Zania: Chapter 1

Some words from me

The story and the world has been brewing in my mind for so long that the story just flows. And now that I don’t work 9 to 5 anymore, I can actually go on a 4 day writing spree on a moment’s notice. I would love to have more time to do this so the story can get more polish and some gap in logic gets fixed, but the reality is that I didn’t really learn about the Blizzard writing contest until I installed and played Starcraft 2. Since I have also started programming for my game, it was the perfect incentive for me to get this done.

Never have I imagined the type of obstacle that I have to work through. The problem for me isn’t a lack of ideas or encountering writer’s block. It was trying to tie the chaos together which proved to be the real work. Something that I also need to work on in real life. The contest gave me the great idea to tie the Zania world and Starcraft world together since they are both Sci-Fi and space based, the beginning will follow along this universe for a while which is what most people are familiar with, but at some point, I will have to bring the story into the unique world that I created for it.

I did what I can for 5k words in 4 days and will come back to polish this more. So excuse me for some spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Char 08:00 31/01/3121

I signed up to be a hero, not to hide cowardly behind cover. This time it will be different! A five feet long piece of sharp bone pierced Zan’s heart the moment he ducks out of cover. As his life begin replaying before his eyes, he sighed one last sigh, aimed his Gauss rifle at his partner Ania and pulled the secret trigger.

How did it all start…

Korhal 08:00 13/03/3120

“The average life expectancy of a Space marine is 3 seconds, DO NOT move away from your cover.” The loudspeaker blasted its daily sermons at the nameless masses of the boot camp. That’s only enough time to aim, get yourself killed and then shoot one target. Zan used to consider the “Marine’s sermon” his holy bible for survival while in bootcamp, but after several deployments, he soon realizes that he had already signed away his life the moment he joined the Space Marines, how he’s managed to survive 5 drops is as much of a mystery to him as it is to everyone else. But before he can delve further into his predicament, he was interrupted by a new recruit.

“It’s an honor to meet you sir. Can I get you to sign my helmet?” Asked the recruit.

“You are the only person to have survived 5 drops, maybe the luck will rub off on me.”

“Don’t count on it.” Zan shot back as he brushed away the glow in the dark pen.

“If the odds are any indication, I need to keep all the luck I have.”

The only other person who can potentially be considered as lucky as him is the notorious raider Jim Raynor, but then again, they are not quite exactly on the same level playing field. Jim Raynor had his battle cruiser and pet Zerg/Human hybrid helping him out whenever he gets in a pinch. Zan is just an expandable Human who’s only potential back up is the drop ship that usually gets shot down in the middle of a “drop”.

From Zan’s obeservation so far, the drops are tactics employed by dominion commanders whereby a ship full of marines are “safely” flown to a landing zone, usually surrounded by aliens who then proceed to mow down the contents of the dropship, often before the dropship landed. The tactics are notorious in the Dominion confederate for their high casualties and small success rate. Yet the Terran commanders demands such orders to be executed with twitch like frequency especially so when a new commander is a recent graduate of the academy. Them commanders are just a bunch of school boys who cant wait to test out a new button.

“But sir! It’s just a signature” The recruit protested.


Before Zan can finishing his perfect retort, the alarm blared

“Alert! Zerg infestation detected at Taotaurus Prime. Personnels of squadron Beta, Roh, Sigma, Tau and Omega report to deployment. Alert…”

“You hear that newbie? That’s me and that is the end of our little game.” Zan said

“Us” The newbie replied.

“Us?” Zan raised an eyebrow.

“I am Delta.” The noob said.

“I see. Well, see you on the other side.” Zan finished. Another dead man walking.

Taotaurus 10:00 13/03/3120

It’s too quiet. The feeling of impending doom washed over Zan as the dropship successfully unloaded its belly full of Marines. It’s the first time he’s ever landed safely and safety makes him uncomfortable. Why would command send a drop to anywhere safe with the mission object being: proceed to rally point?

“Sir, I smell an ambush.” Zan whispered into his comm link.

“Quiet Sergent. You are drowning out the updates from our ghost scout.” Blurted the Lieutenant.

“Zan, switch to your private comm link. This lieutenant has a thorn up his arse. Besides, you prefer my company anyway” A voice whispered over Zan’s private comm link.

“Count Dracula! You are still alive. How’s your appetite!” Zan joked.

“No thanks to your heroic act, I am alive and in one piece. And it’s Alucard, stop calling me by a vampire’s name.” Alucard replied coldly.

“Well, I don’t think any normal human could survive a glaive through the stomach, what else should I call you if not a vampire? Besides losing weight is good for you.” Zan retorted.

“Why did I talk to you in the first place?” The com-link fell silent

Zan chuckled heartily and focused on marching along with the rest of the squad. No ambushes, no assaults and they are just a kilometre away from the rally point. Maybe, just maybe, a drop will have 100% survival rate for once in the tactic’s known history.


Korhal 10:00 13/03/3120

Back on Korhal, a Star Dust cafe barista noticed two figures in a dark corner, their faces illuminated only partially by the green glows of the holovis floating on top of their coffee table. People of all walks passes by the cafe every day, but usually interacts only with people of their own social circle. It’s rare to see someone with decorated military medals sitting idly with one who’s origin is obviously questionable. A dishevelled figure in rags who surprisingly didn’t stink up the whole place. But before the barista can delve further into the oddity, the cashier shouted the next order and forced her thoghts away from the curious pair.

“They are just guinea pigs for you aren’t they Causa?” Asked the military figure.

“One of them are… my liege” Whispered Causa.

“What about the rest?” The military figure asked, one eyebrow raised.

“Potentials, with less statistical significance.” Causa rised from his seat as he dropped the last sentence. Indicating that the conversation is over.

“Never any details, just like always. I wonder if I should continue putting faith in your little experiments or if I should just pull the funding like I do to people who displeases me.” Said the military figure, slightly irritated.

“That is your decision to make, the results should speak for themselves. A la prochaine.” Causa’s voice trailed off as his silhouette blended into the mass.

Taotaurus 10:20 13/03/3120

Shit. “ALUCARD! IF YOU ARE STILL ALIVE A FLASH WOULD BE NICE!” Zan ducked behind cover as he shouted into his comm link.

Sure enough, the flash bang went off as the rest of the survivors scrambled behind cover. I knew it, this mission smelled fishy the moment the briefing started. But how did everyone get killed so quickly and that sword. Who in the messed up verse uses a metal sword. Just a few minutes earlier, the lieutenant reported that their ghost spotted a lone figure amongst the remains of a pile of unidentifiable Zerg before the communication got cut off.

Subsequently, a forced march were ordered in order to save the ghost from whatever creature that mysteriously slaughtered the ambush that was lying in wait for them. Zan’s instinct was to sneak away and stay behind to hide like he always did, but he couldn’t stand the look of the noob who discovered what he was about to do. So he stuck with the squad through the forced march, albeit a little bit behind. At least Alucard has the good sense to faint being out of breath and fell behind along with him. After the last drop, Alucard’s first, he also developed a sense of impending doom that tells him when death is just lurking around the corner.

The lieutenant managed to get off a “Identify yours….” before he was beheaded. The rest of the squad that was part of the first encounter also got beheaded. The fallback group managed to fire off a few shot before most of its members either got dismembered or beheaded. That is when Zan and Alucard caught up to the squad and scrambled for cover.

“Did you see what it was? Was it a Hydra? An infested marine?” Zan whispered

“Not much, just that it is humanoid.” Alucard whispered back.

“Sir it is wearing a confederate uniform.” A voice interrupted over the comm line.

“Well, I’ll be damned, you are still alive noob.” Zan said.

“Alive and kicking sir, but not for long.” The noob managed a weak chuckle

“Where did it get you?” Alucard asked.

“More like where it didn’t… Looks like i needed your luck after all.” the voice trailed off.

“I see, play dead like a good boy. We’ll see what we could do.” Zan muted his team channel.

“Let’s make a run for it Alucard.” Zan said knowing that Alucard kept the private comm link with him open. Survivalists tends to stick together. Let the heroes be heroes and die.


“Alucard I mean it. Answer me.”

“Isn’t that a bit cowardly? What about the rest?” Alucard replied hesistating.

“They are as good as dead. I am not going to go head to head with a creature that is about to have bragging right to single handedly killing an entire marine squad.” Shouted Zan

“But the rest…” Said Alucard.

“Run god damn it or die like the rest.” Zan shouted as he picked himself up and ran towards the dropship.

The pair didn’t make it far before they both stopped short in their tracks. A foreboding mass of black smoke floats in the air between them and their salvation. The drop ship is floating at the rendezvous point, apparently scared of the mass of smoke, if machines can be scared. When all of a sudden, the smoke seems to take on a sticky feel to it. Is it coagulating? Before either Zan or Alucard can react, a humanoid shape formed within the smoke and Zan heard a familiar voice speak from inside his head.

“Running… From me? How heroic” Said the creature as her shape started taking an organic solidity. Parasitic creatures and scales cover different parts of the creature’s skin while Dominion issued light armor protects the rest. The creature is clearly a human/Zerg hybrid. It can only be Sarah Kerrigan. The only human to ever survive the hybridization attempt and the last of its kind now that the Overmind is dead, taking the knowledge with it.

God damn it. Of all the bitches I can meet, why do I have to meet the queen bitch herself? “Pleasure to meet you” Zan and Alucard both fired without thinking. Zan with his standard issue gauss rifle and Alucard with his flame thrower/grenade launcher. But the rounds just seems to get absorbed the moment it hit the creature’s body while the flames seems to polish her scales.

I am a dead man. Zan thought, before the Queen blinked out of existence only to materialize in fromt of Zan, slashing his gauss rifle in half with a downswing of her blade while at the same time sends him flying through the air with a lunge of her sword butt. All in one smooth motion. Before Zan hit the rock and black out, he heard a comm message through his headset. It must have been a broadcast as the message echoed through the private channel he kept open with Alucard.

“ANIA! STAND DOWN! ” Was all that Zan ccould make out. As his vision darkened, he saw Alucard dispatched in a similar fashion and the queen materialized once again in front of him, strolling slowly towards him as her dominance is obvious. Is that a dominion insignia on her armor? Ah… whatev~~ Zan passed out before he can finish the thought.

Military hospital, Korhal 08:020 14/03/3120

“Welcome back to hell.” A raspy male voice greeted Zan as his mind wanders all over the place.

“The drug will keep you slightly out of focus while you recover…” a soothing female voice added from somewhere closer.

“…. so we can do whatever we want with you.” added the raspy voice.

“….but it’s nothing you should be alarmed… Stop that!” The female voice added, irritation in her voice.

“Allright, out with you, the patient needs more rest.” The female voice continued.

After a moment of silence, Zan could hear footsteps as people begin to gather and exit the room. He could barely make out sounds from 3 parts of room, but he couldn’t distinguish just how many people there are. One of them stopped at the door and dropped an advice before stepping out.

“Stay alive…” The raspy voice said. Then whispered hesistantly “…and take care of Ania for me.”

Military rehabilitation centre, Korhal 10:00 01/05/3120

It took longer than Zan thought to recover from the previous drop, but several internal bleeding and a concussion kept him out of action, he find himself starting to like the relative peace of a hospital, it sure as hell beats having your life flash in front of you every other day of the week. For now, he gets to sit in a wheel chair being pushed around by a pleasant nurse who keeps him company in more than one way. They say that you keep some of your previous life’s personalities after re-socialization, it’s only fitting that the Dominion staff their ranks and hospitals with criminals and whores, the nurse’s willingness to the suggestions, might be a carry over of some un-wiped memory, or deliberately kept for her role in the food chain.

For the moment Zan is content at whatever he can get, because he knew that he escaped relatively unscathed unlike some of his fellow squad mates that went along with him. Out of all the marines in Delta squadron, three survived this drop: Zan, Alucard and the newbie. Apparently playing dead seems to work very well against against the Queen… after you got your arms cut off that is. Alucard didn’t fare as well, the poor bastard got his heart pierced and is now living with an artificial heart.

“Ahem” a uniformed officer interrupted Zan’s reverie. “I see that you are well and…. alive” said the officer with a smirk on his face, eyes darting back and fourth between Zan and the nurse. Zan snapped out of his trance and noticed that the nurse is sitting on a bench in front of him and he had been staring at her lovely breasts during his trip to never never land. He must have zoned out during one of their routine conversations about the weather and subsequently his eyes rested on the biggest and most pleasant thing to relax. She’s blushing, for being caught letting me stare?

“That’s a curse around this part of the world?” Questioned Zan

“I am here to let you know that you are to report to command at fourteen hundred hours for briefing.” Said the uniform, unfazed by the challenge in Zan’s voice.

“Very well, you are dismissed.” Replied Zan, his eyes back to the lovely thing in front of him.

That definitely got to the uniform as the look of anger clearly showed up on his face. A captain this time. And he’s not fighting back my taunts.

Fleet command, Korhal 14:00 01/05/3120

“Sargent, we at the military command have noticed your exceptional service records during the recent engagements. Therefore we would like to offer you a permission. We are a little bit understaffed with people of your talents and frankly, after the brood war, we need all the help we can get…”

Zan zoned out as the general continued on with the military platitudes. There are too many thoughts going on all at the same time in his head for him to pay attention to the normal routine of military praise. It’s something that they use to get you to accept a tough mission. Soften you up like artillery shells before they call in the snipers to hit you in the one place you are not properly shielded. What are they trying to get me to agree to. It’s not like I can be worst off than I already am.

 “… that is why we are now reassigning you to a specialist unit with unlimited funds for weaponry and technology. You will have no rank and take orders directly from one person and one person only. If anyone gives you trouble, you have permission to kill and destroy whatever you deem necessary to achieve the objective. Do understand that you will no longer exist in our records from now on so members of the Dominion will retaliate when fired upon. It is therefore, not a carte blanche in killing everyone in sight. Understood?” Asked the general.

 “Understood, but it doesn’t mean that I am taking this offer. All these new power is nice, but you still haven’t mentioned what I will be doing. From the look of what you are laying out for me. It’s a heck of a job and you better have a good reason why I’d take this offer.” Zan answered.

“You’ll be backing up Ania.” Said a raspy voice from a shadowy corner of the room.

 Was he there the whole time? How did I not notice him? Determined to show no weaknesses, Zan asked: “Who’s Ania… more importantly, who are you?”

 “Ahhh Causa, glad you could join us. Well Sargent, this is the person I was talking about. He will be your commander from now on. Causa, I leave the hard part to you then.” The general said uncomfortably and hurried off while he dropped the last sentence. He almost seems to be afraid of the shadowy figure in the way he scurried off. Funny, he doesn’t seem that scary to me. I bet I could…

“…Take me one on one without getting hurt?” Causa finished Zan’s thought for him.

How’d…? God damn telepaths I didn’t know they exist.

“They don’t exist.” Causa answered the question in Zan’s head.

“Then what are you?” Zan blurted out the question in frustration. Obviously unappreciative of the invasion of privacy.

“That is for another time. Now, if you could look at the screen, I’ll introduce you to your partner.” Causa said diverting the attention back to the task on hand.

What Zan saw, wasn’t something he thought he’d see again. In a concrete room filled with rubbles, the agitated creature that sent Zan to the hospital can be seen wandering back and fourth. Throwing the occasional punch at the wall, taking a chunk of wall out with each strike.

“You want me to work with THAT? Wait… hold on. The queen of blades is on our side?” Zan asked. Incredulous.

“Although they share similarities in genealogy, I can assure you that Ania is not the Queen of blades. She’s the second Zerg/Human hybrid in the world, so it’s only natural that people cannot distinguish individuals of the specie.” Causa paused a moment for breath before continuing. “Your objective from now on will be to backup Anya…”

“I am not sure if you’ve followed her exploit recently, but I think she’s suffering from bouts of killing rage. Why does such a thing need any backup?” Zan shouted, realizing that he’d just been sentenced to death by decapitation.

“… Of course, that’s the official story.” Causa continued ignoring Zan’s interruption. “In reality, your mission is to kill Anya.”

“Excuse me?” Asked Zan.

“Anya is a successful experiment in gene splicing. The technology as well as her origin cannot fall into the hands of anybody else.” Continue Causa. “That is where you come in.”

“What makes you think I can kill that thing. Or to survive any of her killing rampage.” Zan asked.

“Do you believe in chances Zan? Most people do, the more logical amongst us don’t, but truth remains that there are some who walks amongst us who are nexus for luck who seems to tip the balance of chances wherever they go. People who wins the lottery more time than the years than they’ve been alive. People who seems to be able to survive any accidents that they get into, no matter how fatal. People who are still alive today even though they were thrown into the most dangerous of situations. Know anyone like that Zan?” Causa asked with a bemused smirk.

“Everyone’s got 50/50 chance at something, I’ve just been lucky till now.” Zan replied

“That is true, if you think in terms of a coin flip. Now think of your chance of surviving a gunshot as a coin flip and flip it once. You get 50/50 percent chance of surviving that. You with me so far? Now, what if you get to flip the coins as many time as you can. Can you say for certain that you will at least flip a head once. Yes… I see that you’ve begun to understand my point. In reality, for this to be workable, an entity needs to be able to suspend the continuation of current events until the chance turns out to be favourable. You, friend, are that entity.”

“Say if I am that entity, that means I am very important. You must have a heck of a incentive to convince me to sign up for that suicide mission. What makes you think I will agree to this reassignment. You got nothing on me.” Zan asked.

“We will give you your memory back from before the resoc when you killed Ania.” Causa replied.

“Say that I join, what makes you think I can kill Ania, actually what makes you think I won’t try to kill her right away if I know the way?” Zan asked.

“To kill Ania, you have to first understand her physiology. As you already know, Zerg genes tends to overtake the host through mutation and adaptation. Ania’s human genes are kept alive by an army of nano machines that constantly maintains the balance at a 60/40 mix. Mostly to keep her humanity in check. If that mixture falls below 20%, then her human organs would begin to fail eventually killing her. That is the key to killing Ania.”

“Good, where’s the nano bot, I’ll go kill her right now for you.” Zan said jokingly.

“Ah, that’s the tricky part. You see, Ania’s abilities are provided by the nanobots in her body, while the defensive properties are drawn from Zerg cells. To kill her, you will have to wait for her to weaken enough for our kill vehicle to work. Otherwise, the nanobots will just regenerate themselves. That is where you come in…”

“That was a joke” Zan interrupted, a little surprised.

“Right.” Causa continued as if nothing happened. “Sooner or later, Ania will have to fight something strong enough to deplete all of her energy. When she gets in a fight where she needs to do that she risk being captured and our secrets revealed. I want you to shoot her with this speical HEV round that will penetrate her scales and set off an emp wave as well as injecting a swarm of nanobots that are designed to kill her own nanobots.”

Char 07:00 31/01/3121

The dull cold cave resembled the devil’s throat, frozen. If hell were to freeze over eventually, this is what it will like: a fresh, metallic scent permeated the air while everything stood still. Zan dashed behind a rock the moment he caught a glimpse of Ania entangled in a blade fight with Ania. He wasn’t going to risk his life to fulfil his curiosity in order to see what can actually stop the queen in her carefree sword slashing frenzy. Hiding behind rocks have saved him numerous times in the past so, no point taking another chance, especially so on occasions when Ania feel the need to feed on brains to drive home her savagery. This particular stunt of her landed her the nick name of “Zombie Queen” by the survivors of an encounter with her.

With the survival rate of 1% , I wonder why they bother attach medics to the squad.

Gunfire interrupted Zan’s muse, a sign that the rest of the squad has caught up with Ania. What’s left of the squad anyway.

 “What happened to the rest of you?” Zan shouted over the chaos.

 “Flash banged!” Alucard shouted back between carefully aimed rifle shots.

 “Flash banged?” Zan asked incredulously.

 “Jimmy threw a flash bang at some imaginary monster and blinded the rest of the squad.”

A deep howl interrupted the conversation as the squad coordinated their shots for a concentrated attack at the monster. Feeling the victory is at hand, they moved closer to where Ania is dueling with the monster to get better aim at the unknown enemy. That’s when Zan grabbed Alucard before he can follow and asked the million dollars question:

 “How did a flash bang manage to kill half of the squad?” Zan asked curiously.

Apparently, it didn’t. The cave bats didn’t like the bright light and started flapping around. Some of the blinded marines started shooting randomly thinking they were being attacked by mutalisks.

After the briefing, Alucard motioned to advance, but Zan stopped him, shook his head and signalled for him to listen. The cave has suddenly fell silent compared whereas it was a constant buzz of machine gun fire before. Something isn’t right, even if all the squad members dead, there’s always Ania’s cussing and swearing. Slowly, Zan peeked around the edge of his rock…

Zan sighed, a sigh of relief after seeing the zombie queen dissecting the monster’s body with a child’s curiosity on her face.

 “Is everything all right?” Zan tested cautiously.

 “Yes yes, you can come out from your hiding now.” She replied non chalantly.

“Where is everyone else that was with you?” Alucard’s turn to be curious now.

“Dead, I killed them.” Another hasty reply while she’s attracted at the task in front of her.

“God damn it Zombie, what is it this time? You don’t like the way they are picking their teeth? Or did one of them get a boner watching you fight again? I remember requesting people who are not necrophiliacs.” Zan shouted in frustration, all the deaths getting to him.

With a sour look, Ania looked at Zan intently, pausing for effect to remind Zan that she can kill anyone anytime. Once she saw the realization in the pair’s eyes, she replied in a matter of fact way “The noobs didn’t know how to aim and shot my ass.”

Incredulous, Zan stood motionless for a while, not knowing whether to laugh or be scared shitless by this abomination in front of him. Despite her savagery, her thought pattern is still equivalent to that of a newborn, after all, she’s only been alive for a total of 3 years. Zan’s not scared at the destruction and pain that Ania can cause with her bare hand but rather, the random reasons that causes her to kill. Somewhere somehow during her transformation, her values have totally changed beyond comprehension. Getting shot in the butt makes for a great tale over beer, but Zan decided that it is better to be scared than dead because of an inappropriate comment.

“It’s not a complete waste to kill them. They make great zombies” said Ania after seeing Zan’s facial expression change.

Ania was her name before the transformation. Everyone in the special unit started calling her the “Zombie Queen” after numerous footage from the cleanup crews got into circulation.

Skipping down the boogeyman’s throat? You can leave your worries behind because you are fucked through and through.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, the annoying song clicked into place like an old record stuck on a track foreshadowing of things to come. As usual, Ania stalked back and forth between the formation, seemingly unaware of the violence to come while the rest tiptoed with their baby hairs standing straight in fear for the hand that’s going to reach out from the shadows and tear their balls off.

They have reason to be afraid. So far, the survival rate of Ania’s team has always been 1%. Withand that 1% being Zan… most of the time. Zan’s mind wandered briefly to that possibility before quickly refocusing down the barrel of his semi automatic shotgun. A screech can be heard from everywhere while the rushing thump of something heavy gets closer towards them. Everyone took cover and squinted to get a better look.

Ania with only a slight delay to pat her shotgun, she drew her claymore from her belt and charged recklessly into the all consuming shadows. Yelling and screaming profanity all along. Loud and cocky as always Zan thought, then followed suit. Like the episodes he’s been through so many times, the zombie queen charged and he follows.

Several ultralisks lie dead on the ground while the Zombie queen locked swords with a being covered with light. It has Protoss facial features with an exoskeleton? With beams of lights forming psy blades out of different parts of its body. The create seems to be able to form psy-blades at will and anywhere it needs.

Ania ducked forward in between the creature’s legs and lunge upward along with her sword, then twirled around with the momentum to do a mid air whirlwind slash, but each attack was deflected by a perfectly positioned psy blade. Sparks flew and more clashes exchanged. It seems odd to Zan that Ania is actually being pushed back. Something more powerful than the queen bitch. Maybe this is the big one.

 Before Zan could realize what’s going on, a big explosion went off at the feet of the light being followed by a big roar. Ania’s smirk shows that it was all part of her convoluted plan. Or is she actually happy. A staring match ensued and the cave fell silent, that’s when Zan realized that the whole squad was standing transfixed at the pair and out of cover.

“Take position you dumb asses! Do you want to die?” Screamed Zan.

Almost as if the creature read Zan’s mind, it roared and several Hydralisks popped up from their hole in the ground and proceeded to pin anyone who’s not already in cover to the ground with their groove spines. In times like this, Zan’s obligation drives him to detach himself from the fight and switch on the monitor cam that was built into Ania’s armor. The sword fight has resumed and everyone is fought everyone else in a flurry of chaos.

Zan noticed some strange marking that began to form on Ania’s blade. It appears to grow brighter in intensity each time the blade touches the creature’s psy blade. But before he can inform Ania of his observation, she crouched into one of her defensive stances with the sword acting as a shield covering the top of her figure. It’s a stance that she uses before she uses her internal energy to vibrate her blade with a special nanometer wave, effectively turning her blade into a nano cutter that can cut at a molecular level.

“Ania! NO!”. Shouted Zan, but it was too late. She had already charged towards the creature. As sword touched psy blade, a bright flash the strength of the sun blinded everyone and Ania’s sword shattered into thousands of tiny pieces. Ania react quickly and spun her body using a half moon slash in mid air to evade the tip of the psy blade, , but she couldn’t evade all of it as is evident by the unnatural way she landed with both her hands and feet. Zan tried to locate the part of her body for damage in the status display, but events were happening too fast for him to look away from the armor cam.

Ania didn’t wait for the momentum to come to a complete stop before back flipping once to take off her armor in mid air. The armor turned into a big gun barrel and loaded the blade handle into it. She then landed in a sitting position with her feet propping up the gun barrel, aiming it at the light being. Her whole body gave off an eerie shine, and light begin to build up at the gun. So that’s why the sword handle was shaped like a triangle, with enough electricity it can be fired as a rail gun. Sure enough a powerful boom resonated around the cave within seconds Ania landed.

All of the psy blades on the light being shattered as it used them to blcok the shot, but it did not expect what follows later. Ania launched herself at the focal point of the impact and finally got into reach of the light being. It was forced to use its bare hands to stop Ania’s advance. The pair locked hands into a final match of strength.

“Zan, if you are done stalking your lover there, mind helping the squad out at getting out of this mess?” Alucard said with a quiet urgency in his voice. Everyone’s pinned down, there’s simply too many of them out there.

“Why do you care if we die Alucard?” Zan threw back, irritated.

“That’d be inconvenient.” Said Alucard simply.

“Sorry… I shouldn’t have said that. You’ll have to do this without my participation this time. It’s getting heated at her end” Zan gave in.

“Yeah I know, your big responsibilities, always thinking about your arse.” Replied Alucard

Zan kept quiet, not jumping for come backs this time, it’s not like he can divulge his true mission to Alucard. Knowing his sense of righteousness, he’d definitely interfere. Does Ania deserve to be killed? Is a 4 year old kid with an extremely big gun capable of murderous intent? Or are they just curious at what happens when they pull the trigger?

 A yelp of pain drew Zan’s attention back to the armor cam, Ania is losing the battle of strength and is slowly being crushed by the immense weight of the light being her hand showing a similar glowing pattern before her sword shattered. A corruption? That’s when Zan realized that this is the moment of truth that he was meant for. That Ania is actually going to lose this one and that he will actually have to kill her.

Despite her savagery and mercilessness, a strange bond have formed between the pair. Each mission they went on together, Ania would make an exception of keeping Zan alive, while Zan slowly started to admire Ania’s swordsmanship and her often innocent questions that caught him off guard. Zan’s just can’t make sense of a killing machine’s innocence.

The word is better off without a killing machine. Causa’s right, any more copies of Ania would spell disaster to the world. No matter who rules. I signed up to be a hero, not to hide cowardly behind cover. This time it will be different!

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