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Apoc now – Chapter 39
The Plane of Va, 5th Overlords Domain, The Grounded Lands, Southern section
“Who are you?!” David said, staring at the boy in surprise. The curly haired boy looked up at David, a mischievous smile covering his face. David felt like the boy looked oddly familiar for some reason.
“My name is Jake Drussel! Nice to metcha!” The boy stuck his hand out, looking at David expectantly.
David shook his head, still staring at the boy in confusion. He had expected to be meeting up with Kieron and the rest of there makeshift team of Supers, not some random kid. Though again, he couldn’t quite place why, but he felt like he knew the boy standing in front of him.
“Oh right!” Jack said as he reached into his pocket. David took a step back out of habit, coming on guard.
“Kieron told me to give this to you!” The young boy held out a small, white crystal. The crystal itself was pure white, with a dab of blue in its very center. He stared at it for a moment, not seeing anything suspicious.
This item appears to be a direct match with the Item from Earth’s System Shop known as a Memory Crystal. I am not detecting any alterations with this item, it should function as normal.
David took the crystal from Jack’s outstretched hand, examining it. It wasn’t very big, maybe an inch long and the same wide. It was shaped in a roughly rhombus like shape, with the blue dot in the center. He tapped on the center of the dot, wondering if it would activate.
Immediately, a flash of blue light blasted out into David’s eyes. He jumped backwards, almost tripping against a tree root. A blue overlay suddenly covered David’s eyes as he watched a memory unfold in front of him.
Standing just a few feet from him was Kieron, the friendly but elderly Three-Eyed he had met in the Pon Mine. Kieron looked tired, his old eyes unfocused and weary. The wrinkles around his face seemed much more pronounced, making him look like a broken old man.
Kieron was standing by the same tree they had met at in their meetings over the past few weeks, planning their eventual escape and becoming friends. David recalled their many conversations with a small smile.
Kieron suddenly turned towards David, or to what David assumed must be the Memory Crystal.
“Hello David. If you are seeing this, this means that my plan has been successful. The human child Jake successfully escaped and you are free as well, hopefully safe and sound, well on your way back to earth.”
“I’m sure you have many questions as well. I do not have much time, but I will answer those ones most obvious.”
“I’m sure the first question you are asking is why I am not with you, and why instead a human child is.”
“First, let me make something clear. I have not been entirely honest with you.”
“My real name is Kieron Ironhwrought. However, the name I am commonly known by is Kieron Godhand, one of the Redeemer Generals. I was one of the leading figures of the final war, a failed hero and an unsuccessful general.”
“My species and my kind lost our wars against the Wardens. But, in losing, I have come to understand many things about these creatures.”
“The Wardens are not of this Plane.”
“They are an invasive, invading species. They have never been members of the Plane of Va. I do not know from where they came, only that they are a marauding species, one that have conquered several other Planes before ours, leaving these Planes wasted ruins bereft of life or energy.”
“You have told me before of how Earth has an Apocalyptic Event upcoming in less than a year. Of how the System will summon into being deadly and powerful creatures, forcing humanity to fend for itself against them.”
“Our Plane of Va has never had any mention of anything similar. The System came abruptly, with little to no warning, and certainly no messages.”
“The System also came into being the same time that the Wardens invaded.”
“Thus, I have discerned a few things. The System did not bring the Wardens upon the Plane of Va. Therefore, the Wardens must have brought the System upon us instead.”
“Our Plane is vast and rich, wealthy beyond means. However, enormous tracks of it have been devastated and destroyed, energy sapped and absorbed. I have reliable information that these Pon Mines sap energy from the land, draining the irreplaceable essence of the very Plane itself to power them.”
“I do not know how much longer the Plane of Va will hold out, it may be years more. However, it is certain to me that the Wardens have targeted Earth as their next world to invade.”
“I will be honest with you David. I have given up. The Wardens are too powerful. I have personally fought against one of the Overlords, and I only escaped with my life due to the sacrifice of one of the other Redeemer Generals. I was hailed as a hero, a god among men. My power was second to none, the strongest of the Redeemer Generals. My power had Evolved long ago, giving me time to master and understand it.”
“Yet, even with all of that, I was utterly defeated.”
“I am a broken man.”
“However, while I have no hope for my world or my kind, the trials that you humans have gone through have given me a second chance.”
“My Plane is lost. Even defeating one of the Overlords was impossible, taking down all seven of them is a feat only a God could do.”
“Your Plane, on the other hand, is not yet lost. You have a chance, and I have decided to help you. Call it an old fools last wish, or an aging man’s hopeless dream, but I have decided to do what I can for you and your kind.”
“The boy you see before you is named Jake. His power is one that cannot be purchased through the System, a power that is so unique and powerful, he alone is the key to saving your Plane.”
“Jake has the ability to make a person’s power Evolve.”
“I met this child in the Pon Mines, much like I met you. His body is stronger than a regular human’s, but not as strong as many other Supers. I befriended him like I befriended all of the other humans that I could, trying to learn more about your race and people.”
“His story is an interesting one, one I suggest you ask him yourself for.”
“As for the friends you said were captured with you, I have found no trace of them. The only humans here have no relation to you, across all of the Pon Mines owned by the 5th Overlord.”
“I can only assume that your friends must be at the same place you were before the Wardens transported you from Earth to the Plane of Va. Because of the fact that they have not yet launched a full scale invasion on your planet, I have to assume there is some type of limiter on their movements into your realm, probably one set by the System. I’m sure you’ll find you friends at wherever the Wardens have made their Earth base.”
Kieron suddenly turned away, looking around furtively. David could faintly make out voices in the background.
“I must go soon. I will give you this last information before I leave.”
“The Overlords are beings you cannot win against. They are simply too powerful to face alone. Even with an army, I would have no confidence in taking down a single one. When they fought against us, they were mighty to behold, slaughtering our forces like the gods on high.”
“The Overlords, however, cannot be everywhere. They must remain at there own capital base, able to respond to each other’s attacks. If an Overlord should leave his capital, another might encroach on his territory and land, capturing his mines. They seem to have a mutual pact that as long as they remain in their respective cities, none of the Overlords will attack each other directly.”
“Thus, when one of the Overlords need something accomplished in their stead, they send out their Lord Savants. To my knowledge, the 5th Overlord has five Lord Savants. I do not know how many the other Overlords have.”
“The Lord Savants are Freed Wardens, much like the Overlords themselves. They all have Evolved powers, and are obscenely strong, with the ability to transform. They are not, however, as godly powerful as the Overlords. They can be defeated, they can be killed.”
"I have very little information on the Lord Savants. However, I do happen to know which Lord Savant is in charge of the current ongoing Earth operation. The Warden's name is Zane Borealis, the second most powerful Savant under the 5th Overlords command. His power is not one listed in the System unfortunately. The only thing I know about is its name: 'High Lord of the Fae.'"
“If nothing else, I am certain that you will encounter some of the Lord Savants, especially Zane, in your fight to secure earth. You will need to team up with others to take them on and repel their attacks. Do not underestimate them.”
“Only someone with an Evolved power will be able to face the Lord Savants. Your planet is new to the System, and thus won’t fully understand. When someone’s power Evolves, it becomes an integral part of them. The power can only truly develop, becoming exponentially stronger, when it has Evolved fully.”
“Jake, the boy child in front of you, will be integral to this. With his aid, you will be able to fight against the Lord Savants, and if given enough time, perhaps even the Overlords themselves. He can help you build an army of Evolved Supers.”
“You must not let him fall into the Warden’s hands. If they capture him and learn of his true ability, everything will end.”
“This is my last message. I have done everything I can for you, human of earth. This old, broken man wishes you the best.”
The blue overlay flashed away as the message ended. Kieron disappeared from in front of David, vanishing into the air. The crystal in David’s hand suddenly lost the dot of light it had held in the center, the memory vanishing forever.
David felt his eyes water slightly as he took all of what Kieron had told him in. He felt his heart pull slightly, grateful for what the old Three-Eyed had done for him. He thought of the other humans trapped in there, the Russians he had met and more. He vowed to one day come back and save them.
“Are you alright sir?” David snapped back to the present, staring at the young boy in front of him.
“Y-yes. Just taking in what, ah, Kieron had to tell me.” He rubbed his eyes, trying to figure out a plan. He looked down at the faded crystal in his hand thoughtfully.
Before he could say anything else, however, Terry suddenly began speaking to him urgently in his head.
Master, I have detected an anomaly with the modified necklace you activated. After undergoing a post-activation in depth scan, I have detected several unwanted additions to said necklace. Besides the tinkered with teleportation aspect, there also appears to have been a tracking beacon in place.
Due to the nature of the necklace, the beacon would only activate for a brief time, when the necklace is activated.
Taking into account the situation we are now in, I would project that it is extremely likely that our enemies here on this Plane are zoning in on our location right now.
David whipped his head up, staring around wildly. He abruptly reactivated his Level C Energy Transformation, feeling the increase in power and strength. He swung several of his Life Orbs around him, forming a small platform on the ground.
“No time to talk kid, we need to move! Now!”
Canberra, Australia, On Earth
Shin rubbed his aching head as he looked around the brightly accommodated hotel room. He was currently standing in the bedroom of the hotel, though it really was just one large room. A kitchen area lay off to his right, perpendicular to the entranceway of his room.
He walked over to the small kitchenette and opened a backpack on it, dragging out a bottle of Tylenol. He popped a few of the pills out and swallowed them, trying to soothe his aching mind.
As he turned around, he began double-checking all the gear he had set down on his hotel bed.
Lying foremost at the base of the bed were two almost identical handguns. They looked very similar to the Glock model handgun he had purchased from the System so long ago.
Each of these sleek handguns, however, differentiated by color. The handgun closest to Shin had a faint red hue to its handle. A small metal inscribed fire could be seen on each side of the guns handle, giving off a warm feeling.
The handgun farthest from Shin, on the other side of the bed, had a slightly blue coloring to its handle. It also had a metal symbol engraved into its grip, one of a shard of frozen ice.
Farther up the bed, past the two handguns, was a large, hulking behemoth of a gun. The dark black weapon was massive, with a huge six inch wide barrel at one end and several odd mechanical pipes at the other end. A large grip descended out of the base of the weapon, with a slight trigger connecting to it. The weapon itself would barely fit when Shin rested it on his shoulder. He had tested the Gravity Gun earlier, pleased with the results he had received.
Past the huge Gravity Gun was a small pair of shadowy grey gauntlets. The gauntlets also had a pair of gloves attached to them, giving Shin a full layer of protection on his hands. They were one of the more expensive purchases Shin had made after he gained a substantive amount of points. Known in the System Shop as Impact Gauntlets, the powerful defensive and offensive weapon allowed Shin to store large impacts, absorbing the forces of other people’s attacks. He could absorb any type of impact with the gauntlet, something he had taken advantage of earlier.
Past that and covering up the rest of the bed was the suit of armor he had purchased after selling his original piece. The armor set, known as Chryllic Armor, was highly resistant to high force impacts. The armor also boosted Shin’s strength, making him three times as strong as he normally was. The armor itself was midnight black, with several dark grey symbols inscribed all around it. It looked more like a leather garment than a suit of armor, but Shin found it appropriate. It helped him blend into the darkness.
The only downside of the armor was that it was weak to piercing impacts. Shin countered this by teleporting around constantly, avoiding piercing bullets and the like. He figured that close combat defenses would be what he needed, and any way to resist Supers that were insanely strong would be something he could use. He shook his head as he remembered the powerful Super that had killed him during the fight for the Special Crate.
Shin began donning the armor, slowly putting the dark suit on. He snapped the leg pieces into place first, getting comfortable in the dark colored boots. As he put the rest of the armor set on, he called to mind the six Life Orbs he had left.
The glowing Orbs floated up from his backpack, soaring through the air to circle around Shin. He watched them rotate him as he finished getting suited up, his eyes far away.
After a moment, Shin snatched the Orbs from the air and stuffed them into one of the small pockets on the side of the suit, feeling them settle down. The Orbs served as a reminder to Shin, encouraging him to keep looking for his lost best friend.
After he finished suiting up, Shin walked over to the various weapons spread on the bed. He holstered the two Elemental Handguns, putting them on either side of his hips. He strapped the large Gravity Gun to his back, feeling it to make sure it was secure. While wearing his strength enhancing armor, the weight of the guns was negligible.
Shin took a deep breath, calming himself down. He walked over to his backpack, checking the Dimensional Wallet he left in it. He had stored several weeks’ worth of food and water in it, just in case. He pocketed the interdimensional storage wallet, tucking it into an inside pocket of his clothes. He zipped the black suit up, feeling it seal around him. He pulled the black hood over his head, feeling a black mask rise up from the upper base of the suit. He secured the mask on, feeling it surround the rest of his head with a leathery plating.
Shin had purchased this armor for two reasons. The first and main reason was because of the strength-enhancing feature, as well as close combat defense capabilities. The other reason was for the mask feature it automatically came with. The armor would keep him disguised in combat, allowing him to remain relatively unknown to his enemies.
Shin’s vision from inside the mask was nearly identical to his vision without wearing it. The only key difference was a small bar in the far right, indicating how much damage the suit had taken. After a certain amount was reached, the suit would shut down, waiting a full 24 hours till it would restore completely. When the suit shut down, Shin would lose all the enhancements and defensive bonuses.
Shin slid his backpack to the side, revealing a small slip of paper with a set of coordinates on it. It was the same paper he had received from Snake the informant. It had only been about a day since he received the paper. He flipped his visor up as he looked down at the piece of paper.
Immediately after Shin had received the paper he had left the building and warped away. He had returned back to Austin, Texas, returning to the temporary base he had created on top one of the ruined buildings in the center of the down town area.
Once he arrived, he had plugged the coordinates into his laptop, finding the exact location he needed to arrive at. After saving the locale to his iPhone via Google Maps, Shin had warped back to Europe and began his search.
Because he could not teleport to a place he had never been or seen, Shin was forced to do what he called Warp-Walking. He teleported about a few thousand meters in the air, face the general direction of the coordinates he needed to reach, and then warped as far away as he could see in that direction.
As soon as he reached that area, he repeated the process, warping again over and over. He used the six Life Orbs he had tucked away to help him levitate, withdrawing them for his feet to rest on.
By using this method to travel, he could move at an incredibly fast speed. Over the course of an hour, Shin moved more than a thousand miles across Russia. Thanks to his having already been in Russia, specifically St. Petersburg, Shin had a good starting point to begin Warp-Walking from.
Periodically, Shin would lower himself down to the ground, getting a rough location of where he was via a World Gps Unit he had purchased several weeks ago. Because he was in the vast wilderness of Russia, he didn’t have much of an internet signal to work with and thus couldn’t use his phone.
After about 30 minutes of narrowing down his location, Shin had managed to find the exact coordinates the informant had given him. He remembered the moment clearly.
Shin had just warped in to the exact spot above the coordinates, hovering nearly two miles in the air. Thanks to his Chryllic Armor Set, he was able to breathe normally even at very high atmospheres.
Shin looked down below his feet, staring at the ground.
There was nothing there.
He scratched his head in confusion, pulling up his World Gps Unit to confirm. According to the device, he was standing exactly above where the Navsegda Seyf Mental Hospital was located.
He looked back down from his screen, observing the ground closely. After a few minutes of hovering about, trying to understand where he had made a mistake or if the informant had lied to him, Shin noticed something rather odd.
The ground beneath him was identical to the ground directly to the east of the area he was standing at. So identical, in fact, that he concluded they were mirror images.
He only noticed this when a small pack of tundra wolves loped by him to the south. He had watched them jog by with a disinterested stare at first, still trying to figure out where he was.
As the wolves continued jogging, they crossed into the area right next to where he was floating.
Immediately, a mirror image of the wolves appeared right below him, identical in every way to the pack. Shin had stared for a second, startled, before understanding dawned on him. Some type of force field was copying the ground to the east and projecting it on the ground directly beneath him, likely to hide whatever was going on here. It made sense that David’s kidnappers would want to remain hidden.
Instead of descending and exploring the area, Shin teleported away, deciding in the fading evening light that he would face David’s kidnappers tomorrow. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to rescue David immediately. Rather, Shin wanted time to prepare so he could give himself the best chance he had at it. He figured he’d only get one try. He had decided to warp to Australia’s capital and check out a hotel room there, using that as his temporary base in case his enemies managed to track his teleportation.
Shin snapped back to the present as he looked down at the piece of paper. He slid it back under the backpack and turned around, steely determination filling his eyes. After a moment’s pause he slid his visor down and warped away, leaving behind an empty apartment in the midst of a bustling city.
2000 Meters above the Abandoned Navsegda Seyf Mental Hospital
Shin warped through time and space, feeling his body settle down in the air above his destination. He automatically sent the six Life Orbs he had below his feet, steadying himself in the air. He barely felt the cold in the air, his suit of armor shielding him from the brunt of the brutal atmosphere so high up.
He looked down, noting the identical landscape surrounding the area. After a moments hesitation, Shin warped down to the ground about a thousand meters away from the exact coordinate location of the abandoned hospital. He was now in the lightly forested area to the south of the coordinates.
On the ground, Shin found that snow covered everything. From up above, he had noticed the whiteness everywhere, but he didn’t fully appreciate how gorgeous the snow made everything look. He felt like he was in a winter wonderland, surrounded by ice and wind. The trees around him gave off a majestic, untouched feeling.
According to the Gps Unit he had purchased, there was supposed to be a road that connected to the hospital facility. From the air, however, he hadn’t spotted anything similar. Everything in the general area was covered by snow.
As he sunk into the ground, Shin found that about a foot of snow covered everything. The ground beneath him seemed steadily enough, however, and while he was wearing his armor, Shin didn’t think he would trip or stumble.
He slowly began trekking through the forest. He kept down low, not wanting to give away his position as he swiftly moved through the snow. The only sounds he heard was the whining groan of the wind as it crossed the great frozen wastes in northern Russia. He wondered whose bright idea it had been to build a mental hospital in such a godforsaken location.
After walking for a few minutes, Shin began to sense a change in the atmosphere. The air was starting to become warm. He also began to detect faint reverberations in the air. He paused, shaking his head in confusion.
Shin continued trekking, ducking down as he went forward. The armor he wore helped him propel forward, increasing his pace.
The reverberations in the air grew louder and louder the closer he got to the abandoned mental hospital.
In the air about 10 meters from his, Shin saw a distortion in the air, a sort of shimmering, as if at the edge of an illusion field. He walked towards it quickly, keeping his head down. He went on full alert as he approached the hospital for the first time, brining his hands down to grip the two Elemental Handguns he wore.
Shin crossed the shimmering field.
And walked into a warzone.