She would glance over to Glint, who would look over to her with his single eye. But she turned the smirk to a smile instead as she bumped her elbow against the much larger individual's arm in a playful manner. After all, if there was nothing else that could be said of the two of them: it was one thing in particular that they shared in common.
"Mr. Glint and I are fast friends and totally partners. We're in this together after all."
It would add up in a way, as the missions so far they had been in the same area with one another time and again. So it was only fair to reason out that she wasn't beating around the bush with the statement either as Glint nodded in approval. He would be overshadowed just due to her eager ways to begin with all said. She certainly had more energy than him on matters, but there wouldn't be any problems with them when it came to working together or tasks at hand. Like that one task she had nailed for them as she placed her left hand to her right arm and fist pumped to go back to what happened with Caliga.
"Yeah, I'm actually really tough! Caliga never knew what hit him, literally! Trick of the trade though. You only get bonus points for figuring it out yourself, otherwise it gets real nasty for folks. Not like I could afford to let my guard down around him anyway with his slimy mitts all up in people's business."
Everyone loved to do that. They would sit back and speak with him or any number of things. All of that was wasteful and tactless in a fight against someone who's goal was using his mind and ploys to his advantage. And because of that they always found themselves tied up and helpless. She might have been speaking with Caliga before they started fighting, but she was hardly doing nothing during that time spent either. That speech was just her own way of setting her own traps to trip during the fight. Rosso's catchphrase pretty much applied to why they had let her be Caliga's adversary that day.
"But I wasn't busy at all so no worries! After I cleaned that up they pretty much had me sitting around and doing all of nothing. Sure I'm taking that time to sit back and learn in the meantime, but I can't get any practical applications of what I'm learning either thanks to that."
She had gone from her fun fist pump to a slump, sighing as she did. She understood that they had so many others to do their operations that they didn't need her for all of them and having her on standby had its purpose, but still. She almost regretted that she had finished all her other work prematurely now. Thanks to that all she would be doing until the right times was educational and otherwise still useful things that she couldn't use until those right times too. But she shook it off, clapping her hands together as another thought crossed her mind.
"Oh, I forgot my manners there. You know me but I don't know you. What's your name?"
The presence enjoyed Magnolia's exuberance, and relished her talking about her fight with Caliga, even with the sparse details. He'd been there, so he knew how it went, but he still didn't mind hearing bits of it from her point of view.
3: Honestly, I was rooting for you in that fight, Ms. Magnolia. Caliga was really only around because it was less dangerous to keep him busy than to let him run around, so not having him around anymore really is great.
And then came the question; a feeling of surprised regret rises from the field, as if he'd forgotten something important.
3: Oh, not at all! I'm so sorry, I've been talking with you and Glint for a while now, and it never occurred to me to introduce myself to you. Since we've sort of met before, I guess that I got caught up in the moment and forgot.
My name? I actually have a few... but the one that really says the most about me... is Gamma.
She had listened through, her smiling widening then. Honestly those guys and their naming conventions. They could have put a little more intent behind it, but she figured the thought still did count. And it didn't seem to mind too badly since they had others they called it by. She was fine with it too, seeing as she got a pretty slick name just as well with her comeuppance.
"Gamma, huh? I say that's a pretty sweet name. After all, names carry with them a whole lot of meaning. We take them with us and remind others of them as we carry on. Plus it's what we'll be remembered by when... we accomplish big things in life."
She trailed off for a moment there, distracted at least for a moment. Something else had come to her mind as a thought then as a choice of words, but what it was had been substituted for something else. She felt it was better fit for the occasion than her usual take on the statement of names and where they took them. The pep in her step would come right back though, because she was glad to have others rooting for her for reasons other than being the best bait around. Honestly, what a rude group she had from time to--...okay, maybe time to time would be being generous. But the thought still counted!
"Caliga was definitely the "only out for myself" sort of guy! Those nasty types always need looking out for. Some of the others thought it was a shame since his abilities could be put to good use if he was willing to cooperate, but I still think all he was good for was the same thing he always did."
Not like that mattered now. Thanks to her they got what they would really want from that whole thing anyway, as bothersome as that would be later. But later at least wasn't now so she supposed she'd do as she was and brush that under the table. It wasn't as if it was a bigger problem than a whole slew of other problems that everyone else had to deal with now, so giving it any sort of priority was a case by case basis. So it wasn't as thought it was unimportant, but she wouldn't be lying if she didn't say she had more important things on her mind.
"Are you the only one, Gamma? What about Alpha and Beta? They just ask you to do all the hard stuff for them with nothing in return for you?"
Yet another feeling radiates from Gamma, this time one of happy pride in response to Magnolia's praise.
Gamma: Thank you, Ms. Magnolia. I really like your name, as well as yours, Mr. Glint! And I can really agree; it was pretty much impossible to work with Caliga. Even if he did work with me, I always knew that he was trying to just use me. So did Gate, which is why we're all glad that he's gone.
The pride calms down, and in its place is a feeling of curiosity and probing; unsure of something that Magnolia had just said.
Gamma: And... well... you guys already have Alpha, right? You took him from us a while ago. Beta you kind of beat up pretty badly a while ago, but I'm already set to take his place now and he doesn't really have a personality, so that's fine.
She had grinned practically from ear to ear at Gamma liking her name. But she blinked a couple of times at the closing statements there, Glint letting out a light chuckle as she looked over to him. She felt like she might have did a logical jump by accident there, something he was well aware of after. He understood how she managed to do so after speaking with Gamma, as before that she would have normally made the proper assumption without needing the correction. It was just how she sorted things out in her mental space.
"Yes Magnolia, Beta is the current world. And regardless of the lack of personality, I would still like to apologize on behalf of its services."
"...Y'know in hindsight that makes a ton more sense after I said it rather than before. Fancy that."
She rubbed the back of her head in a bit of embarrassment at missing that particularly important note. But she imagined others would have to be thoroughly impressed. Looking at what happened to Alpha and Beta, then to see this for Gamma's first showcase was telling of how much more Gamma could accomplish than his predecessors. That would have to be an ego boost for just about anybody who was working with or using it. If anything it made her more annoyed at Gate though. It made her the same kind of annoyed she was with Immortalis, actually. No wonder he said they could get along, the prude.
"Well I do say sorry on behalf of Beta too since he was a whole lot of collateral damage. It's just that he was on top of what all that beating was trying to pull up, stupid sturdy roots. And even after all of that we barely ended up doing it because we hit, I dunno, a bunch of other buried treasure?"
She lifted her shoulders a bit on that one, seeing as they had in fact unearthed several things that weren't exactly the intended targets when they had beat up Beta now, in her eyes anyway. She told them they should just have used the other things to do the deed, but they took this roundabout instead. Still, it made sense why there was barely any resistance for Alpha when Gamma was already set up and was a sentient version of what already existed.
"Have you not taken Beta's place so that all of this can blow over first? Or is something missing?"
He was already set to take its place after all. And with all that had been done, it only made sense to install it as soon as possible in an ordinary scenario. Even in this one if certain accounts were taken care of, doing so now still would make sense. To not do so, to Glint at least, meant that there was an imperfection that still existed. Magnolia pouted a little as she had a question she wanted to ask first, but she would yield the right of way since she had been speaking more out of the two of them.
Contentment radiates from Gamma in the face of Magnolia's momentary confusion. The field didn't want her to feel embarrassed or upset, but the idea of being able to get one over on her for a moment made him feel proud of himself, and happy at the same time.
Gamma: Yup, that's right, Glint! I'm already installed into the core of every country on earth, and have been running in the background for a while now. All that I really needed to start helping people was for the Beta servers to shut down. So really, you guys helped me out a lot! Thank you! That's actually why we had Maoh: he was made to crash the servers so that I could take over. But you guys sort of already did that, so now the poor guy doesn't really have anything to do. I've been trying to give him other things to do, but I think that he may be going over to that other big guy that showed up around the Undernet to talk.
...Gamma's feeling darkens now; the childlike joy giving way to apprehension, possibly even fear.
Gamma: ...well, honestly, I'm not really done yet. Gate says that I need one more thing, and then I can start running with the other half of my project... but I don't really want to talk about that, he scares me.
Gamma trails off, for the first time showing genuine discomfort as negative emotions begin to radiate out from the bright red field that surrounds the black hole.
It was only fitting that they had scratched each others backs in all of this. Of course he imagined that everyone never imagined that Gate's lack of concern for collateral damage was because it was always going to be a necessity anyway. In that regard, certain individuals who were fond of inflicting mass havoc were ideal targets for confrontation over the years until Maoh's completion. They just so happened to do it themselves, meaning they had something that they didn't need to use now. And was why it worked on an entirely different server to begin with. That didn't disregard what they saw there either on that server, something that sounded unrelated to the Maoh that was now moving much like their Colossus had been working on a hidden name as well with the different file it possessed. There was quite the alignment going on in all of this, wasn't there?
"I'm glad to that we managed to help. The Beta servers certainly did have their fair share of issues. The Colossus should be glad to have Maoh around as well."
"Wait, wasn't the Colossus supposed to just sit around until later? Sure we got that alternative power source for it so it can act as it pleases, but... well, no. I guess this still qualifies for the same thing. Maoh's basically a big Navi."
She couldn't help but to interject at the time. After all Glint had come from the Undernet not that long ago because of the Colossus as they had Trishula promise to Scarface not even that long ago. The most visible part of it was in Sharo, but it did sprout up from somewhere. The Undernet was where as was deduced no doubt thanks to Gamma here, up until it reached well beyond the surface of Sharo and beyond. If it was Maoh that was going to the Colossus, it would still ultimately do what they would have wanted it to no matter how that turned out. Of course the rest of the world would get to witness essentially either the world's strangest conversation duo or the most intense sumo match they'd ever witness between the heaviest of heavyweights. The negative emotions that started to come out was a sign that it truly was not keen to discuss its other half.
"Hey, quit it. We all have things we'd rather not talk about at length."
She nudged him with her elbow again, not too roughly but just enough to get her point across. He would need, as that was true even for the two of them. They had moments they weren't too fond of and times that weren't the greatest for them, so it was only right to respect those boundaries for everyone. He nodded and would back off, but she didn't just want to have it drop off on such a negative note in relation to his other half. It wouldn't do to be like that with someone who was going to be your partner for a long time. So she'd do her best to try and ease its apprehension without trying to dig too deeply on the subject.
"If you don't like it, why don't you just not work with them or teach them a lesson? You shouldn't be forced to do something you don't want to do or have to be afraid of anybody."
The feeling radiating from Gamma becomes more apprehensive than before and the field grows dimmer, as if Gamma is trying to make himself seem smaller than he really is despite the impossibility given his current position.
Gamma: Well... I suppose it's probably the same reason that we can't really be friends right now, even after talking like this. You have a job that you really must believe in, so you're going to keep doing that, and I have a purpose that I really need to do so that we can all have peace gain..
Gamma trails off, the feeling lightening slightly as he does.
Gamma: I mean... you may not see it from the outside, but most of the WWW guys are actually really nice. Dynamo is funny and a lot of fun, and he's probably my best friend right now. The Shadow Devil is actually really kind when you get to know him. Bit and Byte... well, they don't really like me since Dynamo talked me into switching their bodies for a prank. I feel really bad about that, because it took me a long time to find the pieces of their data in that weird Netfrica network. Even Gate is actually really kind to me, and he lets me do what I want most of the time after he gives some advice. Most of them are really nice... but the other guy. You guys almost met him in Gigamerica, actually: he's the one that MagicMan teleported off of Maoh, I'm kind of glad that you didn't though... even with what I know about you now, I don't think you would have survived if he'd gotten out. We have to keep him in a capsule, otherwise he may try to get out. He's... old. really old. He has eyes everywhere. He can see things all over, but he doesn't tell me or Gate what he sees. He doesn't talk, he doesn't joke, he... he just watches all the time. And it scares me, because if he ever really gets out, I don't think that anyone could really stop him.
There was a grim punctuation to Gamma's statements. Be it the fear of a child-like mind that knows no better, or a deeper knowledge of something sinister within the WWW's rank, Gamma displayed a genuine fear of whatever this being is despite obviously being of a class that could rival much of what the net had known up to this point.
Even this little-big guy had the same sort of aspirations in mind even with his innocence. Glint had nodded, knowing that was why they couldn't really be friends in all of this. What they stood for and their jobs didn't allow them to, just as Gamma's job required him to do certain things for peace. A peace that they were in the way of still. And as both sides continued vying for the completion of their jobs, ultimately they would clash whenever those jobs required them to. In most cases it was nothing personal, but it was still a matter of course. And in that matter of course they were fighting what were essentially Gamma's only friends and family. Neither Glint nor Magnolia were strangers to this. It was something that happened as a result of large-scale battles like this. But instead of looking sad about it, Magnolia was smiling as Gamma listed off those in the ranks of the WWW.
Dynamo seemed like the sort of guy who would be fun to just hang out and chill with, an easy guy to be friends with who didn't let the job keep him down. The Shadow Devil being a fond hugger was a funny bit too seeing as those hugs could get pretty intense sometimes. Bit and Byte being upset thanks to the aftermath of that prank was something that was funny too, but it made sense they might be upset about their bodies being messed with and not like Gamma over it even after he went through the trouble of fixing it as Glint kept a thought to himself as it was going on.
"That battle that took place in Netfrica back then was related to that then, I imagine."
Gate letting someone do as they pleased was quite the image too given that from what she heard of him he was far from the kindest person. Literally everyone spoke the opposite. But that could mean that he simply had a change of heart with Gamma or that it was easier to have an amiable relationship with Gamma over one of servitude. That left the really old elephant in the room, and as far as they both knew despite the gap in their own ages, the old ones weren't the nice ones. Both could speak of that from experience. Even that day, one such one had been with them and had gone by quite unnoticed at that it seemed.
"That's fair. Sometimes we have to work with scary people that can't be stopped in order to accomplish our goals. Even we are no strangers to that. The ones with eyes everywhere keep it to themselves and like to do scary things with what they see and know. I know a couple just like that. They aren't allowed to roam around freely either. But try not to do one of those 'bearing the burden all alone' deals. If not 'anyone' could do the trick, then you have to work a bit outside of the box. That's what friends and sometimes even enemies are for."
But even then that didn't stop them. It simply limited the range of what they could do without a certain scope. But when Magnolia spoke of them she didn't have the same fear that Gamma had from either his childish nature or his wisdom on the matter. She spoke with a grim understanding, something akin to acceptance on the matter. Like there was nothing that could be done about them with what they wanted to do. At least up until the end, where it was clear that there was a certain path that they would still be willing to try in order to avert those kinds of futures from taking place.
"I won't say that it's wrong to worry or fear something that seems like it cannot be stopped. But my belief is that even in the face of such things, the insurmountable current that we swim against, that we must be willing to try. Just as yours was kept within that capsule, it is through that first step, that attempt, that we become able to accomplish things that looked impossible at first. Our effort bears fruit, and the fruit of that labor is the reward of that effort."
Time and again that belief had led him to make a decision. And even that day, the day he could say that this all began for him, was the same. When faced with that insurmountable obstacle, he had managed to do what others believed he could not by taking that step. It had cost him everything in the end, but it had been what had given them a chance to begin with. Between him and the prices that others paid, they had ultimately averted that disaster for the time being. But all points led there at the end of the day, whether anyone desired it or not.
Gamma falls to quiet contemplation, listening to both Magnolia and Glint intently. A feeling of shame rises from the field, one that Gamma emanates due to disappointment in himself.
Gamma: Alright... thank you both. I don't know what the future is going to be for all of us right now, but I'm going to try make one that's better, one where maybe we all can have fun together and be friends for more than just a few minutes. I'd really like that.
The feeling of shame dissipates a bit, but in its place is a melancholy longing stemmed from a wish as fragile as a snowflake, one that would be very hard to keep in tact.
Gamma: I'm sorry, I really didn't mean to turn our time together into "poor Gamma". You both are carrying a lot on your shoulders, so I can carry my own problems for now.
Gamma knew that this was basically going against what Magnolia had just advised, but he knew that at this point no one else could shoulder what he had to carry. The balace was just too fragile...
Gamma: Oh, I really got off-track, but I did have another reason to ask to talk with you, Ms. Magnolia. I don't know what you're thinking about doing with my family after all of this, but I wanted to warn you: I think that Gate has a trap for you, a really bad one. When you're around him or actually moving around a network that I'm controlling, please be extra careful. You've been really nice and fun even when things have been really scary, and even though I help Gate a lot, I want you and your friends to be safe. Then maybe we can all have peace together.
It was a Glint of hope rising from Gamma, one that told his would-be enemies/friends that his personal goal now was to find a balance, a way to bring this war to an end without loss. And once again the question arises; is this the innocent dream of a child's mind, or an honest goal that Gamma can reach for in the future?
Striving for a better future on different paths. They couldn't all be said to have that as a goal, but for the time being the three here had that in common. They all had moments when it had to be about tough times they'd gone through, so it being about "poor Gamma" for a bit was fine since there was quite the weight on his shoulders. But Gamma knew that the weight on all of their shoulders made quite the balancing act. A fragile, tenuous act caused by the hope that was beginning to grow in the face of a war they ultimately caused.
"I would like that too. That would be a great future indeed."
Gamma remembered his reason for wanting to talk to Magnolia now, placing her hands on her waist as she took it in. It made sense all said given she had picked on Gate to start with and getting even about that when she then proceeded to do it again made sense. She had almost missed her objective with meeting Egress the first time, but she managed to get her mission objective done no thanks to Dynamo and High-Max. It was why she was looking forward to being around him again, because she honestly wanted to see his reaction the next time. Unfortunately for her, Immortalis had a strict no fun allowed policy so her hands were tied on that front for the time being. But this was still a good thing, smiling at Gamma for being kind enough to let her know about what was very likely planned to take her out of the game for good.
"Thanks for the warning, Gamma. Personally I'd want to be hands off with your family going forward, but they're persistent with pitchforks so I'll have to square up with them here and there I'd bet. But it does look like things might go well for us in the future if we're looking to strike a balance. After all..."
All was well up to that point. After all it wasn't as if she didn't agree with the hope for peace. It was something that would be a good goal to be able to maintain as growth came about. Only time would tell if it was something that could be maintained or not in the face of what all would unfold next. But there was one thing that would slip out, just from one note that Gamma had brought up in the warning and not very intentionally. It was just a part of her that surfaced sometimes when they discussed certain things.
"Gate's approach is all wrong if he wants me out of his picture frames."
It was the first time in this conversation that it had surfaced. The part of her that seemed all too frightening to be around. The look in her eyes and the smile on her face displayed the emotions all too well. The dissonance between her sing-along tone, the reassuring smile, and eyes that denoted a well-kept frenzy. It was someone who was a combatant through and through, reeled back in as Glint tapped her shoulder as the warm smile and gaze would return instead of the savage demeanor that was kept at bay. It wasn't something that dwelt at her surface, but something that was deeper within than that.
"Oh, but if you can, do make sure you bully Nero and Verde when you're helping out your family. Actually, no. Nero's fine because he's still not cool, but try to just observe if Verde is involved. He'll be bad news if you keep interacting with him."
She would ask to have their own beat up a bit more than not. They would notice Glint look toward what was being kept down by Gamma now, Sirius' black hole. It wasn't as though he was looking beyond Gamma, but it was clear that he was looking through someone then as his eye moved a few times then. Looked like things had reached their conclusion then, and he wouldn't make any illusions on what he was doing as well.
"From the look of things from Joker's and Burai's perspectives, the battle is won for Earth. It's almost time, Gamma."
The light from Gamma fades, as his attention leaves his company and looks inward. The Black Hole was beginning to swell and pulse, giving off the tell-tale sign of what was to come next.
Gamma: ...he's fighting back, but not like I expected. I think... he's trying to keep us safe for some reason. But I need to stop him before it's too late; no one needs to die today...
Gamma's power surges, and his field begins to radiate light. The WWW's Third System is now at full power.
Gamma: I guess this is going to be goodbye for now. Mr.Glint: thank you for being willing to talk to me. It was really fun being able to meet you, and I will take your advice to heart. I hope that we can work together some day soon. And Ms.Magnolia: thank you for being so nice, and for telling me what you think of so many things. I have a lot to think about now, and I hope that we can talk like this some more.
It was true that it was a different kind of resistance than he was expecting as well. Trying to keep them safe rather than leave one final comeuppance? That was strange. What had he spoken of in his time heading here in order to come to such a conclusion on his own? Still... that was good news for him at least. He imagined it was mixed views among their collective team however, so the meeting after this would certainly be something. It looked like things would end well here then, and their goodbyes would indeed be in order for now.
"It was nice to be able to speak with you, Gamma. I look forward to that day as well."
To be able to foster a dream filled with hope for this one was well worth the conversation. And whether or not that dream could be preserved would be something that this young one would have to find out over time. Such was the journey that they called life. Magnolia would use her right hand to make an OK sign, clearly happy to have made this meeting as well. And she almost would have missed out too if not for Glint being such a cool partner to have.
"Of course! If you ever feel the need to really talk it out, just think about me really hard. I'll hit you up in no time."
From there she would transition into a hearty wave with both arms, turning as she went back the way she came from. Glint would look elsewhere for a time, off into what appeared as little more than an empty space at the time. But for just a moment, it was clear that something flickered in and out. Something that felt like a great many things before he would also offer a parting to Gamma before he would follow suit with Magnolia. As things had cleared up and the Earth would be spared from this threat...
Why had the threat ever come to pass to begin with?
With the threat of Sirius gone, the red field contracts and fades, revealing the black hole in all of its destructive glory. A moment later, a surge of white energy emerges in a sphere around the hole in a manner similar to the field before. The energy swirls and splits into a platinum-white and onyx-black vortex, and then changes to a radiating green before at last collapsing. In its wake, the black hole disappears entirely, leaving the earth safe from its destructive menace.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the galaxy, another green sphere appears and collapses, revealing the black hole just outside of the event horizon of Sagittarius A. The broken piece is then allowed to quietly fall back into the primary singularity, where it will return to whence it came.
The Earth would be safe from another threat, perhaps the greatest known threat to the Earth so far in all of its outside threats. With the black hole returned, all would stay as ordered in the galaxy. Or at least, that was how it should have been. But when it was returned from whence it came, there was something very peculiar there. Perhaps even miniscule in the grand scale of the entire universe at large. What had appeared to be a lens... no, a mirror of sorts? It had been hovering where the broken piece had come from and had then been taken in as a result of its return. And all would be quiet, for now, once again...