Warning: this story takes place during the Icebrood Saga episode “Champions”. It contains spoilers for the attack on Lake Doric.

 

The visual static breaks after a few seconds, allowing you to see, on the screen, a professional-looking Asura: she’s tall, has big bright green eyes, and she’s standing at attention for the camera. She’s wearing adorable little green ear muffs and has a simple, basic Priory coat to keep her warm in this cold climate. Further in the background, a few crates are being opened up by a very fiery charr: a tall, lanky creature with a few spots on the body that glow of unnatural flames, this one is dressed like some old Flame Legion priest and is opening the crates as if he was a child opening gifts on Wintersday.

The asura speaks. You can hear the charr’s childish giggles in the background.

“Log date: 312. Researcher Kijouff, reporting for the Priory investigation of the flash freeze of Lake Doric.”

The asura moves behind the camera, revealing that, behind her at some distance, was a large block of magical ice. Trapped within the ice appears to be a humanoid shape: the darker shade of color that is the magical ice makes it impossible to see any details of the shape. The asura, out of sight, continues to speak.

“As you can see here, the freezing of the bystanders is currently being studied: the peculiar “quirks” of this ice magic have ensured that the breaking of said ice is impossible. It just won’t break: even if we did break it, the force required would likely kill the frozen victim as well. So…”

“WE’RE GONNA MELT IT!”

Charr jumpscare! The charr rushed to the camera, his blackened teeth spread into a terrifying but genuine smile. “WE’VE GOT FIRE, SUPER FIRE, AND MEGA FIRE. I’M GONNA MELT THIS DAMN ICE OR DIE TRYING!”

“Please remove yourself from the camera’s vicinity.”

“Ah, my bad. Personnal space, right. I get it.” the charr coughs, then whispers: “We’re gonna melt iiiiiiiit.”

The charr returns to the crates and the asura continues.

“As the charr has explained, we are going to try higher temperatures to melt the ice. The theory is that, if Primoridus and Jormag counter each other, perhaps we can engineer our own…erm…Primordius goop.”

“I INVENTED THAT TERM! YOU SOURCE ME, YEAH?”

“Yes, associate, i am…sourcing you.”

“YEAH! SCIENCE!”

“If we can create a temperature or a form of magic strong enough to make the ice react, we can likely find a way to precisely rescue the innocent souls trapped within the ice. Now…”

“There’s a dude in there! That’s fucked up! Flame Legion, at least they kill you, right?”

“…yes, associate. Death by fire is obviously superior to not-death by ice.”

“Yeah! You get it.”

The asura sighs. We see her enter the frame of the video, reach into one of the crates, take some protective goggles on, and move out of the frame again.

“Before we begin magical testing, we need a database to compare our research with. As a result, we will be using traditional flamethrowers as the base of our research. Please explain this weapon, associate.”

The charr pulls out a sleek bit of iron: it’s fairly similar to a rifle of the Iron Legion with the addition of a large gas tank behind the trigger. Although he seems disinterested in this piece of equipment, he still seems to wield it properly.

“Khan’s Breath, latest edition. This is the fifth in the KB line, and you can tell it’s a winner. Iron Legion made the KB a baseline for a reason: they’re lighter than most flamespewers, and they look rad as hell. See the wooden handle? All the wood on this thing is dipped in non-flammable lotions: the fire heats up the metal, but it takes a long time before you feel the heat, as the non-flammable solution limits heat absorption. Basically, I can empty the whole tank without as much as warming up my fingers. Speaking of the tank, it’s light as well, but the method of firing allows her to sing for an incredibly long time. This thing is designed for longer use more than anything: it fires less gas than other types of flamethrowers, but it’s great for newbies with itchy triggers, as it shoots longer. It’s classy, traditional, and weak as hell. All science, no faith, no risk. Most Iron veterans call this edition “Khan’s Cough”. Excellent to start our comparison with. ”

“Very good, please proceed with the demonstration.”

The charr smiles, turns towards the chunk of ice and unleashes a fiery stream of fire. The weapon keeps going for one full minute before the gas tank coughs its last breath. The ice is completely unaffected. The steam emerging is from the surrounding environment.

“Weak as hell, see?”

“The ice is completely unaffected by regular weaponry and regular heat. This was expected. We will follow suit with the second test once our preparations are complete.”

“Dope. We’ll be using asura tech!”

“Associate! We need not share information that is not necessary for this recording. Leave the surprises for the next test!”

“Spoilers, gotcha.”

 

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“Log date: 313.  Associate, bring the second weapon.”

The charr tosses the flamethrower into a crate, and moves out of sight for a moment. The sound of grunting is heard as something heavy is lifted and carried for the camera to reveal what seems to be some sort of asuran heavy rifle: a large chunk of polygonal shapes appears to be the barrel of the weapon, with additional crystals neatly inserted around it. What is worrying about the weapon isn’t its typical asuran appearance, but rather its color: it is a dark color and with bright red crystal which betray its origin. The charr explains:

“Inquest enjoys two things: causing massive suffering and inventing new ways to cause massive suffering. This is a Purificator of Aberrations with Infernal Neatness. Yeah, it’s literally P.A.I.N. That name manages to be hilarious, forced and kinda sad: i’m glad i broke the kneecaps of its owner. Anyway, this thing uses CRYSTALS. It focuses energy into creating really strong beams of energy. It fades out very quickly in the distance, but at short range, this thing DISINTEGRATES ANYTHING. At least, anything I shot with it. I melted a rock, it was pretty funny. It’s pretty heavy, but it doesn’t consume much energy, because it doesn’t need fuel! Not my style, but can work in a pinch. Seven out of ten.”

“Please demonstrate.”

The charr points at the block of ice. The strange weapon’s crystals exit their inserted slots and begin to rotate around the main cannon. As they begin to spin faster, a low hum can be heard from the weapon, its insides glowing brighter and brighter until…

 

PZZZZZZZT!

 

A large and bright beam of orange energy goes right into the ice. The charr begins to laugh as the weapon’s consistent beam of death begins to make the ice…have no reaction.

“IT’S WORKING! MY DEATH BEAM IS WORKING!” the charr bellows with pride.

“It is very visibly not, associate.”

“THE POWER OF DENIAL SHALL OPEN THE GATES TO SUCCESS! IT. IS. WORKING!”

“…you really enjoy firing this weapon, don’t you?”

“Well, it vibrates in a funny way. Do not take this sentence out of context.”

As the charr chuckles at his own silly comments, the weapon’s constant hum gets louder and louder. The constant vibrations caused by the energy output turn into shaking, as the weapon begins to hiss and screech.

“Associate? Is it supposed to…do that?”

“Not a clue, I didn’t ask for the instructions: I just took the thing. I have no idea how this thing works! the only time I fired it, I only shot it for like, three seconds.”

“Right. Well, i think we’ve gotten enough data. Associate, please turn it off. Very quickly.”

“Um…boss?”

The weapon shakes violently. An alarm begins to blare out of it. The charr looks at the camera with confusion and worry.

“I think the trigger’s stuck.”

The weapon explodes. The video ends.

 

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The feed begins again. The asura no longer has eyebrows. The camera lens has a small crack at the top right side.

“Log date: 315. We have recovered. Well, I recovered: it took me three days. The charr did not need recovery.”

The asura sighs loudly.

“I have spent the last two logs complaining about the charr. I will now resume talking about scientific inquiries.

We are now entering the new stage of testing. While we did not conclude the last log properly, I will explain in proper terms how it ended: the weapon malfunctioned, exploded, and did not affect in any way the ice. The ice seems unbreakable. Enter the reason why I brought this charr. You probably wondered why I brought a loud, obnoxious, smelly, nearly impossible to work with imbecile to work with…well, sometimes…”

Kynkra walks into visual range: he’s holding what appears to be a stick of long, molten rock still glowing from its intense heat. It’s to be connected to a large tank held like a backpack: it seems less like an actual tank of fuel and more like a giant glowing rock. The charr’s look appears serious as he turns towards the camera.

“This…is my Boomstick. It doesn’t have an official name, but the one I like the most is the Titan’s Echo. It’s the purest form of Flame Legion destruction: it channels the raw energy of the Primal Flames into a flame of such intense heat…even I can get burned from it.”

“I…yes. Sometimes the idiot has a Flame Legion connection.”

“I’m not an idiot. I’m reckless, clumsy, frustrating to hang out with, but definitely not stupid.”

“I…look, being an idiot isn’t so bad! A lot of people are very dumb. Most people, really. It happens. You just need to accept facts.”

The charr’s head turns. Holding the weapon seems to give his eyes a red, menacing glow.

“Nah. The Boomstick says I am smart, and you will listen to the Boomstick.”

The asura sighs loudly.

“I apologize, Boomstick. I did not evaluated this charr’s intelligence properly.”

“The Boomstick forgives you. Now, this portable volcano was used against humans during the war: this thing is basically a smaller Searing Cauldron. Although I will clarify that this is like comparing a chihuahua to a bulldog: they are very, very different, but still both dogs.”

“That’s a terrible comparison.”

“Well, this is a terrible weapon, so it’s fitting.”

“That’s not how-this isn’t-you-”

The asura groans. “You give me headaches, charr.”

“Well, maybe you should try being an idiot. Less headaches. Anyway, this thing, despite being created by the charr’s hatred of humanity, will be used to save them! Get ready!”

The charr turns towards the block of ice.

“Associate! Remember that you shouldn’t…erm…kill the person inside!”

“Bah! If someone dies, it was for SCIENCE! FACE THE POWER THAT CAN MELT A GODDAMN CITY, YOU BLOCK OF ICE BITCH!”

“Melt a WHAT?”

The charr aims at the block of ice and the screen goes BRIGHT WHITE. The video ends abruptly.

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The screen turns back on. It’s a very small room, and only the charr is there. From his motions, it seems like he’s the one that turned on the camera: he sits on a crate -the only furniture in the cell- and twiddles his thumbs with a certain form of guilt. The lens is nearly completely cracked.

“Erm…log day, number number number. I made a…mistake. I think they’re really mad at me. I think I caused, like, a second environmental cataclysm in that little human place. Like, they said the sky became red for a moment and it felt like the world was ending, but like, the real world ending, like people would imagine, with a big bright red sky and meteors.”

The charr stands up.

“IN MY DEFENSE…there were no meteors. The weapon doesn’t do that. But..well…look, i never used this thing before! I just thought: hey, if this ice is so tough, i’ll just use all its power at once, right? I thought it was a good idea! I knew the risks. I ignored the risks. To be fair, I kinda knew they would take the weapon away no matter what, so I thought: hey, you only live once, right? Let’s go all out! Let’s…go crazy.”

The charr sighs and sits back down.

“The asura’s alive. I think. I…hope? She’s nice. I mean, she’s not nice at all, but she tolerated me, which is a lot more than most folks i met. I didn’t…really see where she flew off when I started blasting. I assume the power of the weapon caused most things not prepared to just be launched real far. But i hop-”

A loud creaking is heard. The charr perks up, looking at something behind the camera. Then, the sound of mechanical locks opening, and a door opens: light illuminates the jail cell. A gruff voice is heard.

“Come with us.”

“Erm…yeah, sure.”

“Hey, where’d you get that camera?”

The camera is picked up by an unseen hand. The video ends.

 

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

 

The camera turns on: you see the frozen lake again, along with what is probably the same block of ice as the last logs. A familiar voice is heard.

“Log date: 353. It’s been a long time.”

Emerging from outside the field of view is a tall asura woman: she has no hair and most of her face is covered in bandages. While one of her eyes is hidden, the second one appears to be of green color. Her voice is a bit muffled, as some bandages cover the mouth, but she is standing tall and proud. She’s not really looking at the camera: she’s looking at someone outside the field of view.

“Associate. I wanted you here for this. Come here.”

The charr appears again, slowly following the asura to the block of ice.

“Look at it.” she points at a specific spot on the block. “Look at this part of the ice. It’s where you hit the ice directly. What do you see?”

“Um…”

A moment of silence.

“It’s…ice. Look, I’m really sorry, okay? I know i didn’t make a dent! I really didn’t mean to do this much damage!”

“Are..are you blind? LOOK AGAIN. LOOK HARDER!”

“WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO SEE? IT’S ICE!”

The asura groans. “You don’t see it? This ice…is…

…three millimeters shorter than before! We did it! Your weapon worked! The rest of the environment was completely unaffected due to the ice magic that surrounds the nearby area -although the force of the blast probably shattered a few eardrums- but it worked! I mean, we can’t use that weapon ever again in here, but it DID do something!”

“Oh. So…you’re…not mad at me?”

“Oh, i am fucking livid, bitch. I will never work with you again. I do not ever want to see you again. I do not ever want to HEAR about you, ever again. I have seized the weapon for further study, and it took every ounce of my willpower not to SHOVE IT UP YOUR ARSE AND 

PULL.

THE.

TRIGGER.

But now we are fine. I have the weapon, I will study it’s abilities for the greater good, and we will never see each other again.”

The charr stares at this asura in disbelief, surprise, and a little bit of fear. He quickly swallows all those emotions, and softly says:

“Yeah. Well…if you’re alive and fine, and it did…kind of work…i do need something to bring back to my boss to show. Maybe, like, a letter of commendation? I did solve the case.”

NO. JUST GET OUT.

“I…fine.”

The charr moves away from the camera, his head lowered in defeat, mumbling something under his breath. After a moment of silence, you hear him from outside the camera say:

“Butimtakingthecameraokaybye.”

“What?”

THE CAMERA’S VISION JUMPS UP AND BEGINS TO SHAKE. YOU HEAR THE ROAR OF AN ASURA AND HER FORM SLOWLY DISTANCING ITSELF FROM THE CAMERA. THE CHARR SCREAMS:

“I AM VERY GLAD WE GOT TO COOPERATE! THIS IS THE MARK OF A BEAUTIFUL-”

You hear gunshots.

“OH SHIT NEVERMIND.”

The video ends.

You turn to Kynkra, who was sitting next to you, watching the whole fiasco as well. Next to the viewing screen is an official complaint about stolen equipment.

 

“Hey, i did say i was sorry…

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…about the explosion. I do not regret stealing this camera.”

Author Krab
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