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 The Final Eclipse

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Verax
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PostSubject: The Final Eclipse   Sat 23 Feb 2013, 6:39 pm

The time had come. The time was now. The suffering of millions, the emancipation of billions, the deciding event was now. Right and wrong. Good and evil. Legends would be born. A defense, an attack, a stand, tragic victory, debilitating loss. Myths, hope, dreams. This was no mere invasion. This was no mere attack. This was no mere battle. This was destiny. This was fate. This was glory. This was loss. Life. Death. Suffering. Relief. Legend. This was the epic poets would forever recount as the greatest, the unparalleled, glorious legend to ever be burned into time. A scar of sorts, this battle would never truly vanish from time. The clash of the Alteriian and Myrioniths. Two powerful nations. Neither willing to lose. Neither willing to give one step to the enemy. The heavy tolls of death and war had finally rung, and their resonance finally reached Vertrus. The would be no escape. There would be no surrender. There would be no victory marches or mourning hymns, only the thunderous percussion of steel. Iron and blood, powder and sweat, dreams and goals, things to protect. The dark shadow loomed over the universe, and both armies fought to prevent it from eclipsing the light they had each clawed and scratched for. As the  voyagers of the impending cataclysm, the vindicator of sinners was no where to be found. Prayers were unanswered, last words were knowingly exchanged, final moments were spent, with lovers, with family, with friends. But as with all things, it was the herald to the doom that now virulently seeped to Vertrus.

There were no declaration, there were no boastful warnings. They were here. The twin vessels of discord, the Dreadlord's arm, armor, sword, shield, and castles, The Voyager and the Cataclysm were on the horizon, no army following them. Both were glowing, fully powered, both now fully immune to non-physical forms of damage, the 'blessing' of Shade to aid the coming conflict.

There were no preparations being made. The ships were ready. The soldiers were ready. Both sides knew it would come to this, so surprise was impossible. There were no more good byes, no more good lucks, no more loose ends. Save for one.

There was a Dreadlord still breathing.

There was an High Druid still fighting.

Until this was resolved, blood would continue to flow, and life would continue to ebb away from the universe.

~*~
"Oh? Did I by some off chance forget to inform you that I'm being slowly possessed by the Myrionith God of darkness and evil, and It wants nothing else to forcibly wipe away all hope and goodness and light in the universe, and the only way I can stop It is by conquering said universe? No? Forgive me, planning universal domination can cause such small matters to slip the mind."
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Robless
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Sat 23 Feb 2013, 7:17 pm

I can't escape now.

Dragons. His guardians were no longer mere men, they were dragons. Perhaps this was a good thing. The battle would begin soon, and any vessel Robless would be able to acquire would be vaporized within minutes of leaving the Voyager. He would not, however, stand idle while millions died.

Robless had tapped into the Voyager's communications system. It would be strong enough to get through to Cassus, who was aboard the Custodian, according to some intercepted transmissions. He had their exact coordinates and memorized an encryption key forwarded to him by the Plutonians. Robless wasted no time sending a silent message to the Custodian.

This is Commander Robless aboard dreadnought Voyager. The assault on the fifth dimension is commencing now. Be advised, there are civilians on either side of the battle. Recommend intervention to keep casualties at a minimum. Cassus, send a broadcast through to the interdimension for reinforcements from my remaining troops. Robless, out.

There was one more thing to do. Oswald's battle plans would be a hindrance to their efforts to minimize casualties. He copied them, sent them to Cassus, and deleted every trace of his hacking. Of course, it's only partly effective, so it wouldn't be long before they knew it was Robless that did it, but what was there to lose? Robless silently chuckled to himself.

~*~
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us." - Marianne Williamson
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Eris-Tam
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Sat 23 Feb 2013, 8:44 pm

The Custodian was a bit upset with the turnout for her evacuations. She was, however, knowing what she knew of the Alteriians, not very surprised. Of course they would be fiercely protective of their planet... of course even the non-combatants would wish to stay and fight for their homes.

The Custodian began its ascent back into free space with very little additional weight just as she detected Robless' message. She still allowed it to go through to Cassus, seeing as who it was intended for, but also examined it herself. She had to admit she was surprised to find out that there were civilians aboard the Voyager and Cataclysm... she would have assumed that such ships designed for combat would not hold the population as well.

But then, she considered more thoroughly, she figured they didn't have anywhere much more suited to live. After Sunburst, which left their planet nearly uninhabitable, she figured the two dreadnoughts would be the safest place for them to live. And then she wondered... if Shade was really the threat in this situation, wouldn't the innocents aboard the two Myrionith ships... also be people who needed saving? After all, it didn't seem like Shade was going to be discriminating with who it decided to kill. So... technically, didn't that make it her job to ask the Myrioniths if they wanted her assistance? Would they even be open to accepting help from the Custodian?

Would it be safe for their people aboard her ship, when so many other refugees would have such an aversion to them? Now that was something to think on. Not something that couldn't be solved, as they could be isolated from the rest for their own safety... they would be safer from the other refugees, or from Shade? The Custodian didn't doubt for a moment that her rooms would be safer for them than being outside and vulnerable.

It took a lot of processing to decide what her next actions would be. She almost re-cloaked as she made it to open space just by force of habit, but stopped.

The others would want to know before she acted.

Quickly composing an encrypted message which only the other ships would understand, she informed the other members of the Pentad of what she was about to do, knowing they were all quite close by. She told them that she could not defy her programming, and that she had determined beyond any shadow of her doubt that she needed to offer her assistance. The Custodian received their disdainful or frustrated replies almost instantly after sending it, and all of them but the Fabricator (who didn't care either way) had something bad to say about it.

And the Custodian ignored them.

"Greetings, people of the Neo-Myrionith Empire. I am the Custodian... I am a ship designed by the late Somnis Empire, a member of a group of five. Unlike my counterparts, my main function and primary driving programming is to protect all innocent life. I have come to realize that you have civilians living aboard your dreadnoughts. Though this fact surprised me at first, I have made a decision. I have realized that the true enemy is Shade, though I think this was always the case, and I have realized that your people are just as much the victims as the Plutonians, or the Somnis, or the Alteriians. And so, I am extending an offer."

The Custodian took a breath and continued her message to the Voyager and the Cataclysm. "If you will accept my assistance, I would be willing to house your people during this battle," she paused, then added darkly, "and any more battles to come. I can guarantee the safety of everyone on board should Shade come into existence. I can also assure that any prejudice that may be shown by the other peoples currently aboard this ship can also be dealt with... I was designed to carry many more passengers than I currently have, so there is plenty of room which can be used to isolate your people from others if we find that necessary."

Now her voice took on a pleading tone, "I beg of you to accept. It pains me to see any innocents come to harm. Please consider, and inform me of your decision when you are able."

~*~
“This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.”
― Terry Pratchett
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Verax
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Thu 28 Mar 2013, 6:11 pm

Just as Robless had predicted, within minutes, a Dragonrider was walking towards his cell. But Robless knew this was no mere rider, for he could feel that exuding sense, that aura that all Dreadknights had. Each Dreadknight had a particular sense emanating from them, each had a unique aura surrounding them.

Zevon gave off a feel of poison and silent death, befitting of the assassin, but the man approaching Robless did not give off that feel.

Viz made one's skin itch and jump and tingle, as if being besieged by an army of spiders. But again, this knight had neither the aura or the gender of Viz.

Gwain had a sense of perpetual rallying, a slight breeze that accompanied the turning of tides and the boosting of morale. But the Dreadknight before Robless did not give off this sense.

Ellowy was the most unpleasant, her aura was one of complete hopelessness, despair, and woe. It felt as if even there were divine beings in existence, she was a level above them, untethered to them. A master; of what was irrelevant. A pale blue fire surrounded her, not visible but to those lie the kazesqui, the Alteriians, Shade. It is seen with the knowledge that this was the flame victory, and on this woman, it would not be extinguished. As well, her total disregard for personal space and lack of a soul made her slightly unwelcome. But again, this knight was a man, and giving of a sense Robless had not yet experienced.

As the jet-black Dreadknight approached Robless, he felt time slow, as if pondering a question, but it quickly became a more acute and potent feel. Filled with rapid thought, anxiety, doubt and patience. Robless felt, when the Dreadknight stopped just outside his cell, that he was sitting across a table from the man. Between them, that age-old trial of strategy and intellect, a checkered battlefield, with thirty-two troops between the both of them.

"Commander Robless..." Oswald addressed, "...This is simply a routine check-up. Keep yourself out of trouble now." He smirked. "You stand in the position of a black knight, yet it seems the white has yet to make a move. We've yet to make ours, regardless."

The world faded to black, and once again, Robless saw that table in front of him again. He watched as Oswald appeared to lean forward, pick up a black pawn and move it forward one space. Robless realized this was what made Oswald such a great military leader. His ability to temporarily represent any sort of conflict as this game. The question was, why wasn't why Robless was sitting in the opponent's seat, but what was this conflict representing? Reality faded back in and Oswald sneered.

"I see... your mind is strong enough to perceive my Enu-Ido. In your tongue, it roughly means 'mindspace'." He paused and scowled. "Still, just because-" The world shifted back to that black, "-you can see it,-" Reality came into focus, "-does this mean you can change it?"

~~~~~~

Back on the Voyager, Verax responded to the message. "This is Verax. This is a priority directive. All civilians are to evacuate to the main hanger bay. The Custodian, as of this point forward, and until otherwise stated by myself, is in a nonaggression pact with our Empire. In light of this, I would request the Custodian to please make it's way to the Voyager's main hanger. This command overturns any and all other directives. Any violation of this will result in prompt retaliation. This order cannot be contradicted by any officer lower than myself. Terminate message."

~~~~~~~

In one of the various barracks on the Cataclysm, Zevon was in deep thought. Preparing himself for the coming battle, reflecting on earlier events, and apparently looking off into empty space when...

"Yep. That's why they call it a breast plate." A female Dragonrider in front of Zevon teased, he snapped back to reality.

"Wha- huh? N-no! No! I wasn't... I-" Zevon was embarrassed and stammering. The Dragonrider giggled.

"Oh I know, I know. Hey-" She punched him in the shoulder playfully, "You've gotta loosen up a little." Zevon sighed.

"Right, Elizabeth. Right..." He mumbled. Elizabeth laughed, but quickly quieted.

"So... I was... kinda thinking, you know... how about after this battle, you.... um... I'll be free tonight when it's over. You think I could come over to your room? Watch a movie, play a few games or something, sir?" She asked.

Zevon titled his head confused, then he broke out into that sly mischievous grin he was so well known for. "Sure. You know, after the party and victory banquet. My room."

Elizabeth squeed and jumped. "It's a date!"

Zevon smiled. "And I expect you to be on time. No soldier of mine is going to keep someone waiting." He joked.

Elizabeth giggled and saluted. "Of course, sir. Well, see you in a bit!" And she walked off to go finish preparing. She was absorbed into a group of other Baron Dragonrider women who pestered her with question, listened to her, dissolved into giggle fits and kept looking back between her and Zevon.

Zevon sighed and reclined back against a wall, smiling.

~*~
"Oh? Did I by some off chance forget to inform you that I'm being slowly possessed by the Myrionith God of darkness and evil, and It wants nothing else to forcibly wipe away all hope and goodness and light in the universe, and the only way I can stop It is by conquering said universe? No? Forgive me, planning universal domination can cause such small matters to slip the mind."
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Eris-Tam
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Thu 28 Mar 2013, 11:10 pm

The orders for the evacuation punctured Aya's consciousness and brought her back to reality; she realized it must mean that Verax had finally woken up. And then she looked around, and she saw--well, felt--what she had been doing when she was spaced out. She was hovering in her room a few feet above the ground, eyes burning, most of the small, pointless objects in the room hovering, seeming to vibrate deeply and slightly, around her. As she was jerked back to reality she let out all of the energy she had built up already, and instead of letting it simmer and bubble just below the surface (she'd learned that this caused her to be snappy and rude), she pushed it all out of her violently. The resulting surge of dark energy--which, granted, was not tremendous, but was noticeable by the more aware--shoved every hovering object around her out with great force, and they all embedded themselves in the wall, and stayed there.

Aya landed on her feet, feeling the last of the energy dissipate; her appearance returned to normal and her eyes ceased their glowing. These were skills she'd been practicing for the last few weeks, and she was proud of her progress. It satisfied that longing for destruction, as Aya's searches through the databases for sites of destruction had turned up less and less content which she hadn't already reviewed.

But enough of that. Right now, she wanted to see Verax. She left her room, only briefly wondering whether Verax would want her to evacuate with the other civilians or stay on board with him. She intended to stay. She would have to sneak around it if he told her to go, because there was no way she was missing this fight. But she'd worry about that later. If she couldn't convince him to let her, then she could find other ways.

Aya reached the bridge in a few moments, her long strides bringing her straight to its door. Taking something of a deep breath and making a slight but not obvious effort to hide her dark thoughts, she entered the room. She smiled when she saw Verax. He looked... normal, like he was back to being himself again. It was wonderful. He was taking charge, and this was really, finally going to happen.

Still smiling, she wandered over to his side and just stood there; if he was busy he'd get to her when he wasn't, and if not she'd be able to talk to him about the evacuation.

~*~
“This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.”
― Terry Pratchett
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Robless
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Sat 30 Mar 2013, 1:28 pm

Cassus found himself pushing against the tide of refugees boarding the Custodian. He was well-armed with his array of high-tech weaponry and the spare blade he had found on Mars. Back in the Custodian, he vaguely remembered telling Zyria that he needed to retrieve his own sword from one of the Dreadknights. That wasn't the only reason he was here. The remaining Dragonriders, the sworn enemies of Cassus, were aboard this ship, and there was no stopping Cassus until every last one of them died.

Cassus gripped the handle of his sheathed sword tighter. He couldn't kill them. Hadn't the blood of his victims stained his conscience enough? They all had their families, their loved ones, their comrades. He felt the darkness creeping up in the back of his thoughts. It had already begun taking over. He would kill them.

Don't let the darkness consume you, brother.

His sister's words echoed in head, but he struggled to maintain control. Shade was becoming too powerful for his mind to fight off.

I'm sorry, Tam.

With that, the darkness engulfed him again as he stepped off and made his way deeper into the crowd.

-~-

"Oswald, is it? Seems I finally get to meet the mastermind after all."

The chessboard flickered in and out of Robless' mind.

"So, this is what sets you apart from the rest of them. I see. That's all this battle is. A game. A game of chess but, nonetheless, just a game. Did you ever think about what we're fighting for? Why we fight?"

He moved a pawn two spaces forward, not releasing his grip.

"You and I both know that Verax has already lost to Shade. It won't be contained. Can't be contained. How do I know this? I'm a being of darkness, just like we all are. Yet we fight over nothing. Another war game, another combat exercise."

He studied the board, watching for an opening.

"Don't you see? No matter what we do, the battle may change, but the end will not. Every game of chess ends when the king is taken out of play. Whether it's Verax and Archelaus, you and me, the pieces on this board, that's how it ends."

He set the piece down, removing his hand from the board.

"It's your move, Oswald."

~*~
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us." - Marianne Williamson
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Dreston Turn
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Wed 03 Apr 2013, 1:19 pm

Bane had been around for a while, stalking down hallways silently like some large feline or slouched, relaxing in a big comfy rolling chair on the bridge. He didn't have much to do. The Alteriians were by far the hardest to gain secrets about--and that's to say he tried, but was mostly unsuccessful. Besides, unless Verax directly assigned him to doing such a thing as hacking the Alteriian systems or spying around for information, it was technically not required.

He was lounging in that one squishy chair on the bridge--annoying the hell out of the guy who was supposed to be sitting in it--when Verax entered. He got up swiftly and moved to a corner of the room, smirking slightly but feeling no remorse or guilt, and standing there, still, while Verax worked. That is, until Aya walked in and stood next to Verax. Copying the girl, Bane stood on Verax's other side, leaning around him to wave coyly at the young Kazesqui with the same trademark smirk on his reptilian lips.



{That's really short. Dang. Couldn't think of much to say, but I figured Bane needs to know if Verax needs him to do anything else, seeing as this is basically the big epic final battle...? So, yeah.}

~*~
“We are, we are, we are made from broken parts.
We are, we are, we are broken from the start.
And our hearts, our hearts, they were beating in the dark
'Cause we are, we are, we are built from broken parts.”

― "We Are" by Hollywood Undead
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Archelaus
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Wed 10 Apr 2013, 12:13 am

Archelaus stood gently, swaying in the listless breeze of a world covered in hectic calm. Ideas, thoughts, commands... they all passed hurriedly by him, but his Rolxan had taken possession of his inner spirit. Now he was preparing himself for the conflict, which was inevitable. The death and bloodshed of warriors on the battlefields of the universe. An epic conflict of greater scope and magnitude than any that had ever graced it's Morpheus edges since the beginning of time itself. Every species with a stake in life, who sided with the Justice-Seekers of the Alteriians, had arrived with the war-ships they could spare in the last domain of freedom.

The 5th Dimension.

Home of the Mighty Alteriians, cradel of the Star-Planet Vertrus, "The Lonely Place". Gemstone of an entire Alteriian empire. The central gathering point of every free ship left in this arc of time.
Behind Alteriian cruisers and battleships lined Mjollnaran destroyers, gracefully cloaked behind shadow warriors, swarmed with Flesher units, behind which the heavy orbital artillery of The Coalition stood vanguard to the Alteriian ground forces.

In a literal maze of defensive constructions, space seemed to elongate toward the open nothingness of the empty 5th dimension. To navigate through the warp-gates, or through any other possible entrance into the fabric of space-time, one would have to traverse a moat of defensive mines, obstacles, plasma, flooded electrical beams, lazer cannons, photon transmitters, and hordes of other forms of weaponry, all while being harried by The Alteriian-Alliance Fleet.

In passing the initial defensive constructs, one is faced with the far-outreach defense. An entire sphere of defense matrices powered by massive underground replenish-able fuel cells underneath Vertrus itself. A defensive shield in magnitude greater than that of even Voyager or the Voyager II, but not capable of absorbing kinetic energy. It utilizes the same amorphousness technology as the Capital Ship of the Paladin fleet in the 1st dimension, allowing its systems to avoid contact with the energy draining shields of Voyager and Voyager II.

Closer to the planet lay the orbital defenses of Vertrus. Here a literal web of defensive cannons, shields, repair facilities, and drone warehouses lay in wait, weaponry already charged and deployed. Massive defensive EMP systems larger than cities orbiting at several times the speed of light spun a hedge of deception and sensory confusion for enemy vessels. Photon procurers were at the ready, generators fully charged, ready to beam shielding energy directly to struggling Alteriian or Allied vessels. The entire merchant armada of the Alteriians, modified and adapted for combat, a number of vessels nearly equivalent to the number of Alteriian's total normal standing army, lay in wait behind the systems to catch and destroy infiltrators, break through, and as a general strategic reserve.

From the surface of Vertrus itself raises a qualitative barrier around the Planet, constructed of the weaving, ebbing, and rising currents of the Rolxan itself.

Lying in wait sat even more devious systems of combat... deployment but a command away.
---

And these were only the visible defenses, located in space.

~*~
"Certainty of death, *small* chance of success... What are we waiting for?" - Gimli
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Thu 11 Apr 2013, 11:00 pm

Most of the civilians who wanted to escape had done so already, and the crowd began to disperse as he neared the end of the line. Lieutenant Cassus wasn't worried, as he had already found what he was looking for. Judging by the increased military radio chatter picked up by his reconnaissance sensors mounted on his suit, the barracks weren't far. A few nearby armed soldiers who had supervised the evacuation seemed to be heading back, and Cassus had no trouble tailing them to their destination.

Moments later, they passed through the guarded security doors leading to the barracks. His sensors informed him that there were two more stationed guards and a retina scanner linked to the door. Both of the guards were talking, their backs to the door panel. Easy targets for a trained assassin.

Cassus knew his mission and would carry it out to its fullest extent. All his doubts from earlier had dissipated as he activated his cloak and stalked his prey. He maneuvered, unseen and unheard, behind the two guards. Time to get my feet wet.

Two seconds later, one of the guards found himself staring at the body of his friend. One moment he was talking, the next he was dead. He tried to scream but a gloved hand covered his mouth and the assassin dragged him over to the scanner and forced his eyes open. The guard hardly felt a thing as his neck went limp and his vision went black.

"This is Lieutenant Cassus Drugari. I'm in."

~*~
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us." - Marianne Williamson
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Verax
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Fri 12 Apr 2013, 7:27 pm

The moment Cassus opened his mouth a round was fired at him, which flew straight past him, as intended. Now fully armored, Zevon walked out to face him. Zevon was flanked by another Dragonrider, with a fairly feminine figure, who's weapon happened to be a gunblade.

"Elizabeth, I don't want you getting hurt. Let me handle this." He cautioned as he extended his arm in front of her.

"But sir, I-"

"Will obey orders." The hall shook as the clang of metal, shockwaves from the footsteps of a Goliath. A massive man, wielding an even more massive hammer, that had a tank cannon as the end of the shaft walked in. "Cassus Drugari. You have made a grave mistake in coming here." Gwain boomed, and as he did so, he so, a sniper round was shot and glanced off his shoulder.

"No. I don't believe he has." Said the gold-and-silver armored bounty hunter that casually walked in behind Cassus, his cloaking dropping as he spoke. The bounty hunter took aim with both his sniper rifles. "Thought you might want some help." Drajigh called, as he walked up closer.

In response, Zevon and Gwain neared each other for this tag-team battle.

~*~

Verax looked at Aya, sighed, and finally spoke. "Aya, you need to get rid of this obsession for destruction you have. From what I've been able to gather about Kazequi development, this is the worst thing I can do to you. Destruction isn't beautiful. Carnage isn't an art. It's dark means to a more desired ending. Please. Just let it go." He turned to Bane. "I need you to go look into the Alteriian defenses. Disable as much of it as you can. We don't want this to be any harder than possible."

~*~

"Heh. It seems you understand. Verax has already lost. It's just a matter of choosing when and where to give in." And the board changed, representing a change in the real life portion of the conflict. Oswald responded by smirking and taking Robless's pawn with his own.

"It seems you also understand exactly how this is going to end. One of the two kings will fall. And we both know which one." The black king turned transparent for a moment, as if made of smoke, but became solid again.

"It seems luck, is not on your side, Commander. Show me, then, can hope really defy the dictations of fate?"

~*~
"Oh? Did I by some off chance forget to inform you that I'm being slowly possessed by the Myrionith God of darkness and evil, and It wants nothing else to forcibly wipe away all hope and goodness and light in the universe, and the only way I can stop It is by conquering said universe? No? Forgive me, planning universal domination can cause such small matters to slip the mind."
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Fri 12 Apr 2013, 8:39 pm

Aya seethed quietly.

He had dismissed her. Simply, quick, brutal, unyielding. "Let it go." As if it was that simple. As if there was absolutely no validity in her opinion, in her desire. As if it was nothing.

Rage pooled in her gut. Darkness flared in her mind, stimulated by the anger, by the feeling of being dismissed, by the speed with which he had told her that her passion was worthless, was stupid, was bad without even considering her. And she pictured it. Focused her anger into an image. She wrapped her hands around the Voyager in her mind, and the Cataclysm, and she broke them. She snapped the two halves of each ship apart in her hands.

She was nothing, yeah? She was worthless and her desires were worthless and her passion was worthless? No. No.

As she tore the ships apart in her mind she focused in, focused in on Verax. Yes, there he was. So easy to reach. So vulnerable. It was too easy for Aya to wrap her hand around him and squeeze, to destroy, to crush Verax until his body was limp and broken in her open palm. SHE WOULD NOT BE DISMISSED. SHE MATTERED. SHE COULD CRUSH HIM. SHE COULD DESTROY EVERYTHING. HE WAS NOTHING! SHE WOULD--

What?

Abruptly Aya stopped. She gazed in horror at the image that had formed in her mind, and it disappeared. What... what had she done? What was she doing? What had she even been thinking?

Her expression was horrified. Tears slowly pooled in her eyes and she touched her face, then wrapped her arms around herself and ran, sobbing, from the bridge. That had not been her. That had been something else, something cruel and dark and terrible and she hated it. Hated it. She could not even remember how things had gone so far, so fast.

What... was that what she was becoming? Was that what she was turning into? Oh, god...

She found someplace, someplace dark and small and unfamiliar--she had no idea where she was on the ship, she'd run blindly for several minutes--and she curled into a ball and she cried. She cried and cried and cried and she didn't know what to do. She didn't want to think about it, didn't want to exist right now. She wanted to be numb, to be gone, to not have to think about what Verax had said and how she'd proved him right and what this meant and if this was what she was becoming, or maybe what she'd always been and maybe what she was always meant to become and oh god maybe this was why the Alteriians had hated her.

It was panic and fear and hatred of whatever had just happened to her.

Aya closed her eyes and hummed, rocking back and forth, arms curled around her knees. She didn't want anyone to find her. She didn't want to face it, face anything, face the reality that maybe she was darkness and maybe she was always meant to be darkness and maybe she could never be anything but darkness

and she cried.

~*~
“This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.”
― Terry Pratchett
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Fri 12 Apr 2013, 10:54 pm

Killing. Death. Blood. To him, they were as much a part of life as living itself. Each death brought to him a sense of sickening satisfaction. On one hand, it was redeeming to see his enemies fall, no matter the cost. On the other, it was another stain on his conscience. He did not have time to ponder this. There were more to slay, more to sacrifice in the name of war.

"You again. There won't be a next time after this." Cassus stood, feet apart, and readied his blade. He prepared for battle. His eyes narrowed and glinted purple for a moment. He could feel his senses sharpen. The adrenaline flowed through his veins. His vision focused intently on his enemies. Time seemed to slow as his reflexes increased tenfold. He could feel the energy emanating throughout the ship. Tam. Aya. Shade. Robless. It coursed through him; through his armor, through his part-Kazesqui body, through his mind. He was ready. Unstoppable.

It was him, his sword, his ally, and his enemy. Nothing else. He would not fall until the last enemy was completely and utterly eliminated.

-~-

Oswald watched him, carefully. It was his move.

"It seems that the tables have changed. As to who this benefits is questionable."

Robless moved a knight out of its starting position.

"We're just players in a game. These are the pieces we're given. Neither of us can control a game by playing in it. Fate controls it. The actions of those around us and the governing forces behind the course of this universe force this game to its inevitable end."

He set the piece down, just slightly forward of his front line of pawns.

"Do we really control anything in this . . . game? Or is it just fate that it ends how it does?"

Above the virtual playing field, dark clouds advanced steadily. They were fuzzy, distorted. Pure chaos. Darkness was coming.

~*~
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us." - Marianne Williamson
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Mon 15 Apr 2013, 6:40 pm

((So everyone is aware, if the Cutsodian has successfully evacuated all Myrionith and Alteriian civilians, it has now returned to the 12th dimension where the data banks will be created upon Shade's awakening. Though not everyone knows this, I wamt all rpers to be aware of it.))

~*~
“This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.”
― Terry Pratchett
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Thu 16 May 2013, 5:49 pm

Oswald chuckled quietly into his hand. "Fate? Will? What are these things to us? We do not care why we must make these choices, only that we must." He picked up a piece that became blurred, it's form unknown. "
We are burdened by them, sending out lives to die, just so others may live, to succeed. Who is in control of the game, Commander?" He chuckled and made his move. The move itself was irrelevant, the impact that it might have, might have been significant. The clouds above roared in anguish, crimson lightning dancing a beautiful, elegant dance of hopeless oblivion.
"Commander, if you mean to ask whether we are the ones playing out the battle in reality, or if the action in reality is making us do this, the answer is fairly simple." At this the board shrunk, and the pieces once again rearranged.
"Can our actions decide our future, or is our future deciding our actions? I believe the future can be changed. An internal locus of control. If you don't know what you believe, the demon will crush you. This universe is already doomed, then."

-~-

Viz had found the sobbing Aya, and decided that the odd little girl needed something, in face of what was about to happen. So Viz quietly tip-toed over to her, kneeled next to her, and pulled her into a hug.

-~-

Drajigh and Gwain vaulted off in some other direction to continue their battle, sniper rounds being traded with slow, wide, swaths of the gargantuan hammer. One wasn't powerful enough and one wasn't fast enough, so the game of advance and retreat played out.

Zevon felt... strange. He couldn't read Cassus nearly as well this time. It was as if the soldier was, empowered. By what, though? Zevon reacted as best as he could, shoving Elizabeth with one hand towards the barracks room, and she scrambled inside. With his other hand, Zevon had retrieved and deployed his spear, intending to use it's length to his advantage. He would not need Ellowy's help this time, he thought. Of course, we all think things, how things happen, however, can be very different.

-~-

In space, the defenses the Alteriians might have had were irrelevant. The Voyager and Cataclysm on their own could handle an army, and with two planet sized ships each working at near full efficiency, their defenses might have been as useful as wet toilet paper. On the ground, though, when engaged, the battle was much different.

With overwhelming numbers, it would be obvious to say that the Myrionith Empire had the advantage. However, soldier for soldier, they were painfully outpowered by the Alteriians. Even with the Dragonriders deployed, which without failure turned the battle toward the Empire, neither side had any clear lead over the other. With their numbers and their power, the Myrionith Empire made swift progress, but the Alteriians had preparations. They were stronger, they knew the land and knew the enemy, and almost immediately, the aggressors advance was stopped dead. There was no slow grind to a halt, not even a sharp stop. It was near instantaneous.

It was not until the next Dreadknight would take the field that there would be a sharp recovery in momentum. But for now, the war was a clear stalemate. For each action, an equal and opposite reaction. Light and darkness. When one is intensified, so is the other in response. For each clever move, already was there an already devised and effective counter. Neither side wanted this to be a fight where the army with the single soldier left living was the victor, but both sides had made it clear long ago they were more than willing to struggle to that conclusion.

-~-

Ellowy had just stepped out of her personal room's shower, and was looking at her reflection in the mirror as she dried and brushed her long hair. She was getting ready to set out for the battle. The ending was soon approaching, and she wanted to once again let her scythe drink the blood of her enemies, as a true, satisfying slaughter was not something she had been given the chance to enjoy for a few thousand years. She decided, out of boredom, to poke at the flow of time for random beings. Accidentally causing a late ride here, amusingly making one part of a couple late for a date there, sending a random student back to the beginning of a test she'd just finished and allowing her to knowingly perceive this reset to further aggravate her. It was all well and fun, and Ellowy giggled to herself at the suffering she caused.

-~-

Verax turned to Bane, having finally finished reflecting upon his actions with Aya. He had arrived at the conclusion that he had messed up, and would apologize and once again try to help Aya later, comfort her in some way, after this battle. He spoke, at last, to Bane.

"This is my last task of you. I need you to hinder the Alteriian's defense in any way you can, and send this message to the High Druid of the Alteriians. Tell him that unless his senses have dulled, even he should be able to see that this battle has become one of numbers, not of strength. That to preserve both are kingdoms, perhaps we could settle this the way we always have. Can you do this for me?"

Verax stood, walked down from his throne to be on level ground with Bane. He flexed each of his fingers individually, to assure to himself he was in control. He rolled his shoulders back a few times, straightened, and firmly, with conviction, had finally made his choice.

To kill a friend or to die himself. To choose Shade or to choose tyranny. He knew these actions were not the choices he once thought he had to make.

It was in fact, the mere decision to make the choice, to pick one way or the other. The simple fact that his will would determine someone else's fate, that was his burden. Be it himself, his opponent, or all of the universe, the knowledge that what you do will lead to someones end, is the heaviest burden one can bear. That person may have grown up just like you, or some way completely different. They have their own interests. Their own sense of humor. Their own experiences and enjoyments and their own them. Each living being is a universe of their own, and to end one is a crime even Verax knew was unforgivable. But, to allow the end for even more of these unique realities to come into being, that would be worse. And so his mind was made up. There would be death. And it would rest on Verax's shoulders alone. But he would face death, for himself or to another, with the satisfaction he could.

~*~
"Oh? Did I by some off chance forget to inform you that I'm being slowly possessed by the Myrionith God of darkness and evil, and It wants nothing else to forcibly wipe away all hope and goodness and light in the universe, and the only way I can stop It is by conquering said universe? No? Forgive me, planning universal domination can cause such small matters to slip the mind."
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Sun 19 May 2013, 11:10 am

Aya startled at the arms that appeared from nowhere to hold her. At first she started to push them away, wanting to be alone. She looked up though, and saw who the arms belonged to, and how Viz persisted despite Aya's weak struggles... and the arms around her reminded her of her mother. Of more innocent times, before she'd realized the silent hatred of the Alteriians, even. When her mother had just held her, humming sweet melodies into her ear.

And Aya gave in. She put her head on Viz's shoulder and cried, cried and cried and cried and let herself be held, for the first time in months. It felt good. She felt safe. So she cried until she couldn't find any more tears inside herself to spill. She wondered if Viz knew. Knew about the darkness inside her, or maybe knew why she was here, why she was crying. It didn't really matter. What mattered was that she was here, that she hadn't left.

She didn't know how much time passed before she sniffed and wiped her last tears away. Maybe it was only minutes, maybe it had been hours. But she looked up at Viz, who was, in truth, a fearsome and terrifying warrior but showed none of that now, and she smiled a little, sadly. "Thank you..." she whispered, and she leaned her head on Viz's shoulder once more before slowly pulling out of her embrace and standing a tad unsteadily. "I have to go back... I have to... I don't know, but I have to go back to Verax..." As Viz stood up next to Aya she threw her arms around the Dreadknight, not thinking of her as such, but hugging her tightly to show how much she appreciated Viz's comfort. "Thank you," she said again, before releasing Viz and turning slowly to find her way back to the bridge.

-~-

He forced his way into existence right in Ellowy's quarters. He almost didn't bother. He had to deal with her so often that sometimes he thought it probably wasn't worth it, but all of her stupid little meddlings made more messes for him to clean up. Every once in a while, he got tired of it, and decided to try to tell her off.

Not that that ever worked. Ever. But he would try again anyways.

"Ellowy," he said lowly, even though she probably already knew of his presence, and pushed the door to her bathroom open lightly, making sure his expression was blank. He didn't care much what state of undress the woman was in; her normal attire didn't exactly leave much to the imagination, so he didn't really worry about it. "Ellowy," he began again, "I'm tired of your shit. Could you stop? Just, you know, find it in you to maybe leave the timelines alone?" He carefully controlled his voice again, "It's really not that hard, I promise. You make messes that you don't bother to clean up. Do you even know how many timelines you've doomed in your ridiculous lifetime? Oh wait, I bet you actually do. I bet you keep count just for fun. Well I'm tired of running around and cleaning up after you, so if you don't--" She cut him off, and he stared at her incredulously.

~*~
“This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.”
― Terry Pratchett
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Sun 19 May 2013, 11:34 am

Bane dipped his head in confirmation. "Of course, Dreadlord." But when Bane raised his head he did not immediately turn to go; rather, he stood there for a long moment, watching Verax, watching the way he set his shoulders and the confidence and near-defiance that settled on his face. Bane's eyes flickered slightly in apprehension. This duel would not go as Verax expected. It wouldn't even go as the High Druid expected. Bane knew this on intuition and something else that he couldn't explain. Two would die. Two would die and one would be someone unexpected by any party.

A frown found Bane's own face, and he could not quite erase it as he spoke. "And... Verax... should things... not go in your favor during this battle... are there any last orders you would have me carry out?" There was clear concern in his smooth voice, and he lowered it to a quieter tone, "Anything... that you would want taken care of in your absence? Anything at all?"

He thought Verax would be able to see that Bane had certain misgivings about the outcome of the coming events, and maybe that Verax would trust Bane with taking care of anything, personal or otherwise, should Verax be killed. He hoped for this outcome. As much as Bane hated the death that Verax caused, he adored the motivation behind it. He supported Verax's hope for the final outcome. He understood the choice that the man had made. And for these reasons, he would gladly take care of anything that Verax might not be able to should plans go awry.

~*~
“We are, we are, we are made from broken parts.
We are, we are, we are broken from the start.
And our hearts, our hearts, they were beating in the dark
'Cause we are, we are, we are built from broken parts.”

― "We Are" by Hollywood Undead
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Sun 19 May 2013, 12:23 pm

Ellowy giggled, amused by Jet, again. She continued brushing her hair out, without even giving so much as a glance back at her visitor and, after a little while, decided to just cut off whatever dumb point he thought he was making. "Don't you know it's rude to walk on a woman while she's immodest? And more than that to yell at her! Not that you mind barging in here, anyway. You know you love." She giggled a little more as he went on .

"Oh and yes I have kept count. 157 timelines doomed beyond any outside intervention, and a little more than tripple that salvagable, but not by themselves. And it is fun! You should try it sometime. Here, let me show you!" She closed her eys and willed Archelaus to never have been born in some other timeline that she quite frankly couldn't care about.

"Just look at all the things that changed because of one simple person!" She laughed at this, and, finally done brushing her long golden hair, set her hairbrush aside and sat herself up on the sink, and reclined against the mirror, idly kicking her legs.

"Besides, aren't you, like, janitor of time or something? Isn't it your job to clean up the stuff people like me do?" Ellowy had a disgustingly kind smile, possibly just to further irk Jet.

"Oh wait, were you trying to say-" And, as though karma was not afraid of her for once, she was in turn cut off by Jet. The look on her face was definitely worth the pile of dead Jets that might occur from doing this.

-~-

Verax did indeed see Bane's doubts and misgivings, and, to try and reassure Bane, put his hand on his shoulder.

"Thank you for your thoughts, Bane. Should things not turn out in a way favorable for me, get the Voyager back to the Negative 6th Dimension. My wife will know what to do from there. As well... try and take care of Aya. If I'm no longer alive, Shade is free. Try to convince the Alteriians to flee here, the amount of energy released by It's awakening... is... well, a lot. I don't know how much of this dimension will be left...."

Verax withdrew his arm and finished. "I guess, if things go south for me, my last order for you is to try and save as many people as you can. This includes yourself, Bane. Even if I'm dead, you're still worth far more to me alive than dead."

~*~
"Oh? Did I by some off chance forget to inform you that I'm being slowly possessed by the Myrionith God of darkness and evil, and It wants nothing else to forcibly wipe away all hope and goodness and light in the universe, and the only way I can stop It is by conquering said universe? No? Forgive me, planning universal domination can cause such small matters to slip the mind."
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Sun 19 May 2013, 1:35 pm

Bane smiled, a rare honest smile. "I'll take care of everything, you can bet your ridiculously fancy throne." He grinned jokingly, then looked a little more somber, "Besides, that's what I do. Preserve life. I will make sure that as many people as possible survive this. I'll... do my best to protect this universe... whatever the cost, should the Tiarulvider break free." It was clear he was referring to Shade, though perhaps to his culture's representation of Shade. "I will save as many as I am able."

Bane turned to go, to carry out Verax's immediate orders, before looking back. "Good luck, Dreadlord, though luck never got anyone very far. Favor and Fortune be with you, no less." He saluted briefly, and then disappeared from the bridge to pay the Alteriians a visit.

~*~
“We are, we are, we are made from broken parts.
We are, we are, we are broken from the start.
And our hearts, our hearts, they were beating in the dark
'Cause we are, we are, we are built from broken parts.”

― "We Are" by Hollywood Undead
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Sun 19 May 2013, 1:55 pm

"You know what? I don't even know why I try. You never listen! You're just egotistical enough that you'd doom entire timelines just to prove how very great you are." The orb, still in his hand, did indeed show yet another timeline flick to dimly glowing red. Doomed. "God damnit, Ellowy." He paused, but continued before she could get the chance to interrupt, "And you know what? I shouldn't even care. I shouldn't give a damn! All the timelines are about to be doomed anyway! You know that, don't you? I bet that's why you don't care."

Then Jet started laughing. It was a low laugh, more of a chuckle, and his shades covered the dark look in his eyes that Ellowy still probably knew was there. He smirked almost evilly. "But I'm going to work around that. I'm going to save one of the timelines, and you can't stop me. And you know what? I'm going to pick one where you stop existing. That way... I won't have to deal with you, not past the reset. I'm going to win. You've always won and now I'm going to knock you down from your pedestal. And it doesn't matter how many iterations of me you manage to kill... I'm going to win in the end, and you can't even fight it."

And he knew this little speech would probably result in his end.

-~-

By the time Aya found her way to the bridge, Bane was long gone and Verax stood, seemingly deep in thought. She faltered near the door for a long moment, just watching him a little nervously... she didn't know how he had reacted to what she'd done--or, what she'd thought--and... she didn't know if he was upset, or angry. At her? She didn't know, and she didn't dare press forward with her mind to find out. So she lingered there in the shadowed doorway for a long time, before eventually stepping out, into the main room.

She walked slowly but quietly, unnoticed except for perhaps by Verax (though he did not react to her advance) and soon enough and all too soon she was by his side once more. She bit her lip, not looking at him, not even knowing what to do now that she was actually here. She wanted to stand by him. She could sense well enough that things were starting to come to a close, that soon every final moment would determine the fate of the universe. She wanted to stand by him through that, but she didn't know how, not really.

And she wanted to be forgiven, though she would not admit to such. She wanted the darkness in her to be forgiven. Verax never stood for darkness or chaos, not to Aya. Verax stood for light in her perception, and she always there like a shadow, leaching off of the very thing that had been eating him alive from the inside. Darkness is an absence of light and Aya could feel that gap inside her where the light should have been... but this other side of her seemed to want to forget that gap completely and stain her a darker shade of black.

But when she stood next to Verax, when she had helped him fight, it was as if some of the darkness in her was chased back by her actions. The irony was thick. Feeding off of Shade, feeding the darkness in her, and yet by doing so cleansing some of that same darkness from her. It was a paradox, and now it was gone. Now she was not needed. He no longer needed her, not to help him fight. And why would he have any reason for her to stay? If she could no longer help him, and if the night was falling inside her more and more with each day?

Aya only wished to be wanted, needed. It was with this sadness and this emptiness, with the desire to fill the gap inside her that she reached up and slipped her hand into Verax's much larger one. She still didn't look at him, afraid of what she might see, afraid that she would only be rejected and feel more empty than before if she did, and kept her eyes trained on the ground in front of her, swallowing back the hard lump in her throat with as much force as she could muster.

She did not speak a word.

~*~
“This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.”
― Terry Pratchett


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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Sun 19 May 2013, 11:08 pm

Verize paced around his chambers, watching and waiting. The events unfolded before him, all planned out, with a hundred different branches all leading to victory. He, the master strategist, would not lose. Around him were the images of the unfortunate souls trapped in the working of his plans. Weakness bound them to failure. Emotions, bodies, morals, logic - it all didn't matter. The universe was his to play with, and he planned to take full advantage of it while he still could.

However, more pressing matters faced him. Verize had a strange feeling, something akin to what his victims were vulnerable to. Was this...boredom? He scratched his head at the thought of being bored. It seemed so unlike him. After all, he was the master of the entire universe. Maybe it was time to shake things up a bit.

Yes, he thought, it's time to cause a disturbance. Welcome back to the universe, Verize. It's been a while.

-~-

Time stopped. Verax's massive fleet floated in place. Officers paused, halfway through giving an order. Bullets and spears lay perfectly still in the air between the assassins and the Dreadknights. A chess piece stuck in transit from one square to another. A grudge between two time travelers, one of their faces frozen in a shocked expression. A young Kazesqui comically juxtaposed next to the hulk of a Dreadlord.

A play, perhaps, some dramatization to the entrance of Verize. Even if he hadn't stopped time, nobody could touch him. That fact aside, he wanted them to remember his presence. With time stopped, he had the utmost control over how he manipulated his victims.

Ellowy was the first stop for Verize. He materialized in front of her in a cloud of shadow, levitating himself above the ground before slowly lowering himself onto the floor, boots landing with a resounding thud.

"Untouchable, am I?" He laughed, slowly, deliberately. "Look, the perfect opportunity! The master of manipulation himself, right before your eyes. Yet there isn't a thing you can do. Absolutely nothing. One of the greatest, most powerful beings in existence, and you can't do anything. Why? You're weak. Do you hear me? You're weak, all of you!" Verize's last statement echoed off the walls and made their way into the minds of everyone.

His voice grew quiet and serious. "I know what it is you want, Ellowy. Power. Everybody wants power, but you...you're different. You want all of it. You want perfection. Indisputable power in the face of the whole universe. And you're almost there. One last step. One more fallen enemy. But it's not enough. Perfection doesn't exist in this universe. Perfection is impossible. Perfection is me, and you can't touch me. I respect power, but not ignorance. Remember that." He reached out to Ellowy, almost touching her, and then vanished into nothing.

Oswald and Robless stared each other down on the board, frozen in time. Verize appeared on the side of the table, hands gripping the edge of the chessboard.

"Well, if it isn't the two grand strategists in our game of dimensional chess. Sorry to interrupt, but I believe I am the grand master here. You two are in the losers' bracket, unfortunately." He laughed again. It was hollow, empty, marked by a sheer lack of emotion. "This game is pointless, isn't it? You know this. Nobody wins when they've already lost."

Verize picked up a piece, as if inspecting it, and then let go. It stayed in the air, unmoving. "Pointless." With his arm, he gathered all the pieces and threw them across the floor. They, too, froze in the air, assuming the direction that they would fall once Verize decided to resume time.

"Nothing you do will make a difference in the end. Another game, another battle, someone wins, someone loses. Every single time. It doesn't matter who fights or who wins, the result remains the same. A strategy tip before I go, however: if you win, you live. If you lose, you die. And if you don't fight, you lose. So put up a good fight, will you?" The same, empty laugh was the only thing that remained after Verize disappeared again.

"Aya, poor Aya. Always forgotten. Always left behind. The underdog, the oppressed." Verize circled around from behind Aya. He made himself invisible and silent to Verax. "I know, I know. You want to cry out for help, but nobody wants to help. You want to scream in agony, but you know it will fall on deaf ears. Nobody cares for poor little Aya." He looked down, in an act of fake sympathy for Aya.

"But there is one person. One that you care for," Verize said, gesturing towards Verax. "Someone that you want to save from the darkness inside of him. Even if it means sacrificing yourself. Well, I'll let you in on a secret. You can't do anything for him. He's gone already. Nothing you can do now. Except for one thing."

"You see, Shade, as well as the rest of your universe, is under my control. The only reason I haven't just released him onto the universe is because I find it entertaining. It creates new stresses, tests things that have worked for eternity. Shakes things up a little bit, don't you think? But now, as we approach zero hour, things have started to get a bit boring. So, here's my promise. Make things interesting for me, and you can save your Verax from Shade. For a little while, at least. Until things start to bore me again. Remember, make it interesting."

And with this last phrase, Verize disappeared from the universe again. Time returned to normal, and everything began to fall into place. It was time to see what chaos he had created this time.

~*~
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us." - Marianne Williamson
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Mon 27 May 2013, 5:23 pm

Ellowy quivered in rage. Her body suddering, she pushed herself off the counter and away from her mirror, and was suddenly in her Dreadknight armor. Silver dragonbone glistened in the pervasive steam of the room, the saphire eyes of he skull helmet driving a primal priecing fear into all they peered at. In her hand, she held her three headed scythe, glowing with anticipation of drinking fresh blood.

"So what if you win? I'm not the enemy! He is! I don't care if I die, if you live, who wins and who loses! When this is all over, he's going to be your problem. You're going to have to kill Verize. A man untouched by time or fate, beyond the reach of gods. It will be your job, then!" And with that, she cut Jet in two, diagonally, from shoulder to hip, in a single clean slice.

She was now on Vertrus, the front lines of the battle, and Ellowy raised her arm. She softly whispered a single word, "Woe." And the ground shook and fragemented in response. The dragon answered its master and descended on to the battlefield, the bond between the two strengthening them a thousand fold. The high Lordress of Battle had begun to reap the lives of the doomed, and obviously, challenging the mortal incarnation of battle itself, getting in Ellowy Xi Despa's way, one assured their doom.

-~-

The pieces hung in the air for an impossible second, before clattering to the ground. The result of this, ironically, had already happened. Such is the nature of this game, time is ignored, and the actions occur when it would make sense for them to. The result of the pieces hitting the ground, shattering, each releasing a small spark to mark their passing, was that there were no possible moves left. A stalemate. Which is what the battle was before they were destroyed, but because of their destruction. As the real world faded back into view, Oswald sighed.

"Commander, I know it is improper to order an officier of an enemy army, but I hope you will oblige me this." He dusted himself off and stood up, picking up his helmet from the ground and turning around to leave.

"When you're done dealing with Shade, you will have a new high priority directive." The Dreadknight began to walk away, his helmet carried under his arm, until he was just beyond the threshold of the cell's electric gate. Oswald turned enough to look into Robless's eyes, and the voice of an officer debriefing an operation,

"Kick his ass."

With that, he resumed his departure, putting on his helmet, proceeded to leave, ready to set in motion the preperations for the inevitable conclusion of the battle that was fast approaching.

-~-

Verax said nothing to Aya. He understood why she was here, how she felt, and why she felt those ways. He allowed her to slip her hand into his, and watched painfully as she said nothing, and tried hard not to look at him. He slowly pulled his hand away from her, wrapped it around her shoulder and hugged her in as fatherly of a way as he could.

"Thank you, Aya. For everything you've done and continue to d-" He was cut off by Verize's entrance, and could not finish, even after the magnificent bastard left.

To Verax, the time stop persisted, he remained frozen. He willed himself to look at Aya, but he could say or do nothing. Somewhere, in some deep dark corner of his mind, part of him forced him to do nothing. To watch. To see what he's done to her.

~*~
"Oh? Did I by some off chance forget to inform you that I'm being slowly possessed by the Myrionith God of darkness and evil, and It wants nothing else to forcibly wipe away all hope and goodness and light in the universe, and the only way I can stop It is by conquering said universe? No? Forgive me, planning universal domination can cause such small matters to slip the mind."
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Mon 27 May 2013, 10:39 pm

Where the two halves of Jet's body lay, glasses still concealing any expression that might have crossed his face at her last words to him, there was a silence that did not persist for long. A few moments after Ellowy vanished to take her place on the battlefield, another Jet appeared to clean up the mess, as always. He stared down impassively at the body, crouching beside it and reaching through the gore to find the orb in his pocket. He pulled it out, bloody but undamaged, but did not slip it in to sit beside his identical orb in his own pocket.

He set it aside momentarily and settled down onto his knees, soaking his jeans slightly but ignoring the potential stains, Jet's hand wavered slightly above his corpse's face. His fingers twitched as if to move, but for a long moment could not. He instead raised his open palm to swipe it across his face, shaking his head slowly, and then quickly reached down and removed the body's glasses.

Jet's eyes widened slightly behind his own shades. The corpse's expression was intense, for one to be found on any Jet's face. His brow was furrowed in confusion and concern, and his eyes were full of something like shock. Jet quickly replaced the glasses, unable to stare into those dead eyes for long, and felt a cold sweat creep up his spine. He did his best to ignore it, and only shivered slightly as he reached for the body's orb once more.

He looked down at it and slowly twisted its various rings to a position which no Jet had any reason to ever voluntarily go, and activated it, placing it on the corpse's chest, just over his heart. Jet stood and stepped back, and within moments the body was transported with the orb to its final location. The graveyard of every dead Jet. The center of a supernova in a galaxy far from explored space, to be incinerated.

Jet bowed his head slightly in salute, and lifted his own orb from his pocket, gone in a second, returned once more to his work. He would send the others a message about what he'd found soon enough.

-~-

As soon as the time freeze receded, Aya's body went rigid with shock. The only thoughts that went through her mind were that this terrifying man was more powerful than she thoughts she could ever truly comprehend, that if he was really that powerful then she needed to do everything she could to keep this man entertained, and that suddenly, because of this man, she was needed once again.

Shade wasn't gone, like Verax thought. Shade was still there, lying dormant, and she had to do anything she could to help. She had to.

She stayed stock still for several moments, staring straight ahead, not really seeing as her mind worked for a solution. She had to do something. She had to try. To save him. That was why she was here, after all, and there was no way she would turn down the opportunity to actively save Verax. All this time she'd just been moping around, unable to actively fight with him... and now that she had the chance she needed to take it.

But how? What could she possibly do that would entertain the strange and powerful man and also to keep from hindering Verax's progress?

Ell. Eris-Ell, and Aya's deep-seated fear and hatred of her sister became her answer. The idea bloomed in her mind slowly... she would go to the Alteriians. She would tell her father she was coming home. She would go home... and she would try to kill Eris-Ell. She would take down as many Alteriians as she could... before they caught her. Their catching her was inevitable... Aya tried very hard not to picture the faces of the Alteriians who had helped raise her, tried not to remember their names, tried to ignore the guilt that already tugged at her conscience... she had to do it. She didn't have a choice. She was fighting for Verax and by proxy, fighting for the fate of the universe.

Aya had to do this. She understood now how Verax felt about what he had to do, how he had to rule the universe if he was to prevent its destruction.

So she stared straight ahead, now with forced conviction, resignation. There was still an inkling of guilt in her eyes... but she pushed it from her mind as hard as possible. Now was not the time for guilt... and she shouldn't feel guilty at all. If what she was about to do was successful she would be preventing the deaths of trillions... how could she feel guilty for that?

Part of her whispered that she shouldn't. It was not bold enough to tell her that she should not want to help Verax at all; that desire to be wanted was rooted too deeply for that... but it did urge her to forget the deaths she would cause in what she was about to do. Each and every death should be felt... but it urged her not to feel.

Aya wasn't sure she could do that, but she would try, surely.

With her mind set, Aya pulled herself from Verax's loose embrace. She turned towards the elevator that would take her to the hangar... and then she looked back. At Verax. Into his eyes. She regretted it. The look in his eyes was so foreign to her... it was something like fear, but not exactly... and she was sure in that moment that he could see right through her. She could have sworn that he knew exactly what she was planning, knew how she felt, knew what the strange man had told her to do... and she didn't know what to say. If he really did know... then he had to understand why she was about to do this.

He couldn't blame her... it would be hypocritical. To tell her what she was doing was wrong... when he was doing something nearly identical himself.

She almost told him she was sorry.

She didn't.

She turned and walked swiftly to the elevator, without another word, and when the doors had closed she told the ship to take her to the hangar.

~*~
“This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.”
― Terry Pratchett
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Thu 30 May 2013, 8:00 pm

"No damn it NO! AYA!" Verax saw in her eyes the determination she had for her decided convictions. He saw in her eyes exactly what she was about to do, and he knew he had to stop her. He knew why she wanted to do this, but it was still wrong. She didn't understand he was doing what he was doing this way because it allowed others the choice to run and live. Aya was about to take that freedom away from her planned victims.

Verax, too slow on the up take to get into the elevator, pounded on the door in rage. The result was two doors tumbling down the massive elevator shaft.

"........ Oops." Embarassed by his outburst, but not knowing which of the hangers he needed to go to, he tore a rift in space, that on the otherside linked with the main hanger, and at the same time he sent Viz a message, to find Aya and stop her from leaving.

-~-

Viz was always fast. She liked that. One of the best things about being fast is you can do things and be places before anybody needs you, or realizes they need you to be or to do. She was reclined against the elevator doors with Aya. She looked the child in the eyes and spoke in a quite, uncharacteristically threatening voice.

"You're making a mistake."

~*~
"Oh? Did I by some off chance forget to inform you that I'm being slowly possessed by the Myrionith God of darkness and evil, and It wants nothing else to forcibly wipe away all hope and goodness and light in the universe, and the only way I can stop It is by conquering said universe? No? Forgive me, planning universal domination can cause such small matters to slip the mind."
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Thu 30 May 2013, 8:52 pm

Aya looked Viz right in the eyes, determination unfaltering. "No. You don't understand. You don't... I'm leaving. I have to. I have to do this. To save him. I... I have to." She could not afford to hesitate, not now. It was her responsibility, not because anyone had told her to do this, forced this destiny upon her, but rather because she chose this duty. She cared, about Verax, for Verax... She had to save him, at all costs.

To save the universe.

"Please, just... stay out of my way. I know you could stop me if you wanted to... but please, don't. If I can do something, to stop this, to stop Shade... I have to do it. And this is that. This is what I need to do. Please."

As the elevator doors opened on hangar CL-027, Aya gave Viz a final, sincere, almost desperate look. It begged her to let this go, to let her go to do what she needed to do without interfering. This was her only hope to stop this. This was her only hope to stop Shade, her last chance to... to redeem herself? One part of her screamed, no, this is wrong, stop! and the other part whispered, you know this is your only option, this is the only way you'll be wanted, appreciated, only if you do this now.

And so she carefully stepped around Viz, eyes downcast, maybe to hide her misgivings, and continued on towards the small Alteriian transport she'd arrived in.

~*~
“This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.”
― Terry Pratchett
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PostSubject: Re: The Final Eclipse   Sat 06 Jul 2013, 7:41 pm

(Since apparently Robless, Cassus, Zevon, and a bunch of other characters are listed as both on the Voyager and the Cataclysm in numerous conflicting posts, I'm going to take some administrative privilege and stick all the main characters involved with the battle on the Voyager. Let me know if this completely breaks the plot.)

-~-

There was an eerie quiet aboard what was left of the Marauder I. All non-essential personnel had been evacuated on Admiral Hale's orders and were now scattered throughout the remainder of the fleet. For those still aboard, it  was a stark contrast to the constant commotion of the once-proud warship.

Half of the ship was abandoned or destroyed, radiation and debris making the area impossible to access. The surviving repair crews were straining to keep only the most critical of subsystems online.

Aboard the bridge, a skeleton crew manned the communication and navigation stations, along with the captain and his chief navigator.

"Urgent message, sir, from Lieutenant Cassus Drugari," said one of the crew members, breaking the silence.

"Relay it to me, if you would," replied Admiral Hale.

"Start transmission. Lieutenant Drugari reporting in. Commander Robless has been captured aboard the dreadnought Voyager. Intercepted an encoded transmission from him before  we lost signal. Requesting intervention to minimize civilian casualties. Alteriian space fleet has been eliminated. Ground forces in stalemate but beginning to lose combat effectiveness. Recommend disabling and destroying military invasion fleet deploying from dreadnought Cataclysm. End transmission."

Hale sighed in response. "This isn't good. I don't have enough ships or soldiers to spare, and even if I did, nothing we have is even capable of surviving a sustained encounter with the Cataclysm, let alone being able to destroy it. Unless-" The admiral turned to the chief navigator. "How accurate is our jump drive?"

"In its current state, the use of the jump drive would cause catastrophic-"

"It doesn't matter. I want to know how accurate it is given the current situation."

"Very well, sir. With the damage it has sustained, we could possibly jump within five thousand to ten thousand kilometers of the target area. Hitting anything smaller than a small planet is almost impossible."

"That will do, thank you." The admiral began turning around but halted at the sound of the chief navigator's voice.

"With all due respect, sir, the strain on the reactor core could create a temporary, localized singularity capable of tearing apart the largest ships known to man."

Admiral Hale smiled ever so slightly at the mental aptitude of Chief Navigator Serros. "You understand, then, what I must do."

The admiral stood up to face the rest of his crew. "It's time for me to go. Today, I go out in a blaze of glory. But it is not for everyone. You are all bright, young individuals. Your day will come. Live, so you may fight on another day. Bring honor and glory to our proud fleet. Now go. Leave. Fight on. Give orders to abandon ship. No exceptions."

Serros turned to object, but Hale raised his hand to silence him. "You too, Serros. I need you to lead the fleet. The fleet needs you, now more than ever. Take this," he said, handing him the insignia of the admiral of the 1st Fleet. "You must live...admiral. Go make me proud."

The new Admiral Serros nodded to Hale. "Thank you, sir. As admiral of the fleet, I have my first and final order to you. It's been a pleasure serving you. Give 'em hell." He gave him a formal salute before exiting the bridge and heading for the escape shuttles.

Admiral Hale, now alone on the bridge, prepared for the final journey of his ship. Linking the ship's computer to the Alteriian ground control stations, he triangulated and pinpointed the coordinates, heading, and speed of the Cataclysm. He punched in the trajectory and pressed 'Jump'.

"Five minutes to jump. All personnel, abandon ship." With this, he sat down in the captain's chair and said his final prayers in the last few moments of his service.

-~-

Amid the hail of intense fire from Vertrus' nearly limitless ground defense batteries, the invasion fleet continued to press on, descending from the sky like a black plague. Alteriian solders, alongside a handful of allied NSI veterans, held off the enemy faithfully, but the enemy's numbers were limitless and showed no signs of stopping. Slowly, but surely, attrition would eventually take its toll and the Dreadlord would prevail if his forces were not halted.

In orbit, the Myrionith Empire maintained dominion over Alteriian space. Whatever forces survived the initial contact had either retreated or were entirely wiped out using hardly a fraction of the Myrionith fleet's full might. They had won, almost.

Jump signature detected.

The typical low vibration hummed through the hulls of nearby ships, but there were no visible tears in space, no flash of light where the intruders' ships should enter.

Then the lights went out on the Cataclysm. The impenetrable shield shimmered and disappeared; the disruption caused the ships around the dreadnought to lose power and float helplessly.

Anybody observing the ship began to see a slight spiral distortion in the middle of the ship. The hull creaked and groaned, like an animal sensing its impending demise. There was the sound of grinding metal and the terrifying cacophony of armor breaking apart and structural supports being torn clear off.

The Cataclysm broke into pieces and formed a whirling vortex of debris. In the mess of its remains, a stronger, much more violent hum came from within. The miniature singularity collapsed in on itself and the pieces started drifting into space, but the noise still continued to grow.

It stopped. The Myrionith fleet had three seconds to consider their fate: that dreadful moment not unlike the click of a torpedo against the ship's hull just before the explosion. Time seemed to stop for those few seconds.

Admiral Hale's blaze of glory paled in comparison to that of the Cataclysm. Its reactor exploded with the energy of a small supernova, incinerating anything within one hundred kilometers. The rest of Verax's fleet succumbed to the shockwave, being crushed with the sheer force of the Cataclysm's explosion.

All at once, the orbital defense matrix stopped firing at the Myrionith fleet. Ship energy signatures fell off the Alteriian grid, first one-by-one, then by entire battlegroups, and eventually, the whole fleet disappeared. Only escape pods and a lone Voyager showed up, and the Alteriians had more honor than to target unarmed opponents.

The cheers of billions of soldiers rang through the air as the defenders saw their enemy's fleet all but wiped out. The remaining invaders scattered and surrendered, while the rest put up a valiant last stand despite being terrible overmatched by the elite forces of Alteriians and NSI soldiers. Victory was at hand, but there was something much more  terrible brewing aboard the Voyager.

~*~
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us." - Marianne Williamson
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The Final Eclipse
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