Chapter 70 – Eleventh Hour

2 Hours Later

“Haaaahh!”

Davídrius smashed his foot over a giant boulder, shattering it to pieces and revealing a path forward through the crevice in which he stood.

“Do you always do that?”

“Huh?” The Velocitechnic took a moment to adjust the audio level of his comms connection with Christeané before jumping over the stone debris and quickly searching the short opening on the other side. “Do what?”

“Shout when you attack something.”

“…I shout when I attack stuff?”

“Yeah, all the time!”

“…Oh.” Davídrius paused to scratch his chin in mild confusion before turning his attention back to his search. “Well, huh. Now that I think about it, I guess you’re right.”

Christeané snorted in response. “You didn’t even realize you were doing it?”

“No one ever pointed it out to me. Before joinin’ Hero Machina, I always fought on my own.”

“Well, just thought I’d ask…”

“Sure,” the Velocitechnic grunted, shrugging and then leaping up and out of the crevice to land in the wastelands above. “Shit, it ain’t here either.”

“Still can’t find the Ayas?”

“Nope…” Davídrius scowled as he glared up at the dark skies. Brief, faint flashes of light could be seen in the northern skies — the signs of ongoing battle between the Citan space fleets and the attacking Nanocreatures. “I’ve been at it for almost two hours now, and there’s a bunch of Citan search parties, too. You sure the Earthians got its location right?”

“Why ask me? I don’t have anything to do with the Earthian Ayas Scanner.”

“Yeah, but you’re the reason we have to spread out over a whole fuckin’ continent to find ‘em.”

“Bullshit, neither of us could’ve possibly known that the Nanocreatures would attack the moment I disengaged the Chaos State.”

“Yeah, just our luck,” Davídrius muttered before leaping forward, clearing tens of meters in a single bound and arriving at the next crevice in a mere second. “This is borin’ as fuck, though.”

“As boring as sitting up here on the Earthian Battlecruiser, doing nothing?” Christeané countered.

“It’s possible for mindless activities to be more borin’ than nothin’,” Davídrius retorted. The Velocitechnic then jumped down the crevice in front of him, stabbing his blades into the rock face near the bottom to slow his descent before landing in a roll. “Can’t help that you’re stuck up there, though,” he continued as he flipped on his armor’s floodlight and began searching the rocks and cracks, “assumin’ this all goes accordin’ to plan, you’re supposed to be fightin’ Morcii. Can’t have you dyin’ on us before that.”

“Yeah, right. Why’s it have to be me, anyways? Why can’t someone else do just as well?”

“Why not you?”

“That’s a terrible answer.”

“Are you sayin’ that you don’t want the chance to kick Morcii’s ass on behalf of the entire galaxy? ‘Cause I’ll gladly take that chance for you.”

“Well, no—”

“Then quit your bitchin’ already.”

“…Man, I’m really glad I can count on you to listen to all my problems and give me helpful advice,” Christeané drawled.

“I try my best,” Davídrius replied cheekily, and then paused to stare at a small stone protrusion. He then raised his leg before smashing his foot into the rock face, shattering the nearby stone and causing the protrusion to fall away — revealing the Light Red Ayas, Matlés.

“Haha!” The Velocitechnic grinned as he grabbed the Ayas and then leaped up to the top of the crevice. “I found it!”

“Really? Nothing got in your way?”

“Morcii’s the only Nanocreature who can phase through shields, right? So as long as the shields hold, we don’t have to worry about the Nanocreatures down here.”

“Hn. I guess you’re right.”

“Well of course I’m right.” Davídrius smirked as he looked up at the skies again. “…Doesn’t mean we still aren’t on the clock though. Gotta find the last two Ayas before the shield breaks, or Morcii shows up…”

“Kevérin and Kevken are out looking for them with the other Citan teams. They’re probably better at finding Ayas than you are; they’ll be fine.”

“Tch. You better be right.”


Zzzzt-chnk!

With an incredible electric shock, Siyuakén released herself from the Nanocreature spacecraft, diverting her attention for a moment to obliterate a Citan fighter squadron as it zoomed by. She then magnetically manipulated the wreckage to link to the Nanocreature ship in a crude dual-rail formation, before inserting herself between the rails and forcing a massive current through the new makeshift circuit — and then firing herself at the planet of Neticen below. Several seconds passed as she flew by the raging space battle in middle orbit until she suddenly flipped herself around mid-descent such that she was falling feet-first, just in time to slam into Neticen’s planetary shield. The energy shield flared from the impact, illuminating a large area of the invisible surface as Siyuakén slowly rose to her feet, stretching her arms out to the side just quickly enough to catch two objects before they slammed into the shield themselves. She slowly curled her arms inward, glancing at the Light Blue Ayas in her left hand and the Dark Blue Ayas in her right as she began charging up energy within her body; within seconds, streaks of lightning were jumping between the Ayas and across the shield, causing it to flare up even more intensely as Siyuakén slowly rose up and off of the shield. Seconds later she suddenly flipped again, rocketing herself toward the shield head-first with both Ayas stretched in front of her as she tore through the planetary shielding, ripping a hole through the energy barrier capable of standing up to days of orbital bombardment. The shield immediately closed off behind her, preventing entry from any other Nanocreatures, but she simply ignored that fact as she continued on her descent path toward the mountain ranges below.

As she began descending past the highest cloud layers, she gripped the two diamond-shaped Ayas tightly and then attached them to her shoulders, freeing her hands to summon the Arcán Claymore as she began slowing her descent. She finally stopped and began hovering nearly a thousand meters above the highest peak in the region, taking a moment to locate the Citan base below before raising Arcán above her head and then making a wide slashing arc — an arc from which a massive Nanocreature behemoth emerged, nearly a hundred meters in size, freed from the confines of Subspace by the Ayas weapon. The creature let out a thunderous roar as it tumbled to the ground below, where it slammed into the mountainside with great force as Siyuakén made several more sweeps with the Claymore to release countless other Nanocreature attackers. After releasing a veritable army, she dismissed the Arcán weapon and grabbed the two Ayas, tearing them off of her shoulders and tossing them away as two small Nanocreature rockets intercepted the falling gemstones and carried them back up into space.

The Corrupted Electrotechnic watched the Ayas carriers disappear with distance before turning her attention back to the mountain base below. The Citans were already fighting off the encroaching Nanocreatures, but there was little they could have done to prepare for such an ambush; the Nanocreature attackers managed to cause immense amounts of damage even in the first two minutes of their attack alone. After several moments of observing the carnage, Siyuakén turned away and prepared to return to the upper atmosphere — only to be intercepted as Wilkas flew through the air, launched by Kaoné from a makeshift catapult, and grabbed Siyuakén by her face before dragging her down to the ground with him and using her as a landing pad. She immediately responded with a powerful shock, forcing him to back away and allowing her to jump to her feet.

“You again,” Wilkas snorted as the Electrotechnic turned to face him. “I guess I’m not surprised.”

“Morcii is not yet in system…” Siyuakén responded, her tone deadpan. “This was the only way to expedite the takeover.”

“You’re bein’ a lot more talkative this time,” the Forcetechnic observed, casting a sideways glance as Kaoné lowered herself to the ground beside him. “Maybe you could tell us how you got that huge thing through the shields?”

“The answer should be obvious.”

“Wilkas…” Kaoné muttered uneasily as she turned back to look at the mountain range several kilometers behind them. “Maybe we should go back and help with that monster…”

“No, I’m sure the Citans and Kevken can take care of it,” the Forcetechnic declared without taking his eyes off of Siyuakén. “If we let her go, then for all we know she’ll just bring in another, not to mention anything else she’s got up her sleeves.” He slammed his fists together eagerly. “Besides. She may not be Morcii, but I’ll be more than happy to smash her up, for Vélunis’s sake.”

“But…” Kaoné passed Siyuakén a wary glance. “…But, Siyuakén…”

The Electrotechnic shifted her gaze from Wilkas to Kaoné, her expression stoic. “The Siyuakén you knew is gone.”

“That’ll make this easier, then!” Wilkas grinned. “Time to kick your ass! Overdrive: Infinite Lift!


“The Ayas should be within a kilometer of your position.”

“Right…” Kevérin drawled as he hovered in place over the icy tundra of the continent’s northern-most region. He slowly swept his eyes along the barren horizon, squinting through the light snow at the rocky ground below him. “…A kilometer sounds like a small area, but that can still take a while to search…”

“You aren’t alone,” the Earthian technician responded through the communicator, “there are Citan search parties as well.”

“I know that,” the Transfer Captain replied impatiently as he glanced toward a couple of distant Citan teams. “Doesn’t make me less miserable though. Whose idea was it to send me to the cold region?”

“We’re on the clock, here. The Nanocreatures have already somehow breached the planet’s shields.”

“That won’t change how fast I can look—?!”

An unseen force from above slammed the Pyrotechnic to the ground, interrupting his speech. He immediately enveloped his body in searing flame before leaping back up to his feet and turning around to find a charred metallic bug rolling away… as well as a gigantic bird-shaped Nanocreature, nearly the size of a Frigate, flying in the skies above.

“They’re already here…?!” Kevérin scowled, swiping his fists through the air to throw streams of fire up at the flying creature as it released a multitude of smaller Nanocreatures across the tundra. He quickly began rapidly launching fireballs at the descending horde, managing to snipe many of the creatures out of the air. As soon as a group of the smaller bugs reached the ground, they quickly gathered together and reformed into a three-meter-tall four-legged creature with a back-mounted laser cannon, which immediately opened fire on the Pyrotechnic and forced his attention away from the skies. “Overdrive: Unrelenting Flame!” Kevérin shouted, allowing the high-temperature burst of flame around him to incinerate a couple bugs that had stepped too close, before he blasted himself forward with another explosion of fire and slammed his flame-enveloped fists into the large Nanocreature. It reeled back from the blow but quickly recovered, lunging forward faster than Kevérin could react and biting down around his waist and then lifting him into the air and attempting to crush him with its maw. He quickly responded by firing several bursts of flame down the creature’s throat, enraging it and causing it to launch him across the tundra, where he covered several hundred meters of terrain before tumbling painfully to the ground.

“Ungh…” he groaned, slowly stumbling back to his feet as he held his head in pain. “Holy shit…”

“Transfer Captain, we don’t have time to fight the Nanocreatures! You need to find the Ayas!”

“I know that,” Kevérin muttered, turning his attention to his glasses display just long enough to mute the audio connection. “But easier said than done—!”

The Pyrotechnic clenched his teeth and dived to the side just in time to evade the Nanocreature beast as it charged by, missing him by mere centimeters. He quickly took to the air as he attempted to target the creature and set it aflame directly, but it targeted him first and began firing with its cannon faster than he could concentrate and forcing him to resort to fireball throwing as he dodged the cannon fire. He was only able to dodge successfully for a few moments, however — a cannon blast finally found its mark, stunning him and knocking him out of the air. The Pyrotechnic managed to recover in time to safely catch himself on the ground, but not with enough time to fully evade the beast as it charged toward him with alarming speed. In response, Kevérin enveloped his entire right arm up to the shoulder in searing flame and lunged forward, bashing the creature’s face with his superheated shoulder. The impact stunned both combatants, who recovered simultaneously; the metallic beast attempted to bash Kevérin again, but the Pyrotechnic responded by blocking its attack with his flame-covered left arm, stunning the two again. After recovering, the beast jumped back several meters and let loose a metallic screech before absorbing its tail into its body and forming a second back-mounted cannon. Immediately after formation, the two cannons began visibly charging energy; not willing to wait and witness the results, Kevérin launched himself forward with an explosion of fire, his fist stretched forward and prepared to smash into the creature’s jaw — only to be knocked down as the beast ceased charging energy and instead slammed its front paws on top of the Pyrotechnic, trapping him against the ground. With another metallic screech, it prepared to pummel the Transfer Captain into oblivion — except it never got the chance, as Kevérin rapidly superheated the air around him and caused a massive fire blast, crystallizing the ground for meters around and completely incinerating the front half of the creature’s body.

“Fuck…” he grunted as he slowly pulled himself to his feet. He warily observed the damage he had caused to the surrounding terrain before noticing an alert on his AR display. “…Shit, my armor’s shields are down to fifteen percent already. Need to find the… huh?”

He stared, dumbfounded, to his left — where a two-meter crevice had appeared in the ground, apparently revealed after his fire blast had incinerated the top layer of permafrost. He quickly checked his AR display again as the Ayas Scanner feed labeled the crevice as a location of high density Chaos Energy. “…Can’t really complain,” he grumbled as he dashed forward, jumped down the crevice, and ignited flame jets to slow his descent before alighting at the bottom not even ten meters down. Switching on his armor’s flashlight, he slowly scanned the rock walls and the floor, eventually spotting a small crack in the wall two meters away. He approached cautiously before crouching down and attempting to peer through; a moment later he smirked and stood up again. Placing his right fingers through the crack, he then superheated the air around them, causing the rock to melt away and allow the Ayas Tanivas to fall out.

“Only needed to get my ass kicked to find this thing. Tch,” the Pyrotechnic snorted as he stooped over to grab the Ayas. He took a moment to admire the stone before unmuting the Genesis’ audio connection. “Transfer Captain to Genesis. I’ve found the Ayas. …Hello? Genesis? …Fuck.” He scowled as he realized that the connection was being jammed. “Nanocreature interference—?!”

A massive impact from above interrupted him, throwing him off his feet as the rock walls around him began to crumble. He quickly propelled himself upwards with a small explosion, righting himself in the air and then flying up out of the crevice, only to suddenly stop in stunned silence as he found himself staring at a fifty-meter Nanocreature, the same flying monster as the one that had released the smaller creatures not even ten minutes ago.

“…I do not have time for this,” the Pyrotechnic growled as the massive creature rose its winged arms in preparation to slam them down on top of the Chaotic. “Chaos State: First Tier! Now… He paused for a moment to alight on the ground and begin super-heating the air around him. …Fuck! Off!

An insanely high-temperature blast of flame exploded outward from the Pyrotechnic, completely incinerating both his armor and everything else within ten meters and frying to a crisp anything that remained within fifty, including the Nanocreature beast. Kevérin sighed impatiently as the charred husk collapsed on itself; he then turned his attention back to his glasses, which he had been careful to not incinerate, and smirked when he found that the communication jamming had ceased. Transfer Captain to Genesis, repeat, Transfer Captain to Genesis, he began again as he hovered in the air and looked up at the snowy skies, …the Ayas Tanivas is secured.


Wilkas barreled forward and threw his fist out toward Siyuakén. The Corrupted Electrotechnic quickly jumped back, evading the blow — only to be thrown forwards as Wilkas’s fist hit the ground instead, cratering the stone and flipping a platform that Kaoné had formed mere moments prior. Siyuakén sailed through the air over Wilkas but flipped and caught herself on the ground as she charged energy in her arms and fired off two powerful lightning bolts at the Forcetechnic. He took the brunt of the blow and stumbled backwards before reaching out and grabbing several diamond poles that Kaoné quickly created for him, launching each pole toward Siyuakén like javelins. The Electrotechnic knocked the first out of the way with her fist, grabbed the next two out of the air, and then spun around and slammed the two rods around the fourth, quickly forcing a current through the rods and her body in a makeshift railgun and firing the rod back at Wilkas at hypersonic speeds, smashing it into his stomach and flinging him back several meters. He tumbled across the ground before jumping back up to his feet and wiping the sweat and dirt off his brow. With a deep breath, he prepared to attack Siyuakén again, but caught her giving him a frustrated stare.

“Ha! Surprised I’m still up?” Wilkas smirked defiantly. “That attack would’ve murdered any other person, sure. But against me, you’re gonna have to try harder than that!”

“You’ve withstood greater force than the other Introtechnic…”

“What?” Wilkas’s expression darkened. “You mean Vélunis—?”

“Very well. I will adjust my output appropriately…”

“As if I’ll go down that easily!” the Forcetechnic roared as he slammed his fists into the ground, sending out a shockwave of stone and dust before leaping forward and attempting to smash Siyuakén’s head. The Electrotechnic simply lunged to the side, twisting around midair to direct her left arm toward the Forcetechnic and fire a metal cable out of her palm, catching Wilkas by his wrists. Before his fists could impact the ground she yanked upwards, flinging him into the air and swinging him around to slam him into the ground on her other side. She then forced a massive current through the cable, stunning Wilkas until Kaoné severed the cable with fabricated shears. The Materiatechnic then lifted Wilkas back to his feet by manipulating his armor and created a pair of hammers near his shoulders that he quickly grabbed before lunging toward Siyuakén again, absorbing her lightning strikes as he closed the distance between them and slammed his hammers into her chest. Flung backwards, the Corrupted Electrotechnic spiraled through the air until she righted herself and fired cables from both her palms, grabbing Wilkas by his ankles before reeling the cables in, ripping him off of his feet and dragging him across the ground. She then severed the cable from her right hand and charged her hand with energy, preparing to slam her charged palm into Wilkas’s chest — only to be blocked as he swung his left arm around to knock away her hand. He then slammed his feet down to the ground and grabbed the cable around them, yanking hard and easily tearing it before jumping back to his feet just in time to block another blow from Siyuakén. He quickly responded by throwing his own punch, but the Electrotechnic managed to knock his fist away; the two then engaged in a brief but fast-paced fist fight as Wilkas continually blocked Siyuakén’s blows and she continually knocked away his. After several seconds of little progress, the Electrotechnic drew back slightly and began charging energy in her right fist again; in response Wilkas wound up a punch of his own and then threw his fist forward just as Siyuakén did the same. With both mid-attack, neither were able to stop to block and instead slammed each other in the face, blowing them both back several tens of meters.

“…You’re still standing,” the Electrotechnic deadpanned, staring at Wilkas as he jumped back to his feet.

“You’d have to be retarded to think any of what you just did would take me down,” the Forcetechnic shot back. “Seems like the only people you can beat are ones that were already beat down, huh?”

“…Hmph. Your words are meaningless. You will be the one to lose this battle.”

“Siyuakén…!” Kaoné spoke up uneasily as she ran up next to Wilkas, “why are you doing this? Why are you being so hostile?”

“Your questions are… meaningless.” The Electrotechnic continued to stare at Wilkas, watching for any telltale signs of attack. “You don’t seem to understand. I am not Siyuakén.”

“If that were true, then you wouldn’t feel the need to keep telling us, would you?”

Siyuakén finally turned to eye Kaoné, her expression still blank. “…Believe what you want. No matter what you say, you will die here, today.” She looked back to Wilkas. “Both of you.”

“C’mon, Kaoné,” Wilkas urged impatiently, “we don’t have time for this. Just help me beat her ass!”

“But… I can’t!” The Materiatechnic frowned as she stepped back wearily. “I… I can’t just fight her! She’s still in there! Isn’t she? Why else has she been holding back?”

“You think I’m holding back?” Siyuakén’s eyes narrowed. “…Perhaps I am. Perhaps I’m not. What bearing on my identity does that hold? You think just because I haven’t beat you yet, that I still harbor any feelings for you?”

“Why else would you be taking the time to talk to us like this?”

“…Hmph,” the Electrotechnic snorted, slowly clenching her fists as bright yellow sparks began dancing along her lower arms. “How annoying. Maybe after I kill you here, I’ll hunt down and kill the rest of Hero Machina. Or maybe even just Rebehka. Killing her should give you plenty of reason to take me seriously.”

Kaoné froze, stunned by the cold statement. “…You wouldn’t. You can’t…”

“I’m sure she can,” Wilkas countered, “that’s why we should kill her now. Are we done talking yet?”

“I have little more to say against such childish views,” Siyuakén retorted. “If you expect me to hold back out of a sense of familiarity that I don’t have…” She lunged forward. “…Then don’t be surprised when you fall!”

Wilkas moved to block her blow, but was stunned as she released a significantly higher voltage than any of her previous attacks and knocked him nearly a hundred meters away. He tumbled to the ground painfully, unable to recover before the Electrotechnic appeared on top of him and prepared to strike him again — only to be suddenly blown backwards by a flying piece of concrete and then hoisted into the air by diamond shackles. She struggled for but a second before assimilating the shackles into her body and dropping back down to the ground, where she drew a deep breath and turned back to Kaoné. “What are you—?”

“I don’t like this at all,” the Materiatechnic muttered, “I don’t like fighting. I don’t like having to fight you. But… you really aren’t the ‘you’ I know anymore, are you? Morcii’s corrupted you, turned you into some kind of monster! You aren’t Siyuakén anymore, you’re just a… a Nanocreature. And I’ve… I’ve destroyed Nanocreatures.” Her armor’s shielding flared as a layer of reinforced steel appeared across the surface, with two diamond blades materializing in her hands and a huge battlehammer appearing next to Wilkas. “If even Rebehka can accept that, then I can, too! Whatever it takes, we’ll stop you!”


“Yours is the only one left, Captain. We need you to hurry up.”

“Easier said than done,” Kievkenalis muttered. “Do you have any idea what we’re up against down here?”

“We understand that there is a large obstacle in your way—”

“’Large obstacle’…” the Chaostechnic scoffed as he looked up at the behemoth of a monster that had completely obliterated the mountain base Hero Machina had been based out of. It scarred the mountains it passed due to its sheer size, and it completely ignored Citan gunships as it stamped out Chaotics left and right. “…Yeah. Sure. I’ll do all I can.”

“Good. Since yours is the only Ayas left, we’re focusing the Ayas Sensor on your location. This should narrow down the possible locations.”

“That’d be useful if I had glasses,” Kievkenalis retorted, absentmindedly touching the earpiece set on his right ear. “…But I appreciate the thought. Now, if you’ll excuse me!” He muted the connection to the Genesis and then dived to the side, barely evading cannon fire as the behemoth Nanocreature turned his way. “Chaos Assist,” he muttered for the third time that hour, following with “Chaos Double Boost!” as he leaped from cover and dashed across the rocky terrain. Vaulting over debris and dodging around Nanocreature attacks, the Chaostechnic quickly made his way to the nearest mountain peak before crouching down and scanning the area around him. “Chaos Energy Detect,” he called out, squinting as a faint purple color tinted his vision, signaling local concentrations and flow of Chaos Energy. He was barely able to spot a potential high-concentration target before the Nanocreature behemoth leaped high into the air, easily clearing the highest of the mountain peaks as it approached Kievkenalis’s position.

“Oh crap—! Chaos Quadruple Boost!” he shouted impulsively before flinging himself from the mountaintop at high speed, just fast enough to avoid being crushed as the monster crashed back down to the ground. He quickly added “Chaos Fortified Armor” just before slamming into the ground himself; the veil of Chaos Energy absorbed the landing shock as he tumbled down the mountainside, unhurt. He quickly activated Chaos Detect again and searched the environment for the area of high Energy concentration he had spotted before, his eyes coming to lay on another mountain peak across the valley — just in time for the Nanocreature monster to leap into the air again, demolishing the peak it leaped from and smashing into the peak Kievkenalis was staring at. “…Well, crap,” the Chaostechnic muttered as the monster slammed its front paw into the rock face before withdrawing it, a faint white glitter accompanying its paw as well as an explosion of color in Kievkenalis’s Detect-filtered vision. I can’t let it get away with the Ayas! But, how am I supposed to fight that thing?! The Chaostechnic watched in tense silence as the monster slowly turned away from the peak and pounced onto another, increasing its distance from the Chaotic. None of the Citans could so much as stand up to that! …Then again… none of the Citans were Chaostechnics. He looked down at his hands warily, and then clenched them and pursed his lips as he looked back up at the monster. “…I’m about to make one of the worst decisions in my life.”

Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, Kievkenalis froze for a brief moment before calling out, “Chaos… Quintuple Boost!!” He grunted in pain as Chaos Energy around him flared up, twining with his body to provide the movement bonus. Clenching his fists even tighter, he ignored the pain and took a massive leap forward, clearing tens of meters in a single bound as he quickly closed the distance between himself and the behemoth. As he fell within a hundred meters of the beast, he felt the effects of Chaos Boost wear off, just as the creature noticed him and turned to attack. It lunged toward the Chaostechnic, flying through the air with amazing speed — only to be intercepted midair as Kievkenalis shouted, “Chaos SLAM!” He rocketed into the beast and knocked it back, sending the both of them tumbling to the ground and then down the mountainside a fair distance before either could regain their footing.

Enraged, the Nanocreature behemoth let loose a deafening metallic screech followed by slamming its tail into the ground, stunning Kievkenalis with the shockwave and tossing him into the air. The Chaostechnic barely had time to recover and reactivate Chaos Fortified Armor before the beast’s full complement of back-mounted cannons fired at him, the full barrage slamming into the Chaotic and knocking him into the terrain behind him. He fell to the ground painfully, muttering “Chaos Heal” just in time to throw himself to the side to evade another cannon volley; he quickly followed with several repeated calls of “Chaos Mach Three Piercing Cannon”, directing each projectile at the beast’s front joints and successfully cleaving its front legs off of its body. He then leaped forward as the monster reeled back onto its hind legs, calling out “Chaos Greatsword” and using the weapon to slice through the beast’s tail as it attempted to whack him out of the air. Then, before the beast had time to recover, Kievkenalis followed up by calling “Chaos BLAST!

The ensuing sphere of energy obliterated the monster’s front side as well as its severed front limbs, but also left Kievkenalis to fall to the ground helplessly as the beast threw itself down and body slammed him. Stunned, he failed to recover fast enough to evade as the monster climbed up to its hind legs and stomped him, but a quick, quiet croaking of “Chaos Teleport” teleported the Chaostechnic out of harm’s way before he could be stomped again. He followed with “Chaos Heal” and then “Chaos Energy Detect”, quickly looking for the Ayas while the beast searched for him. Spotting it amongst the remnants of the beast’s front legs, he immediately leaped toward it — only to be grabbed out of the air by the behemoth’s foot. Kievkenalis immediately responded with “Chaos Deflection”, forcing the monster to let go of him and drop him to the ground — only to be suddenly kicked high into the air by the beast’s other foot. The Nanocreature instantly leaped up after him, twisting around in the air to slam its foot over Kievkenalis’s head and launch him back toward the ground.

Chaos Slam!

The Chaostechnic’s momentum instantly reversed, sending him careening into the monster’s damaged torso and launching it upwards. “Chaos Slam!” Kievkenalis shouted again, ramming into the beast once more and knocking it even higher; a third call to the attack completely shattered the behemoth’s torso, causing it to fall to the ground in pieces around Kievkenalis. The remnants quickly began to reform, but the Chaostechnic ignored them as he vaulted toward the Ayas Mystryth and shouted, “Chaos State: FIRST TIER!” He ignored the Ayas as it disappeared into thin air and quickly turned his attention back to the monster, which had reformed into a four-legged beast again, only smaller. “Chaos Detect,” he muttered under his breath, followed with a bitter smile. Looks like no one’s left for kilometers around, except for me and this thing… good. Time to see what the Chaos State can really do! He straightened his back and stretched his arms as the beast snarled and screeched; after a deep breath, he began, “Chaos…!”

The monster slammed its tail into the ground, knocking Kievkenalis into the air again.

“Kilo…!”

It then launched itself at the Chaostechnic, maw wide open as it reached Kievkenalis before he could fall back to the ground, clamping its jaws shut around him—

“BLAST!”

A split-second of silence followed — and then a massive blast of energy exploded out from the Chaostechnic, instantly obliterating the Nanocreature behemoth as well as the mountain below and everything else within fifty kilometers, including the ground. Kievkenalis had but a brief moment to observe the damage he had caused — and the long distance he had to fall — before an intense twang of pain shot through his head, overriding any thought. His body emitted a flash of light as the Chaos State automatically disengaged and the Ayas Mystryth reappeared above him, the both of them entering free fall toward the new ground fifty kilometers below.

“Fu…ck…” the Chaostechnic was barely able to mutter as his vision went black, the massive amount of Chaos Energy required to use the ability he had just called taking its immediate toll on his body. “No… the… …Ayas… …”


Wilkas threw his fist forward, missing Siyuakén by a hair before following up with his other fist, nailing her in the stomach and flinging her away. She quickly recovered midair and fired a grappling hook toward the Forcetechnic that he blocked with a massive shield Kaoné had created for him earlier. The hook embedded itself in the shield as the Electrotechnic fired a second hook at Wilkas’s ankle, snaring him and then yanking back while simultaneously forcing an incredible current through the makeshift circuit. But the circuit didn’t last for long — Kaoné severed the cables with massive shears before flinging Siyuakén into the air by quickly raising the terrain beneath her feet, and then fabricated a chunk of steel and slammed it into the Electrotechnic’s back, sending her flying toward Wilkas. The Forcetechnic tossed aside his shield and grabbed Siyuakén by her face as she flew by, swinging her out of the air and into the ground where she emitted a powerful electric blast that forced Wilkas away. She immediately leaped to her feet and jumped back just in time to avoid being impaled by a diamond spike; she then leaped into the air, hovering above her two opponents as the skies above began to cloud. Mere moments later the entire battlefield was bathed in lightning strike after lightning strike, quickly draining Wilkas and Kaoné’s armors of power. The Materiatechnic rapidly created crude Faraday cages around herself and Wilkas, but Siyuakén’s strikes were so powerful that the cages were smashed apart and Kaoné was left to repeatedly repair their armor.

Growing tired of taking hits, Wilkas eventually grabbed the Faraday cage remnants around him and mashed them into a metal club before leaping up at Siyuakén, where he took a wild swing that ultimately missed. Kaoné then seized control of the club just as the Forcetechnic began to fall and bashed it over Siyuakén’s head, slamming her back down to the ground. Wilkas quickly dashed over, smashing his fist into her location just after she flipped away and back to her feet. She fired one of her grappling hooks at a distant piece of terrain, reeling herself toward it just in time to evade another blow from the Forcetechnic. She then spun around and fired several more lightning strikes toward her opponents as she used her second grappling hook to grab and draw in two of the diamond rods left over from earlier. Kaoné quickly attempted to seize control of the rods and yank them away, but Siyuakén had corrupted them before she could, grabbing the assimilated materials firmly in her hands just in time to begin blocking a flurry of blows from Wilkas. After the first several blows, the Electrotechnic began to electrically charge the rods, rapidly increasing the voltage until she was discharging enough energy into Wilkas’s armor with each blow that he drew away in pain. Instead of backing away herself, though, Siyuakén lunged in closer to the Forcetechnic and began bashing him with the tips of the rods, discharging immense amounts of energy with each blow and forcing Kaoné to repair Wilkas’s armor each time as the Forcetechnic failed to defend against the barrage. After several more blows, Siyuakén drew back for a moment, slamming the rods together and fusing them before forcing even more voltage through the rod; just as she thrust the rod forward with amazing force, Wilkas threw his left shoulder forward, grimacing as the rods blew apart his armor and cleanly pierced through his entire shoulder.

“WILKAS!!” Kaoné cried as Siyuakén released the rod and stepped back — but due to Wilkas’s reckless charge, she was too close to him to evade as he grabbed her back with his right hand.

“Oh no you don’t!” He grinned spitefully, slamming his left fist into her chest as he held her in place. “I’ve…” He punched her again. “Got…” And again. “You…!” And again. “Now!

With his final blow, he completely demolished her torso, impaling her with his fist. He then yanked his fist out of her body and whacked her across the face with his right hand, flinging her back several meters. Kaoné ran up next to the Forcetechnic, who grasped his bleeding shoulder painfully as he stared at the incapacitated Siyuakén.

“…You…” she croaked as she craned her head up to look at Wilkas. “…How…?”

“Adrenaline’s a hell of an anesthetic,” he retorted with a smirk. He then grabbed the rod embedded in his shoulder, took a deep breath, and yanked it out. “Gah…! Fuck, that hurts…!”

“Wilkas! Hey, hey, be— be careful,” Kaoné urged as she attempted to see to the Forcetechnic’s wound. “Oh my god— you’re bleeding so much!”

“That is what happens when you get stabbed.” Wilkas clenched his teeth painfully as he gripped the rod tightly and began approaching Siyuakén.

“Wilkas…?” Kaoné questioned warily, “what… what are you doing?”

“What… does it look like I’m doing?” he replied through clenched teeth, glaring at the Electrotechnic as she blankly stared back. “I’m… finishing the job.”

“But—!” the Materiatechnic started, and then glanced uneasily toward Siyuakén. The Corrupted Electrotechnic had closed her eyes, apparently making no attempt to resist as Wilkas stepped up to her body.

“Is there anything you actually want to say?” Wilkas questioned impatiently as he turned toward Kaoné.

“…No.” She looked away. “…Just do it.”

“Hn,” the Forcetechnic grunted, and then raised the rod over his head in preparation for the final blow.

“Wait, Wilkas! Look out!!”

“What—?” The Forcetechnic snapped his attention toward Kaoné and then in the direction she was pointing just in time to discard the rod and hold his hands out above his head, intercepting a hypersonic object just before it slammed into the ground from the upper atmosphere.

“YOUR REACTIONS ARE QUICK. NOT BAD, ALDREDANOID. NOT BAD!”

“Wha—?!” Wilkas’s eyes widened just before he was grabbed forcefully and suplexed into the ground across from Siyuakén. He was barely able to register what had happened to him before Morcii slammed his elbow into his stomach, winding and effectively paralyzing him.

“BUT IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN QUICK REACTIONS TO STOP ME,” the Nanocreature leader declared with a haughty smirk, jumping back up to his feet as he glared down at the Forcetechnic.

“M-Morcii…!” Kaoné stuttered, frozen to the spot as she mentally debated between rushing to Wilkas and fleeing.

“…TCH.” Morcii offered the Materiatechnic a dismissive glance before turning his attention toward Siyuakén. “…I ADMIT, I’M IMPRESSED. I WASN’T EXPECTING YOU TO DEFEAT MY NEW LIEUTENANT, NOT WITH ONLY TWO OF YOU.” He then looked back to Wilkas as the Forcetechnic struggled to return to his feet; in response the Nanocreature leader stepped forward and stomped both of his knees, completely mangling Wilkas’s legs. “HA. BUT YOU’RE STILL JUST AS INCAPABLE OF STOPPING ME AS EVER.”

“Agh…! Fuck!” Wilkas growled, his face scrounged up in pain. “You…!”

“HMPH, YOU ALDREDANOIDS REALLY LIKE THAT WORD, DON’T YOU?” Morcii snorted in derision. “NOW, DOWN TO BUSINESS. I’M SURE YOU KNOW WHY I’M HERE.” He grabbed Wilkas by the collar of his armor and hoisted him into the air. “WHERE ARE THE AYAS? TELL ME, AND I MIGHT SPARE YOU A PAINFUL DEATH.”

Wilkas simply glared down at Morcii, grabbing the Nanocreature’s arm and attempting to rip it away. “Fuck… you!”

Morcii simply shrugged in response. “VERY WELL.” He then prepared to slam his free hand into Wilkas — but quickly dropped the Forcetechnic and jumped back instead to evade being impaled by the rapid materialization of a spike beneath his feet. Flipping through the air once, he then spun around and dashed toward Kaoné, only to stumble as a powerful electric shock interrupted his movements. He recovered immediately and jumped out of the way of a second strike before turning back to stare at Siyuakén with an amused yet irritated smirk on his face.

“Stay… away…” she muttered, holding her trembling hand toward the Nanocreature leader.

“…NOW THIS IS TRULY A SURPRISE!” Morcii remarked, “YOU’VE OVERCOME THE EXPRESSION INHIBITORS! MUST BE BECAUSE YOU’RE ALMOST DEAD. HMM.”

“Siyuakén! You’re still in there, after all!” Kaoné exclaimed, and then yelped as Morcii dashed toward her — only to be forced to evade a lightning strike again.

“I… said!” Siyuakén reiterated through clenched teeth, her brow furrowed with intense concentration, “stay… away…!”

“AHAHAHA… HA HA HA HA HA HA!” The Nanocreature leader guffawed as he turned back to face Siyuakén. “CUTE. YOU THINK YOU COULD POSSIBLY SAVE YOUR FRIENDS? IN THAT STATE?”

The Electrotechnic glared at Morcii, her outstretched hand beginning to lower from fatigue. “I… I…! Hrgk—!” She spluttered as she was violently lifted into the air as Morcii manipulated the very nanomachines throughout her body and forced her to put down her hand.

“SEE? YOU’RE HELPLESS AGAINST ME. JUST AS YOUR FRIENDS ARE!” the Nanocreature roared, “NO ONE CAN HOPE TO STOP ME! YOU CAN’T STOP ME FROM CONQUERING THE GALAXY. AND YOU MOST CERTAINLY—” He lunged toward Wilkas, flipped through the air, and smashed his heel into the Forcetechnic’s chest, completely obliterating it and killing him instantly. “—CAN’T STOP ME FROM KILLING! NOT YOUR FRIENDS, NOT YOURSELF, NOT ANYONE!”

“…No…” Siyuakén muttered, “…maybe not… me. But… not… no one…!”

“HMPH.” Morcii glanced irately toward Kaoné, who was backing away fearfully, before turning back to the Electrotechnic. “…YOU ANNOYING ALDREDANOIDS ARE JUST AS HEADSTRONG AS THE ALDREDAS THEMSELVES. WHAT A NUISANCE… OH WELL. HAVING A CHAOTIC LIEUTENANT, AND A QUAKEBORN, NO LESS, WAS GOOD WHILE IT LASTED.” Then, with little warning — Siyuakén’s neck snapped with an audible crack, immediately extinguishing the light in her eyes. Morcii violently slammed her body to the ground before lifting the mangled mess back into the air and flinging it away dismissively.

“Si…Siyuakén!!” Kaoné gasped, her attention repeatedly snapping between the corpses of Wilkas and Siyuakén. “I… I… this…!”

“CONSIDER YOURSELF LUCKY, ALDREDANOID.”

“What—?!” The Materiatechnic whipped around to face Morcii, who was simply staring at her from a distance.

“CONSIDER YOURSELF LUCKY THAT I HAVE NOT YET KILLED YOU…” he declared, just as four objects slammed into the ground around him from above. Kaoné was barely able to identify them as four of the Chaos Ayas — the Ayas that the Nimalians were missing — before they slowly rose into the air around Morcii and began to glow. A split second later, a bright flash of light forced her to look away; when she looked back she impulsively gasped as she laid eyes on Morcii’s new form: his legs were extended and mechanized, featuring the double-knee appearance of the Drakkars combined with a distinct metallic sheen; a second set of arms had appeared below his normal arms and all four seemed far more muscular than before; four spike-tipped tails waved casually behind his back; and his entire body was half again as large as his normal form.

{CONSIDER YOURSELF LUCKY TO BEHOLD THE FUSE FORM!”} the Nanocreature growled, his voice carrying a guttural distortion as it seemed to cut directly into Kaoné’s mind. {MUCH LIKE YOUR CHAOS STATE, I CAN SEIZE THE POWER AND ESSENCE OF THE AYAS TO INCREASE MY POWER BEYOND LIMIT! AND WITH THIS METHOD, ANY ATTEMPTS TO STEAL THE AYAS FROM ME WILL FAIL. IF YOU COULD EVEN LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO TRY!”}

Kaoné simply stared back at Morcii, stumbling back as he slowly advanced on her.

{YOUR VICTORY IS IMPOSSIBLE, BUT MINE IS INEVITABLE!”} he roared, {YOU FAILED TO BELIEVE ME BEFORE; YOU DEVELOPED THE HUBRIS TO SO MUCH AS THINK YOU COULD DEFEAT ME. YOU THOUGHT I WAS BLUFFING, THAT I HAD NO MORE POWER THAN ANYTHING ELSE YOU HAD FOUGHT, EVEN WHEN MY FLEETS ALONE DECIMATED YOUR FORCES AND CONQUERED YOUR PLANETS! SEE ME NOW, ALDREDANOID, AND RECONSIDER!”} Morcii lunged toward Kaoné. {BUT YOUR LIFE ENDS HERE!”}

Morcii cleared the distance between himself and the Materiatechnic in the blink of an eye, but she disappeared in a flash of light before he could pulverize her with his fist. He growled in response — and then immediately launched himself forward, clearing several kilometers in a second just before a massive force from above smashed into the ground, obliterating the entire region and leaving a crater deep enough to expose the mantle beneath the planet’s crust.

{…HA,”} the Nanocreature snorted, hovering in the air over the crater as the dust slowly began to settle. {I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN YOU ALDREDANOIDS WOULDN’T GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT.”} He directed his attention at the newcomer as the air thinned enough to expose his silhouette. {SO WHAT TIER DO YOU THINK WILL BEAT ME, HMM? SECOND? THIRD?”}

(Try Master Fourth!”) Christeané smirked in response as he hovered above the crater several meters from Morcii. The echo-like distortions in his voice that were brought on by the Chaos State seemed to carry through space itself, allowing the Forcetechnic to speak aloud and into the mind of Morcii simultaneously as he continued, (and now that you’re here, maybe even more. Chaos State: Master Fifth Tier!”)

{THAT WON’T WORK,”} Morcii retorted, ignoring a spout of lava nearby as the exposed magma began bubbling up the crater. {THE FUSE FORM IS TO ME WHAT THE CHAOS STATE IS TO YOU. I HAVE ABSORBED THE AYAS THEMSELVES… YOU CANNOT POSSIBLY HOPE TO STOP ME NOW.”}

(Bullshit. You can’t have any more than four Ayas. I’ve got five, and that includes the Master Ayas,”) Christeané shot back. (And I’ve got a bit of experience using it, too. I had to rescue one of my friends from falling to his death, at least…”)

{AHAHAHAHA! AND YOU THINK THAT QUALIFIES YOU TO FIGHT ME?”}

(No. What qualifies me is the fact that I can beat you, easy.”)

{…I SUPPOSE I SHOULD NOT ARGUE AGAINST YOUR ILLOGICAL AND MISPLACED CONFIDENCE. YOU HAVE BROUGHT THE REST OF THE AYAS TO ME; THIS SHOULD SIGNIFICANTLY SPEED UP MY PLANS. IN FACT…”} Morcii grinned menacingly as he summoned all four weapons associated with his absorbed Ayas — the Arcán Claymore, the Hastryth Chain Weapon, the Sendous Chakrams, and the Tsern Spear — and grasped them with his tails. {I COULD END IT ALL TODAY.”}

(You’re damn right this’ll end today,”) Christeané responded as he summoned the Matlés Gauntlets, Tanivas Staff in his right hand, and the Aldrace Glaive in his left. (But not with your victory! I’ll shut you down here, Morcii! Once and for all!”)

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