Back with another chapter! Hope you all like it! Poll is still up for love interest options. The more I think about it, the more I keep changing who I think. I would love your input on that! Anyways, enjoy!
It all started when Felli sensed Lyra fighting and woke everyone up. Layfon and Sharnid had come out of their rooms to hear Nina demanding that Felli find Lyra so that Nina could yell at her. While she had been in the process of searching for Lyra, Felli suddenly stopped and looked at Nina.
"I've picked up some strange activity by the heart of the city."
Nina furrowed her brows, "what do you mean?"
"It's hard to tell exactly what it is," Felli explained.
"What do you mean?" Nina demanded.
Felli didn't respond for a few minutes. Layfon studied her during that time. It was obviously something important.
Felli then shook her head, "there's too much activity there, but it should be looked into."
Nina thought for a second and then nodded, "The machinery is where the electronic fairy should reside. We should check it out. It'll give us answers as to what happened here."
"But what about Lyra?" Layfon suddenly asked, though instantly took a step back, seeing the look of annoyance return on Nina's face. Instead he turned his attention to Felli, who was working to scout again.
"She's with the captain of the fifth platoon," she started, which caught Layfon off guard. Why would she be with him? Felli continued to speak, "they're in trouble."
"But we should also look into the machinery as well," Nina then added.
"I'll go," Layfon offered.
Nina looked over at him, but then nodded her head and then looked at Sharnid, "alright, we'll go to where Lyra. Felli you stay here and keep us up dated with the situation. And Layfon," she paused and made Layfon looked towards her. Layfon tensed slightly, wondering what the captain would say, but she then shook her head.
"Just stay alert."
Layfon blinked. He didn't have time to ponder the situation. Soon enough everyone was off. Felli had been guiding him towards the building; however, it was strange. As he got closer, it was harder to hear Felli. It didn't help that she was still disappointed in Layfon for a few things. Her answers were slightly abrupt, but by this point, Layfon was starting to get used to it. What bothered him now was why Lyra suddenly ran off. He knew she tended to be reckless at times, but still. With the situation they were in, she should have known better. And what made it even harder to understand was that Gorneo Luckens went with her. Unless he was trying to stop her, Layfon found no reason for him to go with her.
"Stop there," Felli's soft voice interrupted his thoughts.
Layfon stared at the building he arrived at. This seemed like one of the buildings that would be linked to the machineries of the city.
"You sure it's coming from here?" Layfon asked to confirm.
"I wouldn't have told you to come here if I wasn't," she responded, which made Layfon flinch. Of course that was a stupid question on his end.
"But why didn't you sense anything before?" he wondered.
"That's what you need to find out," Felli replied. She then hesitated.
"What is it?" Layfon asked, sensing hesitation.
"After entering that building, I won't be able to contact you," she explained.
Layfon nodded his head. He knew she wanted to say more to him, but she wouldn't. "I'll be quick," was his response.
"You better. Keep an eye out for people. There's something strange going on with them," she warned him and then cut off the conversation. Layfon just nodded his head. He then restored his dite and shot out the threads to pull him into the building.
Landing on the ground, he heard the sound of his boots hitting the floor echo a few times. It faded with each echo, as the sounds traveled further down the hall. It made Layfon feel uneasy because now he would be known. Slowly, he began to walk down the hall, deeper into the building. He didn't sense anything, which made him wonder just what was it that Felli sense?
A dead end soon appeared, but then Layfon noticed a door to the far right. He headed for the door and opened it to find a set of stairs. They were heading down and then turned before continuing. Layfon continued down until he arrived to another door. However, the door was bolted shut.
'How interesting…' he thought. Placing a hand on the door, Layfon focused, trying to see if he could sense any sort of activity himself. He then stopped, taking a step back. There was something there. The feeling was indescribable, but it sent a shiver down his spine. Taking a deep breath, Layfon kicked the door, breaking it down. He waited to see if the noise would awaken anything living there, but nothing happened. Even so, he knew he couldn't relax. The creatures were lurking in the shadow.
Layfon stepped into the large room. While it was dark, the light from the moon, which shined through multiple holes along the wall, reflecting off of the different machines allowed Layfon to see. It was also thanks to that that Layfon got a general idea of how the building was laid out. It was split level, meaning that he wasn't underground, which was good in case he needed to escape.
With his escape route planned, Layfon then began to look around. This was where the electronic fairy was supposed to reside. From how things looked from the outside, and the building's condition, things should have been falling apart, but everything was surprisingly intact and it seemed to have been in function recently.
'That's strange…' Layfon thought. Working at the machinery, Layfon had become familiar with many of the machines and what functioned how in order for the city to move. While the mechanics weren't exactly the same, Layfon had a general idea of how they should function. He also knew that with the recent attacks, things should have been more of a mess. He walked towards the books set on the table by one of the machines. It was a maintenance log. Reading through it, everything was fine. He then noticed the date and his eyes narrowed. 'That can't be right…' he thought.
Layfon then looked up. He closed the book, while having a finger in place, marking the page. They had finally shown themselves.
Layfon then turned around, as they came closer and raised his dite in preparation. He then narrowed his eyes and waited.
Finally the beasts appeared. They were hideous. Many still had human features. Part of their faces remained human, but a majority of it would be a bluish green color and large boils erupting from their skin, as they were still transforming. It was obviously they were suffering.
"There's no way that I'll reach any of you is there?" he wondered out loud. The only response he got was a roar. Layfon just sighed. "Fine, let's end this quickly then," he decided and charged forwards. With each swipe, Layfon sliced through the creatures. He was surprised to see just how hard their skin had become, even the parts that didn't seem to be infected yet. However. Layfon just continued to swipe away. The only difference was that he increased the amount of kei he needed to release.
While this went on for a few minutes, finally Layfon managed to get a break, landing on a floor a level higher from the rest.
He watched as they all began to pound at the wall, in attempt to try and knock it down. To think that they were that infected. They couldn't be considered humans anymore. However, thinking about it, Layfon wondered. How was Lyra able to handle this? She obviously should have realized that these were humans that were just infected. Knowing her, she would have trouble fighting. At least, Layfon believed that she should have had trouble. That was the type of person Layfon had known her as, but then again, she had been training with Savaris for years and he never knew.
Layfon then turned his attention to the ones that began to climb. He then sighed. It was sad to see them all suffering like this. After all, they were just innocent civilians, but to Layfon it didn't matter. They were in his way and trying to kill him.
He needed to end this fast and get on with investigating what he needed to.
With that, Layfon jumped off of the railing and aimed his dite at the creatures. He then shot the threads out at the creatures, splitting many in half while piercing the others in the heart. All of them writhed with pain. The more disturbing ones were the ones split in half, but soon they stopped.
Finally, after they were all defeated, Layfon let out a sigh. He saw the bodies around him, lying limp. Part of him expected them to jump up and attack him again, but he knew that wouldn't happen.
'Time to head further down…' he thought. While this was a new finding, this didn't answer their initial question: what was interfering with Felli's ability?
He didn't have to walk far for his answer. As he turned around to go down another set of stairs, Layfon noticed a glow coming from the bottom. He slowed in his steps as he noticed the glow was brightening.
Taking a few more steps he then stopped again. This time he let out a gasp, as it suddenly brightened. He shielded his eyes until they adjusted. Once they did, Layfon could only stare. Through the bright light, Layfon made out a four-legged creature with horns protruding from its head. It was a golden goat.
Layfon restored his dite. "Just what is this thing?" he asked out loud.
The goat stood before him with numerous horns extending from its head. It was like many branches to a tree with light emitting from them, overwhelming the darkness surrounding them.
A strange feeling overwhelmed Layfon. It was tension, a warning Layfon knew from long-term experience. The tension was slowly turning to fear. Layfon's body wouldn't move. It was frozen under the gaze of the creature, which then began to speak to him.
"My body is rotten. It's useless, driven by madness and hatred. I seek a new master. You obey my wishes and possess my soul and see my values. I'll turn the dust of Ignasis into a sword and burn your enemies," it went on to say.
Layfon could only stare. He was still coming to the conclusion that the beast spoke and the goat continued to watch him, but then it hit him. Layfon knew exactly what this was.
Meeting his eyes, Layfon felt frozen. He needed to move. He couldn't allow the fear to build up in him.
With the group arriving back to the building they were staying in, both platoons gathered in the main lobby while waiting for Layfon to return. An hour had passed since he left. Lyra wondered what might have happened. She prayed that the infected humans didn't overwhelm him.
A little off, Nina sat impatiently. Her leg was tapping against the floor and she kept glancing at the clock only to remember that the clock didn't work and she would look away. Felli and Sharnid sat a little off. While neither were as concerned, she knew both were wondering. Apparently Felli lost contact with Layfon when he entered the building. While Lyra wanted to insist that they go to help him, a look from Nina made her stay quiet. The captain was still angry with her.
As for the fifth platoon, they all sat together, discussing with Gorneo. Most likely the fifth platoon captain was explaining what happened, but after that, they seemed to quiet down.
Lyra then let out a sigh, leaning her head back against the chair. Finally Layfon returned. When he did, everyone stood up expectantly and moved to gather around him and ask what happened only to pause when they noticed he was out of breath and his expression was pale. It was obvious that he had trouble with the infected humans as well, and it would have been harder for Layfon, considering he was by himself. In Lyra's case, thankfully Gorneo had tagged along with her.
Sharnid was the one who spoke up, breaking the silence.
"It seems even Layfon The Great had trouble with the infected ones huh?"
Layfon shook his head, "they were there, but there's also a bigger problem," he started.
"Does it explain why Felli wasn't able to search the area?" Nina asked.
"Well, I'm not exactly sure if this could have done that, but there is the possibility," Layfon explained, slightly uneasy.
"Well, what is it already? Tell us!" Shante's impatient and demanding voice came. By now everyone had gathered around Layfon, including the fifth platoon. Shante was still sitting on Gorneo's shoulders. Gorneo also stood with his arms crossed, waiting for an answer.
Before speaking, Layfon seemed to be trying to figure out how to word what he saw. Lyra could see the gears turning in his head. It made her concerned.
"Layfon," she spoke up, "is everything alright?"
Hearing her, Layfon turned towards her and finally spoke, "I ran into a Haikizoku."
That made everyone quiet.
"A Haikizoku?" Nina then repeated.
Layfon nodded, "it's also known as the fallen one. When a city is destroyed, but the electronic fairy lives on, then it becomes known as a fallen one and travels to search and possess others."
"You don't think it came to this city, searching do you?"
Layfon shrugged, "most likely. The Haikizoku tried to take over the city, causing havoc. I found a log book of the different machineries and also notes of strange mishaps through out the city," he explained, showing them the log, "some dates are pretty recent, the newest being a month and half ago."
Everyone then moved closer to read the log himself or herself.
"Well that explains a lot," Gorneo started, "with the Haikizoku already causing havoc, the city would have been in panic, which would most likely explain how they failed to protect the city from the filth monsters."
Everyone nodded their heads, taking in the conclusion that was made. It all made sense. Lyra herself had multiple questions running through her head, one of them being was this the reason the masked figures were there?
"Well now that we have that problem solved, there's a new one that we need to fix," Sharnid suddenly remarked. Everyone knew what he meant. The question was, what to do with the infected people.
"If we do nothing, then they will evolve and soon leave the city or attack surrounding cities," Gorneo remarked.
"Zuellini will be passing this area in 24 hours," Felli reported.
Lyra looked over at Felli and then to Nina and Layfon, "The infected are starving and they will jump at the smell of food."
"We only have one option," Layfon replied. He didn't need to say what the option was, as everyone understood right away.
They had to destroy the place.
Lyra gulped, thinking of it. The idea sounded so bizarre. Was it even possible to destroy the entire city like this? She looked at the others. The all seemed to have an uneasy look in their eyes. The one who was most disturbed was Nina.
"Is that really the only option?" she asked.
Layfon shrugged, "I'm sure there are others, but with time against us, this is the best we have."
"But they're still human!" She insisted to which Layfon narrowed his eyes and then shook his head.
"There's nothing that can be done for them. The filth monster's spores would slowly consume them. It's better to end it quickly for them."
Nina continued to think. Lyra could see the trouble in her eyes and she understood it. She wanted to save the people, especially those who still had human in them. There was a time where Lyra would have agreed with Nina, but seeing the situation and the time they had, she understood that it was impossible to cure them.
"I should remind you, that they may be gathering here now that our scent has been expose," Gorneo urged from a little off. He was obviously impatient with how Nina was taking a while to decide.
"Not only that, but with Zuellini so close, we can't let the monsters escape and place our city in danger," Sharnid suddenly spoke up. Lyra then glanced at Sharnid. He hadn't spoken much since she returned, only a few times to relieve the tension that kept building up whenever Nina seemed to get angry, thinking of Lyra's actions.
Nina then let out a sigh and looked at Layfon, "what would be the quickest and efficient way?"
Layfon then turned the pages in his book, which showed the lay out of the city, "At the outer parts of city, there should be the containers of selenium, highly explosive. From the recent date in which they were mined, there still should be enough in the containers," he began to explain, pointing out the different areas. Lyra studied the diagrams as well. There were three main ones, which were connecting to the center where it was used.
"If we just blow them up, then that should destroy the city right?" She asked, "That's easier said then done. If they are as highly explosive as you say, then you would need to have a quick exit."
"Alright then," Nina started, getting their attention, "we'll have one team head in and destroy the mines. Meanwhile the second group comes around on the bikes to their positions to pick them up," she decided.
"You can leave the one to the west to us," Gorneo offered, "and Shante and I will deal with that one. Meanwhile, the rest of my platoon will rendezvous with you all at the other points on the bikes."
Nina nodded her head to that. She then looked at her own platoon, "Felli, I want you to go with the fifth platoon and guide us from outside. Meanwhile, we'll get the other two. Lyra, you'll be with me and Layfon and Sharnid, you guys get the second one," she finished, looking from Layfon, to Lyra, and then to Sharnid, her gaze pausing on Lyra for a second longer.
Lyra gulped, but then let out a sigh, nodding. In a way it made sense as to why the grouping was done that way. After all, the infected groups were still lurking in the dark. While Sharnid may have been good at sniping, and according to the others, he had skills hidden away, but even so, it would be better for him to be paired up with Layfon, who was skillful enough to cover for him if needed.
While Lyra and Nina could as well, with less experience than Layfon in fighting with filth monster types creatures, it was better if Layfon did as well.
"When do we start?" Lyra asked.
"As soon as everyone is prepared," Nina replied and then looked at Gorneo to approve, "I would say in an hour?"
Gorneo nodded his head, "we'll go and start preparing the bikes then and will notify you when everything's complete." After a nod from Nina, he then turned to his platoon, muttering something to them all, and then they were off.