|Name:||Ultraman Orion Gaiden 1|
|Next Episode:||Ultraman Orion: Gaiden 2|
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Title: Academy Days: Sting of the Dark Nebula
- Death King
The planet was called the Kingdom of Warriors, it was once home to a proud, very proud race of warriors. Humanoid with elf like qualities, its people loved to challenge themselves, they worshipped strength and abhorrred weakness, then they gained a seemingly limitless strength, the strength of Ultra and everything changed.
The youth ran, a young Ultra he was red and blue, and skinny and ran with a red female Ultra, she was taller than him but that was common on this world. Their world was once a jungle planet, its vegetation had survived five nuclear wars, making everything on the planet highly resistant to radiation, but now the jungles were burnt down, the once mighty pyramids, towers and temples had been destroyed. It was through these ruins that they ran but alas it was too late, dark Ultras found them, like the boy and girl they had swirls on their chests but theirs were opal/black while theirs were amber. The boy put himself between his beloved and the dark ones, more beast than Ultra now, they had claws on their hands and feet and spikes on their shoulder, their eyes glowed red.
They rushed at him and he rushed them, with a double punch to their faces he stopped the first two, then he followed him with quick hand movements, deflecting, attacking and countering. He slowed them down but he knew that it couldn't last. He forced them back with a leg sweep followed by a spin kick, knocking down several of them. If they still had their sense he would've impressed them, they who had always called him weak. There was a scream from behind him, he turned arond to see more surrounding his love and it was that moment of distraction that sealed their fate.
The next thing he knew he was on the ground, the dark Ultras were beating on him, with what strength he could he looked up to see his beloved in a similar situation. She reached for him and he reached for her, but it was too late, she turned to stone as all Ultras did when they expire and her stone corpse was shattered. He screamed out in pain, agony worse than the blows he was receiving only to be knocked out cold from a kick to the face. His fate would've been the same but others stepped in to say otherwise.
The dark Ultras stopped in the presence of a bright light, they turned to see three Ultras step out of said light, Ultras with color timers as opposed to their Heart Stones. One wore a cape, one cracked his knuckles and the third bore a trident. The light hid their forms and the Ultra wearing a cape raised his hand and signaled to the other two. The trident bearing Ultra swung his weapon unleashing a blue wave of energy that sent the dark ones flying back and they took of. The other Ultra laughed as he fought, his punches taking down foes in one hit, the dark Ultras were sent flying, into walls, each other, it seemed nothing could stand the force of his blows. The Ultra with the trident also had similar look, even without the energy attack, when he swung his weapon, the wind blowed. Each was taking down entire groups by themselves with little impunity.
The Ultra with the cape stood over the youth, probably the last son this world would ever produce, from his hand came a healing light, restoring the boy and removing his life threatening injuries. Some dark Ultras rushed him but it was for naught, he didn't even move, they were repulsed by his shield or by bolts of lightning came down and struck them.
The Ultras gathered around the boy and the caped Ultra raised his fists together, a light like the sun appeared, a light that burned all the dark Ultras nearby. Swining his hands opened this light spread out to every corner of this ruined world. The dark Ultras all screamed in pain as their dark energy abandoned them and they turned to stone, yet the three Ultras and the boy were completely unharmed. From space the planet shined like a star, if just for a moment, before it turned dark with silence. The three left, with the caped Ultra carrying the boy in his arms.
The boy awoke, jumping up he hit his head on the glass covering of his light chamber. It was a metal slab with a glass covering over it. From the metal a white light was emitted, a frequency found to have the most restorative properties for Ultras.
The glass disappeared automatically and the chamber rose up to allow him to get of. The boy found himself in a room with golden walls and columns, all with glowing lines etched into them. In the middle of the room was a massive pool of white light were orbs of energy rose up like rain in reverse. The youth looked around shocked and surprised, on his homeworld there was never anything like this, yet he recognized the energy that was before him.
"The Light of...Ultra..." he said.
"Yes..." said a voice. The boy was spoke and looked around until he saw King approach him from the other side of the pool. "You know what this is, unlike the others you know the composition of this energy..." The boy remembered what had happened and fell to his knees.
"What good did it do...?" he said "All it did was bring out the ugliness inside my people...!" Particles of light began to flow from his eyes as he cried.
"Boy, let me tell you something, being an Ultraman is not easy..."
"There are men, and there are Ultras, one is a term for physical maturity and the other is our shared species, our shared form. However, Ultraman is something more, the Space Rangers who fight evil across the universe, they all aspire to be Ultramen..."
"I don't understand...?"
"The power of Ultra is a promise, to yourself and to those around you, those who break that promise become Dark Ultras..."
"What is that promise...?"
"To shine your light, both within and without, to be never cruel, never cowardly, to give hope where there was none, to fight for peace and justice, to never betray the hopes placed upon you, to never give in to the darkness to never give up. That is the Promise of Ultra, since before there were Ultras in the universe..."
"That sounds hon-...No, good..."
"Is there a problem with honor...?"
"I've seen honor take the lives of millions of sentients, it hasn't save a single one of them, including my beloved Diana, but this Promise...?"
"It exists on the spiritual side of the power of Ultra, you may know its physical components, but its spiritual meaning is more than that..."
"I would like to learn it..."
"Good, but first, what is your name...?"
"I am Orion, Orion, Ezekial, Riviera, Miliardo, Krushrenda...!"
Orion was in a hologram room fighting to humanoid virtual opponnents, it was part of his training that King promised him. Orion deflected the punch of the first dummy, grabbing his arm and throat before flipping him over. Orion received a kicked to the back and so was knocked forward but he rolled and got back up. The two training dummies charged him, Orion block and caught the first's swing and gave it a knife chop to the neck before delivering a side punch to the other. While they were stunned Orion gave a side kick and snap kick to the two of them knocking them back.
Watching everything that was happening was King, who stood above white room on the glass dome that covered it. Appearing next to him was his son, Ultraman Prime. He looked down at the young Ultra with indifference until he noticed his Heart Stone.
"Father..." he asked "Where did this boy come from...?"
"From the Kingdom of warriors..." said King, shocking his son.
"And you let him live...?" asked Prime "His people..."
"He was one of the few to not fall to darkness, his is a pure heart..."
"There are no pure hearts from that world, they who became a mockery, an insult to our kind, you would now take one of them into your house where even your own people are not allowed...?"
"I see potential in him and knowing that you would not wish to train him I have taken that task on to myself..."
"You have more important things to do...!" shouted Prime.
"That is not for you to decide..." Prime calmed down.
"I am sorry father...But what is so special about this boy...?"
"I sense within him, limitless potential, he does not realize it but he has been steadily growing stronger. On his homeworld he was called weak because those barbarians had no understanding of true strength but with us, his light will help us protect peace and justice in the universe."
Orion fired a beam from the stone on his forehead, one Prime realized was just like the stone on his father's forehead. The beam took out one of the training dummies while the other one ran towards Orion. It swung at him, but he blocked the blow and flipped it over, spinning around and delivering an elbow strike to the middle of its chest.
Even Prime was impressed, Orion had come far from when he first came to the temple. Before one training dummy would've been to much for him, now he was taking on three and winning. It was only now that Prime took an interest in his training.
"Is it such a wise idea to make him so strong...?"
"Perhaps not, but he is needed..."
"What does that mean...?" King said nothing and turned and walked away leaving his son frustrated. He looked down at Orion. Orion jumped kick a dummy in the chest, then he caught the arm of the another, delivering several punches to it chest and face before firing an energy bullet at the third.
Torrent was a large giant of an Ultra, a big build and large horns, he was often seen with a trident. In his home, everything seemed to made from wood, or a wood like substance. This was the common building material on the Land of Giants, home world of the Ultras. His furniture looked as it was part of the ground with bed with metal slabs for bases. These were Light Chambers, when in use they had a half circle glass cover, their purpose was medical, soaking the slumbering giant that use one of them in restorative EM waves and light.
Torrent sat in the living room, he sat on a large sofa with prismatic cushions in front a large holographic monitor that showed the news feeds. It is was mianly minor things, news about skirmishes fought by Ultras on the frontier regions, the latest model of Ultra Braclet and the newest hologram adventure script. The only major thing was talk about King having a guest in his temple.
"Dad...!" said Impulse "You should have seen it, it was incredible..."
"Yes..." said Torrent "I've seen the academy before, I went there once...?"
"Come on, this was my first time actually getting there up close..."
"Did you meet Gigas...?" Impulse froze up "I'll take that as a yes..." Tori laughed.
"Our boy certainly does love following in his father's footsteps..." An image suddenly appeared, it was Prime. Torrent immediately stood up and saluted.
"Supreme Commander...!" said Torrent. Impulse also saluted.
"I'm getting used to that..." said Prime "Third Tier Cosmic, Torrent, my father has requested that you and your wife come to the Temple immediately..." both of them were shocked.
"Can I come...?" asked Impulse... Torrent gave him a look and he slinked back.
"Yes you may..." said Prime. Impulse's spirits were raised back up. No is allowed near King Temple, no one but King and Prime, and Prime could go because he was born, raised and lived there.
The family of Ultras flew up past the floating landmasses their people's science had made, landed with crystal ground but organic buildings. They flew up into space were all three of the artificial white dwarfs of the Land of Giants could be see, in the opposite direction to the large space station that was Space Patrol Home department, also the academy Impulse spoke of. They came upon a floating landmass, the size of Earth's moon with a gargantuan temple, the style used by ancient greeks but now futuristic. The landed in front the giant structure and once knew how humans felt, that feeling of being in the presence of something massive and imposing. Prime was there waiting for them at the bottom of the massive flight of stairs. Torrent and Impulse saluted while Tori simply gave a little bow.
"Sir..." said Torrent "May I ask why I have been ask to bring my family...?"
"Simple..." said Prime. The doors opened and out walked King to the shock of the three Ultras. All three of them were on their knees with their heads low when he reach the bottom of the stairs.
"Rise..." he said softly and the did, though the were still hesitant to raise their heads. Legends say King was the first Ultra, born in a supernova of the first failed artificial star, born all-powerful and all-knowing, he was said to be the one who created the next artificial star, which turned their human ancestors into Ultras, but those were legends. Officialy King ruled the Land of Giants, also known as the Kingdom of Stars for a reason. Whether Legend or politics, there was a reason to be in awe of him.
"Sire, lord..." said Torrent, not sure what to say.
"This is not our first meeting..." said King "You may refer to me simply as King..." He meant King, not as a title but a name.
"Sir... sorry, King..." said Torrent "Why did you call for my family...?"
"Simple..." said King "Your family is about to get bigger... Orion?" King turned and moved out of the way for a young Ultra, around Impulse's size, he was red and blue and had a strange amber swirl for a color timer. Tori and Impulse were surprised but Torrent, Torrent stumbled back, almost as if he was scared, his face locked on Orion's Heart Stone.
"This is Orion..." said King "He is your new step-son..."
"Sir...!" shouted Torrent. Orion just looked at them a little uncertain. He simply bowed, bringing his head down low.
"Mom..." said Impulse, trying to whisper to Tori "His color timer look wierd..."
"Hush...!" said Tori, knowing full well her son often forgot to put his telepathy in 'whisper mode', everyone there had heard him.
"Sir..." said Torrent again
"Is there a problem..." asked King.
"Something you would like to say to me, perhaps your family or this young man...?" Torrent looked around.
"No..." Impulse didn't picked it up but Tori knew there was something between the two they didn't know about.
Prime, King and Torrent stood in front the steps, Torrent was clearly arguing to the other two. Tori, Impulse and Orion were several kilometers back, far enought that the odd unfocused telepathic message would not reach them. While Orion and Tori looked at them Impulse looked at Orion and then started poking his Heart Stone.
"Impulse...!" shouted Tori, jumping him.
"Sorry..." he replied "Say, what is up with your Color Timer..."
"It is not a Color Timer..." said Orion "At least I do not think it is in your traditional sense. My people called this a Heart Stone...?"
"Why doesn't it glow...?"
"I do not know..."
"Man, you're boring..."
"Impulse...!" said Tori
"But he is..."
"I apologize for my son's behavior..." said Tori "I am Tori and this is Impulse..."
"I understand... " said Orion "I am Orion, Ezekial, Riviera, Miliardo Krushkrenda..." Tori and Impulse paused.
"That's a long name..."
"I means I am Orion, son of Ezekial, who was son of Riviera, who was son of Milliardo all descended from the warrior of old Krushkrenda..."
"That's wie-...diffferent..." said Impulse, Tori still gave him a look. "So where do you come from...?"
"I come from a world called the Kingdom of Warriors..."
"I've never heard of that colony..." said Impulse "Do the Ultras there also have Heart Stone...?" Orion looked down.
"Impulse..." said Tori, "That's enough..." she understood what Impulse failed to comprehend.
"However..." said Orion "If anyone asks I am a chamber born Ultra, those are the orders of King..." A chamber born Ultra was an artificially born Ultra, birth my mixing the life energy of two Ultras and focused energy from the Plasma Suns that orbitted the planet. It was a method or procreation used by the ancient Ultras before they figured out how to naturally have children in their Ultra forms. In this day and age one was unheard of.
"Why...?" asked Tori
"Who knows..." said Torrent who had just over towards them. He looked at Orion and turned to his family. "The official word is Orion is a chamber born Ultra..."
"Why...?" asked Impulse.
"My home is gone..." said Orion "Everyone there has turned to stone and crumbled and I know not the reason for that." Torrent looked away "King said is for protection, most likely meaning what ever destroyed my people may come after me still..."
"Then why tell us...?" asked Tori
"Because I believe if we are to be family we should not keep secrets..."
"Come let us depart for home..." said Torrent
Orion and his new family returned home, Torrent went to the terminal in front of the door while the other walked into the living room. Orion looked around, everything was beautiful but different, while the architecture of King's Temple gave of a sense of power and religious enlightenment, this place had a calm, natural feel to it, so did everything in the apartment complex, the city, everything he saw felt at peace with nature. No, there was no nature left on this planet, but these buildings seemed to have taken up that responsibility.
"So how old are you..." aske Impulse. Orion paused.
"Well back home we used a different terminology for age, but according to your sensor I am of an Age of two-point-five..."
"Oh..." said Impulse, excited to have a younger brother "I'm three...!" Now for you readers, know that the Ultras are a very long lived species, so they no longer used their original terminology of measuring age, no longer pointing year by year, instead they used the term Age (not 'age'). An Age basically equated to a single millenium, or for those not as fluent with the English Language, a thousand years made up one Age. 2.5 Ages meant two thousand years and five hundred years. Impulse was three thousand years old and Orion was two thousand five hundred years old, they had reach their adult heights, but in their society they were children.
"I guess that makes you...?" said Orion. Impulse put him in a headlock
"A big brother...!" said Impulse. It was play, at least for Impulse, until his mother came grabbed him by his ear.
"Enough of that...!" said Tori "Dear, come and discipline your son...!" Torrent said nothing he simply walked passed them as if nothing happened.
"Is something wrong...?" asked Orion.
"I am not sure..." replied Tori. She followed her husband to their room, closing the door behind her. She found him sitting on their light chamber, something was clearly upsetting him. "What is wrong...?"
"I can't say..." said Torrent.
"You can't, or you won't...?"
"I can't and I don't want to, orders of king..."
"Then this is about Orion...?"
"Yes..." Tori looked crossed.
"Keeping secrets will only hurt this family..."
"Telling the truth will only hurt him..."
"What does that mean...?"
"The truth of why he is so... familiaro me, why King lied about his origins, if he knew, it would break his heart, no, he would hate us here in the Land of Giants. For his sake I cannot speak it..."
"You could at least act like your his father..."
Centuries passed in then household, Orion was often the subject of Impulse's games, when they went out Impulse often abandoned Orion to go socialize with his own friends leaving his youger step-brother alone. Torrent was not much better, he prefered not to have anything to do with Orion, only Tori seemed willing to socialize with the lonely young Ultra. Orion had trouble socializing with other Ultras, due to his natural shyness and their constant staring at his Heart Stone, when ever he went out it was always the same thing, people constantly stared or whispered about him and his strange Color Timer.
Despite this he grew close with Tori, their mother and son relationship flourished as she taught him all he needed to know about living on the Land of Giants, Orion learned the Galactic Law by heart, the code of conduct, the body of law that the Ultras enforced across the universe via the Space Patrol. Tori also taugh him the art of healing and how form constructs out of light energy, something Impulse was never keen on learning.
Eventually it came time for Orion to chose his path in life, Orion found himself flying towards the Space Patrol academy with his mother and brother.
"Okay, bro..." said Impulse "While you're here, try not to embarress me, I have a reputation of sorts..."
"Impulse...!" shouted Tori
"Come on..." replied Impulse "You know I have a reputation, I'm the son of Torrent..."
"So is he..."
"To be fair, he's adopted..." Tori gave him a look.
The group arrived to the ceremony where Torrent was giving a speech to the new cadets and their families. There were numerous young Ultras hoping to become Space Rangers, to go out and fight evil. There were many people there, red ultras, blue ultras and the occasional yellow ultra, but Orion was the only multicolored Ultra, save one other, who stood between his parents, both wore capes and both had Star Marks, silver bumps places on the chest and shoulders, they were symbols of honor from the Ultra's past and they were worn only by Captain, they were removed after ascending in rank. A few blue Ultras wore them but that showed they were great thinkers or renown.
"My fellows of the Land of Giants..." said Torrent on the stage. A massive hologram of his top half appeared in the sky for everyone to see. "Today we celebrate the next generation of young warriors who have strived to take up the torch of their forefathers, the great legacy that makes our species great and honored through the universe. I wil be honest with all of you, the road ahead is long and hard and some of you may not make it, but we are Ultras, we are in this together, we support each other as we support justice across the stars! For the Light..."
"For the Light...!' cheered the crowd. Where his mouth not so immobile Orion would've smirked, no smile. He truly believed his life was going to get better... if only he knew.
Orion entered the hallowed halls of the academy, unlike the buildings on the planet below the halls and walls were white metal plates. All the 'organic' technology was hidden behind them. There doors were sliding slabs and the rectangular lights of gave of a white shine that would burn a human to a crisp but was rather comfortable for an Ultra.
Orion walked the halls with a sense of happyness, he was on his way to becoming an Ultra, things could only go up... that was until another Ultra pushed his into the wall. This Ultra was multicolored like him but he had a color timer. Around him were other young Ultras, a posse, Orion knew he had just met the school bully.
"Who let this alien in here...?" asked the Ultra. Orion picked himself up.
"The names Orion..." he said.
"Oh, the tube born, King's little experiment..." his tone was nothing but mockery "The names Eclipse, son of a Military Captain and a Silver Cross Captain...!" Orion just looked at him, he didn't see what was so special about that and Eclipse noticed. "It means, tube-born, I'm going to be the ace of our generation so try not to get in my way!" Eclipse and his friends walked away and Orion sighed.
One after the other, young Ultras were thrown out of the ring or knocked out. Gigas was the battlemaster, it meant he was recognized as the physically strongest Ultra besides the Supreme Commander or King. As such he was expected to train the cadets of the academy, however he mainly just gave basic lessons to everyone and left their training to other teachers. Now he was on a stage, ramps with seats all around him. The stage he was on was holographic, normally students would come and face hologram monsters, but it was the first day and as was tradition Gigas was there to knock any sense of arrogance out of the brats.
"Well, no one else...?" asked Gigas, several young Ultra, Eclipse included were being carted out of the ring, Gigas had knocked out each of them with one punch. Everyone else was a bit scared to do challenge after the son of two powerful Ultras got knocked out. Gigas looked around the crowd and then he spied something, a Heart Stone. He pointed and beam of light ping Orion was in the crowd. "You there, your name...!"
"Oh, Torrent's boy, King's little project..." said Gigas "Get down here...!" if Orion was human he would've gulped. He made his way down the stairs, the eyes of his peers were all on him. He made his way on stage, clearly nervous. "Don't worry boy, I won't bite..."
"In all respect sir, you didn't bite the others that were up here before me..." Gigas laughed, long and loud.
"Finally, one with a sense of humor, helps the nerves, doesn't it...?"
"Yeah... I mean, yes sir...!"
"Let me see your fighting stance..." Orion got into his fighting stance. "Good, good, much better than those other brats, but you're too tense..." It was quick, Gigas gave a round house kick with his back leg, but Orion moved, he moved his head back, avoiding the blow, though not the shockwave. He stumbled back and nearly fell of the stage before he force himself forward again. Everyone was shocked, Gigas was lightning fast, even from the stands, everyone was getting taken out in single hits but Orion dodged it. "Well..." said Gigas, more amused then impressed "It seems someone here actually knows how to fight..."
"Well..." said Orion, more a moment breaking his stance, in that same moment Gigas gave another roundhouse kick, hitting him in the head and putting him down on his side.
"But you're still a green horn..." everyone in the stands laughed.
"Ow..." said Orion, Gigas noticed how particles seemed to manifest in the air and flew towards Orion, he knew immediately these were particles of light, caught in some manner of field. Orion sat up, the lines on his face were now glowing brightly and the entire class was silent. As he picked himself up the light became like fire, no, electricity, Orion now had wild, mad hair made of blue electricity on his head. "What...?" he asked.
Orion sat outside on the ring of the Academy, it was where the obstacle course was but now it wasn't being used. He sat there alone because he wanted to actually be how he felt. Since that incident in the training class people were looking at him differently, they did that before but now it was as if they were afraid of him, much in the way they stayed away from Eclipse.
Suddenly and without warning someone kicked Orion in the back, a sign of how lost in thought he was, because he could normally hear when someone was coming. He looked back to see Eclipse with his friends, Orion noticed dark shadows around Eclipse's eyes. He grabbed Orion and picked him up.
"What did I tell you about getting in my way...?" he shouted.
"I fail to see how not getting knocked out, was getting in your way..." said Orion with a tone.
"A you retarded tube-born...!" said Eclipse, he punched Orion in the face and while he stumbled back, Orion did nothing, he knew the rules, any fights on campus outside of a sparring match and they could both get expelled. Eventually Orion was on the ground being pounded on, the punches didn't really hurt, for all his bluster Eclipse was not that strong, in fact, Impulse would hit him harder during their 'mock' fights at home. Eclipse finished, his arms hurt too much to continue but he made it look as if he had just grown tired. "Had enough...?"
"Eclipse...!" said a voice. Everyone turned to see a female cadet, a blue Ultra looking at them.
"Luter, my dear..." said Eclipse, he expected a hug, his own dillusions, only to receive a drop kick to the chest. "What are you doing...?" asked Eclipse as he got up, rubbing his chest. He looked with rage as she helped up Orion.
"You think I don't know what you did, honestly you should get expelled who do you think you are...?" barked Luter.
"I am the son of..."
"A Military Captain and a Silver Cross Captain, I've heard the speech a million times, is it supposed to mean something, now get before I sock you one..."
"Only because it's you..." said Eclipse as he and his friends departed. Luter turned to Orion and punched him on the arm, Orion rubbed it, he actually felt that.
"And you...! You stood up to Gigas, the strongest guy short of the Supreme Commander, how could you let that guy walk over you...?" shouted Luter.
"Hello to you too..." said Orion, Luter suddenly became placid and dainty.
"Oh, hello, I'm Luter, nice to meet you..." then she punched him in the other arm "That still doesn't answer my question...!"
"Ow...!" said Orion "Because settling a score is not a good enough reason to risk getting expelled...!"
"Oh...!" said Luter "Good point...!" Luter put out her hand "Hey, let's be friends...!" Orion reluctantly shook her hand.
"Does, this mean you'll stop hitting me..."
"No promises..." said Luter laughing.
At home Tori was ecstatic while Impulse went of by himself, Torrent was characteristically uninterested, he was in his gym lifting massive and dense weights, weights no one else was supposed to touch.
"I can't believe you not only dodged a kick from Gigas but you also got up after one...!" she said "That's never been done before, at least not by a cadet!"
"I could have done it..." said Impulse, he sounded as if he was sulking.
"I'm sure you could..." said Tori "But give you brother his due..." Impulse walked away. "I'm sorry Orion..."
"You don't have to apologize..." said Orion "You didn't do anything wrong..."
"I know, it's just sometimes I feel as if I'm a burden on this family..."
"No...!" said Tori, she raised Orion's head "Maybe the members of this family need to learn to get past their egoes, we Ultras, we live very long lives, we are not accostumed to new things, I suppose that is our flaw. Don't hold back your light because others aren't as bright, no one has the right to hold you back like that...!"
"Thank you mother..."
"Don't worry about it, I just hope one day you, your brother and your father can all fly in the sky together..."
Time went on, Orion studied and trained at the academy, at times he was in the gym, practicing his beam on holographic targets, with the others in his class, he learned hand-to-hand combat from trainers, he studied Galactic Law, monster biology and the cultures and histories of various other civilizations, many of whom obeyed Galactic Law, but there were a few that didn't. All through this Eclipse antagonized him, his dislike of Orion stemed not just from his petty pride but because Luter now hanged out with him. In time Orion made other friends, Ultras who he helped during training or studying and he made actual friends, but his first and best friend was Luter.
"Orion...!" Orion was flying to the academy when he looked back, he saw Eclipse flying towards him.
"What do you want...?" asked Orion, annoyed
"I need your help...!" said Eclipse, he sounded distresed
"Why would I help you...?"
"It's Luter, she's in danger...!"
"Aliens, they came and attacked us, they took her away for dissection or worse, please the teachers, they don't believe me...!"
"Where did they take her...?" said Orion "Now more than alarmed.
"The..." said a hesitant Eclipse
"The Dark Nebula...!" Orion looked up, his eyes focused on the black nebula that was of limits to so many. He wasted no time and took of, a protective aura covered his body as he began warping space around him. Orion hit warp speed and took of, departing the Land of Giant's solar system.
"Hey, Eclipse..." Eclipse looked back to see Luter coming towards him "Where is Orion going...?"
"No, idea, he wouldn't tell me..." replied Eclipse.
The Dark Nebula, Orion had heard of it, even before he came to the Land of Giants he had heard of it. It was a sector of space, a dark purple and prismatic cloud two to three light years in diameter where bio-engineered monsters and pollutants were dumbed by various space faring civilizations. This ended when the Ultras rose to power but the end result was that it became a breeding ground for monsters, monsters flocked to it like no other and the native creatures were among some of the most dangerous the Ultras had to deal with.
Despite this Orion pressed on, moving past the Ultras stationed around the nebula, the outpost of the Military branch, the most skilled branch of Space Patrol, while most fought monsters or performed the duties of police, they were regularly assigned to watch over planets likely to be invaded, they were also stationed to monitor problem areas like this or to watch over important items.
Orion flew past their outpost, there was no doubt they had spotted him, but they had never expected an Ultra to venture into that dark place and were caught of guard when he flew not to them but past them.
Orion found himself in the Dark Nebula, despite its name it was not as dark as one would expect at least to what would be human eyes, but Orion, like many Ultras could sense mana, the stuff of life, the spark that divided that which was alive and that which was not. Like all energy it behaved as both particles and waves and the waves carried the emotions and intents of that which created them. Here Orion felt it, an entire sector of space choking with minus energy. From the moment he entired the nebula that was all Orion could sense, he landed on a massive asteroid to collect himself from the sensory overload.
Orion calmed himself and looked around, sensing for anything that would indicate the presence of an Ultra. To put things in perspective, Orion's Ultra senses would perceive the minus energy around him as a black purple, another Ultra would be seen as a bright blue but now Orion perceived lights of dark red flocking towards him. It wasn't hard for him to figure out what they were, he had learned in class.
Orion readied himself as they landed, Bemstar, Dorako, a Nova, a Gazort and a Bemular. They had all sense his approach, or perhaps their 'red lights' were just infuriated by his 'blue light' who could say? All Orion knew as the monsters sneered and roared at him was that he had to fight, he couldn't hope to out fly these creatures, combat was his only hope of finding Luter.
Bemular charged first and it was the first to go down, Orion turned around and quickly got on his knee giving the beast a punch to the stomach that made it keel over. Orion got up and rolled over Bemular to charge Bemstar and Dorako. The two swiped at him, sparks flew of his body as he stumbled back, the two stepped forward and swung again. Orion stopped them with two high blocks and proceeded to kick the two in the side. Orion would've continued his counter attack had Nova not shot a dark red energy bomb in his back. Orion stumbled forward and stumbled some more after Bemstar fired a beam from his as well. Orion turned around and raised his shield, blocking Bemstar's and Nova's attacks. Orion collapsed the shield, crossing his arms and gave two spear hands as he fired energy blasts into Nova and Bemstar's faces. Nova fired again and Orion shot another energy blast, the clash of attack made a large bright flash. Orion took his opening and fired a beam from the light on his forehead. Nova was taken down but not killed, Orion fired again, this time at Bemstar but the creature's second mouth opened and drew the beam.
This took Orion by surprised, he was not well versed on the different monsters in the universe. It was then that his the light on his forehead, the Wiseman's Eye, turned to his right, forcing his head to as well. Orion noticed too late, Gazort flying down on him, the two tumbled and tussled and stopped with Gazort on top of Orion. The creature wasted no time and bit into Orion's right shoulder, Orion screamed out in pain as the beast gnawed on his Ultra armor, eventually drawing viscous bright golden substance that immdiately evaporated in space as bright light, the condensed particle energy within Ultras. Orion braced the pain, he had felt worst as a child, he wrestled his free arm out from under the beast and pushed it of his shoulder, then with said bitten arm he gave the beast a hook shot that knocked out several of it teeth before pushing it of. Orion got up, already his wound was closing, but he had lost some energy. As Gazort tried to get up Orion's arms crackled with electricity, energy focused into his palsm, he put his hand into the classic cross position and fired the basic Ultra Beam, the Specium ray into the monster's chest. Gazort didn't blow up, but it was wasn't getting up with a massive burn taking the place of its chest.
Orion turned to stop Bemular head from coming down on him using a double high block, crossing his arms. He forced it to the side and gave the beast a double punch to the chest followed by a kick to the side that knocked it down. Orion ran towards Bemstar and Dorako and jumped over their attacks, landing and firing a blast into Nova's face, he immediately turned and grabbed Bemstar from behind, throwing him away before blocking Dorako with a high block. Orion gave the beast a side kick to the chest grabbed it by head before throwing it onto the ground. He was about to fire the Specium Ray again when he was struck from behind, he was sent flying and landed on his stomach. Getting up he looked back to see Bemular with a smoking mout and Gazort back up, Orion could see the tiny little organism cannibalising each other and reproducing to repair the damage. Suddenly he was hit from the other side, Nova was back up and very angry, so to were Dorako and Bemstar. Surrounded, Orion was too tired, too wounded to escape, he had no choice but to take the full brunt of their attack.
The creatures offered no mercy, they opened fire on the young Ultra, Bemstar's horn beam, Gazort's plasma bombs, Bemlar's heat ray, Nova's fireballs, they all struck Orion from all around until he collapsed on the ground. Then the monsters ran up to him and began to stomp on him, Orion had no way of getting out. As the assualt continued Orion couldn't help but think about his last memories of home. He didn't know why but he looked forward, his eyes spied something it had not noticed before, a statue, more than that a statue of an Ultra, a female Ultra, the face and and chest were defaced but it was an Ultra nonetheless. The first question that went through his mind was, 'was that Luter'. The position of the statue was that it was outstretching it hand, in Orion direction. Orion, though about Luter and he thought about his beloved, Diana, he though about how weak we was, too weak to save her. Rage boiled within him, primal rage directed into a righteous fury. Orion's Wiseman's Eye, turned red.
There was a flash of light and Orion rosed up, shouting in the air and pushing back the monsters. He turned gave Bemular a punch that put it on the ground. He back kicked Nova and grabbedd Dorako by the throat used him to knock back the other monster's before throwing him away. Orion had changed, his red parts were now silver, while his blue had in turned become red, he was also buffer, not bulkier, but his muscles were larger and more defined. He was partially healed of his injuries from the sudden burst of energy but they were still there, but his endurance and durability had risen.
Nova swung its whip at Orion who caught it and pulled the beast towards him. Orion punched it in the face and grabbed it by the throat before slamming it head first into the ground and stomping on its face. Orion was angry, he had lost his beloved and now his best friend, probably more, now he wanted vengeance. Orion didn't notice the dark circles appearing around his eyes, but the monster's did, they instintively sensed what it meant. Orion was an Ultra, his 'light' appearance was because his heart was in the light, but now it was filled with rage, intense directed hate, a dark emotion and that changing his appearance.
Orion would have moved but something else came, this new monster, it landed behind the other monsters, with a slash it cut down Gazort and Dorako and the large hunk of flesh it bit out of Bemstar's neck meant its end. Bemular instinctively ran, its body turned blue and it collapsed into a ball. The beast opened it wings and fired purple bolts from the edges destroying the spear. The beast then looked at Orion.
Orion's eyes had returned to normal, he knew what this was, it was one of the first beast students were taught about and they were taught to never face it, the 'king' of the Dark Nebula: Death King. Orion took a fighting stance and the creature roared, the two charge but Death King stopped as Orion felt something grab his shoulder.
He turned around as a dark hand was stuck into his chest, the long claws that were its figners punctured the area around his Heart Stone and poked into his Energy Core. Orion could feel the energy being pumped into him from the dark hand, a dark energy, an energy that carried a wicked intent. Orion looked at the being in the face, two red dome eyes were all he saw before he blacked out.
Torrent, Gigas, Tori, Impulse, Prime and Eclipse arrived outside the Dark Nebula, they were there with several Space Rangers, Military Ultras that were stationed there. Eclipse had told them about Orion running out away, he said Orion had gone to train in there but everyone there was doubtful of that for one reason or another. They say the rings around his eyes and they did not trust a word he said besides Orion's whereabouts.
"Are, you certain he went in...?" asked Prime
"Yes, sir..." said the Ultra solder, he was red and had a crest weapon like several of the other Ultras stationed out there.
"Orion is many things..." said Torrent "But foolish he is not..."
"He's a tank-born..." said Eclipse
"Silence...!" shouted Prime, he didn't like Orion but he was not about to let such bigotry pass from an Ultra "It disgusts me to know one of my kind harbors such thoughts, you are disgraceful...!" Eclipse bowed away like a beaten wolf.
"What is that...?" asked Impulse, soon everyone noticed what he was referring to. A red light, shining dark, came out from the nebula it landed on a nearby asteroid between the Ultras and the light disappeared.
Orion stood up, but he was different now, his silver portions had turned dark grey, his shoulder now had spikes, is fingers were claws, his Wiseman's stone was black and giving of red waves along with his Heart Stone. His eyes had black circles and had turned blood red and his energy hair was present and burning like fire.
Orion was slouched over, his raised his head and roared, a loud telepathic roar, that was deafening to everyone that heard it. Without a moment of hesitation Gigas moved like a blur and landed a kick in Orion's neck. For a moment Orion's eyes went dark, but they came back on as he grabbed his leg and eblowed it. Something had possibly broke from Gigas' reaction, Orion continued with a punch to the face that sent him flying back, back past his fellow Ultras.
Torrent charged Orion, swinging his trident over and over which Orion blocked stubbornly with the same arm over and over. If he was in his normal form, Orion's arm would've been broken. He grabbed the trident and gave Torrent several punches in the face before sending him flying away with a double kick to the chest. Impulse charged Orion, eager to avenge his father only to casualy sent flying by a punch to the face. He was planted into a nearby asteroid where he stood for the remainder of the fight. During all of this Eclipse had hidden himself behind the base, watching from afar, watching not only Orion's fight but as a purple flight flew out of the nebula, past everyone else's notice.
The other Ultras fired their beams and crest weapons, hitting Orion from all side. Orion curled up into a ball and they thought they were winning. They were wrong, in his current state, Orion only knew how to attack, even his blocks involved slamming his arms into the opponents attack. Orion glowed and opened up releasing a pulse of energy, the same kind used in Ultra Beams. The men were knocked out and that when Gigas and Prime charged Orion.
He pushed him back with flurry of punches as Orion swiped at them, breaking their Ultra Armor before they closed back again. Orion grabbed them and held tightly, despite their punches and kicks. His body was wrapped in glowing red flames that burned even them. He exploded, leaving Prime and Gigas, unconscious and covered in burns. Red particles, fire and a dark energy gathered together to reform Orion, he was badly damaged, even without having self-destructed but his roar showed he was still rearing to go.
Torrent rose up, despite his injuries and took a fighting stance. He charged at Orion, who charged at him, they stopped only because Tori appeared between them. Orion stopped, he had beaten his father, his brother, his teacher and his mentor's son, but only Tori's presence calmed him down. He stopped, his claws inches away from her face and his flame hair began to die down. Tori's hand glowed, she slammed it into Orion's Heart Stone and the light shined from underneath his skin. A dark cloud ran out of Orion's body, disintagrating in the void and Orion turned back to normal.
"Luter, I have to find Luter...!" said a dazzed and confused Orion, he looked up "Mother...?" Orion blacked out. His Heart Stone was flashing, making a heartbeat like noise, he was badly injured, more so than anyone realized. Tori watched in horror as gashes broke open all over his body and Orion bled a great deal of light.
Orion awoke in a light chamber, it was larger and appeared more crystal like than the one at home. From the white metal plates that made up the room he guessed he was in the hospital. He didn't try to get up, not at first, he was in too much pain. When he did the bed tilted up and opened and he saw Prime.
"Sir...?" asked Orion. He looked around somewhat confused.
"You're doing well..." said Prime. Orion noticed black lines underneath his eyes.
"Thanks... I would be better if I knew how I got here...?"
"You went into the Dark Nebular why..."
"Eclipse said Luter had been kidnapped..." Prime shook his head and Orion's eyes flashed red with anger. They turned back when he grabbed his side. "I would have words with him..."
"You will have words with me..." said Prime "By all rights I should expell you from the academy after what you did..."
"I'm sorry, I just... have issues when it comes to loosing people I care about..."
"I can understand that, but why did you attack us...?" Orion looked at him, even though Ultra faces did not move, the look of confusion was still obvious.
"What are you talking about...?"
"What's the last thing you remembered...?"
"I was fighting some monster, I had gained some red form..."
"What, no... I became buffer, then I faced Death King, but I sensed something behind me..."
"Something stabbed me..." Orion touched above his Heart Stone, it was sore given his reaction. "Then, it was all black, like I drowning in it, then mom, then here..." Orion looked at Prime. "What did I do...?"
"You attacked, me, Gigas, Torrent, Impulse and several other Ultras..."
"What...?" Orion stepped forward and keeled over in pain. His Heart Stone began pulsating, Orion's lines activated. His energy hair was small but the added strength allowed him to stand. Went his Heart Stone calmed down the Lines turned of. "Where is my family...?" asked Orion with a scared tone. He rushed to the door which opened. There was Torrent, Tori and Impulse, all healed up.
"You...!" shouted Impulse "Monster...!"
"Impulse...!" said Tori "That's enougth...!"
"No..." shouted Impulse "He attacked dad, he attacked me, why are you sticking up for this alien...?" There was silence in the room. Tori and Torrent could not believe Impulse just said that. Orion simply turned around.
"If you guys are well I'm going back to bed..." he said with a tired tone.
"Don't back me...!" shouted Impulse, he charged Orion who turned around, flipped him and threw him to the other side of the room. Orion walked up to him and Tori stopped her husband from doing anything, Prime just watched. Orion knelt down to the scared Impulse.
"You are such a spoiled brat, do you know that...?" he said
"How dare..." replied Impulse.
"Shut up...!" that shout could be heard all over the hospital "You are a brat, who fails to understand what the world is like, I attacked your father, far that I apologize, but you need to understand something, he is a Space Ranger, that means he has acccepted that people are going to try and kill him! Heroes aren't heroes because they are invincible, they die and fall like everyone else, that's why they are so few heroes..."
"Said King's little project, your probably King's secret son...!" shouted an insolent Impulse.
"My father, was named Ezekial and I have never been given anything, no one gave me a helping hand, no one patted me on the head, or kissed me on the cheek until your mother accepted me as her own..."
"Yeah my mo..."
"On my world, when you become a young adult, no longer a child, but not an adult, we are sent to a planet full of monsters, we are there for a week. The goal is not to beat any monster, it's not a competition, the goal is to survive. Fourteen of us went that week, three came back, I have seen the people I called friend, torn apart, i have seen their instestines, their bones, their brains, bared for the world to see and gobbled up..." there was now a eerie silence in the room. Orion's Heart Stone began to pulsate. "My best friend, I watched predators tear out his spine and use it as a chew toy. Imagine that, you don't even know how to fight yet, but you have to fight for your life on a world trying to kill you..."
"You're lying..." said Impulse "No one would do that their own kids..."
"You don't understand why Ultras fight, do you, the world is not fair, it is not kind, it doesn't owe you a smile or anything. If it was fair, would there be need for the Space Patrol..." Impulse said nothing. "When I returned, I saw my best friend's parents, mom and dad, that was rare on my world, having two loving parents. I apologized for what happened to their son... Do you know what they told me...? They said 'it's not your fault he was weak, don't worry about us, we can make another..." Orion stood up. "That was life kid, you were strong or useless. Think of the kind of race that would've been, a race of Ultras completely devoted to strength, warriors born and raised, now think about what of power it must have taken to wipe out that whole planet at once. A planet of Ultras, when you put on that bracelet it means you have sworn to fight even something as powerful as that..." The fear was obvious in Impulse's eyes. "If you can't deal with that, you have no right being in Space Patrol...!" shouted Orion, his Heart Stone was pulsating even faster, and he was begining to stumble about. "That's what it means to be a space rang...er..." Orion collapsed on his back, before anyone could do anything he black out and started to convulse on the floor as his wounds opened up again. Tori gave out a telepathic crew for help as she tried to stop the bleeding with her light powers. Others came in, blue female Ultras, nurses, they also tried to help him, Torrent had to walk around them and pick up Impulse, who was in a state of shock watching Orion bleeding out vast amounts of light.
Orion awoke again in his medical Light Chamber, it was dimmer now and he could only wonder how long he was out this time. He raised his head and he saw Torrent there standing with his trident.
"Hi..." said Orion weakly. He noticed a tube connected to him by a syringe, it was feeding him specium energy, the stuff he converted light into. "What happened...?"
"Your wounds opened up..." said Torrent "If you mean about everyone else, my son seems to withdrawn, my wife is tending to him..."
"Why are you apologizing, everything you said was true... we Space Rangers know the risks when we go out there, when we fight, he needed to understand that, so many of our youths need to understand that..."
"Was it like that when you first joined...?"
"No... we were at war, so many races want to steal our power, wanted to destroy us, the strong tried to oppress the weak... so we had to be the strongest... I imagine you grew up with similar ideas..."
"I never liked my people, maybe our ancestors were wise and honorable but my people had forgotten that, they all went dark. At first I thought it was a plague, a miscalculation in the field matrix, but no I now understand that it was beauty of this form, this power of Ultra..."
"You can't hide what you are as an Ultra, a being of light, their hearts were dark, they slaughtered so many. We had the hunt, we fought the strong to prove our strength, to maintain our strength to weed out the morally and physically week. I suspect it was invented to vent our natural agression outwards..."
"We nuked ourselves five times, even in my previous form I was immune to all but the most absurd amounts of radiation..."
"Previous form, you were not born an Ultra...?"
"No, I was a thinker, I was considered a weakling, but a useful weakling... I remember the change, like it was yesterday...It was suppose to make us better, but in the end we simply lost the abilitiy to hide the ugliness inside."
"You didn't go dark..."
"I was one of the last who didn't all the rest were destroyed..."
"I see, what do you think of us...? The honest truth..."
"Honestly, you are... disappointments, I expected a race of heroes, instead I got Impulse, Eclipse... I suppose I put you all on too high a pedastal..."
"Why did you go after Luter, without hesitation, against protocol...?"
"I am not brave, I am not some heroic figure, I fear the Dark Nebula as much as any other person with sense... but I'm more afraid of loosing someone I care about, friends, family, my beloved... They say there comes a times when life stops giving you things and starts taking them away... back home we called that being a teenager..."
"I see, I won't trouble you any longer, know that you are still in the academy, Luter is safe and we will all heal but one last question, the turning... into dark Ultras, how did it start..."
"With black lines, black lines... around... the eyes..." Orion fell asleep and Torrent walked out to see Prime."
"As I recalled I expelled him..." said Prime "On what authority do you question mine...?"
"The black lines around your eyes..." said Torrent. Torrent walked away and Prime rushed about looking for a mirror, before he simply created one, he saw them, he had heard Orion's words and he dropped the mirror, it shattered into particles and he dropped his head in shame as they began to fade away as he began to let go of his dark emotions.