An Answered Call Oct 20, 2019 18:20:06 GMT -8
Post by Warrior on Oct 20, 2019 18:20:06 GMT -8
One Week Ago: New Life: New Beginnings
Within moments, the government server begins to leak videos and documents; the same data that he and the rest of his group had gathered. The destruction of Rammount, brought about due primarily to Rosso. Resonance's data, including proof that Greiga wasn't simply contained, but released by choice. Video of Magnolia entering the basement of Rammount, where every governmental law says she should not be allowed, and looks on with approval.
While nothing in this data leak could be considered concrete, it would definitely raise questions, slow their progress, and rally those in a more neutral position against this rising regime. The benevolent cover that they'd held over themselves now had holes in it, and someone would begin looking into those holes for sure.
And, indeed, someone was looking.
About 9 months ago, the world was still united in its stand against Juno and his Reaverkings. Toward the end of that era though, one of Warrior's friends, Merrill, was in pursuit of a mysterious navi that had kidnapped a girl named Xylia. Xylia was just as mysterious as her kidnapper, but Warrior and Merrill had saved her once before and felt obligated to do it again.
In that confrontation, Warrior deleted half of Aqua Net along with Feint and Xylia in attempts to destroy the kidnapper once and for all. The kidnapper was no ordinary navi -- he'd gotten in Warrior's and Merrill's way in the past and would undoubtedly do so again if left unchecked. However, his fate was uncertain that day, and in the end Warrior traded Merrill's trust and nearly Feint's life for just a chance to defeat a single enemy. Xylia's fate remains unknown to him as well.
Feint's consciousness managed to return to her body in the real world despite the Network Lock -- she barely survived the encounter. She needed a few days to regain consciousness again, but when she did, she awoke just in time for the final confrontation with Juno. While she went with Nymphra to challenge him head on, Warrior traveled to the Galaxy Network with Ruin, Phenoix, and Gate to destroy Juno's weaponized satellite.
After their success, Jake returned to Gigamerica to accept a new assignment and to assist with recovering the damage done to the earth's atmosphere when Juno's satellite had fallen down. Faith returned to Gigamerica as well with Cherish in tow so that she could be seen to proper medical treatment for the injuries she'd been dealt during her deletion at the hands of Jake; Netopian hospitals were either devastated by the satellite's collision or filled to the brim with victims from it.
Shortly afterward, Gigamerican borders closed off, as did nearly all major nations'. The trio had been on the same continent but mostly going their separate ways in the mean time, oblivious to each other's whereabouts and to all of the happenings that have been occuring overseas for the past few weeks.
That is, until recently. A live news broadcast aired last week showing the footage uploaded by the Armored Destroyer during the fall of New Life. Despite being located in Electopia's Cyber World, this event held worldwide significance, even for the closed-off nation of Gigamerica.
A part of the broadcast showed footage of Genesis and the Armored Destroyer at Rammount, appearing to be causing havoc. Knowing better than to believe that at face value, given his past with The Revolution, Jake sought to investigate further. He managed to get authorization from his superiors to leave Gigamerica in the interest of preventing whatever calamities that befell eastern countries from finding their way into Gigamerica, but his true motive was to lend a hand to all of his old friends on the eastern networks.
He extended an invitation to Faith and Cherish as well, both of whom accepted. Faith was eager to catch up with Seth Pele and, as always, to assist Jake in his endeavors. Cherish had no interest in the dealings of Navis, but getting a free ride back to her homeland wasn't a bad deal and assisted her with her own goals of returning to NIA, assuring herself once again that they would take her back into their ranks despite her shaky history with them.
Prior to their departure, the trio Pulsed In to Gigamerica's network to refamiliarize themselves with the cyber world and its hazards before embarking.
(( Date: Yesterday ))
Gigamerican landscape was a marvel that few could behold nowadays with its borders closed off from the rest of the world. An exquisite blend of mountains, forests and plains overshadowed by the spectacle that was Giga City.
Off on a mountain and away from the city, the sounds of a friendly conflict echoed from the cliff side as two navis could be seen in combat with one another. Or rather, they only appeared to be navis...
Jacob Rayner, more commonly known as 'Warrior', and Cherish Pele, who assumed the guise 'Feint', weren't Net Navis at all. Rather, they were ordinary humans pulsed-in to the Cyber World -- in Jake's case he was granted privilege to use this technology by the Gigamerican Armed Forces of which he was a part of, and in Cherish's case.... well, she just stole hers, to put it shortly.
Last they crossed paths, Warrior had deleted the half of a network that Cherish was standing on and she'd suffered critical injuries even in the real world as a result. Over the course of the past year, she'd been recuperating in a Gigamerican hospital and had only recently fully recovered.
" Glad to see you back on your feet. "
" Go to hell. "
Rude. Warrior curled his lip and retorted.
" You've still got the look of a girl that would know her way around it. "
" And you've still got the look of a bumble-bee that porked a motorcycle: Yellow, Black, and Leather. "
" ... "
" Even a little fuzz around the neck now, real adorable. "
Warrior figured that pressing on just made it worse, so getting back to business seemed like a good enough idea at this point.
Their fight had been going on for quite some time now, with neither one holding a clear advantage. Warrior would dodge all of Feint's shots, and she would simply deflect all of his sword swings with her hand. The suit she wore was to thank for that; the material had immense tensile strength so it was difficult to tear, and stretched tightly enough even bullets would bounce off of it as it refused to stretch any further, but on its own that was nothing special. What did make it special was its ability to absorb, store, and discharge kinetic energy.
So every time she was struck by an attack that didn't outright kill her, the force behind that attack was stored for later. Discharging some of it while batting away other attacks could effectively negate them if the discharged force matched the incoming force -- this was a nasty cycle if balanced properly as it enabled her to constantly grow stronger throughout the fight. Alternatively, the stored energy could be transferred into her weapon to fire raw, concentrated blasts of what could best be described as "compressed air", but more realistically was a transparent ball of kinetic energy. She could blow this entire network apart if she was punched hard enough before hand.
By this point, after having been in combat with Warrior for well over half an hour, her suit was brimming with kinetic energy to the point she wouldn't have had to make any further effort deflecting his attacks, they'd just bounce off her suit harmlessly. One such blow caused Warrior to stagger back from the discharge of her suit, finally giving the two a chance to pause since they'd started this whole ordeal.
" We've been this far before, so I'm sure you know where this is headed. "
Cherish lowered her gun. He couldn't hurt her now, unless he aimed for her head of course, but he knew better. She left it intentionally exposed for enemies to target so that she'd know where to block before they even attacked, and also to ensure that they'd attack her at all for her to be able to absorb the force behind their strikes.
" I haven't been swinging my hardest. "
" Now's your chance then, but you'd better pray I'm not standing afterward. "
" ... "
Warrior kept a calm demeanor as he slowly raised his sword again, almost reminiscent of the way Remnant used to behave during a fight. Cherish was right though -- if he put all of his strength behind an attack and it still wasn't enough to bring her down, she'd only match that force and strike back with it herself.
In the air around them were lingering sparks that were left behind after each of their attacks clashed. Cherish wasn't exactly sure what these were, but their color matched that of the luminescent glow on Warrior's blade.
" You left a mess. "
" ... "
Jake knew why she had mentioned it: she'd wanted him to tell her what those sparks were, or at least give her a hint of what to expect. He remained silent though, he knew better than to play her game by now.
" ... Have it your way. "
Eyes locked with hers, Warrior made it plainly obvious which part of her body he intended to swing at. The lingering sparks in the air suddenly rushed back into his sword and its radiance was now blinding.
" ...? "
As he dashed forward, Cherish raised her hands to cover her head; all of the stored kinetic energy being diverted to her arms now, as it was clear that this attack was going to take just about everything she had to fend off. And indeed it would...
A thunderous sonicboom screamed out from the collision of the sword and her arms, not only causing the boulders on the cliffside to tremble but even causing some to outright crumble. Warrior's own sword was blown to pieces on impact, yet Feint was left standing, albeit arms shaking.
Her eyes were wide with shock, she certainly didn't expect that much power behind the attack. The stored kinetic energy was all but spent from that blow, but more strangely was that her suit didn't absorb any from the attack. Instead, a new lingering spark hovered in the air of where the attack had just made impact. It didn't matter now though, with Warrior's sword being broken and all. She slowly returned to her usual demeanor after it all resided, looking at the sword's left overs then back to Warrior as she composed herself enough to brush that feat off.
" Good going. What are you going to fight with now? "
" ... "
Suddenly, as if its previous explosion were just rewound, Warrior's sword reformed and he quickly poised again to strike.
" What the--FAAAUUUGGGHH!!! "
The lingering spark from the last attack seemed to rewind as well, disappearing from sight and flowing back into Warrior's blade as he made the same titanic cleave into Cherish's body, this time swinging at her gut.
The rocks that didn't crumble before crumbled now, and even the clouds parted from the explosive sound of the impact. Cherish spat up blood as the sword was shattered again, but this time it was by the collision with her abs and the glorified spandex she wore -- no more kinetic energy backing up the suit for this one. While the suit at least wasn't cut from the sword, preventing her from being cleaved in half right then and there, it hardly provided any mitigation against the force behind the swing.
She fell to her knees coughing up what was probably the liquidized remains of her liver, not sure whether to be proud that her chiselled core just endured a network-busting attack or ashamed that she actually lost to Warrior just now. Still hunched over, she heard the sound of Warrior's sword rematerializing again, so there was definitely no averting this defeat.
She wouldn't have long to regret it though, as the voice of a third presence hummed in.
" Ooooh, looking rough there, Sis. Want me to tag in? "
Faith Nymphra held a lot of roles in this little trio. She, too, was a human pulsed-in to the virtual world.
She was a former member of the Gigamerican Armed Forces, far outranking Jake at the time, but now she functioned as a reservist and worked for a multi-national Intelligence Branch under Seth Pele, Cherish's father.
Most significantly though, she was engaged to Cherish's brother, David Pele, but unfortunately he passed away before they wed. While he reincarnated as a Net Navi for a period, he's been MIA for about a year now, with only Jake knowing his true fate.
" Stop... calling me 'Sis'. "
Cherish was forcefully holding back her coughs so that she could talk. She'd correct Faith every time she called them "sisters", as if she were a part of the family just because she almost married her brother. Faith was never bothered by it, though. "Family forgives", she'd always tell herself.
" Have it your way, Cher-Bear. "
Cherish stared back un-enthused. So this is what it felt like to get called a nickname you didn't want. This was fine though, she'd just deal with it the same way that other people dealt with the nicknames she'd given them: she'd ignore it and pretend it didn't bother her.
Her work done, Faith turned her attention to Warrior now.
" I see that yellow scarf, Jake. Congrats on the advancement! "
It still signified a lower rank than her own red scarf, but semantics.
" Thanks, Faith. "
" You gonna be okay over there, Cherish? "
Cherish rolled her eyes, still in pain but at least stable so long as she didn't move from her position.
" I'll make it. "
" I've see you've learned new tricks, Rayner. Care to share? "
" I've said it before: after crossing paths with Vinyl multiple times now, I've picked up on some Temporal manipulation, but only to a weak degree. Been putting it to practice this past year. "
Faith closed her eyes and bit her nails to think about it for a moment, while Cherish remained silent as she contemplated the implications behind that. Jake had told them about his confrontation with Finale in Bayside some time ago and how he'd claimed it "split space and time" or something outlandish like that. She dismissed the idiocy at the time, but after seeing his evident temporal control, the way his sword "rewinded" after it had been blown up during their fight, perhaps there was some validity to his claims after all.
More importantly, this "Vinyl" character was who Warrior claimed to be responsible for David's erasure. So if this was all true, she'd at least have some hope of getting her brother back again. She'd just need to learn more about this individual to confront them and have some words.
" So that's how I couldn't hit you either, then? "
" You actually hit me plenty of times. I just reverted those times, then played it forward again and dodged. "
" ... cheater. "
Faith opened her eyes now, smiling as if she'd just had an "A-ha!" moment.
" Oh, well you can't just spell it out for me like that. Try it on me now, Jake. "
" I'd... rather not. "
Faith instantly looked disappointed.
" Well, fine then. I think we're all warmed up, in that case. Let's be on our way! "
There wasn't much else to say than that. The trio Pulsed Out and left the Gigamerican Network at least relatively unscathed, minus a few crumbled boulders and some blood on the ground. Since they couldn't access other networks directly from Gigamerica, they'd need to cross the ocean in the Real World first, and that was where they were headed next.
((Warrior -> Pulse Out -> Netopia RW -> Rammount))
((Feint -> Pulse Out -> Netopia RW -> NIA Field Base))
((Nymphra -> Pulse Out -> Gigamerican Consulate))