The Recollection Of Meira
Entering the second section of the Mines was kind of spooky. This is where
the real meat and potatoes of Osto-Hyle Labs' work was done. The place was
wrecked. The basic architecture was nonetheless the same, but lifts were broken,
light-up panels flashed and sparked, there were dents in the walls, and so on
and so forth.
We ventured into the first room presented to us. Here, we were met by a group
of Dubchics. Dubchics are a more advanced model of Gillchics. They're designed
without internal logic processors, instead taking all of their commands from a
remote control unit, which usually hovers high above. The intent of this
advanced design, was to send them into areas that are too dangerous for
Gillchics. See, in a good mine, there is constantly the chance that something
might fall and destroy the robot. Because of this, measures have to be taken
around this. To armor them so that they wouldn't fall apart would make them too
heavy to move, or too big to maneuver in the small passages they may encounter.
So, an alternative method is assumed. Instead of the robots being designed to
withstand injury, they're designed to fall apart when damaged, then put
themselves back together.
Using a technology based on electro-magnetism, a Dubchic's torso can
magnetically recall its head, arms, and even its legs, back to the locations
they are normally attached to. Because the connection is magnetic in and of
itself, no screws or other binding devices are necessary. In fact, the part that
the torso calls back doesn't even necessarily have to be its own. This makes
Dubchics a lot of trouble for Hunters who encounter them, because a massive
amount of damage has to be done to them, before they will admit defeat.
Zeirom had fought many Dubchics in his time, however. He knew how to defeat
them quickly, and as a ranger, he had the capacity to do so. At first, Dragoon,
Lynn, and I all started to lay in on the Dubchics. Dragoon grabbed one and
started swinging it around. This is when I first observed their technique of
literally pulling themselves back together after they've been broken down.
Zeirom just made a sigh of dissatisfaction. "You're wasting your time!" he
yelled at us, then pointed his rifle at a saucer-like device floating near the
ceiling. With precise aim, he destroyed its power supply, causing it to fall to
the floor and smash into a billion pieces. "Now get away from them!" he yelled.
Lynn and I heeded his advice, but Dragoon stood there in the middle of a
rough circle of them. "Dragoon! Get out of there! You are in danger!" Zeirom
yelled at him.
Dragoon looked at Zeirom and shrugged. "I'm not in danger."
"Dragoon! The Dubchics are going to explode!"
"I'm not in danger."
Just then I saw the Dubchics, slumped over, and starting to spark. Zeirom was
right. When these things stop, they explode.
"Dragoon, you fool! These androids are specifically designed for mining! When
they can no longer receive a signal from the control unit, they self-destruct to
clear any debris from the path!"
"Zeirom, you fool! I ha--" Dragoon was cut off by the explosion of the
Dubchics. Shrapnel was flung about, and we all watched the pile of parts where
Dragoon was standing. No movement. The three of us approached it.
I called for him. "Dragoon??" I shouted. When there was no response, I
started to try to pull things out from on top of him. Before I could get
anything moved, though, I heard something, and there was a flash underneath the
Zeirom warned us, "Back off everyone... We don't know what that was..."
As we backed away, there was a shuffling underneath the pile, soon followed
by a sudden upheaval of things. Dragoon burst out from beneath the pile, like a
pissed off Hildebear bursting out from underneath a pile of dead Boomas. I
believe that he made a machine-equivalent noise as he did this, too.
With bright yellow sparks fluttering about him, he posed dramatically,
swaying back and forth, in the center of this pile of parts. His MAG, which
resembled an old video game console, was beeping and flashing, and otherwise
going nuts. Meanwhile, electric sparks flew from his joints and various panels.
He would have been grinning, were he able to do so.
He twitched slightly as he reached into his inventory, and procured a
trimate, which he clumsily consumed. Momentarily, the sparks from his joints
stopped, and he stood firm again. He climbed over the parts, and pat Zeirom on
the head. "I just received enough damage to bring me near death, and my MAG
gained a photon burst. For the next several minutes, I shall be invulnerable."
Zeirom eyed Dragoon. "Invulnerable, huh?" Dragoon stood and nodded. I don't
think Dragoon saw it coming, when Zeirom's fist rammed into his face. Dragoon
fell on his butt, but promptly got up and dusted himself off. "You take your
invulnerability, and you and Lynn head through that East door there," Zeirom
pointed to the door he spoke of. "Meira and I will go through the North door.
We'll meet up later. And Dragoon... If you ever do that again, I will knock you
out and rewire your logic circuit."
Dragoon shrugged, then ran over to Lynn. "Com'on, Lynn! I'll be your cannon
fodder!" Lynn giggled, and with that, they ran through the East door.
Zeirom walked up to me. "Ready to move on, Meira?" he asked.
"Sure, I s'pose," I replied. "Did Dragoon really irritate you that much?"
"Not really. But I've done a lot of combat with Dragoon, and I've found that
if someone doesn't smack him around every once in a while, he gets to thinking
that he's the real muscle of the group, and he'll start pushing the others
around. Just be glad I won't let him use his Spread Needle."
With that, he proceeded into the next room, and I followed him. As we entered
the room, we saw a huge tank-like machine. "That's no security device..." Zeirom
slowly and lowly pronounced as it turned to face us, hovering a few centimeters
above the ground, using powerful jets to keep it there. It looked at us, and we
looked at it. Then Zeirom's voice increased by a few decibels, "That's a war
The machine let itself lower to the ground, and then it anchored itself. "It,
um, is attaching itself to the ground, Zeirom."
"It's a Garantz, Meira. It only anchors itself to the ground for one thing,
and one thing only."
"It's going to launch missiles at us."
"Going to launch missiles at us."
"And we're standing here... why?"
"Because it'll only launch more at us if we run."
"So, um, shoot it! You're a tank! Make it go boom!"
Then the missile turrets opened, soon after, several fairly slow-moving,
small target surface-to-surface missiles launched. They didn't move fast, but
they weren't intended to. They're short-range missiles, after all. Zeirom tossed
down his rifle, then jumped in front of me, and grabbed me. He picked me up, and
more or less, hugged me. "I shall protect you, Meira!!"
"Um, Zeirom, what about you?" I said, then the missiles hit. Zeirom shook a
little, but after the missiles had spend themselves, Zeirom quickly pulled out a
high-end hand gun with a long barrel, and started shooting at it.
Somewhat mellow-dramatically, he cursed at the machine. Bits and pieces of
its armor flew off. To my surprise, when the armor broke off, several more
missile turrets were revealed. I emit an exclamatory at this, though I don't
feel content to express what it was exactly. As the missiles launched, Zeirom
cracked open a Star Atomizer, and sprayed it around us, before holding close
onto me. The missiles hit again, and once again, after the explosion cleared,
Zeirom turned around again, and started shooting.
He started to overcome it, and exclaimed a loud, "Ha ha ha ha! Die Garantz!
Die! Die! Die! Die!" Until it finally toppled under its own weight. Zeirom
continued to shoot it until a few times, until nothing was left glowing on it.
Then he put his handgun away, and walked over to me.
He grabbed my shoulders, and with great care he asked, "Are you all right?
You're not hurt, are you?" When he finished asking that, he started checking
over my arms and my hips, and he looked at my legs, and so forth.
"I'm just fine, Zeirom. You took all those missiles head on, you're the one
that should be hurt from all this," I said.
"I suppose you're right. Oh, I must have some nasty burns on my back, could
you take a look for me?"
"Sure, I suppose I could. Turn around, y'big lug." So he turned around, and I
started to look at his back. There were a few panels loose, and I just kinda
pushed those into place. I felt along a couple of cracks, and wiped off some
soot. "Yeah, you're gonna need a trimate for this one, Zeirom."
"Ah, I'll just spray a Star Atomizer," and thus he did what he said, and
sprayed a Star Atomizer into the air.
Then the Sinow Beats dropped down. As they approached us, Zeirom exclaimed,
"Sinow Beats! Meira, I shall protect you!" Thus, he grabbed me again, and
started shooting at them.
I pushed and shoved at him, "Dang it, Zeirom, I can handle a Sinow Beat, too,
He never did let them get close, though. They'd try to jump at us, but he'd
shoot them out of the air, and if they ran toward us, he would just keep
rotating which one he was aiming at, and they couldn't run fast enough to stay
away from him. Plus, Zeirom did a tremendous job of aiming, and judging where
they'd try to dodge when they saw a photon bullet coming at them. Not allowing
myself to stay completely out of it, I stopped my futile struggle from Zeirom's
grasp, and started casting Zonde techniques on them.
When they were all cleared, Zeirom put me down again, and once again asked
me, "Are you all right? They didn't hurt you, did they?"
I told him, "I'm just fine, Zeirom! They never got close, and you were
shielding me the whole time!" Then he started checking me for injuries again.
"You caste an awful lot of techniques, here I picked up this trifluid a while
ago." He opened a trifluid, and handed it to me. I didn't really feel like I
needed it, but he'd opened it and given it to me, so I felt obligated to go
ahead and drink it.
A buzzing sound brushed passed me, and Zeirom started looking around. "A
fly!" he yelled. "Meira! I shall save you!"
He went to grab me again, but I jumped away. "Hold on, Zeirom! I can HANDLE
this one! Gee..."
I located the fly, then waited for just the right moment, at which point, I
slapped it against the armor plating on Zeirom's arm, then promptly wiped it
off. "Now Zeirom," I said, "Please don't just grab me like that over the
slightest thing. I really appreciate that you want to keep me safe and all, and
it's very gentlemanly of you, and I'm flattered that you would be so concerned,
but please, let me fight, too, okay? If I'm hurt, I can use Resta, or a Trimate,
and I'll be fine."
Zeirom chuckled, "All right then, Meira."
We heard echoes of Dragoon's whoops and hollers a few rooms down, looked at
each other, and carried on. A few rooms full of Dubchics, Gillchics, and
Canadines later, we stopped to rest. He stood and went into a low-power mode,
and I sat down on the edge of the platform we were on, and hung my legs over the
I decided to make conversation. "So why did Lynn insist on not going alone
with you when we split up, anymore? You've been very nice, so far."
"She believes that I'm a pervert. Dunno why."
"What's a pervert?"
"A, uh, pervert, Meira, hmm... Well, I suppose a pervert is someone who tries
to do, um, 'naughty' things without anyone noticing."
"Well that's strange. I haven't seen you do anything naughty."
"Really, why would I? I'm a machine, after all. Through and through."
"What does that have to do with being naughty, and getting intro trouble?"
After I asked that, Zeirom got a strange look on his face. I might say
surprise, but it may be a little bit of him just barely realizing something,
too. In any case, after that, he powered up and said, "All right, let's get
"All right, Zeirom," I said, as I turned and got back up on my feet. The room
we'd wandered into to rest was a dead end, so we trekked back across the room
we'd gone through before that, and went through a different door, to find
Dragoon and Lynn waiting for us.
"Guys, be careful," Lynn warned. "After Dragoon's invulnerability wore off,
he got hit really hard, and hasn't been quite right since."
"Um, what happened, Lynn?" asked Zeirom.
"I think a circuit board from a Gillchic got lodged in his head, just before
he used a Trimate... He's been acting real strange."
Dragoon broke into the conversation with a few choice words of his own, "I
want to hurt something big."
Zeirom shrugged. "He seems to be working just fine to me."
Zeirom's confidence re-assured me, so I shrugged it off, as well. We started
walking for the next door. "The gateway to Vol Opt's control room should be just
a couple of rooms that way."
We proceeded into the next room. We were met by two Garantz, a Sinow Gold,
and a pair of Gillchics. Before anything could be said, I called out, "I got the
Sinow Gold!" With that, I rushed out after it.
Much like my fight with the Sinow Beat, my fight with the Sinow Gold was a
long trek of dodges and parries. We both charged each other. As I ran, I put
away my Slicer, and drew my daggers. As my blades ignited, I redirected one of
the Sinow Gold's blades away from my face. It did catch my shoulder just
slightly, but it didn't bother me. Cut my shirt, and gouged a bit of skin, but I
was otherwise just fine. This time, I knew how to confront one of these
machines, in hand-to-hand combat.
It came back around to slash at me again, but I turned to step into it. After
its arm went right by me, I continued to turn, grabbing its wrist. As I thrust
it forward, I locked my dagger's trigger in to the 'on' position, and tossed it
between the two of us. I leaned forward as I tugged on the Sinow Gold's arm, and
as I did so, I brought a foot up, and caught the hilt of the dagger, just in
time to kick the blade into the Sinow Gold's chest. This caught the machine off
guard, so it went with the momentum I had started to create in it, and jumped in
the direction that I was pulling its arm.
As it went by me, I claimed my dagger from its chest, and jerked it out,
causing as much damage as I could. It landed on its feet, however, clutched its
chest for a moment, then stood straight, and formally pressed a button on its
arm. The Sinow Gold was engulfed in the mist of a Star Atomizer for a moment,
and the hold I had pierced in it was mostly closed. It stalked toward me again.
I took an aggressive stance with my daggers at the ready. It came at me with
both blades drawn. It attempted to swing them at me, raking them across each
other like a pair of scissors, but I went low, and rolled underneath its blades.
While it was still leaning forward, and moving, coming out of the roll, I thrust
my legs upward, into its chin. Its arms still locked into that position, I
sprung into the air, and caught a foothold on its wrists, from which point, I
jumped again. This time, I flipped and turned to face the direction it was
facing, as I landed on its shoulders. Rather than seriously trying to stay up
there as it struggled, I crouched quickly, and embedded my daggers on either
side of its head. With that, I held onto the daggers, and dropped behind it to
let gravity do the rest.
The Sinow Gold was sliced up quite well, and the mount for its head was
damaged beyond what any Star Atomizer could ever heal. It twitched a little, as
it lay on the ground, but it was down for the count, nonetheless.
As I looked up from this wreckage, I could see that the Gillchics were down.
Sliced apart, probably by Lynn's sword. At that present moment, Lynn and Zeirom
were finishing off the Garantz closest to the door we entered through. Dragoon
was unloading his supply of grenades on the second Garantz, though he seemed to
be using them as more of a counter measure against the Garantz' missiles, while
he hacked away with the Sinow Beat's blades he'd taken.
Finally, in an act of apparent frustration, I heard Dragoon yell, "Open that
DOOR you blasted inferior robot!" just before he took a step back, and screamed
as he charged into it, shoulder first, and rammed it dead through the door
behind it, in a most obscenely loud manner.
The loud sounds of metal crunching against metal, and a number of sparks and
small explosions came from the next room, as we approached it. There was
electrical smoke wafting out the newly augmented doorway, and we waved it by, as
we peered inside to see Dragoon pounding away at what was left of the core of
the Garantz, as though he were some sort of deranged ape on a rampage. He seemed
to finally be satisfied, when he'd crushed it to about a third of its original
size. After that, he straightened up, and stood all straight and proper.
We'd become accustomed to his rampaging fits of destruction, but after seeing
him ram a machine no less than six times his weight through a door it rightfully
shouldn't have fit through, we were amazed, nonetheless. Dragoon truly was built
for the express purpose of producing the maximum possible destructive energy in
a single attack.
Zeirom pointed at a teleporter gate. "The entrance to Vol Opt's control room
is right there," he said. We all nodded, and proceeded to it, but before we ran
in, Zeirom stopped. "We'd better head to town and replenish ourselves, first."
We all concurred, and used our telepipes and Ryuker techniques. Quick jogs to
replenish supplies of 'mates and 'fluids, then a trot over to the hospital to
heal our wounds, and revitalize us took all of 3 minutes, then we were back down
to the entrance of Vol Opt's Control Room.
We all stepped into the teleporter, and activated it. Soon after, we were
standing in the room. Alarms sounded, and a large electrical probe lowered from
the ceiling. Semitransparent monitors lined the walls, and behind them, a large
sensory device traveled around, collecting information on our locations.
Lynn and I attacked the thing behind the consoles, while Zeirom shot out the
probe at the ceiling. Dragoon, on the other hand, didn't seem quite right. He
put a hand to his forehead, and paused for a moment. The sensory device soon
hid, and a number of columns raised from the ground to act as lightning rods for
the electrical probe, and assault us with ice and fire bursts. Dragoon took this
opportunity to, in a fit of rage, rip the columns from the floor, and throw them
into the monitor screens, yelling, "No! No, I won't!" I didn't understand why he
He tore another from the floor, and threw it as well, but this time, batting
down another first, again, yelling, "I won't do it! You can't make me! Nooo!!"
He was, indeed, experiencing some great personal frustration.
The columns descended back into the floor, but Dragoon grabbed one, and
prevented it from closing, tearing it out. When the sensory device re-appeared,
he crammed the column into it, destroying it thoroughly. I could sense a very
dark presence, as the room began to explode. The monitors popped, and the air
pressure of the room decreased ever so slightly.
As a large device descended from the ceiling, that sense of a dark presence
only grew. I recalled that I felt that presence ever so slightly, when
confronting De Rol Le, but it was no where near as strong then as it was at this
As it lowered down, Dragoon felt to his knees, and clutched his head. He
screamed as loud as he could, a horrendous cry of, "Nooooooo!!!" before he
I ran over to Dragoon, yelling for him, "Dragoon!" His eyes were blinking and
fading in color. When I kneeled down next to him, I felt that same dark energy
coming from him. His eyes started to glow with ultra-violet light, and I backed
off. Something wasn't right.
"Vol Opt must've taken control over him!" Lynn yelled. "Destroy Vol Opt, and
he'll be okay!" Just at this point, Dragoon attacked me.
He threw a backhand at me, but I clumsily ducked underneath it. He brought
his fists together, and swung down at me, but I jumped to one side. His fists
slammed into the floor, crushing a part of it, and causing metal to splinter all
Vol Opt started to shoot tracking lasers all about the room. I notice Lynn
and Zeirom run by, just as Dragoon grabbed me by the shoulders. The ultra-violet
lights behind his eyes glowed more intensely, as he slammed me into the ground,
and a tracking laser settled in on my forehead. I saw a heavy metal object,
almost like a large pillar, center in above me. It had me located, and now Vol
Opt was going to crush me!
I wiggled to try to escape from Dragoon's grasp, but he held even tighter
than Zeirom. I could feel the circulation to my arms being cut off. My mind was
devoid of ideas on how to escape. I had a full-ton machine holding me to the
floor, and something that was undoubtedly heavier about to come down and turn my
head into a greasy spot.
The universe seemed to slow down for a moment. When you realize that you're
probably going to die, you gain a strange sense of clarity. Something evil was
present in Vol Opt, and it had continued to infect Dragoon. I was going to die,
and I hadn't even found Randon, yet. But that was why I had gone down to Ragol,
wasn't it? I had to find Randon, right?
As the hammer dropped, I remembered that I still had a mission. I had to get
to the Ruins, because that's where Randon went, and I could let anything stop
me. This fight with Vol Opt, and yet with Dragoon as well, was the only thing
between me and the place that Randon was last known to have been.
The hammer sped toward my head, and with more force than I had ever exerted
in my life, I lifted my legs off the ground, and more or less, curled up into a
fetal position underneath Dragoon. With a strange amount of force and speed,
that I had never known I was capable of, and I'm sure that I may never be
capable of again, I suddenly rammed my feet into Dragoon's gut, and lifted him
off the ground.
Just in time, I slid underneath him, and pushed him over me. The hammer came
down, and slammed into Dragoon behind his shoulders. There, it kept pushing, but
Dragoon withheld it, until the huge rod that it was attached to, finally broke,
and the hammer fell off to one side.
I stood to watch this, but my legs suddenly felt weak. I could hardly stand,
and my arms weren't much better, just barely regaining their normal color, after
having become almost purple.
Dragoon stood up slowly, and turned to me. At this, I understood how he truly
was, as a machine. He was virtually unstoppable. The only thing was, my life
depended on me stopping him. Lynn and Zeirom were still assaulting Vol Opt,
frantically trying to disable it, so that it would relinquish its control over
Dragoon. I feared that Vol Opt wouldn't be defeated quickly enough, and Dragoon
was charging toward me right then.
I went to slash at his gut with my daggers, but he blocked with his blades.
At the moment, my arms were in no position to try to overpower his, and even if
I had tried to hold him back, there was no way that I could. He backhanded me
again, and I flew across the room, where I slammed into the wall. I consider it
a miracle that my neck didn't break. The Great Light was surely watching out for
me. At this point, I was convinced that I wasn't fighting Dragoon, but The
Profound Darkness, itself. Dragoon had, after all, proven himself to be none
other than, somewhat of a god of destruction, causing harm even to the machine
that was controlling him.
Dragoon, seeing that I wasn't yet dead, charged after me again. Fighting
Dragoon is no laughing matter. Because of his combination of weight, strength,
and speed, the traditional concepts of using your opponent's momentum against
him become warped and of no use. Because he's in complete control of everything
he does, with the precision of a high-powered computer, all you can hope to do
is lock him into a situation where only you can reap an advantage.
I did still have one advantage over him. As fast as he is, I am still faster,
even though my legs were still a little woozy. So I could out maneuver him, and
I did, as he punched and kicked at me, but I still had to figure out how I could
damage him. All I could really do was dodge and parry.
He threw one punch after another, and tried to stunt my movement by
performing several different strategies of attack all at once. I did come up
with an idea, though. Getting hopeful, seeing that he is such a destructive
force, I tried to bring him into range of Vol Opt, in hopes that I could get him
to hit that. As hammers hit down and missiles flew, I did get him to hit Vol Opt
a couple of times, but I couldn't get him to do what I really wanted him to, and
that was to rip off a piece of Vol Opt to throw at me.
I couldn't stay so close to Vol Opt forever, though. As it began to turn, I
had to move away from it, and Dragoon got me caught against a wall. He held me
by my neck against the wall, and my feet dangled. I was choking, when he drew
back his fist. I'd come this far, but I knew that this couldn't be the end. I'd
proven a good fight for him, but if he killed me, then that would be it. There
would be no bringing me back.
If I couldn't be brought back, then I couldn't go to the Ruins to find
Randon, and that just wasn't acceptable. I had to find Randon, and at that
moment, Dragoon was the largest obstacle to that... and I hated him for it. I
could feel the hate, frustration and anger welling up inside me, just as the
tears were welling up in my eyes. I didn't like the feeling that Dragoon was
causing me to have, but that only fueled it more. I had never been so incredibly
angry in my life.
That's when it happened. Dragoon was just about to throw his punch, when I
shoved my hands at him, and from me, burst this wretched black ball of energy.
This horrible ball of hate, anger, and frustration. I couldn't stand it, I had
to let it out. Thus, I spilled it all onto Dragoon, and as the ball passed
through him, his eyes grew dark once more. His fist lowered, and his grip
loosened. I fell to the ground, and Dragoon toppled over, lifeless. Dragoon was
killed, by my first burst of the dark technique, Megid.
I was shocked that I could do such a thing to Dragoon. He had become my
friend, and we even went to the zoo together! But now was not the time to deal
with this. If I had to place blame for Dragoon's death, I had to place it on Vol
Grabbing my daggers from the ground, I charged in at it, targeting a location
behind a missile turret that Zeirom had just shot off. I slashed and stabbed at
it, until between the three of us, we brought it down, and took it out of
commission. Finally, it fell, and I stumbled backward, tired and otherwise worn.
My legs were jello, my arms were sore, and my neck really really hurt. I caste
Resta, but that did little more than heal my cuts and bruises. I was still,
nonetheless, quite hurt.
"Zeirom..." I said, "Please take me home now." Zeirom didn't argue, and
quickly came and caught me, as I collapsed into his arms. I wasn't unconscious
yet, but I was darned close. From that haze, I remember going through the
transporter with him, and I remember listening to his feet clank all the way
back to my apartment. It was after he laid me down on my bed and I mumbled a
thanks to him, that I finally passed out.