The Fallen Star
Chapter 44: Truth to be Unleashed


Panic ran vividly through Ace’s mind as he threw himself down to Kurt’s level. He was motionless, even as Ace quickly turned him over onto his back.
Ace could see a vast amount of blood from a large wound in his abdomen. Something had pierced right through his armoured clothing, and as Ace investigated closer, he saw two karnifex barbs lodged into Kurt’s body.

He wasted no time. Ace got out the nanotech gel Jenna had given him earlier. As well as a nano-capsule that Malvin had given him. He removed the barbs hastily with his free hand and applied both nanotech substances onto the large open wound.
Ace was incredibly worried. Kurt wasn’t moving at all, he didn’t even appear to be breathing. He applied as much nanotech as possible to him, watching as the nanomites did their work. Ace’s heart was beating rapidly, beginning to sweat more from anxiety and worry. He tried nudging Kurt to move…


Come on you can make it…


After the blue glow of nanotech faded, the sounds of coughing were heard. This was a blessing to Ace and he sighed in relief, carefully allowing Kurt to lie up against the nearby pillar.
He was breathing again, although laboured. Ace stayed close to wait for him to regain his full consciousness, watching Kurt finally begin to open his eyes. Ace was so relieved to see him in a more lively state again; however he could still see that Kurt was not in such good shape.

“Kurt, how do you feel? I thought I had lost you just then…”


“…Ace? Heh. It certainly is pleasant to see you… at a time… like this.” Kurt said, gulping in large breaths as he spoke.

“No problem. You can rest on the side-line for now… let me finish this fight once and for all-“

“Ace. I… don’t think I am going to make it. The wound on the outside may be gone but… I don’t think I can last much longer…”


“Don’t talk like that. Once this is over, we will get you a full dose of nanotech, okay?”

“I like your optimistic attitude…”


Kurt gave off a weak smile to Ace, giving him a boost in confidence. Ace very well knew that the karnifex venom had infected Kurt, and that markazians don’t have immunity to such injury. Towards the dark side of the room, Ace could hear the footsteps of something awfully familiar. The dust had vastly settled and out from the shadows came the figure of King Kaedos.

Ace bared his canines at him, raising his body to stand up straight. Both fists clenched together, waiting for the monster to speak a word.

“How touching. Trying to save your friend now? My poison is far more potent than any other karnifex, so I wouldn’t waste precious nanotech on him if I were you. You may need it for yourself later…”

“I don’t need to hear any of your crap. You’ll pay for what you’ve done; I’ll make sure of it! Now fight me!”


Ace hastily got out his Hardlight Vipers this time grasping them in both hands. He turned around to look back at Kurt, who was staring at him.

“Go get him. Stop him at all costs. Do it for the Seven Seekers and your people.”

“I will. I will do my best to make you proud”

“I’m already proud of you Ace…”


Kurt told him while he grinned proudly at Ace, who had turned around to face the enemy ahead of them. Ace’s heart sank at the response from the markazian. He bowed his head lightly, as a sign of respect towards his mentor. Right before Ace ran out into the fight ahead of him.


Ace began firing his pair of Vipers immediately, locking onto the alien monster and already managing to inflict some damage with the metallic bullets. Kaedos moved to the sides to avoid the majority of the gunfire but he noticed that the bullets were strong enough to leave small dents in his carbonox armour.
The karnifex lashed back with shots of acidic beams, determined to get back at the verpardi. He lunged forward in surprise and swung his large hind limb around – luckily for Ace, he had ducked just in the nick of time. He stopped firing for a moment to try returning a kick. A loud noise followed after Ace’s metal-capped boot clashed against Kaedos’ armoured side. This caused Kaedos to stumble to the right slightly, angering him to tract out his blades and strike Ace’s way.
Ace leapt backwards with each sway coming for him, until he sidestepped and lunged himself outwards, landing several metres away from Kaedos and firing at him again with the Hardlight Vipers.


The duelling fighters went on for minutes, continuously firing projectiles and ammo at one another. Running and leaping away or at one another. It was tough, especially for Ace.

He was beginning to tire from the long, hellish day. He wasn’t even sure if King Kaedos was wearing out neither, probably not as much. It wasn’t fair. Ace had been pacing, leaping and fighting the whole day, and this karnifex had not.
But even then, he refused to slow down. Ace’s stamina was impressive, he had been through many battles before, and had survived six years at DreadZone. Although this fight was proving to be his toughest challenge yet - even the fight against Ratchet wasn’t nearly as harsh.

Ace groaned angrily as he noticed the ammo for his Hardlight Vipers were low. It was time to switch guns, but as he was about to change them, Kaedos illuminated his restraining beam. Ace saw the green light though and had jumped right out of the way, although dropping one of the Vipers by accident.
Kaedos did not hesitate to lunge forward and crush the gun underneath his clawed foot. Ace was a bit surprised to see that happen, but he did not care too much. He tossed his other Viper away, glaring back at the insect before him.

“Don’t think for a moment that you’ve got the upper hand. I’ve still got more where they came from!”

“Save your breath. Are you becoming tired? That is the problem with warm blooded life forms. They tire too easily, grow hungry too easily. Even die too easily.”


Kaedos marched forward slowly, bringing out his deadly blades from each of his wrists. Ace was unafraid though; producing his trusted Launcher he scraped it across a nearby stone pillar. A loud screech and sparks of light followed the trail – before he lunged himself forward.
The karnifex swiped and Ace came in, rushing forward and lowering his body to deliver a powerful beam to the King’s abdomen. Kaedos was a bit startled as he was blasted out of the way; some of his armour even broke apart while he was sent backwards. He didn’t lose his footing though, standing up steadily and growing angrier with the verpardi. He shot small, multiple showers of acidic lasers in Ace’s direction. Ace didn’t have time to avoid them all and unfortunately, a wave came into contact with him. Ace tried ignoring the burning pains that came when some shots came into way of his skin and clothing.  They were small shots, but still painful.
He fiercely wanted to injure this monster. The HL Vipers weakened his armour a bit, but it wasn’t nearly enough. And getting within close range of this beast was very risky, but it was a chance he would have to take. He couldn’t hold it off for much longer.

Ace activated his hard-light clones immediately, now that they had fully recharged from previous use. These gave him a chance to try and distract Kaedos who was already attacking a few clones of Ace not far from him. Ace’s real form stayed close behind the other half of HL clones, as they controlled them mentally to fire repetitively with their launchers.
Kaedos didn’t have much trouble attacking the many copies though, cutting down at least half within the passing seconds. Yet that was enough time for Ace to get up close to the side of him, halting his gunfire for a moment before he bent his legs a little and threw himself upwards.

A disturbing splatter followed from Ace’s action. He held his pointy launcher firmly in place, as Kaedos thrashed about ferociously. Ace’s Launcher had successfully lacerated the karnifex’s left eye. Green and yellow coloured blood seeped from the wound, as a bladed part of the gun was lodged inside of it. Ace’s clones were gone by now, so they were the least of Kaedos’ worries. The alien’s wings were still slightly functional, and he used them to speed dash into the nearby wall. Ace was forced to let go of the beast and retract the launcher after hitting the wall with a considerable amount of force. It wasn’t too bad however, and he quickly moved away from Kaedos. It was difficult to tell how the karnifex was feeling, but judging from his jagged motions he must have been furious.
Kaedos seemly ignored the wound and came for Ace again, slashing with great ferocity driven by determination to get back at him. Ace was persistent though and after successfully taking out one of his eyes it gave him a sheer boost of confidence. Ace moved close to impede the incoming sways from Kaedos, blocking his blades several times while firing back when he had gained enough space.
Ace was breathing quite frantically now, the duel being very intense. And the more it went on, the more he could feel the exhaustion creeping upon his body. But Ace knew he had a chance if he kept up with the fight. Kaedos was injured and he was doing rather well on his own so far.

“No one has ever injured my body as extensively as you have. You really are quite an impressive warrior. However, it is unfortunate for you that I cannot feel the pain.”

“I don’t care if you can feel pain or not. You have taken a severe beating, and this won’t be the last of it. No, it will get much worse!”


“Much worse, you say? Oh your life is about to become much less fortunate than it was before…”


“You will be the one who falls first, so stop talking. So we can settle this once and for all!”

“I beg to differ. Why not go check up on your mentor over there?”


The aggressive features on Ace’s face swiftly changed at the moment of hearing that. He turned around, peering over towards the corner where Kurt Swiftblade was resting.
Ignoring Kaedos, he immediately rushed over to where Kurt lay in the shadows.  Ace’s visor was functioning as normal, but he would not take notice of what its readings were. No. He refused to look at what was appearing on the visor display. He flipped them up, to see with his own eyes. He found it hard to breathe; his heart rate had risen sharply. He just couldn’t believe it.
He kneeled down to Kurt’s level, looking at him wide eyed as he lay there against the wall. Kurt’s eyes were closed, and Ace could only hope that he was snoozing. He nudged Kurt’s shoulder with his hand, moving him again, and again. But he wouldn’t make a sound, or move a muscle. Ace was in shock. He didn’t want to check his pulse, finding it too difficult to even attempt it. He had to back away slightly, standing up and switching his visor down over his eyes again. The display had firmly shown the status of his body.

Zero traces of nanotech were present.


Kurt was dead.

Ace was in too much distress to mutter a single word. A familiar pain stirred inside of him, even the feeling of disbelief was conflicting with him once again. But this time round, he very well knew what had happened. The facts were there, and nothing could change them. It was much too late for that.
He could feel his heart breaking, and his hands began to quiver from the thoughts that were stirring on his mind. The pain was immense, yet he tried his hardest to keep it in. He must keep focus. He had to stay strong to destroy the one who took Kurt’s life.
Yet he couldn’t help but tremble. His free fist was clenched tighter than ever; even the grip around his Launcher was hard. The shaking sensation had originated from the distress of realization.

But now, it was coming from pure rage.

Ace threw a sharp look back at the karnifex king. He held back any tears and simply reloaded his HL Launcher, holding it up in defence and clenching his teeth angrily.


Kaedos only glared back in a sinister manner.
“What a pity. My venom contains a high concentration of anti-nano substance. He never stood a chance once I got him.”

“… I swear… I swear that you will pay. I WILL kill you! I’ll make sure of it!”

“Is that one of the lines you said before slaughtering a superhero during your proud DreadZone days?”

“Shut the hell up and fight me!”


Fiery blue beams came from Ace’s launcher immediately somewhat startling Kaedos in the midst of it all. He bound back several times, avoiding the shots from Ace. It appeared to be that the karnifex king’s sharp coordinated movements were becoming less precise, with the absence of one of his eyes.
But Ace did not notice that. He was incredibly infuriated; blinded by the need to kill this villain. He only continued to fire constantly at Kaedos, trying best to get up close again to deal more damage. Frustration only built each time the gunfire had missed the karnifex, he jolted up forward to ready another slash from his launcher, but was suddenly stopped by the restraining light.

Not this shit again!


Kaedos stood there before him, holding Ace’s posture back in standstill – the king appeared to be plotting what to do with the verpardi from this point.
Ace meanwhile, felt enraged even more with what was happening. He hated this particular ability, loathed it even. He tried so hard to move about and without notice, the restraint suddenly stopped and Kaedos leapt forward.
The large karnifex pinned Ace down in the blink of an eye. He was utterly surprised until a blade came down for him, which he had seen beforehand, leaving it to stab straight into the concrete floor.
Then the left blade did the same, but had sliced through the side of his armoured clothing. Ace knew he had to react fast, especially after feeling it cut the surface of his skin underneath. He powered his knee upwards to nudge the beast, before using the whole of his body strength to heave himself upwards.

He had thrown Kaedos back with success, but the sharp pain to his side was beginning to grow strong. Ace didn’t know how deep it was, yet he didn’t care. He grunted aggressively and came in for Kaedos to deliver a scathing swipe against his karnifex blades. Clashing noises followed once more as the two fighters duelled together, swiping at one another multiple times.
During the moment of it all, thoughts on Ace’s mind were bothering him. He knew that he was beginning to wear out from this battle, and that he was alone in the fight to finish Kaedos off.

If only I could free the other Seekers…


He formed an idea together, but it would be quite a large risk. Ace was desperate however and he could not bear the thought of losing any more of his teammates. He had to free the others. He needed their help.
Desperation got the better of him and so he stopped duelling for a moment to vanish right in front of King Kaedos.


Ace appeared just metres away from him with nine of his hard-light clones this time. He was situated near the right side of the clones, which Kaedos did not know. Ace and his copies were already attacking fiercely, firing with their launchers from all directions, and running about to confuse the insectoid beast. Kaedos was seemingly agitated with the amount of chaos, attacking the nearest HL clones to him.
While Ace’s true form took refuge behind the other half of his copies. He was becoming exhausted. Controlling the hard-light clones at this point was even tougher; he had to use all of his mind’s power to keep up the distraction. He had no time to lose, and so he hurried along with his plan.

He began to sneak away from the chaotic fight, trying to keep focused on the clones attacking Kaedos. He got up close to the pile of stone debris, in the direction where the Seekers were being held. He was careful moving about in the shadows, but moving further away from the rest of his hard-light clones was tough. He could feel his mind being strained by this - the further away from his clones he was, the harder it was to focus.
But he had to do it. He turned away and looked up at the pile of stone, before taking a big leap.

He grasped onto the nearest ledge to pull himself upwards and at this point, his head really began to hurt greatly. He heaved himself up and closed his eyes tightly. The strain was unbearable, it was near impossible to keep up the distraction this far away. The display on his visor was beginning to phase out, and the headache could only worsen when he tried to stand up.
Before he could open his eyes however, something grabbed his ankle tightly.

Ace lost grip of everything. He could feel his mind slipping away as he experienced being thrown through the air, before coming to an uncomfortable crash landing several metres away. He was completely lost, had no idea what was going on. At least until the vision came back to him and the ghastly figure of the karnifex loomed over him. 
A blurry vision of an evil eye peered down over him before he could see the pointed blade coming down. Reality could only fully return once he could experience the excruciating pain that followed afterwards.
His body went into overdrive and adrenaline came to his aid, his muscled arms and legs did all they could to throw the monster away from him. Once the beast was out of the way, he now had a chance to roll onto his knees and advance away with what strength he had spared.


Ace was shaken. He breathed heavily while he began to come to terms with what had just happened. He looked down his body, to see that he was heavily injured. The blade had gone deep into the left side of his chest, right down to his ribs. Luckily for him, the terraflux vest saved him from being completely sliced into two. But it didn’t stop the blade from coming in at all, and now he was in severe pain, the adrenaline rush passing over him. He clutched the wound with his free left hand as it bled heavily. He didn’t know how deep it was, but it was terrible and his hand was soaked. He simply couldn’t move at this point, even whilst Kaedos came walking over towards him again, holding up his bladed arms.

A large mass of fur and metal lunged out of nowhere and rammed him into the ground, just before anybody’s eyes could see.
Ace couldn’t believe it. The large creature took down Kaedos, even managing to land a few swipes from its claws. Kaedos was infuriated with the unwelcome encounter, managing to get away from the horned beast before he could gain his posture.

It was Leera Lashclaw.

Ace almost couldn’t believe that she was here. She looked battle worn with parts of her armour damaged or missing, and some visible injuries. Yet she was still full of life.
No Mercy

She fiercely defended Ace, hissing and growing at Kaedos. She crouched down, before lashing out at him, but the karnifex was still rather quick on his feet, avoiding the maulkat each time she tried to ram into him. She came again, snarling loudly but was struck to the side when Kaedos strafed around to stab her. She let off a pained roar, yet she would not back down. She struck the kings blade with her paw after receiving a gash from him but he was too quick for her. He slashed at her exposed fur each time he had a clear hit. She was becoming viciously annoyed and confused with the quick movements, and Ace could not sit back and watch no more.

“No, Leera! Back away!”

With a charged up Launcher beam, he shot King Kaedos. The karnifex was blown back several metres, and Leera stopped going for him. Instead, she paced over to where Ace was standing, limping from the injuries she had sustained over time. Ace could notice Leera was worn out like he was.

He was not feeling well himself, but he could not bear to see another Seeker die tonight.

“Stay back, okay? I will finish this…”

Leera seemingly did not want to let Ace fight alone. She nudged Ace’s face gently with her muzzle, although he shook his head instead.

“You’re not in good shape. You’ve been fighting all day… and running all this way to join us. So go, stay by Kurt… keep watch over him.”


The maulkat lowered her head down, appearing to have accepted his wishes. Leera walked over towards Kurt’s body, away from the centre of the fight.  She immediately appeared upset upon finding his lifeless body, lowering her head down to gently nuzzle the side of him.
Ace watched them from afar, and could feel a deep sadness overcoming him. He still found it hard to accept that Kurt’s life was gone, for good. He had to turn away, to draw his focus back onto the evil being he sought to put an end to.

He straightened his posture again and clenched his teeth angrily, rising up with his Launcher fighting the immense pain he was in. He did well hiding that fact by keeping his fierce and determined glare locked onto Kaedos.

“Why don’t you just hurry the hell up and fight me!”

“There is no need for me to rush, Hardlight. You and the rest of them heroes are about to die one way or another. I’d like to take my time, if you wouldn’t mind…”

“All you’re doing now is standing around talking trash! I’m not done you know. I am still alive, and armed!”

“Not all of what I say would be considered ‘rubbish’ you know. Seeing as you are so close to death… I suppose it wouldn’t make a difference if I let you in on a story. The story of how your previous home world vanished from existence.”

“So now you’re going to bring up the tired Bolden 3 incident? How original. Just get on with the fight, would you? I don’t give a damn!”
Ace shouted, his mood becoming tenser as the karnifex stood there, talking to him more.


“I am quite sure you would care to listen as these are your final moments after all. You see, there was a big plan that unfolded behind your back all those years ago. The Balatroids were easy pickings, easy to gain control of, easy to lure into the trap. They were the perfect bait for my plan, the bait for you and your team.
They were sent into the Solana Galaxy, to raid a specific planet and of course, you and your team showed up to help put an end to their carnage. They were a great distraction for what a few of my soldiers were planting on your orphan home world…”

Ace’s aggression appeared to have stumbled upon hearing him talk about the past. Kaedos seemed to know a lot, a bit too much for his comfort.


“What kind of bullshit is this? Stop trying to mess with my head, and just FIGHT me!”

“None of this is a lie, Hardlight. This is all fact.

“You see… we had implemented a particular piece of comet shard onto the Balatroid mothership. A shard you will know to be a Surinox Shard. This mineral has been rumoured to contain the power to shift an entire planet, open up portals to a vast amount of dimensions and to hold an immense amount of power.


“Two small fragments were all we required for our plot. After you and your team used a quantum based cannon to destroy their mothership, all that energy and destruction was linked directly to Bolden 3 - right where we had implanted the other half of the Surinox shard. This allowed both the Balatroid fleet and Bolden 3 to perish together at the same time, regardless of where in the universe they resided.”


Kaedos paused with his story. Ace could only blink back in disbelief.

Is he telling the truth? Is that, really what happened?


He started to think more into it, but found it too astounding to come to terms with.


“…if what you say is true, then why. Why did you do it? Why didn’t you come and kill me instead!?”

“I wanted to do more than just end your life. I had done it this way because I knew that it would wound you. I knew that it would destroy your reputation; your team and possibly your life. But instead, it did something quite interesting. It turned you into a cold blooded murderer, killing many other superheroes for the joy of entertainment. Who would have ever thought that would happen? More spectacular than suicide though, I must say. You probably killed more superheroes than I have.”


Ace couldn’t think of anything else to say. He was too enraged beyond belief. But other thoughts started to come back to him now instead, about Bolden 3.
Ace thought about the past, and how he always firmly believed that it wasn’t his fault it got destroyed, nor the teams fault for that matter either. His gut feeling always knew there was something hidden behind of the disaster. He simply could not believe that they were responsible for the destruction and upon Kaedos telling this. It all made began to make so much sense.

“And so now you know what really happened. Don’t get me wrong though, you and your team still aided in destroying that worthless rock, it wasn’t just my work. Quite intriguing to see how emotions can be played around with, such species always end up becoming extinct. Karnifex are a race which does not live on the weakness of emotion. We only live to survive, to spread throughout the universe, to be a dominant species and so it does not matter what I tell you now, because you’re about to die by my blade. And this planet will perish once we are done with it, much like Bolden 3…”

Everything became eerily silent by now, now that Kaedos had stopped with his speech. The karnifex even stood back to give Ace a moment to think to himself; glaring back with his one glowing eye balefully.
Ace was deep in thought. He was beginning to really come to terms with everything that was unveiled tonight. He was right all along about Bolden 3.
Nobody believed him, not even his own team. He had no proof to prove otherwise, yet he knew all along that something was wrong with the accusations made towards him and the Sonic 6.

And now that he knew it was King Kaedos’ doing, it really astounded him beyond belief. This villain really went through all that effort to destroy his life and reputation, to mutilate his emotions and drive him to the brink of becoming a villain himself. It was so disturbing.
Ace had managed to pull himself out of the hell that was DreadZone however and he had found a purpose in life again. He redeemed himself and changed his ways for the better of others.

But now everything appeared to be coming to a crushing end. He was badly injured and the rest of his beloved team’s lives were in serious danger.
Kurt Swiftblade, the one who had adopted him, the person who raised him to be a hero, the man who had given him a second chance in life. Somebody who supported him to where he was now… was dead. Ace never had a chance to say goodbye, and it hurt bad. He looked over at Kurt’s body, where Leera was resting beside him. It was disheartening to see this. He wasn’t even sure if he could get to see any of the other Seekers again.
He began to look down at the thought of them. Will he ever see them again? Last time he saw them, was when they were being tortured with electricity. He thought more about them, and Jenna. He never even got the chance to tell her that he loved her.

It was a heart wrecking feeling. Even so, other thoughts on mind started to come to his aid.

No. I can’t give up now. That is not an option!

I cannot. Let. Them. Down.


“So, Hardlight. Are you ready to meet your demise?”

Kaedos asked, moving slightly more towards him. Ace did not respond however, and the karnifex scowled.

He asked again.
“…Are you?”

“You supervillains can be so predictable. Always giving off these ‘speeches’ before they try to end a heroes life.”


Ace spoke out, slowing beginning to lift his head up to look at Kaedos. He was even grinning slightly, which Kaedos found to be quite puzzling.
Ace opened his mouth again,

“I’m glad I lived long enough to hear all of this. You made a big mistake in destroying Bolden 3. If you had gone after me instead, then maybe your evil schemes wouldn’t be in such jeopardy.”

“Speak all you want, Ace Hardlight. You won’t be alive for much longer!”


“You had every right to fear me. You knew well that I would eventually find out about the situation of my race and home planet - to come back and save them. To come and destroy you!”


Ace walked over towards where Leera resided with Kurt. It pained him seeing Kurt laying there yet a spectral sight gave him hope. He breathed in slowly whilst closing his eyes. He opened them again and kneeled down, reaching over the side of Kurt to retrieve something.


Kaedos glared back at him defiantly, sneering and raising his posture.

“I don’t fear you, or your team. I will cut down every last one of you, just like I have done with Swiftblade!”


“Just look at where you are now. Your species is taking a thrashing out there from the Vaelidian rebels. By tomorrow, they will surely be wiped out. So even if you destroy me, you won’t stand a chance against their mass. You will be the one who will die alone.”

Ace had exposed a wicked smile, exposing all his teeth in a very devious fashion. He lifted himself up again, despite the uncomfortable wound he was still enduring down his body. He had both of Kurt’s dual blades firmly grasped in his hands, and he walked towards King Kaedos gradually.

“You’re not indestructible. You are about as close to hells void as I am. Unfortunately for you, I have too much to live for. But you - you have nothing!”


Kaedos wouldn’t dare to even speak. Ace continued to tread towards the monster. He appeared content with what he was about to try and do, already switching on the pair of swords to their flare mode. They exploded into a brilliant scarlet-orange glow in the darkness, illuminating all around Ace as he paced onwards.
Kaedos raised his hand and unleashed the restraining energy upon him like before. But Ace wasn’t fazed by this. He stood there frozen, yes. But he very well knew that Kaedos’ strength was very low, weakened from the long battle. And Ace began to move, even while the green glow was surrounding all around his body.
The karnifex reacted cautiously to this, not giving up the restraint and keeping his palm focused on the verpardi’s form. Even though he was moving several inches at a time rather than staying put.

But Ace immediately vanished from his sight and restraint.

He appeared again with five other copies of himself, all surrounding King Kaedos in the dark. Each had their own pairs of swords, and the karnifex looked threatened.
He retaliated, striking at the copies of Ace that were closest to him. But they were avoiding him, seemingly taunting the king by dodging his strikes. Ace and his hard-light clones hadn’t even attempted to attack with their swords yet.
Only Ace’s true form had the ‘actual’ pair of swords. Kurt’s blades were not designed for hard-light clone technology. And Ace knew this which meant that he had to strike with his true self.
Ace could see that Kaedos was just as weakened as he had suspected. And now, the hard-light clones all struck with their dual blades.
Kaedos tried avoiding them, yet he failed when a couple of the Ace clones behind of him struck right through his body. But the swords did nothing; and Kaedos was truly confused.

 And now, Ace Hardlight saw his opportunity.

He bent down and powered himself forward right for the karnifex king. Blades were pointed forward and what followed next, was a disturbing clash of blades through the exoskeleton.
He landed behind Kaedos, but he was not satisfied by his actions. Ace hastily turned to see that the beast was still standing there, but one of his limbs had been cut clean off.

That was not enough.


Ace swung around with the Dual Blades outwards, swaying them down in each direction and lacerating through the back of his enemy with sheer speed and precision. He struck again and again, until he had no reason to continue on.
It was a disgusting sight, seeing the alien’s body fall apart to the ground with vast amounts of bodily fluids splattered about the floor. But it began to bring a huge feeling of relief over Ace and so, he switched the Dual Blades to their neutral mode.
King Kaedos was finished. He was no longer a threat to anybody. Ace stood still for a moment, to catch his breath. He truly was relieved by the sight of this.
Yet somehow, part of Kaedos’ body still had signs of life.


“You- may have defeated- the karnifex. But the utori will fight on. Not even Orvus- could protect this- dimension from us. Nobody… -could stop- us!”


A raspy, broken voice echoed out from the voice modulator that was around the neck of King Kaedos. Disturbingly, his decapitated head was still alive.
Ace stood over him, staring down at him with disgust.

“I don’t know what you are talking about, but you’re finished. It’s over!”

“It is- never over- for us. Never- I tell you. We will find- another- weak minded species- to possess… -we will!”

Ace had enough of his speech. He placed the swords away and got out his Launcher instead, charging it with all the power it had remaining within its capsule.

And with a single powered shot of his gun, the head of the karnifex and the remainder of his body became vaporized, forever.





The mission was over. The battle for Vaelidius, the fight against Kaedos, Ace had accomplished the near impossible but not without aid of his fellow Seekers.

Leera’s tired body moved over the pile of debris and rock, Ace situated on her back, keeping a careful hold of Kurt’s body.
He was in a dismal mood. Of course it was a very bittersweet victory over Kaedos. He was pleased to have defeated him, but with the loss of a teammate, he didn’t feel near as much pride as he should have.
Leera eventually made it over the top of the large stone pillar, before descending to the floor of the other side of the chamber. She limped slightly as she made her way over to where the other Seekers were held prisoners.
Ace motioned to her to pause which she did so immediately. She lowered herself passively to give Ace a chance to climb off her back. Ace was feeling light-headed, but he knew he had to release the others as quickly as possible. He walked up to the control panel of the cell and immediately deactivated its deadly energy based bars.

Once the bars had diminished, he kept a firm watch on the cell above. He would not rest until he knew that the other Seekers were safe and sound.

He waited a moment, even though his body was limp from standing there for just a few seconds. He was nervous. Worried of what kind of condition they were in, at least until he saw signs of life up there.
His vision began to blur from the relief of seeing them again, he could see the four remaining seekers rushing down to his level in desperation.

He blacked out but with the relief in knowing that the Seven Seekers were in unity again after all the hell they went through.



Chapter 45: The Rising Star


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