SEVERAL HOURS EARLIER
Kr’anri climbed off the Super Jet and arrived on Monster Island, breaking out into a run as she made her way home. Ironclad grinned whilst he momentarily flexed his muscles for Major Okonkwo, enjoying the knowledge that she looked on at his iron covered muscles as they reflected the intense sunlight. Ironclad paused mid-flex, frowning as a lavender blur rushed past him without stopping. Recognizing it was Kr’anri, he called to her quickly.
“Are you okay lavender one?”
Kr’anri slowed down for a second and shouted over her shoulder in reply.
“We are fine!” she growled
Ironclad’s frown deepened but quickly forgot his concern as Major Okonkwo made her way to him.
Kr’anri ducked and leapt through the dense forest, haphazardly firing mental blasts at manimals and ARGENT soldiers who tried to fight her. Kr’anri soon recognized the hidden entrance to her home in the distance and sped up, leaping over a broken and disused ARGENT turret and skirting around a few rows of jagged rocks until she reached the entrance. She carefully disassembled the booby traps she had put in place and then ran inside, sliding down the spiral earthen steps and through the series of tunnels to the warmth of the fire place she constantly maintained. Kr’anri sighed and carefully sat down, gripping her head with both hands as the throbbing in her head continued. After taking a deep breath, Kr’anri closed her eyes and she began to focus on her inner mindscape; she focused her psychic abilities and soon forged her own consciousness on the astral plane…
A few minutes later, Kr’anri opened her eyes and found herself standing in a white room; the room seemed to glow slightly, highlighting and ever so slightly brightening the colours of her skin and Delta uniform. She looked around as something began to stir from the ground below; a strange rumbling sounded all around her and the ground directly below her began to crack apart. She jumped back just in time as a giant purple hand burst through the floor, using it’s large, sharp claws to pull the rest of it onto the astral plane. Kr’anri looked up in horror as a faceless astral entity at least four times her size pulled itself through the ground, drew itself to its full height and turned to face her.
<Little Hunter…you have fought us in vain. Soon we will claim your body as our own and you…you will join, the Collective!> ~ Entity
<No! Kr’anri will not!> ~ Kr’anri
The creature growled and lashed out with one of its powerful arms; Kr’anri narrowly avoided the arm, flipping backwards multiple times until she was out of its reach. She stretched out her hands ready to attack when the creature made a derisive sound which could only be described as a laugh. It leaned back slightly at looked down at her:
<You cannot attack or harm us, you lack the power and you do not have the skill!> ~ Entity
<You are wrong! Kr’anri has been taught to fight! Kr’anri is learning!> ~ Kr’anri
Before the creature could step forward, Kr’anri flicked her hands up dramatically and summoned several lengths of astral chains, they snaked around her and then shot towards the creature, wrapping around and clamping onto its arms, legs and head, locking it down. She flipped behind the creature and pulled down on the chains; it roared as it was dragged to the ground. Kr’anri fastened the chains to the ground and a cage formed around the creature.
<NO! WE WILL NOT BE CHAINED!!> ~ Entity
Kr’anri concentrated as she held down the creature with the chains, her eyes snapped open and widened as she felt her chains weaken as the creature struggled. In a bright burst of white light the chains and the cage exploded violently; the concussive force of the exploding astral constructs sending Kr’anri flying back through the air. As she hit the ground, her small frame scraped along the plane several times before she managed to stop herself. Kr’anri slowly got to her feet and looked on in surprise as the creature stood defiantly, its hands morphing into bladed weapons as it chuckled darkly and made its way towards her:
<Hmm…Little Hunter, you may have the training, but you cannot hope to restrain us, as time goes on we will continue to grow in power and soon…we will have your body and mind! We embody the minds of all who have perished!> ~ Entity
Its face shone briefly as Kr’anri shut her eyes; she opened them again to face the creature and stopped, completely stunned by whom she saw.
It was her sister, Kr’yshte.
<Kr’yshte says Kr’anri left us. Kr’yshte says join us…it is nice with us.> ~ Kr’yshte
Kr’anri simply looked on, dumbfounded at the sudden appearance of her sister. Sensing her temporary disorientation, the creature lunged forward viciously, grabbing hold of Kr’anri; it glowed softly as energy began to flow from it into her; Kr’anri’s eyes widened as she was shown the moments before the destruction of her home world. Kr’anri could do nothing but watch as helplessly as her people did when their sun exploded, the powerful burst of solar energy rushing towards the planet, quickly enveloping it in a bright light. Pale red tears streaked down her face as she ripped herself from the memories shown to her by the astral creature as she attempted to break free of its hold.
<Do you now understand why we must have this body? This mind? If you resist we will destroy you.> ~ Entity
Kr’anri struggled in its grasp and narrowed her large yellow eyes;
<Kr’anri does not want to leave! Kr’anri has been told…what will happen…if she goes!>~ Kr’anri
The creature snarled and squeezed harder on Kr’anri, she dug her claws into its chest and summoned all her strength as she wriggled free and put her training to good use; Kr’anri summoned astral weapons for herself, ready to attack. The creature assumed a battle stance; its astral energy forming bladed constructs and weapons.
<You wish to resist? So be it. The battle for your mind will begin little hunter! And. You. Will. PERISH!> ~ Entity
A pillar of white light shot down from the skies above Monster Island, it crashed into the area a few feet in front of the Super Jet and two figures stepped forwards, leaving the pillar of light. Moments later it retreated back into the sky. Mentella waved away a mosquito as she surveyed her surroundings. Her somewhat zealous associate, Isabella Maronni, coughed quickly and looked around as well, subtly checking herself for any post teleportation oddities. She quickly opened her UNTIL com-link, notifying her superiors she had arrived on the scene and then checked her Project Mindgame badge as she spoke to Mentella.
“Do you, ah, always travel like that?” asked Isabella
“Sometimes.” replied Mentella
Both mentalists looked around at the scene which was ongoing around them on Monster Island; Isabella gasped suddenly as she turned to her right. Sensing a high level of disbelief rolling off her associate in waves, Mentella turned to see what Isabella was focused on and raised an eyebrow at the sight.
“I-Is that…Ripper?!” Isabella squeaked
“Yes. Yes it is.” Mentella noted
Ripper was sat at the edge of the docks near the Aegir along with a few VIPER and UNTIL agents who had removed their helmets and parts of their armor. They were simply sitting down and chatting amongst themselves, occasionally laughing during their conversations. Ripper seemed to be holding on to some sort of fishing rod with an Elder Worm forcefully attached to the hook. Some UNTIL agents, Major Fulani Okonkwo, Ironclad and a few manimals were sat in a circle, chanting quietly around a little campfire. Mentella’s eyebrow arched elegantly as she saw the nearby scientists and mystics chasing each other around a table, occasionally stopping to throw bits of grass at each other. Isabella winced as a look of disbelief flashed across her face; she looked up to Mentella, who seemed to be almost disappointed as she looked around.
“What exactly is going on here?” asked Isabella
“In short an unnatural psychic event. A large scale projection if you will.” Mentella replied.
“How did this even happen?” asked Isabella, frowning at the mangled Bureau 17 robots.
“Whilst conducting a routine global scan I sensed abnormally high levels of psychic activity throughout Monster Island. I’ve pinpointed the epicentre of the psychic disturbance and intend to make my way there and resolve this issue. Anything with an organic mind seems to be affected by these psychic waves, which cause them to exhibit…abnormal behaviours.” Mentella explained.
“I see, UNTIL had been trying to make contact with Major Okonkwo for the past couple hours, they had sent a team to this location to check up on her but they didn’t report back. When UNTIL got word that you were on the case they contacted my division Project Mindgame…and well we met with you and here we are.”
Mentella looked around as Isabella continued to talk, focusing on the minds of the individuals in her immediate area as Isabella started talking again.
“Are you familiar with the correct procedure to undo mind control? Both covert and overt forms?” asked Mentella
“Um, yes I am, not so good with covert though…” frowned Isabella
“In that case, you will need to free the minds of the UNTIL Soldiers and allow UNTIL protocol to get to work with regards to Ripper and the VIPER Agents and disposing of the dead Elder Worm. I would do it myself but I have more pressing matters to attend to. It also gives you something to do.”
Mentella turned to face Isabella and produced a small metal container. Isabella frowned and looked up at Mentella, as she was handed the container:
“Inside this container there are small pin like devices which should help keep the UNTIL Soldiers stable against the current situation. It’s based on Synaptic Expirator technology, but they have been modified for long term use. Until I can contain the situation, think of it as artificial mental shields for non-psychic personnel.”
Isabella accepted the container; giving a tight lipped smile, she set to work as Mentella made her way towards the dense forest that lie just ahead. She soon came to a clearing where a manimal and an ARGENT soldier were chasing each other and mock fighting with sticks. The ARGENT soldier came up to her and simply stared at her, quickly flashing a crooked smile her way then he scampered off on all fours. Mentella narrowed her eyes and frowned as another wave of psychic energy emanated out of the nearby cave mouth. A small niggling sensation alerted her to someone attempting to communicate with her on a telepathic level, she rolled her eyes as she realised who it was and allowed the communication.
<Sorry to disturb you…but what is a Pros-Prosythian Warrior? And what is really going on here?> ~ Isabella
<As I said before, the entire island is being inundated with psychic interference from a ‘Hive Mind’ if you will. The Hive Mind is a collective gathering of around one thousand Prosythian minds which have all been focused on one individual. This places strain on that individual, who happens to be a friend of mine, who has reached breaking point. I wasn’t aware that this would be exacerbated by combat which it has been, so I am going to deal with it. Anything with an organic mind is being affected by these psychic waves, as a result they present with different personalities of the Prosythian race.> ~ Mentella
<Oh, I see. You’ll need help. I’m on my way.> ~ Isabella
<No, I will not. You should continue assisting UNTIL. Once I am finished, there will be a significant change in those across this island and they will return to their normal personalities, which would cause a range of issues, especially considering Ripper is so close to an UNTIL stronghold. Focus on the task at hand and keep your shields up.> ~ Mentella
Mentella cut off the psychic thread, her telepathy alerting her to something attempting to ambush her. She stopped moving and raised her right hand to her temple and released a radial psychic blast swiftly accompanied by a series of dull thuds as several manimals fell to the ground. Mentella lowered her hands and her eyes regained their normal ice blue colour as a few manimals quickly left the nearby bushes, dragging their unconscious friends with them. She looked up towards the uneven terrain in front of her and beyond, quickly spotting a distinct cave opening.
As she moved towards the mouth of the cave, another savage wave of psychic energy shot out from the cave’s interior; the radial wave was deflected harmlessly by Mentella’s mental shields but the wider section of the wave pulsed out across the island. Eventually, Mentella reached the mouth of the cave and made her way down the earthen steps and through the various tunnels until she saw the orange glow of an open fire reflecting off a nearby cave wall...
Click here for Psyche Fusion - Part 2