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Trys and BWS-1 stood veiled in the shadows of the Whitil sector
of Pioneer 2. They were near the transporter to Ragol, waiting
for their comrades to arrive. It was very early in the morning,
and the shopping promenade was mostly empty. Iris and Tear were
somewhere down on Ragol, and they had to be stopped. A look of
nervous apprehension took shape on Trys face as she paced back
and forth in front of BWS, who leaned back against the wall behind
him and folded his arms across his chest. I dont understand,
Trys said, why Master Zoke would do something like that. It trivializes
the blade... Trys thought back to her conversation earlier in
her apartment with BWS. She had only just opened a sword box sent
to her my her departed master when BWS arrived. They had both
been sent identical swords, and holographic messages from Zoke.
He had asked them to carryout his final wishes and defeat the
danger he sensed beneath Ragols surface. The swords were perfect
copies of a legendary blade called the Agito, The Final Sword
of the Heavens it was called, a masterwork of craftsmanship and
design. Zoke had used nano replication technology to duplicate
the sword, and Trys was having a difficult time understanding
The blade is only trivialized if its use is unjust. BWS calmly
replied. If the master felt we needed such strong power on our
side then he surely thought this entity below Ragol to be strong.
I suppose... Trys eventually replied, but still, its not
right to... copy, something like the Agito.
Perhaps, but dire times require desperate measures., BWS replied.
Very true the a voice from the shadows spoke up, Now, what
in Gollas name did you call me out here in the dead of night
for? A short Numan force wearing black garbs emerged from the
shadows. Her outfit was a standard guild uniform, trimmed with
red. Her hair was a pinkish purple color, but it was mostly obscured
by her enormous hat, which had two gigantic yellow fuzzy balls
attached to the ends of the hats two backwards slanting points.
Lola!, Trys exclaimed Finally!
And just what was so important that I meet you here at this
hour? Why couldnt you transmit over the datalink network?
Oh yes, do tell a deep voice from around a nearby corner chimed
in. A tall male Numan force with spiked hair and a golden outfit
stepped out from behind the corner.
Hello XPunanny. BWS-1 calmly replied.
Cmon B, call me Pun...
Okay, Trys interrupted, it looks like were all here...
Trys quickly looked down the empty promenade and made sure there
wasnt anyone else in the vicinity. She faced Lola and Pun, and
slowly explained the situation, about her past, about Iris, photonic
life forms, Master Zoke, the Agitos, and the creature called Falz.
When she finished explaining neither Lola or Pun said a word.
It was several minutes before anyone spoke.
So.. what youre saying, Lola slowly said as she struggled
to make sense of what she had just heard, Is that you want us
to go with you, right now, down to the ruins on Ragol... and do
what? Kill your sister? Trys lowered her chin and glanced at
the floor, her eyes closed and she saw brief flashes of the night
she and her sisters had escaped from the labs. She quickly opened
her eyes and looked Lola and Pun.
If it comes to that, Trys slowly and coldly replied, Then
yes. She has to be stopped. All three looked at Trys.
Im in. Pun exclaimed.
You know where I stand. BWS-1 proclaimed calmly. Lola stood
silent for several minutes, deep in thought.
Right then, she slowly mumbled guess Im going too.
Okay everyone, Trys proclaimed, We leave in ten minutes,
get anything you need and meet at the Whitil Ragol transporter.
The group split up, Lola and Pun walking off in the direction
of the Check Room. BWS left briefly to return to his home and
explain the situation to his better half. Trys stood in the cold
of the night, in front of the Whitil Ragol transporter. She gazed
up at the stars. Images of the night she escaped from the labs
slowly drifted through her mind. A symphony of memory flooded
her brain, feelings she had long repressed slowly surfaced. Tears
slowly began to creep down her cheeks. She did not look forward
to what she somehow knew she would soon have to do. A gentle voice
pierced the stark silence.
Theyre beautiful arent they? The stars I mean. Theres so
many of them, but I never tire of looking at them. Here on this
ship... we live in a perpetual midnight. A haze of neon and artificial
light our only beacon to guide us.
Trys let the images and feelings fade from her thoughts, and
slowly lowered her head to look at the source of the voice. A
Numan woman wearing a yellow guild uniform with cherry red spiked
hair was standing no more than a meter away.
My name is Ophelia, the woman began, Ive been looking for
you for several hours now Solstrys, Im glad I finally found you.
And what can I do for you?
Well, earlier today I met one of the most rude people I have
ever run across in my life. I believe you know her, she looks
remarkably like you as a mater of fact...
Thats her. A real charmer your sister.
What do you want?
Its quite simple dear. I know that the principal ordered you
to stay on Pioneer 2 and not interfere, and I also know your android
friend knocked two army guards out cold. So, its simple, I go
with you down to Ragol, or I go to the guild and report this illegal
expedition. Trys pondered the situation for several moments.
Fine, I have no problem with you joining up. Just know that
this isnt some school field trip were taking. Were going straight
into the heart of the ruins.
All the more reason, Ophelia replied, For you to take me
with you. From the far end of the promenade Lola and Pun returned.
Who is this? Lola questioned Trys.
This is Ophelia... Trys began.
You can call me Ophie! Ophelia jubilantly responded, Ill
be going down with you. Pun stifled a laugh, and wound up snickering
rather loudly. A slight flash on the transporter pad signaled
the return of BWS-1.
Whats so funny Pun? BWS asked.
Er, Pun looked at Ophelia, who was blushing bright red, obviously
realizing the unintentional implications of what she had said
in popular vernacular, um, nothing. Pun smirked.
B, this is Ophelia... Trys began.
Ophie! Ophelia interrupted, Do get it right dear.
Right, Ophie, Trys rolled her eyes, anyway B, shes coming
with us... Pun began to laugh uncontrollably. Trys suddenly realized
what she had said. It had been too long since she had been around
Pun, she had forgotten about his more unrefined personality traits.
Ophelia suddenly punched Pun in the gut with great strength, he
Well, BWS-1 began, Its fine with me if she joins us, its
obvious she can handle herself...
Okay then, Ive set the transporter to take us to the teleport
in point closest to where Tear is. Everyone, Trys looked at the
assembled group of people, lets go, and... thanks... All five
walked onto the transporter pad, and one by one they disappeared
in flashes of light.
It had been almost twenty minutes since they had arrived in
the mines, and they had yet to encounter a single foe. Piles of
scrap metal and broken robots were everywhere. The mines were
eerily quiet, tensions were high as if everyone were walking on
glass. I dont like this, BWS said, Somethings not right.
Ive heard the stories about the crazy program, that AI called
Volt Opt. Supposedly it regenerates after it is defeated. The
guild always knows when its back online because the Ruins transporter
goes dead. But the mines are off-line, the ruins transporter should
Were close to the AI now, Pun said, Ive fought it before,
if its operational I dont think well have much difficulty defeating
it... True to Puns word, the party soon encountered the transporter
leading to the AI core, and Volt Opt. The transporter was low
on power, and barely functioning. BWS inspected the transporter,
and determined it had enough power in its buffers to send the
entire party to the core. They stepped on and vanished in pale
flashes of subdued light. When they rematerialized, they were
standing in a circular room, with a giant heap of scrap in the
middle. It was the remains of the armored core of the AI, Volt
Opt. Someone had severed its connection with the rest of the
mines, and it had lost power. For now, it was helpless. The only
exit from the room led to a descending staircase, an eerie oscillating
light softly emitting from the depths. At the bottom of the passageway
was a large door, inscribed with ancient writings none of the
party could read. The door had been opened, and Trys knew that
somewhere, beyond the door Iris and Tear were slowly making their
way to the inner ruins, and the creature called Falz.
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