This is the TWENTY-FIRST issue of our new Marvel Fanon-Made storyline called The Absconders. To read the previous issue, click here. This storyline is Role-played and made by a certain number of experienced RPers. These are our RPers, and their OCs:
- TheSuperiorOne - Trey Soniak (Earth-2025)
- Thecryingwolf3553 - Eliana Rosenheim (Earth-2025)
- PyroHunter16 - Haruto Higashikata (Earth-2025)
- Infamoussnake - Dominic Bernedicci (Earth-2025)
- Guilthegreat - Raa-4 (Earth-2025)
If you want to join this RP, please ask in the comments and you will need most of our approvals to RP in here. Also, you need to have a Marvel OC (Original Character) submitted to deviantART OR this wiki and must share it with us so we know who we are RPing with. Disclaimer: Any real-life or fictional brands are used in as a parody. None of us are actually sponsored, nor do we care to be sponsored. Now let us begin the RP and enjoy :)
- Normal writing is the dialogue between the characters.
- Italic writing is a special writing type for characters with second personalities or long distance dialogue (telepathy or calls).
- Bold and italic writing are the actions that characters do.
- Writing in between the *asterisk* means that the character is talking in their heads.
At the Cemetary, August 2, 2026
Dominic was witnessing his mother being put into the ground beside where Dino's body used to be. He had Francesca's family members, some of Dino's, some Soldiers who respected her as an individual, Viviane, and Eliana, to the both of them, it was obvious he looked shut down.
Dominic: *They did this to her, no more blaming me, it's time, it's time I find the true guilty...* He could feel a rage, a dread, a hunger, and his will, all biting st him, wanting him to take action. But he felt Viviane's hand on his shoulder, and he looked at her, calming down
Viviane: I'm here for you...
Eliana: She was busy in her own thoughts, unaware of her surroundings. *That guy knew where Dom's mum was...what if they know where my parents are? My family could be in danger now...* She had a worried look on her face until she noticed Dominic. She moved closer to him and gently hugged him from the side, feeling his sadness and showing pity for him. She held his hand as she looked at Francesca's grave. He held hers, she could feel the raw emotions.
Dominic: They're all gonna die... His voice was shaky.
Eliana: That one thing is certain...no one walks away from this breathing. She says, only so he could hear it, hoping it'd motivate him.
Dominic: I hope so... Soon everyone left after Francesca was put in the ground, only him, Viviane, and Eliana were left. Dominic: She didn't have to die, She just wanted to see her boy, her lonely boy...They took her away from me, they kept me away from her...Very screwed up, the world is. And this isn't even involved with higher beings, aliens, or magic, this is what man thought of, what man wrought.
Viviane: Dominic, you need to keep strong for her...
Dominic: You know, there's a thought that in times of peace, children bury their parents, in times of war parents bury their children...I don't see anything peaceful.
Viviane: She's at rest, I hope you can recover Nico, and I hope you can soldier on. she left, letting him grieve, sighing, as she gave Eli this look as she passed by her and left
Eliana: Dominic. You mourned over her, but now it's time to take action. While you cry over the dead, your enemies won't rest, they're still walking, to them this is an achievement. They took away someone you love, they're one step ahead of us. You can't let them have that advantage, whoever staged this is still out there, so we can't afford to be weak any longer. We must go out and end this before anyone else suffers. She said rubbing his arm for comfort.
Dominic: He reached his hand out to her burial spot *Dom what're you thinking of?....If I can just do what you did to dad's body....NO! You retarded demigod, that's a stupid idea!...But....No, many things can go wrong, so stop it and listen to your woman!* He put his arm down and sighed You're right, I shouldn't give them the satisfaction of breaking me, I wont let monsters like them break me...
August 3rd, 2026
The very next day in a dimly lit laboratory, Thaddeus was leaning against a wall wearing a men's leather jumpsuit and cape, with long gloves and a turtleneck collar. He had a bruise under his eye and his eyes were red, his curly hair was tousled and he looked impatient. He was tapping his shoe against the ground, standing next to a desk where a scientist was repairing a helmet for him with an assortment of tools. The scientist's badge had a shell logo on it, and written was Pangolin Industries, a popular science division. Several other scientists were in the background, but they were strangely ignoring Thaddeus's presence in the room, whereas the scientist looked anxious and frightened.
Thad: How much longer?! He yelled at the scientist in a burst of rage, to which the scientist reacted by shaking in sudden fear. The scientist stammered before getting a sentence out.
Scientist: J-just a few more minutes. I finished repairing the damages, just placing back on the new outer shell. Fresh coat of paint, just like you requested, Mr. Tanner...
Thad: Destroy the scrap parts too.
Scientist: M-may I ask, for curiosity's sake, why is your helmet showing signs of firearm damage, and your suit riddled with bullet holes?
Thad: If you ask me another irrelevant question like that, I'll make you eat the scrap metal. Understood?
Scientist: Yes, sir.
Thad: Don't call me sir, don't call me anything. You just answer, that's all.
Thad: Thad continues waiting, but is alarmed when he senses something in the distance. He feels a small group of people enter the building, heading for the lab, none of them scientists, and all carrying weapons. Who's that? His voice was rushed.
Thad: There's men outside, with guns.
Scientist: Probably just a check-up by the Gardener men.
Thad: The what?
Scientist: You do know that Pangolin Industries is owned by the Gardener Corporation, right? We make their firearms and ammunition.
Thad: You f-ckers work for Richard Gardener?!
Thad: No, I had this company make my suit and helmet, He grabs the helmet from the scientist after it's finished and places it on his head as it locks in place, activating an electronic and robotic voice changer You work for me. He was now in the full Imperious gear, and right before the soldiers entered the laboratory, Imperious pulled out a silver pistol from his pocket and aimed it directly at the scientist's face, and used his other hand to hush his own lips to signal the scientist to shut up. When the laboratory door opened, Imperious suddenly suppressed himself mentally from everyone's vision except the scientist's, so only the scientist could see him, aiming a gun to his face. The group of soldiers entered the lab and looked around, all following one young man with brown hair and blond highlights. He had a snarky attitude about him, walking around like he owns the place, though he seemed more comical than serious. He had short sleeves which revealed many scars, some recent and some years old. He made aware to all the scientists that he was there, they all looked at him and approached as he gestured towards his holstered sawed-off shotgun.
Man: What's going on here today, lads? Having fun? He said in a sarcastic jolly voice, showing his chipped teeth which seemed to be inhumanly sharp like that of a monster's, accompanying his high-pitched voice with a crazed smile after every sentence.
Random Scientist: It's been an eventful day, very productive for us.
Man: Good, productivity is fun, isn't it? He walked up to the scientist who could see the invisible Imperious, sitting at his desk. What are you doing?
Scientist: Just finishing up some paperwork...He saw down the barrel of Imperious's gun and started sweating Mr. Caerwyn.
Man: Call me Wayne. He noticed the man sweating as he placed his hand on his shoulder. Nervous about something?
Scientist: He was silent for a brief few seconds, seeing Imperious brandish his gun in his face again. Don't want to upset the boss.
Wayne: Ah! No need to worry about that, I'm not the boss anyway. Just here to see how things are going.
Scientist: I see.
Wayne: Soooooo... He dragged out his words, expecting the scientist to answer him, before sighing. How are things going, then?
Scientist: Oh, uh, fine, carbonadium bullets have been tested and are working fine.
Wayne: Did you test them on live targets?
Wayne: Then how are we supposed to expect them to work on Gemstone?
Scientist: The results are already back, we know the carbonadium disables cellular regeneration, it's pretty effective too. The Leon Corps soldiers will be fully equipped by the end of the week.
Wayne: Good. Ugh, Gemstone... That slut hasn't shown her face today, with luck she's dead in a ditch somewhere after that stunt she pulled yesterday...
Imperious: *Oh screw you...*
Wayne: Oh well. Glad everything's fine here. I'll be off. He walked off as his soldiers followed, with themselves wearing badges depicting a lion, written Leon Corps, a mercenary group which Imperious had previously manipulated into fighting for him in the Virtue war.
Imperious: *Pangolin Industries and Leon Corps work for Gardener? Ah crap. Though I do like the idea of making the enemy work for me...haha.* He saw Wayne about to leave, and so pulled the gun away from the scientist's face and aimed it at Wayne instead.
Scientist: N-no... don't... He shaked his head at Imperious to warn him not to attack Wayne. Imperious ignored him and fired his gun, the bullet hitting Wayne in his left arm as the soldiers were alarmed and turned around, holding up their guns to the source of the gunshot. Wayne barely flinched at the bullet wound, and calmly pulled out the bullet with his other hand and looked at it, covered in blood. He turned around holding the bullet up to eye level.
Wayne: Who did that? He asked calmly, without any sign of pain.
Imperious suddenly became visible again, still aiming his gun at Wayne.
Imperious: Me! He fired several more bullets at Wayne, but his bodyguards stepped in the way, absorbing the bullets with their body armour.
Wayne: Where the Hell did this dude come from? Nevermind, shoot him! They fired their guns at Imperious, but his powers created an invisible barrier around him that curved the bullets and accidentally hit the scientist, killing him. Wayne groaned. No! Idiots, don't shoot the valuable scientists, God, just kill him!
Imperious: *Crap, sorry...gotta learn to control this.* Imperious threw his hand forward as a giant force pushed all four soldiers and Wayne at once, knocking them all to the nearest wall. Imperious runs off as the soldiers continue their fire, he jumps and hovers behind some cover, a large machine that's thick enough to block the bullets. When they stop to reload, Imperious jumps out and tosses two throwing knifes out from under the folds of his suit, which all magically fly out and simultaneously stab two soldiers in their throats, killing them. Wayne pushes his remaining two soldiers out the way as he runs directly at Imperious, growling like an animal then lunging at him, but Imperious simply backhands him without touching him, using TK to knock him away. One soldier throws an impact grenade at Imperious which explodes on him, stunning him and burning his suit a bit, but Imperious manages to extinguish the flames with TK.
Soldier: WAYNE! GET OUT OF HERE!
Wayne: Not while he stands! Wayne looks at one of the scientist's desks, seeing a prototype pistol with carbonadium ammo. He grabs the weapon and aims it at Imperious, who is occupied with redirecting the bullets of the soldiers with swift and effortless hand motions, as he slowly approaches them. Wayne aims and fires the pistol at Imperious, who is alerted by the sound of the gunshot and slightly turns to see the bullet reaching him. Imperious quickly holds a hand up to the bullet, expecting his telekinesis to reinforce his hand to block the bullet. Instead, the bullet hits his ring finger of his left hand, and severs it. Imperious yells in pain as his finger falls off and hits the ground, holding his gloved and bleeding hand in pain.
Imperious: *F-ck!!! My finger...why didn't it block the bullet?!* Imperious looks at the smiling Wayne, looking into his mind and finding out the bullet was made of carbonadium, which stalls healing factors, even disabling them altogether. Imperious runs at Wayne, who fires several more times at him, which Imperious dodges but stops running, realising how dangerous it was. He then gets shot at from the other soldiers and three bullets hit his ribcage, making him wince, but his body armour protects him from the bullets. Imperious holds another throwing knife in his hand, throwing it at Wayne before turning invisible, then escaping the room. The knife stabs Wayne's abdomen, as the gunfire stops. Wayne approaches his two men.
Wayne: Was that the guy who attacked the Gardener Tower before?
Soldier: Yes, I believe. He certainly matches the descriptions.
Wayne: Oh well. The carbonadium seemed to work on him. He said as he kneeled down to look at Imperious's severed finger, smiling. That means it'll work on Gemstone too. He said, standing up Then Richard can finally avenge his father.
Soldier: Uh, Wayne...
Soldier: He points at Wayne's stomach, which still has a knife buried in it, unbeknownst to Wayne.
Wayne: Oh. He removes the bloodied knife from his intestines, handing it to the soldier It seems this guy used Pangolin tech to make his weapons. Check the security tapes, find whoever helped him and shoot them, after that we're done here. He walks off, exiting the building.
Somewhere in the desert
In a desert, a somehow military complex was showing up, it seemed to be half buried while the other half was on the surface, protected by a huge mechanical gate, Lula, the powered terrorist was in front of the gate, waiting for it to open, when it finally did, she walked inside, not greeting any of the workers that had opened the gate, she entered the complex, walking fast through a corridor, she was not looking at any of the workers, no matter if they were guards or scientists, she started to go down stairs that led a dark underground, the neons, sensing her presence all lighted on, around her were hundreds of tanks filled with q greenish liquid and organisms growing inside, some of them were fully grown, while others were as small as a fetus, she looked at some of the tanks while walking, wearing a disgusted expression,w walking forwards, she arrived in front a huge metallic door protected by 2 guards
Guard 1: Identification Number please.
Guard 2: Along with reasons for visit.
Lula: Francis, Carl, Get the f-ck out of the way. The guards briefly looked at each others and kindly stepped aside, letting her pass by pressing a trigger to open the door, when she entered the room, the doors closed behind her, startled by this she jumped forward, the room was dark, in fact there was barely any light, except for little lamps that were placed onto small tanks with organisms growing inside.
However this little amount of light was enough for the eyes to see an hospital bed with a man seemingly sleeping, cables all over him, helping him to breath and nourishing him, Lula stood in front of the man who had an horribly deformed face, burned and covered in scars, she put her arm around herself and trembling and started to talk
Lula: S-Sir...Mission...accomplished...the f-fake absconders did as they were asked and did as much damage as possible, unfortunately they lost their lives. the man opened his eyes that were somewhat gray in color, almost as if his pupils had fused with his sclera, Lula instinctively took a little step back.
Man: ha...Do not...worry...Their goal......Was not....to live....
Lula: A-Alright! that was my re-report then.
Man: Thank you...You did good....
Lula: alright, thank you! haha.....ha....she turned and started to walk away but then stopped and looked back at the man b-but...Sir may I ask you a question...?
Lula: W-Why? W-why so much effort...for...t-them?
Man: The.......Abs...conders.....are the....physical...representation.....of what I....Despise the most....
Lula: ...hmm, I-I'm not sure I understand....
Man: How...How old are you....Miss Lula...
Lula: Uh! Me!? Uh...26!
Man: Young....Young as you....Are....you cannot....understand....
Lula: I...I guess....Sorry for bothering you! I will go now, thank you. she quickly walked to the exit leaving the man alone
Man: It's...All....About.....Powers....It has....Always....Been....About Po....wers. The phone next to the man started to ring, slowly he raised his arm and grabbed the ringing phone, putting it to his ear after having answered
Voice: So, big boss. How was the Proto Adapter's test? Get all the info you can get on that. I need to know every single detail. How it performed in the Binary Driver, what sounds it produce, the effects on the Driver's host when he was defeated. Everything. Spill it. The voice that spoke was deep, masculine, and robotic. The robotic tones seemed to be artificial, as if the voice was being disguised on purpose.
Man: ....It was...Unique for sure...In fact I had never seen....anything.....like..this.....It played a funky...tune....The host....wore a black...armor...but...from what.....I heard.....He transformed upon defeat....the...transformation must've weakened him....I thought that the modifications..on the subject were what...had triggered the..transformation....but...it must've been the...adapter
Voice: Good... Everything's going according to plan. I've got more adapters to test, so ready more subjects. When you release those subjects, make sure someone monitors their performance against Override. I want highly detailed reports on each performance with each Adapter. The next shipment should be on its way, and I expect those reports after each combat test. Don't fail me, or you can consider our partnership over.
Man: I have...many subjects....ready....You just...have to...promise me...that You will...fulfill...your part...of the deal...as well as...I'm fulfilling mine...he coughed
Voice: Keep the subjects ready. Deploy them with the Adapters and Drivers. Monitor their performances, and report back to me in full detail. Do that, and I'll keep my end of the deal. With that, the phone hung up, and the dial tone could be heard afterwards.
The weakened man put the phone back on the table next to him and started to look at a pic that was on the table as well, it was a photo depicting a very young boy of around 7 years smiling with an ice cream cone in his hand
Man: Always been...about powers...worry not....he took the picture in hand and smile ...our efforts...won't be...in vain....After...All..these years.....he put the picture back on the table, and slowly turned the other side with a comforted smile on his face, going back to sleep.
Meanwhile at Dinomo tower
Viviane held off the board members from cutting off Dominic, as she still holds ansolute faith in him, as she was in his office sighing.
Viviane: *Damn it Nico, wherever you are, you need to get here now...* She looks around his office seeing several pictures, and then she found, he kept some book like object, when she got it, she saw it was book of memoirs, as she saw a fingerprint scanner, when she touched it, it let her in, as it had hologram pages, as she read, learning more about him, his attempted suicide, his actual Absconding, his rise to power, and now as being an orphan, but also opinions on being labeled as a terrorist. She then saw a set of pages labeled "Helpless", here she found out the people he was involved romantically, how he feels for each, sighing, until she saw a page deicated to her, empty, she noticed it was writing on its own, it was obvious this book was mentally connected to Dominic, she closed it, as she could see the truth now, unfortunately she noticed many soldiers lately around the city, as she got to her car with his memoir in her bag, some soldiers notice her as she was about to get in her car.
Soldier 1: Miss Free?
Soldier 1: We have reason to believe you are an accomplice of Dominic Bernedicci, please come with me... He grabs her arm, gently.
Viviane: Look, I don't know where he is. Please, let me go. The soldier suddenly let go.
Soldier 1: Ah, sorry Miss, my mistake. Suddenly a soldier with a geiger counter like device was with his squad, as the device went off and he lookd at Viviane and the soldier she was with as the other soldiers gripped their weapons tighter as they started to approach her, she could sense it, fear, caution, determination, instinctively she grabbed the soldier she was closest to by the neck and threw him to the rest as she got into her car, and drove fast, as one of the soldiers got back up and got in his intercomm.
Soldier 2: Registered Mutate, Viviane Free is on the move, do not let her escape! Suddenly APCs, Jeeps, and even a chopper was chasing her car, as she was avoiding obstacles, not entering populated zones so that no civillian was harmed, as she crossed city limits and got on the road near the forests.
Viviane: *I'm near, I'm near!* A bullet suddenly flew into the window and hit her on the forehead as he car crashed, the jeeps, APCs, and even chopper stopped at her area, as some soldiers went to check, opening the door, dragging her out, she was clutching her bag, suddenly she got up, and pulled a sweep kick on them throwing one into a tree, as she stomped one foot on the ground so hard she broke her stiletto's heel, and did the same with the other, as the ground she was standing on had some cracks on them. She put her hand on her forehead as she got the bullet off, as it deformed against her forehead, flattening, as she looked angry, eyes glowing red, as the soldiers opened fire on her, as they ruined her clothes, but she was fine, as she dashed at several, grabbing their assault rifles, removing the ammo from it, and started using them as improvised clubs, batting and kicking away many soldiers unconscious, as she had an angry look the entire time, one soldier got to the turret of a jeep and opened fire, Viviane ran for cover, using the APC, she tore off two pieces of metal from it, looking at the chopper and turret guy, she then fashioned both into improvised javelins, she threw one into the turret breaking it and knicked the soldier operating it, she was a bit worried, checking for wounds, until the chopper open fired on her, hitting spots, causing bruises, she threw her last javelin at the chopper, making it smoke as it retreated, she panted, and winced, seeing the memoirs near her broken car as she ran into the forests, trying to find the VP, calling for any Absconder, just calling the team name.
A black-armoured woman came after hearing her cries, it was Eliana but she was in her Volatile armour. She ran up to Viviane, her armour glowing purple through its helmet.
Eliana: Do you need help? Wait, are you Viviane Free? I've seen you on TV before, you work for Dominic.
Viviane: Yes, I do, please, take me somewhere safe, I don't know how many more are there...
Eliana: Um, yes, come with me. She takes Viviane, using her powers to avoid the soldiers until she successfully reaches the Vanishing Point. She doesn't take Viviane inside but stays with her outside. Her voice changer is still active, giving her an electronic version of her own voice, though it's soft rather than heavy. You're safe outside here, this is Absconder territory. Tell me, what happened?
Viviane: Alright, so ever since that fiasco of yours, you guys have been labeled as terrorists. Soldiers came in, I was about to go home, until one coured me as Nico's accomplice, had to defend myself, knocked a lot of them out, needed to find all of you, or at least one of you.
Eliana: That wasn't us, the news got it wrong. They were fakers pretending to be us, to what purpose we don't know. The Absconders have always been here to look after the people and the city, not destroy it. Anyway, so there's soldiers, presumably from the military, after us now? Ah crap... *How the Hell do we deal with them without killing them?*
Viviane: Look, let me talk to Dominic, you said this is Absconders territory right? So your base is nearby?
Eliana: Well, fine. I'll let you inside since you're an ally and all. She opens the entrance and takes Viv through the tunnel but stops there, not traveling further. Eliana leaves to go get Dominic.
Dominic came in, and saw her tattered condition as he went to her
Dominic: My God, Viv are you okay?
Viviane: I'm fine, I'm fine... She calmed him as they sat on the couch as she told him of the situation
Dominic: F-ck, so we're basically being portrayed as the villains now huh?
Viviane: Everyone's scared.
Eliana: She didn't take her suit off, not trusting Viviane yet. Dominic knew not to reveal her identity. There's the power of media for you. Some people just hate having someone controling their fates, so they jump at the chance to hate us I guess.
Viviane: So, can I stay here?
Dominic looked at Eliana, hoping it was a "yes".
Eliana: She sighs. If Dominic trusts you. Sorry, been a little paranoid since...the Agency leaks...
Viviane: Well I assure you, I wont be any trouble... She goes to Dominic's room, closing the door, leaving him and Eliana alone.
Dominic: So we have soldiers in the city now, should I call the rest of Hivemind Xi?
Eliana: She removed her helmet after Viv left. Are you crazy? We're not trying to start a war. The government doesn't want us around, that won't stop our work. We're trying to protect everyone, including the government, whether they appreciate us or not.
Dominic: Alright...I just realized the original four are wanted, the public doesn't know anyone else.
Eliana: They might hunt down anyone calling themselves an Absconder. Hopefully this doesn't escalate to every superhuman, we don't need another Virtue problem.
Dominic: Do you think Gardener is involved?
Eliana: Definitely. But he's not going to take us down this easily. I'm coming for him soon enough.
While Dominic and Eliana talked outside, Haruto was inside the workshop he and Dom had worked on. On the bench was his Binary Driver, all the bottles he owned, several mechanical scraps, and a machine that resembled a microwave. The microwave was currently active, and the display stated "Bottle Purification in Process" as well as an estimated time until completion and the name of the bottle: Ninja. In the mean time, Haruto began summoning all the weapons his Driver provided access to.
Haruto: We have... the Kurenai-series blades, the Konjou-series rifles, the Crimson Phoenix and Cobalt Lotus, the Emerald Storms, that one pistol I made, and my Dual Assault. For now... He held out his hand and began transforming the weapons into raw materials. We'll return these to their base forms. The Emerald Storms can stay as is... I like that one.
The Kurenai weapons were reduced to a red metal, the Konjou weapons to a blue metal, and the other weapons back to their original form. The phoenix Haruto had summoned appeared from the Crimson Phoenix, the lotus frozen in ice reappeared in place of the Cobalt Lotus. The phoenix flew around Haruto and perched on his shoulder nuzzling him. Haruto chuckled softly and pat the fire-bird.
Haruto: Welcome back, Engetsu. The phoenix squawked gently at Haruto, acknowledging him. I'll need to figure out arrangements for you... For the mean time, Haruto gathered some metal and overwrote it into a highly heat-resistant post for Engetsu to rest on while Haruto worked. As Engetsu settled on the post, the microwave let out a ding to signal the completion of the purification. Ooh, new bottle~ He rushed over to the microwave and opened it, grabbing the new Ninja battery. Ninja, right. But what's its Best Match? Looking at the battery's cap, Haruto found a G and an N; N obviously standing for Ninja. It starts with a G? That could be literally anything with the letter G! He tossed the battery to the rest of them, then turned his attention back to the raw materials. Step one... Pyro Swordsman weapon.
Grabbing the red metal, Haruto began to place it into the shape of a sword before grabbing papers and drawing up several designs for a sword. Some designs showed a longsword, others showed a katana. He couldn't seem to decide between the two swords, until the thought of combining the two swords together and adding in some kind of transformation mechanism to swap between a greatsword and two katanas. With that in mind, he began to sketch the final product, detailing how the transformation mechanism would work and the separated weapons.
Haruto: This ought to do it... Let's build it up. Following his own blueprints, Haruto began to build the weapon, spending hours upon hours drinking coffee, eating assorted snacks, and welding the weapon together while overwriting all the necessary mechanisms in to allow for the transformation. Kansei da! He held up the completed weapon and looked it over. Kore ga... Uh... You need a name for sure, but... what the hell am I gonna call you? Hm... I got it! This will be the Kaen Nitouryuu Kurenai Zangeki! Or... the Crimson Slasher, I guess. Not much change from the original weapon's name, huh? Eh. I need to test this... He looked around for a test target, and remembered the training grounds before laughing maniacally for a second. Oh, this is great...! He gave the sword a couple test swings, finding the weapon to be perfectly balanced for him. Saikou da! After loading the weapon's data into the Driver, he began working on the next weapon, the weapon for his Cryo Sniper form. He chose to remake the Konjou Rifle from scratch, rebuilding it according to his specifications. There were very minor upgrades, since the original weapon was fine with him. Instead, he replaced the reload mechanism with a bolt-based charging system. Anata wa... Yukimarimo Hinawaju Konjou Taihou! He aimed the rifle at a nearby target and shot it with a powerful bullet of ice. The Navy Cannon is complete. The Emerald Storms can remain the same. I don't need a weapon for Terra Artillery, considering that one provides its own arsenal. This ought to be enough for tonight... He looked through the window in the workshop and saw the night sky outside. I never did get a battery from Luce or Ombra... Maybe... their power is too much for me? Ahh, the suspense is killing me! He threw his hands into the air out of frustration, pondering what in the world the two Arcana had in mind for their powers. How long have I been awake...? Checking the time, he saw it was nearing midnight, around 11:30 PM. With a sigh, he stored all the equipment away and led Engetsu into his personal room in the VP, setting up a spot for Engetsu to sleep while Haruto slept on his bed.
August 4th, 2026
Haruto woke up the next morning tired. It was 5 in the morning, and he had slept about 6 hours that night. Sighing as he rose from bed, Haruto went to check on Engetsu. The phoenix was resting peacefully on its bed, with its flames dim but warm. The cold morning air wasn't present in Haruto's room thanks to Engetsu naturally radiating warmth. He smiled and gently pet the phoenix before leaving the room and entering the Vanishing Point's main room, then headed to the kitchen.
Haruto: What to make, what to make... Haruto looked in the fridge for ingredients before deciding on making a Garbage Plate since he was starving from working on the weapons last night. Once he had the meat sauce prepared, he began to grill up some cheeseburgers while making some home fries and homemade pasta salad. An hour later, and he had plated everything up on a paper plate before digging in. Mmm... good s-it...
He ate his meal at a leisurely pace before throwing away the trash and returning to his room to get dressed and ready for the day. He looked at his collection of batteries, specifically the best matches, before looking at the purple Ninja battery.
Haruto: I'll go with... Shin and Ninja. He puts the bottles away as his clothes change colors to match with the color scheme he chose: purple and silver. However, when he exited the VP, he didn't have much time to do anything as an explosion went off across the street down a few blocks. You gotta be s--ting me... Haruto put his headphones in, searched for Neat Neat Neat on his phone, hit play, and equipped the Binary Driver.
Binary Driver: Shin Arcana! Ninja!
Haruto: On second thought...
BD: Pyro Arcana! Swordsman! Best Match! Haruto turned the lever upwards and ran forward. The platforms with the pneumatic tubing moved him as he ran towards the source of the explosion. Smoke covered up his transformation into Override. Kasai no Blade Master! Pyro-Swordsman!
Haruto: What is it this time?! Haruto held out his hand and summoned his Crimson Slasher, eager to test the weapon as he ran through the smoke towards the explosion. His HUD didn't pick anything up until he reached the building that exploded: a window-installation store. The hell? Who robs a glass-making store? *Wait, Glass?* As he looked through the store, his HUD picked up an energy signature similar to his, yet foreign. A glass sword came swinging at him, to which he turned around and barely managed to dodge in time. N-nani?! Haruto looked at the assailant, seeing a black suit similar to the fake he fought a few days ago. However, the eyes bore a yellow, glassy finish to them rather than being shaped like purple shuriken. *Another fake?!*
Fake Haruto: So you're the real deal? Sorry, but I can't have you around anymore. Do me a favor and die! He swung his glass sword again, rushing at the real Haruto who defended with his Crimson Slasher.
Haruto: Where are all these fakes coming from?! He continued to defend against the fake's attacks, trying to lead him out of the glass store. The odd part was... all the glass shards around them began to collect around the fake's sword, enhancing its sharpness and durability. Some of the shards diverted to the armor, reinforcing it.
Fake: Don't worry about it! The fake delivered a slash and purposefully left an opening for the real one to exploit, allowing himself to be hit by the Crimson Slasher. When he was hit, he shattered apart as if made of glass. Even the true Haruto's HUD had ceased to detect the fake's presence.
Haruto: That... was way too easy... But good sword technique, I guess they're improving on that much, at least. He switch the music to Bellbottoms before stepping away from the store, then looking back at it. *But he shattered in one hit... If they're improving on my fakes, they shouldn't drop the durability like that. Unless...* Another alarm from the corner of his eye as the fake Haruto slashed at him, reappearing as if the glass shards were reassembling themselves. The real one was cut from the sword, which left an extremely thin, but deep cut. The f--k?!
Fake: Like it? A glass sword that increases in every combat aspect as it collects more glass shards. They gave me a knife to start with, but after ruining a few glassware shops... It grew into this lovely greatsword. Truly amazing... He rubbed the sleek blade before pointing it at the true Haruto, who had changed his music yet again to a Seven Nation Army remix.
Haruto: And your cloaking ability?
Fake: A magician doesn't reveal his secrets. He waved the sword as if to say no.
Haruto: You're turning transparent, right? The light isn't absorbed, nor is it reflected. It passes through you, as if you weren't there.
Fake: Did you learn that in physics class?
Haruto: Learned it in AP physics two years ago.
Fake: We get it, you're smart. Piss off and die already! The fake rushed Haruto, who stood still and held his sword up before pushing the hilt off-center so that it would make a katana without the excess blade. OCD isn't going to stop me!
Haruto: Not my intention.
He smirked under his helmet before pointing the blade at the fake and pressing a button on the guard, ejecting the excess blade as another hilt extended outwards. Taken by surprise, the fake tries to knock the second sword out of the air with his own, doing so successfully before realizing too late that it was distraction. The real Haruto had taken this opportunity to sneak a slash in, kicking him to the side as he picked up the other sword and charged. Immediately, he paused time and began to slash away. While the fake went super speed to keep up, the inevitable lag from not having true resistance from time stop prevented him from recovering fully. The fake was bombarded with sword slashes, one after another in rapid succession. He stood no chance as Haruto battered him with strike after strike, until eventually, the fake couldn't use super speed anymore and succumbed to the effects of the time stop due to the lack of stamina. Restarting time, Haruto holstered the swords on his back and grabbed the fake's belt, removing it entirely. As a result, the black armor disappeared into gas and revealed the other Haruto.
Haruto: So, are you another lookalike? Or are you a clone? He looked at the other belt. It was a Binary Driver, no doubt. He removed the adapter from the belt, which he stored in his pocket dimension as he removed the bottle in the adapter. While it wasn't as cleanly made as the other batteries, it was no doubt an Arcana Battery.
Fake: Wouldn't you like to know...? Before he could say another word, an ominous, deep voice spoke "Arcana Infusion!" before the fake was shot by a mysterious bullet. The real Haruto turned to follow the predicted trajectory of the bullet to see... Exiled on a rooftop, holding a rifle.
Haruto: Of course you're here... Haruto stored the Adapter in the pocket dimension before taking out the Ninja battery. Even though it hasn't been purified... It should still work...
BD: Glass! Ninja! Best Match!
Haruto: Here goes nothing... Dual up!
BD: Mix!! Shinobi no Silicon! Glass-Ninja! A purple ninja-like half appeared behind Haruto as a yellow, glassy half appeared in front before combining together to produce Haruto's new form.
Haruto: Glass Ninja, huh? Master of stealth indeed... He looked back at where Exiled was seen, but the figure wasn't there. He turned his attention back to the monster that had appeared in front of him, which resembled a medieval rogue as it had a hooded cloak and chain-mail-like armor. Ninja versus rogue? Assassin of the east against the thief of the west... Let's go! Haruto quickly dashed forward, holding both his katanas with one in a reverse grip. He slashed quickly as the monster tried to keep up with him, barely able to due to the clunky body and lack of hand-eye coordination.
BD: Ready? Glass Ninja... Binary Finish!! Purple and yellow energy swirled around the blades of Haruto's swords before he slashed at the monster with both, cutting it down and reverting it to a gaseous essence. He quickly tossed the swords aside and held out an empty battery, which sucked in the gas and created the unpurified "Rogue" battery.
Haruto: Two for one deal. Lucky me. He tucked the bottle into the holster on his side and returned to the VP to purify the two bottles he just obtained.
Back at the VP
Dominic was in his room browsing through the memories of each Past Hosts of the Vanquish with his other personalities, witnessing early Humans, contemplating on Human nature as he compared it to current times.
Dominic: We barely changed, Ripper, what did you think of humanity back then?
Ripper: They were annoying, I couldn't travel anywhere on your planet without sudden worship.
Dominic: Any difference?
Ripper: Nne of you got on your knees when the Hivemind got here.
Dominic: I'm curious though, the Hivemind, their tech, you were obviously around before humanity, and were capable of space travel, all of you are Biomechanical in nature. Who created you?
Chernabog: Unknown, like humanity, even we ended up questioning that, our only recollection is that the first Hives and Heads woke up one day, sentient, with no idea who they were.
Vanquish: Our most likely guess is that we started off as just ways of colonization from some unknown civilization, creating cities in mere Earth hours, then we got weaponized for something.
Dominic: For what? As in what would be so much of a threat that nanites can weaponize human beings into powerful individuals, the Kree, Skrulls maybe?
Ripper: No, before they were partners with the Hivemind, a strong one at that, the Kree was the main military, the Skrulls were for intelligence, and us, we were the technology to hold them all together.
Dominic: So the Hivemind is responsible for their technology?
Vanquish: No, they too were already capable of space travel.
Chernabog: Over time, they've split, only the Hivemind preserving the memories of this alliance.
Ripper: Many battle were fought, many treaties were established, when I was younger I even heard of a rumor of artifacts hidden on all the planets we've visited.
Dominic: Hm I see.
Before they could talk more, someone knocked on the door, as Dominic made the holograms go away.
Dominic: Come in... The door opened revealing Viviane.
Viviane: Hello boss.
Dominic: Hey Viv, so how are you holding up? He motioned her to sit beside him.
Viviane: Good, as in, first time since I've been in a toss in a while.
Dominic: When was the first?
Viviane: You know those Super powered fighting rings that were shut down five years ago?
Viviane: Well, I used to be a fighter in one of those rings, they called me "The Amazon"... She chuckled
Dominic: And defending yourself brought back bad memories?
Viviane: Yeah- I enjoyed punching in the faces of the c-nts I tossed with, always hoping for a long fight, always smiling, as in the cheers, the praise, the rewards, it was like being a gladiator of old.
Dominic: Wow, must've been quite the recall when coming here then.
Viviane: You bet your sweet ass it was...It's nice that someone can offer me a home, so that was the greatest recall. She smiled, resting her head on his shoulder, sleeping, Dominic sighed, making her lie on the bed. He decided to head to the computer, to see any updates. Haruto walked by their room, peeking inside just to see what was going on. Seeing Dom checking his computer and Viv napping, Haruto walked away and returned to the garage, where he had the Glass and Rogue bottles purifying in two separate chambers within the same device.
Haruto: Guy's a chick magnet, alright... Better stay with Eli unless he's planning on death by ungodly Eldritch abominations... He sat down in his chair at the work station and began drawing up designs for the Glass-Ninja weapon. Obviously, this will be a ninja sword. But should I make it out of glass...? I can make the edge of the sword glass and do something similar to what the fake did, but I do want a fully visible sword...
He finished the weapon's blueprint: a ninjato sword (the legendary ninja sword) with a gold blade, a silver core to the blade, and a black hilt with a purple guard. The blueprints mention a glass coating with properties overwritten into it to make it withstand the full force of Haruto's strongest swing as well as a similar ability to the fake's glass sword: manipulating nearby glass shards into augmenting the sword. It took him a while, but he finally made the weapon and held it up.
Haruto: Kanryou shimashita! Anata wa... Hari Atsumaru Ninpoutou! Because Glass-Gathering Ninja Sword sounds lame in English... After uploading the data to the Binary Driver, he reached into his pocket dimension and pulled out the other trophies of his fight: the other Binary Driver and the adapter. Wait a minute... this is a different adapter than the first... The previous one did adapt the two slots into one, but the adaption was more like filling in one slot and leaving the other for the intended bottle. This one... the adapter is centered, and it's a bit bulkier for some reason...
Haruto placed the adapter into a scanning device and had a holographic replication placed in front of him. Immediately, he placed the scan into an exploded view to see what was inside of the adapter. The exploded view revealed that the outer casing was just that: a casing. What was inside appeared to be extra-dimensional energy, existent yet non-existent simultaneously. Aside from a few wires connecting the casing to the energy, there were no other identifiable pieces of technology.
Haruto: This is an adapter...? Might as well be a bomb... The moment he said that, a beeping could be heard coming from... the adapter. S--t, it is a bomb! Haruto grabbed the adapter from the work bench and ran outside, tossing the adapter as far as he could before it exploded into nothing. He wanted to kill me with an explosion, huh? Sorry, Exiled. I'm not going down that easily. But... I need to ask the Arcana about this... Taking out his phone, he scrolled through the apps until he found an app with a return arrow on it: the app to teleport him back to the Arcana planet. I'll be back in... who knows how long... He tapped it and disappeared in a flash of light.
An Hour Later
Thaddeus entered the Vanishing Point calmly, looking around for Eliana. He checked her room but she wasn't there, so he checked Dominic's room to see if she was there, which she wasn't.
Dominic: The Hell are you doing? He asked, as he was behind Thad, not seeing the missing finger yet.
Thad: Oh, shite. He said, turning around. I was looking around for Eliana. I don't suppose you've seen her recently or know of her current whereabouts? He said professionally, as if talking to Eliana's butler.
Dominic: She's probably handling monastery business of hers and- He notices the missing finger Thad, how the f-ck did you lose a finger?
Thad: What? Oh...yeah. Um, lost it recently when I tried to break up a fight at the monastery, crazy monk pulled a shank out and slit He makes a slicing sound with his mouth while showing the stump of his lost finger.
Dominic: Hehe, yeah, and Eliana is with child. He stated sarcastically, obviously wanting the truth.
Thad: Ugh, don't make jokes like that. I'm already barely stomaching the fact she chose to be with a jumped-up c*nt such as yourself. And I'm sure Eli told you I visit the monastery every now and then, why would I lie about such a wound? Unless you prefer me to cook up a lie that sounds a tad cooler to the likes of you? Shot off by an alien laser rifle? Bitten off by a rabid ninja? Oh, oh, I lost it when fighting some nanite infused gangsters! Don't be so daft, Bernedicci. He rolled his eyes, after sarcastically stating those false stories.
Dominic: You know I'm detecting radiation on that wound...
Thad: Your sensors are off. Guess you've never experienced magical blades.
Dominic: You can be surprised what Eliana does in bed...
Before his sentence was finished enunciating, Dominic saw Thad turn transparent blue and punch Dom straight in the forehead, as a shooting pain ripped through his body as if his brain just rippled and popped. Though in actuality Thad didn't move a muscle, and instead mentally punched Dominic. It was obvious it wasn't an attack on him, just a warning.
Thad: Hold any further words of such calibre when you're around me. I don't want to think for another second of you two... together.
Dominic: He growls, eyes glowing green, until he smirked She's the one who chose me Tanner. He armored up, going into Speed Demon, and stomped on his foot enough to hurt, as he ran off, hoping he'd take the bait.
Thad held his shoe, obviously pissed at Dominic. Instead of following him, he looked back at his room and smiled. He entered Dominic's room, then five seconds later he came out, leaving the entire room a complete wreck, with Viviane inside, still asleep. Thad fixed his clothing to wipe dust off, then walked off. Dom ran back then sucker punched him
Thad: He mostly tanked the hit, only moving his head from the force. Oh f-ck off already. You might want to check your room. I almost didn't notice your side-slag sleeping there. My bad. He walks down the hall and to the Vanishing Point exit. He checked and saw Viv, was fine, he sighed at the room's condition as he ran after Thad.
Dominic: I only know one non-government group involved with Carbonadium, He punched him down again Pangolin, spill it Tanner.
Thad: He didn't even speak, he just turned around and walked up to Dominic, as the halls started rumbling around them, cracking as dust fell from above. Thad then, in two swift hand movements, seized Dominic's arm and ripped it clean off, while grunting as he pulled it. Don't ask me about my personal sh-t again, Bernedicci. I have no idea who Pangolin is, or what carbonadium is. So back off, or you'll lose more than your f-cking arm! He exited the VP before Dominic could touch him, Thad could hear footsteps then chuckling.
Dominic: Eli knows two telekinetics now, one got her good armor, armor from Pangolin, and one has armor just as advanced. So tell us Tanner, which is which?
Thad: He looked back at Dominic, terror in his eyes, or desperation. A face that says "please just forget it". It's- He hears someone enter the tunnel of the VP from outside so he turns to see, it's Eliana, who notices them as she approached with het Volatile armour.
Eliana: Oh. She said, her voice changer active. She then removes her helmet and continues with her regular voice. Hey guys. Thad, what's up with yo- Whoa, Dominic! Your arm, are you okay?! She runs up to him and holds his shoulder of his missing arm.
Dominic: Fine, fourth arm lost this year. Don't worry about it... He decided to ignore Thad as he made his helmet disappear, he gave a look at Thad.
Eliana: O-oh... As long as you're fine, then. She kisses his cheek as Thad walks off. Wait, Thad.
Thad: Uh, yes, Eliana?
Eliana: Why were you here?
Thad: Oh, I was looking for you. Needed to tell you that Doriano found some old Varela book or something? Anyway he said you'd want to see it.
Eliana: And he couldn't tell me this himself?
Thad: Well he's not allowed in, he's a stranger. Plus he's outside so... He shrugs.
Eliana: Really? Oh, I didn't see him.
Thad: Yeah. Anyway, I'll be going then... Goodbye, to you both...
Eliana: Yeah see ya, Thad. Thad left the VP Guess I'll go see Doriano, Dom. Bye.
He goes back into the VP, using his nanites to repair his room, he woke up Viv, who opens her eyes slowly.
Viviane: Did someone call me a sl-g?
Dominic: Yeah, but, it's alright...
He brought her to the main room's couch, as she slept again. Dom's eyes glowed a faint green.
Dominic: *I'm deducing your sh-t Tanner.*
Meanwhile, on the Arcana Planet
Haruto arrived on the planet, greeted immediately by 20 humanoid beings made of various existences. Seven of these existences were familiar to him, as they were the 7 Arcana he knew. However, the other 13 were unfamiliar, yet he knew what they were. 7 of them seemed to represent the 7 Deadly Sins, while the remaining 6 represented concepts that existed within space-time.
Haruto: Pardon the intrusion... Did I interrupt something important?
Shin: Actually, you have some coincidentally perfect timing. We were planning on summoning you so we could introduce you to the other councils.
Haruto: Other councils...? So Exiled was right... There are more than just 7. One of the Arcana stepped forward. He seemed similar to Shin, but it felt as though the end was approaching him.
Shin: Saigo, wait!
Saigo: You've encountered Exiled?! What is his current form? What weapons does he hold with him?
Haruto: U-uh.... He's wearing something that looks like a militarized version of my armor. Asymmetrical; some kind of aiming implement on the right side of the mask; a knife strapped to his left leg; holster on his right thigh; a purple and gold pistol with a black, cracked battery; more armor on his left arm than right; and some militarized chest plate
Saigo: Dammit... he's not only reassembled them, he's begun to assimilate bodies to recreate himself...
Haruto: May I have some kind of exp- waugh!! Acqua tackled him to the floor, eagerly rubbing her cheek against his chest.
Acqua: Haruto, I've missed you so much!!!!
Haruto: A-ah... I can tell... He felt the presence of pure lust approach him, looking up and noticing a female humanoid with an incredibly voluptuous body colored in pink. *What the hell is with this presence...? It's like being near her is going to...*
Acqua: Ah, Luxuria! This is our chosen champion, Override! She stood up and helped Haruto to his feet.
Luxuria: My my, he's quite the looker~ She approached him and began to rub her hands up and down his body, biting her lip. Mmm, what a strong, supple body you have... She switched to a single finger, trailing it upwards until it reached Haruto's chin, to which she pushed upwards so that Haruto was looking into her eyes. The girls you've got on your side must be very lucky to have you, huh~?
Haruto: I- Uh...
Luce: Luxuria, please. Show some restraint with our champion.
Luxuria: I couldn't help myself, sorry~ You've chosen well for yourself.
Ombra: Guess I'll introduce you to the others, Override. He pat Haruto's back and gestured to the other feminine humanoids, who were colored much like the auras of his Sin Strikes. Those ladies over there. They're the Council of Sin, comprised solely of females that represent the 7 Deadly Sins. In fact, they're the ones who tutored Origin.
Haruto: I see. He bowed to the women, as a gesture of politeness.
Ombra: And the others, they make up the Celestial Council. Aevum over there represents time. He gestured to the golden male who was checking a very ornate pocket watch. He tutored Cronus, the champion after Origin.
Haruto: Does that mean... the Celestial Council is tutoring Giorno?
Ombra: Well... Aevum is assisting, but Giorno's main tutor is Elimina, Arcana of Negation and Deletion. He pointed to a white and blue humanoid.
Haruto: Ah, I see. So... where is Giorno?
Elimina: Currently undergoing his training. I'm having him build his transformation gear.
Haruto: Do you have blueprints for him to work off of?
Elimina: Yes. In fact... Your Binary Driver came from blueprints that Exiled left behind.
Haruto: So... Exiled created this Battery system?
Shin: They're batteries now?
Haruto: Yeah, figured they'd work out a bit better. Anyways, continue.
Elimina: Right. As I was saying, Exiled, before his exile, created the Arcana Essence system. He originally created the Monomer Firearm system, which consist of the Monomer Gun transformation pistol and an additional knife supplement which combines to form the Monomer Rifle. This system was designed with the thought that the Essence used would not bleed into its user. As such, power would not rise, but it required the power level to exceed a certain limit for proper use.
Haruto: So... he's got this Monomer Gun and he's using his own essence to transform?
Elimina: Well... originally, he and his twin sister commanded the Void, a spatial-temporal concept separate from the Shadows Ombra rules over. But... he bottled his sister's essence to use for the Monomer Firearm system, and we exiled him for that.
Haruto: You said he created this... Essence system. I'd doubt he was satisfied with just that Firearm system, and the plans for Giorno's belt and my belt had to come from somewhere.
Elimina: Correct. He wanted to evolve his own power, so he developed the Binary system, the system that you operate off of. This system combined the Essence of an Arcana and some kind of combat potential to slowly and surely build up power with continued usage. However, he had to set the power level requirement lower than with the Monomer Firearm system, so as to allow for the increase he desired. We based the Arcana Driver experiment off of that technology, but used Humanity's idea of the Arcana to power it rather than using our own essences for safely raising power levels.
Haruto: So... the Tarot Buckles are meant to raise humans to the base level needed to use the other systems?
Elimina: Indeed. However, the Binary system provides an incredibly sharp growth in potential, too much for Exiled to handle. As a result, he developed the alternate Monomer system, which I'm having Giorno create and use. This system is, simply put, an combination of the Monomer Firearm and Binary systems: it uses the Binary System's power growth and belt-based system, but its growth rate is significantly toned down and makes use of a single Arcana essence.
Haruto: Giorno asked for... Negation. So he's going to use your essence for his Monomer Driver?
Elimina: Correct. I'm waiting until he finishes the belt first before I provide him my contained essence.
Haruto: So... when did you exile him?
Shin: We have meetings every once in a while. Some of us like to stay with our councils, like me and the Council of Sin. The Celestial Council prefer to stay independent of one another until they come together for meetings. In the time between the meeting where we exiled Void and the meeting before that, he had plenty of time to create and test these systems.
Haruto: I see... But, I do have a question.
Shin: What is it?
Haruto: Exiled came back, and he's been sending... clones of me to kill me. I get that he's trying to neutralize a threat to his plans, and that threat is me. But... the clones have something weird on them. They use Binary Drivers and this... adapter device that changes the two slots to one. He's only sent two after me so far, so the only designs I've come across is a version where the adapter acts more as a filler for the slots, and one that centers the adapting bottle. Thing is, the second one was meant to kill me in the event that I managed to capture it, since it was a bomb of... void energy, I suppose. I was wondering if he left any plans for that behind.
Quanta: The Lost Adapter? The black Arcana wrapped in white energy that resembled various math equations spoke up. We have... incomplete designs of it. I think that the Adapter was the transition from the Binary to the alternate Monomer system. He might have abandoned it because the Adapter ended up enhancing the power of the essence inserted into it, when he wanted to decrease the power growth instead.
Haruto: If you don't mind... could I have all the data concerning these three systems?
Shin: Depends on whether or not your computers can handle it.
Shin: I'm kidding. If need be, we'll provide you with a computer with extra processing power and such. He summoned three flash drives and handed them to Haruto. Each was labeled according to their contents: Monomer Firearm system, Binary System, and Monomer system (Alternate).
Haruto: Thank you. He accepted the drives and placed them in his pocket. And uh... Luce? Ombra? Didn't you have a bottle to give me?
Ombra: Not just yet, kiddo. That power level Elimina mentioned? It's a measure of how much Arcana essence is contained within them. We'll call it... the Essence Level. The Arcana Drivers raise the user's Essence Level to Level 2 upon first usage. Once the user obtains the World, they're raised to just under Level 3. After a little training, they reach Level 3, which makes them compatible with the Binary Driver. The Monomer Driver... I think it shares that Essence Level limit as well. But yeah, the Binary Driver's usage raises the user's Essence Level and makes those changes permanent, so you don't lose any changes in power. First off, you need to reach Essence Level 4 before you can use my power or Luce's power in the Drivers.
Haruto: So what's my current level?
Ombra: I'd put you at... 3.5-something. 3.54 or something like that.
Haruto: I see...
Ombra: Well, compared to the Monomer Driver's increments of change, it's a bit higher. Thing is... your physiology is much more suited to these changes than we anticipated. Then again, you're the first person to use the Binary system, so we didn't really have an idea on how suited one would be to the changes.
Haruto: Has Giorno tried it yet?
Elimina: We can't seem to find a Best Match for my essence, so we've decided that he is to use the Monomer Driver.
Haruto: I see...
Shin: Any other questions?
Haruto: Um... Maybe I'll just take data on everyone to read for later, if you'd please. I just wanted to ask about Exiled and what he's capable of.
Shin: In that case.
Luxuria: Here you are, Haruto-kun~ Luxuria handed him an intricately-designed notebook labeled "Arcana: Earth, Sin, and Celestial"
Haruto: Uh... you have this, why?
Shin: We've written our own entries and compiled them into this single notebook. This isn't the original book, but it's a copy for educational purposes. Take your time to read it, Giorno has his own copy that he's studying in between training sessions.
Haruto: Got it. He accepted the notebook from Luxuria, who then pulled his face into her chest for a hug. Mmph!!
Luxuria: Oh, I can't bare to have you go! Haruto-kun, stay with me forever please~!
Shin: Luxuria, he has more important matters than acting as your plaything...
Ira: Luxuria! A female Arcana made of red energy radiating pure anger simply standing there. Just let him go already! Bloody hell, you're such a clingy f--k...
Luxuria: Jeez, always so angry, Ira... She lets go of Haruto, who gasps for air from being suffocated by her chest. Do come back and show us your growth soon, alright?
Haruto: No promises... Luce walked over to pat him on the head and provide him a motherly hug
Luce: Safe travels, young Override. We look forward to your future endeavors. She offered him a maternal smile before releasing him.
Haruto: I- uh... A-arigato... Following that, he pulled out his phone with a blush and tapped on the globe app, tapping on Earth and disappearing in a flash of light. Luxuria, Luce, and Acqua waved goodbye to him as he was sent back to the Vanishing Point just in time to see Viviane sleeping on the couch and Dom's eyes flashing green. Scanning the notebook, all its info was converted into data and stored on his phone. After that, he tucked it away and took out the three flash drives he was given containing all the data on the Arcana's transformation devices. So uh... what did I just come back to?
Dominic: Thad destroyed my room, tried to hurt Viv, don't really see that happening though. He told him, as Viviane muttered in her sleep.
Haruto: Uh huh... I'll fix your room before I analyze this data on... all these transformation devices. I've got to read up on my Space Gods, their equivalent of Satan, and Satan's machinations, AKA the belt I've been using recently, Giorno's future belt, and Satan's transformation gun. Good luck out there. Haruto left the room and headed to Dom's room, overwriting the damage and returning it to its previous state prior to the damage Thad caused, before returning to the workshop and opening up the data on the Binary system flash drive. I've got a lot of data to sift through... Plugging his phone into the computer, he uploaded the notebook about the Arcana to the computer and making it available to all of his computers before looking into the Binary Driver's blueprints.
An hour later
Eliana and Doriano called Dominic outside the VP after they had their time to talk. They were currently waiting for him to come outside.
Eliana: So, how does the new world compare to the 19th century?
Doriano: It's quite fascinating, but people here don't seem so knowledgeable.
Eliana: Haha. I guess not. Must be great to be outside of the monastery for once.
Doriano: Sure, but that doesn't mean I don't like it in there. It's a lively community, and contrary to its concept, there's plenty to do there.
Eliana: Ah, I see. Oh, there's Dominic.
He was luckily healed up, as he managed to reattach it to his arm.
Dominic: Hey, um, Eli who's this?
Eliana: Oh this is Doriano. Doriano this is Dominic, my boyfriend.
Doriano: Ah. Well, hello there. I'm Eliana's great grandfather.
Eliana: Yeah, he's not kidding. This may sound weird but he is part of Myron's...cult, and basically he stopped aging when he joined, and...here he is.
Doriano: Yes, I assume you don't know about the Monastery of Insight. It is the largest collection of knowledge on Earth, hidden from the public, and is owned by Myron. It's lovely, you should come visit it, I'm sure Eliana is allowed to bring her trusted friends.
Eliana: Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure you'd love the place. Would you like to come, we were gonna head over there before I called you to visit Doriano.
Dominic: Well, considering I come from a long line of warriors who wear advanced alien suits, I would like a place which can provide information, and well, this can count as a first date. He joked about the last part
Eliana: Great. Can touchstones bring more than one person?
Doriano: No, they take one person to the monastery and back to the place they last were before they teleported. But don't worry, I have a spare in case mine breaks, because I'm a trusted member of the Cognition. He hands Dominic the touchstone, then instructs him how to use it. They all hold the stones to their chest then teleport to the Monastery of Insight. Here we are.
Suddenly, a ripple in the air occurs as Myron bursts into existence in front of them.
Myron: Welcome. I sense a newcomer is here. Oh, it's you, Dominic. How did you get here?
Doriano: I let him in, Eliana trusts him.
Myron: Oh. You should be stricter when handing out your touchstones to other people, we can't risk break-ins, especially in this era. But I'll allow Dominic. Welcome to the Monastery of Insight, home of the paramilitary cult the Cognition, defenders of knowledge. Come with me and I'll tour you. He walks off, gesturing Dominic to follow him as he enters the monastery. He looks around, whistling at a sight, a bit intimidated by Myron.
Dominic: So Eliana and Tanner are trained here, right?
Myron: Indeed. Both are my apprentices, along with Doriano. Tanner is not like my usual apprentices, I must admit, he has a bit of a temper and severity to him. But we both gain something out of our training. Anyway, this monastery has been around for 5000 years, and houses over... He explained the whole Monastery of Insight to Dominic along with the history of the Cognition, as they eventually headed outside Myron's office. Any questions?
Dominic: Well, is it just knowledge on Earth and anything magic, or does it head for the stars as well. If Eliana hasn't told you, I have a pretty long lineage with these nanites in me.
Myron: I'm an experienced time traveller, there's earthly knowledge here than no-one has ever laid eyes upon. Our knowledge is non-biased and factual, but we have certain witness accounts on things such as extra terrestrial knowledge, with more research to come. I'm sure we have something about your nanites, in our higher access sections, honestly I don't remember everything in here. You're free to look around. You might be surprised by what you find. And don't worry, it's not all books, we have an intranet in here to view all our digital data.
Dominic: Thank you, but, there's something else, this may need your office to discuss He lowers his voice in case anyone is listening It's about Eliana.
Myron nods and opens his office door, closing it behind them as they sit at his desk. Dominic notices the gift he gave Eliana on Myron's desk.
Dominic: He looked at his gift for a while, inhaling She's so far been more concerned about gathering power, even when we don't have a definite threat on our hands.
Myron: He sighs Yes, I noticed so too. Just like Clio she is. Sure a continuous goal is good for motivation, but an unhealthy obsession for power is what destroyed Clio. I suspect it's the Eldritch influence, but there was no helping Clio once she had gotten so far as to summon an Eldritch Lord.
Dominic: Clio, her ancestor, the one who fell due to it. What happened to her after she let Eldritch deities manipulate her?
Myron: Well I noticed her becoming more aggressive, severe, lethal. Her body degraded into a fiery beast, and she incinerated all who wronged her. But long before she was in this state, I realised the small changes and quit the Eldritch Magic course, and stopped supporting her eventually, so she threw me out of her life. The Queen of Fire, they called her. It was not so long after she was made Sorceress Supreme. You see we both joined the same Mage College, she chose Eldritch Magic and so I chose too...for knowledge. If I knew where it would lead I wouldn't pulled us both out of the mess before it was too late. She became an Eldritch Abomination herself, hidden by her intense beauty, but I knew what she really was. We never saw each other again after that... He seemed saddened upon explaining this story.
Dominic: I'm sorry for bringing in these memories, is there a chance to prevent Eliana from suffering the same fate?
Myron: Just make her remember her humanity. We don't want another sorceress burning the world down. Think what she always wanted to do. Become Sorceress Supreme, maybe? Direct her power to have purpose, so she doesn't become completely selfish. I'm not the emotional type, so I can't help much in that area.
Dominic: A lot of that is problematic, there's this man, Richard Gardener, his father owned an island He then tells him Eli's experiences on the island And I'm scared, admittedly, it's something I fear, Eli's power. How do I pull her out of a void like that?
Myron: It seems she has lost her faith, in which case she is leagues different from Clio, in terms of the path they're heading. I say deal with this Gardener business quick, then head her back on track to be Sorceress Supreme, to show her why she's here, and that's to prevent men like that from rising back up. Not to erase all of them completely. That's what Clio did.
Dominic: Alright, thank you, I'll give my all in keeping her fate as it needs to be. He exited Myron's office, closing the door sighing, cursing himself under his breath.
When Dominic turned around, he saw Thaddeus carrying a pile of books.
Thad: Dominic? The f-ck you doing here?
Dominic: I am trying to learn history. He made a viable excuse
Thad: Who the Hell let you in here? And what are you doing in Myron's office? Are we letting just any old tosser in, nowadays?
Dominic: I was brought here by Eli and her Ancestor, also, tried to ask Myron if he knew any extra terrestrial information.
Thad: Oh. Of course you'd look for stupid crap like that. They only keep that stuff in room 23. No one goes there.
Dominic: Alright then. Have you seen Eliana?
Thad: I didn't even know she was here.
He sighed, as he went around looking for her, as he needed to be there for her, not just some sappy boyfriend, but someone who will support her. Especially with what he's done. Eventually he found her sitting outside the monastery talking to two other mages. He approached her.
Dominic: This a bad time?
Eliana: Oh, no, come, sit down. We'll catch up later, girls. She said bye to the mages as they left. What's up?
Dominic: It's about Gardener, I just wanna say that you don't have to be alone on this. I'll be more than some guy in the chair, or the sappy boyfriend, I want to help.
Eliana: That's great, Dom. Imperious is persuing them too, but it's great to have you helping me with this. Thanks, Dom. She hugs him
Dominic: He hugged her back You're welcome, just and know this, I'll never leave your side, especially now.
Eliana: So are you ready to go or do you want to look around some more?
Dominic: Just one more place, Room 23 and I'm set.
Eliana: I don't remember all the room names yet, but 23 should be upstairs. You go ahead, I need to ask my mage friends something.
He nodded, going to room 23, hoping it will turn alright in the end. When Dominic finds room 23, it is down a corridor where no mages seem to be. He finds door 23, which is heavy, metal and reinforced. Dominic opens it and enters. It's a dimly lit room, and as he enters the door slowly shuts behind him. Suddenly the room lights up, and a hissing sound is heard. A chimera, a lion with a snake's head as a tail, a goat's horns and a fiery breath appears in the centre of the room. It roars at Dominic and breathes fire at it, magic fire powerful enough to burn even his nanites. The door behind him is heavy and hard to open from inside, and he hasn't got time to open it with the mystical beast alive and at his throat. He glared at it, sighing as he went into Beast Protocol and roared at it, taking a quadrapedal stance, growling, showing he wont back down.
The chimera engages anyway, but runs around him and crawls across the wall then jumps at him from the side, biting his leg then scratching his chest several times, as flames spew from its mouth. He roared directing the Chimera's aim to the ceiling as he hit its face and headbutted it
The chimera backed off slightly, before turning around as its snake tail bit Dominic, injecting him with deadly poison that short-circuits his technology. It then pounces at him and breathes fire in his face. Due to the protocol's healing factor, this pissed him off further, bordering on a berserk moment as he lifted it up and threw it down kicking it in the face and stood atop of it while kicking, backhanding, and tail whipping it away roaring at it all the while as the lights on his suit furiously glowed green.
The chimera squealed and backed down, slowly backing away from Dominic but hissing at him. The door burst open as a mage in chains ran in shouting, tossing chains around the chimera.
Mage: WOAH! What are you doing in here? Hurry and get out! He threw a blast of liquid at the chimera as it fell down into a deep sleep. Once he was done, he met Dominic outside. Sorry about that. A little alchemy experiment I was working on. Why on Earth did you enter? This is the mythical beasts section.
Dominic: Do you know a Thaddeus Tanner?
Mage: Yes he's our leader's apprentice.
Dominic: He reverts to his normal self, unarmoring, pinching the bridge of his nose Of course he is, he told me this was history for extra terrestrials, possibly tried to kill me, also sorry for being rough with that, Chimera, if it's traumatized, I'm sorry...
Mage: Extra terrestrials? Oh no, he must've meant room 43. That's across the hall. And for the chimera, don't worry, it's not exactly sentient. It's more on the lines of a magically coded android. Made to act like mythological chimera, but I doubt these creatures were naturally evolved. Anyway, I'll take you there. He walked Dominic over to room 43, a lighter door still made of metal. It had a hand scanner, which he activated, then let Dominic inside. It was a medium-sized room, with several computers and books, ordered from most reliable to least. Honestly don't believe the crap at the end. The real hard evidence comes on this end of the library. He pointed at a certain side of the room. People don't come in here because they don't understand, or at least refuse to understand the unobservable knowledge of the rest of our universe. Enjoy.
Dominic: Oh I will. He soon learned things about the Hivemind, specifically artifacts scattered around the world, and learning of another set of nanites that has been sent to Earth with the Vanquish, The Void. He also learned of an ancient enemy, the Wraiths, but so far that was the only thing he found, as he decided to make his way back to Eliana.
Eliana: Hey Dom. Find anything good?
Dominic: Besides a Chimera, well the Hivemind has artifacts around Earth, many capable of a lot of things, another set of nanites akin to a sibling to my nanites, and that the Hivemind had an ancient enemy, the Wraiths.
Eliana: Woah. Are you going to search for the artefacts? They could be useful to you.
Dominic: Yep, conveniently one of them is at the VP.
Eliana: Seriously? Then let's head back and find it.
He nods, motioning her to do the thing. She tells him to use his touchstone, as they both do. They end up back outside the VP and search for the artefact.
In the Mean Time
While Dom and Eli were at the Monastery, Haruto was looking through the Monomer Firearm system data. He was in the workshop, looking at the plans for the Monomer Gun that he saw in that one vision.
Haruto: So... it extracts the essence from the battery and projects it into a mist. That mist then solidifies into an armor, which then significantly augments the user's physical prowess to an extent, as well as provide abilities based on the loaded essence. Hm... It requires the user to have Essence Level of... 3+? I guess it's just vague as hell, but it states anything above Essence Level 3 works... I guess, being an Arcana yourself, you have an infinite Essence Level, so I don't expect him to go easy.... He scrolled through the project data and found the Void Battery, the original form of the Exiled Battery. Hm... So he used his sister to create this, but he's not up to full strength? He said something about assimilating bodies to get his own, which implies he's not at his greatest power right now... Hm...
He clicks on the Battery, bringing up its logged history. It showed that the Battery belonged to the male Void Arcana, now known as Exiled, before it and the created Monomer Gun were sent far apart from each other. How far? Several dimensions far. On the opposite ends of the entirety of existence. That's how far they were separated. And somewhere, in all of that, Exiled expended the majority of his power to regain the two items, and ended up here on Earth-2025.
Haruto: Damn... So he's definitely above Level 3, but he's still severely weakened. How about the Rifle mode? Swiping backwards, he returned to the Monomer gun page and tapped on the knife addition, which brought him to a page on the knife and the rifle. Monomer Rifle can fire stun rounds, freezing rounds, incendiary rounds, armor-piercing rounds, or Arcana Energy-infused rounds... So how did he turn Arnault into gas? Maybe it was the Energy rounds... I mean, I was about to override him into an existence where he continually dies on loop, so maybe the energy round was modified by accident and turned him to gas... That's always a possibility...
Haruto looked through the remainder of the files in the Monomer Firearm system data before closing out of it and looking at the file menus. All that was left to read through now was the Binary System, the alternate Monomer System, and the files of the Arcana.
Haruto: Hm... What do the Arcana have in store for me...?
He clicked on the Arcana files and looked at the three folders: Terrestrial Council, Sinful Council, and Celestial Council. The mouse hovered over Terrestrial before Haruto moved it over to the Sinful Council's folder and began reading. Each member of this council of 7 was female, and they embodied the seven deadly sins. He'd already met Luxuria, but he decided to read it over her file first.
Haruto: Why is her bust size in here?! He looked at it out of curiosity. Jeez... it felt that big when she squished me into them... What about the other female Arcana...? He looked through the files on the other female Arcana, and found their bust sizes included as well. Bloody hell... why do they even put these down? They're multi-dimensional deities, they can just change their appearance at will... Unless they're putting down their preferences... I'm reading into this too much... The last file he had opened up was Acqua's, so he just decided to read it over. Water and ice powers, yes. Figured that out already. More concerned about why she's so attached to me... Or why any of them are doting over me... He sighed as he checked the time. Middle of the day. Haven't eaten anything since this morning... Might as well make lunch. Closing all the files, he logged out before heading to the kitchen to cook lunch for himself.
Back at the VP
Dominic and Eliana were at the lower levels, the new vehicle depot, sauna, work benches, etc., He was scanning the entire area, as he was sensing nearest sign of energy signatures that matched the information he found at the Monastery, looking into a wall, as he ripped off a bit of the wall to see concrete, one with a Hivemind glyph on it.
Dominic: Eliana, transmogrify the rocks around here in a seven by seven cubic feet.
Eliana nodded and held her hands to the wall, as the rocks started to crumble and pulverise until they compressed into a glowing green energy. Eliana absorbed such energy leaving a huge gap in the wall, cleanly shaped. There was a large metallic container inside, as Dom went into Gamma and pulled it out, he noticed it had no energy, so he used his own Hivemind Energy to charge it, opening it, and what was inside were bodies, biomechanical ones, they resembled a bit of Hivemind tech, and something else, Dominic scanned for vitals, but they were alive.
Dominic: Ellie, they're alive... He sounded shocked
Eliana: What are they? Aliens?
Dominic: So far I'm detecting human, Hivemind nanites, and something else.
Eliana: Are they hostile?
Dominic: Well, yeah, look at it yourself... He connected several hard light chords to each body, in order for him and Eliana to view memories. They saw them used as shock troopers, the worst part being is that as individuals, they were aware of their own actions, but from what both of them could tell, it wasn't the Hivemind commanding them.
Eliana: This is strange. You should ask the others if they know anything about this.
Dominic: I don't think so, these bodies predate any Vanquish host, even the first one, I'm gonna keep these around, study them, see what I can find. Also I sent Hivemind troops to look for artifacts outside of LA.
Eliana: Alright. Can't believe we had this here the whole time.
Dominic: Yeah, but with something as vast and mysterious like the Hivemind, it has to be grasped, I pretty much chose a sector of a galaxy to oversee and protect the moment Ripper passed the mantle of Head Lord to me.
Eliana: Hm. Well good luck studying these...things.
Dominic: Yeah, and remember, I'm always here to help you...
Eliana: I know, Dominic. She says goodbye to him then leaves.
August 5th, 2026
Somewhere else as the sun rose Antonia woke up, surrounded by dead ninjas, in some underground sewer as she looked around, not being able to recall what happened as she stumbled up, noticing a left arm as her eyes widened. She looks around suddenly feeling the bodily urge to get out, as if she needed to find something, no, someone, as she panted, then jumped out, busting through the ceiling which turned out as she got out was the sewer, as people saw her in shock, and noticed the army jeeps.
Antonia: *What the f-ck is this!?* She saw them drive towards her, as she jumped higher than she should as she got to the side of a building, as she looked at her reflection, as she saw the dark blue, white, and slight orange suit she had.
As she stares at her new and unusual appearance in the reflection on the side of the building, the white eyes merge into one and make a skull like pattern with black eye holes and her hair morphs into a white hood, that goes over her head. Antonia is shocked, but smiles underneath the symbiotic mask as she likes the appearance.
Antonia: *The hell...* She leaps off the side of the building, the force alone shattering multiple windows, lands on another building casually. She saw the trail of a scent, something like herself, but not herself. She chased it, hoping it would lead her to answers as the farthest she got the more feral she got, running on all fours.
She eventually found herself in the woods as she was tracking the scent like some natural hunter. After a bit of time passes, she finds herself at a cabin, staring at it with memories flashing in her head. Kenneth, the previous host of the Spoil was in cabin, laying on the floor, broken glass around him. He opened his eyes as he strained, waking up from a deep sleep. He got up and weakly walked to the door, opening it and slowly exited, covering his eyes of the bright sun.
As Antonia saw Kenneth walk out, she had the sudden urge to rip him to shreds. She felt her body get more tense as she darted on all fours at Kenneth, readying her claws. Kenneth looked to his side and saw Antonia darting at him angrily.
Kenneth: Wha... What the f*ck?! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! He tried to cover his face with his arms and she tackled him with immense force, onto the ground, skidding along the dirt the surrounded the cabin. His body dug more into the ground as he skidded to a stop. She held up her arm as the orange claws sharpened but before she could dig her claws into him, she stopped, hesitating.
Kenneth: W-What?! Who are you?! Get off of me!!!
Antonia: S-Spawn of Spoil... Help... After she said this, Kenneth was shocked to hear the name, Spoil, as it referred to his previous partner symbiote, Spoil.
Kenneth: N-No way... A spawn?? Of Spoil?
Antonia was starting to struggle over her symbiote and her control over it. Her claws were starting to lower on a helpless Kenneth, and he stayed calm as he, of course, experienced this before.
Kenneth: W-Whoever you are, control it! Don't let its mind overtake yours! After Antonia heard this, she began trying as instructed and started to screech, her voice and the symbiote's voice, merging.
Antonia: W-We are GLORY!!!!!! Kenneth watched as the dark blue symbiote with orange markings all over it, pounced off of him with great force and into the river stream. She was writhing around in the stream as the symbiote who is named "Glory" started to expand off of her body, revealing parts of Antonia. Kenneth was surprised as he saw a one-armed woman underneath fighting for dominance. He saw her face for a split second before it got covered with Glory once more and Kenneth recognized that face. He thought back and remembered that she was part of the Absconders who helped in the Virtue War.
Kenneth: That woman... He looked around vigorously for something hard to hit her with before Glory took over Antonia's mind. He saw a little rock near the cabin and dashed to it, slipping on the dirt, but getting back up to get the rock. Once he obtained it, he turned and ran to the side of the river stream and threw the rock at her head, making Glory expand more off of her body. He looked around some more and found a bigger rock, and threw it at Antonia's head. Glory screeched as it went to attack Kenneth, but stopped as Antonia was beginning to control it.
Antonia: I-I am G-Glory...
Kenneth: Sorry about this... He had a little log and swung it around and let go, as it hit her with a loud THUNK. She barely reacted as she kept banging her head on the ground. Kenneth kept trying to get as many objects as possible to throw at her and knock her out before Glory took over her mind, but once he threw another log on her head, her face cracked the bottom of the river stream, and this dazed her as she slowly went unconscious, the suit slowly deforming. Kenneth went over to get one last log and ran at her in a rush of adrenaline, and threw it at her head, but he realized it was too late as the symbiote suit was deforming, revealing her nude body. The log smashed into her head with a very loud thunk, as her body sat underwater in the river stream. Crap!!! Sorry!!
He was breathing heavily as he went into the river stream, and picked her up, trying not to look at her nude body. He held her and walked her into the cabin, setting her down onto the floor by the fireplace, her body slowly being warmed up. He laid against his kitchen sink as he breathed heavy and his hands bled from the heavy lifting he was doing.
After about 20 minutes, Antonia springs up awake, the symbiote's biomass covering her nude body parts.
Glory: Where is Spoil.
Kenneth: He gets startled at the sound of Glory's deep, raspy and angry voice, but looks at her calmly. Spoil is gone... Antonia... Was it? He died protecting me in the battle against the Virtues a month ago...
Glory: Due to seeing Antonia's memories of what a parent should be and the feeling of that, knowing that Spoil was gone, he noticed tears forming D-Did he know I was here... It was obvious he was talking to Glory, not Antonia.
Kenneth: Yeah, but Spoil didn't think you'd live due to how different and rare he was himself...
Antonia: W-Why live here? She looked around.
Kenneth: I never had anything.... He exhales and weakly gets up, looking out the window. He points at the woods around the cabin and there are noticable burnt areas I came here to live away and hide. And now I'm back, but with one less life... He struggled, seeming angry at himself
Antonia: You...You're dying.... She could sense it on him, as she has restored the former powers Antonia had, and were using some of them.
Kenneth: Yeah... I believe so... I don't know how to fix it... I've been going on for a month now. He walks around, in thought
Antonia: We don't want you to be alone when you die. It was both Antonia and Glory
Kenneth: It’s.... okay... His gut felt like it was churning and his face turned into a miserable expression, filled with the reality that his death could not be stopped.
Kenneth: Anyways, we need to train so you can learn how to tame your symbiote. Glory, was it?
Antonia: Yeah, when I was knocked out, it took over for, I'm not sure how long. What day is it...
Kenneth: It's... August 5th. Wednesday.
Antonia: I was out for an entire month???
Kenneth: I don't know but I guess so. After the Virtue battle, I came here and managed to recuperate for a while.
Antonia: Alright She took a minute to calm down Alright, let's do this, I'm, I'm ready to train this thing.
Kenneth: Great... Let's get to it, Antonia. He stood up and walked to her and held out his hand, managing a slight smile.
A week later
After Dom examined and studied the bodies, he put them in their own container, as while looking at the stats, he decided to go on the main room, as he saw the tv turn on seeing Gardener, the man who is wasting resources, speak on the Absconders as terrorists.
Ripper: You know, Earl or Brotok would shut him up by now.
Vanquish: Yes, they wouldn't even waste time.
Dominic: What does it matter?
Both were silent, as it turned out, Dom had deeper connections with the Hivemind than he thought.
Vanquish: They're your ancestors, Dominic, Brotok on your father's side, Earl on your mother's...
Dominic: He became silent, but chuckled Why is it that everything makes sense at a time when it shouldn't?
Wicked: The space barnacle's right Burnie, what with the Gardener d-ck trying really hard to dismantle you people, next thing he'll do is convince the UN to launch all nukes into space, directed to Hivemind ships, we're a migrant species ya' know?
Chernabog: What will you do about it?
He was silent for a while, as he pondered, soon, he decided to call Viviane into the workshop. When she did he was on a chair, with some biomechanical chord.
Viviane: You wanted to see me Dom?
Dominic: Viviane, I'm turning myself in.
Viviane: What!? Dominic you can't, you're labeled as a terrorist, international criminal, Hell, at this point ESS is gonna be on your arse! Maybe, maybe-
Dominic: Viv! Calm down please, I'm turning myself in, so I could clear it up, tell the public, that the Absconders are still their heroes, they can trust us again...
Viviane: Yeah, because they can truly believe a nanite stockpile of galactic destruction is none threatening... She replied sarcastically.
Dominic: Well, I'm getting them out of my system. When he said that she paused.
Viviane: Who will you leave your Hivemind with? He just looked at her, chuckling, as her eyes widened No....
Dominic: I need to remove my powers from the narrative.
Viviane: They'll see you as weak.
Dominic: No, they'll see us the Absconders as strong-
Viviane: Your constructs, what if they wont follow me?
Dominic: They will...Viv, you're the one of the closest friends I got. He caressed her cheek
Viviane: Alright, I'll do it, just- fix this...
Soon he started the process giving her the nanites to her, as she could feel Hivemind Xi, the collective thoughts of individuals, many aliens, humans, more, under him, now she had them, and Dom was a man. Soon the next passing hours, he turned himself in, as it made it to the headlines, "Absconder captured: Dominic "Vanquish" Bernedicci turns himself in".
Dominic confessed in front of the public, he appeared unarmed in front of news teams and officers out to get him. He turned himself in and announced he'd be proving his innocence. When Richard Gardener heard of this he immediately came to the scene, and managed to catch a glimpse of Dominic being dragged away by law enforcement as Richard stepped into a platform and called out to him.
Richard: Dominic Bernedicci. He said loud enough so as the whole crowd went silent and looked between him and Dom. You're finally man enough to confess to your crimes? It's okay officers, I want to hear him out for a bit. Feel free to use this against him later in court. Tell me, Dominic, why did you and your play pals murder my father, then continue your murder rampages through the city?
Dominic: Your father was a murderer Dick, he had nothing to stand for, but his blood lust and sadism, Gemstone knew what she was doing by getting rid of him. As for my friends who ramped through the city, all were nothing, but psychopaths, experiments to besmirch me and my legacy. Tell me Dick, why continue selling out your people by buying other companies? He instantly went into personal grounds with him, glaring into his eyes.
Richard: He never broke eye contact, and his eyes kept a constant stare that never grinned when his mouth did. Diversification. It's just business, Dominic. We can't all go around playing Superhero. You see what I mean, people? Accusations or not, your great hero can't even apologize to a fatherless son, if you say my father deserved death, do I deserve the suffering that came with losing the one man I looked up to? I have desperately tried to fix everything that was ruined when you killed my father, refunding all those charities he started, running the business he left behind, all of it was dropped on me, and you can't even see that. I'm not even sure you feel any sort of empathy for all those lost in the attacks recently by your own people. He looks around, at the crowd and the surrounding area. He quickly jabs at Dominic with his words. Why are you trying to defend her, Dominic? Turning yourself in, you must feel so noble. But you harbour a killer, if you give her up, that's half your accusations made null and void. The Absconders may think they're outside the law but they still follow it regardless, and I'd really prefer if you just give me my father's killer, so I can see that proper justice is given to the one responsible.
Dominic: You justify everything bad about me by using grand patron saint views, you decided to make the enemy, here I am cleaning my name, other people's names, you decided to try and turn the people against us, Frank Castle is a more of a saint, and many looked up to him. A killer is never without reason, a killer is barely mindless. You know it's rich to call me the noble one, restarting charities, anyone can do that, trying to make yourself more appealing by being fatherless, I'm an orphan for Christ's sake, and I'm not waving it around. Besides, you're ganging up on the defenseless, powerless, immigrant, orphan, a man just trying to clean up discussion, just to keep him from speaking.
Richard: There he goes again! He laughs. Dodging responsibility left and right, what do they say about having power and responsibilities? But no, you guys have great power, and a heightened ability leads to heightened morality, a sense of authority above our own. Don't try to pretend you're human, Dominic, we all know the truth. Just a bunch of godless deities trying to dictate who lives and who dies. That doesn't fit in our society, and so you and the rest of your superhuman buddies will have to be removed. Less people like you holding all the power, and where does that ultimate power go? Back to the people, where it belongs. The crowd murmurs in agreement. Face it, Bernedicci. Your time in the spotlight is over. He stretches his arms out as if embracing the crowd. Suddenly, a quiet yet distinguishable gunshot is heard, as a bullet hits Richard in the chest. He yells out and falls to the ground as several guards rush to his aid. The police turn to the source of the shot, looking at several buildings in the distance, the crowd starts screaming too. A second bullet is fired seconds later, hitting Dominic straight in his chest too, though this bullet knocked him straight to the floor out of the cop's hands. Richard is lifted to his feet and taken out of sight to safety, as some police help divert the crowd away. Dominic laid on the ground in disbelief, everyone who had a tv saw it happen, Antonia who was walking on the street looked and her eyes widened, Viviane, who was getting used to the suit, saw, and was in disbelief.
Dominic was disorientated, he was experiencing mind flashes of shock, and heard only the sounds of terror coming from the crowd. To him, he was suddenly being wheeled into hospital, and saw on a nearby wall-mounted TV that at the same time Dinomo Tower was being invaded, but he was too weak to move. He was blacking out several times over, until he passed out and woke up in a hospital bed alone. Viviane came in, tired looking, with green eyes.
Dominic: V-Viv, The tower, it-
Viviane: I know, look, the bullet that hit you, it's Carbonadium, you have to stay for a while.
Dominic: The tower! How many Viv, how many? He had tears in his eyes.
Viviane: A-All of the... She frowned, as Dominic felt responsible.
Eliana burst in a couple seconds later. She saw him and ran to his bed
Eliana: Dominic! I'm sorry I couldn't make it in time, is everything okay?!
Dominic: He killed them, all of them...
Eliana: I heard about the attack on Dinomo Tower, but someone tried killing both you and Richard! When I find who did this-ugh! Why don't you have your nanites?
Dominic: Viviane has them, I depowered myself, needed them to trust me so I can speak up for all of us.
Eliana: You gave them to Viviane? She said without looking at her Well, okay then. Still you should've told me, this was risky as hell. So many people want our heads, and they don't prefer us in handcuffs either.
Dominic: I'm willing to keep yours, Haruto's, Trey's, and my name clean, worth the risk. And besides got a good look at whoever shot me, and Eli- It is Richard who did it, the sniper had your suit. Apparently the bullet was carbonadium, remember what that is?
Eliana: I remember my old chemistry lessons. So what are you saying, Richard had his men shoot himself? Why?
Dominic: We argued, debated, sh-t talked really, so if he was planning to have only me shot, people would point at him, but since he was shot as well, he had a lot of heat taken off. One thing that is obvious though is, I'm a martyr...For just defending the Absconders, I was shot, so, he didn't count on that...
Eliana: And Dinomo Tower? Is that him too? Because a group of men tore through there, killing both employees and guards... They didn't leave until everyone there was dead or escaped...
Dominic: Most likely, Eliana, when you find him, and if I'm able to recover before you do, I wanna go with you, and decide what to do with him by your side, if I'm not able to recover, I want you to record what you do to him, so I can rewatch it, and fall asleep to it, until I'm satisfied....Viv, fix up what's broken, me and Eliana will just talk. She nods to both him and Eli, as she walked off.
Eliana: Oh don't worry Richard won't have a body left to be buried after I'm done.
Dominic: No, I want him exposed first, I want the media to destroy him, I want him to know what it's like to have his name ruined. I want him to go through what I went through...And if I'm there with you, I want him to cry, beg, tell him of his exposer, and the you can end him. She couldn't see it in his eyes and face, or hear it in his voice, but if she looked into his black eyes, or peered into his mind, she could see his eyes was filled with a hatred, a malice, a poison, a soul of scorn, even without his nanites, he seemed intimidating enough. This is the second time, she's seen him so wrathful, if she were to describe it, it was his berserker state without nanites.
Eliana: You rest Dominic, we'll get him when the time's right.
Next Issue: The Absconders: Issue 22