@vitus: Eventually Victor reached the Palace of Nordok, a large pyramid which had the effect of making you feel small, the perimeter was surrounded by several powerful defences, magical, mechanical and biological, Victor began to recite everything he'd seen so far in his mind, to keep them fresh in his memory, it was a habit he couldn't help, despite the fact that his memory was perfect, and he remembered events from thousands of years ago. He pondered flying higher to get a better look at the palace, but thought it would attract too much attention.
Madam Darkness accepts his offered sword in hand as she Knights him with it under her service. His entire body is engulfed by a shroud of darkness, that enters his body by way of his eyes, ears, mouth, and nose.
"You're Oath will hold you to that Pledge, my Knight."
She then offers him back his sword, as she aids him back up to his feet. "Your Madam will not disappoint her loyal subjects, their pledges will remain Eternal as the Celestial Mother herself."
@victorgrey: As the visitor approached the palace of the Ancient One, Vitus judged the time to be ripe to make his presence known. Drawing together his physical form from the swirling mist, the alien vampire materialized a few paces in front of Victor, arms folded casually across his chest. Despite his obviously malevolent appearance, he was conscious about taking no actions that might be construed as hostile, at least until he had learned more. "Quite the inquisitive guest, aren't you?"
@naamah_obyzouth: Rising gracefully to his feet, Zedracus sheathed his sword as he once again bowed. Though part of his nature was never quite content with being subservient to another, his pride was ever secondary to his desire for power. He had gained much in the service of Nordok, and if even half of what was whispered about Madam Darkness was based upon fact, serving her would gain him even greater power still. "How can this knight serve his noble lady?" His eyes began to gleam red with excitement as he spoke, a side-effect of the process that had granted him his current powers.
"Scorn not my counsel, Zedracus. I was born under no light of the moon, and I am used to a view from the shadows. The words of your lips don't necessarily reflect the inclinations of your heart. Leave subtlety to those who can use it better than one such as yourself."
Madam Darkness was born under the waning new moon. She is slightly wicked and has a ruthless streak, which is overlapped with a keen sense of humor, and she tries to find the wit in everything. If there was one aspect of Madam Darkness's personality that could be considered a flaw, it lies in not knowing how to show her sincerity. Its not that she can't be earnest, quite the contrary. Its just that she has trouble convincing others when she is serious.
"As for how one might serve me this evening..." She fills him in on the planetary attack she had use for him in his lot to take care of. How the planet in question had valuable resources that would be useful to their cause. To the cause of Lord Nordok, and all that follow him.
@vitus: Victor stopped short in his tracks when a pale beast-like man emerged in front of him (is that right?), his hands instinctively went to his hammer, which glowed a light blue hue when its owner touched it. When the man revealed he'd been observing Victor for a while, possibly ever since he came here. Victor's hands let go of his hammer, and the hue died down. "I'm Victor Grey, an Asgardian, I come in peace. It's Asgardian procedure to scout new planets we encounter, but we mean no harm, we are not spies." Victor didn't want to get into a fight with this man, as that would damage relationships between Asgard and this new planet, whose name he still did not know. "I would've contacted you, but I was unsure on how to go about doing that"
Zedracus was momentarily taken aback by her words. While diplomacy had never been his specialization, years spent as part of the nobility of Delos had instilled in him a certain political skill, or so he thought. So then, it appeared that the stories about his new patron were indeed true.
He listened intently as she described her intentions for a planetary conquest. Here now was the element in which he felt most at home; battle and victory were more dear to him than food and air. This would be an excellent opportunity to not only demonstrate his skill, but also to increase his own prestige within the Imperium. "I shall be the sword wielded by your masterful hand, dread mistress," he responded, when she had finished presenting her intentions. "The conquest of a world so hostile would be a worthy use of our combined abilities. By your leave, I shall prepare a full assault fleet, one specifically outfitted for planetary invasion. I would suggest a orbital bombardment by our capital ships, followed by the strafing of remaining points of resistance by our smaller craft. This would pave the way for the armored vehicles and infantry to swarm the surface and stamp out any remaining opposition."
@victorgrey: (Absolutely right!)
Vitus' predatory eyes noted the Asgardian's instinctive reach for his weapon, but he maintained his neutral stance. His unique nature made him difficult to kill and even more difficult to keep dead, so he could afford to take risks. "Then I bid you greetings, Victor Grey of Asgard," he intoned with a polite nod of his inhuman head. "I am Vitus, commander of the Deathborn, servant of Nordok the Ancient, who rules over the Abyssal Imperium. Allow me to welcome you to Infernus, the capital world of the Imperium."
Gesturing the palace behind him, he continued "You must be an experienced explorer, then, for you seemed to find the Ancient One's palace without difficulty. If you are authorized to act as an ambassador for your world, I can certainly arrange an audience with my master, if you are so inclined."
@vitus: Victor's hands left his weapon, it seems the 'person' in front of him was the servant of 'Nordok the Ancient,' no doubt a very high ranking individual in this planet's government, if not the ruler himself. Victor indeed was an experienced explorer, throughout the millenias, he's scouted many worlds before, and then asked to appear before a council and repeat every bit of information he'd discovered, for archiving. Most of the time the information would just remain in archiving, but in special cases like war, or diplomacy, the information was handy. "The palace was hard to miss, though I did not know this is the residence of your master" Victor told truthfully. It would be impolite for him to refuse a meeting with the 'Ancient One', so Victor nodded "That would be favorable" he gave a courteous smile and nod.
@victorgrey: Vitus eyes seemed to become unfocused as he was silent for a moment, communicating with his dread master. After a short span of time, he blinked once, and his crimson orbs were once again focused upon Victor. "Your audience has been granted," he said, gesturing to the palace's min entrance. "Proceed within; the guards will not attempt to intercept you. My master awaits."
@vitus: Victor Grey courteously nodded to the man-beast, who despite his appearance turned out to be either a very diplomatic person, or an obedient servant. Nevertheless he proceeded inside the palace, venturing deeper towards the Ancient One's room.
Olaf felt the residual energy of Asgardians on this planet that he previously knew as a planet ruled by The Ancient One known as Nordok or Nordake... Well Nord something at any rate. Olaf was more interested in the Asgardian presence he felt coming from this chunk of space rock.
The Mighty Asgardian travels to the planet by means of his sleigh being pulled by Flukin and Shmorgin, the beasts were not ordinary Rams by any stretch of the imagination. They were Demi-Gods in the form of Rams, with mannerisms of Rams.
Olaf glares around with a serious sternness about his bearded face. "Who of my kind would come to this place, and under what pretenses?"
@olaf_silvermane: Victor's meeting with 'The Ancient One' hadn't arrived yet, so he began wandering around, when strangely his keen eyesight picked up a figure who didn't look like all the others. He appeared human at glance, but Victor then recognised his armour was Asgardian. An Asgardian here?His interest was piqued, and he used Odinsforge to fly closer to the god.
@nordok Alright, thanks. We'll pick this up later.
@olaf_silvermane: Victor arrived to Olaf, who was revered in Asgard as a great warrior, just like Victor was. He approached him, grinning friendly "Olaf Silvermane" Victor greeted the god "Didn't expect to find you here" he moved in to hug the fellow Asgardian.
The universe has become far too tranquil. Complacent. This is entirely unacceptable. Conflict and upheaval are the crucible in which the chaos of raw existence is transformed, moving ever closer to a perfect state of being. I am, in truth, the last of the Ancients, for although my kind do not perish as mortals understand the concept, my brethren have all withdrawn from an active role in the development of the cosmos, and are evidently content to allow existence to develop as it will. Thus, they demonstrate their own weakness of will and feebleness of true understanding. My Imperium furthers my designs on every front, but even their pace in insufficient for my desires. No, it is time that I left the administration of my expanding cosmic empire to my lessers, and once again took a more direct hand in making the universe as it must inevitably be…
So brooded the malevolent entity known to most of the cosmos as Nordok. Putting his dread thought into immediate action, he issued orders to his lieutenants, who leapt fearfully to obey his dire commands. Until the Ancient One returned to seize direct control, Zedracus the Inevitable would oversee all military action in the Imperium. Administration of his capital world of Infernus would fall to the cosmic vampire, Vitus, who would be advised by the Necrommander.
With material affairs having been attended to, the Ancient one abandoned his physical form, his mechanical monstrosity of a body becoming little more than an inert piece of machinery in the heart of Infernus. Gathering his fell being into concentration of pure dark energy, his vile consciousness departed from Infernus, arcane and psionic senses seeking those places and persons through which he might best advance his designs…
I've known for a while Nordok never died. The Imperium couldn't function without him. Everyone's out for themselves; without him to keep them in check, without the threat of destruction from something greater over their heads, they'd all tear each other apart in no time trying to take control for themselves. Since I learned to harness the cosmos, I could...feel...something. Familiar. Distant, but close, like invisible eyes just over my shoulder. I can mask my presence so he can't sense me psionically, but I wouldn't be surprised if he had other ways. Technopathy. Possession of nearby bodies. Snitches. Whatever.
Just as I know he lives, I am sure he knows I've defected. Unlike the others I can't live in the palm of another and content myself with the thought that "at least I'm alive." Soon enough, they'll get their chance. I am the greatest of all. I am a force of nature. Beyond Ancients and Goddesses. How they react to a greater force looming overhead...
She approached in the most direct way possible. Flew herself across the cosmos alone on her own power to meet her maker. Visually minuscule, she nevertheless doubted she would not be located and recognized by at least one means of detection. She was counting on it. To ensure that Nordok himself would be aware of her arrival, she opened her mind to the telepathic detection for which he'd been well-known as she descended upon the desolate world.
Pausing in atmosphere, she waited to be acknowledged in some way. To be met with a hostile or non-violent welcome. Either or, it didn't make much of a difference to her. Not like barely feigned diplomacy and threats behind a totally transparent veil would make much of a difference from an open attack to break through. A few minutes of her time, maybe.
It is time, then.
Even if Trinity had not lowered her psychic shields, had not put aside the last great gift that he had given to her, he would have felt her approach. A being of such power simply did move through the cosmos without giving some sign of its passage, like a mighty ship leaving a wake as it churned through a calm sea. She had always favored the direct approach...
The Ancient One's orders were given, and obeyed without question or hesitation. His mechanical and undead servants could not disobey, and even those who retained their free will valued self-preservation far too highly to even consider inquiring. The defensive fleet moved off to a discreet distance. Shields powered down. Batteries stood silent. Planetary security forces returned to their barracks and hangars. Within a staggeringly short period of time, Infernus once again resembled the dead world it had been before it had become the center of the Abyssal Imperium.
Sitting motionless within his throne room, Nordok himself waited. He was unsure whether Trinity had disabled her mental shields entirely, or had lowered them just enough to allow for detection, but it mattered little. The Ancient One sent a single thought oursing from his own malevolent mind towards hers. It was possible that, as a message and not an attack, her lessened defenses would be penetrated by it. If not, he would simply wait and deliver it in person.
Deadness welcomed The Destructor to Infernus. Her eyes roamed over the barren rocks, registering the same daunting calm as her mind when the planet basically went into lockdown. Underneath, however, she could see it all; thermal signatures and pheromone trails in the air. By focusing she may have seen through the ground over which she flew, heard the still-beating hearts of the biological forms hidden from view.
Trinity smiled. She heard the silence as an augury of all that which would follow her arrival. Just as the cities on Earth when natural disaster arrives. It was music.
Her heart pounded and a chill ran along her spine, her body strikingly rigid as she received the Ancient's welcome. Violet sparks of barely contained power arced between her fingers. It'd been so long...She'd forgotten what it sounded like, what it felt like, but his voice made it all real.
Home? She touched down and scanned the area, a familiar scowl creeping over her face. She'd known no true "home" since The Demon's Fist; the thought was not welcoming. But things were different then. While he'd been sitting idly on a mechanical throne, disconnected from the Cosmos, she advanced well beyond, strengthening her own connection. I'll take it.
"You gonna meet me or am I gonna have to come find your lazy ass?" she said aloud, deliberate vibration of her vocal cords carrying the message across the world. "I'd prefer it if I could obliterate you in front of all your peons."
A sense of dark amusement emanated from the Ancient One. "You traverse half the universe to find me, and now you balk at the last few steps to my throne? It is you who have sought me out, child; I have no reason to come to you. I await."
The path between Trinity's point of arrival and Nordok's throne room had been cleared of any defenses or other impediments. Despite his baiting, he was eager to once again gaze upon his mightiest creation, and observe what her period of independence had done to alter her. With a wave of his hand, the last guards, a regiment of Adamantine Legionaries and a pair of colossal Reapers, withdrew from the room, leaving Trinity's path fully open.
Fear, she assumed. He'd always done his best to keep her complacent and subservient, but lauded a few distinct advantages over her head. But with her connection to the Cosmos stronger than ever, Nordok had good reason to fear his greatest creation.
Not like it's gonna change the ass-whoopin' you're gonna get.
A localized gust of wind whipped her cape and loose hair about as she prepared to take off, marking the way for herself with a scan and clairvoyant trail. She took two steps, and then she took off. The ground cracked beneath her feet and the air shattered with a thunderous roar as she accelerated, nigh instantly reaching the greatest speeds she knew to achieve in atmosphere without harming herself as well. In less than three seconds she stood in the throne room, meters from the Lord of the Abyssal Imperium for the first in a long time.
She scoffed at his appearance, a familiar cold derision marking her face. Soon, however, her scowl turned to a smirk. "No wonder you spend all your time here now. Still haven't recovered from the goddess's assault? You look like shit," she said, mocking.
Her hands continued to surge with energy, and by then so too had her eyes, minute arcs complemented by an accompanying violet aura, almost as a mist emanating from glowing eyes. Eyes that dared him to retort, verbally, or physically. She was ready.
As crass and uncouth as ever, it seemed. Of course, what else could one expect from her having spent so much time among the microbes she had been led to believe were "her people." His amusement deepened as the energy began to dance about her form. Had he been capable of such emotion, he might almost have felt a fatherly pride at how she managed to evolve.
"My power is undiminished, however a lesser mind might interpret my change in form," he finally answered, making no move of his own, either physically or along the energy patterns of the room. "Although, if the reports I have received are true, you have not fared quite so well. You have managed to lose the titanic strength that I had gifted you with. No doubt the goddess released you from her custody once she realized that you posed so little threat to her."
"Tch!" Trinity scoffed at the insult. "I'll let you live just long enough to feel stupid for underestimating me."
Visually judging his size, she remained undaunted. She judged her primary advantage in movement; in agility if not speed. In his words she judged another: information. It came as no surprise Nordok received updates whenever she encountered Imperium forces. For this, Trinity smirked. His information was outdated. Her strength had been lost, for the goddess's meddling and then by the Destructor's own adaptation.
But she changed. Grew in other ways. And, by experimenting with own genetics and physiology, she had learned of a way to moderate as well as restore her strength. Perhaps even to magnify it.
She saw no better time to test it than facing The Ancient.
A deafening sonic boom announced the start of combat for listeners miles around. Seconds before then, the ground and air exploded as Trinity launched herself at the mechanical titan. She crossed the short distance at hundreds of thousands of miles per hour packing a force of two million tons - as mighty as he had ever seen her on the Demon's Fist. His size, she estimated, would normally diminish the effects of any hit on his body; blows that would normally pulverize a body would at best punch a hole in the giant. Her answer: The Cosmos.
Since unlocking the nascent potential of the Cosmos within herself, first channelled by the "gift" of the Shadow Brethren, Trinity had become relatively well-known among her allies for a quick proficiency with telekinesis, or teke, as she had been known to call it. Less common, and less well-known, however, she began to develop a budding mastery over natural forces themselves. Her practices led her to principles of gravity, and inadvertently, gravitons. Elementary particles hypothesized to mediate gravitational force, including transferring that force from one body to another.
She didn't see them, could barely conceive of them in her conscious mind. But she felt them in her being, through some exotic sense, itself not entirely clear, but which she could only define in that same obscure way as she'd been taught to view most things since conception: The Cosmos.
Using that connection, Trinity packed a heavy concentration of gravitons into her fists - massless, their potential virtually infinite. In practice, raising her own mass and amplifying the force of an already two megaton punch to a frightening effect. Clasping her hands into a double axe handle, she swung her weaponized fists like a baseball bat at what passed for a head on the mechanical giant. Upon a successful connection, her teke would disperse the force throughout the head, ensuring a full effect, while at the same time confining the force to the head, limiting kinetic dispersal and maximizing the damage therein.
The effects of that kind of force moving that fast, even The Destructor couldn't fathom. But she distinctly recalled the earth goddess Liberty nearly pulverizing her virtually indestructible skull with an amplified version of the same attack.
Organics…so dependent on physical violence…
It was as if they assumed that all beings are as dependent upon their bodies as they are. Still, the Ancient One had to admit that his one-time protégé had mounted an impressive frontal assault. Trinity’s trajectory was impeccably calculated, and took her directly to and through Nordok’s mechanical cranium with devastating force. The head exploded in a shower of metal fragments and sparking bits of ruined electronics.
Very well, then.
Reaching out and manipulating the fundamental fabric of the universe with the speed and ease with which most being used their limbs, the Ancient One created a portal directly in front of the speeding Trinity, launching a burst of his own omega-level telekinesis at her back in the “teke” equivalent of a backhand, to attempt to ensure she did not dodge it. The portal would disgorge her directly in front of the Ancient One’s damaged mechanical form, where a metal fist the size of a small dwelling awaited to smash her into the ground with nearly one million tons of force.
A spray of sparks and debris bathed The Destructor as her former master's head exploded, and she smirked even broader than before. The force of her blow was enough to leave her own hands feeling a touch numb, but as she'd always anticipated, without his shields even Nordok himself couldn't stand up to her might.
She dropped her guard for only a second, unaware that she'd started to revel too soon in a victory not yet grasped. He left barely enough time to recognize the mistake.
"Huh?" The force at her back was barely enough to phase her itself, but perfectly served its purpose of forcing Trinity into his quickmade trap. She reappeared in just front of him with no time to orient herself before a massive fist pounded her into the floor. He was deceptively fast. Far faster than expected, especially considering he didn't have a head and shouldn't have been moving at all.
Her body trembled as she lay in the gigantic crater, aftershocks reverberating from her bones to her flesh many times over. It...hurt. Far more than pretty much anything she could recall experiencing in a long time. But the pain itself didn't bother her nearly as much as her confusion at the fact that Nordok could retaliate so effectively, so quickly, not seconds after losing what was commonly the most pivotal body part to any function in the rest.
Bracing her hands on the ground, she pulled herself up to a knee and then a full stand, glaring at the headless body. In truth she was at a loss as to what the next logical target should be.
She settled on the whole thing.
Her eyes shimmered again as she reached out with her mind. She reached her hands out as if to grasp a distant object in her palms and her body moved in accordance with the physical motion, though it was her mind that was truly active. She began to gradually converge her hands while attempting to wrap him in a telekinetic barrier – and then to continue to compress the barrier, crushing the body under overwhelming inward-pointing forces–
–and then, to keep on pressing inward until, were she successful, leaving his body a massive crumpled ball of Imperium scrap.
She means to continue as she has begun. Very well, today's lesson will be a painful one, then. Painful, and costly.
Noxious smoke and showers of sparks erupted form the mechanical hulk that had served as the receptacle for the Ancient One, as for former Destructor's titanic expenditure of telekinetic pressure crushed it, like an aluminum can beneath the wheels of a tractor-trailer. A sort of greenish-yellow mist seeped from the imploding frame as it crumpled inward upon itself, as Nordok abandoned the remnants of his physical form.
"Fool of a child," the Ancient One telepathically hissed, the loss of his physical form depriving him of the ability to speak, "you possess incalcuable power, and yet you lack the wits to use it properly, instead lashing out like some wounded animal! You have seen me 'die' once already, and yet you still presume that physical destruction will do aught but annoy me? Pay the price for your lack of reasoning!"
With that, the Ancient One created another portal, this one directly beneath the compressed ruin of his former body, and leading to one that opened directly above Trinity's head.
Crushing Nordok's body was as much a symbolic gesture as a practical solution to the problem of his lingering resistance. He was nothing. Beneath her. She wanted to demean him just as well as destroy.
Following, however, she refrained from dropping her guard a second time. And yet, the full depth of her situation escaped her for a few moments longer.
She heard the Ancient's voice and she shot her gaze skyward, scanning the throne room. But neither by sight nor sound could she determine the source of his voice. It was...everywhere.
As if using verbal taunts to distract her, he again struck virtually from nowhere, and yet from all around. But she was ready for his second attack, reacting just in time to catch the massive scrapball on her arched back and outstretched arms. Her knees buckled and her legs wobbled just a bit before she steadied herself. The ground beneath her feet gave a full foot further, pressing her knee-deep into the stony floor. Trinity balanced her ex-master's former body on her own, her very image perfectly reminiscent of the mythological Atlas. But despite the discrepancy in physical size, with the weight of countless galaxies and planets across the universe - including the Earth - resting on her shoulders, the Earth Titan's burden was comparably laughable.
His body had been destroyed by the goddess. So too had his backup by the Destructor. But the closer he got to destruction, the deeper the waters became. So close, yet so far. She stood, frozen in that position, unable to make a move. Nordok's massive form wasn't the issue. The weight itself was not insufferable. But up until that point, there was always another target. Always. Where destruction was concerned, Trinity is the best there is at what she does - as long as there was a target, she could destroy it. But then, there, she found her first ever exposure to a pivotal issue; a critical change like she had never before experienced, and to which she had no response.
Nordok had no physical form. There was no target to destroy.
She was utterly lost.
He did not need to employ telepathy or divination to sense her hesitation, her confusion. So then, the lesson has been learned.
"Do you see now, my child?" the voice echoed across the mental aether, "I cannot be destroyed, not by the goddess, not by you. To defy the Will of the Universe is futile; it can only be delayed, never prevented. You were to be the ultimate expression of that inevitability, but you have chosen to defy both destiny and logic. So be it; I will allow you the illusion of free will, if for but a brief span longer. Relieve yourself of that physical burden, and go forth with the far weightier burden of dread knowledge."
With that, the Ancient One created another portal; this one was directly beneath Trinity's feet, and large enough to accommodate her but not the condensed sphere of metal she supported. It disgorged into a location no doubt selected for maximum poignancy: the wreckage of an Imperium outpost on the planet Earth, where experiments in psychic manipulation were once conducted.
@nordok: [Y'know, I half wanted to continue this and so I was debating myself, but actually I think this looks like the best way to end it well....for now.]
The massive weight on her shoulders was hardly a true burden for The Destructor. Even without her own physical strength she could have bore it with her mind. But for all her might, both physical and mental, the weight of her confusion was infinitely more to bear. She stood paralysed in thought as she hearkened to Nordok's words, scanning them in her mind as if somehow they held the key. As if defeating him were some matter of a puzzle or test, and he'd given her a guide...if she could only decode it.
"This isn't over..." she growled as she lingered, hovering before begrudgingly allowing herself to slip through the portal. "I'll bring the entire universe to an end if I have to."If only to get to you...Ever closer, and so far.
Yet ever closer...For the time, she had work to do.
Yes, father; it will be done.
Her response was not spoken, but thought, transmitted through the inseverable psychic link that she shared with the Ancient One, the same link through which he issued his commands to her. There had been...disturbances in the Sol system, that system thought to contain but a single, primitive, inhabited world. His Imperium had other agents already in place, of course, but they had been silent of late, meaning that they were unaware of what the potent Nordok had sensed, were otherwise occupied, or had been...compromised. At any rate, the situation was unacceptable.
She rose from the simple mat that served as bed and meditation area both, her movements preternaturally smooth, muscles rippling beneath her bare skin as she strode across her quarters, each step perfectly balanced and catlike in its silence and agility. A door slid quietly open as she approached, admitting her to a chamber that resembled some twisted hybrid of spa and motor-pool, mechanical arms extending from the walls and ceilings and surrounding a small depression filled with an undulating, viscous fluid. She stepped into the pool, raising her arms at her sides, as the fluid seemed to come alive, climbing up her legs and abdomen until it covered her entire body, sans hands and head.
The liquid seemed to tighten and solidify, forming itself into a bodysuit that fitted the Silent Slayer like a second skin. Composed of a mixture of necrotite technology and non-Newtonian liquid, it would absorb a tremendous amount of impact without hindering her speed or movement in the slightest. The mechanical arms now sprang to life, attaching plates of a metal of comparable durability to titanium but weighing less than aluminum to key areas of her anatomy, where the necrotite liquid gripped and held them in place. Thus attired, she stepped from the pool and made her way to her personal weapons locker.
The Ancient's "daughter" was never one to carry more than necessary; if Nordok had wanted a walking arsenal, he had servants better suited to that role. After a moment's consideration, she strapped twin adamantium warblades to her back, and took her vibroglaive in hand. She did not bother with ranged weapons; the shuttle she planned to take would be equipped with several standard-issue Imperium firearms.
Her shuttle had been prepped for her before her arrival, as was standard procedure; it contained not only any additional supplies and weapons that could be useful to her mission, but all available data, including the coordinates of her destination, had been pre-programmed into the computer. She activated the autopilot, preferring to use her time absorbing the tactical data relevant to her mission to manually piloting the ship. As the AI steered the shuttle off-world and calculated the warp trajectory, she settled into the pilot's seat and began poring over the available intelligence on the planet Earth.
Red dwarf stars were generally the smallest and most common stars in the universe. Its temperature only reached about 4,000 Kelvin, and it was only orbited by a handful of rocky planetoids, their assorted moons, and other assorted space debris. Human astronomers had likely not even paid any attention to the rather unremarkable celestial feature.
It was, however, presently the focus of the attention of a very non-human intelligence. Nordok the Ancient, a malevolent being of dark energy whose existence stretched back to the very origins of the universe, had selected this nameless, prosaic star for a vile and portentous experiment. His presence approached the burning galactic fixture, and its energy called to him. He had often feasted upon the energy of stars in the past, but that was not his purpose for this one.
Reaching out with his vast power, he surrounded the red dwarf with a telekinetic bubble, which he then began to contract. Beneath the force of the vile being’s inexorable will, the star began to collapse and condense, its intense thermonuclear energy becoming more and concentrated and volatile. Soon the star was an infinitesimal fraction of its former size, a sphere of pure radiation that was no larger than a beach ball.
Its orbiting bodies were drastically affected by this radical shift in the focus of their cosmic revolutions, and the Ancient One began to collect and condense each of them in turn, forming them into a super-dense collection of matter. This collection then began to crack, splinter and reform, its shape steadily changing as is was forced into a massive, roughly humanoid arrangement. The intense, concentrated energy of the imprisoned star was then siphoned within this vessel, its radiant power infusing and forming a core of incredible energy.
There was one final touch to be made. Nordok placed a sliver of his own consciousness within the construct, now granting it a semblance of sentience in addition to a power, durable body and a massive source of energy. Now his thoughts would be its thoughts, and his goals its goals. It would be incapable of betraying or acting against its creator’s interests, and would be driven solely by a desire to see his will brought to fruition.
Satisfied, the Ancient One placed his creation in a state of suspended animation, and sent it through a portal to a surreal pocket dimension of his own devising. There, his potent servant would slumber until his power was required and called upon, to be unleashed upon an unwitting universe.
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