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About Literature / Hobbyist Stephen CarnaggioMale/United States Recent Activity
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Chapter 26
Even with her newfound power, even when she drove the shadow away, the monster that she had helped to unleash was always a step ahead of her. Now, instead of a simple being to deal with, a shadow she could probably remove with her new-found powers of light, she was dealing with a fifty foot tall mechanical butterfly.
“Butterflies,” she said, looking up to the sky as the possessed Butterfly Battle Beast battered the buildings of the main school campus. “Why does it always have to be butterflies? And how am I supposed to fight that thing, when it’s much bigger than me!”
“You shouldn’t have to, “Chouko said, the injured girl leaning up against the wall of the old school building. “All that’s really necessary is to go to the cockpit and activate the emergency shut off. From there, the Battle Beast will return to its home, and any contaminents should be expunged from its systems.”
“Alright, well, now we have to get up there,” Beatrix asked.
“I will be able to fly up there myself and distract the beast, “Hectorephes suggested, “But in order to stand a chance, I have to unleash more of my power. I won’t have the opportunity to enter inside, otherwise, and asking you to ride upon my back is out of the question.”
Beatrix closed her eyes, “Well, then, let’s see what my new abilities can do,” she said, taking a deep breath and clasping her hands together. “Starlight, Starbright… I wish I had the ability to do what’s right. Grant me the power the power of flight!”
Only the sound of the gusting wind answered her for the time being. She dropped her hands and shook her head. “I don’t know why that would work. It was bound to work differently than when I had Starnight,”
“Don’t beat yourself up over it,” Hectorephes suggested. “You are learning your new abilities in a dangerous and catastrophic situation. I’ll buy you all some time while I handle this myself.” With that, he stormed out of the door, opened his wings, and flew up. His body became engulfed in flame, and the flames exploded into larger flames. They formed into the shape of an actual dragon, with a long, pointed snout, large horned frills crowning the head, and an impressive wingspan upon a powerfully-shaped body. When the flames formed the tail, at last, they fizzled out, leaving a dragon the size of the Battle Beast heading straight for it.
Hectorephes puffed out his cheeks and blew a blast of fire straight at the butterfly battle beast. The robot did a loop in the air to avoid the blast, and turned to face the dragon, flapping its wings to shoot out cutting gales at its draconic foe.
Hectorephes kept up the attack, flying in close and then spinning around to slap the Beast with his tail. Though the winds were powerful enough nick at his scales, it was his tail that stopped its attacks as it fought to regain control while plummeting to the valley below. The dragon dove down after it, readying another fire blast, when two missiles collided at his back. He let out a mighty roar and was knocked off course, sending his flames out to the forest below.
Jets flew overhead, passing over the school. Beatrix shook as she watched them strike at Hectorephes and could only watch in horror as the dragon fell down to the ground and set the forest ablaze. “No, no no, who’s that? What’s going on?”
“It seems some sort of military force has intervened,” Chouko said. She but her helmet back on . “I’ll see if I can’t patch into any of their frequencies and find out exactly what is happening.”
“I can tell you what’s happening,” Beatrix said, gritting her teeth. “It’s EAST. They’ve finally decided to show up, and at the worst possible time.”
“What are we going to do about them? They’re going to wind up killing themselves, if they don’t destroy Hectorephes or the Battle Beast first.”
“Just try to get in contact with them,” Beatrix said, booking it down the pathway. With the wind disrupted, the path up to the main campus level was much easier to get to. Once she got up there, she  took a deep breath. Closing her eyes, she prepared herself for looking like a complete psycho for what she was about to do. Once steeled, she opened her mouth, and shouted with all of her might.
“Hey, you! Yeah you! You’re a %*&#!”
She shook herself off and closed her eyes, saying. “Alright, C-girl, you can show yourself now. The jig is up.”
Out from a nearby bush, C-Girl poked her head out and pouted. “Aw, come on, Bailey! I’m doing top secret spy stuff here. Why’d you exploit me?”
“You need to be better at doing your job,” Beatrix said. “But no time for that nonsense. You have planes in the air, right? Call them off.”
“I, what?” C-Girl said, looking up to the sky.
Beatrix approached C-Girl so fast that the girl didn’t see her. She grabbed the agent by the collar and hoisted her up to eye-level. “Don’t you play dumb with me, you little %^#. Those planes shot down my friend. He was trying to help!”
“Your friend? You’re friends with a dragon? Wait… do you know what’s happening at this school?”
“Don’t change the subject on me,” Beatrix said, shaking her.
A blast of sound erupted from C-Girl, causing Trixie to grab at her ears. Now free, the agent threw a strip straight at her, but Beatrix ducked down so that the strip only hit on her forehead.
“Wrong move,” Beatrix said, raising her own hand, showing off the star jewel that was in it. A tiny blast of light came out, striking C-Girl on the chest and causing her to tumble back into the bushes. “Oelburg. I want to talk to him.”
“You’re not going to with that attitude,” C-Girl said, pushing herself up slowly out of the brambles, yelping as it scratches her.
“I don’t have time for any bull today,” Beatrix said. “Call Oelburg now, and get those planes out of the air.”
A roar filled the valley and the Battle Beast launched up into the air, flying wildly. Hectorephes shot up in pursuit, blowing fire over it.
“Looks like your friend is doing alright to me,” C-Girl said, pulling a bramble off from her shoulder. “Maybe you should sit back and let the ones who know what they’re doing take care of things.”
“You shot him down,” Beatrix said, clenching her first.
“And he blew fire over the forest. There’s a team right now working to eliminate that threat right now. We can’t save a school that’s on fire.
“So, you’re going to keep the planes up there? They’re going to either hurt my friend or they’re going to get themselves killed.”
“You can’t control everything, Bailey,” C-Girl said. “Goodness knows I’ve tried. But this thing is bigger than both of us, quite literally. I mean…” she rubbed her hand over her hair. “A dragon? That’s nuts!”
Beatrix frowned as she watched the battle unfold in the sky. “This is all my fault, though,” she said… or all your fault” she snapped.”
“The duck are you talking about?”
“If it weren’t for EAST wanting to send me to this stupid school in the first place, I would have never wanted to find the secret of the school. I would have never unwittingly opened that door. That thing possessing the Battle Beast would not be free to do all this chaos.”
“I see. That’s how you see it, huh? Playing the blame game, are you?”
Beatrix threw a punch straight toward C-Girl’s face, but stopped at the last moment. C-Girl herself flinched from the attack, holding her hands up to defend herself from the attack.
She let a little squeak of surprise out and then gulped. “D-don’t shoot the messenger. Golly.”
Beatrix shook her hand out and grumbled. “You’re right. All this stuff is my fault. I just wish I wasn’t so weak…
“You can’t fix everything on your own, Bailey,” C-Girl said. “You have to learn when its time to be a part of a team. Or, did you forget that we worked together to beat Starfright?”
“I didn’t forget,” Beatrix said “but back then, we were fighting something we had the ability to fight. This… this is a bunch of giant monsters and robots and…” she shook her head and roared in frustration. “Hectorephes! You better not mess up. This is all up to you right now!”
“What were you trying to do in the first place?” C-Girl asked.
“It doesn’t matter, now. Hectorephes has to try and break the beast down. Hopefully that’ll do something…”
“no, really, what was your plan?”
Beatrix sighed. “What we were trying to do is have him distract it. Then someone would slip in and turn it off, but… I can’t fly, so I can’t slip into the cockpit. And Hector up there is too big to fit inside, himself. If we reset it and return it home, the spirit possessing it would be easy to fight out in the open.”
“So, you need someone to fly in there and turn it off, huh?” C-Girl said, a smile spreading over her face. “Well, I think I can handle that one. And in a most fitting form, as well.” She placed her hand on her headpiece and spoke up. “Hey, boss. I need to call in our newest agent. Yeah, we need someone with mobility to get up in that giant butterfly and turn it off from the inside.”
Beatrix blinked. “What are you talking about?” she asked. “Who’s your new agent?”
C-Girl pressed a button on her bracelet. The sound of radio crackle projected from her, and a familiar voice spoke ou
“I’m out in the air now. Watch my back!”
Beatrix’s eyes widened and she turned to look off to the sky. Sure enough, there was someone flapping wings and flying up to the two colossal titans fighting each other.
Starlight Chapter 26
Some of this may not make sense, as I was watching the macy's parade while writing some of this.
Chapter 25
The blast from Chouko’s laser gun flew through the dark room, aimed sloppily towards Trixie. The blast struck the girl in the shoulder, adding a searing pain to add to the burns coming from the concentrated blast of light. Her concentration faltered, weakening the blast, and allowing the captive Dolores to push herself up, struggling to orient herself in the dazzling display of light before her.
“The Hell’s your problem!?” Trixie shouted, shooting another concentrated blast at the hag. Dolores howled and fell to her knees. As she did, a mirage of herself remained, wavering in its original position. Trixie focused on that.
“Stop!” Chouko called out. “I said stop!”
“If that thing has a beef with what I’m doing. It can say it to my face!”
Just then, right in the corner of her eyes, a crimson glow appeared. “Oh, there you are.” She said, rolling her shoulders. “I thought you were ignoring me. What’s the matter?” she winced as the pain shot up her arms. “You too scared to have a one on one conversation with the girl screwing with ya?”
The light disappeared from beside her and she nodded “Yeah, that’s what I thought. Give me a few seconds and I’ll have something to tilt the scales, no problem”
The shadowy being returned behind Chouko, looming over her. As it did, the whispers got louder, but Chouko closed her eyes and spoke herself.
“This does not concern you, but those toys of yours. Right now, they are the only things to give me pause. I have been delayed far long enough by the people of your world. I will not stand to be delayed any further.”
“Oh, so the ancient evil has a voice, now?”
“Trixie, be careful,” Hectorephes said, pushing himself up. “It can manipulate others to its will.
“I have no will, but the will of balance,” the voice said. “A balance that has been struck down since before your world began.”
“You know, you were a lot scarier before I knew you had a master plan,” Trixie said. The mirage above the transformed Starblight writhed and contorted in agony. “How come you’re not stopping me anymore?”
“Your choice is your own,” Chouko’s voice said. The girl herself stared down into the darkness beneath her. “What you do now will do nothing but weaken you for the final confrontation.”
“Shows what you know,” Trixie said, and with a final push, she blasted past Dolores’s mirage, destroying it in the process. She dropped her arms down, smoke rising up from them, the smell of burnt flesh wafted through the air.
Dolores herself lay on the ground, still transformed, but unmoving. Trixie stepped toward her with slow, unsteady steps. With all the bright light, and the pain that seared through her, she was having a hard time keeping steady.
“The fate you make for yourself is your own,” the shadow said through Chouko. “If you would seek to face against the inevitable, your end will be much more profound than those of the greatest of sinners.”
“Blah, blah, blah,” she walked up to the fallen Dolores and murmured “I’m sorry,” and held out her hand. She could feel them calling to her: the three star jewels in her possession. Starblight… Starfright… and Starlight.
The three floated up from Dolores’s form. The hag form melted away into a pile of sickly green ooze. Trixie winced at the sight, only to breathe a sigh of relief when she saw that the girl underneath lay there, groaning in pain.
“It doesn’t matter which one you choose,” the voice said once more. “They will all lead to your demise, just different paths and different durations of torment. What you choose will shape the course of your end. Be aware of that,”
She hovered her hand over each stone, thinking carefully over each. “Starblight has that sick acid… but I didn’t see what it could do when Dolores wasn’t transformed. Starfright made that cat turn into that giant shadow being… maybe I could go toe-to-toe with this monster if I had that kind of power…” she stopped over Starlight. Her vision cleared enough to see the white star there. Despite the pain she was in, the warmth coming from it was comforting. It was right.
Dolores stirred and looked up to the girl. She gasped and reached out. “What are you doing? You cant’ take a second light star. You’ll throw off the balance! You’ll doom us all.”
“According to bright and sunny over there, we’re already doomed. Might as well make a big show of it. Besides, I’m all about charging headfirst into danger.” With that, she swiped the white star and gripped it tightly in her left hand.
Bright light enveloped her, white and gold beams that shot up from the g round, spinning around her in a cocoon of power. Trixie tilted her head back and closed her eyes as the lights spinning around her came in closer to envelop her. Her clothes disappeared, replaced by a warm soothing light that covered her body. Her hair grew out longer, down to her back. Over top of it, a tiara kept it in place, with a star-jewel set in the middle of it. Her ear healed up, and the white stone appeared where Starnight used to be. Starbright took its normal position on her right ear.
Over her torso, a white sleeveless top appeared. Over that, a beam of light came over her into a yellow vest. From her collar, twin trails draped over her shoulders, turning into a long flowing cape.
Her injured arms healed up as she transformed, her hands covered in longer gloves than before, up past her elbows.
Around her waist a skirt appeared, yellow like her vest. On her legs, long yellow boots finished up the transformation. With a final flash of light, she floated in the darkness, her hands outstretched, her toe just barely touching the dark ground.
“A… a double light transformation?” Dolores said, straining to speak. “That’s impossible.”
“That,” Chouko’s voice said, the girl standing up now. “Is a terrible choice, and the last mistake you will make.”
The dark creature’s eyes flashed a bright red, and a shadowy aura surrounded Chouko’s medallion. The girl lifted it up and shouted “Dark Soldier Transformation!”
A burst of darkness covered over her as she spasmed and screamed. Her face became an ashy gray, her suit a dark purple, and when she opened her eyes, the scelera had transformed to a pitch black and the rest a bright red.
Trixie opened her eyes and landed flat on her feet. “So, you’re just like every other monster I’ve faced,” she said, staring down the possessed girl. “Just another force that can’t fight its own battles and has to use others to do your bidding. You’re nothing but a coward, you know that?”
“I am not bound by the conventions of beings beneath me,” she said, and she produced her fan. She sliced at the air, sending waves of energy at Trixie.
Beatrix jumped back and forth, dodging the pattern. Once she got it down, she moved forward, basically flying toward her with the speed she had gained.
Chouko mixed up the attack, pulling out her gun in her other hand and blasting at Beatix with a rapid succession of shots and swipes of her fan.
Beatrix did a barrel roll and spun around, clapping her hands together during the maneuver. When she pulled them apart, she had a golden staff in her hand, which she swung around, striking Chouko right at the side.
Chouko tumbled away from Beatrix, shooting at her when she got back to a sitting position. Beatrix spun her staff fast enough to deflect the attack, and swung her weapon down once more, smacking her in the head.
Hectorephes stood fully now, his wings in their cape-like position once more. “Careful, Trixie! That’s still Chouko in there. Your power could destroy her.”
“I know what I’m doing,” she said, pointing the end of her staff to the downed friend. “Alright, Chouko. I don’t know if you can fight this or not, or if you think you’re doing the right thing, letting this red-eyed creep hijack you, but I got a score to settle with him, and I’m going to stop him, even if it means beating the crap out of you to do it. This thing’s personal.”
Chouko groaned and pushed herself up, rubbing her head. She then grabbed her medallion and rolled onto her back, holding it up into the air. She shouted “Butterfly Battle Beast!”
With that, the shadow darted from Chouko and flew up and out of the doorway to the chamber, throwing the large stone portal open.
“Where the hell…?” Beatrix asked.
Chouko pushed herself up and stumbled out toward the exist. “WE must stop it before it gets to my Battle Beast! If that darkness gains control of that, then the school will be destroyed!?”
“That doesn’t sound good. But, uh… what exactly is a battle beast, anyway?”
Outside of Royce Piedmont, the darkened clouds of the skies parted, letting the first rays of morning sun to penetrate the fury of the spirits. Whether they were quelled or two frightened to stay was uncertain, as the major concern appeared in the sky. Descending down from above the clouds came a giant mechanical butterfly. Its wingspan made it large enough to rest easily on one of the buildings of the school, but just barely, and it was flapping its way straight toward the main school building.
Meeting it halfway was the dark spirit that had been trapped within the school, flying into the creature’s circuitry, and causing the turquoise color to shift into a sinister purple and dark gray. With a loud mechanical cry, it announced itself to the world and gave a mighty beating of its wings, causing an even more powerful gust to rock the mountainside.
Chapter 24
The scene that Hectorephes and Trixie found themselves was one at the tail end of a battle. Ingrid and Chouko sat off in the corner, looking over Elise. Mbali stood in the center, clutching her arm. She was untransformed, and her uniform was torn in various places. Blood dripped to the ground from the injury on her arm.
“Omygosh I’m so sorry!” Trixie called out as Hectoraphes lands her on the floor of the chamber. “I should have gotten here faster. Is everyone alright?”
“Does it look like it?” Mbali shouted to her, shaking her head with a frustrated sigh. “But, thanks for coming in. When your portal opened, Strablight left. You gave us a chance to regroup.”
“Crap. We’ll need to get Sarah or someone to look at that,”
“I’ll be fine,” Mbali said. “I’m worried about the others.”
Hectorephes stepped slowly away from the girls and stood in front of the gaping darkness beyond the opened door. He stared straight ahead while Trixie led Mbali off to the side with the other girls.
“Look,” Trixie said, “We got ourselves a trump card now. Trick—Hectorephes here has dealt with this monster before. I’m sure he could take on Starblight, no problem.
“No, I cannot,” the dragon replied.
“Aw, come on!” Trixie slapped her hand against her forehead. “You gotta be kidding me. We went through all that trouble, and you can’t take care of her?”
“I can sense what the void has done to her,” He started. “He infused her with the power of Starnight, overloading her with star power.”
“So? I have star power, too, and I get my butt handed to me all the time. What’s different now?”
She has not used the powers to transform, but the transformation was caused by her absorption of the power. Only the power of a star can nullify a star, I’m afraid.”
“So, what? You mean to tell me that its pointless? She’s just going to be running around the school, terrorizing us all forever? What kind of ending is that? Well, I don’t buy it. Here’s what we’re going to do. You’re going to distract her, while I’ll give her a taste of her boss’s medicine.” She said this, pointing to her ear. “How’s that for nullifying a star?
“That’s extremely risky, dangerous even, Mbali responded. “Even I couldn’t defeat her on my own.”
“That’s just the thing,” Trixie said. “I won’t be on my own, and I won’t be calling the shots.”
Hectorephes snorted at that. “Then who would be in charge? You are not one who likes to follow.”
“I was thinking you could coordinate us. After all, you know everything about this… thing.”
He shook his head. “I am afraid that I do not,” he admitted. “But me must not tarry,”
“yeeesh! No one can make up their mind!” Trixie stepped up. “Fine, screw that. I’m not losing my edge. If what I do is jump in with no other thought, then let me do that well. Come on!” She ran forward into the void chamber, even past Hectorephes, who followed shortly behind.
Chouko nodded to Ingrid and hopped up herself, running in with the other two. Once the three made their way inside, the doors slammed shut.
“Activating light source,” the butterfly soldier said. The visor of her helmet glowed, illuminating a tiny patch around the three. Not enough to light up the room around them, but it helped them see each other.
“Look out!” Hectorephes jumped in front of the girls, unfurling his wings and shielding the two as sickly green goop struck up against him. He winced as he stood in the way, smoke rising from his wings.
“Trickstar!” Trixie looked underneath him and saw a tall figure standing before him with long, sickly arms, and claw-like fingers. The figure before them was once Dolores and now a hag with gaunt skin and long frayed hair with her magical girl uniform tightly clinging to her elongated frame.
“Hey, ugly! Why don’t you come out to the light and face us fair and square?”
The monster hissed and leapt forward. Trixie wrapped her arms around Hectorephes and dove out of the way. “Now, Chouko!”
The hyper soldier pulled her fan out and gave it a slash across the air, sending a blade of wind straight at the hag monster. Dolores reeled back, but quickly hopped up. It was all Trixie needed to get up on her feet herself.
The creature did not retaliate, and instead rose her claws up toward Trixie. Green energy congealed around her fingertips as she charged her acid attack, but a firing from a laser pistol at her face caused her to grab at it and stumble back.
Trixie saw this as an opportunity and ran up to the creature. She reached for her remaining star jewel and pulled it out. “Alright, Starbright. I don’t know what’s gonna happen if I use you alone, but here it goes!”
A brilliant flash of light shone around her as she ran forward. The girl became enveloped in a bright halo that trailed off as she ran, making her look much like a comet. Her form became indistinct, with only her silhouette shining through as a glowing form. She jumped up into the air, pulling the arm holding Starbright back. She then connected, striking the creature against the skull.
Another flash caused her two allies to flinch. When it subsided, Trixie had fallen to her knees, panting hard as sweat dripped off of her forehead. “W… what’s happening, to me…? I’m… I’m burning up…”
The hag-like Dolores pushed herself up slowly, cackling under her breath. “Starbright…” she spoke, in a sinister whisper. “Is too bright to handle without darkness to tone down its shine…” she pulled her hand away from her face, showing a burn mark where Trixie’s fist had collided with her. “You can’t hold onto that power for long, or it will destroy you.”
“Yeah, well, what about you?” Trixie asked, but the hag was not interested in talking anymore. She faded into the darkness, reappearing behind Trixie. She swiped at her, but another blast from Chouko’s laser pistol sent her hiding back into the shadows.
Trixie spun around and yelled. “You coward. What are you doing in here, anyway? You’re scared of me, because you know I can turn you back into a person again. Why would you want to be an ugly monster? Don’t give me any bullcrap about not knowing any better, either, because I know for a fact that the star jewels don’t warp your mind.”
The hag cackled again, and an orb of acid shot out from the darkness staright at Trixie. Chouko swung her fan, causing both the student and the ball to fly off to the side. Trixie fell onto her side, and immediately saw the hag crawling up to her with an incredible speed! She threw her arms forward and shouted “Take this!”
A burst of light shot out of her hands, washing over the hag, and causing the being to screech in pain. Trixie pushed herself up by her elbow, working her way up to a kneeling position. She grit her teeth as she hammered the spirit with the burst of light, the burning sensation from the intense heat got worse and worse.
Hectorephes sat back, watching with his wings around his shoulders once more. “Come on, Trixie,” he whispered.
Chouko checked the energy usage of her pistol and then trained it on the hag.
“Wait,” Hectorephes said, holding his hand out toward her. Chouko paused, waiting for a reason. “She has to do this alone. It’s the only way to prove herself worthy.
“How long?” Chouko said, the light reflecting off of her visor, filling the room more nad more.
“I don’t know,” Hectorephes said, with a frown. But at least—his eyes widened as he spun around. “No… not now.”
Chouko’s sensors flashed warning signs through her HUD. She, too, spun around, facing the doorway, which slowly opened up
Darkness greeted them, with piercing crimson eyes floating in the middle of it all. Hectorephes bared his sharp teeth, spread his wings wide, and readied his claws. “You… you’ve come to ruin all that Beatrix loves. I cannot allow you to do to her what you’ve done to me!”
He flew forward, taking in a deep breath, but as he was about to exhale, the dark eyes disappeared and reappeared right in front of him. A hand emerged from the darkness and pressed up against his mouth, clutching his cheeks.
Hectorephes slashed at the shadows, but nothing would make it through. He was just swiping at air. Purple flame spewed out of his nose, unable to escape through his mouth, yet even with the violet light showing off the form of the being before him, the shadow did not move.
“I have no information on this being,” Chouko said. She then activated on her communicator “Ingrid… Ingrid, are you alright?”
The thing disappeared from in front of the dragon, causing him to fall to his knees, shaking and in a cold sweat. It reappeared in front of Chouko, taller than her, it stared down into her visor, past that, past her eyes, and into her very soul. It said nothing, but she saw something within her very being. The pain and suffering her friends had endured at the hands of this thing, and the worst part was she knew, somehow knew, deep down that they deserved it.
“No…” she fell to  her knees, pulling off her helmet. “Beatrix, we can’t… we can’t stop it.” Tears rolled down her eyes. “This is how its supposed to be!” She raised the arm holding her blaster and pointed it toward Trixie. “You need to stop now… you’ll only cause more pain if you don’t.
Before she could respond, Chouko pulled the trigger.
Chapter 23
“Well, you certainly know how to make sure to catch someone’s attention, don’t you?” Eliza said, dressed in a modest nightgown. She sat at the couch in the common room next to Trixie, the room abuzz with girls wondering about the worsening storm outside.
“Well, I didn’t know what room you were in, so I couldn’t have just gone knocking,” Trixie said, rubbing the back of her head, “right?”
“I wasn’t referring to your run through the dorm rooms,” Eliza said, her hands folded and on her lap. Her eyes focused not on Trixie, but on her familiar. “The spirits and the souls are inconsolable. Even now, I can sense them screaming out to any power who might help them in their time of need. Their anguish is so great,” she said, shivering slightly, “that they are affecting our world in ways unprecedented… as far as I can tell.”
A crash of thunder shook the room, causing a number of the residents to scream or jump from their seats, but Trixie and Eliza remained still.
“You mean the storm is cause by the spirits?” Trixie asked.
“And not by the terrible evil you have unleashed. That is correct.”
“Oh, so you already know,” Trixie said, her hands gripping at her knees. “I had no idea…”
“Of course you did not. It appears everything was manufactured specifically to gull you into doing exactly what various people wanted. The spirits are always watching. They tell me what is going on that people don’t want to see or discuss. The things they feel are much better off lost in the privacy of their lives.”
“I’m going to skip past how creepy that is and get straight to the point, I—”
“You want me to help you and your friend seek the truth. You want me to finally tell you what I see when I look upon that ‘doll’ of yours. Am I correct?”
Trixie nodded. Trickstar popped out from over her shoulder.
Eliza held out her hands and smiled.
Trickstar sighed and climbed out from Trixie and into Eliza’s hold. She held him up under his arms and smiled as she brought him close.
“You’re beautiful,” Eliza claims, her eyes penetrating his button eyes. “And you are much older than you think. You know all you know, because of your past life—of the life the spirit animating you lived. You may be a doll now, but you were something much more magnificent before, and… there is a sadness within you, a regret. Your soul is old… I would say very old, and that is saying something for a spirit.”
Trickstar gulped. “What does that mean?”
“It means that you have traveled a great distance for a long time in order to find Trixie. You are the one who chose her, who gave her abilities to her.”
Trickstar nodded. “It was just over a year ago. I woke up and… wait.
“You are starting to remember?
“I think so…” Trickstar said, shuddering in her grasp “But… that isn’t me. I mean I can sense him calling out. He, I, we know the danger that is present here today. What is out there. It needs to be stopped, no matter the cost.
“You do realize the cost for what you’re asking for, right?”
Trickstar nodded.
Trixie slammed her hands on the coffee table. “Wait, what are you doing? Trickstar?
“I don’t know anything about this threat, Trixie, and you are in no shape to face what escaped. Someone has to stop it. And that someone has to be me.”
Another flash of lightning flashed so brightly that it filled the room with its purple light, exaggerating the shadows of the girls in the room. The shadows elongated, and pulled free from the walls. Some of the girls screamed, others stood their ground. Trixie ducked under the table, pulling Eliza and Trickstar down with her.
Flashes of light and bursts of sound filled the common room as students unleashed their powers against the newly-formed shadow creatures. Trixie grabbed her doll and held him close, but Trickstart pushed away from her. “Look. They cannot defeat them!” he called.
Trixie peeked out from under the table, and with every shadow that was dispersed, another emerged from the wall to attack another student. With the intensity of the storm, light kept flashing and producing more of them. “It’s only a matter of time…” she whispered.
“Yes,” responded Eliza. “I can feel the anger the shadows are feeling. They seek vengeance against those who give them form. Only one of them can quell their spirits.”
“One of… Trickstar?” She let go of her doll and he scurried out from under her, walking out into the open and holding his hands out. He called. “Stop attacking the humans. If you want someone to blame, blame me!” He looked over his shoulder and smiled. “It’s been a good run, Trixie, but you don’t need me anymore. You have real friends waiting for you now.
“Yes, this doll is the only thing you have left of your father. You don’t need it anymore, but you certainly need it more than I do right now.
“I don’t care about the doll. I care about you. You’re my friend, my partner. We’ve been through Hell and came back!”
“And in your darkest hour, I wasn’t there for you,” Trickstar responded. “Miss Kleos. I’m ready.”
Eliza closed her eyes. Her hand clasped onto Trixie’s own. The girl gasped when she felt the contact and the strange connection that hummed between the two. In that instant, she could see something rise up from the doll. It was like a fiery aura, growing in intensity as the shadows turned their attention to him.
From the back of the flames, wings spread out, large and impressive, with black-glistening scales.
Eliza opened her eyes and shouted “release!”
The spiritual flames burst, causing Trixie to flinch at the sight. The shadows screamed and retreated, and the girls backed away at the strange new sight before them.
Trixie opened her eyes, and there, in a dark clawed hand, was Trickstar, laying limp and staring blankly into nothingness, just a normal doll, like when her father first got it for her, and for all those years before Trickstar came to life.
Her eyes went upward, tracing along that scaled arm, up the shoulder and collarbone Looking down to her was a handsome face, if not one with an alien texture. His features were soft, almost feminine, though his eyes held a strong yet kind look. His hair rolled even over his shoulders, and at his forehead, two horns stuck out from his forehead, curling back along his head. Those wide wings draped over his shoulders like a cape, covering up his form. He looked to her, his soft eyes glistening as he smiled down at her.
“Here. I told you I wouldn’t need this anymore,” he said.
“No, not anymore.” He replied. “I am once again who I once was, and you need to come with me. There is much work to do.” He held out his other hand and helped her up to her feet. “Ready to get back into the fight?”
“You know it,” she said, pumping the fist holding the doll. “Oh, wait,” she turned and handed the doll to Eliza, who was pulling herself up from the table. “Hold this for me, will you? I don’t need it right now.”
“Certainly,” Eliza said, taking the doll. “I’ll take good care of it.”
“Alright, let’s go,”
“Hold on tight,” he said, and beneath his feet, he opened a dark portal. Trixie pulled herself in close, her eyes widening as the void opened up before her. “Trickstar…” she groaned. “The last time I tried that…”
And on cue, the tendrils shot up from the darkness, ready to consume not just them, but the dragon boy that was once Trickstar extended his wings and wrapped them around her, dropping them both into the darkness, with the things attacking at him from all directions, but unable to hit him, or her, with any damage.
As they flew through the darkness, Trixie held on tight o him, feeling his warmth as she clung to him almost like a baby. Was this what it felt like to be Trickstar all this time? She couldn’t help but squirm around. This embrace they were in was unlike anything she had experienced before. “S-so, what do I call you now?” She asked “and what was it that you forgot?”
“My name means nothing to anyone in this world,” he said “but it was Hectorephes. I was the heir to a powerful draconic throne, when the evil we are fighting now arrived.
“How did you fight it off back then?”
“We did not,” he answered, his voice grim, “But I have learned things since that encounter, and now that I know what it is capable of, I will be able to save your world with the knowledge that I have gained from the destruction of my own. It all has to do with the star jewels.”
“The stars, like STarnight and Starbright?”
“Yes,” he said. “They are the remnants of power of light and darkness. With them, we can power up the being or bring it to its knees.
“That’s what it was doing with Starnight. It was absorbing all of the evil.”
“I’m afraid that was the plan all along, yet in my transformed state, I could not see it. It wanted to manifest itself in your world through the power of this world’s own evil.
“Everything I do is wrong!” Trixie shouted, shaking in his grasp. He held her close, keeping her from falling.
“No, Trixie. You saved so many people with what you did. There was no way for either of us to know back then what we were doing was wrong. What’s important now is that together we do what is right.”
Trixie was quiet as the doorway to the other side opened up. Whatever was beyond there, if she was not ready now, she would have to be.
Chapter 22
Trixie hissed as Sarah applied the last stitch to her ear, flinching as the pain shot up around her head. “Yowch… Haven’t felt something that bad in awhile.”
“The properties of the Magical Girl transformation make your body much more resistant to impact. It’s how they can deal with increased stressors. It’s a common trait in magical transformations of any sort, but especially for those that are related to combat. There…” she pulled away after applying the bandage over the flesh. “I’d recommend seeing an actual doctor soon.
“My apologies,” Chouko said, “but my teleportation is only for myself and for any items I am holding. I cannot take others with me. It is a precaution against bringing the enemy back to base.
“And my magic is in disarray,” Ingrid admitted. “Whatever is outside, it is not normal.
“No, it isn’t,” Trickstar said, still staring out the window.
“You saying you know what’s going on, Trickstar?” Trixie asked, pushing herself up to stand. Sarah got up beside her, hands ready to catch her roommate, should the occasion be warranted.
“I’ve been feeling something since we first got here,” Trickstar said. “And now, it’s everywhere.”
“Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrllls!” Patty’s familiar flew into the room. “Did a sweep of the place. The Sisterhood is still here, and they’re searching room by room.”
“Did they see you?” Chouko asked, her fan appearing in her hand.
“I, uh, I don’t know,” she admitted.
“Then, we’d better get ready for a fight,” Trixie said. “They’re not going to be happy.
Ingrid frowned. “But, is not Mbali in their group? She is the top student in the program.”
“I’m not scared of her,” Trixie said, facing the open doorway with one hand on the desk. “I need to smack her around for throwing me into that pit.”
Chouko and Ingrid look to each other, and Chouko nodded. “Fine, then we shall get the truth from them, one way or the other.”
“Right,” Trixie said, clenching her fist. “Come and get us, you lousy culty whackos! We’re not afraid of you!”
Footsteps filled the hall, just outside of their view. The three magical girls and the one fairy familiar all prepared themselves for a fight. Trickstar kept his stare outside, while Sarah stepped off to the side, her hands up to her mouth, waiting in dread for the shoe to drop.
Three figures emerged from the doorway. The first was Elise, dressed up in some kind of roman armor. The second was the transparent and ill-definied girl from the door, and the third, in her school uniform, Mbali.
Trixie ran up straight toward Mbali. The two girls flanking her stepped up to block her, but Mbali ran up past them and grabbed the fist in her hand. She narrowed her eyes, focusing on Trixie’s ear. “You’re at a disadvantage. You couldn’t defeat me if you tried. Not that you should.” She tossed Trixie back and nodded to the others. “We have bigger problems.”
Trixie growled and caught herself on a desk behind her, pushing the thing back slightly as she pushed herself back to a standing position. “Oh, really? You think? Just now realizing that listening to the crazy new kid who claims to know the secret to the dark hidden cave was a bad idea?”
Mbali closed her eyes, “Yes, it was stupid to trust Dolores. But she promised us that if we delivered you, that all of our questions would be answered. We’d know just what the school was hiding. Don’t tell me you didn’t want to know, yourself!” she opened her eyes, glaring strongly at Trixie.
“Yeah, but I’m not the one everyone looks up to, am I? I’m not the one who should know better than to recklessly go around doing something dangerous. I’m the first year hear, not you!”
“That… is true,” Mbali admitted. “You have me, and our foolishness has cost us dearly.”
“You bet it has. You all beat Patty into unconsciousness, and sent me into that hole where that… thing probably killed Dolores and ripped my power out of me, literally!” she said this, pointing to her ear.
Mbali huffed. “It seems I do not practice what I preach. When she told us what she knew, we had to find out.”
“About that,” Trixie said, hands on her hips now. “What exactly did she tell you that made you go batcrap?”
Mbali took another sigh and shook her head, saying. “She showed us her style of transformation. How she uses the star jewels to turn to her Magical girl form.”
“Yeah? So? Chouko’s got her medallion, Patty’s got a guitar pick. What’s so special about the stars?”
Elise was the one to answer the question this time. “Stars are very important in the iconography we have discovered. When she told us that she and you both possessed star jewels, she also described the door in intricate detail.”
“Yeah!” the transparent girl said. “It was, like, super freaky the way she knew all the words on the door, like she had been there before.”
Chouko spoke up this time. “You got the door open now. What are you planning to do?”
“Rectifying that mistake,” Mbali answered. First we need to figure out exactly what that thing is,”
“And the only person to know that is Dolores… Starblight,” she said. “Let’s go get her!”
“Trixie,” Trickstar stopped her. “We have something more important to do,”
“What are you talking about?”
“I can feel something stirring within me and I don’t know what it is. Is it for good, for evil? We need to figure that out. Whatever came out of that door is familiar.”
“Familiar?” She thought for a moment, and then snapped her fingers. “Alright, fine. You girls take care of Dolores. But be careful, she was in a lot of pain. I have no idea what that thing did to her. Trickstar, you’re coming with me.” She grabbed him by the arm and pulled him off of the table.
“Where are we going?” he asked.
“There’s one person I know who can see through clouded minds, and I’m going to go find her.
“Who are you talking about?” he asked, as she made her way past everyone and out the door.
The wind blew heavily, blowing at her uniform, but that didn’t deter her. “Just trust me,” she said. “We’re going to get all the information before we jump into this fight!”
She bolted through the windy night, holding Trickstar up close against her. AS she moved, it felt almost as if the storm turned to deter her, and not to harm her. As she got to the road up along the side of the mountain, she took a deep breath and stepped onward. Instantly, the wind blew at the wall, not down the way she came, but threatening to pin her against the mountain.
“I don’t get it,” Trickstar yelled. “It’s almost like,”
“The storm is alive,” Trixie responded. She threw her head back and called out “If you wanted to finish the job, you should have done it down in that hole!” With that declaration, she took a step forward, and then another, sliding along the wall, taking step after agonizing step up the difficult path.
Once up to the school grounds, spotlights immediately trained on her. She stumbled back and threw her hands up to shield herself, but caught her foot at the very edge of the path. With a slip, she fell down, reaching a hand out to grab the edge or face plummeting into the dark chasm below.
A flash of gold passed by the light that was trained on her, and a metal hand grasped at her wrist. A metallic humanoid, gold in color, and with a wireframe build, gripped onto her. With a whirring beep, it unbent its wiry legs and stood up, lifting her up above the chasm. She just stared at it with wide eyes for a moment, before utting a quick “thank you.”
The robot’s light-up eyes formed two upside down V shapes and pulled her over to the ground, dropping her gently. It then patted her on the head before walking off toward the school.
“This is Royce Piedmont Security Team. Come inside immediately.”
They didn’t have to tell her twice. Once the gateway opened, she ran on into the side building. Once inside, fully geared members of the security team turned toward her.
“Who are you? What are you doing out there?” they asked, their questions still firing up even after she gave them the initial report.
“Look,” she said, pointing to the school. “Punish me however you want, but there are people in the old school who still need help.”
“You stay right there,” one of the security officers said as she went to call her arrival in. The other took a look outside, watching the terrible wind blowing. Trixie took one step away from them, and then another, and then suddenly bolted out of the room.
“Hey, wait!” the one called out, running to chase her, but a bolt of purple lighting shot from the sky right in front of the security officer, sending him flying back into the building. Trixie kept running as more and more bolts fired from the sky, taking target practice with her. While it was currently losing, she had no intention of having it win.
She ran across the field, and across the bridge, and soon arrived at the dormitories. Once inside, she ran down the hall, screaming, crying desperately out for attention, hoping to catrch the notice of the person she was actually calling. “Hey, Eliza. Eliza Kleos! Open up and get out here; there’s something we got to go over and I need you to help sniff things out! Come on, open the door!” she kept this up, going from hall to hall, climbing up the stairs and screaming once again, waking up the whole dorm along the way.
Starlight Chapter 22
We're going completely off the rails now. I have no idea what the next few chapters are going to be about. I'm dropping concpets and picking up new ones all the time now.
There are times when I look at a piece of entertainment, usually a movie, and think to myself "what if this was actually GOOD." There are a few stories like that, and I know there are already a few people on the internet who do this sort of thing, but I decided to throw my hat in and take a crack at this style of review myself.

So, for the past few weeks, I've gone book-by-book in Archie's "Worlds Unite" crossover event. I've analyzed every story within it, leading up to it, and even talked about the stories and possibilities that exist out of it. So now, I think I should take a crack at rewriting the thing, to an extent. In this series of reviews, I will explain a basic plot outline of a story redone. I will use all of the basic elements present in the story and try to reorganize it so it is better than what it was. Certainly there are circumstances that I as a fan would not understand, such as what legal red tape and executive meddling is involved, but I can hazard a guess on some of them.

So, before delving in, one needs to ask "What exactly is Worlds Unite." What is the essence of this story? Basically we have a second crossover that's written to push sales up for Archie's action comics. The creatives want to convince their licensers that Mega Man X is a viable franchise to branch into its own comic. Both parent companies want equal representation for all of their properties, but SEGA won't allow this story to include Boom Eggman or Lyric, so they're out. Also, the editor wants Xander Payne to feature prominently. Ian Flynn set up the Deadly Six in the issues leading up to the crossover, so they must be included in some way. Oh, and there's to be a big crossover war and 2 battle books for things that don't fit in the main comic.

My "Worlds Unite" would start with Mega Man and Sonic, basically taking the events of "Mega Man vs. the Deadly Three" and "Sonic vs. Half of the Armored Deadly Six" and telling them out. The comic ends with the Maverick hunters arriving in the past and meeting with Sticks. So, within the narrative, we have a bit of mystery.

Issue 2 starts with the supporting cast concerned that Mega Man and Sonic are missing, when suddenly, their worlds are attacked by Sonic Man and M'egga Man. As the two Roboticized masters fight their former friends, we see the Deadly Six are working with Dr. Eggman and Dr. Wily. The two doctors are gleeful that their creations are helping to take out their enemies, and will eventually take each other out. Though there is an air of worry about things. Why are the doctors so nervous? We don't know yet (though, those who read Mega Man 49 might be wondering where Sigma went, and those who read Sonic Universe might keep an eye on the strangely sinister Orbot watching over the doctors. The issue ends with the two roboticized masters seemingly victorious against their foes.

In part 3, the Maverick Hunters and team Sticks arrives, just in time to see M'egga Man and Sonic Man fighting each other as the worlds fuse. The two roboticized masters are subdued by a mix of cool action by the hunters and comedic effect from Stick's team. Princess Sally asks them who they are and if they know what's going on, and X tells them that it is Sigma. We then see the two doctors cowering in fear as their combined creation, Sigma's new Battle Body, is complete.

Part 4 begins with Sigma about to tell his plan to Drs Eggman and Wily, but with him now physically manifested, the Deadly Six attempt to take him over. He uses his viral state to infect their power armor, not to control them, but to cause them pain whenever they disobey. Because of this, they remain their normal selves. We could have a bigger scene where there's a fight here, or Sigma could explain that he's been following the doctors since Worlds collide, meanwhile Sonic fills Mega Man in on their previous adventure. But there's no time to explain, as the worlds fusing is causing Natural disasters. Characters run around trying to save things, but during the chaos, the structural integrity of Castle Acorn is compromised. Quake Woman volunteers to go in and rescue everyone. King Acorn refuses to leave until he helps everyone get out. Once the two finish evacuating all of the rest of the people in the castle, the place collapses, burying them inside! The resulting explosion radiating from within is enough to tell Mega Man one thing... Quake Woman has died. But despite the loss of her father, Sally pushes on, telling the others that it is time they rallied together, to fall back and figure things out, and be ready to take the Fight to Sigma.

The backup story in this issue deals with the characters mourning the loss of their friends, letting the loss sink in for everyone involved, meanwhile X and the hunters feel guilty. X feels that if only he had not hesitated back in his time, Sigma would not have gone free to wreck reality as he has so far.

Worlds Collide is recapped twice in the stories. I feel that marketing and the opening pages of each issue should be enough to get people up to speed to know that "this is a crossover." and understand they need to read the issues in order to get the whole story and whatnot. I also wanted to give the Maverick Hunters more things to do. With the first act so concerned with making sure audience knows what is going on, it sacrifices character moments and potential for action. This is why I had the Maverick Hunters and team Sticks take down the Roboticized Masters. With the main casts both unable to fight htem, something that Eggman and Wily would never be able to predict would be able to take them out either with overwhelming power or simple unpredictability. Specifically, I see Comedy Chimp thinking that doing the "world saving" thing that Sonic does all the time would really rack up the ratings. Meanwhile, Fastidious Beaver would break up the story with little lampshading at plot elements.

The biggest change I made in the story is who dies in it. With Team Dark and Mayor Dorado both dead in the first act, I knew immediately that there would be no consequences in this whole story. There is absolutely no way that SEGA would let Shadow die, and I doubt Ian would let a game character on the Mega Man side die like that before adapting the game he's from, no matter how minor that game is. By changing the characters to comic exclusive ones, we actually do raise the stakes. Would Archie actually kill off Quake Woman? Would they get rid of King Acorn after people started liking this interpretation of him? I also removed the comic where X and Mega Man meet. Sure, its Mega Man's 50th issue, but why not use the extra page space to do something that affects all the characters in the story? Even if the backup story is focused mostly on the loss of Quake Woman and Mega Man's resolve to push forward and we leave the mourning of King Acorn over to seeing how Sally handles it later on, it could still work.


Mavrickindigo's Profile Picture
Stephen Carnaggio
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
Current Residence: USA
Favourite genre of music: Videogame/Movie soundtracks
Favourite style of art: character art/comics
Operating System: Windows 7
MP3 player of choice: My computer
Shell of choice: sea shell
Wallpaper of choice: That Mega Man Powered Up
Skin of choice: mine
Favourite cartoon character: Hexidecimal (Reboot)

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akessel92 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2015
Hey how much do you know about? battlebrothertherix.deviantart…
Mavrickindigo Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
about as much as I do anyone else I randomly talk to
akessel92 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2015
Oh I see. I thought you would have gotten into argument with him like I am. And I'm losing.
Mavrickindigo Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I might have at some point. Looks like someone I talked to
MJ-OF-THE-UNIVERSE Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2015
Hey mavrik

Ive been reading through your stories (awesome by the way)

But i cant put my finger on what veshra actually looks like :). Would u mind helping me out?

(Her natural form of course)
Mavrickindigo Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Ah, well, you can see many artists' renditions of her in my favorites, as she's one people love to draw…

this would be the "go to" version, I think…
but I like this as a "candid" shot of her…
SurrealBrain Featured By Owner May 8, 2015
Thanks for the watch, Mavrick.
Mavrickindigo Featured By Owner May 8, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
yep! wish I knew you were on here sooner, would have done it sooner
cartoonking1 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2015
Happy birthday. :D
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