desolate but, something like this would still draw attention… so we have to get going.”
“Okay… here… follow me, I know this colony ship like the back of my own hand…” Risa said
“Lead the way…” Exodus said
Soon as the statement was made; the sooner Risa got up and taken charge of the escapade. Without hesitation, Exodus lifted the caseal into his arms. This startled her a bit and when she looked back at Exodus, she seen a smile on his face. The reassuring look calmed the caseal; cradling her arm close as she felt safe with this man.
During the espionage, Risa was checking all sides for Exodus as they traveled through the corridors. There was one run in with an ARKS official who was sent down the path; Risa was doing a notable job negotiating with the officer but, like most things it was extended by the other party; upon which Risa was running out of things to say. Then the official was called to do something else which ended the conversation.
A moment later…
The trio finally made it to Risa’s quarters; before she even open the door, a comment parted her lips.
“You know… I never really had anyone over… forgive me if it looks… terrible…” Risa looked to the side
“Bah, don’t worry about it… I bet its five times better than the places I been in…” Exodus sighed
From there, Risa slid her card and punched in several numbers; the door instantly opened – its light escaped into the hall. The caseal hid her face, burying it into Exodus; he looked down at the child’s action and couldn’t help but to give a warm affectionate expression. Exodus continued forward into the room.
Coming out of the dark hall, the light welcomed Exodus in with a visual that was spectacular beyond a belief; the perception of what was told contradicted such. As the door closed behind him, Exodus was staring in awe of the home belonging to Risa.
“This is what you call terrible?!” he exclaimed, “… if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you are one of those interior designers from the visi-screen…”
“Really?” Risa tilted her head
“Yeah… this is a perfect place to call home… Though again, I am not too impartial on where I sleep…” Exodus said
“Wait… are you saying you never or was ever issued a quarters as an ARKS?” Risa asked
“Yes and no… I just wanted to be a freelance worker; I didn’t register the first time I got here but, I did aid ARKS infantry back then. I was given a commission despite such but, the payment I couldn’t keep up with… especially for what I did thereafter… you know equipment and such…”
Risa giggled, “I see…” she then twidled her thumbs, “… well you can stay here… for as long as you like…”
Exodus nodded his head, “Thank you for your kindness… I’ll be sure to keep it in its top condition…”
Risa smiled, and then a thought came into mind.
“Here… let me put on some tea for us… I’ll be right back…” she said
“Sounds good…” Exodus said
He then walked over to the couch to place the caseal down from his arms. After that, the caseal immediately curled up as she brought her legs close. Exodus have taken the seat before her and plopped on it; as he settled down, Exodus looked over at the caseal. He already felt her having those thoughts again but, is glad that she is more composed than earlier.
“You are doing a good job… you know that?” Exodus spoke
The caseal just clenched tighter; he leaned forward to have more of a direct connection.
“You are safe with me okay?” Exodus said
The caseal then looked up at him with her purple irises and black sclera eyes. The emotion on her face was blank and can easily be read as the best poker face Exodus ever seen. Knowing this was to be expected since she is new to this world. Risa returned from the kitchen, seeing the display of Exodus and his caseal looking into one another; she raised the question.
“So… Exodus… did you name her yet?” Risa asked
Exodus nodded, “Yeah… I did…”
Before Exodus could say anything else; the caseal voiced a new word.
“Ex… o… dus…” the caseal in a low tone
This grabbed the attention of the two; Exodus readily taken the conversation yet to begin.
“Yes… my name is Exodus…” he said
“My… name is Exodus…” the caseal repeated
“Yes… I mean no… MY name is Exodus…” then he pointed to her, “YOUR name is… Cipher…”
“Ci… pher…” she paused,” …my name… is Cipher…”
Exodus celebrated, “Yes! Your name is Cipher… I am Exodus…” he then pointed, “… and this is Risa…”
Cipher looked up at Risa, “Ri-sa…”
“Yes that’s right…” Risa nodded
Cipher then looked back at Exodus, “You are Exodus…” she pointed
He nodded, “Yes that’s correct…”
Then Cipher pointed at herself, “I am Cipher…”
Both Risa and Exodus agreed with her thought, “Yes…”
During the moment, Risa was surprised to see this development happen before her.
“This is amazing… I never seen such CAST learn like this; commonly they are already uploaded with data but, this one… is learning things…” Risa turned to Exodus, “… but, I must ask… about what happened earlier…”
Exodus lowered his head, “It’s nothing… don’t concern yourself with it… I wouldn’t want it to be a burden…”
“Oh… I am sorry…” Risa embarrassed
“It’s okay; I know you would be curious… which would lead me to ask this…” Exodus said
Risa gave a fine ear to hear what Exodus had to say.
“Can you take care of Cipher during the times I am away…?”
“W-what? Are you sure?” Risa said
Within the moment, Cipher picked up the glass apple ornament that was on the coffee table. The two looked at her; seeing what Cipher might do, out of it Exodus then gave his answer.
“Yes… you are much more suited for her education… As you already see, Cipher is learning every second; an infant but not an infant… her mind will develop very quickly I assure you. I know this is something you are eager to see… other than that I hope this wouldn’t disrupt your work schedule?”
Risa shook her head, “No… not at all… I have flexible time so I’ll be more than happy to do this for you… but, what about you and your tutelage to her…?”
He lowered his eyes, “When the time comes… I’ll take her under my wing… right now she needs you more than ever…” Exodus said
After the statement; they have seen Cipher looking into the glass, examining as she held it with her hands. Then Cipher placed the glass apple back down; when she looked back up, Cipher seen both Exodus and Risa looking at her. Immediately Cipher hid her face, the two had taken notice at her first emotion.
“Awww, that is so cute…” Risa said, “… she is… shy.”
Exodus got up from his seat; stepping over the coffee table with ease and taken a seat by his daughter. The moment he did, Cipher’s body turn toward his and buried herself into him. He wrapped his arm around her back; signifying his protection over Cipher. Cipher looked up at Exodus and seen the smile he posed with earlier; in return, Cipher moved her lips upward – doing the same. The action made Exodus excited.
“Well would you look at that… she is smiling…” he said
Risa’s attention was grabbed and as she tried to gain a better look – Cipher hid her face again. Out of the action; both Exodus and Risa laughed out of joy upon this child’s new beginning.
Sometime later on the planet Naberious… upon a remote clearing….
The sounds of metal clashing with one another as these blurs collide with one another as they danced on the ground and some in mid-air. Now one of the blurs started to retreat while one advanced; voicing their words upon the heat of combat.
“You are never going to get me if you are that slow…” Exodus said
“Hmph..” Cipher sounded as she pursued, “I’m not done yet!”
Cipher’s advances became much sharper as she swung her blade more and more. Exodus seen this and was proud of the immediate reaction taking place and deflected each blow. Coming toward a giant tree, Exodus looked back to see how far; Cipher seen this as an opportunity to perform a unique technique.
“Now!” she voiced
Cipher followed her movement with a leap into the air; gaining much height from the velocity, Exodus looked up to see what she is planning. Now looking down, Cipher has the upper hand and charged her blade as she collected free photons in the air. Entering the second stage instantly, she began to twirl in a horizontal motion; becoming faster and faster.
“SPECIAL ART: NOVA STRIKE!!”
Cipher now started to spin horizontally as she came downward to Exodus like a tornado on its path; Exodus felt the power it generated as it started to churn the winds around him. Coming down as such a pace Exodus prepared himself to counterattack; once Cipher came into proximity, he executed his own.
“SPECIAL ART: STUN SOINDO!!”
*BUUAAAAWWWFFF* the two swords made their clash as it rivaled each other in power; creating a shockwave emanating from their center. With the sparks flying, the two’s might were equally matched and Exodus knew this stalemate wasn’t going to go anywhere.
Out of the cry Exodus added more force behind his technique; a burst of energy spilled from his blade as it ultimately pushed Cipher away.
*ACK… Uoof… AARGGH* Cipher tumbled on the ground
Astonished at Exodus’ might, she couldn’t help but to think if she was capable of such; then a shadow came over her. As Cipher looked up, she seen a hand reached out toward her; Exodus himself voiced his words.
“I must say, you have guts but, still lack the passion…” he said
Grasping his hand, Cipher was helped up to her feet; sadness shadowed her face.
“I’m sorry Sensei… I failed…” she said
Exodus felt the melancholy and tried to make the situation lighter.
“Nonsense, don’t’ be hard on yourself… I must say, I didn’t expect you to use the gravity as your aid behind your attack… very clever I say.” He said
“Sensei…” Cipher’s eyes glimmered, “… I’ll be sure to do my best next time!”
Exodus smiled, “Aye that’s the spirit… once you keep that up; there is nothing that can stand before you…”
He then taken Cipher close, “Comon, we got a lunch waiting for us…” giving her a noogie
Cipher giggled, walking along with her sensei; suddenly a gust of air rushed against the two. Exodus looked up; seeing a drop-ship hovering above as it was going to make its landing. Once the drop-ship finally made touchdown onto the ground; as things were settled down, the hatch doors opened up, revealing a welcomed face.
Cipher ran toward her while Risa opened her arms to welcome Cipher into the embrace.
“Oh Ci-chan, it is good to see you again…” Risa said
“I missed you very much…” Cipher said
“I know… I missed you too…”
As the two let go, Risa looked at Cipher, “My my… look at how you have grown… I see that you and Exodus are still training…”
Cipher nodded, “Yes… but, I wasn’t able to overpower sensei…” she frowned a bit
Risa smiled, “Don’t worry, you will get him yet… you are a tough little cookie! The important thing is to not give up…”
“Yes!” Cipher cheered
After the statement, there was another figure coming from the ship; this caught the attention of Cipher and Exodus. As the figure was emerging, he was wearing a yellow, black, and white robe set; with rectangle bifocals on his face and a ponytail tied on the back of his head.
“Oh hello sunshine, how I miss thee…” the man said
Suddenly, Cipher got into a ready stance holding her Zanba behind; both Exodus and Risa seen the action but, Risa was the only one audible.
“Cipher… what are you doing?” she said
“…” Cipher stood quiet
“Oh?” the man taken noticed, “And what is this going on…? It seems like your bodyguard wants to hurt me Exodus...” he jest calling out to him
Exodus didn't say anything and the man felt he was waiting for something so he looked back at Cipher; wanting to test the tension behind this action. So he then taken a step forward; immediately Cipher reacted; the man seen how fast this CAST was, found it rather impressive too and just when Cipher was going to make contact.
“CIPHER STOP NOW…!!” Exodus barked
From that Cipher taken heed to her sensei’s words and stopped her movement; Cipher is now an inch away from the individual. The man gave a smirk as he did not move an inch as if he was not threatened by the attempt. After hearing the name, he started to ponder and rubbed his chin.
“’Cipher’ eh? What a unique name… yes…” the man looking at her
Cipher seen his gaze and instantly jumped back toward Exodus; going behind him now observing. From there Exodus sighed and finally parted his lips to speak; knowing full and well who the man is.
“Ruu… what do you want… you usually don’t come to me unless it’s something important…”
“What?! How could you Exodus… and here I thought we was friends… can’t friends hang out?!” Ruu pouted
“That is not…” Exodus sighed again, “…never-mind, come on and join us then brother…”
As everyone settled down, Cipher kept close to Risa for she didn’t know who Ruu is whom of which sat by Exodus. When the food was being placed, Exodus and Ruu excused themselves from the cloth; now standing by the big tree to have their private conversation.
“Okay… you came down here for a reason; like the many you had before… What is the wisdom that you impart with?” Exodus asked
Ruu cleared his throat, “Ehem, straight to the point I see... well this news… it's about… “
-END CHAPTER 1-
Awakening of the Cipher
Another relase of my chapter... prologue of 'Cipher'. I hope you enjoy it... forgive any gramatical errors