The Voice and Face of all Evil
Chapter 33: Day 6
An entity older than time itself, or at least older than a Queen who commanded the ice.
Her eyes glistened and she stumbled around, head twirling while she tried to think.
Her head hurt and thinking only made it worse. A pain that felt like fire burning not just her body, but further than that.
Elsa clutched at her head feeling only pain, still she tried to open her eyes, looking and not seeing anything but shades and vague colors.
She saw fire again. For reason it was the only thing she could see. Wings made of fire and a great roar.
A woman in green, fire surrounding her and a fear washed over the Queen's heart. Whatever was happening, the woman was inconceivably powerful. More powerful than anything she had ever seen.
The fire engulfed a place, but she couldn't recognize it. The pain kept it from being clear.
Then there was a song. Not one with words, music, or even from a human, but that of an animal. A bird. Great and powerful.
Pain hit her again and she screamed trying to keep her mind intact. For the fighters it would've been easier, but she had never felt pain. Not like this.
Images flew in.
Anna, smiling and waving at someone she didn't know, a red hooded figure.
Shepard, yelling while holding her weapon.
Chief, struggling against an opponent twice his size.
Korra, eyes glowing and water surrounding her.
Fire, flickering and engulfing a building.
A planet burning.
Thunder and lighting roaring through the sky.
Eyes shot open, and the once Queen of Arendelle screamed. She shot up in the bed, pulling what covers were on closer to her.
A single drop of sweat rolled down her forehead while her eyes adjusted to the room.
Wooden walls, dying fire in the corner, the sun barely beginning to rise in the window, a rug, and her covers made from fur, and antlers hanging on the wall.
"Elsa?" A voice asked.
The blonde woman quickly turned her head, far faster than should've been possible for a human. Her eyes scanned the person sitting in the corner. A man. She knew him yet her mind had trouble placing him, the pain was still there, just on a lesser level.
"Chief…. Toraq?" She asked rubbing her forehead, her eyes closing shut hard while she tried to force away the pain.
The man nodded and stood up, "You've been out for almost twelve hours," He stated walking towards her.
"How long?" Elsa asked through a squint and grit teeth. She hadn't heard him. A ringing in her head had started, and slowly it was getting louder..
"Twelve hours." Tonraq replied with a frown. "Headache?"
"Yes…" The Queen nodded. She let ice form on her hand and pressed the cold to her head. It didn't really work considering the fact she couldn't feel the cold.
"Figured. You had a concussion. Our healers took care of any major damage but you need to rest. A concussion is no small thing, at least not the one you suffered," Toraq said, his voice fell slightly and Elsa caught it, eyeing him curiously.
"How… How bad was it?"
The leader of the South stared at her for a few moments then looked towards the door. No one came through and he sighed.
In a low voice he replied, "Elsa… You could've died. Your body is not as durable as a normal benders. A blow to the head like that would've killed any non bender but you, fortunately, are a tad more durable than a non bender. We didn't tell your sister, had to kick her and that man out, while our healers worked but… It was bad. You're heart even stopped for a few moments. You're lucky to be alive."
Elsa stared at him wide eyed. She had almost died, but she didn't feel anything. No fear, no worry. Why?
She sighed, and another bolt of pain hit her head.
She screamed, grasping her head and suddenly going into seizure, her body twitching violently, and eyes closing shut again all the while her ice powers flew out of control.
As all rational behavior left her, a single voice, transparent and almost inaudible, stood out, "Our time has come…"
"Elsa!" Tonraq roared jumping to his feet.
What they didn't know, was that she was not the only one in pain.
Shepard held herself against a wall, the pain in her head almost as bad as the time when she dying from Harbringers blast.
How that was even possible, she had no idea.
Her grip tightened on her hair.
Flashes, visions of people, beings, creatures she had never seen filled her head.
She felt her bitotics flaring and she was rewarded when she heard the break of several glass vases in the hallway she was in, her power having rocketed out and destroying everything in a five yard radius except the walls, floor, and roof.
Katherine looked up, her breath short and sweat coating her face.
Reluctant Promise floated in front of her, staring at her with she thought was a look of curiosity.
"What?" She asked, the pain taking away whatever patience she normally had. The monitor didn't respond and instead scanned her, a blue flickering light running over her body. She didn't care. She just wanted him to leave so she could focus on getting rid of the pain.
"Commander your heart rate is elevated and your dopamine level is considerably high. Is there something wrong?"
"Negative. Your body shows no signs of aches, or natural pain in any region," Promise stated as it floated in front of her.
"Look I have a migraine. How about you bring me something to help instead of telling me I don't have one?"
"If the pain your voice patterns indicates is accurate then there is nothing here that can help sooth you over. I am sorry."
She groaned and let herself fall against the wall sliding down to where she was leaning on it.
"The only thing I can offer…"
A scream pierced the air and Shepard grabbed her hair, threatening to pull out all of it out while her voice reached new levels of pitch. Finally her voice cut off and the Commander shivered against the wall.
Promise floated lower towards her and his light dimmed.
"Well Commander… I will keep you company," He said, somehow his voice holding a caring nature to it.
Katherine didn't reply instead holding her shoulders and letting a few tears escape. Whatever was happening to her was not normal. That she knew. She just hoped no one caught her like this.
Korra huffed over and over, her body shaking and fire escaping every time she screamed.
She was lying on the floor, scorch marks, and tears in the earth rocketing out from her body. She twitched involuntarily and more fire stretched out form her hands, charring the floor.
Fortunately she was in one of the earth benders training rooms underneath a nearby police station.
She had gone here to train, and relax, especially after hearing what had happened at the South Pole. Shepard had been worried to say the least, Chief had been quiet like always and she had been down right pissed. They had considered going down there to consult with Elsa and Wrex but after some thinking, they had decided to send the Normandy down there and to drop off several Promethean Knights and Sentinels to watch over the Queen, seeing that she was currently in the most danger of all of them.
It didn't matter now thought. Not with the pain wracking her body. It felt like bloodbending multiplied by ten and tormenting her head more than anything ever had.
She was surprised no one had heard her scream and basically destroy the entire training area when the pain she wasn't surprised at the same time.
Something was defiantly wrong and she could barely manage the pain.
Maybe it was all in her mind. The pain was definitely there.
Another surge and her body screamed in agony, jerking upwards violently as tears openly flowed down her face.
Her eyes glowed white and another surge of fire scorned the room.
She didn't hear anything but her screams.
Nothing, but the pain existed to her now.
John clenched his fist, breaking apart the training dummy in his hands. His teeth were grit, and his helmet continued to blare an alarm thanks to his elevated heart rate, which was elevated beyond safe measures even for him.
The pain that hit him was immense. He couldn't believe how much it hurt. It was even a challenge for him to stay standing.
Yet he was trained for pain, and it took all he had to keep himself upright. He was hunched over, his head resting on one of the walls while his arms held him against the wall.
His suit continued to give him reports of his body becoming unstable, but the only thing that interested him was the fact his brain had no fluctuations, meaning whatever he was feeling was not centered in his head.
Still all the pain was coming from there.
He had no idea what it meant.
How could pain of such an intensity come from his head, yet it didn't even register?
Maybe he was losing his mind.
It was someone he once knew.
A friend being held up by the Didact. The Forerunner chanting something about his power and humanities destined defeat.
A blazing weapon and it went through his lifelong friend.
She slumped and a voice called to him.
"Don't make a girl a promise you know you can't keep."
The Spartan lost it.
Pain and emotion surging through him, he slammed his fist into the rock wall, shattering it apart, then grabbing a large chunk of it and sending it hurling into another wall, breaking that one part as well.
He yelled, no one to hear him, and fell to his knees clutching his head.
Even a Spartan could only endure so much.
Ten minutes earlier
Rapuznel walked into the room. It was dim, but the window staring out into space was beautiful, the stars shining through and glowing brilliantly.
It reminded her of lanterns. Floating ones.
"R is it?" A voice asked.
The young girl looked down, sheepishly brushing a strand of her short hair behind her ear. Her old clothing had been thrown away and she now wore a pair of jeans and a dull purple top from one of Earth's colonies. Hackett had ordered her an entire wardrobe after meeting her.
She had impressed him.
"Yup. Thats the name," R replied with a small smile.
The wheelchair turned around and the Asari sitting in it smiled up at her.
"My names Liara. I'm afriend of Shepard's," Liara smiled sadly. She hated being back here while her friends were trapped and helpless but alas, she couldn't do much either way to help. She was unable to walk with a missing leg and until her request went through, would be without one for the foreseeable future.
"When is Shepard coming back? In a few days right?" R asked curiously.
Liara bit her cheek, "Soon. She'll be back soon," She lied through a smile.
They had kept the truth from R.
Of course they figured she could handle it, but they didn't trust her. She had done nothing to earn it and they wanted to keep Shepard's predicament close to the chest, so they kept the truth form her. Liara told herself it was for the girl's sake, but she had a hard time convincing herself of that lie as well.
"So are you ready?" The Asari asked, rolling the wheelchair towards another chair in her office. She had a new office aboard Hacketts ship. It was small but cozy.
"Um yeah, question, what is a mind meld?"
Liara looked up at her. The Keeper and Hackett wanted to know more about the Flood, and outside from Chief, she was the one with most experience. Not everyone could have survived a few months on a Flood infested planet.
So she was the only one they could turn to. R had been willing to help and had saved them from giving her an explanation earlier, but now Liara had to explain. Either way it was only fair if R knew what she was getting into.
"A mind meld is when an Asari joins minds with another person. We can look into memories, emotions, almost anything about the other person. Its dangerous though. If its…"
Liara blinked a few times in surprise. Even Shepard had taken longer to convince.
The Asari had been against the decision to mind meld with R, but being a guest aboard the ship she had no say in almost anything. Still, she had too make sure R knew that mind melding was not for the faint of heart.
"Yes," Rapunzel stated defiantly. She could do anything. She knew she could. She had to… she had failed once before. Never again. She would never fail at anything again.
"Ok, sit down," Liara ordered. The girl did as told and sat down.
"R please think this through. Melding is not…."
"Its ok. I'll be fine," R reassured with a shaky smile. Just because she was determined didn't mean she was made of steel.
"Ok…" Liara looked down, suddenly looking up with black eyes, "Embrace eternity."
That was when the pain started.
R screamed grabbing the sides of her head and falling out of the chair.
Liara pulled out of the mind meld and gasped. "R!" She yelled out of breath. The brief connection had given Liara a glimpse of the pain R was enduring. She couldn't even fathom it.
R screamed again, the sound curtailing Liara's blood and sending a chill down her spine.
"Hackett!" The Asari yelled into her com, "Get a medic down here now!"
The Black Knight slammed his fist into the wall, ripping a hole in it.
Pain once more, and he fell back, pulling his fist out, and stumbling backwards into another wall while Cinder watched in confusion.
"Whats going on?" The Witch asked taking a step towards the Knight.
"It's too early. They moved too early," The Knight muttered.
"What's too early?" Cinder asked flaring her own power as a wave of red bitotics rocketed out from the Knight, cracking the walls around the two. The blood stains and the dark atmosphere did nothing to help with the pain in the Knights mind.
"Leave me! Go play with your experiments," He roared, slamming another fist into a wall.
Cinder blinked in confusion and backed away into the veiled darkness beyond the room.
Another roar and a red wave of power shook the place to its core.
"What is it?" The Keeper asked rushing onto the bridge of Admiral Hacketts ship, red lights flashing all over.
Hackett was leaning over a holotable at the center of his bridge, Claire, the Keeper's AI, standing in hologram form on the table playing with several holographic graphs floating in mid air.
"Ma'am," Claire started, "We have over two thousand portals opening up simultaneously around the Milky Way galaxy."
"Two Thousand?" The Keeper asked, astounded by the numbers.
"We have energy readings going haywire across the Galaxy. Every major party is picking it up, the Bartarians are even detecting signatures outside the galaxy," Hackett informed looking at her for some explanation.
"Admiral the Arbiter is contacting us."
"Put him through." A new hologram formed next to Claire, the Elite standing tall and arms behind his back.
"Admiral, the Sangheili have detected Thousands of energy signatures across the galaxy, they match the signal of a reality transporter," The Elite reported in a worried tone.
"Is it the Flood?" Hackett asked.
"No. No Flood ships are being reported anywhere within the orals direct vicinities." The Arbiter reported.
"My mother had a theory," The Keeper started, letting her hand hold up her chin, eyes scanning the graphs Claire was working on."What she theorized, is that there are things called dimensional barriers. Whatever they are, it keeps begins from being able to traverse between dimensions without an immense power source. She predicted, how one day, the dimensional barriers would fall apart because of all the traveling between them. If there was too much traffic, like a circuit, the barriers could in a word overload."
"What do you mean barriers?"
"Dimensional barriers are essentially the shields to keep powerful creatures from escaping form one dimension to the next. Naturally there are very few that posses the ability to traverse the dimensions, the Gravemind being one. Those few were never enough to overwhelm the barriers but with the Gravemind and his allies waging war across the dimensions, as my mother believed he was, then ,the extra numbers, namely ships and other beings, could have overwhelmed the barriers entirely."
"So what happens when they're down?" The Arbiter asked.
"Well… I have no idea," The Keeper sighed, "Theoretically nothing. At least from what she told me. These barriers, if down would only allow... increased travel, meaning weaker beings and power sources would be able to travel through the dimensions."
"So normal humans could travel through?"
"No. A slip space drive, which is considerably weaker than a reality transporter, could punch a hole through the dimensions without any extra power source. Perhaps even normal FTL could,"
"Could this be a danger?" Hackett asked.
"Unknown. As I said earlier, its only a theory. For all we know something else is going on and we just have no idea what. That's what happens when ones mess with different dimensions. Strange things, even we can't explain, begin to happen."
"So you had it too?" Shepard asked leaning over the table and closer towards Korra. The Avatar responded with a nod and meet the Commanders eyes,
"It wasn't the best experience I've ever had."
"You and me both."
"It felt like my skull was on fire," Korra said moving the noodles in her bowl around, her appetite having never even existed.
"Is it common to have headaches around here?" Shepard asked ignoring the food on her own plate. They were alone in the private dining room set aside for the 'foreign ambassadors'. Promise had gone off to do whatever he did while he wasn't with them but only after he had made sure Shepard's headache had stopped. Chief, well they hadn't seen him all day.
"Nope. At least not one that bad. What about where you're from?"
"Not even close to that painful," The Commander shook her head and once again looked at her plate. The headache had lasted almost two hours and she had lost her appetite for the day thanks to it.
She pushed her plate to the side. "I'm gonna go down to the training area, get a few hours of practice in case we run into anymore assassins."
"You know what," Korra stated getting up form her own seat, "I say we have ourselves a girls night out. What do you say? After the whole assassin thing and then this headache I'd say we earned one." The Avatar grinned mischievously.
"I don't think that's…"
"Come on! One nights not gonna hurt anyone!"
"It's not even night yet…"
"Well we have a whole day then! Come on it'll be fine! Besides we kind of deserve it. You know, a day off."
Shepard frowned and stared at the young Avatar, wondering if she had a point. She didn't have anything work related to do, and she was an expert shot already.
Katherine pondered her options. She had already contacted the groups earlier in the morning before her headache, there was nothing they could do for Elsa at this point so that was a dead end, she had no real reason to train other than for her own amusement, there was nothing to fix, nothing to fight, nothing to plan for since they were waiting on the Keeper's new ship and fleet to get them out.
Slowly the Commander looked up at the Avatar.
"One hour," She had decided to entertain the girls idea for a little bit.
"Yes! Come on! I've only been here a few times but I bet there loads of things to do!"
"So you're telling me that I still can't see my sister," Anna deadpanned with obvious annoyance.
"Yes. Now go," The water bender guard stated with a frown.
"Why you…" The hot headed girl started before being grabbed and pulled back by the blond man whom always seemed to be by her side.
"Look calm down," Kristoff started as he pulled Anna away, the girl still glaring at the water benders standing outside Elsa's temporary hut. "Getting mad isn't going to make anything better. I'm sure they'll let us know when anything happens."
The girl sighed, "Yeah I guess you're right."
She looked back as heavy footsteps followed them, and glared lightly at the Krogan who had been following them all day.
"Why is he following us?" She whispered to the once ice deliverer.
"Because you two always seem to get into trouble and Shepard doesn't want you two getting yourselves killed while your sisters out of the picture," Wrex called out from his spot a few feet behind them.
"Oh I can…"
"Don't say it little girl," The Krogan replied through grit teeth. Unlike R, these two got on his nerves.
"Don't say what?" Anna stopped in her tracks and crossed her arms frowning at the much larger alien.
"Is she always like this?" Wrex asked looking at the blond man, whom seemed to be the more rational of the two.
"Only when she's upset," He shrugged which earned him a glare from Anna.
"Yes I'm upset," Anna stated looking back at Wrex, "My sister just got attacked, some crazy freak just tried to kill us, and now they won't even let me see my sister. Of course I'm upset!"
"Why do you think your sister wanted you to stay on the ship?"
"Wait, what does…"
"Look," Wrex started taking a step towards the far younger princess and leaning down closer to her, "Your sister wanted you to stay on the ship so you'd be safe and I'm guessing keep out of trouble. I'm betting she at least figured things would get bad down here, and she didn't want to have to worry about her sister getting herself killed. You already snuck off the ship to stay with us and your sister almost died. So you better stay in line girl or I'm locking you up so you don't cause anymore trouble. Got it?"
Anna blinked a few times and nodded slowly.
"Good. Now get back to whatever you were doing." Wrex turned away from the two and walked a distance away. He wouldn't let them out of his sight , but he didn't want to talk to them and he was sure they felt the same way.
"Anna?" Kristoff asked looking at her with concern etched in his face.
"I'm fine… Lets…" Anna let out a breath she was holding and turned away, not meeting his eyes, "Lets just go do something…" She continued walking the same way they had been, but her stride had lost its energy.
The man sighed. He felt bad for her. She was head strong and always had good intentions, but she was too head strong sometimes. Still, he wouldn't give up on her, he couldn't.
A shot rang out, ricocheting off the walls but fortunately missing anyone inside the firing range.
"Hey watch it! A gun is not a toy!"
"Sorry just let me..."
Anther shot rang out, this time much closer to the two women.
"Damn it! Just don't press the trigger!"
"I'm sorry! Its not like I've been doing this my whole life!"
Jacqueline growled and threw her hands up in the air. If it hadn't been for Admiral Hackett she would've never taken this job, but like he said, R or Rapunzel needed someone to look out for her. At least for the time being.
"Ok," the N7 started, "Just get that pistol over there. I don't think Assault rifles are really your thing."
"What's a pistol again?" R asked with an embarrassing frown.
"The smallest gun..." Jacqueline sighed rubbing her forehead.
"No that's not..."
A third shot rang out this time shattering Jacqueline's data pad, which she had been using to take notes of R's progress.
"Fucking... Ahhhh!" The soldier roared tossing the doomed pad to the ground.
Before either could say another word the door to the firing range opened.
The two looked over at the door, Jacqueline looking ready to rip apart anyone that pissed her off anymore and R looking out of place with a submachine gun cradled in her arms.
"Arbiter," The N7 greeted standing up straighter and saluting.
"Uh hi?" R responded glancing at Jacqueline weirdly. She knew about army salutes but why would Jacqueline be saluting the lizard guy. She thought he was just a friend of the Chief's.
"Leave us," He said looking at Jacqueline. His voice brokered no augment and though the solider was confused by the sudden intrusion, she nodded and walked out, slightly relieved that she could get a break from trying to teach R.
The Elite waited till the automatic doors shut and looked back at the younger girl with his hands held behind his back.
"So..." Rapunzel started nervously.
"I was informed that you had what humans call, a migraine?" His voice was deep and he strutted over towards the weapons laid out on the table.
"It happened at the same time as the dozens of portals began to open," He turned back towards her, eyeing her carefully. She didn't notice but his hand was resting next to his energy sword.
"Wait what happened?" R asked.
"Your 'migraine' happened at a the same time the new portals opened. Do you know why?"
"Hmmm..." Again the elite moved away looking towards the targets at the end of the firing range.
He was being cautious. After Lithyia's betrayal, a fear began to fester in his heart. He feared another betrayal. He knew one would do it for power, or out of spite, but now with what had happened with the sudden portals opening and closing, it was too much coincidence that R had felt pain at the same time. He would keep a closer eye on her, such as how he came to see her.
The Elite had to know if she was capable of evil. If she would betray them as Lithyia did.
How could he do that?
He had to gain her trust.
Had to find out what she was really like.
And how did you gain someone's trust?
You had to give them yours.
"Do you know the story of the Didact?"
"Welcome Citizens of Ba Sing Se to Underground RRRRRRRRumbleeeeee!"
Thousands of voices cheered throughout the massive underground stadium, almost shaking it with the power and adrenaline carried in them.
Shepard looked around anxiously, completely unsure of what was going on. She had no idea what Earth Rumble was but when Korra had gotten wind if it, she had dragged Shepard along with her.
"Tonight we have a special match! We have the underdog, rookie of the year, The Volcano, fighting the experienced three time champ of the ring, the one, the only! Unnnnddddeerrrrminnnerrrr!"
Two men stood at the opposite ends of the ring made of solid rock. One was large, built and bald with a permanent frown, the other a skinny guy who was tall and stood with a smirk on his face.
The arena itself was simple, massive stands circling the arena in the center, stands selling various things below the arena, and crowds of thousands cheering on their favorite competitor.
"So what exactly is Earth Rumble?" Shepard asked having to yell so Korra could here her as the crowd cheered and the announcer gave certain stats for each man.
"Well from what I've read its a lot like Pro Bending but only with one on one matches!" Korra explained having to cup her mouth to amplify her voice.
"What's Pro Bending?"
The crowd let out another furious cheer that drowned out whatever Korra was going to say next. Shepard frowned and repeated her question, but again a cheer drowned out any response.
"NNNNooooooowwwwwww! Get ready to RRRRRRRRUUUUUUMMMMBBBBLLLLLLEEEEE!" The announcer cheered and again the crowed followed suit. It reminded Shepard of whatever sporting events she had seen in TV back in her galaxy. Back home. On Earth.
"Who do you thinks gonna win?!" Korra asked with an adrenaline filled grin, right after she had cheered for one of the two men.
Shepard studied the two. Neither looked too skilled, but the smirk in the skinner one made her feel like he was too confident, but maybe he had a reason to be.
"I say the small guy," Shepard replied, again having to yell for Korra to hear her.
"Nah! Other Underminers got this in the bag! I mean come on this guy doesn't even have an original name!" Korra bragged, then she cheered again, screaming for the Underminer to take the smaller man, the Volcano, down.
"Let the match begin!"
A cheer. Then the two began.
The larger man, Underminer, started off smashing his fist into the ground, earth ripping out from the arena floor and racing at the skinner foe.
The other man let his smirk fade and, using flames, rocketed off to the left, successfully avoiding the attack.
He then retaliated and sent two small bolts of fire at the Underminer, to which the bender blocked by lifting up a wall of rocks to protect him.
Now, having a slight advantage, the Volcano flipped up into the air and with several spinning kicks let loose streams if fire from above.
With a roll, the large man avoided the flames, but was knocked slightly off balance from the sheer force of the blasts. He steadied himself and retaliated by launching three chunks of the arena floor at the fire bender.
Having barely landed the Volcano was unable to avoid all of the boulders. He managed to dodge two but the third slammed right into his chest, which sent him flying back.
The Underminder didn't let up and charged forward while holding his arms out, letting tears in the earth follow him on each side.
Despite the brief setback the fire bender spun to his feet, lashing out with flames.
More boulders flew at him despite his counter, and he was forced to dodge. He still managed a few more pot shots, but he had to avaid once more as the Underminer began another assault.
"Whoooo!" Korra yelled thrusting her fist into the air.
Shepard couldn't help but grin. Mindless entertainment. It had been a long time since she had done something like this.
Another clashing of fire and earth, and the crowd let out another cheer.
It was quiet.
The sound of pattering rain being the only thing to break the silence. That, along with heavy footsteps.
Footsteps only a Spartan could make.
Chief didn't care though, the rain covered up the noise he made. Either way it's not as if he was trying to sneak up on someone.
He was out. Walking. There was nothing else to do so he left, looking for Shepard and Korra. He had learned from one of the guards that the two had left to what was called the Underground Rumble.
So he went looking for them, wondering what the rumble could be. What was so important that it would keep the Commander distracted from her duties? They had to keep an eye on everything. The Flood could move on the city any moment, and yet her and the Avatar were out doing who knew what.
The Spartan didn't approve, but he knew he needed to find them, at the very least to protect them in case of an ambush.
As he walked he thought.
Things were different. He knew that. The Flood were more of a danger now than ever before, threatening multiple universes now. Yet, the Gravemind was not one if them. He always had thought the Gravemind was apart of the Flood yet it wasn't.
He wondered who the true enemy was. He wondered who was behind it all. From what the Black Knight had said when they fought back on Elsa's home, he knew there were more enemies than just the Gravemind or Catalyst.
'They, we, are behind your comprehension!' It wasn't what the knight stated but the way he had said it, that made John think. It made him wonder if there was more to everything then they knew.
Maybe he was wrong.
Maybe the Gravemind was behind it all.
His mind raced with possibilities.
Elsa was a target, considering the fact they had singled her out and attacked her, but why? What did she have that they didn't? He wanted to know, then he would be able to figure out who and what was behind this, or at least what they wanted.
Elsa wasn't a strong fighter like him, Shepard, or Korra. So it couldn't be that.
She was a Queen, but Shepard was the golden girl of her galaxy, he was the last of the Reclaimer, and Korra this special avatar. Her being a Queen wasn't it.
She had powers. That might've been it.
What if she wasn't a target at all? What if they all were?
The Spartan stopped, having noticed that the street he was on was now deserted. Nothing alive but him stood within it, even all the shops windows and doors were closed.
As he searched the area, his gut telling him something wasn't right, he connected the dots. Shepard was attacked first in the market, then Elsa in the South Pole. So either he or Korra was next.
And from the look of things.
Footsteps behind him.
He was next.
Earth flew right by his head, having missed thanks to him moving a split second before. With that the Spartan spun on his heels, drawing his rifle and blasting the attacker in the chest at point blank range.
His attacker fell back, smoking from the shot that had burned through his chest, as dead as a doornail.
The Spartan studied him.
It wasn't one of the black hand assassin. Just a boy. A teenaged boy, dressed in rags.
"Hey he got Kalvo!" A new voice popped up.
"No ones messes with Kalvo and gets away with it!" A second roared.
John quickly scanned his surroundings, trying to figure out exactly what was going on.
Around a dozen other thugs moved out from the dark alleyways in between the homes and shops, all roaring for him to pay.
Gang territory. Some things never changed.
"All right boys! Get him!" A new voice cried out, the leader, a tall man with bulging muscles and a smug look on him.
He was being mugged.
Fire and earth flew at him from multiple directions, but the attacks were unfocused and lacked any real aim.
He dodged with ease, letting three fire blasts soar above him before running and flipping over a large boulder sent his way.
The moment he landed he retaliated.
Light Rifle rounds flew towards their targets and like flies the gang members began to drop.
Their clothing offered no protection, and despite their bending abilities, they couldn't bend as fast as he could shoot.
A storm of fire roared for his feet, forcing him to pull up a hard light shield which split the flames like the red sea.
Several more boulders flew his way, forcing him to move. With a roll he evaded them, though one almost caught him.
Another ball of fire later and John fired at the nearest attacker who in turn pulled up a wall of rock a second before to block the rifle fire. It succeeded and the fire washed over him, draining his shields part way.
The Spartan didn't stop and instead fired the moment the fire cleared, hitting the fire bender in the head.
Before the bender had even fallen John charged. Earth benders retaliated all the while the leader watched.
Shards of earth raced at him, and John was forced to dive off to the side. A piece of earth caught him in his foot.
He stumbled forward, but managed a few more shots. Several hit their targets but most missed. He caught his balance once more and threw up his hard light shield again. A large chunk of earth shattered against it.
His boots scrapped against the ground from the hit which actually pushed him back a few inches. He hadn't expected them to hit so hard.
Several more thugs unleashed various attacks and the Spartan was forced in a roll.
Fire swirls around him draining his shield and a boulder hit him, knocking the Spartan out of his roll.
He rolled again barley dodging several more fire blasts and a small earth quake sent right at him.
Using his momentum to his advantage he managed to push himself back onto his feet, and slammed back against the wall of another shop, firing as he got up.
One of the fire benders and an earth bender had anticipated this an managed to dodge or block his shots, but the others weren't as smart, the hard light tri-burst killing them instantly.
He dove out of the way as more earth shards that broke through the wall he had stood against.
The Spartan broke out into a run and dove through a window shop, fire and earth flying at him from the few surviving gang members.
He moved to the next window, quickly reloading his weapon. He glanced out the window.
Four left including the leader.
Something wasn't right.
Where were all the guards? Or Police? Where the guards supposed to be escorting him?
John flexed his hands and fired.
Hard light ripped through air and hit the bender to the far right. He readjusted his aim and fired again.
Another one down.
He rolled to his left, hiding beneath a different wall, and waited.
Fire soared through the windows and large chunks of earth shattered the walls, fortunately they never hit him or the part of the wall he hid behind.
He spun to his feet and his motion sensor went off behind him. Someone had snuck up on him. Again the Spartan turned only to get hit with a jet of water at point blank range.
Surprisingly the jet was strong enough to completely throw the half ton soldier off his feet, flinging him out the window, and into the street.
Glass rained down, and before he could react, the water froze around him, incasing his armor down to the finest creases.
With no leverage the Spartan was having difficulty, but before he could try to break free, two other benders, dressed in long green robes with solid dark green round hats on their heads stepped out from the shop he had been in along with two women.
Each of the women had dark hair, but one was tall and thin with green eyes and blue clothing. The other was shorter with blue eyes and red clothing.
"Too easy," One of the woman stated.
John struggled and he felt the sudden shift in ice holding him.
A crack in the ice.
With one swift movement he broke free, shattering the ice and drawing his knife and side arm in one motion.
A shot went off, downing the last gang member, and he lunged forward, driving his knife right for the taller woman's head.
Suddenly John froze.
The Spartan couldn't move. Nothing responded to him and the girl only stared at him with a cocky grin, one hand raised up next to her head in a sickening angle.
Without any hesitation she knelt to the ground, all the while holding her hand out and then laying it on the ground.
John had never felt something like this. He had no control. No control over any of his body. It was surreal, and painful. He felt himself twitching, struggling to regain control.
His knife fell from his hand, clattering to the ground, and with her hand the Spartan was forced to the ground involuntarily kneeling, his armor even fighting to keep him in control.
Rain pattered against his armor, and the two mysterious men in robes moved behind him, and suddenly he felt earth slam around his wrists, closing around them like jaws of steel.
Wind howled, and the gang leader grinned, the shorter woman tossing him a bag of gold, "For your... Expenses..." Kicking the body of one of the dead gang members.
She looked up at the moon. It was full.
John scowled under his helmet, his armor already preparing to go into complete lockdown.
Elsa looked towards the window as lightning flashed and thunder roared off in the distance. Rain could be heard battering against the window and the wooden hut she was in.
She felt the bandages around her head, and sighed when she ran a hand over them.
Another sip of the tea in hand, and she sat back against the pillow behind her.
She continued reading the book on her lap.
She felt useless.
She had been so utterly defenses against her attackers.
Ice coated the room, snow falling from the now frozen ceiling. This time however it didn't bother her.
The Queen let herself feel the disappointment, the pain. She was failing. Failing to protect her sister, failing to protect her people. If it had been up to her to defend them against these enemies they would all be dead.
She needed to be better, to be stronger.
The blonde looked at the snow floating around and the ice claiming the walls now.
A sigh escaped her lips and she closed her eyes.
A single tear rolled down her cheek.
She was no Queen. Just a failure.
Shepard laughed and walked inside the hotels lobby with Korra next to her laughing just as hard.
"I can't believe you punched that guy in the face!" Korra laughed, her exhaustion making everything funny for her.
"He had it coming," Shepard explained with an amused grin. She had to admit it was funny.
Some man had tried to pick a fight with the Commander while at the match, mainly because she didn't want to move from her seat which the man claimed was his. She wasn't sure if Korea could tell, but she knew he was drunk, so a single punch and he was out cold.
"You hit him once and he was out!" Korra exclaimed as if she was some sports star.
"Well he was drunk," Shepard explained as the two headed towards the stairs. She eyed the lobby, noticing the lack of guards around.
"Really? I couldn't tell," Korra shrugged, "Still he probably..."
"Shepard!" A voice from behind them.
The two turned and it was their AI friend.
"The guards they're all dead!" The AI exclaimed in a clearly worried voice.
"What?!" Korea asked startled, her eyes getting wide.
"Promise what're you talking about?" Shepard asked, though she drew her rifle off her back.
"The gaurds! Dead! Basement!"
"Unknown. I saw him leave and the guards we're all alive ready to follow him. I headed up to the roof for a chat with EDI over the Long range Coms, then, two minutes ago I came down to see if you had returned and everyone is dead! I've been scanning the place for the past minute till you showed up."
Korra and Shepard exchanged a glance.
Something was very wrong.
Cinder studied, her hand caressing her chin in thought, "Which one first?" She asked to the Knight behind her.
He simply changed the direction he was looking in and the Witch knew. She grabbed the blonde bounty hunter and dragged her to the portal behind the knight, the blood red floors in perfect contrast with her blue bodysuit.
The Black Knight took one last look at the other Prisoners of War and stepped through the portal. Cinder looked at the blonde in hand with disgust and followed the knight through.
The only word able to describe the world they were now on.
Gray sky's, with lightning brightly igniting it, but with no thunder following afterwards. The only sound was that of howling winds shrieking through the sky.
Ruble littered the ground. Bones, debris, from a battle long past.
Ash fluttered down from the sky.
"And why exactly do we need her?" Cinder asked eyeing the knight curiously.
He ignored her question and looked at piece of clothing on the floor that somehow happened to survive the ages.
Kneeling down, black armored hands grabbed the blue cloth, a large red S faded on the front of it.
He stood back up, clenching it it tightly. A red glow surrounded him and the cloth turn to ash in his hand, the era of this planet long forgotten.
"A long time ago a battle raged on this planet..." The Black Knight started looking up at the sky, "The first. The most powerful of us, was deceived, trapped by these... Heros... Till only one remained. Till only the golden warrior remained, but even he fell."
The knight turned to her, "I was created soon after, meant to hunt and destroy the five before they could become a threat again."
"Yet three of them are already together."
"Yes they are, but what better way to destroy them but with each other?" He walked over to Cinder and grabbed the blond, ripping her from Cinders clutches by the throat, "The time of Heros is over."
A red blade appeared in his hand, and without a second thought he drove it through Samus Aran's chest, "And our time has come."
Her eyes went wide and she grabbed his hand, trying to pull the blade from her.
Voluntarily, he relaxed his grip on her before grabbing her on both sides of the head; looking down at the once powerful bounty hunter.
Cinder turned away as the screams rang out. A crunch suddenly filled the air, sickening and gruesome, the screams stopping immediately.
She felt the red liquid swirl around her feet and she turned back to the Black Knight.
His hands were held out, a blue glow ran through his hands and throughout his body. It subsided and a red glow replaced it.
He raised his hand and a pistol formed into it. Not any random one, but an exact replica of Samus's.
"You know what to do."
A/N So sorry for taking forever. Hopefully this Chapter doesn't disappoint too much. Next update will be an interlude.
Anyway several things are happening as you may be able to tell. I can't say obviously but yeah. So theres only maybe eight or less chapters left, of course with a kind of final battle type thing, and Part I will be over! Then starts Part II with the Star Trek Arc.
Thanks for reading, review please! God bless you all!