Chapter 28:

The New Kingdom of Fallen Children

11 Kingdoms

Report: The New Kingdom of Fallen Children

Accessing Personal Logs: Subject Fawn Midin

The ship suddenly jerks as it runs aground and switches to its wheels to drive the last few miles to the dark city. But the sudden jerk warns me along with the rest currently online that the final battle with the forces the hacker has collected is about to commence. Amazingly I watch as people act shaken and their nerves begin to show in their actions portrayed through the connections to their Nuro-links. But I don't feel it. Am I becoming so used to the constant battling that I had to endure over these past few months that I have become numb? Or has a bit of my humanity been chipped away from my long-term stay in the game away from everything real? No neither is the case because for the first time I truly know something that no one else knows. The very thing that the hacker Dark Mistress fears I will show before her. It's so simple that the world overlooks it so much carrying on like it's not even there. In many ways, I likely would have never found the hidden power if it wasn't for the constant attacks. But to keep what hopes of my plan to work I dare not tell anyone what it is I have discovered. I can't afford to lose this small chance I have at beating the hacker. But what lies before us I am told is not going to be easy. I stand in the Wheelhouse of the ship where a created map is laid out on a table for the main group to study.

The plan is to break our current team into four separate teams. In turn, each team will have at least one grand hero as a leader. The Striker team consisting of Min and Malok will lead a collection of players to take on the monster hordes corrupted by the virus. They will be backed up by the Artillery team led by Kylie and Emi. The idea is that the two teams will at least be able to keep the monsters at bay and separated so they don't interfere with the other two teams that have vastly more dangerous missions. Masaru, Cassandra, and Aya, will be the recovery team leaders with the mission to capture and hold as many of the puppets as possible. In hopes to release their captured selves after the battle is over in the end. A difficult task but as both Aya and Masaru hold the Genesis power as well as myself they can create a complicated maze-like jail within the ship to hold the puppets from reaching the lines.

This left the final team, Interceptor. Its leaders will be Riex, and myself, but unlike the other teams, we aren't taking any of the volunteer players as it's our mission to move in and confront Dark Mistress deep within the Black greenish framed tower dwarfing the skyline. I chose the team pretty much to keep it small. Only adding Melissa and Jilland to help back the two of us up along our assault. Gavin was upset I chose for him to stay behind to aid Moses in pulling Riex or Melissa out if things got too hairy. I didn't want Jill to be in the threat either but he insisted after traveling this far to remain at my side. I did, however, ask that he get someone he could trust to watch the monitors and be his outside world backup should he land in trouble. He told me what I wanted to hear. Only now do I worry if the strange doctor friend I made was truly being watched over or if he is just lying to protect my feelings after having to watch Tul suffer.

In many ways, I was told there were two other teams at play. But they stood outside this world and back at both the Onyx tower and Pangai servers ready to act should the mission fail or drastic matters were needed or called for. It's strange being told that you are being watched over by people trying to protect you. Given it's not something new, often people are told this by many religions or even holiday figures that watch over you. But these weren’t some mysterious faceless and named figures of great power, these were the hands of actual people whom I never met, guarding my life as a precious stone. But it could only defend it so much. The only fear that has been striking me is the power of the anti-virus shields and weapons that blessed our members. They were designed after my fight with the dragon weeks ago. Yet the dragon wasn't hit by the anti-virus till long after it should have already fallen. Thus the strength of the shields and weapons against the virus-infected creatures has barely been tested and even then its only real test was on the puppets. While the strong competition for most players barely matched up to the skill and power of the Grand Heroes. No the bigger threat for the group is if another dragon or something of equal strength has fallen in the hacker's hands, but all recon work the systems cameras and Rick's earlier journey in told us only two major threats rested within.

The first being our main one the Hacker had great power to warp and distort the world's programs and command them as pets devouring or enslaving everything. The second was a hive creature that she kept as a pet. The gang nicknamed them hivemind as they were like a cross of a fairy and killer bee with massive razor-sharp teeth. It was these creatures that they locked down as the ones that caused to warp Rick's mind. All while the anti-virus protected the link from the shocks of damage or control of the seat. But it was completely unknown if it could even stand a chance holding back the mental feedback that these creatures possessed. Given I have less fear of the creatures than the others so I made sure to make it my job to personally prevent them from attacking the group when we came across them. This, unfortunately, meant the others had to keep Dark Mistress busy till I could concentrate my efforts on her. This was by no means an easy task, but Masaru offered us a little help in something he worked on in his downtime since my accident. Soon after the ship jerked about with its landing on the shores of Pangai. He came to greet my team and the four of us followed the game leader to a back area of the massive ocean-liner. Back behind the massive engines pumping steam and flames flickering, bringing me to break a good sweat from the humid conditions, laid a small tarp covering.

"Allushia wasn't the only character we originally planned as the god of the game. Though arguably the roles are ironically reversed in some ways, Charles told me of a story he once told his son when he was younger and by all purposes that were the basis of the creation of the form he chose for her design." Masaru pulls the tarp to reveal four large, machine-like eggs. "The story is called the legend of the two goddesses. I never heard the story myself, before he told me it one day.” The four of us look to see if anyone else has heard the story and none believe that they ever had. Masaru smiles seeing us trying to understand his point,

“It’s a story he came up with for a game that flopped long before it became a finished product. Once long ago there was an island full of many people that worked hard every day and night. They lived a carefree and happy life. Then one day two powerful goddesses came down before the people. The first goddess that stood before the people was a radiant goddess wrapped in white robes with great flaxen hair and a peaceful smile. She told the people that the two of them have come before them to bless their land in exchange for the people's faith in their power. However, the people could only choose one of the goddesses to choose to place their faith in. The second goddess with black hair and pale white skin pouring out from her blue robes told the people that one of the two goddesses is the goddess of creation, the other the goddess of destruction. The Goddesses promised the people that they would be granted blessings from the goddess they chose to worship, the one dressed in white offered the people great power over the earth to bend nature to their will, while the one in black offered power to mankind and the beasts of the world. But the people needed to decide on which to worship. The decision was indeed a hard one for the simple folk they worked day and night on the puzzle ignoring their fields and even having heated arguments and battles over the choices. By the end of the year, a young boy walked before the goddesses and proposed them a question. Oh, great goddesses if we choose you to worship how will we honor you. The first goddess spoke, to honor me, my child, you and your people will have to offer me a suitable amount of your harvest. The little boy turned and looked at the dead and empty fields, then at the equally empty stomachs of his people. But my, dear goddess I am afraid my people have had only time to look to you for promises of wealth and paid no attention to our harvest what can we possibly offer you. The white goddess, speaks you can offer me the last your food. The boy satisfied by the first goddess’s answer turns to the second. Oh, great dark goddess how will you ask we pay honor to you. The second goddess spoke. I will demand a blood sacrifice of my worshipers. Once again the boy looks to the town's people, many dead bodies lay about the town, and others fight at each other's throats for opinions long ago forgotten. But my gracious goddess do you not see with just your promises of power many have spilled blood is this not enough. The black goddess shakes her head no. And the boy nods his head, Then my fair goddesses I have the answer for whom we should worship. The boy looks to the first goddess, if we worship you then we will give up the last of our food and starve. The boy then looks at the second, while if we worship you then more blood will be lost from this village in a time we have so few, left. So the answer is we will worship neither for it was with our hard work we could master the land of nature and control the power of man nor beasts long before either of you came to our village. The goddesses’ smile you are a wise one young boy. For choosing as you have found the truest of power and strength in the world, the power of freedom. The goddesses left the village but left a gift of dragon eggs for the boy. The eggs would soon hatch and the dragons under the boy's control would help the village seek food and restore itself from the year of personal destruction. The village did find something to worship that day they found the path to true freedom and the hardships that one must endure, to arrive at its great power." Masaru looks us all over as he concludes the tale.

"Of course, in this case, the young boy has been the one corrupted by the power, and it's the rising goddess that must stop the corruption of the land!" I grunt an upset grumble once again being called a god despite my protest. The group seems to go on inspecting the eggs.

“So these are dragon’s eggs?” Riex asks running his hand across one.

"Yes and no. I didn't want you to use something that could be controlled against you in the coming battle." Masaru watches as I walk up and touch one which breaks apart and unravels to show a mechanical dragon kite. "They can fly and I can lock them to be completely under your control more like a tool. They are more like simple-minded robots. With only two programs in its listing, to fly to the direction the rider tells it."

Riex’s egg cracks open and begins to mimic my own. Jilland’s, and Melisa’s soon follow. “And the other?” I ask.

“To protect the princess of Noiox, I have given them the full antivirus program treatment and they should be good enough to get the four of you unharmed to the top of the tower.

Masaru walks to the far wall of the room and presses a button opening a large bay door on the side of the ship. The group looks out at the twisted code of black ruins covered in wireframes of bright colors. For the first time since I have been trapped in the game, I truly feel the unnatural nature of the world touch me. Reminding me of where it was I truly sat was merely a data point in a collection of servers linked to a video game. This world isn’t real. No matter how painfully real it felt. I have always been trapped in a cage, and now I finally see a weak spot in the bars. I must survive this to finally truly once again be free of my cage and return to the world I belong. A world where I am not a goddess, hero, or princess, a world where I am simply just a young game designer with good friends and family that truly care for me.

We waited till the ship came to a complete stop and watched as the battle began. Min and Malok's troops charged out of the sides of the ship and crashing into waves of monstrous creatures, mixed within the creatures stood the puppet humans, Cassandra and Aya were gathering them as best they could and bringing them to the maze traps that was constructed to lock the puppets away. All the while Kylie and Emi’s led the forces at the top of the ship to unleash weapons and magic upon the larger targets below.

"Let's get a move on while we can during all this confusion Fawn." Melissa barks out and snaps at the cords controlling her dragon kite, which flaps its wings and takes off through the bay door. Jilland soon follows behind her leaving me, with Riex, and Masaru.

“Fawn. You have the strength within you to end this. The world is hoping to see that their faith in you is worth it. Let’s move.” Riex says as he yanks his kite into flight.

“Masaru. Thank you for everything. I know I had my issues with your choices in my life, but looking back now I can say your trust in me may not have been wanted! Yet in many ways, you and all of this have helped me grow into a stronger person." I watch as Masaru shakes his head in disagreement.

"No Ms. Eve you always had the strength you just refused to see it yourself." I look at the man I once looked at so highly with tears in his eyes. "Thank you for forgiving this flawed old man for the wrongs I have done to you. May the lessons this journey have taught you to be the strength to carry you to victory. Goodbye Ms. Eve." It is then I see it something is off about Masaru, since when I first saw him but he shakes his head quickly. "What are you waiting for, go and save the world worry no more for me.” I tug across the two cords of my dragon kite and the machine begins to run and flap its wings. But as it takes to the sky I look back at the man dubbed the Legendary Master of Gaming, as he fades from my view unable to shake his words of goodbye. Long ago I was told the only people to ever say goodbye were the ones never planning to you see again. And deep in my heart the sinking feeling that was the very truth with Masaru and that he very much planned it this way. But for now, the world depended on me and I had a tower to invade.

File Source end

Accessing Linked Material

Source Feed lines of Min Gang, Kylie Grange, Ayamo, Emi, Malok, Cassandra as seen in the public image of the record.

The image appears moments before the ship arrives just as the Bay door, on the side opens for Fawn’s team. When the ship slows down, rolling over ruins and crushing some of the monsters still lying across the ground in the ship’s path.

"Listen up people we are about to land at our target drop zone. You have your orders and at the first sign of danger or actual damage hitting you do a hard pull out of the game and seek medical help immediately." Emi proclaims across the loudspeaker of the ship. "The Artillery team will start and provide cover. The strike team will move second and rush the monsters pushing back the forces. Recovery, it's your job to find the puppets in the mass and get them to the trap. Stay safe and help each other when you can." Just as Emi gets off the speaker Kylie begins an assault of blasts from her rifle before the ship even slows to a reasonable point of speed. Proving both her skill and power, each of the targets all of which are monsters takes the hits and fades into a glowing nothingness. Soon others join her firing their weapons and spells at the monsters now beginning to climb or fly to meet the team attacking them from their position on top of the ship. Emi pouts at Kylie showing up her skill above the young card mage and she grabs two full packs of cards and smiles. "I have changed since we last showed our skill in the test for the idol ranking. I won't be outdone by you this time."

"As I recall you failed to hit eight of your targets. But this time I can't clean up after your messes." Kylie states as she lets out a new blast as she drops another ten monsters.

“Just shut up and watch.” Emi drops the decks one card at a time each falling to her feet. Building rows of cards facing outward to the point of forming a wall blocking her body from being seen across the battlefield, except for one empty slot in the middle of the card wall. She reaches in her pocket and pulls out a black card with a mirrored joker's face. "Unlock grand spell. Chaos Fury!" The cards of the wall begin to glow one at a time in random patterns as each unleashes an element across the battle hitting targets, dropping a good several dozen in the blasts. As the light fades each card burns away but the chaos card remains. Quickly Emi pulls out another two decks of cards to make a repeat performance of her last assault.

"Well, at least this time you can perform the spell more than once. That's good to see." Kylie responds blasting another ten monsters away just as the grinding of the doors of the ship, begins. The ship arrives at its landing spot. Leading the charge is Malok as he has his giant cat pet leap forth striking at the first target in his path. The unfortunate goblin didn’t even get a chance to raise its weapon to strike before the cat’s paws strike down raking the creature and causing it to fade into an empty glow. Min charges out along with the players that they have lined up, moving in unison the wall of troops lockstep as the leader of the red kingdom appears to have worked with the men to fight back in this pattern. Malok is soon met with a group of other riders that begin to sweep through the monstrous horde as they move. Leaving Min and his following to clean up the scraps of monsters left behind by the faster-moving first wave. Malok is the first of the four heroes to lay eyes on the line of puppets and he soon realizes that the number of two hundred a few days ago was very much sparse in its count. A thick line as far as the great warrior can see of the puppets stand before him. It's not hard to tell the true purpose that has been placed on this line as Malok locks eyes on the bloody tear-filled face of a child no older than ten standing in-between two adults.

With haste, the third team moves in to grab at the puppets who flail and strike back to hold up the teams led by Cassandra and Ayamo. Mages are stuck casting spells to restrain the controlled humans while other use ropes, chains, snares, even their strength to hold and drag the unwilling humans under the hackers control up into the ship and down into a metal holder, at the bottom. In the hardest of jobs, it's not too soon till the recovery team members begin to break up. As the members' ether fade as their body falls in battle or have to run to the healing aid of the group of healers gathered. The team in all was only able to capture less than fifty of the wall of puppets alive before the true heavy hitters on the side of the hacker made their first appearance.

A sudden blast of fire causes the teams of Emi and Kylie to break off their attacks to see where the new threat was coming from. The sudden crash into the ship stated fully just where the blasts came from as elemental beasts rose from the smoldering crater. Emi was the first to act out of the two this time as she switches the target of her prepared spell to a giant smoldering fire elemental. The spell explodes at the beast breaking away the fire from its body. But it did little to halt the creature's movements to strike at the young princess of Arugo. Instead, its Kylie's quick targeting of the creature's club-like hand that caused the beast's strike to be lacking from the now removed appendage. "Min, we have a bunch of unfriendly on the ship." Emi cries out across the channels of communication. Her efforts are heard but useless as Min is fighting the blasts of a water elemental that has risen from within the forces. He is completely defenseless to the creature’s constant attacks knocking him to the ground as other monsters and the puppets attack his hit points.

“Backup isn’t likely going to help us here, all forces focus on the elementals on the ship.” Screams Kylie.

"But we can't handle much our forces are mainly ranged fighters this is too close for comfort." Emi staggers to her feet and dashes away from the fire elemental only to reach the edge of the ship where makeshift ladders begin to rise. "And we are about to get hit on both sides here."

“Calm down, princess. We need to use the environment to our advantage.” Kylie flaps her wings and blasts at the fire elemental again causing it to fade.

Emi kicks a ladder over and looks about puzzled. “Use the environment. If you haven’t noticed we are on a giant metal ship that drives around what environment?” She hollers back.

Kylie takes advantage of her position to overlook the terrain. "We are in an urban environment with a mobile fortress that is larger than most of these buildings and many creatures are about. Surely there is some way to use this as an advantage.”

"Wait I have an idea can you keep them clear from the roof!" Emi shouts as she makes her way to a door to the lower decks of the ship. Kylie watches and chuckles.

“You don’t even wait for the answer you just plow on ahead with your plan. Guess my work is cut out for me.” Kylie quietly states to herself as she begins to shoot the ladders building while the team deals with the elementals on board.

Once Min gets a second to find his footing from the latest strike of the water elemental attack he tumbles into the crowd of puppets grabbing one by the leg and swing it into the path of others.

“Recovery team you all better not be sleeping on the job here. It is a real shame if these people died while I played with them.”

"If you would stop using them as your personal arsenal Min I have a few members coming to retrieve them." States Cassandra who is casting a shield spell to push back the creatures from moving into the ship through the open doors. "The least you could do is drive them back to us and help clear off some of this heat."

"Damn it, woman! I am fighting as best I can, disarmed. You're on your own there. I shouldn't bring this guy with me either!" Min finishes as he jumps through a collection of monsters to avoid a new wave blast which in turn sends a collection of monsters and puppets to fade away.

Aya turns from the battle to look into the ship and reply to a private conversation. "What did you say, Master? What are you planning?"

“The old man is finally going to help out here?” asks Cassandra looking at the young girl who has a troubled look hit her face.

"No, it's nothing. He just had suggested something that's all." The young Aya swallows and focuses on something and suddenly the code starts to break away as form barrels marked TNT on them beginning to sprout all along the sides of the ship.

“Nothing! Yeah right looks like your turning this rescue mission into a suicide mission.” Cassandra remarks.

"The ship is being reinforced by the Master's power but those, outside will need to move away from the ship or get inside soon. This much explosive should be enough to clear a good two hundred feet on all sides." Aya states as she continues to focus her genesis power to make more and more crates appear along with the ship.

“But what about the puppets that remain in the crowd?” Cassandra questions.

“Master says we can’t help it. The clusters of monsters are weakening our forces too quickly to be able to buy Fawn enough time. The Crater left behind by the explosives will add a new defense in the form of a trench. Then we can try and gather the puppets again.” Aya’s words are halted as the ship begins to move and turn. “We’re moving?”

"I guess this isn't part of the plan?" Cassandra asks, getting a shake of the head in a response of no from Aya, just as Emi's voice breaks through on the ship's speaker.

"Good plan master but I have one of my own." The ship takes a sudden turn to face head-on to the tower in the dark city and begins to move closer.

“She plans to ram the tower?” Cassandra states.

"No, but the forces are coming from that direction if we can divide them and scatter the enemy. By keeping the ship moving then it will make things a bit easier on us." No sooner does Aya state this than the ship makes a hard turn sending the two crashing to the ground.

“Min, Malok, new plan. You two try to clean up the scraps and stop what puppets you can. We are going to divide the forces. Kylie you clear the rooftop then have the team pick off targets as you can. Sis you and Cass focus on healing our injured. I will try and keep things moving while Master handles the fireworks." No sooner does Emi finish than an explosion rockets off from the side of the ship as a crate of explosives go off blasting several enemies clear or defeating them outright. Shrapnel from the city ruins goes flying and land near Min and Malok's forces. Min grabs a large chunk of lumber that falls nearby and swings it wildly bashing the trunk into the water elemental that slices the wood into splinters.

“Pick them off she says, easy for her with the damn ship as a weapon.” Grumbles Min

“And here I thought you were the best, Min. Can't defeat a simple enemy like that. Then I guess your title of second best is up for grabs then.” Snarks Malok, who spears a monster, while his cat rips at two others causing them to fade away.

"Fighting water elementals require electrical or earth-based attacks. Something I am not equipped for at the moment.” Min snaps at Malok as he punches a monster and causes him to fade into nothing. Malok reaches in his saddle and tosses Min a sword.

"Here then, but it's a poor man who blames his tools so if you fail to defeat the creature with that then you don't deserve the title!" Malok shouts back just before taking a hit from a monster nearby.

"Oh, it will do, rookie. Just watch.” Min grabs the sword and makes a sudden swing from below instantly felling one monster. As he moves in he grabs ahold of one Monster and uses it as a shield as the next attack from the elemental hits. But Min’s shield quickly fades and he moves in by dodging the remaining blast and slashing another two creatures along the way dropping them as well. Min grabs another monster only this time tosses the creature at the Elemental and moves quickly to follow the creature’s path. The moment the Elemental slashes cutting the creature away Min moves in slashing at the elementals head which quickly reverts to normal.

Malok recovering from his hit looks up as he stabs the monster attacking him. “Nice approach but you can’t kill it that way Min!”

"No, but I have a few tricks on my side." Min smiles tossing an empty bottle on the ground as the elemental begins to change colors to a purple tone. "Poison works well on water elementals if you can get enough in them." The elemental drops to the ground and begins to break apart as Min continues his vicious assault through the battle.

Explosions continue to ring out about the ship as Emi works hard to make sudden and erratic movements through the armies. The sudden jerking of the wheel with each building or explosion is difficult on the smaller framed card mage that doesn't have much strength to deal with the wheel reverting to a new position with each hit. Then it happens. The one thing Emi feared but knew was coming since she engaged in this plan. A collection of the explosives Aya set up had built up around one of the wheels. In a turn it all goes off at once, causing the ship to sway to one side and tilt. Grabbing ahold of the wheel Emi latches on but finds it too much and far too late as the ship slides down on its side crushing several forces below. On one hand, she had succeeded in clearing the upper deck of the monsters and in the process took a lot of the enemy forces out with the crash. Only now they were sitting in one place and the doors to the ship were no longer available for the recovery team or any other team to use. This was a situation Aya was trying to correct by using her Genesis power to drill a passageway in and out of the ship from the ground below. Cassandra had fallen out of the ship and faded as the ship fell on her character making the heroes short their strongest healer. Despite the new problem, Emi takes a look through the smashed windows of the wheelhouse and smiles. Her plan worked in dispersing the enemy forces and now it was clear that the once outnumbered forces are now falling on even ground. Emi lets go of the wheel and falls hitting the side of the wheelhouse walls before her form begins fading. "Hopefully my actions are enough to help big sis. I will be watching and praying for your success."

Malok is the next to fall, as he proceeded to charge into a large cluster of enemies with his cat. Hiding any pain a large smile on his face all the way. Kylie works with Min on clearing out a large section of the area around the fallen ship. As Aya breaks open her passageway and the remaining Recovery team goes to work aiding the remaining troops and gathering more puppets. But much of the scattered enemy forces become easy prey in time. The one giving them their orders is distracted by a new threat to the tower as the four dragon kites fly onto the tower's rooftop dropping its precious cargo and the hope of everyone. The signal of several explosions ripping at the tower's peak speaks loudly that Fawn's team has discovered its target and the final battle of the game has truly begun.

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