From the instance Thorn's voice came over the comms device, Vanguard fell to silence. Mistair's explanation of the situation came down in full swing, and she didn't need to finish her statement. It was completed for her by the voice over the line.
As she called Thorn and went back and forth with him, she kept a calm demeanor, but, her smile and wild eyes sang a different story. Vanguard's own calm demeanor was well controlled, as well, but, his eyes nor his disposition gave anything away. In the back of his mind, he knew that he and Mistair were thinking the same thing.
Mistair said much of what he had to say on the topic, and Vanguard was honestly surprised by her curt and straightforward attitude with Thorn. He knew her to be capable and knew that she had a way with words; what he didn't expect was the blatant truth.
And, through it all, Thorn never read through to get to the point of the whole debacle. That was fine. His ignorance is just another reason to add to the list. He hung his head, and asked for forgiveness. But does he really understand the depth of what he's done? He not only tapped their wires, he threatened them, whether intending to or not, and presumed that he had the right to come into their base and make demands of them. Nightshade's tendency to share information, Thorn's mistrust, the distribution of private information to Non-NIA operatives and their blatant ignorance jeopardized the whole. The sad fact of the matter was, lying and witholding information were not one and the same.
"As Mistair said. Had we intended to dispose of either of you, we would . . ." he paused, taking her last few words as his orders; or, rather, as his cue to do what he pleased. His voice didn't betray him, and it was as calm as it was decisive.
Without warning, Vanguard shifted and slung his leg up, aiming to catch Thorn offguard by planting his knee into the dragon's gut.
". . . and, so, now, we will."
He wasn't at full capacity yet; nowhere near it, in fact. That was fine, though; his darklight flames were hungriest when weak, and this was the state he performed best within. Flaring up his darksoul, still in the brink of destruction, Vanguard flares outward with another adrenaline rush, the darklight fires roiling around Mistair subsisting to allow them to flare across his whole body once again.
Vanguard's white eyes flared behind his visor, and a reticle appeared on Thorn's body, quickly dicing through his data to place makeshift reticles on his form. They wouldn't be as potent as though he had been studying for a while, but, this wasn't the type of work for the long and steady. He wanted to be quick, and efficient.
He releases a constant stream of fire from his vents, and simply approached Thorn with his renowned speed in the narrow corridor, the only way out being through him. He aimed punches, kicks and elbows, each strike empowered by the flames pouring from his body which seemed to readily eat up and Thorn's form; regardless of whether or not they actually hit a fatal focal point of data, the flames surged through to his very core, and Thorn would feel as though they were eating away at the very things that made him a Darkloid.
His barrage came with a ferocity of force that he just continued to push Thorn down the hall, never letting up and never giving him the chance to escape, swinging thirteen times, trying his best to strike at the reticles he'd placed on Thorn's body, but trusting far more on his darklight energy's consuming hunger.
The whole while, just in case, a set of chips were already prepared in his holsters, and were already feeding off of the darklight energy he provided them.
Trust issues, huh? She knew all about those. Those sort of people had problems in their past that caused it. She was having problems in her 'present' that was causing them. But Vanguard knew exactly when to act, Mistair not acting to stop it at all. In fact, he was still being further empowered by her influence. She had heard Nightshade's brief communication, her eyes narrowing ever so slightly as settled for about this level of 'calm'. It wasn't as furious as she initially was at this outrage, but she would be able to vent very shortly. She would almost feel sorry for this if they weren't the source of most of their present problems as well. And the only reason it was 'most' rather than 'all' was because some other people acted up too. But the noise could be used to work to her advantage.
"In a minute."
It was the same reply she had given him before. Except unlike before where she was really preoccupied and thus unable to exactly respond then, her response this time was to get a reaction out of him. And to allow him to hear what Vanguard was wrapping up now before the line fell flat. Much like Thorn's existence very shortly. To let the assumption do the rest for them. This situation, as Rosso put it before to her annoyance at the time, had its advantages. Her tone was still neutral enough to hide her disposition right now, even if her smile and her eyes were not doing the same for her. She was checking something then, her eyes scanning something quickly. She had enough time to get a report about what happened with Falzar. She had told them that both had been at Rammount and that was a fact. That was their end destination. But one of the Cybeasts hadn't started there. Rosso had said he picked a nice place for it to start at that wouldn't be a problem for them if it rampaged, but for a bit the sky ogre had a target pattern before heading off toward Griega. Like its malice was being directed somewhere. It couldn't have been Rosso as he was preoccupied at the time, so someone else played a part in the path that it took. A path that was strangely advantageous to them, even if that was why it was set where it was.
"The end results of trampled trust. But this was a bit enlightening as well. There are a few policies I can propose during this ridiculous report after we've wrapped this up."
Thorn would have a hard time avoiding Vanguard's first strike, but the rest of the attacks that followed where swiftly deflected or blocked. Vanguard had grown sloppy due to all the fighting he did and so did the Poison Dragon. However, Thorn did not have many injuries piled up working agains him. He was about to release his toxic powers when the wall of the building literally exploded, dividing the two quarreling navis from eachother.
Through the rubble and smoke a figure slowly advanced forward, claws stomping the ground. It stopped a few meters in, slightly hunced forward, as if ready to attack. A teal colored uniform on a black undersuit. Blood red details everywhere. A six pointed star on the helmet, claws and spikes on the back, as well as a tail waving slowly left and right. Nightshade ignored the pain from his lost arm, death staring Vanguard down. The sheer pressure of his presence cracking the floor on his feet. To make sure his message was understood properly he raised his still functioning arm as it turned into a buster with a very distinct and recognizable appereance.
GBeast: Make even the slightest movement and you die in his place.
The beast's red eyes shifted over to Mistair. They did not show clear signs of hostility, but very palpable wrath. A wrong move by her, Vanguar or hell even Thorn himself would make the situation degenerate further. Nightshade seemed to have problems keeping himself in check. He could snap at them any second. The most interesting thing of all was that the cat navi was oblivious to the change that had occurred to his body. He was driven by a feral desire to lay waste to everything he saw, yet the pain in his arm was the only thing keeping his brain from regressing to a mindless killing machine.
GBeast: "Is this what you want, Mistair? Allies raising their weapons against eachother? Kill eachother? Let me guess, Thorn did some of his distrust things. Still, I thought you were trying to fight for peace. I can't believe you would allow sensless bloodshed."
If Thorn thought he was safe, he was not. The always cocky dragon paled visibly when the Juuka turned over to him.
GBeast: "How stupid can YOU be? They are on our side, idiot. Drop your trust issues and help instead of wasting everyone's time and resources. The tapped line could have been intercepted and the information leaked. If didn't know you I would have gutted you myself. I suggest you making a formal apology once this all is over."
Nightshade growled in pain. That arm he had lost to Greiga was killing him with pain. He really needed to get it checked by Aeron.
GBeast: "Alright, I think we all had enough with double crossing and fighting. I saw the Cybeasts get destroyed and stolen. I got my arm eaten by Greiga and FORTE HIMSELF came around to say hi. Splitting up will only make it easier for the enemy to conquer us. We need to act as a team. No more doubts. No more bull. If we all fight for peace, we can all agree that its time to stop thinking about what could happen and MAKE stuff happen. Otherwise, we are all dead regardless who is sent to the grave first. When everything is over, we can sit down and point fingers. Now it's not the time. The stakes are higher than they ever will be. I trust the NIA, and because I trust their belief I will personally make sure stuff like this will ever happen again."
Last Edit: Oct 12, 2017 12:16:12 GMT -8 by Nightshade
"Ah, he made it. And in such a timely fashion too."
It was nice of him to join them so quickly. A shame about the wall, though. Though from the floor a steel one rose up, a pale green light around it. And on all the walls the same happened, almost appearing like it was designed a sort of cage instead. They probably hadn't noticed how well the room was to fight the Shadow Devil in such a contained space when comparing it to the last two encounters, but that was a good thing. It made this all the more easier. She let him finish, her eyes on Nightshade with the smile remaining. And when he finished, that was when she spoke.
"I can tell you what I want. No more doubts, no more bull. To stop thinking about what could happen and to make things happen. And the most succinct way to get my message across is with one word, actually. Die."
She started to make her stride toward Nightshade, her own target already chosen as the rubble that was in the way got compressed into the floor until it was little more than wayward dust. She was fairly certain she had made her own message clear with just that too. Now that it was laid out in the open, it was time to settle this as planned. She could show them better than tell them.
Post by Nightshade on Oct 12, 2017 13:44:16 GMT -8
This time it was Thorn's time to act. He would throw a blinding flashbang at Vanguard and Mistair, which detonated on impact. The few moments of disorientation were enough for the dragon to weaken the cage with corrosive acid, making it easier for Nightshade to smash himself free.
Last Edit: Oct 12, 2017 13:59:55 GMT -8 by Nightshade
Nightshade noticed right away that his strike against the wall even after Thorn's added attempt hadn't caused it to budge at all. Honestly she was a bit amused that they thought it would. If they had captured Cybeasts, why would their containment be lacking in durability when it was brought to the fore? Instead she kept smiling at them, as if allowing them to make a different course of action after that one had failed them.
"What's wrong? I made a move, didn't I? I thought that meant that we would die in his place? All hot air? Afraid to do anything again? Or should I attack first?"
There was no earthquake to herald, there was no tell-tail darkness, but something far, far worse than the Juuka or the commander now makes its presence known. In an instant, Mistair is blown away by sheer power beyond what she would have thought possible as she unexpectedly stares into the cold, red eyes of death itself; a stare without mercy or regret for the terror that it has wrought, nor the terror that even now it threatens to bring.
Forte: You are the one in authority. You will tell me where the beasts are, or all of Netopia will die.
Forte holds in his hand a profoundly dark orb of energy that one with knowledge of the first Navi would know well. His words, though brutal and beyond deadly, are backed by power enough to perform this action on a whim, and none could hope to stop him.
To say she was surprised was an understatement, as she was fairly certain she had a handle on the situation. At least until she realized the situation had actually taken a very sharp nosedive in a direction that she in no way could have accounted for, staring clean into what was very likely going to be her last sights as the smile faded. Her first move was activating what was set on the ground, locking the other three from moving like they probably each planned to out of reflex. It had been there since earlier, but was more used so that they wouldn't make a move on their own that got them taken out before she had a chance to defuse this situation. It should give her enough time to have a chance at it before they ruined it out of a good reason.
She didn't even know Forte could do stealth entries, but that was something she wish she knew already. She would sigh, but that would probably serve as a sign for him to just release the sphere of all-encompassing death that he already had in his hand. Just as answering with a literal "I don't know" would probably net them a lost Netopia too. This was what one would call a rock and a hard place, as both answers were certainly unsatisfactory to offer. Well, time to see if she 'could' offer up a proper answer, as lying would only get them later rather than sooner. So honesty was the policy, doing her best not to lose a tone of voice that didn't say that she was confident in the truth behind her answer.
"I don't know where they are at this moment. But I do have a way of tracking them down, given enough time."
The dark lord standing before Mistair holds the orb up higher, its chaotic power almost hypnotizing, as if staring into a black abyss into which you could fall at any given moment. This weapon of absolute destruction remains before Mistair's eyes, just inches from bringing absolute death to her as Forte glares on through her words.
Forte: Then you admit to having a hand in this theft.
The black orb is suddenly changed, becoming a jagged, wicked blade of unending void. There was no evading, there was no defending. The blade instantly rips across Mistair's body from her right shoulder to her left hip, causing a black flame of sheer suffering to erupt out from the unholy trauma like a corona from the sun. With the deed done, Forte then reaches out and takes her by the throat, holding her in place as sheer terror glares through her very soul.
Forte: You cannot hide from me, you cannot plot against me; your every game will fall, and the very thought of failing me will bring about the death of all of your hopes, dreams, and desires before you suffer like none other. You live this day only because you are of use to me, and your success is the only reason that I will consider allowing your life to continue. Regret your decisions that led to our meeting, but do not give me reason to break you with regret beyond what any has ever known.
And with this final warning, Forte is gone. In his wake is terror and the remaining aura of his irresistible power, but more than that is the black scar that Mistair now bares. A scar that brings with it a near paranoia, a knowledge that he is listening, he is watching, he is waiting... for now.
The situation quickly devolved out of his control, and, while Vanguard has made the quick decision to leave the rejuvenated and changed Nightshade to Mistair, a second sudden change came into play before he could move to advance on Thorn.
Without warning, an overwhelming presence appeared behind him. The renewed Nightshade at his front and whatever this thing was behind him, Vanguard's reflexes willed him to move. In that same instance, however, a shine erupted from the floor underneath them, and Vanguard felt his whole body freeze. When the voice emanated from behind him, and the threat that it carried reached his ears, he was glad for Mistair's quick thinging. One wrong move in such a precarious situation could've spelt all of their deaths.
Still, being frozen in place had its benefits. He turned his gaze, still able to move his eyes, onto Nightshade's new body, his own body's darklight flow having ceased in tandem with his motion; his vents were inactive, and his flames were only a low cinder in comparison. As for Nightshade, though, whom he almost didn't recognize, it was easy to tell that something had happened since he had left. Perhaps he had come into contact with the cybeasts, and had somehow been infected or otherwise granted with some of its abilities? Noticing for the first time that the navi was missing an arm, he thought about the pain he must be feeling. He obviously didn't get much too harmed by the cybeasts, as he was still alive, so, something must've harmed and destroyed them before Forte arrived. It was the only explanation as to why he was still looking for them.
As weak as he was right then, he was nearly certain Nightshade was a few steps above his currently lowered paygrade. With the literal end standing directly behind him, he was a little glad he couldn't move at all. What would staring into those eyes be like? They were surely more horrifying than the ferocious, bestial ones in front of him . . .
He glanced past Nightshade and at Thorn, who was still paled and on the ground from their own bouts against one another. His first blow had connected, meaning he could likely use the data flowing in him to get a better strike in once this was all over. His only regret was not being able to see exactly what was behind him; if this all went south, he had no way of stopping it. Not that he would if he could be freed, but, he would at least like to be prepared for when it all ended.
Frozen in space, his analytical gaze flicked back and forth between Nightshade and Thorn, tearing down into their data stream with his unique eyes, unbeknownst to the rest of the people in the room, and memorized their crucial data points; where their data collected most frequently, and at what time it ran through those parameters and how much was concentrated there at that time. Once he was free, he could set his reticles without worry; hopefully, long after Forte was gone.
She was going to point out that she didn't actually have a hand in their theft and just more knew where they were, but if she was going to mention that it was a bit late to do so now. Of course, she hadn't mentioned that on the grounds that it meant someone 'else' would be on the receiving end of what practically knocked her unconscious upon impact. She was fairly certain what actually knocked her back alert was that he gripped her by the throat right after. She got the memo though and probably served as the memo for the others to follow, which actually left her with even more questions now compared to before. Like who in the world would actually think plotting against him was a good idea? But she certainly did regret the decisions she was 'already' regretting even more now. This day had probably at least hit its all-time low finally.
She wasn't even actually the commander and she could claim to have put in a lot more work already. On the bright side, her new scar wasn't bleeding all over the place. That was a weird thing compared to the other injuries if it didn't hurt a lot worse than all the others too, only not using her hand to hold it on the grounds it was her one good working one still. She would voice a lot of these things, but she was pretty certain he definitely was watching and listening. Which meant that she would stay on task right now and let someone else handle the other business. Remembering his gaze was enough for that.
"You know what? You two are literally not worth the time right now. I have a theft to rectify. So either leave now while I'm offering or waste my time, which I can assure you would be used to make this as painful as I possibly can. Which still wouldn't be as painful as my everything right now, so I'd be trying extra hard to at least get close to this level with you."
She let down the wall that was blocking them from leaving to show that they had a way out again and released all of their movement that she managed to keep in tact while she was getting scarred for life, which sucked to be quite frank. But what could you do but roll with the punches dealt here? Not much really. She wasn't in the mood for taking out frustrations on them right now when she could use her time for better things and could just ask someone else to do it later. Outside of the walking nightmare that left, the duo wouldn't have anywhere to hide in Netopia anyway.
Post by Nightshade on Oct 12, 2017 15:53:02 GMT -8
Thorn was the first to sigh and turn around to leave. Nightshade seemed to have calmed down at the sight of Forte once again. He would slowly make his way towards Mistair, carefully place the Isolator she gave him on the floor in front of her before slowly turning around and heading away.
"If we can't help you anymore we won't try to stop you either. Don't try and send people after us. It's a waste of your resources."
With that said, the newy born Juuka and the Poison Dragon left the Nia to their troubles.
Last Edit: Oct 12, 2017 15:56:13 GMT -8 by Nightshade
As they were released from their paralysis and the weight of Forte left, Vanguard first chanced a look back at the damaged Mistair. She looked incredibly beat up, and knew that she needed attention - even if it weren't bleeding, and even if it wouldn't heal, she needed something.
As she allowed the pair to leave, he looked after them through the hole in the wall for but a moment. Remembering the reticle he placed on Thorn's back, he dismissed it, so that the Dragon wouldn't notice the ones on his skin - he doesn't dismiss the deeper reticle, though, through which the one on his back was like a magnifying glass to. The reticle would be impossible for the naked eye to detect, and was so fine within the dragon's code, it would likely be missed in any prestine check. There was nowhere in Netopia that the dragon could hide from him, so long as he had that reticle.
He turned, then, and ran to Mistair's side, knowing she had to be feigning strength at this point. He once again offered his shoulder, and wrapped his arm around her back for support, mindful of the scar through which Forte was watching and listening. "Before you do anything, you need to be tended to. What good will you do preparing this tracker for him if you're deleted?" He hooked his arm underneath her shoulder to present to her a set of chips that had risen from the numerous slots on his coils. "Don't grab the two chips in the center of the middle coil if you don't feel like absorbing a DarkChip. If you feel like that's what you need, though, it's there. I can absorb the bulk of the darkness energy within it before it does any damage to you, so, don't worry about that. The others are standard recovery chips, about three in the basic variants from shops and four of my own design."
"If nothing else, the tracker is pretty much finished already. It's just a matter of finding the ones we need to find now."
It was something they had made as more of a defensive means. It would let them find their major problems and be able to tend to them accordingly. How they were dealt with frankly didn't matter, but in a way being able to permanently remove them from Forte had its own appeal. He'd still be a terrifying opponent, but far less deadly than he was before. It wasn't her first plan however, as if she was going to do that sort of plan?
She'd do it in Creamland instead of Netopia.
She accepted his support, but was still somewhat expecting Nightshade to come back and say some sort of nonsense. And if he did then she'd keep to her word. She was feigning some of her strength, not all of it. Same for if they found any more of Thorn's dumb ideas in the area. As long as they kept their word and got out of their way they could let them go. At least until the human operators gave them the order to go after them, as there was a divide in those who would accept a navi like Nightshade as the one who had that power now. She could sympathize with those humans even, as the idea didn't sit well with her either. She made the Isolator come over to her, just keeping it hovering there until they could properly get rid of it. Haphazardly doing so had its own consequences.
"We're a team now, correct? So while I might be adverse to the idea normally, I can trust you. I want to hear about your designs later."
After all, Vanguard could have used this madness to at least slip out whenever he wanted to. Sure, they could track him down no doubt. But that would also require time, especially now. And yet he stayed and his words earlier filled her with the assurance that he was understanding them better now that he had given them the chance. So in turn, she would do the same. Connections weren't established in such a one-sided way. So she took the DarkChip as he mentioned, making use of it to make up for at least some of the damage she'd taken today. She was going to hate having this report session later...
...as Mistair discusses matters with Vanguard, a loud "ding" can be heard at the NIA HQ's front desk. Standing there waiting is a Navi in iron armor covered with green crystals holding a large hammer in one hand and a set of papers in the other, looking over the papers and mumbling to himself quietly...