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Rin’s Adventures Chapter 32

“How did you get in here?” Falcon demanded, and to everyone’s surprise was echoed by Eshka.

“I have my ways traitor,” the new dridder smirked.

“It has not been long enough Nashta,” Eshka snarled. “Our god is returning, and you and your false queen will soon be the past.”

“Not if I have anything to say about it!” Nashta leapt into the air towards her fellow dridder. Eshka pulled a sword from her back, and blade and polearm met with a clang. The two began trading blows almost faster than the eyes of the shocked Miratans and naga could follow. Both spun strands of webbing and launched themselves up into the stalactites dotting the ceiling.

“I did NOT see this coming,” Rin said before shooting an ice blast at Kiki, catching the surprised fairy in the side. “But I’ll take what I can get.”

“She doesn’t remember you going for cheap shots little snake,” Kiki shot forward, fireballs erupting from her palms. Rin conjured an ice shield and the two powers collided in a flash of steam.

“You don’t know anything about her!” Rin shouted as her tail carried her forward. She encased her arms in ice and threw a barrage of punches at her corrupted friend. “I’m going to get you out of her!”

Kiki grinned before throwing out a burst of searing heat that melted Rin’s ice gauntlets and sent her crashing into the wall. “You talk like you don’t know what you’re up against. I am a fragment of a god, one whom even your Guardians fear. You are NOTHING compared to me!”

Rin rolled with the impact, using her tail to propel herself back to standing. Using both hands she sent a barrage of icicles at Kiki's wings, but again her ice was melted by a blast of heat. This time however she fired a second volley before the last of the heat had faded. Kiki dodged these, except for one which tore a hole in her left wing. “Looks like you’re not untouchable,” she said.

“And that is the last shot you’ll get!” Kiki snarled. Blood leaking from her hip, she leapt at Rin with her blade already swinging. Rin hastily formed an ice shell on her forearm and blocked, pulling the frozen blade with her and tossing Kiki over her shoulder. The blade erupted in flames and burned Rin’s skin as it came away. “Did the little naga get burned?” A tremendous cracking came from the crystal lake as the solid pane shook under an assault from below. “You’re out of time!”

“Not yet!” Nashta smirked as she drove the blade of her polearm against her counterpart’s sword hard enough to knock her arm away and drive her fist into Eshka’s face, nearly sending her crashing down from their ceiling battle. “Listen all of you, there are several crystals around the perimeter of the crystal lake. Remove them from their pedestals; that will slow the seal’s collapse!”

“You heard the spider, let’s do this,” Falcon ordered, struggling to process the fact that they seemingly had a dridder on THEIR side.

The Miratan armor suits spread out while Rin and Nashta kept up the assault on Kiki and Eshka. Two suit pairs took up firing positions on the lake’s defenders, taking shots whenever Rin and Nashta gave them an opening, but the creatures’ armor took most of the damage easily.

“You’re outnumbered,” Rin said as she slammed her tail into Kiki’s chest, taking the pain of a burn in exchange for knocking her to the ground. Placing a hand on the ground she sent a pulse of ice magic that froze the fairy’s wings and back to the stone. In the three seconds it took for her to heat her way free Rin closed the range and knocker her sword from her hand. She made to throw it to the far side of the crystal lake when the metal suddenly turned white hot and she was forced to drop it.

“Idiot, no one can touch my blade but me,” Kiki said as she threw a stream of fire at Rin, who blocked with a wall of ice. Once the flames stopped she slammed her tail against the melting wall, sending hundreds of shards at the fairy. Kiki blocked, but then was forced to fly over and crash into an armor suit about to remove one of the crystals. One swipe of her blade severed the machine’s left arm, and her next removed its head, sending it crashing to the ground.

“NO!” Rin shouted, racing around the lake toward Kiki, keeping up a constant barrage of icicles against her. “You have to fight it Kiki!”

“Like I keep telling you, your friend is gone,” Kiki smiled, baring her teeth. “All you’re doing is wasting your time.” Another crack split the air as the lake’s seal weakened further. For an instant Rin could see two massive eyes looking straight into her soul. The shock froze her long enough for Kiki to ram her fist into Rin’s stomach. Rin doubled over, only for an uppercut to throw her against the wall. Her ice magic evaporated as she felt a rib break, and Rin’s vision swam for several seconds.

Kiki slowly walked over to Rin, her hand reaching for a holster on her belt. “Oh that’s right, I left my dagger in the belly of your friend. Looks like I’ll have to do this another way.” Raising her hands above her head, she slowly formed a massive ball of black fire. “This should be enough to make a meal of roast naga.” Her smile turned to a scowl as she suddenly dodged to the right, barely avoiding a pair of missiles from Decker’s heavy suit.

“Always watch your back,” Rin smirked as she caught Kiki off guard with a tail slam. “You can’t use your best moves without stopping, so we’ve got the upper hand.”

“Oh please; I’m just toying with you so you can see the birth of your new overlord,” Kiki laughed as the lake cracked again, and puddles of black liquid began seeping from the edges of the lake where it met the rock.

“Got one!” Dren shouted, his armor suit holding up an amber crystal.

“Second one over here,” Hawk reported as he hefted an emerald gemstone.

“NO!” Kiki cried as she launched herself into the air, only to be met by three streams of bullets from the Miratans as well as icicles from Rin. Dodging and weaving, she avoided most of the fire and ashed the rest but was forced back. Several of the smaller cracks in the lake re-sealed themselves, and the ground shook as a scream echoed up through the crystal. “You cannot stop my rise!”

“Dream on!” Rin said as she shot an icicle at a ruby gemstone and sent it rolling along the ground. “You can’t fight all of us at once.”

“Oh yes I can, because now I’m angry,” Kiki said, before moving forward in a near blur. A roundhouse kick send Rin crashing to the ground, while she hurled her sword into the chest of Hawk’s armor suit before he could dodge. Reaching out her hand the blade few back to her, but Rin sent an ice pulse which froze her hand and caused it to bounce off.
As Kiki dove for her blade, Rin spied a puddle of blood leaking from Hawk’s armor suit.

Shock froze her as she processed that one of her friends, one of Falcon’s friends had just died. “You monster!” She shrieked as she threw herself forward. Kiki was just bringing her blade up, but Rin dodged left and only received a deep gash on her side. Her ice clad fist slammed into Kiki’s face, breaking her nose and sending a spray of blood into the air. More blows rained down as Rin pummeled her former friend. “I won’t let you kill any more of my friends!”

As Rin leaned back for another blow Kiki darted forward. Her open palm caught Rin in the throat as her knee slammed into her stomach, driving all breath from her. A haymaker from her fist sent Rin slamming back into the stone wall and breaking another Rib. Sharp pain stabbed into her left side, while coughs wracked her body as it struggled to draw a breath.

“I, have had, enough, of you!” Kiki snarled, blood running down her face from her shattered nose. She stomped her foot down on Rin’ left hand, drawing another scream along with the cracks of breaking finger bones. She raked her nails across Rin’s face before wrapping both hands around her throat. “Now I will put an end to your miserable-” her words stopped as a sharp bang echoed across the lake. Kiki looked down at the smoking pistol in Rin’s hand, while her hand pressed against the hole in her chest. A single wet cough left her throat as she collapsed.

“Kiki!” Rin shouted as she caught Kiki’s falling body with one arm. Her left hand refused to move and felt as if it was burning. Kiki, hold on,” she begged. “I’ll think of something.”

“Still you persist,” Kiki smirked, blood leaking from the corners of her mouth. “You may have beaten me, but the seal is nearly broken. I will rise, and you will all suffer for your defiance.” The crimson glow in Kiki’s eyes faded, revealing the clear ruby orbs Rin remembered. A black mist poured from her mouth and vanished through one of the cracks in the seal. Working quickly, Rin encased Kiki’s body in ice, preserving her until she could think of a plan.

From above the battling forms of Eshka and Nashta fell from the ceiling, still locked in their duel. Eshka had lost her shield and was bleeding from her left shoulder, while Nashta had a wicked gash along her left cheek and two of her left side legs were nearly severed. “It’s over,” Nashta said. “Your ally has fallen; you stand alone.”

“I don’t need anyone to defeat you! Eshka shouted as her eyes widened in rage, leaping at her foe. Barely had she left the ground when ten streams of bullets slammed into her from all side, tearing into her armor and breaking off one of her eight legs. Nashta struck her in the chest with her polearm, sending her rolling onto the cracking lake.

“If you’re so loyal to your mistress, then you can be sealed with her forever!” Slamming down on the breaking crystal, Eshka’s body sank into the dark ichor with an echoing scream. “Naga, I require your aid.”

Rin barely heard Nashta’s words as she looked down at Kiki’s ice encased body. A sharp slap to the face snapped her back and she snarled at the dridder above her. “Do that again and I’ll kill you,” she hissed.

“Maybe later, for now I need your help in resetting the seal.” The crystal lake was filled with cracks as the black ichor spread across the floor. “The support crystals have been removed, but we still need to use the crystal key to repair the cracks in the seal.  After that I’ll be more than happy to fight you. If you want to save the rest of your friends you’ll do what I say!”

“Do it Rin,” Falcon said. “She’s proven that at the very least she’s on the side of preventing the Primordial from getting free. That’s an order!” He snapped.

“Yes Sir!” Rin saluted on instinct. Turning to Nashta she frowned. “What do I have to do?”

“Follow me.” The dridder led Rin to the key near the far wall of the chamber. The black crystal pulsed with black energy as it sent energy surging through the expanding cracks below. “Place your hand on the pedestal and focus your energy. Just as the key needed two to free it, it requires two magics to reverse its effects.” Rin did as she was told, and blue and emerald began surrounding the alter. “Repeat after me,” she said. “Magic of the five, heard my call.”

“Magic of the five, hear my call,” Rin repeated, feeling the pull on her ice magic growing each second.

“Bind the evil of Beyond into the Eternal Seas once more.”

“Bind the evil of Beyond into the Eternal Seas once more.” Rin fought to keep standing as her magic was ripped from her, but she could see the cracks in the crystal lake healing with every spoken word.

“By light and dark combined, restore balance to this world.”

“By light and dark combined, restore balance to this world.” The key lit up like a star, and the last thing Rin saw before she passed out was the crystal lake once again a solid unbroken pane.



Rin slowly came back to reality as her aching body realized it was still alive. The first thing she saw was Falcon and the other Miratan armor suits standing over her. Nashta stood off to the side, weapon resting in one hand as she regarded Rin with black eyes. “What happened? How long was I out?”

“Only a few minutes,” Falcon said. “Whatever the two of you did, it worked. The crystal sealed itself and the both of you collapsed. She woke up just before you did.”

“So, what happens now? Are you going to fight us for the key too?” Rin asked.

“No,” Nashta replied. “In my current state I doubt I would win, and you’ve proven you wish the Primordial to remain sealed. That aligns with the wishes of my Queen. For now, I have no quarrel with you. But if our paths happen to cross again, I will do what I must. Until then, I will be watching. Farewell,” the dridder limped back down the tunnel, her steps soon fading away.

“So, I guess we go home now. The ones still alive,” Rin said, glancing over at Hawk’s fallen suit.

“Sometimes not everyone makes it back from a mission Rin,” Dren said. “Let’s collect these keys and get out of here. This place gives me the creeps.”

“Yeah, I agree,” Rin shivered. “I’ll do what I can, but I only have one arm right now.” Even standing up drove daggers into Rin’s midsection as her broken ribs ground together.
“We can take care of it,” Falcon said. “Kiki, is she still alive?”

“I don’t know,” Rin admitted. “My ice should keep her as she was when she was frozen, but her wound…”

“The doctors will do what they can, and with all the magic artifacts we’ve come into possession of lately, I’m sure we’ll find something that can help her.”

Two armor suits hoisted Hawk’s on their shoulders, while four more took hold of Kiki’s ice block. Slowly they retraced their steps towards the exit. The runes from before were faded now, as if their power had been sealed along with the Primordial. The journey to the outside passed in what seemed only a few hours this time, and the mist was just thin enough for the group to walk in a single direction without getting turned around. When they reached the edge, Rin saw the incorporeal spirits from before, and this time one looked at her and smiled before vanishing. “Let’s go home.”
Rin’s Adventures Chapter 31

The ten armor suits and Rin made their way down Frost Peak in single file. A heavy storm had settled over the peak, sending roaring winds and driving snow against them every step of the way. “Visibility down to five meters,” Dren reported. “Sensors are having trouble penetrating the storm. Winds must be picking up metallic dust from the far side of the mountain.”

“I can’t sense any creatures near us,” Rin said. Her ice magic was only growing stronger in the presence of such massive amounts of cold and snow. “Even the worst predators wouldn’t want to be out in this.”

“Then what are you doing out here?” Dellman asked.

“Ask yourself that question; you’re the one who likes hunting creatures aren’t you?” Rin replied.

“Cut the chatter,” Falcon snapped. “Save the quips until we’re out of this mess.”

As the group slowly made their way down the mountain, the wind and snow gradually relented their bombardment. The massive trees of the forest loomed out of the white, and Rin pulled all the cold energy she could within herself before they left Frost Peak behind. Falcon’s suit led the way, the tracker vine held in one hand. He began turning in a slow circle until it began pulsing. “That way,” he said.

“You know, I could carry that for you,” Rin suggested. “Then you’d have both hands free if something attacks us. I only need one hand to use any of my weapons.”

“Good idea,” Falcon replied, handing the vine fragment over to Rin so he could hold his suit’s rifle in both hands. “Take point Rin.”

“Yes Sir!” Rin moved ahead of the armor suits, keeping far enough in front that they didn’t step on her tail. The trees gradually began getting denser, causing less light to shine down through the canopy. The dimming light cast the branches and vegetation in patterns of dark green and black. Animal noise steadily dropped off, until the only sounds were wood crunching under metal feet and Rin’s tail. The bright, healthy vegetation gradually began to wither, leaves growing with spots of black mold and tree trunks dotted with tendrils of rot.

“This must be the border of the Dead Wood Terra told us about,” Falcon said.

“I can feel something in the air,” Rin spoke up. “It’s like the local magic is sick. I can’t explain it to you very well, but I can sense the same rot you can see in the trees. It feels like slime collecting on my skin whenever I reach out to it.” She glanced at Dellman’s suit, knowing the quip he had ready, but to her surprise he kept silent.

The team lapsed into silence as they continued on. Many trees now stood bare of leaves, their bark and branches covered with blotches of the sinister black mold. Tendrils of fog began creeping along the ground. Despite the sun overhead the light continued to fade. “We must be getting close, I can almost taste the dark magic in the air,” Rin said.
The fog thickened with every forward step, until it blotted out the sun completely. Rin struggled to see the ground in front of her tail. “We could get separated in this.”

“Suits, cable hook-up,” Falcon ordered. Each armor suit extended a cable from their waist which linked to the suit in front of them. “Rin, take my cable and secure it around you.”
“Got it,” Rin said, taking the head of the cable and freezing it to her tail with a patch of ice. The tracker was pulsing stronger now. “We’re still on track.”

As she continued forward, Rin suddenly felt as if she had stepped through a spider web, but nothing came away in her hands. Her head felt strange, as if she was turning in a circle standing still. She focused on the vine in her hand and slowly moved forward. “We just hit a spell barrier,” she warned. It’s messing with our sense of direction.”

By now the fog was so thick Rin could not see her own hand in front of her face. No sound was audible, even the movement of her tail. If it wasn’t for the cable frozen to her waist she would have been completely lost. A magical chill went down her spine, as if the eyes of something huge were fixed on her. The fog seemed to move as though invisible creatures were moving through it, swirling and parting almost at random. One moved just to her right and on instinct she fired an icicle, but the ice weapon passed straight through where it had to have been. Charging more of her ice magic into another shot, Rin fired again. This time when the icicle passed through the gap in the fog it illuminated a naga, causing Rin to gasp. The naga was barely visible even with the magical illumination, but it didn’t react to being hit. A great gash covered her chest, showing broken ribs and her insides. Pain so intense Rin could feel it was visible in its eyes for the half second before it moved on.

Rin fired two more magical strikes, and each illuminated another creature; a naga and a dridder. Both displayed horrific injuries, and both ignored her completely. “Ghosts,” she whispered. The passage of the ghosts filled the air with even more dark magic, and she saw the tracker vine begin to wilt. “We have to hurry,” she said as she followed the cable back to Falcon’s suit. “The dark magic is causing the tracker to wither. We don’t have long before it’s useless.”

“All right, but keep your senses peeled Rin. My sensors can’t pick up much beyond five meters, so if you run into anything or anyone give two sharp tugs, three if it’s hostile then drop down and we’ll waste it.”

“Understood,” she saluted and moved forward as quickly as she dared. The ground started to shift from dirt to stone, and fragments of bone and rusted weapons became visible. The feeling of being watched was even stronger now, and Rin had to fight to keep moving forward. Whatever this Primordial was, its magic was strong enough even through its seal to force Rin to draw on the ice in her soul to keep moving forward.

After what seemed like hours, but with the decaying tracker could have been no more than a minute the mouth of a cave loomed ahead, twice as tall as Rin and made of stone as black as a starless sky. Touching the stone nearly made her scream as the flesh of her fingers and palm felt as though they were frozen and burning at the same time. The remains of the tracker turned to dust and fell between her fingers. “This has to be it,” she said, her words sounding ten times as loud as normal to her ears after the silence in the fog. One by one the armor suits came into view.

“So this is what the damnation realm looks like,” Dren said. “I always thought it’d be brighter and with more flames.”

“That could be what’s inside,” Rin replied. “We should keep connected in case there are more redirection spells inside. I’ll do my best to counter them, but my magic may not even work in there.”

“Then keep your pistol ready,” Falcon suggested. “Whatever’s in there might not have seen its like before.”

“Right,” Rin swallowed, and then took her first move inside the cave mouth. Instantly the temperature seemed to plummet, but it didn’t invigorate her. Instead her ice magic seemed to curl up inside her as if it was afraid to touch the surrounding air. Crimson runes flared to life along the cave wall, and each seemed to carry screams which drilled into her head. Pleas for mercy and cruel laughter filled her mind, drowning her own thoughts under their mental weight. Reaching deep within herself, Rin found the serenity she had touched before, and plunged her mind into it. Shutting out all emotion seemed to quiet the screams, and Rin hoped her aura would reach the other suits. The runes flared brighter as if angered by her refusal to bow to their assault.

A rustling up ahead drew Rin’s attention as a wall of vines blocked their path. Cracked bones littered the ground in front of them, and barbed ends emerged as they sensed warm bodies approaching. “We’ll have to deal with these things.” She fired a burst of ice magic at the vines, but it fizzled out before reaching them. A second, stronger burst reached the bards, but only one froze and dropped it to the floor.

“Let me take a shot,” Decker said as his heavy suit moved forward. “Fire in the hole!” A pair of missiles streaked out and sent a wave of stone shards and pulped organic matter down the cave. Rin shielded her eyes, and when she opened them saw that the vines were gone. Black ichor leaked down the soot streaked walls from openings in the stone. “Vines against HE missiles equals no contest.”

“Let’s keep moving,” Rin said, her voice devoid of any emotion. The walls of the cave now seemed to be vibrating, as if the vines had triggered something else, but nothing came out to attack them.

After what seemed like days to Rin, the tunnel opened up ahead. A truly massive chamber spread out before them, the air split by the cracking of a crystal lake in the middle. The force of the presence she had been feeling increased by an order of magnitude as Rin moved forward, driving her to her hands. It took ten beats of her heart to get back up, struggling as if against a strong wind.

“I wondered if you’d manage to find your way here,” a voice called down from above, and Rin’s emotionless state cracked as she saw the being that had once been Kiki descend. Her armor was covered in black crystal growths, and she carried a corroded blade in one hand. Veins in her face and arms spread like black vines across her skin, illuminated by the dark crimson glow of her eyes. “The other naga must have survived long enough to tell you the location of this place. The fact that you penetrated the Fog of The Lost is a surprise, but no matter. It will be good to have witnesses to my rebirth into this world.”

“You won’t be doing anything like that,” Rin said, drawing the ice of her soul back into its dormant state. “I’m going to free Kiki from your control, and your prison will remain just that!”

“Always the optimist,” Kiki sneered. “Predictable and futile as any action would be at this stage. My prison is failing as we speak, and my powers return. If you surrender and beg, I may allow you to be my slaves.”

“Not gonna happen!” Falcon said as he fired a barrage from him rifle. Kiki raised her hand and the bullets were reduced to ash before they could get close.

“Pathetic,” Kiki smirked as she sent a ball of black flame which knocked Falcon’s suit to the ground. “I could kill all of you right now, but that would be no fun. I have been locked away for so long, and I could use some sport when I break free.”

“And it would be a shame to not let your fear build when you see the face of a god,” a second voice chuckled as an armored dridder emerged from the shadows. “How kind of you to get here just behind me, though I wish I’d met you in the fog.”

“YOU!” Rin shouted as Eshka came into view. “I’d hoped we’d seen the last of you. How’s the hip, still a big frostbitten,” she smirked.

“You’ll pay for that,” the dridder scowled. “I intend to make you watch as I drain every drop of blood from your pathetic little body. I promise you I will enjoy every scream you make.”

“Not today,” Dren said as he fired, his rounds slamming into Eshka’s midsection. Her armor took the blows but cracked under the force.

“Nice try,” Eshka spat a stream of acid which melted the barrel of Dren’s rifle. “My strength has doubled since our last meeting, and this time your fire friend is on my side.”

“Let’s see which melts first, the metal of your allies or your resolve when you hear their screams,” Kiki grinned, the black veins in her face expanding as her teeth showed.

“Not just yet,” a low voice called from the cave tunnel. “A play cannot begin until all the players are assembled.” Clicking forward on armored legs, a second armored dridder came forward. Her eyes glowed a familiar deep green, as did the blade of her polearm. “I didn’t expect to see you lot in this place, but it is a welcome surprise. Now, the end can begin.”
Rin’s Adventures Chapter 30

Rin followed Falcon’s suit inside the base, swaying a bit as the frigid air outside became warm. Her whole body was still full of aches, and her tail sent twinges of pain up her spine whenever she moved it too quickly. Her ice magic was still regenerating,  pulsing within her as each mana particle sparked and joined with others like snowflakes. She waved to the small knots of people out and about. The hole at the peak of the base was nearly repaired; she could see hovering disks of a silvery material welding simple metal plates over the scorched machinery Kiki had blasted. “I’m sorry I caused this to happen to your base,” she said. Kiki had been her friend. She should have been able to do something to prevent this!

“This was not your fault Rin,” Falcon replied. “There are forces on this world neither of us understands. What’s important is doing something about it. I have to make my report to Binermas. You should go and speak with Doctor Silver and get permission to travel if you want to join us on the mission to save Kiki.”

“I’ll get it,” she promised. “Count on it.”

“I don’t doubt it,” Falcon laughed. “I’ll meet up with you after I talk with Binermas.”
The two went their separate ways, both having a tough fight ahead of them.



Falcon passed the two guards outside Binermas’ office with a nod, the weapons scanner beeping softly behind him. He knocked three times, each one second apart. “Enter!” The Governor General’s voice called from within. Pushing the plain oaken doors open, he carefully shut them behind him. Snapping a salute, he took the seat Binermas pointed to. “Mission successful Sir.”

“What did you learn?” Binermas asked.

“The entity known as Kiki is currently in a location known as the Dead Woods, in the cave where this ‘Primordial’ creature is imprisoned. We obtained a tracking device that will allow us to bypass stealth spells concealing the entrance. Once inside, we subdue Kiki and recover any advanced technology inside. On our way back we were attacked by a dridder wearing missile resistant armor and a weapon which could carve through metal easier than anything we currently posses.”

“And the naga, what of her?” Binermas asked.

“She is severely injured and won’t be mobile for quite some time,” Falcon answered. “One of the crystals she had in her possession evidently was the key to freeing the being Kiki is seeking.”

“And do you know anything about the defenses of this cave? Number of defenders, their weapons, support?”

“No Sir,” Falcon said. “But based on what Terra told us, it’s similar to our black ops sites; relying mainly on stealth and the surprise of a small number of elite troops to defend it.”

“This situation gives me a bad feeling Captain. We would be walking into a situation where the enemy holds many advantages, and our intervention may not even be necessary. Still, if the weapons technology you mentioned exists in large enough numbers, it could be added to our arsenal,” Binermas said.

“I believe we must act Sir,” Falcon replied. “This creature could prove a great threat to our operations here if it united the dridder population. Until now we’ve only gone up against a few of them, all single units. If they came at us with enough numbers this base could fall. As the Founders said, better to strike with your own forces prepared than the enemy’s. Also I would imagine High Command would be pleased were you to present them with advanced weapons, energy shielding devices AND food supplies for homeworld all at the same time.”

“I’ll give you that point,” Binermas allowed himself a small grin. “Admiral Davich and I DO have a standing bet on who will possess energy shielding first.” The governor-general’s face became serious. “Very well Captain, I will authorize this operation, but if you fail and we suffer heavy losses I will see to it that your house will bear the brunt of the blame. Understood?”

“Understood Sir,” Falcon nodded, feeling a great weight settle on his shoulders. “And I promise you, we WILL win, and both of us will benefit from this day.”
“See that you do. Dismissed!”

Falcon saluted and quickly made his way out of the room. His fingers traced over the crossed sword and spear button on his jacket. “I won’t let you down father,” he whispered.



Rn found Dr. Silver waiting for her near the medical complex. Getting down on her belly she gave him a hopeful smile. “Captain Falcon wants my help on a mission, but he says you have to say I can go.”

“Correct Ms. Rin,” the doctor replied, his eyes darting between Rin and the data slate in his hands. “Your vitals have improved greatly, but they are still well below what I believe to be your peak. Several more days may be needed to return you to full strength.”

“I may still be hurt, but my magic will be back to full power very soon. They’re going to need me on this mission, especially without Kiki and Terra,” Rin argued. “I’ll even heal on the way down the mountain with the storms outside. Please, you have to let me go with them.”

“I am a doctor young lady, and it is my responsibility to keep all under my charge alive and in fighting condition. If that means sitting out a mission, so be it.”

“But then you won’t get something I know you want very much,” Rin smirked, her brain working a mile a minute as it made up an explanation the doctor would accept.

“Oh, and what would that be?” Silver asked as he lowered his pad.

“Data on what my body is like in combat. If we do get to the Primordial’s cave and have to fight her or Kiki you’ll be able to learn things about my magic and other things you couldn’t if I just stayed here and healed. You did call me an interesting specimen.”

Doctor Silver’s expression became unreadable, and Rin felt her heart start beating faster. Large as she was, there was something about the doctor that made her feel very small.

“Very well Ms. Rin, I will admit you have a point. I would likely gain valuable data from you if you went into combat in your current state. If you will agree to take a bio-monitoring device with you, I will grant you combat ready status.”

“Thank you!” Rin smiled, nearly crushing the doctor against her cheek.

“I will rescind that status if you do not release me at once,” the doctor threatened. Rin flew back as if he had been white hot, and Silver smoothed his lab coat and picked up his pad. He typed several commands, and an orderly pushed a cart out of the building. On the cart rested a device just larger than Rin’s thumbnail. “Place this behind your ear. It will secure itself and monitor your vital functions. Do NOT lose it.”

“I won’t,” Rin took the black metal device and touched it to the skin behind her right ear. “YEOCH!” She shouted as four sharp points of pain speared into her flesh.

“The device is now attached,” Dr. Silver stated. “I would have warned you about the clamps, but I was short of breath from your hug.” Rin couldn’t be sure, but she thought she spotted a smirk on the man’s face.

Rin frowned but said nothing as she stood back up, strongly resisting the urge to scratch behind her ear. She smoothed the fabric of her cadet uniform, and then waited for Falcon to arrive. She focused on calming herself; this would be her first mission as part of a group. She would be around professionals like her daddy, Dren and the rest of the Miratan pilots. “I’ll do fine, I’ll do fine,” she repeated to herself as she closed her eyes.

“Oh I know you will,” Falcon’s voice shocked Rin out of her attempt at meditation. “So, you got permission from Doctor Silver?”

“Yep, I just have to wear this metal thing behind my ear. It HURT when I put it on,” she frowned. “He was upset because I hugged him.”

“At your size I’m not surprised,” Falcon said. “You have to learn to ask before doing stuff like that ok?”

“Fine,” Rin pouted. “So, when are we leaving?”

“A few hours, some of the suits need minor repairs. In the meantime, I have something for you. Follow me,” Falcon smiled. He led Rin to one of the workshops where the armor suits were being worked on. A tarp covered something twice the size of Rin’s hand. “Go on, take a look.”

Rin slowly lifted the tarp and her face broke out in a grin. A weapon just like the one Falcon had taken from Dellman the first time she had met them, made from gleaming silvery metals. “It’s just like yours, but my size. But why make one for me?” She asked.

“Because sometimes all the magic in the world is no match for a good solid shot weapon at your side,” Falcon replied. “I’ve had the techs working on this for a while and they just now finished it. Go ahead; it’s not loaded so try it out.”

Rin carefully picked the pistol up in her hands. It was heavy, but she quickly worked out how to hold it best. She looked down the metal sites and pulled the trigger, producing a hollow clicking sound. “How do I learn to fire it? It seems a little big to practice with in here.”

“That’s why we made a few practice rounds for you,” Falcon pointed to a magazine with a green stripe. “It’s loaded paint rounds so anything you hit may look silly, but you’d be hard pressed to hurt someone. There’s a practice range over there that the armor suits use. So, are you ready for your first lesson?”

“Yes!” Rin shouted, slamming the magazine against the gun, and watching it bounce to the ground.

“Lesson one, how to load,” Falcon laughed.



Three hours passed as Falcon taught Rin the basics of operating her new weapon; safety, aiming, reloading and focus. The first time she fired the kick nearly knocked the gun from her fingers. Her first shots barely hit the widest targets, but gradually she improved. Her practice with icicles her fan club had done with her helped. “This is so different from my ice power,” she remarked.

“That’s why I thought of this,” Falcon said. “Having more than one approach to a problem can be a great asset. The more paths available to oneself the more chances one of them is correct.”

“That’s one of the things your Founders said isn’t it?” She asked.

“Yes, the Founders created the framework for our entire Empire,” Falcon smiled. “I’ll tell you the story of their rise to power sometime. But for now I think you’ve got the basics down. I wish we had more time to work on your firearm skills, but the suits should be ready soon. There’s a holster for the pistol on your uniform’s belt.”

“So that’s what it’s for,” Rin said as she slipped the gun into the leather holder. Clips for reloading went in pockets on either side of her shirt. “I’ll make you proud.”

“I know you will, now let’s go save your friend.”

Rin carried Falcon to his repaired armor suit. Bare metal stood out where plates had been hastily attached over the bitten arm segments. He climbed up into the cockpit and the machine stood and moved its arms and legs one by one. “Let’s go meet the rest of the unit. They should be waiting for them by the gate.”

Rin spied the other suits first. Nine armor suits stood in two lines in front of the gate. “So, you’re coming too?” Asked a voice Rin knew all too well.

“Dellman,” she frowned. “Yes, I am coming with you, so let’s just keep out of each other’s way.” Her hand rested on her new weapon.

“So, you finally got a real weapon,” Dellman said, his sneer obvious in his tone.

The gates slowly opened and a flurry of snow poured in. Falcon’s suit took the lead, with Rin and Dellman bringing up the read. Both looked up and down at the other for a moment. “I’m not taking my eyes off of you,” they both said at the same time.
Rin’s Adventures Chapter 29

The Miratan armor team double timed it down the mountain, weapons sweeping left and right as they passed each location where their computers showed previous contacts. Nothing bothered them as rocks and ice formations passed them by, not that any of the team registered the intricate constructs of nature. Their eyes were locked on the approaching forest, every tremor of a step taking them closer to finding the fate of Terra.

Falcon frowned in the dim green light of his suit’s cockpit. His hands ran over dials and buttons without conscious thought, muscle memory taking over as he focused sensors on the trees, looking for any sign of Kiki’s passage. Several of the leafy titans glowed crimson, the targeting reticle enlarging one scarred trunk to show a burn which marred the dark brown bark. Two others further in were lit up by his computer seconds later. “I have a trail; could be Kiki’s path,” he called out.

“Confirmed; hopefully she was this careless the whole way,” Dren said. “If whatever’s inside Kiki went into boot camp, old man Kratar would rip her a new one.” The rest of the team joined Dren’s chuckling over the memory of one of the Miratan Empire’s most infamous drill masters.

The team of armor suits slowed as they entered the woods, each suit covering an arc of their advance. “Everyone stay frosty, we’re not invading this time, just passing through. Let’s hope Kiki scared off anything that might have the guts to try and take us on.”

“Anything tries is gonna eat some HE,” Decker said, his suit’s missile pods rotating to track every sound. They caught sight of numerous small creatures dashing between bushes, but the large armor suits heavy feet sent any ones who dared approach scurrying sway with high pitched squeaks of alarm.

More scorched trees marked Kiki’s path through the wood, and several times the burned bodies of large creatures blocked their path, the remains charred beyond any hope of identification. “Guess someone called her fat,” Dren joked.

“Everyone tighten up; we’re getting close,” Falcon snapped, spying a truly massive tree ahead. Dwarfing the seeming saplings around it, what could only be Terra’s tree almost seemed to glow in the sunlight despite the charred surfaces marring the entrance. Several vines moved across the damaged areas, leaving a thick blue sap behind which they could see congeal against the dead areas. “Damage control,” he said, impressed at the organic counterpart to a Miratan repair arm.

“Got one life-sign up ahead,” Lt. Hawk called out. “Readings are erratic, likely severely injured.

“Weapons hot people, but check your targets. No one fire until we’re sure who we’re closing on,” Falcon ordered. The suits slowly ascended a winding walkway barely large enough for a single file approach. Twice the wood groaned under the weight of metal and ammunition, and the suits froze until they faced. Once a vine crossed the suits’ path, the bulbous head seemingly watching them despite a lack of eyes. “We are looking for Terra; to make sure she is all right,” he said. The vine froze for several seconds before snaking up the ramp and moving inside. “I never thought I’d say this, but follow that vine.”

The armor suits entered Terra’s tree one by one, their weapons tracking back and forth. The vine moved into a side chamber along a trail of dried blood, and Falcon followed. Within he saw hundreds of vines hanging from the ceiling, the walls and coming up through the floor. At the center lay Terra, a congealed sanguine puddle around her. Her hair looked badly burned and her breathing was shallow. “Mrs. Terra, can you hear me?” Falcon asked gently. Terra looked like many victims he had seen on the battlefield, and a familiar anger filled his heart at seeing someone he had begun to consider a possible friend injured to this level.

Terra’s eyes flickered open. “Captain, I thought they would send you,” she whispered, but even that seemed to drain her. “I was a fool to go after the dark spirit alone. She used me to unlock the key. It needed both of us. If only I hadn’t come, this world would not be in the danger it is!” She hissed. “I managed to create this cocoon for myself. It may heal me, but my injuries are severe, and even my magic may not be enough.”

“Can’t you simply use another of those healing orbs, like you did with Rin?” Dren asked.

“That was an injury caused by dark magic Miratan. My wounds were made by simple fire and steel. There may be an orb with those powers here or at your base, but I can’t concentrate enough to access those memories. I am sorry I couldn’t help you like I promised. I hope you won’t hold it against Rin.”

“Of course not, but now we must decide our next move,” Falcon said. “Do you know anything about where Kiki may have gone with this key?”

“The cave where the Primordial is sealed,” Terra whispered, her head hanging forward as she forced the words out. “Only a being with dark magic can find it, unless they have help,” she smirked. “During our fight I managed to sting her with one of my vine spells. It left a fragment of bark under her skin that my magic can track. Break the end off of one of the vines around me, and dip its edge in my blood. That will activate the tracking spell, and it should be strong enough to let you pierce any spells hiding her location.”

Dren did as Terra instructed, and the vine fragment quickly began to glow a deep green. “So how do we use it?” He asked.

“The glow will pulse when you’re heading in the right direction. When you get to the Dead Wood it will help you pass through the spells guarding the way. I’m sorry I can’t do more, but my magic is very weak right now.”

“You’ve done more than enough,” Falcon replied, placing his suit’s hand on Terra’s arm. “I promised Rin she wouldn’t lose any more friends today. You recover your strength; we’ll take this thing down.”

“Take any of the orbs here you want. I’m sure some of them will help you. And tell Rin after all this is over I expect her to come visit,” Terra said. “Now, if you don’t mind, I need a nap.” The naga’s eyes closed and she leaned forward in her vine cradle.

“Dren, Hawk, go and secure as many of the orbs as we can carry. Once you’re done we return to Frost Peak. We’ve finally got a clear enemy to fight.” Turning back to Terra he smiled. “We’ll be back, and boy will it be a party.”



By the time the orbs had been secured in the storage lockers of the armor suits, Terra was in a deep sleep and the vines slowly began surrounding her head. “Sleep well,” Falcon said as the Miratans departed, the tracking device glowing a steady green.

A pack of lupine beasts followed them through the brush, their growls building in strength. Their grey and green fur blended into the leaves, causing them to seemingly jump from place to place. Their eyes, glowing a sinister green, sent chills down the Miratans’ spines. “Looks like something doesn’t want us leaving,” Dren said, noticing the beasts’ eyes glowed a sinister green. “Let’s show them how much we care.”

“On my mark,” Falcon ordered. He recognized the beasts from Rin’s description on Kenshas. “They probably won’t stick around once they see our firepower. “Mark your targets…Light ‘em up!” A stream of high explosive shells erased the head of the closest creature, sending its body careening into a tree. Missiles blasted two more into oblivion and brought down one of the trees between the armor suits, sending up a great cloud of dirt and leaves.

Four of the beasts remained, and their charge never faltered. One fell to a rifle burst from Dren’s suit, but the remaining three leapt into the air at their mechanical enemies. Decker’s heavier suit endured the charge, but Falcon and Dren were knocked down. Two of the beasts latched onto Falcon’s suit, their jaws denting the metal of its arms. “Eat this,” he grinned, triggering the shock pads built into his suit’s left hand. The first beast howled in agony as its muscles rebelled against it, but the second ripped its head back and forth as it tried to rip the metal arm off.

The two armor suits trapped on the other side of the tree made their way around, and their rifles finished off the beasts savaging Falcon’s suit. The remaining beasts all converged on Falcon, but as the suits refocused of them a massive shape dropped down from the treetop. It landed on one of the supporting suits and crushed in into the ground. The dust cleared, revealing a dridder clad in emerald armor and wielding a polearm and shield in its hands. “Give me the tracker!” She demanded. The suit beneath her struggled to throw her off with its remaining working arm, but she slashed with her weapon and severed it.

“Dream on!” Decker said, unleashing a salvo from his missile pods. The dridder grinned and took the hits on her shield. “You are no match for me and will only die if you resist.”

“That seems to be par for the course with you monsters,” Falcon said as he sent wireless signals to his squad mates. “I will not allow your Primordial to be released. We’re currently using this planet.”

“You think I work for that imposter?!” She snarled as she dodged a burst of rifle fire. “My Queen will slay her if she dares show her face again! I will see it done, so give me that tracker!”

“Not today,” Hawk said as his suit hurled a grenade. The dridder blocked with her shield, but the grenade sent out arcs of electricity which enveloped her body. As she convulsed Decker fired a single missile which sent her shield spinning away. A second warhead struck her chest, shattering her armor and sending her slamming with tremendous force into a tree.
Falcon’s suit stood slowly, one arm sparking where the Kensha’s fangs had pierced the metal. “I have had enough of you damn dridders in this damn forest! Firing line!” The armor suits formed up, rifles and missiles taking aim at the reeling dridder.

“We’re not done yet,” the raven haired spider girl grinned. Her hand glowed green and the shield flew back to her grasp. “The true Queen will rise and cast down the shade of the past.” She dodged a missile from Decker’s suit and hurled her polearm, the blade shearing off one of the missile pods before flashing back to her hand. “Magic is the supreme force in this world. Your primitive weapons can never hope to match-” She was interrupted as the missile she dodged had swung back around and detonated against the small of her back. The orange fireball threw her forward on her face. Before she could rise a barrage of bullets rained down onto her armor, exposing a shimmering colorless barrier over her skin. Her armor was cracked and shed crystal shards as she got back up.
“Magic is just science not explained yet little girl,” Dren replied, the smile on his face evident even over the air.

“Surrender and we MAY not kill you,” Falcon said.

“If you knew who I am you would never ask me to give up. But you have impressed me,” she smiled, tracing a finger along the back of her neck and bringing it back covered in blood. “Very few have managed to wound me. I’ll let you live for now, but the next time our paths cross, I’ll have your heads for my trophy wall. Tensing her legs, the dridder leapt backward, blocking another volley of shells and vanished into the tree.

“Well, that was certainly unexpected,” Decker said as his one podded suit got upright. “Guess I’ll need to trade with Beta Squad if we’re going to that cave. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to get my hands on a weapon like that polearm.”

“Let’s just hope she doesn’t have any more friends waiting for us. Double time!” The Miratans advanced as fast as their metal legs could take them. No other creatures made themselves known.
“At least the fight seems to have driven any animals away,” Dren remarked.

“Let’s hope it stays that way,” Decker said. “My balance is all screwed up with one pod.”
“We’ve got you if you trip, Trainee Grehak,” Falcon laughed, the rest of them men joining him.



Rin slowly opened her eyes, her first sight being snow blowing into her face. A pleasant icy wind embraced her, sending her hair flying. “How’d I get out here?” She asked herself.

“We brought you out here Cadet,” the silver haired doctor from before said from a small platform beside her. A thick white coat covered everything but his goggled face and gloved hands. “Our tests showed your body’s recuperative powers increased as the surrounding temperatures decreased. Indeed, your vitals have recovered significantly in the last four hours since we brought you out here.”

“Well thank you,” Rin smiled. “I hope you learned something from helping me.”

“Oh yes, we learned a great deal about your anatomy and energy patterns,” the doctor replied. “You are officially, an intriguing specimen.”

“Uh, thanks?” Rin said nervously. She carefully stood up, wavering for a moment as she found her balance. Her wounds barely hurt thanks to the cold, and her ice magic felt nearly back to normal. She tapped into the chill around her and felt herself growing stronger, slowly but surely. Every gust of wind and flake of snow were glad to lend their aid to her recovery. “So this is what Mommy meant by mountain healing,” she whispered.

“Well, it appears you’re ready to have visitors,” the doctor said, pointing down the mountain where a group of armor suits were making their way up.

“Daddy!” Rin shouted, racing down toward him for precisely three seconds before her tail slipped and sent her sprawling. “Ok, note to self, take it slowly after nearly dying from dark magic.” Slowly she started making her way down to the approaching armor suits. “Where are you coming from?” She asked once she was close enough to shout.

“We came from Terra’s tree,” Falcon replied. “She’s hurt pretty badly, but she’ll recover. She gave us a tracking device that will let us find the cave where Kiki went to try and free the being that is controlling her.”

“When you go, I’m coming with you,” Rin declared. “I’m getting better fast out here in the cold. I’m sure I’ll be ready when you are.”

“That’s a decision the doctors will have to make Rin. They can pull rank on anyone here, and I mean everyone.”

“And I promised Kiki I’d help her. I won’t break that promise,” Rin said, meeting the eyes of Falcon’s suit with all her willpower. She would go with them even if that meant breaking orders. Kiki was a friend, and abandoning a friend was one thing she could not do.

“Well then, we’d better talk with some doctors,” Falcon smiled. “Come on Rin, let’s get ready to save your friend.”
Rin’s Adventures Chapter 28

Awareness slowly returned to Rin as the blackness which had swallowed her reluctantly released her. The first sensation to make itself known was the pain all over her body, as though a fire had burned every organ inside her and then rebuilt them from embers. Her mouth tasted like blood, and every breath rattled within her lungs. Opening her eyes sent daggers deep into her brain, drawing a groan from her throat.

“Rin, how do you feel?” A voice asked. Squinting, Rin saw Falcon standing by her head, a concerned expression on his face. “You were out for a while there.”

“My everything hurts,” Rin groaned. “What happened? The last thing I remember was Kiki trying to heal me, then everything went black.”

“We don’t know much yet, but apparently a piece of some ancient life-form possessed her and attacked us,” Falcon explained. “She left to find a key of some kind; Terra went after her.”

“I have to help her,” Rin tried to stand, but her tail buckled almost instantly.

“You’re going nowhere until I clear you,” the chief doctor said as he strolled up. “We have no idea what it was that infected you, nor if it has entirely gone. Until I give you a clean bill of health you are not to leave this courtyard.”

“But I have to help Terra; she could be hurt or worse!” Rin frowned. “I’ll be fine in a little while, trust me.”

“Of course, right after you tell me which medical university you went to and the degree in bio-chemistry you received,” the doctor replied. When Rin didn’t reply he turned back to the hospital. “Better one life in danger than two.”

“She needs my help!” Rin turned to Falcon. “Please, you have to send someone to her tree! I can tell you how to get there!”

“I’ll speak to Binermas, but that’s all I can promise Rin,” Falcon said. “Since you’re a cadet now, you have to learn that the things we want to happen are not always the things that DO happen. Just focus on getting better, and let me worry about Terra. I promise you I’ll do everything I can to help her.”

“I’ll get better,” she muttered, closing her eyes and focusing all her magic on getting her strength back. She heard Falcon walking away and hoped with all her heart that he would bring Terra back. She was the first naga Rin had met aside from her mother. “I won’t lose you too,” she promised.



Binermas placed another data sheet in his done pile, then fought a groan as he saw the other group of forms and requisitions had actually GROWN in the past hour since he’d looked at it. He reached for his auto-quill when the door chime sounded. “Enter,” he called. His frown lifted slightly when he saw Falcon enter. “At last, a reprieve from these damn forms. What brings you here?”

“Sir, I’m sure by now you’ve seen the vids of what happened in the main medical complex. The naga Terra may have been attacked in her home by the creature that escaped. I request to lead a team and recover her and any intelligence she may have gathered.”

“Do you believe this creature could pose a threat to our operations here?” Binermas asked.

“I do Sir, and the creature it clams to serve may have dimensional travel abilities. From what Terra described, this Primordial came to this planet from somewhere else. If it can traverse worlds at will, studying it could revolutionize our own network travel.”

Binermas considered Falcon’s statement for a long moment. “Ever since that naga came into this base things have gotten out of control; more creatures, the failure of the gate mission, and now this. I am strongly considering simply cutting off these ties you have been building.”

“With all due respect Sir, Rin and the others have also yielded considerable positives. The crops Terra brought, possible energy shields and who knows what else from the underground complex your granddaughter found. The Founders themselves said that great advances often come with great cost. This world could very well be where we make the next great advances for the Empire,” Falcon said.

“You have always been at the front of these things,” Binermas said with a small grin. “Very well, take an armor team and bring back any data you can on this wormhole creature.”

“Thank you Sir!” Falcon saluted, and turned to leave.

“Falcon,” Binermas added, “do not make me regret this decision.”

“You won’t; I’ll stake my honor on it,” Falcon grinned.


Dren watched as the doctors worked on Rin, drawing blood and taking samples from the wound on her tail. He winced when she did and wished he could stand closer with her fan club. “Military protocol,” he said to himself. All on duty soldiers had been ordered to stand watch until the damage to the roof of the base could be repaired. “At least you’re asleep; you get to ignore watching drones lay steel sheets,” he snickered.

“Dren!” A shout came from behind. Turning, he saw Falcon running up. “We’ve got a mission,” he smiled.

“What’s the plan boss?”

“Rin’s friend Terra went after whatever possessed the fairy Kiki, but she hasn’t reported back. I’ve been given an armor squad to investigate and bring back any useful intelligence and her if she’s still alive.”

“I’ll gather the rest of Alpha Squad Captain. We’ll find her,” Dren said. “What about Rin? You know she’ll want to come with us.”

“You know as well as I Dren, that trying to go around Dr. Silver leads to very bad things.” Both men shuddered as memories of the times the good doctor had been crossed played out in their minds. “Meet me at the gate in thirty minutes. With luck, we’ll be back before Rin wakes up.”

Dren saluted and began the short job to the armor suit hanger. The pilots of all three units were already gathered around the facility, the alert all but confining them to the room. “Alpha Squad, listen up!” He shouted. “We’ve got a search and rescue mission. Mount up and meet by the main gate in thirty minutes. Any questions save them for Captain Falcon since I only want the story to have to be told once. Weapons balanced; we don’t know what we’ll be facing.”

As his squad mates began prepping their own armor suits, Dren went over to his ride. Since his first suit’s loss in the swamp he had modified its replacement until it met his expectations. Twenty feet high, its reinforced krevlar armor gleamed silver in the base lighting. A weapons rack built into the wall held enough ordinance to destroy a town. Climbing up into the cockpit he ran through the startup sequence, paying special attention to the vibrations from the reactor. He selected a heavy rifle from the weapons rack, with a wrist single shot flame gun and shock gauntlet for secondaries. All lights were green, and he eagely slid the neural control helmet and gloves on. “Alpha 2 ready.”
“Alpha 3 ready,” Lt. Hawk called out.

“Alpha 4 ready,” Decker replied, his heavy support suit’s footsteps echoing through the bay.

“Alpha 5 ready,” Merlie finished.

“Alpha unit, move out!” Dren commanded. The four armor suits exited the building single file, following the road to the main gate. Along the rout the base personnel lined the way, waving banners and tossing good luck flowers across their path. He caught site of Adres’ wife and son near the back of one of the groups, both still wearing black armbands. “Nobody’s going to bite it THIS time out,” he promised.

It took the armor suits only three minutes to make it to the gates, where Falcon’s suit was waiting for them, his own custom rifle in hands. “All right listen up! Rin’s friend Terra went after whatever possessed her fairy friend but has not returned. She may have been injured, so it’s our job to find her and bring back any intelligence she may have, and her if possible. We don’t know what abilities the thing that blew the hole in the ceiling may have, so use lethal force if you have to. I want this mission to go right, tight and by the numbers. We all go, and we all come back. Any questions?”

“When do we leave?” Dren smirked, getting a smattering of laughter from the others.

“Right now Mr. Comedian,” Falcon replied, letting the joke slide. “Let’s bring us back a naga.” Looking down, he took a photo of Rin posing in her cadet uniform and slid it into a gap between two switches. “Don’t worry, you won’t lose another friend,” he promised.



The creature that had once been Kiki grinned as she dodged through the black barked trees before her. Many had lost their leaves and their bark was rotting away. Animal bones littered the ground, many broken open for marrow, and beetles watched her passage through the eyes of split skulls. The key began to glow as she penetrated deeper into the dead woods, a sinister crimson glow illuminating the runes of her armor. A dense fog bank suddenly appeared ahead, and Kiki slowed as she entered it. “I come in service to She Who Rules The Deep, I obey She Who Commands The Land, I give my soul to She Who Crafts the Dark Skies Above,” she intoned, and ahead of her the fog thinned until finally a cave loomed ahead. Obsidian stone drew what little light pierced the fog, casting the interior in impenetrable shadow. Holding out the key, she entered the cave on foot.

The sound of her footsteps faded the instant she was inside, the rocks swallowing up any noise she made. Even her own breaths came silently. The temperature plunged, yet sweat dripped down her forehead as she moved deeper in. Sharp angular runes began appearing on the wall as the crystal past them, leaving a quickly fading blood red glow behind her. A web of vines blocked her way, and she pressed her key clad fist into the center. The vines shuddered and withdrew, allowing several bones caught between them to fall silently to the floor.

The cave went on for what could have been a hundred feet or a hundred miles. Time began to lose meaning as Kiki passed the crimson runes until at last she emerged into a cavernous chamber. The ceiling domed far above, and the far walls could only be seen by the runes which raced along them. Four points of light became visible; green, blue, gold and purple. Each glow came from a crystal set into one of four pedestals around the perimeter of the massive sheet of opaque crystal which dominated the floor. Nothing could be seen through it, but Kiki could feel the weight of a great presence deep below. The air was heavy, filled with dark magic and echoes of the great binding which had taken place here. “The fifth and final key returns, and the hour of rebirth at last is at hand.”

Flying to the far side of the crystal mirror, Kiki set down before the only empty pedestal. Brushing away the dust of millennia, she exposed an opening covered by a dulled silver plate. “The last barrier,” she sneered. Placing the crystal in the greave of her armor, she placed a hand on either side of the plate. Crimson energy played over the stone, causing the plate to glow with a pure silver magic. “One more obstacle, and then my rule shall begin.” The ground shook, and she could feel something massive shift below as it rose from the depths.
Rin's Adventures Chapter 28
The Miratans begin a recue for Terra, while the entity within Kiki nears her goal.
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randomdude678
Sam
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United States
Current Residence: CA
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  • Reading: Warhammer
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After so long I am overjoyed to announce that Rin's Adventures has at last been completed. I can only apologize for how long it has taken. I promise it won't take nearly as long for Chapter 26, which is already underway. Hopefully you guys are still watching me after all this time.

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WarNob123 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2015
Merry Christmas!
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gwadahunter2222 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
happy birthday :dance:
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TyrantFang55 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
May I have permission to create a hybrid character with the mother being a Crimson Maiden? 
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randomdude678 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015
Of course.
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WarNob123 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014
Hello randomdude678 , I am asking permison to use some of your characters in some stories that I am planig to write about Felarya.
Can I use them?
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randomdude678 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2014
What stories are you writing?
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UtahJak Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2014
Happy Birthday!
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heart4art7 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Happy Birthday!
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AmericanHero45 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2014  Student
happy birthday 
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