The outskirts of Bayside city, shining home to many. This glorious city is a haven of safety, but also a deadly trap, as so many disasters have befallen it time and again. Many have vacated, moving on to safer settlements across the net, yet one remains stoic.
On the edge of the beautiful sea that gives the city its name, a small hut stands. Forged of the broken data from countless battles and cataclysm, it's not much to look at, and not very large at that. Yet it stands on the water-front, overlooking the shimmering waves. it's here that a small Navi, no taller than three feet, looks out over the waves. His body is covered by a pitch black cloak adorned with copper details. It covers his small form entirely, rising as a hood to reveal only a dark-skinned, child-like face, and a pair of deep, red eyes. From his very form, darkness in its purest form radiates, yet he shows no threat and displays no malice. The only feeling that rises from this lone child is a deep, longing sadness.
Suddenly, pressure fell upon the peaceful bayside that was quite unlike any force that had ever fallen here, before. Whereas Forte's presence in the Net was definitely pronounced, the sheer pressure of this being's presence, not only in file size but in density, caused the Network for just a moment to bend towards him entirely as he arrived. The master exerted his force and the Net maintained without worry, if only because he willed it so.
The cosmic emperor appeared over the waves, like the sun exploding into existence and then the light dying as it was compressed into his magnificence. The waters rushed towards him, only to be brushed away, like the whole of the Net was pulled into his pressure, but he alone decided what would come of it. This power stood before the being known as Nolipse.
". . . You must be Nolipse," Sirius proclaims rather simply, considering him with his unending smile. "I have a proposition for you. Unless provoked, this need not be painful or even confrontational. Are these terms pleasing to you?"
The radiance and void of Sirius' presence wakes the water beneath him, causing waves to form and rebound, as if the reality of the sea beneath orbits his position in awe of his power. This catches the eye of the miniscule Navi, who watches the emperor's effects quietly for a moment before finally turning his eyes upward...
...his dead, cold, sorrowful eyes.
Despite not being one of the "legends" of the net, the small child's gaze reveals so much more to him than what he appears to be. Just as looking to Sirius was as if one was looking into the depths of a singularity, Nolispe's gaze is as void as nothingness itself; a vast emptiness that yields nothing in its study. These are the eyes that look on to the emperor as if they don't recognize the power within him, and these are the eyes that wordlessly and longingly look back over the waves as the small boy kneels down and sits, holding his knees beneath his cloak as if to provide himself with at least some form of personal comfort...
For him to simply sit rather than even acknowledge him at all was not something Sirius was expecting. How truly intriguing, that this planet would continue to surprise him.
"I have need of your file. The actual information isn't nearly as relevant as the foundation of the code itself. Will you submit to being broken down, reinitialized, and then reconstructed for my needs?"
As Sirius addresses him again, Nolispe's eyes rise again, looking over the tyrant's details carefully while holding his own knees even closer to himself. He listens intently, but then his eyes fall, looking to the sandy beach on which he now sits. He remains still for a few moments, before a light shiver overtakes him, causing him to shut his eyes tightly and shake his head quickly. However, if this was a direct response to Sirius or something else entirely remained ambiguous.
He tilted his head while observing the small individual, bringing in his knees tighter as though to make himself even smaller. Sirius considered what he could do to get this being to cooperate without needing to revert to harming him; in this case, the toy was quite important in as pristine a condition as possible.
"I truly cannot tell if you are communicating with me, or lost to yourself entirely. It annoys me. Is there a part of yourself you do not quite enjoy, perhaps? Something you would prefer I not include in the final product when I reconstruct you? You have someone that wants you taken care of, so I am reluctant to simply attack you to get what I want, but, if you do not cooperate, you will force my hand."
Sirius was taking a different approach to this than he ever had, before; he really and truly wanted no harm to come to Nolipse, aside from the need to deconstruct and then reinitialize him, but he needed some form of understanding that if he attempted to, the Navi wouldn't resist him. He had little time or need for a conflict at the moment, especially given he wasn't sure what this little subcreature would have to offer.
Nolispe reaches up and holds onto his head with his hands as Sirius speaks, pushing his feet against the sands to scoot himself away from the dictator. He grips tighter, shaking his head in defiance of something, until Sirius reaches the next part of his offer; "something you would prefer I not include in the final product".
The shaking stops, and his grip lessens as he stares at the sand in silence. He quietly lowers his hands and begins to stare at them, closing them into fists and opening them several times while looking on intently. He then looks back at his disheveled hut and stares for a moment. He becomes lost in thought, remembering something before at last getting up and running across the sand and into his home. He trips near the entrance, falling on his hands and knees into the sand, but this doesn't stop him. He disappears into his home for a moment, before emerging a moment later. The small Navi then runs across the sand, reaches the water, and begins to hover his way towards Sirius. Once there, it becomes obvious that he's holding onto something, and that something is soon handed to Sirius.
With both hands, Nolispe reaches up and holds out a picture of a Navi. It's a woman, stern in expression and girded with light armor and a longsword. Her teal hair flows from her head in a ponytail, and she stares out from the picture with similarly colored eyes. However, in her eye is also a glint of kindness, a loving nature behind the harsh overtones. Nolispe recoils his hand for a moment, looking directly to Sirius' nearly closed eyes as he holds it close to his heart before reaching out with this most precious artifact, obviously giving the conqueror a single condition; this picture and the memory of the woman that it enshrines must remain regardless of what happens.
Sirius watched the Navi struggling with something that was of grave importance to him, and, then, suddenly, all at once, realization struck; like something Sirius had said had hit the mark. The Navi made a fool of himself, foolishly standing and running back into the little hut that he had made for himself.
Perplexed and also intrigued, Sirius awaited, as the Navi came back, and then began floating across the expanse towards him. Unsure of what he was planning, but also unworried, Sirius stood his ground as the lesser creature approached, and then saw the precious artifact in his hand. Motioning between the picture of the beautiful woman and his own mind, the conditions were set rather clearly.
A strange request he had, to permit him anything so long as he maintained that memory. Against all odds, then, Sirius would have to preserve it within his mind; he had no intentions of harming the original data, just analyzing it enough to make use of it on his end. That said, an intriguing thought entered his mind; a curious idea, indeed, and one quite different from how he normally thought at the core of his black hole. How intriguing, what a change of perspective could do for his interests . . .
". . . Do you, by chance, have a memory of this individual within your file? A memory involving them being destroyed? If you do, when I assimilate your file and rebuild you, if I can witness that memory, I can rebuild your friend."
Nolispe's eyes look to the picture in silence, showing a bit of hope for a moment. However, he then closes his eyes, quickly turns away, and shakes his head. He could say no more, but it was obvious that he didn't want this course of action for some reason.
Sirius saw his sadness, and guessed that it meant that he did not observe this entity being destroyed. An unfortunate endeavor for this individual, who cared for this woman, but had no means of ever meeting her again.
Still, a deal was a deal. Sirius just nodded, and held out his hand towards Nolipse. His power flowed outward, a simple ray that obliterated Nolipse entirely. As Nolipse broke apart, Sirius absorbed the data that made up Nolipse, looking over it and making sense of it. As he looked over Nolipse's file, analyzing its components, he mixed his frequency into it, in order to determine how digital and analog data worked in concert. After a fair bit of experimentation, Sirius got the perfect margin he was looking for. By implementing the data, Sirius used the data that made up Nolipse to augment his own form; using the base code as a foundation, he didn't gain any of Nolipse's abilities, just the formatting of his media.
Having broken down Nolipse, rebuilding him was as simple as anything. With a wave of his hand, Nolipse reformed, with the memory that he was requested to maintain intact. "As requested, you are still fully you, with no modifications, and that memory is still intact. I have only analyzed your data to make modifications to my media, making me overall more compatible with your world."
Sirius' deconstruction of the child Navi's data would be successful, but he'd find more than he'd bargained for along the way.
Nolispe's data turned out to be... corrosive, for lack of a better term. Reviewing it caused physical pain, as if the net itself was attempting to deny running the executable that it entails. As expected, the data shows information on the small child, yet it quickly reaches an overflow data error as his combat file loops in on itself, creating a potentially infinite cascade. But this would be far from all. Alongside this information is a second Nolispe, one that must be the true nature of Epsilon locked away within him. This data outright defies the net around it, making it nearly impossible to read. However, one thing does come to light with what little can be deciphered; this is a Navi designed to wield an unknown form of data, and a Navi with the potential for literal infinite power given the proper circumstances.
With the procedure done, Nolispe returns to consciousness and opens his eyes, looking out over the ocean before shaking his head and looking around, remembering what was just happening in the moments before this. It's here that the child hovers backwards and lands on the sandy beach, looking at his hands again before pulling out his treasured icon and looking at it. He holds it close, as if to hug it, and then raises his dead eyes back to Sirius, looking to the black hole tyrant as if asking what comes next.
There was a saying that went something to the effect of 'If you truly understand, you can teach;' Sirius worked in a similar manner, following the idea of a skilled artisan. Anyone can figure out how to tear something apart, but being able to rebuild it afterwards is something truly marvelous. His unique nature enabled him to tear anything apart, to its barest components, and then reconstruct it from the ground up however he pleased. Whereas others found it a great skill to be able to tear something apart and then rebuild it, for him, the process was as simple as breathing.
To tear apart Nolipse was akin to trying to understand something that should not be understood. For any other being, it probably would've been maddening; Sirius, however, had broken down stars, torn asunder planets, and quantified the value and understanding of galaxies rent into his vacuum. The Net may have defied the attempt to run the executable, but Sirius was not interested in the executable file at all; he was curious in its foundation, the 1s and 0s themselves that made up the digital being.
It was like reading over a folder that was intentionally designed to look empty, but was in fact full of just raw information; information that didn't do anything in and of itself, but that information existed solely to replicate and manipulate information plugged into it. Like an inverted input-output machine, where one variable going in would equal the exact opposite going out. Sirius read through the data and figured out the basis of it, and bothered himself not with trying to identify what kind of data it was, nor even trying to understand how the executable operands looped on themselves. No; he needed only the data itself, not its purpose.
Still, he perceived value in basing the foundation of digital media off of such an incomprehensible, somewhat naturally corrosive or pointedly incompatible executable file. While the 0s and 1s were naturally a part of the Net itself, what that information told the Net to do was against what the Net would do on its own. That gave him an intriguing thought, as he analyzed the data and made it a part of his own, while making sure to keep any traces of the other, malignant intelligence nestled inside of Nolipse out of his own data entirely.
Satisfied with the overall results, now wielding data that was compatible with the Net, but inhospitable towards it all the same, Sirius considered Nolipse, and the deed that the little Navi has done for him, and thought of what he could do to repay the little cretin, not that he had much need to repay him any further kindness.
Chuckling to himself, a high-pitched trill, Sirius made his decision, holding up one hand. Light and photons gathered together from the incredible mass within him at his behest, and he created two miniature stars orbiting around one another, centered upon a liquid metal helix that would prevent the stars from ever colliding. The helix would take in energy from the orbiting stars' heat, and, if ever desired, could be removed, permitting the stars to collide. The energy that could be siphoned from the helix alone should be useful for the capabilities of the little navi, to take in power and then release it infinite fold in the opposing direction; but the true devastation of such a relic could be found if the two miniature suns were allowed to collide.
He passed this careful creation over to Nolipse, smiling at him, and decided to use Nolipse's own form of communication, simply tilting his head as he passed on the bauble. While beautiful to look at, it also had purpose of Nolipse chose to use it.
Nolispe reaches out and takes Sirius' gift in his hand, allowing it to hover just above his palm. His head tilts in curiosity as he tries to look at it, but quickly winces from the light that the micro-stars were putting out, causing him to rub his eyes with his free hand. He stumbles back a few steps as he tries to look to the remarkable construct, but finally turns to his hut again. This time he walks carefully, holding the unique item as if it were made of the finest and most fragile crystal as he makes his way in. Once inside, Sirius would be able to peer inside of the doorway to see Nolispe make his way to a lone table near the back of his home, a table that holds a small handfull of items; the frame that his picture had come from, a torn piece of slate-gray fabric, and a strange, fragmented, black mystery data that seems too corrupt to open. As if placing a holy relic on its pedestal, Nolispe carefully places the sun here next to the rest and steps back, looking at the latest piece of his collection... before once again furiously rubbing his now tearing eyes. Turning away, Nolispe runs outside of his hut and starts running towards the edge of Bayside proper, once again falling on his hands and knees along the way. He finds a heap of broken data from the broken city and begins to tear through it silently.
It takes a few minutes, but Nolispe finally pulls out a few pieces of junk and begins to proudly haul them back to his hut by holding them over his head, falling over on his back from the changed center of gravity a few times as he does so. When he reaches his hut, he covers his eyes with his hood and begins moving the pieces inside one at a time, walking very slowly towards his table with each. Piece by piece, he makes a second table from the wreckage and puts it in the corner, mere feet from his existing table. He then takes Sirius' gift and raises it up with great care before placing it on this new table. He then runs outside and grabs the last piece of this puzzle; a large, darkened display-screen designed for advertisement. Nolispe takes this screen and props it up in the corner, making a display case of sorts for his newest treasure, while also dampening the light just enough to not be overtaken while looking at it. With this done, Nolispe pulls out his picture, hugs it silently, and returns it to his frame before carefully scooting the original table closer to his newest treasure.
With his job done, Nolispe stands back and looks through squinting eyes at the new wing added to his treasure trove, showing no emotion yet proud of it all the same. He sits on his floor, hugs his knees, and looks at this collection with fascination for several moments before suddenly turning his head back to Sirius, as if remembering the one that gave him aid. It's here that Nolispe gets up and runs over to his table and takes the piece of gray fabric in his hand and looks at it. He studies it carefully and sniffles in silence for a moment before his small hands grip it and begin to pull. The little Navi struggles with his treasure for a few moments, but finally he manages to to tear off a small piece of the fabric. At this his eyes widen, but he quickly looks over the fabric to see that it was still mostly intact, which sparks an expression of relief. Nolispe carefully takes the larger portion of the fabric and places it in front of his beloved picture frame, looking at the two together for a moment before finally turning away.
Leaving his hut, Nolispe runs across the sand, this time stopping himself from tripping, and hovers out over the water. He fearlessly approaches Sirius, and actually reaches out to the imposing figure's wing, giving it a weak tug before taking the scrap of worthless fabric, holding it close to his heart for a moment, and reaching his hand out to Sirius, offering this precious treasure in return for what had been given.
Sirius tilted his head as he watched Nolipse, completely confused and at once enthralled by the clumsiness and dedication of this strange creature. To think, such a thing existed that he could've collected, and had him collect more things to add to his collection in the process!
Ah, but he forgot - no longer did he need to collect things simply because it was the only way he had to marvel at them. Here he stood, able to interact with Nolipse outside of his Black Hole server. It would take some getting used to; the thought amused him. Still, he watched, intrigued, as the little being concerned himself with whatever it was he was thinking of gifting to Sirius. He seemed to be tearing himself up over this opportunity, which confused the tyrant; why would he worry so much about those little items in his collection? What value did they have that he wouldn't dare lose them?
The display case was impressive to watch him build, albeit a little tedius. Sirius was surprised with the ease that this individual continuously approached him, even going so far as to reach out and grab one of his satellite wings. Sirius considered the individual, still perplexed by his action, and looked at the little black cloth, wondering what he was to do with this item that had no apparent worth.
Stars were in his collection. Living beings. Planets. Other black holes. Entire solar systems. Meteors. Comets. What use did he have for this tiny, insignificant piece of cloth, in reference to all of that? Sirius shook his head, uncertain, but reached out and took the piece of cloth, anyways. "I do not understand, I must admit; although, had I followed through with my plan of collecting your planet, I suppose this would have found its way into my collection by chance, anyways. I can find a spot on a shelf for it, I suppose," Sirius tells him, chuckling lowly.
"I have to go, now . . . there is much more to do for my ascendancy to become complete. I sense her, now, moving about," Sirius went on, talking to himself, now, gazing beyond, his vision cast out farther than the horizon would normally permit. ". . . Thank you, for the entertainment. You have much to offer for a being so small."
At this, Sirius rose up, and as quickly as he had arrived, he vanished. The flash of light compressed away, and the waters receded from him, as the Net returned to not feeling like something were trying to grab it into a vice.
Nolispe doesn't even pretend to understand what Sirius is speaking about, but he listens nonetheless. His head cocks slightly at the concept outlined, and nods to the blackhole administrator as he says that he has to leave. The child gives one last gentle tug before Sirius vacates the area, and watches him leave. His eyes search the horizon for a moment after this, and then turn to check the beach, but after a moment he knows that Sirius has gone, so he returns to his hut shortly after, sitting down and watching his newly expanded set of treasures on display.