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Their true target escaped, but did that mean they held nothing to accomplish here? Disciple, who should have died long ago, remained upright and walking. He still pervaded their existence with the horrific nature of his warped mind. He saw them as traitors? As dejectors to the cause they once shared? Was it not Disciple who, in his ignorance sided with their enemy? One who hailed from the same place as the one who murdered their Father? Was it not Singar who, in his eternal struggle for validation, turned Thane against them? Killed their mother? Disciple aligned himself with the one who killed Mother, but called them the traitors? It was laughable, or would be if it wasn't so damned sad. Truthfully, they held no care or love for Will - though through him they regained their virus, they regained their power.

Will brought them back together, offered them unity and loyalty. What had Disciple done? Alienated them, sought to put an end to their desire to see their family truly unified, rather than put under the thumb of some false prophet kicked out of his own home for his stupid choices. Singar was nothing more than a failed experiment, some ignorant child who blamed everyone for his failures except the one truly at fault - himself. Were he stronger, were he smarter, he wouldn't have been cast forth from his home in the way he was. He wouldn't be on his father's shit list.

He would be worthy. And yet, he wasn't any of those things. He was nothing more than a scalded child throwing a temper tantrum. Hellion found no remorse, or sympathy, for those types. Disciple saw them as traitors, but in honesty Disciple and Thane betrayed them long before they fought against the ignorance of their supposed tyranny. The mere thought of it all brought Hellion's rage to full bear, and the ground rumbled with the force of it. The Mist trembled with pure rage, unadulterated and unfiltered. That wasn't to say his attention wasn't fully focused around him. Eight attention spans interlocked and interconnected through the Psionic Link shared between himself and The Collective made for heightened capabilities in that regard.

Even as the swords appeared in the sky, the magic that fueled them failed. The Voice of the Void smoke, a disembodied sound permeating through the Mist, resonating and shaking the very ground. Every living creature on Soran could hear it, and it brought many of them to the ground in screams of sheer terror. They knew the Envoy of the End when they heard it, they couldn't not. It wasn't long ago that a similar force of nature ripped the Entropic Passages from the surface of their planet, pulling them free like a child ripping a lego set to pieces. That power was far beyond what they could create, and they feared it like mortal man feared their false Gods.

The Void absorbed the magic powering the swords appearing all around them, diffused it. Purified it and absorbed it, rendering it effectively non-existent. It was a pathetic attempt, and Singar should have known better. No amount of magic, decadent of otherwise, could sustain the Void. Far more powerful wizards than him tried, and they failed just the same. It was pathetic, but what could Caitlyn truly suspect from such an atrociously inept creature? Disinterest painted all their faces, they expected a fight and this man brought to bear magic that was useless? The creatures of Soran were no smarter, their own magic fell useless - and unfortunantely for them the psychic shields couldn't withstand the Mist they flowed through for long.

Cracking, faltering and failing they soon found the Mist pouring into their pores. The faeries, the dragons. They fell from the sky like locusts in a plague. Their bones crunched to dust with the impact of their bodies on the ground. Sarach and Agron fired their assaults, and yet those too fell useless. The manipulation of bioforce was something the Collective did well, it was their main source of food. Their energy. Their strength. Caitlyn's vast void opened like the maw of some great, ethereal beast. The sinuous red lines forming fang-like structures, as it closed over the headlong rush of Sarach - and ate the beam of Agron. The manipulation of spiritual energies was the same as any other magical manifestation. To assume it would be any more effective against the Void than any other form of magic was pure ignorance.

Sarach's headlong rush, ill-advised and horrible only trapped it within the inescapable prison of Caitlyn's void. If it could see, hear, and feel all it would see was blackness, all it would hear was the sound of silence brokenly only by the screams of the devoured. All it would feel was the intense dread and loneliness of its never-ending death. The beam of Agron, devoured as it was, perhaps would continue firing once the maw closed around - though it didn't matter. Agron flowed through the Mist-covered ground, the planet was infected by this point. Perhaps it could be salvaged, but the ground all around them had Mist flowing over, and through it. Agron held no more protection from its manipulations than the creatures of Soran had. It might not die, but the beam fizzled out. It found itself unable to fire it, the Mist closed it off - locked it tightly and kept it from moving or fighting back.

Hellion, however, still hadn't moved. The blown apart bits of tree flowed through his body like a rock through smoke. Not touching, not even rendering as a remote threat. Finally, though, he decided it was time to move. Singar appeared before him, attempting to appear aloof and uninterested in what was happening. The facade was just that, and easily seen for what it was - but Hellion paid it no mind. He cared little for the man's sword. Swords were useless against him, especially if Singar thought to bring them to bear in the same methods as the ones floating in the sky above them - which were as useless as the man who summoned them.

Disciple they ignored, but Singar...Singar was the one who sought to end their existence. Singar was the root of the evil flowing through Val'gara. Hellion moved with a speed nigh imperceptible, right hand dropping and then lifting, index finger pulling back in the same second. The resonating sound of his Tyrant Gun firing was enough to put a concussive crack in the ground beneath him - though his body remained unfazed. A few feet away from Singar, it hung motionless in the air - before an explosion brought to bear the focused singularity that was the Grammaton-Hammer.

Hopefully Singar was strong enough to withstand the event horizon, or he would find himself reunited with his precious Sarach sooner than he would have liked.
Caitlyn bore no armor. In fact, she bore no clothing at all. Many confused her crystalline structure with armor, or some form of unnatural clothing. In truth, it was simply her. The very nature of her being, infused in her by The Marquise after her assimilation into the Val'garan horde. The Voidmistress barely remembered a body before this one, a mind before this one. Her all-consuming nature was a simple one - to convert, consume, and control. She could no more falter from that path, alter that goal, then she could alter her own appearance. Sure, many found her grotesquely mesmerizing. Many, especially on backwater worlds, viewed her as the Goddess of the Void. She held many titles, many names. Yet, her only true name was simply the one she called upon for herself. The Voidmistress.

And that void was ravenous. The hunger that fed through her, that powered her frame, came from the very core of her being. The nature of her existence was everlasting hunger. As Riflemutants tore through the cities, she fed through their psi-link. The Void expanded around her as she flew behind her fist, propelled forward by the expulstion of kinetic force from the void within and surrounding her. Sinuous red lines broke the air, snaking around her like the tendrils of Medusa's hair. Their point of origin unclear, impossible to discern even for Preacher's eyes. They came from nothing, it seemed, yet they existed all the same. Perhaps it was the inborn nature of Val'garan to be immune to psionic manipulations. Any mental ability attempting to penetrate them, the area around them, only registered static strong enough to leave most minds mush.

Even as Preacher pushed her arm aside, she utilized the very nature of the void. Her hand twisted a full one eighty, made possible by an entirely lacking bone structure beneath the surface of her pseudo-flesh. It bent and latched onto the Preacher's wrist, and then jerked her body forward all the quicker. The result of which was that, even as his hand sought contact with her body - a contact still inches off from being made - her head aimed to slam directly into his face. The seemingly unbreakable sturcture of her body sought to smash his head into the same mush his brain would become, were he to touch minds with her.


It was to be expected that someone of inferior intelligence would fall victim to their own shenanigans. See, Lysander couldn't use his magic. And his speed and his strength were forced to match Gonad. But, Magic was only one side of a coin. A man with multiple souls could be expected to have multiple ways of interacting with the world around him. A man with multiple souls might, in fact, have a way of changing his own biological composition simply by altering the molecules on an atomic level. The hall forced the physical stats of both fighters to be on the same baseline. It removed their magic, sure. But it didn't remove the strength and speed of the weakest person there - and yet, Gonad's author continued to try and treat them as if they were simply peak level humans. They weren't. And Lysander wasn't going to play that game of pretend anymore.

As he fell, somehow still straight backward despite being forced into turning by tripping his own self up, Gonad might realize something strange. The skin he touched didn't feel like skin anymore. It felt like..metal. Yet, not any rigid material. With the activation of thought, the suit began closing over his body with his foot only an inch from the ground. The suit covered his leg entirely by the time it slammed into the ground with all that force Gonad could muster. The result was that his leg, though locked, suffered nothing akin to damage from the force of the strike. The suit absorbed the kinetic energy and fed the stone the energy. By the time Gonad's shoulders touched the ground, the suit covered his whole body.

Lysander took the energy back out of the stone and shifted it to the arms - slamming them open and breaking Gonad's grip near effortlessly. The room equalized their natural strength and speed - but scientific augmentation was something it clearly didn't account for, and that was fine with him. Gonad wanted to constantly try and abuse and cheat the system the Hall put into place by somehow always being stronger, then fine. The man wanted him to fight him without magic, without his magical powers and not using his ranged abilities? Fine. Lysander could do that. But, now the playing field was actually equal.

The spines on the suit manifested, and they forged themselves into a perfect copy of his sword stuck in the ground behind him. His hand grabbed the hilt of it, and pulled it forward. The suit continued to expand, a second set of spines forging out behind him in the shape of a large, metallic tail that functioned the same as any tail - as an extension of muscle. The suit's helmet opened, and Lysander let his eyes fall on Gonad's still prone form - at least it was likely still prone, given the amount of shock the man was likely in at the moment.

"Now, Gonad. The playing field is truly even. Come, meet your doom."

The helmet snapped back shut, and Lysander lifted the sword and let it drop directly toward Gonad's throat. He did nothing more than let it drop under its own weight, but if Gonad didn't move his entire head would come free from his shoulders.
As Gonad continued the force of his attack, and decided pure brute strength was the only way to do anything - even when it meant defying the laws of your own land and world - Lysander could only smile. Things worked out exactly how he planned for them to, really. Even as Gonad began to continue falling backward, his leg lifting from the ground as he continued to force his way through at an angle, Lysander moved. His legs lifted outward and his waist bent at an angle so fucking odd that most people couldn't have pulled it off. Lysander, though, did just that. So that when his head should have hit the ground one foot beat it there. The other not far behind, the act of bridging his body made it impossible for his head to slam into the concrete. Though, even if it had it wouldn't have been enough to kill him. Such a move wouldn't have killed Gonad, and they were equalized in every physical trait after all.

Still, as Gonad's back hit the floor and the bridge created by Lysander's body kept him from doing the same - his arms slipped themselves free - pulling up and out of the grip as they did. Then, Lysander fell upon Gonad immediately - side control mounted with one arm already slipping beneath the right arm and the other sliding around the back of his neck. His speed was something to be recokoned with, and had yet been shown to Gonad - so it was obvious the other wouldn't be ready for it. The element of surprise was in his favor this time around.

As the hand on his right arm slipped to grab the just above the elbow of his left - and Gonad's left arm slid over behind his head, he began to squeeze tightly with both arms flexing closed. The result of it being a triangle choke enacted at the very moment Gonad came to a full stop on the floor. The pressure was enough to snap the neck of a normal person instantly, and would chock Gonad into full blown unconsciousness in less than four seconds if he didn't scramble his way out of it. Everything lead up to this, really. Forcing Gonad to angle his drop, forcing him to put himself into a position where Lysander's superior flexibility could come into play.

And the fool fell for it, every step of the way.
If the man was just going to completely ignore the hooking of his foot around the back of Gonad's knee, and try to just keep powering through - then he deserved whatever happened to him. In the end though, Lysander had to wonder how the man could continually make himself stronger and stronger when the hall supposedly equalized physical traits and strengths to the same, base level. How was it that, in this place with its weak magic, that Gonad could be the base-line yet still somehow continuously be more powerful than his own base line allowed. It didn't really matter. That power was nothing without finesse, and Gonad was doing exactly what Lysander hoped.

The headbutt wasn't meant to connect, really. It was only meant to give Gonad a sense of superiority, an idea that he was okay and that Lysander wasn't prepared to properly defend. The hooking of his foot around the other's leg was that defense. With his ankle pressing into the back of the knee, and his body being pulled - the result was simple. The force of Gonad jerking his body backward served only to jerk Gonad's leg out from under him with that same speed and force. The result would throw even the most capable of warriors off balance.

He didn't expect it. If he had expected it, he'd have defended against it. Instead, he sought only to power through the attack and show his (somehow) physical superiority. Lysander just laughed. As Gonad's leg was pulled from under him, the torque and the twist of his own body unbalanced him and Gonad found himself laying on his back - with Lysander resting comfortably and unharmed on top of him. Meanwhile, his arms pressed against the others - whose likely fall at such force knocked the wind out of him.

If their pyshical power was equal to Gonad's, then it was nothing now for him to break the grip and roll over even as he did - now within the guard of the taller man.

The Force Orbs floated about, and they launched themselves toward her with the intention of causing physical pain. Caitlyn saw no need to allow that, and her body undulated the musculature within. Her crystalline body moved forth and her right and left hands slammed together at the center of her mass. The force of it resonated a crystal ringing sound - and the power flooded forth from her body. The void was not simply something of purification, something that immunized her to magical energies. It stored them, and now she unleashed some manner of it with the slamming of one hand against the other.

The force of it resonated, dust flew forth from her body with concussion of her claps. The wind picked up, enough energy behind it that it could easily rip flesh from bone. Tearing muscles from limbs. The grinding force of it lashed out and the force orbs blew apart with the ferocity of the blow. If Preacher remained, his body would simply cease to exist. The blast would tear him to pieces, Caitlyn followed behind the blast, keeping pace with it. If Preacher stood there, and managed to survive the power of the blast itself without moving - she would be right behind it.

Fist upraised, her body turned and tuned to deliver a crushing, devastating blow of his superpowered fist.
To be fair, Lysander never expected to retrieve his blade - nor even really make it all that close. Gonad wouldn't have let him, anymore than a group of old men in a western bar would let a man get away with hiding aces up his sleeves. So, as the clatter of boots on the ground hit - and the arms of Gonad tried to encircle his lithe body - he reacted. His arms shifted outward. Counter pressure on Gonad's own, pressuring them apart and keeping him from fully locking his bear-hug. In that same motion, his right leg shifted and wrapped around the outside of Gonad's own - the top of his foot shifting to the back of the other's knee.

As the man began to lift him, he'd have to both try to tighten his arms further to keep them from slipping right over Lysander's head - and lift against the pressure of Lysander's foot pulling him back with the pressure of Gonad's own legs. And, to top it all off he flung his head backwards - as hard as he could. The back of his head intending to impact the point just beneath Gonad's nose. The result of which would break the grip, and probably trip Gonad over Lysander's own foot.

Of course, the headbutt wasn't a fight ended - but it would have the effect of knocking whatever few teeth Gonad might have loose from his head, and cause his eyes to water - not from pain, but that was just something of a bodily reaction to being hit in that certain location.
Pressure shifted - bodies changing position always caused a pressure shift in the area around them. Only, this time it was different. His instinct, centuries of training compounding into a single mind, told him there was something far different happening here. His peripherials showed the movement even as it began. The angles of their bodies required the grip to be slipped - and Gonad wouldn't have given that up for nothing. It also helped that the arm began to bend inward - and with the grip slip his arm was already moving into position to block the strike. By the time the elbow should have hit him in the temple - his fist was bent against the side of his own head - and Gonad's forearm lay across his own.

The force of the blow didn't change much. Lysander slid several feet away from the other man - tucking his body so that it didn't throw him to the ground - and instead allowed him to keep his footing. The distance created put him a distance away from Gonad - and his arms shifted. The arm the elbow struck was tingling, almost numb. But, not broken. And he wasn't on the ground. He was getting tired of playing Gonad's little games, honestly. The whole thing was beginning to get tiresome. Rather than even continue looking at Gonad, he began walking toward his sword. That didn't mean he wasn't ready, though.
A planet teeming with life, nearly idyllic in its beauty. People lulled about their days lackidaisically, without a worry or a care in the whole of the world. Why should they? Robots did their manual labor, machines designed and created specifically just to give them a hedonistic lifestyle. They were soft, as no threat loomed in their near future. Violence was all but eradicated from their planet, save outposts far from the hustle and bustle of the major cities. Even weapons were a thing of the distant path. If need be, the robots could defend them in their own ways - but as far as they knew, they were the only life in the Universe. For those fortunante enough to grow up within the walls of the vast, sprawling cities, it was a dream come true.

Stacey was one of those. She spent her days lounging, indulging in her every whim. A steady supply of food, men, and liquor kept her pushing onward in her life. Her father, the governor of Erebourus, supplied her with plenty of money to see to her every need. At twenty-six, she'd never worked a day in her life. Today, with the sun shining brightly overhead, she found herself lounging beside the emerald waters of her pool. Bathing suit barely covering her body, and her glasses shielding her from her eyes from the harsh rays of the sun. Androids with as near human appearance as one could give them patrolled the grounds. Their sharp eyes and sensor arrays ensuring no ne'er-do-wells entered the premises.

"Stacey, honey, would you mind coming in here for a second?" The sound of her father's voice was soft, gentle. A man accustomed to having everything handed to him, much like the daughter he raised. He was not a hard man, not a man of experience. He knew only what he learned in all his years of life in the docile city.

"Coming, father," she called back, wrapping her towel around her lithe frame and standing up. Bare feet carried her through the opened glass doors at the back of their house. Her father stood in the kitchen, his face belying the turmoil beneath him.

"Sweetheart, have you been having sex with the Griffin boy?" His words weren't harsh, he didn't have it in him to stand up to his daughter - to actually even imply a slight tone of anger. For her part, she just looked him up and down, smirking.

"Him. His dad. His brother. Even their mother, why father? Are you jealous?" She said mockingly, her silken voice barely hiding the undertones of excitement. She'd wondered when this moment would come.

"J...jealous! Prepostorous. They're attempting to extort me, you know. Threatening to release videos of your escapades unless I pay them!" His voice steadily rose, as the anger inside finally began to boil over. It was an emotion he was unaccustomed to, having never felt it in such a meteroic manner. "How dare you put this family in this position you...you...slut." He finally lashed out, the back of his hand striking across her jaw. The resounding crack splitting open her lip.

She didn't utter another word, and instead turned and ran. Out of the house, off the property - leaving her towel behind. She ran into the city, where she used a pretty smile and a silver tongue to retrieve some clothes from a local vendor. She walked the streets, greeting those who greeted her. Smiling at the young men and their fathers. Waving. Here, in the streets, she forgot about the happenings at home. She forgot about anything and lost herself in the tranquility.

Arriving at the local park, she sat on a bench and tilted her head back to look up at the sky. It was then that the first sign of something truly wrong came. A deep, sinking feeling in her gut that forbode something terrible coming. Something that would, she somehow felt, completely ruin everything they'd worked so hard to achieve.

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Hunger. That was what she felt. An emotion circling through her, burning away all the rest. Heralds felt little to begin with, aside from the unsatible hunger. The indomitable need to eat, to consume. To destory. It flowed through them like blood through veins. It formed a hole that couldn't be filled. Though they tried. Planet after planet. People after people. They tried so hard. It was the hunger that brought her here, to this planet. It was teeming with life in the right places, and the General Cataclysm would find resources. For her? She would find much needed bioforce.

A high concentration of it sat below them, just beneath the belly of the massive Scourgebearer. It was there the invasion began, yet she did not join the Riflemutants. They fell from the belly to the surface with only a frenzied desire to feed, to kill. It was they that would wipe out the planet. No, The Voidmistress' task was different. Not to consume, not to feed herself - though she indirectly fed through the Hivemind. Her task was simple. Stop all opposition.

A scan of the planet showed nothing of the sort, save a man in the wildlands. He seemed alone, or at least near enough to it - and their scans revealed him as the only one with a weapon on hand. It would be Caitlyn's job to take him out. And trust that she was extremely good at her job. As the last Riflemutant fell from the Scourgebearer, it moved on. Not under any kind of control, save for its own sentient mind. The Voidmistress moved from the nerve center, slipping through the mucus-lined, membrane walls until she sat atop what could only be described as its head.

Finally, they came upon the semi-desolate wasteland town. Caitlyn looked down upon it with disgust. Disdain. That was Isaak, his mind was linked to her own - and even from a distance measured in the thousands of lightyears, she could sense his distaste of what she saw. She felt it so strongly, that it became what she felt as well. As the shadow of the Scourgebearer landed over the city, Caitlyn stepped down. The wind rushed past her ears, but she rarely noticed it.

Her legs hit the ground, and her knee bent. The concussive force of it blasted dust and sod around her - leaving behind a slight crater in her wake. For the first time, her body became fully visible to the people on the surface. A lithe, crystalline structure. Harder than any diamond with enough strength to rip the head off any creature she came across. The Voidmistress was aptly named, her body itself became a void. Looking upon it, one would see the swirling of galaxies and stars in the dark expanse that composed her feminine frame. Once, many centuries ago, The Marquise gifted her with this body. And through him, she became something more than another Val'garan Herald. She became an endless expanse.

She was wrought with power, filtered through the void from her enemies. Magic was useless against her, as if the void itself simply drained the energy which powered it - siphoning it into her self as soon as it touched her, purifying it. Changing and draining it. A sheer touch of her crystal body would drain the bioforce from the living, fueling her seemingly endless power. This man, this guy before her in the unbuttoned coat toting the rifle. He was the only registered threat. Her job was to deal with threats.

So, she supposed, it was her job to deal with him.
LES GOOO
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