“Nanoha!” Harry heard a girl scream before a streak of brilliant yellow lightning traced 5 times across the giant—knocking him back a step with explosive force contained in each blow before he lashed out with his sword again—knocking back a black clad blonde figure Harry had noticed before. Now wielding a sword composed of yellow lightning as big as the giants and somehow wearing even less.
“Wodan Ymir!” The girl frothed, tears streaming down her face, “Yurusanai!
“Like I need forgiveness,” The man said, “From a failed experiment.”
” she roared and charged with her sword again, keeping an inhuman pace to their duel.
Harry did not think. He just acted. What this man—this Wodan Ymir—had done, filled him with rage.
Harry’s emotions were always the wellspring of his power—but he threw in a little soulfire—burning away part of his soul—to add to the flames. His should take it, and Wodan needed to go down.
!” Harry roared, sending a telephone pole sized spear of white-hot flames towards Wodan—piercing his side before the figure leapt an impossible 25ft into the air to dodge a sweep off the strike. Blood seeped from Wodan’s mouth as he smirked.
Mid-air, pulled one fist over his shoulder and drove it into a spike on his back and then aimed that spike—actually a foot and a half long drill—towards Harry.
It launched from his fist like a rocket a shrill whine accompanying the spinning action of the drill. Reacting quickly, Harry called up his shield and managed to intercept the projectile.
!” a new voice called out from his right side just before the drill exploded—knocking him (shields still intact) back through the rubble.
“I understand your rage,” A tense, but calm voice assured him, “But your talents are better served elsewhere.”
“Screw that,” Harry barked, “And what exactly are you doing here, Signum?”
“My master wishes that no blood be spilled—even vicariously—on her behalf,” Signum answered, “You are still weak from being drained, are you not?”
Harry had to admit that, overall, he still was not a hundred percent, and “I’m still going to kill that bastard.”
“Your talents are better served elsewhere,” Signum said, and Harry looked in the direction she was facing as black-leather-clad biker-like people with animal motif elements moving in manners befitting more of the motifs than of humans, elongate rectangular flying machines and four Sentinel robots descended on the battlefield, crushing the few remaining Solanum ghouls underfoot.
He then looked back to Nanoha, cradled in Willow’s arms, her hands weaving healing magic the likes of which he had never before seen.
The fact that her eyes went black was definitely not a good sign.
Damn it, Signum was right. She had saved him twice already. He needed to focus.
“Alright,” Harry said, “But I want piece of him.”
“Don’t you mean another?” Signum deadpanned.
Before turning away he added, “And thanks for the save.”
“Don’t think hard on it,” Signum answered swiftly, “I will still knock you down if we cross swords again,” and took off to aid the blonde girl (who had been joined by a second, the more reasonably armored Buffy Summers) in battling Wodan Ymir.
But Harry saw her flinch for just a moment before she responded to his thanks. It might have less noticeable if the “woman” (who, he was told, was more akin to a realized program or android than a human being) was not so reserved.
Harry mused that he’d have to add to the list of Femme Fatales that he’s encountered over the years.
“Besides,” Signum added, “My reasons for hating him are stronger.”
With that, she charged towards Wodan, her sword wreathed in flames.
“Wodan Ymir!” She screamed, “You have hunted down and killed many mages that were drained by the Wolkenwritter. You have put blood on my master’s hands.”
Signum sped underneath the flung, pained form of the Slayer as she was kicked aside by Wodan Ymir into the air, nearly taking off Harry’s head—and into the Hellboy.
“For your acts,” Signum roared, “You will die by my blade! For now, more blood on her hands will not be noticed.”
“My blade will also taste your flesh!” A third swordswoman roared; leaping down upon Wodan with her blade wreathed in lightning. It took a moment for Harry to recognize Konoka’s girl-toy—because she had large, feathery wings sticking out of her back, small fangs, and glowing red eyes.
Wodan, however, blocked both incoming strikes and leapt back, “And what have I done to you, half-breed?”
Harry’s view of the scene was interrupted by a giant metallic leg interceding himself and Wodan’s adversaries. Looking up, Harry was surprised at what it was. Dark red and black, roughly humanoid, but very angular, it stood some 15 feet tall, the only visible features on its face being two small glowing eyes.
“Oh great,” A voice said behind him, which Harry soon saw belonged to Hellboy, “A Sentinel.”
“You ever fight a giant robot before?” Harry asked.
“I’ve got a few under my belt,” Hellboy answered, rolling his shoulder.
“Does arguing with my now-giant little sister count?” Buffy Summers quipped as she joined them.
“Giant little sister?” Harry asked, “What happened, was she cursed by a Thricewise?”
“Kids,” Harry breathed, “Well, I’ve always wondered if this would work.”
Harry willed his power through his staff—no refinements, no focus, just raw “Jinx technology” magic.
,” he whispered just before small explosions of sparks and tiny arcs of electricity erupted from all over the machine.
The lights of its eyes faded into and disappeared from its face. The head slumped down, bringing its chin to its chest, right before the machine stiffly fell backwards to the ground.
“Nice,” Hellboy chuckled.
“Kinda anticlimactic,” Buffy added, “But whatever works.”
“Perhaps,” A new, lighter voice said, “I will work better for your needs.”
The figure slammed down in front of them—Buffy leapt back, avoiding the shrapnel, whist Hellboy and Harry let their toughness or their shields handle it. This new foe was quite different from the enemies Harry had seen so far—except one. In a way, it reminded him of Wodan Ymir, but that was only in terms of what it was—a person wearing a mechanical armored suit.
Compared to the sleek and pointed armor Wodan wore, this was far rougher—almost a hodgepodge of different parts. Black in color, highlighted in parts with a dark crimson, the machine had what appeared to be multi-jointed, wings-like structures on its back. It was far boxier than Wodan’s armor. One arm had a miniature Gatling gun mounted on it, whilst the other had a trio of blades attached to it.
“Who are you?” Buffy asked.
“He can tell you,” She answered, motioning towards Hellboy.
” he answered, “But she’s just another Nazi bitch to me.”
“Don’t be like that, Hellboy,” She pouted, “We’re practically family.”
“’cept for the whole Nazi thing,” Hellboy growled.
“I don’t want to fight you, Hellboy,” She sighed, raised her Gatling-gun towards the group—which began to whine as it spun, and added “But to make sure you live, I must do this.”
Harry had his shield ready to intercept the barrage, and raised it in front of his allies before the first bullet got near them.
Buffy and Hellboy dove to opposite sides, Hellboy drawing his obscenely large pistol and Buffy grabbing a discarded rapier off the ground.
Ouka, for her part, leapt over the wall Harry had erected—and into Harry’s line of fire.
!” Harry shouted—and sent her careening back and into the ground, hard enough to leave a depressed skid mark in the rubble around them.
Harry blinked as she just got right back up.
Hellboy’s first pistol volley slammed into her armor, to little effect.
“Damn,” Hellboy spat, “that’s thick armor.”
Harry didn’t miss a beat, hissing “Hexus” at her, letting loose a raw burst of magical energy—to fry any machinery she carried.
But was only rewarded a few sparks from the armor.
“Noble effort,” She said, rolling her shoulders and slowly getting into a fighting stance, “But EMP shielding is something this armor’s taken into account.”
Hatches on the armored shoulders opened up, revealing a series of small spheres—Harry guessed they were explosives.
Harry caught a glimpse of small red lights atop the ends of the explosives. The lights probably meant there was a guidance system and a guidance system meant electronics—so he sent out another wave of power towards Ouka.
And watched the grenades explode on her shoulders, Ouka fell to her one knee, grunting in pain, as she was engulfed in smoke and flames.
“Guess the grenades weren’t shielded that well,” Harry smirked.
The next thing Harry knew, the smoke was nearly split in two and Ouka was in front of him, the blades on her one arm bared to strike him. Her face and body covered in thin scratches, her eyes bloodshot and armor around her face and shoulders blown away.
Before Ouka could strike, Buffy Summers intercepted her, blocking Ouka’s blades with one of her own. She was still forced back into Harry, sending him tumbling back.
Harry stumbled, but Buffy held her off—their arms moving at blurring speeds Harry could not follow, as he forced himself up.
Buffy jumped into the air and delivered three rapid kicks towards Ouka before she landed back on the ground. The third and final kick managed to get Ouka to step back in her stride—and set up for a blow from Hellboy’s massive fist that sent her reeling back a few steps.
With two melee fighters in combat with the target, Harry felt almost helpless—most of his spells were not geared for picking out a single target from that sort of rapid melee—he did not quite have the finesse for that.
But he did still have options. It was not his primary method of attack, but he could work things other than fire into an attack.
Harry gathered his will and did his best to focus it and readied his aim.
That’s when Buffy snapped a quick “Stand back” to Hellboy—who obliged.
At which point, her sword arm began to move even faster, to the point where Harry could only see the whiplash and edge of the blur as it moved—as well as the sparks it made upon impact with Ouka’s armor.
Ouka grunted, “What’s the point of increasing your speed when your blows become random and—”
Before she could finish, Buffy’s style of blows changed from horizontal slashes to repeated stabs—all into the joints between the armor.
Thought he bade bent and broke by the end of the flurry, Ouka fell to her knees, a look of shock on her face.
“What is it with super-powered wackos and underestimating everyone around them?” Buffy smiled, “Ya think with all that superiority, they’d be able to see through very simple tricks.”
What happened next happened in a flash. Buffy’s eyes went wide, Ouka’s eyes narrowed.
Buffy brought up the guard of her rapier as Ouka raised a weapon that looked like a grenade launcher with one barrel on top of the other.
A loud crack filled the air and Buffy’s guard hand was thrown up over her head—bloody and red—forcing her back.
Buffy leapt out of the way of the following bursts from the strange weapon—but let out a curt scream as one shell hit her thigh. She was knocked off her trajectory and landed with a roll in a heap on the ground.
In a flash, she turned and leveled the weapon on the Hellboy, who took one to his over-sized right hand and was knocked clean off his feet by the angle of the blow. A second shot hit him in the back, fraying his leather overcoat.
Harry barely had time to raise his shield before the first shell was launched—followed by three more.
Harry braced himself on the ground as best he could so as to not be sent flying through the air. Then she flipped the weapon out to the side and brought the top barrel over the bottom one, creating one long-barreled weapon.
Harry poured more of his soul into the shield as soon as he saw Ouka put two hands on the weapon.
When it fired the air distorted around it as a blue beam raced towards him—Harry’s shield lasted all of 3 seconds before is shattered like glass. Harry fell to the ground from the mental shock, just going underneath the beam as it flew by.
And pointed the stored lightning bolt in the right direction with a command of, “Fulminos!
The bolt raced towards Ouka, channeled through her weapon and into the superwoman, blowing her off her feet, a cut off scream the only thing to escape her throat as she was knocked off her feet and her armor twitched in overload.
For a long moment, only the background din of battle could be heard.
“Did we win?” Harry said, slowly pulling himself up from his stupor.
“Ow,” Hellboy said, as he began to rise.
“Ditto,” Buffy sighed, "I hate guns."
Harry, being the chivalrous sort, helped her to her feet before seeing to Hellboy, who managed to roll over to a seated position, but looked pretty roughed up himself.
“Well I can’t fight on this leg,” Buffy winced as she leaned on Harry’s shoulder, “What the hell kinda gun was that?”
“My guess,” Hellboy said, rolling his head to get his bearings again, “Felt like high end anti-demon ordinance.”
Hellboy opened his eyes and sighed, “Aw crap.”
Harry looked in the direction Hellboy was facing—as did Buffy. A group of demons—heavy-set beasts with three eyes placed lopsidedly over their saber-toothed, ox-like heads, adorned with tentacles atop it. Their ape like postures and blue-green skin were not that endearing either.
Harry decided to nickname them Hellfrogs.
There were a dozen of them, stalking towards them.
“You know what they are?” Buffy asked.
“I killed one before,” Hellboy said, “Does that count?”
“They burn well?” Harry asked.
Hellboy answered: “Dunno.”
It was better than nothing. Harry pointed his staff at the entourage and shouted “Pyrofuego!
The beasts were quickly engulfed in flames, burning them to ashes almost instantly, leaving a 100ft foot area full of small fires, half melted metal and cracked cement.
Harry stumbled but caught himself—he was running very low on magic with that one. The filtering the staff did was helpful in keeping things controlled—but he still overdid it.
“We have to get out of here, like now,” Harry said as Kaijin began to slowly filter in from the shadows.
Above them, Harry caught a glimpse of the three swords women who were still in battle with Wodan Ymir above their heads.
The ladies above were petty beat up, bleeding and bruised in several spots over their bodies, all were breathing heavily.
Wodan, for his part, was also bleeding—primarily from the wound Harry had given him, but he continued to fight on with a smirk on his face.
“Your blades are weak,” He said, “Mine is the sword of Ragnarok! What do you have which can compare to that?”
“Ragnarok?” Signum scowled, “What is a sword that cuts only for a concept—an ideal. My sword burns for something far more real than that.”
“As does mine,” The winged girl added.
“Same here,” The blonde added.
“Testarosa, Sakurazaki,” Signum gave a glance to the two other swords women; “I’ll give you an opening—use it. This will be the final strike.
Wodan raised his sword in preparation.
Signum’s sword fired off a pair of cartridges from its hilt, encasing the blade in flames, transforming the sword into a segmented, bladed whip and ejecting the cartridges like a pistol. Signum spun partly back, holding her whip-sword low.
“For those we care for!” Signum roared and sent her burning whip towards Wodan. He deflected the strike—only for it to slide past him and ensnare him like a python, forcing his blade out of his hands.
“For those we protect!” Sakurazaki shouted—her eyes no longer red with rage, but her blade encased in glowing power Harry could feel from where he stood, a good distance away.
“For our friends!” Testarosa added, her massive sword expelling three cartridges before it too began to glow with power.
Signum pulled back on her snake-sword and away from Wodan—spinning him in mid air as the blades cut at his side.
An electronic voice from Testarosa's stated “Zeus Zanber” as she swung her blade—the electrical energy extending in the blade to length’s Wodan’s sword had previously reached to catch him in the gut.
!” Sakurazaki leapt in the air with a scream, and came down again on Wodan, her blade encased in a thunderstorm of lightning, “Dai Raimei-Ken!
Both lightning blades struck simultaneously, causing Wodan to howl in pain.
“There is nothing,” Signum said, turning her back to the warrior, returning her weapon to its sword form.
“That our blades,” Testarosa continued, reverting her sword into the black staff it once was.
“Cannot cut!” Sakurazaki added, snapping her sword back in its scabbard just as the energies dumped into Wodan detonated—engulfing him in flames and sending his armored form spinning away.
A sigh escaped all of them when Wodan’s counter attack failed to arrive.
The three of them landed in front of Harry and his allies with a near audible slump of weariness.
“I was hoping,” Signum said, her breathing heavy, “You would have survived this better than I.”
“No such luck,” Harry answered, “And more are working their way here.”
“We saw, but they will not be able to break the barrier my lady is protected by,” Sakurazaki sighed, “I at least have that.”
Harry looked around and saw the others allies nearby in similarly worn states. Bleeding, clothes and armor torn, weapons broken or discarded entirely while dozens of fresh Kaijin slinked towards them.
Harry began to muse on the situation when the ground between them and the kaijin was struck with lightning and exploded in a massive crater—most of the force launching out towards the kaijin.
“Wha?” He heard himself say as a figure rose
from the crater, encircled by wind and flame. She was of an athletic build with strong arms with burning red hair that went to the center of their shoulders (or it would if the wind let it rest). She wore a white jumpsuit that clung nicely to her curves, blue boots and gloves tipped her limbs, and a red scarf fluttered in the wind with her hair. Clear goggles rounded out her face in full. Her arms were firmly folded over her chest.
Harry was extremely glad he was looking at the back of her head. If they locked eyes, he did not think his mind could take it at this point.
“Sorry I’m late,” The figure said, “I had to go change my outfit.”
Harry blinked twice before asking, “Who are you?”
The woman smirked as though she’d been given the perfect straight line for a joke: “Japanese Self Defense Force and Interpol Captain on special assignment in the United States. The UN’s Top Special Forces Agent in combating Para-human threats. Bishojo Chojin Eiko Megami!
Harry groaned, “Does anyone just have a name
The kaijin picked themselves up from her landing debris and ran towards her. And worse, Harry saw Wodan picking himself up from the rubble, leading the charge.
Eiko’s eyes narrowed, “You are truly contemptible to think you are the greatest. To think that raw strength is what gives one an evolutionary advantage. To think that such strength means you are the pinnacle fo development. One who thinks “I have reached the top” is nowhere near it.”
She extended both of her arms out to the sides, small red dots forming at the end of them.
“Um, Eiko?” Hellboy said, “You wanna—“
Eiko continued regardless, “Because the true top is to be strived for, never achieved. The moment you stop striving is the very moment that you have failed. Because a real Übermensch—a True Superman NEVER STOPS TRYING TO BETTER THE WORLD!”
“Eiko!” Hellboy shouted, “Stop showing off!”
Wodan led the charge, outpacing all the Kaijin. Bleeding from his side and a massive cut on his shoulder, his armor torn and broken, he nonetheless charged with two rocket thrusters burning on his back. He raised his sword in the air—both hands clasped tightly on its hilt, ready for the strike.
He roared as he flew towards her.
!” Eiko clasped her hands over her head, her fingers pointed like a child’s finger-gun, the red spheres merging and a similar color glow emanated from her eyes.
Wodan kept rushing towards her.
"Eiko!" Hellboy yelled.
Wodan got within a few feet of her, his sword ready to come down on her floating figure before she finally shouted: “BEAM!”
The red light emanating from her fingers pushed shot forth as a beam--fusing with a second beam that came from her eyes, striking Wodan full on in the chest and sending him back hundreds of feet within a split second—making him appear to almost teleport the distance.
He quickly disappeared into the side of a building with a small explosion of rubble and fire.
“SLAAAAAAAAASH!” Eiko added and split her hands, each going in a different direction, taking each beam at the end of her fingers and slicing through the kaijin that ran with Wodan cleanly and neatly before the beams disappeared. Red lines now formed on the kaijin it struck. Harry quickly saw that the beam had literally burned right through them. Armor and all. Some had lost limbs in the process, but all were struck deeply in the body.
“The cavalry!” Eiko pronounced just before the Kaijin began to detonate from the extreme damage they had taken, “has arrived!”
Hellboy sighed and smiled, “That’s Eiko for you.”
“Who is that girl?” Buffy asked.
“Eiko Megami is her current alias. She’s a one woman army,” Hellboy thought and added, “With all the apparent self control of a 16 year old girl.”
“Apparent?” Signum asked.
“If she really did lose control,” Hellboy explained, “She’d crush people like pumpkins when she hugged ‘em.”
“Wow,” Was all Harry could add before a black figure
dove out of the sky and tackled Eiko to the ground.
Blows were quickly exchanged at a rate that made Buffy’s earlier display seem slow and uncoordinated. When Eiko and the new figure separated, Harry got a good look at it.
“You indeed are as good as they say,” He said with a smirk in his voice. Harry could not see his face as he was completely encased in black powered armor. Harry had seen Steel Clan Armors in images before, and this armor was highly reminiscent of this and Wodan’s armor, but more plate-like. The corners of each segment were sharpened into points or hard angles on the limbs and boxed off at the shoulders. On his back were two wing-like structures held folded against his back. The face was highlighted by a pair of straight demonic horns on either side of the head as well as a large central, green jewel over the “Third Eye”. The non-solid bits of armor were tipped with bits of gold and red in various locations, with a dark blue underlying the plate armor.
Eiko did not answer his jab.
“And quiet too,” He said, “I knew you’d be the only one for me.”
“You must be him,” Eiko said.
“You heard of me? I’m flattered.”
“You’re that whiny, Emoboy Prime that Robin’s told me about,” Eiko smirked.
Emoboy Prime shook with anger and clenched a fist at her, “MY NAME IS PRIME! You will call me that and only that!”
“Whatever, Spasticboy Prime,” Eiko scowled, “Get lost or I take a limb.”
He then disappeared from Harry’s sight—Eiko soon followed. They seemed to disappear, but in truth they just moved too fast for Harry to turn his head. Harry tried to regain them in his sight, but by the time they did, they had stopped moving. He saw Prime pinning Eiko down, one of his claw like hands clasped around her head, face nearly forced down in the rubble, straddling her back. His other hand kept one arm in check while the position of her body made sure the other was not a threat either.
“You’re soft,” He said, “Like everyone raised outside the compound. But don’t worry, I’ll harden
you up—as I teach you where your proper place is.”
Harry felt anger burning inside him, but lacked the magic to do much about it.
He still sent power through his staff and sent a stream of fire towards Prime.
He was joined in by the others, firing what rounds they had left, using what magic they could or just throwing rocks.
All of which only got his torso to twitch at the very most.
“Pitiful creatures,” Prime said, squeezing Eiko’s head to elicit a short, pained scream, “I’ll have to teach them some—”
Prime stopped mid sentence and looked about—namely up.
Harry followed his gaze and was soon rewarded. From the blackness of night, he watched the sky ripple and shift
. Harry realized it was Raven’s cloak.
Underneath it, revealed now for the entire world to see might as well have been a bright pink sun, measuring at least half a football field in diameter. Standing at its top, he saw a small white-clad, bloodstained figure—Nanoha. With her and Raven was Willow.
That pink sun was made entirely of Magic—more than Harry had ever felt from a single entity before. It would not be until well later that he learned that it was the residue of all the magic expended in the battle over that day and before. Every last bit of raw magic—as well as some donated by the other two powerful mages, was in that sphere.
Signum’s face went pale, Harry sharing a similar expression.
He was pretty sure Prime had it as well.
!” Nanoha shouted, her breathing slightly labored, “Starlight!” She raised her staff high above her head and sent it crashing into the giant sphere, “BREAKER!”
Harry’s entire vision was overtaken with pink—but he felt nothing strike him. He was safe—untouched, even though everything within his eyesight was now engulfed in the attack.
When his vision returned, Prime was gone, though a chunk of his armor remained.
Signum was gone as well. Harry surmised she used her last bit of magic to ensure her escape.
Above him, he could hear a heavy sigh of exhaustion and the hiss of a powerful machine releasing steam.
Eiko spat as she stood up, “How the hell did he get away with that hitting him?”
Harry was even more worried now than before.
“Hey!” He heard a voice call out—that of Honey, “They left a survivor behind.”
The group limped over to the woman to see what she saw.
Ouka lay in a pile of rubble, breathing faintly, where Harry had left her.