Origins Unknown

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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:40 pm

Location: Empire, Sol System


Inside a dimly lit room of the Emperor's palace, devoid of any lavish furnishing but a lone table and seven chairs, the Emperor's inner circle convened for yet another meeting. The air inside the room is thick with anticipation, tension and silence. Six people await with bated breath for the words of their majesty. Each had a look of uncertainty, clearly seen in their eyes, tense facial muscles and posture. Their Emperor had a dire look in his eyes as he turned his head slowly, gazing at his loyal subjects. Time ticked away by the seconds, an eternity for those who wait. Alas, the Emperor could no longer delay, he breathed in deep, closed his eyes and began to speak.

"As you are all made aware, the events in Ucrade turned for the worse. The Nirvana Project will have to be delayed by a great margin of time. Time we-- no... time I do not have."

The people inside the room shifted in their seats, alarmed by the news their majesty brought to light. The science division head Dr. Euri Harper endlessly drummed his fingers on the table, thoughts adrift regarding the matter at hand.

"My lord, I believe Clyde was there to take care of things is he not?"

The Emperor looked down and read a few lines from the reports submitted to him by Scarlet, Clyde's second in command. "Yes, Clyde was there but his original mission was to subdue patient zero. It was by chance that the bearer of the key who escaped from us back in Ethelas made their way to Ucrade. We would have had possession of both patient zero and the bearer of the key had they not intervened."

More tension filled the room when the Emperor mentioned a third party involved. Garrick, head of the military division clasped both his hands together. "My lord, it is exactly as we feared. With them suddenly making a move at this time could only suggest that they have regained a considerable amount of their strength."

The Emperor slammed both fists on the table in anger. "Garrick! I need not be reminded of the obvious! What I need is your resolution for this matter."

"Apologies my lord but... tensions have been rising within our territorial borders lately. The neutral zones have started skirmishing within our borders I was left with no choice but to fortify them. It would seem that more and more renegades have appeared and started fighting back, trying to liberate some of the territories under our control. With all do respect sire, if we are to go up against them, we would need every bit of firepower that we have."

"I am well aware Garrick, but it is not like they have regained their former glory. We do not need such a big force to deal with them. I trust you already know what to do."

Garrick remained silent for a while and gathered his thoughts. "Very well your majesty, I will have the Archer lead a dedicated armada to hunt them down. I will also have the Behemoth in that armada."

The Emperor relaxed a little after hearing Garrick's response. "Good. Priscilla, do everything in your power to gather intelligence on them and their intentions. I also want you to track every action of Victor Wolfe. I want to know where they are and what they are doing at all times. In the meantime, Dr. Harper, when Clyde returns with patient zero, we shall proceed with the creation of our own key to Nirvana. I will have Dr. Borgan, our specialist in artificial manna reassigned under your division to aid you."

Priscilla, head of the intelligence division simply smiled in acknowledgment of her orders. Dr. Harper's eyes however, widened at the Emperor's commands for him. "B-but my lord! Clones of Chrisitian Wolfe doesn't work on the Gate, and Patient zero was simply a byproduct of experimenting on what little information we were able to gather from Christian Wolfe while he was within our hands for a short time. It's too risky! There's just too many unknown factors!"

The Emperor's brows raised slightly after hearing the words of Dr. Harper. "But the Gate to Nirvana reacted to patient zero did it not? Have you not read Clyde's report about Christian Wolfe? That boy is not ready. It is no wonder your clones of him did not work. Even if we have him now, it would be as good as not having him at all! We need a working key and I need you to create one."

"W-well yes the Gate indeed reacted but it could be due to the 90% genetic structure similarity between Christian Wolfe and patient zero, or because of the likeness between their manna signature, I don't know exactly why. Besides my lord, creating a key to the Gate from scratch is near impossible! There is a lot we would need to know about the Key to Nirvana before we could even create a copy."

"Do not worry Doctor, I will have Trident get you all the information you need about the Key to Nirvana. I will also grant you access to our Archives so you can learn what you need."

"Even so my lord, there's no guarantee that the Gate will open with a pseudo bearer even if we succeed in creating a copy."

"Then create a perfect copy Doctor Harper. We are racing against time I do not have! This body can endure only one more life extension procedure. We need to get to Nirvana as soon as possible, for the Empire's future!"

"I-I Understand your majesty, I will do what I can."

Satisfied, the Emperor proceeded with giving the rest of the members their own orders before adjourning their meeting.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Location: Containment Cell Alpha


Watching the events that transpired inside the small cell, Victor was able to gain a better understanding of his brother's situation. The words that came from the Sigarda woman, although it made no sense to Victor, made him understand that his brother was some sort of a chosen person with a great task to accomplish. While he was proud that his little brother gets to be in the spotlight for something big, worries immediately flooded his mind. For one, how sure are they that these people can be trusted? For all Victor knows, they might have their own agenda hidden behind their mask of kindness. Victor can never be too careful, especially with these who can cause so much damage with just a flick of their fingers.

When Chris finally got his bearings, Victor tended to Nadja who seemed to be suffering from minor circuit problems. She tried to communicate but it would seem her speech logic was damaged by Clyde's attack. Instructing the artificial intelligence to stay quiet for the meantime, Victor radioed the Kamikaze to give them an update of the situation. After ending his transmission, the self destruct sequence for the whole lab has been initialized. After all, the Empire can't be too careful about their dark secrets left to the hands of strangers... typical.

"Our ship can teleport us out of here, I can promise you that you will be safe and returned to your ship immediately. Or we can risk being blown to bits. It's your choice."

Blown to bits was not in Victor's plan, not today, and definitely not in the future. Helping the rest of the other soldiers back to their feet, Victor paused for a moment to look at their companions. As it stands, they were invited to the safety of their big ass ship as Corwin described earlier. It will be four against their whole crew should things go awry and Victor was not too keen on getting into another firefight, especially if magic is involved.

"Fine. Get us out of here."

Hans grabbed Victor by the shoulder and raised his helmet's visor. "Captain, ten minutes is plenty enough for the Kamikaze to pick us up. What are you planning to do?" he whispered.

Victor simply smiled. "I want to know what is going on. These people may very well have the answers my brother is looking for. Besides, if I'm not mistaken, my gut tells me that Chris would definitely want to go on board their ship," he paused and looked at his brother. "Isn't that right Chris?" he asked but immediately turned to Hans without waiting for his brother's reply. "You can have the Kamikaze pick you and Nadja up if you want Hans."

Hans looked down for a moment then back at Victor with determined eyes. "Can't have our captain going in without backup. I'm coming with you."

"Alright then, let's get the hell out of this joint!" Victor said and turned to Caralis. "Anytime you're ready."


__________________________________________________________________________________________

Location: Hyper Space


Clyde's ship traversed a stream of stars as it moved light years away from Ucrade. In the cockpit sat another person, bound with the same contraptions used by the empire against users of magic. She is unconscious and seemingly lost in her own dreams. Her real name is Emiri, also known as patient zero, the sole survivor of an ancient race of magic users. She was found by Trident, preserved through the passage of time. Experimented on by the Empire multiple times due to her incredible aptitude for magic. She has become a magic user who can harness natural manna and strengthened with the infusion of artificial manna. Although considered by the Empire as a successful experiment, many also see her as a masterpiece, an abomination, and something that should not exist.

She breathed calmly in her induced sleep, her ample chest rising and falling in a slow, subtle rhythm. Her long, full-bodied emerald hair fell freely, curling slightly at the end. Some of it covering her beautiful face, a few loose strands dancing at the touch of her breath. She had a permanent blue marking from the bottom lid of her right eye, down to a pointy stop on the edge of her cheek. Aside from her beauty, that marking was also her most distinguishable feature. It glows like the blue sky when she harnesses magic, and changes color based on her emotions. Clyde watched his captive for a brief moment, making sure all is well before turning his head away to loose himself in his own thoughts.

He removed the burnt glove on his right hand and stared at the injury he sustained, contemplating on the events that recently transpired in Ucrade. He was thinking about that door he saw inside the boy and the answers to the questions that eluded him back then. How to open it? Why did she choose the boy? There was no mistake in the essence he had felt from the boy the first time he laid eyes on him. It was all too familiar to be forgotten, the essence of the manna goddess.

"She wounded me again... just like back in the ancient times. I wonder if she recognized me? Or if she will tell the boy about what happened in the past, why Magic was nearly destroyed..." Clyde trailed off and chuckled. "Well, all in due time." he finished and looked back to where his unconscious passenger sat. "Poor girl. Was her existence solely to be a tool for mankind's foolishness? Hmph. I could care less. As long as it doesn't hinder my goals, I will play along."

Pushing a few buttons on his ship's console, Clyde closed his eyes and decided to rest while on his way back to the Empire.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:16 pm

Location: SoulReaver Bridge

Caralis gave the Admiral the all clear sign, and immediately the Admiral ordered the manna teleporters to be activated. In a matter of moments, Caralis' squad, along with Victor's team, Sigarda, and Christian, were beamed on board. Admiral Vorlis looked over the group quietly for a moment before speaking.

"You are Victor Wolfe," he said slowly, turning to regard the man in blood red armor, "Welcome aboard the SoulReaver. I see you also have one named Hans with you, but the third member of your party I can't quite place..."

He shook his head before turning his gaze on Christian, "So you, Christian Wolfe, are the Chosen One...the one who will open the door. Never in all my years did I think I'd live to see this. Caralis, you have done well. Sigarda, it is good to see you safe. Please do not give us such a scare again. Your careless actions nearly cost you your life as well as the life of young Christian. And they have alerted the Empire to our presence. I did not wish to play our hand so soon...No doubt they will be seeking us out with a vengeance."

"I am sorry..." whispered Sigarda, bowing her head, "I should not have acted so rashly."

Caralis put a hand on her shoulder, "What matters is that everyone is here now and we came out with no casualties. Isn't that right, Admiral?"

"Quite right," nodded the Admiral, his glance softening, "I know what it is to be young and hot-blooded, and perhaps this little demonstration will make the Empire think twice before trying anything against us. But now...my guests, you have a decision to make."

He turned a piercing gaze on Christian, Victor, Hans, and Nadja, "We would be very much obliged if Christian could return with us to our base of operations. Our leader would very much like to speak with the boy. Please know that this is not a threat nor would I use any coercion in this matter. If you wish, we can return all of you to your ship immediately. I am sure, however, that the Empire will not allow the things done here to go unpunished. And they most likely will have some kind of trace on you and your crew. If you stay with us, you will have a much better chance of success in going up against the Empire's forces. I know this must be intimidating to answer a question on a ship of this size, and if you wish to take time to deliberate, you are more than welcome to return to your vessel."

Sigarda looked over at Christian hopefully. All these years she had been dreaming of the goddess of manna, wishing for her to be free. Christian could free her because he alone had the Key. But she'd never force him to do something he didn't want to do.

Christian looked quietly from his brother to Sigarda, to the Admiral, and back to his brother again. He wasn't sure what he should do. He knew his brother would never allow him to go with these people alone and he didn't want to drag his brother into this, not knowing if this group was really on their side or not. Were they truly looking for a way to defeat the Empire, or were they going to use Christian for their own gain? He closed his eyes, trying to think, and almost immediately the image of the woman appeared again....

Christian...I should never have allowed him to escape again...I thought the enemy was this Empire, but they are merely a distraction from true evil, the evil that nearly destroyed all magic.

W-who...who are you talking about?

The one who twists the powers of manna and uses them for his own gain. The one who nearly destroyed all of manna, and the reason it is in such a weakened state today. He must never be allowed to open the door. If he opens the door, all will be lost. He is waiting, child...waiting for the door to open. The Empire may not have time and may be desperate, but he has waited for aeons, waiting for me to appear again, to finish what he started.

What do you mean?

I will tell you in good time, my child...But for now, know that these people are safe. They use manna in a proper way, not through the abomination of artificial manna. But also be wary...not all are what they seem to be...


Christian blinked and opened eyes he didn't remember closing, seeing that everyone was staring at him.

"I think...we should go back to our ship for a little while, just to give us time to make a decision. Is that okay, Victor?" he asked, turning to look at his brother.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:42 am

Location: Soul Reaver Bridge


Victor could not relax even for a bit. He looked around with astounded eyes at the ship's highly sophisticated equipment. For a ship that relies on magic to move, the technology it possessed was far greater than any standard Empire vessel. If there are any other ships on par with technological advancement to this ship, it would be his own Kamikaze, the Empire's Archer and several more he could think of. It was not everyday that they get to come across a formidable force, which is exactly the reason why he could not let his guard down, despite the kindness the admiral of the ship was showing.

He responded with a nod of respect when he was addressed by the admiral, surprised a little that their names had reached far and wide. Hans and Nadja did the same.

"The third member of my party is my ship's artificial intelligence. Her name is Nadja. Normally admiral, she would greet you politely but apparently her speech logic had been damaged by that Trident bastard. In behalf of my crew, I would like to thank you for rescuing us down there. Had you not come along, I don't think it would have been quite an easy feat to save my brother."

Formalities aside, the admiral turned his gaze to Christian and Victor listened well to the words that soon followed. His brother was indeed called The Chosen One. What it means eluded Victor completely. Even though there were pieces of the puzzle that was brought to light, he could still make no clear conclusion as to what the task his little brother had been chosen to do. All he could fathom at the moment is that it was all for the restoration of Manna, the lost energy.

"I know what it is to be young and hot-blooded, and perhaps this little demonstration will make the Empire think twice before trying anything against us. But now...my guests, you have a decision to make."

Victor listened to the words that followed and came to an agreement. The admiral was right, that little skirmish they had against the Empire will definitely merit retaliation for all Victor knows. Soon, they would have to be on the run against the Empire forces that will surely be sent after them. The choices were clear, the admiral had no plans of sticking around for long and he wants Christian to accompany them to their home planet, wherever that is. Victor was not sure how to take it. Tagging along such a group that had remained in the shadows for long and asking for his brother's help all of a sudden was just a little too much to swallow at the moment.

He noticed his little brother's confusion. Chris was just as lost as he is at the moment but this was a great opportunity for Christian to grow. No matter how much he wanted to say he would not allow it, Victor also did not want to wrap chains around his brother. If this is what it will take for the young man to find out his true purpose and have a set goal in mind, then it was worth the risk for Victor. He took in a deep breath and thought long and hard while the others continued with their exchange of words. When everything seemed to have come to a stop, it was the voice of his brother that brought him back to the present.

"I think...we should go back to our ship for a little while, just to give us time to make a decision. Is that okay, Victor?"

His brother was consulting him on what to do like always. Victor smiled and crossed his arms before his chest.

"My brother is growing up so fast before my eyes. Soon you will realize what it takes to be a man. I am sure that if you go with these people, you will find the answers you seek. While it is greatly against what my heart is saying Chris, I would like for you to remain with this ship and go with them to learn more about yourself and why you were chosen. The Empire will surely dispatch at least an armada after us, that's for sure. I would draw them away to buy you time," Victor said and placed a hand on his brother's shoulder. "Find out what you were destined for and grow up to be the man worthy of carrying it out. I would hate to put you in more danger than what you have already gone through. Besides, as it stands, this ship could definitely offer more protection than what the Kamikaze and me could if we ever cross against the Empire out there."

Nadja flinched at Victor's comment, seemingly irritated by it. Victor looked at her and smiled. "No offense Nadja. Just stating the facts." he finished then turned back to Christian. "Besides kid, I could fight all out if I don't have to worry about keeping you safe." he continued and turned to the admiral. "I have only one request of you to make. I will allow my brother to accompany you but please, whatever it takes... keep my brother safe. If you don't, I will personally hunt down each and everyone of you." he vowed with fierce eyes trained at the admiral.

Victor removed his left gauntlet and took off a ring he wore, a simple ring with the head of a wolf as its defining feature. He handed it over to Chris and smiled at the boy. "This is a personal tracker designed by Doctor Mizaki for everyone aboard the Kamikaze. This little device will let us know if you are alright, kind of like a miniature life monitoring system. Wear it at all times so Nadja could always get a read on your status wherever you are. Don't worry, it's untraceable. Only the Kamikaze can pick up its quantum wave pattern." he continued and took off his belt holster next. It had his personal pulse pistol and custom vibroblade. "Here, take these and pray that you don't have to use 'em. These weapons will only respond to our bloodline, a marvel Dr. Mizaki came up with. All you have to do is let the scanners these weapons have scan your DNA, once you have done it, they will only activate if you are the one wielding them. And lastly," he trailed off.

Victor pulled out a shrinker box from his backpack and handed it to Chris. "This is supposed to be a gift that I was hoping I wouldn't have to give you this soon but... I think it is about time you earned your fangs kid. Inside that shrinker box is a battle suit modeled after the one I'm wearing now. Of course, courtesy of Doctor Mizaki so you can expect a lot of improvements compared to its predecessor. Wear it with pride."

It was not his style to let his subordinates see his soft side but Victor couldn't help it. He hugged his brother tight and did not say another word.

"Admiral, I would like to return to my ship now. Take care of Christian for me and teach him well."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:52 pm

Location: SoulReaver Bridge

Christian looked at Victor in surprise when his brother suggested that he go with the group. He had been half expecting Victor to forbid him from leaving with a group they knew very little about. But knowing that Victor trusted him to make his own decisions and to find his own destiny filled him with hope and strength. When Victor tasked the Admiral with keeping Christian safe, and promising dire consequences if he didn't, the old man nodded.

"We will do everything in our power to keep your brother from harm. May we be struck down if a hair on his head is harmed," said the Admiral, and there was a certain gravity in his eyes.

In the next few moments, Victor presented Christian with a ring fitted with a tracking device, a pulse pistol and a vibroblade. The weapons were tuned only to their bloodline, and Christian would be the only one able to use them. He took them, carefully placing the ring on his finger and fastening the weapons to his side.

"I will take very good care of them Victor, thank you so much," he whispered, trying to keep emotion from leaking into his voice.

Christian's eyes widened when Victor next presented him with a shrinker box that held a custom-made suit. Carefully, the youth took it.

"Victor...I...I don't know what to say...thank you...thank you so much..." he whispered, just as his brother enveloped him in a hug.

For a moments, Christian was surprised, as his brother didn't usually show so much emotion, but then he hugged his brother tightly back, unable to hold back a few tears. After letting him go, Victor asked to be transported to his ship.

"We will care for your brother as if he were part of our family," said the Admiral gently.

"Don't worry, no harm will come to him. I need to make up for putting him in danger before," said Sigarda softly, putting a gentle hand on Christian's shoulder.

"Goodbye...Victor," whispered Christian.

"Until we meet again," said Vorlis gravely, nodding to one of the crewmen.

A beam of light enveloped Victor, Hans, and Nadja, and they were returned to their ship. The bridge was quiet for a moment, before the Admiral turned to Christian with a gentle smile on his rugged features.

"We welcome you to our ship, Christian," he said, "Sigarda. Why don't you take him for a tour as we prepare to depart?"

"Yes, Admiral, of course," nodded Sigarda, turning to Christian with a smile, "Follow me."

Sigarda led the boy into one of the corridors. When they outside of the bridge, Sigarda looked at Christian.

"Are you alright?" she asked softly, "I know it must be very hard for you to be separated from your brother."

Christian took a few deep breaths before smiling and nodding, "It really is hard, but I'm alright. Victor trusts me to grow with your help, and to learn to make my own choices. I've relied on him for so long, but now it's time for me to learn how to protect myself, and maybe to help him."

"You can do anything you want, Christian," said Sigarda, eyes shining brightly, "You are the Chosen One. You will bring peace to the galaxy and will open to the doors to the Promised Land."

"I keep hearing about being the Chosen One and this Promised Land...but in all the books I've read, I've never even heard of these things...What are they?" asked Christian slowly.

"Well, these things really aren't very well known by most people. However, the secret of the Chosen One and the Promised One have been passed down by magic users for generations. Let me tell you what I know. Long ago, manna used to be available to all. All people could use magic and it was used for beauty and good. Manna was watched over by a beautiful woman, the one we call the Manna Goddess, and the one you have seen in your dreams. Unfortunately, not all people decided to use magic for good. A group of renegades began to use magic to make people's lives miserable. They began to use dark artes and forbidden spells to exert their dominance. In a last ditch effort, the Manna Goddess fought a battle with their leader, the Evil One, a battle that lasted for days. When both were exhausted, the Evil One looked as if he had one and attempted to destroy the Goddess. But with the last of her magic, she repelled the attack, and instead of being destroyed, she was only sealed, sealed in her Kingdom, a place of beauty and everlasting peace. Magic fell away from the world then, and only a select few could wield her powers, but manna was no longer commonplace and also severely weakened. A prophecy speaks of a Chosen One, however, who will be granted the powers of the Goddess herself, and the keys to unsealing her. Without the Chosen One, the Land of Manna will never be opened and manna will never be fully restored to the world. The keys that are needed to open this land are the three Mox gems. You already possess the Mox Emerald. You only need the Mox Sapphire and Ruby and you will be able to open the Promised Land, the Land of Manna, and restore peace and beauty to the world, and rid us of the evil of the Empire."

Christian was quiet for a few moments, trying to process everything that Sigarda had told him.

"What of...the Evil One? The one that fought the manna goddess?" asked Christian slowly, "What happened to the Evil One?"

"No one really knows..." said Sigarda slowly, "Some say his power was spent and that he vanished from existence. Others say he is still in the world and seeking the Key to the Promised Land, in order to destroy the Manna Goddess forever...We...believe that the Evil One is the Emperor himself, though we don't have proof of this...But who else would attempt to assert his dominance over the whole world?"

Christian thought for a moment, remembering the Manna Goddess talking about the one who had sealed her, right after his encounter with Clyde. Was...Clyde the one she was referring to? He shivered, remembering the feeling of terror the leader of Trident had given him, and part of that terror had not only been his...Christian shook his head, trying to clear it. Now was not the time to be worrying about that. He had to focus on the task at hand, which was to learn from these people and to eventually find the Mox Sapphire and the Mox Ruby.

"Anyways, let me show you around the ship," Sigarda's voice cut into his thoughts...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Later, Christian lay in his quarters that the crew had specially prepared for him. After Sigarda had shown him around the ship, he had spoken briefly with the Admiral, who promised that he'd have Caralis and Sigarda show him how to more efficiently use manna. The Admiral also informed him it would take about two days of travel to reach their destination, their secret base. Soon, he'd be learning more about his powers, but for now it was just time rest...
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:32 pm

Location: Kamikaze Bridge


Victor's bridge crew was taken by surprise when all three of them appeared in the bridge after a bright flash of light. Hans was the first one to loose his footing after he fully materialized near his station. "Whew! I don't think I'll ever get used to that teleporting thing! Woozy!" he cried out, still trying to get his bearings. Nadja was in awe after seeing and experiencing her body reappear out of thin air. She seemed to be busy checking if any of her body parts were missing. Rejoiced that their captain had made it back, the bridge crew all had smiles on their faces but Corwin noticed something.

Captain, where's Chris? What happened?

It was a question that nearly shattered his resolve. It took all the courage Victor had and more just to allow himself to entrust his brother completely in the hands of strangers. When asked the question by his pilot, the look he had in his eyes were deep and contemplating. The bridge crew all had their eyes on him as he stood there in silence, struggling to find the right words to say.

Captain... did he...?

"No. Chris is alive and well. He is currently on that ship... on a journey where he will learn and grow."

Victor's words shocked the bridge crew. Everybody on board the Kamikaze knew how much he cared for his younger brother. Nobody expected Victor to entrust his brother's care to anybody but only himself and them. For the crew, this was an unexpected turn of events... they were at a loss for words.

"I think it's time the crew of this ship learn about what exactly is going on..." Victor continued and walked over to his terminal. He pressed a button and the speakers on the whole ship came to life. It took him a few seconds to gather his thoughts and began to speak.

"Kamikaze crew, your attention please. This is your captain speaking. I know that every single one of you wished for a life free from the Empire's grasp. I promised you that and gave you passage aboard my ship. But my comrades, my friends... I will no longer be able to fulfill that promise. From here on out, this ship's journey will be one filled with peril. The Kamikaze as you know it will now shed its skin and bear its fangs against a fearsome adversary. As you are all aware, the Empire is hunting us down, the reason for that... is their interest in my brother and his ability to use magic. I intend to use this ship to its fullest to make sure they do not get their hands on my brother. I hold no right to bring you along a journey I am unsure of the outcome. In two days we will reach neutral ground via space shift. You have until then to make a decision. Should you decide to accompany me on this endeavor, I cannot guarantee your safety but I will forever be in your debt. For those who will leave, I respect that and will not stop you. Everyone who does leave, shall receive ample compensation for your years of servitude in my ship, use it to start anew. You may return to your duties, that is all."

The broadcast was heard by everyone aboard the Kamikaze and taken to heart. From the bridge crew, to the engine room, to the staff that worked in the med bay, the mess hall, the cargo hold... the entirety of the ship fell into a momentary silence. Victor quickly glanced at his subordinates and returned to the captain's chair.

"Corwin, set course for Lyrania."

Roger that captain, setting course for Lyrania.

..
...
....
.....

A few hours later, Victor finds himself confined in the captain's quarters. He just stood there and watched several species of rare fish they gathered in their travels. Each one of them came from a sea on different planets yet, Victor couldn't help but be astonished at how they can coexist in the same place. In his mind he wondered if humans and other species can actually do the same.

"It can't be helped can it? Human nature, this is who we are right Rosaria?" he solemnly asked while looking at the single photo frame on his bedside table. "Remember what you told me back then? About how eager you are to meet my younger brother? Well, that kid is growing up so fast its making me wish I could stop it..." he trailed off and chuckled to himself. "Right now he journeys to find his true purpose but hey, did you know? My brother could also use magic. Yes... just like you," he paused and reached out to grab the frame but stopped midway. "and just like you, the Empire is out to get him..." he mumbled.

The smile of the pretty woman in the picture was too much for Victor to look at. All because it was a smile forever taken away from him by the Empire. "I don't know what to do Rosaria... I couldn't protect you from the Empire back then... maybe that's why I let my little brother go with those people... because deep inside I'm scared that I wouldn't be able to protect him as well... or if I even have the strength to..."

Victor's private moment was interrupted by a buzz on his door followed by a voice breaking through the door's intercom.

Victor, it's doctor Mizaki. May I trouble you for a moment?

Composing himself as fast as he could, Victor approached and opened the door. Nadja and Doctor Mizaki were waiting outside. Victor stepped out of his quarters and closed the door behind him.

"Can I help you with something doctor?"

Dr. Mizaki was fidgety, troubled by something. It took the doctor a few seconds to compose himself, an indication that there is a lot on the good doctor's mind.

"W-Well you see Victor... when you got into that accide--"

"You mean when that Trident handed my ass over to me right?"

"Err y-yes ah! No! What I was trying to sa-"

"Doc, I don't bite. Calm down and speak slowly."

"Okay... after coming back wounded from Ethelas, we all know you healed so fast right?"

Victor crossed his arms before his chest, one brow raising slightly. "Yes I remember. You said it was thanks to nanomachines in my body right? Though I don't recall the Empire giving out nanomachine shots to their troopers back then, and I'm sure as hell nanotechnology isn't readily available to just anyone, the Empire included."

"My point exactly Victor! I have compared the nanomachines you have against one of our own and found out that what we have now doesn't even compare to how sophisticated and highly advanced are the ones you have!"

Victor was having a hard time keeping up with the doctor. "Oookay! So what I have is better than the ones out there, what's the big deal doc?"

"T-that's not it Victor. You see, the nanomachines you have seem to have been made for a specific purpose. I mean, it took me a while analyzing its structure and functionality but with a stroke of luck, I seem to have begun to understand it! It's better if I show you, come!" the doctor said and immediately turned around walking back to his lab.

Victor could only shrug his shoulders and look at Nadja. "Did he fix your speech logic like I told him?"

"Yes Victor. Thank you." Nadja responded and smiled.

"Wow! He even taught you how to do it. Now that's how you smile! Nadja, I should be the one thanking you for saving me back there. I know you think that body is replaceable but I'd hate to see you get hurt because of me. Don't do that again Nadja."

"I don't understand Victor. It is only logical that I protect this ship's captain-- my captain is it not?"

"I see where you're coming from Nadja but that doesn't mean you can get trashed in the process. You have a body now, you should learn to cherish and protect it, not just to use it as you please. To care for others and for yourself, that's what it means to be alive, don't forget that."

The artificial intelligence began looking at herself, her hands in particular. "Alive... I don't understand. I am merely a collection of data, a program, inorganic. How can I be alive?"

"Life is not defined by being organic or inorganic Nadja. Yes you may be a program, a collection of data, an inorganic but you have a body, you can think for yourself, and more importantly, you have freedom, I gave you that. To me, you're just as alive as anybody else on my crew. That being said, I don't want you getting yourself hurt-- damaged in your case. You'll understand it soon enough. Let's go Nadja, we can't keep the good doctor waiting."

"Affirmative."

..
...
....
.....

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Location: Kamikaze, Viewing Bay


Victor sat alone, lost in his own thoughts as his ship traveled the sea of stars. What he had learned from the doctor came as a puzzle to him. He recalled the conversation he had with doctor Mizaki in his lab, trying to find the meaning behind the nanomachines he had in his body.


Victor, those nanomachines you have are built for combat...

I'm sure the Empire now don't have any records of this...

Whoever made these nanomachines had one thing in mind...

There were a lot more facts about the nanomachines the doctor discussed with Victor, but everything he was told about it was just a little too much to swallow at the moment.

"You're right doc... whoever they are, they wanted to be able to fight magic users but... why?"

Victor began to wonder what was so terrifying about magic. Sure, it was destructive but with disciplined usage, it could also be very beneficial. But that was the least of his concerns, his younger brother was on the way to learn more about magic. Victor began to question himself if he actually made the right decision.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:20 pm

Christian's dreams were fitful, full of voices and half-remembered memories from ages long ago, voices that weren't even his.

This world is beautiful....I shall name it Kairina.

All is peaceful here, you shall want for nothing, traveler.

Life, and manna, are full of cycles, cycles of balance. Without manna, life does not exist, but without life, there can be no manna. Remember this well.

There are those who would say manna is unnatural and a force to be feared. True, there are those who would use it for evil, but they shall always be vanquished by good.

My lady! The forest is burning!

As you commanded, the traitors have been banished from this world, my Lady. There will be no more trouble here.

Let not those who follow the way of violence be permitted to ever enter our sacred land again.

We meet again, my Lady. This time, it is you who will fall.

Any last words, before I consign you and all of manna to oblivion?

Foul traitor! You shall not win! I defy you! Though I am diminished now, a time will come when another will rise and take my place. And they shall destroy you!

Images of fire and darkness threatened to consume him, just as there was a rough shaking on his shoulder. Christian opened startled eyes to find himself face to face with Caralis.

"It's time for your morning combat training," said Caralis without a preamble, "Get up and follow me to the sparring rooms."

Christian nodded with wide eyes and did as he was told. What was this about combat training? Why would he need to learn how to fight? Didn't they all use manna here. Apparently, his questions were evident in his eyes even though he said nothing.

"I suppose you're wondering why I'm going to start training you in combat, huh? Manna can't do everything for you, not even if you are the Chosen One. Manna relies on both your physical and your mental strength. When you have the strength to endure pain and fear, then your powers will remain at their full capacity. If, however, you give in to the pain as you did on Ucrade, then your defenses are easily overwhelmed. The better trained you are, the easier it will be for you to survive dangerous situations."

Christian nodded, though he was a bit apprehensive. He knew some of the basics of self-defense, yet he had always been a planner, a strategist. Fighting was not something he did often, unless it was during an emergency situation. And yet it made sense. He had been ill-prepared for the battle on Ucrade, and as soon as his powers had been cut off, he had been helpless. Caralis threw him some light sparring armor and a wooden staff. The warrior stood in front of Christian in a ready stance.

"Never turn your back on your enemy," Caralis spoke, as he swung quickly, barely giving the boy a chance to block, sweeping his feet from under him, "Keep your body in constant motion to confuse your enemy. Watch their eyes. The eyes tell where your enemy will strike next. Do not scream or cry out when you are hurt if it can be helped. Imagine pain as something fleeting, and don't give in. Ignore it, and it will have no power over."

Christian could barely block the fury of the jabs coming his way, and found himself with quite a few bumps and bruises in the matter of a few moments.

"Concentrate. Let manna flow through your body, giving you a centered mind. Use it to predict where your opponent will attack next. Dodge their strikes, and counter with your own."

Christian took a deep breath, leaping backwards as the sparring pole nearly connected with his mid-section. He cleared his mind, trying to ignore the places where the pole had struck him. Caralis suddenly leaped forward, preparing to deliver the final strike. With a speed that surprised even Christian himself, he rolled underneath the strike, turned, and swung the practice pole into Caralis' back. Caralis collapsed to the ground, but got up a moment later, looking at Christian with a mixture of surprise and satisfaction.

"Good. I see you are a quick learner. Maybe there is hope after all...Come, let us..." began Caralis, but Sigarda's voice broke into his speech.

"That's even brother," she chided gently, "Enough with the fighting. You'll wear Christian out before we even return home."

"He still has much to learn, Sigarda," replied Caralis.

"He will, in time. Now, go get some breakfast. You can spar with him later," Sigarda spoke, and there was no arguing with her.

Caralis sighed, but nodded before briefly waving to the two before heading to the mess hall. Sigarda made her way over to Christian, and put a gentle hand on his shoulder. A soft, white glow surrounded his body before disappearing. Christian blinked in amazement as the tiredness and fatigue he felt melted away completely.

"How...did you do that?" he asked in awe.

"It's a simple spell of rejuvenation, and you are capable of so much more," smiled Sigarada, as she directed Christian to sit down and did the same, "It takes the energy from the cosmos itself and heals your wounds as well as giving you increased strength and vitality. You need only to focus, and you can do the same. Here, try it on me."

Christian hesitated but a moment before putting a hand on her shoulder. The same glow appeared, though it was brighter and more intense.

"Ah...exactly right Christian. You are indeed blessed with her powers," whispered Sigarda, "Though you might not know it, that spell was ten times more powerful than mine. Healing is my specialty, but you are overflowing with it. Manna is intertwined with life itself, and if you master the powers of healing, you will be well on your way to mastering everything that manna has to offer."

"I understand...but..when I was...kidnapped by the leader of Trident...he used something called an Ancient Spell...what are they?" Christian asked slowly.

Sigarda's face darkened and she shook her head, "Ancient spells are forbidden to us. They are spells that use manna twisted by the powers of the Dark One. The more those spells are used, the more they change your soul. You of all people must be especially careful. For those ancient spells are mostly used to influence the minds of others, to manipulate, to destroy. If those powers are used, the entire balance is throw off...It is what started this death spiral in the first place..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Location: Unknown

"Master Kordjan! I must speak with you immediately!"

A young woman clothed in a black suit, suspiciously like an assassin's clothes, dashed into the man's office without an introduction.

"Caeda...To what do I owe the...pleasure of this visit?" asked Kordjan, his voice noticeably strained.

"Why did you keep hidden from me that you had found the Chosen One and are bringing him here?" the woman practically shouted.

"Why do you think you should be privy to information that I have not even some of my closest confidantes?" asked Kordjan coldly.

"I am the leader of the forces fighting on the front line of the Empire. I risk my life every day. If the Chosen One is here, I need him now!" Caeda practically shouted, "There is no time for any of your preaching and platitudes. The Empire is amassing a fleet in full force to wipe us from existence! When will you wake from your lazy stupidity? The time to act is now!"

"Patience, Caeda, patience. The Chosen One is coming here, yes. But he is young and has much to learn. We cannot throw him into battle and expect him to win single-handedly. Besides, we have yet to locate the other gems. Without them, any resistance on our part is meaningless. Now, we will speak no more of this matter. Dismissed."

"But Master..." began Caeda.

"Enough! You will question my orders no longer!" Kordjan shouted, for a moment losing his icy facade of calm.

Caeda opened her mouth as if to say something before storming out to return to her stealth fighter. As she entered the cockpit and began preparing for take-off, she began to mutter to herself.

"I'll show you, Kordjan...I'll win this war myself...Because you insist on waiting, so many have died...How many more must we lose?" she whispered.

"
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:39 pm

Location: Lyrania Space Port


Victor stared at the moving cranes outside the windows of the bridge. Their ship had reached Lyrania and is in the process of resupplying for a long voyage. Everyone earned shore leave and most of his crew have taken advantage of the rare opportunity. He had blank eyes and appears to be lost in thought. Hans, his trusty lieutenant opted to stay behind like he always would during resupply opportunities to oversee the process. The man turned his head around to look at his captain and after a few seconds, returned to his duties.

"You don't look to good captain, would you like to rest? It doesn't seem like we'll be disembarking anytime soon."

His lieutenant's voice pulled him back to the captain's chair and Victor slowly moved his head to look at the man's back. How long has it been since they began this rebellious journey? Victor counted the years and for all those times, Hans stood by him, without complaint, and without question. Truly a loyal subordinate.

"Hans, how many of the crew have decided to leave the ship for good?" Victor asked.

The lieutenant was momentarily stopped from what he was doing by the question. He then walked towards another console and punched in a couple key combinations. Soon after, a monitor displaying the ship's crew files came to light.

"About fifty percent of our regular crew of three hundred have decided to take your offer captain. Nadja is overseeing that they get their compensation before they leave the ship. With that much crew gone, our ship's capabilities are also dropped by half. Even though Nadja can automatically operate some of the ship's computer controlled systems, we would still be at about sixty-five percent functionality."

Victor sighed. "I see how it is. What about the others who decided to stay? Did they say anything?"

Hans punched in another combination and displayed a different roster from before. "These are the people that decided to stay behind. Dr. Mizaki, his medical and scientific staff, your bridge crew, the gunnery crew, the mess hall staff, the engineers and workers from the cargo hold. We basically have a skeletal staff here with no hands to spare. They did not say anything about why they chose to stay. Perhaps it is best that we respect their decision and be grateful that they did captain."

Victor fell silent for a while. "You're right. I guess I owe them one this time. What about you Hans, don't you want to leave and start anew? This is your chance."

The lieutenant stopped and turned to face Victor. "With all due respect captain, I have made my choice long ago when you saved me from the Empire. I no longer have any family to go back to, nor do I have any plans of starting a new one... not until we have rid ourselves of the plague called the Empire. So I will stand by your side until we see things through that we put an end to them. Oh and one more thing captain, not one of us here thinks that you owe us anything. If it comes to that, it is us who owe you a lot. Never forget that captain."

Victor smiled a little even though it was obviously forced. "Thanks Hans. I am quite relieved to hear that from you. How goes the resupply?"

"We shall be done in a few more hours. What do you plan to do captain?"

The question was the same one he had the moment they docked on Lyrania. But Victor figured that it is not a matter of what they should but a matter of how should they do it. The goal is clear, take down the Empire. A momentary silence enveloped the two in the bridge. Victor slowly turned his chair to face a console to his right and pressed a couple keys.

"As it stands, we are in no condition to take the Empire head on. I was thinking of seeking out old acquaintances that might be of help to us. I would like to amass a small force to attack any weaknesses we could find in the Empire."

"And what do you hope to accomplish by doing that captain? If anything, any effort with a small force would just be a nuisance to the Empire. It will be much like a fly pestering a giant."

"You're right. I know it sounds foolish but I have planned to do that to buy time for Chris. We have no hope of defeating the Empire unless we have something we could use against them and their unconventional forces."

"You mean magic captain?"

"Yes. Trident is just the face of the Empire's magic capabilities. They have far more destructive tricks up their sleeve. The only reason I could think of them not unleashing their full might on Ucrade was that they did not want to expose their true capabilities to specific people."

"Like the people we met on Ucrade you mean?"

"Exactly. I know elsewhere that these people have been fighting the Empire head on and are certainly losing. It would be beneficial for them if we could draw the Empire's attention over to ourselves to buy them time to prepare."

"A small force as bait... then we have to make sure we get really powerful allies if we want their attention on us. Where should we start looking?"

"I have a few candidates in mind. Although I am not sure what they would ask of me in return, or if they would agree to help at all."

"You can't be serious captain! You're not thinking about asking for help from space pirates are you?"

"We got no other choice. Some of them might not be friendly but we all have something in common, they also hate the Empire as much as we do."

"I just hope it works out captain. I'm not exactly looking forward to taking on the Empire alone but if it comes down to it, I am ready."

"Good. Then I will be disembarking this ship shortly. One candidate is currently in hiding down on Lyrania and I plan to meet her alone. We'll be staying here for a few days so until I come back, you and Nadja are in charge of this ship."

"Captain, sometimes I wonder if you plan all of this long before you decide on doing it. Just who exactly are you meeting with?"

Victor rose from his seat and walked towards the door but stopped before stepping out. "The one-eyed impaler, Hyacinth..." he trailed off and left the room leaving Hans with eyes wide open.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:17 pm

Location: Unknown

Chris was jolted from his slumber by a voice that echoed through the ship and even into the corners of his mind.

We have reached our destination, Homeworld. Prepare to disembark.

Chris got up and quickly slipped on a blue set of clothing that had been prepared for him. His mind wandered to the happenings of the past day on the ship. Once again he had undergone combat training with Caralis. Caralis actually seemed surprised at how he was improving, though he never said anything outwardly. Sigarda had continued to instruct him in the use of manna. Healing had come naturally to him, as Sigarda had told him it would. She had said she expected nothing less from the Chosen One. Vorlis himself had also spoken to Chrsitian as well, and told him that he'd be meeting with the High Council upon disembarking from the ship. Vorlis had also quietly told him that all were not as they appeared, and to be careful when making both friends and enemies, though Christian wasn't quite sure what he meant by that. Christian quickly made his way to the bridge as he had been instructed and found Vorlis, Sigarda, and Caralis there. Caralis merely raised an arm in greeting while Sigarda rushed over to him.

"This is it. You're going to meet everyone. You're going to meet our people," smiled Sigarda, "Are you ready?"

"I guess...as ready as I'll ever be," nodded Christian.

"We are so close to the planet now. Close your eyes. Can you feel it? The planet is alive..." whispered Sigarda.

Christian complied and was surprised at the abundance of living energy signatures he could feel throughout the planet. Not even Ucrade was filled with such a variety of teeming life. When he opened his eyes again, he could see the emerald and sapphire planet slowly spinning in front of them.

"This is the place we call Homeworld," said Admiral Vorlis, "It is here where the beginning of the Empire's end shall be."

Christian took a deep breath as Vorlis turned to look at him, "Prepare for transfer. The High Council is waiting for us."

Vorlis motioned, and the entire group disappeared, only to reappear on the planet's surface. In front of Christian stood a group of five solemn figures. The one he recognized immediately was a man clothed in golden robes and holding the stance of someone who was used to being obeyed. Beside him was a slender woman dressed in lavender robes. Her skin was of a darker color and her ebony, like the colour of the night sky. Her eyes were deep as the night sky. On the other side of her was an elderly gentleman with hair as white as snow and skin just as fair. He was clothed in red robes, yet they were covered by a dark blue mantle. On the other side of Kordjan stood a very young man with fiery red eyes and a shock of similar colored hair. His stance suggested that he was an impatient person, unaccustomed to waiting long periods of time. The final person on the High Council was swathed in white robes, and a hood covered their features. There was no telling if they were male or female.

For a moment, all was silent, and then the man Christian recognized stepped forward and took his hand.

"Welcome, Chosen One, to our Homeworld. We have met before. I am Kordjan, Grandmaster of the High Council. From my heart, I welcome your coming here. Please allow my fellow Council members to introduce themselves."

The woman stepped forward next, smiling gently. Christian instantly knew that she was someone with a caring heart, whom he could trust.

"I am Limstella, Master of Healing and Life Energy. It is a pleasure to meet you, Chosen One of the Goddess," she smiled, bowing her head.

The elderly man in red was next to step forward, eying the boy somewhat suspiciously, "I am Krayden, Master of Elements."

The third to speak was the fiery young man, who seemed eager to introduce himself, "I'm Pierre. I am Master of Strategy and War. You'll be joining us on the front lines soon, I hope."

The last to speak was the mysterious cloaked figure. It walked forward, and reached out a slender finger to gently touch Christian's forehead. Christian gasped as strange visions began to fill his mind.

"I am the Oracle," the cloaked one spoke in a voice that was neither male nor female, "Take heed, child, for a change is about to come...Whether it be for good or for ill, will be for Fate to decide..."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:38 pm

Location: Lyrania Surface, Multi-level City: Fortrium


Victor stepped out of the giant space elevator after it finished atmospheric adjustment. Before him stood the glorious Fortrium City, the pride of the Lyranians, a highly advanced civilization of lanky, intelligent beings. For this species, a child stands at the height of a full grown man, and an adult standing a good four to five meters tall. They mostly had bluish gray skin and the same facial features as each other; elongated face, tiny nostrils, small mouths and gentle eyes. Their hand marking that looked like sigils on the back of their left palm are their only proof of individuality. In Lyrania, no two hand marks are ever alike.

As soon as his implants have readjusted to the planet's gravitational pull, Victor took a step forward and headed into what looked like a mechanical centipede attached to guide light rails. It was the only means of transportation from the space elevator into the city. Victor opted to dress himself appropriately this time with a formal suit to lessen suspicion as he moved about but humans are rarely seen on Lyrania. It was no wonder why he could hear the whispers of the locals about him. For most of them, this could be their first time seeing a human set foot on their home world. After all, Lyranians created their space port with the sole purpose of centralizing and isolating dealings with the other species there.

While there were no interplanetary rules indicating that other species are forbidden from setting foot on Lyrania, the Lyranian government are not too keen on having other species lurking around their cities. Although one is free to come and enjoy the sights, they would have an Observer Glyph follow you around at all times, in which case one has already made itself comfortable just above Victor's head.

Greetings human. Welcome to Lyrania. For security purposes, please hold out your left arm for tagging.

While an Observer is mostly meant for keeping an eye on you, it does not come without tourist advantages. For one, it is programmed to answer questions about locations, local traditions, planetary rules, must sees and general information; a guide. As ominous as it sounds, the Observer simply meant 'tagging' as being added to the tourist database. Victor complied and held out his left arm for the Observer Glyph. It began to hover around Victors arm and emitted a dim light that scanned the length of his arm.

Tourist identified. Rydel Griffin, you are now added to the database. I will be your guide for the duration of your stay. Does Mr. Griffin have any immediate questions?

Victor had to use his pseudo identity for situations like these. Victor Wolfe is not a name he was proud to carry around neutral zones especially when it has been affiliated with the Empire once and had a somewhat terrifying reputation. For now, he is Rydel Griffin, the owner of the merchant ship 'Flux' that is currently docked in the Lyranian space port.

"No questions for now, thank you."

Very well Mr. Griffin, when you do have a question do not hesitate to inquire. Please proceed to the Quantica, it will carry you into Fortrium's middle sector station.

Victor embarked the Quantica for a short uneventful journey towards the city's middle section. Inside the transport, he met all kinds of stares from the locals that were in the transport at that time. It made Victor wonder if Lyrania had some bad blood with humans since he was not the only outsider species inside the Quantica. Once the transport arrived, Victor disembarked along with many others that went on with their daily living. He in turn looked around as he made his way out of the Quantica station.

There were all sorts of sights to see like light fountains in parks that shot harmless beams of different colored lights dissipating after it reached a certain height in an endless cycle. The intricate highway design that allowed their vehicles to travel without any hazard or stops along the way. The tall buildings that seemed to glimmer in tune with this city's prosperity. The countless shops that competed daily with the latest innovations ranging from clothing to gadgets and many more. With the Observer hovering around his head, Victor walked on, treading the streets carefully while keeping a keen eye on his surroundings.

His only problem now would be where to find Hyacinth the one-eyed impaler. It would be unwise to inquire about such a wanted person while using his pseudo identity, not to mention he had an Observer floating above his head that could call for security the instant he makes a suspicious move. Victor would need to find a way of getting information while keeping the Observer unaware of his true goal.

"This might sound ridiculous but I heard rumors from other merchants that there are humans who settled here in your planet. Tell me, are there any human establishments on Lyrania?"

One moment Mr. Griffin...

None have been approved by the government.

"I see. Well then, what are the places that are inaccessible to tourists?"

As Victor continued walking downtown, the Observer went on and on about a lot of places where a tourist's access are restricted. Just when it seemed like the Observer would go on forever, Victor asked another question. "Okay, what about places where I should stay away from for my own safety like dangerous places? Are there any?"

One moment Mr. Griffin...

Again, the Observer began mentioning places that were deemed dangerous due to high criminal activity, or for any other reason the Lyranian's saw about it. This time the list was shorter and Victor was listening intently, noting down places of interest that might have the information he was looking for. One place worth looking into first was what they called the fourth section or Sector Four. According to the Observer, that sector used to be a refugee section that housed survivors of a chemical fallout that engulfed their neighboring planet Friedren. Sector Four was supposed to be returned to Lyrania after Friedren had been sanitized but due to political bickering, the sanitation operation for Friedren was never carried out. Soon, the refugees were treated like a disease, quarantined and stripped of rights to Lyranian commodities and certain privileges. This began a revolt from the refugees and according to the Observer, the outcome of the revolt was unsightly.

As a resolution for this, the Lyranian government had decided to give ownership of Sector Four to the refugees in exchange for having the Sector purged from the main body of Fortrium, connected only by an annex bridge where both ends of the bridge have access to it strictly supervised by refugees and Lyranians alike. With the current setup of Sector Four, getting into it will not be easy. Victor knew that even if he managed to somehow convince the Lyranian side to let him pass, Sector Four will be a different story. By then Victor already knew that he needed to have something to gain Sector Four's interest for him to be granted access. Perhaps the Observer would have information about it but Victor should choose his words carefully.

"I'm a little weary after a long voyage. Where would be the best place to stay for the night?"

The Observer gave Victor directions for different lodgings ranging from their most famous, most expensive, luxurious down to the cheap ones that are scattered all around Fortrium. Victor pulled out his personal cred stick and plugged it into a portable reader to check his financial stability. He turned slightly pale as the figures displayed on the reader's screen, he had barely ten thousand credits left. Victor immediately radioed the Kamikaze and Nadja was the one to pick up.

Good to hear from you Victor. Can I help you with something?

"Nadja, what happened to my money?"

I have used up most of it to give fair compensation to half of the crew who had decided to leave the ship. I thought you were aware of that.

"Yes I am, but I was expecting that you would take that out from the ship's cred stick and besides, how did you manage to access my personal cred stick when I have it all along?"

Victor, the ship's financial status is not doing so well. The lieutenant even had to beg me to save some to pay for the supplies we had ordered from port. The remaining credits this ship has is simply not enough to cover for the amount of expenses we have incurred recently. That is why to keep the process going smoothly for the crew, I opted to link your credit account with the ship's cred stick.

"And you're telling me this now? Now of all times?!" Victor nearly yelled but calmed down into a sigh.

I can detect abnormality in your stress levels Victor. Are you in trouble?

Victor clicked out of the transmission and slid his communicator back into his pocket. "Am I in trouble she asks... Okay then, cheap ones it is. I just hope it's as cheap as it gets..."


__________________________________________________________________________________________

Location: Empire Inner Sanctum, Research and Development HQ


You've been up for a few days straight now... How is the subject doing Dr. Borgan?

The voice echoed inside a brightly lit room that housed sophisticated equipment. Wires and pipes from different computers and machines were scattered all over the floor making it almost impossible to walk around freely without tripping. All of them were interconnected to one large cylindrical tube filled with pale blue liquid. The top of the tube had 'E01' imprinted on it and inside the tube, suspended in the blue liquid was a clone of patient zero.

"Her vitals have stabilized after giving her an insane amount of sedatives that could easily put a Cleaver to sleep." the doctor replied.

The owner of the voice carefully made his way towards where Dr. Borgan fiddled with a console, perusing the data with extreme focus. Dr. Harper peeked at the readings being displayed on the small screen and took note of the graphical representation of the similarity in manna signature between the original and the clone. He smiled as he read further into the data.

"You really are something else when it comes to artificial manna Dr. Borgan. I guess the Emperor was right about having you transferred to my division. How did you manage to create a perfect clone? She's exactly like the original even in manna signature."

Dr. Borgan stopped fiddling with the console and turned her head to look at the subject inside the tube. For a few moments, the doctor watched her suspended state with a blank expression on her face, her eyes showing no sign of any emotion. She then turned around to face Dr. Harper, their lead expert in cloning and head of the Science Division.

"The concept of cloning is copying detail exactly the way it is. While many people think that our specialization greatly differs, I personally think mine is a branch of yours. Dr. Harper, you are a specialist of physical cloning, and I on cloning energy forms..." she trailed off and began weaving through the wires to another console. She booted it up and displayed results on the big monitor just above the tube.

"A mere clone is just a clone. Without the very same components the original has, it can never be a 'copy' of it. The same applies to artificial manna. In order for me to create it, I had to recreate the components that make up the original. What I did to E01 is I gave her exactly everything the original has, even memories down to the tiniest detail. As for her manna structure, it was a little hard to reconstruct due to irregularities in the pattern with the host being a clone but I was able to stabilize it with the use of neuroamplifiers and manna regulator implants."

Dr. Harper listened intently to Dr. Borgan's explanation and watched the girl inside the tube with a pleased expression on his face. "To be able to do all that adjustment in a matter of days, you are truly something Dr. Borgan. With this, we shall be able to attune her with the similar signature from the gate to Nirvana. Hopefully, we will get a favorable reaction. And what of the original? Where is patient zero?"

Dr. Borgan scoffed at the question. She was only allowed to take samples from patient zero before the Trident leader took her under his custody. To make matters worse for Dr. Borgan, as soon as news spread that she has successfully copied patient zero, nobody in the Science Division is allowed to experiment on patient zero anymore as per Trident's request.

"Trident has her. It seems her days as a test subject are over. Whatever Trident is up to, they have the Emperor's approval and there is nothing we could do about it. It is disheartening to know that we lost a valuable subject but I am also pleased to have been able to successfully construct E01."

With a slight look of distaste in his face, Dr. Harper shoved his own thoughts aside and smiled. "You're right, we have no need for patient zero anymore. Whatever Trident wants her for, we could care less now that we have E01. With your help Dr. Borgan, we'll make this clone much better than the original."

"It's a work in progress..." the female doctor trailed off.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Location: Trident HQ


"Is that all you got?" Clyde asked in a mocking tone after brushing off embers from his white cloak.

The emerald haired woman gritted her teeth after seeing Clyde unharmed even though she attacked him with a devastating fire spell. Without second thought, she began to channel manna in her right fist again, this time at a dangerous level. The marking she had on her cheek fiercely glowed as she did so, but Clyde stood his ground. The air around him was turning into a violent wind with the high density of charged manna on Emiri's right fist disorienting the atmosphere. He could hear her voice chanting a spell and soon sparks of electricity began to concentrate on her manna filled fist. Her emerald hair swayed violently as the wind ran through and around it. Clyde could only look at her still with that confident smile.

"That's it... let it all out. Your anger, your pain, your suffering, use them to empower you. Put everything that you hate and everything that you got into that one chance and strike with all you have without mercy. Now then, let me see what you got, come at me!"

Emiri did not need an invitation. She would attack him regardless of the circumstance. Clyde was after all, a man of the Empire. Without a moment's notice, Emiri lunged at Clyde. She pulled back her right fist preparing for a devastating strike as soon as she came to striking range. But Clyde was calm and collected. The smile on his lips were now gone and judging from the amount of manna Emiri channeled, he calculated that it was more than enough to level the entire floor if she struck the ground. In the last few seconds before impact, Clyde simply raised his left hand and opened his palm catching Emiri's fist without much effort. To her surprise, the magic she had channeled just dissipated into an outward burst of air, greatly reducing her attack power to nothing more than a weak punch.

Shock filled her eyes. She had attacked him with everything she had and more but it ultimately ended with her tapping his palm. Fear of the man began to creep up on her like bugs crawling on her skin. With that much manna involved in a spell, even skilled magic users would find it difficult to stop an attack like that but this man... this man was on a whole different level. Emiri pulled back her fist and jumped a good distance back, away from the monster before her. Exhaustion was already evident with her labored breathing and shaky knees. She had been the one always on the attack for several hours now and she attacked him mercilessly every time.

"You look tired Emiri. Will you stop now?" Clyde nonchalantly asked.

"Shut up! I did not want to be brought back here! I wanted to get out! I was already out! But you just had to come and bring me back! Why!?"

"And where would you have gone? Out there, somebody like you is bound to be used, as a weapon, as a bargaining chip-- you'd be surprised at the amount of uses the outside world has in store for you if they find out what you can do."

"And why do you care!? What makes you different from the ones you speak of out there?!"

Clyde paused for a moment after hearing Emiri's hiss of anger. She was right, why would he care? Why did he even bother requesting custody over this woman? He even went great lengths to have her instated as a Trident member, but why? Yes, the answer is simple. Because she will be of use to him. In the end, he was no different from the ones he spoke ill of... that is if he would admit it.

"Because you belong here Emiri... here with everyone else on my group. If you haven't noticed it yet, everyone here including me is the same as you. At some point in our lives, we have been used and abused, mistreated and deprived of the joys in life... all because we are special."

Emiri's eyes widened a little after hearing Clyde. His words rang true for her, ever since the Empire found her, she was nothing more than an object of interest. She was the reason the Empire have advanced this far, yet she was treated like nothing. Emiri could feel her anger boiling again but she couldn't let him sweet talk her.

"W-why should I believe you?! You say you're the same as me and yet here you are, well respected and living luxuriously while I spent most of my life inside tubes, being experimented on with nothing but pain to accompany me! How can we be the same?!"

"Oh but we are the same. What I have now did not come without great hardship..." Clyde trailed off and walked slowly towards Emiri. "If you don't believe me, I will show you what I have been through."

"No! Stay back! Don't come any closer!"

"Calm down Emiri... I will not hurt you. If you would let me, I will share with you my memories if that is what's needed to convince you that I only want nothing but to see you happy."

It was working. Clyde's words are slowly reaching Emiri. He could see her arms slowly falling to her sides. Clyde did not waste any time. He removed his right glove and began to chant a spell. As soon as his body was pressing against Emiri's, Clyde slowly reached out for Emiri's left hand and held it as gently as he could. She was looking away from him with her eyes closed, as if waiting for him to hurt her, anticipating the pain that will never come.

"Ease your mind Emiri. I'll say it again, I will not hurt you. Here..." Clyde said and raised Emiri's left hand and pressed her palm against his chest. Soon after, Clyde spoke the final chant and his hand that held Emiri's was engulfed in an orange light. "Open your eyes and look into mine Emiri, then you will see..."

Moments later, tears trickled down from Emiri's eyes. The orange light from their hands disappeared and Clyde replied to the tears with a gentle smile. He used his free hand to wipe away the tears from Emiri and turned around.

"Now do you understand?" he asked.

"Yes... yes I do..." Emiri replied with soft sobs still escaping in between her words.

"Good. From now on, you will be living with me. I will teach you everything that I know about Magic and you shall never be used again by anyone... ever. So stay with me Emiri."

"O-Okay..."

"Good girl. Now eat and get some rest. You have used up a lot of manna and I'm sure you're really tired. Feel free to use any room you like."

"I will... thank you Clyde..."

"Then I'll take my leave. As soon as you are fully able, we shall begin your training. I will not say it would be easy but someone with your capability would be alright, I'm sure of it. I'll see you tomorrow." Clyde said and stepped out of the sparring room, leaving Emiri alone to her own thoughts.

When the electronic doors closed behind him, Clyde was met by Scarlet and a few others who were mostly curious about Clyde's action of taking in Emiri.

"Master Clyde, how did it go? She's a handful isn't she?" asked one of his subordinates.

Clyde simply smiled. "There is nothing to worry about. From now on, she will be cooperating with us so I expect you all to treat her well."

Raven who had his back rested on the wall smirked. "You sure have an amazing way with the ladies Clyde. Did you use that to get her on board? What did you show her?"

Clyde chuckled and looked at Raven. "Glad to see you're up on your feet. I showed her exactly what she needed to see."

Clyde then continued to walk down the hallways of their headquarters making his way back to the command room, leaving some of his subordinates with a puzzled look. One of them was Scarlet. As soon as Clyde disappeared from sight, she immediately turned to Raven with an interested look.

"So Master Raven, what did you mean when you asked if Master Clyde used that?"

Raven turned his back on Scarlet and laughed as he walked away from the group.

"Master Raven!" Scarlet called out, almost yelling.

Raven stopped before turning in the hallway and looked at Scarlet, "You seriously don't know? Didn't you fell for it too?" he asked but did not wait for an answer and completely disappeared from Scarlet's sights, his laughter echoing to a fade in the hallways.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:46 am

The visions inundated Christian's senses as he sank to his knees. Once again the world of water and the fiery planet appeared in his mind's eye. Images burned into his retinas, making a lasting impression. The visions didn't stop there. He saw things from long ago, a woman shining with the power of pure manna; a pristine and beautiful world without any sorrow or suffering, the Land of Promise; a dark shadow threatening to consume all and then; an empty void to show the expansion of time without the light of Manna; a silhouette of a threatening figure, beckoning to him and trying to tempt him with promises of power, promises of a life no longer lived on the run; a sealed door, one chained link broken, the others beginning to crumble; and above all, a vision of himself, radiating a strange power, a power that would cause good or evil, he did not know...

When at last the visions faded, Christian found Sigarda hovering over him anxiously. His eyesight returned then, but there was a look in his eyes, the look of one who had been marked with a great trauma. The hooded Oracle was still standing before him, and for a moment all was silent. At last the Oracle raised its hands to the heavens.

"Rejoice, for this is the one long foretold, clear as the bell that once sounded from Sanctum of the Land of Promise!" the Oracle called out.

The other members of the High Council visibly relaxed, as if they had been expecting other, more dire news. Grandmaster Kordjan stepped forward and knelt beside Christian, whispering in his ear.

"Welcome to our Homeworld, modeled after the fabled Promised Land. This is Adalaisa. Remember the name well, for when you are in trouble, you may invoke Adalaisa, and the plane itself will rise to protect you. But take care not to allow the name to fall into the wrong hands, for if the Empire were to learn it, they would begin to unlock the secret of Adalaisa itself."

Kordjan than drew back and smiled at Christian as Sigarda helped him to his feet.

"I...don't understand..." stammered Christian, "I'm still...so confused."

"As to be expected. You've been through much in the past few days," Limstella said in a soothing voice, "Perhaps it would be best for us to allow the boy to rest and take his time enjoying the sights of the Homeworld before any training begins."

"Nonsense," snorted Krayden, "If this boy truly is the Chosen One, then we must begin his training in all haste. The Empire will not wait for foolish sight seeing and coddling."

Limstella glared at Krayden, for once just a hit of anger in her starry eyes, "You would do well to remember that patience is a virtue."

Krayden looked ready to reply with an angry retort when Kordjan cut in, "Both of you are correct. The boy does need his rest, but the time is short. Limstella, will you and Sigarda take the time to show him around our fair homeworld and then give him some time for rest. I am sure his journey has been long and arduous. After that his training shall begin."

Limstella nodded and bowed her head, "I will do as you ask."

Krayden was still glaring at her as she and Sigarda ushered Christian into the city....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"This world is modeled after the wonder and beauty of the Promised Land. Nature has been preserved and untouched. Natural growth is everywhere, and it is fostered by all the Manna users here. We preserve it, and yet it is slowly dying as manna is being taken from the universe and tainted..." murmured Limstella.

"It's...beautiful," whispered Christian as he looked around with wonder in his eyes, "I've never seen such...beauty before."

Flowers sprung from the earth, and strangely, they seemed to brighten and perk up with Christian's every step. Sometimes, a flower would actually burst and blossom forth from the Earth. The buildings were created from plants, splashed with gold and blue colors.

"Christian...you truly are the Chosen One..." whispered Sigarda, "It was said that flowers sprung wherever she stepped as well."

Christian looked down, only just noticing the accumulation of plant life beginning to blossom under his feet. Limstella smiled gently.

"Yes, this Homeworld is reacting to your presence, Christian. In the old days, the Promised Land had a life and a soul of its own. The Manna Goddess was born of the that soul, and her power began to extend beyond the original Promised Land. Manna became present in everyday life, but there were those who sought to use Manna for their dark purposes. When they sought to destroy the Goddess, she sealed the Promised Land and cut off her power from most of the universe. Some individuals were still born with the spark, but they were few and far between. Many of those born with the spark were eventually culled by the Empire, while those of us who remained stayed here, the closest location to the original Promised Land. We could never hope to restore the Promised Land, at least not until you appeared, but we sought to create a Land as close to it as possible. While the Promised Land holds infinite power, wisdom, and knowledge and is a place of eternal beauty and hope, this place is slowly fading. It has been for years, and even with your presence, it will continue to do so unless the gates of Manna are unlocked and the Manna Goddess freed."

"And...that is my mission? To free the Manna Goddess?" asked Christian softly.

"Well...partly," Sigarda answered, "Legend states that the Manna Goddess herself is fading slowly, dying a slow death due to the curse inflicted upon her in the battle long ago. But she will certainly transfer her remaining power to you, and through you, the universe can be healed."

Christian's face paled as he realized what she was saying, "I...But...so much power...given to one person...What would happen to me? Wouldn't I change...completely?"

"That may happen," Limstella said gravely, "And we would never force you to do something you didn't want to do. But the change will be for the better, and you will have the power to stop an Empire that has for too long exerted its influence over the people. And there are other, darker forces at work within the Empire."

She hesitated for a moment before waving her hand in the air, a shimmering, glassy light appearing briefly around the three before disappearing.

"I am shielding our words, for what I am about say can be heard by few ears. You know of Trident, correct? Reports detail that you faced not only members of Trident, but their very leader," said Limstella.

Christian nodded, trying to block out the painful memories.

"Trident is but a cover for something more sinister within in the Empire. The Oracle and myself suspect their is something deeper within Trident than just their manna users, though the other members of the Counsel disagree. I will tell you to be wary of Trident more than any other force of the Empire, for I believe something more sinister and dark lies behind them," Limstella spoke.

Christian nodded as the barrier around them faded. They finished the tour of the Homeworld without much incident, and Limstella and Sigarda took him to this quarters. As he lay in bed, however, sleep continued to elude his troubled thoughts...
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:05 am

Location: Trident HQ, Magus Chamber


Clyde sat at the lone throne in the middle of the chamber, a dim light shining down on him as he waited for the key members of Trident to arrive. This chamber was constructed in secret, no technology exists inside it, only powerful magic that permeates the air. The chamber's purpose was to hold important discussions between Clyde and his trusted subordinates, away from the ears of the Empire. Clyde looked around him at the eight floating pedestals that surrounded his throne. Currently, the pedestals were empty.

Each pedestal had a symbol, six of them embodied the elements: earth, fire, wind, water, dark and light, while the other two had the symbols of time and swords. The throne itself had the symbol of wings and a crown. Clyde drummed his fingers while waiting, his eyes staring at nothing, appearing to be lost in thought. It was in mere moments when a dim light began to shine over one of the pedestals that had the symbol of fire. On the pedestal now stood a figure of a woman, clad in a hooded crimson robe that covered her entirety. The only visible part of her body was her chin and supple lips.

"I am glad you are able to join me... Rosaria. It has been a while." Clyde spoke as he turned his head to gaze at the woman.

A fiery blaze suddenly engulfed the woman but the flames died out in an instant. The figure spoke, voice as chilly as ice, contradictory to her power. "How many times must I remind you Clyde, I no longer go by that name."

Clyde chuckled, "Ahh my apologies Serafine, but that is your real name is it not?"

Just as the woman called Serafine motioned to cast her magic at Clyde, another pedestal came to light. Grumbling at the disturbance, Serafine quieted down in distaste. "Tch..."

The symbol of Wind now housed another figure of a woman. Contrary to Serafine, this woman donned a battle suit of emerald green hue. Her long, wavy blonde hair falls carelessly down to her waist. A smile played on her lips as soon as she laid eyes on Clyde who sat on his throne. "It is good to see you again Master Clyde, but it looks like I'm not the first one here..." she trailed off and turned her gaze over to Serafine's pedestal. "Master Serafine." she casually greeted with a nod. Serafine nodded back at her and replied with a cold tone, "Master Aira."

"Come now you two, no need to be so formal. I'm glad you could make it Aira, now we just need to wait for the others before we start." Clyde responded.

Soon, two more pedestals lit up, Earth and Water. On the Earth pedestal stood a man who wore an armored battle suit. His most noticeable features were his brown spiky hair and his large muscular build. He had a scar across his left eye and he always carried a grim look on his face. Another woman yet again stood on the Water pedestal. She wore an elegant deep blue dress sparkling occasionally due to her magic, it covered her own battle suit underneath. Her gentle facial features reflected a surreal kind beauty and her short white hair, carefully arranged and held in place with a butterfly clip, almost shimmered despite the lack of light in the chamber. The two greeted Clyde in unison and earned a nod of respect from the man in the throne.

"Gaeus, Muriel, glad you could make it."

Soon the Light and Dark pedestals also lit up. This time, two male figures stood on each pedestal. The dark one housed a masked individual with only his glowing white eyes seen underneath the mask. He wore a black battle suit that had multiple weapon attachments and two slender long blades crossed at the back. The Light pedestal housed the polar opposite of the one in the Dark pedestal. This man wore a white battle suit with the same weapon attachments and two long blades at the back, only his eyes are glowing black. Both of them silently nodded at Clyde.

Clyde looked at the one standing at the dark pedestal, "Claec," then gazed at the one in the light pedestal, "Roshaun. I'm glad to see you twins doing well."

Soon, the Time pedestal lit up with Scarlet in it and the Sword pedestal with Raven. The two individuals nodded at Clyde and to the others already within the chamber. With this, his inner circle have already gathered and are waiting for him to speak. Clyde slowly rose from his throne and walked partly away from it, stopping just a few steps before his throne.

"I thank you all for taking the time to come and see me. I know that all of you are being worked tirelessly by the Empire with mundane matters here and there. But I beg you to endure it just a little longer. While it is I who instructed you all to do as they say without complaint, know that I did so because it is all for the future - our future. I gathered all of you here with such short notice because I have something important to tell all of you. My comrades, I am thrilled to tell you that the promised time draws near. The Gates of Nirvana shall soon open and the time to seize our future that we have been deprived for so long is at hand!"

Different reactions filled the chamber from the ones on the pedestals as soon as they heard what Clyde spoke of. But the man in the middle rose his right hand motioning them to quiet down. "As you all know, the Empire after a long and arduous search, has finally found the bearer of The Key to The Gates of Nirvana - and I have met him in person. But when we met, he was completely useless to us for he does not know of anything. But worry not my friends, fate has already been foretold. He will be taught and trained by them and soon he will be able to open the Gate. When he is able to, we will make sure he opens it for us."

There was silence in the chamber, each individual dwelling on their own thoughts. It was Muriel who broke the silence first. "Master Clyde," she softly spoke, "What of the consequence? Surely you already know that if the bearer of the key is to be trained by them, his magic will surely be formidable."

Gaeus seconded the thought. "If only Master Raven succeeded in bringing the boy to us back at Ethelas, they never would have gotten their hands on him and we would not have this problem." he commented. Raven's eyes squinted at Gaeus. He crossed his arms before his chest and smirked smugly. "Easy for you to say it is my fault when you haven't fought his brother Master Gaeus. Can you say the same thing to Master Clyde hmm?" Raven retorted. "Don't get smart with me Master Raven, Victor Wolfe is not someone like us. You would have easily dealt with him had you been more serious about your assignment!" Gaeus came back roaring.

"ENOUGH!" Clyde roared, his golden eyes gleaming at the sudden rise of his temper. "Now is not the time to put blame on others. Victor Wolfe had something in him - something from the ancient times, I sensed it when we met at Ucrade. Raven is not to blame for his loss on Ethelas because at that time, we did not have any information that Victor got his hands on an artefact. And as for my own blunder, I could not bring the bearer here myself because they came to interfere, for that you all have my sincerest apologies. But worry not, we now possess someone of similar value."

"But--" Gaeus tried to cut in but was stopped when Clyde looked at him fiercely.

"Gaeus, while it is true that the boy's magic power and proficiency will significantly increase if they trained him, fighting him head on is not the only way. It is not as if we do not possess the ancient magics. It will be difficult to fight him yes, but I could say the same for them if they fought us. We who have found a way to retain the strength of manna even though it is on the verge of death are strong! I want each and every one of you to keep that in mind."

Aira fiddled with her fingers while voicing out her own thoughts. "Alright Master Clyde, now that we know the direction the boy is headed, how do you suppose we deal with him? Kidnapping him is surely out of the question knowing how strong he will become after his uhh... training right?"

Scarlet scoffed at Aira. "Hmph! If only your brain is as strong as your magic. If you were paying any attention at all, Master Clyde already told us how to deal with the boy when the time comes. But if you're too dense, I'll tell you. It's Victor Wolfe."

"Master Scarlet, quick on the uptake as always." Claec murmured with Roshaun nodding in agreement.

"See Master Aira? It looks like you are the only one here who doesn't have a clue. Unbelievable..." Scarlet trailed off while shaking her head sideways.

"I'm not that stupid Master Scarlet! You better watch your tongue!" Aira threatened and turned her gaze over at Serafine who looked like she was giggling a bit. "Master Clyde, I don't suppose you plan on sending an 'old flame' to deal with that Victor are you?"

Just as soon as Aira finished her words, a ball of fire from Serafine sped its way to her catching the other woman off guard. Clyde immediately stepped between Aira and the ball of fire to neutralize the magic with just a finger. "Tch! Tch! Your temper is as fiery as always Serafine. I did not say anything about sending you now did I?"

Serafine brandished her robe to conceal her right arm again and looked away from Clyde. "I do not want anything to do with that man." she sternly said and fell silent.

"Do not worry Serafine. I already have someone in mind. She just needs a little more time to be prepared for it. For now, we will continue to use the Empire until it is time to make our move. All of you shall continue to do your duties well for the Empire until I call for you again. Is that understood?"

Everyone else answered in unison and one by one left the chamber by means of teleportation until Clyde, Scarlet and Raven are the only ones left. Raven cracked his neck a few times and looked at Clyde. "You know Clyde, we shouldn't do this often, these meetings wear me out fast. Those people can sometimes be tough to keep in line."

"I'm sorry Raven, but those people are absolutely necessary for our goal. I'm sure you understand."

Raven nodded and teleported out of the chamber. Clyde then looked over to Scarlet who seemed like she wanted to say something. "Scarlet?" he asked. The woman hesitantly spoke her mind. "Am I the one you plan on sending after Victor Wolfe? I could do it you know."

Clyde smiled softly, appreciating the loyalty of his subordinate. "Thank you Scarlet, but no. I am sending Emiri after Victor when the time comes." Scarlet's eyes slightly widened in confusion. "Emiri? That woman? But she's a greenhorn! How can we hope to get results from her? Master Clyde, I beg you to reconsider! With my magic, getting to Victor Wolfe is an easy task!"

"Scarlet, I need you here to keep things between Trident and the Empire flowing smoothly. I gave you this task because it is very important and I do not want to entrust it to anyone else but you. That is why I expect you to flawlessly carry it out." Clyde softly reaffirmed. "But Master Clyde! I want to be of more use to you. I just don't feel like I'm much help being confined here in our headquarters..."

"Scarlet, do not be jealous of Emiri. Just because I am personally training her to send her out on the field does not mean I trust her more than I trust you. Now go, you cannot be away from your post too long, the Empire might get suspicious." Clyde said and patted Scarlet in the head. The woman giddily smiled and teleported out of the chamber leaving Clyde to his own devices.

"It is only a matter of time before the curtain falls and the play comes to an end..." he mumbled to himself and left the chamber soon after.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Location: Lyrania, Fortrium City


The cheapest lodging Victor could afford was one from the seemingly crumbling structure that had surely been a witness to Fortrium's history. For the price of eight hundred credits a night, Victor helped himself to his room with a broken electronic lock, dusty furniture, the good old hard bed and out of order facilities. The only redeeming quality the room had was the dim lights and overlooking view down the street which from there, allowed one to see all possible routes that led to several key locations he noted from the Observer's information.

Upon resting himself on the hard bed, Victor began to think about his own cabin in the Kamikaze. He began to wonder why he had to subject himself to such a pitiful excuse for a room but soon brushed away the thoughts when he remembered the reason, it was all for Chris. Realizing that he had not eaten anything since the day started, Victor reached out for the menu pad and browsed the food selection only to stop as soon as he saw the first item on the list.

"Sludge box? Who the hell would want to eat that?" he commented and tossed the pad back to where he took it. "I'd take Dr. Mizaki's nutrient pack any day over this that's for sure."

Having said that, Victor pushed himself up and took out a small canister from his pack that stored a yellowish liquid. He popped it open and downed the contents in one go shivering lightly after - an effect of the taste he could never get over with. "Whew! Still as bad as ever but oh well, gets the job done so I guess it's okay." Slumping back to bed with a thud, Victor closed his eyes for a few seconds but was claimed by sleep the moment he relaxed his body.

..
....
.....
......

Is he the one?

He should be. He matches the description.

But the database says his name is Rydel Griffin. He could be the wrong guy for all we know!

Who cares? If he's the wrong guy, the boss would know. We just need to keep an eye on him until the boss gets here.

Disturbed by the constant chatter inside his room, Victor slowly opened his eyes only to find that three men whose identity were concealed by their full battle suits were in the room with him. The only thing they had in common were the green round lights on the eye part of their helmets and the pattern on their battle suits, grunts if he was not mistaken. Victor carefully moved to grab his pulse pistol but one of the men noticed him.

Don't even think about it!

Just as the man said that, Victor's chest was immediately dancing with three beads from their impulse rifles, their trigger fingers itching to open fire.

"Okay, you got me. But you know guys, I am not a rich merchant so let me tell you now, you're wasting time." Victor said in a calm tone.

Shut up! We know who you are. All you need to do is be quiet and wait for our boss.

Victor's eyes sharpened but decided not to give himself away. "That's right, Rydel Griffin, the merchant who deals with unusual merchandise, though I never thought my reputation would precede me this far... I'm surprised."

Drop the act Victor Wolfe! If you think you can fool us, then you're in for a surprise! You'll find that it is not so easy to take our boss's head!

"Woah now fellas, who said anything about taking heads? And besides, I really think you've mistaken me for someone else... and aren't you forgetting something? I have an Observer floating above my head you know?"

Hah! Observers are useless against us. If you must know, we hacked the Observer program to be our eyes too! So stop trying to deceive us and sit still! Our boss should be here shortly.

Keeping himself calm would probably be the best option for Victor right now, unless he wanted his chest to become full of holes. He would have acted if he knew the extent of how the ancient nanomachines he had works but the risk of getting into a fight was just too great for him to take. Victor allowed one of the men to disarm him and simply sighed in relief when they failed to take his communicator from his pocket.

Victor breathed in deep and calmly struck a conversation with the men. "So, this boss you speak of, from the looks of it, your boss seem to have a lot of people after his head. If so, he must have done a lot of bad things in the past." One of the men reacted by aiming his gun at Victor's head.

Shut up! You have no right to speak about her that way! You don't know her!

Victor's eyes slightly widened. Her? Victor's hopes started to rise. Somewhere in his heart he was hoping that his luck would play out in his favor and that the boss of these men was actually the person he was looking for. He wished he could say he was excited to meet their boss but seeing how jumpy the men are, they might take it the wrong way and start filling him with holes. If their boss was actually Hyacinth the one-eyed impaler, he would hate to get on her bad side by killing the three holding him hostage. For now he would wait patiently...

As the minutes ticked into hours, the men found themselves trying to ease the boredom by walking around the room. One of them occasionally peeking out the window to survey the area. Victor silently kept still on the bed, his dead legs mostly giving him trouble. Just as he tried to stretch out a little, the dim lights in the room went out. Victor kept his cool and kept a close eye on the men with him. Realizing they were not troubled, Victor had a good guess as to what is coming next.

Rydel Griffin...

A female voice alluringly called out his alias amidst the darkness. Victor waited for his eyes to adjust and it did not take long for him to notice the fourth person making their way into the room. The figure sat directly across him and did not say another word, as if waiting for him to say something. Just as Victor breathed in to talk, the woman spoke.

Using a pseudo identity is smart for a man with a reputation such as yours Victor. While you may have fooled many, certain people such as myself always like to keep tabs on people who are potential threats. So tell me, dog of the Empire, to what do I owe the pleasure?

Victor lightly chuckled. Playing word games is really not his forte so he decided to get straight to the point. "For someone who likes to keep tabs, your information on me is outdated. I no longer serve the Empire, it has been this way for years now. I came here of my own accord, nobody sent me."

Nonsense! Do you take me for a fool?! You are still on the ESF active roster! Lie to me again and I will see to it that your head finds itself on a pike! Now then, let's try this again... why are you here Victor?

Victor could not believe what he just heard. The Empire made it appear like he was still working for them. Cursing to himself, Victor had to admit that he did not expect an underhanded tactic like this from the Empire. He could only think of one person who could make it happen, Priscilla from the Empire's Intelligence Division. If they had to resort to tactics such as this, surely the Empire is desperate to keep Victor from finding allies. While it hurts his pride to admit it, declaring that he was still with the Empire will definitely serve to hinder his actions much greater than they thought it would. Now his chances of convincing Hyacinth turned from slim to almost non-existent.

"Hyacinth, I am telling you I do not work for the Empire anymore. My name showing up on the ESF active roster is a propaganda to hinder my movement - to stop me from gaining allies!"

Ohh? Interesting. Allies you say? How low can you get? Trying to convince me that you're on my side only to stab me in the back? That's one of the oldest tricks in the book Victor - I had such high hopes for you. I never thought you were the kind of man to stoop so low. The head of Hyacinth the one-eyed impaler is not so cheap you can get it with petty tricks. Last chance Victor, or you lose your head.

Time is running out. Victor needed to find something that would convince this pirate that he came bearing no ill will towards her. But how? Victor took what little time he had left to think of something that could prove his claim. Anything he would say to Hyacinth would be meaningless since the Empire undoubtedly fabricated information about him on the ESF Database. Recent missions and even fake articles. Priscilla is one thorough person, just a little short on being a perfectionist to overlook minor details he could exploit. Just as all seem to have been lost, Victor thought of something... but Hyacinth's patience ran out.

I grow tired of waiting. Cut off his head.

"Wait! Listen to me! I can prove my claim! The Empire have surely fabricated everything about me that you can find on their database! But they cannot fabricate something they cannot get their hands on! Hyacinth, my ship's battle logs will not lie."

Hyacinth remained silent. Victor lost all hope and was just about ready to duke it out in the dark against the pirates when she spoke again, her tone softening to indicate she is open to reason.

Very well Victor. I will see the truth with my own eyes. If you're lying to me, your head is mine.

"I wouldn't have it any other way." Victor sighed in relief.

Hmph! Cuff and blindfold him, and take him to my ship.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:59 pm

"Excellent...You are making amazing progress, Christian. It is no surprise you are already a Master of Healing," smiled Limstella as she watched Christian as he stood beside the bedside of an ill elderly man.

A faint light surrounded the old man, streaming from Christian's body. A few moments more and the pale sheen of sickness disappeared from the man's body while he drifted into a natural slumber rather than a sleep induced by drugs. Christian hesitated a few moments before stepping away, the light fading from around him.

"I'm glad I could help them," smiled Christian, "I don't...like seeing people hurt."

"Neither do I," sighed Limstella, "It has taken nearly all of my energy to heal those harmed in the war. And with this sickness...it's been nearly impossible. Yet you've somehow been able to eradicate this sickness and all traces of it. It's nothing short of miraculous."

"A miracle it may be, Limstella, but healing alone will not win a war," said a scornful voice.

Limstella's eyes flashed with anger as Krayden stepped into the room, still clothed in his flaming red robes. His eyes scanned the boy before turning to Limstella.

"It is my turn to test the youth," Krayden said, "You have had more than enough time with him."

"But the sickness...the poor people...He can help so much," cried Limstella.

"There is no time!" Krayden retorted, "If the Empire wipes us out, then sickness won't matter because we will all be dead!"

Christian looked ready to something, when Krayden turned his burning eyes on the boy. Without warning, a fireball erupted from his fingertips to strike Christian full in the chest. Limstella cried out and ran to his side. Before she could do anything, he stood up shakily, though apparently unharmed. Krayden's lips formed into a thin smile.

"So...the power does reside in you," Krayden sneered, "Come, let us test your full potential."

"Not here! Not in my infirmary! If you must test the boy, do so somewhere else," cried Limstella, "And at least allow me to come with you should things go badly..."

Christian's face paled. He didn't like the sound of Limstella's words, and he certainly didn't want to be alone with the violent old man.

"You coddle him too much, Limstella. As a fellow member of the Council, I have the right to test him. Alone. Boy, follow me to the Arena of Ancients. There we will see your control over the elements. We shall see if you truly have the strength to face the Empire," Krayden said.

"Krayden, you cannot..." began Limstella.

"Enough! You speak out of place. You have been given your chance. To hinder me would be to tear apart the fabric of our Council. Do you wish such a thing?" cried Krayden, interrupting her.

Limstella hesitated before shaking her head and putting a hand on Christian's shoulder, "I am sorry, Christian...I must ask you to go with him alone...But...I do know, whatever he throws your way, you will be able to handle. You are stronger than you realize."

Christian hesitated a moment before nodding slowly, "Alright...I'll go...thank you for everything Limstella..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Moments later, Christian found himself inside the stadium of the ancients. It was a large, rounded building inscribed with ancient runes and texts. Inside was a large, open area with little in the way of decorations save for a large, stone tablet raised on a pedestal in the center of the open expanse. Krayden walked over to the pedestal and turned to Christian with a serious expression in his eyes.

"This is the spellbook of the Ancients, those who came before us, during the time of the Manna Goddess. Within the pages of this spellbooks are among the most powerful spells in existence, and yet some are still sealed, even for someone with power such as mine. Only the Chosen One is said to have the power to release them. But first, you must overcome my test. Defend yourself!"

Without warning, the old master sent a burst of wind at the boy. Without thinking, Christian raised his hands, and a wall of stone appeared to stop the onslaught.

"Satisfactory. But a chink in your armor will cause you to succumb to just a small trickle of water," Krayden spoke.

A crack appeared in the rock wall, and suddenly it shattered as a stream of water headed straight for Christian. Christian closed his eyes, and white hot flames appeared around him, causing the water to evaporate as soon as it touched the fire.

"Even fire cannot stand the cold chill of winter."

Without warning, a burst of frigid wind suddenly struck Christian full in the chest. He struggled forward, but the wind continued to buffet him. Christian gasped as the fire disappeared and ice began to form around his limbs, restricting his movement.

"Fire alone will not save you, boy. Empathy...emotion...they will go so far, but you need an icy calm resolve in order to survive the darkness...Without it, the darkness will swallow you," cried Krayden, holding out his arms as the wind continued to buffet Christian full force.

Christian fell to his knees, breathing heavily, even as the ice continued to form around his body. Fear fluttered in his heart as he realized soon he would no longer be able to move. Would Krayden freeze him and leave him here forever, a living statue? But...it couldn't end like this. Not after all he had been through. Images flashed through his mind, of the new friends he met...Sigarda...Limstella...the old friends, the Doctor, the others in the crew of his brother's ship...And of course, Victor himself...Victor would tell him that this was his chance to grow, his chance to prove himself. He wouldn't lose here...not now, and not ever! He would find a way to bring light to those in the darkest places, and find a way to banish the evil...forever...

Christian suddenly felt warm, and the ice suddenly began to crack and break. Krayden looked at the boy with an incredulous expression as light exploded from the boy's body to dispel the wind and to knock the old man backwards. Christian was now floating in the air, light continuing to pour from his body.

"You're wrong, Krayden," he spoke, though his voice was not his own, "Those we hold dear, their light and their memory empower us. Strength is but a part of manna, and though you are powerful, you have lost sight of that."

The light at last faded, and Christian found himself on the ground again, Krayden still continuing to stare at him in awe.

"I...didn't realize...I don't know if I ever truly believed in...a Chosen One," whispered Krayden, "But...I know now, that you do have the power...you have the presence of her inside of you....You alone can unlock the spells contained in this book. For so long I thought I had to do this alone..."

"You're not alone, Krayden," whispered Christian, "You have all of us...together...together we can hope to stand against the Empire and the darkness they bring...But only by working together..."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:54 pm

Location: Unknown


Victor found himself pushed, tossed, and locked up in the back of some kind of transport. His captors knew little in the way of treating a prisoner but it cannot be helped. These types of people have lived in the shadows, risking life and death against a foe incomprehensibly powerful for them just to scrape by and continue living. Somehow, he could not blame them for their treatment of some former dog of the Empire. As the transport began to move, Victor sighed and tried a futile attempt to free at least his hands. The darkness from being blindfolded clearly not helping him, Victor gave up on the idea of getting his hands loose and just tried to place himself comfortably in the cramped space he was tossed in.

It took several hours of travel before Victor felt the transport stop and start to descend. Anxious to get out of his cramped prison, Victor tried to free himself once more but stopped the same time the transport's descent halted. Soon, several arms grabbed him and directed him to continue walking with a strong push. Victor tried to remember the trail they took but there was just too many turns and there was hardly any change in the ground he was walking on. Minutes ticked by until he was stopped by one of his captors. His blindfold was roughly removed but his cuffs remained. To his surprise, Victor found himself inside what looked like a ship's war room.

Welcome to my ship, the Longinus.

Slowly turning his head to where the voice came from, Victor saw for the first time the pirate named as the one-eyed impaler, Hyacinth sitting on what seemed to be the commander's chair. For a pirate, words to describe her were easily rounded down to one... beautiful. Such a shame that her beauty was scarred by an eye-patch she wore to cover her right eye.

"I don't like repeating myself Victor. I will ask you for the last time, what brings you to this planet?" she spoke sternly, her tone cold and calculating.

Victor took a good look around him and saw some of what he guessed were the crew of the ship huddled in one spot, all of them looking at him with piercing glares. Victor breathed in deep and turned to face Hyacinth. "I seek an alliance with you to fight the Empire."

There was silence inside the war room. Victor used the time to think of a few things while waiting for the leader's reply. For a ship to have a war room, this Longinus could easily fall into the battle cruiser class and for all he knows, the moment their transport stopped might be the time they entered the ship. His thoughts then suddenly drifted to his brother. Victor wondered if Chris was being treated well by those people he entrusted him with. Him on the other hand was at the mercy of one of space's most notorious pirate. Knowing that he was doing this for the greater good, Victor chuckled to himself and steeled his resolve. He could hear the crew's murmurs in the corner while he patiently waited for Hyacinth to speak.

"And to what reason should I lend you my power to fight the Empire? For all I know, this could be a ploy to lure me out and take me down. Remember Victor, you still haven't proved to me that you no longer work for the Empire."

Victor's eyes sharpened. Hyacinth was no fool and she has every right to be cautious, but why was she even entertaining him to this extent? If only Victor could find out the reason, he just might be able to enlist the help of this pirate.

"If you would allow me to contact my ship, I will have our battle logs sent to you, then you will have your proof."

"Hah! Why would I allow you to do that? If I let you make a transmission to your ship, our coordinates will be known and for all I know, you might have an armada waiting on that transmission."

"I don't. Like I said, if you want proof, you can have it. But there's no other way we can get that battle log without alerting the Lyranian military of your presence here. Just so you know, my ship isn't made by the Empire. It uses a high encryption transmission protocol, that's not easily traced even with quantum technology. Aside from pretending to be a merchant, that is how I have survived this long away from the Empire. I guarantee that nobody will be listening in on that transmission. You can trust me Hyacinth, you have my word."

Hyacinth's eyes looked at him from head to toe. Whatever it is that her eyes were portraying, Victor could hardly tell.

"Your word against the lives of me and my crew, do you think your word has that much value? You dare insult me?!"

"Look, we both have a common enemy. If nobody acts against them, they will forever be the rulers of this space and nobody can ever be truly free! You might think that piracy is one way of getting freedom from the Empire but you're wrong! You risk your lives everyday just so you can continue living, I respect that but I am telling you there is another way, stand and fight, earn true freedom! Risk your lives for a cause for if we win, the rewards are worth it."

Silence again enveloped the war room as Victor's words echoed inside. This time, there were no murmurs from the crew and Hyacinth's eyes somewhat appeared to be softer.

"Victor, I will ask you one thing, what is driving a man such as you to take action?"

"My brother," he quickly replied. "the Empire already took a lot away from me but they still tried to take my brother. As if the lives of my parents weren't enough..." he trailed off, not wanting to recall that horrible day any further.

"I see. Victor Wolfe, my trust is not something easily gained but you can have your transmission. I want to see with my own eyes, your side of the story."

After hearing their leader's words, the crew began to protest.

"Enough! You have all survived this long because of me! Do you not trust your leader?" she questioned her crew that fell silent with her anger. "Take off his cuffs and let him make the transmission."

Victor was led to a console where he could make a transmission to the Kamikaze. With the help of Hyacinth's operator, Victor gave the secure line codes of his ship and in a matter of seconds was patched through to Nadja.

Victor? I thought you were in Fortrium. Is everything alright?

"Yes Nadja do not worry, I am fine. I just need something from you."

What is it Victor?

"Link an encrypted data channel and send over only our battle logs against the Empire to this frequency. I need it asap."

Done. Anything else Victor? When will you return?

"That's all Nadja. I will be back soon. Take care of the ship okay? Victor out."

With the battle logs received, Hyacinth's operator immediately processed the data and displayed it on the center screen. Soon, everybody inside the room could see the Kamikaze's battles against the Empire forces. From their fight against Admiral Jainus's gate keeper armada, to Ethelas against Trident's lone fighter and even that incident in Ucrade. As the logs played on, Victor noticed a change in Hyacinth's facial expression when they were watching the logs from Ethelas. After the videos have stopped playing, Hyacinth with a discerning look to her operator asked for something. Getting a nod of approval from his operator, she then turned to face Victor.

"My operator says that your data is genuine and has not been tampered with in any way. It would seem you have proven your claim."

"Then, will you help me against the Empire?"

"My trust and my help are two different things Victor. What guarantee do you have that you can win with my help?"

"With your help alone, none. But I am not going to stop here. I will look for other allies and build a force the Empire would never expect."

"Hmm. What do I get if I decide to help you?"

"If we win, you get your freedom for starters. But if there's anything else you need, I will do my best to get it for you."

"Be careful with your words Victor. My needs are not for one man to handle alone." she said in a somewhat sorrowful tone.

Victor was momentarily silenced by Hyacinth's words. He had been so eager to enlist her help that his mouth just kept running on their own. But Victor had already gone this far, there was no turning back for him now.

"Tell me what you need Hyacinth."

"Another time Victor. I am tired. I will have a room prepared for you. We will speak in the morning. Enjoy your stay."

Having said that, Hyacinth stood up from her chair and turned her back on Victor. He watched the beautiful pirate disappear into another room until he was led by one of the crew to his own room. In the back of his head, Victor couldn't help but notice that Hyacinth, the feared One-eyed Impaler was not a typical space pirate. There was something more to her that intrigued Victor. For now he would spend the night in her ship and learn what he can to figure out his next move.

Alone at last in the room prepared for him, Victor's thoughts drifted again to his younger brother...

"Chris... I wonder what you're doing now..."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:55 am

The next few hours were spent pouring over the book of spells. The first section of the great book contained spells that were simple enough: spells of healing and the elements, and spells to speak to others over long distances. When Christian reached the halfway mark, however, he found that the pages were sealed shut. As soon as his fingers brushed the pages, however, they began to shimmer with a dull glow and they began to turn slowly of their own accord. Krayden watched him, a look of wonder still on his face.

"I never imagined in all my years that I'd meet the one with the power to unlock the Spellbook of the Ancients," he murmured, "For years these spells were closed to us, and it gave us a great disadvantage against our enemies, especially those in the Empire who could wield the powers of manna."

"It says...these are ancient spells, but they are to be used only in time of great need," said Christian slowly, "And some of them...are still forbidden."

At the back of the book was a page of spells, yet it was marked with a strange rune, and the words on the page tingled with an energy, as if they were alive. These were spells of destruction, spells that could raze entire cities to the ground, spells of great natural disasters, spells to stop the heart of another living being, and spells that could tear holes in the very fabric of time and space.

"These spells...yes, they are the Ancient forbidden spells, spells that were never to be used. The Manna Goddess herself was said to have placed a seal upon them, and yet...somehow they were used against her, unscrupulously, without a thought for lives. They were most likely placed in this spellbook as a remainder of the terrible evils that manna can unleash upon the world in the wrong hands. That is why we must stop the Empire...If their magic users were ever to learn of these spells, the entire universe would suffer..."

Christian nodded, understanding the implications of such a thing. But...didn't Trident already possess some of those powers. Hadn't Clyde used a Forbidden Spell on his mind. And yet they mustn't have had access to all of the spells, otherwise they would have taken the world over already.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Even as evening cast its shadow over the world, Christian remained poring over the Spellbook of the Ancients. It was Krayden himself who finally suggested that Christian take a rest, and even that suggestion may have been ignored had Sigarda not come to find him. When Sigarda saw him looking through the pages of a book that once had been sealed shut, her eyes widened in shock.

"You've...done it Christian," she whispered, "You've unlocked the Spellbook of the Ancients. This is...wonderful. I was always told that the Spellbook might not be unsealed in my lifetime. You truly are a hero."

Christian turned to Sigarda with a gentle smile, shaking his head, "I'm no hero...I just wanted to do what I can to stop the evil of the Empire....To make sure they don't hurt anymore people...But this spellbook is wonderful. It has spells to even more efficiently cast out sickness, even spells to help those on the brink of death."

"That's amazing, Christian," smiled Sigarda, "But...now I think you should rest. You've been here all day."

"Sigarda's quite right," nodded Krayden, "Besides, I know the other Council members would like to study the pages of the spellbook."

Christian nodded, at last closing the pages of the book, "Alright, I'll rest for now. Thank you, Krayden...Sigarda."

"No...thank you, Christian," replied Krayden, for once a warm smile on his normally frosty features,"You've shown me just a little bit of hope in this cruel world."

Sigarda blinked and looked at the old Council member in surprise as he gathered up the Spellbook of the Ancients and left the Arena.

"I've never heard Master Krayden speak that way before," she whispered, "He always seems so angry...I think that is why Master Limstella does not...understand him very well."

"I think...he was just so tired of seeing the Empire and their evil everywhere," sighed Christian, "And he felt like he was powerless to stop it. But now...with just a little bit of hope..."

Sigarda nodded and smiled, "You're right...there were and probably still are quite a few people like that...They've seen terrible things on the front lines of the war, and I think some of them believe the war will never end. But now...now that you're here, things will finally be alright."

"I'm going to help you all I can," said Christian sincerely, "But all of you already have so much...and are so strong in your own right. All we need to do is work together and we can accomplish what may seem impossible."

Sigarda's smile grew, "You're right, Christian. But...we can't save anyone on an empty stomach, now can we? Let's go get some dinner. You look hungry."

It wasn't until that moment, but Christian just realized he had gone the entire day with only eating a very small amount of food. The time had passed so quickly and he had been so focused on studying the pages of the spellbook, he had forgotten to eat.

"I am a little hungry," he admitted.

"Wonderful! Follow me! I know a place that serves delicious, home-grown and homemade food."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A small room carved into the bark of a great tree was the location for a cozy eatery within the small city at the center of Homeworld. Sigarda had Christian try a local variety of fresh vegetables smothered in some kind of freshly made sauce. A bowl of fruits with a light cream served as a dessert.

"This is delicious," Christian said in amazement, "I used to cook for myself and my brother, but never like this...I only had a very small garden where I lived."

"It is good, but they say once manna is restored and the Promised Land returns, the food there is better than we could ever imagine," Sigarda said dreamily.

Christian nodded, though a look of worry appeared in his eyes when he thought about his brother. He wondered where Victor was at that moment...He hoped Victor was safe.

"Are you alright, Christian?" asked Sigarda gently.

"I was...just thinking about my brother," Christian admitted, "I'm worried about him. I know he's strong...and he's the one who's always taken care of me. But with the entire Empire after us..."

"Don't worry, Christian," said Sigarda encouragingly, "Your brother can take care of himself. I only met him briefly, but I could tell that he is a very strong man. You two are very close, aren't you?"

"Yea...." nodded Christian, "He's always taken care of me, ever since I can remember. Our parents were...killed by the Empire when I was very little. I don't even remember them...But it's always just been Victor and me...I don't think I've been apart from him this long before. I know...it sounds childish, but I'm just...worried..."

"It's not childish at all, Christian," whispered Sigarda, putting a hand on his shoulder, "I know how you feel. Caralis and I have only had each other for a while now. Our parents were also killed by the Empire, though we were a bit older. I still don''t like to be far from him. Like you...I know what it's like to lose those you care about. The...Empire's taken away so much...We need to stop them before it's too late..."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:27 am

The sudden bright sensation tingling his closed eyes woke him up. Victor sluggishly turned his head to the right of his bunk only to notice a blurry figure standing by the doorway. He pulled his right hand close to his face and rubbed the lingering drowsiness away. When his vision cleared, the lone figure with him in the room turned out to be none other than Hyacinth, the Captain of Longinus. She greeted him with a faint smile, causing Victor to forcibly pull himself out of bed only to stop midway to sit still.

"Sorry... Could you give me a minute? It's always like this after a full night's rest..." he grumbled.

Hyacinth smiled. "Implants huh... then I'll wait outside." she finished and stepped out of the room.

Victor clenched his teeth and closed his mouth to muffle any grunts that might escape him. His body felt like it was under a boulder and there were multiple stinging sensations bothering him from the back of his head. It was a side effect of his implants calibrating themselves to adjust to his current condition. Although they were made to improve a human many times than those without implants, the human body cannot continue to rely on the boosts they provide for prolonged periods of time. Implanted humans still require a full night's rest every once in a while to allow the implants rest and self maintenance. After a few minutes of calibration, Victor sighed in relief when his implants started to kick in.

"Ugh... I could never get used to this..."

Swinging his coat around him, Victor headed out of the room where Hyacinth awaits him. The pirate woman motioned for him to walk with her while keeping the silence between them steady. The two walked along the ships hallways making turns every now and then, not a word mentioned still. It was only when they had reached what Victor could only guess as a restricted part of the ship when he began to voice the question in his mind.

"What is this place?" he asked.

The woman refrained from accessing the biometric lock that sealed the doors before them and slowly turned to face Victor. "This used to be the Longinus's research bay..." she trailed off and stared at the metal tiles that served as the ship's floor, lost in deep thought. Victor quietly listened and waited for Hyacinth to speak again. It took her several minutes to do so.

"I restricted access to this area to all members of my crew save for myself because now, this is nothing more than a quiet resting place." she finished and accessed the lock to open the doors. The stale air greeted the two as the doors fully opened, an indication that nobody has accessed this part of the ship for quite a long time. The lights inside the room were dim, just bright enough for one to make their way around the place. Victor wanted to ask who was resting in the place but the solemn look on Hyacinth's eyes prevented him from finding his voice. The two walked on, unmindful of the air that was quite hard to breathe.

As they went on further into the room, Victor's eyes widened a little upon seeing a lone capsule tube filled with bubbling red liquid in the center of the room. Inside the tube was a man who seemed as if he was only fast asleep. Victor stopped a few feet away from the capsule tube and watched Hyacinth walk closer. She slowly reached out to touch the capsule tube, as if meaning to hold the man's face in her hand. By that, Victor already knew that the man inside the capsule tube was someone very dear to the pirate.

"He was a great man..." Hyacinth started, "Hot-blooded but very crafty and intelligent, he led my people to great heights - the one true king dearly loved by my people..." she trailed off and turned to face Victor. The look of sorrow from her eyes have now disappeared, replaced by a deep hatred that gave even Victor slight chills run down his spine. "All because he was different... all because he possessed something that others don't... that they came for him!" she nearly roared, a hint of her anger escaping through her voice. Hyacinth was shaking, Victor could see how her body trembled with the emotions she had long kept in check.

"The Empire?" Victor asked.

"Yes. The Empire... no... Trident to be precise. Them and their crusade to collect individuals who could harness the power of Manna. Jesiah... only Jesiah and I knew that he could use it! How could they have found out?!"

Victor fell silent. Anyone who could use magic can be traced by the Empire thanks to Trident and their magic. The methods as to how they do it remain unclear to Victor but one thing he was sure of, wherever there is someone who could use magic, Trident will be there to harness that possible potential.

"I would never forget that day... when the man you fought in Ethelas took Jesiah away from me..." Hyacinth continued, a stray tear falling down from her good eye. It did not take a genius to piece together the rest of Hyacinth's story. She came from a royal bloodline that lived a peaceful life derailed by the Empire... by Trident. Knowing how they operate, Hyacinth and her people most likely lost their planet in a battle against the Empire's forces given that they refused to cooperate.

"Even though we kept it a secret, Jesiah trained in the use of magic rigorously. He was strong, but that man was a monster... he was able to push Jesiah far beyond his limit without much effort but when Jesiah wouldn't accept defeat, he decided to use me as a bargaining chip to get him to concede..."

Victor could tell just how painful it was for Hyacinth. Her clenched fist, her knuckles turning white at how hard she was clenching it, she must have blamed herself for Jesiah's death all this time. "I lost an eye because of that but... Jesiah lost his life... and I was saved... I couldn't do anything for him... nothing... nothing at all..."

"And this is why you resulted to piracy? A prideful woman like you running away?" Victor questioned, his own eyes gleaming with a hatred of their own. "Jesiah would never want to see you like this."

"Shut up! What else is there for me to do?! I lost my home planet, I lost everything to them!" Hyacinth hissed, her emotions letting loose upon Victor.

The man turned around, just about ready to leave Hyacinth on her own when her voice stopped him. "Then... tell me Victor... What should I have done?" she asked. Victor closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

"Hyacinth, there was only one thing that you should have done. Fight. I made the same mistake of running away like you did and I hate myself for it. When the Empire killed our parents, I was powerless... I even ended up working for them to support my brother... but no more... I refuse to let them have their way any longer! This is why I am fighting them despite knowing that I could not do alone."

A momentary silence engulfed the two. Hyacinth was the one to break the ice. "If I help you... will we meet that man?"

Victor's eyes met with Hyacinth's own that were filled with resolve. "It will be a rough ride but I guarantee it."

"Then I am in your command. I will not rest until I have that man's head on a pike! This I swear in Jesiah's name!"

Victor extended his hand to shake on their agreement. Hyacinth reached out to seal the deal. "Welcome aboard Captain Hyacinth. I hate to rush you when we should still be getting acquainted but time grows short. We need to find more people that will help us fight the Empire as soon as possible."

"Do not worry Victor, I am used to men who like to order people around. Where should we start looking?"

"The Large Magellanic Cloud. It's a long journey so we should depart as soon as we are able."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:08 pm

Christian stood quietly, somewhat nervously, before the youngest member of the council. His name was Pierre, and he had a temperament that matched his fiery shock of hair and his crimson robes. He was constantly on the move, the never standing in one place for more than a second too, and Christian had some trouble keeping up with him. Yet underneath all the fidgets and seeming lack of focus, the young Master possessed a keen intellect and a way of seeing things that others did not.

"...And this is the Master Tactical display system," Pierre was saying as he led Christian into a large room.

What appeared to be holographic images were displayed throughout the room. Some showed physical locations while others were covered with a series of red and blue dots. Numerous magic users milled through the room, touching the holograms to enlarge them or moving dots around. None seemed to pay Christian or Pierre any mind.

"You might be thinking these are mere holograms, but they are not," said Pierre with a self-satisfied smile, "They are mental projections from those in the field. Even these tactical displays are mental projections. This way, we can cover large areas without having to rely on any type of technology. Of course, the only downside is if the Empire's magic users were somehow able to block our transmissions, but those situations are few and far between. This system allows us to see our battles and skirmishes all over the galaxy, and a bird's eye view can sometimes be the view that is needed to win a battle. Observe."

Pierre reached forward and in a flurry of motion rearranged a few of the red dots on a display in front of him. The blue dots began to fade one by one, until none were left.

"You see? Just a few adjustments, and even though we were outnumbered in that situation, we were able to win the battle. You see, I had the Manna Fighters focus on the critical aspects of the capital ships while our capital ships provide ion bombardment. Quite simple, actually," said Pierre offhandedly.

"You knew...all that information just from looking at the display?" asked Christian in awe.

"No, not from looking at it. From reaching out with my mind to assess the situation. Sometimes, it takes someone detached from the situation to find the solution. Here, why don't you test your skills?"

"N-now? I...I don't think I'm ready yet. What if I make the wrong choice?" asked Christian.

"Don't worry, this is merely a simulation," replied Pierre, waving his hand.

A series of red and blue dots appeared, much like the other displays hovering around the room.

"Now, focus on the picture. Allow your senses to extend. What do you feel?" asked Pierre.

Christian closed his eyes as he had been instructed, "There are...far less of our forces than Empire forces. The Empire has us on the run and we're losing ships quickly. They are...afraid..."

"Don't allow yourself to be distracted by emotions," Pierre warned, "What else can you sense?"

"It seems the situation is hopeless...The only left to do is...wait...One of the Empire ships was damaged earlier and it is apparently holding a cache of strong bombs. The shielding is down on that unit. If one of the fighters were able to turn around and strike that ship, it would create an explosion that would severely cripple the Empire's task force."

Pierre smiled and nodded, and just as Christian finished speaking, a blossom of light appeared in the hologram and a number of the blue dots winked out.

"Precisely. You already have the skills needed for this. I sense you are used to making tactical decisions. Now all you must do is make sure to use your senses as well as your mind. There is nothing more I can teach you. Tomorrow you will meet with Master Kordjan and the Oracle. Their training will be difficult. I suggest you get some rest."

Without anymore words, Pierre briskly walked away, leaving Christian a bit stunned. That was all the training the master was going to provide? Either Pierre truly trusted his skills or the man was just too busy to be bothered with such things...Shaking his head, Christian returned to his room.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Christian had been contemplating the past few days events and thinking on the upcoming trials for quite some time. He was worried that Pierre had said the tests of the Oracle and the Grandmaster would be the most difficult. Yes, he had done well on his first three tests, but what if he failed the others? What would happen to him? Would he be an outcast from both manna users and the Empire alike? The youth was startled from his musings by a knock on the door.

"Come in!" he called out.

The door opened to reveal Caralis, who looked at the boy quietly for a moment before speaking, "I hear you are to meet with Master Kordjan and the Oracle tomorrow. I wanted to test you one more time before then. Your physical combat training has improved, but you will be tested on a variety of skills tomorrow. If you aren't fully prepared, you won't succeed."

"It will be...that difficult?" asked Christian slowly.

"Yes. Even though you are thought to be the Chosen One, Master Kordjan will not go easy on you. Your mind has been well prepared, but I worry for your combat skills. Sometimes, you have too kind of a heart. If your enemy sees this, sees you let your guard down, then you could be finished."

With lightning quick speed, Caralis was in front of Christian with a hand at his throat. Christian looked up at Caralis with a stunned expression his face. Caralis sighed and took a step back.

"You see? You need to be prepared for anything. If I truly were an enemy, it would have been all over for you. Keep your mind alert. Always extend your senses, and never trust appearances. Now, are you ready for one last sparring match from an old man?"

Christian took a deep breath and nodded, "I'm ready."

"Then let's go," grinned Caralis.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:27 pm

Location: Deep Space, Hidden star lane towards the LMC


Victor and what remains of his crew had found new allies to help them on their quest to defeat the Empire, the most feared pirate in the Lyranian Star Cluster, Hyacinth the One-eyed Impaler. Now they are traveling the sea of stars to find more people to help them along their journey. Inside the Kamikaze bridge, Victor's crew had wary expressions on their faces as they continually glance the port side where the Longinus, Hyacinth's battle cruiser loomed every now and then. Each of them had their doubts but they trusted their captain, the man who sat quietly in his seat, focused on their next goal.

Victor noticed his crew's anxiety over their unlikely alliance and he couldn't blame them. After all, there's a very thin line between a pirate and a mercenary.

"Something bothering you lieutenant Hans?" he questioned, not really looking at his subordinate.

The lieutenant stiffened a little but decided to voice out his own opinion on the matter. "Captain Victor, while it remains a mystery to me on how you convinced these people to join our cause, it does not make me feel any better having a large battle cruiser class ship, not to mention owned by the most feared pirate in the Lyranian star cluster, cruising side by side with us like this. Is this really okay captain?"

With his eyes slowly rolling over to look at his lieutenant, Victor sighed upon seeing the expression on his face. It was not just him who had that expression of doubt and uncertainty. Many among those of his crew that decided to stay had the very same look.

"Lieutenant, I don't really like pulling rank on my people but this is your captain's decision. You would do well to respect that. I am not ordering you guys to trust them or leave your life in their hands, all I'm saying is we need all the help we can get against the Empire. They may be pirates but they do possess something that we currently lack - something that we desperately need. Do you understand?"

Hans along with the rest of the bridge crew could not say a word. The man was right, they needed power to fight the Empire, they cannot do it alone, these pirates have that power. How else could they have survived outside of the law if they didn't? But still, the idea of teaming up with pirates did not sit right with him. Perhaps it was his own view clouding his judgement, his own personal opinions weighing more than the cause they swore to fight for. Hans did not know, but he would follow his captain anywhere, even to the depths of hell.

"I understand all of your concerns very well people, but do you understand mine? I did not force you to stay on my ship, I even gave you the chance to leave. If any of you will question my decisions, I will hear them only if you have a better option to give me. If you don't, keep your thoughts to yourself but your trust in me. Navigator, how long till we reach the LMC?"

Uhh... currently traveling at lightspeed, we should reach LMC in a week captain.

"Logistics, how are our supplies?"

W-we're good for a month without having to resupply. The lieutenant decided that we should stock up as if we still have a full crew aboard.

"Excellent. Hans, take the helm. I need to rest. If the Longinus contacts us, patch them through to my cabin."

"Aye captain."

It was a lie, Victor was not tired at all. He just wanted to give his people time to think on their own without his presence hindering their thoughts, their last chance. Should they decide otherwise, he would let them off the ship once they reach the Large Magellanic Cloud. Along his way back to his cabin, Victor saw Nadja standing by the doorway to his room. She had the usual blank expression on her face but it looked like she wanted to say something. Victor stopped in his tracks just a few steps away from the artificial intelligence.

"Do you need something Nadja?"

"Nothing in particular Victor."

"Then what are you doing here?"

"I have been standing here after hearing your conversation with lieutenant Hans back in the bridge. While waiting for you, I was trying to formulate the best possible conversation to have with you to ease your mood. Your stress levels have always been high and I thought you need to 'lighten up' as you people say."

Victor chuckled lightly. His own ship's A.I. was trying to console him. "And...? Did you come up with something clever?"

"Negative. This process is entirely new to me. Human behavior has always been erratic. Even with quantum speed analysis, I am unable to formulate the best conversational approach without knowing what your thoughts are. Although I was able to pick out several lines appropriate for this scenario."

"Okay Nadja, I'll humor you. What do you think is the best line to say to me now? Pick the one you feel will be the most appropriate."

"Roger. It would be, do your best captain, I am here for you."

Victor laughed. It really felt so long since he last laughed a good one. Nadja was trying her best to show that she supports his decisions not because he was the captain but because it was what she chose to do. The A.I. probably does not know it herself but she has started to develop her own free will. Putting a hand on Nadja's shoulder, Victor quietly thanked her and proceeded into his cabin, disappearing behind its automatic doors. Nadja on the other hand, slowly turned to look at the cabin doors. She was at a loss on how to describe what it was that her systems were trying to process right after the moment Victor put his hand on her shoulder... her first ever physical human contact.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Location:  Trident HQ, Training room


Raven sat still, watching a glowing orb of light inside the training room. He had hoped to talk to Clyde about some issues concerning the rumors that came from the Lyranian Star Cluster but he had not seen Clyde nor the emerald haired woman come out of the orb for a week now. He was hoping that they would take a break but hours have already passed since he got in the room. His moment of silence was interrupted by the sound of heels clacking on the metal floors. Soon, Scarlet's voice echoed inside the same room he was in.

"Master Raven, they're still at it?" she asked.

"As you can see, yes. I'm more surprised that the woman lasted this long under Clyde's supervision. His training regimen can be really tough you know?"

"Hah! She would hardly be called a member of Trident if she couldn't do as much!" she screeched, her tone slightly irritated.

"Hooh? Do I sense hostility Master Scarlet? Jealous that the green horn would snatch your dear Master Clyde away?" mocked Raven.

"I am not jealous Master Raven! I am simply bothered by the fact that Master Clyde is spending so much time with that girl and is neglecting his duties with the Empire! The Emperor has been calling for him three days ago!"

"Really now? What did that old geezer wanted this time?"

"Hmph! It was something about testing that girl's clone with the Nirvana Gate. It seems the Science Division has made some progress with that one. The Emperor wanted Clyde's opinion on that clone since he was the one who came in contact with the bearer of the key."

Raven slightly sunk in his seat, deep in thought. "Now that could be quite troublesome for us. We wouldn't want the Emperor getting his hands inside the Nirvana gate so soon now would we? How much progress have they made Master Scarlet?"

Scarlet closed the training room doors behind her and rested her back on the wall just beside Raven. "According to the data that I could get my hands on, they were able to slightly pry the gate open using the clone's manna signature. But the clone took some damage since the gate unleashed quite a backlash of magic. Right now, the clone is undergoing calibrations lead by Dr. Borgan."

"That woman huh... I hear she's quite an expert when it comes to artificial manna but I never dreamed that artificial manna could make the gate react in such a way. I thought it was impossible but prying the gate open is no ordinary feat. It takes a unique manna signature, particularly the one from the goddess that sealed herself to make the gate react. If Dr. Borgan is to progress any further, she would ultimately be able to clone the manna signature of the goddess herself... it's only a matter of time."

"I though of the same thing too Master Raven. We should stop Dr. Borgan, but that would mean exposing our true nature to the Empire ahead of schedule. That's why I need to inform Master Clyde right away!"

"Well, he's using your Time Orb spell Master Scarlet, you created that magic. Isn't there a way for you to get inside from here?"

"I am not the caster so no. Time Orb is supposed to be a prison spell where the caster would lock away the target inside that orb. Time flows differently there so it is completely sealed away from this side and is only accessible by the caster themselves. Only Master Clyde can undo the spell."

"Uhuh.. right. So what now? A day in here is two weeks in there right?"

"Yes Master Raven, the only thing we can do now is wait and I'll leave that to you. I have to cover for Master Clyde's absence from the Emperor."

"Fine, I'll pass on your report when they come out. Just don't do anything reckless."

When Scarlet left the room, Raven began to meditate to pass the time...

..
...
....
.....
......

Nightfall. Raven still sat in meditation inside the training room, waiting for Clyde and Emiri to come out of the Time Orb. As his patience started to grow thin, Raven was just about ready to call it a day when the Time Orb flashed. Soon, Emiri emerged from the Time Orb. Her clothes were tattered and very dirty, her long hair that fell freely down to her waist now fell short only to her shoulders, the gentleness in her eyes were long gone and the air around her had become intimidating. To Raven, just to stand before her felt like standing before a wild beast. It took another minute for Clyde to emerge from the Time Orb, his clothing also tattered and dirty. Whatever these two did in training, they surely went all out with it.

"You look... terrible. Are you okay Clyde?" Raven asked.

"As you can see Raven, I am quite tired. Emiri's training is now complete and I am astonished at the speed she progressed. I have taught her all I know and she has mastered them all."

Raven looked at Emiri again just to confirm that his eyes were not deceiving him. "Yeah... I can see that in her. I thought she was someone else at first but jus--"

"Master Clyde, I will go get cleaned up. It seems Master Raven here wishes to speak with you alone." Emiri interrupted and stepped out of the training room.

Raven shook his head sideways. "It looks like not only her magic and strength has improved but her attitude too... Oh well," he trailed off and turned to face Clyde, his eyes now fierce. "I bring news that you might want to take seriously."


Last edited by Ethereal on Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:18 am

The sparring match the night before had been difficult, and Christian had sunk into an exhausted slumber. His dreams were fitful, however, and filled with strange images. Familiar faces....Raven...Clyde...Unfamiliar faces of figures in strange robes. Others marked with Imperial insignia. Fire and destruction filled the air, and the screams of the dying could be heard. As suddenly as the images appeared, they faded away only to be replaced with the woman.

A terrible darkness is threatening to envelop the galaxy, Christian. Time is running out. Forces are amassing, greater than anyone realizes. The Empire is a threat, yes, but it pales in comparison to the Dark One, the One who nearly wiped me from existence. You must be ready. Tomorrow you face a challenge from the Grandmaster and my Oracle, yes? Once you succeed, the true battles will begin. Are you ready to face them, Christian? The time is coming when the door will be opened...You must be ready...

I still...don't understand. What am I supposed to do? I thought I was to face the Empire...But now there is a greater evil?

Yes, there are those who would seek to destroy me, or worse...to use me and my power to further their own agenda. They are waiting for you to open the door. They know what will happen.

And...what will happen?

The woman was silent for a moment at Christian's query before speaking into his mind once again.

I will tell you Christian, and after you have heard what I have to say, you must make a choice. When you were young, just a baby, I planted a seed of my power which grew in your heart. That was why you always loved nature and why your powers are manifesting now. There are those who are born able to use the power, but your power is greater because it grew with you and it came directly from me. Because I gave you this power, you alone can inherit my own power as the Protector of Manna. When you open the door, I will die, Christian. The wounds I sustained in battle were too great. But...because of the seed planted in your heart, I can pass my power to you, and you can continue to allow manna to flourish and grow. But be warned...the Dark One and those who follow the Dark One will seek to take you and your power in that critical moment. If they succeed and bend you to their will, the world will fall to darkness. It is not a choice to make lightly. If you so choose, I will remove the Manna seed from your heart and allow you to return as you were. But I do not have the power to do this again...If you do not help me, manna will fade from the world entirely...

Christian was silent for quite a long time, unsure how to reply. He was very worried about allowing this...entity to bestow him with her power. What would it do to him? Would it change him completely? After the ordeal, would he be Christian any longer? Or would he be something else? But if he didn't help the Goddess, Manna would fade from the world and any hope of combating the Empire would be lost. But if he did give up his power, then...would he really be able to go back to normal? He doubted it. Even if there was no longer Manna, the Empire would hunt him and his brother down for their treasonous acts. And so...he had to be brave and take this chance, because otherwise there would be no hope...

I want to remain with the seed of Manna planted inside my heart. I will help you in your fight against the Dark One.

The Goddess seemed to shine with a great light, and for the first time she smiled.

Thank you, Christian...my child. You have grown so much...After your challenges tomorrow, you must find the Mox Ruby and the Mox Sapphire. You already possess the Mox Emerald. Once all three come into your possession, you will open the door. Remember...my love and care is always with you...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next morning came too soon, but Christian was up and ready, dressed in a light blue robe, the robe of a mage in training. He had gone to the Gardens of Trafair as requested and was now waiting quietly in the early morning light. The Gardens were truly a place of beauty and wonder, and Christian had already explored as much of them as he could since his time there. The truly amazing thing about the Gardens was that they were ever changing and shifting, and no one ever saw the same thing twice. Sometimes, beautiful roses would sprout into existence while other times the gardens would be filled with great trees. Rivers would appear and disappear while dogwoods would fill the expanse with their frosty white flowers. It was truly a marvel of nature, a marvel fueled by the power of the Keeper of the Gardens, the wizened Mage Veliana. Veliana was an elderly woman and yet her ability to manipulate nature was uncanny. The first time Christian had met her, however, she had told him that his power rivaled that of her own, and that in time, worldshaping might even be in the realm of possibility...

Christian looked up as he sensed a presence, and moments later the Grandmaster Kordjan walked into the gardens. At the moment, there was a grand fountain in the center of the garden, spouting rivulets of water, a fitting backdrop for what was going to be a monumental test. Kordjan was clothed in red and gold robes, and a circlet of silver was set around his head. There was no smile on his face, not even in his eyes, as he beheld Christian.

"Christian Wolfe. As the Chosen One, even you are not exempt from the tests of the Masters. You have passed three tests with flying colors, but these last tests will be the most difficult. I will give you one last chance to turn back, for I must warn you that these tests may be fatal."

Christian took a deep breath, before shaking his head, eyes steely with resolve and he remembered his conversation with the Goddess the night before, "I am ready. I will not turn back."

"I had thought you might say that," replied Kordjan, "Your first task is this..."

Kordjan waved his hand, and a golden star appeared shining above the fountain.

"Retrieve the star," he said simply, "But be cautious...as things are never as they seem..."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:35 am

Location: Clyde's room


It was not an everyday occurrence that Raven would get the chance to step inside Clyde's four cornered sanctuary. Although both of them had gone since way back the ancient times, Clyde was always the private one. But this time, the man himself had ordered him to come up to his room to talk more about the pressing concerns Raven had. Knocking twice on the metal doors, Raven patiently waited for Clyde's voice that told him to come in. For such a prestigious man like himself, Clyde liked to keep things plain and simple. Such a trait could be seen in the way Clyde decorated his room. Basic necessities, a couple glass cases for artifacts they had in possession, and a heap load of ancient texts neatly piled in one corner of the room.

Raven walked in and made himself comfortable in the only chair inside the room. He couldn't help but turn his gaze over to one of the artifacts that Clyde kept in one of the glass casings. It was that dark orb with a strangely beckoning glow that seemed to radiate purple light in tune with the pulse of a human heart. Just looking at the orb made Raven feel weak, like he was being enveloped in some kind of overwhelming dark malice that threatened to crush him with no remorse. Raven wondered why Clyde would keep such a thing in close proximity.

Do not stare at it if you don't want to be consumed by it- the Void Onyx is not an ordinary artifact.

Clyde's voice pulled him out of that crushing feeling and Raven immediately turned his gaze over to the man. "Why do you have it in your room?"

Clyde smirked and flipped the ancient book he was reading to the next page. "Because it is more valuable than you think, now more than ever. Now then, what was it that you wanted to speak to me about?"

Focusing his thoughts on the matter at hand, Raven took a deep breath and itemized everything that Clyde needed to know. "First, the Empire made a breakthrough using their doll. I thought it would practically be impossible for them to do it but they were able to pry open the gate to Nirvana. It would seem that Dr. Borgan is rather more capable than we thought..."

Clyde listened intently while flipping pages of ancient text. He was strangely calm even though to Raven, the news he bears had a significant impact to their plans. "I asked her about it back in Ucrade, but she denied knowledge of what I speak of that time. I knew she completed her analysis of the Goddesses' manna signature and was in the process of replicating it. It is rather fortunate that I was there that time, else they would have even made greater progress had they taken samples from the bearer of the key." Clyde said and closed the book he was reading.

"Then... why didn't you stop her? It would have been easy to say she got killed in their attack."

Clyde crossed his arms before his chest. "True, that would have been the best chance to get rid of her but that wouldn't help our cause now would it? I plan to use her research and the fruits of her labor as a backup plan just in case the bearer proves to be... uncooperative."

Raven looked down and contemplated on Clyde's words, trying to grasp the bigger picture the man had in mind. "It makes sense, but wouldn't allowing them to continue put us at a rather strict time frame? What if they succeed? The Emperor would have his hands on Nirvana and we wou--"

"It doesn't matter if they succeed first or we get the bearer to open the gates for us before them. The Goddess will only bestow her strength and magic to those who bear her seed. No matter how much the Emperor wants it, he would not get anything from Nirvana simply because the Goddess will not give him anything. Rest assured Raven, we are fine."

"Okay, but what about Victor Wolfe?"

Clyde paused for a moment, his composure seemingly disturbed even if a little bit. "Ahh yes... Victor Wolfe. He has always been an anomaly in a preset flow of events. No matter how I put it, he would do something out of my calculations. What about him Raven?"

"Word from the Intelligence Division states that they he had been seeking help from pirates. It would seem he's preparing for battle. I don't know how he did it but he was able to enlist the One-eyed Impaler even though we had a propaganda against him. Their last known whereabouts would be the star lane to the Large Magellanic Cloud where we have little influence."

"Is that so? Then what about the task force sent to capture them? What is the Archer and Behemoth doing?"

"They are giving chase. Victor's ship is just much too fast for them."

"Hmhmhm, useless as always. Tell me Raven, are you worried about Victor Wolfe?"

"Hardly. I just feel uneasy knowing he's out there. He is a potential threat after all."

Clyde chuckled after hearing his subordinate. Though Raven may not want to admit it, he is threatened by Victor in some way. Perhaps it was his loss to the man back in Ethelas. "Isn't that the same as worrying then? Raven, I do not need distraction and uncertainty plaguing my subordinates. Let him do as he pleases, pull back the Archer and Behemoth and send them to the front lines. I will have Emiri join them to attack their false home."

Raven twitched in surprise. Did he hear that right? Clyde was intending to send the greenhorn to the front lines instead. Raven could not help but feel that the decision was wrong. "Forgive me Clyde but I do not agree with sending your pet to do our job. What good would she do against the elders of the council?"

Clyde sighed upon realizing that Raven had missed his point. "Raven, there are many ways to attack them. What I had in mind does not involve combat. I will send her to the bearer's side in the guise of someone in need. If there's one thing truly unique about Emiri, it's her pure heart that reflects her emotions. Though she may be with us, her hatred towards the Empire is very much real, almost tangible. Do you understand?"

Raven smiled upon realizing what Clyde had in mind. "An attack from within... alright, I'll go with it. What do you need us to do?"

"Nothing for now. Is there anything else you wish to discuss?"

"Yeah, one more thing. The geezer had been calling for you, something about getting your opinion about their doll."

"I see. I will see to the Emperor myself. Thank you as always for holding down the fort Raven, I appreciate it."

"Hey, don't sweat it. It's all for that day right? Then I'll take my leave. Get some rest Clyde, you look really worn out."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:45 pm

Christian looked quietly at the star for a few moments, probing with his senses. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It only appeared to be a shining sphere of light. But Kordjan had just said things are never as they seem...The youth closed his eyes, and the wind suddenly began to blow with increasing intensity. It formed a cushion of air around his body and slowly allowed him to rise. Soon, he was within arm's reach of the shimmering bauble. Cautiously, he reached out a hand to touch it, and suddenly was thrown back by extraordinary force, slamming into a pillar. The youth shook the star from his eyes, looking up only to see Kordjan glancing at him impassively. The boy pulled himself to his feet, ignoring the pain in his body. Apparently there was some kind of force field, keeping him from the star. He searched for it with his mind, but it seemed as if he was searching a glass wall, unable to keep his mind focused for long.

The boy paused for another few moments, when without warning, a burning laser shot from the orb, striking him in the arm. There was the smell of burned flesh as he looked up in shock. Another shot came forward, and this time he tried deflecting it with his own manna reserves, but it was no use. Once again, the laser struck, this time in the other arm. He gritted his teeth in pain, realizing he would be unable to rely on manna to escape the painful stings of the laser. Another shot fired, but this time he was ready and quickly rolled out of the way. Another shot, another quick move to get out of the way. He realized he was quickly getting tired, and that all the dodging wasn't going to get him anywhere. There had to be a way to deactivate the force field...Again, he reached out with his mind, concentrating for any spark of hope, and then he saw it, a thin line of energy running from the star to a place behind the fountain. With a burst of speed, he made his way around the fountain, following the trail of faint energy until he reached a small, black box. Quickly, he sent a burst of fire at the device, incinerating it. Immediately, the shooting stopped. Once again, he allowed the winds to build, lifting him to the star. This time, when he reached to touch it, no invisible force sent him backwards. The star glistened in his hands before disappearing.

"Good," Kordjan said simply, "You have proved yourself in Intelligence and Ingenuity. You must learn not to rely on your powers for everything, for there are those who could mask them or cut them off completely. It seems your training with Caralis has paid off. But know that this is but the first test, and already you seem exhausted. Behold, your second test..."

Kordjan held out his hand, and the landscape changed, morphing and shifting completely. The earth suddenly split in the middle, and large walls rose on each side of Christian, leaving him on a precarious perch. Inside of the chasm, Christian could see roiling lava. At the far end of the divide was the image of a woman, bound with ropes and hanging above the chasm.

"Save her," Kordjan said simply.

Christian's eyes widened in shock. Would these people really put another person in danger just to test him? He had little time to think, as he could see the person's desperation as the rope suspending her began to fray. The boy reached out for the winds, but they were suddenly halted and stilled. Frustrated, he began to make his way along the edge, though he could see he wasn't going to get to the woman in time. She screamed as she fell, and the boy reached out to save her. If he couldn't use the wind...He focused on the fire below, raising it up, solidifying, and cooling it, forming a platform just beneath the woman's falling figure. She landed lightly on her feet, looking down at him with wide doe-like eyes. Quickly, he began forming his own platforms, jumping on each one as it appeared. Just before he reached her, however, she faded and completely disappeared, apparently only an illusion. Above him, a loud roar was heard, and the boy looked up in terror. Barreling down upon him was a monstrous beast, glowing ember red and in the shape of a giant lizard. Wings were upon its back and fire spewed from its mouth. The creature could only be a dragon, even though they were thought to be extinct. He had little time to reflect on that, and hastily erected a shield of ice around his body. The fire burned, but did not penetrate the icy barrier. Unfortunately, the dragon clipped the solidified platform upon which Christian was standing, and it broke completely, plunging the youth towards the lava below. Terror filled his heart, but he focused on the words of the goddess...She told him that anything was possible...He thought of his brother and the others close to him...Without realizing it, he found that he was suspended in mid-air, not by wind or any force of nature, but by his own manna generation.

Christian once again had little time to think as the dragon came down for another strike with fire. This time, Christian was ready. He concentrated on the cone of fire heading his way, solidifying it as he had done with the lava, all the way into the maw of the creature. It choked and gasped, suddenly unable to breath as its insides were filled with hardened lava. It began to plummet towards the gaping chasm, when suddenly it exploded. In its place was a frozen creature, completely made of ice. Christian couldn't believe it. Were dragons able to change forms so suddenly. He had little time to react as a wave of frost struck his body, freezing him completely in place. The dragon beheld him for but a moment before rearing its head and striking for the kill. No...it wouldn't end, not like this! Frozen, Christian tried to harness the power of flames, but found that this power was cut off to him. Once again, the raw power of manna saved him. It exploded from his body like a nuclear blast, shattering the ice and even the dragon itself into millions of tiny fragments. The ice shards hung glistening in the air for a moment, before fading away as if they were an illusion. The chasm closed, and once again Christian found himself in the pristine gardens of Homeworld.

"Good," Kordjan simply stated, "What you saw was a dragon, though only a conjured image. Dragons have the unique ability to suppress certain types of manna, as do many of the enemies you will encounter. If you cannot face a dragon, you will not be able to save our world."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sigarda looked quietly out the window of her home, unable to keep still. Outside, she felt enormous surges of manna, and though Christian's energy signature faltered, it never faded. Caralis looked at his sister with a guarded expression.

"He will be alright, Sigarda. I have never seen you so worried before," sighed Caralis.

"Yes but...he's the Chosen One. The One we've been waiting for for all these years..." whispered Sigarda, "I don't understand why he must be tested."

"He faces a destiny many of us do not understand. We must do all in our power to ensure he is prepared..." replied her brother.

"But...what if something happens to him? What if we cause the...the...you know...we cause him to be hurt or worse? The universe could be destroyed," Sigarda whispered.

"If he cannot complete the tasks of the Grandmaster, then he is not the Chosen One," Caralis shrugged, looking away from his sister.

"How can you say that?" cried Sigarda, "After all he has done?"

"After all he's done?" asked Caralis incredulously, "Last time I checked we had to come in and save your sorry hides after you both foolishly rushed into battle with the Empire's elite. You know he will have to face worse than the Empire's elite. If he couldn't defeat them singlehandedly, he has no hope in restoring manna to the world."

"You...you're..." Sigarda cried, unable to find the right words.

"I'm speaking the truth," said Caralis harshly, "You need to let go of your emotions. They betray you Sigarda. If he is indeed the Chosen One, he has a destiny in which you cannot follow. I can see your feelings, Sigarda. I am saying this as your brother and as someone who is concerned for you. Let your feelings go."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Sigarda retorted harshly, though her eyes belied the truth.

Before anything more could be said, a voice spoke in Caralis' mind.

Sir...there is an anomaly in space around Homeworld. It may be nothing...

No, I'm coming right now. I'll take a task force to investigate. Perhaps the Empire has found their way here...


Caralis turned to his sister, glaring at her, "Stay here. I will be back."

"But Carlis..." Sigarda cried.

"I said stay here!" Caralis thundered, "Don't you dare try to follow me."

Sigarda bit her lip as Caralis left, slamming the door behind him. She was torn, torn between the ones she loved, both in danger...
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:04 pm

Location: Uncharted Sector, P-112


This day was no different. The battle as always was fierce, death and destruction engulfed the field of combat as two forces clashed with each other. Those in the field witnessed the exact same scenario over and over, the day before, a week before, months ago, and even years ago in the exact same point in space, the only uncontrolled territory that held the fiercest Empire resistance among all others. This led the Empire to believe that the greatest threat to them lies in this sector and thus, continued to relentlessly press those who oppose them.

Codename Manna Fighters, agile things that thwarted any form of large scale invasion attempts by the Empire. While no match for standard Empire forces alone, the Manna Fighters work in swarms with overwhelming numbers, an indicator that they always had some sort of carrier lurking nearby. So far, the Empire had only managed to engage a few of these carriers in what became a massacre of Empire forces. Many times they had tried to capture and study one of the Manna Fighters but in all attempts made, failure greeted them at the end.

If at one point a Manna Fighter had outlived its usefulness, it will go into a suicide attempt, crashing itself into the enemy ship and exploding with great strength. With this in mind, the Empire deemed them unmanned time bombs of significant threat. Dealing with them became a daunting task and the only way the Empire could neutralize them is by the use of large particle cannons from a distance. Today was no exception with the use of these weaponry...

Admiral Jainus! A swarm is... they're breaking through our left flank!

The news from his navigator made the renowned admiral's facial expression cringe. It had not been thirty minutes yet since the battle began and yet they were suffering continuous casualties left and right. With their formation falling apart, their numbers gradually decreasing, and the tide of battle slowly shifting towards enemy favor, the admiral wondered if the order they received to attack P-112 was for something worth risking the lives of many.

"We have endured far more serious situations than this! What is everyone doing?! Reform our ranks! Have the destroyers converge on the left side and reinforce our formation! Have all flagships fire their particle cannons! Do not let them break through! Scatter them!" the admiral roared.

The order was given and the ships executed. Mass explosions followed the shots of high density particle beams fired at the Manna Fighters. For the time being, the admiral managed to secure his left flank. As the battle raged on, the admiral knew that the forces under his command will not last long...

Admiral Jainus! The Manna Fighters are once again converging! Their numbers doesn't seem to be dropping!

Now the admiral was gritting his teeth so hard he could taste blood in his mouth. "Communications! Any word from the Archer or Behemoth?!"

The comms officer looked back at his admiral and simply shook his head with a grim look on his face. "Tch! Damn it all! We need to buy time! Have all our carriers launch their fighters and prepare to intercept! All ships still capable should provide support fire! We must hold this line until the task force gets here!"

B-but admiral! Their numbers are far too great for our fighters to handle! They'll get slaughtered out there! We should retreat and reorganize!

The admiral glared at his first mate. "This is an order! The Emperor gave us a task and we shall carry it out! Launch the fighters! Buy time for the task force!"

And so the battle continued...

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Location: Archer launch bay


One ship not bearing any mark from the Empire was being prepped by the launch crew for take off. The pilot of the ship was receiving her final instructions from Trident members Raven, Muriel and Gaeus...

"You got that Emiri? We will not hold back. As soon as the Archer and Behemoth enter combat space, you are no longer on our side. We will launch your ship just before we exit the jump to make it seem like we are chasing you."

Emiri simply nodded. "Yes I understand my role very well Master Raven. Make the enemy believe I am on their side, make it to their homeworld and get close to the bearer of the key."

Muriel and Gaeus both looked at each other and then to Emiri. "Judging by the way she makes it sound so simple, I think our presence here is hardly necessary. Isn't that right Master Raven?" Muriel inquired.

"No, our role does not end by simply chasing Emiri. We must also ensure she gets past the battlefield and make it to their homeworld without making it obvious. We shall also head down as well to greet the Elders of the Council once she makes contact."

Gaeus shifted in his place after hearing the rest of what they should do. "I take it that by saying greet the Elders, you mean test them right?"

Raven looked at Gaeus, "Exactly." then turned to Emiri. "Your skill on flying a ship will be the key to this operation's success. You must dodge our attacks with all your might and slip past the enemy lines into their homeworld. Make sure you do not attack any of their ships even if they fire at you."

Just before Raven could finish his instructions, the sound of an alarm echoed in the launch bay, an indicator that they have a few minutes left before they exit the jump. "Okay, let's get this show on the road! Emiri, once we exit, make sure your SOS beacon is on. Do not fail."

Those were Raven's last words to her before each of the three Trident members boarded their respective ships.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Location: Archer Bridge


Commander Siegfried, bogey 1, and the three Blackwings are all cleared for launch. We have T-minus 40 to exit the jump.

"Good, open the launch bay and get them off my ship! I don't know what Trident is playing but this operation is sanctioned by the Emperor himself. I don't want to mess with these magic users just yet but we have no choice. Gunnery, you are to open fire as soon as you acquire targets! We are to help admiral Jainus hold the line!"

A spatial distortion interrupted the field of battle and four small ships emerged first, followed by the Archer and Behemoth. Just as the two flagships completely exited the jump, a rain of beams and cannon fire blazed through the entire field. The two flagships had begun sweeping the combat space of Manna Fighters and reinforced admiral Jainus's weakened flanks.

On the other hand, the three blackwings piloted by Raven, Muriel and Gaeus began firing at Emiri's ship that sped through the battlefield. Along the way, they were also neutralizing manna fighters that got in their path with extreme prejudice. They easily carved a path through the swarm of manna fighters coming at them causing the soldiers of the Empire currently fighting in the battlefield to recognize their terrifying skill and power.

Admiral Jainus, message from the Archer and Behemoth, they are here to back us up. Also, the Trident Blackwings appear to be chasing a renegade ship. Should we provide backup?

Of course it made sense. The Admiral thought as much that only the ones with the highest authority in the field would know the real reason Trident is chasing that lone ship. "No. Concentrate on the enemy at hand. Let Trident deal with that ship."

However, Emiri was certainly not having the time of her life. Raven, Muriel and Gaeus were ganging up on her and was pressing her well beyond her limits. They were indeed not joking about coming at her with all their might and it took every bit of her focus to barely avoid the shots from them. Naturally, her SOS beacon was turned on yet there was no response from the other side. She had to keep on going despite having manna fighters also on her tail.

"I have to endure! I have to make them believe!" Emiri roared while flooring her ship to its maximum.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:27 pm

The Manna Fighters did not flinch, even as both the Archer and Behemoth came into view. They would protect their Homeworld no matter what the cost, especially since they knew that the Chosen One was undergoing his trial.

Master Caralis. The enemy has received reinforcements. Also, it seems as if they are pursuing a renegade ship. It is emitting an SOS beacon. Should we move to assist?

Caralis narrowed his eyes at the small ship trying to outrun three blackwings. He extended his senses, only to find that he could read very little. That was something that did not sit well with him. There was something extremely suspicious about the entire situation.

No. Hold your assistance, Darren. Let the Blackwings deal with it. Our main concern now is defending the air space and keeping these ships from Homeworld. If the rogue ship somehow manages to make it to Homeworld, let the Council members decide what to do with it.

But sir...

That's an order, Darren!

Caralis knew they were severely outnumbered at the moment. He also knew there were natural defenses on Homeworld, far more powerful than even Manna Fighters. But for the Empire to bring in two of its most powerful ships...they were up to something. He looked up as a flash of light permeated the entire area, and the Soulreaver appeared, gearing up its weapons. Blue arcs of electrical energy and pure blasts of manna at the ships.

Master Caralis...It seems you would require some assistance.

Admiral Vorlis' voice was filled with a humorous edge to it. The Admiral was standing on the bridge of the Soulreaver, looking out at the enemies with a somewhat self-satisfied expression on his features. Despite his confidence, he knew that both the Behemoth and the Archer would prove quite a challenge, even with the Soulreaver in battle. Fortunately, he had another little surprise if things didn't go well.

It's about time, Admiral! What do you suppose Empire forces are doing this far out into space? And how did they get so close to Homeworld?

I do not know, Caralis. But...when this is over, I mean to find out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sigarda stood outside her home, eyes flitting from the skies overhead to the general direction of the gardens. In the vast reaches of space, her brother was fighting for his life against an impossibly powerful energy. Within the gardens, Christian was also involved in a life or death struggle, attempting to prove his worth to the greatest members of the Council. She could still detect his faint energy signature, but it already seemed tired and a bit worn.

"Don't give up, Christian, I know you can do it..." she whispered.

She wished she could do something, anything, to help either her brother or Christian, but Caralis had forbidden it. She didn't understand why...For many years she had been the leader of the resistance on Ucrade. Now, she had been relegated to standing and watching. But she knew if she interfered in Christian's rite of passage, he would be automatically disqualified. And she also knew she wasn't the best at handling a Manna Fighter, so she'd be more of a liability if she were to help in the space battle. The only thing she could do was to watch and wait....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Master Krayden...

"Huh? Who's there?" the old master whirled around, searching for the source of the voice.

Don't you wish you could be the Savior? Don't you wish you had the power to end this war immediately? You are old, yes, but with age comes great power and great wisdom. Why do you allow the others to lord it over you, the other Masters who are but half your age?

"Silence, whoever you are! I will not be swayed by your lies. I have seen the powers of the Chosen One, and I know for certain it is he who will help to restore Manna to its former glory," shouted Krayden.

Ah, but...don't you wish to have that power yourself? You should join us, Krayden. The times are changing, and contrary to what you believe, your Chosen One will become nothing but a Pawn in a larger game. Your Council is nothing but a gaggle of children, resting on a foolish hope. But you, you are greater than they. You have seen many suns and many moons. Join us, and you will have a power far beyond what you possess now...

"Away from me, I will no longer listen to you! Begone!" shouted Krayden, clapping his hands.

There was a sound like thunder, and the voice disappeared from his mind, but Krayden could not completely shut out the words he had just heard...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Master Pierre...Surely you have calculated the numbers. You have seen what a foolish endeavor this is. There is no hope for you. The Empire is but the tip of the iceberg. You are facing something that even with your Chosen One, you will have no hope at succeeding against. Why not increase the odds in your favor? Stop playing foolish games and come to realize the fullness of your power.

Pierre looked up from the screen he had been watching, monitoring the battle above. He shook his head, ignoring the voice and returning to his tactical to display, only to see a few of his ships had winked out of existence.

"Curse you..." he muttered, "I will not listen to your distractions, whoever you may be."

He tried to concentrate, but the voice spoke again.

This is pointless..You have no chance against the tide that threaten to overwhelm you and wipe you from existence. Your mind is brilliant. Sure you can see this.

"I will not be swayed!" shouted Pierre, only to find he had lost more of his task force.

Pierre took a few deep breaths, trying to calm himself. Never before had any communication been able to penetrate the magical web of defense that surrounded all of homeworld. This was something that needed to be brought to Kordjan's attention, but he was under strict orders not to disturb the Grandmaster...What to do...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Master Lumina...Foolish woman...You believe you know so much about us, and yet you will never foil our plans. It is time for your endless prattle to be silenced!

Lumina looked up from where she was quietly studying an ancient text, only for the light to fade from her eyes. She fell to the ground, breathing heavily, and her eyes closed.

We will not kill you...not yet...you will stay in eternal slumber until our plans are fulfilled, and you will know the futility of your cause.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"You have faced two of my challenges. Now...you will face the third and final of those I have to offer, though the Oracle has tasks even more daunting yet. And this third challenge will be the greatest. For years, a Dark Manna user has been kept in stasis beneath these very halls. None have ever been able to challenge him, but you...If you are the Chosen One, you will be able to defeat him, the taint which still plagues Homeworld. Even in stasis, his darkness has sought to corrupt and destroy. Only the power of the Council has held him at bay. Be ready, for the hour is at hand."

Kordjan made a long, sweeping motion with his hands, and there was the sound like a lock breaking. The earth rumbled, and from the center of the gardens shot a figure. It was a man, clothed in robes as dark as night. His eyes were fierce, almost like a reptile's, and they turned to focus on Christian and Kordjan. Cruel lips twisted into a dark smile.

"So...you presume that you will finally finish what you started? Even if today you were to win a battle, there are others like me and far more powerful. Foolish council, we could have rid the world of your foul blot long ago if we had wanted to. But now, I believe the time is right!" laughed the dark creature.

It held out its hand, and purple miasma suddenly streamed around Kordjan. Christian quickly closed his eyes, and a soft emerald glow struck the miasma, dispelling it completely. The Dark Manna User turned to stare at Christian, anger in his eyes.

"Ah...so you are the Chosen One of which they speak? Bah...You are nothing but a mere child! Allow Xarchon, Master of Destruction, to show you his true power!" shouted the creature.

He snapped his fingers, and Christian felt something strange, as if he were cut off from his senses...Fire exploded around the man's body, completely destroying the beauty of the gardens. The fire began to spread outward, as in a wave, with the intent to destroy the entire planet. Christian attempted to send a deluge of water over the fire, only to find his powers completely blocked. He looked back at Kordjan in surprise, but the Grandmaster stood, only watching impassively. Was Kordjan crazy? Crazy enough to allow this Dark Mage to destroy everything, for the sake of a test? Regardless...Christian wasn't going to allow innocent people to die. It was then he remembered his brother's gift...If he couldn't fight with manna...then...The battle suit extended around his body, and he charged through the flames. The Dark Mage didn't even see him coming as he lifted back a gloved hand and struck the dark one with full force. The spell disappeared and the man was thrown into a pillar. He looked at the boy in the battle suit with disbelief.

"I cut off your manna! You should not even be alive right!" the Dark One practically screamed.

"Manna is powerful, but you cannot always rely on it," replied Christian, his voice brimming with power.

Suddenly, he felt manna flowing through his body again. Without wasting any time, he performed the same spell that the Dark One had cast at the beginning of the battle. The Dark Mage's eyes widened as the aura of darkness disappeared, his powers completely cut off. And unlike the first spell, Christian's spell had robbed the Dark Mage of his power forever.

"Excellent...You have used one of the Forbidden Spells," Kordjan said matter-of-factly, "This spell will be crucial in your fight against the Dark One and you must not be afraid to use it. As for you, Xarchon, you are judged for your crimes. I will not kill you, but I will send you back to your Masters. They will not have as much pity as I."

Kordjan whispered something under his breath, and a sphere of energy surrounded Xarchon, banishing him from Homeworld.
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:51 am

Location: Aegis Bridge, P-112 combat space


Admiral Jainus! Codename Reaper has just entered combat space! It's firing at us! High energy signatures coming in fast!

As if things weren't dire enough, their enemies brought out one of their heavy class ships into play. The admiral pounded the nearest console with his fist in frustration. "Damn it! Why now! Evasive maneuvers! Port thirty degrees! Return volley!"

The Aegis steered away just in time to evade the incoming hail of energy shots from the large battleship that joined the fray. However, not many of their ships were fortunate enough to evade in time. A series of explosions rocked the admiral's flanks as they suffered more losses against their enemy.

Several destroyers lost in that previous attack admiral! We're losing combat strength fast! We are not going to hold out much longer! We need to withdraw!

His first officer's voiced concern for the obvious was not helping the situation. Admiral Jainus knew exactly where they stand and if things continue as it were, they would surely perish. "Do you think they would let us withdraw that easily?! Do you think they would let up their attack should we start to back down? They will crush us the instant we turn tail!"

But admiral! Our men are getting slaughtered! We're going to die out here!

"Every man and woman will meet their end eventually... Stand your ground and fight! This is what it means to be a soldier! Send word to High Commander Garrick and ask for reinforcements! In the meantime, our new flagship Aegis is not just for show! Helm, move the flagship up front and deploy our reflective shields at maximum!"

Y-yes sir! Flagship Aegis moving forward! Reflective Shields set to maximum output!

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Location: Archer Bridge


"What is that idiot admiral doing?!" yelled Commander Siegfried. "Patch me through to the Aegis at once!" he roared at his comms officer.

The image of Admiral Jainus displayed on the Archer's main screen and Siegfried immediately got up from the commander's seat in fury. "With all due respect Admiral Jainus, charging in recklessly is not part of the plan! Do you intend to get the newest Empire Flagship destroyed?!"

I appreciate your concern whether it is genuine or not. Young commander, sometimes sacrifice is needed for a greater cause.

"Admiral, we are in the middle of combat! I do not have time to decode your hieroglyphic speeches! What are you planning?!" Siegfried retorted.

A decorated commander such as yourself should know by now that we cannot hold the line with codename reaper in the field. You know what one of those things can do, do you not?

"Ggh! I will not sacrifice my ship in a futile attack!"

Nobody is asking you or anyone else in the field to follow my ship commander. Your orders will be to hold the line as long as you can. Reinforcements are en route as we speak. High Commander Garrick sent us three flotillas to help us secure this sector. However, with codename reaper in the field, it may already be too late before the flotillas arrive...

"Unless someone plays decoy and distract that reaper. Admiral, you know that it's a one way trip right? Going up alone against that thing... you will die."

The admiral chuckled.

I am an old dog who has seen more than enough fighting for one lifetime. Many have died under my command and my hands are too stained to carry any more of that burden. One ship for the price of two, sounds like a fair deal does it not? Commander Siegfried, my ship is the only one here that stands a chance if not on equal footing against that thing. You will take command of the rest of our armada from here on out. Make me proud. Admiral Jainus out.

Siegfried watched the Aegis loom forward from their starboard side into the fray of laser fire and explosions. Despite the raging alarms consistently blaring inside the bridge, time had stopped for the young commander. He watched the Aegis shrink in the distance only to notice that a stray tear had fallen from his one good eye.

"Commander Siegfried, are you sure it's alright to let him go?" Mildred, his first officer asked.

Wiping away that lone tear, Siegfried took in a deep breath. "He never once treated me like a son. He was a true soldier... my father. Mildred, the archer will now be the main flagship. Reform our ranks and have all main ships cover the Aegis! Activate our long range targeting systems! We will tear them apart from our best range! His sacrifice will not be in vain!"

As soon as the order was given, the Archer moved to the center of their formation and began preparations to fire their main gun.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Location: Behemoth Bridge


The Behemoth, a Noa Class battleship riddled with high powered weaponry. Back in the time the Empire was still expanding its influence, the ship strikes fear into the hearts of the opposition with its black paint and devilish appearance alone, but true terror comes when it began its attack. Capable of decimating an armada single-handedly, the Behemoth is indeed one of the Empire's most destructive ships in service. Despite its awesome firepower, mobility is not its strong point due to its massive size. Because of this, the Behemoth was rarely deployed in the front lines and most of the time was kept as a part of the Emperor's royal guard fleet.

"What a bunch of morons. Statistically speaking, the enemy is losing just as much as we are on the field. Why do they fear that reaper so much?"

The voice belonged to a young man barely eighteen years of age. He sat at the commander's seat while watching the images of both ally and enemies on radar with a calculating look. As the radar blimps both ally and enemy disappear one by one, he couldn't help but smile in satisfaction. Up until now, he was never really given a challenge in the few times his ship was allowed to sortie. For him, he was having the time of his life.

"I'm sure my Behemoth is more than a match for that enemy ship yet that old geezer still ordered me to stand down! Is he planning to hog all the glory for himself?! Tch!"

The young man's first officer walked to his side. He was a tall, lanky man that wore shaded glasses and carried himself with pride and dignity. He spoke in a well-mannered way to voice out his opinion.

"I'm afraid it's not that simple Lord Yunich. That ship was designated by the Empire as the 'Reaper' for a reason. If you would recall the Massacre at P-112 from your history lessons, that ship is the cause of it. That is why we only do light skirmishes in this sector every now and then to test their defenses."

The young man's calculating look became that of curiosity. He turned the commander's seat to the right and speedily tapped a few buttons to bring up all the information the Empire had on that ship, only to find so little.

"Damn it. I'm so excited I can't stand still! I want to go up against that reaper and bring it down!"

The first officer's facial color suddenly turned pale. In the few times they ever sortied in the front lines, he learned first hand that when their commander gets excited, there was just no stopping him from doing reckless things. He knew that with their commander like this, his job of being an advisor will suddenly be turned to being the real commander of the ship faster than he could blink. But the real concern was the cause of their commander's excitement... of all the ships to pick a fight with, why did it have to be that one?

"Lord Yunich, I strongly advise against breaking formation. Without the Aegis, the Archer and the Behemoth would be the remaining key elements in keeping the fragile tide of combat in a stalemate. If we are to fall--"

"Hold your tongue Jona! Are you suggesting that I will fail? That the Behemoth is inferior to the reaper? This is the best game I have ever played yet! You will not deny me the satisfaction of crushing that reaper! I am the commander of this ship! I give the orders! Besides, the same could be said with them. If the reaper should fall, their hold on this sector will definitely crumble."

Jona bowed his head in respect. "My apologies Lord Yunich... what you say is true that should the reaper fall, we will gain control of this sector. However, bringing it down is not an easy task given we have so little information about it. I advise we wait for the flotillas to arrive before making a move."

"No! We cannot let this chance slip by. Helm, thrusters at maximum! We're following the Aegis! We will use them as a shield and deliver the killing blow! Gunnery, arm all weapons and destroy anything that gets in our way, ally or enemy!"

Dread rapidly crept up the entire being of Jona. Going up against the reaper was the last thing he wanted to do. He had survived its wrath before, with his now robotic right leg serving as a painful reminder. Jona did not want to go through that ordeal again but with his ship moving forward under the orders of a hot-blooded commander, there was hardly any other choice.

__________________________________________________________________________________________


How long had she been evading the shots that came from the blackwings? It felt like forever. Emiri still had no incoming transmission from the other side. They were not buying it and she had to let the others know. Using the maneuver codes she practiced with Raven, Gaeus and Muriel, Emiri barrel rolled her ship to the left and flapped the wings once. The maneuver was responded with two shots from one of the blackwings and Emiri understood what she needed to do.

"Two shots means fight back while making it to their homeworld... okay here goes!"

Killing the engine for a brief moment then pulling back on her control stick hard, Emiri instantaneously reversed her ship and floored it, heading straight into the three blackwings giving chase. She fired at them and switched course towards the direction of the enemy's homeworld. In her mind, Clyde spent so much time and effort trying to pinpoint this location. This mission given to her to infiltrate it and find out more about it was as vital as it gets. Emiri knew she could not fail, she could not allow herself to.

Just then, she felt a surge of manna engulf her ship. Someone was trying to tap into her being to get more information. Instinctively, she used a counter spell to ward off the attempt. Whoever wanted to get more information out of her, one thing is for sure, that person is highly skilled. Emiri was not sure if what she did was the right thing, she was after all, well prepared for any attempts at someone diving into her consciousness. Clyde had especially taken meticulous steps to conceal her true heart before sending her out.

Breaking through the defensive line of Manna Fighters, Emiri and the blackwings came into range of the enemy flagships. They were still engaged in a dance of death exchanging fire with each other while speeding through defense lines. Emiri knew she was at risk of getting fired upon by the enemy flagships but she has come too far to back down. Squads of manna fighters pursued Emiri and the blackwings inside the flagship perimeter and she had to double her effort to avoid shooting down a manna fighter by mistake.

"Ugh! This is definitely harder than I anticipated..." Emiri grunted despite the harsh G-force she felt with every sharp maneuver.

On the other hand, Raven and the other Trident members all had serious looks on their faces. Inside the enemy flagship perimeter, they could feel multiple presences of highly skilled magic users with eyes on them, especially from the largest ship in their ranks. They had strayed dangerously close to the flagships but it was all part of the plan. Raven slowed down his ship and broke formation. He began spreading his own consciousness in the field, picking out any enemy flagship with a commander not on par with the two presences that stood out among the rest.

"Targets acquired." Raven radioed in to Gaeus and Muriel. "Keep Emiri busy, I'm moving in for the kill. I don't like the idea of helping the Empire but... oh well."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:26 pm

Are they crazy?!

Even as a mental transmission, Admiral Vorlis could hear Caralis' incredulity.

This is exactly what I thought would happen. Janius would come to us and go down fighting, while the new commander of that Behemoth would be lured into action by his hot blood. They know that if they tried to run, they'd be gunned down, so they will fight. Fortunately, I know exactly what I need to do.

Precisely as I calculated. I am readying our counterattack now. Prepare the-

Master Pierre's voice cut into Caralis' and Vorlis' conversation.

Belay the order!

Master Pierre seemed shocked at Vorlis' interruption.

You have no authority to counter the command of a Master!

With all due respect, Master Pierre, your plan tips our hand far too soon, especially with those...eyes upon us. I have already beamed my crew down to Homeworld. All manna fighters, activate manna shields and clear the area around the Soulreaver. Prepare for immediate return to Homeworld. If this doesn't work, we will need you there.

What are you doing? You're crazy!

Caralis' mental voice was filled with anger and worry, but Vorlis paid him no mind. Instead, he searched the ship with his mind for a critical switch, only to be used in times of emergency...

"This will be my final act in restoring the glory of manna and protecting the Chosen One," Vorlis murmured, "Now...hold steady..."

He was nearly thrown to the ground as a beam from the Archer struck the Soulreaver head on, causing systems to flash with wild emergency lights.

"A little closer..." murmured Vorlis, watching as the Behemoth and the Aegis loomed in the front display.

Without warning, the Soulreaver exploded spectacularly, taking any ships close enough with it. And yet, the explosion wasn't the only danger. The swirling energies formed into a terrible vortex that began to suck in any remaining ships that did not have a manna barrier erected. It was Admiral Vorlis' final act, and his most dangerous spell. Caralis could only look on as his ship teetered, even with the barrier erected.

Caralis! This is Master Pierre. Return to Homeworld now! There is nothing more that can be done!

Caralis shook his head, numb at the shock. Why would Vorlis do such a thing, even to protect their new surprise for the Empire? If now wasn't the time to reveal it, when would it be? Finally, he activated the main propulsion drive and headed back to Homeworld, leaving the scene of the wreckage behind...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Krayden had his mind trained on the sky battle above. His eyes widened as he realized what Admiral Vorlis was about to do, but there was no stopping the man. He shook his head, looking away when he felt...something else. That rogue ship, still trying to outrun forces, forces with dangerous powers and capabilities. He could sense her own powers, and felt her desperation. Apparently, Caralis and the others had decided not to help her, even with the clear beacon of distress her ship was transmitting. It was against protocol but....Master Pierre was busy with strategy, Master Lumina's presence was oddly empty, while he knew both Kordjan and the Oracle were busy with the boy's training. This time, he decided to take matters into his own hand. He projected his mental image within Emiri's cockpit.

"You are trespassing within restricted space, and yet I see you have activated your distress Beacon. I am of a mind to allow you to land safely on this planet, to be judged by the other Council Members. I see you are facing forces that you may not even know the power of...Allow me to help you."

Krayden's might had grown with the opening of the spellbook, and his magic was amplified by the Power of Homeworld. He reached out and vortexes of energy began to strike at the ships chasing Emiri.

"Use this time wisely to escape. I will not give you another chance," Krayden warned before his image blinked and disappeared.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Why...had someone like that been imprisoned here for so long?" Christian asked cautiously, "Surely you had the power to defeat him before?"

"Yes, we did," Kordjan explained, "But the prophecy held that he would be a part of the final test, willing or not, and we kept him here for that purpose."

"But that's...horrible..." Christian blurted out.

Kordjan shrugged, though his eyes held a bit of regret, "This war is terrible. What the Empire has done is terrible. What Xarchon himself would have done had he escaped would have been terrible. Besides, I did not kill him, merely sent him back to those he serves. Unfortunately, they will not have pity for one who cannot use manna. But now...is no longer the time for talk. You have passed my tests, yes, but the Oracle is now ready..."

Kordjan disappeared immediately, only to be replaced by the hooded and shrouded figure. It held out a trembling hand to Christian, who somehow felt both fear and awe at the same time.

"Christian Wolfe," the Oracle spoke, in that strange voice that was neither male nor female, "Seed of the Goddess and Hope of Manna. You have proved that your powers in manna are formidable, but my tests will be less tests of your powers and more tests of your character. First, remove that suit, for you will have no need of it in these tests."

Christian hesitated a moment before complying, taking off the suit and shrinking it down.

"Your first test...is the test of Pain. You will be extremely vulnerable at the moment the Gates of Manna are opened, and the Dark One and his kind will do all in their power to bring you to their cause. If you are corrupted, the entire galaxy will bend to their will. Therefore, you must be strong enough to survive everything they throw at you."

Christian felt himself beginning to wonder if he really wanted to go through with the test, but it was too late. The Oracle crossed its arms and the world faded away into darkness, including the Oracle. Without warning, red eyes glowed in the darkness, and a burst of flame surrounded him, burning his body. He tried to dowse the flames with water, but to no avail. He felt no connection to manna at the moment...When he felt he could take the burning no longer, rocks began to pummel him from above, striking him with the raw ferocity of the earth. Earth was followed with a raging wind that flung him about like a rag doll, only to be deluged with titanic waves of water. Darkness and light merged into a pillar that seared him to the very soul...When he thought he was going to pass out from exhaustion, the red eyes blinked, and a cruel smile formed.

"Are you ready to submit to my will, boy? Your soul will be mine!" laughed a harsh, guttural voice.

"N-never...never..." whispered Christian, trying to pull himself to his feet.

"Then you will perish!" roared the voice.

A burst of manna struck him full in the chest, crackling a dark aura. Pain seared him to his very soul, and images began to flash of his friends...broken...defeated...killed...

"Submit to my will!" roared the voice.

Christian found himself nearly ready to burst into tears, but a warm presence filled his heart, calming and soothing him.

"I will...not give in to you! Not ever!" shouted Christian, his body glowing with light.

The light grew and grew until it enveloped the beast. The beast shrieked in fear and the darkness parted to reveal the Oracle, staggering backwards, clutching at its chest. Christian looked at himself, to find he bore no permanent injuries from the previous ordeal.

"Yes...you are unharmed," the Oracle spoke as it attempted to regain its composure, "That was but merely an illusion of what is to come in your future. You have survived the first trail, but prepare yourself...The next is the Trial of Temptation..."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:17 pm

Location: Archer Bridge, P-112 Combat Space


A few seconds was all it took for the tide of battle to take a different turn. At that moment, everyone on the battlefield felt that the hands of time had refused to tick by. In their hearts and minds, as well as the image that remained burnt in their eyes, the unimaginable had happened. The huge explosion followed by a vortex of insane magnitude had silenced the fighting completely. The reaper had accepted the challenge from Admiral Jainus's Aegis and Lord Yunich's Behemoth, only to end up taking all three ships, along with any lingering forces from both sides with them in an instant. Whether it was a valiant attempt to stop their assault, or utter desperation, none of it mattered. It was an act of genocide that simply took victory out of either side's hands. The battle may have been won by the Empire but there was surely no spoils left for the victor.

Siegfried, with his fists clenched so hard, stood breathless as he watched the vortex subside from far away inside the safety of his ship's bridge. There were no words worth saying, just pure disbelief at what had transpired. Their forces have lost two significant ships and a great admiral, a fact he could not accept so easily. In his mind, the words of Admiral Jainus ceaselessly played back over and over, 'one ship for the price of two'. Siegfried could not help but think that the hardened admiral knew this would happen all along yet, the man still chose to go with it despite the foreseen outcome.

"That stupid idiot father..." he mumbled almost in silence.

Both sides had pulled their forces back. It was only then that the people that survived felt time starting to move again for them. Siegfried's radar officer had noticed the sudden withdrawal of their enemy forces and whether it was out of relief, he shouted his findings inside the Archer's bridge, only to be glared upon by Siegfried with a look of disdain in his eyes.

"Nobody won this battle." He sternly said and slumped back at the commander's seat. "Mildred, have all fighters out in the field switch to SRO, if there are any survivors, make sure they bring them back. All ships maintain current position and establish a defensive perimeter. Have the supply ships gate out to our position and initiate repair and resupply."

Mildred complied with the orders given to her and cascaded it to what was left of their armada. After making sure the orders were passed, she approached Siegfried with questioning eyes. "Shouldn't we pursue commander? The enemy forces have withdrawn and it is a clear indication that the reaper was indeed the foundation of their foothold in this sector..."

Siegfried cut off his first officer midway and looked at her with his one good eye that was burning with rage. "Does it really look like that to you Mildred?" he asked, not really looking for an answer. "Because they have withdrawn does not mean that they were the ones who lost. Statistically speaking, we were the ones who suffered the most in their last attack. I may be carefree but I am not careless. For all we know, they could be luring us into a trap with their withdrawal."

Mildred bowed her head down lightly as a form of apology for her actions. "I may have been caught up in the excitement. My apologies commander."

"And it is that kind of excitement that got the stupid brat with a big toy killed in this fight. Mildred, you would do well to review on your tactical advices. We shall wait for High Commander Garrick's flotillas before we advance."

"Yes commander..."

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Meanwhile, Emiri, Raven, Muriel and Gaeus could not care less at what had happened to the Empire forces. They had a mission of their own to fulfill and despite the spectacular fireworks show, they could not afford to loose focus on the bigger picture. The withdrawal of their enemy forces was not part of their plan but they used it to their advantage to close the distance left to their homeworld. As their chase grew fiercer by the second, Emiri heard a voice speak to her. It was the voice of an old man, allowing her refuge in their planet. Apparently, the old man had sensed Raven, Muriel and Gaeus's proficiency with magic and even went as far as to warn her about them. A smile played on Emiri's lips as a wave of invisible force knocked Muriel and Gaeus's blackwings out of balance. In that instant, Emiri engaged her ship's short jump engine and broke away from her pursuers.

"That was unexpected..." Gaeus mumbled after getting his ship back under control.

Muriel radioed in to Gaeus after joining his wing. "Gaeus, whoever threw us off balance with their magic must have been a really powerful mage. Possibly from the council."

"Doesn't matter now. Emiri was allowed passage to their planet. This mission is a success. Now all that's left is..."

Raven who broke away earlier rejoined their formation and took the lead. He cut in before Gaeus could finish his words. "That was some interesting magic they used on you guys. Shall we go down and see if they are the real deal?" he called out to the two.

Gaeus and Muriel both had smiles of confidence playing on their lips as both their ships made way towards the enemy planet with Raven in the lead. Clyde's orders were to gather combat data from the Elders of the Council. Other than that, they were told not to interfere with the progress of the bearer of the key. Should he choose to stand before them, Raven and the others are to withdraw immediately.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Location: Large Magellanic Cloud


Victor was restless. They had been on the run from the Empire forces until a few days ago and now they are suddenly free to move about as they please, it was a fact that did not sit well with the man while he ponders in the captain's seat. It was now close to a week that they had spent time locating specific individuals hiding in the Large Magellanic Cloud and so far, they have made considerable progress. Using Hyacinth's influence, Victor was easily able to enlist the help of several other pirates that were now traveling with him. Now they only need one more man and their journey should be complete.

Silver, a cunning individual that made a living hijacking Empire transport fleets, forced into hiding by a massive manhunt issued by the Empire. The price on his head could ensure a rich life five times over for the one who could bring him in. He possessed an uncanny talent for navigating through dangerous star lanes and is a brilliant tactician. Using his destroyer class ship christened Belphegor and a few small frigates under his command, Silver had cost the Empire a ridiculous amount of weapons, supplies and countless goods for trading. Victor was able to enlist his help with the promise of helping him free his homeworld from the clutches of the Empire.

Alona, a lyranian hacker banished from their homeworld for trading various sensitive information to make a profit. When she was backed into a corner, she targeted the Empire and began selling various tactical information to rebels that desperately fought the Empire. It took a while for Priscilla from the Empire's Intelligence Division to find out about her existence and when they did, orders to kill her have been sent out to all Empire forces. She had been in hiding ever since. Despite her elusive and unsociable nature, she is highly skilled with information gathering and electronic warfare. Anything electronic is not a match for her skills. Commanding one of the toughest cruisers in the galaxy named Titania, Alona expertly uses her ship's top of the line technology to disable any ship in combat. She expressed a huge interest in Nadja and Victor promised Alona that she could get to study Nadja in exchange for her help against the Empire.

Ti'ago, an old bloodthirsty pirate slash mercenary who used to roam the small magellanic cloud hunting Empire forces for sport. Commanding quite a number of ships, he terrorized the Empire forces to no end until his defeat against the hands of the Empire's Behemoth. Losing all his men and ships against that monster, Ti'ago fled to the Large Magellanic Cloud to lick his wounds, waiting for a chance to strike back at the Empire. However, he was only able to amass a small fleet because of the lack of brave souls in the Large Magellanic Cloud who had the guts to stand against the Empire. With his carrier named Skorpion, along with several destroyers under his command, Ti'ago happily accepted Victor's offer of a chance to fight the Empire for nothing.

With all these pirates under his command, Victor knew that he already had a formidable small force at his disposal. However, there was one more person they needed to find. This person was by far the most difficult to locate and is only known by a few in the pirate ring as 'The Sword'. He was greatly feared by the Empire for the power possessed by his battle cruiser named Excalibur. The Sword was also the first pirate Victor faced and suffered complete defeat against. Other than that, there was hardly any information in the Empire database concerning The Sword. Nobody knew The Sword's gender, nor its ties or motives for antagonizing the Empire. With so little information at hand, Victor had begun his quest to find the legendary pirate.

"Nadja, how is my brother doing?"

Nadja who had been monitoring Chris's vitals looked at Victor. "He seems to be in great pain right now Victor. Although there are no signs that his vitals are dropping, it would be safe to assume that his mind is making him believe he is in pain."

"Is he alright Nadja?"

"I consulted Dr. Mizaki regarding the readings of his vitals. The good doctor also came to the same conclusion as I have. If it would serve to ease your worry Victor, I think Christian Wolfe is undergoing the trial those people spoke of."

Victor shifted in his seat. "Is that so? Alright then... if my brother is trying that hard, there's no reason for me to take it easy. Hans, any word from Alona about the Excalibur?"

Hans shook his head in response. "Sorry captain. Even Alona could not get any leads on this pirate we're looking for. It's because The Sword has not made any recent activity for a long time. I've had Nadja cross reference all known locations that had sightings of the Excalibur to try and figure out if that ship moves in a certain pattern however, there's just too few of them and the dates of the sightings are too far apart, also the locations the ship was sighted is far too random to even conclude that The Sword is actually moving in a pattern. We have nothing conclusive to even predict where this ship would go next, much more a chance at pinpointing its location."

Sighing at his lieutenant's report, Victor rubbed his temples with his right hand and went back to reviewing the data Hans passed on to him. "The Excalibur huh? That ship's power is the real deal. If we can get that under our command, I assure you we would not regret it. Anyway, let's keep looking. If we cannot get any new leads in two days, we're heading back."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:31 pm

"Master Krayden..." Kordjan's voice was low, yet the anger there was unmistakable, "You have deliberately allowed a refugee from the Empire into Homeworld. And now her pursuers are pursuing to this very location. You should have not acted alone. But now...you have done so. We will speak of this later. For now, we must mount a defense to protect the Bearer of the Key. We will meet Master Pierre in the Grand Council chamber. Where is Master Lumina?"

"I do...not know," Krayden replied, "Her presence...I could not feel it. I didn't know what to do, so I acted on my own. Besides, I am far older than..."

"Now is not the time, Krayden!" Kordjan replied, sharply cutting him off, "Go to the Grand Council and begin preparing a defensive strategy with Pierre. I will find Master Lumina."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Moments later, Kordjan found Lumina lying on the floor of her room, breathing very slowly, completely unconsciousness. The Grandmaster carefully lifted her and placed her on her bed.

Sigarda, I need you...

Within a matter of minutes, Sigarda was at Kordjan's side. Upon seeing Lumina's condition, Sigarda gasped and ran to her side.

"Master Kordjan, what happened?" Sigarda cried.

"I do not know," sighed Kordjan, "I merely found her like this. I was hoping that you could find the answer."

Sigarda closed her eyes as she placed a hand on Lumina's forehead. There was no trace of sickness or disease, and no sign of physical harm. It was just as if her consciousness were being suppressed, even though there seemed to be some kind of awareness.

"It feels to me...as if some high level spell has placed on her that is suppressing her consciousness," Sigarda whispered, "I don't know if I can break it."

Kordjan motioned for Sigarda to move back, and held his hands over Sigarda's limp form. He closed his eyes, summoning his inner reserves of manna and attempted to break the spell's hold over Lumina. A surge of energy passed from Lumina's body to strike Kordjan, sending him flying into a wall.

"Master Kordjan!" gasped Sigarda, running to help him up.

"I'm fine, I'm fine," Kordjan said, brushing himself off, "It seems there is a failsafe on a spell. Whoever did this must know we are getting close to opening the doors. They will do everything in their power to stop us. In fact, we are under attack right now. Sigarda, what may be needed her is subtlety. The most important thing you can do right now is carefully undo the threads of the spell, one by one. It may be time consuming, but it just might work. I will come back to you once I have mounted a defense. Do you understand?"

Sigarda nodded numbly, her mind reeling with shock. How could this be happening? For so long, Homeworld had been a place of refuge. But only moments ago, there had been a catastrophic space battle not far from Homeworld that had claimed many lives. With all the defensive magicks in place, even Lumina had been struck down, and now malevolent forces were attempting to invade Homeworld itself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Master Pierre, what are your findings?" Krayden asked briskly as he entered the Council Room.

"There are only three enemies, but their power levels are astounding," Pierre replied, his voice showing little of the emotions he felt, "I am not sure if the Manna Barrier will hold against them."

"They seemed fairly weak to me," Krayden said disdainfully, "A simple spell knocked them off course."

"It seems to me that they allowed that ship to escape here, Krayden. Why did you interfere?" asked Pierre, suddenly looking at him with a piercing gaze, "I may be young, but years of strategy have taught me to see a trap."

"What would you have had me do, then? Allow this person to die by the hands of the Empire? What if they are truly a refugee?" asked Krayden.

"We will worry about that later. For now, I am going to test their defenses. You must help me," Pierre replied.

Krayden nodded and sighed, focusing his energy on the three incoming fighters.

"Now...let us strike together...One...two...three..." Pierre murmured.

A space storm suddenly erupted around the three fighters, crackling with violent energy. For a moment, it seemed as if the storm was going to be dispelled as soon as it began, but the two Council members suddenly felt Kordjan's presence in the room, strengthening them.

"They are indeed formidable," Kordjan said through gritted teeth, "But should they pass through the storm and the manna barrier, it will be all the worse for them."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Christian found the world fade away to darkness once again as the second of his Trials began to unfold. In the darkness, however, a Light began to shine, forming into shape of a woman he knew very well from his dreams.

"The Manna goddess..." he whispered.

"Yes, Christian. I am the Manna goddess. I am to show you what could be if you are to open the door," she whispered.

The goddess began to shine with a myriad of rainbow colors, losing all form until she was nothing more than a sphere of energy. The energy surged forward, striking Christian in the chest and melding with his body. The scene changed from darkness then, replacing it with a view of Homeworld. Above the world was a creature of Light, radiating the powers of Manna. People could be seen, gazing with awe upon the powerful being, yet their eyes were empty, filled with little but a sense of respect. It was if they had been zapped of their personalities and their will....

The scene shifted, this time to figures shrouded in darkness. The light cut through the darkness, and screams of agony could be heard as the shadow figures melted away. Ships and others came to their assistance, all meeting their end with the same brutal efficiency. The light stopped for nothing, for no one...

The third vision was that of the Empire's capital world. For a long time, the creature of light just hovered above the world before lasers began pouring from its body. The lasers incinerated buildings, military structures, and residential districts alike until nothing was left but a smoking crater. At last, the creature of light spoke.

"For your thousands of years of transgressions, you have been judged and found wanting. Now...the world will be issued a new era of peace and of order. Manna shall be restored in its proper place, and any who oppose will be given to the void of the Light..."

The being then turned its eyes directly on Christian, and Christian found himself staring into his own eyes. Christian felt horror and terror as he realized that the creature was someone or something he could become. The scene shifted once more, and the Manna goddess was once again before him.

"You see what untold power could do to you," she whispered, "I myself struggled with this and perhaps I did not make all the correct choices. Do you have the courage and the strength to hold this power without giving in to the temptation of righting the world's wrongs all on your own?"

"I...I would never use power in that way...I...don't know if I even want to have that kind of power," Christian whispered.

"Good..." smiled the goddess, her form melting away to reveal the Oracle once again, "True strength lies not in power, but in how we use our strength for good or for evil, a lesson..that many have failed. You have passed two of the tests, but the third...the third will be the Trial of Truth. Prepare yourself, for this will be the greatest Trial you have yet to endure!"
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:51 pm

Location: Homeworld


A spatial distortion engulfed the three blackwings as they pressed on further into the planet's atmosphere. Despite multiple alarms going off inside their cockpits, the pilots calmly maneuvered their ships through the distortion. Raven who is in the lead position, carefully assessed the situation with keen eyes. Everywhere he looked from the confines of his cockpit, they were slowly but surely being swallowed by the distortion. Despite his ship's control stick shaking wildly, he skillfully avoided any rips in time that threatened to destroy him in an instant. Trailing behind him were his companions Gaeus and Muriel who flew with the same skill and precision Raven displayed.

"This is really surprising don't you think? Only a handful can conjure a powerful space/time spell right off the bat. Surely this is an attack from the Elders of the council. Don't let your guard down, use minimal manna to protect your ship from direct attacks. We will skirt through this storm shortly." Raven radioed in to his allies.

Muriel and Gaeus acknowledged the orders and focused their manna to form a thin shield around their ship. After a few more minutes traversing the spatial distortion, the three were greeted by the lush greenery of the planet. Despite the great difficulty, they have finally broken through the atmosphere. Muriel immediately did a systems check on her craft only to find out that all their sensors are dead. She frowned in distaste and asked the others if their sensors were still working, only to find out the same had happened to her companions.

"Isn't this great? Now we have to rely on manna to track Emiri. I don't like the idea of becoming a homing beacon for the Elders while looking for her." Muriel fretted over her comms.

"It will be fine Muriel. The Elders of the council probably has their eyes on us right from the start. Even if we use manna or not, this is their homeworld, I'm sure they have all bases covered when it comes to planetary surveillance. Just locate Emiri and follow her." Gaeus radioed back.

Raven on the other hand was somewhat worried about their current situation. He pressed a button on his ship's console and a compartment beneath his ship opened up. From the compartment came out a small capsule tube that was released down to the planet surface, a planetary probe.

"They would probably shut it down as soon as they find out where it is but I figured it would be better to get data on their planet no matter how little we can get. Also, don't let your guard down. I imagined we would be swarmed by manna fighters right this instant but to think the coast is clear... suspicious."

Gaeus laughed from the other side of their communication line. "They probably know that their manna fighters are not enough to stop us that's why they're not here. It is best to assume that they are conserving what's left of their forces. After all, the Empire is right outside their doors. Isn't that why we're being greeted by the Elders personally? I wouldn't worry about it too much Master Raven, let's just find their capital and get this over with."

"I guess you're right. Okay, let's fly low and scan as far as we can. Keep your manna shields and manna usage to a bare minimum. We don't want to be spent out before testing them now do we?"

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Emiri's ship emerged from the short jump inside Homeworld's atmosphere. The first thing she noticed was the breathtaking view of the planet surface close up. For a moment, she was lost in the planet's beauty. It reminded her of her old home, the thickness of the forests, the clear blue rivers that sparkled beneath her ship, it was a view she had not seen for as long as she could remember. Before she realized it, she had slowed down her flight speed to let herself take in all the beauty that was gracing her eyes.

Emiri...

The familiar voice that echoed in her mind snapped her back to reality. It was Clyde's voice, calling to her calmly.

Well done Emiri. You have made it to their planet. Do you remember your mission?

"Y-yes Master Clyde, I am well aware of what I need to do. But... are you seeing this? It's beautiful..."

For a moment, there was silence inside her head...

Do not be fooled by what you see Emiri. Their planet is but a replica of what was long lost to them. Behind that beauty in front of you lies the undeniable truth of destruction. Their makeshift planet will not last long, the magic that holds it together grows ever weaker as we speak.

"H-how do you know all this Master Clyde?"

A long time ago, I once went by the name Cornelius Yzak Demitrius, a denizen and also the destroyer of their original planet.

Emiri suddenly felt like all the words she knew were taken away from her. What could have been the reason why this man destroyed such a beautiful planet? She had only known Clyde for a little while and she could only hope to understand his actions and purpose, but the truth he had shown her was enough for her to become one of his followers. In her heart, she began to doubt if she had the strength to help Clyde realize his dream. If manna can be the cause of beauty such as the one before her eyes, why would Clyde see it otherwise? Will there be beauty such as this in the kind of world Clyde hoped for? A world without manna?

I sense hesitation in you Emiri. You are young, I have only showed you a little of this world's truth. In time, you will come to understand my wishes, my purpose, my goal. For now, focus on the task I have given you. I have high hopes for you Emiri, do not fail me.

"Y-yes Master Clyde..." Emiri responded.

She brushed all thoughts aside and took in a deep breath. Her emerald eyes began to reflect a new kind of determination. Broadening her senses, Emiri identified several locations in the planet where life was thick. Picking out the one with the most life signs, Emiri guided her ship towards that destination. It didn't take her a while to reach it while flying her ship at maximum speed. Before her now stood a magnificent city, proudly showcasing its beauty and sophistry, but before she could comment on the city, swarms of Manna Fighters have begun to surround her ship. Emiri's lock-on sensor endlessly sounded inside her cockpit but despite the delicate situation, she did not move her ship in any way that could threaten the Manna Fighters.

Identify yourself!

It was a transmission from one of the ships not done by conventional means but by telepathy. Emiri instantly knew that all the pilots of the Manna Fighters were skilled magic users and was able to discern that she could wield the power as well. Going by what Clyde told her about her race, Emiri hoped that these people should not have any trouble recognizing one of the highly respected ancient races that practiced magic. Concentrating a little bit, Emiri extended her senses just enough to cover all Manna Fighters surrounding her ship and began a mental broadcast.

"My name is Emiri Von Ducari, the last surviving Asyri from the destroyed planet of Astyria. I was allowed refuge in your planet from one of your kind. I mean you no harm."


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Location: P-112


Siegfried drummed his fingers on the armrest of his seat while browsing through multiple report logs from his armada. He was going over the casualty report and is in the process of assessing his current fleet strength. With two main flagships out of the fleet, nearly a hundred carriers and destroyers combined, and thousands of fighters lost in the battle, they were really in a tight situation. If they suffered an attack now without the flotillas to back them up, they would surely be defeated. He could only continue to hope that with the enemy losing the reaper, they would not hastily attack. Siegfried knew that both sides were on borrowed time.

"Navigation, how long do we have until the flotillas arrive?" Siegfried asked.

Approximately twenty-three hours sir.

Siegfried clenched his right fist. "It's too long. With that much time, they would be able to mount a proper defense or worse, they could reorganize and attack again. Any sign of enemy movement?"

No sir. The perimeter has been quiet since they withdrew.

"I see. Mildred, how are the repairs proceeding?"

Mildred turned to face her commander and handed him a report tablet. "Repairs are going smoothly commander. The supply ship engineers are working twice as fast as they can and we are about sixty percent done in restoring most of all damaged ship's functionality."

"Good. Send out drones as far as possible to establish distortion sensors. I want to know immediately if anything comes out of their planet. All ships should stay on alert level two, able fighters should form squadrons and patrol the perimeter. Have the supply ships ready to gate out at the first sign of combat."

"Yes commander." Mildred acknowledged but stopped upon noticing the look of stress and fatigue in her commander's eyes. "Commander Siegfried, you should take a short break. You need to keep your strength up now more than ever. I will take care of everything here in your absence."

Siegfried sighed. Despite not wanting to leave his post, he also knew that his body was already at its limits. As the new Empire Task Force in charge of hunting Victor Wolfe down, they were crossing the sea of stars continuously without much rest, only to find themselves ordered to join the front lines and enter full-scale combat. "Alright Mildred, I will be in my cabin. Notify me if anything comes up. I leave command to you."

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Location: Unknown Space, Large Magellanic Cloud


Victor had just stepped out of his cabin's bathroom when his lieutenant's voice cackled in the communication console on the far end of the room.

Sorry to interrupt your private time captain but Alona wishes to speak with you directly. She says it's urgent.

"Don't worry about it Hans, patch her through." Victor said while drying his hair with a towel.

Moments later, the image of the lyranian hacker displayed on the small monitor above the communication console. "Victor, I have received reports from my sources that the Empire had mobilized three flotillas in what seems to be a large scale invasion operation."

Victor stopped drying his hair and immediately went over to the console. "Three flotillas?! Are you sure?! That's too much for a large scale operation! Alona, which sector are they headed to?"

Alona turned in her seat and skillfully navigated through an array of devices behind her. Moments later, she turned to face Victor again and sent him a detailed three-dimensional navigation chart. Victor immediately studied the chart and the significant icons highlighted within.

"Based on the course they are traveling, it is safe to assume that they are headed over to this sector right here." Alona said and pointed at the sector.

The same sector in Victor's chart flashed. "P-112? They don't have much influence in this sector and there's hardly anything here but asteroids and planetoids. What could they want in this sector?"

Alona manipulated the navigation chart from her side and Victor watched the one on his side move accordingly to Alona's hand movements. The chart zoomed in on sector P-112. "That's where you're wrong Victor. This sector designated P-112 by the Empire has something in it protected by an unknown force you commonly call magic. This sector is also known to have fierce Empire resistance but I believe you already know that. They could be after what is being protected here."

Victor's eyes widened after a realization. It felt like every piece of the puzzle that has been bugging him for quite some time now had fallen in place. The reason the task force suddenly left them to their own devices was related to the flotillas movements. If magic was involved in that sector, Victor could only think of one thing...

"Alona, how long till the flotillas arrive in P-112?" he asked, the look on his face suddenly turning fierce.

The lyranian hacker calculated the arrival time and pushed the data to the navigational chart. Victor's eyes rolled over to the digits that appeared above the flotilla's icon on the chart. "Less than a day... How long would it take us to get to P-112 all things considered?"

Alona manipulated the chart again, switching over to their location in the Large Magellanic Cloud sector and did a few calculations. She pushed the data into the chart and Victor's expression fell at the numbers he saw. "A week?! Is there no other way Alona?"

The lyranian hacker scratched her head. "You did say all things considered. From where we are, I took into account all the fastest star lanes we could take to get to P-112. This is the best option we have. Besides, why are you so fixated on that sector? I merely thought to inform you of such a big movement from the Empire."

"Because you said magic is involved in that sector. I have not confirmed it but if my hunch is right, my brother is in that sector. Thank you for letting me know Alona. Will that be all?"

"Is that so? Well then, I will keep monitoring the situation Victor. That will be all for now. I'll let you know if anything comes up."

"Thanks..." Victor replied and ended the comms link.

Changing into his clothes in a hurry, Victor darted out of his cabin and raced to the bridge. He rushed over to his communications officer and opened a line to the Belphegor. "Silver, do you know any way that we could get to sector P-112 in less than a day?"

The man on the other ship returned a quizzical look at Victor. "Why? Something you forgot on that sector?"

"No. The reason why I'm doing all this is in that sector."

Silver fell silent for a moment. "Your brother huh? Well let me think... we are in the LMC and quite frankly, all the star lanes to the SMC takes up nearly a week of travel in light speed. However, there is a way... I know of a wormhole in this sector that could get us somewhere not too far off in that sector within a day. It's dangerous though..."

"Where is that wormhole?!"

"Easy now, we're a few hours away from it. But like I said Victor, that wormhole is dangerous, some days it's passable but some days it will rip you apart. It's that unstable. Even if we get there and the wormhole is having a fit, we won't get anywhere crossing it unless you're on a death wish."

"We have to try. Inform all ships, we're changing course to that wormhole. If it's having a fit like you said, you guys won't have to cross it. I'll do it on my own. Lead the way Silver."
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:47 pm

Sigarda sat by Master Lumina's side, humming a quiet melody both for concentration and comfort. Lumina had been her teacher for as long as she could remember. Everything she knew about healing and life force came from her patient, gentle master. She couldn't imagine anyone attacking Lumina. The woman was almost always calm, rarely angry, and had a listening ear to all who sought her advice and counsel. And now that woman was lying her, unconscious and unable to react.

Slowly, painstakingly, Sigarda was concentrating on the threads that held the suppression spell together. It took an hour just to unravel one, and there were at least one hundred. But she had seen what had happened to Kordjan when he tried to shatter the spell with force. She was loathe to repeat that experiment, much as she wanted to in order to free Lumina. As she continued to unravel the spell, her thoughts returned to her younger days...

Sigarda had been only eight years old, and her parents killed in an attack on Ucrade. She had nearly been killed as well, but a latent ability protected her as the forest itself fought to keep her safe. Her fledgling powers had not been enough when she had been attacked by a strange woman with mysterious powers. The woman must have sensed her own powers and looked ready to attack when Lumina appeared. With a mere flick of her wrist, Lumina sent the woman flying into the brush, surrounding her in a living cage of plants. As much as the other woman struggled, she could not get free. Lumina had gathered the young Sigarda in her arms and had eventually taken her to Homeworld along with her brother. She remembered crying for hours, wishing for her parents to come back. Lumina was patient with her, spoke to her tenderly, and told her the words she would never forget...

"Listen, Sigarda. I understand it's difficult. I know what you're going through and I can feel your pain. I can't bring your parents back anymore than I could move the sun or the stars. What I can do is care for you and love you as if you were my own. And I hope someday I can pass that love and care of others on to you...Because, according to the Manna Goddess, we are all one, and all connected. If everyone would show a little more care, the universe would be a much better place..."

Sigarda was brought back to the present as a second strand of the spell snapped. Sigarda felt just a bit of energy in Lumina, as if just that act had restored some of her vitality.

"Hold on, Master Lumina...You helped me before. Now it's my turn to help you," she whispered.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"They made it through the manna storm, Master Kordjan," Pierre said, eyes focused.

"They must be quite formidable, even if I can't get an accurate reading on their power levels. But...let's see how they handle the planet itself," Kordjan replied.

As if the planet were alive, trees suddenly swung their branches in the way of the fighters, while vines reached out to grab them in a choke hold. Geysers of fire sprang from cracks beneath the earth as well as pillars of water. The wind whipped up, and thunderclouds appeared overhead, sending shooting arcs of electricity at the intruders. Down below, the stirrings of animals could be heard, and these creatures had evolved to the point of being highly dangerous to those intruding on their territory...

Kordjan's eyes were glowing as he directed the Manna flow of Homeworld directly at their opponents, "Let us see how they handle the might of our world!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There was a brief hesitation at the girl's announcement. The last surviving member of Astyria? This was madness...impossible! The commander of the Emerald Squadron, a young man by the name of Taren Daress, narrowed his eyes at the seemingly simple craft. There was something that was not right about this situation, but there was no mistaking the energy signature of an Asyri.

What do we do, Commander?

We'll keep her under surveillance. Have Rita cast a manna suppression spell over the ship. With her power level, it might not hold her long, but it will be enough to delay her if she tries any sudden moves. And if she is a refugee as she says she...that will be for the Council to decide...


Taren allowed his mind to contact Emiri, looking through the cockpit at her ship.

Emiri Von Ducari. I am Taren, Commander of Emerald Squadron. We recognize you as a survivor of the Ancients, but we must be certain you do not intend this world harm. You will go with us to the Council chamber. The Council members will decide your fate. Do not try anything. If you do, there will not be a second chance."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Christian looked up at the Oracle with wide eyes as it spoke of the Trial of Truth. This time, however, there were no apparitions or a shifting of scenery. Instead, the Oracle merely lifted their head, letting it fall back to their shoulders. Shock registered in Christian's eyes as he realized who he was looking at...The wavy brown hair was the same, though cut a little shorter...The body structure was similar, though a bit more muscular. The eyes were a deep blue, yet filled with a distant pain, a distant sadness...A glimmer of power surrounded his body, an aura of ages past, and yet there was no mistaking it. This person...looked almost exactly like Christian.

"W-what...w-who...who are you?" Christian stammered, trying to make sense of what he was seeing.

"Though I am known as the Oracle here...My true name is Christian Wolfe. Yes...I am you, though I am more what you are to become. I am from another reality, another dimension...There, as you are about to do, I opened the Gates of Manna. I was given the power of the gods, and yet...the Dark One stole the life of one precious to me, one I loved with all my heart, and I turned to anger. You saw...what I had done. I stole the hearts and minds of my followers to stop the senseless violence...I destroyed the Dark One and his pawns and razed the capital city of the Empire to the ground. I was only stopped...by my brother...He was the only one who could stem the tide of darkness I had started, even under the guise of light...At the last moment, when I thought all was lost, a portal was torn open, and I found myself in this world...yours, so close to my own yet so different. I decided I needed to do all in my power to help you...to make sure you don't make the mistakes I did. For me, there was no trial from the Oracle. For you...I hope you can take my words to heart. I cannot tell you what the future holds for you, for your future will not be the same as mine. The point of this trial is this...knowing what could become, what could happen, will you still open the door? And if you do...are you certain you will not lose yourself as I did?"

Christian was silent for a few moments, trying to process everything the Oracle had just told him. The magnitude of the revelation was nearly too much for his mind to handle. He couldn't imagine committing such atrocities, and yet...her he was...the same person, only from a different reality...Could he even trust what this person was saying?

"How...can I trust you? How do I know what you say is true?" asked Christian softly.

The Oracle sighed, hovering directly beside Christian, and whispered words in his ears. Christian's eyes widened at the revelation, and he looked as if he had been struck.

"You really are...me..." Christian said weakly.

"I understand the truth hurts...and if you wish to back away from this path, I would not blame you. I cannot make the decision for you, and though I will fight for you, I will never be as formidable as you, for my power is but a shadow of what it once was...But know this. If you do not act, the Dark One will succeed in their plan and the Empire's shadow of dominance will grow long and terrible...The world will never be safe..."

Christian hesitated a few more moments before speaking, "You showed me what could happen...what might happen, but...I do know what will happen if I don't act. The Empire will grow stronger and suppress everyone in their path, and if the Dark One takes power...the universe will never be the same. And so I will continue on the path I was set on, keeping in mind your warnings."

"Good..." the Oracle smiled for the first time, "Then I present you with this, the Mox Ruby. You are very close to opening the door."

The Oracle placed a pendant fitted with a shimmering red gem around Christian's neck. The Ruby's light began to radiate along with that of the Emerald, and Christian felt power surge through his body. Somewhere...far away...a lock clicked and snapped as if it had been broken...
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ethereal on Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:40 pm

Location: Wormhole Sector


Their small fleet stood on standby a few thousand prilosects away from the wormhole Silver spoke of. Victor had explained the situation to everyone under his command and surprisingly, there was hardly any violent reaction at all from his crew and among those following him. Everyone else had accepted the fact that they were fighting the Empire, it made no difference if it was today or tomorrow. One way or the other, their forces would clash and blood will be spilled, a reality everyone was prepared for.

A few more precious hours ticked by but Victor had not removed his gaze away from the wormhole that fluctuated violently, threatening to tear apart any ship that would dare come near it. Both his hands were clenched so tight that his knuckles turned white, this was the second time in Victor's life that he felt so powerless.

"Damn it! Isn't there anything we can do?!"

Even the good Doctor Mizaki was up on the bridge, contemplating on wormhole theories from multiple resources. He had tried to conceive possible means to stabilize the wormhole but everything he could think of required massive amounts of energy, something all of their ships combined could not even come close to. There was only one more theory left but the good doctor would not opt to risk the lives of everyone with just a scientific hunch.

"Doc? Alona? Nadja? Anyone?! Please tell me there's something we can do!"

The silence was unbearable. Those who knew nothing chose to remain quiet, but it was even more painful to know that even those who had some expertise could not come up with a way for them to cross the wormhole. At a loss on what to do, Victor slumped back to the captain's seat in defeat. He knew he said he would cross the wormhole no matter what its condition is but truth of the matter is that false bravado would accomplish him nothing.

Victor... the only advise I could give you right now is to start traveling towards sector P112 and hope that by the time we get there... there's still someone waiting for us.

It was Silver's voice coming through their communication line. It was sound advise, despite the fact that everyone knew what would be waiting for them by the time they reach P112 should they travel by conventional means. As Victor began to ponder on the purpose of his voyage to gather allies, a familiar beep from their sensors grabbed his attention.

Captain! Unidentified signature warping out from our port side, distance three thousand prilosects, whatever it is, it's massive!

"The Empire?!" Victor roared.

His navigation officer shook his head sideways.

No match found in our database captain.

As if things could not get any worse, Victor cursed his empty luck and began to roar orders to his crew and small fleet. They prepared to intercept whatever it is that was gating out nearby should it prove to be hostile. As soon as the image of something coming out of the spatial distortion came to view, everyone's eyes widened in shock. The hull of a large battleship emerged from the distortion and continued to gate out until its entirety was visible to everyone.

"There's no mistaking it... that's the Excalibur!" Hans said in awe.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Location: Homeworld


The three blackwings were again bombarded by an onslaught of magic. This time, the entire forces of nature were on them and it was becoming increasingly difficult to maneuver their ships to safety. Raven, despite wanting to face the Elders head on to test their abilities began to acknowledge their formidable defense. He knew they had the advantage of magic and their home turf but to be able to continuously channel manna and cast high level magic arts was enough to tell them that the Elders are still a force to be reckoned with.

"I think it's time we called it a day. This much data should be enough for a field test. I never really imagined them being able to detain us for this long but the results are clear, we cannot take them lightly. Let us withdraw and leave everything to Emiri."

Gaeus and Muriel agreed to Raven's opinion and began to cast their teleportation spell. Soon, the two blackwings vanished within the onslaught of magic except for Raven's ship. Deep inside his heart, he hated the fact that they were not able to pay back anything that the Elders threw at them. Simultaneously casting his teleportation spell, Raven channeled a hefty amount of manna and dug in his repertoire of magic for a destructive spell. Just this once he wanted to show the Elders something that could wipe a cocky look on any magic user's face.

"If they think they are the only ones capable of attacking from a distance, then I shall prove them wrong!"

It was a forbidden spell he rarely used for it needed quite a bit of time to cast but today, he was going to make an exception. Raven extended his senses far beyond how he normally does it, searching for suitable targets. Instead of attacking the capital directly, the unlucky ones he selected were from several small towns that thrived in homeworld.

"A first level meteora should be enough to send these geezers a message, I don't want them to think they are dealing with amateurs here after all."

Unleashing the spell, Raven had conjured several meteors to burn down the towns he had chosen. Though the combined powers of the Elders may be strong, against a forbidden spell cast with full incantation, the least they could hope to do is minimize the damage the spell will no doubt cause.

"Let's see you deal with that..." Raven said to himself and finally teleported out from Homeworld.

__________________________________________________________________________________________


Emiri stopped in her tracks as she sensed the change in manna around her. She was being led by the man who named himself Taren of the Emerald Squadron. Behind her was a skilled binder that goes by the name Rita. Emiri had allowed Rita's spell to suppress her powers and even went as far as allowing herself to be bound by manna cuffs when they reached land. Emiri looked far into the horizon and turned halfway towards it.

"Do you sense it? A forbidden spell has been cast and several towns in your world are in danger."

The man named Taren stopped and turned around to face Emiri who was still looking into the horizon. He then shifted his gaze over to her aide Rita who seem to have exactly the same thoughts he does. Even in a suppressed state with manna cuffs on, the woman claiming to be the last Asyri was still powerful enough to sense magic that was cast from afar. Taking the time to extend their senses, Taren and Rita both did and felt the abnormality in the manna flow of their homeworld as well.

"We have absolute confidence in our Elders. That is something we should not concern ourselves about. Now hurry, the Elders have very little--"

"Are you sure about that? Your Elders have been fighting my pursuers until a moment ago. Surely they have used up quite a bit of manna themselves for casting spell arts over a vast distance. Even for accomplished individuals such as them, stopping a full incant forbidden spell is no easy feat. I can tell you this much for I have lost my homeworld to the very same spells you take so lightly. The least your Elders can do about this is minimize the damage, though I can guarantee you that the 'minimized damage' will still be severe to those towns. There's still some time left to stop that spell, what will you do?"

Then maybe the Chosen One can--

"Rita! You'd do well to watch your words around this woman. We don't even know if she's trustworthy."

Emiri smiled nonchalantly. "Too late Taren, I have already heard what she said. So even you people believe in the Myth of the Chosen One. I too was once fooled by it. There is no such person as the Chosen One, at least that is what I believe. The only people who could save you in time of need would be your own selves. But don't worry, I do not plan to stand idly by and watch your people suffer like how my people did. Taren, Rita, I can stop that spell. What say you? Will you let me?"
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Re: Origins Unknown

Post by Ruu on Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:02 pm

Sigarda's concentration was broken as she felt a surge of powerful manna. It was clearly a forbidden spell, and one with the potential to cause great damage. Great meteors were poised to strike some of the undefended village scattered throughout Homeworld. Her eyes widened in shock; who would commit such a heinous crime? Though she was safe in the capital with Lumina, she felt like she needed to do something to help. But what? She did not have the power to stop one meteor, let alone the entirety of the meteora spell. Even the Council would be hard pressed to deal with such a threat.

Christian, please help us. We need you.

Sigarda's mental please went out the only one she knew had enough power to stop the devastation. In fact, Christian felt as if were ten times stronger now than before his ordeal with Master Kordjan and the Oracle. What had transpired in that test of mettle, she might never know. But Christian had survived, and been tempered by the experience. She could only hope in him now...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kraden look satisfied as he felt the hostile forces began to vacate Homeworld.

"Bah...worthless fools. They thought they could defeat our Council? What were they thinking, attacking us on our Homeworld?" asked the old man incredulously.

"Be silent! Do you not feel it? The surge of forbidden magic?" asked Kordjan, cutting Kraden off.

Kraden's face turned pale, "But...this cannot be! Meteora?"

"It's not focused here..." said Pierre slowly, "The villages! They are attacking the villages!"

"Craven curs! Shameless dogs! Do they have no honor?" shouted Kraden.

"We cannot hope to stop it ourselves..." whispered Kordjan, eyes wide at the realization, "We can only delay the inevitable, perhaps mitigate some of the damage. Each of us should be able to stop one meteor. The others...I do not know"

Pierre nodded slowly, closing his eyes and focusing on one of the meteors, as Kordjan did the same. Kraden gritted his teeth, but he too knew that they were too weak, much as he hated to admit it.

"Chosen one...if we ever needed a savior...now is the time..." murmured Kraden, as he closed his eyes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Taren and Rita looked at each, hesitation in their eyes. The girl was a member of a prestigious and well know race, but the Empire had twisted others to their cause before. What if this was all a trap to allow the girl to remove her cuffs and destroy them all? Yet....what could a lone person hope to accomplish. Even one girl could not hope to take on an entire planet of magic users. And so, with some reluctance, Taren nodded to Rita. Rita quickly removed the cuffs and took a step back.

"If you have any intention of betraying us, you will feel our wrath," Taren warned, "But if you help us, we will be forever in your debt."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Oracle stepped back and replaced the hood to cover his features once again. His gaze shifted upward as a harsh, crimson light filled the sky.

"Meteora...a forbidden spell. So he was here...In my foolishness, I allowed him to come this close and I've spent my powers with the trials. But you, Christian, have just been blessed with the Mox Ruby. The Mox Ruby commands fire and anything connected to that element. Preventing the meteors from striking Homeworld should not be a challenge for you."

Christian nodded, taking a deep breath and trying to keep himself from thinking too hard on the revelation he had just received. The boy closed his eyes and as he did so, a red light began to shine from his body, shimmering and pulsing. He quickly located the meteors, and realized that three of the them were being held back by a mysterious force, most likely the work of the elders. The manna reserves of the elders were low, and it appeared even stopping a few of the meteors was beyond their powers. Fear clutched at his heart when he realized how many innocent people would die, and his resolve faltered.

Christian, please help us. We need you.

Sigarda's voice broke into his thoughts and brought back his purpose. He would help these people...he would save them. No agent of the Dark One would ever bring destruction here. He would not allow the Oracle's future to become his own. The crimson light intensified as he extended his powers to all of the meteors at once. Focusing as much as he could, he drew apart their very molecules, scattering them into fine dust. It was a spell that lacked finesse, but one that would at least stop the danger. He had reached the last three or four meteors, when he felt his strength begin to give way. Desperately, he tried to chip at the meteors, but with no avail. When there seemed to be no hope, a foreign power intervened, blasting the remaining meteors to space dust. Christian collapsed to the ground, his body shaking. What had...just happened?
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Re: Origins Unknown

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