v.2 Beta: Andy1997


(Ingmore's Sanctum)
(Jekkad)

(Eons ago…)

High above in the clouds, it was here that the Brothers first set foot on Jekkad from the Ever After, the beginning of their greatest experiment. It was here their Father declared that it would be neutral ground for whenever the Gods of Light and Darkness would fall out, but both Maykrs were still beholden to their superior, and when he called them both to this sacred place, where the Father first began his work in creating this world, the task he left to his sons.

Both Maykrs materialized before the steps leading toward the center – where they had first appeared on this world.

"…Samur?"

Light was the first to voice his surprise in seeing the Seraphim, dressed in his familiar red robes with his arms crossed and his tendrils spreading out underneath him. Darkness though didn't look surprised, crossing his arms, and appearing to be in contempt of his Father's highest servant.

"Good, the both of you have answered the Father's summons," Samur Maykr greeted them. "He was afraid that the division between you would have prevented this meeting from taking place."

"Yet he is too busy to come speak to his sons himself?" Darkness scoffed. "He must send you in his place?"

"To inform you that he is aware of your agreement to create new life," Samur said. "Sentient life much like ours."

Both Brothers were startled to hear this.

"He is…concerned that this competition the both of you have been partaking in for the past few centuries will prevent you from guiding these new souls properly," Samur explained. He turned to Light, "Ever since you have emerged from the Ever After, you have seeded this world with water, vegetation and wildlife." He addressed Darkness, "Yet in your jealousy, you have created famine, plagues and nightmares – and now have agreed to combine your power to create something…extraordinary." He paused to allow them to reflect on their chosen paths, "For if this new life is to be created and guided by you, to be blessed with our knowledge, our ingenuity, our curiosity; it could lead to enlightenment on a grand scale the likes of which would never be repeated…or complete devastation for the universe."

"You exaggerate, Samur," Darkness replied. "I believe they would only go as far as the stars in their own galaxy."

Light looked at his Brother in disbelief, "Samur, Father intended for there to be intelligent life on this world-"

"And there shall be. But if the both of you wish to be ones to take steer the Engines of Creation, then you must prove yourselves capable of overseeing what the Father has dubbed 'humanity.'"

"How can we do that?" Light asked.

"By guiding the First One."

Samur hovered aside to reveal the creature that had been lying behind him all this time. A pale, brown-haired young boy dressed in a white robe. Both the Gods of Light and Darkness were dismayed at the sight of the pathetic looking creature before them

The creature they themselves envisioned they were going to create as part of their agreement.

"What is this?" Light asked. "H-how did-?"

"There is nothing you can hide from the Father. Nothing he has not foreseen," Samur said. "He deems that creature as 'man', and before you can be permitted to fill this earth with more of him you must prove you can be able to guide them properly by guiding this one first."

Darkness frowned, "This is to be a test, then?"

"You are to raise this one child, mold and prepare him into becoming the sovereign that will guide the rest of his kin as they spread out amongst the stars," Samur explained. "Only then will the Father be convinced that you two are worthy of continuing his work."

"Have we not already done enough to please him?" Darkness inquired. "Forging and tilling this new realm for him?

The creature stirred, and opened his eyes to reveal bright golden orbs. They shot open in an instant…

"AH!"

seeing the three omniscient beings before him. He cried out in fright and tried to scurry away before tripping over his own feet and falling to the ground.

"This is the humanity we wanted to create?" Darkness turned to his brother. "Pathetic."

"The Father knew you would react this way to your own creation," said Samur. "You would tire of your own children and leave them to wither and die. Your thoughts need to be adjusted if you wish to remain within Urdak's embrace."

"Is our Father now threatening to-"

Light stepped forward, "Tell him it will be done, Seraphim. We will prove ourselves capable of facilitating creation worthy of Father."

"…." Darkness turned to Light. He said nothing, only to cross his arms in begrudging acknowledgement.

Samur nodded. He turned away, passing by the child as he opened a portal back to Urdak.

"What shall we call him?"

Samur paused, looked over his shoulder at his fellow Maykrs, then down at the still shivering human child.

"His name will be Davoth."

In the Maykr's tongue, that meant 'The First.'

(RWBY)

Two Sentinels VI:
Flight

by the 34th year of King Roan the Void Traveler's reign, nearly a hundred worlds had come under the silvered authority of the Mother God. There were those that resisted, and by sacred decree they were deemed heretical. their worlds cleansed by the plasma of our silvered fleets and the swords of our knights. Our journeys across the void was not just an expanse of blackness, but also that of blood…
- Excerpt from "The Argenta's Journeys Across the Empyrean Void Chronicle IV", written by Scribe-Priest Fyr Orius

(RWBY)

(En-route to SDC Dig Site from Mistral City)

The airship's security detail that consisted of four Mistral City Guard did their best to avert their gaze from both the Doom Slayer and the mysterious orange-haired girl in the green dress that, to their surprise, had shown up with him when they both returned to the air pad after their brief skirmish down in the lower levels of Mistral. They did not question the sudden appearance of the Slayer's new high-spirited companion, instead dreading the kind of kill-dozer she was behind her contagious smile and what horrors she was going to inflict on the enemy once they dared reared their heads.

The City Guardsmen nearly flinched when Penny said, "Father sent me the SDC dig site schematics. The Sentinel ruins are located beneath ground and are only accessible by an airlock the surveyors installed." She smiled, "Which my dad has the entry codes for."

"…." the cheerful tone of her voice sounded annoying to the Slayer, like she was rubbing it in his face that he needed her.

"Uh…Slayer, sir," the airship pilot said on the intercom, sounding hesitant. "We're about a mile away from the quarantine zone, where Mistral lost contact with the SDC archaeological site." The guardsmen quickly re-checked their weapons for the umpteenth time when they heard that announcement. "There's no way I'm risking everyone's lives here-by flying directly over the site."

++Affirmative. Insert us approximately one hundred yards away and we will proceed us on foot.++

Now the pilot sounded like he was close to relieved tears, "T-thank you, AI, sir. Thank…FUUCCCKKKK!"

The Slayer's eyes jolted open wide when he heard the pilot suddenly curse out loud, and looked out portside to see the vapor trail from the trees below.

"MISSILE LOCK! EVASIVE MANEUVERS!" the co-pilot called out.

The guardsmen grabbed hold and held on tight for dear life as the airship pulled a hard descent to avoid the RPG. Another was launched at them…

"Another one! Five o'clock!"

…the Slayer's heavy assault rifle was already in his hands. Taking aim through the scope, William held fire for a few seconds as he anticipated the rocket's flight path, pulled the trigger and detonated the RPG midair, everyone feeling the resulting concussions. More rockets were launched from the jungle below, the airship immediately adjusting course to avoid another one, the Slayer shooting down the other before it could hit the starboard side. It did not take long for the conflict to begin attracting the Grimm, namely the murder of Nevermores flying their way.

"Where are those shots coming from?!" the cockpit exclaimed over the comms. "Brothers help us, Grimm beelining straight for us. Three o'clock, six, nine…TWELVE?!"

"Comin' at us EVERYWHERE!"

"…." William mentally assessed their situation. Four Mistal City guardsmen and two pilots were about to lose their lives transporting them here.

Thousands had most likely died ever since he sat foot on this world. What's another six?

"…."

Another six too many. That was most likely the Slayer's answer before he leapt out of the airship to the surprise of the guards, making sure to take aim through the scope of his heavy assault rifle to put down a Nevermore, attracting most of the other Grimm and causing them to swoop towards him with intent on swallowing him up with one gulp. The Slayer already had his chainsaw out before he hit the tree, slicing through one of the large avian Grimm before snapping the large branch of the tree he landed on underneath his weight and hitting the ground on one knee.

The Grimm were on the Slayer in a heartbeat, the Slayer immediately swinging his chainsaw and sending parts flying everywhere.

++Exit conflict zone immediately,++ VEGA urgently ordered the airship. ++We will proceed to the site on foot from here.++

"We're making our break!" came the airship pilot's panicked response. "Good luck, Doom Slayer."

"Not without ME YOU'RE NOT!" Penny called out over the comm, the Slayer catching her igniting her boosters and blasting out of the airship's cabin as it was pulling hard away from the jungles and heading toward the direction of Mantle.

The Slayer looked up at Penny flying toward him. Hearing bushes being trampled he turned in time to see a human man dressed in camouflage fatigues aim a missile launcher better suited for anti-air. He gritted his teeth in intense fear as he pulled the trigger and fired, William drawing his heavy assault rifle and dodging the missile, barely feeling the resulting explosion warm his back as he returned fire from the hip, the bullets slamming into the cultist's aura and shattering it. The Slayer quickly drew his super shotgun and fired the meathook, impaling the cultist in the chest and pulling himself toward him.

The cultist opened his mouth to scream, only to be silenced when the Slayer threw a Blood Punch, his head turning to a fine red mist even before the Slayer's fist connected with his chin, the rest of the body followed as golden energy emanating from William tore him down to the molecule level.

William stared at his bloodied fist with a raised eyebrow. For the life of him, he could not figure out if this was either the Divinity Machine or the Relic of Destruction's blessings.

"Have you always been able to unleash that power, Slayer?" Pietro asked over the comms.

The Slayer didn't answer that. Instead, he inquired, "How far?"

++We are one mile away from our destination,++ VEGA answered.

And a whole lot of Grimm and cultists between here and there, William realized. And so did Penny, as she readied her Array and adopted a combat stance in time for the packs of Grimm that were coming their way. The packs of possessed Grimm, their hellish blazing eyes were a blatant indication that all the Grimm in the immediate area were under Hell's thrall.

"…."

"I'd say it'll take you an hour or two to reach the site, depending on…what's between here and there," Pietro said, as if he wasn't aware of the army of darkness standing before the Slayer and Penny

"…yep," William replied just as casually, reaching for the chainsaw.

(Two hours, four minutes and fifty-nine seconds later…)

'Four-thousand, two-hundred and twenty-three…'

Keeping mental count of his kills as a way to alleviate the tedium, the Slayer gripped a Beowolf by the hind legs and smashing it against a tree hard enough to explode everything above its torso and tossed what was left of its fading corpse over his shoulder which landed on top of another fading Grimm body, which was amongst several hundred other dead and pulped Grimm. The demons within each of them were long purged, leaving only their Grimm puppets slowly fading bodies. Penny descended from the air to join him, two whole murders of Nevermore dropping like flies all around the two of them.

Wiping the black stuff from her face, Penny cheerfully declared, "And here we…are?"

That cheer faded when she glimpsed much of the nightmare that SDC archaeological site was reduced to after a month of lost contact. Wrecked, ruined excavation machines and equipment, smashed portable labs and temporary housing, and there was so much blood splattered all over the place that Penny's visual sensors found itself going into overdrive attempting to identify it all that she quickly switched that function off, her smile slowly morphing to a thin, dour line as she tried to process bearing witness to such violence for the first time ever. It was after the Slayer purposely bumped into her shoulder as he walked past her that snapped her out of it. She followed him.

"Could you repeat that, Penny? Blazkowicz? Have you reached the site?" Pietro's calm, familiar voice was not enough to break her out of her trance. "VEGA?"

++We have arrived,++ VEGA confirmed. +The situation is as we estimated: No visible sign of human life.++

"…I see," Pietro responded, morosely. The Slayer could hear him mutter bitterly to himself, "All those claims of Atlesian superiority-"

++Where do we proceed from here, doctor?++ VEGA inquired.

"…primary airlock is in the center of the encampment just ahead," Pietro answered. "Past all the temporary structures and-"

"…AMBUSH!" Penny exclaimed as she ducked under a Baron's fist as she turned a corner, the Slayer drawing his super shotgun and blasting the towering demon in the chest. Tasting its own blood, it roared in anger and brought its fists down, both the Slayer dashing and Penny floating backward to avoid the resulting shockwave. Engaging her array, she unleashed her blades that made a beeline straight for the Baron, which the greater demon charged its green Hell energy into its arm and unleashed an energy wave that knocked them out of the air.

Drawing his heavy assault rifle, the Slayer unleashed a barrage of micro-missiles as the Baron charged, the demon crossing its arms to guard its face from the resulting miniature explosions that tore and charred flesh and muscle down to the bone, only to receive the Slayer's right hook to the jaw, the sound of bone snapping as it was dislocated. He followed up by shoving the barrel of his rifle against the Baron's gut and pulling the trigger. Dust infused rounds split its stomach apart and went out the back. The Baron roared and brought its fists up for a hammer strike, and were pierced by Penny's blades which held them above its head, leaving it open for the Slayer to draw his super shotgun and blast it point blank in the face.

Penny allowed the Baron to toppled to the ground, half its skull missing and a flaming hole burning in its gut.

"And that's teamwork!" Penny exclaimed excitedly, unaware or not caring that she was covered in the Baron's blood.

"…." for a second, William thought he was seeing Ruby again. That wondrous, childlike enthusiasm in the wake of hellish ultraviolence. Then he remembered this wasn't a human girl, but a machine created for war, no matter how much Atlas built it to resemble something innocent.

++Incoming. Behind us.++

With the Baron's death, the proverbial floodgates were kicked open and out came the swarm. The Slayer reloaded his super shotgun as the demons that were hiding the whole time came out. The zombified SDC guards charged first, fingers on the trigger until they emptied their magazines of their bullpup rifles. The Slayer launched his meathook at the nearest guard, engaging his booster and swinging to the side as he propelled himself forward, dodging an entire barrage of fireballs from the screeching Imps that came barreling out of the ruined temp buildings. One blast of the super shotgun reduced the zombie guard he had swung from to a pile of bloody gibs, spraying red over the eyes of the next guard, leaving it open for the Slayer to swing a right hook to the chin, with enough force that twisted it is head a full one eighty and it crumbled to the ground. The corpse was trod upon by the dozen as the demons swarmed, the Slayer dashing backwards and to the right to avoid their blow, heavy assault rifle in his left hand and spraying lead, tagging several of them.

He followed up with a shoulder charge, barreling through several more Imps as he swapped his ranged weapon for his chainsaw. He revved it up, the Fire Dust powering it setting the blade alight and swung away like a berserker, sending flaming limbs flying all over the place. He turned to face another horde of oncoming demons, which were promptly sliced into a hundred pieces by Penny's blades, whom was now floating off the ground, her Array now dripping with blood and, for a moment, the Slayer had to resist the impulse to reach for his rocket launcher, she looked that threatening.

A sentiment shared by the three Prowlers that warped in above her, bringing their claws down, prompting Penny to dash backwards to avoid them. The Prowlers warped out of reality, and right back in to take another swing at her from three directions, which she also managed before hurling purple fireballs. Adjusting Array, she deflected them with her blades before sending one of her blades to run through the closest one, the other two warping out of reality. She followed up by swinging the impaled Prowler straight into where she predicted another one would appear. Which it did, and they both made impact hard enough to send them flying.

The third one warped in right behind Penny, and let out a pained squeak as the Slayer rushed in behind it, grabbed it by the back of his head and tore its spine right out of its back. Penny looked embarrassed.

"Whoops, forgot that one."

"…." The Slayer nonchalantly tossed the Prowler's head and spine over his shoulder and continued on his way toward the central airlock leading underground. Making their way through the bloody carnage they had wrought upon the demons, they reached the center of the camp, and the sizable decontamination chamber built into the central ruin.

++The access codes if you please, Dr. Poledina.++

"Transmitting…now."

The Slayer stared at the airlock door intensely. Whatever was waiting past it had to be worth being away from Mistral and the big red target Lionheart painted on its back. That and the red Hell portal that suddenly opened behind them, and the corrupted Night Sentinel that stepped out of it. The pattern of his bloodied armor looked like he had emerged the victor of gladiatorial combat and had stepped out of the coliseum from Sentinel Prime.

"Oh, my," Penny squeaked.

"…." William turned to face this new Marauder. The Slayer noticed the emblem on the belt buckle: The symbol of House Ateius. His grandfather's, or great-grandfather's rather, noble house.

"Markacc Ateius. Great-grandson of the Beast Butcher of Kher Lodur and the Third Preator-General of the Night Sentinels," the Marauder bellowed. "Grandson of the Weakling. Eldest son of the Wraith's High Priestes-"

The Slayer's rage drowned out the seemingly endless titles the Marauder belted out. Even after millennia, that prick Quirinus still haunted him. His whole extended family haunted him. And this asshole – this Marauder – looked like he was one of House Ateius' sworn vassals, one of the few that betrayed Great-Grandfather Mercato's house.

Penny paused momentarily as she ran a scan on the demonic warrior, her heads-up display bringing up the file on the Marauder that was encountered back at Epsilon. Instead of a Argent battle-axe, this one carried a spear in his right hand, a red Argent blade for the business end. Gripping the spear with both hands, he spun it in front of him before he came to a stop, bringing the shaft down on the ground.

"You will go no further, Slayer," the Marauder declared. "You and the abominable machine girl."

William reloaded his super shotgun, and Penny wisely decided to give them a wide berth.

"Why do you continue to fight, Markacc? To honor the heretics? Duty to the Wraiths?"the Marauder taunted. He spun his spear as he adopted a fighting stance as he slowly began to circle around the Slayer, "Your honor and duty are nothing." He paused, narrowing his eyes in an intense glare. "Only pain matters."

"…."

"Yours…"

The Marauder gestured at Penny.

"…and theirs."

The Marauder left a trail of hell energy behind him as he charged the Slayer, closing the distance between them in a heartbeat and thrusting his spear toward the Slayer's head, the Argent tip of the spear, only managing to leave a glowing red scorch mark across the right side of the Slayer's helmet as the Slayer dodged, countering with a point-blank super shotgun blast. The Marauder immediately generating an Argent shield with his spear, following up with a charge against the Slayer that lifted him off his feet and knocked him back a few feet as he reloaded, followed by thrusting his Argent spear, the business end extending itself, the Slayer throwing his head to the side, the energized point searing the edge of his helmet. The Slayer fired again, the Marauder again bringing up his shield.

Penny sent her blades flying at the Marauder, circling around the shield to stab him in the back. The Marauder snarled and swung his armor-plated right arm, batting the blades away as he spun on his heel like a pirouette and hurled his spear past the Slayer at the android. Penny dodged it in time, and it disappeared in a blaze of hellfire before materializing back in the Marauder's hand, the Slayer immediately dodging a flurry of spear thrusts that left Argent afterimages…

"RAH!"

…until the Slayer batted his spear on his last thrust, the Argent scorching his right gauntlet and leaving him open for a haymaker to the face, shattering his mouth guard and sending him stumbling some feet away. Pulling out his last grenade and popping the pin, the Slayer fired his super shotgun into his back as he threw the explosive behind the Marauder, eliciting a grunt of pain from him where he instantly recovered his bearing and brought his shield, his face an unsettling combination of snarl and rictus.

WHAK-BOOM!

The rictus being wiped off said face when the force of the resulting explosion chipped away some more at his back, causing him to drop his shield and he caught more buckshot to the chest, several pullets connecting with his armor. The Marauder countered with another thrust of his spear, forcing the Slayer to dash sideways, the Marauder following up with moving his grip to the center of his spear, his hand sliding down the long shaft and enabling him to spin his Argent weapon to counter Penny's blades before rushing her, loosening his grip on the shaft, extending it forward so that the tip of the Argent blade pricked Penny's neck and causing her to boost herself backwards, smoking rising from the singe on her neck.

The Argent spear appeared to intensify as the Marauder swung it above his head, keeping William at bay as he charged him. Suddenly, he drove the spear into the ground, unleashing a wave of Argent energy that knocked the Slayer and Penny back, the resulting red glare causing the Slayer to avert his eyes momentarily; enough time for the Marauder to rush him and grab both sides of the Slayer's helmet from behind.

The Slayer gritted his teeth as he felt his helmet ripped right off him, turning around to catch the Marauder's mailed left fist to his jaw. He caught his right hand, gripping his wrist securely tightly. His left hand shot forward to grip the Marauder by his left pauldron, tightly enough for him to smash his forehead into the Marauder's skull.

Again.

And again.

One more time.

"WILLIAM!"

Penny had her Array spinning before her in a circle, charging green plasma and keeping the Marauder unaware of what she was doing until she was ready to fire. Noticing the green in the light of the Marauder's eyes, the Slayer double-jumped as Penny stretched her arms forward and fired, the blast striking home. The Marauder was hit in the torso, the blast carrying him off until he went through the wall of a temporary habitat. The Slayer charged right after him, dashing to the right to avoid the Marauder's spear thrust as he climbed back out through the hole he had made. Quickly switching to his gauss cannon, he discharged it point blank into the Marauder's chest before he had the gist to bring up his shield, blasting a huge chunk out of the right side of the Marauder's torso, before switching back to the super shotgun and firing again into his gut, knocking him right off his feet and laying him back down on the ground.

The Marauder coughed blood as he pushed himself back up onto his knees. "You cannot save them," he snarled as the Slayer reloaded. "Just like you could not save-"

BOOM!

Everything above the Marauder's neck was promptly splattered, the pieces reduced to a red smear on the ground. The Slayer ejected the spent shells from his super shotgun and reloaded. Tasting iron in his mouth, the Slayer stared down at the Marauder's corpse, then he turned his head to spit out a wad of blood.

"..." he was tired of being reminded of his failures.

Right there and then, William decided that there existed a new fighting style and he would make sure to develop and finetune it for years to come. He called it the deadly art of the 'Weapon Swap.'

"…."

Yeah, stupid name.

He picked up his helmet, and stared at himself in its reflection, noticing there was still a bit of blood under his lip…

"…."

…and turned to Penny as he wiped his mouth. The artificial girl stared at him like she didn't know how to react to the Slayer's casual dispatching of someone that appeared to have been a former comrade that drew his blood.

William put his helmet back on and gestured for Penny to follow him.

Penny regarded him and how he seemed unperturbed over fighting something that was on equal footing with him. Giving an unsure, forced smile, she nodded "Alright."

It took nearly a dozen apprentice Huntsmen and Huntresses to defeat the last Marauder, and the Slayer now managed to take one down by himself? He was getting stronger, no doubt about it. She followed him as he passed through the airlock doors, stepping into pitch darkness, the installed lighting having long burnt out.

"Allow me," Penny said, the brightness in her eyes increasing tenfold as a pair of makeshift lanterns, revealing that they were in a stone corridor. With Penny now leading they went forward until they stopped in front of a flight of steps leading down. "Oh, how ominous."

"…."

"Pressing forward!" Penny happily exclaimed.

(Down one flight of dark steps later…)

Another clearance check, another pair of installed safety doors opened, and they found themselves within a massive, underground chamber….

"Wowwwwww~"

…Penny gasping in wonder toward the ancient fortress keep, located in the center, flanked by two smaller towers connected by bridgeways.

"…." the Slayer hoped that this was what he thought it was.

"Is…is that-" Pietro was heard to gasp from his end.

++An inert Sentinel voidship,++ VEGA answered. ++An ancient craft capable of space travel.++

"I…I don't believe this," Pietro sounded like he was struggling for years. "For decades, Atlesian was convinced our ancestors had access to space travel, but we could never find trace of any such technology-"

"Well, we FOUND it!" Penny exclaimed, happily. She turned to William, an excited smile on her face, "We have to get inside, now."

The Slayer put a hand on Penny's shoulder and pushed her behind himself, taking a few steps toward the fortress. The red port located in his suit's breastplate suddenly flashed blue. A blue light could be seen flashing back from the fortress windows. A blue portal suddenly opened up in front of the Slayer, and he stepped right through.

"WAIT FOR ME!" Penny called after William as she hurriedly followed him, the portal closing just as she stepped through.

(Command Bridge, Fortress of Doom)

"…."

Having never set foot on a voidship before, the layout of the command center of this voidship was exactly as William remembered from reading the parchments: A combination of Argenta and Maykr technology, along with primarily Sentinel architecture, the flaming torches besides the ship's lightning a definite medieval touch. The teleporter he and Penny stepped out from that dissembled itself behind, leaving them to climb the step upward onto the bridge, and the consoles that waited for them.

"This is Sentinel architecture, isn't it?" Penny said, looking up and down the massive chamber they had just walked into it. She tapped her chin in an exaggerated pose of thought. "This would be of very great interest to the Altesian Archeological society-"

"Penny, please focus."

"Sorry, dad," Penny replied. She turned to the Slayer, "Now we need to figure out a way to get this thing operation…al?"

Approaching the main bridge console, the Slayer ran a hand over the orb that controlled the teleporter that had his mark carved into it.

"…."

It can't be a coincidence that a voidship belonging to his House – his family – just happened to be on a former Argenta colony world.

++Please upload my backup drive into the ship's systems immediately.++

"…." Well, he said 'please' at least.

William stepped off the bridge and up the steps towards the suspensor chamber. Penny watched him as he pulled VEGA's backup drive from one of the ports in his suit and tossed it into said chamber, the drive levitating within the blue energy field as its power circulated through it. The Slayer headed back toward the bridge and to one of the primary consoles, the screen displaying VEGA's upload status in Argenta script.

"Blazkowicz? What have you done with VEGA?" Pietro inquired.

Penny tilted her head curiously toward the suspension field and VEGA's backup floating within, "I think he's uploading him into the ship."

Both Penny and Pietro's voices sounded distant when William noticed, lying at the feet near the terminal, what looked like a torn piece of blank paper. Getting down on one knee, he picked it up and turned it to reveal that it was a photograph, and half of it was missing, including the head of the uniformed man in the picture. He could very clearly see the blonde woman and the toddler they were holding between them, the two of them smiling in what was obviously a perfect moment captured in time.

The little boy that was held between them looked like Hunter, minus the silver eyes. Eerily so.

"…."

He noticed the writing in black felt-tip on the back that he missed. He turned the letter back around and read it.

From Crash and Artie.
With all the love and joy in the world.
xxxooo

"…."

The Slayer let his arm drop to his side and allowed the photo to slip out of his grasp and it fell to the ground. Penny reached for William, looking concerned, "William?"

William ignored her and stepped toward the bridge's primary console. Penny picked up the photo and examined it quietly, wondering how these two unknowns could have elicited such a reaction from the Doom Slayer, of all people. She then folded it gently and tucked it away underneath one of the terminal displays.

"…VEGA," William's voice cut through the silence, eliciting a surprised jolt through Penny.

The flickering of lights and the sounds of internal systems being rebooted followed. After that, VEGA was in control.

++I have successfully integrated with the vessel's onboard systems. I am in complete control,++ VEGA declared. ++The Fortress of Doom is…relatively operational.++

"…relatively?" William inquired, flatly.

++The Fortress is currently running on auxiliary power. We will require a Sentinel battery if we want the ship to operate at full capability,++ VEGA reported. ++And we are missing a vital component of the ship's Celestial Locator.++

"How important is it?" Penny inquired.

++Very.++

"…." Penny blinked by VEGA's blunt answer. "OH! Ok."

"You wouldn't by chance have passed by any one of those things on the way, have you?" Pietro asked, cautiously.

++We did not, unfortunately,++ VEGA replied. ++And we do not have enough time to generate portals to each of the individual Sentinel ruins on Remnant to check.++

"But there is still time to…ascend?" Pietro asked, hopefully. "Correct?"

++We do.++

William engaged the touch screen on the nearest console, going through menus until he found those two wonderful words in Argenta script.

ASCEND?

William pressed the screen, and the fortress slowly began to shake as the Sentinel energy within activated the ancient engines deep within the fortress. The distant sounds of the earth above them splitting and giving way as the fortress rose out of the ground, sending dirt, stone and ruin flying for seemingly miles as the entire excavation site was demolished. The Slayer looked out the window to see Mistral's forest disappearing from view as they continued to ascend.

Penny couldn't contain her excitement, "Wow…we're really going into space?"

++Affirmative.+++

"…."

He suddenly remembered that this was the first time in one of these fortresses, much less a Sentinel voidship. Growing up, he remembered all those stories his mother had told him about the Argenta journeys across the Empyrean Void and his subsequent childhood fantasies, it was now he was finally living them.

"…."

He felt nothing.

(RWBY)

(Central Command Center)
(Kingdom of Atlas, Solitas)

It had to have been critically urgent, Ironwood reasoned as he stepped back into the command center for the second time in a day. And related to the Doom Slayer most likely. His 'advisor' had warned him as such, and told him that he needed to prepare and focus if he was going to be able to counter Blazkowicz's latest abomination.

Winter was already waiting for him. She stood to attention, "General, sir."

"Something you couldn't have told me over comms, specialist?" Ironwood asked, dryly. "I was in a conference with our…guest."

Winter shivered at the mention of General Ironwood's 'guest'. It had showed up in his office about a month ago giving its best wishes, and now the general didn't seem keen on evicting it, especially after it declared that it was a representative of Urdak, the realm that opposed Hell, and the Khan Maykr, their leader that claimed saw the potential in the Kingdoms of Remnant, Atlas especially. Honeyed words that seemed to have won Ironwood over, much to Winter's surprise.

But herein was a man dealing with growing internal rebellions, the encroaching forever enemy known as the Grimm and interdimensional invaders from a literal Hell with a burning hatred for humanity. Of course, Ironwood was someone Winter could claim as having the weight of the universe on his shoulders, desperate enough to seek aid from anywhere, no matter whatever price had to be paid.

Ironwood noticed how far away Winter looked, "Winter?"

"Ah, apologies, general," Winter said. "We have a…developing situation from Mistral."

"Blazkowicz?" Ironwood narrowed his eyes.

"It might be," Winter replied. She turned to the technicians present. "Sit-rep."

"We have a visual coming in from the meteorologist station in Argus…now!" one of the technicians shouted.

"Put it on the main screen!" Winter exclaimed.

Gasps, panicked cries, and hushed whispers assaulted both Ironwood and Winter's ears as they stared at the larger screens that displayed what looked like a castle keep situated on top of a piece of rocky earth suddenly ascending just above Remnant's atmosphere. Winter looked incredulous when they saw, as the Fortress reached Remnant's thermosphere, that there were no visible signs of propulsion, at least not the conventional kind.

"This…this can't be…" Winter was shaking her head in denial.

And it was not just the fact that, this whole time, the SDC has been excavating a Sentinel machine that was capable of space travel that trumped everything that Atlas had achieved militarily and scientifically millennia since, it was when the display zoomed in further, they could all see the Mark of the Slayer on the fortress. This caused Ironwood briefly to hitch his breath.

Winter saw how equally befuddled Ironwood looked, "Sir?"

"Blazkowicz has…command of a space-faring craft now?" Ironwood asked, sounding aimless. Swallowing, he turned to the communications officer. "Have the other kingdoms picked this up?"

With one hand on his headphones, the comms officer responded, "Yes, sir. Intercepted transmissions from Vale and Mistral meteorology stations and…wait…" his eyes widened and he shouted. "SIR!"

The room was bathed in crimson and klaxons went off as a red alert was issued.

"Status!" Ironwood exclaimed. "NOW!"

"Multiple distress signals intercepted from Mistral capital! Grimm…and demons?!"

(RWBY)

(Command Bridge, The Fortress of Doom)
(Low Orbit, Remnant)

She was in space, Penny realized. She was the first person on Remnant to ever reach space. And in an interdimensional folding medieval fortress no less.

One could hear the awe in Pietro's voice, "I…I just can't believe it. Penny, I'm tracking you…in low orbit."

"We are in low orbit," Penny replied. She marveled as she saw Remnant through the bridge window.

"Penny! Describe what you see. Please!"

"…." the Slayer was silent as he watched 'father' and 'daughter' exchange wonderment between one another.

Penny walked toward the edge of the platform, eyes wide as she stretched her hand forward, "I see…Remnant." She paused, "It's…it's pretty."

"I'm sure it is, sweetheart. I'm sure it is," Pietro said. "Blazkowicz, do you have any idea what this could mean? If there are any more Argenta space vessels buried within Remnant-"

"No."

"I beg your pardon?"

++I would be prudent to contain the situation on Remnant first before discussions can be held regarding the Kingdoms' first forays into interstellar travel,++ VEGA pointed out.

"R-right, of course. I apologize," Pietro stammered, embarrassed. "This is just all so overwhelming. That all this time, a piece of Sentinel architecture is capable ot-"

++…Poledina.++

Pietro was heard to clear his throat, "Again, I apologize. But I must ask what do you intend to do with the technology you now have in your possession?"

The Slayer turned toward the currently inert Sentinel teleporter on the bridge.

"…."

Ask a stupid question.

VEGA answered anyway, ++We will have to locate both an alternate power source to restore complete functionality of the ship, and the missing component of the Celestial Locator.++

"Is there anything special about this…locator?" Pietro asked.

++The device, when fully assembled, will enable us to pinpoint the exact location of any point of interest,++ VEGA replied.

"Would that include people?" Pietro asked.

William inwardly scoffed. People? Loosest of terms.

++Yes.++

"…you do understand the implications of such technology in the hands of the wrong peo-?"

"Don't care," William interjected. "VEGA?"

++Until we have access to a Sentinel battery this station has enough reserve power for three portal trips,++ VEGA explained. ++By logic, we should complete our Celestial Locator first.++

"…." Behind his helmet, William's eyes dimmed.

++Agreed. Destination set: Exultia, Argent D'Nur.++

Penny gasped and covered her mouth, realizing the implication, "Oh, my."

"Interplanetary teleportation, Penny," Pietro sounded like he was in awe. He composed himself, "Err…it is indeed fascinating. Your people's ingenuity knows no limits, Blazkowicz."

"…." His people's 'ingenuity'?

Whatever.

The fortress-city of Exultia, a stronghold of the Templar knightley caste of the Night Sentinels, and the final place on Argent D'Nur the Slayer had sat his foot on before leading his brothers-in-arms through the portal into Hell on what would be their final, desperate crusade, seemingly leaving his homeworld forever.

Sash.

Roan.

Gor.

"…."

Their Atlans were most likely still there, unpowered, unmoving, and still surrounded by all the demons they had each slaughtered.

++Alert: Intercepting emergency transmission from Mistral.++

William reflexively gripped his super shotgun.

++Broadcasting now…++

"-peat, this is Mistral City Watch on all channels!" the comms blurted out in panic. "Immediate recall of all rural patrols has been ordered and immediate Huntsman aid has been requested-!"

"…insurgent activity has been spotted in lower levels…!

"Reports of burning, looting and civilian casualties are flooding in-"

Gunfire could be heard.

"…killing anything that moves…"

"…Brothers! The Grimm-"

"…Grimm are within the city limits…"

The next intercepted transmission caused the Slayer to tense up.

"You listenin' in, Slayer?" came Marcus Black's taunt. "The party's missin' its guest of honor! Don't keep us waitin'."

The Slayer had a feeling Marcus' and his mob had been waiting for him to be far away from Mistral and Haven Academy to launch an attack. And Cinder and her crew would try to swipe the Relic at Haven behind their backs. William cracked his neck, knowing the joke would be on them soon enough.

Because he has a bloody teleporter now. And there is no running from someone who can materialize anywhere on the planet.

++Alert: Emergency broadcast intercepted from Vale Law Enforcement.++

…figures.

The terminal screen to the left began streaming, "…I repeat, backup requested downtown. We got two suspects on the loose and a whole ton of Grimm are covering them. Huntsmen from Beacon are already on sight but they're been overwhelmed."

++It would be a fair assumption that Team RWBY is involved,++ VEGA said.

"…." who else?

"Our choice is either Vale or Mistral?" Penny observed. "Either way, we'll be in for some incredibly nasty resistance." She turned to him, "Where should we go first?"

"…." William turned his head to face her. "Both."

"Huh?"

++Ms. Poledina, you could go and assist Vale while we secure the City of Mistral,++ VEGA pointed out. ++To prioritize one over the other is counterintuitive at the moment.++

"I believe that would be the correct course of action," Pietro agreed. "Penny. Slayer."

Penny nodded, "Yes, I agree." She turned to the Slayer, "I will go to Vale while you will return to Mistral?"

"…you?"

"I will protect them with my life. You can count on me," Penny saluted with a grin, "Ready for launch, William Joseph Blazkowicz III."

"…." William regarded her briefly. He nodded, "VEGA."

++Setting coordinates for City of Vale. Downtown.++

William and Penny watched as part of the bridge lowered itself and folded outward, revealing stairs that led down off the bridge and toward the teleporter, a large mechanical circlet of Sentinel make that assembled itself at the end of a walkway. The view of Remnant through the window past the teleporter was obscured by the blue portal that was generated.

Not sensing any hesitation from the android girl, VEGA said, ++Good luck, Penny.++

Penny stared at the blue portal, before smiling and rushing through it. The portal immediately dematerialized as VEGA dialed up the next set of coordinates.

++Resetting coordinates. City of Mistral. Primary administration hub.++

Drawing his super shotgun, the Slayer made sure that it was loaded. He had the feeling that this was how the rest of his war was going to be fought from now on. Another portal was opened, and ready for the Slayer to continue his war.

++The portal is ready. I will remain here and monitor your status,++ VEGA explained. ++Good luck.++

"…." He didn't need luck. He had ammo. And spite.

Not one of those traitors to humanity was going to leave Mistral alive.

Super shotgun at the ready, the Slayer stepped through the portal…


A/N: First update (for this story) of 2024. Would have finished it sooner, but writer's block and covid back in January tends to impede progress.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Fortress of Doom! ;-) In canon, it had to have come from somewhere and no way the Slayer was keeping it in his pocket. Might as well have been hiding on Remnant this whole time in this fic. And I think the location of the next story arc has been decided.

Also, I think it is time to put this to rest: I've decided I'm not pairing the Doom Slayer up with anyone in this fic (though other pairings are most likely). That whole thing with the Blazkowicz family ring, it's all part of Yang's character arc, including a deconstruction of the whole Crossover Shipping trope.

Another thing: The Maykrs have demonstrated in canon to be highly manipulative on a cosmic level, and Ironwood – taking his desperate, malicious, fan-dividing behavior in Seasons 7 and 8 into account - is the type of person they would go after.

Anyway, what do you think of this detour from DOOM canon?