Isabella sailed towards the ground and landed in a crouch, having apparently been completely unaffected by the fall. He paused for a moment.“Rider Kick...”
He didn’t look back as the robot’s arm violently exploded, A serpent of shadows worming its way through the weapon and tearing it apart with glee before snaking its way along the snow to return to its master. Isabella turned and watched as the other Nomads continued fighting the mech, then focused on his plane, which had shifted back to its regular flight patterns as it made large, continuous loops around the tower.Go help Jill.
The jet altered its course and blasted off towards the younger Rider’s position. If the mech was focused on the others, that left the Power Stone wide open. He had orders concerning that too, but he had no intention of following them. There was a lot that Isabella himself could do with a Power Stone, but he was in no position to take it for himself. But if he made his move at just the right moment…
The rider was shaken from his thoughts by the force of a large explosion, slamming him against the colt metal of the tower with a sickening thud. He quickly regained his composure, though, and noticed that the explosion had sent the whole tower careening over. He broke into a sprint as he saw the power stone fall down to earth…
And get snatched up by his father, gliding along on ebony wings. Rosie landed gracefully in the snow, and made a few gestures with his paintbrush. Trees inexplicably sprouted from the cold Antarctic snow, positioned in a way that they managed to hold up the rubble while the rest made their way out from under it. The demon looked at the glowing stone in his hand with a raised eyebrow, looking at it with the jaded interest in a fleeting curiosity.
“I do hope I’m not interrupting anything, Angels.”
Jill let out an excited whoop as Justin’s attack sent Oh-One flying across the snow fields. She reflexively tracked him with her cannon. The bike’s windshield popped up from the side of the weapon, having turned into a targeting lens that began to track Oh-One’s position through the icy winds… in addition to the various bits of info that Pit Stop was directly displaying across her visor. She noticed the timer in the corner of her eye and went easy on the throttle on her armor after the EX-System filled back up to full again, reducing the strain on her ki.
She turned her focus back to Oh-One. He… still wasn’t dead yet. She shifted her cannon back into a bike again and hopped on, ready to continue the chase, when Pit Stop let out a series of beeps. She looked skywards, watching as a squad of robots thudded against the ground. The bike rattled. Their cannons trained on her.
"So what do you think?" Jill asked her companion. Those cannons were a problem, but they couldn't let Oh-One get away again, especially
if he managed to grab the stone on his way out.
Pit Stop started beeping out their own thoughts on the situation, but they were quickly interrupted by a hail of gunfire raining down on the cannons. Isabella's jet raced by, throwing Jill's scarf around in the wind as it began looping back around towards her."Jill."
Isabella's voice rang out through her helmet. "We've got the stone. Take down Oh-One. It's time to activate it."
"A-activate it?" Jill stammered. "It" had only been simulated so far, not tested. That was scheduled for tomorrow."Yeah."
Isabella's voice was hesitant. "Are you ready?"
"I-I don't know… I mean, we can take him down without it, right?"
There was a long sigh on the other end."Jill..."
Isabella recited. "A true hero knows when to stand tall and fight."
Jill froze up, Pit Stop’s beeping fading behind a layer of mental fog. Why was she scared, again?
"Who are you, really?" She asked. Why was she asking that?“Your shining mentor.”
Justice Rider Blaze clicked back into place.
“The plane will be coming back around in a second,” Isabella explained. “I need you to go all-out and finish Oh-One off for good.” Jill revved the engine with glee.
“Got it!” She said, with renewed fervor. “No time to waste, let’s get back into gear!” She could hear the plane coming up behind her, and sped forwards to match its pace. A ramp appeared from the snow and sent her sailing straight up on top of the jet. She was gaining ground on Oh-One fast, but some of the cannons were still standing, and she could see shots whizzing past the plane. She’d need to do this quick, especially if the other Nomads didn’t clean those last few bots up.
Jill stepped off the bike, feeling a cold clang
as her metal boots collided with the body of the plane. She adjusted her stance and held one hand forwards, palm open. This one wasn’t just a cool pose, she needed to make sure her ki was flowing as freely as possible. Her hand drifted to the key on the side of her belt. Why was she shaking? She was the hero! And she was going to save the day, no matter what.
And with that cry, her heart started pounding, and she turned the key as far as it would go, straining as it creeped up towards ninety-nine percent. She felt the device whir in hunger, coldly devouring her ki as her body struggled to keep pace with it. She realized she was at the threshold, the last chance she had to turn back, and turned the key that one last degree.
She felt her life flash before her eyes, feeling utterly empty and hollow inside, feeling the device eat more and more. She fell to one knee, realizing the grave miscalculation that had taken place: She wasn’t strong enough to call on this much power. No one was. It was going to drain everything from her. She was going to die
here. A more recent memory flashed through her mind. Her sister’s birthday…
She couldn’t let this be the end.
Something sparked within her. Her body, her armor, all of it was coated in an alien blue light that obscured her entire body. A series of pipes and tubes emerged from her bike, and stabbed themselves into her back. She screamed. She didn’t feel hollow anymore. She looked towards the bike as it slowly clawed its way over to her, tugging at the holes in her back, and stared back at it, rising to her feet through the excruciating pain; the burning and shocking sensations that were searing through every inch of her body. She reached out to touch it, and it unfolded, becoming a writhing mass of plating, wires, and tubes that enveloped her entire body. Lightning shot down from the sky onto her. She burst into flame.
The being that emerged from where Jill Breicen once stood could not be called human. Nor could it be called a machine. It defied both categories. Underneath cold exterior armor that vaguely resembled her former suit sat limbs made of living metal that folded and depressed like skin and flesh. Even deeper, an organic heart of synthetic materials pulsated and pumped glowing blue fluid throughout its body. Jill herself was not “wearing” this armor or this creature in any traditional sense; she felt she was simply a purified sludge of a person who had simply become another part of it. A fuel for this monstrosity to consume. Even mentally, she only formed half its consciousness, a familiar friend taking up the other half of this incomprehensible burden.
Jill struggled through the continual pain and looked through the odd lens
of this eight foot behemoth, readjusting herself to the process of moving its limbs. This creature’s vision was strange, perpetually tinted blue, grainy in some places and crystal clear in others. What little signs of life there were in the Antarctic glowed with radiant energy. When she looked down at her own body, it was almost blinding. Her mind was racing, perception being tasked to its limit, overcome with so many different stimuli, in so many new and alien ways. She was losing herself, feeling the pain and animal instincts begin to take over-It’s alright. Breathe…
She took the other half into consideration. The creature shuddered as its chest expanded, and contracted.
The second thing she noticed is that everything was so incredibly slow.
Flakes of snow took seconds of observation to be able to tell that they were even moving at all. She felt an order of magnitude slower, having to put in seconds of maximum effort to move “her” arm or turn “her” head a single inch. Oh-One was flying below and a bit behind, and the flames of his propulsion systems were like a slow and graceful dance. The plane the creature was standing on was dipping, unable to hold its weight. There was a supernatural gravity
to this titan, that rendered it far heavier than its components, and far heavier than anything could hope to support.We’re close. We can take him down if we jump off. Let’s keep our cool.
Jill willed the behemoth forwards, taking slow, agonizing step after slow, agonizing step. She stopped at the edge. She noticed the ground under her feet slowly, ever so slowly, tilting down out from under her.Let’s focus our efforts, channel that pain. Get some speed.
Jill focused her efforts on leaping, landing, crushing that horrid machine and wiping it out for good. She broke free of the stasis her universe was under, the armored titan making a running jump off the side of the plane that was, to her, done at normal speed. To anyone else, it was so close to instantaneous that the distinction hardly mattered. The creature fell, and Jill returned to that unending stasis as she fell. She waited. She knew she would reach Oh-One. Eventually She broke the slow down once more, this time on instinct, as the behemoth quickly wrapped a gargantuan hand around Oh-One’s torso and held the robot below itself, rocketing towards the ground at what to the outside world seemed like insane speeds.
She was going to turn Oh-One into a crater, and then she was going to pummel and tear until there was nothing left of him.