Volume 14

This one starts directly as the other ended, with Schaft groveling at the feet of Lachesis. Foot Fetishists, you will be quite happy with the way Schaft gives Lacky some well deserved Foot Worship. XD Zoom, having had her ass royally kicked by the Empress, is really pissed off at Schaft’s about face. After this scene plays itself out, Lachesis wonders how many were just killed in the recent skirmish. She calls out the Headdliner who’s been observing her from behind another pillar. Kaien shows himself, a bit surprised that she knew he was there as well as having some of the advanced techniques down. She tells him that it’s because he bears the scent of her older sister Queen. Kaien goes on to tell her a little about himself and his relationship to Queen…

We’re granted another flashback here, this time into Kaien’s past. As a child, he’s sitting with Queen and being instructed by his master, Deimos Hierarchy with Ballance looking on. Kaien is envied by his classmates as he has superior skills to his peers. Deimos eases the boy, saying that he’ll learn more and to leave everything, with the inclusion of losing his virginity to a blushing Queen. Later on, we see him and Queen together in bed, Kaien desperately wanting Queen to bear his children. Being a Fatima who’s unable to do such a thing, she can’t, which drives her almost to the point of madness.

Back in the present, Kaien tells Lachesis that in reality, since Queen was the only woman he’d ever known, he’d been sleeping with his mother and never knew it. Because of this, he hated Ballance but was stopped by Amateratsu from killing Ballance himself. At any rate, he says he’ll stay in the Floating Palace until things calm down. Lacky, ever the observant one, thinks he’s got an ulterior motive as he made a run for it after discovering he’d gotten Jabo knocked up in Kastenpo. Realizing that th jig was up, he high tails it to change into his Mirage Knight armor and tells her to be on guard for a bit more as he wasn’t the only one who saw what she did to Schaft and Zoom.

The seal having been restored in Hell Tower, former Empress Mikado wonders what happened. Sachier and the others of the Para-Guild have returned to their former selves, with no recollection of what just happened. Mikado can’t believe that they couldnt’ remember losing their souls, but it’s for the best. Outside, the Feather Dragon still rests and Lachesis hears another voice coming from outside as well…one that’s apologizing for the trouble. The Water Dragon of Legend, Suiree, greets Lachesis and offers her a gift by way of apologies. Suiree then takes his/her leave, telling Destiny’s Fate that they will surely meet again at another time, another place. With these final words, those that were dead return to life: all of Lachesis’ hand maidens and attendants! Those in the Floating Palace take note of casualties…very few remained dead but many are injured. The elder makes note that a Sonic Blade was used, Kaien no doubt. They are not alone as the Mirage Knights on the Left have not returned to Hell Tower. Hind goes to battle them, but is stopped by the Left’s Leader, Prince Sarion. Lacky has left the throne room and Sarion tells her to step down as ruler of the AKD. Surely, the aristocracy isn’t about to let a mere “puppet” remain ruler of the AKD, right? Hind begs Lonn to protect Lachesis but…

…Mirage Knight 1 is on the scene to put a stop to any such foolishnes. Kaien isn’t about to let Sarion have his way this time. The palace Fatima, Bucstual, is told to leave as there’s about to be a battle. (She’d been helping Kaien ready his armor.) Sarion adresses those in attendence about the fact that living in the Floating Palace has made them soft and that it’s more or less up to the Left to liven things up again. He also makes it known that he will not be fooled or frightened by the dimensional attacks that defeated Schaft and Zoom. Kaien then tells Hind and the others that he can handle the Headdliners if they have the Divers. Looks like there’s no avoiding this battle, folks. Lachesis looks down at Sarion, telling him to stop this at once. Sarion’s not about to get talked to that way by a mere “puppet”. What appears before him is no joke, however as the Omnipotence makes one final appearance to make its point clear……..and a panel later, attendants and hand maids prepare for tea time, which is really really late by this point.

The throne room empty, Lachesis tries to make sense of what happened that day and how much she misses Sopp. Things still aren’t back to normal as all the energy released energizes the KoG, which is in repair. The suit breaks through the floor of the throne room and threatens to rip her limb from limb. There’s nothing she can do as it has her in its grips. The mechanical limbs of the KoG are destroyed in a blast of light as she gets yet more help from the A.R.C.H, and the princess from the Water Dragon legend, who tells her to remain on alert a little longer. A very beautiful woman stands next to her and tells her to please be careful. It’s her daughter Kallen, who certianly leaves her mother with much to think about.

On the Palace ground,s Spector is finally getting his afternoon tea courtesy of Potar. She apologizes that it was late, saying that things in the palace got bloody. Spector comments on the ineptitude of those in the Palace and speaks about Amateratsu’s generosity to someone like him tho’s worthless in battle. Potar says she’s just as bad since she was more or less killed. Spector saw what really happened and speaks about neither Amateratsu or Lachesis having a foothold of their true powers, which is why the A.R.C.H had to intervene in this instance. Worthless after all? You decide!

Now that everything’s calmed down, we jump to a new location, a rough place called Zanda City. For the record, this is where Schaft rules so it’s little wonder that the place is all screwed up. We see a lady dressed like a stripper looking on at the night life: drugs and sex as far as the eyes can see. She gets hit on by some guys who know a hot piece of ass when they see it. Theyr’e stopped from going further buy a creepy looking guy who tells them that she’s well known around these parts but we’ll hear more about her later as now…

In a dark corner of this party city, an androgynous fellow arrives at a really shady place. The guy at the counter shoos him off as this is a “doll brothel”. He can’t possibly afford his wares so he might as well kick rocks. The newcomer tells him to judge for himself whether or not he can stay by tossing him the Joker equivilent of $30,000 for the opportunity. The man changes his tune quick and shows him that he has some real good shit. The guy then tells him in untranslated Japanese that he’s not interested in his female dolls and that he only likes men. The counter man’s wondering why he bothered to come here at all but luckily has something that will suit his tastes. With a smile, he pickes just the one he’s looking for and heads to an empty room….

A very young fatima holding a flower enters the room and the androgynous fellow asks if this thing is popular. Seems that it is and the fatima offers to change. The guy isn’t interested in the wrapping, just that the package be what he ordered. He then seduces the fatima and offers him some acid, which is popular here. The guy asks for a name but the acid has taken hold. No name is needed as the man calls the fatima by name, Ananda. Ananda is surprised to have been found that the guy was involved with the Ashura Temple. It took him a long time to find Ananda and he isn’t about to let the plans/specs of the Ashura Temple be found out because a Fatima hasn’t been disposed of properly. Ananda can’t fight back as he’s tripping and with a flick of the wrist, the man kills Ananda.

Hearing the noise, those in charge of the brothel barge in demanding to know why the hell he killed the Fatima. The man offers $30,000 more to have this swept under the rug but the men will have none of it. Too bad, very quickly they are both killed. The doorman recognizes the facial tattoo on the troublmaker as prince Krakenbeel Mejojo, the one in charge of the Ashura Temple. Having been found out, he kills the doorman too. The masters of this brothel dead, he calls the fatimas that are there out and tells them that they are free to “go find their next”. We are only privy to the names of two of these former “working girls”, who say their goodbyes to each other. One of them is Lester’s Palsuet, and the other is the one searching for her Black Knight, Est.

Inside a bar, the stripper looking woman hears the ruckus outside as the police go check out what just happened at the brothel. The barkeep is a grizzly looking sort: half his face looks normal and the other half almost reptilian. (Too many drugs perhaps?) Speaking of them, he offers the woman some on a tray, which she takes and injects into her forehead. She gets messed up quick and its then that the barkeep lets her in on some interesting info he’s heard lately….about the rising of the sorcerer Di-Barrow and the trouble that’s brewing. Because things have been heating up around here, the harder drugs like Brain Cracker have been getting harder to get and more expensive. He seems to miss the gravy days when the “hippest duo in Zanda”, King Schaft and Paltenon were in charge. She’s so trashed that she’s only halfway paying him attention but sobers up when he calls her by her name, Qukey, and wishes her the best in looking for her husband, Allan Braford.

In yet another corner of this fun place, Aisha Condonte’s incognito again and looking for the individual who called her out at this hour. She gets hit on like you wouldn’t believe, but she’s not interested tonight. (Which is something of a miracle itself!) While she’s complimenting Schaft on his “town”, the one she’s there to meet steps out of the shadows. Ting, or rather Prince Ko-Fan Sheimar has some bad news for her reguarding the recent events at the Floating Palace. He also informs her that Amateratsu has gone missing. She asks his whereabouts, but Ting’s in the mood to fight and challenges her with his Diver skills. You might say that he’s feeling pretty cocky as those on the Left are now free to do what they wish. He’s got some really nasty moves, and he’s also not happy that for leaving the Floating Palace as well as taking Amateratsu’s newest MH out without permission that she only got a slap on the wrist. He messes her up good and their battle takes them to the rooftops of the city. As he goes to launch what he believes will be a final attack, she counters it with Body Sonic and grabs for his throat. She’ll let him live if he tells her what he knows about Amateratsu’s dissapearance. He seriosuly gets his ass kicked and when his attendants appear he informs them to get ahold of the Para-Guild and Schaft to the location of Sopp. He recalls that he’d fotgotten how exhilirating the battle was.

The scene returns to the Floating Palace and to the place in Hell Tower where this all began. Lachesis knows she’s about to do something bad but feels she has no choice as this is the only option to help Sopp. With a flick of a switch, the most powerful MH in Joker springs to life…..the Jagd Mirage! At the helm are Schaft, who’s happy to be heading out, and his batshit crazy fatima Paltenon. In a different part of the palace, Sarion watches them go with Majer at his side. She’s more or less her surrogate mother since he killed his real parents. Seems Lacky scared the hell out of the poor boy and he lets this be known now to his “mother”. Majer will remain his mother until the time comes when he can rightfully take his spot in the Amateratsu family.

Speaking of needing some encouragement, Lachesis is very sad that she had to start up the Jagd and Busctual, who has had her human emotion stripped from her tries to cheer her up. We’ll have to leave her here and head back to Kastenpo.

This is about the worst that Sopp’s ever had it. For all practical purposes, he’s more or less dead. The raptor looking beasts of Dragon Road realize this too and are picking at his corpse and he’s about halfway eaten. Something large scares them away and as Sopp is, well, dead, there’s nothing he could do even if he wanted to. This thing isn’t really all that scary as it jumps over a ledge and into view. Sopp can communicate with it telepathically and calls it a giant chicken. The creature shows off but Sopp is pretty much convinced that this is what it is. The critter has something shiny in his hand and as Sopp admonishes him not to break it, it does break, reviving him and making him whole again. Sopp thanks the creature for helping him out and the little guy makes it known that it wants him to follow him. Sopp is naked but manages to salvage a cheeky bathing suit number out of the shredded cloth. (Considering he’s a guy, you never see him topless.) Elsewhere in the desert, a young woman feels an uneasiness…

Sopp follows the guy, wondering about his own loss of powers and also ponders the little guy leading him. Looking at the forked tail, he is shocked to realize that the creature is none other than a Dragon Nymph, and the LED’s at that. Since the larger LED dragon has died, he wonders if this is why his pwers have been compromised. As he’s putting two and two together, they come upon a mountain, which opens for them. Inside is a large open space at which point the image of the adult LED dragon appears before him. The dragon tells Sopp to have pity on those who are immortal, but must be reborn into the physical world after so many thousands of years. He also talks about the Water of Life, which the nymph used to revive Sopp. Some is left and he tells Sopp to give the rest to the human who raises him. Sopp asks about the loss of his powers, but LED gives no ready answers. Having said this, he expires.

Di-Barrow detects a large sorce of energy ahead and dispatches Braford to see the cause. Sukat doesn’t like Braford and lets it be known to all. The Apache is dropped as well as the rest of Barrow’s ground troops.

Sopp on the other hand tries to find a fitting name for the young LED Nymph, who is more interested in Sopp’s expensive necklace. Sopp pffers to give it to him if he remembers his name for more than 5 minutes. We’ll have to get the little guys name in the next book however. Look forward to it!

Heading toward Kastenpo is the Jagd. A passing ship almost gets taken out by it and they look for info on it, but then see the Mirage Corps Knight Flag. They very wisely decide to leave this one alone. Smart guys. On board, Paltenon has to get this thing battle ready for when they arrive. Lucky for the AKD, she’s their most accomplished fatima and starts the programming. She tells Schaft not to “fuck up piloting this thing” and that she’ll kick his ass if he does. He’s a masochist and says he likes that kind of thing and Paltenon tells him with a few more F’bombs that he wouldn’t if he knows what’s good for him. This one ends with them heading to the “really cool party” on Kastenpo!