“Get rid of me? But I didn’t even do anything!”
“Then what’s that?” The Dra’kis pointed at the computer console just behind Kevérin.
The Pyrotechnic glanced backwards uneasily and then returned his attention to the Black Suns squad. “Uh, I just found some data lying around on a computer, you know?”
“And that’s data that we can’t let you keep.”
Kevérin glanced at the seven soldiers standing behind the Dra’kis, their weapons unwavering. …Shit, they’re all wearing Chaos Armor… even if they aren’t Chaotics, I’m not sure I can win against all eight.I guess all that’s left is to stall… “Well, I mean, okay, sure. You don’t want me to keep the data. That’s cool. Doesn’t mean you have to get rid of me, though.”
“No, but it’s certainly the easiest way to deal with you.” The Dra’kis crossed her arms. “The Nimalians have nothing on the Black Suns. They can’t do anything to us… but once they have access to the data from that console, they can. We’re already feeling pressure from the Dra’kis and Citans — having the Nimalian Territories on our backs would just be bothersome.”
Kevérin frowned in confusion. “But… you’re a Dra’kis. Why would—?”
“Don’t play dumb. Everyone knows that we Black Suns don’t sympathize with our home races,” the Dra’kis snapped. “…Ha, you’re just playing for time, aren’t you?”
The Dra’kis turned to four of the soldiers behind her. “Split up and search the complex. There’s others with him — find them and bring them here.” She watched as the four saluted and dashed off before turning back to the Transfer Captain. “I’m surprised someone of your caliber was sent here. The Nimalians are really skimping on their training, it would seem. There’s no way Sike Regek or Icarisyth Anar would’ve let themselves get caught like this… though I guess there’s a reason that they’re both Master Generals, huh—!?”
Kevérin interrupted her speech with a spontaneous blast of fire, bathing the entire room in flame. He paused for a moment to see how the Black Suns had fared against his attack; his flames were strong, but so was the energy shielding of Chaos Armor.
A tremendous force suddenly impacted the Pyrotechnic, slamming him into the wall behind him. Before he even had time to fall to the ground, the Dra’kis had grabbed him by the neck and slammed him back against the wall, holding him in place.
“Good try, but you can’t get rid of me that easily.” She smirked. “I’d considered going easy on you, but that little trick made me change… my… mind…” She paused for a moment before suddenly tossing Kevérin aside and jumping backwards. Immediately afterward, she was struck by a blast of electricity, sending her stumbling to the side as Siyuakén and Rebehka dashed into the room. Kevérin took advantage of the surprise to melt the guns in the hands of the Black Suns soldiers before climbing back to his feet and stumbling back in front of the computer console.
…The data transfer isn’t done yet… He frowned as he inspected at his glasses. Just a little longer…
“…Damn,” the Dra’kis cursed, glancing back at the soldiers who were quickly drawing away from the newly-molten masses of metal in their hands. She then turned back to face the three Nimalian Chaotics. “…I admit, you almost had me, Cryotechnic. But your cooling was uneven and slow — I could tell what was happening before you caused any real damage.”
“How kind of you to point out my mistake,” Rebehka replied icily, “I’m sure I won’t make it again.”
“Well of course you won’t — you won’t have a chance to. Chaos Teleport!”
Siyuakén’s eyes widened as the Dra’kis disappeared into thin air. “Where’d she go?!” she exclaimed, quickly glancing about the room.
“I don’t know… but watch out,” Kevérin warned, grimacing as most of his body began to ache. “She must be… a Movement-Directed type. She used Slam on me just before you guys got here.”
“She knows Slam?!” Rebehka quickly moved to freeze the floor but was suddenly bowled over as the Dra’kis slammed into her with amazing force, flinging her halfway across the room.
“Rebehka!” Siyuakén shouted after her, but quickly reverted her attention to the Chaostechnic just in time to dive out of the way of a Chaos Strike. She countered with a blast of lightning, but by then her target was gone. Immediately, the Electrotechnic swung around toward Rebehka and fired both of her grappling hooks, creating a tether barrier between the rest of the room and the Cryotechnic. Siyuakén then electrified the tethers, just in time for the Dra’kis to come charging back into the room and instead get tripped up by the tethers. She went tumbling forwards and crashed into the wall just beside Rebehka.
The Cryotechnic quickly tried to scramble away, but faltered as pain shot through her chest. “Ah…!” she gasped, drawing the Dra’kis’ attention — just in time for a hammer to come crashing into the soldier’s face. The Dra’kis was knocked across the room again as Christeané caught himself on the floor and Davídrius slid to a stop just beside him.
“The fuck’s goin’ on?” Davídrius demanded, the Hastryth chain weapon grasped in his hands. He watched Siyuakén rush to Rebehka’s side before turning his attention to the Dra’kis as she pulled herself to a standing position, seemingly unhurt. “Who’re you?”
“…I guess you aren’t quite as bad as I thought… even if all of your hits have been luck.” The Dra’kis smirked. “…Alright, I’ll tell you who I am. I’m Commander Tri’kar Reginko, Black Suns, Sector 2.”
“Commander?!” Kevérin exclaimed, “isn’t that—?”
“The fourth highest rank in the Black Suns, yes.” The Commander nodded. “Surprise! You actually had one of our Spec Ops squads sent after you!”
Christeané glanced at the three soldiers standing in the corner of the room, and then at the melted metal at their feet. “Ha, some Spec Ops squad,” he retorted, “the only thing you’ve got on your side is Chaos Armor.”
“…Chaos what?” Davídrius questioned.
“It’s what allowed me to survive that hammer blow,” Reginko replied, “and it’s why I’m still bothering to talk to you now. You can’t beat me without your own sets of armor, you know. There’s no way to break through this shielding on your own!”
“She’s right…” Kevérin glanced at the rest of Hero Machina. “That armor can last for days, and almost nothing we can do can get through it.”
“Even your Pyro- and Cryotechnics can’t do anything to me!” Reginko smirked haughtily. “Neither of you are experienced enough to freeze or burn specific areas of space, are you? Not quickly, at least — so all I need to do is stay mobile. Oh, and guess what kind of Chaostechnic I am? Ha! Chaos Teleport!”
“She disappeared?!” Davídrius exclaimed.
“As a Velocitechnic, you should really know more about Chaostechnic abilities,” Kevérin admonished. “Teleport is exactly what it sounds like: a teleportation ability. The next thing she’ll probably do is—”
He was cut off as Davídrius dashed straight in front of him, bowling over Reginko as she rocketed back into the room. She tumbled along the floor as the Velocitechnic launched the blade end of Hastryth toward her, only for it to rebound off of her armor’s energy shielding. After a moment the Commander caught herself against the wall and jumped back to her feet, just in time to duck out of the way of Christeané’s hammer — and then quickly grasp the tether. In response, the Forcetechnic yanked back on the tether with such force that Reginko was flung clear across the room, but as she flew through the air she issued several Chaos Arrows, forcing the Chaotics to dodge out of the way instead of attempting to land any more hits. She then called out “Chaos Teleport” just before slamming into the wall, disappearing into thin air once again.
Davídrius immediately began scanning the room’s two entrances as Christeané turned to Kevérin and Rebehka. “What happened to you guys? Are you alright?”
“Slam happened…” Kevérin groaned as he leaned back against the console. “She caught me off guard… I didn’t know she was a Chaostechnic until she used it.”
“And… she’s right, about us not being able to do anything…” Rebehka added painfully.
“We’ve never been against powered armor before,” Siyuakén pointed out, “I never realized how effective Chaos Shields could be.”
“That’s Chaos Energy for you!”
“Whoa—!” Davídrius suddenly crossed his arms in front of him just in time for Reginko to slam into him. The two tumbled to the ground, but the Commander recovered faster and grabbed Davídrius by the neck, whipping him into the air and launching him across the room while simultaneously shouting “Chaos Impact!” An invisible force crashed into Davídrius and embedded him in the far wall, but before Reginko could follow up, Christeané smashed his hammer down onto her, knocking her to the ground. He began rapidly twirling his hammer with just enough tether length out so that the hammer slammed into the Chaostechnic every time it swung around, producing a loud static sound with each impact against the armor’s energy shielding. Reginko only withstood a second or two of the barrage before disappearing again, only to reappear directly over Davídrius and stomp on him with her powerful legs. The Velocitechnic knocked her foot away just as it almost pulverized his stomach; he then rolled to the side and leaped back to his feet before dashing straight at Reginko, blade first. But the blade simply rebounded off of her armor, causing him to stumble and get knocked flat by another Chaos Impact. The Commander then disappeared from the room once more just as Christeané’s hammer came careening through the air where she had been standing.
“We can’t do anything to her…” Davídrius scowled. “…Why are we still here? We should be leaving!”
“Not yet!” Kevérin countered, “there’s data here that’ll be hard to get anywhere else. We have to wait until I’ve downloaded it all!”
“In case you couldn’t tell, this is just a stalemate.” Christeané frowned uneasily. “Unless Kaoné and Kevken show up, we can only hold out for so long. And even then—!” He was interrupted as an invisible force threw him off his feet. Davídrius immediately dashed forward, intercepting Reginko again as she rushed back into the room — but just as she slammed into him she whipped her leg around in a kick, turning her forward momentum into transversal and knocking the Velocitechnic to the floor. As the two Chaotics were recovering, Reginko turned toward Siyuakén and smirked.
“Uh oh…” the Electrotechnic muttered after attacking the Commander with a lightning strike, to no avail.
“One more elemental to disable,” Reginko commented smugly. “Chaos Slam!”
Just before the Commander rammed into Siyuakén, Kievkenalis leaped in her path, his body covered in transparent armor constructed of Chaos Energy. He absorbed the force from Reginko’s attack and then tossed her aside before calling out “Chaos Heal! Chaos Assist!”
“…Ah, thanks.” Rebehka nodded toward Kievkenalis as the pain in her body disappeared. She and Kevérin quickly scrambled back to their feet, taking positions across the room from Reginko with the rest of Hero Machina just as Kaoné ran into the room herself.
“There’s… more of you…” The Commander scowled. “Damn it, what happened to those fools I sent after you?”
“Sent after us? What?” Kaoné glanced around the room cluelessly. “…What’s going on?”
“You’re here! Great!” Davídrius exclaimed, “Kick her ass for us!”
“Alright, I’ll admit I didn’t expect you to have your own Chaostechnic,” Reginko admitted, “but you’re still too optimistic if you hope to beat me. Chaos Massive Impact!”
An invisible force instantly bowled over the entirety of Hero Machina. Reginko immediately leaped forward and began doling out Chaos Strikes and Arrows but Davídrius jumped back to his feet and managed to intercept all of the energy projectiles with Hastryth. He then yanked Christeané and Kievkenalis back to their feet; the two of them quickly set to attacking Reginko all-out while Davídrius turned back to the rest of the group.
“I hate to say it, but the three of us can’t do much against a Chaostechnic in Chaos Armor… not in this closed environment,” Kevérin stated, referring to Rebehka, Siyuakén, and himself. “Kaoné, Davídrius, fight her off. The data transfer should only take a couple more minutes.”
“Wha, what? Fight her?!” Kaoné spluttered, “wait, why? How—?”
“Oh, not this again.” Davídrius scowled. “Even I wasn’t here for when things broke out, but it’s still pretty damn clear: we were attacked. So, we fight back.”
“As a Materiatechnic, you’ve had more experience with spatial manipulation than any of us,” Rebehka pointed out, “you’re the only one who can reliably score a hit behind the shields of her armor.”
“B-but… I don’t know if I can… what if I accidentally…?”
“What, kill her?” Davídrius snorted, pausing just long enough to deflect a series of Chaos Arrows and then deflect Reginko herself as she slammed toward him. Christeané quickly wrapped his hammer tether around the Chaostechnic, yanking her back across the room and allowing Davídrius to turn back to Kaoné. “Well, shit, we can’t have killin’, now can we? I mean, it’s not like you’re a soldier or anythin’… oh, wait! You are!”
“I was conscripted!” Kaoné shot back, “I didn’t choose to—!”
“Bullshit!” Davídrius snapped, instantly causing Kaoné to shut up and recoil. “Like hell you didn’t choose to be a soldier. You’re a damned Materiatechnic! One of the most powerful types of Chaotic! Literally the only thing stoppin’ you from wipin’ the floor with anyone who attacks you is you! You have the power to keep everyone off your back — you could just ignore this conscription bullshit and live your own life. But you don’t! You just went with the flow — you became a soldier, ‘cause you didn’t want to resist. And then you try to shirk away the very role of a soldier ‘cause ‘you didn’t choose to be one.’ Well, that’s a fuckin’ lie. That’s just what you tell yourself to make you feel better about yourself. And it may have worked ‘til now, but it’s high damn time you realized that you can’t save everyone!” He turned around, his back to Kaoné as he brandished Hastryth. “You’ve got no excuses, bein’ a soldier who don’t fight, when it’s the very damn job of a soldier to fight. Stop bein’ a coward and come live in the real world!” He then took off, joining the battle just in time to bowl over Reginko as she attempted to teleport out of the room again.
“…I …I…” Kaoné simply stared after the Velocitechnic, dumbfounded.
“…Ah, I guess that’s Davídrius for you?” Rebehka smiled awkwardly in an attempt to console the Materiatechnic.
“He’s not entirely wrong…” Siyuakén muttered, just loudly enough for Rebehka to hear. The Cryotechnic shot her friend an expression of mixed disapproval and confusion, but the entire exchange was missed by Kaoné, who simply continued to watch the battle in silence.
“Guh—!” Christeané was thrown off balance as the Chaos Energy projectile impacted his hammer mid-twirl, causing it to go flying off toward the back wall. Reginko quickly spun around and fired another Chaos Cannon at him, which Davídrius managed to deflect before Kievkenalis scored a hit on the Commander with his own Chaos Cannon projectile. She simply shrugged the attack off, however, and teleported out of the room, leaving the three Chaotics to warily watch both entrances again.
Both Davídrius and Christeané were taken by complete surprise as Reginko slammed into them from above, grasping both of them by their heads and smashing them to the floor. Before Kievkenalis could call out any support moves, the Commander had launched two Chaos Cannons his way, forcing him to call out “Chaos Deflection” to block them both. Immediately after the deflection shield dissipated, however, Reginko muttered “Chaos Slam” again and rammed into her opponent Chaostechnic, sending him flying into the back wall. But before she could give chase, the ground around her suddenly rose up and bound her by her ankles and wrists. She stared at the new bounds bemusedly before muttering “Chaos Teleport” and simply teleporting two meters to the side. She then turned to face the rest of Hero Machina, her arms on her hips.
“…Help,” Kaoné squeaked.
“So… you’re a Metallitechnic? Or a Geotechnic?” the Commander guessed, “…either way, it’s still not enough to stop me. I don’t even know why you’re so insistent on fighting me. Most people with half a brain and any of your abilities would’ve run by now.”
“Hmm—?” Reginko glanced back at Kievkenalis but was suddenly knocked down to the ground by Christeané’s hammer. He then smashed his fist to the ground, creating enough force to bounce Reginko back into the air before he grabbed her in a nelson hold, bashing his head against hers each time she attempted to call a Chaos attack.
“Why run when you can win?” Davídrius smirked, stepping back as Christeané turned the commander toward Kievkenalis just in time for him to finally initiate his attack.
“…Chaos Impact?” Kievkenalis tried again, only for there to be no result.
“…Ah, just the moment I was waiting for!” Reginko smirked as she easily wrestled her way out of Christeané’s hold and tossed him away. She whistled loudly, after which the four missing Black Suns soldiers rushed back into the room, guns drawn on Christeané, Davídrius, and Kievkenalis as the three soldiers already in the room revealed hidden arm cannons and trained their weapons on the other half of Hero Machina.
“Wha… what?” Kevérin responded, startled. He then scowled as pain returned to his body and he realized what had just occurred. “Damn, this is—!”
“The activation of this base’s final defense stage,” Reginko declared smugly, “the CENT fields!”