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Trys and Iris stares stood fixed on each other. It had been
many years since they had seen each other, bad memories flowed
like wine through their heads, clouding their judgment and emotions.
Both were oblivious to the sound of a door near Trys and her group
opening, and to large red android passing through it. Trys watched
as the gaze of the force flanking Iris quickly and sudden;y turned
to Trys right. On instinct, Trys turned her head to look. Following
Trys eyes Iris looked, and saw Tygrin as the door closed behind
him. Iris and Tear stood frozen in shock and fear, Trys in bewilderment.
Tygrin turned to face Trys group.
What We Couldn't Say
T.. Tygrin?! Trys barely managed to whisper. Across the room,
Iris and Tear suddenly ran for the door leading to the transporter
area. Trys glanced in their direction. Damn!, theyre running...
Tygrins eyes began to glow a pale white, he was walking towards
Trys group slowly, methodically. BWS stepped in front of Trys,
sword drawn and at the ready. He stood perfectly still prepared
Trys, go after them, well handle him. Trys glanced at BWS,
and nodded. She ran as fast as she could after Iris. Now, Ive
heard about you, BWS spoke to Tygrin, but this is the end for
you. XPunanny, Lola, and Ophelia drew their weapons and flanked
BWS, ready to fight. Had he been able to, Tygrin would have smiled.
Trys reached the door Iris and Tear had passed through, and ran
through it into a long corridor with another identical door at
the far end.
Trys emerged from the corridor in a large dark room, filled
with wreckage from Pioneer 1s assault vehicles and military devices.
The door shut behind her, bathing the room in absolute darkness.
Trys Numan eyes helped her a little to see in the dark, she could
make out silhouettes of the pieces of wreckage, and she slowly
proceeded on Iris and Tears scent. The room was confusing, Trys
was certain Iris and tear were still in the room, but the stale
air of the ruins made scent tracking difficult, and a Numan nose
simply wasnt strong enough to penetrate the fowl air. Trys walked
slowly, knees bent, her sword at the ready. A sudden flash of
light from near a distant piece of wreckage caught Trys attention,
the photon bullet hit her in the left shoulder, causing her to
stagger back. Trys heard a loud pinging noise above her and looked
up, a anti-gravity proximity mine had appeared above her head.
Someone had booby trapped the room. The mine exploded a moment
after appearing, knocking Trys to the floor and sending her sword
sliding along the floor into the darkness. Trys forehead felt
warm, and she slowly ran her hand across the skin, and brought
her hand to eye level. Even in the darkness, Trys knew there was
blood on her hand. A second flash from near the first caused Trys
to jump to behind a nearby piece of wreckage just as a photon
bullet whizzed past her head.
What are you doing here! Iris shouted from the darkness, You
have no business here! Iris voice echoed and reverberates throughout
the room, making sound location impossible.
I could ask the same thing to you! Trys shouted back, This
isnt a place for any of us!
On the contrary! This is exactly the place for Tear and I.
We were born for this very purpose!
You intend to absorb Dark Force?! Thats insane!
What if I do? Its no business of yours!
You are my business Iris, you always have been!
Youre a fool Trys, believing their lies. You had your chance
back in the mountains all those years ago. You couldnt stop me
then, and you cant stop me now!
I didn't kill you that day because if I had Tear would have
never been found!
Lies, all you do is lie, and be lied to. I was willing to let
you be, but you had to press the issue. You had to come here.
You had to interfere!
Iris, there were so many things we couldnt say back then.
So many things unresolved.
No more time for words! Only one of us will leave this room.
Im sorry Iris, so sorry... Trys pressed a glowing button
on her datalink and a red photon pistol appeared in her hand.
...but I cant let you go through with this. One way or another,
it ends here. Trys stood and began to run for a pile of wreckage
near her, she fired several shots in the direction the previous
two from Iris had come from. From a different position, Iris returned
fire. For several minutes Iris and Trys exchanged fire, running
back and forth amongst the piles of wreckage, using them for cover.
Each shot from a pistol a momentary flash of light in a room swallowed
by darkness. Trys ran from pile to pile, rolling from her run,
ducking, leaning to avoid some shots, Iris doing the same. An
unrehearsed symphony of emotion covered by the darkest of veils,
revealed only through momentary flashes revealing the silhouettes
of the two women. A door opposite the side Trys had entered opened,
Tear standing in front of it.
Found it sister! Tear yelled in the direction Iris had been
firing from. Trys looked at Tear, she was smiling. A shot from
nearby was fired, Trys ducked, but immediately noticed the shot
was aimed too high to hit her. It hit a concealed anti-gravity
proximity mine instead. The explosion knocked Trys to the floor,
and sent a shock wave of pain throughout her body. From the corner
of her eye Trys saw Iris emerge from behind a pile of wreckage
and run to Tear, then grab Tears hand and run through the doorway
into the hallway beyond. The door closed, and the room was again
bathed in absolute darkness.
Iris and Tear ran through the final hallway to large door, appearing
exactly like all the others they had thus encountered. They stood
in front of the door for several seconds before it opened. The
stepped into a room with several levels of perimeter elevated
walkways, in the center of the room directly in front of them
was a guild transporter, the one leading to the inner ruins.
Trys slowly sat up, her entire body was in pain, she was certain
she was bleeding, probably badly. She remembered with clarity
what had happened, and it confused her. Iris had never been a
fighter, something was wrong, Iris would never have been able
to win in a fight. Trys pushed herself to her feet, and began
to walk in the direction of the door Iris and Tear had left through.
Iris and Tear slowly walked towards the transporter. Something
wasnt right, the guild almost never put something so valuable
in such an exposed location. They stopped in front of the transporter.
Iris waved her left arm through the energy current of the device,
and pressed a button on her datalink. Her datalinks small screen
gave readouts on the transporters condition.
Tear, Iris knelt down and placed her hand on Tears shoulder,
this transporter is low on power, it looks like it will only
be able to transport one of us at a time. You should go first.
Tear turned her head to look at the transporter.
Um... something... not want to, something bad... The door
they had entered through opened, Trys stood on the other side.
She slowly walked through the doorway, the door slowly closing
behind her. She was limping, he left leg appeared injured, and
she was bleeding from the temple. Her left shoulder had a severe
photon burn on it. In her right hand, she held a red photon pistol.
Iris... Trys could barely speak, and it was taking everything
she had to do so so loudly, No further... Trys raised her pistol
and pointed it at Iris. This has to end... Trys could barely
hold her gun steady, she was dizzy from blood loss, and on the
verge of passing out. She had had two mines detonate in close
proximity to her, she was lucky to even be alive. Trys stared
Iris dead in the eyes, Iris returned the stare. Iris raised her
right arm, a red photon pistol held in her hand.
Youre right, this does have to end. Goodbye sister... Iris
lowered her brow and took one final look at Trys. The door behind
Trys opened, Tygrin stood in the doorway. A look of terror and
shock drew across Iris face. Trys felt the door open behind her,
and as quickly as she could she turned around to see Tygrin within
arms length of her. Trys looked up and Tygrins face, his eyes
were glowing. She tried to raise her gun, but he quickly swatted
it out of her almost limp hand.
Tygrin grabbed Trys by the neck and slowly lifted her up to
his eye level. Trys was badly injured, and in no condition to
offer any serious resistance. For the first time she could remember
since her childhood, Trys was terrified. Trys could feel Tygrin
tighten his grip around her neck, and she slowly felt her heartbeat
slow. The blood running down her brow began to run over Tygrins
hand, the blood was indistinguishable from Tygrins hand, their
color was the same.
Iris snapped out of her shock and squeezed the trigger several
times in rapid succession. Tygrin dropped Trys and put both of
his arms in front him in a defensive position. The shots hit his
arms and caused no apparent damage. Tygrin lowered his arms and
slowly began to walk to Iris. On the floor, Trys gently coughed
several times before passing out. Iris began to slowly backup
towards the transporter.
Tear!, Iris shouted, listen to me, get on that transporter
and go to the inner ruins! Quickly, Ill follow right after you...
Iris... Tear attempted to protest, but was interrupted by
Listen, do it now! Iris shoved Tear onto the transporter,
Go! Tygrin stopped advancing on Iris and Tear. On the transporter
pad, tear began to flicker, her body slowly becoming transparent.
The transport sequence was not going as it should have, and
Iris knew it. She starred at Tear, standing on the pad, she looked
terrified. The transporter began to make a low humming noise,
and as soon as it began, Tear began to scream. Iris frantically
inspected the transporter with her datalink, but could find nothing
wrong. On the Transporter pad, Tear began to cry, still screaming
as if in terrible pain. There was a sudden flash of light, and
Tear vanished. The transporter shut off.
Tear?! TEAR!! Iris screamed at the transporter, she wanted
to know what had happened.
Whats the matter? A deep metallic reverberating voice from
behind Iris spoke, Werent expecting that to happen were you...
Iris turned to face Tygrin, he was laughing.
You... you did something to it didn't you!
Of course. Ive been waiting for you down here, you two are
always disappearing in front of me on these transporters, not
today it seems. A look of rage quickly formed on Iris face,
tears began to stream down her face.
You BASTARD! She was... she was so... oh Tear...
Shes gone, I only need one of you. I was hoping it would be
My sister, Tear, shes gone... what did you do to the transporter?!
Where did she materialize?!
She didn't materialize, she was vaporized. No reversing this
time, no running, no fighting. Youre MINE. Tygrins eyes began
to glow. He slowly resumed walking towards Iris, he was still
several meters from her. Iris dropped the gun in her hand, it
hit the floor with a clicking sound. Iris stood firm, unflinching,
unafraid, the tears streaming down her cheeks.
Tear... for you... Iris whispered. Iris eyes slowly began
to glow a deep orange, waves of energy began to emanate from her
body. A flame like energy began to wisp from her skin, streaks
of electrical current filed the air. Tygrin stopped walking.
What is this? What are you doing? Tygrins words held a menacing
tone. On the far side of the room near the door, Trys regained
consciousness, and slowly shifted her body to watch. In two overlapping
and identical voices, Iris spoke to Tygrin.
You are mistaken. It is you who are MINE. Iris raised her
right arm and pointed her fingers at Tygrin. A powerful blast
of energy eminatd from Iris hand and struck Tygrin, the impact
blasting him across the room. Tygrin flew through the air from
the impact of the blast, and impacted the wall near the door.
He slid down the wall and slumped into a sitting position, his
head rolled aside and came to rest on his left shoulder. A giant
scorch mark remained on the front of Tygrins torso.
For a moment, Trys believed that Iris may have defeated Tygrin.
He sat there, his eyes not glowing, he did not move. Iris began
to walk towards Tygrin slowly, methodically as he had done to
her so often in the past. As Iris approached, Tygrin quickly and
suddenly stood up. With tremendous speed and agility Tygrin crossed
the distance between himself and Iris. Just as quickly he planted
a fist in Iris lower abdomen, she collapsed. Her eyes quickly
ceased glowing, and the energy she had been emitting dissipated.
Trys could barely believe what she was seeing. Tygrin knelt down,
and was preparing to pickup Iris when he was struck by a powerful
concentrated blast from a photon rifle. He stood back up and looked
at the elevated walkways along the perimeter of the room. Standing
all around him were dozens of green female androids, all with
large photon rifles, pointed at him. From behind one of the green
androids Trys observed a NUman female appear. She jumped from
the elevated walkway she was on to the ground level, standing
directly in front of Tygrin. She was taller than both Trys and
Iris, her hair was short and white, but she was clearly not elderly.
Her face was the same face Iris and Trys shared, her skin a deep
tanned olive brown.
Tygrin, this is the end. She spoke softly, and raised her
hand in the same fashion Iris had done a moment before. Tygrin
moved to attack the new woman in a similar fashion. She dodged
his attack, seeming to move faster than physically possible, and
turned her palm towards Tygrin. A powerful bolt of white photonic
energy emanated form her palm and struck Tygrin, burning a perfectly
round hole through his abdomen. Tygrin looked down at the hole
in his chest, and collapsed onto the floor. His eyes ceased glowing.
The woman walked over to Trys, and knelt down. Please be patient.
The woman extended her palms towards Trys and cast a very powerful
resta technique. Trys could feel her wounds slowly begin to heal,
she knew that slow healing meant she was on the verge of death,
and it would be several more minutes before the healing took full
effect. She was still in pain.
The woman with the white hair stood up and began to walk towards
the door out of the room. The green androids on the upper levels
W... Wait... Trys barely managed to say through a cracked
voice, Who are you? The woman stopped in front of the door.
She turned her head, but not her body. I am a shadow.
A shadow, I am the fifth. I am Solace. It was nice to meet
you, sister. With her final word Solace opened the door and walked
into the hallway beyond, the door closing behind her. Trys, still
reeling from pain, drifted off into unconsciousness.
Trys regained consciousness in the medical center of Pioneer
2. She was laying in a medical bed, still wearing her bloodstained
hunters clothes. She turned her head to her right, in a bed next
to hers, lay Iris. Beyond Iris lay a closed window, the room was
barely lit, it must have been night. She turned her head to her
left, standing by her bedside was BWS-1 and Lyca. Lyca appeared
to be sleeping.
Youre awake... BWS calmly and quietly said.
Yeah... Trys managed to whisper. Her entire body felt stiff
and sore. She noticed her wounds were healed. What happened?
Well, I was hoping you could fill us in.
Tell me what happened with Tygrin down there...
Not much to tell, he was immune to all Lola and Puns techniques,
and he moved so fast, neither I nor that Ophelia woman could hit
him. I feel embarrassed to say, but he made short work of all
of us. You too judging from those scars you had when we found
you. You were lucky to be alive.
What happened? Down there I mean? Iris hasnt woken up, the
doctors and nurses have been mumbling something about her having
a strange aura, any idea what that means?
Not really, but I know who would.
Right, well, well take care of it tomorrow, you need some
What do you mean but?
Youre going to ask me something else, arent you.
Well... when we were carrying you to the P2 transporter, you
kept saying something.
What was I saying?
Something about solace. Trys thought about the woman who
had called herself Solace. Trys memory was fuzzy, she was having
trouble remembering what had happened. She remembered the woman
named Solace, the woman who killed Tygrin and claimed to be a
Shadow. Trys was tired. She closed her eyes, and went back to
sleep. There would be time enough for all explinations and questions
tomorrow. Right now, she just wanted to rest.
Project Sols, End...
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