The police forces were pointing their guns at the entrance of a house, in their eyes, there was only pure terror.
A few hours ago, a call of a very scared neighbor stated that there was a murder going on in her neighbors' house, a police car was sent to investigate the house but the police officers never reported back.
More units were sent and the result was the same, the police department chose the send the special forces to break-in with the authorization of opening fire against the murder.
They all died.
The last radio communication was made from the captain of the squad shouting things of a horned demon and to get the Valkyries...then he died like all the others.
Now the police forces were keeping the perimeter in check waiting for the Valkyries of Schicksal.
Every second of the wait was torture for the police officers, they feared that whatever was inside would come out and kill them all.
Fortunately for them, it didn't take a lot of time for the Schicksal aircraft to arrive.
A pair of A-rank Valkyries along with an S-rank one got off the vehicle and walked to the police commissar.
"You're finally here!" the man said relieved "I'm the commissar Ugo Biondi" he said offering a handshake
"Mila Weber" The S-rank Valkyrie replied shaking his hand "These are Emma Klein and Emilia Barbarigo. The command didn't detect any honkai energy coming from this area, why have you called us?"
The commissar expression turned grim "We sent our best men inside and they were all killed, I personally knew the captain and the last thing he said was to call Schicksal, he was a good man and I trusted him, he had a reason to say those things."
Mia gave him a nod and had to admit that the situation was pretty weird and usual. Suddenly a communication from HQ arrived, it was from the overseer himself, Otto Apocalypse.
"I'm quite interested in this incident, capture whoever you'll find inside" he ordered.
"Roger that" Mia replied nodding as Otto closed the communication.
The three Valkyries grabbed their weapons and walked inside the house, what they saw deeply disturbed them.
Every inch of the walls was covered in blood, the floor was covered with the mutilated corpses of police officers that first entered the building, their guts, internal organs and so on were spread across the room.
They immediately understood that this wasn't the work of a human.
The three women navigated the house until a muffled cry reached their ears, they were quick to find the source.
A little girl with pink hair was under one of the corpses, she was crying and covered in blood.
Mia analyzed the girl and didn't sense any type of Honkai Energy coming from her, she guessed that the police officers were attacked while rescuing the little girl.
Mia gestured the girl with her head to her companions. Emma and Emilia immediately went to help the little girl while Mia covered them from behind.
They removed the body from on top of her and carefully helped her getting up.
"It's okay, we are Valkyries, everything will be fine" Emma said with a gentle tone.
"Did you see the one who did all of this?" Emilia asked before noticing something "Horns?"
A chill run down Mia's spine as she spun around and aimed her handguns to the little girl, she widened her eyes when she saw the decapitated bodies of Emma and Emilia falling to the ground and their heads floating in front of the little girl.
With a warcry, she squeezed the triggers of her high caliber weapons. The first shot missed but the second hit the girl in one of the horns causing her to drop to the ground unconscious.
Mia felt a sharp pain coming from her left arm and when she looked at it she remained shocked as she saw her arm on the ground lifeless.
Mia immediately placed her right hand on the spot where her arm used to be linked to the main body in order to try to stop her blood from pouring out. She then launched an SOS signal.
The entire area around the house of the incident had been turned into a restricted area, Schicksal's troops and Mechs were keeping anyone from entering. Otto was also there, his presence actually surprised a lot of people but he didn't care, he was standing in front of the unconscious little girl who killed more than 10 police officers, 2 A-rank Valkyries and badly injured an S-rank Valkyrie.
Mia walked towards him, her wound was already treated and the doctor reassured her that they will be able to reattach her arm.
"What do you see, miss Weber?" Otto asked still looking at the little girl.
"A monster" Mia replied with a tone full of hatred.
"Wrong" Otto replied touching the girl's cheek "The only thing I see it's the next strongest valkyrie" he said before looking at a pair of mechs "Send her at the base for testing" he ordered.
"what? That thing is too dangerous to be left alive!" the valkyrie replied
Otto sighed and looked at Mia "I'm sorry..."
Several years later...
Subject A-311 was standing in the middle of an empty room, her face was covered by a creepy-looking helmet, she was kept from moving by a reinforced straight jacket. Otto was standing 12 meters away from her with a Desert Eagle in his hand.
"Soon, you'll be released from your murderous instincts, my Ana" Otto said as he loaded a bullet inside the gun "But first we need to be sure that you are strong enough to survive the operation" he added as he aimed the gun at 311's head "This is your final test, don't disappoint me" he said as he fired the weapon in his hand.
To his immense delight, the cal. 50 bullet was stopped 6 meters away from him. The man dropped the gun and started clapping
"You are ready" he said nodding to himself before walking out of the room.
He looked at the scientists that had been taking notes of the progress of 311. Otto remembered all the years of torture the subject went through, she was too dangerous and so she was always being kept in a state of extreme pain so that she couldn't use her vectors, as the science department calls them. These vectors were like invisible hands that depending on the vibration frequency they are in can interact with physical objects, 311 had the bad habit of trying to kill everyone with them and try to escape. The only few moments where she was not in pain is when they test her. During these years, 311 has been cut, shot, pierced countless times but now, she's capable of blocking even high caliber weapons. The blonde man also remembered how everyone at first thought that she was an Herrscher but they were dead wrong, 311 is a natural living being or perhaps the evolution of mankind. He promised himself that he would turn 311 into the perfect...weapon against the Honkai. During the experiments, the man understood that calling 311 a Valkyrie is something not possible since that title is for humans who chose to fight against the honkai but this wasn't the case because 311 wasn't human, she was something different she was a Diclonius, as he called her race. They had more internal organs which cause the body to grow bigger overtime, Otto guessed that once reached adulthood they would be bigger than any normal human, have natural night vision and innate strength.
The only thing keeping him from achieving his objective was the killer instincts inside her DNA, 311 is a murderer by nature. Otto will use one of the most ancient relics of Schicksal, called the Nanosuit, an armor that bonds with the wearer's DNA, in order to enhance his capabilities and strength, its nanomachines are able to modify the DNA itself and this is why Otto was going to use it on 311. Once the killer instincts will be rewritten by the nanomachines, 311 will become a Predator and serve Schicksal.
"prepare her for the operation" He ordered getting several nods from the scientists.
After drugging 311 in order to prepare her without being killed by her vectors, the Schicksal scientists placed her inside the surgery where several machines were already ready to proceed.
Otto was looking at the whole thing from the gallery above, he watched as the machines started applying the Nanosuit on 311's body, the girl immediately woke up and screamed in pain as the machines kept filling her body with nanomachines. As the operation progressed the screams and grows got weaker and weaker until 311 became silent, her eyes were red and tears were falling from their sides.
Otto grabbed his tablet and prepared for the last procedure of the operation, the one which killed every Valkyrie so far and made the nanosuit useless.
The removal of safeties.
Schicksal's tech department noticed several safeties in the nanomachines that kept them stable. Unfortunately, those restraints would not allow the repelling of 311's instincts so Otto came to the conclusion of removing them.
With a single pressure on his tablet, he disabled the safeties. 311 started having several convulsions before stopping.
All her vital signatures disappeared.
Otto remained still before he saw it.
311's eyes were looking all around herself, she slowly rose up from the small bed she was in and looked directly at Otto
"Hello?" She asked with a rather shy tone.
Otto smiled as he made his way to the surgery. He placed himself 12 meters away from 311 and smiled
"How are you feeling?" He asked gently
311 looked at her arms "I'm fine I guess?" she said tilting her head
"Do you know where you are? Or What's your name?" Otto asked
311 shook her head
'But she knows how to speak, probably thanks to the suit' Otto thought as he approached 311 aware of the risk he was in.
The man placed himself in front of 311 and grabbed her hands while smiling "You, my dear, are the future of mankind, your name is Anastasia Apocalypse. I'm Otto but you can call me grandpa" he said with a smile and a gentle tone "Come, I'll take you to your sister"
Anastasia slowly nodded while trying to recollect her memories as she followed her grandpa "Uhm..."
"What is it?" Otto asked as he grabbed some clothes and led her outside the surgery and towards the dorm.
Anastasia noticed how certain scientists paled when she pass past them and even if she tried her best she just couldn't figure out why. "Why is everyone looking at me like that?"
Otto checked his surroundings causing the scientists to return to their tasks "You see, before taking you in, you killed an emperor-class hoinkai which had killed 3 experienced valkyries, unfortunately, your family was killed by it and you got badly injured"
The girl felt bad for having forgotten about her parents and she felt like she should feel sad for their death but the fact that she couldn't even remember their faces kept her from feeling too bad then something that Otto said caught her interest and before she could process the information her mouth moved "Wait...I killed an Emperor-class Honkai?" Anastasia asked raised an eyebrow.
The question caused the overseer to stop his tracks "You remember what an Honkai is?"
Anastasia blinked a few times before bringing her hand to her chin "I don't remember learning about them...but I...just know it..."
Otto remained silent for a few moments "I see...your amnesia probably didn't wipe out all of your memories, that's good! It means that soon you'll be able to remember"
Anastasia smiled, relieved by the fact that her memory loss wasn't permanent "That's good to hear"
Otto nodded and only stopped walking when he reached a certain door "Now, before entering I have a few things to tell you. Since your parents died, I decided to adopt you. Behind this door there will be your apartment which you will share with your big sister from now on, her name is Theresa Apocalypse, she has a bit of a hot temper but I'm sure you two will get along just fine"
"One last thing, due to the nature of your wounds we had to...change your body. Even as we speak, you are wearing a special armor, unfortunately, it can't be removed once put on, you can't see it because the armor is connected to your nervous system which gives the armor the image you have of yourself and so the armor adapts in order to follow your mind's instructions" Otto said calmly
Anastasia looked at her hands feeling a bit uncomfortable with this new knowledge, she looked at her limbs as if searching for the armor Otto was talking about...suddenly to her surprise, her hands changed into something similar to armored gloves. She looked at Otto with a panicked expression.
The man simply put his hands above hers "It's okay, if you don't want to see it just wish it" he said with a calm and soothing voice
Anastasia closed her eyes and did just that when she opened her eyes, the armored gloves where no longer there.
"I wish there was another way to save you but you were almost reduced to shreds. I understand if you hate me now" Otto said looking away from her
Anastasia shook her head and wrapped her arms around the man "No...you went on extreme lengths to save a complete stranger...if it wasn't for you I would be dead...I will never be able to repay you"
Otto simply hugged her back...unknown to Anastasia, he had a smile on his face, the same smile someone would have after winning the lottery. He did it, he got himself who could easily be, an Herrscher Killer and that person now sees him as her savior, she will do anything to pay her debt.
The man broke the hug and looked at the door "come on, let's meet your big sis, shall we?" he said as Anastasia nodded.
Otto opened the door surprising a very naked Theresa who just got out of the shower, the three of them looked at each other for a few seconds
"Ops" Otto said before...
"KYAAAAAH!" Theresa shouted as she started throwing things at Otto "Nobody taught you to knock!?"
Otto covered his face with his arms ready to be hit by the objects thrown by Theresa...to his surprise, they never hit him.
Two of the objects were in Anastasia's hands and the others were floating in air caught by Anastasia's vectors. To Otto's horror, there was also a javelin between those objects.
"Are you mad Theresa?! You could have killed me!" he said as he crossed his arms
"That's what you get for being a pervert" Theresa whispered before spacing out when she saw the objects in mid-air "Woah..." she uttered before a towel flew out of the bathroom and covered her little body "Eh?"
Anastasia sighed "You could have at least cover your eyes, grandpa" she said casually
"Ana?" Otto said pointing at the flying objects
Anastasia looked at him and then to the objects "Oh sorry" she said as she placed the objects back to the ground with her vectors
"How did you do that?" Theresa whispered causing Anastasia to realize that what she just did was not normal
"I...I don't know? I just did it?" Anastasia replied panicking a little since she felt under the spotlight
Otto gave her a friendly nudge "Now we know how you killed that Emperor-Class Honkai!"
"WAIT WHAT?" Theresa said shocked "You killed an Emperor-Class?!"
"Seems like it" Anastasia said scratching the back of her head
Theresa looked at Otto, who just nodded "Well damn" she said surprised before looking at Anastasia again "Anyway, I'm Theresa Apocalypse, nice to meet you"
"Likewise" Anastasia replied with a small nod "I'm Anastasia Apocalypse"
Theresa looked at Otto once again waiting for answers from the man
"From now on, Anastasia will be your little sister, take care fo her!" Otto said before walking out the room and closing the door behind him.
Both of Anastasia and Theresa were shocked by the man, the little woman quickly ran outside still covered only by a towel, unfortunately of the blonde-haired man there were no traces.
Theresa sighed as she returned inside the apartment and looked at Anastasia, who was awkwardly standing like a friend that just witnessed a fight between his best friend and his mother. The white-haired girl sighed before smiling "Come, I'll show you where you'll sleep"
With a nod, Anastasia started following Theresa. The valkyrie had a feeling that Otto was going to give her a roommate especially since that apartment was made for two people, in all honesty, Theresa was hoping that Cecilia was coming to live with her, she certainly didn't expect to get a sister.
Theresa and Anastasia entered the second bedroom. In it, there was a bed, a desk with a computer, the door that led to the bathroom, a wardrobe and a TV.
Anastasia analyzed the room with her eyes, it looked a bit plain but she will make sure to make it more lively, maybe with some objects she could buy.
"If you need anything just tell me okay?" Theresa said with a smirk before leaving the room.
Anastasia silently walked to the bed and sat on it. Her mind was thinking of the situation she was in, she couldn't remember anything of her past but her grandpa told her that she was able to defeat an Emperor Class Honkai and that she's the future of mankind...he probably wants her to fight the honkai once again.
Anastasia turned her hand into a fist
'I can't let him down' she thought. Otto did so much for her, she needs to repay her debt.
She looked at the clock and noticed that she spent hours immersed in her thoughts and now it was getting pretty late, though her stomach was grumbling quite a bit. She got up and walked out of the room and into the kitchen. She noticed how Theresa wasn't in the living room nor in her bedroom.
With the help of her vectors, she started cooking before she could even notice she had made some pasta for two. She watched the dish like it was something alien to her and yet she felt a wave of nostalgia and sadness soon followed by a sharp pain from the right side of her head. The girl fell on knees and placed her hands on the origin of her pain. After a few moments, the pain was gone as if it was never there.
Anastasia got up again and looked at the pasta...she might have exaggerated since it was enough for at least 3 people.
She heard the door in the living room open, Anastasia quickly went to greet Theresa but to her surprise, her sister wasn't alone. There was a woman with her, she had long white hair and sky blue eyes, she almost looked like a doll.
"Oh! there you are Ana!" Theresa said with a smile "This is a friend of mine, Cecilia"
Anastasia nodded and bowed her head a little "Hello, I'm Anastasia Apocalypse"
"Cecilia Schariac" Cecilia replied with a smile
Theresa sniffed the hair "is...is this...?"
"Oh yeah, I cooked some pasta, I hope you don't mind" Anastasia replied scratching the back of her head
"I sure don't!" Theresa said smiling "I'm an okay chef but just from the smell I can tell it's going to be delicious"
The pink-haired girl just nodded and walked back inside the kitchen, without putting too much thought in it, she started to set the table with her vectors.
"See, that's what I meant with doing weird stuff" Theresa whispered as Cecilia nodded
The two white-haired girls sat down at the table while Anastasia served them their pasta. Both of them were surprised when they found themselves looking at a black-colored pasta.
Theresa looked at Cecilia with the expression that said 'Is this even edible?'
Anastasia was happily eating at this point.
Cecilia simply but the food in her mouth and hummed happily at the taste of the dish, to Theresa's shock.
"Are you Venetian, Anastasia? I once had a mission there and I remember eating this type of pasta back then, if was a specialty of the place if I remember correctly" she asked causing the pink-haired girl to stop eating and clean her mouth with a napkin
"I don't know? Sorry...I suffer of memory loss" Anastasia said with a nervous chuckle
"Oh my, what happened?" the woman asked
"She fought an emperor class honkai and won" Theresa stepped in calmly "The Overseer told me that the honkai reduced her pretty bad"
"That's quite an achievement...no valkyries were dispatched?" Cecilia asked
"Yes, you knew them it was Mila Weber, Emma Klein, and Emma Barbarigo" Theresa said as Cecilia stopped any movements and look at Theresa waiting for an explanation.
Theresa just shrugged and her shook her head.
"Am I, missing something?" Anastasia said tilting her head
"No no dear" Cecilia replied shaking her head "It's just that I knew those three and I was surprised to hear that you were the one to avenge them"
The dinner kept going silently and when it was over Cecilia just left leaving the two sisters alone. Since it was late they both went to bed but Anastasia's sleep wasn't a calm one.
The images of battles, of monsters and apocalyptic landscapes, filled her dreams. Some times it was an island and other times it was New York. She could understand a few words between the chaos of images.
Prophet, CEPH, HONKAI, Alpha Ceph, C.E.L.L, Claire, Psycho, Archangel
Those words repeated themselves in her mind in rapid succession but suddenly all the chaos disappeared and instead, Anastasia found herself in a garden full of flowers with a massive tower in the middle of it.
A hooded figure appeared in front of her, she couldn't see his or her face, he or she pointed towards the sky and the image of New York appeared but this time, it was showing Grand Central Terminal.
The hooded figure's lips moved and like a whisper in the wind the voice reached Anastasia's ears
Everything turned black and Anastasia woke up from her dreams, she slowly turned her head to see the clock on the wall and noticed that it was 9 AM. She got up, had a shower and walked out of the room.
To her surprise, there was Otto inside the living room alone. Theresa was still inside her room.
"Did you sleep well?" Otto asked with a smile as he offered her some sweets he got on the way to the apartment.
Anastasia nodded "Yeah..." she said as she graciously accepted the sweets "Grandpa..."
"What is it, dear?" Otto asked eager to know Anastasia's question.
"What is...a Ceph?" she asked causing the blonde man to frown as he put his hand on his chin
"Never heard of it" Otto replied shaking his head "Where did you hear it?"
"In my dreams..." Anastasia replied a bit embarrassed, to her surprise, Otto actually leaned forward looking clearly interested in what she just said "Did I say something wrong?"
"No, I just find it interesting" Otto replied slowly nodding "Do you have any other question?"
"Am I...Venitian?" Anastasia asked tilting her head
"Why yes" Otto replied nodding "We have indeed found you in Venice, did you remember something?"
Anastasia just shook her head "No but yesterday Cecilia told me that I have cooked a typical dish of that place..."
"Ohh, you've met Cecilia" Otto said seemingly pleased "What did you talk about?"
"Not much...Theresa and her turned silent suddenly after talking about the Valkyries that died the day you rescued me" she replied
Otto expression turned serious for a moment before returning soft as Theresa got out of the room in her pajamas "Oh there you are"
"What are you doing here, grandpa?" Theresa asked
"I came here to talk with Ana" Otto replied calmly
Anastasia tilted her head "What is it?"
"I want to test your strength, do you mind?" Otto asked as Theresa stiffened
Anastasia blinked a few times before nodding "Sure"
"Good, eat your sweets and then we'll go, there is no need to rush things" Otto said amused
Theresa narrowed her eyes as she looked at Otto, he was up to something, she had no doubt.
Anastasia finished eating as Theresa got dressed and started following them much to Otto's delight. The Trio walked into a special training room which used fragments of memories to generate enemies, Otto walked to the console and gestured Anastasia to place herself in the arena.
Theresa was a bit skeptical and looked at the Overseer with an inquisitorial look on her face "Isn't too much for her?"
"No, I'm afraid she'll blast through everything I put in front of her" Otto replied with a smirk before turning on the intercom "Ana, I would like too see what your armor is capable of so please avoid using that ability of yours"
Anastasia looked at the console above her and nodded.
Otto was about to summon on of Schicksal's enemies when an Error Message appeared on his screen.
"What the...?" Otto whispered before a giant metal snake with drills attached to its face appeared in front of Anastasia.
Anastasia started screaming as she put her hands on her head as a voice filled her head
"We meet each other again, Prophet" The voice said as several other beings appeared around the giant snake, the code name CEPH appeared on the console.
Anastasia gritted her teeth as a weapon appeared in her hands, the console identified it as Typhoon. With a warcry, the pink-haired girl launched herself against the CEPHs unleashing a storm of bullets against them
"Still fierce as ever" The snake-like creature said as it lifted up the girl front the ground and tried to break her mind.
Anastasia, with something that can only be compared to a natural instinct, returned the attack to its owner causing it to drop her to the ground. A bow appeared in her hands and she started firing explosive arrows at the snake aiming at its eyes and drills. The arrows flew in the air and hit the target which launched an attack using some kind of energy beams and energy balls.
Anastasia blurred away from the attack and her speed increased exponentially. The snake then launched even more energy balls when he saw that Anastasia cornered herself.
The balls impacted but Anastasia was not injured, when the dust settled down there was no trace of Anastasia.
The snake and the other Cephs started looking around until they started to get hit by something invisible. Anastasia turned visible once again, now standing in front of the snake, she aimed her bow at the creature and fired one last explosive arrow which killed its target, who fell to the ground and exploded into millions of pixels.
Anastasia was panting, all of her vital readings were showing that all of her parameters were out of scale. The pink-haired girl felt her legs light but also unstable and almost painful as if the tension and the adrenaline had broken the muscles that kept the limb together.
Theresa and Otto were in pure shock, the white-haired girl quickly rushed to her sister's side to check her condition while Otto kept looking at the console where a list of things he never heard off had appeared-
The list was fascinating, it was in English quite surprisingly but every time he tried to open the files about the creatures named Ceph a notification saying that he lacked the authority to access the files popped up on the screen and some sort of advanced IA named SECOND kept him from hacking his way through those files. The blonde man knew that what these files were hiding could reveal secrets that humanity never knew to possess, he felt curiosity filling his being but also frustration from being kept away by the answers...
in the meantime, Theresa had reached Anastasia who had already calmed down to some extent.
"Are you okay?!" Theresa asked as she grabbed Anastasia's hand, she felt like she had just grabbed a brick. Anastasia's skin was as hard as steel and just as cold, there was no longer any sign of softness in it.
Anastasia slowly looked at Theresa and her hand softened in an instant as the nanosuit turned in what looked like normal skin "Yeah...I'm okay" she muttered
Theresa was far from convinced due to Anastasia's way of talking and the fact she was hiding eye contact "Do you know what that thing was?"
"No...yes...I don't know...I-I never seen a thing like that but I just...I-I" Anastasia started speaking gibberish, she immediately started hyperventilating and her legs give in as the nightmarish voice of the alpha ceph kept calling her Prophet. The girl started putting her hands on her air as tears started falling from her eyes
Theresa hugged her newly acquired sister as tight as she could "It's okay, everything's fine, it's not here anymore" she whispered as Anastasia started sobbing
Theresa patted Anastasia's head and never broke the hug until her little sister had calmed down, she then threw a look at the console where Otto was and felt a chill going down her spine when she saw Otto expression.
He was smiling, almost manically, that face told the white-haired girl that for Anastasia, this was just the beginning...
Several years later
Since that day many years had passed, Anastasia had partaken several of those training sessions aimed at studying the functions of her nanosuit. Schicksal discovered that when they put the Nanosuit on Anastasia, they basically replaced the whole body. After one month, Anastasia had no longer internal organs and things like breathing and eating became just a habit, they also discovered how she was naturally immune to Honkai corruption and any other type of gas and poisons that could potentially be used against Valkyries. Not only that but the nanomachines upon contact with the Honkai energy repurposes it into another kind of energy which is then used to supercharge the armor itself. The only instance where Honkai Energy seems to prevail over the nanosuit and her natural immunity is when Anastasia is submitted at extreme levels of Honkai Energy, the nanosuit has little time to react and repel the infection and Anastasia in the meantime feels incredible pain, though, with a lot of psychological training, Schicksal managed to teach her how to maintain control during these kinds of situation. Of course, Schicksal attempted to reverse-engineer the Nanosuit but they always lacked something though they did create several new battlesuits.
The scientists had discovered that Anastasia's vectors not only got stronger and longer but also more numerous as they had become 28 and capable of stopping rocket-propelled grenades at incredible speeds. Not only that but unlike her big sister, Anastasia showed to grow faster than any human.
They also tried to implement artificial stigmatas on her body but they were all rejected upon contact not by the nanosuit but by Anastasia's body itself. It was then that they found out that Anastasia already possessed a stigmata, a natural one. This came as a shock and caused a lot of excitement between the scientists which quickly died down when every attempt to get the stigmata to work failed.
This research was kept hidden and only a few people outside of scientists themselves knew of Anastasia's existence. She was kept from leaving the base just like the official 'Strongest Valkyrie' Cecilia with the main difference that Anastasia never went on a real mission. Unknown to Anastasia, there was a bomb placed inside of her which should be strong enough to blow her up completely, that was Otto's trump card that he placed just to be sure that he could keep his control over her.
Thanks to the fact that both were kept from leaving the base without permission, Cecilia and Anastasia bonded quite a lot, though they mostly talked of TV series and movies since it was the best thing that came close to what's like outside HQ. Theresa always spent her time with them whenever she wasn't on a mission, she truly loved to tell stories of her mission to her little sister especially she felt a bit anxious for her.
Cecilia also felt the same. At first, the pink-haired girl was scared of pretty much everything and had nightmares every single night. Theresa will always remember how she used the get up in the middle of the night after hearing Anastasia scream only to find her drenched in sweat muttering words like 'Raptor team' and so on. She even set aside her pride and begged Otto to do something. The blonde man gave Anastasia several drugs to help her but the Nanosuit nullified them.
Then suddenly, Anastasia just stopped, her initial shy behavior slowly disappeared and she became more like Cecilia but colder during the tests she was dead serious and she was always composed around everyone who wasn't Theresa or Cecilia. Otto said that was because she finally got used to the Nanosuit but Theresa just knew that something was wrong and there lots of times when she caught her little sister just staring at the nothingness.
The small white-haired valkyrie was inside her room. Since Cecilia was on a mission, Anastasia had chosen to stay at their apartment. Theresa was looking at her feet as she sat on her bed, several thoughts were crossing her mind. After taking a deep breath, she jumped on her feet and walked out of the room. The Valkyrie had chosen to take matters to her hands and to confront her sister.
Theresa walked out of the room and her heart cracked as she saw Anastasia standing by the window looking at the artificial garden outside, her eyes seemed to be empty. The small Valkyrie knew that Anastasia loved her a lot and never failed to show her affection but whenever either her or Cecilia were not there the pink-haired woman would look like an empty doll.
"Hey" Theresa called her smiling causing Anastasia slowly turned her gaze towards her
"Hey" she replied with a gentle tone and a bittersweet smile
Here it is, the 'I don't want to make you worry' Look that Anastasia always gives Theresa when she knows that Theresa is about to express her concerns for her. Usually, that look is enough to make Theresa back off and change topic but the small girl this time will not back down.
Theresa walked up to her little sister and grabbed her hands and started caressing them "Ana, as your older sister, I'm worried about you" she said in the most honest tone possible as she felt heart being torn apart "I know you don't feel good, there's something bothering you, I can see it in your eyes even now" she tightened her grip "Please, tell me what's wrong, I beg of you. I don't care how bad it is, I just want to help you"
Anastasia brought her into a hug "Everything is fine Theresa, I'm fine it's just that the tests are tiring me out a bit, that's it"
"You always look at nothing, do you see something that bothers you? Maybe your nanosuit has altered your vision?" Theresa continued not wanting to back off
"I don't see anyone" The pink-haired girl replied gently
Theresa widened her eyes as she felt her soul being torn apart this time "Liar..." she whispered as she clenched her fists "STOP LYING TO ME PLEASE!"
Anastasia looked at her stunned as Theresa placed her hands on her chest "You always say you are tired because of the tests or because you haven't slept well but that's a lie, isn't it?! All these years, you were always in pain, weren't you?! I saw how you always change behavior when you think you're alone! Your eyes become empty and you put up that smile of yours that distracts the others from what you are hiding! It's your mask isn't it!? You always take care of me and try to cheer me up when one of my missions goes wrong or the others treat me as an abomination, but all this time, you were the one in desperate need of help! I always tried to reach out to you but you always declined!" she shouted at the top of her lungs before her voice got lower until it became a whisper "I love you so much Ana, you always been at my side and alwayas looked after me, you are one of the few reasons that make returning her a good thing but seeing you like this just makes me feel like a worthless sister who cares only for her problems...so please...Ana...let me help you...please" at this point Theresa started crying as she grabbed Anastasia's clothes and started clinging on them "I will share your burden even though I'm small...I will keep it a secret even from grandpa...but please...please, Ana...I beg of you...tell me what's wrong..."
Silence filled the room before Theresa felt something falling on top of her head, she looked up and saw Anastasia crying with a pained expression. The pink-haired girl started sobbing before slowly falling on her knees and hugging the Valkyrie in front of her "I'm sorry..." she whispered with a trembling tone before she pointed her finger towards the empty couch "He's there"
Theresa turned her gaze in the pointed direction and saw no one while Anastasia could see a bald Afro-American man with Blue eyes. He was wearing a Nanosuit just like Anastasia's. His name was Prophet, he was the ghost that had kept company all these years and who remained always undetected by Schicksal's continuous research and scans.
She could still remember the first time she met him. It happened 6 months after she was rescued until then the nightmares of a war that never took place hunted her mind then one day once she woke up and she found herself staring at him as he sat across the room, the memory of her screaming at the top of her lungs and Theresa bashing in with her Oath of Judah still brings a smile on her face. After she made sure that only she could see him, Prophet explained that he was the nanosuit and that the war she saw was a war of a different era which he fought in, he explained to her that the monsters she saw were the Ceph, an alien race from another galaxy. He also told her that after that war the Honkais made their first appearance in that era and that since humanity was unprepared they all died, Prophet chose to turn himself in the nanosuit instead of fighting until he was killed so that he could be useful to the next humanity.
Anastasia asked how he knew that there was going to be another humanity and Prophet told her that the hooded man had reassured him that it wasn't the end. The woman knew of who he was talking about, she also saw him. A hooded man which usually appeared in her dreams, turning the hellish landscape into a garden of flowers.
Since that day, every night Anastasia trained herself along with Prophet, she went through everything, CQC, Karate, Jujitsu, Aikido, Judo, Kung Fu, Capoeira, Krav maga, and many other martial arts. But it wasn't all physical training, Prophet also thought her the art of war and strategies. She was surprised how fast she was able to learn these things, until Prophet explained her that in reality, she was just remembering them since the Nanosuit never forgets anything, a clear example of that was Anastasia's first encounter with the Alpha Ceph. On that occasion, she already knew where to aim and what to do to protect her mind from the psychic attacks.
"Who is he...?" Theresa asked Anastasia causing her to snap back to reality.
"His name is Prophet...he's the person that no one else besides me...he's the previous owner of my nanosuit" she muttered causing Theresa to look at her with a concerned look
"Did he do anything to you?" the small valkyrie asked
Anastasia shook her head "No, he's the one who taught me how to use the Nanosuit at its fullest and about...the other civilization..."
This caused Prophet to get up and cross his arms "You weren't supposed to say that" he said with a stoic thone
Theresa was about to say something when suddenly someone knocked on the door of the apartment and Anastasia broke the hug before walking towards the door as Theresa stared at her with concern. When the pink-haired girl opened the door she saw Amber, Otto's secretary and bodyguard, standing in front of her.
Anastasia, like usual, stepped aside to let Amber talk to Theresa, she had no doubt that Amber came to send her sister to a mission.
"I'll get ready" Theresa said thinking she didn't need to hear what Amber was about to say.
"No" Amber replied coldly as she looked at Anastasia "The Overseer has an urgent mission for the Jäger Anastasia, he requested the immediate dispatch"
Theresa froze in place as she heard those words, her gaze slowly drifted towards her little sister. Anastasia's expression was...emotionless...there was no sign that she had cried a few moments ago, the only thing that she did was to clench her hand into a fist.
Anastasia nodded as the nanosuit appeared leaving only her head normal. She walked towards her room and retrieved her equipment, the portable minigun Typhoon and her predator bow, both built from the analysis of the nanosuit's data. The Jäger crouched down in front of her sister and hugged her. The small valkyrie hugged her sister back, she look forward to this moment, the moment where her sister would finally see the world with her own eyes but now that the moment came, Theresa had a horrible feeling as if the moment Anastasia will leave, everything will change forever and with what Anastasia just told her, that feeling was slowly turning into terror
"I'll tell you everything when I get back..." Anastasia whispered as Theresa slowly nodded
After a few seconds, Anastasia broke the hug and started following Amber. the two were directed to the hangar.
"Exactly 32 minutes ago, we discovered that the A-rank Valkyrie Cecilia Schariac went missing during a secret operation finalized to lure out the Anti-Entropy forces" Amber started a briefing as they walked "Due to the importance of the subject Cecilia, Overseer Otto had decided to mobilize the Jäger Anastasia to either retrieve or destroy the subject Cecilia, of course, the last option is only allowed if the subject can't be retrieved. Overseer Otto will also come with you"
Anastasia remained silent but inside of her there was a tornado of emotions. She had started to feel honored by the fact that Otto himself finally gave her a mission, she also felt nervous since this will her first time in the outside world since she got there but she was also worried about Theresa and the fact that their conversation was interrupted so suddenly made her feel quite bad and if it wasn't enough hearing that her mission could potentially force her to kill Cecilia removed any form of joy out of her which was replaced with determination.
Prophet was walking beside her without uttering a word.
The two reached the hanger from Otto himself was waiting for them. Both of them made a small bow though Anastasia noticed that Prophet's expression was filled with disgust as he looked at the blonde man.
"Amber, I'll leave the command of the base to you" Otto said calmly
"Overseer, I thought Amber would have come with us" Anastasia said solemnly
Otto smirked "Why? Do you think you're not enough for this mission?"
Anastasia vigorously shook her head "of course not"
"Then there's no need for Amber" he simply said as he walked inside an aircraft "Let's go, time is essential right now"
Anastasia didn't let him repeat himself, she immediately got on board of the aircraft which quickly took off.
"Are you nervous Ana?" Otto asked with an intrigued expression "This is your first mission after all"
Anastasia shook her head "I prepared myself for this moment for a long time, I will not disappoint you grandpa" she said with a dead-serious expression.
The blonde man chuckled at that and nodded "I have no doubt of that, though you were trained to fight the Honkai, Anti-Entropy is formed by humans and an Herrscher."
"Don't worry, I also know how to deal with humans" She replied darkly as she placed her hand on her Typhoon
"Remember that the mission is rescuing Cecilia, not killing the enemy. Maybe we'll not encounter those scums" The overseer replied calmly
"Still, better be safe than sorry" Anastasia replied
"Amen" Otto agreed nodding "Anyway, we should celebrate"
"Celebrate?" she asked tilting her head
"Yes, after this mission, I will accept one of your requests, do you have already something in mind?"
Anastasia remained silent for a few moments before nodding "I...want to see New York"
The request surprised Otto, he was quite sure she would have asked to go to her homeland or something like that.
A smile appeared on Prophets face as, unknown to Anastasia, he sent a message to someone else.
"Well then, let's get this over quickly" Otto said smiling "After all, the trip to New York isn't a short one"
Anastasia felt overjoyed and so she immediately threw all of her arms around Otto hugging him.
The blonde man started feeling like being squished "A-Ana, your everything is chocking me" he managed to say as the girl realized that the vectors and her superhuman strength were too much for the man in front of her.
"Sorry" She squeaked a bit embarrassed for having lost her cool.
The rest of the journey was quite uneventful, the Aircraft left Otto and Anastasia near a small town and took off.
"Okay Ana, do your thing" Otto ordered as Anastasia nodded and connected to the cameras of the town while making diagnostic research for Cecilia. After a few seconds, she found her target, Cecilia was unconscious inside an arcade, next to her there was the Anti-Entropy scientist Einstein.
"Arcade, 700 meters East, Einstein is with her" Anastasia said
"I'll get Cecilia, you take Einstein" Otto replied "Do not kill her, capture her, she could be useful for intel gathering."
Anastasia nodded and used her vectors to launch herself on the rooftops, in a matter of seconds, she was on top of the building in front of the arcade. She checked the cameras once again and saw that Einstein was gone but Cecilia was not, she was still inside the arcade unconscious.
Anastasia could feel her blood boils as she finally found her prey. Einstein was talking to someone with an earpiece.
Anastasia cloaked herself and descended on the streets using her vectors, she went inside a alley and then with the vectors, grabbed Einstein and dragged her inside the alley.
Anastasia rammed her first in the scientist's belly, causing her to spit blood but Anastasia was far from over. The pink-haired girl threw an uppercut which broke several teeth of the scientists
"what have you done to her, you scum?!" she hissed before placing her hand above the other's girl's mouth before breaking her arm.
The blue-haired girl let out a muffled scream before Anastasia threw her to the ground and stepped on her back "A little bit of pressure, and you'll be stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of your life"
Suddenly, a group of titans appeared around Anastasia, who remained emotionless as her vector immediately ripped them apart. Einstein widened her eyes at how her titans were easily destroyed.
Anastasia made more pressure on the scientist's back as some cracks could be heard, the blue-haired girl gritted her teeth as she closed her eyes waiting for her spine to snap.
Fortunately, that never happened as someone else stepped inside the alley. Einstein's vision got more and more blurry but she recognized her savior...it was Welt.
"Let her go and this can end peacefully" Welt said with a threatening tone
Anastasia lifted Einstein by her hair and looked at him with hatred "Why should I let go of an Anti-Entropy scum like you?"
Welt opened his hand a pair of spheres appeared in it. Anastasia looked at him with an expression that said 'So what?'
What she didn't know is that Welt couldn't use his powers against her while she was holding Einstein, his gravity manipulation could easily stop the valkyrie in front of him but that was a risk with his scientist so close to her, especially since she was wounded.
"So is this how Schicksal fights? You use human shields now? Typical of Otto" Welt said playing the provocation card.
"Don't fall for it, he's provoking you" Prophet said as he crossed his arms
"I don't care" Anastasia hissed as she rammed Einstein's head into the wall, completely knocking her down.
"Got you" Welt whispered as he drastically increased the gravity around Anastasia.
Anastasia felt like she was being inside a hydraulic press but she didn't back down, instead, she started walking towards Welt as she utilized the maximum armor to resist the pressure.
"What...?" Welt whispered as he increased, even more, the gravity around the Jäger.
Anastasia's movements got slower but she kept walking "I will make you pay for insulting grandpa and hurting Cecilia" she hissed
"You never know when to give up huh? Very well, let me teach you a lesson!" Welt replied as he kept increasing gravity's pressure.
'Her organs should have given in a long time ago, how is she even standing?' Welt thought as he finally saw Anastasia stopping an kneeling down. Welt felt that he was near his breaking point, using this much of his power was quite risky for his body. He was ready to put an end to this when he saw Anastasia grinning.
"Checkmate " she said as her vectors grabbed Welt from the waist and slammed him against the ground and then against the wall
'An Herrscher...?' welt thought as he slowly rose up again. To the man's shock, Anastasia was no longer there, he started looking around before he found himself staring at the barrel of a gun
"try it anything funny and you're dead" Anastasia said as her vectors grabbed everything that Welt could use as a weapon. "What did you do to Cecilia?"
"nothing...we thought that she was a new weapon of Schicksal but it seemed we were wrong" Welt admitted with a defeated smile
"Cecilia is the strongest Valkyrie in Schicksal, what are you even saying?" Anastasia replied as her hatred could be seen in her eyes
Welt chuckled "She couldn't even beat me and yet you did it" he said calmly
Anastasia clicked her tongue "Any last words?"
"Long live humanity" Welt replied
Anastasia was about to squeeze the trigger when suddenly a communication from Otto popped out in her HUD
"Ana, where are you?" The overseer asked with a serious tone
"Dealing with trash" Anastasia replied
"Return immediately, we are leaving" Otto ordered
Anastasia was shocked "B-But grandpa, I..."
"It's overseer Otto when we are on a mission" The man replied harshly "This is an order, return immediately"
"As you wish" Anastasia said as she closed the communication "Seems luck was on your side this time" she said as she knocked out Welt with the back of her rifle.
The Jäger immediately returned where Otto commanded her too and saw Cecilia giving a lap pillow to a total stranger
"Good you are here" Otto said nodding
"Sir with all respect, I had captured to Anti-Entropy soldiers, Welt Young and Einstein" Anastasia said with a slightly annoyed tone.
Otto facepalmed angry at himself for having told Anastasia to return, he wasn't expecting Welt himself to come. He also made a mental note, he would check that the nanomachines in Anastasia's body are still suppressing her killer instincts, in his opinion, she just sounded like a battle-maniac.
"I'm sorry Ana, but I told you that our top priority was Cecilia" Otto said sighing "You've grown careless Cecilia" he said as he started walking towards the evac point "You are expected to be better than this"
"Lord Overseer...just give me a few more minutes" Cecilia begged Otto as she looked at the unconscious man on her lap
"You will leave now. Your Overseer has spoken" Otto said solemnly as he walked to the Evac point "Anastasia get this man to his home, then I'll reward you"
Cecilia widened her eyes when she heard the name of Anastasia, she looked at her in shock. Anastasia never went on a mission but even so, she defeated the enemies and only retreated because she was told to from Otto. Cecilia turned her gaze away ashamed as Anastasia lifted Sieg with her vectors while accessing the Schicksal's database in order to see where the man lived.
Anastasia raised an eyebrow when she read 'Siegfried Kaslana' but didn't say anything. She left a very sad Cecilia and went to the apartment of the man.
The place was messy as hell, there was a really foul smell in the air and worst of all, the man also didn't smell quite pleasant.- She put Sieg on the bed and covered him with the blanket since she couldn't stand seeing that room so messy she also cleaned up a bit with her vectors.
"Cecilia...don't go..." She heard the man sleeptalk
The Jäger sighed and went to the evac point where Otto and Cecilia were waiting for her
"Everything is done?" Otto asked getting a nod from Anastasia "At least someone was able to do their mission" he muttered as the Schicksal's aircraft landed behind him.
Cecilia remained silent as the aircraft slowly made route towards NY. Cecilia seemed to have noticed that and looked at Otto with a puzzled expression.
"This is not the route to the base" The Valkyrie said as her tone became concerned, she thought that someone just hijacked their aircraft but Otto just shook his head and sighed
"We are going to New York" he replied calmly as grabbed something out of his pocket and handed it to her "These are your medications, they should last long enough for the whole trip and the time to get back home"
"What are we doing there? Is this another mission?" she asked making the man sigh again annoyed
"No, this is Anastasia's gift for her first mission" Otto said as he crossed his arms "She asked for it and since I have no reason to deny her wish I accepted"
"Is this true?" Cecilia asked to Anastasia who had remained silent until now
"Yeah" She replied calmly "I just thought that I wanted to see it for myself since I only saw it in movies"
"How about this?" Otto proposed "After your next mission, I'll take you to another city"
Anastasia's eyes lit up "You really mean it?" she muttered as a big smile appeared on her face, she then realized that she was still on a mission so she cleared and throat and nodded "I-Is that so? I'm really grateful"
Otto patted her head as he threw a look at Cecilia "Of course, after all, you did a good job so far"
Anastasia blushed a lot at that and just nodded as Cecilia looked down at her feet saddened from having left Ziggy behind.
The rest of the journey was quite uneventful, the aircraft took its sweet time to reach NY and it was getting dark again. Otto made sure to give Anastasia a whole attic while he and Cecilia got a suite. The pink-haired girl didn't know where to look, everything so new to her eyes. There was one thing that attracted her more than anything, it was the view, New York lights left her dumbstruck, she didn't know how long she had stared out of the window or what was happening around but she was snapped out of trance when Prophet placed himself in front of her.
Anastasia blinked a few times before giving an annoyed look at Prophet, who simply pointed his finger at the door.
She noticed that someone was knocking so she got up and opened the door. Cecilia was standing in front of her with a slightly embarrassed expression "Cecilia, what's wrong?"
"Can we...talk?" Cecilia asked as the other girl nodded and let her inside.
The two sat down in the living room of the attic, Anastasia was a bit curious of what Cecilia wanted to talk her about, Cecilia on the other side was blushing heavily and avoiding eye contact
Anastasia raised an eyebrow as she analyzed Cecilia's conditions, her heartbeat had increased and so was the blood pressure "So?" she asked
"I...I think I fell in love" Cecilia said with an embarrassed smile
"Let me guess...with that Siegfried?" Anastasia asked crossing her arms with a smirk on her face
"You knew his name?" the Valkyrie asked
"I learned it when I looked into our database to look where he lived" The Jäger replied "A messy guy in my opinion but hey as long as you're happy"
"I'll probably never meet him again though" Cecilia said as her expression turned sad
"I have the sensation that this will not the last encounter with the guy, after all, he's a Kaslana" Anastasia replied with a smile
"He's a Kaslana?!" Cecilia replied shocked as the other girl nodded
"Yep, that's why it was so easy to find information about him" she replied calmly as she nodded "Kaslanas are usually dumbasses so we'll see him again especially since he also has a crush on you"
"you really think so...?" Cecilia asked as her eyes got watery again
"Yep, the probabilities of that happening exceed the 90%" she said before noticing Cecilia's eyes, she smiled as pulled the Valk into a hug "There there, no need to be sad, I'm supposed the be the one crying since I'm the youngest" she said calmly as she patted Cecilia's back
"I know but...it hurts" the white-haired girl replied sobbing a bit.
"How about this? Tomorrow we'll go look around together, I'll convince grandpa" Anastasia said as Cecilia nodded
With that said the two women spent the rest of the night enjoying the attic until they both fell asleep on the couch...
As Usual, Anastasia didn't dream but she also didn't train with Prophet, she was standing in the middle of the flower field she occasionally sees in her dreams, her eyes darted around trying to spot the hooded man.
It didn't take a while for her to find him, he was sitting on a bench a few meters away. She just walked up to him and sat down on the opposite side of the bench.
"I'm in New York, what now?" she asked as she crossed her arms
The man smiled under his hood as they both found themselves in the middle of New York's Grand Central Terminal, the entire place was empty. He got up and started walking towards the staff area.
Anastasia followed him without uttering a word, she saw him make his way through the corridors until he stopped in a dead-end where the staff kept all the cleaning materials and so on. He placed his hand on the wall and a symbol she never saw appeared. The whole wall started moving away revealing a tunnel that went deep down underground. Without hesitation, the hooded man started walking deep down, Anastasia followed him in the darkness.
The woman didn't know how long they spent in that darkness but she could feel the atmospheric pressure getting stronger and stronger, she knew that a normal human would have fainted by now...The hooded man stopped walking and with his staff created a light...Anastasia remained shocked.
There was a city, a city in ruin...no...it wasn't just a city, it was...New York, Anastasia could see the ruins of the collapsed Empire State Building. She also noticed how there were giant biological looking tentacles that connect several buildings. There were destroyed tanks, shot down army helicopters and jets. There were several guns which were covered in rust and with the there were empty protections gears, the bodies that once occupied that gear were already been turned to ashes by time. That New York was silent, and the only thing that could be heard was the steps of the two echoing in the shadows.
The hooded man kept walking until he stopped himself in front of a massive metal door. He grabbed her hand and placed it on the pad next to the door. With a hiss, the door slowly opened, ice-cold air came out of it Anastasia had the feeling that no one had come here in a very long time.
The man simply walked inside and again she followed. On the walls there several logos of organizations like 'Gentek' and 'Blackwatch' none of the two sound familiar to her. The place looked like a bunker but there wasn't any sign of the Hitech she's used to, she felt like she was taking a trip into the past, and as she walked through the corridors she felt like time had stopped or at least it was way slower.
The hooded man gestured her another pad and unlike last time she placed her hand on her own. The light next to the door handle turned green and the door opened revealing an empty room with only a box in the middle of it. The hooded man walked to it and opened it.
Inside of the box, there was some sort of black blob with some red pulsating lines, the hooded man waited for Anastasia to approach the thing which she needs with all the wariness she could muster up.
Anastasia looked at the blob and then to hooded man"What do you want me to do?"
He looked at her without uttering word. Anastasia sighed as she slowly extended her hand towards the blob which reacted by slowly extending something that looked like tendrils when the two come in contact the world turned black.
The pink-haired girl was back in her attic, she was lying under the sheets of her bed staring at the ceiling. The digital watch on the wall said that it was 7:00 AM, Anastasia looked at the hand which supposedly came in contact with the blob and found out that it was normal as usual. She slowly rose up and started her morning routine, she got up, took a long shower and sat in the dining room for a while before realizing that she wasn't at her base.
She looked outside the window and saw New York city starting to get more and more lively. Anastasia noticed that of Prophet there were no traces but it didn't matter in that moment because she felt calm as she watched the streets from up there. Normally someone would have probably feel weirded out by this unexpected calmness but she wasn't, she felt like she was supposed to be there, she felt at peace.
Someone knocked on the door and with calm light steps, Anastasia went to open the door. It was Otto, he was dressing fancier than the previous night.
"Ow, I wanted to surprise you with breakfast, dear" Otto said with a smile that was returned by her
"Then why did you knock?" she replied calmly as she let him in
"To see if you were awake" he replied as he placed on the table of the dining room two plates along with several delicious-looking dishes "I asked the valkyries deployed here what's the most typical breakfast dishes of New York, we got stuff from Brooklyn, Manhattan and so on"
"That looks like more than I can eat" Anastasia chuckled as Otto took a seat
"Well, looks like I will have to help you" he said with a fake saddened tone
"Oh poor grandpa" she replied with a bit of sarcasm as she also sat down.
"You look serene today" Otto remarked as he started dividing the food between him and her "Theresa told me that she was worried about you but you don't seem to have a problem or any all"
Anastasia just smiled "Theresa worries too much, probably I just got tired of sitting around in the base"
Otto's expression turned grim for a second, he had made the mistake of keeping Cecilia away from most of the world and as soon as she tasted a bit of freedom she fell in love with that good for nothing of Siegfried. Keeping them into a cage had backfired against him really good but he will not make the same mistake again, if it's the outside world they want to see so be it but he will be the one who will show it to them.
"After your debut, there is no reason to keep you a secret, you will soon get more and more missions and every time you'll complete one I will take you wherever you want, I know a lot of places after all" he replied with a smirk "Anyway, we're not here to talk about work today, this is your reward holiday, after all"
Anastasia looked a bit embarrassed which made Otto raise an eyebrow "speaking of that grandpa..."
"What is it?" he asked as a few red flags started to rise inside his head
"I would like to bring Cecilia with me..." she said sheepishly.
The red flags descended as Otto sighed "This your reward not hers..."
"yeah I know but I would prefer to visit this city in company of my friend..." she replied
Otto remained silent as he drank some of the coffee he had brought with him "Well, I have to visit Edison so you would be alone, I had planned to give you an escort...very well, Cecilia shall escort you and make sure that you'll enjoy yourself"
Anastasia's eyes lit up "Thank you, grandpa!"
"You better go tell her before I change my mind" he said as Anastasia immediately got up and left the room.
The overseer of Schicksal looked at his phone where a diagram of Anastasia's cerebral activities appeared. It was normal, her cerebral activities were perfect...the only problem was that in all these years she never had normal diagram exception made for her firsts months after he put the Nanosuit on her. He was sure she never slept since then and that she did something else during the night, he couldn't remember all the attempts they made to get inside her dream world only to be blocked by SECOND.
But tonight, not only she had slept but her readings were normal. Maybe it was true that she was just feeling like a caged bird since the symptoms disappeared but Otto had the impression that wasn't the case.
He made a call to Amber "I want a squad to keep Anastasia under control" he ordered
"Yes, overseer Otto" Amber replied
Anastasia felt happy like never before, she and Cecilia had walked around the streets of New York all day and they still needed to see many things, unknown to both of them, there was a squad of Valkyries following them around. The Pink-Haired girl couldn't wait to tell her sister what she saw during her mission and in New York, she was that she will talk with Theresa for days especially since she knew that the small valkyrie was worried-sick for her the last time they saw each other.
She also was a bit worried for Prophet, the Nanosuit was working as usual so he should have appeared but nothing happened.
These thoughts were eclipsed by the joy of being in the outside world...
Unknown to everyone there was someone else watching from the rooftops of the city, their faces hidden by their hoods, but there was something that united them, an insignia. To the people who didn't know what it meant it could be seen as an A but the reality was much different.
The only one who didn't have the insignia was the same man who always had appeared inside the dreams of the girl named Anastasia.
"So it's her" one of the hooded men said calmly as he look down on the pink-haired girl "You know that we will never have another chance to find the heir right?"
"Yes Italian Mentor, I was the one who told you that this was our last chance" the hooded man of the girl's dreams replied nodding "She still have to pass the trial though"
With that said the hooded group remained silent as they saw Anastasia and Cecilia reached the Grand Central Terminal.
The two women looked at the majestic building in front of them before walking inside, both of them were dumbstruck by the beauty of the station though Cecilia was wondering why they were there she looked at Anastasia and found her in some sort of trance.
Cecilia was about to say something when Anastasia started walking towards the staff area "Ana?" Cecilia called her once without getting an answer "Where are you going?! Ana?!" she called again as she started following the pink-haired girl
Cecilia was getting more and more concerned with each passing second as Anastasia stumbled upon a dead end.
"There is nothing here, Ana" Cecilia said as she looked at the several cleaning objects in front of them.
Again Anastasia didn't reply and slowly pressed her hand on the wall. After a few seconds, a strange A-looking insignia appeared and the wall slid away revealing some stairs which seemed to lead into the depths of Earth itself.
"What the...?" Cecilia whispered as she quickly grabbed her phone and was about to call the overseer. The white-haired Valkyrie saw Anastasia starting to descend inside that Abyss causing Cecilia to widen her eyes. Unfortunately, there was poor reception inside the corridor...
She looked at her phone with a conflicted expression, she had to go outside in order call Otto and let Anastasia go by herself or follow Anastasia as she adventured in that Abyss...
Cecilia put down her phone and quickly started following Anastasia. The two girls made their way through the tunnel, the descend was long and seemingly infinite, the white-haired woman started feeling more and more tired and weak as the atmospheric pressure started increasing while Anastasia kept on walking as if she couldn't feel the pressure.
Cecilia's vision started to get blurry as she started slowing down and panting before completely stopping and falling down her knees "Ana..." she whispered as she stretched out her hand in Anastasia's direction before collapsing unconscious.
The pink-haired didn't seem to notice Cecilia's actions as she kept descending in that darkness now alone. She reached her destination when she finally stumbled upon the ruins of New York city. Everything was just like in her dream, the coldness, the silence, the feeling of emptiness and despair but now she was alone, there was no hooded man to accompany her nor anyone else this caused her to snap out of her trance and to notice how lonely she was in that moment. The Jäger couldn't even remember how she got there in the first place nor where Cecilia was...but those thoughts couldn't stop the feeling of wanting to get to the bottom of this place and so she headed towards the massive armored door that was shown her in her dream.
She wasn't surprised when she managed to open the door with her hand neither she was when she opened the other door leading to the room where her dream ended. Anastasia finally reached her destination, the room was empty just like in her dream and the middle of it there was the box she saw.
Like in the dream, she opened it and the blob revealed itself to her eyes. Anastasia slowly stretched out her hand in its direction and in response, it slowly extended some tendrils towards her.
Then it happened.
The nanosuit didn't even try to stop the creature as it quickly entered Anastasia's body through her hand. Anastasia screamed in pain as the images of years of torture flashed before her eyes and the pain of those moments come up all at once.
Her screams echoed across the city in ruin before dying down and letting silence take over once again...the giant biological structures disappeared and the giant underground cave started collapsing causing a massive earthquake...
Otto was looking down at Cecilia with a really angry expression, behind them the emergency services were trying to the get a hold of the situation since an Earthquake hit New york, fortunately without any massive damage. What really angered the Overseer wasn't that but the unconscious body of Anastasia...
Cecilia had been crying since the medics stated that Anastasia was now in a permanent vegetative state. She was found inside outside the Grand Central Terminal by the emergencies services, she didn't show any sign of damage, she was just like that.
"She's here" Otto whispered as Cecilia widened her eyes while an aircraft landed next to them "No punishment will come from me because the consequences of your actions will be enough of a punishment"
The door of the aircraft opened and Theresa immediately come out of it, she sprinted towards Otto and Cecilia and only stopped when she saw Anastasia's body lying on the stretcher. Her worried expression turned into one of shock as she slowly raised her gaze towards Otto.
The man had a grim expression on his face which was more than enough to make Theresa understand what he was about to say, tears started falling down her eyes as she waited for Otto to speak.
"I'm sorry...Anastasia seemed to have suffered massive brain damage...to put it simply...her mind is gone and her body is simply using its instincts to keep working" he said solemnly
Theresa grabbed his clothes "But we are Schicksal! We can do something about it, can't we?!" she shouted before breaking down and starting crying
"Even if we manage to repair the brain...Anastasia would be no more...she will return to be a complete stranger" He said while stroking Theresa's head "I'm sorry..."
Cecilia wasn't able to look at the small Valkyrie, the guilt kept her from doing so...she held herself responsible for what happened to Anastasia...Theresa will hate her for sure after this...
Theresa left Otto and made her way to Anastasia's body and grabbed her hand, it was warm still alive but at the same time, it felt emotionless. All the good memories with her dear little sister came up all at once causing her mind to wander back into the past...
Theresa had just returned from a mission assigned her by her grandpa, she was slowly making her way back to the apartment as she felt sadness wrapping her up. Today was her birthday and yet no one seemed to have noticed not that she expected her fellow Valkyries to care since they considered her an abomination to begin with. Cecilia also wasn't around since she had to go on a mission...
she opened the door of her apartment and...
"Surprise!" Anastasia shouted as a room full of colorful ornaments, Happy Birthday signs, presents and food revealed itself to Theresa's eyes. "happy birthday Theresa!"
Before Theresa could react, she found herself being hugged by her little sister who easily lifted her up in the air while laughing. She then put her down and made a smirk "I had to be sneaky and hide everything that I had prepared, you know? Two weeks of secretive planning! I bought all of your favorite food and corrupted some pilots to bring me your presents since there isn't any type of mall inside the base! since I think that 3 gifts are not enough for you, I counted every valkyrie here and added a present for each one, so we have...123 gifts ready for you to open! Don't worry since I barely use my salary I had quite a lot of money! So where do you want to start?"
Theresa started sobbing causing Anastasia to looked at her with a worried expression "Oh Gosh, something happened?" Anastasia asked
The small valkyrie shook her head as she hugged her sister "No, I'm just happy!"
"Oh my, are we interrupting something?" Otto asked as he also walked inside the apartment "sorry for being late, bureaucracy took longer than expected"
Cecilia appeared behind him along with a young red-haired valkyrie "Sorry! I just came back! You don't mind if I brought someone else right?" she asked as she gestured the valkyrie next to her "this is Murata Himeko, a B-class Valkyrie who has the potential to become an A-class"
Himeko bowed "pleased to meet you" she said calmly...
Theresa was staring at her hands as she tried to hold back her tears, her recent mission caused her to kill one of her squad members because she turned into a zombie...the image of herself using her javelin to kill her didn't want to leave her mind. Suddenly she felt a warm feeling embracing her and before she could notice, Anastasia was hugging her from behind with her arms and vectors.
"You did the right thing Teri" Anastasia whispered "I'm sure that valkyrie would say the same"
"How is killing an ally a good thing..." Theresa muttered as she clenched her hands "if only I had been strong enough maybe she would be here"
"Maybe yes or maybe not" Anastasia admitted nodding "but I think that she would have preferred death to being the cause of the death of her squad, don't you think?"
Theresa remained silent for a while before slowly nodding and then chuckling "woah...what kind of big sister gets cheered up by her little sister...that should be my job"
Anastasia chuckled "Every now and then even the big sister to be cheered up"
Theresa started rubbing her eyes as tears started to pouring out of her eyes again while looking at Anastasia's unconscious body.
"I'm sorry..." She whispered as she tightened the grip on her sister's hand "I should have been a better sister...I'm sorry"
Otto started walking away from the scene before Amber placed herself in front of him "Lord Overseer, you should take a look at this" she said with a rather shaken tone as she handed out a datapad.
Otto raised an eyebrow before grabbing the datapad and reading it. It showed him the results of the test Amber did to see if Anastasia's vegetative state was by Honkai Corruption...
"What...?" Otto whispered as he put his hand on his mouth "These are...different DNAs"
Amber nodded "So far we have been able to identify thousands of different DNA samples inside Anastasia. While the Nanosuit keeps Anastasia's original form, I think that it could turn the body into someone else by using another DNA...maybe even reacquire the genetic memories of said person."
Otto widened his eyes before looking back at Anastasia "Bring her back to my lab immediately" he immediately ordered as Amber nodded...
Back at HQ...
Theresa was sitting on the couch of the living room in her apartment, she felt like that place became empty all of the sudden and it didn't feel like home anymore, it was cold, emotionless like the rooms Schicksal give her when she's on a mission...
Suddenly a knock on the door caught her attention, and slowly, she made her way towards the entrance. When she opened the door, she found Cecilia standing in front of her with a mortified expression.
"I know that you hate me because you lost your sister because of me...I just want to say that I also loved her...and that I'll never forgive myself...I'm sorry..." she whispered as tears fell down her eyes "Farewell Theresa..."
Cecilia quickly turned around knowing that she wouldn't be able to bear Theresa's reaction...but she remained shocked when the small Valkyrie hugged her tightly and started to sob
"Please don't go...you're the only one who's left" she whispered as Cecilia turned around her hugged Theresa back before they started sharing their tears.
Otto was standing in front of Anastasia's body, in his hand there was a syringe with Kallen's genes. His breath was heavy, and his hands were almost shaking.
"We are ready milord" Amber said as she checked Anastasia's vital signals
Otto nodded and injected the genes inside Anastasia's body before taking a step away.
Silence filled the room before the ping of a notification of Ambers's console filled the air.
"There's a reaction!" Amber said before tendrils covered Anastasia's body changing its shape and form.
Otto widened his eyes when the tendrils disappeared...she was there, her eyes were open and fixed on him.
"Kallen..." He whispered as he felt joy overwhelming his being.
Kallen had the same clothes as the day she left to go east, beautiful as ever. She slowly looked at her hands before gritting her teeth.
Otto quickly approached her "What's wrong?!" he asked before getting slapped across the face "Kallen...?"
"How could you...?" Kallen muttered with an angered expression "You tortured her for years! You did so many cruel things to her! She trusted you! She loved you!"
"Who are you talking about...?" Otto asked as she rubbed his cheek
"Anastasia!" Kallen replied as she got up and pushed Otto to the wall "How long did it take for you to think of replacing her?"
"She was dead Kallen" Otto replied
"No she isn't!" Kallen shouted causing everyone to widened their eyes "she just lost all of her will to live! She felt so betrayed that couldn't handle it! Her world shattered when she understood that her life was a web of lies!" she said before starting sobbing a bit "What happened to you Otto...? I know you did a lot of things in the past...but this is just cruel..."
Otto's expression turned grim "I lost you..."
Kallen remained silent for a few moments before backing away "Don't you dare you did it for my sake...don't use me as motivation for your actions..." she said before turning invisible
"Kallen?" Otto called "KALLEN?!" he shouted before looking at Amber "Find her!"
The alarm went off as all the security system kicked in.
Kallen used the cloaking of the Nanosuit to get past the normal guards, she nullified her body temperature to get past the heat sensors and the lack of heart kept her from getting caught by heartbeat sensors. She used SECOND to hack the pressure sensors and the lasers. Her destination was only one...her house.
This body didn't belong to Kallen, nor she asked to be brought back but even if she did, she would never steal it from someone else. Unfortunately for her, Anastasia never went in this area of the lab and so she was wandering around looking for an exit.
Kallen widened her eyes when she found herself staring at numerous pods filled with pink-haired girls with horns with a bigger body than normal people, she had stumbled upon another secret.
"clones?" she whispered to herself before she saw a computer nearby and hack inside of it.
Many files flashed before her eyes, the truth struck her like a truck. Anastasia wasn't the only Diclonious around, when Schicksal discovered their existence, they started capturing them and imprisoning in this structure. Anastasia was marked as queen since she was the only one who also could reproduce normally besides from infecting people with her vectors, the infected individual will give birth to a diclonius. The other Diclonius were marked as Silpelits. Their DNA was similar to Anastasia but not completely, Schicksal had tried to replicate her DNA but it was to no avail, the Silpelits on the other side weren't anatomically human, they had multiple hearts and lungs and their bones were naturally stronger. Due to being unable to suppress their natural killer instinct, Schicksal put them into stasis.
Kallen started looking inside the files until she found one of them called 'Project Queen'
Schicksal intended to turn every Diclonius into a Jäger and build an army capable of killing any type of Herrscher. Thanks to their innate body strength, healing factor and resistance to Honkai corruption, they would have easily surpassed the Valkyries. The project was put on hold due to the DNA problem and a new one was started.
It was an attempt to duplicate the Nanosuit in order to put it on the Diclonius to repress their destructive instincts but it also failed since the Nanosuit's sample always destroyed themselves after being separated from the main thing. There were a few attempts to analyze the Nanosuit on Anastasia herself but all failed once SECOND either kicked them out or the Nanosuit hardened itself to the point that the instruments were incapacitated from keeping with the operation.
Kallen was shocked but didn't have much time, everything was saved up inside SECOND now and that's all she needs. She found a map of the lab and quickly reached the exit.
Valkyries and Schicksal soldiers were swarming the entire place but she learned how to sneak her way through a long time ago.
She finally reached the residential area of the base and quickly got inside Anastasia's house.
"Who's there?!" Theresa said as she summoned the oath of Judah
Kallen took a deep breath and disengaged the cloaking appearing in front of her "Hello, my kin"
Theresa couldn't believe her eyes, in front of her there was no other than Kallen Kaslana herself, and she was alive.
"How did you...?" Theresa muttered before Kallen started using the vectors to break the door so that it wouldn't be accessible, she then lifted several heavy looking pieces of furniture and placed in front of it.
"there's no time for presentations" Kallen said before grabbing a pair of HOMU-HOMU virtual reality commlink that Anastasia had gifted Theresa on her birthday "You are the only one who can bring her back"
"what? What are you even talking about?!" Theresa replied shaking her head as she tried to understand what was going.
"Anastasia is not gone" Kallen said shocking Theresa as Kallen then placed her hand on her chest "This body is not mine, is hers. Otto placed me inside of it but I don't want to steal anyone's life"
The small Valkyrie was stunned "What...?"
Kallen grabbed her hands "Anastasia is going through immense pain, I know it because I saw her memories and I saw her, she has lost her will to live, I think that her immense love for you should be more than enough to wake her up." she said as she then placed one of the HOMU-HOMU on her hands.
Theresa felt a sharp pain coming from her heart and almost wanted to cry...but now it wasn't the time of tears but it was time for action.
Theresa nodded determined as Kallen connected the HOMU-HOMU to the Nanosuit "Are you sure this will work? After all you lived back in the renaissance" Teri asked
Kallen gave her a nod "Yeah, me and Anastasia share the same knowledge and the nanosuit makes it way easier" she said before looking at Theresa with a concerned expression "You are going to see a lot of awful things not only that but we must be quick before Otto finds me, got it?"
Theresa nodded "Let's do this" she said as she placed the device on top of her head.
Kallen activated the devices and both of them found themselves in the middle of a destroyed New York.
"What happened here?" Theresa whispered
"This is the New York of another civilization, watch out" Kallen replied as a pair of guns appeared in her hands
"You don't want to use the Oath of Judah?" Theresa asked as the giant cross appeared on her back
"No, you're its wielder now after all" Kallen replied as both of them started walking towards Central Park.
"Do you know where she is?" Theresa said getting a nod from Kallen.
The Kaslana pointed her finger forward and there she was.
Anastasia was lying on the grass of the park.
"Ana!" Theresa shouted as she started running towards her little sister.
Kallen was about to do the same thing before her instincts screamed at her to avoid getting near Anastasia.
Kallen tackled Theresa to the ground as an arrow pierced through the tree that was behind Theresa.
"What?!" Theresa shouted as a man with a nanosuit appeared not too far away from Anastasia "You!" Theresa shouted as she pointed her finger at the man "YOU ARE PROPHET, AREN'T YOU?!"
Prophet nodded "Indeed and I will not let you get close to her" he said as he pointed his bow towards them.
"Why?!" Kallen shouted as another person appeared
He had a hood but some of his features were still visible like his pale skin and blue eyes. He was wearing a button-up shirt, plain gray hoodie and black leather jacket with red interior accompanied by a pair of blue jeans and black shoes.
"Who are you?" Theresa asked as Kallen pointed her guns at the hooded man "His name is Alex Mercer"
"Oh? Seems like you also looked inside our memories miss Kaslana" Alex said shrugging "You know how this fight is going to end so why don't you just step aside and let us do our things"
"Can't do that" Theresa replied shaking her head before throwing a look at Anastasia "I will not leave until I get back my little sister"
Alex chuckled as his body started turning into an armor and his right arm into a massive blade while the other turned into giant claws "Then Perish" he said with a ghostly tone as he launched himself on Theresa.
Kallen was about to help the small valkyrie when an explosive arrow forced her to throw herself to the side. The Kaslana then looked in the direction of the arrow and saw Prophet aiming his bow at her "I'll be your opponent" he said before turning on his cloaking.
Kallen cursed under her breath before finding cover behind a nearby tree, she closed her eyes trying to analyze her surroundings, her finger were ready on the triggers of her two handguns.
She didn't hear anything except for something similar to a whistle. The Valkyrie threw herself to the ground again as her cover literally exploded sending splinters everywhere. She understood that the place she was in gave Prophet a massive advantage but unfortunately for her, this was central park...
Kallen needed to think fast because she was quite sure that the next arrow will probably kill her. She analyzed her surroundings once again and located a shot down chopper nearby. The girl took a deep breath and sprinted towards the wreckage, her ears picked up some cracks coming from the trees and she knew that Prophet was probably aiming at her and so she started zig-zagging trying to avoid getting hit by one of the soldier's arrows.
Prophet in the meantime was taking it slowly, he knew very well that zig-zagging was an excellent way to avoid getting shot but that only applies when the one shooting isn't a super-soldier with an AI that can trace movements and bullet trajectory.
The AI integrated into the nanosuit analyzed Kallen's movements and started tracing a trajectory to hit the girl's vital organs while Prophet nocked the arrow, the world around him came to a stop as his eyes found the spot that he will hit.
He let go the arrow which flew in the air at incredible speed before stabbing itself into Kallen's thigh causing the girl to fall on the ground.
Kallen gritted her teeth and looked at the destroyed chopper. She was used to fighting more straight forward enemies like the Honkai or Shenzou warriors but her current enemies was something else completely. She was fighting a silent assassin who had the most advanced equipment of his civilization, she knew that he had more experience than her and fought scarier enemies but this didn't help her to feel any better. The fact that Kallen saw his memories didn't help either since he probably saw hers...
She tried to pull herself up but it was to no avail. The bolt had struck her nerves but that wasn't the major problem. Due to the strength of the impact, the arrow has managed to tear through her flesh and leave. Kallen hadn't realized how bad her situation was, especially due to the adrenaline that made her forget about pain, the grass around her was slowly turning red as blood kept pouring out of her wound.
Finally, the realization of her conditions made her extremely frustrated, she tightened her grip on her guns and raised them towards the tree lines, her breath became heavier and her skin sweaty and pale though the last one could probably be a consequence of her bleeding.
The white-haired honkai fighter scanned the trees for anything resembling a human figure, she wanted to land at least on hit on the bastard before going down...
That thought caused a chill run down her spine. She was sure that Prophet could kill her at any moment, there was no cover around her nor there was a way for her to get away due to her leg and yet nothing was happening.
Was she was going to be defeated like this? Just like when she fought the immortal? Without even lending a single hit?
Kallen had no problem with dying again, her problem was dying without accomplishing anything, if she dies right now Theresa will have to fight Alex and Prophet and she'll lose and probably die...
She cursed her breath as she felt so powerless in front of the invisible warrior...she closed her eyes for a few seconds before re-opening again and tightening her grip on her handguns before opening fire against the shot down chopper's fuel tank causing it to explode and ignited the vegetation.
The fire quickly spread around the wreckage and then to the trees where Prophet was. Kallen reloaded her guns and then pointed them to the now on fire tree line hoping to see Prophet silhouette but instead, she found someone else that caused her heart to stop...
Theresa lifted up the oath of Judah as Alex came down from the sky swinging his massive biological sword. The relic took the hit but the force of the attack was strong enough to send the small valkyrie flying and crashing against a tree.
Theresa quickly got up and threw her javelin at him aiming for the head but to her horror, the thing simply bounced off Alex's armor. She quickly summoned her chains and wrapped them around her opponent hoping to hold him down.
"Oh? That was a very poor choice" He said before turning his arms into hammerfists and pulling the chain with all of his strength.
Theresa widened her eyes and was about to drop the chain from her hand but it was too late. A sickening crack ringed inside her ears before an immeasurable amount of pain filled her being, the chain had broken her arm and now she was flying towards Alex.
The bioterrorist smirked as Theresa flew towards him before he rammed his Hammerfest in her belly.
Theresa almost lifeless body fell to the ground with a thud, blood was pouring out of her mouth as tears of pain fell from her eyes. Most of her bones were completely broken if not gone, even breathing was causing her pain, soon her remaining organs will give in.
"Oh? Valkyries sure are though" Alex said as he turned his right arm into a blade again and removed the armor "Back in my day, a soldier would just explode to a hit like that one" he added as he placed the tip of the blade on her neck "well, not that I was taking you seriously "
Theresa couldn't reply but could hear him very well, she wanted to get up and fight but everything hurt...but there was something she could do...
"Ju...da...h" she whispered as the massive cross stabbed itself on the ground and started launching javelins towards Alex.
The attack seemed to be successful as all of the javelins stapped themselves inside their target.
Alex looked at the spears inside his body and chuckled "I'm sorry for making fun of you" he said as his tendrils removed the javelins.
Theresa looked at him as sadness filled her being, she lost...no she never stood a chance against him and now she was going to die in a very painful fashion while also losing her sister forever...
Unknown to her, a stigma appeared behind her neck and cherry blossom's petals appeared out nowhere.
A giant fox bit Mercer and threw him away while a girl with pink hair with fox ears in a Miko dress gently lift Theresa up and took her to a safer location.
The girls caressed her cheek with a pained expression while looking at Theresa's body, a tear fell down her eyes. That was the last thing Theresa saw before blacking out.
Sakura sighed, her eyes darted around analyzing the ambient near her, she could feel the ground shaking because of the battle between the 12th Herrscher who had kept her company for a very long time and the being called Alex Merce. Her hears perked up when the sounds of gunshots filled the air soon followed by an explosion.
She made sure that Theresa was well hidden before rushing towards the source of the gunshots, as she got near the source of the noises the temperature got higher and fire started spreading around her she widened her eyes, her heartbeat stopped when her gaze meet Kallen's.
Time had stopped for the two of them but it didn't last long as Sakura's ears perked up something else, she blurred in front of Kallen and swung her sword only to deflect one incoming arrow before looking at the attacker.
Prophet was standing a few hundred meters away from them with his bow pointed at the two, the vegetation around him was burning thanks to Kallen's actions.
Sakura placed her hand on the hilt of her katana and blurred behind him. To the untrained eye, she seemingly just teleported behind him but in reality, she already attacked him.
The fox girl quickly dodged as Prophet started throwing punches at her. Sakura knew that her attack was blocked, she knew it when her katana with Prophet's skin since she felt like hitting a brick wall.
The fox girls parried, blocked, dodged the man's punches and each time counterattacked with a series of quick swings of her sword or punches and kicks.
Finally after a few minutes of fighting Sakura felt like Prophet's skin softened to the point where cutting him was now possible.
The pink-haired girl placed a kick on Prophet's chest sending him stumbling backward and finally performed a vertical swing aiming for the head...
Unfortunately, Prophet was able to predict such move and grabbed Sakura's hands with his and simply started crushing them with his strength.
Sakura at first tried to contain the pain but simply couldn't, she tried to escape the soldier's grip but it was useless.
Kallen in the meantime aimed her weapons at the head of the man but the bullets simply bounced off. She couldn't bear to see Sakura suffering and felt so useless, she felt anger towards Prophet's and her regards.
Out of Nowhere the Oath of Judah stabbed itself on the ground next to the valkyrie, Kallen looked around and saw a crawling Theresa looking at her before fainting. Kallen used the Oath of Judah to stand up and grabbed one of the javelins, once again, she aimed for Prophet's head and launched the weapon with all of her strength.
The Javelin pierced through Prophet's head, causing him to let go of Sakura just a few moments from breaking her hands and fall to the ground lifeless. Kallen felt a sense of relief filling her being as Sakura quickly picked up her sword and dashed in front of her.
The pink-haired girl hugged Kallen tightly, a single tear crossed her cheek. For Sakura, hugging her loved one once again was like a dream come true, she didn't want to let her go again in fear that she might disappear again.
Kallen was also feeling the same and of course, returned the hug but her mind quickly drifted towards the one who allowed her to rescue Sakura. She broke the hug and looked towards the unconscious Theresa.
"Help her first" she whispered as Sakura nodded and started running towards the small valkyrie. She extended her hand to pick her up before widening her eyes.
There wasn't any sound around her, the ground wasn't shaking anymore.
The last thing Sakura heard was a scream coming from Kallen before Alex rammed his fist in her belly and sent her crashing to the ground.
Kallen was about to face Alex as anger and hatred filled her being, but she found out that she couldn't move at all. The Oath of Judah simply float away from her before something picked her up and repeatedly thrashed her around broking most of her bones.
When the world around her stopped spinning, Kallen saw two Anastasia standing where she was. One was laughing like a maniac while the other was looking down, her face covered by her pink hair.
"Ana...stasia" she whispered causing the maniac one to look at her with an angered expression.
"This vermin is still alive" she said as she approached the heavily injured Kallen and stepping on one of her wounds "and this was the greatest valkyrie of Schicksal, what a joke" she said with a chuckle before noticing a flinch coming from Anastasia, the maniac Ana made a pissed off expression and walked towards the other one and started pulling her by her hair and forcing her to look at Kallen "SHE IS HERE TO REPLACE YOU! DON'T YOU GET IT?! THEY ARE ALL HERE TO REPLACE YOU!"
Anastasia remained silent
"All of your life is a LIE! You are just a pawn in their hands! And since you're no longer operating, they are replacing you" the maniac said "YOU HAVE TO KILL THEM ALL! YOU CAN'T JUST LET YOURSELF DIE OTHERWISE THEY WILL HAVE WHAT THEY WANTED! YOUR POWERS!"
Anastasia remained silent
"Tsk!" the maniac hissed before grinning as she dragged Anastasia towards Theresa "Look at her, the biggest liar of all, she's even worse than Otto" she said as she chuckled "She wasn't worried for you, y'know? She was worried that their loyal puppy was slipping out of control. From day one, she knew that you were just an instrument! And so did that awful woman named Cecilia"
The memory of Anastasia's first dinner with Theresa and Cecilia flashed before Anastasia's eyes which caused her to grit her teeth as tears started falling down her while her hands wrapped around Theresa's neck.
"yes, she will be the first one of many" the maniac said as she could barely keep her excitement at bay
Alex sighed seemingly disappointed at that while Prophet got up without any wound and had the same reaction.
'Another failure' they both thought.
Inside Anastasia's mind though, her feelings towards her sister clashed against each other, on one side, her feeling of betrayal and hatred yelled at her to snap the traitor's neck while on the other side, her love wanted to believe that Theresa never lied to her and that she wasn't part of Otto's plans.
She desperately hoped for something that proved Theresa's never lied to her, even the smallest one would suffice...
Anastasia felt a burning sensation coming from the back of her neck, unknown to her, the stigmata that had been always dormant was now activated. Its shape was one of a two-headed Aquila. The girl's eyes started to shine with a golden glow as Theresa's memories flowed inside her mind...
A sense of relief and happiness filled Anastasia's being as she used her vectors to heal Theresa's injuries. The world around her became silent and perfectly still...time had stopped and a behemoth of a man had appeared in front of her.
He was at least ten feet tall, he was covered in baroque golden armor. The only part not covered in armor was his head, he had golden hazel eyes and long dark hair.
"Who are you...?" Anastasia muttered in shock
"I'm your father" the man replied as he approached her
"I...kill-" Anastasia started saying before the man lifted his giant armored hand
"Those were your normal parents my child" he said as his voice echoed through all reality "But the genes inside of you are not those of a normal human"
"What do you mean? What's the meaning of all of this?!" Anastasia replied shaking her head
"Soon you'll find the answers you need but for now just listen" the man replied "You are my daughter, you are the first Primarch of this universe and you have a mission. Create your sisters, defeat the Honkai God and protect humanity"
"Create my sisters? Protect humanity? Me? How a monster like me do that? A few moments ago I was about to destroy it" Anastasia replied
The man nodded "Indeed but unlike your predecessor, you didn't. You stopped, why? Don't you think that humanity is trash?"
"A part of me thinks that Humanity is evil...corrupted...merciless...bloodthirsty...disgusting" Anastasia whispered as Cecilia's and Theresa's image flashed before her eyes along with the images of the people of New York and the beauty she could only see through the screen of her TV. Anastasia still wanted to see the world to explore it herself, there were a lot of things she wanted to experience "but it's also beautiful...joyful and has the potential to be better"
The man nodded "Indeed, humanity is able to do many terrible and beautiful things, my child." he said before looking at the bodies of Kallen, Sakura and Theresa "But it has the potential to be the brightest star of all" he said before making a serious expression "But to be like that it must reach the future, and the Honkai God is in its way. This is why my child, you have to kill him and if you can't then you have to protect Terra until my arrival. Fight for humanity"
Anastasia looked at him and then shook her head "No, I will fight for all that's beautiful in this world" she said before frowning "But how can I do that?"
"The people who lived before have left you the instruments, the me that sent you here gave you the manpower, and you have many abilities that you have to learn to control, the fallen me and your brother will help you with that" The man said "Your men are already coming to take you away and start your journey but you still have a job to do in Schicksal. The incubus will aid you. From now on, you're the master of your life, Anastasia Apocalypse, Protector of the Imperium of Man."
Anastasia felt like a massive weight just have been placed on her shoulders but she didn't feel bad for it , actually she felt a certain amount of pride. She looked at the massive man and nodded before realizing something "What's your name?"
The man remained silent "I don't have one, my enemies addressed me as The Anathema but you may call me father."
Anastasia slowly nodded "Farewell...father"
"Next time we will see each other it will either be in victory or defeat but in the meantime, I will look upon your journey" The Anathema replied before disappearing.
Anastasia found herself back in the middle of central park, Theresa was unconscious in her arms while her other self was barking something at her.
Anastasia looked at her clone, her expression emotionless but her eyes showed determination.
"I will protect humanity" she said coldly surprising both of Alex and Prophet
"what? You can't be serious" the other Anastasia said with a chuckle "Humans are trash and tortured and betrayed us for so long"
"Yes, but they also loved us, they cared for us and they helped us" Anastasia replied
"THAT ARE ALL LIES! LIES!" The other one shouted as Anastasia placed Theresa on the ground "I will never forgive them! Never! NEVER!"
Anastasia pulled her other self into a hug "Enough" she whispered "This hatred...this feeling of betrayal is hurting us"
The other Anastasia widened her eyes before starting to sob
"But it's not just that...we have killed our parents...and a lot of people..." Anastasia kept whispering "The guilt will never leave us if we hold on it...let it go, Serena"
The clone's body turned into the one of a child as she started crying and hugging Anastasia really tightly "I'm sorry! I didn't want to kill them! I want to see mommy and daddy again!" she cried out as Anastasia stroke the top of her head and nodded.
In an instant, the small child was gone, nowhere to be seen.
Anastasia noticed that Theresa has been awake for a while and looked at her.
"Who is Serena?" Theresa muttered
"That was the name of a little girl before she was taken in by Schicksal" Anastasia replied before looking somewhere in the horizon "Now she rests with her parents inside her happy memories"
With those words she looked at Kallen and Sakura and healed both with her vectors "Theresa..." she called with a serious tone "I have to go but I swear that one day I will return to take you away" she said as the world around them started to disappear.
Anastasia was back in her real world, Theresa was unconscious next to her. She stroked the top of the small Valkyrie's head as her vectors removed the Diclonius gene-seed from her before getting up as a bunch of Schicksal soldiers finally busted inside the apartment.
"Lord Overseer we have found her!" one of them shouted as Otto's hologram appeared in front of the squad.
"Anastasia..." He growled trying to hold back his disappointment in finding her instead of Kallen.
"Otto" She replied as she stared at the soldiers who were still aiming their weapons at her.
Otto, who was inside his study, had the switch to activate the bomb placed inside of Anastasia in his hands. The tension between the two of them was shockingly intense, Otto knew that Anastasia remembered the years of experimentation and she probably wasn't really happy about it. He wanted to see Kallen once again but Anastasia wasn't the way to get her back...meaning that she outlived her usefulness.
The blonde man pressed the switch ready to see the woman in his screen explode in a gory explosion...but that never happened. Instead, Anastasia sighed and as if it was the most normal thing ever, she inserted her hand inside her own body and took out the bomb.
"Fortunately Prophet isn't that stupid to not notice that there was a bomb inside of me" Anastasia said with a sigh
Otto broke the switch with his hand "Kill her" he hissed as the soldiers opened fire against the woman in front of them.
The bullets simply bounced off Anastasia's skin which was now made of Nanomachines and Blacklight Virus. When the soldiers ran out of bullets she disarmed them and knocked them unconscious with her vectors as the Herrscher alarm went off.
"To combat personnel, this is the overseer Otto talking to you, the woman known as Anastasia Apocalypse had turned into an Herrscher, the subject must be killed on sight" Otto said through the speakers of the base.
Anastasia sighed as she started walking towards the laboratory where the other diclonius were being kept, after a few steps she stopped herself "I don't want to kill anyone" she said to no one in particular as a flower petal disappeared.
Cecilia was inside the canteen when the announcement ended, she couldn't believe her ears. She saw how everyone was quite shocked at the news at first but now was preparing for fighting one of her best friends.
Suddenly Patricia Highsmith and Cheng Lixie, Cecilia's teammates, rushed towards her weapons in hand. Patricia threw at Cecilia her spear and smirked "Miss Overseer's chosen we have to go!" she said before running out of the canteen.
Cecilia looked at the spear in her hands and felt her guilt devouring her soul. Anastasia had turned into an Herrscher because she wasn't able to protect her and now she will have to kill her...
The white-haired woman slowly walked out of the canteen in the open area. Her sensors went crazy as they detected a massive amount of Honkai Energy above her, the valkyrie saw how everyone was looking up the sky and did the same. What she saw made her question her mental stability.
A gigantic vessel was hovering above the Schicksal base, it looked like it was made of gold and looked like it was something that came from a high gothic era. Its shadow had covered the entire base. Flying above it there were several other vessels with the same gothic design minus the gold.
The automated antiaircraft defense of Schicksal immediately started firing towards the vessel but with no result since the shots seemed to have been caught by a shield. As an immediate response, the massive vessel fired something similar to a laser and took out the antiaircraft guns then they came down...
They were insanely tall, covered in baroque armor and wielding massive lances with the same pattern as their armors. Soon after them, many others landed, this time they were slightly less tall compared to the first ones but still they were way taller than a normal person, just like the first ones they were all covered in armor with the difference that theirs were crimson colored with golden outlines and that they were carrying massive guns.
A hooded man appeared next to them and pointed his finger towards the research complex "The Primarch is waiting for you there, she ordered to not kill the valkyries" he said as the behemoth next to him nodded.
"As we'll let you do that!" an A-rank Valkyrie shouted as she charged towards one of the golden men. In the blink of an eye, the man swung his lance by the end without blade and knocked her out.
"For the Imperium!" Another one shouted as all men started charging towards the squadron of Valkyries who were standing between them and the research complex.
Cecilia could have sworn that what she saw was hell on earth. The Valkyries, of course, tried to hold back the mass of creepy looking soldiers but it was to no avail.
The men broke through their ranks like nothing, the bullets bounced off their armor while their attacks were relentless and crazy powerful. The man clad in gold were literally unstoppable, every time they swung their lances a valkyrie or two would fall to the ground unconscious. Those in crimson armor, instead, were attacking with their fists but due to the armor and their strength, it was more than enough to knock a valkyrie out.
Their charge did not stop and soon enough Cecilia and her two teammates found themselves staring of the horde of warriors.
"Dammit" Patricia hissed as she braced herself for the impact with the horde
"Well, it's been nice working with you" Cheng Xie added as she did the same
"Drop the weapons" Cecilia ordered as she dropped her spear on the ground
"What?!" Both of the valkyries shouted before looking at the attackers
"Just do it!" Cecilia shouted as both Patricia and Cheng cursed under their breaths and let go of their weapons.
The three Valkyries closed their eyes ready to meet the same fate as their comrades...but that didn't happen, instead, the hulking men ran past them ignoring them completely.
Otto watched the entire scene with horror and shock from the cameras of the base. he leaned against his seat as Amber looked at the screens with a worried expression "Milord, they are about to breach inside the diclonius laboratory" she said as Otto widened his eyes
"Show me the cameras of the lab" He ordered as the screen showed the diclonius laboratory. Anastasia was standing in the middle of it, she was standing still "Switch the sensor to see all telekinetic frequencies"
Amber did as she was ordered and the camera show them how Anastasia was using her vectors to 'touch' every diclonius inside the lab. Otto got up and looked inside the computer that kept track of the diclonius inside the containment chambers. Once again, he found himself dumbstruck, Anastasia was using her vectors on a such small scale that she was literally changing the DNA, to be more precise, she was removing the destructive instincts.
"SEND ALL THE ROBOTS WE HAVE!" Otto ordered as Amber activated the automated antipersonnel security system. The blonde man quickly rushed towards the screen to see the fight going down. That was the occasion to kill Anastasia once and for all, her vectors are all to busy with changing the DNA of the test subjects and her without them she cannot block the incoming projectiles, the nanosuit was strong but not invulnerable.
The mechs quickly surrounded Anastasia who looked at them with cold eyes. She slowly raised her arms as if she was surrendering but then something else happened. Both of her hands started changing shape and instead of them appeared a pair of giant claws.
Anastasia looked at her own hands, her claws were different were Alex's which were more grotesque and scary looking, hers were more elegant, polished and smooth. She knew that it was because of nanomachines which, with the blacklight virus, formed a new kind of cell that has the proprieties of both.
In a blur, Anastasia launched herself against the mechs and started ripping them apart with her claws. She jumped away as an Aesir Heimdall smashed its sword where she was standing. She morphed her arms into hammerfists and proceded to smash the robot's armor with her massive strength. Once she staggered the mech, she turned her arm into a massive blade and cut it in half.
She found herself surrounded by many other mechs but before she could engage them in combat, the air was filled with very loud bangs soon followed by a storm of explosive bullets that turned the mechs into scrap metal.
Anastasia looked in the direction of the bangs and saw a group of hulking figures marching towards her. Her stigmata started burning again and unknown to her, the projection of the Anathema appeared behind her.
The warriors stopped on their tracks and knelt. One among them raised his head as the figure of the Emperor disappeared.
"My Primarch, I'm the Legion Master Alatan Bloodhammer" the warrior said with a solemn tone "We are the Crimson Slayers, a space marine legion sent in this universe by the Emperor himself to fight the honkai who threatened to end humanity in its infancy. He said that we would have found our Primarch there and now, we stand in front of you...give us your orders, my Primarch"
"Well well, there are also some Legio Custodes here though" The Hooded man said as he appeared next to Anastasia "And as for me..." he said as he removed his hood revealing a man with long silver hair with a very light shade of pink "I'm Merlin" he said with a bow "At your service"
Anastasia narrowed her eyes "That Merlin?" she asked as the man nodded
"Yes but I'm not the one from here, I come from their universe or timeline depending on the perspective" Merlin replied with a smile "The Emperor had enough of me since I was similar to a daemon so I thought of kicking me out of my tower and to send me here"
"I see..." Anastasia replied with a bit of uncertainty before looking at the Legio Custodes.
Before she could say anything the leader of the custodes took a step forward "I'm the captain-general of the current legio custodes, the Emperor sent a small group of us as additional help with the orders of following your orders in order to aid you in the great task of defeating the Honkai God"
Anastasia nodded before looking at the space marines "Take the test subjects here and get us out of this place" she ordered as the Astartes immediately followed the instructions and removed the diclonius from their pods. "How are we supposed to get out of here?"
Alatan pointed to the roof "We'll return to the Eternal Protector with the stormbird outside"
Anastasia gave him a nod and started heading to the exit of the complex followed by the Astartes and the Legio Custodes. None of them were surprised when they found a small army of mechs standing in their way.
The pink-haired girl morphed her body into an armor that looked like a combination of the Nanosuit and Mercer's bio-armor, she then turned her left arm into a quite big blade while her other arm turned into an hammerfist.
"Don't stop advancing" She ordered as the space marines started opening fire against the mechs while Anastasia jumped right on them. With her hammerfist she took out the most armored one while with the blade she cut apart those less protected, every shot fired at her was stopped by her vectors since she was using them as a defensive mechanism, she wasn't worried about the bullets of the Astartes even though they packed quite a punch her vectors were able to deflect them or block them.
The Legio Custodes were cutting between the mechs' ranks like they were made of butter while the space marine protected the diclonius while lighting up any mech that managed to slip through the vanguard.
After a few minutes, the group reached the outside where a crimson red Stormbird and another golden ship was waiting for them. Around the ships, there were several wreckages of destroyed mechs. Anastasia would have stopped in shock when she saw the mighty ships that were hovering above base but the situation required her to move. She looked at the two vehicles not knowing which one of the two was the stormbird
"Which one?" She asked as Alatan pointed at the crimson red stormbird "That's the stormbird, the other is Orion Assult Dropship.
The massive door of the stormbird opened and the space marines got inside as the Legio Custodes embarked on their ship. Anastasia was about to embark when with the corner of her eye spotted Cecilia taking care of the valkyries that were previously knocked unconscious, their eyes met.
Anastasia saw how the Valkyrie was in shock to see that this was all because of her "I'm sorry" she muttered but the sound of the engines of stormbird completely covered her voice, she stretched out her vectors and removed the Diclonius gene-seed from Cecilia.
She then saw someone else, he was standing in front of the entrance of the research complex, his expression was extremely angered.
Anastasia looked at him as a Space Marine noticed how she was looking at Otto and aimed his bolter at him.
"No" Anastasia ordered shaking her head "He's not worth it" she said as the door closed and the stormbird took off...
Theresa had finally come to her senses, she found herself inside the infirmary along with several other valkyries and sitting next to her there was Cecilia, who had a mortified expression on her face.
Theresa brought her hand to her head as she felt a massive headache.
This caused Cecilia's eyes to lit up as a sense of relief invaded her body, she hugged the small valkyrie. "I thought you would have never wake up"
Theresa was beyond confused, a few moments ago she was inside Anastasia's head and now she's being treated like she spent years inside there.
She widened her eyes as she realized that Anastasia was nowhere to be seen and quickly got up and looked around "Cecilia, where is Anastasia?!"
Cecilia's expression turned grim and this caused Theresa to remember the last words she was able to hear from Anastasia...she was about to run across all the facility but Cecilia stopped her as she gave her a tablet with the camera's recordings.
Both of the valkyries fell silent as the audio of the recordings was the only sound between the two.
"This can't be real..." The small valkyrie said as she put her hand on her mouth
"It is" Otto replied as he walked in "Anastasia has betrayed all of us"
"She said she would have protected humanity! I was inside her head!" Theresa replied shaking her head with angered tone.
"but she still betrayed us" Otto replied with a cold tone
"who were those people?" she whispered as the Overseer just shrugged
"No idea" He said "They appeared from a something like a portal, with ships never seen before, with weapons never seen before and crushed the valkyries who tried to oppose them"
"How many...did we lost?" Theresa asked not really wanting to know...
"None" Otto replied surprising her "Everyone is either heavily wounded or with some brain damage but they are all still alive and with our care, they will return in shape" he stated before sighing "with that being said, all the turrets and automated defense system is gone"
Theresa felt relieved, she couldn't care less for the mech, she was happy that no one died "Where is she?"
Otto pointed to the sky "An Honkai energy similar to the one of the portals used to get here has been detected on Mars' orbit"
"Are you saying...that she's on Mars?" Theresa replied astonished
"Yes and that those ships were spaceships" Otto replied nodding
"So what? She's working for aliens?" she asked getting frustrated at the lack of info.
Otto just shrugged "The only thing I know, is that Anastasia is an enemy of Schicksal and that if our paths will meet again, we will strike her down" he said with a solemn tone as he then walked away.
"What do you think of this...?" Theresa asked the other valkyrie that has been silent for the whole conversation
"Anastasia...is not an enemy..." Cecilia muttered before looking at her hands "before those men attacked, one of them said that the Primarch didn't want any death...and I think they meant Anastasia. She didn't want to kill anyone and those who surrendered didn't even get knocked out. They could have killed us but they didn't, this is why I think that she's still loyal to our cause..."
"She's just not loyal to Schicksal anymore..." Theresa concluded
Anastasia was staring at the vacuum of space where her fleet was navigating with their ships. Her eyes were fixed on two particular ships which were colossal, if Merlin wasn't wrong those should be occupied by the Adeptus Mechanicus...
"Breathtaking isn't it?" Merlin said as he walked inside the room which was made for her "An army to defend humanity"
Anastasia turned towards and narrowed her eyes "You still haven't explained me what is going on" she said with a cold tone as the man nodded
"I think I owe you some explanations" He said as he sat on a chair "So let's start with the beginning"
Anastasia also took a seat while staring that the man in front of her
"It was the 31st millennium when the honkai first appeared out of nowhere, probably from the warp, they immediately went after the goal of becoming the sole dominant species in the galaxy but unfortunately for them, they were extremely weak compared to the Emperor of Man and the Chaos Gods and everyone else. They were even unluckier when they basically found themselves in the middle of the Great Crusade which was led by the Big E himself. The Honkai God was utterly defeated by humanity, and this is why he wants to eradicate their existence. Anyway, the Honkai God in order to survive, opened up a portal that supposedly led to another universe or timeline and made his escape. The Emperor could not follow it since he was too busy with the whole crusade and so decided to create a legion and a new Primarch gene-stock since he decided that this legion must follow someone that comes from the Terra of that other universe. He then decided to break inside my lonely tower and to give me the job of making a new Primarch, he always kinda hated me since I'm half shaman half incubus who has no connection to the warp at all but since I'm able to see everything in the present, he thought that I could have been useful for the future Primarchs so he sent me here with the legion. Unfortunately, during the passage from there to here, the Ruinous Powers of Chaos tried to taint the Primarch gene-stock which they partially managed to do, this is one of the main reasons you are a woman instead of a giant man. They changed the DNA of the gene-stock and put a natural destructive instinct towards humanity in it. As if this wasn't enough, when we arrived here, the Honkai God, who gathered the knowledge on the origin of our universe, proceeded to kill off every race before they could become strong enough to oppose them and were heading towards Earth. In a desperate attempt to save mankind, I casted the biggest illusion I could create and hid the planet from the Honkai God's vision. After this, I guess the Honkai thought that in the universe they went, humanity wasn't a thing and so they went inside their new home, the Immaterium which you now know as the Honkai Dimension."
Anastasia blinked several times in shock as she slowly started to take in all the informations. She was about to speak but Merlin raised his hand.
"I'm not done yet" he said calmly "Since our mission failed we kept hiding Earth until...the shamans of Earth did their thing, just like in our universe, and created the Emperor. When he reached his maturity he appeared to us and gave us a new task which was quite similar to the previous one. He took the gene-stock and made 20 templates of those and then gave me the most corrupted one and told me to implant it on someone. I did but the corruption always ended up either killing or turning the subject into a monster"
The pink-haired girl slowly nodded as she was completely engrossed in the story.
"My illusion fell apart and Honkai slowly started to attack mankind until its complete eradication" Merlin said as Anastasia widened her eyes "But that wasn't the end, The Emperor reset everything and so a new civilization started, they encountered the Honkai and were eradicated and by consequence, the Emperor reset everything again. In secret, I kept trying to make a Primarch while also carrying another duty that was bestowed upon me. The Emperor had tasked me with the quest of hiding all the weapons and everything that could have helped us fighting the Honkai in order to use them when the Primarch was found."
"Okay stop" Anastasia said raising her hands "You said that the Honkai is now like crazy strong but it doesn't seem like it"
"They are, it's just that their race is young and naive and don't know how to handle that power" Merlin replied shrugging "And that's our biggest advantage...can I keep going now?" he asked as he got a nod "Where was I? Oh yes! Finally, the previous civilization came around and managed to defeat the Honkai God but fell because of the Herrscher of Corruption, its survivors created the current civilization and it was then that I have found you, I gave you the Primarch gene-seed as soon as you were born and you actually accepted it. From that point onward I started to follow you and when your destructive instincts kicked in, I was the one that allowed Otto to find the nanosuit and to make it put it in you in order to repress that corrupted part of DNA. The only thing left to do it was to remove the Chaos influence from your soul which you did and here we are."
Anastasia remained silent for a few moments "why my father hasn't intervened?"
The mage simply shrugged "I think because he needs to gather up power to fight the Honkai God, each reset must have cost him a lot of it...but the Emperor of man acts in mysterious ways but it usually turns out that he had planned something that could help humanity"
Anastasia remained silent as she returned to watch the fleet hovering above Mars "It's funny y' know? Less than a few hours ago I was no one, and now, I'm someone who's supposed to lead humanity against the honkai..."
Merlin looked at the girl and smiled "Are you regretting it?"
"Never" she replied shaking her head "I feel like I have a place in this world now, I was given a goal to follow" Anastasia crossed her arms and looked at the caster with eyes filled with determination "Where do I have to start?"
"Well, while I was following you, I set a small stage for you" Merlin admitted "Many of the arsenals of the previous civilization use AI, so I spread the news that you are a Mechanicus Primarch, you are already being worshipped by the Adeptus Mechanicus who are already started to worship you as child of the Omnissiah especially after they discovered that your body is not made of flesh but from metal"
Anastasia sighed "Well...I could have told me...anyway what does this have to do with the AIs?"
"The Adeptus Mechanicus don't see AIs under a good light and would never normally accept them...unless you tell them to" Merlin explained
"But I was made of flesh once" Anastasia said
"And we'll keep it a secret" Merlin said "It's better like this we don't have the manpower to make war against the Honkai God, even though we 250.000 Astartes and Additional Mechanicus, it's still not enough for defeating it"
Anastasia sighed and nodded "very well..."
Suddenly someone entered the room, it was Alatan.
"My Primarch, we are ready to depart to Mars' surface, the Adeptus Mechanicus are already waiting there " he said getting a nod...
Kallen opened up her eyes and the first thing she saw was an awful amount of around her. The valkyrie immediately started analyzed her surroundings before noticing a massive skeleton sitting on top of a throne which was connected to it through several cables and pipes.
"Ew" she whispered as she got up
"Wow, that was just rude" the skeleton replied with something that was similar to a text-to-speech device. "Nobody said Ew after looking at me"
"Father you are too hard on her" a massive man clad in yellow armor said "She isn't from this universe and skeleton are usually revolting"
"Thanks Rogal" The skeleton replied clearly in a sarcastic tone
Kallen's eyes darted between the yellow behemoth of a man and the giant skeleton "Who are you?!"
"I'm Rogal Dorn" Rogal Dorn said as he then looked at the skeleton "This giant grumpy skeleton is my father, the Emperor of Man...or what remains of him that is"
"Hello" The Emperor said
"Where am I?" Kallen asked
"Inside Anastasia's Stigmata" The skeleton replied "but this is the reproduction of the Imperial Palace on Terra of another universe"
"Wha? HOW?!" Kallen shouted
"Well, the Stigmata is connected to me due to my genes but even then it's only because the Emperor of your universe is helping us having this talk" The Throne Emperor replied
"And why am I here?" Kallen asked
"You are not the only one here" another voice said as a red giant walked inside the room "In this Stigmata, we are all here together" he said as Kallen paled in front of him "I'm Magnus the Red"
"Kallen Kaslana" Kallen muttered
"We know" Rogal said "When this Stigmata activated we saw through everyone's memories including yours...every single moment"
"Yeah we saw your night battles with the woman called Yae Sakura" The Emperor said before proceeding to laugh as Kallen turned crimson red "Oh look Magnus, she turned into you" he added with more laughs
"That is impossible" Rogal said with a serious tone "Unlike Magnus, her complexion is not crimson red and her height is not even half of Magnus' and most importantly she had no d-"
"YOU HAVE TO CEASE AND DESIST IMMEDIATELY" Magnus interrupted his brother as he stepped in front of him.
"Well...you are right Rogal...she has no horn nipples" The Emperor said before laughing again as Magnus sighed
"Is he always like this?" Kallen asked
"N...kinda, his humor is the one of middle-schooler" The Primarch replied
"Shut the fuck up Magnus. You wouldn't be so cocky if you were in a never-ending soul-shattering pain" The Emperor said
"Ooookay then..." Kallen said as she started to feel awkward "So the reason I'm here is that...?"
"Actually" Magnus said raising his hand "We just arrived inside this Stigmata world but since my father's ego is immeasurable he turned the whole place into the replica of his imperial palace"
"How do you expect me to live somewhere where there's no gold?" The Throne Emperor replied "Anyway yes, you were already lying on the ground when we found you"
"So what now?" Kallen asked tilting her head
"Nothing" Magnus said "We are actually waiting for Anastasia to pass by so that we can have a talk with her about psychic powers...you can choose one of the rooms...how big is this place again?"
"The Imperial palace encompasses 147,181 square kilometers with 4,029,854 individual chambers in both the inner and Outer Palace" Rogal said
Magnus remained silent before looking at his father "Did you really need to recreate THE WHOLE IMPERIAL PALACE HERE?!"
"Yes" The Emperor replied "Just pick a room like that Prophet guy and the other one did, it doesn't really matter since there's no one else besides us"
"Why is that?" Kallen asked raising an eyebrow
"Well, that is because this link between universes is already pretty weak even if both of me, my father and the other father are supporting it, bringing all the minds of all the inhabitants of the Imperial Palace would have been disastrous and would have destroyed the link" Magnus said
"And if not that, the connection would have caught the attention of the Chaos Gods who would probably try to fuck things up...again" The Emperor said
"Who are the Chaos Gods?"The Valkyria asked
"None of your concern since they don't exist in this universe" Manus replied
Kallen slowly nodded "uhm...I don't know where to go though?"
"I will guide you to a room where you will be able to return here in little time and have sexual interactions without us hearing you" The Primarch of the Imperial Fist said
Kallen turned crimson red but she realized something "Wait Sakura is here?"
"Well, no" Magnus said "She returned inside Theresa's stigmata but due to the strong connection between Anastasia and Theresa and the fact that the guy called Alex Mercer consumed a bit of the 12th Herrscher, the two stigmatas are connected so I wouldn't exclude the possibility that when Anastasia and Theresa meet again you will be able to see Sakura again"
"Sob such a heartbreaking love story" The Emperor said
"Father, are you really moved by their love story?" Magnus asked
"Well you know, It wouldn't even bother me if I was told about it but since we all re-lived those memories, I can't help but feel a bit moved...also probably because sitting on this fucking throne made me a bit more emotional" The Emperor replied
"I..." Rogal started said "felt really moved"
Magnus looked at him and narrowed his eyes "Oh really? I couldn't tell by your always stoic expression" he said before looking around "Wait a second where is Kitten? I thought I also connected his mind to the stigmata"
"Oh yeah, the custodes started sniffing after seeing those memories and went to make some tea" Rogal said
"Probably it reminded him of his relationship with that Tau" The Emperor said
"THAT IS NOT FUCKING CANON!" A scream in the distance filled the corridors of the Imperial Palace as Kallen was already dead inside since some random people saw her private memories and were commenting them.
"Now then little girl" Rogal said "Let me guide through these empty corridors of sparkles and gold" he said as he walked out of the throne room.
"Well this is boring...when is my new daughter is going to arrive?" The Emperor said
"You are surprisingly excited to have a daughter even though, and I quote, 'girls are yucky'" Magnus replied "By the way, do you know how the Primarch gene-seed produced a female Primarch?"
"first of all, shut the fuck up Magnus" The Master of Mankind replied "unlike my male Primarch, she was born infected by Chaos and got rid of it unlike SOMEONE who instead betrayed me, not only that but she's also protecting mankind on her own and building the Imperium for me" he said "Secondly, I think that Slaanesh changed the gene-stock so that it could only produce female Primarchs if not monsters just to make me angry and there is no way in the immaterium that I'm giving it the satisfaction of seeing me angry for it so instead I'm going to embrace the fact that I have a daughter and will probably get others in the future"
"First off, the destructive instincts were suppressed by that guy...Prophet" Magnus said
"Wrong, I wasn't talking about the DNA Khorne changed to make the Primarch go on a killing spree" The Emperor interrupted his son "I was talking about Tzeentch soul manipulation that pushing her to kill humans as revenge for how they treated her...sounds familiar?"
"I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT" Magnus quickly replied
The Emperor chuckled "I remember Malcador saying that I should have made 20 sisters instead of 20 brothers in order to avoid dick-measuring contests"
"I'm other problems would have popped up sooner or later" Magnus said "like...that time of the month...would have attracted Khorne's daemons for sure" he muttered before getting hit by a mental slap of the Emperor"
"Fucking Ew Magnus" The Emperor said as he tried to remove that mental image from his mind. "Okay fuck this, I'm going to bother her with some spooky voice in her head"
"Wait for me!" Magnus said