< Sapsa >
"Thank you, Lord Leviathan." replied Sefer, bowing her head respectfully. "I will be sure to make a similar request of my people."
She placed her hands in her pockets, and turned to leave, before looking backwards over her shoulder at him.
"Until next time."
At that, she teleported from the council chamber, re-materializing within her quarters on the Kusanagi. She doubled over, venting the saltwater content of her lungs over the gridded floor, coughing furiously as she did. She stood back up, her eyes watering from the exertion as she caught her breath. Lilith was standing in the doorway, her arms folded.
"You saw nothing." announced Sefer, embarrassed, and quickly regaining her composure. Lilith smiled, running up and hugging her; Sefer was only just able to avoid toppling over, but smiled, embracing Lilith. They pulled apart as Kira and Lucy entered, with the latter eating from a box of chow mein.
"Hey Seferoth." said Lucy, between mouthfuls. Kira frowned disapprovingly.
"It's just Sefer, Lucy." replied Sefer, pulling a towel from a cabinet and drying her hair off.
"Sure thing, Sefer Seferoth."
"Okay, that's one's slightly more clever, I'll admit." she replied, throwing the towel onto her bed. "You know, in most empires you could be executed for making fun of your Emperor's name in their presence."
"That's why I live in this one!" she replied, smiling. "Want chow mein?"
Sefer thought about it for a moment. "Sure." she said, as Lucy produced a fork from somewhere within her jacket and handed it to her. "So, what happened whilst I was away?"
"Cassius Calm - the, uh, prisoner who tried to attack you - well, he escaped. The steamroller we had in the engine room got dropped on someone. Got dropped on Cassius, sorry. But he still escaped. Then this weird dog-guy appeared, but Lilith did away with him. Tore a hole in the hull of the ship in doing so, but she did get rid of him. Then, uh, Gabriel Ascheron declared war on ZFT, the Dominion and just about everyone else in the universe. Prime Minister Gendo personally took the Divine Providence out of the shipyards about six months early to intervene, and now he's holding arbitration discussions with Malygos and Blackout themselves. Oh, and John Shepard escaped, crippling two ships in the progress and hijacking a third. The salvage operation was a success, by the way, but you... probably guessed that, by how I said Shepard had escaped. So, uh, yeah."
Sefer finished a mouthful of noodles, and dropped the fork into the box. "Well... Gendo's dealing with ZFT and the Dominion, and Shepard'll no doubt seek me out of his own volition when he's ready. I suppose Ascheron should be my first priority, then." she said, sighing. "Tell Zero to set a course for Kyras."
"Yes, Sir." replied Kira, saluting. Lucy frowned at his fanboyism, and followed him out of the room. Sefer walked over to her bed and collapsed backwards onto it, gazing up at the ceiling. Lilith came and sat next to her.
After a few seconds, Lilith pulled a face. "You should really take a shower."
"And let me guess, I should really let you join me?"
"That wasn't what I was thinking, but now you've mentioned it, that's a fantastic idea."
< The Divine Providence, Bridge >
"Captain Ginyu!" shouted one of the navigation officers, up to the Captain's command throne positioned high above the rest of the bridge. "Weapons fire off our starboard bow! There's a ship approaching at full speed!"
Ichigo Ginyu stood up. "Don't sound the alarm." he said. "We don't want to inconvenience the delegates." he added, his received pronunciation thick and clear. The captain of the Divine Providence was, perhaps, sixty or seventy years old, with a thick beard and mustache that covered most of his chest, a short, stocky build hidden under a huge greatcoat, the collar of which reached up to this ear, and a captain's hat with the imperial flag emblazoned in the center of it. His arm shot forwards, gesturing to the main viewscreen. "Prepare all forward railguns. If they don't stop - Fire!"
"Yes, Captain Ginyu!"
< Liquid-Metallicon >
The Covenant fell out of warp, cutting into the atmosphere and closing in on one of the many dockyards of the world. It was barely recognizable as the Takemikazuchi vessel it once was, with vast portions of hull covered in red, crystalline antidermis. It slid into a landing bay, its landing gear extending to bear its weight, and a hatch opening on the forwardmost gear from which Shepard emerged, clad in hooded desert robes to conceal his appearance. He jumped down, guiding the landing mentally through the connection he had with the crystalline antidermis worked into its circuitry, so that by the time it had touched down, he was already well within the port city.
He pushed through the mass of people, trying to recall the location of his destination from his memory - but having that, along with the rest of his personality, torn to shreds and then reassembled made such a task easier said than done. He recognized a street corner, and turned down it. Memories began flooding back. He grinned, opening and closing his fist as the sensation of being human slowly, but surely, began to return. The doorway lay at the end of a narrow staircase leading underground; as he carefully walked down it, the music from inside the club could be heard. He pushed open the door, and a wave of cool air washed over him. The secret club known as "Indo Silver Club" was completely out of place with its given location, with an aesthetic consisting exclusively of black, tinted glass from which the floors and furniture were made from, illuminated by cool, blue strips of light running across the surfaces like circuitry. The club was filled with various assassins and mercenaries, as well as local dandies, tech-macaronis and cyber-yuppies, all wearing far too much black latex to mention in detail. Shepard took off his desert cloak and hung it up by the door, and stepped into the club, wearing the most fitting outfit he could find aboard the Covenant; a leather jacket and sunglasses.
He crossed the club, inspecting the DJ's podium; a blue-skinned man in a red and white letterman jacket was playing tonight - it wasn't who he was looking for. He pushed open a door at the rear of the club, entering a private lounge. Various women were huddled around two chairs, though they cleared as Shepard entered, revealing the chairs occupants; two androids, one with a silver helmet, and one with a gold helmet, both wearing sequin suits. Shepard removed his sunglasses.
"It's me. Shepard."
The robots looked to eachother, nodding silently, as the silver android gave a hand gesture to the women, who dispersed. leaving the room. They turned to look at Shepard, waiting for him to speak. Shepard gestured to himself, frowning.
"As you can see, I'm not exactly myself." he said. The gold robot nodded. "I need you two to forge me a new body. I'm not concerned about it resembling my old body - all it needs is to be combat spec, with no psychoceramic or psychoreactive alloys. I'm probably going to be going up against a very powerful psychic, and I don't need my own body betraying me in a fight."
The robots looked to eachother, and nodded. The silver robot steepled his gloved hands, his head tilting to the side in an inquisitive gesture as he looked back to Shepard.
"For payment, I'm willing to part with the central computer core of my ship. It's Takemikazuchi-spec - the only of its kind in private hands. If you scrap it, you can sell the individual components on for the price of a small country, each - or if you reverse engineer it, you'll be producing the fastest, most responsive computer cores in the quadrant. What do you say?"
The robots looked to eachother once more, and nodded. They stood up, and got to work. One of the walls of the room fell away, revealing an advanced complex within. A skeletal frame was hovering horizontally in an array of hardlight rings. The two robots stood either side of it, hardlight interfaces similar to DJ equipment appearing before them, which they began to manipulate. Components began to digistruct around the frame as the two robots began constructing Shepard's new body. He grinned, leaving the robots to their work, and exiting the lounge, returning to the club.