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Most users ever online was 29 on October 1st 2013, 12:09 am


    Metallic Knights: Short Stories

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    It's Kruger
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    Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  It's Kruger on August 2nd 2015, 4:35 am

    In accordance to John's idea, I'll be writing short stories about characters in the Metallic Knights universe, not all of which will take place in the Wastes, the unsafe area outside New Harmony.

    I'll use more than just Octave too, and I'll keep doing these until the actual MK project picks back up, maybe even during/after.

    Enjoy!


    Last edited by It's Kruger on August 30th 2015, 4:53 am; edited 4 times in total
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    It's Kruger
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    Re: Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  It's Kruger on August 2nd 2015, 4:45 am

    Dandelion

    The Wastes. The Outlands. The Borderlands. The Nothing. So many names for such a dull, violet, dead, and beautiful place. I’ve never seen anything like it. Octave thought to himself. The young Robot Master had just taken his first steps outside the walls and shielded dome of New Harmony. The dust from about the floor was carried into the air by the stiff, warming breeze. Nothing but patches of dead grass and shattered concrete lead up to the New Harmony defenses. Off, yards away, Octave spotted the arm of a dead Malevolent protruding from the dirt.

    After staring at the grim sight for some time, Octave continued forward. For a first mission, his was simple: investigate biological reading inside a building just outside New Harmony.

    Possibly survivors. Possibly rats. If I walk, I may get to enjoy this for a while before I waste my time.

    Octave, now having been in physical form for as long as an ancient mid-life, around forty years, was now trained well enough to step outside the walls for a shorter scouting mission. It would be a while before he was in any risk of facing any Malevolent, but this was a start.

    After less than an hour of walking, absorbing the sights, inching closer and closer to his objective, Octave finally arrived at the building.The first and top five floors were totally caved in, the structure only accessible through the hole blown into the second floor’s wall, what seemed like the only story surviving the was long forgotten. The bound was an easy jump for a Combat Master.

    With a roll, Octave landed from his leap inside the second floor of the collapsed building. He felt a creak beneath his feet, like the building’s fragile frame was shifting to the sudden change in weight.

    Octave scanned the room he had entered; collapsed ground just feet in front of him, rotten and decrepit leather couch in front of a completely destroyed television, and a kitchen with only a counter left unbroken by the collapsed floor above. According to Octave’s Heads Up Display, the biological reading was just beyond the doorway to the apartment, the actual door turned to dust just below the frame.

    As he exited the room, Octave immediately found the biological item. It was something he’d never seen outside of the massive gardens and hanging plant life from the New Harmony buildings back home. A single, healthy, and brightly colored dandelion grew out of a pile of dirt and debris under the pale, warm light of the blaring Waste sun. Despite the lack of rain, nutritious ground, or healthy sunlight, the weed grew and grew into the most beautiful thing Octave had ever seen.

    Wow. They toss these back home... The Combat Master thought to himself as he approached the first sign of growth in the Wastes seen since before the war. Octave stared at it for quite some time before the choppy, barely audible radio transmission came in for him.

    ”Oct[chrrrrr]. Come in Octave. Thi[chrr] is Solo. We’re reading you right [chrr] top of the signal. Do you s[chrr] it? Ove[chrrrrrr]”

    “Yeah, Solo. I see it. Just an old rat, like I told General. I’ll run home. Tell the Gatewatch I’m gonna be home in an hour or so. Over.” Octave, still staring in amazement at the yellow leaves on the vibrant weed, lied blatantly to Solo. He wanted to keep coming back to this building, move the plant somewhere safe should it’s home seem to give to its ruin, and replant the weed should it ever fall frail and old.

    The thoughts running through Octave’s mind lately seemed to vanish the second he ran his cold, metallic finger over it. The thoughts of basically being a baby with a gun, the torment of his survivor’s guilt from the Domain, the ever pushing and stressful training from General personally. It all washed away.

    The Master would revisit this dandelion once more before it fell to the ruin around it. And just like he thought he would, Octave replanted it in the same spot. And decade after decade he returned coming to this very spot, staring at the shocking triumph of life. When the building finally collapsed, the weed lived on when the Combat Master replanted it elsewhere. And so he would do, for as long as he existed, so would this dandelion.
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    Manny
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    Re: Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  Manny on August 2nd 2015, 7:33 pm

    That's a pretty punny title.

    But seriously MK is back, even if it's short stories!

    HNNNNG
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    Bad John
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    Re: Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  Bad John on August 3rd 2015, 12:35 am

    That story reminded me of a flashback chapter from Berserk. For that, I commend you.

    I give this story my seal of approval.
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    It's Kruger
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    Namesake I

    Post  It's Kruger on August 4th 2015, 6:25 am

    Namesake I

    "My honored friends, linked by the soul."

    The voice echoed through the dark theater. The speaker, elegant in every sense of the word, stood square with her audience. She seemed to glow against the darkness. A guiding light.

    Lady Opera.

    She gestured to the young man sitting before her. "We are gathered to honor the induction of a new Soul into our ranks. Moreover, into our home."

    The boy, in reverence of the ceremony, knelt before Lady Opera. He was wearing dark red armor, and outfitted with weapons like a soldier in the field.

    "Jesus. They couldn’t handle making us metaphorically walking guns?” Octave crossed his arms and stared at the ground as he whispered to his brother, and young Support Master by the name of Pastoral.

    “Hush, Octave. Save your coup for later.” Pastoral replied, barely audible.

    "Take him in with clear eyes and full hearts. Against all odds, he broke from the hell that was our Domain. The humans tore his beautiful soul from their forge, and saw fit to give him the rank of Combat Master." Opera brushed her hand through Solo’s synthetic hair, looking into his hopeful, green eyes. “May his strength guide us from the darkness that is the threat of Malevolence.” She added.

    Octave ground his teeth when Lady Opera said the word. "Domain." Pastoral winced as well.

    "Domain" was the most frightening word they knew. Death incarnate in their language.

    "He separated to join us, the Robot Masters, and to defend our home. With his aid, our ranks grows stronger. May we teach but also learn from him" Opera lifted her hand from Solo’s head as she said, “Please rise.”

    Solo turned briefly towards the audience, a youth among the ranks, but he felt confident. Confident enough to fight and die for every last one of the unfamiliar faces.

    "Your Soul cries out to become a Jack of all Trades. For this you will struggle, but never forget master of none is better than master of one. While you will lean on others for help, you will never have to. For what I see when I gaze upon your Soul, I name you Solo, or MarksMan. Go in peace, child, until all are one."

    There was scattered applause among the Masters. Some were annoyed to be called away from their duties as guardians, captains, and workers. Others were eager to see another of their kind born.

    There were so few. With the addition to Solo to the ranks, statistics say the ratio between Combat Master rank Benevolent Souls to Malevont at 1:50,000.

    "General. You may speak." Opera presented the silent, statue like figure as he walked up to the newborn Master.

    An air of fear and calm settled over the room. Pastoral's smile faded to a stern expression. Octave, who had largely ignored the prior stage of the ritual, sat straight, observing the Master who stepped into the spotlight.

    General. Military leader of all Robot Masters in New Harmony. Everyone feared him, some hated him, none more so of both than the duo Octave and Pastoral.

    "MarksMan. A I inform all Combat Master in this ceremony, you serve my will." He looked down at Solo, who stood completely still in a terrified paralysis. General placed an arm on Solo's shoulder, and pushed him down to a knee silently, giving him a minor example of his influence and control over them all.

    Despite Octave's distaste for weakness, he understood the pressure. It was like having a toddler meet the most powerful human in the world after just learning to stand and speak.

    "I will not ask you to harm those you wish to protect, nor will my orders shame you. You are free, save for your commitment to New Harmony's people, and my orders in War Times. Do not test me. Do not cross me." General smiled the most unsettling smile Solo had and would ever see.

    General stepped back, satisfied with his speech. "Welcome to the New Harmony FS Combat Unit 116, MarksMan. Welcome, Robot Master."

    "Hey. Yo! Solo! You there? You get dirt in your HUD?" Octave smacked the side of Solo's helmet as he blankly stared off into the distance.

    "Huh? What? No, asshole! I was just... Thinking." Solo swatted Octave's hand away as he went for a final slap after realizing Solo was okay.

    "Cool. What about?" Octave asked, standing up and kicking a mid-sized rock off of the cliff they had been gazing off on for some time now. Too both Octave and Solo, missions outside New Harmony were the only time they could think.

    "The day I got my name. I'd almost forgotten about that." Solo stood from his large rock he had used as a seat for a long while.

    "That was, what? Sixty, seventy years ago?" Octave guessed as he lined up another rock to meet the same fate as the one before it.

    "You joking? It was fifty. I'm still a goddamn baby, but I feel a million years old." Solo stared at his newly painted armor. As a sign of once novice status, all paint is stripped of their body for some time before General grants them the right to personalize their armor. Solo just earned his days ago.

    "Yeah. You sure got that right.” Octave sat down with the speed no human would attempt so close to such a fall, as if he was completely certain there was no chance he wouldn’t fall. Even if he did, his frame was far too powerful to be more than dented by it.

    “You remember what Lady Opera said? Why I got the name Solo?” The red robot asked, following suit and sitting back down onto his rock-seat.

    “Nope.”

    “Your Soul cries out for variety, to be a Jack of all Trades. For this you will struggle, but never forget; master of none is greater than a master of one. While you will lean on others for help, you will never have to. For what I see when I gaze upon your Soul, I name you Solo, or MarksMan. Go in peace, child, until all are one.” Solo said, imitating Lady Opera’s voice completely out of tune. “She said that. Then why do I always need a babysitter when I’m out on these missions?”

    “General’s had to spend enough manpower recovering me from the Wastes after I fought upper tier Malevolent. Three times! I don’t think he wants the repeat of a colossal fuckup such as myself.” Octave said, only half joking.

    “Says the highest rated A-Ranked Master ever at your age.” Solo disarmed Octave’s self punishment before continuing with his own. “Did she lie at your ceremony too?”

    “I see before me the Soul of a defiant and loyal fighter. A warrior whose blade will continue swinging long after your destroyed body has stopped. I sense a layered Soul, whose works with each of his parts to create a whole. For this, I name you Octave, or SaberMan. Go in peace, child, until all are one.” Octave said in a much better impersonation than Solo.

    “So she didn’t lie. But what did she mean by my name? I don’t get it…” Solo crossed his arms and lowered his head, shaking it as if to remove the thought from his head with physical movement.

    “Let’s find out.”

    “What?”

    “I said, let’s find out. I was gonna ditch you anyways. I’ve got a place to be, something to take care of anyways. Find the target, take him out. Got it?” Octave said, dashing off the cliff and into the distance in a blue blur much faster than Solo could have answered the question.

    “Ah- well… Shit.”


    Last edited by It's Kruger on August 7th 2015, 4:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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    It's Kruger
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    Namesake II

    Post  It's Kruger on August 4th 2015, 4:05 pm

    Namesake II

    "He what?" Pastoral practically gasped into the radio, causing an unsettling pop into Solo's ear.

    "Ditched me. Fucking flaked." MarksMan activated his combat mode, drawing his weapon and slotting a small heads up display on a single eyepiece over his right eye. He lifted his buster to an aiming position as the metal shifted and twisted into a longer weapon, MarksMan's Long-Buster, one of his many weapon types that are built into his arm.

    With the scope encompassing his HUD, MarksMan scanned the valley below him that began at the bottom of the drop off he stood upon, far from the cliff he shared with Octave before he left.

    "I'm certain he meant nothing by it." Pastoral continued about Octave, sighing heavily.

    "As much as he goes off by himself, you'd think Opera would've named him Solo." MarksMan retracted his weapon and eyepiece. Solo turned from the high ledge to focus on his conversation.

    "Our names aren't that literal, bro." Pastoral replied.

    "Why would Lady Opera give a reason for our names if there's no reason for them? And why would General always assign me a partner on missions if I'm supposed to be able to fight alone?" Solo's voice picked up in volume and tone as he continued.

    "Fighting alone means you die alone, Solo. And not even General is cruel enough to force that fate on a Combat Master."

    "I'd have to lose to die alone." Solo said confidently, unaware that this was the end of his and Pastoral's conversation.
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    It's Kruger
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    Namesake III

    Post  It's Kruger on August 4th 2015, 5:09 pm

    Namesake III

    Briefing wrote:"This will be a simple assassination assignment. A powerful Malevolent has acquired the body of an ancient frame from an unknown location. The Malevolent is identified as taking the moniker, Heavy, and has destroyed several of our drones and attacked scouting teams for some time now.

    Witnesses agree that he has a large, heavily plated body and no buster. You two will need to work together to defeat him. Dismissed."

    The ground shook beneath Solo before crumbling, sending him and the floor beneath him down the drop off at a terrifying speed.

    With the grace and durability that only a Combat Master could achieve, Solo landed on the ground completely unharmed. His eyes shot upwards, a huge chunk of debris, practically a boulder, came tumbling down right towards Solo. It hit the ground, rolling down the curved edged and rolling at the red Master at a worrying speed.

    Though Solo was nowhere near as fast as Octave, or as slow as Crescendo, he was definitely agile. In a single sideways roll, he dodged the Boulder by just enough.

    "Jesus dude! You okay?" Pastoral returned to the radio after leaving, his ears unable to bare listening to the painful noise the collapse caused.

    "Yeah. I'm good. But something caused that. The ground was stable." Solo activated his combat matrix and used his Long-Buster to scan the edge of the top of the drop off. Nothing.

    As MarksMan lowered his weapon, the shaking of the ground and dust cloud revealed his attacker. A large, rusted steel colored Malevolent had landed yards in front of MarksMan.

    "Gotta go." MarksMan said to Pastoral before turning his radio off. Before his target, Heavy, cod say or do anything, MarksMan raised his weapon.

    "BOMB-BUSTER!" MarksMan's arm shifted into a grenade launcher, the heaviest of his weapons, and fired six shots in rapid succession, covering Heavy in smoke and fire. When the barrage was over, though he was confident the volley killed Heavy, MarksMan kept his weapon raised until the smoke cleared.

    As the clouds of explosive smoke dissolved, there was nothing. Not even scrap metal from a totally destroyed robot. Heavy was still alive, but MarksMan didn't know where.

    The whistle of a large, falling object whailed above MarksMan, catching his attention just in time to dodge Heavy's dive-bomb.

    Rolling backwards, MarksMan drew his Auto-Buster and raised to one knee. He fired several powerful rounds into the chest and head of the Malevolent, but it was no use. Each shot deflected with no damage to Heavy.

    "They send a puny thing like you to take ME out?" Heavy gloated, stomping slowly as MarksMan stood and backed up slowly, maintaining the same distance between them.

    "There were two, but I guess I got stood up." MarksMan didn't like where the fight was going, both literally and metaphysically. The valley he was forced to back into was wide open, with vantage points in all directions. The likelihood of a Malevolent stumbling upon them and helping Heavy was getting more and more likely as the fight continued.

    "It matters not! I would destroy both of you! But your friend has doomed you to die, here, and alone." Heavy stopped his tread towards MarksMan, slowly lifting his thick arm and pointing to his enemy with intent. "I will leave you, trapped in your frame. And I'll destroy your tracker and hide what remains in the Wastes. You will never be recovered."

    The notion terrified MarksMan. The cruel self defense mechanism built into every frame, Benevolent or Malevolent, locks their Souls into a sort of Limbo until they could be recovered and reactivated. While MarksMan had never experienced Lockdown, Octave, Cavatino, and other described it as hell, beat in its torment only by the Domain itself.

    "You may be powerful, you fat fuck, but I fight alone, win alone, but I REFUSE to die alone!" MarksMan swapped to his Bomb-Buster and shot the floor between himself and Heavy, covering the space with blinding smoke a debris. Before Heavy could catch his bearings, he saw a pair of barrels, position side to side, right in front of his face.

    "Shot-Buster." MarksMan said, with a smirk and sing-song tone of voice. The blast contained both barrels, practically pressed against Heavy's synthetic skin. The shot rent Heavy's face entirely of all skin and sent him reeling backwards. In a blind, pain fueled reaction, he swatted MarksMan away with his heavy arm, sending the smaller fighter flying backwards.

    Heavy, his metallic skeleton beneath his face completely revealed in all its nightmare fuel terror. He marched to MarksMan, still recovering from the surprisingly powerful swat, and snatched his leg from the floor. With a twist of his body, Heavy threw MarksMan across the valley, sending him skipping across the dirt like a stone on still water.

    DANGER. HULL INTEGRITY AT 42%! MarksMan's now dirty HUD was covered by the warning as it blinked in large red letters across the screen.

    "Yeah I get it. Shit." MarksMan attempted to stand, only for his left, unarmed arm to give in an explosion of sparks. The damage hadn't broken his frame, but his circuits were definitely dried in his arm.

    Heavy, obviously unable to cover any distance at a fast rate, marched slowly towards MarksMan, hundreds of yards ahead of him.

    The damaged red robot had only a little time to think of something.

    With an enemy whose only weakness is in his face, the point-blank shotgun shells were really MarksMan's only plan. In a desperate last change effort, MarksMan rolled over, his functioning, but damaged buster arm slowly swapping to his Heavy-Buster, a semi-automatic weapon with slow travel time and high power.

    MarksMan shot once, missing his mark and hitting the tank in the chest, the shot reflecting off into the nothing.

    Another shot, another miss. The round grazed Heavy right across his thick neck. No visible damage.

    With time now almost up, MarksMan's final chance had come. He fired his last shot, hitting Heavy directly in the face, sending out a flourish of sparks and fire as the shot ripped through Heavy's metal skull and destroyed the frame's brain and the container holding Heavy's Soul, permanently killing the Malevolent, an act Lady Opera despises and General commended.

    Solo's gun retracted as he slowly came to his feet. Now that he had exited his combat mode, the self repair sequence all New Harmony Masters had built in, could begin.

    "Self Repair Sequence activated. 0% progress on left arm."

    "Solo... Shit." Solo said to himself as he limped away from the unusable frame broken beyond recovery. Very quietly and to himself, Solo laughed as he said, "Wish I could switch names with Duet..."
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    It's Kruger
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    The Line I

    Post  It's Kruger on August 5th 2015, 9:12 pm

    The Line I

    "Saboteur." General called from down the hall to the Combat Master before him. As a sign of disrespect or indifference, General chose to refer to Gravè by his combat moniker.

    Unlike most Combat Masters, Gravè was part of a special line of Souls who specialized in the dirtier businesses in war. Their names were one word descriptions of the jobs they specialize in. Gravè or Saboteur, Nocturne or Assassin, and Ritar or Scorch, were all that remained of General's long disused project.

    "Yes sir?" Gravè replied, his pitch white armor shining in the light of the overhanging lamps.

    "I have a task for you." General, hands clasped together confidently behind his back as he spoke.

    "Really?" Gravè chuckled, "It's been decades."

    "You were picked for these jobs because you and your kind are just on the threshold of Malevolence." General said firmly, not amused by Gravè laughter. "I will use your task unit as little as I can, especially now in a time of minimal threat."

    "Then what do you want? You want me to cut a branch halfway so a cat won't get stuck in a tree?" Gravè said, leaning back and crossing his arms.

    "Another Nexus is being built. Low level Malevolent are lining up ready frames and preparing to bolster their ranks." General's tone became less annoyed and more worried.

    "That's... I don't... What do you need?" The news was shocking. Low ranking Malevolent are clinically insane by human standards. Their minds were too shattered by the Domain to have a more complex thought that what to destroy next. The fact that a Nexus was being built by those monsters, was a worrying piece of evidence to the evolution of these Souls.

    "Destroy the Nexus. Destroy the frames. Destroy them all. Take no one with you outside of your task unit. If too many learn about this, panic of a mass attack will cause more harm than good." General continued to whisper and talk in a foreboding tone.

    The Task Unit were the unsung heroes of New Harmony. If they were sent on the field, General was worried about failure and destruction. One time, many years ago, when Gravè commanded a team of six, they bombed a building being used by powerful Malevolent as a gathering to hold a mass attack. The survivors of the explosion killed three of Gravè's Masters before Nocturne could route and destroy them.

    The attack would have been crippling to New Harmony so soon after the Behemoth attack.

    There were no ceremonies, no parades. No statues on government buildings, no medals like when Duet and Cavatino defeated the Behemoth. No honor for the fallen Souls on Gravè's team, because no human was to know of the true nature of their missions. They were just B-Rank Masters to them, dead weight.

    Gravè and his team left through the Trench's flanking tunnel, a secret passage used to get behind large armies that knock at New Harmony's gate.

    With her dark purple coloring, Nocturne was almost invisible in the lightless tunnel. Ritar's midtone red with cheesy flame details made him too easy to see.

    "How are a horde of Screechers making a Nexus?" Nocturne said, breaking the silence in the tunnel. "I've seen one run into a wall until its frame shattered just to get at a dead human on the other side." Nocturne added.

    "Was that the one when it was right next to an open door?" Ritar chuckled, his deep yet airy voice carried lightly in the echo of the tunnel.

    "It's not our job to gather Intel." Gravè hissed.

    "Sorry boss man. We must have forgotten." Ritar said, immediately bumping fists with Nocturne after speaking.

    "Hm." Gravè grunted, attempting to mask his approval of the joke. "He's the idea. We find a vantage point and wait for them to amass. Ritar will carpet the area while Nocturne cloaks and cleans up survivors. I'll move up to the Nexus with the ordinance Ritar prepared, and when someone tries to turn it on, everyone in the area's gone."

    "The classic setup." Nocturne mused, remembering times gone by. "It was easier with Elegy using her sound rifle. Damn thing nearly made me deaf, but melted anybody it hit." Nocturne's mood was taken down, the the task still stood despite the lacking numbers.

    "Enough." Gravè said sternly, not wishing to go down the same path of memories as his team did. "We're here."
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    It's Kruger
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    Weapons

    Post  It's Kruger on August 6th 2015, 6:21 am

    Weapons

    “Sister.” Coda dropped to a knee and bowed his head solemnly.

    “You know fully well that you are the most powerful of us all. Why you chose to bow to me, I do not know.” Opera, the ever spiritual paragon of all Souls turned, her voice echoing softly through the grand chapel.

    “Power without wisdom cannot conquer the thoughts I am having.” Coda stood, his black armor contrasting heavily with the stone white coloring of the chapel, the white and blue metal encompassing Opera before him, and even the rays of light illuminating the room. “This, like all times, I am in need of your wisdom.”

    “My spirituality does not equate to wisdom. But you are correct, power can make one a fool. And even a fool can make the right choices.” Opera turned away from her younger brother and placed her hand on the large stone wall before her. Its design was Opera’s own request to the human architects who built the Cathedral, a carving of the Domain all Souls feared and resented, but are ultimately born from.

    “I am a fool. I know these thoughts of vengeance on the very humans who extracted me from the Domain are treacherous, but how can I just stand by while they turn Marcato into a weapon?!” Coda approached his sister, who lowered her head at his comment, her back remaining turned.

    “We’ve already discussed this at length, Coda.” Opera removed her hand from the wall and turned sharply to face Coda. “Are you not a weapon as well?”

    “I am a weapon. That is all I am. I do not believe in such hopes like you do. I am not sweet and caring like Marcato. I am the weapon, not him!” Coda drew his blade from his arm, rejecting the signal to slot his cover over his mouth. As he spoke, he pointed at the deadly weapon and himself, as if he and the saber were one in the same.

    “You say you are not caring when you love your siblings more than you love yourself.” Opera did not yell, but lowered her voice into an uncharacteristically sharp tone. “Marcato would desire to be like you above all things and ask to fight, even if the forbid him from it.”

    “A human child would want to follow a loved one into battle.” Coda sheathed his blade, returning his right arm into its original hand form. “That DOES NOT mean you should give the child a gun and let him die in battle like a unsympathetic warlord!”

    Coda’s voice cracked as he spoke, his eyes burning a painless burn as it did. It would be decades later that tears would be included into the frames, but if Coda could, he would be crying at this moment.

    “You would rather doom him to the Domain?” Opera asked the piercing question just as COda finished speaking. Of the three created Robot Masters, Marcato remembers the hell they lived in for an eternity the most vividly. Every time he shut down, he did not feel as if he were in a nightmare, but instead waking from the dream of leaving the Domain, only to open his eyes and discover it all untrue.

    “I would doom him to an agonizing life of peace, here, with you. I would doom him to torment over the thought of me never returning home from battle, if it meant he could learn of this world before he set fire to it.”

    “Then what will you do? Scatter all the pieces you have set in place to rebuild the human’s destroyed world? Kill them all knowing fully well you or I cannot step foot into the Forge without going mad? Damn all other Souls with no hope of escape?!” Opera replied, thinking much deeper into Coda’s plan than he had.

    “Yes.” Coda began to back away from Opera, shaking his head, eyes wide open. “Yes I would.”

    “Coda, I beg you not to fight those you worked so hard to protect.” Opera pleaded, her voice ridden with desperation.

    “We are not machines. We are not tools. We are not means to an end for human progress! We are thinking, feeling, living beings that were not born in a way humans can understand! And you are worse. All this time I thought you wise, but you are afraid of the humans. No better than a dog that worships them for the scraps they feed when they no longer have energy to place their boot on their necks!” Coda was shouting, the rant ringing through the halls as violently as he spoke them.

    “Coda…”

    “I will not kill them all, but they couldn’t stop me if they wanted to. I am going to raze their homes, shatter their leaders, destroy their skylines, and give their children guns and fight me for their survival! I may be destroyed, but I will show them that sending Marcato out to fight and die weeks after his birth is a CRIME! I will show them that gratitude can only blind me for so long before I begin to think for myself! And when my Soul is shattered, when my body is dust, and when they rebuild and remember how much they need us, they will think twice before they treat us like guns again.”

    Opera was at a loss for words as Coda stomped outside of the Cathedral, intent of fulfilling all he just declared. Thoughts raced through her head of how she could have stopped Coda, though she knew in reality there was nothing to be done. Her words fell on deaf ears, and a fight would end in her destruction, and a total loss of the lesson she was sure to learn from Coda.

    Though events before her were uncertain, Opera knew this: history will remember Coda as a monster, a malevolent spirit beckoning the darkness and misleading his saviors into ease before stabbing him in the back. He would become a horror story told to young Souls to teach them never to stray from the path laid down before them, lest they are consumed by the very fires they set. They will teach the tragedy, and eventually forget it, until all that remained of Coda was a fledgling memory shared by her, and her younger brother Marcato, until another Soul feels the same pain, and repeats the same tragedy, but nothing will change.

    It is the very nature of life, both metallic and organic, to fall into events fueled by passion and love only to cause ruin and isolation.
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    It's Kruger
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    Re: Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  It's Kruger on August 6th 2015, 6:29 am

    Actually really proud of "Weapons", and super hyped to actually talk about the character John and I concepted the most in this series.

    Concerning Coda's Fall and the reveals between, most of that will be much, MUCH, later into the actual story of Metallic Knights. But I will tell more of these events, the characters, and the themes that John and I based the entire series around.

    This story really made me realize why I'm making this series of short stories. Not to really keep the universe alive, not entirely. But, when John and I hop back on the actual story, you can see the connections, reread these, and really understand just how much thought went into Metallic Knights since its creation around 2011-2012.
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    Re: Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  It's Kruger on August 21st 2015, 2:00 am

    The Line II

    "There it is." Scorch pointed and lifted his shoulders, his armored plating shifting and lifting to reveal mortars on either shoulder blade and another on his arm. Each one has several tubes connecting to fire a volley of shots in one command. It was the reason for his combat name, a shortened version of Scorched Earth Warfare.

    By this time, Assassin had made her way to the other side of the crater, completely invisible and impossible to detect on any sort of scanner. She readied her Lock-Blade, a small dagger on the top of her wrist spanning out about a foot past her hand. While it was difficult to use in direct combat, Assassin had no intention to use it as a fighting blade. The Stun-Blade's ability to completely paralyze any Soul she impales with it, made Assassin a deadly foe and a shadow.

    Assassin leaped from rock to rock, slowly descending to the bottom of the crater. Running or sliding down would kick up dust, this making her invisibility void.

    "I'm in position." Assassin said in a whisper through Saboteur's radio. With Assassin and Scorch ready, the mission could begin.

    "Hand me bomb." Saboteur held out his arm in an awkward position. He was lying on his belly, to remain undetected for as long as possible. Scorch handed him a small package, comically wrapped up in a Christmas present style box with a pink bow and green wrapping paper. "What the hell is this?"

    "Heh heh heh heh heh." Scorch chuckled as he scooted backwards, standing on his hands and feet like a dog. He used his fingers to dig into the dry dirt so he could remain steady when firing. This was Scorch's stationary mortar position, and he could dish out damage much harder than any actual mortal New Harmony had.

    With a high pitch whistle, the anti-personnel missiles fired from Scorch's back and landed at the base of the crater, tearing apart Screechers by the hundreds. Saboteur knew this was the signal, slightly annoyed Scorch didn't give a vocal warning.

    Saboteur began sprinting down the side of the crater, kicking up dust with each step. The Screechers, while unintelligent, knew that there were more than just this one enemy. While most bum-rushed Saboteur, the others began crawling up the sides of the crater, looking for something else to kill.

    Saboteur snatched the first Screecher that came close to him by the throat. Using his timed buster explosion, he sent three into the crazy monser's chest and threw it into a horde of them close by. Saboteur took a sharp left, avoiding what was about to come.

    "Scorch, precision shot on the one who's about to explode."

    "Aye-eye" Scorch shifted, two cannons, one from each mortar, lifted up and fired directly onto the doomed Screecher, killing the bulk of their forces in one glorious, spare part ridden explosion.

    Just yards away from the objective, the Nexus Spire, few Screechers remained to stop Saboteur. He kicked one away and blasted it with his buster while continuing his charge, and punched another into pieces.

    Assassin uncloaked herself, standing in the shadow of the Spire among a pile of bodies, most of her face shaded by darkness besides the creepy smile brightened by white teeth.

    "You know you're terrifying, right?" Gravè deactivated his combat matrix and began attaching the present behind a metal plate that covered wires.

    "Shut up and wire the damn thing." Assassin chuckled before calmly tapping an incoming Screecher with her Stun-Blade.

    As Gravè worked on the sabotage, explosions rang throughout the crater. Assassin lifted her left arm and drew yet another wrist blade, but much longer than her Stun-Blade.

    The Match-Blade, a weapon that took decades to simply design, decades more to build, was an early, bladed version of the shifting weapon technology used to create Solo's distinctive and unique Multi-Buster. Assassin used her Match-Blade with deadly agility and skill that would leave Octave belittled for decades to come. With it, Assassin split apart the Screechers rushing towards Gravè.

    “Present delivered. Ho ho ho. Scorch, shock and awe. Cover the escape!” Gravè ordered as he and Assassin moved back up the hill of the crater. Scorch waited for his teammates to clear the blast radius and fired, sending his most powerful, near nuclear-grade ordinance.

    In a single, violent, eye-frying explosion, Scorch managed to glass every one of the Screechers below. Those who were not evaporated were turned into fragile ash statues, doomed to turn to dust should the slightest breeze came past.

    Own out from overuse, Scorch deactivated his combat matrix, turning back into his non-combat mode. As he stood, clutching his heavy chest with one arm, he waved at Nocturne and Gravè as the smoke below cleared.

    Seemingly out of nowhere, there was a loud scream from the crater, a single, half destroyed Screecher came barrelling out of the smoke below. As Gravè and Nocturne came running around the crater, they saw it had jumped onto Ritar, and tearing the master’s weakened body into bit.

    Nocturne, the faster of the two, activated her combat matrix and dashed ahead, only to be stopped suddenly by a legless, injured Screecher who snatched Assassin by the ankle and dragged her into the all consuming smoke in the crater below.

    “No. No. No no no NO NO NO NO!” Saboteur ran as quickly as he could, blowing the Screecher off of Ritar as soon as he was able. With a slide, Saboteur deactivated his combat form and put his hand behind Ritar’s head. “You gotta get up RIGHT NOW and help me Ritty. We gotta save Nocturne! C’mon!” Gravè stood up, waving for Ritar to stand and help him save their sister in arms. When there was no response, Gravè turned back around, seeing no movement from him at all.

    It seemed like hours to Gravè, just standing there, too shocked to move or even sit. He stood there, waving his head slowly between the crater Nocturne was doomed to and Ritar’s dead body. His squad was the best of the best, given purpose by doing things that General could not send others to do.

    Gravè remembered his naming ceremony, and finally understood the vague words Lady Opera once said to him.

    “You will meet a great and unfortunate fate in your life as a Master.
    I sense a great love in your Soul, the very reason you were chosen as
    a Benevolent Soul.
    But I fear that very love may cause pain. And pain is the first step on
    a path none could come back from
    For these reasons, I dub you Gravè, for should you move slowly
    and solemnly, that path may not open for you.”

    “She meant my team.” Gravè fell to his knees, his body kicking up dirt as he hit the floor. “That bitch meant my team!” Gravè’s pain quickly turned to anger as he began slamming his metallic fists onto the ground, cracking the rocks and sun-baked dirt he hit.

    “That BITCH! That CUNT! She KNEW my team would die ALL OF THEM! AND SHE NEVER ONCE LIFTED A FINGER TO SAVE THEM?!

    Oh. Lady Opera knew they were all going to die. And General sent us anyways. Opera let us leave anyways! Well… General… Opera… We’ll see just how fucking remarkable you two are when I bring the largest army New Harmony as ever seen knocking on your gates, shredding those worthless humans apart while your Masters are shot down in the street like dogs!”

    In a fit of blind rage, Gravè clutched his face. He didn’t know or care why he did it, but he grabbed the synthetic skin that gave his humanoid appearance and tore it off, screaming as his body sent painful signals telling his his face is gone.

    But soon, the screams became laughter. And the pain soon belonged to other.

    Gravè was no longer acting as a member of the New Harmony Combat Masters.

    He was a Malevolent now, soon to become famous for horrible acts of cruelty against nomadic humans not affiliated with New Harmony, and even the deaths and disappearances of some young Combat Masters.

    He became the #1 spot on General’s most wanted list, hunted by Master’s like Octave and Pastoral for decades more to come.

    On this day, Gravè became Skull.
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    Re: Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  Manny on August 26th 2015, 11:47 am

    Knighttime stories was a punnier title bruh.
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    Re: Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  It's Kruger on August 26th 2015, 12:20 pm

    Some one of your... Color, Manny, should appreciate the new Latin name.
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    Re: Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  Manny on August 26th 2015, 12:24 pm

    It's Kruger wrote:Some one of your... Color, Manny, should appreciate the new Latin name.
    I am not Roman though.

    However, you did spell colour wrong. That rubs me the wrong way.

    ANYWAYS, I also wanted to say that these stories are pretty cool. Keep pumping them out bruh. When Metallic knights went on hiatus I started having withdrawal symptoms.


    Last edited by Manny on August 26th 2015, 12:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  Bad John on August 26th 2015, 12:24 pm

    I'mma do a thing soon.

    Look forward to it.
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    Re: Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  It's Kruger on August 26th 2015, 12:44 pm

    Manny wrote:
    It's Kruger wrote:Some one of your... Color, Manny, should appreciate the new Latin name.
    I am not Roman though.

    However, you did spell colour wrong. That rubs me the wrong way.

    ANYWAYS, I also wanted to say that these stories are pretty cool. Keep pumping them out bruh. When Metallic knights went on hiatus I started having withdrawal symptoms.

    Lol. It was a bad joke. Latino. Latin. Ah I'm hilarious.

    No, but thanks. It's been pretty fun writing these. And I've been carpet-bombing the stories with stuff that'll matter later in the series.

    John and I are working on bringing MK back, so your DT's should be ending here soon.

    Also, JOHN. #Hype
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    Brothers.

    Post  It's Kruger on August 30th 2015, 4:52 am

    Brothers.

    “I know you’ve been dropping jaws in the sims, bro…” The voice echoed through the spacious, mostly empty, dark gray room. The metal seemed old and the fluorescent lighting failed to illuminate the shaded areas of the room. "But I'd hate to embarrass you so early in your career as a Combat Master."

    It was rustic, old, and seemed much dirtier than it actually was. SaberMan, who stood in the dark simulation room, admired the look of the place. He enjoyed how everything was old and deteriorating in the Wastes, so much so that he sometimes despised the clean, bleached white feel most of New Harmony gave off. But not this place. This, the oldest training simulation room in New Harmony, was practically used only by SaberMan for those very reasons.

    "Yeah yeah yeah." PulseMan started, using his free arm to brush some dirt off of his buster.

    "Is General's pet project bearing its teeth?" Vesper’s voice echoed throughout the room from the intercom. She was behind heavily plated glass in the observation room, sitting in a chair, her feet resting on a nearby table.

    “Funny.” SaberMan held his middle finger into the air, pointing it directly at Vesper before lowering his stance, lightly placing the tip of his energy saber on the floor behind him, holding his left hand just in front of his face as he kneeled in a racing pose.

    With the battle ready to begin, PulseMan took a defensive position to oppose SaberMan's offensive style. With a small, quadrant-shaped shield attached firmly to his left forearm and a heavy buster on his right arm, PulseMan's weapon setup was almost the exact opposite of SaberMan's. PulseMan bent his knees and held his shield directly in front of him, propping his buster over the top.

    In a blur, the much faster SaberMan dashed forward and jumped, holding his saber above him, ready to bring it down on PulseMan's head. But the attack was to no avail, the older, brown master blocked the attack with his small shield, holding it above his head. PulseMan dropped his right arm below his left, attempting to shoot SaberMan in the torso.

    Before PulseMan could pull the trigger, SaberMan turned completely around, walking around PulseMan as he did so. With the swing of his blade as he dodged the wide miss shot of PulseMan's, SaberMan left a shallow cut on his brother’s leg.

    PulseMan turned to face SaberMan, shooting a flurry of buster shots as fast as he could, but the heavy buster models had a slow rate of fire and high impact power. The space between shots allowed SaberMan to easily dodge and back up, his speed advantage over PulseMan becoming more and more apparent. As the smoke of PulseMan's missed shots cleared, SaberMan had remained unscathed, and was now positioned meters away from PulseMan. SaberMan began chuckling.

    “Sorry, sorry. It’s just really funny that you think you can hit me with one of those, Pasty. You can do better than that.” SaberMan pointed his blade at PulseMan, who raised his buster swiftly and fired directly at the unmoving SaberMan. “Age doesn’t mean wisdom, I guess.”

    SaberMan readied his blade to deflect the shots, driving his point home that firearms were not a possible way to defeat him. To his surprise, the shots landed short, hitting the floor and kicking up a heavy torrent of dust not even SaberMan's HUD could see through.

    Before he could grasp the situation, SaberMan's face was met with the side of a shield as it came swinging out of the cloud. SaberMan went tumbling backwards, bouncing off the ground so hard that he needed to plant his saber into the floor in order to slow his roll. When SaberMan looked up, PulseMan's charge had not ceased, he was still barreling towards him at a surprisingly fast rate.

    PulseMan jumped, lifting his leg up to the side and swinging it forward, attempting to kick his kneeling brother in the head. As the hit came, SaberMan was in the process of removing his saber from the floor. Luckily, the kick was coming from his left. SaberMan grabbed PulseMan's boot and ripped it down towards his hip, returning PulseMan to the floor and forcing him to balance on one foot.

    As SaberMan brought his blade up for a jab, PulseMan blocked the hit with his shield, the weapon glancing to the side with the help of a backhand push from PulseMan. With his arm held out to the side, and SaberMan's body completely exposed, PulseMan used the side of his shield to add an edge to his punch, knocking SaberMan right on his back.

    The agile SaberMan rolled back over his shoulder and returned to his feet, the side of his light green visor completely cracked.

    “Okay.” SaberMan said, now surprised and completely annoyed. “Stop PUNCHING ME! BACK-BURNER!!”

    A bright blue flame rose from the edges of SaberMan's energy saber. This ability, the first and weakest of what will soon be many, was created by General and taught to SaberMan. A physical manifestation of SaberMan's rage, the ironically named ability allowed SaberMan to push his limiters and increase his speed, strength, and the energy output of his blade. The uncontrollable nature of the attack was the exact reason SaberMan would soon remove it from his repertoire of moves. It was also not an attack one would use in a friendly skirmish.

    “Whoa. Wait. What?” PulseMan said, raising his guard as he spoke. The casual battle between brothers had just become much more intense.

    SaberMan sprinted straight towards PulseMan, who was only around 2 meters away from him. SaberMan unleashed a flurry of attacks just slightly faster than PulseMan could block. Every few hits, the brown combat master would find himself inches from death and would dodge in order to catch up. After more than a few swings from SaberMan's blade, PulseMan noticed he’d lost his general technique, which usually made it hard to find an opening when SaberMan was attacking. As SaberMan wound back to unleash a powerful diagonal slash, PulseMan kicked him back, sending SaberMan staggering a few steps.

    Now in a safe range from SaberMan, PulseMan quickly aimed and shot his buster four times, just enough to possibly cripple SaberMan's frame and end this fight quickly.

    Suddenly, SaberMan was on the exact opposite side of the room, crouching on a knee, his saber resting on his raised leg.

    “You calm down yet?” PulseMan said, aiming his buster at a target too quick and too far for him to hit.

    “Yeah. You shot me in the arm.” SaberMan said, completely calmed and relaxed.

    “I could punch you again if you want.” PulseMan offered, raising his arms out to his sides.

    “No. No, no, I’m good.” SaberMan stood up, returning his blade back into his arm and replacing it with his right hand. His mouth guard and heavily cracked visor slotted back into their passive places in his helmet. He had just deactivated his combat matrix, and PulseMan followed suit.

    “Can we call it a day?” Octave nodded towards the door and held his thumb up, wanting a vocal agreement that the fight had ended.

    “Hell no, we can’t call it a day!” Pastoral exclaimed, offended. “Let’s get patched up by Monday and go mess with Cavatino!”

    “That’s a much better idea.” Octave said, smiling at the notion. Him? A combat master?

    “You coming Ves?” Pastoral turned towards the window to the observation room, almost forgetting about their sister in arms and not wanting her to miss the fun of annoying Cavatino.

    “I would love to, guys. But the humans in here monitoring Pastoral’s progress have never seen a combat master spar before.” Vesper said from behind the intercom, filling the room with her voice.

    “So?” Octave asked.

    “I might have to be cleaning up urine and reading them bedtime stories so they don’t have nightmares. Go have your fun.” Vesper finished with a snicker as the intercom crackled. In the midst of her talking, Pastoral could have sworn he heard a quiet whimper.
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    Re: Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  It's Kruger on September 23rd 2015, 4:09 am

    Pawns

    “A sword and shield work in unison to defeat its foes!” General shouted at the two worn and battered combat masters before them. Octave was down on one knee, held upright by his saber thinly plunged into the ground while Pastoral rested on his hands and knees, panting from exhaustion.

    Octave struggled to stand upright, immediately shuffling with the sole intent on helping his brother. While Octave’s arms were around Pastoral, a large, heavy boot connected to his chest, sending him straight back to the floor.

    “To help a weaker ally is to open yourself to attack!” General paused as he approached Octave, the fire in his eyes burning with intentions he was nowhere near accomplishing. “If you wish to protect him from harm, Octave, fight me alone and let Pastoral recover on his own.”

    “Fuck off.” Octave spat back, venom on his tongue.

    “I will once you improve. You were born into this role, SaberMan. Your brother chose it.” General lowered his blade and swung it upright, rolling Pastoral onto his back with the force of the slash, a large chunk of the metal flying off of the side of his midsection.

    “Leave him ALONE!” Octave sprang back to life, attacking General with a flourish of aggressive swings. All of which General blocked with his own blade, and when an opening appeared, he slashed Octave across the chest, returning him to the floor he currently belonged.

    “How is this… Fair?” Pastoral clutched his side, still lying on his back. “No way we’ll ever meet a Malevolent as strong as you…”

    “If you can hold your own against my best, then you will become the most powerful combat masters among your peers.” General said wistfully, as if caught in a daydream of the two someday becoming confident fighters.

    While General was distracted by his own thoughts, Octave ran at him again, his body staying low for the upward strike he followed with. General turned and held his saber horizontally, negating the attack, and then clutched Octave by the throat.

    “Good thinking.” General squeezed harder on Octave’s neck as he kicked and flailed like a small child. When it was apparent General was about to behead his trainee, he loosened his grip and tossed Octave aside like trash.

    “Reset the simulation. Pain registry is to remain at one-hundred percent.” General ordered the console which obliged his command in an instant. Pastoral and Octave’s bodies were returned to perfect condition and placed in the center of the room, facing General.

    “You will come at me once more.”

    “Don’t you think the outcome will be the same as the last hundred-fucking-times we’ve sparred!? What are we learning here, exactly?” Octave cried out in protest, Pastoral attempting to calm him with a single hand on the shoulder.

    “If you want to shape metal, you need to heat it and pound it into shape.” General replied calmly as he drew his saber.

    Ready to attempt to defend themselves, both Pastoral and Octave rushed into battle positions, surprised when General didn’t attack. Instead, he exhaled and smiled at them. The look sent chills up both their spines.

    “I once sent some combat masters to raid a large building filled to the brim with Malevolent. The baser kind. When the fighting had stopped, and my masters had won, they reported to me that it was a library; a valuable find. I escorted both Lady Opera and FigureMan to the library to see what they could find. While I waited for their task to be completed, I found an ancient book, predating the beginning of the war itself, named Pawn. When I began to read the book, a particular section garnered my interest. It said ‘“You and I should play chess sometime. I think you would like it,” she said. “It’s a game of strategy, mostly. The strong pieces are in the back row, while the weak pieces—the pawns—are all in the front, ready to take the brunt of the attack. Because of their limited movement and vulnerability, most people underestimate them and only use them to protect the more powerful pieces. But when I play, I protect my pawns.”
    “Why?” I said, not entirely sure where this conversation was going. “If they’re weak, then what’s the point?”
    “They may be weak when the game begins, but their potential is remarkable. Most of the time, they’ll be taken by the other side and held captive until the end of the game. But if you’re careful—if you keep your eyes open and pay attention to what your opponent is doing, if you protect your pawns and they reach the other side of the board, do you know what happens then?”
    I shook my head, and she smiled.
    “Your pawn becomes a queen.” She touched my cheek, her fingers cold as ice. “Because they kept moving forward and triumphed against impossible odds, they become the most powerful piece in the game”
    '. Do you understand now?”

    “You want us to become queens?” Pastoral asked. While the only one vocal about it, both he and his brother were completely confused by the reading they had just received.

    “I want you to reach the other side of the board.”
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    SABER

    Post  It's Kruger on September 27th 2015, 12:42 pm

    Saber

    That bastard taught me everything I need to know for this situation. The Wastes may batter these Malevolent every day, but I KNOW he battered me harder.

    “A poor little New Harmony Bot all alone outside of his comfy walls?” One of the Malevolent stepped forward ahead of his brethren and squad of drones. He stood a little taller than SaberMan, a bulky design meant for taking more than a few hits.

    This Malevolent, Saw, was a worn shade of red, the area around his eyes jet black, and his large chainsaw attached to his arm a stripped metallic steel color. He was obviously a warrior of the wastes, the teeth on his weapon were worn for use on frames who were not quite tough enough to withstand the savagery of the thing.

    “How am I alone if all you guys are here?” SaberMan quipped before lunging, going straight for Saw in a jabbing motion.

    Before SaberMan could get close enough to hit his mark, a torrent of buster fire came rushing towards him, threatening to shred him into scrap. SaberMan backed off, bounding backwards and gaining distance between himself and the fire, allowing him to swat away the hail of yellow death.

    Damn drones. Three Sniper Joes and a Hammer Joe just incase things get hairy for him… What a- before SaberMan could finish his thought, a large black hammer came barreling towards him. SaberMan attempted to block the projectile, but the heavy hammer broke the guard and sent SaberMan on his back with a fair dent in his torso. ... pussy…

    Before SaberMan could completely recover, Saw was running towards him, his loud chainsaw dragging and grinding against the dirt as he continued forward.

    SaberMan rolled twice, landing on his stomach halfway through the third, and propped himself up. Here, he had a choice; chance the finishing blow and clean up the drones with the immediate threat destroyed, or attack the Joes and take Saw one on one.

    In a blink of the human eye SaberMan was right in front of the closest Sniper Joes, and before it or its allies could fire, the drone was felled, cut completely in half. In a spinning jump, SaberMan brought his saber down on top of another Sniper Joe, cutting down from face to crotch. The final Sniper Joe shot, SaberMan just able to block the round in time and close the distance before the next shot. Now all that were left were Saw and the Hammer Joe.

    The Hammer Joe spun its mighty hammer above its head and threw it directly at SaberMan, an easy dodge now that the blue robot saw it coming. SaberMan closed the distance as the last surviving Joe readied yet another black hammer.

    How many of those damn things does it have?”

    SaberMan swung his saber up towards the larger drone as the Joe brought its hammer down, the two weapons clashing to SaberMan's disadvantage, the stronger and heavier the victor. SaberMan's boots dug into the ground as he slid backwards. The second his recoil ended, SaberMan was back in the Joe’s face, dodging a horizontal swing of the almost superior melee weapon. But the hammer was heavy and the Joe was slow. Before it could ever hope to swing again, SaberMan jumped and slashed the drone’s head clean off. The hammer fell to the floor, cracking the crumbling dirt as it landed, as did the Hammer Joe’s body.

    “Impressive.” Saw chuckled at the destruction of his Soulless crew as he powered down his chainsaw. “You’re not the best with a sword… But you sure seem to hate everything you fight.”

    “General calls his a sword…” SaberMan muttered.

    “Excuse me?” Saw held his free hand up to his ear in a mocking fashion.

    “It’s not a sword.” SaberMan said much louder this time.

    “Cute. I don’t care what you call your sword, kid. Dead heaps of metal don’t get a say in what I call their blades.” Saw droned on, apparently amused by SaberMan's opposition.

    “It’s a saber!” SaberMan shouted, “MY NAME IS SABERMAN FOR A REASON!”

    SaberMan dashed, the dust skyrocketing upwards behind him as he shot forward faster than Saw predicted he could, a boot slamming into his chest before he could bring his chainsaw up. As Saw went tumbling backwards, SaberMan sprinted around the side in a semicircular motion, colliding with the red Malevolent with a full-on body check, stopping both of them in their tracks.

    Saw grunted, opening his eyes to seeing SaberMan's, burning bright with the fires of hate as he brought his saber downwards. Saw threw his chainsaw in front of his, narrowly blocking the hit. Expecting them to clash for a second, Saw tensed up, but was surprised when SaberMan lifted his blade and slammed it down again and again, screaming as the blows came harder and more rapidly until SaberMan hit the chainsaw at the hilt, cutting through it and Saw’s head, instantly killing the Malevolent.

    In the throes of rage, SaberMan didn’t stop there. The blue master, one who was supposed to represent peace, justice, and stability, brutalized Saw’s frame, smashing his saber all around the body until it was cut and smashed into pieces. When he finally snapped back into reality, all that was partially intact was Saw partially impaled and jaggedly severed head. The horror of the image shocked Octave to his very core, and with one final blow he completely destroyed the head, and erased the blight of Saw from the Wastes forever.

    What the hell… What the hell is wrong with me…?
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    It's Kruger
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    Marauder I

    Post  It's Kruger on October 2nd 2015, 11:09 am

    Marauder I

    "Yo, Ves. Question." Octave asked bluntly as he and Vesper wandered around the ruins of the once great Abel City, the nearest derelict city to New Harmony, and home to countless Malevolent, powerful or not.

    "Shoot." Vesper answered as she peeked her head around a corner leading to a dead-end alleyway, checking their flanks.

    "S-Ranked combat masters are supposed to be super badass, right?"

    "Sure. Depending on who you ask."

    "Okay. Follow up question; why the hell am I tagging along with you on this headhunt if you could pound this guy into a cube and reuse him for scrap?" Octave asked, obviously annoyed at the notion of being dragged along with a partner outside the walls of the city.

    "Honestly? Because I don't think I can take this guy alone. You read the dossier?" Vesper stopped to respond to Octave's inquiry, this conversation holding some importance to her and her mission.

    "Not even a little bit." Octave stopped as well.

    "You should've. This Malevolent we're hunting gets off on hunting and killing robot masters. Some scouts were sent to gather info on a building General wanted to raid, and he left their frames just outside of our defense systems on the wall with their integrated circuits smashed and his name carved into them." Vesper's tone darkened. Every time a master of any kind was lost was great. So few of them pass the marks for benevolence that number were already not on their side.

    "Scrap, eh?" Octave peeked at the dossier on his head-up display, locating the target's name. "Then why didn't you get Cavatino or Duet to come with you? Unless you think I deserve a promotion, of course." He joked.

    "I think you're just barely good enough to help me win this fight. You're young, but General doesn't just personally train anybody." Vesper dished out the backhanded compliment as she turned her back on Octave, continuing forward.

    "Wow. Dick." Octave mocked offense, as was his common reaction. Lady Opera warned Vesper of Octave's inability to take conversation seriously, but it wouldn't have bothered regardless. Despite barely knowing him, Octave was still like a little brother to her, as were all the new masters.

    Soon, the two approached the target's last confirmed location, coincidentally a scrapyard.

    "The target was last seen camping here. Apparently, Scrap was using some of the machines here to kill a surviving scout and some captured nomadic humans." Vesper said in a daunting, horrified tone as the two stood atop a hill overlooking the yard.

    "Who saw him?" Octave asked, unsuccessfully hiding his horror at the idea of humans and combat masters being squished.

    "Solo. His first scouting mission too." Vesper said, as if she were ashamed of the fact.

    Octave didn't even have a response to that, witty or not.

    "Looks like the sick fuck hasn't moved an inch." Octave pointed to the far side of the scrapyard, a number of minor Malevolent dancing atop the ancient vehicles.

    "That's not good." Vesper sighed as she eyed the Malevolent.

    "Why?"

    "Every other VIT job I've done, the target moves around. Word gets out that you're being hunted pretty fast out here. Scrap has to know we're coming."

    "So?"

    "Chances are..." Vesper paused dramatically as she turned to Octave, who looked at her with anticipation. "He's looking for a fight."

    The crimson and blue masters descended into the yards, keeping an eye on the tall stacks of cars walking the off in a dirty, rusted trail. As the eerie laughter and screaming grew closer, Octave grew more and more tense. Vesper stopped, her Bomb Buster drawn and eyes pointed straight up.

    "Stay calm. Watch my back, I'll watch yours." Vesper ordered, Octave shaking head to refocus and drawing his saber.

    "These Screechers?" Octave scanned the area around him as he pressed his back onto Vesper's.

    "No. Some Malevolent are just insane." Vesper answered honestly. She spoke as if the fact that they were fighting psychotic murderers was a relief. Truth be told: if there were more than a few Screechers, in this right of a space, they'd be doomed.

    Silhouettes began to line the tops of the cars around the two masters. Suddenly, the path they took to get themselves into this box was consumed by stacks of falling cars. It was also the only way out. This was a trap they both saw coming the moment they heard the laughter. This fight was going to be close quarters, a form both Octave and Vesper were more than proficient in.

    The silhouettes descended from their perches, revealing the rare type of Malevolent they were facing.

    When the people manning the Forge review a Soul, some are so violent and insane that it takes them seconds to reject the Soul. These Malevolent are called Marauders. They're classified by their inability to simply speak. Some cry, some are completely silent, but most laugh. When picked up by a Nexus Spire, Marauders, like most Malevolent, are given simple frames that risk turning to dust at any second. But they're easily identified by the masks they adorn onto themselves, which are usually made of the faces of other fallen Souls. Vesper and Octave nearly gagged when they identified the synthetic flesh of people they once knew as friends.

    The laughing psychopaths drew closer, Octave counting four on his side and Vesper counting five.

    "Call for me if you need my help." Vesper whispered into Octave's ear close behind him.

    "You do the same. Let's not die here." Octave gulped. He was, for the first time in his life, legitimately terrified of a battle.

    A Marauder leaped forward towards Octave, the frail frame of the malevolent sliced like butter under Octave's hot knife. The cut it in half across the waist, but the top half landed on Octave's chest and dug into his frame with its sharpened claws it had for hands. Octave peered down into its eyes hidden behind flesh and scrap. The lights behind them were glowing with a bright, soulless white light. Before it could but at him with its triangular teeth, Octave clutched it by the back of the head and crushed the skull.

    Vesper was much quicker on the assault than Octave, immediately sticking the middle Marauder with a sticky bomb and holding the detonation. She lunged forward, kicking one Marauder and then another into their stuck ally before detonating the charge, instantly killing all three of them.

    Octave's three remaining Marauder's stared silently at their dead comrade for a second. Then, almost at the exact same time, returned their gaze at Octave with continued laughter.

    "Yeah. If Souls had demons, you're about as close as they'd get." Octave insulted the Marauders, who bursts out further with laughter from the comment. He darted forward, plunging his blue blade into one's skull, killing it. He tore the saber out in a wide swing, tearing the dead Marauder's skull out through the side as he did.

    Vesper's right leg shone with a bright red glow as energy sharpened and hardened her shin. She brought her leg up and kicked a nearby Marauder right between the legs, cutting through halfway up the malevolent's torso. Before she could finish the thing off, the other remaining Marauder dug its teeth into her shoulder, ripping out a sizable chunk of metal from her spherical, crimson pauldron.

    "SHELL!" ChargeWoman cried out in response, her afflicted shoulder glowing with the same red energy as her leg did, hardening her shoulder, and shattering the teeth of the Marauder. She lowered her right leg from the other Marauder": torso and spun around for a roundhouse kick, completely dismantling the foe, leaving one, easy kill for her to pin to the floor and crush with her foot.

    SaberMan, now with his unarmed hand on the throat of one Marauder and his saber through the chest of the other, finished off his last two enemies almost simultaneously, crushing one's neck and raising his saber through the other's head. With that, all of the Marauders that had attacked the two masters were dead.

    But, the victorious heroes' blood ran cold when several, if not hundreds of more chuckles came roaring above them.

    Marauders lined the box of cars around Octave and Vesper, an unusual amount for the cannibalistic, unfeeling malevolent. This was suddenly not a battle they could win.

    "Hold!" A deep, scratchy voice rang out from the tallest stack of vehicles. "Leave."

    With the command, the Marauders scurried off in a hurry.

    "You won't need to worry about them. They just get... Excited, you could say, when company arrives." Scrap leaped from his tower, his landing shaking the dirt beneath their feet. "Are you the city bots who have come to kill me?"

    "You're goddamn right." Octave said confidently, pointing his saber directly at Scrap as Vesper rolled her eyes.

    Octave, however, didn't take a good look at Scrap before making the comment. An imposing figure, Scrap stood at lead a foot taller than either Vesper or Octave. His frame was braced with thick pieces of metal welded into place, his face was made of plates of varying degrees of rust, and his weapon seemed to be a energy-charged axe, the handle standing a little taller than scrap himself. It was a weapon only Vesper recognized.

    "Tanto's axe! You..."

    "That was his name? I knew him as PaladinMan, but that show's what I know. He seemed fairly confident of my demise... Just like your boy here." Scrap spoke with a flair of confidence and swagger, in a way that reminded Octave of Cavatino. Though, in his brief gloss over of the dossier, he saw a note that Scrap vividly explain his desire to watch a human die.

    "PaladinMan? Who was-"

    "A friend and one of the greatest fighters I've ever met." Vesper clenched her teeth, the very sight of Scrap holding that weapon drove Vesper to a fit of rage.

    "Which does not bode well for you, child." Scrap added, lightly chuckling as he picked the hammer up with his second hand.

    "Fuck off, you make-shift piece of shit!" Octave responded with disproportionate anger. "I'll drag your chip and that axe home myself!"

    Faster than Vesper could ever hope to stop, Octave charged Scrap, clutching the base of his saber with his off hand to prepare for a new attacked he had only just been taught by General.

    "HEAD-HUNTER!" Octave shouted, his eyes lighting up with an intense blue shine as his saber grew twice as thick and three times as long. He held the blade above his head as he leaped over Scrap's head and swung down, attempting to end the fight before it had even started.

    Scrap smirked as he waited for Octave to get closer. When the young, headstrong master drew close, the older malevolent held the long handle of his blade above him, blocking the attack with no damage taken at all. He tilted his weapon, sliding Octave towards the blade of his axe and smacked him on his side with the base of the handle.

    As Octave recoiled, Scrap pointed and thrusted the speared tip of his axe at Octave, Vesper only just able to kick the broad side of the weapon and save Octave from further damage.

    "With that kind of fury, I'm surprised they let you carry a fork, let alone a blade and frame as powerful as yours." Scrap mocked Octave as he regained control of his large axe and took a step back.

    "Octave, how's your side?" Vesper asked, stepping in front of Octave, holding her arms out in a defensive position.

    "Badly dented." Octave replied, clutching his side.

    "Self repair timer?"

    "Three minutes. Why?"

    Vesper hardened her unarmed forearm and readied both shins to deliver deadly kicks.

    "Take a breather, cool down, and heal up. I got this."
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    Bad John
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    Re: Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  Bad John on October 2nd 2015, 2:48 pm

    Another arduous training session ended. The simulated arena was left in ruins. Craters pocked the concrete road on which the three belligerents clashed. General, the last man standing, stood as he always stood; polished, clean, straight, and unharmed.

    His opponents, on the other hand, were another story. Octave, ruthlessly bisected, had only just fallen moments ago. The sound of his upper body striking the road still echoed throughout the abandoned street. He grit his teeth, absentmindedly trying to stand despite his loss of motor function. General could tell Octave was still fighting. Those eyes of his were still alive, flickering and searching for a way to continue on, despite the clear defeat.

    Lesser still was Pastoral's state. The embers where he'd been stricken down had cooled and gone out. Face down in the dirt, his body was scorched. He'd taken a point blank shot from General's cannon.

    Worse yet, General was unimpressed. He'd fallen early. His attack was unskilled and desperate, as opposed to his brother's more nuanced, spirited approach. Pastoral hadn't just been defeated, he'd yet again failed.

    And the robot master knew it. As the simulation ended, the damage from the brother's bodies faded. Octave immediately jerked upright, turning to face General, a fire in his eyes.

    Pastoral stayed down, clenching his fists and biting his tongue. "...Dammit..." The robot master hissed as he got onto his hands and knees.

    "That's enough for today." General sighed. "Octave. Fine work. Pastoral..."

    Turning to face General, Pastoral's mouth-guard slotted away. He pulled his shield up, placing it in his hands as he waited for General's verdict. Part of him hoped against hope that General saw some progress in the younger soul. However, that was not to be.

    "I expected more from you. I was mistaken."

    "HEY!" Octave barked in Pastoral's defense, but a sharp look from General silenced him.  Octave's brow still furrowed, a heavy, angry frown set on his face. He continued on after a tense moment. "You can tell me what to do, but not what to think. Pastoral's trying his best, and he doesn't even have my Time Skimmer! How can you expect him to keep up with us so soon?!"

    "He made his choice. If he cannot progress, I'll put him in charge of a droid platoon. Or, he can go back to his service as a Support Unit." General leered down at Pastoral now, who was one one knee. "His service in that capacity was far more useful to New Harmony. These pathetic displays are beneath us."

    "...Yes, General. I will not disappoint you again." The words came from Pastoral's mouth in a brittle tone. It had been a year, and his progress was slow; nearly nonexistent, even.

    As General left the room, Octave stepped beside his brother. "No worries, Pasty. I'm sure you'll impro-"

    "NO I WON'T," Pastoral growled. He placed a hand on his face, standing. Octave pinched the bridge of his nose.

    "Dude, you know you will. Otherwise, wouldn't you have given up by now?" Octave looked at Pastoral with genuine sympathy, as he did his best to say something helpful. "Man, I've never seen you do something you don't believe in, and whenever you believe in something, it gets done. C'mon. You're on the verge of some sort of breakthrough! And even if you aren't, you'll be back for the next training session. You've said 'I give up' every few weeks now, but you've never actually done it."

    Pastoral didn't even glance at Octave as he stamped his way out. "Then maybe I should."

    "...Wait, what?! No, that's not what I meant! Goddammit Pasty!" Octave tried to follow, but Pastoral tossed his shield onto the floor, and Octave stepped on it, slipping. "WhoawhoaWHOA" The robot master failed to catch himself, his head thumping against the tile. "Ow! Asshole! If you're mad, don't fucking take it out on me!"

    That maneuver may have been what saved Pastoral's career. Behind the two way glass, a small group of interested parties watched, one in particular taking very careful note.

    It was the first time Vesper or Album had seen someone trip up Octave.




    Pastoral sat alone on the steps of the Cathedral, staring out at the slowly setting sun. The dome of the City dyed the sky blue, but Pastoral had been in the wastes before. In actuality, the majority of the time, the sky on this continent was a muted tan; an aftereffect of the Great War's bombs.

    He held his hand in front of his face. His body, built by Dr. Monday, had been remodeled for heavy combat. Each fingertip could pierce a hole in solid steel. However, he still couldn't pilot this body of his correctly.

    "...You should ditch the mouth guard," a female voice said from behind him. "A visor would look better. Besides, your mouth can be pretty expressive. It'd be a better design."

    Pastoral quickly turned to see his elder sister. An S Rank robot; Vesper. "Miss Vesper. Hello. I'm sorry, I'm not in your way, am I?"

    Vesper ignored the comment, sitting beside him and staring at him. "Sit."

    The dark skinned robot did so, awkwardly staring out at the sky again, aware that Vesper was staring at him. Uh oh. Did I make her mad somehow? Did I bump into her or something? What did I do?

    "General really did a number on you, yeah?" Vesper cooly reported.

    "...Our training sessions are simulated. My body hasn't been damaged whatsoever."

    "Not your body, Pastoral. Up here." Vesper prodded Pastoral's helmet with her fingers. "Your mind. Every session, you reinforce bad habits and develop new fears. Octave learns from those training sessions, but you? You're probably weaker than the day you started."

    "...It doesn't matter," Pastoral grumbled. "I was garbage to begin with."

    Vesper grasped the top of Pastoral's helmet, gripping hard with two fingers and turning his head. She looked him in the eye intensely, her face set with cold fury. "Wrong." The robot master leaned in. "I've been watching you for a while. Every day, you get stomped like a snake, but you keep trying and trying. That takes courage. And to top it all off, your timing is already perfect. You read Octave's moves, and used a creative solution to mess with him."

    Pastoral raised his eyebrow. "...I did?"

    "Your shield throw. When you tripped him. That wasn't luck, was it?" Vesper smirked. "I've seen Hymn try a thousand times to trip Octave in the hallway, but Octave ALWAYS outmaneuvers him. His program reflex is flawless. Tell me, how many times have YOU tripped Octave?"

    Pastoral rubbed his fingers together, a bit embarrassed. "...With my shield, a few times. But I trip him with my feet constantly. He hates it."

    "...Good. Well, tomorrow, meet me right here. I'm putting you on a new lesson plan." Vesper stood, clapping her hands together. "I needed something to do for a while, so I guess you're my new project."

    Smiling, Pastoral stood and bowed. "Thank you, Lady Vesper. If you think it will help, I'm willing to try."

    "If you bow to me again, or call me 'Lady,' I'll kick your head off. I hate that." Vesper leered at Pastoral, her left toe tapping the ground. "From here, I bet I could kick that skull of yours all the way to the factory district, no problem. Don't test me."

    Pastoral jerked upright. "Sorry."
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    It's Kruger
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    Re: Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  It's Kruger on October 6th 2015, 3:50 pm

    Marauder II

    Vesper dashed forward, a flurry of kicks following every forward advance. Scrap, in a machine-like fashion, dodged or deflected every attack with the middle section on the handle of his long axe. With her fruitless chain of attacks finished, Vesper jumped and planted both feet on Scrap's handle, springing off of it and landing just beside Octave in an attempt to gain distance.

    "One Minute." Octave huffed as he watched the dent slowly buff itself out. Vesper nodded in response, but one minute in a fight was an eternity.

    "You know... I've been in the Wastes a long time. Killed your kind as often as I ran into them. But, in all my years, I've never faced opponents as fierce and determined as you two. I will throughly enjoy revoking that damned city's right to remarkable warriors such as yourselves." Scrap paced forward in the classic, intimidating villain walk.

    "Thirty seconds." Octave stood and readied his blade. As Scrap approached closer, Octave's gaze upon the counter intensified.

    "We have to work together on this, Octave." Vesper's buster hummed with a low pulse, and Octave knew exactly what she wanted him to do.

    The clock hit zero as Scrap raised his axe above his head, ready to finish the injured and worn out combat masters. Vesper shouted incoherently as she fired a bomb from her buster, as it flew through the air, Octave leaped into the air and slashed the explosive, detonating it right in Scrap's face. Octave's blade cut so finely that he had landed before the severed charge exploded in Scrap's face, leaving the blue saber unharmed.

    Scrap staggered backwards, the explosion almost knocking him back on his ass. When he recovered, he was just able to block as Vesper's deadly leg came flying at him, but was unable to stop Octave's blade from slashing him across his lower torso. As Octave ran past, finishing his strike, Scrap attacked with a pendulum swing, Octave turning around and blocking the deadly strike.

    As Scrap regained control of his blade, he was met with a hammer kick to the top of the head and an impaling blade to the shoulder.

    Octave and Vesper backed off, not wishing to be hit by a retaliating strike from such a heavy Melee weapon.

    Enraged and furious, Scrap lugged his large, heavy frame forward as he readied a sweeping blow for Vesper and Octave, the two faster fighters easily dodging and landing on either side of Scrap.

    Vesper fired dozens of bombs in rapid succession, each landing on and detonating on Scrap's side. Stunned by the barrage, Scrap didn't see Octave closing in from behind.

    "HEAD-HUNTER!" SaberMan shouted as he blade practically doubled in length and shone in a eye-stabbing gleam of blue light. With the first slash, Octave completely severed Scrap's right leg, and with the second he swung upwards, deeply gnashing Scrap's chest, exposing his inner workings.

    "You are as flies! FLIES! I will SQUASH YOU UNDER MY BOOT LIKE THE INSECTS THAT YOU ARE!" Scrap screamed as Octave came in for the kill. Propping his leg-less side up with the base of his axe, Scrap regain balance and used his free hand to snatch Octave out of the air by the boot and slam him into the ground multiple times, forgetting entirely about Vesper in his rage.

    As Octave's body folded and bent under the the sheer power of Scrap's blows, Vesper closed in from behind. As Scrap hammered Octave into the floor once last time, she leaped into the air.

    "Ink Drop!" Vesper angled herself in midair, one leg bent to brace, and the other pointed straight down and charged with her signature energy-laced limbs. She came straight down, like a pencil dive, and connected her boot to the top of Scrap's head, smashing and shattering through it before she connected with the floor.

    Octave came tumbling out of Scrap's grasp, eventually landing still. As he did, he turned to see why he had been released, and if Scrap was coming in for another round to finish Octave off. This was not the case. Still propped upright by PaladinMan's axe, Scrap's lifeless body hung there like a statue, Vesper's attack not even leaving an integrated circuit behind to recover.

    "Holy shit..." Octave gasped as he attempted and failed to pull himself up.

    "I'm gonna need to carry you back, huh?" Vesper joked just after huffing. Her voice was breathy, obviously winded from the final assault to take Scrap down. Whether it was from physical exhaustion or the stress behind almost losing Octave was unsure.

    "What about the axe?" Octave said feebly, pointing at Scrap's corpse.

    "Leave it. Tanto would've liked this statue we're leaving." Vesper replied, smiling solemnly as she looked at the weapon, still pulsating with power.

    "You're not gonna wait for me to repair?"

    Vesper chuckled. "Only if you want those Marauders to come back and kill you."

    "You have a point."
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    It's Kruger
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    Re: Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  It's Kruger on November 20th 2015, 10:05 pm

    Ghosts of Days Gone By

    “Do you understand your position, General?” Doctor Monday looked at the combat master. Only years old, the Soul would be considered a child by human standards. Though he hated it, Monday understood the positions of combat masters were dire in these times and for many years to come. 

    “I understand, Doctor.” General nodded, his head held high in attention. Monday was one of the few humans the powerful warrior respected by choice rather than position.

    “I can’t imagine what it must feel like. What relation did you regard him in?” Monday tinkered with the wide open panel in General’s chest as he spoke on the touchy subject. 

    “With all due respect, Doctor, I would rather not speak ill of the dead.” General said simply. The manner General had begun carrying himself since the event was alien to Monday. Years ago, the young Soul held a fire in his eyes and a determination to succeed to make those he looked up to proud. The young General was as human as any other Soul Monday had met. Now, the master acted like the entity he saw himself: a robot built only for destruction. And the idea ached the doctor’s heart. 

    “Understood. I reworked your harness holding your integrated circuit, so cognitive function may be a bit shaky for a few minutes. I’d like to re-read your new set of duties, if that’s okay.” Monday sat back down in the chair behind him, turning towards a piece of paper he had put down only a few hours before. 

    “I understood the orders the first time you read them to me, Doctor.” General said, his gaze unbreaking from the non existent horizon at the other end of the room. 

    “I know, but, just in case your new harness messes your thoughts up at all.” Monday explained. 

    “Very well.” General nodded. 

    “Ahem. ‘FSN-003. From this day on you have been revoked the rights to your original name and have been assigned the title of General for your service and proof of benevolence in those harrowing days the people of New Harmony will not forget for years to come. With the title of General, you are granted total military control of any and all combat masters to enter your ranks, but are denied any weight in the affairs of the human military. 

    Any acquisition of your forces by the human military are mandatory orders that you must abide. However, the specific units you wish to grant will but up to your discretion. 

    You are to hold the security of New Harmony and her people above all else. Any and all decisions you are authorized to make will be up for review after the fact by a council of humans. Any violation of these orders will result in a striping of your title and replacement by a successor of your choice.’ And the rest is just congratulations and wishes for good luck.” Monday paused, expecting General to have a comment or complaint. In fact, Monday hoped for a debate in some of the aspects of these duties, but no such reply came from the sturdy robot. 

    “Listen, Mar- General. After what you did… The sheer numbers of lives you saved? You can barter some better terms for you to lead under.” Monday said, his voice lowered and his tone dead serious. General turned his head to Monday, looking directly at the doctor for the first time since the battle three months ago. 

    General’s eyes were stern, but empty. His face was emotionless and cold. The Soul Monday had gotten to know was dead. While it was understandable, Monday was sad to see him go. 

    In his mind, Monday thought of the stories of heroes in the ancient world he had read between ruined pages and rough translations. He once thought of his two greatest inventions as destined messiahs to rid the world of the evil that surrounded them. But this was not to come. And then the doctor realized that this was the true fate of the hero: to fall to his own good deeds and become something he can no longer recognize. 

    And now the doctor’s last hope for the world he had dreamed the Souls would create fell to those who would come after General. He just hoped he could live long enough to see this come to bloom.
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    It's Kruger
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    Re: Metallic Knights: Short Stories

    Post  It's Kruger on January 1st 2016, 9:15 pm

    Lilies

    Journal Entry 6: Am I Alive?

    I've been confused a lot lately. Yesterday, I saw a really pretty flower by the Doctor’s lab, and he called it a Lilly. I've never seen anything as beautiful, and now I'm confused about why humans get each other roses to show their love instead of lilies. 

    While I was looking at the Lilly, General showed up, and I don't know from where. He told me that the Lilly was better than me because it was alive and I'm not. I don't know why he told me this, but I didn't like it. When I asked the Doctor what General meant, he seemed sad. the Doctor told me that Souls come from the Domain, and no one knows where the Domain came from. So, General doesn't really know if we’re man made or not. 

    I think I misunderstood what questions are. Because I thought that, when you ask a question, the person you ask answers. When I ask questions, I just have more. Why don't we know where the Domain came from? Does that mean I'm alive? Why did General call me a machine if even he doesn't know where Souls come from?

    I guess I could ask the Doctor again, but I don't want to bother him too much.

    Journal Entry 7: My Weapon

    I got my weapon today. It’s weird, apparently I've been using a buster to train because my sword wasn't ready. The Doctor told me it was his best sword in a long time. But I don't think I'll keep it. It feels heavy and it's hard to swing. I'll ask the Doctor if I could get my buster back. But that might hurt his feelings, so, I don't know what to do. 

    I guess I haven't been alive… I guess I haven't had a body long enough to know which weapon I'll stick with. Maybe the Doctor knows best. The only thing I seem to know is that I don't know. 

    Journal Entry 8: Training

    I don't like training. It always hurts, but when I get hurt too much, my body isn't damaged at all. And now with my sword it gets super fast and it's hard to keep up. It's been like a dream I can feel and remember. Yesterday I got a cut on my face and I grabbed it because it hurt. He was so mad that I broke my stance to grab my face he stabbed me, and then the stab was gone. It doesn't make sense. 

    Pastoral is really lucky. He’s already so good at what he does, he doesn't really need to train on it anymore. I can win a single fight against anyone. General told me I'm a C Rank, the lowest of the low. But when Lady Opera told me about the ranks, she said they’re just used to measure strength, not judge one’s worth. But I don't think that's how everyone else uses it. 

    I wanted to talk to General today, but he was yelling at some master with a saber I have hardly ever seen around. He spends most of his time out in the Wastes fighting Malevolent. Maybe tomorrow I can ask General to have my training eased a little. 

    Entry 9: Power

    General told me I have to learn to fight, because it is my duty to protect the humans of New Harmony. I don't know why, no one ever asked me if I wanted to protect people. If I had to protect anything, it would be the dogs I've met in New Harmony. One came up to me yesterday and licked my face with his long tongue. The dog’s human screamed when she saw me and took the dog away like I was gonna hurt him. I didn't even have my weapon drawn. She just saw my metal body and thought I'd hurt her dog. I don't like humans very much. 

    It's never made much sense to me. Humans took me out of the… 

    It's never made much sense to me. Humans got me through the Forge and told me to fight for them, but they still fear me. I don't want humans thanking me all the time, but once would be nice. I told this stuff to Pastoral, who’s older and smarter than me, and he told me not to think about it like that. That humans are just scared because they don't understand us. 

    But I don't want to be super powerful. Cavatino told me that power was something I could use to protect the things I care about. But everything I care about are already protected by other masters who are a lot stronger than I am, but I still train almost every day and it feels like it's for no reason. 

    Entry 10: My Dream

    I don't want to train, but I will. I have it all figured out. I want to become really powerful and fight for New Harmony. Maybe if I become strong enough, one day humans won't need Combat Masters and I won't have to fight anymore. If I can make that dream come true, then maybe I can have my own garden like Monday has, and I can have my own lilies. 

    Though I don't know where to get lilies from. And I can't use the one by the lab because General killed the flower and said “Octave must focus on his training.”

    But he didn't have to. Hymn switched to a mace from his sword, so that makes me one of the only swordsmen in New Harmony. I hate it, but if General keeps training me, I'll become powerful.
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    It's Kruger
    Freelancer Operative

    Posts : 336
    Join date : 2013-01-17
    Age : 20
    Location : 'murica.

    Blink

    Post  It's Kruger on January 26th 2016, 2:16 am

    Blink

    Fiera, a young silver-clad master, spun around at the end of her charge, looping her right foot around into a spinning kick as her left remain on the floor, carrying her forward momentum on the wheels placed at the bottom of her foot. The kick connected to Octave’s right arm in a block, stopping Fieramente’s roll towards him on the instant of contact. The younger master backed away, drawing both of her red, wrist mounted energy blades before charging Octave once more.

    “Is this really necessary, General?” Vesper sighed within the observation room of the simulation arena. Despite the chamber’s ability to replicate any environment to do battle in, even areas that no long exist due to the fallout of the War, the two combatants chose the plain white room with the blue grid still activated a few inches above the floor.

    “For a Master only decades old, she can give Octave a run for his money. Either she is a truly skilled Soul, or Manhattan’s talent as an engineer is beginning to surface.” General’s gaze was unmoving from the battle, while Vesper’s was affixed judgingly to the side of his head.

    Ignition...” Fiera’s Burnout Cutters, her signature blades, began to glow with a red flame as she detached both from her wrist mounts and grabbed them by a small handle on the base of both weapons. Fieramente shot her left foot in front of herself, quickly stopping her dash to Octave as she pointed both blades at the blue combat masters.

    Detonation!!” The flames engulfed Fieramente’s Burnout Cutters and came searing through the air, attempting to strike Octave. The agile Octave leaped backwards and to the side on his right, expecting to dodge the attack perfectly.

    But the horizontal pillars of flames adjusted, curving its trajectory to chase Octave. When he saw the fires closing in on him, SaberMan’s only course of action was to run and avoid the attack as best he could, trying to block or deflect fire seemed redundant and painful. When he finally ran in a full circle, Octave set course for Fieramente’s position, her stance still as she focused to keep the flames affixed to Octave’s position.

    “Time-Skimmer.” Octave muttered just loud enough to hear. One of the most powerful abilities out of any A-Ranked master’s arsenal, the time-skimmer allowed Octave to weave in and out of the seconds, giving himself the appearance of rapid short-range teleport at high speeds. In the blink of an eye, Octave was just beside Fiera, his blade arcing upwards, cutting her right cutter by the top of the hilt, destroying the weapon and cutting the potency of the flames behind him by half. In under a second, Octave was on the other side of Fie, her own fire pillar directed right for her.

    Too late to save herself from her own attack, Fieramente turned around, throwing her remaining Burnout Cutter into Octave’s back, the blade planting itself between Octave’s shoulder and chest on his right side. A non-fatal hit, but enough to disable use of his saber until the self-repair function could fix it. Though it seemed Fiera had won the day for a second, her detonation attack struck her flat on the back, cutting through the metal on her back and stopping just before coming out the other side.

    When the simulation had ended, both masters were near-death and struggling to stave off Lock-Down. In a split second, all their wounds were completely healed, and their position returned into their starting stances from before the battle had begun. Fieramente’s blade had been returned to perfect condition, and Octave’s right arm was without a scratch.

    “A truly interesting display of speed and skill.” General clapping, slowly and almost insultingly as he exited the observation room. “But, Fieramente, Octave is the victor. However, you are still the most powerful of the recent Combat Masters, and have given me hope that the more recent warriors are not all without hope.” General patted Fieramente on the shoulder, smiling as he looked to see Octave’s glare pierce through his thick green visor.

    “I would have won if I had that Time-Skimmer of yours.” Fieramente crossed her arms and closed her eyes, absolutely sure of every word she had just said.

    “And if I had those cutters, you wouldn’t have lasted thirty second.” Octave shot back, snark in his tone and piss in his vinegar.

    The two fastest masters glared at each other for a solid ten seconds before drawing their blades once more and continuing the simulation. General stepped back into the observation room, a smirk on his face spanning from ear to ear.

    “Octave’s not the rival type, General. I don’t know what you think you’ll accomplish here.” Vesper sighed, turning to exit the room and return to the New Harmony streets.

    “It’s not for Octave. He’ll beat her every time… For now.”

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