"Please, lower the volume a little. We have a fair deal of injured here."
Her voice was still calm, but they would see the situation shortly. They had managed to make it inside, though what they arrived to were battered and bruised navis. Some had even broken down in tears, all having seen a battle take place. The headquarters itself was fine, so that could only mean that Mistair had taken to the field when he contacted her earlier on why she said he had to wait a minute.
Mistair herself had seen better days. Though she was still supervising things, she was injured as well. She was holding her left arm and had some scrapes and cuts of her own, looking overall disheveled compared to the last time they met face to face. The left side of her top was darkened too, but not too badly. It was pretty okay condition if she said so herself given the circumstances.
"Before I let you say your piece, let me add a future note. If someone asked you to walk them into the Nebula System Dynamics Level 5 area, would you just walk them there? Please say you wouldn't or at the very least say that you would ask if you could first."
If the message wasn't delivered from these words, she would make certain to tell him directly to inform them before he simply decided that he could just walk literally anyone to the headquarters. The ONB didn't even do that. In fact you couldn't even walk inside their headquarters. It was situated in the air instead. But that would be too obvious here, so it was a ground base instead.
"crap." Thorn moved away from Nightshade and Mistair, popping up something. "Aeron? I need you to come in Netopia asap. There's been a massacre. We need your amazing healing powers."
Nightshade sat down on the floor, crossing his legs. "Technically...I would. Nebula has nothing to hide. And if someone were to attack, he would have to get through some of the best combat navis around. Still...I did not know that guy was Gates of W3. If this all it's because of me, I am deeply sorry."
Click. The sound of a weapon locking into place echoed in a single moment of silence, and the small dot of a purple reticle appeared on the feline navi's back. While the navi wouldn't see the dot, no one would mistake the sound, and perhaps they had seen him enter as he arrived.
Vanguard stood on the opposite side of the room, having just arrived at the Head Quarters from Rosso's orders. While it was obvious the secretary wasn't having any issues from the cat and the nearby dragon, neither of whom Vanguard recognized, the liquid spewing from his shoulder put Vanguard on edge. Many of the other present officers looked ragged and severely hurt; they looked like they came out of an intense battle. Some were even crying. It was almost pitiable . . . if it weren't so pathetic.
That wasn't his worry, though. His worry was this strange Navi, who the secretary seemed to trust, that was spewing a questionable fluid from his shoulder.
"If you so much as flinch, I'll flay your data into a million fragmented pieces," he warned, the reticle on his target's back getting progressively smaller and homing into an area just below the small of his back. With each shift of the reticle, in both size and location, Vanguard was homing in closer and closer to a critical point within the flow of the Navi's data. Without any damage to his surroundings, he could reduce his target to nothingness with a single strike.
"I've nothing against you." There was no anger in his voice; he wasn't even worried. "You've been a fool and gotten yourself compromised. I'm going to ask you to explain what has happened to you, but I want it done in a prison cell. Make sure the puddle of goo goes with him.
"If you resist, I'll just destroy you, here and now." While his voice was calm and leveled, his resolve was unmistakable - he fully intended to destroy him.
[smear:FFffff]The liquid responds to the acid immediately, but not in the way that Thorn may have hoped. Instead of being eaten away by it, the liquid instead seems to assimilate the toxins into itself, only increasing its own mass. By this point, the goo was done pouring out from Nightshade's armor, yet somehow it still continues to gain mass. Within moments, it's already far too late to stop it. The strange substance begins to take on a spherical shape and float in the air, continuing to grow with each and every passing second. As the monstrous being takes its form, red alerts begin to signal throughout the HQ, as an automated voice resounds above the klaxton's resounding pulse.[/smear:00FF99]
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! NIA DATA BREACH, DATABASES COMPROMISED!
...by this point, those with knowledge of this being could almost hear Gate's laugh amid the chaos. The black sphere is now roughly twenty feet across, and still floating in place. Then, suddenly, the orb extends a pair of arms and legs from its liquid body and now stands in place, revealing a sinister, burning red eye surrounded by green circuit board-like lines that trail deeper into the heavy, black liquid like body. Before the Navis of the NIA stands another of Gate's finest creations, a being of sheer destructive force and deadly nature....
Boss Encounter: The Shadow Devil
Touching the Shadow Devil while its eye is open is unavoidably lethal!
The Shadow Devil cannot be damaged by any means while its eye is closed
Objective: Defeat the Shadow Devil before it can finish hacking into the NIA'S databases!
She would take it in stride if that were the case. Life wasn't so bad when there were people this honest in it as well. But before she could get a word in, the liquid started to fall off. At first she was a bit confused. What was... wait a second. The name he said earlier in their communication. "Gates" was inaccurate, wasn't it? ...Dear lord this was more of a problem than she thought it was. She'd forgotten for just a moment due to all her own problems exactly who it was he met before making his way back here. Vanguard's arrival also was rather timely, though she was going to need to direct a few things here before they all got too chaotic.
"Nightshade, get the ones who can't move on their own out of here! Those of you injured who can move yourselves, get moving, now! Thorn and Vanguard, help deal with this before anything else. I can fill you in on what we know about the Shadow Devil."
Nightshade was quick and also quick to withdraw, so her order to him was one she felt he had no problems with. Vanguard just needed to be pointed in the right direction for now and then could be talked down after they settled things here. Thorn was here, so he may as well make himself useful since he made it here. Plus if he left and Aeron came over he'd more or less have been called over and then abandoned by the very person that called him. That would just be unfortunate for him.
"Making contact with it with its eye open is the end of you, end of story. But you can only harm it while its eye is open. That's your primary target. Don't worry about trying your swamp here, it won't do anything to it."
It wouldn't even be detrimental for the rest of them if he did it. The Shadow Devil would simply just deal with it itself. A certain large navi with territory control found that out and was pretty displeased about it. To say that today had been nothing but problems would be pretty much total honesty. Her job had gotten so much more difficult lately compared to before.
Without ever missing a beat, Vanguard adjusts his aim at the rapidly growing blob of black goo. Distracted for but a moment by the sudden sirens, he turns his attention back to the blob - just in time to watch the suddenly massive obstruction sprout limbs in tandem with opening its sinister red eye.
It was large. The substance it appears to be made of is viscuous and presumably lethal - far more dangerous than whatever toxin the dragon behind him presented, as it just absorbed the substance. Since its body is mostly liquid, it was likely that its only weakpoint was the eye. Touching it could prove dangerous, which meant, that his usual method of combat was preferable.
He took a step back to put a little more difference between himself and the black blob. With the NIA's databases compromised, he didn't dare attempt to access them. All he had were the readings he could pull off of the beast from his visor, analytics flying across his field of vision in moments. It wasn't a lot to go off of, but, the monster was definitely destructive and liquid-based.
The reticle resting on the feline's back vanished, and now focused in on the black blob's eye. Its data flow was erratic and constantly shifting, telltale signs of the fact that it was still growing and possibly capable of changing its form. They could be in for a rough and rude awakening, and, while the most upfront method of attack wasn't likely the best, he wanted to test the creature's agility.
The DarkCannon mounted on his right arm flared, and released a fine-tuned stream of refined, focused dark energy. The dark power was only intensified by his analytics and targetting systems, the blast of energy aimed, not at a point on the blob's surface or even the eye itself - although that is what it appears to be flying towards - but something deeper than the surface: The data within it. Targetting the natural flow of data like one would the flow of a river, Vanguard's pinpoint accuracy strikes disrupt that flow and rip through it, causing massive damage from a single point of impact. From there, the disrupted flow tries to right itself, causing data throughout their code to be shoved aside in an attempt to correct its damage. Like water from a dam, destroying it from the inside out from a single crack.
This cannonfire had ripped through the Netopian Border without leaving a scratch on the surrounding landscape. It had also left many a training grounds desolated. In this instance, it was the former - it would have no harm to any other target than his intended.
Nightshade's frown turned even more grim. "...Gates..." Was all he said, before his power exploded outwards in full force. To think he was so week just a few days before. Without wasting time, he would dart all over the place with such speed the rest of the world gave him the impression to slow down. Didn't matter if they could walk or not. He would get everyone. Everyone.
He had run for all his life. Now he had made a terrible mistake and he wassn't going to peace out. No way. It was time for Nightshade to stop running from his responsibilities. And even if he wasn't reaady, he would just keep pushing his limit until it broke him or he broke them.
Thorn just let out a laugh as the thing seemed unaffected by the poison. He waould casually walking in front of Mistair, allowing her to get to safety as he shielded her with his own body.
"Oooh. This guy sure is a big boi. Quite imposing too. Is this all W3 has to offer?" He told her, drawing out his own weapon. "Frankly...
The Shadow Devil looks over the Navis, assessing their threats and target priority. The evil eye of the monster darts between the Navis in the area swiftly and methodologically... until the shot from Vanguard. Unprepared for such a focused shot so quickly, the Shadow Devil recoils slightly, blinking numerous times as it covers its eye with its hands. at this point the entire beast then liquefies itself into a gigantic mass on the ground. At this point it then seeps into the ground itself, melting away from sight entirely.
The sound of a rushing wave fills the chamber, as if the ocean itself had turned against the NIA. There was no telling what would happen next at this point, as the Shadow Devil makes its preparations with such broad, spread-out motions that the sound seems as though it's coming from everywhere at the same time. This continues until at last the ground before Thorn and Mistair erupts like a volcano with a gigantic black hand. The appendage grabs onto both Navis in a split second, absolutely coating them in the black, clay-like substance. At this point, the reason for its true danger started becoming clear; now trapped in the Shadow Devil's body, an insane level of pressure begins to exert itself on the two Navis. In a matter of seconds, Thorn's arms and legs snap and shatter, crippling him terribly just from the first attack. Even Mistair herself, shielding or not, would begin to feel as if she were drawing near to the event horizon of a black hole.... and to make matters worse, as both Navis struggle, the body of the Shadow Devil begins to slowly take form once again, meaning that in mere seconds the beast's eye would open, spelling death for the two that it now holds in its grim clutches.
Thorn couldn't even make a single sound. In a second, he was encased in black goo squishing him hard. He couldn't do anything...and the pain was so unbearable, so intoxicating. Usually he would enjoy this, it was the time where his body would finally allow his dark power to flow through unhidered. Yet, this time he didn't feel anything. Or did he?
This enemy sure was a bother. He threw some of his own Poison Data into it and the thing ate it like dinner. Wait.
As soon as his eyes had set onto the guy, NSD's ADvanced Link had overlayed all the information he needed to fight the thing. He clearly saw it through the ADLink. The thing's goop wasn't toxic and seemed to have mild absorbtion powers. It was also somewhat inert without the core active and the eye open. That last bit hit him harder than his crushed body.
Either way, if he didn't do anything he was going to get deleted. This was going to be a gamble. A total gamble. And it could backfire hard. The thing seemed slugghisly slow on his own, relying on sheer volume and reach to attack. If what was about to do set him into the thing's control...well...people all over the net would be dead. A everextending swamp of instant deletion goop was horrific even to him.
Still, he had to act. He was a smug cocky dragon not without a reason. He was one of the best if not the best NSD had to offer. And a black blob would not stop him.
With the few moments of lucidity, he would release everything. His body was made by Poison itself. HE WAS NOTING BUT POISON. The Poison Dragon, the famed Pure Poison Navi. And that would help him, but not in the way he would have ever expected to. Usually, nothing thrives in poison. Yet, this goop was able to grow stronger by assimilating it. He would grow stronger too then.
The added pain from having the goop slowly cannibalize his body didn't really made much difference. Even when it corroded his Source Code, as Thorn let it become part of him. By now the gooey arm holding him and Mistair would be completely saturated in Thorn's Data. And that was exactly what he wanted. The guy had its eye shut, which meant that the core was not directly controlling anything. How careless of him, Now that the guy's stuff was unavoidibly linked to Thorn's data, he would take control of the stuff while the guy was still inactive and act as the core himself. Who knew that letting yourself getting absorbed into another being was a good thing? Still, he had to separate the part of goop under his control from the rest before the guy opened the eye or he would just give the guy a poisonous arm.
He could feel some form of control over himself now, even if minute and over a limited amount of the goo. And he could definitely feel his Dark Soul ache. It was aching for action. He would grin if he wasn't just a mixture of Poison Data and the enemy's black goop by now. Good thing the guy had also eaten his gun. Only a matter of time before it would be so corroded that it would malfucntion and explode.
As expected, no damage would be actually dealt. But the shockwave running through an uncompressable medium would surely force a good portion to splatter around. Hopefully, that would be enough to separate his porion of the goo from the Shadow Devil's.
Now, he was getting the hang of it. It was a matter of Willpower. Maybe he could even touch the enemy if he could overpower's the guy's will to control the black goop he had just stolen.
Last Edit: Oct 2, 2017 12:31:54 GMT -8 by Nightshade
Thorn's swift thinking against the Shadow Devil has... mixed results. His toxin are released and are quickly absorbed into the liquid monster's body, and the liquid that Thorn himself had successfully absorbed reveals two things to the dragonic Navi:
1: When separated, it has the texture of extremely thick clay and is far heavier than expected.
2: Despite his best efforts, Thorn finds himself unable to take control of the liquid, most likely due to the lack of some form of command code to activate it.
The devil looms over as a light begins to emit from its center, signaling the end as the eye prepares to gaze out... but then, the moment of Thorn's success makes itself known. The continued toxin production of the darkloid overloads the shadow devil's ability to absorb, causing the area around him to sever itself from the devil as a whole, freeing both Thorn and Mistair from its grasp.
As the hand of the devil is severed by Thorn's toxins, its connection to the core is lost, causing it to fall to the same form as the same heavy, thick mess that Thorn had discovered when absorbing it. As for just how long it would remain inert, though....
The devil steps back just as its hand is severed. However, this does not phase it for long, as it quickly generates a new hand, and once again scans the battlefield, attempting to understand what just happened to it...
It all happened within the span of a few seconds. The black blob, coined the Shadow Devil by the secretary, retreated into the cracks within the floor after taking his cannon fire. It wasn't gone, though, and, when it returned like the crashing tide, it swept up the dragon and NIA's most helpful woman all in one scoop.
As fast as the extreme pressure fell upon them, it dissipated. He couldn't clearly see through to the Navis from the data of the Shadow Devil, but, it appeared that parts of the black blob came off and into the dragon as he was slung away from it. Just then, a piece of the blob smashed into the ground nearby - separated from the rest of the bunch - with a loud clang.
Whatever the density and material of it, the stuff was hard as steel and about as heavy. Had it not been for Thorn's quick thinking - even if he hadn't seen the whole of the ordeal - he may very well have been gone, just then.
The Shadow Devil reformed, and loomed over them once again, now a good distance away from the rest of the group. His looming eye open, Vanguard shot a small blaze of flames at the lifeless arm, way too close for comfort, to send it spiralling across to the other side of the room. While he didn't put his pinpoint accuracy into the shot, his usually potent flames should be enough to get it out of sight, and out of mind. It was important to keep the arm away from the group, as well as away from the devil, for fear that it could just reassimilate - or otherwise utilize - the limb.
His slotted bands on his wrists begin to whir and spin, stopping on a particular set of slots for each of the three coils on his right arm. A chip, radiating with dark energy, raises into view for a split moment out of the slotted coils, his purple hands alighting in a dark blaze that seems to intensify the blaze around the chip.
In the blink of an eye, another chip goes flying from his left arm's holster, burning up in his darklight blaze as he activates it. "Try this on for size! Dark Circle, Slot In!" He raises the cannon still holstered on his right arm, the trail of fire leading from his left holster to the chamber in the cannon - his method of delivery. Releasing two distinct waves of dark energy, the separate bursts of energy fly in opposing directions upon leaving the cannon, only to meet up and collide as they race towards the reticle still painted deep within the Shadow Devil's data stream.
She was glad one of them was confident for them. She had plenty of concerns here, but then it made its move. Vanguard had landed a nice shot against it, but she wasn't sure who it would pick for its next primary target. But then the massive hand came out to grab them, Mistair immediately aiming to call up her own defenses as it did. The insane pressure that was against them was difficult for even her to deal with as she struggled against it. If she was in better condition this wouldn't be as bad, but she felt a sharp pain in both her arm and her side. They would definitely be hindering her here, a nice "thank you" from Genesis she could say. If it opened its eye now like it wanted to then things were going to become even worse for the captives. But thankfully her shielding also helped her against Thorn's quick thinking, which managed to get them both out of this predicament as the one captive saved both of them.
"Yuck. But thanks."
While it was great to be free, it still wasn't something she liked being a part of. But she would persevere and deal with things as she could. Relying solely on Vanguard's firepower would get them far but not far enough to settle this in a timely manner. So Vanguard's cannon found itself adopting a pale green glow as well, increasing the power of the shots several times over so it could drive itself even deeper into the data stream than it would have before. Her strength could be used to be added to others, something she wouldn't hesitate to utilize now.