|Arena of Death|
Tioni vs. DeadflameEdit
The Gehennian stood in the centre of the plain, sizing up its foe. Its spine-rimmed wings were enormous, maybe a hundred feet in width, and it regarded him with a gaze of pure malevolence, the promise of destruction.
But Tioni strolled towards it, Shadeknives in hand and shaderifle over his shoulder. He watched Deadflame rearing up, and leapt into the air as a sizzling gout of plasma crashed into the ground where he had been moments earlier. Twisting in the air, he hurtled on, firing off shots into the dragon.
Deadflame's scaled hide simply deflected the white-hot bullets. He roared in anger, grabbing at the Notrox Master with his clawed arm, powerful as the swing of a demolition ball. There was a glancing connection and the little figure was thrown off into the air.
The Gehennian was on him already, slashing and belting forth flame. Tioni ducked and turned, avoiding the strikes that he knew could end him. He took both his shaderifles and opened fire straight into the monster's eyes, blistering over the cold glare, causing the dragon to screech.
Now eyeless, Deadflame brought a fist down on his enemy. The two rifles were smashed, but the Dominator had narrowly avoided his long-due death.
Already, the eye sockets were steaming and that same cold glare reappeared.
A huge, bellowing laughter, more thunder than giggle. "You cannot kill me! I'll just grow back!"
Tioni began to throw his knives, kiting back from the dragon. Each hit, slicing just a little into the adamant. But the hide simply expelled them and repaired. Tioni lifted his arm into the air, and from the wrist drew an Umbral Sword that shone black in the starlight.
They rejoined combat, but now the Notrox Master was hacking away with his blade. Each blow tore a new chunk from the Gehennian's flank, and it quivered in pain with each. Grasping claws were on either side of him, narrowly avoided each time.
Tioni was on the Daemon's back now, continuing to hew and maim the great ashen form that constantly attempted to shake him off.
Now he was at the neck, and swept his sword in a great arc, ready to decapitate this montrosity. His sword cleaved through the armour, but then... it was blocked with a clang. Unnatural fire shot up from the bone which was now revealed, blasting the Dominator away.
"You can't just regenerate forever!" Tioni was already back on his feet, charging with sword in hand.
"Haha, can I not?" The wounds all over his flesh were already sealing, and Tioni ran straight into a solid fist, harder than steel. The wind was completely taken out of him, and he could see the beast standing over him. The Gehennian's tail came round, whipping through the air, and shot down into his shoulder.
He cried in pain, pinned to the ground, feeling his doom rush ever closer. But he struck out with the sword, slicing through the tail, and Deadflame fell back in agony.
He looked down and saw three feet of Gehennian tail sticking into him, straight through his flesh and armour, a grey lance in his black plate. Red blood dribbled from the edges of the wound. And Deadflame's writhing tail was reforming right now, a new tip extending from the stump.
"You will never kill the unkillable!" the monster ranted on, its great voice rolling over the dirt. "You will never slay the unslayable! Embrace an eternity of death!"
Its plasma beam fired, raking the ground beside Tioni. Charred shrapnel flew out from the impact, and smoke floated up into the cool air.
One of Deadflame's enormous paws began to change. Its claws suddenly retracted, and there was a swoosh as Blueblades thrust out from where they had been. These were charcoal in colour, coruscating with barely contained power, and lined with whirring teeth- evidently customised. Now, the dragon swiped again, and there was a frazzling sound as the very air was cut in two, and the new claws passed just an inch in front on the Dominator's face.
As the claws returned, Tioni tried to parry with his sword. They collided in mid-air, and there was a clang as the Notrox Master was sent flying, an unstoppable force having hit so small an object. He hit the ground, the tail tip still digging into his shoulder, and carried on for another twenty metres, tearing ruts through the soil.
Exhausted, he attempted to get up. But the three blueblade-claws were too fast, and were already inside his chest. He stared at them as his lifeblood bubbled out, and Deadflame laughed.
"I AM THE LORD OF DESTRUCTION! Your death is the latest in an epic beyond imaginings! You are as playthings against my wrath!"
Tioni could barely lift his head up, but he did it anyway. And he hurled his sword, using up his last and greatest reserve of might, straight into Deadflame's head. Then he expired, falling limp in the dirt.
The sword stuck into the Gehennian's temple, and he cautiously pulled it out with his paw. He looked at it for a moment, then dropped it onto the ground and stomped on it with the force of an uncaring boulder. It splintered under the blow, and began to dull, a broken sword as the Master's last legacy.
Deadflame laughed, and then heard something. Cautiously, he moved his head closer to the broken hilt.
Something was ticking.
A fusion bomb went off, first a shining white orb and then a mushroom cloud from horizon to horizon. Shrapnel and fire filled the skies, and a shockwave pulverised the very earth.
At its blackened epicentre, a silver skeleton lay, glimmering in the middle of the crater.
The bones began to fizzle, dark flesh growing on them like boilling broth. And within a few minutes, Deadflame stood again. He cracked his neck, then walked off.
Bloodburn vs. EtherclawEdit
Bloodburn was happy.
Etherclaw stood before him, perhaps one of only three Gehennians that had ever given him a run for his money. Someone he had really been looking forwards to battling! They had been friends, but this new Etherclaw was... changed.
Bloodburn roared, flames gushing from his nostrils and the force of his tread making little tremors.
His foe smiled, then disappeared.
Bloodburn frowned. He'd forgotten about that mass shifter... but Etherclaw should be predictable enough.
He lashed out with his tail, and felt a glancing hit. His armour was dense enough to block Etherclaw's incorporeality, and he heard a groan. Then he leapt up into the air, circling and calculating positions.
At that moment, a hundred giant flechettes appeared right next to him. They bounced off his armour, ineffectual against him, but it made him angry anyway.
"Invisible now, invisible to history!"
His plasma beam shot out from his great mouth, plasmifying the air and blazing red in the daylight. He saw it bounce off an invisible object, and knew exactly where the other Gehennian was.
They collided in mid air, the forces producing a thunderous clunk as they met head-on. Then they were fighting, Bloodburn digging his claws into an invisible foe, suddenly jerking back from an unseen punch.
They disengaged, and Etherclaw reappeared with a flash.
"You haven't forgotten how things work. But you've let them fall loose."
Bloodburn's lip curled into a menacing smile. "I don't need to try to defeat such a disgrace as you."
"Haven't changed on the psychological front, then. Let me convince you you're on the wrong track."
A net rocketed towards Bloodburn, but be blasted it from the air. Another. Another.
He roared in primal rage, diving straight for Etherclaw. But the other dragon had sideswooped, and now circled back.
"Bloodburn, you can't afford to make these kind of mistakes. You'll need to be perfect to get through what is to come."
"Only dominion lies in store for me."
"Dominion for you or dominion of you? Does the Lord of Inferno share power?"
"My future is filled with my GLORY."
"It's not too late to escape."
"It's too late to return!"
Etherclaw cocked his head. "There will be Returns."
"My return to your grave! Or should I cremate you?"
"I'd like to be incinerated by you if I have to die."
"I think I can grant that wish!"
Bloodburn fired his plasma beam again, but it passed through Etherclaw's now incorporeal form. And then they smashed into each other again, roaring with anger.
Bloodburn tore at the hide of his foe, but to no effect. He felt the collision of Etherclaw's tail with his neck, but then grabbed it in his own paws. He began to turn in mid-air, spinning the other Gehennian around him, faster and faster and faster... they were almost on the ground...
He smashed Etherclaw into the rock as hard as he could, and then concentrated all the force of his fall onto his opponent's chest. He heard an immense growl of pain, and began to smash his paws into Etherclaw's skull, left fist, right fist, left fist, right fist...
His own throat was grabbed, and a volley of flechettes rebounded off his wing membranes. He laughed, and prepared to fire his plasma beam- but Etherclaw had dematerialised, and was nowhere to be found.
"Come back and face me, coward!"
Forty tons of dragon crashed into his face, and he stumbled under the blow. But he was not checked- his claws were already around the scaly neck of his foe, squeezing as hard as he could. A net discharged into his face, then a cluster of darts, then a rain of flechette, but he ignored them.
Etherclaw struggled in his grasp, clutching at Bloodburn's arms. "Gehennians can't be strangled. You have no way to kill me."
Bloodburn put his other paw into his enemy's mouth, and paid no attention to the jaws which snapped down on them. With his claws, he scored long gashes in the dark flesh, and a guttural moan was all that came past his arm. He reached further in, going for the brain...
Summoning up as much energy as possible, Etherclaw phased out. He forced his arm into Bloodburn's chest, having made it as incorporeal as possible, and then grabbed at Bloodburn's heart.
It took him a second to realise that there was no heart there. Surprised, he yelped, but the arm down his throat muffled it very effectively. In desperation, he clawed around, and his paw met a throbbing metal sphere. As hard as he could, Etherclaw tightened his fist, putting his very will into breaking its adamant seal. All the mass he could muster, at a single point...
There was a quiet squish, and the metal gave way. Etherclaw's arm materialised within Bloodburn's chest, and broke, the stump of a forearm inside and the elbow up outside the body. Bloodburn roared with impossible volume, and his claws raked the underside of his enemy's brain.
The two Gehennians fell on the ground together, gasping for life. But there was none in that warm, sticky air, and Etherclaw's last breath left him.
Gasping for breath, Bloodburn let out a strained laugh. He reached inside the hole in his chest and extracted the arm, wrenching it through the armour, and cast it on the ground. Groggily, he stood up, and then collapsed again.
Only the force of his will kept Bloodburn alive, but it was the strongest will in the Daemoniverse. He crawled forwards, grinning with every nerve-burning step. His blood- or what passed for blood- did not move any more within his veins, and his muscles were weakening.
The Armageddon landed beside him, and Deadflame rushed out, Dusk and Horrorscorch with him. They gathered around their father, and he looked up at them, baleful as ever.
"You... took... your damn... time."
"They were too strong!"
"Ah... reck it... now get the reck back."
They withdrew, having no idea what was going to happen. Then, they suddenly understood.
Bloodburn drew his body together, arching his back, and imploded.
At the centre of the flames, a small metal sphere sat, untarnished and reflecting brightly even amidst the smoke. Deadflame opened his mouth, and swallowed it. He suddenly felt a rushing sensation, absorbing the memories and rage of three million years... but wait... he felt his own mind being crushed, under the rising red mist...
He spoke to himself, father warring against son for control of the body.
"Father... no... I'LL KILL YOU!"
"You were always weak, Deadflame. Pass over control."
"I'LL NEVER! I AM D..."
He shuddered, and then a dark red tinge spread along his scales. A new light appeared in his eyes.
"It is done."
TO BE CONTINUED