Chapter 22:

Divine Retribution

Violet: No. 02189

“Mr. Ophir, so for the next stage, you’ll grant me access to the Seraph, right?”

The CEO chuckles in amusement at Hideki’s proposal.

“For someone so smart, you sure don’t have much emotional intelligence, do you?”

“That, or you’re once again thinking I’m just a dumb, rich guy”

“To give a weapon of that magnitude to someone like you is like being a frog”

The professor looks with a confused face at the CEO.

“A frog?”

Completely ignoring Hideki's confusion Ophir continues:

“What I can do for you, is lending to you a modified mech like 02189’s”

After thinking for a while Hideki accepts the terms.

“Very nice, let’s see what you can do with that, my little scorpion”

Hideki immediately left Ophir's office and got on his mech as soon as he could.


“We’re leaving the labyrinth now…”

“So we should be nearing the rendezvous point by the next few minutes”

As Ren says this Mayu points ahead blocking his vision of the panel.

“I think it’s there”

Everyone looks toward the image feed and sees a very big structure floating in the sky. Ren’s head dodges Mayu’s arm to also get a look at it.


“Hold on, even you are impressed by that?” - Says Kaede surprised.

“Yeah, despite being from Violet I’ve never seen something like that in my life”


*Very well 02189, I see you’re almost at the destination*

*Rejoice! This is the epitome of Violet’s advance and technology*

*The Sky Fortress Seraph!!*


“Ren? what hap-”

Before Kaede could continue her sentence, Ren made a hand gesture indicating to her to not say anything for a while.

*It means Fiery Flying Serpent, it’s a very appropriate name if you ask me*

“Well, I don’t know what a serpent is, but I’ll trust you on that CEO”

*Hahaha, sorry I got ahead of myself. But what matters is that your next mission is to get in Seraph and carry out the subjugation of Neo-Tokyo from there*

*I’m counting on you, so don’t let me down 02189!*


Ren doesn’t let out even an ounce of nervousness in his voice when talking to Ophir, but his very core is shacked by the thought of having to get through with the man’s plans.

*Oh, by the way, I almost forgot to say, but your friends are also welcome inside the Seraph, but only you can enter the command room, okay?*


*Listen 02189, I agreed with you to keep them alive, but if any of them interfere with our plans I'll show no mercy, are we clear? *

"Very clear, sir!"

*Well, until later, then...*


Ren lets out a huge sigh after the conversation with the CEO. Everyone looks at him worried but the young man tells them that there's nothing to worry about and proceeds to explain to them about his deal with the man.

The other three agree with Ren that the best they can do for now is to roll with whatever the CEO says and try to do something when they reach the Seraph since they are being tracked and Ophir would immediately know if they decide to try to leave the pre-established route with the mech.

Right before approaching the mega-structure, Ren decides to share with his friends one more piece of information.

"So... about Hideki"

"That bastard!" - Says Mayu with anger in her voice.

"I still don't know what he's planning, but I think he's working with Violet's C.E.O."

"What!!?" - The three say in unison.

"Actually, that would explain a lot" - points out Take.

"His actions until now don't make much sense if he's working alone, but if he's really with the guy who's also forcing Ren into doin' these missions..."

"I'm not sure of that myself" - Says Kaede.

"Maybe he's using that guy, I just don't see the professor acting this harshly"

"And if he indeed planned all of this..."

"That would mean he's responsible for grandpa's-"

Kaede stops herself before continuing her sentence and everyone looks down in anguish.

"It doesn't matter anymore, he said that himself. We'll inevitably find out if he's our ally or not very soon" - Asserts Mayu in a calm but firm manner.

"Yeah, you're right Mayu-chan!"

"So, we must do our best, no matter who'll be our enemy from now on!" - Ren adds in a compelling way.


While thinking back on the last encounter he had with Hideki Ren gets pensive. Thinking about those words he whispered in his ear and also...

Ren puts his hand on his right thigh where there's something like a pocket compartment.


The Heavy Class mech that Ren was piloting was by no means small, but before the grandeur of Seraph, it seemed like a little fly facing an airplane. The design itself is a bit strange for the standard the mechs set. It's an elongated form, with many plates of metal on top of each other covering the whole body of the vessel. Its front part is what would seem to be very similar to the head of a creature.

Ren and his friends entered the mechanical monstrosity with the mech by a hatch in what would be its 'eye'. Even with the enormous size of the mech they're currently in, it fitted without any problems in that space.

The place they are now is very similar to a hangar. It has a very high ceiling and some space that seems to be where the crafts are kept apart from the lane in the middle that appears to be where the mechs take off. 

That whole area, however, despite its size and apparent functionality was entirely empty and seeing that Ren decided to near the mech's body to the ground and finally open its cockpit.

"Awww man, my back is killing me!" - Complains Kaede as soon as she leaves the cramped space.

"You're grumbling like that, even as little as you are? I had it much worse! I had to get hunchbacked the whole trip!" - Says Take while stretching out.

"You two are seriously goin' to complain when I had to share space with you all in this attire!!?" - Frets Mayu with a pout.

"Hey at least you weren't in this uncomfortable as heck armor" - Protests Ren.

They look at each other for a while and end up laughing at Ren's deadpan delivery.

Before exploring the area, Take splits some of his extra weapons with Kaede and Mayu who had no armaments with them. Kaede only took a pistol and some grenades as her left arm is still wounded so she wouldn't be able to hold a heavier weapon. Mayu took a machine gun as Take kept his own while also carrying a rocket launcher and three more rockets to be used as ammunition that are concealed in his mechanical arm.

Seeing this Ren gives Kaede his vibrosword to try to give the girl more options since she's used to fighting in melee range.

The group moves together while carefully walking down the lane and after a while Take notices a door at the end of the 'corridor' that seemed to lead to a warehouse.

As the group nears the place Ren once again hears a beep in his headgear.

*Have you forgotten about our little chat from before?*

*This room is off-limits to your friends*

Ren looks back at them and they understand what he means even before he voices it.

Now alone, Ren enters a room. Differently from almost all the control rooms and virtual panels from Violet, this room's predominant color is white having floor, walls, and ceiling with the color, while golden-colored holo-panels float all around. The golden is also present in small carvings that are spread throughout all the walls as well as the ceiling, they make patterns of figures that keep changing as time passes.

The place itself exuded an aura of almost divinity in a way it reminded Ren of the Shrine's altar, despite visually being very different from it. There's no visible machinery and the only thing disturbing the scenario are the four guards that are in the room near the walls. In the center of the place, there's a panel that extends from the floor to the size of the door with many numbers and entries as well as a drawing that resembles a map at the center of it.

*Please approach the panel, 02189*

Without making a sound Ren does as Ophir says.

*This is the control panel of Seraph's main weapon*

*The high-compress nano-bot fueled railgun:*

*Ultio Caellun!!*

*However, now it's still not the time to use it. We're still too far from Neo-Tokyo's to effectively use the weapon*

*Right now, I think we're about 30 minutes to get in the right range to fire it*

*If they were located on the surface, however, I think we should be able to make the shoot even from here since this weapon's range is awfully large*

*Hey, are you still here 02189? Are you hearing me?*

"Yes, sir!"

*So, why are you so quiet?*

*Don't tell me you're getting cold feet?*

"No! Not at all, I was just carefully listening to all you had to say"

*That's very good, so-*

As Ophir continued enthusiastically telling Ren about the weapon, the young man's mind began to rush as sweat dripped off his face inside the helmet.

What do I do!? What do I do!?

*So 02189, I'll be contacting you again in about half an hour*

*For now think from their perspective, what place should better serve as an example?*

*Despite being a very powerful weapon, the Ultio Caellun is a focused one*

*Meaning, it should not do much damage to the surrounding areas from the blast, but it'll absolutely annihilate anything on its path*

*Well, I'll leave this part with you, after the shoot, we'll talk about your re-approach to them*

*If you can convince your friends to go with you too, it'll give us even more credibility, so I'm once again counting on you*

"Very well sir, I'll try my best to do that"

*Oh, one last thing, send my regards to Take, it was fun learning about Neo-Tokyo from him*


Ren closes his eyes, he's visibly panicking. 30 minutes is all that separates him from yet again causing death and destruction. This time, however, on a much larger scale and fully aware of the meaning of this act.

If I just shoot this weapon in a low-density place...

With trembling hands, Ren tries to enhance the areas of the holographic map trying to for search a place where he could cause the less damage possible. The map itself is incredibly detailed with the many areas of Neo-Tokyo, as well as a rough estimative of its population in each area.


How could they have a map of Neo-Tokyo so detailed as this one...

…Unless it was Hideki the one who gave away this info.


Ren is once again reminded of what Hideki said to him during their fist fight.

"Trust me, and grab this"

During that fight, Ren's anger and punches were very much real, however at a certain point, to Ren's surprise, the professor gave him these instructions while also clearly showing him an object inside his lab coat. Ren hesitated a little, but he ended up doing what Hideki told him to while also punching him on his ribs in order to deceive Ophir and his guards.

Ren opens the small compartment in his armor and grabs that object. It's like a miniaturized version of the battery of his N.R.I.C.A. but in the form of a short stick.

With a lot on the line, Ren knows he has no time to go back to his friends to tell them about it, even more, because everything he says is probably being heard by Ophir too.

I have to do this... I have no idea if it's gonna work or not but... I must try out everything before even thinking about giving up!

With the peculiar object in his hands, Ren searches for a place to plug it in, however, he doesn't find any opening, in the whole room, it seems there's no place to plug any kind of device.

Think Ren, there's no way the professor hasn't foreseen this situation. Even Take said he was infiltrated here, and it seems Ophir also knows him...

But if do something reckless with these guards surrounding me I'll surely be riddled with bullets...

AHHHH dammit!

Here goes nothing!!

Ren stabs the ground with the stick and immediately, dust-like black particles begin to spread filling up the once golden lines and patterns that compose the room.

The four guards almost at the same time, in a very coordinated and unexpected fashion, take up the sword on their backs and advance toward Ren.


They're not using their guns!?

Oh! I see... they must've received orders to not damage this place.

Ren dodges the successive strikes of the guards with relative ease since he has a lot of space to move and also because the soldiers are being wary of his weapon.


Seeing that he's at a disadvantage, Ren doesn't think twice before opening fire against his opponents. The first barrage misses his target, and Ren takes off his helmet while approaching and unlocking the door. At the same time, Ren opened his mouth while closing his eyes and covering his ears, and leaning towards a wall to completely cover his head from the center of the room.

He had absolute confidence in his friends and knew what they would do after hearing the shooting inside the room. 


A grenade is thrown inside the room, and immediately one of the soldiers jumps on it. The sound that follows is a blunt one as the N.R.I.C.A. absorbs most of the impact as well as the fragments. The soldier flies a few feet backward from having received with full force the impact of the grenade.

The other soldiers also seem to be stunned by the whole situation while Kaede, Mayu, and Take enter the room.

"Are you all right Ren?" - Asks Kaede with a worried expression.

"Yeah, I'm fine! Thanks for the help" - Ren responds with a smile drawn on his face.

Ren once again points his weapon to the other soldiers, who then, see they have no chance of going against these people, but also didn't seem to want to damage the place.

"Drop your swords at once! And your guns too!"

Take immediately takes the weapons away from the soldiers and makes them kneel down while facing the wall from the opposite side of the door.


A loud, vibrating sound resonates throughout the whole room while at the same time a tremor makes everyone slightly lose their balance.

"The hell was that!?" - Kaede says with widened eyes.

"Did the weapon fire? But we're about 25 minutes earlier-"

Ren looks back to the panel that was still opened, despite now being in black color.

"Hold up, this is-!"


From inside his office, Ophir looks out his window to the city down below. While he admires the view, the man receives a surprise message from Hideki.

[Look at the sky and repent your sins]

"Huh!? Is this some kind of prank?"

Despite not getting what Hideki could mean by that message, Ophir still looked at the sky, and there near the horizon, there was a second sun.

The CEO immediately knew what was about to happen. 

Guess I ended up getting stung.

The man calmly put his chair in front of the window while calling someone.

*Marie, hello it's me*

*Yeah, yeah, I know its unusual for me to call you up these hours is just that-*

The white star in the sky increased even more in size and brightness 

As Ophir looked upon it he couldn't help but smile, while his eyes were actually bitter. There was no one else there with him in the office so he wouldn't need to put up a front. So maybe, he was putting a front for himself, or for some reason he did find some joy from the situation, even if it was absolutely tragic for him.

In the end, it was probably none of that. It's most probable that Ophir simply accepted that what was happening to him was well deserved.

The light grows bigger and bigger, at an increasingly fast pace.

First the all-compassing brightness, then just a few moments later, darkness.

The white light envelopes everything on its way. There isn't any time to react, everything that is on its path is throughout eliminated, no matter what it is. The guilty and also the innocent, the ones who knew everything as well as the ones who knew nothing.

For the people who were out of the range of the impact, it was like a star had fallen from the sky. The unfortunate people that were facing the direction where it fell, were instantly blinded by the light, while also having their eardrums instantly ruptured. The lucky ones that were far enough from the destructive path of that weapon could never know that their lives were about to change drastically because of that event.

That day was marked by the people from Violet as the day the very skies punished their city and its sins.