Xik'Vil'Rax looked impassively upon it's display screen, observing the process that countless Xik'kri'vik fleets made as they pushed through all corners of "Primitive" space with contemptuous ease. Yes, here and there, some pockets of resistance were to be had, but ultimately, they were little more than pebbles before the steamroller advance of the Xik'kri'vik. Still, there were some troubling reports of the primitives managing to achieve some small, tactical successes here and there. Xik'Vil'Rax was unsure of what to make of this, but his underlings reported that the primitives by and large most emphatically did not hold the Xik'kri'vik's ritualistic attitudes towards warfare.
How distasteful, it thought as it's eight fingered hands rapped their fingertips across the console it was getting a holographic display in. It's teal coloured compound eyes analysed every detail of what was presented to them, while it's multi-part mandibles rippled like a wave as they chittered, though this was hidden by it's light absorbing hood. It had also received reports that many of the primitives didn't conform to the standard polytheistic theological worldviews the Xik'kri'vik once thought to be universal. A worrying number of them were monotheists!
Such heresy made Xik'Vil'Rax laugh. A single god with no serious rivals ruling over everything that is usually said to be all loving? Pah, this violent, strife filled universe could only be explained by by competing factions of multiple gods. His own kind had a pantheon consisting of of billions of recognized deities, which clearly had to be stronger than the deities of anyone else, as no one else had or even could stand against the Xik'kri'vik in a straight fight. Yes, these monotheists would have to be re-educated once they were assimilated into the Dominion, lest they feed the power of accursed deities such as Mul'Car'Nas, lord of winter, and Mot'lug'ehb, the dread deity of sterility by subscribing to clear nonsense.
In Xik'Vil'Rax's mind, the only logical explanation was that these "monotheistic" gods deceived their followers into denying the existence of other deities to make up for their lack of numbers. Yes, that was the only way things made sense. But even worse amongst these primitives were those who thought that it was impossible to prove or disprove the existence of deities, were wholly apathetic on the subject of religion, or outright claimed that there were no such things as gods! Atheism! Such a concept was inconceivable. And yet, many captured soldiers laughed at their wardens when the anointed "Jin'iur'may" or "Representatives of gods" attempted to make them swear fealty to the gods of the Xik'kri'vik and acknowledge that their own deities would be bound and vassalized to the great gods of the Xik'kri'vik just as their nations would swear fealty to the Lord High Dominator.
One of them, a scientist, even had the gal to claim that "For such an advanced species, your beliefs and political system are ridiculously outdated. You've got a feudal society who believes in magical invisible men in the sky who guide their every action that somehow managed to develop technology that can play silly putty with reality. I know a lot of people say that religion and science can mix, but you really have to bend your whole damned system backwards to make it work with your science." The scientist scoffed in the video report, which brought him in to be tried, sentenced, and executed by a court of heresy. If there were more like that…cur…who so brazenly mocked the Xik'kri'vik's beliefs, then clearly these primitives would need re-education of truly fierce calibre.
This "Democracy" and "Republic" that had been reported among many of the primitives "empires" had also been quite troubling. How could any system function without a divinely appointed monarch? The whole system was just utter madness and folly. Certainly it should not have been able to survive for as long, or work as well as it did. This was certainly a most troubling region of space. Especially given the defiant resistance of the primitives, who, outmatched in individual power, technology, and caught by complete surprise, still kept on fighting back, trying to use their sheer numbers to overwhelm the onslaught of the Xik'kri'vik.
"Lord Death Commander, Progress is slow, Slower than expected, Lord High Dominator, Wants faster results" One of the other commanders in the Xik'kri'vik invasion force stated as a holoconference began, bringing up the images of a large number of Xik'kri'vik commanders of all stripes, prompting Xik'vil'rax to turn over to the holoemitter. "Lord High Dominator, Must be patient, Primitives are stubborn, Will need time, to completely subdue." Xik'Vil'Rax responded in it's almost digital voice, these utterances of course, being translated from the Xik'Kri'Vik language. "Addittionally reports exist, of surviving legacies, of free league, Chozo and Alimbic." Another commander, this one the rough equivalent of a rear admiral given it's ornate, wavy armoursuit, dotted with star like gems here and there.
"Legacy of enemies? Who are they?" The Death caste commander inquired, it's mandibles chittering as it thought over this news. "Half breed warrior, a human female, named Samus Aran and alimbic nanite, in human male, name is unknown, calls self Sylux, according to records." It reported, prompting a series of nods from the other commanders, a symbol of worry within Xik'Kri'Vik culture. "We need Visual, two are dangerous, must be eliminated, for the Dominion." A scarred sun caste general growled before the last holoimage flared into being, prompting all of the Xik'kri'vik to bow their heads before the image. Why wouldn't they? It was the Lord High Dominator Zyc'Kra'Val himself.
The Lord High Dominator, part of the Dominator caste, had powerful but digitrade legs, curving antennae, two powerful arms ending in eight fingered hands, a pair of vast mineral armour covered wings, square edged but rounded topped pauldrons that ended with great inward curving horn-like fins that stopped facing one another some distance from it's head. The head itself was garbed in the "crown" which wrapped around it's helmet, resembling a combination of a furnace grille and a gothic knight's helmet while a V-shaped crest emerged from the brow above it's single primary and ring of seven secondary eyes. The multifaceted compound eyes glowed a fierce yellow, the regal colour of the Xik'Kri'Vik, and it's billowing golden cloak wrapped around it's limbs.
"Lord High Dominator, Zyc'Kra'Val, our living god, what is wish? Oh mighty one, all must bow, to your glory." The meeting of commanders stated, in awe of their mighty and ancient living god. "Your progress slow, wish to inquire, why is so." It rumbled in an thunderous, ululating, and reverberating digital tone that seemed to shake Xik'Vil'Rax's ship. "Oh gloried one, the primitives stubborn, blasphemous heretics too, too many monotheists, great number Atheists." Xik'Vil'Rax finally stated after an momentary pause. The mere mention of the Xik'Kri'Vik words "Joy" and "Noy" which meant "mono" and "A"theist respectively, caused the equivalent of a collective gasp. The mere possibility of such religious systems, or a lack of one, was considered utterly blasphemous.
"Many are also, not having Monarchs, strange government forms, such as snoutcounting, they call Democracy, and Constitutional Monarchy, where primitive Dominators, are lesser bound." Another commander, not to be upstaged by the Death Caste member, part of the Kil'Val'Lid" he may be, added prompting many angry chitterings of mandibles, the rippling series of little jaws clicking and clacking while aghast growls were had by all, even the Lord High Dominator himself. "This is blasphemy, this is madness, you must destroy, it is obligation, bring primitives order, end their chaos. Save them from, Mul'Car'Nas, Mot'lug'ehb, and their allies. Heresy is intolerable, destroy it all, leave no trace, of hideous blasphemy." Zyc'Kra'Val boomed, the yellow glow to his eyes increasingly intensifying as he spoke, pouring through the furnace like slits of his regal helmet while the strange energy sphere above his head flickered angrily.
"One more thing, Lord High Dominator." Xik'Vil'Rax said, slightly raising it's darkness covered head. "Yes you speak?" It responded, it's mastery of the odd Xik'Kri'Vik language flawless in it's nature. "Legacy of enemies, Chozo and Alimbic, and other rivals, Chozo and Alimbic, successors they are, heavily augmented primitives, Chozo Samus Aran, Alimbic one Sylux." Xik'Vil'Rax informed him, prompting the Lord High Dominator to become very quiet indeed. "They are trouble, must be destroyed, legacy must die." Zyc'Kra'Val commanded, prompting the entire conference to give him an immediate salute, the command to roar praise to the Lord High Dominator being sent out to the vanguard of the invasion force all across the universe.
Samus thought that she was prepared for anything, no matter how strange or dire. She managed to confront her homeworld's despoiler and the murderer of her parents, the space dragon Ridley, after all, and laid waste to one of the largest, most developed, and important Space Pirate fortress worlds in the universe, her adopted Homeworld of Zebes, all on her own before. When she was still new to the bounty hunting business, she managed to help Samuel manage to avoid getting killed by Frank. She had faced down a massive robot rebellion, a pirate mutated and driven mad by exposure to extradimensional energy, fought all over the universe, and had become recognized as the best in the business.
But what followed, was something even she had trouble accepting. The tremors that she had detected in the ground earlier kept on worsening, her thermal visor informing her that a massive heat build up was just beneath the ground, while her sense of touch informed her of a colossal series of tremors that prompted the entire posse of bounty hunters to pull back. "What the fu-" Rundas started before a massive earthen tendril, dripping with lava and emitting colossal amounts of haet, speared it's way out of the ground, the sand all around it melting into molten silicate while it's hundreds of ring like segments began to rotate.
Then came another tendril, which let out an ululating roar as it tried to reach out and devour the nearest hunter, Gandrayda, who just barely managed to backflip out of the way as dozens upon dozens of more tendrils kept on bursting their way out of the ground, each surrounded by lava and molten silicate, the sand near them fusing into glass from their sheer heat. As the hunters dodged the waving tendrils, blue gem like eyes on them began to fire piercing rays of burning light, sending out stabbing lances of blue-white solar energy while other mouths belched forth inconceivably hot fire.
As Samus side dashed out of the way of an incoming tendril with supersonic speed and agility, she saw that the tendrils ended with enormous circular maws that lead down a vast tract of endless circular rows of rotating buzzsaw like teeth, molten lava burning inside of it's gullet all the way through. She fired off a rapid barrage from her combi-beam, which impacted upon a blue-bee-hive patterned geometric energy field and deflected harmlessly. Then came the largest of all rumblings, prompting the emergence of the single largest tendril. No…it wasn't a tendril, it could only have been the main body of the creature.
The enormous beast tore itself out of the earth, letting out a thunderous roar as it seemed to stretch out to the heavens before bringing itself spinning downwards to slam back into the ground like a beaching whale, kicking out a massive amount of molten debris. The Debris weren't hot or fast enough to harm her shields, to which terawatt level shots, enough to power entire 21st century nations, were considered fairly weak impacts, but they were big enough globs of molten silica to make moving out of their way a very good idea. With an inhalation, her superhuman reflexes took over. With something that some might call prescience, she gracefully kicked herself into the air and began a series of flips and space jumps that allowed her to dodge countless tons of molten minerals.
The vast lava wyrm coiled around as it unveiled a blue pod, which immediately unfurled and opened up like the petals of a flower, letting the form of Xil'Zak'Kar rise from it, straightening itself from a prone position, a miniature sun blazing above it's head while it's glowing blue crystal like eyes scanned the foes before it as it stepped off of it's colossal mount. "I am getting massive threat level readings from these guys!" Ghor stated as he brought out his weaponry while the Lava Wyrm coiled it's several kilometres long body around the battle field, it's immense body heat forming channels of molten silica and bedrock as it dug through the Earth.
Spire looked on dumbfoundedly at the massive silicon based life form before him, muttering out something in the rumbling Diamont language before Xil'Zak'Kar raised and pointed one of it's arms towards Spire, reconfiguring the armour plating of the arm into an ornate cannon that ended in a barrel surrounded by pincers stylized to look like the jaws of a monster. A fierce glow built up, along with the hum of machinery powering up before Noxus slammed into Spire to knock him out of the way as a colossal spear of burning energy stabbed out from the cannon.
Irkan was the first to fire upon it, letting loose with his auto-railcannon, pumping forth hypersonic shells at the behemoth, who barely seemed to flinch from the shots. Stomping forward like an implacable man as it's shields flared into being again and again, deflecting off the projectiles at sharp angles as it advanced at a leisurely pace. Rundas fired forth a frost blast at Xil'Zak'Kar, sending a massive wave of cold towards the giant, freezing the air around it while it's shields once again flared into being. But the thing simply kept on walking and shattered the meters thick ice layer like nothing.
It then rose one of it's elephantine legs for a particularly hard stomp on the ground, prompting everyone who could to try and leap over the expanding blue ring of energy while an amused growl ushered forth from the Xik'Kri'Vik's throat. Samus scanned the creature as it casually swatted ZR-88 away as the massive drone attempted to tackle the advancing Nobleman while simultaneously sending Terridax ass over teakettle with a blast from the miniature sun stationed over it's head, the ray of plasma blasting into the other colossal drone and then picking him up and throwing him like a ragdoll.
"Analyzing: Decrypting Alien research database code….Decryption complete…Scanning….Scan complete: Xil'Zak'Kar: Subject is a Xik'Kri'Vik noble man of the Sun caste, and given the warlike nature of Xik'Kri'Vik society, such a position of authority also entails with it a great deal of physical power. Subject is noted for possessing tactical and engineering brilliance, but is most famous for it's seeming invulnerability to harm against most weaponry due to the strength of it's shielding, armour plating, hide, and a set of inertial field manipulators within it that allow it to literally become immovable or unstoppable. Galvinic and Quantum energy may provide best results for damaging shields. Currently, subject's threat level is above user's ability to successfully deal with, recommend retreat or subversion." The suit offered before Xil'Zak'Kar turned to face her as Ghor and Spire uselessly tried to stop it's advance forward by pulling back on it's legs.
"Nothing stops the Juggernaut." It played on an audioclip. It did have a point, it had transcended mere implacability and had become an outright Juggernaut. She decided to test if it's inertial field manipulators were really all they were cracked up to be and backpedaled a bit before rushing forward in a sprint, building up speed and momentum until her speed booster kicked in, sheathing her in a field of destructive energy before jumping up just a little and then redirecting all of her momentum for a side tackle into the chest of the Xik'Kri'Vik Juggernaut.
She prepared to smash through the thing's shield and chest, not quite buying her suit's pessimistic opinion of her chances of success. That is, until she slammed into the thing's shields once again, the section of bee-hive barriers she impacted flaring into visibility and clashing with her speed booster energy before literally rebounding her momentum right back at her, adding it to the charging behemoth's own force and sending Samus slinging through the air like a meteor and slamming into a Xik'kri'vik building or five, punching through several walls and rooms and disintegrating many a hapless Xik'kri'vik. Her speed booster energy kept her from getting any shielding damage, but she was still groggy and unfocused.
Gritting through the dizziness as she tried to stand up before stumbling onto a knee, Samus leapt into the air to space jump back into the fray where Gandrayda took the form of a massive, charging horned beast to ram into the charging form of Xil'Zak'kar. This time, she avoided bouncing off, but after their collision, Xil'Zak'Kar immediately pushed her back, and back, and back, it inertial field manipulators granting him far superior momentum before it threw her off completely. "We need another plan." Noxus stated as he uselessly fired his combi-judicator into the thing as it shut off it's inertial manipulators to allow itself to stop and turn.
Samus leapt down and shook her head as she hit the ground. "We play to the mission. Get our ships and level the city while it's shields are still down. Just try and keep here occupied." Samus wryly remarked as she fired off a quintent of charged super missiles. The seekers arced around and then slammed into Xil'Zak'kar before it could recalibrate it's field manipulators, this time actually causing the thing to backpedal away before firing off a searing lance of raw energy from it's open mandibles, sweeping them around and forcing Samus to duck and roll under them while calling in her gun ship.
Executor, some distance away, levelled his rail-sniper and took aim at the thing's head as Ghor, Zr-88, and Irkan fired off every weapon they had into it, Noxus and Rundas focusing upon firing at it's feet with their frost based abilities, and Spire, Terridax, and Gandrayda in the form of a massive reptilian ape like brutish predator, a mountain of muscle, rushed into melee. Xil'Zak'Kar stumbled around a bit as it was rocked by a series of blows and impacts. A colossal fist from Terridax making it stumble backwards while Spire leaped up and slammed his larger orb hand into the side of it's head, prompting it to list to the left even as it's shields deflected the Impact. Gandrayda brought her shapeshifted form's arms around it to try and hold it down, the shields showing up in all points of contact.
Samus then went in for another shinespark ram, dashing past the rivers of firepower shot out by the team's ranged specialists, getting to see Gandrayda back off and roll away as Executor fired off a full clip of enormous railgun shells into it's head, bringing it down to the ground, unharmed but battered around while it tried to pick itself up, Rundas and Noxus succeeding in freezing over it's trunk like legs just as Samus launched herself in for a shinespark. Slamming into it's chest and sending it flying backwards before she redirected herself upwards and kept on going until she could go up no more, aiming down at the thing and firing off a massive barrage of enhanced missiles, subweapon, and combi-beam shots into it before entering morph ball mode and charging up a colossal boost ball impact even as fire, ice, and lightning rained down on it.
But with almost preternatural reflexes, Xil'Zak'Kar reached out and grabbed Samus' morph ball mode with a hand before slamming her into the ground and then firing off beams from it's eyes, mouth, contained sun, and other arms to drive away the others. It looked down at Samus as she unmorphed, it's oscilating mandibles rippling as they chittered with a perverse delight. "Nowhere to run, you halfbreed orphan." It growled out in English, translated from it's natural speech with special vocoders, it's burning voice deep and rumbling, yet almost digital and musical at the same time. It was privy to this information upon receiving the data memo from Xik'Vil'Rax, and found that the Chozo had chose a primitive to make as the embodiment of their dead warrior culture endlessly amusing.
But it only heard laughter from Samus. "Why do you laugh halfbred primitive?" It thundered angrily, bringing it's head closer to her, blazing eyes looking into her visor obscured face. "Because you've lost." She said in the cheekiest tone she could manage, eliciting nothing but confusion from the Xik'kri'vik Nobleman. "You are beneath my hand! Where is my disadvantage?" It growled, it's translators compensating for it's unusual grammar and syntax patterns. "Look up in the sky dumbass." She told him, prompting the giant to look into the air and see a wing of gunships and corvettes. "No, not possible…" It growled out before the wing of craft flew overhead and dropped forth a series of high powered explosives designed for levelling deeply entrenched and immensely strong fortifications and damaging capital ships.
With a series of blindingly bright flashes, the installation went up in flames while an artillery barrage called forth by Executor slammed all around the ring the Lava Wyrm made, the beast's mind starting to register a threat. "You vile wretch!" Xil'Zak'Kar roared out before it heard the sound of chozo morph ball technology engaging, then the sound of a power bomb going off. Still not having activated it's inertial manipulators, the Sun warrior was send hurtling backwards by the massive wave of heat and pressure, stumbling around as it caught it's balance before calling forth it's pet, growling out a series of curses in it's native language before returning to the Lava Wyrm. Once again, the huge beast rose somewhat as Xil'Zak'Kar returned to his capsule, and then it sank back beneath the earth.
"Well…mission accomplished…" Rundas panted out, looking at the series of craters and ruins that now occupied the space that held the Xik'Kri'Vik prefab city. "Let's see if that's got Marshall Emir happy, shall we?" Samus asked as she unmorphed and shook her head, commanding her ship to come and land near her as she calmly strode forward, cracking her neck a bit.
Author's note: WOW Did that take way longer than it should have. But yeah, here's the long delayed seventh chapter to what I hope will be to the metroid fanbase as Peptuck's Tiberium Wars is to the C&C fanbase.
As you can tell, my usual array of references are peppered everywhere, and we have the first battle between a Xik'Kri'Vik Nobleman and the hunters whom this story will focus on.
Now while the story is focused on Samus and Samuel, I have on the order of twenty other hunters to introduce later on, an awful lot of soldiers, some civilians to show the homefront side of things, a few more politicians, and a whole variety of other named characters.
Can I do it? Well probably, as this is a war story, you can expect me to be quite kill happy with OCs. That being said, I won't let the Canon characters get through things without their own deal of pain either.
I've also partially based the mindset of the Xik'Kri'Vik on the Race from Harry Turtledove's worldwar series. They've lived with their own system and those with similar systems, for so long that the modern splurge of variety is quite simply as difficult for them to grasp as it is for the "Primitives" to grasp their culture.
A major theme of the Xik'Kri'Vik is that while their technology is nothing short of astounding, culturally speaking they're ass backwards, still possessing a highly theocratic society that runs a line between Feudalism and Depotism with a set of traditions older than the human species. This, along with the fact that the "primitives" have power in numbers, is their primary weakness in warfare. Once you've adjusted to their methodical way of war, you can predict their actions quite easily, though they still have overwhelming force and are still ferocious fighters.
Up next, Sylux's side of the story, a show of how the Krikens are doing, and the first discussions of an alliance between the Pirate, Kriken, and Federation-Vhozon camps. And possibly more Sylux!Samuel/Samus ship teasing.
I'm also taking up another project that goes back to Samuel's Pre-Sylux days to show he and young Samus' adventures while they were both still kids. Expect to see it soon!