The End

This is gonna hurt...

The Sphere writhed at the sight of Gibraltar. It didn't seem afraid. It felt challenged. Gibraltar fell silent, standing in her palm, just waiting to strike.   A human voice spoke, a woman in a white gown with veins of black and the hair to match. She descended a stairwell, entering the throne room with haste and zeal. She pointed to Invicta, her voice raised, "you dare bring that abomin-"   Invicta raised her rifle and fired, the round passing through the women's chest and sending her to the ground.   The woman tried to crawl away. Invicta casually walked over and forced her to her back. She stared into the woman's eyes. "Yes, I dare, I will desecrate this temple all I want."   The woman raised her hands and covered her face. "Nergal wishes to speak through me. It-"   Invicta screamed, her visor inches from the woman's face, "It can speak for itself." She turned to the entity and spoke in a roar, "I'm not here to bargain, or talk. I'm here to watch you all burn. I will bring ruin to every living thing on this ship."   "Are you certain?" the woman asked, cracking a smile. "Its bargains are more than worthwhile." The woman stood, hanif seeing an interest in Invicta's face that wasn't actually there.   Invicta was far more interested in how she managed to stand. It took a lot to shrug off a slug to the chest. She was moments from death, and yet still kept talking.   The woman clasped her hands together, the blood dripping down her gown. "Do you want secrets? Perhaps-"   "I don't want your secrets. Whatever you have I can easily steal." Invicta shook her head and approached the woman, again with her visor inches from the woman's face. She screamed, "I want my goddamn daughter back."   "I was getting to that." The woman said with a grin.   Invicta narrowed her eyes. "I saw-"   "You saw a cherub obeying its master's word. You can't be certain of more than that."   "What are you saying?" Invicta felt her heart racing. Was it true? Could she trust them?   The cherubs entered the room hauling a familiar piece of equipment. The stood up the cryo pod, the metal faded but still operational. Her daughter's face lingered within, peaceful and alive.   Invicta's rage disappeared. In a single moment everything changed. "Is this a trick?" She asked.   The woman shook her head, her head tilted and a smile plastered on her face that was far too pleasant to be real.   "I wasn't asking you." Invicta growled. Gibraltar gave her an answer, and it made everything significantly more complicated. "This changes things, yeah?" Invicta asked, her eyes fixed to the mass of tendrils in her palm. "Tell me you agree." She pleaded.   Gibraltar was silent. This wasn't part of the deal. It was well beyond what it offered her. Yet still, it didn't say no.   The woman spoke again, her hands on her hips. "You best choose quickly. You can leave here and never come back, your daughter safely where she belongs. Wait too long, and she'll wake up without power to keep the machine working."   Invicta looked at her in horror. "She'll die."   The woman shrugged. "We all die."   "How is this possible? Why wasn't she converted?"   The woman nearly fainted, forced to sit down on the steps as the blood loss took its toll. "You made yourself a problem, very early on. We kept her on hand as a contingency."   "No. You couldn't have known I'd be that much of a threat."   The woman laughed. "Nergal knows more than you realize."   Invicta looked at Gibraltar. "What do I do?" Silence followed. "Help me."   Finally she had a response. A single word and a flurry of images that perfectly expressed Gibraltar's reasoning. Both.   Invicta smiled, her eyes wide as if maddened by the experience. "Agreed, but only after she wakes up."   "We have your word?"   "I'm many things, but a liar isn't one of them."   The woman nodded. "We know."     Invicta spoke through the headset in her helmet. "Tori?"   Victoria replied in seconds. "Yes, captain?"   "Have the crew fetch a shuttle. Do as I say and nothing else. Understood?"   "What?" Victoria screamed. "How can you-"   "She's alive. I got her back."   After a long pause Victoria replied again, this time clearly crying. "Yes, captain. What else do you need?"   She didn't have to think about it. It's odd how easy it was to remember. Then again, a mother never forgets. "I need 9 units of A-positive, now."  
  Invicta stared at the lifeless body on the stairs. The woman died half an hour ago and still no one has bothered to pick it up. Gibraltar was restless. Waking her up was taking longer than expected. As the cryonic fluid drained, Invicta spoke to the members of her crew. "Everyone head to the shuttle. We'll be there soon."   "Captain?" Victoria said.   "Do it. It's a show of good faith. We don't want anything going wrong here."   Victoria nodded, leaving behind the gurney for the pod as she left with the rest of the crew.   A little voice rang out and Invicta froze on the spot. "Mom?"   Invicta struggled to turn and face her, only now realizing how different she looked since they last saw each other.   "Amber?" She said, still facing the opposite direction.   The little girl was panicking. She was cold. She was lost in a strange place, and she needed to see her mother, yet still, invicta struggled to turn. "Mom, what's going on?"   Invicta swallowed her pride, turned to face her daughter, and gave her a wave.   The girl was unsure, but couldn't deny who it was she saw under the helmet. "What happened?"   Invicta could barely find the words, "Oh, sweetie, we have a lot to go over."   "Can I come out now?"   Invicta winced, as if not ready for the question. "Not yet. It's not safe where we're going. We'll fix it, just hang tight, okay?"   Her daughter nodded. "Okay."   Invicta eased the pod on the gurney and slowly rotated it until Amber was flat on her back.   "One more thing, and we're gone, okay?" Her daughter nodded again.   Invicta heard another woman's voice, no, the same woman's voice. "Go, now. You'll find your path unimpeded. We even cleared the bodies."   Invicta turned around and it looked like a woman standing over her own corpse. Invicta cleared her throat. "Well, thanks."   "Of course, we hope to never see you again. Goodbye."   Invicta cracked a smile, "Yeah," she began, "about that." She raised a rifle and shot the woman in the gut, a way to make her death even more unpleasant.   The ball of fluid roared with static. Amber screamed, covering her ears.   The woman reached for the wound and lathered the blood on her fingers. "You gave us your word," the woman screamed.   Invicta looked at Gibraltar, perched and in position. She only hoped that she could run fast enough. "I Lied."     She turned away and grabbed the pod, wheeling it along as she rushed out of the room. Gibraltar attacked, expanding to well beyond ten times its size.   Gibraltar enveloped the ball of fluid, smothering every inch of surface. The nanites chipped away at its body. Each did damage but Nergal clearly miscalculated just how massive the body truly was.   With every particle broken down, the heat rose. With millions, no billions of interactions, the heat rose exponentially.   By the time Invicta left, both the ball and Gibraltar were glowing white from the heat.   Invicta ran, firing on anything that got in her way. She heard the sound of fighting, and knew she was close. "You okay?" She asked. Amber gave her a worried look and somehow, Invicta felt like it made her run faster.   They reached the shuttle, her crew fighting tooth and nail to protect the area. Invicta opened fire into a group of enemies, some managed to dodge, others were mowed down.   When she passed the bulk of the horde, she let go of the gurney and turned to fight. The gurney continued until Victoria caught it, promptly wheeling it inside the shuttle.   Invicta felt a rumble under foot, the ship shaking from the stress. Gibraltar was winning. "We need to go, now." She called and everyone piled into the shuttle.   Victoria had it in the air in seconds. The shuttle zipped through the opening in the ship's hull and out into the nebula.   Invicta watched through the back window, a massive tendril tore through the hull of the ship. It wrapped around the vessel, constricting until another breach formed, releasing a second, then a third tendril.   Within minutes the ship was in pieces with bodies floating the void. Gibraltar grew to a size she never thought possible. A massive writhing mass with a superheated core at its center. Nergal was still trying to fight back.   The core eventually cooled, the nanites vaporized due to the heat.   "I need privacy." Invicta said, her voice pushing the words out as fast as she could form them. "Fill the cabin with O2."   "Captain?" Victoria began, "We-"   Invicta grabbed her arm, a delicate touch that said far more than her words ever could, "Please."   Victoria hid the tears well, but not enough for Invicta not to notice. They rushed to the cockpit and sealed the door. Air rushed through the cabin. The green haze vanished.   Invicta turned to Amber, knowing what had to happen next. She opened the pod and tore her helmet from her suit in a violent frenzy. "Sweetie, I need you to listen to me."   Amber stepped out of the pod and into Invicta's arms. "Okay?"   Invicta gave a tight squeeze, refusing to let go. "I need you to find your daddy, okay. He's… he looks nothing like he did, but he can take care of you. You'll know by his voice."   "What about you?" she asked.   Invicta could already feel it. Her connection, or whatever it is Gibraltar did to her, was fading. She wasn't meant to survive this.   She felt light-headed, her speech slurring slightly as she spoke, "It's gonna be okay."   "Mom, you're scaring me. What's going on?"   It was getting hard to breathe. "Don't be scared, you're safe."   "Where are you going?"   "Oh, I wish I knew," Invicta said with a laugh. "I really wish I knew."   The little girl's eyes welled up as if she finally grasped what was happening. "Mom?"   Invicta pulled away to look into the little girls eyes. She gave a weak smile. "What is it?"   "Are you going to die?"   Invicta almost said no. It was easier to lie. "Yes. Yeah, I'm gonna die." Invicta was terrified, as if admitting it made it more real than it already was.   "You can't."   "Oh, I'm afraid you don't get much of a say there, kiddo." She ruffled the girl's hair, sitting back and resting against the wall of the ship. Invicta pulled her close and refused to let go.   "I'm sorry." Invicta said, the tears finally falling. "I'm so sorry."   "No." Amber said.   Invicta was fading, and fast. "What?"   She stood up, looked outside the window at the massive creature in the distance, and spoke, "I'm going to save you. I did it once before, I'll do it again."   "This isn't quite the same thing, sweetie." Invicta was struggling to stay awake.   Amber screamed, grabbing Invicta's shoulders and lifting up. The door to the cockpit opened and Victoria entered wearing a suit. "Captain?"   Amber looked at her and screamed, "Tori help me."   Victoria simply stared, shocked and helpless at Invicta's unconscious body.   "Help me get her into the pod." The girl cried.   Victoria suddenly understood. She darted forward and helped lift Invicta up and into the cryo pod. They closed the pod, and immediately worked on connecting power. Within minutes, Invicta was safely in cryo.   Amber sat, bawling, unsure of what to do. She didn't know where her father was. She didn't know the first thing about cryonics, or even what was killing her mother in the first place.   She rocked back and forth in the cabin for quite some time, even after they landed on The Sea Of Names.   She felt lost and alone, abandoned even. What would become of her now?

Comments

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22 Aug, 2021 09:23

Aaaaaaaaaah!!! Aaaaaaah!!! Daamn!!!! God!!! Aaah!!!

Author of Interarcanum.
22 Aug, 2021 09:27

Ok I’ve digested a bit. Just hd to get that out of my system. First of all- holy shit! Nergal is an idiot. “Oh yeah she gave us her word thats enough” five minutes later “what? she lied? impossible!” yeah idk what they thought would happen. Also gosh Invicta really is the coolest, she absolutely wrecked it. I’m glad she isnt dead dead because I would’ve been very sad.   Also omg, Amber is back!!! I’m worried maybe parts of Nergal might have slipped off with her because why not, and I can’t wait for her to be reunited with the Archivist, thats gonna be a ride.   Also damn what is up with Gibraltar? I really wanna know what his beef with Nergal was. I’m also curious about what exactly happened to the Archivist, and how he got his body. This was awesome, go you!

Author of Interarcanum.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
22 Aug, 2021 17:35

Ahhh! I agree. In Nergal, I will say it was backed into a corner. It didn't have many options. Invicta had a stellar reputation for honesty tho. This was out of character for her.   Yessss amber is back! I'm considering making her the protagonist for what comes next, whate er that is. I'll probably make little changes in the final edits but I'm certainly glad you enjoyed it.   The archivists story is kind of hinted at and slowly unveiled as you read, but the bulk of it is on his article back in season 1. He knew too much, and not just about the garden and the sin eaters either.       Thanks so much!

22 Aug, 2021 18:19

Oooh I’d love to see Amber as a protagonist! And yeah I figured the Archivist was destroyed during the first war and like “rebuilt”, and I am assuming it was because of his knowledge. I do have to go re read some of the older stuff to refresh my memory though.

Author of Interarcanum.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
22 Aug, 2021 19:40

That's actually the hardest part of doing this world. It can be hard to remember something you read 6 months ago. XD

22 Aug, 2021 22:21

Oh jeez! This is so heartbreaking. I love it so much though! I'm a sucker for some well-written plots, especially if they're sad. :D

~TimeBender~
23 Aug, 2021 01:45

Well I'm glad the sin-eaters are done. well, you know, hopefully. Unless there's some OTHER godlike being with the ability to take control of those that remain... Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if an Eden saint could take up that mantle.   "Where are you going?" "Oh, I wish I knew," Invicta said with a laugh. "I really wish I knew." Reading over these lines again, I'm just now realizing Invicta is wondering if she's going to heaven or hell. that's honestly got my eyes watering up.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
23 Aug, 2021 03:14

Again you pick up on so many little details. I'm glad the emotional side worked out. Thanks so much!

23 Aug, 2021 17:10

Wow, what a ride! This has just been an amazing season, an emotional rollercoaster, to be sure, but also a masterfully woven plot with crazy compelling characters! It seems like everyone grew 10 feet - from Mouse to the Archivist to Invicta; hell, even Gibraltar. There are some nice reveals here that wrap up some major arcs, but the questions are also really piling up. I'm going to have to find some Zen until next season :) Once again, fantastic writing!

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
24 Aug, 2021 08:03

I've barely planned the next season but I can say we will have significantly more answers. I'm glad you enjoyed it as always and I do hope you find some zen soon lol I'll be taking a short detour to the web while I map out what happens next. Thanks so much!

24 Aug, 2021 19:58

This has been a hell of a ride, Dylon. Thank you for the experience. I like the hints towards season 3, being a kind of new dawn but also with quite a few things left to solve. Poor Amber. I hope they can save Invicta.   Aaaaaaaaaaaa. <3

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
24 Aug, 2021 20:20

Thanks so much, like really. Consider this a massive thank you for all the love you've given today! Its been pretty wild here too. You're reactions are priceless. I cI can't rxpress how much it means to me that you enjoyed it! Thanks so much!

26 Aug, 2021 01:41

I don’t want this to be the end of season 2, I want more. So much more. I love Invitica and I’m very happy that she is not dead because i’m not sure if i could have handled it any other way. She deserves a happy ending after everything that has happened. And Amber! Oh my gosh amber. I love amber now too and would gladly read a whole set of seasons centered on her, the daughter of the enemy of man kind and the archivist.

I hope we aren’t done with Gibraltar cause I have a list of questions i would like answered that haven’t been covered yet and also he needs to bring back Invitica possibly, idk. Wherever this is going i am so so ready for it. Magnificent job Dylon, as always :D :D

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
26 Aug, 2021 05:24

I will probably be returning sooner than I think, so more will definitely come. I'm going to do a story for The Web in the same way and probably be back here to be honest. Im glad you enjoyed it and thanks so much! We're far from done with Gibraltar, especially where Amberlie is concerned.

Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
27 Aug, 2021 05:49

I did not see this one coming. Amber is alive, and Invicta is dying. This really wraps up all the loose ends for this season. It has been an emotional rollercoaster. Even better than season 1 I would say. I can't wait for what the next season will bring. :)

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
29 Aug, 2021 12:52

Thank you!!!! I'm so happy you enjoyed it! The next season is gonna be wild I think. We shall see!

9 Sep, 2021 17:56

What a fitting conclusion with wonderful hooks built within it for the next season, really masterful work Dylon :D I loved it. Looking forward to more!


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Master Monkos
Andrew Booth
3 Nov, 2021 10:18

I JUST caught up. You outdo yourself again and again and honestly it baffles me. Rest well, Invicta, and I will watch Amber's career with great interest.

Creator of the world of Mythia, where writing is magic!
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
3 Nov, 2021 19:13

Thanks so much for all the love and comments my friend! I appreciate it and I'm so happy you enjoyed it. Like for real, you've made my day.

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
5 Nov, 2021 22:40

A fantastic epilogue, RIP Invicta— but at least the sin eaters are gone now...at least I think. Gotta love the power move of winning both fronts there.   Dude this was so good, like, oh my god this whole season was so good.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
5 Nov, 2021 23:01

Thanks so much! I appreciate all the love. It was a wild ride. Thanks for all the comments. It's always cool to watch as people work their way through. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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