Part 1

An island’s shore: sunny, green, quiet. A quiet that is suddenly disrupted by a black metal tower rising from the water, followed by the long dark cylinder beneath. The submarine doesn’t settle; it isn’t supposed to be here. Even as it descends back into the depths the hatch on the conning tower opens briefly and a figure hurtles into the sky.

The figure is a blur of green with a trail of vapour following its long curving jump. A closer look would reveal a female figure at the apex of the jump, but not one easily mistaken for human. Her skin is a pale green colour and she is shrouded by vivid green vegetation, blowing back in the wind at this altitude. Green thorns protruding from her body pierce the leafy covering in several places. If you somehow got very close though, you would be chilled to freezing by the chilling aura the figure is somehow producing, completely at odds with the verdant leaves that are her only covering.

This creature calls herself Vostok Core and she is one of the most feared creatures to exist on Earth. She has stated several times, and to some of the most powerful heroes on Earth, that her mission is to destroy humanity. Her affiliation with Arachnos is well known, but very little is widely known about her and what her true purposes are.

However, the graceful arc of her long jumping motion and her carefully composed face masks an inner turmoil.

Matrix Imperator Complex: Enough! Review!

Axiomatic Directive Structure: Primary mission unfulfilled. Secondary mission unfulfilled. Operations of over a solar year are fruitless. This unit is not meeting its directives.

Computation Complex Alpha: Primary mission to implement evacuation of this planet for our colonies is not possible. The humans do not possess technology capable of interstellar flight other than at sublight speed, which would expose our colonies to unacceptable radiation.

Host Organism: Ha! I told you!

Host Organism Suppression Complex: The Host Organism will remain quiet or its cortex will be suppressed.

Computation Complex Beta: Secondary mission to destroy humanity before catastrophic global warming makes the Antarctic habitat of our colonies unviable is not possible. There are too many of the creatures and any global event strong enough to destroy them will only increase the instability of this planet’s climate.

Host Organism: I told you that too! Why don’t you try talki …

Host Organism Suppression Complex: The Host Organism is being disciplined.

Host Organism: Aarrrggghh!!

Host Organism Suppression Complex: The Host Organism is silenced.

Motivation Processor Structure: Chance to complete Primary mission currently being explored. Scientist who claims he has a means of interstellar travel for microscopic structures has been located in these warehouses north of Peregrine Island and Paragon City.

Computation Complex Alpha: Risk of human hero response considered medium.

Matrix Imperator Complex: Risk deemed adequate. If Primary mission is attainable then any risk is adequate. Release Host Organism. Suppression Complex is being overzealous.

Host Organism: Thank you. I’ve told you before, there is a third option: make them understand! The heroes can help you! It’s not too late!

Computation Complex Beta: Humans have exponentially increased carbon emissions over the past 100 solar years. Emission output is still accelerating. Humans so far encountered have been vile creatures, unworthy of respect or trust and determined to pursue self-destruction. There is no third option.

Sensory Structure Alpha: Approaching target structure.

Sensory Structure Beta: Detecting multiple life signs. Non-human. Designation: Devouring Earth minions.

Computation Complex Alpha: Risk of combat engagement minimal, Hamidon minions are considered weak.

Axiomatic Directive Structure: Primary Mission must be explored while there is any chance to complete it.

Matrix Imperator Complex: Concur. Combat role engaged!

The slim green figure lands in a crouch before the shambling figures of the Devouring Earth. The chilling cold that had been causing the vapour coming from her begins to increase sharply so that it is pouring from her hands. A glittering sword of ice coalesces in her right hand and with a quick motion of her left the grass all around the area begins to writhe and grasp at the stone, crystal and treelike forms of the creatures.

With the ice sword thrown back ready for a slashing strike she careens into the mass of her enemies slashing down two of the tree-like figures reaching out towards her. A blast of some strange sort of pollen substance from her left hand in the face of the boulder creature in front of her and it and two more minions behind it descend on each other. After embedding the sword of ice in a mushroom like creature, two more crystalline forms are shattered by shards of ice seemingly formed out of thin air and thrown into them.

Sensory Structure Alpha: Two more life signs approaching from the rear. Designation: Powered humans approaching at speed. One is utilising powered jumping and the other is performing spatial shift transportation. Recommend disengage.

Axiomatic Directive Structure: Primary mission has priority unless the Matrix is at risk.

Computation Complex Alpha: Neither target readily identifiable. Risk of hero contact with significant power level is low. Recommend obey Axiomatic Directive.

Matrix Imperator Complex: Ignore the heroes. Destroy the Devouring Earth. Continue combat action. Find the scientist.

The masses of Devouring Earth minions continue to fall, but the continuous attack is taking its toll on the green woman. While not badly hurt, her energy reserves are being steadily taxed.

There is a brief lull in the continuous attack and the group of plant-like Devouring Earth that Vostok Core is currently slashing at fall back suddenly to reveal a strange looking creature. Readily recognisable as a mushroom type, but in peculiar fluorescent hues with an oddly shaped bulb it moves slowly forward.

The ice sword appears again and is drawn back to strike when a voice blasts across her awareness.


The fluorescent Fungoid stands its ground, its bell faintly pusling, but the sword doesn’t come. Vostok Core stands there, unmoving, with the sword swung over her shoulder and slowly melting away. Behind the Fungoid a Lesser Devoured appears from one of the warehouses with a large hypodermic needle filled with a strange looking fluid.

To be continued in Part 2

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