Xenogears: Prelude To Destruction
Dark Angel Chapter 4: Seeker
Torlose, Planetary Union Headquarters
"It will begin soon… correct?" the man said. He and another person sat in a darkened office room. The shades on the windows were pulled, the door was locked, and the only source of light was a small lamp on a desk.
"I have reason to believe so, Senator. Upon my leaving the planet you instructed me to go to, they had just begun to arrive."
"Then the actions of the Council are too little, too late… I warned them of this."
The second man stood up. He wore a black cloak over grey pilot's fatigues, and a metallic mask obscured the lower half of his face. His hair was a brilliant silver, and flowed wildly down his back.
"I believe you, senator." His voice was cold and quiet, like a winter wind. "But reflecting on would-haves and should-haves gets us nowhere." It was also just as unsettling. "I need to know what your new course of action shall be."
The senator also stood up, adjusting his thick glasses as he did. "I'm sure you do, Grey. I can't just pass orders out every other day, though. You know it's dangerous for us to meet like this."
The man shrugged, his ice blue eyes narrowing. "And yet you say my name so casually. I suggest you tell me what you want me to do, or I'll simply take a wild guess… and I doubt you'll enjoy the forward manner of my actions."
The senator sighed, and looked down at his desk. "Fine, then… understood. If the Dominion's already gotten a hold of the specimens… then I need you to follow them. Monitor what they do to them, and send me any and all data you can take."
Grey nodded, and began to walk out of the room. "Very well, Senator… you do, of course, remember our agreement."
"Of course I do… I still have it in a safe place."
"I'll be expecting to have it in my hands as soon as I have taken this job to its finish." With that, he left the room as silently as he had entered.
The senator sat down at his desk, and leaned back in his chair. Sighing, he pulled his glasses off and covered his eyes with one hand. "God forgive me for dealing with that one… but I have no other option… I hope, in the future, that they understand I did this for the Union."
"Bravo. A truly excellent test, I must say. You all pass with flying colors." Zohar said, teleporting all around the room exuberantly. "And does it ever feel good to be released from that stupid robot!"
Cynewulf looked up at the Finori, and then down at the limp bodies of Darrell and Terra, laid side by side on a cot from Zohar's room.
"Are they going to be okay?" he said worriedly.
Zohar glanced at them for a moment, and shrugged. "Yeah, sure. That girl's fine… and I didn't even touch the guy. Do you know how he did that chi attack?"
Cynewulf shook his head. "I doubt he knows."
Zohar thought for a moment. "Huh. Well, he's got the power anyway, and a pass is a pass."
Meryl rested her chin in the palm of one hand, leaning up against a steel wall. "But just how do we get out of here? It's a miracle in itself that the fight didn't bring the entire compound down on us."
"Actually, it's not that surprising. These chambers are soundproofed." Zohar said. "They've been wanting to use the robot for months, but I kept on ordering a test in exchange for my power…" he grinned evilly. "Since then, they've been sending in their elite soldiers about once every week or so."
"And?" Cynewulf asked.
"Well, none of them made it very far. After a little while, they just soundproofed the chamber. I guess it made them feel less guilty to not have to hear them."
"Insane…" Meryl muttered.
"So, you guys are my new masters, basically. Where are we heading? Any place is bound to be more interesting than here."
Cynewulf scratched his head and sat down on the sandy floor of the arena. "Actually, I hadn't planned it out quite that far. All I know is that we need to track down the lavoid Grendel."
"Heh… ha… HA HA HA!!! Good one, Cynewulf, good one!! You think YOU are going to take down a lavoid? What are we talking about here? A Class F? Class D?"
Cynewulf shook his head, and thought for a moment. "Actually, from the reports… I think he's closer to a Class B."
Meryl's and Zohar's eyes widened simultaneously. "Are you totally insane, man?" Zohar asked, looking incredulously at the tall man. "I haven't EVER heard of humans bringing down a Class B… I think my kind helped with a Class C once… but… either way… are you nuts?"
"Seriously, Cyne. I figured that this thing was a Class D, tops, for you to go after it. Seekers just… don't go after high class lavoids." Meryl said.
"Well, I'm going to, and I'd be willing to bet that these two," he motioned at the unconscious pair below them, "will go with me. And Zohar, you're bound to help me out, right?"
Zohar rolled his eyes. " `Bound?' Sorry, no. I'm helping you out because it strikes my fancy… oh well, what could it hurt? Even if you get yourself killed doing this, I don't have a single problem… besides which, you did me a big favor by unanchoring me from that robot. I'll help you out."
Meryl sighed. "If you're really going to go for this, Cyne, we should at least go to Seeker Headquarters."
"You sure… you want to go back there? For one thing, it's a long way off… and besides, we haven't been there in a good 12, 13 years."
"It's been 15, Cyne, and yeah, I'm sure. Besides which, we can pick up the old weapons that way."
Cynewulf scratched his head. "You know I haven't used a TAG in at least as long as we've been gone."
"So? You'll be a bit rusty at first. I've been practicing with regular blades for a while now. I'll get you back up to speed."
"You really think ether weapons are necessary? I mean, we've got the wave existence here."
Zohar spoke up at this point. "And what are you going to anchor me to, genius? That rifle? Hardly a fitting use of my energy."
Cynewulf looked down at Zohar, a curious glint in his eye. "Actually, I've already got a plan for that… but Meryl's right. We're all going to need the ether weapons, and maybe the Seekers there can help Darrell with his chi abilities."
"Who would've thought we'd find a chi-sensitive human from the Union…" Meryl said to herself.
Cynewulf sighed and stood up. "Nobody, probably, but that's hardly the biggest of our concerns right now. Whether or not anyone saw our battle, the Magistrate and that soldier are bound to have been missed by now, and they'll be looking for us. How in the world are we going to get out of here alive?"
Zohar smirked at that, and teleported five or six times around the two Seekers. "I've got a rather obvious solution to that. You guys have ship here?"
Meryl nodded. "I have a cruiser at the Phosys Spaceport. It should be flight-ready."
Zohar nodded. "Good, good. I'll just teleport the lot of you to the Spaceport. Of course, you may look a bit suspicious carrying around two bodies…"
Meryl shook her head. "I doubt that'll be a problem. Just… teleport me to the spaceport, and I'll show you my ship. After that, you can teleport the rest of us straight to it."
"Good idea… just let me `shift into a more appropriate form." Meryl raised an eyebrow at that, but the Finori quickly gave an example of what he was talking about. He waved his arm around in a complicated pattern, and was engulfed in a blast of light. When it cleared, he was about two feet taller, and, for all appearances, seemed to be a lizard-based Demihuman.
"There we are." The new form of Zohar hissed. "We shouldn't have a problem this way. Now then, if you'll come over here…" He pulled Meryl over next to him, and concentrated. After a moment, the two vanished entirely.
"Been a while since I've seen magic…" Cynewulf said, sitting down again as he watched over Darrell and Terra. "Can't really say I've missed it, actually, but I'd guess you two would've liked to see some…"
Mox stepped out of the Phosys Spaceport data center, holding a printed picture in his hand.
`Meryl Sara… the famous trader. According to this, she picked up some crash victims the other day… from down in the southern forest. Could be anybody, I guess… but I've got a hunch that it's not just anybody…' He stretched his arms out, yawning, and looked around him. `Let's see… according to this sheet she lives about half an hour from here… I could probably hire a cab… Hey, who's that?!' He looked at his sheet again, then at the woman walking by him, with demihuman in tow.
`That's Meryl Sara!' He thought, his eyes widening. `What incredible luck! And I'll bet that lizard demihuman is the Union pilot, too!! Ha ha ha!!! The great Mox Garel succeeds again!!' Mox was so busy being relieved at his luck, he hardly noticed as Meryl and the demihuman form of Zohar disappeared from sight into the crowd.
"Hey… what?! No!!" he cried, and ran after them. They were heading for the docks… `They must be trying to get off planet!!!' He thought frantically, running faster. As he did, he ran smack into a tall, green demihuman. It knocked him straight to the ground, and looked at him angrily as he scrambled to his feet.
"Watch where you're going." It said in a low growl. Mox nodded, mumbled some words of apology, and started running again.
All too quickly, he reached the shipyards, only to see Meryl and the demihuman preparing to enter a ship just ahead of them. "Got you now…" he muttered, and started to take off after them. He was stopped by a uniformed guard on his way.
"Hey, wait a second. You can't enter the docks until I see some ID." Mox stared at the man distractedly, still concentrating on Meryl.
"What? Oh, sure, no problem." He reached into his back pocket to pull out his wallet… only to find it gone. "My… my wallet!! Where is it?!!?!"
As the soldier politely directed him back to the spaceport proper, an image of the tall green demihuman he had run into earlier came into his head.
"That… that demihuman picked my pocket!!" he yelped, and broke off in a dead run. If those others got away from him now…
Darrell opened his eyes to be greeted by the sights and sounds of a space cruiser. Gasping sharply, he jumped up. He was in some sort of small bedroom, complete with bunkbeds. Looking around himself, he saw Terra laying asleep on an adjacent bunk. He looked at her for a moment, then, after determining she was indeed fine - a process that took several long, long moments, or so he told himself - he pulled open a metal door into the ship proper. He was greeted by the sight of a small pilot's cabin, with two people sitting in the front chairs.
"Where… are we?" Darrell asked, looking out into the cold depths of space.
Cynewulf and Meryl simultaneously turned around, looks of shock on their faces. As they did, Zohar appeared from nowhere into a chair right next to where Darrell stood.
"Good to see you up and about, Darrell. You've been out a good while." Cynewulf said, clapping the young man on the shoulder. Darrell bit his lip in pain at the strength of the blow, but managed not to say anything about it.
"We're about 6 hours into flight from Yrrs II. Our new friend Zohar was kind enough to help us get off-planet."
Darrell nodded at the finori, and took a seat next to him. "Where are we heading?" he asked.
"The planet of Karonne, about another week's flight away from here." Meryl responded.
"Why? What's there?" Asked Darrell.
Cynewulf sighed. "Well… it's a long story, really, and since you're from the Planetary Union, you couldn't be expected to know a bit of it… but Seeker Headquarters is located on Karonne."
"Again with this `Seeker' stuff. What in the world IS a Seeker, anyway?" Darrell asked.
Meryl flipped a switch on the control panel in front of her, then spun her chair around to face Darrell. "This is a long story… I set the ship on auto pilot for a while, Cyne."
Cynewulf nodded. "Fine by me. Now… where do we begin?" He leaned back in his chair, and rested a hand on his forehead. "You have, I assume, heard of the planet Earth, right?" he asked.
"Yeah… supposed origin point of humanity?" Darrell said, nodding.
"Right. And, of course, also the homeworld of the Lavoid race… the place where they were created."
Darrell's eyes widened. "Yeah, that's right." Meryl said. "The rumors of them originally being meant as a biological weapon are true.
"It's not known exactly when, or how the Earth scientists created them… but they succeeded, beyond their wildest dreams. They made them TOO powerful, in fact…" Cynewulf said.
Meryl nodded. "Over a period spanning a few decades, the Lavoids broke free of their human controllers, under the power of the Lavoid Queen, the first born lavoid, along with a horde of humans… called Farilii, that had been filled with their awful power. They… completely conquered the planet… made it their own."
Cynewulf sighed, and looked up at the ceiling. "About 95% of the population of the planet was killed within a month of their takeover, and 4% of the survivors from that tried to escape the planet, and were killed in the attempt."
"That left the 1% of people left that were determined not to leave, that were determined to fight the Lavoids. Those are the ancestors of the Seekers."
Darrell blinked. "H-how… is such a thing possible?" he said.
"My father and Meryl's father were born on Earth, in the hidden city of Avalon. They managed to escape chasing after a group of the human farilii… called the Shi' Kari… when they left the planet."
"Shi Kari?" Darrell said, raising an eyebrow.
"It's rumored," Meryl began, "that the Shi Kari are the scientists that originally created the Lavoid race, and the first ones to be wholly saturated with Lavoid energy. No one knows for sure… our parents never found them."
"But they, along with a group of about 30 other Earthlings, came to the planet Karonne… about 40 years ago. Meryl and I were among the first children born upon the home of the new Seeker base."
"Since they left, the Seekers have been gathering knowledge about the Lavoids and Ether energy all over the universe. They had quite a reserve built up when Cyne and I left together 15 years ago… but it still wasn't enough to touch a lavoid by itself. Our parents both died trying to kill one… a Class C… just before we left."
Darrell looked down. "Geez… I had no idea so many people stood against the Lavoids… one question, though. What's all this stuff about `classes'?"
Cynewulf gazed out the ship's viewport, his eyes seeming to see something far away. "The Lavoid class system… it's said that the Lavoids themselves use it, which is possibly part of the reason we know about it. Basically, it runs from Class F, which is an incredibly weak version of lavoid not even capable of interstellar travel without a larger lavoid to carry it along, to Class S, a Queen… And their power levels and abilities increase exponentially as you go from class to class. So basically, a class S lavoid is 46,656 times as powerful as a class F… which, if you're doing the math, is an incredible difference in power."
"And what class… is Grendel?" Darrell said quietly.
"We think he's a class B." Meryl said flatly.
"So, to answer your next question, Dar," Zohar suddenly piped in, to everyone's amazement, "Yes, you're all insane, and no, you probably don't have a chance of even living through the encounter, much less actually doing any damage."
Darrell sighed deeply, and left the cabin. "I think I need some more rest, guys…" he said quietly. After he walked out, Cynewulf glanced reproachfully at Zohar.
"You didn't have to say that."
"I like to be truthful. It throws people off." Zohar said, shrugging.
"To think that we CREATED this race of monsters… this insane plague of chaos and destruction… it simply boggles even the most scientific mind. If there was ever a strong argument against the wages of war, and the wages of simply being human, it is contained within the history of that race." - Darrell Shanning, an early journal.
To Chapter 5
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