"We are threatened. The Coalition wants to keep the world stagnant, and has the power and influence to end our plans. With the new 'League' as enforcers, they will attempt to crush any opposition."
"Enforcers? It thought they were collectors."
"That may have been the original plan, but I know that the plan changed when Eleanor Lamb learned of Ganondorf's resurrection."
"What?! How could she know the ceremony succeeded? How does she know my name?"
"I'm not sure. The Coalition has some very powerful backers and some very clever informants. It took me months to find out that one of them was that fortune-telling gypsy scum, Theresa. And a few rumours she has a pet cat. No doubt she's already foreseen my plan."
"Wait…if she could see us making our little 'club of evil', why haven't we been stopped yet? If they know…"
"I don't think she's told Eleanor the whole story yet. From what I know of Theresa and this 'Cheshire cat', they would let us continue our schemes simply so they could have something entertaining to watch. We should use that to our advantage."
Link's sword clashed against Sephiroth's katana, sending sparks flying in every direction. The swordsman from Hyrule parried the mysterious swordsman's attack, but it didn't matter since this 'Sephiroth' was well out of striking range. The man in the leather coat flipped away and readied his sword for another attack.
Link was starting to get frustrated. No matter what he did, he could never land a hit on this white-haired opponent. Sephiroth's oversized katana was wielding with surprising skill, coming close to striking Link on multiple occasions. It was only due to the swordsman's speed that no serious harm had been done. At the same time, the long blade prevented Link from getting close enough to strike this enemy.
He tried again, charging at the white-haired opponent. The huge katana came swinging down, and Link stopped the blade from slicing him in half with his energy shield. When it became clear the blade wouldn't penetrate the Covenant Shield, Sephiroth used Link as a fulcrum to jump to the other side of the room. Link growled. This scenario had been playing out for too long.
He was ready to change tactics and go for his sidearm when the lights went out. The entire room went completely black, and Link couldn't see anything around him.
"Hm." Sephiroth remarked in the pitch blackness. "This is…unexpected. Not that it matters. Only one of us will live to see the new world."
"What are you talking about?" Link asked, hoping to keep the swordsman talking so that he could pinpoint his location in the blackness.
"That's what this little exercise is all about, really. Whittling away those worthy of building our new world."
Sephiroth chuckled and took a swipe at Link. The swordsman heard it whizzing through the air and activated his shield. The blade bounced off the energy field, irritating Sephiroth.
"That was due to luck. Your luck cannot hold forever." He growled, more frustrated than he'd like to admit.
Link hoped that wouldn't be the case. He needed all the luck he could get.
Lara was hoping for some luck herself. Wounded, winded and weakened, she didn't know if she could stand to face Larxene again.
The blackout was lucky, allowing her to escape that psychopath. But the wounds Larxene had inflicted on her were still bleeding. Lara bandaged them quickly, but not before several drops of blood had fallen onto the floor. While she could still move and fight, she had no real defence against Larxene…or anything else for that matter. She was almost out of bullets, and too weak for a fistfight.
As Lara stumbled through the dark hallways, the area would be periodically lit up by Larxene's lightning. The insane girl was still chasing Lara, using her electricity to search her out. Every so often, she'd make a joke that was only funny to a sadist and laugh out loud. Lara hated that laugh.
"Come out, come out!" Larxene called. "I never liked hide-and-seek. Why don't you just give me a shout, and I can make it quick!"
That was the last thing Lara wanted to do. A shiver of fear went through the operative. Even if Larxene couldn't find her now, what would happen if the lights turned back on?
"Robotnik's cruelty goes beyond simply enslaving the people. It wasn't enough to reduce everyone to robot slaves. No. If he had simply programmed his Roboticized subjects to become mindless servants, that would've been enough. But no. He deliberately made it so that we are completely aware of what we're doing. All we could do is watch as we gun down our friends, lick this monster's boots, and reduce our homes to…to…it was horrible."
Snake wasn't overly bothered by the blackout. If anything, he felt a bit more comfortable in the darkness. There was less chance of being detected if enemies or cameras couldn't visually spot you, and he had the necessary equipment to see them before they could detect him. That didn't mean he could get careless, however. These machines of Robotnik could probably detect him in other ways besides visuals.
He was worried about the radio silence. He couldn't contact any of his team-mates, and they couldn't tell him anything about this new situation. Why the lights had gone out, he didn't know.
All he knew was to go towards Containment Building 10. Keep heading south. That was the original plan, where the League would regroup if anything unexpected happened. Arbiter had almost expected something to go wrong, especially with this 'Dimentio' involved. So his plan was very basic. Find the Robotocizer, release the captured soldier, and destroy the Devil's Machine. There wasn't enough time to come up with a better plan, with the Devil's Machine being activated tonight.
Snake moved fast, slipping between shadows while keeping his eyes open for any security. Several SWATbots still patrolled the hallways, not really affected by the blackout. They just continued their routes, searching for any intruders. Snake often had to stay completely still for what felt like hours as the machines searched for him. Luckily, they never found him.
For hours, there were nothing but these SWATbots that he was forced to evade. It started to get boring, but then something else came along. Something with an actual heat signature. Something that was actually breathing, very fast and very hard.
Intrigued, Snake flattened himself against a wall and waited for this new presence to come a little closer. As the operative listened, he heard haggard breathing and blaster fire. The blaster slightly illuminated a silhouette in the hallway, one that Snake recognized. It was another operative, and it looked like he was firing at several pursuers.
Just as McCloud came speeding by, Snake grabbed him and pulled him into the shadows. Keeping his hand over the fox's mouth, the stealthy operative ducked through several hallways until he felt he was a safe distance from whatever was chasing McCloud.
The fox Therianth was still struggled, not realizing it was Snake. The operative prevented the soldier from firing his gun and whispered in his ear. "McCloud, it's Snake. What's going on?"
McCloud breathed a sigh of relief as Snake let go of his mouth. "Huhh…huhh…that clown …separated everybody. I can't…contact the others. He put me…in a room with…lots of robots…lucky the blackout…"
Snake got the gist of it. His ears perked up when he heard several metal footsteps approach their position. "How many?"
"Too many." McCloud answered. "I'm almost out of ammo, and I can't enough to make any good shots."
Snake groaned sourly, silencing McCloud again. The SWATbots were coming closer, and Snake wasn't sure of McCloud was as good at hiding as he was. If those things spotted them…
Suddenly, the lights came back on.
"Sofia asked me about the Flood, once. Specifically, she asked about the soldiers I…dispatched when they became infected with that parasite. I did not answer. That woman is trying to get into my head, and I won't let that happen. Still, I felt it would be good to contemplate. Do I feel guilt over what I did to them? There are many things I have done that I am not proud of, but I don't feel 'guilt' about slaying the infected. Am I simply trying to make myself feel better, claiming that I put them out of their misery? Is it, as Sofia put it, a 'defence mechanism' to cope with the loss of my comrades? But what's there to say? They were dead, their bodies used by the Gravemind. I would not wish that fate on my worst enemy. I did what I had to do. That's the end of it."
Arbiter had been using his flashlight to follow the smoke trail Robotnik had left behind, which was beginning to dissipate. The light had attracted the attention of several SWATbots, which he had been forced to dispatch.
Every time he killed a SWATbot, he was reminded of dispatching Flood-infected soldiers during the wars. He wondered how many of the assailants he had to kill were once his own soldiers, and how many of them were…other soldiers. He supposed it didn't matter. Right now, it was kill or be killed. He just kept pressing on, following Robotnik's trail.
His goal was to punish that bastard once and for all. The Robotocizer was too sophisticated for anyone less smart than Gordon to figure out how to control. Just glancing at the control panel made Arbiter's head spin. There weren't any symbols, words, or any sort of way to understand which button did what…unless, of course, you had something akin to Robotnik's intellect. If Arbiter tried to do anything, he would just endanger the soldiers further.
Still, if he couldn't figure out how to save his fellow soldiers, he could avenge them. He could stop that madman from making more Roboticized soldiers, once and for all. All he had to do was track down Robotnik.
He'd gone very far, for a fat man riding a damaged hovercraft. It was likely the twisted genius had some sort of backup engines if his ship was damaged and he needed to flee. The smoke trail went through multiple long hallways, and it was starting to dissipate into the air. Arbiter picked up his speed, keeping alert for any surprise threats.
He was surprised by the lights coming back on.
Suddenly, the hallway he was in was bathed in light. For a split second, the area looked incredibly rusty and degraded but then it…repaired itself, for lack of a better term. The rust disappeared, and the walls returned to their original steel form. In a few seconds, the hallways returned to their standard grey appearance. Soon, it looked completely normal.
That was odd. Arbiter thought before returning to his hunt.
Robotnik's trail was starting to disappear. Arbiter would have to hurry if he wanted to avenge Rtas and the others. It wasn't likely that Robotnik was much further, if the machinist hadn't fled the building yet. Did Robotnik get lost in the blackout? No matter.
Arbiter stopped himself when another lifeform came around the corner. It wasn't a SWATbot. Arbiter whirled around with his gun, ready to slay this new enemy. But it wasn't an enemy.
Gordon Freeman wasn't wearing his orange body armour. The black undersuit that Gordon wore under the armour didn't look very protective, but it served it's purpose. It was a full body suit, designed as extra protection for the scientist's skin and muscles not just against whatever attacked the armour, but the armour itself. Arbiter couldn't help but notice how scrawny the scientist was without his armour.
The scientist readjusted his glasses and gave a wry smile. It didn't look like he had any real way of seeing in the darkness, and Arbiter guessed that he had found somewhere safe and simply hid until the lights came on and his commander passed by. His Gravity Gun was still in hand, to fend off any
"It's good to see you're alive. Have you seen any of the others?"
Gordon shook his head. No, he answered silently.
Arbiter sighed. "I know where the Robotocizer is. Can you work with it?"
The scientist smirked and nodded. Of course I can. His expression fell slightly, and he looked back down the hallway. But…
"You need your suit." It had all his tools built in. Gordon was an incredibly skilled scientist, but he would need some of his gear to bypass any security Robotnik had for his Robotocizer, as well as figure out how to effectively neutralize the SWATbots.
Arbiter looked at the smoke trail of Robotnik's machine. It was going down a different hallway than where Gordon was motioning to. With the lights back on, it wouldn't be long before Robotnik could find a way out. If he went with Gordon to find his suit and reprogram the Robotocizer, that bastard would have all the time he needed to escape.
But if Gordon was able to reprogram the Robotocizer, then the majority of Wesker's forces could be neutralized. They could even save many of their soldiers. Time was of the essence, and the sooner they could get their bearings back and destroy the Devil's Machine, the better.
Arbiter sighed. Avenging Rtas would have to wait for another day. "Where is your suit? Let's find it and finish this."
"This…orb we collected from the Cipher Lab is truly peculiar. It seems to be composed of purest energy, contained in a shell that's almost fragile. The energy itself is…difficult to classify. Robotnik managed to siphon the energy and turn it into electricity, which powered the prototype Robotocizer. But when someone is exposed to the energy directly…it's a little difficult to describe. It's like they 'power up', becoming stronger and gaining new abilities. It's different for each test subject…Theresa suggested that it depends on a person's morality, dreams, abilities, etc. The effect is only temporary, lasting a few minutes at most. Theresa seems to know the most about it. She wouldn't explain where it came from or how it works, of course. My first thought was to use it as a perpetual power source, but the machinery and upkeep required to sap the energy from the orb and turn it into something usable isn't worth it, especially since the energy fluctuates so much. I think it would actually be more useful as a trump card during combat. But Theresa and her cat seem to have plans for it already. They assure me it's all for good. I believe them, but I think they have too much fun keeping secrets and making plans all by themselves. Probably the reason they won't admit to being my advisors."
Sephiroth was perplexed. He had enhanced clone senses, and this swordsman clearly didn't, so how was it possible that Link could avoid almost all of his attacks? Sephiroth only managed to hit Link once, and it could barely qualify as a hit, more like a graze of his blade. It damaged his tunic, but it barely drew any blood. Every other time, it slammed into the boy's shield or was deflected by the Master Sword. How was this possible?
During the ride to the concert, Casey had once asked if his 'Spock ears' (whatever she meant by that) allowed him to hear a lot better. This was partly true. Link's senses, while hardly superhuman, were above average and he was able to figure out where Sephiroth and his sword were coming from in the blackness. Perhaps that was due to his time as a wolf, perhaps that was simply something in his genes, perhaps he was just a lot more alert due to the seriousness of the situation.
Besides, Sephiroth wasn't nearly as skilled as he thought he was. It seemed like Sephiroth was just swinging his huge sword about in long swipes, hoping that the huge blade would hit something. Whatever skill Sephiroth had, his weapon was still awkward to wield in a room like this.
Whatever the case, he was able to keep Sephiroth's katana from wounding him too badly. One attack was able to cut him, but not too deeply. Unfortunately, the energy shield was starting to lose power and Sephiroth wasn't giving him any time to recharge.
Link began to think. The reason he couldn't get at Sephiroth was because of that long blade. Sephiroth could hurt him, but Link couldn't get close enough to strike him with his sword. If he could disarm that katana…he had to act fast. There was more at stake here than a duel.
Fortunately, the lights came back on. Both Sephiroth and Link were caught off guard by the sudden brightness of the room, which momentarily blinded them. Link recovered quickly, and he saw a dazed Sephiroth still rubbing his eyes. The sword was pointed away from Link, and the swordsman seized the moment.
His sword raised, Link closed the distance between him and Sephiroth. The white-haired swordsman suddenly recovered just as Link was right in front of him. Sephiroth swung his katana upward, clashing against the Master Sword's blade. The two swords scraped against each other as the two combatants looked each other in the eye.
"You think you can defeat me?! You have no idea what you're dealing with!" Sephiroth roared, as he pushed his sword in an attempt to knock Link down.
Link held fast, staying on his feet. He pushed forward as well, not giving Sephiroth an inch. It really came down to how strong they were. Unfortunately, it quickly became clear that Sephiroth was stronger.
As the two swords clashed, Link was reminded of his duel with Aven. How long ago was that? He remembered that the elite was much more powerful, and that it was the sudden depowering of Aven's energy sword that kept him from being killed. He could see the situation playing out again right here and now, but there was no chance that Sephiroth's giant katana would be depowered. He had to think of something else, and quickly.
The huge blade came closer and closer to his head…
Link thought of something else.
In a split second, Link dropped his sword and faked to the right. Without the Master Sword to stop it's progress, Sephiroth's katana flew to the ground. It hit the floor hard, jarring the swordsman for a critical second. In that second, Link had slashed Sephiroth across the chest with the Master Sword.
The look of shock on Sephiroth's face as the Master Sword nearly cut him in two was unforgettable. "But…how…you're…not…worthy…" he gasped out as he collapsed to the floor.
Link shook his head. What made this swordsman think that the world was ending? If Link had anything to say about it, this insane plan of world destruction would be over before it really begun.
Sephiroth stopped moving for a few minutes, not even breathing. Confident he was dead, Link turned to the doorway. With any luck, it should be open…
Something hit his ankle with a sting of pain so sharp he collapsed to the floor in shock. When he hit the cold hard floor, he turned around to see Sephiroth clutching the katana in his bloody hands. He was clearly on his last few breaths, but he wasn't about to stop fighting.
"Die…wretch…" Sephiroth hissed as he struggled to raise his katana. Link couldn't get up or dodge in time, and strength born of desperation would've speeded Sephiroth's hand…
If his head hadn't been suddenly impaled by a long iron rod. His face was reduced to a bloody hole as Pyramid Head's spear shot straight through his skull.
Link looked up to see the executioner of Silent Hill standing at the open doorway, holding the chain that connected his hand to his spear. The room that Pyramid Head had been dropped off in was close to where Link was. After the essence of Silent Hill had been brought into the facility and Alex Mercer was slain once and for all, he had left the room and started moving.
Sephiroth's body, now very much dead, crumpled to the ground in a bloody mess. Link got up and got out of Pyramid Head's way. The giant yanked the spear out of Sephiroth's dead body. Link looked oddly at Pyramid Head, unsure how to feel. There were operatives he would rather have seen, but PH was still an operative.
Link stepped outside the doorway, letting Pyramid Head reinsert the spear into his blade. Hopefully, they could find the other operatives, and fast.
Something was rumbling…