The Recollection Of Meira
In the next room of this labyrinth we call the Caves, we fought large groups
of creatures classified as Altered Beasts. Zeirom picked off the living,
poisonous Poison Lilies from the door with some variety of photon rifle, while
Dragoon and I slayed the varying breeds of bipedal sharks that would mindlessly
try to surround us and slash us to death. Meanwhile, Lynn took care of
Nanodragons, by strategically placing herself in between them, so that when they
shot off their beam attacks, she could simply sidestep in one direction, and
watch each beam hit the opposing Nanodragon. Her expression through all that was
oddly calm, but I didn't think anything of it.
Meanwhile, I got surrounded by Pal Sharks. Four of them. I frustratedly
dodged left and right, up and down, around their blade-claw-fin things, until I
finally got irritated enough that I jumped straight up, crammed a heel into
one's forehead, and forward-flipped over the one directly in front of it, and
came down on it from behind, tearing my photon daggers through its back. That
shark dropped, and I proceeded on to the next three.
I immediately bought myself some time by tripping the shark on my left,
stabbing a blade in its eye to throw it off balance. Then I took that same
blade, this being the blade in my left hand, and slashed it through the chest of
the shark directly in front of me (the one that got a heel to its forehead a
moment ago), on its way to the throat of the shark on my right.
Slicing open the throat of the shark on my right with my left dagger, I
continued to swing around, and finished off the shark in front of me with the
business end of the dagger in my right hand, plunging it underneath the shark's
chin, upward into what I always hoped was a vital organ.
By this time, the shark on my left had struggled back to its feet, so I took
a couple of quick swipes across its chest and face, and finished it off with a
boot to the gut, causing it to fall over face-first, into the ground, where it
would quickly bleed to death.
Having finished that, I looked up just in time to see Dragoon throw an eighth
Evil Shark into a corner. Then he emit a series of beeps. First three quick
beeps, then two, then one, and finally, on rhythm, he did something that
surprised all of us. Now, the beeps got the attention of all three of us, and
this really kind of explained to us just as to why he was able to clear out
rooms so quickly.
On rhythm with the beeps, his shoulders opened up, and a number of photon
grenades shot out, into the air, and as if they'd been guided, they angled down
at the corner containing the sharks, and shot at them. Each grenade hit in
sequence, two or three at a time, until finally all the grenades had spent
themselves, and only one Evil Shark was left, protected by the splattered
remains of its brethren. It struggled to its feet, but its victory over the
bombardment was short-lived, as Dragoon's shoulders immediately closed, and
Dragoon charged in on the shark. Dragoon put his fist through the shark's chest,
which pinned the shark to the wall until Dragoon pulled his arm back. When the
shark fell to the ground, and Dragoon walked away, I took a good look at the
wall, observing that his fist evidently made solid contact with the wall, as
evidenced by the lung and ribs plastered to it, as well as the cracks in the
rock behind them.
Dragoon hopped up the five or six stairs that lead up an incline in the room,
and posed dramatically at the top of them. Zeirom, puzzled by Dragoon's maneuver
with the sharks, stepped over to Dragoon, and at this time, pushed him out of
I personally think that Zeirom was just a little jealous at this point. He
said to him, "Dragoon, just what in the Abyss was that?" On the other hand,
maybe he really was just confused.
Dragoon was still giddy. All excited and as if he were an old man from a
better time, he said, "I'm an older model than you are, Zeirom. Much older. Back
in my day, androids used to have neat gadgets like that, that they could find.
Most of you young bucks just have a grenade dropper, to set your bombs and ice
traps. Well me, I'm older. Back in my day, we didn't HAVE floating traps! Uh-uh!
Noooo way! If we wanted to drop a bomb at a range that wouldn't hit us, we had
to LAUNCH them. So that's what I've got. I've got a multi-barrel grenade
launcher in each shoulder. With the Burst Rock hardware driver, I can shoot off
sixteen grenades at a time, and I've got the storage and auto-loader to reload 4
times, before I have to make a run to the City to restock. Now, you newer
models, bah, you guys were built 'economically,' or so they say. Instead of
launching bombs, you just drop them. Cheaper to build, but no where NEAR as
Zeirom shrugged. "Were all the models from your time as blood thirsty as you,
too?" he asked.
Dragoon took on a stoic pose, and looked up at the ceiling, as though it
weren't there. He said, "I was the first and last of my breed," as if it meant
that he was some holy relic from a time forgotten.
Just then, Lynn walked up to me. It seems she'd been watching me, when I took
down the group of Pal Sharks that had surrounded me. "Meira," she said, "How did
you learn to fight like that?"
I was bewildered by her interest, but shrugged it off. "Fight like what?" I
"You took on those Pal Sharks like you were playing with them. I mean, you
were even giggling toward the end there."
"Yes, you were. Your technique was excellent, by the way. I'm sure that if
you were to go on like that for too long, you'd get rather tired, but it was not
only very flashy, but just as effective, too. I like that," she claimed. She
smirked, and I looked at her funny. She finished with, "I'm going to have to
keep an eye on your progress." So I looked at her funny some more, then watched
as she winked at me, turned around, and walked in the general direction of the
As she walked by, both androids looked at her. Lynn walked behind Zeirom, and
as she walked by, she raised her hand, to run it along the back of his head.
From there, she continued to saunter toward the next unlocked door, which led
into a little room.
When her hand left his head-- and, I swear, I have never seen an android do
this before, especially not a big tank like Zeirom-- When her hand left his
head, he actually jumped, then jerked his head around, arms part-way
outstretched, palms facing toward the ground, like a kitten who'd just been
dropped to the floor after receiving a good pet in someone's arms.
At about this point, Dragoon made a dash for the locked door, and arrived at
it just as Lynn hit the button in the other room to unlock it. On the other side
of it, was a short hallway which leads to a huge room; in which, the floor was a
huge metal grate, for the most part, suspended above a river of molten lava. It
was, to say the least, rather hot in this segment of the Caves. Putting second
thoughts aside, we all charged in, and cleared the room of its unnatural
inhabitants. Dragoon amused himself by uprooting Poison Lilies, and depositing
them in the lava.
It scared me when I realized that I did this, but I eventually teamed up with
Dragoon in slaughtering Guil Sharks. We'd each grab one, and ram them into each
other, or we'd both grab the same one, and use it like a bowling ball to ram two
or three others over the railing on the edge of the floor. I even helped him
stuff one through the holes in the grate. I had to say it, but I actually had
fun. Well, at least, until Dragoon mounted himself on the back of a Nanodragon
and, ended up riding it across the room, trying to strangle it. Honestly, they
would make a good mount, if they could be tamed. It was able to fly quite
easily, even with Dragoon on its back.
Dragoon finally made it back to the ground, but not until Zeirom shot down
the Nanodragon. It was evident that Dragoon was trying to aim the falling beast
at the large spout-ish hole thing in the middle of the platform, and his aim was
just about right, until he jumped off, and thereby pushed it off course. Its
grand collision with the platform rammed its head through it. We were all
surprised. Noticing the dents in the floor where Dragoon's feet planted
themselves, we all agreed that it would be best to move on as quickly as
The Caves are a huge location. The total explored area contains three levels,
each one bigger than both halves of the Central Dome's courtyards, combined.
Furthermore, each level is a different complex of corridors and chambers, each
chamber filled with variations of the local creatures. To make matters even
worse, there are no less than six different entry points for each complex, each
entry point dealing with its own segment of the level.
Each level has its own unique features, and each serves a unique purpose. The
first level was used to harvest rock resources, and metals. It was eventually
abandoned, for all the dangerous creatures that one way or another, made their
way in. At first the resource gatherers thought they could contain the
creatures, by installing a system of sensors and door locks, which checked for
life forms with the specific properties that gave them away as being Altered
Beast class, and locked the 1-foot thick, solid steel doors, if they were
present. Access to certain areas was also restricted by laser bars, but those
often did nothing for keeping the monsters out.
As the story goes, it supposedly worked for a while, until the creatures made
their own entrances into the rooms, by burrowing, or finding cracks big enough
for them to squeeze through. The resource gatherers were forced to abandon their
mines in the caves, but many of them still died in the process. Many of our
culture's people have already died on Ragol, indeed.
By the time we finally found the teleporter that had been laid down in this
segment of the first level of the Caves, it was getting late. We were faced with
the question of whether or not we should call it a night, and all go home to get
some rest. Except for Dragoon, who was faced with a helmet fashioned out of a
Grass Assassin's head.
Zeirom looked at Lynn and myself. He said, "All right, you two. When night
falls on Ragol, the more dangerous monsters come out to play, and this forces
the weaker monsters to run and hide. You'll find that the Grass Assassins have
been replaced with Crimson Assassins, which will breath liquid nitrogen on you,
and freeze you, rather than stick you to the floor with energy webbing. All the
Evil Sharks and Pal Sharks, you'll find, have been driven away by the Booma's
cousins, Vulmer and Govulmer. Worse yet, at night, Poison Lilies adjust, and
become Ob Lilies, which don't waste time poisoning you, but rather, they've
developed to use our own Megid technique. Also, by this time, the Nanodragons
have eaten, so they'll be stronger, too. Now, do you two believe that you can
handle this, or do you want to call it a day, and go rest until tomorrow
To make a longer story shorter, after some questioning and deliberation, Lynn
and I decided that the best idea would be to remove the Grass Assassin's head
from Dragoon's own, then proceed into the second level of the Caves.