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Bioni-Lords Book 3: Kako


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#1 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Apr 19 2012 - 08:58 AM

BIONI-LORDS BOOK 3: KAKO

 

 

Introduction:

 

In this world of Bioni-Lords, Bionicle creatures called Bioni-Spirits roam free, and upon being defeated they transform into Orbs. Humans tap into the power of these Orbs to fuse with the Spirits and gain access to their abilities. Every Spirit has at least one Element interwoven into its being, and to activate special abilities and use multiple Spirits in battle, a Bioni-Lord must defeat the 14 Element-Lords to obtain special items. There are all kinds of secrets in this world, from Perfect Fusion to Forbidden Techniques, but like all secrets, someone will undoubtedly seek them out…

 

Summary of Books 1 and 2:

 

Decades ago, a Bioni-Lord activated Permanent Fusion with a Krakha and established a loose control over the world, taking on the title “The 10th Level Bioni-Lord.” (At that time, there were only 9 Elements, though more have since been discovered.) About 20 years after the 10th rose to power, a boy named Khadaz Ikhav set out into the world, gaining a group of friends and combating the 10th’s forces, the Shade-Gang. Eventually, Khadaz defeated the 10th Level Bioni-Lord himself, bringing an age of peace in the world.

25 years after that, Khadaz sent his son, Kharuun, on his own Bioni-Lords quest, but a new threat arose: the Dark Knights, servants of the Legendary Gahu-Shadow who were slowly gaining power to use for world domination. Khadaz and his friends journeyed to the Lost Continent to do battle with the Dark Knights, and Kharuun encountered his own challenges, in the form of the Shade-Gang (now under control of the Dark Knights) and a group known as “Les Douze Ombres”. In the end, Les Douze Ombres were defeated, their cryptic plan foiled, and the Dark Knights were defeated, along with their master.

Khadaz headed home and expected to return to a normal life, but instead, he was told a shocking truth: that the 10th Level Bioni-Lord was in fact his uncle. The 10th revealed himself, wishing to make things right and tell the tale of how he became the 10th, and Khadaz reluctantly agreed to listen…

This book shall relate that tale.

 

Prologue

 

Khadaz, Norscu, and Kytan sat around a small, circular table with a tape recorder at the center. In reality, Kytan Ikhav, the 10th Level Bioni-Lord, was the brother of Genakex Ikhav, thus making him Khadaz’s uncle. Needless to say, Khadaz was surprised. Norscu verified Kytan’s words and suggested that Khadaz hear the full story, and Khadaz agreed but recommended that they record the tale so that the others could hear it later. Khadaz and Norscu settled in, nodded, and hit the record button, and then they both looked to Kytan.Kytan took a deep breath and sighed, and then he said, “My name is Kytan Ikhav…and this is the story of how I became the 10th Level Bioni-Lord.”

 

Review in Genakex's Journal


Edited by Pahrak #0579, Dec 15 2013 - 08:07 PM.

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Posted Apr 20 2012 - 10:32 AM

Chapter 1: The True Beginning

 

 

A man sat alone in a dark room, with no visible light to illuminate his residence. As he sat there, maddened contemplations passing through his mind, a flicker of movement caught his attention, and with a mental command, several modified lightstones blazed to life. The room, now clearly visible, was a square chamber with stone walls, in which were embedded the aforementioned lightstones, and any sane visitor would have noted it to be incredibly bare. Two tunnels on opposite walls led out of the chamber; before one sat the man we have discussed thus far, a chair beneath him to support his weight, and before the other stood something else entirely. This entity had the appearance of a mass of dark energy arranged into a humanoid shape, with green lines all over its form, one bulbous green eye, and a wide, haunting smile that shone with red light. This monstrosity has possessed many names over the years, but for simplicity’s sake, we shall refer to him by the name you are already familiar with…Konpaku.

“Nice to see you’re still alive, old man,” Konpaku said. “Your mind might not be the sharpest, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.”

“Why have you asked me here?” the man inquired.

“Always right to business,” Konpaku said. “Well, old puppetmaster, I need a new body.”

“Already? What’s wrong with the last one?”

“I guess you could say I’m having engine trouble. I found the base and killed its owner—pretty easily, too. I was a little disappointed. I can synch with it just fine, but my current body is rejecting it. See my problem?”

The man scratched his chin, deep in thought, and then said, “I will give you a new body, but you must give me something in return.”

“What? Come on, we’re partners! I do the dirty work, you give me a body whenever I need one. The boss won’t be happy to hear you’re twisting our arrangement.”

“Indeed, he will be most displeased if you distract him with something so trivial.”

“…Ugh, whatever. What do you want? Money? Test subjects? Companionship?”

“Blood.”

“…Sounds easy.”

“But not just any blood. I want the blood of an Ikhav.”

“Oh, those losers? Sure, I can just—“

“But not just any Ikhav.”

“…How specific are you gonna make this?”

“Some Ikhav have the ability to defy fate. Find an Ikhav with this ability, bring me a sample of his blood, and I will consider your debt repaid.”

“Alright, alright. Sounds a bit out of my way, but I really need that body.”

“Good,” the man said, standing up. “Come with me, and we will craft your new body.”

 

A young boy walked casually through the city, which was one of the larger cities on the Mainland. He was about 14 years old and a little tall for his age, with red eyes and neat gray hair, and he wore black pants and a dark gray long-sleeved shirt. His name was Kytan Ikhav, and he had been sent to look for his younger brother, Genakex. Kytan turned down an alley and came up to a fire escape on the side of a large building, and he quickly climbed it and pulled himself onto the roof. On the opposite side of the roof, sitting against a solar panel array, was a 12 year old boy with green eyes, messy brown hair, red and black pants, and a black t-shirt with red spiral designs on the chest and sleeves.

Kytan walked over and crouched down, saying, “Okay, Genakex, what is it? You were supposed to get home a half hour ago.”

Genakex looked aside and muttered, “I let you down, Niisan…I’m sorry.”

“They didn’t let you graduate?”

“Well, they did, but…just barely. I graduated…but I’m afraid that Dad still won’t let me leave next week like we planned.”

“You don’t know that for sure. Come on—it’s a risk, but life is all about risks. You can’t run off every time you’re worried about something, and I won’t always be able to come find you.”

“I know…”

Kytan put a hand on his brother’s shoulder, smiled, and said, “Let’s go home. Mom’s worried sick.”

Reluctantly, Genakex got up and followed Kytan, and a few minutes later they had reached the outskirts of the city, which is where their house resided. The house was a standard two-story abode with white walls and a blue roof, and as the boys drew closer they spotted someone standing in front of it. It was an adult man with black clothing, gray hair, green eyes, and a very intense scowl. Genakex’s pace slowed under the glare of his father, Khazror, and when they reached him both Genakex and Kytan came to a stop.

“Where have you been?” Khazror asked, rage attempting to hide behind his voice.

“I…I just thought I’d stop somewhere to celebrate graduation,” Genakex said, “but I lost track of time, and—“

“Genakex!!” interrupted a frantic female voice. His mother, Cerah, burst out of the house—she was a taller woman with red eyes and long brown hair, and she currently wore a red dress with a pink shawl.Cerah hugged Genakex tightly, saying, “Oh, I was so worried! I’m so glad you’re safe!”

Khazror gave an annoyed sigh, and then he looked at Kytan and gestured towards the house. Kytan went inside, and Khazror demanded, “Where’s your graduation letter?”

Genakex dug into his pocket and retrieved a small envelope, which he then handed over to Khazror, and Khazror snatched the paper, opened it, and read it over. By the time he finished, Cerah had calmed down, and she said, “Congratulations on graduating, sweetie! I’m so proud of you!”

Khazror scoffed and said, “There’s nothing here to be proud of. You passed by the slimmest margin possible.”

“But…I did pass,” Genakex said. “I can go on my quest now, right?”

“You’re kidding,” Khazror said. “Between this and your little detour, there’s no way you’re responsible enough to go on your quest. You’re staying here until you can change my mind, and Kytan is going on without you.”

“What?!” Genakex exclaimed.

“You’re holding your brother back,” Khazror said. “He’s already wasted two years waiting for you, and I won’t have him waste another!”

“Khazror…” Cerah whispered.

“I’ve made my decision,” Khazror said. “Now get inside.”

Genakex did as he was told, and Cerah said, “The only reason he didn’t come straight home is because he was afraid you’d break your promise like this. He has no reason to trust anything you say now.”

“It’s not my fault the boy’s incompetent!” Khazror said.

“Don’t say that!” Cerah argued. “He just wants a chance, and we have no right to deny him that.”

“We have every right!” Khazror snapped. “I’ll fix that boy if it’s the last thing I do!”

Cerah held her tongue, fearing that the children would overhear if the argument went any further, so Khazror turned around and went back inside. Upstairs, Genakex sat quietly in his room and wondered what he should do next. He thought, Maybe if I had just come home…no, he still wouldn’t have let me go. I’m just not good with this school stuff! I think I did really well considering my ability! I don’t want to go on a quest without Niisan…I’d be all alone…

Genakex stood up and walked over to the window, considering his options. Finally, he said, “I’ll show him I’m responsible…I’ll show him that he’s wrong about me.”

He turned around and moved away from the window, his decision made.

 

A week later, Kytan stood alone next to the large stone bridge leading to Ta-Isle, waiting patiently and trying to keep his mind busy. He soon spotted someone approaching: a girl about Genakex’s age with brown eyes and shoulder-length black hair. She wore a long green skirt that extended past her ankles and a black t-shirt, over which she had an open green jacket, and she carried a backpack with her as she approached Kytan.

“I was beginning to think you’d be late, Xyla,” Kytan joked.

Xyla brushed her hair back and smiled, saying, “I wouldn’t miss this for the world, Kytan. So…where’s your moronic brother?”

Kytan’s pleasant expression faded as he said, “He’s not coming…”

Xyla’s expression, on the other hand, brightened. “Really?!” she asked. “I won’t have to put up with him the whole time?! This is great!”

She thrust her arm into the air, causing her pack to shift and an object to fall out. It was a gray gauntlet, obviously too large for someone Xyla’s size, and on the back of the hand was an odd emblem: a narrow silver crown with a black Bohrok emblem at its center.

“What is that?” Kytan asked.

Xyla picked up the gauntlet and said, “Oh, that. Apparently it’s a family heirloom that the Pahrops have had for hundreds of years—my dad wanted me to take it with me for some reason.”

“Hm,” Kytan grunted as Xyla put away the glove. “…Well, I guess we should go.”

Xyla and Kytan started down the bridge, but before they had gone far, a voice called, “Guys, wait up!”

They turned around to see Genakex racing towards them, and Kytan smiled and replied, “Genakex? What are you doing here?”

Genakex caught up to his brother and stopped to catch his breath, and then he said, “I wouldn’t…miss this…for the world!”

Kytan looked to Xyla, who sighed and flatly asked, “I thought you weren’t going to be able to make it?”

“Things changed,” Genakex said, continuing forward. “Let’s get going!”

“…Wait, what changed?” Kytan asked. “Did Dad change his mind?”

Genakex gave no response, so Kytan and Xyla followed him as Kytan persisted, “Genakex?”

“…Why I’m here isn’t important,” Genakex said.

“…No…you didn’t!” Kytan said. “They don’t know you’re here, do they?”

“I’m hardly surprised,” Xyla grumbled. “I’m going to give them a call.”

She took out her phone, but Genakex grabbed it and said, “No! If they know I’m here, they’ll make me go home!”

“That’s the idea!” Xyla said. “You can’t go on a quest without your parents’ permission!”

“If it was up to my mom, I’d be allowed, and my dad just wants me to prove that I’m responsible, which is what I’m going to do!”

“By running away?!”

“By becoming a master Bioni-Lord! I’m bad with school, but this is the stuff I live for! I’m a great fighter, and once my dad realizes that—“

“You’re insane! Kytan, come on—he should go back, right?”

Kytan paused and looked between his two companions, thinking of what to do. After a while, he finally said, “If Genakex goes back now, he may never get to go on a quest. He is a great fighter…and this way, there is a chance that he can prove himself to our father.”

Xyla’s jaw dropped, and she said, “Seriously?”

“Thank you so much, Niisan!” Genakex said. “Xyla, please! Just give me a chance!”

Xyla glared at him for a long time, but then she yanked her phone free, looked aside, and put it away. “Let’s just get going,” she muttered.

Genakex’s whole face lit up as he said, “Thank you!! Thank you so much, Xyla!”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” Xyla said, continuing down the bridge. “Don’t make me regret it.”

“Looks like we’ll get our quest after all,” Kytan said with a smile.

“Yep!” Genakex said. “This is going to be a fantastic adventure!”

 

Review in Genakex's Journal


Edited by Pahrak #0579, Dec 15 2013 - 08:14 PM.

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#3 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Apr 27 2012 - 10:43 AM

Chapter 2: Heat of BattleThe trip to Ta-Isle, while not completely uneventful, was not an especially unique journey. Our young heroes encountered several wild Bioni-Spirits, fought a few other Bioni-Lords, and feigned ignorance when someone called to ask if they knew where Genakex was. After a few days like this, the group was most excited when they finally reached the island of Fire—a massive clump of reddish soil littered (near the end of the bridge, at least) with a forest of charred trees.“It does look a bit foreboding,” Kytan mumbled.“Meh,” Genakex grunted. “I’m not afraid of some dead trees.”“Hey there!” called a voice from within the forest, making Genakex jump. A boy about Kytan’s age emerged from the trees; he had dark red hair that fell into his dark blue eyes, and wore a black jumpsuit that partially concealed a plate of metal wrapped around his right forearm.“Thought I heard some rookies getting off the bridge,” he said with a friendly voice. “The name’s Hutanik. Nice to meet you!”“The pleasure is all ours,” Kytan said, bowing. “We are Kytan, Genakex, and Xyla.”“Huh…you’ve already got a group together,” Hutanik commented. “Well, since we’re technically rival Bioni-Lords, how about a battle?”“Sure!” Genakex said, pulling out an Orb.Hutanik shook his head and said, “Not you. Him.”He pointed to Kytan, who asked, “Any reason you’ve singled me out?”“You have the air of a professional,” Hutanik said, readying an Orb. “I can tell that you’re more skilled than either of your companions…no offense.”“Right,” Xyla said.Kytan pulled out his starter Orb, saying, “Well I’m flattered, but that doesn’t mean I’ll let my guard down. Fusion, Tahu!”The Orb in Kytan’s hand burst into flames, and those flames then twisted around his arm and over his entire body, leaving behind the orange and red armor of the Bioni-Spirit in their wake. When the flames reached his opposite hand, they swirled there for a moment, and when Kytan put that hand to his face the flames leapt out and formed his Kanohi Hau. Kytan held his right arm in front of himself as his Fire Sword extended from his wrist, and then he pulled into a battle-ready pose as embers flew outward from him.“Tahu, huh?” Hutanik said with a grin. “I think this will be easy…Fusion, Garland!”Hutanik crushed the Orb with his hand, and a cloud of dark energy passed over him and formed silver armor that crackled briefly with electricity. The cloud settled on his shoulders and formed a purple cape, and then Hutanik outstretched his hand and a large steel weapon resembling a sword rose out of the ground and into his grasp. A horned silver helmet covered Hutanik’s head, and he hunched over, put the weapon to his side, and waited.“Is that even fair?” Xyla asked. “Using a 200 FE Spirit against a Toa?”“Looks like a challenge,” Kytan said, smiling.Kytan used Ground Burner to heat the dirt beneath Hutanik’s feet, but Hutanik avoided damage by jumping at Kytan and swinging his weapon. Shifting his weight, Kytan blocked with his sword and rolled back to control Hutanik’s momentum, and then he kicked his foe and shot a Fire Blast from his foot, sending Hutanik flying. Hutanik didn’t land far away and rolled to his feet, and then he put his weapon forward and dashed out. The weapon’s tip sharpened and narrowed, turning into a lance, and Kytan narrowly sidestepped the attack, but Hutanik split his weapon into two swords and managed to clip Kytan with one of them. Kytan stumbled and regained his footing, and out of the corner of his eye he saw Hutanik spin his twin swords in a circle and use Blaze, sending four arrows of fire that homed in on Kytan. Reacting quickly, Kytan used his Hau to block the arrows, and Hutanik transformed his weapon into an axe and moved in, but Kytan jumped out of the way and used Fireball Spit. Hutanik took the hit, but then his weapon returned to normal, he pointed at Kytan, and the blade flew at its target, attached to its handle by a chain.“That is one amazing weapon,” Genakex said, awestruck.“Really?” Xyla sighed. “That’s what you’re paying attention to?”Kytan used his sword to parry the attack, but Hutanik had leapt at him while the weapon was closing in, and the weapon quickly returned to normal and became coated in energy as Hutanik swung it at Kytan. The blade connected, but didn’t deal any damage; instead, the energy paralyzed Kytan, and Hutanik swung again to finish his Flare attack by making the energy explode and hurl Kytan into the ground.Hutanik landed and said, “Ah, you might want to watch that. Another one of those will finish you.”“I don’t intend to take another hit from that move,” Kytan said, getting up.Hutanik grinned, transformed his weapon into a lance and swung, sending out a Cyclone, but he felt a Ground Burner and looked down in surprise. When he looked back up, he saw that Kytan had maneuvered around the Cyclone and was now using Fireball Spit. Hutanik Guarded and used his weapon’s chain to throw it, but coated it in water to make it a Tsunami attack, and Kytan rolled out of the way and used a precise Fire Blast to stun Hutanik. While he had the chance, Kytan activated Star Armor, and when Hutanik smashed his axe into the ground and used Earthquake, Kytan was ready, dodged, and landed a hit with Fireball Spit.“Very nice, Kytan,” Hutanik commented. “But things are about to get a bit more difficult!”Hutanik activated Return to Nobility, and an aura of energy instantly sprung out from his body; his armor became lighter in color and his cape became white, and he chuckled a bit before charging in with his lance. Kytan used his Star Shield to block the attack and used Fireball Spit, but Hutanik didn’t flinch and used his axe, which was powered up by Return to Nobility and sent Kytan sprawling. Hutanik slowly approached his foe, but he noticed another Ground Burner and used Chain Cast, only for Kytan to block with his Hau and retaliate with a Fireball Spit.“Why do you keep fighting?” Hutanik asked, using Cyclone. “Any one of my attacks can finish you at this point.”Kytan dodged, ran in, and said, “I don’t give up.”“Have it your way,” Hutanik said. Hutanik moved in to attack, but Kytan twisted out of the way, jumped over Hutanik, and delivered a Star Slash that knocked Hutanik out of Fusion. Kytan hit the ground, stumbled, and fell, and his Star Armor vanished as he got back to his feet.With disbelief, Hutanik said, “…I…lost…”“Awesome!!” Genakex shouted. “Way to go, Niisan!”“Wow…I didn’t think he’d actually win,” Xyla said.Kytan de-fused and leaned over, panting, “Well…that was…a good workout…”“I’ll say!” Hutanik laughed. “I knew you were skilled but…I wasn’t expecting that.”Hutanik handed over some Widgets, adding, “Well, good luck, Kytan. Maybe we’ll fight again someday.”“Maybe,” Kytan said, and with that Hutanik headed off into the forest. “Whew…that was close…well, let’s keep moving.”Genakex and Xyla agreed, so they headed down the path that cut through the forest, and after dealing with a few wild Bioni-Spirits, the group finally reached Ta-Isle’s city. While the city wasn’t the most inspiring metropolis, the buildings were still of a rather impressive size, and made with red bricks (of a slightly lighter shade than that of the dirt) with soot-covered silver roofs. In the distance was a volcano, from which came a bright orange glow that was reflected off the roofs in the city, but the sky above remained blue, which prevented the scene from taking on a malicious nature. When the children made their way to the other side of the city, they found the Battlefield: a squat rectangular building made of hardened lava, sitting right in front of the volcano mentioned earlier and with the symbol for Fire—a red teardrop shape—above the door.“Time for our first Orb Battle,” Genakex said, barely able to contain his excitement.Spirits Used:#1. Tahu#959. Garland Review: Genakex's Journal

Edited by Pahrak Cantus, Apr 27 2012 - 10:45 AM.

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Posted May 04 2012 - 10:46 AM

Chapter 3: Rising FlamesThe inside of the Battlefield was lit by fluorescent lights, which surprised Genakex—he was expecting torches. The arena took up most of the room, with metal bleachers on two sides, the entrance on the third, and a door leading to another room (the Fire-Lord’s office) on the side opposite that.“Hello?” Genakex called.A few seconds later, the office door opened, and out stepped a young man, probably about 19, with a mop of orange hair, sunglasses, and a Fire-Lord’s uniform: a red suit of leather body armor with a cape of identical color that obscured the Fire emblem on the back of the suit.“Three…” he muttered. “I only have enough time for one of you.”“I’ll go,” Xyla said.“But…I wanted to go…” Genakex said.“This way you can study his strategy before fighting,” Kytan said.Genakex sighed and went to the bleachers, and Xyla entered the arena and said, “I’m Xyla Pahrop.”“Ackahu, Fourth Fire-Lord,” the man said with obvious disinterest. He pulled out an orb which then evaporated into tiny pixels of data, and waves of pixels and fire then moved over his body to create the armor of Nitroblast.“Hm…a rather high Fusion Energy count,” Kytan observed. “Still, it is a Technic Descendant, so Xyla has that advantage plus the Elemental advantage.”Xyla held up an Orb and said, “Fusion, Gahlok.”A whirlpool opened beneath her and sucked her in, but a few seconds later she jumped back out covered in blue armor. Ackahu’s blowtorch flared to life as he said, “Okay, let’s get this over with.”Xyla used Krana Eject, but Ackahu incinerated the parasite and dashed at Xyla, swinging his weapon forward to use Torch Punch, but Xyla rolled out of the way and left behind a Whirlpool that Ackahu fell into. Ackahu climbed out and began firing his Lava Shooter, but Xyla threw a volley of Water Rings to nullify them before surrounding herself in water and charging forward, an attack that Ackahu took head-on so that he could use Hack, shooting a thin beam of purple light that struck Xyla and lowered her attack power. Xyla Submerged to avoid Torch Punch and regain her lost power, but as she was resurfacing, Ackahu lifted both hands and summoned a huge wall of fire, and before Xyla could dodge, the wall fell on her and knocked her into the ground.“This battle won’t last much longer,” Kytan predicted. “Too bad.”Ackahu triggered his Lava Shooter, but Xyla rolled out of the way and onto her feet, and then she ran at the Fire-Lord, who raised another firewall, but Xyla used Water Ball to allow herself to punch through it and tackle her opponent. Before she could retreat, Ackahu landed a hit with Torch Punch, striking with his blowtorch and then using a stream of fire to repel her, but between the effects of Technic Descendant and Gahlok’s Elemental resistance, the attack hardly did any damage. Xyla got back to her feet and saw another Collapsing Firewall, quickly leaping out of range, and she threw a Water Ring at Ackahu just fat enough to hit him as he was about to dodge, ending the match.“Okay, here you go,” Ackahu said, handing over a small bag. “I can fight you two tomorrow. Later.”Ackahu walked out of the Battlefield, and Xyla opened the back to examine her prizes. 50 Widgets were held within, along with a Fire Ultima-Orb: an Orb the same size as a Spirit Orb, but pure red all over as opposed to the clear surface of a Spirit Orb that revealed the spark of energy inside. Xyla smiled and said, “Level 1…”“Nice job, Xyla!” Genakex said as he approached.“…It wasn’t that impressive,” Xyla said, tucking her rewards into her pack. “The battle was weighted in my favor—only a fool would’ve lost.”Genakex didn’t know how to reply, so Kytan said, “Well, let’s find a hotel. Tomorrow we can wrap up things here and leave for Po-Isle.”The three of them exited the Battlefield and walked through town, Genakex saying, “Was it just me, or did the Fire-Lord seem…”“Rude?” Xyla finished.“He was probably just in a hurry,” Kytan said. “I’m sure he has a lot of responsibilities. He must be very busy.”“I still think he’s just rude,” Xyla said.“You should give people a chance, Xyla,” Kytan advised. “They may surprise you.”Xyla rolled her eyes and said nothing.The children succeeded in finding a hotel and found ways to stay busy for the rest of the evening, mainly through training and playing some video games. After dinner, they remained in the hotel restaurant for a time to discuss plans, and after a while Xyla departed to get ready for bed.“She really doesn’t like me,” Genakex said, chuckling in an attempt to hide his disappointment.“Xyla just takes a while to get used to people,” Kytan said. “She’s warming up to you, trust me. Why else would she let you stay?”Genakex nodded, paused, and then said, “I wonder how Mom is…she always worries so much…maybe I should call just to let her know I’m alright.”“If you do that, you know that Dad will come after you,” Kytan said.“Yeah…and he hates me even more than Xyla does,” Genakex mumbled.“Dad doesn’t hate you.”“Are you sure? It seems like he does.”“There’s no way he could hate you—you’re his son.”“I’m still not convinced.”“…I know Dad’s hard on you, but it’s just because he thinks that’s what you need.”“If only I had the courage to tell him he’s wrong, huh? Hahaha…ha…ugh…what am I doing? This won’t prove anything to him.”“Of course it will.”“No, it won’t. He’ll find something—anything to keep from acknowledging me. This was a horrible idea…I should just head home.”“Genakex—““Thanks anyway, Niisan. Have fun.”Genakex got up to leave, but Kytan grabbed his shoulder and said, “Genakex! You’re not going to quit. I won’t let you.”“Why not? Do you still think I can changed Dad’s mind?” Genakex asked.“You’ll never know until you try,” Kytan argued. “Besides…I want you with me on my quest. That’s the whole reason I waited this long! Plus, you need some time away from Dad…some freedom. You already made your decision—don’t go back on it now.”Genakex said nothing at first, but then he said, “You’ll get in trouble for this too.”Kytan smiled and said, “There’s a first time for everything.”“…You really think I should stay?” Genakex said.“Yes,” Kytan replied, “that’s what I just said.”“Right,” Genakex said. “…I guess I’ll stick around, for now at least.”“Good,” Kytan said. “You can’t leave me alone with Xyla. Without you here, she’d just focus on bugging me.”Genakex chuckled and went upstairs, and Kytan sat back down to think. As he was doing so, two men entered the hotel, and he could overhear one saying, “I agree. Ackahu has got to be the worst Fire-Lord ever.”So Element-Lords aren’t always looked up to… Kytan noted.“Well, they can’t all be like Takama,” said the second stranger. “He’s a good man…I hope he recovers.”“I heard someone say it was terminal,” the first said solemnly.“No—that’s just a rumor,” said the second. “He’s actually doing much better. His daughter is finally going to start her quest.”“Really?” asked the first. “Well, she wouldn’t leave if he was critical…do you think she’ll ever be Fire-Lord?”“Ha!” the second man laughed. “There’s no way that would happen. Fire-Lords are men, and that’s the way it always will be.”“I guess it would be tough to get away with,” the first man chuckled. “Still…”They passed out of earshot, and Kytan began reflecting on what he had overheard. He had already known that Takama Vakar, the Third Fire-Lord, had fallen ill, but Kytan hadn’t heard anything about Takama’s daughter before now. After giving it some thought, he said to himself, A female Fire-Lord would be an interesting departure from convention. The only problem would be in people’s reaction, I think. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with breaking traditional gender roles, but I imagine a lot of people do…and they probably wouldn’t take too kindly to having tradition challenged. It’s an interesting situation—hope I hear more about it.Kytan then stood up and headed for his room, thinking, Well, better get some rest. We should try to beat Ackahu quickly so that we can cover more ground when we start for Po-Isle.He was now passing Xyla’s room, and as he did so, a strange sensation filled him, and came to an immediate halt. Kytan turned his head and found he had difficultly placing this feeling…dread, perhaps? Or maybe just curiosity? Kytan had never believed in premonitions, but at that moment he could not shake the feeling that something was about to happen. Something told him that a strange entity was nearby—yes, he reasoned, he was sensing a presence—and that it was on the verge of setting something into motion. Kytan shook his head to clear his thoughts, and then he continued walking, mumbling to himself, “Things may get interesting…”Spirits Used:#1174. Nitroblast#71. GahlokReview in Genakex's Journal
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#5 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted May 09 2012 - 12:04 PM

Chapter 4: Quickening BlazeAckahu yawned as he stepped out of his office, thinking, I wonder if those kids from yesterday are back…When he found Xyla, Genakex, and Kytan waiting for him, he added, Yep.“Alright, who’s next?” he sighed, fusing with Nitroblast.“We were thinking of doing a Tag Match to speed things up,” Kytan replied.“Sure, whatever,” Ackahu said.Xyla fused with Gahlok and went to stand near Ackahu, and Genakex said, “Here we go…Fusion, Zadakh!”Kytan drew two Orbs and announced “Fusion, Watershock; Equip, Spidermonkey!”A Bionicle and a Technic Brother…I see how this will end, Ackahu thought. Ugh, I’m sick of holding back…Kytan’s Watershock weapon took the form of a Hook, and he held it out and fired a beam of energy at Ackahu, but Xyla dashed in to take the hit instead and retaliated with a Water Ring. The attack missed and Ackahu aimed his Lava Blaster at Genakex, but Genakex used Speed Slash to dash past the bullet and hit Xyla, and before Ackahu could fire again, Kytan threw a Web Bomb that exploded right in front of the Fire-Lord. Xyla used Water Ball to bowl over Genakex and tried to attack Kytan, who used Web Blast to paralyze her, but Ackahu took the opportunity to Hack him and avoided counterattacks. Ackahu used Collapsing Firewall on Kytan and dodged when Genakex used his Staff of Suggestion, and Xyla was able to use Whirlpool but Kytan struck both her and Ackahu by using Watershock’s Hydro Blade mode. Genakex recovered and moved to attack, but Kytan used a web to grab him and pull him away from their foes.“I’ll act like I’m jumping at them, and then throw you in to use Quadro Stomp,” Kytan said. “After that, I need you to keep them busy.”Kytan leapt into the air and his opponents prepared to intercept him, but then he shot one web at the ceiling and another at Genakex, and he swung, threw his brother into the fray, and flipped to safety. Genakex hit Ackahu with a Quadro Stomp and shot a Kanoka at Xyla, but then Xyla Submerged, Ackahu Hacked, and they slammed Genakex between a Collapsing Firewall and a Water Ball.I don’t like being the distraction, Genakex thought.Kytan switched his Watershock weapon to a Laser Harpoon and landed a shot on Ackahu, and Xyla moved towards Kytan but was shot as well. Genakex saw Ackahu preparing a firewall and Quadro Stomped him, and then Ackahu repelled him with a Torch Punch while Xyla dodged another beam from the Laser Harpoon. Kytan avoided Lava Blaster shots but was hit with Water Ball, and as Xyla was turning around she was hit by a Staff of Suggestion. Due to Genakex’s reduced attack power, the technique did not cause any damage, but Genakex was still able to take advantage of its effect, asking, “Why don’t you help us out?”Xyla turned towards Ackahu, who sighed, “Great…”Genakex, Xyla, and Kytan all attacked Ackahu at once, but it was hardly necessary—the Fire-Lord had accepted the futility of dodging, so he just took the hits that pushed him out of Fusion. Ackahu half-heartedly tossed sacks of Widgets and Fire Ultima-Orbs to the Ikhav brothers, and then he walked back towards his office without another word.“Now that that’s over with,” Xyla said as the children went over to the bleachers, “we can head to the next island. If we keep going at this rate, our quest shouldn’t take too long.”As the three friends finished packing up, the door to the Battlefield slammed open, drawing their attention to the one who entered: a fourteen-year-old girl with dirty blonde hair that fell half-way down her back, bright blue eyes that burned with determination, brown pants, and a sleeveless red shirt.“Oi! Ackahu!” she yelled. “Get out here already!”She strode into the arena, Orb in hand, and Ackahu came back into the room and grumbled, “Oh, it’s you…”The girl fused with a Tahu, created a duplicate Fire Sword out of flames, and said, “We know how this is going to end, but I’m not letting you back out. Come on.”Impatient brat, Ackahu thought as he fused with Nitroblast.The girl made a gesture prompting Ackahu to go first, so he fired his Lava Blaster, but the girl batted the bullet away and threw one of her swords, impaling Ackahu in the shoulder. She dashed out, spit a fireball into her empty palm, and punched Ackahu, and as she retrieved one sword she dealt an attack with the other. Ackahu used Torch Punch, but the flames bent around their target, who used both swords to smack Ackahu into Ground Burner, and then she stepped on his back and leaned down.“So THIS is how you do your job?” she asked. “Way to go.”The girl leapt away to dodge Hack, and Ackahu tried using Collapsing Firewall but his foe cut through it and used Fireball Spit as soon as she had an opening. Ackahu was sent sprawling by the attack, and his opponent starting juggling her Fire Swords as she waited for him to get up. Angry, Ackahu created four firewalls around the girl and made them collapse, but she jumped, slipped through the space between the tops of the walls just before it closed, and then dove at the ground, drove both swords into it, and sent out a wave of flame with the power of two Ground Burners.Twirling her swords as she withdrew them, the girl said, “Guess I’ll wrap this up, then.”She ran at Ackahu, who focused a firewall through his torch, but she jumped over the stream of data and fire, used her Hau to create an energy shield beneath her, and then used that shield as a stepping stone to get right behind Ackahu, where she spun and used both swords to end the match.Ackahu handed over the rewards and turned to leave, but the girl de-fused and said, “That’s just a warm-up. As soon as I can, I’m coming back here to beat you again.”Uninterested, Ackahu kept walking, and the girl examined her Ultima-Orb and said, “Huh…the one you earn does shine a little brighter…”“That was an impressive battle!” Kytan complimented as he and his friends approached. “You’re extremely skilled.”“Thanks…who’re you?” the girl asked.“Oh, my apologies,” Kytan said. “I am Kytan Ikhav. This is my brother, Genakex, and our friend, Xyla Pahrop.”“Ikhav, huh?” the girl noted. “Well, I’m Tahra. Tahra Vakar.”“Vakar…” Xyla said. “Wait, are you Takama’s daughter?”“Who?” Genakex asked.“The Third Fire-Lord,” Kytan answered. To himself, he added, So she’s the one I heard about yesterday…“Yep,” Tahra said. “Dad’s feeling better, so I’m finally heading out on my quest; and once that’s done and I’m old enough, I’m going to beat that loser Ackahu to a bloody pulp and become Fifth Fire-Lord. It’s my birthright and I’m pursuing it.”“So…you can do that?” Genakex asked. “I mean, Fire is a male Element, so—“Before he could finish, Tahra grabbed him by the collar and got up in his face, an intense blaze flaring in her eyes. “Do you have a problem with a female Fire-Lord?” she asked, speaking very softly and very slowly. “Because if so, I can give you a special demonstration on just how good I am at burning things.”“I…uh…no…I didn’t…” Genakex stammered.“He didn’t mean to offend you, I’m sure,” Kytan said. “My brother’s just not the best with words.”“Y-Yeah!” Genakex said. “I-I’m sure you’ll make a great F-Fire-Lord!”“I think you should burn him anyway,” Xyla whispered with a cruel smile.Tahra glared at Genakex a little longer, but then she backed off and the blaze in her eyes diminished (although it didn’t completely disappear). She said, “I think you still need convincing. I’m going to travel with you guys. Seeing me in action should incinerate every last bit of doubt.”“It will be a pleasure to have you,” Kytan said.“It will?” Genakex asked. “I mean, uh, it will! Yeah! Welcome to the group!”“I like you already,” Xyla said with a chuckle.Spirits Used:#1277. Watershock#1305. Spidermonkey#80. Zadakh#1174. Nitroblast#79. Gahlok#1. TahuReview in: Genakex's Journal
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#6 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted May 10 2012 - 08:01 AM

Chapter 5: The King’s ArrivalAfter Tahra joined the group, they immediately started down the bridge connecting Ta-Isle to Po-Isle, and continued travelling for the rest of the day. Eventually the sun set and the children stopped to set up camp, and after a brief dinner they rolled out their sleeping bags and began to settle in. As Xyla was moving her pack, the gauntlet fell out of it again, but when she reached to pick it up, she found that its surface was incredibly hot. She emitted a shriek of surprise and pain as she pulled away, catching the attention of her companions.Tahra approached, asking, “Did it bite you?”“No, it feels like it’s on fire,” Xyla said.Tahra tried picking up the glove, but the heat soon proved too much for her and she backed off as well. “Weird,” she mumbled. “What is that thing anyway?”“A family heirloom,” Xyla said. “But Dad didn’t tell me what to do if it burned me.”Suddenly, to everyone’s surprise, the gauntlet lifted several feet into the air, and the emblem on the back of the hand began sending out pulses of white light that faded almost instantly. Tahra turned to Xyla and asked, “I’m guessing he didn’t mention this either?”Genakex and Kytan had come closer now, the former saying, “Whoa…this could be cool!”Xyla gave a frustrated sigh. With the next pulse of light, a transparent image of a monstrous creature appeared in the air before the gauntlet. The creature was heavily plated with brown, gray, and black armor, including a round plate on its chest that displayed a silver Pahrak shield. Two thighs resembling the torsos of Toa were all it had for legs, and two large, curved spikes ran alongside each thigh in a way that made them resemble swords of some kind. Its right shoulder bore a curved silver spike and a brown Pahrak shield, giving way to a muscular arm that ended in a massive hand with four oversized fingers. Its left shoulder was more streamlined, though it also bore a Pahrak shield, but the forearm beneath was replaced with a large, cylindrical weapon resembling a Midak Skyblaster, although what appeared to be a Zamor launcher was attached above the main barrel. Atop all this sat a limbless Bohrok body which functioned as the head of the monster; its armor was mostly brown, but the faceplate was pitch black, the eyes and teeth were a glimmering silver, and there were two giant gears attached to the rear sides of the body.The image spoke, its voice deep, rumbling, and carrying with it hints of both menace and authority: “Finally…the war begins anew.”This is the presence I’ve been sensing… Kytan realized.The monstrosity lowered its head ever so slightly, its gaze falling on the four children. This time it addressed them: “Which of you is of the Pahrop family?”“Um…I-I am,” Xyla spoke up.After a pause, the monster said, “Surely you jest. I sense in you affinity for Air, not Stone as has been the Pahrop tradition.”Xyla’s eyes narrowed, but her tone remained unchanged. “I know my family is a long line of Stone specialists, but I felt a need to break with tradition.”The monster grunted. With traces of disappointment in his voice, he said, “Even if you are a Pahrop, why would you be given my gauntlet? My Champions have always been male since the Curse began.”“Oi!” Tahra snapped, taking an angry step forward. “You have some sort of problem with women? Where do you get off acting so high and mighty?”A pressure began to press down on the children as the monster grumbled, “Watch your tongue, delicate flower, before I crush you.”“Delicate flower?!” Tahra shouted. “I’m no flower—I’m a wall of fire!!”Tahra fused with Tahu and leapt forward, but she passed right through the image and landed on the bridge behind it. The pressure intensified, and the monster said, “Insolent fool! Do you know how easily I could destroy you?”“Please, let’s all just calm down!” Kytan said. “I’m very sorry—we’re all very confused about what’s going on. Could you please give us some explanation?”Tahra seemed ready to attack again, but Kytan shook his head. Reluctantly, she took a step back.“At least one of you knows how to respect your betters,” the monster said. The pressure slowly diminished. “Very well, peasants. I am Exo-Pahrak Kal Titan, King of Pahrak.”“Isn’t that a breed of Bioni-Spirit?” Genakex asked.“The ‘breed’ you speak of is but a pale imitation,” Titan said. His voice was dripping with disgust. “I am the only true Kal Titan—a King Bohrok, bound to an endless war and forced to rely on humans.”Titan looked up and fell silent. Kytan was about to ask a question, but Titan began to speak again: “I hail from a distant dimension, one where the Bionicle world remains pure. I began as a simple Pahrak, but the Bahrag Queens selected me for a great honor: becoming a Bohrok Kal. I trust you are aware of some following events—the imprisonment of my Queens, the release of my brothers and I, and our interactions with the Toa Nuva—but when the Toa fed us energy through their Nuva Symbols, something strange happened. The other five Bohrok Kal overloaded and were destroyed by their own power, but not I; I drank in the power provided to me and mastered it. I picked up the rest of the Nuva Symbols and took in their power as well. When all of the Toa Nuva’s power was mine, I slew them, and then placed the symbols onto the Nuva Cube…but nothing happened. Realizing it was the power, not the symbols, that would free my Queens, I fed a small amount of my power into the Cube…but even that was too much. The prison faded, but the Cube sent out a shockwave that struck the Bahrag and ripped the souls from their bodies, killing them. Horrified, I tried to pull away, but the Cube then forced more energy into me—energy containing the souls of the Bahrag. When it was finally over, I found that I had absorbed the spirits of my Queens, transforming my body and granting me extraordinary power.”“Wow…” Genakex mumbled. “The power of all the Toa Nuva, plus the Bahrag…and the Bahrag were symbiotic—if just standing next to each other gave them extreme power, I can’t even imagine how ridiculous their power gets when you put both their souls in the same body!”“Indeed, you cannot,” Titan said. His tone gave away just how proud he was of the power he possessed. “I was King of the Bohrok, and I sent my subjects to every corner of the Matoran Universe to conquer it. When normal Bohrok weren’t enough, I transformed the Pahrak into Exo-Pahrak, making them drastically more powerful. If even they couldn’t conquer a land, I saw to it myself, and I never failed. Still, the Matoran Universe had limits, and once I conquered everything within them, I grew bored. So, I left my dimension to find a new one, and I ended up here.”Irritation now began to creep into Titan’s voice. “Around the same time I arrived, five others like me appeared here as well. Apparently, the timeline of my world branched into six sub-dimensions, and in each one, a different Bohrok Kal gained the power of the Toa Nuva and the Bahrag Queens…each one gave rise to a different King Bohrok. We began a battle royale for dominance over this world, but before even one of us had fallen, a spell was cast over us…the Royal Curse of the King Bohrok. Our powers were reduced, our bodies taken from us, and our souls trapped in various artifacts. Then, we were scattered, and the cycle began. Approximately every 57 years or so, the Curse loosens and our souls awaken, and when that happens, a human can use our artifacts to create what you call ‘Fusion Armor’ and wield our power, even if it is diminished. These humans—Va Champions, as we call them—are given about a year or two to seek each other out and do battle. If one Va Champion can defeat another, he can force the soul of the losing King Bohrok back into his slumber, and if, by the end of the allotted time frame, five King Bohrok have been forced into slumber, the one who is still awake wins.”With a nervous gulp, Kytan asked, “And…what happens when a King Bohrok wins?”“The five slumbering King Bohrok souls will be sent to the afterlife, and the Curse will be broken,” Titan answered. “The winner’s soul will be returned to his body, and the full extent of his powers will be at his disposal once again. But, if two or more King Bohrok remain awake at the end of the time frame, they are all forced into slumber until the next war is set to begin…and all six of us battle once more. I have seen many wars, some that went more favorably than others, but no one has succeeded in breaking the Curse yet.”He then turned to Xyla, adding, “Many of my Titan Va have been of the Pahrop family, and the glove in which my soul is sealed has become an heirloom to them. A new war has just begun…but I doubt you will make a suitable Titan Va.”“Good, because I want no part of it,” Xyla said.“I’m afraid neither of us has much of a choice,” Titan said. “I need a Titan Va, and you four are what I have to choose from.”“Forget it,” Tahra spat. “You’re two of my least favorite things wrapped in one—sexist and evil.”“I am not evil,” Titan stated. “I am merely ambitious. But you may wish to know that some of the Kings ARE evil, and you would be much worse off if they were to win.”“Duly noted,” Kytan said. “Still, this is a big decision. May we have some time to think it over?”“Hm…very well,” Titan said. “I suppose I don’t need to select a Va Champion until I encounter another King. I will take my leave of you for now.”With another flash of light, the image of Titan disappeared, and his gauntlet fell to the bridge with a loud clattering sound. The children waited a moment to see if anything else would happen, but things remained calm.“Maybe I picked the wrong group to travel with,” Tahra muttered under her breath.Review in: Genakex's Journal
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#7 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted May 12 2012 - 02:58 PM

Chapter 6: Boiling MagmaGenakex put a hand to his eyes as he surveyed the landscape of Po-Isle…not that there was much to survey. The island was a desert, with rock-hard, tan-colored ground that rose up randomly to form steep cliff faces and long canyons, in which it was annoyingly common to find Bioni-Spirits. As the group exited the canyon they had been traveling through, they beheld Po-Isle’s city: a cluster of buildings carved from stone nestled between several cliff walls, and several homes had been carved into these walls along with long staircases so they could be accessed from the ground. The architecture appeared to be natural, with only the finer details carved by living beings, but it was more likely that Stone Spirits had been used in the creation of this community.“Finally,” Genakex sighed, wiping sweat from his brow.“Can’t handle the heat?” Tahra chuckled.“First stop, the Orb Center, so we can sell all these Spirits we ran into,” Kytan said. “We need some that are better for fighting the Stone-Lord.”As they moved through the town, Genakex noticed a strange look on Xyla’s face, but before he could say anything, the voice of Titan spoke up: “It is nice to be back where I met so many of my Champions. Some of the Pahrop still live here, yes? We must visit them.”“No!” Xyla exclaimed.The sudden outburst seized everyone’s attention. Xyla averted her gaze and said, “Er…we need to keep moving. Why waste time going door to door tracking people down?”“You don’t know where you own relatives live?” Titan asked incredulously.“It’s not a top priority, alright?” Xyla muttered, stepping into the Orb Center.“There’s a story there,” Tahra said.“Whatcha mean?” Genakex asked.Tahra seemed mildly surprised. She turned to Kytan, who said, “I agree, but…”Tahra shrugged and entered the building next. Genakex asked, “Did I miss something?”“Don’t worry about it, Genakex,” Kytan said, ushering his brother into the building.Once the children were done at the Orb Center they went straight to the Battlefield, which took the form of a large set of double doors at the base of a cliff, with a simple brown circle above that. Inside, it was virtually identical to the inside of Ta-Isle’s Battlefield (save for a higher ceiling), and Tahra immediately stepped into the arena and held up an Orb.“Oi, old man Onatewka!” she called. “You’ve got challengers!”Kytan was highly surprised by the informal challenge, but then he thought, Being a Fire-Lord’s daughter, she probably knows all the Element-Lords to some extent already.There was a rumbling sound, and then a hole was blown in the far wall. Through it stepped a muscular bald man with brown eyes, black gloves, jeans, and a white t-shirt. The man cracked his knuckled and said, “I thought I sensed some Vakar fire nearby. I assume your being here means that Takama is feeling better?”“You guessed it,” Tahra said, fusing with Tahu.“Good,” Onatewka said. He turned to the others and said, “Greetings. I am Onatewka, the Third Stone-Lord.”“Just had to squeeze in the traditional greeting, didn’t ya?” Tahra said jokingly.“Upholding tradition is one of the most sacred duties in this world,” Onatewka said. “That is true for all of us, but especially for Element-Lords like myself. Now then…I accept your challenge.”The Stone-Lord drew an Orb but it quickly vanished, and then he drove his fist into the ground. Rocks rose up around him and fused to his body, creating brown and tan fusion armor, and then Onatewka drew a brown Kanohi Kakama out of the ground and attached it to his face.“Fusion, Pohatu,” he said.Tahra created her duplicate fire sword, entered a battle stance, and said, “I’ve been waiting a LONG time to fight you, old man. We have a pretty big difference in opinion, after all.”“Indeed,” Onatewka said. “You wish to dishonor tradition by becoming Fire-Lord.”“And you’ve gotta deal with it!” Tahra said, running forward.Tahra closed in and drew back one of her swords, and Onatewka threw a kick but Tahra used her other sword to knock Onatewka’s foot up, throwing him off-balance. She swung her first sword to knock Onatewka back, but he landed on his hands, flipped back, and threw a Boulder Blast as he skidded back. Tahra tried dodging, but the rock moved faster than expected and hit her shoulder.“A Fire-Lord must be male,” Onatewka said as his mask glimmered.The Stone-Lord raced forward and delivered a swift series of punches, adding, “So long as I am Stone-Lord, I shall see that tradition unbroken!”Tahra expertly blocked each punch with her swords, and Xyla commented, “Why doesn’t she just use her Hau…?”“Because parrying is cooler!” Genakex replied, his eyes fixed on the battle.As Tahra was blocking, she said, “Looks like we found another reason for you to retire.”She used her swords to spread Onatewka’s arms and tried using Fireball Spit, but Onatewka Body Slammed her and sent her flying. Tahra used her Hau to create an energy wall that brought her to a stop, and Onatewka sped in to use another Body Slam. The barrier expanded into a sphere, protecting Tahra from the attack, and then Tahra turned the energy into flames that flew out with the force of a Fireball Spit. Tahra dove in with both swords, but Onatewka brought his arm down on her head, making her bounce off the ground, and then he kicked her and sent her flying across the arena.“I bear no personal grudge against you, Tahra,” Onatewka said. “This is simply a matter of tradition.”“What is it with you and tradition?” Tahra asked.Onatewka threw a Boulder Blast and Tahra leapt out of the way, bouncing off a Hau-created barrier, and then she dove at Onatewka and delivered a cross-slash just as she was Body Slammed. Tahra dodged one Stone Stomp but was hit by a second, and as she skidded along the ground she heated it, though Onatewka jumped to avoid the Ground Burner.“If you never try something new, you never improve!” Tahra shouted, sending a fireball too large for Onatewka to dodge.She prepared to activate Star Armor, but Onatewka used his Kakama and rushed in to deal two Stone Stomps that finished Tahu off. The Stone-Lord crossed his arms and said, “Some things cannot be improved upon.”Tahra scowled and held up a new Orb, and a wave of purple fire spun around her to create black fusion armor with claws and wings that were attached to the helmet. She quickly moved in, one of her wings stabbing at Onatewka, and Onatewka dodged but Tahra threw a purple Clawed Flame that hit its mark and poisoned the Stone-Lord. Onatewka Body Slammed Tahra, but before he could escape she used Wicked Flame Barrage, tossing out a rain of purple fire that finished off Pohatu.“Guess it’ll take a few more hits to get through that rock-hard skull or yours,” Tahra said as she hovered over the battlefield.This sounds more like a real battle than a simple Orb Battle, Kytan observed. They have conflicting values that they’re throwing behind every punch…at least, Tahra is.Kytan looked at Onatewka and continued, He seems annoyed, but he’s not as…for lack of a better term, ‘fired up’ as Tahra. Is his conviction weaker? No, I don’t think that’s it…he just feels he has nothing to worry about. He doesn’t think that one girl’s beliefs will change an eighty year old system—he’s sure of it. But Tahra still thinks she can change his mind…her determination is astounding.Onatewka drew another Orb and said, “Fusion, Evo 2.0.”He smashed the Orb into his forehead and it turned into a yellow and black helmet, and then a purple Hero Core appeared on his chest. The Core flashed a few times before yellow and black armor covered Onatewka’s whole body, and then a large flat rock flew out of the wall, attached to his left wrist, and exploded to reveal Evo’s multi-tool ice shield. Onatewka immediately used Extreme Power, causing his Core to gleam and an aura of purple light to envelop him, and he looked at Tahra and just waited.“Oh, you’re gonna be that guy?” Tahra asked. “Okay, sure. I’ll play along.”Tahra used another Wicked Flame Barrage, but Onatewka swiftly wove through it and swung his Claw, though Tahra managed to fly out of range. She launched into a Corvus Dive, but Onatewka caught her, flipped her over his head, and smashed her into the ground, leaving a crater in the field.“Ooh,” Genakex said, wincing. “That looked painful.”“Thanks for stating the obvious,” Xyla muttered.Tahra groaned and saw Onatewka preparing a Power Punch, but she leapt up, smacking him away with Wingblade, and then took to the air. Dozens of Clawed Flames flew at Onatewka, who neutralized them all with Ice Blasts, and she hit him from behind with Corvus Dive but was then grabbed by Onatewka’s Claw. Tahra was about to try to blast her way free, but Onatewka hit her away with a Power Punch and chased after her, deflecting a Clawed Flame before using another punch to finish Corvus.“Hm, not bad…” Tahra said, drawing her next Orb and spinning it on top of her finger. “Still, I think I’ve seen what I need to see.”She grasped the Orb, held it out, and said, “This is the last Spirit I need in order to beat you. Fusion, Brutal Blitzer!”Tahra became covered in orange armor and received a black helmet, and the Orb turned into a massive, decorated sword. Lifting the sword with one hand, Tahra motioned for Onatewka to attack, and the Stone-Lord readied his shield and moved in. Onatewka shot a few Ice Blasts as a distraction, which Tahra easily dodged, and then he threw a Power Punch, but Tahra used Jecht Block, waving her hand and summoning a shield of fire to protect her. Before Onatewka could retreat, beams of light shot out of Tahra’s eyes and hit him dead-on, and then Tahra used Jecht Rush to dash up and deliver a quick series of kicks, punches, and slashes. Tahra raised her sword after the attack, but Onatewka ducked under the swing and drove both fists into her torso, using the force of a Heavy Slam to send her crashing through the ceiling.“Large swords leave large openings,” Onatewka said.Tahra’s laugh could be heard, and then she dropped back through the ceiling, landed on her feet, and held her arms up. An enormous boulder fell next, landing perfectly in Tahra’s arms, and then she grinned and leapt up.“Ultimate Jecht Shot!” Tahra said, hurling the rock and flattening her foe.Tahra landed, planted her sword, and rotated her arm, saying, “Still think the system can be improved? Choose wisely.”The rock burst apart in a purple flash and Onatewka rocketed out, and both fighters swung at the same time, Onatewka with Claw and Tahra with Triumphant Grasp. The clash kicked up some dust, but when it cleared, it showed Tahra holding Onatewka by the neck with her head leaned back in recoil. Tahra grinned and threw Onatewka, picking up her sword afterward, and raced after her foe, who focused Heavy Slam into one palm and hit her as soon as she was close enough.Destructive shockwaves came out from the attack, but Tahra held her ground, saying, “Large punches also leave large openings!”Her sword blazed to life, and then she swung it in a furious combo that slashed the fusion armor right off of Onatewka. Tahra thrust her sword far enough into the ground that she could put one foot up on its guard, and then she leaned over and smiled at Onatewka.“I think you owe me an Ultima-Orb, old man,” Tahra said. “Unless you think only men should have that too.”Spirits Used:#3. Pohatu#1. Tahu#1371. Jack Corvus#1169. Evo 2.0#1375. Brutal BlitzerReview in Genakex's Journal
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#8 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted May 17 2012 - 12:23 PM

Chapter 7: Warring MountainsOnatewka stomped on the ground and used his power over stone to repair the Battlefield. The children stood on the side of the arena behind him—Tahra was examining her Stone Ultima-Orb with a slight smirk, and Genakex was excitedly talking about the battle while Xyla rolled her eyes.Kytan stood off to the side, thinking, Onatewka underestimated Tahra. He probably won’t make that mistake again…Suddenly Onatewka stepped towards the kids, asking, “Why haven’t you spoken up yet? I seem to recall you love talking about yourself.”Titan’s laugh echoed for a few seconds, and then another translucent image of him appeared. He replied, “I just wanted to see how long it would take you to notice…besides, it’s not as though we’ve been properly introduced. I suppose you heard about me from either Vitirus or Ponetu? Even I admit that those two were powerful…are you as well?”Onatewka clenched his teeth, growling, “Using a child as the Titan Va…that is unheard of!”“Trust me, Stone-Lord, I am as thrilled as you are,” Titan said. “I seriously doubt that a child can wield my power…but I do wish to see what they are capable of before deciding which one is to be my Champion.”“Is that a challenge?” Onatewka asked.Titan turned his head to Genakex, ordering, “You. Use my gauntlet to fuse with me, and then we will get this ‘Ultima-Orb’ you so desire.”“You…you’d really be willing to help me out?” Genakex asked.“Hah!” Titan laughed. “I have no wish to help you, boy. I merely wish to test your limits, as well as those of this new Stone-Lord. Now, proceed.”Genakex thought for a second, but then he shrugged and said, “Alright. Hey, Xyla, can I have the gauntlet please?”“No way!!” Xyla shouted. Genakex instantly recoiled. “Did you forget that Titan is trying to take over the world?!”“It’s just one Orb Battle…” Genakex mumbled.“Don’t stand in my way, little girl,” Titan threatened.Tahra glared fiercely at Titan, prompting Kytan to break in, “Ah…now’s not a great time to get into this…”“…Please give him the gauntlet,” Onatewka said. Xyla looked at him like he way crazy. “Both Stone-Lords before me dueled with the King of Pahrak. I shall do it as well.”“Ugh, you even tied that tradition garbage to this?” Tahra said.Xyla sighed, pulled the gauntlet out of her pack, and tossed it to Genakex. “Fine. Whatever happens, I’m not responsible for it.”Genakex slipped on the gauntlet and said, “This’ll be awesome!”He and Onatewka entered the arena, and Tahra looked to Kytan and asked, “So…think your brother can handle this?”“Mm…I don’t know enough about Titan to be sure,” Kytan answered. Despite what he said, the look on his face gave a good idea of just what he was thinking.Onatewka fused with Pohatu and crossed his arms, and then Genakex raised his gauntleted fist and said, “Fusion, Exo-Pahrak Kal Titan!”When nothing happened, Titan said, “You need a specific phrase in order to activate the fusion. If you’d been a bit more patient, I would have told you before you made a fool of yourself.”Genakex gave an embarrassed chuckle as Titan explained the phrase to him. Ready to try again, he announced, “King of the Mountains, grant me your limitless strength! Exo-Pahrak Kal Titan!”The emblem on the gauntlet lit up and a green Krana appeared on Genakex’s face as armor extended out from the glove. A black and brown helmet covered his head, a black plate of armor with a silver Pahrak shield appeared on his chest, and his left arm became a double-barreled cannon. Thick, brown and gray armor covered Genakex’s entire body, and though he could tell how durable it was, it didn’t feel heavy at all.As Genakex stood admiring the armor, Titan said, “I know my power is impressive, but do focus on the battle.”Onatewka activated his Kakama and rushed in, but Genakex punched the Stone-Lord and sent him reeling—something that took them both by surprise. Genakex looked at his fist and said, “Wow… didn’t know I could do that!”“You can’t,” Titan said. “But I can, even in this pitifully weakened state. By fusing with me, you get some of my skills, instincts, and reflexes. Enjoy them while they last.”“Okay!” Genakex said, raising his cannon arm.When Genakex triggered the Sterling Silver Cannon attack, the lower barrel of the gun fired a large sphere of intense white light. Onatewka ran to avoid the attack and tried launching a stone blast, but before he had the opportunity, Genakex used Vacuum Strangle. Super strong air currents pulled the Stone-Lord right into Genakex’s right hand, stunning him long enough for Genakex to headbutt his foe in the face. Onatewka was a bit disoriented by the attack, but he was still able to free himself and kick Genakex into the ceiling.If only I didn’t have to hold back… Onatewka lamented.Genakex used Hover to stay aloft on his way back down, and he aimed his cannon arm at Onatewka, firing a wave of plasma from the upper barrel. Onatewka dodged and fired two blasts from his palms, but Genakex created an energy barrier with Silver Shield and called a Rockslide down on his foe. Genakex saw Onatewka moving in to use Body Slam as he landed, so he used his own Body Slam to cancel out the attack. Normally it would have taken him a bit to recover, but with Titan’s power, he was soon able to repel Onatewka with a blast from the Sterling Silver Cannon.“This is incredible…” Genakex muttered.“Indeed,” Titan proudly said. “At least you can appreciate true power.”Onatewka shot a volley of Boulder Blasts, which Genakex was able to easily weave through, but it proved distracting enough for Onatewka to deliver a punch. However, Genakex recovered from the attack very quickly, and he returned the favor with a punch that finished off Pohatu.From the sidelines, Tahra begrudgingly commented, “I still hate this Titan guy, but…he’s good, no doubt. Might be useful if we keep him around.”“Useful how?” Xyla asked.“Shadow Consortium activity has skyrocketed over the last year,” Kytan said. “Admittedly…a King Bohrok would probably be good for fighting them off.”Xyla was surprised by the mention of the Consortium. True, it was the largest and most powerful criminal organization in history, but she didn’t see how it was relevant to their quest.“Why would an inter-island crime organization attack us?” Xyla asked.“They’re getting more…chaotic,” Kytan said. “They’ve already attacked a fair number of travelers. Besides, if we DO keep Titan, they’d have all the more incentive…”“I guess you’d call it a double-edged sword,” Tahra said. “Although, swords are easier to get along with.”Onatewka fused with Evo, and Genakex held his hand out and said, “Vacuum Metal Saber!”Several clouds of silver particles streamed from Genakex’s shoulders and back, and wind currents kicked up and pulled all of the particles into his hand. The clouds fused together and changed shape and color, forming a massive, three-pronged blade weapon with black plating on it for decoration.Genakex pulled the weapon back, not at all hindered by its size, and activated Hover to lift into the air. Onatewka activated Extreme Power, creating his aura of light once more, and he ran right into battle. When Genakex swung the blade, Onatewka jumped over it and used Heavy Slam, kicking Genakex into the ground with both feet. Onatewka was about to follow-up, but Genakex swung the sword again, this time swatting Onatewka like he was nothing more than a fly.“You need to refine your skill,” Titan said. “Even I know that raw strength requires some skill to use effectively. Don’t they teach you novices anything?”“…Nobody’s perfect,” Genakex mumbled.Onatewka hit Genakex with an Ice Blast while he was distracted, but Titan’s instincts allowed him to immediately counter with a Plasma Blast. Genakex quickly tried to land a shot with the Sterling Silver Cannon, but Onatewka dodged and moved in to use another Heavy Slam. When he came close, however, Genakex’s helmet split into several plates that pulled back in different direction, exposing his Krana to the outside world. By the time Onatewka realized what was happening, the Krana flew out and attached itself to his face, bringing him to a complete stop.“Huh…well done,” Titan said. It was clear how surprised he was that Genakex was able to make the attack connect. “Now command him to stand still so that we can finish this.”“Well…that doesn’t really seem fair,” Genakex replied.“…What?” Titan asked. “You used a technique for mind control, and it worked. It is entirely fair to use this opportunity to its fullest.”Genakex thought for a few seconds before giving the command. However, rather than obeying Titan’s orders, he decided to say, “Don’t attack until the Krana wears off.”“That’s too specific!” Titan yelled. “Now he’s free to dodge!”Onatewka immediately leapt away, and Genakex replied, “That’s the idea.”Genakex flew out and swung the Vacuum Metal Saber, an attack that Onatewka jumped over once again, but Genakex used a quick spin to bring the sword around again and make it connect to the target. As Genakex took off after Onatewka again, Titan berated, “You incompetent…! Why did you waste that opportunity?!”“I didn’t waste it,” Genakex said, unleashing a volley of Stone and Plasma Blasts.Onatewka dodged every projectile, but Genakex dashed out and was instantly right above the Stone-Lord, Saber held high. With a shout, Genakex used Kal Crush, slamming the weapon down and unleashing an enormous splash of energy, destroying both Evo’s armor and the Saber itself.Genakex took a deep breath, stood tall, and smiled. “See? I still got the job done.”Spirits Used:#3. Pohatu#920. Exo-Pahrak Kal Titan#1169. Evo 2.0Review in Genakex's Journal.
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#9 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted May 23 2012 - 11:07 AM

Chapter 8: Emergence of ShadowsXyla snatched the gauntlet from Genakex and said, “What kind of moron willingly joins up with something bent on world domination?!”“What kind of fool doesn’t make the most of every opportunity?” Titan asked. “Disobey me again and I’ll smite you!”Genakex seemed to withdraw and gave no response. Kytan spoke up, “Come on, no harm was done. Xyla, it was just one brief battle, nothing serious. Titan, sir, I understand your thoughts on the matter, but I believe Genakex was merely trying to search out alternatives…perhaps something not as easy, so he had a better chance to prove his skill.”Xyla and Titan both grumbled, and Tahra thought, Seems like he’s used to coming to his brother’s rescue. Guess I’m not the only one who’s an unlikely caretaker.Onatewka cleared his throat to get their attention. “I can fight one more of you today. Who—“Suddenly the doors slammed open, and a single, enraged figure stormed in. His eyes settled on Genakex, and he said, “Here you are.”“D…Dad?!” Genakex said, instantly overcome with fear. “I-I…uh…”Khazror slowly walked towards Genakex, saying, “How DARE you disobey me like this? Haven’t you learned ANYTHING?!”“Dad…” Kytan started.“Stay out of this, Kytan!” Khazror shouted. “You’ll be punished for this too. For now…Genakex. We’re going home.”“But…” Genakex said.“NOW, Genakex,” Khazror ordered, heading back towards the door.All was silent for a second, but then Genakex clenched his fists, looked up, and said, “N…no.”Khazror stopped, looked over his shoulder, and asked, “What?”“Y…you said you wanted me to prove that I’m responsible,” Genakex said. “I c-can’t do that at home…b-b-but…THIS is what I’m good at! I…if I can travel across the islands…complete a quest…isn’t that responsibility? I want to prove it to you…but I think this is the only way I can.”After a lone, tense silence, Khazror said, “You really think you’re that good at fighting?”He turned to face Genakex. “Fine. Prove it. If you can beat me, you can finish your quest.”Shocked, Kytan said, “Um…Dad, I don’t—“Khazror silenced Kytan with a fierce look. Genakex said, “…O…okay…I’ll do it.”Tahra turned to Onatewka and said, “You must have tons to say about this.”Onatewka thought for a few seconds, and then he muttered, “You may use the arena.”Khazror crossed the arena and drew an Orb. Genakex started to move, but Xyla stopped him. “You can’t seriously do this,” Xyla said. “There’s no way you can win.”“Thanks for the vote of confidence,” Genakex chuckled. “…Sorry to get you all wrapped up in family troubles. Guess it’s my own fault, heheh…”He stepped into the arena and fused with Zadakh, and Khazror raised his Orb and said, “Fusion, Vegeta.”The Orb exploded into an aura of energy that surrounded Khazror, and he was instantly covered in blue and white armor with a black Kanohi Miru Nuva. Genakex raised his staffs and got ready, but Khazror shot out in a flash and sent him sprawling with a Kick. Kytan jumped when the attack landed, and Tahra looked away from the battle for a second to see if Kytan’s reaction would get worse. It didn’t, so she looked back to see Genakex stand up and launch a Kanoka. Khazror punched the disk apart, opened his palm, and launched a Big Bang energy sphere that exploded on contact with Genakex. After catching his breath, Genakex jumped up and began rapidly using Quadro Stomp, but Khazror dodged each kick and eventually punched Genakex into the ceiling. Khazror prepared to fire another Big Bang, but a Kanoka flew down at him, making him dodge. When he looked back up, however, Genakex was right in front of him and landed a Speed Slash.“Yes!” Kytan quietly exclaimed.Tahra smiled and said, “What’s that? I couldn’t hear you.”Kytan seemed embarrassed. “I just…he’s my brother.”Khazror’s eyes flared with anger, and Genakex tried following with Staff of Suggestion, but Khazror dodged and used a Kick to send Genakex across the arena. To the surprise of the spectators, Khazror activated Super Saiyan, making his mask turn gold and his aura to take on a similar color, and then he threw a Big Bang that nearly finished off Genakex.“Looks like your brother’s in trouble,” Tahra commented.Kytan gave no response—he just stood there with an incredibly nervous look. Tahra went on, “Well, it’s not really my place, so feel free to shut me up, but, ah…the way I see it? Your dad is gonna be made at you either way, but only one of two options involves keeping your brother around.”Titan grumbled, “I don’t understand humans. I thought your ‘families’ protected their own?”The remark wasn’t directed at anyone in particular, but it did cause Xyla to cast her gaze towards the ground. Mostly to herself, she mumbled, “Family doesn’t always mean a whole lot.”Khazror held up his hand and created another Big Bang; Genakex was in too much pain to stand up. The boy closed his eyes and thought, Well…I tried…Khazror fired the attack, but there was a blur of movement that shot right into its path. When the smoke cleared, Genakex found himself still in fusion. Standing in front of him was Kytan in fusion with King Mathias, holding his lion-faced shield between himself and Khazror.Genakex looked up and said, “What…niisan?”“Don’t give up, Genakex,” Kytan said. “Never give up!”Khazror clenched his fist and gritted his teeth. The rage he exuded was almost tangible as he said, “Kytan…what is the meaning of this?!”Kytan took a deep breath. “Mom told me a long time ago that I needed to take care of my brother, no matter what. Genakex just wants to prove himself to you, but nothing else has worked, so he feels like this is the only way. I’m going to make sure he gets that chance!”Khazror pulled his arms back and began charging energy between his palms. Kytan readied his shield again, and Genakex stood up and said, “Thanks, niisan.”Onatewka was having a difficult time not commenting on the events unfolding in his arena. He could grudgingly understand the reasoning behind it, but there was still the principle of tradition nagging him throughout the entire battle. Still, he had more important things to worry about, which he realized when someone appeared behind him and swung a scythe at his neck.The scythe made contact, but rather than slicing off the Stone-Lord’s head it just remained pressed against his skin. A patch of armor had appeared to save Onatewka’s life, and it now spread to cover his whole body in yellow and gunmetal armor, with a yellow helmet, a white Hero Core, and heavy gunmetal plating over his entire right arm.“Nice try,” Onatewka said, not turning his head, “but I have plenty of experience.”The assassin removed the scythe and backed off, and Onatewka turned around to examine his attacker. It was a young woman with thin white body armor covered by a white robe of sorts, and she had a pale purple helmet and a blank stare in her eyes. The scythe she carried had a very large, very sharp black and red blade, but she seemed to carry it with ease.Onatewka was quickly able to identify the Spirit. “That’s a Shearer of Memories. You were sent by the Shadow Consortium, right?”“…My mission is to assassinate the Stone-Lord,” Shearer said. Her voice was quiet, devoid of all emotion.“I’d say you failed.”“I could not surprise you…but I can still fight.”Flames of energy rose up around Shearer, forming a transparent aura. The term for this luminescence is “Chikara,” and it is the sign that a fighter has activated something known as Perfect Fusion. Being a very difficult, very dangerous technique, Perfect Fusion is not common knowledge among Bioni-Lords, but those who are aware of it can use it to fight on an entirely new level. Once a Bioni-Lord enters Perfect Fusion, he or she can ignore the limits of Fusion Energy and damage values—the strength of his or her attacks, as well as the amount of punishment he or she can endure, is turned into a function of willpower alone. The more determined you are, the more powerful you are—the more defiant you are, the longer you can stay in the fight. However, due to the enhanced strain it puts on the body, it is not something to be taken lightly.A Chikara enveloped Onatewka as well, and then he used Focus to become even stronger, causing both his Core and his Chikara to turn purple in color. He looked over his shoulder at Khazror and the children, saying, “You should get out of here.”“Wh…what’s going on?” Genakex asked.Khazror aimed at Shearer and prepared to fire a Galick Gun energy beam, but before he could do so a smaller beam shot out of nowhere and knocked him back, making him lose the energy charge. A chilling voice called out, “I think you should listen to the Stone-Lord.”Out of the shadows stepped a short man in sleek white armor, with a tail and purple gems on his chest, shoulders, forearms, shins, and head. With a cold smile, he half-bowed and greeted, “Hello, maggots…I am Frieza. Regrettably, this is to be a duel between the Stone-Lord and my associate, so I’m afraid you are in the way. If you could vacate the Battlefield, we would be most appreciative.”“And if we refuse?” Tahra asked.Frieza’s grin widened, giving him a very sadistic air. Several more figures stepped out of the shadows: a squad of mean fused with Iron Condor Spirits, all glaring fixatedly at the ‘unnecessary’ combatants.“Oh dear…seems I wasn’t quite clear in my demands,” Frieza said. “You see, I’m not giving you a choice in this matter. Well, that’s not entirely accurate I suppose—I would recommend leaving, but if you so desire, my underlings and I would be more than happy to slaughter you all.”“Just go,” Onatewka said. “I’ve gotten out of worse situations than this, believe me.”Reluctantly, Khazror and the kids left the Battlefield one-by-one. The Iron Condors melted back into the shadows as if they had never been there at all. Frieza crossed his arms, floated off to the side, and said, “Much better. Now, I believe you have some unfinished business, yes? Pay no attention to me, I’ll just play the spectator.”Shearer readied her scythe, and Onatewka just stood and waited.Spirits Used:#80. Zadakh#1281. Vegeta#1316. King Mathias#1380. Shearer of Memories#1384. Evo 4.0#1291. Frieza#1409. Iron CondorReview in Genakex's Journal
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#10 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted May 25 2012 - 06:18 PM

Chapter 9: Mountain CleaverShearer thrust the base of her scythe towards Onatewka, who dodged and threw a punch. The assassin vanished in an instant, and when she reappeared she was right behind Onatewka. The Stone-Lord ducked under a scythe swing and kicked the weapon into the air, but Shearer teleported up, caught the weapon, and swung, tearing a purple-black scar in the air that unleashed countless waves of energy. Onatewka was able to dodge the Rift Wave and threw a set of Hero Cuffs into the air, and though they clamped around Shearer’s wrists, she broke them effortlessly.He should pay more attention to his opponent’s effect, Frieza thought. Honestly, as if we’d really send someone vulnerable to paralysis to fight the Stone-Lord…Shearer teleported to the other side of the arena and used Spiritual Serpents, sending out massive snakes made of white energy. Onatewka punched the ground and lowered his section of the arena enough to avoid being frozen, although a layer of frost settled on his helmet and shoulders. Shaking it off, the Stone-Lord touched the rock in front of him and used Swamp of Stone, making boulders and vines erupt all over the arena. Shearer maneuvered around the outcroppings, but Onatewka fired his Plasma Shooter and sent her crashing into the wall.“Some assassin,” Onatewka said. “Leave now, or else I’ll cause you real harm.”“Failure is not an option,” Shearer said in her empty tone.She pulled herself out of the wall, seeing that Onatewka was getting ready to fire a Tank Cannon. Shearer quickly teleported behind Onatewka, but the Stone-Lord spun around, punched Shearer, and released the Cannon on contact, launching a massive energy boulder that pushed its target through the air for a few feet. Shearer was able to regain her bearings eventually, but it gave Onatewka an opportunity to activate a special technique.“Second of the Four Forbidden Stones: Mountain Hammer!” Onatewka shouted.A large hammer of solid rock appeared in his hand, and when he struck the ground with it, a miniature mountain rose up beneath Shearer and struck the ceiling. Forbidden Attacks are just as dangerous as Perfect Fusion, and, as is clear by their name, are forbidden unless one is deemed capable of using them properly. These attacks are some of the most powerful, destructive moves known to all Bioni-Lords, but in battles involving Perfect Fusion, they’re quite common to see.Oh, already using Forbidden Attacks, Frieza noticed. That could be a good sign…Shearer teleported out of the mountain’s way and tried using Memory Scythe, intending to make Onatewka forget about his Tank Cannon, but the Stone-Lord stunned her with a clean blow from the hammer. He used a Body Slam to send her flying again and fired his Plasma Shooter, landing another hit, and when Shearer recovered from this attack she remained perfectly still for some time. Soon, however, dark energy began to radiate from her, and her mouth curled into a smile. When she looked up at Onatewka, he saw that her eyes had been replaced by a pitch blackness that pierced the depths of his soul.As the Hollowfication technique took effect, Shearer said, “It’s not an option…I WILL kill you, Stone-Lord! The cost is too great if I don’t!”Onatewka noticed that her voice had changed—it had taken on a crazed tone that was as unsettling as her eyes, and it sounded almost as if she was laughing. The next thing he knew, Shearer was right in front of him. Onatewka was surprised, but he was still able to dodge Scythe Pole Storm, a series of rapid thrusts of the handle of Shearer’s scythe. He dodged a scythe swing afterwards, but Shearer swung all the way around and hit him with a second strike. Onatewka stumbled and Shearer threw her scythe, cutting him again, and then the weapon returned to her grasp of its own will so that she could unleash a Rift Wave. Acting quickly, Onatewka was able to raise a mountain to block the wave, and he took a second to catch his breath before punching the mountain.“First of the Four Forbidden Stones: Arm of Stone!” he shouted. The mountain shattered, and some of the fragments fell on his left arm and fused together, forming a shell of rock that, in a way, looked similar to the armor coating his right arm.Shearer used Scythe Pole Storm and the Arm of Stone widened instantly to shield Onatewka, an act it followed by growing spikes that knocked Shearer back. The Arm of Stone returned to normal and Onatewka was able to throw a punch, but Shearer teleported above him and threw her scythe. The Stone-Lord blocked, but this was a distraction—Shearer teleported to the ground and kicked his legs out from under him, and then jumped up, grabbed her scythe, and used a close-range Rift Wave. Onatewka extended his Arm of Stone to strike Shearer with the Mountain Hammer, and then he got to his feet and paused.“Getting tired?” Shearer taunted. “Aw, don’t worry…soon you’ll sleep for eternity!”Onatewka considered his options, beginning with the other two Forbidden Attacks he knew. Coyote Howl won’t work because of her effect, and calling up a B.C. Army would take too much time. I could try bringing the Battlefield down on top of her, but she’d just teleport out of the way. Still, that probably would get rid of this Frieza character.He cast a glance towards Frieza. But what would that accomplish? It’s not like I have any reason to believe he’s a real threat.“You know,” Frieza spoke up, “you really should keep an eye on the one who’s trying to kill you in the immediate.”Shearer was suddenly right in front of Onatewka, and he tried to defend himself but was cut by the scythe. Onatewka hit the ground hard, and Shearer gazed down at him, laughing crazily.“Just as dumb as the rocks you control,” Shearer said. “I’d tell you not to underestimate me, but you’ll be dead either way!”Shearer began using Rift Wave in rapid succession, pinning Onatewka beneath the destructive energy…until a rock shell formed around the Stone-Lord to protect him. Disappointed, Shearer went down and pulled back her scythe, but Onatewka crashed through the shell, punched her, and used his Tank Cannon to fling her into the wall again. Onatewka was the one to pin Shearer this time, firing a non-stop volley of Plasma Shots until a purple beam struck his arm and made him stop.Frieza, who looked to be pointing at Onatewka, said, “Ah-ah-ah, can’t have you putting your executioner out of commission. What would our employer think…”Onatewka tried to shoot Shearer again, but she teleported behind him and unleashed Spiritual Serpents, freezing the Stone-Lord solid. Shearer laughed and took full advantage of this opportunity, slashing Onatewka over and over and over again. Frieza just smiled and watched.The sounds of the fight could be heard outside the Battlefield, where Khazror and the children had remained to decide what to do. Khazror had insisted they let Onatewka handle things, but the longer they stood there, the more that idea seemed like a bad one.“Isn’t there someone we can contact to help him?” Xyla asked.“The Stone-Lord can handle himself,” Khazror said.There was a loud crash, followed by Onatewka yelling in pain. Tahra said, “I’m not so convinced. I’m heading in.”“You can’t go in there alone!” Khazror said.“I’ll go too,” Kytan said.“What?” Khazror said. “They’ll kill you! You don’t stand a chance against them!”“I’m going in,” Kytan said firmly. “You can wait here if you want, but—“Khazror hit Kytan, nearly knocking him over. “Watch your mouth! You’ll do as you’re told!”“I’ll do what’s right,” Kytan said, rubbing his jaw. “It Onatewka’s in trouble, I might be able to help him. Please, come with us. We really need your help.”Khazror glared at Kytan for a long, very silent time. Eventually, he simply said, “Fine.”Khazror fused with Vegeta and walked towards the Battlefield. Kytan said, “Genakex, you’re still worn out from the battle, so you should stay here. Xyla, you should stay to help him if anyone comes out here.”“Uh…alright,” Xyla said.Tahra fused with Brutal Blitzer, asking, “You ready?”Kytan fused with King Mathias once again, readying his sword and shield. After taking a deep breath he said, “Okay…let’s go.”Spirits Used:#1380. Shearer of Memories#1384. Evo 4.0#1291. FriezaReview in Genakex's Journal.
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#11 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jun 04 2012 - 12:26 PM

Chapter 10: Futile InterventionOnatewka, collapsed on the ground, reached for his Mountain Hammer, but Shearer kicked it away and knelt down, smirking arrogantly. “Is that REALLY the best you can do?” the assassin asked. “Ahahahahahahaha! How pitiful! If you’re the best this island has to offer, we’ll be running it by the end of the day.”“I…won’t let you win,” Onatewka declared through clenched teeth.Shearer readied her scythe, but then an energy sphere hit her back and exploded. The attack had no effect, but she still looked over her shoulder to see Khazror, in Super Saiyan form with a frustrated look on his face. The Iron Condors emerged from the shadows and moved to attack Khazror, but then Kytan appeared and used Royal Reign to make blades of light rain down from the ceiling, stopping the criminals. A few Condors recovered quickly, but Tahra hit them with Jecht Beam to keep them in place.“What are you doing here?!” Onatewka shouted.“Indeed,” Frieza said, seeming mildly displeased. “Surely you don’t expect you can help the Stone-Lord.”“I guess we’ll just have to see!” Khazror shouted, firing a Galick Gun at Frieza.When the energy beam died down, Khazror expected to see Frieza badly damaged…but instead, he saw that Frieza has created a Barrier of blue energy around himself. Frieza smiled and said, “Well…I am getting a tad bit bored just sitting here watching, so I suppose I can knock you around for a bit. Not that it’ll be that exciting…I doubt I’ll need much more than a third of my power to eliminate the likes of you.”Angered, Khazror activated Super Saiyan 2, causing electricity to crackle outward from his body, and he dashed in and began rapidly punching and kicking at Frieza, who easily dodged each attack.The Iron Condors were recovering now, but Shearer held up a hand and said, “I think I’ll take care of them. The Stone-Lord doesn’t have a whole lot of fight left in him.”Tahra leapt up to punch the ceiling and Kytan charged his blade with energy, and Tahra came back to the ground as Kytan used Heaven’s Blade, swinging his sword and using light energy to make it grow ten times larger. A boulder fell onto Tahra’s shoulders and she used Ultimate Jecht Shot to throw it, intending to strike before Shearer could recover, but they soon saw that neither attack had any effect. Shearer smirked, and Tahra gave an irritated sigh and turned to Kytan.“…Not even a scratch…” Kytan mumbled. “How…is that…possible…?”Tahra snapped her fingers in Kytan’s face, saying, “Oi! You’re not giving up on me, are you?”“Uh…no,” Kytan said.Shearer teleported in front of them and bent over to look them in the eye. “Heh…is that all?”Kytan used Brilliance, causing intense light to radiate from his body and blind Shearer. Shearer put her hands over her eyes and stumbled back, allowing Tahra to move in and use a Jecht Blade combo. However, this attack also went unnoticed, and Shearer knocked Tahra into the wall. Kytan was stunned. Shearer glared at him, stepped forward, and raised her scythe.“Your fight is with me!” Onatewka said as he appeared above Shearer.The Stone-Lord extended and expanded the Arm of Stone, driving Shearer into the floor, and then he looked at Kytan and said, “Go help Tahra! And don’t try to interfere with my fight again!”Through all of this, Frieza had continued to dodge each and every one of Khazror’s attacks. Khazror clenched his fists in rage, and Frieza crossed his arms and chuckled. “Hmhmhmhmhmhmhm! My, your perseverance is astounding. I’d say that Spirit suits you quite well, although I should remind you that our Spirits have fought before. Remember who won?”“SILENCE!!” Khazror bellowed. Energy began to build up around him.“Ooh, are you doing what I think you’re doing?” Frieza asked, unfolding his arms. “I suppose your advanced transformation is about to wipe out your energy anyway.”Khazror put his hands out, a yellow orb of energy appearing between them. He braced himself, glared right at Frieza, and shouted, “FINAL…FLAAAAAAAASH!!”An enormous beam of energy surged forward and tore a gaping hole in the wall, and when it finally ended, Khazror collapsed and de-fused. He looked up as the smoke cleared…and rage contorted his features. Frieza stood there, Barrier up, and looked down on Khazror, exuding a sense of sheer arrogance.“Hmhmhm…” Frieza chuckled, lowering the shield. “I think we’re done here. Excellent attempt, though—I definitely give you an ‘A’ for effort.”Tahra was back on her feet now, but the Iron Condors were moving in to surround her and Kytan. “Ah great,” Tahra muttered. “I hate it when they don’t play fair…huh?”She saw something on the ground—Onatewka’s Mountain Hammer—and picked it up, prompting the Condors to back away. Tahra noticed this, looking from the weapon to her enemies and back again, and then she held it higher. The Condors retreated further.With a devious smile, Tahra took a battle stance and said, “Hey Kytan…I think their guard is down.”Kytan used a circular swing of Heaven’s Blade to knock down all of the Condors, and then he handed an Elixir to Tahra. She refused the healing item, saying, “Nah, won’t do much good. Taking a hit from someone in Perfect Fusion leaves you with just 1 FE.”“Perfect Fusion…?” Kytan repeated.“Oh, you don’t know about that?” Tahra said. “Ah well, I’ll explain later.”Meanwhile, Onatewka and Shearer continued to trade blows, although Onatewka was starting to land more hits now. “Seems your will to fight is back,” Shearer said. “Guess all you needed was an audience!”Onatewka used his Arm of Stone to flatten Shearer against the wall, and then he turned to Tahra and shouted, Give me the hammer!”Tahra tossed the hammer and Onatewka caught it, moved up to Shearer, and smashed it into her. Shearer coughed up blood and tried to retaliate, but Onatewka Body Slammed her through the wall and then aimed his blaster at Frieza. Before he could fire, however, Shearer a Rift Wave came at him and knocked him back, and then Shearer got in front of him and swung her scythe.Khazror reached for another Orb, but Frieza used Death Beam to destroy the Orb and said, “Oh no, you had your chance. Now you pay the price for you foolishness.”Frieza pointed at Khazror, clearly intending to use another Death Beam, and his target could do nothing to stop him. Onatewka tried to help, but Shearer got in his way and used a Rift Wave to keep him back.“Dad!” Kytan shouted, moving to help.Tahra was right behind him, but the Condors flew in and stopped them, cutting off Khazror from all help. Purple light shone from Frieza’s finger as he began to attack…but then a Plasma Blast hit him in the head, making him recoil.“Wha…who DARES?!” Frieza snapped, looking in the direction the attack had come from. His eyes widened when he saw Genakex, in Fusion with Titan, pointing his gun arm forward.Is that…what I think it is? Frieza thought.“I’ll give you one warning,” Genakex said, his eyes burning with determination. “Leave my dad alone.”Spirits Used:#1375. Brutal Blitzer#1380. Shearer of Memories#1384. Evo 4.0#1291. Frieza#1361. King Mathias#1281. Vegeta#1409. Iron Condor#920. Exo-Pahrak Kal TitanReview in Genakex's Journal
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#12 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jun 05 2012 - 10:10 AM

Chapter 11: Futile InterventionKytan used his shield to knock a Condor away with a loud clang. Looking up at Genakex, he thought, What is he doing?! If the Consortium finds out that’s the real Titan, they’ll never leave us alone!“GOSH I hope he thought this through,” Tahra said. “Where’s Xyla anyway?”A Condor flew at them, but a Throwing Blade hit him in the back and stunned him. Xyla, in the lime armor of Breez 2.0, rammed into him to send the blade deeper into his armor.“I know!” Xyla said. “You know how he is! How was I supposed to stop him?!”As the three of them battled the flock of Condors, Frieza had recovered from the shock of being attacked, and he looked at Genakex with a gaze that almost seemed interested…but not quite. “Ah, an Exo-Pahrak Kal Titan,” Frieza identified. “That’s quite a rare Spirit. But a Spirit alone does not make a warrior.”Genakex gave no response, his eyes boring into Frieza. The villain soon said, “Oh, yes, I nearly forgot.”He looked down at Khazror and said, “You’re in the way. I’ll be gracious and let you leave.”Khazror scowled ferociously, and Genakex said, “Dad, I can handle this.”“If even I can’t defeat him, what can you do?” Khazror grumbled. Genakex gave no response. Khazror mumbled something under his breath, but he slowly walked away.“There,” Frieza said. “I trust you have no more complaints?”“None,” Genakex said.Frieza used Death Beam, but Genakex turned into nothing more than a blur—ducking, dashing, forming the Vacuum Metal Saber, and slashing Frieza’s chest to stun him before swinging his arm and sending out a Plasma Wave. Genakex tried aiming his Sterling Silver Cannon, but Frieza spun around in a flash, smacking his tail into Genakex and stunning him, and then he reached out with his mind and used Telekinesis to lift Genakex into the air. He prepared another Death Beam, but Genakex shouted and broke free of the psychic attack, causing Frieza to pause. Genakex felt exhausted for a moment, but it passed very quickly, and he was soon able to lift the Vacuum Metal Saber high again.Remarkable… Frieza thought.Genakex shot a volley of Stone Blasts as he moved back in, Frieza effortlessly countering each one with Death Beam, and Genakex was about to use Kal Crush when he noticed the Frieza had been charging a Death Ball. The pink sphere of energy now grew large enough to engulf Genakex, and it shot forward the instant Frieza pointed. Genakex had no choice but to raise a Silver Shield, and Frieza formed his Barrier and used Nova Strike. The charging tackle didn’t pierce the shield, but it did get Frieza very close for when the wall went down. He extended two fingers and made a downward slashing motion with his arm. Acting on instinct—both his and Titan’s—Genakex leapt to the side and felt air rush past him, the wake of the massive energy blade used for the Fissure Slice attack. True to its name, the technique had torn a massive gash in the floor of the Battlefield, but Genakex had no time to marvel before Frieza created two razor-sharp disks of purple energy in his hands.This attack has Sanok properties, Titan silently warned. Prepare to block.Genakex dug his feet into the ground as Frieza threw the disks, and just as they homed in on him, he gave a mighty swing of his blade to shatter them into particles. The attack left him open, however, and Genakex soon found a spherical barrier enveloping him.“Try breaking out of that,” Frieza taunted, preparing another Fissure Slice.With a confident chuckle, Genakex looked to his Saber, the top half of which began to spin rapidly and emit a distinct whirring sound. Genakex used the Drilling Strike to stab the Imprison Barrier, causing shards to explode outward as if it were a snow globe dropped against the ground. Frieza was stunned, but he recovered in time to dodge the Sterling Silver Cannon, and he immediately began devising a new strategy.Across the Battlefield, Onatewka reformed his Arm of Stone to block a Rift Wave, and then he used his Plasma Shooter to launch one shot that pierced the dark energy and struck Shearer head-on. A mountain rose up beneath Shearer, snagging her robe and pinning her to the ceiling, and then Onatewka flew up and smashed the Mountain Hammer into Shearer’s ribs. A crystal clear crunching sound could be heard.“I’ll give you one last chance to leave here alive,” Onatewka offered. His voice and gaze were both unwavering.Shearer managed to chuckled, though it quickly turned into a cough that expelled small amounts of blood. “You don’t get it,” she whispered. Onatewka could barely hear her. “In the Consortium, failure and death are one in the same. From the moment I received this mission, I knew it was kill or be killed…even if not by your hand.”Onatewka grunted and clenched his fist, willing stone bindings to grow out of the mountain and constrict tightly around Shearer. She loosed a brief yell of pain, and her scythe slipped from her grasp, bounced against the mountain a few times on its way down, and then landed in such a way that its blade slid into the ground with a muted noise.It was then sent flying into the wall by a stray Plasma Blast, the result of Frieza dodging another of Genakex’s attacks. As the villain continued his evasive action, he (rather frantically) wondered, How can this be? A mere child—a Level 2 child—commanding this much power! I will not stand for this humiliation!Frieza posed as if he were about to shoot a Death Beam, making Genakex shift to a defensive stance, but then he leapt back in the direction of the Condors and quietly said something. One of the Condors heard him issue the hushed order, and so the minion spun and launched a Magnetic Missile, catching Genakex by surprise. The projectile connected and electricity sprang up around his joints, locking them in place, and Frieza took advantage of this to hit Genakex with a Fissure Slice.As the blade ripped across Genakex’s body, his mind was overwhelmed by the excruciating, searing pain. If he wasn’t locked in place, the attack would have brought him to his knees. The agony was so mind-numbing that he couldn’t even scream, although he thought he sensed Titan trying to tell him something. He couldn’t make it out.“Shadow attacks are quite effective against Steel types, remember?” Frieza said, a wide grin on his face. “I certainly don’t like your odds—still paralyzed when one more Fissure Slice can finish you off.”Genakex regained enough clarity to make sense of his situation, and he struggled as hard as he could to move but could not break out of the paralysis. Frieza raised his arm and laughed, and Genakex closed his eyes and prepared for the worst…when a voice told Frieza to stop.It was a deep voice, clearly male, although there was something about it that seemed similar to Frieza’s in a way. Genakex opened his eyes to see someone new standing behind Frieza: someone tall with lime and black armor, two beetle-like wings on his back, and strange lime horn-like extensions on his head. The stranger’s form was muscular but not bulky, and the black parts of his armor were so polished that Genakex could see vague reflections in them. What struck Genakex most, though, was the stranger’s face—not for its pale gray color, but for how…inhuman it looked. If Genakex didn’t know any better, he would’ve thought this newcomer was a Bioni-Spirit with no human user, but he discarded that impossible idea.Frieza, clearly annoyed, didn’t even bother to look over his shoulder. “What do you want, Cell? Can’t you see I’m busy?”“I do,” Cell said. “But I also see something you don’t seem to realize. We are in the presence of royalty.”Cell took a few steps forward, paused, and then knelt—his wings opened a bit to avoid touching the ground. “It is truly an honor, King of Pahrak. I beg you to forgive my colleague for not recognizing you.” His tone was sincere, although for some reason Genakex felt that this sincerity was out of place for this ‘Cell’ character.“We’ve seen Exo-Pahrak Kal Titans before,” Frieza said. “You’ve never stopped me before.”Drat…this is why I’ve been keeping quiet, Titan said, his words heard only by Genakex.Frieza’s face then changed to one of mild surprise. “Wait…so then…this is the real one? You’re sure?”Cell looked up at Genakex with admiration and excitement. “Completely. This is a TRUE King Bohrok that stands before us!”He then stood, closed his eyes, and, in a less sincere (though more fitting) tone, added, “Well, bound to some pitiful human, at least. Not that I question your wisdom, Your Majesty.”“In that case, we should capture him,” Frieza said. “We’d get quite the reward for bringing in something so legendary.”Cell opened his eyes and frowned. “Regrettably, I’m afraid we can’t do that. I was given very specific orders to retrieve the survivors, nothing more.”“Survivors?” Frieza repeated, turning to survey the Battlefield. It was then that he realized just how badly his forces were doing: Shearer was too weak to move, and Kytan, Tahra, and Xyla had defeated a large number of Iron Condors—even more now that Onatewka was free to join them.“…Orders are orders, I suppose,” Frieza mumbled.Onatewka approached Cell and said, “So they sent you to fight your way out of where the assassin failed. How strong are you, then?”Cell smiled, faced Onatewka, and raised his hands to the sides of his head. Then he used Solar Flare, filling the room with blinding light and incapacitating all of his foes. Onatewka felt plenty of movement around him and tried attacking, but he was out of luck. By the time he was able to see again, all of the Consortium agents had somehow vanished without a trace.The magnetic field binding Genakex faded and he knelt down, a surge of relief washing over him, but almost immediately, that relief was replaced with worry. The Shadow Consortium, the most powerful criminal organization in the world, knew where the King of Pahrak was…and Genakex had no idea what he was supposed to do about it.Spirits Used:#1166. Breez 2.0#920. Exo-Pahrak Kal Titan#1291. Frieza#1316. King Mathias#1384. Evo 4.0#1380. Shearer of Memories#1409. Iron Condor#1292. CellReview in Genakex's Journal.
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#13 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jun 06 2012 - 12:15 PM

Chapter 12: DownhillOnatewka deactivated his Forbidden Techniques, causing the Arm of Stone and the Mountain Hammer to both crumble to dust. Everyone had de-fused by now; Kytan, Tahra, and Xyla were fine, but Genakex had yet to recover from his battle. He sat on the ground, totally out of breath, his arms hanging limply at his sides.“Stupid,” Xyla said. “Why couldn’t you just stay out of it?”“If I had…Dad might…be hurt,” Genakex panted. “Titan…was sure…to be quiet…I don’t know…how Cell…found out…”Kytan looked to Khazror, who stood silently with his back to the children. The boy looked for a way to find out what his father was thinking, but he found nothing.“You kids should stay here tonight for your own safety,” Onatewka advised. “I’ll contact the other Element-Lords and explain the situation to them.”Onatewka headed for his office, and Tahra said, “Well, now we don’t need to hunt for a hotel. Oi, can you stand?”“Uh…no,” Genakex said. “Sorry.”“Xyla, you should help him,” Tahra said. “Consider it make-up for not keeping him outside.”Xyla muttered something under her breath as she started to help Genakex to his feet. Kytan took a few steps towards Khazror before the father turned and locked eyes with his eldest son. His gaze proved that he was dead serious.“Do whatever you want. But the two of you can either come home Level 14 or not come home at all.”With that, Khazror stalked out of the building. Once he was gone, Genakex said, “Sorry to drag you guys into family issues.”“…Your family isn’t the only one with problems,” Xyla quietly replied. Her eyes were trained on the floor.“Huh?” Genakex said. “You and your parents always seemed to get along real well…”“We do,” Xyla said. “It’s the rest of my family that’s the problem…a lot of Pahrops are real set in their ways. To them, a Pahrop using Air is a disgrace.”Genakex was struck by how…calmly Xyla said that. If he understood the full implications, he expected this to be something that would greatly bother her. It was strange that she didn’t seem to care.“…Your family can’t really think that just because of what Element you like to use,” Genakex said.“Sure they can,” Tahra commented. “Humans will take whatever excuse they can to separate themselves from other humans. It’s just as well; we couldn’t understand each other even if we wanted to, so why bother?”Genakex was stunned. Xyla silently helped him limp along towards the staircase.Tahra turned to Kytan and said, “Crazy day, huh?”“…Do you really believe that?” Kytan asked. “The things you told Xyla?”Tahra paused. “Well why would I say it if I didn’t mean it?”Kytan couldn’t really think of a response to that. Luckily (or perhaps not), Tahra had more to say: “Some people say that humans are social creatures, but they’re wrong. We only surround ourselves with other people if we have something to gain from it.”“…So what do you have to gain from travelling with us?”This time Tahra was the one who couldn’t think of a response.“I suppose it’s only natural you’d be cynical of human nature,” Kytan continued. “Your whole life, you’ve been surrounded by people who dismiss your greatest desire based solely on your gender. But I think you wanted to surround yourself with new faces in the hopes that they might prove you wrong.”There was another pause. Tahra half-smiled and turned around, chuckling, “That’s a wonderful theory you’ve got there…anyway, you’ve got your own problems. You shouldn’t waste your worry on mine.”Shearer knelt on the floor of a large, dark room. Next to her was Frieza, in the same position. Looming over them was a woman with long purple hair who wore a blood red suit, gloves of the same color, a tie the same color as her hair, and high heels. She turned to look at the two of them—her face was emotionless, and her left eye was covered by a black eyepatch.She mused, “So to recap…the Stone-Lord had time to fuse, and proceeded to beat you senseless…while YOU were too busy having your tail handed to you by a child.”For a second, there was only stillness and silence. Then a gunshot shook reality, and Shearer was on the floor, a pool of her own blood forming around her and creeping slowly towards Frieza. That was unsettling enough, but what really made Frieza nervous was the feel of a gun (one that was still smoking) being pressed against his forehead.He dared not breathe until a raspy voice called, “Meutrière! My soldier, my punishment.”A new being shuffled into the room: his body was covered in soot black armor, with armored boots that appeared rusty on the soles and rusted Kanohi Pakari on his knees. His shoulders were adorned with black Kanohi Avsa, with armored gloves that bore several small holes and needle-like claws, and it seemed like an elaborate system of very small tubes ran throughout his entire armor. Cylinders that glowed a sickly green could be seen on his chest, belt, and back, and he wore a rusted mask that wrapped around his head and had a scope over each eye, one of which was rusted shut. The other scope emanated the same sickly green glow as the cylinders, and two tubes snaked out of the back of the mask and into the armor covering the man’s back.The woman slowly removed her gun. “I know that. I just wanted to make him sweat is all. You may want to get your sense of humor looked at in your next check-up.”Meutrière wandered off, muttering something not worth repeating. Frieza stood up, turned to the newcomer, and bowed. “My apologies, Virulence, sir.”“Don’t fret too much,” Virulence said. “After all, you—“He suddenly began to cough violently, and he motioned for Frieza to follow as he left the room. The two of them traversed a short, featureless hallway and came out onto a catwalk in a large, gray-walled room. Below them was a small army engaged in training exercises, and at the end of the catwalk was a tall, wide pillar that reached all the way up and down the vast chamber. There were two other catwalks leading from the edge of the room up to a door on this pillar, and Cell waited before the doorway at the end of the catwalk Virulence walked down.Virulence’s coughing subsided just as Cell bowed, and all three of them advanced into the pillar, coming into a spacious command center lined with control panels and holographic screens, with a chrome floor centered on a high, circular table. There was one break in the rim of panels (aside from the three doorways), just large enough for one person to stand in. This space was currently occupied by a man even shorter than Frieza whose chest, arm, and head were covered in pink armor with an odd texture. White armor covered his legs, and this armor expanded in a way that resembled a baggy pair of pants. This man, despite standing up with no support, seemed to be asleep, and a series of thin tubes reached out from the wall and into his back. Every few seconds a flash of cyan-colored light would pulse down the tubes into the man’s back, from aside from this they were completely clear.“Buu’s still recharging, then?” Frieza asked. “Should we wake him up?”“No,” Virulence grunted, sinking into a large swivel chair. “I doubt he would understand. Now…”He paused to cough a few times, but then he pounded his chest and continued, “NOW…just so we have things straight…tell me exactly what you found.”“An unusually skilled child in possession of an Exo-Pahrak Kal Titan,” Frieza answered. “Cell believes it to be the true King of Pahrak.”“I know how to sense a sentient Spirit,” Cell said. “That Titan had a soul, and a powerful one. There is not a single doubt in my mind!”“Hrmph…” Virulence grunted. “You seem even more excited than usual.”Virulence tapped his claws against his armrest, producing a steady clicking sound. “…At this point, any doubt would be based on your ability, Cell, and Contrivance would let me have no ease if I suggested such a thing.”Stumbling slightly, Virulence got up out of his chair and gathered his bearings. “I suppose I have no choice, then. Wait here…I’m going to arrange a meeting with Garland.”Review in Genakex's Journal.
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#14 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jun 07 2012 - 11:38 AM

Chapter 13: SandstormOnatewka sat in his swivel chair, his elbows on the armrests and his hands on the bulky desk in front of him. The surface he tapped his fingers against was slightly cluttered with various papers he needed to go over, but of more importance right now was the black, box-shaped phone that sat on the corner of the desk. The phone was currently emitting a ringing sound, but eventually this ringing was replaced by the voice of Rahaga-Lord Norscu.“Alright, Onatewka, what is it?”“We should wait until the others pick up,” Onatewka said.“I used my override to cancel the conference,” Norscu replied. “Just tell me what it is.”“Norscu, this is serious!” Onatewka said, pounding his fist against the desk. “I’m insulted that it took this long for even a single Element-Lord to pick up!”“Ah…no offense, but you kind of abuse the conference call.”“I do not!”“Onatewka. You called a conference when that family restaurant turned into a chain.”“That was a serious break with tradition!”Onatewka paused and composed himself. “Anyway…I’m sorry you feel that way. Perhaps I should reassess whether or not I should tell you that a child on a quest right now is the Titan Va, and that the Shadow Consortium knows.”A few seconds passed before Norscu replied, “Continue.”Onatewka gave a brief summary of the events and described the group of children. He ended by saying, “You’ll recognize Tahra, of course, and you’ll probably be able to sense when Titan is nearby. I suppose you’ll have to tell the other Element-Lords since they won’t listen to me.”“I will,” Norscu said. “This is an odd situation…we can’t prevent them from going on their quest, but we need to make sure they’re safe…I’ll let you know once I decide.”“Please do,” Onatewka said.The call ended, and Onatewka sat back in his chair. “This whole thing is so untraditional…”Xyla quietly headed down the carved stone staircase, yawning as she reached the ground floor of the Battlefield. She was a bit surprised to see that the damage from yesterday’s incident had been completely repaired, so she walked over to one of the stone benches that had been destroyed. After kicking it to make sure it was stable, she set her pack down, and then she heard someone else descending the stairs.It turned out to be Genakex. She asked, “Feeling better?”“Still sore,” he replied. Still, he was smiling.As he came closer, Genakex held out Titan’s gauntlet and said, “I realized I forgot to give this back to you. Sorry.”Xyla took the glove and said, “It’s not really a big deal.”“Well…it’s an heirloom, right?”“Yeah, but I already established that I’m not doing very well with my family.”“…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…”“Don’t worry about it.”Xyla tucked the gauntlet away. Genakex commented, “You sound like you don’t really care…”“Maybe I don’t,” Xyla replied.“You know,” Titan spoke up, “if you were to show up on their doorstep with my gauntlet, their opinion of you would change greatly.”Xyla seemed to actually consider this for a moment. Genakex broke in, “He just wants to try you out as a Titan Va. Besides…you shouldn’t try to fall into their standards. If they’ve got a problem with you, then…it’s their problem.”He paused, then added, “I mean…”“I get it,” Xyla said, sitting down. “It’s a lovely sentiment. But how does this concern you, exactly?”“…I just…wanted to help,” Genakex said.“There’s nothing to help,” Xyla said. “Most Pahrops don’t like me, and I’m fine with that.”It was then that Onatewka entered the room. He spotted the children and said, “We can battle now, if you’re ready.”Xyla stood up and pulled an Orb out of her pack. As she walked into the arena, Onatewka fused with Pohatu, thinking, Green energy…an Air Spirit. So it’s one against my two…Xyla held up the Orb and a brief but intense storm whipped around her, creating the armor of Breez 2.0. Onatewka asked, “You’re a Pahrop, correct? Why not use a Stone Spirit?”“I’m a Pahrop who plans to become an Air specialist,” Xyla said with unmasked irritation. “I’m sure you have LOADS to say about that!”Onatewka let this sink in, giving Xyla enough time to spin into a blur and use Cycletack, ramming into the Stone-Lord and releasing a phantom-like image that continued to circle around Onatewka. The phantom would continue to circle its target and deal degenerative damage each turn—something Xyla was sure would secure her victory. Angry, but still off-guard, Onatewka threw a Power Punch, but Xyla twisted around the attack and slid into an Agility Slash, making a rapid series of flips and rolls while striking her foe whenever possible. The Stone-Lord appeared ready to make the same mistake, punching again, so Xyla began another Agility Slash, but Onatewka Body Slammed her and sent her flying. Xyla landed on her feet and slid back, seeing Onatewka activate his Kakama and rush at her. She avoided two Stone Stomps by executing a soaring leap and landing on the other side of the arena, and she also managed to dodge when Onatewka launched a Boulder Blast.“I see you strategy,” Onatewka said. “Throw me off and attack while I’m distracted. Now…why would you disregard tradition so severely?”“Just because your possessed by the spirits of tradition doesn’t mean the rest of us care about it,” Xyla replied.Onatewka’s eye twitched, and he fired a frenzy of Boulder Blasts. Xyla wove through the assault and remained in a defensive stance, since Onatewka was rushing in with his Kakama now. She dodged another Boulder Blast and sidestepped a Body Slam, and then she appeared to begin another Agility Slash but instead spun into a Cycletack, and while it didn’t add to the degeneration, it still did decent enough damage.“Besides, I’m pretty good with Air,” Xyla said. “I’m beating your Toa with a Technic Descendant, after all.”Onatewka punched the ground, releasing a shockwave that disrupted Xyla’s balance, and then rushed up and kicked her down, although she rolled out of the way of his follow-up punch.“You truly have no respect for your ancestors,” Onatewka said. There was thinly veiled disgust in his voice. “If the old Pahrops could see you now, they would be ashamed.”“Yeah, I tend to have that effect on people,” Xyla muttered.From the sidelines, Genakex thought, He…doesn’t really have the right to judge her. Maybe he is an Element-Lord, but Xyla’s allowed to have her own values…Onatewka activated his Kakama and Xyla prepared for him to charge, but instead he launched two Boulder Blasts. Xyla was surprised but managed to dodge, and when Onatewka did come in for a Body Slam, she narrowly avoided it and let the degeneration finish off Pohatu.Xyla smiled and twirled one of her weapons as Onatewka fused with Evo 2.0, and he activated Extreme Power as she moved in with Cycletack. Onatewka easily dodged the attack and smacked Xyla away with his Claw, and then he rotated his shield and prepared to fire an Ice Blast. Luckily Xyla was able to dodge, and she ran at Onatewka, activating Close Combat to cause faint light to radiate from her armor. Onatewka punched, trying to use Heavy Slam, but the large opening in the attack made it easy for Xyla to use Agility Slash. As she was retreating, Onatewka clipped her with his Claw, and though Close Combat helped her to cope with the damage, it didn’t help her land her next Cycletack. Xyla carefully dodged an Ice Blast and launched two bladed wheels from her weapons, but Onatewka ducked and used Heavy Slam to punch the floor with both fists, making it fragment into an uneven landscape. Still looking for a foothold, Xyla was unable to dodge the next Ice Blast, and she toppled over and bounced off a few rocks.“Without tradition, we are nothing,” Onatewka stated. “Tradition is what gives us stability and common ground. Those who disrespect tradition—turn their back on their family—deserve to be abandoned.”Xyla, at this point, was fully capable of standing up…but she didn’t. She just remained where she lay, wedged between two slabs of rock, and took in Onatewka’s words. She thought, …That’s how everyone feels, isn’t it…maybe it’s true.“No…you’re wrong!” Genakex shouted. “P…people are allowed to make their own decisions! Even if they conflict with the way other people think! Tradition…tradition is NOT absolute!”Xyla was surprised to hear Genakex weigh in. She crawled out of the rocks and looked at him curiously. Onatewka, addressing Genakex, said, “This does not concern you.”Genakex clenched his fists and said, “Well…what kind of Element-Lord bullies the kid challenging him over the Element she likes? If you ask me…YOU’RE being untraditional!”The words his Onatewka with the force of a Pakari Nuva, leaving him visibly stunned. Genakex (nervously) turned towards Xyla, and said, “You…you’re not doing anything wrong…so…don’t let other people give you a hard time.”Xyla did nothing at first. Then she turned away and mumbled, “You’re getting awfully involved in my problems…”She snapped her fingers and said, “Onatewka. I’ve got nothing against you, but I think you’re taking this too seriously.”Onatewka was still too stunned to reply, so Xyla narrowed her eyes and prepared to speak again. She was interrupted, however, when the eye openings in her mask flashed with white light. A message scrolled across Xyla’s field of vision, informing her that Breez 2.0 was ready to upgrade into Breez 4.0. Xyla smiled.“That’s a nice twist,” she said.A pulse of light started at her feet and gradually worked its way up, reformatting her armor and changing her weapons to a Plasma Shooter, double sword, and Hex Shield. The dark gray mask turned into a lime green helmet, and then she jumped up and activated the jet rockets on her legs to keep herself above the fragmented arena.She dashed through the air at Onatewka, spinning her sword into a blur and willing high-powered winds to wrap around it. When she was right in front of Onatewka, she used Fujita Blade, thrusting out her spinning blade and unleashing the winds in a devastating horizontal tornado.”“Oh yeah…I’m going to like using that one,” Xyla said as her sword slowed to a halt.The winds subsided once they slammed Onatewka into the wall, and then the Stone-Lord stood up, shook his head, and focused on Xyla. “…Sorry.”The Stone-Lord took aim with his ice blaster, but Xyla’s rockets allowed her to expertly avoid the shot while getting a bit closer. More shots were dodged, each one allowing Xyla to close more of the gap, and Onatewka moved in to Heavy Slam his shield into Xyla, who didn’t even dodge. As Onatewka felt his shield make contact, however, he felt a sword connect with him, and the Fujita Blade blew his armor away and left him defeated.Xyla de-fused and smiled, saying, “I think that ended well.”Spirits Used:#3. Pohatu#1166. Breez 2.0#1169. Evo 2.0#1383. Breez 4.0Review in Genakex's Journal
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#15 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jun 12 2012 - 11:07 AM

Chapter 14: Mountain of MossKytan came down the stairs just as Onatewka was using his power over Stone to fix the arena. As he approached Xyla and Genakex, he saw the former putting away a Stone Ultima-Orb. Kytan commented, “Guess I overslept. I was hoping to observe your battle.”“Thanks for the thought,” Xyla said. “Your turn.”Kytan turned towards the Stone-Lord, who was already fusing with Pohatu, and stepped into the arena. He drew two Orbs and activated Fusion, and then green flames engulfed him. When Kytan stepped out of the fire, he had a thin layer of lime armor all over his body with additional black, bulky armor on his chest. Red, clawed boots were on his feet and other bits of red decorated his torso and arms, and he wore a lime and red mask that looked like a cross between a frog and a lion. There were two small tanks on the back of Kytan’s shoulders, from which extended tubes that connected to his outer wrists, and when he opened his hands there were bursts of green fire from his palms.Toxic Reapa with a Fangs of Fire Parasite… Onatewka identified. The Parasite’s power-up negates Technic Descendant, and now that he’s part Fire he won’t be weak to Ice Blast when I start using Evo. He thought this through extremely well.Onatewka activated his Kakama and rushed in, but Kytan waited until just before he was about to attack and used EM Wave Pulse, hitting the Stone-Lord head-on with purple rings of energy. The confused Stone-Lord was unable to land a hit, so Kytan took the chance to use Tank Overflow, making sickly green fumes seep out of his tanks. Just when Onatewka was about to recover, Kytan used Flame Burner to knock him back with a tongue of green flames. Now burned and poisoned, Onatewka spun around in an attempt to kick Kytan’s feet out from under him, but Kytan jumped up, Claw Stomped Onatewka, and then bounced out of his immediate attack range.“Very clever…” Onatewka said. “You’re been paying close attention to my other battles.”“That’s the advantage of having a few travelling companions,” Kytan replied.Onatewka launched a Boulder Blast while Kytan was talking, hoping to catch him off-guard, but Kytan ducked just long enough to avoid it before standing back up. Realizing that Pohatu was about to go down, Onatewka activated his Kakama and charged, and when he came close he crouched and used a sliding Stone Stomp. Kytan jumped to avoid it, as expected, so Onatewka launched a Boulder Blast as he passed under Kytan, landing his first hit right before Onatewka’s armor burned up.When he landed, Kytan said, “Ow…nice move. I didn’t have time to react to both attacks.”As he got up, he continued, “But now that Technic Descendant won’t be in the way, I think we both need to be a little more careful.”Onatewka fused with Evo and powered up just as Kytan used Tank Overflow, and Onatewka launched several Ice Blasts as he advanced. Kytan carefully dodged each one, waiting for the right opportunity, and when Onatewka was close, the boy aimed low and prepared to fire. Onatewka jumped and tried to Heavy Slam Kytan from above, but green flames struck the ground and erupted into a massive Toxic Inferno, catching Onatewka off-guard.Kytan retreated a bit so that he would have time to react to Onatewka’s next attack, and Xyla said, “His battles are always so quick…”The flames died down and Onatewka was nowhere to be seen, leaving Kytan puzzled as he considered the possibilities. Suddenly, the ground beneath him tore open, and Onatewka grabbed him by the leg and used Heavy Slam to smash him into the ground. Kytan tried to get up, but Onatewka used his Claw to hurl Kytan across the arena, and the Stone-Lord shot an Ice Blast that was cancelled out by a Flame Burner. Onatewka rushed in and Kytan flipped back onto his feet, an Onatewka swung his Claw again, though this time Kytan used Brother Band to gain King Mathias’s lion-faced shield for defense. Kytan backed up, and though he had the opportunity to attack to Stone-Lord, he did not.I need to stay on the defensive, Kytan thought. He could still beat me. I need to stay cautious.“You’re mocking me,” Onatewka growled, lunging at Kytan.Keeping his Shield up, Kytan said, “No, I assure you that I’m not. I apologize for making you feel that way.”Onatewka distracted Kytan with an Ice Blast and then used his Claw to rip away Kytan’s shield, and though he was able to get in a Power Punch, Evo fell to the poison. Kytan de-fused, and the Stone-Lord (with a small hint of annoyance) handed him a bag of Widgets and a Stone Ultima-Orb.Just as Kytan was about to leave, Onatewka said, “Don’t go far. Once Tahra gets here I have something I need to discuss with all of you.”Xyla seemed curious and Genakex seemed nervous. Kytan said, “It has to do with the Shadow Consortium, right?”Onatewka nodded. A sound could be heard in the direction of the staircase, and everyone turned to see Tahra making her way down. She yawned, scratched her head, and said, “Are we done? Can we leave for Onu-Isle now?”“It seems unwise to let you continue your quest when the Shadow Consortium is likely making plans to target you again right now,” Onatewka said.Tahra paused a moment, then came closer. “What, you think you can stop us from going on our quest?”“Preposterous,” Titan scoffed. “As the King of Pahrak, I command you to let me proceed.”Xyla slapped the pack that held the gauntlet. “You’re the one that got us into this mess!”Onatewka replied, “I thought it best to stay put…Rahaga-Lord Norscu thinks otherwise. The four of you are under the official protection of the Element-Lords. You will be able to continue your quest, but we Element-Lords will escort you between islands in order to keep you safe.”“…So…you’re coming to Onu-Isle with us?” Tahra asked. She seemed less than thrilled. “That’s fantastic.”“I do not need your ‘protection’,” Titan called. “I am fully capable of fighting off any challenges!”Xyla hit the pack again. Onatewka said, “I am no happier about this than you, but I have my orders. We can leave whenever you are ready.”The children set about gathering their things. As he did so, Kytan thought, I can’t help but wonder…will the protection of the Element-Lords be enough?Virulence stood patiently before the massive iron door, upon which was engraved a red and black emblem that resembled a horned skull upon a stake with one scythe-like wing wrapping around the right side. It was an emblem that the Consortium’s new leader seemed fond of. With a creak, the door slowly swung open, and out stepped a large man in a white coat, a black top hat, small glasses, and a massive, haunting smile.“Garland will see ya now,” the man said. His voice was coarse and grating, though it seemed to have a bit of a chuckle to it.“Millennium Earl,” Virulence greeted, bowing.“Aw, there’s no need for that,” the Earl said as he ushered Virulence through the door. “I’m not the one in charge anymore, remember?”The room beyond was a vast chamber with gray stone walls and pillars to support the roof, and on Virulence’s far left and right were elevated segments of floor that sported various trophies and treasures. A strip of red carpet led from the door to the opposite end of the chamber, and all along it stood torches that served as the only source of light. At the far end was a large throne carved out of rock, with a high back that displayed the same emblem as the door, and in its seat sat Garland, Leader of the Shadow Consortium.Virulence shuffled to a halt a short distance from the throne and knelt. Garland said, “I trust this is important.”The deep, commanding voice made Virulence tremble. “Yes, sir. During the assassination attempt on Stone-Lord Onatewka, Frieza encountered--” he experienced a brief coughing fit—“encountered an Exo-Pahrak Kal Titan that gave him quite a bit of trouble. When Cell was sent to retrieve the forces, he sensed a soul within this Titan.”“…We know the location of the King of Pahrak?” Garland asked.“Cell believes so. I thought I should inform you at once.”The Earl spoke up, “A King Bohrok would fetch quite a hefty sum…”“What do we know about the Titan Va?” Garland asked.“According to my men…he was a boy,” Virulence said. “Most likely, one just starting his quest. The level of skill he displayed furthers the—“Virulence broke into another coughing fit. Garland said, “A mere child? In possession of a King Bohrok?”“At least he’ll be easy to track,” the Earl offered.“Hm…” Garland grumbled. “Get me more information. I want to know everything about this boy and those close to him.”Virulence nodded and made his way out of the chamber. As the door slammed shut, the Earl turned to Garland and laughed. “Kyeh heh heh…I can hear a plan forming in that armored skull. Aimin’ to see if you’ll have more luck huntin’ Kings?”“I am considering all possibilities,” Garland said, rapping his knuckled against the armrest of his throne. “The way should be clear once we know more. Until then, I would advise you to keep this quiet.”A servant came in through a side passage, and Garland gestured to a plate of food that sat on a small table next to the throne. The servant picked up a piece of chicken and took a bite. Seconds later, he dropped it, grabbed his throat, and fell to his knees. The Earl began laughing hysterically as the servant began to foam at the mouth, and soon the poor man’s eyes rolled back into his head and he collapsed.“I see you’ve been pruning our shipments again,” Garland said to the Earl. “Soon you will begin costing us profits.”“Lighten up!” the Earl said. “It’s not like I’m the largest drain on our resources.”Garland grumbled and waved his hand, prompting the Earl to leave. His chuckle echoed down the hall continuously.Spirits Used:#3. Pohatu#1389. Toxic Reapa#417. Fangs of Fire#1169. Evo 2.0Review in Genakex's Journal
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#16 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jun 14 2012 - 11:53 AM

Chapter 15: The Tunnel’s MawA man walked down the massive stone bridge and came to a halt right in front of Onu-Isle. This man was fairly muscular and had an impatient scowl upon his face, an expression that leaked into his bright red eyes and made them look almost menacing. His closely-cut hair was also a bright red and seemed a tad bit chaotic, as if it were a sea of flames that rose into waves at random across its expanse. Around his body he wore a thin orange cloak, and judging by its appearance, it had clearly been worn for a very, very long time.In front of the man was a gaping, oval-shaped entrance to a tunnel that gently sloped down into the island, and above and to the sides of this opening was a massive electric fence. Beyond the fence could be seen the lush green surface of Onu-Isle, home to a thick carpet of vegetation that had been virtually untouched for ages, above which rose various localized clusters of trees.“If you knew I was coming, you could’ve made it easier for me to get in,” the man said. His crackling voice smoldered with frustration.After taking another look and judging the distance, he took several steps back, and then he broke into a run and leapt into the air. His trajectory wasn’t capable of carrying him over the fence, but twin jets of flame spewed from his feet and launched him much higher, allowing him to just barely glide over the top of the fence. The flames immediately died out and he dropped to the ground, landing on a small bundle of ferns and uttering a hushed curse.If he bugs me for crushing these clumps of moss, I’m going to give him a piece of my mind, the man thought.He picked himself up and began wading through the botanic ocean. Soon (though not as soon as he would have liked) he crossed a line of trees and spotted a small hut made of earth that rose up into a large hemisphere, with a few circular windows and a fairly small wooden door. With a sigh to celebrate finally reaching his destination, he walked up and furiously knocked on the door.“Gravon, open up! It’s me!”A few seconds later the door swung open, revealing a hunchbacked, bald man with gray-black robes and a sturdy walking stick in his right hand. With a calm tone, he said, “There is no need to yell, Tahace, but I thank you for coming. Please, this way.”Gravon stepped aside and Tahace entered the hut, removing his cloak and unveiling his red pants and orange chain mail shirt. He tossed the garment on a coatrack and sat down at a small table—aside from this piece of furniture, there was a straw mat that served as a bed, a fire pit in one side of the wall, and a small number of crates on the floor.Tahace leaned back and crossed his arms. “It’s rare for you to contact anyone. I’m worried.”Gravon walked over to the table and eased into a chair. “Well…there are a number of omens coinciding, and I thought you might find it exciting to investigate them.”Tahace’s eyes narrowed as he grumbled, “So you want to ‘hire’ me?”“No no, I merely wish to suggest a path to your directionless wandering,” Gravon said. “Whether you follow it or not is your decision. I only thought you were running out of ideas, as you were the first of us to retire.”“From what I hear, you weren’t far behind,” Tahace said. “Hmph…I don’t see why so many of the Originals are still serving. There are others ready to be Element-Lords.”There was a pause, and then Tahace said, “Well? Are you going to tell me?”Gravon smiled and said, “I figured you would be in a hurry, so I wrote it down.”He withdrew a large yellow envelope from his robes and handed it to Tahace, continuing, “I believe the Shadow Consortium is of the most immediate concern. They have an awful lot of control over our society—more than any criminal organization ever had before.”“That’s the concern of the active Element-Lords,” Tahace said, not bothering to open the envelope yet. “I’m retired.”“Yes…but at least one Consortium operative is working outside the jurisdiction of active Element-Lords,” Gravon replied. “He is travelling all over the Lost Continent in a quite erratic pattern. I think he may be searching for something, and if he is, I doubt we want him to find it. Of course, there is not enough evidence for the matter to be pressing enough that active Element-Lords postpone their duties to intercept this agent.”“I seriously doubt anything will ever be that important,” Tahace said. “Still…might be worth fighting this guy. I am getting a little bored.”“Just make sure to be careful,” Gravon said. “I wouldn’t want you getting killed, old friend.”Tahace let out a short laugh. “Please. As if anyone could kill an Original Element-Lord.”Kytan looked down at the map of the tunnels he held in his hand, and then back up at the two branching tunnels in front of them. The maze of passages running through Onu-Isle was not extraordinarily complex, but it was still not all that uncommon to lose your way. Each tunnel was wide enough for about a Toa team’s worth of people to walk through side-by-side, and lightstones were placed evenly all down their length to ensure that the light never went below a point where surface-dwellers could see easily.“It’s the right tunnel,” Onatewka said.“Why isn’t ‘patience is a virtue’ part of your ‘tradition’?” Tahra asked.As the group advanced, Kytan reflected on their brief travels with the Stone-Lord. Onatewka hadn’t said much during the journey, but what he did saw usually prompted Tahra to make a comment. Still, all things considered…the trip hadn’t been as bad as it could have been. Honestly, the most frustrating part was the curiosity of other Bioni-Lords when they saw the Stone-Lord escorting a group of children, an issue which could not be fully addressed since the purpose of the arrangement was meant to be kept a secret. Kytan was just happy that they had not encountered the Shadow Consortium—a mildly tense atmosphere was a small price to pay for such a blessing.At long last, the party reached the cavern that housed Onu-Isle’s city: a massive, dome-shaped chamber with numerous lightstones dotting the ceiling that shone brightly above the orderly arranged buildings. All of the buildings were, obviously, made of earth, with a few so tall that they went straight into and melded with the ceiling, forming pillars that likely helped to support the wait of the earthen roof.“Alright, this is as far as I go,” Onatewka said, turning around. “Be careful.”The Stone-Lord departed. Tahra sighed as if she hadn’t taken a complete breath during the whole trip. “Glad that’s over with. Now we can get to the Battlefield in peace.”“Actually, I was hoping to stop by the Orb Center first, if that’s alright,” Genakex broke in. “I’ve been saving up my Widgets to order a special Orb, and I finally have enough, so—““There!” Titan suddenly exclaimed, making the kids jump. “I knew it! Come, we must head east!”“What now?” Xyla grumbled over her shoulder.“There is another King Bohrok on this island,” Titan said. “He’s close…I can sense it. I must challenge him to a battle of Kings and claim my first victory of this war!”“A battle between King Bohrok…” Genakex mumbled, looking off into space. His eyes lit up. “That sounds awesome!”Xyla put a hand to her forehead. “Unbelievable. We don’t have time for this! We need to meet with the Earth-Lord, especially before we do anything that would attract unwanted attention!”“Must I remind you that I can easily overpower those simple bandits?” Titan said.“Well, I’m going to the Battlefield,” Tahra said.“I think I’ll go with you,” Kytan said. “I want to analyze the Earth-Lord’s strategy as soon as possible.”“Okay, I’ll fight this King and go to the Orb enter, and then I’ll catch up with you guys,” Genakex said.“You won’t stand a chance!” Xyla snapped.“If you’re so worried, come with us,” Titan said. “Otherwise, leave us.”“Oh I’m coming alright,” Xyla grumbled. “Someone has to keep an eye on you two.”Xyla and Genakex headed east, as Titan had instructed. Tahra asked, “Sure it’s a good idea to let them go off like that? The Consortium could attack them…or Xyla could attack Genakex.”“Ah…I’m sure they’ll be fine,” Kytan said. He didn’t sound convinced.He’s still rattled, Tahra observed. Guess it’s only to be expected when you get disowned.She started down the street, but soon realized Kytan wasn’t following. She tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Oi, c’mon. Second-guessing is a waste of time.”Reluctantly, Kytan followed Tahra down the street. When they were about half-way to the Battlefield, however, a voice called, “Kytan! Hey!”Kytan turned to see Hutanik approaching, and he greeted, “Oh, hello. Good to see you again.”“Likewise,” Hutanik said. “I see you’ve met Tahra.”“Oh…you know each other?” Kytan asked.“Nah, she doesn’t know me, but I am from Ta-Isle,” Hutanik answered.“I’m the daughter of a Fire-Lord, remember?” Tahra explained. “I’m kinda famous back home.”“That’s one way of putting it,” Hutanik chuckled. “So you finally left. Glad Takama’s doing better. You’re going to have a tough time fighting Onupara with Fire Spirits.”“I’ll manage,” Tahra said. “He’s probably still using some version of Whenua, right?”“Yep,” Hutanik replied, “but I don’t want to spoil anything else. I’d wish you luck, but I’m not sure either of you need it. Good seeing you, but I gotta get moving.”Hutanik departed in a hurry. Tahra asked, “So who was that anyway?”“A Bioni-Lord I fought on Ta-Isle,” Kytan said.“Did you win?” Tahra asked.“Well…yes,” Kytan responded. “But I don’t see—“ Tahra was already walking again, so Kytan stopped, scratched his head, and continued to follow her.Meanwhile, Hutanik arrived at the tunnel that led to the bridge connected to Ko-Isle. He sighed, “Hm…coulda been a close call. Guess it really is a small world.”Review in Genakex's Journal.
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#17 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jun 18 2012 - 02:38 PM

Chapter 16: Dark TunnelsSituated right in the center of the main cavern was a building with the same dome shape, and above its door was a horizontal black line with four dots beneath it in a wave-like pattern. When Kytan and Tahra entered they found only a small room with a mechanical lift, which they took down until it reached another door. Once that door was open, the two children could see the Battlefield’s familiar arena, with lightstones in the walls and two people in the ring.One was an older, short man with black hair who wore all black clothes—Onupara, the Fourth Earth-Lord. The other was a boy who looked about 18, and he wore storm-gray cargo pants, a cloud-gray short sleeved T-shirt, a black hooded jacket, and black hiking boots.The Earth-Lord drew an Orb and spoke: “Very well, Phaenyx, I will accept your challenge. Fusion, Toa Onepu.”The Orb split and formed two silver gauntlets with ussal claw designs, and then several plates of metal slid out from them, forming a round barrier that completely enveloped the Earth-Lord. When the shell receded, Onupara was wearing purple and black armor with a Toa Mata style design, and a purple Kanohi Pakari covered his face.’Phaenyx smiled and said, “Oh yeah, this shouldn’t take long. Fusion, Davaka!”An Orb slid out of Phaenyx’s pack, over his shoulder, down his arm, and into the air, where it vanished in a burst of Shadow energy. Pitch-black armor layered itself upon Phaenyx’s body, creating a sturdy barrier, and then a horned helmet of the same color covered his head.Phaenyx coated his fist in darkness and ran at Onupara, delivering a Dark Punch, but the blow hardly phased the Earth-Lord. Onupara swiftly dealt a Seismic Stomp, sending the challenger flying, and he said, “Your Spirit isn’t old enough. Toa Onepu takes less damage from any Spirit younger than the Toa Mata.”“Ooh, a challenge!” Phaenyx said. He landed expertly. “I love a challenge.”Onupara swung his arms toward each other and two rows of stalagmites rose up on either side of Phaenyx, trying to catch him in a pincer move, but he leapt out of their range and launched a Shadow Blast at the Earth-Lord. Another barrier wrapped around Onupara, but the instant it retracted, a Shadow Ball hit him and temporarily blinded him. Onupara decided to activate his Pakari rather than attack, but Phaenyx grabbed him and used Into the Soul to steal the newly created attack power. The maneuver also left the Earth-Lord paralyzed, so Phaenyx followed with Dark Rage—a furious storm of punched packed with Shadow energy.“Not as challenging as I was expecting,” Phaenyx said as he backed away.Stalagmites rose up and caught him, and Onupara said, “Taunt all you like.”“Gee thanks, I think I will,” Phaenyx said.Phaenyx broke free of the stalagmites and avoided the new ones coming at him, and as he did so he launched a Shadow Blast. Onupara ducked and used Earthquake to rattle Phaenyx, but when he moved in to attack with his Ussal Gauntlets, Phaenyx was able to twist out of the way and counter with a quick Dark Punch. Right after the attack connected, Phaenyx opened his hand and launched a Shadow Ball from his palm, flinging Onupara away. He launched another Shadow Ball, but Onupara was ready and summoned his Ussal Shell to protect himself. Phaenyx tried to land a hit when the shell retracted, but he had no luck.“Did you think I would not learn from my mistake?” Onupara asked.“It was more of a ‘I bet I’m still quicker than this guy’ thing,” Phaenyx answered. “So…touché!”Phaenyx charged in and saw a Stalagmite Pincer preparing to attack him, so he used Dark Rage to plow though the attack and threw a Shadow Ball. Onupara minimized the amount of movement used to dodge so that he could use Earthquake before Phaenyx was ready, making the challenger stumble, and then he jumped at the boy and used a Seismic Stomp to send him sprawling. Phaenyx mumbled something as Onupara closed in, and he leapt up to use a Dark Punch but Onupara nullified it with his own punch. The two of them continued trying to overpower each other, until eventually Onupara used a Stalagmite Pincer; Phaenyx leapt off the ground, flipped over Onupara, and let the Earth-Lord’s now unopposed force carry him into his own attack.“That wasn’t so bad,” Phaenyx said as Onupara’s armor melted. “So? Who’s next?”Onupara drew another Orb. “You shouldn’t be so cocky. You have less than half of your FE left, and this Spirit is at least as strong as my last one. Fusion, Toa Whenua.”The Orb transformed into a sphere of dirt, and this sphere quickly dissolved into a stream of earth that swept over Onupara, covering his body and soon transmuting into fusion armor. Onupara moved in and thrust out one of his drills, an attack Phaenyx easily avoided, but then he used his Ruru to shine a beam of light in the boy’s face, making him stumble. With this opportunity, the Earth-Lord Archived Into the Soul and used it on Phaenyx, and the resulting paralysis left Phaenyx open to a powered up Earthquake.“…This is less than ideal…” Phaenyx murmured.“You can always withdraw,” Onupara said.“WITHDRAW?!” Phaenyx repeated. His voice was full of shock and disgust. “NEVER! The Ahkotsku family fights to the very end!”The Earth-Lord used his drills to Tunnel underground and pop up beneath Phaenyx, but the challenger narrowly sidestepped and flew into a Dark Rage, pummeling Onupara back before he leapt across the arena. Phaenyx shot a volley of Shadow Blasts and Onupara used Tunnel to avoid them, and Phaenyx was again able to dodge the attack although Onupara avoided his counter. Onupara attacked with his drills and Phaenyx dodged, but before the Earth-Lord could use his mask, Phaenyx punched him in the face and unleashed a Shadow Ball, once again putting some space between the two of them.Prefer the offensive, but at this point I’ve got no room for mistakes… Phaenyx reminded himself.Onupara shook the arena with an Earthquake, but Phaenyx leapt off the ground and created a Shadow Ball in the air, which he nimble landed on and held his balance.“Wow, it worked,” he said to himself.The maneuver surprised Onupara as well, so when Phaenyx jumped off and kicked the sphere towards him, he was not prepared to block. Phaenyx ran in, eager to finish the match, when he saw Onupara preparing to use his Ruru, so he stopped and raised a wall of Shadow energy. The Kanohi’s power was more than enough to pierce the wall, but Phaenyx was not waiting behind it. Onupara was still processing this when Phaenyx lunged at him from above, and though he was able to hit Phaenyx with a drill, it was not enough to stop his foe from delivering a Dark Punch that knocked Onupara out of fusion.“What a fight!” Phaenyx said. “Let’s battle again!”“Not now,” Onupara said. He gave Phaenyx the rewards for winning the match, and then he walked over to Kytan and Tahra. “Hello, Tahra. I’m glad to see you got here safely.”“Nice to see you too,” Tahra said.“I suppose this is one of your companions?” Onupara asked, turning to Kytan. “Weren’t there supposed to be two more?”“They, uh…they were sidetracked,” Kytan replied.Onupara paused. “I understand that this arrangement is still new to you all. From now on, however, please don’t go anywhere before checking in with the Element-Lords. And where’s Onatewka? He should have brought you here…”“Wait, what’s going on?” Phaenyx asked.“Doesn’t concern you,” Tahra said.“But I’m intrigued!” Phaenyx said. “Come on, just tell me what’s going on!”Tahra did her best to deter Phaenyx (with no concrete results), meanwhile Kytan began to wonder how things were going for Xyla and Genakex…Titan had led Genakex and Xyla to the easternmost edge of the cavern, up to a large, gray-walled building with a sign that read “The Lucky Ghekula” in bright yellow letters. “In there,” Titan said. “That’s where he’s hiding.”“Too bad,” Xyla said. “There’s no way a couple of twelve-year-olds are getting into a casino.”“I will force my way through,” Titan said. “That will draw out the King.”“That’s a terrible idea!” Xyla said.“Why don’t we just sneak in?” Genakex suggested.Xyla glared at Genakex, making him recoil. Titan said, “Hm…I suppose that would give us the element of surprise. Alright, we shall sneak in.”Genakex smiled and went over to the wall of the cavern, and soon Xyla followed with an aura of anger. The two of them stuck to the wall and were able to get behind the casino without being noticed, and then they waited until a worker went in through the back door. Genakex dashed in and wedged a foot in the door to stop it from closing; he then peered in to make sure the coast was clear, and then slipped inside.When Xyla caught up, she asked, “Have you done this before…?”“Long story,” Genakex replied.The hallway they found themselves in was bare and gray, but soon they found their way into the game room—a colossal circular area with fine red carpet, numerous lights and signs on the walls, and an incalculable amount of slot machines, card tables, and roulette tables that flooded the floor and left little to no standing room, especially when coupled with the unending crowd. On the ceiling above was an image of three slot reels, each of which displayed a Ghekula. At one side of the room was a bar with a big digital clock above it, and at the other end was a short but wide hall that led to the lobby and entrance.“Nice place,” Genakex commented. “Which way to the King Bohrok?”“Closer to the lobby,” Titan replied. “But stay on this side of the room!”Genakex ducked behind some slot machines and made his way through the room, soon spotting a black door with gold decorations. As quickly as possible, Genakex wove through the crowd, and when he reached the door he tested the handle and found it was unlocked. Xyla caught up and was about to say something, but Genakex opened the door and went through, leaving her little choice but to follow.The room beyond was of a reasonable size, with brown carpet and walls of a similar but lighter shade. Various exotic plants and fancy, expensive-looking shelves lined the walls. On the far side was an elegant wooden desk, before which were two small but comfortable chairs, and behind the desk was a high-backed, black leather swivel chair that was facing the wall.“Here you are!” Titan called. His gauntlet, which Genakex was currently wearing, lit up, and a transparent image of Titan appeared in the air before the children. “I, Exo-Pahrak Kal Titan, challenge you to a battle of Kings!”There was a sigh, and someone said, “I was hoping to have more time…”The chair spun around, revealing its occupant: a young man who gave a look not of disinterest, but something more akin to a calm awareness. He had black hair that was slicked back, and he wore a suit that those older than Genakex and Xyla might realize was quite expensive. The man seemed to be in his twenties, but at the same time he had the air of a much older man—although Xyla dismissed this as an effect of her worry at just being there.The man leaned forward, resting his hands on the desk, and said, “I am Valxan, owner of this casino chain. I am also the Voyager Va.”Valxan drew a die from his inner coat pocket and casually rolled it across the desk, and the small cube came to a stop with the side denoting ‘one’ facing Genakex and Xyla. Rather than one dot, however, that side of the die displayed the King Bohrok emblem: a tall silver crown with the Bohrok symbol at the center. A translucent image appeared before the children, showing a blue being that seemed like an Exo-Toa with the head of a Bohrok, a black visor, a triangle of three stars on the Bohrok faceplate, and three chakrams wrapped around each arm.“I am Exo-Gahlok Kal Voyager, King of Gahlok,” the image said. Its voice was even calmer than the voice of Valxan, and carried with it a weight that, while difficult to describe, seemed to convey a sense of wisdom. The tone, also, sounded like that of an elder, one who had lived through much and also learned very much. “Hello, Titan…a pleasure, as always.”Titan growled, “Voyager…I should’ve known. This is just my luck.”“This is gonna be awesome!” Genakex said, preparing to fuse.“My apologies, young one, but there will be no battle,” Voyager said. “Titan, I respectfully decline your challenge.”“I thought as much,” Titan grumbled. “Your cowardice never ceases to disappoint me.”“Wait…no battle?” Genakex asked. “I thought all King Bohrok were supposed to hate each other…”“I am unlike the other Kings,” Voyager chuckled. “True, I have the souls of the Bahrag, and I established a kingdom in the past, but I journeyed through many other dimensions before reaching this one. In my travels, I gained much wisdom, and I have now outgrown my desire to conquer. However, he who cast the Royal Curse was not aware of this…”Valxan stood up and said, “My father won Voyager’s die in this casino several decades ago. I’ve been holding onto it as a keepsake, and when Voyager emerged, he explained the Curse to me. As his Va Champion, I will support his decision to avoid the war as much as possible.”“At least someone besides me thinks this whole thing is insane,” Xyla said. She sighed with relief. “I’m very sorry we snuck in, Valxan, sir—Genakex is hopeless, and I couldn’t just let him go off on his own.”“That’s quite alright,” Valxan said with a smile. “I’ll see you both out and we can forget this ever happened.”The images of the Kings disappeared, and Valxan tucked Voyager’s die into his pocket. Genakex mumbled, “I was hoping for a battle of Kings…”Xyla glared at Genakex, silencing him, and then Valxan led them out to the lobby. When they got there, however, a look of nervousness crossed Valxan’s face. It lasted only a second—his calmness returned as he ushered the children out, and then he turned around and took a deep breath.Waiting nearby was a man with black pants and an open black coat, his face somewhat hidden beneath his black hat and sunglasses. He had a very large belt, brown shoes, and a long blond ponytail flowing behind him.The man smiled and adjusted his fingerless red gloves. “You don’t look too happy to see me. And I went through all the trouble of arranging an appointment…”“My apologies, but I can only be so enthusiastic about entertaining the Shadow Consortium,” Valxan grimly replied. “This way, sir.”“Sir?” the man laughed. “Come on, why so formal? Just call me Gambler.”Spirits Used:#534. Davaka#1453. Toa Onepu#24. Toa WhenuaReview in Genakex's Journal.
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#18 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jun 28 2012 - 12:58 PM

Chapter 17: Slash and BurnGambler followed Valxan back to his office and took a seat, commenting, “It’s even nicer than I was told. Seems you’re quite lucky indeed.”“I don’t mean to be rude, but could it be possible for us to skip to the point?” Valxan asked.“Your casino, your rules,” Gambler said. He began to casually flip a coin, over and over. “Well, I’m a pretty high-ranking member of the Consortium—Head of the Gambling and Smuggling Division. There are plenty of casinos under my control, but my boss wants more chips in the pile. Besides, you have a whole chain—almost every island has a Lucky Ghekula. You’re the jackpot on the reels, so to speak.”Valxan narrowed his eyes. “Are you saying you want to take over my casinos?”“‘Take over’ isn’t quite accurate,” Gambler replied. “Of course, I could buy it from you, but I was thinking we could be business partners. You’d still be in charge, but I’d conduct some of my own business on the property. Little things—trade-offs at the bar, casino chips with bank codes on them, a few goods tucked into the payout bins…things like that.”“I refuse,” Valxan steadily informed. “I want no part in Consortium dealings, even through indirect means.”Gambler caught his coin and paused. A few seconds later, he slipped the coin into his pocket and leaned back. “I see…tell me, Valxan, have you heard of one of our operatives who goes by the name of Buu?”“…I have heard of him, yes.”“What have you heard?”“That he is a mindless, destructive entity who leaves nothing standing in his wake.”“Pretty accurate. Buu’s practically a force of nature…and he’s getting a little bored. Can you imagine what he could do to this big chamber here? I bet he could bring the whole island down on top of you.”Valxan said nothing in reply. Gambler stood up and added, “I’ll be back tomorrow to see if you change your mind. Remember, Valxan: the house always wins. And considering the amount of control the Consortium has over the world, I’d say your luck has run out.”“So you guys are under Element-Lord protection?” Phaenyx asked. “Why’s that?”“It does not concern you,” Onupara said firmly.“Well if I join their group it will!” Phaenyx said.“Why would you want to join us?” Kytan asked.“Because if the Element-Lords need to protect you, then you must be the center of action!” Phaenyx replied. “It sounds exciting!”“…Right,” Tahra said. She turned to Onupara. “So can I fight you now?”“…Very well,” Onupara said. “I suppose that if you feel your companions will be safe on their own, that will have to be good enough for me.”Onupara went back to the arena and fused with Toa Onepu again, and Tahra eagerly followed and fused with a Nuhrii. Instantly, Tahra held her hand out and used Mask Control, making Onupara’s Pakari crack and turn gray, but Onupara had expected this and used the opportunity to catch his foe in a Stalagmite Pincer. The arena began to shake, and Tahra took the hit from Earthquake in order to strike Onupara with a Kanoka, although the disk did little damage.“Mask Control may be a fine technique, but it’s really the only strong point Nuhrii has,” Onupara said.“Hey, I’ve gotten my use out of it,” Tahra said.She moved in, dodging stalagmites as they rose, and when she was fairly close she smashed a Kanoka into Onupara without launching it. Unfortunately, this allowed Onupara to land a Seismic Stomp, finishing off Nuhrii, so Tahra fused with her Tahu and swung her swords. Onupara created an Ussal Shell to protect himself and then lashed out with another Stomp, but Tahra sidestepped, cur Onupara across the chest, and then used her duplicate sword to send him rolling across the ground.Tahra pursued and fell right into another Pincer, and Onupara said, “I see you’re practicing for when Tahu upgrades. Not a bad idea, getting used to two swords sooner than needed.”“I’m a little surprised you’re complimenting me,” Tahra admitted as she activated Star Armor. “You love tradition almost as much as Onatewka, and he was pretty opposed to a female Fire-Lord.”Tahra spat a few fireballs in Onupara’s direction before she ran in, and the Earth-Lord used his Ussal Shell to block them. He retracted the sphere as his foe drew close so that he could throw a punch, but Tahra blocked with her Stat Shield and hit with a Star Slash. Onupara was able to use a Seismic Stomp to knock Tahra into an Earthquake, and then he sent in more stalagmites. Tahra used her Hau to block the attack, but Onupara lunged as soon as it went down and delivered another Stomp. Tahra managed to stick her sword in the Earth-Lord’s shoulder, but Tahu’s armor melted away, so she got up and chose her next Orb.“I do appreciate tradition,” Onupara said, “but I also appreciate history. Very little in history would have happened if tradition was never challenged.”“At least one of you gets it,” Tahra said. “Fusion, Flare!”Black armor covered Tahra’s body and orange wings formed around her arms, and she lifted off the ground as an arm-like tail sprouted from her back. She started with a Flare Burst, although the blast of fire dissipated against an Ussal Shell, but then she spun rapidly and dove through the air to hit Onupara with Wingblade. Onupara made stalagmites fly through the air, but Tahra used Flare Storm to release enough fire blasts to destroy the projectiles and give her a cloud of dust to hide in. A Disk flew out and hit Onupara, making him stumble, but he recovered just in time to catch Tahra in his hand when she charged in. Tahra was able to his Onupara with another Disk as he used Stalagmite Pincer on her, and she tried to finish his Spirit with Wingblade but was kicked into the ceiling. Onupara saw Tahra fall and leapt up to attack again, but she surprised him with a Flare Storm just strong enough to push him out of Fusion.“About time,” Tahra said as she glided across the arena. “That Orb’s effect is such a pain.”“You’re only half-way done,” Onupara reminded her.The Earth-Lord fused with Toa Whenua and Archived Fly, and then he launched into the air with his drills forward. Tahra nimbly twisted around the attack and clipped Onupara with Wingblade, but Onupara retaliated with a Drill attack that stunned her. Quickly, Onupara grabbed Tahra and threw her into the ground, and then he used Earthquake to knock her out of Fusion with Flare.“You may be able to whittle my energy down like this, but being knocked out of Fusion over and over again will exhaust you,” Onupara said as he landed.“Well now that I don’t have to worry about that ‘Original’ effect, I can take a serious advantage,” Tahra said. “Fusion, Lava Wave!”The ground beneath Tahra split open and spewed magma over her, which soon hardened to create read and yellow armor with two cannons mounted on her shoulders. Tahra spun her Tonfa and smiled, and then she charged at Onupara. She swung her weapons and the Earth-Lord flew out of the way, but he was struck by a beam of Heat Vision and received a burn. Onupara called an Earthquake, but Tahra jumped, avoiding damage, and Body Slammed Onupara, sending him crashing into the wall. She was about to go after him when he Tunneled through the wall and emerged beneath her, landing a solid hit, but then she smacked him with a Tonfa and jumped back.“…Well-played,” Onupara said.He used one more Earthquake, and while Tahra did take the hit, she threw one of her Tonfa at Onupara’s mask and forced him out of Fusion. Onupara handed a sack of Widgets and an Earth Ultima-Orb to Tahra, smiling, and then he said, “You knew the battle would be yours once you didn’t have to worry about Toa Onepu’s effect. You’re one of the few people to beat me using Fire Spirits.”“Yeah, well I had more Spirits ready just in case,” Tahra said. “You never know. Oh, and thanks for not being all ‘don’t you dare defy tradition’ and whatnot. It’s refreshing.”I think it means more to her than she’s letting on, Kytan thought. He was brought out of this by the sound of the lift, and soon Xyla and Genakex came into the room.Kytan breathed a sigh of relief. “You’re back sooner than expected.”“We didn’t get to fight,” Genakex said. His disappointment was evident. “The other King wasn’t interested.”“King?” Phaenyx repeated. “What are you talking about?”“The King Bo—“ Genakex started, but Xyla clamped a hand over his mouth.“It’s on a need-to-know basis,” she grumbled.“Well now I want to know even more!” Phaenyx exclaimed.“I think it’s time to shut the Battlefield down for today,” Onupara broke in.“…Alright, I can take a hint,” Phaenyx said.Can you now? Tahra wondered.“But I’ll be back tomorrow,” Phaenyx assured. “I’m going to find out what’s going on!”Phaenyx left the Battlefield then, and Onupara turned to Genakex with a hint of frustration. “You went to fight a King on your own?”“I easily could have won,” Titan spoke up. “The King of Gahlok is a coward—he would have swiftly fallen before my might!”Onupara sighed. “With all due respect, to both of you…your Va Champion is a child. He does not know the Hidden Arts, and without those he cannot hope to defeat another King Bohrok.”Genakex raised an eyebrow. “Hidden Arts? What are those?”“Now is not the time to answer that question,” Onupara said. “For now, I suggest you get some rest. Tomorrow I will fight you three. Good night.”Onupara, Genakex, and Xyla all wandered off one after the other, but Tahra didn’t seem to be in a hurry. Kytan turned to her and said, “On Po-Isle you mentioned ‘Perfect Fusion’…”“Was sort of hoping you forgot about that,” Tahra said. “Yeah, it’s one of the Hidden Arts. It’s a form of Fusion that allows you to ignore Fusion Energy and damage values—your endurance and power and determined by how much willpower you have.”“…Really…” Kytan muttered. The concept was intriguing to say the least. “How does one—““Through LOTS of work. But I wouldn’t recommend it—this is serious stuff, and bad things happen if you try it before you’re ready.”“…Alright. Can you do it?”“Well…not yet. But I’m close! It shouldn’t take much longer at the rate I’m going.”“I see.”Tahra began to walk away, but Kytan said, “I’m sure Onupara’s not the only Element-Lord who would support you.”Tahra turned around, a look of false amazement on her face. “You don’t say? You must know them as well as I do.”Kytan hesitated to respond, so Tahra went on, “I appreciate the thought, but there’s not a whole lot you can do. My problems are my problems, and I can handle them myself. Always have, always will.”“…Do you not trust me?” Kytan asked.“It’s nothing personal—I don’t trust anyone,” Tahra calmly replied. “You can’t. Everyone’s only out for themselves, and if they tell your otherwise, they’re lying. Interacting with humans is just like fighting them: let your guard down, and they’ll destroy you.”“You say that like you’re not human.”“Oh I am human. You shouldn’t trust me either.”Tahra continued walking. Kytan looked down and began to reflect on what she had said.Spirits Used:#1453. Toa Onepu#24. Toa Whenua#114. Nuhrii#1. Tahu#851. Flare#1176. Lava WaveReview in Genakex's Journal.
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#19 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jun 30 2012 - 12:20 PM

Chapter 18: Grounded FlightOn the other side of the globe is a land without Bioni-Lords—the Lost Continent, a remnant from the world of humans that was devoured in the creation of this world. A land where people are ignorant of Bioni-Spirits is paradise for the Spirits considered ‘legendary’—sentient Spirits with unfathomable power used for their own goals. Legendary Spirits usually aren’t very active…but the darkest of their number have been gathering. One such Spirit stood on a cliff overlooking a human city; it was a tall creature with a long black coat, a silver Kanohi Iden, and one black angelic wing.“Ah, here you are,” called a voice.Another Spirit approached: a knight in black and red armor with a white cape and a domed helmet made of black glass. The Spirit on the cliff greeted, “Shadow Knight. How did the negotiations go?”“Not well,” Shadow Knight replied, coming to a stop beside his comrade. “Tell me, One-Winged Angel: why would a Vassal wish to be without a master?”“I do not claim to understand the mind of Atomicus,” Angel said. “We are better without it—Tabuu is destructive enough, and almost as hard to control.”“The Demon doesn’t quite see it that way,” Shadow Knight chuckled. “…Well, he is content with the state of the Shadow Consortium, at least. Something is going well.”There was a flash of energy in the air before the two Spirits, heralding the arrival of a third: a humanoid mass of blue energy who hovered in the air with his arms crossed. “Tabuu?” Shadow Knight said with mild surprise. “To what do we owe this honor?”“Boy, do I have a deal for you,” Tabuu said. His voice was full of wild excitement that was ready to ignite.“Not this again,” Angel mumbled.“Well EXCUSE me, Mr. Uncooperative,” Tabuu said. “But it just so happens I’m not talking to you. Now then, boss!”“Please just describe this ‘deal’ to me,” Shadow Knight requested.“Heheh,” Tabuu laughed. “What if I told you that a King Bohrok wants to talk to you?”Xyla turned her Orb over in her hand, murmuring, “Probably too early for a battle…”As she navigated the halls of the Battlefield, however, she heard noises coming from the direction of the arena. She expected to see someone fighting Onupara, but all she found was Genakex, in Fusion with Titan and facing a metal training dummy.“Try again,” Titan instructed. “Don’t blunder it this time!”Genakex nodded and yawned—he seemed extremely weary, as if he had not gotten any sleep. He raised his gun arm and fired a few shots from his Sterling Silver Cannon that homed in on the dummy, and then he lifted his Vacuum Metal Saber and shot into the air. The spheres bounced off the target in various directions, and Genakex got in the path of one so that he could use his Saber to bat it back towards the dummy. He dashed to another bullet and repeated the process, doing so over and over as the bullets continued to ricochet in random directions, until finally the bullets all bounced in the same direction and fused into one massive blast. Genakex rushed into the path of the blast and dropped his Saber, and then he dug both feet into the ground, outstretched his hand…and was flattened by his own attack.“No!” Titan shouted. “You are trying to overpower yourself! You only need to take control of your own power—assert your will over it!”“That sounds like the exact same thing!” Genakex responded. He sat up and grabbed his Saber, and then he noticed Xyla watching.“You look terrible,” Xyla commented. “Were you out here all night?”“…Not ALL night,” Genakex answered.“At this rate, even that would not have been enough,” Titan said. “I will not have you ruin my chances of winning this war! Try again!”With another yawn, Genakex used his sword for support as he rose to his feet, and then he faced the dummy once more. Hesitantly, Xyla chimed in, “You know…it might be healthy to take a break. If you wear yourself out, it’ll just do more harm than good.”Genakex rubbed his eye and mumbled, “Wasn’t aware you cared…”He then paused, turned to Xyla, and asked, “Did I just say that out loud? Because I didn’t mean—““I don’t care!” Xyla shouted. “I only said that because you’re too stupid to realize it on your own!”“…I’m sorry, do you want to give this a try?” Genakex replied.He de-fused and held out Titan’s gauntlet, but it slipped out of his fingers and hit the ground. Genakex stared at his empty hand for a moment before realizing that the gauntlet had fallen. “…Maybe I do need some sleep…”Genakex scooped up the gauntlet and uprooted the training dummy, and as he was walking off, Onupara walked out of his office and into the room. “It sounds like you two are having a disagreement,” the Earth-Lord said.“Believe me, it happens a lot,” Genakex muttered. He paused, turned around, and asked, “Did I—““Good to know how you really feel,” Xyla interrupted. “Can’t imagine why you’ve been holding back!”“…Some of us actually try being polite to others,” Genakex whispered.“Speak up!” Xyla ordered. “If you’ve got something to say I want to hear it!”“Please!” Onupara broke in. “Your friends are still trying to sleep. Genakex, from the looks of it, you should join them. Here—I’ll put the dummy away.”Genakex thanked the Earth-Lord as he handed off the equipment, and then he shambled off down the hallway without another word—though Titan continued to criticize him the whole way. Onupara put the dummy in a supply closet and then walked over to the chamber’s main door; as he unlocked it, he said, “I think a battle may be a better outlet for your energy. I’d be happy to be an opponent.”“That’s why I’m here,” Xyla sighed. She fused with Breez 4.0 and lifted into the air, and Onupara was barely in the arena when Phaenyx burst into the room.“What brings you back here, Phaenyx?” Onupara asked.“I told you I’d be back,” Phaenyx said. “I still want to know what makes these guys so special!”“Don’t you have somewhere else to be?” Xyla asked.“Don’t you have something other than a Technic Descendant to use against two Toa?” Phaenyx countered.Xyla responded with a growl. Onupara said, “Phaenyx, you shouldn’t question her choice. It’s her fight, not yours.”Phaenyx shrugged and jumped onto the bleachers, and then Onupara fused with Toa Onepu and prepared for battle. Xyla waited until Onupara called up a Stalagmite Pincer, at which point she expanded her Hex Shield to block the earth spikes while also leaving an opening for her to unleash a Wind Burst. The swift wall of air pushed Onupara back, but he stayed on his feet and activated his Pakari as Xyla raised her Plasma Shooter. The bullets proved ineffective against the Earth-Lord’s Ussal Shell, but they were able to pound the next wave of stalagmites to dust. Onupara leapt in to use Seismic Stomp, but Xyla slid through the air to completely avoid the attack before tossing a pair of Hero Cuffs at her foe. The restraints held Onupara in place as Xyla unleashed three Fujita Blades, pinning him to the wall and driving him a few feet into it, but when they wore off Xyla remained at a distance.Why doesn’t she just spam Hive Devastator? Phaenyx wondered. It would target his weakness—three of those would’ve left Onepu in critical condition. Hm…maybe she’s just showing off.Onupara jumped out of the dent in the wall, wrapped himself in an Ussal Shell, and then hit the floor like a cannonball, causing an Earthquake that rose high enough to strike the airborne Xyla. Xyla bounced off the ceiling and saw a Stalagmite Pincer waiting for her on the ground, so she focused her shield to crush them when she landed. Onupara tried to deliver a Seismic Stomp, but Xyla overpowered him with Fujita Blade and returned to the air.It’s slow work, but I just need to play defensively, Xyla thought. Between flying and having my Hex Shield, I should be covered.Onupara reached out and dozens of stalagmites reach up towards Xyla, inevitably colliding with her shield, but Xyla was left with little room to maneuver and began slicing the spikes with her blade. The Earth-Lord ran up a stalagmite and launched himself at Xyla, landing a hit with his gauntlets, but she immediately reacted with a Fujita Blade that blew away both him and the forest of earth spikes. Xyla tossed a set of Hero Cuffs that bounced off an Ussal Shell, but she followed with a Wind Burst that blew them back towards Onupara just as the shield receded. Just like before, Xyla battered her foe with a triple Fujita Blade attack, dealing just enough damage to finish of Toa Onepu.As Xyla backed away, Onupara said, “You really don’t like Stone…”“What?”“Your Hive Devastator move easily could have cleared out those stalagmites earlier, and it also would have caused me quite a bit of damage. But you didn’t use it.”“…That doesn’t mean anything.”“My apologies; just making an observation.”Onupara fused with Toa Whenua and archived Energy Shield, and when Xyla tried using Fujita Blade, a wall of red hexagons protected her target. Xyla muttered something as she flew around Onupara in search of an opening, but she wasn’t able to find one. The two of them sat waiting for the other to make a move, producing a stalemate.Phaenyx yawned. “This is boring.”Frustrated, Xyla fired her Plasma Shooter, and when the bullet bounced off Onupara’s shield it came right back at her. She used her own shield to bat the projectile back, but Onupara didn’t reactivate his own shield in time and was taken by surprise. It didn’t deal much damage, but it gave Xyla the time she needed to slap a pair of Hero Cuffs on Onupara.Three Fujita Blades later, Onupara got back on his feet and noted, “I should be more careful.”Xyla dashed in and fired another shot, which also bounced off Onupara’s shield, but this time Xyla spun, used her shield to deflect the blast, and sent a Fujita Blade right behind it. Onupara was able to avoid damage by Tunneling underground, and Xyla had to react quickly to avoid slamming into the wall. However, Onupara burst out of the wall and struck her, sending her skidding across the ground like a skipping stone. He used an Earthquake, though Xyla was able to use her shield to ride the wave of earth, and as she came closer she used some Hero Cuffs to get Onupara’s shield down before using a Wind Burst. Xyla tried landing a Fujita Blade but was knocked out of the attack by a drill, and Onupara moved to follow but she flew out of range.“Still not using Hive Devastator, I see,” Onupara said.“I thought you said it was bad to question the choices I make in battle,” Xyla snapped.As she was yelling, she unleashed a Wind Burst that knocked Onupara off his feet, so Xyla swooped down, utilized more Hero Cuffs, and made her usual assault while they were in use. Afterwards she tried using another Fujita Blade, but Onupara repelled her with an Earthquake and then Tunneled up beneath her.Hive Devastator would finish him off, Phaenyx analyzed. Her Fusion Energy’s getting really low—she should do it now!Xyla slammed her sword onto Onupara’s shield, and the Earth-Lord maintained his focus to keep her at bay. Firing her jet rockets, Xyla was able to ram the Earth-Lord into the wall, but still the shield held, so she kept trying to keep him busy. The shield began to expand, forcing Xyla back, and then it suddenly vanished and she found herself hurtling towards her foe. Onupara clipped Xyla with a drill as she went past, but then she spun around and used a Fujita Blade to fling him across the arena. The Earth-Lord was quick to recover, however, and used an Earthquake to reduce Xyla to merely 5 Fusion Energy.Drat, she thought. I don’t have any margin for error! I just need two more hits…She fired a volley of plasma blasts, forcing Onupara to take evasive action, and then she sent a wide Wind Burst along the ground to make him jump into the air. When Onupara was close, Xyla used another Wind Burst, and expecting Onupara to block with his shield, she sent a Fujita Blade behind it. Onupara did summon a barrier to block the burst, but before it vanished he grabbed the top edge and flipped over it, allowing him to completely avoid the second attack.Xyla saw Onupara flying at her, drills forward, and closed her eyes…and then she realized she was pouring air energy out in every direction. The energy formed into vicious winds that tossed Onupara away, and they rattled the chamber so much that large chunks of rock fell from the ceiling. The rain of stones crushed the Earth-Lord before the gale ended, and Phaenyx said, “About time she used Hive Devastator!”Xyla opened her eyes wide and remained floating in the air, and Onupara, his Fusion armor gone, stood up and produced a bag of Widgets. Onupara waited a moment, and then he called, “Xyla? You won.”Slowly, Xyla floated down, and when she landed she de-fused and took her rewards. She walked off without speaking, her eyes pointed at the ground.Spirits Used:#1383. Breez 4.0#1453. Toa Onepu#24. Toa WhenuaReview in Genakex's Journal
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#20 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jul 04 2012 - 01:26 PM

Chapter 19: Initial BetKytan passed Xyla on her way out of the arena, and he greeted, “Morning, Xyla. How…what’s wrong?”Xyla didn’t seem to notice Kytan—she just kept walking, and he thought, Maybe I should just let her be for now…I hope she’s alright. She looked really upset.He came into the arena chamber as Phaenyx was pestering Onupara, so he didn’t feel too bad about interrupting, “Excuse me, did Xyla lose her fight?”“No, she won,” Onupara said. “But she did seem displeased for some reason.”“Hm…” Kytan muttered, crossing his arms. “I wonder what’s irritating her…”“She was arguing with Genakex earlier, but it didn’t seem to bother her during the match,” Onupara offered.Kytan shook his head and replied, “No, I don’t think that would bother her.”“I’m bored now,” Phaenyx said. “Can’t you guys fight?”Kytan paused for a moment. “…I…suppose…”Onupara headed into the arena and fused with Toa Onepu, saying, “Anyway…I’ve heard good things about you, Kytan. Onatewka tells me you can analyze someone’s strategy and pick a perfect Spirit for defeating them.”Kytan smiled as he took his position on the field, and then he held up an Orb and announced, “Fusion, Primeape.”Armor of a brownish tan color covered Kytan’s body and formed what appeared to be boxing gloves on his hands, and bands of black metal materialized on his wrists and ankles as white fur grew from his torso and head. Onupara took a step back and activated his Pakari, and then Kytan leaped in and used a Low Kick. An Ussal Shell formed to protect the Earth-Lord, but Kytan wedged his foot beneath it, knocked the sphere into the air, and then used Strength, slamming both palms into the shell and sending it (plus the opponent within) flying into the wall. The shield cracked like an egg, spilling out Onupara as Kytan moved closer, and the Earth-Lord raised stalagmites that crumbled before Kytan’s Strength. His Ussal Shell disabled, Onupara had to dodge a Karate Chop, and he tried countering but only made it easier for Kytan to devastate his Fusion Energy with one Low Kick.“Wait, how much damage did that cause?” Phaenyx mumbled. “Primeape isn’t affected by Original, and Low Kick deals more damage to opponents with more Ultima-Orbs…Onupara has all 14, being an Element-Lord, plus he’s at an Elemental disadvantage, so…”Phaenyx’s jaw dropped. “96 points of damage with one attack?!”Onupara hit the ground and rolled to avoid a Karate Chop, and as he retreated he trapped Kytan in a Stalagmite Pincer so he would have a chance to recover. It only took a moment for Kytan to escape, and when he pursued Onupara, the Earth-Lord called on his newly restored Ussal Shell to block a Karate Chop. Kytan’s hand stung, but he was able to grab Onupara with his other hand and leapt into the air, soon driving his foe into the ground with Seismic Toss and making quick work of Toa Onepu.“I see that Onatewka was not exaggerating…” Onupara said as he stumbled back to his feet. “This does not bode well.”“I would not object if you forfeited,” Kytan chuckled.“No…I believe I still have a chance,” Onupara said.The Earth-Lord fused with Toa Whenua and Archived Seismic Toss, and then he rushed out before Kytan could react and used the borrowed attack to reverse their circumstances. Kytan groaned, “I was afraid you’d do that…”Kytan tried using Low Kick and Onupara jumped over the attack, but then Kytan shot up and used Strength to launch Onupara into the ceiling. Onupara Tunneled into the ceiling and through the walls, and when he emerged from the floor he was able to strike Kytan but was soon repelled by a Karate Chop. Kytan jumped to avoid an Earthquake, but Onupara intercepted him and used Seismic Toss to slam him down while the floor was still shaking. Onupara narrowly avoided a Karate Chop when he landed, and he was about to land a hit with his drill when Kytan used Strength to tackle him.Hm…Primeape is almost out of energy, Kytan thought. He was slightly surprised. Well, I have more Spirits on stand-by. I have no reason to be nervous.The two combatants rolled away from each other and assumed defensive stances. Onupara used Earthquake, so Kytan jumped, though this time he jumped backwards in order to keep an eye on Onupara. Kytan latched onto the wall and waited for the earth to stop shaking, but it showed no sign of letting up, so he started pounding handholds in the wall and using them to crawl towards Onupara. Onupara willed the Earthquake to move from the floor to the wall, but he wasn’t quick enough—Kytan was already close enough to lunge at his opponent. Kytan threw a Karate Chop as Onupara raised his drills, and both attacks found their victims at the same time. Kytan and Onupara both fell out of fusion before they hit the ground.Onupara stood up and held out a bag of Widgets, saying, “Excellent battle. I look forward to hearing of your future deeds.”Kytan took his rewards and thanked the Earth-Lord. Phaenyx jumped down off the bleachers and said, “Sooo…gonna answer my questions now?”“Perseverance—good quality,” Tahra commented as she came into the room. “Hey, you said you wanted to join the group, right? Do we vote on that, or is it already set?”“…Given the circumstances, I don’t think we should be accepting new members,” Kytan said.Phaenyx grinned. “Do I seem like I’m going to quit?”“That’s my point,” Tahra said. “Anyway, I’m calling a vote, and I vote yes. Let me know the results, okay? I’m going to go wander around.”“It’s a bit dangerous,” Onupara broke in.Tahra waved her hand dismissively. “Don’t worry, I’ll stay on the main roads, won’t leave the main cavern, keep one finger on an Orb, etc, etc.”Tahra stepped onto the lift and noticed Kytan approaching, prompting her to think, If I hit the button now…Still, for whatever reason she waited for Kytan to join her. As they ascended, he asked, “Why the change of heart?”“I was thinking about it, and some extra muscle might come in handy,” Tahra answered. “We’re taking on the Shadow Consortium, after all. From what I understand, they have an endless supply of mooks to send after us.”“…Then how would one extra member make a difference?”“You really don’t understand how these things work, do you?”The lift came to a halt and Tahra strode out onto the street, and a second later Kytan followed her. “Anyway,” he said, “I thought you didn’t trust anyone?”“I’m not ‘trusting’ him, I’m ‘utilizing’ him. Same thing I’m doing with you guys.”“Even that seems to imply a degree of trust.”Tahra just shrugged. Kytan mumbled, “And they say Ice is the aloof Element…”Tahra spun around and leaned in, her burning glare inches away from Kytan’s face. “Did you just compare me to an Ice type?”Kytan did his best to suppress his fear nervousness as he replied, “I see you’ve got the cold fury down too.”It took him a minute to process what happened next. At first he felt like someone had smashed hot coals into his face, but when he hit the ground he saw Tahra had her fist clenched, so he reasoned that she must have hit him. What really struck him, though, was the red glow that emanated from her hand.“Where I come from, comparing someone to Ice or Water is the worst of all insults,” Tahra said. The glow faded away as she spoke. “Consider this a warning.”Tahra turned back and walked off, leaving Kytan to think, That was a warning…?He stood up and touched his face—it still burned where Tahra had hit him. I should apologize. I really didn’t mean to offend her, I just…Kytan paused and looked up. Wait…why did I say that? How could it have possibly accomplished anything?He couldn’t think of a reason, so he put the question aside and headed off. He wasn’t exactly sure where he was going, but he figured that, if nothing else, it would be best for him not to be a stationary target.Valxan stepped outside the Lucky Ghekula and quickly checked his pocket watch. As he tucked away the handy device, he heard someone ask, “Late for something?”He looked over his shoulder to see Gambler leaning against the building, flipping the same coin as before. Valxan started walking and replied, “I respectfully refuse to answer.”Gambler follow Valxan, calling, “Hey, come on, we’re going to be business partners, remember? Two aces in the same hand.”“I believe I already gave you my answer to your proposal,” Valxan said.“…Perhaps I wasn’t clear,” Gambler said. “You give me control over your casinos, or Buu crushes this whole city. You really want to wager with those odds?”“I’m luckier than you give me credit for,” Valxan said. “Remember: my casino, my rules.”There was a brief pause, and then Gambler burst out laughing. “Yahahaha! You actually think you can beat me? Hoo…Valxan, I’m the luckiest man alive—have been ever since I joined the Consortium. Lady Luck herself would lose it all in a game against me. Not a single reel is lining up in your favor. Look: I have agents poised to take over the other Ghekula should their owner ‘disappear’, and they’ll be able to do so through completely legal means that even the Element-Lords can’t question. Your casinos are mine, Valxan, whether you hand them over or not. It’s time for you to fold.”“My answer is no.”“Do you really think I’m bluffing?”“On the contrary: I know exactly how serious this is. But my conscience will not allow me to capitulate to criminals.”“Then you’ll have all of Onu-Isle on your conscience. Great choice.”Gambler finally stopped following Valxan and departed. Valxan sighed and shook his head, muttering, “I think I need to work on my poker face…”“You have no need to worry,” Voyager assured. “We are doing the right thing. The Earth-Lord will be able to help us, I am sure.”Valxan stopped in front of the Battlefield. Hesitantly, he recalled, “You said the King of Pahrak was staying here…”“I know how to deal with him,” Voyager replied. “Come. We must do this.”Valxan took a deep breath, and then he stepped forward and entered the Battlefield.Spirits Used:#1453. Toa Onepu#24. Toa Whenua#1448. PrimeapeReview in Genakex's Journal.
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#21 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jul 10 2012 - 02:24 PM

Chapter 20: Royal AudienceThe ride down into the Battlefield was slow and nerve-wracking for Valxan. Still, he maintained his calm demeanor as he pushed open the door to the arena chamber, and upon entering he saw the reason why he had come here. Onupara was just about to enter his office, but when he spotted Valxan, he smiled and approached the casino owner.“Hello,” the Earth-Lord greeted, “can I help you with something?”“I hope so,” Valxan replied. Onupara frowned at this response. “My name is Valxan, sir, and I own the Lucky Ghekula Casino. I’m afraid I have a problem with the Shadow Consortium, and, as you can imagine, I’m in a bit over my head.”“I see,” Onupara said. He held an arm towards his office. “Please, come with me.”Valxan followed the Earth-Lord into the cramped, poorly-lit room, finding it a challenge to sit in the available chair rather than trip over it. The room was not cluttered—in fact, the only contents were the Element-Lord’s earthen desk, two chairs on opposite sides of this desk, and four or five gray-plated filing cabinets set against the rear wall—but the dimensions were enough to make almost any visitor claustrophobic, and the single dim lightstone set in the ceiling was of little help.By the time Valxan finally made it into the chair, Onupara had sat down, cleared aside some paperwork, and moved aside a small panel of the face of the desk, revealing a small metal dial. When the dial was rotated, the lightstone gradually brightened until it reached a more normal glow, though Onupara had to squint as his eyes adjusted to the light.“Now,” he said, folding his hands on the desk, “please explain the situation.”Valxan nodded, though he did not make eye contact with the Earth-Lord. “Yesterday I was contacted by an agent of the Consortium who said he wished to gain control of the Ghekula, as well as the other Ghekula based on other islands. I refused, but he now intends to unleash an agent called ‘Buu’ upon Onu-Isle.”Onupara shuddered at the name. “Oh dear…did he give you any indication of when the attack will take place?”“No, but he approached me again today, and he does not strike me as a patient man.”“Then I will prepare immediately. Thank you, Valxan; please leave the rest to me.”Valxan hesitated for a moment, but then he drew Voyager’s die out of his pocket and set it on the desk. He made sure that the King Bohrok emblem was facing Onupara before he went on, “If we may, sir, we would like to lend our assistance in repelling Buu.”Onupara thought for a moment, and then asked, “Does the Consortium know about this?”“No. If possible, I hope to keep it that way.”“Hm…my main concern is that the King of Pahrak may interfere should you participate.”It was now that Voyager spoke up: “It will be easy to redirect Titan’s attention towards Buu. He only wishes to prove his strength, so the target does not truly matter.”Onupara remained silent a few seconds more before replying, “Alright. I have heard many accounts of you, King of Gahlok, and they all depict you as trustworthy. We would be honored to have your help.”“The honor is mine,” Voyager said. “I shall set about convincing Titan immediately.”Valxan got up, retrieved the die, and bowed to the Earth-Lord before making the difficult journey back to the door. When he opened the door, he found Phaenyx waiting, and the boy leapt back in surprise and turned away, pretending to be doing something else.“…How much did you hear?” Onupara asked. The Earth-Lord sounded irritated, but he was actually doing a very good job of hiding it.Valxan slipped away before the conversation got started, ducking into the tunnel-like hallway that led off from the arena chamber. There were quite a few wooden doors lining both sides of the hall, and were it not for Voyager telling him when to stop, Valxan would have had no idea which door to stop in front of.Valxan gently rapped his knuckles on the door and waited a few moments. There was no reply, so he knocked again, louder this time. Still there was no reply, so Valxan slowly pushed the door open and peered into the room. It was a simple chamber, larger than the Earth-Lord’s office but with about the same amount of furniture. In the bed against the far wall lay Genakex, sound asleep judging by his snoring.Titan’s gauntlet sat on a desk near the door, and his voice called out, “Come to strike me down when I cannot defend myself? You truly are a coward.”“Do you really think so little of me?” Voyager asked. “I have come to request an alliance.”“Alliance?!” Titan repeated. He spat the word out as if it were the most vile thing he had ever tasted.“Oh come now, it is not entirely unheard of,” Voyager said. “The King of Nuhvok and I have worked together on several occasions.”“That is only because you took advantage of his bizarre ‘philosophy’,” Titan said. “I shall not be so easily manipulated.”“I do not wish to manipulate you,” Voyager replied, his tone as calm as ever. “I only wish to ask for your help. This island is about to come under attack by the Shadow Consortium, and I cannot repel them alone. But should we combine my luck with your strength, the safety of Onu-Isle’s people can be secured.”“Why would I want to save these people?”“Do you not want subjects to rule? If you defend them, they will consider you a hero; you will win an entire island of loyal servants. Besides, your Va Champion needs training—fighting a Consortium agent like this will be a good stepping stone, better than thrusting him right into battle with other King Bohrok.”“…I admit, your words hold merit. But still, I would never stoop so low as to fight alongside you, Voyager! My pride will not allow it.”“Titan, my friend, nothing good has ever come of pride. We share a common enemy and a common goal—can we not set aside our differences for one battle?”“I said no! Begone with you!”“…At least answer me this: if I promise to not interfere, would you fight the Consortium agent who is coming here?”“…Perhaps. This boy would need to cease wasting time, however.”“He is young—he needs his rest.”“Forgive me if I’m a bit impatient after being forced to ‘rest’ for 57 years.”“Of course. I was merely saying—““I don’t care. Just know that if I do fight this man you so fear, I shall destroy you next.”Voyager had nothing further to say, so Valxan stepped back and closed the door. As he made his way back down the hall, he muttered, “That did not seem to go well…”“He will fight,” Voyager said. “The temptation of glory is too great for him to resist. He merely did not want to seem weak for agreeing too quickly.”“I see,” Valxan said. “But we will be ready. Fearsome as Buu is, I still doubt he will be the only agent sent here.”Valxan nodded. “…What should we do if Titan does attack us? I do not want to fight a child.”“We shall deal with that when the time comes,” Voyager said. “I believe I know how best to handle it…”Virulence shuffled over to the pink-armored man connected to the wall, and Gambler watched from near the entrance of the command center. Frieza and Cell stood on the other side of the room watching the scene, seeming as if they were waiting for a call to action. Virulence looked over his shoulder and asked, “Are you sure you waHAUGHAUGH!”He leaned over a control panel and clamped a hand over his mouth. Gambler said, “Yep, I’m ready to play. Wake up Buu.”Virulence gave a raspy sigh and then clicked a few buttons with his claws. The blue tubes connected to the man with pink armor lost their color and became clear, and the man’s eyes shot open—they were pitch-black with blood-red irises, and they thinly concealed a terrible, terrible rage.The man’s head swiveled towards Virulence, who wheezed, “Good morning, Buu. We’re sending you on a mission.”Buu blinked, not giving any indication of his reaction. He turned his head towards Gambler, prompting Virulence to introduce, “This is Gambler, a Division Head like myself. He’s going to take you to Onu-Isle, and you’re going to destroy the city.”Buu immediately turned back to Virulence, who nodded, and then he looked to Gambler once again. Slowly, Buu’s lips curled into a large, hideous grin, and he began to laugh a high-pitched chuckle that soon developed into an insane cackle. Buu threw back his head and kept laughing, and Virulence turned to Gambler.“He’ll do it,” Virulence said. “Hrmhrmhrm…Frieza, Cell, I want you two to keep an eye on him. We think that the King of Pahrak is on Onu-Isle right now, and we don’t want him stopping Buu OR getting buried in the rubble.”“Don’t worry sir, I’ll be sure to find the King of Pahrak as soon as I get there,” Cell said.Frieza gave no reply other than a scowl. He thought, I won’t let that child get the better of me again…Virulence coughed and hit a few more buttons, and the tubes connected to Buu detached and retracted back into the wall. A few drops of some kind of blue liquid fell from the tubes and splashed on the floor, but Buu quickly knelt down, wiped them up with his hand, and then licked his hand clean. Buu stood back up, cocked his head, and smiled, and then he vanished into thin air a moment later.Surprised, Gambler shouted, “What…where did he go?”“He’s probably already on Onu-Isle,” Cell said. He touched two fingers to his forehead before adding, “I’ll go on ahead, then. Can’t leave him alone for a second.”Cell was next to vanish, and Gambler said, “Oh yeah, they can teleport…so, Virulence, if Buu’s so good at destroying things, why hasn’t he been rolled over to Kain’s division? Seems that’d be the best way to play the odds.”“I thought of that,” Virulence said. He paused to clear his throat. “But Garland has insisted that Frieza, Cell, and Buu all stay in my division. I’m not sure why, but I just know that Contrivance is behind it…”“Hm,” Gambler grunted. “Well, we’d better catch up with Buu. The nearest transporter’s downstairs, right?”“Yes,” Virulence answered between coughs. “Frieza…don’t get carried away. I know how you hold a grudge, but we want the Titan Va alive.”“Understood,” Frieza grumbled.Gambler and Frieza departed, and Virulence carefully settled into his chair and coughed a few more times. Virulence swiveled around and faced a computer screen, muttering, “If anything goes wrong, I will not be held responsible.”Review in Genakex's Journal.
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#22 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jul 17 2012 - 01:22 PM

Chapter 21: Perfect AssaultBuu materialized in the cavern under Onu-Isle, floating in the air above a small group of houses. The lightstones in the ceiling caught his attention, making him look up. With a smile, Buu raised his hand towards the glowing rocks, and bright pink energy began to build up in his palm. What he did not know was that he was being watched.Valxan, hiding behind a larger building, sighed. “Well…they’ve played their hand.”He held out Voyager’s die and recited, “King of the Seas, grant me your timeless wisdom! Exo-Gahlok Kal Voyager!”The die unfolded into what appeared to be a roulette wheel, and as it spun, blue and black armor reminiscent of an Exo-Toa spread over Valxan’s body, covering him from shoulder to toe. A black visor covered his eyes and three chakrams appeared on each of his arms, and a spear formed and attached to his back. Valxan placed the roulette wheel against his chest, causing his armor to absorb it and change its appearance, now displaying a triangle of three stars that were orange, white, and purple.When the fusion was complete, Valxan removed a purple chakram from his arm and threw it at Buu. As the weapon was thrown into the air it began to glow, although the light rapidly switched from red to white and back over and over until it found its mark, striking Buu in the back of the head and immediately flying back to its master. Buu didn’t flinch or stop charging energy, but the attack did get his attention—the madman turned around, saw Valxan, and gritted his teeth angrily. A second later, a pink energy beam lanced towards Valxan, who took full advantage of Voyager’s skills in order to roll out of the way. Buu’s Vanishing Beam drilled a hole in the ground, causing him to grumble with disappointment, and then he began surveying the area to locate his target. Valxan looked up at Buu and prepared to throw another chakram, but he sensed movement from behind and spun just in time to catch a punch.The second attacker turned out to be Cell, who smiled and said, “What a surprise—two Kings on one island! Forgive me, Your Majesty, but I do have orders to follow.”Cell swiftly raised his leg and sent Valxan soaring with a kick, something that alerted Buu to his enemy’s location. With a shout, Buu wrapped himself in pink energy and shot out towards Valxan, who drew his spear and thrust it forward just in time to skewer Buu. The lance dug into Buu’s skull and re-emerged out his back, causing Valxan to wince in mild horror. Buu, on the other hand, smiled. The impaled villain’s body took on the appearance of melted wax and began to stretch and twist, pulling itself up and away from the weapon, and once it was free it reassumed its original form. Buu chuckled and held out one hand, a small bit of armor detaching from his palm and molding into the shape of one of Voyager’s chakrams.Oh yes, Voyager remembered, the Buu Spirit is capable of mimicking any attack…“You could have told me sooner,” Valxan replied under his breath.Buu threw the imitation chakram and Valxan dove towards the ground to avoid it, but Cell was waiting and launched a Big Bang energy ball. Valxan twirled his spear to deflect the attack, and he was about to throw a chakram when he saw Buu charging blue energy between his hands. Buu unleashed the Kamehameha blast and Valxan braced himself, but a wall of earth rose up to protect him. Cell frowned and cast a glare down the street—Onupara, in Fusion with Toa Whenua, was the one who received this gaze.“Ah, Earth-Lord,” Cell greeted. “I suppose you’re here to intimidate us into leaving?”“Somehow I knew I’d have to resort to a more violent method,” Onupara replied.The Earth-Lord began to walk towards Cell, who said, “Ooh, I’m shaking. Still, don’t you think it’s getting a little crowded down here?”Onupara stopped and glanced to the side. Gambler and Frieza could be seen watching from up the street, and Buu and Valxan were engaged in an evenly matched bout of fisticuffs. Onupara looked back to Cell, who held out his hand.“How about we take this to the surface?” Cell suggested. “There’ll be plenty of room up there. Plus, if Buu does bring down the island, you’ll have a better chance of surviving.”Onupara gave no reply. Cell went on, “I’ll only take you to the surface. Scout’s honor. You have two King Bohrok to take care of Frieza and Buu—live a little while you have the chance.”“You’d be weakening yourself and your comrades,” Onupara said. “I’m familiar with how your Spirits work.”“True,” Cell said. “So really, what do you have to lose?”“…Are you really that cocky?”“Yes. I really am.”“That, I believe.”Onupara clasped Cell’s hand. Cell, with his free hand, put two fingers to his forehead and used Instant Transmission to teleport the both of them. Onupara found it odd, the sensation of being disassembled into atoms and pulled up through the island at breakneck speeds, but it was nothing he could not handle. When he was reassembled he stepped back and confirmed their location—sure enough, Onupara and Cell stood in a forest clearing on Onu-Isle’s surface.“Alright,” Onupara said. He sounded impressed.“Haha,” Cell laughed. “So, how do you want to do this? Are we going to limit ourselves, or are Hidden Arts fair game?”“You know Hidden Arts?”“A few.”“Hm…in that case, I won’t hold back.”“I was so hoping you’d say that.”Onupara raised his drills and activated Perfect Fusion, cloaking himself in a thick aura of black energy. The ground beneath him began to shake, as if preparing itself to heed the Earth-Lord’s commands. Cell called up his own Chikara, but something about it seemed…off. The veil of energy around Cell was a sickly gray-green color that Onupara had never seen, and it was much looser and less concentrated than his own Chikara.This isn’t Perfect Fusion, Onupara quickly realized.Cell shot a Death Beam, prompting Onupara to levitate a small chunk of earth to intercept the attack. Onupara decided to Archive Regenerate while Cell was charging a Galick Gun, and when Cell fired the beam, Onupara dodged and used Earthquake. The attack shook Cell, but he didn’t seem to mind. After shrugging it off, Cell created a red orb of energy and threw it.“Big Bang Crash!” he announced.The orb exploded with much more force than Onupara expected, and Cell didn’t wait for him to recover. He used his Telekinesis to slam Onupara into the ground, and then he moved in to deliver a kick, though his foe was able to dodge. Onupara stabbed Cell with a drill and willed the earth to launch him, and then the Earth-Lord got up and raised both arms high.“Third of the Four Forbidden Quakes: Tectonic Plate!” Onupara shouted.Almost instantly, a gigantic slab of earth, about one-third the size of Onu-Isle, appeared in the air directly above Onupara. Cell crashed into the Tectonic Plate like a bug hitting a windshield, leaving him a bit dazed. Onupara smiled and lowered his arms. The plate followed his lead, dropping to the ground and squashing Cell…at least, that was the intent.Seconds after the crash, Cell came bursting out of the ground beneath Onupara, sending the Earth-Lord flying with a punch. Onupara was not used to being airborne, so his bearings manages to elude him for some time—more than enough time for Cell to open his mouth and unleash the Forbidden Flame Dragon Tongue, exhaling a powerful wall of fire. Once he was done attacking, Cell looked down and made a disgusted face.“It always leaves such a bad aftertaste…” he complained.Onupara landed nearby, but he didn’t waste a second; he dug one hand into the ground and said, “First of the Four Forbidden Quakes: Minefield!”Cell instantly stopped moving. He was aware that the Earth-Lord had placed a multitude of energy charges in the soil around him, and he had no intention of setting them off.“Is this the part where you try to topple me into a mine?” Cell asked.“No,” Onupara said. He withdrew his hand and used Earthquake, shifting the ground enough to disturb the mines and make them all team up in one massive explosion.Onupara took the opportunity to Regenerate, and by the time the smoke cleared, he was ready to fight again. Cell had definitely sustained damage—several chunks of his body were missing, including his lower legs, one hand, and the tips of his horns and wings.He glared at Onupara and grudgingly said, “Good move.”Cell was able to Regenerate his body, but Onupara was surprised. True, there were some Spirits that altered the body of the Bioni-Lord who used it (Buu came to mind), and Spirits such as those would allow for the kind of damage Cell had displayed. But aside from that, Fusion Armor was durable enough to protect the wearer from any grievous injury, and the Cell Spirit should have possessed that durability.While Onupara tried to make sense of this, Cell held out one hand and focused. Soon, a small seed materialized in his hand, and he knelt and planted it in the ground. When he stood back up, he faced Onupara and smiled, though it was obvious he was still angry.“What, are you surprised?” Cell asked. “You should’ve known from the moment this battle began that I’m special.”“So what is it that makes you special?” Onupara asked.“Hm…I suppose I can enlighten you,” Cell said. “Riddle me this, Earth-Lord: what is it that stops a Spirit from reaching its true potential on its own, without fusing to a human?”“Well…you answered your own question,” Onupara said. “A Spirit needs to fuse in order to reach its true potential.”“Wrong,” Cell said. “If that were true, we wouldn’t have ‘legendary Spirits’, now would we? No…to reach its true potential, a Spirit needs a soul. Generally it just accesses the soul of the Bioni-Lord using it, but then the Bioni-Lord’s will dominates that of the Spirit. Give a Bioni-Spirit a soul of its own, though, and it can do marvelous things.”Onupara took this in. There was an obvious reason as to why Cell would bring this up, but…that did not make any sense to him.“No,” Onupara said. “That’s not possible…”“Ah, but it is possible,” Cell replied, his grin widening. “Don’t underestimate the resources of the Shadow Consortium! Hahaha!”The soil near Cell shifted, and out of it rose a large green vine that grew until it hung over him. A bulbous, black fruit appeared at the end of the vine, and Cell reached up, grabbed the fruit, and tore it free. The vine disintegrated as Cell revealed, “I am a Bioni-Spirit with no human user. I was given a soul of my own, and now no pathetic human can ever force his will upon me! Why don’t I show you exactly what that means?”Cell took a bite of the fruit, and his Chikara took an en even eerier air. The fruit turned to dust, but Cell seemed to grow stronger in an instant, and Onupara carefully took a step back.“Wise of you to be cautious,” Cell said. “You’re familiar with this Forbidden Vine, right? Cursed Fruit? Makes me faster…stronger…more ruthless. But don’t worry, I don’t intend to finish you off that quickly.”Cell spread his wings, and the spike on his back seemed to crawl out and extend, for it was actually the stinger of Cell’s retracted tail. The tail reached in front of Cell and the stinger opened, making the appendage resemble a large tube, and a small mass of blue armor shot out. Cell quickly retracted his tail once more, and the armor reformed and stood up to reveal itself as a miniature, alternately-colored clone of Cell.“Now then, Cell Jr….why don’t you go introduce yourself to the Earth-Lord?” Cell prompted.The Cell Jr. snickered and moved forward, but suddenly the ground rose up and formed a fist around it. Onupara asked, “You’re familiar with this Forbidden Quake, right? Living Earth?”The fist continued to crush the Cell Jr., and Cell scowled angrily. Onupara added, “You know, with so much build-up, I expected something more.”The Living Earth destroyed the Cell Jr and moved on to Cell, but Cell blew it apart with a single kick. Now it was Onupara’s turn to be surprised, and Cell raised his arm and casually fired a red Bang Beam. The blast sent Onupara sprawling, so Cell shot forward and delivered a punch. Onupara crashed through a line of trees and Cell followed up with a Kamehameha, carving a trench in the landscape and presumably causing serious damage.“Okay…better,” Onupara grumbled.The Earth-Lord stood up and saw Cell dashing at him, and he activated his Ruru but was not able to stun his foe. Cell used an uppercut to fling Onupara into the air and quickly pursued, but Onupara spun around and thrust out both drills, catching Cell off-guard. The villain was prepared to crash into the ground, but Onupara had one last Forbidden Quake to use—he activated Bottomless Pit, causing a chasm to rip through the ground below. An uncountable number of earth spikes could be seen within the crevice, giving the illusion that the earth had opened its mouth and intended to eat Cell alive. Cell was able to pull out of the fall and level off, and he grinned to himself over how he had foiled the Earth-Lord’s attack. He was quite shocked when the ‘lips’ of the chasm rose up and snapped shut around him. The ground sealed itself, as if the Bottomless Pit had never been there to begin with, and Onupara landed and chuckled.“I’ve been around a while,” Onupara said. “I know the weaknesses of the Forbidden Quakes, but it’s not too hard to find ways around them.”Onupara was alone for a time, but eventually Cell returned to the surface, his breathing heavy. Cell’s method of escape was probably his Instant Transmission technique, but Onupara did not care enough to ask. The Consortium agent stood up, his Chikara blazing with new strength, and unleashed a ferocious barrage of punches on Onupara. Onupara raised a short but durable earth wall, blocking the punches, so Cell backed up and teleported behind his foe. He tried stabbing Onupara with his tail, but the earth-Lord caught it, created a Minefield around them, and flipped Cell over his head and directly into a mine.“RRRAAAGH!!” Cell shouted. When he escaped from the blast, he flew up into the air to catch his breath. “That’s it…I won’t lose to a human!”Cell began charging energy, and Onupara replied, “Well, judging by the fact that the island is still here, I’d say your comrades are doing just as well as you are.”“Your precious island may be standing for now,” Cell called, “but not for long! This attack will blow it to bits!”“Cell,” came a voice.Cell paused in surprise. It was not the voice itself that surprised him, for he knew who was speaking to him and that the voice came from a transmitter built into his head. The reason Cell was surprised was because the transmitter was very, very rarely used.“Cell, let it go,” ordered the voice. “I specifically told you not to go around fighting Element-Lords! Return to base so that I can repair you!”“…Yes, sir,” Cell said. He drew his hands apart, letting the energy he had been charging float apart and dissipate. “Looks like we’ll have to settle this another time, Earth-Lord.”Onupara smiled as Cell prepared to teleport away. “Looking forward to it,” he said.Spirits Used:#1291. Frieza#1292. Cell#1293. Buu#958. Exo-Gahlok Kal Voyager#24. Toa WhenuaReview in Genakex's Journal.
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#23 Offline Virus #0579

Virus #0579
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Posted Jul 20 2012 - 12:33 PM

Chapter 22: Mad FightBuu shouted in anger, creating a Vanishing Ball between his palms. Valxan raised one hand and fired a Vanishing Beam, taking Buu by surprise. Nearby, Gambler said, “So…Exo-Gahlok Kal Voyager copies attacks too?”“It’s because of his effect,” Frieza said. “When an attack misses, Voyager analyzes its properties and learns how to perform it.”“Hm…unfortunate,” Gambler said. “…So…you’re just going to stand here?”“I was waiting for orders,” Frieza replied.Gambler held out a hand. “By all means, roll the dice.”Frieza paused to suppress his anger. Once he was calm, he activated his barrier and shot out at Valxan with Nova Strike. Off-guard, Valxan was sent sprawling by the tackle, and Buu took the chance to laugh at him.You’re sure Titan is coming? Valxan asked.Buu’s arm extended to over ten times its normal length, allowing him to grab Valxan by the neck, and then he pulled his target in and dealt a kick to his stomach. Voyager’s energies helped Valxan to recover, and he quickly drew out a deck of cards while Buu prepared to strike again. The cards flew out on their own and formed a dancing cloud around Buu, making him lose his grip and letting Valxan escape. Frieza tried punching Valxan, but the Champion dodged and used Summoning, causing a Nui-Jaga to materialize and swat Frieza with its tail. The scorpion pursued and attacked once more before it disappeared, although the second attack missed. Still, Valxan was able to get behind Frieza and land a punch, so the distraction proved useful.Irritate, Frieza looked up at Buu. “Buu! Get down here and do your job!”Buu glared at Frieza, but his gaze soon shifted to Valxan. Before he could attack, however, a sphere of light came flying towards him. Buu stretched his body into the shape of a ring, allowing the sphere to pass harmlessly through his center, and then he returned to normal and yelled something unintelligible. Valxan cast a glance in the direction the blast had come from, and upon seeing someone in fusion with Titan, he smiled.“I was afraid you weren’t going to show up,” Voyager called.“Do not blame me,” Titan responded. “That fool Genakex would not wake up. Now I have to use an untested Champion…”Valxan frowned. Now that he looked closer, he found that the person using Titan was not Genakex…it was Phaenyx.“Just leave the pink guy to me,” Phaenyx said. “I’ll take him down faster than you can say…”He paused. “…Well, you know what I mean. HEY, YOU!”Phaenyx pointed at Buu, who seemed attentive. With a smile, Phaenyx waved his hand, encouraging Buu to attack. Buu took the bait—he used his charging Buu Rocket attack, but he collided with a Silver Shield. Phaenyx crafted a Vacuum Metal Saber while Buu examined the barrier, and when the shield vanished, Phaenyx used a Saber Slash to cleave Buu in half. Buu seemed a bit surprised that Phaenyx had been able to land a hit, allowing Phaenyx to blast him with a Plasma Wave.“Ah, he’s not so tough,” Phaenyx chuckled.Buu reformed his body and glared at Phaenyx, who just kept smiling. Suddenly, Buu extended his arm again and grabbed Phaenyx, but this time Buu reeled himself in and drove a Vanishing Ball into his foe. Buu used a kick to send Phaenyx crashing through a building, and he laughed proudly at being able to turn the tides so quickly.As Phaenyx was recovering, Titan berated, “You fool! Did you forget about our Elements? Over half my energy is gone now!”“He’s fast,” Phaenyx replied. He was about to attack again, but someone grabbed his shoulder and stopped him.“Genakex,” Kytan said, “what are you…wait…Phaenyx?!”“What’s up?” Phaenyx greeted.“But…what are you doing with Titan?” Kytan asked.“Well, Genakex was asleep, so Titan asked me to fill in,” Phaenyx answered. He was quite casual about it.Kytan, on the other hand, was rather flustered. “Do you have any idea what you’ve gotten yourself into?!”Buu shouted and flew towards them. Phaenyx said, “Probably not the best time.”Kytan quickly fused with a Green Lantern Spirit and created a force field to block Buu. Phaenyx moved in with his sword, but Buu learned from his mistakes and knocked Phaenyx aside with a punch. Buu wasn’t too busy laughing at Phaenyx to dodge one of Kytan’s laser blasts, an attack he mimicked before resuming his cackling. When Tahra (in fusion with Tahu) came out of nowhere, though, Buu was careless and found his head seared off by a fireball.“What the heck are you supposed to be?” Tahra asked. “…Come to think of it, you probably can’t hear me.”Buu moved a hand through the space where his head was supposed to be, as if verifying that the damage had been done. He then used Regenerate to replace his head and heal in the process, and then he shouted at Tahra.“Not impressed,” Tahra said.Phaenyx called down a Rockslide, but Buu teleported out of range and created a large Vanishing Ball which was aimed at…well, no one in particular. Buu just threw it at the ground, not hitting any of his opponents but sending out a shockwave on impact that made the whole cavern shake. Several buildings fragmented, loosing clouds of dust into the air—something that caught Kytan’s attention. He flew towards one of the broken buildings to see if he could help, but Buu appeared above him and kicked him into the ground. Buu used a Vanishing Beam to pin Kytan, although he soon had to let go to avoid Fire and Plasma Blasts.“Don’t tell me you forgot about me!” Phaenyx called as he fired the Sterling Silver Cannon.Buu evaded the shot by teleporting in front of Phaenyx, and he leaned in to give the youth a close-up look at his insane grin. However, Buu frowned and sniffed the air a few times, as if he smelled something odd. When he looked down, he realized that it was the smell of a Ground Burner melting his feet. Buu leapt into the air and shouted in pain, a cry that was silenced when a large green Energy Fist punched him across the block.“Don’t be an cool dude!” Tahra yelled at Phaenyx. “Calling attention to yourself is just going to get you killed!”Strangely, Phaenyx smiled. A hint of something akin to madness flashed in his eyes as he sincerely replied, “But it’s fun.”Kytan shook his head and flew after Buu, who he soon found upside down in a dumpster. Buu blasted the container apart and got on his feet again, and Kytan quietly dove in to make a jab with a Morning Star energy projection. However, Buu morphed his body so that Kytan flew through empty air, and then he reformed quickly enough to launch a Vanishing Ball. The giant sphere slammed Kytan into a building, though the blunt force of the impact didn’t register—it was drowned out by the intense burning caused by the energy attack. Buu laughed as the building crumbled to bits, and then he created another Vanishing Ball and rolled it along the ground. This attack flattened a group of at least ten buildings, and Buu used a Vanishing Beam to carve an ‘X’ in the ground as he laughed.It’s all just a game to him… Kytan realized. How can someone be this corrupted?Phaenyx came flying over a building and dove at Buu, intending to hit him with Head Bash. Still, a move that simple was easy for Buu to counter, and Phaenyx found himself reeling as the result of a punch. Buu summoned the Energy Fist he had seen Kytan use earlier, but Phaenyx was able to dodge by…well, falling over. Tahra rounded the corner and used Ground Burner, but Buu bounced over the heated ground and Head Bashed Tahra right in the mask. A loud crack could be heard.“OW!!” Tahra exclaimed. She put a hand to her mask—blood dripped from its corners.Buu laughed and used Buu Rocket to tackle Tahra through a building. Kytan was on his feet now, more or less, but he wasn’t quite steady enough to attack. Phaenyx was more ready, so he raised his gun arm and slowly edged forward. Buu re-emerged, carrying Tahra by the ankle, and threw her at Phaenyx, who had to abandon the attack in order to catch the living projectile.“You wasted a perfect opportunity!” Titan yelled.“Glad to know we’re a team,” Tahra mumbled. There was something odd about her voice.Buu laughed and raised his arm, which immediately transformed into a duplicate of Titan’s gun arm. The lower barrel lit up with Sterling Silver light…and then dimmed all of a sudden. Buu’s expression changed just as quickly—his smile vanished, and his focused eyes widened into a blank stare. He didn’t move an inch.What happened to him? Phaenyx wondered.Kytan had regained his bearings by now, and he saw this as an opening. Green energy formed into a bright sphere around him, and he put both arms forward to aim the attack. “Lantern’s Light!”The energy shot out as an intense beam, engulfing Buu in an instant and dealing a heavy sum of damage. Buu, covered in burns, turned to face Kytan, but his gaze still carried no weight. Tahra stepped forward and spat a fireball at Buu, saying, “That’s for breaking my nose!”Buu was still unresponsive. Phaenyx smiled, raised his cannon, and fired one last Sterling Silver shot, which finally found its mark. In a flash of energy, Buu disappeared, and the children collectively breathed a sigh of relief.“That took entirely too long,” Titan complained. “Now, where is Voyager? We have unfinished business.”Phaenyx left to search. Kytan walked over to Tahra, asking, “Are you alright?”Tahra paused to give Kytan an…unimpressed look. She pointed to her mask and answered. “Broken. Nose. What do you think?!”“…Alright, I should’ve chosen my words more carefully,” Kytan replied. “My apologies.”Tahra waved her hand and walked away. Kytan sighed and, left with little choice, went after her.Meanwhile, Gambler watched Valxan beating Frieza, something that caused him a bit of distress. He was flipping a coin over and over to burn the frustrated energy, but it only helped so much. He thought, Cell’s down. Buu’s down. Frieza may as well be down. Who fixed these reels?!Valxan used one last attack to finish Frieza’s energy, causing him to vanish just as Buu had. Gambler hadn’t seen the warping failsafe programmed into each Consortium member’s armor activate before. It displeased him greatly. Valxan turned to face Gambler, who caught his coin and clenched his fist around it.“…I admit, I’m surprised they drew you from the deck,” Gambler said through clenched teeth. “Go ahead, claim your winnings. But I intend to play another round with you, King…your luck will run out way before mine does.”Gambler threw his coin up one more time, and a small distortion of reality surrounded him as he was teleported back to base. The coin fell back down and hit the ground heads-up. Valxan chuckled to himself.“Called it.”Spirits Used:#1293. Buu#958. Voyager#1291. Frieza#920. Titan#1. Tahu#1423. Green LanternReview in Genakex's Journal.
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#24 Offline Virus #0579

Virus #0579
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Posted Jul 21 2012 - 01:18 PM

Chapter 23: Might of WisdomGenakex stretched his arms as he passed down the hall. “Aaah, that was a great nap!” he yawned. “I’m ready to fight the Earth-Lord!”When Genakex emerged into the arena, he found Onupara, Valxan, Kytan, Tahra, and Phaenyx all treating their wounds. After a pause, he said, “I knew I would lose track of time as soon as we went underground…”“Oh, Genakex!” Kytan said. He limped over to greet his brother. “I’m glad you’re awake. I was just debating whether or not we should wake you up.”Genakex’s eyes floated over to Tahra, who had a large bandage wrapped around her head and over her nose. Tahra’s eyes lit up with the fires of unbridled rage.Kytan turned Genakex and whispered, “Stare and she’ll kill you.”“Yeah, I got that,” Genakex said. “But seriously, what’d I miss? And when did Valxan get here?”“He helped us fend off a Shadow Consortium attack,” Kytan answered.“I slept through an attack?!”“Don’t worry, everything turned out fine. Also…Titan wants to fight Voyager.”“Yeah, but Voyager refused.”“Seems he’s changed his mind.”Phaenyx walked up and held out Titan’s gauntlet, saying, “Sorry to borrow without asking, but the moment called for it.”Genakex took the gauntlet. “So…you used Titan?”“Yeah, but he wants you to be the one to fight Valxan,” Phaenyx said. “Oh, and I’m officially travelling with you guys now. Mission accomplished!”Phaenyx punched the air and walked away. Genakex looked down at the gauntlet, and, after a moment, asked, “You…want me to—““No, I want a competent and well-trained Champion,” Titan interrupted. “But seeing as I don’t have access to that, I have to make do, and you have the most experience at using my power. Do not fail me.”Genakex’s gaze fell from the gauntlet to the ground. Still, he slipped the gauntlet over his hand and fused with Titan, and the others began to evacuate the arena. Tahra muttered something and scratched her bandage.“Genakex didn’t mean anything,” Kytan said. “Don’t worry, the doctor said it was minor, so it should only be a few days.”Tahra looked Titan dead in the eye. Her voice was somewhat threatening as she said, “Do you know what your problem is?”Thinking it a rhetorical question, Kytan didn’t answer at first. When Tahra’s silence lasted, however, he realized she wanted him to answer. “Uh…no?”“Of course you don’t. You spend all your time focusing on other people’s problems to avoid having to deal with your own. How thinly do you think you can spread yourself before you’re torn apart?”Taken by surprise, Kytan had no idea how to respond to this, so he just turned back to the arena. Valxan had fused with Voyager by now, and he declared, “If it’s all the same to you, I’d rather not waste time.”Valxan drew out two decks of playing cards, one in each hand, and they both lit up with energy—one red, the other blue. “Dodge it!” Titan ordered.Valxan held up one hand and said, “Cahdok.”The cards that blazed red flew out faster than Genakex expected, and in an instant they were swarming all over him. Valxan raised his other hand, this time saying, “Gahdok.”The blue deck was quick to follow its counterpart’s attack, and Genakex was almost entirely hidden behind the cloud of more than a hundred cards. “What’s going on?” Genakex asked.“He’s going to use his Royal Awakening!” Titan said. “Stop him! Now!”Genakex was able to hit Valxan with a Plasma Blast, but Valxan didn’t waver. He smiled and said, “Sorry, Genakex…Bahrag’s Wager.”The cards returned to Valxan in opposite hands then where they started, and then Valxan shuffled the two decks together, creating one massive stack of cards bathed in tan energy. This deck was then raised above Valxan’s head, where it rocketed towards the ceiling and burst into a transparent veil of energy that formed a dome around the arena. Seconds later, the dome disappeared; instead, cards made of tan energy appeared in rings around both Genakex and Valxan.“Wait, what’s a Royal Awakening anyway?” Genakex asked.Titan just gave a frustrated sigh. It was Voyager who answered: “The Bahrag souls within the King Bohrok lay dormant for the most part. We are capable of waking their souls, but such terrible power can only be channeled briefly—one attack, to be more precise. The attack fueled by this rush of power is referred to as a Royal Awakening. Of course, mine works a little differently than most…rather than a straightforward attack, I use the Bahrag’s power to make a slight alteration to reality in my immediate vicinity. Each turn, one of us will have our Fusion Energy halved, and my techniques that usually switch between Elements are now considered dual-Elemental.”“Neat!” Genakex said. He was practically drooling over this explanation. “Hey, why don’t we use yours, Titan?”“You honestly think you can handle such a technique?” Titan replied. “You can barely wield my power as is. It is much too soon to attempt the Royal Awakening.”Genakex was no longer excited. Still, he faced Valxan and ran in, throwing himself forward to use Head Bash. The reckless attack was easy to dodge, and Valxan used Trick of Twilight, feinting and then flinging Valxan away with a blast of twilight energy. Genakex got back on his feet quickly, but suddenly the cards floating around him closed in and passed through the middle section of his body, emerging opposite where they entered and then orbiting around him once more. A slicing pain filled Genakex, making him kneel, and he noticed his Fusion Energy meter take a dive.“So that’s what you meant by halving my energy,” he groaned.“Unbelievable!” Titan shouted. “The match just started and we’re already in a position to lose!”Genakex stood up and prepared to fight, but then Trick of Twilight’s blinding effect kicked in. Unable to locate his foe, Genakex used Rockslide in the hopes that at least one of the stones falling from the ceiling would hit their target. None of them did, however, and Valxan threw a Cloud Ring that hit and confused his young foe. The cards around Genakex attacked him once more, worsening his predicament.This isn’t even fair, Valxan thought. I know I wanted to do this quickly, but now I just feel bad…Voyager chuckled. Worry not. Genakex will lose, but perhaps this will be the key to future victories. Such a hopeless battle may help him grasp the true power of the King Bohrok, and motivate him to grow even stronger.Valxan was paying attention to Voyager, so he was surprised when a Stone Blast hit him square in the chest. Genakex shook off the confusion and focused on his opponent, who was unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of Bahrag’s Wager this turn. Summoning his Vacuum Metal Saber, Genakex warily approached Valxan, dodging when a Lightning Rod was thrown at him. The cards halved Genakex’s Fusion Energy again, but he ignored the pain and swung his sword at Valxan, who took the hit but held his ground.“Again…sorry,” Valxan said.Another Cloud Ring was more than enough to knock Genakex out of fusion. The cards turned on Valxan once more before vanishing into thin air, and the casino owner de-fused and faced Genakex. Crushed, the boy had nothing to say…but Titan was another story.“FOOL!” Titan yelled. “Do you know what you’ve done?! Never have I been so humiliated—to fall this early in the battle is a shame you could not possibly comprehend!! When I next awaken, I shall make it my first order of business to hunt you down and make you pay for—““ENOUGH!” Voyager interrupted. Hearing the ever-calm King of Gahlok raise his voice was enough to shock everyone into silence. He quickly lowered it once more as he went on, “Titan…I am not going to force you back into slumber. This was not a fair fight, and it would be wrong of me to take advantage of that.”“I don’t need your pity,” Titan said, seething with rage. “Choosing to spare me is a sign of weakness.”“This is not pity, it is mercy,” Voyager corrected. “Genakex…I believe you possess the potential to become a great Titan Va, but you will not get the chance if you fight before you are ready. The other four King Bohrok will not be as kind as I—given the chance, they will put an end to Titan’s campaign in this war. Should you encounter one of them, I would advise discretion, at least until you have learned Perfect Fusion and Titan’s Royal Awakening.”Slowly, Genakex nodded. Valxan put a hand on his shoulder and smiled, offering, “It may not be easy, but being a Va Champion is a wonderful honor. The accomplishment is well worth the effort.”Titan continued to grumble as Valxan walked over to Onupara and bowed. Onupara said, “Thank you for coming to me with this problem, and for helping us in the battle. However, I doubt that the Consortium has given up.”“As do I,” Valxan said. “Gambler said that he had agents poised to take over through completely legal means…I believe that calls for an intensive review of my employees. I’ll start with the Lucky Ghekula here on Onu-Isle before moving on to the other islands.”“Best of luck,” Onupara encouraged.Valxan smiled and looked at Voyager’s die, which he held in his hand. “I don’t think luck will be an issue.”With that, Valxan left the Battlefield, and Onupara turned to Genakex. “Perhaps you should wait until tomorrow to fight for your Ultima-Orb,” the Earth-Lord suggested.“…Yeah,” Genakex agreed. “I’m going back to bed.”Genakex wandered off down the hallway. Phaenyx leaned closer to Onupara, saying, “Sooo…since I’m in the group now, should I stay here too?”“Yes, you should,” Onupara sighed.“Awesome!” Phaenyx said. “Now to pick a room!”Phaenyx rushed down the hall next, and Tahra headed that same way afterwards. Kytan wanted to say something, but he was still too stunned and decided to let her go. Onupara said, “Thank you for helping today, Kytan. You are quite the fighter.”“Huh? Oh, yes, thank you,” Kytan said. “…Now that I think about it, I still haven’t seen Xyla since earlier…”“She seemed most displeased after she used Hive Devastator,” Onupara mused.Kytan instantly turned around. “She used…? Well that explains it.”He took a step towards the hallway, but then he stopped. …Maybe Tahra’s right…maybe I shouldn’t get involved…Spirits Used:#920. Exo-Pahrak Kal Titan#958. Exo-Gahlok Kal VoyagerReview in Genakex's Journal.
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#25 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jul 24 2012 - 01:57 PM

Chapter 24: Burst of Humanity“Unbelievable,” Gambler growled. “What was that?! You just gave up!”Buu, who was asleep in his niche again, didn’t reply. Frieza was irritated also, but he felt compelled to answer, “Buu can only function for a limited amount of time before he needs to be recharged.”“WHAT?!” Gambler shouted. “What good is that?! Why are we wasting CYAN to fuel something we get so little use out of?!”“The CYAN is the problem,” Frieza said. “If he’s away from it for too long, his body—““I don’t care about the details!” Gambler snapped. “If you knew this, you should’ve done a better job of giving him space to work! You know I can’t fight because of Garland’s rule! And where’s Cell?”“Contrivance is working on him,” Frieza responded.“Ugh, Contrivance,” Gambler sighed. “…You three are lucky you’re not in my Division, else I’d have a game of Russian Roulette with your names on it!”Gambler stormed out of the command center, and Frieza glared in Buu’s direction. “You had one job,” Frieza mumbled. “You really are becoming more trouble than you’re worth. I’ll never understand why Contrivance was so desperate to get you on-board…”Virulence soon shambled into the command center. After a few coughs, he said, “I hear the mission didn’t go well. Only to be expected when up against two King Bohrok.”“My apologies, sir,” Frieza whispered. “I will accept what punishment you see fit.”“I’d say you’ve been through enough, but I still have to follow protocol,” Virulence replied.As the Division Head approached Frieza, the claws on his right hand extended, and then he jammed all five needles into Frieza’s chest. Frieza winced from the pain, and a few seconds later Virulence withdrew. Poison still dripped from his claws as they retracted, and Frieza swayed back and forth.“Ahaughau…you know the drill,” Virulence said. He sat down and caught his breath. “It’ll wear off in about 24 hours.”Virulence’s eyes shifted to Buu. “His ‘battery life’ is going down at an alarming pace. In a matter of months, he probably won’t be good for anything.”Frieza leaned against the control panel, his breathing shallow. “I still say…we take some CYAN…into the field with us…”“Garland would never agree,” Virulence said. “It’s far too valuable for us to risk losing it.”“Virtually all of it…goes to Buu anyway,” Frieza argued. “It’s not like…we’re making a profit…”“Still, if the…” Virulence stopped to have a coughing fit. “…Element-Lords get ahold of it, it could spell trouble. I think we all know how Garland would react to that.”Virulence turned around and faced a computer screen. “Things aren’t all bad, though. We…mhrm…have all we need on the Titan Va. This should keep our heads above water for the time being. Oh, also, you and Cell are being transferred to Contrivance’s Le-Isle project.”“What? Why?”“Beats me. I never know what that psychotic cyborg is thinking…anyway, you leave the day after tomorrow. I recommend you follow his orders for now…you know how he punishes agents.”Frieza shuddered. “Yes, sir…”Kytan stood outside the door to Xyla’s room, ready to knock. He remained still, however. While he did want to help Xyla, what Tahra had said earlier continued to bother him. For as long as he could remember, he had always had a strange desire to fix the problems of the people around him…but now that he thought about it, he never had spent much time on his own problems.Still, that doesn’t mean I’m running away, Kytan thought. He turned and scratched his head. I just like helping people. There’s nothing wrong with being selfless.He turned to knock again…but stopped. Ah…what if I’m being nosy? I mean, it really isn’t any of my business…but if I can help, shouldn’t I? Then again, how can I be sure that I can help? There’s no sure way to tell…argh!Kytan sat down against the wall and sighed. Maybe I just shouldn’t let what Tahra said get to me. But…she could have a valid point…I have been thinking more about other people’s problems than what Dad said…guess I haven’t really dealt with it…The sound of footsteps caught his attention, and he looked up to see Tahra making her way down the hall. She yawned, spotted Kytan, and came to a halt. “…Do you know how late it is?” she asked.“…I have an idea,” Kytan answered.Tahra looked to Xyla’s door, and then turned back to Kytan. “Did you talk to her?”“Still debating it?”“Debating?”Kytan nodded. Hesitantly, Tahra sat down on the other side of the hall. “Care to share the talking points?”“I was thinking about what you said earlier, and I wasn’t sure I should.”“What I said bothered you that much? Geez, you’re easy to get to.”“You’re the one who goes around punching people.”“…You want me to punch you again.”Kytan sighed. “…I’m sorry. It’s just that I’m not sure if I’ve actually been helping other people, or if I’ve really only been helping myself this whole time. It’s a bit stressful.”Tahra nodded. “Fair enough. But I still stand by what I said earlier: people are only out for themselves in the end. Maybe you did just want to help people, to ‘do the right thing’, but you still benefit from that. You feel good about yourself; you feel accomplished, proud, like you’re chalking up a great resume for when you get judged in the afterlife.”Kytan needed a moment to take this in. “With that logic, everything a person does is motivated by pure selfishness.”“Exactly. Self-interest is the only thing that drives any living being. Accept it, deal with it, get used to it.”“That’s…twisted.”Tahra laughed. “Twisted, you say? Well, so what if it is? Are you going to fix it with the resources you should be using on your own mess?”“By your own logic, you shouldn’t care. Explain that to me.”“A terrible thing happened to you, and you don’t seem to be reacting to it. That kind of denial begins to mess with the way you act, and before you know it, our whole group dynamic is thrown out of whack. You’re tolerable the way you are now, but I have a feeling that you’ll get annoying if you don’t deal with your issues.”Kytan, eyes wide, stared at Tahra. “Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?! You want to trigger an emotional breakdown just so that I won’t grow to annoy you?! Do you know what that makes you sound like?!”Tahra smiled. “I know exactly what it makes me sound like. Say it. I dare you.”Kytan closed his eyes and loosed an angry sigh. “…Of course I’m reacting to what happened. My father disowned me. Do you have any idea how much that hurts?”Tahra seemed to have something to say, but she held her tongue. Kytan continued, “I’m brimming with anger and frustration, with a wave of crushing sadness right behind it! I’m so upset that I’m ready to explode, but I can’t. I need to hold it together, not just because I’m on a quest, not just because we’re the targets of a criminal empire, but on top of all that, if I lose it, then Genakex loses his entire support structure and comes crashing down as well! I have to be there for my brother, which is a lot more difficult with Titan and Xyla, plus Phaenyx is already starting to get on my nerves despite the fact that I just met him! And you. You’ve confused me this whole time, but now I see that you’re nothing but a selfish…”Kytan realized how loud he was getting and made himself stop. After taking a few deep breaths, he picked up again with, “And I have to keep putting up with all of this until we’re done with our quest—maybe longer. So excuse me if I’m not freaking out at the pact you prefer. I’m just settling in for the long haul.”Tahra waited a moment before asking, “See? Feel better yet?”Kytan put his head back against the wall and chuckled. Tahra said, “No, seriously. You need to take time to vent every now and then, else it all comes out in one destructive burst.”“Yeah, well…hopefully the next time won’t be in the middle of the night,” Kytan replied. “…I shouldn’t even be this upset. Things have always been tense with my father; it was only a matter of time before it all went wrong.”“Parents can hurt you like no one else,” Tahra said. “Comes with the territory, I guess. So…what’s Xyla’s problem?”“She used a Stone technique to defeat Onupara.”“…Most people do.”“You don’t understand: Xyla and her parents were cut off from the rest of the Pahrop family because she chose Air over Stone, so she feels a great need to prove herself as a master Air specialist—to prove that she made the right choice. But if she can’t win without using Stone, she feels like she made the wrong choice, and that the consequences her parents have faced because of her were all for nothing.”“…Well, when you put it like that…” Tahra mumbled. “…What’s the plan?”Kytan thought for a moment. “…Actually…maybe we can’t do anything. I can’t think of a way to console her in this situation, and even if I could, she probably just wants to be alone.”“Sucks that we’ll need to get on the road tomorrow, then.”“Let’s just give her some space for now. Maybe she’ll work through it on her own.”“And if not?”“…We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now, I’m going to bed.”Kytan stood up and took a few steps down the hall. However, he stopped, looked over his shoulder, and said, “Thank you. You may not have had the kindest reasons for doing what you did, but…it helped.”“Of course it did,” Tahra said as she got up. “I know what I’m doing. You’re not the only one who can fix things, you know.”Kytan took a few more steps. Tahra added, “You do know that, right?”“I do,” Kytan said. “Just like you know that brute force can’t solve everything, right?”“…And that’s in relation to…?”“Becoming Fire-Lord. Obtaining political office is a bit more complex than just busting the heads of all naysayers.”“Since when?”Kytan laughed. Tahra asked, “You really still want to ‘help’ me?”Kytan shrugged. “Maybe I’m just helping myself. Or maybe I’m just trying to annoy you.”“Hah! You couldn’t annoy me if you tried!”“That contradicts you’re earlier statement.”“…I thought you were going to bed?”Kytan chuckled and went on his way. Tahra rolled her eyes and headed back the way she had come, mumbling something under her breath.Review in Genakex's Journal.
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#26 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jul 27 2012 - 02:49 PM

Chapter 25: Tunneling Drill“I don’t know why you’re even bothering,” Titan grumbled. “After yesterday’s failure, what makes you think you can defeat the Earth-Lord?”Genakex didn’t reply—he just kept walking down the hall, doing his best to not let the criticism get to him. When he reached the arena he set his pack down and began to go through it, but he was interrupted by the sound of a door opening.Onupara emerged from his office and greeted, “Good morning. Have you recovered from yesterday?”“Yeah,” Genakex said. “…So, do you sleep in there?”“No, I just tend to wake up fairly early, and I use the extra time to get my work done,” Onupara replied. “Are you ready to fight?”“You won’t be getting my help,” Titan declared.“I wasn’t going to ask for it,” Genakex said. He drew two Orbs out of his pack, attached one to his belt, and then stepped into the arena. Onupara fused with Toa Onepu, and Genakex took a deep breath and held up his Orb.“Fusion, Gurren Lagann!”A ribbon of green energy started at Genakex’s feet and wrapped itself in a spiral around him, and then the Orb erupted into red armor that quickly spread over Genakex’s body. The greaves and forearms of the armor quickly changed to black, and two black and yellow plates of armor formed on its hips while two narrow black shields grew from the shoulders. A smiling face formed on Genakex’s torso, and two large, angular sunglasses covered the eyes of this face, and finally, Genakex’s head was covered with a red helmet that sported a yellow crest.Onupara activated his Pakari and commented, “Interesting choice. You must have saved up some Widgets to be able to afford that.”“Time to find out if it was worth it,” Genakex said.The armor at Genakex’s waist opened just enough that he was able to grab the Orb on his belt, and once he removed it the armor filled in once more. Genakex tossed the Orb into the air, pulled back one arm, and announced, “Combine! Exo-Skrall Master Warrior!”Genakex thrust his arm forward and a long drill extended from his palm, piercing the Orb. The glass sphere, rather than being shattered, vanished on impact, and Genakex’s armor immediately began to transform. The armor that was red shifted towards a darker shade and his helmet changed form to closely resemble that of a Skrall, although it retained its crest and did not entirely cover Genakex’s face. The shields on Genakex's shoulders expanded into Skrall shields and sharp black plates appeared on his thighs, and his feet widened and grew clawed toes while his weapons started to form. A Skrall sword appeared in Genakex’s right hand, a rifle-like Thornax Launcher was mounted on his left arm, a chain flail was wrapped around his waist, and an axe, a lance, and a scythe appeared on his back.Genakex raised his sword defensively as the shields began to spin, and, with a grin, he said, “Skrall Master Gurren Lagann!”A ring of stalagmites rose up to skewer Genakex, but he flew out of the way and aimed his Thornax Rifle, prompting Onupara to activate his Ussal Shell. Rather than firing, however, Genakex ripped one of his shields off his shoulder and hurled it at his foe, tearing a hole in the barrier. The shell retracted, but a few twisted scraps of metal were unable to do so and now jutted out of the Ussal Gauntlets, jamming the device that created the shield.“…Not bad,” Onupara muttered.“Sometimes I know what I’m doing!” Genakex said.Onupara grabbed the fallen shield and threw it back at Genakex, but Genakex repositioned himself so that the shield harmlessly reattached to his shoulder. When he turned back, however, Onupara was right in front of him and used a punch to knock him out of the air. Genakex bounced onto his feet and shook his head, and when he spotted more stalagmites on their way he pivoted to catch them on one of his shields. Onupara remained at a distance, so Genakex removed the sunglasses from his torso and threw them as a Boomerang. Onupara was careful to dodge the attack, both during its first pass and when it returned, but in doing so he lost track of Genakex. Genakex removed his helmet, which transformed into a drill, and threw it as the Boomerang came back to him. The drill buried itself in Onupara’s chest, and the Earth-Lord’s eyes went blank as the mind control effect of Lagann Impact kicked in.“Good,” Genakex said. “Hm, probably shouldn’t take the chance…just keep using Stalagmite Pincer on yourself.”Onupara raised his arms and began to attack himself as instructed, and Genakex created a massive drill around his arm. With a smirk, Genakex said, “Giga Drill Breaker!”Genakex dashed out and rammed the drill into Onupara, driving him back and into the wall, and then the weapon vanished before the dust was settled. With effort, Onupara got back on his feet, and then he attacked himself once more, draining the last of Toa Onepu’s energy. Genakex sighed and used Spiral Restoration, causing green light to spiral around him again to heal him and restore his helmet.“Hm,” Onupara grunted. “…I have to admit, I did not expect you to take Onepu down that quickly.”Genakex sighed, “Yeah, I get that a lot…I mean, not the Onepu thing specifically, but…you know.”It was at this time that Kytan emerged from the hall, and he was surprised to see his brother in the arena. This is pretty early for him…As he drew closer to the bleachers, Titan said, “Oh, come to see your brother fail again?”“It looks like he’s doing well to me,” Kytan replied.“Hmph,” Titan scoffed. “If I had my full power, I could have flattened this opponent with one flick of my wrist. The boy has a long way to go.”Knowing better than to argue with Titan, Kytan let it go and took a seat. Onupara had fused with Toa Whenua by now, and he had decided to Archive Spiral Restoration. However, Genakex drew his Chain Flail, swung it in the air a few times, and then threw it. Onupara easily leapt aside, but Genakex quickly pulled the chain into another swing, bringing it around to strike the Earth-Lord. Genakex shot Onupara with the Thornax Rifle and backed away to be cautious. Onupara tried to heal, but he found that the hit from Chain Flail had disabled Spiral Restoration.That is not good, Onupara thought.Genakex threw his Boomerang, and Onupara Tunneled underground to avoid it. When he resurfaced, however, Genakex took the hit and dashed past his foe with Speed Slash. Onupara used Earthquake as a distraction, making Genakex jump, and then he punched a drill into Genakex and sent him tumbling backwards. Genakex leapt back up, an Axe in one hand and a Scythe in the other, but Onupara evaded both weapons and dealt another strike with his drill. Onupara summoned an Earthquake as quickly as he could, but Genakex lunged forward and knocked the Earth-Lord down with his Lance.“You have to admit, he is improving,” Kytan said.“Perhaps,” Titan mumbled, “at a very slow pace. Should this rate continue, however, he will still not be of any use to me before the war ends.”Onupara Tunneled underground again, and this time Genakex transformed his hand into a medium-sized drill and drove it into the ground, hitting Onupara before he emerged. The blow stunned the Earth-Lord, so Genakex grabbed him, pulled him out of the ground, and launched him with one solid Mecha Kick. Onupara’s fusion armor broke off piece by piece as he rolled along the ground, until he finally stopped, sat up, and put a hand to his head.“Sorry,” Genakex apologized. He de-fused and ran towards the Earth-Lord.“Don’t worry, no harm done,” Onupara said as he got to his feet. “Excellent battle. You definitely earned your Ultima-Orb.”Kytan turned to Titan’s gauntlet. “Anything?”“Hrmph,” Titan scoffed. “The Earth-Lord is easily impressed.”Kytan sighed and stood up. Genakex approached, saying, “Hey, niisan! Did you see my battle? How did I do?”“I caught some of it,” Kytan replied. “I’m impressed. It looks like you’re beginning to learn how to develop strategies.”“Really?” Genakex said. “I wasn’t really trying…”Titan muttered something. Onupara spoke up, “I need to make a few preparations before we leave for Ko-Isle. You may wish to wake up your friends.”“I’ll get Xyla,” Genakex volunteered. “I need to apologize to her…”Kytan’s first instinct was to warn his brother that Xyla wasn’t feeling herself. However, due to recent events, he felt that perhaps he should not meddle in this situation, so he held his tongue. The brothers made their way down the hall, Genakex stopping by Xyla’s door and Kytan continuing on.“Xyla?” Genakex called as he knocked on the door. “Xyla? You awake?”Muffled sounds could be heard from behind the door, so Genakex waited patiently. Soon the door opened, although only about an inch or two. Xyla peered through the narrow opening and asked, “What do you want?”She sounded tired…or perhaps she was just uninterested? Genakex wasn’t sure.“We’re getting ready to head to Ko-Isle,” Genakex informed her.Xyla nodded and stepped away, but Genakex continued, “Wait! Uh…I wanted to apologize for yesterday. I was really rude to you, and…I’m sorry.”“It’s alright,” Xyla said. “You were tired.”“Still, that’s no ex…” Genakex trailed off. “…Are you okay? You never accept my apologies…”“I’m fine,” Xyla said. “I’ll be ready soon.”The door closed, but Genakex decided to persist. “Are you sure nothing’s wrong?” he asked. “You seem…off.”There was no reply.“…Well…if there’s anything I can help with, let me know. I want to make up for what happened.”“Just let it go,” Xyla quietly said. “It’s nothing that concerns you.”“So there is something wrong?”“…Please…just let it go.”“I’m just concerned is all. I’ve never seen you like this…”Xyla didn’t respond. Genakex wasn’t sure what to say, so he sat down against the wall next to the door. A few minutes later, Xyla emerged, prompting Genakex to jump to his feet. Xyla quickly turned away from him, but it was not the cold shoulder he was used to. Rather than feeling a blast of repulsion, Genakex felt like a wall had been placed between the two of them, a wall that Xyla was desperate to stay behind. It was a feeling of withdrawal that he was all too familiar with.“Xyla…” he mumbled.“Just...leave me alone!” she snapped, though it was far less forceful than her usual assaults. “Can’t you take a hint?”Genakex decided to let it be and silently followed Xyla into the arena chamber. It wasn’t much longer before Kytan, Tahra, and Phaenyx joined them, and Phaenyx immediately began asking Genakex about his battle. Kytan noticed how downcast Xyla looked, but then he noticed Tahra watching him. For some reason Tahra made him nervous…but before he could decide what to do, Onupara made his way into the chamber.“It seems there is a slight problem,” Onupara said. “A very large, very dangerous blizzard is forming on Ko-Isle, and in a matter of days it will engulf the island. If we leave now, we can get to Ko-Isle before the blizzard becomes too thick to travel through, but you will be stranded there until the blizzard ceases. You may stay here until the storm passes if you wish.”“And why would we waste that much time?” Titan asked. “The most efficient path is the path forward.”“Ugh…do I have to agree with him?” Tahra grumbled.“Yeah, it’d be boring to just sit around and watch the weather report,” Phaenyx replied.“I don’t think there will be any objections,” Kytan said. “We’re ready to leave now.”Spirits Used:#1453. Toa Onepu#24. Toa Whenua#879. Gurren Lagann#962. Exo-Skrall Master WarriorReview in Genakex's Journal.
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#27 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Aug 16 2012 - 11:42 AM

Chapter 26: Morning FrostKytan pulled his gray winter coat closer around himself and rubbed his mitten-covered hands together. Onupara had insisted that they bring a full stock of winter clothes to help them cope with the bitter cold on Ko-Isle, and trudging across the endless fields of snow made Kytan glad that they had listened. Genakex, Phaenyx, and the Earth-Lord had identical gear to what Kytan wore but in various shades of black, and Xyla wore a green coat in addition to green snow pants.Tahra was the oddity, foe she had insisted that all she needed was a simple red jacket and black gloves, and it actually seemed to be enough. Her nose had healed and the bandage was gone, so everyone could see the smug look on her face.“Just another advantage of being a Fire specialist,” she had said.Kytan raised a hand to shield his face from the wind and snow, and he looked about to see if he could spot any sign that they were approaching the city. Not much could be seen through the thick blizzard, but all that could be made out were the dull outlines of mountains. The ground in front of the travelers rose up into a high ridge, and Kytan stopped to prepare himself for the climb ahead.“We’re here!” Onupara declared.“What?” Genakex asked. “How can you tell? Everything looks the same!”Onupara pressed onward and pointed at the ridge, not saying a word. As the group drew nearer, they spotted two parallel railings jutting out from the hillside, and amidst the shifting snow between them could be seen flashes of what appeared to be stone stairs. Tahra fused with her newly-upgraded Tahu Nuva and sent a wave of fire between the railings, clearing away the snow and confirming the existence of a staircase, which everyone quickly ascended. Upon reaching the peak of the ridge, they could see that it curved around in a circle to create a massive crater, in which were a multitude of igloo-like buildings arranged and linked by ice walkways so that the city looked like a giant snowflake from above.“About time we got here!” Phaenyx exclaimed. “This has got to be the most inhospitable island on this quest.”“A little soon to make a call like that,” Tahra said.Another rail-lined staircase was on the inner wall of the crater to serve as a path down into the city, which seemed deserted save for the lights within the houses and a few people darting in and out. The high walls provided some shelter from the worst of the storm, so the trip to the middle of town was a relaxing change of pace. At the center of the snowflake design was a large ice column with a door on one side, and carved into the surface just above the doorway was an asterisk symbol.Genakex ran up and grabbed the handle on the door, but when he tried to open it he found it was locked. “Huh? This is the Battlefield, right?”“The Ice-Lord’s not here right now,” someone answered.Emerging from a nearby building was a 12-year-old girl who had long white hair with various gray highlights that fell to one side of her face, and at first glance it seemed that her eyes did not have irises. As she came closer, it could be seen that she did have irises, but they were of such an incredibly light shade that they almost entirely blended in with the whites of her eyes. She wore a gray long-sleeved jacket and a long gray skirt with pants underneath, and all of her clothes were lined with white fur at the edges.“He headed out to prepare for the blizzard,” she went on. “No one gets in until he gets back.”“I see,” Onupara said. “Tell us, what is your name?”“Samuko,” the girl replied. “Samuko Aisu.”Onupara nodded. “Do you know when the Ice-Lord will be back, Samuko?”“No clue,” Samuko answered. She pointed and said, “That guy’s been waiting for a few hours already.”It was then that the children noticed someone else their age sitting just around the corner: a boy with red-brown eyes and short dark blond hair who wore orange pants, an orange jacket, black shoes, and a black t-shirt. He sat on the sidewalk, arms crossed and teeth chattering, but he did his best to smile.“Y-Y-Yeah, it’s been a w-w-while,” he said. “The n-name’s Takashi Kazen, and before you g-get any ideas, I’m f-f-fighting the Ice-Lord first!”“Why have you been sitting out here in the cold?” Phaenyx asked.“I’m from T-Ta-Isle!” Takashi said. “Cold can’t b-b-bother m-me!”“Amateur,” Tahra sighed. “When it’s this cold you need to keep moving to stay warm. It generates friction for you to use, and it keeps your heart right up, which helps the heat circulate.”Takashi shivered for a few more seconds. “…R-R-Right,” he said as he stood up. “I’m j-just gonna…walk around the B-Battlefield a few t-times…”Takashi began to run in a circle around the ice column, and Samuko laughed, “What a moron…has no idea what he’s doing.”“At least he’s determined,” Genakex pointed out.“Thank you,” Takashi said as he came around the pillar.“Do you have any idea where we may be able to find the Ice-Lord?” Onupara asked.Samuko pointed up. “On the walkways, checking the dome generators.”“Let’s go find him then,” Genakex said.“Normally I would recommend we wait,” Onupara said, “but I want to make it back to the bridge before nightfall…I think I will go find Stratoro. Anyone who wants to come with me is welcome.”Onupara headed for one of the staircases carved into the buildings, Genakex and Kytan following him. They climbed up onto the ice walkways above the city and quickly walked out of sight, leaving the others to wait for their return. Xyla and Phaenyx sat down on the sidewalk while Tahra began to pace back and forth, and all the while Takashi continued to run in circles.“So why is the Earth-Lord here with you?” Samuko asked.“We’re targets of the Shadow Consortium,” Phaenyx answered.Tahra stopped to glare at Phaenyx, adding, “…And it’s supposed to be a secret.”“What did you guys do to get their attention?” Takashi asked.“Again, secret,” Tahra said, resuming her pacing.“Oh come on, this blizzard has probably scared them all off for the time being,” Phaenyx said. “What harm could it do to let a few people in on the secret?”“How about third-degree burns?” Tahra threatened.“…Alright, fine,” Phaenyx grumbled.Tahra turned around, satisfied she had put the discussion to rest, but then she spotted a familiar face. “Oh, Tahra!” Hutanik said as he made his way down the street. “Didn’t think I’d run into you again so soon.”“You’re that guy Kytan fought, right?” Tahra asked.“Yeah, that’s me,” Hutanik answered. “So you guys are going to wait the blizzard out? Good luck.”“Luck is for pushovers,” Tahra said.“Perhaps,” Hutanik chuckled. He then spotted Xyla, who had a miserable look on her face and refused to look up from the ground. “…What’s with her?”“Long story,” Tahra whispered. “Something tells me you’re in a rush.”“No way I’m going to be here for that blizzard,” Hutanik said. “Nice seeing you, though.”“Yeah, sure,” Tahra muttered as Hutanik took off.“Who was that?” Samuko asked.Tahra shrugged. “Some guy from Ta-Isle. Bumped into him on Onu-Isle, but he was in a hurry then too.”“Too bad he had to go,” Phaenyx said. “If Kytan fought him, then I want to fight him too.”“Are you trying to pass yourself off as Kytan’s equal?” Tahra asked.Phaenyx smiled. “I won’t know until I try.”“Titan?” Genakex asked.“Hm? What?” Titan responded.“Just wondering if you were still there,” Genakex said. “You’ve been really quiet. Is something up?”“…I’m not sure,” Titan grumbled. “I’m getting a strange feeling. I sense something…but it’s so faint that I’m not sure what it is, and it’s impossible to locate it.”“Could be your imagination.”“You dare accuse me of insanity?!”“What? No, that’s not what I meant!”“Look over there,” Kytan interrupted. “I think I see somebody.”Indeed, there was someone standing further down the walkway: a man in gray clothes wearing a long white winter coat and snowshoes, hunched over a large block of ice. He stood up, ran a hand through his short white hair, and muttered something.“Stratoro!” Onupara called.The man spun around to face his company, who could now see the black goggles strapped over his eyes. As they came closer, though, he pulled the goggles off and let them hang loosely around his neck. His blue eyes were totally devoid of emotion, and his face was frozen in a permanent frown.“I’m busy,” he shortly replied.“I can see,” Onupara said. “Genakex, Kytan, this is Stratoro, the Fourth Ice-Lord. He is…ah…how should I put this…”Stratoro, bored with the conversation, put his goggles back over his eyes and turned to the block of ice. “What’s with the ice cube?” Genakex asked.“It’s something Stratoro invented,” Onupara answered. “They’re placed all over the walkways, and when he activates them with his Ice-Lord power, they produce a dome of ice over the city to provide protection from blizzards.”“Oh…neat!” Genakex said. He moved in to get a closer look, but Stratoro gave a glare that was perfectly perceived despite his goggles.“Don’t touch,” the Ice-Lord ordered. Genakex immediately backed away.“You see what I mean,” Onupara whispered to Kytan. He then addressed Stratoro, “I am leaving these children and others in your care, as we discussed.”“The generators need to be calibrated,” Stratoro replied.“Alright…how many more do you have to work on?”“This is the last one.”“…And when will you be done with it?”“I need 40 seconds of uninterrupted silence.”Onupara closed his eyes and waited. Stratoro held one hand over the generator, which began to slowly shift while still maintaining its general shape. After a while the movement ceased, and Stratoro stood up with a sigh.“Fine,” Stratoro said, lowering his goggles again. “Consider the transfer complete.”He says it like we’re prisoners, Kytan noted.“Excellent,” Onupara said. “I’d love to stay and visit, but I must get back the Onu-Isle before the storm gets bad. Farewell, all; I hope to see you again soon.”Onupara headed down the intersecting walkways towards the city entrance, and Stratoro started back towards the Battlefield. Kytan and Genakex decided they were supposed to follow the Ice-Lord, so they took off after him. When they returned, Stratoro unlocked the Battlefield without a word to anyone, and once inside he went straight for the icy staircase.“Wait, where are you going?” Takashi asked.“There will be no battles today,” Stratoro replied. “We will begin tomorrow.”“What? It’s not that late!” Takashi cried.Stratoro ignored him and went to the next floor. Kytan surveyed the interior of the Battlefield—it was entirely covered in ice, from the door to the benches to the walls, yet was somehow much warmer than being outside in the open.“Yeah, he’s always like that,” Tahra pre-emptively answered. “If you didn’t hate Ice specialists before, you’re about to learn to hate them.”“I guess I need to find a hotel, then,” Takashi mumbled. “All that waiting for nothing…”Takashi slowly made his way back outside. Genakex mumbled, “Poor guy…well, I’m going to go make a cocoon out of at least 10 blankets. See you tomorrow.”Genakex stepped towards the stairs, but Tahra grabbed him by the hood of his coat. “Not so fast,” Tahra said. “We need to decide on an order for fighting the Ice-Lord.”“…Right now?” Genakex asked. “It’s just…that seems like something we don’t need to decide on until more than one of us wants to fight at the same time.”“Well if you want to be one of the last ones to fight him, feel free to miss your chance,” Tahra said.“Sounds good. I mean, I don’t even have any Spirits picked out to Combine with yet, so…”Tahra let him go, muttering, “Amateur…”Genakex stood up, straightened his coat, and argued, “I prefer to call it ‘being prepared’.”He began to leave, but Tahra grabbed him again. “Are you saying I’m not prepared…?”Review in Genakex's Journal.
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#28 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Aug 20 2012 - 01:49 PM

Chapter 27: Cracked Ice“Not prepared, hmph,” Tahra scoffed. “I’m more then prepared—I’ve spent years preparing! How did he and Kytan come from the same gene pool?”With a sigh, she sat down and looked around her room. The furniture in the bedroom was, thankfully, not made of ice, making it more comfortable for travelers not used to dealing with the climate, and the bed was outfitted with three or four blankets for the same reason. A wooden desk and chair sat under a window right next to the bed, currently serving as a place for Tahra to set her bags as opposed to the more obvious closet set into one of the walls. It was, more or less, the same as the bedrooms of every other Battlefield.Tahra sighed. Isn’t it just like Stratoro to keep us all waiting. There’s no way calibrating those generators drained him too much to fight an Orb Battle or two. Ugh, what am I supposed to do now…A knock at the door made Tahra jump to her feet. “…Who is it?”“Xyla.”Tahra walked over and opened the door, asking, “Something I can help you with?”Xyla, her eyes on the floor, quietly requested, “Uh…I was wondering…could I borrow a few Fire Spirits, please?”Tahra raised an eyebrow. “You’re not gonna use your Air Spirits to fight Stratoro?”“…Is that a no?”Tahra headed back across the room and gestured for Xyla to follow. “Alright, don’t want to push your luck against an Element you’re weak to, I get it. Take your pick.”Xyla entered the room as Tahra unzipped her backpack, spilling her cache of Fire Spirits onto the bed. Tahra sat back as Xyla began sifting through the Orbs, answering questions as needed but staying silent for the most part. After selecting a couple Spirits, Xyla thanked Tahra and left, and Tahra followed behind her to close the door. As Xyla started down the hall, however, Kytan came around the corner, so Tahra decided to watch.“Oh, hello,” Kytan greeted. “What are those?”“Some Fire Spirits Tahra lent to me,” Xyla answered.Kytan frowned. “I see…you know, you don’t necessarily have to use Fire Spirits against…”Xyla continued on without listening, so Kytan gave up and turned to Tahra. With a smile, Tahra headed downstairs and out of the Battlefield, coming to a stop in the middle of the street. When Kytan came up behind her, she said, “Quit worrying.”“I have good reason,” Kytan returned. “Xyla was determined to at least try to fight the Ice-Lord with Air Spirits. I’m not convinced it’s a good idea to humor her giving up on being an Air specialist.”Tahra shook her head and started walking. “She hasn’t given up.”After a moment, Kytan took off after Tahra. “What makes you say that?”“I told her she could pick any Fire Spirit she wanted, and out of the whole selection, she immediately picked up Jack Corvus.”Kytan didn’t understand, so Tahra clarified, “She was immediately drawn to the only one that can fly.”The realization hit Kytan head-on. “Oh!” he exclaimed. “…You really think…?”Tahra shrugged. “All I know is that she’s still clinging to the sky. Not sure what it’ll take to snap her out of this depression, but there’s a good chance that a way exists.”Kytan chuckled. Tahra looked over her shoulder, asking, “What?”“You don’t still expect me to believe that you don’t care, do you?” Kytan asked.“I see you’re still trying to fix everything.”“Yes, well…I’ve been thinking about that…”Kytan’s pace slowed. Tahra realized this and matched him.“…Our dad and Genakex have never gotten along,” Kytan began. “It’s something I’ve had to face every day, for almost my entire life. Our mother told Genakex and I to watch out for each other no matter what, but despite that, I never helped Genakex out where he most needed help…I was afraid of my father…selfishly afraid that if I sided with Genakex instead of him, he would start to treat me the same way.”Kytan’s steps were now moving at a quarter of their original speed. Still, Tahra matched him.“I was too afraid to address what needed to be fixed, and that weighed on my conscience so much that…I guess I was desperate for even the slightest relief. I couldn’t fix the problem between Genakex and Dad, but there were other problems I could fix. Maybe I thought that if I fixed every other problem I came across, it would cancel out my shame somehow…”Kytan stopped walking and smiled. “Guess I still want to think that way. Kind of stupid, right?”Tahra took a few more steps before she stopped. “…Whatever helps you cope,” she offered. “But why are you telling me this? Do you care that much what I think about you?”“Yes.”Tahra turned to face Kytan. He went on, “I do care what you think about me, and I still want to help you through your problems. But, you were right: I want to help you for selfish reasons. Not just what I said earlier, but also because I want to have you as a friend.”It took Tahra a minute, but she eventually replied, “I’m not exactly ‘friend’ material.”“I beg to differ,” Kytan argued. “Sure, you’re stubborn, a little bossy, a tad bit arrogant, and you think all people are depraved, hopeless monsters. But all that makes you unique, and totally unlike anyone I’ve met before. You challenge my beliefs, make me re-examine everything, force me to face the truths I’ve been overlooking…if I keep you as a friend, then you’ll continue to push me to grow, whether you realize it or not.”Kytan smirked before finishing, “And since you’ve made me accept how selfish I am, I’m not going to give you a choice in the matter—there’s no way I’m letting go of something so beneficial.”Tahra stared at Kytan for what seemed like a very, very long time. Soon enough, though, she turned away and laughed, though it did sound a bit forced. “Oh that’s rich!” she said as she resumed walking. “What inspirational seminar did you tear that from?”Kytan caught up and muttered, “Yeah, yeah, get your shots in.”“Alright, master problem solver, any breakthroughs I should be aware of?”“Not exactly…but I’m sure there’s some way to change the minds of the sexists who don’t want you to be Fire-Lord.”“Ah, so that’s what you’re focusing on.”“…Well…yes. Is there something more?”Tahra shrugged. “You tell me. I’m not going to be giving you any hints in this, because at the end of the day, the way I am is functional. I see no reason to mess with a good thing.”“Well, I have been in need of a challenge,” Kytan said. “Feel free to do your best to dissuade me.”“Now why would I do that? All that’ll do is give you more information on my defensive mechanisms.”“Oh, you really aren’t going to make this easy…”The two of them were now rather far from where they started, so they turned onto another street and began to head back down the new route. Before they got far, however, they spotted the familiar faces of Takashi and Samuko outside a restaurant…although what stood out more was what they heard.“What’s that supposed to mean?!” Samuko shouted.Takashi recoiled, saying, “Hey, I didn’t mean—““Oh, you didn’t mean it? Why should I believe that? I’ve met plenty of your kind before, and I know exactly how you work.”“My ‘kind’? What…look, I was just—““I don’t care!”“I’m trying to apologize!”“And you’re doing a wonderful job of it.”“Well I know it’s not my fault!”Tahra extended her arm, telling Kytan, “I believe your presence is required elsewhere.”Kytan approached the bickering kids, asking, “Is something wrong?”“I don’t know!” Takashi said. “She just flipped out on me for no reason!”“No reason?!” Samuko repeated. “I’m so sick of people like you singling me out for your amusement. Am I supposed to just sit here and let you make fun of me?”“One: you’re standing,” Takashi pointed out. “Two: I wasn’t making fun of you!”Kytan quickly stepped in: “Samuko, what was it that Takashi said to upset you?”“Right,” Samuko scoffed, “like you can’t guess.”“See?” Takashi said. “Doesn’t give anyone any idea what she’s talking about. Are you always this effective a communicator?”Kytan sighed. “Please, just tell me what he said.”Samuko crossed her arms, looked away, and answered, “He said ‘Neat eyes’.”Kytan felt a strange urge to put a hand to his face, but he suppressed it.“That was a compliment!” Takashi insisted. “I’ve never seen anyone with the white-ish irises before—it’s cool!”“Yeah, right,” Samuko mumbled. “It’s a set-up for an insult. I wasn’t born yesterday.”“If I may,” Kytan offered, “Takashi does sound genuine. I don’t think he meant any harm.”“Yeah, see?” Takashi said. “Just take the compliment! Is it that difficult?”Samuko glared at Takashi, making a chill run down his spine. Kytan quietly said, “You’re not helping yourself.”“Whatever,” Samuko said.She spun around and headed down the street. Takashi threw his hands in the air and went the other way, leaving Kytan by himself. Tahra gave him a smirk as she went by, and soon she was right next to Samuko.“What do you want?” Samuko asked. “Gonna try to defend your fellow Fire specialist?”“Nah, he’s a moron,” Tahra said.Samuko, surprised, turned to look at Tahra. “…What?”“But, hey, why discuss morons? It’s unproductive.”“…Right,” Samuko said, turning back around.“So I take it you’re used to being teased about your eyes,” Tahra casually said. Samuko prepared to yell, but Tahra cut her off, “Teased so much that you’ve become overly sensitive and blow up at the mere mention of them, right? Can’t say that I blame you.”“Oh, what do you know?”“About eyes? Nothing, really. But I can relate to being bugged about something your entire life.”“Really?” Samuko said. She clearly didn’t believe Tahra. “You’ll have to be more specific, since I don’t see anything odd about you.”“You think it has to be seen?” Tahra asked. “…No, I’m getting off-topic. A better question is this: if someone were to genuinely compliment your eyes, would you let them?”Samuko didn’t answer, so Tahra went on, “You’ve never even considered it, have you? So you have no way of telling if something is a compliment or an insult. That tends to be a problem.”Samuko stopped and faced Tahra. “I don’t have to listen to a word you say. You’re just some nameless Fire specialist who thinks she knows something about someone else’s situation—like that’s even possible! I don’t value your opinion, and I don’t want your advice.”Tahra smiled. “The thing is, this whole time I’ve only been asking questions and stating facts.”Samuko couldn’t think of a response.“There are actually a very limited number of problems people can have. You just swap a few words based on the context, and BAM—a totally ‘unique’ situation. I don’t understand all the variables, of course—that part is impossible. But I do know what I’m talking about, because both of our problems came from the same formula. Want to talk to me now?”A few eventless seconds went by. Then, Samuko turned, shook her head, and stormed off. Tahra called, “Just think about it, ‘kay?”Kytan caught up to Tahra, asking, “And that was…?”“Me showing you how to do your job,” Tahra answered. “Well, more like ‘I’m better at it than you’.”“…It didn’t look like it went well.”“Why are you focusing on immediate results? Not a promising sign, I have to say.”Review in Genakex's Journal.
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#29 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Sep 13 2012 - 03:37 PM

Chapter 28: Cold ShadowStratoro stood in front of the main door, eyes on his wristwatch. He did not move an inch, even when he heard Phaenyx descending the stairs.“…What are you doing?”“The Battlefield opens at precisely 9 o’clock,” Stratoro answered.Phaenyx scratched his head. “Um…okay. Can I fight you now?”“Once I open the doors.”“…You could just open them now.”Stratoro saw no reason to justify this comment with a response. Phaenyx decided to just wait it out, but luckily Genakex soon arrived.“I didn’t miss any fights, did I?” Genakex asked.“No, but I call first!” Phaenyx replied.“Sure—I just want to watch. I need to figure out which Orbs to use.”“Ah, taking your brother’s route.”“…Uh…I guess so. Anyway, why haven’t you fought yet?”Phaenyx rolled his eyes. “Apparently the doors need to open at exactly 9 A.M.”An alarm went off on Stratoro’s watch, prompting him to unlock the door and then walk into the arena. Phaenyx eagerly fused with his Dakrevusko—pitch black body armor with strange markings engulfed him, and dark energy began to billow off of him and take a form resembling a cloak. Several wisps of shadow coalesced on Phaenyx’s face, forming a black mask that was featureless save for the eye holes and an indentation around where his nose was, and then he hunched over and stared at Stratoro.Genakex sat down on one of the ice benches beside the arena, watching as Stratoro raised an Orb and emotionlessly announced, “Fusion, RoboTops.”The armor that covered Stratoro had a rough texture to it, and it almost appeared to be patched together. It was predominantly blue, although it also included bits of white, red, black, and teal. A number of supports connected the thigh plates to the main body, and a narrow blue helmet with white, cog-like fins on the sides of the face sat atop it all. A small pair of extra arms grew from Stratoro’s shoulders, reaching up above his head and then producing tiny jets of flames from their red palms.“Sweet! Shadow beats Steel!” Phaenyx exclaimed.“But he can use Ancestor Fusion to eliminate his weaknesses,” Genakex pointed out.After a pause, Phaenyx sighed, “Right.”Still, Phaenyx went on the offensive and threw two Shadow Balls, though the spheres merely bounced off of Stratoro’s Armor. The Ice-Lord’s only response was for his extra arms to move slightly and use Flame Cannon, magnifying and combining their jets of flame to create a massive white-hot flamethrower. Using Shadow Shift, Phaenyx faded away and reappeared behind Stratoro, where he threw a Shadow Bolt before moving in. The bolt was blocked, as Phaenyx expected, but he was able to land a hit by quickly punching Stratoro and using Shadow Crasher, unleashing an explosive burst of darkness on impact.Phaenyx smiled and declared, “Well, advantage or not, you’ll need to do better than—“He was cut short when an Avalanche fell on him, leaving him buried in a mound of snow. Stratoro waved his hand, sending a Tsunami forward to keep up the damage, but as it washed away the snow, Phaenyx was nowhere to be seen. When he did reappear, it was on the other side of the arena, and he braced himself, put one arm forward, and grabbed his wrist with his other hand. An intense beam of Shadow energy burst forth from Phaenyx’s palm, pushing him back a few feet and nailing Stratoro.“Nice try,” Phaenyx said, “but still not—“Phaenyx rolled aside to avoid another Avalanche and was about to continue taunting, but a Flame Cannon sent him reeling before he could form a single word. He didn’t have much time to recover—dozens of ice blocks began to fall from the ceiling, and Phaenyx quickly Shadow Shifted around the arena several times to avoid damage. A Flame Cannon nearly hit him, but he ducked under it and used the opening to hit with Shadow Ball.“Standing still like that makes you an easy—“A Tsunami rushed forward, so Phaenyx warped to the other side of the arena. “Stop interrupting me! Banter is one of the best parts of these—“Stratoro used a Flame Cannon and Avalanche simultaneously, distracting Phaenyx enough that the next Tsunami hit. Phaenyx stayed on his feet, though, and retaliated with a Shadow Ball.“Fine, be that way,” Phaenyx muttered.A Shadow Shift got him in range to use Shadow Crasher, but Stratoro blocked with his Armor. When Stratoro used a Flame Cannon, though, Phaenyx leaned back to avoid damage, kicked Stratoro, and launched a Shadow Blast from his foot to drain the rest of RoboTops’ Fusion Energy. Phaenyx backed up and punched the air victoriously, and Stratoro drew his next Orb.“Fusion, Stormer 3.0.”The Orb suddenly moved from Stratoro’s hand to his chest, where it transformed into a blue Hero Core. Slowly, a layer of frost began to solidify on Stratoro’s body, freezing over into white armor. A green Hero Badge appeared on Stratoro’s right shoulder while a thick plate of armor and a blue spike appeared on the other, and his right hand turned dark gray while his fingers were encased in ice. An ethereal image of a white rhino emerged from the Hero Core and spiraled up around Stratoro, eventually lowering itself onto his head and forming into a horned helmet with one large opening for his face.Before Phaenyx was even in a battle stance, Stratoro activated Rhino Power, causing his armor to thicken and his horn to glow with white light. Phaenyx prepared to use a Shadow Bazooka, but Stratoro beat him to the punch with Alpha Glacier, raising a wall of ice and sending it flying out at his foe. It was easy for Phaenyx to Shadow Shift away from the attack and closer to the Ice-Lord, but he then found himself being slashed and frozen by Ice Claws. Stratoro crouched a bit, aimed his horn at Phaenyx, and rushed forward in a Rhino Charge, slamming Phaenyx into the wall. Before Phaenyx could retaliate, Stratoro’s Hero Badge lit up, and the light waves around him began to bend until he became invisible.“How is he still that quick?” Phaenyx coughed. “All that armor is supposed to weigh him down!”Phaenyx raised his guard, expecting an invisible attack. However, no attack came, and Stratoro reappeared on the other side of the arena and returned to waiting. Frustrated, Phaenyx crossed his arms and started tapping his foot, thinking of how he should best proceed. He was still for quite a while before Stratoro raised another Alpha Glacier, but this time Phaenyx was ready—as soon as Stratoro’s arm went up, he charged energy and fired a Shadow Bazooka that was able to break the ice and land a hit at the same time.“Starting to lose your patience?” Phaenyx asked. “Must be difficult when your long range options are so limited. You could always take the fight to me.”For whatever reason, Stratoro finally decided to speak: “Aggressiveness leads to mistakes. I find the calm approach to be favorable.”Phaenyx shrugged. “Alright then. I’ll take the fight to you!”Stratoro started his Rhino Charge as Phaenyx Shadow Shifted close, but when he attacked, Phaenyx twisted just enough to catch the Ice-Lord in a headlock and bring an early end to his charge. Quickly, Phaenyx used Shadow Crasher to smack the Ice-Lord into the ground, and then he warped a short distance away. Stratoro quickly Camouflaged himself to avoid a Shadow Ball, and Phaenyx kept moving so he wouldn’t be targeted. When Phaenyx spotted Stratoro he Shadow Shifted closer and formed a Shadow Ball, warping again to avoid a Beast Punch before he fired. Stratoro took the hit and faced Phaenyx, waiting for him to make the first move.“Come on, don’t you get bored waiting around like this?” Phaenyx asked.Stratoro didn’t respond. Phaenyx tossed another Shadow Ball, and Stratoro ducked and attacked with Alpha Glacier. Enduring the hit, Phaenyx attacked with Shadow Crasher before the Ice-Lord could react, and he was even able to land a hit with Shadow Ball before Stratoro Camouflaged himself again. Not waiting for the defensive technique to wear off, Phaenyx swept the field with a Shadow Bazooka, though he wasn’t able to cause any damage. Stratoro reappeared as Phaenyx was ending his attack, using another Rhino Charge, and Phaenyx turned, dug his feet into the ground, and punched. Both attacks found their mark, and Phaenyx was sent flying despite steeling himself. However, his attack was enough to drain Stormer’s Fusion Energy, and the armor melted away.“About time,” Phaenyx said, rolling to his feet.Stratoro walked up and gave Phaenyx a bag, and then he went back to the other side of the arena. After verifying that the bag contained 50 Widgets and an Ice Ultima-Orb, Phaenyx de-fused, sat down on a bench, and sighed.“Not the most exciting battle I’ve been in,” he commented. “So, you gonna fight now?”Genakex shook his head. “No, but I think I have the info I need. I’m gonna head to the Orb Center and see what I can get.”“I’ll come with you. Sounds more interesting than sitting around here.”As they were getting up to leave, the doors opened and Takashi walked in, Orb in hand. Stratoro faced him and said nothing.“Okay,” Takashi said, “NOW I can fight you, right?”Stratoro fused with RoboTops and waited.“Good,” Takashi said, fusing with Tahu. “Prepare to be fried!”Takashi leapt into the arena, and Genakex and Phaenyx quietly made their way out of the building. “How do you think he’ll do?” Phaenyx asked.“Eh…I don’t know how Takashi fights, so I can’t say.”“Fair enough. Any ideas on what Orbs you’ll be getting?”“Well, Gurren Lagann is weak to Steel, so I’ll need to Combine with something that can cancel that out. RoboTops’ Headbutt would finish me pretty fast otherwise. I’m also thinking that I should get something with Fire attacks, but not necessarily a Fire type so that I won’t have to worry about Tsunami.”“…Impressive. You sound as analytical as Kytan.”“I do?”Phaenyx nodded. “Hey, I’ve been wondering: why is it that he waited to go on his quest? With how strong he is, he could’ve been Level 14 a long time ago.”Genakex looked down. “He was waiting until I was old enough and we could travel together.”“Huh…better than my reason for getting in the game so late. I just lost track of time while training with swords.”Genakex gave Phaenyx a puzzled look. “…You didn’t realize a few years had gone by?”“What can I say—I was into it.”“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you use a sword, actually.”“A master always waits for the right moment to reveal his skills!”“Alright…”The Orb Center was not very far from the Battlefield—the two Bioni-Lords only needed to go down a few blocks and round a corner. It was a simple building with no noticeable features, so Genakex’s attention was drawn to the person sitting outside: a boy about the same age as him with gray eyes and medium-long dark brown hair. This boy wore all black—boots, jeans, a shirt that displayed the symbol for Ice in gray, a black trench coat with silver buttons, and even a black metal ring on his left hand.“Good morning,” Genakex greeted.The boy looked up briefly. Uninterested, he looked back down and muttered, “Morning.”“…Something wrong?” Phaenyx asked. “You look like you’re waiting for something.”The boy shook his head. “Just trying to think. Quiet helps.”“…Okay,” Phaenyx said. “Well, if you’re wondering, the Battlefield’s open.”“I know,” the boy replied. “I’m considering going somewhere else first.”“Where?” Genakex asked.“That’s not really any of your business,” the boy said.Genakex paused. “…Sorry, just trying to be friendly.”Genakex headed into the Orb Center. Phaenyx, though, hung back to say, “Well, I’m Phaenyx. What’s your name?”The boy looked confused. “Why would you want to know that?”“Just curious.”A few seconds passed, and then the boy just turned and left. Phaenyx mumbled, “People here are weird…”Spirits Used:#1369. Dakrevusko#943. RoboTops#1254. Stormer 3.0Review in Genakex's Journal.
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#30 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Sep 18 2012 - 01:52 PM

Chapter 29: Blazing LinkKytan ducked to avoid another stray fire blast. Beside him, Tahra commented, “This Takashi kid really is reckless.”“You’re telling me,” Kytan said. “This is his fourth battle in a row. He’s not giving up until he beats Stratoro. I’m a little worried that the walls are going to melt with all this Fire being thrown around.”“Not possible,” Tahra said. “This city is built on the center of the Ice energy coursing through Ko-Isle—the buildings aren’t affected by heat because they keep drawing energy out of the ground to maintain structural integrity. It’s why the insides can still be heated.”Kytan didn’t reply. Tahra asked, “You’re not ignoring me, are you?”She then noticed that he was staring at the staircase, and that Xyla stood at its foot, watching the battle with a worried expression. Tahra said, “Oh…right. Wonder what’s going through her head…”“‘If even a Fire specialist is having trouble, what are my chances?’” Kytan guessed. “...Maybe she’d be more confident if she fought a Tag Match…”“Okay, then fight a Tag Match with her.”“Actually…I think you should do it.”“…What?”“Well, you are the best Fire specialist around, and she knows it.”“Flattery will get you nowhere…but feel free to continue.”“You were able to defeat the Earth-Lord with Fire types—anyone teamed up with you is sure to beat the Ice-Lord and whoever he picks to be his partner. It would really put Xyla’s mind at ease and help her to focus on the battle.”Tahra looked towards the arena. Takashi had finally managed to defeat Stratoro, and the Ice-Lord now waited for a new challenger as the last one departed.“…Oh, fine,” Tahra mumbled. “Oi, Xyla!”Xyla jumped a bit. “Y-Yes?”“How about we do a Tag Match? It’ll save time.”“Time…? We’re stuck here anyway…”“…Yeah…but with this out of the way, we’ll be free to focus on training. Just…just come on.”“Um…okay?”Tahra stepped into the arena, nodding when she saw Kytan smiling in gratitude. After fusing with Tahu Nuva, she asked, “Okay, Stratoro, you’ve still got at least one Apprentice around here, right?”Stratoro pressed a button on his watch, and then he fused with RoboTops and returned to being still. Xyla fused with Jack Corvus as they waited, and soon a boy with silver hair wearing lots of winter gear made his way down the staircase.“You called for me, Ice-Lord?”“We’re fighting a Tag Match.”“Oh, I see. Hello all—I am Kopuju, an Ice-Apprentice. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”“Likewise,” Tahra said.A layer of white and silver armor covered Kopuju as he fused with a Kohrak Kal, and then he took a stance and focused on his opponents. Xyla jumped into the air and spread her wings, aiming a Corvus Dive directly at Kopuju while Tahra remained still. A Silver Shield forced Xyla to stop short, providing an opportunity for Stratoro to use Flame Cannon. Before the flamethrower got very far, though, Tahra held out her hand and exerted her power over the flames, willing them to turn on Stratoro and deliver a 5th Degree Burn.“Hm, I see you went with negating your weaknesses,” Tahra observed. “That hardly did anything. Still, you’re not going to get far using Fire. Try again.”Stratoro sent a Tsunami after Tahra, who used her Hau Nuva to shield herself while Xyla attacked Stratoro with a Shadow Element Wicked Flame Barrage. Kopuju, still shielded, decided to catch Xyla off-guard with a Sound Void, projecting sonic energy in every direction and making his attack power rise. Xyla threw a Clawed Flame at Kopuju, but he ducked under the blast and then hit Xyla with a leaping Sound Ball tackle. As Kopuju returned to the ground, however, Tahra hit him with a Fireball Spit. Stratoro rushed out and Headbutted Tahra, sending her sprawling, and then he cast a glance at Xyla. Now recovered, Xyla used Sibling Tag Team to summon a Queen Virgo Spirit that repelled both Ice masters with Water Dragon.“Not bad,” Tahra said as she sat up.Stratoro used Headbutt to knock Queen Virgo into a Sound Void, ignoring the Ground Burner Tahra used on him, and then dispatched the summoned unit with a Quick Kick. Xyla dove at Stratoro, though she found herself swatted aside by Sonic Blast, and Stratoro took the opportunity to wash her away with a Tsunami. Tahra hit both her foes with Fireball Spit while they were distracted, and then she dashed towards Xyla to avoid counterattack.“You okay?” Tahra asked.Xyla flapped her wings, shaking the water off of them. “Yeah, fine,” she half-heartedly replied.Tahra punched Xyla in the shoulder, saying, “Hey! Focus! It’s not over yet. Do you think you can draw their attention so I can target Kopuju?”Xyla rubbed her shoulder and nervously looked towards her foes. The Ice-Lord and his Apprentice launched attacks at the duo, but Tahra stepped forward and caught them with her Hau Nuva.“Xyla! Come on! I know you can put those wings to better use than I can.”“…No,” Xyla replied. “I can’t.”With a frustrated sigh, Tahra said, “I guess it’s sink or swim!”Xyla was confused by this statement. She was even more confused when Tahra grabbed her and threw her at the Ice specialists.Kytan stood up and cried, “Tahra, what are you doing?!”Stratoro and Kopuju both aimed attacks at Xyla, but as she moved through the air, she instinctively spread her wings and maneuvered just enough to avoid all damage. At first she did not realize what she was doing, but when she did, she decided to use the momentum (and surprise) to knock down Stratoro with a Corvus Dive. She continued flying after the attack, staying just out of Kopuju’s range, and she spotted Tahra sneak up behind him and deliver a 5th Degree Burn.“What’s wrong with you?!” Xyla shouted.“You’re the one who was being uncooperative!” Tahra returned.Kopuju blasted Tahra away with a Sound Void, and then he commented, “If I may…throwing one’s partner does not seem to be a good idea in any circumstance.”“Seriously, were you just using me as bait?” Xyla asked.“I already told you to draw their attention, and it worked!” Tahra answered. “You didn’t even get hurt, just like I thought! See? You put the wings to good use. You just needed a shove…well…throw, but…whatever!”Xyla thought about this for a moment, but her contemplation was cut short when Stratoro shot her down with Flame Cannon. Tahra launched a Fire Blast at Kopuju, but a Silver Shield rose to obstruct her attack. Stratoro slowly advanced towards Xyla, keeping a close eye on her. Unsure of what to expect, Xyla froze up.I could finish him off with Corvus Dive, but…would I have enough time? Xyla wondered. If I’m not quick enough, he could do some serious damage. If I fail here…I bring Tahra down with me…Xyla glanced at Tahra—for the most part, the Fire specialist was fixated on Kopuju’s shield, but she allowed a quick look at Xyla. She smirked confidently.…She’s not worried, Xyla realized. She thinks I can still help her win…meaning…I can still let her down…Stratoro saw Xyla’s hesitation, and he summoned a Tsunami that pushed her to the other side of the arena. Tahra frowned, but when Kopuju threw a Sonic Blast at her, she was able to dodge and use Ground Burner just as the Silver Shield fell. Kopuju and Stratoro fell out of Fusion, and then Stratoro distributed rewards to the victors. Tahra was eager to take her Ultima-Orb; Xyla, though, was not.“Well done,” Kopuju congratulated. “That was a good fight.”“Yeah, good job to you too,” Tahra said.Stratoro ignored all of them and headed upstairs. Kopuju commented, “I suppose he’s taking a break…I’m afraid your companion will have to wait.”“That’s fine,” Kytan said, “I’m in no hurry.”It was then that the doors to the Battlefield opened, and through them walked the boy who had been standing outside of the Orb Center. Kopuju, slightly surprised, greeted, “Oh…welcome back, Zane.”“I’m only here for an Ultima-Orb,” the boy responded. “Where’s Stratoro?”“He is currently taking a break,” Kopuju informed him. “He has been fighting all morning, so…”“Great,” Zane muttered. Without another word, he went to the other side of the arena, found an unoccupied bench, and sat down.“…Well,” Kopuju said, “if you’ll please excuse me, I should be getting back to work.”As the Apprentice departed, Tahra and Xyla walked over to where Xyla stood. She wasn’t happy to see them.“Great job,” Tahra encouraged.“…Are you kidding?” Xyla asked. “You did all the work.”“Uh…no, no I didn’t,” Tahra said. “You were a pretty essential part of the battle. Kind of a trend in Tag Matches.”“All I did was mess up and hold you back.”“And yet we won. Not seeing where your discontentment is coming from.”“…You expected me to do well, and I didn’t.”“We. Won. What more could I ask for? A ‘flawless victory’ isn’t going to happen at this stage. Come on, this is a win—take it and quit being so hard on yourself.”Xyla thought for a moment, and then she quietly walked over to the stairs. Once she was gone, Kytan said, “I’m not sure that helped.”“Would you rather I tiptoe around things and treat her like a kid?” Tahra asked. “Things always need to get worse before they get better. Sometimes you have to hit hard.”“…Forgive me if I’m a bit hesitant to do that. My father tried that and it didn’t exactly work.”Tahra paused. “Do I seem that bad? I really wasn’t trying to…somewhere in the middle was what I was shooting for.”Kytan sighed. “No, you weren’t that bad. I’m just…nervous to leave my end of the spectrum, I suppose.”“You don’t have to operate in extremes, you know.”“I know…it’ll just take a little getting used to.”“Fair enough.”Spirits Used:#1371. Jack Corvus#2. Tahu Nuva#943. RoboTops#66. Kohrak Kal#1370. Queen VirgoReview in Genakex's Journal.
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#31 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Sep 24 2012 - 06:12 PM

Chapter 30: 4-Piece Suit—Electric SpadeValxan sat quietly in his chair, fidgeting with Voyager’s die in his right hand. The ticking from the clock on the wall was the only sound he heard, a constant reminder of every second that passed. Then there was another noise—the handle of his office door rattling, followed by a creak as it swung open. The noise from the casino poured in though the doorway, and with it stepped a bespectacled young man in a white suit.“You wanted to see me, boss?” he asked. His voice was of a somewhat higher pitch than one might expect from looking at him, but he did not sound nervous.“Yes,” Valxan replied. “Please have a seat, Mr. Magoil.”Closing the door behind him and returning quietness to the room, Magoil approached Valxan’s desk and sat down. He was nervous now, judging by how he rustled his greenish-black hair. “Did I do something wrong?” Magoil asked. “I know the numbers are a little low this quarter, but don’t shoot the messenger, heheh…”“No, this has nothing to do with your accounting,” Valxan said. “It’s about your other job.”“Other…? Are you promoting me?”“No. I’m firing you.”Magoil blinked. “What?”“I will admit that you had me fooled up until now. But I went back through everything with a fine-toothed comb, and your story fell apart.”Magoil looked down and adjusted his glasses. Valxan added, “Tell Gambler that I’m not going to rest until I find and repel all of you.”“…I don’t think he’ll be interested in listening to me,” Magoil said. “Consortium agents who fail don’t get to say a whole lot.”Magoil paused to stand up. “Still, I commend you on finding me out. I was the one who forged all of our backstories, after all…but I digress. Now that you’re ‘firing’ me, you’ve forced me to enter emergency protocol.”Valxan stood up as well. “I had hoped to avoid this.”“As did I. However, once you are killed by Shadow Consortium Suit Boss Spade, Mr. Magoil and the others can quietly take command of the Lucky Ghekula casinos.”Sounds like there are at least three other major agents that have infiltrated my organization, Valxan thought. Regardless…I will not reveal you if you wish to remain hidden.Voyager replied, While I do wish to avoid the war, I also enjoy getting to stretch my legs after so long. Cleansing your organization should prove an amusing diversion.“Very well,” Valxan said, “let’s not keep him waiting. King of the Seas, grant me your timeless wisdom! Exo-Gahlok Kal Voyager!”Spade’s eyes widened as the King of Gahlok’s armor enveloped Valxan. “So…you’re the Voyager Va…” the criminal mumbled. “That would explain why you meddled in the Buu operation. Well, no matter—I still have to cut you down.”Spade reached into his pocket and pulled out a single playing card. “King Bohrok are not the only Spirits that can be bound to something other than an Orb. Fusion, Spade Magnets.”The card burst apart into clusters of electricity, clusters than surrounded Spade and began to radiate blinding light. Valxan squinted as his foe was obscured from view, and when the light faded, the Consortium agent was clad in white armor with several patches of gray on the chest and legs. Atop his head was a rectangular white helm with a red stripe down the length of it, and displayed on the forehead was a blue spade symbol. His face was covered in gray armor, two angular black horns rose from the sides of his head, and oversized plates of half-cone shaped armor adorned his shoulders—one red, one blue. When he raised his forearms, they erupted in blazes of energy, forming a large red sword over his right arm and a blue sword over his left.“Hm…not the best choice,” Valxan commented.Spade smiled. “Perfect Fusion.”Dark black energy tinged with small amounts of purple wrapped around Spade, forming a Chikara aura as he prepared for battle. Valxan replied, “Ah…seems you do pose a threat.”Forming his own blue Chikara, Valxan raised his spear and readied a chakram. Spade lunged and swung, an attack that Valxan blocked with his spear; he then pivoted to bring his other sword in at an angle, slicing through Valxan’s desk but ultimately being blocked again.“Good thing I’m firing you,” Valxan said. “That desk won’t be cheap to replace, but your paycheck should cover it.”Spade just laughed and jumped back, summoning two silver Magnet Missiles to either side of himself. Valxan ducked behind the remains of his desk, letting the missiles go over his head and destroy the wall. Before the dust was settled, Valxan leapt outside, drawing Spade into the streets.“Hm…the wall will be easy to repair,” Valxan said to himself. “Still, I can’t have him breaking any more furniture.”“Glad to know you have your priorities straight,” Voyager chuckled.Spade launched a cluster of Magnet Missiles, so Valxan took off running and threw a Gaia Ring. The chakram was able to bypass the swarm of projectiles, but when it reached Spade it bounced harmlessly off of his armor. Not having time to wonder what happened, Valxan readied himself as Spade approached; he ducked under another Magnet Slash, and then he blasted Spade away with Trick of Twilight. People could now be seen pouring out of the casino in panic, and Valxan began to wonder how he would explain this. He was cut short by a surprise hit from Magnet Missiles.“But…he’s Thunder Element,” Valxan said. “Trick of Twilight did double—he should be blind.”“Don’t look so surprised,” Spade berated. “You’re supposed to be smarter than that.”Valxan thought for a moment. “…Wait…your effect. So long as someone with a specific Spirit is nearby, you can’t receive status ailments from attacks that also deal damage. That must also be why Gaia Ring didn’t affect you—you’ve been given immunity to Earth thanks to someone else’s effect that is now shared with you.”“You’re partially correct,” Spade said. “Like a lot of Consortium agents, we Suit Bosses have had our Spirits altered. Normally, we would need to be near each other to activate and share our effects, but thanks to a little engineering, we can maintain those effects while functioning independently.”“The Consortium is truly resourceful,” Voyager noted.Valxan, less impressed, decided to use his own effect and send Magnet Missiles after Spade. Before the rockets made contact, however, Spade held up his swords, and the projectiles swerved off to the sides. Spade moved in and slashed Valxan twice, and then he backed up a bit so he had room to sidestep a Lightning Rod. A blade of red energy extended from Valxan’s hand as he copied Magnet Slash, but when he swung, Spade raised his red sword and Valxan stopped short. An invisible force could be felt pushing on the blade, trying to fling Valxan’s arm away. He endured as long as he could before Spade kneed him in the stomach, headbutted him in the face, and then Magnet Slashed him across the chest. Valxan hit the ground and rolled back to avoid another slash, and then he kicked Spade and sent him flying with a Trick of Twilight.“I see…your swords and missiles each have magnetic poles assigned to them,” Valxan realized. “You use the sword of the same polarity to repel any copied attacks. A clever trick, but one I can easily use against you.”“Is that so?” Spade asked, launching more Magnet Missiles. Valxan created red and blue magnet blades and held them directly in the rockets’ path, but to his surprise they continued forward and landed a direct hit on him. While he was reeling, Spade’s shoulder plates grew to an enormous size and closed in around him, forming a rocket casing around him. The criminal then used Axis Jet, flying out at high speeds and slamming Valxan through a building and into the wall of the cavern. The casing broke apart on impact, and Spade towered over his stunned foe.“You may be able to copy my attacks, but I still know them better than you do,” Spade said. “I can weaken or strengthen the polarity of my swords and missiles whenever I so choose. I’m afraid you don’t have the time to learn that level of control.”Spade slashed Valxan before he could get up, and Valxan pulled out a deck of cards and used Card Dance to buy himself time to escape. Breathing heavily, Valxan analyzed, Alright…I can’t use his attacks against him…I can’t inflict status ailments on him…and I should just refrain from using Gaia Ring since it has a 50% chance of being ineffectual. I still have a good repertoire, though, and Trick of Twilight deals double damage 100% of the time. Also, even with the Fusion Energy boost he has from cheating his effect, his energy levels are still fairly low, not to mention he cannot cause double damage to me.“Don’t forget,” Voyager broke in, “you have the power of a King Bohrok at your disposal. Just remain calm.”Spade used Axis Jet to launch himself at Valxan again, and Valxan rolled out of the way and threw Cloud and Fusion Rings after his foe. Switching back to normal in midair, Spade used his swords to block the chakram, and then Valxan took aim and hit him head-on with a Trick of Twilight. The energy blast knocked Spade off-balance and made him plummet; Valxan dashed to where he would land, raised his spear to block Magnet Slash, and then used another Trick of Twilight to hurl Spade away.Throwing more chakram, Valxan pursued again, but this time Spade was ready. After neutralizing the chakram with Magnet Missiles, he pointed at Valxan and shouted, “Fourth of the Four Forbidden Sparks: Power Outage!”A pale bolt of lightning surged outward from Spade and struck Valxan, giving a painful shock to his entire body and bringing him to a complete stop. Valxan collapsed on the ground, his muscles throbbing, and Spade slowly walked towards him.“Let me guess…” Valxan groaned.“Your attacks may change Elements, but almost all of them are fueled by Rahaga energy,” Spade said. “Now that I’ve shorted out your ability to use Rahaga energy, you’re not much of a threat.”Valxan was still too weak to move, so Spade dealt a particularly vicious Magnet Slash. “You should have just accepted Gambler’s offer. Nobody would have ever known! Or is this ‘nice guy’ act your way of coping with your greed?”Valxan pushed himself up off the ground, ignoring the pain that followed when he rested his weight on his knees. “Haha…actually, the act is a result of the greed. People see me being kind and fair, as opposed to the deceitfulness they expect from a casino owner, and they instantly think better of me. They jump to conclusions, thinking that I’m more trustworthy than my competitors, and they keep coming back and telling their friends.”Valxan managed to get to his feet. He swayed a bit, but he added, “I want them to perceive me as ‘nice’ because it’s good for business.”“…I hadn’t thought of that,” Spade admitted. “Well done, Valxan. I shall have to remember that scheme for when I take over.”Spade swung his swords, but Valxan mustered his strength and leaped out of the way. The stars on Valxan’s faceplate merged into one ornate orange, white, and purple star, and he said, “Don’t try too hard. Kaita Unseal!”All six of Voyager’s chakram lifted into the air, where they fused together into two large chakram—one silver, one black. Spade prepared to his Axis Jet, but before he had the chance, Valxan threw his silver Ja Wheel and caught Spade off-guard. While his enemy was disoriented, Valxan ran in and caught the Ja Wheel, and then he jumped up and brought both chakram down on Spade’s head. Spade fell to the ground and tried summoning Magnet Missiles, but Valxan slashed him with the black Vo Wheel and then smothered him with Card Dance.Vo Wheel can hurt me?! Spade realized. …He must be able to suppress its Earth properties. It doesn’t matter—Kaita Unseal is not permanent.Valxan’s chakram split apart, and Spade sprang up to attack. As he readied his sword, however, Valxan punched him in the face, activated Kaita Unseal, and dealt another dual-chakram attack. Valxan threw the weapons again immediately to keep Spade pinned, and then he used another Card Dance to keep his foe busy while he renewed Kaita Unseal.“Do you think we should use a Royal Awakening?” Voyager suggested.“I don’t believe that will be necessary,” Valxan replied. “Now that I know all of his tricks, I can stay in control of this fight.”Spade had enough time to launch Magnet Missiles, but Valxan was more than capable of dodging and throwing the Vo Wheel. The chakram homed in on Spade as he was raising his arm, and the next thing he knew, a searing pain blinded him. His left arm had been severed at the elbow, and now his sword fell to the ground and flickered out. Spade clutched his arm and sword, stamping his foot against the ground furiously, meanwhile Valxan saw his chance. Creating a magnet blade on his left arm, the Voyager Va ran forward and swung, leaving a deep wound in Spade’s right shoulder and disabling his only remaining arm. Overcome with pain, Spade dropped to his knees, and his Chikara faded way.“So…King Bohrok really are monsters,” he hissed.“If you think that I am an abomination, you should meet some of the other Kings,” Voyager replied.Valxan put away his weapons and sighed with relief. “Now I’m going to propose a deal. You tell me where I can find these other ‘Suit Bosses,’ and I won’t finish you off.”Spade laughed. “No matter what you do, the Consortium will find me and punish me. Besides…you’re a smart guy, Valxan. Try to find them on your own.”Valxan dealt one final punch, and Spade disappeared into a brief dimensional distortion. The Champion began walking, saying, “Hopefully that didn’t draw too much attention. I need to find a place where no one can see me de-fuse…”“Valxan,” Voyager whispered, “what you said earlier about being kind as a result of greed…do you believe that?”“It’s something I’ve come to accept, yes.”“That’s not exactly the same thing. Also, if you really were motivated solely by greed, I would think that you would have accepted Gambler’s offer.”“An alliance such as that would have easily been found out, thus ruining my grand illusion. Refusing was the best choice for long-term business.”“Hm…you’ve thought this through quite thoroughly.”“…Does this trouble you? I would understand if you desired a Champion of better character.”“No, I am not troubled. Regardless, I have already committed to assisting you against the Suit Bosses, and I intend to follow through. If I may, however, I would recommend learning some Forbidden Attacks—I doubt Spade is the only one capable of using them.”“Agreed. I’ll work on that while waiting for my desk to be replaced.”Spade fell out of the distortion and de-fused when he hit the floor. The room around him was gray and poorly lit, and Spade knew what was waiting for him. Bleeding from his shoulder and severed arm, he wasn’t able to get very far before Gambler entered the room.“So, Valxan managed to find you after all,” Gambler murmured. “Looks like betting on those stories of yours wasn’t the best call.”“I apologize, sir,” Spade said. His voice trembled, and he was afraid to look up at his superior. “But I was up against more than I bargained for. Valxan is the Voyager Va.”“That, I was able to call. Glad to know it paid off. But…you still failed.”Gambler held out his hand. Resting in his palm was a single revolver. Slowly, Spade took the gun, and Gambler went on, “Six chambers, one bullet. Time to push your luck.”Spade knew that if he tried to escape, Gambler would just kill him; the gun, at least, may let him live. Hesitantly, he raised the weapon and pointed it and himself. Knowing he had no other option, Spade took a deep breath and took his chances.Spirits Used:#958. Exo-Gahlok Kal Voyager#1478. Spade MagnetsReview in Genakex's Journal.

Edited by Dinobot Pahrak, Oct 02 2012 - 05:10 PM.

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#32 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Oct 05 2012 - 11:29 AM

Chapter 31: Caught in a DreamGenakex opened his eyes and looked around. Gray carpet; white walls, bare save for one or two photos; a blue chair, and a recliner of the same color; a small TV set against the wall.“This is…our living room?” he mumbled. “But…I was just on Ko-Isle. How did I get here?”“You can’t even tell what’s going on? How dull are you?”A chill rushed through Genakex’s entire body. Turning around, he saw Khazror standing in the doorway, scowling at him furiously.“Your brother was never this stupid,” Khazror said. “He figured it out right away. You’ll never measure up to him, no matter how hard you try.”Genakex looked down. “…I…I’m doing the best I can…”Khazror stepped forward. “You’re worthless--completely inferior to everyone, in every way. You can’t hide it. Even your ‘friends’ know it.”Sensing something behind him, Genakex turned back around. The room had spontaneously doubled in length, and now Tahra stood a few steps away.“Tahra? When did you get here?”Tahra shrugged. “Why should I try explaining to an amateur like you? Your fire couldn’t even light a candle. I’m amazed you haven’t been reduced to ashes already.”“She’s right, you know,” agreed another familiar voice. Phaenyx walked into Genakex’s field of view. “Hard to believe someone as weak as you is an Ikhav. You and Kytan are worlds apart.”Genakex closed his eyes. “…You…really think I’m weak? But I thought…”“Your thoughts don’t matter.”Opening his eyes, Genakex found that his surroundings had changed—he now stood on a cliff, and a dark sky hung over him. Backing away from the edge, Genakex felt himself collide with someone, so he jumped away and faced the stranger. What he found, however, was that he had bumped into Kytan, who stood with his back to Genakex.“Niisan?” Genakex asked.Tentatively, Genakex reached out to grab his brother’s shoulder. The instant he made contact, he was knocked down by an invisible force.“You are nothing but a hindrance to me,” Kytan said. “If it weren’t for you, I could have done all sorts of things by now. If it weren’t for you, Dad and I would still get along. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be a target of the Shadow Consortium. You’ve held me back for your entire life, and I’m done putting up with it.”A powerful wind blew around Kytan, slamming into Genakex and throwing him over the edge. As he fell, Genakex reached out, grabbing the edge and just barely saving himself. He looked down—should he fall, nothing but a bottomless void awaited him. When he looked back up, Xyla was standing on the cliff.“Xyla…?”“What a messed-up waste of space,” Xyla told him. “I’m glad I’ll finally be rid of you.”Xyla stomped on Genakex’s fingers, grinding them into the rough stone beneath. Feeling the rock scraping away his skin, Genakex yelled in pain and began to lose his grip.“…Why…” Genakex whispered. “Why do you all hate me so much…”“Isn’t it obvious? It’s because you’re a failure,” Xyla answered.“I thought it was because I annoyed you? That’s what you always say.”To his surprise, Xyla didn’t respond, which was something he found strange. That, then, led him to think about how strange this whole situation was. In fact…it was all rather impossible, wasn’t it?“…This isn’t real, is it?” Genakex mumbled.“No, it’s not!”Genakex looked around. The voice that had called out to him didn’t come from any physical source, and though it was hard to make out, it sounded awfully familiar…“Niisan?”“It’s not real, Genakex!” the voice cried. “You have to accept that it isn’t real!”Genakex looked up at Xyla. It all felt real—the pain in his hand and arm, the vertigo that washed over him when he thought of falling, the angry look on Xyla’s face. But, despite it all, Xyla would never try to kill him, would she? If nothing else, he knew that his brother would not leave him to die or say the things he had said.“Right,” Genakex said. “Niisan would never abandon me.”All of the sudden, Genakex realized that he wasn’t hanging from a cliff after all. Instead, he stood in a moderately well-lit room with metallic walls, between which rested various types of machinery. Lowering his arm, Genakex looked at the giant gears spinning on the walls and commented, “Is this some kind of factory?”“Looks like it.”Genakex spun around to find Kytan standing behind him. Slowly, Genakex reached out and started poking his brother.“You’re…real this time, right?”Kytan knocked Genakex’s hand away. “Yes. Please stop that.”Genakex sighed and sat down. “Well thank God that’s over! Where are we anyway?”“Do you remember reading about mental landscapes in school?”Genakex dug into his memories, finding there were not many detailed ones from his time in school. “Um…it sounds like something that I would have read about.”Kytan explained, “It’s a physical representation of a person’s thoughts—a world within the mind. Everyone has a unique mental landscape that reflects something about them.”“Oh, right, mental landscapes…why are you bringing this up?”“Because we’re in your mental landscape right now.”Genakex took another look around. “…Doesn’t look familiar. You sure?”“Positive. Our mental landscape is where our consciousness retreats to when we fall asleep, but usually its true appearance is disguised by our dreams. You weren’t able to see what your landscape really looked like until you admitted that you were dreaming.”“Oh, so that was a nightmare…wait, I’m asleep? And how are you in my mental landscape?”Kytan crossed his arms, appearing to be deep in thought. “Well, I can only tell you what I know. It seems like someone has cast the entire island into an unnatural sleep, and that the energy keeping us asleep has forged a bridge between all of our minds. When I broke out of my nightmare and attempted to leave my mental landscape, I ended up in a strange environment where I could sense hundreds of unique energy signatures. I sensed your presence and followed it, ending up in your nightmare, but you couldn’t see or hear me no matter what I did. Of course, now that your nightmare is over, you’ve accepted me being here and are able to perceive me.”Genakex scratched his head. “This is one of those metaphysical things, isn’t it? I’ve never been able to understand those.”“We need to focus, Genakex,” Kytan stated. “Whoever put all of us to sleep probably doesn’t have good intentions.”“Okay…worst case scenario?”“All of us, including Stratoro, sleep through the incoming blizzard. With the Ice-Lord unable to activate the dome, we’ll all freeze to death.”“…Understood. So, what’s the plan?”“First, I need you to try to wake up.”Genakex stood up and asked, “How do I do that, exactly? Just picture a sunrise, eggs and bacon, watching the morning news while slowly becoming alert?”As Genakex spoke, the world around him started to change yet again. The Ikhav brothers now stood in a sea of purple-colored energy that expanded as far as the eye could see, with a multitude of spherical white lights floating aimlessly around them.“…That was easy,” Genakex noted.“This is the ‘bridge’ connecting everyone put to sleep by this technique,” Kytan elaborated. “Whoever’s doing this must have a physical manifestation in this space, so if we find him we should be able to find a way out.”Ignoring that Kytan chose the word “should,” Genakex replied, “Alright, we’ll try that. But how do we find this guy?”“Try sensing a very powerful presence that you don’t recognize. Putting an entire island to sleep is no small feat, and the stronger someone is, the harder it is for them to hide their energy.”With a shrug, Genakex closed his eyes and opened his mind, focusing on all the different energies floating around him. Kytan was right—the whole island was asleep, and every last consciousness blended together into one massive noise. The cacophony was more intense than Genakex had expected, and he needed to withdraw his focus and gasp for air. Next to him, Kytan stood still as could be, continuing to sift through all of the energy without the slightest hint of effort. With a sigh, Genakex remembered that the gap between them was all too real. The nightmare was right when it said that he always fell short of his brother’s example and his father’s expectations.Suddenly Genakex felt his heart jump. An incredibly strong feeling, appearing from nowhere, encouraged him to turn to his right and begin walking. The feeling drew Genakex in, making him head into the mass of lights on his own.Noticing this, Kytan asked, “Did you find something?”“Um…sort of,” Genakex replied. “Not sure what it is, but it feels like something’s…resonating, I guess? Like there’s someone else nearby whose feelings I can relate to.”“Okay…but that’s not what we’re looking for.”“Well, if we wake up some more people, they can help us search, right? We’ll find this guy more quickly.”Kytan stopped to consider this. “I suppose so. Good idea.”The brothers continue to follow where the feeling led Genakex, and the orbs of light began to thin out. Before long, the boys found one lonely light floating off on its own. Genakex stopped in front of this light and shuddered.“This is the one,” he confirmed. “So how do we get in?”Kytan held out his hand. The light drifted towards him and came to rest in his palm. Kytan vanished in the blink of an eye, and Genakex recoiled in surprise. After pausing to process, Genakex reached out and touched the light as well. An instant later he found himself standing next to Kytan in a pitch-black world of nothingness.“Whose dream is this?” Genakex wondered aloud.With a deafening crash, a massive boulder fell from the sky and landed a few yards away from the brothers. There was an iron chain wrapped around it, pulling a person down with it. A girl, the chain wrapped around her torso, hit the ground next to the boulder, and after a moment she sat up and groaned in pain.“Xyla?!” Genakex recognized.He took a few steps forward, but Kytan reminded him, “She can’t see or hear us until she breaks out of the dream. You can’t help her.”On her feet now, Xyla grabbed the chain with both hands and pulled in a feeble attempt to break it. Disembodied voices began to call out, “I know you can do it!” “Just keep trying!” “Don’t let us down!”Exhausted, Xyla dropped the chain and caught her breath. Outstretching her palms, she unleashed a powerful gale that pushed her back to the very end of the chain, though the rock did not budge an inch. The winds kept up, and Xyla looked to the chain as if expecting it to break. It remained intact.“Come on, break!” she yelled. “Break! I want to get away from Stone—I’m an Air specialist!”The voices returned: “An Air specialist?” “How disgraceful!” “A member of the Pahrop family trying to escape Stone…” “You poor, foolish girl.” “I’ve never been more disappointed.”With each statement, Xyla’s wind blast grew weaker and weaker, until finally it died out completely. She hung her head dejectedly and wiped her eyes.“I just…I…” she stammered. “Just because I’m a Pahrop…It doesn’t mean I have to use Stone. My family’s history doesn’t have to define who I am.”Genakex nodded in agreement.“Oh really?” called one of the voices. “Why don’t you take a look at who you really are?”A mirror appeared behind Xyla, and she turned around to look into it. Her reflection was perfectly normal, so she sighed in relief. Then the reflection grinned.“I’m no Air specialist,” the reflection stated. Its voice was a perfect copy of Xyla’s save for an echo-like distortion.Xyla’s eyes hot open. Her heart began to race, and she stared and the reflection with undisguised terror.The reflection taunted, “No real Air specialist would be as pathetic as I am. I couldn’t even beat the Earth-Lord without using Stone. I barely won a Tag Match because I did nothing but get in my partner’s way. And now? Now I can’t even escape from a stupid rock.”Xyla looked over her shoulder at the boulder she was chained too. She mumbled, “I…I’m still…”The reflection continued, “I guess my fascination with Air was totally pointless, despite all the trouble it caused. Maybe if I go grovel on grandfather’s doorstep, he’ll take my parents back into the family. Then I can learn to properly use Stone and actually be worth something.”“Stop it!” Xyla shouted.She punched the mirror, achieving nothing aside from hurting her fist. Then her reflection reached out of the mirror and grabbed her by the throat. Genakex raced forward and tackled the mirror, but he passed right through it and hit the ground.Kytan repeated, “You can’t help her, Genakex. She has to do this herself.”“Aw, poor little me,” the reflection mocked. “I’m in over my head, with only my own useless abilities to count on. Too bad I drove everyone away. Now there’s nobody to help me help myself.”“You haven’t driven me away!” Genakex argued. “I’m still here! Let me help you!”“…They wouldn’t come anyway,” Xyla whispered. Tears formed in her eyes. “Friends are just more people with expectations…more people I’ll let down and disappoint. I don’t want to put myself in that position again.”The reflection laughed. “I’ve distanced myself from everyone who’s ever tried to care about me, just because I didn’t want to let them down. It’s ironic, really. I kept worrying about their expectations of me, but now I’ve fallen short of my own expectations.”The reflection dropped Xyla, who fell to her knees and broke down crying.“I’m a hypocrite,” the reflection said. “I hate other people for their expectations, but I still have my own.”The horrible image then smiled. “No, wait…I’m not a hypocrite. I hate myself, too. Actually, I hate myself more than I hate the others who expect things of me. I of all people should know what a failure I am, yet I still expected I could complete a quest and be an Air master. What could be more despicable than that?”Xyla was on her side now, her sobbing turning into wailing. Genakex, horrified, began throwing punches at the mirror, though his fists still couldn’t touch it.“STOP IT!!” he bellowed. “Leave her alone! Quit telling her all those terrible things!”“Genakex, it won’t do any good!” Kytan shouted. “We can’t wake her up. There’s nothing we can do here.”“I can’t just sit by and do nothing!” Genakex replied. Tears were beginning to form in his eyes now.“If we find the person responsible for all of this, everybody will wake up, including Xyla,” Kytan said. “That’s the only way to help her at this point—she’s too wrapped up in despair to break free of the nightmare.”Genakex looked at Xyla, who had her face buried in her hands.“…I don’t want to leave her like this,” he muttered.Kytan sighed. “I’m going to go see who I can find. You can stay here if you want, but I don’t recommend it. When you’re done, come find me.”Kytan disappeared from Xyla’s dream, leaving Genakex to watch over her. As she continued to cry, Genakex began to wonder if his efforts to help her really were futile.Review in: Genakex's Journal.
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#33 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Oct 23 2012 - 03:49 PM

Chapter 32: Justified PrideKytan shook his head and looked up at the floating lights around him. Every time he tried sifting through the energies, he lost his focus and thought back to Genakex. Leaving his brother in Xyla’s dream was something he knew was not a good idea, but he did not want to force Genakex to do anything.I just hope he doesn’t get drawn into Xyla’s despair, he thought. He has his own problems—he shouldn’t be distracting himself…with…Realizing what he was saying, Kytan trailed off and chuckled. “I guess we are brothers. Hopefully he won’t become too much like me.”Kytan started walking, but then something caught his eye. One of the lights above him was floating in a very erratic pattern, and it briefly emanated an aura of flames at odd intervals. Sensing a familiar presence, Kytan smiled and held out his hand, drawing in the light and entering the mental landscape within.Kytan found himself standing on the side of a volcano, and below was Ta-Isle’s charred forest. A white fog was rolling between the trees, and Kytan took a moment to watch before he started walking.Soon, Tahra came into view. Looking over her shoulder, she said, “Took you long enough. Is traffic that bad out there?”“You’d be surprised,” Kytan chuckled. As he came closer, he noticed Zane standing on the ridge of the volcano.“Oh, him?” Tahra said. “He found his way here a while ago. Says his nightmare didn’t last very long.”Zane slid down the slope until he was standing next to Kytan. “Tahra said you would have a plan,” he told Kytan. “Do you?”“Sort of,” Kytan replied. “I assume that whoever did this can be found in this plane, so if we seek out a strange, powerful presence, I’m sure we can force him to end this.”“…So you’re operating entirely on guesswork?” Zane sighed. “That’s inspiring.”“Hey, works for me,” Tahra said. “Better than sitting around and waiting to freeze to death. No way am I letting ice kill me.”Zane rolled his eyes and walked off, vanishing in seconds. Kytan turned to Tahra and asked, “So you broke out of your nightmare?”“I’ve been doing metaphysical training for years,” Tahra answered. “If I don’t like where a dream is headed, I can end in with a thought. You can do that too, right?”“Ah…no. It took me a little longer to escape.”“Oh…so is everyone here having a nightmare? Is it a side-effect of whatever technique this is?”“I doubt it’s accidental. If we’re distracted by our nightmares, we’re not as likely to find a way out of here.”“Good point. Well, let’s quit wasting time. Lead the way.”Kytan and Tahra exited the mental landscape, returning to the field of lights. Tahra looked around, muttering, “Any idea where to start looking?”With a shrug, Kytan opened his mind again. Several unfamiliar presences were passing by, but none of them seemed hostile or exceptionally powerful. He broadened his scope, reaching out to as many minds as he could, when suddenly something caught his attention. It wasn’t what he was looking for, but it was something that could be beneficial.“The Ice-Lord is nearby,” he identified.“So?”“So if we wake him up, our chances will increase greatly. He is the most powerful person on the island, after all.”Tahra smiled. “Sure he is. Where is he, then?”Kytan took a few steps and paused a moment. Upon finding the light he wanted, he entered into a featureless white void where he saw Stratoro floating nearby. Tahra followed him, and upon viewing their surroundings, she immediately sighed with frustration.“This isn’t going to work,” she said.Kytan approached Stratoro. The Ice-Lord was perfectly still, eyes shut tight.“Ice-Lord?” he asked. “Ice-Lord Stratoro! We could use your help!”Tahra shook her head. “This guy’s so scientific he doesn’t even dream. Probably thinks it’s nothing but superfluous, emotional nonsense or something like that. If he’s not in a dream, we can’t break him out of it—the only way to wake him up is to actually wake him up. We’ll have to do this without his help.”Kytan took another look around. “…Interesting. His mental landscape hasn’t even formed. I guess you don’t need it for dreamless sleep…”“You done? We’re kind of on a time limit.”“Oh, yes. Let’s go.”They left Stratoro behind and prepared to start searching again. Kytan asked, “So…what were you dreaming about?”“Want something to analyze?” Tahra asked. “Like I said, it didn’t get very far. Why don’t we talk about your dream?”“I’d rather not get into it.”“Oh, but it’s fine to ask me?”“I just wanted you to know you could talk about it if you wanted to. I’m not forcing you to do anything.”“Whatever,” Tahra said. “Let’s just hurry up and find this guy. Sleeping this much is just a big waste of time.”Genakex cast a glance over his shoulder. Unable to watch Xyla’s dream torture her any longer, he had decided to take his brother’s advice and refocus his efforts. He still felt terrible for not being able to help more directly.Shaking his head, Genakex turned back and prepared to open his mind again. It was then that he noticed a ghostly mass of purple-white energy floating through the clusters of lights.Once the surprise wore off, Genakex said, “That’s probably not something friendly.”Genakex took off after the ghost, barreling through the field of lights as fast as he could without losing sight of his target. Soon the ghost came up to a light that was much brighter than the others, and it extended what appeared to be an arm as Genakex finally caught up. The light began to gradually lose its intensity, and both it and the ghost flickered in and out of view.“What are you doing?” Genakex asked. “…Actually, what are you?”There was no reply. The light continued to fade, and Genakex worried about what this might mean for the individual whose mind was tied to that light. Whatever this ghost was, it had a very strange air about it, and it did not appear to have any intention of stopping what it was doing. For all he knew, maybe this was the person they were looking for, and diving into the light under attack might be the only way to stop this insanity.…Gosh, I hate these metaphysical things, Genakex thought.He reached out and touched the fading light, transporting himself to an utterly barren wasteland. The sound of marching caught his attention, leading him to discover a swarm of Bohrok moving towards a large hole in the ground. Following them, Genakex discovered a stone staircase leading into the ground, so he began to work his way through the crowd (an easy task, as he passed right through them).The staircase deposited him in a vast underground chamber filled with all kinds of Bohrok, including what appeared to be a group of slightly modified Pahrak. At the far end of the room were two massive statues of the Bahrag that stood back-to-back, and between the statues and the swarm floated none other than Titan.Shocked, Genakex blurted out, “This is Titan’s dream?!”The Bohrok fell silent, and Titan began to speak to them. “You have done well, my brothers. At last, we have realized our Queens’ dream! The surface of the island has been cleaned!”The Bohrok shuffled excitedly, producing a loud clattering sound in Genakex’s ears.Titan turned to face the statues, solemnly adding, “May you now be at peace, my Queens. Our destiny has been fulfilled.”The Bohrok returned to silence, and Titan faced them again.“I have given much thought to what we will do next. Ordinarily, our Queens would have us hibernate once more until we are needed again. But, with our Queens gone, my power is all that is left of them…and I wish to honor their memory. My strength—the strength of the Bahrag—shall become known throughout the universe! All will fear and respect the power of our Queens, and those who challenge it shall be decimated! I will display the full extent of what they have left to me, and with that, no one can stop us from taking control of this world!”The Bohrok did not respond to this. Surprised, Titan surveyed the crowed, trying to think of what to say.“What we have left to you?” hissed a voice behind him. “You mean what you stole from us.”Titan turned to see the eyes of the Bahrag statues light up, and the giant carvings were now craning their necks to glare directly at the King Bohrok.“You stole our power,” Cahdok said. “You killed us.”Titan started to back up. “Wh…m…my Queens…I-I did not…I assure you, I had no intention—““We will not hear your lies!” Gahdok snapped. “You were jealous of our power! You killed us so you could take our strength for your own!”“No!” Titan objected. “I would never mean you any harm! I have always been loyal to you, never jealous! You are my Queens, and I shall serve you to the best of my ability! I have fulfilled your wishes—the island has been cleansed, and the swarm is prospering!”“The swarm is prospering?” Cahdok repeated. “Look again, you reckless fool.”Looking back at the swarm, Titan saw every Bohrok dismantled and strewn about the chamber. Gahdok said, “You have used up all their strength. Are they now worthless to you also?”“No…no, this cannot be!” Titan cried. His voice was full of disbelief, but beyond that, it sounded sad and mournful…and also very afraid. “They were fine…I did not use them up! This is not…”Although he was ashamed to admit it, Genakex was awestruck. Ever since they had met, Titan had been only selfish, proud, and governed by a strong sense of superiority. Yet here he was, frightened, grieving, and deeply hurt by what the Bahrag were saying. Genakex found himself wondering if he was the one dreaming, because he could not easily believe that Titan could have a nightmare like this.As the King began to deny what he saw, though, Genakex realized he had an opportunity. He shouted, “It’s a nightmare, Titan! Wake up!”Titan immediately looked in Genakex’s direction, a sign that he had heard. Genakex was about to shout more words of encouragement, but suddenly he felt unbelievably cold and his body stopped responding.“…Who’s there?” Titan asked. “What do you mean ‘wake up’?”The cold intensified. It permeated Genakex’s skin, and he began to feel as if his bones were freezing over. His limbs felt too heavy to lift, and when he turned his head he heard the sound of ice cracking.“This is the truth,” Cahdok said. “You will sacrifice anything and anyone in your pursuit of power. It is your nature.”Titan turned back to the Bahrag. Genakex tried to speak, but his teeth chattered uncontrollably.“You are a monster,” Gahdok told Titan. “A heartless weapon capable of nothing but destruction. If you truly wish to honor us, why don’t you destroy yourself?”Genakex fell and hit the ground. The cold had numbed him, so he didn’t feel a thing. He wondered, Is this the blizzard? Are we too late?“…There is only one creature I know who is cowardly enough to attack my dreams,” Titan grumbled. The familiar anger was returning to his voice. “So I was sensing something. It was weak because you are not at your full power yet.”The Bahrag statues returned to their original position and the light faded from their eyes. Genakex felt his body warming up, and the scattered Bohrok pieces disappeared.Titan clenched his fist, faced the ceiling, and roared, “YOU WILL NOT LIVE TO REGRET THIS, YOU WRETCHED ABOMINATION!!”Genakex was getting up when he was suddenly back in the field of lights. Titan was strangling the ghost with his hand and shaking with rage.“I am not you,” Titan stated. “I still hold the Bahrag dear to my heart. I will not tolerate this attempt to force your insanity upon me!”A chuckled emanated from the ghost. It pulled its arm free and hit Titan with an ice blast, loosening his grip enough that the ghost could escape. Genakex started running after the ghost, but it was faster than him and he began to lose ground. Soon, Titan flew past him, shouting, “GET BACK HERE!!”As he was left behind, Genakex began to wonder just what it was they were dealing with. Whatever it was, if it was capable of causing such pain to Titan, it was something Genakex was not looking forward to fighting.Review in Genakex's Journal.

Edited by Dinobot Pahrak, Oct 23 2012 - 03:57 PM.

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#34 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Nov 10 2012 - 12:29 PM

Chapter 33: Disturbed SleepSamuko watched the lights swirling above her, totally confused as to what was going on. Earlier she had been going about her daily activities when suddenly she found herself having a nightmare. The nightmare itself did not bother her that much—it was a recurring dream in which a multitude of people tormented her about her freakish eye color, and it always ended with her ripping out her own eyes and stumbling off into the darkness. When she woke up, however, she was in a sea of energy surrounded by hundreds of white lights. This was the part that bothered her.“What the heck is going on?” Samuko sighed.She looked around in an attempt to gain her bearings, but everything about her surroundings looked exactly the same. That was when she saw someone walking through the field of lights. It was Zane, someone she recognized immediately—he had grown up on Ko-Isle up until a few years ago, and while he was not very outgoing, he had never said anything about Samuko’s eyes.“Zane!” Samuko called.Zane stopped and turned to face Samuko as she approached. He greeted, “Samuko? So you’re awake too.”“Do you have any idea what’s going on?” Samuko asked.“Somebody put the entire island to sleep, gave us all nightmares, and intends to let us freeze to death in the blizzard.”“…What?”Zane shrugged. “I don’t completely understand it either. You should just wait here until I find whoever’s responsible.”“Where’s ‘here’, though?”“A metaphysical connection between all of our minds.”Zane resumed walking now. Samuko sarcastically muttered, “Right, I can’t believe I didn’t figure that one out.”Following Zane, she added, “So when our nightmares end, we go here instead of waking up?”“Seems like most people’s nightmares aren’t ending until they realize they’re dreaming,” Zane answered, eyes forward. “But for those of us with recurring nightmares, I guess we’re just so accustomed to waking up when it’s over that this technique can’t keep us under.”Samuko could easily guess what Zane’s nightmare had been about. Moving on, she asked, “What are these lights, then?”“Each one is a different person’s mind,” Zane answered.Samuko turned to a nearby light, slowing down as she passed it. Tentatively, she reached out and brushed her fingers against it. Instantly, she was transported to a busy street on Ta-Isle.“Wait, what happened?!” Samuko exclaimed. “Zane? Can you hear me? Where am I now?!”After receiving no reply, Samuko realized she needed to figure this out herself. She thought, Okay…each light is a different mind. I came here when I touched a light, so…maybe I’m inside someone else’s mind? Someone’s dream?“Hey!” called a voice.Samuko turned around to see Takashi running down the street, directly at her. She braced for a collision, but to her surprise, Takashi passed right through her. Samuko blinked in shock, and then she looked back down the street.“Hey, wait up!” Takashi shouted.He ran up to someone and grabbed their shoulder. Instantly, flames engulfed the individual, and he fell to the ground, screaming. Horrified, Takashi backed away, stammering in shock.“I…wha…you…no…I didn’t…”Samuko put a hand over her mouth and watched in stunned silence. The other people walking the street took notice and began to gather.“What did you do?!” somebody asked.“Nothing!” Takashi said, raising his hands defensively. A wall of flames rose and consumed the group directly in front of him.“Ah! No!” Takashi shouted. He tried waving the fire away, but it only spread and burned more people. “No, no, no! Everyone, get out of here!”The pedestrians did not listen, and the flames crept ever closer to them. Takashi jumped directly into the fire, but all this did was send a flaming ripple out and over the street. Samuko recoiled as the fire approached her, but it passed harmlessly through her just as Takashi had earlier. When she opened her eyes, the road was charred and empty, and Takashi sat in a pile of ashes with a panicked expression.“Why now?” he muttered. “I thought I had control over it! I don’t want anyone else to get hurt!”Samuko saw a figure emerging from the smoke behind Takashi. She squinted her eyes as it came closer, slowly growing more visible as it emerged from the smog. To her surprise, she found herself looking at an exact duplicate of herself.Takashi turned to face the Samuko duplicate, asking, “What are you doing here…?”The duplicate did not answer. Samuko said, “That’s an imposter.”Takashi did not hear her. He told the duplicate, “I really didn’t mean to insult you. I was just trying to be nice! I really do like your eyes!”Samuko began to feel angry, but the emotion gave way to shock when the duplicate’s eyes burst into flames. Takashi leapt to his feet and rushed towards the duplicate, but by the time he reached her, she had collapsed and fallen still.“NO!!” Takashi cried. His tone was becoming desperate. “No, this can’t be real! This can’t be happening again! Just stop it!”Samuko was beginning to understand the effect that her overreaction had had on Takashi, and she could feel guilt starting to creep in.“I guess you really were sincere…sorry,” she said. Clenching her teeth, she added, “I…forgive you.”Takashi looked over his shoulder, locking his tear-filled eyes on Samuko. “…What?” he asked. “You’re okay?!”He looked back, discovering that the duplicate had disappeared. The world suddenly shifted around the two of them; the road gave way to a concrete floor, and sturdy metal walls rose between them and the buildings lining the street. A massive furnace appeared in the center of the room, providing just enough light for Takashi and Samuko to see each other.“What the heck is going on?!” Takashi asked.Samuko wasn’t sure where to being. “Well, we’re all asleep—everyone on the island—and you’re dreaming—well…maybe now you’re done dreaming…? Anyway, it’s impossible for anyone to wake up, but we’re all connected right now, so I ended up here, and, uh…”She sighed in frustration. “…To be honest, I really don’t know what’s going on.”Takashi wiped his eyes. “So…you saw my nightmare?”“…I did.” She paused. “I didn’t realize I hurt you so much. I’m sorry.”“No, don’t worry about it,” Takashi said, forcing a smile. “It’s my fault. You had your reasons for what you did.”Samuko hesitated. “…I’ve…always been made fun of…for my eyes, that is. I’m really, really insecure about them, to the point where the slightest mention sets me off. It’s no excuse, though—I shouldn’t have yelled at you.”“Still, I hurt you,” Takashi replied. “It’s only natural you’d be upset.”“…Is that what your dream was about? You’re afraid of hurting people?”Takashi was silent at first. Eventually he answered, “A few years back, I had some trouble containing my power. I never burned anybody to ashes, but a lot of people got hurt, and I don’t want anything like that to ever happen again. I’m still pretty reckless, so I know I have a long way to go before I can relax.”“Sounds like we both overreacted,” Samuko muttered. “…How about we just forget it ever happened?”“Fine with me,” Takashi agreed. “We’ll start fresh. I’m Takashi—pleased to meet you!”He held out his hand. After some hesitation, Samuko grasped it and said, “Likewise. I’m Samuko.”“So, Samuko…how do we get out of here?”“I have absolutely no idea.”Titan remained perfectly still. The ghost had escaped into the field of lights, but he expected that the coward was still nearby. It was too difficult for Titan to home in on his enemy’s presence due to all the energies around him. No doubt his foe would find this advantage too good to pass up.Where are you, you monstrosity? he wondered.“Titan!” Genakex called.Turning towards the approaching boy, Titan snapped, “Quiet! That thing is still—“Suddenly a blast of ice hit Genakex, knocking him to the ground. The ghost, now sporting a Toa-like shape, flew out into the open. Titan raised his gun arm, but the ghost cackled at him.“Oh, I wouldn’t recommend that!” laughed the ghost, its shrill voice bubbling with the uncontainable enthusiasm of a madman. “Your little Champion is just a step away, musclehead. Between you and me, you’ve never really been the best shot.”Genakex tried to get up, but the ghost pointed at him threateningly. “Shh, you need to get your sleep,” it said with mock concern. “Hush, little Titan Va, don’t say a word, just sit there or I’ll flat-out murd…er you. Huh, that didn’t quite work out the way I wanted. Kind of a trend, really; I’m having a rough day.”After thinking for a moment, Genakex asked, “Was this whole thing to kill me so that Titan would be vulnerable?”"What? You figured that out all on your own?” the ghost gasped. “Very good, Titan Va, very good! You get a gold star! Though, if I was at full power I’d probably be slaughtering the whole island the old-fashioned way whether you were here or not. Better chance if you weren’t here, actually. But anyway, we’re getting off-topic. Musclehead, why don’t you introduce us?”Reluctantly, Titan grumbled, “This is the King of Kohrak…Exo-Kohrak Kal Abomination. He is a truly evil King Bohrok.”“Evil?! Your words hurt as much as your fist, musclehead!” Abomination wailed. “You know what happened to me! I couldn’t handle all that power from the Nuva Symbols—it destroyed my mind, casting me into a dark madness from which I cannot escape! Imagine my suffering, my agony!”“Silence, heretic!” Titan shouted. “You freed the Bahrag without killing them, and then you struck them down anyway! You knew exactly what you were doing when you devoured their souls!”Abomination shrugged. “Yeah…so?”“They were our Queens!!” Titan roared. “It was our duty to serve them—we were created for that and that alone! We were their last line of defense, and when you became their sole defender, when all threats were defeated, you killed them for no reason at all! You mild insanity is nowhere near pitiable enough to erase how shameful and disgusting your betrayal is!”As Titan yelled, Genakex thought, I’ve seen him angry all the time, but never like this…he actually cares about the Bahrag more than himself…“Oh will you give it a rest?” Abomination sighed. “I know this is a hostage situation, but you don’t need to make it so dramatic. It wasn’t easy finding just the right sonic frequency that I could combine with what’s left of my power to set up this whole endless nightmare thing I’ve got going on. And come on, admit it—you’re impressed. Just a little.”Titan and Genakex gave no reply.“…Really? Nothing? Throw me a bone here! Oh, whatever. Mortal enemies are so hard to please these days…also, who’s the new kid?”Abomination gestured off into a nearby cluster of lights. Soon, Zane walked out into the clearing, glaring fixatedly at Abomination.“Do I have something on my face?” Abomination asked. “Wait…I don’t have a face in this form…so seriously, though, what?”“I don’t know what this whole thing about the Bahrag is, but I don’t really care,” Zane said. “If you’re the one responsible for putting us all to sleep, then you’re my enemy.”“Well I am terrified,” Abomination commented. “Just out of curiosity, how do you plan on attacking me?”Zane put a hand on his forehead. “I was thinking…Fourth of the Four Forbidden Thoughts: Cerebral Vortex.”Abomination paused. “…That’s, ah…that’s a good answer.”A bolt of pink energy shot from Zane, striking Abomination and stunning him. The ghostly King Bohrok was lifted into the air as blades of pink energy formed around him, and Genakex quickly created some distance between himself and the target. The energy blades began to spin and close in on Abomination, moving closer and faster until they formed into blurs that sliced through their ethereal victim. The area around Abomination filled with intense heat, and his body began to melt as it was hacked apart.“…Scary,” Genakex mumbled.“That fiend deserves worse,” Titan growled.After a minute or so, there was nothing left of Abomination. The Vortex disappeared, and Zane caught his breath and sat down. The lights began to go out one-by-one and the world began to warp one last time. Genakex felt dizzy and closed his eyes for a moment; when he opened them again, he was back at the Orb Center on Ko-Isle.“Are we finally awake?” he wondered aloud.Phaenyx, who was sleeping on the other side of the lobby, sat up and yawned. “Man, that was a weird dream. Good nap, though. Strange place to fall asleep…but…wait, what happened?”“We have a King Bohrok problem,” Genakex answered. He leapt to his feet and added, “Come on, we need to get back to the Battlefield to get Titan’s gauntlet!”As he pulled the door open, a blast of cold air and snow rushed in. Phaenyx was on his feet now, saying, “Feels like the blizzard is almost here.”“Then we have to hurry!” Genakex said. “We have to go after Abomination before he gets away!”Phaenyx raised an eyebrow. “We’re going after some kind of abomination?”“I’ll explain on the way,” Genakex said as he headed out into the street.Review in: Genakex's Journal.

Edited by Dinobot Pahrak, Nov 10 2012 - 12:53 PM.

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#35 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Nov 24 2012 - 07:11 PM

Chapter 34: Abominable SnowmanGenakex burst into the Battlefield, nearly running into Tahra. “Sorry!” Genakex apologized. “Where’s Titan’s gauntlet?”“I’ve got it,” Kytan said, holding up the artifact in question. “I heard enough from Zane to know that we’re dealing with another King.”Zane sat on a nearby bench, his breathing ragged. Genakex guessed his exhaustion was related to the attack he used against Abomination, and that he was in no condition to contribute to the next phase of the battle.“Thanks for helping—I’ll take it from here,” Genakex said.“Whatever,” Zane muttered.Genakex turned back to Kytan, asking, “Where’s Xyla?”“She’s not coming,” Kytan said. “After what she went through, there’s no way she’ll be able to take on Abomination.”Genakex nodded grimly. Titan spoke up, “We must hurry! Abomination is in the snow drifts outside the city, headed for the mountains! I may lose his trail again if we don’t leave now!”The children turned to leave, but Stratoro moved in front of the door. “You cannot leave,” he said. “The blizzard is almost here. I must deploy the dome over the city.”“What?! No, we need to go after Abomination!” Genakex exclaimed.“Allowing you to pursue one madman is not an adequate excuse for delaying the protection of the entire city,” Stratoro said.“Ice-Lord, this matter is directly linked to the safety of the city,” Kytan argued. “No matter how severe this blizzard is, I highly doubt that it will significantly hamper the King of Kohrak, who we can safely assume is well-adapted to cold climates. A foe as unbalanced as this one, if left unchecked, may decide to shatter the ice dome, leaving us unprotected and likely causing additional damage and casualties when it collapses. Therefore, the safest course of action is to allow us to subdue or at least weaken the King of Kohrak to stop him from coming near the city.”Stratoro raised an eyebrow, impressed by this analysis. He silently considered the plan for a moment, and then he looked at his watch.“Very well,” he reluctantly agreed. “You have exactly one hour before I deploy the dome.”The Ice-Lord left the Battlefield and headed for the walkways. The children headed outside next, and Kytan an Orb into the air. In a flash, the glass sphere transformed into the Fire Dragon, a huge red-scaled wyvern with bladed gold wings that exhaled a puff of smoke before swiveling its head to face the kids. Kytan fused with Jobmaster: Fire, gaining a blue tunic, armored boots, and a green plate of armor over his chest.“Let’s go,” Kytan said, climbing onto the dragon’s neck. “We’ll cover more ground this way. Be sure to keep your eyes open!”Phaenyx fused with Dakrevusko and Shadow Shifted onto the dragon’s back, saying, “I’m always up for a fight. A King Bohrok should be one heck of an opponent!”Tahra fused with Tahu Nuva and commented, “We’d better not waste time. Stratoro will lock us out, you know.”Genakex looked down at Titan’s gauntlet. “…You know, I haven’t really progressed much since our battle with Voyager. I may not be able to defeat Abomination…do you still want to do this?”“Yes,” Titan answered, not pausing for a moment. “Even if by some chance we are not successful, we must at least try. What that cretin did to the Bahrag is unforgiveable, and to defend their honor I must take any opportunity to challenge him!”This was where Titan paused. When he resumed speaking, his tone took on a gravelly sound.“Genakex…I do not enjoy asking for help. But Abomination’s demise means more to me than my pride, so please: lend me all of the strength you have to offer. I cannot explain why, but believe me when I tell you that proving myself superior to Abomination is one of the most meaningful things I can achieve in this war.”Hearing Titan actually ask for help sent Genakex reeling. It took him some time to gather his thoughts, but when he did, he smiled.“You don’t even need to ask, Titan. I get it—you received the Bahrag’s power accidentally, but Abomination took it on purpose. If he’s stronger, then that’s like proof that what he did wasn’t wrong. But if you’re stronger, then it means that your mistake wasn’t in vain. Or…something like that.”It was Titan’s turn to be stunned. Genakex put the gauntlet on and fused with the King of Pahrak, and then he wrapped his arm around the Fire Dragon’s leg and held on tight. Kytan pulled on the reigns and the Spirit beat its giant wings, kicking up a cloud of snow as it lifted into the air.As they left the city, Titan quietly added, “I see you comprehend more than I give you credit for.”Genakex pretended he couldn’t hear over the rush of the winds, not wanting to push Titan’s generosity. He could not, however, stop the smile on his face from widening.A tiny Kopeke Spirit slid down the slope of a mountain, using its kolhii staff to steady itself. Snow whipped past its mask as it took a few steps forward and stopped to listen. The blizzard was here, and it was trying to find a safe place to wait out the storm. The way seemed clear, so it moved forward while staying half-buried in the snow.Suddenly a hand reached down and grabbed hold of the tiny Spirit, lifting it out of the snow and several feet off the ground. The hand was made up of two snowflake-shaped Sonic Shields, each tip twisting around the Kopeke as a fully-functional finger. Farther up along the arm it belonged to was a sharp blade jutting out of an elbow, and its twin was twitching randomly as if eager to rip something apart. The body between the arms was that of a Toa Nuva, including plates of polished protodermis on the shoulders, but the breastplate had been replaced by something resembling the faceplate of a Kohrak. Four insect-like legs grew out of the torso, each one displaying a Kohrak-Kal faceplate. Atop this intimidating body rested a face obscured by a light blue Krana Xa, with two piercing eyes trained directly on the Spirit at the monster’s mercy.“Excuse me sir, but this area’s being sectioned off for a rather intense battle,” the creature politely informed. “I’m going to have to extract a fee for trespassing and then ask you to leave. And then probably just kill you. Oh, wait, he’s here! Looks like our business will have to wait—my deepest apologies.”The hand released the Kopeke, and it scurried off towards freedom. A large, shadowy figure could be seen flying through the snow, quickly approaching where the four-legged monster stood.“ABOMINATION!!” Genakex shouted.The Titan Va leapt from the leg of the Fire Dragon and plummeted towards the King of Kohrak, forming a Vacuum Metal Saber as he fell. Once within range, Genakex swung the blade, landing a direct hit…or so it seemed. Abomination’s armor shimmered the same color as a Bohrok-Kal’s Silver Shield, and one look was enough to tell that he had sustained no damage.“We’re sorry, but your transaction has been DENIED!!” Abomination mocked. “Come on, musclehead, did you really think I would try anything before I was strong enough to use my King Bohrok Carapace?”Genakex backed off as his friends landed nearby. The white design on one of Abomination’s knee plates vanished, and the plate itself took on a dark gray color.“I was afraid of this,” Titan mumbled. “His troublesome mutations have activated. We’ll have to lower his energy slowly with basic attacks—he can nullify anything beyond a specific power level.”“Well that stinks,” Genakex said. “Hey, Abomination Va, whoever you are—why are you helping this guy? He just tried to kill a whole island!”“He’s not here right now, but I can take a message,” Abomination replied. “See, I find it’s much more efficient to forcibly suppress the consciousness of my Va Champion and just flat-out possess him. It’s so nice to not have to deal with someone else’s whining all the time! I mean, it’s not without problems—it takes a while to suppress the consciousness, so I’m a little slow in powering up. Still not at full power yet, but I’ve got all I need to outlast you, musclehead.”“We shall see about that!” Titan shouted.Abomination crossed his arms and tapped one foot against the ground. A large conical Shockwave rushed through the snow, sending Genakex tumbling back. Kytan flew over the attack and angled began to circle Abomination, while Phaenyx Shadow Shifted to safety. Tahra jumped up, used her Hau Nuva to create an energy field, and used it as a stepping stone to clear the wave.“Bring it on,” Abomination said.Kytan used Firaga, lobbing an explosive fireball at their foe. The attack was nullified, but Kytan noticed another knee plate graying out.“Your Carapace has limited uses, doesn’t it?” Kytan asked.“Maybe,” Abomination slyly answered.Tahra tried giving Abomination a 5th Degree Burn, causing another plate to gray out, but seconds later it returned to its default state. Abomination looked directly at Tahra and used Ultrasound, causing intense sound waves to close in on Tahra from all directions. Phaenyx launched a Shadow Blast, but Abomination casually stepped out of the way and laughed. Icicles began to shoot out from Abomination’s knees and home in on his enemies, temporarily impairing Tahra and Phaenyx. Kytan pulled on the Fire Dragon’s reigns to steer it clear of the projectiles, meanwhile Genakex raised a Silver Shield foe defense. Another damaged plate repaired itself, and the Ikhav brothers regrouped.“Those shields regenerate awful quickly,” Kytan muttered. “I guess we will need to use weaker attacks after all.”“I told you, didn’t I?” Titan said.Genakex dispersed the Vacuum Metal Saber, nervously saying, “Okay…this is still doable, right?”Abomination watched his last shield regenerate, groaning, “Ugh, this so booooooooring! I don’t suppose anyone has a magazine on them?”Phaenyx got back on his feet and attempted to use Shadow Crasher, but Abomination jumped out of the way and held out one hand. A Sonic Boom rang out as a focused beam of sound sent Phaenyx flying into the distance, and then Abomination looked back to Tahra.“So, what do you have?” he asked. “All of your Fire attacks would do a lot of damage. You know, if I wasn’t able to completely nullify them. So…you really can’t do anything, can you?”Tahra glared at Abomination and raised her swords. “I’ve still got these.”“Ooh, fancy swords,” Abomination said. “I wasn’t even afraid of those when I saw them as a Bohrok-Kal. But hey, I don’t mean to discourage you—give it your best shot!”The Krana on Abomination’s face began to shine and morph, settling down once it took the form of a Krana Vu. Tahra rushed in to slash her foe, but he used the Vu’s power of flight to leap out of her reach. Kytan flew to intercept, ordering his dragon to breathe fire on the King Bohrok. Abomination angled around the flames just as the Vu’s power gave out, and as he fell he shot Kytan down with a Sonic Boom. Before Abomination landed, however, Genakex fired a Stone Blast from his gun arm, catching Abomination by surprise.“About time we actually hit him!” Genakex commented.Abomination struck the ground hard. “Owwww…I’m not sure what hurts worse: the physical pain, or the emotional pain of getting hit by the Titan Va. No, wait, I know this one…it’s the emotional pain!”Tahra moved in to slash Abomination, but he rolled away and said, “Sorry, hold this for me.”A purple glow enveloped Abomination’s hands, and he lunged forward and slammed both fists into Tahra. The double punch sent Tahra reeling, and suddenly she found herself frozen in ice. Abomination smiled and hit her with a Shockwave.“What was that?” Genakex wondered.“I’m glad you asked!” Abomination responded. “That, young moron, was my Royal Awakening, Strike of the Twins. Now, I know what you’re thinking: isn’t a Royal Awakening supposed to be flashier than that? Well, the Bahrag souls haven’t done a very good job of dealing with being sealed within my insanity. I guess we can’t all have the mental fortitude I do…anyway, they’ve been worn down a bit, so I can’t coax a whole lot of power out of them. Still, with one in each fist it adds up pretty well, and it causes handy status ailments. Heh…get it? Handy?”Genakex just stared blankly at Abomination.“Tough crowd,” the King of Kohrak sighed. “Why do I go through all this exposition when no one appreciates it?”“Sounds like your methods have a lot of drawbacks,” Genakex noted.Abomination shrugged. “I’ve learned how to make it work. I’ve survived more wars than musclehead here.”Kytan swooped down and picked up Tahra, carrying her out of danger while Phaenyx Shadow Shifted back onto the field. Abomination took a hit from Shadow Crasher, so he summoned his Krana Su and used its enhanced strength to bring Phaenyx to his knees with Ultrasound. Genakex fired a Stone Blast, but Abomination avoided it and summoned a Krana Ca.“Are you alright?” Kytan asked.Tahra muttered, “Could be better. You got any items?”Nodding, Kytan handed over a Megalixir, and Tahra opened the small bottle and drank it to regain some Fusion Energy. “Okay,” she said, “I say Plan B is wearing down his shields so we can do some real damage.”“Not sure if it’s the best course of action, but I can’t think of anything better…”The two of them flew down to inform Genakex, meanwhile Phaenyx struggled to his feet and took a deep breath.“Worn out already?” Abomination asked. “Go ahead, lie down, take a rest, die. I won’t disturb you.”A mad grin crossed Phaenyx’s face. “I’m not about to die. This is just getting good!”Shadow energy encased Phaenyx’s arms as if he was about to use Shadow Crasher, but then it gathered in his hands and grew to produce two energy blades. Phaenyx Shadow Shifted forward and swung both swords, but a transparent shield appeared to block him. Abomination tapped his Krana Ca.“Krana of shielding,” he said. “You’re not very familiar with Krana, are you? They’re so useful, yet so overlooked…”Phaenyx Shadow Shifted behind Abomination and struck again, but again he was blocked. Not giving up, Phaenyx rapidly Shadow Shifted around Abomination, assaulting the shield with all his might. Abomination sighed and examined his claws for a time, and then he reached out as Phaenyx was reappearing and grabbed the young Bioni-Lord by the throat. Before he could say anything, though, Tahra used Ground Burner to set the snow beneath him ablaze. The Carapace protected Abomination, and he gave a bored look to Kytan as he executed a Dragonbreath attack.“You people never learn,” Abomination said, hurling Phaenyx away with another Sonic Boom.One of the shields regenerated, but Genakex immediately grayed it out again with a Rockslide. Kytan came back around and cast Firaga again, and then Tahra stopped a shield’s regeneration by spitting a fireball at it.“Oh, I see,” Abomination said. “Keep attacking faster than the Carapace can regenerate, right? Nobody’s ever thought of that before.”Abomination ignored a Plasma Wave as he switched to a bright white Krana Su-Kal, and as Tahra readied for another Ground Burner she was hit with another Strike of the Twins, this one far stronger than the last. Tahra, stunned by the force of the attack, fell out of fusion, and Kytan immediately flew down to rescue her. Abomination focused a Homing Icicle Barrage on Kytan, punching holes in the Fire Dragon’s wings and making it fall out of the sky. When the dragon hit the ground, Abomination used a Shockwave to drain its Fusion Energy, turning it back into an Orb and burying the armorless Kytan in a mound of snow. Genakex ran in and tried hitting Abomination with a Power Punch, but Abomination caught his fist and used Ultrasound. Utterly disoriented by the attack, Genakex sat in a daze until Abomination punched him in the stomach, knocking the wind out of him.“I’m getting this strange urge to say ‘I told you so’…weird, huh?” Abomination taunted. “So musclehead, still think the end—this awesome power—doesn’t justify the means—killing the Bahrag? Because I’m convinced. Then again, I never really needed convincing.”“I will never believe your actions were justified,” Titan growled. “I see, however, that you will never understand the atrocity of your betrayal.”“So we can’t see eye-to-eye? Hm…”Abomination held out his hand, and a light blue Krana materialized. He stomped on Genakex’s chest and, with his free hand, pried off the Titan Va’s helmet to reveal the green Krana on his face.“You know what just might work?” Abomination said, his voice in an eerily low tone. “I bet that if I put one of my Krana on you, you’ll finally come to see things my way. Won’t that be fun?!”A sense of panic washed over Genakex. He tried to flee, but Abomination froze his limbs solid.“Monster!” Titan roared. “Do not dare defile me with your filth!”“What are you going to do about it?” Abomination asked, bringing the Krana closer to Genakex’s face. “Besides, you must be curious to find out what’ll happen, right? Think of this as donating your body to science! I’m even helping you skip the middle step of dying!”“NO!!” Genakex shouted. “Get away from me!!”Genakex strained every muscle in his body attempting to break free of the ice. A few cracks appeared, but it didn’t look like he would get out in time. Genakex’s panic deepened as the Krana drew ever closer.That was when Phaenyx teleported in and slashed Abomination’s arm, knocking the Krana into the snow. Abomination responded by kicking Phaenyx away, but it bought Genakex enough time to tear himself free and grab the King of Kohrak by the neck.“Uh-oh,” Abomination choked.Genakex flipped Abomination over his head and into the ground, and then he jammed his gun arm into his foe’s chest and channeled as much Plasma power as he could. Flames gushed out of the weapon and over Abomination, and one-by-one his Carapace shields fell gray.“DIE!!” Genakex shouted. “DIE, DIE, DIE!!”Phaenyx Shadow Shifted near Kytan, who had finally dug himself out of the snow. “You should get out of here,” Phaenyx advised. “You can’t use another Orb, and I’m sure Abomination has no problem targeting you when you’re like this.”“You’re right,” Kytan grudgingly admitted.He looked up at Genakex, ashamed that he couldn’t help his brother any more. As he thought about it, however, he began to wonder if he was more ashamed simply by the fact that he lost. Kytan shook his head—he wouldn’t allow himself to think like that. Instead, he focused on making sure Tahra was alright.Meanwhile under the flames, Abomination frowned. “This didn’t quite work out either. Today just isn’t my day.”Luckily for him, the Su-Kal granted him heat resistance—not enough to save his Carapace but enough that he could reach up and bash Genakex away with Strike of the Twins. The King of Kohrak flipped onto his feet and bolted away from Genakex, summoning his Krana Vu-Kal.“It’s been fun, really it has,” Abomination babbled, “but I can tell when I’m in a tight spot and I’d rather live to fight another day! Peace out!”Using the power of his Krana, Abomination shot into the sky, but Genakex flew up and slashed him with a Vacuum Metal Saber. The Carapace absorbed the hit, but the plate on Abomination’s chest—the last one—grayed out, leaving him defenseless against a Plasma Blast. The blast flung Abomination father away, so, with his armor just barely hanging together, he shot out over the mountains as fast as he could. Genakex, unable to pursue, hurled a mad flurry of Plasma Waves towards the mountain.“Genakex, calm down!” Phaenyx said.He Shadow Shifted next to Genakex and grabbed his shoulder, and Genakex spun around and bashed his fist against Phaenyx’s head. Phaenyx, now out of Fusion Energy, fell over and grabbed his head.“Ouch! Hey, it’s over! You can relax!”Genakex, eyes still full of panic, faced Phaenyx and stumbled back. “Phaenyx…? I-I’m sorry…I didn’t…”“It’s okay,” Phaenyx said. “Abomination’s not going to come back in that state. But we do kinda need to get back to the city, so…”Genakex sat down and sighed, his Fusion Armor slowly receding. Kytan and Tahra walked over to see if he was alright.“…Genakex?” Kytan asked.“Right,” Genakex said. “Right, uh…let’s go.”He got to his feet and started in the direction of the city. Tahra pulled Phaenyx out of the snow, stared after Genakex, and then turned to Kytan.“…For now, let’s just get back to the city,” Kytan mumbled. “Once we’re safe, we can address other matters.”Spirits Used:#1208. Exo-Kohrak Kal Abomination#920. Exo-Pahrak Kal Titan#1356. Fire Dragon#1218. Jobmaster: Fire#1369. Dakrevusko#2. Tahu NuvaReview in Genakex's Journal
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#36 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Dec 10 2012 - 04:02 PM

Chapter 35: Cold Hearts

 

 

Stratoro stood atop the Battlefield, constantly looking from his watch to the horizon and back.  From all across the walkways, the dome generators could be seen giving off bright light, all activated and ready to use.  The last generator rested at Stratoro’s feet, inactive.  The children had not yet returned, and the time he had allotted them was about to expire.  Stratoro was somewhat troubled—perhaps they had failed to weaken Abomination, and he was indeed plotting to shatter the dome during the blizzard.  Not only would his most famous invention be proved inadequate, but he would then have to sully his hands in battle and then feign remorse for any lost in the disaster.  Much precious time would be lost, time that could otherwise be devoted to his inventions.  Stratoro dreaded this possibility.

A roar rang out, causing Stratoro’s eyes to snap up.  Kytan’s Fire Dragon could be seen flying into the city, putting the Ice-Lord’s mind at ease.  As soon as the Dragon ducked under the walkways, Stratoro put on his goggles, knelt down, and put both hands on opposite sides of the generator.  The oversized ice cube lit up like the others, and soon they all shot a beam of light into the air.  The beams halted once they reached a certain height, and then a thin layer of transparent energy spread out from the top of each beam.  Soon there were no holes in the energy shield and it formed a complete dome over the city, so it slowly transmuted into a thick shell of ice.

When the transformation was complete, the beams disappeared and the generators died down.  Stratoro stood up, sighed heavily, and wiped a layer of frost off his face.  He descended the nearest staircase and reached the front door of the Battlefield about the same time the children did.

“I trust things went well?” the Ice-Lord asked.

“Well…sort of,” Kytan replied.  “Abomination shouldn’t be back any time soon.”

As that was all Stratoro cared about, he nodded and headed into the Battlefield.  The kids headed upstairs, exhausted, and Stratoro aimed for his office.  He passed Zane, who was still waiting on a bench at the side of the arena.

“Would an Orb Battle be out of the question?” Zane asked.

“No, assuming you’ve recovered,” Stratoro answered.

Zane stepped into the arena and fused with Renegade, obtaining a black high-collared coat decorate by red clouds.  Stratoro fused with RoboTops and eyed his opponent carefully.  Zane’s eyes turned red as he used Sharingan, and a thin layer of gray Armor covered his skin so he could mimic Stratoro’s defensive technique.  Rather than block the incoming Flame Cannon, however, he jumped out of the way so that he could use Mangekyo Sharingan, making a black pinwheel design appear over his pupils.  However, Stratoro had expected this and already called down an Avalanche on his foe.  Zane quickly dug himself out and blocked a Tsunami, and then he locked eyes with Stratoro.

“Tsukuyomi,” Zane stated.

Instantly, Stratoro’s mind was transported to an illusory world, leaving his body helpless.  Using this opportunity, Zane attacked with two Water Fang Bullets, making twisting tendrils of water to rise from the floor and pierce Stratoro’s mid-section.  Once his mind returned, Stratoro tried trapping his foe between a Tsunami and an Avalanche, but Zane endured it by using the Armor he had stolen.

When the attacks ended, the combatants just stood there watching each other.  Stratoro preferred to wait for his opponent to attack, but the degenerative effects of Tsukuyomi were currently in the process of draining his Fusion Energy.  Zane clearly intended to just wait out the degeneration, as he made no aggressive movements whatsoever.  With a sigh, Stratoro threw a Disk at Zane, but the challenger threw Kunai to knock it out of the air.  Right before his armor faded, however, the Ice-Lord managed to hit Zane with a Flame Cannon.

I’ll have to be more careful, Stratoro thought as he fused with Stormer 3.0.

Zane prepared to use Great Fireball Technique, but Stratoro Camouflaged himself just in time and moved out of the way.  A massive flamethrower left Zane’s mouth and hit the ground, meanwhile Stratoro used Rhino Charge to tackle the challenger.

Zane chuckled to himself.  Your strategy hasn’t changed much at all.  I’m disappointed.

After waiting a few seconds, Zane activated his Armor.  The invisible Ice-Lord collided with the metal skin and was sent reeling, giving Zane the chance to use Amaterasu.  Black flames engulfed Stratoro as he retreated, and once there was considerable distance he sent an Alpha Glacier towards Zane.  The attack missed its mark, and Stratoro saw two Zanes leap out from behind the glacier.  He braced for attack, but both foes kept their distance.

One is a clone, Stratoro realized.  Damaging it won’t do any good.  If I pick the wrong target, I’ll be left open to attack.

The flames of Amaterasu still cling to Stratoro’s armor.  Ignoring the pain, he approached one Zane to see what reaction he would receive.  To his dismay, he received no reaction at all.  Stratoro began to think about what this might mean, but suddenly the Zane before him started to glow.  Quickly leaping away, the Ice-Lord was able to avoid the Clone Great Explosion, but the real Zane used another Great Fireball Technique before he was fully recovered.  Stratoro fell out of Fusion.

“Is it your lack of interest in battle that makes you so easy to defeat?” Zane asked as he de-fused.

Handing over the rewards of the battle, Stratoro replied, “Perhaps.  But on to a different subject.  I believe you should be placed under Element-Lord protection along with those other children.”

Zane blinked.  “Excuse me?”

“As I understand, you attacked the King of Kohrak.  Chances are he will come after you for revenge.  The other Element-Lords would be quite cross if I did not present you with this offer.”

“I wasn’t aware you cared about their opinions or my individual safety.”

“Truth be told, I do not.  But this situation could lead to something you and I both want.  King Bohrok aside, the true reason those children are under protection is because they have become targets of the Shadow Consortium.”

Zane was instantly more interested.  “…The Consortium?”

“Indeed.  They’ve already made two attacks involving that group, and I am sure there will be more.  Travel with them, and you will be able to find out more about the plague they unleashed.”

Painful memories flowed into Zane.  Years ago something known as the Ice Plague had spread across Ko-Isle, causing hundreds of people to die from hypothermia-like symptoms before vanishing as quickly as it had appeared.  Despite his best efforts, Stratoro had been unable to develop a counteragent, but he had been able to discover that the disease was manmade.

Adjusting his coat, Stratoro commented, “I suppose there is a small chance—approximately3%—that the Consortium is not responsible in any way.  Being the most likely culprit, however, I wish to investigate and, if they were involved, deliver vengeance upon whoever crafted one of the few things capable of baffling me.  This lines up with your goals as well, correct?”

“You know that it does,” Zane muttered.  “I’ll be doing this for my own purposes, Ice-Lord, not yours.  I just want that to be clear.”

“Regardless, the end result will be the same.  I shall inform the other Element-Lords of this new arrangement.”

Stratoro left the arena, leaving Zane to contemplate how he would kill whoever was responsible for the plague when he found them.

 

Meutrière stared out over the ocean, trying to determine the speed of the wind.  She had fused with her Spirit for this assignment—she wore sleek black armor over her entire body with a thin purple breastplate and streaks of purple on her shoulders, boots, and gloves.  A black and purple helm adorned her head, pulling her hair back in a ponytail and leaving her face open save for the small screen covering her eyepatch.  Attached to the back of her right shoulder was a black sniper rifle, its handles folded in to make the weapon more compact.

When she knelt down, the gun rotated forward; the barrel extended, two legs deployed for support, and both handles snapped into place.  Meutrière reached into the bushes to grab the pistol that she had hidden, and then she pointed it behind her and fired.

“It’s only me you ice-cold shadow-dweller!” someone snapped.

“I know,” Meutrière flatly replied.

She set down the pistol.  Walking into her field of view was a tall figure in ornate sky blue armor, with gold spikes rising from his shoulders and a helmet that rose from his chest over his head and down to his back, leaving no part of his head visible and allowing him to see through only one long, thin slit in the face of the mask.  A whitish blue cape hung from his shoulders, and his legs were obscured by the lower half of a tapestry-like blue robe.  Two small spikes jutted out of his elbows and his hands, the only parts of his body with visible skin, were unnaturally white.  Hanging from his belt were two swords: a gold blade with a twisting red hilt and black pommel, and the other hidden in a dark brown sheath decorated with gold.

“What are you doing back, Exdeath?” Meutrière asked.  She did not sound very curious.  “I thought Garland sent you out hunting for ancient wheels or some such garbage.”

Clutching his shoulder, Exdeath scoffed, “Hmph!  A simple-minded fool such as yourself could never hope to understand what I’m trying to do.  That is precisely why the task was entrusted to me and not you reckless Division Heads!”

“Hm,” Meutrière grunted.

The assassin moved her rifle to a new angle and twisted the barrel.  A blinking targeting reticule appeared on the screen over her missing eye.

“Anyway,” Exdeath continued, “Garland called me back so that I may report my findings without fear of being intercepted.  He also tells me that you have been having some trouble lately.”

Meutrière scowled.

“Mwa-ha-ha!” Exdeath laughed.  “Children repel our army and your handpicked assassin fails!  A pity that Division Heads are not allowed to fight without permission—I imagine that you, Virulence, and Gambler would be all too eager to take revenge!”

Meutrière picked up the pistol and shot Exdeath’s other shoulder.  She said, “I’m allowed to do that, at least.”

Exdeath reached for one of his swords.  Meutrière advised, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.  You would be interfering with my efforts to fulfill Garland’s orders.”

“…And what would those orders be?” Exdeath angrily asked.

“I am to assassinate the Mainland President,” Meutrière answered.

“Without even leaving the island?  We are nowhere near the Main—“

Meutrière squeezed the trigger of her rifle.  A muted sound was heard as a bullet flew off into the distance.  Seconds later, Meutrière’s gun retracted and moved to her back for storage as she stood up.

“I don’t need to be close,” Meutrière stated.  “Tell me, how goes this precious mission of yours?  Have you found any of the items Garland sent you to retrieve?”

Exdeath grumbled, “My affairs are none of your concern.”

“I’ll take that as a no.”

Meutrière turned and walked away from the coast.  Exdeath tapped his fingers against the pommel of his sword, muttering curses beneath his breath.

Meanwhile on the Mainland, a group of security officers frantically rushed towards the President, who had just been killed by a shot to the head.

 

 

Spirits Used:

#332. Renegade

#943. RoboTops

#1254. Stormer 3.0

 

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#37 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Dec 11 2012 - 06:14 PM

Chapter 36: Fossil Drill

 

 

Genakex jolted awake, sitting up and catching his breath.  He quickly put a hand to his face, and then he sighed in relief.  Wiping the sweat from his brow, he looked over at the clock to see what time it was—9:52 A.M.

Titan’s gauntlet sat next to the clock.  “You had a restless sleep,” Titan commented.

“Yeah,” Genakex mumbled.  “Well, nightmares of being brainwashed by Abomination’s Krana will do that.”

The boy paused for a moment.  “…I’m sorry.  I wasn’t able to beat him, and he wasn’t even at full power.  I failed.”

Titan silently gathered his thoughts.  “I will not lie: I did hope to force the King of Kohrak into slumber.  At the same time, however, I was somewhat prepared for the possibility that I would end up sleeping instead.  The result was not ideal, but things could have been far less favorable.”

“It’s still a failure,” Genakex said.  “One of plenty.”

“No,” Titan disagreed.  “Abomination may not have been at full power, but as you are still learning to wield my power, neither was I.  The playing field was, for all intents and purposes, level, and Abomination was forced into retreat.  This was a victory.  Nowhere near a perfect victory…but a victory still.”

“…You really think so?”

“Are you accusing me of falsehood?”

“No, I just…nevermind.”

Somehow Titan’s words sounded encouraging.  Genakex wasn’t quite sure how, but he received the impression nonetheless.

“I’ll do better next time,” Genakex decided.

“Then you should begin training,” Titan advised.

Genakex nodded.  He got out of bed and headed downstairs, finding Stratoro waiting impatiently in the arena.  When he spotted the boy, the Ice-Lord fused with RoboTops and beckoned.

“…I take it you’re in a hurry to get this over with,” Genakex observed.

Attaching two Orbs to his belt, Genakex thought, Okay then…I defeat the Ice-Lord, and then I get back to training.  Next time I meet a King Bohrok, I’ll force it back to sleep with Titan’s Royal Awakening!

Genakex fused with Gurren Lagann and grabbed one of the Orbs at his belt.  “Combine, Mu Warrior!  Mu Gurren Lagann!”

The sunglasses on Gurren Lagann’s chest turned purple and large red spikes grew from Genakex’s ankles and wrists.  His hands became covered in purple fire, and the crest on his head turned white.  The shields on his shoulders turned black and their emblems were replaced with a rectangular, somewhat arrow-shaped one.

Stratoro analyzed, Combining with a Shadow Spirit to remove his weakness to Steel…I should also assume that the other Orb he has prepared is another Spirit he intends to Combine with.  He cannot Combine again for several turns, however.  What does he intend to do in that time?

Genakex activated his EX Level power up, causing a long flat sword to materialize in his hand.  Stratoro dashed in and lashed out with Quick Kick, but a white oval Denpa Barrier stopped his foot inches away from the target.  Genakex held one fist forward and used Burai Knuckle, sending a storm of purple energy fists to repel the Ice-Lord.  Stratoro used his Armor to block a Drill Breaker, and then he Headbutted Genakex.  Ignoring the pain, Genakex swung his blade in a wide horizontal arc, landing a Burai Sword attack that sent Stratoro reeling.

He’s likely to Combine again now, Stratoro thought.

Thinking he had an opening, the Ice-Lord prepared to use Flame Cannon.  To his surprise, Genakex removed the sunglasses from his armor and threw them, pinning Stratoro against the wall.  Genakex used Burai Arts next, unleashing a three-punch combo followed by a kick that made the wall behind Stratoro crack slightly.  Once he was free, Stratoro used a Tsunami to send Genakex across the room.

…Seems I miscalculated, Stratoro noted.

Genakex used Spiral Restoration to heal while Stratoro planned his next action.  Tentatively Genakex reached for his belt, but he abandoned that move in order to escape an Avalanche.  Stratoro used another Tsunami and Genakex swung his fist in an uppercut, sending out a wave of purple energy to cancel out the Water attack.  Immediately Genakex leapt into the air, dodging a Flame Cannon in the process, and brought his sword down on Stratoro, creating an explosion with Burai Break.

“…Maybe that wasn’t the best move,” Genakex mumbled, paralyzed by his attack’s cooldown effect.

Stratoro used Headbutt again and then blocked a Burai Slash, but when he tried using Quick Kick Genakex flew out of the way and delivered a Burning Chariot Kick.  While RoboTops returned to Orb state, Genakex backed off and grabbed his last Spirit.

“Combine, Grimlock!  Mu Dinosaur Gurren Lagann!”

Genakex’s armor instantly became bulkier, and parts of it changed to a dull gray color.  A red visor slid over his eyes and his crest changed to a crown, and then flames sprang up from his sword.

Stratoro fused with Stormer 3.0 and activated Rhino Power.  With a smile, Genakex said, “Let’s make this a battle between wild animals.  Transform!”

Instantly his armor shifted and twisted, settling in the form of a robotic tyrannosaurs rex with red, silver, and black armor.  Gurren Lagann’s sunglasses had become sharp fins rising from his shoulders, and a line of flames ran down his back.

Genakex charged and swung his Tail.  Stratoro caught the appendage, pulled Genakex in, and hit him in the snout with a Beast Punch.  By stomping the ground Genakex unleashed another Burai Burst wave, but Stratoro avoided it and Camouflaged.  It was then that Genakex realized he was poisoned.

“Heh…I was hoping for this,” he chuckled.

Genakex did nothing at first.  When Stratoro appeared to attack with his horn, however, the challenger opened his mouth and a massive drill passed between his teeth, hitting Stratoro with Giga Drill Breaker.

Turning around, Genakex thought, I should aim to finish him with big attacks that bypass his armor.  I should heal first, though…good thing I’m faster!

Genakex used Spiral Restoration as he ran, narrowly avoiding a Rhino Charge.  He repeated the technique while Stratoro raised an Alpha Glacier, but that attack missed its mark as well.  Genakex bounced off the wall as he continued to heal, avoiding another glacier, and healed again while dodging Ice Claws.  Healing one last time, Genakex ran away from a Headbutt, and then he slid to a halt.

He reared back and unleashed a ferocious Roar, and when Stratoro used Rhino Charge he leapt aside.  The charge carried Stratoro far away, giving Genakex time to activate SX Level and heal yet again.  The flames on Genakex’s armor shone brighter, and this time when Stratoro moved in he didn’t flinch.

“Dream Aura!” Genakex triumphantly announced.

The purple flames engulfed Genakex, and Stratoro’s Beast Punch bounced off of him harmlessly.  Genakex inhaled, and Stratoro narrowly avoided a Flamethrower that covered almost the entire arena.  Knowing he could do no damage until the Aura wore off, Stratoro decided to Camouflage himself and wait.  Genakex Transformed and raised his sword high, and then Stratoro realized his efforts were futile.

“Extinction Blade!”

Genakex slammed his sword into the ground and a dome of blazing energy sprang up on impact, expanding outward and washing over the entire room.  The blast sent Stratoro tumbling away, dealing massive damage but not enough to finish him.  Genakex’s Aura faded away, and he pulled off his sunglasses to use Boomerang.  Stratoro strafed and knocked Genakex back with Alpha Glacier, and when the Boomerang came back he was careful to duck.  With his speed reduced, however, he left Genakex plenty of time to raise his sword again.  One more Extinction Blade was more than enough to sear the armor off of the Ice-Lord.

“Whew,” Genakex sighed.  “Maybe I should’ve forced him to switch sooner, so that I could’ve pierced RoboTops’s Armor…”

Stratoro approached and held out a bag of Widgets.  Genakex de-fused, took the bad, and admired the Ice Ultima-Orb within.  The Ice-Lord headed to his office, so Genakex pocketed his rewards and went upstairs.

That went pretty well, I think, Genakex reflected.  Needs improvement, though.  Anyway, I should start training with Titan now—the third floor has a training area, right?  Guess I’ll have to check.

As he traversed the second floor hallway, a door opened up.  Xyla stepped out, making Genakex stop cold.  He could not help but remember what had happened during the nightmare incident, and judging by Xyla’s downcast expression she had not forgotten either.

What do I say? Genakex wondered.  Hey, saw your nightmare, want to help.  That just sounds creepy.

“Is something wrong?” Xyla grumbled.

“Uh…no,” Genakex replied.  “It’s just…I…well, see, during the…”

Xyla shook her head and walked past Genakex.  Before she got far, he blurted out, “I didn’t know your fight with the Earth-Lord affected you so badly.”

Xyla stopped mid-step.  “…What was that?”

Genakex turned to face her.  “That’s…that’s why you borrowed one of Tahra’s Spirits, r-right?  You’re doubting yourself because of what happened on Onu-Isle.”

Xyla said nothing.

“…And…I know that you feel guilty, and…like you’ve let yourself down.  But—“

“Were you in my nightmare?” Xyla quietly asked.  Genakex hesitated.

“I heard the others talking,” she continued, keeping her back to Genakex.  “They said that they were able to get into other people’s dreams during the incident.  Were you in my mind?”

“…I was.”

Silence fell on the hall.

“X-Xyla—“

“WHY?!” Xyla shouted, spinning around.  “Why did you do that?!  Do you have any idea how wrong that is?!”

“I-I-I only did it because I thought I could help you!”

“A lot of good that did!  You should’ve just minded your own business!”

“Xyla…I just want to help you.”

“Well, sorry I’m not as easy to fix as you thought!”

“N-No, that’s not what I mean!  I—“

“How many times do I have to tell you: leave me alone!!”

Xyla turned to leave.  Genakex yelled, “You’re not the only one used to letting people down!”

That was enough to get Xyla to stop.

A bit more quietly, Genakex went on, “I’ve spent my whole life falling short of expectations.  My teachers, and my father, and now Titan!  Even…”

Genakex stopped himself.  Truthfully, he had always felt that part of why Xyla didn’t like him was because he disappointed her.  He realized, however, that saying so would only make her feel worse.

“…Even niisan,” he corrected.  “He tries to encourage me, but…I know deep down that I’ll never be as strong as he is.  I’m just his useless kid brother…and I’m dragging him down with me.”

Genakex stopped to pull himself back on-topic.  “What I’m trying to say is…I know I can’t completely understand the way you feel, but…I can relate.  I wanted to tell you that I don’t expect anything of you.  I want to help because you deserve to be happy as much as anyone else.  I’m sorry if I ever made you feel like you disappointed me—you never have!  I’ve just been disappointed in myself for not being able to help you no matter how hard I try.”

He scratched his head.  “Er…sorry.  I shouldn’t have said that.”

Xyla still wasn’t reacting.

“…Look: if I’m bothering you…if you want me to just leave you alone…then I will.  But if there’s ever anything I can do to help you, I’ll be happy to do it.”

The hall became silent again.

“…Okay,” Genakex said.  “I can’t think of anything else to say, so…I’ll…see you around, I guess.”

Genakex resumed walking.  Just as he reached his room, however, Xyla quietly asked, “Genakex?”

He looked up at her.  She mumbled, “Be honest…do you really think I could be an Air specialist if I work hard enough?”

Without hesitation, Genakex replied, “If you and niisan got into a fight using Air Spirits, you would win.”

The response took a few seconds to sink in.  When Xyla was ready, she whispered, “Thank you.”

Genakex smiled and stepped into his room.  Xyla continued down the hall, trying to inconspicuously wipe her eyes dry.

 

 

Spirits Used:

#943. RoboTops

#1254. Stormer 3.0

#879. Gurren Lagann

#618. Mu Warrior

#1489. Grimlock

 

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#38 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Dec 19 2012 - 02:32 PM

Chapter 37: Hibernation

 

 

Kytan knocked on the door to Stratoro’s office.  “Ice-Lord?”

The door swung open and Stratoro walked past Kytan.  “Uh…I was hoping to battle you.”

When Stratoro reached the arena he fused with RoboTops.  Kytan entered the arena himself and cast a glance to the side, seeing Tahra descending the stairs.

“Fusion, Furno 4.0!” Kytan announced.

Bright red armor covered most of Kytan’s body, while his left arm became encased in a thick shell of silver armor.  A red plasma shooter with a harpoon mounted on it appeared in his right hand, and a red helmet formed over his head.  On his shoulders were two massive turbines hooked to his torso by silver tubing.

Stratoro quickly weighed the variables—with Ancestor Fusion he could either eliminate his weakness to Fire (and, as a result of RoboTops’s Elements, become resistant to it), or gain classification as a Technic Ancestor and take reduced damage from all of Kytan’s attacks.  For the most part both options seemed equal, but the Ice-Lord realized that if he did not eliminate his weaknesses Kytan’s Boil attack would do a large amount of damage even with the Descendant reduction.

Able to guess what the Ice-Lord was considering, Kytan asked, “Have you decided yet?”

Stratoro moved one foot forward, sending a Tsunami raging towards Kytan.  Angling just right, Kytan set his Turbines spinning to draw the water in and have it pass harmlessly through the shoulder-mounted devices.  Kytan ran in, raising his Armored Arm to block a Quick Kick, and then he coated his other fist in flames to strike his opponent with a Furno Punch.  Stratoro Headbutted Kytan, stunning him, and then used another Tsunami to wash him away.

When Kytan recovered he fired a Harpoon, but the Ice-Lord blocked it with his Armor.  An Avalanche came down from the ceiling, so Kytan lunged to safety and fired his Plasma Shooter.  Stratoro dodged the blast, along with the Fireballs Kytan threw as he came closer.  A Flame Cannon tried to repel the boy, but he slid beneath it and threw Hero Cuffs at the Ice-Lord.

Yes! Kytan celebrated as the cuffs snapped around Stratoro’s wrists.

The ice beneath Stratoro gave way and he fell into a small pool of water.  After Boiling for three turns, he broke the Hero Cuffs and raised his hand, making the water form into a Tsunami under his control.  Kytan processed the wave through his Turbines as Stratoro jumped back to ground level.

“It’s a bit more back and forth than I was expecting,” Tahra yawned.

Stratoro threw a Disk and Kytan shot through it with a Harpoon, striking the Ice-Lord in the shoulder.  Kytan tried using Boil again, but Stratoro leaped away and shot him with a Flame Cannon.  More Disks flew at Kytan, so he rolled along the ground to avoid them, activated his Turbines in the face of another Tsunami, and managed to land another hit with Boil when the Ice-Lord was unprepared.  Stratoro used Tsunami yet again, but rather than dodge, Kytan allowed himself to be hit in order to Boil away the rest of RoboTops’s Fusion Energy.

“I hope you’ve got another Spirit ready, cause that one’s about to go,” Tahra called.

Kytan smiled at her for a moment, and then he turned his focus back to the battle.  Stratoro fused with Stormer 3.0 and immediately used Rhino Power, making him slow enough that Kytan was able to bound forward and deliver a Furno Punch.  Unfortunately, Stratoro was still fast enough to retaliate with a Headbutt and knock Kytan out of Fusion.

“Told ya,” Tahra pointed out.

Kytan fused with Jobmaster: Fire and activated his Mastered!! effect, tossing aside his Bow in order to raise his attack power.  Three gold stars appeared above Kytan’s head, but Stratoro Camouflaged himself before he could attack.  Kytan covered his head to activate Hide, letting him pass right through an Alpha Glacier, and then he waited a moment for Stratoro to reappear.

“Throw, Spidermonkey!” Kytan said.  He hurled a small sphere of blue light directly at the Ice-Lord, dealing Water damage and confusing him.

Taking his chance, Kytan used Throw again, this time with Tahu, but ultimately failed to burn his target.  Stratoro shook his head as the confusion cleared, and then he slipped away and Camouflaged again.

“Better hope you don’t regret giving up those Spirits,” Tahra said.

“I know what I’m doing,” Kytan assured her.  Seconds later Stratoro flattened him with Rhino Charge.

Tahra burst out laughing, and Kytan sprang up and drew his twin swords.  He used Rapid Fire the instant Stratoro became visible, lunging blade-first repeatedly and bringing Stratoro very close to defeat.  Before he could finish his foe, however, he was repelled by a Beast Punch.  Kytan used Sing to increase his evasion, and when Stratoro used another Rhino Charge he nimbly stepped out of the way and landed a Double Slash to his passing foe.

“Not bad,” Tahra complimented as the Ice-Lord fell out of Fusion.  “Not the best use of Fire Spirits I’ve ever seen, but not the worst.”

As Stratoro gave Kytan his rewards he informed, “Zane is now under Element-Lord protection as well.  He will be escorted to each island along with you.”

“Oh…alright,” Kytan responded.

Stratoro continued, “The blizzard will last for several weeks.  When it is over, I will take you to Le-Isle.”

The Ice-Lord headed back to his office.  Kytan de-fused and walked towards the Battlefield door.  Joining him, Tahra asked, “Where are you going?”

“Just taking a walk,” Kytan answered.  “You can come if you want.”

Once outside, the two Bioni-Lords picked a random street and started walking.

“So how do you feel about staying here for a few weeks?” Kytan asked.

“I’m not exactly thrilled,” Tahra muttered.  “But if nothing else, it’ll give me an opportunity to do a bunch of training.  That freak yesterday really wiped the floor with us.”

Kytan nodded solemnly.

“…I’m sure Genakex is alright,” Tahra added.

“Did you hear shouting this morning?”

“Yeah, why?”

“I couldn’t make out the words, but it sounded like Genakex and Xyla.  They must have gotten into an argument.”

“Nothing new.  Hey, it could even mean Xyla’s going back to normal.”

“I don’t know…from what I saw, her nightmare really devastated her.  If she never figured out it was a dream, then that probably puts her mind in an even worse state.”

“You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.”

“I’m not sure Genakex realizes that.”

“Well, maybe he’ll get through to her.  Let him be the one to try and fix other people’s problems this time so you can take a break.”

Kytan considered the possibility.  Genakex was definitely more determined to help Xyla, so perhaps that increased the likelihood that he would be able to.  Still, Genakex’s nightmare troubled him as well—Kytan hadn’t said anything, but he had gotten the feeling that Genakex did not entirely trust him.

Deciding to change the topic slightly, Kytan asked, “Hey, Tahra, how did you figure out it was a dream?”

Reluctantly, Tahra revealed, “It showed me someone who I haven’t seen in years.  Somebody I know is never coming back.  What about you?”

Kytan hesitated.  “…You were treating me with more respect.”

“…Come again?”

“Everyone was shrinking away from me because they thought I was better than them.  Once you said I was superior, I knew I had to be dreaming.”

Tahra’s face hardened as if she was suppressing a scowl.  “…I’m going to let that one slide.  Doesn’t sound like much of a nightmare, though.”

“I can see why you’d think that,” Kytan conceded.  “But with everyone putting me up on a pedestal, they also distanced themselves from me.  I ended up looking down at a crowd of people who considered me too high to reach…it was very lonely.  I don’t think I could isolate myself like that, but maybe I’m a bit worried that if I get too strong, it’ll happen whether I want it to or not.”

Tahra needed to think of her reply.  “…Well…you’ll never be stronger than me.  So you won’t be completely isolated, because I’ll always be somewhere around your level.”

Though it sounded a bit like a put-down, Kytan laughed.  It felt reassuring to think that Tahra wouldn’t leave him alone…in fact, he was a little surprised by how much he enjoyed the thought of always being with her.

Kytan turned to look at Tahra.  After a few seconds, she raised an eyebrow.  “…What?”

“Oh, nothing!” Kytan said.  “Sorry, I, uh…”  Kytan felt his face turning red and looked the other way.

The two of them came up on a corner, and as they passed they noticed Takashi and Samuko.  “Oh, it’s you guys,” Tahra greeted.  “Why are we always running into you like this?”

Samuko clenched her teeth.  “Nice to see you too.”

“I notice you’re not trying to kill him anymore,” Tahra said, gesturing towards Takashi.

With a smile, Takashi said, “We, uh…reached an agreement.  So long as I watch what I say, we actually get along pretty well!”

“Glad to hear it,” Kytan said.

“Hey, I heard that a group of people went out of the city after the whole nightmare thing yesterday,” Takashi said.  “Was that you guys?  Did you find out what happened?”

“I’m afraid that’s not something we can share,” Kytan replied.

“Something to do with why you’re under the Element-Lords’ protection?” Samuko guessed.

“Sorta,” Tahra answered.

“What do you mean ‘sorta’?” Samuko asked.

Tahra smiled.  “I can’t go into detail.”

Samuko rolled her eyes.  “Oh, of course.”

“Anyway,” Takashi interjected, “we should get going.  We’ll probably see you around, though, with the whole blizzard thing.  Later!”

Once Takashi and Samuko left, Tahra muttered, “Weird.”

“What’s that?” Kytan asked.

“I wasn’t expecting them to become friends.  Stranger things have happened, I guess.”

“Didn’t you say something to Samuko the last time we saw her?”

Tahra thought back.  “Oh yeah…must have helped her more than I thought.”

Kytan chuckled.  “Well, back to the matter of training…I believe we should set some goals.”

“Such as?”

“I’m interested in learning these ‘Hidden Arts’ Onupara mentioned.”

Tahra grabbed Kytan’s shoulder, an oddly serious look overtaking her face.  “Hey.  Those are ‘hidden’ for a reason, you know.  You can die trying to pull them off.”

“…Duly noted.”

“Still going for it?”

“More cautiously, but yes.”

“Okay.”  Tahra continued walking.

“…Was that some kind of test?” Kytan asked.

“More of a disclaimer, really.  I’ll start teaching you the basics once we get back.”

Kytan shrugged and followed her.  He was beginning to expect these kinds of exchanges.

 

With the blizzard raging, visibility in the outskirts of Ko-Isle was very low.  It was just as well, for no living being would dare venture out in the storm…save for one man who trekked through the winds cloaked in a coat made of Ice Wolf fur.

The man leapt down from a rocky outcropping, his fall cushioned by the thick blanket of snow.  Turning around, he stepped into the cave beneath the outcropping and, now safe from the weather, threw back his hood.  He had short white hair that fell over the edge of his left eye, and he wore a necklace of wolf fangs around his neck.

A voice said, “As I told you, Abselcius, there was nothing to worry about.”

The man smirked.  “I know, Dragon Ice, but it never hurts to check.”

Further into the cave was a fire, around which sat a group of pale-skinned men with odd crescent-shaped pupils all wearing the same fur as the one who now joined them.  The Seers were legendary on Ko-Isle—recluses who survived in the harsh wilderness and made psychic predictions about the future.  After his retirement, Abselcius, the Original Ice-Lord, had gone to live them.  It was his hope that they would share with him the secrets of the future and what he could do to improve it.  Thus far, his hopes had fallen a bit short.

“Is all well, Abselcius?” one of the Seers asked.

“Yes,” the former Ice-Lord confirmed, “all the Spirits are safe, and Abomination has left the island.”

Dragon Ice, a sentient Spirit currently resting in Orb form at Abselcius’s belt, asked, “Did anything occur while we were absent?”

“We had a vision,” a Seer replied.  “Two names…Kazen and Aisu.  Should they became one, their bloodline will rival that of the Ikhav family.  Flames hotter than those wielded by Tahace…ice colder than even yours, Abselcius.”

“Remarkable…” Dragon Ice murmured.

Abselcius thought for a moment.  “…You say that every great power is granted for a reason.  Am I right to assume that Bioni-Lords that powerful will have to face a very dangerous threat?”

The Seers nodded.  One said, “Times are about to change, Abselcius, and unlike this blizzard, it will not be so easy to find shelter.”

 

 

Spirits Used:

#1381. Furno 4.0

#1218. Jobmaster: Fire

#943. RoboTops

#1254. Stormer 3.0

#1. Tahu

#1305. Spidermonkey

 

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#39 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Dec 29 2012 - 02:39 PM

Chapter 38: Elite Airhead

 

 

Genakex carefully stepped toward the edge and looked down.  Many miles below, the sea smashed against the side of the island again and again.  Feeling a bit dizzy, he stepped back.

Calling Le-Isle an island was a bit of a stretch; it was more like a mountain reaching up out of the ocean.  The bridges from Ko-Isle and to Ga-Isle both connected to its base and were linked by a dirt road.  The road also led to a path carved into the mountain that spiraled up to its top, the only safe way to reach or leave the city.

Currently, Genakex and his companions were very close to the top, so the thought of falling made him nervous.  Very, very nervous.

“Don’t look down,” Tahra teased as she passed by.  “They say it’s the easiest way to lose your footing.”

Genakex shuddered and hurried up the path.  A few minutes later the group finally reached the vast, grassy plateau atop the mountain.  Several windmills served as gates celebrating their arrival, and a city full of tall buildings could be seen in the distance.

With a sigh of relief, Genakex muttered, “Glad that’s over…”

As they came closer to the city, however, something caught his eye.  About a mile away from the city was a castle perched right on the edge of the plateau.  It was a three-story structure that covered a wide tract of land, built with gray stone that was clearly old yet in surprisingly good condition.  Sectioning off the cliff that the castle was situated upon was a low wall (more for show than anything else) which sported a black barred gate, tentatively forbidding access to the winding path that led up to the castle’s large double doors.  The outer walls of the castle itself were topped with bronze ornaments shaped like eagles, which were spaced evenly across its length and seemed to keep a constant watch over the property.

The most noticeable aspect of this castle, however, were the seven silver spires that rose up from the castle’s outer walls and formed a circle around a lone, looming tower that shot up from the center of the building.  Keeping in mind the elevation of Le-Isle, building spires that seem to reach father towards the sky was odd in a way, and even stranger, the tower reached higher than that.  The tower had a conical roof and one wide window that faced the gates of the property—but this portal was covered from within by a dusty white curtain.

“What’s with the castle?” Genakex wondered aloud.

“It’s the last Lekin castle,” Kytan explained.  "When Le-Isle was first colonized, the people built a series of castles right on the edges of the plateau.  They say it was some sort of attempt to prove their courage—that they were in no way afraid of making the sky their home.  It was an ill-fated attempt.”

“The ledges all gave way,” Tahra clarified.  “A heck of a way to go, tumbling down a sky-high mountain in a crumbling castle.  Once they realized it was a bad idea, though, they cleared out, so there weren’t too many casualties.”

“Wow…” Phaenyx said.  A smile crossed his face.  “So I guess they were—“

“No,” Tahra interrupted.

“…Living—“

“Don’t.”

“…On—“

“I will beat you.”

“—the edge.”

Tahra hit Phaenyx over the head.  “People died!  Don’t make puns about that!”

Zane stayed a dozen steps or so behind the others rubbing his temples.  There was a reason why he preferred to avoid other people: they were always so noisy.  This particular group, he had discovered, was quite prone to breaking out into loud fights.

The minutes seemed to drag on until they made it to the city.  Every green-bricked building could be considered a tower, and at the center of it all was the Battlefield, its polished metal walls rising at least thirty stories if not more.  Above the automatic sliding door was the symbol for Air: three wavy green lines resting right next to each other.

The first floor was nothing but an empty lobby, and Stratoro ushered everyone into one of the several elevators that lined the room.  The lift delivered them to the roof, where two men stood on the far side of an arena.  One was an older man with a head of whitish gray hair, wearing dark green robes and thick glasses.  The other was in his late teens and almost entirely green: green hair, green eyes, green pants with white stripes on the sides, a dark green t-shirt, and a light green jacket.

Once the children were out and the men had acknowledged their existence, the Ice-Lord closed the doors of the elevator and left without a word.  The older man sneered, “Isn’t that just like Stratoro…”

Tahra smiled and called, “You’re still here, old man?  Don’t you know your prime ended long ago?”

The old man grinned in reply.  “Well, I was going to wait to retire until you became Fire-Lord, but since that’s never going to happen I decided to have Leanga here get ready to take over.”

The younger man spoke up, “You must be Tahra.  Master has told me a lot about you.”

“It’s probably all lies,” Tahra joked.  Turning to her friends, she introduced, “Guys, this is Nidovikk, the Fourth Air-Lord.  He’s a nosy, obnoxious snob who doesn’t know when to quit.”

“Oh hush you overzealous brat,” Nidovikk replied.  “For you information, I plan on retiring in a few days’ time.”

“I never thought I’d see the day!  About time we gave your job to someone new.”

Nidovikk moved forward as if angry, but then stopped and pulled Tahra in for a hug.  “It’s good to see you again, Tahra.  How’s your father looking?”

“Steadily improving.  He told me to give you an extra punch from him.”

“Haha!  I’ll have to pay him a visit once Leanga becomes Air-Lord, then.  A few good whacks should knock the sick right out of him.  But, for now, we have some business to attend to, eh?”

Nidovikk set his hand on Tahra’s shoulder and looked up at the other children.  “There are rooms on floors 11-22, take whichever ones you want.  I can only take a couple battles a day anymore, but once Leanga takes over that won’t be an issue.  Floor 10 has the island’s Orb Center and Healing Shop, in case you can’t find them.  As for keeping you safe, well, the easiest way to do that would be if you stayed inside the Battlefield, but I know that’s probably not gonna happen!  Just be sure you tell either me or Leanga where you’re going so we’ll be able to keep track of you all.  The Consortium’s been kinda quiet around here, though…that may not be a good thing…eh?  Oh, right, that’s it.  I think that’s it, at least…who wants an Orb Battle?”

Kytan couldn’t help but wonder if Nidovikk was becoming a bit senile.  He said nothing, however, so Zane raised his hand and took a step forward.

Nidovikk squinted his eyes and examined Zane.  “Hm, you seem frustrated.  Looking to vent your anger in a fight?”

“…I’m ‘looking’ to get my Air Ultima-Orb,” Zane replied.

With a shrug, Nidovikk replied, “Eh, sure.  Clear the field, everyone!  Battle time!”

Once the arena was clear Nidovikk fused with Jobmaster: Wind.  A blue tunic appeared on his torso and gold plates formed over his shoulders.  Zane fused with Tridenroid, becoming encased in incredibly thick blue armor edged with sharp ice spikes.

“Ah, that one’s gonna be hard to break,” Nidovikk muttered.  “Let’s see, which should I give up…”

The Air-Lord activated his effect and discarded his sword, gaining three gold stars above his head and an evasion boost.  Zane attacked while he was off-guard, however, launching a Spike made of ice through the air and landing a hit.

“Ow!” Nidovikk remarked.  “That hurt!  You should be more careful!”

“…It’s a battle,” Zane stated.

“Oh…right.”

Zane prepared to attack again, but Nidovikk cast Black Magic to send a blast of fire at Zane.  Nidovikk laughed until he realized that Zane had taken cover under his Shell, which had deployed into a dome around him.  Zane threw a Chrono Spike and Nidovikk easily dodged, but then the projectile returned back along its flight path and hit Nidovikk in the back of the head.

“Now that’s just not fair!” Nidovikk complained.  “Okay then: Blue Magic!”

Using the technique to access Tridenroid’s attacks, Nidovikk activated Time Slow to phenomenally reduce Zane’s movement speed.  The Air-Lord ran in and delivered a Power Punch to his slow opponent, but Zane’s Thick Shell effect nullified the damage.

“…Right,” Nidovikk grumbled.

Zane attacked with Chrono Spike.  “Are you really the Air-Lord?”

“What?  Of course I am!” Nidovikk was hit twice by the ice spike, leaving him with relatively low energy.

The Air-Lord muttered something, but then he used Focus to power up before blasting Zane with Thunder Element Black Magic.  Nidovikk also tried using Aeroga to sweep Zane into a small tornado, but the challenger ducked beneath his Shell and held on. 

Time Slow finally wore off, so Nidovikk jumped back and readied for another Spike.  Nidovikk braced for Zane’s next attack, ready for another Spike.  When Zane attacked, however, it was with a swarm of floating, crab-shaped Mini-Clones.  Nidovikk wove around the invaders and still managed to fully avoid the next Chrono Spike.  He was so impressed with himself, however, that he was blindsided by a normal Spike.  Nidovikk faced Zane and used Counter, sidestepping his attack and delivering a solid kick, but the attack bounced off of Zane’s Thick Shell and Nidovikk was knocked out of Fusion by Mini-Clones.

“Confound it!” Nidovikk grumbled.  “Well, moving on…Fusion, Agility of Wind!”  His robes turned purple with some green remaining on his chest and arms, and a wooden staff materialized in his hand.

On the sidelines, Kytan leaned towards Tahra.  “I have a question.  Has Nidovikk always been this…”

“Scatterbrained?” Tahra finished.  “According to my dad, yes.  But you shouldn’t take it easy on him just because he acts that way.”

“So it’s just a strategy?”

“Honestly, the world may never know.”

Nidovikk was about to cast Bind when Zane activated Time Slow.  With the attack he intended to disable already in effect, Nidovikk’s technique missed, and he was hit in the face with a Chrono Spike.  At his next chance Nidovikk used Bind on Chrono Spike instead, though Zane was able to hit him with a regular Spike while he was open.  Slamming his staff down, Nidovikk used Ward to defend himself, and then he cast Mars Charge and shrugged off a weakened Spike.

As Time Slow wore off, Nidovikk threatened, “I’m serious now!”

He dodged a Spike and launched a Plasma blast at Zane, causing a burn to appear on Tridenroid’s shell.  Zane ignored the pain and tried to retaliate, but Nidovikk avoided him and landed another Plasma attack.

“Now the tables are turned!” Nidovikk shouted.  “…Well…kind of.”

Both combatants missed with their next attacks, and the effects of Mars Charge faded away.  Nidovikk stopped in order to cast Venus Charge but only succeeded in getting stunned by one of Zane’s Spikes.  The burn finished off Tridenroid, so Zane fused with XPlode to gain red armor covered in clusters of spikes.

“Drat…I was kinda hoping you wouldn’t have any more Spirits prepared,” Nidovikk admitted.

“…And you really thought I wouldn’t?” Zane asked.  “I’m Level 4—why would I not have more?”

“Well excuse me!  I was just—“

Zane cut Nidovikk off by Shoulder Ramming him out of Fusion.

“Wha…DISGRACE!” Nidovikk yelled.  “How rude—I was still talking!”

“From what I’ve seen, you’re always talking.”

Nidovikk’s jaw dropped.  “Why you…fine then!  Fusion, Wind Storm!”

Plates of green and white armor covered Nidovikk, and two fins sporting blue spears protruded from his back.  A two gunmetal claws extended from his right wrist, and he held a thin cannon that connected to his back with a blue tube.  His left hand was replaced with a white shield sporting vicious claws, with a blue Hero Core on this weapon and a red Core on his chest.  White armor covered his head and slid over his face, and a small screen flipped over his eye.

“…Why do all of his Spirits have ‘Wind’ in their names?” Kytan asked.

“He probably doesn’t even realize that,” Tahra answered.

Nidovikk raised his cannon and fired a blast of ice, but Zane slid out of the way and launched spikes from his shoulders.  Dashing in, the Air-Lord avoided all damage and coated his left claw in light energy so that he could slash Zane with Hero Claw.

Temporarily blind, Zane asked, “You know you were just poisoned by my effect, right?”

“Yeah, but it was bound to happen sooner or later,” Nidovikk sighed.  “Also, that attack is the one that does the most damage to you.  So, you know…Storm!”

Powerful winds buffeted Zane, disorienting him and lowering his accuracy.  He swung his sword, missed by a mile, and was sent sprawling by another Hero Claw.

This is an annoying battle, Zane fumed.  Still, all I need to do is outlast him.  That shouldn’t be too hard.

Zane used his Minion technique to summon a Rotor Spirit to the arena as a distraction.  Nidovikk took the bait, pointing the spears on his back forward and charging into the creature.  The Blizzard Tackle paralyzed Rotor, so Nidovikk used Skydive to leap into the air and come crashing back down to wipe out its energy and send it away from the battle.

“Poor summoned units,” Nidovikk lamented.  “It’s not their fight, but they always pay the price.”

Since Nidovikk was still clearly distracted, Zane decided to run in and use Shoulder Ram.  He was successful, though Nidovikk recovered quickly and batted him away with Hero Claw.

“Right, battle, sorry,” Nidovikk apologized.

Zane tried using a Projectile Rain to keep the Air-Lord at bay, but Nidovikk made it through the attack and hit Zane again.  Knowing another hit was coming, Zane blindly jumped away, narrowly avoiding Nidovikk.  There wasn’t enough distance to protect him from the next Hero Claw, but this time Zane was able to retaliate with an attack from his sword.

“Darn,” Nidovikk said.  “Let’s see…with our current Fusion Energy, I won’t be able to do enough damage before the poison gets me.  Too bad, I was really hoping to impress everyone with a win…”

He paused to de-fuse.  “Okay, I’ll guess I’ll just forfeit.  But, uh…I may have left the Ultima-Orbs in my office…so…wait here!”

Nidovikk quickly got into the elevator.  Under his breath, Zane muttered, “What a fool…”

“Hey, calm down,” Tahra said.  “He may seem a little crazy, but he’s a nice guy.”

“Whatever,” Zane dismissed.  “I just hope he hurries up.”

“Why?  Big plans?”

Zane de-fused but gave no answer.  Soon Nidovikk re-emerged from the elevator holding a bag of Widgets and a solid green Air Ultima-Ord.

“Here…you…are…” he panted.  “Con…congratu…Kongu…I need a minute…”

“Ah…thanks,” Zane said as he took his rewards.

Tahra said, “Man, Nidovikk, your age must really be getting to you if that’s all it takes to wear you out.”

“Getting…old…ain’t…fun…” Nidovikk huffed.  “Hoo…okay…that’s enough excitement for one day.  I need to go lie down.  More Orb Battles tomorrow!”

Leanga came over to help Nidovikk back into the elevator.  Kytan got up and said, “I don’t think I’ll be comfortable fighting someone so…frail.”

“Oh, don’t worry about it,” Tahra said.  “But if it makes you feel better, how about you and I fight a Tag Match?  You can focus on Leanga while I deal with the old man.”

Kytan suddenly felt nervous.  “Tag Match?  Uh…y-yeah, that sounds nice.  Let’s do that!”

Tahra blinked.  “You’ve been acting weird lately.  Are you focused enough to go discuss strategy, or should I come back later?”

“No, I’m fine—let’s go!”

Genakex watched the two depart and scratched his head.  “What’s up with niisan?”

Phaenyx mumbled, “Hm...something about his behavior seems familiar.  Where have I seen this before…”

Genakex turned to Xyla, who was staring blankly at the ground.  Phaenyx shrugged and walked off.

“Y…You alright?” Genakex asked.

Xyla looked up at him for a second before looking back down.  “…During the blizzard,” she said, “I spent all my free time practicing with Air Spirits.  I felt like I was really making progress, and maybe I really could be a master like I hoped.  But now that I’ve seen the Air-Lord fight…”

She trailed off and shook her head.

Genakex asked, “After that battle?  I’m not really one to talk, but Nidovikk didn’t seem like he had it all together.”

Xyla glared at him. “Don’t you get it?  He’s the Air-Lord.  That means he is officially the strongest Air specialist in the entire world.  How am I supposed to beat him with his own Element?!”

“Well…I don’t know.  But I know you can find a way!  And even if you don’t win, well…no one can blame you.  Not a whole lot of people can best a master, but just trying proves you’re dedicated.”

“I’m really not that dedicated, though, am I?  I gave up before…why should I even try again?”

It took Genakex a little longer to think of a response to this.  “Well…maybe you need to.  Maybe you’ll do better than you expect and it’ll give you the confidence to commit to your dream again.”

Xyla gave him a surprised look.  “…I don’t always do so well with expectations.”

“Hey, it’s your decision.  But take it from me: surprising yourself is a really good feeling you can’t get anywhere else.”

Xyla looked at him for a moment.  “You’re speaking from what experience exactly?”

Genakex grinned.  “You weren’t the only one training.  I’ve made a lot of progress with Titan!  I’m just about ready to use his Awakening!”

“…That’s it?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s not the best example.”

Genakex frowned.  “…Then…that only strengthens my argument!  If it’s a good feeling to surprise yourself in small ways, then surprising yourself in a big way must be fantastic!”

Xyla, shockingly, could not argue with that—it actually made some sense to her.  She stood up and simply said, “I’ll think about it.”

Once she was gone, Genakex crossed his arms and nodded.  “I think that went well.”

 

 

Spirits Used:

#533. Tridenroid

#933. XPlode

#1216. Jobmaster: Wind

#1438. Agility of Wind

#1178. Wind Storm

#936. Rotor

 

Review in Genakex's Journal.


Edited by Dinobot Pahrak, Dec 30 2012 - 05:10 PM.

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#40 Offline Virus #0579

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Posted Jan 01 2013 - 04:35 PM

Chapter 39: Mother’s Wings

 

 

Kytan turned the Orb over in his hand, watching the white and green energy inside fluctuate.

“Will ya cut it out?” Tahra groaned.  “They said they’d be up in a minute.  We’ve got this, right?”

“Right,” Kytan agreed.  “Sorry, I’m not sure why I’m nervous.”

The elevator on the other side of the roof opened to deposit Nidovikk and Leanga.

“Ugh, it’s so early!” Nidovikk complained.  “Kids these days don’t sleep!”

“If you’re not up for this, we could always reschedule,” Tahra taunted.

Nidovikk fused with Jobmaster: Wind.  “I’m always up for a fight!  Who else is going to teach you whippersnappers a lesson?”

“Actually, sir, that’ll be my job soon,” Leanga pointed out.  He fused with Toa Nidhiki, gaining emerald armor, a Kanohi Volitak, and a large scythe.

“Hm…touché,” Nidovikk said.  “Well, it’s still my job for now!  Pay attention, Leanga—this is your last chance for pointers!  Er…one of your last chances.”

“This will be more a lesson on what not to do,” Tahra said.  She fused with Moltres, cloaking her body in flames that formed wings around her arms.  Kytan fused with Articuno and became covered in blue feathers with a long, ribbon-like tail.

The two of them leapt into the sky as Nidovikk activated his effect, this time giving up Steal to raise his evasion.  An Ice Beam shot from Kytan down to the Air-Lord, but he jumped out of the way and gave Leanga a boost.  Leanga flew straight at Kytan, scythe drawn, but Tahra intercepted him and used Safeguard to create a barrier of light.  Spinning around, Leanga hit the barrier feet-first and kicked off of it to avoid Tahra’s Ember attack.

Twisting around the flying orbs of fire, Leanga created a cushion of air on the roof to break his fall.  When he looked back up, he was greeted by a Blizzard sent by Kytan.  Nidovikk activated Blue Magic and hit Kytan with his own Ice Beam, freezing him and making him plummet.  Tahra caught Kytan before he hit the roof and circled the arena, narrowly diving out of an Air Constrict.

It was not long before Kytan thawed out.  “Thanks.  I don’t think they’ll let us get close that easily, though.”

Tahra smirked and let go of Kytan.  She began flapping her wings intensely, willing an aura of flames to form around her.  Kytan took note and generated his own icy aura, and then the two Bioni-Lords released the built-up energies at the same time.

The auras mixed together and formed a Tsunami Storm, sending a torrent of water crashing down on the Battlefield.  Leanga activated his Volitak and faded from view, while Nidovikk copied Safeguard to defend himself.  The distraction allowed the challengers to close in on the roof, and Tahra smothered Nidovikk with a Flamethrower the instant his shield faded.

“I see what’s going on here!” Nidovikk said as he cast Cure.  “Using flying Spirits while the Air-Lords are stuck on the ground?  You’re mocking us!”

“Just a little,” Tahra teased.

Leanga, still cloaked by his Kanohi, used a Swipe of his scythe to bring Tahra down to the roof.  Kytan went to her aid but Nidovikk stopped him with Thunder Element Black Magic.  Leanga reappeared while Kytan was reeling, and soon he too was grounded by a scythe swing.  Tahra threw a tiny group of Embers on the Apprentice, making him reel.  Nidovikk knocked her back with two quick punches.

Kytan froze Leanga with an Ice Beam and then took aim at Nidovikk, but the Air-Lord used Counter to leap behind the boy and kick him in the back.  Tahra faced Leanga and raised her arm.

“I won’t stand by while you mock us!” Nidovikk shouted.

He used Blue Magic again, this time blasting Tahra with a Flamethrower.  Leanga shook the ice off his body and activated his Volitak, allowing him to avoid a Blizzard and deal another strike with his weapon.  Nidovikk healed and danced around Embers, and then he moved to the other side of the roof and paused.

Tahra took off and flew over Nidovikk’s head.  Kytan felt Leanga’s scythe hit yet again, so he used Roost to shed some of his feathers and make up his lost Fusion Energy.  Nidovikk activated Focus and an aura of green energy surrounded him.  Tahra hit him from behind with Flamethrower, an attack he made no attempt to dodge.  With a grin, Nidovikk spun around and used a Fire Element Black Magic, washing Tahra away with a blanket of flames made stronger by his aura.

As his partner tumbled away from the Battlefield, Kytan knew an attack from Leanga was coming to finish him off.  He activated Agility and quickly zipped across the arena.  Seconds later, Leanga’s scythe appeared in the space he had formerly occupied.  Kytan struck Leanga with another Ice Beam, making his armor turn brittle and snap away piece by piece.

Nidovikk’s armor fell away at the same time.  “Two Air-Lords beaten with ease…I can’t help but feel upset.”

Tahra rose back over the edge of the roof and landed next to him.  “You think that was easy?  Well…maybe it was kind of easy.”

“Alright, alright.” Nidovikk hastily produced two Ultima-Orbs.  “Just take these and go, okay?”

Tahra de-fused and snatched one of the Orbs.  “Don’t need to tell me twice.  Oi, catch!”

She tossed the second Orb to Kytan, who barely caught it.  “Ah…thanks.”

“You did a pretty good job,” Tahra complimented.  “I knew you’d be reliable in a fight.”

Caught off-guard, Kytan could do nothing but stare at her.  He was shocked out of his trance when Tahra snapped her fingers.

“Uh, th-thanks!” he managed.  “You did great too!  We should do this again sometime!”

Tahra gave him a puzzled look.  “You’re acting like it’s a date or something.”

“Um…sorry.”

“If that’s really how you act on a date, you should be sorry.”

Tahra headed for the elevator.  Nidovikk walked up beside Kytan and smiled at him.  Without saying a word, Kytan turned towards Nidovikk and waited for him to explain himself.  When no explanation was offered, he turned hopefully to Leanga.

“He thinks you’re…interest in Tahra,” Leanga quietly clarified.

“It couldn’t be more obvious!” Nidovikk said, his voice just low enough that Tahra did not hear.  “From what I’ve seen, I think you’d make a good couple.  You have my approval!  Tentatively!”

Kytan covered his reddened face with a hand.  “I…I haven’t given any thought to…I mean, Tahra’s not…it would be weird for me to think of her in a romantic way…wouldn’t it?”

Nidovikk laughed.  Tahra looked over her shoulder at them, making Kytan nearly panic.  Before things became too awkward the elevator doors opened…revealing a surprise passenger.

“Kytan!!” Cerah exclaimed as she rushed towards her son.  “I was hoping you’d be up here.  It’s been so long since I last saw you!”

“Mom?!” Kytan reacted.  His mother trapped him in an embrace, which he eventually returned.

Relief flowed out of Cerah.  “Oh, I’ve missed you so much!  I would’ve been here sooner if it weren’t for that blizzard—I was stuck on Onu-Isle until it finally calmed down.”

She pulled back and looked at Kytan with concern.  “I can’t believe what your father did!  Honestly—telling you boys you shouldn’t even come home?  What was he thinking?!  I never know anymore…”

“It’s…it’s okay, Mom,” Kytan replied.  “We were shooting for Level 14 anyway, so it’s not a big—“

“Of course it’s a big deal!” Cerah interrupted.  “I can’t imagine what you’re going through…your father does love you—you know that right?  He just has a strange way of showing it.  I’m sure I can talk him out of this—he’ll apologize when you get home, I promise.  Actually, I’ll drag him out here—you two shouldn’t have to wait for him to apologize.  Is Genakex alright?  He’s probably still asleep…”

Cerah turned to Nidovikk as if just realizing he was there.  “Oh…I’m sorry, Air-Lord, I just—“

Nidovikk held up a hand.  “Don’t worry, I understand.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen my own kids.”

Cerah bowed respectfully to Nidovikk and Leanga and then looked around to see who else she had missed.  Tahra had not taken her eyes off of Cerah—a strange look was in her eyes as she watched Kytan interact with his mother.  Once she was spotted, however, she smiled and came closer.

“Hey, I’m Tahra,” she greeted.  “Nice to meet you.”

Tahra and Cerah shook hands, a courtesy Kytan had not expected from Tahra.

“Nice to meet you too!” Cerah responded.  “You know Kytan and Genakex?”

“Yeah, I met them on Ta-Isle and decided to travel with them.”

“How nice!  I was hoping they’d make new friends—it makes a journey so much more exciting!”

She turned to Kytan and added, “I like her—she’s so polite!”

“…Yeah,” Kytan muttered.

Tahra crossed her arms.  “Something you’d like to say?”

Kytan shook his head.  Cerah looked between them before asking, “Oh…are you two…?”

Kytan answered, “N-No!  No, it’s nothing like that, no!”

Tahra raised an eyebrow.  “…Are you sure you made your point?”

Cerah got a sly look.  “I see…”

She looked over to Nidovikk, who gave a short nod in agreement.

Tahra changed the subject, “Anyway, how long will you be staying, Mrs. Ikhav?”

“I was thinking only a few days or so,” Cerah replied.  “I just wanted to see how my boys are doing, catch up with them, hopefully get to know you and any other friends they’ve made.  What hotel are you staying at?”

“We’re staying here in the Battlefield, actually,” Tahra answered.  “My dad was a Fire-Lord, so I can pull a few strings.”

It was then Kytan realized that his father must not have told Cerah about what exactly happened on Po-Isle.  Taking a moment, he thought about how his mother would react if she found out that they were being threatened by the Shadow Consortium.  He very quickly decided that Tahra’s lie was by far the better story to tell.

“Really!” Cerah exclaimed.  “You must be Takama’s daughter.  I’m glad he’s been feeling better—he’s a good man.  Well, I guess I’ll just have to stay somewhere nearby.”

“Nonsense!” Nidovikk said.  “You can stay here too!  I won’t have you separated from your children after coming all this way to see them!”

Cerah bowed again.  “Thank you so much, sir!  I promise I won’t be any trouble!”

She turned back to Kytan.  “I should go see Genakex.  Maybe we could all go to breakfast?”

“That sounds nice,” Kytan said.

Cerah faced Tahra and asked, “Would you like to join us, maybe?”

“Sure, I don’t have any plans,” Tahra replied.  “Should I meet you in the lobby?”

“Yes; I’ll be along with Genakex shortly.  This is great!  I’ve been looking forward to this for so long!”

Cerah headed back into the elevator and disappeared.  Kytan mumbled, “That was unexpected.”

“You’re easy to stun these days,” Tahra berated.

Kytan paused a few seconds to think.  “…I’m not sure how to phrase this, but…the way you interacted with my mother wasn’t exactly what I’ve come to expect from you.”

He braced for an explosive response.  Instead, Tahra replied, “She seems like a good mother…plus she was already pretty flustered, and I didn’t want to make that worse.”

She headed for the elevator again.  Kytan trailed a few steps behind, thinking, Strange…now I have no idea how this will go…

 

 

 

Spirits Used:

#1372. Articuno

#1374. Moltres

#268. Toa Nidhiki

#1216. Jobmaster: Wind

 

Review in Genakex's Journal.

 


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