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A story taking place on Dante, containing hints of things to come.


Carefully, Scale snuck through the ruined streets and finally settled outside the Temple.

"Are you coming or what?" he asked his companions. Two Skarg and a Salsene cautiously followed their Arbotile leader into the Temple.

The Temple was full of horrifying statues, depicting nightmares that could only be described as monstrous. Scale didn't even think all of the forms were physically possible.

But what did he know. He was just a thief, thrown on this waste of a planet for pickpocketing the mayor of his colony world. For one missing broche, he was dropped on Dante, Obeidon's resident hell-hole. But they would pay.

Scale was convinced that within the Ruined City, he would find some valuable equipment that would allow him to escape from Dante. Perhaps even gain his revenge on those who put him here.

A shriek awoke him from his reverie. Glancing behind him, he saw that one of the Skarg had tripped over the tentacle of one of the statues, and had fallen to the ground. Scale shook his head in contempt. However, he could not completely blame the Skarg for fear. The Temple, as the criminals called it, inspired dark and nameless fears in those who visited it.

Of the two hundred listeners who had listened to his speech, only these three had actually followed him into the city.

As it was, they had barely made their way into the Ruined City at all; their spears were not much use against the Slashers that had attacked them. Were it not for the grenade that Scale had smuggled down to the planet, they would have never made it this far.

The exiles at last came to a black door, sinister and foreboding. The height of the lock would indicate that it had been made for a species over forty feet tall.

Scale swore silently. They couldn't even reach the lock, much less pick it open. This was simply another dead end. They would find no artifacts here.

Suddenly, the Salsene spoke. "Boss, I found some kind of hidden passage."

Excited, Scale went over and looked. There was indeed a secret tunnel, which led deep down, under the ground. Strange. Whatever species had designed this Cyclopean maze had certainly been devious.

Cautiously, they snuck downwards, not wishing to touch the ancient walls.

After what seemed like forever, the criminals came to an epically proportioned chamber, filled with more of the incredible statues. But what attracted Scale was the odd helm that lay on a pedestal, attached with wires to what resembled a black box.

Without hesitation, Scale strode over, and placed the Helm on his head. It was strange; although too large for him, it seemed to fit perfectly, as if it had adapted to fit over his skull.

Instantly, a wondrous feeling flowed through him. A continuous blast of knowledge echoed within his mind, and something other resounded in his heart.

Part of him knew that he was absorbing the memories of another being, but the other part had no idea what was going on. Part of him instantly recognized the statues adourning the chamber, but the other part was simply confused.

With a demonic sigh, a voice echoed through his mind.

A NEW BODY. AT LAST.

No, thought Scale desperately, this is my body. You can't have it.

I WILL OWN IT. I AM YLEON, AND I CLAIM THIS MORTAL.

No, thought Scale. The part of him that was Yleon knew that this was not a true entity; simply the memories of Yleon manifesting as a new personality. And judging from the horrific memories of torture and despair Yleon held, Scale knew he could not allow Yleon to seize control.

This is not yours to keep. I am Scale. This is my body.

A titanic struggle ensued, Scale attempting desperately to prevent Yleon from seizing control. He was vaguely aware that he was shouting something in a language he had never heard before; that the exiles that had followed him in had fled from the monstrous shape his body was taking.

And he knew that Yleon was winning, and that there was only one thing he could do.

He knew how to do this from Yleon's memories; ironic that he used it to thwart Yleon. He summoned the Maban through the Helm and into himself, becoming Mabanjarra. The Power rushed through him, thrilling him with the feeling of indescribable control.

For a moment, the feeling of Power became too much. For a fraction of a second, Yleon seized control. But Scale possessed a will stronger than most, and slowly regained his body.

And then, he did the only thing possible under the circumstances. He allowed the Maban to flow unrestrained into the chamber. A flash of blue light was the last thing he ever saw.

Scale was destroyed, but more than that, Yleon, or the newly formed being that held Yleon's memories, was destroyed. The energy had also destroyed the Temple, and the Helm.

But the Ruined City was not destroyed. It repaired the damage, and the Temple, and the Helm. And Yleon, or what was once Yleon, continued to reside in the Helm.

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