ALTERED HISTORIES ERA
POWER GAMES ERA
A vortex opens from a distant reality and a small troop of soldiers emerge from it dressed in black uniforms, they wait for a moment or two as another figure emerges - a tall man dressed in the same uniform as the others but with a distinctive golden medal on his chest in the form of fist: he observes the area before talking into a strange device: "the troops are positioned and ready to be deployed: what is your command?"
after a moments of static a voice replies "begin work on the factories and seek out any intelligent life you can: this area is now under the protection of The Voice of man.."
the soldier pockets the device as he nods, looking forward grimly as he motions to the rest of the troops- "..let's go men"
A portal opens, and a dragon-like humanoid emerges. "I'm sorry...this is a Dramon-controlled planet, and I am going to have to ask you to leave."
the soldiers looks over and press buttons, as they do so several orbs float in the air and fire beams of energy at the Dramon - the energy proceeds to scan over the being and analyses his data: "..do not engage in combat" the leader notes
the leader of the troops then walks forward and addresses the Dramon "you are a new species: we have not encountered your kind before - you have two options.. come with us to meet our leader and negotiate terms or continue your aggression towards the Golden Empire, make your decision"
"Agression? This is one of OUR planets! I don't have the authority to negotiate, wait a moment..." The Dramon pulls out a small com-link. "DZ, you better come see this..."
Another Dramon teleports in. "*sigh* Again? Whatever...I will go. Nice work, Pedro."
the leader motions to the other soldiers and they begin to power their weapons, which glow with plasma though they do not attack "prepare yourselves men, to die in defence of The Voice is the greatest honor a man can achieve" he then addresses the two enemies directly "it matters not who you are or your status, our leader is without limit in his generosity - come with us and bare witness to the glory of the Golden Empire: or kill us - we care not.."
"Pedro? Prepare our defences and alert Drasocon. I don't trust these men...Let's go."
as Pedro disappears the troops look at each other as they suddenly fall to the ground: the leader looks forward and asks: "do you accept our terms?"
"Which are? I'm sorry, I only heard negotiate or die."
the leader nods "..I see.." -he then pulls out a small device- "..orders sir?"
a crackling sound of static sounds before a voice speaks from the other end "do your job"
the leader nods again "..of course sir" -he then presses a button and before anything else can be said he explodes along with the entire squadron: the troops having apparently set of small but powerful explosives that proceed to kill them all but also spread out, causing destruction in a large area
DZ stands alone, looking at the wreckage. "Get a tracking squad out here. I want their leader and dimension found."
Meanwhile over twenty miles away another vortex opens up as a fleet of war-ships start to emerge out of it - a voice echoing across the sky "attention citizens of this planet: you have been judged enemies of the Golden Empire - despite our generous offer of peace you have instead chosen war: our glorious leader shall now speak to you personally.."
as the voice stops the war-ships fire out a holographic image that covers the sky like a projector: it shows a human male of middle-age sitting by a large black flag with a golden fist in the centre
Booming noises are heard, and war-ships start to fall. Green, red, and blue flecks dart among the ships, killing and destroying wherever possible.
the hologram begins to shudder and shake as the war-ships are destroyed but The Voice speaks out:
"I am The Voice of man, you have committed a grave error on this day - I offered you friendship and you spat upon it: now I shall see to it your species is wiped from the plane of this existence.. and all others.." his image then vanishes as the few remaining war-ships deliberately crash themselves into anything they can, although by the way they fall it is obvious someone has shutdown their power-systems: suggesting their sacrifices were far from willing.
DZ stands alone, watching the warships crash. "All I said was that I didn't hear their terms....is that really scorning their offer?"
In the midst of the chaos, a lone figure appears, weilding a thirteen-foot long blade imbibed with the powers of chaos and order. No one seems to notice him as he floats within the void of space. "Who shall pass through the Arbiter's judgement this time?" the figure thinks to himself. He fades into the network of energy that is the framework of the universe, and begins to travel along it, searching for an answer...
as one of the war-ships crashes down to the ground a lone soldier parachutes to safety - although badly injuried he seems desperate to cling to life as he spirals somewhat chaotically downwards, knowing he was about to land in hostile territory: as he falls he tears off a small device on his chest as a voice crackles through the device: "where are you going soldier? I did not authorise an evacuation.. return to your post.."
A Dramon swoops in, laughing. He grabs the man and spirals, bringing him towards a large, black pyramid with gold streaks. "We've got one, sir." He says into a small com-link.
as the soldier is captured the device he threw away bleeps for a few moments as it falls- "..fool" the device explodes with such force it would of killed the soldier had he not removed it
The Dramon lands inside a small courtyard, as a bigger, more powerful Dramon walks out : recognizable as Drasocon, the current ruler of Drastar. "My lord, I found this one abandoning ship."
"Very good, Axel. Go eat. Soldier, tell me your name, who that was, and what the hell he was doing, making war in our part of space?"
the soldier looks to the ground as he kneels- "I am.. no one.." -as he bows down a mark similiar to a bar-code is visible on his neck- "..just another number.. as for who you saw.. he calls himself The Voice.. he is the Protector of mankind - though he is more akin to its destroyer.." he never looks up and simply stays in place as if accepting his fate
With a flash of light, Arbiter appears, wielding his thirteen-foot long sword. "It's hell out there. I could normally put down a force this large with the blink of an eye...but there's something different about them. They seem to live only to fight...and they would fight until they die. I have never seen soldiers with this kind of resolution since the Science-Magic War that tore my planet apart."
the soldier continues looking at the ground as he states- "..I am ready to die - but I want it to be by my choice and not by his.. those war-ships that crashed: they were shutdown by an external force.. the people aboard the vessels were not engaging in suicide-attacks - they were murdered by the very leader they were serving.." -he takes a deep sigh before he stands, revealing his face: a large scar across his right-cheek - "..do as will with me" he says calmly
Arbiter walks up to the soldier. "You may be just a soldier..." Arbiter presses two fingers to the barcode-like tatto on the back of the man's neck. "But you are not merely a 'number'. You are worth more than that. Any leader who cannot see this does not deserve to be called a 'leader'."
"I agree. You are Kindle, who will spark a revolution. Arbiter, we are going after this 'Voice' " Drasocon says.
as Arbiter touches the bar-code something disturbing is revealed: this is no mere tattoo - within it is many tiny circuitry: the soldier looks to both Arbiter and the dramon with what can only be described as the sad look a man has when he feels powerless but is too proud to admit it - "..it is too late, he is already aware of everything.. and it is my fault.." -the barcode glows very faintly- "..he hears all, he sees all.." -the soldier drifts off in mid-sentence, as he simply bows his head again: from outside the sound of a vortex opening in the skies can be heard.
"Tinker! Get this thing off! Remove the skin, burn it, whatever you need to! It is not your fault, Kindle. Troops! TO THE READY!" Drasocon turns and flies off towards the portal.
"Wait," said Arbiter. "Has the voice rigged this chip so that if we removed it, it would kill you? It seems like something he would do."
the soldier doesn't answer: his look says it all - "..my life is of no value now: do what you must to protect this world.. before he -" -the soldiers stops in mid-sentence as an ominous sound fills the air-
outside a large vessel appears from the open vortex, it is heavily-fortified and armed with numerous turrets but its lower half reveals perhaps its most terrifying adaptation: a large collection of powerful bombs that are armed and seemingly ready to be dropped on a given command: once agan a hologram is beamed across the sky: "I wish to speak to the leader of this planet: I have a proposal to discuss.."
Arbiter begins to walk away, but stops as he passes the soldier. Without turning around to face him, he says- "You have value- you are unique. You were the only one to defect from the ranks of the Voice, to defy his conformity, no matter what the circumstances were." Arbiter takes off from the ground and flies toward the vessel.
the vessel charges up its shields as it becomes aware of a moving target within its vicinity - meanwhile the hologram continues to be projected over the sky like a stain upon the very sky: the cold stare of The Voice watching as he seems to await an answer.
Arbiter phazes through the shields and continues moving toward the vessel, looking for any possible entrance.
as the shields are breached the deafening sound of a siren blares across the area as flashing lights suddenly activate across the underside of the vessel: as for finding an entrance - this vessel is amongst the more advanced models The Voice is willing to spare on this invasion-point: there are no obvious entrances but somewhere near the very top is a small hole, securely fastened: much like the entrance to a submarine only modified greatly for the purpose of space-travel.
Arbiter stops, and observes the scene, waiting for any possible movement from the vessel
The Voice speaks out: "if you do not step back from our vessel we shall drop all 50 of our Class Delta bombs onto the surrounding area: have we not cost ourselves enough suffering via hasty actions? I shall not ask again.."
Arbiter changes course, flying toward the bombs, thirteen-foot blade poised and glowing with energy.
The Voice sighs somewhat "..a predictable move and a foolish one at that: take it down men"
suddenly the turrets of the vessel lock-onto Arbiter and begin to open fire: spewing forth plasma-rounds - for now the invaders seem to be holding back from using their bombs despite the threat.
Arbiter swings his blade at blinding speed, deflecting many of the projectiles, but is then struck by a plasma beam, and is thrown back down into the ground, creating a small crater.
"Damn." he mutters, pulling himself out of the ground. "I hate it when that happens." He takes off once more for the vessel.
The Voice looks coldly at the scene, he pauses as if in thought before he notes- "..my people, you have fought well: rest assured your sacrifice shall be rewarded"
as The Voice finishes his sentence the hologram shudders and vanishes as the vessel suddenly short-circuits: its power having been completely shutdown by some unknown force and it begins to descend in a shower of sparks
"CHAOS!' shouts Arbiter, holding his hands outward at the vessel. The environment seems to respond with Arbiter's shout- the skies grow turbulent, lightning flashes, the ground begins to crack and tear. An interdimensional rift begins to form below the vessel, swirling and pulsating chaotically, while a similar rift forms above it. The pull from both of the rifts keep the vessel suspended in midair.
Arbiter feels the sudden drain on his power, and after using his chaotic power, feels himself reverting back to a state of calm and order.
as the vessel is suspended by the power Arbiter has utilised a few metallic-pods fire out of the main vessel: they appear to be escape-pods rather than weapons-
Arbiter stands and watches. Ready for anything, he grips the hilt of his blade even tighter.
"Perpare for battle, men!" Drasocon pulls out his sword.
the escape-pods start to land as the main vessel shudders, the bombs still active: if Arbiter can slow the vessel's descent it may be possible to "land" the vessel without setting off the bombs, otherwise 50 Gamma-Class bombs will go live (gamma-class bombs are sufficient to blow 2 city-blocks each)
Drasocon leads a small squad to secure the escape pods, and adds his own power to Arbiter's.
Chaos floats around, watching everything- "How chaotic!"
as Drasocon's squad heads towards the escape pods they notice that many of the soldiers are already preparing themselves to fight, some of them refuse to leave the escape-pods at all- "to die for the Voice is the pinnacle of humanity" several soldiers say, while others simply mumble "..can't..stop..must..obey.."
Arbiter begins to run toward the vessel, sword poised and ready to strike.
as all of this occurs the lone soldier that had been with the group flinches and falls to his knees, his body twitching for a few moments- <<get up>> -suddenly he stands, his eyes now blank- <<you have been convicted of treason of the highest order: I have taken manual command over your body and mind>> -the soldier starts to walk robotically off into the war-zone-
meanwhile, above the war-zone, the vessel continues to hover lifelessly: its crew having long-since abandoned it - leaving only the 50 Gamma-Class bombs behind-
Arbiter jumps up toward the vessel, and whirls his sword around in the air in a circle above his head- it begins to glow with blue flame-like energy. He climbs up and begins to run vertically along the surface until reaching the top. Jumping off of the top, he floats a great distance above it. He fires the blue energy at the vessel, which snares it like a flaming net, bombs and all. He begins to fly away with his incredibly heavy cargo.
as Arbiter does this the soldier comes to a stop "..the bombs.. they are gamma.. why did you say delta?" - he falls to his knees in pain as a surge of energy enters his body <<because sometimes it amuses me to lie, now enough questioning ->> -the soldier gets shakily to his feet- <<-you know what to do soldier>>.
Reversing the energy in his sword, Arbiter hurls the vessel into the frigid depths of space.
as the vessel is hurled into space a small metal orb flies towards Arbiter: seemingly using some advanced dimensional-warp technology to appear almost as if from nowhere - a voice crackles out of the orb- "resist all you want, it's such a shame you can't see the glory of my empire - if you could only grasp the beauty of my world you would weep with joy.."
Drasocon's warriors engage the soldiers, easily overpowering them. Meanwhile, Drasocon himself appears behind the orb and crushes it."A life controlled isn't life. Beauty without anyone to enjoy it freely isn't beauty. You will be defeated. You will."
meanwhile down below the soldier takes out a small grenade and tosses it at the nearest building- "..I'm..sorry.." -he falls down again- <<a man who apologises to the foreign power is not a man and if you are not a man..>> -the soldier flinches as the bar-code on his neck glows slightly- <<..you will learn to become one>>
"Arbiter, you do....something. I am going to help Kindle." Drasocon flies down to Kindle and slices off the skin the barcode is on and melts it in his grip.
as the skin is removed Kindle falls down, lifeless: the sky suddenly crackles with strange energy that has not been seen before as he mutters.. "..no..please..not them..not them.."
Drasocon stands over his body. "Who? Them who?"
Kindle doesn't answer as he goes still, in the sky a large vortex opens and a black war-ship descends to the ground below: powerful search-lights blinding those around it as the sound of air-raid sirens ring across the area -
"Warning! All surviving soldiers are to seek shelter immediatedly - the Screaming Legion is about to be unleashed!" a loud, mechanical voice blares in all directions as the war-ship prepares to land.
"They leave me no choice... Alpha Squad, fire all cannons. Beta Squad, aim and fire. Delta Squad, ready weapons. Land squads, prepare for battle." Instantly, large chunks of the war-ship start flying as loud booming noises fill the air. The few remaining soldiers are killed quickly, and the land warriors head off to the ship for battle.
as the war-ship takes damage crazed warriors donned in black armor leap out, some to their own doom, others land on the ground and rise to their feet - they carry large packs on their backs and run forward: the blaring sound of sonic-weaponry following them, its like a hellish parody of a rock-concert with each note deafening even from a distance, if these crazed warriors are able to hear its a miracle.
"OBEY!" "OBEY!" "OBEY!" they yell chaotically - their voices amplified by speakers inside their helmets, which only adds to the horrific entrance - it's little wonder Kindle was so afraid.. these warriors are obviously totally insane.
A dark shadow appeared behind Drasocon, reclining lazily and tossing a romote in his hands. Gazing at the hoard of soilders, Tulwar chuckled and blankly started, "3...2....... See ya!" pressing firmly down on the remote. A chain reaction of explosions flew though the masses of people, as the device shot a wave of many frequencies which scrambled and toggled the bombs straped to The Voices army. "Yeah... strapping a bomb to someone never ends nicely..."
the explosions make quick work of the frenzied mob yet as the carnage comes to an end a lone figure appears out of the wreckage, unlike the now deceased Screaming Legion soldiers this figure wears no armor and walks towards the group with an emotionless expression - he seems totally uncaring of the fact he just survived a massacre and even claps slowly as he finally speaks.
"Enough.. I am here to end this war: kill me now and this bloodshed shall continue endlessly.. I am here to offer peace.." -the man stands, he looks slightly like the Voice only older and slightly more muscular, his voice is rougher as well and his eyes are a strange grey color that almost suggests being blind - though if he is he barely shows it.
"Endless bloodshed? Sounds like good buisness to a bounty-hunter." Tulwar said with a smirk, aiming a .44 magnum at the figures face.
the figure doesn't react at all to having a gun pointed at him, save for a very faint wave of his hand: "shoot me - you'd only be wasting money and time: a pity, if you had done research you would of understood it was a financial mistake to go against an empire that spans a universe - one that encourages professional-assassins.. at any rate this does not concern you bounty-hunter: this is about them.." -he points to the dramons- "..the foreign power.. and.." -he points to Arbiter- "..the gods, as a human you should understand this".
"Eh, I'm sure I'll make up my financial loses after I kill 'The Voice'... Not only would I get paid by my employer, but I hear 'heroes' are treated quite well, so it'd be like an investment." the bounty-hunter said with a chuckle. "And given that I have several bounties against your faction, I would assume this is my buisness. But, what can I say? I'm a greedy one... What's the cost of the lives of your enemies? I'll only give you one chance to bid over my current bounty." Tulwar said coolly, slowly tensing up on the gun's trigger as he awatied an answer.
the figure shows no emotion whatsoever and simply states- "this world and all within it, it was going to be eradicated for its resistance but since you seem to be a man of business I'll give you this world, all resources within it.." -he points to the dead soldiers and wrecked war-machines- "..you can have the garbage too and sell it, if you wish.." -he notes- "..but you think this is a game, don't you?" -he simply stares- "make your choice: I have other things to attend to".
"I've had enough of this." Arbiter states. "Your leader is nothing more than a spineless dictator, who takes pleasure in calamity and destruction. Prepare to face your judgement." Arbiter points his sword in the man's direction. "My only regret is that I must take innocent lives down with you."
Drasocon smiles, demonic teeth and all. "You think it would be endless? One side wins, no matter what. Stale mates go on for centuries, millenia, however, in the end, one side prevails. You will be defeated, and your empire will be freed of tyranny."
the figure finally laughs, codly- "my, what words - how bittersweet it is to see the blatant hypocrisy of the alien and foreign power for myself.. one who talks of spineless dictators while pointing a sword at another: who shall judge you?" -he looks to Drasocon before he continues- "..the other so confident of victory he is willing to walk into the jaws of oblivion.."
he cracks his neck to one side, an unnatural sound accompanies it - almost akin to bones breaking - "..it seems our negotation is being interupted bounty-hunter - by the pathetic cry of children.."
"I rule my kingdom fairly. In truth, I only control the armies of Drastar. Politics is not my thing. But when I see YOUR empire, I see fear, cruelty, and dominion. No free will. Life supplies what machines can't: Creativity."
the figure pauses then smirks- "my empire? you don't get it do you? I'm a servant of a greater power.. unless.." -he laughs- "..you were foolish enough think I was the Voice himself.." -he shakes his head- "..I am the Architect".
"So...wait...why are you here then, and not building something? And I saw the projection, and you look a lot like that guy."
In a flash of blue light, a young adult appears wearing a red uniform and a black robe. He jerks his head toward his enemy, his long, glossy brown hair sways out from over his eyes. "I smell dictatorship." Saber-X says as he gazes at Architect with his blue eyes. "Before we take you down, I want to know why you would choose to obey such an inhuman ruler."
the figure simply shrugs faintly and replies calmly "..a man does not choose his fate: those who do are only setting themselves up for disappointment: sure we surrender much in obedience but think of it as a necessary sacrifice, without obedience their is nothing but anarchy and ruin - better to live as slaves than die as savages.."
"You're all savages, considering the fact that you're being brainwashed by a dictator having a skill with words, and obey actions that murder others who live free." Saber looks over at Arbiter and Drasocon. "And we will put that injustice to a halt."
The Architect simply stares for a moment before he cracks his neck to the side again with an unnatural natural sound accompanying the movement - "you amuse me - but I have no time for jesters.." -he pulls out a small device from his pocket and attaches it to his wrist, it begins beeping rapidly
"Oh, no no no." Drasocon breathes fire and melts the device partially, rendering it useless. The beeping stops.
the Architect simply looks at Drasocon- "fool" -he starts to twist and turn in ways impossible for a normal man, then his form disperses completely as the disguise wears off.. revealing the figure to be a large machine <<you thought I would risk coming here personally? you fools have no idea what your dealing with..>>
the machine extends its arms outward, morphing them into plasma-cannons as it opens fire on the group, target-marks homing in on random targets as it speaks out <<..purge the heretic, execute the traitor, set the stars ablaze with the fury of man..>>
"How ironic...an architect who builds...only to destroy." said Arbiter, readying his blade.
the machine continues to fire plasma-cannons at the group while also aiming a few small-missiles at Arbiter, more akin to powerful explosive-darts- <<you misunderstand what my title means, the Voice doesn't want temples or monuments - let the battlefield be our city and let the corpses of our enemies be our foundation..>>
Saber dodges some of the cannons, performing flips in the air while doing so, and he manages to block other explosions of the cannons with his energy sheild, but is pushed back on impact. "Arbiter, we must end this chaos. Help me reverse the direction of these cannons." He holds up his palm and concentrates while inside his shield.
"I'll do what I can." Drasocon leaps up and slashes his sword, slicing a cannon in half.
the cannon that is sliced falls to the ground only for a new one to form out of liquid-metal: though in order to do this the Architect-Drone is forced to stop firing its weaponry for a short spell, a visible green force-field forms around it as it does this- <<..you are outmatched, we hold the loot of a thousand worlds.. what do you fight for? freedom? morality? can't you fools see that these things are a disease - those who are free are destined to tear themselves apart with anarchy and those who value morals are doomed to forever be enslaved by them..>>
"Outmatched? We hold a couple of good weapons...let's see what you do against it?" While Drasocon is talking, Theta squad fires their cannons, breaking the shield and doing minimal damage before stopping to recharge.
"As if they aren't already enslaved by the voice?" said Arbiter, deflecting several projectiles off of his sword. "But I suppose reasoning won't work...not when this Voice has all of humanity enslaved like mere machines."
Saber-X continues blocking and dodging shots and says to his adversary, "I hear your leader uses technological weapons excessively, does he not? You seem to do so as well...but no weapon is as simple, elegant, or technologically advanced as the lightsaber." He activates his weapon and throws it, which revolves rapidly toward the Architect-Drone and slices off one of its missile launchers. The blade returns to his hand, which he then uses to go on the offensive and walk forward while deflecting the drone's attacks.
the machines continues opening fire even as one of the cannons is sliced off before a vortex opens up in the sky and two pods fly out towards the battlefield- <<..come my brothers, let these heathen fools feel the true power of the Keepers...>>
"This makes me wonder if he's going to throw everything he has at us." said Arbiter, holding his sword out toward the new attackers.
Drasocon nods. "Probably. Drastar is incredibly well defended, so it will be pretty hard to beat us..."
Even as he finishes, a high-pitched whistling sound fills the air, going higher with each passing second, and the first pod explodes.
"That was a Whistler. We have to reload. In the meantime, this drone has to be defeated." Drasocon leaps above Saber and onto the top of the drone, and plunges his sword deep inside.
Saber shoots out a deadly surge of lightning from his left hand, which screams through the air and surrounds the pod. He smiles as he feels the power flow within him, his nerves popping out on his arm. He watches it malfunction and hurl to the ground, exploding.
The drone explodes, and everything is quiet. Drasocon looks around, contemplating the wreckage.
"All 200 of our Whistlers are loaded. us three are all prepared, and we have squads of Dramons looking for anybody still alive. This chapter of this story is over."