@paragonxxx: Well...we can't have such potential going to waste, can we?
Trinity listened to the deathly still air, her senses sharp but unfocused. Subtle, near-silent air currents whirred and whooshed loudly in her ears, difficult to make out. Ephemeran or other, she couldn't tell. Only that there were many and they were everywhere. So many of them, so alike, and she was a destroyer but no hunter, not like these. They'd had to learn how in order to survive. Just as the remaining Ephemerans would've had to learn how to avoid both detection and death.
As annoying as her present inability was, it brought her some satisfaction to have surmised that her little experiment was working out. But how to gauge firsthand without corrupting the game itself...
Before she knew it the conundrum was taken out of her hands. She smelled it before she heard it and from the time she heard it til she was looking at it firsthand hardly two seconds had passed. Trinity looked down upon the warrior with passive disdain, particularly for the weapon she used.
She'd dealt with that before, with one of Nordok's pets. It was the smell she recognised. How can nothing have a smell?
Acrobatics, a familiar power, and the strange weapon carried the woman well beyond what the Destructor would've suspected from such a brazen display of seeming idiocy. To take them all on openly? The pack following Trinity had yet to arrive; but as fast as she moved, she still left a scent, and where there was a scent, they could track virtually anything. Once they did, she doubted the woman would last much longer. Oh well. Probably a miracle that idiot survived this long in the first place.
Trinity braced her arms and crossed her legs as if sitting on a throne of invisible air, resting her chin in her palm. At the very least, she could appreciate the show while it lasted.
Though Teelara was not privy to Trinity's thoughts, she would have likely agreed with them, at least to some extent. She could not keep up these efforts indefinitely, and her energy was likely to run out long before her foes exhausted their numbers. Fortunately, wiping out every one of the creatures that had invaded her world single-handedly was not part of the plan.
Although her empathic abilities were not highly refined, she could sense the approaching surge, the malevolent desire for violence in the creatures feeling not unlike the change in pressure that precedes a massive thunderstorm. She allowed herself the merest moment to appreciate the irony of the fact that this was what she had been hoping for, before returning her attention to the business at hand. The the creatures were not, as she suspected, a truly mindless horde bereft of any leadership or guidance, then this wave of reinforcements would hopefully include the metaphorical head of the hydra.
A quick burst of telekinesis threw back those creatures who were getting uncomfortably close, giving her a moment to catch her breath and glance upwards, for the first time seeing the Destructor that gazed down on her efforts like some manner of bemused deity. The Ephemeran champion had to admit that Trinity was not what she was expecting; her assumed foe looked downright...normal, not some twisted body horror or one of the pseudo-mechanical fiends that she had become accustomed to fighting.
With a thought, Teelara lifted herself skyward, out of the reach of the swarming monstrosities, and put herself on the same level as Trinity, her chest heaving from her exertion but her eyes focused and her gaze even. She and the Destructor were approximately a dozen meters apart, now, and she raised her blade, not in attack, but merely to point at the other figure. "You are the latest would-be conqueror that the Imperium has tasked with bringing this world to heel, then?"
Seated upon her invisible throne, Trinity hardly moved even as the Ephemeran noticed and rose to meet her. Her eyes fell briefly downward toward the creatures, unable to reach and howling at the beings in the sky. Her lips pursed in a slightly disappointed frown, and finally she glanced back at the Ephemeran, now level with her. The Destructor lifted herself just a head higher.
Tch! She scoffed, huffing through her teeth. "You really are stupid if you could see my results and think I work for them. If I wanted to conquer your planet it'd be conquered right now. It'd have been conquered a long time ago and I wouldn't be wasting my time talking to you." As far as she understood, that's all there was to it. To kill one's enemies. It hadn't occurred to her that there was anything to be said for having anyone to rule. It didn't matter.
She let out a long, drawn out yawn. She looked at the woman, then the creatures down below, then back at the woman, and spoke matter-of-factly. "You're wasting time. I'm not part of this."
"This," of course, being her experiment. But it didn't seem necessary to mention. This woman was clearly an idiot. She wouldn't understand anyway.
Though her blade and gaze never wavered, Teelara was deeply confused. She had anticipated a number of possible responses to her confrontation: the insults, certainly, some form of attack, absolutely, but a complete denial of responsibility? If anything, this gave the haughty woman's words a disturbing element of truth, because she had yet to meet even the lowliest agent of the Ancient One who would ever deny an atrocity they had committed. Even if what she said was true, however, it didn't shed any light by what she was doing on the war-ravaged planet.
"If what you say is true," she answered, platinum brows furrowing, "then I don't suppose you are here to save this planet? Its people have suffered much undeservedly. If you have no part in any of this," she made an expansive gesture with her free hand, indicating the ruined city and the monsters that swarmed over it, "then will you help me end it?"
@teelara: "No." Trinity said, staring stolidly into Teelara's eyes. End her own test without having gained much of interest? She really was stupid. Or maybe she had grown tired of fighting and wished for the easy way out of the experiment.
It was at this time Trinity finally shifted from her sitting position, straightening up. The storm was much closer now, and a light drizzle specked her head with beads of water. Thunder rumbled overhead. "You want me to end this planet? Or just your life?"
Teelara's grip tightened on her weapon. When she had first fled the Imperium invasion, her shock had eventually given way to a deep rage, and she fought with reckless abandon. Over the past few years, hard work and extremely patient instruction had helped her to balance her emotions. She did not have the luxury of rage. She needed to act with her wits and lead her people, not into a heroic and futile last stand, but towards whatever kind of survival was manageable. She understood all this, and yet there were times when her self-control could be sorely tested.
This was one of those times. This newcomer referred to the destruction of what little she still held dear as though she was deciding what to have for lunch. A golden light began to gleam in her eyes as her power responded to her heightened emotional state. However, though her control may have slipped, it was far from shattered. "If my death is what it takes to save this planet, then I will embrace it willingly," she replied, a cold edge creeping into her voice. "However, don't think that I will not make you earn it!"
With that, she sent a burst of telekinetic energy surging towards the Destructor. With her concentration split between that and keeping herself aloft, she was not able to muster more than a few hundred pounds of force, but she hoped it would be enough to throw her target off-balance or at least provide a distraction, as she immediately threw herself at Trinity in a follow-up attack, her antimatter blade sweeping out in a savage arc.
With the Ephemeran's declaration of intent Trinity didn't need special sight to see that an attack was coming. But she hadn't anticipated the woman being even remotely clever enough for a compound attack. In her world, amongst the beings in places she frequented, they were rarely employed. In most direct charges she could see a foe coming in slow motion. So, not yet prepared for one, the sudden wave of invisible energy pushed her wholly off-balance, head over heels careening through the air. It didn't hurt in the slightest, but it was enough of a distraction to mete success for Teelara's true attack for which she was left off-balance.
For the most part, Trinity hardly felt pain anymore. Save for a significant burst of radiation and some bad luck, there were few beings in the universe who could inflict true damage on the Destructor. Recognition prompted her to keep a safe distance from the antimatter weapon for she knew its potential. There was a searing pain the likes of which rivalled the worst of Nordok's torment as the blade made contact and an explosive wave engulfed the two. Trinity screamed and allowed herself to be thrown back several meters. Assessing the situation, her eyes widened in agony and even more fury.
Her left arm was missing. It'd been detached, the antimatter blade destroying all in its path including tissue connecting her arm, and was then falling to the planet's surface.
She gritted her teeth, shoulders heaving with every breath, and her eyes shimmered with a crimson glow. The telltale twisted sneer painted itself once more on her face. Threat level established. This one would be dealt with swiftly. "Fine," she huffed. "You're so stupid you would've never evolved anyway. C'mere so I can kill you."
Well, that was a...decidedly mixed result.
Her attack had succeeded, to some extent. Whoever this being was, her weapon could damage her. Of course, this realization was somewhat mitigated by the fact that he opponent seemed far more angered by the loss of an appendage than she seemed hurt by it. Experience had also taught her that when an enemy's eyes began to glow crimson, that was usually not a sign that surrender was imminent.
"Look," she replied, keeping her voice as even as the adrenaline rush of combat and the concentration required to keep herself aloft allowed, "I don't think that there's anything that my blade can't kill, but I didn't come here to kill you. I'm just trying to protect my world, and its people. Why is it that everyone finds that to be so unacceptable?" With a few skillful twists of her wrist, she began swinging the blade in a circle in front of her, releasing it after a few rotations and allowing momentum and her telekinesis to take over, essentially creating a whirling shield of antimatter in front of herself.
For a brief moment, a new sensation seemed to overcome the Ancient's wayward daughter. Her head cocked and her posture straightened, her face once more adopting that telltale "processing" expression. Her eyes flared no more. With a slight twitch and visible cringing, she touched her free hand to the stump where her arm once was. The molecules excited, heated to the point even she could be affected, her wound cauterised in he time Teelara took to speak and mount her preemptive defence.
Her scowl returned; anger was not yet sated. "Tch! I'm not stupid. You couldn't kill me. You just realized how stupid you were and now you want my mercy so you can get away with that." For a split second she adopted a charging position and pushed herself forth, directly at Teelara and the spinning antimatter vortex. She charged and she–
–vanished. In the same instant as her afterimage faded Trinity appeared behind the Ephemeran, having circled around at the last possible moment. She stood back to back, and didn't strike, but still anticipated some form of retaliation for the surprise. And if not immediately, then for her words which would follow.
It was probably a mistake to leave such a big decision to one who was clearly so stupid, but punishment had to be served. "I give you choices. You will die, and your people will survive for the chance to evolve. Or you may live. But every single humanoid Ephemeran, aside from you, will die. And when you die, your race dies. There will be no more of your people, ever."
Finally, she'd turn to face. "Choose, now."
Fast. Too fast.
In the blinking of an eye, she was flanked. That settled it; her weapon notwithstanding, she couldn't match the abilities of...whatever it was she was fighting. A dozen potential counters raced through her mind, but in none of them did this battle end well for her. At least, not if it continued to be one of physical force.
"Killing my people would strip all meaning and purpose from my own life," she responded, keeping her back to Trinity but lowering her blade in submission, "and killing me would gain you nothing; they would only fight you all the harder. You've convinced me of one thing, though: you are not of the Imperium, for one of them would not have passed up an opportunity for a treacherous attack. If you truly wanted me dead, I would be dead." She turned, her own weary but determined eyes locking with the Destructor's. "So what is it that you want of this world?"
She realized, of course, that her foe might not be inclined to a philosophical exchange; as she spoke, she reached out with her mind to the ground below, getting a mental hold on a larger bit of rubble. She did not yet move it, but stayed ready to launch it skyward at Trinity in an attack from below if she decided to press her advantage. If Teelara was to die this day, then so be it, but she would die fighting.
"So what is it that you want of this world?"
"The last thoughts of the Geostigma's dead. Those remnants will join the Lifestream and girdle the planet. Choking it...corroding it. What I want, Cloud, is to sail the darkness of the cosmos with this planet as my vessel, just as my mother did long ago. Then one day we'll find a new planet. And on its soil, we'll create a shining future."
Trinity continued to silently hover, her scowl-by-default never fading. This was getting annoying. More annoying. The conversation was starting to play as if in a time loop. "Not of the Imperium"...Already explained it. More peace offering...Worse yet, she spoke as if she actually knew the girl. As if she could know the wants of a being so far and away superior to herself. Trinity had never been well-versed in interpersonal relations but she never lost the sense that the woman's only regret--realized too late--was that she would never defeat her, and now she was merely desperately searching for a way out.
More diplomacy, more questions. She shook her head, and her voice was devoid of the same anger displayed in her face and body. "Nothing that I can't take. This world is already mine." And with her mind she reached out, just as one might with a hand, to attempt to extend a grip onto Teelara's throat and overcome any telekinetic resistances the Ephemeran might have. Not enough to strangle her, enough that she would still be capable (if only just barely) of speech, but to make her point emphatically. In this, her anger shone through once again. "You hurt me. Now I want you to suffer. And then the experiment can continue. But I've already told you, it's too late to apologize. Now you choose."
@trinity-blue: Teelara did not attempt to dodge or resist the shockingly powerful force that gripped her throat, the tightening of her jaw her only physical response. "There is no choice," she replied through clenched teeth. "My people's lives are not mine to give, nor are they yours to take. Ephemera will never be yours, so long as even one free Ephemeran lives." Sweat beaded on her forehead, but her gaze only grew more intense. "Go ahead and kill me, if you really need to reassure yourself of how strong you are. One day you'll realize that killing is not power. Anything can kill. The least of those creatures," she indicated roughly in the direction of the poised horde of abominations, "can kill. True strength is having the ability to do harm but using it for a higher purpose. You may not be of the Imperium, but they still control you, for you are doing their will, whether you realize it or not."
"Whatever." Trinity scoffed. She'd read into the words as well as she was able, even considered them a short time. But in the end, all they seemed were another attempt to mess with her mind; or maybe the Ephemeran spoke only to give herself some grim comfort there in the face of inevitability. Both were equally meaningless.
She had no witty retort for the jabbing remarks which at the very least roused her ire. The Destructor didn't need wit. She had power. Looking Teelara in the eye, she'd gently lay her hand on the Ephemeran noble's shoulder. "You're just too stupid to see my plan. Just like the rest of them." She'd made an estimation of the woman's abilities based on the force she threw out earlier. And with just enough effort to compensate based on that, with a casual ease, she'd seek to apply pressure to shatter the bones in her shoulder. And then, to shove her forcefully into the ground below.
Then, should her show of force yield the result she sought, the Ephemeran in a crater, Trinity Blue would lower herself to retrieve the arm she'd lost and leave, to Let them finish her.
Teelara locked her jaw, determined to not give her enemy any more signs of her suffering than she had to. For all her discipline, however, there were simply some things that couldn't be compensated for. As the bones in her shoulder cracked in the Destructor's grasp, her weapon fell from suddenly nerveless fingers, plummeting to the ground below. If she had any consolation, as she then found herself being flung downwards after it, it was that at least the impact of the volatile weapon with the awaiting terrain might clear away any of the monstrosities that lingered directly below her.
Fighting for focus against the flood of pain and adrenaline that flooded her brain, she made a snap decision. She could use her telekinesis to slow her fall considerably, but all that would result in would be her lying on the ground, wounded, disarmed, and surrounded by the gibbering horde, to say nothing of the fact that Trinity would likely then swoop down and finish the job. Instead, she applied just enough power that her impact would hopefully not prove fatal, and used the rest of her waning consciousness to send out a simple telepathic burst. To the simple minds of the ravenous creatures that would no doubt converge on her impact point, it would prevent them from noticing her; they would see her as just another bit of rubble, at least for several minutes, until the energy dissipated.
At least, that was her hope. She had just enough time for this one thought before the uncaring ground of her homeworld met her with jarring impact, driving the breath from her lungs and knocking her unconscious.
Every so often it occurs to me that Trinity would probably be considered an intergalactic criminal for all the crap she does.
Which makes me wonder, what's the state of the Imperium? Outer space politics in general is kind of a trippy subject as a whole.
@jean_luc_lebeau: This was a planet of limited technological development that was conquered by the Imperium and exploited for its unique mineral resources. Zedracus turned it over to Trinity for bringing him an nGod, and she crashed a large space station full of genetically engineered monstrosities into it.
@jean_luc_lebeau: This was a planet of limited technological development that was conquered by the Imperium and exploited for its unique mineral resources. Zedracus turned it over to Trinity for bringing him an nGod, and she crashed a large space station full of genetically engineered monstrosities into it.
What he said.
Technically it's "hers" now, and she caused a massive extinction-level event (I think) to see how things on the planet would adapt. The humanoid denizens form a resistance against the creatures (think "Alien," mostly) and...mostly try not to die, I think. Nordok is tagged though so he can clarify or correct. (OOC, it's still his planet. He just let me do a thing.)
Her arm ached.
One of her group's few remaining healers had reset it and put it in a sling as best he could, and had used what healing herbs he could find, but the collision of the massive space station with her world had devastated the ecosystem, and certain staples of Ephemeran existence were becoming increasing difficult to find. There was a very good possibility that the planet was going to be rendered lifeless, and even if it wasn't, it would never again resemble the one she had grown up on.
If her own ill-considered attack had failed, however, others in the Ephemeran resistance had enjoyed more success. While she was being knocked around like rag doll by a being that was created to kill gods, a small group of scouts had managed to find something of great value: in one of the far-flung installations that had been abandoned when the Imperium had abandoned the planet, they had discovered a manual (no doubt produced for the Ephemeran collaborators who had willfully served their oppressors) that included both instructions for using long-range communication equipment as well as a number of "universal" codes for sending messages across the void of space.
Thus is was that the wounded warrior found herself sitting in an unstable communications tower not far from the shattered remains of the planet's capital, staring intently at a device that transmitted the same basic message in a dozen of the galaxies most prolific languages.
Hal is busy training his new partner, Jessica Jordan. He has too since Vai disappeared to who knows where. The rookie passed her basic training like a real trooper but Hal wanted to give her some additional training because rookies have a little problem with the color yellow. Hal does not want Jessica to go out on the field only to find she cannot get her ring to work on yellow. She needs to overcome her fears first, then she can make her ring work on yellow. And now that she can, Hal feels a little more comfortable with Jessica coming with him on missions now. The young woman is a little over eager and naive, but she gets the job done.
Just then, both their rings alert them to a distress signal within their space sector. Two words: Please Help! Not much to go on, but Hal traces the signal to an alien planet and he immediately clenches his jaw, "Why did it have to be that planet of all places? Hal thinks with an air of frustration. Ephemera had a problem and that problem had a name. Trinity Blue. The GSC has a hands off approach with her due to her extinction level of power. It would be suicide for any Green Sentinel to go up against her even in strong numbers.
But Hal being who he is, he is not going to leave that planet under duress if he can do something about it. Besides, the last report he received about Trinity Blue was that she was off planet. He hopes that report is true. Taking a deep breath, he knows that if he encounters her, he cannot act like his usual self of shooting first and asking question later. That's why he's not going in without back-up. Jessica is coming with him. It's a calculated risk since she's a rookie, but he hopes it pays off. The woman is a scientist, she has brains enough for both of them.
Hal waits for Jessica to recharge her ring before they both take off for the planet. The trip there lasts a few minutes via hyperspace. When they come out, Hal logs a report even as he and Jessica approach the planet Ephemera.
Both Green Sentinels hit the planet's atmosphere, the ring absorbing the heat due to the re-entry of the planet. Before entering the system, Hal instructed his ring, and told Jessica, to hide the power signatures of their rings just in case Trinity can pick up on it. If anything, he does not want to grab that woman's attention. The communication from Teelara takes him to an unstable communications tower and he phases through the wall, as does Jessica.
Hal immediately sees the beautiful, white haired, resistance fighter and as he speaks, Hal's ring automatically translates his language into a language that Teelara is able to understand. "Hello, I'm Green Sentinel of this Space Sector and this is my partner. We picked up your distress call and came as fast as we could. How can we be of assistance?"
The response was not what Teelara had been expecting. To be fair, she hadn't been entirely sure what to expect, but two humanoids simply flying into the tower itself had not been something she'd considered. Ephemera had only been exposed to spaceflight for less than a generation, so the sight of beings that did not even require vessels to move through the void was not one to which they were accustomed.
She recovered quickly, though, rising and standing with as much regality as her injuries allowed. She was, after all, representing her world to newcomers, a situation that called for at least a modicum of decorum. "I thank you and welcome you to Ephemera, Sentinels," she said, her voice showing no trace of the pain she was in. "I am Teelara, last living Guardian of the Royal House. My planet is dying, and my people are dying with it. We need help."
It's always a sad state of affairs whenever a race faces something like this. For a few moments, Hal and Jessica speak telepathically through their rings. Hal wants to know if they can save the planet, but Jessica creates a construct of Ephemera's orbit around the sun as well as it's devastated state. She replies that even if the planet could be saved, it'd be hundreds of years, perhaps thousands, before it could be a better planet to live on. And that is assuming no further damage is done. Hal thinks over the situation for a moment longer, then looks at Teelara.
"It's nice to meet you, Teelara. I'm Hal, this is Jessica." He says, gesturing to himself and his partner who waves with a cute smile on her face. Jessica is geeking out at meeting her first real alien! How awesome is that?! So cool!
Anyways, Hal then addresses the problem at hand. He does not mention Trinity Blue because he suspects she is responsible for this. "Then we're here to help. But to do that, we're going to have to evacuate you and your people and take them to another planet. Would you be willing to address your people and convince them that leaving is the best option?"
Teelara waited patiently as the two new arrivals conversed telepathically. Her own empathic abilities were not powerful enough to pick up on their conversation, but she was practiced enough in its use to recognize when others were employing it. Even if she could have listened in, doing such was considered to be a breach of etiquette on her world, unless the need was dire.
As Hal made his proposal, however, she shook her head. "I'm afraid that it won't be that easy. Some of my people may be willing to leave, but they're scattered in small camps across the planet to minimize the chance of detection and I have no means of reaching them all. Even if I could, organizing an exodus on that scale would likely attract attention, and I would not hold out false hope to them only to lead them to extermination."
She paused to rub at her aching shoulder with her good arm, as she debated what she about to say next. It would be asking a lot, but her responsibilities to her people demanded nothing less. "What I need is a chance to find allies who can help us fight against the one who did this to us. I would not wish to impose upon you, but could you take me somewhere...somewhere I might try? I have never left this world and would not even know where to begin to look."
The one thing Teelara wants help with is the one thing that Hal wished that she didn't. But since she is asking for help, Hal starts seeing the bigger picture. Trinity Blue has become such a threat that the GSC has no choice but to move against her. But even with combined might, they'll need help. But first, the Guardians need to agree on this. Hal exchanges a look with his partner, Jessica before looking back at Teelara, "I know exactly where to look. I can take you to my superiors and you can plead your case to them. They know who to ask and where to send us should they agree with your cause."
Jessica creates a green glowing construct of a chair for Teelara, smiling as she does so, "We can go right now, if your ready? All you have to do is sit down and we'll take you to our superiors."
Teelara knitted her brows skeptically as the chair was conjured in front of her. To her mind, this seemed more like magic than science, and sorcery was something that Ephemerans had a long tradition of being suspicious of. Still, her rational mind reasserted itself. This was, she reasoned, what would be necessary to fulfill her duty, and thus it would be done.
Steeling herself with a single meditative breath, she warily seated herself in the glowing construct. "I am grateful, and yes, I am ready to depart whenever you are."
"I don't think we can squeeze any more in."
Adamar just nodded in weary resignation as Daltar spoke. It had only been a matter of weeks since the Delossian had last seen the Ephemeran, but the latter looked as if he hadn't slept since then. Though his build was lighter than that of the powerfully-muscled smuggler, he was still stronger than most, but now his shoulders sagged and his movements lacked their usually smoothness. The man was running on empty. "Where will you take them?"
Daltar tried to keep himself from grimacing as he answered. "The Crosswinds."
The other man was silent for an uncomfortably long moment. "I've heard the stories."
"They're not wrong." The Cosmic Crosswinds was not a great place for refugees, especially so many young ones. The entire station was run by interstellar gangsters, which made it a far from ideal location for anyone to try to grow up, even if they weren't coming from a culture that had little knowledge of survival beyond their home planet. But survival on their home planet was looking less and less likely, and his ship was designed to move freight, not passengers. Getting to the Crosswinds was going to be dicey enough; getting anywhere else just wasn't possible. "I've got some contacts, though. I'll make sure they're taken in by the ones who have the closest thing to basic decency you'll find there. It won't be easy, and they'll all need to work, but they've got better odds there than they do here." He paused, briefly. "...you sure you don't want to send a couple of the older folks to keep an eye on 'em? I could try to make some extra space."
Adamar shook his head. "Any of the elderly strong enough to survive the journey have already left for the lower passes; they're setting up an ambush in the hopes of drawing off any pursuers and buying the rest of us some time to get over the mountains." It was obvious what he wasn't saying: they'd willingly marched off to their deaths, to keep themselves from slowing the rest down and giving them the best chance of survival.
"Yeah." There really wasn't much else to say. Daltar had never been great at emotional sentiments, and he always felt that attempts to shoehorn something profound into moments like this tended to fall flat, anyways. "Guess we better both make the most of what they're giving us, then."
Adamar's jaw tightened as he nodded in agreement. "I...don't have anything to pay you with this time, Captain."
Awkward. Daltar rubbed the back of his thick neck with a meaty hand, for a moment. Not a great way to do business; once word got around that a smuggler could have his heartstrings tugged on to take charity cases, he might as well go find honest work. "An I.O.U.'s fine."
The Ephemeran only nodded again, but the gratitude in his eyes couldn't be hidden. They both knew that, even if Daltar had any intention of calling in that debt, the chances of Adamar still being alive to make good on it weren't very high. "Safe travels, Captain."
"Yeah. You too."
They were strong. Not physically; they could hardly mount any significant offence against her pets (despite managing to hold them off even beyond creating a successful diversion), let alone put up a fight against the Destructor herself once she'd arrived. Now, she hovered inches over the surface, lording herself over the corpses that remained beaten on the ground.
There also lay the lone survivor, struggling along in an attempt to reach a rifle lying not even three feet from him, but which might as well have been halfway across the world. Trinity's arm extended straight outward and he was forcibly jerked into her grasp by the collar. Her hand clasped around the nape of his neck, applying almost no pressure by her own measure but causing him a great deal of discomfort and pain nonetheless.
"Where is she?" The Ancient's Daughter growled. The survivor hacked and sputtered but said nothing. She held him, kicking, swiping and clawing futilely at her face. He was a warrior, strong-willed even past his prime and on the verge of death. An admirable trait in the eyes of even the most bitter enemy.
The Destructor had no use for such sentiments; they were never even an afterthought. His resistance spurred her anger, but for once she didn't do the first thing that came to mind. Something'd been bothering her since before she entered the atmosphere. Something about the world was...off. Most of the Ephemerans were gone but her connection with the creatures she dominated registered little satisfaction, even in their comparatively limited minds. The æther of the planet itself was...unresponsive, and nearly empty. The survivor would never talk. So she cheated. Without the slightest hint of delicacy, Trinity pried open his mind. She tore through what psionic defences she found as easily as she would the hull of a transport vessel, searching for Teelara.
Nothing. The last any of her people had seen of her, she'd been transported to a communications tower elsewhere on-world in a bid to find help. And the others...
Fissures cracked the ground, spiralling out from where she hovered, the Ancient's seemingly limitless energy still crackling as it flowed through and out of her body in excess. Thick, blackened stormclouds billowed in the sky above. The last remaining Ephemeran on the planet's surface fell limp in her hand. Head lolled, his eyes rolled back and streams of blood poured from his eyes, ears, nostrils and mouth. His heart still beat, but only just so. And even as she dropped the barely living carcass and started off, no creature dared disturb the body.
"He's ruining my experiment," Trinity grumbled to no one at all. A secondary concern next to the woman who might be able to help remove the blight from her mind, but a personal slight nonetheless. And besides, she had no idea where the woman went just yet. But the others might know.
Between one flash and the next, Trinity Blue vanished from the surface of the planet.
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