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Dark Samus charges in fearlessly, charging her own cannon and being about to unload an Annihilator Beam Charge Shot upon Samus, and judging by the way she's coming in it's looking like this is meant to be a killshot.
As such, right before Dark Samus gets close enough to fire, Botar suddenly appears in between the both of them, then warps himself and Samus away to the Floating City.
Dark Samus stops in her tracks, surprised, confused and annoyed. But not so annoyed that it'd get angry. After all, after months of stealth and hiding in the shadows, it succeeded in its mission to obtain enough Phazon to complete its transformation.
It turns back to the wrecked remains of the Quadraxis Sanctity. There's no more Phazon leaking out, and it has served its purpose. Dark Samus also doesn't like the idea of someone potentially fixing it and siccing it on her.
So she raises her arm cannon, aiming right at it.
Botar and Samus will reappear here, near the edge of the city.
Upon getting warped, Samus unleashes the shot out of panic, and a nearby building disintegrates completely.
"... Warn me next time," she grumbles.
Botar needs a moment too, surprised as well when he sees what happens to the building.
"... apologies. The situation was a bit tense, and I'm used to acting instead of talking in those kinds of situations."
He looks at what's left of the building.
"... luckily it seems like it was empty."
He then turns to Samus.
"Anyhow, allow me to introduce myself. I am Botar, and at the moment I work for Pseudo Porky. Your allies might have mentioned his name to you before."
Zoro run by in the background. He's too far for either of them to notice/care about, but he's there.
He then run off by leaping down.
"Ah, yes, I do know that name." Samus nods.
"So you're Botar? Snake and Jotaro have both mentioned you to me."
Despite the fact that he's taller than her, she grins under her helmet. "They made you sound taller than this."
Edited by KiriK on Aug 1st 2020 at 4:16:25 AM
Botar hears her comment about his height and can't help but appear a bit amused.
"Now this is a comment I rarely receive. I must say it's refreshing."
He then nods.
"Indeed. So you might also have heard of Pseudo's offer to form an alliance between our organizations once this Cyber Angel business is over. I'm not going to try to make that alliance happen already, I will not push you on an answer. I only hope that you're willing to give it some thought."
After that, he looks her over for a moment.
"I must mention that I am a skeptic person by nature, so while I have heard some good things about you, I chose to reserve judgement until I met you in person. Now that I have... I can see I had nothing to worry about. You're a warrior of real virtue."
He shows a smile.
"Should you eventually decide to ally yourself and your organization with us, I think I won't have any problems working together with you effectively."
Then he crosses his arms.
"Regardless of all that though... what exactly was that creature? You seemed to be familiar with it."
Edited by DevilPsyco on Aug 1st 2020 at 1:24:42 PM
Samus shrugs her shoulders. "Well, first thing you should know is that the Defense Federation was always much more organized than Snake's little ragtag team. But..."
She shakes her head. "Snake, and everyone in Breakout Force, almost died for this. That he was willing to risk all of their lives, not just his own, means this has to be important to him. You can tell Pseudo that we're going to follow Snake's lead in helping with the situation here."
"Okay, so first of all, that big robot was Quadraxis. My apologies for not stepping in against it sooner, but my scanners kinda... freaked out when I tried to get a read on it, so I think the Cyber Angels did something to make it way tougher than normal. However, the thing that came by after that was... the Metroid Prime."
Samus looks at her cannon. "It had... absorbed the suit of an SA-X or something to reach a form resembling me, and with the Phazon it absorbed from Quadraxis, it was able to complete its transformation into what we know as Dark Samus. It's on-the-nose, I know, but look at me and then look at that, and you can tell."
Edited by KiriK on Aug 1st 2020 at 4:34:11 AM
"... Thank you.", Botar says. He doesn't really know what to say about Snake's group, but it's very clear, even with his fierce-looking face, that he does feel guilty about almost causing their deaths.
"Once it's safe for them to show themselves again, should he and his team choose to stick around in this world, Pseudo's organization will do everything they can to try to protect them. They deserve as much for how much they've put on the line."
He then listens to Samus' explanation.
"That doesn't surprise me. Its plating was infused with divine energy, and who knows what else they did to the thing that we're not aware of."
Then he looks surprised.
"An SA-X... could it be...?"
"We'll need to check in on Porky Minch. He has an SA-X under his command... it could be the same one. And if that's the case, who knows if he might be able to command this Dark Samus as well. Depending on how powerful that creature is, this could be catastrophic."
Samus shakes her head. "Dark Samus can't be controlled. She controls you. Back in my own universe, she corrupted some people I might've called friends, and I had no choice but to kill them. If I ever see her again, the rest of the Federation and I will deal with the problem immediately. You have my word."
Botar is silent for a bit before nodding.
"In return, you'll have my word that we will assist in vanquishing her whenever we can."
Samus nods and salutes.
"Good day to you!"
"Good day to you as well.", Botar says, nodding. Then he warps away.
After the fortress has landed, the Queen walks through the hallways, returning to the throne room after having helped the General to its room. Once it enters the room, it sits down on its throne, looking troubled. None of the others in the room really dare to ask what's wrong, so an awkward silence reigns until the Queen speaks up.
"What are the results of the test?"
"The te... oh... um, I'm... sorry to say that it started going a good bit slower around the end. And... we were a bit distracted watching the battle, so it'll... take a good while longer, your Majesty." , a Soldier meekly says. "... Sorry."
"Your Majesty... are you alright?" , an Officer finally dares to ask.
"... I do not know.", the Queen admits. "They took out that robot with an attack force much smaller than they used last time, despite my alterations."
"They are still not a match for the staff nor the Valkyrie, your Majesty." , the Officer tries to ensure it, but it shakes its head.
"At this point, I wonder..."
It then thinks back to the moment where Thor allowed the Queen to bring the General to safety. Then to the times their enemies had proclaimed a desire not to fight.
It also remembers their track record in these fights, as well as what happened in that forest...
"... that box... that boy... I'm starting to wonder...", the Queen says.
"Are you wondering if..." , a Soldier asks. "if it's worth it?"
"W-well, if we may speak freely... as long as you have the staff, we can make another box, your Majesty."
"I know that. This was about the principle. About showing those thieves what happens when you steal from us."
"... did the General's near demise..." , a Soldier starts to say, but then quickly stops, unsure if it's allowed to talk about that. The Queen just sighs again.
"... I do not want to lose her too. This world... there is no guarantee that..."
The Cyber Angels look at one another for a moment, then back at their Queen.
"Your Majesty... we will follow you no matter what you decide." , a Soldier says. "Whether continuing this war or retreating from it is your choice, we will not judge you."
"You have our respect, and that will never change."
The Queen looks contemplative.
"Retreating...", it mutters in a way that shows it's genuinely considering it at this point. The staff, still held in its hand, slightly glows in a dark color.
Then what appears to be an almost minuscule drop of aura falls down from it, landing on the ground and subtly hovering towards the computer systems. Subtly enough that none of the Cyber Angels take notice of it.
It touches one of the modems, disappearing into it in the form of sparks. The computer systems then suddenly speed up, catching the Soldiers' attention.
"Y-your Majesty! Something's happening to the computer!"
"What?", the Queen asks, getting up. It quickly walks over to the computer, and as it gets there, the screen turns back to normal, showing the results they'd been waiting for.
"I cannot believe this. The results came in over an hour earlier than they were supposed to!"
"What does it say?"
"It says... the Cyber Angel this armor belonged to before it was stolen was... number 6994."
The Cyber Angels look amongst each other, chattering.
"Number 6994? Who had that number?"
"Was it Andressa? Or maybe Krystal?"
"Maybe it was Cassandra? Or... Joseline?"
"According to the database there is no 6994th Cyber Angel. The last one of us to go through the change was Almalda, at number 6993. Your Majesty, there may be someone we mi-"
The Officer stops talking when it sees that the Queen has an intense look in its eyes, staring at the screen as if it's the only thing in the world.
"... Y... your Majesty?"
"... We stay. We stay and fight.", the Queen says, tone absolute. "The box is no longer a concern. But we are not leaving without him! NOT without the leader of the thieves!"
"Then... do we...?"
"Make preparations for the next attack! Prepare the beast in the basement for deployment! And make sure the Valkyrie is ready for usage by the time we strike!"
"Y-yes, your Majesty!"
As the Cyber Angels frantically start working and contacting Cyber Angels on the other floors to do the same, the Queen walks out of the room.
"If it had been anyone else... I would have been content with leaving this world behind.", it mutters to itself as it walks through the halls.
"This time, I can make a difference. I will not abandon you to your fate again. I would sooner be burned, body and soul, in the fires of hell."
As it walks, it doesn't notice that the staff slightly glows, as if eerily content.
Edited by DevilPsyco on Aug 1st 2020 at 2:34:11 PM
42◊ be wandering, on the lookout for Miles.
Earlier That Day, Before Leaving The Hub...
Miles came out of the pub, sighing in dismay as the others landed before him,"Welp, I tried talking to the folks in the pub here but aside from a few colorful new curse words I've learned nothing else about that "Devourer" girl. What about you guys?"
All of them either avoided his gaze or scratched the back of their heads,"Nothing on your end either, eh?" The human of the group took a deep breath to compose herself before putting his hands up,"Ok, I was hoping we could get some info out of her but that'll have to wait. Let's be on our way."
The Sisters resumed their spots on his shoulders as the group headed off together.
Overhearing the conversation, 42 turns in that direction and starts approaching.
"Er, Miles, right?" she asks.
"That's my name," Miles turned to see 42 before him and blinked in surprise,"Oh, hello there. Didn't expect you to see you again so soon but it's definitely a pleasant surprise," The young man smiled and held out his hand,"Thank you again for your help earlier."
However, Zero...seemed a little less happy to see her,"How exactly do you know my pilot's name? I don't recall telling you."
42 bows. "I believe I've already demonstrated my nigh-incomparable ability to manipulate data, yes? Someone with your potential, who up and disappeared for so long... well, a group known as Gravitas kept tabs on you. Seems you interacted with one of their main facility AI some time ago. So, a little while ago, I..."
She looks aside cheekily. "Copied all the information they had."
Edited by KiriK on Aug 2nd 2020 at 8:21:03 AM
Miles nodded his head as he listened along before starting to walk back and forth,"Yeah, I guess that makes sense people would take notice considering all the running around we've done. Gravitas, huh? I'll remember that."
"No need. I already got it sorted into my memory banks." Zero revealed, sounding just a little proud of himself.
"Thanks, Zero. Now," The human turned back, raising an eyebrow,"You say you copied all that information? There are folks in some circles who would consider that a major breach of privacy, you know."
"Now, now, Miles," Corona patted him on the shoulder,"Let's at least hear her out before we jump to conclusions."
42 raises a declarative finger. "If I were to share any of the classified information I've obtained, Gravitas would know and basically nuke me from orbit. I'm only being allowed to live right now because there's a ceasefire going on... which brings me to my next point."
She turns away. "Gravitas, the Assassins, the Cyber Angels, Set's cabal... these villains, and more I have a hunch will be showing up in the future, are all currently looming over the collective head of the Arena. You can't fight them all. No one person can. Even if they could win, the difficulty and stress of keeping up with all of those foes would break them."
The whole group's faces had turned more than a little sour after this little declaration,"Lady, I think you're underestimating us as we've survived pretty much everything thrown our way," Nebula pointed out as she hopped down to change back to her taller self,"If you're trying to scare us, it's not go-"
A hand on her shoulder stopped her,"Nebula, please. Let me," Miles stepped forward a few steps before looking 42 in the eye,"I won't deny there is some truth to what you're saying. We can't handle everything on our own...but that's why we need alliances. We need to work together and support one another,"
"Besides, I can tell you from experience there are plenty of people out there more than willing to lend a hand if we just ask them. They may have their petty disputes, but they do come through when it matters most."
42 nods. "Indeed. However..."
She casts a sullen look. "I'm not that strong, and I don't have many people I could ask. So I'll ask you: could you give me a portion of your power? I'm not sure yet what I'll end up doing with it. I could use it for myself or give it to a better warrior, but... in a way, it'll allow you to help those in need even where you can't reach them at the time."
The rest of the gang was a little taken aback by this request, but Miles looked surprisingly somber as he put his hands on the sides of his waist and looked aside,"...That's not a small request you're making there, but I do admit I hate the idea of hoarding power all to myself as I've seen where that leads. So-"
"Miles." Zero's robot hand was suddenly on his shoulder, startling him,"Hold for a second and think. She aided us against Glitchtrap and now she's here asking for a portion of your power? Don't you think that just the slightest bit suspicious?"
"I..." Miles trailed off as he glanced between his robot friend and 42.
"Her powers are mightier than she claims, I can assure you of that," Zero admitted,"She is basically a god in cyberspace so why does she need greater power?"
42 shifts her stance a little. "For one thing, I can't manipulate things outside cyberspace, and most of the battles are in the physical world. If I were to try controlling reality as much as that, I would lose my mind from the strain. And the Cyber Angels - the current greatest threat - aren't machines, despite their designation suggesting otherwise."
"I only want enough power to improve my combat abilities," she insists. "Any more than that would be too much."
Miles, unsure of himself, glanced over his friends, a silent plea for help, to which they all shrugged or showed signs they couldn't help him through this one.
Finally, he put a hand to his chest as a soft glow emanated from beneath his fingers...only for the energy to give way to tendrils of red and black before condensing in front of him into a small pulsating orb the size of his palm.
"This power...it's the power of Void. I don't know what you saw in that file on me, but I can assure you that I'm perhaps one of the few people who has any idea what you're going to be dealing with..."
He glanced over at 42,"Are you absolutely sure you need this? I meant what I said before. I can even introduce you to those friends I've met, help you get acquainted. We can work together."
42 finally lets some of it spill.
"One of the Cyber Angels is... I would like to think of her as a friend. I don't want to risk that someone who doesn't know what they're doing gets involved and kills her. It already nearly happened once before."
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