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Freelance Reploids: Out of Time (2 of 2)
Fri May 28, 2010 1:44pm


“Oh heavens, no.” Dr. Bent replied, glancing at his pocket chronometer. “It’s now going to end in five minutes.”

At this the mercs again burst into an entire spectrum of reactions. Regularly decisive mercs were left stunned with no weapon or strategy capable of overcoming such an obstacle. Lina, now more than ever questioning her decision to become a Freelance Reploid, sat on the ground beside the sobbing chef and asked him “So what’s your story?”

“Oh, he doesn’t speak English.” Bent told her as he resumed dancing his jig. “And my French is terrible, but I’ve gathered he was Malegaunt’s cook at some point until making his employer a bad cheese omelet. Rather than firing him Malegaunt sent him here to the end of time. It seems to be one of his favorite ways to get rid of someone.”

“Omolette du fromage!” the Frenchman sobbed. “Mon dieu!”

Sion Laiken grabbed Dan Crasher by the shoulders and asked “You can get us back, right? I mean, you can just… Magic us out of here. Right?!?”

“It would take me hours to open that kind of a doorway.” Dan said, surprisingly calm. “Besides, I thought you didn’t believe in magic. Why don’t you just Science us out of here?”

In the back of the crowd Cross sauntered over to Kirisu and sniffed “So. Kiri. World’s about to end in five minutes. How’d you like to go out with a smile on your face?” The purple-haired assassin karate chopped Cross in the throat hard enough to flatten the lanky reploid. She then put her hands on her hips and said down to him “Thanks. That did cheer me up.”

Disgusted by his own powerlessness in this situation, Kail asked “Maybe we can stop it from happening. How is the world supposed to end?”

“Judging by the look of those stars I’d say it’s The Crunch.” Hilton answered. When his comment was met only with blank stares he elaborated by saying “If everything began in a Big Bang then it will all end with a Big Crunch. At some point the universe stopped expanding and started collapsing. As it condenses and the mass at the center of the universe becomes greater and greater the gravitational pull increases, accelerating the Crunch. At this point it would be impossible to stop. Nothing can stem the avalanche.”

“Exactly right.” Dr. Bent chimed in as he continued to dance. “That’s why we can see so much more of the galaxy. It’s all much closer and appears blue because it’s being ‘blue shifted’. Since the light coming from those sources can’t travel faster than light speed, it’s being compressed and the frequency of the waves is being shortened so that-”

“That’s fascinating.” Kail interrupted, finding it all boring and useless to him. “So you’re saying we’re going to be crushed?”

Hilton heaved a sigh. “Didn’t I just say that? The universe is being reduced to an absolute singularity so dense that nothing will be able to escape its gravitational pull. Everything will be crammed into a tiny point that contains all the matter and energy in the universe.”

“One thing’s for sure, we’re all gunna be a lot thinner.” Cocker said from nearby.

Dr. Bent, having never seen Star Wars, began to explain that concepts like “fat” and “thin” would cease to have meaning in the absence of dimension, but stopped when half the mercs shouted “Shut up, Cocker!”

It was happening. Shinsei could feel it now that she knew what to look for. As her mind touched the ley lines she could feel them warp and sag as the universe folded in on itself. Half of those luminous celestial bodies in the sky did not exist anymore, but the blue-tinted light they were now seeing was only a snapshot of how they had been before being dissolved. A wall of force representing the edge of The Crunch was very close now, only a few minutes away from reaching Earth. Several of the other planets in the solar system had already been shattered in an instant.

Shinsei knew that they were all about to be torn apart on the molecular level and try as she might her clairvoyance could find no escape or hope for sanctuary. Nothing at all seemed to remain on this scorched planet… and yet… despite the thousands of miles of empty desolation, Shinsei could feel the shadow of something that was familiar. It was the faintest sensation, like sleeping on a mattress with a pea buried beneath it, but this particular pea was special. She had felt the object’s unique presence only once before and it had not been very long ago. Now it was close by again... but what was it?

“The amulet still exists!” Shinsei blurted as soon as she remembered. “I know where it is!”

The other mercs turned and looked at her, many of whom not understanding what she was referring to. But Dan understood instantly and asked one question: “Where?”

“On top of that tower.” Shinsei said, pointing to the mile-high structure in the distance. Crasher began muttering an incantation to himself.

Bent stopped dancing again and said “That’s no tower, miss. It’s a statue.”

Straining their eyes the Freelance Reploids saw that the old scientist was right. The finer details had been weathered away a millennium ago, but the shape of a hand and face were still discernable. It was the face of Malegaunt, though emotionless and inhuman as a deified pharaoh would appear. Across his forehead was carved a word: L A W.

Vier commented “I guess Malegaunt efentually got tired of ruling ze vorld in secret.”

“We need to get to that statue. Fast.” Axel said, trying to focus the conversation. “We’ve only got three minutes left.”

“Two minutes, actually.” Dr. Bent corrected, again checking his chronometer.

Cross started jogging towards the monolith. It was a pitiful effort but all he could think to do. Maq, who was actually one of the fastest reploids among them, shouted after him “That thing’s twenty miles away! You’ll never make it!”

“I might be able to fly there.” Kaze spoke up, trying to convince himself of the miraculous feat as well as the others. “But I wouldn’t have time to get back with the thing.”

“I think our best chance would be-” Lock started to say, but before he finished Dan Crasher concluded his incantation and the entire company of mercs was instantly transported to the top of the statue. A mass teleportation without the use of satellites was an impressive achievement even for a powerful wizard, but to those that had just been transported it had seemed like nothing at all. One moment they stood on a scorched plain and the next they were somewhere else. Aside from a few ears popping due to the pressure change the sensation was as gentle as falling asleep.

“We’re there.” Dan Crasher announced.

Dr. Bent and the Frenchman were with them as well, and even Cross who had separated from the group. The statue was so large that its top was as wide as a football field and from the mile-high peak they could see the perfect desolation spread all around them. It was the world that King Malegaunt had left behind. Overhead the sky grew noticeably bluer.

Two giant, vaguely humanoid figures stood at the center of the statue’s top. Both were twelve feet tall and made of sleek, silvery metal. Between them rested a stone sarcophagus upon which had once been carved “L A W”, but rather than a capital “A” the center character was merely a triangle. In the center of the triangle was the All-Seeing Eye, ancient emblem of the Illuminati.

With not a moment to lose, Axel dashed up to the sarcophagus and smashed the lid with his fist. The massive stone cracked down the middle. In two shakes both Zeo and Cylecks were at his side pulling away the rubble. Inside they found no mummy, just three dusty artifacts: a ring, a scepter, and the Pendant of Pentane. Captain Cossack carefully removed the amulet and handed it to Dr. Bent.

With great reverence the old scientist delicately inspected the talisman. Just then the monolithic statue upon which they all stood began to tremble, not due to any magical reaction but because The Crunch was coming. Bent held the pendant aloft and began to speak the activation word “RAMSHA-” but before the final syllable could be uttered Bent’s stomach exploded like a watermelon filled with TNT. Blood, bile and twenty feet of intestines spilled from a cavernous hole of gore in the man’s torso. The pendant slipped from his fingers and slid across the now slightly tilted top of the statue as Judson Bent crumbled to the ground atop a pile of his own innards. The Frenchman screamed “Mon dieu!”

The blast seemed to have come from one of the two silvery statues. No weapons were apparent, but the two hulking humanoid guardians were now animated. They rose up to their full height of fifteen feet and turned to face the Freelance Reploids. Two bright red slits began to glow from the area on their heads where eyes would be, as did letters on their chests that spelled out the word “ENFORCER”.

A voice that all of the mercenaries recognized as Malegaunt’s emanated from one of the Enforcers, saying “You are in violation of Law 33781-B. Prepare to receive punishment.”

Though the Freelancers were without conventional weapons, they were not entirely helpless. Dan Crasher told everyone to stand aside. It only took a moment for them to clear a path and once they did the ageless wizard breathed deeply and exhaled a cone of fire that enveloped both robotic guardians. Unfortunately when the fiery deluge ended both Enforcers were unharmed and even cool to the touch. Only then did the mercs realize that the silvery metal that composed these sentries was in fact nothing less than pure omnium. Such were the mechanical warriors of the future: impervious to harm and fueled by power cells guaranteed to last five hundred thousand years.

When one of the Enforcers raised a glowing appendage and fired another blast that could have obliterated half of the unarmored Freelancers, it was Aurora who reflexively threw up her hands and instinctively cast a defensive spell that shielded everyone from the blast. This particularly impressed her creator, Demios, who had not known she could do that, but neither did Aurora herself know until it was done and she doubted she would be able to do it again if she tried.

Taking no time to compliment the novice on her impressive ward of protection, Dan Crasher went back on the offensive and managed to use some kind of magical telekinesis to knock one of the two cumbersome sentries off the top of the statue with a mere gesture. The long fall wouldn’t have been enough to even dent the nigh indestructible Enforcer, but at least they’d be long gone by the time it could manage to get back to the top. Gone one way or another.

Shinsei noticed that the Pendant of Pentane had come to rest on the ground nearby. Seeing the second omnium-encased juggernaut preparing to unleash another blast, she grabbed the amulet and without stopping to set the dials on the talisman’s edge spoke the command word that she’d heard Maligaunt use: “RAMSHATHER!”

Like a bomb the time portal exploded into existence beside the Enforcer. As heavy as the giant robot was it could not stop itself from being pulled into the vortex. The portal looked different this time, strobing and fluxuating wildly as it had not done back on the island. Whether this was due to Shinsei not setting a destination or the effect that the nearby Crunch was having on the fabric of time and space none could tell. But whatever the cause, Axel ignored it and ordered all of the Freelance Reploids to jump through the portal. This time the mercs followed his command promptly and enthusiastically.

Kail was the first to leap into the vortex, followed by Zeo, Kirisu and all the rest. Cross hesitated for a moment, but followed Maq when she dashed by him shouting “What’re ya chicken?” He wasn’t about to let a girl show him up.

Shinsei tried to bring the Pendant of Pentane with her, but it seemed to be affixed where it floated projecting the portal before it. She struggled with the immovable medallion for several seconds before her brother Kaze grabbed her and pulled her into the swirling gateway.

Even the French chef jumped in. In the end only Axel and Sion Laiken remained. The captain shouted over the roar of the portal “What’s the matter? You want to stay here and have your atoms smashed?”

“I don’t think she knew what she was doing.” the cautious scientist yelled back, referring to Shinsei. “We could end up anywhere! Any time!”

“Exactly! Anywhere but here! Any time but now!”

Laiken still wasn’t sold. “But we could even end up in a pocket of null time, frozen forever!”

“If we don’t jump then we’ll blink out of existence forever!” Axel argued emphatically.

“You better be right!” the scientist warned and with great reluctance entered the portal. Only then, after all of the other Freelance Reploids had gone through, did Axel Cossack himself jump in to a fate that he did not know.


NRP: I'll soon be making a post on the Bar board about the objective and rules of this mission.

  • -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- The other end of the portal violently vomited out a writhing, swearing pile of Freelance Reploids before it abruptly slammed out of existence. They lay there atop each other for ... more
    • Freelance Reploids: Out of Time (2 of 2) — Kail, Fri May 28 1:44pm
      • Far, far from homeDemios, Tue Jun 1 12:01pm
        Demios was getting tired of this growing trend. The next time he ended up opening his eyes after having blacked out, he'd like to be in his own body where and when he expected to be. However, today,... more
        • Omicron City - Living in interesting times...Aurora, Sat Jul 31 10:17pm
          Aurora awoke to a sudden splash. She reflexivly snorted and thrashed for the surface and when she broke water, gasped hungrily for air. Where am I?! Fortunately for her, her Adaptive Matrix was able... more
        • EnforcementDemios, Wed Jun 16 11:20am
          "Captain. We have a problem." Said Captain Azaes's second in command. The Captain stepped over to where the other officer was looking into one of the glass plates, showing the outcome of the scrying... more
          • ChangesDemios, Wed Jul 7 11:07am
            NRP: I'm tired of this thread. I'm ending it a bit quickly. :P RP: Demios had been ushered back to Atlantis and given a thorough searching. That he was wearing nothing but swim trunks made this... more
      • Princes of the UniverseCylecks, Mon May 31 6:23pm
        “I don’t think she knew what she was doing.” the cautious scientist yelled back, referring to Shinsei. “We could end up anywhere! Any time!” “Exactly! Anywhere but here! Any time but now!” Laiken... more
        • Somewhere far from home...Maq, Thu Jun 3 2:13pm
          "I wonder what time we'll all end up in?" Maq muttered to herself. She seemed to have been drifting in the vortex for what seemed like hours. Or maybe it had only been a few minutes. She could no... more
          • Vier had a headache. Magic wasn’t really her bag, and she had already experienced more than her fair share since joining up with the Freelance Reploids. First there was the whole body switching... more
            • Back! To the FUTURE!Kaze, Fri Jun 4 2:20am
              Oceans of black swirled, persistently inconsistent in their invisible but unmistakable undulations. Waves of quantum foam crashed over Kaze's consciousness, jerking him awake with the touch of a... more
              • Deus Velt!Zeo Grey, Thu Jun 10 8:20pm
                NRP: I'm not being quite as historically accurate as I could be with this but it's mostly correct and that's all we really need isn't it? Jerusalem- July 15, 1099 A. D. The cooking fires were not yet ... more
                • New FriendsMaq, Sun Jun 13 3:38am
                  The sun was already setting. That didn’t seem right. Maq checked her internal clock, and indeed, the sun seemed to be going down much sooner then it should. A quick search through her data banks... more
                  • Monkey wrenches for all!Kail, Mon Jun 14 4:43am
                    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- A.D. 1794 -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Though Visa and Asiv failed to detect signs of radiation, dark energy or any other technological hallmark, the beauty of the Scottish countryside ... more
          • Vier had a headache. Magic wasn’t really her bag, and she had already experienced more than her fair share since joining up with the Freelance Reploids. First there was the whole body switching... more
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