Who Shall Yield, and Who Shall Wield [CLOSED]

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Volksgeist
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Who Shall Yield, and Who Shall Wield [CLOSED]

Post by Volksgeist » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:17 pm

Image
MOJAVE DESERT
The prelude to Volksgeist's arrival was uncharacteristically curt.

Brilliant mauve flames spiraled across the space before the subterranean bunker; only a single burst of fire marked the Nation-Spirit's entry atop the desert sands, individual granules and swathes of dust heated to ungodly temperatures and outright crystallized into glass where his boots touched earth. He appeared to walk out of the gate from which he had apparated, his stride unbroken as the mist of fragmented ground settled around the epicenter of his translocation.

He could feel it here. Its presence called to him, and whether by choice or by mere chance, it was here, within this hidden compound. Who the structure belonged to and whether or not they guarded such a place was beyond the reach of his God-Sense, and at such a point in time, the Nation-Spirit did not necessarily care for an answer. The Olden Axe was here, and he would wait no longer in its retrieval. Though his body still ached with the wounds sustained during the destruction of Krakatau, he would brave any amount of pain to recover the armament of his fallen brother, surmount any foe which stood in his path.

The weapon had nearly been lost once before, in Rome. It would not happen here.

Stahlzahn was summoned to his hand in a brief pulse of indigo light, its holy blade catching the light of the Mojave and shining under the intense shroud of the sun which bore down upon the desert. Volksgeist approached the entryway to the laboratory with thundering footfalls and, without so much as a single instant of hesitation, rose the sword far above his plumed helmet before bringing the edge crashing down upon the blast doors of the bunker.

KRRSSHNNNNNMMMMMMMMM.

Desert was shattered under the force of the swing, a deafening shockwave erupting out into daybreak and leaving a magnificent crater where its blessed edge met earth. The Bladesmith's indomitable will was made manifest, every iota of his strength poured into the strike meant to tear the guarded compound in twain.

And yet, as the whirling dust settled and the earth cried out, the walls of the bunker remained standing-- damaged, visibly, but still unbroken.

All the exertion, all for naught.

The scorched blade of Stahlzahn fell to his side, point digging into the sanded ground as the Earthshaker stepped back once, twice. He gave a heaving breath, raised the saber once more, and struck, over and over, as many times as was needed to crack the shell which housed the Olden Axe. His blows were weaker, softer than the initial strike which gave the world pause, but they thundered out into the Mojave nonetheless. Volksgeist roared out into the scalding sands, his anger building with every resounding blow.


"BREAK, DAMN YOU!"

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Re: Who Shall Yield, and Who Shall Wield [CLOSED]

Post by illirica » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:43 pm

Recurrence
.
She knew he was there, as he arrived - just like she had always known that he would be coming.

Volksgeist was not one to give up easily, and Teja was aware that what had happened beneath the caldera was nothing like giving up. Truthfully, she was surprised that she'd had as much time as there had been, but... perhaps he, like her, had needed to attend to other matters. A list of things that needed to be done, and hydra-like, for everything accomplished, there were two more things added.

She'd gotten a lot better at her classical metaphors since she'd started spending more time with Hector, to be certain. Volksgeist wasn't here for her newfound ability to quote epic poetry, though - he was here for one thing, and one thing only.

Erujaorn.

It was in her hand as the first strike shattered itself against her bastion. She didn't respond immediately, other problems occupying her attention for a moment. Teja would have liked to devote more than a moment to those things, but it couldn't happen. Not this time.

She had her own battle to fight, without her Society. Teja would just have to trust them, as they trusted her. Volksgeist could not be permitted to join that battle - and she had no doubt that the conflict would call to him. Her task, then, was to keep him off the field.

Easy enough, since it was her that he wanted anyway. AMPERE held against his strikes, one after another. It was built to be protective, after all - inside and out. Teja sighed softly, closing her eyes and taking a moment just to breathe, the biotic fluid from the POWER:CELL tank still dripping from her hair. She'd not exactly had time to be fully presentable, but that was always a risk, when one dropped by unannounced.

Her eyes opened again, and the magnetic currents that surrounded her slid the walls of AMPERE aside, opening the facility unto the desert, and the demigod that raged outside it.

It wasn't the first time that had happened.

"Volksgeist." His voice was a shout of rage, hers was a whisper of calm. She stood unflinching, watching him across the distance, the axe he had no doubt come to claim resting in the palm of her hand. "Is this necessary?"


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Re: Who Shall Yield, and Who Shall Wield [CLOSED]

Post by Volksgeist » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:29 pm

The building, sporadic fury within the Nation-Spirit eventually and inevitably mollified into a lull, Stahlzahn falling once more to the Eldest's hip as he removed himself, slowly, from the radius of destruction which surrounded the gates of the bunker. Erujaorn had begun to move, and with his infallible extrasensory abilities, the Bladesmith traced its journey and prepared for its culminating arrival. Dusted air was heaved into tired lungs and expelled with the bare hint of a wheeze, the mortality which fractured his soul now obvious in the varying effects it carried upon the Earthshaker.

Of course it was her unmistakable presence which graced the vestiges of his God-Sense, the essence of the Olden Axe intermingled alongside Teja Docesznic's own mark upon reality. Would she recognize him even in his changed form, even with his Star-Blessed armor donned? Yes, yes she would-- his voice had not changed from his time upon Krakatoa, and she no doubt felt the aftershocks of his angered roars from atop the surface of the desert.

Her calling of the Nation-Spirit by name only cemented this notion. She asked him if the act of nearly splitting her den in twain was wholly necessary, and Volksgeist scoffed at her words, raising his metal arm to point the flame-ended tip of Stahlzahn at the woman which had nearly slain his innocent wife to try and get to him and him alone-- the weapon's mauve-embroiled point echoed its wielder's unquenchable rage. He did not come to debate what was right or wrong, what was needed and unnecessary.


"Was nearly putting a blade through my wife necessary, you bitch?"


The Bladesmith's tone was terse. Uncharacteristic, in a sense, because the booming and clarion quality of his voice had since faded to something that might have even been considered modern, in a vague sense. The eloquence, the poise in his comportment and aura had faded; it was shown in the relatively bare and jagged armor he donned, the absence of gold and lustrous engravings leaving little sheen upon the surface of the plating; instead of a composed, tightened stance, his legs were separated and grounded, his free hand possessing each finger curled as if he were to claw some approaching threat. Only after a moment's examination would the revelation of five talons reach the eye, each fingertip of the gauntlet having been sharpened to a razor-thin, lethal point.

Even the ornamental aesthetic of his helm had disappeared; in its place, only a single trench down the middle of the face was present, a mauve fire and mist creeping out from the depths within the metal mask. The gladiator plume, too, marked a departure to classical violence.


"You're lucky I spare you these words. Give me the axe. Now. I will not ask a second time."

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Re: Who Shall Yield, and Who Shall Wield [CLOSED]

Post by illirica » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:54 pm

"Was it necessary?" Teja shrugged, one-sided. "I don't know. Had I not, would you have had the conflict you needed to achieve your goals?" She took note of him, the way he'd changed. Different armor, likely meaningful. She couldn't know what its capabilities were. As much as she had made an effort to move in directly and not spend time staying back assessing abilities since she'd shifted her alias from Capacitor to Recurrent, taking time to assess his abilities was exactly what was needed here - both because she was buying time for the Society, and because she was here with him, alone.

Every bit of information helped - and every bit of time helped.

She wasn't exactly going to invite him to sit down for tea, however. It hardly seemed ideal - both because he was a bit angry at the moment, and because Teja really did not like tea. The claw points at his hand were intriguing - no doubt extremely sharp. She wasn't wearing her armor - she could have recalled it to her, but it was possible that the claw could have sliced through the armor anyway. She left it off, for now. AMPERE was her armor - it hummed around them, static in the walls, waiting for her call. She did not give it.

Instead she struck - not with a blade, but with words, and truth:

"Let's be honest with ourselves. If you stepped back for a moment from the pain I caused you, you loved every minute of it - because I dared to challenge you in a way I don't think anyone ever has before." Teja moved then, one step towards him, then a second. Unhurried, cautious, waiting. Watching. Accusing. "If you weren't entirely in love with her, you'd be half in love with me. For that, I have to thank her."

She was hardly interested in being a demigod's plaything, after all - and as Volksgeist had accused her, she "Knew something of a god's love for a mortal." With all the classical literature she'd caught up on recently, she also knew how it usually went for the mortal. It was not a fate she was interested in.

Teja stared him down, unabashed. "I will give this to you when you deserve it."

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Re: Who Shall Yield, and Who Shall Wield [CLOSED]

Post by Volksgeist » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:03 am

This woman had the gall to chastise him, after all she had done to him. After all he had sacrificed to secure the revival of his one true love. The way she stood there, complacent within the walls of her little rat's hole, axe in hand like it was some sort of trophy she taunted him with... Gods, it angered him, angered him to no end. His knuckles tensed, fingers curling in upon one another-- and while there might have once been a chorus of snaps from the movement of the joints, there was now only silence and the inaudible sound of cloth stretching taut across the gaps within individual plates. The claws dug into his palm, but they did not rend through the fabric and godflesh upon which they had settled.

"If you wholeheartedly believe that I had derived any semblance of pleasure from that night, then your beating has instilled far more brain damage than I'd anticipated."


The Bladesmith approached, now, Stahlzahn's incinerating apex still leveled with the woman's torso. She was unarmored-- why, he did not know. The uncertainty as to the reasoning behind her deliberate show of weakness rose questions within the Nation-Spirit's mind and gave him pause, his thundering footsteps halting his encroaching form a manageable distance away from his target. Was she taunting him by bringing the only weapon that could truly hope to kill him? Or was this a fatal complacency, with her prior exchange with the Eldest leaving her confident in challenging him once more?


"As if I would love you."
Volksgeist spat, tone venemous.

"As if anyone would ever love you, Teja Docesznic."


The Nation-Spirit lowered his divine saber, letting its flaming tip dig into the sand and turn the surrounding waves of dust coalesce into melted, liquid droves of glass that ran grooves into the seated earth. He uncurled his fist, pointing an accusatory finger at her, now.


"You lock yourself away in that little workshop of yours, toiling away for hours on end to distract from the all-encompassing void around you. Is that why you wear a seal, you pathetic woman? Do not talk to me about love. You have never experienced, nor will experience, what that emotion truly is. You claim to be a hero, you uphold your Society as a beacon of hope, you work tirelessly to defend your planet, and what happens?"


His hand turned inward, gesturing to himself before motioning out to the open air.


"I arrive, and I undo all of it. Your technology meant-- means-- absolutely nothing to me. You lost. You could do nothing but lose, and history will soon repeat itself, as it always does. Your allies could not help you at Krakatoa when I mercilessly flayed you, nor did your tech. Do not think this will be any different."


She'd spoken of earning the Olden Axe. As if he needed to lay claim to it, as if he somehow needed to pass a test. The footsteps which rolled across the desert hills began once more, rising in a crescendo punctuated by the Nation-Spirit's roar.


"YOU KNOW NOTHING OF THAT AXE, YOU IMPUDENT WHORE!"


Eventually, he came to a stop once more, the distance between the two only tens of paces.


"THAT AXE BELONGED TO MY KIN! AN ELDEST! OF COURSE, THAT MEANS NOTHING TO YOU NOW, DOES IT? YOU NAIVE MORTAL. AS IF I NEED TO EARN THAT AXE. AS IF MY TRIALS UPON THAT VOLCANO, BEATING EACH ONE OF YOUR FRAGILE COMRADES INTO THE ASHEN DIRT WAS NOT ENOUGH."


His tone eventually quieted, voice falling into silence. There was a moment of tension, palpable tension in the quiet, and the Bladesmith cut through it all with a soft chuckle.


"By the Weaponeer's flames, I will have that axe, but I will not be finished there. I will make sure you still have enough meaningless life within your heart to witness each of your allies die in front of you, crushed into Un-Being. I will make sure of it. One by one, I will murder them. Garrick. Sterlyn. Flint. Williams. But I won't get satisfaction out of their deaths, no."


A pause, barely. As if he couldn't stop himself, as if he couldn't hold back the words.


"I shall be satisfied knowing that there was nothing you could do about their fates, just like at Krakatau."

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Re: Who Shall Yield, and Who Shall Wield [CLOSED]

Post by illirica » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:08 am


Volksgeist tensed, but he wasn't provoked into stupidity. Still, he took the time to speak, and every moment speaking was another moment for the Society to complete their mission. He walked towards her, speaking in ignominiable insults, beneath both of them - and then, as if by some unprompted guidance, his talk turned to love.
.
"You have never experienced, nor will experience, what that emotion truly is."

Of course she hadn't - and how could she? Electricity suffused every part of her - she could barely even touch someone for more than a moment without unleashing it. Within a few short years, she wouldn't even have that. No. He was right. She knew nothing of love, and she never would. It was something that she had long ago told herself that she accepted.

The unwarranted jolt of lightning said otherwise. Her control on the left side was weak - the replaced limb had no feeling to it, and it seemed that affected her ability to contain herself, as well. It wasn't only her inability to move it that had kept her careful not to touch people with that hand - it was that she didn't trust herself not to ground out unintentionally.

AMPERE caught the storm, as it had been designed to. Her technology that he disparaged. A screen flashed against the wall: >Activate apocatastasis protocol?

Not yet. Not yet. Teja dismissed the warning with a complicated chain of electrical subtleties, designed specifically to test her control. It was not easy, but she made herself breathe, slowly, and follow the patterns in order to bring everything back under careful control.

"You mistake the purpose of my technology," she said, softly. It was not to defeat him, nor to keep him out. It was to keep her in. Always, always, to keep her distant - where she could touch no one.

Where she could hurt no one - because that was the closest she would ever come to allowing herself to love.

Her fingers caressed the hilt of the axe, absentmindedly. It soothed her, somewhat, though it should not have. He must have noticed, because he objected, with all the volume he could muster - but it was not his insults that shook her.

No.

It was his prophecy.

Her hand on the axe tightened, a proper grip known instinctively, and she stepped forward towards him. "You will not touch them." The lightning flickered around her in a corona - hers, Erujaorn's, it didn't matter - they were one, until they were divided. "Just because you've driven away all of your kin gives you no right to attack mine - and make no mistake, they are my people."

Every one of them.

Perhaps she knew something of love, after all, though not in the sense he had meant it - but she would not let him cut down her people. He had taken Invictus, and even that was too heavy a price to bear. He had no right. She rode the lightning as it crackled around her, stopping short of him, to one side, the axe in a low guard, prepared for a strike. With the lightning field, he was in her range even if she remained outside of his. "Do you think your trials are worthy of this axe? You did what you wanted, and you think that somehow gives you the right to the Tesla Coil?" She chose not his word for it, but the Future-Forge's, deliberately.

"You will apologize for the death of Michael Carter, and you will be grateful that he gave me a reason not to cut you down, Volksgeist. He was a better man than you are, and infinitely more deserving of this weapon."

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Re: Who Shall Yield, and Who Shall Wield [CLOSED]

Post by Volksgeist » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:13 am

The female warrior responded with a vague riposte, chiding the Nation-Spirit for his ignorance regarding the true nature of her idiotic handiwork. The remark only strengthened Volksgeist's suspicions further, the deep-seated caution within his mind piquing as he sought to discern what she had truly meant by her words. If it were not to protect her, then the converse would be to guard those around her-- and if she lacked the control to properly contain herself without the need of supplementary technology, it was all the more weakness for the Eldest to exploit.

"I misunderstand nothing. The end result is the same-- protecting yourself, protecting others, you will always be alone in your pursuits."


At Krakatau, the Society had fought with a lack of honor. Driven by a need to break his spirit, they had employed every tactic available to their smearing, mortal hands, honorable or dishonorable. Volksgeist intended to repay each cowardly act, each shameless attack in full. Insulting Recurrent's worth, degrading her sense of self was but the beginning of his untimely retribution-- and for all she had said to him, about using Valkyrie as a martyr for his cause, this verbal assault was practically a mercy.

Teja Docesznic stood tall against his threats, the axe brimming with energy she could never fully utilize. It was the very same reason Orlando Kent was helpless against the usurping of his own electrical form at the summit of the island; the lightning which emanated from the Olden Axe was divine. Beyond human comprehension, is essence might have been able to be swayed by the woman's penchant for electrical subjugation, but never fully tamed. And that would be her undoing, would it not? He understood that weapon; she did not. Even now, she used a name that was never intended for its form. The Tesla Coil.

Poetic, how she would bring up the likes of Alton.


"Do you remember what I said to you, upon the Empyrean? Chevron and Akhilleus were the first to fall, and you were to be next."


His steps drew closer, but his pace was slow, methodical. Like a predator closing in upon the kill, his boots kissed the ground with only the barest hint of shockwaves, the sands vibrating with untold promises and unkempt anger that resided within his construct. His head tilted to the side-- partly in mocking, partly in analyzation.


"Do you remember what happened, at Krakatau? Perhaps your injuries press you to forget, perhaps the trauma begs you never to recall-- but deep down, you do remember, don't you? The spiraling blackness. The futility. My prophecy was correct, Teja Docesznic. You fell first. What makes you think I will not remain true to my word, now, after you have incurred the wrath of a god?"


Again, the pause in his breath was achingly short, the words unstoppable in their erupting tide.


"I do not hold an iota of remorse for Michael Carter's death, Teja Docesznic. Any sympathy that remained with my mind was cast out. By you. My only regret is not doing the same to each... and every... one of you. I regret not tearing that coward's body in twain and displaying his battered corpse to you. You could have escaped this, all of you, had it not been for your fatal action that night. The swing of that axe upon my Solveig has sealed your destiny. Mark my words. You will die from your own incompetency, and the hubris of Invictus."


A grunt, a scoff was directed at the woman next.


"Do you think I have any respect for that dead man? Killing him was doing this reality a favor. He was weak, and in his attempt to show bravado, he was struck down. He asked me if I felt fear, under the leeching presence of his shield, and do you know what I told him?"


He stopped, now, just mere paces away from Recurrent. Volksgeist towered over her, gaze downcast.


"I told him of my fight with a member of my kin. Verfaulen. He slew my wife in cold blood, and fled like a coward, stealing her weapon in the wake of all else he had taken from me. I described to him how I had killed that bastard god and left his body, dead, in the frozen snow. The revelation of my mortality only came to me long after the high of the battle had faded."


Stahlzahn was raised, poised to rend any obstacle placed within its path. His voice was seething with malice, misanthropy.


"He had committed the same unholy act as you. The killing of Solveig. Only he was successful. Think about what this means for you, Teja Docesznic. Ponder what fate awaits you."


The holy sword was moved to his right hand, now, his left arm stretching out with the palm opened as if to accept tribute.


"Return Erujaorn, or I will undo your existence."
Last edited by Volksgeist on Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Who Shall Yield, and Who Shall Wield [CLOSED]

Post by illirica » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:25 pm

He came to her, closer and closer, and murmured threat after threat, as if any one of them was going to change her mind. As if any one of them was going to change his. Volksgeist had already made his intentions known, and his new round of threats couldn't find purchase. He wanted the axe - and he thought by threatening her, she might hand it over. He sought to terrify her into submission, but he didn't invoke fear - only sadness, and regret. If he was going to kill her anyway, then fear mattered very little. She would stand against him, as long as she was able.

It was possible that the answer to that equation was not very long at all - but she didn't think so. Volksgeist wanted to kill her, certainly, but he didn't want to kill her yet. He would strike for pain, for damage. He would strike to cripple her, to force her down, to break her into something that couldn't fight against him while he slaughtered everyone she cared about.

But he would not kill her.

That meant she could buy them time. She took another step, circling, looking for where she might strike against his new armor. Not from behind, not this time. She'd used that attack to great effect the last time they'd fought, but he would expect it again, and be prepared to guard against it.

Erujaorn arced before her, not a strike, but a cast, its own lightning flung from its edge, and she twisted it as it emerged, focusing the strike towards a single point - the crack in Volksgeist's helm. It was entirely possible that it would be shielded, but even if it were, the sudden onslaught of light might give her a moment to act - and act she did, twisting the axe with her wrist as she moved forward behind the lightning strike, the blade coming down again to strike shallowly at his breastplate even as she was already moving away.

Standing against him directly, she knew, would not go well for her - he was larger, stronger. Her advangage was in her quickness, and she would do best to dart in and out, taking small strikes to test her adversary and wear him down. One attack at a time, interspersed. She watched him, waiting for a counter.

"Solveig..." Teja tumbled the name softly, thoughtfully, as if in turning it over she might find some hidden meaning there. Volksgeist spoke of her, of the resurrection, of her life. His wife yet lived, even with Teja's attempts to the contrary, and there was some meaning in that. Volksgeist had been willing to sacrifice everything for her, and now he came to Teja and preached about love and its lack. He accused her of not having love, and yet...

And yet. The last time they had engaged, he had been convinced - so completely convicted of his love, his hope, his rightness. This time, though, his insults were not invictions, but condemnations, and the bitterness that suffused every one of them was not something that came of love. Teja watched him, in slowly sparking curiosity, probing at the situation and finding an unanswered inquiry:

"Why isn't she with you?"

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Re: Who Shall Yield, and Who Shall Wield [CLOSED]

Post by Volksgeist » Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:21 am

Volksgeist was no stranger to the rising tide of an inevitable battle; the tension within the air had slowly begun to reach its apex, hostilities bleeding over the edge of the tenuous peace and slowly filling the proffered well of war. Blood would be exacted within the barren dunes of the Mojave; the gods would witness every spilled droplet, hear every strained cry of agony, feel every iota of will and pain. The very thought of crossing blades with this insufferable bitch, the simple notion of her opposition to his course of vengeance-- it was enough to spur on the deepest of fires within his heart, the infernal malevolence reaching a crescendo that was unable to be ignored.

The female warrior lashed out with a bolt of electricity, forgoing the use of the divine Erujaorn as the first attack in her offensive; the Nation-Spirit kept a close guard, and though he could not actively block the bolt which shot out towards him across the sands, he could prepare himself for the pain which awaited him.

Echoes of the pair's engagement through the flames of Krakatoa called back to him as the lightning coursed through his skull, the Eldest's mind instantly hazing through the sheer agony which had been imparted upon his armored frame; the electricity shot down his body, the faint tremor of his own muscles suppressed as he stifled a building roar and remained calm, poised to see past the torturous assault and anticipate what would inevitably follow. There was a flash of metal, the hum of the divine storm, and Volksgeist instinctively reeled himself backward into a backwards roll; there was the ear-splitting screech of blade upon armor as the Earthshaker brought his boots over his head as he turned himself over, palm pressing into a three-point stance as he looked back up at his adversary with Stahlzahn pointed out to the side.

Electricity hummed around inside the helmet, its energy stored. The Nation-Spirit broke out into a sprint, his own footsteps an unending assault upon Teja Docesznic's balance and grace. The lightning within his helm crackled before focusing, unseen, within the single trench upon his armored face; the depths of the plating grew bright with a deep indigo hue before a single detonation erupted from the Bladesmith's visage.

It was a thin, vertical line of divine energy, the exact properties of which were unknown even to the Nation-Spirit. It was not electricity, nor was it fire-- it was solid, corporeal, and the edges which struck the sands outright cleaved into the dusted ground and sprayed plumes of pulverized rock high into the arid expanse of the desert. Volksgeist did not press his advantage, however, opting to lay in wait as if to invite his opponent to strike once more.


"Why, Teja Docesznic? So you can try once more to drive an axe into her chest?"


He was silent, now. For a moment, he only lay circling, watching, purposefully shifting to the entrance of the bunker to leave the woman isolated from her sanctuary. He would not answer her question, not yet. Every moment she spent in speech was a moment lost to her.

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Re: Who Shall Yield, and Who Shall Wield [CLOSED]

Post by illirica » Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:21 pm


He caught her lightning, and held it. Not within himself, but within his armor - she could feel it still there, a maelstrom circuit, waiting to be unleashed. So. That would not work either, then, not this time. Volksgeist had prepared himself, to fight against her, and Teja...

Teja had prepared her Society.

That wouldn't help her now, but it would help the world - which had always been the goal. She smiled a little bit, to herself, but the desert itself thundered warning of his approach, steps pacing towards her. She waited for his approach, Erujaorn held in a guard before her. It was no shield as was Hollenfeuer, but if the divine bulwark could cleave, then the divine axe could certainly protect.

His steps shuddered to a halt just as the energy within his helm built itself up to eruption. The blast came not in a wide arc, but in the finest of razors, and its blade lacerated the desert, bleeding rock and dust into the static-laced air. Erujaorn held fast before her, and the discharged energy splintered upon the blade.

What damage would that sort of strike have done to the weapon of the Eldest? Teja didn't know, she only knew that it had not been all in vain. There was an incorrectness there that echoed somehow, in ways that engineering could not explain.

She knelt, grains of sand beneath her, the axe placed before her, hilt upright with her hand resting upon it lightly. She studied the desert, where his strike had cleaved the land - the way it had split, fractured, fragmented. Her hand moved, atop the divine weapon, gentle, as if she might soothe away its wounds with a caress.

"Will you destroy what you seek, Nation-Spirit?" she inquired, softly, the question laced with regretful pity, "You would not be the first to do so." Would he strike the axe again? Would he splinter it into oblivion, because he would rather see it brought to ruination than allow her to have it?

"I ask about Solveig because I want to know what she's like. The life you traded, for Michael Carter's sacrifice." Teja watched him, as she spoke - calm words, thoughtful. She did not move from her position - she had no need to. He had positioned himself between her and her AMPERE, deliberately.

Trapped himself.

The facility itself was made of panels, exactly as was her Valence Shell. Also like the Valence Shell, it was designed to keep her energy in, and the destruction of others out. And also like Valence Shell, each panel was a heavily armored capacitor, and one that could be weaponized at any moment. She loosened the magnetic lock around the one behind Volksgeist and pulled it suddenly forward, a three-meter hexagon of electrified shell cracking the sound barrier as it moved to strike the demigod who dared to stand before it. Force, mass, acceleration, momentum - she angled it only slightly, and struck with enough emphasis that it could impact with enough force to hurl someone of his relative mass off into the distant desert horizon with no opposing force to counter it.

This was her place, in every sense of the word.

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