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Age of Gear Wars: The Mysterious Painter

By Phillip Brooker All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Action


On this planet exists machines by the name of Gears in this era of time, a combination of technology and magic where the pilot and machine are somewhat one. Gears possess magic as long as they have a user for a pilot. Although used for purposes of war, Gears have been developed for other uses, construction, farm work and gladiatorial combat for entertainment. The world has become quite a place thanks to these machines, expanded towns, defences against invaders and other things. Unfortunately criminal activity and wars still exist with the help of them also, pitting two sides against one another with innocent people in the middle depending on the location. It is possible for a Gear to use magic from their pilot because of a core implanted inside the formers head. Since the cores creation, only magic users are capable to harness the power to its fullest, where as those that don't can only pilot them normally in combat.

History has been made where pilots had been given nicknames and/or titles because of their deeds in battles in these mighty machines. Pilot's skills have been granted through countless training, teachings from others, even adapt from failures against tough opponents to perhaps prevail in the next encounter. Should a person step into a Gear and go into battle of any kind without knowledge of any of these, that person is surely to die.

Swords clashed, the wielders are Gears that stood much taller than the many soldiers in battle right now. Two armies aim to control the area of the mass forest that's good for a base or colony village for one side, once the land is cleared of what is not needed, where as the other fights to protect it. However the side that want the area do not intend to establish either one.

"You shall not gain this land! King Gora prays for both our victory and to those that have sacrificed their lives today. I will not let them go to waste!" The male pilot in the right Gear yells, pushing his opponent through a few now torn down trees until he/she held its ground.

Both Gears are human in shape, size bigger than one also in meters, equipped with full knight armour. Though it is not necessary because of their metal structural frame, armour is added for extra protection against Gears and weapons strong enough to pierce both layers to kill the pilot. Armour is either normal or enchanted, depending on the pilot, to be able to go up against whatever stands in their way, and the weapons wielded can be summoned or carried.

The one on the right has grey armour, the frame underneath dark blue, standing at 8.09 meters. The pauldrons are in a sharkskin design, same goes for the greaves, wrist gauntlets that reach the forearms, six pack chiselled cuirass and tasset that's hung by the fauld. The head is in the form of a humanoid swordfish, same colour as the Gears frame with a small fin at the back, a pair of light blue oval eyes in the form of a glare, a short sword like nose, and a visor over the mouth area. The breastplate is ocean blue in a wave design, all the rest of the armour is plain grey. The swords hilt is black, the guard is of a face up skull of a hammerhead shark where a long blue blade stuck out of the opened mouth.

The one he is up against is in a female framed machine that's brown, each piece of the armour being green. Standing at 8.07 meters, the left pauldron is in the shape of a leaf, where as the right is grey and shaped like a wolf's head with the mouth slightly open. The head is green with a pair of yellow diamond shaped, glaring eyes and a brown battle helm that has a few metal leaves embedded at the front and a visor attached over the mouth. The sword in hand has a guard that's yellow, made like an ordinary sword, but the blade is green and has leaf patterns all over. "You fight to expand the ocean you live in, we fight to protect Mother Nature and allow her growth to continue as she pleases. We should not fool around with nature or the elements and just let them run their course." a female voice argues using the unwritten laws of the planet that reached deaf ears by how the voice retaliates after pushing her away.

"Members of the Naturia Clan such as you gain pleasure from absorption of water, like the rain and other sources. What do we gain should we let things run their course? No expansion to further our domain or the safety of our waters as pollution contaminates it because of the humans. You should be the same since they cut down your precious trees for a number of things."

Silence came after that, the only sound heard are from the numbers in battle. Those that are not pilots fought against those their own size, able to see what those within the Gears are like… not human.

Aside from humans walking the planet, there are beings that share the same soil as them known as Clans, species of humanoids that are dwellers of an affinity. Pyrosian, a clan of fire dwellers that is able to survive high temperatures, such as inside volcanoes and scorching deserts. Airos, dwellers that live high up in the sky where they are able to feel the wind whether or not in flight thanks to their summoned wings. Terranian, the clan of Earth that live deep underground that don't shun the light but chose to be where they are, even in suitable caves. Arctician, dwellers of snowy environments and can survive the coldest temperatures. Then there are the two Clans in battle, Naturia and Aquaria. The former are those that reside in forests and can choose to be protectors against whoever harms the trees, plant life and animals, beings that don't rely on technology yet choose to use Gears so they can fight fire with fire against invaders. Aquaria Clan live underwater but can survive on land, there are those that fight to expand their watery domain, even if it means fighting to get what they want.

The skin of Naturian's are a series of green with full colour on their diamond bug like eyes, and Aquaria skin tone are the same but in blue. Other Clans are the same in their own colour that suit the affinity they derive from, Pyrosian's being red or orange, Airos are grey, Terranian are either stone grey or dirt brown, and Articians are light blue or snowy white. Each Clan is human like, although there are those that have some animal appearances.

Gears in combat aside from theirs are different in gender structure; some equipped with different armour than theirs and wield weapons that suit their type of fighting.

Inside the Gear is spacious despite the appearance of the outside. The surrounding walls within the Naturian one is non-brightly lit green, the ceiling and floor being black where the pilot sat in a meditative state as she commands her machine. A beautiful woman at 22 years of age, skin light green with back length pale green hair that has beads in the form of due drops in various parts actually grown on, not worn. The attire she wears is a black protective bodysuit that exposes the arms and legs, armour made of strong, smooth wood instead of metal, a pair of leather, elbow length black gloves with metal plates attached on both sides, same material for her steel toed boots, no helmet. A sword is placed on the floor behind her instead of on the belt she wore, on the back though to the left is a satchel with what items she needs, healing and poison medicine, bandages and some food rations: Finally a one sided cape is clipped to both shoulders, the lining stitched to look like thorn vines, the inside dark green with a large red rose in the middle that's surrounded by its petals.

What the Aquaria pilot spoke of made her face scrunch, eyes closed the whole time, unsure how to explain, so there's only one way to respond for now. The water inhabitant within the Gear brought up his sword to block the diagonal slash from the silent enemy. This action brought a smirk to the occupant as he asks. "I take it from this you haven't an explanation."

Inside the Aquaria Gear, the ceiling and floor the same as the Naturia one, the walls of this being at the same level of brightness in a plain blue fashion. The pilot stood taller than his opponent at the age of 35 with folded arms, fish scale skin being dull blue with no hair, black eyes and shark like teeth revealed in a recently turned grin. A muscled physique with webbed hands and feet, neither non-afraid to be exposed, the only clothing worn is fitting dark grey trousers with armour in place on the appropriate areas of the lower body without the upper portion, also a belt with no weapons, only necessary items.

The reaction caused brought amusement, unable to hold back a chuckle that's made on the outside also. A Gear moves along with the pilot as if it's the latter's second body that he/she doesn't have to use his/her own while inside thanks to the harmless magical energy emitted into the control chamber from the core, where as talking can happen at the same time but rules of thought remain the same. 'At least I get a bit of fun out of this one than expected.'

His fun seems to be over sooner than expected due to a voice from a Naturian by what he said. "Lady Carmine!" While still clashed, the Aquarian's head turns to the right to find a soldier Gear charge towards them, this being a male version that's similar to the one he's up against. Only this one's helmet is green and knight like, and both pauldrons are leaf shaped instead of one being an animal. The weapon wielded in both hands is a spear with the blade in the form of a leaf with a yellow ringed guard in between.

There were no soldiers in the way to trample as he kept going, they either had time to get out of the way or the path was vacant anyway, not even a Gear stood in the way, until one from the enemy fired a summoned strong blast of water from the side that knocked it off its feet.

As one hand from the weapon is released to get up, the attacker marched into view. A male Gear that's different in armour, the former has a couple, silver metal starfishes on the side of the spiky knuckled gauntlets, a single on the spaulders, below both knees, and a bigger one fixed to the face like a mask. The Gears frame is plain blue at the height of 8.09m, the fish scale and wave designs remain, and the head is grey with red eyes and a plain mouth visor. The mech's main specialty is hand to hand combat and is able to fire projectiles from the front stars on the gauntlets. "Nobody interferes while my buddy has fun, so I'm going to keep you busy as he rips the lady apart."

He stops his advancement when half a dozen, non-magic infused arrows made impact that got his attention, damage being only scratches to the struck armour. He calmly looks up in the trees to the east, able to make out 8 Naturia archers, wearing leather protective gear, strapped headgear included that left their hair exposed, instead of metal to allow easy movement. The bows have inscribed words and markings from their clan that is an enchantment, and quivers loaded on their backs.

Lack of results brought no reaction to any of them, but it caused the target to scoff as he turns to face them then asks. "You plant lovers think ordinary arrows can harm a Gear?"

Among the archers are 3 females and 7 males. One of the former stood on a tree trunk that has less cover, in her twenties with narrowed rose pink eyes, plain green skin and hair with natural red highlights tied in a long ponytail, bow set ready to launch an arrow that has a glass arrowhead with a green gel substance inside. Without a response, she and one of the males that's on a tree next to her, using the same type of arrow, fired on the target and got a successful hit to the head, specifically the eyes. The glass arrowheads shatter on impact to spread the gel to obscure the Gears vision.

Surprised at this, the pilot tries to wipe off the problem after the machine took a couple steps back. "What the hell is this gunk?!"

As this goes on, soldiers fought in various parts of the forest, armoured Naturian's against Aquarian's that wore less protection due to confidence in their skills and magic to aid them in situations like this.

"Take this! Summon: Water Tower!" A strong built Aquaria Clan male yells, wearing all navy, fitting trousers and full armour on the lower part, a pair of metal fingerless fighter gloves with spiked knuckles, also a medium shark fin on the back of his bald head, black eyes with thin pupils and a pointy nose. His right fist punched the ground to summon a tower of water that shot out of the ground from a called on blue magic circle, three layers with runes round the first one. Its power and force sent Naturia soldiers in its path down, some sent a short distance in the air at first. Those on his side a bit further away dodged in time like their opponents before the tower dispersed.

At the same time it went away, a helmetless knight shot through the remnants in silence, wielding a pair of short swords, skin dark green but lighter coloured eyes and short oak brown hair. Armour non-enchanted, light weighted and green as leaves with a brown bodysuit underneath, able to allow as much speed possible for the wearer who is either unable to use magic or chooses not to in combat for reasons he made, and perhaps others.

He leapt with both blades swung that got blocked by the side of the gloves, kept off his feet till the summoner of the water spell uses strength to push him away. The knight didn't give up after he lands on his feet then charges in again, going for a ground assault this time. Each attack he made against the slightly taller ocean dweller got avoided or blocked the same way as the first attack.

When the next blade attack came it was grabbed without fail, to the wielders surprise. He tries to break free via slash at close range with the other, unfortunately to be caught then lifted off the ground to the grinning face of the Aquarian that irritated him by his expression.

After being struck by the gel that caused problems for his Gears vision, thus his own, what happened after that was the archers next move. First, four of them launched arrows at its feet that contained immediate growing vines that wrapped round a good portion of the legs while dug into the ground. The second was that explosive arrows from the other four brought it onto its back, thus the outrage brought on by the now cursing pilot. Although the explosions combined were enough, it did not put the mechanical figure down for good.

Meanwhile with Lady Carmine, once her opponent got the upper hand, things did not look well for her Gear. Her sword held in a defence position, the blade aglow as a means of a power up for the blue energy wave that came and struck, defence eventually broken that it caused a stumble in a step due to the power put into the attack. Within the control chamber, a frowns on her face on how things are going between them, eyes still closed. 'He's good.' admittance she didn't want to even think about, but it was unfortunately true.

Taking the advantage to cause more damage, the right hand tightly grips the hilt of the sword while the left is held out. "Hydrunsa!" the same type of magic circle appears; only instead of a tower of water it launches a high-pressured blast of the element that collapsed the Naturia Clan's mech. Had Carmine been outside to take the hit she'd have been killed unless the proper spell or item was used to help.

As she recovers, the one responsible advanced like some of the enemy soldiers nearby that weren't told to stop. The archers still in the trees saw this, the pink eyed woman being the first to move. "Two of you come with me. The rest of you provide assistance from here, and try to keep that Gear down. If one or two more come, do what you can then retreat to a new position." As she leapt off to the next tree to help the woman, the two that were nearest followed while the rest did as they were told.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest where the battle cannot be seen or heard, a traveller ventures through, taking his time to admire the scenery as he kept walking. By his expression he didn't really care about it, but on the inside he did. A 22 year old human male with short, messy dark blue hair and grey eyes, wearing a white tunic made with a hood that's raised, lined in red stitching. The rest of his clothes are fitting black for his athletic physique, consisting of trousers, vest, fingerless gloves with metal studs on the knuckles and knee length boots. An oval buckled brown belt with no weapons, just some supply pouches at the back for items such as healing potions, able to heal injuries, and antidotes because of poisonous creatures and plants, also a money pouch on the right side. On his back is a wooden box made to hold and carry paint equipment, including a put together mini-easel, board and as much paper it can carry. From its make, shine and leather straps it was expensive to get, added with the stuff inside it may have cost more altogether. Along with the box to carry, he has a sack over his shoulder by a single strap that contains some other stuff, mostly food and items he acquired earlier that can fetch a good coin in the city he's on the way to.

Not in any hurry by the pace he's going, he caught sight in a tree a family of birds, not normal type of birds to come across, these were blue with a pair of long tails, same for the eyes, their beaks being a bit long. The babies had short tails and beaks, happy chirps made at the food their parents brought them, a sight that made a small smile emerge. Eventually it went away after he past by, not wanting to stop and draw the family moment, even if the mood was right.

Aside from the battle taking place between the Naturia and Aquaria Clans, not known by the traveller, there are creatures in various locations on the planet that reside in places that are either strong, dangerous and feared or innocent, harmless and not a threat. Like Clans they have their specific place, but unlike them they follow the animal instinct to survive and attack, even eat if have to whoever or whatever as long as it's edible. If a person is skilled to beat a creature, depending if it's strong or not, then they are able to try. If not then that person's fate is sealed unless he/she has a way to work round it in his/her own way where violence isn't needed and a Gear isn't around to scare them off.

Today the sky is blue, the sun bright and the clouds show signs of no bad weather ahead, a perfect day to enjoy so far. The forest he's in goes on and leads to some mountains to the north that has to be scaled to reach the city he's heading to, hopefully to make it without confrontation with whatever lurks and the supply of food on hand is enough. Lucky for him all he came across were some animals that didn't pose a threat and a few carnivorous plants. Although thankful for the peace and quiet, the traveller couldn't help but think now and then whether or not something of interest should pop up to catch his eye so he can stop and make a picture. Although there is the chance it may turn out to be a danger where he would have to fight for his life, so he pretty much reconsiders the thought.

Peace and quiet the forest was indeed as he continues on, unfortunately to come to an end because of the faint sound his ears picked up that seems be feet, and they were getting closer up ahead from the right. Not wanting to be seen, he hid behind the nearest tree, not afraid to keep look out on what approaches. His eyes narrow at the sound of a voice that got close along with the footsteps.

"Come on! We don't want to miss the action because you leeches are slow!"

In less than a minute a single Aquaria Clan Gear emerged, eventually followed by some soldiers. The Gears frame is dark blue, its full armour plain in design and grey, though the waves on the cuirass remain and its helmet is that of a knight with light blue fish fins on both sides, a visor over the mouth, its red eyes revealed, and an extendable sword on its back. Its armour being standard for non-magic wielders, therefore it holds no boost-ups or wield summon spirit armour and weapons. Humans and other Clans possess the same that aren't, what they call, Customs. It was fortunate they found a way to have non-magic users to become pilots, they can assist those that can't defend against enemy Gears, even help the skilled types more than what can be provided out of one.

The one to call out was not in the Gear, he's on foot leading the half dozen that emerged from the trees not long after. As the Gear kept going, the soldiers stop for a conversation. "At least we're not taking our time like the guys back there with the Gears." said one of them.

A couple of them nod in agreement while another speaks after a scoff. "I bet they turned into spineless jellyfish and afraid to die because the Gears they have aren't Customs."

At the time he said that, one of the others kept look out behind them, eyes magically aglow blue for enhanced vision to see further on where they came from. "Looks like you're wrong there. Last I checked we left behind eight pilots, and I see that number of Gears on the way."

It didn't seem his words were believed by the one that spoke of the pilots, unable to wield magic himself, rather rely on his own strength instead of resort to education on magic and spells to become like other Aquaria members he knew. Those that have magic course through their veins but choose to leave it over a period of time, that person, human or clan, would lose it entirely, with no possible way to regain it… painlessly at least "You made that up to defend that bunch of nervous…"

"If we stay here for five minutes, you'll see."


The Aquarian that said it was calm. Unlike the group that have fish features, their own type of weapons and armour, this member of the Aquaria army of his domain is different. He's almost fully human, 21 year old with cyan skin, messy white hair, not enough to conceal his webbed ears, wearing fitting black cargo trousers, metal knee length boots, a white shirt, dark blue sleeveless, collared long coat with a short slit and a pair of black gloves. Also a black belt that holds only a stone circular buckle that has the inscription of the ocean waves, no items or weapons. But it wasn't his body, lack of items or attire that made him different compared to the others. Instead of answering his comrade, his half closed stone grey eyes stare in the direction the traveller is still situated, a hand raised to point. "A human..."

It got all eyes to look at the same time the painter ducks away from their line of sight, no facial features made to show surprise because there's no reason to be when in the presence of magic users. What he felt from that Aquarian though got his eyes to narrow and teeth clenched, a reason he did not make verbally or mentally known.

Three of the soldiers move quickly to investigate, what they found once arrived was nobody. The one that told them, Ayandi, never made mistakes when it came to sensory, it's one of his specialties, the second is water manipulation and third is his skills as a Gear pilot, being why the three looked confused. Two kept an eye out in case while the third relays what they found. "There's no one here!"

Ayandi blinks, not expecting this to be the result. The person he sensed must've used a concealment item or potion to mask his energy to avoid further detection otherwise he'd have picked him up. A frown made before his eyes went upwards at some of the trees, the only place someone could go if able to climb that fast in short time, if magic were used he'd be able to sense it like the wielder it belonged to.

A chuckle from the lead soldier got his eyes to divert to him that said. "Looks like even you have bad luck. Just goes to show you're not all that special, being the King's personal hand picked soldier and all." Normally a person would feel offended at a remark like that, Ayandi is the type to accept it in silence, able to do something about it but chose not to. All he did was walk past the speaker with a brush at the side and kept going.

As the trio were ordered to re-join the group to move on, the traveling painter watches from a different section of the same tree he hid behind. A lack of noise able to be pulled off so as to not be detected by hearing, hood undisturbed as he patiently waits for them to leave before he can descend and be on his way. A painter avoids involvement such as whatever they're on their way to, possibly a battle with the Naturia Clan that live somewhere in the forest to have that many soldiers and Gears, but it's the cyan skinned person that should be the cause for concern. Nevertheless, it's no reason for him to intervene for he is one of those painters that shouldn't get involved.

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