Emblems Saga: Call of the Emblems
Searching For Home
"Draw close to the truth; Draw close to danger."
Planet Shou'da, Bern Expansion, Elibean Space
The Master stood tall, his feet planted firmly on a platform before the construction going on before him in the hollow center of his asteroid. The thing being constructed was massive in scope, made evident by the skeletal supports put together already taking up almost the entire space of the asteroid. What the object being constructed was could not be determined just by looking at it, for it currently held the shape of a half sphere, but more and more pieces of it were being brought in by the many, many gold-eyed men working in the asteroid.
"This progress is good," the Master said. "Very good work, Limstella."
"I thank you for your praise Master," said a very androgynous person, clothed unlike the rest of the Black Fang, not in a cloak but in a fine vest of lavender with a deep green shirt underneath, charcoal grey slacks, and finely tailored boots. The only similarity between this person and the others were the pair of golden eyes that the person had. "It took the combined knowledge of all eight General's Memoirs to piece together where this object drifted to since the Scouring War. Now that it has been found, the great Hyper-space Cannon will require approximately six months to construct from the collected wreckage."
"Excellent," crowed the Master. "Now that you're work is complete, I have a new assignment for you, my most powerful Morph. I've received reports that two agents of the Imperium have entered Lycia and have raided one of our information nodes. I have no doubt that they will make themselves a nuisance. Their last known position had them heading to join with the new Katti. You will intercept them and get rid of them."
"Yes Master," Limstella said. "What of the Katti? Shall I deal with her as well?"
"Leave the Katti alone for now," the Master said. "She is too weak and distracted to become a threat and shows no signs of the potential to become one either. Her fate will be thrown in with the other pathetic mortals who cling to this life like space barnacles desperately cling to the hull of a cruiser."
"It will be done, Master." Limstella turned and walked to a second platform. The Master watched with his maddening eye the construction of the Hyper-space Cannon taking place before him. His deep, deranged chuckling echoed throughout the internal space of the asteroid.
Liberty Trade Station Space Port, Planet Pherae Orbit, Lycian Space
Wallace kissed his daughter on her forehead and then his wife a bit more deeply. "I'll contact you when I've found them and let you know when everything is settled," he said.
Evelyn, his wife, watched him with concern etched in the wrinkles on her forehead. "I know I can't stop you. Just remember that you have a family waiting for you to come back. You wouldn't want to leave us alone."
Wallace smiled broadly at his wife and daughter. "Of course I'll be coming back. The only thing that could stop me is a black hole." And then turning more serious, he said, "Stay strong, Eve."
Evelyn nodded. He gave his family one last hug before he turned around and started wading into the throng of people that moved about the arrivals area of the space port terminal. He pulled a sheet of paper from the bag Victoria had given him and read it over once more before he made a bee line for the tram platform.
While he waited for the tram to arrive, he checked through his bag once more and pulled out an ID card with his picture on it. He smirked at the forged card saying that he was an employee of the spaceport. If I ever get back, that woman's getting a raise and a bonus.
When the tram arrived, Wallace stepped on and rode the car across the space terminal to the last stop. On this side of the terminal was the access point to the shipping docks and the military hangar. A grin formed on his face as Wallace stepped from the tram and made for the military hangar.
Uncle Buck's Fuel and Refreshments, Araphen territory, Lycian Space
The Lorca dropped out of Hyper-space amidst the chaos of the attack on the fleeing civilians. Lyn, alone on the bridge, immediately jumped from the captain's seat when Bee brought the scene up on the main projector. She labeled each of the pirate vessels red and civilians green. The Lorca, once again in the center, was blue.
"Pirate attack!" Lyn shouted. She counted at least fifteen ships, though it appeared that some of them had been reduced to rubble. The majority of the ships were converging on the refueling station some clicks away, while only a couple of pirate mechs remained with the civilians hips to chase them down one by one. "Why aren't the civilians fleeing? What's wrong with them?"
"I think the bad guys disabled their Hyper-space modules through battle or something," Bee said. "I've called the others up there. What are you going to do?"
"I've got to go help them," Lyn said. Her hands involuntarily grabbed the hilts of the Katti as a strange sense of righteous fury filled her. "These men think that they can come in and take whatever they want, from whoever they want, without a care in the world. And I…" Images of her family's dead faces flashed through her mind. "I must prevent anyone else from suffering as I did. I'm going out there and rescuing as many people as I can. And I'm going to wipe that scum from the galaxy."
"Yeah! You go, Master!" Lyn ignored Bee's hyperactive response as she turned and headed for the door. "I should probably warn you though… there's only enough fuel for you to fight and fly for fifteen minutes."
I'll just have to make those fifteen minutes count, Lyn thought with determination. She walked at first, then ran until she reached the elevator that would take her to the hangar. When she got to the hangar, changed into her flight suit, she found Serra suited up as well and climbing into her mech, but Lyn frowned when she couldn't find Lucius or Erk, and their mechs were sitting to one side, no where near getting ready to power up.
"Where Lucius and Erk?" Lyn asked Serra in the Lycian she'd learned over the past week. Serra fell into the cockpit seat and pointed at the elevator. Lyn turned and saw Lucius stepping off as the doors opened, but he was without his suit.
"Before you ask," Lucius said, "this wasn't my idea. Mark suggested that if we run into trouble, Erk and I transfer our fuel to your mech so that you'll be able to fight for a longer period of time. We'll stay behind and man the point defense turrets here on The Lorca."
"I… but," Lyn took a deep breath as images of her last battle's end came to mind. "What if something like last time happens? I don't think I can do this by myself."
"Don't worry so much," Lucius said. He smiled and placed a strong, but comforting hand on her shoulder. "You've improved a lot in the last few days. I'd say you're more than capable of dealing with these goons on your own. And you won't be alone. You've got Serra out there to watch your back, though she can't fight for herself so you'll have to watch out for her safety, just like in the simulations. Plus, Sain and Kent will be piloting The Lorca into the battle to cover your back."
"Alright," Lyn said after a pregnant pause. "I'll do my best. Wish me luck."
"If it will make you feel better, good luck," Lucius said. "Now get going, before those curs rob anymore innocents."
"Right." Lyn nodded resolutely, gathered up her courage, and climbed into her mech. As soon as she and Serra had exited The Lorca, she brought up her tactical display and took another look at it. There were three Pirate class mechs loitering around the field of disabled or destroyed civilian ships and then there were the rest of the pirates attacking the refueling platform, a group which included an Archer class in their ranks of Pirate and Brigand mechs.
Serra opened a com-window to her and started speaking. Lyn waited for the translation to come up from below the Serra's image. 'After you take out those pirates, I'll see to patching up any of the civilians, ipso presto!' Lyn nodded her agreement and Serra's window shut. Glancing down at the status display for her mech, Lyn saw that the fuel gauge said she had approximately forty minutes of flight mode time, which was probably fifteen minutes of actual battle time once fully transformed.
Filing that tidbit of info away, Lyn set her sights on the nearest Pirate mech and pushed her throttle forward to seventy-five percent. A part of her noticed that she was much more sure of her movements now than the last time she was in a real battle. Fighting in a simulation taught her the skills, that is true, but a part of her couldn't take the simulated battle as anything but fake. Right here, right now, it was real, and nothing she did could deny that truth. This would be where she saw the fruits of her training.
"Alright," Lyn said to herself. The three Pirates were coming into range and had noticed her. They activated their large red Vibro-axes and were now flying toward her, Serra, and The Lorca pulling up the rear. Taking a deep breath, Lyn said, "Let's do this!"
Punching the large red transform button, Lyn straightened her back as the seat turned vertical. She tested the pedals under her feet as the battle HUD came to life on her canopy in front of her. She then grabbed her imaginary sword with her gloved hands and her mech, having fully transformed, copied her actions. In that position, she waited as the closest two pirate mechs came in for the attack.
The first pirate flew at her full speed, with its gleaming red bladed axe held high. Just as the pirate got close enough to attack, Lyn lashed out with her sword. The green blade of her sword activated moments before striking the Pirate through the center of its body. Cleaved in half, Lyn reached out with her free hand and grabbed the upper portion of the Pirate mech and spun around.
This was a trick she'd picked up from her simulated fights with Bob. That Cat Laguz picked up battling in space as if he were a fish in water. She assumed it was somehow connected to memories he'd forgotten, because his movements were too fluid to have been instinct. In one such training sim, he'd used a Vibro-spear to snap Sain and Kent's Cavalier mech in half, and then tossed one of the halves at her, turning the wreckage into a weapon of mass.
The second Pirate clearly didn't expect her to use this same tactic because he flew straight into the upper half of his ally's mech at full speed. The collision caused a small explosion as one of the mech's reactors went critical. Lyn paused as her mind took in what had just happened, apparently not believing it actually happened.
Then, bursting through the still glowing gas cloud, the third Pirate attacked. Lyn barely had time to register someone shouting her name as her mind focused on dodging with a press of the left foot pedal. The Pirate's axe missed her by several feet, but the rest of the Pirate mech sideswiped her and sent her into an uncontrolled spin.
As much as she hated being put into this position, and it had happened several times in the simulator, it didn't confuse or panic her as much as it did before. In fact, she remembered losing her lunch one day because Sain and Bob thought it would be a good idea to sit there and make her simulated cockpit spin around and around at faster and faster speeds with her artificial gravity projector getting in on the act by simulating the spinning movement. They went to sleep with bruises that night, but it did help her adjust to rapid spins in zero gravity.
Managing to right herself with a few deft flicks of the foot pedals, Lyn turns her mech to face the third Pirate just in time to watch five bolt of plasma smash it to smithereens. Focusing on her HUD, she found that the shot came from The Lorca as it closed in on her position. That was the last of the Pirates this close and Serra was already heading out to the stranded civilians to spread her Nano-machines on them for repairs.
"Lyn, good job." The image of Lucius popped up on her canopy. She kept her eyes on it and pressed the transform button, putting her back into Flight-mode. Checking the fuel monitor, she found that there was now twenty-nine minutes left, which she roughly translated into ten minutes more of combat.
"Lucius, I'm going to head over to the platform," Lyn said. She turned the nose of her mech toward the battle still taking place around it and pushed forward on the throttle. "I want you to stay here and guard Serra in case any pirates try to make an attack."
"Lyn, I don't think that's a good idea. Neither Erk or I can back you up should you need help and The Lorca isn't fast enough to keep up with you. You should wait for Serra to finish her work and then we'll all head out together."
"Someone's fighting all of the pirates at the platform, otherwise they'd have seized control of it already." Lyn watched her tactical display as the distance between her blue dot and The Lorca grew while the distance between her and the refueling platform shrank. "I can't just leave someone brave enough to fight all of the pirates alone like that. I'll be careful. So hurry up and finish out here and catch up."
"Lyn…" Lucius sighed. "I suppose there's nothing I can do to stop you. Very well. Stay sharp. We'll be there as soon as Serra's finished."
Lucius nodded his head and the com-window closed. Lyn focused on the flashes of light as the Pirate mechs in front of her, she counted nine left now, grew larger. They flew erratically, reminiscent of a cloud of insects buzzing around a glowing lantern.
Lyn watched the Pirates as she got closer, waiting for one of them to notice her approach and attack her. Then she saw a long blast of light cut through the cloud of mechs and consume one of the Pirate mechs. When it disappeared, all that was left was a heap of glowing slag.
As she banked away from where the blast had struck, Lyn muttered, "That came from the platform. Someone's using it as a shield." It seemed that two of the Pirates noticed her presence and started toward her. Taking a deep breath, Lyn hit the transform button and prepared to attack. The first Pirate attacked similar to the one from before, with its axe held high and flying toward her at full speed. Lyn activated her sword and flew toward the Pirate herself.
She counted herself lucky that these men used the much slower Pirate mechs, which allowed her to easily strike first. Swinging her arms up, she brought her Vibro-sword up and caught the Pirate mech just below the mid-section. Pushing the pedals forward, Lyn used her own thrusters to add to her attack, the Vibro-sword eventually cut through the leg armor and pushed out the back.
Continuing forward, Lyn feinted right and then swung around left horizontally to attack the next Pirate that came at her. The Pirate swung straight at her and because it was too slow on the uptake, ended up getting a very large hole in the cockpit. Lyn de-activated her sword and made for the next Pirate who was swooping around, slashing like crazy.
"Six left," she said. Focusing on her target, she idly wondered what he was attacking. "It doesn't matter. Just take him out and move on."
As soon as Lyn got in range, the Pirate noticed her and attempted to cut her in half with his axe. Lyn pushed on the right foot pedal to dodge, and then lashed out while activating her sword at the same time. Her sword hit a join in one of the legs and cut straight through it. Without waiting for the Pirate to recover, Lyn used the momentum left from her first attack to spin around and attack again. This time she dug a hole into the canopy of the cockpit, ending the pilot.
"Five now." Lyn glanced down at the fuel timer and cursed under her breath. "Five minutes left, I'll never get them all." Lyn powered down her sword and put that thought aside to focus on the other red dots spread across her HUD. "I don't have to defeat them all, I just have to hold them off until the others get here."
Lyn found the nearest Pirate and headed for him. He'd apparently noticed her too because he was headed straight to her. She watched, with a cold sweat breaking out across her body, as her mech and the Pirate closed the distance with increasing speed. In the back of her mind, it dawned on her that this was the longest she'd ever lasted in a battle, simulated or not. This was uncharted territory for her.
Focusing on the Pirate, she prepared to attack when something slammed into her from the side. Red lights and warning alarms blared as systems across her mech began to fail. Before her HUD went dark, Lyn saw her mistake. Another Pirate had closed in from the side while she focused heavily on the one in front or her.
A blank window with a line though it opened on the canopy in front of her. Her mech was, for all intents and purposes, dead in space right now. She had enough emergency air to last her maybe ten minutes, but after that, she'd have to either be rescued or would die. The line began moving, indicating the voice pattern of the one speaking.
"Stupid Sacean trash." It was the pilot of the Pirate she'd focused too much on, Lyn realized. She grin her teeth and growled as the pirate continued gloating. "You think you were so smooth, coming in and trying to be the hero. Well, it looks like you're out of luck, little man. Once I'm done raiding this dump, I'm going to drag your dead body out of your mech and use your skull as a goblet to drink my swag from! Hahahahahahahaha-AHHH!"
The Pirate mech floating in front of her exploded as a beam of light shot into and through it. The one that had rammed he exploded when several shots of something smashed into and through it. At a loss for words, Lyn watched slack-jawed as the light faded and revealed a lump of molten slag, quickly cooling in the deep freeze of raw vacuum.
As if sensing her growing desire for an answer for this inexplicable save from without, a com-window opened on her canopy showing a young man with brown hair and piercing eyes. He started speaking in Lycian, some of which she understood, but the majority of it was still gibberish to her ears. This became evident to the young man when he saw her confused expression.
"I… uhh… not good speak… Lycian," Lyn said. Recognition lit the young man's face and he looked down for a second. Then a text message appeared below his image.
'My name is Wil. Thank you for your help in the fight. It looked like you needed some help with last couple pirate. Are you okay?'
"I fine," Lyn said. She waved her hand placating. "No power. Wait friends here."
'My friend could tow you to the refueling platform to wait until your friends arrive. At the least, you won't run out of life support down there.'
Lyn nodded, smiling. Despite how it appeared moments ago, it looked like events had turned out for the best in the end. She watched in wonder as a Pegasus appeared and shot out a magnetic towing cable to the hull of her mech. With the artificial gravity projector offline, she was jerked with the rest of the mech when the Pegasus accelerated.
Lyn was placed in the artificial gravity of the platform hangar by the Pegasus, whom she learned was piloted by an Illian named Florina. The Archer pilot, Wil, had come over to make sure she was alright as well, and had left once he was certain she was doing fine. After that, she began to repair her mech as best she could while waiting for the others to arrive.
She'd managed to get life support working again, but the fuel tank had been ruptured somewhere and none was left in the tank. Even if she tried to add fuel, it would probably leak out again. Everything else was in good order though, so that led Lyn to the conclusion that the impact from the pirate had knocked loose part of the fuel system, which she made a mental note to reinforce once back on board The Lorca.
Twenty minutes later, The Lorca arrived at Uncle Buck's Refueling Platform with the salvaged civilian ships. The Lorca, too large to fit inside the platform's hangar, docked with one of the platform's docking ports while the civilians all landed. As they got out of their ships, they all made their way over to the three mech pilots that had saved them, particularly thanking Lyn for stopping the pirate who was killing them indiscriminately.
Lyn, unable to understand even half of what the people were saying, tried to remain as quiet as she could while smiling and nodding to the people praising her. Florina attempted to hide from the adoring crowd and somehow found her way to standing behind Lyn while letting her do all the smiling and nodding. It struck her as odd that someone that young would be this far away from Illia if they were afraid of everyone out here.
After everyone had finished thanking the brave mech pilots that had saved them, the civilians all began to make arrangements to leave, either calling friends or towing services. Several of them tried to ask Lyn for a ride in The Lorca, but she politely declined as best she could. Once most of them were gone, or off on their own, Lyn felt Florina relax behind her.
Lyn turned and found the exhausted lavender haired girl slumped over. Yes, Lyn thought, very odd. Unsure what the girl would understand, she attempted her limited Lycian first. After all, what would a Illian be doing in Lycia if she didn't know the language?
"You be fine soon?"
Florina took a deep breath and then looked up at Lyn. "Yes," Florina said with her thick Illian accent. "I will be fine soon. My Lycian not so good though. You speak Illian?"
Lyn's expression fell a little and she shook her head. Florina sighed, straightened up, and said, "Thank you for help. I look for job. You need help?"
"I no understand 'job'."
"She's asking for work, Lyn." Lyn gasped and spun around while Florina shrieked and hid behind her again. Lucius walked up to her and smiled. "I'm happy you survived that in one piece. Next time though, please try to take back up. You nearly died."
"But you saw what the scum were doing! It was only a matter of time until-"
"I know, I know," Lucius said. He waved her down with both hands, as one does to calm an over excited child. "But remember, it's my duty to guard you, and that gets hard when my ward runs off to fight with pirates. Now, this young lady was the one running interference while the Archer pilot over there shot the Pirates down. It was quite a good, if risky, strategy that required a lot of skill. I suggest you hire her."
"How?" Lyn glanced over her shoulder at the shuddering and cowering girl behind her. "For one thing, she seems to be afraid of men and for another, I don't have any money."
A smile tugged at Lucius' lips as he said, "I don't think money is going to be a problem."
Confused, Lyn tilted her head a little to the side. "What?"
Sacean-Lycian Border Crossing Sigma-Delta-Alpha-193 (SDA193), Lycian Side
Ships traveling through the border of any space state or nation, must drop out of Hyper-space in order to pass through. This was enforced by a wall of gravity projectors strung along the borders of the space in question. This forced slow down also allowed for the passive scanning for contraband and other illegal activities, and allowed law enforcement the opportunity to catch them.
With a burst of light, the Carrier class Caineghis' Roar appeared in real-space at the border with Sacea. Soren, standing with the others on the bridge, needed only one glance to realize what had taken place and promptly knew that they were too late. With a grumbling grimace, he slid into one of the seats on the bridge.
"Well would you look at that," Mathew said. He studied the carnage still being cleaned up with a slack, bored expression that belied the acute accuracy his eyes indicated he was actually applying to the task. "Someone made a mess. Four guesses who it was. The first three don't count."
"Looks like a bandit raid to me," Ike said. He stood just behind the seat Soren had fallen into. "You don't think Ranulf is out there, do you?"
"General Ranulf is no push over," Lethe snapped from the Captain's chair. "This is his mess, no doubt. Those human meat sacks didn't stand a chance." She looked to be on the verge of jumping to her feet to challenge Ike to a fight. Her tail twitched incessantly back and forth as she waited for the challenge to materialize. Ike chose to ignore her.
"From here they will have pushed into Araphen space, correct?" Soren queried. He looked up at Mathew, who stood on the other side of the bridge, behind one of the crewmen working on the bridge that day. Mathew quickly glanced away from the Gallian crewmember's activity and nodded.
"Indeed they will. As I said before, their target is Caelin."
"Hmm…" Soren narrowed his eyes as he studied the damaged mechs being cleaned up. "With that sort of damage, and the battle as a whole, it would stand to reason that they're low on fuel. If your sources are to be trusted, then they'll likely refuel in Araphen in case they're confronted at the border."
Lethe groaned and flung herself back into the Captain's chair. Her head smacked into the metal brace on the back of the chair, eliciting a yelp from the Cat Laguz woman. "Let's hurry and head for the nearest refueling platform then," she gasped through grit teeth. She clutched her head as the navigation officer input the commands.
"This trip has turned out to be longer than I thought it would be," Ike muttered. He glanced at Lethe, who was cursing at her own stupidity for hitting her head.
"Hopefully it won't last much longer," Soren added, grimacing at Lethe as she continued to mutter and curse. "I feel a headache coming on."
Mathew, meanwhile, continued to idly wander about, innocently oblivious to the untrained eye.
Planet Caelin, Capital of Caelin State, Lycian Space
As amusing as it was to watch all the goody-two-shoes police and soldiers wilt under his power, Ludgren found it just wasn't enough. He felt it in his bones. He needed more; needed to be King of Lycia.
However, his contact with the Magician, as he'd come to call his mysterious cloaked man, had waned of late. For the past week, nothing had come to him from the man, and no new information about him had popped up. It was as if the man, and his mysterious master, were figments of his imagination.
The only reason he knew they were still real was because of the poison that kept turning up in his desk drawer. He'd never put it there and no one had access to his office unless he was already in it. Thoughts of the poison drew Ludgren's mind to the target, his brother. The feeble man was being more stubborn than he'd ever been in his entire life. It was like part of his body just refused to die.
That's when he got an idea. He'd keep his brother sick, and bedridden, and dilute the poison. That way, if this little rebellion ever got found out, he could pin it all on his brother, who would 'drink poison' to commit suicide. If the man couldn't get out of his way fast enough, it didn't mean he couldn't serve a useful purpose.
Ludgren smiled as he sat down behind his desk and pulled out a sheet of paper and a pen. True, these were ancient instruments of communication, but for what he was proposing, such precautions had to be taken. Electronic messages were being monitored after all. Writing slowly, he gracefully laid out his proposal to other governors to meet with him for discussions on secession from the Lycian Union.
When I'm finally King, thought the conniving villain, as a final lesson, I'll teach that dying man how to actually die, and cut his throat myself.
A/N: Well now, it seems we have some revelations about the bad guy's ultimate goals… or do we. What could one possible want with a Hyper-space Cannon? That I won't reveal until the time is right, hehehehe.
My intention with Wallace is to turn him into a kind of Old Guard Badass, as it were. He's past his prime, true, but he makes up for it with a lifetime of hard fought experience surviving brutally harsh battles. Too bad he's got no sense of direction.
Florina's actually one of my favorite FE7 characters, alongside Lyn and several others. I hope I got her personality right mixed in with some 'lost in translation'. Hm… I think I should use that toward some jokes…
Poor Soren has got a headache. He probably feels like he's babysitting a bunch of teenagers.
Oh yeah, as far as language differences go, Lycian = English, Sacean = Navajo (or rather, just what Lyn speaks. The other Saceans speak variations of other Native American languages), Illian = Russian, Gallian = (approximately) Swahili. I'll mention the other languages as I go along. Almost everyone in Akaneia speaks the rough equivalent of German. The only exception is the space of Doluna, where there be dragons who speak… well, Dragon. I don't plan on ever attempting to type in those languages, because I'll only butcher them. I'll stick to my American.
Next Chapter: A fateful meeting… or is it? Ambushes await around every corner. Will Lyn and friends have what it takes to make it through to the dawn?
Please review. Thanks for reading.