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Whether it was staged or not, everybody was still excited after the grand finale of the Cyber Fist tournament. Only the head of the city council, Ryan Ricksson, whose statues (scenery) you might have seen all over town, was focused on averting the next crisis. The Space Vikings that arrived in February were just a scouting squad. More are surely coming, unless…
He looked at his desk to find a ridiculous, wax-sealed letter from ‘The Knights of the Eclipse’. “We rally to you in this time of need, blah, blah, blah”. Great, those cosplayers again. But then Ricksson poured himself a glass of single-malt and pondered. Maybe with the right help…?
The party has arrived at the office. Bertrand the Electroknight, the group leader with lawful and good written all over him. Burgash the Blasthammer Barbarian, eager to use his weapon on a first-come, first-served basis. Almerik the Technopreacher, with the power to control minds by enhancing his voice with the device in his staff. Maylin the Sonic Shooter, using the concentrated soundwaves as deadly projectiles and Jaina the Nanowizard, so fixated on magic, that she innovated the use of nanobots to resemble casting spells.
“I am sure you have witnessed the atrocious attack of Space Vikings. I am sending you on a counter-attack mission deep into the Space Vikings territory. It is.. a crusade!” said Ryan. He looked around and saw confusion, even fear in their eyes. “Isn’t that a quest you have always been waiting for?” he smiled. “Don’t worry, I wouldn’t send you alone.”
A mechanical screech pierced the room. “About time,” said Ryan and invited everyone on the balcony. There, a majestic flying creature (The Transhorizon) hovered right outside. It was impossible to tell if it once was a living breathing organism with countless augmentation or something entirely engineered. Its fluent moves and gentle look made it entirely life-like. Bertrand was the first to snap out of pure shock. “We will go. We cannot lose with a dragon on our side!”
A while later, happy with how it went, Ryan called for Monica Bates, the head of internal security.
“Take the crazy assassin girl, the one that joined the force after the failed police raid.”
“Polissandra” she nodded.
“And Zagloba, if he is up for it, tell him I will lift the ban on Sopliczan Ale if he goes”.
“Ok” nodded again.
“Take three, no.. four squads of actual Crusader Marines (modular) with two-handed weapons”
“And Is Stratos still in the force?” asked Rick.
“The Aceman, really?”
“Yeah, for that mission we will need a pilot that is equally lucky and insane. Make sure to provide him with the prototype Airborn CED Module.”
Ryan looked outside at Transhorizon still hovering up high.
“I have prepared a little diversion, you see. While their mission inevitably goes under, you will hopefully have enough time. You have one task, and one task only. Capture and bring me the Queen of Vikings!”
Ryan sat down and slowly smiled while looking at Transhorizon, and Transhorizon… smiled back at him.
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