Post by Altima on Sept 3, 2018 23:39:33 GMT -5
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Altima was originally an unwilling Resonance candidate, but she has since been altered by both the Siphon’s influence and the constant discipline at the hands of Altima project personnel. She has embraced her role as the new-model Ultima Weapon, and is obsessed with remaking the Ultimate Magic and using the Siphon to improve upon it. Almost all goals which don’t coincide with this are quickly abandoned. Even matters of food are affected, as she forgoes conventional dishes in favor of finding more ways to feed off aether, like consuming Heartless and other aethereal creatures.
Though she is still mostly human, Altima resents those who are ‘fully’ human. Her knowledge of the misused Ultima Weapon and her own experience with the Altima group have taught her that they are ignorant and unfocused. Their apparent inability to maintain what she sees as simple objectives is offensive to her, and so she lacks even the most basic respect toward them. On top of that, few have been powerful enough to be a challenge in a fight, which only furthers her bias against them. That said, such prejudices have been formed long before she has met any of the System’s stronger residents, so it’s inevitable that this view will be challenged on her travels.
In combat, Altima is a potent and passionate fighter. Her magitek weaponry allows her to employ a variety of crowd control skills, which she uses to split up larger groups of enemies before using her airborne mobility to pursue individual targets. To her, the rush of hunting a target is only second to that of unleashing Ultima itself, which she still longs to do.
Following the failure of Gaius and the destruction of the Ultima Weapon, not all remnants of the project were captured or confirmed dead. In fact, much of the staff involved with the project survived with records, prototype components and other such things. A large number of these people had disagreed with Gaius’ conservative use of the Ultima Weapon, claiming that he should have crushed their opponents while they were still unprepared. To them, the Ultima Weapon, while powerful, was misused and underprepared, and the crushing defeat at the Praetorium only made them more adamant in their opinion that the whole project was imperfect, even before considering the interference of the Ascian Lahabrea who, at the beginning, almost none were ever aware of.
They saw Gaius’ defeat and death as a clear sign that fate agreed with them, and so they came together and formed a splinter group, all members of which were dedicated to reviving the Ultima project not as Gaius’, but as their own masterpiece. Though many key parts of the original operation were missing, such as the Weapon itself and the ever-important Heart of Sabik which powered the machine, it didn’t matter to them. Even if they were essential to the original idea, their flaws were much of what was to blame for their loss in the end, what with how easily the Ascians could influence them. This splinter group, now calling themselves Altima, rejected all of it.
Over the course of multiple years, they studied what notes they had and what items they could get their hands on, and the result of this work was the Siphon, a replica of the Heart of Sabik which had given life to the Ultima Weapon. It could sap the aether of the surrounding world and channel it just as the first Heart had, but it wasn’t enough. This was only one piece of a three-part puzzle, and when they put it together, it would need to be inseparable and incorruptible. Otherwise, it would be twisted and broken just as quickly as before. They still needed the host and the pilot, and the new plan was to make them all one in the same. Gone would be the vulnerable mechanism that was the Ultima Weapon, and in would come the new, refurbished, rebooted perfection they envisioned: The Altima Weapon.
The Altima group looked back to Garlemald, and there they found the newly-progressing Resonance project. Garlemald’s latest military masterpiece had gone beyond Allag and magitek, and had instead found a way to mass produce the Echo by creating the Resonants. Soon after that, the Eorzean Alliance raided Castrum Abania, and Altima saw their chance. They stole in and took notes, subjects, and everything else they could, restocking their splinter group with plenty of fresh materials to work with. Better than funding and tech, they had one of the things which would have otherwise been so difficult to find, that being a willing pilot for their machine. The Resonants were not only capable, but were conditioned to be loyal to whoever took the role of master. With the project notes on hand, it was simple enough for Altima’s leaders to assert dominance. Thus, they began the penultimate phase of the Altima project.
The human body had been melded with magitek before. It was nothing new, but the operation had never been performed to such a severity as that which they wanted to attempt. In the time to follow, there were many failures resulting in most of the Resonance subjects being lost to malpractice, but eventually they were able to successfully construct their new Weapon, melding one of their loyal soldiers with naturally-controlled magitek equipment modeled after the Ultima Weapon and powered by the Siphon. When the subject was confirmed to have correctly accepted the changes, she was congratulated, assessed and then sent into a long series of tests and trials.
The Altima group was delighted at the results of all their tests. The weapons worked perfectly. All additions moved as expected. Adapting to the new limbs took even less time than estimated. However, they never dared test if their Weapon could conjur the devastating power of Ultima. They never once even mentioned it around their creation, and avoided speaking of it around each other. With success having come so close, they had become afraid of it, and didn’t want to provoke something like they’d seen during Operation Archon. This far in, though, none of them had the heart to call it off. They were thus far undiscovered by Garlean government, and yet they had made so much progress- To jump ship now would not only be embarrassing, but would be a betrayal of everything they had worked together to accomplish. And still, none dared to test Ultima.
The Weapon, meanwhile, had accepted her new title and was already conditioned to have one simple, passionate goal: ‘Become the Ultimate Weapon’. It had become her obsession, through and through, and she eagerly awaited when the next test would occur and what her scores would be. It was obvious to her when the staff lost their enthusiasm for the project, and she began to do what none had feared she would remember how to do: She thought, and she remembered. She didn’t remember herself- That had been lost long before the Resonance project was interrupted. What she did remember was the Ultima Weapon, the things that had been said near the beginning of her testing, and of the havoc it was said to have caused before its destruction. After all this training, calibration and endless trials, why hadn’t she neared such an extreme? Why was she so small compared to what she had been made into the image of? Why, when the people around her had begun to fear her, did they still fear it more? There was something they hadn’t taught her yet, that they had programmed into her and then deliberately kept secret, and she knew exactly what it was.
Ultima. The Ultimate Magic that she knew had given the first Weapon its namesake. She didn’t know quite what it was, or how it worked, but the concept felt just as natural as everything else to do with these new components in and on her body. The grandest, purest form of destruction one could imagine. It was to be kept unknown from her, but she refused to allow such a legacy to end. She knew it was ready for it, too. The testing done had involved consuming large amounts of aether from crystals and summoned Egi, and none had ever exhausted her, so there was quite the store left to draw from. When she decided to call upon that power, it was like a gate had opened inside. It was a floodgate, one that had been easily sealing away the gathering aether inside the Siphon, just like the Heart of Sabik had once done within the Ultima Weapon. She gently coaxed the barrier open, and with the seal broken it was a matter of only minutes for all the energy to gather.
When the observers recognized what happened, they tried to shut it down, but none of them were prepared to counter what they had created. The new Ultima took form, and a silent flash of green was the last thing to herald the ensuing spell, a massive explosion which tore the Altima Facility from its foundation and forced the compound to open from the center, becoming a violent blossom of steel and concrete with none left standing but the Weapon herself in the center of the resulting crater. She didn’t think about what she’d just destroyed, or the terrible magic she’d ensured would return to Hydaelyn, or that such a display would have undoubtably alerted the Alliance just beyond the nearby border. Instead, she thought only of herself. She knew that, though she’d been created in the image of the Ultimate Weapon, she had the potential to become something greater.
Thus did she take to the heavens, seeking grander game to feed the Siphon. Unfortunately for her, passing the skies would not take her to the realm of gods she’d imagined.
FAYEFAYECV, Ultima Weapon is claimed by Altima
”They were something new and interesting at first, but now, well… They contribute nothing and I’m bored of the taste.” -Altima, lamenting the recent diet of Heartless.
She blinked repeatedly, trying to clear the lingering light from her eyes as her boots returned to the ground. Her eyes stung and her ears still rang from the sight and sound that had accompanied the spell. Being conditioned to know little else, she was well aware of what that magic was meant to do, and what it had done in the past, but she was still unprepared for the sheer impact. Though it came from her body, the force it exerted on her felt as if the world itself was what had burst in front of her- All of which had come from that ball of light no larger than herself. A few moments later, she was able to see what the real impact had been.
When her hearing returned, it brought her the racket of tools, stones, windows and armor plates crashing into each other. When her sight returned, it was almost gruesome. The walls were all gone, as was the windows that had been the one way to see the examination team. What replaced them was the backdrop of a plain-blue sky and the sun beyond, broken up by a few wispy clouds, things she hadn't seen since the Project began. The view was broken up by the rain she'd heard a moment before, countless fragments of what had once been a sturdy bunker having been broken apart and launched into the air, only for what hadn't been vaporized to fall back to the earth. The facility had not just been breached, but it had been gutted. The staff were gone. The papers were likely burned or burning. All the machines would no longer be useable.
It was all her doing. She looked around, saw the destruction, acknowledged it as something she was responsible for having brought down, and she dared to smile. To grin, to beam with a joy she didn't think would come from such a deed. The project was satisfying to help progress, but over time it had become a slow, repetitive slog with only slight gratification when a new milestone was reached. When would she unlock her true power? When would there be something real to destroy? What was the Siphon capable if she used it the way she'd been built to? That curiosity had spurred her to this decision, and the answer she got was so delightful in its own chaotic way. Even the ensuing fatigue, ever so telling of how much the spell had cost her, wasn't enough to weigh on her spirits. Such magic wouldn't be possible again in her current state, but that only meant she had to feed, and with no one left in the project to hold her back she could roam free and gather whatever she chose to feed the Siphon.
Of course, she had no interest in mortal game. It was obvious that man was weak, and would thus offer little to her, so instead she set her eyes on the skies and the heavens beyond. There would she find her prey, and soon there would be a feast in her name- And soon after that, destruction in the same.
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Alma Taschner and Fyursos Shotlox
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