Vol. 106: We apologize again for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked, have been sacked.

Vol. 106: We apologize again for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked, have been sacked.

The appearance of Braunon caused an eruption of emotion throughout the Multiversal Senate. First in the Vampires, and then in the Nighttide. Such was the commotion that began that the Animus Captain paused the video as things began to escalate. Raine stood up ready to act but then something surprised him.

Around Elysium 12 invisible glyphs and magical circles began to glow with life. They blipped on in bright magical colors, some even made dulcet soothing tones as they came alive.

The vampires fury was so great that they threatened to riot and destroy the senate floor. But they were held in place. The rest of the Nighttide began to erupt in anger too, but were similarly held. Waves and sparks of magical and psionic power erupted from many of them, but they were all impotent light and shadow. Elysium 12’s enchantments were being put to the test.

Raine could not help but look around in amazement. As chaos swirled around him the Animus Captain step next to him, hands behind her back, surveying the scene with him.

“This is… amazing…” Raine continued to gaze around at all that was happening. More and more magical symbols, pentagrams, and glyphs were continuing to spring to life around the room, and indeed throughout all of Elysium 12.

“She is amazing. She was designed to respond like a living thing.” The Animus Captain said looking straight ahead the entire time. She deftly dodged a shoe as she finished the sentence. 

“She?” Raine said giving her a boyish grin. 

The Animus Captain continued to look straight ahead but gestured widely with a paw. 

“Look around you. We are deep inside her womb, and like a mother she is protecting us. But see.“ She pointed to the Nighttide who struggled in their magical bonds, still releasing harmless showers of magical and psionic power. “The Nighttide, even the vampires, are her children too. So, she does not harm them. She simply holds them. Protecting them from even themselves.” She turned and met his gaze for the first time. 

Raine looked at her in awe and turned back to look at the scene. “I can truly say, in all my many many days, I have never seen anything like this. And you say “She” was designed to react like a living thing?”

The Captain gestured broadly with the opposite paw and pointed to the wall behind the Nighttide. “If you look closely you can see them now.”

Raine looked at the wall and could see what looked like veins, or even nerves pulsing ever so lightly inside the wall.

“What?-“ Raine began but the Captain knew his question. 

Magical nerves were made running throughout the entirety of Elysium 12. And with them, Psioptic cables, that run our computer systems at speeds faster than light. They connect every enchantment, every defense, every offense, together into one almost living unit. This all connects directly into Elysium 12’s AI. We call her Clotho.” The Captain glanced at him side long dodging a second shoe. 

Raine couldn’t help but smile. “Clever…”

By this time more Animus, Grinders, and even the E.C.C. had begun to fill the room trying to restore order. Rather than calming the Nighttide this seemed to enrage them further. It looked like several dragons were attempting to polymorph, and small clouds of Oblivion could be seen puffing from some of the higher cycle O-Boys. Suddenly there were two small tremors that caused a very brief silence. Then chaos erupted again. 

Raine sensed almost no reaction from the Animus captain however, and he looked at her asking. She returned him another sidelong, almost bored glance and huffed. 

“Clotho called for reinforcements.” She said holding up her arm and pressing a button on her wrist. A small BB size ball shot out and became a view screen. The captain pressed a few more buttons on her wrist and suddenly there was a wide view of Elysium 12. You could see beams shooting out of Puissance and Unity connecting it to Elysium 12. Raine looked about and saw all of the magical glyphs, circles, and symbols began to glow much brighter. “But this is nothing to worry about. Clotho-“ she cleared her throat. “Elysium 12 could easily have handled this on her own. But she has orders to call on her minimoons for backup if she ever has to activate more than 10 percent of her offense/defensive systems at the same time.”

“And I assume the minimoons have AI’s as well.” He asked her knowingly.

“NO! No no no no no no no no…”She looked at him and frowned. “Yes…” she paused for just a moment still frowning. “No one is supposed to know, but yes. They don’t want many people to know. Its very experimental. But…” she said looking away, “From what I understand its impossible to lie to you right?”

Raine grinned again. “Right.” 

“The AI’s were created by-“, Suddenly the Captain came up short and looked very nervous. Raine could tell her mind was racing. She quickly regained her composure and continued. “By the Technorganic Conglomerate themselves. They described them as ‘Almost Sentient’

Raine gave her a long, smiling look. “You interest me Captain. I think I’d like to talk to you more later.” 

Despite herself she blushed but did not look his way. “That will probably be impossible sir. I have… duties to perform.”

Raine smiled wider but then looked away.

They both turned to face the carnage. There was very minimal damage, but it looked like almost everyone was still struggling. Many more people had been locked into magical restraints including several Animus, Grinders, and Senators. 

Still looking forward the Animus Captain spoke plainly, “Unity’s AI is Lachesis, and Puissance’s is Atropos… naturally…”

“Naturally.” Raine responded stifling a giggle. 

Raine made to step forward but suddenly the Captain began to speak again. 

“Recently we’ve been experimenting with connecting Crepuscular, to the sisters as well-“

“Sisters?” Raine said looking at her incredulously. A trashcan flew towards him, but he repelled it with a simple psionic gesture. 

The Captain gave him a disdainful glance, snorted, and continued. “But the results have been… unexpected. The vampire’s magic seems to come from someplace very deep. It added a sort of… shade… to the sisters.”

“Nothing wrong with a little shade sometimes love.” Raine said smiling and stepping forward. “The ‘Sisters’ have done well but I grow bored of this. I think I’ll give them a break.” Raine unbuttoned his green overshirt a few buttons and his medallion swung freely. A shower of magical sparks shined across it. 

Raine placed a single finger on its right side and stroked it top to bottom. He whispered very silently, “Maniac Pummel.” 

A ball of super intense light enveloped him. Over the next 15 seconds the ball swelled to fill the entirety of the senate floor. So intense was the light people later said it felt like it was shining on their every cell, inside and out. Everyone in the room quickly became calm and slumped into their chairs. They felt exhausted. Not in a bad way but in a particularly good way, like when you finish an exceptionally vigorous work out. Many of them broke out into a sweat and started breathing hard, but everyone felt healthy and energized, yet extremely worn out, at the same time. As the light receded back into the medallion silence followed. Slowly all of Elysium 12’s defenses shrank back into invisibility. The only one not effected seemed to be the Captain. For just a moment she looked shocked when she realized this was the case. But no one probably noticed. 

Raine spoke in a loud commanding voice, “Vampires. Calm your fury. You are right to be angry. Angry beyond measure. But this is not the place to unleash it. Let us finish the video and see what else we can find out before we launch our attack to free Braunon.” 

These last words shocked not only the Nighttide but the rest of the senate as well. But Raine continued.

“Nighttide, you as well should stand down.” Raine spoke, turning slightly. “You do yourselves and your brothers and sisters disservice by continuing in this way.”

He then took another step forward and spread his hands. “This goes on for the entire senate as well. Let us be calm and finish this. I am sure there is more left to discover.” He stepped back and silence continued to flow across the senate floor. After a long moment Raine turned to the Captain and nodded. The Captain also nodded. She stepped to the controls and rewound the video about 60 seconds and pressed play. “Let us see how this ends…” she said, mostly to herself. 

About the Illustrations: Here we have a closeup of a Psion Orb, and a sneak peek of a character we will not meet for a LONG time. Our cute Bat Boy, Dresden

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