Vorcium, Chapter 2: Icelated (Second Half)

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Vorcium, Chapter 2: Icelated (Second Half) Empty Vorcium, Chapter 2: Icelated (Second Half)

Post by DEWM NINJA on Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:07 am

Maximus opened his eyes, he had no idea where he was. But he knew he was lying down. He attempted to push himself up, but his right side fell back down as soon as he put his weight upon his arms. He looked at his right arm, his entire forearm was missing entirely. He looked at where his arm unexpectedly ended. It was heavily bandaged. He barely pushed himself up, and he looked around. The room was pitch black, except from a source of light coming from around a corner. He swung his lower body around, bringing himself to a sitting position at the side of the bed, and he got up, though fell immediately as he tried to walk. His legs were incredibly sore. Come to think of it, his whole body was. He barely brought himself bag up thanks to the support of the bed, and he managed to cope with his status. He shuffled to the light source, where he saw someone sitting in a luxurious seat faced away from him, and towards the light source, a fireplace. “Hello?” Maximus attempted to say, but his throat was filled to the brim with mucus, as he attempted to speak, his mouth was filled with the disgusting substance. He spit it out, to the corner of the room, and swallowed the rest in his throat down, doing so caused his throat to be a bit pained. He moved his hand towards the source, and noticed there was stitching around his neck. He tried again, “Hello?” Maximus said. His throat was sore, and his voice a bit raspy, but he actually managed to said it this time. “Well. Hello. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?” The person said, in a voice akin to a man’s. A very familiar voice at that. Maximus walked fully into the room, around the chair, revealing the person to be Maximus’ father. “Dad?” Maximus asked in shock. His father put his hand up to shield his eyes. “Ugh, no one wants to see that, put some clothes on.” Maximus looked down, noticing that he was stripped down to his underwear. He looked around the room, and noticed there were several sets of armor in place, all of which were that of all the old, deceased High Generals of the Order of Knights. He spotted his own set, and took it out of the case, putting only the chainmail on as he was eager to speak with his father. “Is it really you?” Maximus asked. His father chuckled a bit. “Yes. It seems the Order of Knights has not one, but two miracles on their hands, don’t they?” Magnus asked. “I… Guess so? I can’t believe it… This has to be some sort of dream. Like all those I’ve… been having, of my younger days.” Maximus said, returning his train of thought to the sequences of memories he had been having. “A dream inside a dream? Do you have those often?” Magnus asked. “Uh, not one. I suppose you’re right. This, feels real...” Maximus said. “And so, as you face the reality of your situation, you should face your consequences.” Magnus said. “Excuse me?” Maximus asked. Magnus sighed. “Upon your sixteenth birthday, you left your dying mother in a village to face a sandstorm, a natural disaster, by herself. You, her only son, and the last remnant of family she had.” Magnus said. “How do you know that? I never told you about that-” Maximus said. “Later on, very early the next day, you witnessed the violation of a woman, as well as her murder. You could’ve done something, and you almost. But you ran away anyway.” Magnus said. Maximus looked angrily at him. “Don’t you scold me, I couldn’t take that man on, he was fully armored and equipped, and I had nothing to fight him with but a broken gun with a couple bullets.” Maximus said. “About two weeks later, you were drinking in a bar, underaged. Violating the laws of the Order of Knights.” Magnus said. “You were there, you could’ve arrested me but you didn’t. That’s downright hypocrisy.” Maximus said. “Two years later, you stole a bag of chips.” Magnus said. “That’s a pretty small crime compared to these other accusations, besides, Mac was already stealing them himself.” Maximus said. “Some more years down the line, during a battle with some bandits, Chris, the older brother of Mac, stepped onto a landmine and died, and you could’ve prevented that.” Magnus said. “By the time I noticed that landmine it was too late. I tried to warn him.” Maximus said. “Several years later, you tortured a man brutally.” Magnus said. “He was the leader of the enemy, and it was a necessary evil. We needed information out of him.” Maximus said. “Did you? You had no specific question. You just wanted answers to questions you didn’t even know had answers. Or perhaps you tortured him because you just felt like it. Because he was evil, in your eyes. Have you considered his motives?” Magnus asked. “I will not be accused of such things. You would’ve done much of the same in my shoes.” Maximus said. “And finally, a crime you never exactly committed, but it remains to be questioned. When you found your father, you weren’t going to hug him, to say you missed him. You two weren’t going to go back to mother, and live together as a family. No, instead, you had plans for specifically beating him to death with your bare hands.” Magnus said. “How do you know all of this? I doubt you know why I wanted to, do you? I wanted to, because he damned me and my mom to life in hell, in a village with no clean water or solid food supply, my mom died because of him.” Maximus said. “And here you are, following in his footsteps. Leaving her behind in a village so you could go to the knights seeking answers, to find something, only to abandon her altogether.” Magnus said. Maximus shook his head, as he reached to grab his sheathed sword, but suddenly remembered his arm was half-missing. He looked at his father. “What the hell is the meaning of all this?” Maximus asked.
“Don’t you realize, you’re standing before a man you watched die, you watched be buried, and suddenly, he’s back, after so many years, after breaking through a metal coffin and digging through soil, and he waits this long to arrive? You’re an idiot to believe that. No, you’re in hell!” Magnus said as he stood up and pushed Maximus backwards, and he fell into the fireplace. Instead of landing on flames, as he hit the flaming logs, he fell into a hole hidden beneath them, for what felt like a solid minute. As he hit the ground, he lifted himself up, taking note of the fact that his right arm had miraculously grown back. The ground beneath him was composed completely of snakes and bugs. As he looked around, he saw towers of obsidian rising above the ground from miles away, mounted on top of them were Wyverns that breathed fire. And upon the endless mile before him, warriors from all timeframes, weapons drawn, and stabbing and smashing each other amidst the chaos. As someone unarmored rushed him with an axe, Maximus ducked, reaching for his sword as he noticed that it too had appeared, as well as his armor. He unsheathed it, and prepared himself as that same person ran at him again, roaring a battle cry. Maximus kicked him in the stomach as he came in range, and his target swung the axe at Maximus, who swung his own weapon at the attack, cutting the blade from the hilt and slicing open his adversary's throat. The rising heat from the ground must’ve stopped his weapon from freezing the enemy’s wound. Maximus pressed on, through the crowd of war, dodging and blocking attacks not even intended for him. He spotted a man who was heavily armored, so much so it must’ve been equally a burden. The armored man aimed a machine gun at Maximus, who managed to outrun his aim, using the many people of the battlefield as cover as he dodged around the gunfire. Eventually, the armored man stopped firing, threw the weapon to the ground and pulled out a shovel. He rushed Maximus, who dodged a couple attacks before swinging the pommel of his sword into the armored man’s head several times, who backed away from the attack after being hit five times. The armored man backed away, and charged into Maximus with his shoulder. The armored man pinned Maximus to the ground as he pulled out a knife, Maximus grabbed the armored man’s wrists, the two fighting over the knife. Maximus eventually sacrificed one of his hands to pull of the man’s helmet, and dig his thumb into one of his eyes. The armored man retracted the knife as he screamed in pain, backing off of Maximus, who retrieved his sword and stabbed it into the man’s skull, ending his misery. Maximus continued to push on, where he barely backed off from the attack of a Samurai, who met Maximus dead in the eye. The Samurai swung his greatsword at Maximus’ legs, this attack of which he jumped over. Maximus jabbed his blade towards the Samurai’s stomach, but the Samurai parried, causing Maximus to lose his blade. Maximus got into a stance, dodging several quick attacks from the Samurai. When the opportunity opened, Maximus grabbed the Samurai’s shoulders and threw him in a random direction, causing the Samurai to be bisected by another person’s attack. Maximus cautiously looked around for his sword, and when he finally spotted it and started running to get it, a different adversary appeared, stomping his foot upon it. Maximus looked his target in the eyes, and instantly recognized him. Nikola. An attack from behind scratched against Maximus’ back, his armor saving him. Maximus turned to see his second target being a soldier of the Order of Demons. He was suddenly surrounded by Demon soldiers. But these weren’t the average foot soldiers, all of them bore different insignias, they were all Hellwalkers. Maximus punched one of the Hellwalkers, but to no avail. He flanked around that same Hellwalker as they charged up an attack, swinging and missing Maximus. Maximus pulled out a knife, and quickly jabbed it into the back of his target’s knee. As they reacted in pain, Maximus mustured up his remaining strength to throw them into the crowd, and like the Samurai, they were unfortunate enough to be hit by another man’s attack, and the Hellwalker’s head rolled upon the ground of snakes and spiders. Maximus dodged a couple attacks, before a spear dug itself into the back of Maximus’ leg. He screamed in agony, as it went all the way through, shattering bone with ease. He barely managed to stay standing up afterwards, before ducking under an attack that made him nearly lose balance. A Demon cut upwards from Maximus’ neck, scratching against his armor again, but the tip of the blade dug into the Helmet’s eye socked and pierced Magnus’ eye, blinding his left eye. Because of his lack of sight and movement, another attack severed Maximus’ fingers on his left hand. He finally fell to his knees, and up to him approached Nikola, who tore off Maximus’ helmet, throwing it aside, and swinging his flaming sword across Maximus’ neck once more.

The doors of the Central Command Tower in New Aberdeen bursted open, and Matt rushed in, walking up to the elevator. He pressed the button several times, noticing it didn’t light up. “This damn thing still doesn’t work?” He exclaimed. He ran up several flights of stairs until he reached the floor below the top. He knocked on the door, to which Yuri answered. “Matt?” Yuri asked. Matt walked into the room. “There are a LOT of Malebranche out there, not too far from Aberdeen. We need to take care of it.” Matt said. “There is? Where?” Yuri asked. “I’ll show you, but you have to get a whole squad of Cleansers ready first.” Matt said. “Not sure how useful they’re going to be out in the cold, but alright. I’ll take your word for it.”

Vanguard’s shield smashed a Hatchling against the wall, smashing it to bits. Shortly thereafter, Mac fired a laser from Pinaka, decapitating another Hatchling as its neck disintegrated. Pyrus backed up Mac as he fired a round straight through the heart of a Mother, the group finishing off a large group of the creatures, their bodies littering the hallway. “Save some flashiness for me, guys.” Scar said. Vanguard took point again, shield outstretched, the bottom of which was pressed against the floor, creating an undelightful screeching sound as Vanguard pushed forwards. Scar looked at Pyrus, as he loaded more bullets into his Revolver. “So, Pyrus, what’s with the arm?” Scar asked. “I cut it off.” Pyrus said. “Why?” Scar asked. Pyrus finished reloading his weapon, and turned to look at Scar. He flipped his revolver around until the grip faced Scar. “I doubt your little cybernetic hand could handle the kickback on this revolver.” Pyrus said. “Actually, my hand isn’t cybernetic, I’m-” Scar began talking, but Pyrus cut her off as he flipped the Revolver back around so he was holding it correctly. “This is a modified Revolver. It has the power, and the kick, of a .50 caliber sniper rifle. I’ve taken a KTTS out of the sky with one shot of this thing. It can pierce through several forms of metal walls, in one shot. I wouldn’t be surprised if this building comes crumbling around upon us if I shot this enough times.” Pyrus said. The two were silent for a moment. “You do know that couldn’t happen, the top floor is ground level, and the rest of the floors are underground.” Scar said. “Of course I know that, how wouldn’t I, I came through the front door after all. It was just… an exaggeration.” Pyrus said, getting slightly defensive. “Hey I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to piss you off.” Scar said. “I’m not pissed off!” Pyrus said. Scar decided not to go further with the conversation. As the group got deeper into the Genetics division, the screeching of more Mothers and Hatchlings could be heard. Vanguard’s optical sensors on his shield saw several Hatchlings approaching. “Prepare to fight!” Vanguard said, as he moved his shield out of the way and swung his sword, killing several Hatchlings. Mac fired his weapon as it automatically locked onto several Hatchlings, killing a fair few of his own. Pyrus pocketed his Revolver, and grabbed a nearby Mother, slamming it against the wall, as it slid back down to the ground lying against the wall, recovering from the blow, Pyrus smashed his fist into its head, splattering brains about the place. Vanguard spun up one of his shoulder-mounted weapons, and a barrage of plasma projectiles melted the rest of the creatures. Vanguard went back to his Shield routine. The group pushed further into the belly of the beast, eventually coming to a central cloning area. Most likely the source of all this chaos in the Genetics division. Vanguard retracted his shield. “Destination reached. Further orders?” Vanguard asked. “You know what to do.” Scar said. “Running probability subroutine. Probability calculated. Yes, I do know what you mean, SCAR. Running ‘ASS-KICKING’ subroutine.” Vanguard said. His other shoulder mounted weapon fired a rocket, splattering chunks of several Hatchlings about. Vanguard pushed in head-first, taking what could’ve been even a hundred Hatchlings, while more Mothers kept their distance, spawning more of the creations. Pyrus, Mac and Scar moved in behind him, opening fire on the Mothers. Vanguard waved his shield about, crushing as many as he could. Pyrus fired his revolver at several of the creatures , before one grabbed his other arm, and another grabbed him from behind, attempting to claw through his armor. Mac fired his weapon at both of the Hatchlings, Pyrus turning to look at him in surprise. Mac was then tackled by several of them, and in turn Pyrus unloaded all six shots into the herd on top of Mac, killing all of them. Mac got up and looked at him, only to see Pyrus shrugging. The two returned to firing upon the creatures. Scar climbed on top of Vanguard amidst the chaos. “Hey! Vanguard! Can you hear me?!” She yelled. “Yes, SCAR, I can hear you. Would you like me to tell you a joke?” Vanguard asked, and he smashed his foot down upon a Hatchling, turning it into a paste. “Not now, maybe later! But I need you to smash the cloning machines, do it, now!” Scar said. “SCAR, I regret to inform you that the, CLONING MACHINES, are property of the, ORDER OF TECHNOLOGY, and I am being restricted from destroying them as part of a restraining chip.” Vanguard said. Scar sighed, swinging herself around so she could see the back of Vanguard’s head. She used her robotic hand to get several screws loose, and remove a locking system to the panel she was trying to open. She took the piece of metal off, carefully letting it hang off of her belt, and she skimmed through several wired, before finding a few chips plugged into a circuit board. Very advanced technology, even for the Order of Technology. She carefully inspected the chips, hoping that dislodging one wouldn’t bring the worst to Vanguard. Suddenly, she was yanked back, and nearly completely off of Vanguard by a Hatchling trying to climb up. She tried pushing the Hatchling off, until it grabbed for the metal cover to the back of Vanguard’s head. She panicked, grabbing onto the cover in hopes that if anyone were to fall off, at least she’ll still have the cover. Several bullets pierced through the arm of Hatchling, causing its arm to be cut off entirely. Scar ripped the heavily cybernetic arm off of the cover, and looked to see where those bullets came from. Several squads of security robots pushed in to support the group. Scar smiled, and she returned back to Vanguard’s head. She crossed her fingers on the other arm, and yanked out a blue-colored chip. “RESTRAINING DEVICE, PROPERTY OF THE ORDER OF TECHNOLOGY, COPYRIGHT 2174”, the chip read. Scar sighed, and pocketed the chip. She placed the cover back where it was, locking it back in place, when she realized Vanguard wasn’t moving. As a matter of fact, he was powered off completely. “Ah shit.” Scar said. She pulled the cover back off, inspecting more wires and switches, and found a wire was dislodged. She plugged it back into place, and pressed a manual power button, and finally she could put the cover back on. “Assessment: Systems booting up.” Vanguard said. “Diagnostic: Hull at 99%, CPU at 100%, AI Systems at 100%, initiating movement calibration.” Vanguard, despite still being surrounded by Hatchlings, was going about his business pretty calmly. He looked up and down, then around, and moved his arms around, then looked at his right hand, opening and closing his hand. Then he spun his upper body around in a 360 degree motion, revealing Scar hanging onto his back to the Hatchlings, and they swung at her, until Vanguard was fully back into place. Afterwards, it suddenly kicked into Vanguard that he was in combat. “You picked a bad time to get lost, FRIEND.” Vanguard said, as he attacked the Hatchlings. The security robots began to mop up the Mothers with Mac and Pyrus, which helped with the thinning out of all the Hatchlings Vanguard was focused on. Scar climbed back up to be sitting on Vanguard’s shoulder. “Alright, you wanna destroy the cloning machines now?!” Scar asked. “I’ve always wanted to destroy stuff owned by the Order of Technology, SCAR.” Vanguard said. Scar jumped off to avoid the destruction, and Vanguard charged into the machinery, smashing it all to pieces. The security robots approached SCAR, who was watching Vanguard have his fair share of fun. “Well, that’s unfortunate. We didn’t want anything to be destroyed. But you helped nonetheless, which is all we asked for, really. You’ll be pleased to know that the elevator is working, so you can leave now. We also wanted to let you know that since you do come from VCT, you can take Vanguard. He’s mostly finished now, and we don’t need him now anyway. Such an accident like this has a 0.02% chance of happening from now on, and we can rely on you to come back from VCT to handle any such problems from now on.” One of the robots said. “Thanks for the robot. We’ll put him to good use. Otherwise, I guess this is goodbye for now. Keep up the… good work.” Scar said, as she looked around the room, debris and corpses lines the place. “As the Order of Technology commands! We hope you enjoyed your trip.” The robot responded. Scar gestured for Vanguard to follow her, as Mac and Pyrus grouped back up with them. “It was glorious. Especially the welcoming committee.” Mac said to the robot.

In the snowy abyss outside, a KTTS stopped outside the same town Matt had visited not long ago, with Eric. From it dropped a squad of Cleansers, flamethrowers at the ready. Amongst the squad was Yuri, with Matt. “This was the place. There were a ton of them. Outnumbered me, and another guy I was with. He got chomped.” Matt said. “That’s a shame. Let’s get to avenging them, huh?” Yuri asked. He signaled for the cleansers to stand with him, as he advanced towards the chipped gate. Yuri backed up, letting another Cleanser walk up to the gate with a sledgehammer in hand, he broke the frozen bars down with ease, alerting the Malebranche in the city. The Cleansers poured through, Flamethrowers at the ready. The snow was more cleared up than earlier, but the flames were only wide enough to burn one Malebranche at a time. For a whole squad, though, that wouldn’t be tough. The Cleansers started burning the creatures back, but there were a lot of them. From the corner of Matt’s vision, he saw a pile of corpses, the battle that took place from earlier. But he tried not to look at it, instead focusing on the battle at hand. The Malebranche started getting dangerously close, Yuri shouted, “Wall formation, don’t let them get past!” And the Cleansers all stacked together, shoulder to shoulder, equipping makeshift melee weapons, all of them long-range, like spears. They began stabbing at the Malebranche. It was certainly more effective than the flames from earlier. Yuri took his time to show off, as he instead brandished two machetes, cutting Malebranche open and bringing them to the snow beneath the Cleansers’ boots, he decapitated one after the other, as he saw the Malebranche thinning out, he took towards more stylish moves. He stabbed one blade into the knee of a Malebranche, and stopped the next by grabbing it by the throat, budding its head against the other, and taking his remaining machete and stabbing it through both heads of the Malebranche. Matt stood his ground on the other side of the “wall formation”, killing a fair few. He heard a soft blood-gurgling sound from behind him, spinning around quickly to see a familiarly-clothed Malebranche. “Eric?!” He cried to himself, shocked. He couldn’t move at all. He started thinking about how he left him for dead. He wanted to apologize to him to some degree. He never looked at a Malebranche before and saw a person behind it. Before he knew it, the Malebranche closed in on him, and that’s when he realized his last mistake. Eric grabbed him by the collar of his flame-retardant suit, teeth closing into the heavily worn leather around his neck, eventually, it ripped through, Matt’s throat being ripped out by the creature. But his screams before the bite were enough to alert his allies. As Yuri executed the last Malebranche, he turned to see Matt bleeding out, with the Malebranche there, digging its hands into Matt’s opened chest. The Malebranche turned and snapped its teeth at Yuri, before a sledgehammer was slammed into the back of the Malebranche’s head. It was a gory scene. Yuri never saw snow get so red before. Matt sat there, the sounds of arteries still spraying out the blood were all the noise that accompanied the scene. Yuri walked up to Matt, who’s eyes focused onto Yuri. “I’m sorry.” Yuri said, as he pulled out a pistol and shot Matt in the head, putting him out of his misery. The scene was silent for a moment. Yuri pulled back Matt’s goggles, and wiped his eyes closed. “Let’s not burden ourselves with the body. We’d give him the Cleanser sendoff but it’s too cold to start a bonfire. Let’s go.” Yuri said. The Cleansers took off in their KTTS.

Scar inserted a card into the device inside the Genetics section, after a while, it ejected a new card, pristine quality. “Alright, now it’s about damn time we get HRD, wouldn’t you say?” Scar asked. “It’s been hours past the time. But let’s finish up here, Vorcium can’t wait much longer.” Mac replied. Scar nodded, and walked off to locate Sam, which wasn’t hard considering he found them. “Greetings! You’ll be pleased to know that the elevator-” Sam was cut off by Pyrus, “We know.” He said. “Well, in that case I’ll be on my way.” Sam said. “Actually, wait. As I mentioned I’m looking for the HRD, I have high command access to this information and command you to retrieve it for me. Here’s my card.” Scar said, as she handed Sam her card. Sam scanned it, quickly. “Well a please wouldn’t kill you… I’m on it!” Sam said as he walked away. “He’s pretty annoying, huh?” Vanguard said. “Wow, I’m surprised you’d say that to a fellow robot.” Pyrus said. “I fucking hate, ROBOTS.” Vanguard replied. Sam quickly returned with a briefcase. He unlocked it, opening it to reveal the HRD which perfectly fitted into it. He closed it again, and handed it to Scar. “Be careful! It costs 13.6 billion dollars!” Sam said. “I’ll keep that in mind.” Scar said. She entered the elevator, with everyone else, even Vanguard, who barely managed to fit. “I think this might’ve been why the damn elevator broke. Because there’s a robot probably four times the size weight of a car riding in it.” Mac said. The Elevator reached the top floor, and from there was a massive shield door covering the exit, likely a security measure. Scar opened the door with a nearby keypad, and it struggled open, making a loud noise as it lifted itself open. The more “friendly” doors made of glass were visible, but they were broken open, and a thick sheet of ice covered it. “That’s probably why we didn’t find the real entrance, huh?” Scar asked. Mac shrugged. “Stand back!” Vanguard said, as he powered up one of his shoulder-mounted cannons. It fired a beam of plasma, melting through the ice, Vanguard directed the beam around the ice, making a big rectangular cut. He powered the cannon off, and the four continued outside. Powerful winds blasted at the group, and they struggled outside. “Fuck me this is cold!” Pyrus said. As the group exited the facility, the winds calmed themselves, as they were simply seeping into a much warmer area. It was relatively calm. “Well… Now we’ve only got one last step. Plug this baby into VCT and warm Vorcium up again.” Mac said. “Draw.” Pyrus said. “What the fuck did you just say?” Mac asked, turning around. A bullet passed through his chest, he struggled to breath as he fell backwards into the snow, faced up. “No!” Scar yelled. Vanguard powered up his weapons, aiming them at Pyrus. “Hold your fire, or else you’d be killing your own commander!” Pyrus said, aiming his revolver at Scar’s head. “Hand over the briefcase, and let me finish this bastard off!” Pyrus said. “Why are you doing this?!” Scar asked. “Well, why don’t you ask my friends?” Pyrus asked, as a squad of scout-designated Demon soldiers pulled up behind him. “It was all a ruse. We’re letting the environment kill you off first, then we save ourselves. Hopefully that fucking water city got frozen out already. It’s simple. Now give me the damn briefcase!” Pyrus said. Scar threw the briefcase towards him. “There. And now, the last step...” Pyrus said as he turned to look at his soldiers, ordering them to fire on Mac’s body. But before he could do that, he stopped short of his command. “What the fu-” Pyrus yelled before squirted out of him, he was bisected, and his upper half split from his lower half, the wound freezing over. The rest of the Demons fired on a shimmer in the air. Active camouflage. The semi-extent figure cut apart the rest of the Demon soldiers, all their wounds freezing up, too. The camo faded out, and the figure turned back to face the group. “What the hell are we all standing here for, we need to get Mac some help, ASAP!” The figure said. He lifted off his helmet, and went to whistle with his right hand, before he remembered it was robotic, he switched hands, whistling with the other, and a KTTS lifted up from over a nearby hill, covered in snow. It touched down, letting the group get in. Scar got a better look of the figure, shocked by who it was. It was Maximus. He took Icestorm and pressed it against Mac’s wound. “If you can even hear me, this is gonna hurt, but I gotta do it. Stay with me!” Maximus said to Mac, as he pressed his blade further into Mac’s wound and quickly pulling it back out. “That should stop the bleeding the best I can. I didn’t bring any bandages so this’ll have to do for now.” Maximus put his helmet back on, and looked at his synthetic arm, pressing a few buttons on his arm. “Camila, this is Maximus, I need you to prep a medical team for us, we’ll be landing at hangar nine.” Maximus said. He looked at Scar. “So, how’ve you been?” Maximus asked. “Oh, fantastic.“ Scar said, sarcastically. “Alright. So should we address the elephant, or giant robot more fittingly, in the room, or are we saving that for when I tell you the story of how I’m fucking alive?” Maximus asked. “Save it for later, basically, this is Vanguard, he’s a robot, and kicks ass.” Scar said. Vanguard was silent for a moment. “What she said.” Vanguard said. “Well, Vanguard, I’m Maximus. Pleased to meet you.” Maximus said. “Greetings, MAXIMUS. Could I have a blood sample?” Vanguard asked. Maximus was silent for a moment. “I think that’s not a very high priority right now.” Maximus said. The KTTS landed, and a medical group of Paladins were there to greet Maximus, who stepped out carrying Mac, who was unconscious at this point. Maximus put Mac down onto a medical cart, where two Paladins strolled away with him. He was stopped by one of the Paladins, a female with a spanish accent. “How serious is the wound?” She asked. “Bullet, through one of his lungs I think, he wasn’t breathing so you need to get him some oxygen and fix that as soon as you can, the bullet isn’t still in there, it went all the way through. I think he went into shock, but he’s passed out now so it hardly matters. He’s gonna be in the hospital a while. Not like that’s anything new. He’ll probably be happy he got shot, considering it’ll leave a nasty scar. Something to show off to the girls.” Maximus said. “Alright, I’m gonna go deal with him. I suppose you should get settled with these two.” She responded, before running off. “Well. Welcome back. Business as usual, huh?” Maximus asked Scar. “You got that right. Our business still isn’t done, where we came from, the facility isn’t abandoned, it’s full of robots. Fully operational. Plus other tech. It’s in working condition. I’d say we’re in dire need of something like that. I am, at least.” Scar said. “Interesting. We should secure it.” Maximus said. “Plus, we need to install the HRD.” Scar said. “The what?” Maximus asked. “The HRD, it’s a device that can heat Vorcium’s core up to extreme temperatures, making it a replacement for a heat source instead of the sun. If we don’t fix this thing by winter, we’ll be wiped out for sure. We need to get it installed soon, very soon.” Scar said. “Alright… Well, let’s do it then. We’ll take the KTTS back out to, wherever we need to go, and install it. Right now.” Maximus said. “Then let’s get to it.” Scar said. The two got back into the KTTS, where Vanguard was still sitting. Maximus leaned into the pilot’s cabin. “VCT, last trip of the day, I promise.” Maximus said. The pilot was just taking some of his equipment off when he heard the news, and groaned, putting it back on. The KTTS lifted up, and took off.

Outside of the entrance to the Museum of Technology, the large steel door closed, and two Demons walked up to the severed upper body of Pyrus. “Hey! You alive?” One of the Demons shouted at him. Pyrus’ eyes focused, but barely moved. “They escaped… take the damn museum.” Pyrus said. Afterwards, his eyes slid shut. “Take his body back to Rikers, and come back with an army. It’s about time we took this place for ourselves.” One of them said to the other. The other nodded, picking up Pyrus’ upper half, and walking off. The Demon that remained walked up to the exposed door to the Museum. The rest of it was covered in a thick sheet of ice. It likely wouldn’t have been found were it not for the Knights escaping. He banged on the giant steel door. It echoed slightly. He backed up away from it, and aimed a rocket launcher at it, firing it. The explosion blasted upon the door, but it was still fairly undamaged. There were scratches and a small hole, but that was about it. The Demon shook his head.

The KTTS landed outside VCT, Maximus and SCAR stepped out. “Vanguard, protect the ship!” Scar said. Vanguard saluted, and prepared his weapons as he walked around the ship. Scar took her revealed hand, and jammed it into some exposed wires in an exposed hole next to the elevator. Eventually it powered on, and the elevator came up, opening its doors. Maximus stepped in, but Scar remained outside. “You ready?” Scar asked. “For what?” Maximus asked. Scar ripped out her hand from the exposed wiring, and rushed into the elevator as it lost power, barely making it in, as the elevator started rushing downwards uncontrollably. Scar rushed to turn on a light as she put her hand into more wiring inside the elevator. It regained power, and it violently stopped. It began normally traveling downwards, but it was a pretty quick trip as it reached the bottom floor. “How far do we have to go?” Maximus asked. “This device is wired directly into Vorcium’s core. We have to go through another elevator through the mantle of the planet.” Scar said. “That’s insane!” Maximus responded. “It has to be done.” Scar said. The two walked through some ruined hallways before they reached a central area with a hatch in the floor. Scar messed with more wires, managing to unlock the hatch, which opened, revealing a very narrow ladder ride downwards. Scar started climbing down. “I feel like Alice going down the rabbit hole right now.” Maximus said, as he followed Scar. The ladder led to a room with several elevators, and Scar activated one, Maximus entered, and Scar rushed in to enter it. It flew downwards uncontrollably for a while, until Scar powered it back down. “Might as well sit down. This elevator is like a small room for a reason.” Scar said. Maximus followed suit, sitting down on a nearby bench while the elevator rushed downwards at a quick, yet reasonable pace. After what must have been half an hour of riding an elevator, it slowed down, and stopped, the elevator doors opening to reveal a hallway, it was still very much intact, it was just dark, and abandoned. Scar and Maximus continued walking for a short while, before a large door opened, revealing a brightly lit room. “For some reason, this room is wired to a different power supply than the rest of the facility, which is why everything should proceed fairly well from here. All I have to do is hook up the HRD, and after about a month or two, the planet’s core should expand further, to the point where it should begin to increase the planet’s temperature.” Scar said. “It’ll still be cold, but you won’t have to worry about people dying from it. By winter it should reach a lowest of about 0 degrees Celsius, and people properly suited up will survive. By the summer it should be at a lowest of about 70 degrees Celsius. I hope that illustrates the value of what we’re doing here.” Scar said. “Just do what you have to. I’m no scientist like you so you’re talking to a brick wall.” Maximus said. Scar opened the briefcase, revealing the HRD. She took the device and put it into a nearby slot in the wall. It began making noises, similar to that of a car engine running. “There we go. Feel happy that you just saved Vorcium?” Scar asked. “You mean again?” Maximus responded. “Confident about that statement, huh?” Scar asked. “I am.” Maximus said. “Anyway, let’s get out of here.” Scar said. The two left the room, returning to the elevator again, and riding their way back up to the surface. When they left the elevator, Vanguard was waiting for them. “SCAR, I have received a report that the, MUSEUM OF TECHNOLOGY, is under attack by, THE ORDER OF DEMONS. I would like to request that we go there, to help my kind.” Vanguard said. Scar and Maximus looked at each other. “Of course. Let’s go.” Scar said. “Well, it’s my call but, I’ll permit anything to kill some Demons.” Maximus asked. He boarded the KTTS with Scar and Vanguard, leaning into the cockpit. “Hey, back to New Aberdeen, and then afterwards we’re going back to the Museum.” Maximus said. “Goddammit! I hate this job!” The pilot said. The KTTS flew back to New Aberdeen.

A security robot was gunned down by a Demon soldier, many of them were flooding into the Museum to attack it. The robots fought back well, but many of them were being gunned down. Even a Crasher was destroyed by the Demons’ onslaught. The Demons secured the first floor with ease, and began placing defenses, mobile shields and turrets mostly, all aiming their weapons at the elevator as it slowly reached the top floor. The second the elevator ringed to notify the doors opening, the sound of a hundred machine guns echoed throughout the museum as the elevator doors slid open, revealing a bunch of shredded up robot parts that, seconds ago, were once functioning robots. After a few seconds, the doors closed, and the elevator went back to the bottom floor. “These bots are gonna make it too easy.” A Demon said to another, during their down time. Suddenly, a bullet ripped through both of their heads, and it became apparent that the Demons were in a room with opponents using active camouflage. The Demons started aiming their weapons at the slightest movements in the corners of their eyes. A stealthed opponent started firing one of the turrets in the area, and chaos ensued. The Demons fired at random places, hoping to hit their target, several Demons went down from the fire, a couple from friendly fire due to the chaos, before one of the Demons saw one of the mounted turrets being operated by no one visible to the naked eye. He fired upon the location, only to reveal nothing. Behind the cover the turret was placed on was a Knight soldier, specifically a Ghost, hiding behind the cover with active camouflage. He peeked over to the other of the Demon blockade, to see his HUD point out the outline of an ally of his, who gave him a thumbs up. The second Ghost soldier fired a pistol through one of the Demons’ heads, causing some more chaos. Though this other Ghost wasn’t as lucky as he was hit in the leg during the chaos. His leg’s camo field was disabled, and a little blood leaked out. He was visible, and spotted by several Demons. He took this opportunity to take off his helmet and throw it over the railing down to the bottom floor of the museum to keep Demon soldiers from using his HUD to locate his allies, though this disabled his camouflage. He rushed over to one of the turrets, barely getting on it in time to take down several Demons with it, before he was shot through the throat, and he fell backwards, bleeding out. The other Ghost reloaded his weapons, and fired off more rounds to take down several more Demons. The Demons continued firing their weapons at the air, hoping to hit their target. Suddenly, the elevator opened, and several security robots came rushing out, gunning down Demons, and from behind the Demons, they heard a “CHARGE!” as several Paladins also charged in, heavily armored, with melee weapons. The Ghost squad disengaged their camo as they to started firing their weapons from the Demons’ flanks. It was a bloodbath, as an entire army met their demise in one swift motion. Several of the security robots went down, but by the time their squad was out, two more arrived through the elevator as the Demons were more focused by the Paladins and Ghosts. In the middle of the Paladins’ rush was Maximus, who tasted his first blood of the battle by bisecting a Demon. He didn’t get many kills, as he let his Paladins, the Ghosts and the robots get their fair share. The Demons were mopped up quickly from that point, leaving the ground littered in the corpses of shot up and stabbed Demon soldiers. “What about this army’s leader?” Maximus asked to Scar, before Vanguard walked up behind them. “I have the, LEADER, here. Identified as, GENERAL VICTOR SCHULZ. How should we dispatch him?” Vanguard asked, holding the man in his grasp. “You have the honors.” Scar responded. “Very well, SCAR.” Vanguard said, as he lifted him upwards, and ripped him in half, dropping him to the floor to be joined with his men. “Excellent work.” Maximus said. “Well I didn’t do much,” Scar responded. “Although, I do have something I wanted to say to the robots.” Scar walked up to the leader of the security squad’s robots. “Hey, I’ve been meaning to tell you that the Order of Technology was wiped out some time ago. And I’m sure that’s no surprise to you, you’ve been sending requests for help and resource refills for years, and got nothing. But, this isn’t exactly the end. This facility has much of their tech stored here, and we’ve already got the means to defend ourselves and allies. All’s you need is a leader, and we can restore the Order of Technology.” Scar said. “I do know the Order of Technology has been ignoring our requests, and given my calculations, it’s apparent that they have likely been the primary target for the Order of Demons, who launched a devastating assault on VCT. I’m assuming this is true.” The robot said. “Yeah, it is. So, are you going to construct a sort of leader, or maybe just merge with the Order of Knights, or-” Scar was interrupted by the Robot. “If we were to choose a leader, it would be you. A prime example of the Order of Technology’s advancements in AI.” “Wow, well, I was actually expecting you to say that. And to be fair, I think I’d need time to think on it. But rest assured, the Order of Technology will return.” Scar said. “For now, we have to go. Attend to the wounded, and you have to clean up and repair this place, too. There’s much work to be done, but we’ve done a hell of a lot of work today. And it’ll pay off in the long run.” Maximus said. “He’s right. We need to get going.” Scar said. “Then good luck, both of you. Thank you for the assist.” The robot said. “No problem.” Scar said, as she started walking away with Maximus, waving for Vanguard to follow. The Ghosts and Paladins followed as well, with wounded soldiers being carried away. The Robots looked at one another. “Calculations predict this to still be a long war. Are you sure we should participate?” One of the robots asked in morse code. The group walked outside, looking upwards at the Shield. “It will pay off in the long run.” The other robot responded in morse code. Within a crack of the Shield, a small portion of the moon’s light could be seen.

A figure eased their way through the broken iron bars of the gate to the abandoned town, where Matt had met his fate not too long ago. They found Matt’s body, and next to them, a Malebranche decoy. The figure removed a scarf, revealing themselves to be Eric, still alive, wearing different winter clothing. He removed the goggles to Matt’s corpse, and saw the bullet hole in between his eyes. He grunted, as he slid one of Matt’s eyelids back open, and pulled out a spoon. He looked away, as he dug out Matt’s eye, and got up, looking into the eye’s pupil. He put his scarf back on, and walked out of the gate, putting Matt’s eye in his pocket.
Later, he entered walked into a cave, turning on a flashlight to identify a button on the ground, disguised as a rock. He pressed his foot down onto the button, and a door opened up in a nearby wall. Two men wearing black armor and wielding swords approached Eric, before Eric took off his scarf, and they backed away, but kept their weapons drawn. Eric walked further on, seeing more of these guards, before approaching a throne, where a man wearing similar armor under a black cloak sat. “Eric. Have you claimed the bounty of that Cleanser?” The cloaked man asked, his face concealed by the darkness of the area. Eric pulled out Matt’s eye, and handed it to a nearby guard, who put it through a handheld retina scanner. “It checks out, Sir.” The guard said to the cloaked man. The cloaked man nodded. “Give him his cash.” A nearby guard handed Eric several bills, specifically 200 dollars in a mix between Demon currency and Vorcium’s currency. “We agreed on 300.” Eric said. “You were late.” The cloaked man said. “I’m done working for you.” Eric said. “No more murders, no more abusiveness of this, bad luck aura of mine. I wasn’t born an assassin. I was born a bounty hunter.” The guards drew their weapons. “Relax. I won’t rat you out. But I’m not doing your jobs anymore. Just let me leave.” Eric said. “No. You will do one more job for me. And this time, you will be allowed to bring him alive. As a matter of fact, you MUST bring him alive.” The cloaked man said, as he removed his hood, revealing himself to be wearing a mask made out of a deer’s skull, without the antlers. “Fine. What are the details?” Eric asked.




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