Hey so unless I get a couple requests this will most likely be the last PROJECT chapter. Request by guest, popular guy that guest. I've received a few messages asking for various things, just going to say if you leave requests, ideas, or suggestions in review, there is a much higher chance that it will get done, as I kind of forget my inbox exists on this site so I often don't check it.
The Master of Shadows examined his appearance. His shadow mirrored him down to blood stains so he wasn't worried about details being missed. The armor was unique from the others in that no color showed from anything except a dull orange form his blades when activated.
Lighter than he was used to it was very different from what he was used to, almost as if he wore a shadow, not merely commanded them.
Reaching for where his shuriken we normally kept he felt the hum of energy and raised it eye level to examine it. Curiously the blades form his shadow also glowed. Science that bordered on magic.
"I approve of these arms." Zed remarked to the tiny figure jotting down notes as he examined the free standing shadow.
"Stable molecular structure in solid state, energy output is even, good this will work excellently. Strike the targets?"
Zed flicked his writ and the shuriken sliced through a paper target, the one form his shadow working in sync.
"That will do. Now as per your request the armor has no visible light and will conceal temperatures form all forms of scan except movement based ones. I'm afraid the exception is weapon system."
"Now what is the test you spoke of? You're aware what I did to the last one impertinent enough to test me."
Heimerdinger ignored the threat entirely, still poking the shadow.
"You will be engaged in a coordinated action simulation. Goal is to execute the leader of said scenario. I shall be in contact with the target, not to inform him of actions to take, but for receiving. Summoners are on standby for life preservation."
"Just terminate the target, not the partner?"
"Possibly both, it could make for interesting variables."
The Purifier traced a line of shots on the wall almost a hundred feet distance, finishing the 'n' of his own name.
"Alright so targeting schematics seems to be online. How does it feel?" asked, looking out of place in a lab coat.
"Like I could have some real fun in this can." Lucian replied.
"Both the S-20 and L-20 pistols are able to fire at an effective range of one hundred feet, the S-20 also had the additional chamber for the S-10 round, it's comparable to the old double barrel on your pistol. A cluster chamber is on your L-20, we managed to hook it up to fire the L-21 caliber round, it'll incapacitate and if you manage to hit targets your suit will pick up residual energy from that target, give you a few seconds of quick time. Remember, the suit amplifies energy and helps out by generating what you need for normal caliber shots but those special flashy ones will take the win out of your sales."
"You talk too much. What's this test you want me to run though? Endure your babble?"
"Co-ordinating a test between you and another suit, one with Zed. Cheery guy, you two should get along. Need to take down a target and try not to get killed in the process. Summoners on hand for safety-"
"Blah blah. Kill the target. Lets go."
Zed stood easy in a very small dark closet sized room. When the door opened the test was on. Until then Zed enjoyed the peace. Despite following his own code, meditation was still a large part of his teachings.
A beep and light flooded in and Zed dashed forward his visor picking up and highlighting different threat values. Steel plates forming a fence ran around some kind of compound in the massive training room, making a self-enclosed fortress. Red circles showed up on his display highlighting movement of droids, all armed with weapons and patrolling the walls.
With a beep a comm link sounded in his helmet.
"Zed, you hearin me ok?" Lucian asked.
"I hear you. What do you want?"
"Supposed to be a teamwork thing, how we running this show?"
"Get in and kill the target. Stay out of my way."
Killing the com Zed dashed forward, taking minimal care to dodge the red lines that were the sights on guns.
Pausing at the wall he looked for cracks in it, examining where the plates linked. It looked like it was tightly fitted with nothing bigger than a sheet of paper able to slide in between.
Slipping the shadow across was as easy as breathing for Zed, and almost as effortlessly, the Solid Smoke armour making it take less effort than normal.
Once his feet touched the ground red dots danced his direction, hesitating for less than a second before gunfire erupted.
"Not a great start but somewhat predictable. I had hoped they would at least meet up before one dove in." Heimerdinger said.
"I hope you were right in choosing these two. Neither are exactly 'team players'".
"Precisely we believe that a test like this will show limitation. Neither have the durability to achieve this alone. Had they met Lucian would have easily shot those guards and saved Zed the sting of those rounds."
Zed flickered back out of the compound, taking several staggering steps. His armor had taken the majority of the damage but he still felt like a punching bag. Re considering he began circling the compound looking for an alternate way in that wouldn't result in an immediate gunfire response.
Lucian took carful aim and popped the robot sentries in the head, making sure no other red lights were in sight of the ones he dropped. After five or so he heard heavy gun fire as the rifles and robots began to open up on something.
Chuckling he moved closer to the steel wall in front of him. Pushing on it he felt no give and abandoned the idea of pushing it down. Walking along it he found a crack and tried to peer through it, but couldn't see anything s it as to narrow.
Eventually he found a gate, it had a section that jutted out where it appeared be even thicker. Two towers rose a little above the wall, he could see the barrels of guns pointing outwards as well as several droids. On the ground there was a control panel with four droids. Two were standard rifle carrying types but the other two were massive, easily twice his height with what looked like an array of weapons.
"Purifier?" beeped the comlink.
"Change of heart?"
"I'm at the gate. What is your plan?"
Two silent shots plucked the heads off two different droids. Both dropped without raising any form of alarm. Others turned to look at the fallen machines and met the same fate, Lucian working methodically across the two tops to make sure no gunfire rained down from that area.
"Interesting, the precision is much better than anticipated."
"Headshots?" Jayce asked back
"Nothing but so far".
"Eyes on the gate, lets see if they can even get in".
A final pair of shots lanced out and each took a small droid in the head on the ground.
Tracer lights flared to life form the larger droids, both raised up and the sound of clicking came from different weapons loading.
Rising silently behind one a shadow appeared, standing still for a split second before looking to bcome more solid, the new figure had glowing orange blade though.
Zed launched himself at the back of the first mech, slashing with both of his blades at an arm joint, shearing it cleanly off.
Beginning to turn towards him to bring their firepower to bear Zed didn't hesitate to keep his relentless assault up on the first one. Orange blurs swirled around him and he sliced through different parts of the machine, aiming for the thinner joints and any exposed barrels.
Seconds ticked by and he leapt backward throwing a large shurikan, aiming for the neck of the machine. Sparks showered as it sliced into the metal but lacked the power to go through all the way.
Before it could register half it's neck had been cut through the mech's head popped off in a blast of light. Lucian swung his guns towards the back of the other mech opening fire on it.
Zed threw himself sideways and his shadow out a different direction. Once the guns fired at him he swapped places with the shadow. After his boots landed softly he threw another shurikan, hitting the midsection to try and stop the rotation.
Lucian continued his barrage of fire but triggered a pistol to fire a cross shaped round. Sizzling the machine paused in its pursuit of his ally and with another Shurikan zipping towards it Lucian watched the machine fall to the ground.
Lowering pistols and walking towards the glowing button on the side Lucian reached out to press it.
"I brought them down. I shall open the door". Zed said abruptly shoving his ranged ally away from it.
"Be my guest".
Zed reached up and jabbed the green lit button.
The gate began to slowly open, but before it got more than an inch the button exploded, not with lethal force but with enough to knock Zed back a step.
"The exploding open button. Your doing?" Heimerdinger accused.
"Ha ha ha, did they actually try to open it?"
"Indeed, the black did damage to Zed."
"Idiot. Who just opens the door to a fort?"
Lucian worked to hide his grin, knowing that it would set off the already irritated ninja.
"Looks like the main building. Still got all kinds of guns up on the walls though. Your turn, any ideas?"
Zed's own helmet highlighted the different patrolling targets.
Throwing his shadow out a fair distance Zed reached over, and grabbed the armoured Lucian.
"I'll be the carry."
Not bothering to explain, Zed flung his teammate towards his shadow, then switched places with it.
Lucain made a yelping nose as Zed caught, used his shadow slash, only instead of spinning and slashing, he spun and threw Lucian again, tossing the smaller man right through a doorway.
Zed appeared beside the gunslinger.
Without a pause he tossed a shurikan forward then dashed to slice another guard into pieces.
"Don't ever, do that again."
"You make an exceptional projectile."
"Entered through the main gate. Sending duplicates for the first real stress test. Ready to observe?" Heimerdinger voiced.
"I have the droids leaving now. The outer gate is sealed, let's force them into the court yard for an open area.
"Now what?" Zed asked after opening the next door to see a steel wall.
"Dead end. Back to the courtyard".
"I can have you through another door with no alert".
"I'm no dwarf, you won't have to toss me".
"Nothing out in the courtyard. Or the walls". Zed said scanning along the walls.
"Must have needed to get past just one time."
"May be smarter to wait here. Something may happen."
Abruptly the wall behind them shot forward, forcing both champions out into the courtyard. Zed caught his weight end flipped back to land lightly on his feet, the natural dexterity training helping cope with wall hurtling. Lucian was not quite so lucky, as nimble as he was he was used to having his feet under him for that nimbleness to be effective. Landing on a shoulder Lucian tumbled heavily and managed to regain his feet before any new threats appeared.
Two coffins stood staring at them, both were solid steel with orange lights, a similar shade to their own armor. A line of light traced the outline of the lids and with a hiss both cracked down the center and two familiar figures stepped out.
Two champions faced off, in battered and dinged armour from various adventures, against two brand new mirrors. Fresh, identical sets of armour stared back at them.
Un even movements and small shifts, showed that it wasn't merely droids in the armour either but thinking beings. It would be a new mirror match on a totally new level.
"Summoner's are linked. We have the captain of the guards, Daryn, a decorated marksmen and seasoned soldier in one. He's been well trained with both pistols and had the fastest time on our obstacle test." Heimerdinger aid tapping buttons to set a vital screen up, the fully green condition showing up beside Lucians mostly green. Both arm parts had been damaged by his leap frog adventure.
"Second woman was recommended by Akali, and tested by Shen, Kennen as well as her. No details on her but two vouched for her and when we asked Shen he nodded and said she had good balance. So two and a half good votes for her. What's her name again?"
"It's different on each form. One was simply marked as 'no'. Working name is Jane doe."
Daryn wasted no time in raising both gleaming pistols and opening fire on Zed. Tracking the Shadow master as he leapt to the side. Shits whistled by him only one actually tagging his leg.
Zed threw a shadow out and switched placed with it hoping for a quick kill on the opposing marksmen.
A glowing blade intercepted his own and he was forced back a step.
Jane doe pressed the sudden advantage slashing after the retreating assassin, ruthlessly closing in. Zed danced back blocking each strike from connecting but saw Daryn level his weapons his way.
Lucian started off by unleashing a volley of culling round, blasting his mirror match. He dashed back to make distance, on the off chance Zed's opponent slipped away. Several rounds clipped the opposing gunslinger but the rounds didn't have the force to pierce the armour.
Daryn fire out a cross shaped round, intending to stun the champion by shorting out his armour. Holding his fire for the light to clear a light dinged and he launched himself back, narrowly avoiding a shurikan from Zed.
Swivelling he ran sideways opening fire on the shadow master once more, racing away from his own counterpart. This time several shots blasted through the armoured ninja.
Suddenly in front of him after shadow swapping again Zed lashed out and brought his weapons both slashing down in heavy slashes, rending the armour open.
With a grunt Daryn held his ground and opened fire point blank with his own culling volley, ignoring the blood on his chest.
At point blank and with his Shadow material unable to be switched Zed took the entire volley, the first several knocking him off his feet and continuing to hammer him while he was a pile on the ground.
Lucian ducked and threw himself sideways into a tumble, coming up to fire off a trio of shots at his attacked. She wasn't as good as Zed was, slightly slower but if those blades caught him, he knew even the PROJECT armour wouldn't stop them.
Firing a cross out he watched it illuminate the shadow. Experience ingrained form fighting these techniques came to him and he threw himself forward on his stomach, then rolled sideways. A shurikan whistled above him right before a glowing energy blade sank into the floor.
Not getting up from the roll he fired off another pair of shots which his opponent took as she dashed forward to take another swipe; this time scoring this one barely scoring the armor on neck as he threw himself back to an arm and pushed himself to his feet.
"It's much more fun watching this when I don't need to scramble not to get my ass shot off." Jayce commented.
"Both sets have taken damage, these quarters favor close combat but each marksman has landed several shots. This may be the limit of our stress test."
Lucian threw himself into a dash and kept on shooting, his natural reactions letting him keep target and force the assassin back once more. He knew that if he could keep distance he had a chance. His culling volley still needed time to recharge but even that may not be enough to drop one of them.
Daryn Aimed and fired a pair of aimed shots, just missing the dancing Purifier. He advanced continuing his methodical shooting, aiming for this center of mass. It was difficult not hitting the similar moving Jane, but after several shots he landed on Lucian, connecting on the waist, spinning the Champion off balance.
Jane leapt forward aiming to capitalize on the off balance warrior.
A shadow flickered and suddenly Zed was there, his chest plate badly burnt and in places blasted right through.
Catching Jane's strike he spun at the waist, enhanced by the armour and with the additional force slashed her shoulder. With the force of the hit and being in mid-air Jane was tossed sideways, and Zed chased after her, both trading blows while one was in mid-air.
Lucian wasted no time, firing at his wounded enemy. Both aiming and firing roughly the same rate. Shots flashed in bursts of light, appearing to be fireworks between the clashing marksmen.
Rising to his feet Lucian continued the relentless barrage and began advancing, Still shooting, using the sensors and his own natural ability to pick them off.
Seconds ticked by until Daryn finally missed, his arm shaking as he was a hair to slow to blast a shot from the air.
A split second was all it took for Lucian. Firing a lightslinger round to double up on the weakened side he watched the rounds slam into the open wound on his enemy's chest. A second later the other suit dropped and Lucian lowered his pistols, gasping for breath.
"That wasn't as easy as it looked." He muttered.
Zed and Jane doe flashed in blurs of light, both trying to gain the second needed to create an opening. Both stood on flat feet, swaying from the waist up, striking and parrying. Each blade seemed to leave a trail of orange light, the speed fast enough to be hard to track for even the most trained eye.
PROJECT sensors made it possible for both to focus only on the attack and it would track those hard to see blades.
A single shot rang out, Lucian not needed the other tracking shots Daryn did, clipped the helmet of Jane doe.
The sensor set faltered, only for a second but in the second Zed had landed a strike deep to her chest, and a second sliced through the thinner armour of her neck.
"One last stop?" Lucian panted.
"Let's finish this."
Lucian blasted the handle and Zed planted his boot onto the door, kicking it in. Both knew the time for stealth was gone. The room was a large box, empty except for a wall filled with screens.
"Nice show down there. Ready to fight a real champion?" Jayce asked turning form the screen. He held his mercury hammer at his side, his own full metal armour gleaming blue.
"One more victim." Zed said surging forward.
Spinning to put his back to Lucian Zed slammed his hammer at Zed, knowing that his shadow had been placed behind him.
Zed smashed through the steel of the wall, with a grunt he flew into the open air back down into the courtyard.
"He really needs to learn to not do the exact same thing over and over. Although I guess he didn't just fling out a hundred shurikans first."
Lucian opened fire shooting out a straight beam of light staggering Jayce back a step.
"No witty banter?" Jayce asked switching his Hammer for his cannon and starting to level it at Lucian.
"Here's your second shot."
Lucian opened up with his last culling volley, firing at Jayce so he slid towards the Zed shaped hole.
Dashing forward he rammed his gun into Jayce's helm.
Pulling the trigger Lucian knocked Jayce out into the open air above the courtyard.
While falling Jayce fired a round from his cannon, hitting the leg Lucian had used to brace himself for the punch. It threw it back behind him and since he had been off balance form the punch.
With a grunt Lucian tipped out into the open air following the other two champions.
"Did you believe you could fly? I could hologram a sky for you to attempt to touch." Heimerdinger crackled in Jayce' helm.
Wasting no time Jayce switched back to hammer mode, swinging hard as he could from his position on his back. It connected with Zed, who had jumped forward to try and take advantage of the situation.
Taking the chance to rise to his feet, Jayce planted them and swung hard as he could at Lucian, whom hadn't quite landed yet.
Without a way to brace himself Lucian sailed across the yard to slam into the thick walls of the courtyard. With a grunt he fell as pieces of his armour rained around him.
Letting extra energy surround him Jayce heard the crackle as it knocked a shurikan away. Switching back to cannon he turned and tossed out an acceleration gate, firing just as it opened up.
Zed tossed his shadow forward, blinking to it to avoid the cannon round, moving forward to try and close distance.
Firing three quick rounds off Jayce took a step back beginning the swap back into hammer mode. Before the mechanism finished a bolt of light hit his hand, slapping it off the handle.
Without his other arm Jayce couldn't swing the weapon in time to slap Zed away and he was able to slice under the jaw of the helm.
"That's the game then." Lucian panted, not having risen from his spot on the ground.
"Very useful data. I had hoped you would have been able to provide more testing through action yourself, but I suppose your armour isn't as advanced as these sets." Heimerdinger said watching as a loading bar filled on a screen.
Jayce rubbed his neck, the feeling of a blade slicing through it had been real and the Summoner had prevented his death, but it was a very unnerving experience.
"The mirror match was a treat to watch. Did you compensate the two?"
"Yes, yes it's been dealt with."
"Is that the data transmitting? Looks to be a small file."
"No this is a favor to the Wuju swordsman. He requested a file, I sent him the video footage of the three of you in the air. I believe he said it as for 'a collection'"
A little late on this one but a few personal issues arose. Best of luck at season end!