Chapter 25 – Filling the Blanks

“Ahaha! Where’s all of that fighting spirit now, huh?”

“Shit…” Christeané scowled as he glanced between Reginko and the soldiers behind her. “Man, Kevérin, why didn’t you—”

“I wasn’t looking up information on the base’s defenses, I was looking up other stuff!” the Transfer Captain shot back, “I never expected there to be CENT generators in a place like this!”

“To your credit, neither did we, when we first came around,” Reginko commented, “but it’s situations like this why we don’t rely solely on Chaos Energy.” She knocked on her breastplate proudly, producing a static sound and flickering effect — signs that her armor’s energy shielding was still active. “Even our Chaos Armor has backup electrical batteries. Face it, there’s nothing you can do.”

“You keep sayin’ that…” Davídrius scowled as he brandished Hastryth. “But with your Chaos-fueled shields down, an Ayas weapon might just pierce through, ya know?”

“…You might be right,” the Commander admitted, “but you’ll never get to find out. You’d be riddled with bullets before you got close enough to stab me.”

“Tch—!”

“Davídrius…” Siyuakén spoke up warningly, “don’t get carried away…”

“Get carried—!? You don’t need to tell me that!”

“Dude, you get carried away all the time.” Christeané rolled his eyes. “Settle down.”

“Oi!” In the blink of an eye, Davídrius appeared in front of the Forcetechnic and stared him down. “’Settle down,’ huh? And what about those guys with guns pointed at us, huh?!”

“…Uh…” Christeané blinked, dumbfounded, and then glanced over at Kevérin. “…The CENT fields are still up… right?”

“They sure as hell should be,” Reginko muttered. She raised her hand, paused for a moment… and then dropped it. The moment she did, the rest of the Black Suns soldiers opened fire, unleashing a full ten seconds’ worth of ammunition into Hero Machina. The soldiers then ceased fire and stared forward, dumbfounded, as the members of Hero Machina stood fully intact — and the ground between the two groups was littered with sliced and deformed bullets.

“Keheheh… ahahahaha!” Davídrius grinned as he brandished Hastryth again. “I think I see how it is. The Ayas is cancelin’ out the power negation effects of the CENT field!”

“What!?” the Black Suns Commander exclaimed, but didn’t have any time to react as the Velocitechnic obliterated all of the Black Suns weaponry in the blink of an eye. He then appeared directly in front of her and dealt a roundhouse kick to her face, knocking her to the ground.

“Where’s all that fightin’ spirit now, eh?” Davídrius smirked and then raised the blade end of Hastryth into the air in preparation for a stab.

“Whoa, Davídrius!” Kevérin quickly cut in, “that’s enough for now!”

“Huh?” He passed the Transfer Captain a confused glance. “…But she—”

“We didn’t come here to start a war with the Black Suns!” Kevérin countered, “you’ve already dismantled their weapons — we’re on relatively equal footing now, bar you. There’s nothing to gain from killing her!”

Davídrius stared at the Pyrotechnic for a few moments before backing away from the Commander. She pulled herself back to her feet and stumbled backwards as well, glaring at Davídrius indignantly.

“The CENT fields likely aren’t the last line of defenses that this base has to throw at us,” Kevérin continued, “there have to be active defenses that are coming online, and there’s no way we can fight those without our abilities.”

“Let me guess…” Davídrius dismissed Hastryth and crossed his arms impatiently. “You want me to go destroy all the CENT field generators?”

“Yes.”

Davídrius glanced over at the Black Suns soldiers uneasily.

“You heard him,” Reginko spat, “go on, get going. We’re no threat — that damn kick of yours already overloaded my backup shielding.”

“Keheheh, that’s Velocitechnism for you!” Davídrius grinned. “Aight then, I’ll find the generators and take ‘em down ‘fore you know I’ve even left!” And with that, he disappeared, speeding down the hallways of the abandoned base.

Reginko glanced after him and then looked down at her hands. She pounded her fists together and frowned — no static sound was produced. Her shields truly were dead.

“So much for those backup shields, huh?” Kevérin smirked as he reached over for his glasses and put them back on. “Taken out by a single kick.”

“They shouldn’t have gone down so easily…” the Commander replied uneasily, “that kick…”

“Well, what do we do now?” Kievkenalis questioned as he scratched his head.

“We should really get out of here,” Siyuakén suggested as she helped Rebehka to her feet, “like Kevérin said, there’s probably active defenses somewhere. We should get going while we still can.”

“I don’t think so!” Reginko snarled, moving to block one of the room’s exits as two other Black Suns soldiers blocked the other exit. She planted her feet and fully extended her double-kneed legs, giving her an extra two feet of height to tower intimidatingly over Hero Machina. “I may not have won against you in a straight up fight, but I was sent here to stop you, dammit, and stop you I will!”

“Tch…” Christeané frowned as he glared up at the Commander. “…Man, why couldn’t you be a Citan?”

“Why are you still standing in our way?” Kevérin questioned irately, “we’re willing to leave!”

“And I told you when I first got here — we’re here to get rid of you,” Reginko countered, “you have information we can’t allow you to keep!”

“I didn’t even find anything on the Black Suns!”

“And I’m just supposed to believe you?”

“Well… yes?”

“Hey, there has to be a peaceful way to resolve this… right?” Kaoné stepped forward warily. “Just tell us what you want.”

“…Just how deaf are Nimalians?” The Commander snorted before reaching behind herself and pounding on her back once with her fists. Two handles extended downward out of the thick armor plating, which she grabbed and yanked out, revealing two short blades. “I’m not here to negotiate. I’m here to kill you!”

“Whoa—!” Christeané exclaimed as Reginko lunged at him, arms outstretched. He quickly dodged to the side and then grabbed the Dra’kis’ arm as she flew past, yanking sideways and pulling her off-balance. As she stumbled, Siyuakén kicked her backside, sending her tumbling to the ground, from which she recovered quickly with a roll and a flip.

“Surround them!” Reginko barked, prompting the Black Suns soldiers to quickly block off the exits again before slowly approaching Hero Machina. The Nimalian Chaotics backed up against each other warily, unsure of how to defend themselves against a group of armored soldiers.

“I’ve had enough screwing around,” the Commander declared, “I’ll take care of the lot of you here, right now… and then that arrogant Velocitechnic once he clears out the CENT fields. Then we can get out of this damned abandoned base… Ready, men—!”

Commander Tri’kar Reginko, what the HELL do you think you’re doing?!

“Huh—?” the Commander glanced to the side just in time for a tall, pasty Citan man to charge forward and head-butt her ferociously. She immediately dropped her blades and clutched her head as she drew back in pain. “What the hell…?” She scowled, but then her jaw dropped once she got a good look at the man who assaulted her. “…G-general Bitincher—!”

“That’s Lieutenant General to you,” the Citan growled, “now what the hell is this?”

Reginko glanced toward where Bitincher was pointing: the Nimalians. “Uh, I was just getting rid of the information threat, sir, like the mission briefing said—”

“The briefing said that you should keep an eye on them, dumbass!” the Lieutenant General snapped as he backhanded the Commander across the face, “you were only to engage if they were an active threat!”

“But… but they were extracting data—!”

“The only data on these computers is the data we pulled down from the CIN a decade ago! There’s nothing here on us!” The General held a hand to his forehead as he sighed irately. “For the love of… Reginko, I have no idea how you got to be a Commander. Must’ve been that bitch Gy’kan, before Hrisabeth replaced her…”

“What? No, they—”

“Not to mention that you talk too damn much. You’d do well to learn how to shut your damn mouth.” He then glanced over at Hero Machina. “Though I suppose the lot of you should be grateful for Reginko’s incompetence.”

“Uh…” Kevérin responded uneasily.

“Oi, stand down and back off,” the General barked, prompting the Black Suns soldiers to quickly comply.

“Ah… thanks.” Kaoné sighed of relief.

“Don’t take this to mean that I’m on your side,” the Citan countered, “I’m only here to prevent the Commander from putting the Black Suns on Nimalia’s shit list.”

Christeané frowned in confusion. “If you don’t mind me asking… who are you, exactly?”

“Lieutenant General Sristof Bitincher, Black Suns, Sector 2,” Bitincher replied. “And you are…?”

“We’re Hero—”

“We’re, uh, we’re Hilarious Marauders,” Kevérin cut in.

Silence ensued.

Siyuakén sighed impatiently. “Damn it, Kevérin, again?”

“’Hilarious Marauders,’ right.” Bitincher snorted in derision. “The only thing hilarious about you is the level of your competence. Just what are you doing here, anyways?”

“We, uh, we were just, uh, looking around,” Kevérin replied uneasily.

The Lieutenant General crossed his arms. “Uh huh. ‘Looking around’ my ass. Who are you, really?”

“We can’t tell you.”

Bitincher stared down Kevérin for several seconds before shaking his head. “Is this what passes as a Spec Ops team on Nimalia? Damn primates.”

“Uh, sir,” Reginko spoke up quietly, “there’s a seventh one. He’s not here right now, but he had an Ayas with him.”

“An Ayas…? Now that’s intriguing.” The General glanced back at Kevérin. “…I may not know what you’re up to right now, but don’t think that not telling me will stop me from finding out. The lot of you have plenty to learn before you’re actually whatever it is that passes as what the Nimalian military wants you to be. For starters, get yourselves some damn battle armor. There’s no way you’ll last in a fight against other Chaotics without any. And if Nimalia’s too primitive to make your own,  then just commission a set from the guys over at Sector 4. Second of all, at least try to be stealthy. For fuck’s sake, our damn passive sensors had the lot of you pegged the moment you stepped foot on this planet. The Citans won’t know you’re here, but don’t take us Black Suns lightly; we can do just as much damage with this information as they can. Consider yourselves lucky that today’s one of my good days and I’m actually feeling benevolent — you won’t hear any of this from me a second time. Got it?”

“Uh, yes, sir,” Kevérin replied reflexively. “Uh, thanks for the advice?”

“Don’t mention it. You’ll make me gag,” Bitincher retorted. “Now, once your friend with the Ayas gets back after destroying all the CENT generators, I want the lot of you to leave, and I want to never find you again in Black Suns territory without express permission. Understood?”

The rest of Hero Machina nodded in response.

“Good,” he replied. He glanced upwards before returning his attention to the Nimalian Chaotics. “In fact, you’d do well to avoid seeing me ever again, period, full stop. As I’m sure the Commander can attest, I’m not a pleasant man when pissed off—”

No sooner had the words left his mouth than Davídrius dashed straight back into the room, slamming Hastryth’s blade end into the General. However, the weapon simply rebounded off an invisible barrier, not even reaching the General’s armor and leaving him unfazed as Davídrius recoiled from the painful shuddering of the rebound. The Velocitechnic then glanced up at the Lieutenant General uneasily.

Bitincher blinked twice before the vein in his forehead nearly exploded. Suddenly, Davídrius found himself hanging in the air by an invisible force before being thrown harshly against the back wall. “You’ve done pissed me off, boy!!” the General snarled, “you damn Velocitechnics! You’re always pulling shit like this. Well it won’t work against a Telekinetic—!”

The General’s tirade was interrupted as a distant explosion resounded through the air and the entire base shook violently, throwing everyone off of their feet.

“Oh for the love of—!” Bitincher fumed as he lifted himself back to his feet with his telekinetics. “The base’s full defenses have activated. This is what happens when you gather a whole flock of dumbasses together, isn’t it?!”

“What— what was that?” Kaoné questioned worryingly — just in time for the ceiling to crumple inward. She immediately seized control of the falling material and tossed it aside, only to reveal the open sky above them—

—and a group of fifteen heavily armored, twenty-meter tall automated mechs standing around them!

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