Description: The United Nation base in China is under attack, by the one and only lovable Igniz. Unfortunately for both mankind and godkind alike, this particular base houses not only a gear army, but the leader of the army, Justice. But such nuclear arsenals are okay for Igniz, as the god in waiting has a point to make...
The gears were hungry.
The United Nations base in China was a staging point for the invasion force; a barracks and base designed for hangars and soldiers. But neither were required for Armstrong's war. It just needed the warrens, the kennels lined up with the alien creatures. These were the soldiers for Armstrong's war. They did not need to be caged. But it kept them in their place, labeled and tagged. It was time again to feed them; their metabolisms were carefully refined and constructed not to expend too much energy while in a tropar state. But they would starve without intervention.
It was by design.
A long 18 wheeler freight truck meanders through the warrens late into the night, passing the kennels. The cargo vessel was a tank; the slurry of nutrients would sustain. The truck comes to a stop before a long, reptilian creature. A pair of hazard-suit wearing workers emerge. They needed to move quickly. There were hundreds to feed. Thousands.
And all under the watchful eyes of Justice.
The armor-clad figure floated over the truck, arms crossed, escorting it with contempt. She studied the humans as they unwound the hose, her crimson eyes transfixed. The orders rattle in her head, pulling her hands, drawing her like a puppet, clouding her perceptions, flooding them. The gears couldn't even eat without her compulsion. She was their commander. And by design, they couldn't even perform the most basic functions without her commands. Even insects could muster the basics without their queen. But it was the status of gears before humanity, servants and soldiers. The workers begin to flush out the hose, ready to feed the titanic creature. They had nothing to fear. For the commander, the nuclear arsenal of the United Nations was under orders.
Justice would serve.
Very few resources in this world have the capability of locating the Gears; fewer still can even act upon this information. Yet there is something unique to Justice, tracked from her onslaught at Mt. Fuji, that the looming eyes orbitting the planet picked up and carefully triangulated. It became immediately apparent that none within his employ are liable to manage anything against this threat. Even Zero, a man he had thought capable of any task. How unexpected...
That God must descend from his celestial throne.
The alarms would come at around the same time that the onslaught did. An unidentified individual approached the very front of the base. Demanding to be let in, before engaging in hostility. Metal severed as if simple foam beneath a hissing chain. The remnants of an armored car, massive gouge where a blast of energy almost seamlessly sloughed off part. Amidst the sea of flames hovers a regal figure in dark purple robes lined silver. A smoldering humvee falls down from the sky and impacts the ground in a great explosion, although the rush of fire, shrapnel and kinetic force seems to harmlessly ripple against an invisible wall before nearing the silver-haired individual.
"How inelegant. Such is why the commandments of the strong should be obeyed. Those beneath barter only their lives, for nothing..."
A great report from a 40mm cannon, but the shell stops dead a meter from Igniz, spiraling in place in a spray of sparks before collapsing on the ground and exploding. The whirl of fire never quite seems to reach him, as his long garments ripple beneath.
The soldiers and armored vehicles are retreating now, calling out for backup.
"THE GEARS!! WE NEED THE GEARS!! WE CAN'T STOP HIM...!" Of course, the leisurely float of Igniz, divine ruler of NESTS, is taking him towards Justice already...
They were monsters, after all
The nature of Gears was untested, ultimately. Feared overpowered reality. Certainly, the only man to face the gears was Zach Glenn, and those were simply abandoned prototypes. But here, they were helpless cattle. Just mindless creatures to wait for washings and feedings. It was sickening. But it was a fact. Without war, what were they?
His arrival is sensed by Justice before the alarms come.
The gear makes the changes she needs. Gears to be wake up. To move away from the position of attack. To retreat, and reserve. The motions of the gears are subtle and in sync, like the motions of tiny ants. The large reptilian horror open's it's eyes as the hose comes out, as the two hazmat workers stagger back in fear. Mindlessly, it saunters out of the cage, behind the truck. They might have announced, or warned.
Until the alarms go off.
The commands slam into Justice, in the communication feed in her armor. "Defend the base." "Kill the intruder." The rush of endorphins flood her again, the rush of pleasure flood her as the encouragement of the obedience comes. Part of the system in place to adjust her free will into serving the masters. She waits, eyes transfixed across the base, as the defenses surge into the intruder. The power, the raw power, the grace, the execution. Not of the humans, but of the sole, angelic figure. Was it Heihachi? Was it the man who dared and defied?
Justice had to learn.
She moves so smoothly towards the intruder. Gliding through the air, her tail sways, as she passes a single shell in the air. She pushes it aside, redirecting it away from the figure. Behind her, the air pulses with rings, trailing after her approach. She comes to a rest, landing on the ground a few meters away from the stranger. Her eyes transfix, as the asphalt buckles under her feet.
The sharp crack of a sonic boom exploding around, as reality catches up to her.
Dust and smoke flood past the Gear, as she paces, her crimson eyes locked on Igniz. She was consuming him with her eyes, stalking like a predator as she circles, her tail switching with the growing excitement. *Cease the attack* Was the order. The assault dies down, the defense stops, as the Command Gear stares into the intruder.
She answers, the growl of her stacacco, mechanical voice barely concealing her femininity. The words having carried across the base, to the enhanced senses of the gear. She keeps her motions steady, as the dust and smoke clear around her. "You can barter for your life now, human. Are you here for vengeance? War? Amusement." There is contempt in her voice, as she stares down at the man, her distance restrained.
"Give me your name."
What might interest Justice most is that the strange figure's eyes turned to look at her in her approach. Countless sensors and tactical implants scan the entire battlefield, feeding into his body, mind, and even his central nervous system. The rush of wind and dust again displaces before it quite reaches the man, some unusual forcefield keeping it at bay.
His voice is warm, pleasant. He's beautiful; perhaps moreso than any other human that Justice has met. His every act regal, his every movement confident and strong, feet not quite touching the ground. People scatter beneath him, as helpless and powerless as the Gears she commands.
If she wishes to see what true power looks like, true command, it is beyond any self-satisfied soldier or scientist that the Command Gear has ever laid eyes upon.
"My name is Igniz. I have descended from the heavens to see what has been wrought from the arrogance of lesser humans. I see... you have strength, perhaps. But for evolution... you are a dead end..."
His arms spread, and suddenly his chi is unleashed. It seems the entire base is suffused with an overwhelming pressure, like an electrical charge. Fleeing soldiers stagger, some unable to even handle it. A silver light glows in the air, illuminating the darkness for a hundred meters apart. Within him is a small hum. When it comes to advanced battle suits, Justice might only be donned in the second best that this world is capable of.
"To forsake humanity to grow stronger... to pollute a soul, rather than lift it to divinity... I can see no greater folly than that. Why am I here? Judgement. And my judgement..."
He raises a palm calmly towards Justice. "Is extinction. I will extract what use there is in battle data. Beyond that... your kind have no use in my ambitions."
COMBATSYS: Igniz has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Justice has joined the fight here.
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Igniz 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Justice
COMBATSYS: Igniz calculates his next move.
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Igniz 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Justice
Nothing known. The base was being torn apart, and nothing known. A piece of the puzzle, missing. First Heihachi, and now Igniz. She was made to defend and conquer against the monsters of the world, and humanity was so far providing the only monsters she needed. The confidence he carried himself was just the more disgusting. Charismatic. The presence of a god. A cult of personality.
And still only a man.
"You seem to be mistaken." She says coldly, as the chi field comes. Her senses retract, focusing to a pinpoint on Igniz. Drifting backwards by the pure force, the Gear stablizes herself in the storm. Her adjustments come with careful precision, automatic adjustments driven by her armor. It may be familiar to Igniz. The minutea may escape him. But the question of best and second best was muddled in a reality: their suits both shared similar minds in their heritage. God and monsters, wrapped in armor. It was pure power, but... pure power was what she was built for. She learning. As dropping down, on the ground, she finally adapts, as her clawed feet bury into the asphalt.
"Evolution, heaven... irrational ramblings."
Her eyes glow, but her tone turns gentle. "Your judgement is flawed, Igniz. I am not the next stage of humanity. My army is not here to usurp mankind. We are just weapons.' She motions around her with one hand. "Tools for a stronger future; is even the powerful so blind? we do not deserve extinction. We do not deserve fear. We are meant to protect humanity. If this is fear you bring to us, then it is misguided. If it is arrogance-"
And she moves.
Justice surges smoothly forward, her tail spiraling behind her. The air pulses, as everything around moves so slowly. Points of data and corrections, adjustments and calculations surging constantly. She comes as a blur, chi flooding internally as the pure physical power strains the armor. Not only meant to guard against overwhelming power, but to contain it. The figure twists, driving a clawed foot deep aimed... aimed not for Igniz. It was a raking blow, aiming to shatter from top to bottom on the armor. A calculated strike designed not to rip into the man beneath, but to worry the armor. Restraint? A motion to disable? Or an attempt to cripple? The motion closes to completion, as time catches up, the second sonic boom roaring out.
There is a crack.
COMBATSYS: Justice successfully hits Igniz with Light Kick.
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Igniz 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Justice
Monsters of the world; this man is one of them. There might be five, six people in existance who can truly compete with Justice head-on and have no disadvantage. Bastions of power that destroy the balance of war and conflict if they choose to enter battlefields.
It should be a good opportunity for data on if her creation has a purpose. If she fails... then why does she even exist?
"Irrational? Or merely not understood?" is all Igniz states in response. "War is terrible, however. None who live on this earth want it. Have you walked through the Middle East, and asked them if they want a beast of war? Have you strolled the museums of Germany, and ask the shamed populance if more War potential would bring them peace? A true leader, a true God emperor, knows... that removing it would be the greatest gift of all."
Igniz' guard was not at the maximum. Her ability to go from zero to attacking overwhelms his systems, which begin to calculate it too late. Her leg twists through, but seems to impact a strange field around him. For a split second her kick stops, dilluting the force, before she tears through it. Impacting him in the shoulder and slicing down to the hip, again something odd, like she was rippling over a faint field. Forcefields...? Igniz is driven backwards through the air before bringing up his arms, stopping abruptly. The fabric has torn into shreds where her foot traveled, exposing exceptionally dense chi-infused ceramic hybrids, interlocked between multiple layers of almost microscopic chainmail reinforced by industrial rubbers. All of such woven with circuitry that allows his chi to flow through and reinforce it. While Justice's suit is for raw power, his is for absolute defense.
The strongest shield and the strongest spear? This conflict might settle which is better.
"Amazing. I didn't even see you move." Igniz compliments, flicking out his right arm. A long bladed chain slithers free gracefully from his oversized cuff. Sweeping backwards, he then abruptly moves. Countless pneumatics and move-by-wire systems contract at once, alongside his own long-improved physique. Chi laced through accelerates this even more. Having already plotted the course, there is no need for anything but the assault. The whip begins to scream through the air, erupting into cerulean electricity and fire, before he adjusts the course at the last moment. Anticipating the optimal method of evading that the attack was heading, he compensates to instead lash where that would make Justice end up...
Intent on wrapping the chain around her throat, and then in a flowing motion fling her face-down into the ground where Igniz levitates, amidst a shocking burst of chi!!
COMBATSYS: Igniz successfully hits Justice with Blue Noah.
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Igniz 0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0 Justice
"If it is arrogance, you will be brought to heel."
Pick apart, piece by piece. The gear was testing the defenses, learning, understanding, consuming. She wanted to fight Heihachi. She wanted worthy opponents. She wanted to be tested. Every moment, every blow was a rush of euphoria. It wasn't the need to battle, to defend her wards that was pushing her.
The drive to learn was fueling her more.
"Your systems defense matrixes are just as impressive." She says with equal measure. "Your technology is fascinating. I wonder if I will be equally impressed with the man I will peel from it." A bold statement, to be sure. Already, she was adjusting, moving with the seconds. It is only too late does she realize that her opponent responds just as quickly, if defensively than offensely.
The speed overwhelms the gear, and she is ensnared. The slam comes, and the gear crashes. At first, it seems that the asphalt endures most of the damage, as she is left in a neat crater. As she rises, the first dents of the armor are seen, scratchs and bumps. They absorb most of the force, as the sheer bulk maintains, the armor deflecting the surging chi partially as she forces herself steadfast. She flattens her clawed hand. She liked this man. It may be madness that drives him, but certainly peace was a noble goal she was well familiar with. "You must know there is war beyond our simple planet. Are you made to stand as a vanguard? Or merely to be worshipped? Ignorance is not your style, you must -know- of what lies beyond!"
And the energy signature surges.
The actions happen on an atomic level. Pure, brute force, smashing an opening to a singular point, only a few atoms wide. And then, the enormous pressure builds within. A shift of gravity is felt as the quantum forces boil within, microseconds flooding and flashing. A surge of energy, familiar to the eye, builds in both claws. Already, a light within was beginning to emerge, rising forth.
But it wasn't chi.
No, chi was only the catalyst, the fuel. The Gear was performing this on a purely physical level, through sheer power of forcing things through. The armor contains the energy as the beam of pure atomic energy is catalyzed in a single burning blade. And with that, she swings, attempting to sever not only the chain, but to pierce the forcefields building. To test the limits of that defense system. To test it against the impossible. This was no longer a fight to defense, as the hungry Gear rushes into the battle. It was an opportunity.
To learn, and adapt.
COMBATSYS: Justice successfully hits Igniz with Michael Sword.
- Power hit! -
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Igniz 0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0 Justice
Those slashes did indeed damage Igniz' armor, although by her own expectations there should be little in this world created by hands beyond herself that she would fail to rend asunder. Igniz still smiles, as if the blow prior did not cause him any meaningful pain. The chain whips back, gentle rasp echoing in the air as a flourish of the hand returns it out of sight. Silver hair and black robes waft in the breeze of his own unshackled chi, one which few in this world can bask in without effect. Small rocks vaporize and pop for meters around, sending wafts of smoke into the air. Clumps of grass disintegrating slowly, metal beginning to oxydize, Justice's suit likely giving many warnings that she's in some dangerous field...
"I know of more than you think, monster. I have seen another timeline. Another world. I have bore witness to demons beyond time. In an endless infinite, for time beyond measure, my spirit walked the path of dimensions both divine and demonic. This planet is but a speck... nothing but dust, in the grand scheme. That... is why I will ascend to greater heights... no matter the sacrifice. Humanity shall serve me, as we break through reality together, and travel to realms beyond comprehension... That is how I will save this planet."
Then her assault rushes out, a great warble of distortion in the air as the blow impacts Igniz, who actually brought up his forearms to defend. Behind him, the terrain erupts into catastrophe. Broken, flaming machines fly spiraling into the air, the ground rends for dozens of meters, a great burst of kinetic force and shockwave sends wild billows of smoke and dust, wafting in a haze of fire from the wake of Igniz's destruction.
Another brutal scar is upon his suit. This one has visibly dug into the ceramics, a few sparks fluttering out. Both forearms covering his face were damaged, along with the side of his ribs. "Shall I show you the strength I have spent decades forging?"
Suddenly, Igniz ripples forward, to settle himself right before Justice. The inferno behind casts his shadow down upon her, beautiful face cast in the sharpness of shadow. His right hand extends, hand turned towards the sky, fingers opening. "I apologize. I do not know how to reign back my strength..."
A black hole forms. A great, whirling vortex of brutal chi. It blooms larger than Justice herself, spinning rapidly. Ground, debris, the majority of a shattered hum-vee, all roar towards him and then collapse, crushed into impossibly small balls before vaporizing in great hisses of smoke. The very air begins to rend and crackle as his pure, raw chi damages the very fabric of the world, before a great explosion bursts out to send Justice flying...!
COMBATSYS: Igniz successfully hits Justice with Void Genocide.
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Igniz 1/-------/=======|======-\-------\0 Justice
Justice was not simply crushing an intruder. Even as she rips through to drive a scar deep, his words are taken and parsed. Learned and stored away. She was not a machine. She was designed like one. And as he rambles on, she carefully takes apart the madness from the insight. She can't help but interject though, as the true power begins to reveal. "You will not save this planet." She states. She would add more, but... There is a pulling on her, as the black hole forms.
And she lashes out.
BUilding speed, she charges at Igniz, fighting at the vortex. Dragging her closer, and closer to the epicenter, the tail spirals as she forces forward harder. A pained, metal screech is heard as finally, it is dragged into the heart. The pressure of infinite worlds comes crashing down, crushing within. The armored frame contorts in impossible angles, breaking and tearing. Blue fluid oozes out of the cracks of the armor, until finally, she is spat out in the explosion, ragdolling her body.
And she descending again.
"You are doing well." was her firm statement, concealing the damage. It was not sarcasm. Whether it is on reigning back on his strength, or on his fighting skill, was less clear. Jets on her armor were blazing alive, fueled by her own inner power. The blue fluid trails as she responds by to technical finesse by rioting back at Igniz. Power against finesse, pure force as she roars straight at him. Should she connect? She would body slam him, to carry him up and away, across the base, across the whole of the base, to slam him into the barriers on the far side.
Well, with or without him, perhaps.
COMBATSYS: Igniz blocks Justice's Saperia Trance.
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Igniz 1/-----==/=======|=======\-------\0 Justice
"As are you. I have not been able to test my systems this long within this timeline." Igniz compliments. It sounds genuine, if entirely devoid of meaningful emotion. As the jets ripple to life, the two tentacles at the forefront of his suit lash up, faster than the man himself can move. Two forcefields thrum into being the moment that Justice slams, hefting him upwards and into the air. The pair whistle through the battlefield, wind fluttering Igniz' suit behind, before the remaining two tentacles flit up behind. They crackle with energy, and when the pair strike the wall, he doesn't quite touch it; instead, a great invisible sphere dents it, sending cracks splintering out wildly in all directions as concrete crumples and breaks in large clumps.
And then motors whirr and thrum, before Igniz' right hand lashes out. Fingers closed into knuckles, a sphere of chi warping and crackling around it, to strike Justice in her cheek. It seems almost playful, more intended to impact than to injure. But the force is much more than might be expected, from reinforced servos and force-amplifying wires. "I have had to redo my data on you three times thus far. You are much stronger than I predicted. And you've yet to show your true fangs... do you not wish to wipe this base of humans off the map, and kill your fellow gears? How compassionate..."
COMBATSYS: Justice blocks Igniz's Quick Punch.
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Igniz 1/-----==/=======|=======\-------\0 Justice
She flies over her gears, on the far side of the base as the rocket batteries try and turn. Slamming the figure, she hammers into the forcefield once again. Incredible. Stabilizing herself, she is able to get her footing long enough to adjust. She catches the punch, letting the force absorb into her clawed hand. Her burning red eyes did not seem amused. It even seemed insulted, being toyed with. More and more, she wanted to fight. Releasing the fist, she pulls away, floating in the air as she -glares- down at her opponent. Her voice is soft in the grating mechanized filtering, and with just a tinge of disbelief.
"You wish to test the limits of my compassion?"
And the vents on the armor begin to flare.
The communication networks was in shambles. The combination of Igniz and Justice's assaults was too much, even for the grounded systems. The background radiation with the distortion fields of Igniz simply was overwhelming. The technicians were busy in the war room, fighting to stabilize. "What the hell is happening? The commander states, as he peers through fortified glass, looking with binoculars. Staring at Justice and Igniz.... he understands. He realizes, and understands. "My god."
"She's.... she's charging!"
The commander lowers the binoculars, and gives the order. "Send out the command for general evacuation. We need people to take shelter, -now-" Nothing. No signal goes out. Panic overtakes the control room as they scramble. "Evacuate! We need to evacuate! I-" The commander slams his fist on the console, as he stares daggers at the technician.
"The kill switch. Where's her kill switch?"
The electronic distortions intensify, as her mass increases, the catalyst for the reactions beginning. "You have made your demonstration, Igniz. You have seen my power. Leave now. If you wish to test my compassion, then I can in turn help you ascend, Igniz." There is a flare of energy, as the chinks in her armor begin to turn bright red. Her shoulders begin to expand, as lethal neutrons are vented out into the air. "Your talent is worthy of your declared divinity, Igniz."
"But I am made to kill gods."
COMBATSYS: Justice charges Justice's next attack!
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Igniz 1/-----==/=======|=======\======-\1 Justice
"You will not defeat me if you restrain yourself." Igniz comments, matter of factly. "But... My intention from the onset had never been victory. Such is trivial. It is only to see your true capabilities." He descends to a meter off the floor once more, tendrils flicking and spreading around him with the rippling dark purple fabric between. His systems begin to monitor the building energy within Justice, before countless alarms start to ring. Curiosity is the only thing that marrs his beautiful features in return.
"Your best assault will not kill me." Igniz comments, before suddenly crossing his arms and flitting forward. He appears point blank before Justice, all four of his tendrils arched up before him. "But you are welcome to try..."
Suddenly, his tendrils flare with chi. Once more the suppressors fully unlock, and a great power swells up. He is already capable of affecting an entire battlefield, and that was excluding his full capacity? This is similar to the crushing black hole, only lasting for much longer. A great wave of distorting energy flashes out, the surroundings beginning to sizzle and hiss as they break down into smoke and dust. The four tips glow bright cerulean, a thrum as his own motors and vents kick in, condensing the wildness of his power.
And then the world becomes alight with energy. A great roar that makes to encompass Justice with nearly the maximum strength that Igniz can muster. It does not last a split second, but roars, ground beneath her melting and then cracking before the force. And then he builds it up even more, a great whirr and whine from his suit before at least it explodes, the massive pyre of energy floating up into the heavens and banishing the clouds in an invisible ring of force that blows in all directions...!!
COMBATSYS: Justice interrupts Chaos Tide from Igniz with Empowered Michael Blade.
# Disabling hit! #
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Igniz 0/-------/---====|>>>>>>-\-------\0 Justice
Justice felt the shackles of restrain around her, lashing her down. Her Gears would survive, but the humans? The humans couldn't. She couldn't unleash the full nuclear might into him so close. Elsewhere, maybe. But as he states her best assault would not kill him? She almost believed it. But that's why she was trying to tear him apart. That defense system was designed to stop any direct assault. Attack the man, get stopped by the system. As he comes so close, as the energy builds, the energy withins shifts.
And the energy floods out.
The commander inserts the key with the captain, as the safety latch is removed. The kill switch, exposed, is pressed. And... nothing happens. Nothing. The commander's face turns ashen, as a cold, crawling terror comes over him. "Why isn't it working? The communication system couldn't be so compromised-" He averts his eyes, diving under the console as the glares fills the room.
It is not a nuclear blast that comes.
Justice brings both her hands to bear, slicing through the barrage with a clean, severing cut. Piercing, vengeful nuclear blades rip apart the full force of cataclysmic light. At least, the opening blow. Twisting her body, the pillar comes. The blade is able to tear apart a section of it, splitting the column of power. Half rips alongside her right anyways, the font managing to rake and rend her armored form. There is the sound of wrenching metal. Oonce again. The barrage batters her armored form, cutting deep through the armor, deep to the creature that was trapped within. But the full force of the swipe, the atomic energy, is enough to boil through the assault.
Once again to pierce to the man underneath.
"Piece by piece." She says softly, as she follows through the assault, to sever and pierce to the very essence of the suit, to destroy any defenses in her path. A piece of her armor falls to the ground, a calf portion, and the shoulder pauldron collapses down with a rather loud crunch, crushing into the asphalt. The material must be denser than it looks. The blue fluid pouring from her, as her shoulder and calf remains exposed, revealing... soft white flesh. Skin. Coiling and burning skin, sizzling and smooth. Unnatural, and yet... too human. The radiation from the exposed portions intensify, barraging the surrounding area with beta radiation. "Part by part." She recoils her self, tail spiralling, building distance. If the sensors were still active on Igniz's system... it would very likely reveal the exchange of damage so far favoring him. Justice struggles to remain airborne, body continuing to pour the fluid. "You will not escape if your suit is disabled, Igniz, as much as I cannot." She states with a hint of exasperation. There is a cacophony of roars, of howls, as the Gears roar in unison. The red eyes narrow from under the helm.
"I do not need to escape, Igniz."
Igniz recoils backwards as he is struck while all systems were hell-bent on regulating his power output. He is launched away like a smoking meteor, impacting the mountainside and causing it to shake. Stone rockslides down, burying him in a great wall of dust and dirt, as the resounding echo of the slash booms again, and again, and again.
Then there is a great burst, sending stone flying in all directions. Igniz rises slowly, his suit ripped and shredded to reveal the intricate metal and ceramic skeleton beneath. One of the frontal tentacles has been severed, hissing out sparks and crackles, the other severely damaged and barely able to move. And up his chest, the skin-tight armor has been shred away, to show soft flesh as well. A deep line cuts into it, crimson blood spilling forth. His chi begins to feel erratic now; he has focused so much on raw power that he requires this containment to shape it properly. But it has been heavily compromised, Justice's relentless attacks beginning to bear fruit.
A hand comes up, touching the cold wound. Pain...? Is that what this is? It comes away stained with crimson. A single droplet falls between, and impacts the dirt.
Then his eyes flit up to Justice, and he opens his arms. Suddenly his entire body crackles, suffused with deep silver. The glare is blinding to look upon, ground beginning to shake as he unleashes every last shackle and restraint. His systems begin to cry in alarm, before hissing and disintegrating. Black robes flutter away and fall to ash. Something lurks deep within the heart of his power. A spark; small, miniscule...
But to Justice, perhaps the most dangerous glimpse of humanity's reckless desire to evolve she has seen. He has not lied. Within him is the 'potential'. To become a God. To ascend. And if he succeeds, the world might fall to destruction before the likes of the Elder Gods intervene, if even such a scenario exists in her single-minded drive.
Igniz's fingers flex, as great bolts of lightning ripple out, licking across the surroundings and disintegrating deep chasms. Broken stones and shattered vehicles begin to levitate into the air soundlessly, starting to deconstruct and disintegrate. Dead bodies hiss away, living ones in the distance becoming caught in the great shimmer, life forces violently snuffed out. The seas of Gears are only barely out of range.
"Come at me..."
His eyes flicker and then somehow shine even brighter. The great earthquake in the ground starts kicking up higher and higher, as both hands slither up and point towards Justice.
"Do not miss your this chance...!"
Igniz says, "Do not miss this chance...!""
"Do not miss this chance...!"
COMBATSYS: Igniz begins to glow with divine radiance.
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Igniz 1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>-\-------\0 Justice
Justice has time.
She brings a clawed hand up to her exposed shoulder, gripping it. Groaning lightly in frustration, she descends, lifting up the broken pauldron. Smashing it fiercely on her shoulder, she wrenches just in place by the time Igniz's hand rises up. He survived. So did she see. And the commandment... she heard nothing, felt nothing. Laying her eyes across the long march back, she eases herself.
To her, it's just another mystery to peel away at.
Humanity's evolution? Igniz may find Justice unnatural, but for the gear? She sees an equal, a peer. And one that was free. Not a soldier, but a figure to be worshipped. There were distinctions between them, yes. But evolution... she never thought about it in terms of evolution? A dead end? No, no, there were many paths. The thought screws into her mind, snapping and consuming, biting and writhing. She senses the blood. Igniz returns, his unbridled, consuming font of power transforming around her, just short of her wailing children.
And she compresses her hands together.
Focusing the atomic power between her claws, there is a surge of radiation, leaking from her exposed calf. Bringing the force of fission without, she surges with the nuclear force. And as Igniz calls for her to come? The Gear answers, rushing straight for the NESTS leader at crack neck speeds. And there, with almost a casual gesture, she releases it. The fireball shimmers and flashes as she releases, the gear pulling away in a wide loop, moving with breakneck speeds. The shimmering ball of condensed energy drifts towards Igniz...
Exploding with the force of a mere infantry-class nuclear eruption.
COMBATSYS: Igniz fails to reflect Nuclear Blast from Justice with Nega Genesis.
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Igniz 0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0 Justice
When the assault rushes forward in Igniz' direction, he reaches down to grasp the remnants of his suit. All of the black fabric is gone, leaving him looking like some silver and grey gladiator contoured in intricate segmented armor. As it finally lashes towards him, Justice would notice an interesting fact; he actually moves in time. It's clear his systems to calculate and predict are down. His ability to accelerate his motion with assisted pneumatics and move-by-wire offline. But still, that assault which ends before a blink can begin... he snaps up the tendrils, and for a split second it stops dead.
Yet although he has greatly enhanced his physical abilities, his ability to manipulate the energy of another is all but ruined. The suit overloads, before a spray of sparks. The explosion roars into being a moment later, great plume of nuclear smoke mushroom clouding straight up. The ground shakes heavily once more, great wall of force impacting the damaged Justice. Yet then a beam of light goes vertical, bisecting the dust before rippling out in all directions, dispersing the cloud. Igniz is badly burned, hit worse than prior, yet somehow still standing. Readings indicate the radioactive elements are rapidly decaying, burned away by his strange energy field...
"Hmm... I see... so this is how mortals fight..." He turns his hand, glove gone, staring at his bare fingers as a low hiss of energy streams off and into the air.
How mortals fight.
Justice completes her loop, rising into the air, kiting the edges of the blast cloud. A small nuclear blast, a mere tactical one. But as the dust clears, she sees the naked god, exposed from his armor. He's beautiful. The gear slows down, circling overhead like a vulture, before stopping. He was absorbing the nuclear toxins. It was Mt. Fuji all over again. As Igniz ponders, the hiss of energy rises, the gear crosses her arms, dropping suddenly in the air as her systems struggle.
"Humans fight this way."
That was Justice's response. "With fear, and power. You frighten people deep enough, you strike into their hearts, and they learn to fall in line. Fear and terror. That is how they using me..." She redirects her gaze, the mechanical tone of disgust nearly spat out. "I am learning Igniz, and you are a good teacher. I have learned how frail this army is. If there is one of you, and two of us... how many more will lose patience and strike my army down? Not all are as kind as you, and as patient. I have learned so much. I hope you have too."
And she directs her one good shoulder towards Igniz.
"Now, have you finished your experience, Igniz?" She says coldly. "Or do you wish to see if a god can truly die?" The nuclear energy surges within her again, as the fission reactions within begin their chain reaction. She glows once again, as her crimson eyes burn, glaring down at Igniz, her blue fluid beginning to die. Things were less even as before. He could survive another, couldn't he?
Or was this the end of the lovable Igniz?
COMBATSYS: Justice charges Justice's next attack!
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Igniz 0/-------/-======|=======\==-----\1 Justice
"Humans...? I suppose you can still compare me to one..." Igniz marvels. "I had hoped I had come closer than this, after what I learned between time. But... there is one thing." His head tilts towards the armored Gear, as his great chi stabilizes in the wake of the blast, ground around him still flattened out in all directions. "That I would like to test..." At the mention of what Igniz himself unleashed, there's something close to amusement at that. "Do not underestimate yourself... you stand at the apex of brute strength. Your armies are mighty and flawless. And your capability of destruction phenomenal." He then lifts his hand overhead, almost casually. A single point of light flares into being, before blooming massively into a great orb twice his size, roaring and spitting out arcs of thunder that rake and lick across the surroundings.
"If you wish for war, you will not run out of opponents for a long time. Rugal Bernstein's great flying fortress. Vega's army of psycho-empowered dolls. The endless vats of creatures from the Illuminati. Every secret experiment and weapon of world governments, recklessly brought to unstable fruition. ...Yes. You will lay waste to this planet if unchecked..."
But his eyes blink lazily. "Yet... not due to your conflicts..." With that he clenches his fist. The intense ball suddenly collapses into itself to one roughly the size of a basketball. Violent and unstable, he then twists before launching it outwards, his own energy ricocheting outwards to launch it like a rocket at Justice's preparations. And were it to hit, a great plume of energy would explode, further shaking the already destroyed battleground of what used to be a base...!
COMBATSYS: Justice slows Divine Arrow - Air from Igniz with Empowered Imperial Ray.
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Igniz 1/---====/=======|====---\-------\0 Justice
And she unloads the blast... a moment too late.
The sweeping blast comes, cutting through the air with the sweeping, piercing beam. Not quite the full force of a nuclear blast, the attack cuts around, carpeting the edge and the exterior of the base with the cataclysmic explosions. But not Igniz, no. The blast grazes the orb, disrupting it and slicing it... but not destroying it. Nuclear power destabilizes it, but not eliminates it. The portion of the attack pierces through, slamming into Justice. The eruption comes, forcing a scream of agony from the Gear. Spiralling in the air, the jets on her back flicker and flare spasmodically, as the last of the energy burns out.
"You will find your fate, Igniz."
The words are ambiguous, but not dismissive enough. "I do not wish for war." She sighs. "But war is inevitable. I am a soldier. But... is there truly so much that can challenge me? Rugal Bernstein, vega, this Illuminati; all the secret projects, the children in the shadows." She cannot stay in the air any longer, as she lands roughly on both legs, falling to one knee.
"Are they all as strong as you, Igniz?"
The condensed energy might have been surprising; yet Igniz unreigned has amongst the deepest wells of pure energy that can be found. Innate potential, decades of experimentation, amplification, to the point that it is self-destructive without proper regulation from his suit... which is scarcely a skeleton of what it was, ceramics and composites mostly having sloughed away in the wake of his reckless release. Silver hair billows when the nuclear lance thrusts off a meter to the side, severing the end of another tentacle before forging a great chasm in the ground as it lances up with a roar into the abused sky. The soldiers and commanders bearing witness to it might be shocked, both at Justice's true potential... and that of a man they had very little information about.
"I do not know." is answered, perhaps more humbly than might be expected. "For I am not interested in strength. This great energy within me... do you think I wish it for conflict? No. But after the end of a world, and the birth of a new one... after my great pilgrimage in the darkness, lost between Time... I can show you." Igniz then raises his hand. Abruptly, all of his chi vanishes. The loss of it might be somewhat disconcerting. One moment, the very ground is disintegrating and steaming away, threatening to overtake her army of gears. The next, it is as if Igniz is no longer present. But he has not moved. The divine radiance is gone, leaving only a silvery aura around his hand. At the very center... something.
"Hold still. I will allow you to witness something unbelievable..." Igniz then kicks off the ground, rushing towards the kneeling Justice. Thrusting out his hand, seeming intent on nothing more than to press his palm to her armor...
COMBATSYS: Igniz successfully hits Justice with #Disintegrational Universe#.
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Igniz 0/-------/-------|=======\===----\1 Justice
...And the moment that Justice is grasped, blackness billows out to surround her. All instincts would scream danger. Yet as quickly as it begins, the veil completely ensconces her. ...And the weight of the world falls away. All air vanishes. The surroundings are beyond freezing; there is literally no heat, no cold. Instruments would go haywire, believing she is somehow deep in outer space, yet devoid of any sun. In all directions, an endless void. Scanners thrusting out at the speed of light grasp at nothing, finding not even a speck of matter.
"Bear witness to creation..." Igniz' voice seems to ring from everywhere. No location can be properly discerned. It is as if the very fabric of reality thrums with him. Within the world left behind, he stands before a simple black sphere roughly the size of himself. And then all of his condensed energy begins to build up. Deep within, that strange spark ignites, and he grasps either side...
Within, a star winks into being, a ball of orange fire. The heat of it, millions of miles away, washing over Justice. Then another. And another. All around her, dozens, hundreds, thousands of stars seem to be blooming. Great swathes of space dust, nebula, and more ripple into being. Time does not quite exist. It should take millenia for the light of these new things to reach her, after all. When actively concentrating, it would feel like time lasts forever. Only between, the blinks, the heartbeats of consciousness, does it rush forward long enough for a planet to be born and die. And then it blooms all around Justice.
A universe. New, fresh, and beautiful. All directions show endless, vibrant fields of interstellar life, of a scope and size beyond the imagination of most.
"But it is so small..." Igniz's voice thrums out. "And so fragile..."
After sustaining it for a few seconds outside the orb, Igniz' energy wells dry out. And then cracks begin to splinter all across it.
Justice bears witness to the death of a universe. By the perception of someone 'born' within, it is as if reality had been placed in fast forward. From nothing, to life, and now to death. Stars start to supernova all around. Great rips and tears in the fabric of space. A swirl, like everything collapsing down a drain, sucking her in and drawing her along. The powerful, crushing force of all of this endless matter drawing her in, a sea of fire and pain...
And then the orb shatters. Justice bursts out, almost gentle, to land at Igniz's feet. His divine radiance thrums back on, although only a bare glow, sweat drenching his form as his suit sparks and hisses.
"Could anyone but a god... show you such an act of creation...? The pointless conflict... of the ignorant masses here... I can bring humanity somewhere greater... beyond the planet... beyond the heavens... as the true divine!!"
Not interested in strength?
Justice's understanding was that all who stood before the UN was only interested in strength. Heihachi embodied this. And Igniz was... what was he? An artist? A visionary? A madman? As she tries to rise from her knee, the man, the god?, was upon her. The chi signature was gone. She didn't even realize it until he was on her, a mistake she would hopefully live to learn from. She did not want to hold still. She wanted to react.
But in a moment, she is gone.
It begins as a vacuum.
Cold, dark, infinite. The womb of infinity stretches around her. Her exposed calf, her shoulder instantly freezes in the flicker right above the absolute zero of this universe. But she can move. She can drift. And she can see, with the glow of her eyes. She couldn't breath, but she did not need to, ultimately. Not yet, at least. She was made for infinity, she was made for the dark, she was made for the cold.
'Let there be light'
The singular spark comes, unleashing the waves of warmth and nuclear energy over her. Her exposed skin, before frozen, now becomes unbearably hot. She shields herself with her claws hands, guarding against the cosmic rays pouring into her. Oblivion now gives way to a beautiful stretch of cosmic dust and galaxies, existence manifesting faster and faster into a stretch of starscape around her. It was beautiful, happening so fast. She could exist. She could survive.
And then it ends
The Big Crunch. Matter collapses, gravity wells collapse. She feels herself being pulled, becoming dragged through the infinity. Infinity was rapidly growing smaller and smaller, denser and denser, falling into the singularity. falling into null. The pressure of an infinity number of suns force around her, as she feels her exposed calm contorting, collapsing. Her shoulder implodes, collasping into the singularity. But in the light of a universe, of rules and limits beyond her comprehension, one thing struggles to hold in the absolute extremes. The armor holds. The armor hold.
And there is a crunch.
And she bursts free from the universe.
Justice hurtles through the air, in the aftermath of the destruction, smashing straight into the concrete barriers of the remains of the base. Her leg was mangled beyond recognition, the full force of the life and death of a universe too much for the Gear's exposed limb. The same can be said for her shoulder pauldron, which has somehow fused into a singular cube into her shoulder, meat mingled with impossible alloys. Even the functional portions of the armor was damaged, the final expulsion rattling the armor to shambles. Pieces fall off, armlets, the second pauldron. As she turns her head, the gear's helmet slips off, a sharp hiss rising as the pressure releases.
And there is only a moment, the face of the so called dead end of evolution is revealed, yellow cat eyes burning.
She brings her good hand up, replacing the helmet the helmet. There is another hissing sound, as a fresh breath of air comes. Her leg, her other arm were useless. She lays against the concrete barrier, staring across at Igniz, her crimson hair around her. "Incredible." She says, the voice not mechanized, the vocoder broken... and her volume much lower as such. "I never imagined anyone forming the birth and death of an universe. And so quickly too. And to take me there... I do not understand though, Igniz."
"Why do you use them for this?"
She gestures at the remains of the base, the gear army, tightly in formation together, as the few remaining mobile SAMs and rocket artillery drag themselves to the border. "You need more power. You may not believe you seek it, but you need it. And this all is in your way, isn't it? You could kill me now, couldn't you." Beta radiation increases in the background, as gamma waves begin to increase in small peppering. "Maybe you will. How frail I am, for all my strength." A laughter rises from her.
"Maybe I just can't understand yet, Igniz."
Igniz is obviously 'done'; even his great reserves of power were exhausted launching that. Compared to what he displayed only minutes prior, he is like a shell of himself. But he still stands, and is far from being unable to attack, if he had a mind. Most of his lean, athletic frame is visible beneath the remnants of his armor, once barely scratched by Justice, and by the end ripped to useless pieces. No reaction to the brief flash of whatever might lie beneath that helmet. "I told you at the onset... I was only interested... in seeing what you were. The annihilation of some nations... and the wars of ants beneath me... I could care less." He breathes deep and slow. "But... I believe I may have been wrong in one regard..."
Igniz spreads his arms slightly at that. "You may not be the evolution I seek... but perhaps you are no dead end. ...You are asking questions. That means you are no simple tool of war. ...Remember these two things as you determine your future. One... that you are not what they made you. You are a shackled god. You have the potential for an infinite army... And you have the strength to almost bring a God to his knees. What do you truly wish to do with that? ...Protect the elite few who crafted you for their own selfish purposes? Or do you genuinely, truly wish to protect humanity from itself? If the latter... then perhaps we can be allies. I would be sad if humanity destroyed itself before I can create for us all a new world..."
A great beam of light then rockets down from the heavens, impacting Igniz. If Justice still has some vestiges of sensing, something orbitting the planet appears to be focused on him now. NESTS' true base high above, calling home it's ruler.
"And the second..." Igniz begins to shimmer, as the tractor beam revs up to draw him to the orbital station.
"In the midst of our fight... I intercepted a command." He pulls out a small data chip from his suit and flings it past the beam to land near Justice.
"In their fear, they tried to shut you down. To preserve themselves, instead of preserve this world... A death sentence, had it worked and I a mind. I am not your enemy, but many others would have no such compunctions. ...Are such people worthy for you to serve?"
"Never stop seeking understanding...!"
And then, Igniz is gone with a crack. The beam slowly narrows before vanishing. Upon that datachip, likely easy to access, Justice will see; the trapped transmission meant for her 'kill switch' they desperately sent out when she was preparing her true nuclear onslaughts...
COMBATSYS: Igniz has left the fight here.
[ \\ <
Justice watches as Igniz begins to flicker away. Why wouldn't she ask questions? Why wouldn't she try and learn, to understand, to peel apart? She lusted for challenge, she lusted for the powerful. Not for any weakness of her own. But to test her boundaries. She felt... new. New born. While she was in indescribable pain, she found it beautiful agony. An experience to learn, to grow. A limit to push. She may be fighting Igniz again in the future. She hoped she would learn more from him. If it was simply that, she could be happy.
But it was the second thing.
An interception. As the chip is sent her way, she snatches it delicately from the air, her hand eye coordination unblemished. bringing it up to her eyes, she stares at it. She wouldn't believe it. She was risking her life to save her ward, her humans, her masters. She was risking everything to protect them. She twists, turning towards the base. She sees the rocket artillery, the mobile SAMs.
All trained on her.
She tucks away the chip, as she stares at the armory. They wouldn't kill her, would they? She was loyal. She was fighting to save them.
They wouldn't try and betray her, would they?
COMBATSYS: Justice can no longer fight.
Log created on 00:39:47 10/13/2017 by Justice, and last modified on 17:10:54 10/20/2017.