• Published 25th Jan 2018
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XCOM: Ranger - Wanderer D



Sunset Shimmer escapes Equestria... with unforeseen consequences.

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Chapter 189: Quickening

Ranger

Chapter 189: Quickening

By Wanderer D

Tirek's body materialized, floating for a moment in front of his sarcophagus, electricity and plasma crawling across him before he was released from its hold. He fell a few feet, landing heavily and falling forward to land on his hands and knees, breathing hard.

His hand flew to his chest, where Adagio's gem had returned, along with his weapon, which he could feel weighting on his back. His memory replayed the last few seconds of life he'd experienced just before his earlier demise.

The human reporter's blood seemed to flow out of her body's pores in a mist, leaving little more than a husk so thin and feeble that the very tight dress she had been wearing had simply fallen off. Nothing alive had remained inside the skin, and even though Tirek hadn't cared one iota about the human, the way she had smiled and moaned as her body's life essence had been extracted out of her had definitely shaken him.

And the blood had been absorbed by Fugue, who had transformed right in front of the Warlock. Her also tight-fitting dress had burst at the seams as she had grown much larger and her body shifted for the emergence of bloody wings, claws, horns and a tail.

He had tried to fight, but the first mental blast had been returned to him three-fold in intensity, and he had almost been ripped apart by his own power. He had barely managed to shake off the intense pain from that, before her claws had buried into his chest and ripped him in half with incredible ease.

Tirek had never known fear before this. His life was awash with danger and death, experimenting with and facing forces beyond the understanding of mankind for decades even before the arrival of the Elders. He had faced being exalted into one of the Chosen with a smile, even as Sonata and Aria had quailed at what would happen to them.

And yet.

He felt anger rising inside. Fugue had made him fear. She had paralyzed him, not with powers but with the sheer presence her power commanded. She had dismissed his own power as not even worth considering, ignoring him as a threat from the beginning. He had been hunted before, but he had never been prey until that point.

Never had he met such a being, and even the Elders didn't give him such a sense of… of wrong.

He hissed, his anger a veritable force that crushed a nearby sectoid into mush as he slowly stood. The sirens had been powerful, but nothing close to this. This power would be his. He would crush her and take her gem. He would suck her soul through ancient magics if necessary. Fugue's power was the key to dethroning the blasted Elders and building his real empire.

Once he had had that power, nothing would stop him. The many worlds under the Elders would be his. And then he would set forth to conquer the rest. The Elder's enemies would be of no consequence. Nothing would stand in his way. Nothing in existence would be able to resist bending the knee to him.

He would rule it all.

He walked down the ramp that led up to his sarcophagus, hands tightening into fists. His power hadn't been enough. Adagio's gem hadn't been enough. But he had destroyed powerful enemies before, even when the odds were stacked against him. What he needed was information, and a plan.

He reached the console panel and growled. "Sonata, I must speak with you."

The holographic screen flickered and the twisted, shark-like smile of the former siren appeared on it. "Hey, it's Walky."

Tirek snarled, not in the mood to deal with her inane nicknaming. "Enough of that, siren. I must speak to you about your queen."

Sonata blinked. "Seawinkle?"

"Stop playing with me!" Tirek snarled, smashing his fist on the console, making the image flicker again. "Fugue! A siren of such power can be nothing less!"

"Fugue?" Sonata repeated, tapping her chin and looking pensive. "Fugue…" she trailed off. "Nope. Never heard of her!"

"You lie." Tirek growled, fists clenching.

"Are you sure whatever or whoever you met was a siren?"

"She identified herself as one," Tirek snarled, "and she had a siren's gem on her chest."

Sonata's eyes narrowed at that. "Describe her."

Tirek snorted. "Fine, I will indulge your little game. Black long hair—"

"No, not that." Sonata snorted. "Her power."

He narrowed his eyes. "She was impervious to my mental powers. She sucked the blood out of a human with a gesture an- do you find this amusing?"

Sonata stopped laughing, shaking her head. "Oh my. Oh my. And she named herself Fugue?"

"I thought I had made that perfectly clear."

"Good, good… and her gem emerged…" Sonata's smile grew. "A new siren."

"Looked more like a demon to me," Tirek replied.

Sonata laughed, then leaned in, eyes hungry. "Did she tear you apart? Did she grow wings and kill everyone around?"

Tirek's eyebrow twitched.

"She did! Hahaha, too bad I missed it! I've never witnessed a blood orgy… none of the blood witches I met centuries ago came even close… the few that did were destroyed by the princesses before I could."

Something clicked on Tirek's mind. "Blood Witch… the Blood Witch?! That was her?" He roared, a dome of pure psychic energy exploding from his body and tossing the few aliens around him into the air and over the rails. But he didn't care. His anger kept boiling inside. "Why did you not warn me that XCOM had their own siren?"

Sonata's smile became predatory. "Because I hate you."

"I will get that power for myself an—"

Her laughter lacked any of the feigned innocence of before. It was mocking. "You have no chance. Even if you could find the means to learning that, without a bond, without the natural magic that Sunset Shimmer not only possessed but mastered beyond what your pitiful human mind could possibly understand, without already being magical… you've been marked by her. When she killed you the first time, "brother", she touched your soul." Her grin could have split her face. "You can feel it inside you, can't you?"

If Tirek had been human, he would have grown pale.

Sonata's chuckles escalated into a full-blown laugh and she clapped excitedly. "You can! You can! Oh, this is amazing! I can't wait for her to hunt you down like the beast you are and see how she butchers you!"

"She will come for you too," Tirek hissed.

"Even if she found me, thief, there is a big factor that you're ignoring."

Tirek gritted his teeth. "And that is?"

"She's now my sister." Sonata's evil smirk grew smug. "Tell me… did she ask where I was? Did she demand my gem?"

Tirek paused, then his eyes widened and he turned away from the screen, trying to not show how much the realization had affected him, but that didn't stop the siren from chuckling.

"She asked about Adagio," Sonata whispered behind him. "Didn't she? She asked why you had a siren's gem when you're not one of us."

Her chuckles slowly died away. "It seems out of us Chosen, there really can be only one. I can't wait until I see your head roll."

And with that, the screen went black, but Tirek did not notice, his eyes were down on Adagio's-no, his gem. For the first time since obtaining it, he felt a tinge of real regret.

o.0.o End Chapter 189 o.0.o

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