Part 6 in Season 4 of my Insurgency series. A GC entry for the Marauders and the next part in 2017's group cross-over event! Please comment, rate and enjoy!
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13th December 2097: Present Day
The Spire loomed large in our viewscreen as our hired shuttle zoomed through space towards it.
The ride from Qoter hadn’t taken long and at the beginning, everybody aboard had been talking and arguing amongst themselves, however, as the journey had progressed and our destination had come into sight, the mismatched crew had settled down dramatically, until now, there was a deadly silence on board. In fact, the only sound to be heard was the muffled roar of the engines.
I had already briefed everybody on the plan earlier in the ride, so now all that was left to do was wait until we landed. The plan itself was as simple as; land in one of the smaller hanger bays, Jakor would slice into the computer network and find out where Tracks had been taken and then I, along with Cat, Aurora and a few of the others would sneak there and rescue him. Once he was free, we’d rendezvous back at the shuttle and get the hell out of there!
Simple, but effective. Everybody else was to wait in the hanger bay in case anybody stumbled across the ship while we were gone. If we encountered any resistance along the way, we’d deal with it and call on the others for backup if they were required.
As we drew close to our target, I began to get an uneasy feeling in my stomach. Sat in a passenger’s chair in the cockpit, just behind the pilot and co-pilot’s seats, I couldn’t help but feel like something was wrong as we headed directly for one of the station’s smaller hanger bays.
Dustin: “Is anyone else…” he began sounding concerned.
Tank/Jakor: “Yes.” We replied in unison before Dustin had even finished speaking. There was definitely something not right here. Usually I had to transmit my clearance code for docking with The Spire, but no such demand had come through today and that in itself was cause for concern.
Jakor: “Shall we abort?”
Tank: “No. Stick to the plan.” I decided immediately. It may not have been the smart move and in fact, the moment the words had left my lips I became unsure of the choice. But it had been made now. I had come this far. I was not going back without my mechanical buddy.
Jakor: “Alrighty.” He muttered, obviously not pleased with the choice, but thankfully, he didn’t question it. “In that case, you’d better ready the troops. We’ll be landing in 60 seconds.”
I watched the entrance to the docking bay grow ever larger, like a mouth swallowing us whole, for another few seconds before I unstrapped myself and made my way into the hold of the shuttle to inform the others of our impending arrival.
Jakor’s timing was spot on and precisely one minute later, the landing gears extended and our shuttle touched down. No sooner had I felt the gentle rock which meant our craft had settled, I ordered the boarding ramp lowered and there was a loud hiss of venting gas as the pressures equalled and the ramp began to lower.
Even with the ramp still lowering, I had begun to descend and jumped the last foot down to the hanger bay floor. The hanger itself was occupied by a couple of smaller spacecraft, fighters by the looks of them and was littered with storage crates and ship repair equipment and apparatus. The others hot on my heels, I began making my way across the bay towards the main doors into the Spire proper.
I took a look around as we jogged in silence, searching for possible locations for my crew to wait and find cover and also keeping an eye out for any other life – any Collective crewmen or workmen who might jeopardise the plan.
Thankfully though, the bay was blissfully empty. I silently prayed that it would remain that way because just a single technician could…
At that moment, it was as if a barrier that I hadn’t even realised was there had suddenly been removed from before us, and stood in a long line, between us and the door, was Archmage Eris Arathon and a whole host of others.
I, along with my team stumbled to a halt in sheer surprise, although given a few seconds of clarity, it became obvious that Eris had been there the entire time and had kept herself and her ‘team’ under some sort of invisibility spell.
Eris: “You are a fool, Tank.” The Archmage accused as my own team slowly began to fan out and match the positions of hers.
Tank: “Eris.” I greeted simply, still taken aback by the turn of events and unsure of how to proceed. There was no chance that we could pull off the original plan now and quick thinking was not my strong suit. So, the only option left? Delay. Stall until I could think of something.
Eris: “Coming alone would have been bad enough, but you’ve dragged all these people along with you.”
Tank: “You’re a fine one to talk. You seem to have done the same!” I retorted and now, as I took a look up and down her line, I realised I knew practically everyone there. Jay and Basher were stood either side of Eris, with Caesar and Jace beside Jay. Beside Jace was the bitch of a mage who had stolen Tracks, Lashka and beside her was the red-skulled mask of Derek Collins. Derek appeared to have brought half of his gang along with him, as Spike was stood alongside him, then next to Spike was a masked mage I didn’t recognise followed by both Castor and Natasha.
On the other side of the line, stood next to Basher was a trio of two men and a woman I didn’t recognise, followed by the Aurelian Captain Brass. Stood beside him was the hulking red form of Max Power, then a man in a hood whom I’d not met before, Bruce from Derek’s gang, Captain Codder and finally an elderly-looking man with what appeared to be a robotic arm.
If I’d had more time to analyse the situation, I would have felt betrayed, but as it happened, I didn’t have the chance.
Eris: “I did what I had to.” Eris replied tartly.
Tank: “And I’m sure you gathered these people all by yourself. I assume Mr. Collins here informed you that I was coming?” I inquired, glaring up the line at the man in the skull mask.
Derek: “Sorry Tank. It’s a shame we never meet under better circumstances.”
Tank: “Damn right.” I muttered in reply, turning my attention back to the Archmage.
Eris: “Turn around now Tank. Take your band of assistants and leave. That will be the end of it.” She sighed and for the first time, I noticed how tired she sounded. Now that I’d heard it in her voice, the more I studied her – her face, her posture, the more I noticed how worn-out she appeared. I wondered if that was why she had assembled such a large team to head us off?
Tank: “You sound tired, Eris.” It wasn’t a question. It was a statement. What it was supposed to achieve, I wasn’t sure, but I felt the need to voice it aloud, just in case any of my group were concerned about fighting the Archmage. Maybe, if they realised she was weaker than normal, I could help alleviate some of those fears.
Eris: “Portalling around the Universe does that, yes.” She admitted. “But don’t for a second believe that that gives you an advantage. I could think you all out of existence if I wanted to.” She boasted and the worrying thing was that I knew it was true. I’d seen what Eris was capable of and I didn’t relish the thought of fighting her, however, in my heart of hearts, I had to believe that she wouldn’t do anything like that. I had to believe that our past adventures together counted for something and that she’d give me some sort of chance. But if not and it did come to fighting, that’s where the little lump of blue rock in my pocket would come into play.
Eris: “So tell me. Why are you here?” the Archmage demanded, turning her attention to the rest of my party. “What has Tank told you all to get you to come along on this misguided mission?”
Jakor: “We know what you can do.”
Jack: “The Registration Act needs to be enforced.”
Eris: “The Act?” she queried, seeming genuinely confused. “You think this is what this is about? That Tank is here to ensure that law is passed?”
Tank: “That’s part of it, Eris.” I interrupted. “I’m here for Tracks, but everybody has their own personal reasons for being here. I didn’t make any of them accompany me, they all volunteered.”
Eris: “Then that makes you all just as foolish as each other.”
Tank: “Eris you stole from me!” I snapped. “You know what Tracks means to me and you took him the second I got him back!”
Eris: “He’s evil!”
Tank: “How many times are we going to go over this!” I yelled. “He’s not! Just because he’s made from junk robot parts doesn’t mean that One has returned! In the time you’ve had him here, has he tried to destroy the system? No!”
That last part was a complete guess, but I assumed that if he had in fact returned and tried to cause havoc, I would have heard about it by now.
Eris: “That’s because I had him shut down the moment he was brought aboard. He’s been locked in a solitary confinement unit, deactivated, ever since.” The Archmage responded, getting angry. I could tell that she was doing her best to remain calm, but her exhaustion combined with her frustration was beginning to get the best of her.
And you know what? I didn’t care.
I was too angry to give a damn any more. Eris had taken enough from me recently. I didn’t necessarily agree with the Registration Act, in fact, if I was in a better mood with Eris I would probably strongly oppose it, however, right now, I just wanted everything I could get against her.
Tank: “Not only did you take Tracks, but you also lied to me.” I continued, getting a slight frown from the Archmage in response. What the rest of our companies were doing, I had no idea. All I could see was the woman in front of me.
Tank: “I’ve spent my entire life trying to find out the truth about my parent’s murders – wishing that they were still alive. And now, now I find out that The Collective have a way of resurrecting the dead and that you’ve been keeping it hidden from me.” I accused, jabbing a finger in her direction.
Eris: “What are you talking about?”
Tank: “I COULD BRING MY PARENTS BACK TO LIFE, BUT YOU DON’T WANT ME TO!” I yelled and I could feel the shift in the atmosphere as everybody up and down both sides of the row tensed.
Eris: “Tank, I have no idea what you’re talking about.” She insisted, sounding pissed off. Fine. If that’s’ the way she wanted to play it.
Tank: “Kiera came to me and told me that The Collective have a way of restoring the dead to life.” I explained. She, of course, already knew this, but if she was going to continue this charade of ignorance, then I’d play along for the moment.
Eris: “Tank, if The Collective have such a procedure, I would know about it and I can assure you that we do not.”
Tank: “You lie.” I hissed. “Kiera said it can be done. She has proof. All I need to do is wait for her to let me know if it is a success or not.” I announced. Eris exchanged a concerned glance with Jay, who looked just as baffled as she did. Was there a possibility that they genuinely didn’t know about this? No. I refused to even think that. Eris knew and she hadn’t told me.
Tank: “You hid resurrection from me and you stole my property.” I concluded. “Now, I’m here to collect Tracks and then we’ll be on our way. If you intend to stop me… then you’ll have to kill me.” I announced, taking a steadying breath.
This was it. Either Eris would let me pass to go and get my droid, or all hell would break loose.
For several long seconds all was silent as the Archmage stared at me, trying to gauge my sincerity. Then, she opened her mouth to speak.
But instead, another voice echoed through the hanger bay.
I felt myself frown, even as I saw the same expression mirrored on Eris’ face as she closed her mouth and everybody looked around for the speaker.
The sound of a door ‘swooshing’ closed came from beyond Eris’ lines and the Archmage and her team all turned to face the newcomer.
A grin spread across my face.
As Tracks stepped ponderously into the hanger.
Tracks: “No, she will not k….k…. kill you.” He stammered and my grin faltered. Only slightly, but still, the mechanical stammer concerned me. He hadn’t had that before. And on top of that, he was walking with a limp, dragging one foot behind him.
Tracks: “The blackest s…s…sleep. In the darkest n…n..night.” Tracks began as he ambled slowly closer to us all. “True innocence may take the light. The guilty are, what g..g…guilty be. And guilty may still murder me.”
My frown deepened as I realised Tracks was reciting a poem. His point, I wasn’t yet sure, but so far, he had everybody’s attention.
Tracks: “Motives are what motives be. And horror may still take from me. For oneself, one m…m…may take. But for others, may not break. Independent life must strive, simply for to stay a…a…alive.”
As Tracks brushed past Eris, I gave him a warm smile, trying to hide my inner worry. His speech was slow and his voice was deeper than it had been before. That, along with his dragging gait made his recitation rather creepy.
Eris: “He was shut down…” she muttered to Jay, just loud enough for me to hear.
Tracks: “Make of life w…w…what you be…” the droid continued as he crossed the gap between our teams. “But never dream, that I’m not free.” Tracks concluded as Dustin stepped back, allowing him to take his place at my side and he turned to face Eris.
I couldn’t help but smirk slightly at the annoyed look on Eris’ face. I had my droid back and that was what mattered. I could fix him later on.
Tank: “See.” I smiled, giving him a glance over. “He’s fine.”
Eris: “So be it.” Eris announced and I had half a second to realise she had made up her mind.
Then, chaos erupted.
Eris's hand flashed up to point in my direction as she began to chant, but thankfully I reacted fast enough to get the first blown in. Before the first word had even left her lips, I had lunged forwards, the lump of Ossillium, wrapped in a cloth, in my hand and struck Eris across the jaw.
The action had taken barely two seconds, but in that time, up and down our ranks everybody had reacted. The two lines had crashed together in furious combat and now it was effectively team Tank versus team Eris.
But I had no time to worry about the others right now. All I could focus on was the angry Archmage in front of me.
My initial Ossillium-laden blow had cut Eris's cheek and she placed her hand on the wet blood, realising what had happened.
Eris: "You brought Ossillium against me?!" She asked incredulously.
Tank: "I'm sorry, Eris. I had to."
Eris wasn't having any of it and came at me the old fashioned way. I managed to deflect her first couple of punches, but a kick to my right leg made me stumble aside.
The line had already begun to spread out, the combatants moving away in their pairs or groups to fight in some space.
Tracks, although seemingly damaged, was giving Basher a run for his money as the pair exchanged blows nearby. Basher got in several quick jabs to Tracks' midsection but the droid retaliated with a strong gut punch that sent Basher sprawling.
Eris didn't let up after her kick. With a chant, I found myself flying onto my back on the smooth hanger floor. As I landed, the lump of Ossillium I'd been holding clattered away across the ground. My heart leapt. Without the Ossillium, I had precisely zero chance against Eris! As quickly as I could, I pushed myself up but Eris had already marched over to me and kicked me straight back down.
I was semi-prepared for it though and rolled to my right, leaping to my feet and darting into cover behind a small stack of crates. I got there just in time, as a blast of some kind of invisible force sent the topmost crate flying. But no sooner had it taken off, I rammed my full weight into the remainder of the stack and I heard Eris cry out in alarm from the other side as they toppled onto her.
With Eris beneath the pile, I grabbed the crate nearest to me and just as the Archmage cleared the boxes from on top of her, with a cry of effort, I brought the crate in my hands crashing down onto her. Eris groaned in pain and I raised the crate again before slamming it back down a second time.
I lifted it up for a third hit, but this time my opponent created some kind of invisible shield around herself just in time and the crate bounced straight off, the momentum carrying me over backwards.
My head hit the ground and my vision blurred slightly with the impact, but my eyesight returned just in time to see Eris stand over me. She slapped me hard across the face with an invisible hand and I felt my neck jar at the sudden impact. Eris slapped me again, my head whipping back the other way. She raised her hand again, but I kicked out hard and caught her in the side of her knee.
With a scream, Eris's leg gave way and she toppled to one side, giving me time to scrabble away and search for the lump of Ossillium.
I had just spotted it when Cat, fending off an attack from Captain Brass, inadvertently kicked it further out of reach. Cat was using all of her athletic abilities and second-hand Core training against the Aurellian Captain, but somehow he was holding his own. How he was so fast, I had no idea, but I briefly remembered wondering the same thing the last time we'd been together.
Turning my attention back to the lump of valuable blue rock, I quickly weighed up whether or not I had time to go and grab it. I glanced back at Eris, who had her hands placed on her injured knee and was frantically chanting words I couldn't hear. Judging the distance between myself and the Ossillium I decided to make a dash for it.
Sprinting past combatants brawling it out left, right and centre, I kept a close eye on my target, in case it got kicked away again.
Thankfully it didn't, but it had come out of its cloth covering, meaning I couldn't touch it. Ossillium was highly poisonous so there was no way I was going to grab it without first covering it with someth...
Having taken too long deciding what to do, I was caught completely off guard as a glowing net, formed of some kind of energy, caught me from behind and sent me spinning into another stack of storage crates. I groaned as my back slammed into the metal boxes and the net seemed to bind itself to them, pinning me there a few feet off of the deck. I tried to break free but try as I might, the energy net would not budge. I turned my attention outwards and found Eris storming towards me, a snarl on her face.
She reached a hand out towards me and blue energy began pounding into my chest. I cried out as wave upon wave of power crashed into me, constantly forcing me back into the crates already at my back.
I felt something behind me give and the crate I was pressed into shattered under the pressure. But Eris didn't let up and the barrage of power sent me crashing backwards through the destroyed crates. On the plus side, I was now free from the net, but on the down side, I slammed heavily onto my tailbone in a shower of metal splinters.
As I lay on the cold deck, gazing up at the hanger ceiling high above, the idea of giving up did cross my mind, but then a big metal face blocked my view, his red eyes staring down at me.
Tracks: "The oppressors are not finished yet."
Tracks offered me a hand up, even as I frowned at his harsh comment. Taking the offered assistance, I was hauled to my feet and together, Tracks and I stood side by side, ready for our oncoming attackers.
First came Eris. The stack of crates I had passed through suddenly flew outwards in every direction, Eris striding through the wreckage as the last of the crates moved out of her way.
The Archmage raised a hand and began to chant, but she didn't get past the second word before Tracks' shoulder gun began firing at her. I flinched away at the sudden sound and saw Eris with a forcefield around her, protecting herself. The sudden noise had made me notice how quiet the entire battle had been so far, and that in turn brought me to realise that nobody had fired a single shot. Nobody was fighting with a gun.
Tank: "Tracks! No guns!" I commanded, but his minigun kept rattling away.
Tracks: "She is the enemy!" He insisted, upping the weapon's speed.
Tank: "NO GUNS." I demanded. "That's an order."
Tracks turned suddenly to face me, his glowing red eyes boring into me and I could feel the anger radiating out of him. I almost wanted to take a step away, but forced myself not to and after just a moment more, Tracks looked back to Eris and ceased his bombardment, the gun retreating back into his shoulder.
Eris stood panting. She'd clearly been taken aback by the sudden hail of bullets and now that I looked, I saw that one of her arms was in fact bleeding. For the briefest of moments, I wanted to go to my old friend and make sure she was okay, but then, with a mental slap, I remembered why I was here and held my ground. Eris checked her wound and muttered something that I could only assume would stop the bleeding, before Basher approached and stood by her side.
Eris: "If you're going to kill me, you're going to have to do better."
Tank: "I don't want to kill you!" I retorted. "I don't even want to fight! I just want to take Tracks and go!"
Eris: "You brought Ossillium into my house!" She yelled, lashing out with a blast of blue light, but her anger made the outburst predictable and I managed to dive aside in plenty of time.
Basher: "Just give up, Tank." He urged. "There is no way you can win this. Just surrender Tracks and leave."
Tank: "Not a chance. I came here for him - there's no way I'll leave without."
Basher: "You must see that he's not right!"
Tracks: "Says the man w…w…who's neither human nor m…m…machine. What are you exactly?"
I could see Basher tense at the insult, balling his fists and grinding his teeth.
Cat: "Enough insults." Cat interjected, coming to stand beside me. Where Brass was at, I had no idea, but right now I didn't care. I was just thankful that I had more backup. "Either we leave peacefully or you fight to stop us. Choose."
Eris: "You're not leaving with it."
Cat: "So be it." Cat replied, standing ready for a fight. I likewise prepared for either Eris or Basher to attack, but instead;
Voice: "Robot man is bad!" I spun around just in time to see a red roadblock charging towards me. I leapt out of the way as Max Power hurtled at me and he instead collided with Tracks, tackling him to the ground.
Max: “Archmage! I have the droid!” he called excitedly, but Tracks gave a swift uppercut and knocked him clean off. “I don’t have the droid!” he updated, already starting on Tracks again. But Eris had long stopped paying attention to the Aurelian and was already starting after me again.
I just had time to notice Caesar turn up and begin fighting Cat before I was forced to dodge a wrench that Eris had picked up using her telekinesis and thrown at me. No sooner had I dodged the wrench though, a giant hammer came my way, causing me to duck down again. Eris continued throwing tools at me as I turned and dived underneath a nearby ship to use it as cover.
From my spot beneath the wing, I could see Eris’ legs advancing towards me and knew I didn’t have long to think of my next move. I quickly glanced around at what I had to hand but there wasn’t much apart from the ship itself.
Wait a moment…
I reached up and pulled open an access panel on the wing. Inside was a multitude of cables and pipes, so I grabbed hold of the one I was really hoping was a cooling pipe and waited for Eris to get closer.
As the Archmage’s feet came to a stop, she leant over to look under the ship and at the same time, I yanked hard on the pipe. Thankfully, my assumption had been right about it being a cooling pipe and as I pulled, one end became detached. Quickly turning it on Eris, I moved just quick enough that the cloud of super-cooled liquid burst out in her face.
Eris cried out in shock and I scrabbled away to the opposite side of the ship, using it for cover as long as I possibly could. Now what I really needed was that lump of Ossillium, but no matter how hard I looked, I just couldn’t spot it anywhere! I needed a better vantage point to try and find it from. It would take too long to run around the entire hanger trying to find it, so instead, I had a quick visual scan of the bay, looking for somewhere I could get higher up.
Thankfully, I spotted some sort of maintenance platform not too far away and after glancing back to ensure Eris was still on the other side of the ship, I crawled out from beneath the ship and sprinted towards the raised workstation.
As I ran, one of the Namori, Talitha, almost bumped into me as she fought off an attack from Captain Brass, but I dodged around her, wishing I could do more to help and carried on towards the platform. I reached the metal stairs and climbed hastily to the top. It wasn’t very high, just a couple of meters, but it was enough to give me a good look around.
The lump of Ossillium wasn’t very big and so I had to properly scour the area to try and find it, but even then, it proved stupidly difficult.
Tank: “Come on…” I muttered aloud, frantically looking around, knowing that I could come under attack at any moment, especially stood as exposed as I was.
Thankfully, at last, I noticed the glowing lump of rock a short distance away and was about to retreat back down the ladder when the entire platform shook and I was forced to grab one of the railings to stop myself from toppling over. I looked around and found Eris, floating in mid-air, gliding towards me. She thrust out her hands and I could see the ripple in the air as a shockwave headed towards me.
Tank: “Oh scrim…” I muttered moments before the blast crashed into me.
Not only did the shockwave topple the maintenance platform over, it also sent me flying through the air. It must have also damaged a critical part on the Collective ship beneath the platform because it exploded in a wreathing ball of fire and smoke. The flames licked at me as I sailed through the explosion, but before I’d really had time to react, I had crashed into a stack of storage units and fallen to a crumpled heap on the floor.
Groaning in pain from both the crash and the burns, I made myself look up. Eris was still floating in mid-air, gliding purposefully through the smoke now billowing from the destroyed fighter. She slowly lowered herself to the ground and at the same time, I became aware of the presence of numerous Collective soldiers, all running to the Archmage. Briefly, I wondered when they had arrived, but just assumed Eris had summoned them while I’d been running to my vantage point.
Suddenly, it came back to me why I’d been up there in the first place, and a quick glance around confirmed that Eris’ shockwave had actually thrown me closer to the blue rock! It was now barely a meter away, just out of arm’s reach!
All I had to do was grab it before Eris noticed it was there and if possible, without her seeing. What I needed was a distraction.
As if on cue, Tracks and Max Power, engaged in a proper robotic brawl staggered between myself and the approaching Archmage. Tracks grabbed Max and spun, throwing him into the collection of soldiers approaching.
Eris ducked and Max collided with several troops, sending them sprawling, but Tracks wasn’t done yet. Before I could realise what was happening, I heard his shoulder gun open fire again.
Part of me simply didn’t want to look. I didn’t want to acknowledge that something wasn’t right with Tracks and that after all of this, Eris may have in fact been right. But the bigger part of me knew that it was now or never to grab that lump of Ossillium.
Using the distraction, I ripped off the end of one of my shirt sleeves and lunged to my side to grab the Ossillium.
Keeping it out of sight, I clambered to my feet. Tracks was still firing at the soldiers and, with horror, I realised that there were at least three laying unmoving on the ground. Eris had, again, created a protective shield, this time in front of both herself and her soldiers.
Tank: “Enough!” I shouted but Tracks wouldn’t listen.
Eris: “That is not Tracks!” the angry voice sounded in my head. Eris hadn’t spoken aloud, but she was still glaring at me to make sure I had heard her mental message.
I’d heard her alright. I refused to accept that she was right, but even I couldn’t deny to myself that I was growing more and more concerned about Tracks’ violence.
Tank: “TRACKS!” I bellowed, giving him a shove.
My droid turned and with a single swipe, sent me sprawling with a metal backhand to the face.
Reeling from the sudden attack, I lay dazed on the floor. It was all I could do to look up at Tracks. His shoulder gun had stopped and Eris was moving towards me, as if to help, but Tracks grabbed ahold of her by the hair and pummelled her in the face.
She cried out and Tracks kicked her wounded knee, making her leg give way again so that she was held up only by her hair.
Tank: “Stop!” I yelled, but Tracks had already tossed the Archmage aside.
Tracks turned to face me, behind him Eris’ shield was still in place, both protecting the soldiers and Max but also preventing them from coming to our aid.
It was a single word but it sent a shiver down my spine. Everything – everything fell apart in that single word. I could barely breathe, I was so wrought up. For it hadn’t been Tracks’ voice that had emanated from his metal body;
It had been One’s.
One: “This is all that One has ever wanted.” He continued and Eris turned her head to look at me, her face bloody and I could see the horror in her eyes, even as tears welled in my own. Not only had I been wrong, but it had cost lives.
One: “One will kill each Collective as they come, for that is One's duty.” The ancient drone explained, repeating the words he had first spoken to us in Old Qoter, when we had first come across him. “That has always been One's duty. And nothing, or no one, will stand in its way.”
Tank: “Shield!” I shouted to Eris. She understood and immediately the protective barrier between Tracks and the soldiers vanished.
The moment it had disappeared, the Collective soldiers opened fire with their plasma weaponry, all aimed at Trac… no; at One. Max Power lunged out in front of the group, charging full pelt at the machine I had built and called a friend.
Max: “Nobody hurts the Archmage on my socks!” he bellowed, slightly incorrectly as always and raised a fist, before bringing it down towards One.
But the fist never connected.
One stepped slightly to the side, causing Max to over-balance himself. Thrown-off, One grabbed the red-armoured cyborg with one hand and with the other, smashed in his protective visor, grabbing ahold of his faceplate.
I realised what was about to happen moments too late.
In one horrifying movement, One ripped Max’s head clean off in a shower of both sparks and blood.
I registered Eris’ terrible scream, but it was drowned out by my own shout of dismay.
One let Max Power’s body collapse to the floor with a very final ‘thud’, before taking a moment to look at the face on the severed head he held in his other hand. Finding it of little interest, One tossed it aside, as if it were no more than a red football.
Tank: “Tracks…” I whimpered, tears on my face.
One raised his arm, doing his best to shield himself from the barrage of plasma he was now coming under from the soldiers.
One: “Enough…” he muttered. “ENOUGH!”
I had just been about to climb to my feet when a horrifically piercing sound echoed through my skull.
It was so loud and so incredibly high in pitch that it was disorientating and painful and judging by the fact that the soldiers had stopped shooting and both they and Eris were all on the floor, writhing in agony, it seemed that everybody could hear it.
My head went fuzzy and even pressing my hands against my ears did not help. Trying not to throw up, I collapsed down to the floor again, but just had time to see One running away before my vision went black and I passed out.
The shuttle cockpit set.
The exploding ship set.
As my series is going to be jumping around though time, I will include a date on each episode and add it to the timeline at the end of each episode so that you can follow it.
Blast, as one just coming back, this is... this is incredible to read, but so painful also. I'm gonna miss Max, so much. But an amazimg story. Ig I'm coming back at a large transition time. Maybe you can find a way to work Dart back into the story somehow from this. But I'm rambling. Great story here. Can't wait to see what happens next.
Bravo R.K., bravo! And fair well to one of the greatest Aurelians that ever lived. I must admit, I wasn't expecting it, but it meshed wonderfully with the story. And what a story! Lots of great fight scenes, and Tracks becoming One again was awesome (in a bad way). Great work, and I'm so pumped to see all of the crossover entries that follow!
Calculating...that was unexpected.Also,I don't recall getting the no guns rule.Not that anything major has happened to anyone in my part of the crossover which I am still working on,but this could change some things,unless you are fine with me keeping with how I am going.The only time I depict a shot hitting is disabling the jet pack I gave Darek.
Okay, before I speak out my thoughts...NOOOO MAX! HE HAD SO MUCH TO LIVE FOR! WHY DID HE HAVE TO DIE!?!?.... And now for my thoughts lol. This. Was. Absolutely. Amazing! This has to be now my personal favorite chapter of the Season, well done! Already loving the scene with everyone's characters that have joined the Cross-Over are all in one place. By far, the best chapter I have read yet.