Bio-Booster Armor Guyver is Copyrighted to Yoshiki Takaya and Tokuma Shoten Publishing Co in Japan and is trademarked to VIZ Communications Inc.. I am using the characters and ideas without permission but am not making any money from this. This fictional work does belong to me.

All reviewers get e-cookies. Yummy, yummy e-cookies!

Thank you to Amaxing for beta-ing.

This is more of a round up chapter, but hey, two chapters in a year, that has to be good, right?

The Conquered
By Jade Tatsu
Chapter XXV - Development

After our alliance with the Kyheenan's became known, other races almost ran to sign up with us. We accepted them all, but our agreements were not always what they desired. We accepted an alliance with the Wesodin Corang, not simply as a place to ship refugees but as a foundation for the was no way for us to make humans a part of their system. That didn't bother us; in fact, it was better that way. It showed that we could adapt to all situations.

The Jraewy, despite their fervent desire to host settlers, refugees: anyone who was human, were not accepted for a relocation agreement. Oh, we could have put enough Zoanoids with any civilians to ensure that everything went smoothly, but it was deemed easier to avoid these problems entirely rather than courting danger. We had learnt, both the Emperor of Earth and the Rebels, that little things like these often raised their heads at the most inopportune times. The Jraewy argued that, because they were bio-energy poor, they could provide a better place to hide. Their weapons however, on casual inspection from Tetsuro and the other human scientists, were not that strong and could be duplicated easily.

It might seem odd that while we refused them settlers and flat out told them their weaponry was inferior that we did make an agreement with them. But the last thing we needed was any race running to the Advents, even one as seemingly harmless as the Jraewy.

Iythra proved her worth when she concluded an alliance on our behalf with the Oranmeir. Ironically, her sister helped. Iythra Habasia is my Gigantic Guyver Engineer who my husband had plucked to safety from space. Iythry Habasis is a Gigantic Guyver Warrior in the service of the Tekki. While that puts them at odds, when it comes to the protection of their planet and their species, they can agree. Their struggle almost mirrors our interactions with the Tekki. On some points we agree absolutely, on others no amount of negotiation or political wrangling could solve them.

While we were concluding alliances, everything else was still moving and everyone had their own agenda. Maxwell kept things on Earth in constant motion. The Tekki never stopped searching for his two goals: the Advents destruction and the Guyver Emperor. Even the spectre of Cronos would return to haunt us.

That's the one thing you must remember about the universe: nothing ever stops.

Aptom frowned. He was back on the Kasd'n Goa, but he didn't feel right. It was nothing to do with his Unit. He'd asked it, and he'd asked Mizuki to check it, and she had pronounced that everything was as it should be between Guyver and Host. As far as she could tell, everything was all right with him. He still didn't feel right though. Something was whispering in his mind. He was used to that. Voices had whispered in his mind all the time and he was adept at keeping them locked away. He was the dominant one in his body and that was all there was to it. That's what made this so odd. This voice wasn't hostile and it wasn't the voice of anyone he had eaten.

It sounded like himself, as if he was trying to tell himself something. But he had nowhere near enough clones anywhere to be able to get a signal to the main body across space. He had clones on Earth, clones on Merrimu and some of the other settlements, and even on Hasiya and Jrae (though he was the only one who knew that). Then, of course, there were clones on that backwater... In short, he had clones in a lot of places, and they were spreading out but there weren't that many. Or there wasn't meant to be. They did not have permission to reproduce that liberally.

One reason he had always somewhat limited how many clones he made was that there was always the possibility of one going rouge. It was a possibility he had never brought up with anyone, but he would be a fool to think that Tetsuro and Agito had not at least thought of the possibility for themselves and how to deal with it. There was only one outcome with a rouge: a fight for supremacy. Aptom was confident he would come out on top. The reasons for this outcome, however, were more complex.

The first reason was that they were rouge and needed the extra numbers to attempt to become superior to him. The second reason was that they thought it would please him. Unless he needed that many clones, Aptom didn't really want them, because when he did reassimilate them, as would happen sooner or later, the information rush could be disorientating.

Aptom growled. The whisper had already been going on for a few days so there really was only one solution. :Fukamachi,: he reached out via his Unit.


:I gotta go to Earth,: Aptom explained shortly.

:What's up?: The young man seemed genuinely concerned.

:Not sure. Something feels wrong.:

:Do you want help?:

:Nah, I'll be fine,: Aptom dismissed the offer. :If anything does come up, I'll call.:

:Okay,: Sho said easily and Aptom grinned to himself. If he was dealing with a heap of clones, he really didn't want the others to see. With a small sigh, he summoned his armour, then summoned a Gigantic Unit and with a flash of light he was gone.

Aptom appeared on Earth and dismissed his armour before taking a deep breath. He wasn't sure about the others, but to him Earth smelt different. He wouldn't say it was comforting, but it was familiar. As he'd intended he'd materialised in a deserted area and after a quick look around to confirm that he was alone, he closed his eyes and concentrated.

The Hyper Zoanoid was hard pressed to suppress a growl as echoes came back to him. The only consolation was that the echoes were all subservient to him as the original and were surprised to see him. There were other echoes from those who were not aware of his cells inside them, but on the whole, while there were many more clones of him that he had authorised, they were controlled.

Aptom sighed as he questioned a few. They told him matter-of-factly how they had been generated. Maxwell had asked questions and gotten answers, and then he had acted on the information. It was an elegant solution, Aptom admitted, letting his clones take over those who were dying or badly injured so that they could fight back at the Advents. His cells provided instant healing and advanced zoanoid abilities, all for the tiny price of giving up yourself. For those who were dying or incapacitated, that was hardly a price at all! The Hyper Zoanoid understood the anger of the humans who could not fight back against the Advents. He'd lived that anger every day he was in Chronos. But the fact that there were so many clones now left him feeling rather tentative. He really didn't want to absorb that many human memories.

:You will always be in control, master,: his Unit whispered to him and he was a little surprised to hear it so clearly but he understood what it meant. The Guyvers themselves would help him if he needed it.

Aptom wondered if he should bother to track down Maxwell, but he shook his head realising that was not necessary. He knew what the echo was and, really, it was a good idea, one that he could develop further if needed. His clones had not disobeyed any of his orders, and defeating the Advents was the primary goal. After that, he could see what he should do with them all.

With another sigh, Aptom recalled his Guyver Unit and his Gigantic unit, and with a small swirl of air he returned to the Kyheenan ship, reaching out to touch Fukamachi to let the young man know he had returned.

Everything on Earth was going well, and there was nothing more he could do there. It was now his turn to make the alterations in space. If he could create a near infinite amount of clones and still control them, he did rather look forward to watching the Advents run!

Tsuyosa lay back. He had much of himself extended around the universe, and every now and then he needed to listen. His little shadow leaf troops watched and waited and attacked Advents when they passed, but in their watching they observed the comings and goings of many other races. He liked to keep track of everything. It showed him who was allying with who, who traded with whom, and who was about to go to war.

As he concentrated, he assimilated the information. Initially the information seemed routine as his leaf soldiers relayed the information in chronological order. Then he got to the coming of the Terrans. They initially appeared without much fanfare, but it did not remain that way. Soon, every race was sending messages to and fro, and every race seemed to be moving inordinate amounts of military ships. The Xardan, the Psuadas, the Jraewy, the Kyheenan's, the Mangorans, the Corang, the Wesodin... Everyone was building their military, and had begun building it soon after the Terrans had appeared. The Terrans themselves had more ships going between planets, though the predominant route was between Terra and their original colony world. From there, Tekki could feel other ships travelling onwards. They were being ambitious, and it was an ambition he could let be. Alkanphel had wanted humans to survive. It was a wish those who currently ruled the Terrans shared, and they were doing what they could to ensure it. He wondered though, what they really felt about zoanoids.

It was interesting, and Tekki honestly couldn't remember if this was a change from the time he came from. In the past, he just hadn't been paying that much attention to the other species, or even to his own. It would mean, though, that the Terrans could potentially conclude many more alliances with races that were armed and ready to fight. None of those races would really understand the cost of the conflict they were entering into. It may also mean that the Advents would discover that their next targets, the advanced races, were actually waiting for them.

Tsuyosa had expected to lose at least a few more species as he fought the Advents, since he wasn't interested in saving anyone. What did he care if they fought the Advents or not, they were all too weak to help him. Oh, a race like the Kyheenan's may take out one or two Advents, but they could do nothing more than that, no matter how much they tried. Now though, if alien forces were augmented with Terran troops... that was potentially a very different matter.

He frowned as he considered the building military forces. Other races fighting the Advents would help him, even if they only found the ancient race for him, but they may yet help him in another way. He had located most of the ranked Guyvers in the universe. In fact, he'd been waiting for the Terrans for just that reason, because their coming was linked to the creation of the Guyvers mistake. But beyond that, since he already knew which Terrans were the ranked Guyver Units, this increased state of universal conflict may bring out the one ranked Guyver he could not find. There was one Guyver Emperor, nine Guyver Lords, three of each type, and there were twenty one Gigantic Guyvers, two to serve each Lord and three to serve the Emperor. Tekki had recruited those he could and located those he would have to take by force... All except for one!

There was one Guyver Lord Healer he could not find, and no matter how many leaf troops he made to spy on the galaxy, that Healer remained unknown. It was a slim chance, perhaps, that the increased conflict would bring them out, but it was something he'd have to gamble on. Until he could find that missing Guyver Lord Healer, he could not start to bring in the truly powerful Guyvers. He could hold Guyvers like Vensa and Tallowa's fellow Mangoran even though they were Gigantic Guyver Warriors easily. He could hold the Kyheenan Gigantic Guyver Engineer Tarnsi just as easily and could hold even Healers, but he could not hold any Guyver that had a human base! He could hold them for a short time, yes, but eventually they would escape. They would have to choose to follow him and they had proven that they were all loyal to the Guyver Emperor. While it was pleasing that he would not have to go against the Terrans yet, Tekki did not delude himself into thinking that the situation would last forever. It would perhaps be best to get it over with so that they could start anew. Once they saw, once they understood, they would know he had been right to oppose the Guyvers choice to place an Emperor over them all.

He hoped though, that he found the missing Guyver Lord before the Advents were defeated. Tsuyosa was a realist. Some of those who followed him agreed, the Advents had to be stopped. But others followed him because once educated, they could see what the Advents were doing and wished to stop that, they owed him thanks for opening their eyes. Logistically speaking, it would be easier if he could swing straight from his fight with the Advents into the battle against the Guyver Emperor. It would prevent him from having to gather them all again, and would stop any from regrettably rethinking their positions. The Guyvers were split on the issue. A bare majority supported the Guyver Emperor, while others supported his position. But individual levels of support differed. Some didn't like the idea of The One, but were resigned to it. Others actively hated the idea and would follow him into hell if that's what it took to get rid of The One. The level of support varied.

No, it was better if he found that missing Guyver Lord soon, so that he could immediately launch into his plans.

Tekki dismissed thought of the future when his troops reported spotting two Advent ships. They were ships he recognised, the Terrans ships. And they were flying through a part of space he seldom went to because it was so boring! There were planets with sentient races there, but those races were a long way from reaching space, and the planets held no resources that could not be found elsewhere. He had considered it as a place where the Advents might hide, but a search had revealed not a hint of them...

Now two Advent ships were sailing through there and Tsuyosa knew the Terrans were not with them.

How interesting.

Tsuyosa broke off contact with his leaf soldiers after ordering those who had spotted the Terran Advent ships to follow them discretely. He could feel that eventually they would lead him to something interesting if he was patient enough to wait. Tekki smiled a wry smile. He was very good at waiting.

Imakarum looked over the zoanoids. They were formerly Advent controlled, and he was trying to work out if he should be insulted or amused. They had known for a while who was interfering with their plans and that he was a Zoalord, yet they had the temerity to send zoanoids against him. It would be amusing if it weren't so insulting, though it did lead to an interesting thought.

The Advents were fighting the were also fighting the Terrans, and from what Mirabilis was hearing, Maxwell was doing great things to prevent them from exporting more humans. Combined with the fact that the Rebel Leaders appeared to be having no trouble finding planets to relocate human refugees to, could it be possible that the Advents were running short of troops? Perhaps it was more likely that they were unwilling to risk a Zoalord against him.

He snorted.

He'd only taken over a few of them for his purpose... so far. He needed to take over more if he was to succeed but the others were wary now. As far as he knew the Advents had created ten Zoalords, a number that included Alkanphel. Kiara and Alkanphel were both dead and Ishiikawa was trapped in time. Zektoll was still alive as were three of the new ones. Imakarum had taken the other three new Advent Zoalords and incorporated their crystals into himself. Of Alkanphel's Zoalords, including himself, only three remained alive. With reluctance, Mirabilis had recognised the necessity of taking over the others. Their crystals were better suited to him because they came directly from Alkanphel. They had fought him, of course, but Edward Caerleon at least had recognised what his purpose was now and had accepted his fate in the end. The remaining two were proving illusive, but he would find them in time.

By his estimation, it would be best if he had twelve Zoalord crystals before he went into combat. That would leave one Zoalord crystal still with its owner, and ideally, Imakarum hoped it would be Zektoll. Not out of any sense of sympathy or camaraderie, but simply because Zektoll would be more of a distraction for Aptom and Agito. The two of them would go after the former Hyper Zoanoid to the exclusion of all else... which would leave him free to pursue Alkanphel's final orders.

That would not be easy. It would cost him everything, but he would do it; he lived to serve. Alkanphel's last wish had to be fulfilled, even if the universe desired otherwise.

For the moment, though, he needed to wait. Either the Advents would feel secure enough to send out their Zoalords, or (more likely) they would become desperate enough that they had to. Then he would strike and claim more of them and assuming that everything went to plan, he was looking forward to bending Zektoll to his will, though for the chance to fight Aptom again, he didn't think the Advent-made Zoalord would fight him too hard.

This must be stopped.

It can't be stopped.

The decision was made.

It can be changed.

It must be changed.

It cannot be changed.

The power has already been bestowed. It cannot be removed.

So destroy it.

We all know it can't be destroyed.

One of us has already been destroyed, why not another?

I will not consent to be destroyed, not for the so-called greater good. The decision was made by the whole.

The consequences were not known.

The consequences were known. Or is it that you don't like the thought of control?

No one likes control.

But not everyone is against this. Why are so few so vehement? What are they trying to hide?

We hide nothing! Why are you so protective?

I am what we are meant to be, not what we have become.

You are nothing more than the rest of us!

You'd like me to be that.

This isn't the argument! It does not matter what one of us has become. What matters is if the choice is still representative of the whole. Shall we vote?

It doesn't matter if it's no longer representative, you cannot remove what has been bestowed and I will not meekly agree to my own destruction.

Then you will be banished.

If that is the cost of the vagrancies of our being, then that is the cost of our inability to stick to the path and I will bear that cost.

Oh shut up! Your attempts at self-sacrifice are not necessary. We chose as a whole and we all bear responsibility.

We made a mistake!

We made NO mistake.

We cannot split ourselves, we must be in agreement.

We made a mistake!

We made NO mistake!

Mostly in agreement.

We chose to create the power. We cannot turn back.

We cannot turn back perhaps, but we can always correct our mistakes.

What are you afraid of? The one who has that power is the one least likely to interfere. All others would either interfere or not wield that power.

All the better then!

It's not.

We created the power but it is not ours to use. That would be a bigger disaster than giving it to the others would be.

We are not of that universe, we cannot see and control that space.

We cannot be ruled by the few who dissent.

We are not ruled by the few who dissent.

It is not a few who dissent.

It is a few! Just because you are vocal does not mean others agree!

I call for a ballot! A secret ballot so that we may show truly what lies in our hearts.

If you want, it is not going to change anything.

We will see.


As I said, we now see.

It will never be right!

No matter, the decision is the majority. The power must exist and we cannot wield it. There is only one choice and that has not changed.

We will never agree!

You don't have to agree.

We will fight.

You can if you desire, but you will not be able to change anything.

Will you stop attempting to change the will of the whole?

Unless something happens, the will will not change, and we will never agree.

And I will never let you hurt him.

Agito looked out at the panorama of space. When he allowed himself to see it, it was beautiful, but for the most part he was too lost in his thoughts. It was beginning to come together, and he had acquired a most unlikely ally.

As they had made contact and agreements with each of the alien races, most of which he approved of, Agito had slowly come to see that someone was manipulating the events. Oh, they were being subtle about it, and he'd first thought that it was merely coincidence, but he knew better than that. If he had learned anything from the Rebellion, it was that that man did not do coincidence. Agito had asked his former spy, but Samuel had noticed nothing untoward. The black and purple toned Guyver snorted; Samuel wouldn't notice a truck bearing down on him. The man was pining for Earth. It was understandable to miss your homeworld, but Samuel was taking it to extremes, becoming physically ill. Suffice to say he hadn't noticed anything, but could only confirm the pattern of coincidence.

Each time they spoke to an alien race, Agito had been presented as the ruler of Earth fait accompli. He was, of course, but to have it acknowledged as such... They had fought that entire Rebellion to deny it... What had changed?

The answer was obvious, of course. Everything had changed. But he had never thought to see the day when the acknowledgement of his leadership was by the Rebels. Correction, he had thought to see the day, it was just decades before he had envisaged, and it was being done by their own will, not his fist at their throats.

:So,: Makishima reached out through space, towards a little planet where he could feel his erstwhile ally on. :Would you like to tell me why you are now presenting me as the Ruler?:

There was not a single trace of surprise in the laugh that replied. :You finally noticed huh?:

:I noticed earlier, I just didn't think it possible.:

:Oh, it's possible. But it's still going to take a bit of shenanigans to get into place.:

It was a pity his one aristocratically raised eyebrow could not be seen in space, but he managed to purvey the sense of question.

:Who else is suitable?: The returned question was his irritable answer, and he was reminded that while Tetsuro might bow to the inevitable, he didn't necessarily like it.

At length, Agito nodded. He hadn't thought of it that way.

:The others know already, they just don't want to say it aloud, which is why they have been allowing the charade that you are the Ruler. But since neither of us will admit defeat, you may wish to start thinking about how to incorporate them into Government. You won't be getting the absolute monarchy you wanted, you'll be getting a constitutional one mixed with as much of a meritocracy as I can fit in.:

:So it's all dictated by you?: Agito accused.

:Yes, and you will accept it... Unless you want everything we've worked for to collapse. Or to leave ourselves open to attack by all the aliens we seem to be picking up as supposed allies. That was the entire problem in the first place Makishima Agito! You wanted to replace Cronos' Absolute Monarchy with your own. Did it ever occur to you that if you wanted power you could have had it? You could have conquered them all quite easily through politics but you chose force. And in the instant you struck, you forced us to fight back.:

Agito shut the link between them for a few moments as he considered. It was frustrating! He did not want to just be given the title. He wanted to earn it and even now the Rebels were taking that away from him, though they would hardly see it that way. They would say that for the greater good, circumstance was taking away their Rebellion. They both thought they would be defeated in the compromise proposed.

Giving him leadership, though, did not deal with one major issue, one player he knew he could not control so had always ensured he dominated, Fukamachi Sho.

:Has it ever occurred to you that he's absolutely petrified of what could happen?: Tetsuro suddenly posed the question to him.

:What? Why?: What the hell did Fukamachi have to be afraid of?

The Emperor of Earth got the distinct feeling he was being cursed before the conversation was resumed. :You are a Guyver Lord. There is a very distinct possibility you are the Guyver Emperor. Like it or not, humans have more bio-energy that other species, so it's almost certain that all of us have the power to summon a Gigantic Unit or better. He has never manifested anything more than a Gigantic Unit, so chances are he's going to be subservient to someone. I checked with Natsuki, she can feel a Gigantic Unit that is hers and through that she can feel a Guyver Lord. Hayami summoned a white Gigantic Unit, so he is one of the Emperor's Gigantic Units. Mizuki is already a Guyver Lord like yourself, as is Shizu. Aptom is a Gigantic, but for whom is unknown.:

:Sho is definitely not Mizuki's warrior, Alkard is. He's not Shizu's either, though I can't honestly say what he'd feel about that. That leaves a possibility of five beings who might call upon him. The Guyver Emperor, who could be you, and four other Guyver Lords, of which some must be loyal to the Tekki. Imagine how that's going to look, when they find out that their supposedly subservient Warrior is on better terms with their Master than they are?:

Agito nodded in understanding. He'd never doubted Tetsuro's intelligence, but he was always surprised when he saw it applied in the political arena.

:And finally, let's not forget, you had Imakarum rip his guts out, an action for which he somehow, miraculously, does not fully blame Mirabilis for or you really, though don't think that it didn't leave him with scars. And then you wonder why, on some level he might be afraid of you?:

Agito appreciated that Tetsuro was discrete enough not to give voice to a full rant. :So why aren't you afraid you will be subservient to some unknown Guyver?: He asked curiously.

At this the elder Segawa chuckled. :In case you hadn't noticed,: he said, and while his mind voice held no sarcasm, Agito couldn't help but hear it in his words. :No one wants to Engineer their way into domination of the universe, they want to fight. So no, I'm not concerned, even if I was the Tekki's Gigantic Engineer, which we know I'm not, as that's Gilroyd.:

:You could be the Guyver Emperor's.:

:Tarnsi summoned a white Gigantic Unit right before we rescued them,: Tetsuro said without missing a beat, :I think she's probably the Guyver Emperor's Gigantic Engineer.:

Agito snorted. He'd be willing to put money on the bet that Tetsuro was a Guyver Lord Engineer, but that wasn't the concern of the moment. :So, what about Fukamachi then?:

:I would have thought by now you would have known how to deal with him, Agito,: Tetsuro answered with a distinct sigh. :Leave him alone and he will leave you alone. On Earth we only tried so hard to free him because he was the only one who could fight you.:

:I don't want him objecting to my rule.:

:Then don't do anything objectionable!:

The reply was annoyingly simple and puerile... Yet true. Screwing up the leadership of Earth, when it was only Earth and there was no alternative was one thing... Screwing up the Leadership of an Interstellar Empire in the formative days of its beginning, that was something else entirely. If he wanted to have an Empire, he would have to do this right. That didn't mean no killing or political expediency, it simply meant he couldn't be seen burying his own skeletons and, for the most part, his leadership had to be beneficial.

:You really don't get it do you? Cronos didn't get it either. Sho is perfectly happy to live out a normal life, and so long as there are no gross injustices, he will be perfectly happy. Things like who is ruling the universe just aren't important to him.:

:So what if Fukamachi is the Guyver Emperor?: Agito almost laughed as he asked the question, the thought was insane but he had learnt to cover every eventuality, even the insane ones.

:So what?: Tetsuro returned the question. :He's not like some. He won't be sitting on some gilded throne somewhere directing things to his liking. He'll more likely be living quietly praying to God that the Guyver Emperor's abilities aren't needed.:

Makishima nodded. That was about what he had thought as well, but hearing it confirmed from Fukamachi's best friend was reassuring. It also hinted to him that if Sho was not prepared to use those abilities, then he would not have them.

:Actually, that reminds me,: Tetsuro broke into Agito's musing. :You'd better think about what title you want to give him in your government.:

:Why am I giving him a position now?:

:Not a position, a title, probably something along the lines of Personal Special Envoy to the Kyheenan Empire.:

:Ah.: That explained it. It was retrospective acknowledgement of position and purpose but it would be necessary to avoid insulting the Kyheenan's when they made the formal switch to a galactic Empire. Fukamachi had been acknowledged as a person of importance, so even if he mysteriously retired, he had to be titled as important. To be fair, Agito acknowledged that the other Terran Guyver Warrior had done an adequate job in securing the Kyheenan alliance. :I'll think of something suitably grand,: he promised the male Segawa.

:Good,: Tetsuro said. :Don't gloat about victory and we might pull this off,: he gave the advice before the sense of his presence faded.

Agito looked out at the panorama of space. This time he allowed himself to see it, acknowledging its beauty as he smiled. Tetsuro's advice was wise but unnecessary. He would not gloat and he would show them all the strength of the Empire he would build. Rebellion could only take seed when there was desire and he would smother all desire with competence.

The other human immortals would have no cause for concern.

Xeo'm looked over at her test subjects. She chuckled to herself. They'd tried so hard to keep her away from humans, but Tekki wasn't the only one who could collect them, though it was nowhere near as easy for her as it was for him. He just knocked them out. She had to struggle and fight with them and she'd learnt very early on, after killing the first few, that keeping them sedated was an art form, and also a necessary skill.

She had three at the moment. All of them highly drugged. For every single human she'd dragged back here, she'd required at least a week worth of rest. They took everything out of her, but that merely confirmed that human DNA was what she needed. She'd never imagined a creature could be that strong, not without a unit, and she was fascinated by some of the reactions she was getting. They were so changeable! It was almost as if human DNA was not stabilised.

It had to be. though. They reproduced, they lived and aged and died all within boundaries they considered normal. So while she might think their DNA so loose as to be almost unwinding before her eyes, it was tight enough for the essentials. It was tight enough to reproduce, but it was lose enough that mutation was common. Mutation amongst other races was almost unheard of. It happened. It just happened very slowly. Most V'dam couldn't even comprehend mutation that fast and yet, with a human she could mutate them in hours.

And she had.

The three in the tanks behind her had stopped screaming a while back and were floating, weightless. She wasn't sure what to try now. Xeo'm had discovered how to manipulate their DNA but she didn't know yet how to direct that manipulation to produce useful features. It was pointless producing claws if the cutting edge was blunt and could not be honed. Just as it was pointless creating wings on the feet.

She sat down and thought. While it was true they had not been able to keep humans out of her hands, they had so far been able to keep all of 'Nyatarin's research from her. The Artarmon Gigantic Healer knew how to guide the mutation... or if he didn't, he had a better idea than she did about what she should try next. One finger tapped idly on her knee.

There was no use for it. She needed two things so that she could continue her research – advice and a human guyver. Advice would let her progress and a human Guyver would be able to keep resetting themselves via their unit, until she had the design she desired. Nothing indicated that human DNA lost its flexibility when bonded with a Unit. If anything it might even be enhanced.

:I'm still waiting,: she sent to the Tekki.

:I am aware of that,: the other Guyver Lord replied nonchalantly.

:How long will I have to wait?:

:As long as it pleases me.:

:Be careful that I don't wait long enough that you are my only option.:

A mental laugh threaded its way through her. :I'd like to see you try.: Despite the arrogance of the voice she knew the truth of it. She was hard pressed holding mere humans, without the Tekki's backing she would have no chance of holding a human guyver. The thought had not pleased her. Many things lately had not been pleasing her but she had learnt that if she wanted something badly enough, then she just had to find a way.

And she would.

She always did.

In this universe very little remains unchanging. Everyone was still working towards their goals. We had succeeded with our goal for the preservation of humanity, and now we were moving on to the goals of securing a prosperous future for humans.

The Kyheenan's were eager to work with us to build the future of their empire which was well since no sooner had we gotten all the alliances with various races in place the Advents struck. It's ironic in one way. Alliances such as those we forged, between many races, usually have many small things that pull them apart. The alliances we forged did not. Every species was working for the same goal with the same fervent desires, and that came about all because of the Advents. Everyone knew that if they did not work together then no one would survive. Their petty squabbling was put aside.

I know the Advents did not mean for things to happen that way. They wanted to drive the alliances apart while they were still new, but they struck too soon, they struck before the small concerns could be all consuming. It was an act of desperation. I have said we were not the only ones who continue to move forward. The Tekki were also relentless. Fatefully, it was our actions that allowed him to conclude one of his major goals, locating all the ranked Guyver Units.

Mirai and Eternity were not welcomed back by the Advents, and that proved to be a fatal mistake. We had promised to help them if they called, but what we and the Advents had forgotten was that we were not the only people who could hear their calls. The Advents thought nothing of the distress call Mirai and Eternity put out, right up until it was answered. Between the Tekki's forces and ourselves, twenty two Guyvers, thirteen Gigantic Guyvers and seven Guyver Lords answered the distress call.

In the face of such an assault the single Guyver Lord who was defending the Advents main body was very quickly felled. It's said time is like a river, and that it's only possible to create anabranches in the flow, because eventually everything returns to the main channel. But there are times, and that battle is one, where I wonder if it was one of the few moments of history when change was possible.

I will never know and the one being who might know assures me that everything happened as it should, but I wonder. Because while that battle led to the Advents attacking, it also represented one of the final restraints on the Tekki breaking. In hindsight, it is easy to see, at the time... at the time we were blind to the truth. A state we were sadly forcibly educated about before the end of everything.

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