Mentella turned her attention to the large hole in the wall on the opposite side of the room where she could sense both Gidrean and Cavalier’s minds. She quickly made her way over to them, ignoring the rumbling sounds which rose from the levels below and the explosions above her head. She stopped briefly and picked up Cavalier’s mask noting the scorch marks it sported. She peered into the room that the hole in the wall had exposed as Gidrean stirred ever so slightly, red energy arcing over his body in flashes. Stepping over the jagged and twisted metal remains of the wall, she found Cavalier’s body; his head lolled to one side as he held onto a jagged section of a metal rod.
Mentella knelt down, glancing back as Gidrean remained unconscious on the ground behind her, she turned her attention back to Cavalier and placed both her hands either side of his head, hovering over his temples. Her eyes glowed softly as psionic energy flowed through her fingertips directly into Cavalier, arcing and winding its way around his body until his body was cocooned in ribbons of psionic energy. The ribbons brightened as they slowly melted into his skin; Mentella focused as the psionic energy gravitated towards his wounds. She reached into Cavalier’s mind, bringing him back to consciousness. His eyes snapped open and darted left and right before focusing on the person in front of him.
“Oh hey M’tella.”
“Daniel, you’ve been badly injured. You are in the process of healing so don’t move too much.” She advised.
Cavalier blinked and coughed slightly as she placed his mask in his hand.
“Healing? I don’t…I don’t even feel like I’m in pain. I actually feel fine. Yeah…I feel great actually.”
“I’ve switched off the pain centers in your brain which is why you don’t feel anything right now. Have a look at your arm.”
Cavalier frowned but turned to see his arm; he watched as it seemed to luminesce, giving off a faint magenta hue as strands of psionic energy knitted the flesh on his arm back together.
“It will take some time to heal completely, especially the deep cut in your side, so just stay as still as you can. Most of the scrapes and bruises will have been fully regenerated within the next minute or less.”
Cavalier sighed deeply and closed his eyes as the psionic energy circled around the deep cut soon accompanied by the odd tingling sensation of tissue and skin regenerating.
Mentella nodded at him as she sensed Gidrean’s brain activity rising as he regained consciousness, she turned around watching as Gidrean stirred. Cavalier opened an eye and cocked his head to the side as he heard Gidrean groan, he flexed his fingers and started to push up.
“Looks like it’s time for round two, I’ll just-” Cavalier started
“You’ll just stay exactly where you are. You are still healing.” Mentella stated.
“Good one. Wait. Are you serious?!”
“As serious as a heart attack. Stay there.”
Mentella shot Cavalier a warning glance and turned away, standing up and walking out to meet the Theraxian. Gidrean stood up, cricking his neck as he gripped onto the nearest piece of protruding metal and rolled his shoulder. He looked around, his eyes landing on Mentella as she stepped into view.
“Looks like I was right after all. We are going to be able to have that chat. Pull up a chair and we can talk, I’ll be right with you after I kill your human friend.” Gidrean sneered.
“Your capacity for humor knows no bounds.” she dead-panned.
Gidrean’s grin quickly turned sour as he glared at Mentella. He jabbed his closed fist in her direction, holding it steady as it glowed brightly against the darkness of the room.
“Move. Xenian. Or I’ll blast through that skull of yours.” he spat.
Mentella’s eyebrow quirked as she stared plainly back at Gidrean, wisps of magenta danced around the edges of her icy blue eyes; a small smile finding itself on her face.
“I’m afraid you’ll find that quite impossible.” she stated.
Gidrean’s eyes widened as he noticed the energy surrounding his fist slowly diminished, floating upwards and vanishing into thin air. He looked down in horror as he felt his energy wane, a powerful wave of nausea engulfed him. He brought his hand to his mouth in a failed attempt to quell the feeling; with a sudden retch Gidrean’s knees buckled as he vomited all over the metal floor. Cavalier moved slightly at the sound and grimaced.
"Oh that’s gross." whispered Cavalier.
"Urgh…wha- did…what did you-…YOU BL-ITCH." Gidrean screamed through the mess surrounding him.
Cavalier looked down at his side, he watched as the last of the psionic energy slowly knit his skin back together. It faded out of sight as he smoothed over the torn fabric of his suit. He stood up, ignoring the throbbing sensation in his head and focused in on Gidrean as he attempted to stand. Mentella looked down at Gidrean as he slammed his fists into the ground as he finally stopped vomiting and pushed himself up, standing to face her.
<Since you insist on fighting him...care to make this interesting?> ~ Mentella
<If interesting means I get to break this guy’s face then I’m all for it.> ~ Cavalier
Without warning Gidrean lunged at Mentella, a furious barrage of fists and open handed swipes came rushing towards her. She moved backwards as he attacked, moving further away from Cavalier.
“Shit!” Cavalier hissed.
He started as he saw Mentella deftly avoiding each blow, several impacts absorbed by bright and sudden flashes of magenta. He curled his hand into a fist as bright red energy curled around his hands, slowly coalescing into a burning energy blade and ran to meet Gidrean. Gidrean feigned a punch and shot forwards, placing a firm grip on Mentella’s neck and squeezed. Her hands pressed on his wrist as he held her high into the air.
“Your games end here! I have you now. I’m assuming if I snap your neck my natural abilities will return, I cannot wait to find out.” He sneered as he tightened his grip.
Mentella stopped struggling and looked down at him.
“You have me? Are you sure?” she asked coyly
Gidrean frowned at her before shaking his head and further tightening his grip.
“Your mind games will not work faster than it takes me to snap your neck, believe me.” He growled with a hint of uncertainty
Cavalier jumped up into the air as he approached them, directing his attack at Gidrean, Mentella opened her mouth and spoke with in unison with Cavalier’s voice:
“Lights out, motherfucker.”
Gidrean’s eyes widened as Mentella’s body dispersed into the air, his hand left holding nothing. He looked down and blinked as he looked back up to see Cavalier’s energy blade moments away from him, it smashed into his face, knocking him out cold. Gidrean was sent backwards and collapsed into the mess of his own vomit. Cavalier winced as he felt the wound on his head throb as the last vestiges of psionic energy swarmed around the wound, soothing it.
A pointed clicking of heels to his left directed his attention to Mentella, who now stood a few feet away. He frowned momentarily before putting the pieces together.
“Yes, admittedly it’s not a skill I demonstrate too often, but I--” Mentella started
Mentella gasped silently and whipped round, making her way to the hole leading towards the rest of the team, she looked out towards a point. Cavalier followed Mentella’s focus and saw Adonia, who had blasted back Kr’anri; Kr'anri's crumpled form lay in a heap near a wall sporting scorch marks. Adonia hovered above her, protecting herself with an energy shield and aimed her glowing fist at Kr'anri. Cavalier’s eyes widened, he teleported to Kr’anri’s unconscious form, scooping her up, and teleporting out of the range of Adonia’s energy blasts. Cavalier and Kr’anri appeared in a pale flash next to Mentella. She knelt down placing a hand on Kr’anri’s forehead;
“She’s got lowered levels of brain activity. She’ll be alright; she’s just unconscious, minimal damage.” Mentella reassured
D.A.W.N.’s shields were heading into the 20% region as Zultaer’s energy attack continued to bombard her shields, forcing her back into a corner. Her weapons were cooling, whilst her shield continued to hold, looking down she saw an unconscious Kr’anri who was currently with Mentella and Cavalier. She activated her com-link:
“Daniel? I’d appreciate some assistance if you are able.” D.A.W.N. urged
Cavalier looked at Kr’anri and handed her over to Mentella, who laid Kr’anri’s unconscious form on the silver platform. Adonia spun round, seething as she saw Kr’anri by Mentella and Cavalier:
“Play time ISN’T over YET!” she roared
“Go, I’ll deal with Adonia, assist Dawn.” nodded Mentella
Cavalier looked towards Adonia, looking back to Mentella before nodding and picking up his mask, re-attaching it and disappearing in a flash of pale red. Mentella turned back to Kr'anri, her eyes closed as she placed her hand on either side of Kr'anri's head, her index and middle fingers firmly fixed to Kr'anri's temples. Adonia stalked forward, firing a blast of energy at Mentella; the blast dissipated against a psychokinetic shield surrounding the both of them;
"Fight me if you dare! I've always wanted to kill a Xenian..." snarled Adonia
Her hands glowed dangerously as she stood, ready for combat. Mentella opened her eyes and looked up at Adonia casually;
"As you can see I am currently otherwise engaged. I'll get to you in a moment."
Adonia stared at her incredulously, a deep frown marring her features as she processed Mentella's words;
"Are you- Are you mocking me?!" cried Adonia
"I'll leave you to figure that one out." replied Mentella
Adonia's fist burned with energy as she rose into the air, aiming her fists at Mentella and Kr'anri.
"You dare!? I will destro—UARGH!!"
Mentella's telepathic manifestation appeared on Adonia's head, she concentrated momentarily as she placed Adonia under her control. She refocused her attention on Kr'anri as Adonia stood to attention a few feet away. Mentella placed her hands on either side of Kr’anri’s head, a low level humming sound, accompanying the magenta light circling her palms.
Draydeon’s slight form smashed up and out of the floor as Vitality forced him mercilessly upwards through the third level of solid metal. Vitality hovered closer, waiting for Draydeon to stand up;
“Three levels of solid metal and you…managed to smash me through it? You must be really upset. I should tell you though…Anlea can’t see you and all your strength. Or did you forget that she’s dead?” Draydeon coughed
“Get. Up.” ordered Vitality
Draydeon pushed himself to his knees, his body battered from his fight with Vitality; he re-clipped his breastplate back into place as it threatened to fall away. Draydeon took into the air and looked at Vitality, his opponent’s uniform similarly battered and he smirked;
“You humans are so sentimental, and that is your weakness. Anlea didn’t actually like you; she was a Vanguard of Therax-Prime with a pretty face. She used you to gain information, but your human weakness tainted her. Unfortunately for her, there is no room for weakness or imperfections in a Vanguard team, all weakness must be eliminated and replaced.” he hissed
“I warned you not to mention her name. You have no idea who she was, who she COULD have been. She was a good person and YOU killed her in cold blood. No reason at all! YOU’RE the weakness!” retorted Vitality
“Ooh, temper temper! It burns you to have been so close to someone doesn’t it? Only for them to be ripped away in an instant! Caring is a weakness! Found on the LOSING side!!”
Draydeon roared as he unleashed a beam of energy at Vitality, it slammed into him, sending him careering backwards. Vitality winced as the remnants of the energy arced around him; he coughed, managing to stabilize himself. He looked up, noticing a cracking purple energy matrix visible through the grating above them. Vitality shot forward and focused his strength into a powerful uppercut; time seemed to slow as his fist connected with Draydeon’s gut; Draydeon was propelled up through the metal grating. Vitality flew after him, shoving him up through the energy matrix as it crackled around them both; Draydeon cried out as the energy crackled over him, his own energy powers were waning fast, exhaustion quickly overcoming him. Vitality slammed his fists into Draydeon’s chest, shoving him into the energy matrix, Draydeon gritted his teeth and head butted Vitality, disorientating him slightly.
On the level above D.A.W.N. and Cavalier battled Zultaer, dodging his energy detonations and blasts. A stray energy blast hurtled past Cavalier, the tail end catching his shoulder.
“Daniel, my shields are already dangerously low, currently at 17.9%. We need to take him out as soon as possible.” D.A.W.N. urged
“I’ll see what I can do, I need an opening, their energy blasts REALLY sting…” Cavalier responded as he furiously rubbed his shoulder.
D.A.W.N. focused her eyebeams at Zultaer’s feet; he stopped firing and jumped away from the beams towards the edge before attempting to balance himself. Cavalier saw an opening and went for it; dropping low he kicked out sweeping Zultaer off his feet. Zultaer’s frame hit the ground and D.A.W.N. blasted him with a beam of searing plasma energy, wisps of smoke rose from the impact point and Zultaer groaned, grinding out one more insult before falling into unconsciousness;
“Human scum…” he coughed
“Thank you Daniel. Have you seen Vitality?” D.A.W.N. asked
“Not since the Prison block. He broke off to deal with their leader or something…”
Before D.A.W.N. could reply, a powerful explosion rocked the room, originating from the level below. Purple flames flicked up from below, purple and grey smoke billowed upwards as Draydeon’s limp form shot from the heart of the heart of the explosion. His slightly charred body rolled across the platform; Draydeon attempted to get up but failed repeatedly, his body crackling with purple energy. Vitality emerged from the smoke, his eyes narrowed and focused on Draydeon. Mentella walked towards the scene with a now conscious Kr’anri; Adonia followed behind, a magenta telepathic manifestation adorning her head. Vitality hovered down towards Draydeon, hoisting him up by the neck. Draydeon, who was still somewhat conscious weakly gripped at Vitality’s arm;
“I should kill you. It’s the least I could do for the destruction and pain you’ve caused.” Vitality hissed coolly
“Hmm, then what are you waiting for, hero? I can see it in your eyes, you’re not a killer.” Draydeon rasped
D.A.W.N. flew forward, her jet propulsion systems set to hover as she trained her weapons on Draydeon;
“He might not be. But that does not apply to me.” she assured
Draydeon made a weak sounding chuckle and looked towards Vitality;
“You’re so much of a hero you cannot even kill for your beloved Anlea. I was correct you are weak, I saved her from you.” he chuckled
Vitality squeezed against Draydeon windpipe causing the alien to squirm, his eyes growing wide.
“Vitality. You need to stop. This isn’t the way forward.” warned Mentella
“Why?! He was the one who caused this mess. He needs to die!” retorted Vitality
He applied more pressure; Draydeon’s eyes began to roll to the back of his head. Mentella stepped forward;
“DAVID! Drop him! Trust me, it is not worth it to kill him, revenge will not bring you peace of mind, nor will it bring her back to life. Believe me when I say he is not worth it!” Mentella urged
“Think this through, this is not who you are. Let him go. Be the better person, don't allow yourself to stoop to his level.” she continued
“DO IT!” hissed Draydeon, flailing wildly in Vitality's grasp
"David, he WANTS you to kill him. He cannot bear the thought of having to live with the shame of defeat. He'd rather die." explained Mentella
Vitality looked towards Draydeon, who was still weakly struggling against Vitality’s grip; the Theraxian was a picture of a thoroughly shamed and defeated warrior. The yellow energy in his half open eye slowly draining away betraying his inner struggle of coming to terms with his defeat at the hands of one of Earth's heroes. Vitality closed his eyes; the thought of Anlea crossing his mind once more as he forced himself to think rationally. Taking a deep breath, Vitality released Draydeon; his limp form falling to the floor in a defeated heap. Vitality wordlessly floated away from the Theraxian, turning around as he took a deep breath. Draydeon stirred, sucking in a hungry breath of air, opening his mouth to say something but found himself unable to do so as darkness clouded his vision; Mentella’s eyes glowed slightly as she forced him into unconsciousness. Cavalier vanished, reappearing with an unconscious Gidrean and dumping him on the floor next to Draydeon. Kr'anri shuffled towards Cavalier and whispered to him;
"Kr'anri thinks Draydeon should die..."
"Me too, but it's really Vit's call and I guess we don't want to let him have the last laugh." replied Cavalier
"Kr'anri does not see him laughing....Kr'anri is confused..." she mumbled
D.A.W.N. moved Zultaer's unconscious form towards the other two Theraxians; Mentella gestured towards Adonia and she walked towards her fellow Theraxians and dropped to the floor, unconscious. Cavalier removed his mask, idly rubbing at the burn mark on the left side of his mask. He around at the group, coughing pointedly as Vitality turned around;
"So, I'm glad that's over but how exactly are we getting out of here? Not all of us can fly."
A small spherical robot zipped up from the lower level and projected a screen of hard light outwards, forming a display screen. Moments later Techna Ology's face filled the screen;
"Hey guys! Hi Caaaaaaaaaav!" she cried
"Oh hey, Techy!" winked Cavalier
Mentella shot him a stern look as her sister giggled uncontrollably and he smirked back at her, shrugging a little;
"J'asira, what have you got for us?" Mentella asked
"I've disabled the teleportation dampeners surrounding the ship; one of them is actually not too far from your current location. The Virillians will be here in about fifteen minutes to reclaim their vessel, so you’ll want to be leaving. The agents at Project Stargazer have alerted UNTIL to the situation and they've got power suppression units waiting on Earth for three of them. Oh and the Department of Defense said they have one for the leader? I'll assume you know who that is. Anyway the teleportation system is up and running, I've set your co-ordinates to the UNITY level where you were sent off from. The device is just through the next set of doors in front of you." Techna explained
"Thank you Techna. I'll assume you were the one responsible for the numerous system hacking I detected?" asked D.A.W.N.
Techna grinned widely before the screen projection vanished. Vitality floated forward, making his way towards the teleportation device. Cavalier and Kr’anri shared a look and turned back to look towards D.A.W.N. and Mentella.
“There’s no way I’m carrying any of them, specifically not that asshole.” Cavalier stated.
Kr’anri nodded in silent agreement, D.A.W.N. looked over to Mentella and shrugged slightly. Mentella sighed as a magenta telepathic manifestation appeared; adorning her head like a crown and one by one appeared on the unconscious Theraxians. Draydeon, Zultaer, Adonia and Gidrean stood up and followed Mentella as she walked down the hallway, her hands hovering over either side of her temples as she guided their movements.
"I don't think I'm ever going to get used to seeing that...it just looks wrong." Cavalier whispered as he nudged D.A.W.N.
They reached the teleportation system and the countdown began as Kr'anri bounded onto the disc shaped device. Three pulses of golden energy rings shot up from the base of the disc and in a decidedly loud and bright pulse of energy the heroes and the Theraxians were teleported away.
Vitality opened his eyes as they materialized seconds later on Earth; he was met with the sight of a squadron of fully armored UNTIL Agents with weapons pointed at them as they arrived. He looked at them blankly and D.A.W.N. stepped forward with Cavalier, ordering the troops to stand down;
"Situation is under control boys, no need for weapons." D.A.W.N. assured
One of them stepped forward, saluting D.A.W.N. as he did;
"Welcome back Agent Dawn, we're not sure what happened with the teleportation system, our technicians think it was some sort of sabotage. How are you all holding up?" he asked
"We're fine, the sooner we drop these in a deep dark prison cell, the easier I'll sleep." Cavalier replied jerking a thumb back to the mind controlled Theraxians
"Of course, right this way. And welcome back Agent Henderson."
Kr'anri and Cavalier walked on with the UNTIL agents, some medically trained agents every so often attempting to check them for injury, some getting a scratch from a rather antsy Kr'anri. Mentella glanced to her left watching Vitality walk along the corridor, his facial features betraying no emotion aside from a stark emptiness. She could sense the storm of emotions still swirling in his mind, in amongst clouds of confusion and sadness.
< David? You haven't said anything, but your thoughts are all over the place. If you want to talk, I'm listening. > ~ Mentella
< I feel numb. I feel as if I still should have killed him, and I know that I could have. > ~ Vitality
< You did the right thing. Remember this, Anlea still exists in the one place Draydeon could never harm her…your mind… > ~ Mentella
She replayed a compilation of memories of Anlea with Vitality as they flew through the sky, assisted people and spent time with one another. Vitality smiled at the memories, a powerful surge of happiness and slight sadness dominating his emotions as the memories continued to play at the forefront of his mind.
< Thanks.> ~ Vitality
The sun was beginning to rise as the group of heroes reached the top level where four transports waited for them, three were marked as UNTIL STRONGHOLD and one slightly smaller one belonged to the Department of Defense. As the heroes drew closer, the transports were opened up by a small number of agents, each one holding a neck, gauntlet and head piece. Mentella brought Adonia, Gidrean and Zultaer forward, D.A.W.N. and Cavalier assisting the agents in fitting the suppression units.
Adonia was then placed in a transparent body chamber and placed in the first transport, her suppression units activated and Mentella released them from her control as the transport took off. Gidrean was put on a podium which extended a containment vortex around him as his suppression units activated, Zultaer was locked in a stasis tube and both Theraxians were put on their respective UNTIL transports.
< My pleasure, just remember what I said. If you want to talk about anything, I've got an office in Downtown. I'd be happy to book you in for an appointment. Although I don't think that would be necessary. > ~ Mentella
Vitality looked across to Mentella smiling slightly in reply before turning back to Cavalier, who rolled his neck before looking back at Vitality.
"Finally, what about this guy?" asked Cavalier
"I think the Department of Defense are taking him in, he seems like the most powerful out of the group. David will likely be bringing him in. In which case David, take this." D.A.W.N. responded
She handed him a new com-link and he clicked it in place;
"Thanks Dawn. Yeah, I'll be taking care of Draydeon. He'll be taken to a secure facility. I'll check in soon though. I reckon these three might be transferred over with him in due course." Vitality responded.
Two Department of Defence agents exited the transport, placing a large singular suppression unit on Draydeon’s head; the device made a few noises before beeping loudly signifying its active suppression state. Mentella released Draydeon from her control; his body slouching against the side of the transport, Vitality righted his body, lowering him onto a platform inside the transport. He climbed aboard securing Draydeon in place and nodded towards his team before the transport doors sealed themselves for take-off. The transport rose into the air before rapidly ascending and heading west.
"Kr'anri is going home now. Skyfire is almost here." Kr'anri announced still looking slightly antsy
Kr'anri lowered herself over the side of the building, her claws effortlessly digging into the metal as she scaled down the building. Cavalier frowned slightly as Kr’anri left in a hurry, he looked at Mentella as Kr'anri’s form quickly became nothing more than a dot running down the building side;
"Is she alright? She seemed to freak out a lot during the fight; I've never seen her act like that before."
"I wish I could say she was fine. But the fact of the matter is she is not. Some form of psionic presence has invaded her mind, from her unconscious.”
“What is it?” he asked
“I wasn't able to analyse it earlier due to our situation but I'm almost certain that it poses a threat to her well-being. It explains her savage behavior and the blue psychic fire that envelops her at times. Without my mental defenses in place in her mind, she's powerful enough to fend off most telepathic attacks but this psionic presence seems to have originated from her own psyche. I'll keep Delta informed as I uncover more. I have a feeling I'll have to directly confront it if this becomes a severe issue and doesn't relent." Mentella explained
"You kept that quiet." D.A.W.N. remarked
"I wasn't exactly in a position to explain these things with the situation we were in earlier." replied Mentella
"Fair point, anyway I'm off, got a few things I need to take care of. Take care Daniel, you too Mentella."
D.A.W.N. jetted off into the air leaving nothing but a faint trail of smoke in her wake. Cavalier adjusted his mask slightly and nodded towards Mentella;
"So…I should probably get out on patrol or see if I can locate Jim or Chris and see how their doing and probably get breakfast, it's almost 5:40 AM. Wanna come along?" Cavalier asked
"Thank you for the invitation but I also have a few matters to attend to. Enjoy your breakfast." Mentella replied.
"Alright, thanks for the back up earlier. And hey, don't be a stranger!" he winked
Cavalier jumped off the side of the building, flipping through the air before vanishing in a flash of pale red. Mentella turned to the left and descended down the flight of steps leading back into the UNTIL building.
END OF SPYBOT 9 RECORDING
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