A Garden for Sinners

Earth || 3020

a part of A Garden for Sinners, by Ion.

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Ion holds sovereignty over Earth || 3020, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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2,415 readers have visited this universe since Ion created it. Equilibrium are listed as curators.

Setting

Default Location for A Garden for Sinners

Minimap

Earth || 3020 is a part of A Garden for Sinners.

5 Characters Here

Stella Iaret [180] "If you live in a glass house, don't go throwing stones, unless you want your precious illusions to shatter, I guess."
Uno Summus [178] "You have a job for me? Then, this is the fee. After all, nothing is free from the very beginning."
Darcia [173] "This one awaits command input."
Crux [170] "This is Crux reporting... Mission completed."
Steven Potter [1] Looking around and I see you,

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Stella Iaret Character Portrait: Darcia Character Portrait: Crux Character Portrait: Uno Summus

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I know that hoping had always been a lost cause…

As the curtains had been lifted, it revealed an individual that became detrimental to his so-called awakening. There was no factor which could conceal the identity of the one donned in black and purple to his eyes. For at some period, they were partners and probably an effective one. Crux would not deny that fact or the earnest desire not to see her again. Having returned to his state of humanity , there had been indeed a lot of complications specifically emotional and moral ones. Yet, he did what he is best for. Ignore. It was not hard judging by the long portion of his existence tied to such activity.

Nevertheless, did he not tell her? The hope they would not cross paths again. But, it was a vain thing to say isn't it? He did speak as well to trust and to believe in herself no matter what. It had been clear to him from the very beginning that she is a gentle one. Someone forced to do things by mere protocols. Perhaps, he had been viewed the same. Yet, that was not entirely true. As a result, they would eventually clash. He who is bound and her who is not. Still, this is a good thing. She was not simply an android anymore who would only follow orders. Right now, she had decided on a path.

And truthfully, Crux is proud of her.

Now, there is only one thing left to do.

"Come then." This was his answer to her declaration of being his foe. His tone and voice did not reveal anything beyond his common crisp, distant, and cold approach in all things. Because at this very moment, Crux was but a tool of the government. As long as he views himself as that, there will be no hesitations. Furthermore, he will be able to do as he promised.

And with that, she dashed towards him with a speed that he had a hard time to track down. It would seem she had been upgraded by her father. As such, he adjusted his reflexes to cope up at an instant. Thus, the blade aimed for his shoulder had been blocked by his rifle. He pushed it away forcefully and then he delivered a roundhouse kick to the side of her torso. After doing so, he even procured a globular device on one of his hand and released it into the air. This object shattered and targeted her with highly concentrated diamond-laser, in an aurora of lights.

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With that, Crux distanced himself from her. He pointed his rifle at her. At this moment, he could not afford to use his destructive attacks. There was the Supreme General and the citizens of Vie to be concerned about. Furthermore, the power propelling most of his techniques had been temporarily disabled. So, he would satisfy with this one for now. Beneath his helmet, the ice blue eyes of his had an white under-glow depicting an activation. His eyes narrowed with purpose as he pulled the trigger which carried two armor-piercing bullets with a twist. Trajectories were her head and chest.

That is right. He is still able to take life no matter who they are. No doubt. So...

"Give up on me."


Because, I am bounded by this fate which will only have one ending...

Willful.

Idealistic.

Passionate.

Honestly, Caine felt a bit tired in the face of such vigor. As the saying goes, in with new out with the old. An appropriate remark at this very moment. However, there are always two faces on a coin and many facets to reality. To bring about change, there will always be a need for a catalyst and then a reaction which will determine whether it would prove sufficient or not. This was simply how it is. He remembered how it was back then for him and Teleus. How hard they had to work to obtain what they had believed in. And so, the same thing will be applied to this scenario again.

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"A child. Only a child will say such things. " It would be fine if this world was honey-coated and full of dazzling rainbows. But, it was not even if the reality they all shared was built in the foundation of lies. "You have been given a chance. I have my orders and duties to uphold." This was the clear line between them. Caine will not betray the cause of the government and especially the oath he had made to the man known as the Prime Minister. His heart and soul will always be tied in that twisted web they had created through the years. Though, he did find a sanctuary of his own when the fatigue gets to him.

Though, Caine does wonder for Teleus. There was the Dr. Kisaragi but even then, it was different. Glancing momentarily to his side, he was not surprised by such an appearance of the woman, mainly known to him as Helena. He had been told by Teleus that the female was a chameleon and that was a sad existence in a way. There was nothing further and he did not pry anything on that matter. As long as she does her duties, it was fine with him whatever she could be judging by how she was called as Fragment of Creation. "I do hope you still have that envelope with you." That was all he stated towards her as he returned his attention to the rebels, so to speak.

Caine raised his gun and pointed it at Stella. "Let us get this done early. I do have to get home to my twins to tell them their bedtime story. Kill them." With that, he made the first shot as the soldiers and others who had come additionally began their assault once more.


Yet, I still wanted to meet you hoping for a change but unfortunately, all I could do is stay at this side of the tree always.

For someone who had been catered and entitled with a personal death squad and bodyguards, Uno was surprised at the physical prowess Tirion was showing and able to do. All of his attacks were effectively dodged as if his moves are already known before they were even enacted. Well, it should be expected as he recalled his cyborg brother. They must have shared the same basic qualities of someone meant for combat. Although, it was not the only thing they seem to have similarities with. They both are able to be a pain in the ass for him. Brothers, they truly are.

"So, what's your plan? Tire me to death?" Uno noted as he swung his blade at the right side of Tirion's face. Its aim was to land a fatal cut. However, the blade was stopped as Tirion held the blade in between his index finger and thumb. Seeing this, Uno placed more force in that swing. And yet, it would not move. No wonder that General guy told him that the Prime Minister would be the strongest enemy they would ever face. This guy was not even breaking a sweat or using his ability and was driven by a purpose he could only touch the surface of. It seemed that Uno would need to use his though.

With a sleight of hand, his other hand was cut as blood formed and turned into a crimson sword. Uno then used this to deliver another blow from the opposite side. Tirion did not budge instead held that bloody sword in place. Finally, they were using their powers on one another. "I see you have taken me seriously now." He then used the fact that Tirion holding him in place through his weapons to use it as a platform and raised himself a bit to deliver a front kick with both feet. Believing it to land, however, it met air as Tirion stepped back and released both weapons from his grip.

Afterwards, Tirion launched an invisible shockwave which Uno blocked in mid-air with his swords. However, it was stronger and different from what he had expected. He was literally thrown across the hallways like a rag doll before being slammed down to the cold floor, with his face first. His bloody sword crumbled into a pool and his other was away from his hand. Speaking of which one of his hand was now pinned behind him.

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Tirion stepped on it with his foot while picking up Uno's sword along the way. "I am always serious. You are the one who is not." His purple eye looked at Uno who looked over his shoulder, with displeasure and an edge of harsh truth. "What do you hope to protect with such weak resolve?" After saying that, he raised the sword in his hand as its edge aimed at the portion where Uno's heart should be. "This flower has now wilted." And with that, he plunged the sword downward without hindrance.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Stella Iaret Character Portrait: Darcia Character Portrait: Crux Character Portrait: Uno Summus

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#, as written by Ion



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“I am sorry… but I do not know how to give up.”



Even as the fight progressed, Darcia showed no interest in attempting hits that would be fatal, nor indeed even close. If anything, every stroke she made was precisely calculated just so that even if it landed in the worst possible way, it would do nothing more than incapacitate. The reason for this was simple enough—she wanted to stop him from interfering in what the others were doing, because she believed it was right. But she also did not want to hurt him in any lasting way. How could she? She loved, him, after all.

Twisting out of range of the kick, she nevertheless jumped back when the light-grenade was released, Raising her armored arms to protect her helmet as the fragments issued from it bounced harmlessly off the metal. It was built to withstand assaults even of this kind, after all, but she did still want to be able to see what was going on around her, to better calculate her best courses of action.

“Oracle Engine, activate. Sixty percent output.”

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Behind her tinted visor, Darcia’s eyes lit up with every color of the cosmos, a stunning visual effect that was nevertheless far from purely cosmetic; the various filters allowed her optical sensors to perceive not only the full range of color from infrared to ultraviolet, eliminating all light- and darkness-based interference, but they actually caught her optical sensors up with her processing power, meaning she was able actually see probability projections generated by her cognitive capacity as though they were right in front of her, and react. It was, in a very real sense, like seeing the future before it happened. Not long before; a few seconds at most, but definitely enough to constitute a significant advantage.

When the armor-piercing rounds were fired, then, she identified their capabilities and trajectories, swinging the blade attached to her arm to slice the first in half right in the air. The second one, however, she made only the slightest of moves to avoid, and the round ended up hitting a more vulnerable point in her armor, beneath her heart and between her lungs, though it passed out the other side without hitting her spine. It was very much a non-fatal wound, but blood welled from it all the same, the odd reddish-purple color of it familiar to her but highly atypical. She could have avoided the hit, but she had not.

She did not give an immediate explanation of the reason for this, however, and instead retracted the helmet of her armor, blinking her omnihued eyes with a soft smile on her face.

I could never.




“Because giving up is admitting defeat and one such as yourself should never do that.”



“Wrong.” Stella clenched her jaw, glaring the Supreme General down as though she were born without fear. “It is not a childish way of thinking, to see the value in human life and want to preserve it. What is childish is buying into your own stories. Believing that in order for something new to bloom, something old must die. Believing that nothing can change, only be supplanted. Black and white is a child’s view of the world. It’s not me or you. It’s us. All of us. It always has been.”

The lights around them continued to flicker, the erratic pulsing slowing and steadying, as though in time with something they could not hear. It was a strong thrum, the flickers in pairs, with a little more space between them. Like a rhythm, or… “Her heartbeat,” Helena murmured, studying Stella. Without even being quite aware of it, she was bringing the power of the domes under control, synchronizing it with her body’s natural rhythms in a way that neither she herself nor Solla had ever been capable of. For them, it was an alien entity as much as it was part of them. But for Stella, a being both genetically engineered and naturally born of the human selection process of love, it was almost a perfect match.

She saw no need to answer Caine’s question as such; he knew as well as she did that that envelope had never left her from the moment she received it. Helena was rather unpredictable, but the one thing she could always be predicted to do was whatever Teleus asked of her.

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Stella would not deny that, even as they opened fire on her, there was a part of her that would be fine killing them all, even as they seemed to have no issue killing her. She was, after all, supposed to be the monster here, wasn’t she? But that part of her was small, and easily quashed by the part of her that really did believe everything she said, about the lines being not so sharply divided between one side and another. All of them were just shades of grey, some lighter or darker than others, but not so different after all. She knew Solomon at least agreed with her, and though he was more willing to kill than she was, she was pretty sure Cass did too. Uno was an interesting case, but she knew even he probably wouldn’t bother to be so simplistic as to cast this in such easy terms.

Their bullets, one and all, ricocheted off a massive, translucent shield-wall Stella erected in front of herself and Cass, and then she forced them all to float uselessly in the air with gravity, allowing Cass the opportunity to put down more soldiers with well-placed, nonfatal shots to the hands, legs, shoulders—places that took them out of the fight but would not kill them. The ones aimed for Caine and Helena however, simply disappeared into nothing several feet in front of them, the small smile on Helena’s face sure evidence that this was somehow her doing, though Stella did not understand the mechanics of it.




“It is not written in the part I was meant to play, and so for now, I won’t allow it.”



The sword in the Prime Minister’s hand, though precisely and unerringly aimed, did not hit its intended target, because by the time it descended, he was no longer there at all, but several feet backwards, still in the same prone position, as though he’d never moved at all. And he certainly had not moved himself—that much was obvious. The effect had been instantaneous, and happened with no fanfare or ceremony at all.

“Well, that was disappointing.” The voice, calm and almost monotone in its delivery, nevertheless carried a certain refined, intellectual edge to it. Such a tone could only belong to one person. “And Solomon said you had such potential, too.” Of course, the person he was addressing would not necessarily know him, and they certainly had never before met in person.

In another eyeblink, Dietrich Engels had appeared in the hallway in much the same way Uno had simply appeared at his current location. In one hand, he loosely held an empty syringe, one he slid into the pocket of his lab coat as he surveyed the scene in front of him. “If your persistence to live is as effective as your files seem to indicate, you should stand up now. Can’t have you letting everyone down now, can we?” There it was again—the provocateur’s characteristic flippancy.

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His dark gaze slid to Teleus. “Good news, Prime Minister—the first field test for the new serum is going splendidly, though it appears to favor those with certain genes already in place, as predicted.” Ordinarily, Dietrich would not have bothered to involve himself in this whole charade, staged play that it was, but she had asked him to, and when she asked, he answered. So he would be the infamous Judas here, betrayer to the cause, because someone had to be, and he was admittedly quite well-suited to it.

“I refuse to do all the work here,” he said rather dryly to the rebel beside him. “And you shouldn’t want me to. I have no idea how long this dose is going to last.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Stella Iaret Character Portrait: Darcia Character Portrait: Crux Character Portrait: Uno Summus

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As the lines fade into nonexistence…

For the first time in his life...

There was conflict brewing deep inside of him. The desire to follow faithfully the path he had chosen and the wish to see her not harmed. They produce a collision within his collective consciousness. It is why he had decided to seal away all attachments he had for anyone, specifically her. However, it was not the same as before where he could set it aside and process it much like a machine would. The result taints his actions and decisions. It effectively rendered his enactment of orders with a flaw. Something, he could not afford to do as a weapon and tool of the government.

Perhaps, it would have been better to...

"I should have never met you." Those words spilled forth without filter and hesitation. His entire existence would have been spared from this reality if he had remained as that entity. He would be what he has always been a simple tool. All that he had experienced would have not come to pass. Many would describe this as cowardice, him running away. He would not deny that. Ever since he was young, he had always been the crybaby, the one to get scared, the one who would run. That is probably why the process of eliminating his emotions had been done smoothly. Because, he did not want them anymore. "It is better if I do not remember you."

The rifle in his hand was dropped unceremoniously to the ground. "You are a distraction." Behind his helmet, his face was not as placid as he would normally be. It was twisted with sadness and pain only possible through the rationalizing of one's emotions. "Do not smile at me. Do not look at me like that." Because really, he could not afford seeing her like this to him. It would have been best if he had never seen her as nothing more but an android. However, it was not possible anymore.

To his eyes, this being before him is the only one...

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"I will hurt you." Crux had procured his signature gun and pointed it at her. It is a fact that he knew that one of his bullet had entered her body though, it did not stay. However, that was enough. "I am your enemy. I will kill you. That is my order." Then, he pulled the trigger. Bullets came out in a consecutive line. Yet, they did not move in a manner known to such projectiles. Instead, it hovered in front of him as if waiting for something or rather for a command. "I am not your partner anymore."

On cue, the bullets began to move in a pattern incompletely erratic as if their movements were not their own. Uniquely, it was true. They were being controlled by the cognitive process of Crux. They were remotely controlled by him as they attacked her with the implication of tearing her apart. As for the one, she did not avoid. Yes, he had noticed that action to be a choice. It was advantageous to him but to her, it is not. The bullet carried a certain activation which he had derived from the program which attacked him, the creation of Madame Blossom.

As such, it was attaching itself or rather merging with her systems and when completed...

"Hate me. Forsake me. Forget me."


There will be new ones to take its place...

No doubt about it. She is a child. This was even proven by her own words. Though, Caine does not see any profit in debating that fact with her. For right now, it would serve him far better to focus on the task at hand. There was no need for anyone to tell him that the soldiers are inadequate in handling the two. After all, they are not normal anymore and his subordinates are still in the realm of mortal limitations which applies to their skills. At the same time, he could see that the two had improved with the control of their powers. The fights and the necessity must have propelled them to harness it well.

In the end, inexperience is a terrible foe in a battlefield.

Looking above him, it seemed that Crux was currently occupied with Project Zero. That would probably take a while. Caine was not ignorant of the situation between the two, so to speak. In any case, it would be better to expect that there would be no aid coming from the Black Knight anytime soon. He noticed the power current's inconsistent flow and also its transition to a rhythmic pattern. Perfectly described by Helena, a heartbeat. He could already imagine an angry Solla. "This will be messy." He noted and surely enough, the stability began to fluctuate once more. As if, it was being restrained ferociously.

The air around them began to crackle like thunder and soon created violent streaks of power. It made contact to the structure around them effectively causing explosions. The embers it caused landed on the plants which now changed the pristine white canvas into a roaring crimson of flames.

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However, Caine was not bothered by this event. He glanced at Helena noticing that the bullet aimed for him had been taken care of. That was not his doing as he is incapable of such feats. "Thank you." Those words were directed at her as he accompanied it with a small nod. After doing so, he faced Stella and Mikhail once more as the fires start to increase in its intensity. "Finon. Take the men and leave." His order to the remaining men unharmed did not make much sense. But to question him, it was not allowed as his eyes left no point to argue. "Understood, Supreme General."

Soon enough, there was no one else left but him, Crux, Helena, Project Zero, Mikhail, and Stella. "This should be fair." With that said, Caine produced a metallic baton to his hand with accurate ease. Faster than the blink of an eye, he had appeared in front of Stella and then delivered a backhand blow with the usage of the baton towards her head. Afterwards, he dashed towards Mikhail and this time delivered an uppercut to the younger man's chin with the tip of his baton.

Well, he is not like them after all. Nothing fancy.


Whether this is for the better or not, it is a path that one must take control of...

Normally, the proper word to say or to show is gratitude. But, Uno does not feel that way at all. He was annoyed, irritated, or for the simplistic term, pissed. Oh, it was not because of the Prime Minister about to kill him or his words. It was more about the unknown man who appeared out of nowhere and seems to have a death wish. In which, he was willing to grant for free. "Hmph." Not really liking the guy already even if, his life was saved through a means he is not really aware of.

It seemed that this guy know Solomon in which leads him to believe the guy was probably the brother. Well, the guy also knew the Prime Minister in a more close manner. Why he could say that? Prime Minister King seemed displeased in a way that could only be seen towards people he expected not to intervene. "You should have remained in your office, Dietrich." So, he was correct. This guy is brother and the Head of the Research and Science Division. Though, he was planning to do this alone. He was fine with unsolicited help.

Standing from his position in which he has no idea how he got there, Uno dusted his clothes and flexed his neck side-wards. "Shut it." He stated aridly while rolling his eyes. And here, he believed that he has the sole talent to piss someone off. Anyway, he extended his hand forward. The pool of blood near the Prime Minister moved towards him as it changed back into a blade. "I'll be taking back my sword in a short while." He noted with that confident smile unperturbed by the brush of death he had earlier. Those orange eyes did not flicker or waver.

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Tirion's displeasure was soon reverted to his calm facade. He did expect something like this. Dr. Kisaragi's visitation did prompt him to conclude such happenings. "The only thing that both of you will gain is death." After saying that, Uno moved in a speed that he had never done. Though, it was made possible due to what he is. He attacked with a downward slash in which Tirion dodged by stepping back. But before, he could counterattack. He felt something wrapped around and restricting his arms and legs. Glancing at it, they were blood tentacles which sprouted from Uno's sword.

In that split-second, Uno threw a straight punch to Tirion's face. His fist almost touched the face, but it was met with resistance. He placed more force on it as Tirion's eye narrowed. The contact was barely made as Uno was pushed back once more and the tentacles which immobilized him were ripped apart as they fell on the ground as bloody mess. Fortunately for Uno, he was able to land on his feet this time. Somehow, the force was weaker than before. "Almost got you, didn't it..." He mocked the Prime Minister who stood there with annoyance.

He could feel it already beginning. There was not much time left. Uno Summus and even Dietrich Engles must be terminated at all cost. With that decision, the atmosphere around them suddenly became very heavy as the walls of the hall they were in had been torn away from its placement. They hovered as it was being changed into something else entirely. "Almost is failure." The walls were turned into sharp projectiles as they aimed for Uno and Dietrich.

Yet, it must be done.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Stella Iaret Character Portrait: Darcia Character Portrait: Crux Character Portrait: Uno Summus

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#, as written by Ion



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“I already said it, did I not?”



Would it truly be better for them if they had never met? Such a judgement was hard to make. It was true that because she had met him, she had been caused more pain than she had ever had cause to imagine, because she had come to view him as someone precious, someone more important to her than anything or anyone else. Doing so had, in the end, caused her immense distress, and a great deal of suffering. Perhaps even more suffering than happiness.

But the thing was, Darcia decided, feeling the bullet’s technology begin to go to work on her systems, even what little happiness she had gained had been profound. She remembered now, in this moment, with dozens of bullets hovering in front of her, not the pain that she had suffered, but the happiness. She remembered her initial confusion with it, her inability to understand why she had chosen to stay when told to leave. How the confusion had seemed to melt away into a feeling of rightness when he’d discovered her lingering presence and chosen to take her hand.

The bullets flew for her, but she did not move, nor resist. Many of them simply ricocheted off her armor, unable to penetrate the technology, so she shed it, the plates retracting until she was simply wearing the black-and-blue suit from which she summoned them, and then instead of pinging off the metal that protected her, they tore through her flesh, tearing parts of the suit and causing her to bleed in multiple places. She never stopped looking at him, nor did the soft smile fade from her face. It didn’t matter. Pain wasn’t consequential.

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He would hurt her. She knew that. She had hurt him, too. None of it made her want to be anywhere but here. She could feel the sensation of blood sliding sluggishly down her arms and legs, her synthetic flesh parted in places to expose the organic and mechanical parts beneath. A cut just beneath one of her optics bled down her cheek like a crimson tear track, curving over the tiny little smile.

“I told you, didn’t I?” she murmured softly, raising a hand to the largest wound, still the one on her abdomen. Carefully, she placed her hand over it, but the blood ran between her fingers anyway. “When the time comes, I will be happy to be destroyed by you, if that is your wish.” He was his real self again, and so if this was his choice, she would not resist it. As a matter of fact, destroying her would take a very long time, even if she did not resist, and so she would still be doing what she needed to do in order to help the others. But she would also be keeping her word, and that was important to her.

But never as important as he was.

I refuse.




“No matter what, I have resolved to do this.”



Fortunately, the men were shortly instructed to depart, which was good because she really didn’t desire to hurt any more of them than was necessary. She would, if she had to, but she did not desire it. She would never want to do something like that.

She was not, perhaps, expecting him to move as quickly as he did, and so the blow caught her, not as hard as it could have, because she did move with it, but enough that whatever strange synergy was occurring between herself and the energy of the area was disrupted. Everything was catching on fire, and Stella knew that while it wouldn’t really be able to hurt herself or Cass, it may well spread to the area outside of Central and harm civilians. So she dug into that power she could feel around her, wresting enough from what was obviously Solla to take command of the garden’s emergency sprinkler systems, which she set off at maximum capacity, beginning the process of dousing the flames.

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The power flared and surged, and she felt more of it enter her systems, setting her eyes alight with what was almost a fire of their own. Glancing to the side, she noted that Cass had recovered quickly from whatever damage the Supreme General had dealt him and was cracking his neck back and forth, the smoky air around him starting to swirl and crackle. Probably, he’d cause some rain and deal with the fire the rest of the way anyhow.

She was surprised, however, when the mysterious woman with the Supreme General stepped forwards, her glance flickering from Stella to Cass and settling on the latter. Raising a hand, she made a beckoning gesture by crooking her index finger. “The Seed who bloomed. Your opponent is me.” She didn’t seem to be leaving him much choice in the matter.

He looked with concern between Stella and the Supreme General, clearly loath to leave her on her own. She resisted the urge to snort. So protective, like an older brother or something. It was undeniably the role he occupied in her life now. “Cass,” she said, gaining his attention. “I’ll be fine. Show her who’s boss.” With a playful grin she wasn’t really feeling, she nodded firmly at him, and he shook his head, but turned his attention to his foe, leaving her to deal with the General Abernatty.

The smile fell off her face, and she sighed. She really didn’t want to do this. He’d mentioned having kids—she didn’t want to leave them without a father. So… she wouldn’t. That didn’t mean she couldn’t fight him, though.

Taking a deep breath, Stella generated a heavy field of gravity right over him, quite suddenly at that. She then launched several barriers in succession, each of which would hit with force something like being thrown into a brick wall. Nothing fatal, but definitely debilitating. Her goal was to render him unconscious, but she wasn’t so stupid as to believe that it would be too simple. He was a human, yes, but he was smart and resourceful. That was not to be underestimated.




“The human will is truly the most impressive force in the world.”



This woman was definitely a strange one, but in truth, he was glad she’d tried to attack him rather than Stella, because he wasn’t sure what to expect from her. Solomon had called her the Fragment of Creation, which he took to mean that she was indeed the third of the three daughters of Pandora, as his friend sometimes chose to refer to them. Though, that other name… well, it hardly mattered.

Stella appeared to have gained control of the sprinkler system—the least he could do was contribute to the effort as well. Overhead, the sky rapidly darkened, the low rumble of thunder rolling in even as the first drops of rain began to fall. Some of them were violet-red, but he didn't notice. He couldn’t notice—he had to pay attention to what was going on in front of him.

Helena stretched out a hand, palm-up, to catch the raindrops. A small smile adorned her face, even as the water started to dampen her hair to a slightly deeper green. “It really is impressive, how you’ve evolved,” she murmured. Her hand closed over the drops of water, and she fixed him with a soft look. “Not even I could have expected that one of the first Seeds would do that.” The typical scales for the measure of a Seed’s power were simply inadequate for this one, and his restraint was impressive.

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Lowering her arm, Helena focused, and across her forehead, a symbol Cass did not recognize shimmered, the air taking on a palpable hint of electric current, in part from his storm, in part from the fight between Stella and Solla to contain the Domes’ power, and in part simply from whatever she herself was doing. It caused her hair to stand on end, flow as if levitated by some force that he could not see or feel.

“I am sorry, Mikhail. I used to think that the White Knight would be you, but it never was.” From Helena, a blast of pure concussive force issued forth, slamming into Cass faster than he could react to it, and throwing him into the nearest tree, which cracked under the pressure of the collision. Cass felt several of his ribs snap into pieces, and it was only by reflex gained form long years of training that he managed to land on his feet, coughing until he spat a globule of blood to the side.




“One only need look at how much has been accomplished to understand that.”



Dietrich was evidently quite amused by the situation. One could argue that he was just enough of a sociopath that fear wasn’t really possible for him. And maybe that was true. Either way, it was indeed something he was unfamiliar with, and eve the prospect of facing down the Prime Minister, the Emperor, the First Seed of EDEN, was not enough to induce it. Perhaps there was simply nothing that would ever do the trick.

Perhaps that was why she’d asked him. He wasn’t here because of his auntie, though admittedly, it was she who’d made him receptive to the idea. But she was not the source of this particular one. No, that was someone closer, someone who knew how the game must be played and how the pieces must match up and move to garner the ending that each and every one of these people needed.

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The portions of the room that flew towards them did so with quite impressive speed, and admittedly, Dietrich was still trying to accustom himself to the mechanics of the power he had gained, so he was a little slow in dealing with the problem, and one piece of shrapnel edged his shoulder when he was too slow to prevent it, the bloody gash it made was ultimately less consequential than it could have been, and he snapped into the frame of mind he needed in enough time to vanish the rest, causing them to reappear too far away to be of any use to the Prime Minister—in the Supreme General’s wing of the Central building, actually. Ah, that was good. He needed an idea of how far this power would extend.

“And failure is information,” he replied. Any scientist knew that error was a vital part of success, after all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Stella Iaret Character Portrait: Darcia Character Portrait: Crux Character Portrait: Uno Summus

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Death is better served in its primal purpose…

Frustration.

Torment.

They were the emotions which Crux was feeling prominently. It would have been better if she was fighting him. Yet, she simply stayed in front of him, still and accepting all of his attacks. Her stance and opinion were adding much to his distress. The degree of conflict within him grows to a length. He would have preferred her to fight him. For her to fight in earnest, for her to fight him in such fervor and then at the outcome of it all. Whether one of them perishes or both, he would be fine with it. Because in the end, she had fought him, and considered him a foe, their bonds they had as partners or even the possibility beyond that will be extinguished.

She will be free. He was not someone to be precious, never.

"My wish does not matter." It was a statement which did not reflect his true emotions. As much as possible, his attachments were repressed and hidden in a cage inside his soul, if he even has one. The onslaught of bullets did not waver in its approach and purpose of tearing her apart, piece by piece. "It had never from the very beginning." His other free hand now held another gun similar to his primary weapon, the same one which he had used during the incident of his matter burst. "Do not implicate me in any of your assumptions." His voice harsh and cruel far from the distant coldness he had used before or the casual tone of indifference presented in his daily transactions.

The bullets remotely controlled moved in a more ferocious speed and intensity. As if, it was reflecting the chaotic emotions Crux was having. He was far from the GHOST Crux who could easily commit killings without having any kinds of consciousness. There were no feelings of remorse or even guilt. All of his targets are equal in his eyes and in the activation of his orders. Right now, he was torn with his discretion of continuing his mandated duty as the tool of the government and the ones blossoming within him as a man and a human being. "Fight me for your existence."

She was like a tattered doll. Bloodied and broken, the image when she had been struck by lightning. It led for his decision to have her removed from his side. This had been spurred by the wish of not seeing her come to harm again. Life is truly an irony. Because at this very moment, he was the one responsible for hurting her. "If you do not..."

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Raising the gun on his other hand, those blue eyes of his hidden behind his helm narrowed with distinction. Then, it was aimed at an unexpected target. The weapon indicated began to exhibit a whitish-blue glow assuming that there was going to be another powerful attack coming out of its tip. "This is the end." At the end of that statement, he pulled the trigger with the absence of fear or hesitation. As the bullet without care and rhyme aimed for a head which was Crux own.


Just how like humans should cater to their basic desires...

So, the one he will be fighting against was the infamous Stella R. Iaret. That was promising to be pitted against the most exquisite flower to bloom in the captivity of the domes. Ironically, Caine could be considered much like the gardener or even more so, the assistant. It seemed that Helena had chosen to take on Mikhail Golikov, the one who wields the abilities to control weather conditions. Really, the world was truly a bizarre place with various beings striving for their desired goals and dreams. Doing whatever was necessary to obtain it. Though, there are those others burdened by something else entirely.

Well, it does not matter.

As the gravity around him shifted dramatically, it had suspended him effectively in place. The toll of such a force was not really healthy for a human's body. However, he did not become the Supreme General or the Prime Minister's trusted man if he was not capable of simple fighting, so to speak. His eyes narrowed and with a flick of his wrist as the baton, now crackling, he wielded break the barriers thrown in his way as if they were but glass. As for his movement, it was due to the device he has with him. It had activated due to the gravity changed around him. This would be able to balance the shift and avail him with the ability to move without worrying over such matters.

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"If this is what you are capable of, Solla would be the least of your problems." He then dashed towards her as he delivered interconnecting strikes to her form. At the end of it, he delivered a kick to her torso. "I see that your companions have not taught you much of physical combat." It was not surprising as the focus must have been in her powers. That is her greatest strength and if harnessed properly and expertly. There would be no need for her to enter in such archaic way of fighting, as they would say. The baton was pointed at her forehead as he pushed a button at his weapon's handle. Instantly, the tip which was supposedly just a blunt circular end opened creating a spout. And, a conglomerated red energy was released from it. This would be enough to destroy a very huge and industrialized wall along with its foundation into a heap of dust.

After doing so, the baton returned to its original form. "You need not worry about killing me. That is beyond your capabilities." Caine's tone was neither provoking nor brimming with confidence. He was simply stating a fact based on his current observations. His face was also a picture of calm and cool. As if, nothing was enough to ruffle his feathers. "If you want to obtain whatever you desire, you will have to brandish it without consideration." The sprinkler system which had been raining upon them had finally stopped. This was replaced by shimmering electrical currents around him. It seemed that Solla wishes something of him. He could not help but sigh openly as the baton he wielded seemed to resonate with it.

"One can never satisfy another. They only satisfy themselves. No one is exempted from that even you. Doing this for someone? For something? In the end, you are just doing it for yourself."


We are all driven by such things for it is what makes us monsters in human skin.

Well, one thing is for certain. The Prime Minister has no qualms destroying the building. Or, he wanted to remodel anyway. Uno now knew who to call when he required some handy work with interior designing. Dodging the launched projectiles, it was not that difficult to do so. They were easy to determine as he could sense the ones meant to cause harm on his person. Other than evading, he had also taken the measure of destroying the reshaped walls into tiny pieces. As for the others, he could see that the Brother sent them away. That was a nifty trick. No need for transportation.

"Out of toys." After stating that, Uno manipulated the blood near the Prime Minister into red icicles and launched them upwards. Tirion stopped these said icicles from their flight and crashed them into crystallized dusts. However, Uno had already dashed forward once more. The bloody sword, he held delivered a side-ward slash. Despite the distraction, Tirion was able to catch the movement from the corner of his eye. He moved his head back though; it showed his actions were a bit delayed as some of his hair had been cut. The creeping pain within his body was increasing in its degree. Furthermore, the eye hidden behind the patch was pulsating into something requiring his control. However, Tirion would not allow such matters to be seen by these two individuals.

As for Uno, it was not the end of his attack. He was very unrelenting. With his free hand, he grabbed the sword being held by the Prime Minister. But, his grip was upon its blade. This effectively made the palm of his hand bleed as blood flowed from it willfully.

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His eyes narrowed with that of sincere threat as the orange hue reflected behind his contact lenses. "We will finish it this time." With that declared, the blood from his cut hand began to stretch into cloth-like strands wrapping around the Prime Minister's form with such haste and strength. It wrapped around Tirion making him looked like a mummified corpse, but instead of white bandages, they were red strips of blood. When the confinement was done, Uno jumped back as he had already manipulated other portion of his blood into dagger forms and launched them towards the captured Prime Minister. This would be his version of pin the tail on the donkey game.

Reward, it would be demise.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Stella Iaret Character Portrait: Darcia Character Portrait: Crux Character Portrait: Uno Summus

0.00 INK

#, as written by Ion



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“There are some things even I cannot allow.”



“Your wishes matter to me,” Darcia countered. It was amazing, how little he seemed to understand. The only reason she had come to view herself as a person with wishes of her own, with things she wanted to do and things she thought were right, was because of him. Because she had seen it, how no one else ever thought to ask him what mattered to him, or to think about what he might have wanted or needed, not even himself. The first honest, human desire Darcia had ever had was to understand why that was, who he was. It came even before her desire to understand herself.

She had not seen herself as something that could stand on the same level as humans until she had realized that she loved him. Only then had she begun calling herself I, and even then, it was still difficult in the presence of anyone but him. It was a kind of dependence, perhaps, but if so, it was relatively benign, in that it led her to do what anyone in love did—wish for his happiness and his freedom, impossible to obtain as they both seemed. And, well, if it turned out that her own death would bring him those things, then she would choose to die. Willingly, happily, with a smile on her face and knowing that she had achieved her aim.

But nothing about this seemed to be bringing him any peace or satisfaction. The tears in her body, the bleeding wounds and ragged edges of her, these things did not cause her half as much pain as the tone of his voice, though she was apparently developing a gift for ignoring the cruel things he said to her. She knew, somewhere in her heart, that he didn’t mean them. And… even if he did, she knew it did not, could not, matter to her.

At the entreaty to fight him, she shook her head. She wouldn’t. Protect others from him, if she had to, but not fight him. Not hurt him. And never aim to kill or destroy him. It was not in her.

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Darcia’s Oracle engine informed her of what was most likely to happen several seconds before it did. She wasted one of those precious seconds in disbelief of it, but as soon as his hand moved, aiming the second gun at himself, she was moving too, her panic enough to temporarily suspend her better calculations. There was more than one way she could have stopped that bullet, but the only way that came to her was the simplest.

“No!”

She hit him at nearly full speed, having closed the distance between them faster than the human eye could blink, a definite upgrade from her previous incarnation. Project Zero would not have been capable of it. Project One—Darcia—was. Her shoulder hit his chest, while her hand grabbed the wrist with the gun and wrenched it forward and down, the combined motions parting it from the positioning it needed to hit him.

That did not mean, however, that the bullet did not hit a target. Give the odd angle it had been fired at, the bullet had actually entered around Darcia’s sternum, traveling at a steep angle through her core systems and organs, and lodged itself against one of her metal vertebra. Her entire frame trembled, and the multicolored lights behind her eyes dimmed and faded back into the usual wisteria color. A trickle of blood escaped from the corner of her mouth, and she met his eyes through the visor, her own blurred and unfocused, her words coming out with an uncommon thickness. “You promised. Live like you promised.”

The lights in her internal systems glowed an eerie red, and she dropped like a stone, crashing to the ground beneath. She appeared to be unconscious at the very least, only her erratically-flickering internal lights giving away the fact that she may or may not survive the injury, which had compromised some of her most delicate internal wiring. Had she been wearing her armor, or had she thought to simply destroy the bullet from range instead of rushing forward, she would have endured the results unscathed, but for once, Darcia hadn’t really been calculating optimum outcomes. All she’d seen was Crux’s possible death, and all she’d felt was overwhelming fear at the prospect.

And so none of that had mattered.

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Nothing else had mattered at all.




“Things that are intolerable regardless of our desires.”



Stella had to admit, taking physical blows was not something she was used to, and she was unprepared for them simply because she had not expected him to be in possession of any sort of countermeasure to her gravity. A mistake she would not make a second time, she thought, picking herself up from the ground. Her lip had been split in the fall, and she swiped across it with a thumb. Well, Uno might have been able to make some use of that, but she certainly couldn’t. The injury healed almost immediately anyway, as did the cracked rib and internal damage. Her disguise had been mangled, and so she simply tore the rest of it away. It had no point any longer anyhow.

“Don’t pretend to know what I’m capable of,” she hissed, her eyes flashing at the presumption. Well, she was really rather easily challenged, after all, and found it hard to resist accepting them. This was something that Uno had taken advantage of multiple times, in both small and large ways. But even so, she knew how not to let that trait of hers make her into a fool.

It was the words about her motives, though, that really goaded her. Her jaw set tightly, Stella’s eyes flashed with something barely-contained, and slowly, behind her, a shadow seemed to materialize, the edges of it crackling as though with electricity. It was dark though, like black lightning, and she was only half aware of it.

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Reaching deep into herself, Stella recalled what she had done the day she resisted Crux’s Magna Carta. Something had called to her than, and she had answered, but with reservation, uncertainty. This time, there would be none of that. She could not afford it. They could not.

“I am doing this for myself,” she replied, her voice low and controlled. “Because I care about them and want this for them. I want them to have the world they only dream about now. And if that makes me selfish, then so be it. I’m selfish. Who cares?” The shadow loomed larger and larger behind her, but while it should have been sinister, instead it felt warm and soothing, like someone embracing her from behind. Like warm breath on her neck and the comforting press of another person against her back. She wasn’t alone anymore. She knew what it felt like now, to have that to fight for.

Selfish? Maybe. But why quibble about words?

As Stella raised one of her hands, arm outstretched in front of her and fingers pointed to the sky, the shadow did the same. And in both palms materialized a controlled, crackling ball of that black lightning. It was power in raw form, and she could feel it pounding a pulse-rhythm in the ground at her feet, feel it thrumming in her blood, feel it in the very motion of the air. She could feel everything, from Darcia’s pain to Uno’s resolve, to the hunger of someone three domes over, if she concentrated on it. Everything was connected. Everything was one.

So if she was selfish, it was because her self wasn’t bounded to this body. Because she was in everything, too. And it was all straining towards the same end, she could feel it. All it needed was a sword to guide in the achievement of this end. And she could be that sword.

The spheres of lightning released, both hurtling for the Supreme General, guided not by straight trajectory but as homing devices, set to avoid everything but him.




“Though… I have never figured out what those things might be, for someone like myself.”



Dietrich was for the most part content to let the other two thrash around and clean up the mess, as it were, by moving any projectiles hurled against them. He didn’t especially care what the result of all of this was; he was here at the request of a friend, one whose opinion on these matters he trusted considerably more than his own, and she did not ask anything of him without the most careful of considerations. Truly, she reminded him of his brother, and perhaps that explained his affinity for her. He was not a man who could get along with many people, after all.

He noted that the Prime Minister was now covered in what appeared to be ropelike objects made entirely of blood. A little macabre, but points certainly had to be given for the creativity involved. Admittedly, he was going to be much better for defense at this point, because while the injection seemed to have given him the ability to manipulate space, he was not certain of the extent of the capacity, and given that he’d gained it all of ten minutes ago, he didn’t want to overreach when the consequences could prove to be a disaster

Admittedly, he was unprepared for what came next.

The gun was silenced, preventing him from hearing the shots being fired, and they were all unerringly precise. One tore through a line of blood daggers, noticeably the ones that would actually hit vital areas on the Prime Minister most likely, another for Uno’s head, and a third for his back. The fourth was fast enough that Dietrich couldn’t actually move it, fired from close behind him, but it only hit him in the leg.

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“If I didn’t know you, I’d say you were a traitor, Dietrich.” The tone of the voice was flat, and belonged to Ilyana, a fact that he was able to identify before she stepped out of the shadow that concealed her presence. He glared up at her, but her face was stony. This wasn’t Ilyana his fellow scientist, this was Special Agent Golikova, Helena Ashworthy’s left hand. There was a distinct difference. She would only be here if Helena had sent her, and that meant that either Helena had set him up intentionally, because she was also the one who’d asked him to be here, or she’d calculated things exactly how she wanted them to get her final outcome. It was always hard to say with that one. Scientists she was not, but nobody Dietrich had ever met was half as good at knowing people.

Ilyana leveled her gun at Uno and fired three more shots, each aimed for a vital point. She might be only human, but she was the very same person who’d taught Crux to shoot, and her aim was flawless.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Stella Iaret Character Portrait: Darcia Character Portrait: Crux Character Portrait: Uno Summus

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Inside my chest, there is nothing and so,…

Within a blink of an eye, the deed had been done.

Really, Crux was not uncomfortable with the thought of the term blowing his brains out. For, he had already had the sensation of such a projectile entering his head unhindered. This was an attempt for education, yet it would not be really advisable to do so. In any case, he had survived such a fatal shot. It was considered a miracle. This lead to the conclusion he was a SEED. But of course, he was not at all. It would be more accurate to describe him as someone similar to that character in the novel of Frankenstein. An entity created out of necessity and what they considered useless are discarded. Thus, he was never whole, but pieces of twisted genius and tainted dreams.

Deferring to the aftermath, he could not understand how he could have lived through that kill shot. The direction was accurate. Perhaps, he truly did die in that moment. And the present him was nothing more but an illusion, a dream, a ghost. But then again, why does he feel? It should have been erased from him even without the interference of others. As such, he could not attribute his survival to nothing else but his will.

Yes, the controversial gift of God. They say, the human will.

And due to that, he was still alive and breathing. The bullet which should have penetrated his skull and left him for death did not happen. Instead, it had hit a different target all together. The distinction of a promise and of a wish, where does the line which separate and connect them truly lie?

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He lowered himself to the ground and then picked up the rifle he had dropped earlier. The guns he had used earlier had been kept into their storage. Due to his armor and helmet, one could not determine his expression or his emotions. He stood there with such a calm facade without a crook in his stance. However, he did check the rifle he has in hand whether it was undamaged and would still be usable. Seemingly satisfied, he walked towards the location where the bullet that ended everything could be found.

She said his wish mattered...

If that was so, why did she appear in front of him again? He told her that his hope was not to have their paths crossed at any time. So, she must be lying. He wished to never allow harm to come to her. And yet, it was not possible anymore. As such, his wish was meaningless even from the very beginning. There was no need for such things in regards to him. He looked upon the fallen Project Zero or more known to him as Darcia.

There was a promise...

That is right. He did say that death will not come to him. No matter what, he would strive to live. Is she not cruel? To expect such thing of him and then drive him to the edge. Still, he would stand by it. He did make a vow. So truly, his life he knew was never in danger. Behind his helmet, those ice blue eyes of him had a cold sheen over it. In the end, he and his brother are diabolical are they not? They know the best way to reach their goals and would take the path unhindered. "Activate Lethe." The integration was complete and he was about to finalize the output when...

"My knight... Help me."

There it is then. He turned his back. What was it that memory which had been incorporated within him by accident? The first one who had become Solla's Knight had said something. Looking over his shoulder, the wirings were further being internally gnawed. "I wanted to be yours." With that not being said, he paved his way to do his duties. He has no use of her anymore. It is all he needed to repeat to himself. A mantra to remind him that he is nothing more but a tool of death and really, that is fine.


I am able to do things considered heinous, but...

Fear? Caine does not see such feeling as weakness or an enemy. Instead, it was what make people move from the standstill they created themselves whether it was backwards or forward. This was a necessary aspect in life. So, he was not bothered by the appearance of the shadowy figure behind Stella. Rather, he recalled the similar scene with Solla who threw a tantrum while the Prime Minister had been away to another dome. How interesting. They are truly kids of the same feather. So really, he felt more of a babysitter right now than a general.

As for selfishness? He does not see that as something evil or bad. The same goes for him, they are selfish. It is part of being a human and even whatever path they may take. This one attribute will stay with them. He momentarily glanced to his side as he heard something falling. It seemed that the battle between the collaborative weapons created by the government had come to an end. Crux seemed to be the victor. Just like his brother, they are cruel... So cruel even to themselves. Why do they not just take the easy path? But then again, he agreed to that didn't he?

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"That is good. Brandish that blade of yours. " Caine stated with a small yet meaningful smile upon his lips. She was quick to rise when a challenge is presented before her. It reminded him of someone in particular. "Right and wrong does not matter only what one wants. So, show me if your want is stronger." His baton continued to resonate with the electrical shimmer surrounding his form. His eyes looked at the spheres of lightning hurled towards his form. They were interesting in structure and in function. These balls were also able to curve around the inanimate objects indicating they have homing capabilities. It does make him wonder if they could apply such idea to their weapons. After all, he is a military man, a soldier.

Then, the spheres approached him without revel.

However, they were absorbed as his baton was inserted into a certain someone, specifically at that person's back. "Your turn, Crux." On cue, he pointed the rifle at Stella and released four consecutive shots with the same nature as the spheres she had released. They were targeting her vital spots, the head, the chest, the lungs, and the femoral artery. "Magna Carta, initialized." It seemed his power source had now been returned to him. Furthermore, he had been designed by Solla as a conduit. As such, he is able to harness the energy fueling the domes to be used for his operation. For the blue-haired maiden is unable to manipulate it, she could only guide it.

Caine turned his back at them. "I will be leaving. I have another appointment to attend to." His eyes looked towards Helena. "Do not take long. He requires your presence." With that said, he left the area disappearing into a location which is only known to him for now.


It is something I am able to do with pride for it is done for you.

It seemed the playing field was now even on both sides. There was a new player and somehow the coloring reminded him distinctively of Cass. His mind was beginning to connect the dots and really, it seemed that everyone around him was probably related one way or another. But, he does welcome the feminine touch once in a while. Too bad, she seemed not on his side. "One of your friends?" He addressed the Brother while making sure that the blood ropes were still in place around the Prime Minister. He has the guy and there was no way he was going to let go so easily.

However, the answer came as three forms or more accurately, three bullets. It was like déjà vu. This manner of skill reminded him of someone in particular. With his sword now in his hand, the bullets were sliced apart with extreme precision and rather a close call. His danger radar was helpful in such situations really. "I guess I'm not your type. That's a first." As usual, Uno does not fail to appear completely care free of the current event transpiring around him. Of course, it would be stupid for anyone to see this as true. For in the end, he was a person of many masks.

With that, Uno did not waste fluidity in his strike as he swung his sword in a spherical manner to decapitate the Prime Minister while he had reformed the blood into needles raining down on the newcomer. But, his sword came to a halt without his permission. As the blood ropes slowly loosened around the Prime Minister's form,

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"I tire of this play." Tirion gazed at Uno with that violet eye of his. It was filled with boredom and the cold desire of ending it. So, Uno could not help but be pissed of this guy. As if everything around him is lower than that of an insect and thus, he should not be bothered with it. "You are really a disagreeable person." He then fought with the telekinetic manipulation that the Prime Minister exudes with his sheer strength of will. And it did produce result; the sword was trembling and was inching ever so treacherously. "We have the same opinion." There was a subtle yet malicious smile on his face as the blood ropes lashes out.

Quickly, Uno stepped back while slashing the ones he created earlier. They were now being controlled by the Prime Minister. How could that be? He even looked over his shoulder to see the blood needles he made was now targeting him and also the Brother. "Tsk!" He clicked his tongue at this and proceeded to dissolve them to their original form while glaring at the Prime Minister who stood there unperturbed. Tirion was rather straightening his clothes as it got ruffled because of being restricted before. Yeah, this guy was really pressing on his nerves.

Uno knew of the Prime Minister's ability of Telekinesis. Though, he could see that it had evolved furthermore. Thinking about it, this was not impossible. His power was the most basic of all, the foundation of what other SEEDs and FlowerS are able to do. "Somehow, I'm starting not really to like you personally and that's a bad thing." He removed his wig and contact lenses. There was no need for them anymore. "Solomon's Brother handle the chick, you can do that can't you?" Not waiting for an answer, he dashed forward and would fight Tirion, head-on.

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A mischievous smile was on his face. Uno was not going to back down. In the end, his resolve is not going to lose to this pig-headed Prime Minister. His bloody sword collapsed to a puddle of blood while his true weapon was now coated with a violet glow. Telekinetic or not. He was going to win this time. In response, Tirion narrowed his eye in displeasure for such enthusiasm. If it was another time, he would have appreciated it. However, this was not the appropriate situation. As such, he blocked the incoming strike with an invisible shield as the mere collision produced brilliant light works, so to speak. Behind that, both men will not relent.

"You promised."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Stella Iaret Character Portrait: Darcia Character Portrait: Crux Character Portrait: Uno Summus

0.00 INK

#, as written by Ion



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“I’m not like you.”



Stella, too, noticed Darcia fall, and she was considerably more broken up about it than Crux seemed to be, the bastard. “Darcia!” But the android was unresponsive, her lights flickering less and less frequently until they stopped altogether. She didn’t understand. It shouldn't have been possible for her to sustain that much damage. Stella had fought her, over and over, in training, and she was capable of things that should have brought anyone to their knees. But Crux looked unscathed. Almost like… almost like she hadn’t been fighting him at all.

And then she understood, and Stella gritted her teeth, turning back to the Supreme General. Seriously, what was this guy’s deal? Right and wrong did matter, and it wasn’t only about what she wanted. That said, she would fight for what she wanted, because she was convinced that it was right. It was this that made her want it in the first place. She might be mistaken—that was always a possibility. But it was one she believed to be minimal, and this was what allowed her to risk so much for it.

Annoyingly, Crux got in the way of her attacks, and redirected them back at her in the form of bullets. As though something that she had made could hurt her. They all hit, certainly, but they just sank into her body, absorbed into her systems like nutrients into a root. “You bastard.” She completely ignored the supreme general as he left, focusing her anger instead on the jerk who’d quite possibly just killed her friend.

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“Do you have any idea what she did for you? How much she loved you? She would have given you the world if you’d asked for it, and you killed her.” Her lip curled, the power around her building as she continued to absorb more, the process facilitated by her anger and her grief. The lights, and everything else were in time with her heart again, and this time, she wasn’t going to let them go. “Funny. I used to think being a coward and a betrayer was something only a human could do. Now I guess cyborgs can do it too.”

The lights in Central all went out, though the vital life-support systems remained functional. All the auxiliary power, however, was gone, and looking at Stella, it was not difficult to discern where it went.




“I have a heart, mangled and blackened though it may be.”



“I do not forget my promises.” This was Helena’s response to Caine as the latter departed. Apparently, what happened to the android had stirred something in Stella. That was good—she would need to hold onto that. Solla was in many ways childlike and simple, it was true, but the simplicity of her motives, the lack of any grandiosity in her nature, these things made her more effective. The power responded best to as little obfuscation as possible. Too many thoughts about mankind or evolution or what was good for everyone—these things would only muddy her ability to direct it. It was fine if they were her real motives, or the ones she would give as her answers to questions, truly and honestly. But they could not be what she felt in the moment, when directing that force she called to her even now. That had to be something simpler, more primal, more fundamental.

It would seem that the rose was not the only one affected by the sight of the android’s apparent demise—the Seed who Bloomed was less outwardly emotional about it, but she saw the flash of anger behind his eyes, which even now glowed red under the influence of his power. And so much of it, too.

“It’s really a shame,” she said quietly. “You could destroy all of this infrastructure, with little effort, and yet it is much more difficult to harness it to destroy a group of people without the extra damage.” And he wouldn’t allow that much collateral destruction. He could kill one person easily enough, and everyone without blinking, but this kind of situation—fights that required something between the two—those were his weakness. It was what had made him unsuitable for the role of White Knight, after all. A shame indeed. He would have been good at it.

Cass shook his head. “And what’s your point?” he shot back, launching several blades of air in her direction. Helena deftly twisted to avoid them, faster than a human being would have been able to. It was necessary, for surviving him. He was relentless in a way that Stella was not, and she ducked and slid between another four barrages before she had the breath to answer properly.

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“Only that fate works in strange ways. The original purpose of the EDEN Project, in its very first iteration, more years ago than anyone but I have seen… it really was to protect mankind. And if it had travelled the path it was supposed to, you would have been the very culmination of it, and others like you. Those with the power to reform the earth itself, grow forests and dry deserts and fill oceans with life. To purify our air.” She said the last with just the faintest hint of emphasis, blinking golden eyes at him.

“You may not have been chosen for her, but there is much you can yet do, Mikhail. Much you yet must do.”




“The funny thing is, I’m still capable of heinous things. I just do them for different reasons. No better, is it?”



Dietrich sighed. It was apparently now his job to ‘deal with’ Ilyana. A gross oversimplification if there ever was one. He had been asked to keep the foolish hemomancer alive at any cost, and that was going to be a little more difficult if he was supposed to split his attention. Ilyana was looking at him like she was taking his measure, and her words earlier led him to suspect she knew exactly why he was really here, and she was here for the same reason, if with a different request. Well. It wouldn’t do to have her speaking this suspicion aloud and ruining everything before it was time. Certain things were only effective if properly introduced into a system, after all. One could throw off a delicate balance at the wrong moment otherwise.

“Well, you heard him. I suppose, for the moment, I am your problem.” He raised an eyebrow at Ilyana, who barked a laugh.

“Dietrich, you’ve always been my problem.” Really, he could be so insufferable, but he was also her very best friend in the entire world. Ilyana’s feelings for Solomon had always hovered indecisively somewhere between friendship or familial regard and romantic love, but Dietrich had ever been solid, the one constant in the equation that made up her life. When her grandmother died, he was her rock. When her brother disappeared and she thought he’d died, too, Dietrich was there for her.

And then, when Solomon had vanished too, they were there for each other. He did not display his emotions in the way other people did, and sometimes his callousness made her wonder if he even had them the way other people did. But she had never, not once in the two decades she’d known him, doubted that they were friends. That he cared about her the way she cared about him.

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To her, he had always been not only brilliant, but also bright. A light when her world was dark. She had no idea what Helena had been thinking, asking her to come here. Because surely, she must have known that Dietrich would turn, and that this would force a confrontation between them. She knew what was demanded of her in this situation: she should raise her gun and fire. She’d had no issues shooting at the intruder—she was, after all, a soldier. Even if his death would mean it was less likely for the Domes to fall in the end, something that would definitely represent a step forward for the human race. Her feelings on that or anything else were irrelevant. She had orders.

But… even as she raised the sidearm to point at her best friend, she sighed and lowered it again, shaking her head. “Do what you have to do, Dietrich. I can’t kill you. I could never do that.”




“For all that, I still believe that our capacity for good is greater than our capacity for evil.”



Though Darcia lay still and unmoving, there was still enough life in her systems, to put it one way, for a hostile program to be working on her. It was attempting, at the activation command of the one who’d introduced it, to wipe her clean of all programs, memories, and everything else that had occurred to her since the days she’d first awoken on Solomon’s lab at Central.

Of course, there was interference. Both from Darcia’s programs as they were, and from Solomon himself, who, via remote access, was currently combatting the infiltrator program at every step. His fingers moved furiously over the keyboard, the plan at large for once forgotten as he struggled to do what any loving father would have done in the same situation—save his daughter before anyone else.

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It was a flaw of his, that he should care about her so much. He knew this. Most of his fellow engineers would never understand. Darcia was a machine, and to them, that made her less than human. In some way, she was eminently disposable. She was supposed to be the thing they threw at large-scale problems, letting her destroy as much of the opposition as she could before she was destroyed, and then to count it as complete success when she was.

But he could not do that. From the very moment she’d opened her eyes to this world, this imperfect, flawed, hateful world, she’d been the most beautiful thing in it, to him. He’d understood how parents must feel, when their children were born, and first gazed around with inquisitive stares. That his child was more mechanics than flesh hadn’t mattered even a little to him, nor did he think it should matter to anyone else. Had she not done the most human thing of all, in taking that shot for the person she loved? Solomon could not say he was well-pleased with where her emotion had been turned, but he understood that there was nothing to be done for it. Perhaps, in time she would understand that the real Teleus King would never treat her the way she deserved, and abandon the effort. He could only hope so.

But in the meantime, his job was to make sure that she survived her mistakes and her human errors, as any parent would. So he fought this program that threatened to take her away from him, with everything he had.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Stella Iaret Character Portrait: Crux Character Portrait: Uno Summus

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There it was once more the pulsating power circulating within his armor, inside his veins. Something made possible by the modifications done on himself and as hinted before, due to the inherent capabilities of his body. He could also feel the establishment of a link between his consciousness and Solla's once more. Though, it was not as intimate as it once was. There was now a very particular boundary between his perception and hers. That was for the good. He would need complete discretion on how to do things from here on out. Before, many believed that it was Solla's role to release his limits. That was part yet, the truth is to keep him always within limits.

At the departure of the Supreme General, Crux's attention was focused on the rather angry Stella R. Iaret. She seemed bothered with the fate befallen on Darcia. The human heart is truly fascinating is it not? Why should she care for someone who had many times attempted to kill her? Not only that, to invoke such emotional strength which was enabling her to route the power of Central to her purpose. Yes, it is the complexity of humanity. But, he believed that his brother stated before that it was not as complex as anyone could think of. Rather, it was just truly simple.

Probably, it was true.

She spouted words of bastard, coward, and betrayer. Interesting and nonsensical. He found it fascinating that these labels were not attached from him in the beginning. As such, they really are meaningless to him now. In his life, the greatest portion of it was dedicated to the nefarious deeds that others were afraid to do themselves. He manipulated people as coldly and efficiently to reach his goals. Delivered death that even the grim reapers would falter at its sight and amount. This is what he is and who he is faded into the darkness despite the indescribable pain echoing somewhere in that hidden nothingness. "What of it."

The very moment they separated. They will be enemies upon the next meeting. It was an established fact. Darcia took this path believing it is right. He took another knowing that it is correct for him. So you see, this was not a battle of right or wrong anymore. Instead, it was a fight to determine who has greater strength to make that right true. And then let history be the judge, as always. "Project Zero's love has no meaning. All that matters to me are orders." This is how it was supposed to be. For him to be looked upon as an entity of cold cruelty. As long as they do that, he will not hamper in his stated protocols. There would be no flaws.

Even if, they were pieces of a wish, he did not want to say for it would break him apart.

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Without faltering, Crux conglomerated the energy coming from Solla. The power in various domes flickered so frequently as a sign of an impending a blackout. All of it swirled around him in a vortex of raging power. Unlike the ones being attracted to Stella, his was now fundamentally different. He twisted it into a power meant for one thing. From the memories unexpectedly infused within him, he understood that the girl who was the heart and soul of the domes was afraid. She was going to be killed by another so like her. If that was so, she needed someone able to kill her... kill them... Pandora's Children. That was the true premise behind his second alteration. A being able to harness Pandora beyond its limitation as a source, yet it also brought a curse upon him. He had become their executioner.

"Activate Inferion."

All those energy concentrated at the tip of his rifle and released towards Stella, much like a raging meteor.



Trembling and shaking both in pain and in fear. Solla could feel the pull and the will of Pandora fighting against her. It was seared into the very fabrics of her existence. A vessel... that is how she had been viewed for as long as she had been chosen for this role. However in her perspective, she was more of a cage, a box. Something that should not be opened at all cost, if not to risk everything precious. It is why she is gripping on to it tightly. Because for the longest time, she had viewed it as nothing more but a horror. It was only recently she had seen it as her salvation from a fate forced upon her.

That is why she would not relent. Until, she breathes. She will not give in. Pandora will not be hers.

Everyone was fighting. Everyone is in turmoil. She could see it, hear it, smell it, feel it, and taste it. Even more so to the ones outside her chambers, the one who promised to never leave her alone. He could feel that resolve emitting from him like an unrelenting wave of flames. It is why she could hold on to this life. This is all because of him. As long as he is with her, she will not be alone... she will not be lonely anymore. So, this dream of hers, she will not let it end. Even if she has to plunge everyone else in nightmares of their own making. After all, they do not desire this world. She will grant them none of it.

He is finally back.

The connection to her knight had been returned. She could see that he was up against that spiteful girl. And so, she felt the violent swirl of vortex taken from her. She fell to her knees while embracing herself tightly. That girl was summoning its power again. However this time, it was forceful and violent than before. Something akin to that of something deeply attached to the heart. Biting her lower lip, she forced the remaining energy to be separated from the other domes. Until, Pandora is within her. That ingrate would not be able to wield it so casually.

Though, Central was now in rhythm with that vile girl.

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"I'm sorry... I can't be your knight anymore. My Solla..."

This vision triggered a desperate reaction from Solla. Tears fall from her eyes like a waterfall. Her eyes widened in fearful realization and the renewed scar from the past. She could never allow such a thing to happen again. That tragedy will not occur this time. It is why she had created him. To be the synthesis of an end, she was willing to unleash to everyone including herself. As such, she felt the pull of her power being directed and manipulated by Crux. It was fine of course. This is what he was intended for. She finally fell to the floor as she curled herself into a fetal position. Her breathing going ever so shallow as she closed her eyes tightly. The pain was so real and suffocating.

However, this was far better than the one she had suffered a long time ago.



Uno pushed himself even further. They say that true evolution is best seen on the field where one could not help but allow such things to occur on impulse. A natural adaptation which makes it more suited the situation that is meant to be a limitation. And so, his senses were enhanced at a level in which he could anticipate when the Prime Minister would impede his movement. Although, it was a different scenario what he must do to overcome the paralyzing grip. Regardless, his attacks were seamless and did not lax in deadly strength. Perhaps, it was also an added bonus that he was pumping with adrenaline. It can't be helped isn't it?

He was excited and determined to see through everything to the end.

Right at this moment, they were competing with who has the strongest wills. He would incorporate his blood manipulation against the Prime Minister. Though, the man was visibly more attuned with his power, much like Cass or even more than that red-haired guy. Accepting that fact, he just found it more thrilling. He would beat the man up and show that even if he has entered this whole SEED and Flower thing recently than anyone of them. There was no way he would be just a newcomer, he will surpass them in leagues more than they could ever anticipate.

Because if he did, then, he could... and she will...

Then, the lights were turned off. It was of no consequence to Uno really. He could see in the dark just fine. This made him wonder if this was Solomon's doing or rather Stella's. If that was so, the fight over there was becoming more intense than he had imagined. There was a string of worry inside of him. However, he did promise to treat her as an adult, meaning to trust her more that she will be able to handle it. As such, he would do that and let that concern be put aside for now.

Rather, he will be thanking her. There was an opportunity as darkness is his friend in such situations. He managed to pierce through the defensive skills of the Prime Minister who appeared a bit distracted. His sword finally touching the man's flesh and scattering blood. But as it did, he was pushed away in an explosive force.

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Landing on his feet, Uno placed one of his hands on the ground to stop himself from sliding further. His blade held at his side was now sporting stains of crimson which was the blood of no one else but the Prime Minister. "Got you." There was a coy and triumphant smirk upon his face. His orange eyes had an eerily glow behind them as he clearly see through the fog of darkness. "Worried, aren't you? Really, you must know. That Solla is lying to you. She really isn't needed anymore." His words might be considered very cruel, But, what the heck. That is truth of what was going on around them. "This is the testament to that." He implied the lack of power around them.

One could say, they were fighting for the proper course of things. Them? They were fighting to retain it. So, really this is indeed a war. And like a soldier, he dashed forward once more. But, what met him pushed him into defense as blood enclosed him and turned into a shell of protection.

This is the end and the beginning it seems.



This man was exceeding expectations. Caine did tell him that this other Flower will be surprising. Though, it was not something he could not take care of. As much as the others had evolved and took control of their abilities, Tirion had done the same. Perhaps, definitely, he was stronger than any of the SEEDs, his ability that encloses all that they have. Space manipulated to defend him. Kinetic movement halted to his will. Wish turned into reality as long as he focuses on that thought. Yet, this was all dampened by one thing only. It was the seething pain traveling throughout his body.

It was by the strength of will, he is able to endure and stand before them all without appearing degraded.

Nevertheless, he knew that Uno would begin to suspect something. For his attacks, they were losing the dangerous potency it has by the minute. Tirion could not let this battle be stretched any longer. And as if on cue, the power of Central disappeared around them. Lights that illuminated them, vanished. His eye showed curiosity of this and analyzation of what it could have caused it. Though, it was an advantage taken by his opponent who was not dissuaded by the shroud of black covering them now. That is right, this one has the ability to see through the blackness of anything.

So, he did not react properly when the blade finally slashed across his chest. It touched his flesh producing a bleeding wound. Tirion pushed him away with such explosion to create distance between them. After so, he placed a hand over his injury which would be the first time in the duration of his life as the Prime Minister. Surprising, really. Though, there was no need for such goading on Uno's part. He sees it as really annoying. His face reflected it.

As for the statement about being lied to by Solla, Tirion had his doubts. He always has. So, it did not come as a surprise. The sense of being imprisoned in the domes was by her will. He did what is expected of him to protect the people even if the methods would be best questionable. His life, his heart, his emotion, and his soul thrown away for the future of humanity. And so, he stands before them. Despite the lies, he had his share of telling and even extended it to others. This is the path he had chosen.

"Do not speak of things you do not have any idea of boy." His voice awfully cold and dangerous. And with that, Uno launched another strike towards him. Tirion lowered the hand on his chest to the side. Then, there was a grand explosion shaking the very foundation of Central which could also be seen from outside as dust and smoke served as proof.

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The entire section except for the door behind Tirion had been decimated. Torrential fires surrounded all of them. They danced with such rage and power. In all of it, Tirion stood unperturbed. As it would appear, this was all under control of the Prime Minister. "If war is what you want, I will give it to you." With that said, the fires appeared to have their own life as they began to travel much like limbs of a human to embrace Uno in a fiery embrace.

These fires will be their baptism and retribution. So, let everything burn.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Stella Iaret Character Portrait: Darcia Character Portrait: Crux Character Portrait: Uno Summus

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#, as written by Ion



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“I suppose in the end, we don’t have to agree.”



“I don’t believe you.” The statement was given flatly, starkly, with utter certainty. Nobody could be loved like that and not be affected at all. If there was any force in this world that could change anything, it was that. But it didn’t matter, in the end. Whether he was right or lying, he was standing in front of her, wielding this power on behalf of Solla, and that meant she needed to get through him to get to that girl. This was her burden. She had to do this No one else, just her. And deep down, she knew what that would mean, and she accepted it.

Because she, too, had been changed by that one thing.

When the rifle was pointed in her direction, Stella did not move. This was to become about their wills. If she was strong enough to do what she wanted, to free this world from its prisons, then she had to be strong enough to overcome this. No fleeing, no second chances. It was this or nothing, now or never. And she was resolved to do it. Even if it cost her everything she was.

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The heat of the blast was almost unimaginable, the sheer amount of energy in it overwhelming. But Stella stood her ground, reaching out towards it. The concentration of it distorted space and time in strange ways, and she could see the edges of her fingers dissolving, breaking apart as they joined that burst. Her molecular structure was falling apart beneath the pressure, and yet she remained. She could still feel herself. Oh, could she feel.

There was no word for it. Pain was as inadequate to describe it as water was to describe rain or the oceans she’d never seen. This was the power of the domes, contained in too small a space, and she reached for it, stepped towards it. She willingly gave herself to it, because to do otherwise would be to admit that it was somehow different from her. But it wasn’t—she understood that now. It wasn’t different from her at all. The energy disappeared, leaving the area around it undamaged, exactly as it had been in the seconds before the blast was fired.

When the light faded, nothing remained where Stella had once stood.




“Indeed, in this case, I can only hope you continue to think me wrong.”



The blast had gone off close enough that in all likelihood, if it had detonated in the way it was expected, it would have killed everyone else in the area, and of course that included Cass and Helena, who had come to a stop when it had been fired. When the light was gone and Stella was too, Cass fell to his knees.

“Stel?” The word was half-choked. “Stella?” His eyes swept the entire area, but there was no sign of her. It was almost as though she’d never been there at all. She was just gone, perhaps disintegrated by the shot from the gun, perhaps killed by some other means, but the important part was that she was simply gone.

He had failed her.

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Regardless of whether any of these people believed he was supposed to be her knight or whatever the hell they talked about, he had taken it upon himself to keep her safe, and it was evident now that he had failed in that. Darcia was down and possibly dead, Stella was vanished and most likely dead, and he had no idea what was happening to Uno right now, either. His friends were falling, and the withered hope that had only started to green again in his soul lost that luster and fell with them.

And that was when the sky seemed to split open.

A massive bolt of lightning struck Central, plunging the entire building into utter darkness. The outage spread as the power systems in all of Vie were overwhelmed by the surge. Though the climate control remained in place, everything else shut down, and torrents of rain began to pour forth from the sky, drenching everything.

A soft hand came to rest on his head, and he wasn’t concerned enough with it to shove her away. Helena sighed softly. This was his breaking point—the thing that would push him even further than he had already come. It was far from a gentle awakening, but it was needed. He was needed. When most people saw the flow of these events, they saw only the obvious players, and dismissed the importance of those on the sidelines. That was to some degree justified, but not for a master strategist like her. She understood the way in which each of them was vital and necessary—she would not have guided them all together if it were not needed.

“All is not lost.”

He turned his head and glared up at her, his eyes a burning red. Yes, he would become someone very mighty indeed, one day. Mightier than any of them had been. But not yet. “Isn’t it?”




“Disagreement drives the pursuit of truth, and fear drives evolution. Both are necessary.”



When the environment around them burst into flames, Dietrich’s eyes slid to the fight on the other side of the hallway. The flames that had been travelling for Uno warped and bent, twisting around him instead of burning him, but the scientist had other things to be concerned with right now. Like what, exactly, he was going to do about Ilyana.

She wouldn’t kill him, she said. Well, he was glad of that. He could not kill her either, even though logic dictated that it would be a much more expedient option than trying to figure out how to deal with her. The truth was, he believed that her refusal to kill him here had already marked her as a traitor, and Helena had probably known that would be the outcome when she sent her here. He knew quite well what happened to traitors in this society.

For the first time in longer than he could remember, Dietrich Engels was afraid. Not for himself—he had accepted the consequences of his actions when he undertook them, because there were other things that mattered more to him. But the idea of Ilyana meeting the same fate as he was terrifying in a way he didn’t expect.

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Fortunately, there were tools at his disposal for dealing with this problem. How convenient. He would not have put even planning down to this detail beyond her. She did her job so well, after all. “Forgive me, Illy,” he said softly, using the nickname from their childhood. A look of confusion crossed her face before he activated his power, and she vanished, moved to the one place he knew she would be safe.






Solomon sat back, staring hard at his computer screen, reaching up to rake his fingers back through his hair. She was gone. Darcia had been wiped clean, just as the hostile program intended it. He could only wonder what would become of her now. Had he done the right thing, bringing her into a world that would never be kind to her?

The time approached when he would find out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crux Character Portrait: Uno Summus

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Even if there is doubt inside me, I will not falter.

There was no explosion which should be expected from such a great outage of power. However, this is to be expected. This was far different from the ones he had used prior. Its purpose was not to annihilate anything which could be constituted as matter. His attack was meant for one thing and thus, it would only react to the particular objective in mind. As such when it reached its target, he felt the violent backlash of the power source into his system. The leftover surge was burning him thoroughly and even mentally. An attempt to halt his actions, however it was useless. His defense systems activating in order to neutralize it, and so it did.

As the light subsided, Crux lowered his rifle for the target, Stella R. Iaret, has receded into nothing. He activated his sensors and increased their sensitivity to ensure her presence had been deleted. Judging by the tenacity of these individuals, he could never be certain. After all, ever since the mission to kill the secret child of two SEEDs had been given to him. It had been a series of failed attempts. Thus, being cautious is imperative in his case. More so, the woman has become what many had described as a Flower and the one able to end Solla.

Something which should not happen.

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It was then he felt something amiss. There was something rather odd in his sensors. However, it could not be identified or be considered as a threat due to its negligible signature. Yet, his instincts directed him to be wary of it. That was when he recalled a conversation he had with the Supreme General before. It was a passing moment which he had deemed to store away in his memory. The man told him that everything happens for a reason but, inside the domes. These events are dictated much like how a gardener separates weeds from the flowers, which should be left alive or not.

Could it be...

Yet, Crux was not able to continue his trail of thought due to the great bolt of lightning which struck. Reports immediately present before him due to his Network linkage. Errors and malfunctions were sent out in such droves. Though, it should not be much of a problem. The only damages were to the conduits which harmonize and aid Solla in properly diffusing the energy accurately. Right now, the proper course would be going to manual overdrive. This would cause quite the toll on Solla as she would dictate every flow of energy than allowing the system to handle it.

More or less, Solla would be most vulnerable.

By that scenario, he must eliminate all threats. Crux looked at the source of the lightning and the copious rain falling within Vie. He had fought with this man before and that was when he was still but a GHOST, the one known as Miklhail Golikov, he was without question emotionally comprised. Who would not be in this current state? This only meant the fight might be a bit messy as the Supreme General would term it. Noticing the presence of the green-haired woman, his systems indicated various match-ups but without clear distinction. It was only with a brief message from an unexpected individual that he had established her identity for now.

"Deputy Prime Minister, you are being summoned at once by Prime Minister King." After stating that, he raised his rifle again and aimed it at the red-haired man. Two of her targets are now incapacitated. There are still three more and this man is included in that list. Crux would do him a favor, the blessing of death which would grant peace. With that, he disposed three bullets aimed at Mikhail's head, heart, and throat. Ah yes, he did learn how to shoot and aim from this man's sister.

Truly, ironic.


For all has reason within the cosmic design we had coined as destiny.

Caine had finally arrived at his intended location. He looked at his pocket watch which indicated that it was just a bit over 10. It seemed he would have to apologize to his twins for another late night. Releasing a sad sigh, he looked at the monitors presented before him. They displayed the various factors needed to sustain a habitable environment within the Vie. At the same time, this is the Primary Hub where the energy Solla produces is being harnessed into various functions. It was currently empty as he did order all personnel to be evacuated. As it would appear, the systems had been placed into complete automata control.

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"Time for the next stage." He procured a flash drive and inserted it into one of the ports. Immediately, it had run a program where it prompted him with an authorized access code. Well, it should not be that hard. He does have the clearance and the code was rather easy to remember. Once it had been entered, the program continued its initialization. All he had to do now was to wait and to see. As he allowed his patience to rule over him, he looked at the various monitors and watched the situation where people of interest were currently present. "Good, that should do the trick." He murmured to himself as Crux took Project Zero and Stella R. Iaret out of the picture. His eyes held a profound meaning and even had a glint when the power was suddenly taken out,

Instead of being alarmed, Caine was completely fine with it. More like, he was expecting such an outcome. His attention was now placed on the main screen where the system began to reboot and slowly restoring power. Of course, this time it was done by Solla's own direction without the aid of automation. However, it was the trigger needed as the program he had installed in the Primary Hub was now fully operational. This was reflected to the various interferences in the broad Network which expanded to the other domes. Power was flickering out every second. Facilities were being halted and then resumed. As for Vie, the lights began to resemble that of a waning candle.

"It is your turn now."

With that said, he left the Control Room but not before all of the screens presented nothing more but white noise. It was time for the ones commandeered by their resolve to step forward. This will be the final frontier of their chosen path.


That is why I will rebel to create my own version.

Mauve eye narrowed in dissatisfaction. Dietrich had intervened once more bending the flames around Uno. It seemed he would need to not consider his limitations at this moment. Immediately, the flames apparently disappeared through entering a vacuum of space. Yet, it was not so as the sharpened fire appeared behind Dietrich. Its aim was to pierce the Scientist by his shoulder and dangle the man much like bait for the carnivorous fishes. Uno who had already dispersed the blood shell in order to assess the situation quickly manipulated the blood around him into spikes sprouting from the floor with a fast approach to the Prime Minister.

This serve as a distraction when Tirion crumbled them into splatters of blood as Uno dashed forward with his sword raised. His intent was to pierce the blade into the heart of the Prime Minister. It was about time they end this. However, it was caught by the last minute as the tip of his sword was frozen within a millimeter of the Prime Minister's wounded chest. "I will not die by any of your hands." To emphasize that, the flames surrounding them were enhanced further in intensity and two columns of spiraling flame came down on Uno. After doing that, his attention was directed at Dietrich. It seemed the Scientist had sent away his friend to safety.

In the end, all of them are connected to that care.

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"Do not disappoint me, Dietrich." As if on cue, five spiraling columns of fire raged towards him. However, they seemed to cater to the manipulation of space which had been commanded by Tirion himself. It further implies the strength of his ability. "Don't forget about me!" Uno shouted as he appeared behind the Prime Minister. It seemed he was protected by his blood shield once more though, it could be clearly seen that the blood itself had been subjected to such intense heat making it evaporate, rendering it useless in the long run. Uno was up in the air and was about to land a strike above. But, the interference he had expected did not occur. Instead, he landed on the ground though, his target was missing. "Huh? Where--."

Unable to complete his sentence, his senses appeared to have failed him.

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"You must die." To implicate that, a solidified blade out of fire pierced through Uno's chest. Blood shimmered across the air as orange eyes widened in surprise. Tirion was behind him. Uno could feel his blood bubbling inside from the searing heat. He looked at the fire sword evaporating the drops of blood upon it. During that, the lights began to flicker ominously as if it was beckoning something. "No... St--." Unable to continue as blood spilled from his mouth. This was no illusion. He had remembered when he was stabbed by the android. This one hurts more.

It was this point that Tirion sent a message as he stepped away from Uno's form with the sword still impaled. Blood began to trickle on the floor. However, it was not from Uno. This was one was coming from the covered eye of Tirion. He could feel his body buckling up as its capabilities being pulled beyond the limits. However, he must do this. The consequence of his actions had already been weighed and he was fine with the results. He placed a hand over his eye patch.

The curtains after all has just been lifted.


Do you know happy endings are just stories that are not finish yet?

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"Hello Solomon." This was the voice which filtered through his computer speakers. Very familiar and had a kind tone over it. As the screen faded into something else, it displayed none other than Madame Blossom or more accurately, Dr. Yume Kisaragi. She was donned in her usual kimono and seemed to be in the gardens of her cafe. There was also the gentle and caring smile upon her face. This should not be possible and would only mean one thing. It was a recording and this was soon confirmed by her next sentence. "If you are seeing this, it probably means I am already gone. However, my work has been passed down." Her smile slowly changed into a firm line. This meant that what she was going to say next would be important.

"At this very moment, I assume that Darcia has been infected by the premise of my program. It is something I have introduced to Crux at one point." She paused and had a look of concern. It seemed she had predicted that Solomon would be in panic because of this. "I am sorry I did not wish to involve you all as much as possible but, it was inevitable. Darcia will awaken soon. I am certain you have created her to be a replacement to the Network who depends on Solla. As such, my program will ensure that." She presented him with a flash drive which has the core of the program she had creating for many years.

"I have handed this to someone who can directly insert it to the Primary Hub. Probably now, it is running as this video is playing for you." Lowering her hand, she had a small yet sad smile on her face. "I will be leaving the management of this program in your hands. Solomon... I know that I have placed quite the burden on you and your brother. It should never been the duty of your generation to rectify the mistakes done by the old. I am truly sorry." She lowered her head in full apology. Knowing the responsibility, she had placed on her beloved sons. After a few moments, she raised her head once more.

"Please always remember, I love you and Dietrich. It will be always so till the end of time. Take care of yourselves and be more supportive of Darcia all right? You are her father. I know you will be a good one."She gave one last loving smile, before the screen faded into black. And soon, it was replaced by the main control panel and full technical description of her program. At this point, Solomon should have more understanding of what is going on now.

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