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Gaia's;Hand [closed. Gaia]

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"How many crystals??"

"I've put one or two in Izral, Casper, the Abbey; a village near the Haunted Glen, one in Nu Martyr, one in the Garden of Nede, a few from Aspyn to Bi'le'ah. There are a couple in the ruins of Weland and Ashville," said the PeaceKeeper, looking at his hands and not the speaker. His smile was genuine, but not overly boisterous. The sky above them was grey with clouds, but somehow nobody was threatened that it would rain. Simply being in the presence of this man promised brighter days to come, even made them feel tangible today. "I'd say there are about 30 of them now. I can only project my image and my voice from them though, maybe burn something with the light concentration if it's close enough. My solid body will always be right here in this skin!"

He sat cross-legged on the one bench of a large wagon drawn with perfect smoothness by 30-foot tall bulls. These had been bred from calves in Aspyn, fed on its blessed fruit and nurtured by the best keepers in all of Lacrimosa. Michael was on the bench facing the back of the wagon, a group of a dozen or so individuals ranging from adolescence to old age seated with crossed legs on the wagon floor before him.

When they rolled into Last Chance the 15-or-so departed to spread the good word that Michael Commager had come to redeem them. Just as he had stood as Gaia's bulwark against the forces of evil on Last Chance's coast  years earlier, Commager now returned as an extension of her continued good will. More specifically, he came to convert the fated prisoners affected by the cataclysm that one day. With their prison and social systems destroyed, Last Chance prisoners will have experienced a great deal of strife since Dredge's attack: lack of food, dangerous criminals being bundled in cells together and uncontrollably killing one another off, deficient and underqualified security who abuse prisoners; etc. 

"Prisoner 003, get the fuck up."

One such unqualified guard clanked his shock baton on the Apostate's cell to alert him that there was a visitor. There were never visitors, there was never food, the Apostate had been bundled with dozens of grubby criminals in the past month, and this was a total oddity to him. When he was led in chains down the hall and into a room typically set aside for interrogations, though, he didn't see someone sitting there in armor. He didn't see a guard. He saw the famous PeaceKeeper Michael Commager sitting there in a grey tunic with grey slacks and black slipon shoes. He was leaned back in his chair, hands folded over his stomach.

"What's up?" Said Commager as if they'd always known each other as soon as they were left alone in the room.

@danzilla3

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What does fear do to the mind,the mind that has created these fears? Do you understand my question?Don’t answer me immediately,look at yourselves. What is the effect of fear on the mind, on one’s whole life?Or are we so used to fear, have we so accustomed ourselves to fear, which has become a habit, that we are unaware of its effect? -J.Krishnamurti (Zdzisław Beksiński)

"Prisoner 003, get the fuck up."

He woke up to the sound of his new name being spoken by a guard too new to be properly afraid of him. Since he had been captured and thrown into this place, it was the only name he would respond to. As he stirred from his sleep, his hands instinctively went to his face to make sure the improvised mask was still there. On the first day here, he had somehow managed to disappear for thirty minutes. When they found him again, he was wearing the bandages. Two guards had been badly injured attempting to take it off of him, so the rest had simply decided to let him keep it. None of them wanted to risk their necks to try and take it.

Sitting up from the lone bed in the cell, he found the other occupants of the space huddled as far away from as possible. Given how many there were, and how crowded the room was, the closest was still only feet away, and looked terrified. Like always, he never acknowledged them, and simply allowed the restraints to be put on, and was led down the corridor. When he arrived, he found a surprising face waiting for him.

"What's up?"

003 sat completely still for a moment, then spoke, "What business does a Peacekeeper have with a lowly serial killer?"

@amenities

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Prison was a quiet place— this prison, was a quiet place. Those criminals who had been locked up or moved here,were not the loud type pleading for their freedom or trying to demonstrate their innocence; these men knew they deserved to be here. Here, pervading these hollows they were bundled wholesale into, was nothing but silent contemplation. The only voices that ever broke the silence, echoing through the conical cavernous underground dungeon, were those of the guards disturbing the wicked and cries from deep, deep down below where nobody ever came back from. One chain the breadth of a grown man's torso lifted and lowered a transportation cell between the top and bottom floors of the prison. Now, pausing at ground level, it spat a seed of hope into Michael Commager's palm. Michael closed his fist around it as the Apostle first spoke.

"What business does a Peacekeeper have with a lowly serial killer?"

Michael and the Apostle sat across from one another in a classic style interrogation room. One might think there was about to be some... interrogating. However Michael just sat, bearing into the Apostle's eyes for almost a full hour. The prisoner might yell at him, spit, plead, beg (Apostle is chained to his chair so he can't get TOO close), but he simply appraised the Apostle. Dug into those eyes with his own.

Peacekeeper had a funny ring to it whenever Michael heard the word. In all of the things he was in life, this title had consumed so little of him. In all of the things he was in life, had he not simply sought the light? From the blackest pits of his insanity, from the bloody hands of Faustus Clemens himself, Michael was handed unto Valucre; but in all of his wonders he never could grasp, who had handed Michael unto Faustus? Years upon years, a decade and then another stacked on top of themselves with no answer. He'd had to fight for himself, indeed went to the blackest part of the darkness before he could find the light. It was only then, standing at the brink of death in the Abyss, that he forsook all evil. He forsook Faustus on that day, taking Gaia into his heart because something had told him to. The very act of repenting to Gaia saved him, and for that how could he not owe eternal gratitude?

If hundreds died at his hands, and Gaia still granted him salvation, what then were these prisoners?

Finally, when the Apostle had either given up visibly or begun giving up hope that this meant anything in his head, Commager stood. He walked around the table, right up to the violent killer to a natural distance, his arms at his sides.

"May I?" he said, extending his hands down toward the Apostle's chains. If the Apostle lifted them, Commager grabbed the lock in one fist. A corkscrew of light manifested before its opening before twisting into the locking mechanisms. All of the chains instantly fell from the Apostle's form.

"Walk with me," he said, "and become a child of Gaia."

The words and his actions had flowed effortlessly, without any hesitation or visible thought. Without looking back, the Peacekeeper opened the door to the interrogation room and led the Apostle to the prison's front doors. Every single guard, who was used to domineering and torturing these prisoners, stared with their mouths open as the white-haired clergyman (and their superior by a vast margin) walked a murderous criminal right out their front door without a word.

@danzilla3

*Modern Gaianism believes that Gaia, as a disembodied force, can be found through a secular life even by one that doesn't believe in Her, if it is a life of dedication and discipline. The insight they find inside of themselves, at the top of the mountain, at the end of a journey of psychedelic drugs, are different facets of the same being ... Sinners can eventually pay the balance of their sin and ascend to a purer state of being. 

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"What business do you have with me?"

Nothing.

"You must have come here for a reason."

Silence.

"Or do you truly have nothing better to do?"

No reply.

"Have it your way then."

With that, 003 leaned back as much as his restraints would allow, and simply regarded the Peacekeeper in silence. He had let his annoyance show more than he had intended, but it mattered little. Yet the man's mere presence seemed to make his hair stand on end; as though he were holding onto an electrical wire. He had felt this type of energy before. Gaia's faithful often radiated this kind of power; but few were as potent as Michael. 

There was a time when he had that same power. A faint memory now, though one that shone a bit brighter in this mans presence.

003 offered up his hands when prompted, and was surprised to feel his restraints fall away from him. He had just begun to work the kinks out of his body after so long in confinement when Commager spoke again.

"Walk with me," he said, "and become a child of Gaia."

Pausing for only a moment, 003 followed Michael as he led him through the prison. As they approached the gates, he spoke once more.

"I have followed that path before. It led me here."

@amenities

Edited by danzilla3

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"I have followed that path before. It led me here."

Mike lifted his hand at the guard who rose from his chair when he rose to protest the bandaged Apostate. There was no magic to it, Michael silenced the man with the sheer weight of so much greater a rank's regard settling on his shoulders. Without slowing, they made their way through the front doors and out into the countryside from the out-of-town facility to which prisoners had been moved until a newer prison could be built. Out through the gates, past the guards watching, undoubtedly still in the scopes of the men in their watchtowers, Commager finally responded.

"I can't apologize for what you've been through,"

He said it as they began making their way toward the second of two prisons they would visit that day. Not slowing as they approached a couple horses and continuing on foot, the Apostate might have gotten the sense it would take a while. Just when it seemed they would pass them up, Michael offered the man with the bandaged face one of the horses.

"But I can tell you you're right; it did lead you here, and to all the great things you're going to do after. The path to enlightenment can be a long one, but it's far better for you to reach it than not. Though Gaia does not forsake, sometimes the people of this world do. So I can see how dark your path might have grown, how far from the light they may have taken you..."

Michael walked on the ground beside the horse the Apostate rode. They made their way over hills and across the countryside toward another prison on the farther north pole of Last Chance.

"But I want to help you back."

He offered the fallen apostle a drink from his canteen. 

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"I can't apologize for what you've been through,"

Nobody had ever tried. Or even acknowledged there might be something to apologize for.

He'd given everything to the Church. From the day he had been pulled from the squalid basement by the Order, to the day he had died in it's service, he had been singularly devoted to the ideals of Gaia. Just as his father had taught him. So he had been surprised that the man had gone against their religion, their code, to bring him back to life. It had been the most confusing moment of his life. But he loved his father, and he knew that together they would make sense of things.

But they had never gotten a chance. 

They had gone on the run for a time; moving from village to village to stay ahead of the order. But eventually they caught up to the pair, and he'd returned to their shelter to find men he'd called brothers standing over his mentors corpse. Those men had been the first to die. From this, his work was born.

Yet somehow this Peacekeeper believed that he might be redeemed. 003 didn't agree. Gaia's light had not shone upon him in many a year. But for some reason he felt the urge to go along, and give himself a chance to be proven wrong.

003 mounted his horse, and took the canteen from Michael. He pushed aside the bandages over his mouth to drink, then handed it back.

"Where are we going?"

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The Imperium was once the diseased dream of a mad man; where he could build counter measures for humanity to once again take their planet from the clutches of irrefutable disaster at the hands of powerful manifestations of Magic, chaoseum, and supernatural whimsy. He had been an arrogant human who despised such unchecked authority and yet was himself unchecked...until he had made such a nearsighted alliance with Nines and A group of the very entities The Imperium was meant to fight. The Black Queen a trusted friend of his late wife’s and the turning point of his life as he found himself doing things he hadn;t done before. A man trying to fool Agony and his lickspiddle lackeys. Roen and Raphael the source of his demented reasoning and facing the vampire tyrant’s blade enlightened him in a way he hadn’t experienced before.He had delivered the baby of a vampire queen, bringing forth life into a world he no longer had a handle on. Humanity had no chance against these monsters as they let loose a horde of undead manifestations upon the near town of Knolls. His dream had become a nightmare and the tormented screams of those innocent villagers still haunted him, yet all he could think about was the momentary bliss of holding that child in his hands. It had cut through the madness his soul clung too and called forth the humanity that still dwell within. He had changed that day

He had lost all momentum after the events settled and his barely completed lab was left with numerous holes and wounds suffered from combat. His faithful animatronic canine being destroyed as well and leaving him isolated but not alone. A pair of uninvited guests had infiltrated the facility whilst it was being raided by Roen and Raphael, and unleashed a curse that had clung to Marigold’s family for two generations. The Mad God, Laughing Stock, being released and clinging to the scientist like a spiritual parasite. His plans had become insular now as he simply tried to rebuild his facility and deal with the chattering madness that ate at his patience and psyche. He no longer knew the purpose for his facility. The intruders all had proven that no man can compare to pure power. He felt defeated and lost, and Laughing Stock fed on this with a rapid growth of influence.

He hadn’t expected a request for help during the battle of Last Chance. A man by the name of Michael Commager saw worth in his droids and machines and asked if they could be put to use in protecting the prison from a band of villains attacking it. He didn’t know how to take this request and so he sent A set of his prototype Locust Droids, and though their success rate was not what he had hoped. They were quite efficient. It was the first time he had ever helped a group of people beyond himself. Laughing Stock tearing at his psyche as it fought for control of his body. It had been the first time he had seen his work...help others.

Ceyena a similar vein of selflessness that he hadn’t expected, simply because he was travelling to a different destination all together and had been sucked into the chaos that had occured with an entire civilization toppling onto another. He had never saved anyone physically before and having survivors counting on him and Xerxes was a foreign feeling. He had even died for several moments before the deity plaguing his mind brought him back out of whimsy, and necessity. Marigold and Raylon, alongside many others managed to close the rifts and mitigate the already vast amounts of damage and misery. He stayed for the aftermath, watching as The Black Queen and Raylon came together to bring hope to both of their kingdoms who were now forced to share their space. He felt the countless lives underneath his feet and once again he felt changed. He hadn’t felt so human and it was crushing to know that he had sacrificed so many years to selfishness when there was much that he could do for his fellow man. His trip back to the imperium feeling so distant in his memory now.

Marigold had tricked Laughing Stock the night they finally clashed for his body once and for all. The eruption of his reactor giving him the chance to free himself once and for all, sacrificing his body to cast Laughing Stock into an incomplete vessel. His facility had once again been left in ruins, and though he was now an incomplete A.I plugged into his failing facility. He still felt alive somehow. His conscience is still brimming with fire and drive. A humanity that still persisted in an artificial shell. He was once again back to trying to rebuild a nearly destroyed imperium and understanding his own newfound existence. He knew no longer the purpose The Imperium. A carcass now that housed A ghost in the machine of his own making, sitting in the ruins of a dream he no longer knew.

survarium-concept-art-london-london-ruin

Edited by Djinn&Juice

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It had been way too long. The man once known as Shethid Fakir had been rotting in this prison far too long. Who knows what state the Legion is right now? Or the Blackspear cartel. Should any of it matter at this point? He was just one of the forgotten members but he knew that his legacy would live on. He was one of the foundations of the group. His insights into the realms of time and space were valued highly by the recently deceased Lady Blackbush. He knew that the other members are still using the knowledge he had shared with everyone in his organization.

But perhaps it was time to move on. He could no longer feel the network. Perhaps Middy had finally made the right decision. Lady Blackbush fucked up real bad with allying with terrorists and brainwashing everyone to join her in her madness. It has been a while since he felt the network's connection and he wouldn't be surprised if his hypothesis would prove to be true. What he truly wanted right now is a chance to leave this prison. 

I'll take any chance. As long as I can escape this prison.

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Even as 003 thought the thought that Gaia hadn’t shone her light on him in so long, her hand relinquished him of those chains, offered him drink so that he might wash the bad taste of disownment out of his mouth. Michael’s temperance was untouched by the staring match they’d had. If he were going to wait however long it took for 003 to be totally convinced his freedom was a byproduct of Michael’s faith and Gaia’s mercy, they could have sat there for years.

It was because of Michael’s untouched faith in Gaia that they rode up the countryside, the Apostate drinking the Bastion’s water. As soon as it touched his lips, he would feel hydrated; as if he’d eaten an entire meal. Even his horse seemed to trot better, the sun less irritating and more pleasantly bright.

“Where are we going?”

“To shine the light on another forsaken child.”

When lightning and fire split the sky over Last Chance, great airships and warships and tanks and tops and bottoms clashed. Lifelong friends parted ways, months long enemies brought the axe down on one another’s necks, and lines were drawn for future warplans to come. In all of it, Shethid Fakhir had been tossed to the wayside of the Blackspear Cartel after sacrificing himself to save them.

For all sacrifices that are righteous at their core, though, Gaia turns a loving eye. At conspicuous times, nonetheless.

“I’ll take any chance. A slong as I can escape this prisoner.”

“Prisoner 069, visitor.” Another underpaid guard chimed into Fakir’s thoughts even as the mental words scribbled over his synapses. Fakir was led not to an interrogation room, but straight to the lobby.

Shethid would recognize Commager as the same man who’d headed a massive military envoy to crush the incoming Legion of Doom on the fateful day Fakir was taken prisoner. He wouldn’t have thought Commager had seen him, but the Peacekeeper always did his fair share of studying up. Standing beside him was the man formerly known as prisoner 003 of a different facility.

“I’m here on behalf of Gaia.”

That night, they stayed in guards’ lodgings at the same prison. Separate lodgings of their own, but outfitted with all necessities they might need including a kitchen and washing rooms. Michael cooked for them. Over a small table in a small trailer, they ate. It was awkward at first, only the smells of food and the sounds of eating, but Michael ate fast. He scarfed down his plate, literally licking it clean and, after setting his utensils before him, leaned back on one wall of the trailer and exhaled in satisfaction.

“Ahhh, what a blessing to go from sitting alone in the darkness to eating food with friends as a free man in one day!” He wiped some grains of rice from the corner of his mouth with his finger, then licked the grains of rice off his finger. He pointed at the Apostate while speaking to Shethid. 

“I think he knows why I’m here, maybe not, but do you know why I’m here?”

@danzilla3 @Zashiii

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003 had felt effects like the ones he now experienced after drinking from the campaign before, though not as potent. The Order of Thorns always drank from a sacred fount before each mission, granting small boons like the canteen. It was a reminder of just how potent the power of faith truly was. After all, a pious mans faith might protect himself; but it took conviction and discipline to forge that faith it into a weapon to protect others. 

Silently, he guided his horse through the untouched country, enjoying the sights and sounds of the outside world. Truthfully, he probably could have escaped from the prison if he had chosen to do so. The guards were unprofessional and poorly trained. Infrastructure was strained and full of weaknesses. A person with the kind of training he had could easily have found a way out. But he had stayed, because there was nothing in the outside world that interested him. 

How quickly that had changed.

Once they had retrieved the next member of their burgeoning group, they found lodging in the Guards Quarters. Before dinner he took a shower, hot as he could stand to wash away the filth of his cell. Afterwards, he changed into a set of plain clothing and used fresh bandages to make the top half of a new mask. He would wait until he had finished eating before putting on the rest. 

When Michael spoke to Shethid he remained silent. 

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Prisoner 069. That was what he was reduced to after being locked up for a very long time. He could still remember his name and his past life but some days he felt that it was someone else's. Was he truly abandoned? Left for deaed and ultimately forgotten?

That dd not sound right.

If memory serves, it was his personal choice to leave the organization and surrender himself to the authorities. He was hoping that some military personnel would take a liking him and treat him as a valuable asset and informant given how close he was to the inner circle of the Legion of Doom. Unfortunately, even that plan failed as the last remaining embers of the Legion finally died out and flickered into wisps of negligble smoke. 

Then there was that girl.

Yes. He followed that woman hoping to be her companion. Unfortunately for him, she went missing in action. He could no longer find her in prison. There was no mention of her or any evidence that she even existed. For all her know, her author  she simply disappeared. Now that he was given a new choice. He could leave all these useless thoughts and memories. It was time for him to move forward with his life.

It took a while but some kind soul finally bailed him out of his cell and into the world of freedom. The man said that he came in behalf of Gaia. Shethid had heard of Gaia. There was a large section in the cartel's information archive about this deity and her religion. Since the man and her goddess freed him from prison, Shethid might as well take part in their faith. Sort of.

Once he had freshened up, he joined the others who were sitting on the table. They had long since changed venue and he found it prudent to wear cleaner clothes. He was back to his faded yet clean garments from before he was imprisoned which consisted of his long coat, casual shity and pants. He was enjoying his first good meal in a very long time when the man started his inquiry.

On 4/13/2020 at 9:55 AM, amenities said:

“I think he knows why I’m here, maybe not, but do you know why I’m here?”

"Nope," Shethid Fakir replied. "Whatever your purpose is, my answer is yes. As my benefactor, I doubt I'd have much say with regards to your requests. It's either you or going back to prison. I prefer the option that gives me more freedom. Even a little bit of it can be spiritually healing."

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After everyone had changed and sat around the table, Michael could be seen observing them. The lower half of the Apostate’s face was his main focus at first, then Shethid’s attire.Looking with pure curiosity and nothing else, it was clear that he was trying to gather as much information as he could from their appearances. He still had yet to tell them his name, so until Shethid recognized him he would keep that identity to himself. 

"Whatever your purpose is, my answer is yes. As my benefactor, I doubt I'd have much say with regards to your requests. It's either you or going back to prison. I prefer the option that gives me more freedom. Even a little bit of it can be spiritually healing."

“You’re right,” said Michael, leaning on the wall behind his bench, evidently speaking from experience. “A fresh spot of freedom can be spiritually healing!”

The trio finished eating like that. Michael ate slowly, the pace of a man who’d had many good meals in recent days and weeks; as opposed to the freed prisoners accustomed to jail food. When he was finished, he placed his utensils parallel to one another on the clean plate. He finished chewing, wiped his mouth, and folded the napkin on his plate.

“I’ve already set you free though, so don’t let fear of being thrown back in there drive you out into the light. Gaia’s isn’t a religion based on fear,” said the young priest. “It’s based on love. If something must be stricken back to dust, it is out of love for that creature’s moral spirit which has suffered greatly at the hands of its evil kin. If that creature can be saved— if we can be saved before that, if the opportunity strikes, then that’s for the best, isn’t it?”

Truth be told, he was following the pull of something greater too. It compelled him to follow those footsteps, choose these specific people. This company was no coincidence, for purpose often falls upon those most equipped to carry it. 

The next day, they all left on horseback headed north.

Peacekeeper No. 5 had never been to the estates himself. He had, though, once sent an electronic emissary of sorts to contact Marigold that mapped his place out from the sky pretty well. The first thing Michael noticed, even from a distance, was that the barrier that once separated the Imperium from the outside world was no longer erect. Travelling further inward, a desolate stretch of upturned land led up to the buildings where the man undoubtedly still resided. Flitting through the fog in the distance were dark figures, disturbing the horses, but Commager knew they were going about other business unrelated to harming them.

At the extension of his palm, five crystals of different colors manifested at his fingertips and spanned into the air above the buildings.

“Find Marigold and lead him here, please,” he said to the crystals. Then, louder, “Unless he already knows we’re here!”

@Djinn&Juice

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It had been nearly two weeks since the fallout from The Mad God where he had lost nearly everything, and yet still maintained some tether to this world despite his incredible mortal loss. He had acclimated to his artificial existence better with each day...but the cravings of simple life were frustrating him to no end. The senses he had relied on his whole life no longer of use to an A.I. He would dream of what it would be like to feel the cool metal walls again, or feel the breeze against his skin. There was much he had taken for granted that basic humanity afforded, yet still he somehow felt human. The conscience that was tethered to his hardware still alive and well. He still had much work to do, and the crisis of lost senses was something he'd have to deal with in shifts. The Imperium in a terrible condition as the reactor' eruption destroyed many of the buildings that made up The Imperium itself with only The Command Center at the center remaining intact (and mostly) undamaged. The deal he had made with the deposed citizens of Hyde allowing them to rebuild there town on the perimeter of the laboratory, but so too much they put their rebuilding efforts into his own lab. A great deal of manual labor being shared between both Hydeling and Robot alike. The town's folk comprised of humanoids from the roguish tieflings to Wolf Giants which were rarely seen outside of Shawnee; All pitching in on this rebuilding project and creating a rhythm and tune Mike felt resembled Aspyn's very own efforts.
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Spoiler

 

The crystals had left to do their job, and though there was no response for Mike himself. The largest of wolf giants, nearly fifteen feet tall, marched toward them with caution and curiosity. Her blackened armor trimmed with frost runes mirroring her shawnee tribal upbringing. Her fur salt and peppered with white spirals that framed either side of her face. Her eyes a hallow frost blue as they looked over the troupe with crossed arms. "Strong you lot are, cautious that makes me. What is your business here?" She questioned, despite her broken speech she still managed quite well. Mike's answer falling short as his crystals wasted no time in their pursuit, a singular man walking behind them. The gargatuan wolf woman turning to see Marigold and immediately growing infuriated "You can't be out this far Baradeshi! You aren't well enou-" She tried to argue 

"I may never be well enough for this I'm afraid, but...Michael Commager is not a man you ignore" He replied with ease. Her frustrated gaze turning back onto the visitors before giving a snort and marched off, back to keeping watch. "Forgive Moshra, she is quite protective over me it seems" He said, giving a bow to the three before him. Mike realizing just how little he knew about the situation here as it seemed he was...artificial. Marigold had always look gaunt and haunted by unseen visions, but today he was dressed in a simple button down shirt with a harness wrapped around him. A large power chord attached to his shoulders that led all the way back to the imperium itself. His features looking uncanny, yet there were shifts in joints and mouth creases that revealed a robotic nature. He had expected The Terran Military to come for what he'd done...and he was thankful they had brought a friend to end it.
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"I must first start off what I am to consider my arrest with a thank you. Thank You, for allowing me the chance to see the fruits of my labor put to uses beyond my own selfishness and madness. Last Chance was the success we were hoping...but it imparted a kindness that I will carry forever" He said. His eyes, no matter the machinery, revealed an endless mote of sadness and regret. It felt as those isolated moments of good fortune were a drop in a bucket without a bottom. A melancholic smile gracing his lips and almost making him look beautiful in his grief. 
"Now you must be here for what Andromeda has undoubtedly revealed to the world. The evil I had committed can never be washed away no matter the amount of lives I saved. Ceyena gave me hope...but...Andromeda's betrayal only proves that I only have myself to blame. I'm afraid an arrest won't work as...I'm no longer a living being anymore. I managed to trick a deity vying for my body, and all it cost was well...that very body. I thought I was free, but with you here...I supposed freedom is but a myth. I am an incomplete A.I as my plan was a hasty one at best so I am unable to travel far out of the facility...hence the power source connected to me as we speak." Marigold looking toward the sky as all his emotions brimmed to the surface. An impossible tear streaking down his metallic face as a breeze he couldn't feel raced through his hair

"I would rather you pull my plug than some damnable god. Don't let my monstrous deeds ruin the hard work of these great people here. I hope you can still find it in your heart to allow them to live in peace...it's the least I could do...Perhaps I'll once again...see her...

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After the most peaceful nights sleep he'd had in months, 003 found himself on horseback once more. Commager seemed to feel no need to tell them where they were going, and the ex-prisoner felt no need to ask. Eventually they began to draw close to buildings of some kind, at which time he noticed something flitting about the fog. He couldn't quite make out what the shapes were, but the horses didn't like it. 

Michael spoke to someone, and a few moments later a giant wolf appeared before the party. Though it seemed to address all of them, it kept its gaze fixed upon 003, eyes never wavering. For his part, the prisoner never turned away, never gave any indication that he was intimidated by the creature. After all, he too was a predator, and therefore knew how to behave around other like himself.

Eventually the person they were apparently here to see made his way to speak with the Peacekeeper. The young man looked weak, and 003 could not understand what possible use he would be, but he kept watching.

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"That's a big one," Prisoner 069 whimpered as he backed away from the wolf. "There..there..doggy. You're a good boy. Just stay right there."

One can easily free a man from his physcial prison but not from the shackles of his mind. Once a coward, always a coward. He sidled towards Prisoner 003, ensuring that the other man stood between Shethid and that big wolf.

When Marigold came out, Shethid's eyes lit up. Now that is a man he recognizes. 

"Hello there!" Shethid started, his eyes darting back to the big wolf every so often. "So it is the kind Doctor Marigold. How's Laughingstock doing nowadays?"

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