Pan Post 105 continues the contest of the God-Monarchs with the battle of Mootchief Minos and Vedas Khaan. Minos parades around the God-Monarch's Middle Ground for his invisible audience while Vedas considers the other God-Monarchs. He believes almost all of them are irrelevant and beneath him, including Minos. He only sees worth in Yannah and Neith Lieren who could serve him. He is confused by Dave but sees Typhon as a being he understands. Minos poops on the arena floor, which unbeknownst to the rest is a sign of dominance in the alitaur people. Minos considers himself an alitaur first and God-Monarch second and that everything he does benefits his people. He dislikes Vedas and considers him pure evil and that the cost of defeating Highemperor shouldn't include collaborating with such evil. Vedas makes the first attack but Minos is eventually able to get the man in a sleeper hold. Vedas vanishes and sets the arena ablaze and a barrier between the fighters and the other God-Monarchs. Minos must channel the energy stored in his horn to cool the area around him. When he realises he cannot win, Minos surrenders the match but Vedas continues to assault Minos' mind. Only when Imeryn Hypericum breaks through the barrier does Vedas allow Minos to go and the other God-Monarchs are concerned about the loose cannon.
Vedas vs Minos
Minos: "If it's a show you wish for - then you should have asked for me to go first!"
He grins broadly, displaying his pearly whites and exuding charisma. He spreads his arms as though accepting an enthusiastic applause; despite the utter silence from the other God-Monarchs.
But the massive bulk of a man was already stepping down onto the platform. Aside from the seating to one side, the opposite side of the suspended platform is open to the vast, seemingly endless ocean world beyond. Just at the sky opposes the sea, the two God-Monarchs oppose each other in their own natures.
While Vedas Khaan towers over most God-Monarchs and other humanoids, Mootchief Minos manages to be all the larger with his sturdy horse-like body from which his torso extends. His large wings ruffle as Vedas walks onto the arena floor. The alitaur's hooves scuff at the sand before he turns and begins to strut around the edge of the platform as though parading for his invisible audience. Vedas just stalks to the centre of the platform with a grimace on his face. He views all this as a waste of time, there are more productive ways of training, but as it's wished by the others he shall oblige for now. He's been unconvinced that the Highemperor is truly as invincible as everyone would have him believe. These morons are simply too stupid to outsmart the High Empire and its resources. Either that or they're too weak; either in strength or in heart. Many of them have followers for the purpose of self-aggrandisement. Their existence is meaningless and no different that the Highemperor himself. Followers ought to serve a purpose. They're tools to be used.
To him this Mootchief Minos is a complete waste of space. So too is Imeryn, the woman that believes herself the leader of this cadre. Both are vain fools and of the exact same cloth as Highemperor. Din and Chimaat are, quite simply, idiots. There is no other way of describing them. All power and no brains. Should he ever discover a way of siphoning their powers from them, the multiverse would be better served without them in it. Zhuge was once another Highemperor but having seen the error of his ways he has been reduced to a snivelling coward that hides and licks his wounded pride away from the eyes of the civilised masses. Another individual that would be better chewed out and put out of his misery. Rozariel Lo is another useless itinerant that seeks her own fortune, though she's perhaps to be considered 'Imeryn-lite'. Her assortment of artefacts does make her marginally more appealing to Vedas, but those items would be better off in his hands than hers. The Ascension; cold and void of the essence of life. It is essentially the opposite of Highemperor and his arrogant vanity, yet it has a meaningless existence. What will it do when the Highemperor is dead? And dead he shall be.
The cunning and greater purposes of Yannah and Neith Lieren are the more admirable qualities of his cohorts. Both of them would make excellent officers in an empire of his own, conquering the multiverse for the grand goal of control over the lesser beings. Then again, perhaps they would not bend the knee? Yannah has been a ruler and wouldn't be quick to become subservient to another. Yet she is a machine and machines often possess the cold logic of making the right choice that hot-blooded beings lack. Neith, even now as an ally in this group, may prove the greatest bane to him. As a being once of the Pan-Cosmic Command is warped by morality. Conscience is the path of cowards. She is probably unable to do what needs to be done and may even attempt, as others have done, to stop him should he proceed with plans she would consider 'evil'. Typhon is probably the God-Monarch he understands best. Pure vengeance, albeit for a truly petty reason, is a good cause and reason to be. He has no doubt that Typhon would destroy everything in his path to the of revenge and that is a mutual path Vedas could see himself upon. And then there is Dave... an enigma. Vedas is unable to make heads nor tails of him. He seems one thing, yet is known as another. For all Vedas' perception, Dave appears to be nothing but a mere, insignificant mortal. The mortals that ought to serve as tools by his command. Yet he is known throughout the multiverse as the greatest deity and his true form is hidden from all of the monarchs by this mortal façade. It may well be Dave that emerges from the fallout of this war against the Highemperor as the ruler of all...
Mootchief Minos ends his march and stands opposite Vedas.
Minos has dark, wild hair that is filled with flecks of grey - an attempt to give him an air of aged dignity and authority. It runs down his neck and into a long mane that runs down the spine, stopping at the body. Likewise his tail juts out at the back in black wires. His tail lifts and he poops.
Vedas: "... dude."
Minos: "What? Better out than in!"
Vedas: "I believe there's a time and a place..."
Minos: "Pah! Not amongst my people! We fertilise the ground wherever we go!"
Vedas: "You can't fertilise the stone..."
The alitaur just shrugs and grins at the red-skinned creature before him. Pooping everywhere is a common practice in alitaur communities, but before a battle it's a symbol of dominance over the opponent. This arena is mine, the pile of poop declares. Not that Vedas knows this but that just makes the experience all the more entertaining for Minos. Crapping in front of someone so conceited is always a sly pleasure.
Minos may be the most powerful of all the alitaurs, yet he still considers himself to be an alitaur first and a God-Monarch second. Everything he does is for the good of his people. Even doing good for himself, like stealing all of Highemperor's wives when the time comes, is doing good for his people. What benefits him, benefits them. Alitaurs never fight alone. They fight together. They are a herd. This one-on-one match up of Imeryn's is an inconvenience. Minos is aware of Vedas' power and more so of his evil. The day Vedas was accepted into the God-Monarchs was the first time Minos got into a heated argument with Imeryn. He believes that defeating Highemperor shouldn't be 'at all costs'. When the deed is done, they will be left with Vedas to deal with and Minos is under no illusion that Vedas would ultimately turn on every one of them once they have taken out the greater threat. Minos' spirit of cooperation is stretched thin in dealing with this monster.
Minos looks towards Imeryn, who is standing in the seating area, for her sign to begin. In the corner of his eye he sees a sudden rush of motion.
Minos jerks himself backwards as a flaming fist narrowly misses him. Minos shouts angrily;
Minos: "We haven't even begun yet, you fool! This is cheating! Where's your honour!?"
Vedas: "You think our enemies will wait for you to be ready?"
Minos: "... actually yes. Highemperor probably would!"
Vedas: "Then that is how I shall take the fool down. Just as you will fall here."
Vedas moves in again and Minos brings his arms up to block the incoming strike. The powerful, flame-haired man strikes with enough power to shake the very foundations that they're standing on. But Minos, channels his strength into his arms to coat them in magical protection against the attack. Vedas' fist actually rebounds due to the velocity with which it struck.
Minos is silently pleased about this. Vedas seems intent on drawing up close in a physical brawl, just the way Minos likes it. Grappling with your brothers is the way every alitaur is raised. Minos doesn't even know what Vedas is. Perhaps he's no longer of his species but is now something else, separated from his past. Minos might have felt pity for him, had he not been so malevolent.
Minos' horn glows as he draws on its stored energy. The current flows first into his skull and then through the rest of the body. It feels like a cool breeze might against the skin, only this is inside his organs. He casts an aura upon himself that would raise his physical protection should a strike get through his defences. He blocks another strike from Vedas. This shouldn't be as difficult as he had been expecting.
While his horse body makes him a much bigger target, it also makes him not dextrous. His back legs hop round and his body follows, allowing him to dodge a big boot. Now on the flank Minos snakes his arm around the neck of Vedas, putting him in a sleeper hold.
Minos: "You can give up any time you like."
Vedas: "Surrender is for lesser creatures."
He vanishes in a blast of flame, from which Minos reels. That wasn't very sportsmanly.
Then Minos feels a sudden torment on his mind. There's a growing sensation of dread burrowing its way through his brain. Being an all-powerful alitaur means that such mind tricks stopped working on him long ago, yet never before have such tricks been applied by another God-Monarch on him. Despite that sensation trying to worm its way into his psyche, Minos isn't going to relent to it. He turns, annoyed that Vedas would treat him this way, only to see an inferno blazing across the planet.
The very oceans are ablaze, as is the floor of the arena. Minos has to funnel more of his energy reserves to crate a cooling aura around his hooves. The unnatural hellsfire gives way, with a protesting hiss, at the stamp of each hoof.
Imeryn: "Vedas, you can't mess about with my--!"
A sudden barrier rises up between the audience seats and the arena, silencing the complains of Imeryn from the two combatants. Oddly enough Minos is somewhat grateful for that, sparing him from Imeryn's constant attempts to control everyone. A woman in control of Minos Mootchief. The very thought.
Minos: "You think these parlour tricks will cause me to cower, Khaan?"
Vedas lunges at him and Minos misses the attack. Vedas' clawed hands slip around Minos' throat. The alitaur's muscles stand firm against even the tight grip of this giant, but there's something about the grip that disturbs Minos. A dark energy seeps into his skin, like poison, and he feels his awareness draining. The harrowing sensation in his mind grows all the stronger and he lashes out, striking at Vedas but hitting only a visage of flame.
He realises that he might escape this underhanded trick but whatever, more powerful attack Vedas has planned next, would be very difficult to parry. His senses are dulling and his will to continue is drained. The fight had been exciting, even if it didn't test the full capabilities of either of them. Minos raises his hand.
Minos: "I will surrender to Vedas Khaan! The match is his!"
His voice goes unheard, but Imeryn sees the hand and starts barking something behind the barrier. Vedas, of course, should have heard but the attack is unrelenting.
Minos: "Do you hear me, demon? The match is yours. Release me."
Darkness is beginning to grip his mind.
He squirms against it and the flames upon him. With a sudden expense of energy he projects a kinetic blasts in all directions - a globe of movement pushing everything away. The flames retreat and he's given a moment to breathe. He manages to catch a glimpse through the flames of what appears to be a figure.
Minos: "Khaan. Stop this nonsense. It's over."
A sudden onslaught of aggression assaults Minos and the darkness of his mind consumes his awareness. He calls out in rage against his assailant. It seems like an eternity within the darkness of his own mind, the heat searing his physical form.
Then it all stops.
Minos shakes his head and blinks to find Imeryn standing next to him. He straightens up, as though nothing had happened.
Minos: "Battle's over... is it?"
Imeryn: "This was supposed to be a test match, Vedas. You overstep--"
Vedas: "A test for me, an experience of his own impending demise for this fool."
There's a silence amongst the God-Monarchs. Two loose cannons in the group is rather a lot and the fragility of their alliance is all the clearer...