Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 31 Pt 1


Official Report
The Downing Building
New Hebron, California

Indigo Knight sat upright. His head throbbed and his ears rung, but he was alive, for the time being. At first he could see nothing save for a homogeneous blur through the slits in his helmet.

The current iteration of his armor utilized external cameras and sensors, and fed him an incredible amount of data. It also made him reliant on the suit’s systems. When those systems failed, which only happened once before and even then only under extreme circumstances, it left him helpless. The heads-up display flared to life illuminating the room before his eyes. He made a mental note to see if he might be able increase visibility through the eye slots.

Now that the humans were keeping Chemosh occupied he stepped into action. His counterpart believed him dead, thanks to his suit. He’d gotten the idea from a human term, a dead man’s switch. The suit would stop his heart and revive him after a set period.

Such an ordeal would have been traumatic to a human, but his people possessed healing capabilities that helped get him up and going where a Terran would have been down for the count.   Though powerless after banishing Chemosh into the realm of the Gallu, he still possessed his healing abilities and he sensed when others used their powers around him.

As his suit finished rebooting, he looked around taking in the surrounding scene. Harrier and Garos seemed to have fallen in battle. Indigo Knight turned his attention to the center of the chamber where Agent Van den Broeke, Psyren and Chemosh stood. Bathed in light, they appeared to be locked in a battle of will. He knew the agent had no telepathic abilities from the moment he first met her, but how had she entered the fight?
As he studied them, he came to understand. It was the bond she shared with Sapphira, though a faint hum, he could sense the energies vibrating between them.

He spotted movement and turned his gaze upon Babalawo, the young man with abilities so similar to the Gallu. The other man seemed oblivious to him, moving across the chamber toward the motionless trio. Though he didn’t have reason to distrust the exemplar, he tensed as he watched him walk. The man’s movements were stiff, almost mechanical where before the man moved with smooth grace. It made the hair stand on the back of his neck.

He did not confront the man, but rather watched. If his instincts were correct, then it might be best if Babalawo did not know of his prescence. If he needed to stop the man, it would be much easier with the element of surprise on his side. The Gallu were hard to kill. Their ability to phase through matter meant that so long as they remained in their phased state they were impervious to most conventional weapons. Moloch suspected the same would be true of the exemplar.

The Gallu… Indigo Knight peered back out the opening in the building made by Garos as realization hit him. Why was it none of the creatures entered the building? They loved to feed on dying exemplars and the energies being unleashed within from Chemosh alone would have been enough to draw them like bees to honey.

He eyed the gateway, noting the girl laying at its base. One of Chemosh’s former hosts. He tried to avoid direct confrontations with his brother over the centuries, but he was often on scene in the aftermath cleaning up her messes. He’d left a lot of hosts behind, most of those times they were dead, but there were he left one that was still breathing. This girl fell into the latter category. Which  meant Chemosh had wiped her mind clean.  She would be a blank slate.

Why leave the girl at all? He’d had ample opportunity to kill her, unless he intended to make use of the body. He jerked his head up, eying the gateway as understanding dawned on him. There was one way to know for certain if his suspicions were correct.

Though his suit was a technological marvel to the people of Earth, to a being who had once witnessed stars and entire solar systems destroyed in the blink of an eye the armor was a limited, but useful tool. He’d made use of human tech to build it, but he’d made many improvements with his knowledge of the sciences. The sensors alone were, perhaps the most advanced part of the armor, and it was that which he activated.

A sinking feeling formed in the pit of his stomach as the results of his scans appeared on the HUD. Chemosh had made extensive modifications to the gateway, and… she was making use of the Downing building’s power source to fuel the additional power requirements. He had designed the reactor himself, and he had intended it for more than the building itself, but to also to provide energy to the Indigo Knight’s new regional base.

He had provided his brother the means through which she was enacting her plan.

The chamber flooded with light and Moloch spun around in time to make out two figures become one. Agent Van den Broeke’s form merged with that of her charge. Their forms contorted and bent, pulsating between their two forms, before they stabilized on one somewhere between the two but also possessed features which neither possessed. He recognized those as well, though he had not laid eyes on the being who owned them in many centuries. They belonged to Ashtar.

His breath caught in his throat as his mind raced, but before he could form any conclusions Babalawo struck. The letting out a high-pitched almost inhuman screech as he slipped his hand through the amalgamation’s chest.

“Gallu!”  The man shrieked and Moloch understood what force had overtaken the exemplar. He trained raised both arms training his suits weapons on the man, but hesitated. If he fired, the resulting blast might hit Babalawo’s victim.

The woman’s eyes, looked unfocused, as if in a daze, but the more Babalawo dug around inside her chest, the more her eyes came into focus. She gasped, and her eyes grew wide staring down in horror as she noticed the world around her. She would soon die if he did nothing.

Seeing no other alternative Moloch opened fire.

Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 31 Pt 2


Official Report
The Downing Building
New Hebron, California

Ashira closed her eyes, fighting against the pain and attempted to muster a defense, but try as she might she could do nothing. She was not able summon her mental powers or even move a pinky. Somehow the exemplar had immobilized her.

She sensed a figure nearby, but not whether it was friend or foe. Babalawo screeched out a familiar “Gallu” and then there was a flash of light and searing hot pain. Thrown across the room and she believed the new attack was her undoing, but when she landed and her senses and abilities returned to her, she realized that nothing could be further from the truth.

Even as blood gushed from her, she felt her flesh pulsate and crawl across her bone and muscle mending the damage. She lurched to her feet and sprung forward, not waiting for her body to finish healing or for another attack to land home. Moloch leveled his weapons on Chemosh and Ashira knew the once-god had been responsible for the blast that had both saved her life and injured her. Ashira rounded on Chemosh, but as she threw her hands out Indigo Knight leveled his gaze on him.

“Destroy the gate and this will all be over!” His voice called out and spun around intent on carrying out his wishes.

Before Ashira had even taken a single step, Chemosh threw her hands out and sent the armored once-god careening across the chamber toward the woman. She saw the attack coming and lurched out of the way.

A beam of energy blasted out from Chemosh’s outstretched hand and Ashira responded by raising her palms. The blast struck her with a blinding burst of light, but as the once-god’s vision cleared she saw that the other being stood unaffected by the attack.

Ashira jerked forward threw her hands out and went on the offensive. Chemosh lurched from the ground flying across the room. At first, she seemed at the mercy of her opponent, but as the once-god screamed out her form stabilized and she spun around moving into the opposite direction toward the gateway. She landed at its base, grin spread across her face as a sickly green bubble flared to life around the ancient device.

Moloch scrambled to his feet, raised both fists and opened fire with a volley of projectiles that detonated against Chemosh’s shield with a series of muted thuds.

Indigo Knight glanced at Ashira, then back to the shield. “Cover for me. I’m going to bring down that shield. When you see my signal, get to the gateway and shut it down by whatever means necessary.”

Ashira, nodded and gritted her teeth. She lowered her hands to her sides and reached down with both palms extended out. The ground beneath her quaked, and the floor cracked. Chunks of concrete rose into the open air from the ground and she hurled them on by one at the shield directing Chemosh’s attention away from the armored form of the Indigo Knight.

Moloch moved with a speed that seemed to belie his bulky armored form. He dodged, concrete slabs, as they rose from the ground, with ease. When he reached the shield, Chemosh hurtled a bolt of energy at him, but that too he dodged. He pulled his fist back and slammed it into the shield, and the metal encasing his knuckles sizzled and shrieked, but as he pressed his gauntleted fist into the barrier, it pushed through.

Chemosh howled, sending another bolt of energy hurtling toward her armored sibling, but it did not hit its target, instead it ricochetted inside the barrier and struck the once-god in the shoulder. She screamed, slipping a hand over the wounded shoulder and stared at her opponent with wide eyes. Whatever Indigo Knight was doing, he seemed to have caught the other being off guard.

She took a step back, but the shield did not move with her. Chemosh gasped and cried out in pain as her backside struck the inside the barrier. Moloch lurched forward, passing the rest of the way through the barrier and stumbled a few steps forward. She threw her hands out, unleashing another wave of energy at her brother. The beam struck him in the chest, but he’d lurched forward slamming the other being down to the ground.

The shield convulsed, and pulsated, flaring with a burst of light. Though her eyes watered and the luminescent blinded her, she reached out with her mind. She felt the gateway, it was foreign, even to the part of her that was Ashtar. There was a strange quality to the energy which was surging through it, but that was the least of her worries. The power within the device was building and when she did not want to see what happened when it reached its peak.

Though Ashtar had never understood how the device worked, there were components she recognized as they were common to many devices designed by her people’s engineers. The power regulator, for instance, was one such piece. She concentrated on that one little segment of the gateway and pulled at with all of her willpower. At first, nothing seemed to happen, but then it broke free, bursting out of the device with a shower of sparks.

The blue sphere swirled and rippled pulsating with energy. Though the device was loosing power it did not die out, but instead seemed to grow larger. Ashira’s breath caught in her throat and she was certain she had doomed them all. Then a howl of pure anguish escaped Hailey’s lips, and she saw it had worked.

Bolts of energy shot out of the gateway, hitting the wall and ceiling, Ashira, Indigo Knight and Chemosh scrambled to the ground, to avoid getting hit. Then it happened. The gateway became a vacuum, sucking everything everything into the portal. It happened with small items at first, and Ashira watched the blood drawing from Hailey’s face as the first bits of gravel rose into the air.

Chemosh’s previous host’s inert form rose into the air and the immortal grabbed the inert girl’s wrists and took off running, but before she’d gotten more than a few feet away, it sucked her back toward the rift.

Moloch, dug his heels in, and a pair of thrusters ignited on his chest. He snatched one hand out and grabbed Hailey’s wrists. Thought the part of her that was Sapphira was screaming inside her to do something, Ashira kept her distance. She did not understand why Indigo Knight would try to save Chemosh after all the terrible things she had done.

“Help me!” He screamed. “It’s not too late to save the host!”

Now she understood, he’d been trying to save Hailey not Chemosh. Regardless, if she did nothing, Moloch would fail. She clenched her teeth, using her abilities to keep herself from being pulled into the maelstrom and reached out, not toward Chemosh, but instead tunneling deeper where Hailey’s consciousness was hanging on by a thread.

Ashira’s breath caught in her throat when she touched the girl’s mind. She’d been aware during Chemosh’s infestation of her mind and had witnessed everything the other being had done through her own eyes. Haley recoiled from the touch of the other’s mind. Huddled within the corner of her consciousness, she was curled up in the mental equivalent of the fetal position. She did not fight the other woman, but instead recoiled from the touch of her mind.

Ashira had planned to rile the other woman up and have her fight to break Chemosh’s hold, but the girl’s mind was a shambles.

She gritted her teeth, furrowed her brows and reached deeper. If Hailey was unable to fight for herself, she’d just have to do it for her.

No longer fed by the energies of the gateway and fighting for dear life Chemosh was no longer a powerhouse. That is not to say, however, that Ashira did not have one hell of a fight on her hands. The once-god was desperate and had been back into a corner. It was like fighting off the attacks of a wounded animal. Yes, she was dealt a terrible blow, yes it had weakened her, but if sucked into the collapsing gateway there was no telling what would become of her.

Chemosh put up a wall, trying to block Ashira from the girl, but his opponent push through it with ease. The once-god attacks became more frantic and lashed out at the woman, with the simple goal of ridding her from her mind. There fight devolved into a tug-o-war, in what amounted to a battle for Hailey’s soul.

Every time Ashira tried to push through Chemosh’s defenses he rallied and pushed her back. She was running short on time. if she could not finish her opponent, they would all succumb to the gateway. It was the part of her that was Sapphira that succeeded where she had failed.

She screamed out and Sapphira’s desperation flooded through her. Hailey was her only living link to her daughter, and though she did not know the girl she still cared for her in her own way. Ashira clenched her teeth and hot tears stung her cheeks. She pushed again and this time a well of emotions burst out of her. Fueled by the frantic desires of a grandfather desperate to save his only living relative, Ashira gained the upper hand.

The unmovable will of the once-god crumbled away before her. A whimper escaped Hailey’s lips and a dark cloud rose out and away from her form like ink into water. At first, it hovered in the air unaffected by the vacuum of the gateway. Ashira’s breath caught in her throat, but as she stared into the myst, it lurched away from Hailey and toward Chemosh’s previous host.

Ashira screamed, threw her hand out and with a single telekinetic shove sent Chemosh spinning away. The ink cloud careened into the gateway and a high-pitched wail filled the air just before being sucked into it. Ashira hung there, facing the gateway, a part of her expecting it to collapse or explode once the other being had met his fate, but nothing changed.

She was unable to determine how long, or if the gateway would ever stop, but if she didn’t do something, people would die. Ashira lashed out, severing the device from the building’s power source, and though it flickered it did not stop. She could only guess it was now drawing power from another source.

It was putting out a tremendous amount of energy and she sensed that it would soon go critical. Without understanding how the device worked, she knew of no way to destroy it without risking the lives of everyone around her. The last attempt had been a desperate gamble, and it had paid off, but it could still blow up in her face.

Perhaps there was a way…

She reached deep within herself rose into the air and with sheer force of will pulled the gateway from the ground along with her. She zoomed across the chamber, dragging it through the hole left by Garos, all while laying layer after layer of shields around the device. All those caught up in the device’s vacuum sped through the opening after her, but as a fourth sheet of energy snapped into place, they all collapsed to the ground outside the building.

Ashira rose into the empty sky hauling the gateway behind her. It was growing more unstable by the moment she knew she was running short on time. She put on the speed, rising higher and higher from the ground. Though she did not know how long she had, she would make every second count.

She sensed the device explode before she saw it happen and it took all of her willpower to contain the resulting explosion of energy. Sweat dripped from her brow as she fought to keep the shields contained, but one by one it ate at each layer. She screamed out, the heat from the blast rippling through her body, just before the final layer buckled against the pressure and shattered into oblivion. The force was more than Ashira could contain and she plummeted succumbing to darkness.