Masha's bizarre statement was, oddly, very accurate. There was something wrong about the fire blazing through the ruins of the power plant. The colours were strange, bright red on top of fierce orange without a hint of the yellow that would've been scattered through a normal fire. The flames were larger and more intense than they should've been, curling around like demonic horns. And they seemed to have a strange, purple hue…
The League would've attributed it to gas that had been released in the explosion, but then the flames started to take a new shape. The blaze coalesced into a gigantic pillar, shooting into the sky. The bonfire roared as it towered over the ruins like a hellish skyscraper. Roaring in defiance of the League who'd thought it was over.
Arbiter took a deep breath. "Aven, how many of the ship's weapons are operational?"
"At least 10 of the turrets are damaged beyond use, but the main cannon is still functional."
"Get it ready." Arbiter ordered before turning to the rest of the League. "Gordon, get the SWATbots to man as many turrets as possible. Snake and Lara, take two of the Banshees. Masha, find a hole in the wall and ready the Rumbler's cannon. Casey, you and Link get the records out of the locker room and man the escape vessel. Maintain position there, but if I give the order to flee, do not try any heroics. Just go."
"Um…got it boss."
Everybody moved to their positions. The only person who remained in the room was Arbiter, who hesitated to take a look at the pillar of flame.
It was still there, still reaching into the sky. It was…expanding, for lack of better word. Like there was something inside that was starting to form. He couldn't waste any time. Whatever it was, it had to be destroyed.
One way or another.
All of the operatives moved to their ordered positions. With a few taps of a keyboard, Gordon got the SWATbots to man several of the working turrets. Snake and Lara found the docking platform and launched two respective Banshees. Masha found the hole in the wall where 02 had been shot down and had her 'daddy' ready his cannon while she began tinkering to make some extra missiles. Aven soon had the main cannon primed and ready, and Arbiter took his place at the Phantom's pilot seat.
Link and Casey went down to the locker room. Casey picked up her Chronicler tapes, which she'd had the foresight to pack in a large case. Link grabbed his tools and gear, but he grabbed them so fast that something fell out.
A small blue instrument fell on the floor, clattering slightly. Casey saw the ocarina on the floor and quickly picked it up. Luckily, it wasn't broken or damaged. This thing was made out of strong stuff.
Link nodded a quick 'thanks' to Casey before moving towards the escape vessel. Casey carefully placed the Ocarina into her pocket before following him with her case of records. Jimi hopped onto Casey's shoulder as the two operatives walked into the escape vessel.
As soon as they were inside, all they could do was wait. Wait for another order, wait for something to happen so that they would either flee or fight. Casey understood the situation, but she hated the fact she couldn't do anything. The look on Link's face told her he felt the same way.
Was there anything she could do? Wait…wasn't there a recording she'd gotten at the beginning of the mission? Just before they left, Eleanor had supplied them with several tapes that described what happened the last time Giygas had been 'born'. Maybe one of them had a clue…
Opening the suitcase and finding one of the tapes (Casey was much more organized that one would expect), she turned it on.
"I still have nightmares about what happened that day…the day we encountered Giygas. Every attack failed …even when it looked like it was doing damage, it really wasn't. And the whispers…it did something to me, I couldn't even think. I couldn't fight, I couldn't help any of the others…I was so scared…all I could do was pray. I prayed and…I don't know what happened. It started screaming, screaming for the pain to stop…It started to get hurt, right after I started praying. I swear…someone heard me…the others don't believe me, but I KNOW I'm right! Somehow, my prayer stopped it!"
Casey sighed. That wasn't much help. Still…all she could do was look at the others.
And while all this was going on, the thing in the pillar of flame was starting to take shape…
Aven looked through the view port to the pillar of flame, even though the sight stung his eyes. Something vaguely humanoid was shifting within the blazes, thrashing violently to get free.
The Sangheili wanted to fire at the…thing before it finished forming, but what if the flames acted as a shield? He had no idea how that would work, but he couldn't shake the notion that a premature attack would just waste the cannon's energy. The only thing he could fall on was the orders of his superiors.
"Commander, permission to fire?" he asked through the commlink.
That was all he needed. Aven aimed the cannon straight at the centre of the figure in the fire. Squinting his eyes, he was forced to switch to heat vision to keep him from going blind. Without a second's hesitation, he fired the huge plasma cannon.
The gigantic cannon charged for a second, causing the Master Chief to rumble slightly. When that second passed, a huge purple blast of pure energy was shot straight into the skyscraper of hellfire. It was a direct hit…but something strange happened.
It didn't seem to pierce the curtain of fire, but exploded right on contact. Instead of causing damage to the figure in the flames, it only rent a hole in the curtain around him, allowing the…thing to get out of the fire. The hole created was expanded and expanded, until the pillar of fire was all but gone and what was inside was fully visible.
Masha gaped at the monster through the hole. She would normally have something to say, but all she could manage was an "Eep." Which was a bit more than what everyone else could say.
It was difficult to describe the monster, the fusion of Ganondorf and Giygas. What could be said was that it was gigantic, almost three times as huge as the Phantom. It was humanoid, with two arms, two legs, and something resembling a head. The entire beast seemed to consist of swirling orange fires, making it very hard to look at for very long. The hands ended in sharp fiery claws. The face…it looked like the swirling face from the Devil's Machine, somehow made physical and merged with another scowling face. And…were those horns, or just plumes of flame?
Whatever it was, it roared right at the ship that had just fired at it. The roar made everything shake, and sent an icy shiver down the spine of everyone who heard it. Even the hardened Arbiter couldn't help but be very afraid of this thing.
He shook it off. "All operatives, fire at will!" he commanded.
Everyone did. The turrets opened fire on the behemoth, attempting to riddle Giygasdorf with plasma 'bullets'. Snake and Lara circled around in their Banshees, hoping to find a weak point on the back or the side. Aven tried another shot, this time without the flame curtain guarding the monstrosity. The Rumbler fired one of the cobbled RPGs out the window at Giygasdorf.
All of them were direct hits, but for all it did they might as well have missed. The sea of flames simply absorbed them, the plasma circling into oblivion harmlessly. Giygasdorf barely even noticed the attacks. Giygas was a being of chaos, not a flesh and blood being who could be wounded so easily.
Ganondorf was someone who recognized a threat, and sent a tentacle-like weapon comprised of flame at the Master Chief. Like a whip, it cracked the hull of the ship, tearing at the side. The Phantom pitched to one side with the force of the blow, nearly tipping Aven and Arbiter out of their chairs.
The entire ship keeled over, with the chaos-whip hitting one of the engines and destroying it. Before anyone could do anything, another flaming whip forced the ship to the ground. All Arbiter could do was guide the ship down to the ground as safely as he could. Even so, the Master Chief plummeted like a meteor and landed with a resounding CRAASSSH!
Link and Casey were thrown to the side, Link hitting his head against the wall and losing consciousness. Jimi accidentally cushioned Casey's head with his body, keeping her from getting knocked out. The Pikachu had the wind painfully knocked out of him before Casey got herself back up.
"Sorry, buddy." Casey quickly apologized.
Giygasdorf laughed at the fallen ship. What idiots, thinking they could take on the might of Ganondorf and Giygas combined? How very foolish! This world was his, and nothing could possibly stop him. No more hiding in the dark. No more 'heroes' wrecking his dreams. No more dealing with that pretentious fool Wesker. No, it was just him and the world he was born to rule.
All the same, it would be a good idea to completely destroy that little thing. He'd underestimated threats before, and he was certainly not going to do it again. As soon as he took care of those little purple buzzards that kept flying around him…
Arbiter groaned himself back up to his feet. How did that thing take down his ship so quickly? One hit, and the Master Chief was on the ground. "Aven, what's the status?" he yelled over the ship's blaring alarms.
Aven groaned aloud. "Not good. We lost a lot of the weapons, and the main engine is destroyed. Gordon can get the cannon operational, but we're not going to be flying again. And…damn, it looks like the escape pod's inoperable. How can it do so much damage with one hit?!"
Arbiter cursed before trying the commlink. No signal. Whatever that thing was doing, it was jamming the communications. They would have to regroup. "Commlinks are down, what about the main intercom system?"
"Still functional." Aven nodded.
Arbiter quickly activated it. "All operatives, rendezvous to main control room. Repeat, rendezvous to control room."
The escape pod couldn't be activated or exited. The door was sealed shut because of the crash, and the console that would activate the escape pod was broken. Link had been knocked out, and Jimi was still trying to get his breath back after acting like Casey's cushion. After making sure they were both okay, Casey tried the button, but nothing worked.
"DAMMIT!" Casey cursed before turning on the commlink. "Boss, we got a problem! Something's wrong with the escape pods…Boss? Arbiter?" Nobody was responding. She was stuck in here, and from the sound of it, whatever that thing was, it had really messed up the ship. If the exit was jammed, there was nothing she could do…
All I could do was pray…
Casey blinked, surprised at the thought that crossed her mind. A prayer? Wait…Casey looked down at the Ocarina in her hands…
That tune that had been running through her head…
A prayer to the gods…
Casey chuckled to herself, and then sighed. It wasn't like she could do anything else.
Putting the Ocarina to her lips, she began to play the tune she had caught in Hyrule. Her fingers slipped once or twice at first, but eventually she managed to get the notes correct. As the music played, she found herself…comforted by the Ocarina. A musician's small hope, placed into song. Casey found herself wondering if anyone else could hear it.
McCloud and Gordon had only managed to get themselves back on their feet when they heard the announcement. They staggered through the tilted hallways, trying not to slip and fall out of the broken windows. Gordon was furiously typing away, checking the status of the remaining SWATbots. McCloud was just trying to clear his ringing head.
A door opened, and Masha toddled out, clearly shaken. "Ooog…where's Mister Sir's room? The one he said…" she babbled, trying to maintain her grip on the Rumbler.
Gordon pointed down the hallway, straight down.
Masha tugged her 'father's' glove. "Ok…everybody follow the doc…"
McCloud blinked. "Hey…do you hear something?"
Everyone stood still for a second, but they heard it too. A soft, warbling tune going through the halls. The music seemed to fill the air with energy, clearing their heads.
"Where's it coming from?" McCloud asked. Gordon pointed in the opposite direction of the main control room. "There? But that's where the…escape pod is!" McCloud suddenly realized.
"That's where Mr. Woof is!"
"Er…yeah. Masha, go there and check on Casey and Link."
Masha gave a quick salute. "Yes sir!" she announced before taking her Daddy's hand and following the music. The music that sang to the sky, as it did in Hyrule long ago, asking for the Goddesses' aid…
Giygasdorf was very irritated. These things would not stay still long enough for him to hit them. He was a god of chaos, and here he was, swatting at these Banshees like a man trying to squash two flies!
Wait. He was a god of chaos, why was he focusing on using physical attacks? He had unlimited power at his disposal. All he needed was a little imagination.
With that in mind, Giygasdorf focused on himself. Within his hands, he formed an orb of pure flaming magic. With a mere thought, he expanded the orb into a giant vortex that nearly engulfed the two Banshees. Lara and Snake had to beat a hasty retreat to avoid getting swallowed up by the whirling fire. It just kept coming closer and closer. It was almost upon them…
When something caught Giygasdorf's attention.
It was a tune…he could've sworn he'd heard it before…but where? And how could he hear such a tiny song? What could it possibly signify? It was beneath him, so why…?
Wait…something above him?
The clouds were opening up again, like they did to signify his arrival. But it wasn't for him that they were parting. No…something else was going on…
Arbiter glanced out the window. Something strange was happening. It looked like the heavens were opening up…for what? What was going on? And why did he have a suspicion it had something to do with that tune he was hearing…
Giygasdorf tried to brush it off and resume his attack, but then something came down from above that interrupted his anger.
Arbiter didn't know what that was. From where he was standing, it looked like a beam of light shooting straight down, right onto the Giygasdorf monster. But it wasn't just light, it was…a beam. A very powerful energy attack…
Giygasdorf felt pain. How was this possible?! This light, this…what was this?! It couldn't be! Why would they…?! He could feel power being stripped from him, he could feel Giygas' essence fading into the harsh light…
Ganondorf clutched to the remaining vestiges of the embodiment of chaos. He would not lose! The light would not take this power away from him! Not so soon after he'd taken it! NO! HE WOULD STILL WIN!
The light became brighter than the sun, forcing Arbiter to look away. Eventually it faded, and the commander allowed himself to look at the enemy again.
Whatever the light did, Giygasdorf had changed. His body wasn't entirely comprised of swirling flames anymore. There were still vestiges of the monster, but the giant now looked like flesh, blood and fiery armour now. The head was visible now, and it looked like an enraged boar with two curling tusks. The beast roared in rage, brandishing two flaming whips, the last bit of Giygas' power Ganondorf could hold onto. It still looked incredibly powerful, but it wasn't a storm on legs anymore. It was flesh and blood. It could be shot. It could be wounded. It could be killed.
Arbiter couldn't help but smirk. Now they had a chance.