Flames of Vengeance: Symphony of Chaos Chapter 2

Art of a Master

By Mox Jet

            The Ethereal Weapon alone is not enough to kill a Lavoid ranked above Class C.  While magically endowed weapons given ethereal properties are able to heavily damage Lavoids, even Class C’s can resist against these.  Lavos, Elosia’s Lavoid is actually the subject of debate in the matter of whether or not the Rainbow Sword would have actually killed him if he hadn’t sent himself flying through time and into hibernation at the last moment.  When confronting a Class B, the Ethereal Weapon bypasses physical defense by connecting to the spiritual form.  In this way, though, it creates a channel for introducing high-level magic into the Lavoid.  For Class C’s, use the weapon to kill.  For Class B’s, use the weapon as a conductor for magic and you’ll find success.

            -The LEA Manual

            The elves had always been met with trepidation from the human rulers of the Dominion.  It may have been because they were practically immortal by human standards.  In actuality, their life span was simply that of a few thousand years.  It is suspected that millennia ago, they were actually immortal, though living now in a time of constant galactic upheaval and war caused them to grow ‘world-weary’ after a long enough time.

             Elves are a wondrous race.  The Dominion Database has this to say about them:

             “Elves are pale-skinned with fine, aesthetically beautiful features and hair as fine as flax.  They are tall and proud in their bearing and though they have a slim build, they are surprisingly strong and agile for their size.  Elves are long lived, some say immortal, and less vulnerable to disease than humans.  Their movements are graceful and controlled, their minds are quick and clever with an intensity and depth of insight which makes them seem strange to other races, ourselves included.  Although they are a noble people, the elves can be cold and haughty, quick to anger and slow to forgive.”

             They excel in many accounts, war-making being one of them, though it hadn’t been exercised in years.  In truth, the elves were considered a ‘dying’ race by many.  Their numbers were spread and their birth rates were low.  The Dominion, while recognizing their skill as architects and scientists, takes a position that the time of the elves has passed and it is the humans that will now rule the galaxy.

             Also, their magical capability is rather high.  On average, a normal adult elf can channel between two and four of the Winds (humans, even the most skilled, can normally only channel one).  As one might extrapolate, they were responsible for much of the early research on magical energies, and elf engineers are known to have been heavily responsible for the development of the Ether Drive that is standard on most starships in the Dominion.        

             All other elves aside, however, Kyrie is the elf that is important to our tale at the moment.  She had known Duncan for about as long as she could remember, mostly because that was over one thousand years.  They had run into each other on and off through the years until he finally invited her to work with him about fourteen months ago.  They had always functioned well together, and he respected her mastery of the technical aspects of warfare. 

             Her extended family, what she knew of them anyway, was spread all across the galaxy.  All of her direct family was dead, now.  Like many of the people Duncan interacted with, this was because of Lavoid interaction.  When she was young, she lived on a wealthy trade planet ruled by elves called Ithilian.  It was a central point in Dominion Trade routes, and one of the only points left in the Dominion where Elves still dwelled free of persecution.

             After her homeworld had been virtually destroyed by the invasion of the Lavoid Hive Fleet Yllamer, she found herself alone on the wastelands of her planet, spending her days and nights hiding from the Hive Colony that was growing there.  It was then that he showed up.  It wasn’t a day she could ever forget.

             Duncan was only in his first century of life at that point, but he was already so strong.  He made even the advanced fighting armies of the elven forces look weak as he single handedly destroyed the hive fleet that had infested the planet with magic the likes of which most people never saw.  Chaos magic was not something witnessed often; it took a great deal of skill and the right genes to even begin to understand its function.  With it, though, Duncan killed the Class C that was the leader of the hive there and wiped the planet clean of Lavoidian creatures.  Sadly, though, life on the planet had been almost completely decimated; it had been a planet of trade, not a planet of war. 

             Kyrie was fourteen (so young for an elf, was it not?) when all of this happened.  She was hiding with some other survivors when she first saw him.  He must have just finished his battle because his coat was dirty and there had been some black slush of Lavoid blood sprayed on him.  She remembered that as he walked into the shelter she was in, he took off his glasses and revealed his eyes.  What she saw in them was the core of someone who had a burden that was indescribable, but shouldered without complaint.  In fact, the very weight of Ithilian itself seemed to press upon him, and yet he still stood tall.

             Maybe she fell in love with him, then.  She was never really sure.  Some sort of connection established itself though, as he helped the survivors out of their hiding and showed them their world which he had freed.  He was just one man, and his hand had liberated a whole world.  He was somewhat of the ultimate tall, dark and handsome stranger that wanders into town to solve some sort of unsettled dispute.  A gunslinger of space, perhaps.  It didn’t matter, though.  Three months of hiding had ended, and there was much celebration amongst the survivors.

             Why she felt pangs of care for this man who shared not more than five words with her was a mystery.  To this day, she was not able to explain why.  She knew that there was a connection between them, which might be the reason why they crossed paths so many times.

             Again, Destiny manifests itself many ways in our existences, sometimes when we don’t even know it.  Meeting someone, getting to know someone, and having the ‘chance’ to run into them at a later date (let alone on multiple occasions) are scenarios that show the effects of destiny in our everyday lives.  The trick sometimes is learning to accept Destiny when it comes our way, whether that means enjoying its fruits or coping with its tragedy.  Jack McKlane had said something to the extent that accepting Destiny is the first step towards getting something done with your life.  Perhaps he rubbed off on Duncan in this regard.

             When Kyrie and Duncan finally began their partnership, it had been after running into each other over two dozen times in chance situations, sometimes on alternating sides of a the galaxy.  Granted, fourteen hundred years gives a lot of time to cross paths with someone, but the galaxy is also quite a big place.  People in the future might say that they just gave in to Destiny, and that fate had been just bringing them together for the longest time.  Others might argue that there was a bigger pull from the ‘outside,’ and that the only reason they had been pushed together was so that they could be pulled apart…


            The Vendetta came out of Sub-Ether drive in a high orbit above Ygral VII.  The planet showed signs of a long-term infestation and elements of terraforming which the Lavoid may have begun to work from its slumber.  It was still sleeping, though, which would make everything much harder.  Class A’s normally built up reasonably large armies to have at the ready when it surfaced, too.  If Duncan was to do the job he set out to do, there would be much bloodshed on Ygral VII today.

            He pulled his ship into a lower orbit.

             “I’m readying the Thermo-Shock Detonators ,” (TSDs) Kyrie said.  They were the weapons that she had designed with the aide of old LEA materials that induced the early surfacing of a Lavoid.  Extremely useful for getting at the things without having to use a Trimetra Rana in order to dig a mine shaft some few miles into the Planet’s crust, and abstaining from excessive use of Chaos magic was always a good thing. 

             “Good.  Do we have a location of the target?”

             “Affirmative.  How long?”

             “Ninety seconds, then figure a two and a half minute fall to the surface.”  Kyrie ran the numbers through her head.

             “Two minutes and ten seconds,” she corrected, he brain dealing with the figures with computer like efficiency.  Duncan didn’t respond.

             “And add a three second displacement for my own teleport.”

             “Already factored in.”

             “On top of things today, huh?” he asked.

             “As always,” she responded, typing away at the control panel in front of her.  It gave off some audio cues that things were happening and there was a low hum on the starboard side of the ship as the TSD launchers warmed up.  Duncan pulled lightly back on the control stick and brought the ship into an orbit that was ever so slightly higher.

             “What was that?” she asked.

             “Now it’s two and a half minutes,” he said, grinning slightly, having made the calculated decent to the surface match his original guess.

             “You would, wouldn’t you?” she said sarcastically, but unable to help smiling herself. 

             “I’m running to prep,” he said, climbing out of his seat and pressing a small orange button on the left side of his control seat.  “The controls are yours.”

             Duncan made his way down out of cockpit and down the main corridor until he came to the forward ladder shaft.  Descending down to the lower level of the ship, he continued making his way down the corridor, coming to a door marked Armory.  The door slid open with a hiss as he walked into the room and gathered his things together.

             The first thing that he grabbed was his sword.  He lifted the ceremonial case off of its shelf, snapped it open, and drew out the red-silver blade.  Examining it briefly, he flipped it over in his hand and put it into the sheath on his back.

             Next were his guns.  Twin modified .45-Ether Class IA magnums, slung at his hips.  These little devices were modified to fire bullets containing Crystain filled tips, killing most LEBC’s instantly.  They also had fire selector, including an option to use magically enhanced bullets which replicated spells.  The whole gun was a marvel of engineering, holding the bullet in a magnetically contained field and then firing it at high velocities using electromagnets and laser-guides.  Special ‘spell’ bullets could be loaded manually or fire-selected, turning the gun into what technicians called a Caster Pistol.

             Following the guns were Crystain-cast stakes, five that were placed in a strap around his left leg and five more in a sling on the right side of his torso.  The outer coat was a Crystain alloy, used to damage the ethereal body.  The inside had a vein of ARG-71, and when the tip entered the flesh, it instantly pumped the poison into the victim.  Useful for killing Class A Farilii and higher powered creatures.

             On his left forearm he attached a warp blade generator.  Based on the TEARS system (Tenser Energy Absorption and Reflection), this device provided a natural channel for the Black Wings projected from the fire point.  Combined with the TEARS, it allowed for absorption of auxiliary energies that reinforced the Black Wings.  The warp blade generator also contained standard T-Blade functions, though Duncan usually refrained from using the long blade portion unless two swords were needed.  His preferred use of it was as a parrying blade for use against skilled opponents.

             Finally came his trench coat, which he threw on and straightened out.  Brushing it off, he swept the coat behind him and marched out the door towards the teleportation room…


            The TDSs had begun to work.  On the surface, the rumbling that marked the surfacing was beginning.  The initial cracks in the crust of the planet were stereotypical of a textbook surfacing.  Either this Lavoid knew Duncan was coming, or was just very ready to meet him.

            Duncan’s appeared on the planet about a mile from the epicenter of where the surfacing was expected to be.  Up from the cracks in the earth, swarms of six legged insectoid creatures crawled to the surface and began to run in his direction.  They were Terminids, the initial ground forces that a Lavoid of Class C or above would use to defend itself.  These Lavoidian creatures, about two feet high and four feet long, were normally effective in weighing down an assault force with their sheer numbers.  They were quick, and made attacks with their claws and teeth which cut through most light infantry armor.  The LEA had normally wiped them out in a preliminary bombardment, not dispatching troops until the second and sometimes third waves of ground assaults appeared (depending on how long the Lavoid had been there to spawn its army).  Duncan normally bypassed their attacks entirely.

             Waiting for them to get close enough, he simply used a series of short distance planeshifts to get passed the line of attack.  The creatures, while controlled effectively by the mental exudes of the Lavoid, were packed too closely to be able to turn around in time to stop Duncan from getting away from them.  He ended his phase shifting and continued to run.

             He could see the growing spikes of the Class A Lavoid that was rising out of the ground in the distance.  The Class As, characterized by three layers of armored spikes layered on top of each other, typically were able to dispatch a large land army before anything was able to get into their range.  Duncan, however, was faster than the ‘typical’ lone attacker of a Lavoid.  The Class A knew this, though.  No Hive Army this size was ever sent out to eliminate a lone warrior.  No single combatant was ever met with a landscape that was blackened by the swarms of demonic creatures that completely obscured the ground from view.

             Almost there, he thought.  Just a little bit.  Keep the running.  He must have been sleepy.  His reaction time is slow.  Think I’ll go in through the shell, no need for entering through the eye.  What spell to use?  The Winds of Fire are pretty strong here.  Burst Flare...cast with a displacement...set off from six inches below the top layer of shell...yeah, that’ll get him.

             He drew his guns from their holsters on his hips.  Coming up now were some of the larger ground units, along with a few Farilii.  His weapons were excellent at taking down most lower-level Lavoid Creatures, so the Ghur-nar and the Shamirs wouldn’t be difficult.  Even the Farilii were disabled of their regenerative ability if the shot was landed towards the base of the brain stem.

             Shooting through the neck.  No breathing.  No regeneration.  Just the way to go.

             He picked up the pace, and strafing right for a few moments, he opened fire, the shots ringing across the field.  Even at over one hundred yards, the shots were still perfect and bodies fell to the floor.  He was still too far away to see the thick black blood shoot out of the backs of their heads, but the satisfaction was still there.  He continued on his original path.

             “Lavoid has fully surfaced,” Kyrie’s voice came over the intercom.  “Energy readouts indicate it is charging surface-to-surface beams.  Proceed with caution.”

             “Got an angle of attack for infiltration?”

             “Forty seven degrees to your left.  Carve a path, and it’ll be out of the Lavoid’s cone of vision.  His own troops are blocking his line of sight from that line of attack.  Give yourself some spell cover and he won’t see you until you’re on top of him!”

             “On it,” he said, his ever present calm remaining.  Firing a few more rounds, he holstered his guns and quickly formed the Winds into a concentration.

             “Demuné Fog,” he said simply, holding his hands over his temples and projecting his will onto the field.  A great path of mist and shadows streaked forward, cutting off the majority of the battlefield from Duncan’s vision.  He, however, was also concealed from theirs.  The mist was magically strong enough to actually provide a wall that not only blocked line of sight, but reduced movement through it by seven eighths speed.

             He kicked off the ground in a mighty leap, soaring over the confused forces that were still able to see him.  In the distance, he could hear the Lavoid groan in confusion and begin to fire energy blasts at the fog.  Behind him, he could see streaks of green and red tear through the fog, masses of smaller creatures pouring out through the newly created gaps.  They ran towards him via the path which he had carved just seconds ago.

             “Diem Wind,” he uttered, extending his left hand and creating a gale like funnel that blew away the enemies with its high speeds.  A nice, circular landing point formed.

             “You’re about fifty yards short,” Kyrie said over the open link.  “But the computer says the Winds are strong enough to reach through.”

             “I’m going to Burst Flare through his armor.  When I get finish setting up, start firing the disruption webs to slow down the rest of this forces.  He should be too preoccupied to be able to control them, but if there are enough synapse creatures, they might be able to turn the forces around on their own.”

             Synapse creatures were the high level Lavoids’ way of dealing with their enlarged armies.  In addition to being powerful fighters in their own right (and damn ugly, too), synapse creatures were possessed of a mental link up with the Lavoid that allowed them to direct the armies on their own.  In larger hives, the synapse creatures were necessary for the Lavoid to exert control over the beings that were farther away from its sphere of influence.  They channeled their influence through the synapse creatures, who in turn channeled their energies through the hordes under their control.  In effect, they are the closest thing that a Lavoid horde has to a ‘chain of command,’ making them function like the Lieutenants and Captains in a Dominion force. 

             “I’m running the numbers now.  I’ll have the timing down.  How long ‘till you contact?”

             Duncan ran through the available data for a moment. 

             “Forty five seconds,” he said finally, already beginning to channel large quantities of the Winds of Fire and leaping off the landing zone he had created with the Diem Wind.  Part of his mind became devoted to dodging the projectiles which flew through the air in a blanket of barbs and mesh, while the other section, the more conscious section, focused on forming the complicated threads and strands which made up the network that became a spell.  When the Winds were tied together in the proper manner (and he was ready), they would resolve as he had dictated, forming the outward explosion of fire energy that was the Burst Flare.

             Something flew at his face from the right, but a quick sway to the left avoided the attack and a brown, bony creature missed his neck with a sharp claw.  Another attack from directly in front…a series of spines with barbed tips coming at high velocity.  In a split second, he drew his sword and spun around with a flurry of blade motions, deflecting the shards away.  The sword was sheathed, and he continued running towards the point where he would enter the Lavoid’s shell.

             He was close now, and the spell was almost ready.  The Ethereal winds begun to manifest themselves in the physical plane and the air around Duncan became heated and dry.  He held the collected winds in his left hand and drew a gun in his right.  Thumbing the selector dial to wide-bore, he fired a blast parallel to the long side of the Lavoid.  A blue beam surrounded with streaks of electricity shot forth, incinerating the horde in front of him and creating a new path.  He sheathed the gun, ran another few paces down the new corridor, then prepared to attack.

             Time seemed to go slow as he finally planted his feet and launched himself into the air over the hordes.  It wasn’t so much how things seemed, but that he actually tended to warp time when using excessive amounts of energy.  His appearance to those around him would become blurred and distorted as his position in the time stream became less definite. 

             The force of his jump as he flew upward kicked the creatures around him back.  He coursed through the sky and saw the Lavoid.  The spell, and the Winds which he had held so close for the past minute, locked into their final form, and the spell began to act.

             “Burst Flare!” he shouted, mostly for effect, though the words would be distorted to all those who could hear.  The fire Winds clicked, and the spell went off.  In the distance, just below the skin of the monstrous Lavoid, red heat began to gather.  The energy showed through the shell and Duncan could begin to sense the pain coming from the general direction of the beast.

             Beams of red light wavered towards the outer core of the shell at first, as the response of the inter-planer transition of the Ether began to manifest itself.  When they had met the right spot, there was a loud explosion as the energy forced its way outward, letting nothing around it curb its path of destruction.  The shell was torn away and the creatures around the beast were blasted to oblivion.  White light filled the area, morphing into brilliant shades of yellow and orange towards the end of the spell.  Wind whipped violently through the area, much of its force reaching Duncan, though he was a safe distance away from the attack.  Around the shell of the Lavoid, only the charred remains of his followers. 

             Of the actual shell, a large portion still remained (the Lavoid had been able to put up a partial shield against the magical attack), but a goodly chunk was carved out of its left side in the shape of a sphere.  This hole, as Duncan had plan, dug right down to the central core.  The radius effect of the spell had blown away every creature right up the point where he now hovered, creating a nice an open path between him and the Lavoid.

             Time accelerated now as he warped space to move quickly through the newly created path.  He had open reign of a circle with a 50 yard radius, and he flew in low towards the Lavoid whose scream was still echoing through the dry, hot air.  The Lavoid’s horde had been scattered, though.  The brainless, smaller creatures were too far away now to affect him and the Burst Flare had taken out a large portion of the Farilii and synapse creatures. 

             He was at the base of the shell in a few seconds.  His motions still blurred to those who remained alive, he reached into his coat and grabbed a set of small, metal, cylindrical objects.  As they came free of their storage location, they extended to about four feet each with a small blue blinking light on the top. 

             Duncan warped time again, moving in and out of the planes to act before the Lavoid could respond.  With great force, he propelled each of the four cylinders into the shell of the Lavoid in varying places across its surface.  The hard material of the shell cracked under Duncan’s strength as the columns locked into a place and started to hum.

             These wonderful little tools were called Ethereal Thumpers (ET’s for short).  They emitted a series of Ethereal hums and pulses that, while slightly cacophonous to the magically tuned ear, also screwed with the interface that the Lavoid held with his shell, preventing it from retreating back into the mantle of the planet.

             A grumbling ensued from within the shell.  The Lavoid was realizing that fighting its attacker was the only option at this point.  There was a signature slurping sound as the Lavoid was freed itself from its biological armor.  When Duncan descended into the depths of the shell, he would be meeting the Lavoid in face to face combat.

             See, Lavoids normally cover their natural bodies with a protective suit of biological body armor which allows them to interface with their shell.  The shell in and of itself was more than just a spaceship, however.  For practical purposes it was a part of them.  When the Lavoids had been designed by the humans on Terra, there was no shell in the original schematics.  In fact, the shell didn’t seem to appear in Lavoid biology until a few hundred years after the First Fall of Terra.  Speculations on the part of most historians conclude that the shell came from the genetic material of some other species which the Lavoids had absorbed along the line.  Through history, they had always absorbed whatever DNA they could get their hands on, incorporating beneficial adaptations into the code that they passed on through their children.  These children then contained the genetic code to produce the shell biologically, and the bio-armor was an adaptation that came about in order to control the shell.  Since the shell is a distinctive feature for nearly every Lavoid in the galaxy, those who hadn’t assimilated the shell adaptation probably all died off.

             When the biological armor is shed by the Lavoid, what is left is a humanoid with bluish skin and no nose, and long blue tendrils in place of hair.  Even in most of the more highly evolved Class A’s, the basic structure remained the same (the Lavoids had probably taken a likening to their form).  Their inner biological processes sometimes differed, and scientists have discovered various adaptations for channeling magical energy, detoxifying poisons, resisting ethereal attacks, as well as other variations, but the physical structures were all very close.

             It was in the hordes they created that the biological diversity of the species’ that they had assimilated showed.  While there were seemingly a finite number of genus’s within a given horde, their unique metabolisms (aided by Chaos energy) allowed them to evolve at a frightening rate.  Evolutionary tracks taking centuries and even millennia can be reproduced in only one or two generations.  Depending on what mutations in genetic code the Lavoid chooses to give a particular genus within his horde, the variation can sometimes make normally mundane Lavoidian creatures unrecognizable.  Duncan had probably killed off about twenty different types of creatures (a typical Lavoid will have an army ranging from fifteen to twenty five different types of units) in his path to the Lavoid.  And, through his travels, while there were always usual fares, such as Farilii, he almost always came a genus of creature with a variation or mutation that he had never seen before.

             Now he was approaching his specialty, though: killing the Lavoid itself.  Of all the events in a given attack, the death of the Lavoid was the only one that reigned most supreme.  Killing off the Lavoid itself ended in the confusion, desertion and eventual death of all of his hordes; only the Lavoid can help them channel the Chaos that they require for life.

             He was about to bound into the crevasse that bore down to the central chamber.  For a moment, he gazed at the destruction the spell had carved.  The visible cross section of the shell was thick, but the surfaces were mostly melted together by the heat of the blast.  He could see how long the main spikes were now, a general gauge as to the age of the Lavoid.  Down through the cross section of the shell, the layers of protective coating were no longer distinguishable, and as he moved in for his attack, he could even see the exposed central chamber. 

             He jumped into the hole, landing on slimy biological matter that made up the floor of the chamber.  His eyes darted around looking for his opponent, but the Lavoid had apparently made the first move in preparing for his defense, hiding himself in some way.  Duncan sniffed the air.  He paused, waited and perked up his ears.

             Right!  He swung is shoulder out of the way as beam of black energy tore through the air.  In an instant, he strafed left, drawing his guns and unloading a few shots into the air. 

             “Sensors detect use of Wind of Air,” Kyrie said over the com-link unit, breaking her silence.

             Invisibility! Duncan realized.  He backed up against the wall of the shell. 

             No matter, he thought.  He sheathed his guns and quickly summoned up a large quantity of raw Winds.

             “Dispel!” he shouted, producing a gust of ethereal wind designed to disrupt the functioning of any spells around him.  The wind wasn’t visible, save for a slight disturbance that ran through the air, but the effect was produced and a bluish humanoid appeared on the opposing side of the shell. 

            Duncan smirked.  The Lavoid, realizing that his cover was gone, attempted to attack.  He rushed forward, blades of black energy appearing in his hands and wings (made of the same stuff) arched from his back.  Duncan wasn’t phased.  He shifted forward two steps and held his ground.  As the Lavoid reached attacking distance, Duncan darted to the left and his own Black Wings came to life from the Warp Blade projector on his left arm.  There was a brief clashing of blades as Duncan deflected the first set of the Lavoid’s attacks.  For a moment he paused, then swiped the Lavoid’s next attack out of the way, and before it knew what had happened, Duncan was to its right.  There was a quick flash as Duncan flew over the Lavoid’s head and slapped a Chaos Bind on its back.  The Binder emitted a charge, and by the time Duncan had landed on the opposing side, the Black Wings that the Lavoid was projecting had been dissipated with a huff of electronic energy.

             The two combatants paused and looked at each other, each with eyes that had killed more than they could count.

             “Lavoid Bane!?” the Lavoid hissed, realizing the device that had been used on him.  “Duncan McKlane!”

             “I take it I need no introduction,” Duncan said with perverse sarcasm.  His right hand slid up to the hilt of the Dreamblade.  The blade of black energy still pulsed from his left arm. 

             “Earrgh!” the Lavoid yelled in battle cry, gathering a dangerous amount of magic into the chamber.  Duncan snapped his left hand forward and the blade of energy sent a ripple through the air that blew away the Winds that the Lavoid was gathering.  Then, in a sharp movement, Duncan kicked off his right heel and flew through the air.  He disappeared from the physical plane with a flicker, appearing again right in front of the Lavoid.  He swayed right.  The Lavoid brought its left hand across in an attempted attack, but the Dreamblade darted out of its sheath in an upward semi-circle, separating the beast from his elbow and below.  A spray of blood came out of the opening and the Lavoid staggered back. 

             With his blade up and the Lavoid distracted, Duncan planeshifted again, reappearing above and behind the beast.  Then, the blade came down and the Lavoid screamed.

              Duncan had delivered the Kyd’ec Tal Ran, a blow that entered at the top of the spinal column and involved impaling five vertebrae and the intestines before coming out of the body just above the pelvic bone.  More importantly, it severed just the right nerves to keep the victim alive and conscious, though paralyzed from the neck down.  This way, the Lavoid was alive for Duncan to dive into its mind and search for information…

            The Lavoid would have staggered forward if it could control its own motions.  With the being unable to move, though, Duncan held it up by holding the sword in place.  He leaned forward over the Lavoid’s shoulder, looking over his glasses with a piercing stare into the Lavoid’s eyes.  The Lavoid returned the glance with a look of terror.

             “Now, we can make this quick, or slow,” Duncan said coldly.  “You cooperate, you feel no pain.  You make my life difficult, and I’ll have you spending the rest of your planer existence in pits of the Icy Wasteland.  This blade has a central vein of ARG-71 that I can pump into your system at any time.  Still with me?”

             The Lavoid nodded curtly.

             “Now,” Duncan said.  “What’s your name?”

             “…Argal,” the Lavoid stuttered.  Again, he could have coughed up blood if his diaphragm could still absorb the orders that the mind was commanding: flex, expel, clean…

             “Argal, you know who I am?”

             The Lavoid nodded again.

             “Then I take it you know I’m perfectly capable of killing you?

             One last time, the Lavoid nodded.

             “Good,” Duncan said, his tone flat.  “Now we move on to the important stuff…” Duncan took the sword by two hands now, closing his eyes and extending his consciousness into that of the Lavoid.  He extended the ethereal veil and scanned Argal’s mind for any information that would prove useful.  Staying in this state of trance for about thirty seconds, he finally withdrew his presence and released the Lavoid from his mental control.  He slowly opened his eyes, making sure he understood what he found.

             “So you assholes have recovered 2 of the Eldarion that were lost in the Second Fall?”  Argal didn’t respond.

             “Answer me,” Duncan said coldly, twisting the sword slightly and stimulating every pain sensory nerve in the Lavoid’s body.  Argal screamed.

             “Yes, we have two of them!” he blurted.  “Just not the two that you would think.”  Argal managed a grin.

             Duncan frowned.  “Which two would I think that you had?”

             “The ones we held originally, of course.”

             “They aren’t two of the ones the LEA gave you?”

             “No, Lavoid Bane.  We’ve come into possession of some different ones.”

             “From where?”

             “I don’t know.”

             “Liar.”  Argal was silent.

             “Tell me,” Duncan said again.

             “Kill me.”

             “I’m going to.”

             “Then just get it over with,” Argal spat.  “I’ve told you what you came to find out.  Pyriorias is behind it, I would assume, though you probably already knew that.”

             “Tell me why she wants them.”

             “The weapons?”

             “No, the other Crystain Holy Artifacts of the LEA,” he said sarcastically.

             “I don’t know.”

             “Again, you lie.”

             “No, I speak the truth.  I know not what Pyriorias plans.  Now…are you going to kill me or are you going to withdraw your sword so I can regenerate these nerve endings and get on with my life?”

             Duncan didn’t answer.  He closed his eyes took a firm grip on the sword.  Dark winds began to howl and the sky started to streak with lightening.  Argal could feel the massive quantities of Chaos swarming into the carvern.  He knew what was coming.  There was no mystery.

            Duncan mumbled something under his breath, then the Chaos rushed out of the air into his control.  There, it swirled maliciously, waiting for him to cast the spell.

             “Lavoids that I see never get to live,” he said bitterly, focusing the energy of the spell into his hands, and then into the blade. 

             “Lavoid Slave,” he said flatly, the spell resolving and coursing through the Crystain blade with the force of a thousand battle ships.  Black light streaked throughout the cavern, scourges of dark energy splaying around the body of Argal.  The essentially pure Chaos energy tore through the Lavoid’s being, short-circuiting his body and causing it to convulse in extreme pain.  Chaos permeated every inch of the body, having been so effectively conducted through the sword.  The Dreamstone that remained in the Dreamblade always was good for that; it was the very principle that the Mammon Machine had been built on.  This energy was dispatched with a purpose though, and following the discharge was a white light…then stillness.

             The wind stopped and the limp form of the Lavoid slid off of the blade, dead as could be.  Duncan stood up fully, swung the blade downward to shake off the blood, and then sheathed the blade on his back.

             He gazed around the chamber and turned on the com-link.

             “Duncan to Vendetta,” he said, touching his ear.  “Copy dead Lavoid and diminishing Chaos energy?”

             “Copy that, Duncan,” Kyrie said.  “Vendetta here.”

             “How’s it look outside?” he asked.

             “The remnants are running amok with nowhere to go.  A lot of them were killed by the overspill of Chaos from the Lavoid Slave that they just couldn’t handle.  It should be a good clean up, if you don’t want to wait for them to die off without their Chaos feed.  There’s too much energy residue near the shell at the moment for them to bother you, though.”

             “The Lemange will be good from this one.  A nice haul.”

             “How much?”

             “I’ll be able to repair damages and probably invest in new Crystain weaponry.  How fast was the kill time?” he asked.

             “1.8 seconds,” she answered.  “Nice job.  That’s below Tyrion’s record, still.”

             “Good,” he said.  “That’ll show Lucent who’s losing their edge.”

             While the fight may have actually seemed to take closer to twenty seconds from Duncan’s vantage, this was due to the overwhelming presence that time manipulation played in his battles with the Lavoids.

             The Winds of Time are probably the hardest of the ethereal energies to see.  Since they control time, they often move in and out of time and even those attuned to them have difficulty gathering and using them.  Thus, the natural absorption or ethereal energy that magic users have is dulled by the sparseness of the winds to begin with.  In the galaxy, though, there were two species extremely good at manipulating the Winds of Time: the Lavoids and the Planeswalkers.

             All of this probably was due to the fact they existed as beings from a dimension higher than that of time.  Their natural absorption of Chaos energy had something to do with their innate talent at manipulating the Winds of Time, creating marvelous effects in the midst of battle.  By speeding up themselves, slowing down their opponent or his projectiles, and freezing the motion of everything around them, effective Time Magic wielders can structure a complete fighting style simply around manipulation of ethereal energies that alter the flow of the time streams.  It is these sub-battles over who controls the flow of time that monopolize much of the magical aspects of Lavoid/Lavoid or Lavoid/Planeswalker battles. 

             “Anyway, send me down the LCMs (Lemange Collection Modules) and contact the rest of the Order.  I’m going to have to call a meeting.  Apparently these life suckers have had more planned for us then I thought.  Worse off, every single one of my brothers is in danger.”

             “Copy that Duncan.  LCM’s on their way.  I’ll begin speaking with the others.  Vendetta out.”

             “Fine,” Duncan muttered after turning off the com link.  “The bastards want to play hardball?  We’ll just see how they like my change-up…”

Chapter 3

Mox Jet's Fanfiction