A Note For The Readers
Just so that everyone knows, I, MaxIrvaron, will be writing the majority of this chapter. Nitro will be telling me what to do on some parts.
Chapter 1: Home Bitter Home
The Zone between all of the dimensions, flowing with images of different worlds, was surely a magnificent place. Its blue interior was always pleasant to look at, and rectangular photo-like picture of each new world floated around, allowing anyone to get a glimpse at a place they’d never been before. After his about 50th visit to this area, however, Kennedy McLeod was starting to get mighty sick of it.
With a fiery purple aura following him, the grey tiger flew throughout the hub base, noting all of the twists and turns he had to take to get back home. He was donning only his torn-up purple undershirt and his grey shorts that were formerly pants but now only went to his knees. He just had the worst luck, it seemed - stopping Luna on its own deserved a break in his eyes, but he also lost his left arm, and then he had to be plunged into an apocalyptic realm immediately after, only to assist save someone who he’d recently helped a different version of after that.
I need some rest… I wonder what everyone’s been doing without me. Though Jana-Su, Xavis and the others were pleasant people to hang out with, he missed all of his friends dearly. He hoped Alexia would have been deroboticized by now.
Suddenly, an intense headache came upon him. As much as he wanted to ignore it, he knew what was happening - someone was messing with the space-time continuum again. I’ll have to handle that later - I don’t have near enough patience to deal with something like this immediately.
Kennedy stopped flying abruptly to look at one of the rectangular images. In it, he saw the buzzing central area of Trikon City, his home. A smile crept across his face just thinking about all of the memories he’d made. With his only arm, his right hand went through the image, sucking him in. Not wanting to waste any time, Kennedy disappeared in a flash of white light, allowing himself to be sucked into the picture.
What were Kennedy’s expectations when he teleported into the Lamak Zone? Most likely landing perfectly into his room in the Hartley Mansion, where Mac and Scarlet would been tearing up at just seeing his face. Kennedy would start crying also, and they’d share a group hug, having Team Mask reunited.
However, that was probably as far as he could get from reality. When Kennedy teleported into the Zone, he found himself appearing into the sky, facing upwards. Before he could get a hold of what was happening, he started to fall, and suddenly his back hit something.
Groaning, Kennedy rolled over. He found himself on top of a red car whose driver had apparently not noticed something was on it. Kennedy attempted to stand, but the speed of the driving car made him trip and start to fall again… on another one, this time blue. The driver stopped immediately, which was an unintelligent move on their part - with the business and rushing that went on in this part of town, about five more cars crashing into the blue one, sending Kennedy rolling onto the road.
Kennedy got up, dazed, to see the driver of the blue car, a yellow beaver, get out and give him a fierce glare. “The hell do you think you’re doing? This is a busy road! I don’t know who you are, but blah blah blah blah blah blah-” The beaver might have been saying something intelligent, but Kennedy was honestly so tired that it all just translated into a rush of gibberish. It was strange that this man did not recognize him as the Extreme Gearist or buddy of the famous Mac Hartley, but Kennedy didn’t let it get to him. It was enough to make the Chaos tiger feel guilty, however, so he looked at the driver earnestly.
“I apologize, my dear sir, but I can honestly inform you that this was not my fault.” As nice as he was trying to look, Kennedy kept a completely straight face, angering the beaver and causing his face to flush with rage.
“You think you’re a smartass, don’t you? You think you can cause these kind of damages and just say ‘sorry’ with an excuse to get away with it? Who the hell do you think you-”
“If you could kindly shut up for a moment, you are not the only one troubled here. Now, I have more important things to attend to, so I must go. Call the police if you must, but I am leaving.” With that, Kennedy started to levitate into the air and fly away. The beaver didn’t like that.
“Hey! You! What about all of this?” The beaver was quickly waving at the line of damaged cars and confused civilians. “Who’s going to pay for all of these damages?!”
Kennedy’s eyes turned green for a second, but then they turned back to their usual grey. He replied, “Your insurance,” and teleported away.
When Kennedy appeared at the doorstep of the Irvaron Mansion, he was intrigued by two things - one, why was his teleporting off? Was it an effect of being thrown in different realms? And two, why didn’t he sense Mac and Scarlet’s energy signatures? Usually, they were booming.
Kennedy tried knocking on the door, but after five minutes, he got no response. Confused, Kennedy teleported through the door and ran through the mansion, looking for any sign of his teammates. He ran to his room - nothing. He ran to the kitchen - not a trace. He ran to the game room - nada. He ran to the party floor - no cigar.
Finally, Kennedy decided that the best place to check was their actual rooms. Maybe they were chatting together and were so caught up in their conversation that they didn’t hear the doorbell or his constant running?
Kennedy went into Mac and Scarlet’s room with high hopes, but when he looked at their beds, he only found their outfits and open drawers.
Earlier that week….
Mackenzie Hartley, a brown-furred tiger and his dear friend Scarlet June, a red-furred orange-haired fox were in the Hartley Mansion, chilling - at least, one of them was. Scarlet was on her bed, listening to music on her headphones, but Mac was furiously fiddling with his thumbs. This…. It didn’t feel right. Not without him.
Scarlet took off her red and black headphones, being able to see Mac’s stress. “Hey, Mac you seem troubled. What’s up?”
Mac tried to fake optimism, something he didn’t usually need to do because he normally had a reason to smile. Not like he needed one now - in the past year, after Luna’s conquest, a lot of good things happened. Alexia was deroboticized and she learned a bit about her destiny, which was cool. Schnee and White got to make amends with their mom - double cool. Terra found a thief and returned a sacred artifact to her village - triple cool. Mac finally got that stupid Chaos Energy out of him - quadruple cool. But even with all of that… without his best frenemy, it felt like he’d excluded him from their life.
Scarlet lowered her eyelids while glaring at the tiger, giving him a smirk. “Mac, you do know I’m not retarded, right? I know you’re down. What are you down about, though? So many good things have happened since last year!”
“Have you… forgotten about him, Scarlet?” Mac said this in an unusually somber tone that made Scarlet feel sad just hearing it. This wasn’t the only reason her face suddenly shifted between emotions, however - she knew very well that he was talking about Kennedy.
“Mac, be serious. You really think I’ve forgotten about the ‘k’ to our ‘Mas?’ I’d be lying if I said I didn’t spend every day hoping he’d come back, wishing that he’d just teleport into our home with a smile on his face.”
Mac looked at Scarlet, his eyes starting to water. “What if Luna killed him, Scarlet? We have just been living under the assumption he was teleported, but… what if the Oracle Stone destroyed him completely? What if life is giving us false hope?”
It didn’t take Scarlet long to sit next to Mac on his bed, putting her hand on his shoulder. “Mac, I understand you and Kennedy were close. I know that Kennedy disappearing has been the most hurtful punch in the gut since I met you. But we can’t give up, Mac. We can’t let ourselves be depressed because we’re assuming that the worst thing possible is the truth.” Scarlet sighed as she cupped Mac’s cheek. “We have to keep believing.”
Wiping his eyes, Mac smiled. “Dammit, Scarlet, you know just the wrong right things to say to me at the right times.” Scarlet rested her head on his shoulder as their thoughts synchronized on one single topic. It was five whole minutes before Mac jolted with electricity, shocking Scarlet.
“Ow! What the hell, Mac?” Scarlet was starting to fuss, but all of her anger subsided immediately when she saw Mac’s big old smile dance across his face. “What are you so happy about now? You look like a fool.”
“Scarlet, I’ve just had the best idea ever! What if instead of waiting for Kennedy to come, we bring him to us! It’ll be a lot less stressful, and then we could just mosey on back home singing Kumbaya!”
Scarlet chuckled at Mac’s enthusiasm, but she retained her serious demeanor. “As cute as that sounds, bud, you have to realize that Flash must’ve been thinking something like that before he joined Luna. How would we know if we were joining the right side or not?”
“I honestly don’t care about if we’re on the right side or not, I just want to bring Kennedy back. But there’s something else, too… When Luna came, we were doomed. It took all of our everything to stop her. I…. I don’t want to experience that type of fear again. Nuh-uh. We need to get some power, so that if a wannabe Luna appears out of nowhere, we can stop them. Plus, if we do find Kennedy, I’m worried about him. When we last saw him, he was pushed over the deep end.”
Scarlet shuddered, remembering the malicious aura Kennedy gave off when Turles was attacked. “Yeah. His energy signatures… they kind of reminded me of Konton’s, to be honest. They gave me the creeps.”
Mac made a gun sign with his hands, and then he pretended to fire a shot. “Bingo! Luna sure was a nightmare, but Konton was strong enough to give her shivers. If we find Kennedy and he becomes a maniac again, he need the strength to take him down. You with me?”
Mac got off the bed and put his hand out for Scarlet to grab. “You bet!” She grabbed it, and he pulled her up. Two questions popped up in Scarlet’s head, though. “Are… you sure you just want me to join you, though? We have White, Tina, Sepht-”
Mac shook his pointer finger. “Nah, none of them would really work. Schnee, Alexia and Terra would try to stop us if we joined the ‘bad’ side, and I feel like White, Tina and Sephtis should continue trying to live their lives as normal as possible.”
Scarlet crossed her arms and smirked. “Clever. But dimension-transcending warlords don’t appear out of nowhere, y’know.”
Mac lowered his eyelids and gave his friend a determined look. “Not until now, that is.”
Mac and Scarlet were in the party room, standing side-by-side. They were wearing slightly brand-new outfits for a brand-new adventure - Mac donned his usual black-and-yellow jacket along with yellow shorts that went past his knees. He had put slits in a red cap for his ears to go through, and he wrapped sports tape around his hands along with red shoes with white stripes. Scarlet wore a modified version of her yellow tank top that now had pink sleeves, with very short jean shorts accompanying them. She wore white and orange socks with white and yellow boots.
Scarlet looked at Mac again. “So, what’s the plan?”
Mac replied, “Okay, so if there’s anyone who is tearing up time, then they’ll want someone powerful. We’re going to raise our power to the maximum and hope that we alert them.”
Scarlet said, “That makes sense, but are you sure that I’ll be able to raise my strength high enough? I think that you’ll have to-”
“Already prepared, hon.” Mac, as fast a lightning, grabbed a pair of scissors from off the table and snipped a centimeter of Scarlet’s hair off. The gunslinger noticed shortly after, and she started getting very angry.
“WHAT THE HELL, MAC?! DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW LONG IT TAKES FOR A GIRL TO GROW THIS?! GO TO HELL!” Scarlet gained an explosive red-aura that shined in the smiling Mac’s face.
“That’s the spirit, Scar! Now, it’s my turn! Hyah!” Mac started off by going into High Tension, giving him cyan/blue coloring. They both unleashed all of their power while yelling, desperate for someone to arrive.
Their activities were cut short when a loud roaring sound came from outside. Along with that came several sonic booms coming from outside. One of the sonic booms made contact with Mac's house, causing objects to fly off in multiple directions and ripping some of the walls apart. It had come from an asteroid that crashed near the household. The resulting impact tore through the ground. The screams of others in the nearby city could be heard. Mac and Scarlet flinched and held their ground, which was tough due to the intensity of the impact. More crashes could be heard just outside the house. The smoke from the asteroids came from burning metals that either broke off or disintegrated during the descent.
The roaring noise still echoes in the sky, coming from a massive wormhole cutting through and showing a black void inside. This void was not essentially trying to suck in anything, but it was letting something out. What slowly came through was a ship of monumental size and shape.
Several monocular robots started to emerge from a lot of asteroids that have just crash-landed. Some were wielding weapons and others were not. Those that didn't have weapons made fists with their hands. The robots soon got out and started running for the location, ready to charge in.
Mac smiled, while Scarlet was just buggy-eyed, surprised that their admittedly stupid plan had really succeeded. Mac, scared that Scarlet would scare them off, chuckled nervously. "Eheh.... don't pay any attention to her. I'm Mackenzie Hartley, and this is one of my best buds, Scarlet June. Who are you guys?"
The robots start to quietly talk amongst themselves, trying to calculate the the chances of them becoming a threat. They soon send three vectors to Mac and Scarlet, with harpoon-like weapons protruding from the vectors' hands.
"Attention, flesh creatures of this dimension. We are looking for something you have, and will decimate your cities as you know it. Your total surrender to us and Lady Vultra Is required. If you choose to fight, your demise will be on your conscience."
Mac sighed. "Well, you guys just came in and said 'Give us your thing for no reason, or go to hell.' Which options do you think we're going to choose? As much as I wanna join you guys, I'm going to give you a little beatdown to show you whose on top of the food chain. But if we battle in my house, I am going to strangle that duchess Vultra and feed her entrails to the wolves! Now..." Even without his weapons, Mac was awfully brave, lowering his eyelids and putting his hands in his pockets. "Are you going to put up or shut up? I'm honestly fine with either option."
"Your miscalculate your odds of success. " With those words said, the vectors then walk towards the group each with a harpoon like projectile in their hands. Mac growled, frustrated that they weren't listening to him. Luckily, Scarlet informed them.
"Are you robots DEAF?! Take it outside!" With that, the two walked upstairs, to the entrance of the mansion, and motioned for the strange robots to follow them. "C'mere, you freaks!"
Realizing they were very serious by their tone, the monocular robots lower their hands and follow them. "What exactly are you after?"
They all went outside, and Mac leaned against the wall. "Two main things - a friend, and power. Not 'I wanna take over the world' power, but 'I wanna stop people from taking over the world' power. Anyway, I'll let Scarlet do the rest of the explaining." Mac motioned to Scarlet, who sighed and rolled her eyes.
"You see, after an interdimensional mishap, we lost a buddy who lost an arm. We can't find him due to a lack of intergalactic transportation. Plus, in that same adventure, we got our butts whooped by multiple baddies, so we're going to need more firepower if we want to actually be some help next time."
One of the vectors nodded, while the other two didn't. "We see now. So this is what you want? I do believe we can help with that, but your presence to our commander is required, lest we be branded renegades. She may offer her help. We apologize for our intrusion," the vector said in a robotic tone.
Mac looked at Scarlet, who looked back at Mac, who simply shrugged in silent reply. "Sure. Why the hell not. I've got time to kill," Mac said with a chuckle. "Take me to your leader."
"Acknowledged." One the vectors replied. Two of the vectors walked over to them, one of them grabbed Mac, and the other did Scarlet. "Proceeding with Transportation." A light blue aura surrounds all of them as they fade into white silhouettes and then fade away.
They all find themselves just outside of Vultra's command room. The vectors then made their way in the room, still holding on to Mac and Scarlet. They were on the floor below her, with all the other workers and supervisors. However, Psuedo and Velkorah were also in the room, and it didn't take long for them to see the two suspicious-looking anomalies in the room.
"Paxxolar! C'guro! Ixxoa! State your reasons for bringing those flesh puppets here!" Psuedo demanded.
Velkorah flew over them and landed next to Mac, pinching at his ear. "Yes. Do tell what purpose you have for them being here. I'd like to test them..." Velkorah said with a twisted smirk on its face.
Vultra walked up to the edge of the floor she's on. She stared at the group with a annoyed look on her face.
"Lady Vultra! These natives wish to speak with you!" Paxxolar shouted, causing all the other robots to stop and look in Paxxolar's direction. C'guro and Ixxoa let go of Mac and Scarlet, allowing them to speak.
Mac smiled. "Hey, you're that Vultra chick the bot was yabbering about, right? I heard that you have something we want. We could align our strengths to work towards a common goal, and leave with everyone happy. That is, unless..." Mac pointed to his hips, which carried a belt he'd put on before leaving the house. On his hips there were two guns, one on each side. Mac's grin grew. "...you wanna dance."
Scarlet put her hand in front of Mac's face, making him grumble. "Please excuse him, he isn't trying to start a fight. What he's attempting to say is that if you give us what we want, we'll help you. If you don't, well, we can settle it here. Neither of us are pushovers, though, so I think we'd be useful assets to your team."
Mac took Scarlet's hand and put it behind his head, allowing him to look at Velkorah with a mix of joy, anger and excitement in his eyes. "I'd be fine with you testing me. If so, I'll be sure to not leave a mess - I hate it when that happens." Just hearing Velkorah's voice made him angry, thinking of all the pain someone like him could cause. Mac was quarter hoping that Vultra would say no just so that he could zap that smirk off his face.
"At ease." Vultra said to Velkorah, Psuedo, and all the others in the area, not wanting to risk another issue with the station.
The robot's backed off. Psuedo included. Velkorah then murmured as he walked away and rejoined Psuedo. "Another time, you two," Velkorah murmured, still sporting a twisted grin.
"Pardon my misguided soldiers. Especially Velkorah. That one tends to act more like the 'phobia' variety. I must say you have some nerve coming on board this station. Paxxolar, tell what they are after," said Vultra.
"They claim that they lost one of their own as a result of some sort of dimensional issue," Psuedo responded. "They want to know if you'd be permissive in allowing them to join us in exchange for finding one of their own."
Vultra opened her mouth to say something, but shot a quick glance at Mac, remembering that he was armed and was most likely to wipe out the entire room if she refused. Acknowledging the issue, she then told them, "I see you are in need of assistance. As per your request, I can allow a pocket of my forces to aid you. But, considering the distance one location is to another in space, you'll need these."
Vultra then threw a Stekrite crate at their feet. It was a fairly sized crate that stopped at their knees in height. It was grey in color and appeared stainless. A hissing noise could be heard as the lid to it opens with steam coming out. When they looked inside, they saw row upon row of cylinders that looked like they could carry it one hand. The cylinders were made of smaller ones that circled around a big one in the middle. The devices also had square bases that looked like stairs. The top of the lid was also square on the top. The cyan color came from the central cylinder, glowing bright and becoming dim at a slow, rhythmic pace.
"My research division calls them "Gravitational Polarity Inverters", or GPIs. Throwing one will either cause objects to gravitate toward or away from each other. You'd have to scour the Multiverse in order to find your thing. But I need you to do one single thing for me: Find me the Terra form Matrix and the Raggadak Gems, and we'll get along just fine. Deal?"
Mac carried the crate and looked to Scarlet, who nodded at looked at Vultra. "We got a deal, but let me tell you...I don't think either of us like that creep who talks to us as if we're his playthings." Mac nodded in confirmation, allowing Scarlet to jerk her head in his direction to empathize her point. "I'd suggest you keep that guy on a leash. If he does anything suspicious, Mac and I won't hesitate to screw him over sideways. Notice anything suspicious, and we'll be on it."
Vultra stifled a small giggle. "Rest assured, he is already on a leash. A very tight one in fact." Velkorah looked at her, giving her an angry glare. He then quickly raised his hands at them, baring his claws and opening his mouth wide enough to bare his yellowish brown teeth, after which he simply hissed at them like an irate cat and turned away.
"Psuedo, I want you to accompany them. I will be sending a detachment to aid you three. You know what your goal is. Now get going," Vultra told them.
Psuedo crosses his arms across his metallic chest like an "X" saying, "Acknowledged, Lady Vultra," then walks off to them. "For the time being, I am at your command." Psuedo states to Mac and Scarlet.
Mac chuckled when he looked at Velkorah, glaring at him as if he weren't a threat. "You can't look scary if you can't maintain oral hygiene, dude," Mac said with a wink and a raspberry. "You might be able to do some serious damage, but it doesn't matter if you can't even brush your teeth," Mac said, getting a burst of laughter out of Scarlet. Mac made a vow to piss of Velkorah as much as possible.
Scarlet liked seeing Mac back to his joking self - when he was serious, like he was in the morning, he made her feel sad. Looking at Vultra, Scarlet asked, "So, where are we heading? I hope that you're not gonna teleport away right now - we don't even know how to work these things!"
"According to my research division, all you need to do is twist the top to the left, and the base to the right, which charges it up. If you plan to expedite your search, throwing two of these will create a wormhole for faster travel." Vultra replied telling them how to use them. Scarlet walked up to it, grabbed it, and followed Vultra's instructions.
"Okay.... so we just throw two of these things?" Mac was already twisting his in the directions she told him to as if it were an unsolved Rubik's cube. "Hey, Mac - let me help you with that," Scarlet said, doing it for him before walking back to hers.
"Yes, they are very delicate," said Vultra. "I would advise that you be careful with them. Now hurry along. Psuedo will direct you two your detachment. A battleship awaits your arrival."
Scarlet and Mac nodded before looking to Pseudo. "So, where are we going, 'Pseudo?'" Mac said, his words obviously implying finger quotes. "I can't wait to see the battleship. Does it have cannons or guns on it? I'm pretty good with guns, I'd say." Scarlet nodded in confirmation, mimicking Mac from earlier.
Psuedo looks to Scarlet and nods to her. "Affirmative. The Battleship is armed with 30 Plasma turrets that fire automatically, 12 Electron Line Beam guns that can slice through many a metal, 4 Neutronium Blast cannons that fire massive electronic beams that emit such energy that multiple units can be destroyed, and 1 Gamma Cannon. Largest and most powerful in our arsenal. Highly restricted to only be used in dire scenarios. The Battleship is also equipped with its own restock and repair systems, often utilizing elements from nearby to create previously expended items. If you really think you can handle it Scarlet, you may try either one if the Neutronium Blast cannons or one of the Electron Line Beam guns." Psuedo explained in regards to the battleship.
"As for our target, I have it marked. You'll see when we get there. In the meantime, keep your eyes open and those capsules ready. Now come with me. Our Lady doesn't like to see people go astray. Not after the incident involving J'rikrazzo," Psuedo said, replying to Mac's statement. Psuedo then turned around and proceeded to walk away with the others behind him.
Back to the Present....
People, cars, and objects were having to fight against the powerful gust of wind that was Kennedy flying through the streets, gliding past cars at hypersonic speeds. He needed to find Schnee, White, Tina, Sephtis, Terra and Alexia. Maybe Mac and Scarlet simply went on a vacation?
After rolling his eyes as a result of one kid watching him saying "Do a barrel roll!", Kennedy stopped in front of Schnee's house, which was a plain yellow house with a brown roof and a grey porch. Kennedy smiled looking at it - it reminded him that he was home. He went to the door, still levitating off the ground, and knocked the door. In about ten seconds, Schnee opened her door, with her upwards-pointing white quills and faded pink hair dye, looking a bit tired a plain white shirt, striped white and blue pants that looked wrinkled, along with frazzled hair and quills.
When Schnee saw Kennedy, however, her tired expression was altered nearly immediately. A smile grew on her face as a result of happiness and surprise, and before Kennedy could react, Schnee had already pulled him into her house, sat him down, and was sitting next to him. "Kennedy! You're back! Oh my god, I'm so happy! I thought you were dead, oh my god, this is unbelievable! I totally gotta text White and Tina about this!"
And text the duo she did. Too lazy to create original posts for the both of them, she sent White "Ken's home, *smiley emoji*" and copied that to send Tina the same thing. Then, Schnee hugged Kennedy, her eyes starting to water. "I...I'm just so confused? After Luna...after that freak did whatever she did to you, what happened! Were you, like, frozen in time, and then you were sent here like a meteor?"
Kennedy put his hand up for Schnee to stop talking, because it was clear she had about a million more words to say. And that's just lowballing it, Kennedy thought before speaking. "Listen, Schnee, I know you are worried about me, but there's something I'm worried about more. Where did Mac and Scarlet go? Are they at a resort, or someplace similar to that?"
Schnee sighed before twiddling her thumbs and looking downwards. "To be honest...I don't know. They'd been here for most of the year you were gone, and then earlier this week, they just disappeared. I just noticed yesterday, and the public had gone mad looking for them. It...it was just a lot to process, you three disappearing. I feel like someone's-"
"I have one idea where that foolish duo went," Kennedy said before getting up from his seat and preparing to leave. "But I want everyone to know about it. I'll get Terra and Aqua - you can get White, Sephtis and Tina. We're heading to Buns and Brawls for a meeting." Kennedy gave Schnee a quick hug, which she returned. "It was nice talking to you." Schnee waved to Kennedy before he teleported away in a flash of bright light.
It only took Kennedy a few seconds to mentally send his essence to the Wild Wind Village, where he happened to land on top of a hut. He slid down before flipping off of it, landing on his feet onto the sandy floor. He saw two kids, one lynx and one ocelot wrestling, but when the little boys saw him, they stopped immediately, mouths agape. Kennedy waved before going around them, confused about their reaction but having a vague idea why they reacted that way.
Kennedy had visited the village from time to time - he usually picked Terra up when they wanted to play tennis together. He was sure people knew him as her friend, and when she found out about his disappearance, everyone was on the lookout for him. Hoping he wasn't jumping to conclusions, Kennedy walked to the hut Terra and Alexia lived in before knocking on its wooden door. After a few seconds, Kennedy got no response - however, he felt someone tapping his shoulder. He turned around to see a happy Terra (a yellow, brown-spotted ocelot wearing a green vest with golden lining) with an earnest smile and an Alexia (a blue hedgehog wearing a star-themed outfit with two droopy quills) nearly to tears.
The two villagers hugged him at once, and Kennedy reciprocated, giving them all three seconds of peace. Then, everyone back out and Kennedy smiled at Alexia. "I'm glad to see that you are no longer a robot, Alexia. I wasn't looking forward to battling you again, so I am forever thankful to whoever deroboticized you." Kennedy said this without snark or a joking tone, indicating he was fully serious.
Terra handed Alexia a tissue from her green and gold vest's pocket and Alexia blew her nose before freezing the tissue in an orb of ice and shattering it. Then, Alexia hugged Kennedy again, and Kennedy rubbed his hand over her head, grateful that he was back home with her. While she did that, Terra asked, "So, Kennedy, how have you been?"
Kennedy took a quick look at his clothing. Tears were everywhere, scattered on the purple undershirt and shorts he had left. He felt like a disgrace. "...busy, I suppose you could say. But, if you could forgive me, I do not want to be the center of attention right now. Mac and Scarlet are far more important."
Once again, Alexia backed away before asking, "Where are M-Mac and Scarlet, anyway? It's like they just...d-disappeared early this week. W-We've gotten no mention of them from anyone, i-it's strange. What if they w-were kidnapped?" Kennedy shook his head, showing his disapproval of Alexia's hypothesis.
"If this were any normal person, that might've been the case. However, these are Mac and Scarlet we're talking about - no mere Mobian would've been able to take them out. I believe they left on their own terms, and that they made quite a stupid decision - it seems pretty in-character for them. I'll discuss more during the meeting."
"What meeting?" Terra asked, now confused. Kennedy had shown up, so she thought that it'd be a joyful reunion - however, with McLeod, it seemed like he was diverting the attention from himself and instead trying to get straight to business. Terra was not surprised by Kennedy's behavior, or the tiger's answer.
"I have organized a meeting at Buns and Brawls, one of Mac's favorite hangout places. It'll be a seven person meeting between us three, White, Schnee, Tina and Sephtis. We'll discuss what I've been up to quickly, before going deeper into analysis with Mac and Scarlet. If we can all agree on a plan, we'll move forward with it." Kennedy smiled before levitating into the air, waving to the two. "I'll be here at three o'clock sharp to pick you two up. Enjoy these moments-" Kennedy took a pause, allowing a small smirk to grow on his face. "It's time for another adventure." Then, in yet another flash of light, Kennedy was gone.
It was two fifty-five exactly, and Kennedy teleported into Buns and Brawls with a smile on his face. Alexia and Terra were behind him, looking a little dazed because they still weren't used to Kennedy's teleporting. Giving them a grin, Kennedy asked, "Now, that wasn't so terrible, was it?"
As Alexia was still trying to regain her balance (and fell flat on her face as a result), Terra was the one to reply, rapidly shaking her head - however, this was because she was trying to get her head on straight, not only because she was disagreeing with him. "Your teleportation is always a bit distracting to my brain, and it seems a bit off, too. That does not exactly make me the most comfortable."
Kennedy jokingly followed up with "Oh, maybe I should've called Schnee over and have her drive you here? I'm sure that would be fun."
"Please...no..." Alexia said, looking up only to fall on her face again.
The bee-wolf hybrid bartender, who had missed Kennedy's magical entrance and was currently glaring at the three strange characters, asked "Excuse me, but what exactly are you all doing here?"
Kennedy looked at the digital clock on the counter. They were early, just as Kennedy hoped. It wouldn't be fair for the leader of the meeting to be the fourth one to arrive. "We came here in order to stage an organization. I'll go ahead and order some things. Could I have some bacon-wrapped pork with barbecue sauce on the side?"
Terra raised her hand. "I'll take some salad with fish on the side."
The bartender was about to say "I think you mean that the other way, dear" - Kennedy read her mind - but when she was about to say it, Alexia said, "I'd like some French fries and ice cream along with a strawberry milkshake, please."
The bartender scribbled all of this down with a frustrated expression on her face before turning around and pushing a door open, giving the note to people who seemed to be cooks. Then, after having Kennedy pay, the three Mobians went to get a seat, near a TV.
After watching a eating competition that made Alexia wanted to throw up, Terra looked out the window and smiled. She saw a pink motorcycle parked outside of the bar, along with a brown car with three passengers parking right beside it. Terra knew who these three people were - Schnee, White, Sephtis and Tina.
Kennedy, Alexia and Terra watched as the four characters walked into B&B and interacted with the bartender, placing their orders and paying. Then, they all sat close to the group, with Tina (a grey black-haired bat) wearing and Sephtis (a purple eagle with a red and black jacket) giving Kennedy hugs and White (a white-furred black-haired rabbit wearing a blue shirt and orange shorts) a fist-bump.
"Yo, Ken," White said. "Nice to see you back. Sad your arm hasn't gotten any better, though."
Kennedy wiggled his stump, seeing it was still functional. "I can use my stub as a fork, at least. I won't do it right now, however, because someone is sure to think that I've brought a sword into here, and they might kick us all out." Kennedy sighed before deciding to speak. "To get this out of the way quickly, everyone, I am back. I have returned from near death, assisted in saving an apocalyptic world, saved an alternate version of someone we already know, and right when I thought I'd return, I met a judge god woman who is out for a certain bunny-hybrid's head." When Kennedy finished speaking, everyone's eyes were wide open.
Tina was the one to make a comment about it after ten seconds of silence. "Oh, Kennedy, it seems like you've just had the worst luck! In the past year, you've been through pretty heavy stuff. Our lives have been going pretty well, though."
Sephtis continued onto Tina's idea with "Yeah, thing have been pretty cool. Schnee, Alexia, and Terra all saved the world from a stone of mass destruction or whatever, Mac and Scarlet revived Alexia with another powerful stone, White and Schnee fixed up daddy issues, and I..." Sephtis gulped. "I guess Tina and I just met this prince guy called Kyle. So yeah, pretty busy." Sephtis noticed Kennedy's sorrowful expression when he said "Mac and Scarlet revived Alexia." "Hey, what's wrong?"
"Mac and Scarlet are exactly the problem. I hope I'm not being paranoid-"
"You're probably being paranoid," Sephtis interrupted, though Kennedy ignored him.
"-but those two are gone. No trace of them anywhere." Kennedy sighed before continuing. "Now, if I had made it here on any other day, I probably wouldn't have made such a fuss about it...but as I was flying through the Zones to return home, an ability gifted to me..." Kennedy took a pause, waiting for everyone's reaction to him finally revealing that he could travel through dimensions, but everyone's face was blank. Kennedy groaned before saying, "Zones are dimensions."
Then everyone reacted. Alexia and Terra's faces were of full surprise, White, Tina and Sephtis' faces weren't surprised at all - White even gave a smirk, as if he already knew - and Schnee's face was a huge grin as she replied to Kennedy's statement giddily. "WOW! You can do interdimensional travel? That type of thing should defy logic? Then again, I've seen many logic-defying things with y'all, so I shouldn't be all too surprised now..."
Kennedy, smiling as looking upon everyone's faces, decided to continue. "Anyway, as I was saying, I was flying through dimensions when I got these eerie energy signatures - similar to the ones of Luna's scepter, but more insane. Having Mac and Scarlet gone on the same day is either a scary coincidence...or a very bad omen."
Alexia raised her hand before putting it down immediately after realizing that she wasn't in a school. "B-B-But Kennedy... what are we supposed to do about it? We don't know wh-whether or not Mac and S-S-Scarlet are just on one of their missions of they have something to do with this f-f-freaky energy."
Kennedy clamped his fist into his palm. "I'm going to take three of you to travel with me to investigate. If it is simply a case of me being a fool, I'll take whichever three I choose back home and do it myself. However, if it is more than a coincidence...then I hope that you guys are ready to protect a world. Are you all with me?"
Tina and Sephtis looked at each other worriedly before shaking their heads, with Tina being the one to give an explanation. "Sorry, Kennedy, but Sephtis and I have something of our own to investigate. Plus, it may take a while, so we're out. Sorry."
White raised his hand. "I'd join, too, but I'm...honestly, I'm scared. I'm not ready to deal with a Luna-scale battle again," White said, remembering the intense fear he'd felt when Luna was attacking him. "It's too much for me. I'll...I'll get over it soon, I hope."
Disappointed but understanding their reasoning, Kennedy looked to the members of Team Saturn, who said "Yes!" in perfect unison. Kennedy smiled, before wearing a concerned look on his face. "Wait...Terra, without you and Alexia guarding the village for what could be a long time, are you sure the Wild Wind Village will be safe?"
Terra and Alexia looked at each other, shared a smile, and looked back at Kennedy. "We have an alliance with another village named the Solvage Trive, and one of its branches is near the Wild Wind Village. If we leave for an extended period of time, they'll know we're doing something important," Terra explained. I still have to thank Mac and Scarlet for getting that organized...I hope that we won't have to battle them.
Kennedy clapped his hands with a smile. "Well, then, I believe everything is in order! This is perfect, everyone! Thank you!" With perfect timing, Kennedy, Terra and Alexia's food arrived, causing Kennedy to smile. "Now, save your worries - we must eat!" After everyone shared a laugh, they got off the topic and began to talk more casually.
An hour after everyone had eaten, at three forty-seven, everyone had already said their goodbyes to Team Saturn and Kennedy. Team Saturn had packed their bags, and Kennedy had gotten into a new outfit, ready for the new adventure. Kennedy and co. were in the middle of the street, with backpacks packed.
"Now, to make sure you all don't go flying into 1550, I'm going to attach a spiritual rope to your souls that will chain you to me, Zone-wise." Kennedy went to Team Saturn and placed his right pointer finger on their stomachs (with an added "boop" sound effect from Schnee) and for a second, everyone could see what looked like a purple rope. Then, Kennedy looked towards the sky. "Are you all ready?"
"Yeah, Ken! This is gonna be awesome!" Schnee exclaimed, feeling excited.
"So am I, K-K-Kennedy! I'll try my best!" Alexia said, determined not to be useless during this.
"Affirmative. I can assure you that I won't give up," Terra replied, hoping to assist their group in whatever means necessary.
Kennedy nodded and looked upwards, towards the sky. In five seconds, a bright flash of light appeared, and they were gone.
The search began for Mac and Scarlet, unaware that a shifter disguising himself as a male wolf was watching Kennedy. The observations were received by a surveillance ship that was facing the planet directly. The robots were now preparing to relay a message to Vultra about their findings and dispatch actual forces onto the planet's surface. The numerous vectors that had been sent there had managed to bring back a ton of information both from the planet's surface and from the location that Kennedy was aiming for: High Wind Village.
Onboard the ship, the robots had started to initiate a holographic connection to Vultra back on LOKI Station, but had encountered some issues, which lead to some frustration. "We should be connected to the station already, what is going on!?" said one of the taller robots. "The Electron Calibrator is glitchy and the Quantum Processor is shot. Needs to be replaced," said one of the workers. "Well hurry up and get it done. The longer it takes, the more likely we'll be turned into piles of scrap."
Back with Kennedy, he was still on his way to the village, but picked up a faint signal. The signal was not only weak, but was also very garbled. Although it was mostly indiscernible, the person speaking sounded feminine. "##_el^+o_? A-Anyone_! $hea##r me~\Em¡|\?!. Respond."
Kennedy, hearing the signal while flying around in the space between Zones for the umpteenth time, suddenly stopped, causing Schnee, Terra and Alexia all to be sent forward before being tugged by the rope Kennedy out on them. Schnee turned around, floating, and asked, "Hey, Kennedy, what's the deal?!"
"I...I think I heard something..." Kennedy said, putting his pointer and middle fingers to his head to see if he could get another signal. Hello? My name is Kennedy McLeod. I'm here to help. Now, where are you?
The voice sounded clearer and more discernable. "Hello? Kennedy was it? This is Savannah Alexis Myers sending an urgent transmission from Safehouse Orion. You need to leave your dimension now. Your world is in danger from an alien attack that you haven't seen before. She may try to destroy your dimension if she doesn't get what she wants."
Kennedy frowned, wearing an annoyed expression. Deadpan, he told Savannah, I'm not actually in a dimension right now, so could you please specify?
Savannah heard him say this, and was surprised to hear that someone was actually outside of a dimension. Not wanting to seem surprised over the transmission, she then said, "Ok then. I'm starting to receive an emergency signal from Wild Wind Village. There is some trouble brewing over there; if Vultra is there, there could be trouble."
Kennedy turned around and told Terra and Alexia, "Apparently, a lady named Vultra is now attacking the village! We must turn back and-"
"Don't worry about it," Terra said, causing Kennedy's eyes to open wide. Before he could ask, she said, "The reason I say this is because we have a massive amount of reinforcements. The Solvage Tribe, the Wild Wind militia and Team Watts are all able to stop her if necessary. We picked up on a few allies while you were gone - it makes leaving the village much safer."
Kennedy looked to Alexia for confirmation, and she nodded, causing Kennedy to sigh before talking to Savannah again. Apparently, the village has its own form of defense. My friends and I are on this really important mission, and if we did show up, there wouldn't be much of a difference. However... if I can get to your base or homeworld, I can drop three of my friends and go deal with it myself. I'm assured I'll be a challenge for this "Vultra" lady.
Savannah took a minute to process the information. "Do what you must. But, allow me to show you something when you get here. You'll need to know what she's after, and may have ended up in your world." Savannah then cut off communications to Kennedy for a few brief moments. After that, Kennedy was greeted by a white light that was just a few feet in front of him and was a little taller than he was. The white light looked like an oval, almost like a mirror. "Get in!" Savannah yelled.
Kennedy nodded, and before Team Saturn could ask any questions, he flew through the portal, sucking all four of them in.
Upon travelling through the light, the four of them were taken into a very large room. This room had large computer screens and massive keyboards with a lot of indistinguishable characters and symbols that seemed to be a form of letters. These keyboards and screens were mounted and connected to the walls. The wall they were in front of didn't have one of these, but rather the four of them were standing on top of some sort of circular platform that looked like 10 people could stand on it at one time. There was also a large circular light directly above them that was as wide as the platform below them. They then heard a familiar female voice call out to them.
"Ah! You're here! Excellent."
Even though they didn't fall from the ground, that didn't stop everyone except Kennedy from feeling extremely disoriented. While Kennedy simply looked normal, with his green dragon shirt, black pants, and grey-and-purple scarf, the others did not have the same experience with inter-dimensional travel. Kennedy dusted himself off, and turned around to see a tired Schnee with her tongue out, a Terra who looks like she was forcing herself to look stoned, and an Aqua who had a green face and looked like she was going to puke.
"Freaking Jesus, Kennedy, why the hell didn't you warn us that you were going to take us into a portal?! Argh..." Schnee said, groaning.
Terra's eyes were three-quarters closed, and she was trying to look confident and fine, but it was clear by her blue face that she wasn't feeling so good. "I-I could've done better with some warning too..."
However, neither of them looked as bad as Alexia did. Her face was green, blue and red simultaneously, her hands were clutching her stomach and she was coughing repeatedly. Kennedy kicked himself for forgetting about Aqua's motion sickness. Blast it! If there was also her getting sick when I was flying...then she must feel terrible!
Alexia, in pain, managed to say "I-I-I d-d-don't f-feel so g-good..."
Schnee chuckled before groaning. "N-No shit, Sherlock...Whoever this psychic girl is..." Schnee glared at the girl. "Get us to a trash can before I wreck your father-screwing...oh Christ, just..."
Kennedy rolled his eyes. Note to self: Schnee when sick = Schnee when drunk. "Savannah, could you please get these three to somewhere to...ahem, 'deposit' their 'belongings?' They were flailing around in the interdimensional void for about an hour."
Schnee was huffing, shaking her head. "D-Damn, Kennedy, now I feel even worse...get me a place to blow m-my chunks al-already..."
Terra shook her head. "B-But I'm f-fine...ugh...why did I have such a heavy breakfast?" Terra sighed. "Fine, I'll go vomit with these two, I s-suppose..."
Savannah took a quick look them and nodded her head. "Of course. Come with me you three, there is a waste removal bay in sub-basement A1."
The members of Team Saturn walked forward, wanting to follow Savannah.
Savannah escorts the others to the waste removal deck, secretly hoping that they don't vomit before they make it. The waste removal deck was quite a large one. There were massive vats of boiling metals in red hot magma, with the odorous smell being not too far behind. The deck they had reached was more of a tram platform with a group of intersecting hallways spreading in various directions.
The platform didn't have any other personnel to speak of, let alone even robots inside. This was giving off the indication that everything was automated with the process. Yet there were some chairs with armrests against the wall that indicated there have been some workers here at one in time.
They proceeded to walk down a hallway on the left side of the platform and descend a flight of stairs into the sub-basement A1.
It was an area of decent size, but was giving off the familiar smell of burning metallic scraps and thick, toxic smoke around the room. Despite this, the smoke wasn't inside the basement at all, meaning that it had come from another source. On the group's right was a waste disposal bin that stood at least up to Savannah's lower thighs just above the knee. "If any of you feel the need to vomit or "retch" your waste, you may do so here. The smell alone forced Alexia to puke, but using her hydrokinesis, she turned her vomit it a ball and "put it away." Schnee and Terra were able to make it in time, and "disposed of their belongings."
Savannah is a little surprised by Alexia's actions as Kennedy teleported next to her, not wasting any time with walking. "So... tell me a bit about yourself, Savannah. Or would you prefer me to go first?" he asked.
"You first. I'll go after," Savannah replied.
"My name is Kennedy McLeod, resident of the Lamak Zone. I am an Extreme Gearist, and I love meat. I was made by the energy of the Chaos Emeralds, Super Emeralds, and Master Emerald, combined with that of my fully organic counterpart, Mackenzie Hartley. Over the past year and some months, my life has been crazy - I've been converted from a monster to a hero, I fought off a leftover Black Arm hybrid, I stopped a megalomaniac from gathering the Sol Emeralds, I stopped the Black Arm hybrid from earlier from destroying time and space, I learned I can travel through dimensions and..." Kennedy gasped for breath, realizing how much he'd been through in the process.
"The Black Arm hybrid took my arm-" Kennedy waved his lump. "And sent me through time, where I ended up in a post-apocalyptic realm that I'd visited before, I fought a former God of Destruction, I saved a counterpart of one of my teammates in fighting the Black-Arm hybrid, and as soon as I got back home, I get warnings of another interdimensional nuisance trying to mess up stuff." Breathing heavily, Kennedy finished. "So.... yes, I've been through a lot."
Savannah processed the information explained to her. "I see you certainly have."
"What about you? I'm sure you have some interesting tales yourself," Kennedy asked.
"I do." Savannah replied. "I was born to two parents in a more, to put it kindly, ‘politically passionate’ setting. They were both on the same side, but that's not to say they had their enemies. In fact, there was a whole list of them at one point. Both of them died when I was in middle school when one of their rivals took it a step too far and killed them. The reason was mostly because of money. Money in which case was removed from their savings accounts. The guy got arrested eventually, but now I'm getting ahead of myself. Prior to this, my mother spent her time with me to teach me to be someone with a bold backbone, make choices that are hard to make, and look out for others. My father was an astute language teacher who helped me out a lot with words, writing, and even how to use various words.
“Later on, I moved in with my older sister, Francesca, following my parents death ate the hands of a political rival. It was a surprise to learn that the "rival" was a very skilled hit man who had at least ten more rivals on my parents' side to eliminate. Even so, that was minor compared to what came years later. I was only have way through high school before I was dragged into an alien war. You'll have to talk with Is-- Raven if want to know more about the war. All I can tell you is that I'm not entirely sure what to think about this.”
Savannah then continues with, " Following that I chose to become the leader onboard a vanguard-ship-turned-battleship Warthog and joined the Incognito Pact to keep people like me a secret. We crashed here and some of us split up, but I redirected the others to a colony as a form of refuge, and took on the role of leader following the preceding leader's exile and and his brother being killed by his brothers hand. I helped in stopping a creepy guys by the moniker of Velkorah, and even partook in a war against an Alien leader by the name of Za Nakrota. So, now that brings us to this nonsensical snafu. Vultra having returned from a trip into the void of space, and now threatening the multiverse."
"Well.... that is definitely a lot to take in. I suppose we both have our fair bit of history," he says with a chuckle. "I'm just happy this Vultra lady didn't meet Luna. They would either fight each other and destroy everything, or team up and destroy everything." Kennedy sighed before continuing. "So, I take it this team of yours has more info about Vultra? Care to share?"
Savannah took a breath, and shut her eyes while doing so.
Team Saturn came out of the waste disposal area. "Hiya," Schnee greeted. "Before y'all get into the serious stuff, we should introduce ourselves," she finished before Alexia and Terra came out.
"Oh, of course. I am Savannah Alexis Myers. I am the leader of this colony,” said Savannah.
Schnee slipped a silver bracelet off of her wrist. It turned into a bo staff that Schnee twirled. "Hi, Savannah. I'm Schnee Ainekas the Hedgehog, leader of our team called Team Saturn! I'm a techie type of person, so I'm good with technology, and I'm pretty skilled with guns and this staff of mine." Schnee stopped twirling it, turned it back into a bracelet and put it on. "I'm a cop-in-training who met this group of supernatural guys, and let's just say they've changed my life, for sure."
Alexia went next. "U-Um... I suppose it's my t-turn.." she started before twiddling her thumbs and kicking the ground. "I-I'm Alexia Wynter the Hedgehog. I'm a cryokinetic and a hydrokinetic, which might b-be useful I-I guess... I'm s-supposed to be the hero of some prophecy... the s-same prophecy that drove my b-brother to try to kill me." The temperature around them became about fifteen degrees colder as Alexia's face flushed. "I-I more of a support type of person, b-but I hope I can h-help this operation! ...Wh-Whatever it is."
Terra came finally. "My name is Terra Fauna the Ocelot. I'm the guardian of my village, the Wild Wind Village, and Alexia is my apprentice," Terra said before lightly rubbing Alexia's head. "I excel in speed, and my claws are definitely not to be underestimated. If I had my village's artifact, I would be able to walk on air, but-"
"Actually, Terra," Schnee interrupted before reaching for her pocket. She took out a golden ring. "I brought this!" She flung it to Terra, who caught it and gave Schnee a nod of approval. Schnee turned to face Savannah. "I also might've forgotten to mention I kinda sorta have hammerspace."
Savannah nods her head. "Well, it is most certainly a pleasure to know you all are here and still alive. I'm also glad to here I got a guardian out in time. But first, I should elaborate as to where you are. This is Safehouse Orion, it used to be a colony inhabited by Cyber-Mobians like me. In fact, there's a couple others here you should meet. One would be most pleased, the other will be… well… I’m not sure.” Savannah pushes a button on the top of her left hand (supposedly). "Attention: Maintenance Number 034451 and Combat Number 09311503 please report to sub-basement A1. We have something of importance. Thank you." Savannah said as she spoke into some sort of invisible microphone on top of her hand. "Anyway, where was I? Oh right, Vultra."
"We'd like to know a bit of info about her, especially if she's attacking our village," Terra said, to which Alexia nodded quickly.
"Understood. You may not be surprised, but here we go. Vultra is actually one of the groups of Mobians that was created by replicating the Cyber-Mobian procedure, instead with their own technology. Following the death of Za Nakrota, she took on the mantle of leader of the Metaspace Comet Battalion, and has utilized the militia to try to control the world multiple times. She isn't alone, she has help from some rather ‘disturbing’ individuals. However Vultra, in your case is actively searching for something called a ‘Raggadak Gem,’ and believes it is in your village. If they refuse to comply, she will send out as much as a whole legion of robots to capture or even kill anyone in the way."
"That would be fearsome, had we not had another army assisting us," Terra replied. "Surely they will not go down to some foolish robots.... at least, I hope. White, Tina and Sephtis would help too... but that's only if they realize that we've been under attack. I hope the village is well prepared..."
As they continue to talk to Savannah, two more characters appear, a pink kitsune and a red hedgehog with small black streaks on the quills.
"Alright Savannah, we're here, what do you--"
Alexia waved. "H-Hello..."
Both the kitsune and the red hedgehog were kind of taken aback by the other's presence. The pink female kitsune looked back at Alexia and said with an anxious tone. "Hi."
The red hedgehog focused his attention on Savannah. "Savannah, quick question: Who are they and why are they here?"
Savannah looked back at Raven and said in a serious tone. "Well, Raven they are here because their world was under siege from a certain vulture we know."
Raven thought over this for a minute, putting into context her voice, realising the transport mechanism worked successfully. "Noted. Well, I see what you mean." Raven said as he observed them. Alexia seemed to hide behind Terra as he did so.
The kitsune performs a curtsy to the group, working up the courage to say, "Hi, I'm Nicole Elaine Silverson, but everyone here calls me Nikki."
Raven just nods his head. "Name's Raven. I'm a mercenary. I bend the power of atomic and I'm skilled with weapons. All I will say to you." His arms are folded as he stares at them.
"Mercenary? Weapons? Sounds like someone I know," Kennedy said with a smirk. "It's interesting. I, myself, can fly, has telepathy, has a small amount of gyro and telekinesis, a master of Chaos Energy, and, well..." Kennedy's arm suddenly turned into a purple arm blade. "I can do this. So what else will we need to know? What are our plans?"
Raven raises an eyebrow toward Kennedy.
Savannah replies with "We don't really have much of a plan aside from assigning a small force to try to suppress the advance from Vultra's force. She will use any means at her disposal if it means that she can get the four Raggadak Gems and the Terraform Matrix before we can. The Gems withhold the knowledge of Xi Paxxam Roksha. Each individual gem holds a distinct portion and form of knowledge and energy. This is turn creates a near endless supply of power. The Terraform Matrix can change any form of organic or carbon-based material on a molecular or atomic level, making it into something suitable for Terabytian life."
"So, we have to stop them from g-getting all of th-th-those gems, r-right?" Alexia asked.
"But then, what are we gonna do with 'em?" Schnee added.
"Correct." Savannah says to Alexia. But before she could talk to Schnee, Raven interjects.
"I'll secure them and keep them out of her hands. I may be a mercenary, but I also still bound to guardianship to these artifacts." "I will show where they go when we do gather them. Right now, we need to find out where they are before--"
"Excuse me, but keeping a powerful gem of knowledge with a mercenary doesn't sound like the smartest-" Terra started, but cut off when Schnee punched her in the arm.
"Good plan-" Schnee was also cut off by the frequent, and everyone covered their ears. When Kennedy heard the distinguishable words, he looked at Savannah.
The group is cut off by a loud static frequency that suddenly starts to blast on the speakers in the room. They were forced to plug their ears. But then this played amidst the static:
“N-No way out.... He-Help... send help.."
"On your knees, flesh creatures. Don't move."
"What is this?!" Kennedy asked.
Savannah looked back at him "I honestly don't know! Nicole, track the signal and find out where it's coming from!" Nicole nods and runs out of the room trying to locate the signal's origins. She soon did. "Oh. Oh no... uh, Savannah, this more than a loud frequency, it is a video recording of a distress signal mixed in with the battalion finding them out. It's coming from High Wind Village." Nicole said when she re-entered the room.
"What's High Wind Village?" Kennedy asked. "Do you know what it is? Are your friends there?"
"No, but it looks like the village in question may be yours. It isn't High Wind Village, it's your village Kennedy, the one you tried to assist,” said Savannah.
Nicole then shows Kennedy the video. The village had turned into a total war zone. A line of brawlers were dragging out people bound by their wrists and ankles in some sort of cable. Apparently, one of them had badly shocked to the point where the victim was paralyzed from the waist down, and escorted by two brawlers, one holding each arm. They also had lead helmets covering their heads to conceal their identities.
The cameraman turns the camera to a couple being thrown out of a burning house by a juggernaut, with the female victim being badly bruised and unconscious, while the male victim obviously put up a struggle, only to beat him to near death and just throw him out , leaving both of them to die.
The cameraman then says, in translation, "It's only a matter of time." before the video ends.
"Screw this shit, we gotta get there now!" Schnee said, stomping her foot. "This is terrible! They even defeated your guardians! Ugh!" Terra fell to her knees, tears dripping from her eyes. "Wild Wind Village... it's destroyed. Gone. How... could I let this happen? All my family..." Terra burst into tears. Alexia was on all fours, sobbing. "I-I should've stayed... I'm useless!"
Kennedy shook his head. "This is outrageous. Give me coordinates, and I'll be heading there!"
"Correction. All four of you are going there to try to contain the threat. I don't have high hopes for this, but we need to try," Savannah says to all four of them.
Savannah looks at Alexia and Terra. She walks over to them and gets on her knees. She rubs Alexia's upper back with one hand, and brings Terra in with a hug with the other. "Listen to me, you two. Neither of you failed. Neither of you are useless . You're as every bit as important as important as Schnee and Kennedy. There was no way either of you could have prepared for this. Now we need you two to stay with us, okay?"
"I know... there was nothing we could've done..." Terra slammed her first on the ground. "Damn it! That fiend deserves to die!"
Alexia sat up, still lightly sobbing but listening to what Savannah had to say.
Savannah remarks ," it's obvious she should've died years ago. But that's not important. Listen. we will try to fix this. We will make it right. We need time. For now, you two need to accompany Kennedy and Schnee and try to contain the situation. Okay?"
"O-Okay... I'll fight for those who couldn't fight for th-themselves!" Alexia said, standing up.
"We're ready to follow your orders," Kennedy told her.
Savannah stands up, helping Terra to her feet as well. "Okay. That's alright. First, take these."
Savannah reached into her jacket pocket and pulls out 4 wrist bands with a octagonal object on top it had an ice blue color with a silver rim that is at least an 20 cm thick. The wrist bands were at least 2 inches thick, almost looking like bracelets at first.
"Nicole helped me make them. They are made to act as a means of both transportation and act as communication. If all else fails, press the blue octagon to activate the failsafe teleporter. It'll immediately bring you back here. It'll only work once, so save it for when you really need it.”
Terra took two bracelets, throwing one to Alexia. Schnee and Kennedy grabbed their own, and all four put them on. Suddenly, Kennedy disappeared. "Kennedy! Where - ugh!" Schnee yelled.
Suddenly again, Kennedy reappeared. "This is certainly faster than what I'm used to," he said, admiring it.
Schnee elbowed his arm. "Maybe we'll be able to keep our lunch now."
Alexia looked at Savannah and asked, still between sobs, "So, what should we d-d-do now?"
Savannah looked back at Alexia, and then at the others. "You guys need to go back to your dimension and try to contain the threat. I need to fight as hard as you can physically. I can offer to have Raven join you four if you feel like you need an extra hand."
"If they were able to take out the tribe and the village..." Terra said before starting to trail off. Suddenly, she bared her claws. “I’m out for blood. I’ll be heading off as soon as possible.” "We'll take the help," Kennedy finished.
"Alright then." Savannah said to them "Raven. You heard them, correct? This is a very grim situation." Savannah to Raven.
"Indeed. Knowing that she's behind all of this, I'm not surprised that I'm required for this. Let's fight." Raven said. Then, Raven did something sudden. Pixels surrounded his body and the details of his face, clothes, shoes, and hair were vanishing. As the details did, the pixels increased to the point he looked like a glitched out sprite. Until the pixels finally settled did they see what he looks like, armor and all.
"Ooh, flashy transformations," Schnee said, eyeing him up and down.
Terra looked at him, slightly impressed. "Nice. Well, let's be going. I don't want the village to suffer... anymore."
“Let's." Savannah soon gets lock on the Wild Wind Village. She opens up a wormhole and links the wrist bands to the safehouse. "Good luck. Don't forget what I said about the bands." Savannah reminded them.
"Oh, and Alexia, Terra...please be strong for your village. I'm certain they'll forgive you." Savannah said specifically to them.
Terra muttered “Bull.” quietly before jumping into the wormhole.
"We won't... disappoint th-them," Alexia said as she walked through the wormhole.
Schnee gave Raven a peace sign before going through, and Kennedy told Savannah, "Thank you for your hospitality," and he went through.
Raven walked in after Kennedy. "Raven." Nicole said as started to leave. Raven looked back at her. "I'll be fine, Nikki. Don't worry. This isn't the first I'm been to war, and it sadly may not be the last." Raven solemnly remarked. With that, he joined them into Wild Wind Village.
The portal reappeared in the Lamak Zone, and in the area where the Wild Wind Village was. It still looked as bad as it was on TV, and Terra and Alexia tried to be brave, though the ocelot was simultaneously whimpering and growling.
"Wh-Where are our en-enemies?" Alexia asked.
"I'm not sure." Raven responded to Alexia. "They're probably trying to hide. Let's look around. Tread lightly though." Raven said to the group.
Kennedy, confident he'd be safe, flew away quickly, determined to find Vultra's group and avenge his friends.
Meanwhile, the rest of Team Saturn stayed close to Raven, with Alexia tugging at the back of Terra’s vest to make sure she wouldn’t run off.
Raven looked around inside a residential building, finding the smell of burning wood and incendiary materials. The building was black as night, with big holes in the walls and some of them even missing. "Nova...this is quite aggressive. Even for her."
"Th-This is terrible... v-v-v-very hard to w-w-watch..." Alexia stammered.
"Hey, where did Ken go?" Schnee asked, looking around. Kennedy, meanwhile, was flying around in the air, looking for Vultra.
A loud voice can be heard. The voice sounded robotic in tone. It sounded like a ton of gibberish, but the way it sounded was like it was issuing a command.
Terra flinched. "Did you all... hear that? It could be the wretched perpetrators."
Kennedy flew to where he thought he heard the voice from.
It was a little ways outside the city. However, the voice sounded like it was going away from the village. But then they heard the same voice say, "Native worm. I will ask you this one more time." The robot was carrying a survivor of the village by the throat, and quickly held the survivor into the air.
"Will you submit to Lady Vultra's command, or do you wish to die along with the others?" The voice then turned the survivor around to show the small pile of bodies mounted behind them.
"You will also comply with the information you have on the Raggadak Gems. Our Lady commands it." The voice still had a hold on the survivor, but was trying to prevent it from screaming.
Kennedy's eyes widened when he saw the tortured native before appearing behind the robot. He attempted to turn his arm into a sword and stab it from the back. "Torturous artificial creatures like you don't deserve to stand," he said. “This will be your burial ground!”
The robot turns around just in time to grab Kennedy by the sword, and looked back at it with its single eye. "Oh...so unwise...Kennedy. " The robot tries to punch Kennedy in his left eye, putting some distance between them. "Our Lady has told us so much about you. How you saved the world, traveled the cosmos, all that fun stuff."
The robot says this in a rather disturbing tone. It walks to the left and turns it's right three-fingered hand into a rail gun. Charging up the tip with a Neutronium charge, it says, "You seem to bring a ‘shock’ to your friends. The robot then fires as the charge starts emitting lightning as it travels to meet its target.
"For one, that was a terrible joke," Kennedy said as he turns his other arm into the sword to block the punch and the lightning charge. "Second, I'm not going to let this conquest get any further. You've hurt my friends enough - now, you shall feel that pain." He quickly fired a purple beam of energy at the robot, his Chaos Lance.
Reacting too late, the robot takes the hit, and pierces the right side of the helmet. "Lucky hit." says the robot. The robot then shoots three more Neutronium Charges from its hand. Only this time, the charges combine to create a horizontal beam of energy. The robot activates another weapon to take the place of the left hand: a metal sword. "Let's go, ‘Hero.’" The robot did this to try to taunt him.
"Well then, 'Fool,' let's go." Kennedy said teleporting in several directions to dodge the charges. Then, he teleported about the bot and fired a beam of Chaos Energy at it from above.
The Chaos Energy was met by a weakened electric beam, but was ultimately best when the weapon was drained of its reserve energy and started to consume the robot’s energy.
"You have already lost, child. You just don't know it yet..." it said before finally accepting defeat and faced the chaos energy, slowing degrading and peeling away the armor. "S-S-Systems critically damaged. Ini-tiating shut down protocol."
"Disappear," Kennedy said, extending his arm-sword and trying to stab the robot through the chest. “Also, I’m millennia older than you. You’re the child.”
The robot didn't even fight back. The weakened armor fell off as the sword pierced it's chest. Sparks started flying out of the chest cavity, up until the robot was lifeless. The robot falls forward as a message of defeat and falls apart as a lifeless metallic husk.
Kennedy turned his right arm back to normal and looked at the robot in disgust. "Nuisance," he muttered.
The survivor was clearly distressed. The survivor was an orange female cat wearing tattered clothes and was covered in dirt, bruises, and has bleeding cuts. "Th-Th-Thank you," she said. She was sitting down and looked like she was trying to get to her feet.
Kennedy walked to her. "It really isn't an issue. Considering what you've been through, it's really, truly, the absolute least I could do. I'm..... sorry for your losses."
The female cat nods her head. "It's okay."
"Did you see any more robots? If so, where are they?" asked Kennedy.
The cat shook her head. "No. I remember my house being intruded by this big robot, it started going crazy and destroying everything in the house. I was attacked by the robot and knocked out. Next thing I k-know, I was outside of my house, I was in disbelief and ran into the village to get help, and - and - and.....It was all gone. My neighbors, the merchants, everything. Then I heard that thing." she said pointing to the now destroyed robot. The cat buried her face in her hands crying uncontrollably.
"Really? This embarrassment of a soldier was the cause of this massacre?" Kennedy sighed. "Seeing how fast I destroyed it, if I'd been here sooner, none of this damage would've been here. But... I had to tend to different matters. I'm sorry..."
"It's okay. When I came to, it told me the others had already left and it wanted to ‘talk’ with me before leaving. It commanded the others to leave apparently."
She broke into tears… and now, she can talk normally? How suspicious… Kennedy thought. "What exactly is 'it?'" asked Kennedy. "The robot asked you?"
"Just the robot," she said.
"...wait a second. The robot who you didn't know told you to do something and you listened?! What were you thinking?" Kennedy said, putting two fingers to his forehead to massage it, as he was getting a headache. "But... why?!"
"Yes, I listened. But I did ask if it was around here. It took the form of a villager to trick me. I didn't even know until it grabbed me by my throat after I listened. Please, you need to understand it tricked me. It acted like a villager, it looked like one. It had everything you know about us," she explained.
"Was it a cat-like species? Did the Natsu Tribe help defend? What did it want?" Kennedy asked, several questions in his mind.
"It took the on the appearance of a cat, but it didn't come from the Natsu Tribe. The tribe did aid us, but the robot wasn't alone, it ordered more of its kind to capture or kill them. I saw 5 of them get vaporized for attacking the robots. The robot kept demanding to see some sort of gem, but every time I said we didn't have it, it just got furious," she continued.
Just a cat? Finding a villager with such a generic species would be rare… I doubt if this persona is telling the truth, but… argh, whatever. "Do you know where it went?" Kennedy asked. "Is there any trace of it I could follow?"
"No. I didn't see it. Sorry."
"....blast it," Kennedy said, clenching his fist. "I'm going to go regroup with my allies. You could join, if you please."
"I would like that. I need to get of here. Where are they?" she asked.
"I.... am not sure," Kennedy admitted before kicking himself in the back of th leg. "But I can fly, and I might spot them."
"Okay. But how I be able keep up? I don't suppose you could give me a lift?" she asked.
"Either I could carry you with my hands or carry you with gyrokinesis, whichever you prefer." Does she know that I can fly and have limited gyrokinesis? Or was she just making a wild guess? This is going out of suspicion and into paranoia…
"Do whichever you want. I just want to leave," she then said to him with a tone of exhaustion.
"Well, considering that using gyrokinesis could tire me when coupled with flying, I'll carry you physically." Kennedy was able to carry her textbook-style by holding her back and flying into the air. "If you see a white hedgehog and/or a blue hedgehog and/or a yellow ocelot, please tell me."
"Okay. Thank you, Mister..."
"Kennedy McLeod the Chaos Tiger." Kennedy, realizing that must've been a mouthful, chuckled lightly. "Oh, sorry. You can call me Ken or Kennedy, I really don't mind. Care to share your own name, miss?"
"I'm Shauna. Thank you, Kennedy. " Shauna replied.
No last name? Maybe she just didn’t want to say too much, because her full name might be too long. A possible hint she’s a liar, though. I’ll be on my watch. "It really isn't a problem, Shauna," Kennedy replied as he sighed. "It's literally the least I could do for someone like you. I'm going to make sure the perpetrator feels the pain their sins have caused." Kennedy mentally whacked himself. Kennedy, don't be so wordy. The last thing Shauna needs is to be reminded of this. "...so..." Kennedy started, trying to look for conversation as they flew. "Do you... um.... like meat?"
"I don't mind it, but I try not to eat a lot of it. I'm mostly a vegetarian." Shauna said, but trailed off in an embarrassed tone.
You can really sense the awkwardness. I give you my pity, Hikari started in his head. Quiet, you, Kennedy quickly replied. "Mostly vegetarian? Interesting. What is it that prompted that in you?" asked Kennedy, determined to not make her feel uncomfortable.
"If anything, I honestly don't see myself as a meat eater like the others. Also, it makes me feel a little heavier. Y'know, my weight."
Self-conscious type, huh? Kennedy thought. "Ah, I see. I can afford to eat meat with all the exercise I get, haha. In fact, I bet I would be anorexic if I didn't, so, thanks, food!" Kennedy mentally slapped himself again.
Kennedy looked down, seeing the quartet. He fell down to the ground in a swoop, landing gracefully. Schnee smiled. "Hi, Ken! You've got a survivor, I see?"
Kennedy nodded. "Yes. She was one of the few survivors of the massacre."
Terra crossed her arms and grumbled before walking forward to Shauna. "...hello. You probably know me, correct? The reason your life is currently hell?"
"I think so. You're the guardian, aren't you?" Shauna said as she scratched her head.
"Th-That's Terra for you," Alexia said.
"I apologize deeply - oh so deeply - for not being here. Our loved ones were killed, and I wasn't even there to help. Please, accept my apology. I promise you I had little prior knowledge of this," Terra said to her.
Shauna, jumped out of Kennedy's hands and walked over to Terra, who quickly found herself in a hug with Shauna. "It's not your fault, Terra. You can't know every threat we come across. If anything, I was worried if you had died during the attack or kidnapped at the very least. But seeing you here, it's a relief. Apology accepted, Terra." Shauna said to her, hoping to put Terra at ease.
"Thank you... Susie?" Terra said, wincing at the last word. "Sorry, it's hard to remember everyone in the village's names."
“Shauna. My name is Shauna. And it’s alright,” she said as she released her grip on Terra.
Thank you..." Terra said. I’m surprised she’s not mad at all. Actually, she doesn’t seem relatively shaken, either. She’s either tough… or a fraud. "W-We weren't sure there were any s-s-survivors... seeing you is such a relief," added Alexia, cutting off Terra’s thought.
“Thank you," she said to Alexia. "I'm just glad someone found me at all. I was worried that I wouldn't make it. But it's good to see that your still alive, too."
Kennedy turned to Raven. "Seeing that you're Savannah's ally, I was thinking you had a plan?"
"I do. Though you may not like it." Raven said as he folded his arms. "It's as methodical as possible. The first thing is to do is to scavenge for any resources and stock up. Second, we find out if any robots are in the area. The best way would be to split up into teams. Third, we regroup here. I will see if I can recover a directory log from the robots head. “The directory logs carry a line of code that is meant to censor out any potential locations, so they 'll be encrypted. We'll need Nicole's help, but she's not made for combat. So, we'll figure it out when we get there. Lastly, when we do reach their location, we split up into groups. That'll be arranged when we can be able to do so." Raven said said explaining the plan. Any questions?"
"Well thought out," Kennedy noted. "But what should the groups be?" "Well, you know Team Saturn-" Schnee pulled Alexia and Terra into a hug, with the latter huffing. "-is going to be A-okay by ourselves, so you and Raven should go." "I can live with that," Kennedy said before turning to Raven. "You?"
"It'll work so long as I can be sure you guys are prepared," Raven said.
"Y-You can bet that we a-a-are," Alexia said, determined to make up for her failure as one of the village’s guardians. "B-But what about Sh-Shauna?"
Raven looked back at her. "I'll send Savannah a message that we have a survivor. " Raven said. While facing Shauna, he walks up to her and opens up one her hands, putting a small blue orb in it. "Hold onto it. It'll help." Raven said to her. Shauna nods her head. "Thank you all." Shauna said while trying to choke back tears, causing Kennedy to arch his eyelids. Raven presses two fingers to the side of his head. "Raven to Savannah. I'm sending a survivor to the safehouse. Her name is Shauna."
Savannah says on the other end, "A survivor!? Excellent. I'm engaging the transporter. Nicole, ready it up." The communication ends as Shauna is teleported out of the area.
"So, I suppose we'll be going?" asked Terra.
Raven nods his head. "Affirmative. For now, stock up and ready up. Once we're done, we'll go robot hunting. Anyone know their way around?"
"Yes," Terra replied. Leading Team Saturn, Terra ran forward, and the trio set out.
Kennedy meanwhile, looked at Raven. "Well then. Let's be off."
"Let's go, Kennedy," Raven said to him.
Kennedy nodded and slightly hovered above the ground before flying to the right.
Raven follows by activating micro-thrusters on the soles of his robotic feet, and follows Kennedy.
After a couple hours, the group regrouped, finding broken materials, not-burned food, and other useful things, including a few more survivors.
Schnee smiled. "Well, that went well!"
"Yes, quite. These should help significantly in the mission. With one survivor sent to the safehouse, should we do the same with the others, or are they able to fight?" Raven asked Schnee.
"That's a question for Miss Fauna over there," Schnee said, pointing to Terra (who rolled her eyes). "Most of them aren't fighters. We should send them to the safehouse," Terra answered.
"Acknowledged. " Raven says to her. Repeats the process he did with Shauna, sending them into the safehouse. "With the survivors safe, it's time to do a little robot hunting," Raven says to the group.
"Yay!" Schnee said, pumping her fist into the air. "If we find some and beat 'em up, can I tinker with 'em?"
"I prefer they be destroyed. But, I guess I can overlook it just this once. When this is over, don't tell any of your friends besides yourselves where you found this technology. Understand?" Raven said to Schnee.
"I can live with that!" Schnee answered. I’m totally going to tell everyone about these! If I ever meet Nickel again… omigosh, that’d be epic!
"It'd be easier to hunt the robots if I had some track of their energy signatures... no matter. Let's go," Kennedy said, flying forward.
Team Saturn followed the duo, but Terra still seemed disturbed.
Raven turned his head to hope he hadn't let team Saturn get too far behind, but was curious about Terra. He quickly turned away from her not wanting to draw attention, and continue the search.
It only after checking nearly every part of the village that they overheard a conversation between a group of individuals. The noise was coming from a storm cellar in one of the destroyed houses.
Raven slowly hovers to the ground in front of the group and gets as close as possible to ensure it isn't a group of missed survivors. He raises one finger to his muzzle, addressing the need for them to be quiet.
In a whisper, Raven tells them "I think we found a group of robots. If it is them, I will be able to translate what they are saying. I'm activating a translation program now."
"I could do it faster if I get my hands on the tech," Schnee said. "I-I don't think this is the t-t-time for showing off," Alexia replied.
"Hold on...getting a signal..it's from the robots." Raven whispered.
"What are they saying?" asked Terra.
Raven begins translating their language, and he got wasn't pretty.
"Won't our Lady be irate?"
"Not if she doesn't know."
"If she doesn't know, you say? Is your processor deficient? You want us to lie about the survivors ? How they escaped and how we just let then go?"
Terra's neutral expression quickly turned into a smile as she put her hand or Raven's shoulder and gripped on it hard. "My people... they're alive! Well, no, they're not my people, they're my friends, but... wow! This is stellar!" Terra said, her smile getting wider.
Though Raven couldn't physically show it, he quickly put a hologram of his mouth, and smiled. "I'm happy for you." He said in a robotic tone.
Raven continues to listen in on the conversation.
“Oh yeah, because simply letting them walk out on to the streets like they won't remember or care is always a good idea. Great planning, commander you really outdid yourself." “It was meant to be carried out and intimidate the others to stay away. Killing them would've come after it if we were authorized too.” “That's enough. Both of you. We need to leave now before the warships descend upon the village and the soldiers start up a colony. Any word out of either of you, and you'll become Vultra's next upgrade. Let's move.”
"Where are they?" Terra asked. "Whether they killed my family or not, they still ravaged the place. I need to destroy them."
They're in the storm cellar," Raven said to Terra.
"What and where is that?" asked Schnee.
"It's definitely nearby," Raven said. “It may be closer to the center of the village."
If anyone looked where Terra was, she was already gone. Alexia was gone, too. Schnee chuckled. "Wow, they're eager!"
"We should plan a tactical attack," said Kennedy. "Terra and Aqua can distract them, and we'll make a critical blow."
Raven nodded his head. "That's the best choice we have." Raven looks toward Schnee. “When we destroy the robots, you're free to play or mess around with the tech. Just remember what I said."
“Definitely,” Schnee replied with a chuckle.
"Speaking of which... do the robots have any weaknesses?" Terra asked from the watch.
"Aside from vector drones, yes. Their armor is susceptible to fire and ice attacks. Especially with water," Raven says to Terra.
"R-Roger that!" yelled Alexia from the watch.
"I should also mention that these robots can be stunned or distracted by environmental noises. So try to get their attention by using something around you," Raven added.
"Alright. We'll distract them," Terra said before signing off.
"We should get there ASAP," Schnee said before running in the direction of the village.
"I'll help part the flames and rubble," Kennedy said, flying after her.
“Remember, keep its processor intact. We need those directories," Raven says as he reactivated his micro-thrusters.
When they get to the center of the village, they find the center being a complete wreck. The nearby village houses had been burned to the ground. Tall pillars of smoke take the places of where the houses once stood.
Small embers still burn near the remnants of the houses. What appears to be what once was a small marketplace or service center was now nothing but rubble made of wood and rocks. Small embers burn away at some of the fabrics and cloth that may have been used for trade. Interestingly, some of the rubble looks like it was hurriedly thrown together in the form of barricades with the smell of smoke once again being prominent. The smoke alluded to the use of fire as an attempt to ward off the enemy, which failed.
Some of the barricades were blown to pieces with gruesome results. Bodies of fighters and robots were seen strewn around. Some houses that weren't burnt down were destroyed from the inside, resulting in them caving in.
"By Osmosis," Raven thought to himself, taking in the sights. "It's happening all over again. It feels like I never left, and now these guys are paying for it."
Kennedy sighed. "This is terrible. We have to stop Vultra as soon as possible. But anyway... where's their base that they set up?"
"The storm cellar is here. But look around some of the nearby homes. The storm cellar is either in or outside one of them," Raven said when he touched down in the village center. "I'll see if there is anything down here. If we're lucky, we could salvage data chips. Schnee, I want you to search the bodies of the robots, and open their optical systems. They should have something inside," Raven said when he walked into the marketplace.
"I can do that easy peasy," Schnee said, whipping out her staff. A blade popped out of the end, and she cut a light square in the robots' back before ripping it off. "Optical systems, optical systems..."
Raven's optics immediately activate to create a wide field of view. "Alright you damn robots, let's see if you left anything behind." Raven thought to himself as he started moving around the ruins.
Schnee eventually was able to take a black cube out of the robot, smiling. "Hey, Raven! What are these?"
Raven turned to Schnee, and hovered over to her. When he got close, he dimmed his optical lights to examine it. He was surprised by the findings. "That's a cluster of Data Chips. They should be salvageable."
"Well, then, can we check 'em out?" asked Schnee.
"Let's see. May I?" Raven extends his arm out with an open hand. Schnee threw the cube towards Raven, and he catches the chips before examining them, finding a small access port on one, and a link module to help link the chips together, creating a collective file.
“Alright, thank you Schnee," Raven tells Schnee. "Let's see what's inside." Raven slides the top of his right hand plates.
This exposes an open port to link the chips up to a main data cable leading to a reader in his head. Putting the chips together and connecting it to the port. Strangely, it didn't work, creating a small spark and forced itself out of the port. "Dammit! The Data Chips shut me out!" Raven impulsively shouted, evidently the result of the shock.
"What are Data Chips?" asked Schnee. "I mean, they are obviously, well, data chips, but why are they so important, and why did they just do that?"
Raven grabbed the chips and put them back in their combined state. "Data Chips are akin to you guys and your memories, or your ability to memorize things. These chips seem to have some sort of protocol that locks me out of them. The chips also establish an ‘identity code’ after being installed into a robot,"explained a more docile Raven. "I'd have to force this thing into the port, and get Nicole to bypass the code. This in turn makes me a reader or conduit by default. If these robots did pass through here, and with any luck, they may have documented something."
"I could probably hack into it," Schnee said. "Unless there are internal codes and mechanisms. Then you should do whatever."
"It isn't likely for that to be possible. If you can hack into it, it should bypass the code." Raven tells Schnee. He also walks back to her and puts the Data Chips back in her hand.
"Wait, so am I hacking into the cube or the bot?" asked Schnee, confused.
"The cubes, Schnee," replied Raven.
"...how do you hack into a cube?" Schnee said, deadpan.
Raven show her the port in the top of his hand. He also pulled up a holographic keyboard with the text translated to English. "You'll have to hack into it from a port. So, you'll have to do it here," Raven said with the port exposed. "Don't worry. I can try to take it. If I can't, I'll force it out." Raven's optics glance over at Schnee. "I can trust you, right?"
Schnee wiggled and stretched her fingers before smirking at him. "You know it!" She put her hands on the keyboard, and it a matter of seconds, she smiled. "Done."
The keyboard vanishes and the chips transmit the data. Raven didn't have time to thank her before he suddenly froze up and his optics projected the information in the form of a video. The video, while a little grainy and the light being almost nonexistent, the video did show them where the robots went. The entered the storm cellar that was outside an imploded house. It also showed them being a little paranoid and drawing their weapons in any direction they thought the enemy was coming from.
When the video ended, Raven covered his optics with one of his hands and stumbled backwards, trying to maintain a balance. "Argh! That was...enlightening. Coordinates acquired," Raven said as he tried to focus his optics.
"So, our opponents don't know too much about us," said Kennedy. "What should our next plan of attack be?"
"If we know where they're heading, we should beat 'em up and end their plan early!" said Schnee.
"But it may be smart to find out a-" Kennedy stopped suddenly, and his eyes opened wide. "Wait, what are Terra and Alexia doing?"
"They might be trying to find the cellar. Come on, let's do it!" Raven said to Schnee and Kennedy.
Kennedy nodded as Schnee looked forward. "Those two are going to get themselves in trouble... Let's get 'em!" She then ran off after her teammates, with Kennedy following behind.
Raven just took off after them. "Knowing these robots, I'm willing to believe that it is already too late." He thought to himself
"Hey, don't you talk down to my buds like that!" Schnee said, turning around quickly. "Just because we're not some edgy nerds doesn't mean-"
Kennedy put his hand up, causing her to grumble and stop talking as he sighed. "She has a point. I was able to take the robot out in mere seconds. I doubt that they'll do anything useful, so I can see how Schnee is a bit offended-"
"A BIT?! My friends don't risk their lives to protect their recently-destroyed home and to help their friends with threats beyond them for nothing! That's actually stupid!" Schnee said, angered.
Raven walks right up to Schnee, puts a finger on her chest, and leans in close ."I didn't say they would be dead, Ma'am. I didn't say they couldn't defend themselves. I'm sure they can. However, I have had more experience with these shiny tin cans enough to know that these fights have been way too easy.
"As Kennedy addressed, he beat one in seconds. The soldiers I've fought against don't go down that easy. I have seen then choke, gut, and even even resort to extreme behavior such as self destruction.
An entire army of those was pure hell. I've seen many brave organics fight and die in many atrocious ways."
"Hands off," Schnee said while growling, looking very frustrated with him. "I'm not going to let some stranger I just met start lecturing me. You know what? Screw it. You two are buddies anyway." Schnee then walked off, and Kennedy reached for her shoulder, and she turned around, glaring. "Kennedy, I can handle thi-"
"I just want you to know that you're being very irrational. You aren't safe alone!" Kennedy replied.
Schnee rolled her eyes, shook his arm off, and then walked away.
Raven looks back at Kennedy and then looks at Schnee as she walks off, noticing the fact the she was upset by what he said.
"Sometimes, we can't convince people to think rationally. I admire her spirit as a leader of her team, along with the safety and well being of her teammates, but it would seem she would have to fight them herself to understand what I mean. "
Raven turns his head toward Kennedy while his back is turned to Kennedy.
"Remember Kennedy, I'm not your enemy, nor am I hers. I'm just as bothered by this as she is. Be we must not dwell on the matter. We need to move. I have a lock on the cellar ' s entrance."
"Yeah... I'm just worried. These events are inciting something in them," Kennedy said, scratching his head. "But let's finish heading to the storm cellar, okay?"
"Indeed." Raven said as they made their way to the cellar.
"I think not," a cold voice said, behind the duo. Suddenly, a spike of golden ice rose from underneath them, and Kennedy rolled to the side.
Raven ran forward out of the way of the spike and turned around.
Raven would see a blue hedgehogs with one droopy quill, just one less than Alexia. He had yellow eyes, and he wore a black silky outfit with gold lining. He pointed his rapier, which had just been sheathed, at Raven. "Explain this or I stab you."
Raven walks up to the guy while the guys' weapon is brandished and grabs It. No physical expression of emotion. It also started glowing green and getting harder to hold. "I'd be happy to let you stab me, if you can take this.."
Crys blocks the attempt with a wall of golden ice. "Don't waste your time."
Raven, a little surprised, brings out his sword in place of one hand, a sword in place of the other, and shield on the forearm with his firearm exposed. "Smart move, Prince Charming. Do you really want to do this? I'm just here to stop Team Saturn from doing something rash. Kennedy wants the same thing. So let me ask you, do you really want to do this?
"Yes. Simple answer. I can't allow whoever caused this massacre to kill Alexia - that's my job." Sheathing his rapier, Crys pointed at Kennedy, who sighed. "But, I do need to make you pay tenfold for our last encount-"
Kennedy looked at Raven and said "Just go to my allies. This guy is my problem to deal with." With another sigh, Kennedy's left arm turned into a purple energy sword.
Raven turned to Kennedy saying "Acknowledged. If things get out of hand, let me know." Raven runs off to the storm cellar ' s location.
There, he would find Schnee, repeatedly touching it with a silver gauntlet. "Come on, come on, just... phase... urgh, this is trash!" Schnee yelled before taking it off and throw it to the ground. After a few seconds, she put it back on and tried it again.
Raven tries to spook her by saying, "Probably should've asked for a locksmith, yes?"
Schnee's nostrils flared as she turned around. "Don't just creep up on me like that! Weren't you hanging out with Kennedy? What do you want with useless me?"
"Kennedy’s dealing with a fancy guy in a silk suit and a rapier. May as well be a 'musketeer reject,' as the natives put it. He sent me to join you and help your team. "
Raven also walks up to her and puts a hand on her right shoulder. "Have you forgotten that you helped me bypass the datachip? You are nowhere near useless, rather the opposite. "
Schnee's pupils dilated when she heard him finish his first sentence. "Oh lord, did you just leave him with CRYS?! I know you don't know anything about him, but.... argh! Great, now Alexia's psychotic big bro is here too! What's next, my middle school bully?!"
"Should we be concerned?" Raven asks. I will put a round in his head right now. He seems to be quite the nuisance."
"Yes, you should be concerned. He's a huge threat to us!" Schnee answered. "And bullets aren't gonna do the trick. Trust me - Mac, Scarlet, White, Tina and I have all tried."
"I am powered by Radiation, but why is he here? What does he want?"
"To kill Alexia, probably. He has that thing going on."
Raven made a robotic noise that sounded like shattered glass or his optic quickly flickered. "For what reason?"
"He's jealous that Alexia's like, a princess or promised warrior or something, and he thinks that if she's dead, he'll become one instead of her." Schnee lightly chuckled, imagining Crys in a pretty princess gown and sparkling tiara.
Raven made a motion like he was rolling his eyes. "If I had a damn piece of Kribo for every time I heard that... So what can we do?"
"Um...." Schnee sat down and thought, veins lightly appearing in her head.
Raven sat down next to her, again putting his hand on her right shoulder. "If you can't think of anything right now, don't worry about it. We'll focus on your team for now. I will help protect Alexia if puts you at ease."
Schnee hung her head for a bit before following him.
Raven puts his right hand on the cellar door, looking for something to interact with, only to find a small port that looked like it could belong to a small key. Isaac stuck his fingers into the port to bypass the security clearance, and worked to unlock the magnets locking it into place. Raven looks back at Schnee, noticing how she seemed worried about this "Crys" character. Raven motioned for her to come help him lift the door.
Schnee walked over and grabbed it, lifting it with ease.
Raven nods to her and examines a flight of stairs leading into the cellar. Raven grabs the lid saying "Ladies First., as the natives told me a while back"
Raven also adds saying, "Don't get too far ahead, Schnee. If their are robots down there, they may not be the second ones we saw before."
Schnee nodded and ran down the stairs, anxious to see what was there.
Raven then follows her, gently closing the lid as it locks into the magnetic grip. As Raven did, He followed Schnee down the stairs and met her in the hallway, as they both saw a large group of robots that weren't like the vectors they had encountered before. A couple of the bots were taller and had armor that looked bulkier than the vectors. They were also armed with blasters and shock cannons. Strangely, Team Saturn wasn't among them, but some of the village survivors were. With lead helmets and chains binding them.
"Godammit, they did keep some," Schnee said, taking her staff out and having a blade pop out the end. Then, she tried to cut the survivors free.
Yet, Schnee got far enough way that she didn't hear him.
She managed to cut through one of the chain links, but it made a loud noise that almost sounded like metallic coins hitting the ground, getting one of the robots attention.
Schnee then twirled her staff. "Show yourself, junkpieces! Okay, that wasn't my best, but come on out!"
This garnered the attention of robot with a two handed shock cannon in its hands. "Unknown creature detected." Firing shock blaster."
Schnee clenched her fist with the gauntlet, and it glowed blue.
The robot scanned her light. "Light source detected. Potential method of attack. Firing."
"Transmitting alert message to central security computer."
"Bring it on, murderer!" Schnee yelled.
The robot fires numerous electric shots as the security alarm sounds in the air around them. But she hears something over the intercom: Alert! Alert! Priority Code 423309 Activated: Exterminate all prisoners! Alert! Alert!
"Dammit.." Raven muttered to himself. He then charges and destroys a robot approaching behind Schnee.
The electric shots were blocked by some type of invisible force field as Schnee took out a machine gun and started to fire.
Raven, keeping Schnee covered from behind starts hacking away at approaching sword robots. The robots firing at Schnee noticed the machine gun, but took a massive shelling from the gun.
Raven looks behind him and notices the machine gun." How long have you had that thing?"
"Probably a couple months," Schnee said, reloading it and putting it back in her pocket before taking out two revolvers. Rapidly alternating, she continued shooting. "This shield won't hold for too long!"
Raven takes this into account. "When the shield fails, we make a break for the prisoners. In the meantime, keep firing," Raven tells her. He pulls a large two-handed rifle out and fires at the bots.
"Okay! You start getting them upstairs, I'll distract them!"
"Got it!" Raven starts running up the stairs, shooting at the gunners. He quickly begins to strafe around the robots to the staircase near the hatch. "I've got them for now. Go! Go!"
The shield broke, and putting her guns away, Schnee rapidly twirled her staff to block the electric attacks before heading upstairs. Then, she threw an EMP bomb downstairs. "That'll stop 'em for a bit!"
Raven was shooting the robots as much as possible. "BRING IT YOU ROBOT BASTARDS!!!" Raven shouted at the top of vocal processors. In the midst of this, Raven didn't the see the EMP until it soon exploded, creating an eerie silence following the blast.
"Aw, yeah! We sure shut 'em up, didn't we?" asked Schnee, looking for Raven.
She didn't see him.
Nor heard him.
"What the.... I just heard him," Schnee thought allowed. "Did they get him?"
She then hears him slowly getting on his feet, but it is evidently difficult as he appeared weak in the knees. "You...you didn't tell me you had E-EMP bombs."
He sounded like he had been hit in the gut.
"I have a lot of those," Schnee said. "What happened? ...oh. I shocked you, didn't I?"
"You did, yes." Raven said. "I was still on the staircase when it went off. I entered stasis when it triggered. It stung like a computer virus trying to rip apart my subprocessors, but I'll survive."
"Ouch..." Schnee said, rubbing her arm. "Sorry..."
Raven, putting some effort into his steps, he hugged her. "Don't worry yourself. I forgive you for this. Also, about earlier, when you ran off, I want to apologize about that."
"Thanks. I'll try to be less... brash, next time. I just... I guess I want to be useful. The only reason I'm with my friends is because they wanted me to help look for Alexia... but in the end, I was no help. And I've been no help. So... we have something to do. What should we do next?"
"We need to look for Team Saturn. I'm sure your teammates will be relieved to see you. After that, we locate the prisoners and hope we can get them out." Raven said after he stopped hugging Schnee. "Oh , and Schnee, Raven said back to Schnee, stop thinking you haven't been any help. You couldn't have predicted this would happen. You have proven to be very helpful in this regard."
Raven continued walking when he reached the entryway to a hallway.
"I know how you feel Schnee, I used to be the same way." He said, stopping in front of the entry, only to continue after talking to her. He readies his swords and his shield as he makes his way into the hall.
"Please don't - urgh-" Schnee was hugged, though it looked like she didn't want to be. Then, she huffed and said, "Let's go find my team."
The two proceed down the hallway in an effort to find Team Saturn.
The two continue to walk down the hallway (well, Isaac had been stumbling using his swords as makeshift crutches), until they come across an elevator door. It opens as a result of a proximity detector, and they enter.
The door shuts and sends then down a few floors, only to be initially disturbed and shocked when they left the elevator. They came across row upon row of prison cells outfitted with shock emitters on the prison doors. The floor itself was a electric pacification system, which most likely wasn't part of the storm cellar's design plan.
They saw most of the cells completely empty, others still had civilians inside. Some civilians and even combatants from the Allied tribes.
"By Osmosis..." Raven said quietly, but still audible enough for Schnee to hear him. "How did Vultra find time to implement all of this? "
"Should we break 'em out? We can handle some more dumb robots," said Schnee.
Raven thought about this for a few seconds, nailing down all possible outcomes and logical methods of approach.
"If we truly can manage it, then let's do it. I would recommend we save your teammates it they are in any trouble." Raven said to Schnne.
Schnee whipped out two shotguns and shots two of the cells, trying to see if it'd break.
Raven pulls out his Fallout Rifle and shoots at the maglock, hoping the heat will melt it, but it didn't work.
"Heat resistance. Great. We need to try something else." Isaac said to Schnee.
"Cold gun?" Schnee says, pulling out a silver pistol. "Or should I just break it with my staff?"
Raven's optics quickly flashed at her wording, "Cold gun". " You actually have that kind of thing?!" He quietly said to Schnee. He quickly shook his head. "Nevermind, focus on your staff."
Schnee put her cold gun back in her pocket and started jabbing at the cell rapidly with her staff with a blade at the end.
The mag lock breaks under the repetitive strikes. A hissing could be heard as the door slides open. "Huh. Nice work." Raven said to Schnee, sounding a little happy
"Now, let's rinse and repeat!" Schnee said, smiling. She then tried to the the same thing to the next cell.
The next one broke from the repetitive strikes. Only this time a couple of villagers stumbled out the door.
"This seems to be working," Schnee said confidently before trying it on the next one.
This lock also broke, but it was a little harder compared to the rest, As Isaac had to grab the door to help her open it.
This time, four people from the Allied tribe stumbled, battered and bruised, but still alive.
"Well, she'll be the one feeling the pain when I'm done with her," Schnee said before trying it again on the fourth cell.
Raven smirks at that statement. "Comical. I once thought the same thing." Schnee's staff managed to break open the lock, only this time the door fell forward as the two of them moved out of the way. The door looked like someone had tried to blow there way out.
However, when they looked inside, the captives had died, most likely due to the explosion. "Another casualty of war." Raven said when he knelt down at the body that sat upright against the corner if the cell.
"I'm running a deep tissue scan, and I looks like he was our explosive handler, massive damage to the hands and arms. Muscle tissue is penetrated by various metals. Must've blown up prematurely."
"Dang.... they did kill some people," Schnee said, sad. "Let's not show them to Terra and Alexia until they're more calm...."
Raven quickly puts hand out in front of Schnee. "Hold on... Something's not right here...." Raven fires up his Optical lenses to emit a high power light and the danger presents itself: High power infrared tripwires arranged into a web. Putting two and two together, it looks like the wires are primed to trigger the pacification system in the floor. Then it begs the question of how many others may have been triggered earlier and they didn't know.
"Wh-What are these?" said a familiar voice.
"I'm not sure... we should report it to Raven, Schnee and Kennedy," said another.
Raven, overhearing the voice. Calls out. "Alexia!? Are you there?!"
The voice replied, "Y-Yes, we're behind the seventh cell."
Raven, calling out to her, " Stay there. There is a high probability that there are infrared lasers in front of your cells. We found some on in front of the fifth one, as the electrical system on the floor may try to activate, see if you can disable it from the back of the cell."
"Okay. Well stay put," said Terra.
Raven nods his head, and directs his Optical lights to their cell, reaffirming that infrared lasers were indeed present. Walking into the fourth cell again, Raven looks inside to see if he overlooked something. Sure enough, he did. He looked over the body only to see an adjacent hole in the wall, which exposed a junction box filled with electrical fuses.
The text was written in alien, and didn't have anything of use aside from a keypad in the bottom right corner. "Schnee! Gonna need you're help with this." Raven said inside the fourth cell.
Schnee ran over, yelling "I'm coming! Whaddya need?"
"Found a fuse box here. Might be powering the infrared field. Think you can crack it?" Raven said to her.
"Think? I'm insulted," Schnee said. "Have that digital keyboard for me?"
Raven activates the digital keyboard , and plugs the top of his other hand into the fuse box
"Connection established." Raven says to her.
"Coolio!" Schnee said, typing away. It was about ten seconds, right when she was in the middle of finishing, when Kennedy with a golden ice sword impaled through his chest came rolling down the stairs. Terra and Alexia saw him and gasped, but Kennedy wasted no time standing up as it disintegrated inside of him.
"Crys is coming!" Kennedy said, looking exhausted. "Raven, Terra, with me! Schnee, keep Alexia safe and work on that... techy thing you're working on!"
Raven raised his up to the sky "Does that musketeer reject have to intervene NOW? "Raven looked at Schnee. He then grabs Schnees wrist, rips a connector cable out of the fuse box and transfers the holographic keyboard into the fuse box, enabling her to interface with it directly. "I'll go get Terra and Alexia, stay here and work on that box." With that, Raven meets up with Terra and Alexia. Not wanting to wait for them to strategize, he ends up sweeping them off their feet and carries them as he tries to jump over the cells. "Sorry about this, ladies. But I don't want reinforcements coming at us, do you?" Raven said to them.
"If Crys is here," said Terra, coming out of where she previously was. "I'll gladly volunteer to beat the daylights out of him."
"I-I'll stay here," Alexia stammered. "His face when he sees me... I don't want to see them. I think me joining y-y-you all could end up very badly."
"Well, I got the hacking part on the ready!" said Schnee, flexing her fingers.
"Then let's get down to business," said Kennedy, running up the stares.
Raven, letting the girls go, activates his combat armor, and readies his swords. "Alright, boys and girls. Ready up. It's showtime." Raven joins Kennedy on the stairs.
Up the stairs, Crys was waiting for them with an expression that demonstrated pure madness as he stabbed his rapier into the ground, creating several ice spikes along the stairway. Kennedy got his leg caught, but Terra gracefully jumped on the spikes before punching Crys in the face. He staggered back a little, but before he could retaliate, Kennedy fired a Chaos Spear that exploded when it hit Crys, sending the hedgehog back.
Kennedy's eye glowed purple, breaking all of the ice instantly. "It's three against one. He doesn't have a semblance of a chance."
"Don't get cocky, guys. It's time to rip this freak into pieces." Raven said as he charged at Crys. Crys regained his footing, but before he could slice at Raven, Terra lunged at his side. Annoyed, the hedgehog made a pillar of ice that launched the ocelot into the air.
"WHERE IS SHE?!" Crys yelled. "THIS COULD BE MY ONLY CHANCE TO END HER PITIFUL EXISTENCE! SHOW ME ALEXIA NOW!" Crys stabbed his rapier into the ground, and ice spikes rose out of the floor again, but this time, they seemed to all be appearing closer to Raven.
Raven sees the spikes on the approach. He swings his swords across the width of the spikes, slicing them in half. Raven didn't seem fazed. He only stopped for a second before charging again, hacking away at the spikes as he got closer.
"Your attempt at fratricide is gonna be your last, Frosty. " Raven said as he managed to get close enough for him to take on swing at Crys.
"Don't make such an insulting jest!" Crys retorted, blocking his blow with his rapier. Crys flipped back to get some space before ice spikes came from behind him, aiming them at Raven.
Raven raised his shield taking the impact from the spikes. "You're one to talk, freak. You won't get to see her again after thi---ARGH!" Raven takes damage from a storm of bullets from behind Crys.
Vultra could be heard issuing commands and the soldiers began to surround Crys. Armed with long range assault rifles, the robots proceed to surround Crys and open fire on the group. Crys smirked, but a yellow blur appeared in front of him, delivering two blows to his gut before hooking him away.
The blur stopped, revealing itself to be Terra. "Don't get cocky," she said before looking at Vultra. "Don't interrupt!" Kennedy levitated next to the ocelot. "Ken, you help me with them. Raven, take care of Crys!" The duo headed towards the robots, trying to attack them with a flurry of attacks.
"Understood!" Raven shouted. "Let's break the ice, frosty," Raven said in a semi-robotic tone.
"Open fire! I want them captured!" Vultra shouted as the robots redirected themselves to Terra and the others.
Terra and Kennedy vs Vultra's Bots
Terra jumped up and charged a Spin Dash, and Kennedy turned his arm into an energy blade before whacking her towards the robots like he was playing a game of baseball.
The robots either sprinted or rolled away from the hit. Two of them raised their rifles at Kennedy and proceeded to fire a barrage of bullets at him. The others proceeded to fire at Terra, as a group of brawlers charged at her. Kennedy warped around, dodging the bullets before firing a grenade of Chaos Energy at them. Terra spun around, blasting wind in all directions. Noticing the grenade too late, they blow up into piles of scrap. The wind may have been strong, but not all of the robots took damage. Some were knocked back, and others were hit by their own weapon fire. Brawlers, in particular, endured the wind and attempted to grab her.
Kennedy extended his arm-blade, trying to stab the brawlers through the chest. A few of them evade, but one wasn't so lucky, and wound up impaled. Terra tried jumping over Kennedy and tried kicking one of the brawlers on the head before throwing it to another. One of the brawlers clocked Kennedy with its fist as it vaulted over him. The others focused there fists toward Kennedy. The riflemen fired grenades from one of their attachments as a distraction and set there sights on Terra. Kennedy created a shield around him and Terra, trying to defend them.
The brawlers start to continuously bash on the shield, intending to break it. released an explosion of gravity, trying to knock them away. They were all pushed back, closer to the stairs. A few Juggernauts started hurrying down the stairs "Keep going or I'll turn you all into my next upgrade. Juggernauts, turn them into our next fuel source!" Vultra shouted.
Kennedy growled, and Terra tried grabbing onto the back of one of the Juggernauts. Kennedy meanwhile, slowed down time for himself, making it seem like he was using superspeed as he tried slashing through multiple robots.
The brawlers and riflemen were destroyed, but the Juggernauts only showed physical damage and scarring. Terra tried sinking her claws into the Juggernaut, attempting to rip its head off as Kennedy tried to impale another one of them.
The Juggernaut grabbed one of Terra's hands and proceeded to squeeze it, trying to break the bones in her hand. The other juggernaut raised a hand, and fired it at Kennedy, as well as firing a plethora of energy bullets at him from their wrist mounted blasters. Terra shook quickly, phasing out of the attack and landing on her butt before her eyes became more bloodshot. "You ruined my village... I won't let you escape unpunished!" She started to vibrate her hand and tried to phase through its chest before stopping, which would impale it.
Kennedy flew in the skies, blocking the bullets with his arm-blade before saying into his communicator, "Savannah? Any chance that I could have an arm replacement when we get back?"
Savannah replied. "Of course. The upgrades you wish to have will be at your discretion."
The Juggernaut takes the hit, and gets down on one knee, but tries to swing a left hook punch on her. "Your village wasn't salvageable. " The Juggernaut said.
"What do we have that you'd just kill to get?" Terra said, taking the punch and falling to the ground before getting back up. "Where is your honor?!"
"Alloys. Metallic resources. Expendable sentient bioforms. Your technology was primitive compared to us." The Juggernaut said. It then pointed to Raven and Crys. "Look at the red-furred freak fighting the anomaly. Do you honestly think he is with you? A friend? Ally? He brought the fight to his universe, and now we brought him across the multiverse, spotty. How can you actually trust a facsimile to your kind?" The Juggernaut inquired.
"Wait...." Terra stopped. "You're saying that if they hadn't come to us, my village would've been safe and sound?" "Perhaps, but even that isn't a guarantee. Raven actually thinks he can save his own kind via isolation, he couldn't even save your home. He's afraid. He knows more about us than you ever know."
"But if you kill him now, I could see to it that your village is repaired. The Juggernaut rips off a wrist mounted blaster, extending it out as an offer. "What do you say? Logical?" The Juggernaut said, tempting her.
D-Dammit, Terra thought, starting to sweat. It's a nice offer and all, but... murder? Would I go suck lengths to protect my people? What have these people even done for us? They ask for help, distract us, and now my village has been torn up... those poor, poor villagers...
"I'm not teaming up with you," Terra said. "But I will hear you out." She then shook his blaster. "And only if you're going to repair my village. I will go completely batshit if you even contemplate betraying me."
"A most unfortunate decision." The juggernaut quickly swats the blaster out her hand and places both hands under her muzzle as if to choke her. "Then again... I'll be happy to see more of your kind suffer again. First the village, now you. I almost pity such a death." The juggernaut said.
"Y-You... damned bastard," Terra said. Kennedy, seeing this, had his eyes widen and tried stabbing through the Juggernaut.
The stab wound showed on its right arm, disconnecting the elbow joint. The robot lightened its grip on her, and Terra vibrated her hand, trying to cut its head.
The attempt was successful, as the armor protecting its head opened up. The cut penetrated the optical lens and ripped up some of it sensors. The Juggernaut let go completely, bringing its only arm to where the once functional optic stands. "AH, AH, AH MY EYE! MY EYE!! " Its back was now turned to her, punching and scratching at the air in front of it like an idiot. Kennedy tried to punch it in the back. If he succeeded, he'd place an explosive energy tag on Chaos on it that would explode.
Feeling something on itself, the robot frantically reached for the device, but failed to do so as it went out in a blaze of Chaos energy. Terra huffed as Kennedy glared at her. "Terra. You shouldn't have been so quick to betray those who have given us protection."
"They might be heroes, but I'm my village's hero. Let it be known, Kennedy McLeod," Terra replied, looking him in the eye. "that if I have to choose between the fate of several universes and my village, I will choose my village."
The robot sparked as it lay dormant in defeat, wires, servos and metals stuck out. In fact, the robots they had faced had all been destroyed, making them the victors.
Raven vs Crys
Crys growled as he pointed his rapier at Raven. Then, without even moving his feet, he moved forward at extremely fast speeds, heading straight for the cyborg.
In the nick of time, Raven raised his shield and his hand receded into his forearm and the blade of his own sword showed. "Bracing for impact," he said. Crys did a rapid flurry of stabs at Raven's chest, trying to break through it with quick blows. The chest only showed dotted indentations on the chest. The ice on them was melted due to the radiation. Raven interrupted him by ramming him with his spiked shield.
Crys did a graceful backflip once he realized his attacks were ineffective. Seeing the opportunity, Raven receded his other hand into twin barrels, firing a rapid barrage of bullets at him. Crys created a wall of golden ice that reflected the bullets, sending them back at Raven. Raising his shield, the bullets absorbed after making contact with it. He then activated the hover emitters in his feet, and proceeded to charge him with his shield in front of him and his sword being seen from his left forearm.
"You're skilled, without question!" Raven shouted as he charged.
Crys sidestepped the charge, firing three icicles at him. "I have no need for your foolish flattery."
Raven stopped and turned around, chopping up the icicles. "And I'm done being given the cold shoulder." He then proceeded to fire more shots at him. "Probability of your success: 45.7%," Raven said. Crys gained skates made out of ice and skated around, dodging.
"If your skillset is as big as your mouth is, you might win," said Crys.
"Such a petulant comeback. A shame you'll die so young. But you do you." Raven then charged at him, making contact with his sword. The smell of radioactive energy burned Crys's nostrils.
Crys moved his blade around like a fencer, stabbing low at Raven's leg. "There will only be two murders here today."
Feeling the hit, Raven winced a bit, but didn't lose composure despite almost ripping into the armor. Raven jabbed his sword into Crys's left knee. "How about one murder, you twisted freak?"
"Are you suggesting that I spare you and go straight for Alexia? Almost plausible," Crys said, stabbing his rapier into the ground and making ice shards rise from under Raven.
Raven increases his radiation output, causing them to melt. Removing his sword, he slashed the blade of Crys' rapier and then stabbed his left foot, going in the top and coming out the sole. "I think the only one on the kill list is you, skidplate." Raven then jabs the barrels of his weapon into his face. "Your sister did nothing to you. Why commit fratricide for no reason? As of now, it is illogical. " Raven said, with a hint of trying to reason with him.
Crys jumped back, leaving an ice duplicate where he was standing. "That bitch took every ounce of potential I have... all to waste it with her cowardice," he said, growling. "I'll kill her and claim my birthright, just like I'm supposed to!"
"Hey, she didn't choose to go down this path. In that sense, she was just as unlucky as you. Were it up to her, I'm sure she'd give it to you. But it isn't." Raven blasts a hole through the double's chest and cut into three pieces, destroying it completely. "If your predecessors could see you now.." Raven as he charged and clashed blades with Crys. Raven also created a particle barrier behind them to keep Alexia safe. "Alexia, Fall back! Schnee, get the girl out of here!" Raven shouted.
Crys growled, trying to slash Raven's cheek as he yelled to Schnee.
Raven felt the blade scratch him. Raven, out of impulse, rushes Crys and impales him with his shield. The impact wound was to the gut. Crys yelled, freezing the dripping blood and putting a coat of golden ice on the wound before attempting to stab Raven in the shoulder. Raven sees it and sidesteps him, creating an opening for him to slash him, to which he did. The cut was higher up the chest, a vertical slice that pierced one his pectoral muscles. Getting fed up with him, he jumped back, turned both of his hands into blaster barrels, and proceeded to open fire. "They are under my protection! You will not murder them!" Raven shouts in a robotic voice as he fired a storm of energy shots directly at him.
Crys created a wall of golden ice, blocking the shots. Then, he fired the wall forward, trying to slam Rvane into the wall.
Seeing the wall, but reacts too, Raven takes the hit, feeling bits of ice penetrating his armor. Raven, mad with rage, rushes Crys, generating sparks outside his body as he did. He rams his shield into Crys's gut again, but it had no effect, the ice undamaged. Raven took an opportunity to run around him, putting himself in between Crys and the barrier securing Schnee and Alexia. He then slashed across his upper back, damaging the back of his shoulders. But in this process, Raven started showing signs of fatigue and system damage, his legs starting to wobble.
"What...kind of freak...has indestructible ice? Let alone golden ice?" Raven said, breathing getting heavy.
"One blessed my the gods to take that nuisance's life," Crys said, freezing his wound. "You should get out of my way. I have no intention of killing anyone but the thief."
"You'd have to kill me too, frosty. It ain't....a choice.." Raven said.
Raven starts to notice Terra stopped fighting. "Terra! Terra!....whatever...i-it's telling you...Its toying with you...don't trust it! I" Raven shouted.
"Cease your pitiful blabbering!" Crys interrupted, trying to stab Raven in the shoulder. "Remove yourself or die my my blade!"
Raven, getting back on his feet, summoning the energy he has left, raises his weapons again. The attempted impalement failed, leaving but a small indentation on his shoulder. "I said...you'd.....have to kill me...and make it last to.....appease your false prophet, you sick f@#k." Raven draws his swords and shield. "Make it last, boy. I know I will. " Raven said, with a snarky tone in his voice.
"Such big talk from someone so small in the grand scheme of things. How are you so delusional that you can't recognize a blessed hero in front of you?" Crys creating a water whip with his free hand, lashing it at Raven.
"Hero?" Raven said raising his shield in front of it, clashing with the whip. The attack left a mark on the shield, causing it to start turning a light brown, looking like rust. "More like delusional thug. " Raven charged him again, impaling him in the chest and colliding with an empty cell. Raven then raised his sword under Crys's muzzle. This time, Raven activated thrusters on the soles of his feet and continued to put pressure on the wound and under the muzzle. "It's over now. Your divines were mistaken.." Raven said.
"Sh... SHUT UP, YOU IGNORANT BASTARD!" Crys yelled, blocking the blow with rapier before rolling to the side, leaving a water clone where he was standing. "You don't know a thing, do you? Well, I know multiple things, including that wherever you took the bitch and the ocelot, they weren't able to protect the village. You were the cause of destruction. You should join me, but no, you're too blind to understand!"
"And you could do better, you delusional freak? You think you're going be divine like your divines?" Raven chopped off the water clone's head, turning it into a puddle. Raven turned after deactivating his thrusters. "You couldn't even hurt Team Saturn with that ego of yours. " Raven then, struggling to stand as he locked blades with Crys. "I won't deny that my arrival brought my enemies here. I won't deny that my adversaries destroyed this place. It's logical enough. However.."
Raven disapears in green light and teleports behinds Crys, and raises his swords about to attack. "I will fix my mistakes. I was supposed to guard the artifacts, and i end up scattering them. What's been broken.....will become...whole...aga--" Raven froze and fell down to his knees, then on his chest. Raven had finally run out of energy to keep himself active.
The particle barrier set up from earlier in the fight finally dissipated, leaving Alexia and Schnee open to attacks. Crys looked at Raven, nearly beaten and disgusted. "Your stupidity knows no bounds, does it? I should stab you right here, but I shall show you mercy. I have more urgent matters to attend to." Crys turned around, moving so quickly to Schnee and Alexia it seemed like he'd teleported. He kicked Schnee in the stomach, quickly, sending her onto her side.
Alexia looked in horror. "Crys... not you a-a-again..."
Crys punched her in the chin, and she fell onto her back. "Pitiful! You know you are going to die, and yet you still refuse to throw a punch?" Crys kicked her back. "Get up, you worthless piece of garbage!" Crys kept kicking until Terra lunged at him from behind, causing them to roll for a while before Terra threw Crys towards the wall.
"You never cease to showcase-"
"SHUT UP ALREADY!" Schnee and Terra yelled simultaneously, both of them carrying Alexia up before Schnee began to speak. "You know who we are? We're fuckin' Team Saturn, and I, as its leader, won't let some jealous emo take one of our friends' lives! We're in this together, and we're coming out together, y'hear?!"
"I will always have my village as my top priority while I can protect it. Alexia is more than just my village she's my best friend, and I'm not going to let you take her away from me. You will kill her over my dead body."
"Damn straight!" Schnee joined in, taking out her staff and making a blade pop out of it as Terra bared her claws.
Kennedy flew over to all of them. "Raven, Crys is going to be a major distraction. You and I should get to Vultra's base of operations - those three will most likely be fine. They've handled Crys before."
Raven, stumbling to his feet with his swords as supports, gets up. "Yes. However, we could to find the operating system at the lowest floor. "Girls....give that freak one big medical bill...for your village, and for me...I think he deserves that much." Raven said.
"On it," Terra said as she and Schnee lunged towards Crys. Meanwhile, Kennedy started flying towards Vultra.
Uh...Kennedy. could you uh...lend a hand? I need time to activate the Emergency Reserve." Raven asked.
"Emergency reserve... is there a button for it?" Kennedy asked.
"Negative. It has a delayed automatic trigger. Needs time to calibrate." Raven said.
"Why don't I just..." Kennedy closed his eyes, and Raven was surrounded by a green aura before he floated. "There. I'll carry you." Kennedy then continued flying towards Vultra and her base, carrying Raven behind him.
"Thanks, sir." Raven said. The duo proceeded onward until they reached the bottom floor, where a female voice rang out.
"Ah, Kennedy, is it? What a nice surprise.." Vultra said, the sarcasm heard in her voice.
"Well, well, well. I suppose you're the queen of this operation?" Kennedy shot back. "I've taken down bigger threats than some woman who fights with robots. I've been through hell and back for the past year, and it's ridiculous that you of all people try to stop me."
Vultra was unimpressed. "Typical hero babble. No surprise there considering you and your rag-tag teammates. Oh, and that reminds me. I have something to show you...." Vultra said as she turned around to face the control panel, fiddling around with it until it showed some footage of a very odd encounter. Among the robots, there was a pair of people that Kennedy would recognize.
Mac and Scarlet's eyes widened. "KENNEDY! You're alive!"
Kennedy wasn't nearly as happy, trying to put the pieces together. "Did you kidnap these two? It would explain why they're not in the Lamak Zone... what have you done?"
"I simply offered my assistance to them to find you. I gave them resources to search across the multiverse to find you. Funny how far one will go when the one he/she lost is still out there. I almost pity the universes that have been viisited." Vultra stated
Raven piped in. "You mean.....you turned them into liabilities so that in the process of finding him, multiple universes will have been breached?"
"Good deduction, Raven, or was it actually 'Isaac?' I never really could remember which was proper," Vultra said with sarcastic smirk. Raven was both pissed at Vultra and nervous around Kennedy. "Secure the kids. Have them detained for experimentation." Vultra said to the robots on screen. "Before experimenting, have them visit, 'His; place. I don't want them fighting me at every turn." Vultra said. Psuedo could be seen nodding as the bots moved in with their new assignment.
"Wait a second... we thought he was lost, abandoned in space... and now you're telling us that we're fighting against him?! Just how braindead are you?!" Scarlet yelled in anger. "God, I should've known someone like you would lie to us! You probably knew where he was the whole time, didn't you?!"
"I didn't actually. " Vultra said, the smirk still present, without so much as a hint of sarcasm. "I was as surprised as you two. "
"Goddamnit, Vultra. Let the kids go. They have been separated long enough. At least let them be reunited after all that has happened. You besieged the village, killed civilians. At least show SOME sense of compassion." Raven said
"I will....after their conversion. Besides, 'he' says they'll be broken and beautiful afterward." Vultra said as she turned to face the screen.
The sound of a click could be heard as Raven's Emergency Reserve activated. "I'll kill your scrawny ass before that happens!" Raven shouted. Raven started struggling in Kennedy's aura.
"Kennedy! Let me at her!" Raven shouted at Kennedy.
Kennedy shook his hand. "I won't let you kill yourself. You... stay here." Kennedy kept Raven in place while approaching Vultra. "You've lied to my friends who wanted to find my after a year? I've witnessed countless death caused by those who simply want to stir trouble, but the factthat you want to do this seemingly for pure suffering..."
Scarlet's eyes were pink as she stopped rapidly. "VULTRA, GIMME AN EXPLANATION OR I'M GONNA TER YOU INTO PIECES!"
"I have no interest in suffering being a top prioity. It was a last resort. After all...that guy killed Za Nakrota." Vultra points to Raven. Following the Delta 5 Crisis, I had been actively trying to understand what he wanted. Now, I know what he wanted : Nakrots wanted us to thrive as a subspecies, and make us a dominant species."
"Well, get the hell off of our planet!" Mac yelled, angered. "We agreed to team up with you to find Kennedy, and now you're working against him? What kind of backwards logic is that?!"
"Backwards? I'm not the one interested in getting a whole team back together. Besides, your kind is responsible for attacking something that was never fully understood. The technology was given centuries ago to your elders, only to be massacred out of xenophobia, the natives, when they needed it, were the victims as much as we were. We were chased away. So, no, I'm not leaving. I want the Matrix and the gems. I'll exterminate as many of you as possible if you cannot be converted. " Vultra said in a calm tone. "Well? Take them to 'him!'" She demanded.
The robots quickly begin to escort them.
Mac and Scarlet both looked angry, walking with the robots but not letting them touch them. "Who is this 'him?" asked Kennedy.
"A creature that that will break your mental state..make your deepest phobias, insecurities, and secrets be frightfully realistic." Vultra said with a smirk.
"No....." Raven said catching onto her words.
Vutra nods her head.
"YOU SENT THEM TO VELKORAH?!?!" Raven shouted, struggling in his aura.
"Affirmative." Vultra said.
"You sent my friends to this 'Velkorah' monster?" Kennedy laughed. "I feel bad... for it. Mackenzie and Scarlet are no pushovers. If they're anything like when I last saw them... it'll be a delight to hear about. In the meanwhile... Raven, do you have enough energy left?"
"My energy is moderate from the reserve, but i'll survive. More than enough to take down that bird." Raven said.
Kennedy let go of Raven, turning his arms into energy blades and bursting at Vultra, slashing at her neck.
The slash was met with a pixelated distortion. "Kenny, deary, I'm not so easy to catch. "
Raven saw the event unfold.
"Computer: initiate failsafe 1500897. Passcode: Krinskriiba"
The hologram then disappears, and the siren starts wailing, and the area starts to rumble. Kennedy cursed. "Her tech was so advanced, I couldn't even sense her fake signatures... blast it. Are we locked in here?"
Raven looked at the door behind them, pulling out his swords. He then hacked at the door, slicing it open. "Not exac--" Raven said stopping as he saw some of the ceiling start to collapse. "Kennedy, heads up!" Raven shouted.
Kennedy teleported next to Raven. "What else could she be plotting? That was... too easy. No robot army or... anything? Then again, I don't want to jinx us, but I feel as if I'm walking into a trap."
"If anything, I'd say she wants us gone. If we don't leave, she'll bring the whole place down on us. Find the girls and leave. We have to return to Orion Station," Raven said.
"I take it these trusty wristbands will be efficient in returning us to your homebase?" Kennedy asked, looking at the device Savannah gifted him. "This seems like quite an appropriate moment for it to come into play. Do you think I could communicate with Team Saturn for them to also make a timely escape?"
"Yes. Do what you need to do, but hurry," Raven said.
Kennedy poked his wristband before he began speaking into it. "Schnee, Aqua, Terra.... can you hear me! Raven and I are about to leave, and I must quickly ask that you do the same!"
Kennedy and Raven would be able to hear several air-stabbing movements as Schnee hurriedly responded. "Wait, you just want us to ditch Crys and leave him in the village? But... there are still survivors! And we've got him on the ropes - WHOA, COOL IT, ICEBERG!" More air-stabbing noises. "As the team leader - WHOOOSH, BABY! Can't hit me, can you? Anyway, as team leader, and since most of the team lives here, I'm gonna say that we'll catch up later. You and Raven can skidaddle if you want, but this is just getting good!"
Kennedy said "But Crys is a deadly opponent for you three. You all could be seriously harmed-" Schnee disconnected, and Kennedy grumbled. Crys has beat all of them cross-eyed before; even together, they're going to be occupied for a very long time. Kennedy sighed. They really are an admirable trio, throwing themselves into danger all the time. It'd be terrible to see them seriously harmed, however... Kennedy turned his attention to Raven. "Well... you heard her. If Schnee has that stance, then there's no point in trying to sway Aqua and Terra, either. We should head back."
"Ok, then. Fire it up. We are out of here." Raven said.
Kennedy pressed his wristwatch, and then were instantly teleported into Raven's homebase. Kennedy sighed. "I hope Team Saturn will be alright," he mumbled to himself.
"Those three are pretty brave, Kennedy. But, we will come back for them if its necessary." Raven said.
"Nicole, take Kennedy to the forge and then the Armory. He's gonna require an upgrade to take them on." Raven said.
"Understood." Nicole said as she escorted him to said locations, starting with the Forge.
Back with Team Saturn, the fight was still going on and getting more dire. Vultra had called in several more robots, Juggernauts and Enforcers in particular, to survey the fight between Crys and the team. The robots brandished their weapons in the event something goes wrong.