Episode 043: Introductions! Allies From Another World
Episode 043: Introductions! Allies From Another World
Gorun Nova shot a blast of regular laser energy point blank, but Lina's courageous psy-energy flowed through the brass racket and combined itself with the courage of Amelia, Zelgadis, Gourry and Filia as they too placed their hands on the handle of the brass racket. A bright light emerged from the end of the racket, the beam of psy-energy pushing back the laser energy of Gorun Nova's canon and causing it to explode within him. The brass racket was broken by the intensity, but the blast was effective.
"No!" Gorun Nova retreated as the light faded. He shook in the air as sparks and electricity surrounded the dark vessel. His main weapons system was completely put out of order by an internal chain reaction that also damaged all his systems. They were a lot stronger than he expected them to be in the over-world and they had a means to call upon psy-energy. Gorun Nova retreated beyond the atmosphere into space. His self repair and cooling systems were working at full capacity. He had underestimated Lina's little group, even though he should have known better after traveling with them for so long.
Yet the psy-energy wasn't pure, there was some fear and a lot of wrath mixed with the courage, thus regardless of the extremely close range, the hit wasn't fatal. Yet if they mastered their emotions and focused on his weaknesses as a dark lost ship, a hit at such a close range that went inside him would have been much worse. Gorun Nova wouldn't take that risk again. He wouldn't fight at such close range. They would have to find a way off that planet or they would starve. He would meet them again, in outer space where they could not move freely on their own for lack of oxygen. He would fight them where they couldn't get close to him. After all, no matter what kind of ship they could manage to get their hands on, a lost ship would always be superior.
After Gorun Nova left, Lina, Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadis and Filia sat on the ground resting for a while. They weren't sure how they were supposed to get off that planet. In a vessel similar to Gorun Nova, everyone save for Gourry would theorize, but where would they find such a thing on a deserted planet? How would they even find sustenance? What would they do if Gorun Nova recovered and returned or the other weapons of light turned vessels came looking for them?
Lina's quiet worries about food didn't escalate too far, as after a while of resting, just as they were getting ready to explore the planet they were on, a different concern occupied her mind. The shadow of not one, but two approaching vessels was casted upon them. They looked up to see two massive flying ships, noticeably larger than Gorun Nova, and wondered if they were the other weapons of light there to finish the job. "You guys don't happen to have any more brass rackets on you, do you?"
The group collectively shook their heads nervously at Lina's inquiry. The redhead was about to call for an emergency retreat, but paused when someone familiar reappeared before her eyes. "I'm back," Xellos announced casually, with a cheerful smile. His tone was just as carefree as the voice of one who is returning home from an ordinary trip to the store down the street.
"Xellos!" Filia exclaimed, rushing to him. "You had us worried you piece of raw garbage!" She yelled, speaking for the whole group of her own accord. She was very relieved to see him, though the ships overhead still made her nervous. However, if Xellos was so calm in their presence, then they couldn't be the enemy.
The two ships, one white and the other violet with golden details, landed a few feet away, just far enough to have enough space for their massive structures without flattening any of those present. As the wind created by the landing ceased, Lina asked about the two vessels, wondering if they had a will of their own like Gorun Nova apparently did. "About those ships..."
Before Lina could finish voicing the first of the many questions she wanted to ask, two others appeared before their eyes. The way they materialized out of no where reminded her of how monsters traveled through the astral side and teleported in different locations. She couldn't actually sense their energy, though that might be related to the lack of magic in the over-world, or at least, the lack of magic as she usually defined it. The incident with the brass racket had definitely been something powerful, yet strangely it felt very much like the game itself, as if the strength came from her persona rather than her magical energy.
Lina did not recognize the woman in the pink and white maid outfit with the long pale green braid pigtails, but she did recognize the other female who had appeared. "Zelas..." Though the name was spoken with a dread that was only proper when addressing the annoying monster lord, Lina was very relieved to see Zelas alive. A part of her feared that Darkstar, who logically had to be a lot stronger than Gorun Nova, had managed to destroy her and the other monster lords. That would mean the loss of a very powerful ally in the fight against their mutual enemy.
Two other people rushed to meet with the group. One of them, a red haired young man in a cape came out of the white ship and from the violet ship, a blond young woman. "Well, it looks like everyone is here," Zelas observed. "I suppose I should introduce you. Everyone, this is Canal, she is..." how to explain it in terms that they could understand? "The spirit of the white vessel called Swordbreaker as well as a part of Vorfeed, the part that isn't Darkstar's prisoner."
"Night Dragon Vorfeed?!" Filia suddenly exclaimed. Her hands flew to her mouth, trying to stop any further outbursts. "Sorry about that, it's just that I never thought I would meet you like this."
"And I never thought I would meet the most elite legendary warriors of the other world like this either," Canal chirped. She seemed to be a cheerful girl who would get along well with Amelia.
"Legendary warriors?" Gourry wondered in confusion.
"I think she means us?" Zelgadis whispered, though he wasn't entirely sure how he felt about that. Just what had Zelas been telling Canal?
"Yes, indeed, they are my Slayers, the most elite warriors who serve me in my world." Zelas assured with a tone that threatened that no one should contradict her.
Lina and the others held their peace in the matter, except for Amelia who cheered, "Justice Slayers!" If that meant that they slew in the name of justice or slew justice was up to interpretation. Lina quietly mused that perhaps this was a matter of pride for Zelas. After all, she had been basically kidnapped from her world and had to retreat from Darkstar's challenge. The elite force that came to her aid had to be under her command, it wouldn't look good otherwise. Technicalities aside, they were all against Darkstar, so Lina decided that for the time being the details were not too important.
"This here is Kain Blueriver, the captain of the Swordbreaker and its main power source." Zelas continued, basking in the sense of authority that came with being the center of attention as provided the basic information. "Vessels such as these feed on emotions, positive in Swordbreaker's case and negative in mine. However, my assigned captain doesn't have to be particularly miserable for it to work, as I have been feeding off Millie's kitchen frustrations just fine lately. Speaking of which, this is Millennium Nocturne, the second best cook in the universe."
Millie pouted at her introduction. Sadly this other-worldly beast had bested her in the kitchen, but she could at least claim to be the best in other areas, her aim for example, was still better via the manual controls of the Great Beast than Zelas' own targeting programs, which were part of her being. Then again, her aim was better than even Canal's automated system and she had a lot more experience in existing as a lost ship.
"You've already met Xellos, so let's move on to the rest of my elite task force," Zelas continued. "This carrot top little girl-"
"What?" Lina screeched loudly.
Zelas continued as if the interruption never occurred. "Is Lina Inverse, yes, the Lina Inverse. Which means that our cooking rivalry will have to continue another time, Millie. Since my crew is here I'm returning you to the Swordbreaker. Lina is the captain."
"That's fine; I want some time to work on some new recipes. I commend your creativity with ingredients you're not familiar with, but I assure you I'll recover my title as the best cook in the universe," Millie countered with mild amusement.
Lina was about to complain some more about the way Zelas' addressed her, but she quieted upon being called the captain. She was too proud of her leadership position being acknowledged to register that it meant Zelas would be feeding off her explosive temper, which would involve angering her for that purpose. The newly appointed captain snapped into attention as Gourry unexpectedly spoke up. "Wait a minute... Does that mean you're kicking Century off the team?" He frowned.
Millie wasn't sure who the blond man was talking about, until Zelas interjected. "It's Millennium, Millie if it makes it easier for you to remember and yes, I'm returning her to the Swordbreaker crew as I have my own power source now."
The implications of the aforementioned power source would have become obvious for Lina at that point, if not for the fact that her attention was transfixed on Gourry and his apparent sudden interest in this stranger. Why did he care so much about Millie if he didn't even know her? They were, literally, from different worlds, so there was no way they could have met before that moment. "She's a cook and you can never have too many cooks around," Gourry reasoned in typical Gourry fashion.
Lina's small burst of possessive jealously was extinguished before she could truly express it and she had to admit. "He does have a point."
"Actually," Kain stepped in with a laugh, "I'd like to have my cook back."
"A cook, that's all I am?" Millie pouted and with a resounding "hmp!" Crossed her arms and turned her head away from him, while Kain tried to appease her with excuses.
"This super smart swordsman is Gourry Gabriev." Zelas introduced him sarcastically, with only Canal really paying full attention at that point.
The green haired young woman stepped forward, past Lina and stood in front of Gourry. She looked into his eyes and took his face in her hands observing him closely, which caused Lina to shout. "What do you think you're doing?" And begin to stomp towards them.
As if reaching a conclusion in her examination, Canal released Gourry from her grasp and smiled in an expression that seemed to be unnervingly similar to Xellos' cheery face. "He's quite different after all!"
"Different?" Lina asked, some of her fury subsiding slightly. "Different from who?" She questioned with a good amount of remaining suspicion.
Amelia sighed as a crazy theory formed in her active imagination. "Your missing sweetheart who was lost in the other world, whose return you loyally await?" The Seyruun princess sighed dreamily.
"Oh no!" Canal exclaimed. "I mean no offense, it's just that Darkstar's preferred human projection and his appearance when he acquired a human body before the battle that I believe came to be known as the Darkstar prophecy was slightly similar. He took on the form of a man with long blond hair, blue eyes and a similar height and build to Gourry, but their faces and expressions are completely different. Gourry's face is the opposite of Darkstar."
"Really?" Lina tilted her head curiously. At least she realized she had nothing to be jealous about if Canal's examination was born from cautious suspicion, rather than sudden attraction.
"I look like him?" Gourry frowned.
Not wanting to offend one of her new allies by comparing him to the dreadful enemy they would eventually face, Canal shook her head vigorously. "Oh no, no, your faces are very different. As I said, your expression is quite the opposite to him." There were also other small details that were different, such as Gourry's bangs being longer and his hair and eye color being slightly lighter.
"Okay," Gourry smiled. "Thanks," when it doubt, just take it as a compliment.
"Um... you're welcome?" Canal smiled back unsure, but friendly. And she thought Kain and Millie where an odd bunch. At least she would no longer be the lost ship with the strangest crew if the Slayers were now Zelas' crew. "Let's move on with the introductions, shall we?"
"Yes," Zelas nodded. "This is Amelia Wil Tesla Seyruun, heir to the throne of Seyruun."
"And a warrior of justice!" Amelia cheered happily.
Before the conversation turned into a justice speech, Zelas quickly moved on to Zelgadis. "That armored man is Zelgadis Greywords... I think. He was a chimera in our world, but I suppose since he was created by magical alchemic methods that don't exist in this world, it caused certain differences."
"A chimera?" Vorfeed looked at Zelgadis curiously. "Chimeras can exist here, I've seen a few, they are created through genetic engineering science in this world. The process would be different, but I don't see why a chimera would turn into a cyborg by crossing to another world. As far as I understand, living beings only change when their particular forms don't exist in the world they traveled to, so they taken on a sort of equivalent form; like you did."
"Does that mean there's something terribly wrong with me?" Zelgadis worried.
"Let's not be pessimistic now," Canal cheerily encouraged him in a very Amelia-like tone. "You can come on board and I'll do a basic scan to map out your biological and mechanical components. Then maybe that will clarify what's going on."
Zelgadis, or anyone for that matter, didn't quite fully understand what that meant other than it being a sort of examination. He nodded a little unsure, "I would appreciate that?"
"Last and certainly least, this is Xellos' pet dragon, Filia Ul Copt," Zelas introduced.
"I'm not his pet!" Filia defended. In a similar topic to Zelgadis' recent discussion she asked. "Are there golden dragons in this world?"
"Dragon-like creatures and dragon-like alien civilizations yes, albeit they are rare. We call them dragons, but they are probably different from the dragons on your world, similar in appearance, but different in essence," Canal explained.
"Why do you ask?" Kain joined in, remembering the taste of dragon meat he had tried. "Were you planning to bring a dragon over? That dragon meat Zelas had when she arrived was amazing!" Filia's angry glare nearly burned a hole through Kain's forehead and he jumped back in a startle. "When Zelas said pet dragon, she was only using a metaphor right? That's just a saying from your world, isn't it? A typical phrase?"
"Oh no, I was being quite literal." Zelas clarified with an amused expression of mischief lighting up her features. Her eyes had switched in a fiery orange hue probably denoting her determination in this war.
"I can't believe you corrupted the people of the over-world by making them eat dragon cuisine!" Filia exploded.
"I didn't force it on them, they were quite happy to devour the box lunch I happened to be carrying when I was brought here," Zelas clarified. "Sadly, I doubt the dragons available in this world are anything like golden dragons, nothing measures up to their delicious taste. No wonder they are called the dragon lords, they can make a meal fit for royalty!"
"My kind isn't food!" Filia complained.
"Right, right, if it talks, it shouldn't be eaten," Kain recalled. "Sorry about my earlier comment." He tried to appease the angry blond cyborg.
"It looks like you're a cyborg too," Canal brought the conversation back into the topic she thought Filia was trying to address with her earlier question about the possible existence of dragons in the over-world. "I'll give you a basic scan too and that should help us figure out the specifics of how your new form functions."
"Thank you," Filia tried to calm herself and give the over-worlders a good impression, if she could even begin to repair all the damage Zelas must have made. "I would be most grateful for your enlightenment Lord Night Dragon. I admit having a bazooka on my back like this is rather awkward."
"It's no trouble at all," Canal replied with a smile. "I'm pretty sure that bazooka is a jetpack and please, call me Canal. Well, shall we go on board the Swordbreaker?" She motioned to the white ship.
"Let's go!" Lina accepted the invitation, thinking it to be her duty to voice the reply as she was the leader of the elite force Zelas referred to as Slayers, as well as the captain of their ship. Speaking of ships, "if the white ship is Vorfeed's, I mean Canal's, then the purple one is mine?"
"It's me," Zelas replied as they made their way inside the Swordbreaker, towards the examination room following Canal.
"Yes, yes, yours," Lina pouted. "But I'm the captain." As she allowed Zelas' explanations and recent reply to sink in, there was something that she needed to hear directly to make sure it was perfectly clear. "The ship is... I mean, you are its spirit, that vessel is your form?"
"Yes," Zelas confirmed. "Xellos is a program in this world; he is purely digital, as I am. Digital is like the astral of the over-world, except digital beings must still have their data, their spirit, contained in a physical medium in order to exist here. That medium is the ship called Great Beast. Xellos is contained there as well."
"The forms you are see called holograms," Xellos added from what little had had the time to learn so far. "They are similar to the astral projections of monsters. Canal is a hologram too. However, we are still bound to the vessel where our essence is contained and cannot go too far away from it. Think of it as stretching the astral form without it coming detached from its container, it must always remain as a continuum."
"Nicely put, you're catching on," Zelas commended. Her mood had improved greatly since Xellos and the others arrived. She was tired of having to travel with Canal and borrow her human friend to feed on, while keeping her meal merciful so as to not provoke Canal's anger. Now she finally had her own crew and could part ways with the Swordbreaker and go off to become stronger. She had been studying the vast and complicated workings of the over-world through its massive digital public library called Internet and had learned a lot, enough she thought, to fend for herself in this strange world and guide her crew to adapt. Zelas wanted the Great Beast to surpass the Swordbreaker and then Darkstar, but she knew that would be a difficult task.
To be Continued
If you still can't quite picture Zelgadis' armor, think of a silver and light blue Ironman.