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Post Info TOPIC: Liandri Tournament

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RE: Liandri Tournament

"Okay, you're clear to go. Just be aware of the holocams you'll see flying around - they're programmed to stay out of your lines of fire but they might sweep in for a close-up view of the action so try not to shoot them because you will get billed for replacements..."

Lune was almost snarling in agitation at their agent's unnecessary warning, and she pushed past him into the teleporter room. About the only useful thing the human had done for them so far was organise the paying of the match's entry fee for them.  Minqua and Seneca, who were sitting out this match, stood back and watched the others step onto the teleporter pads, fully armed and suited up in their lightweight body armour with the clan symbol emblazoned on the right shoulder.

<Good hunting, commander.> Minqua saluted as the scanners flashed across her black-armoured team-mates. Lune inclined her head to her clan sister, before turning to sweep her jade-hard eyes over each of her team members in turn.

<Alright team this is it, our first official match. Bring honour to our clan. This is the first step. I don't need to say more as we've been training for this for 3 years and I know you'll all do whats expected of you.>

The Battleclaws gave an approving roar. At the behest of the Liandri overseers Minqua and Seneca turned, left the area and jogged upstairs to the observation box where the Liandri games-master would be monitoring the match through the multiple camera feeds, and from where they could get a good view of the action below. Their tails were switching back and forth in anticipation.

<Wish I was down there.> Minqua said. Though she was a good enough soldier to put the requirements of the team before her own desires, she still longed for the adrenaline high of combat and the chance to prove herself to the humans and the Alitan military.

<Looks like it's just you and me, Battleclaw,> Seneca purred, looking sideways at the female Serelian.

<**** you, Swiftpaw.>

<Any time.>

<You wish.>

The door ahead slid upwards and they padded into the observation box. The back of the room was alive with activity, several humans with headsets sitting at a desk surrounded by consoles and screens while several other technicians behind them kept watch over the multiple holoscreens each showing the footage from an individual holocam, and they tapped keys and adjusted sound levels ready to switch smoothly from camera to camera as the match was broadcast across the sector. Also standing nearby were two of the ever-present Liandri Angels.

Minqua and Seneca made their way to the front and the slanted transparisteel windows overlooking the arena below. Between them, the bubble of a force-field shimmered slightly, keeping the nanowhite gas contained and guarding against any stray shots. The human-built walls and the tiered bunkers beyond the force-field's blue haze were harsh, blocky and dull grey, which Minqua thought ironically fitting as it matched her impression of the humans themselves pretty well. She narrowed her eyes as two human females - one little more than a kit - and a female alien with dark skin and amber eyes entered the room and moved over to the window beside them. These must be Nature's Deadliest's spare team mates and associated hangers-on. She slid sideways a few paces to keep them out of her personal space.

"The network's finished the introduction, they're ready when you are." reported a technician.

"Nature's Deadliest, you're going live in 30 seconds." the games-master spoke into his headset behind them, "Battleclaws, stand by."

<Lets see how Mushroom does...> Seneca commented from beside Minqua.

*   *   *


Marcus listened to the announcer count down, taking deep breaths and focussing his mind.

"Fear is the mind-killer..." he whispered.

He could feel everything except his combat experience sloughing away, his senses brought to full sharpness, every muscle taut.

There was a white flash, and when it cleared the armoury had been replaced by the steel and concrete of the arena bunker complex. He felt the nanowhite in the air as a slight tingling against his skin, a strange sensation as he inhaled. Small robotic cameras held aloft by antigrav motors zipped overhead. He stepped down off the teleporter pad and immediately began running as the Alitans scattered, sprinting to the positions Lune had allotted them before the start of the match. He skidded to a halt, dropping to his knees in the cover of a bunker doorway, which gave him line of sight along the entire length of the wall and the courtyard behind. He couldnt see over the wall, but behind him he knew that Lune and Koda on the top level would be centring their sniper rifles.

"Fantom. I'm in position." he reported into the microphone of his headset. He saw Nokoni and Aino sprint across the courtyard, morphing as they ran and dropping to all fours, and heard them report in too over the team frequency.

"Blackfoot in position."

"Nyantooth, standing by."

-- Edited by [BOSS]Fenix at 22:21, 2008-01-22


Captain Thule: We have yet to meet our betters, alien. All we have seen are deluded tyrants, heretics and alien scum.
Farseer Taldeer: You should have looked beyond your mirror then.


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"Ok Natures Deadliest your up," the battle master said.

"Have we a plan Diego?" Cleet asked stepping on the teleporter.

"We'll see how the other team is going to mount there defence then work on it from there," Suddenly there came a white flash and the team found themselves safe in a darkened cave a bright light shining from the enterence.

"Ok team we don't have too long so I'll make this quick, the arena is mostly the fortress, we are basically in a hole surronded by endless cliffs, outside this cave is an open plain and we have a whole mess of rocks for cover, now we have these," Diego took out a couple remote mines, "To blow up a section of the wall meaning one part is weaker than the rest," Diego tossed the mines to Cleet, "Cleet I'm leaving that up to you, the rest of us we must keep attention away from Cleet as he sneaks around, so we gonna need to make some ruckas, Snowva, me and Mander will handle that and Gail look out for snipers, everyone got that?" The team nodded. "Ok lets go!"


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"Snowva!  Covering fire!"

The huge man skidded to a halt and braced his legs, and a sharp whine rose from the bulky chain gun in his massive fists as the barrels began to spin.  Tracer bullets spat forth to pepper the walls of the tiered bunkers, stripping chips of concrete from the upper levels.
Lying prone in her sniper's nest, Lune rolled smoothly aside as the line of bullets swept past her.

<Take him out, Koda!>

<On it!> was her twin's reply as he centred the crosshairs of his scope.  The teams' radios were not tuned into the commentator's reports or their watching team-mates so as not to give unfair advantage, but he imagined Seneca and Minqua giving an exultant cheer as his shot snapped the big human's head back for the first kill of the match.  Snowva went down, his chain gun still firing into the air, as Lune demanded a status report from Nokoni and Aino nearer the action.

<Confirm one enemy down, two more closing on the gate.> Nokoni reported, his deep lupine voice distorted by the white noise of gunfire round him.

<Predictable.> Lune grunted.

"Only two?  Where are the others?" she heard Marcus' voice crackle over the comm - he was obviously starting to pick up the Alitan language.  Lune had been asking herself the same question.

<Koda, they've got at least one sniper - flush her out.  I'm on the leader.>

She grinned, panning her sniper rifle over the terrain with practiced ease.  A face appeared for just a second behind a rust-coloured rock, Lune fired, and the face shattered like an egg.  She glanced around, looking for the sharp face of Diego Turner among the sandy rock formations.  She wanted the enemy leader.

Koda flattened himself against the concrete, his rifle barrel following the movement of his eyes as he scanned the cave entrance the Nature's Deadliest were coming from.  There was a flash of light as someone respawned on a teleporter pad inside, and Snowva came running out only to be taken down again almost immediately by Lune with another perfect headshot.  The man's weapon went spinning away but Koda ignored it, trying to pick out the inside of the cave.  Even his keen Serelian vision couldnt penetrate the darkness against the bright backdrop and he cycled the settings on his scope to infra-red with a quick twist of a dial.


His finger was already tensing on the trigger as he spotted the female human, well-concealed among the rocks with her long-barrelled weapon pointing up at him.  There was the ghost of a flash from the gun's muzzle, but he barely had time to register it before the bullet shattered the lens of his scope and tore a bloody crater in the eye pressed against it.

For a second Lune's heart almost stopped as she saw Koda tumble backwards and fall heavily to the level below before dissolving as the arena's energy-matter converters reclaimed his body.  Then the nanowhite worked its strange magic and she saw her second-in-command reappear on one of the teleporter pads below.

<Move, Koda!  Get back into position!> Lune ordered harshly.  Right now she was a commander, not a sister, and every second until Koda rejoined her was a second where she had to cover the entire field on her own.  She opened fire on the Geo warrior leaping through the rocks.  He was moving as fast and fluidly as a cheetah, vaulting effortlessly over the broken terrain, so fast that her first shot actually missed.  She got him with the second but cursed as another member of the enemy team slipped through her field of fire in the meantime, making it that bit harder for Nokoni and Aino at the gate.  She got up and sprinted to another position to try and get a better view.  Bullets whined and ricocheted around her, but it was only as a single round sent a chip of stone flying from the pillar next to her head that she realized that one of Nature's Deadliest was actively firing at her.  She dived and rolled, anger gripping her as she scanned frantically for the sniper who had gunned down Koda and was now shooting at her.


Gail and Lune continued their sniper duel, Koda was sprinting to the upper levels, and an intense firefight was developing down by the gate as Diego, Snowva and Mander closed in.  No-one knew where Cleet was, but Marcus was the first to find out as the wall on his right blew apart with an ear-splitting detonation.  Bleeding from the ears and nose, he picked himself up and saw the gaping hole in the wall.

<What the hell was that!?> Aino was demanding over the radio.

Realising with horror that he was completely alone at a now-vulnerable section of the defence, Marcus immediately began firing into the breach, sending searing javelins of blue light into the smoke to try and discourage anyone from advancing through.

"They've breached the wall, south of the gate!" he shouted into the radio, "Am giving suppressing fire but I need back-up!  ****!" he added as someone returned his fire with their own ASMD, forcing him to take cover.

<Koda, Nyantooth, get over there!> Lune's authoritative voice crackled in response, <Blackfoot, I'm on my way down!>

Marcus ejected the empty core from his shock rifle and slammed home another before spinning out low from behind the bunker doorframe and firing across the courtyard.  Cleet had cleared the breach and was strafing across the courtyard, firing accurately from the hip with his ASMD.  Marcus dived out of his line of fire before he could pull the trigger and caught Cleet in the upper chest with his return shot, spinning him round.  A huge shape appeared in the breach and resolved itself into Snowva with chain gun raised.  Marcus threw himself flat as bullets tore up the concrete all around him.  He rolled aside onto his stomach and fired once.  Blood sprayed and instantly vaporized in the heat of the glowing ASMD bolt.

But even as Snowva fell to his knees another member of Nature's Deadliest was revealed behind him, a heavily muscled humanoid with grey skin and amber eyes who leapt straight over Snowva with a huge broadsword singing through the air above his head.  It slashed down and tore through Marcus' ribcage.


Captain Thule: We have yet to meet our betters, alien. All we have seen are deluded tyrants, heretics and alien scum.
Farseer Taldeer: You should have looked beyond your mirror then.


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Gail was the last Natures Deadiest to make it through the breach, past the ruined wall Diego, Snowva, Mander and Cleet were locked in a furious fire fight with the Battleclaws, there alien opponents after been knocked off by the sudden destruction of the wall were struggling to re-group and re-spawning members were quickly dispatched before they could get backed up.

"Looks like they didn't expect us breaching so quickly," Cleet smiled to Diego.

"Ok we have the advantage for now, everyone stay together! Don't give them a chance to re-group! We need to make it into that building, Snowva take the front! Gail fall back more watch the walls! Cleet do you have any mines?!"

"Yeh picked up the last of them at the cave!"

"We need a dust cloud then we advance, nobody enter close combat avoid it at all cost, if need be leave it to Mander! Mander take position behind Snowva, Should anyone get brought down stop advaning and wait for them to return!"

"So basically, keep them scattered and we all move as one?" Gail asked

"Exactly, we'll come up with something else once we inside,"


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A searing pain shot through Marcus' skull a white flash of agony that turned blood red.  The next thing he knew he had respawned yet again on one of the teleporters within the bunker complex.  Now that Nature's Deadliest had taken the outer courtyard the games master had automatically rerouted them to new teleporter pads nearer the frontline.  The pad he had been previously respawning at was now under Nature's Deadliest's control.

<Fall back!  Fall back!> Lune was yelling into the radio.  With their defence outflanked the Battleclaws were being slaughtered piecemeal.  Marcus immediately kick-flipped his shock-rifle up into his hands and began running back up the complex, down a long corridor, through a room full of large metal crates and up a flight of steps, until he ran into Lune and Nokoni in a two-story room with an upper level overhanging on three sides, supported by rust-streaked girders and connected to the floor below by two stairwells and a platform lift.

Lune didn't look at Marcus.  She had dropped her rifle and crossed her arms to spin the two gunblade pistols from their holsters at her waist, and was still yelling orders into her mike.

<All units regroup in the central mezzanine, ambush positions!>

There were three thick steel blast doors leading into the mezzanine, including the central one which Marcus had come through.

<The two side doors are locked, Commander.> Nokoni reported as he finished inspecting them and began feeding shells into his shotgun.

<Good,> Lune replied, <If they try and outflank us again they won't be able to get through and we can overwhelm the central assault before the reinforcements can double back.>

<I'll cover the main door.> her lupine subordinate rumbled, racking the slide on his shotgun and bracing it against his shoulder.  In the confined space of the doorway, his Alitan tactical 12-guage would be deadly.

<Where the hell are Koda and Nyantooth?> Lune was cursing, "Fantom, rearguard in the hallway!"

Marcus blinked, knowing full well that this role might well pit him alone against the entire enemy team, but he obeyed.

"Good luck, Mushroom!" Nokoni laughed, lowering his snub-nosed shotgun just long enough for Marcus to pass through the blast doors that pistoned open in response to his motion.

As the thick doors closed again with a low grinding sound, Marcus heard gunfire ahead, muffled by closed doors and echoing weirdly off the concrete walls.  Nature's Deadliest were advancing steadily through the complex, moving as a unit and concentrating their fire on anyone namely Koda and Aino who tried to slow them down.  There were 13 minutes of the match to go and the enemy team were well on their way to completing their objective of conquering the fortress' upper level.

Marcus looked at the narrow hallway ahead, and at the ASMD in his hands.  It's semi-auto rate of fire wasn't high, he knew the enemy's aim was accurate, and he reckoned hed get one, maybe two shots off at Nature's Deadliest as they broke through the sliding doors ahead before they gunned him down in return.  He'd buy time, nothing more which, he thought wryly, was probably Lune's plan in a match where victory depended on a time limit and not kill counts.  He was just a sacrificial pawn in this position.  He didn't stand a chance against the entire enemy team.

So break them up.

Nature's Deadliest were moving as a group.  They might split up between the three routes to the mezzanine, but they'd have to go through the cargo room first.

Marcus began running.  He'd have to be fast to get there before the enemy team.  They were advancing swiftly and methodically, but they had to be alert to enemy ambushes and that bought him time.  He sprinted into the darkened storage room, clearing the steps that lead down to it in a single leap.  The room was splashed with shadows from the dull, flickering light that the overhead lamps shone over the metal crates cluttering the room.  With two quick shots, Marcus blew out the light bars and plunged the room into almost total darkness.  Then he withdrew behind one of the crates, crouching down and waiting as he heard rapid footsteps approaching from the opposite hallway.  The first thing through the door was a smoke grenade.  Marcus ducked back, suppressing the urge to cough that would give him away.  The smoke cast a thick haze over the already dark room and reduced visibility to almost zero, but through a narrow gap between two crates he could just see the vanguard of the enemy team dive and roll into the room, coming up to sweep wide arcs with their weapons across the cargo bay.  Marcus recognized Diego Turner, cool and confident with two long-barreled pistols held at full extension in front of him.  Sweat was running down his face, but neither fatigue nor the smoke seemed to be bothering him.  Next to him was Cleet, eyes hard and focused behind thick glasses, shock rifle braced against his shoulder.  They were followed by Snowva and the Geo, Mander, his grey-skinned form catfooting into the room with a fluid grace that reminded Marcus of the Necris, and sent a chill down his spine.  He waited for the last member to step into the room, a wiry young woman with an electro-whip at her waist.  She was wearing a black bodyglove that left little to the imagination except the risks involved from her eyes Marcus could tell that this woman would pick a fight with anything short of a fully-armed Nahk'ti Desert Warrior.

"Looks clear." Marcus heard Snowva say, his voice surprisingly soft for such a large man.

"Spread out and search before we carry on, I want our respawning lines clear." Diego answered.

that was Mander, "This looks like the ideal location for an..."

, thought Marcus, and the Geo never finished his sentence as a javelin of blue light whined from Marcus' shock rifle and pierced his neck.  Marcus was already diving and rolling to a new location as Snowva turned on his heel to bring his hulking machine gun to bear and shredded the fronts of the crates with a long, stippling line of bullet holes.  Marcus rolled up into a crouch and fired again, but bullets were now screaming towards him from every member of the opposing team.  He saw Diego turn his head towards him and ducked out of the line of fire before the enemy leader could pivot and bring his guns to bear.

"There!  Go either side!"

The smoke and darkness were Marcus' allies here, but Diego Turner had kept a cool head and obviously knew what he was doing.  Marcus ran from crate to crate as Nature's Deadliest began to circle round him.  Cleet appeared ahead of him but his shot flew overhead as Marcus instinctively ducked, and a searing blast of Marcus' ASMD threw Cleet back against the wall.  There was a sharp pain in the side of his face and a sniper bullet whined past from behind as Gail fired a snap shot from the hip, but Marcus pushed off his right foot and rolled sideways behind another pile of crates on the side of the room his opponents had entered by.

His ear and cheek were bleeding from where Gail's bullet had scored a deep gouge.  Bloody hell!  From the hip, and with no time to aim!  His ASMD's energy core was depleted but he couldn't double back for the new one that the games master had just teleported in for him.  He threw the glowing-hot shock rifle across the floor, providing a temporary distraction that drew the fire of Diego and Snowva as he dragged his long-bladed tarydium knife from the horizontal sheath at his waist.

<ooc - Okay, now kill me lol biggrin>

-- Edited by [BOSS]Fenix at 15:29, 2008-01-31


Captain Thule: We have yet to meet our betters, alien. All we have seen are deluded tyrants, heretics and alien scum.
Farseer Taldeer: You should have looked beyond your mirror then.


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Marcus immediatly went for Diego, hoping to take out the leader before going down. Making full use of his distraction Marcus came at Diego from behind, hearing the foot steps charge towards him, Diego swiftly kicked backwards scoring a hit in Marcus stomach knocking the wind clean out of him and causing him to drop his knife, Marcus was then swifty finished off by a single shot to the head.

"Bout time you finished him," Mander said re-entering the room followed by Cleet.

"Hey he got you first," Diego said spinning his smoking pistol

"I was off guard,"

"We're wasting time guys," Gail said beconing her friends to the door.

"Wait, don't open it yet, obviously he was there to hold us off and by time, I can bet the rest of the time are waiting further down in ambush, that explains why know one came to help him,"

"So what are we gonna do then?" Gail asked stepping away from the door. Diego took a momment to look around examining the metal crates.

"We need a shield," Diego smiled at Snowva, the big man returning the smile.


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The doors to the mezzanine pistoned apart.  Before they were even fully open the Battleclaws opened fire.  White flashes strobed from the twin muzzles of Lune's gunblades.  Nokoni fired, racked the slide and fired again, the harsh bark of his shotgun filling the confined space.  The spread of shot sparked off a square sheet of metal filling the doorway.  Nokoni paused.

<What the...?>

He was still trying to process what he was seeing when Snowva hefted the inch-thick sheet of metal he had torn off a crate in the cargo room, and snarling through his thick curtain of black hair he hurled the makeshift shield at Nokoni, crushing the lupine under its weight.

Immediately Nature's Deadliest leapt past Snowva, guns blazing.  As soon as the shield was out the way Koda fired, snatching Cleet back as a fist-sized exit wound blew out the back of his head.  Aino, in her full feral form, darted like white lightning across the mezzanine and sprang from the top level into the midst of the attackers.  But before she even landed Mander leapt up to intercept her, and the two collided in midair with bone-breaking force, sending both predator and huntsman sprawling across the floor.  Manders double-handed sword clattered away across the room, Aino tore at the Geo with her claws as they grappled on the floor and opened up gaping wounds in his legs and torso, but with superhuman strength Mander was forcing the white tiger's jaws away from his face, his teeth gritted against pain that would have disabled a human.

Marcus ran into the room after respawning further up the fortress and fired a single energy bolt down from the upper level, searing through Snowva and flash-vaporizing the centre of his chest.  The heat ignited the bandolier of heavy-calibre bullets slung across the big man's shoulders, and the ammunition cooked off in a storm of ricochets as he fell, sending fiery sparks scything in all directions.

Lune leapt aside from a volley of bullets and kicked off the wall, flipping through the air and putting a bullet through Gail's head in midleap as Koda fell in a reek of burnt flesh and ozone, blasted off the upper level by a shot from Cleet's ASMD.  Nokoni reappeared, rampaging through the chaos, and threw aside his shotgun as he began to mutate into his feral form.  He was still only half-transformed as Diego's first shot sent blood flying from his chest.  The commander of Nature's Deadliest advanced with guns outstretched as his bullets battered the Solstice backwards, only ceasing fire as Nokoni's shattered body toppled backwards, his dark fur matted with blood.

Lune knew it was time for a command decision.

<Respawners, hold your positions in the antechamber!>

The antechamber was the penultimate level of the fortress.  It consisted of a long staircase with widely-placed concrete steps, with a row of steel pillars holding up the ceiling on either side to provide cover for the defenders.  It was a good defensive position, but if they didn't have a second line set up and ready there was a risk that the enemy team would sweep straight through the antechamber into the top level and win the game before the Battleclaws could regroup for a last stand.

Chips of stone blizzarded off the walls as Snowva's chain gun swept back and forth across the room.  The line of bullets caught Marcus in the midsection even as he tried to dodge aside, punching bloody holes in his black Alitan armour.  There was an inhuman howl from Aino as the bloody tip of Mander's broadsword exploded from the back of her neck.

Abruptly, Lune realized she was alone.  But there was too much adrenaline coursing through her system for her to feel afraid, and too many layers of training and indoctrination into Alitan military tradition for her to lose her nerve even if she could.  Nature's Deadliest were obviously skilled, but no human could stand against the full fury of a battle-hardened Serelian in close combat where their natural strength and speed counted most.

Crouching, muscles coiled like steel springs, she launched herself at Diego.


<ooc There you go, Diego vs Lune.>


Captain Thule: We have yet to meet our betters, alien. All we have seen are deluded tyrants, heretics and alien scum.
Farseer Taldeer: You should have looked beyond your mirror then.


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"Advance, we don't have long, lets end this match!" Diego yelled before turning just in time to see Lune come flying towards him, just in time Diego jumped back avoiding Lune.

"Lune, the leader of the battleclaws,"

"Not bad human, your faster than I thought,"

"Well you'll find I'm full of surprising my furry friend," Diego said spinning his pistols aiming at Lune.

"Everyone go on, we don't have time, win the match, and we can't afford any deaths, respawning takes up too much time, Oh and Snowva, Cleet, use it,"

"Are you sure Diego? Whats the point in these circumstances?"

"Just a little message to Liandri,"

"Right away!" The crew shouted running past Lune to the final battle ground before victory.

Lune let Natures deadilest past her choosing to focus on the leader. "You are aware your team are heading to an ambush,"

"There surprisingly capable of dealing with that situation, now I must be going to so I'm just gonna kill ya now!" Diego shouted opening fire at Lune, but the quick Serelian would not be killed so easily, Lune jumped out of the path of bullets and started to run round Diego.

"She's fast!" Diego said in disbelieve turning round once again just in time to dodge Lune's gunblade, Diego raised his gun to Lunes head but once again Diego was caught surprised by the speed and strength of a Serelian and his gun was soon knocked clean out his hand, spinning round Diego lashed back with a back kick catching Lune in the chest and causing her to step back, raising his remaning gun Diego opened fired on Lune, but a flash of her gun blades Lune deflected the bullets leaving Diego dumb founded and open, Lune charged knocking Diego's remaining gun out his and in a show of pay back kicked him in the chest, throwing Diego back several meters.

"What the hell? she's strong!" Diego said looking at the distance she made between them, Lune licked her lips as she approached Diego spinning her gunblades.

"See how superior we are to you humans? You could never win this match, so what will you do now Diego Turner? When you don't have weapon do you run? Like a human would?" Diego smiled.

"Only when I don't have one," he said ripping open his jacket and casting it aside Diego revealed two Metal miniture Tonfas strapped to him, "I only reveal these when I mean business," Lune looked at the Tonfas and laughed.

"Those little things?" she said before her attention was drawn to the scars on Diego's arms, he bore several scars all over his arms along with the one on his face. "Hmm," Lune said giving Diego a puzzled look, "Just what is your stroy Diego, you are just barely 20 years old, your past a complete mystery and by the looks of those scars you've seen much battle."

"Oh these things? I didn't get most of these from battle, and your about to find out how interesting I really am, I'd like to tell you the story over a drink some time but bestality aint my thing, and I'm not interested in chicks with more body and facial hair than me,"

"You ****y human! I aint human!" Lune roared angered by Diego's attitude, she charged forward, in response Diego pulled out his Tonfas and spun them in hand, "They won't help you!"

Calmly Diego smiled, and with a simple push of a button his Tonfa's extended reaching past his shoulder, he crossed them and caught Lune's blades being pushed back against the wall, Lune bore her teeth, revealing her slashing jaws to Diego.

"You are still inferior,"

"Don't make that judgement until you see, level 2,"

(That'll do for now)


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White fire flickered and danced round the rotating barrels of Snowva's chain gun as he hosed down the antechamber, stripping chips of concrete off the walls and concrete pillars and forcing the Battleclaws to duck into cover, which gave the rest of his team-mates time to enter the room.  Koda was the first to recover, rolling across the floor and coming up fluidly with sniper rifle raised, and the bullet zipped past Cleet as he and Gail dived and rolled in opposite directions and into cover behind pillars.  Gail immediately ducked out and tried to run up the blind side of the pillars, but ahead of her Marcus had second-guessed her move and he forced her back into cover with two blasts of his ASMD.  Somewhere across the hall, the thunderous discharge of Nokoni's pump-action shotgun rose above the whine of the energy bolts.

 Snowva was strafing left across the lower level, keeping up a steady stream of fire from his chain gun.  Bullet casings spewed off in his wake, pinging off the metal floor.  His shots winged Aino, tearing a puff of blood from the Alitan's shoulder and drilling into the concrete pillar she had waited a split-second too long to duck behind, but as he reached the line of pillars and stopped to reload he was immediately attacked by Nokoni, who dropped down from above and knocked him backwards.  Thrown back against the wall, the big man picked himself up and dipped his head for a bone-crushing shoulder charge, but Nokoni sidestepped and delivered a raking blow with his forepaw that sent Snowva sprawling across the floor with three deep slashes across his chest.

As bullets and energy beams criss-crossed the antechamber, Cleet suddenly leapt out into the centre of the room.  Marcus spun out from behind his pillar, aimed and fired in less than a heartbeat, but Cleet was also quick, pushing off his right foot and twisting his torso to let the blue spear of light scream past him.  As the beam lit up Cleet's face with the incandescent glare of its passing, Marcus noticed something strange.  In that brief moment, he saw Cleet's face redden, and the material of the dark bodyglove he wore tense and bulge as if the muscles of his wiry form beneath were suddenly expanding.

He blinked, and suddenly Cleet wasn't in the centre of the hall any more, he was right up in Marcus' face.  With a sweeping left-to-right kick Cleet sent Marcus' shock rifle spinning out of his hands, and hopped from one foot to the other as he spun to bring his other leg round towards Marcus' head.  Instinctively Marcus dropped, spinning round as his tarydium knife leapt from its sheath into his hand and swept an arc of translucent blue towards Cleet's grounded leg as he completed his 360 spin.  The crystal blade met only empty air, and Marcus looked up to see that Cleet had already launched himself upwards with a powerful spring, his right foot lashing forward.  It struck Marcus' face with horrifying force, breaking his jaw in an audible crunch of bone and throwing him back against the wall.

Nokoni was wrestling Snowva to the ground, hands locked with the massive human, both combatants' arm-muscles bulging as the Alitan forced Snowva downwards and Snowva fought back with equal strength.  Nokoni's jaws were slavering and snapping as he tried to reach Snowva's neck and deliver a killing bite to his vulnerable throat.  Suddenly Snowva's skin began to redden, and at first Nokoni thought it was from exertion or fear but then he found himself being punched backwards as Snowva's expanding muscles ripped apart the shirt he was wearing.  Snowva slammed his fists together, activating the electrified knuckle-dusters he wore in a shower of sparks, and with a huge punch he sent Nokoni rocketing backwards into a nearby pillar.  A flash of static discharge arced in all directions as the hulking lupine crashed into the pillar and splintered the concrete with the force of his impact.

Gail broke cover and Mander came running to engage Aino as Cleet streaked up the hall with impossible speed, leaping up the widely-spaced steps so fast he was little more than a blur.  Koda who had been lining up a shot suddenly found his crosshair scope blacked out as Cleet filled the lens and kicked out at the Serelian.  A bullet whined into the air as the rifle accidentally discharged, and Koda dropped the weapon and stepped back from Cleet's attack.  With practiced ease he turned his backward step into a spinning kick that Cleet stopped dead with an open palm, before leaping upwards and twisting through the air to deliver a spinning double kick to the Battleclaw's torso.  His armoured breastplate absorbed some of the force, but Koda was still thrown back and sent cartwheeling over himself as he hit the floor.  He didn't even have time to flip back onto his feet before a burst from Snowva's chain gun shredded his torso.

A blur.  Colours.  Shapes.  Marcus was beginning to come round after blacking out from Cleet's savage kick, and with an effort he rolled over and saw the battle at the top of the antechamber swim into focus.  He saw Koda go down, and Cleet running for the huge double doors at the top.  Blood streaming from his nose and mouth, Marcus lunged for his dropped shock rifle.  Something cracked towards him in a blaze of light before he could reach it.  He had no time to react other than to turn his head aside so that Gail's electro-whip slashed across his temple instead of the eye she had been aiming for.  A shock like a lightning strike threw him onto his back.

"Uh uh uh..." Gail warned him, bringing up the pistol in her other hand and shooting Marcus through the head.


Captain Thule: We have yet to meet our betters, alien. All we have seen are deluded tyrants, heretics and alien scum.
Farseer Taldeer: You should have looked beyond your mirror then.


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Before Lune's eyes Diego's skin reddened and with one pulse his muscle's expanded nearly ripping his sleevess top, slowly Lune felt herself being pushed back, staring down Diego through there weapons she saw his eyes grow bloodshot.

What the hells he doing? She thought to herself thrown off by Diego's sudden increase in strength and almost losing focus, tensing she pushed back yet failed to budge Diego anymore, this close to Diego, Lune could hear clearly into Diego's chest, picking up a rapid pounding noise, Diego's heart was beating violently fast, dangerously fast.

"Just what the hell are you, and what are you doing?"

"Ain't it obvious, I'm a human, and this? Well I can't say right now,"

" are never happy with what you have, you always need more, you even torture your own bodys for your own selfish gains, I hate humans,  espically ones like you,"

"I never asked for this and besides the only reason I'm using this right now is to get back at those who did this to me in the first place, I hate the way I am and I wear these scars as a reminder of that hate. So don't compare me to the humans you hate the most!" Diego roared pushing Lune back, Lune backflipped landing safely on her feet and watched as Diego charged towards her, "I hate humanity just as much as you do!!" he roared jumped towards her and punching forward with his tonfa, Lune crossed her gunblades meeting the tip of Diego's tonfas. "Except I don't blame everyone, or hold it against anyone, I know those I hate, the type of people, one thing you must realise is that there are many humans, and not all of us are the same,"

Diego jumped back from Lune and charged in once again waving his tonfas and spinning his body in a masterful never ending combo, however Lune met every strike with her gunblades, Diego picked up the pace his movement becoming a blur, Lune matched his strength and speed completely and the pair constantly struck out at eachother never once landing a hit on eachother, they broke off fighting.

"Hu...." was all Lune could say when suddenly they were both teleported out the arena, the match was over.

(I had to go to work so ended it suddenly, if someone wants you can cancel that last sentence and carry on, I just ended it incase no one is going to finish it off, so we can keep the story going)


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When they teleported out and returned their guns Marcus was still shaking with adrenaline. Not since the claustrophobic cellars of the Necris-occupied fortress at Dasa Pass had he experienced a fight as close and brutal as that. But, as always, by the time he had showered and changed he felt calm again. The killing shots he had fired, even his own multiple deaths and reincarnations, his hardened mind saw only as things done and passed.

He found himself admiring Nature's Deadliest. The minute the announcer had fanfared their victory, their opponents had dissolved from hardened killers into high fives and victorious whoops, and one of them had even come up to Marcus and thumped him on the back before the games master teleported them out. Although murdering each other one minute and inviting their opponents for a drink the next seemed like a gross trivialisation of death to Marcus, he quickly reflected that the same applied to the Liandri Tournament as a whole, and not for the first time he wondered what that said about him as a competitor.

Lune was seething. Once the others had informed her of the debacle in the antechamber, only Alitan pride and the armed Liandri Angels posted around the building were making her keep some modicum of restraint. Their Elsinoran agent intercepted them on the way out of the armoury, and if he noticed Lunes hostility he chose to ignore it.

"Not bad my friends theres room for improvement certainly but my contacts have seen enough potential to convince them to continue funding you for the time being. Viewing figures were surprisingly good."

"There's no honour in defeat, human." Lune growled at him.

"No, but not a complete lack of ratings either, and they're what really matter as far as our backers are concerned." he replied matter-of-factly, "Besides, lots of people seem to enjoy watching Alitans taking a beating."

Lune glared at him.

"Still, the best results always come from success, so here are the details of your next match in the Sky City arena." he handed Lune a dataslate, "You'll be up against the Twilight Wraiths in a standard team deathmatch."

The team name currently meant little to Lune. It might have to Marcus, but he was up ahead talking with Aino and didn't hear.

They were soon joined by Seneca and Minqua, who had watched the match from the games master's box, but they were grim-faced and couldnt think of much to say.

*   *   *


<I want full playback of that battle analysed,> Lune snapped to Koda as they entered the common room of their hab. Marcus was there already feeding his Na Pali rabbit, and Aino was curled up by the window reading, <And that ability they used Diego referred to it as Level 2 - if it's some kind of genetic engineering or cybernetic enhancement I want to know about it and about how many other competitors in the Tournament might be using it.>

<I expect any entries in the Liandri datalinks will be classified.>

<So use your imagination, Koda!>

<We can't just hack their archives. Theyve got some of the most advanced hunter-seeker algorithms I've ever seen and the minute we try anything they'll come down on our ass like a tonne of bricks.>

<So maybe we could simply ask Turner. He seemed eager enough to discuss it right in the middle of a duel. Perhaps we could send Fantom over.>

Koda frowned, <Perhaps. But didn't some of the other things Turner said scare you slightly?>

<Hmmm. And those scars on his arms...> Lune said as she sat down. She shifted uncomfortably the human sofas were poorly designed to accommodate Alitan physiology.

<What about them? We keep trophy-scars to honour especially memorable battles. Perhaps humans do the same.>

<They weren't from combat, he said. So where did he get them? Implants? Part of his Level 2 conditioning? We'd say that if they're not combat scars they're no cause for pride, and then so why would he keep remind me of my hate, he must have been pretty bad then - most humans seem to consider scars a disfigurement, so you'd think he would have had rejuvenation surgery.>

"Sometimes we keep scars as reminders." Marcus said from across the room, having picked up enough of the Alitan language to understand what they were talking about.

Lune turned in surprise at the interruption.

"And you would know, would you?" she asked Marcus coolly, in English.

Marcus let Kiwi down onto the floor before replying.

"Yes I would know, Battleclaw." he stated, holding up his right hand to reveal the healed gash across its palm. Lune's eyes flickered momentarily to it, then fixed back on Marcus. On the other side of the room Aino quietly put down her book, her ears pricking up as she turned towards them.

"You've told us about how you and the other survivor escaped the Kran." Koda said, "Reading between the lines, I'd say that you and she were mates. You also talked about how you encountered the Nali and started the resistance movement against the Necris. But nothing that happened afterwards. In fact, aside from what I've just mentioned, you've told us very little about your past, Fantom."

"That's because there's a lot I dont want to remember."

"But not everything," Koda pushed, sensing something more behind the humans words, "Despite the Necris, Na Pali wasn't all hell."

"No," Marcus said at length, "It wasn't."

Koda parted the fur at his right collar bone, revealing a thin white line on the skin beneath that ran down under his collar across his chest.

"This is one of the trophy scars I was talking about. The cut came from the talons of an Alitan predator on my first hunt simulation with my sister and the others when the Battleclaw team was first formed. The predator would have killed me, but Lune pulled me to safety. I keep this scar to remember the bond of trust between us, between all of our team. So what does your scar commemorate?"

Marcus saw that he had gained some of his new team-mates' respect for his martial skills, but to gain their trust he had to open up to them. It was strange if he had imagined himself sharing this story with anyone outside Na Pali, these proud feline aliens from a planet lightyears from his own birthworld were not the listeners he had pictured. And yet, like the story of the Nali mountain fighters, this story deserved to be told too. Only this one was much harder.

He paused for a second before speaking, awkwardly at first, but finding it became easier as he talked.

*   *   *


"Go, go, go!" Marcus shouted in Nali, gesturing urgently to Haute and Katima who were lagging behind. Suddenly, there was a heavy explosion behind them. An orange fireball ripped up through the Necris hanger, peeling away the black metal hulls of the sleek fliers ranked up inside it and causing stacked fuel and munitions to erupt in a chain reaction of explosions. A siren began to howl, wailing up the scale and down again, but it was all but lost in the thunder of missiles and energy cells cooking off. An explosion backflipped one of the fliers and the wicked double-axehead profile came apart in a screech of tortured metal.

Marcus looked back at the unfolding destruction with grim satisfaction. Air power was one thing the guerrillas didn't have, and the charges they had just set off right in the centre of the Necris airbase would hit Ghost operations in the area hard and level the playing field somewhat. But now they had completed their daring raid, they needed to escape before more Necris responded to the screaming alarms.

Marcus leapt up over a rocky outcrop and turned to help pull Luthienne up after him.

"Phayders!" Myscha warned, and looking back Marcus saw several dark shapes sprinting towards, moving like ghosts through the veil of dark, greasy smoke thrown up by the burning hanger. Haute, who was bringing up the rear, spun on his heel and fired the ASMD he was carrying in his upper pair of arms. The Necris sidestepped the energy bolt and raised a nanoblack dart gun.

"NO!" Marcus yelled.

A trio of black slivers thudded into Haute's chest and neck, knocking him onto his back. Almost instantly, a tracery of spidery black lines began to flow outward from the impact points, creeping across his bare chest and tracing the veins up his face. Haute spasmed. The skin on his face turned dark, and shrivelled back until his face was little more than a papyrus-thin layer stretched tight over his skull so that every bone was horribly visible. Abruptly the Nali stopped moving, amber eyes flooded black and staring blankly up at Marcus from the sunken sockets of a morbidly grinning skull.

From Inuit corporation reports and the dark tales of the Nali, Marcus knew something about nanoblack. It's chemical makeup and the way its components interacted still baffled Inuit scientists, but how it reacted with organic matter was what truly scared Marcus. A mere scratch from a nanoblack-coated blade could leave a Nali weakened and delirious for hours, or even days. A larger dose would wither and kill, as it had just done to Haute. It was almost as if the vile stuff drained away your life force.

Shaking off his horror, Marcus dived for cover next to Myscha and Luthienne who were returning fire on the Necris. Blue energy bolts criss-crossed with plasma charges and lethal nanoblack darts. One of the Phayders jerked back as three ASMD bolts converged on him and suddenly there was no more room to dodge. Marcus ducked back and a throwing knife sparked off the rock behind him. In the wake of the distraction a Blademaiden came leaping towards them, clearing the rock with a fluid handspring and coming down towards Marcus and Luthienne. Pitiless eyes glittering black in a darkly beautiful face, a flash of silver as she raised a slender sword, then black blood jetted over the Phayder's alabaster skin as a shot from Myscha's shock rifle seared through her in midspring, and suddenly the Necris wasn't leaping any more, she was falling, and the Phayder's body crashed into Luthienne and knocked her to the floor. Marcus fought to pull the dead weight off as the Blademaiden vomited nanoblack into Luthienne's face and died with a long spasmic shudder.
Luthienne was screaming, trying to wipe the burning blood out of her eyes.

"No! Spit it out, spit it out!" Myscha was yelling, "Don't let it get in your mouth!"

The noise of energy bolts screeching overhead seemed to fade. Screaming Luthienne's name, Marcus succeeded in dislodging the slain Blademaiden and fell to his knees beside her. Dark lines were snaking out across Luthienne's skin, and she was seizing violently.

*   *   *


"So she died?" Aino asked tentatively.

Marcus shook his head, "Worse. We managed to fight off the Ghosts and escape, carrying Lu with us. We had to leave Haute's body behind. His family didn't blame us, because the Nali believe that after the soul has moved on the flesh is only flesh, but I still felt bad about leaving his body to those Ghost bastards. Lu was in a coma for 3 days. When she came round she was delirious. The village priest gave her all the usual medicines they kept to counteract nanoblack, but they didn't work. There were times when she was lucid enough, but then there were times she didnt even know who I was. Nights were the worst. She kept trying to hurt herself, to the point I'd have to grab her hands to stop her from pulling her hair out, or from beating her hands bloody against the walls, and she'd get so terrified of anyone who approached her that she'd attack even me. It started happening more and more often - I was losing her.

The priest thought he had the answer. The Nali have a ritual called soul-binding, which creates a subconscious link between two people through some physical trigger - usually a scar."

He held up his hand.

"I remember they cut our palms with a silver knife and then bound our hands together, but everything after that is hazy. I don't know if it was hypnosis, or psychic stimulus, or even magic like the Nali believed, and I didn't care because when I came round all I knew was that it had worked and she was herself again. My Luthienne. Her symptoms never really went away but whenever they started to show all I had to do was touch my hand to hers and shed be calm again."

"What did you do then?" Koda asked, while Lune watched impassively.

"We kept fighting. The Ghosts couldn't put our little insurgency down and over time word spread and other free Nali began making their way to join us in the mountains. Our greatest achievement came when we destroyed the mining facility at Terra Sun and freed all the Nali slaves working there. The Ghosts sent their Phayders after us, and they tracked us all the way back to the mountains but there we turned and fought, and we beat them."

"You beat them? Partisans against Phayder assassins?"

"We had weapons from the Kran. Me and Lu trained the Nali how to use them. We knew the terrain. And you underestimate the Nali. Most people take them for primitives, and their pacifist natures for cowardice, but they have unbreakable faith and conviction. Even if we aren't born with a purpose we can still give ourselves one, and the Nali believed in their right to freedom. That streak of resistance was already in them; me and Lu just sparked it."

"But surely," Aino put in, "Even if you won that battle the Necris now knew where your base of operations was. They could have sent more troops and laid siege."

"They could," Marcus nodded, frowning, "And if they had it might well have been over for us. But the day after our victory Kruun came back from his scouting mission and reported that he'd seen thunderbirds descending - a whole flock of them."


Marcus laughed slightly, catching himself, "He meant starships. After losing several vessels in the area under mysterious circumstances, Inuit corporation sent out a fully-fledged task force to the Gryphon system. Apparently there was an almighty orbital battle with the Ghosts and they fought their way through to Na Pali. As soon as we heard, Myscha and I headed south to try and make contact with a dropship that had landed near Velora Pass. Unfortunately we ran into a squad of Phayders first."

Marcus remembered that fight well. Outnumbered. Surrounded. One of the most desperate he'd ever fought. Suddenly there had been a low whine and rattle of gunfire, and Marcus had looked round to see heavily armoured Inuit marines dropping like bright metal beads into the trench where Marcus and Myscha were pinned down, white flashes stabbing from the muzzles of their sleek M32 combat assault rifles. One burst of fire scythed across the chest of a Phayder who had been aiming at Marcus, snatching him backwards as if he had been yanked by a chain. The Phayder's finger convulsed on the trigger of his dart gun in death reflex, and the nanoblack dart whistled past Marcus, slashing a red line across his arm.

Marcus felt the sting of the impact, followed almost immediately by a sense of extreme cold. Suddenly all the strength went out of his legs and he fell to his knees. He looked down and saw black lines zigzagging up his arm in the wake of the cold, numb sensation creeping in towards his heart.

"****!" he gasped in a mixture of horror and fear, but then the wave of cold swept up his face and as it reached his eyes everything went black as the icy oblivion claimed him.

"I woke up several hours later in orbit aboard the ISV Kursk," he continued, "I found out that the marines who rescued me fought off the Ghosts, stabilised me and called in a shuttle to take me up, then interrogated Myscha and found out there was another human survivor in our mountain village. They basically stormed it and forced the Nali to give up Luthienne."

The bitterness in his voice was unmistakable.

"Of course, when her symptoms came back they just thought the stay on Na Pali had unhinged her. They wouldn't let me see her. I even tore off all the sensors they'd wired me up to and tried to fight my way out of the med-lab, but the medtech sedated me. In the end they packed her off to an institution on Ramiel Prime and refused to let me follow. She was beyond help, they said. The only thing they would give me was Kiwi here. Shed refused to leave Lu's side even when they pulled her offworld and they didnt know what else to do with her.

Inuit gave me free transport back to Mar Sara, and tried to make out that I was some sort of war hero for surviving on a Ghost-controlled planet for so long. They offered me my engineering posting back but I told them to go to hell. I headed for Acheron a couple of months ago to try and lose myself and to try and earn enough credits for passage to Ramiel, but it was all downhill from there. Joining your team looked like the only fast way to get the cash together."

He shrugged.

"Right," said Lune slowly, "Well as soon as the Tournament's over you can do what you want, Fantom - but up until then I trust you to remember that you're part of my team."

She got up and padded out of the room, motioning for Koda to follow her and slipping back into Alitan as she started talking once again about Nature's Deadliest's mysterious Level 2 ability.

"She seems cold and indifferent, but it's only because of her training. She doesn't want to make ties that can be used against her."

Marcus turned towards Aino, who had picked up Kiwi and was now holding the Na Pali rabbit delicately in her paws.

"If one of us was badly injured and slowing the team down, she'd leave us behind because more of us might die if she didn't, and she wouldn't want personal feelings clouding the issue. War necessitates a different set of morals, you see. She has no problem doing the dirty side of her job, because her duty demands nothing less. Remember what I told you, Marcus - to an Alitan, honour is everything."


Captain Thule: We have yet to meet our betters, alien. All we have seen are deluded tyrants, heretics and alien scum.
Farseer Taldeer: You should have looked beyond your mirror then.


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Back at Haven, Nature's deadilest where busy doing nothing relaxing after a tough fight and feeling good about their recent victory.

"Hey Mander, never seen you smile so much," Diego said breaking the silence.

"Those Battleclaws where very tough opponents and it brought me greater delight when they revealed the ability to transform, such worthy pray, the strength and instinct of an animal combined with the intelligence of a human, I have hunted many great beasts and none compare them, I felt in my prime again,"

"If your like this past your prime I'd hate to see you in your prime Mander, but I don't think they would appricate you calling them prey, and beasts,"

"Very well, worthy advisarys, and I look forward to the next match with them,"

"Oh Diego? I have a question," Alex said standing up the entire crew turned towards Alex, except Snowva who was sleeping soundly. "Why aren't we celebrating?"

Diego smiled and look to the roof, "Good question, guess I'm not feeling up to it at the moment," Alex looked at Diego puzzed, she knew him well and could tell when something was on his mind, Cleet also appeared to have something on his mind, when he returned to the ship he opened up a book, but never once turned the page.

"Diego? Cleet? Is there something the matter?"

"No, we're alright," Diego said unconvinenly.

"We're just tired after using level 2, you know how it is," Cleet said

"You've all checked out fine, due to the Nano White the effects of Level 2 should not effect you out the arena,"

"You know what, I say we go out and celebrate anyway, what you think Cleet?"

"I agree, lets not waste anytime," Cleet said jumping up from the seat and quickly left the room with Diego.

"Do you know whats going on Gail?" Alex asked.

"Not a clue, though I wish I did, it must be something serious if they won't even tell us, Mander you wouldn't know would you,"

"Those boys have had something on there mind after that incident at Liandri HQ back on earth before we came here,"

"When they exchanged our freedom to take part in the Liandri tournament?"

"Yeh there must be another part of the bargin, something they aren't telling any of us,"

"I know how we can get information," Gail smiled wickedly turning her head towards the still sleeping Snowva.

Out the room Cleet and Diego took a deep sigh of relief.

"We'll have to tell them the danger Haven faces eventually Diego,"

"I know I know, but Liandri asked us not to tell them, when in prison they might have transmitters or something in them,"

"And now with that pervert Ross involved the girls are in danger aswell,"

"I know, I ordered the use of level 2 to give Liandri a warning that we will not be there bitches for long, and now I'm regretting it, I know they won't nuke Haven I mean doing something that extreme for just us, but then again they just might do it we could reveal a secret which could ruin them,"

"I think you can relax Diego, revealing level 2 will anger them but they won't act on it, they have more to lose than we do, although I won't be surprised if they try to get us killed now, that would be more expected,"

"Agreed looks like we'll have our work cut out for us, we are in an area where Liandri have complete control,"

"They know where we are at all times," Cleet smiled

"And we are taking part in a blood sport." Diego said also smiling.

"Things are gonna be tough,"

"But we'll be fine,"

"Lets continue to piss off Liandri,"

"Yeh the girls won't be in danger until we're dead, so lets just make sure we stay alive,"

"Then should we tell them, they may be in trouble, and about Haven,"

"No we mustn't worry them, lets not push Liandri too far,"

"Ok...oh **** Snowva!" Cleet said suddenly remembering they left Snowva in the room.

Cleet and Diego burst into the room to see Snowva surronded by the rest of crew, who were preasuring Snowva with a bombardment of question, the big man who could never lie walked back uncomfortably sweating coming down his face.

"Hey guys we're going ahead meet at the usual place! Snowva you coming,"

"Yes!" Snowva said bolting for the door, he turned around before leaving, "sorry everyone," Safely out the ship Snowva breathed a sigh of relief thankful for his friends timely rescue. "Thanks guys,"

"You didn't tell them anything did you Snowva?"

"No, I kept silent,"

"Good man, but now they will be conviced something is wrong,"

"We have to tell them without actually telling them, hmm? Liandri might be able to hear what they hear but they can't see, what they see."



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(Part 1 of 2 of how Nature deadilest found themselve in there current situation lots of fighting in this post)

Diego sprinted down the grey corridor, infiltrating the Liandri HQ was sursprisingly easy, at the dead of night there little to no employees and the lax guards were easily dispatched none of them expecting an attack at the Liandri HQ, but even more surprising the means he, Cleet and Snowva used to escape 4 years ago were still wide open, pushing it aside Diego put it down to Gerald covering there tracks.
Gerald, thinking of him saddened Diego the kind man helped them escpae from this very same building as a result he lost his job and his family, his daughter Releana abandoning him to marry Ross, and being unable to contact Gail took to depression and died sometime later, this happened two years ago but the crew never heard the news until recently. That saddness was replaced with anger as Liandri where the ones to blame and deep down Diego knew they were the real cause for Geralds death. That was why they returned to earth, Diego along with the rest of the crew always spoke of revenge against Liandri and the day had finally come.

However, once inside the tall building and dispatching serveral guards things darkened, the hole thing had been a set up and once inside the team consisting off Snowva, Mander, Cleet and Diego where attacked by highly armed guards and forced to seperate, while running through the building each were soon attack by mysterious and powerful enemies deep inside the building meaning there backup Gail who had found a good sniping point outside the building was unable to help, Diego had been the only one to avoid such an opponent and managed to find his way to the top floor of the building, the part where the CEO is said be at the moment without too much trouble.

"Mander whats your status?" Diego said speaking into his ear piece.

"i can't see a goddamn thing here! And this guys seems to have excellent night vision, all I can tell is this bastards hairy!" Mander stopped talking and Diego heard the clatter of steel as Mander blocked another attack from his opponent, however unable to see him Mander detected too late his claws swipe and scratched the Geo across the stomach, with a roar Mander took out his auto matic pistol and begun firing in a frenzy using his Geo senses to detect his opponent, however the beast was too fast and Mander couldn't even catch a glimps of it as it darted in and out of the darkness, the creature made several passes but the highly experiance Geo hunter would not be defeated easily, with his spare hand Mander slashed his broadsword intercepting the creature but never scoring a hit occasionaly the creature would cut Mander, but the great man would never be fazed. "Where are you!?" Mander roared looking around the room, trying to pick up anymovement or even the sound of breathing, but the beast was skilled in this type of battle and moved about the darkness without a sound, drawing both automatic pistols Mander spin in a circle unleashing a hail bullets all around the room, resorting to luck, there came a beastal roar and Mander detected a charge behind him, spinning round with both pistols he tried to intercept the creature but with a inhuman jump it leapt towards Mander pinning him to the ground, although unable to see anything Mander felt the snapping jaws near his face he grabbed it jaws ignoreing the sharp teeth digging into his hands and held the creatures mouth open all the while trying to push the heavy beast off him.

"Gail! I need backup! where are you!?" Cleet roared into his ear piece ducking his opponents blades, sporting several cuts Cleet was pushed back against a wall by his skinny opponent, he wore an emotionless mask completely hiding his facal features, his hair was firey red and tied back in a pony tail, he wore clothing identicle to Cleets and on his right arm was a claw with four blades each sharp and deadly.

"I can't! the building has been surronded by heavily armed men, there's no way I can get in, if you come to a window I might be able to help should I be able to see you,"

"Crap, ok..." Cleets assilant thrusted his clawed arm forward piercing the wall where Cleet had been previously ducking low Cleet deliver a solid elbow to the man stomach forcing him to step back, yet even a strike from Cleet in level 2 did not faze him and he immediatly attacked Cleet again spinning and slashing his claw in an artisic show of marital arts a style Cleet couldn't even begin to fathom with the effects of level 2 Cleet was just able to keep track of his opponents movement and evade oppropriatly using the surrondings of the office room Cleet used the many desks as shields, eventually however he stumbled on a fallen chair and with a shoulder tackle was knocked onto a desk, the masked man thrusted his claws forward but quickly leaping to his feet Cleet used the high ground well and stood on the blades and delivered a powerful kick to his opponents face knocking him back.

"Now its my turn!" Cleet yelled jumping off the desk in a flying kick and getting his opponent once again in the face cracking his mask and flooring the man with a flick of his wrist two short swords appeared out his sleeves and into his hands, with both swords pointed downwards Cleet on his decent tried to impale and finish his overwhelming opponent, but his sword only met the hard ground as the masked man rolled out the way and once again attacked Cleet in his factastic dance like marital art, using his swords Cleet defended against the onslaught. "Damn it, ok Gail look out for me and coming to the window, lets hope I can get to the right one."

Cleet quickly turned and ran leaving the now tattered room behind him, confident in his speed, as expected the masked man gave chase and surprised Cleet with his increidible running speed, also the many cuts and blood lost on Cleets part didn't help much. Cleet ran from window to window when suddenly Gail called out. "I see you! hold the guy still for me," Cleet locked blades with the man and held him as still as he could waiting with a smile for the sound of shattered glass and the sound of a bullet piercing his opponents head, yet it never came.

"Gail?" Cleet said worried.

"Well well big sisters it's been so long." Gail dropped her sniper rifel and turned round in anger reconsising the voice of her spoiled little sister.

"Releana!" Gail shouted in anger flicking out her whip, "How could you abondon father like that! And marry that scum bag Ross!"

"I thought, where would I have a better future? and Ross came out on top,"

"Is that it! You abandoned your own family for that! Have you no remorce! Your so selfish!" Gail was ready to stike when the group of heavily armed men behind Relenna caused her to stop. "You know what Liandri is quilty of and yet you still marry into the Liandri family!"

"Dear sister you abandoned father aswell for that band of riff raff, for 4 years we never heard a thing from you, the only reason we knew you were alive was because of Laindri hunting you all,"

"You know I couldn't contact father for yours and his safety,"

"Whatever, ah if only you stayed you could be living the life like mine, I'm proberly the most desiriable woman in the universe, there isn't a man I can't get, and look at you an angry hag who spends all her time with a bunch of pennyless losers,"

"Hag! Ha! such a pathetic insult, words like that won't bother me, I'm bigger than that," Gail said gaining her composure and smiling at her pathetic sister, "Pennyless, yes, but losers! Trust me, that lot are no where near losers."

Inside Snowva charged head long into a mighty armored man about the same size as Snowva, they pushed against eachother Snowvas muscle budgling in his level 2, the man wore a robtic armor which barly fits him, between plates Snowva could see the man grostesque yellow coloured skin, buldging with mishapen muscle and fat, although the same size in height to Snowva his width was incredible and inhuman, Snowva could not see his face thought the robtic like helmet, but neither did he want see such a face as he could tell from his inhuman shape and painful snarls that it would be just as grostesque as his yellow skin.

"Get him! Get him!" a skinny man in complete robotic arm roared from behind snowva cracking his whip to the ground, the man-monster roared and pushed harder on Snowva yet made little progress, producing a long dagger the smaller man charged at Snowva from behind. "Do I have to do it all myself!" he said coming at Snowva, using the bigger mans weight and force against him Snowva stopped pushing back, causing the man-monster to stumple and Snowva flipped it over, intercepting the tamers charge. With a quick burst of speed Snowva jumped onto the heavy man and using him to springboarded towards what appeared to be his master and tamer, his electric knuckles sparking Snowva punched forward unfortunatly missing the much faster man.

"How dare you attack me!" he roared cracking his whip forcing the big man to quickly rise, Snowva turned round quickly punching it in the face however it was only enough to cause him to move his back slightly, surprised Snowva felt the full force of his returning punch flooring Snowva.

"You call that a punch!" Snowva said wiping the blood from his nose and mouth, with a stronger bunch Snowva once again scored a hit in the mans face and using his superiour speed followed up with several others, once again the man beast returned the punch with twice the power but Snowva stayed strong and remained on his feet and continued punching his enemy until cracks started to form on the robotic mask and eventually stepping into a mighty punch Snowva shattered the mask revealing its hideous face, Snowva stepped back in horror, as expected his face was the same hideous yellow as the rest of the body and the face was a disfigured human face of a middle aged man and appeared slightly melted it was bald apart from the few black hairs sticking out the moster head, the creatured roared. his mouth was wide and slobberly and his breath was like nothing Snowva had ever smelt, he had smelt rotting flesh before and had to say that, that smell fell short of this creatures breath, it was so bad Snowva neared vomited and stepped back. With his guard down Snowva soon felt a sharp slash across his back, as the tamer whipped Snowva violently and eventually wrapping the whip round his neck held him in place while the beast charged and delivered a mighty punch throwing Snowva back and having him crash into a wall.

"Snowva? Snowva!" Diego shouted into his earplace but got no answer. "Damn it! He better be alrite, Cleet?"

"I'm still ali-" was all Cleet said before communication was cut off, desperatly Diego tried to contact Mander, Gail and even Heather back at the ship to tell her to take Gina and Alex and get away, however it appeared there communication had all been blocked and Diego cursed Liandri.

"Damn it!" he roared "What a goddamn set up, I should of known it was all a trap but I was too blinded by revenge, damn you Liandri! I'm going to take your head, even if I die I can rest at ease knowing you will be too," finally Diego reached the end of the corridor and stood before a great door, a door not many get to see, behind it is where the Liandri CEO is ment to be, working late, Diego questioned wether he had escaped or not, but Gail said nothing of someone escaping on the surface, he had to take a chance and with a deep breath burst through the door drawing his pistol. The room was dark and empty the only light coming from the bright moon which shone directly through the massive window which over looked the outside world, before Diego was a red, gold laced carpet, which lead up two steps to a wide empty desk, obvisouly cleared when word of Diego arriving spread out, behind the desk was a large chair which faced the window, the chair was so large Diego could not see who was behind it.

"I'm terribly sorry Diego, but I had to leave on urgent business," a voice rang though out the room.

"Where the hell are you!" Diego roared. Slowly a large screen came down from the ceiling and covered the large window, the room now lit with the light of the screen giving off a similar grey colour to the room as the moonlight did, appearing on the screen came a shadowy figure, big and imposing.

"I'm terribly sorry to have missed you," the shadowly figure said, "and I'm sad to here the fate of Gerald, he was a hard worker,"

"Don't act innocent!" Diego roared, "You have alot to answer for and your judgement day is at had, all those you have effected the judge and jury, the decision death penalty, and I'm the exucutioner! So stop hiding and face me!

The shadowly figure of the CEO laughed, "Did you take all day to come up with that speech," he said humorusly. "Unfortunatly I'm too busy to die at the moment, but when I heard you were coming I arranged for some special hospitality," the chair spun round to reveal a figure well known through out the universe.

"Xan?!" Diego said stepping back.

"The Legendary torunament champion himself," The CEO laughed, "Only the best for my little pets," Behind Diego the doors of the room slammed shut and Xan rose from the chair and with mighty swipe cast the desk aside and slowly walked towards Diego. Diego immediatly opened fire his bullets bouncing off Xans armor, Diego stepped back after every shot until eventually his back banged off the wall pinned Xan launched forward and swung his mighty fist striking Diego in the face and throwing him across the room.

"Releana the path you've choosen you will never be able to value friendship, you could never begin to understand the bond this entire crew have with eachother, and it is because of that bond that I have choosen my path to go with them no matter what we face and no matter how much we struggle,"

"Oh please, don't give me any of that bull****, I have everything I ever wanted and can get what I want from any man, men are so easy to manipulate,"

Gail laughed "I agree with you there men are simple, but being the universes slut will only land you in trouble, you will never have known or be in love and have friends and when the day comes when people see your forked toung you will have nothing, when I have everything I ever wanted and will ever need,"

"Forked toung? Universes slut!? How dare you insult someone like me, feble sister, strange there was a time when I looked up to you, but now looking at you now, have you even grown an inch! My little big sister, now I tired of this conversation," Relenna snapped her a fingers and one of the armed men stepped forward aiming a rifel at Gail, with a quick whistle a dart pierced Gail's shoulder and slowly everything started to go hazy.

"Don't worry once your friends are defeated they will join you,"

"D-defeated? you take them too lightly, those guys in there have something none of you could ever have, that inner fire, they will never give up!..." Gail collapsed to the ground, "They're the type who will bite their killer in the throat with their last breath..."



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(occ - I posted something! XD lol I wrote it in Anatomy & Physiology class, so it's probably a bit crappy XD A little win for Marcus though ^^ )

After everyone had retired for the night, Lune emerged from her quarters and padded into the commons room; she set the lights on to her preferred dimmed level and laid back into one of the chairs, resting her hind paws on the low table before it.

She glanced at the dormant data slate on the table; leaning forwards she picked it up and switched it on.

<Search, Nakoda Battleclaw.> Lune spoke and watched as multiple screens of information and pictures appeared atop of each other as it opened the file on the Battleclaw.Once everything had been loaded Lune brought the picture of the Serelian to the top, she smiled, the large lion was standing with Lunes parents who were holding their newly born kits.

Lunes ears swivelled around as she heard one of the doors behind her close, <Still awake?>Marcus paused as he saw Lune looking over her shoulder at him.

<You learn our language quickly.> She turned back to the data slate.

"Do you mind?" Marcus indicated to the seat across from her as he moved further into the room, Lune shook her head.

"Do as you please."

"Whos Nakoda?"Marcus pried, having overheard her search request.

Lunes expression changed, she didnt look up from her slate but Marcus saw her ears lay back, "You humans like to share your history, dont you?"She smiled slightly.

"Its a sign of trust and friendship to share information."

"Friendship is a weakness. " Lune countered, Marcus frowned, "And trust is only important in battle."

"Battleclaw, trust is more important outside of battle." Marcus pointed out, Lune sighed and nodded.

<Humans...> Lune smiled to herself, "Years ago, the Serelians and Solstice lived on separate continents.They would fight over land.They didnt agree on how it should be used.Lune placed the slate down on the table, That there is Nakoda; he was one of the most influential Serelians in the militia.

When the humans first came to Alita, Nakoda was the one that went and met them when they landed.It was lucky that he knew their language from other travellers that had come to our planet.

He invited them to stay to learn about each other, the humans invited him to go to their planet in return for his hospitality."

"He must have brought a lot of honour to your tribe." Marcus nodded in understanding, Lune smiled, slightly amused by how quick he had learnt the Alitan way.

"Nakoda went to the human planet with some representatives from the Solstice and Serelian, they were gone for a few weeks and upon their return they recited the horrors of the human way of life, that they were cowardly warmongers that had no honour or pride, or any care for their planet.

Unfortunately, the majority of humans didnt take a liking to our kind like those who first visited.The humans sent ships of troops to destroy us and take our planet.Nakoda was right about them; they were poorly trained and ended up fleeing without doing any damage to us."

Marcus smiled, it sounded like something the humans would do."Please continue. " He looked at the Serelian who had paused, probably wondering why she was telling him all this.

"The Battleclaws came to be respected by both sides after Nakoda got the Serelians and Solstice to join forces to protect the planet from the humans and anyone else that would try to take it.If you didnt already guess, my brother was named after this great Serelian, we were born shortly after this happened."

"Alitans must live a long time."

"We can, yes.Nakoda was the elder of our tribe, he helped train Koda and I in our first years.After the pair of us left for our military training, Nakoda died and his son, with the same name, took his place as the military general.

Nakodas son is the reason were here today, three years ago it was found that he was communicating with the humans on our neighbouring planet.He was organising the invasion and destruction of the Solstice, so the 'true owners of the planet,' as he called the Serelian's, could take the planet.That stupid Battleclaw went insane with the power he had been given by being thrown into a high position so quickly."

"To make it worse for the Battleclaw, he admitted to killing his father to become General without having to prove his fighting skills first.He never was very good at fighting."

"So thats the reason youre here?To get your tribes honour back?" Marcus understood now, Aino and Koda avoided talking about their real reasons for being in the tournament.

"Everyone moved on as if nothing had happened, but we could see that our tribe had lost its respect.Thats when I suggested to the others that we should come here."

Marcus paused before responding, "Youre a lot more complicated then you look, Battleclaw." Lune looked at him curiously, "The others say you were trained to be cold and to hate humans. Though really you just want revenge because they killed Nakoda and took your honour away."

"Is that what you really think?Id do this over some grudge against humans?"Lune stared at him, but he wasnt afraid of her anymore and just stared back, "I am an Alitan, we do not think like that."

"You mean, you were trained not to think like that."

"You are dismissed, Phantom."

Lune picked up the data slate and ignored Marcus as he rose and headed back out of the room, just as the door opened for him to leave he smiled, "Goodnight, Battleclaw."

"You can call me Lune, but I prefer Commander."

-- Edited by [BOSS]Asreal at 16:25, 2008-03-04



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Heather kicked forward striking Ross in the chest, the pretty boy stepped back gasping for breath, Heather refusing to give him time continued her onslaught with a savage combo of kicks, she paused for a second and looked the pathetic Ross dazed and barely able to stand and with a one final spinning kick Ross spun round landed hard on table it shattering under the forth.

"Way to go Heather!" Alex shouted standing protectivly in front of Gina. Heather slightly out of breath recovered quickly and smiled.

"Who the hell do you think you are," she said at Ross whos body lay unconsicious in front of her. "Coming barging in our ship like that and asking us to come with you!"

"Lets kick him out," Gina said pushing in front of Alex. Heather turned round and smiled at the young girl when a wicked laugh caused her heart to stop.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Ross said rising to his feet, "As you may well be aware the ship is surronded by several armed guards,"

"Still running your mouth?" Heather said angerily turning round. Ross met her stare with a smile and spit blood from his mouth.

"I have to say, your pretty good, just what I would expect from a Geo, or half Geo, I like you I could have great fun with a girl like you." Ross stare and wicked smile gave Heather a cold chill.

"The mere thought of you makes me want to be sick," Heather snapped. Ross burst out laughing his laugh turning manic as his skin began to turn red. Heather stepped back in fear reconsing level 2.

"Y-you can do it to?" she said, "Alex! Gina! r-!" Heather was cut off as Ross closed to gap between them in a blink of an eye, Ross now standing at her side Heather froze in fear as she felt something sharp pierce her neck, first her neck went numb and slowly the world began to blurr to darkness the last sensation she felt was Ross's hand catching her as she fell to the ground.

Ross looked at Heather with a satisfied smile and turned his manic gaze to Alex who stood protectivly in front of Gina.

"Gina run, lock yourself in the ****pit and try to make contact with the others,"


"Now!" Alex said pushing Gina away. Alex slipped her hands into her pockets and withdrew a pair of decorated black metal rods, she flicked them revealing a pair of razor sharp fans.

"An interested weapon you have there," Ross said laying down Heather. "Don't tell me your going to resist aswell, come on babe just come with me and I'll be gentle with you," Ross smiled baring his teeth and holding his hand out.

"I'd rather vomit diaorriha," Alex said taking a stance.

"I'm interested in your weapons, where did you get them from they are nothing I have seem before,"

"They're from little planet, its small and has no real value so no one really goes to it, but the people there are master craftsmen and proberly the best close combat fighters you'll ever see, they made us all unique and usual weapons,"

"hmm, I would very much like to visit this planet, care to take me, we could make it a date,"

"Awh," Alex said in disgust, "Your worse than Diego, you slime ball," Alex said throwing one of her fans at Ross, it spun through the air but cut harmlessly into the ship, Ross far to quick for Alex dodged the flying blade and was now behind Alex, before Alex could do anything Ross had grabbed her wrist cluthing her remaining weapon forcing it to point towards the ground, and with his other hand placed a syringe full with a lime coloured liquid gently to Alex's neck not quite piercing the skin, Alex was over come with fear she was completely at Ross's mercy and could feel him breath down her neck like a starved vampire.

"When I'm the most powerful man in the universe I think I'll make you my new wife, if you don't mind sharing with that Geo women,"

"You..." was all Alex could say before she felt the syringe pirece her neck.



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"Mander! Diego! anyone! can you hear me?! We have an emergancy!" Gina yelled into the intercom, yet the lines were dead. Gina stopped yelling and froze when a knock came at the ****pit door.

"little girl? little girl? Don't worry the bad men are gone now, you can come out now," Ross said in an unconvicing voice.

"Back off!" Gina yelled back at him, "Wait till my father gets here then you'll be sorry."

Ross burst out laughing, "you really think someone will come and save you all? I've cut all your communications and besides even if you did get into contact with them they're in no better situtation than you are, now stop playing around and open the door, it's not in my nature to hurt kids so you'll be save,"

"Get away, I'll never open the door,"

Ross banged the door, "Open the godamn door! you little brat! or I'll blow it down!"


Ross groaned and turned one of the armed men behind him, "blow it down, or hack it open, just open that ****ing door,"

Gina sat down on the pilots chair and clutched her hair, she was trapped, no one was going to rescue her, and she had no idea what was going to happen to Heather and Alex, frantically she searched for a means to escape, the ship was indeed surronded armed guard everywhere and out the only exit stood Ross, if she knew how to fly she could fly the ship but what good would that do, they would just get brought down, under the seat of the co-pilots chair Gina picked up Diego's spare gun she clutched it, it being her only hope. Gina froze when the control's for the door began to beep, they were hacking in. Biting her bottom lip Gina stood before the door and shakenly pointed the gun, with a hiss the door opened and Ross walked through.

"Oh and whats this?" he said looking down at Gina, "so the little girl has a toy gun, shouldn't you be playing with dolls instead? come on now drop the gun and come with me," Ross reached out his hand and Gina closed her eyes and fired, the shot rang out from around the ship and quickly several armed men marched into the room and surronded Gina. Slowly Gina opened her eyes to see Ross still standing anger in his eyes, and a thin trail of blood coming down from his cheek.

"You little brat!" he yelled grapping Gina by the shirt and pulling her towards him.

"Boss! the girls must remain unharmed," a soilder reminded Ross.

"You! you will become my slave girl, my footstool in my paradise until you reach the age I can sell you off to worst man I could ever find, a hideous fat alien!" Ross threw Gina down in disgust and wiped the blood from his cheek "You could have killed me! you've scarred my face! Put her to sleep," A solider stepped forward with a small tranquilzer gun and with one shot brought Gina down.

Snowva slowly rose to his feet after another mighty shoulder barge from the mishapen beast.

"Bastard," he said to himself, Snowva turned to face his oversized opponent when suddenly was struck with a sharp and familar pain down his back which ripped his shirt, he turned to see the man with the whip laugh to himself as he struck again, Snowva turned to face him and took another whip to the chest.

"Just like old times!" the man said clearing enjoying himself.

Snowva ducked his head and crossed his over his face the lashes cutting into him. "Old times?" Snowva said to himself before suddenly he was taken back many years ago to one of the many times he was dissaplinned, a tall skinny scientist would always act as the displinarian, a bald man with thick glasses who enjoyed nothing more than to whip his subject, the same man was also the head of the experiments done on the three boys and seemed to enjoy his work. "Doctor Steiner?" Snowva said weakly.

"Oh so you remember do you? How touching!" he laughed

"Remember?" Snowva said raising his arm, the whip wrapped round Snowva's arm and he gripped it with his hands ingnore the small blades which decorted the whip. Doctor Steiner desperatly pulled back but Snowva would not let go, "Remember!" Snowva said his voice deep and angry as he rose to his feet, "How could I forget one such as yourself!? Your an evil vile man who enjoyed nothing more than bringing me misery! You would whip us all till tears filled our eyes!" Snowva ripped off his shirt revealing all his hideous scars. "These were all because of you! Now you will gaze upon what you have done while you are destroyed by what you've greated!" Snowva roared pulling back the whip and throwing Steiner to the ground.

"Get him!" Steiner roared in fear, his creatured roared and charged at Snowva looking over his shoulder Snowva caught sight of the creature dropping the whip he stood firm and tensed his arm, his metal knuckleduster sparking, when the beast was within range he turned towards the creature stepping into a powerful punch, putting his whole weight, his whole spirit into the punch Snowva collided with the creatures face, with so much force Snowva felt his hand and arm shatter behind the force aswell as the beasts skull, its head was thrown back the creature fell to the ground before Snowva the back of its head hitting the ground first cracking the concrete as if the creature had just been clotheslined, Snowva looked down at the creature it was unconsious, possibly dead, with anger still in his eyes Snowva turned to Steiner who desperatly scrammbled to safty but not quick enough Snowva grabbed him by the ankle, seen suddenly Snowva was overcome with hunger his skin began to return to normal and he grew extremely weak so much so he could barely stand, he began to breath heavily and he could hear his heart pound in his head slowly going down and the pain in his right arm became great.

"No, not now," Snowva said letting go of Steiner's ankle and collapsing to one knee.

Steiner laughed rising to his feet, "Now then Snowva my boy, looks like you are at a disadvantage, ok everyone you can come in now!" Steiner said and suddenly Snowva was surronded by many armed guards, "I think you should come with us, and don't try to resist," Snowva had no choice but to surrender.

(Final part coming soon, as im going to work...stupid nightshift)

-- Edited by The Underdog at 18:13, 2008-03-07


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Deep in thought, Marcus Fantom stepped out through the sliding doors of the hab and leaned against the smooth concrete wall, his hands in his pockets as he looked out over the Liandri campus and let the cool night breeze wash over him, tugging at his hair and clothes. The residential areas of the campus were alive with activity - knots of tournament competitors moved to and fro between the habs and the grounded starship pens, and clustered around the holo-cinemas and pubs of the arcade. A heavy insistent beat was thudding from the nearest nightclub while holographic adverts whirled and criss-crossed in the air above it. Marcus only paid attention for a second. The grave Alitans were not the most entertaining lot, but since Na Pali the more world-weary Marcus who had returned had found himself unable to get back into the nightlife of a Terran city.

Security cameras followed the gladiators as they jostled their way towards the nightclub doors - a quiet but constant reminder, like the camera drones and patrol skimmers that whined overhead, or the blue-armoured Angels standing guard around the campus, that Liandri was always watching.

Further away the stabbing beams of spotlights swung back and forth across the sky above one of the stadiums, where the live matches were still going on. The cheers of the crowd could be heard faintly over the closer shouts, music and car engines of the night-time campus. Marcus looked up. Hundreds of artificial lights had turned the horizon orange and the stars above were hidden by the rotating holograms and scissoring searchlights of the campus, but he knew that one of those stars chased away by Elsinore's urban light pollution was Ramiel. He heard again the distant roars filtering through from the crowds of the distant stadiums, and wondered how many more times he would have to fight in the arenas before he could afford the trip to Ramiel Prime that cost the equivalent of two years standard wage.

As he turned to go back inside, the noise of the campus continued unabated behind him. The only comparatively quiet area was the wing of frowning hab-blocks that made up the security zone. 8-foot high laser fencing isolated it from the rest of the campus, and Liandri Angels patrolled constantly up and down the perimeter. More Angels guarded the thick blast doors of the building entrances, and they stopped a tall, dark-haired man as he approached one of the habs, until he flashed a pass at them and let the Angels eye-scan him to verify that he was a genuine Liandri agent. The man waited patiently and nodded to the Angels as the doors ground open before him. He made his way down the forbidding metal corridors, bright strip lights illuminating his way, and took a lift down to an underground level with more brightly-lit corridors and rows of plasma-gated cells on either side. Two Liandri Angels stepped forward from either side of the lift and flanked him as he walked. Lurking shapes looked up from their cells as he passed, scores of eyes following his progress up the corridor. Many were human, or at least mostly human. Some were not. Some snarled at the Liandri official as he passed. He ignored them.

The steel double-doors ahead led to the quarters of more Liandri gladiators - conscripted psychopaths and criminals for the most part - but the Liandri agent and his two guards stopped before they reached it. A dark figure looked up slowly from where it was sitting inside the cell, the bright overhead lights illuminating a face so pale it almost glowed in the harsh light as the Liandri agent took a data-slate from his pocket and began keying a code into the touchscreen on the wall. The plasma gate flickered and went offline and the two Angels immediately stepped back and brought their combat assault rifles up into their shoulders, taking aim at the cell's occupant. He made no attempt to rise, only waited as the Liandri agent stepped into the cell and held out the data-slate. His face was angular, hollow-cheeked and almost gaunt in the harsh light, but still somehow darkly handsome. His black eyebrows arched downwards in what might have been a predatory stare, but his flat-white eyes, coldly fluorescent as if lit from within, betrayed nothing. Jet black hair framed his face, and his wiry, muscular body was clothed in a black jumpsuit ridged with decorative metal strips, the silver bands carefully aligned to turn aside an incoming blade.

"Azazeal," the Liandri agent addressed the Necris phayder, "The details for your team's next match."

Azazeal merely stared at the man, his eyes following the data-slate as the Liandri agent laid it down on the floor after it became obvious that he was going to make no move to take it. He was studying silently, analysing the scene. The agent was afraid of him, a fear he was being careful to hide, but which the phayder could detect from the subtle signs of his body language. He did not like looking at Azazeal fully revealed in the harsh light - a light that was bright enough to be uncomfortable to the phayder, which was probably why they used it. In darker conditions it would be too easy for the humans to miss a subtle movement that would spell their death. Even in this harsh light, and completely unarmed, Azazeal calculated that he could kill both the agent and his two armed bodyguards before they had time to open fire or to reactivate the plasma gate across his cell entrance. But without a proper authorization code, the explosive collar round his neck would detonate as soon as he crossed the cell's threshold, rendering the effort void. So, he did nothing for the moment. The agent backed out of the cell, not making the mistake of turning his back on the phayder, and the invisible plasma wall ghosted online again before all three humans turned and left.

Once they had gone Azazeal slowly rose and crossed the cell in a few gliding steps, fluid as a cat, every movement laden with menace and the potential for explosive speed. He picked up the data-slate in a pale, long-fingered hand and skimmed over it. In the cells around him his team-mates were stirring. In the cell on his left Azazeal knew was Baraquel, a silent powerhouse of inhuman speed and whipcord muscle. On his right, Karyss - a blademaiden possessed of a dark beauty that hid an even darker mind. Across from her was Malakai, a phayder as deadly at range as he was up close with his nanoblack-coated blades. And in the cell across from Azazeal, Freylis stood up and glided to the barred threshold, a serpentine body clothed in a tight-fitting black bodyglove. The marble-white skin of her face and slender neck contrasted sharply with the black material. Her features were surprisingly delicate, and the long hair that flowed around her head and shoulders like liquid silk was ash grey. Her glowing eyes were almond-shaped and fixed on Azazeal.

"Who are we fighting?" she asked him in Necris. Her voice was light and musical, and somehow all the more disconcerting because of it. In response, Azazeal's lips curved in a wolfish smile.

"Alitans," he replied. His voice was low, soft, and every bit as sinister as the blademaiden's.

Freylis smiled back, "A challenge, then."


Captain Thule: We have yet to meet our betters, alien. All we have seen are deluded tyrants, heretics and alien scum.
Farseer Taldeer: You should have looked beyond your mirror then.


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Cleet twirled his swords a thin trail of blood splashed on the ground and walls at the opposite end of the hallway his masked opponent had retreated several feet an X shape cut into there clothes slowly being over taken by a dark red, spreading over the white shirt. Wiping the blood on his sword with his sleeve Cleet withdrew his short swords smiling to himself he reached into his pocket and took out a ciggarette he covered the lower part of his face as he lit it his face lighting up with an orange light revealing his red skin in full detail, the whole time his sharp eyes now turned a harsh red never looked away from his mysterious opponent his ever analizing eyes had scanned his opponent during there entire fight.

"It's over you can't beat me now, I have analized your fighting style, the weaknesses in your form are in plain few, will admit it took awhile tho, I was worried for a second," paying no attention to Cleet the masked fighter charged. Calmly Cleet flicked aside his ciggarette.

"Your too predictable!" he shouted moving slightly towards the charge allowing his opponents claws to pass by him, Cleet knew it was a risky move considering his opponents speed and couldn't avoid the claws cutting his cheek, quickly the masked opponent clenched there fist but even before they could strike Cleet had grabbed there wrist and in an instant slammed his open palm shattering the mask and sending his opponent flying back.

"See what I mean?" Cleet taunted, "Your attacks are so easy to read you, you like to attack in a routine, provided everything goes to plan, theres no problem, but if something happens to disrupt your routine you panic and make a snap decision, just now you expected me to step back, but instead I stepped forward throwing you off completely,"

"Inviting your opponent to attack and when the opportunity presents itself stirke," Cleet raised an eye brow at his opponents voice, it was definatly a man but his voice was chilling and weak, type of voice you could never trust, steadily he rose to his feet, his face half covered up by his long red hair, from what Cleet could make out his skin pale and sickly, from a distance he looked weak and near death but his eyes glowed with evil and murderous intent.

"So you know maritial arts do you?"

"Indeed, your style is based on a completely rational system that excepts no blood nor tears, a murderous technique that was even used by the common people many thousands of years ago back when it was just common sense that your opponent would have weapons, an Anti-Weapons Maritial Arts Specialist expcept you have mastered it to a whole new level, using the concept of waiting for your opponent developing an Anti-Everything style, you really are a genius, but I define that style as cowerdly,"

"I prefer to compare it to when before a beast hunts his prey, paitenly hides and waits and in an instant if he's even given a small chance he devours his prey whole, why rush a fight? thats what I always say! Rushing leads to defeat,"

"I'd think a user of 'level 2' like yourself would like rush a fight due to the short time it lasts,"

"I've noticed that if you don't rush, it last longer, but even talk we've wasted enough time, I'm ending this!" Cleet charged forward.

"With the time you spent talking I'd say you have, 5...4...3...2...1," the man said with a smile expecting Cleet to stop in his tracks, however his smirk soon changed to shock and terror as Cleet's fist slammed into his face.

"You were saying?" Cleet said walking up to the masked man and standing over his still body, face first into the hard ground. With a satisfied smile Cleet lit up a ciggarette as he began to walk away, when suddenly a hand grabbed his ankle. "Still alive? Count yourself lucky, I've lost interest in you," Suddenly felt a sharp nick in his ankle as the man scratched him, kicking off his hand Cleet turned to him.

"What the hell are you doing?" he asked, but his only reply was manic laugh.

"Hows this for a draw back of level 2, with accelarted blood flow it should take no time at all for my poison to spread through your body,"

"You what!? poisoned from that scratch?" Cleet refused to believe it but suddenly his limbs grew numb and before he knew it he was on his back staring at the roof, still consious his body had mearly gone numb and he could see being surronded by soliders there voice were clear as day, as he got dragged off he heared his opponents voice.

"You lost coward,"

(Sorry know this is taking awhile but should hopefully b all over soon, i just want to write it so dont have to have scene of Diego telling people why they competing when they ask will hopefully save time in the long run)



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Battered and beaten Xan slammed Diego up against the wall, the young mans feet dangling above the ground. Behind them the image of the CEO still loomed on the over sized screen laughing pleasantly to himself.

"Diego, this is just pathetic, you should know you shouldn't hold back against a legend like Xan, you'll get yourself killed, I know for a fact what you can do, now show me how much you've grown these past 4 years, show me the power used to kill Syrus,"

"Y-You really want to see it? The curse you put upon me?" Diego said weakly. Reaching into his jacket Diego produced his minature Tonfa. "I won't disappoint then," he said as his skin started to go red, with a flick Diego's tonfa extended and with a heafty swing he struck Xan across the face with such force Xan released his grip on Diego and fell the ground turning round 180 and falling face first, Diego landed on his feet smoothly and cast off his jacket taking out his other Tonfa and ready for another round.

Although Diego focused all on the rising Xan he heard the CEO clapping on the large screen. "Excellent Diego, so you've learnt to use your gift, what is it you like to call it level 2? Well we call it Experimental Super Soilder Phase 1 or ESSP-1,"

"I prefer level 2, easier to remember," Diego snapped back, "And Phase 1? what does that mean? Are you continuing your experiments? You sick bastard,"

"You guessed right my boy, we already have a fresh batch of young flesh to mold, and why should you be surprised we were doing these experiments before you and continued after you left, and thanks to succeses of you lot we think we can increase our survival rate if only marginal the only downside is the success would slightly weaker than yourselves,"

"Survival rate? Just how many children did you torture?!"

"Lets see now, I think it was, 50 in your batch,"

Diegos eyes widened in rage, he had no idea, he thought he, Snowva and Cleet were the only ones. "50!?"

"Yep from all over the universe, don't worry most were abandoned like Cleet and Snowva, children who were gonna die sooner or later, the others were donations from employees, like yourself."


"Did you not know? Oh yeh thats right all memories of your child hood were erased, never mind then,"

"What happened to the other 47 children?"

"Out of the 50, I believe it was 7 who survived, that was lucky, the batch before you and our first attempt saw no survivors,"

"So there are 4 others? Where are they?"

"Well only 6 of you made it to become teenagers, another died in an unfortuate accident shorty before you escaped, then ofcourse you Cleet and Snowva escaped and the 2 that was left became high ranking Liandri specialists, however about 6 months ago during a mission one of your siblings went missing during a mission, to find you guys actually, we presume she either escaped following your example or died during combat, a shame really she was so close to reaching phase 2 aswell, but never mind I'm sure we'll create another prodigy or you won't let us down, and the last ones as loyal as ever." (In case you havent figured it out the last one is Ross)

"How can you speak about this so casually?! Do you feel no quilt about what you have done!"

"Diego this runs deeper than you could possibly imagin, I have no choice, but lets get down to business now, I have an offer for you, Xan fall back, you've done enough we have gathered enough data," Xan nodded and walked towards the screen and turned to face Diego.

"What's this all about?"

"Diego do you now find it stange that you and your crew infultrated here so easily and that you are still alive,"

"It was all a trap,"

"More than that Diego, the reason I didn't have your ship shot down or I didn't have you all gunned down was because I need you, but first I wanted to see how much you had all improved and I have to say I am very impressed,"

"What the hell could you possibly need me for?"

"Bring them in," The CEO said and suddenly the doors burst open and being led in by several armed guards were Cleet and Snowva, both sporting several wounds and Cleets arms dangled pathetically the paralize poison had only begun to wear off and he only had control of his lower body,

"Sorry Diego," Cleet said with a smile, "Got caught off guard,"

"No worries dude," Diego said, "I was proberly gonna lose aswell,"

"Good, now that we are all here I have on offer for you all, fight in my tournament, under Liandri's name,"

"No ****ing way," all three said calmly.

"Now now boys if you had waited for me to finish my sentence you would find out that you don't have a choice,"

"How the hell could we not have a choice," Diego said angerly

"If you think you can threaten us with our lives," Cleet said more calmed than Diego.

"You're dead wrong," Snowva said with steel in his words

"We don't fear death, heh, our only regret would be dying before you," Diego now calm like Cleet and Snowva.

"You may not care for your lives but what of that of your friends?" The CEO's screen went blank then appearing on screen was was the other members on the screen all unconcious and laid out on what appeared to be lab tables.

"Damn it," Diego said angerly.

"Not a bad haul," the CEO said although his face gone his voice still rang out through out the room, "Don't think I seen a better assembly of attractive women," he laughed.

"What have you done to them?" Cleet demanded.

"Nothing at all, we just put them to sleep as you can see they are all unharmed, must say they are feisty, as strong as they are beautiful, and that Geo ally you have," appearing on screen appeared an infared picture, standing in the middle of a room stood a figure which they could tell was Mander and he appeared to be battling an unknown beast. "He is some fighter to still be fighting the opponent he's facing equally and long after you lot had already lost, but think you have salvation," the screen zoomed out to show the rooms surronding the room mander was in, it was completely surronded by soilders all heavily armed. "I just say the word and its goodbye papa. Now then, what do you say?"

"Fine," Diego said giving in, "We'll fight under your name in the upcoming tornament, just don't you dare harm any one of our friends,"

"Excellent, I knew you would see things my way, ok no harm will come of them and you are all free to go, and I'll see you at the tournament," the armed guards all seperated creating a path to the door, two men undid Snowva and Cleet shackles and the three began to quickly leave the room, hurrying towards there friends, Diego reached his hand towards the door when suddenly the CEO's voice rang through out the room.

"On second thought," Diego froze and along with Snowva and Cleet turned round quickly, this time on the screen appeared an image of a planet, one they all instantly reconised, the one place they could call home, Haven. "I have another offer, I want you all to join me, become my private mercenarys, special employees perhaps,"

Diego, Cleet and Snowva made no argument in their heads they saw Haven dangled in front of them on a string, they could see the CEO's shadowy hand hover around the string holding it above destruction with a pair of scissors ready to cut. "Bow before me, pleadge you're alligance," Grudgely all three young men went down to one knee and bowed their heads before the giant screen the CEO's face appearing once again, the room was then filled by a victorius laugh. Natures Deadiest had challenge Liandri and lost, losing what they held most dear, their freedom.

"Diego? Diego!" Alex called out to Diego  who had been staring aimlessly at his glass for the past while. "HEY!" she shouted snapping Diego to attention, "Well, welcome back to the land of the living, go anywhere nice?" she smiled at him her comforting smile putting Diego's worries at ease like it had always done.

"Sorry, about that, was lost in thought,"

"Could see that," she said edgeing closer to him, "What were you thinking about?"

"Nothing much,"

"Really?" Alex said unconvinced, Diego looked down townwards his glass again, Alex put her head between him and the glass to grab his attention again. "Come on please, tell me whats wrong, I'm really worried about you, your not normally like this, you seem different tonight,"

"What makes you think that?"

"Well for starters we've been out for awhile now and your not even drunk we don't have a match tomorrow so no excuse, and also, several good looking girls have walked in and you havent even made a pass at one of them yet,"

"Man, am I really just an alcohol abusing womanizer? I'm really a bad role model," Diego smiled

"Yep," Alex said putting little thought in her answer, "but you have your good qualities which shine brighter than your faults,"


"You're a good person Diego, one of the greatest guys I know, you're fun, kind, generous, heroic, brave and strong both mentally and physically,"

Diego burst into a laugh, "Whats with all the complements? This all kinda came out of nowhere, You after something?"

Alex took a set back and put her hands on her hips, offended Diego thought she was after something. "What makes you think I'm after something? No Diego I just wanted to let you know what I think of you and what others think of you, and so you know that no matter what you do in your life, you are a good person and those who know that will stick by you no matter what, and I will always be at your side," Alex slipped her hand onto Diegos.

"Thanks Alex," Diego said with a smile taking his hand away from Alex's he dug into his pocket and put something on the bar infront of Alex, it was several cash notes. "I'm away to speak to Cleet, get in the next round by the time I get back,"

Alex sighed and picked up the money but noticed something strange hidden in the notes was a folded up piece of paper, looking around her she hid the note in her pocket and continued to act normally.

Outside Diego found Cleet leaning against the wall at the enterence. "Hey Cleet? Got a spare one of those?"

"I thought you quit?" Cleet said reaching into his pocket and handing Diego a ciggartte and lighting it for him.

"I have, but right now I'll try anything to get over this pathetic feeling I'm having,"


"I feel, trapped, like a prisoner,"

"That sucks man,"

"I know, but we'll get out of it,"

"Ofcourse, we always find a way,"

"It's just a matter of time, just you wait Liandri, I swear, I'll bring you down."



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"DIEGO TURNER!" an angry female voice roared from nowhere, Diego and Cleet sharply looked up to see a stern looking Liandri angel. She appeared in her mid 30s and had short black hair and was masculine in both appearance and attitude

"Whats this about?"

"How dare you address an angel in such an inapropriate manor!"

"Eh?" Diego stepped back puzzled by the mysterious angel as she angerly walked up to him until he found himself pressed against the wall. "What the hell are you on about, I haven't said a thing to you,"

"Oh not me, my subordinates!" she roared pointed back at two other young looking Liandri Angels, they were twins with long blonde hair braided and tied back and red eyes. Diego smiled at the sight of the pair.

Not bad, Diego thought to himself before the masculine Angel pushed him back against the wall grabbing his shirt. "Now listen, I ain't said anything to anybody," he said raising his hands in a defensive manor.

"I heard you with my own ears, and so did they, didn't you guys?"

"Yes ma'am," they said in unison.

"This is a joke!" Diego said his patients tested, but before he could make any move Cleet's hand clasped the wrist of the angel.

"I believe you are mistaken, ma'am, my friend and I were merely having a conversation amougst ourselves, I admit he is abit of a womanizer and a pervert immature enough to act in such a way,"

"Gee, thanks," Diego said to Cleet sarcastically, "Nice choice of words pal,"

"But I do not recall my friend ever saying anything to you're suborinates, now if you would kindly let go of him we will be on our way and you shall not hear from us again tonight,"

Cleets words were followed by a prolonged awkward silence where no one dared move, until eventually the masculine angels tightened her grip on Diego's top. "Resisting arrest now are we?" she said turning her gaze to Cleet with fire blazing in her eyes. "Arrest them both!" she called out the twins springing to action each one grabbing one of Cleet's arms. Cleet dared not fight back and let the twins cuff him. Diego aswell following Cleet's example did not fight back and allowed himself to be slammed face first into the wall and the masculine angel cuffed him.

"What the hells going?!" Gail shouted. "What the hell did you guys do?!"

"You're teamates were rude to Liandri Angels and when approached became increasenly rebelliant and resisted arrest, if you have anything to say you can be arrested along with them,"

"Not even Diego's stupid enough to do that, never mind Cleet, now cut the bull**** and telling me what the **** you are doing with my friends!?"

"Gail drop it," Diego said to her.

"No ****ing way! These Liandri bitches are out of order!" Gail was about to step forward when suddenly Snowva grabbed her from behind and pulled her back to Heather and Alex.

"Thanks Snowva,"

"Snowva you are under arrest aswell," the masculine angel said out of nowhere.

"What? Why?" Cleet protested

"Someone has to take the blame for you're little friends out burst,"

"Little!" Gail roared pushing past Snowva, fire blazing in her eyes, "Who the **** do you think you are? You flat chested, tranvestite, I may be little but I'm twice the women you are, do you seriously think that look is attractive?" Snowva pushed Gail to Alex and Heather who together sturggled to hold her back, Snowva stepped forward allowing himself to be arrested and together with the three angels were led away.

The three boys to there surprise were not led to the prison but found themselves in a block of flats, they were led all the way to the top floor which was strangly guarded by an angel, the masculine angel nodded to her comrade and she moved aside letting them down the hall at the end of the dark corrider was a door which led into quite a comfortable flat. The three angels released there hand cuffs once inside.

"What the hell is this?" Diego asked curiously rubbing his wrists.

"Welcome to our home Nature's deadilest," the masculine angel said taking a seat on a comfy looking chair. Diego looked around, it appeared like a basic apartment, he stood in the middle of kitchen/living room, down the hall was many doors each proberly leading to a bedroom. The living room was full of several comfy chairs and a sofa, the room was decorated in bright colours, Red, Yellow, orange, an obvious reflection on the owners taste, although Diego had to admit it wasn't his thing. "Bet your wondering why we suddenly grabbed you for no reason and took you here,"

Diego took a look at the twins and turned to the masciline angel with a devilish smile. "If it's what I hope then dibs on the twins,"

"You wish," the twins said walking past Diego.

"I'll settle for one," he smiled, and for the first time the masculine angel smiled revealing a differen't side of her.

"I'd appricaite it if you didn't speak like that about my daughters, please take a seat boys, girls get them drinks," The twins entered the kitchen and returned with cold beers and handed one each to the boys.

"Now you're talking," Diego smiled, falling back in a seat next to the masculine angel, Snowva cautiously slowly took a seat furthest away from the angel and expected his beer carefully, Cleet followed suit, sitting in the only remaining seat the sofa, he grew red when the twins sat down at both sides of him.

The masculin angel burst out laughing, "Its ok, you can both relax, we aren't trying to murder you or set you up for anything,"

"I don't think thats whats got Cleet so nervous," Diego laughed along with the angel.

"Girls make him more comfortable,"

"I'm fine," Cleet said quickly, reaching into his pocket but before he could take out a ciggarette one of the twins had already put one in his mouth, and the other lit it. "Umm, thanks."

"Once Jerry arrives all will become clear for you guys,"

"Jerry? Now I get it you guys work for Jerry, wait you mean Jerry is here?"

"Not exactly," the twins said pointing at the wall, suddenly the wall split open to reveal a large screen, the screen flickered at first before Jerry appeared before them.

"Its good to see you all," Jerry greeted them, "I'm sorry if my subordinates were abit a rough on you all, but its was necessary,"

"I understand pal, so whats going on? why did you have to see us so badly?" Diego asked leaning forward on his seat.

"Just to give you an update on everything, in order to get more classified information I've had to make new friends, I've started making contacts in more higher up departments of the corp and steadily I'm getting more and more supporters, now more people support me than Ross,"

"You're some politician," Cleet smiled.

"I do what I can, but anyway the higher up my contacts go the more information I'm getting, I never relised how horrific this company actual is, but that just makes it easier to get allies, those with a heart jump at the chance to bring Liandri down, anyway I confirmed something, the people you all fought that day at HQ were in fact some members of the Laindri 7, however I only know they received an order I don't known any of there idenitys, except that Xan might be one,"

"Doctor Steinier was one of them," Snowva said.

"Doctor Steinier!" Jerry said in shock "Are you sure?"


"Doctor Francious Steinier, Liandri's lead scientist in all areas, wow this info has opened new doors, since a high ranking Liandri offical is a member then other officals might be aswell, I can try and get more information, do you guys have any more info on your opponents?"

"No sorry man,"

"Its no problem, anyway thanks to my new supporters I've managed to establish a safe link with you all, and managed to pull a few strings to have my own Laindri Angels stationed in the tournament compond, let me introduce you too the squad leader Rowena, and her adopted children Mai and May," Cleet looked at the twins at his sides, they were so alike it was impossible to tell them apart.

"I'm Mai,"

"And I'm May," they said raising their hands.

"It's going to be difficult to tell them apart," Cleet sighed

"It's ok from now on Mai will keep her hair braided while May will keep her's in a pony tail," Rowena said to ease Cleet's worries.

"They're both gifted, they have a pernament psychic link," Jerry said with a proud smile, "The one down the hall is Rene,"

"Unfortunatly Rene doesn't speak much, shame she has beautiful voice," Rowena butted in.

"These guys will secretly watch you're backs, don't be afraid to come to them for help, and when they approach you it means I need to speak to ya, I've also found someone to keep an eye on Ross's movements,"

"Thats fine but won't people start to get suspicous if the same Angels arrest us everytime,"

"That was a one off event other meeting will be coverted, well I'm off for now, got lots of work to do, but before I go I'll let you know that my father has completely stepped out of the picture and Ross is in complete control, he does however know of you're level 2 use, he was angry but Haven is still safe, expect a visit from Ross in the near future, bye for now," The screen suddenly went black and disappeared behind the slideing wall.

"Well now that, thats over you guys can be on you're way, unless you want to stay for a few more drinks,"

"No thanks we must get back to our friends they'll be worried,"

"Speaking of them, I shouldn't have to tell you to not tell them about this or else our cover will be blown,"
"No problem I'll inform them via notes to keep them up to date on you guys,"

"Ok oh and feel free to stop by whenever you want, this area is free from Liandri's sights and Jerry keeps us stocked up with luxerys, this place would be a good hiding place should the worst happen."



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(occ - this'll do for now)

<Wheres the mushroom?> Seneca asked in passing to the relaxed lupine solstice slouched in one of the chairs that occupied the social room.  Lune had called everyone together when she had been given the data slate concerning their next match.  They were all present except Lune and Marcus.

<With Commander Battleclaw,> Minqua answered for Nokoni could fully open his muzzle to respond.  <Obviously talking about something that cant be shared with the rest of us.> she rolled her eyes, lifting her hind paws up to rest on the table in front of her chair and crossing her arms. 

Koda and Aino sat across from their fellow team mates; they all watched indifferently as Seneca flopped into the small space left on Ainos chair and maneuvered his head to rest in her lap with a smile.  Aino looked at him with distain, <Grow up> She shoved him from her lap with enough force to throw him off the chair completely.  Minqua grinned with satisfaction at his yelp upon hitting the floor.

Coincidently, Lune and Marcus entered the room at that moment; Lune dismissed Senecas position on the floor without notice and dropped a data slate on the table.  <No sarcastic comment?> Seneca muttered to Marcus who seemed also unfazed by his odd position.

<Our next fight> Lune started. 

<Are you okay?> Aino whispered to Marcus who looked at her and nodded, though she wasnt convinced, he looked pensive about something.

<is against the Twilight Wraiths.> Lune finished ignoring the obvious interruptions.

<Do we know them?> Minqua wrinkled her nose at the name; it wasnt one that she recognized. 

<Its a team of ghosts, isnt it?> Koda recalled the name from the team lists he had studied.  Lune nodded, Aino looked back to Marcus it was obvious that this could be awkward for him.

<A challenge then.> Nokoni grinned evilly, Seneca matched his battle ready attitude.

<You should be cheering, Mushroom, this is your chance to kill some Necris!  You should be as bloodthirsty as the stupid wolf!>  Seneca punched Marcus in the arm, Nokoni would have frowned at the 'stupid' comment but was too excited at the idea of killing necris.

<I am ready> Marcus replied, in Alitan tongue no less but his reply didnt sound as though he was 100% sure of himself, but Seneca was pleased with the response despite this.

<Lets prepare.> Koda clapped his paws together as he stood up.  Everyone smiled, <This is a battle where you can prove yourselves against worry prey, dont disappoint us.>


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<ooc - I like the way Nokoni's response is exactly the same as Freylis' - "A challenge, then" smile>


Despite the formidable presence of the three Liandri Angels, the technician still felt immensely uncomfortable as the Twilight Wraiths glided across the armoury, silently preparing for the match. It was very difficult to tell where the Necris were looking because their eyes were pure white with no visible iris or pupil. And they glowed, as if lit from behind by a cold fire. No natural creature had eyes that glowed like that.

The technician swallowed hard, forcing himself to remember the explosive collars round the phayders' necks that his overseers could detonate at the first sign of trouble. He watched the team leader, Azazeal, ghost across to the weapon lockers. The silver bands that ribbed his armour slid neatly into place as he moved, glittering across his torso, his shoulders, and down the outside of his arms and legs. The wall panel in front of him slid back, revealing a rack of arcane weapons. Liandri had salvaged many Necris weapons from frontier battlefields, or else acquired them in black-market deals with shady rogue traders, and those that werent methodically picked apart by Liandri scientists were painstakingly maintained to add that extra touch of realism to the Tournament's Necris team.

After pulling out two of the metal strips from his waist armour and securing a pair of stilleto daggers in their place, Azazeal selected a jet-black plasma pistol, an organically-lined weapon whose sleek design did not conceal its clearly lethal intent, and paused over a row of segmented silver spears. He slid one of the metal bands out of the chest of his bodyglove, a silver needle the length of a human hand and about a centimetre thick, and picked up a similarly-sized spear from the rack. He twirled the two pieces of metal in his hand thoughtfully, gliding them across the tops of his fingers, before deciding on a far longer spear and placing one of the smaller needles back in the rack and returning the other to its place at his chest. He proceeded to spin the segmented weapon in one hand. The technician and the Angels watched warily as the meter-long tube twirled a silver arc in the air. If he tried to activate the hunter-seeker, the technician thought, he could and would blow the bastard Ghosts head off. But Azazeal merely caught the spear in his fist and slid it down the centre of his back where it locked into place, the jointed segments following the curve of his spine.

Their preferred weapons selected and holstered, the Twilight Wraiths moved without a word to the teleporter platforms. A flashing icon on the technicians control panel notified him that the games masters were ready and the holo-cameras were in position to start filming the match. The technician checked his watch, and tapped a key so that the green bars of light began to track up and down, scanning the Necris team into the game matrix as nanowhite gas hissed through the pipes overhead and down into the arena. The technician became uncomfortably aware that all of the Ghosts was staring at him, luminous white eyes regarding him without a trace of emotion. One of the phayders held out his hand, palm up, and with a swift cut dragged the knife in his other hand across his forearm to coat the blade in poisonous nanoblack.

The technician shivered as the lights around the bases of the teleporter pads winked, then a silent flash engulfed the platform and when it imploded the Twilight Wraiths were gone.

*   *   *

The Sky City arena hovered about a mile above the surface of Elsinore, held in place by four massive turbine jets that created a cushion of air upon which the station floated. The station's lower levels were a warren of ovoid corridors ribbed with support girders. Circular doors that irised open at a gladiator's approach separated the sections and led into well-lit central rooms, while the outer hub was walled with transparisteel windows that gave a spectacular view of the sky outside, the dizzying drop between the station and the ground partially obscured by a thin haze of cloud. Alcoved lifts led up to the open air deck which was dominated by drab-grey prefabricated buildings, their rooms barren and lit only by whatever light filtered through from outside. The air pressure was maintained, and the gladiators screened from the ultra-violet glare of Elsinore's sun, by the faint heat-haze shimmer of a force-field that formed a protective sphere round the station. It kept the nanowhite-saturated atmosphere contained and prevented any gladiator from falling outside the respawning zone. As Lune's agent had cheerfully commented before the match they need not worry if they fell or were blasted off the edges of the arena's top deck, because instead of falling to their permanent deaths they would merely be annihilated on contact with the force-field's protective bubble and then respawned.

Holo-cameras zipped and hovered around the arena, covering every angle so it could be broadcast to the avid fans across the sector. Most of the live stadiums were currently booked for the individual deathmatches, with the showdown between hand-to-hand veteran Soven Irongrip and ex-army commander Malachi Palaznovic receiving particular attention, but the Twilight Wraiths were a popular team and many viewers would doubtless be eager to find out how they fared against the Alitan newcomers.

Azazeal and his Twilight Wraiths cared little for the attention of the humans who morbidly idolised them as the ultimate killing machines. They regrouped in the lower levels as soon as they were teleported in, Azazeal himself making a strange, high-pitched whistling sound that caused the hunter-seeker clamped to his back to spring to life. Transforming fluidly from a rigid spear into a sinuous metallic snake it coiled up around the phayder assassin and hovered, rippling in the air, behind his left shoulder. Holo-cams flitted past on small anti-gravity motors but the hunter-seekers AI was more selective than that and did not dart off after the humming cameras.

In a black flash Freylis and Baraquel appeared either side of the leading Necris, Karyss and Malakai close behind. Slowly, Azazeal turned his head left and right to look at his team-mates.

"Let us hunt." he said simply.


Captain Thule: We have yet to meet our betters, alien. All we have seen are deluded tyrants, heretics and alien scum.
Farseer Taldeer: You should have looked beyond your mirror then.


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Diego turned weekly in his bed, groaning as the constant banging on the door intensived his already banging headache.

"Diego! Diego?" he heard Alex voice call out from behind the door. Choosing to ignore her calls Diego curled under his sheets placing a pillow on his exposed ear. He opened his eyes with the sound of his door sliding open.

"G-Gail, you can't just walk into someones room," Alex said in disbelieve. Ignoring Alex Gail approached Diego's bed placing one foor on it he smirked before kicking the lup hiding under the covers.

"Hey, its rude to ignore a lady," Diego peeked his eyes above his covers.

"It's even ruder to barge into someones room and kick them while they sleep, this early in the morning."

"Morning? Its the afternoon! Now you've stalled long enough you gotta get up if you want to catch any of todays matches."

"Why would I want to do that?"

"Because the Twilight Wraiths are fighting today,"

"The who?"

"They're Necris,"


"And don't you think they would be tough to beat? Shouldn't we study how they fight?"

"Necris, once you've seen one you've seen them all,"

"Diego, don't you think you should take this tournament more seriously?" Diego looked into to Gail's eyes seeing the worry in them and he knew that Alex had passed his letter onto the rest of the crew.

"Ok, ok," he said sitting up, "Just leave so I can get dressed,"

Throwing his jacket over his shoulder Diego left his ship the rest of the crew waiting for him outside.

"Bout time sleepy," Alex called out to him waving.

"Diego you and I need to have a talk," Heather said approaching him sternly. "You drink far too much, it'll effect your health,"

"I didn't drink that much more than Cleet or Snowva,"

"Yes you did, Cleet told me,"

"Cleet you weakling," Cleet shurgged his shoulders.

"But I am getting worried for all of you, Cleet you smoke too much, Diego you drink too much and Snowva you don't eat right for a man your size,"

"Cut us some slack Heather," Cleet pleaded

"While you three are in my care I ain't going to cut any slack,"

"Why aren't you giving anyone else harassment?" Diego complained

"Cause everyone else listens to what I say and are healthy,"

"Man Cleet your girlfriend is a real hard ass,"

"Ah good you are all on the move, I hope I'm not interupting something," Ross's voice called out to them. Natures Deadiest all turned round sporting serious faces. "Long time you see ladies," Ross smiled politly, "You are all looking well," Heather and Alex remembering all to well what happened last time they met Ross angerily stepped forward, however were haulted by Diego and Cleet.

"To what do we owe this pleasure, Sir," Diego said bitterly, Ross however ignored Diego's words and smiled down at Gina who hid behind her father. Mander now knowing exactly what Ross put Gina through stepped forward in a intimidating manor.

"So you must be Mander, I've heard much about you, and must say I am a great fan of yours," Ross extended his hand to Mander who refused to acknowledge it and instead stepped forward to square down the smaller Ross. Stepping out from Ross appeared four man of great stature, each wore identicle black suits with a white shirt and Black tie. The fact they were all wearing matching clothes and Black sunglasses with identicle short hair gave the impression they were quadruplets.

To stop a fight breaking out Snowva pulled back Mander. And let Diego step forward, indeed the tention in the hanger was thick and slight mistake could cause all hell to break loose.

"You'll have to forgive my friends here, but with what happened not that long ago still fresh in their heads you must understand their behaviour,"

"Ofcourse, in fact thats why I'm here just now, I hope you all haven't had any lunch for I'm inviting you to my home for a grand feast, and I've also arranged some entertainment, I won't take no for an answer,"

"It's tempting Ross, but we were on our way to watch the fights today,"

"Oh I'm sure you could watch all the highlights later on, now I'll ask again and I won't take no for an answer,"

"Than how can we refuse,"

"Excellent, I've arranged some transport, my bodyquards here will show you,"

Ross's private mansion was located far out of the Linandri tornament complex, and down a well quarded road, I wasn't long until the crew pulled up infront of a grand house, it was enourmous and painted in white and gold colours, the crew were left in aw as the massive front door opened before them, and they were greeted by several maids and butlers, the house was decorated by red velvet, gold, silver and crystals, making the inside almost too bright for one's eyes. Following Ross's bodyguards the crew were led down a massive hall along a red and gold carpet at the end was a small flight of stairs leading to a raised platform, on this platform were two high chairs, decorated in gold and crystals much like the rest of the house. On these chairs were two all too familar faces, Ross and Relenna, they looked down on the rest of the house like a king or queen an obvious hint on how they see themselves against everyone else in the universe, and sneak peak at Ross's fantasised 'paradise'.

"Welcome!" Ross said raising from his chair, "I turst you all remember my wife here,"

"How could I forget my dearest sister," Gail said bitterly.

"Little, Big sister it is so wonderful to see you again, we need a to have long catch up, last time wasn't very glamerous," Relenna rose from her chair and straightened up her short white skirt, she gracefully walked down the steps catching the eye of every male in the room, her long blonde hair sparkled in the light of the mansion and her top split down the middle, leaving very little to the imagination. "Please follow us, the food should be served by now,"

"Diego should we trust them," Alex asked cautiously

"Not as far as we can thrown them," he smiled, "But they wouldn't kill us yet so just play along."

As they followed Ross and Relenna down the hall, Cleet, Snowva and Diego couldn't take they're eyes off Relenna, something she knew all to well.

"Hey Diego," Gail snapped, "You're telling me a plastic doll like that turns you guys on, you are aware those things aren't even real, and Snowva, even you?"

Diego burst out laughing, "No need to get jealous Gail, and Snowva's a man like the rest of us,"

Heather who had been walking next to Cleet hid away her jealousy before finally speaking to Cleet. "Cleet? Is that really the kind of girl you're interested in?"

"Wha-, n-n-no," he said nervously.

"Its ok if that's true, I'll understand, no one could blame you,"

"W-well, no doubt she is attractive, but there's more to it than that, the way she dressed, it just kinda jumps out at ya, you can't help it, plus she's walking ahead, well what I'm trying to say is, uh,"

"If I was like that would you look at me like the way you are looking at her?"

"I don't see what you're getting at, that look is not you,"

"Isn't she beautiful tho?"

"Well yes but I think they're are different kinds of beauty,"

"What if I was to walk ahead, who would you look at, who would you be more interested in?"

(A little inside to Heather's personality, she if proberly by far the most attractive member of the ND girls but is the most insecure)

"Heather..." Cleet said quietly as she walked ahead of him.

"I'd rather walk beside you Cleet," Heather said quietly but enough for him to catch what she said.

"I'd prefer that to," he said but too softly for Heather to hear.

Nature's deadliest where all sat down at a grand table littered with food, after the meal Ross ordered drinks to be dished out and became speaking quite friendly to the crew, asked about the tournament and they're previous adventures, satitfied he sat back on his chair.

"It is truely wonderful to be able to sit with you all like this, I must apologise on what happened at the Liandri HQ, but I'm glad all worked out in the end and no one was badly hurt, it is great now that we can all be allies and have such pleasent evenings,"

The crew all played along with Ross, knowing full well that both them and Ross had different intensions and Ross's hidden threats in his speech were all to clear. "Now I must organise the entertainment, I will go ahead and my bodyquards here will escort you to my arena."

"Arena?" Diego said to himself before being ushered off his seat by one of the bodyguards.

After again walking through main long halls the team found themselves going down an elevator and emerged at what appeared to an arena stand, taking a seat they looked down on a bloodstained fitting pit, in middle Ross stood arms folded, attached to his wastes was a pair of Rapiers, along with a pair of pistols, his belt was decorated with several granades and a shotgun was strapped to his back.

"Something's wrong, this isn't an arena," Mander said examing the area, the fight area was surronded by a circular high wall upon which they all sat, their was little to use for cover, a few rocks which did sport several bullet holes.

"My friends!" Ross shouted out. "Enjoy my show," he smiled before signalling to one of his bodyguards who with a push of a button opened a hidden sliding door in the arena and walking slowly out came 10 unarmed men, they wore dirty and tattered clothing and much were so skinny there clothes hung off them.

"If you fight, I may give you freedom," Ross said to them provoking one man to step forward, but he was quickly riddled with bullet holes and left in a heap by Ross's pistols. Angerly one of the few men still with muscles charged with a roar, Ross coolly grabbed his shotgun and blew off the mans face and all with a smile. "Well if you give me a good fight I'll give you freedom, now don't keep me waiting, or I will slaughter you all," the many men looked at eachother and nodded and together charged at Ross.

"I get it!" Mander said getting the horrified crews attention. "There is no Nanowhite here, this isn't sport, its slaughter,"

"Does he really think this as entertainment for us Diego?" Snowva the most horrifed asked, but Diego kept silent and watched the slaughter below. Ross in return to the slaves group charge entered level 2 and stabbed into everyone with his rapiers at blinding speed, firing off a shot or two when given the chance for a quick change of weaponary, all the while Ross laughed as the mens dying screams gifted his ears and their blood decorated his face, there dreams of freedom shattering at the tip of Ross's blade, suddenly the onslaught stopped as the two remaining men began to circle Ross, one dared to attack and felt Ross's blade pierce into his chest. Turning to the final man Ross smiled. "I'll give you a chance," he said throwing one Rapier at the man, the fixed eyes on the weapon coming towards him and failed to notice Ross step in, grabbing the man he dug his sword into his chest, and to put him out his misery, snapped his neck. Ross with a satisfied smile looked up at Nature's deadliest, behind him one man still barely alive groaned trying to crawl away, Ross without taking his eyes of Diego, grabbed a granade and threw it over his head, it landed directly infront of the survivors face perform explouding without mercy.

"Diego what to you make of this?" Cleet asked his friend.

"A threat..."


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<Part 1 - Part 2 coming soon>

"I must not fear," Marcus whispered to himself, "Fear is the mind-killer. I will face my fear, I will let it pass through me..."

He felt almost like he was in a dream as he and the Battleclaws fanned out around the central hub of the interior of the airborne arena, Lune and Koda skidding to their knees either side of the corridor to provide covering fire while the others advanced.

Marcus' feelings were complex. After seeing the Twilight Wraiths plastered morbidly across a Tournament poster back on Acheron, he had known ever since signing up to the Alitan team that facing the Necris once again was a strong possibility. Part of him was almost glad of the chance to exact another small piece of revenge on them in return for the Nali and the Kran. He wanted to hurt them. Even if it was futile and he couldn't really kill them.

The Necris were a sharp reminder of why he had entered the Tournament in the first place. Even as he played scenes of Necris death over in his mind and took a savage pleasure from them, he was reminded what he was really here to do. Win enough credits for passage to Ramiel. Find Luthienne. And then if there was anything they could do for the Nali, find a way.

The fact that he was still here reminded him that so far he had achieved none of these, and he felt frustrated, wondering how many more times he would have to fight in this perverse tournament before he could even start.

He was also terrified. The Nali litany gave him focus, but all the same he hated the eerie calm that pervaded the arena before their first contact with the Twilight Wraiths. The trouble was he knew that once they did meet them, things would get much, much worse.

The nightmare was not long in coming. Without any warning a bolt of green fire flashed down the corridor, punching into the outside wall and sending up a spray of molten metal.

<Contact!> yelled Nokoni, and his shotgun barked in the confined space as the other Alitans scattered for cover. More energy bolts sang down the corridor, smacking into the walls and floor with a hiss of vaporised metal.

Marcus dived into the cover provided by one of the metal girders ribbing the corridor. Peering out he saw them, three Necris phayders further up the corridor, black shadows thrown into sharp relief by the glowing plasma spitting from their weapons, their emotionless white eyes glowing like windows into hell.

Anger surged through him. These Necris phayders were the embodiment of all the fear and suffering he had endured on Na Pali. The race that had terrorised so many human planets. The race that had enslaved the Nali. Who had slaughtered his entire crew.

Shouting a wordless battle-cry he squeezed the trigger of his ASMD, sending a lance of blue energy streaking up the corridor. The Phayder he had been aiming at moved like black lightning, jinking out of the beam's path. Damn, these Ghosts were fast. Even by Necris standards.

Alternating flashes were dancing around the twin muzzles of Lune's gunblades as she tracked one of the phayders up the hall. The alien launched himself into the air and corkscrewed through the sizzling firestorm, bullets whining past beneath him. He landed on the Serellian commander and there was a flash of blade contact that was too fast for Marcus' eyes to follow, then both combatants were sprawling on the floor. Nokoni, Koda and Aino pivoted as one and even a Phayder couldnt dodge the hail of fire that they poured into him, ripping him apart.

A fan of glittering green blasts ripped across the wall, forcing Marcus to duck back behind his girder, and then in a black flash the two remaining Phayders were gone.

<Upstairs, they're falling back to the roof!> Aino yelled. Behind her Koda ran to his commander's side as the bullet-riddled Necris evanesced in a haze of nanowhite.

<Are you alright?> he asked his sister, his voice urgent.

Lune lurched to her feet. The Phayder's blade had cut through the polymer of her assault vest and drawn blood from her torso but she seemed to be fine - luckily it appeared that the Phayder's weapon had not been poisoned with nanoblack.

<Fine,> she snapped, but smiled as she showed Koda her gunblade, streaked with nanoblack where she had cut her opponent in return, <Come on!>

They regrouped and rode the lift up to the open deck atop the hovering sky-station. The Alitans blinked, their pupils contracting in the harsh light of Elsinore's sun. In that moment of blindness the Twilight Wraiths struck, dropping from their hiding places on the roofs and window-frames of the blocky grey prefabs that crowded the open deck.

A blademaiden with ash-grey hair streaming around her face dived two storeys to land in a spider-like crouch and fire her plasma pistol in the same motion. The blast caught Koda full in the chest, slamming him backwards over the edge of the open deck so that he fell screaming into the sky. Lune saw him fall, saw one of the holo-cameras swoop after him and felt helpless rage grip her at the thought of the camera following just to watch him die, but in the same instant that she imagined her brother crashing into the shield bubble below and vaporising in a mist of blood and a brief crackle of disturbed energy fields she also knew that she could do nothing about it. She turned back and opened fire on a Phayder as he came flipping through the air towards her. In the brief second before contact her fierce feline eyes met his flat white ones, and she recognised his face from her briefing slate. His black hair fell across one coldly-glowing eye in a face that was gaunt but darkly handsome. Malakai, a voice at the back of her mind told her, and she bared her teeth at him as she met the Necris warrior blade to blade.

Nokoni came up firing from the platform lift, immediately throwing his massive bulk to one side as several energy bolts converged on his position. He racked the slide on his shotgun and fired another heavy slug from prone as he rolled across the ground. Baraquel sidestepped effortlessly before diving headfirst into a lift shaft and vanishing almost before the shell had shattered itself against the concrete wall behind. A hunter-seeker darted out of nowhere, transfixing Aino through her unarmoured throat like a silver spear. Marcus dived the other way, instinctively looking up to include the building roofs in his sweep for enemies as he tried to cover every possible threat at once. The blademaiden Karyss detached herself from the shadows and dived towards him from the upper level of the building, poisoned blades glinting.

Marcus' heartbeat was pounding in his ears. He had been covering the first-floor windows with his ASMD when Karyss had dropped from the roof. In the split-second it would take him to raise his weapon to try and track her decent he would be dead. The shock rifle's rate of fire was too low for more than a single shot. All this he knew instantly, without thinking. His combat experience kicked in even though the rest of his mind was paralysed. At the exact moment that the blademaiden dropped into his line of fire, he pulled the trigger.

It was almost too close. Her outstretched blades were mere inches from his face when the incandescent energy bolt seared through her, blasting her backwards. She fell back, oily nanoblack standing out sharply against her alabaster skin. Marcus' mind finally caught up with him and he yelled aloud, half in defiance and half in terrified rage.

The firing stopped as once again the Twilight Wraiths broke off and melted away into the lower levels. A parting shot from Lune caught one Phayder in midair as he backflipped towards the lift shaft the other Necris had just disappeared into, causing his now-dead weight to tumble off the edge of the deck and down out of sight.

<Cowards!> Nokoni roared after the vanished Phayders, <Are hit and run ambushes all you can do!?>

Lune silenced the lupine with a glance. Nevertheless her own frustration was palpable as she turned to Marcus.

"The nickname you humans give to the Necris is accurate. It is like fighting ghosts."

"When they decide to really hit you, you'll know about it." Marcus warned her.

<Come on, we're wasting time!> hissed Koda.

They rode the lift down again and spread out through the warren of corridors, advancing quickly but cautiously after the Twilight Wraiths. Lune was prowling round the outer hub, her gunblades held out in front of her at full extension and glittering in the sunlight that sifted through the slanted transparisteel windows, and she whirled as one of the circular doors on the inner wall hissed open. She held her fire as Koda strafed out into the circular corridor, his eyes sweeping left and right. Lune looked at him and nodded silently, and the two stalked forward as the rest of their team fell in behind them.

-- Edited by [BOSS]Fenix at 21:14, 2008-05-10


Captain Thule: We have yet to meet our betters, alien. All we have seen are deluded tyrants, heretics and alien scum.
Farseer Taldeer: You should have looked beyond your mirror then.


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Okay, heres what my post was SUPPOSED to be if i could find the time to write it:

So, Deunan = Aino
Minqua gave Aino her shotgun to use in the battle since she wasn't in it.

The first part of the video where everyone gets their heads smushed and generall ass kicked, isn't part of the post.
It starts where 'Aino' is on her own and the landmates rain down from above her.  Then the fight scene that follows is here bit :p   So thats...2.10 in.

Obviously the tank at 3.25 isn't a tank...its one of the TW with a machine gun or something, use your imagination.

Then everyone jumps in to help ^_^
I don't have any reason why they weren't there to help other then Aino's cool, end of story :p

Byebye ^^



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Painful screams rang throughout the Liandri lab.

"You bastards! What are you doing to me!?" Blakes voice roared angerly between agonised screams. He lay strapped on a table surronded by many masked scienitists.

"Administer more painkillers," one said to the other. "At this rate he will pass out from the pain, he must remain awake for this to work," the scientist turned to the heart monitor it beeped manically Blakes heart rate and blood preasure sky rocketing. "relax Blake soon your body will become used to the chemicals and the enhancers will fortifie your vital organs."

"Steiner Sir, are you sure this will work? He could die,"

"Then he'll simply be another failed experiment, but I've gone through this progress many times and I'm sure this one will survive my new enhancers are flawless."

"This screaming is hurting my ears," an angered scientist spoke out, "could we not simply put him to sleep? The painkillers are doing no good,"

"No! he must remain conscious for the faster result and conscious subjects always seem to last longer, now bite your tongue and deal with it," Steiner turned to Blake. "Now Blake hows the pain?"

"**** you! ****er! You ****ing maniacs! I'll kill you all!" Blake roared with gritted teeth, but this time it did not follow with a agonising scream but with an uncomfortable groan.

"I see, so the pain is decreasing, soon it will vanish all together and you will drift off to sleep and when you awake you will feel I new man, congradulations everyone! We have a success," the scientist all applauded one and another, and Blake soon realized Steiner was right, the pain was vanishing fast now all that bothered him was a pounding pulse in his head, exhausted Blake drifted off to sleep.

Several hours later Blake awoke in an empty cell like room, laying on a soft mattress, he held his head which was plagued by a heavy pulsing sound. "What the hell?" he said to himself as slowly his eyes opened, everything appeared to be dyed a clear blood red colour. "What the **** is this? All I see is red?" he said to himself in a panic, suddenly Blake heard footsteps coming down the hall outside his thick cell door as clear as day, with a creak the door opened slowly and walking in came an two scientists one armed with a handgun.

"How do you feel Blake," Steiner said stepping forward.

"I have a strange pounding in my head and all I see is read, just what the hell did you do to me?"

"You are about to find out," Steiner smiled signalling to the armed scientist who immediatly opened fire, Blakes eyes widened as he saw the bullet travel towards, seeing the bullet coming he moved his body the bullet passing by him and in a blink ran towards the armed scientist throwing him across the room, he then turned to steiner grabbing him by his lap coat and with ease lifting him off his feet.

"What the hell are you trying to do," Blake said shaking the calm looking scientist.

"Now do you see what we have done?" Steiner smiled, Blake was hit by the answer and lowered Steiner to the floor.

"Everything moves slower, I could see the bullets path and dodged it with ease,"

"Nothing has slowed down Blake, you have simply gotten faster, on top of that you have grown stronger, unfortunatly it doesnt seem to have made your mind any sharper, the pounding you will get used to it, unfortunatly this change is permnament unlike Diego you can't turn it on and off at will, and as for the red vision," Steiner reached into his lap coat taking out a pair of black glasses, "Try these on," Blake put on the glasses and to his surprise his vision turned to normal.

"You are now ready to return to your team and this should give you a great advantage over the rest of the competitors but remember one thing, you owe Liandri for this and will now forever be part of our company."


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<The TW don't use machine guns, so I've replaced the tank with Azazeal's hunter-seeker>

Aino dived and rolled, the hunter-seeker streaking lethally through the space where her head had been a split-second before. It skidded in midair, whipping back towards her, but then a single perfect shot blew it into a shower of silver fragments. Both Aino and Azazeal looked up to see Lune flip down from above, landing cat-like on the metal floor panels with her still-smoking gunblades held out like extensions of her arms.

<You can picture the scene - the first few bars of "Wake Up" by Rage Against The Machine start playing as the camera pans up Lune's body>

Gunfire shattered down from all directions as the rest of the Battleclaws arrived on the scene, but Azazeal reacted faster than anyone should. With an explosive spring the Necris leader launched himself upwards and for a second he seemed to hang suspended in the air, spinning like a corkscrew as bullets hissed past above and below him. He dropped as a brief flash of light crackled in the centre of the room, seized the replacement hunter-seeker that had just been teleported in for him out of midair without breaking stride, and in a flash of black he was gone.

The Alitans fanned out to secure the room, guns braced against their shoulders, but all was now quiet save for the thrumming of the station's massive turbines. Lune made a point of turning to one of the hovering holo-cameras and baring her fangs in a victorious smile.

<Thanks, Commander.> Aino gasped. She was breathing heavily from exertion. Necris blood was spattered across her face, and the sticky black liquid was cold and burned her skin through her fur. She scrubbed at it with a forepaw.

<Good work Nyantooth,> Lune replied, nodding to the dissolving Necris bodies that Aino had aced with Minqua's shotgun, putting the Battleclaws several kills ahead.

<I thought you said when they hit us we would know about it?> Nokoni scoffed to Marcus.

<Shut it Blackfoot,> Lune snapped, <This isn't over yet. Sweep the lower levels, attack pattern sigma.>

They had barely got as far as the next hallway when Freylis and Malakai spun out from behind two of the girders ribbing the corridors, javelins of green fire spitting from their weapons. Koda flew backwards, silhouetted against the light of his own destruction as one of the deadly energy bolts punched a smoking hole in his chest armour. Lune returned fire with both gunblades, and a trail of sparking ricochets chased Malakai as he somersaulted across the floor, followed a heartbeat later by a spray of namoblack as the bullets tore into the Phayder.

A stray shot punched into the transparisteel window, sending a spider web of cracks snaking out across the glass. With a groan and then a shattering roar the pane splintered. The outside air pressure was not as low as it would have otherwise been thanks to the pressurised, nanowhite-filled bubble contained by the station's force field, but the pressure difference was still sufficient to send the cloud of glass shards whirling lethally down the corridor. Lune and Aino threw themselves flat as the air boomed out through the shattered window. Marcus, twisting away from the stinging shards that scythed past him, was lifted off his feet as a nanoblack-coated dagger thanked into him faster than a bullet. It found a joint in the black carapace of his Alitan armour, and he spasmed from the toxin as he slammed into the window frame before cartwheeling brokenly out of sight.

Freylis had darted from the cover of the girder under the cover of the shattering glass and now she dived left into the central hub, the circular doors irising open before her.

<Nokoni, take point!> roared Lune, and the lupine Solstice let out a deafening howl as he charged through the still-open door and filled the corridor with red-hot shotgun pellets. The spread of shot whined over Freylis as she dropped and rolled across the floor, her ash-coloured hair flying around her face as she brought her arm round and fired from prone to burn a hole straight through the meat of Nokoni's thigh. Nokoni went down hard in the centre of the corridor, roaring in pain.

Koda appeared, using the doorframe as cover as he opened fire on Freylis. A spread of glittering emerald blasts ripped up the corridor in response, forcing him back into cover behind the door. The blademaiden executed a swift backward roll to regain her feet and sprinted away.

A newly-respawned Marcus came running up just in time to see Freylis disappear, and Lune make a slashing gesture down the corridor with one arm to urge her team to pursue. He saw Nokoni lying wounded in the middle of the corridor, and the memory from the Kran hit him like a hammer. He remembered Tom Reynor lying in the docking bay, his chest soaked in blood, and Luthienne screaming, and Tom gasping two words at her through crushed lips:


He darted forward, physically grabbing Lune and hauling her back through the doorway. The Serellian commander whirled to face him, teeth bared and claws extended.

<Fantom, what the...!> she snarled.

<Trap.> Marcus hissed, gesturing with one hand.

Lune sheathed her claws, "You're sure?"

"I know how Necris fight. Trust me. Wait here."

Before she could say anything more he had darted further along the outer hub to another door. ASMD raised, he stepped through, crouching low and hugging the wall as he took the more circuitous route round the central hub. Peering round a crate-strewn corridor that crossed the one Nokoni was still lying in, he saw exactly what he had feared. One of the Phayders, Baraquel, was waiting in ambush further up the corridor. One of the lights had failed and another was strobing erratically, criss-crossing the corridor with angular shadows. Baraquel had cloaked himself in the gloom, blending in effortlessly as if he were part of the shadows himself. His body stance was a predatory crouch and his muscles were visibly taut beneath his black bodyglove as he waited for the Battleclaws to step out into the open. Even though Baraquel had his back to him, and in spite of all his experience, it took Marcus a conscious effort not to recoil from the palpable menace of the Necris Phayder. With all the stealth he had learned on Na Pali he sidestepped out from behind the wall to give himself a clear shot, moving as silently as any human can be.

The Necris still heard him regardless.

Baraquel spun round with lightning speed, the glowing white eyes at the centre of his angular face set in the cold stare of a pitiless killer. A bolt of ice-blue energy leapt from the barrel of Marcus' shock rifle and speared right through the Phayder but he kept coming. A sweeping blow from the edge of Baraquel's hand sent Marcus' sleek weapon spinning away across the floor, but Marcus' forearm rose to block the sword in his other hand as it slashed down. The mortally-wounded Phayder's strength failed him and Marcus was able to force the nanoblack-coated blade away from his body, his left hand flying to the hilt of his tarydium knife. The translucent blade flashed as the razor shard of blue crystal jabbed forward once through Baraquel's throat. Nanoblack fountained from the wound, and Marcus stepped back to avoid the spray as he pulled back the knife and let the Necris fall without a sound to the grey deck.

"Clear!" he snarled into his earpiece.

As soon as he had spoken Lune and Koda darted forward into the corridor.

<Can you stand?> Lune asked Nokoni curtly. The lupine Solstice was still on the floor, breathing heavily through gritted fangs. The still-smoking wound from Freylis' plasma pistol had vapourised half the flesh of his right thigh, and the leg was clearly useless.

Without a second thought Lune raised one of her gunblades and put a bullet through Nokoni's forehead, snapping his head back. As the body disintegrated an incredulous Nokoni respawned behind her.

<We have to adapt to the rules of the tournament, Blackfoot,> Lune cut him off before he could speak, <I'd rather be one kill down than fight with only 4 team-members.>

She quickly glanced around her fellow Alitans, but none of them challenged her.

<Now let's move!>


*   *   *

Marcus had retrieved his ASMD and was about to move to rejoin the Battleclaws when the low whine of an antigrav motor made him freeze. He knew instantly that it wasn't one of the holo-cameras; it was too quiet and too low-pitched, a low sinister hum.


Very slowly, Marcus turned his head. There it was, just rounding the corner. It was not lashing through the air in attack mode but drifting quietly, menacingly, looking for targets. It could not detect him while he stayed perfectly still, but its operator was probably not far away. On Na Pali, the Phayders would sometimes send out their hunter-seekers as scouts, but here it was more likely a distraction, or a deadly surprise from another direction when its operator attacked. But where was the Phayder?

Marcus' eyes darted left and right, evaluating all the hiding places he might have chosen himself if waiting in ambush, all the possible angles a surprise attack could come from.


He dived to one side so that the hunter-seeker was between him and where he knew the Phayder to be. The hunter-seeker whipped round but he had already aimed and fired, blasting the metal serpent in half and with a slight shift adjusting his aim to meet the ambushing Phayder who had been using the seeker as a distraction.

The Ghost wasn't there. Marcus realised his mistake too late as his second energy bolt, fired on reflex, streaked harmlessly away. The Phayder was good, better than him, and he knew already that he was dead. He tried anyway, spinning round as the Necris ghosted up behind him, and his shock rifle even recharged in time for him to squeeze off another bolt, but Azazeal easily sidestepped his unaimed shot. Grabbing Marcus by the throat he slammed him up against the steel bulkhead of the corridor wall, punching the stiletto dagger in his other hand up beneath the human's ribs. Marcus gasped for a breath that would not come, and then began to choke as the nanoblack coating Azazeal's blade flooded his system. Azazeal watched coldly as black tendrils clawed their way up Marcus' neck and began to creep across his face, tracing the path of his veins. He made sure that the last thing Marcus saw before his eyes flooded black was his face staring down at him.

Finally, the body stopped spasming and Azazeal released it, letting Marcus slump to the floor at his feet. For the first time, a faint smile crossed the Necris leader's face as he touched his earpiece to contact his fellow Twilight Wraiths.

"Now." Azazeal whispered.


*   *   *

The first warning the Battleclaws had was Aino falling heavily against the wall with three nanoblack darts protruding from her torso, and the Solstice warrior went into a violent seizure as her eyes flooded black and the fur on her face shrivelled back against her skull.


Captain Thule: We have yet to meet our betters, alien. All we have seen are deluded tyrants, heretics and alien scum.
Farseer Taldeer: You should have looked beyond your mirror then.

RP Expert

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Posts: 1565

<Crossfire!> roared Nokoni, pivoting on the spot as black shapes dropped from above to block either end of the corridor, barely even crouching to cushion their fall before coming up with guns blazing. Energy bolts shrieked through the air like daggers of green light. Nanoblack darts whistled, sending the Alitans diving for what little cover there was in the claustrophobic hallway. Koda threw himself sideways behind a support strut as shots from Malakais plasma gun punched into the other side of it. He came face to face with Karyss who had just strafed out of cover at the opposite end of the hall. He ducked and the metal above his head exploded with sparks. Koda returned fire with both gunblades, forcing the blademaiden to run up the wall and kick off to dodge the hail of bullets. A plasma bolt, deliberately aimed, shimmered up to burst one of the strip-lights overhead, showering Lune's team in sparks and causing a holocam to swerve crazily out of the explosion radius. The Alitans' night vision was excellent however and recovered quickly from flash-blindness; further up the hall Nokoni let out a bellowing warcry, his shotgun strobing in the gloom as he fired, racked the slide and fired again, but each deadly blast was a split-second behind the Necris who darted through the crates and pillars ahead.

<Nyantooth, Fantom, where the hell are you!?> Lune yelled into the communicator on her forearm as she ducked behind a crate and flattened herself against it, guns up either side of her head. Marcus, obviously still respawning, didn't reply.

<En route from the outer hub,> came Aino's response, the tigran Solstice leaping forward to run on all fours as she assumed her feral form, <30 seconds!>

Lune gritted her teeth as she ejected spent magazines from her gun blades and slammed home a fresh pair of clips, <We don't have 30 seconds!>

She broke cover with both guns raised, stippling the wall behind Baraquel with bullet holes as she tried to draw a bead on the dodging Necris. Nokoni's shotgun barked once, then clicked dry. He fumbled with the reloads. Freylis swept out from behind cover, forcing the lupine to stumble back into the shelter of a wall alcove as she advanced on him, gun arm outstretched, weapon pulsing green lightning. Koda threw himself at the pale blademaiden in a flying tackle, but she jinked aside so that he flew past her. Koda landed, skidding on his digitigrade paws and spinning to meet Freylis up close where they traded strikes and counterstrikes with dizzying speed.

*   *   *

Marcus and Aino ran towards the sound of gunfire, Marcus sprinting to keep up with the Solstice. A holocam zipped around their heads as they sprinted towards the circular door leading down to the lower level. The door began to iris open as they approached, the shouts and gunshots beyond becoming louder and more urgent.

Before the door was even halfway open, Azazeal came diving through it, rolled, and came up shooting. Marcus and Aino scattered in opposite directions, ducking for cover. Marcus was spun completely round as a plasma bolt glanced off his shoulder plate, and he yelled out as he half-dived half-fell behind a tiled pillar, blood seeping between his fingers as he clutched at the wound. Aino ducked behind a second pillar, shrinking back to her humanoid form and breathing heavily as she held Minqua's shotgun tight against her chest. Bracing the weapon against her shoulder she leaned out and fired twice. Azazeal turned a rapid backflip and landed crouched, beginning to return fire before he had even landed and forcing Aino to duck back into cover as a hail of plasma bolts demolished the tiles on the other side of the pillar.

<Damn it!> she swore aloud. With Azazeal keeping them pinned down here, she and Marcus couldnt help their surrounded and outnumbered team-mates.

*   *   *

Nokoni and Karyss traded shots, alternately spinning out from behind the jumble of crates to blaze away at their antagonist and then ducking back as the other did the same. Nokoni's 12-guage clicked empty again and he roared his frustration, breaking cover and sprinting for the nearest alcove as Karyss' plasma fire stitched through the air behind him. He slammed a paw down on the control mechanism and the door opened. Behind him, jagged runes flashing on her own weapon as its power supply ran empty, Karyss ran after him, pirouetting through the air to clear the crates she had been sheltering behind and hitting the ground running.

*   *   *

Lune and Baraquel strafed across the hallway, the air between them alive with bullets and plasma bolts. Ceramic tiles shattered, metal crates sparked, and chips of molten metal disintegrated off the walls around and behind the two combatants as they ran. Abruptly Baraquel broke off, putting a plasma bolt through a grate on the floor and diving headfirst through the still-glowing hole in the metal. Lune sent a volley of shots blazing after him, but the Necris Phayder had vanished into the corridor below. Kicking aside the twisted remains of the grate, Lune dropped after him. She found herself in a square tunnel, strewn with metal boxes and lit, like the other areas of the arena that didn't have windows to the sky outside, by bright ceiling strip-lights. Baraquel was sprinting away down the tunnel, visible as little more than a black flash as he leapt upwards and kicked between the walls to clear a stack of crates. Lune smiled wolfishly and spun her gunblades up to shoulder height.

*   *   *

Karyss caught up with Nokoni before he reached the door at the other end of the room. She slammed into him from behind in a flying tackle that knocked them both down. Nokoni twisted onto his back, slashing wildly with his clawed forepaw so that Karyss' nanoblack-coated blade went spinning away across the floor. Karyss ducked under his second raking blow and rolled clear, coming up with one hand splayed against the ground and the other thrown wide for balance. Nokoni snarled, locking eyes with the Blademaiden. There was two brief flashes at the edge of Nokoni's vision as the games masters teleported in fresh ammunition for them both. Neither of them made a move to retrieve it.

Nokoni let out a low, guttural laugh, his breath coming in loud snorts that grew in volume as the bones in his muzzle and forelegs began to distend and lengthen. He dropped to all fours, snarling, completing the transformation into a giant grey wolf. Karyss' hauntingly beautiful face gazed back at him impassively, staring Nokoni down with eyes that glowed as cold and hard as diamonds. Simultaneously, they leapt at each other. They collided in midair with bone-breaking force, but Nokoni was the heavier. He howled in triumph as he slammed Karyss back through the air, crashing into the metal deck with the blademaiden underneath him.

*   *   *

Baraquel whirled, pistol braced in both hands, and Lune cursed as she realised she'd been lured into a trap. Lightning reflexes saved her - she dropped her head as she charged and the phosphorescent energy bolts seared harmlessly over her head. She pistoned her feline legs and launched forward, turning a somersault in the air and landing lightly despite her armour. White fire stabbed from both her gunblades.

Even in the confined space Baraquel somehow dodged the first four shots, but the fifth punched through his sternum in a mist of nanoblack. The hit lifted him into the air, slamming him down on his back several metres away. Lune advanced, both guns still outstretched towards the fallen Necris.

Baraquel was still alive, twitching at the centre of a spreading pool of nanoblack. But he did not cry out, and the set of his chiselled features betrayed no pain, only a cold, calm hatred. Even now the wounded Phayder's eyes glowed with malice at the centre of his albino face, boring into Lune like malevolent searchlights. Lune put a clawed foot on Baraquel's chest, aimed her gunblade, and fired until the magazine was empty.

<OOC - And that's actually the end of the match as that makes 10 kills for the Battleclaws :) Let's go do something more interesting>

-- Edited by [BOSS]Fenix at 16:39, 2008-06-24


Captain Thule: We have yet to meet our betters, alien. All we have seen are deluded tyrants, heretics and alien scum.
Farseer Taldeer: You should have looked beyond your mirror then.


Status: Offline
Posts: 1086

Disturbed by what they witnessed at Ross's mansion Natures Deadilest forgetting all about the days matches and seperated there minds troubled. Diego avoiding the busy streets retired to Pop's Pub, alone he sat on stooll at the bar his elbows resting on the polished wood his hand suppoting his head. The bar was quite the days matches still raging around the arena giving Diego much needed peace and quiet.

"Drinking alone Diego?" a familar voice said from behind the bar, looking up slowly Diego met a familar figure indeed, a man not much taller than himself wearing black jeans with a plain white T-shirt, dangling from his neck was a chain which held a silver cross, his facal features were sharp and handsome his black spiked hair sprayed in all directions.

"Walker?" Diego said rising from his seat with a smile. Walker smiled at Diego picking up his empty glass after further inspection Diego smirked as he noticed the towel slung over Walker's shoulder.

"Barkeeping now?" he laughed

"Not entirely, I'm actually competing in the solo tournament I've taken up a job here cause I owned Pop's for helping me escape that incident on Metallic,"

"Yeh, we were seriously worried about you man, we couldn't find your body or nothing,"

"Not as worried as I was for you guys, but I new everything would turn out fi-" Walker suddenly stopped speaking. "Oh sorry, guess things really didn't turn out fine, I'm sorry about Tyler,"

"It's ok, so what provoked you to come here, your an enemy of Liandri aswell, aren't you running a huge risk,"

"Well the thought of competing never once crossed my mind, after Draulic's death I looked forward to living in peace but it wasn't for me, and then suddenly I'm approached by your friend Jerry, he told me all about your situation and his plan to take over Liandri and requested my help, guess I'm destined for battle, I'll go wherever the fighting is,"

"You should have joined my crew, the offers still there,"

"If I join your crew I'll become an even greater target, but I'll still always be there to help you guys out, even in a time like this, think Jerry's trying to gather as many people to support you as possible he's a clever man,"

"He sure is, and thanks Walker," Walker smiled and poured out two glasses,  taking one for himself he and Diego tapped there glasses together.

"Your list of allies increases,"

"The burden is getting lighter already my friend,"


I must get stronger Cleet thought to himself, he stood alone in the training room of the haven, his shirt cast aside he practiced his technique kicking several bags, pausing only to wipe the sweat from his brow. Exhausted Cleet collapesed to the ground breathing heavily.

"That was a heavy work out," Heather called out from the other end of the room. Quickly Cleet gathered his composure sitting himself up. Heather smiled throwing Cleet a bottle of water. "You know I've noticed that ever since the incident at the Liandri HQ you've intensivied your training, why do you try so hard? I wish you wouldn't push yourself so hard."

"The fight at the HQ was an absoulute defeat, that guy I fought he was like nothing I had ever faced before, just when I thought I had won he got me completely by surprise, that won't happen again I must get stronger, also you guys were at major risk I would never forgive myself if something happened to you, uh-I mean," cleet began to stutter causing Heather to laugh. Slowly she walked over to him and kneeling down to his level and started to run her hand down the full length of his hair.

"When was the last time you had a hair cut?"

Heather being so close caused Cleet to blush and his heart started to beat rapidly, "Umm havent had one in nearly four years,"

"No wonder its so long, Cleet?"


"Can I cut it?"

"Did Mander put you up to this?" Cleet smirked


"Yeh, just don't cut it too short,"

Cleet sat slightly uncomfortable as around his hair fell to the ground, Heather did not provide him with a mirror making Cleet worry more on what it will look like, he also questioned Heather's hairdressing skills and whether she had any experiance in the past, but all she would reply was with the simple phrase, trust me.

"There done," Heather said happily stepping back and looking at Cleet from a distance. "Very nice," she said while picking up a mirror and showing Cleet, as promised she did not cut it too short Cleet's hair now only came down to his neck, Cleet himself looked on amazed shorter hair did indeed suit him better.

"Now you don't need that pony tail any more, yeh actually have a guy haircut,"

"Thanks Heather, I actually really like it,"

"Now all we need to do is get rid of these glasses," she smiled bending down to Cleet's level and slowly she took of his glasses revealing his dark eyes in all there splendor. "Cleet, please don't burden yourself with protecting others, ensure your own survival first,"

"I'm not that selfish, you could ask Diego and Snowva the same thing and both would have the same answer." Reaching into his pocket Cleet withdrew a ciggarette putting it in his mouth but before he could raise his lighter Heather removed it from his mouth and quickly leaned in and kissed him. (Yay clap.gif)


Slilently Snowva paced himself though the crowded streets the arena was buzzing with people as the last of the days matches started. Snowva personally had no interest in the violence and walked by the crowds without giving a second look, suddenly an all too familar sound rang in his ear, the lash of whip, curiously he peered round the side of a building, creeping down the ally. He soon came across piles of boxes, he heard the lash again this time followed by the harsh words of a stern sounding women.

"Get up, you worthless slaves, all these boxes need stored by the end of the day! Now move," the sound that followed cut straight to Snowva's soul paining it greatly, the sound of many weak men groaning in pain. Angered Snowva stepped out from the boxes he was hiding behind, the angel and the slaves all Nali payed no notice to the great man.

"Hey you!" the women roared pulling back her whip and angerly slashing it forward, the whip craked off the back of an aging Pali and he yelled out in pain the whip cutting a deep gash down his back. "Did I say you could rest!?"

"P-please," he said weakly "I'm so tired, and this box is to heavy," his voice was soft and sad and Snowva felt great heartache from his pain.

"I said move!" The angel lashed her whip again striking the Nali on the back once more, causing him once again to yell out in pain a second deep gash cut into his back, he collapsed to the ground from both pain and exhaustion. "Get up!" The angel roared in anger raising her whip she lashed once more this time over the whip wrapped itself round Snowva's arm who now stood in front of the Nali protectivly, all the other slaves stopped what they were doing all eyes on Snowva. Without a word Snowva unwrapped the whip throwing it back at the angels, turning round he kneeled down to the injured Nali.

"Are you ok?" he asked concerned. "Here let me help you," the Nali looked on in amazment as this tall stranger effortlessly pushed the large crate.

"Hey! What the hell do you think your doing?!" The angel roared, "I'll give you one warning, stop this at once!" Snowva ignored her words and the angel burst into a fiery rage, pulling back her whip she slashed Snowva hard down the back, all the other slaves finched at the painful sound. Yet surprisenly Snowva carried on and it wasn't long until he had pushed the crate inside the store room. Still without a sound he left the store room and took over another slaves load once again ignoring the harsh lash from the whip.

"Why you! Just who the hell are you! I swear I'll report this," the anger slave driver roared once again pulling back her whip but before she could lash it forward and hand grabbed her wrist.

"What are you thinking? Look at that man, at this rate the crates will be stored in no time, leave him be," Another angel said, "Anyway your releaved, I'll take over," with a growl the harsh angel stormed off her blood boiling.

"You really are a nice guy," the angel this time with a much more soft kind voice. "I've never met a man like you," she said impressed, Snowva turned to see the new slave driver but was suddenly taking by surprise as he reconised her.

"You're one of Jerry's angels, the one guarding the stairs," the girl quarding the stairs was not one to be forgotten she appeared quite shy, hiding most of her face behind her long dark hair, and Rowena was right she did indeed have a beautiful voice. The angel walked past Snowva and kneeled down to the injured Nali and immediatly started patching his wounds.

"I'm sorry for the other angels actions,"

"D-don't mention it," he said shocked.

"W-who are you people?" another Nali said curious.



"Thank you," the Nali all said at once bowing there heads, "If only there were more people like you two."

(next will be a family moment with Mander and Gina)



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Lune turned away from the spreading puddle of nanoblack as Baraquel disappeared to respawn, her ears pricked as she heard the narrator pronounce the battle won quickly followed by echoing cheers from her team mates.  Second later she and her team found themselves teleported out of the arena to hand back their weapons.

Aino, she noticed, was handing Marcus over to paramedics as blood continued to stain his Battleclaw uniform.  Seneca and Minqua had descended from the viewing platform and noticed Lunes passive stare at the human, but more importantly the slight kink in her tail with the fur messed up.  As Marcus was wheeled past Seneca decided to make passing comment, Minqua just laughed at Marcus Alitan reply of bite me.

<Battleclaw, Swiftpaw, get over here.> Koda yelled, the two grumbled and approached their second in command.

<Honour to you, for your successful battle> Minqua saluted to Lune, Seneca followed suit with a half-hearted salute, he was slightly miffed for not having been in the battle.  It didnt help that Nokoni was still howling with excitement and bloodlust from the battle.

<Blackfoot quiet down.  Battleclaw you will be taking Marcus place in the next battle.  Swiftpaw, you and Blackfoot can fight it out for a place.>


Later on that evening, Aino returned from the hospital after relying Lunes message to Marcus of how he must train until he is well enough to fight.  Aino found his objections amusing but explained that it would make him stronger in the end, its how Alitans are, she said.

Seneca grinned at the feral tigress. <Youre real sexy when youre feral.>

Aino rolled her eyes in disgust, <You are such a child.>

<You like it really.> He patted the cushion beside him and she reluctantly padded over and lay down beside him, smiling slightly as he started to purr and brush through her fur with his claws.

Lune and Koda sat in the other room, the commander fixing her tail fur from where Marcus grabbed it.  <Im guessing you cant find any information about this Level 2.> Lune spoke calmly as Koda lent back in his chair and sighed, a warning message appearing on the computer screen after another failed attempt to break into the data files on Liandris mainframe.

<Its ridiculous, I can see the problem but I cant do anything about it.>

<Ha!  You sound like dad.> Both the Serelian went quiet at the mention of their father.  <My apologies, I know you two didnt part on good terms.>

<He was so determined not to let us come here and do thisit was very aggravating.  I wish he could have understood we are doing this for all the Battleclaws not for ourselves.>

<You cant really blame him, after the solstice betrayal.>

<Heh, you know as well as I do that Nakodas son didnt have it in him to do what he admitted, especially without any proper military training.  He would have had to be a crazed lunatic.> Lune opened her mouth to object but Koda continued, <Before we left, there were communications between the cabinet members, rumour was stirring that Nakodas son took the fall for someone else.>

<And how, pray tell, do you know this?>

<I hacked into their computers, obviously.>

<KodaYou cant do things like that, especially to the cabinet.>

<oh come on, you do it too.  Youre the one that showed me how!> Koda laughed.

<Wellyes, but thats not the point Im trying to make.>

<Then what is it?>

<Were nothing but kits in the military, were expendable, information like that is none of our business.  Just accept the lies that they feed us and get on with your job.>

<Well then, Commander, Im removing myself from the next battle to give myself more time to find information on Level 2.>



Both the Serelian ignored each other and went back to their individual tasks; <Kit.> Lune provoked her twin. 

Koda shook his head, <Your tail is still kinked.> He responded with a quick glance.

<You cheeky little> Lune jumped at her twin.


<You any of you hear banging?> Minquas ears twitched at the door leading into the other room.




(occ twins will be twins.  Lune and Koda can be kits as long as their team mates arent around to see it ;)  lol  They wouldnt want to loose the respect from their peons hahahaha.  Anyway thats me for now.)

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