Setting -> AU
’Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul’
He was not sure where the thought sprang from, but he was entirely sure that this was not the best place for it to happen. At least, it was the first thought that crossed his processing unit as he batted off another Gallion. The detestable purple mechaniloids kept on coming left and right, and he wasn’t sure how long he’d last. Rusted joints groaned from the strain as he forcefully landed atop another’s shoulders, stabbing the top of its head as he blocked a stream of bullets from yet another Gallion, his movements slowed by gradual deterioration. Thus, he was unable to entirely deflect the stream, nor the one that came after that from the other side. Jumping away from the crumpled bodice of the one he had felled, Sage Harpuia sought to distance himself from the oncoming enemy.
It didn’t matter, his wounds didn’t phase him. He had shut off his pain processor before the battle had even begun, even if it was not the best of ideas. As his knees faltered slightly from yet another landing, the reploid spun, slashing at a couple of Gallions behind him, claw-wielding ones, as others moved in for the kill.
‘In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.’
With a roar, he turned to the rest of his foes, the jets on his back flaring. He had to buy them time to escape, and was willing to become bait, even if he was torn apart.
Even if his body was destroyed, he would not allow harm to come to those who tried to escape Weil’s clutches. In this state of disrepair, all he could do was continue to move forward. There was no repair bay to return to, there was no path to go but forward. Weil had made them the enemy of the citadel he had once protected, and all he could do was stave off the waves that came after refugees to give them time.
Using his Sonic Blades, the reploid sent three waves of energy at a clutch of Galleons before him, leaping up slightly to dice a Carry-Arm to pieces before it could drop its spiked barrel upon him. Mentally, he apologized to the unit.
It used to be one of his own.
Weil apparently only replaced the Pantheons.
Still, no matter how many he slayed, there were still many more to cut through, more than he could probably handle in his state. Even his optics were failing him and, as another volley of plasma bullets hit his chest, it almost toppled him over.
He couldn’t give up, not now.
‘Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.’
He was running low on energy, he knew that.
Was this what it was like, fighting desperately for one’s life? While he was not fighting for his own, he finally felt like he understood the desperation of the Resistance Members he had once been ordered to kill. In these insurmountable odds, he felt like he finally understood the look on their eyes as they fought back, even if they knew it would lead to their death.
And yet, he did not feel fear. As he slashed down another clawed Galleon that came at him and dodged the next, the reploid once more took to the air, unleashing his weather-related wrath upon the mechaniloids below with an electrified tornado. Some of the flying units were also caught by the miniature-sized natural phenomenon, and yet others managed to dodge and shoot at the green-armored Guardian.
With little energy left and a brittle body, along with shots that connected with his propelling units, Sage Harpuia’s body plummeted to the ground below, slamming into some Galleons who were under him. He didn’t even find it in himself to scream at his decent, only vigorously slashing at the mechaniloids below.
However, it was to no avail.
They swarmed him as he fell, those that had not been torn to pieces, and the clawed mechaniloids ripped into the mechanical frame and armor of his arms and legs, as well as chest and torso. Even as he fought back, he was attacked from all sides now that he was down, the long-ranged Galleons aiming in case he managed to get away.
He could hear it even through his tattered and slightly malfunctioning hearing (there was some static and garbage noise along with it), more troops were approaching, and this time with at least one of Weil’s commanders.
His will to continue to fight rose and rose, but his body was losing its ability to move, the servos not even responding to some commands he forcefully gave himself. Errors popped up left and right in his vision, warning lables and blaring signals. As he forced himself to getup and keep fighting, his left arm tore off, weapon still grasped tightly on the lost limb.
With eyes flaring of determination, Sage Harpuia managed to get up and stave off the remaining Galleons, only for fire to be brought down on him. The reploid stumbled forth, almost falling, when the fire was called off. All Galleons that remained stood to attention, turning to their arriving reinforcements.
Had Harpuia not been in such a sorry state, he’d have taken advantage of this and mowed through the rest like a maverick animaloid. However, he could hardly find it in himself to stand, let alone willingly repress his processing unit anymore.
He was spoken to, but he could no longer hear, static taking over entirely as his pain processor overtook him. His body shook and he glared down to an enemy he could barely see. Pegasolta Eclair… he recognized that working-class animaloid.
The Guardian’s nanobots had barely managed to fix the damage to his hearing units when he heard the last bit.
'Pathetic reploid, how far you've fallen. If you had only behaved well and obeyed, you would be one of Master Weil's honorable Generals! In charge of-'
Ah, a speech.
Coughing coolant, which spilled to the tattered grounds below, Harpuia took a step forward.
"The only one who has fallen… is you…" He managed to sputter out with as much dignity as he could muster, smirking slightly. "You will regret… following Weil… and causing so much pain to Master X’s dream."
Eclair seemed furious; perhaps at being interrupted, or perhaps at his words, but he couldn’t find himself to care. Speaking again as the pegasus-based mutos reploid opened his mouth, he managed to speak his final words before the errors overtook his sight and his processors slowed to a stop, core burning out and combusting.
"Setting your hands on Neo Arcadia… he’ll make you regret it… that Zero…"
As Harpuia’s body stopped functioning, Pegasolta’s restraint vanished. Like a wick igniting a fire, the mutos reploid’s eyes were filled with fury as he dashed forth, hacking at the prone body, even as it fell to pieces.
It was of little use, however.
The reploid had already stopped functioning.
‘It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.’
Pieces scattered in an unrecognizable rubble, Eclair huffed, kicked some dirt, then turned and left. There was no pride or any elegant feeling in his chest as he returned to the chained citadel, only a feeling of dread.
He had heard of Zero.
Witnessing the destruction Harpuia had laid upon the mechaniloid units in that state of disrepair, he silently began to dread what was to come, should they have to fight Zero himself.
Still, he supressed the thought, instead swelling himself with fake confidence. No matter what, Master Weil had a plan. Ragnarök would succeed, and then no reploid would be able to stop them, no matter how legendary.
(The poem quoted is named Invictus, by William Ernest Henly. It means Undefeated in Latin, if I recall correctly.
AU Setting, in which the Guardians do not die in Omega’s explosion, but are instead forced to fight as renegades, refusing to work with the resistance and instead helping refugees escape by staving off their pursuers. It is assumed that Leviathan and Fefnir are in other key points themselves, or would be, if they were still functioning. Use your imagination)