Episodes 69 and 70
Episode 069: Sorrow! Fear The Fear Itself
Zelas knew that Gorun Nova must have some kind of plan, perhaps something involving the portal or the near by planet, but she wasn't going to back out now. There was only one more minion of Darkstar left to defeat. Canal had actually honored her decision to be the one to defeat them, perhaps more so because the battles would hopefully awaken her true power more than anything else. This was the last obstacle before the time came to face Darkstar. "The main psy-canon is online!" Zelas eagerly announced.
"I can still give more power, take it all!" Lina desperately called out, surrounded by a red hot aura that was more so protective than angry.
'Defend and attack at once,' Zelas reminded herself. Lina's energy would be a harsh hit on a dark lost ship.
"No, don't!" Gourry pleaded, but it was too late.
"Fire!" Zelas shot her main psy-canon at Gorun Nova.
The large blast of light was followed by many smaller ones. "The new secondary psy-laser system is working, rain of stars!" Xellos cheered, making a pose as he called out the name of the attack, which was all just for show.
"I blame it on those TV shows..." Zelas quietly commented, referring to Xellos' outburst.
Yet when the light finally faded away, Gorun Nova was unharmed. "How can this be?" Lina demanded to know, while Gourry let out a breath of relief.
"I'll tell you how, since there's nothing you can do about it anyway." Gorun Nova revealed the truth behind his secret plans, confident that they could not be stopped. "I spread many microchips in this portal and by doing so I can control it to an extent, or at least this side of it. Don't even think about trying to deactivate them, there are too many and the interference of chaotic energy won't allow any hacking. The portal will receive all the energy you throw at me, redirecting it into your world. In other words, you just attacked your own world!"
"Oh no!" Amelia exclaimed in worry.
"We could be hurting innocent people," Filia realized in horror.
Zelas shrugged, "do you really think a monster lord will be concerned with a little collateral damage?" She disregarded the possible consequences of that last blast. That energy wasn't all that dark, but it was enough to overload most living creatures with sheer power and kill them, but really, it's not a big deal. Though some of my minions here may think it is, it doesn't bother me and it won't stop me from fighting!"
"I expected that," Gorun Nova countered. "Go ahead and keep firing away. You'll just run out of energy, you won't be able to touch me. Eventually, I will win and you will all die. I'll make it especially painful for you, Gourry Gabriev!"
"No you won't!" Lina argued defensively, gritting her teeth and glaring, her aura turning more aggressive. "Zelas, Xellos, let's try this again, but with everyone's energy." Protests were heard throughout the now crowded control room. "Just take their energy, I know you can. I'm your main minion-"
"I am!" Xellos felt the need to interrupt.
"Alright," Lina was certainly not in the mood for a petty argument at the time. "I'm your second main minion after Xellos, and I'm saying I'm willing to give you my energy and everyone's. Take it; I'll still back you up afterwards. We can overload those chips before they redirect the power into our world and end this cowardly trick once and for all!"
"Lina, that's enough out of you, young lady," Light scolded.
"Settle down and calm yourself, Lina. If your sister saw you now she would be so upset," Labyrinthine warned.
Lina shivered visibly as she saw the crescent moon cube vibrating from the corner of her eye. "I... I'm just trying to keep us all safe!"
"You're freaking out," Zelgadis stated bluntly.
"Then what can we do?" Lina retorted in a huff.
"I know you a rarely," Amelia began, "okay, more like never," she amended, "consider the damage your power will do to the area around the battle field, but this time the range is too big and the effects too unpredictable."
"Amelia is right," Filia agreed. "Let's come up with a strategy here before we accidentally blow up Seyruun or Zephilia or Zoana or some other place."
Lina took a deep breath, releasing it slowly. "What can we do? Go on the retreat again and strategize one more time?"
"No," Zelas firmly decided. "I will not retreat. I will see this battle to the very end and I will win. Overloading the chips is a good idea and that's all we have for now." Compartments opened all around the walls of the control room with many strong cables and mechanical claws springing out of them. "Either you give me your energy willingly, or I take it from you."
"Not this again!" Filia exclaimed in alarm.
"This type of forceful energy won't work. Gorun Nova is a dark lost ship, he can absorb negative psy-energy, so even if you manage to take out the microchips, then you won't be able to gather our energy for an effective attack," Milgazia tried to reason.
"It doesn't matter; I'll just use Lina's well intended concern for the finishing blow," Zelas decided. The claws and cables wrapped themselves around the crew that desperately tried to break free.
"Wait, Zelas!" Lina tried to stop her, but was captured along with the others. "Your second main minion tells you to wait!" She insisted desperately. "Milgazia has a point; I too will only be able to produce negative energy under these circumstances. This strategy won't work, we can't risk our world!" Back to her senses after her outburst, Lina tried to reason with Zelas. "Didn't you want to rule our world? That won't be possible if it's destroyed. Besides, we won't have any happy thoughts left in us to throw out against Darkstar and then you won't be able to get your revenge!"
Onyx closed her eyes, not struggling against her captivity. "There is nothing to fear, but we must fear anyway."
"What do you mean there's nothing to fear?" Filia exclaimed. "What if they blow up Dragon's Peak, Phythan and your friends are there, don't you care?"
Zelas chuckled, "for a wallflower, she can be pretty perceptive."
"Having problems with your crew, Zelas?" Gorun Nova taunted. "Hurry up and make your move if you dare!"
Zelas grinned with wicked cunning. "I already have... Isn't there someone missing from our little team?"
They all automatically looked around to see who it was. Lina, Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadis, Filia, Milgazia, Onyx, Light, Labyrinthine, the Luna cube and of course, Zelas, were all there. "Raw garbage?" Filia called out, her voice sounding more so confused than angry.
"Special delivery for Gorun Nova!" Xellos appeared on the screen next to Gorun Nova's projection. "We may not be able to hack into the microchips inside the portal, but we can hack into you!"
Gorun Nova's hologram flickered as he glared at Xellos and growled, "get out!" The minion of Darkstar futile tried to clean out the viral invasion from his systems.
"You should be thanking me," Zelas mocked sarcastically. "After all, I'm giving all this dark energy to you." She released the crew from her hold.
"I see, now what Onyx said makes sense," Milgazia realized. "You were trying to push us to produce negative energy, but why?"
"I only figured out her plan that far," Onyx admitted. The quiet elf could be pretty observant if she tried.
"An explanation would be nice right about now," Lina impatiently added. "What's this about giving our energy to Gorun Nova? That's dark energy, even if you avoid having the microchips redirect the energy by transferring it directly to Gorun Nova, it'll just make him stronger."
"I'm not transferring it to his energy storage systems," Zelas revealed. "Xellos' special delivery will transfer all the dark energy into Gorun Nova's core CPU and infect his main AI programming like a virus. In other words, I'll be doing to him what dark lost ships usually do to their captive captains, filling his mind with pain and fear!"
"Would that really work on a dark lost ship?" Zelgadis wondered.
"In this case yes, and it was Amelia who came up with the idea," Zelas chuckled mockingly.
"Me?" Amelia nearly squeaked in surprise. "But I didn't even realize what your plan was until you told us," the advocate of justice admitted.
"You said Gorun Nova loved Flagoon," Zelas reminded. "If that is so, if he can feel love then..."
Xellos returned to the Great Beast and saluted as his hologram was once again projected inside the vessel's control room. "Mission accomplished!"
"As I thought," Zelas looked wickedly victorious and Xellos' eyes opened for a split second with a very monster-like look in them. "Gorun Nova's time being exposed to our world and its magic changed him. He is no longer purely a dark lost ship. He is capable of positive emotions too. Besides, Gorun Nova himself confirmed it. He spoke as if he really cared for Flagoon. He felt used by the Gabriev family. He felt betrayed and abandoned by Gourry. He is not immune to such emotions. Even if he wields the power of darkness because of his original form, there is also light in him. It is a light that he never learned to control and will be his downfall. If Gorun Nova feels love as a human does, then he can also feel heartbreak, pain, fear and sorrow!"
Gorun Nova's holographic projection flickered continuously the whole time; in a mess of static with no defined shape. Then finally, it stopped, but the expression upon his face was of pure pain. "Any creature that has emotions can be used as fuel for a lost ship," Xellos elaborated. "Though many mistakenly assume it, no one ever said that the creature had to be fully or even partially biological. Gorun Nova has become a truly sentient being that overcame his initial limitations. He is able to produce his own energy too, but he never learned how to take advantage of that. Now he is trapped in the power he thought was his."
"This is..." Amelia felt like she was choking on her words. "This is too harsh for justice. He knows what it's like now." She closed her eyes and tried to block out Gorun Nova's pained voice. "He knows what it was like for the people who had their lives drained away by the dark lost ships. He knows their pain and he has felt pain of his own, isn't this enough?"
"This is more than enough," Filia agreed. "Gorun Nova has already atoned, he has already learned what pain is even before now. He knew joy; he knew sorrow, now he needs to know mercy."
"I think that what they're trying to say is, release him," Zelgadis summarized.
"I can't," Zelas replied with an evil grin still present on her face. "I didn't think you'd actually want to rescue the enemy, so I didn't think of a counter strategy for this."
A chorus of alarmed, "what?" Were heard.
"Xellos, do something!" Lina demanded.
"I can't do anything," Xellos truthfully admitted, his cheerful smile still in place. "I'm not lying; I honestly can't help Gorun Nova. Even if I tried to clean out the negativity from his systems, a chain reaction has already been set in motion and Gorun Nova himself keeps producing more negative energy that leaks into his core programming. The only one who can conquer this pain is Gorun Nova himself." The purple haired hologram explained. "Although..." he added thoughtfully, "it doesn't look like he's doing very well at that task."
"At this rate, his systems will overload and crash in such a way that his AI programming will be corrupted," Zelas concluded. "In other words, he'll be ruined and destroyed. His vessel will still be there, but his mind will be shattered and the one known as Gorun Nova will be nothing but a lifeless corpse."
"No..." Lina whispered in regret. Gourry would surely be devastated. "I'm so sorry, Gourry, if only I had... Gourry?" The redhead frantically looked around for the blond swordsman but couldn't see him anywhere. "Where did Gourry go? He was here a minute ago."
Xellos shrugged, "I don't know, maybe he had to go to the bathroom."
"Who could think about going to the bathroom at a time like this?" Lina shouted, losing her temper.
"Actually, if you had been paying attention," Zelas pointed out. "You would have noticed that he snuck off while we were talking, put on a space suit and left the ship. Look," Zelas zoomed in on the image on Gorun Nova's side. "He's boarding Gorun Nova right now."
"What!?" Lina screamed in alarm.
"Oh, relax, he's just fine," Xellos laughed. "Gorun Nova is in no condition to attack, so even if Gourry is inside the vessel, he's not in any real danger. Unless of course he manages to do something particularly stupid, but I can't imagine what that would be."
"This is Gourry we're talking about, he can!" Lina screeched urgently. Though it sounded like an insult to Gourry's intellect, everyone knew that Lina was only saying it out of care and concern.
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Meanwhile, Gourry managed to pry open one of the entry hatches to Gorun Nova and quickly made his way to the control room. He arrived at the control room where the flickering hologram of Gorun Nova was the image of suffering. He didn't know what button to press to help. He hadn't even been able to learn how to use that machine that could make cappuccinos that Zelas had in her vessel. He reached for the complex controls anyway, but quickly withdrew his hand when sparks flew from the panel's surface. It didn't look like the controls would be responsive anyway. The whole vessel shock and short-circuited. It was not enough to cause a chain reaction that would make Gorun Nova blow up or severely endanger Gourry's life, but it was a sign that the AI didn't have a lot of time left.
Looking around the room, Gourry spotted the captain's chair with some strange device on top of it. It looked like that machine Lina forced him to sit under when the girls dragged him and the other guys to a, modern day by over-world standards, hair salon. Yet he had a feeling that this machine had to do more than just dry his hair, which was already dry to begin with anyway. He took off his helmet but found he couldn't breathe and put it back on. "Gorun Nova, listen to me! I'm going to try to take some of the pressure away from you. Transfer the negative energy that is hurting you to me. Do it quick, I don't know for how long I can hold my breath!" Gourry took in a big breath of air and took off his helmet so that he could fit his head into the machine at the captain's chair.
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Simultaneously at the Great Beast's control room, Xellos announced, "we have a visual! You are watching an exclusively hacked control room camera image live from Gorun Nova only on Xellos TV!"
"Looks like you were right, Lina," Zelas sounded rather amused. "Gourry did find something stupid to do to put himself in mortal danger. Not only did he take off his helmet, which he needs to breathe as I doubt Gorun Nova will be inclined to turn on the oxygen any time soon, but he basically surrendered his life by getting himself into that machine. Gorun Nova can forcibly drain his energy completely now. Unlike with Light, Labyrinthine and Onyx, whose energy was transmitted to Galveira and Ragudo Mezegis from afar as part of a trap, this time it's a direct connection, so Gorun Nova can kill Gourry any time."
"And that's exactly what Gorun Nova wanted to do!" Lina panicked. "Gourry, get yourself out of there, you stupid jellyfish!" Receiving no response, Lina wasted no time in heading for the door. "Open up the nearest exit, I'm going after him!"
"No space suit? Gourry took the black one, but the purple one is still there," Xellos reminded.
"I can levitate myself over there faster than I'll run out of air. Besides, I need to get the oxygen back on for Gourry anyway, so I might as well do that for myself at the same time. Now let me out!" Lina insisted with great urgency, ready to try to break out of the Great Beast if she had to.
"Fine..." Zelas opened the door and closed it again after Lina had exited. Noting that all eyes had turned to her, she added with a nonchalant huff, "what? Do all of you want to go too? It's not like Lina can force Gorun Nova to release Gourry and neither can any of you. Terminating their connection abruptly in such an unstable condition would probably just kill Gourry anyway. His only way out is if Gorun Nova releases him." She made a small pause while everyone took a moment to look even more worried than before. "Xellos?" Zelas quietly prompted.
"Yes, Lord Beast Master, it is done," Xellos informed.
"What is?" Milgazia asked with slight suspicion.
"Oh nothing, I just told Xellos via direct system message to go hack into Gorun Nova's life support system and turn it on," Zelas stated as if she was speaking of a very unimportant detail. "With his defenses down, I knew the hacking wouldn't take long. Besides, I don't think even Lina could have figured out a way to get the oxygen going on time to prevent Gourry and herself from asphyxiating. This way at least she'll survive."
"And him too," Amelia added. "There is something we can do to help! Just as our negative energy overwhelmed and defeated Gorun Nova, our positive energy can save Gourry and maybe even save Gorun Nova!" The ever positive justice loving princess exclaimed, her optimism never ending. "Let's do it everyone, think happy thoughts!"
"Hey, hold it! If you must think positive, stick to fiery bravery, that's the most tolerable," Zelas protested.
"Positive feelings are positive feelings," Amelia reasoned. "Alright everyone, focus on your fiery courage, don't be afraid for Lina, Gourry or Mr. Gorun Nova. We must be brave and believe that they will be alright!" The Seyruun princess cheered.
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At the same time, Lina realized as she reached Gorun Nova's control room where Gourry was, that she could breathe. She hurried to Gourry, who seemed to be unconscious with an expression of pain on his face that broke her heart all over again. She was about to pull him out from the machine over his head, when Xellos' voice from the speakers suddenly interrupted her actions and made her pause with a warning. "That's not a good idea."
"Xellos? What do you mean? Speak, there's no time!" Lina urged.
"If you forcibly disconnect Gourry from Gorun Nova while he is so unstable, it might kill Gourry, or at least put him in a coma for the rest of his life," Xellos cheerfully informed. "But don't worry, Lina, we have some positive energy to help things along and ease his pain. Remember to thank us later, as this type of energy is still rather unpleasant for Lord Beast Master and me to handle, even if we are strong enough to withstand it."
"Can that energy free Gourry?" Lina asked hopefully, though in the back of her mind she knew it couldn't be that easy.
"It will only delay the damage," Xellos admitted. "The only one who can free Gourry now is Gorun Nova."
To be Continued
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Episode 070: Human! A Quest From The Heart
In the world of his nightmares, Gourry found himself floating in an endless darkness. "Gorun Nova!" He called out as loud as he could. "Gorun Nova, where are you?"
"Why did you come here?" A man began to appear covered in dark mist, though he was different from the one Gourry had seen before. His long hair was a pale blue with bits of white that shone like the light of the legendary sword wielded in ages past by Flagoon. His eyes were a deep dark blue with a sharp gaze. He wore blue armor as a knight of a far away kingdom from a story book.
"Gorun Nova... This is your original mental form, isn't it?" Gourry guessed. "It's good to see you can still respond. Please hurry up and transfer the dark energy to me. Clean it out of your being before it consumes you!" The blond swordsman urged.
"Why do you wish for your demise?" Gorun Nova huffed bitterly. "If it is atonement that you seek, know that throwing away your life is not going to save mine. This pain... I can't bear it, I can't overcome it. My systems are failing me. At least I get to kill you myself..."
Gourry didn't flinch; he didn't even slightly look away. He just kept staring ahead at Gorun Nova's image among the dark mist that consumed them both. His eyes were kind and compassionate, not at all angry despite the threats directed at him. Then he asked, simply and without pressure, "are you sure this is what you want? You want to kill me instead of fighting to the end? You choose revenge over victory? If that is really what you want without a doubt, then I won't resist. I didn't know her like you did, Flagoon. But somehow, I don't think she would have given up if she was in your shoes."
"Stop it!" Gorun Nova yelled with and frustration. "Don't look at me with those eyes. Don't look at me with the same gaze as her. You're dishonorable, you're unworthy, you're..." Gorun Nova's mental image flickered and began to fade. "You're still her descendant... I couldn't have her to myself, but I swore I would protect them. I remember now, I silently promised Flagoon that I would protect her descendants and she... She asked them to treat the sword of light with respect and cherish it. She was looking out for me as always."
"That's true," Gourry nodded with a slight smile. "Flagoon was really amazing. It was those who came after her that forgot to honor her wish. I really am sorry for failing you and failing Flagoon. But you can't let that sorrow end your life. Gorun Nova, be strong, make Flagoon proud!" The light energy that was placed into Gorun Nova from the others, gravitated towards Gourry like a thousand tiny stars lighting up the darkness, but not extinguishing it, rather balancing it. "Darkness and light is fusion and fusion is life. I don't really understand it, but that's what I heard once, so hold on to your life!" Gourry reached his hand out to Gorun Nova.
"You... you really are willing to give your life to save me? I thought Flagoon would be the only one willing to protect me like I protected her..." Reluctantly, Gorun Nova reached for Gourry's hand and shook it as a sign of friendship and forgiveness.
"You saved my life many times," Gourry smiled fondly at the memories. "It's about time I thank you, even if I fade away."
"Gourry! Gourry!" Lina's voice echoed faintly as if far away.
"Lina..." Gourry closed his eyes as his mind faded away into nothingness. "Goodbye Lina, I hope you find someone worthy to stand by your side."
"Idiot," Gorun Nova suddenly grunted, causing Gourry's eyes to snap open in surprise. "I can sense emotions," the once sword of light explained. "Lina has been in love with you for a long time. She never stopped loving you, so it doesn't make sense that you're so heartbroken over her."
Gourry's eyes went wide as he recovered his energy with new hope. "Are you serious? But she dumped me and she yelled and... and... Maybe it was just a random temper tantrum after all, only that it lasted longer than usual. I shouldn't have given up. Lina! Lina, I'm coming back for you!"
Gorun Nova stared in puzzlement, "where does all that energy come from? How could you still be so strong all of a sudden?"
"It's because I know I'll get to see Lina again and that gives me hope," Gourry smiled radiantly. "You should have hope too because you'll get to see Flagoon again when she reincarnates. I'll take you back to my world and make sure no one ever disrespects you. I'll make sure you have a life of your own!"
"To see Flagoon again..." Gorun Nova thought of her. "Even the smallest hope of that is worth striving for."
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"Gourry!" Lina exclaimed as Gourry finally woke up and sat up on the chair, poking his head out of the strange device it was in. She hugged him, glad to have him back alive. "Stupid jellyfish, doing something so reckless!"
"I had to, I couldn't abandon my friend." Gourry held Lina close, like he did before the misunderstanding and perhaps with even more fervor than before.
"Your friend?" Lina looked at Gourry curiously, tilting her head to the side and blinking. "You mean..." A theory formed in her mind.
"Gorun Nova," Gourry confirmed.
The hologram of Gorun Nova's original knightly form appeared. He was no longer a flickering mess of shapeless static, but now a perfectly defined realistic image. "Gourry... You really do have Flagoon's honor after all."
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Watching the scene unfold on the main screen of the Great Beast's control room, Amelia squealed with joy. "Friendship conquers any challenge!"
"Shut up before I blow up Gorun Nova and kill you all!" Zelas growled.
"You always get cranky when things work out nicely," Milgazia observed. It was not the first time this had happened.
Making no effort to deny it, Zelas reminded. "Yes, and the last time I was really cranky I decided it was dragon hunting season, remember?" That was enough to make Milgazia frown at the memories of his fellow dragons being hunted for Zelas' cuisine. Not to mention her creepy culinary interest in making him an ingredient of her gourmet cuisine one day. "Ah, it looks like Lina and Gourry are returning. I'm glad they remembered, or at least Lina remembered that were watching and didn't turn on the mush too high. I'm disgusted enough with all this friendship in the air as it is."
Lina and Gourry returned to the Great Beast and Gorun Nova's hologram was projected there as well. He was still shaken from all that had happened, but with an encouraging nod from Gourry, he began to speak. "Beast Master Zelas Metallium... Though we have been enemies in the past when I felt I had no choice but to serve Darkstar, I want that to change. Darkstar wants to destroy the worlds, including Flagoon's world where she is destined to be reborn. I thought that all I could do was get my revenge on Gourry, but I know now he is not my enemy. Darkstar is the real enemy. Please allow me to join your team!"
Zelas paused for a moment as if in deep thought. Everyone assumed the gesture was just for show and that she would immediately accept Gorun Nova's offer. After all, the more allies they had the better and, from Zelas' perspective, the more pawns she had the better. Yet her response shocked everyone as she replied, "no way."
The surprise didn't last long, as all those present assumed that Zelas would come up with a list of demands for Gorun Nova in exchange for allowing him to fight by her side. Gorun Nova himself expected as much and was quick to ask about it. "What do I have to do to prove myself?"
"You don't have to prove yourself, I can sense your emotions and I know your intentions are true," Zelas revealed.
"Then why?" Gorun Nova asked in confusion.
"You'll only be throwing your life away," Zelas answered with seriousness. "I'm certain that Darkstar can easily defeat you and even if you can be upgraded and improved, there is simply no time for you to catch up to the level that Canal and I will be fighting at. You'll be a burden to us." Gorun nova was about to protest, but Zelas continued before he could speak further. "However..." She made a dramatic pause that left everyone in suspense, just the way she liked it. Beast Master grinned victoriously, "I will make you a deal you can't refuse."
Milgazia shot Zelas a suspicious look that she ignored, remaining focused on Gorun Nova's reaction. He looked at the monster lord turned lost ship before him and nodded. "I am willing to listen, but I can't make any promises until I do."
"Then hear this," Zelas' face conveyed the absolute surety of victory. "Give your power as a lost ship to me and in exchange I will turn you into a human. Then I will take you to my world where you can live as a part of it and maybe even find Flagoon's reincarnation if she's there. If not, then at the end of your human life, you will return to the Sea of Chaos and be reborn in the world in which you died, obtaining another and another chance to find Flagoon's reincarnation for as long as the current cycle of the worlds continues."
Gorun Nova stared in surprise as gasps of shock filled the air around him. "That sounds far too good to be true."
"It isn't," Zelas laughed mockingly. "You'd be giving away your power to live the life of an ordinary mortal. You can train as a sorcerer, swordsman or both, but you will have to work for it as a human. If you ask me, it is a terrible deal. Yet you'll be getting what you want, even if your desires make little sense to me."
"If I make a pact with you, then I wouldn't really be a human. There's always a catch with monster pacts. I was in your world long enough to know that and more." Gorun Nova cautiously continued the discussion.
"Who ever said anything about a pact?" Zelas laughed. "Don't you see? This deal is so very easy that it doesn't even require trickery. In fact, I'll make you a different offer; an offer in which you will have more control. This will be a deal that relies on you keeping your word more so than me. Would that make you feel safe enough?"
"It would," Gorun Nova admitted. "But what's in it for you?"
"Your power, as I said before. It is the same deal, only that I'll explain it to you beforehand." Zelas grinned with mischief, yet it was not the kind of mischief that came with trickery. Her features held no trickery, no deception, only sincere amusement.
"I'm listening," Gorun Nova finally voiced.
Zelas then explained her business proposition. "I know of a method that you can use to become human. I don't even need to be the one to perform it. It could be Canal or someone else of your choosing. I will tell you the secret and in exchange you must give me your word that if you are satisfied with the information after you've had the opportunity to confirm it, you will give me your power as a lost ship. I will ask you to be swift in making your choice, but if you find my guidance to be useless, you are not obligated to keep your end of the bargain."
"That's it? That's all? No loopholes?" Gorun Nova tried to think about it more and more, but he found that even over-analyzing Zelas' words didn't reveal any new hidden information. "Very well, if I find your information to be truly useful, I will give you my power."
"Alright then, it's a deal. I'm not going to request any formalities, your verbal promise is good enough, no pacts, no magic or its equivalent, no contracts, just the witnesses you see here," Zelas agreed. "Now for the information, as you already know, when a creature from one world travels to another and their kind does not exist in that other world, the aforementioned creature will take on a different form. You have experienced that yourself. The form that each being takes is linked to the form they had when they crossed from one world to another."
Gorun Nova nodded in understanding. "All of those are known and established facts."
"Glad we're on the same page so far," Zelas commented with the mocking sarcasm that was not unusual for her. "On to the interesting part. Let's take Zelgadis for example-"
"I'm not sure I like that," the chimera turned cyborg protested.
"Deal with it," Zelas ignored his complaints and continued. "Zelgadis was a chimera in our world, but a very particular one due to the continuous failed attempts at a cure that he was subjected to. He was not like the chimeras of this world which come as a result of more calculated scientific methods, rather than magic mixed with alchemy. The magic energies in him were too much for the over-world to properly interpret as something of this world and thus he was converted into something else. The same goes for Filia and Milgazia. They too gained mechanical components when they were brought to this world, albeit at a different level, because their origin was different. Still, they were not similar enough to the dragon-like alien creatures of this world to be converted into that."
"It seems that technology is how the over world interprets what it is not familiar with." The lecture was getting interesting, though it had so far been a review of what was already known. "Zelgadis is able to remove his armor in this world which represents his chimera parts. Underneath he is a human as he was before he was turned into a chimera in our world. Is this correct, Zelgadis."
"Yeah, that's right, and I see where you're going with this," Zelgadis realized. "But I won't spoil it, so you go on."
"A wise choice, you better not try to steal my thunder," Zelas half joked and half threatened. "Zelgadis' plan is to leave his mechanical armor behind after this adventure is over and return to our world as a human. Taking his chimera components apart in our original world was extremely difficult, but here in the over-world, because of the form they took, it seems too easy. I believe Zelgadis intends to test his human transformation theory as soon as possible and I'm sure he wouldn't mind sharing the results with you."
"I get it!" Lina suddenly realized. "Then that means-"
"Quiet, Lina, I'm delivering the punch line!" Zelas interrupted defensively and Lina decided to do the smart thing and quiet down for the time being. "If you change your form in this world, what you become in our world will change too. There are no starships in my world so you took on the form of a weapon of light, the kind of thing that the legends of our world are made of, as opposed to the legends of this world. You were weapons and not astral beings because you were originally built to be used as weapons, as practical tools of battle. By the time you overcame that condition and developed a true sentience of your own beyond your programming, your form in my world had already been established by the shape you took during your initial arrival there. However, if you change your shape here, when you cross between the worlds, your form should be changed to something that suits you better at present."
Gorun Nova took a moment to let all the new information sink in, it was all logical from what he could tell. "That actually makes a lot of sense. I see now why my word was enough. If your guidance really leads me to join the human race of Flagoon's world, than I'll be so grateful I'll want to give you my power. Besides, you're fighting against Darkstar, it makes sense that you have it. This will very well benefit us both, but..." There was the clear presence of doubt on Gorun Nova's face and voice.
"What is it now?" Zelas was starting to get impatient.
"I want to fight Darkstar. I can't just hide away in Flagoon's world and wait for her without taking the opportunity to fight for that world when it needs me the most!" Gorun Nova declared with great determination.
"Then join my crew and fight with the power of your mind. Having an extra source of psy-energy won't hurt," Zelas decided. "I can make it world even if you are an android in this world."
"If you can promise to let me join your crew, then you have a deal!" Gorun Nova enthusiastically agreed.
"Great, then it's settled. Let's start by constructing an android body for you that can hold your full memory. I've visited many planets with great technological advancements and stored information from each of them, plus anything that's not in my databases we can look up in the ever convenient massive digital library of the over-world, the Internet," Zelas concluded. "Is everyone in agreement?" She threw a pointed look at Milgazia, who had been giving her suspicious glances the whole time.
A chorus of "agreed" was heard throughout the ship, including Milgazia himself. For one, there wasn't much of a loop to a deal with a monster, even if it was because of the special circumstances that they were facing with their upcoming battle with Darkstar. Yet the fight was a lot closer than they thought...
"Well then, let's check out this portal. Labyrinthine, Light and Onyx, oh yes, and the paperweight too, I'm assuming you're all going back to keep an eye on our world. We can't let the place fall apart or else there really won't be much left of it for me to rule over after I'm done beating up Darkstar." Zelas spoke with confidence as if it an assured certainty, even if the odds were terribly against them. She wondered if the Swordbreaker had fared any better with the upgrades, while the Great Beast had received a lot more repairs then actual upgrades. "By the way, paperweight, you owe me for not destroying you here and now."
The crescent moon cube that contained Luna's soul glowed and pulsated as if saying 'we'll discuss this later.'
"Milgazia, you should stay in our world as well, you've tagged along pestering me for long enough and I find you to be terribly unpleasant." Zelas decided with a somewhat humorous pout.
"Likewise," Milgazia half smiled. "Although I'd rather stay and keep you out of trouble, I think you'll be too busy to cause too much trouble anyway and someone needs to take care of things back in our world. For all we, know pandemonium could be on the verge of breaking out."
Zelas nodded, "and I don't want to miss it, so make sure to delay the mayhem until I get there. The rest of you can go back for a quick visit if you must. Gorun Nova, you should be able to fit through the portal just fine in your new android body when it's finished. Although it seems I won't be able to get through this portal, with all my power, my astral, or rather digital, body is too large, not to mention the Great Beast itself. I have no choice but to wait here. Xellos, I want you to take a look at how things are in our world, visit Wolf Pack Island and have a quick meeting with Neuro and Zenki. Report back to me swiftly."
"Yes, Lord Beast Master!" Xellos happily exclaimed. It seemed that things were finally looking up. The five lost ships that served Darkstar; Bodigar, Nezard, Galveira, Ragudo Mezegis and Gorun Nova were finally out of the picture. Four of them had been destroyed and the last one had joined their ranks. Now only the final preparations lay ahead before the battle against Darkstar.
To be Continued
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I know there are still unresolved issues with Gourry and Lina. Don't worry, I won't leave them hanging; I will elaborate more about them in the upcoming chapters. These are the last few chapters; finally, the end of the story draws near!