As scientists carefully analyze the Iridium ore, Oryn stood before a darkened cage staring at the two Nocturne pacing back and forth growling at her. She observed their animal like movements. The glowing red eyes staring back, trying to invoke intimidation. Ragnorak approached her, his presence made the Nocturne crawl back, hissing at him. The male stood in front of the female, as she roared, her posture was tall like a male lion.
“Interesting. Similar to the Horrors in Merydia, but not so feral.” Oryn said. “The female is ready to attack, but male is standing in front of her. I wonder if he is acting as a first line of defense.”
Ragnorak stood quiet and Oryn looked up at him.
“You said Mother is the leader of the Nocturne. I'm curious as to how dominant the females are among them.”
Ragnorak walked away and Oryn followed him.
“Well let me not waste time.” Oryn stepped ahead of him. “I have acquired some new blueprints for technology we took Brie Williams into custody. She is a prodigy and has the potential to be a leader in the science community.”
Oryn took a rolled up blueprint and unfurled on a table before Ragnorak. He looked at the design with the word De-paralyzer on the top right. The drawing only showed the spine connecting the base of the neck to the pelvis area.
“This device runs on Mana, and sends electrical charges along the spine to allow a person to walk again. However, with a few alterations we can add components to turn it into combat armor. Metal gloves, metal boots, breastplate, and helmet, you will have the ultimate soldier.”
Ragnorak looked at the scientists struggle to cut a piece of Iridium off. He walked up to them, each scurrying off behind a table, trembling. Ragnorak picked up the ore.
“We…” A male scientist said. “we can't match this with the periodic table. Our world may not have the technology to forge this type of ore.”
“He's right.” Oryn said rolling up the blueprint. “Here.”
Oryn moved the mouse on the computer and clicked on a window revealing the updated blueprint for the De-paralyzer. “I'm printing this out now. Take the blueprint and ore to create a prototype. Return here so can test them out.”
Ragnorak took the ore and received the printed blueprints. He created a portal and stepped through it, leaving Oryn behind. She turned to the Nocturne and pointed at the boy.
“Prep him for Therapy. Keep him in that form. As for the girl, give her a physical and prepare her for the de-paralyzer. I will soon join you… Valdeguard.” Oryn placed her hand over her neck and a magical collar appeared.
Ragnorak stood inside a factory. The manager walked up to him as every continued melting steel and forging metal. The ceiling was high as a conveyor belt moved a large robot arm along. Each part added along the line. Ragnorak followed the manager into an office. He heard the news on the radio.
“Another dragon lied slain at the hands of Suzaku here Everton. The death toll at hands of Danos the Sand Dragon could be in the hundreds. The people are praising the giant golem for protecting the city— I see the Emperor's Priestesses have arrived and the crowd is booing the military. I can hear the crowd yelling “You're late!” and they are now throwing rocks and whatever objects they are grabbing. The military is pushing back. They have are now casting spells at the crowd and—”
There was only static in the radio. The manager sat down on the chair, leaning back.
“That damn golem. The pilot is nothing but trouble for the Emperor.” The manager lit a cigarette and took a puff. “So how is my beloved Emperor doing in the Manasphere.”
Ragnorak place the blueprints and ore on the table.
“I see.” The manager took the blueprints and analyzed it. “This… this is amazing.”
The manager glides his fingers over the schematics and he nodded. “There should be enough of this ore to build a prototype, but it will take a month.”
Ragnorak's eyes showed displeasure.
“Hey, I'm sorry you don't like to hear it. I understand you all are trying to minimize moving through time so you won't mess up your experiments, but this ore requires high level skill and lots heat, especially for the little parts with this device. One month.”
Ragnorak created a portal showing the same office. He stepped through and the manager was standing behind the desk. “Welcome back. It's ready.”
The manager walked Ragnorak through the factory. “The forging the ore was no problem, however shaping it according to the blueprints was tricky. We had to insert a little steel in along the joints. I assume this is going to be finished elsewhere. If that's the case, they can remove them with no issue.”
Ragnorak stood before the De-paralyzer made of Iridium. The grey mana from the helmet cascaded down the armor along metallic spine. Ragnorak picked up the armored boots and gloves, and he nodded.
“Excellent. I hope the Emperor will be satisfied.”
Ragnorak saw a container pushed by workers toward him. They opened it and placed the armor inside. He opened the portal before them taking back the schematic. As they pushed container through the portal, he followed it inside.
Ragnorak was back at Avalon Tech. He watched scientists push a gurney with a body under a bed sheet. They parked it by the door waiting. He turned to the cage and saw the boy was missing. Oryn approached him.
“The child died under Therapy.” Oryn stood before the container. “The Nocturne's mental state goes into shock when their mind is analyzed.”
Oryn stared at the armor, receiving the blueprints from Ragnorak. “Good. The girl passed her physical, we are ready to armor her up.”
Oryn led Ragnorak to a window. It was darkened in the corners with only a red light over the Nocturne. She was suspended in the air by magic circles. She snarled and struggled, snapping her teeth to attack. The scientists carted the armor inside. Oryn and Ragnorak watched the scientists carefully slipped the armor on the Nocturne. She was trashed about reacting to the Iridium and grey mana. The mana began turned her eyes from red to grey as the scientists plugged the de-paralyzer to the computer. Oryn's eyes grew wide at the speed the mana affected the girl. As soon as the scientists activated the program, the grey mana made purple lines stretch over her body and her Nocturne skin became suit-like. Oryn signaled the scientists to begin and they pressed the button.
The helmet and armor glowed red, and red lines stretched over the body connecting with the purple lines. However, the grey mana overridden the red lines and turned it purple. The Nocturne continued screaming until her mouth closed and her scream drifted into silence. The purple lines stretched over the face and pulled the eyelids back to keep them open. Her pupils vanished completely leaving only grey and the purple blood vessels griping her eyes like a ball. The scientists lowered the Nocturne and she stood still like machine. Oryn and Ragnorak entered inside. Oryn walked around the Nocturne once and stood before her.
“Look at me.” Oryn said and the Nocturne looked up to her. “The De-paralyzer Ragnorak.”
Ragnorak nodded and he reached out to the Nocturne.
“Take his hand.” Oryn said and the Nocturne walked up to him. She placed her hand on his fingers and looked up at him. “What do think?”
Ragnorak just stared at the Nocturne. He looked deep into her eyes and pierced into her mind. He only heard a scream, faint and distant, it was her madness. He gripped her hand and led her out the room. He approached the boy he brought in, lying under the sheets. He scooped the body with one hand, keeping it in the sheets. The Nocturne stayed by his side and followed him as opened a portal.
“Ragnorak.” Oryn said as she watched the Nocturne enter the portal. “Do we have a deal? Can I come to the Manasphere?”
Ragnorak walked through the portal, and it closed.
“Damn you…” Oryn's hand curled into a fist. “…Valdeguard.”
Ragnorak stood atop the hill with the Nocturne by his side. They both looked out at Central Heights. The large cloud had covered the city completely. He approached a tree with shadow. He placed the body of the boy at the trunk where there was light. He stood before the shadow and pointed to the Nocturne step on it. Just as the Nocturne planted her foot on the shadow, a large arm push her back. As Ragnorak caught the girl, he heard a growl.
There was Mother. Eyes bright red. Her teeth dripping with impure mana. She saw the Nocturne stand beside Ragnorak wearing the armor and she realized the Nocturne was not responsive to her. Looking at the sunlight beyond the shadow, Mother roared as Ragnorak made a portal appear.
Ragnorak paused for a second, raising his arm to stop the Nocturne from walking to the portal. He looked at Mother and the shadow. A choice presented to him, but he heard Valdeguard's whisper in his past memory. As obvious the decision was to send the Nocturne to Mother's Sanctum, the experiment was high priority.
Ragnorak walked up to Mother into the shadow. She swiped at him but her grabbed arm. He pulled her towards him and grabbed her neck. He lifted her, pointing her at the portal. She tried to make out the location, but Ragnorak made it easy for her by pointing her body at the city. There the portal stood in the air, just above the cloud line. Her eyes grew wide and struggled to break free.
Mother roared as her imprisoned Nocturne walked through the portal and plummet into the city below. In an instant, grey mist plumed above the city and spread over the cloud. She could hear the cloud roar, and screams of all her Nocturne pounded into her mind. Mother's eyes fell into tears as she no longer sensed any Nocturne.
Ragnorak released her and walked away. He opened a portal to the city street, now covered in grey mist. He heard Mother's roar and he turned around watching her jump out into the sunlight. The reflection in his eyes only revealed a unclothed woman with snow white hair, gripping onto his waist for moment, then she released him with trembling hands. He walked through the portal and stood before the Nocturne, who was knelt on the ground.
As the portal closed, the Nocturne was rose to her feet and other Nocturne arrived, all with purple line and grey eyes just like her. They responded to her, even though she did not expressed anything to them in return. Ragnorak opened the portal to the Manasphere and led her inside. The Nocturne followed her and Ragnorak inside, the portal grew large to handle the taller creatures. As Ragnorak watched the Nocturne enter inside, Victoria Powers approached him.
“I see you experiment worked.” Victoria said looking at the female Nocturne. “So that is the De-paralyzer.”
Victoria walked around the Nocturne as the girl's body shimmered. “She is reacting to the Manasphere. Her mind must be in madness from the Infinite Knowledge.”
Ragnorak walked away from the portal, and made a magic circle appear. He held it up into the air.
“I can take your report to Valdeguard.” Victoria said but his eyes shifted into her direction. She stepped back and instead focused on the Nocturne. “I wonder what her name is.”
Suddenly, the girl collapsed to her knees, gasping for air. Ragnorak and Victoria watched on as the girl stood to her feet, stretching her body and taking a deep breath.
“Amazing.” She said. “This place gave me the information I needed to take control of this device.”
The girl analyzed her entire body, feeling the armor and her Nocturne skin. “It's like a suit, but its skin. It feels weird.”
She turned to Ragnorak and Victoria, her eyes were cold and had a cruelty within the surface. “Did I disappoint you?”
Ragnorak shook his head side to side.
“I had to shed away my kindness and love in order to regain my free will. Taking this armor off will make me a mindless Nocturne like the others.” The girls shed one tear. “There, I am over my pain.”
Victoria approached the girl with a smile. “Welcome to Arcadia, I am—.”
The raised her hand up to silence Victoria, her eyes pierced the woman, forcing to step back. The girl looked up at Ragnorak and he nodded.
“My name is Calista Everheart, but that name only brings pain of knowing that I am a good and loving person.” She moved her arms again and closed her eyes. She heard the roar of the Nocturne entering into the Manasphere. “My name is Neural. Keep your Arcadia. I will gather my brother and sisters, and we will forge our own world with the Infinite Knowledge of the Manasphere. Our own… Lunar Sanctuary.”
“You may want reconsider.” Victoria said lowering her head, and clenching her fists. “There are benefits of being with Arcadia. Valdeguard will not tolera—”
“The Luna is strong.” Neural said, and suddenly, she and the Nocturne slipped into the grey mana as though they teleported into the shadows.
TO BE CONTINUED...