*Agents of Venom (VENOM ARC Part 1)*

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Luke
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Joined: 23 Jan 2009, 00:21

*Agents of Venom (VENOM ARC Part 1)*

Post by Luke » 08 Aug 2017, 23:32

A shimmering, silver curtain of mist swept across the jungle floor of the Cloud Forest in the early morning light, weaving between the slim trunks of moss-covered trees. In the dense canopy of banana leaves and vines a great hornbill practiced its deep, whooping call from its perch while the growls of a red-striped tiger loomed from deep within the forest bowels over the ambient thrum of insects in swarm and the crash of water from a nearby river and its falls. Where the thick ceiling of broad leaves broke, pools of sunlight like waves of molten gold lit the dark jungle floor.

At the bank of the Azorium river, which cut the Earth’s southern continent in half, where the falls poured down into a deep lagoon, a massive encampment of tents, capsule barracks and greenhouses stood within the basin of several cleared acres of the jungle. Parked between the campsites were large, armored transport vehicles with several sets of thick tires; smaller and more agile jeeps with tarp coverings loaded with multi-barrel laser cannons mounted on their backs; and strange, personal hovercrafts used for patrolling the jungle from above. Stacked around these vehicles were small pyramids of green crates stamped with foreboding bio-hazard symbols as well as a small armory of laser weaponry, plasma cell munitions, rations, water tanks and a great deal of research and cultivation equipment. In the distance, above the jungle canopy several large platforms stood like fence posts around the encampment with thick, drooping cables that connected them to the central structure within the base: a communications tower and power pylon with a large revolving disk pointed towards the western sky from which a chatter of electronic sounds emanated and disturbed the jungle ambience.

Patrolling the camp were nearly two hundred mercenaries and scientists clad in drab, green and black uniforms accented by pointed shoulder-pads, helmets and gasmasks carved to resemble macabre skulls, and alien weaponry unknown on Earth. Like their weapons, the mercenaries themselves were a menagerie of aliens from every corner of the stars, many of which were unknown races and species but could be roughly mistaken for Hydian or Ghetti in origin by the average observer.

As the morning sun rose above the jungle in the east, its light scattered and refracted as it hit the invisible cloaking dome being projected from the central tower of the compound, a sheen of multi-color rays spraying away sparks at the most direct angles. From the surrounding mountains and jungle terrain of the southern continent the compound was virtually invisible and the powerlevels of the ascended mercenaries undetectable to even the most advanced scouters and sensors. It was this technology that had allowed the base to operate within the Earth Sphere unnoticed for so long, but that had not stopped Legende’s best from tracking, searching and finally infiltrating it at great peril and risk…

In the early morning light, Kaylun Northe, one of Legende Special Forces finest covert operatives, moved quickly between the tarp tents and command bunkers, approaching the greenhouses on the western flank of the compound. The structures were bell-shaped and crystalline, their walls glittering as the rose-colored dawn touched them with its rays and began to bake the thick foliage and plants contained within. It had required several months for Kaylun to infiltrate the rank needed to access the greenhouses. They were the most protected sites on the entire compound, requiring a clearance higher than even that needed to access the communications tower or the cloaking pylon itself. Whatever these invaders were here for, he knew it was contained within those structures. He had wormed his way through the chain of command, going to outstanding lengths to prove his loyalty and capability and even so far as strategically poisoning the regular regiment of guards to filter his way into the status of rotation. His mission had been long and arduous, but today he was ready to complete it. He needed only to gain access and procure a sample of what lay within for his commanders. That evidence coupled with his field report of the compound and its defenses would be enough for Legende to send a proper strike-force and eliminate the threat to the Earth-Sphere.

Kaylun approached the greenhouses and saluted the guards who had been stationed there through the course of night, signaling that their watch had been completed and bringing them great relief as they stretched their backs and rubbed the sand from their eyes before trudging down towards the lagoon where the morning rations were being prepared and served. Kaylun had purposefully scouted out the guards stationed for rotation, matching himself with a mercenary who was habitually late to reach his post so that on this morning he would have three to five minutes to penetrate the greenhouses without interruption. This was the final phase of his mission, the moment he scanned the cardkey he had stolen and stepped through the crystal doors the clock for his escape would be started. He looked down towards his wrist, turning over his forearm to glance at the digital display of his watch and activate its timer…

[3:00]

Swiping the cardkey and stepping inside, Kaylun passed beneath a full turret wall of cameras whose blood-red irises focused on him with the precision and concern of a microscope. A vacuum sealed corridor separated the main booth of the greenhouse from its doors and Kaylun quickly bolted forward and threw them open, a blast of sweltering heat, hotter than even the normal climate of the jungle, hitting him in the face as he stood at the precipice of the greenhouse. Ahead of him, inside the massive, domed, crystalline structure lay circuits of botany tables with deep, pooled bowls filled with rich jungle loam. Growing from the beds were a myriad of strains of a central plant genealogy being held inside of large, tiered humidity rich chambers. Filters connected to a central system in the ceiling periodically sprayed the vegetation with an unknown chemical compound that Kaylun knew he would need a sample of as well.

The flowering plants ranged in size, the youngest sprouts in the central beds barely peeking out of the dirt while the mature plants towers nearly 152 centimeters. Their foliage was dark green with thin, ribbed leaves that sprouted from the main stalk and erupted from the stem in bushels of eight to nine leaves, beneath which hung bell-shaped, violet flowers with long, drooping “tongues” covered in a sticky, bright pink saliva. The plant sanctuaries were magnificently beautiful but Kaylun was surprised to find so many insects allowed to contaminate them. There were all manner of species climbing among the boughs of these plants and drinking from their nectar. The Special Forces agent deduced they must be required for pollination or serve as some necessary component for production of the plant’s natural fecundity.

[2:18]

Kaylun carefully, but quickly, approached the sanctuaries and produced from a tool belt a small knife with a diamond-hard edge. The right amount of leverage and a flick of his wrist drew a perfect circle in the glass just large enough for his arm. Pocketing the knife once more and slipping his hand into a latex glove he withdrew a few, compact containers from the bag that was slung over one of his shoulders, set them out and uncapped them before retrieving a small pair of clippers and reached into the plant enclosure. As delicately as he could, Kaylun snipped both flowers and leaves and withdrew them, placing them into separate containers before taking a soil sample by itself. While he worked to extract the plants as quickly and carefully as he was able the sticky juice from several of the bulbs dripped onto his forearms…

[1:37]

Kaylun could feel himself sweating profusely from the heat of the botany chamber and found himself having to dry his brow before he could continue placing samples to prevent them from being contaminated. The buzzing of the insects was louder now that the hole in the chambers had been cut. He saw many of the strange insectoids escaping into the air on brilliant colored wings, their thoraxes glowing with luminescent light similar to that of a firefly except much brighter. The flash of their lower bodies danced in the air around him as he moved towards the centrifuge chamber at the back of the greenhouse where he could see the chemical spray that was being administered to the plants was derived from. A few canisters had been left at a nearby laboratory table and he began to add these vials to the collection of proof he would need to complete his mission.

[0:38]

Kaylun swatted a bug that had landed on his arm and bit deeply into him with its mandibles, giving a low grunt of pain. The insects had followed him to the far wall of the greenhouse and buzzed in the air around him menacingly as he worked, causing a great deal of distraction. They were drawn by the scent of the plants, he acknowledged, but try as hard as he might he couldn’t seem to get the sticky material from the bulbs clean from his arm, on top of that Kayun felt increasingly smothered by the heat. He could almost swear the temperature was rising. He swatted another insect that landed on his neck, this one being large enough and biting deep enough to actually draw blood. The spot where it bit began to feverishly itch…

[-0:15]

The Special Forces agent had finally gathered all that he needed with no time to spare he wagered as he looked down at his watch while swatting away another insect that came towards his head. His heart was beating in his chest at an uncontrollable rate, he was sweating and his body was itching painfully all over from where the insects had continued to assault him. They were practically in swarm now. He could feel them crawling over the pants of his leg, his chest and shoulders, his arms and even his backpack, presumably trying to climb inside to where the flowers had been hidden in their containers. It was time to leave before the nest was further motivated to attack him. He needed to escape with this evidence and head back to Legende before…

“Heh..heh--” --*COUGH*-- “...heh...heh…haaaa.”

Kaylun spun on his heel, his eyes fixing on the entrance of the greenhouse where a harrowing figure had made its presence known. Standing at the edge doorway was a figure robed in tattered shadows, wearing a long, beaked mask reminiscent of victorian plague doctors. The figure stood nearly seven feet tall even as it stood hunched over, with thin, emaciated limbs that ended in bony, clawed hands and feet tipped with blackened nails that were visible beneath its dark shawl. Its garments were thick and oily, surrounding the creature’s body like the feathers of a vulture, and beneath those folds of black cloth were segmented pieces of armor, each of which were connected by thick tubing and electrified wires to a strange tank upon the creature’s back. Behind the goggles of the mask, Kaylun could only see two dead orbs staring back…

“An InTrUdEr In My GaRdEn?” --*COUGH, COUGH*-- “i WiLl NoT fOrGiVe SuCh A tReSpAsS uPoN mY SAnCtUaRy!”

The rasping voice of the figure before Kaylun was not even remotely human in nature, rather, its words were derived by the cacophonous roar of a thousand insectoid wings, every syllable, a graveling swarm of sound that was only barely recognizable as language. In that moment, surrounded by the blazing fireflies that were picking at his skin and face to face with the imposing being that lie ahead, Kaylun realized his efforts had been for not. He had misjudged the nature of these experiments.

“...The insects…” He whispered, in despair.

“It WaS nOt FlOwErS i WaS cUlTiVaTiNg HeRe, WoRm!”

The plague doctor threw open his shawl, its arm stretching forward, palm opening flat towards where Kaylun stood. Black bolts of energy danced across the pale, withered limb before the entire appendage burst apart and released an animated wave of flesh-eating beetles. The swarm-arm stretched across the room, overturning botanical chambers as it cut a swath across the greenhouse! Kaylun narrowly managed to throw himself out of the path of the insectoid arm’s touch and as the wave of beetles struck the wall behind where he had been standing it burst apart into a massive wave of living creatures, all seemingly part of one shared mind. Rising to his feet Kaylun sprinted, pushing his body as fast as his legs would carry him towards the walls of the greenhouse where he leapt into the air, both hands moving ahead of his chest as he released a “Ki-Ai” and formed a wave of destruction energy in his own palm. The ball radiated with golden-yellow light and with a hard breath was fired forward. It struck the crystalline glass and shattered it before rocketing into the distance towards the encampment. The time for subtlety and subterfuge was long gone. Kaylun knew who pursued him and of the twisted experiments that it had performed.

This was Toxus, an entity of the Epitome.

Before Kaylun had even reached the ground another dark, animated swarm wave swung ‘round and hit him with the strength and force of a head on collision with a train. He was thrown backwards, his escape cut off as his sprawling body overturning more and more containers until he hit the opposite wall. He had not even the time to lift himself from the ground before another tentacle of writhing insects struck him with super-human force, dragging him off his feet and pinning him with a torrential onslaught of vermin that crushed him into the crystalline wall at his back, sending spider-web like cracks splintering from where he was held aloft. The plague doctor drifted towards him as he struggled, his screams filling the greenhouse as the beetles gnawed at every inch of his flesh. Kaylun’s nose and mouth were all that Toxus allowed to be free of the chittering mass, his own rasping cough amid hackles of delight at the suffering of the spy he had captured barely audible above the agonizing, guttural cries escaping Kaylun as he was eaten alive.

“i SiNcEreElY hOpE tHiS eNdEaVoR wAs,” --*COUGH*-- “WoRtH yOuR liFe, SpYyYy.”

Golden streams of energy began to perk between the erupting folds of the swarm, the rays growing hotter and brighter in intensity over the course of several excruciating seconds before all at once the mass of beeltes that entombed Kaylun were blown apart in one grand eruption. Toxus’ himself cried out in a head-splitting, cacophony of pain as the Half-Saiyan floated amid the air, bathed in a golden aura, his blonde, spiked hair dancing in the winds that fettered around his form.

The Super-Saiyan, awash in his own matted blood from the leaching touch of Toxus released a primal roar and with one herculean swing of his arm drove his flame-covered fist into Toxus with all his might. An ensuing shockwave blasted out all the walls of the greenhouse as Toxus was sent hurtling back, the entire left side of his body obliterated into a disorganized mass of writhing insects. Kaylun knew that would only stall Toxus. Whatever it was, it was not easily slain, and there was no time to waste. There were other, more dangerous beings that would follow and his mission was now forfeit.

Blasting off into the air and shooting out of the greenhouse while the inhuman cries of Toxus emanated behind him, Kaylun rocketed over the length of compound. From the ground a small battlation of mercenaries, the base’s first response, raised their wrist-mounted blasters and unleashed a meteor storm of energy blasts that peppered the sky. The explosions rocked around him. The bursts growing to deafening proportions as they mined the sky. The Super-Saiyan’s aura and power was enough to push through, though it left him charred and out of breath as he sailed out over the wild, green canopy of the Cloud Forest and put several miles between himself and the hidden base, which, as Kaylun dared to glance back, vanished behind the cloaking shield.

That turn of head and split-second of broken focus would prove to be his undoing.

Kaylun awoke from a blackout in mid-fall, finding himself spiralling down towards the trees below. His jaw was broken, the right side of his face crushed and his eye swollen shut. He gazed listlessly back up towards the clouds where he had been only seconds before and glimpsed a silhouette painted in the heavens above him. Kaylun had no idea who or what had hit him, but it was strong enough to swat a Super-Saiyan out of the clouds like he were no more than an insect.

He didn’t have time nor the strength to gather his energy and slow his descent, his only defense was to wrap his arms over his head as he crashed through the mile-high tree line and broke every branch and limb between himself and the ground. The force of his fall carried him into the earth with enough speed to tear the ground asunder, his body tilling a visible swath through the forest before it finally came to rest in a shattered grotto. His golden hair receded back to matte-black, his eyes losing their turquoise blaze and fading once more to a dull brown. A short inspection revealed his right arm was wrenched in the wrong direction. It was broken, a shard of bone visibly protruding out.

“Ka..mi--- @#$%--- D..am..n!” He mumbled, unable to properly form the words with his jaw unhinged from that last blow, as he desperately lifted himself out of the crater that had formed from his impact. His legs shook, his vision was blurred, and here on the forest floor he had no indication of the direction he needed to run. In the distance Kaylun heard the all-too-distinct sound of the trucks and the hovercrafts that the mercenaries possessed.

The Half-Saiyan began to trudge through the jungle, entering into a fight or flight state. He knew he wasn’t going to make it out of this alive, not in his present condition, but he was determined to get a signal back to Legende or at least die on his own terms. As he weaved between the trees, stumbling over the knotted roots and hidden pitfalls, the reverberations of the jeeps in the distance closed in and the shouting of men carried through the green hallways of the forest. Kaylun did his best to hide what remained of his energy, suppressing his power as he crept through the wilds, and stayed as low to the ground as possible while moving between articles of cover.

A half hour passed before he laid sight on the first of his pursuers at the ford of a stream. A small platoon of three men had stopped to refill their canteens and relieve themselves in the woods. Parked near a small grove of jungle trees with thin, moss-laden trunks was their vehicle, a battered, green jeep with an open top. One of the mercenaries sat in its backseat with forearms resting over the large feeding mechanism of a mounted scatter-rifle. Kaylun could let them pass or he could make a gamble and try to steal the vehicle. He wasn’t in any particular condition for an extended combat but with the jeep he might be able to make the run towards Sector 71. Even if he didn’t make it, even if he died, all he had to do was get out of these hills and he could send a warning to Legende. As it stood now his transmitter was useless in this remote part of the southern continent. His right arm hung uselessly at his side and his breathing was taxed by the considerable damage that had been done to him. He weighed his options grimly.

If he was going to have any chance of success whatsoever it had to be quick and merciless.

Circling behind the group as carefully and quiety as he was able, Kaylun approached the back of the jeep while drawing a combat knife from the leather sheath at his hip. He held his breath, and tossed the knife a few times in his hand, trying as best he could to prepare himself for the throw. The platoon were caught up in their own conversation, their minds having wandered too far from the task at hand, when there was a sudden, loud whistle from behind the jeep the guard attending the scatter-rifle jerked his head just as Kaylun sent his knife end over end through the air.

The blade slammed into his throat, a spray of hot, red blood jetting from his neck. Kaylun stormed to the side of jeep in one furious motion, his leg striking out, the heel of his boot connected with the handle of the protruding knife like a sledgehammer on a railroad spike. As the mercenary reeled backward with flailing arms, toppling off the back of the vehicle and drawing attention of the two other in his platoon Kaylun pulled back the lever of the scatter-rifle, loading a magazine of plasma cells into the weapon. The mercenaries and Kaylun unloaded in the same instant, their laser-rifles punching holes in the side of the jeep and the air around the Special Forces Agent while his machine-gun swept in a horizontal line, unleashing a potent hellfire of blasts at such close range that the mercenaries were literally ripped in half from the power of the gun.

Immediately there was a response from the woods, the engines of more jeeps revving to life while the short-wave radios installed into the console began to chatter, each of units pursuing him sounding off to their central command. Kaylun ripped the machine gun from the mount and climbed into the driver's seat, thankfully finding the keys still in the ignition and saving him the search. He sat kept the machine gun in his lap as he brought the jeep’s engine on and then threw the pedal down, his tires peeling in the soft mud of the stream bank before he lurched forward into the jungle.

There was track or road to speak of and the jeep was jarred uncontrollably as Kaylun gunned the engine, driving like a bat out of hell through the wild terrain. Without the use of his right arm the turns of the wheel necessary to avoid obstacles and trees was a fanatic test of skill and in truth a dramatic display of fortune that he survived with only mild dents and scratches before reaching a winding, downward mountain slope that would lead to the foothills and freedom!

If only he had reached it alone…

Exploding from the woods came a battalion of humvees and hovercraft manned by twenty or more mercenaries armed to the teeth. Painted on the shoulderguards of their armor and the hoods of their vehicles was the familiar black skull and serpent, the sigil of the Venom Army.

A proverbial firestorm of blasts and gatling lasers began to crisscross through the tree line as the hunting party swooped down from both flanks of the mountain path towards Kaylun’s runaway jeep. Plasma beams burst as they collided with the curtain of trees that streaked between him and his pursuers, bombs exploded and rocked his vehicle as he threw the wheel from right to left and back again to avoid the sprays of debris and exploding rock. As one humvee approached him on the right side the Half-Saiyan let go of the wheel, picked the scatter-rifle out of the passenger seat and fired a volley into the enemy jeep before quickly releasing the weapon and righting his trajectory down the mountain side just before he slammed into a cache of trees (the jeep tailing right behind him, not having the same fortune).

“A hundred-thousand zeni to the man who brings me the Saiyan’s head. A million to whoever brings him to me alive!!” A voice on the short-wave radio snarled, causing Kaylun to quickly glance into the shining, rear-view mirror.

Riding on the hood of one the humvees was a muscular, Ghetti with devil-red skin, a communicator pressed to the side of his face and a lit cigar pursed between his lips. The alien’s body was scratched and scarred to such extent that its texture resembled that of an alligator and his arms had obviously been replaced with advanced cybernetics long ago for they gleamed silver from shoulder to nail. A string of plasma grenades and banana clips of laser rifle ammunition were strapped to the alien’s chest on bandoliers, across his wide waist was a belt with two sub-machine gun holsters. He wore no armor or cloth on his upper body but the Ghetti bore tight-fitting black jeans, a visible cup over his groin and a pair of steel-toed combat boots on his lower half. The alien’s chrome appendages glinted in the pockets of sunlight that passed through the roof of the canopy and it was clear that they were capable of modular upgrades as the Ghetti raised his right arm and the cyber-enhanced machery folded and transformed into an imposing energy-cannon.

The Special Forces agent recognized the Ghetti as Kamahla, “general” of the Venom Army, if one could believe that mercenaries were capable of upholding a chain of command. He was a war-criminal, and a child of Braid who grew into manhood among the legions of cannibles that lived in the lowest tiers of that twisted starstation. In nearly any other situation Kaylun might have relished the chance to bury this man-eating, psychopath and his entire Corp. but he was in no shape to face such a threat.

The nozzle of Kamahla’s cannon blazed with a hellish red energy seconds before a massive fireball, crackling with bolts of black lightning, erupted and arced through the sky on clear trajectory towards Kaylun’s vehicle. Even if Kamahla missed, the Special Forces agent knew the entire mountainside was about to be blown into chalk.

He would have to gamble.

Swinging the steering wheel to the right he drove the jeep towards the cliff edge and pressed the gas all the way down, sideswiping another humvee before launching off the mountain into a three kilometer free fall. Behind him, the rumblings of a minor atomic explosion pushed the jeep even further out as a blazing heat dome erupted and blasted the entire mountainside into meteor-like debris. The detonation would be the beginnings of several massive landslides that would have buried Kaylun if he hadn’t taken this gambit. His vehicle tumbled through the air while rock and fire rained around him like hell’s fireworks. The Special Forces agent was disoriented by the rapid spin the jeep was taking as it plummeted but as he moved further away from the deafening blast of Kamahla’s ki bomb, a sound began to fill his ears that brought him both hope and dread. The sound of crashing water…

Kaylun felt the pit of his stomach drop as his airborne craft nose-dived towards the coursing river below. He braced himself for the impact, but in his weakened state he was relying exclusively on the grace of the Kami to see him through the ordeal. Just before the jeep plunged into the crashing stream Kaylun took a deep breath and then blacked out as he hit the water.



….


…….



…………..






………………………..







Kaylun’s lungs violently evacuated water in search of air. He was lying face down on the bank of the river, the cool mud covering him in its earthen embrace. He choked, spitting up gallons while his chest seized until at last he felt the channels freed and he began to suck in rapid respite. It was some minutes before he could bring himself to move, the numb sensations giving way to agonizing aches and pains from nearly every muscle and limb… all save one.

When his vision returned he looked down at his right arm where the bone had been sticking through from his original crash. He could feel nothing from it and the fingers of his hand had begun to turn blue.

With a sigh Kaylun turned his eyes towards the horizon. The sun was almost ready to set, the jeep was gone and there was no telling how far the river had carried him. Far enough to escape the Venom Army, he hoped. He could see only jungle in either direction. No sign of civilization yet, but perhaps he was close enough now to send his message… Assuming of course his communicator hadn’t been destroyed. Kaylun searched through the pockets of his cargo pants, finding a waterproof kit that he fought to open with his shaking fingers. The communicator was here and intact. He activated it and watched with bated breath as it began its scan for a satellite link with Legende.

[Searching…]

“Co..me… on…” He hissed through gritted teeth. “Com...e…. On…” His jaw had nearly swollen shut from where it had been broken.

[...Signal not found]

The Saiyan collapsed backwards, his eyes closing as he threw his hands over his head in defeat.

[...Signal found]

“..!” The Saiyan grunted in excitement, once more sitting up and rocking forward.

[...Signal lost. Searching…]

He had made it. He was right here. Right on the line. Scrambling to his feet the Saiyan began to hike away from the riverbank, heading towards the treeline with the communicator dancing ahead of him. It flickered back and forth between its connection to Legende’s satellite relay. Like a tuning fork searching for perfect pitch or a 20th century TV antenna honing in on a particular set of stations Kaylun stumbled into the trees, searching for the spot he needed. He wasn’t even sure with his present condition if he could speak of all that he learned but he would tap it out in morse code on the receiver if he was forced to.

The jungle was dark and the ambient noises had shifted in grades of danger. The thrum of insects was, as always, ever present but the birds had become quiet and the beasts more quiet than even they for it was their hunting hour. Kaylum did not dismiss such signs but he hoped to complete his mission before they overtook him. Moving from tree trunk to tree trunk as if each were a pillar of his own strength the spy searched listlessly for his link to the stars. He moved deeper into the forest with the communicator held before him. As the sun set and the only light that yet remained to him beneath the deep canopy was that of the device, the hope, he carried, his eyes fixed on its display with anticipation he had never known.

[...Signal found. Connecting to Legende relays…]

[...]

[Connection complete…]

The communicator buzzed to life, a frantic static filling the darkness before… at last...

[“This Darska of Legende Special Forces. Identify yourself.”] A voice crackled.

“...Dar..ska… thi..s… is… se...arge...nt… Kay...lun… Northe… do… yo..u… rea...d… me…?” Kaylun felt as if he were gargling gravel.

[“Northe! Kami… I thought you were dead. You were supposed to relay back hours ago. Where are you?”] Came the swift reply.

“No… tim...e… Venom… th...ey… are… de...vel...oping… the… to..x..in… you… wer...e… righ...t.”

[“Then it is as we feared. The evidence? I cannot approach the Earth Senate without proof. Did you recover anything? Can you upload a bioscan with the communicator?”]

“No… I… fai...led… Misju..dged… the… expe...riments…”

A long pause. [“Alright, Northe. I understand. You’re done there. Where are you? We’ll procure a transport and see you out.”]

“I… won...t… make… it… Dar...ska… Venom… has… an… ar...my… Forti..fica..tions… Cloa..king… tech..nolo..gy.. Y..ou… hav..e… to… strike… now…”

[“I can’t make that call, Northe. It’s not that easy. Kami I wish it were. I’m pulling your location. We can track it through your communicator but you have to stay still while we get the coordinates. I’ll have a ship there in half and hour. We’re coming for you. You’re one of my best soldiers. Hell you ARE my best soldier. Besides I need your full report if we’re going to stop Venom. You’re not going to die. Do you hear me? Don’t move. We’re coming to get you right no--”]

Something from the darkness shot out and like a whip, lashed Kaylun’s hand. The communicator was sent reeling from his grasp and landed near the root system of a banana tree.

[Signal lost…]



……


……….



Green fire erupted from the shadows, bathing the forest floor in its otherworldly light. Standing amongst the crackling energy stood a woman. Her hair was matted vine and bushels of leaves that flowed down her back to the top of her calves. Around her neck, wrists and ankles she wore links of rope knotted with human teeth. A single line of purple pigment painted the center of her lips and traveled down her chin to the nape of her neck. She was all but naked except her flesh was not skin and sinew, but rather, oak and wood. The one article of clothing she bore was a bag stitched from flayed flesh that rest upon her wide, motherly hips. In her hands, the dryad wove a whip of mortal hair tightly around her balled fist.

She was Pondera, the Witch of the Wilds. Death had come for Kaylun, but he had not expected it to be so beautiful… and so terrifying.

“You destroyed all of my flowers…” She whispered.

Kaylun’s features contorted into a visage of rage. He raised his arm, golden flames blazing around him as he summoned all that was left of his energy, birthing bolts of transcendent light as his hair stood on end and his eyes melted into deep turquoise pools. His ascendency to Super-Saiyan sent a shockwave rolling across the earth before a beam of energy exploded from his palm towards the witch. The blast streaked like a bolt of lightning, cutting through her and continuing to travel until it hit a grove of trees and detonated into a harrowing explosion of golden fire and fury that set the jungle ablaze. The beam had passed harmlessly through Pondera as her figure melted away into lines of super speed.

From Kaylun’s right a leg seemed to erupt out of space and time and checked him at the collar with super-human force. He was sent backwards through the air but before he had even touched ground Pondera cracked her whip, sending it constricting through the air in a lasso that swung around his neck before a horizontal swing of Pondera’s arms drew his entire body into an overhead arc and brought him crashing into the earth with the force to splinter solid rock.

He sputtered and spit up blood as she dragged him out of the crater his body had formed with forceful tugs of her noose. When he lay before her on his knees gasping for breath her eyes flickered with inhuman pleasure while they lingered on his decrepit arm.

“A dead branch is poison to the tree, best to see it broken than allow the rot to flow to the root.”

Releasing one hand from her weapon, a blaze of emerald fire erupted from Pondera’s wrist and in one clean motion she sawed the Super-Saiyan’s limb from its shoulder, the fire surrounding her ki-blade soldering the wound closed.

“RRRRGGHHHAAAaaahhha!!!”

Kaylun’s remaining hand shot to the length of rope around his neck which had been pulled close and taunt by the Witch. With all his strength he yanked the cord, dragging her forward while he raised himself on the balls of his heels and drove the top of his skull into her bottom lip. The distinct sound of cracking teeth emanated and as Pondera was dazed Kaylun snapped her weapon with a cut of his hand. As she staggered back the Super-Saiyan came to his full height, his rage and certainty of his death giving him the power to ignore even such a grievous wound as he tried to deliver to her one similar in kind.

His leg shot out in a wide sweep, taking her footing and sending her falling backwards to the ground while he channeled every last drop of his energy into his fist and brought it pounding down like a falling star on her collapsed body.

In the split-second before the blast ignited Kaylun, in horror, appeared to watch Pondera sink down into the earth and stone.

A massive outcry of power detonated from Kaylun’s last stand. A plume of energy rose over the tops of the trees, firing like a beacon for a mile upward into the sky and raining golden embers of energy over the forest below. A shockwave spread outward from the impact point, flattening the forest for nearly thirty meters in radius around where Kaylun’s blow had struck but as the smoke and debris settled the winded Super-Saiyan found himself alone in the crater that was left. His golden hair receded back to black, the bright blue glimmer of his eyes fading once again.

Behind Kaylun, drifting up out of the earth rose Pondera, her oaken skin now replaced by sheets of granite and rock as her elemental body appropriated itself to the conditions of the soil and the earth. The Special Forces Agent had sunk to his knees, his head resting on his collar as she came to him and placed her hands upon his tired shoulders. Though he couldn’t see it, blood leaked from the corner of her mouth and her front teeth had been chipped.

“...Back to the dust with you.”

Her power flared over her body once more and coursed over her arms to her hands and then engulfed Kaylun. His flesh charred. His body burning in a few hot seconds of utter agony until all that was left was a smoldering cadaver.



…….


…………

“I am surprised you did not intervene… I had thought you wanted him alive?”

After many long moments, Pondera addressed the darkness of the jungle from which emerged a towering figure. In the flickering emerald flames that still licked the corpse of Kaylun the edges of the Destroyer's black power armor glittered. The embossed figure wore a suit of Imperial make, one of the older and more reliable models that encased his entire form save for the ridge of his skull, eyes and bald head. Red LED lights flashed on the built in console of his strength-enhanced bracers and the centerpiece of his armor where a complicated mass of electronics had been built to regulate the different modes and apparatus of his exo-shell. His mouth was covered by a intricate respirator from which his rasping voice emanated,

“He was too dangerous alive. Too strong of will. But as a cadaver? He will suit my purposes. Raise him, Witch.”

“Of course…”

Pondera drew open the flap of her flesh-stitched bag and from it withdrew a skull carved from ameythst. Circling Kaylun’s burning figure she came to his stead and raised the totem over him. She began to speak, not language, but the black voice of magic lost to time that had no rhyme nor reason. Dark bolts of energy coursed across the face of the totem and began to leap off in hellish displays, touching the burned corpse that lay beneath her. The grass in the cleared jungle around them began to sway violently as arcane winds from the unbound realms were released. A sigil in the earth beneath Kaylun blazed to life, tracing an algorithm of glyphs and dark signs unknown since the most primal age before a pillar of purple light flushed forth. Swirling inside the dark column came the screaming vestiges of souls lost, their cries so unworldly and full of suffering that they could whiten the hair of a man with but a stanza of their voice. Among those lost were the screams of Kaylun whose essence was drawn forth into the skull that Pondera wielded.

“NO! NOOOO!” the skull crackled with power as the soul of the Half-Saiyan was bound.

“You serve Gadax Renn. You serve the Destroyer now. Rise! Rise and do as he bids.”

The burnt body slowly stirred, the light the coursed beneath it regenerating the damage that had been dealt. Even Kaylun’s arm was sewn back with the blackest of magic. As the Half-Sayain once more returned to his feet in undeath the voice trapped inside the crystal skull begged for release.

“...And what purpose shall you bestow this wraith?” Pondera questioned.

“He will complete his mission. He will take a message… my message… back to his commander.” Gadax Renn, the Destroyer, offered the cadavar the communicator.



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Rizion
Posts: 1045
Joined: 22 Jan 2009, 23:17

Re: Agents of Venom (VENOM ARC Part 1)

Post by Rizion » 09 Aug 2017, 15:00

Kaylun is the best character you have ever written. Hands down. This is the character that Syhiver should have been. In this short meeting of this new character I found myself connecting with him and investing myself into his survival. I wanted him to live, even though I knew he was doomed. Writing like this is better than most of the trash setting on a walmart shelf right now by an actual published professional. This shames all chapters of Symphony of History and sets a very high standard of what story telling can be in a Dragon Ball Z setting. I only wish this were an actual PC to award reds to.

That being said, you were right when you said that a lot of this was just one big action movie. For what you were attempting to do, set up the initial plot and introduce the baddies, some of the action sequences could have been cut out, but they weren't bad. What an adventure. What a ride.

These characters are really giving me a real Snake Eater vibe here. Not sure if that's what you were going for but I hope you name this guy Dead Snake. If not, that will be my personal nick for him here on out.


I hope all the noobs wanting in on this arc read this log and get familiar with the baddies. I've claimed like 3 I wanna tassle with directly.

This should be fun!

RPP rewarded.

Lye
Posts: 1619
Joined: 23 Jan 2009, 02:24

Re: *Agents of Venom (VENOM ARC Part 1)*

Post by Lye » 10 Aug 2017, 18:19

If Jules is revived in anything resembling a Timely manner...

Fuck the rest, I want Toxus.

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