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Topic Summary

Posted by: Cloak
« on: Today at 07:46:53 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN:
Meanwhile --

"Great, GH," Saffa was saying. "You have us gathered. Now why have you done so?"

"Cloak said so," GH answered.

"We've established that," Saffa said, tone slightly acerbic, "but why?"

"Cloak didn't give any specifics," GH said, almost defensively.

"He clearly wanted us to rally and possibly stop Galactron," Hunter supplied.

"Oh, the thing that pompously verbose being said?" Helen inquired.

"Apparently, it's a planet-eater. A devourer of life," Hunter said.

"And how are we supposed to stop this thing?" Saffa said, incredulous. "The news showed Cloak taking on the tools --"

"The Utensils," Hunter corrected.

"I know what I said," Saffa said. "Cloak's battling these tools, and we're supposed to fight their boss? Whose power more likely meets or exceeds Estelore's? How?"

"We're not helpless," Parker said, with as much conviction as Cloak did before. "We've faced impossible circumstances before, and overcame them. This will be no different."

"But how do we accomplish this, Parker?" Saffa said, irritated. "Spouting platitudes like that won't make this Galactron."

"They're not platitudes!" Parker protested hotly.

"PEOPLE!" Dino roared, nipping this burgeoning heated argument in the bud. It was very easy for her to get people's attention this way. "Can we focus on the issue instead of arguing about platitudes?"

***

I'm not a coward.

Cloak's rebuke had an unintentional effect of suggesting that Estelore was cowardly. It was not his aim, but it happened just the same. And it left an indelible mark upon her mind, which she made up rather quickly.

She went up to meet Galactron directly. To confront it directly. She had expected it to be a creature motivated by instinct and hunger. She had expected it to only have the most vestigial of intelligences.

She was wrong.

"What business to have with me, star?" he said, speaking in the stellar way that all beings of this clade speak while in the vastness of space. It wasn't thought-speak, but it wasn't exactly spoken word either. The voice, for lack of a better term, was rich and baritone. "I have no quarrel with you."

"The hell you haven't, you monster!" Estelore countered quickly.

"Monster?" he said, turning his planetoid body to look at Estelore. There was an almost grandfatherly look about his expression, but Esty would not allow herself to be fooled. "Me?"

"Don't pretend that you're so sweet and nice," Esty said, viciously. Then she sounded slightly hysterical. "I know what you are, and what you do! You. Are. A. Monster!!"

"You think me a monster?" he said. "Perhaps you're right, but, child, do you think I actually enjoy what I must do?"

"What?" Estelore said, taken off-guard.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: Yesterday at 06:40:42 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN:
The Battle of Masters

"You think you can stand up to me, you puny little --" Deathtalon said, pompously.

"Just shut up and fight," Cloak said.

Deathtalon began to attack using her pitchfork-like dinner fork to attack Cloak, who felt disappointed. But she was remarkably easy to separate from it once she threw it.

"I was led to believe that you six were a master of your elements," Cloak said, bitterly. "Yet, Deathtalon, you clearly just rely on your weapon. Pathetic."

"Oh, you think you're so tough?!" she shrieked. It almost sounded avian. "Fine. I'll play by your rules!"

She summoned a blast of wind from her hands that must have been hurricane gale sized in power. Cloak waited only for a second before holding his palms in front of him, causing Deathtalon to cackle insanely, but she stopped immediately when she realized that Cloak wasn't bracing himself for her attack, but redirecting it back at her with a turn that almost resembled an airbending technique. She took the brunt of her own attack, with more force added by the Realm Walker. It sent her sailing, until she was sprawled on the ground.

"Hubris is a very dangerous thing to have," Cloak remarked sagely.

Paszebar decided it was his turn to take on this upstart, as Deathtalon recovered from her humiliation. And within minutes it became clear that their weapons served the same function as a fidget spinner -- nothing. It quickly became clear that these creatures didn't know how to use these kitschy weapons. Blue would beside himself with frustration at the novice use of them, or otherwise laughing his butt off at the sheer ludicrous design of these weapons.

Paszebar resorted to hydrokinesis, only to be blocked by a wall of water formed by Cloak and his Mastery of Water, before following through with own water-based attacks. Strangely, this tactic seemed highly effective against the Mon Calamari, who seemed to favor blunt force rather than strategy. Eventually, he puts his all into his next attack, but it was easily blocked and returned in kind, sending him flying into Deathtalon, knocking both out for a time.

"I thought you were good at this," Cloak said.

Xylocorpus was up next with its ridiculous spoon-like weapon. It hesitated, as if considering Cloak, before hefting up its spoon weapon to strike. Cloak dodged easily, taking note of how slow, deliberate, and sluggish its movements were. Was this a characteristic of the species, or just this individual? It didn't matter. It moved like sloth in molasses. There was no chance of it connecting a hit, though Cloak noticed how the concrete was shattered at the force of the blow. It may have been slow, but it was quite strong. Cloak couldn't allow himself to get ****y -- that's probably how this creature secured worlds for Galactron, by the natives getting overconfident and failing due to their hubris.

Cloak would have to be swift. He had streaked to Xy and dodged its slow movements, as well as its powerful strikes. Then he deliver a fast series of punches, as if he was trying to chi-block the evolved Androzani tree. He dodged another attack by somersaulting away, only to return and do it again. Before slinging it into the recovering Deathtalon and Paszebar, knocking all three out.

"Are you done yet?" Cloak asked the Utensils, and it was clear that the other three wanted their crack at Cloak.

Galilei was up, and he tried to use his gravitikinesis on Cloak, to increase his personal gravity. But it was no good -- as proven with the hypergravity incident, Cloak's Realm Walker physiology adapted to the heavier gravity fairly easily and fairly quickly. Much to Galilei's shock and surprise. Cloak quickly capitalized on this by flinging some roughly-hewn boulders at him, taking him unawares. Cloak kept up the pressure, flinging all manner of earth at him, before he could've recovered from his shock. The last one blasted him into the rousing Xylocorpus, Paszebar, and Deathtalon. Further knocking the four out.

"Next?" Cloak asked.

By Sect was up next, and he pontificated about . . . something. Cloak wasn't paying attention to it. Cloak quickly realized that this how By Sect procured planets. He talked them to the such a point of annoyance, that the planets welcomed death. By Sect was not a fighter by any means, despite what his overinflated ego said to the contrary. Cloak disarmed him of his stupid ****tail umbrella weapon with ruthless ease, and quickly threw him into the others, knocking them out.

"Disappointing," Cloak commented. Then he looked at the Tamaranean. "You want to go? Or can we end this exercise in futility?"

Corona declined Cloak's offer, and attempted to strike him with her dinner knife. But Cloak, almost resignedly, dodged and evaded every single slash and stab. He found her handling of the weapon to be very poor, and Blaze's forehead would be beat red from facepalming so hard. Cloak managed to disarm her with fair difficulty. Then she resorted to use fire, which Cloak dodged and evade easily. He used some well-placed fire blasts to incapacitate Corona, blowing her into her fellows.

"I was led to believe that you were masters," Cloak said, with acrid disappointment. "You're not even novices."
Posted by: Cloak
« on: June 22, 2017, 07:22:10 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN:
Pre-Battle Banter

"No," Cloak told the six. He stood alone in front of these six Utensils.

All six looked down at him, with condescending looks of dismissal. It was as if they heard this all before, hearing all these heroic speeches so wearily often. Except Cloak wasn't giving a heroic speech. Cloak wasn't pontificating like an action movie lead. He just stood there, his eponymous cloak draped over him, obscuring his anthropomorphic feline form. All they could see was his amber eyes beneath his cloak.

"No?" Deathtalon said with a mad cackle. She brought to Cloak's mind the character of Bellatrix Lestrange. Just as unhinged, just as unstable. "No?! Do you have any idea the power to whom you are addressing, little man?!"

Cloak was taller than her. But all he said, in reply, was, "Do you?"

Apparently, this was enough to stymie all six of them. It as if no one ever turned that around on them, just boasted with excessive bravado and confidence.

"A weak little nothing not worthy of the gift of life," Deathtalon spat when she recovered from Cloak's unusual query.

"And who are you to make that judgement?" Cloak said, placidly. He was playing this coolly, discerning personalities and powers.

"What?!" she said, affronted by Cloak's ignorance of her. "I am the Air Utensil, Deathtalon!!"

"So," Cloak replied, keeping his cool (which seemed to irritate Deathtalon), "you're a tool."

Deathtalon hesitated a moment before reacting to mentally suss out if she was being mocked or not. Such slang terminology was foreign to her. The other five did not rush to help or defend her. Cloak quickly picked up on this, on how none of them particularly seemed to care for one another.

Deciding Cloak's last statement was delivered and intended as something offensive, she decided to take offense at it. She snarled, "You dare to mock me, you worthless little nothing?!"

Cloak could have made a snappy comeback or a witty retort, but elected to remain silent and a calm, almost placid. This seemed just to infuriate Deathtalon,who immediate tried to turn the air in Cloak's lungs into spiky aerokinetic construct as she drew it out -- tried to, but did not succeed.

"What? Why is my Shut Up Technique not working?!" Deathtalon demanded.

Cloak's eyes became suns of scarlet and gold. He was now apoplectic with rage. Something hadn't really,truly experienced in a good long while. Only this time, his emotions, and thereby powers, were kept in check.

"You DARE to try and breathbend me, Shi'ar?!" Cloak roared loud enough that it would have been heard distinctly two miles away at least. "You have the audacity, the gall, to try to use that against me? Me?! A Master of the Six Elements?!"

"Master?" Deathtalon said, with an almost girlish giggle. "You think too much of yourself."

"And they say I talk too much," By Sect said, with the others telling him to shut up.

"Do I, Shi'ar?" Cloak snarled, a tiger snarl intermingling with his words. "Then come get some."
Posted by: Cloak
« on: June 21, 2017, 06:29:15 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER TWELVE:
The Prelude to Battle

"Are you serious?" GH said, alarmed.

"We must evacuate the planet!" Estelore insisted.

"GH, Hunter, Leatherhead -- get the others," Cloak said, countermanding Estelore's declaration. "Tell them to prepare to fight off this dangerous foe."

"Cloak, there is no way that we can win!" Esty insisted again.

"You are allowing your mind to become clouded by the tales you were told," Cloak said, curt. "Tales like such are often exaggerated. And no one is without weaknesses. Not even Realm Walkers and stars. No one is without weaknesses."

"Cloak, I'm telling you that --"

"There are presently about six billion humans on this planet, and that's just humans," Cloak snapped, losing his patience now. "We have one Nyac ship which has a maximum carrying capacity of twenty, twenty-five, humans MAXIMUM. Just how, precisely, do you propose we get the other billions offworld? Let alone the myriad of other species that dwell on this planet? Not to mention not making Yarin's ship a huge honking target?"

Cloak's outburst stunned Estelore into a mollified silence. Cloak had very rarely ever taken such a tone with her, since her power usually eclipsed his own.

"That's what I thought," Cloak said, harshly, before turning to GH, his crocodilian son, and Hunter. "Go, now. Gather everyone. We will resist them. We will give it everything that we have. It's do or die time."

"Cloak --"

"If you want to bow out now, Estelore, fine. But do not stop us from trying to repel this creature." he said, still sounding cross, as the three went to collect the others. "If we succeed, then we succeed. If we fail, we die."

Cloak may have said "we" but he could not be killed by any other hand but another Realm Walker. Estelore considered bringing this up, but she didn't want to needlessly escalate things between the two. It wouldn't do anything constructive.

Cloak looked up and saw six silhouettes. He thought he recognized the different species -- a Mon Calamari, a Tamaranean, a Shi'ar, and an evolved Galilean. He didn't really know the species of the other two.

"The Utensils," Estelore said.

"Is that why they're wielding a straw, spoon, fork, dinner, knife, and a ****tail umbrella?" Cloak said, a note of derision in his voice.

"Don't be so flippant, Cloak!" Estelore snapped. "They're dangerous! Masters of their elements!"

"Masters, you say?" Cloak said, almost dismissively. "That remains to be seen."

"Cloak, what are you planning?"

But his answer was preempted by the Utensils' message.

"Native dominant species of the planet," By Sect announced, acting as the mouthpiece for the group. "Your planet is full of life. It will be sacrificed to satiate the everlasting hunger of our patron and master, Galactron. Do not resist us. It is pointless. The decision has been made and cannot be changed. Make your peace before your loved one. Pray to whatever primitive gods you worship, for nothing waits for you but annihilation. Resistance is futile. Our master cannot be beaten. Our master cannot be persuaded. Our master cannot be turned away. Our master is relentless in his goal. Our master is -- oof!"

Deathtalon elbowed him in the gut to shut him up.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: June 20, 2017, 08:46:37 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER ELEVEN:
Xy

They approached the the end of the trail. To a planet full of life. As they made their approach, Xy reflected. Xy didn't understand why everyone was always in such a rush. Sure, it understood if it were a life or death emergency, but more often than not . . . it wasn't. It always preferred to go at its own sedate pace. As the Wood Utensil, it had discovered the second to least amount of planets for their master to feast upon, but unlike By Sect, every single one was teeming with life, every one a delectable delicacy to Galactron.

Xy always took its time to try to think through its course of action, which often put it at odds with some of its fellow Utensils. By Sect, in particular, found it annoying that it didn't seem to react to any of his stories and anecdotes (despite no one likes his stories and anecdotes). Xy, like its fellows, thought By Sect had a nasty habit of talking far too much and thinking too little. Conversely, Xy talked very little and thought, perhaps, too much.

Xy was accustomed to watch and observing, with desire to understand. It was what passed for a philosopher and intellectual amongst its kind, and it was prone to cogitations and ruminations and contemplation. It did not like to make hasty decisions, despite the argument that could be made that its decision to become a Utensil was an uncharacteristicall y snap decision, one made to protect its kind from imminent death. That was it's excuse for such a hasty decision, it was life-or-death. A decision had to be made quickly with all the information currently available, which was, in all honesty, lacking in Xy's opinion.

Xy didn't really care about other species other than its own. Despite being ruled by logic and reason, it valued its own kind above all others. This type of ideology was not unique to it, of course. Most species do the same, valuing theirs above all others. Humans have been guilty of this as well -- remember, the Knights of Humanity was still a thing.

This planet was just another one to help him protect his own kind. They had no other importance.

***

"Well?" Cloak prompted.

Estelore hesitated. She had come to suspect that they caught on her vapor trail-like path in her rush to get here. Followed her stellar contrail. She didn't even think about it in her hurry to make it to Earth before they did. Before the Monster came to destroy her absolute favorite planet. Granted, it was Sol's planet, but Sol wasn't sentient in the least.

"Esty," Cloak prompted again.

She may have made a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Had she not raced here so quickly, so hastily, they may not have had the means of following her here, to Earth. If that was true, that would mean the Earth's destruction would be entirely her fault. By the sole virtue of her imprudence. She could have doomed the planet by her lack of not analyzing the situation properly.

"Estelore," Cloak prompted yet again.

Her fault. All her fault. She couldn't bear to say it aloud. To say it aloud would be confessing culpability, to admit fault. She couldn't bear to know that this was all brought about due to her own indiscretions, due to her own negligence. She couldn't bear it. She couldn't admit that she had doomed the world. Why didn't she think this through? Why did she think that they would make a beeline for Earth? Out of the vastness of the cosmos? Out the infinite expanse of the universe?

"What is it that you neglected to inform us on?" Cloak pressed again.

She wanted to tell them. Really, she did! But she didn't want them to think less of her, because of he colossal mistake. A monumental mistake that may have very well cost Earth her children. Every tree, every squirrel, fish, bird, and, yes, human -- all of her children. Everything she herself knew and loved -- gone in an instant. It was all so overwhelming. The emotions, the ramifications.

"Cloak, lay off her," GH said, not in his usual devil-may-care manner. He was genuinely concerned for Estelore.

"Not when she could be holding back the one integral fact that may very well be the lynchpin in defeating or destroying this Galactron," Cloak answered.

Destroying Galactron? Was such a thing even possible? Estelore doubted it, but she felt an odd feeling burgeoning her heart, but she didn't know what it was . . . it took her a moment to realize that it was hope.

Of course, this was quickly snuffed out, when she sensed it. Huge and foreboding, like the moon in that Legend of Zelda game. That feeling of hope had mutated into the vicious creature called fear.

"It's here." she said, in a voice that was scarcely a whisper.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: June 19, 2017, 07:34:15 PM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER TEN:
By Sect

By Sect, ironically, owed Galactron his life. He was drifting through space, on the destroyed wreckage of his transport ship. He never found out what had hit the transport so violently to rip it to shreds, something he went on at length with his fellow Utensils, but never arriving at a proper conclusion. He was oblivious how his constant chatter irritated his fellows, leading Deathtalon to proclaim once that maybe his own people blew up his ship, hoping to plead plausible deniability when it came to culpability. By Sect didn't really like this explanation, and he never knew a prudent time when to keep his thoughts to himself.

Deathtalon would have attacked him, had she not seen him as completely unworthy of the effort. By Sect, by and large, was unaware of this, must to the consternation of his fellow Utensils, with the possible exception of Xy. By Sect, as was obvious to all them by now, didn't have any common sense and didn't know when to leave things alone. As such, he was the one Utensil who had discovered the least number of planets for Galactron, but still a manageable quota enough to keep the World-Devourer from kicking him from being his Metal Utensil. Many, if not all, of the planets were actually thankful, because they no longer had to put up with any Sect's vapid stories, meandering analogies and lengthy anecdotes.

It was true that he had a hard time getting along with other Bolians, but he was firmly sure that they wouldn't arbitrarily put him on a ship bound for a space station in their region of space, just to blow it up halfway. What of the pilot? The one that did not survive? He most assuredly wasn't aware of the ship's fate to be blown up. Granted, he was, in By Sect's view, moody and quiet, resigned and mute, but that didn't mean that he knew that he was going to die. He even seemed so put together even when the ship was being ripped apart, truly a courageous man to the end. Although, By Sect got the sense that this pilot didn't like him too much, but that was impossible -- everyone loved him, he thought.

Yet, despite thinking that he was truly adored by everyone on Bolarus IX, he had never returned and he was assumed dead there. By Sect, however, didn't know this, and just thought he would remain a Utensil until his life debt was paid back. At least, initially he thought so. Then found himself liking the new power he wielded, and decided that being a Utensil wasn't too bad. He just didn't like how slow Xy seemed to be, as he would have to wait what seemed like forever for her to seem to understand one of his "great" jokes or observations.

***

"Cloak, I don't think you fathom --" Esty said.

"Oh, I fathom it, alright," Cloak said, his defiance not having left his intonation. "I just do not accept that there is nothing that can be done. I reject the idea of futility --"

"Aren't you the one that warns your opponents not to challenge you because it will inevitably not end well?" GH asked.

"That's different," Cloak said surly.

"How?"

"We're getting off the point," the Realm Walker said, blatantly sidestepping the issue. "The point is that this Galactron isn't going to just come here and destroy the Earth -- not without a brutal resistance, not without a fight."

"Cloak --"

"You don't have to fight if you don't want to, Esty," Cloak said, already guessing her argument and swiftly batting it down. It wasn't his intention to imply cowardice, but she took it as such all the same. "But I will fight. Even if I must do it alone, I will fight this worldwide threat."

"I am not a coward, Cloak!" Estelore said, severely and dignified.

"I didn't mean to imply you were," Cloak replied, "but, now that the subject has been approached, how about you tell us what you've not told us? What you're hiding from us."

Estelore was taken visibly off guard, and stymied for a moment at the realization that Cloak had seen through her bluster and her poor attempts to hide her fear at her . . . that her recklessness may have . . .
Posted by: Cloak
« on: June 18, 2017, 06:19:48 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER NINE:
Paszebar*

As they reached the Sol system, Paszebar thought of a time . . . before. Before all this, Paszebar designed and built ships. How he missed being transported by the sleek, elegant designs of a Mon Calamari ship instead of the crude hovel that Galactron saw fit to provided. He wasn't exactly proud to be one of Galactron's Utensils. He was only one out of necessity, and nothing else. If something happened to Mon Calamari in his absence, like his master going back on his word to not feed on it, he would turn on Galactron and rebel. That was the price for his loyalty -- the safety of his homeworld and her peoples.

Though he did not say it outright, but he despised being in the service of this monster. He despised that he was being forced, against his will and better judgement (with the fate of his kind and his homeworld in his hands), forced to commit atrocities in Galactron's name. He loathed what he had become, at what he had allowed to happen.

How many worlds had he sacrificed for his own? How many lives had he exchanged for Mon Calamari and Quarran lives? It didn't make it right. It didn't make it just. It just was, whether he liked it or not. It was what it was.

What was done was done. There was no going back to change it. He was keeping the Mon Calamari and Quarren homeplanet safe. Not that those Quarren backstabbers would appreciate it, he thought bitterly. Life as a Utensil has done much to make him feel bitter. With good reason, too.

He didn't particularly care for any of his fellow Utensils, either. Galilei was whiny and moody. Deathtalon was unnecessarily vicious and brutally bloodthirsty. Corona was wishy-washy and gratingly boisterous. Xy was slow and dim. By Sect never shuts up and was a complete know-it-out. Not a company he would keep by choice, but he had none here. He found Corona, actually, the most insufferable.

If he complained too much, he felt that he might risk Mon Calamari and his people, which is why he rarely said anything, and came off as aloof and unpleasant to the others.

***

"This complicates things," Cloak said.

"Nah, you think?" GH said, voice acrid with corrosive sarcasm. Then he found that his pants leg was on fire. "Hey!"

He started to beat out the fire, but found it was extinguished as quickly as it was formed.

"Next time, watch your flippancy," Cloak said, with an odd mischievous glint in his eyes. GH found that he really didn't care for it.

"Are we doomed?" Leatherhead asked, looking scared. Close to tears.

"Yes," Estelore said, with the lack of her usual tack. Cloak looked at her with a skeptical eye. She was definitely concerned with something that she was not telling them.

Leatherhead started bawling, "I DON'T WANNA DIE!!"

"Nice, Esty, nice," GH admonished as he tried to calm the six-year-old crocodilian mutate down, shushing him to try soothe his fears.

"We haven't fought back yet," Cloak said, defiantly. "We're not finished yet. We're not doomed. Not close. The battle is never decided until the final blow is delivered."



* "Pass the bar".
Posted by: Cloak
« on: June 17, 2017, 08:52:02 PM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER EIGHT:
Corona

Corona had accepted her mistakes, as she followed Deathtalon on the trail, with the other four following behind. She had accepted that she had made mistakes, many of which were unforgivable, but she had accepted that they were made and there was no changing them. Was she still making a mistakes by being the Fire Utensil? Probably. Undoubtedly probably. Undeniably probable. But she became one to keep Tamaran untouched and unmolested by Galactron.

Sure, this forced her to do unspeakable things, like genocide of civilizations of various stages of development. Worlds analogous to the World War I era, the Frontier era, the Medieval era, the prehistoric era, etcera, etcera. Corona didn't feel proud of her actions, but Tamaran was safe. It was safe. That was her only concern, she told herself, that should be her only concern.

But she couldn't help but remember. Remember all the civilizations she help to ruin, the civilizations she helped murder. She wanted to just forget these atrocities. Just . . . forget them all. But her mind wouldn't allow her to forget, tried to make her feel for these lost civilizations, tried to make her feel guilty and shame for it. She just wanted to forget all this -- but she just couldn't.

Her hands were filthy with the blood of millions -- trillions! --and she was not given the luxury to forget. Not a single world. She wasn't as bloodthirsty as Deathtalon, nor as introverted as Galilei. She wore her emotions, her passion, on her sleeve as all Tamaraneans did. Her becoming a Utensil just made her a bit more emotionally unstable and reckless, and seemingly cursed her with perfect recall.

What would her parents think of her? What would her big sister?

She thought she already knew. They would not be proud. They would not approve of what she did, of her actions and the company she kept. But she had no choice. She had nowhere else to go. She had . . . nothing else. But she was keeping Tamaran safe -- that was worth something.

Right?

***

"Oh, and the legend tells of one more thing," Esty said, as if she just remembered. Cloak had the feeling he realized something different, but he said nothing. "Something to be aware of -- his Utensils."

"His . . . utensils," GH said, with an "are you effing serious" sort of tone.

"Yes, that's right," Esty said, so preoccupied she did not notice GH's tone of voice. "His Utensils are heralds imbued with power. Unless I'm mistaken, it grants each one the power over air, earth, fire, metal, water, and wood. Only one per Utensil, though, and apparently complete, innate mastery over these elements."

"Those are the Six Elements," Cloak noticed.

"Are they?" Estelore said, allowing herself to become flustered again at the thought of Galactron coming here, and how it might be --

"Why would anyone want to be a Utensil?" Leatherhead asked. "It sounds like a stupid name to me."

GH didn't discipline Leatherhead for being rude, because he thought the title of "Utensil" was stupid, too.

"There could be a myriad of reasons," Estelore said, regaining her composure. It was odd seeing her so frightened. Disconcerting, even. "Maybe they had no where else to turn, maybe they were close to death until Galactron made its offer. Maybe it was to protect their homeworld from death, to spare their world from Galactron's hunger."

"Can't someone just become a Utensil to protect Earth?" Leatherhead asked.

"Don't even think about it, LH," GH said, quickly.

"What?" the crocodilian mutate said, sounding genuinely confused.

"You know what." GH said, very firmly. Very un-GH-like.

"What if all the Utensil positions are filled?" Hunter asked.

Estelore's somber expression said volumes.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: June 16, 2017, 07:06:51 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER SEVEN:
Deathtalon

Deathtalon had to admit, she was taking to being the Air Utensil with vigor and relish. She found each and every civilization that they discovered as being unbearably weak and even unworthy of existence. She held no qualms about reporting it to their master about it. They deserved to be eradicated, in her view. Only the strong deserved to survive, and that's why she believed in her actions, on behalf of Galactron.

Once she made her judgement that a planet was suitable enough, or if the inhabitants just plain disgusted her with their weakness, she would send for Galactron immediately. There were times when she had to stain her claws with blood. She relished and cherished these times. She loved to hear the screams -- it was like a lullaby to her. Her pitchfork-like weapon was stained deliberately with the blood of the fallen, with Deathtalon seeing it as a sort of trophy. She cackled wickedly as she did so. She was basically a Shi'ar Bellatrix Lestrange, only without the magic.

She was quite eager to find new planets for Galactron, eager to find planets who were, in her warped ideological view, unworthy to live. Eager to stain her claws and her weapon with blood and gore. And yet, she never led Galactron back to the Shi'ar homeworld. Despite her exile and despite her denial to the throne, she never had Galactron devour her former homeworld. She seemingly hated her kind and her homeworld, but she still secretly hoped to regain her rightful place on the throne, her birthright. It wasn't remotely likely, however, and she was very aware of it. But if the Devourer consumed the planet, that wouldn't be possible at all. However, it did fuel her merciless viciousness and remorseless savagery. She even could breathbend, though she called it the "shut up technique", she saved this for individuals who refused to shut up or when their screaming became grating on her ears.

However, she couldn't stand Galilei's constant hesitation and self-pity. She found his constant self-reflection and doubts annoyingly encumbering, having no self-restraint herself. She rather have no one and nothing holding her back from smiting those, in her view, were unworthy of the gift of life. She believed that she was the one to be the judge, jury, and executioner of everyone, that she had the inherent right to decide if people should or should not live.

Just then, she sensed a vapor trail of sorts. She followed it like a bloodhound with a scent.

***

"Legend says that Galactron was a denizen of the universe before this one," Esty said, glancing at Cloak. "Merged with the egg, the seed that led to the Big Bang."

Prompted, Cloak responded, "There was no Walker record of such a thing happening. This is the only universe existed as the Prime Universe."

"Legends can always be wrong on the specifics," Estelore said, swiftly reestablishing her composure. "But it is certainly old, maybe even as old as the universe itself. Beyond that, I don't know much about its history before it became Galactron -- it is a legend after all, as I wasn't born when he first came into being. Hell, up until a few moments - days? Weeks? -- ago, I thought it was just a myth. A fairy tale. A tall tale."

Estelore shook her avatar's head, to clear it.

"But it's history doesn't matter," she continued. "We must find a way to either kill it or overpower it before it makes a meal of Earth."

"Why are you so sure that it'll come to Earth?" GH said.

"I don't," Estelore admitted. "But there is a statistical chance that this might be the next planet for it to approach."

"How good a statistical chance?" Cloak inquired.

"Pretty good," Esty said, vaguely. Cloak got the feeling Esty was hiding something from them.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: June 15, 2017, 12:00:33 PM »

Yeah, I know it's a lot to go through.

New chapter.

CHAPTER SIX:
Galilei

Galilei thought of the planets he was instrumental in the destruction of. Galileans, by their nature, were very diplomatic and, seemingly unlike the other Utensils, these lost civilizations did not sit well with him. Granted, he did this to.protect Keplorr, where his kind never stepped foot on, but orbited around, like electrons to an atom's nucleus, as part of their life cycle. Every Galilean has orbited around Keplorr, even he himself.

But did that really justify what he was doing? Committing genocide on countless civilizations, on countless worlds? He was complacent in all the ones that he led his . . . led his monstrous master to. He could never escape the culpability for it. What he did in service to Galactron was unforgivable, irredeemable.

He knew he wouldn't be seen as a hero for becoming an Utensil, a tool, a herald of this villainous evil devoid of compassion and mercy. And was he, in all honesty any better? He did this to selfishly protect his own planet. Sure, he thought he was being pretty selfless at the time, but he has had far more time to mull it over.

His family would never recognize him now. Galactron had said that he had evolved the Galilean to his evolutionary zenith. But Galilean saw his reflection in the waters of the last planet he betrayed and conveyed to his master. He was a monster. He only barely resembled a Galilean now. People wouldn't revel in his imagined selfless heroism, but recoil in terror at the corrupt monster he became. True, his power has been ripped open to their absolute zenith potential.

How would he ever be able to show his face to any other Galilean? Who would ever love a thing like him? But his decision to become Galactron's Utensil was right, wasn't it? He had noble intentions, and surely history would remember that, right? But Galilei knew better than this. Knew just how fickle history could be towards the people's reputations who have done some morally questionable things. Just how quickly things could be forgotten, just how the more salacious and lascivious events color it, typically draining any truth from it.

The more time he spent as an Utensil, the more jaded and prone to self-pity Galilei found himself becoming. He was absolutely nonplussed with the enjoyment that Deathtalon took from doing what they did. He couldn't fathom not feeling compassion for the poor races that they had to kill off.

***

"Galactron?" Cloak said, perplexed. "Do you mean 'Galactus'? Or 'Unicron'?"

"Who?" Estelore said, still looking harried. "And how can you not know of Galactron? You, who knows god knows how many non-Terran species? Yet you do not know of the most dangerous . . . the most powerful . . ."

"Esty, what has got you all hot and bothered?" GH asked.

"'Hot and bothered'?" Hunter queried, giving GH a sidelong look.

"Shut up," GH said, offhand. His attention was still on Esty. Her tight hair bun was actually loosening with her fretting over this Galactron, a few locks of hair from her avatar's head fell making her look like a woman on the edge.

Everyone assembled knew how serious this was. Estelore did not often lose her calm, her composure. Only when she's sufficiently emotional, with extreme emotions like anger or fear. It was blatantly obvious that she was scared. Frightened. Which meant whatever this Galactron was -- it wasn't anything to be flippant about, or anything to be taken lightly.

"Estelore," Cloak said, calmly. He secretly hoped to handle this better than that Ghostwriter business a week or so ago. "Estelore, best to start from the beginning."

Estelore regained her composure, and calmed herself.

"Now," Cloak said, "who is Galactron?"
Posted by: Sakki
« on: June 15, 2017, 01:49:36 AM »

I've been dead for 3000 years on this forum and yet you're still going at this.

Jesus, I can't even get myself to write a paragraph without having at least 3 mental breakdowns.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: June 14, 2017, 06:34:14 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER FIVE:
The Utensils

Galactron travelled sedately, as his Utensils were resting within dwellings he had created on the surface of its planet-like body. There were six of these heralds that he called his Utensils.

There was a Galilean named Galilei who accepted to became the Earth Utensil to protect the planet Keplorr. He was bulky, rock armored alien. He was reddish-brown in color and have a red and orange core on the center of his chest, and have four reddish-brown fingers and three grey toes. He had black markings on his face, as well as a big mouth. When rolled up into his planetary sphere form, it is notable that his rocky plating fuses to resemble continents with his black markings looking similar to oceans; his core is hidden as well as a result.

But, upon accepting the mantile of the Earth Utensil, he was endowed with power. He was changed. He no longer had legs and moved about by gravitkinetically floating around. His skin crust becomes more jagged, as crests and peaks formed on the surface. His planetary core is engulfed in their mouth now, with a spiral circling outwards. His hands grew much larger as well. The most notable change, however, are the three smaller orbiting planetoids that spawned around Galilei, caught in his gravitational field. They each have a little face on them that resembles a normal Galilean in orbit mode. He was now completely beholden to Galactron, with his power set now terrakinesis, enhanced gravikinesis, gravikinetic flight, gravitkinetic orbiting, enhanced strength, enhanced durability, sharp mountain peaks on his person, and space survivability. And, yet, he maintained a sense of self. He still remembered why he did this, and he was still quite mortal.

The second Utensil recruited was a Bolian by the name of By Sect. He was as tall as an adult human male, and was completely bald. He had bluish-gray skin with a distinctive, bifurcating, cartilaginous ridge running vertically along the center of his head and face, and partway down his chest. Galactron saved him from floating listlessly after his derelict spacecraft exploded, saved him from moments near death. He quickly agreed to be the Metal Utensil of Galactron. He was imbued with power that turned his body into a coppery, metallic blue and he was gifted with a metal umbrella, like one you would find in a tropical drink, and it could block any manner of attack. While he still retained his sense of self, he had granted Galactron a greater degree of loyalty, and would act on no one else's command, as this power endowed him with ferrokinesis, enhanced strength, enhanced durability, and immunity from disease. Despite this, he was still quite mortal, and not that proficient a fighter.

The third Utensil recruited was a female Tamaranean named Corona. She had golden skin, reddish hair and was able to convert ultraviolet radiation into energy for flight, producing a distinctive contrail that seems to flow from her long hair. She had been exiled from her beloved Tamaran because of a acknowledged error of judgement that led to problems that would simply be solved with her exile. She agreed to this and left her homeplanet in disgrace. As she made her way from Tamaran, she made a deal with Galactron to spare it by becoming his Utensil of Fire, granting her pyrokinesis, fiery hair and contrail, emerald green-colored energy generation from her hands and eyes, accelerated healing factor, self-sustained flight in vacuum and atmosphere, superhuman strength, superhuman reflexes, enhanced stamina, superhuman condition, superhuman endurance, superhuman agility, linguistic assimilation (via lip contact), invulnerability, self-sustenance, tolerance to extreme environmental conditions, experienced hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist, experienced use of various weaponry,  and extended longevity. Galactron also granted her a staff with a bladed tip that resembled a dinner knife greatly, which could create energy slashes with each swing of the staff. This transformation also made her one of his more volatile Utensils, and she has to exercise greater control over her emotions than ever before, coming off as cold and calculating. Like the other two, she was just as mortal, but exceedingly powerful.

The fourth Utensil recruited was a female Shi'ar named Deathtalon as the Air Utensil. She looked like a human female but with feathered crest in lieu of hair, worn in a triangular fashion with one peak at the top of the head, and the other two just beneath her shoulders. She had hollow bones and avian wings on her arms, making her an evolutionary throwback, a mutant. It was because of this she was exile and denied her rightful standing in Shi'ar society. She was seen as a freak, and her bloodthirsty attitude didn't help matters. She joined Galactron be cause she saw it as a way to get revenge and sate her bloodlust. Upon becoming the Air Utensil, her feathers became tiny cyclones -- every single one -- but also still acted as feathers. She found flight much easier. She gained aerokinesis and powerful telepathy, in addition her her self-powered flight, and talon-like claws. She also gain a pitchfork-like dinner fork as a weapon, which can fire off concussive blasts of energy from the prongs. She became exceeding dangerous with these abilities and proved to be the most vicious of the Utensils, though still perfectly mortal, having given herself completely over to her bloodlust and Galactron, very nearly losing all sense of self.

The fifth Utensil recruited was the male Mon Calamari named Paszebar, becoming the Water Utensil. He was a bipedal, rusty red, and amphibious with a high-domed head, webbed hands and large, goggle-like eyes. In addition to being webbed, his hand presented three suction-cup like holes on its palm, and featured five claw-tipped fingers: one opposable thumb, two long middle fingers, and two very short outer fingers. Although they were shaped like flippers, his feet could nevertheless fit into boots designed for human-like feet. He was a vigorous swimmer and was capable of living underwater for long periods. He accepted to be a Utensil in order to protect his planet of Mon Calamari from Galactron's hunger. He gained hydrokinesis and a bendy straw-like three-section staff, which can redirect energy projectiles. His skin became an iridescent blue with sapphire blue eyes. He became even more aloof and unforgiving, still retaining his sense of self, though still mortal.

The last Utensil recruited was an Androzani tree named, Xylocorpus or "Xy", the Wood Utensil. It looked like an ordinary conifer, unless it decided to shape itself into a more humanoid form, looking like demurred woman, despite not technically being female. It became the Wood Utensil to protect its people from the savage hunger of Galactron. But doing so, it lost its conifer base form, instead looking like one of those undetailed, faceless wooden puppets. It still retained its shapeshifting ability and its ability to separate its lifeforce from its body and ride in a host (always a female adult, as males and children have been deemed inadequate for some time), though the latter is always temporary with its status as a Utensil. It also gained a staff that looked like a wooden spoon, which could catch energy projectiles int the cup of the "spoon staff" and could be launched back at the originator, like a catapult.

Despite being on the same team, that didn't mean that they all got along. Galilei didn't like Deathtalon's bloodthirstiness, and she didn't like his moralizing and hypocrisy. Corona didn't like Paszebar's dullness, and Paszebar didn't like Corona's impetuousness. By Sect didn't like Xy's lack of conversation, and Xy thought By Sect talked too much.

But they apparently had not found Earth yet . . .
Posted by: Cloak
« on: June 13, 2017, 07:07:44 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER FOUR:
Star Fright

Estelore hurdled her way to Earth, as fast as she could. It was still a fair distance away and she did not want it to beat her there. She also feared that one of its infamous Utensils to beat her there, as well. She had to protect Earth.

Granted, the Earth wasn't her planet, but Sol's. However, Sol was just a nonsentient star, who didn't move of its own accord, like she did. Which is one reason she couldn't have planets of her own. So, she . . . adopted Earth, as if it was one of her own. She had come to care deeply about it, even becoming a RAFian in the process. That made her attachment quadrupled, at least.

She couldn't allow . . . she wouldn't allow . . . she may not be able to . . . she may not be strong enough to . . .

She had to make to Earth. She had to get there before the Biovore did. Galactron cannot extinguish the life on Earth. It cannot. She wouldn't . . . she couldn't . . . she didn't know what exactly she could do, nor what exactly the RAFians could do stop a world devourer. But they have accomplished impossible things before, and they could do so again.

She hoped.

There. There was Sol's system. She plowed past Pluto with Charon in its tenuous orbit. She skirted Neptune with its fourteen or so moons. Flirted with colliding with Uranus's twenty-seven or so moons. Skimmed Saturn's rings (imagining a Veleek within the planetary atmosphere), ignoring its sixty-seven or so moons and innumerable moonlets. Freely ignored Jovan gravity as she slingshoted around Jupiter, completely bypassing Mars in order to come upon Earth.

She was fully encapsulated in her human avatar before she even reached the planet's atmosphere . . .

***

"So, what do you think?" GH was asking Leatherhead.

He sang:

"What do I think of the pie?
What do I think of the pie?
Goodness gracious,
It's delicious.
That's what I think of the pie.
Because --
"

It was this point when Estelore showed up, landing in the center of the forum where Leatherhead and GH were seated nearby and outside, with Hunter, at the mess hall. There was a significant shockwave, but not powerful enough to cause significant damage. The damage was nothing that Cloak wouldn't be able to mend with his mastery over Earth.

Estelore was in her avatar form, wearing yellow kevlar from her shoulders to her toes. He hair was tied into a tight bun. Her face showed no mirth but absolute seriousness.

"Everyone, we need to prepare!!" Estelore said. "Quickly!! Before it comes!!"

"It?" Cloak inquired, arriving on the scene. After that shockwave, it was impossible for Cloak not to notice with his Earthsight until he deliberately ignored it. "What It?"

"That old Steven King movie?" Hunter asked. It was hard to tell if he was joking or sincere.

"The Devourer of Life, the Biovore," Estelore said, as if this answered everything. "Galactron."



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=7rKmUJGygsE
Posted by: Cloak
« on: June 12, 2017, 09:02:36 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER THREE:
The Biovore

Estelore was on her usual sojourns across the galaxy, cataloguing the various species and how they have changed and evolved since her last visit to the planet. Many may have not found such a thing entertaining or fulfilling, as the task would never be done. But Esty embraced the neverending task, finding purpose and enjoyment out of it -- and that's what really mattered, that she herself found it self-fulfilling. After this sojourn, she would return to RAF and add what she found to the database -- the most extensive database on different species that she was aware of, thanks not only to her endeavors but Cloak's remembrances of Realms once visited and might exist in this one.

She would also talk to him at length about the species she found, and she received a rush of vindication when she discovers the existence of a species that Cloak did not expect to exist in this realm, the Prime Universe, as he calls it.

And, she must say, this trip had been absolutely wonderful thus far. Some species hadn't changed much, it is true, but evolution takes time to take effect. You couldn't expect them to reach a certain level than spontaneously metamorphize into something drastically different enough to be labeled a different species. True evolution doesn't work like that.

Then she stopped. She felt a stab of fear. What she saw couldn't exist. What she saw was a myth, a legend, a story. It could not be possibly exist.
This phantom that should not exist was heading for a planet called So-Chaitheamh. This planet was just starting to support sentient lifeforms which were just about to create tools, a species called Besteedbaars. She found herself rather fond of these nearly sapient ursine species, which looked rather like distant relatives of the Cutiepies, as well. They looked like a cross between a teddy bear and a Care Bear, then had the cutsie dial turned up to eleven. They had never really known violence or any real hardship -- other than environmental, from time to time.

It was with great trepidation that Estelore watched this . . . this thing head for the planet, so lush with life. This thing was just barely smaller than Jupiter, and it looked like a rocky, barren planet moving through the vastness of space on its own accord, with no visible means of propulsion. It's face looked deceptively innocent, like that snowman from that stop-motion "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" movie, but with red eyes and black sclera.

It maneuvered close to the planet's atmosphere -- which caused tremendous havoc on the planet of So-Chaitheamh. The Besteedbaars didn't know what to make of this. They had never endured such cataclysmic events. This was without precedence to them.

Then it proceeded to suck, as if it was slurping soup. The atmosphere was the first thing to be stripped away, then a blur of color which Estelore knew were the fauna, flora, and the Besteedbaars themselves. So-Chaitheamh was now barren and lifeless. And she, Estelore, stood by idly and watched it happen. She did nothing, as she was taken aback by this monstrous myth being real.

It was the Biovore, the Devourer of Life -- Galactron!

This was impossible! This creature cannot possible exist. It just couldn't. It was just a myth. A legend. Something told to frighten children to dissuade them from misbehaving. A fairy tale. It wasn't supposed to be real. This couldn't possibly be real. It had to be faked in some way. Or -- or a waking dream. Galactron couldn't have . . . Galactron wasn't . . . Galactron . . .

But it was real. And it destroyed a species that had real potential in becoming a civilization like the Pemalites. But all that was gone now. And she had done nothing. Nothing to stop it. She didn't even pause to consider if she could do anything. Galactron, legend told, was one of the most powerful beings in existence.

She would need help dealing with this menace -- and protecting its next target.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: June 11, 2017, 06:29:50 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER TWO:
There's a Party Here in RAF

GH strummed his guitar before sing:

"There's a party here in RAF,
There's excitement in the air!
People pouring in from near and far
'Cause Firmitas and Cloaky are gonna have a wedding.
"

Firmitas* was a swan-form Realm Walker that became the second RAFian Realm Walker.

"There's a party here in RAF,
Everybody will be there.
So if you're a yearly or a mod,
Do somethin' with yer hair!
You mustn't wear an outfit that's naughty!!
A dress that's unraveling just won't do.
No earrings that are tasteless or gaudy.
You're gonna look gorgeous when I get through!
There's a party here in RAF,
So, I'm goin' to paint ze town.
If you want to see what colors are,
Follow me around!
"

Then the rest of the RAFians sang with GH.

"Cloaky's gettin' married, and it's gonna be
The wedding of the century.
"

Then GH sang:

"My buddy's gettin' married, and you're gonna see
Just how much I can do!
You've heard of your safari, bar mitzvahs,
Baba-tua-luau, a sweet sixteen.
Well, none of them compare to what this is!
The food'll be disgusting, by evening you'll be busting!
"

Saffa, Abby, and Gaz sang, noting:

"There's a party here in RAF,
And everything's all aglow.
"

Then GH sang:

"And now we take you down to the forum
Where everyone has celebrated all night long.
Without Malice and all of her, uh, malice,
Everybody's happy!!
What could possibly go wrong??
"

Then some sneaky Cadmus agents sang:

"There's a party here in RAF,
And we're gonna rob 'em blind!
"

Their Amanda Waller-type leader sang:

"While they're all munching caviar --
Create a small disturbance,
I'll sneak up from behind.
"

Dylan sang:

"There's a party here in RAF
And the loot is pourin' in!
I like this wedding stuff so far!
Maybe if I'm pleasant,
I'll get to keep a present!
"

GH sang:

"We've ordered just a few tasteful flowers.
The valets, sir, will carefully park for you.
The bridesmaids have been dressing for hours!
Girls, you look just lovely, and so grownup too!
There's a party here in RAF.
Guests are filling up the room.
But there's something missing . . . yes . . . ah hah!
"

Richard sang:

"Where is the groom?"

GH immediately went to fetch him, and he was by his favorite meditation spot, and GH chided, "Guess who's going to be late for his own wedding!!"

Then he noticed the look on Cloak's face, "You're . . . you're not getting cold feet are you?"

"No, it just -- never mind."

Then he sang:

"There's a party here in RAF.
And the party's all for her and me.
Just look, you guys, at where we are,
And how our dreams have come to be!
"

Meanwhile, in her separate thread, Firmitas sang:

"There's a party here in RAF,
And I can't believe it's true.
After all this waiting, here we are,
We'll finally get so say 'I do!'
"

"I never, ever had a real family."

"I never, ever had a real true friend."

Then both sang:

"Someone who could just understand me . . . "

Leatherhead sang:

"Hey, c'mon, Mr. Cloak! This mushy stuff has gotta end!"

GH sang:

"There's a party here in RAF
And it's starting right away.
Let's getcha ready, 'cause you're the star!
Hey, c'mon, it's your wedding day!
"

The rest of the RAFians sang:

"Cloaky's gettin' married, and it's gonna be
The wedding of the century.
Amazing how Cloak could've come so far . . .
"

GH said, "They're finally gettin' married!"

Richard said, "They're finally gettin' married!"

The Cadmus agents queried, "They're finally gettin' married?"

Dylan said, "Look at all these presents!"

Firmitas said, "We're finally getting married!"

Leatherhead said, "You're finally gettin' married!"

Cloak said, "I'm finally gettin' married!"

The rest of the RAFians sang:

"They're finally gettin' married
At the party in RAF!!
Such a sight to see!
Come on, go with me,
To the party in RAF!
"

Then Cloak awoke. He easily recognized why he had the dream -- he still had underlying wishes to be married, to be a family man. But he also believed that it was an impossibility.

He was an outcast from the Nexus and other Realm Walkers. He was a pariah, spoken of and about with scorn and dismissal. Having a Realm Walker wife . . . it would never happen . . .



SONG SOURCE: https://youtube.com/watch?v=8H8HlBGP594

* Latin for strength, according to Wikitionary.