Prologue: Before the Fighting
Scene: Kresh Nebula, Unknown Planet, unknown time. Storm Silverwing prepares for war.
Storm had spent the last few hours making sure that he had everything he would need to charge into battle. Swords, armor, and healing potions had been his primary concerns. Once he had a full suit of armor, three swords, and roughly thirty potions, he was satisfied. As soon as he finished putting his armor on, he would be ready to head to the battlefield.
He winced, as his long yellow hair got caught in the visor of his helmet. The armor itself was simple plate mail, made out of strange black metal. Glowing blue magical runes were inscribed on the gauntlets. After freeing his hair, he picked up two of the swords, which were katanas, made of the same black metal. He slid them into sheathes on his belt, and grabbed the third sword, which was an enormous golden claymore. This one was strapped to his back instead. He picked up the bag containing his potions and tied it to his belt, then turned to his left, where a hoard of oddly colored, semi-transparent monsters were scurrying about.
He remembered the horror he had felt when he learned of what had happened to Lore. The thoughts of his friends who were still on the planet were fresh in his mind. Especially Isaac, his loyal skeletal companion. After a moment, however, he shook his head and berated himself.
"Don't think like that. It's not hopeless yet."
He began to walk towards the swarm of monsters, where a large group of Lore's other heroes had gathered. As he walked, he mused about various cruel and unusual punishments that he would like to inflict on Etherseid, if he had the chance.
"Perhaps a glue factory. Or an eternity with Twig."
He couldn't help giggling as he imagined Etherseid being trapped in a pocket dimension with Twig. After a moment, however, he remembered the long hours of nonstop fighting that no doubt awaited him, and all of the humor vanished as quickly as it had come. Prepared or not, Storm was in for the fight of his life.
End of Prologue.
Chapter I: A Strange Happening
Scene: Unknown Planet, several hours later. Storm has been fighting non-stop. A strange girl approaches him.
Storm was getting incredibly annoyed with the fact that the ethereal monsters weren't entirely there. He would hit them hard enough to sever a limb, and they'd merely suffer a cut instead. They were by no means invincible, but it became tiresome incredibly quickly. Eventually, he had killed every monster nearby, and sat down to rest for a moment. Because of his tiredness, Storm did not notice the girl who had been steadily moving closer to him for the past hour. Her vibrant red hair fell down past her waist, and a silver axe gleamed on her belt. Eventually, she spoke.
Storm jumped about a mile in the air, before he turned to look at her.
"Gah! Are you trying to give me a heart attack?"
"No. But that might be fun."
"Who are you? What do you want?"
"I am a warrior. That is all you need to know, Storm Silverwing."
".... Cut the mysterious observer act."
"You're no fun. My name is Kierra Moonside."
"Moonside? Is that really a name?"
"You're one to talk, Mr. Silverwing!"
"Speaking of that, how do you know me?"
"I've seen you in a vision."
Storm stared at her for a moment and shook his head, wondering if he had heard correctly.
"Yes. I did mention that I see random glimpses of the future, right?"
"No! No you did not!"
"Oh. Well, not the definitive future, but more like what the future will be if I don't interfere."
"Alright, so what happens in your vision?"
"You're fighting off these monsters. You think you've defeated all of the ones nearby. Suddenly, you get ambushed by nightmare soldiers, who proceed to bludgeon you to death."
"Are you okay?"
"Please tell me that you're here to prevent that!"
"Nope, I'm technically here to help save Lore. But I figured maybe I could help you out on the side."
"Thank you! So, when will this ambush happen?"
"Right now! Get down!"
Kierra shoved Storm down to the ground. In an instant, at least a hundred nightmare soldiers appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. As they readied their weapons, Kierra drew the axe from her belt, and whirled around, swinging the axe in a huge arc. Several of the soldiers fell back and dissipated into ethereal energy. The others readied their guns and pointed them at Kierra.
In a flash, she was surrounded by a glowing barrier. The soldiers all opened fire at once, blasting her with thousands of bullets. When the smoke cleared, however, the soldiers' eyes widened. The bullets had all been stopped dead by the barrier. Instead of falling to the ground, they almost appeared to be stuck to the barrier.
The barrier exploded, sending the bullets flying outwards in all directions. Storm raised his head up and looked around, seeing that more than half of the soldiers had been killed by their own bullets. Kierra smiled innocently down at him. He stood up slowly and stared at her, before drawing the claymore from his back. At this point, the remaining soldiers decided that it would be wise to switch to their melee attacks, seeing how well their guns had worked out. They all charged towards Kierra and Storm. The runes on Storm's gloves glowed brightly, and his claymore began sparking with lightning. Together, Storm and Kierra began hacking away at the oncoming swarm of soldiers.
A few minutes later, they were standing in approximately the same spot, with one key difference: all of the soldiers were dead. The corpses had vanished, as all ethereal monsters did when slain.
"I guess I should thank you."
"Oh, no need. Although you can if you want!"
"No, seriously. You saved me, even though you didn't have to."
"Oh, come on. We can get sappy later. We still have a planet to reclaim."
"Right. Yeah. Let's go join the other heroes. Splitting off from the group almost got me killed."
"But not quite, because I'm awesome!"
Storm sighed loudly and began to walk away, towards the main battlefield. Kierra followed after him, grinning smugly.
End of Chapter.
Chapter II: On The Origins of Kierra
Scene: Unknown Planet, war camp, roughly twelve hours later. Kierra and Storm are resting.
Nighttime had settled over the planet, bringing a relaxing cool breeze with it. However, Etherseid's minions did not seem to tire, so the battle raged on. Storm and Kierra had fought for as long and as hard as they could, until eventually they found themselves too tired to even raise their weapons. At that point, they had finally withdrawn to the war camp for some food and rest. They sat around a campfire with a few other tired heroes, some of whom had dozed off rather quickly. For some time, the only sounds were the fire crackling, and the fighting in the distance. Eventually, however, Storm spoke.
"Something's been bothering me, Kierra."
"Oh? What is it?"
"How did you get here? I'm certain that you weren't on the Phantom."
"Ah, I was wondering when you'd ask. I teleported here about an hour before Lore got stolen."
"How did you know where, and when, to teleport?"
"Glimpses of the future, remember?"
Storm's eyes widened, and he stared at Kierra.
"You KNEW what would happen to Lore, and you didn't warn anybody!?"
"Calm down! I got Warlic to teleport me the moment I had the vision. An hour isn't enough time to really do anything, so telling everybody would just incite a panic."
Storm calmed down immediately, and shook his head.
"I guess you're right. There wasn't enough time."
"Believe me, if I had seen it a few days before, I would have spread the news far and wide."
"Yes, I believe you. Now, speaking of your visions, what's the story behind those?"
"It runs in the family, from my father's side."
"Who is your father?"
"Alexander Moonside. He has much more control over his visions than I do. He set up a business in Deren."
"Oh? What kind of business?"
"Fortune-telling, with a twist. The visions only ever show bad fates, like death and destruction. So, he made a fortune by predicting disasters befalling his clients, and then telling them how to avoid those disasters. He eventually became famous enough that even the Derenian nobility occasionally seek his services."
"Wow. That's genius. He helps people and gets absurd amounts of money in return."
"Pretty much, yeah. Now it's my turn. What about your parents, Storm?"
Storm's eyes darkened, and he turned away. Kierra immediately realized that she had brought up a sensitive topic. Instead of waiting for an answer, she went to retract her question.
"We don't have to talk about it if you don't want to. Let's talk about something else."
"Good night, Kierra."
With that, Storm stood up suddenly and walked away to set up a bedroll. Kierra looked down sadly, wishing that she had never mentioned it. After a moment of sitting in silence, however, she realized that Storm had the right idea, and grabbed her own bedroll. After all, the war wasn't over yet, and she would need all the sleep she could get.
End of Chapter.
Chapter III: To Kill an Analogue
Scene: Unknown Planet, battlefield, three days later. Etherseid prepares the next stage of his plan.
Lord Etherseid was in an exceptionally bad mood. He had been busy creating perfect analogues of Lore's heroes. Infuriatingly, some of those heroes had arrived and caught their analogues by surprise. Days of his time and effort, wasted by puny mortals! Even the thought of it made him seethe with rage.
Etherseid looked up at the Nightmare Rook who had spoken, and realized that he had been grumbling to himself.
"Well, my lord, the next batch of analogues are ready."
"Excellent. Send them out to kill the originals."
"As you command."
Etherseid couldn't resist smiling to himself. Perhaps this plan would be worth the effort after all....
Scene: Unknown planet, battlefield, a couple hours later. Storm and Kierra are in between waves of enemies.
Storm and Kierra had decided that it would be better to fight together rather than splitting up. To that end, they had been diligently cutting down Etherseid's forces as they encountered them. Kierra's axe had broken hours before, so she resorted to augmenting her bare hands with magic. Eventually, several waves of the army had fallen, and the heroes were given a brief respite.
"So you're supposed to be us? I'm unimpressed."
Storm and Kierra looked around for the source of the mysterious voice, which sounded just like Kierra's, except full of scorn. Standing nearby were exact copies of Storm and Kierra, although the copy Kierra still had her axe.
"What do you think, Storm? Analogues?"
"Seems so. It appears Etherseid is more powerful than we thought."
Storm's analogue let out a hearty laugh, while Kierra's analogue glared coldly at them.
"Yes, you've done a good job underestimating Lord Etherseid. Soon he will ascend us."
"Ascend? Has he really fooled you with that nonsense?"
"So you don't care for power? Yes, you are quite the disappointment."
The two Kierras had stayed silent as the Storms conversed. However, Moonside (Kierra's analogue) quickly grew impatient and snapped at them.
"Shut up! We'll never ascend unless we kill these fools!"
With that, she drew her axe and charged towards Kierra. Moonside swung the axe violently downwards, and Kierra jumped to the side. Wind magic swirled around her fist, which she slammed into Moonside's stomach. Moonside staggered backwards, blood dripping from her mouth.
Nearby, Storm had engaged Silverwing (his own analogue) in a similar battle. Both of them were wielding their dual katanas, and neither seemed to be at a distinct advantage. They leaped towards each other, their swords clashing in midair. As both of them prepared for another pass, Storm snapped his fingers discreetly, and a magical dagger appeared, floating behind Silverwing. They leaped towards each other again, and the dagger sped forward, stabbing into Silverwing's back as he went to strike.
Moonside found, much to her shock, that she was being beaten.... badly. She couldn't use any of Kierra's magical powers, rendering her effectively defenseless. She wasn't given much time to think about that, though, as Kierra tackled her to the ground and began punching her relentlessly. After a moment, Kierra stepped backwards and looked down at her broken analogue. The magic in her hands faded, and she turned and walked towards Storm.
Storm, meanwhile, had just finished his own battle. After the dagger had struck, Silverwing had fallen to the ground, at which point Storm had stabbed him. He looked up to see an upset Kierra approaching him.
"I went overboard. I was unnecessarily brutal. I could've just grabbed her axe and finished it quickly."
"She deserved what she got. They were working for Etherseid."
"I'm used to killing monsters, not actual people! Especially not ones who look like just me!"
"We'll bury them if you wish. However, did you happen to notice that they were weaker than us?"
".... I did, actually. It seemed like she couldn't use any of my spells."
"Etherseid did a good job at inflating their egos. Seems he neglected to make them strong enough though."
They both looked around, and realized that they weren't the only heroes who had been fighting copies, as the battlefield was littered with dead analogues. Off in the distance, a rumbling sound could be heard. After a minute, Etherseid's entire remaining army marched into view. Lore's heroes let out various war cries, and charged forwards. Kierra looked over at Storm.
"Come now, we can't miss the final push!"
"Fine. I guess I do want to teach Etherseid a lesson...."
At that, they both turned and charged into the fray.
< Message edited by battlemaster25 -- 6/6/2013 4:04:42 >